Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A REBEL IN MY HOUSE - Sandra Merville Hart - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I’m excited about Sandra’s novel. She and I share the same agent.

Welcome, Sandra. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I don’t plan on putting my characteristics and flaws into my characters when I start, but a piece of me often emerges in a major or minor character. One may have a problem I’ve encountered or a flaw I understand all too well. I write historical novels but people have dealt with insecurity, losing loved ones, relationship issues, and a myriad of other problems through the ages.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I am constantly doing quirky things. If someone followed me around with a camera, some of them would probably make it onto YouTube.

One example from work illustrates this. Employees used to buy small salads at work and then select toppings from a salad bar. Chopped lettuce came in a plastic container that was taped shut. One day, as I wrestled to pry the tape lose, the lid shot open. An officer of the company standing behind me wore my lettuce on his suit.

At least it didn’t have any salad dressing on it!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I wanted to be a writer in elementary school and wrote my first book—a mystery—while in the sixth grade. I didn’t receive much encouragement and let the dream go. It returned when my daughter was in elementary school.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love reading contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries. My favorite genre is historical romance. I read more nonfiction books than fiction when actively researching for a novel.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Right now, my plate is filled to overflowing. It’s difficult to stay on top of my schedule when new activities and tasks are constantly being added.

I try to remember to read my Bible before beginning my work day. I ask God to guide me to the most important tasks. To-Do lists also help me stay focused. A bit of the burden tumbles off my shoulders when checking off each item.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
My main characters names come to me pretty quickly. Since those names are used repeatedly, I need to like them. I run across many historical figures during the research phase and often choose first or last names from these. A book about a particular regiment contains not only soldiers’ names but also their parents, wives, and children—an excellent resource!

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My most important job is being a wife, mother, stepmother, and now grandmother. I am most proud of my family and try to be the best I can be for them.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
That’s a tough question. I might choose to be a bird because flying seems a lot of fun.

What is your favorite food?
My favorites are tomatoes, cheese, and chocolate—but not all in the same recipe! I crave chocolate when I’m stressed. A couple of pieces of Dove chocolates are usually enough to reduce that stress. I wish a slice of tomato did the same thing!

Cherubs tomatoes we buy at Sam’s Club have a rich tomato flavor, and they're sweet. They’re also very small tomatoes. Sometime, I grab a handful and eat them like a snack. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Carving out time to simply write novels is my greatest hurdle. There is so much demanded of authors these days to market our books, participate on social media, and maintain a blog. All of these can be fun, but it does take us away from writing novels.

Getting started on tasks early in the day gives a sense of accomplishment. When meeting deadlines, I sometimes set my alarm for 4 am. I should do this more often because I accomplish so much this way.

Tell us about the featured book.
A Rebel in My House is set during the turbulent Battle of Gettysburg. The townspeople lived through a nightmare that extended months beyond the battle. This novel gives a glimpse of that suffering through the eyes of a Gettysburg seamstress. A Confederate soldier caught behind enemy lines after retreat needs her help. Sheltering him ushers in more difficulties than she ever imagined. Lines become blurred as her feelings for him grow. Loyalties threaten to divide them as Confederates seize the town.

Both have made promises to family members.

Some promises are impossible to keep.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Friday, June 26, 1863
Two miles outside Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Running feet on the dirt road outside quickened Sarah Hubbard’s heartbeat. Her fingers stiffened on her sewing machine and her back straightened.

Were they coming? Every conversation these days centered on the Confederate soldiers crossing into southern Pennsylvania.
 “Miz Hubbard. Miz Hubbard, please let us in!”
Not soldiers but friends. Sarah’s body sagged at Elsie Craig’s voice, but why did she yell? Sarah dropped the gingham dress she’d been sewing and ran to throw open the front door. Alarmed at the fear lining Elsie’s dark face and eyes as she clutched the hand of her four-year-old daughter, Mae, Sarah scanned the horizon for Confederate soldiers. “Hurry inside.”

Elsie needed no second bidding. She guided Mae over the threshold and closed the door. “Miz Hubbard, you gotta hide us.” Her tall, thin body leaned against the door. “The Rebs are in town gathering up all the colored folks they can find. Someone said they’ll be taking them south as slaves and that they’re warning folks not to hide us.”

Sarah gasped. “Why do such a terrible thing?”

“Don’t make sense, does it? Some of us have lived in Gettysburg for years. Others like me have always been free, but it don’t seem to matter to the Southern army.” A long loaf of bread peeked out among jars and clothing in a well-laden basket Elsie set on the rug. She dropped to her knees and wrapped her arms around her trembling child.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you for sharing this book with us, Sandra. I’m eager to read it, and my copy arrived a couple of days ago, so I’ll be reading it soon.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
A Rebel in My House - Paperback
A Rebel in My House - Civil War Romance Series - 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 or country if outside North America. (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:


Rick Estep said...

Haven't heard of this author so I appreciate the introduction. Always looking for new authors to add to our church library. Thanks again from Middleburg, Florida!

Sandra Merville Hart said...

Hi Rick, What a lovely idea! I'd love for this novel to find its way into your church library. It's a novel of love and sacrifice and finding faith again, set against the backdrop of the tumultuous Battle of Gettysburg. Good luck in the drawing!

Dianna said...

I'm interested in reading this book because my husband's hometown is near Gettysburg, PA.
Dianna in TN

Vivian Furbay said...

I like to read fiction about the Civil War era. This sound like a books I would want to read. Hope I win it.

Cindy W. said...

I love books set during the Civil War period and would love to win a copy of this one. Thank you for the chance,

Cindy Woolard from Indiana

Sandra Merville Hart said...

Dianna, Sounds like you have combined some visits to Gettysburg with trips back home--how fun! The hero is a soldier from the 7th Tennessee. Good luck in the drawing!

Sandra Merville Hart said...

Vivian, the Civil War is a period of our history that fascinates me too. Hope you enjoy the novel. Good luck in the drawing!

Sandra Merville Hart said...

Cindy, I'm so happy that you like to read novels set during the Civil War. A lot happened on the streets of Gettysburg, some that may surprise you. Good luck in the drawing!

Holly Ison said...

I love Civil War history, and Gettysburg is one of my favorite places. We visited there, goodness, almost 20 years ago now. I want to take my boys when they're a little older. I also love meeting new authors through these author helps me expand my TBR list. lol
Thank you for the giveaway opportunity--I would love to win!

Holly in Morehead, KY

Sandra Merville Hart said...

Holly, I think Gettysburg is a great vacation spot. Children learn some history without realizing it. :) Good luck with the drawing!

Elly said...

Oooh! This sounds good! I'd love to give it a read!
Elly -Indiana-

Melanie Backus said...

Sounds like a winner to me! We have visited a number of battle fields. Our history is priceless!

Melanie Backus, TX

Sandra Merville Hart said...

Thank you, Elly. Good luck in the drawing!

Sandra Merville Hart said...

Melanie, I love visiting the battlefields and learning about our American history. Looks like we have that in common. Good luck in the drawing!

Lori said...

I live in Illinois.
I love this era. for over 20 years my husband and son have done civil war reenacting. Now my sons wife does it with him also. this sounds like a fantastic book. I would love to read it. It is on my Christmas list.
quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

Sandra Merville Hart said...

That's awesome, Lori! I'll bet you've learned a lot about the Civil War era just from your family's reenacting. So happy to hear that my novel is on your Christmas list. :) Good luck in the drawing!

Caryl Kane said...

Hello Sandra, and Lena! I enjoy reading historical fiction. This one sounds great!

Caryl K in TEXAS

Vivian Furbay said...

I like historical fiction and reading about American history. Would enjoy winning A Rebel in My House.

Connie said...

The Civil War is one of my favorite eras. Thank you for sharing!
Connie from KY

Sandra Merville Hart said...

Hi Caryl, Historical romance novels are the genre I reach for most often when reading for pleasure. Hope you enjoy the novel!

Sandra Merville Hart said...

Vivian, I love learning a bit of history when reading novels. I believe you will learn something new about history when reading this novel. Good luck in the drawing!

Sandra Merville Hart said...

Connie, The Civil War era has captivated my imagination too! Hope you enjoy the novel.

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Sandra Merville Hart said...

Good luck in the drawing, Sharon! Thanks for entering.

VanG said...

I have this book on my wish list and would be delighted to win a copy. Thanks for the chance! 😊
Van from NC

Patrick Cox said...

This looks like it would be good.

Sandra Merville Hart said...

Thanks for putting my book on your wish list, Van! Good luck in the drawing.

Sandra Merville Hart said...

Thank you, Patrick. I loved learning more about Gettysburg in order to write it. Good luck in the drawing!

Deanne Patterson said...

I live close to Gettysburg and love to read about it at every chance I get. This book sounds great. Thank you for entering me in the giveaway.

Deanne in PA