Tuesday, August 27, 2013

THIS DANCE - Jerusha Agen - One Free Ebook

Welcome, Jerusha. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
The amount of myself that shows up in my characters varies a great deal from character to character, and such similarities are never intentional. I try to write all my characters to be true to themselves. Like an actor approaching a character to play in a script, I discover similarities between my characters’ personalities and my own as I get to know them. Identifying these commonalities enables me to better write their stories, just as finding areas of connection with a character in a script results in an actor’s strongest performances.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I once owned a Morgan horse named Quirky!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I first knew that I wanted to pursue writing as a career when I was a freshman in high school. It wasn’t until some years later, however, that I looked back and realized I had always been a writer, making up stories and putting together my own little books just for fun from the time I was too young to remember through the rest of my childhood.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I most enjoy reading the classics, particularly nineteenth-century literature. Jane Austen’s wit makes me laugh like nothing else and her romances are timeless, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or G.K Chesterton provide light mysteries, while Dickens’ sarcastic punch and characterizations are worth a little extra effort to explore. There is so much to be learned and enjoyed in works that have stood the test of time, and I enjoy meeting treasures like War and Peace or Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. One of my favorite novels, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is always astounding in its power and skill, no matter how many times I read it.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Like most people, staying sane in our hectic culture is a daily struggle! Some things that help me most are setting writing goals for each day and actually quitting for the day when I reach the goal. I’ve found that I have to limit when I’ll allow myself to check email or go online, so that I don’t end up letting my sleep or work time disappear into the Internet vacuum. As a writer, it’s also too easy to work whenever I’m home, even on Sundays, which translates into no day off from work and eventual burnout. I believe that rest, especially on our day set aside to worship, is crucial to staying in the rat race for the long haul, so I’ve recently started to make Sundays a no-writing, no-Internet day. I end up with a free, restful day away from social and work pressures that allows me to recharge for the work week ahead. Another essential is sleep!

How do you choose your characters’ names?
For my central characters, the choice of a name is extremely important. Before settling on a name for such a character, I research name meanings and origins to be sure that the name fits my character and the character’s parents who chose the name. Whenever possible, I like to find an unusual name for my main character that is also memorable and pleasant on the eyes and ears.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Graduating from college! I am not a college person, but knew that it was important for me to get my Bachelor’s degree. My college education was essential, and I learned so much as an English major that has made me into the writer that I am today. Still, you couldn’t pay me to go back to college!

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
If I could be any animal I wanted to be, I would like to be a dog. As long as dogs have non-abusive owners, most dogs tend to be positive, upbeat, and happy. Most importantly, they have a short memory that allows them to forgive, forget, and live in the moment—all traits that I am sadly lacking.

What is your favorite food?
Ice cream, chocolate, ice cream, chocolate, more ice cream, and more chocolate.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
The doubt that comes with writing for years with no contract in sight can be a killer to writing like nothing else. The only way to keep going is to look to God for motivation. If He has called you to write, given you the desire and opportunity to write, you have to trust Him that, in His timing, He will bring about the sale. I wouldn’t want to sell a book outside God’s will or in my timing instead of His—I know such a situation would only end in disaster. I had to remind myself of this truth constantly and surround myself with supportive friends and family who agree that His will is perfect, even when it isn’t what I think I want or when I think I want it!

Tell us about the featured book.
THIS DANCE (Book One in the Sisters Redeemed series):
A tragedy three years ago destroyed Nye's rise to the top of the dancing world as an upcoming tango star, and in the process destroyed her reason for living. She survived the pain and built a new life resembling nothing like the one she left behind, determined never to hurt again.

No love, no pain. No God, no games.

Nye's emotional walls hold up perfectly until she meets a handsome lawyer and an elderly landowner. They seem harmless, but one awakens feelings she doesn't want and the other makes her face the God she can't forgive. Will these two men help Nye dance again?

Please give us the first page of the book.
“…in Christianity God is not a static thing—not even a person—but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance…”
– C. S. Lewis

            Nye Sanders pressed her lips into a grim line and glanced in the rearview mirror. The white snow that bordered the freeway gleamed back at her. There had been a time when the beauty of the Pennsylvania winter would have filled her with wonder. But this morning, her mood was as frigid as the outdoor temperature, and she put on sunglasses to block the snow-covered scene.

            Annoyed with time lost on the icy residential streets, she pressed the accelerator harder. At least the six-lane freeway had been more thoroughly salted after last night’s freezing rain. Nye glared at the clock. She refused to be late to negotiations for—

            Nye gasped as her tires hit black ice on a curve and started to skid. She slammed on the brakes. The car slid from side to side. Spun out.

She lost control.

Time slowed as the car swung into a 180-degree turn. Gravitational force pulled her toward the door, then away. Her fingers squeezed the wheel, nails bit into her hand.
White. Everything was white.

The force that spun the car sucked the breath out of her lungs. She was a toy. Something awful was playing with her.

Is this what he had felt? She wished she could see him. She tried.

            “Dante!” She called his name, as the car slammed into the guardrail. She closed her eyes against the impact. A painful crunch.

Force yanked her body again, as the car ricocheted into another spin.

It stopped.

An exciting opening, for sure. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Please visit my website at www.SDGwords.com.
You can also find me on Facebook at Jerusha Agen – SDG Words, or Follow me on Twitter @SDGwords.
Read my film reviews at www.RedeemerReviews.com

Thank you, Jerusha, for sharing your book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
This Dance (Sisters Redeemed Series) (Volume 1) - paperback
This Dance (Sisters Redeemed Series) - 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.

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Britney Adams said...

What a lovely interview! Thank you for the introduction to Jerusha Agen. I look forward to reading THIS DANCE!

Britney Adams, TX

Patty said...

That is a very exciting beginning! It sounds like it will be a very powerful story.

Patty in SC

Melanie Backus said...

Thank you for introducing Jerusha Agen. This Dance sounds like a very interesting and moving book and I look forward to reading it. Thank you!

Melanie Backus, Texas

Amy C said...

Nice interview with a new author to me!
Amy C

Heidi Reads... said...

I admire her faith to keep writing even in times of discouragement. Great interview!

Heidi, CA

WritePathway said...

I've noticed Jerusha's name popping up frequently on WIP's site. I am happy to finally learn more about her. This sounds like a page turner.

Ann in NC

Merry said...

When I hear, "dance", I have to check it out! Please add me for This Dance, it sounds interesting.
Merry in MN

bonton said...

Jerusha - what a pretty name, is there a story behind it?

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to learn more about you & your writing - by doing the interview & offering a giveaway of your book! Thanks so much!



Jerusha said...

Thanks, everyone, for your encouraging comments! I'm so grateful for Lena putting together such a great interview! Heidi, it's all the Lord keeping me going when I thought I should give up....the Lord and my family!

Jerusha said...

Bonnie, my name is a biblical one, which my parents found out about when their friends had a daughter named Jerusha. Not a very exciting story, I know, but truth is often more boring than fiction!

Mary Preston said...

What an exciting first page. THIS DANCE sounds like such a great read.

Mary P


Unknown said...

Sounds like a very interesting book.

Deborah D, FL

Unknown said...

Wow, just the first page is thrilling! Enjoyed the great interview. Book sounds wonderful. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the giveaway.

Barbara in Louisiana


Melody said...

Sounds like an interesting spin to a tango!

Donna, TX

KayM said...

An exciting opening has me ready for reading more! Thank you for offering a copy.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Lourdes said...

Enjoyed the interview would love to win this book.

Lourdes in Long Island, NY

Leauphaun said...

Ooo, this sounds like a good book!

- Leauphaun from BC

Shopgirl said...

Sounds great! I'm in MN.