Monday, April 11, 2016

SACRED ASHES - Sherri Stone - One Free Book

Welcome, Sherri. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
In this book, my main character struggles with learning to forgive. It is something I have had to do as well, although not to the same extent. I also gave her some of my traits that I see as weaknesses, such as being too stubborn and being closed to the people around me.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I don't really see myself as quirky, although my family might disagree with that. :) Then again, they might just skip quirky and go straight to weird!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I actually started writing stories many years ago, before I really considered that I might be published one day. I wrote this book about seven years ago, before I knew about ACFW or about writing fiction. I just wrote the story that was in my heart.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
The first Christian fiction book I ever read was The Healer, by Dee Henderson. I was hooked. I tend to enjoy romantic suspense more than straight romance. I also am a fan of Christine Feehan. She has several series that I love to read, although they may be a bit edgy for some readers. I also enjoy reading biographies, and non-fiction inspirational. In a pinch I'll read the back of a cereal box. I just love to read.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
In the last two years I have ended some commitments to extra things that I enjoyed but took time or emotional investment that I simply no longer had. I've been a social worker for twenty-five years, and more than once in that time. I have burned myself out. I made the mistake of confusing my identity with my job--I put my whole heart into it. That sounds noble on the surface, but it's the kiss of death. I pushed myself to the point that I no longer cared about much. I have asked the Lord to help me focus on the important things and be able to graciously let go of everything else. He is faithful to do that, I just don't always get it right. I'm still a work in progress ...

How do you choose your characters' names?
By feel. I will often change them several times as I write until they click. Not very scientific, I know, but it works for me. I could never wait to write a story until I had all the names down. I'd never write anything!

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?
What gives me the most pleasure is making a peaceful home for my husband and myself. We are both in helping professions and deal with the problems of other people all day long. We are currently dealing with his grandfather who has dementia and needs nursing home placement. That has created a lot of drama in our family and we need the refuge of our home to rest, and recharge, and at times to heal.

If you were an animal, which one would you be and why?
I would love to be a bird for the freedom of flying, but I would also love to be some kind of jungle cat. As someone who doesn't run, I would love to know what it's like to take off running with all the strength of a fast cat. The sad truth is, I'm more like a sloth. :-)

What is your favorite food?
If I'm in the mood for salty stuff I like Ruffles potato chips, French Onion dip, and Dr. Pepper. If I need sweet, you can't do better than Reese's Peanut Butter cups. Notice there's no food of substance there. I'm a junk food junky!

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock and how did you overcome it?
Sometimes ignorance is bliss. When I wrote my first story, I didn't edit as I went. I didn't know about head-hopping, POV, back story, dumping, etc. I just wrote the story. Now I find that I try to edit as I write, which slows me down, and I think also maybe takes away from the story a bit. I am still trying to figure out how to stop doing that. All suggestions are welcome.

I always edit as I go. I can't stand to leave a messy passage without making it better. Tell us about your featured book.
Sacred Ashes is my baby. It is about a preacher's daughter, Dani, who has dealt with anger and grief over her family's murder for ten years. The story begins when the man who killed them dies in prison. What should be closure for her instead triggers attempts on her life and forces her to come to grips with her own turning away from God. In the process, she meets a man who protects her and pushes her to trust again. It is the first in a series of three books. Dani's friends--Grace and Lucy--each get a story. Grace's will be out this summer.

Please give us the first page of the book.
The rustic windows of Dani LaClere's rented beach cottage stood open in invitation to the night breeze, tangy with salt and secrets of the sea. A shadow glided along the balcony on the street side, protected from moonlight, one with the night. It reached the window and poured into the cottage like primordial ooze. Silent and deadly.

He stood for a moment, listening for any sign that she was awake, but the sound of the surf gently pounding the shore kept him from hearing anything. With the flick of a finger the cottage came to life in the eerie, green glow of night vision goggles. Dani's world. He began to explore.

A small vase on the coffee table overflowed with flowers he couldn't identify. Books stacked in careless piles gave testimony to her favorite pastime. A tote bag waited by the door, bulging with towels, bottled water, suntan lotion, and chocolate. The room was neat in a carefree, lived-in sort of way.

He continued to the corner that held a tiny kitchen. A bag of cookies sat on the counter and he helped himself to a handful as he headed for her room. He moved like a ghost across the sisal rug to the doorway of her bedroom where he stood and watched her sleep. Two steps would bring him to her bedside. He was tempted. His hands clenched in barely controlled agitation. All of the sneaking around fed his frustration. He was a man of action. Hands on. Yeah, he wanted hands on her. Right now. A small growl of frustration escaped him. Tonight he was only permitted to watch and record.

He pulled out his camera and started to record while another scenario played in his head. The one where he killed her. It wouldn't be so hard. She wasn't very big--average height from what he could tell. He pictured his hands around her throat. Or maybe he would wrap that long brown hair around and around, pulling it tight until she stopped breathing.

Suddenly he heard his own breathing, quick and ragged, above the sounds of the waves and forced himself to slow it down. He couldn't afford to make a mistake. A few more minutes and he would slip out into the night. She stirred restlessly and he held his breath.

Don't wake up yet, Dani. If I have to kill you tonight I'll be in so much trouble.

A quiet giggle slipped out and he caught his breath and stared at Dani, willing her to stay asleep in spite of the noises he made. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply for a moment to regain some control. Killing her would be nice. It would be even better after they tormented her for a while.

He clicked off the recorder and stepped gingerly toward the window in the main room. Three steps away from the doorway he froze. Her breathing changed abruptly. She was awake. He slid into a small niche between the wall and the entertainment center and prepared to wait. She would sleep again. There were hours yet until daylight.

He flipped open the video screen and played back the recording without sound. So close. What a rush. Impatient as he was, it would be fun to play with her for a while. They could only kill her once.

Wow!! How can readers find you on the Internet?
I blog at , and I'm on Facebook at I have a few boards on Pinterest at

Thank you, Sherri, for sharing this suspense novel with us. I'm eager to read it, and I know my readers will be, too.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog. Sacred Ashes (Lethal Legacy Book 1)

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:


Abigail Mitchell said...

Looks good. Enter me.
Blanch NC

EJ said...

I don't usually read suspense, but "Sacred Ashes" sounds really good! Elaine from Wisc

Sherri said...

Thanks for readings post Abigail. Good luck in the drawing. ��

Sherri said...

Hi EJ. I hope you will enjoy this story, especially since it's different fr what you normally read. Thanks for stopping by today.

Pam said...

Now I NEED to know what happens next! Please enter me.

Anonymous said...


Sherri said...

Pam I'm so glad you're hooked!! Thank you so much for stopping by today. Good luck in the drawing. I hope you get to read and enjoy the whole story.

Anonymous said...

Ooooh, sounds great! I can't wait to read this! And the rest of the series! You've grabbed my interest!
J.C. -Indiana

Sherri said...

Hi Angela. Thanks for stopping by today. Good luck in the drawing.

Sherri said...

Thank you, JC. I love to hear that I've grabbed someone's interest. Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you will enjoy Dani's story. Good luck in the drawing.

Melanie Backus said...

I am intrigued by this one. Thank you for the opportunity.

Melanie Backus, TX

Sherri said...

Thank you, Melanie. I appreciate you stopping by today. Good luck in the drawing. I hope you can read and enjoy Dani's story.

Mary Preston said...

SACRED ASHES sounds like a great read.

Mary P


Sherri said...

Hi Mary. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comment. I would love to visit your country some day. Have you been to America? Good luck in the drawing. Hope you enjoy the story.

Terrill R. said...

I wish I had discovered this book earlier. I guess that's why we have blogs like Lena's. It truly sounds like a story I would really enjoy.

Terrill - WA

Sherri said...

Hi Terrill. Thanks for stopping by today. I am so thankful for Lena's blog. It's great to have someone promoting Christian fiction. Thank you for your kind comment. I hope you have a chance to read Dani's story soon. Good luck in the drawing.

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Oh my! Your first page is definitely a reason to read more! Thank you for sharing.
Connie from KY

Sherri said...

Thank you, Connie. I'm so glad you liked the beginning. Hope you get a chance to read some more. Good luck in the drawing. Thanks for stopping by.

Loraine Nunley said...

Oh this sounds interesting. Please enter me. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway!

Loraine in TX

Sherri said...

Hi Loraine. Thank you for stopping by and for your kind comment. I hope you enjoy Dani's story. Good luck in the drawing.

kim hansen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kim hansen said...

Nice interview. north platte nebraska.

Melissa M. said...

Yes, that opening scene is riveting! Enter me into the contest, please.

-Melissa M. in TN

Sherri said...

Thank you, Kim. How's the weather in Nebraska? ��. Thanks for stopping by. Good luck in the drawing.

Sherri said...

Thank you, Melissa. What a nice thing to say! Thank you for stopping by today and good luck in the drawing.

GrandaddyA said...

The short blurb about the book and the first page certainly grabbed my attention. I would love to read this book and the others in the series as they are published.
Edward A in VA

Stella said...

Suspense is my favorite. Thanks for entering me in the drawing.
Stella in Indianapolis, Indiana

Kathy A said...

I sleep with my windows open but now I am having second thoughts. My, what a great first page!

Thank you for sharing this interview and giveaway.

Kathy Anderson from Neosho, MO

Kathy A said...

I sleep with my windows open but now I am having second thoughts. My, what a great first page!

Thank you for sharing this interview and giveaway.

Kathy Anderson from Neosho, MO

Sherri said...

Thank you, Edward, for your kind comments. I'm so glad you're hooked! ��. Thank you for stopping by today. Good luck in the drawing and I hope you enjoy the story.
Stella suspense has always been my favorite. I hope you enjoy the story. Good luck in the drawing.

Sherri said...

Kathy don't you just hate it/love it when a book does that? 😊. I hope you enjoy the story. Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the drawing.

Bakersdozen said...

I love hearing about the suspense element in this book. It sounds like a good read and I would also be interested in reading the other two books. Thanks so much for the interview and preview of the book.


Sherri said...

Thanks for stopping by, Michelle. I'm glad you enjoyed the preview. Hope you will enjoy Dani's story. Good luck in the drawing.

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway, SC.

Brenda Arrington said...

After reading the first page I definitely want to read the rest of the book. Thanks for the chance to win.
Brenda in VA

Sherri said...

Thanks for stopping by Sharon. Good luck in the drawing. Have a great day.

Sherri said...

Thank you, Brenda. I'm so glad you liked the beginning of Dani's story. Glad you stopped by today. Good luck in the drawing.

rubynreba said...

The suspense in this book sounds like what I like! Great first page!!
Beth from IA

Sherri said...

Oh I hope so Beth! So happy you enjoyed the first page. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Good luck in the drawing. Hope you enjoy Dani's story.

Unknown said...

Oh my, I lov e this cover and the book sounds so exciting. I'd love to read this!

Deanne P. in PA

Sherri said...

Hi Deanne. Thank you so much! I really like the cover as well - thank you 99 designs. I hope you have a chance to enjoy Dani's story. It was fun to write. Thanks for stopping by today.