Friday, March 01, 2013

UNBREAKABLE - Nancy Mehl - One Free Book on This Blog, Plus Much More

Welcome back, Nancy. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I love mystery and suspense. Being able to combine them together excites me. I believe writers should write what they love. I’m blessed to work with a publisher that allows and encourages me to do this.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Easy. The birth of my son. I still remember the words, “It’s a boy!” I knew it would be though. I felt as if I already knew him even before he was born. He is the joy of my life. And now, he’s made me a grandmother. My grandson’s name is Aidan Jackson Mehl. His birth was the second best day of my life.

How has being published changed your life?
It’s helped me to discover my identity – my calling. I think finding the thing God has created you to do changes you. Makes you realize that your life isn’t insignificant.

What are you reading right now?
Missouri: Off the Beaten Path by Cathy Johnson and Patti DeLano. I’m researching the book I’m writing now.

What is your current work in progress?
Perfect segue. LOL! I’m working on the first book in a new series, tentatively titled, the Sanctuary Series. I’m excited about it. It’s the story of Wynter Evans, a young woman obsessed with her job at a television station in Missouri. While researching unusual towns in the state for a special report, she runs across a photo of a boy living in a Mennonite town called Sanctuary. He bears an uncanny resemblance to her missing brother, Ryan, who disappeared ten years earlier. Telling her boss that she’s going to Sanctuary to research it for possible inclusion in her story, she takes off for the small town to see if this young man could actually be Ryan. What she discovers will blow the lid off the town and turn her life inside out.

Wow! I can hardly wait. Sounds like something I’d love to read. What would be your dream vacation?
I have several answers in mind. Right now? A week at a cabin on a lake where I could fish and relax. Sounds heavenly. I’m also determined to take an Alaskan cruise someday. I want to see the Northern Lights and watch whales swim past the ship. And one day, when he’s old enough, I want to take Aidan, along with his mommy and daddy, to Disney World. My husband and I would love to do this!

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Until now, all my books have been set in Kansas. Writing cozies and Mennonite-themed suspense meant they had to be in small towns. So, my settings were already chosen for me.

In my new series, I’m shifting the stories to Missouri since I’ll be moving there soon myself. I like writing about an area of the country that I can research in person rather than just online. It helps to add realism to my stories. I enjoy driving through the region I’m writing about so I can get a feel for it. Find out what it’s really like.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Joyce Meyer. Her ministry has changed my life. I’d love to share my story with her, and thank her.

My husband and I really enjoy watching her teaching. We have been in the studio audience when she was on TV with James and Betty Robison. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Not too many right now, I’m afraid. I love to watch TV, especially shows with mystery and suspense. When the weather’s nice, my husband and I enjoy going to a nearby park and walking. I really love fishing, but it’s been years since I’ve had time to do it.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Rewrites. Hate ’em. But I’m realizing that they are actually my best friend. I have great editors and once I get through the rewrites, I know I have a much better story. Pulling up my big girl panties gets me through that initial letter with rewrite suggestions. I’m actually getting better at receiving them. Leaving more hair on my head and not screaming quite as loudly. The neighbors appreciate that! LOL!

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Learn your craft. Too many writers are slapping together unsellable manuscripts. Writing is an art. You have to learn it, and then you have to learn some more. Truth be told, we never stop learning. Perfecting any craft takes hard work and commitment. If you’re not willing to do it, get a job wrestling crocodiles. It will be less frustrating.

Research the publishers you want to target. I didn’t listen to this advice when I started, and I probably set my career back several years. Find a publisher that specializes in what you want to write. Read their books. Study their lists. Write what they’re looking for. Too many writers ignore this, claiming that they are going to “Write what I want! I won’t sell out for anyone!” The truth is, you just won’t sell. Period. To be honest, I had no intention of writing Mennonite-themed books. A certain publisher eased me into it, but today I’m very grateful I found this niche. To my surprise I really enjoy it. Win, win!

Tell us about the featured book.
UNBREAKABLE is the story of Hope Kauffman, a shy, quiet girl who lives in the Mennonite town of Kingdom, Kansas. When churches and people of faith are attacked in the county, the residents of Kingdom have to decide how to protect themselves. The core belief of the Mennonite faith is nonviolence, but will sticking to this doctrine put them in danger? Hope is engaged to a man who refuses to take up a weapon to defend himself – or anyone else. But another man Hope is drawn to makes a different choice. Hope’s heart is as divided as her hometown. Before the end of UNBREAKABLE Hope’s faith will be tested as her life hangs in the balance.     

Please give us the first page of the book.
“All I know, Hope, is that you folks in Kingdom need to be careful.” Flo neatly folded the piece of fabric I’d just purchased, running her thin fingers along the edge to create a sharp crease.

“Two nights ago a church near Haddam burned to the ground. Someone is targeting houses of worship in this part of Kansas, and they don’t care about the denomination. They just hate Christians.”

“But Kingdom is so remote. Besides, when anyone new comes around, we know it. There’s only one road into town.” My words sounded reassuring, but the rash of recent attacks left me feeling troubled. Was our small Mennonite town in danger? The idea that someone was harming people because of their love for God was hard for me to understand.
“Just yesterday someone tried to run a car off the road outside of town,” Flo said. “Folks had a Christian bumper sticker. That was all it took to get them into trouble.”

“Was anyone hurt?”

She shrugged. “No, I think they were just being hassled, but the car was forced off the road. Something like that could do a lot of damage to anyone in a buggy.”

This book is at the top of my to-be-read list. Hopefully, tomorrow I can start reading it. How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is: I’m also a part of a great blog called the Suspense Sisters: And I’m very active on Facebook. 

Celebrate the release of Unbreakable with Nancy Mehl by entering her Kindle Fire Giveaway and RSVPing to the March 5th Author Chat Party on Facebook!

Unbreakable Kindle Fire Giveaway

One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Books one and two in Nancy's Road to Kingdom series (Inescapable and Unbreakable)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 4th. Winner will be announced at the "Unbreakable" Author Chat Party on March 5th. Connect with Nancy, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be gift certificates, books, and fun Mennonite-themed giveaways.

Grab your copy of Unbreakable and join Nancy on the evening of the March 5th for a chance to connect with Nancy and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 5th!

Thank you, Nancy for sharing your new book and contest with us. I loved book one in the series.

Readers, here is a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Unbreakable (Road to Kingdom)

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book on this blog. 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 Google +, 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.


Bethany said...

I don't think I've read anything by Nancy yet, but I enjoy this type of book! Look forward to reading it!
Chesaning, MI

Diana montgomery said...

Nancy I would love to read this! I hope to join your party I need to remember it. Have a Bless day and thanks for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

The more interviews I read for this book the more I want to read it!!!

Annette said...

I have't read anything YET from Nancy, but I've been hearing more and more about her, and eager to read this!

Thanks for the giveaway!

Duncan, OK


mongupp said...

i keep seeing this book around the web, would love to read it!

Monica Ontario

Hope Johnston said...

Thank you or the chance to win your books! Cant wait to read them.

Anonymous said...

Wow would so love to win this prize.

Anonymous said...

Would so love to win.

Heather said...

After reading Inescapable I am very much looking forwar to reading Unbreakable.

Anonymous said...

I would love to win Unbreakable.

Katie J. from FL

NancyMehl said...

Thanks to everyone who has stopped by. I loved writing Unbreakable. Wish you could all win!

KayM said...

I enjoyed the interview. I'd love to win a copy of Unbreakable. Thank you for the opportunity.

East Tennessee

Mama Cat said...

After winning Unescapable through Suspense Sisters (which I am sharing with my Christian suspense reading buddy), I just purchased Unbreakable. Can't enter facebook sweepstakes, but want to tell your readers that this is AWESOME! Book three has just been added to my wishlist. Can't wait to read Unbreakable, just arrived in yesterday's mail - I am now hooked on your books! Blessings!

Nancy said...

It would be so great to win a book!

Norma S said...

Thank you for giving me a chance to win your book. I like mystery and suspense stories also.I also believe you should be able to write what you love.I like the sound of you book and also you book cover. Does your grandson sing, with the name of Aiden Jackson? Liked your interview. God bless you and yours.
Norma Stanforth from Ohio

Wendy Newcomb said...

This is one I really would like to have. Thank you for the chance to win it.

Wendy from FL


Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Jorie said...

Good evening, I enjoyed this interview as although I have read about this book elsewhere, its always lovely to get to know a bit more about the author who pens the book! :) I liked Ms. Mehl's cheeky humour and her ability to bring a sense of realism to writing! Love her take on life in general! I also think this would be a good book to read, as it balances the delicate line between standing by one's convictions and protecting innocents.

Thank you for this bookaway! It would be the first I've read of hers, and from the previous comments, I can tell, one not to miss! :)

// Florida

Michelle said...

Would love to read this one, please enter me.


Mary Preston said...

What a wonderful idea for a story.

Mary P


Kandra said...

I really liked the first book in this series. Please throw my name in the hat!
Kandra in Tennessee

Nathanael Richmond said...

Would love to win!
Enter me!
Blanch, NC

Cindy W. said...

I would love to win a copy of Nancy's book Unbreakable. Thank you for the chance.

I live in Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

Sarah said...

Enter me!!!
Sarah Richmond

Lourdes said...

I am looking forward to reading this book. Thank you for the giveaway.

Lourdes in Dix Hills New York

Library Lady said...

We have this series in the church library.
I would love to win a copy to add to my library.
Thanks for the opportunity to do so.

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me this book looks great!!
Sharon Richmond

Lyndie Blevins said...

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

Abigail Richmond said...

Please Enter me!

Blanch, N.C.

Anonymous said...

I love Nancy's book and would like to get this book.

Kristie said...

I love Nancy's books. I read the Harmony series. Usually I don't read mystery and suspense books but Nancy's are wonderful! I highly recommend an Alaska cruise! We went on our honeymoon. It was AMAZING!!! Thanks for the great giveaway! Kristie from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.