Friday, March 20, 2015

BETTING ON HOPE - Debra Clopton - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I have loved reading Debra Clopton novels since I first found her years ago.  She’s also a Texas gal and she sets her novels in Texas.  The stories are romantic comedy with a richness of spiritual depth. I read Betting on Hope as soon as it arrived in my house. She has moved from shorter novels to trade-paperback length, and the transition was a very good one. These new characters and the new setting grabbed me right away. And the storyline kept me turning pages to see what would happen to these people. You REALLY don’t want to miss this one.

BIO: Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra's goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words.

Welcome, Debra. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
There is a little of me in all of my books. I don’t know how there couldn’t be. I’ve felt the pain of loss and the aftermath of grief. I’ve also felt joy and peace and love. I can’t help but draw upon those emotions and use them in my work. I feel that drawing on those true emotions makes the stories richer, deeper, and able to touch reader’s hearts in a more personal way.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Hmm, goodness, I’m not sure what would classify but I’ll go with this: I’m really, really scared of driving in the mountains because I have a horrible fear of heights—though I push myself, like when I made myself go to the top of the Empire State building and had to stay up against the wall because I couldn’t walk over to the edge, but I was up there and that made me happy. So anyway, I went to a writing convention in Reno and decided to stay a few days after the conference and go see Lake Tahoe. I asked the older man at the rental car place for the safest directions. He must have misunderstood me, and he sent me the SCENIC route, which was over the tallest mountain! By the time I realized I was on the way up a very steep two-lane road over the mountain, I couldn’t turn around. I drove extremely slow, backed up traffic and wanted to turn around so badly but that would have meant I would have been on the outside lane and that was just something I couldn’t force myself to do.

So I stayed against the mountain, stopped at every passing cutout to let the irate travelers behind me pass, and I eventually made it over the top and was blessed with the most amazing and beautiful view looking down over Lake Tahoe. I loved it and was so thankful that the drive down to the lake on that side was much flatter and less curvy than coming up. It just goes to show that sometimes if we push ourselves we are rewarded with something fantastic. I don’t want to do that drive again, but I’m glad it happened. That was the year my first book came out, and it was a kind of celebration road trip. 

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I started thinking about it the end of my senior year in high school when my English teacher told me I needed to be a writer. That set a desire in me but not a belief. Over 10 years later after starting a few books and stopping, I woke up one morning and started writing and never stopped.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read to relax. I read how-to books on writing but when it comes to what I really read, I love romance. I love happy endings and the best way to make me stop reading you is to mess up the ending. We all deal with real life every day. When I open a book I want a happy ending and that’s that!

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Oh who said I have kept my sanity? Lol, I lost that a long time ago … but to keep myself on track I make a list, and I prioritize, and I am very disciplined.  

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I love this part! You may find this funny … I sit and stare at my computer screen and then I type a first name and I stare at it. (Okay, seriously this is it). Then I type another one and toss it around for a minute and wait for inspiration. When the right name comes on the screen I just know it. Sometimes I hear them speaking to me or I see their face.  It doesn’t usually take long. Very seldom have I had to change a name.

In Counting On a Cowboy, Tru’s brother Bo started out with another name, and it was a little too different so the editors asked me to change it. That was so hard to do. I asked readers on my FB to help with that and we ended up with Bo, but I still had to go through the process all over again. Bo had the same feel as the other name so it worked. They asked me to change Tru also because of good reasons, editing Tru and true can be a little hard but there was just no way I could change his name. Tru Monahan’s name chose him and came to me from the moment I started writing Four of Hearts Romance Series. So we just worked around editing issues, and I believe all is well.                        
What is your favorite food?
Cheesecake! Always has been and always will be. Love that manna from heaven!  

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Well, I’d say it was characterization. I kept not digging deep enough into my characters and who they were. When I sat down to write The Trouble with Lacy Brown, my first published novel, I had two goals in mind: to write a memorable, entertaining story and to create a world and a main character that no one would call cardboard! (I hate that term lol) Lacy Brown became as real to me as it gets and so has the whole world of Mule Hollow. 22 books in that series and I believe I’ve succeeded in my goals. With this new series I’m loving the reviews! RT Magazine, Publishers Weekly and the Library Journal so far have all pointed to my characters in some lovely way … that pleases me. I wanted Wishing Springs and my cast of characters to be fun and real. And like my Mule Hollow characters have become to readers through the years, I wanted Wishing Springs and the Four of Hearts Romance group to become a place and group readers want to return to.  Hopefully I’ve succeeded.
Oh, I’m sure you did. Tell us about the featured book.
Advice columnist Maggie Hope will do anything to help her friend, top Houston TV show host who helped Maggie when she had nothing and no one. Maggie will even interview champion horse trainer Tru Monahan on live TV! Not the spotlight kind of gal her nerves are already quaking when she meets the good-looking cowboy for the interview. Sparks fly both on-and-off camera and a casual bet that Tru can teach Maggie to ride a cutting horse has both of them being forced by outside sources to go through with the bet … and the story goes on from there. This story is filled with a town of loving, but nosey, goodhearted people who I hope readers will love. There is a subplot that will tug at heartstrings with the runaway and her baby. And also the budding romance of the older couple in town adds another layer to the small town, feel that I wanted this book to have. Oh, and of course there are the cowboys…
Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
“What have you gotten me into, Amanda Jones?”

Staring at the rough-looking building, Maggie Hope clutched her cell phone to her ear and fought down a hot flood of panic. “The sign says The Bull Barn. What is this place?” she gritted through tense jaws.

Rustic was an understatement for the faded wooden building sitting on the outskirts of Wishing Springs, Texas. It had dark windows and a long plank porch supported by columns made of knobby tree trunks. The steeply pitched red roof sagged in the middle. It was a dive, a shack.

“Calm down, Mags,” Amanda croaked, the flu causing her to sound like an eighty-year-old smoker, instead of the intimidatingly elegant, thirty-five-year-old bombshell, who was the key ingredient of the most popular morning show on Houston’s local channel. She coughed. “It may look a little rough, but it’s the cowboy and local folks’ hangout.”

“But—it’s deserted. Lonesome. If it’s a hangout, where is everyone?” It didn’t look like a place anyone would want to hang out in. Especially Maggie. Dives brought back memories she worked hard to forget.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is sign up for my newsletter! Monthly giveaway and news of new releases coming in 2015
Twitter: @debraclopton,

Purchase Links for Betting on Hope:

Indie Bound:

Thank you, Debra, for sharing this first book of the new series with us. I know my readers will love it.

Readers, 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:



Unknown said...

I wanna read this book really bad!! It looks so good!!


Deanna Stevens said...

A story is filled with a town of loving, but nosey, goodhearted people sounds like something I'd really enjoy reading :)
Deanna, NEBR

Melanie Backus said...

Sounds like a winner to me!

Melanie Backus, TX

Danielle Hull said...

Love these interviews! Thanks! Danielle in Indiana

Mary Preston said...

The first page threw up all sorts of questions. I love that.

Mary P


Judy Cooper said...

I enjoy Debra Clopton's books. Anything with a cowboy and Texas in it, is fine with me. Judy C. Louisiana.

Pam Graber said...

Thanks for interviewing Debra Clopton, Lena!! Her Mule Hollow Love Inspired series had enough hilarity to make them fun to read while carrying a spiritual message that touched the heart. I'm excited to read this one and would love to win it!
Pam in Ohio

Library Lady said...

I would buy this book based on the cover alone. Oh, my goodness!
Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.
Janet E.

Unknown said...

Sydney Harries2:41 PM
Sounds like a great book! Thanks so much fobetter the giveaway! Sydney Harries georgia


Sm said...

I enjoy stories with Cowboys. Would love to read your book. Sm CA. wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in this great giveaway!!
Conway, SC.

Mama Cat said...

I would love to read this new series opener of Debra Clopton's! If we aren't returning to Mule Hollow, really want to see her new little town...all the best, Lena, to you and to Debra!
Phoenix, AZ

Unknown said...

I would love to win this book as it sounds like such a great read!
Rita Wisconsin

rubynreba said...

This sounds like a book I would really enjoy. I loved the story about driving in the mountains. I also have a fear of heights and I could so relate to how you felt driving on that road! I don't know if I could have done it!
Beth from IA

Patty said...

I enjoyed A Bride for All Seasons which Debra contributed to. Not sure if I have read any of her other books.

Patty in SC

Rebecca Maney said...

I would love to win a copy of this book; I have read and enjoyed one of Deborah's novellas but have never read a full length. Rebecca from North Carolina rmaney(at)firstarpchurch(dot)org

Trixi said...

I've been wanting to read this book for a while, it looks so good!! Thank you for the chance...I love Deb's writing!

Trixi O.
Seaside, OR
teamob4 (at) gmail (d0t) com

Abigail Mitchell said...

All of your books look awesome, can't wait to read one of them. Please enter me!
BTW, I love your picture! :)

Blanch, NC

JenniferB said...

This sounds like a great book that I look forward to reading. Thanks for the giveaway!

JenniferB said...

I forgot to mention where I live- St. Louis, Missouri. 😃

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

Please drop my name in the hat! Thanks for the giveaway!

Anna from FL

Beth Gillihan said...

Love the cover! I enjoy cowboy romances! Thanks for the chance to win!

Beth In Montana

Merry said...

A cowboy romance always makes my heart beat a little faster! :) Please add me.
Merry in MN