Tuesday, July 02, 2013

WHISPERS ON THE PRAIRIE - Vickie McDonough - One Free Book

Readers, I read this book for endorsement. Here's what I said about it: This story of the growing pains of the United States after the Civil War takes the reader on a wagon train across the Kansas prairie. Vickie McDonough wove a tapestry of words depicting life on the plains and the changes that were quickly becoming the norm. Her characters leapt to life in my mind and my heart, and they stayed with me long after I finished reading this wonderful story. I loved the story line, the setting, and the way the title tied in at the end of the book. The volume has a lovely cover as well. Just the kind of book I will keep on my bookshelf.

Remember to follow all instructions at the end of the post to be included in the drawing for the free book.

Welcome back, Vickie. Since you’re being published regularly, what new avenues will your future books take?
I plan to cover some new locations and topics. One series I’m close to selling features several of the Oklahoma land runs. I also have a book with a very troubled hero that won’t leave me alone. I feel I’ll have to write his story soon.           

What conferences will you be attending this year?
I’ve stayed pretty close to home this year, but I will be attending a fun conference in September—the Writers Police Academy. It’s a conference that teaches writers correct police procedure and terminology. I’ll also be attending a marketing seminar that my agent is hosting.

Will you be a speaker at any of them? No.

If you were in charge of planning the panel discussion at a writing conference, what topic would the panel cover, and who would you ask to be on the panel, and why?
This is a tough question because I’m an introvert and I don’t like public speaking. If I were planning a panel discussion, I’d select the topic: What you know now about writing that you wished you’d known when you first started.

How important is it to you to be active in writing organizations?
Very important. Since I first began writing, I’ve been involved in writers’ groups, both locally and online. Writing is a solitary task, and writers need to be around others who think like they do, who can support and encourage each other, and learn from one another. I was a founding member and treasurer for three years of my local ACFW chapter and also treasurer for ACFW national. My background is in bookkeeping, so the treasurer position worked well for me, and it gave me a chance to give back to groups that had helped me learn the writing craft and to get published.

Where in the community or your church do you volunteer?
Most of my volunteering lately has been with my writers’ groups. In the past, I was the nursery director for my church for seven years and worked part-time in the office. I’m currently primary caregiver for my invalid mother, and until this summer, I also babysat my granddaughter. Add in my writing schedule, and that doesn’t leave me a lot of time for volunteering.   

Who are the five people who have made the most impact on your life, and how?
My parents and my husband are the main ones.
Cathy Marie Hake took an interest in my writing when I first started and was key to getting my first book published.
My agent, Chip MacGregor, has been an encourager and key in getting me writing contracts.
There have also been many spiritual leaders in my life, from Children’s Church teachers to pastors to godly women who have influenced my walk with the Lord.

If you could write the inscription on your tombstone, what would it be?
She made us laugh and touched many people through her books.    

That would be so true. Tell us about the featured book.
Whispers on the Prairie is the first book in my Pioneer Promises series. It’s set mostly at a remote stage stop in eastern Kansas. The Harper family—Ma, Pa, and their three grown sons: Aaron, Josh, and Ethan, as well as Aaron’s two young children—run the stage stop. Life is busy, but the Harpers find contentment in their family, faith, and work. When Sarah, a pretty, young woman from Chicago, gets stranded at the stage stop, turmoil invades the Harpers’ peaceful existence, and men flock to Sarah faster than spinning dust devils.

Though his sister-in-law died several years ago, Ethan still feels responsible. He thinks if he can find Aaron a new wife, the guilt will go away—and he believes Sarah is that woman. But the more interest his brother shows Sarah, the more anxious Ethan becomes. A marriage between Aaron and Sarah is what he wants—isn’t it?

I’ve read the book and loved it. Please share the first page with my readers.
(This is a bit more than the first page, but I wanted to find a good stopping point)

“Don’t you love springtime?” Della asked as her horse approached a shallow brook. Rather than ride through it, she tapped her mare with her quirt and leaned forward. “C’mon, Jezebel. Let’s go.”

Ethan Harper clenched his jaw as the black mare deftly jumped the creek, and in spite of using that crazy-looking sidesaddle, Della sat the jump as well as any man riding astride. With her safely across, he relaxed, then reined in his buckskin to walk the gelding across the stream. Della knew no fear—and that made her far too reckless.

He surveyed the gently rolling hills covered in lush, ankle-high grass, still littered with patches of white from last week’s snowfall. “Yep, spring is nice. Sure will be glad to not have to fork hay to the livestock anymore, at least not till next winter.”

Della turned and rode back toward him. “I was talking about all the pretty wildflowers. Just look at them! Violet, yellow, snow-white, crimson, lavender….”

“Aren’t violet and lavender the same thing?”

She giggled. “Of course not, you silly goose.”
He didn’t particularly care for his sister-in-law’s name-calling, but he let it slide, like rain off oilcloth. Della could be childish at times, but his family tried to overlook that. “No one is perfect,” his ma was fond of saying.

He decided to change the subject. “All that hard work sure built some muscles.” He grinned and flexed his arm. “They’re almost as big as Aaron’s now, don’t you think?”

She drew closer, reaching out to squeeze his upper arm. “Why, Ethan Harper! You’ll be the belle of the ball.”

He snorted a laugh and then shook his head. “I certainly hope not.”

Grinning so wide that her dimples flashed, Della shrugged. “You know what I mean. Surely, you’ve noticed all the marriageable young ladies batting their eyes at you whenever you go to town.” She cocked her head, her blue eyes glinting, and flapped her lashes like she’d been in a dust storm. “Why, Sally Ann, don’t you just adore that Ethan Harper?” she gushed with a flippant flick of her wrist. “Isn’t he the handsomest man in the whole county?”

He looked away, his ears warming, but Della reined her horse around to his other side.
“Why, yes I do, Minnie Sue! I’ve set my cap for him, so you best go find some other man to flirt with.”

Ethan chuckled. “Your husband might take issue with that.”

Della pursed her lips. “My husband? Whatever do you mean? My name is Sally Ann, and I’ve got my sights set on you.”

Nudging his horse forward, he blew out a breath, tired of her pretending. Time was wasting. “I have chores waiting, and you have two children who are probably missing their ma right about now.”

“Oh, pooh.” Della tucked in her chin and pushed out her lower lip. “You and your two brothers sure can be spoilsports at times. Men down South enjoy a game of theatrics now and then.”

“Well, this is Kansas, and men here don’t have time for such foolish pastimes. We have work to do.”

“Hmpf. I’m going to tell Aaron you were cranky today.”

“Go ahead. He’s your husband. He should be the one escorting you.” Ethan generally enjoyed Della’s vivid imagination and her vitality for life. Unfortunately, that same vitality often kept her from her mothering duties and, more often, her responsibilities at the stage stop. Every chance she got, she visited neighbors or spent her time on some “important” cause in Windmill—any excuse to get her away from the stage stop. As the youngest Harper son, Ethan usually drew the short straw and was designated as her chaperone. During the winter, he got a reprieve since she hated the cold, but, come March or April, Della always had spring fever and had to get out. She was fun; he just wished she’d take more interest in her two young’uns and help his ma with the cooking and cleaning.

“Let’s race home, Ethan.” She reined her mare around and hunkered down, grinning wickedly.

“Huh-uh. I’m responsible for your safety. Aaron would have me tarred and feathered if anything happened.” He shook his head. “Plus, racing is too dangerous for the horses. The ground is still too soft.”

“You can be such a stick-in-the-mud at times. The ground is fine.” She swatted her mare with her quirt. “C’mon, girl!”

“Della, no!”

She flashed him a grin over her shoulder. “Last one home has to wash the supper dishes.”

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
Website: www.vickiemcdonough.com (If you’d like to sign-up to receive my newsletter and breaking book news, there’s a link you can click on my Home page, right below the Navigation bar.
Christian Fiction Historical Society blog: http://christianfictionhistoricalsociety.blogspot.com (My usual day to blog is the 10th of the month)

Thank you, Vickie, for sharing this wonderful new book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Whispers on the Prairie - Christianbook.com
Whispers On The Prairie (Pioneer Promises Series, Volume 1) - Amazon.com
Whispers on the Prairie (Pioneer Promises) - 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 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.


Anonymous said...

Please enter me in this giveaway. Sounds like a great read!
Brittany McEuen (TX)

Anonymous said...

would love to win. Angela from KY

Vickie McDonough said...

Brittany and Angela,

Thanks for stopping by Lena's blog today!

Unknown said...

Hi! I read Vickie's series, Texas Boardinghouse Brides and loved it! I am adding this one to my tbr pile!

Shannah McClamrock, NC

scottsgal said...

one of my fave genres - western historicals. Sounds like a great one!
Cheryl in IL

Vickie McDonough said...

It's great to have a fan, Shannah! Thanks for reading my books

Vickie McDonough said...

It's mine too, Cheryl. I just love western historical romances.

Modestly Vintage said...

Would love to win!! I live in Northern California!!

Wendy Newcomb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendy Newcomb said...

I would love to win this book, I have many of Vickie's books and really enjoyed reading them.

Wendy in FL


CentralEast2 said...

Sounds like another great book. I would love to read this in AL. Carol
centraleast2 at gmail dot com

Vickie McDonough said...

Thanks for stopping by, Alyssa.

Wendy, Thanks for being such a loyal fan!

Carol, I'm glad you were able to visit Lena's blog today.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a great summer read!
Maryann from NY
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

bn100 said...

Nice interview

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Mary Preston said...

I'm quite sure that I'll be touched by WHISPERS ON THE PRAIRIE. Wonderful!!

Mary P


Judy said...

Whispers on the Prairie's excerpt was so good! I need to put this one on my wish list.

Vickie McDonough is a new author to me and I am looking forward to reading her books.

Judy B from Indiana

bonton said...

Love the storyline & would love to read the book! Enjoyed the interview - thanks for the giveaway opportunity!



Patty said...

I love a good historical set in the American west!

Patty in SC

Vera Godley said...

Whispers on the Prairie sounds like a good, fun read. The beginning is lively as Della and promises fun and adventure. I'd love a copy and think the girls at the school would love to see it perched on the library shelf.

I'm in middle North Carolina

susanlulu said...

Sounds like a great book - my kind!! I live in the piedmont of beautiful North Carolina.

Unknown said...

I would love to read this... please enter me into the give away. I live in North Carolina, the most beautiful state in the US! ;) tamara_wilkins@ymail.com

apple blossom said...

oh, thanks for the chance to win Vickie's book
live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Vickie McDonough said...

Thanks, ladies, for your kind comments about the Whispers excerpt. It's one of those books that has some humor laced throughout the drama.

LJ Bayer said...

Please enter me, love reading this era!!

Lauren. TX

joye said...

I am always looking for new authors to read. This book sounds like the kind I enjoy reading. I have added it to my TBR list.

pol said...

Hi Vickie, I love to read stories about wagon trains and all the Heartaches and triumps they have along the way, thanks for sharing
Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)
a Ga reader

Unknown said...

Sounds like a great book. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this book.
Kay from NY

Mama Cat said...

Sounds like another great book from Viokie! Thank you for the chance to win it! Jeanie in Phoenix

Charlotte Kay said...

Oh, I would love to win this book.
I just took a stage coach ride in Virginia City, NV.
Thanks for blessing us with good Christian fiction!
Charlotte, Ohio

Pam K. said...

I really enjoy reading books about my state, Kansas. This looks like a particularly good one. Thanks for the chance to win Whispers on the Prairie.


Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

Please drop my name in the giveaway hat... Thanks!

Anna W. in GA

Cindy W. said...

I love Vickie's work and would love to be entered to win a copy of Whispers on the Prairie. Thank you.

From Indiana,
Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

Unknown said...

Please enter me.
Tonja (VA)

sm said...

WHISPERS ON THE PRAIRIE sounds very good and my kind of book- western theme and Christian romance. Love to win! sharon, CA

Merry said...

I enjoy Vickie's books, Whispers on the Prairie sounds terrific.
Merry in MN

JackieW said...

I love to read historical books about the Old West. Would enjoy this one for sure.
JFWisherd at aol dot com

Heidi Reads... said...

I love her books! My favorite is Finally a Bride- the characters are so great in it. Thanks for the giveaway!!!

Heidi, CA

Lourdes said...

Am really looking forward to this book. Thank you for the giveaway.

Lourdes Long Island, NY

Karen G. said...

Whispers on the Prairie sounds soooo good. Can't wait to see more. Putting this on my wish list. Thank you for the giveaway.
Karen G. (NY)

Marissa said...

This book looks very interesting!! Would love to win.

Marissa from CO

KayM said...

Vickie, I love the inscription you would choose for you gravestone. I always told everyone that the reason I married my husband was because he made me laugh. What would we do without laughter?

I'm looking forward to reading your book. Thank you for offering a copy.

Emma said...

WHISPERS ON THE PRAIRIE sounds wonderful.Please enter me in contest. Thank you for the opportunity to win .PA.

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me this book looks great!! Vickie is one of my favorite authors!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

Evlin said...

Vickie is a new author to me. Her book "Whispers on the Prairie" sounds like a great read. Hoping one of my libraries will order this book. Thank you for the opportunity to win.
Kevlin, NY.

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Enter me

Shopgirl said...

This looks really cute! I'm in MN.

rubynreba said...

Whispers on the Prairie sounds very good! Thanks!
Beth from Iowa