Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last 2011 Winners!!


I want to thank each of you for being loyal followers of my blog. It would bless me a lot if you would tell everyone you know who likes to read about it. You will help Christian fiction reach a larger market.


And I pray blessings on you and your family in 2012


Robyn (NE) is the winner of Warring Spirits by April W Gardner.
Edwina (GA) is the winner of Ashes to Beauty by Kim Zweygardt. 
Salena (TX) is the winner of Cabin on Pinto Creek by  A J Hawke.
Katie G (NC) is the winner of Hailee, by Penny Zeller.


Since so many of you left me comments about my Christmas story, I chose one of you to win one of my Christmas books. 


Lorna Faith (Alberta) is the winner.

If you won a book and you really like it, consider giving the author the courtesy of writing a review on Goodreads, Amazon.com, Christianbooks.com, Barnes and Noble, or other Internet sites. 


Congratulations
, everyone. Send me your mailing address:
Click the Contact Me link at the top of the blog, and send me an Email.

When you contact me, please give the title of the book you won, so I won't have to look it up.

Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.

If you didn't win and you plan to order the book, please use the link provided on the individual interview. By using that link when you order, you will help support this blog.

Friday, December 30, 2011

SMALL-TOWN SWEETHEARTS - Jean C Gordon - Free Book


Welcome, Jean. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Sometimes too much, but my critique partners are quick to point out when that happens.

I love those critique partners who can keep me on the right track. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I had to consult my family on this one. They said people are always surprised at my love of rollercoasters. The bigger the better and if they go out over water, perfect! Normally, I’m pretty wimpy about heights and anything that goes fast.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
It seems like I’ve always been a writer. I was on the high school newspaper staff and had an essay on my family’s Christmas traditions published in the Buffalo Evening News when I was a senior. From THE high school paper, I moved on to my college newspaper (I was a journalism major), followed short stints at the Batavia (NY) Daily News and the Montebello (CA) News, and then to my current job with a financial publisher in Albany, NY.

My first published piece was in the college literary magazine. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I primarily read romance. Historicals are my favorite. But I also like women’s fiction and nonromance historical novels.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’m not sure I do. Sunday church service and coffee hour afterwards really help me unwind before the next week starts. We regularly sing a hymn I particularly like, ‘Come and Find the Quiet Center.’

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes I name characters after people I know. Other times, the characters come to me with their own names.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Publishing my books.

What is your favorite food?
Ice cream, just about any flavor but coffee. My second favorite food is broccoli.

Broccoli and ice cream. That would make a good character trait for in a novel. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Time and giving my novel writing the priority it should have are my biggest roadblocks. I put in about nine hours a weekday at my day job. Since that’s not something I can change right now, I’ve been working on prioritizing the rest of my time and tasks.

Tell us about the featured book.
I got a germ of an idea for Small-Town Sweethearts when a family member told me she liked her new church because the members were more standoffish and private. From that germ, the story evolved:

With the help of God and the love of Drew Stacey, a down-sized Wall Street analyst turned church camp manager, NYC assistant art director and former town misfit Emily, ne Jinx, Hazard finds the thing she wants most in the place she least wants to be Paradox Lake. Through having to be responsible for her niece, interaction with the towns’ people, and falling in love with Drew, she learns the meaning of Christian fellowship.

Like all of my books, Small-Town Sweethearts is set in my native Update New York.

Please give us the first page of the book.

The thrumming in her head started at the Essex County line and crescendoed into a pounding by the time she’d reached Route 74. She wiped one hand, then the other on her jeans and gripped the steering wheel of her rented SUV. She was in control. She was Emily Hazard, assistant art director at an award-winning New York City advertising agency. Not Emily Hazard, the klutz-queen jinx-deluxe of Schroon Lake Central High School.

She drove through Hazardtown, the four corners community in New York’s Adirondack Mountains that her ancestors had settled two centuries ago. Little remained to show the once-bustling logging town it had once been. A new name on the diner told her it had changed ownership again. The gas station convenience store proclaimed “Souvenirs Here” in a big red, white, and blue roadside sign. Kitty corner, the Community Church sat as it had for the past one hundred and fifty years with its double entry doors that had originally separated the women parishioners from the men. As a teen, Emily had made a point of entering through the “men’s” door. The new-ish brick volunteer fire department building occupied the fourth corner. Ironically, the old clapboard hall had burned down when she was in college.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Look for me on Facebook, www.Facebook.com/JeanCGordon.Author. I also tweet, @JeanCGordon. And my website is www.JeanCGordon.com.

Thank you for stopping by today, Jean.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Small-Town Sweethearts (Love Inspired)


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.
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 29, 2011

THE UNLIKELY WIFE - Debra Ullrick - Free Book


So glad to have you back, Debra. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
Looking at the heart of a person and not the outward appearance. Struggling to trust God. I love what my mom says about that… Trust Him even when it’s the hardest thing to do, trust Him. Putting Him first. My newly adopted motto is, I AM SECOND. There’s actually a website about that. Here’s the link… www.iamsecond.com  There are some great testimonies on there about people who have been through tragedies and how they learned to put God first and themselves second.

I’m familiar with the I Am Second website. Josh Hamilton, who is a member of my church (but I haven’t met him personally) is on there, too. What other books of yours are coming out soon?
Groom Wanted, is scheduled for release in August 2012. It’s the sequel to, The Unlikely Wife, which is the sequel to, The Unexpected Bride.

We must schedule it on my blog. If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
Soul Surfer Bethany Hamilton. She is a huge inspiration to me. Her dream was to be a professional surfer and then a shark attacked her. Not once did she get angry at God about losing her arm. Bethany’s heart is to serve God in all that she does. She’s a woman who isn’t a quitter and one who doesn’t sit around feeling sorry for herself. Because of her putting God first, she went on to live out her dream of becoming a professional surfer—with one arm.

I just bought that DVD for James for Christmas. We’ll watch it soon. What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
Jane Austen. I would love to see if the things she wrote about were really how things were back then, or if they were just a figment of her imagination.

How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
Never give up. I believe every author goes through rejections. I remember reading about one lady in particular who got rejected 47 times and yet she continued to submit. Now her books are doing quite well.

Tell us about the featured book?
Back cover blurb:

The arrival of Michael Bowen’s bride, married sight unseen by proxy, sends the rancher reeling. With her trousers, cowboy hat and rifle, she looks like a female outlaw—not the genteel lady he corresponded with for months. He’s been hoodwinked into marriage with the wrong woman!

Selina Farleigh Bowen loved Michael’s letters, even if she couldn’t read them herself. A friend read them to her, and wrote her replies—but apparently that “friend” left things out, like   Michael’s dream of a wife who was nothing like her. Selina won’t change who she is, not even for the man she loves. Yet time might show Michael the true value of his unlikely wife.

Sounds interesting. Please give us the first page of the book. 
This has to be a nightmare.

Standing in front of Michael Bowen at Paradise Haven's train station was the woman who claimed to be his wife. His eyes traveled up and down the length of her. Instead of a dress, she wore a red scarf draped around her neck, a black cowboy hat with a stampede string, black cowboy boots and brown loose-fitting trousers. In her hands she held a Long Tom black powder rifle.

A rifle? The woman was holding a rifle. No matter how hard he tried he couldn't pull his gaze away from the weapon that was nearly as long as she was tall.

Michael bore down on his teeth until he thought his jaw would snap. Even with her heart-shaped face, stunning smile and beautiful brown eyes, the person standing before him looked more like a female outlaw on a wanted poster than the genteel lady he had been corresponding with for the past five months. The woman he had fallen deeply and passionately in love with. The woman he had legally married sight unseen.

This woman was nothing like what he'd expected. Nothing. There had to be some mistake. There just had to be.

I can’t wait to get my copy. How can readers find you on the Internet?
You can find me at www.debraullrick.com, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Shoutlife.


Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
The Unlikely Wife (Love Inspired Historical)


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.
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

THYME FOR LOVE - Pamela S Meyers - Free Book

Welcome, Pam. I've really been looking forward to our time together.


Q: Give us a little preview of Thyme for Love.
A:  April Love has always dreamed of being a chef. When her Aunt Kitty hears of a in-house chef position for a non-profit organization housed in a lakeshore mansion next door, April returns to Canoga Lake, Wisconsin, where she’d spent many summers growing up, to apply for the job. When she discovers her former fianc√© Marc Thorne working there, she wonders if this position was really God’s intention for her. After all, Marc all but left her standing at the altar to chase his own dreams in California. It doesn’t take long to realize Marc is hiding secrets and despite returning feelings for the man, April determines she will not make the same mistake as she did eight years earlier. But when their boss is found dead and Marc is framed for his murder, April has no choice but to turn sleuth to keep Marc from being accused of a murder he didn’t commit.

Q: What made you want to write this book?
A:  I’ve always loved romance and mysteries, and decided to write a story that married the two elements together. I grew up in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and have always been fascinated by the many 20th Century mansions that dot the lake’s shoreline. I toyed with the idea of setting the story in one of those homes, but decided to create a smaller lake and village just to the east of Lake Geneva to gain more freedom with some of the details of the story and its characters. I loved having the area located close enough to Lake Geneva that April and Marc could go there for a meal at one of the actual restaurants there. I also gave them backgrounds that involve working on Geneva Lake as many college students do during the summer months.


Q:  Have you always wanted to be a writer?
A:  In one way or another I’ve always written almost since I could hold a pencil. When I was eight years old I asked for a diary for Christmas and I wrote in it at different times of my childhood. I still have that little book and it contains bits and pieces of my life from age eight until sometime in high school. Even into my adult years I’d journal from time to time, but never thought of turning that “need” to put words to paper into a career until years later. While completing my bachelor’s through an accelerated adult program, one of my professors suggested I could make a living writing. I published several magazine articles, but as the hankering to write stories grew stronger, I began taking fiction writing classes. At a local writer’s conference a multipublished author suggested I could turn one of my short stories into a novel. That was all I needed to hear. I soon joined American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) while the organization was in its infancy and through their writing courses and conferences I continued to grow in the craft.

Q: Have you written other novels besides Thyme for Love?
Oh yes. My first novel which I would classify as a women’s fiction languishes in my computer at the moment. Authors very seldom publish their first written work as that often turns out to be a practice project. The storyline still resonates with me and I’d love to one day pull it out and rework it. There are a couple other stories that will probably never see the light of day. I’m very excited to have a novel set in my hometown of Lake Geneva, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, coming out in June 2012 from Summerside Press. It’s a 1933 historical romance, and I had a blast researching for the story.

Q. Do you have any plans for a sequel to Thyme for Love?
A. I’m so glad you asked. Thyme for Love is part of a three-book series called “On the Road to Love.” Books 2 and 3 involved April and Marc, and both are set in Canoga Lake. In Book 2, Love Will Find a Way, April moves into an old Victorian home with plans to turn it into a restaurant and catering business. It isn’t long before a discovery made while they are renovating the home threatens to hijack plans for the grand opening. In Book three, Love’s Reward, April and Marc’s wedding plans are in full swing, until it becomes apparent there is someone who doesn’t want them to marry.

Q. How do you get your story ideas?
A. There’s an old adage to write what you know. I might add to that, to always keep your eyes and ears open for a possible story line. That first novel I wrote was sparked by something someone said to me when she showed me a picture of my great-grandfather’s grave. My Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, story grew out of wanting to know the history behind the beautiful lakeshore recreational building that has become an icon of the area. Just today a newspaper article sparked an idea I’d like to develop into a proposal.

Q. What is your daily writing routine?
A. My best writing time is morning, but I’ve had to make myself work outside the box at times when that kind of schedule doesn’t work. Since I am a morning person, I find it best to set my alarm as if I’m going to work. I get up at 5:30 and spend at least an hour in my Quiet Time with God. Then I try to walk daily for exercise before settling down in my home office to write. I recently converted unused space in my dining are into an office and that has helped tremendously with getting the sense of “going to work.” This helps me stay on task. Too many years actually working Monday through Friday probably contributes to that. On days I have an obligation away from home in the morning, I have had to force myself to be creative in the afternoon and early evening. I think as I start working on deadlines more and more that’s going to be essential.

Q. What advice do you have for new authors?
A. Persevere, persevere, and persevere. I started out aspiring to be published in novel writing more than ten years ago. I had the raw ability and desire to write, but that skill had to be trained and honed, much like a young colt has to be trained. I have learned that writers need to develop what we jokingly refer to as rhino skin and also we need a positive teachable attitude. Join critique groups, take writing courses, attend writing conferences where great teaching occurs and you’ll have opportunities to meet with industry professionals and pitch to editors and agents. ACFW has a great yearly conference ever September that is for fiction writers only. I cannot tout ACFW enough. It is a must organization to join for anyone who writes fiction from a Christian point of view.

Q. When you aren’t writing, what fills your days?
A. I volunteer at my church in the multicultural ministry, helping Japanese women learn to speak English and lead a women’s small group Bible study. I’m also chapter president of my local ACFW chapter which meets monthly. Also, I enjoy reading (surprise, surprise) and movies. Love to cook and find new ways of making things. You’ll find an adaptation of a recipe someone gave me called Chicken George at the back of Thyme for Love. I loved having April prepare it in the novel, and look forward to experimenting with more recipes for the sequels.

Thank you, Pam, for spending this time with us.


Readers, you can find out more about Pamela at this site: http://www.pamelasmeyers.com/


Here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog. 
Thyme for Love


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.
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

WHERE WILDFLOWERS BLOOM - Ann Shorey - Free Book


Welcome, Ann. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
History and research are my passions. I have a collection of family memoirs dating back to the American Revolution, and became interested in fiction when I realized all the memoirs were written by men. In order to learn what women’s lives were like, I turned the stories into novels.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life? 
When I was baptized. In my church, we baptize by immersion. I’ll never forget the joy I felt when I came up out of the water. It’s been thirty-some years, but whenever I think about that occasion, I feel the joy anew.

How has being published changed your life?
Being published has made my life much busier! No one tells you ahead of time how many things other than writing there are to do once you have books out there. The marketing, which includes blogging, social networking, book signings, and more, takes so much time—as you well know. I love what I do, so it’s all good, but there are days when I wish I had a few hours to just kick back and read a book all afternoon. J

I know what you mean, but I love connecting with readers. What are you reading right now?
Liz Curtis Higgs’ Mine is the Night. I’m loving it. Along with the first book in the series, Here Burns my Candle, it’s a fascinating re-telling of the story of Ruth and Naomi.

What is your current work in progress?
A novel for Revell titled When the Heart Heals. It’s Book 2 in the Sisters At Heart series, and continues the stories of Faith, Rosemary, and Cassie.

What would be your dream vacation?
My dream is to have the time and the money to tour every one of the lower 48 states (I’ve already been to Alaska twice). My husband and I have visited a number of states, both for research and pleasure, and I’ve enjoyed seeing the regional differences in our beautiful country. Oh, to visit them all! I can dream, can’t I?

How do you choose your settings for each book?
My series have been inspired by the lives of my female ancestors, so the settings are chosen from family history.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Franklin Graham. I’d love to talk with him about the origins of Samaritan’s Purse.

James and I have followed Franklin's ministry for years. We were very active in the Christmas Box program. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I collect antique kitchen and laundry implements, and also keep an eye out for unusual Vaseline glass pieces when I go antiquing. I enjoy trying new recipes, puttering in my flower garden, and riding dirt bikes. (The dirt bike part isn’t true—I just realized I sound kind of boring, so thought I’d add something with a little spark. J)

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Staying away from email and Facebook requires a ton of discipline when I’m writing. The other obstacle is interruptions. Some days are shattered by multiple phone calls. Aargh.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
This is so basic, but “don’t quit” is the best advice I can give. Perseverance is the key to being published. Constantly improve your craft with each rejection and then resubmit.

Tell us about the featured book.
The War Between the States stole a father and brother from Faith Lindberg—as well as Royal Baxter, the man she wanted to marry. With only her grandfather left, she dreams of leaving Noble Springs, Missouri, and traveling west to Oregon to start a new life, away from the memories that haunt her. But first she must convince her grandfather to sell the family's mercantile and leave a town their family has called home for generations.

When Royal Baxter suddenly returns, Faith allows herself to hope that she and Royal will finally wed. But does he truly love her? Or will another man claim her heart?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Noble Springs, Missouri, March 1866

               “You can do this,” Faith Lindberg told herself as she gazed into the hall mirror and straightened her bonnet. “After all, it’s only for a short time.” Once she gathered the courage to talk to Grandpa about her plans, she knew they’d be leaving Noble Springs.

               She slipped her well-worn copy of Randolph Marcy’s The Prairie Traveler into her carryall. Her grandfather said he wanted her to take over managing the store. He hadn’t said she couldn’t spend time reading when there were no customers.

               The onyx mantel clock in their parlor chimed the half hour. Grandpa had been very specific—meet him at eight o’clock and he’d show her what to do before Lindberg’s Mercantile opened for the day’s business.

               Faith hurried out the door, grateful that the morning sun promised a pleasant day after a week of rain. Maybe she wouldn’t have to bother with lighting the store’s cranky wood-burning stove. Its warmth drew elderly gossipers the way a freshly iced cake drew bees.

I'll love reading this book. How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is www.annshorey.com; on Facebook, please visit my Ann Shorey Author page, https://www.facebook.com/AnnShorey; and on Twitter, I’m Ann_Shorey. When you find me, please let me know you read this on Lena’s blog!


Thank you, Ann, for spending this time with us on a busy day.


Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Where Wildflowers Bloom: A Novel (Sisters at Heart)


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.
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Monday, December 26, 2011

THE ROSE OF WINSLOW STREET - Elizabeth Camden - Free Book


I had a wonderful Christmas holiday with all my family yesterday, so I'm a little later getting a start today.

I'm thrilled to have Elizabeth Camden back with us. I loved The Lady of Bolton Hill, so I know I'll enjoy reading this book as well. Welcome, Elizabeth. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write the kind of books I enjoy reading.  I always aim for a brisk pace that features highly intelligent characters who are plunged into profound emotional conflicts.  Although I love imbuing my stories with interesting historical detail and plot twists, the romance will always be front and center in my books.  My ideal reader is someone who loves a good stormy romance, but also wants glimpses of wit, delight, and joy sprinkled into the mix.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I can’t point to a single day.  Every now and then, usually when I am doing something terribly mundane like tending the garden, I will suddenly be swamped with a profound feeling of well-being, even joy.  C.S. Lewis has written a lot about the concept of joy, and he speculates that these feelings are when we experience the transcendent, the glimpse of the eternal that is only fleetingly available.  For me, these feelings of joy have no association with grand events or spectacular entertainment……they come upon me during simple, mundane times.  I wonder if it is because this is when I let my guard down and become open to the blessings that have been showered on me.  

How has being published changed your life?
I used to have a lot of fear.  Even though I loved writing, I desperately wanted to share it with someone, and I feared I never would.  A different sort of fear overcomes a writer when they know their writing is going to hit the streets and there will be people who don’t care for it, but I can handle that.  

What are you reading right now?
My Reading Life, by Pat Conroy; Dark Fever by Karen Marie Moning, and Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger.

How do you choose your settings for each book?  
I love the gilded age, but I also love writing about women who had some sort of a career.  This funnels me toward an urban setting.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I think I would choose Condoleezza Rice.  Despite her phenomenal accomplishments, (concert pianist, fluent in Russian, provost of Stanford University, Secretary of State, etc.) she seems like a friendly and genuinely humble person.  She also knows everyone, had been everywhere.  I’ve seen her on interviews, and she is equally conversant in foreign policy or football.  I really admire people like that.   

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?  
For many years I suffered from the same malaise that afflicts the majority of unpublished writers.  I didn’t have a distinctive voice.  When I first started writing, I emulated the writers who I adored the most.  I think this is pretty common and not necessarily a bad thing.  It helped me learn the craft, but frankly, those early manuscripts are not publishable.   My hunch is that agents and editors read the first few pages and simply didn’t see anything fresh to offer.  It took me a while to screw up the courage and start to give free reign to a more distinctive voice that naturally emerged after a few years of “starter-manuscripts.”  

What advice would you give to a beginning author?  
Learn how to have a constructive relationship with rejection.  The odds are extremely high that you will go through a fair amount of rejection before finally getting The Call.  This is actually a good thing.  The few times I have heard seasoned authors who got published on their first manuscript, they inevitably end up saying they wished that book had stayed in their closet.  I’ve got a couple of those.  When I wrote them, I thought they were fabulous, and I couldn’t understand why they weren’t getting agents to pound down my door.  After I got over those instinctive defensive reactions, I carefully analyzed my writing, my voice, and what I could offer an already saturated market.  I actually began to take more risks in putting something fresh and different into my writing.  

Tell us about the featured book.  
The Rose of Winslow Street is set in 1879.  Libby Sawyer’s quiet, respectable life in Colden, Massachusetts, is shattered when a bold stranger from Romania invades her world.  In short order, Michael Dobrescu seizes her house and declares ownership in an attempt to unravel a century-old mystery that is hidden deeply within the house.  Fascinated by this enigmatic man, Libby uncovers layers of mystery surrounding Mr.  Dobrescu’s amazing past….and his plans for the future in which she plays a startling role.

The Rose of Winslow Street is a celebration of manhood.  I think all women secretly long for a man who adores children, sets his woman on a pedestal, and will lay his life on the line for a cause he believes in.  These qualities can oftentimes come bundled with a heavy dose of things that drive women nuts.  I wanted to write a book that is open-minded about this sort of raw, brawny man.  Michael Dobrescu is a brash, brawny hero who alternately makes Libby weak at the knees or want to throw him out of the house for his sometimes thoughtless, blunt masculine demeanor.  He was hugely fun to write!

Please give us the first page of the book.

Colden Massachusetts, 1879
The stately houses of Winslow Street looked utterly safe and respectable in the hot summer twilight.  Mikhail knew all that was about to change.

He surveyed the neighborhood through the carriage window’s narrow opening.  Immense sycamore trees sheltered the homes, with only the chattering of a few sparrows to break the tranquility of the evening.   A trickle of perspiration slid down the side of Mikhail’s face and his fist tightened around the club on his belt.  Beside him, Lady Mirela remained rigid as the carriage bumped and rolled over the gently worn cobblestones.  Everything about this neighborhood spoke of wealth, stability, and decorum.  It hardly looked like a place for the pitched battle that was about to occur.
  
 On the opposite bench his two boys were playing a game of thumb-wrestling, oblivious to the turmoil roiling inside Mikhail, for he had always sheltered the children from the danger and uncertainty that was so much a part of his world.  His gaze flicked to Turk.  The man’s bulk could barely fit inside the tight confines of the carriage.  The wooden box cradled in Turk’s ham-sized fists looked ridiculously delicate, but the contents of that box were too precious to be jostled with the rest of the family’s belongings piled atop the lumbering carriage.  The only ornamentation on the box was the elegant brass hinges that held the lid securely closed.  Nothing about it’s plain appearance hinted at the priceless vials stored within.

The carriage slowed to a halt and Andrei looked up eagerly.  “Are we here?” he asked, excitement brimming in the twelve-year olds’ eyes.

Did the boy’s voice just crack a bit?  It was the second time Mikhail had noticed that husky tone breaking through the childish voice, indicating his son was on the verge of becoming a man.  Normally Mikhail’s heart would have swelled with pride at the symbol of his son’s impending manhood, but not this evening.

“Yes, we are here,” Mikhail said, forcing his voice to remain calm as he gazed at a stately house, looming three stories tall in the gathering darkness.  An elegant wrought iron fence surrounded the property, but it there was no lock on the gate.  Embellished with fancy scrolls and spindly bars, the fence was for decoration, not protection.  Such a useless gate spoke volumes about the sense of security these people took for granted.  His mouth thinned and years of training urged him to wrap his hand around the revolver tucked in his pocket, but he stifled the impulse.  Tonight called for clear-headed courage, not brute force.  He looked at Andrei.  “I want you to stay in the carriage and look out for Lady Mirela, is that clear?”

Andrei would probably rather look after a hive of bees than stay with the ominously silent woman who accompanied them, but Mikhail gave the boy no choice.  “Okay,” Andrei finally said.

Mikhail locked eyes with Turk, the only other person in the carriage who understood the magnitude of what they were up against this evening.   “Guard the box,” he said to Turk as he twisted the handle of the carriage.  “I will take only Joseph with me.  There is no need for too much manpower on our first approach.  Tonight, we will rely on the law to get what we want.  Force is our last resort,” he said as he stepped down into the street.  The well-being of his entire family depended upon the next few minutes, and Mikhail’s eyes were like chips of granite as he stepped out of the carriage.

The green, woodsy scent of hawthorn trees surrounded him as he emerged from the carriage. It was a good omen, yes?  A place that smelled this fine would surely be a safe place to bring his family to live.   

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I blog about the romance genre and what’s going on in the industry at http://elizabethcamden.com/blog

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Rose of Winslow Street, The


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.
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Winners!!

I'm really sorry being so late with the announcement.


Lourdes (NY) is the winner of Christmas at Barncastle Inn by Darlene Franklin. (I just finished reading this book, and it is very good.
Joanna Richmond (NC) is the winner of Caught Between Two Worlds by A J Hawke. 
A J Hawke (TX) is the winner of His Holiday Family by Margaret Daley.
Ingrid (IL) is the winner of Bread Upon the Water, by Deanna K Klingel.
Anonymous (teddy) (TX)  is the winner of The Christmas Witness by Susan Sleeman.
Ali (NY is the winner of Honor Redeemed by Loree Lough.

If you won a book and you really like it, consider giving the author the courtesy of writing a review on Goodreads, Amazon.com, Christianbooks.com, Barnes and Noble, or other Internet sites. 

Also, tell your friends about the book and this blog. Thank you.

Congratulations
, everyone. Send me your mailing address:
Click the Contact Me link at the top of the blog, and send me an Email.

When you contact me, please give the title of the book you won, so I won't have to look it up.

Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.

If you didn't win and you plan to order the book, please use the link provided on the individual interview. By using that link when you order, you will help support this blog.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

Thank you, dear readers. You make this blog what it is. I love reading your comments and my guests are happy to connect with you.

Since this is one of the most important holiday seasons of the year, we haven't had quite as many interviews post this week. We will announce winners tomorrow, but our next author interview will be on Monday. Today I want to share one of the Christmas stories I wrote several years ago as a gift from me to you. It has been used as a dramatic monologue as well.

Surely a Gift From God
Lena Nelson Dooley

            Yahweh, I do not know why it is so hard to understand your ways. Eli has studied the scriptures and shared with me the many wonders about you in them. We have tried to live by all your laws . . . but there is so much I cannot understand . . . especially about Mary.
            Mary, the joy of my heart. When you blessed our marriage with her, my mother’s heart nearly burst. Even as a tiny baby, she was different . . . so pretty everyone mentioned it. Of course I was proud of her. Hadn’t she come from the great love Eli and I have for one another? Everything I did for her was such a pleasure . . . and she rewarded me with her sweet smiles. She would gurgle with laughter at the slightest attention. Yes, the whole family enjoyed caring for Mary.
            A more obedient child I have never known. She thrived on pleasing Eli and me . . . and so smart she was. So young when she could sew a fine straight seam. And no one surpassed her cooking after she learned. I preferred her bread even over my own. I knew she would not be mine very long.
            Oh yes, I saw Joseph studying her. At first, he was amused by her. Then a light began to show in his eyes when he looked at her. He thought no one noticed, but a mother sees. I knew he was waiting for her to grow up.
            I hoped she would be one of the girls who takes a little longer becoming a woman . . . so young she was when the bloom of life touched her. I hoped no one would know for a while, but I saw the startled expression in Joseph’s eyes when next he saw her.
            Very soon Eli told me Joseph had spoken to him about Mary. I was not sorry it was Joseph. Such a good carpenter. He would be able to provide for Mary and their children as Eli had always provided for us. I had wondered why Joseph had not married sooner. He had been established for several years. I think I had known a long time that he was waiting for Mary to grow up, but I did not want it to be so soon.
            Their betrothal was such a special time. Mary was busy sewing fine linens for their home and clothing for herself as Joseph built furniture for them. Mary shared their plans with me. After all, I am her mother. Joyfully, I helped her.
            I cannot pinpoint the exact time I knew something was different about Mary, but I knew long before she talked to her father and me. I could see the change in her, but could not explain it. I even thought I was imagining it.
            The day she talked to Eli and me was a very busy day. She called each of us from an important task. As she began to talk, I knew by her second sentence that she was going to have a child. You remember, Yahweh, I prayed in my heart, “Oh Yahweh, no, anything but that, please. It would break her father’s heart. She has been the apple of his eye.”
            Her story was hard to believe. We knew that the scriptures told of visitations from angels, but that was long ago. We did not know anyone who had seen one.
            It would have been easier to believe that Joseph could not wait to have her. I know how strongly a man desires a woman. He had waited so long for her to grow up. It has happened before . . . but when she told Joseph, he was so upset. I knew the baby was not his. Maybe her story is true.
            I was so hurt buy the talk after she returned from visiting Elizabeth. Other mother had been jealous of Mary for years. She was so much prettier than their daughters, and she did things so well. The story of a visitation from an angel to explain a baby coming too soon was convenient. No one believed it for a minute. I dreaded going to market or to the well. I could hear the whispering that stopped as soon as they saw me. No one would say anything to my face. My heart broke for my sweet Mary . . . and for my pain as her mother.
            Then when the child came, I was not even with her. She and Joseph were in Bethlehem. I told her not to go. She could have stayed with us while Joseph went to register in the census, but she would not be parted from him. I even told him the journey would be hard on her and the baby, but would they listen to a mother?
            When they decided to stay in Bethlehem, I could not stand it. At least Eli agreed to let me accompany him on this business trip. I had to see my grandchild.
            Now, Yahweh, I am holding this tiny baby boy. I still do not know if Mary’s story is true. He looks enough like Joseph to be his son. Yet there is something about him. Not just because he is my grandchild. Surely he is a gift from you.
            Of course, every child is a gift from you. Maybe he is something more. Right now only you and Mary know for sure.
            As for me, I am going to love him, and tell him how special he is. The rest is up to you.
                                                                                                © Copyright 1989 Lena Nelson Dooley

So from the Dooley household to yours, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Thursday, December 22, 2011

HAILEE - Penny Zeller - Free Book


Welcome, Penny. 
Hello, Lena. It’s great to be here!

God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I have been praying about where God would lead me next in my writing ministry. My passion is to continue impacting lives for Christ through my novels. As far as what I see on the horizon, I have a couple other series of books that I have started that I am looking forward to seeing them to completion.

Tell us a little about your family.
I have been married to my husband, Lon, for 19 years (we married really young!) and we have two elementary-aged daughters.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
With deadlines, I have less time to read. However, I still do find time to read and have read some wonderful novels by fellow Christian authors lately. I have been an avid reader since the time I could read, and I consider reading a relaxing and enjoyable pastime.

What are you working on right now?
I am working on a series that takes place just after the Civil War. I have completed the first novel and am working on the second.

What outside interests do you have?
I love to spend time with my family and friends. I also enjoy volleyball, hiking, camping canoeing, bicycling, and gardening.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
I’ve always enjoyed learning about the 1800s, and I have long been intrigued by the beauty and history of the State of Montana, so I was excited to set a series in that state. My family and I visit Montana regularly and one year traveled throughout the entire state and stopped at a ghost town, which gave me a lot of inspiration for my series. The other series of books I am working on take place in other states and I have learned so much about their histories while writing those books as well.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Definitely Jesus. I would love to sit in His Presence and learn all I could from Him. I would also thank Him continually for what He did for me.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
How much time was going to be spent in marketing and promoting those novels! As the saying goes…the hardest part starts after the book is published!

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
The Lord is teaching me more than ever to rely on Him in all circumstances. He has also placed it in my heart to desire to be completely in His will in my writing ministry and to be sensitive and open to His leading.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Wow, Lena. This is a great question! I would say the most important thing authors can do is to pray and give their writing career to the Lord. Secondly, I would say to put others first and to be an encourager of other writers. And not only an encourager to other writers, but also an encourager to your readers. Connect with them and let them know you appreciate them. Third, I would say it’s critical to build an online presence in order to promote your book. This can be done a variety of ways, including a website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, Shoutlife, and LinkedIn.

Tell us about the featured book.
Here is the blurb from Hailee:  For years, orphan Hailee Annigan was just a ragamuffin in the Cincinnati streets, stealing food to keep her two younger brothers fed. Her thievery landed her in a home for delinquent youngsters, where her life was changed, thanks to her teachers. Now, nineteen-year-old Hailee excitedly heads to Montana to be a teacher, yet she's still plagued by her shameful past and the fear of never seeing her brothers again.

Based on his upbringing in high-society Boston, no one would have guessed that Maxwell Nathaniel Adams Jr. would attend seminary and become a church pastor in rugged Montana. Even now, Nate's parents refuse to put aside their own plans for his future and accept his calling.

When their paths converge, an immediate attraction draws Hailee and Nate together, even as the pressures and demands of others pull them apart. Can the unlikely pair come to terms with their pasts and face the future together?

Please give us the first page of the book.
July 1893
Cincinnati, Ohio

Hailee Annigan removed the discolored sheet of paper from the community board in the train depot. Time and weather had faded the poster, so the message was barely readable, but she had memorized the words:

Looking for Philip and Reuben Annigan.
If you have any information, kindly respond to:
Hailee Annigan
c/o Dot Pangbourn’s Boardinghouse
West Eberlee Street, Cincinnati, Ohio

She crumpled the paper in her hand and stuffed it into her purse. In its place, she posted the notice she’d written that morning, then stepped back to make sure it would be conspicuous to people passing by or preparing to board a train.

Looking for Philip and Reuben Annigan.
If you have any information, kindly respond to:
Hailee Annigan
c/o Pine Haven School
Pine Haven, Montana

For the past several years, she had replaced the posting every month, two times in order
to alter the address where she could be located if someone knew of her brothers’ whereabouts.

Hailee swallowed hard to hold back her tears. She didn’t want to leave Cincinnati and diminish her chances of ever finding her younger brothers. However, she knew that a change in location would do her heart good, and that she was following God’s prompting to fulfill the dream she’d had in her heart since she was a young girl.
Excerpt from pages one and two of Hailee by Penny Zeller, © 2011, with permission of the publisher, Whitaker House (www.whitakerhouse.com).

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love to connect with my readers at
My website www.pennyzeller.com,
My blog, A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, and Author www.pennyzeller.wordpress.com,

Thank you, Lena, for graciously hosting me on your blog. I appreciate your continued encouragement and mentoring of other writers.


I've loved featuring you and your books, Penny.


Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Hailee (Montana Skies V3)

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.
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com