Friday, April 04, 2014

CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE - Regina Jennings - One Free Book

Readers, I love Regina’s writing. I haven’t received this one yet, but when it gets here, it will go to the top of my to-be-read pile.

Welcome, Regina. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
God has been moving in my writing life, but I don’t know where it’s more evident—on the page or on my heart. This writing discipline is still fairly new to me, and I’m finding it challenging. Honestly, I'm generally more of a "plow-through, do the work, and don't worry about how you feel" type of person, but I've never been a writer before so I'm realizing that this isn't laundry. This isn't gardening or some physical labor that I can force. I might rip out weeds with a bad attitude, but I need to have my heart right before I start working on a book. Hopefully this internal work makes it to the pages of my books.

I know what you mean. It will change you. Tell us a little about your family.
I married my high school sweetheart several (ahem!) years ago. We have four children that we’ve homeschooled—one graduate so far. Because of my husband’s job as an insurance adjuster, we’ve had the opportunity to travel the country together—literally coast to coast. We are passionate about missions and spend a lot of our vacation time serving with our church and partnering with missionaries around the world.

James and I have been on a number mission trips into Mexico, and I’ve been on one to Guatemala. We have several close friends, who are missionaries. And James and I will be celebrating our 50th anniversary late this year. Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I used to feel obligated to finish every book I started. Now I don’t have that luxury. Sometimes it’s liberating to set aside a book, but sometimes I wish I had the time to give it a better chance. And now when I’m reading historical books, whether fiction or non-fiction, I read with a notebook nearby so I can jot down names, locations, battles, etc., for further research if there’s the possibility of it being helpful later.

What are you working on right now?
My next series starts this December with the release of A Most Inconvenient Marriage. This series is set near the end of the Civil War in the Ozark Mountains. The first book stars a nurse named Abigail Stuart who feels like her only friend in the world is the sweet but gravely wounded patient Jeremiah Calhoun. Fearing he won't survive, the Confederate soldier's last wish is that Abigail look after his sickly sister at home. Marry him, return to his horse farm, and it'll be hers.

Abigail takes him up on his offer and moves to Missouri after his death, but just as the family learns to accept her, the real Jeremiah Calhoun appears—puzzled to find a confounding woman posing as his wife. Jeremiah is determined to have his life back to how it was before the war, but his own wounds limit what he can do on his own. Still not fully convinced Abigail isn't duping him, he's left with no choice but to let the woman stay and help—providing that she give up her claim that she’s his wife and doesn’t ruin his chances with his childhood sweetheart.

“Inconvenient” barely scratches the surface of what the two of them feel about each other, but maybe they’ll find some common ground.

Please let me feature that book on my blog, too. What outside interests do you have?
I love history and really enjoy visiting historic sites. Last fall we took our oldest daughter on a senior trip to England and Scotland, and I can’t wait to go back.

When I’m home I’m usually busy with housework and homeschooling, but when I have a moment, I like to play the piano and watch BBC shows—but not at the same time.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
My biggest concern is that the setting matches the historical context of the story. If I want the heroine to be a buffalo hunter and I want the hero to be a railroad supplier, then I’m limited to potential locations.

Since this series is called The Ladies of Caldwell County you’d think that’s where it takes place, but not actually. Anne Tillerton left her farm in Prairie Lea, Texas, and traveled north to join the buffalo hunters in Indian Territory. I created the fictional town of Garber, Texas, because I needed a location that covered both the frontier and a civilized railroad town. Garber is a fictionalized city near the Oklahoma/Texas border that I based on the real city of Sherman. It helps me to have an actual location in mind.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
George Washington. I’d love to hear what his hopes were for our country and what he thinks of the various branches of the government and the roles they play now. Plus I hear he was a superb dancer.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wish I’d known how easy it is to lose ideas. For years I had ideas for stories, facts from research, things I thought I’d never forget. I wish I would’ve written them down and kept them in a file for when I was finally ready to start writing.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Find trustworthy critique partners, even if you have to pay for them.
Read, read, read—especially in the genre you wish to write for.
Realize with all humility that you’ll be blind to many of the flaws in your work. You will need help.

That is so true. It’s one reason I started hosting a critique group in my home almost three decades ago. Tell us about the featured book.
You bet! Anne Tillerton has been hiding away as a buffalo hunter in Indian Territory. When the depot’s cook runs off, Anne must find her or take to cooking herself, but on the train to town she runs into complications.

Nicholas Lovelace knows commercial success, but he’s not sure what to do when his train gets held up. Thankfully, the bandits are thwarted by the last person Nick ever expected—Anne Tillerton from back home in Prairie Lea. By the time the robbers are dealt with Nick owes the eccentric woman his life.

Anne finds the runaway cook, but the woman flees again and leaves Anne with her infant son forcing her to turn to the only person she knows in town. Nick doesn’t know what to do with a baby and being seen with a rough-around-the-edges woman isn't helping his reputation. Will the two of them find the child’s father before their partnership changes the course of their future?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Pushmataha, Indian Territory
September 1883
The serving line hadn’t moved an inch and the mood of the men in the depot diner was growing ugly. Nicholas Lovelace rapped the flimsy tin plate against his knuckles and took a deep breath. No warm scents of meat and potatoes. No bread baking that he could detect. If dinner wasn’t simmering, he might as well get back on the train. No point in crowding around the kitchen door with the lumberjacks, the Indians, and the hunters voicing their complaints.

The plate clattered on the roughhewn table as Nick abandoned the depot. His stomach gnawed at his ribs, telling him that the roll and coffee from the last station had burned away hours ago. Could he wait for supper at the hotel in Garber where he boarded?

He’d rather not. His only hope for nourishment this side of the Red River was the ramshackle general store. Otherwise he wouldn’t live long enough to prepare Mr. Stanford’s report…which would be a pity. He’d so anticipated the praise it would bring.

Nicholas’s crew was performing ahead of schedule—clearing the timber from the railroad’s future path, shipping it to the mill, processing it into ties and trestles and shipping it back to the railhead. He had ridden the train as far as the track would carry him, and his men toiled a good three miles further still—a nice lead, but no more than he expected.

And no more than Ian Stanford expected. Mr. Stanford had contributed more to the success of Lovelace Transportation Specialists than anyone outside of Nick himself. In fact, every merchant, every trapper, hunter, and farmer along the twin rails owed Mr. Stanford—and Nicholas was blessed to call him his mentor. Stanford had taught him much, but now Nick wanted to expand. Upon his return to Garber, Nicholas would begin seeking contracts with other railroads. It was time to grow.

I can’t wait for my copy to get here. You have me hooked. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love hearing from readers and the wacky discussions we have. Here are a few of the places I hang out:

Thank you, Regina, for sharing this new book with us. It's always a pleasure to have you on my blog.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Caught in the Middle -
Caught in the Middle - Amazon
Caught in the Middle (Ladies of Caldwell County Book #3)

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, Twitter, 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.


Britney Adams said...

I enjoyed this delightful interview and look forward to reading CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE! Thank you so much for offering this giveaway opportunity.

Britney Adams, TX

Patty said...

Sounds like a fun read! I really enjoyed 60 Acres and A Bride, but haven't read the 2nd book in the series but I have it waiting on my Kindle.

Patty in SC

Regina Jennings said...

Good morning Britney and Patty, thanks for stopping by!

Unknown said...

Looks like a great book! Can't wait to read it!

Candice Valdez, Texas

KayM said...

I haven't started reading this series yet. I have Love in the Balance, but would love to add Caught in the Middle. Thanks for offering a copy.

Cindi A said...

Love, love, love the cover of this book. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Caught in the Middle.

~Cindi Altman from PA

Courtney Clark (The Green Mockingbird Blog) said...

I loved "Sixty Acres and a Bride", so I'm sure Regina's new one won't disappoint!
Courtney from AT

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a good adventure with a high-spirited girl (just the kind of book my sister loves!) So I'm actually leaving a comment to try and win this for my sister. I hope that's okay and not against the rules or anything.
J.C. -Indiana-

Regina Jennings said...

Good morning, ladies. I'm so glad to hear how you enjoyed "Sixty Acres" and "Love in the Balance", but just in case you haven't read them yet, this book stands on its own, too. Don't feel like you can't start with it. :)

Cathy said...

Such a pretty cover! I loved Sixty Acres and a Bride and look forward to reading her other books.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Cathy in BC Canada

Abbi Hart said...

I loved the first two books in his series and have been anxiously awaiting the chance to read this one! They seem like the most unlikely couple which means their love story is going to be such fun! I love everything about this plot and can't wait to see it play out! George Washington is the historical person I would choose to spend the evening with too! I have been fascinated with his life since I was rather young and over my four years of high-school (I was homeschooled) I wrote four reports on his life that ended up totaling about 50 pages worth!

Cindy W. said...

I would really love to win a copy of Caught in the Middle. Thank you for the chance.

I live in Indiana.

Cindy W.

Melanie Backus said...

I loved this interview and I would love Caught in the Middle. Thank you for the giveaway.

Melanie Backus, TX

Jean said...

Sounds like a wonderful book!

Jean K
West Palm Beach, FL

Mary Preston said...

I loved the first page thank you & the cover is very cute.

Mary P


A Cooking Bookworm said...

Very fun cover! Love her boots!!

Binghamton, NY

mybabyblessings AT gmail DOT com

Diana Gardner said...

Portsmouth, VA

Unknown said...

Lena, Thank you for the great review.
I love everything about this book ! I am excited to read it and hope to do so soon!
Thank you

Unknown said...

Lena sorry I forgot to list I am from Ohio

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

Vera Godley said...

Please toss my hat in the mix. The cover of this book is delightful.

Vera in NC

Pam K. said...

I've read Regina's previous books in this series and enjoyed them. Thanks for the chance to win Caught in the Middle. Her next series sounds like it will be great as well.


kam110476 said...

Caught in the Middle sounds like it's going to be a riot! I can't wait to see what's going to happen!
Kristen in OK
kam110476 at gmail dot com

Judy said...

I would love to win a copy of Caught in the Middle! Sounds like a fun read!

Judy B from Indiana

Anonymous said...

I would love to read Caught in the Middle. Nicholas and Anne's story sounds like a good one
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

Anonymous said...

oops forgot to write my state in the previous post
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
Maryann from NY

Abbi Hart said...

Ack! Forgot to leave my state when I left my comment and just remembered!! SOOOOOO sorry!
Abbi (PA)

PriviesAndPrims said...

Love the fancy dress with the boots. :)
Doreen from Lancaster County, PA.

priviesandprims[at]yahoo[dot com]

sm said...

I would like to read Caught In The Middle. You are anew author to me. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Kandra said...

I really enjoyed Sixty Acres and a Bride! Regina, I see that you are going to be at a book signing near me...alas, I cannot make it to this one! Maybe next time! Caught in the Middle looks so interesting! Thanks for the giveaway.
Kandra in Oklahoma

Abigail Mitchell said...

Looks Awesome!!! Would love to win a copy! Please enter me! Thanks for the giveaway!!! God Bless!

Blanch, N.C.

Merry said...

Caught in the Middle sounds like a fun adventure, thanks for a chance to win it!
Merry in MN

Patricia said...

I really like the cover. The expression and body posture of the young woman tells so much about the character and draws me in wanting read her story.

East Texas Piney Woods - Patricia aka Mamaw

Aerykah said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I'm really looking forward to reading this book! :)

I'm in Oklahoma.