Friday, February 01, 2013

CATHERINE'S PURSUIT - Lena Nelson Dooley - One Free Book

Today, dear readers, I have a guest interviewer. Patricia PacJac Carroll is a writer and Christian first. She is blessed beyond her imagination and lives in DFW area of Texas. She lives with her husband, son, and 91-yr-old Father-in-law. And then there is the wonder dog, Jacs, who frequently gives her breaks in her writing day by letting her know he has got to chase that squirrel he just saw outside. 

The PacJac is from her initials and her husbands. He is the wind in her sails and works so she can write.

Patricia loves freedom, adventure and the open road. Mix that with faith and romance and you have the stories she writes. She grew up watching the westerns and loves that time period.

Her first novel is Liberty Belle. You can visit her on her blog:

She agreed to interview me for my book that releases next week.

Award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley, has more than 700,000 books in print.
Helping other authors become published really floats her boat, with over 20 signing their first book contract after her mentoring. Three of her books have been awarded the Carol Award silver pins, and she has received the ACFW Mentor of the Year award. The high point of her day is receiving feedback from her readers, especially people whose lives have been changed by her books.

Her 2010 release Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, won the 2011 Will Rogers Medallion Award for excellence in publishing Western Fiction. Maggie’s Journey appeared on a reviewers Top Ten Books of 2011 list. It also won the 2012 Selah award for Historical Novel. Mary’s Blessing released in May 2012. It recently appeared on a review site’s Top Five Reads in 2012 list. Catherine’s Pursuit is coming in February 2013.

In addition to her writing, Lena is a frequent speaker at women’s groups, writers groups, and at both regional and national conferences. She has spoken in six states and internationally. She is also one of the co-hosts of the Gate Beautiful blog radio show.

Lena has an active web presence on Shoutlife, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Linkedin and with her internationally connected blog where she interviews other authors and promotes their books.

Find her online here:
Other blogs where she’s a regular contributor:

Lena, what has surprised you the most about the writing life?
I think it’s how much marketing the author needs to do on their own. For the first half of my writing life, that wasn’t true, but it is now.

What snacks feed your creativity?
I love dark chocolate M&M candies. I’m getting the chocolate I love and also a crunch. I also like animal crackers.

Do you write with music playing (if yes what kind), TV, or quiet?
I used to write with music playing, that fit whatever I was writing. Romantic for romantic scenes, etc. But I hardly every write with anything playing now. Unless I’m in the front room writing on the laptop while James watches TV. I can actually block out the ambient noise.

How do you spark your creativity?
If my brain is getting tired while I’m writing, I play a computer game to get it working a different way. I like Tetris, Bejeweled, jigsaw puzzle games, and solitaire.

You are a master at researching the time period of your books. Where do you find that information?
When I travel, I take a lot of notes and pictures in case I might use the place for a book. For settings where I haven’t visited, I use the Internet a lot. To learn about the history of a product or company, I use the company’s official web site. Also, I look for historical photos. If I don’t find many on the Internet, I look for books of historical photos of the time period and place. That’s how I was able to visualize Seattle, Oregon City, Portland, and San Francisco in this series. I also researched railroads and steamships. And the society of the time. Most all the street names and businesses in my books were actually there. My characters and their actual stories are all that are fiction in the books.

Many of your books are historicals. Why? And what time period is your favorite.
Because historicals are the proposals that the publishers have contracted. I also write contemporary books, but the last four my agent has sold for me have been set in the late 1800s. I do enjoy writing about that time period. I’ve had historicals published with dates as early as 1804 and as late as 1913.

Of the triplet series – Maggie’s Journey, Mary’s Blessing, and Catherine’s Pursuit – which story did you enjoy writing the most?
I loved writing each story, but probably the most fun one to write was Catherine’s Pursuit. There were more places where I could do fun things to the characters.

Maggie, Mary, and Catherine are triplets. How are they alike and how are they different?
They were identical triplets, so they look a lot alike. But since they were raised in different environments, there were differences. Mary was raised on a farm, so she has more freckles and her complexion has been affected by the sun. She has a less-refined look than her sisters.

They have spent most of their lives not knowing about their sisters, but they all grew up with the feeling that something was missing from their lives, but they didn’t know what that something could be. They looked so much alike that they could be mistaken for their sister, and they even had some mannerisms that they shared without ever being together. Of course, their voices also sounded almost just alike.

Maggie and Catherine lived in urban environments, so their backgrounds were far different from Mary’s.

Of Maggie, Mary, or Catherine – which character did you enjoy most?
In Catherine’s Pursuit, which character is most like you?
That’s like asking which of my children do I love the best. I’d have to answer that I loved writing each of them, but in a different way. Their personalities differ quite a bit, and I loved creating these divergent personalities.

Tell us about Catherine’s Pursuit.
The book releases on February 5th, but is available for pre-order, both print edition and ebook edition, on websites. Here’s the back cover copy:

"A heartwarming tale filled with history, adventure, faith, and love." --Lisa Wingate, bestselling and award-winning author of Dandelion Summer and Firefly Island

The search for her sisters will become a spiritual journey for the entire family.

Raised by her father, Catherine McKenna has never lacked for anything, surrounded by people to take care of her every need. On her eighteenth birthday she discovers that not only did her mother die when she was born, but she has two identical sisters. Although her father vowed not to look for his daughters, Catherine made no such promise. Setting out on her own with one clue and her maid in tow, she's determined to find her sisters.

Collin Elliott has seen better days. After losing his ship to a violent and unexpected storm, he is trying to recover--physically and emotionally. When Angus McKenna sends him to find, follow, and protect his daughter, he wants nothing more than to finish his task and return home. Can he help her find her sisters?

And will the discoveries they make along the way teach them both what's most important in life?

Here's an excerpt:

September 19, 1885
San Francisco, California
            Catherine Lenora McKenna could hardly believe the long-awaited day was here. Her eighteenth birthday.
            Now she was an adult, and her father would have to stop hovering over her as if she were a fragile china doll in one of his stores. She would be free. Holding her hands above her head like the ballerina in the music box on her bureau, she whirled in a circle that lifted the hem of her blue taffeta skirt to a scandalous height. That didn’t matter, because no one was here to catch a glimpse of her ankles anyway. Not even her personal maid, Julie, who had gone downstairs to grab Catherine a more substantial breakfast from the kitchen before she fainted dead away.
            Aunt Kirstin wanted Catherine to eat very light before her party tonight, where a sumptuous banquet would precede the ball. There would be presents to open as well. Catherine hoped her father planned a spectacular gift for her birthday ... maybe to send her on a tour of the Continent. Of course, Aunt Kirstin would probably accompany her, but at least she would be able to see more of the world for herself, not just read about it.
            Europe should be beautiful in the autumn, or in any season of the year. Since both of her parents were born in Scotland, she wanted to visit there as well as London ... Paris ... Rome. She had read every book and magazine she could get her hands on, so she knew so much about Europe. A thrill of anticipation shot through her whole body. Visions of crossing London Bridge, strolling along Avenue des Champs Elysees, or touring the Colosseum danced through her head. Pictures she’d enjoyed studying with their Holmes stereopticon. She wondered if Father would accompany her or if he would allow Aunt Kirstin to be her only escort ... besides a few servants, of course.
            “Where is Julie with my food?” Catherine huffed out an exasperated breath. “Am I going to have to go to the kitchen myself?”
            She thrust open the door and hurried down the hallway, the sound of her footsteps lost in the thick cushioning of the carpet. At the top of the front stairs, she stopped to see if she could figure out where her aunt Kirstin was before she sneaked down the backstairs.
            Peering over the balcony railing, she caught a glimpse of her aunt’s face through the partially opened door to the library. Her brows were knit together into a frown as she stared at someone in the room with her. Catherine had never seen such a fierce expression on her aunt’s face.
            Father’s voice was muffled as he said something to his sister-in-law. What is he doing home at this time of morning? Catherine wished she could tell what they were talking about. She had never heard her father use that tone with anyone, especially not Aunt Kirstin. As if he were angry or terribly upset.
            Catherine leaned farther over but kept a firm grip on the railing so she wouldn’t tumble down. A drop like that onto a marble floor could be deadly.
            Aunt Kirstin gripped each hand into a fist and planted them on her hips. “Just when are you going to tell her?”
            Come to think of it, her aunt was using a harsher tone than Catherine had ever heard her use.
            Father didn’t answer.
            Catherine quickly crept down the stairs being careful not to place her foot on the second step from the foyer, which would squeak and reveal her presence. At the bottom, she straightened and checked her reflection in the gilt-framed, oval mirror beside the front door. When she found everything satisfactory, she tiptoed toward the library.
            “I don’t know.” Her father’s words stopped her in her tracks.
            What did he not know?
            “Angus.” Aunt Kirstin’s voice was firm and insistent. “She deserves to know the truth. And now she’s old enough to understand.”
            Catherine didn’t hesitate to enter her favorite room in the house. She pushed the door farther open, and both her aunt and her father turned startled eyes toward her. The two looked as if they had been caught in an act of mischief.
            “Tell me what? What will I understand?” Her questions hovered in the air, quivering like  hummingbirds without a way to escape the net of tension that bound the three of them together.

Thank you, Patty, for helping me introduce my new book.

Readers, here is a link to the book where you can order both print and ebook editions. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Catherine's Pursuit (McKenna's Daughters)

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.


Diana Flowers said...

I simply have to read Catherine's Pursuit...I loved the first two in this series! I'm anxious to see how all the sisters reunite! Thank you!

Diana in SC


pol said...

Hi Patricia, thanks for your interview of Lena, always love to read about this woman and her books, I am anxious to read this story as I have read some of the girls story.
I like your initials -cute to put them on the book too. Congrats with your first book out..
Paula O(
a Ga reader

Anonymous said...

Catherine's Pursuit is on my must read list and I am very anxiously waiting to read it.

Katie J. from FL

mongupp said...

well I've never read one of Lena's books so this would be a good one to start!

Monica, Ont

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Diana, Pol, Katie, and Monica,
Thanks for dropping by. It's wonderful to see how much you want to read my book.

I love connecting with my reders.

Amy C said...

I am looking forward to Catherine's Pursuit. I loved the first two in the series. I've GOT to know what happens next.
Amy C

Patricia PacJac Carroll said...

Thanks Paula,
I love Lena and her books. Her sweet and generous heart shows through in her writing. You'll Catherine's Pursuit.

Katie said...

Sounds great! Please enter me. I have always wanted to read this series, so I would definitely love to win. I'm from NC.

Katie G.

Sparks of Ember said...

This series just sounds so interesting!

from the black hills of SD

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an excellent book I would love to read.

Bonnie Jean

Alicia said...

I've read Marys Blessing. Would love to read this one as well!

Alicia in NYC

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Amy, the book releases on February 5. You'll be able to get it then. Early readers have loved how it played out.

Thanks, Patty.

Katie G, Maggie's Journey, book one in the series, will be free in ebook edition for all formats February 5-12.

Lady Saotome and Bonnie Jean, thanks for dropping by. I love to hear from readers.

Alicia, if you haven't read Maggie's Journey, read my message to Katie G above.

Karen G. said...

Oh My! I've got to have this book. It is on my AMR (absolutely must read) list. Thank you for the chance to win.
Karen from Troy, NY

Jasmine A. said...

I chance to win one of your books, Lena? Fun!
Jasmine in Montana (we actually saw the sun today)

Norma S said...

Hi Lena,
It is good to see your book on here, you introduce a lot of other author on here.
Yes with our children they each have different personalities and your books would be the same.Those dark chocolate M&M sounds good, the dark chocolate is the best for you.
Your book sounds great can't wait to read it. Lena you always do such a great job introducing other author keep up the great job.
God bless you.
Norma Stanforth from Ohio

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Karen, I love your enthusiasm for my books.

Jasmine, it makes it a good day when you see the sun. Lately, we've had a lot of overcast days. But today we had the sun.

Norma, this blog is one of my favorite pleasures, to connect readers and authors.

Shopgirl said...

This sounds like a very interesting series. I like the idea of triplets finding each other. I'd love to win! I'm in MN.

Mary Preston said...

All just so wonderful thank you.

Mary P


Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Veronica and Mary,

It's so good to see so many familiar readers commenting on my blog. Glad to have you here as part of my blog family.

Unknown said...

i find it interesting that environment can change the looks of a person, and i now understand that. Thanks Lena for that tidbit. Thanks Patricia for interviewing Lena on her own blog! i would love to win a print copy

Marianne from northern Alberta


Patty said...

This book sounds great Lena! I have a copy of the first in the series. Just need to get a copy of the second and then I can read them all one right after the other..

Patty in SC

sharon m. said...

Love to read about families reuniting! Would love to win! I really enjoy your blog. sharon, san diego

Hannah said...

I would love to win. Please enter me :)
Hannah Peasha

Sarah Rebekah Richmond 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

Lyndie Blevins said...

I would be honored to have another of your books. Thanks for the opportunity to get this book.
Lyndie Blevins

Duncanville Tx

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Marianne, so glad to see you here.

Also Patty, Sharon, Hannah, Sarah, Sharon, and Lyndie. I love to read your comments.

Patricia said...

I own and have read books 1 & 2 of McKenna's Daughters. Would love to win a copy of Catherine's Pursuit. I really enjoyed the interview of Lena she is a great influence to writing, blogging, and book reviews.

Patricia aka Mamaw in Southeast Texas Pineywoods

Lourdes said...

So looking forward to reading Catherine's Pursuit.

Lourdes from Long Island, New york

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

I love the covers of your books Lena. They are always so intriguing to me. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of Catherine's Pursuit.

Smiles & Blessings from Indiana,
Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

rubynreba said...

I'm really looking forward to reding Catherine's Pursuit. I enjoy your books very much, Lena.
Beth from Iowa

KayM said...

I would love to read this book, and must read the whole series. It sounds very intriguing. I enjoyed the interview, especially hearing about your research methods. Thank you for giving away a copy of Catherine's Pursuit.

KayM said...

I forgot to mention that I live in Tennessee.

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I don't spend much time on the computer on Sunday, and lots of you stopped by.

Patricia, I'm glad you liked the first two books. And I love the piney woods. I'm going to be meeting with a book club in East Texas later in the year.

Lourdes, good to see you here.

Breanna, you'll want to read books one and two before you read Catherine's book.

Cindy, I love the covers my publisher created for these books. They are so careful to make sure that every detail on the cover fits the story. And the covers are lovely, the best covers I've had on any of my books, and I haven't had any bad covers.

Beth, I'm so glad you liked the other two books.

Kay M, you can read book 1 and book 2 in any order, but you'll want to read both of them before you read this last one.

Anonymous said...

Would love to read this book.

Denice W
Fisher, WV

Abigail Mitchell said...

I have the second book in this series and would love to win a copy of this one! Thanks for the chance!
Enter me!

Blanch, N.C.

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Denise and Abigail, so glad to see you here. I'm glad you're interested in reading this book.

Unknown said...

I would love to win Catherine's Pursuit. If I do win it, I'll have to buy the first two. Your books have been on my to buy list for awhile so I hope to win at least one to get me to buy the rest. Thank you for the opportunity to win one.

Kay from NY

Merry said...

I have to read Catherine's story soon, this has been an awesome series!
Merry in TX

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Kay from NY, you can get the first book in the series, Maggie's Journey, free as an ebook download for all ebook formats. If you don't have an ereader, you can download Kindle for PC, Kindle for iPhone, or Kindle for Android Free also.

Thank you, Merry.

Liz R said...

I'd love to win Catherine's Pursuit! I just downloaded Maggie's Journey and can't wait to get started!

Liz R in Al