Wednesday, November 19, 2014

CURRENCY OF THE HEART - ONCE A MARINE - Loree Lough - Two Free Books

Bio: With nearly 5,000,000 4- and 5-star books in circulation, reviewers and readers alike have called best-selling author Loree Lough "a gifted storyteller whose novels touch hearts and change lives." Her 103rd and 104th novels (Currency of the Heart, #1 in the Secrets on Sterling Stree” historical series, Whitaker; Once a Marine, #1 Those Marshall Boys contemporary series for Harlequin Heartwarming) will reach bookstore shelves in January. Loree lives near Baltimore and loves spending time at her little cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, where she delights in showing off her identify-the-critter-tracks skills. She loves interacting with readers on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and via email (she answers every letter, personally!)

Loree Lough: First, I’d like to thank you, Lena, for once again sharing your blog space with me! I’ve been in this business a long, long time and know a whole lot of authors, and I do believe you’re in the top three when it comes to generosity and kindness of heart!

It’s always a pleasure to have you here, and I love interacting with you on Facebook and other places, Loree. You have a lot of books out now. What is your favorite setting to use in your books?
I love historicals, and I’m particularly fond of the old west: Colorado, Texas, Montana, Idaho…. The more wild ‘n’ woolly a place was, the better backdrop it is for the characters!

What do you look for when you’re shopping for a book to buy for yourself?
I’ll read just about anything, from cereal boxes to calendar squares! But when I sit down to relax with a book, I like reading things that are nothing like the stuff I write. So believe it or not I turn to Dean Koontz, John Grisham, James Rollins, and naturally, the old classics.

Give us a little tour of the setting for this book.
Well, there are two coming out on almost the same day in January: Once a Marine takes place mostly in Vail, Colorado, but the characters spend quite a bit of time at the Double M Ranch on the outskirts of Denver.

Currency of the Heart also has a Denver setting, but the year is 1883.

I was privileged to read Currency of the Heart. I love this book—the characters grabbed me from the first page and didn’t let me go until long after I finished the book. And since I’m familiar with that area of Colorado (I’m actually writing a book set not far from Denver in a similar time period), I loved the authenticity of the setting. Dear readers, you won’t want to miss this one by Loree.

Loree, what other books do you have coming out soon?
Funny you should ask! This interview allowed me to take a break from the second books in each of those series, which (God willing!), will release in June of 2015. I’ve sketched out the plot outline, characters, settings, and conflicts for the third books in each series, too, so stay tuned!

Please give us a glimpse inside your home.
Larry and I live in a modest house in a normal neighborhood just outside Baltimore, Maryland. I cook at least two meals a day in a tiny galley kitchen…and I love everything about it. When I’m not cooking (or chowing down!), Larry and I enjoy reading or watching TV in the family room, or chatting as we watch the dancing flames inside the woodstove. There’s a big bright sun porch out back, and it’s the first place the grandorables go when they arrive on too-rainy or too-cold days, because it’s the next best thing to being outside. When the weather is good, that’s where you’ll find them. (But you’ll have to look up, because as often as not, they’re perched on a tree limb!) We keep the dining room table opened all the way up, which saves us rearranging things every Sunday when the kids and grandorables join us for dinner. On major holidays, we enjoy sit-down dinners, and that table (extended by three long folding tables) holds food and eating utensils for up to 40 people. It’s the only time I allow shouting in the house, because asking someone to pass the gravy in an “inside voice” just wouldn’t get the job done! I have a terrific office, adjacent to the laundry room. There are plusses and minuses to that. Mostly perks: Being so close to the dryer means I almost never have to iron!

Is this novel part of a series or a stand-alone book?
Both books are part of a series: Currency of the Heart (Secrets on Sterling Street) is a 3-book historical series, and Once a Marine (Those Marshall Boys) is part of a 3-book contemporary series.

Tell us about the story.
Once a Marine (#1 in the “Those Marshall Boys” series for Harlequin Heartwarming) is the story of a war-weary Marine who comes home to Denver without firm plans for his future. When his younger sister becomes the victim of violent crime in Vail, he puts his self-defense skill to use, and opens a self-defense studio to teach her and women like her how to prevent such attacks. Enter Summer Lane, whose hippy-dippy actor parents were off filming a movie when she was attacked. After multiple surgeries and physical therapy, she buys a townhouse in Vail…and pretty much becomes a hermit. If not for her teenage neighbor, Alex, who runs her errands and fetches her mail, Summer wouldn’t have known about Zach Marshall’s studio. She takes a leap of faith, signs up for classes…and both she and Zach hope for the best….

The other novel is Currency of the Heart (#1 of the “Secrets on Sterling Street” series for Whitaker Denver, 1883, and socialite Shaina Sterling hates that she’s living a lie. Soon after the shocking death of her husband, she discovers just how deep in debt he left her. So, to protect his legacy, her own reputation, and the stately home at Sterling Hall, Shaina sells off valuable possessions, one item at a time…and prays her wealthy Denver friends won’t find out. But she isn’t fooling successful rancher and businessman, Sloan Remington. He knows far more about her than she realizes. Because of a promise made as her husband lay dying, he guards her secrets as carefully as he looks after Shaina’s safety and well-being. Then, tragedy strikes, and makes her beholden to him…and threatens to expose a dark secret he’s been hiding most of his life. Will trial and tragedy bring these two closer together…or drive them apart, forever?
House). Set in

Please give us the first page of the book.
From Once a Marine:
Zach’s dad hadn’t said a word since hearing the “Your daughter has been rushed to the hospital” from the Vail, Colorado police department.

Halfway into the two-hour drive, his dad said “Keep your eye on the speedometer, son. Last thing we need is to lose half an hour while some state trooper writes us a ticket.”

Under normal circumstances, he might have shot back with a joke, reminding his Dad that he’d just returned from his third tour in Afghanistan. But there was nothing normal about the situation, and this was no time for jokes. 

“You okay up there?” his mom asked.
No, he wasn’t. But admitting it would only add to her stress.
“I’m fine.” He glanced into the rearview mirror and met her gaze. “How ‘bout you? Holding up okay?”

She sighed heavily. “I’ll feel better when I see her.”

Yeah, he could identify with that. Hopefully, his sister’s condition wouldn’t be anywhere near as bad as what his imagination had cooked up: Libby, broken and battered. Libby, unconscious. Libby, connected to tubes and monitors.
Zach shook off the ugly images and focused on the dark highway…and his dad’s white-knuckled grip on the grab-handle above the car door.

And Currency of the Heart:
Elsie grabbed a tiny brown bottle from the shelf above the exam table. Sloan read the label—Tincture of Merthiolate—and groaned inwardly. Jaws clenched as she poured some onto a cotton ball, he waited for the sting.

“You’re lucky that ruffian didn’t put your eye out,” Elsie said, dabbing the orange liquid to the cut.

Right again, he thought, doing his best not to wince. “Hey, take it easy, will you?”

Elsie seemed not to have heard him. “So now you’ll have a scar for the rest of your life. And for what? To defend a woman like that?”

While she re-bandaged the wound, the should haves piled up: He should have waited until Elsie left the room to tell Doc Wilson what happened that night. Should have gone straight home five minutes ago, when she said her brother was out, delivering the Patterson’s third child. Should have found a way to shut down Elsie’s anti-Jennie gossip the instant it began.

She opened her mouth to say more, but a thunderous rumble stopped her.

Medicine bottles clattered on metal shelves as the doctor’s wheeled stool rolled across the floor. It slammed into the apothecary cabinet’s glass door as the big pendulum clock crashed to the floor, a shattered face stopping both hands on the number 6. The floorboards creaked and groaned as the ground beneath them shifted, throwing Elsie off balance, and right into his arms.

“Wh-what…what’s going on?”

A second, larger tremor rolled through the clinic, then two more in quick succession.
“Too close and too fierce to be some fool miner, trying to dynamite gold from the mountains.” He knew, because he’d heard it as a boy, when his pa dragged the family from Kansas to Aurelia to find a lode. He pressed his wife and twin sons into manning a cradle strainer, and when that didn’t work, he built a crude sluice box. But all they got was cold and wet and sick, and as May drew to a close, his ma and brother were dead.
“My guess is, it’s an earthquake.”
“Here? In Denver?”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’m in all the usual places, and I hope everyone will visit, often:

Again, thank you, Lena! You’re the best!

And thank you, Loree, for sharing these new books with us today.

Readers, here are purchase links to the books. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Once a Marine:
Once a Marine (Those Marshall Boys)
Currency of the Heart:
Currency of the Heart (Secrets on Sterling Street V1)

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 Goodreads, 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:


Anonymous said...

Love to win this book!Sounds so good! Shelia from MS

Deanna Stevens said...

I've been to Colorado & it's beautiful country to have your stories in. Would love to read your books! DEE from Nebraska dkstevens AToutlook DOTCom

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness, Loree, both of these look/sound so wonderful! I am partial to military hero books (Navy wife!), but also love the historical novels as well. Two to add to my TBR list! Thank you for the interview, the giveaway and the chance to win!
Kelly Y in central VA
kelly *at* dkcountryarts *dot* com

Rebecca said...

Thanks for the chance to win one of your new books.

Loree Lough said...

I'm pullin' for you, "Anonymous!" And since there are two books in this giveaway, you have twice the chance of winning!

Loree Lough said...

I'm pullin' for you, "Anonymous!" And since there are two books in this giveaway, you have two chances to win!

Loree Lough said...

Colorado IS a beautiful state, Deanna. I haven't been to Nebraska as a tourist, yet, but it's on my bucket list! Here's hoping your name is chosen for one of these stories!

Loree Lough said...

These stories were fun--and challenging--to write, Kelly. My thanks to your husband, for serving in the Navy, and to you for being a good military wife. Having supportive families makes the duties of our soldiers so much easier! Here's hoping you win one of the books!

Loree Lough said...

And thanks for visiting Lena's blog, Rebecca!

Danie Walther said...

I absolutely love stories about Marines and also I like romance too. I would absolutely love reading this book. It was so nice getting to know you in the interview.

Beverly Stradley said...

Beverly from Texas by the way of Florida...LOL...I would love to read your book.

Loree Lough said...

I'm pullin' for you, Sheila from MS!

Cindy W. said...

Both books sound wonderful. Thank you for the chance to win.

I live in Indiana.

Cindy W.

Anonymous said...

would love to win. Angela in KY

Anonymous said...

I'd like to read either or both of these books, so count me in!
J.C. -Indiana-

kam110476 said...

I like contemporary fiction but I love historical fiction. Currency of the Heart sounds so good! I could practically feel the ground shaking beneath me after reading its first page!
Kristen in OK
kam110476 at gmail dot com

Anne Payne said...

Both books sound good!
Anne, rural NC

Susan Johnson said...

This sounds like a great story. I love the synopsis.
Susan in Texas

Mama Cat said...

These sounds like really good novels - since I subscribe to Heartwarming, I will definitely get Once a Marine - but would love to win Currency of the Heart! Thank you for the great interview!

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway, SC.

Loree Lough said...

Reading over the comments, and marveling at how many states are represented here. Isn't it amazing how the Internet has put us together this way!

I have a question for you: How many books are in your To Be Read stack? Okay, TWO questions. Do you read them in order, that is...the one on top is next...or do you choose the next book in some other way?

I'm looking forward to your replies! Meanwhile, here's hoping you're all enjoying your Thursday...and lots of luck, winning one of the books!

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I don't often comment on the interviews. I let my readers interact with the authors. But I couldn't resist answering Loree's questions.

I literally have several hundred to-be-read books, counting the print ones and the ebooks on my Kindle.

And I usually just choose a book that strikes my fancy when I finish reading a book. However, sometimes when I read the excerpt in the interview, I'm intrigued, and I move that book to be next in line to be read.

Beth Gillihan said...

They both sound like wonderful reads! Thanks for the chance to win. I am always looking for new authors. I live in Montana.

Melanie Backus said...

These really sound great! Thank you, Lena.

Melanie Backus, TX

Donna Brookmyer said...

Both of these books sound awesome! I'm in IL

Britney Adams said...

What a fun interview! I would love to read these books and I appreciate the giveaway opportunity.

Britney Adams, TX

Patty said...

Two very different sounding books! I love historical fiction, but have been reading more contemporary fiction recently, so I think I would enjoy both...

To answer Loree's question, I have one book shelf full of TBR books, probably at least 60 books. Plus many more on my Kindle. I don't have them in a particular order to read, just pick and choose what sounds interesting at the moment.

Patty in SC

Anonymous said...

Any time I find a book that grabs my interest, I write the author and title on a sticky note and put it in my drawer. Then, when I finish a book, I sift through my sticky notes and choose whichever sounds the most interesting at the moment.
Generally I think my decision is affected by what I've just finished. For example, if I've just finished a trilogy full of deep emotion, I might opt for a comedy next. Or of I've just read a romance, next in line will probably be an adventure or suspense novel.
I love to keep it mixed up!
J.C. -Indiana-

Granny's Attic said...

Wow, you have written so many books, I am surprised I have not read any of them before. I have so many books on my TBR list that I cannot keep track of them all. I have several on a bookshelf waiting for me also, along with a sizable Kindle and iBook content. The best I can do right now is keep track of what I have read so I don't keep ordering the same book more than once (which I have done on a few occasions.) At least Amazon tells me when I try to buy a book I have already purchased. lisajcowell(at)cs(dot)com in Ohio

Loraine N. said...

I really like the storyline of "Once a Marine". I'm married to a retired military man so I'm partial to stories about them. Thanks for the giveaway.

Loraine from TX

Tonja Saylor said...

Both books sound really good!
Tonja (VA)

Frances Cavallo said...

These books both sound really interesting! I can't wait to read them! I would be so blessed to win! God Bless You and Your Family and have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving holiday!

Frances Cavallo said...

Sorry, forgot something! I am from Deltona, Florida!