Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ELLIE'S HAVEN - Sharlene MacLaren - Free Book

Welcome, Sharlene, I love your new head shot. As an author, I know it takes a lot of people to birth each book. Who were the people involved in the birthing of this book, and what were their contributions?
First, I pray about each of my stories, asking God for divine direction and leadership as I decide on plots and characters. Countless times a week I call on Him for inspiration, and there is no doubt in my mind I wouldn’t be able to do this job without His strength and help. Secondly, my husband is my number one supporter. When I near deadlines he supplies me with plenty of hot tea and coffee and does whatever he can around the house to lighten my load. As for actual research, I called upon the lovely people of Wabash, Indiana to lend a hand in this current series, and they certainly did come through for me. I met with the museum archivist, a couple of town historians, the librarian, and several other citizens steeped in historical facts.

If you teach or speak. What’s coming up on your calendar?
I love speaking at women’s retreats, local writers’ conferences, women’s book clubs, and libraries. I have done several of these types of events in recent weeks and months but am currently taking a hiatus so I can finish my book of which the deadline date is just around the corner.

If you had to completely start over in another place, where would you move, and why?
Well, I can’t imagine moving anywhere that would put me out of close driving range from my kids and grandJOYs, so you’ve just asked me a very tough question, Lena! Okay, okay, if I have to go somewhere I’d choose Hawaii. And then I’d tell my children to follow us there! I hear the climate there is near perfect year ‘round. Yes, I’ve heard the cost of living is also excessive, so my family might have to settle for communal living, but that’d be okay by me as long as I had those four grands at my side.

If you could only tell aspiring novelists one thing, what would it be?
The main thing you want to do is START. It took me six years of constant writing before I finally signed my first contract, so it's certainly nothing that happens overnight. It's a lot of hard work, I'm afraid. I had to do a TON of homework; i.e. searching the web for publishing houses, attending writing conferences and conventions, networking with other writers in my genre, looking for local authors with whom I could meet and chat and bounce around ideas, reading, researching, submitting query letters to various houses and/or agents to see if I could pique their interest in my projects, and then, of course, PRAYING, PRAYING, PRAYING!!! It's a huge endeavor but worth every second. If writing is your passion and your God-given gift, the Lord will pave your way. Your job as a writer is to follow His leading.

You’ve been asked to be in charge of a celebrity cruise. Who would you ask to take part, and why? (AS in what program, singers, etc. [it doesn’t have to be writing related])

I’m a huge Beth Moore fan, so a Beth Moore cruise would be PERFECT! She is such a gifted, anointed speaker, and I’ve gained so much from her Bible studies. Of course, I’d request to share a table with her at all the evening meals. I can tell besides being a Bible scholar, she also enjoys having a good time. I think with our nutty personalities we’d really strike up a great friendship.

She will be a speaker at my church’s women’s conference in April. I’m really looking forward to that. Tell us about the featured book.
Ellie’s Haven is book two in my River of Hope Series. Here is the blurb from the back of the book:

A courageous young woman seeking refuge...

Ellie Booth was never the type to run away. But she'd witnessed her stepfather commit a heartless crime, and, knowing he'll stop at nothing to keep her quiet, she has no choice but to flee. Soon, she finds herself in Wabash, Indiana, scrambling for a cover identity to evade her stepfather. For lack of a better option, she answers an ad for a wife/housekeeper/nanny, praying that her lack of experience won't be obvious.

A widowed father with no domestic skills to speak of...

Gage Cooper is reaching the end of his rope. With four children between the ages of three and ten, he needs a reliable nanny, yet each one he's hired has thrown up her hands and deserted her post. When an attractive, spirited young woman applies for the "job," he knows he should pray about the matter, but his desperation for help propels him headlong into a marriage of convenience.
A trial by fire of their wedding vows...

Ellie immediately falls in love with the Cooper children, and, not long after, with their father. Soon, the "marriage of convenience" becomes less of a business arrangement as husband and wife yield to an attraction neither one had expected. When secrets of the past and dangers of the present arise in their lives, their marriage is put to the test, and God alone knows what will become of their union.

I love marriage-of-convenience stories. Please give us the first page of the book.

“For thou art not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight...” ~ Psalm 5: 4, 5a

February 1928
Athens, Tennessee

Nothing wakes a body faster than a barking dog competing against the heated shouts of furious men. Eleanor Booth threw off her heavy quilt and leaped out of bed, pulling her flannel collar up tight to her throat and racing across the gritty floor to the window. With her fingertips, she scratched a circle of frost off the pane and peered through it into the cold, dark morning, squinting to make out the shadowy figures facing off just feet away from the rotting front porch. An icy chill paraded up her back.

“I ain’t payin’ you one cent more, Sullivan. You done took me f’r every last penny.”

“That’s where you’re wrong, Byron. Your pocket ain’t empty till I say it is, and as long as you produce hooch, the greenbacks will keep rolling in. You stop payin’ and I’ll shut you down quicker than a lizard on hot sand.”

They were at it again, Byron Pruitt, Ellie’s worthless stepfather, and Walter Sullivan, that crooked government agent. Byron’s dog, Curly, didn’t let up his fierce, frenzied barking, which ought to have deterred the dispute but instead fueled it.

“Byron, pay the man so he’ll get off ar’ property,” Ellie’s mother, Rita, said in a fidgety, pleading tone.

“Shut up, woman, and get back inside! I ain’t payin’ him another dime!”

Ellie snatched up her frayed robe from the foot of her bed, slipped into it, and rushed out of the room, toes gone numb from the arctic air wafting up through the floorboards. Tennessee winters didn’t generate much snow, but that didn’t stop the temperatures from plummeting into the single digits of a February morn.

Entering the tiny, dark living room, she found her mother, shoulders hunched in the open doorway and hands clutching the door frame, gray-brown hair mussed in every which direction, tattered, flannel nightgown hugging her narrow sides. A hasty glance at the potbelly stove in the middle of the room revealed nothing but a few glowing embers through the charred glass. More shivers stampeded up Ellie’s spine. “What’s going on?” she asked, coming up beside her mother.

Where can we find you on the Internet?
I love hearing from my readers! Please feel free to drop me a line via email, stop by my website and sign my guestbook, leave a comment at my blog, or join me over on my Facebook page. I always make every effort to respond to each one who takes the time to write to me!

Thank you, Sharlene, for dropping by today.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Ellies Haven (River of Hope V2) - paperback
Ellie's Haven (River of Hope) - Kindle

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.


Robyn-coolestmommy R said...

I always enjoy when love 'sneaks up' on the characters. Sounds like a great book.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Marianne said...

Everything about this novel makes me want to read it NOW. But i know i can't go out and buy...i love how Sharlene talks about her grandJOYs. and how communal living would not bother her Thanks for the great interview and giveaway, Ladies.

marianne - arizona

mitzi underscore wanham at yahoo dot com

Patty said...

Thanks for featuring Sharlene Maclaren! I really enjoyed her Little Hickman Creek series and also the series about the sisters set in MI. I think I've got both books of this new series on my Amazon wishlist but haven't bought them yet.
Patty in SC

Amada Chavez said...

I definitely want to read this and I am in DESPERATE need of a good read right now. Living in the boonies has it's advantages, but not being able to get books whenever you need a new read is definitely a disadvantage. Oh I hope I win!

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Jo said...

Another author who is new to me. I would love to read this book.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Susan said...

Sounds like a great book. Please enter me in the drawing.

Susan - Texas

Nancye said...

This sounds like a book I would enjoy. Thanks for the chance.

Nancye in Kentucky

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Patsy said...

Would enjoy reading this book. Like Sharlene I would go to Hawaii also!


Lynne said...

I love Sharlene MacLaren's books! I always get excited when I hear she has a new book coming out and I can't wait to read this one!

Lynne in TN

scottsgal said...

I enjoyed the interview - I think I'd pick Hawaii to move as well if money were no issues
cheryl in IL
msboatgal at aol.com

Ginger said...

I also love marriage of convenience books.

Please enter me to win this great sounding book.

Ginger in AL

Abigail Richmond said...

Enter me!

Ingrid said...

Very interesting Interview, thank you Lena and Sharlene, I never read any of your Books but this one sounds too good to let go so please enter me in your giveaway and I weill look for other Books written by you.

I live in S.Illinois


Katie G. said...

Sounds GREAT! Hope I win it! :) I'm from NC.

Katie G.

marybelle said...

ELLIE'S HAVEN Looks like a wonderful read. Marriage of convenience stories are always a joy to read.

Mary P


Aizess said...

Oh my! Intriguing. Please enter me! Thanks for the chance to win.

I live in New York

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me I would love to win a copy of this book it sounds and looks like a great story!! Thanks and God bless.
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Mippy said...

Awww..I want to see where this story goes!
Thank you for the chance!
~Mippy in Northern Utah, USA :)
bunnysmip (AT) yahoo (DOT) com