Thursday, November 03, 2011

A SOUND AMONG THE TREES - Susan Meissner - Free Book

Welcome back, Susan. I love your head shot. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I like to write about the depths of human relationships. All of our best and worst intentions seem to come out in our closest human relationships. I have this quote by Cecil Day Lewis on my website that goes like this: “We write not to be understood, but to understand.” I think that’s most of the reason I write about human relationships; to understand how we tick and how we are created in God’ image and how much can be changed when we allow God to make us more like Him.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
This is a hard question to answer! The day I married my husband and each of the four days our children were born are all at the top of that list. I can’t imagine life without these five people.

How has being published changed your life?
Being published certainly has given me the exposure to explore in writing everything I observe from life. It has made my life fuller and busier, and it has tempered me. Getting published is really a small part of the writing life. Publication increases your ability to reach people with what you write but it doesn’t complete your writing life. You do that when you keep writing and keep writing and keep writing.

What are you reading right now?
I just finished Sandra Byrd’s To Die For, a novel centered on the friendship of a young English woman and Anne Boleyn. A tragic story, but interestingly told. Sandra is a fabulous writer.

What is your current work in progress?
I am putting the finishing touches on a book called The Girl in the Glass which will release this time next year. This book is set partially in Southern California and partially in Florence, Italy. My main character heads to Florence for some complicated reasons and while there she becomes friends with a woman who claims she is the last Medici and that she can hear Florence’s amazing statues and paintings talking to her. . .

What would be your dream vacation?
I want to go to Greece and spend two weeks touring the islands!

How do you choose your settings for each book?
I usually find the setting within the idea for the book. When I come across a premise for a story I consider where it could be told best. Sometimes you can tell the same story in any number of locations but that’s not always the case. With A Sound Among the Trees, with overtones of The Civil War running through it, I knew I needed a southern state to set it in.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I think I would like to spend that evening with New Zealand author Kate Morton. She writes such compelling fiction. I am always inspired to write with more excellence after I’ve read one of her books. I’d like to ask her where her ideas come from, how she refills her idea well, how she plots her books, if she outlines or not, where her motivation springs from. I have her latest book, The Distant Hours, on my bedside table and I can’t wait to get to it.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love to be outdoors, and I love spending time with my family. Meal times, whether I cook or we go out are also times that are special to me so we choose restaurants for memory value, not just the menu. We like independent restaurants and I guess you could say we are all coffee snobs. I also love to travel. Love it.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
The more I write the more I need a way of refreshing my mind and soul for the next book. Sometimes it feels like I have used up all the good words and there aren’t any left. Reading great books reminds me that there are plenty of ways left to tell a story!

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Keep writing in anonymity. Every day that you write you are becoming a better writer. Surround yourself with good books, books that inspire you and challenge you. Find at least one seasoned writer to mentor you or take a class on creative writing to help you identify bad habits that might hold you back. Writing is re-writing so learn to hold your words with an open hand. And then keep writing.

I love your cover, too. Tell us about the featured book.
For 150 years, Holly Oak has stood the passing of time and wills on a historic Fredericksburg street and it has the Civil War scars to prove it. Marielle Bishop marries into the family and its multi-generational ties to the house, leaving behind her independence and her love of Arizona’s deserts to become a wife and stepmother. 
But it isn’t long before Marielle is led to believe that the house she just settled into brings trouble and misfortune to the women who live there. Local folklore has it that Susannah Page, a spy for the North who secretly aided Union soldiers, haunts Holly Oak - longing for pardon.
When Susannah’s great-granddaughter Adelaide McClane tells her that the house is “stuck” because of its tumultuous past, Marielle determines to get past the rumors and uncover the secrets that are buried within its walls. With Adelaide’s richly peppered superstitions and deep family roots at stake, Marielle must carve out her new life carefully as she sorts out the truth and makes peace with the sacrifices she has made for love. 

Please give us the first page of the book.
Here’s the link to the excerpt:

How can readers find you on the Internet?
And on Facebook and Twitter at @SusanMeissner.

Thank you, Susan, for the interesting peek into your life.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog. 
A Sound Among the Trees: A Novel

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Rebecca said...

Thank you so much for the chance to win this. This looks like a great book. I would love to win this.

I am from Oklahoma

Jo said...

What a great interview, Susan and Lena. This does sound like a great book. I would love to read it.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Patsy said...

Would love to read this book. Love the cover!

from South MS


Susan Meissner said...

Thanks for the kind words about the interview and the cover - which I also love! WaterBrook's art dept did such a great job with it.

apple blossom said...

love to be included in this drawing thanks.
I live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Cathy said...

I would really really love to win this book! Susan Meissner is one of my favorite authors! Her stories are so captivating and thought provoking. Can't wait to read this one. :)
Cathy from B.C. Canada

Wendy Newcomb said...

Thank you for doing this interview and the giveaway.
I live in Florida.


scottsgal said...

I'd like to cruise the greek isles - wonderful vacation. Thanks for the chance
cheryl in IL
msboatgal at

Susan Meissner said...

Thanks for your fun comments!

Anonymous said...

Well, I can honestly say that I have yet to read a book like this! Intriguing!!!!!!


karenk said...

i am a huge 'fan' of susan's novels...thanks for the chance to read her latest :)

karenk...from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Jaedyn said...

This looks awesome, and I love the author's books. :) Please enter me!


Pam K. said...

I like Susan's books; they are unique. "A Sound Among the Trees" sounds like another one I'd enjoy.
Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy and for the interview with Susan.


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to read A Sound among the Trees! Thanks!

Jess, from rainy WA :)

misskallie2000 said...

Hi Susan, Great interview. I love your book already. Can't wait to read. Thanks for stopping to by chat and share with us.

Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

I live in Georgia

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Judy Cooper said...

I really enjoyed the interview. It didn't take me long to know that I would enjoy this book. Thank you for the opportunity to win. Judy C. in Louisiana.

Coolestmommy said...

The premise of the story is very unique. I think this will be a wonderful read--can't wait.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Jackie S. said...

I love Susan's anxious to read this one! Please enter me.
NE Georgia


Kristie said...

The haunted house idea sounds great. A little spooky and creepy in a good way. I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

Susan Meissner said...

I promise it's not too scary! You won't be afraid to go to sleep at night :)

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me I would love to win a copy of this book! Thanks and God bless!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Abigail Mitchell said...

Enter me!
Abigail Richmond

Anonymous said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. I love the cover.

Angela from KY

Anonymous said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. I love the cover.

Angela from KY

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to read Susan's new book... and The Girl in the Glass when it comes out!

from Michigan

Anonymous said...

Thank you, I'm sure I would love to read this book. Please enter me!!

Brenda from Michigan

dancealert at aol dot com

rubynreba said...

Love the title! Please enter me. Great interview.
Beth from Iowa

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

It looks interesting!
Please enter me in drawing.
God Bless,
Sarah Richmond

Kd Brown said...

I love to read new authors, so thank you for the interview and the great giveaway.

Kathleen in Montana

Bakersdozen said...

I really enjouyed this interview and want to read this book. I also would love to meet Laura Ingalls Wilder and C.S. Lewis. I live in S. CA.

Rose said...

This book looks fantastic and sounds very interesting.

Ann Lee Miller said...

I adore Susan's writing and would love to win her latest!

Ann Lee Miller

margie said...

I am a HUGE fan of Susan's writing. I am in the midst of The Rachel Flynn mysteries right now and loving them. I would very much like an opportunity to win a copy of A Sound Among The Trees to add it to my library. margie at mijares dot net

Joanna Richmond said...

sounds very interesting I would Love to read this book enter me in the giveaway thanks and God Bless
Joanna Richmond
Blanch NC

Katie Marie said...

I've seen this book around since it's release, and the reviews are pretty positive. I'd love to be entered. Thanks!!

~ Katie from Florida