Tuesday, January 29, 2013

SAFE IN HIS ARMS - Colleen Coble - One Free Book

Colleen Coble has a new book, and it's a wonderful read. In this second book in her Under the Texas Stars series, we meet strong characters with a lot to lose. I loved following the people as they lived varied lives that intertwined. Colleen's characters, as always, were multi-layered, and they really grabbed my heart. I had a hard time putting the book down.

Meet Colleen:
Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA's RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.
Find out more about Colleen at http://www.colleencoble.com/.

Welcome, Colleen. Tell us about your salvation experience.

I went to church as a little girl with my grandmother. My Sunday School teacher was the sweetest lady named Pearl. She was married but she and her husband had never had children. I loved for her to read The Little Lost Lamb to me, and my grandmother sometimes took me to Pearl’s house where I would beg to hear the story.

When I got married, church fell by the wayside as I threw myself into my husband, children, and home. Then one dark night (it was my birthday) we were driving home from a birthday party at my in-laws. While we’d been celebrating, freezing rain had begun to fall and the roads were slick. I was dozing with my 3-year-old daughter on my lap (in the years before car seats.) I heard my husband yell, “Look out!” I opened my eyes and saw another car sliding toward us sideways in our lane. In that moment, I knew I was going to die and that I wasn’t ready to meet God.

I don’t remember much about the impact until I became aware of the freezing rain hitting me through the broken T-top. The horn was blaring just like in a nightmarish movie. But we were all alive. The first people who stopped where Christians. One of them rode with our daughter to the hospital. Their church brought in food for us when we got out of the hospital. It was a tender time of believers showing us Jesus in the flesh. Six months later I became a Christian, and three months later my husband did also.

Jesus has changed my life in so many ways. When the trials come (and there have been many!) he has walked the path with me. I’m so thankful for the daily joy walking with Christ brings me.

You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
The first three are easy: Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter. We’ve been great friends a long time, and we know the elements that need to go into one another’s books. Robin Caroll is another good friend who has brainstormed a lot with me. Our styles are very similar. And I’ve recently become friends with a terrific brainstormer, Michelle Lim. She’s not published yet, but she will be any time.

Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
Not really. I speak to libraries and reader groups but my real ministry is writing.

I love speaking at libraries and reader groups. What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
Oh I still blush at this one! I was in the rest room at church. I’d just come out of a stall and went to wash my hands. I heard a couple of teenage girls giggling but thought nothing of it. I went on out into the sanctuary, and a few seconds later, a good friend came flying up to me. She yanked down my skirt. The hem of it had gotten caught in my pantyhose! Those girls. L They let me go out of the bathroom that way. Horrible, embarrassing moment!

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?
I’d tell them it takes a lot of hard work. It takes a long time to learn to write, to learn craft, to learn how to write your favorite genre. You have to develop a thick skin to take rejections. It took me seven years to get published. I literally have enough rejection slips to paper a wall in my office. But I learned perseverance and a lot about writing. You never arrive as a writer though. That’s what makes writing so much fun—you learn with every new project.

It took me eight years to get my first book published. Tell us about the featured book.
Safe in His Arms is a book that touches most of us women where we live—our self-confidence. We look at ourselves and wish we were thinner, prettier, had curly hair, had straight hair, had a different color eyes, etc. The list goes on and on. Margaret is too tall, has hair too red, is too tomboyish to ever believe a man will see her heart and her good qualities. When her father hires a new ranch foreman, the sparks begin to fly and so does the danger. It was great fun to write! I took the bones of an old Heartsong, Red River Bride, and more than doubled the word count. I added a suspense thread and a new spiritual theme. It’s very different from the original, but that little book provided the inspiration.

I’ve read the book and loved it, but please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
The town of Larson, Texas, was busy on this warm February day. Cowboys in their dusty boots eyed the women attired in their best dresses strolling the boardwalks. Margaret O’Brien strode down the boardwalk in front of the feed store toward the mercantile. Things seemed to change daily with new stores sprouting like winter wheat. It seemed daily more cowmen arrived to Larson, drawn by the lush grazing land and the water in the Red River.

Pa should be around here somewhere. She nodded to the ladies clustered in front of the general store, the familiar discomfort washing over her. Why couldn’t she look like them? No matter how hard Margaret tried, she remained what she was: too tall and more at home with her hands gripping horse reins than a teacup. She ducked into the store and inhaled the aroma of cinnamon, bootstrap, sweat, and pickles. She busied herself with collecting material for their housekeeper, who had a bee in her bonnet about making curtains.

A cluster of women were talking in hushed whispers about the latest Zulu atrocity in Africa. These early months of 1879 had been full of the bloody battles. Hearing such things always made Margaret wince, remembering her brother’s death at the hands of the Sioux. At least a national monument had been established earlier this year in memory of those who fell during the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

The women fell silent when Margaret paused. “Good morning,” she said in as confident a voice as she could muster. “Anyone know what kind of material to buy for curtains? I thought this was pretty.”

When she held up a lilac-flowered material, one of the women tittered, a tiny blonde Margaret had never seen before. Her face burned, and she put the bolt of fabric back.

“How about this one?” a woman said behind her.

Margaret’s heart leaped at the sound of her friend’s voice, and she whirled with a smile. “Lucy, I didn’t know you were in town today. Should you be riding in a wagon in your condition?”

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Colleen, for sharing this book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog. 

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.


scottsgal said...

I enjoy historical westerns. Thanks for the chance to win this
cheryl in IL
msboatgal at aol.com

LadySaotome said...

This sounds like a really good plot - gripping and a little nerve-wracking!

from the black hills of SD!

Deborah D said...

I would love to read this.

Deborah D from FL.

Lisa E. said...

I love Colleen's books! She always writes with a nice blend of mystery and romance. And the cover is gorgeous!

Lisa in Washington State

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

I love how the premise of this book started out as a Heartsong! Those lovely little gems of literature are filled to the brim with heart gripping stories! I was so happy to hear that the line was saved! I would love to see what changes came to the original story! I can also attest to the kindness of good samaritions at the scene of major car accidents! I had such an experience out of state, and was impressed at not only the concern of the person who stopped but how prompt the rescue boys came! Wow. Unsung heroes every last one! :)

Thank you for this lovely bookaway!


Rosie said...

I haven't read anything yet by Colleen, but I've heard SO many good things about her writing!

I also love that cover. Thanks for the giveaway!

Rosie from OH

Anonymous said...

Would love to read this book.

Katie J. From FL

Amy Campbell said...

Would love to read this!
Amy C

Anonymous said...

I have been looking forward to reading this book. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

Bonnie Jean (FLORIDA)

Brenda Stimely said...

Love, Love, LOVE Colleen's books and the how she stays in touch with her readers! My daughter is also a big fan. Enjoyed reading her salvation experience...God has blessed me in greatly by sparing her life that night! Thanks for the giveaway.

~Brenda (Florida)

Molly Noble Bull said...

Wow! Put me on the list. I want that book.
Molly Noble Bull

Molly Noble Bull said...

Wow! Put me on the list. I want that book.
Molly Noble Bull

Jo said...

Sounds like a great book and I would love to read it.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Jasmine A. said...

I have only read a couple of Colleen's books and I would love the chance to read this one.
Jasmine in slightly warmer MT

sharon m said...

I like western historical books and would love to win this book. sharon, san diego

Norma S said...

Thank you for giving me a chance to win your book it sounds good. I like those kinds of western books. God bless you.
Norma Stanforth form Ohio

Mary Preston said...

I'm pleased that your car accident had a happy ending.

I am looking forward to reading SAFE IN HIS ARMS.

Mary P


Mary Hawkins said...

I love all Colleen's books and was a real privilege to meet this lovely lady in Denver At the ACFW conference.
Mary from Tasmania

Diana said...

I love your books Colleen. I to live in Northern Indiana, I would love to win your book. Thanks for the chance.

Valparaiso, Indiana

kmannrn said...

I love Colleen's books ans can't wait to read this one.

rubynreba said...

Please enter me! Looks like a lot of great characters in this book.
Beth from IA

Ginger Solomon said...

I have been reading Mrs. Coble's books for years andlove them. I look forward to reading this one too.

Ginger in AL

CarlybirdK said...

I love Colleen's books! Thank you.
Carly in NC

karenk said...

thanks for the opportunity to read colleen's latest novel

karenk...from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Library Lady said...

We have all of Colleen's books in the church library.
I would love to win this one to add to our collection.
Janet E.

EJ said...

Love Colleen's books (still hoping for another in the Lonestar series!

Elaine from Cedar Rapids, IA

Anonymous said...

I love Colleen Coble books. Can't wait to read this one. Please enter me.

Denice W.

Fisher, WV

Katie G. said...

I LOVE Colleen Coble! Please enter me. I'm from NC.

Anonymous said...

I really like Colleen's books. Please enter me in the contest.

Lyndie Blevins said...

Thanks for the opportunity to get this book.
Lyndie Blevins
Duncanville, Tx

Patty said...

I've read several of Colleen's books and look forward to reading this series!

Patty in SC

Sarah said...

I would love to win,Enter me!!!
Thanks for the giveaway and God Bless!!!
Sarah Richmond

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me this book looks great!!
Sharon Richmond

apple blossom said...

love colleen's books thanks for chance to win
live in ND
ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

pol said...

I am a big fan of Colleen Coble and met her books while on vacation in Tx with my sister. have read several since and would love to be in this drawing if I am not too late.
thanks for sharing on Lena's blog.

Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)
a Ga Fan

Marissa said...

I love Colleen's books!!!

Marissa from CO

Judy said...

I have several of Colleen's books and I would love to win a copy of, Safe In His Arms. Thank you for this giveaway.

Judy B from Indiana

Lourdes said...

I so love Colleen's books and am looking forward to reading this boook.

Jean said...

I love historical fiction and this author. Thank you for the opportunity.

Jean Kropid
West Palm Beach, FL

Veronica Sternberg said...

I've been wanting to read this series! I'm in MN.

Hannah said...

I would love to win!
Hannah Peasha

Anonymous said...

I would love to win Colleen's book. Cowboys, Texas, and a redhead, what else do you need? Gotta be good!
I'm from Texas. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Cindy W. said...

Oh my, it is because of Colleen Coble that I started reading again. I absolutely love her work! Thank you for the chance to win a copy of SAFE IN HIS ARMS!

Cindy W. from Indiana

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

tickmenot said...

This sounds like a great book, I liked the main character right away!

Blessings from Kansas City.

tickmenot said...

This sounds like a great book, I liked the main character right away!

Blessings from Kansas City.

Abigail Richmond said...

Love your books! I am currently reading "Lonestar Sanctuary" I already read the first one in the series, they are Great!!!
Please enter me!

Blanch, N.C.

Merry said...

I love Colleen's books and this one really touches on being loved for who you are; can't wait to read it!
Merry in TX

Liz R said...

I love Colleen's books, please enter me for this one!

Liz R in Al