Wednesday, February 12, 2014

SMITTEN BOOK CLUB - Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, Diann Hunt - One Free Book, Plus Much More

Welcome back, Smitten authors.

Colleen Coble: Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at

Colleen, how did your story for the collection come about?
The four of us were brainstorming. It’s almost magic.

Are these stories connected in some way? If so, how?
Yes, the protagonists are all friends, and they learn something about love from an ancient book on romantic advice.

What are you reading right now?
I’ve been on a Lisa Gardner kick lately and am making my way through all her novels. I just finished Love You More.

How many other books have you had published?
Well over 50. I lose track.

What is the hardest thing about writing a part of a collection?
I wouldn’t say there is anything hard about it when you’re writing with your best friends. J

How did collaborating with this team impact you?
This particular story was very poignant because I think we all knew on some level that it would be our last with Diann. It’s made it even more special.

What do you want the reader to take away from your story?
I’d love readers to realize how important it is to pay attention to the man you love and figure out what he needs.

Please give us a peek into your story.
Heather is the Smitten Book Club's most devoted mystery-genre reader, a single mom, and the resident organic gardener. When she discovers a decades-old tome at a library sale, she thinks it might hold clues leading to buried gold—exactly what one of the members needs to keep her home. She can't resist a mystery that could lead to treasure.

Paul and Heather have history—history she would rather forget. But when he comes back to his hometown of Smitten, he's determined to put down roots. He soon becomes the architect behind a town community garden and enlists Heather's help there in exchange for his own help looking for hidden gold. As they dig into the earth and the clues, they discover something amazing: lasting love.

What is the best piece of advice you received as an author?
I’m most apt to give advice. LOL I didn’t know any other writers when I was first getting started.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
My website is I answer every email. J

Smitten Book Club
Love By the Book
By Colleen Coble

Chapter One

Mountains of donated boxes teetered against the west wall when Heather DeMeritt entered the Smitten library. The building had been renovated a few months earlier and still held a trace of that new smell in the brown carpet. The oak bookshelves that housed the library’s growing collection and the matching tables still shone with newness. Several businesses had donated the bank of comput- ers lining one wall.
Heather spoke to several friends, then turned to eye the job she’d come to do. She was prepared to work, but the sheer number of books surprised her.

Her friend and fellow book club member, Abby Gray, motioned to her. Abby was the Smitten librarian, though she was much too pretty to fit the stereotype, even with her blond hair perpetually up in a bun.

Heather threaded through the throng to reach Abby’s side. “This is going to take awhile.”

Abby’s cheeks were flushed. “Isn’t it exciting? So many people want to help Molly.”

Their good friend Molly Moore had recently lost her husband in a tragic fire. He was the only volunteer fireman to die in recent memory, and Smitten was still reeling. As was Molly.

Abby waved vaguely. “You can start there.”

Heather opened the nearest box and began to lift out the books to put in sale piles ranging from one dollar to five. Five dollars was too much to pay for some of these books, but it was for a good cause, and everyone would feel great about helping.

An hour later her throat was scratchy, and her nose was stuffy from all the dust. But she’d made progress.

“Need some help?” Elliana Burton asked. Lia, as her friends called her, was the kindergarten teacher at the elementary school in town. She usually had a crayon stuck behind one ear and a slash or two of color on her arms or hands from Crayola markers, but today she looked fresh and carefree in a silky blue top over jeans that hugged her slim hips.

“I’ll take you up on it,” Heather said. “We might finish in time for coffee at Mountain Perks.”

There was only one towering stack left. She lifted down the top box and opened it. A cloud of dust wafted out, and she wrinkled her nose.

Lia waved her hand in front of her face. “Some of these are old. They might be worth some money.”

Kristin Billerbeck: I grew up with a strong sense of justice. I simply knew the way things should be. And since I’m not smart enough to be a district attorney, I am a novelist. My childhood was slightly confusing. I blame my parents for this. Oh heck, I’m going to blame them for everything. I think I would have turned out normal if it weren’t for them.

Okay, probably not. I am a fourth-generation Californian, and an American mutt, but identify most strongly with my Italian heritage. My mother’s family, of strong Norwegian/German descent, tried to teach me how to do things right. How to cook, clean, sew, budget accordingly – all the things a proper young girl should know to be a contributing member of society. I, however, failed miserably. For my 40th birthday, my grandmother gave me a cookie gun, so it’s clear she hasn’t given up on me yet! That is eternal optimism!

My dad’s Italian family taught me about the good life. The indulgent life. How to eat, shop and be merry. My Nana had very tiny feet and a penchant for shoes (she worked at the Emporium, no doubt to fund her shoe addiction). My afternoons at her house had no lessons, other than how to walk in her high heels, drape myself in her mink stole and drip myself with rhinestones. Tastefully, of course. I picked up on this lifestyle much quicker.

I graduated San Jose State University with a degree in Journalism & Mass Communications (emphasis in Advertising), gave my life to Jesus during college and found my true love in a Christian Singles’ Group, which yes, I skewer in “What a Girl Wants”. He is German. Practical. And a Contributing Member of Society. I am still Italian, fluffy and an aficionado of fine shoes & handbags.

Together, we have four children and now it’s our turn to confuse them. The circle of life. Dysfunctional family style. Visit her website at

Denise Hunter: Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too! Visit her website at

How did your story for the collection come about?
Because my protagonist is part of the overarching story in Smitten Book Club—a widow who was in danger of losing her business—some of the details were already set in place. All I needed was a handsome hero and a little chemistry. ;-)

Are these stories connected in some way?
If so, how? All the Smitten books are tied together with an overarching story. It makes the writing pretty complicated since there are 4 authors, but the readers seem to really love it!

What are you reading right now?
2nd Samuel in the Bible, and I’m finishing up several books I’m judging for a contest.

How many other books have you had published?

What is the hardest thing about writing a part of a collection?
Without a doubt it’s all the details involved. There were a lot of emails flying back and forth as we tried to get our facts straight.

How did collaborating with this team impact you?
Since we’re bffs, collaborating was a joy. This last Smitten was our most difficult to write since Diann was going through chemo at the time. I don’t know how she wrote through all that, but she did. The release date was bittersweet because we lost Di to cancer in November. We miss her like crazy, but we wouldn’t call her back to the pain and suffering she endured for anything.

What did you want the reader to take away from your story?
Molly was struggling with trust issues because of some things her late husband did. We need to be aware of the baggage we’re bringing into our relationships. It’s important to deal with our issues so they don’t cause problems in the future.

Please give us a peek into your story.
Molly is a widow with a failing outfitter’s business. Desperate for help she turns to Gage, her biggest competitor. But as he begins helping her whip her store into shape, Molly wonders if she can trust him with her business—or her heart.

What is the best piece of advice you received as an author?
Write the story you want to read.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
They can find me on my website: I also enjoy connecting with readers on facebook: 

Diann Hunt: Diann Hunt has lived in Indiana forever, been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, her dog, and, well, chocolate. Diann lost her courageous battle with cancer in November 2013.

The Smitten gals are back with their newest release, Smitten Book Club! Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, and Denise Hunter are celebrating with a Kindle Fire giveaway, a Facebook party on February 20, and a nationwide book-club brunch on March 22.

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Smitten books (Smitten, Secretly Smitten, Smitten Book Club)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 20th. Winner will be announced at the Smitten Book Club Facebook Author Chat Party on February 20th. Connect with Colleen Coble, Denise Hunter, and Kristin Billerbeck for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! The Smitten gals will also be taking questions from the audience, giving away books and gift certificates, and sharing news about their upcoming nationwide Smitten Book Club brunch on March 22nd. (Sign up to host today!)

So grab your copy of Smitten Book Club and join Colleen, Denise, Kristin, and friends on the evening of February 20th for a chance to connect 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 20th!

Sign up to host a Smitten Book Club Brunch on March 22nd!
Smitten Book Club Brunch Coble, Hunter, Billerbeck, Hunt
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Smitten Book Club -
Smitten Book Club - Amazon
Smitten Book Club - Kindle

Christian Bookstore

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.


Susan Johnson said...

I loved the first Smitten book. I haven't had a chance to read the second one yet, and I am anxious to read it and this one.
Odessa, TX

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book. It sounds like it will be a lot of fun to read.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Gail H. said...

I love Smitten! Anything any of you girls write, I love. If I should win a copy I will donate it to my church library, after I read it of course.

sm said...

I like collections and am interested to read that you email back and forth a lot to keep your facts straight! Love to win your book. sharon wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

sm said...

I'm from California! forgot to say that!

Cyndi said...

I have read most, if not all, of each of these ladies' books and love them all! I love their collaborations... you can tell by their writing that they are good friends in real life. :) I can imagine it would have been harder because of Diann's condition. I join thousands of others who will miss her humorous and joy-filled books! Looking forward to this latest Smitten book!

Cyndi in AL

Melanie Backus said...

I can't wait to read this one, Lena. Thank you for the great interviews and giveaway.

Melanie Backus, TX

Anonymous said...

I would love to read these books! I haven't had a chance to read any of them yet but hope to soon. Donna d[dot]brookmyer[at]yahoo[dot]com

Jackie Tessnair said...

I would love to win this book.I have the first one.Great book.Thanks for the chance.Jackie Tessnair,N.C.

Britney Adams said...

I enjoyed hearing from these lovely ladies and am excited about their latest collaboration. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win a copy of SMITTEN BOOK CLUB!

Britney Adams, TX

Mary Preston said...

What a fabulous collection this is going to be.

A great post thank you.

Mary P


karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this fabulous novel

karenk...from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Jackie Smith said...

I am a BIG fan of these ladies' books....individual and the Smitten series! Thanks for this interview and giveaway!
I live in GA.
jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

I. LOVE. THE. FIRST. BOOK. and can hardly wait to read I this one? The women do such a great job writing together! Thanks for a great interview and the chance to win, Lena.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the fun interview.
Julie (WI)

Unknown said...

Someone mentions a library or a book club, and I've got to read it!
Martha - Onalaska, WI

Unknown said...

I haven't read this series, but these authors are wonderful! Thanks for the interview.
Tonja in VA

EJ said...

I'm looking forward to reading the latest in the Smitten Book Club - though it's sad to remember that this will be the last one that Diann helped write. Elaine from Iowa

Mama Cat said...

Would love to win this book - what a terrific group of ladies!! Jeanie in Phoenix

Melissa Oldaker said...

Sounds like a fun read! Thanks for the giveaway!

Melissa from NC

Melody said...

There is more than one SMITTEN book? Oh no! I'm willing willing to start somewhere so let's make it this one!

Donna, TX

Patty said...

I've never read any of the Smitten books, thanks for the chance to win!

Patty in SC

Judy said...

I have the first two Smitten books. I would love to have this one to add to my collection!

Judy B from Indiana

kam110476 said...

I am Smitten with Smitten, VT! If only it was a real place! I'll miss this town - I sure would like to read Smitten books! Thanks for the chance to win.
kam110476(at)gmail(dot) com

kam110476 said...

I forgot to say I'm from Oklahoma

Merry said...

Smitten Book Club sounds like a fun read. I love the little town!
Merry in MN