Friday, June 30, 2017

50 HOURS - Loree Lough - One Free Book

Bio: Bestselling author Loree Lough once sang for her supper, performing across the U.S. and Canada. Now and then, she blows the dust from her 6-string to croon a tune or two, but mostly, she writes novels that have earned hundreds of industry and "Readers' Choice" awards, 4- and 5-star reviews, and 7 book-to-movie options. Her 115th book, 50 Hours, is her most personal to date. Recently released, The Man She Knew, book #1 in her “By Way of the Lighthouse” series from Harlequin Heartwarming

Welcome back, Loree. I know you speak at various conferences and meetings. What do you have coming up in 2017?
First, I’d like to thank you, Lena, for allowing me to share news about this book. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

I’ve always enjoyed speaking at conferences and teaching at community colleges. This year, however, I’m staying close to home due to health reasons.

If you were planning a women’s retreat, what would be the theme for it?
Women these days tend to overtax themselves… 9-5 jobs in addition to church, family, household responsibilities, caring for others (aging parents, ailing friends, grandchildren, etc.), social engagements, and so on. Given that this is the case far too often, I’d love to host a retreat called “Be Still…and Know…” Guest speakers would address all the issues that crowd our calendars, and provide easy how-to information to help attendees learn that it’s acceptable—and healthy—to put themselves first once in a while.

I so agree with you. I had a season when I had to learn that we must “Be Still … and Know …” It revolutionized my walk with the Lord. Who would you want as speakers and why?
Pastors, psychologists, and authors who are skilled in the areas of time management and self-care. Their expertise would provide credible lessons to women, and (hopefully) prevent burnout.

Where would you hold the retreat and why?
Larry and I have a cabin in the Allegheny Mountains. The beauty and serene setting would allow attendees to experience, first-hand, the true meaning of R and R (rest and relaxation). And while they’re enjoying the peace and quiet, they’ll be more receptive to learning methods that strengthen their spirits and ease their souls.

It sounds wonderful. I’d want to come. Do you read print books or ebooks? Or a combination of the two?
When traveling, I prefer ebooks, since they spare me having to pack and carry extra pounds. At home, however, I’ll take “a real book” every time. The heft of a book, the sound and scent of its pages is pleasing!

That’s an interesting title. How did you come up with it?
50 HOURS started as a screenplay, written by Kevin J. O’Neill. The skeletal storyline centered around 50 hours of community service, assigned to one of the two main characters. After reading Saving Alyssa (#3 in Harlequin Heartwarming’s “A Child to Love” series), Kevin called to ask if I’d be interested in “novelizing” his screenplay. In his endorsement of the book, he writes “Loree Lough is an exceptional author, and that’s why I approached her about writing the novel for my feature film, 50 Hours. But I had no idea how wonderful her novelization would be until I read it. Loree was able to dig so deep into my characters…and create secondary characters to further flesh out the story. She unearthed and richly developed those characters and gave them three dimensional lives. I am so happy with the book!
~ Kevin J. O’Neill, writer/director/actor/producer.

So what is the book about?
Franco Allessi is a broken, lonely man who wants nothing more than to outrun the ghosts of his past. For years, he’d tried to numb the pain of his wife's death with cheap beer and whiskey. Then he's convicted of drunk driving, and judge revokes his license and orders him to serve fifty hours of community service. Franco chooses Savannah Falls Hospice for no reason other than it's walking distance from his run-down house trailer. On his first day at the center, he meets Aubrey Brewer, a woman whose time on earth is quickly ticking to a stop. Their unusual connection teaches powerful, life-changing lessons about friendship, acceptance, and the importance of appreciating that precious treasure called Life.

Wow, sounds powerful. Please give us the first page of the book.
“Do you fully comprehend why you find yourself standing before me today, Mr. Allessi?”
Franco stared at the toes of his shoes. “Yes, Your Honor, I do.”
“And do you also realize that by getting behind the wheel in an inebriated state, you put others—not just yourself—in dire jeopardy?”
Truth be told, he’d put himself in jeopardy long before he got behind the wheel. His whole life these days seemed like a connect-the-dots game, with each dot representing a new risk. Take last night, for example, when instead of ignoring the taunts of “Get a load of this dude’s wingtips!” by unruly bikers at the Brew and Cue, he’d started a shoving match, and paid for it with a black eye, a chipped tooth, and bruised ribs.
Leroy Carlisle, his court-appointed attorney, elbowed him back to attention.
“Yes, Your Honor,” Franco repeated. He glanced up, but only far enough to read John Malloy, Sr., Judge, Superior Court on the big wooden nameplate. “You have my word, sir, it won’t happen again.”
Malloy exhaled a long-suffering sigh. “Oh, if only I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that . . . .” He frowned at Franco’s file, open on his bench. “Nevertheless, you scored 0.14 on the breathalyzer. And since this isn’t your first offense, I have no choice but to suspend your license . . .”
Carlisle warned him this might happen. Thirty days, the bespectacled kid had said, two months at most, providing Franco looked and sounded—how had he put it?—suitably contrite.
“ . . . for six months.”
Six months? Six months! “With all due respect, Your Honor, I drive a tow truck. Can’t do my job without a license.”
Sarcasm rang out loud in the older man’s voice: “With all due respect, Mr. Allessi, you should have considered that possibility before driving under the influence.” Malloy sat back and folded liver-spotted hands over his ponderous belly. “Under other circumstances, I might have granted you permission to drive to and from work.” He looked at the man at the prosecutor’s table. “But Detective Rowe, here, says you were so out of it when he pulled you over that he considered calling an ambulance.” His slow Georgia drawl quickened a bit as he added, “I cannot in good conscience risk that next time; you might run some young mama and her carload of little ones off the road.”
“You have my word. There won’t be a next time.”
Carlisle jabbed Franco again, this time squarely on one of his sore ribs. Franco drove a hand through his hair and weighed his options: take his medicine like a good little drunkard, or deck the bony-elbowed smart aleck to his left.
“I could sentence you to sixty days, but since you seem suitably contrite, I’ll lessen it to time served and fifty hours of community service. Your fresh-faced young lawyer here can help you choose an appropriate facility.” He raised a bushy eyebrow and aimed his steely gaze at Carlisle. “The name of which I expect to see on my desk by this time tomorrow. Understood, counselor?”
Carlisle nodded as the judge banged his gavel, and the bailiff stepped up to the bench.
“Next case,” Malloy bellowed as Carlisle stuffed his pen and yellow legal pad into a floppy black briefcase. He muttered something about signatures and paperwork, then crisscrossed the bag over his shoulder and headed for the door. Franco followed like a well-trained pup, hoping he could arrange a payment schedule, because his checking account was as bare as Mother Hubbard’s cupboard.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

I hope everyone will feel free to interact with me at any of those sites! Thanks again, Lena, for sharing your blog with me!

Loree, you’re a dear friend, and I love your writing. And I'm eager to read this one. It’s a great blessing to share you and your books with my readers.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
50 Hours 50 Hours

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 or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

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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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The Lough Down said...

Hi, guys! So happy you stopped by! Let's take a moment to thank Lena for welcoming us into her blogosphere! I meet a lot of people in my travels, and very few are as generous as Lena!

About 50 Hours: I'm pretty excited about the release of this one. Yes, all authors are thrilled when each new book hits the shelves, but this story is very personal for me. For one thing, it's #115 in my lineup. For another, I have extremely close ties to Aubrey, one of the two main characters: All during the story, Aubrey is a patient at Savannah Falls Hospice Center, due to an incurable brain tumor...and midway through the creation of 50 Hours, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, an incurable bone/marrow cancer. As you can probably guess, the connection allowed me to share insights and observations that those living with the disease--or caring for someone fighting it--could properly explain.

Enter Franco, who's merely existing when a DUI puts him in court, where a judge sentences him to 50 hours community service. He chooses Savannah Falls, for no reason other than it's a convenient walk from his tiny house trailer--convenient because the judge also suspended his license for 60 days.

From the moment they meet, Aubrey and Franco form a close friendship. As he watches Aubrey's face her fate with faith and courage, Franco changes, permanently. Changes so much that when she asks him to risk his freedom to make her life's dream come true, he doesn't even consider it a sacrifice.

Peopled by secondary characters that embellish the strictly platonic relationship between Aubrey and Franco, readers get sneak peeks into their hearts and souls, the key to understanding the strong bond that has formed between them. And I really think you'll enjoy Bobbit, the pesky Blue Jay that torments Franco as he goes about his work in the hospice center gardens!

I hope that once you've read 50 Hours, you'll drop me a note to let me know how it touched YOU in a personal way.

Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to reading more comments from all of you!

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, and happy Independence Day!

Brenda W said...

I'm from TN. This page left a lot of questions about the book. Makes me wonder what will happen.

Connie said...

Thank you for sharing this first page. It makes me want to read more!
Connie from KY

Melanie Backus said...

I am intrigued by this one!

Melanie Backus, TX

rbooth43 said...

I love the storyline of this book! Sound like a rewarding, suspenseful read!
rbooth43 at yahoo dot com

Cindy W. said...

This book looks and sounds intriguing. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

Cindy W. from Indiana

Kay Garrett said...

Love the concept of 50 HOURS and the first page left me wanting more.
Thank for sharing and the chance to win a copy.
Kay from Mountain View, AR
2clowns at arkansas dot net

Kim hansen said...

Sounds like a good read. north platte nebraska.

Paula said...

Paula from Missouri. This sounds really good! Thanks for the great interview!

Library Lady said...

The story line of Loree's book touched my heart.
I for one, can't wait to read it.
Janet E.

EJ said...

Wow Loree - I don't think it was a coincidence that you were asked to write this book. Looking forward to reading "50 Hours". Elaine from Wisconsin

Edward Arrington said...

This sounds like an excellent book. I hope to have the opportunity to read it. Thanks for the interview. I think there are men who would benefit from your "Be Still....And Know" retreat. Have you considered one for us guys?
Edward A in VA

Caryl Kane said...

Hello Lena and Loree! 50 Hours sounds intense! Thank you for the chance.

Caryl K in TX

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway SC.

Vivian Furbay said...

50 Hours sounds like a heart wrenching book and one I want to read.