Wednesday, August 12, 2015

PATRIOT HEART - Diane Kalas - One Free Ebook

Dear Readers, Diane is a long-time writing acquaintance and fellow Texan. I’m pleased to share her debut book with you today. I was intrigued by her Civil War storyline.

Welcome, Diane. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I try to “get into character” as actresses need to do in order to play a part. However, where period clothing is concerned, I write what I would love to wear in regards to style, colors, and fabric.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I don’t think I’m a quirky person. However, my son teases me about lining up my ceramic roosters facing the same direction. When he moves them, I move them back.

I’ve told my husband that if I were to have a mental illness, it probably would be obsessive/compulsive disorder. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
My first try at writing was a time travel-historical romance years ago. Tricky for a newbie, but the challenge took hold to research and write and rewrite.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love inspirational historical romance, biographies, reprinted journals, and diaries of people who lived during the Civil War or pioneered out West. I have 22 antique books that I own and have read, starting 1859 to 1902.

I’d love to see them. I love antique books. I have several journal/diary reprints. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I go to estate sales, one or two times a month, with girlfriends and then have lunch. I try not to mention my writing and focus on buying some little treasure.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
There’s a Web site that lists popular 19th century names by decades. I also have a baby name book that gives the origin of the names.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Raising a son to become a Christian man, husband, and father.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I love animals, all kinds, but I’ve always had a cat. They’re somewhat independent.

What is your favorite food?
Pasta. Love the different kinds of pasta with sauce, chicken, lobster, or vegetables.

I love pasta, too, but James isn’t as fond of it, so I don’t make it very often. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I’d say it was the POV thing, and then that became deep POV. It was a matter of training my brain and studying a couple of books that gave examples that helped me understand.

Tell us about the featured book.
Patriot Heart is book 1 in a 3-book series about three Civil War POWs who met in the infamous Andersonville Prison for Union soldiers and survived because of their friendship and Christian faith.

I decided to write my hero as a strong Christian and the heroine who is unsaved, instead of the reverse which is seen more often. The idea for a Civil War hero with soldier’s fatigue emerged after news journalists reported on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder almost every week since the US got involved in the Middle East conflict named Desert Storm 1990-91. I wanted to write about a Christian veteran who struggled with horrific nightmares and hallucinations after confinement in Andersonville Prison. He’s a man who leans upon the Lord for recovery, although fears he’s losing his mind and unfit for marriage.

The heroine is a confident, bossy young woman who’s determined to live her life her way. She buys an old emporium near the Missouri River and turns it into a supply depot for emigrants heading out West after the war. The hero lives there, and she can’t avoid him. She tells herself she doesn’t need God, or the hero, and throws herself into her business.

In romance, it’s such fun to write those scenes when hero/heroine clash. In this story, the reader needs to see the hero’s sense of humor even though his mind hasn’t left the prison pen altogether.

Here is my back cover blurb.

DUTY             COURAGE        INTEGRITY
May 1865. All Dan Goodman wants is to marry an uncomplicated girl and have a family, but the war interfered and he became a POW who now believes he’s losing his mind and unfit for marriage. He dreams of Oregon to put the memories behind him. The problem is he owes a debt of gratitude to the beautiful songstress. In addition, Clara Barton wants him to be a witness for the prosecution in the first trial for war crimes in American history.

Letty Talbot is a world-weary steamboat songstress, and wants a new direction after sudden loss. Letty decides to run a supply depot for emigrants going out West, and talks Dan into a partnership where he builds the prairie schooners. Letty won’t admit she wants to keep Dan from leaving. Even though Letty and Dan butt heads a lot, no man ever interested Letty as this one did.

TRUST            LOVE         PEACE
If Letty marries Dan she losses her depot, because married women have no property rights. Letty must learn to trust God with her future. Dan must forgive fellow Union inmates who killed for selfish reasons, and face the commandant of Andersonville Prison in a court of law. Allowing his Oregon dream to fade, he can then embrace the future God planned for him.

Please give us the first page of the book.
“And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him;
and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

Chicago, Illinois – Tuesday, May 2, 1865
Dan Goodman stared at the Lincoln Special with the slain President’s photograph over the cowcatcher, flanked by flags, and festooned in black along the sides of the railway cars. Out of respect, he saluted the train even though his fallen commander in chief remained on exhibit at the Cook County Courthouse until evening.

The sharp crack of mourning bunting slapped against the depot, startling Dan. He inhaled a shaky breath, disappointed in himself. After all these months, away from Andersonville Prison, he still had a reaction to unexpected sounds.

Dan continued to observe Lincoln’s train, until the Chicago and Alton rolled under the enormous Federal flag stretched across the tracks and blocked his view. He smiled at the scene.
His future arrived to carry him far from everything in the recent past.

A powerful opening scene. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Diane, for sharing your new book with us. I know My readers will be interested in it.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Patriot Heart (Journey Home Book 1)

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the ebook. 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.

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Beth Gillihan said...

Sounds like an interesting read. THanks for the chance to win!

Beth in Montana

Melissa M. said...

I love learning about this period in history, too, and I like that the main character is a strong Christian hero.

-Melissa M. in TN

Wendy Newcomb said...

Yesterday was the first time I'd seen/heard about this book and it sounds like a great story. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of it.

Wendy from FL.

wfnren at aol dot com

Diane Kalas said...

Hi everyone: It's my pleasure to give this book to someone who enjoys character driven stories in the inspirational historical romance genre. Happy reading!

Anonymous said...

For some reason this book seems to grab my attention. I really want to read it now after seeing this review!
J.C. -Indiana-

Connie said...

I am fascinated with history and the Civil War era is especially interesting to me. This first page promises a great story!
Thank you and blessings!
Connie from KY
cps1950 (at)gmail(dot)com

Mary Preston said...

This sounds like an amazing read & series.

Mary P


Cindy W. said...

I would love to win a copy. Thank you for the chance.

I live in Indiana.

Cindy W.

Diane Kalas said...

Hi everyone - I'm pleased to know that many of you enjoy reading about the Civil War era. PATRIOT HEART is not about the battles. It's about the horrific aftermath of our country's people, and of one man getting his life back and facing the future. Thank you for commenting. Have a blessed day.

apple blossom said...

sounds like a book I'd love to read thanks.

live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Brenda Arrington said...

Thanks for the interesting interview. Thanks for the giveaway. I'd love to win.

Brenda in VA.

Mama Cat said...

This sounds like an amazing novel!! I very much appreciate historical Christian fiction, with Civil War and post-Civil War as a favorite era, especially since reading Tracy DeGroot's book about Andersonville. Would love to read this; thank you for the opportunity!! Jeanie in Phoenix

Diane Kalas said...

I would like to thank Lena for hosting me on her fabulous blog. I've been blessed to have her interest and effort on my behalf. May God continue to increase her influence in the world of Christian/inspirational fiction.

sm said...

I like how you describe all the characters in your book and would love to read and meet them all in your war novel. Sm. CA. Wileygren1(at)yahoo(dot)com

trosado said...

Hello, Diane. All I can say is, Wow! Your book sounds wonderful, but I am even more excited by the research that went into it. Especially about PTSD. My husband was in Desert Storm and suffers from PTSD. People who aren't educated about the Gulf War don't realize how bad it was for our men. Many view it as a quick and benign conflict.

I am very intrigued by the plot of your book and how it deals with PTSD before it was actually defined and diagnosed. This is definitely a must read for me. I wish you much success with Patriot Heart and the remaining books in the trilogy.

Terrill R., Lynden, WA

bonton said...

I love reading novels containing difficult subjects - would love to read Patriot Heart, and learn more about PTSD. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!!

Bonnie, Ky.

Diane Kalas said...

Thank you, Terrill for leaving a comment. I'm sorry to hear your husband suffers from PTSD. There is hope through God the Father, and His son, Jesus Christ. My research was difficult because of the serious subjects: POW prison camps, and the soldier's fatigue many men suffered. I hope I balanced the storyline with enough humor and interesting characters that readers can enjoy an uplifting story overall. Sad to say, our government took a long time giving this disorder a diagnosis and benefits for the veterans. God bless.