Monday, March 16, 2015

REDEEMING LUKE - Darlene Wells - One Free Book

A note to my blog readers: Several of the winners in the last month haven't claimed their book. Don't forget to come back and check to see if you have won. 

Go to the bottom of the latest Winners post and click on the Winners label. It will show only the Winners posts. If you were a winner in any of the last 4 Winners posts, it's not too late to claim your book.

Now today's interview:

Readers, we have an author who is new to this blog today.

Welcome, Darlene. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I use a lot of my own struggles and experiences in my characters. I figure if I’ve been through something, then other people probably have too, and it will help them to read about it and see how the characters come through to the other side. I also have a very dry, kind of sarcastic sense of humor, so that tends to work its way into at least one character in each story!

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Well, most recently on a road trip, my car mates were choosing songs on the Ipod and asking me to do interpretive dance moves—from my position in the passenger seat of the car. That was quirky. And, I must say, I was quite impressive. I do quirky things all the time. That was just the most recent!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Hmm … I don’t know if I will get in trouble for this. Not sure what the statute of limitations is. But, in 7th grade I had to write a book report, and I hadn’t read a book. So I made one up. I got an A. LOL. I’ve just always loved writing stories and all through school, my teachers told me I should consider being a writer. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s though, that I was reading Linda Windsor’s book, It Had to be You, that I thought to myself, I really want to give this a shot! I started reading Heartsong books, and studying how they were written. The structure of the stories. I noticed the authors all belonged to an organization called ACRW (now ACFW). So I checked that out and joined, and the rest is history.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love all kinds of books. Suspense, Romantic Suspense, Romantic Comedy, Autobiography, Historic Fiction. I’m pretty much all over the board. I’m the same with my music.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’m a major homebody, and so is my husband. I find that if I don’t have enough down time, just hanging out at home with him, I get stressed. I also need to get together with friends and laugh. I surround myself with funny people. It’s hard to be stressed when you’re laughing at how ridiculous life is. And of course, staying grounded in God’s word, and remembering that no matter how out of control things seem, none of it takes HIM by surprise.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I don’t really have a process for choosing names. Sometimes I Google what the popular names were at the time that my characters were born and choose that way. Especially for historic fiction. You don’t want a modern name for someone who was born in 1920.

In Redeeming Luke, the name Luke just came to me because it’s a strong masculine name, and it matches the character. But the character of Ruth was deliberate because she’s based on my studies of the Kinsman Redeemer in the Biblical book of Ruth.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I have two, but they are intertwined. The first is my twenty-six year marriage to my husband, Rick. We are truly best friends and love each other’s company. He makes me laugh every single day. And yet, a great marriage doesn’t just happen. You have to work at it. Every single day you have the opportunity to grow and learn to put the other person first. The second accomplishment is how we have raised our sons together. They are now twenty-two and twenty, and they are amazingly kind, respectful, hardworking, Godly young men.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I love dolphins! They are so happy and playful, and they get to see all the amazing things in the ocean, which I am terrified of, as a human.

What is your favorite food?
Mexican! Any kind of Mexican food makes me a happy girl!

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Fear and insecurity. Insecurity about sharing my writing with others to critique. Joining a critique group was difficult for me, but I had such an overwhelming desire to learn, and had such amazing critique partners, I was able to overcome that pretty quickly. As for the fear, that took longer. I have actually learned in the past 10 years of my journey that I did not have a fear of failure—but of success. Rejection is easier for me to accept because it feeds into my insecurities. But success demands that I continue on, and continue to do better. I can’t say that fear is completely overcome, but as God walks me through this amazing dream career, I am less and less crippled by it!

Tell us about the featured book.
Redeeming Luke is interesting in the world of Historic Fiction because the main character is a man. Luke grew up a Christian, going to church, doing all the right things and loving the Lord. But when he made a mistake in his youth, he faced a great deal of judgment and hypocrisy in the church. This caused him to walk away from church and from God. He doesn’t hate God, and he doesn’t blame God. He blames himself and feels that he simply has no right to ask anything of God. When circumstances bring Luke’s sixteen-year-old niece to live with him, and Luke’s own history repeats itself in Ruth’s life, encounters with grace and forgiveness present themselves to Luke over and over again. It’s a story of romance, grace, forgiveness, and redemption that I think many people can relate to.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Petaluma, California, 1936
By the time the sun peeked over the Mayacama Mountains, casting its gilded warmth over the smaller hills and pastures of the North Bay, Luke Morgan had already snagged six steelhead trout from the Petaluma Creek. Mornings like these made all the work it took to get this land worth it. Three years working on the bridge, living in a boarding house in San Francisco, putting every spare penny toward payment for the ranch. His plan had been to stay to the end of construction. The Golden Gate Bridge was set to open one year from now. Luke sure could have used the income it would have brought if he’d stayed. But that’s not how life had unfolded for him.

He scrubbed his hand over his face and closed the tackle box on the ground beside him. He pulled a string of trout from the water, wondering briefly how the bridge’s completion would affect the flow of the creek that Petaluma depended on to get eggs and other dairy products into San Francisco.

Normally there would still be a layer of cool, unruffled fog hovering over the ground at this time of day. Thanks to the Pacific Ocean, just a few miles west, temperatures tended to stay well within pleasant bounds in Sonoma County. But already the month of May warned of worse things to come when summer arrived next month. As if the blasted Depression wasn’t enough.
He only hoped things didn’t get as bad out here as they were in The Plains.

Luke’s stomach grumbled on cue with the sunrise. He squinted through the increasing daylight and spotted Gabby twenty feet away. Her russet coat glistened and her mane lifted with the morning breeze. She swatted at a fly with her tail. Luke whistled through his teeth. The horse’s head leisurely turned in his direction. Another sharp whistle and Gabby sauntered over. Luke tossed the fish in a bucket, mounted the horse in one swift movement, tugged his hat lower over his eyes, and rode the mare back to the house

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Facebook: Darlene Wells Christian Fiction Author
Twitter: @DarleneWells_
Pinterest: Darlene Wells Author

Thank you, Darlene, for sharing your life and your new book with us today.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Redeeming Luke (Days of Grace Trilogy) (Volume 1) - paperback
Redeeming Luke (Days of Grace Trilogy Book 1) - 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 leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Unknown said...

Mexican food and a good book are two of my favorite things! And I love novels based on Ruth!
Tonja (Rose Hill, VA)

Anonymous said...

Couldn't have said it better myself! I LOVE Mexican food and, well, who could turn down a good book?
J.C. -Indiana-

Darlene Wells said...

Enchiladas for dinner, Redeeming Luke, until the bloated feeling goes away, rinse and repeat! LOL!

Patty said...

Love some good Mexican food too, but I suspect what we get in the Mexican restaurants around here isn't very authentic!
Thanks for the interview ladies!

Patty in SC

Melanie Backus said...

Three times a day, seven days a week sounds good for Mexican food to me...I love it!

I am intrigued by this book. Thank you, Lena!

Melanie Backus, TX

Anonymous said...

@Patty in SC - ya, I wouldn't think SC is a hot spot for Mexican food! I live in California, so we have a ton of places!

Unknown said...

HEY! I don't know why my comment to Patty was posted from "anonymous"! It was ME, Patty!

Unknown said...

Looking forward to signing a book for someone! I hope y'all have entered to win a copy of Redeeming Luke!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful blessing to read this interview with Darlene Wells. She's come a long way from that little girl I used to play with! :)

Kandy Heal said...

Anonymous - referencing playing with Darlene as a little girl is Kandy Heal...just in case I win.... that's KANDY HEAL! :)

Deanna Stevens said...

Taco's for me :)
I'd enjoy reading this..
Deanna from Nebr.

Unknown said...

Kandy - I'm not in charge of who wins! LOL!
Deanna - now I want tacos!

Mary Preston said...

A wonderful first page thank you. A lovely author picture.

Mary P


Cindy W. said...

Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

I live in Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Anne Payne said...

Darlene, I love the idea of the book being about a man! Kind of reminds me of the Men of the Saddle Series from Lori Copeland. Do you plan on writing more like this?

Anne, rural NC

Wendy Newcomb said...

Sounds like a great read, this happens so many times, a person makes a mistake and they blame God and walk away from him. Later they learn it was them not God, we all have to make mistakes to learn but we always need to lean on God for support and to help us through.

Wendy from FL

wfnren at aol dot com

sm said...

Would enjoy this book because it reminds me of our son who left the church because of the christians in it. He has not come to the Redemption part yet, even tho his father was taken to Heaven 3 weeks ago. sm wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com CA

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

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

Melissa M. said...

This sounds like an interesting read. I've known people similar to this man, too.

-Melissa M. from TN

Darlene Wells said...

I hope you enjoyed the tacos, Deann!

Darlene Wells said...

None of my replies are going to the right place! Grrr!

Darlene Wells said...

Mary Preston, thank you so much!

Darlene Wells said...

Cindy W - Crossing my fingers!

Darlene Wells said...

Anne Payne,
I do have another story that features a man as the main character. I'm sure I will be publishing it soon ;-) But for now the next book is Finding Olivia. Olivia is a character from Redeeming Luke. She leaves small town Petaluma and goes to Hollywood to be an actress.

Darlene Wells said...

Wendy Newcomb,
You are absolutely right. Sin separates us from God, and sometimes it is so hard to get past our own guilt.

Darlene Wells said...

sm, I'm so sorry you are having to watch your son walk without the Lord. Keep praying! A mama's prayers hold great power!!!

Darlene Wells said...

Melissa M, Yes, I think we have all known people like Luke - and sometimes we ARE Luke :-)

Unknown said...

The cover is beautiful!!!!!!


Pam Graber said...

It's not often you find a romance where the lead character is a man! Sounds intriguing. Who was it that said, "I like your Christ but I don't like your Christians"? It sounds like your Luke can relate to that sentiment!Would love to win this.
Pam in Ohio

Unknown said...

Sounds like a great book! Thanks so much fobetter the giveaway! Sydney Harries georgia

Unknown said...

I would love to win this book..sounds so good..
I love Mexican food....
Rita Wisconsin

rubynreba said...

I enjoyed the first page of the book. The description made it sound like a very pretty place.
Beth from IA

Abigail Mitchell said...

Enter me!

Blanch, NC