Tuesday, March 08, 2016

A SEASON TO LOVE - Nicole Deese - One Free Book

Dear Readers, here’s  another book in the A Love In Lenox series. Sorry this is so late posting. We’ve had a fast-moving storm system that produced high winds, a few tornadoes, and lots of rain and lightning. I turn off my electronics when there’s lightning. Even though I have a high-powered setup for protection from electrical surges, I don’t take any chances with lots of lightning around.

Bio: Nicole Deese is a full time lover of humorous, heartfelt, and hope-filled fiction. When she's not writing a sweet romance, she can usually be found reading one near a window while drinking La Croix. She lives in small-town Idaho with her handsome hubby and two sons.

Welcome, Nicole. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
It’s usually not until after I finish writing a book that I glimpse aspects of myself in the characters. And that’s usually not until a friend calls and says, “Oh my goodness, when I read what so-and-so said in chapter five I could so hear you saying that!” Haha! It always makes me laugh when I get that kind of feedback from the people who know me best.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Writing became a passion of mine in high school after reading every single Patricia Rushford and Robin Jones Gunn book on the shelf. But I didn’t really explore writing until I was closer to thirty. I’m grateful for parents who encouraged my early love for reading and storytelling…and even more thankful they paid all my overdue library fees. Thanks, guys!

Tell us the range of books you enjoy reading.
My favorite genres are often contemporary reads, although sometimes I’m in the mood for a good fantasy or historical, as long as the characters are well developed and there’s a love story brewing. My favorite genres are women’s fiction, young-adult, and of course, contemporary romance.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I don’t really have one way to choose character names. A couple of my characters came from street signs (like Weston James from A Cliché Christmas) and a few others came from polling readers on my author FB page (Willa Hart from A Season To Love). Names are a huge deal to me so I usually take my time before landing on one.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Writing my very first novel to completion is probably the accomplishment I’m most proud of. There is such fulfillment in taking a dream swirling around in your head and bringing it to life on paper. That’s what my debut novel, All For Anna, was for me. The start of a new dream journey.

What is your favorite writing snack food?
Hmm…this pretty much changes week to week. Haha! Right now I’m a big fan of multi-grain chips and homemade guacamole. Yummy!

I have to eat homemade guacamole, because I’m allergic to raw onions. It’s either make my own or get one of those made at your table guacamoles where I can tell them to leave out the onions. What is your greatest roadblock in writing, and how do you overcome it?
I’m not a “finisher” by nature. I LOVE starting a book (or brainstorming a new idea), but finishing? Finishing is so hard for me! I despise being locked-in or confined to an ending, which makes closing-out a storyline my greatest challenge. And if I were REALLY honest, I’d tell you I usually have to write those last chapters about ten times before they are reader-ready.

Tell us about the featured book.
Description of A Season To Love:
At this point in her life, bravery is not a trait Willa Hart would readily claim. She believes her seven-year-old daughter, Savannah, who never knew her father and successfully tackled chemotherapy, is truly the courageous one. Yet after Willa has a fateful encounter with handsome young doctor Patrick McCade, her outlook—and her view of herself—begins to change.

Patrick, a thrill-seeking world traveler and temporary resident of Lenox, Oregon, sets out to show Willa the value of adventure, even within her tiny town. But just when their friendship shows signs of turning into something more, Patrick’s life as a traveling doctor calls him back. Will his last days in town signal the end of their journey, or will Patrick and Willa find the courage to transform a single season into a lifetime?

Please give us the first page of the book.
I could have promised my daughter anything—a pony, a princess, a rainbow in a bottle—but instead, I’d promised her something equally unattainable: my bravery.
Today my cancer-free seven-year-old was putting that promise to the test.
“Come on, Mommy!” Savannah tugged my hand, but my legs were stiff and sluggish.
“We have plenty of time. Slow down.”
Slow down. Two words that had been on continuous repeat since she’d woken me, bouncing on my bed in her new sparkly red shoes—Uncle Weston’s gift to feed her obsession for all things glitter.
She led our way through the parking lot, her energetic stride forcing her backpack into a bounce and me into a near jog. Pockets of people waited near the electronic signboard, with the scrolling First Day of School, but I knew better than to ask Savannah to stop for a picture. She had a goal, the same goal that had kept me awake at night for nearly a week.
The freshly painted double doors at the front of Lenox Elementary School were propped open to welcome the new year. Only this pressure building inside my chest didn’t exactly feel festive. We entered the lobby together, her thin fingers still curled around mine, my heart two strides slower than my feet. I willed it to catch up, to remember Savannah’s countdown to this very moment—the scattering of purple Xs on the bedroom calendar.
The smell of boxed crayons and pencil shavings filled the air, nostalgia painting a landscape from a lifetime ago—of a life that no longer felt like mine. The screech of sneakers against tired linoleum floors sang the anthem of reunited friends and faculty.

But it wasn’t my memories of attending this school as a child or even of teaching at this school as an adult that caused my spine to prickle with déjà vu.
Three turns and two hallways later, Savannah dropped my hand and studied the class list outside Mrs. Hudson’s door.

“Alyssa’s in my class!”
“That’s great, honey.” My words sounded as frozen as my smile.
Her dark-chocolate eyes took in the clusters of students, the maze of desks, the shelves upon endless shelves of books, puzzles, and crafts. Once inside the classroom, she found her laminated nametag quickly and waved me over. My fingers itched to reach into my purse and grab a handful of disinfectant wipes to saturate each and every surface of this room.
“Mommy—look, my very own desk.” Savannah smoothed her hand over the top of the chipping varnish, her eyes alight, her voice the sound of childlike faith.
Savannah!” Alyssa, Savannah’s athletic redheaded friend, raced across the room.

A soft touch on my shoulder shifted my attention away from the giddy reunion. “She’ll do great, Willa. I can see how excited she is to be in school. Oh, and I’ll make sure to e-mail you the slots I have open for classroom volunteers.”
Megan Hudson, Savannah’s second-grade teacher, stood at my side. Since high school, our lives had paralleled each other: we both married our senior prom dates, we both graduated with honors, we both earned our master’s in education.

Only, the sudden loss of my husband seven years ago had put an end to our shared life experiences.
“Thank you, Megan.”
With a last gentle pat, Megan walked to the front of her classroom and pointed to the instructions on the whiteboard, reminding parents of pickup time and location. The clock at the back of the room chimed a high-pitched ping, ping, ping, and a slow-snaking panic crept into my chest.
Savannah—” My well-planned words were cut short. She sprang toward me and wrapped her arms around my waist. Her enthusiasm rocked me off center. “I love this day, but I love you most.” Savannah tightened her arms above my hips, swaying us both as if in a dance.
I kissed the top of her head, her short, baby-fine hair a whisper of hope that tickled my lips. “Not possible.”
Because it wasn’t possible. She wasn’t a mother. She hadn’t counted the weeks of pregnancy, hadn’t borne the pain of childbirth, hadn’t felt the anguish of the six-letter word that could drown a parent in a pool of their own tears. Cancer.
She hopped away and waved. “See you after school.”
With blurry, stinging eyes, I turned and exited her classroom, just like I had two years ago when I’d dropped my seemingly healthy daughter off for kindergarten only to admit her to the oncology floor at Children’s Hospital a week later.
She’s fine. I’m fine. Everything is going to be fine. The rapid fire of my pulse disagreed.
Pushing my way past a throng of happy families, I darted through the parking lot and shut myself inside my car. With my overactive imagination fully engaged, I fought against the quick, shallow breaths and answered the siren’s call in my glove box.
A stashed package of red-and-white pinwheel mints.
Most people saw these candies as a way to freshen their breath; I saw them as a way to focus my mind. A method of coping I’d picked up in therapy years ago. Of course, not during one of my hour-long counseling sessions, but rather from my time sitting in the waiting room. Ironic how a little basket of mints had helped me more than my grief counselor.
I reached inside the bag, unwrapped the familiar, crinkly plastic, and popped a small disc into my mouth. Immediately, the smooth texture and taste of menthol worked its magic, knocking me down a few ladder rungs on my climb to an attack.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/nicoledeeseauthor/
Newsletter: https://www.nicoledeese.com/newsletter/
Website: www.nicoledeese.com
Instagram: nicoledeeseauthor
Twitter: @nicoledeeseauthor

Thank you, Nicole, for sharing this new book with us. I'm as eager as my blog readers to read it. I hope my copy arrives soon.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
A Season to Love (Love in Lenox) - paperback
A Season to Love (Love in Lenox) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. 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:


Anonymous said...

would love to win angela in ky

Nicole Deese said...

HI everybody! It's a beautiful day in Idaho! Hope the sun is shining where you live:)

-Nicole Deese

Connie said...

Nicole, this sounds like a great book and I appreciate that you shared the first page. Lena, I am glad that you didn't experience serious problems from the storm.
Connie from KY

thinkscrap said...

I have been on a Nicole Reese reading binge since discovering her a few weeks ago. I would love to add this book to my shelf! Sara, central Indiana.

Melanie Backus said...

What a book! Thank you for sharing!

Melanie Backus, TX

Mary Preston said...

What a beautiful beginning.

Mary P


Cindy W. said...

Sounds like a great book. I would love to win a ocpy.

I live in Indiana.

Cindy W.

Robin in NC said...

I love when a book transports me! I was right there in Savanah's classroom with Willa! I would be thrilled to win a copy of this book! Thanks for sharing with us!

Robin in Raleigh

rw620 AT aol DOT com

Anne Payne said...

wow! I was mesmerized by such vivid descriptions. I would love to read this book.

Anne ~ VA

Abigail Richmond said...

Enter me.
Blanch NC

Abby Breuklander said...

I've heard so many wonderful things about this book, I can't wait to read it for myself!!

Abby from Michigan

Just Commonly said...

I love homemade or table guacamole! Thanks for sharing and the interview! Would love to win A Season to Love. Great cover! Thanks!

Annie (MD)

Kim Amundsen said...

Sounds like a good read.

Edward Arrington said...

I would love to win this for my wife.
Edward A in VA

Patty said...

I'm not a mother, but can imagine how hard that first day of school must be!

Patty in SC

Winnie Thomas said...

Great interview! The book sounds wonderful!I'd love to win it!

Winnie in UT

Brenda Arrington said...

Sounds like one I will really enjoy. I enjoyed the interview. You are a young author. Right? And very talented. Thanks for the giveaway.
Brenda in VA

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your amazing giveaway!!
Conway, SC.

Caryl Kane said...

Nicole, you are a new author for me. I enjoyed learning more about you in this interview. A SEASON TO LOVE sounds powerful.... Thanks for the giveaway.

Caryl K in TEXAS

Bakersdozen said...

I am glad to have been introduced to this author. I would love to read this book.

Southern CA

Terrill R. said...

I have been so excited for this book. I just purchased A Cliche' Christmas to read before this one. Prior to these, I have only read A Summer Remade from the Just One Summer Collection.

Terrill - WA

Beth Gillihan said...

Sounds like a great book. THanks for the chance to win!

Beth in Montana