Monday, December 30, 2013

MCKENNA'S PRAYER - Lisa Miller Crane - One Free Ebook

My daughter, Jennifer, is a hairdresser. One day when she was doing my hair, she told me one of her friends at her daughter's school was a writer. Of course, people are always telling me about someone they know who is a writer. I didn't think much about what Jennifer said.

Then one day, when Jennifer was doing my hair, Lisa brought her daughter by so Jennifer could decide what to do about something with her hair. Jennifer introduced Lisa as that writer. We got to talking. I found out that Lisa wasn't connected with other writers, and she writes Christian romance. I asked about her books. Since I have a McKenna's Daughters series, I went home and downloaded her book McKenna's Prayer into my Kindle. 

After finishing her book, I asked Jennifer how to contact Lisa and invited her to the critique group that meets in my home. The rest, as they say, is history. We are now good friends. 

Welcome, Lisa. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I actually write quite a lot of myself into my heroines. My characters are never perfect people, but I often find the women in my stories possess many of my strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes, my heroines are far from the world’s idea of pretty, and I feel that way about myself. I hope my readers relate to heroines who don’t look like Victoria’s Secret models. As for my heroes, many of the romantic things they say and do are based on things I’ve said or done with my husband (or things I wish he’d do).

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
How much room do you have on your blog? Seriously, if I had to choose one, I’d say going to the courthouse in Ft. Worth to apply for a marriage license while dressed as a gypsy is the winner. My employer had allowed us to dress for Halloween, and I dressed as a gypsy, complete with noisy ankle bracelets and multi-colored scarves for a skirt. The clerk looked at me for a long time, then turned to my fiancĂ©, Charles, and asked very seriously, “Are you sure about this, sir?”

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I made up a lot of crazy stories when I was a little kid. Later, I wrote a lot of poetry as a teenager. Most of it was very bad and angst-filled. I can only say I’m glad I finally found my niche in Christian romance.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
If I’m not writing, I’m most likely reading. I’m the kind of person who’ll read anything I can get my hands on. But I developed a lot of my reading tastes by borrowing books from my parents. As a result, I do read a lot of romance, but I also enjoy suspense, mystery, western, and historical fiction.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Faith, family, and friends. No matter what, I always know that someone much wiser than I am is in control, and I rest in that knowledge. My family is my sanctuary. Knowing I can end the day with them keeps a smile in my heart. My friends, in the real world and on Facebook, support me in my crazy endeavors.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Some characters choose their own names, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Sometimes I’ll use a name I just really like, or the name of a person I especially like. Every now and then, I’ll see or hear a name and think, I have to use that name. Occasionally, I’ll ask my friends on Facebook for suggestions. I’ve used a few of those, but it’s always a laugh to see what some of them will say. And there’s a family in my McKenna’s Haven series who are named after western writers and characters. There’s Zane, Wyatt, fraternal twins Louis and L’amour, identical twins Colt and Winchester, and the only girl in the family, Jesse. Their last name is James. It sounds a little corny and hokey, but readers tell me it works and the names fit the characters. Oddly enough, it’s my villains and villainesses who most often choose their own names. Names are more important (and more difficult) than many readers might think.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My children, hands down. My son is an Eagle Scout who will start college in the spring. He’s a kind-hearted young man with a quirky sense of humor that just tickles me. My daughter is a beautiful, brilliant young lady who just overflows with compassion for others. Both of them are Christians, as well, having made that decision when they were old enough. I know I can’t take all the credit for these two amazing young people, but I’ve certainly had a hand in it.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d probably be a cat. They just seem to spend so much time observing. I love watching people, making up imaginary lives for them. One of our cats spends a lot of time sitting in the window, just watching the world go by, and I sometimes wonder if he’s not making up stories, too.

What is your favorite food?
On my author page, I refer to myself as a “nerd, wrapped in romance and dipped in chocolate.” Does that answer your question? If it has to be a food you could actually live on, I’d have to say sushi or anything spicy.

I would like to think we can live on chocolate. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I think it was believing something I wrote was good enough to publish. I write books and stories that I’d enjoy reading, but in the back of my mind is always that question, What if it’s not good enough? That’s when I stop writing and start praying a little harder.

Tell us about the featured book.
McKenna’s Prayer is the first in my McKenna’s Haven series. It wasn’t meant to be a series at all, but God and my characters had other plans. McKenna Ross has been away from her home for eight years, with only a visit or two during that time. She’s been in love with her best friend, Jason Tremaine, since they were children, and assumed they’d marry when they grew up. Jace and McKenna’s parents, however, believe she should go to college and “make something” of herself. So Jace, in essence, sabotages their relationship, sending McKenna to college with a broken heart.

Now, eight years later, she feels that God is leading her home for Thanksgiving. She decides to surprise her parents, and drive to south Texas. She’s in an accident and ends up with a broken leg and arm, requiring physical therapy. She decides to recuperate at her parents’ home, and finds herself often in the company of Jace. Just about the time she thinks God has brought her home to be with the love of her life, her boss shows up, pressuring her to further the relationship they have. And then there’s Sawyer Blake, the handsome, kind and funny physical therapist.

When I started writing McKenna’s Prayer, I knew how it would end. But as I prayed about the book, the words began to pour out of me, and the ending was a surprise. It was perfect, but definitely a surprise to me.

I’ve read the book and loved the story, but please give us the first page of the book for my readers.

“McKenna, I don’t understand,” Ethan said. “Thanksgiving is almost a week away. Why do you feel it’s necessary to leave this afternoon?”

“Ethan, I just want to go home,” McKenna answered, not raising her eyes from her desk. “I haven’t been home in two years, and not very often before that. Now I’ve purposely arranged my schedule so I have no meetings for the next two weeks. I’ll be back Monday following Thanksgiving, and you’ll never even know I’ve been gone.”

“Now you know that’s not true,” Ethan said, his voice dropping to a lower timbre. He leaned against the edge of McKenna’s desk next to her, effectively blocking her from working. She finally looked up at him. “McKenna, you know I’ll miss you.” His tone took on a slightly wheedling note. “I thought we were going to spend Thanksgiving together, like we always do.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My books can be found at I also have a blog on Goodreads at I have to admit, I’m not always a very consistent blogger. I can be found on Twitter as @happyheart1993, and on Facebook as Lisa Miller Crane. I also welcome email from readers (and reply) at

Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your first book with us. (By the way, Readers, she really is pretty.)

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
McKenna's Prayer (McKenna's Haven, Book 1)

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the ebook. 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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Linda Kish said...

Jace, Sawyer or Ethan...I'd love to find out which one she ends up with since it was a surprise to Lisa. Sounds interesting. Count me in, please.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Lisa Crane said...

I hope you'll like the ending, Linda. My daughter was pulling for Jace.


Lourdes said...

Oh love it this book sounds great. Also love reading about your marriage license.

Lourdes Long Island, NYU

Lisa Crane said...

Lourdes, I tell my husband on a regular basis he should have known he was in for a wild ride. We celebrated 20 years in November. I hope you'll enjoy McKenna's story.


Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I was pulling for Jace, too, but I liked the ending.

Britney Adams said...

I love the story of how the two of you met, as well as Lisa's delightful interview! Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of MCKENNA'S PRAYER!

Britney Adams, TX

Britney Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

McKenna's Prayer looks like an interesting read. Nice to learn of Lisa and her books.
Thank you from Ohio

Melanie Backus said...

Oh Lena, this sounds like a great book. I would love to read it. Your interview was so interesting. We never know who we will meet in this life, do we? Happy New Year!

Melanie Backus, TX

Susan Johnson said...

This sounds like a great book. I would love to win a copy.

susanmsj at msn dot com

Odessa, Texas

Lisa Crane said...

I hope all of you will love McKenna and will keep reading about her friends in the books that follow her story. I feel like they're all old friends of mine now.


sm said...

3 men after/interested in one lady! Should be interesting and good writing to keep them all straight. Love to win and you are a new author to me. sharon, Ca wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Jean said...

Sounds like a great book!

Jean K

Jan H said...

Hi From Texas. I loved your description of McKenna's Prayer. It is always fun to see what God can do with the situations we get ourselves into. I look forward to seeing how it turns out. fishingjan[at]aol[dot]com

Unknown said...

I enjoyed your interview, and I like it when the ending is not predictable. It makes he reading more fun.
Tonja in VA