Tuesday, January 20, 2015

THE BROTHERS' KEEPERS - NLB Horton - One Free Book

Bio: NLB Horton returned to writing fiction after an award-winning career in journalism and marketing as well as earning her Master of Arts degree in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. She has surveyed Israeli and Jordanian archaeological digs, tossed a tarantula from her skiff into the Amazon after training with an Incan shaman, driven uneventfully through Rome and consumed gallons of afternoon tea while traveling across five continents.

Welcome, NLB. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
The first time someone asked me how much of me was in Grace Madison, I was surprised. The second time, I was puzzled. I have now heard the question so often that I detect a trend that makes me feel too transparent.

So I admit it. When I wrote the first book, I wrote a character I liked and to whom I could relate. I wrote a person I could not find in fiction, and one I wanted to read about. Her warped wit, love of family, fearless streak balanced with good sense, and clumsiness appealed to me. Her adventures occur in places where I have adventures. She is middle-aged and just trying to do the right thing as her family and friends force her into life-threatening situations. (That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.)

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I have, surprisingly, done quite a few quirky things, although I consider myself very conservative and shy. Probably the bravest was to float the Amazon and the weirdest was to qualify for one of twelve spaces in the World Championship Tournament of IGFA — International Game Fish Association. (I fly fish. Passionately.) I was the only woman, by the way, to make the finals.

Congratulations! When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Given that my eighty-four-year-old mother is threatening to sell my Kindergarten writing, I guess I discovered I was a writer at about five? I wrote for every newspaper at every school I attended, and my undergraduate degree is in journalism. I founded an advertising agency for which I did all copy, so have written all my life.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I prefer contemporary suspense, international suspense, classic Christian devotional (think Henri Nouwen, Oswald Chambers, or Thomas Merton), and some historical mystery. My favorite author is Daniel Silva.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
(People near and dear to me would argue that I lost my sanity somewhere.) I credit whatever balance I have to faith, family, and home. I live in the midst of God’s general revelation of Himself, atop a Rocky Mountain. I also can meditate in a fly-fishing stream, wearing fatigue-green waders and a massive sun hat, coaxing beautiful trout to take a fly. I promise that peace and sanity can be found there, too.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Because I write international suspense, some of my characters are foreign. For those names, I do broad Internet searches. I look for common names from each culture, targeting names from specific generations. For instance, popular names of twenty-somethings were not used when our parents named those of us who are slightly more — uh — vintage. For American names, the characters more or less let me know what they want to be called. (Wow. I hate to admit that. Please see “sanity” answer to Question Five.)

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Without a doubt, I am most proud of my son and daughter. They are my legacy.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I have no idea. So I asked my family.

My son said I was a cat: well groomed with lightning-fast reflexes. (He’s referring to my fly-fishing hook set.) My daughter said I was a hawk: powerful, dangerous, and relentless. My husband said he was afraid to answer the question.

What is your favorite food?
Champagne. (I may regret that answer.)

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest roadblock was hearing acquisitions editors at major publishing houses (and a few smaller ones) say, “there is something here” about When Camels Fly, book 1 in the Parched series. They did not know what to do with my heroine, a middle-aged, female archaeologist with a Christian worldview who shoots her daughter’s abductor in the second chapter.

So my marvelous literary agent danced with publishers for a year while I wrote The Brothers’ Keepers and researched self-publishing. We set a deadline for a traditional publishing contract. When that passed, we did exactly what my heroine would have done: began cover design, built a team, and released the book! (Please see comparison between my protagonist and me in answer to Question One.)

Tell us about the featured book.
The second book in the Parched series is The Brothers’ Keepers.

Espionage is an uncomfortable fit for archaeologist Grace Madison, a middle-aged heroine who describes herself as “the plodding type.” But when her daughter disappears in France and her son’s bride is attacked in Switzerland, Grace knows history is repeating itself and mayhem is afoot. She murdered once to save those she loves. How far will she have to go this time when an old friend’s deception puts her family members at risk? Especially when saving them depends on rescuing the person threatening everyone she holds dear.

If he’ll let her.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Day one

Grace Madison, PhD.
Four A.M.
The ringing phone interrupted my first good night’s sleep in two weeks. My heart raced, and the Sixth Commandment echoed through my groggy brain.

I am archaeologist Grace Madison, and I do not typically kill people.

“The shot shattered the window inches from her head.” My son was on the other end of the line, referring to Becca, his bride. “I’m checking in with everybody. Dad was plowing snow off the road to the ranch house. You’re obviously fine in Belgium. Where’s Maggie? I can’t find her.”

“Your sister’s in Paris, Jeff. Preparing for a conference in the south.”

“You sure about that, Mom? She’s proven to be a missing target before.”

“I’ll confirm and get back to you. Give me an hour.”

The line went dead. Swatting at the light switch above the nightstand, I knocked over the water carafe, then left a caring tirade in Maggie’s voice mail. After speed-dialing my husband, Mark, in Colorado, I yanked open heavy brocade draperies and nearly pulled a gilt bracket out of the wall.

I released the wadded fabric as I gazed eastward, at a clementine slice gripping the horizon.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I would love to connect with your readers online!
Author Website: nlbhorton.com

Thank you, NLB for sharing this new book with me and my readers. The storyline intrigues me. I know it does my readers as well.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Brothers' Keepers (Parched Book) (Volume 2) - Paperback
The Brothers' Keepers (Parched Book 2) - 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.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leav your comment if you want to be included in the drawinge. Here’s a link:


Deanna Stevens said...

I'm wondering just how far will she have to go??? Sounds like a great book..
deanna from NE

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to read this!
J.C. -Indiana-

rubynreba said...

Please enter me. Looks very good!
Beth from IA

Unknown said...

Ms, Dooley, thank you so much for featuring The Brothers' Keepers today! It is such a joy to share the adventures of archaeologist Grace Madison. She and I were on a tanker ship in the Suez Canal until the wee morning hours, and she remains a bumbling, unstoppable woman. (But at least she can swim, which is important in book 3.)

And Ms. Stevens, J.C., and RubynReba, I hope you have the chance to enjoy Grace's adventures. I would encourage you to start with When Camels Fly, because readers tell me that book 1 is the best way to get to know Grace.

If you pick up a book, please let me know what you think via an Amazon review. I take each review seriously, and they make me a better writer.

Ladies, accept my thanks and best wishes for a fulfilling 2015.


Caryl Kane said...

Lena, thank you for hosting NLB Horton. I would LOVE to read THE BROTHERS' KEEPERS. :)

Caryl in TEXAS

Melissa M. said...

I haven't read the first book, but I may want to...they both sound intriguing.

-Melissa M. from TN

Melanie Backus said...

I am intrigued by this one, Lena! Thank you !

Melanie Backus, TX

Granny's Attic said...

I have not read anything by this author yet. Thank you for introducing me. lisajcowell(at)cs(dot)com in Ohio

Mary Preston said...

What a wonderful beginning.

Mary P


Library Lady said...

Even if I don't win I will be buying this book for the church library.
Thanks for the heads up about this author and her books.
Janet E.

Lyndie Blevins said...

I would be interested in reading this book. Lyndie in Texas

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway, SC.

Lourdes said...

Would love to win really enjoyed reading about the author.

Lourdes Long Island NY

rubynreba said...
This comment has been removed by the author.