Friday, November 30, 2012

A ROYAL MARRIAGE - Rachelle McCalla - One Free Book

Welcome back, Rachelle. Tell us about your salvation experience.
While I was raised going to church, summer camp propelled my faith forward in a very personal way. I later met my husband at the same camp, too, so it holds a special place in our hearts. We spend time there with our children every summer. It’s quickly becoming one of their favorite places, and a solid part of their faith foundation.

You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
If this is my dream writing retreat, I’d pick C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Susan Cooper, and Madeleine L’Engle. Then I would sit back and take notes like crazy!

Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
I’m an ordained Presbyterian minister, but I try to stay out of the pulpit as much as possible. I’ve found I can reach more people at a more honest place when I funnel my efforts into fiction.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
Well, I was very nearly late for this blog interview! Fortunately Lena Nelson Dooley is an extremely gracious hostess and sent me a timely reminder. Thank you, Lena!

People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
Write! Just do it. You can’t edit a blank page. You may have a dozen books in your head, but no one can read them there.

Tell us about the featured book.
A Royal Marriage is my first foray into historical fiction. It’s the opening book of the new Protecting the Crown series, which is a spin-off of my suspense series, Reclaiming the Crown. The book’s focus on the Christian kingdom of Lydia, a fictional place founded by Lydia, the leader of a house church who we meet in the Bible in Acts 16:14 & 40. This particular book is set in the year A.D. 801 and features a real historical person—Gisela, daughter of Charlemagne. History records her name and the dates of her birth and death, but tells us little else about her. I’ve filled in the details.

Since I’ve read all the other books and loved them, I know I’ll love this one, too. Please give us the first page of the book.
Castlehead, Lydia, A.D. 801
"A ship approaches, Your Majesty. Her sail is spread with the Carolingian cross." Renwick, chief messenger among the Lydian guard, bowed low before the king.

"Charlemagne." His Royal Highness, King John of Lydia, lowered the sword with which he'd been sparring with his younger brother, Prince Luke. Why would the Holy Roman Emperor send a ship to Lydia unannounced? Charlemagne's realm had expanded vastly under his leadership, but John had assumed the renowned ruler would have no interest in the tiny kingdom of Lydia. Was he wrong?

King John turned to face the messenger. "She approaches directly?"

"Making for the wharf at high speed, sire," Renwick panted as though he, too, had run to reach the king quickly.

"Then we shall make haste, as well." Sheathing his sword, John headed for the courtyard gate, the fastest route to the Mediterranean shore.

"To the lookout tower, Your Majesty?" Renwick appeared confused by the king's choice of direction.

"No, Renwick." John led the way. "To the wharf."

Prince Luke ran beside him. "Why would Charlemagne visit Lydia? We are not his vassals."

"I doubt it is Charlemagne himself," King John acknowledged. "The emperor regularly sends emissaries throughout his empire to report back to him." He prayed that was true this time, irregular though it might seem.

"But Lydia is not part of his empire." Luke chafed visibly at the idea.

"We are part of Christendom. As such, we ought to ally ourselves closely with the Holy Roman Empire. Such a position could prove to be advantageous." John reached the end of the wharf and shielded his eyes from the sun, examining the quickly approaching vessel, her sails emblazoned with the distinctive Carolingian cross, four tri-quetras joined at the center to form the distinctive symbol of Emperor Charlemagne's reign.

"Three masts!" The sight filled John with awe. Lydia had no ship to match it. And yet, "She looks to be wounded."

"Aye, brother." Luke clapped one hand on John's shoulder and pointed with the other. "Her foresail has been rent and hastily mended. Do you think she has weathered a storm?"

"Or an attack." John met his brother's eyes.

"Saracens?" Prince Luke spoke the word softly, as though saying it aloud might draw the vicious pirates closer.

"They raid the Mediterranean waters regularly."

"Never so close to Lydia."

"We don't know how far this ship has come," King John acknowledged. "Or whether the Saracens may have taken her."

"Taken her?" Fear sparked in his brother's blue eyes as he looked out to the ship and back at the ramparts of their castle. If the pirates had taken the ship, they could approach under Charlemagne's cross and dock before the Lydians realized trouble had reached their shores. The castle's defenses might be breached before they could even prepare for battle. "Why would Saracens approach so boldly?"

"For no good reason." John shook his head. He didn't want to believe that Saracen pirates had taken the emperor's ship, but given her condition, it was a distinct possibility. "Let us pray for Lydia's safety."

I’m intrigued. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love to meet readers online! Like my author page on Facebook, or look me up on Goodreads or my webpage,

Thank you, Rachelle, for sharing this new series with us. I know my readers will want to get a copy of this first book as soon as possible. I can hardly wait until my copy comes.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
A Royal Marriage (Love Inspired Historical) - papeback
A Royal Marriage (Protecting the Crown) - 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.


Unknown said...

It looks like you found another winner, Lena...actually all of the ones you have on your blog are great. Thanks for the super interview and awesome giveaway, Lena and Rachelle

marianne from northern Alberta


Amy C said...

I really really really want to read this one. Thanks for the giveaway.
Amy C

Breanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sharon m. said...

I love to win free books and A ROYAL MARRIAGE, as I enjoy Historical Fiction. Sharon, San Diego

Anonymous said...

I'd defnintely like to read this book!!

- Leauphaun from BC

Merry said...

I loved Rachelle's Reclaiming the Crown series, it was romantic and full of fabulous suspense. Please add me for A Royal Marriage, thanks!
Merry in TX

Sparks of Ember said...

Sounds like an intriguing book!

From the black hills of SD!

Bookishqueen said...

This looks like a really good book!
Rebekah from Tennessee.

Rachelle McCalla said...

Thank you everyone for your interest! Merry, I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed the first series! You'll especially appreciate the little details that link the two, such as the origins of the Scepter of Charlemagne and the catacombs under the city fo Sardis. Oh, but I can't say too much here--I'd hate ot spoil the surprises in the book!

Wendy Newcomb said...

This is one that my daughter will like.

Wendy from FL.


Shopgirl said...

I love historical fiction! I'm in MN.

Katie said...

I love books in this kind of setting! Please enter me. I'm from NC.

Mary Preston said...

I am looking forward to reading A ROYAL MARRIAGE. I love Historical reads.

Mary P


rubynreba said...

I really enjoy historical fiction. Please enter me. Thanks!
Beth from IA

Beth Goddard said...

Enter me in the drawing, too. I loved Princess in Peril, Rachel! Can't wait to read this one.


Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Enter me!!

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me this book looks great!!
Sharon Richmond

Michelle said...

I would love to read this one.


Angela Carpenter said...

This sounds like a great book, would love to win. thanks, Angela C./Ohio

Faith's Grandma said...

Would love to win this book...Faith's Grandma/Oh

spangldlady said...

This book sounds so great--I'd love to win. Please enter my name. Blessings! Darlene from MO

Breanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.