Friday, August 18, 2017

A HEART RECLAIMED (CHERISH) - Elizabeth Maddrey - One Free Ebook

Welcome, Elizabeth. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Hopefully just more of the same – I want to keep writing the books God lays on my heart. It’s my prayer God will continue to use me and the words I write for His glory.

Tell us a little about your family.
I have a marvelous husband to whom I’ve been married for 22 years. And we have two boys, age 9 and 5. We’re also in close proximity to both sets of grandparents, as well as siblings, so we do a lot with our extended family. I love having that opportunity.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
You know, I think I’m unique in this because it really hasn’t. I love to read and I’m grateful I’m able to turn off my inner editor in order to still just enjoy every book I pick up without feeling I have to critique the writing or try to compare it to my own. I love to just read for the sake of reading. It’s one of my favorite pastimes.

What are you working on right now?
Right now, I’m finishing up A Tidbit of Trust, book 5 in my Taste of Romance series. It’s the last book in the series and ties up all the friends who we’ve met throughout the previous four books. I’m hoping to have it release in September.

What outside interests do you have?
Well, I homeschool my kids, and I actually really enjoy that. It’s fun to revisit subjects I haven’t studied since I was little. And, like I already said, I love to read. I also enjoy watching police procedurals on TV when I have a minute or two to myself, crocheting, trying out new recipes, and playing the piano.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Generally, my books have all been set in the Washington, D.C. area. I live here and it’s such a great area. It’s rich in history, with lots to do, and I think (hope!) people enjoy getting a glimpse of what it’s like to live here.

I’ve also recently started a series set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia. I got the spark for that series when my sister and I went on a road trip to see an old mansion down there that’s open to the public on certain summer weekends.

My other current series is set in a fictional town in southern Idaho. This setting was one that the group of authors working on the series worked together to develop. I’m really enjoying the change to small-town Idaho. It’s not something I would probably have come up with on my own.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
I’d love to hang out with Marie Curie for an evening. She was an amazing woman who I’ve always admired.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
That there’s no prescribed way to write. I spent a lot of time trying to shoehorn myself into the “right” way to write – doing character background sheets and big plotting notebooks and all that sort of stuff. When I finally got so frustrated and discouraged by doing that, then getting sick of the characters and the story before I ever wrote a word, I let myself just write. And the book happened. And I realized  I don’t have to write in any specific way. There isn’t a “right” or “wrong” way to go about it. Just get the story down.

I went through that process. I’m a seat-of-the-pants author, but I believe we do the same thing in our heads that plotters do on paper. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
I’ve often struggled with comparing myself to others. Lately, God’s been working on that some more and helping me focus just on doing my best for Him and leaving the rest alone.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
First, study the craft. That can be conferences, seminars, books, whatever. Just never stop studying the craft.

Second, get a really good editor. Everyone needs an editor, no matter who they are or how famous etc. And it needs to be someone who knows what they’re doing. Yes, they can be pricey, but it’s worth it.

Third? Read. Read in your genre. Read outside your genre. Learn to love the written word.

Tell us about the featured book.
My book is A Heart Reclaimed. This is book two in my Peacock Hill Romance series (the one set in the mountains of southwest Virginia). It’s the story of two landscapers who are helping restore the gardens around a dilapidated mansion that’s being turned into a retreat center. Anna and Duncan went to college together. He had a crush on her, but she thought he was pushy and obnoxious. Now, as they work together, they have to bury the hatchet and see if they can’t plant some seeds that bloom into love.

A Heart Reclaimed is one of seven novels in the Cherish box set.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Anna Hamilton parked her car under one of the shaggy cedars near the front of Peacock Hill and rubbed her hands together. Finally, a chance to be part of a project that mattered. Not that the historical landscape archives weren’t important, but who wanted to be stuck behind a desk helping researchers when she could get her hands in the dirt? She couldn’t really pinpoint how she’d ended up at the library, either. Which just made it worse. But now...maybe her life was back on track.

Gathering her laptop bag and her duffel, she stepped out of the car and breathed in the unpolluted air. It was lovely. Very little humidity and still cooler than Richmond, which was beginning to feel the first tendrils of Virginia summer weather. Even if it was barely May. She closed the car door and crossed the gravel drive, climbing the steps to the front of the house two at a time while she admired the columns and general grandeur of the place.

Anna knocked on the door. Would anyone hear if they weren’t close by? The house—there had to be a better word. Mansion? Estate?—was massive.

“Coming.” Footsteps clomped closer before the door swung open. The tiny blonde grinned and extended her hand. “Anna, right? I’m Deidre.”

“That’s me. Nice to meet you.” Anna took her hand and peered inside. Rich wood—on the floor and the walls—met her gaze. “Gosh, it’s even prettier in real life.”

“Come on in. Is that all you brought?”

“I have more out in the car—you said to be prepared to rough it, so there’s an air mattress and that kind of thing, too. I just wasn’t sure...”

Deidre grinned. “I’ve got an actual mattress for you. It’s on the floor, but it’s better than a blow up. We’re roughing it, but not quite at the camping level. You and I are on the second floor. I stuck my brother on the third.”

“Sounds good.”

Deidre paused and angled her head to the side.

Anna raised her brows. “What?”

“It’s just...I want to make sure you didn’t think you were in charge of the project?”

Anna worked to control the expression on her face. She had actually, but diplomacy was always a good idea. “Well, you have final say, of course.”

Deidre shook her head. “I was afraid of that. I’m so sorry. See, my brother’s a landscape architect and I asked him—practically as soon as I bought the place—to help out. I wasn’t sure he’d be able to get down here this spring though, which is why I started looking around for photos and such—to see if I could do a little cleanup while I waited for him to have time. But his work schedule cleared up and he got here yesterday.”

“I see.” Although she didn’t. Anna gripped the handle of her duffel. Three months of email and phone calls with Deidre had made her seem like a friend, of sort. Why had the woman never mentioned a brother? A landscaping brother at that. “ don’t actually need me?”

“I didn’t say that.’s just...” Deidre broke off and turned at the noise on the staircase.

“Hey, Dee, I was thinking...oh.” A tall, sandy-haired man stopped on the steps, his features sliding into a blank mask. “Hello, Anna.”

“McIntyre. Of course.” Anna’s stomach twisted into an entire batch of pretzels as she realized just who Deidre’s brother was. She swallowed, willing some moisture into the desert of her mouth. “I should be going. Your project is in good hands.”

Deidre shot Duncan a meaningful look.

Anna turned and reached for the door.

“I never figured you for one who’d walk away from a challenge.”

Good way to hook me and my readers. How can readers find you on the Internet?
They can find all my books on my website:
I love to interact with readers on Facebook:
I’m also on Instagram with snippets of my life and an occasional book promo (but mostly just pictures of my day-to-day):

Thank you, Elizabeth, for sharing your book and this boxed set with us. I’m eager to read it.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Cherish: Seven Tender Christian Romance Novels

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Elizabeth Maddrey said...

Thanks for having me, Leena!

Unknown said...

Enjoyed the interview. I love Elizabeth's books.

Paula Shreckhise said...

I love flower gardens and well done landscaping. This one looks interesting. Paula from Missouri.

Elizabeth Maddrey said...

Thanks, Ann!

Elizabeth Maddrey said...

Thanks, Paula! Hope you get a chance to read it!

Kay Garrett said...

The first chapter of A HEART RECLAIMED made me want to keep reading.
Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Lena, thanks for having Elizabeth today and Elizabeth, thanks for sharing your thoughts and the first page of A Heart Reclaimed. It sounds like a lovely story.
Blessings to you both.
Connie from KY

Unknown said...

Awesome interview. I love your answer on don't just stay with your particular style of writing and reading. Go out and try new things. I think that's wonderful. Thank you for the opportunity of this great giveaway.

Barbara Thompson (LA)

Trixi said...

Love the book excerpt, makes me want to read the rest of the story! Thanks for a fun interview and giveaway.

Trixi in OR

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like a story I will enjoy reading.

Linda in CA

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Elizabeth Maddrey said...

Yay! Hope you get to :)

Elizabeth Maddrey said...

Thanks for coming by!

Elizabeth Maddrey said...

Thanks Barbara! I love to read so many different genres, so I love when people branch out.

Elizabeth Maddrey said...

Yay! Glad you enjoyed it Trixi!

Elizabeth Maddrey said...

Yay! Hope you get the chance to read it!

Anonymous said...

Love Elizabeth 's books! Shelia from Mississippi