Thursday, April 04, 2013

A HEALING HEART - Angela Breidenbach - One Free Book

Angela has been on this blog with one of her cookbooks, but this is her debut novel. Welcome back, Angie. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I choose a character trait I think other people have and use that in my characters. The big one for Mara Keegan in A Healing Heart is her workaholism. But I also had the experience of working with the American Heart Association as Mrs. Montana International 2009. From that, I gained a crucial knowledge that women’s heart attack symptoms are different than men’s. I wanted to put that experience into Mara. I’d say both a trait and an experience for each character.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I am told I’m pretty quirky anyway, but to me it’s all “normal.” Just not according to my kids … My son says I’m only funny by accident—I just have a lot of accidents! I think it would be interesting to hear what is said about me at my funeral. What other people think I did or said that was funny or unusual. When I mention the things I wonder about, like that, my husband gives me the strangest looks. Maybe it’s how I wonder that would be a quirky trait ;) That’s where my stories come from anyway.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In the sixth grade we had a test. Look at the picture and write a story. It had to be two pages, if I remember right. I ended up winning an award in my school district for that story. I knew then and have had a burning desire to write ever since.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I am very eclectic. I love historicals from all through the ages, contemporary fiction, young adult, romance from historical to contemporary (although I only read sweet or Christian), some fantasy, non-fiction from faith-based to business to how-to books. I can get lost in actual history books. I mean sitting on the floor at the library and losing track of time kind of lost. But I think the genre that would surprise people is that I adore time travel. Genres I don’t enjoy are crime, horror, detective, thriller, and techie.

I never thought I could accept a Christian time travel novel, but then I read Lisa Tawn Bergren’s River of Time young adult series. Wow! The Christian connotation in that on was awesome. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’ve been really convicted through writing my novel, A Healing Heart. I am a workaholic. I love working and love the feeling of accomplishment. I’ve been fighting through, with prayer, to honor the Sabbath and take one day off a week. I’m also getting a new kitten. My pets all passed away shortly after I became an empty nester. I found my pets were stress relievers and how I soothe myself. I think God gave us pets as companions. On my last day off, I read several books on raising and training kittens! I had so much fun J

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I choose a name to embody who I need the character to be, for me, as I write them. Mara Keegan means “bitter” and Keegan means “fiery” to represent her husband’s risk-taking behavior. As I formulate the character in my mind, the name becomes a guiding force for me. Her daughter, Cadence, changed from Corinn. She showed me she wasn’t who I thought she was. From there, Cadence developed into a girl living through her own rhythm. I have another story for Cadence after she grew up. Mara’s heart attack affected Cadence so much that her life becomes devoted to helping others get healthy as a fitness and weight loss coach. That one is titled, Climb Every Mountain, and is in process now.

I look forward to reading that one. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Publishing traditionally. I have some self-published cookbooks I love and am very proud of. They’re part of my ministry. But knowing the life challenges I’ve been through both personally and professionally, I’m still amazed I have two traditionally published books—one non-fiction and now A Healing Heart. (Well, three. A long, long time ago my airline published my language guide for non-English speakers.) I have quite a few devotions and some short story compilations, but to have my books published is just amazing!

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A cat for sure. I love the beauty, grace, and soft fur of cats. I love their playful and mischievous nature too. They’re very calming for me.

What is your favorite food?
I adore mangoes, mint chocolate melt-aways, chocolate cake, lemon cake, and green juices made with apple and lemon or lime. I love Italian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Swedish, and Mexican food. All right, it would have been easier to say I can’t stand coconut and fish. ;)

I love mangoes, but they always broke my mouth out from the lips all the way through the back of my throat, so I had to stop eating them. Then I discovered that the mango tree is in the same family as poison ivy, and I’m highly allergic to that. So I now eat papayas instead. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I think the hardest thing about writing for me was showing others I was not only serious, but that I wasn’t going to continue to put it off any more. Then finding a way to put it into my real life schedule. Anything without tangible boundaries, any dream, is easy to push aside. I had to make it tangible and that meant, and still means, releasing something else from my schedule in order to cherish and act on my dream of writing and speaking. One of the biggest helps is when someone leaves a review online or tells others about my books.

Tell us about the featured book.
A Healing Heart
What would you do if the one man who can help is the one man you can’t trust? A heart attack has stopped Mara Keegan in her tracks, leaving her daughter’s unfinished photo memory quilt hanging by a thread. Little does Mara know, this quilt—and the memories it bolsters, are the key to her rehabilitation. But Mara’s heart needs to be healed in more ways than one. And Joel Ryan is fraying her last nerve. With her daughter’s graduation fast approaching, even Mara starts to wonder if she—and her faith—can mend in time. Will Joel’s photo find a place on the quilt … and in Mara’s heart?

Purchase your copy of A Healing Heart from your local book store or from one of these online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble,

More Praise for A Healing Heart
First off, I loved the double meaning of the title. And the characters really grabbed my heart and still live on in my memory. Angela pulled me into the setting so that even though I was in a Texas heat wave while I was reading the book, I felt as if I were in a Montana winter. On top of that, the romance is the kind I like to read with lots of romantic tension. I'll be on the lookout for Angela's next book.
—Lena Nelson Dooley, award-winning author of Catherine's Pursuit, Mary's Blessing, Maggie's Journey, and Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico

“As beautifully woven as a keepsake quilt, A Healing Heart wraps itself around you, offering a cozy, heart-tugging story. A lovely masterpiece, with as many embellishments as Mara's memory quilt. This is definitely my kind of tale, one that pulls you in from the first page and keeps your emotions engaged throughout. Highly recommended.
—Janice Thompson, author of Queen of the Waves, “Love, Laughter and Happily Ever Afters!”
Janice’s latest book: The Director's Cut

“A heart-warming and romantic story of new beginnings and hope through the fog. A story of real life filled with true emotion and characters you can't help but love.”
—NY Times bestselling author, Tosca Lee,
Tosca’s latest book: Iscariot

A Healing Heart is an emotional story of learning to let go of the past and embracing the future. Angie Breidenbach deftly creates lifelike teenagers, a frazzled mother, and a caring hero you will love. This charming book tugs at your heart and encourages you to reevaluate what’s important in your life.” 
—Vickie McDonough, author of 25 books and novellas, including End of the Trail

“Restoration and hope drive this emotionally charged novel by Angela Breidenbach. Mara Keegan’s healing journey will keep you turning the pages as she uncovers promises of a life she never thought she would have again. Family dynamics, made richer through the process of gathering photos for a memory quilt, come full circle as Mara learns to let go, let God, and let love into her heart; a truly healed heart.”
—Lindi Peterson, award-winning author of Her Best Catch and Summer’s Song.

“Angela Breidenbach's A Healing Heart is a compelling story of love and letting go and is a poignant reminder to follow our dreams. Novel Rocket and I recommend it as an immensely satisfying read.”
—Ane Mulligan, Senior Editor, Novel Rocket (

“Breidenbach’s latest novel, A Healing Heart, paints a knee-bending word picture of our Healer God. Whether the physical, spiritual, or emotional heart, the Big Guy can handle it. Laden with conflict, sweet romance, and humorous contradictions, the story propels the reader forward while giving her pause to wonder . . . ‘What places in my heart need healing? What wounds will I allow God to stitch?’ A Healing Heart sports an endearing and motley cast of characters, and the frigid Montana landscape contrasts nicely with the hero’s warm, sigh-worthy persona. It’s a unique and touching addition to the Quilts of Love series.”
—April W. Gardner, librarian and award-winning author

“Some stories provide pure entertainment, while others teach a lesson. A Healing Heart by Angela Breidenbach does both and is one of those books that every over-achieving, God-loving woman should read. Not only did I enjoy this book, I found myself reflecting on my own life and how much of myself I saw in the story.”
—Debby Mayne, author of Sweet Baklava, Waiting for a View, and the Class Reunion series

“What could be more perfect than a book that has quilts? But would A Healing Heart deliver or just throw in a quilt as an attempt to make quilters happy? It delivers! Mara, the main character, struggles to keep a business afloat despite grief, injuries, and a disgruntled daughter. The book had me riding the emotional roller coaster. Breidenbach weaves the quilt story through the book in such a way that it becomes a character.”
Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, author of A Bride's Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee; Wyoming Weddings; and We're not Blended, We're Pureed: A Survivor's Guide

A Healing Heart is a delightful but compelling story of how letting go of the past gives one a brighter hope for the future. In nearly losing her own life, Mara Keegan learns that in order for her heart to heal, she must give up some control and let others help fulfill her deathbed promise to her husband. Set in the high skies of Montana, Angela gives us a sweeping story of family love, loyalty, and hope that will touch your heart long after the book has ended. 
—Martha Rogers, author of Winds Across the Prairie Series and Seasons of the Heart Series

Since I read the book for endorsement, and loved it, please give us the first page of the book for my blog readers.
“Why in the world did I agree to do this?”

Mara Keegan’s vision blurred as she stared at the old photo she’d picked from the box for the first block on Cadence’s memory quilt. David's arm curled tightly around her pregnant waist, his other balanced a precocious three-year-old Cadence, and one-year-old Toby grinned up into his mommy's eyes. Louie, the new family border collie/lab pup sat at their feet ready to catch Toby’s graham cracker.

A smile stole across Mara’s lips. Louie nabbed that cracker, and Toby wailed, right after the shutter clicked. But the picture captured the split second happy moment forever. The perfect family with so much promise. A promise broken off prematurely by a whimsical God.

Mara’s smile faded. She glanced over at her sleeping fourteen-year old dog curled up on one of his favorite oversized mutt mats. He’d been with their family since the early days. His black muzzle sported more white around his nose now. Louie seemed like the bridge from past to present as she looked back at the first picture. When would she be ready to try love again? Did she even need it?

She broke out in a sweat in spite of the cold wind blowing the last of December past her windows. Not until she could trust God again. How could it have all gone so wrong? The wind gust whooshed against her office door and rattled the inset glass.

A burning sensation started in the center of Mara’s chest. She wrapped her ankles around the wooden stool legs and anchored her feet as she rubbed her midsection. This gift took more out of her than she thought. With less than five months to Cadence's graduation, she had to design and create a quilt full of memories. Memories Cadence needed as she left for college. Memories to wrap around her when she felt far from home and family. Memories Mara promised Cadence, and Mara never broke a promise.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Angela Breidenbach is a speaker, coach, and author of A Healing Heart, April 2013 from Abingdon Press in the Quilts of Love series. Her family tradition is to create the life story on a photo memory quilt for each graduating senior. She is certified in mentor/peer counseling as a CTA life coach, as a Stephen Minister, and a weight loss/nutrition coach.
Twitter and Pinterest: @AngBreidenbach
Facebook Page:

Thank you, Angie, for sharing your life and new book with my readers.

Readers, 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 Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Angela Breidenbach said...

I am so blessed to be here on your blog. So blessed that you endorsed A Healing Heart. So blessed to be alive and writing today! Thank you :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a chance to win A Healing Heart. I would love to win this one.

Katie J. From FL

Anonymous said...

Would love to read A Healing Heart.

Bonnie Jean

Norma S said...

I am so glad to get a chance to win your book, thank you. Your book sounds
great i hope i win. God bless you.
Norma Stanforth from Ohio

Angela Breidenbach said...

It'll be fun to see who wins :)

sm said...

Sure would love to read your book as you are a new author to me. sharon, oceanside, ca

Angela Breidenbach said...

Thanks, Sharon :) this is my debut novel. I've had a non-fiction Bible study and a lot of complilations and free lance. I hope you enjoy it.

KayM said...

I enjoyed the interview, the first page, and all the author reviews/endorsements. A Healing Heart sounds like a wonderful story. Thank you for offering a copy. I live in Tennessee.

Jo said...

Thanks for the opportunity of winning this book. It sounds good.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Mary Preston said...

So many kind words for A HEALING HEART. Always helpful I must say.

Mary P


Marianne Barkman said...

Last summer Mom had a blod clot to her colon, which the doctors compared to a stroke or heart attack. Now Momsays every day is a blessing! Thanks for the chance to win A Healing Heart. Great post, Lena and Angela.

Marianne in Arizona


Ginger Solomon said...

Would love to win this book.

Ginger in AL

Vera Godley said...

This certainly sounds like a great book. I am amazed how debut novels can be so well done to gain such praise. I look forward to the opportunity to read - especially if I'm the winner. :) Here I am in mid-North Carolina on a beautiful sunny Spring day. Not too warm - low 60s. But nice.

godleyv [at]yahoo(dot)com

Nancee said...

I love this series! I've been collecting them, but haven't gotten this one yet. Wonderful interview and preview. Thanks for the contest giveaway!
Nancee in Michigan

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond

Library Lady said...

I love this series and would love to win a copy of, "A Healing Heart" to give to my church library.
Janet E.

Angela Breidenbach said...

I'm overwhelmed at the sweet comments, thank you for your interest in A Healing Heart, ladies :D

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Katie G. said...

Sounds wonderful! Please enter me. I'm from NC.

Cindy W. said...

I would really love to win a copy of A Healing Heart. Thank you for the opportunity.

I live in Indiana.

Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

Lyndie Blevins said...

Thanks for the opportunity to get this book.
Lyndie Blevins

Jackie Tessnair said...

I would love to win and read this book.Thanks..Jackie Tessnair from N.C.

Angela Breidenbach said...

The author endorsements were a really awesome surprise. Though we ask, no one knows what they'll say. Now I read them to encourage me in my writing. They are fantastic sunshine on cloudy days :)

Angela Breidenbach said...

It's a definite problem that can be part of heart attacks and strokes, blood clots. I'm so glad your mom survived it!! I think every day is a blessing :)

Angela Breidenbach said...

Trust me, I'm amazed at the responses to my debut novel :) We are so hard on ourselves that when we get praise, it takes a lot for it to sink in. I think it's been a huge encouragement to me to keep writing.
Thanks :)
From rainy Montana.

Angela Breidenbach said...

How cool, Nancee! I've been doing the same thing. I have a little shelf in my library just for my sister authors :)

Angela Breidenbach said...

Ok, do all you NC ladies know each other? If not, you might have the start of a great book club!

rubynreba said...

Best of luck to Angela on her debut novel. I know I certainly want to read it!
Beth from Iowa

Terri B. said...

Stress Test sounds like the kind of books I love, would love to win a copy of it.\
Terri from Mazatlan