Thursday, July 16, 2015

IRISH MEADOWS - Susan Anne Mason - One Free Book

Welcome back, Susan. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
For the next while, I will be working on Books 2 and 3 in the Courage to Dream series (the books that follow Irish Meadows). A Worthy Heart releases in the spring of 2016 and Book 3 (working title Love’s Healing Grace) should come out late 2016.

Tell us a little about your family.
My husband and I just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary in May, and we took a trip to New York City, which was great! We have two children—a daughter in university who still lives at home, and a son who just graduated from high school.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I think I actually read more now if that’s possible. But I also read with a more critical eye—picking up hints as to how the really great authors hone their craft!

What are you working on right now?
I’m in the beginning chapters of Love’s Healing Grace which centers on the two youngest O’Leary children, Deirdre and Connor, and their happily-ever-afters. I am setting part of this book in Canada (per requests from my fellow Canadians) so I plan to do some “hands-on” research in Toronto this summer.

What outside interests do you have?
For a while I was obsessed with researching our family roots on the websites. That was SO much fun, especially when I was able to solve a few family mysteries! I also enjoy scrapbooking, but don’t have a lot of time for it right now.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
I’m not really sure! I try to pick areas in the states that are similar to my home province of Ontario. New York is very similar to us with regards to the landscape and the weather. That’s one of the reasons I picked Long Island, NY. The other is just research—what area fits with the story I want to tell.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
This is a tough question! I would have to say Princess Diana, whom I admired so much for her bravery and her kindness. I would love to have had a chance to talk with her!

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
That is a tough question—especially trying to narrow it down to one thing! I think overall it would have been to join a writing group sooner. By accident I found Romance Writers of America online and later found that we had a chapter here in Toronto (a 40 minute drive away). I learned a great deal from attending these meetings and meeting other authors. But joining the American Christian Fiction Writers was when I truly felt I’d found my home. Wish I had done it years earlier!

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Maybe that I have bit off more than I can chew. Promoting one book, while editing another and creating a third is a lot more challenging than I had imagined. But I will get through it!

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer this! LOL! I would say try to get your name out there by participating in blogs, Facebook and other social media. And be generous with your readers!

Tell us about the featured book.
Irish Meadows
is set in 1911 in Long Island, New York. Patriarch James O’Leary, owner of a renowned horse breeding farm, has worked hard to overcome the stigma of being the son of a poor Irish immigrant. He plans for his daughters to marry into wealthy families, not only to aid Irish Meadows, but to secure their rightful place in society. Both girls, however, have different ideas for their futures. As the two O’Leary daughters search for their place in the world, they must learn to stand up for themselves and find the courage to follow their hearts.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Late afternoon shadows chased Gilbert Whelan up the long drive to the O’Leary mansion. The fanciful images seemed to bolster him from behind, giving him the courage to push forward. Even so, his steps slowed as he approached the flagstone path leading up to the house. A wave of homesickness tightened his throat, his suitcase weighing heavy in his hand.

Had it really been the better part of three years since he'd crossed the threshold? Gil swallowed the bitter taste of guilt that so often plagued him and continued to the foot of the wide, welcoming staircase. He set his battered bag on the ground and took in the familiar setting, the wraparound porch, the double front door. He’d come here as a child with his widowed mother who’d hired on as the O’Learys’ housekeeper. Gil still found it difficult to think of the tragic illness that had claimed his mother’s life and led to him being taken in as part of the family.

Belonging…yet not belonging.

Gil ran a hand over the white column on his left, his touch hesitant, nearly reverent. The red bricks of Irish Meadows had changed little since he'd been gone. If only the same could be said of its inhabitants.

Gil let his hand fall away with a sigh. If he’d had his way, he wouldn’t have come back at all—for a multitude of complicated reasons. But he owed the O’Learys too much to avoid them any longer. So, he’d stay long enough to repay his debt to his guardians, and then move on to start a life of his own.

Lord, I could really use your guidance here. Give me the strength to do what needs to be done without hurting anyone in the process.

Behind those ornate doors, Gil knew the family would be waiting to greet him, like a long lost son returning home. Reluctant to face the exuberant welcomes just yet, Gil turned down the stone path and made his way to the one place he felt most at home—the O’Leary stables. When he rounded the corner of the house and spied the enormous barn, a thrill of anticipation shot through him. How blessed he’d been to work on such a top-notch farm, raising and training the best racehorses on the eastern seaboard. At James O’Leary’s feet, Gil had learned everything he needed to branch out on his own one day.

But first things first…

As he entered the building, Gil breathed in the familiar scent of hay, horse and manure and let out a long breath. He’d missed working with the animals almost as much as he’d missed the O’Learys. Manhattan was an interesting city, but Gil far preferred the fresh air, wide skies and open meadows of Long Island. Especially in the spring when all of nature bloomed anew.

His gaze skimmed the immaculate mahogany stalls with their engraved brass nameplates for each thoroughbred. His ears tuned to the horses’ quiet nickering, a sound more beautiful than a symphony. As his eyes adjusted to the dim light, Gil made his way to the one stall he'd be able to find blindfolded. When he raised the latch, Midnight Royalty gave a loud whinny in greeting. In an instant, Gil had his arms around the great black neck, murmuring words of affection for his friend. The horse tossed his head, flicking his nose to send Gil’s cap sailing into the straw.
Gil laughed out loud. “I’ve missed you too, boy. But I’m home now.” For a while anyway. He stroked his hand along Midnight’s sleek flank. “Looks like they’ve been taking good care of you while I was gone. Your coat’s as shiny as I’ve ever seen it.”

“I brushed him every day for you.”

Gil’s hand froze on Midnight’s back, every vertebrae of his spine stiffening.

Brianna. The one person he’d been trying not to think about, trying not to imagine seeing again for the first time in almost three years. He swallowed hard, and then turned to find her standing in the open doorway of the stall.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
They can find me through my website, 

or on Facebook at 

Thank you, Susan, for sharing this first book of your new series with us. I am really interested in it, because my paternal grandfather's family were Irish immigrants. I love reading stories with Irish characters. My 20-year-old granddaughter just returned from a trip to Ireland. I'm anxious to see all the pictures she took.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Irish Meadows -
Irish Meadows (Courage to Dream) - Amazon
Irish Meadows (Courage to Dream 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:


Caryl Kane said...

FANTASTIC interview with Susan! IRISH MEADOWS is at the top of my wish list. The cover is gorgeous.

Caryl in TEXAS

Brenda Arrington said...

I loved the interview. I really liked learning about Susan this way. Would love to win this book. It sounds great.
I live in VA.

Melanie Backus said...

Thank you for the great interview, Lena! The cover of this book just grabs you. I would love to read it!

Melanie Backus, TX

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi everyone! Thank you for having me back, Lena!

Caryl and Melanie from Texas! Thanks for commenting. Glad you both like the cover!

Brenda from Virginia! Glad you enjoyed the interview! Some of the questions took some thought to answer!

I'm celebrating my son's 19th birthday today. He'll be back with some friends for dinner and cake. I'll try and pop back in again later!


Anonymous said...

Hi Lena and Susan. Thanks for a great interview. Love the cover. Lena, Going by my Maiden name DNA search my ancestors were first found in Wales and Ireland. I too would love to visit Ireland. A very good interview . Thanks for having Susan. I would love to win Susan's book. Thanks for a chance. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

Vickie McDonough said...

I enjoyed your interview, Susan. Being part Irish and the fact that I love horses, your book caught my attention. I hope is does well for you.

Waving at Lena.

Vickie from OK

Trixi said...

Another great interview! And this book is right up at the top of my want-to-read list already. I love the storyline and reading that excerpt clinched it for me! I have some serious cover love as well :-) Thank you for the chance to win a fabulous book!

Trixi in OR

Mary Preston said...

Everything tells me I am going to enjoy this book.

Great post thank you.

Mary P


Cindy W. said...

Would love to win a copy. I love the cover!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

I live in Indiana

Loraine Nunley said...

This book is on my TBR list because I have Irish heritage and I love stories about the Irish immigrants. I can relate to getting obsessed with ancestry research. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

Loraine in TX

Beth Gillihan said...

Love the cover! Sounds like a great read! Thanks for the chance to win.

Beth in Montana

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

Please drop my name in the giveaway hat! Love the cover, so hauntingly pretty! :)

Anna in Florida

R Merr said...

This is a great read. Thanks for the giveaway. Rach Merritt in Maine

GrandaddyA said...

Great interview and interesting first chapter. I believe my wife would really enjoy this.
Edward A in VA

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Thanks for the chance to win!!
Conway, SC.

sm said...

I would love to read your book about Irish immigrants in Long Island. I used to live there and it is populated by Jews and Italisans so they love to eat! sm CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Danielle Hull said...

I haven't read anything by Susan yet, but I am loving these covers! Can't wait! Danielle in Indiana

Mama Cat said...

This sounds more inviting every time I read about it. I didn't realize that there were Irish immigrants on Long Island...but now I know! Thank you for the opportunity to win! Phoenix, AZ

sm said...

I would love to read your book about Irish immigrants in Long Island. I used to live there and it is populated by Jews and Italisans so they love to eat! sm CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

kam110476 said...

Hi Susan & Lena! Irish Meadows sounds like an awesome book! I look forward to reading it and the rest of the O'Leary's stories in the Courage to Dream series.
Kristen in OK
kam110476 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Fabulous review. This book sounds marvelous. I have seen it online a lot recently and I really look forward to reading it. The cover is gorgeous !

Deanne in Pennsylvania

Susan Anne Mason said...

Thanks so much for all your enthusiastic comments!! So happy that people are loving the cover and the excerpt! Good luck to you all in the draw!

Pam Graber said...

Enjoyed the interview, Lena and Susan. Susan is a new-to-me author and this book looks excellent.

Pam in Ohio

Sheri said...

I love the cover of this book and it sounds awesome. Thanks for the chance at the giveaway.

Sheri in Georgia
hspruitt at frontier net dot net

Abigail Mitchell said...

Enter me. Looks awesome!!!
Blanch NC

Unknown said...

Nice interview. It sounds like a great book to read.

Anne Rightler said...

Looks like a great read. I live in Brighton, MI but am visiting some of my grandchildren in Dublin, OH at the moment. :)

Patty said...

Love the cover of this book, and I love historical fiction, so I think this book needs to go in my TBR stack!

Patty in SC

Anonymous said...

Please enter me in the giveaway.


QLD Australia