Wednesday, April 04, 2012

SANCTUARY FOR A LADY - Naomi Rawlings - Free Book

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I don’t, at least not consciously. I enjoy creating stories based on nearly impossible historical situations. My characters arise from me asking myself questions like “What kind of person would be able to see her family killed during the French Revolution and still find a way to escape France for England?”

The answer is a strong, determined one who isn’t afraid to fight for what she wants. And that’s how I arrived at Isabelle, the heroine in my debut novel. Her determination and spirit get her into trouble at times, and Naomi Rawlings wouldn’t have much in common with Isabelle de La Rouchecauld. That’s for sure.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Gone ice fishing for half a day in 6 degree weather. It was freezing!!! So why did I do it? Hubby wanted to take me on a date. It took him about a half hour to figure out I would have been a lot happier if the outing hadn’t involved single digits and slimy bait.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
At some point when I was writing my first novel, which was horrible and never made it off my computer. I can’t pinpoint a specific time. I’d always done well with writing assignments in high school and college, where I earned a degree in English Education. Plus I’d always loved to read. But I never put my knowledge of English and love for stories together into a thought that went: “I’m a writer.”

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Everything Romance. I occasionally try a bestselling title from another genre, but one book is about all I can take before I head for another romance.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
LOL. I don’t! With two little boys to raise and a busy pastor for a husband, I get up early in the morning and write before the rest of the household wakes up. I’m not sure that helps me keep my sanity, as I’m normally exhausted by seven at night, but it does help me separate writing from family and gives me time for both. I actually write about this on my blog, where I offer tips and encouragement and crazy stories about working from home and raising kids. (

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Since I’ve only written two novels so far, and haven’t had much trouble coming up with names. Most of my names have been from the Bible: Michel (French variation of Michael), Luke, and Elizabeth. Isabelle is my only non-Bible name for a main character. I like the Bible names because they don’t sound outdated to the modern reader, and it’s a sure bet the name was around in the period I’m writing.  I haven’t figured out what happens when I run out of Bible names. And French male names give me a little bit of trouble, because most of them sound a bit more feminine than I’d prefer.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
On a professional level, getting published. On a personal level, bringing my two boys into the world. I tend to compartmentalize family and writing, what might be a milestone career-wise may have no effect on my family, and a milestone for my family has little effect on my writing.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A Teacup Poodle. Someone else would fix my meals and take me to a professional to do my nails and hair. I wouldn’t have to clean, and I could sleep in as late as I wanted.

What is your favorite food?
Toss up between pizza and ice cream. Can you tell health and eating right are a top priority for me? J

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Having sustainable character motivation throughout the novel. One of my strengths is that I can write really great scenes, full of conflict and leaving the reader aching to see what happens next. The downside is I tend to make my characters do things that I know will cause conflict in a certain scene because it makes the moment good. But I do this without stopping to figure out whether the character’s motivations for acting in such a manner make sense in light of the entire story. I can’t tell you how many scenes I’ve had to rewrite because I had glaring character motivation problems.

As far as overcoming it, the more I write, the better I get at working through character motivations. The Moral Premise by Stanley D. Williams really helped me understand underlying motivations and principles for the entire story. I strongly suggest all writers work through the second section of his book before starting a new novel. Last and most important, a writer needs a good critique partner who’s not afraid to send something back and say “I wanted to throw this chapter across the room. What were you thinking? Character X would never behave that way, and here’s why. . .” At which point I grudgingly go back to my computer and rewrite.

Tell us about the featured book.
Running to freedom, she found love . . .

The injured young woman that Michel Belanger finds in the woods is certainly an aristocrat, and in the midst of France’s bloody revolution, sheltering nobility merits a trip to the guillotine. Yet despite the risk, Michel knows he must bring the wounded girl to his cottage to heal.
Attacked by soldiers and left for dead, Isabelle de La Rouchecauld has lost everything. A duke’s daughter cannot hope for mercy in France, so escaping to England is her best chance of survival. The only thing more dangerous than staying would be falling in love with this gruff yet tender man of the land. Even if she sees, for the first time, how truly noble a heart can be . . .

Text Copyright: 2012 by Naomi Mason
Cover Art Copyright: 2012 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. Trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Silence surrounded her, an eerie music more haunting than that of any chamber players. It soaked into her pores and chilled her blood. Isabelle surveyed the shadowed trees of northern France, so different from the wide fields she’d grown up with in Burgundy. The woods lay still, most animals caught in winter’s slumber. Her breathing and the crunch of her shoes against the road formed the only human sounds amid acres of forest and earth and animals—or the only human sounds of which she knew.

She clutched her cloak and glanced behind her. Did someone follow?

Her feet stumbled over the hard dirt road, her body trembled with cold, her gloved fingers stiffened until they nearly lost their grip on her valise and her vision blurred. Fatigue washed through her like waves lapping higher and higher on a shore. The long periods of dark through which she had traveled stretched into one another until the ninth night seemed no different from the first but for the growing blisters on her feet and cramps in her arms. One more day.

She was close, so terribly close. If she could just survive tonight.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
You can find me at my website . Or you can find me at my blog, Making Home Work (, where I give advice on (or talk about my failures at) raising kids and working from home.

Thank you, Naomi, for sharing about your life and you book.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Sanctuary for a Lady (Love Inspired Historical) - paperback
Sanctuary for a Lady (Love Inspired Historical) - 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.


Anonymous said...


Naomi Rawlings said...

Thanks for posting the interview, Lena! Some of your questions made me think extra hard. :-)

Patty said...

I've not read much about the French revolution, but I love to read historical novels!

Patty in SC

Unknown said...

Lena, again you picked a great author to interview. Thank you for the post. It is always interesting to see how authors balance their writing with their family life. Thank you for the opportunity to win Naomi's novel.

Marianne from Arizona

mitzi underscore wanham at yahoo dot com

Wendy Newcomb said...

Would love to win this book that's already on my wish list.

Wendy from FL


Katie said...

Sounds amaing! Please enter me! God bless! I'm fom NC.

Katie G.

Anne Payne said...

I love this cover! Thanks for such an enlightening interview. Great questions & answers!

Anne in NC

Naomi Rawlings said...


I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. Yes! Balancing writing and family is a bit of a struggle for me. I do my best, though, and find myself blogging about it rather often. :-) The last thing I want to say when I get older is that I spent too much time writing and not enough time with my kids.

Naomi Rawlings said...

Thanks so much for stopping by the interview, Anne. I think I saw you over at Overcoming through Time. So neat that you followed me here!

Ginger Solomon said...

Naomi, You sound like a woman after my own heart: pizza, ice cream, and a romance novel.

I love, love, love romance of any kind with few exceptions. This one sounds tres magnifique. :)

Ginger in AL

apple blossom said...

please enter me thanks
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Unknown said...

Sounds like a wonderful book. Please enter me. Thanks! :)

Krista in Oregon

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Looks interesting!
Please enter me in the drawing!
God Bless,
Sarah Richmond

Abigail Mitchell said...

Enter me!
Blanch, N.C.
God Bless!

Linda Cacaci said...

This books looks so wonderful. Please enter me in the drawing.
Linda Cacaci

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.

Merry said...

I am fascinated by stories set during the French Revolution, so Sanctuary for a Lady sounds terrific. Who can resist a hero who rescues a fair maiden? Please add me!
Merry in TX

Coolestmommy said...

Wow--looks like this will be a really poignant read. Thanks for sharing with us.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Liz R said...

Sounds like a must read. Please enter me!

Liz R in Al

Mippy said...

This sounds like an intriguing read:)
~Mippy in Utah
bunnysmip (AT)yahoo (DOT) com

Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway.

Nancye in Kentucky

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Wildflower said...

This book sounds like it is very exciting. Please enter me.
Rebecca from MA

Katie Marie said...

Ohh, this one looks fun! Thanks for the chance :-)

Katie from Florida