Thursday, January 25, 2018

SANCTUARY - Mike Brown - One Free Book

Dear Readers, Mike Brown is back with his newly revised, second edition of this book.

Welcome back, Mike. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
More than ever, God wakes me every morning with a vision for what he has in store for another day. I believe God allowed me to take early retirement four years ago so that I could begin the arduous process of crafting and promoting my Southern novels. Each story provides a God-centered thread dealing with the connection between our perseverance and God's providence, and the choices we can face with every twist and turn that life brings our way. Until God inspires otherwise, my colorful family of characters and their small South Georgia hometown of Shiloh will provide ample opportunities to write more books.

When I sense the need to get away from behind my writing desk, I participate at various author events sponsored by the Atlanta Writers Club, the oldest and largest literary group in Atlanta. I also am finding my schedule including more speaking engagements to encourage aspiring authors in the promotion and marketing of their published works. Some wonderfully gifted creative writers morph into “wallflowers” when it comes to talking about their books. Whether interacting with agents, editors, publishers, book retailers, and most importantly readers, authors can help themselves by confronting their fears and grow more confident communicating about their books.

Beyond novel writing, as my schedule allows, I am updating, editing, and compiling the best of my inspirational blog posts and sermons, written over the past fifteen plus years, and hope to publish a couple of books dealing with our daily relationship with God. I have found that many believers far too often focus on battling with others over “book-end issues” (birth and death of Jesus; Creation and End-Times of Mankind) and ignore the bridge we can build discussing the practical, relational teachings of Jesus. If we could rediscover and apply those core Gospel teachings to our day-to-day lives, we would experience far less strife and stress in our relationships with others. The other focus I feel compelled to share is the need for every believer to not only know what they believe but also why they believe what they do.

Tell us a little about your family.
My wife and I have been married forty-five years this summer. We have two sons who have provided us with three grandchildren in Ohio and two in Georgia. My wife and I enjoy staying busy, but we pace and plan book events and speaking engagements around spending quality time with our family whenever possible. God has manifested a burden upon my heart for my grandchildren. They are the why behind what I do each day.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
You cannot be a productive writer if you do not read. Since I began writing novels, my reading list has shifted to authors I admire the most and who write in the similar genre as I write. I confess my wife still out reads me about 4:1, but I keep a stack of TBR novels on my bedside table. I read a broad mix of well-known authors like John Grisham, Nicolas Sparks, Charles Martin, Ricky Bragg, Terry Kay, and others, but I also intermingle books from local authors - always making sure to offer a review.

What are you working on right now?
This year is off to a fast-paced start. The revised 2nd Edition of my first novel, Sanctuary (April 2017, Deeds), just got released as Sanctuary - A Legacy of Memories (January 2018, Palmetto Publishing). My publisher also is busy getting the sequel, Testament - An Unexpected Return, ready for its launch in late March. As time permits, the drafting of my third novel in the series, Purgatory - A Progeny’s Quest is underway, and I hope to have it ready for a 2019 launch.

What outside interests do you have?
Grandkids! And some personal bucket-list travel for my wife and I to enjoy while we can.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
That’s the advantage of a series. I took my time developing my South Georgia town of Shiloh and its cast of characters. I chose its locale in Southwest Georgia because my wife and I lived there when I served as pastor of a small country church and before that my business career allowed me to travel regularly through the rural towns and backroads of South Georgia. My wife and I now live outside of Newnan, Georgia, less than an hour southwest of Atlanta and its historical Court Square provided much of the model for the Shiloh’s Town Square depicted in the story. And, I serendipitously stumbled across the tragic fire photos of Sparta, Georgia’s famous antebellum courthouse. When I visited this historic town while writing Sanctuary, I fell in love with this time-lost city struggling to keep up with all the 21st-Century changes. After seeing it resurrected from the ashes two years later, meticulously replicating the original courthouse, I decided to get permission to use it on the cover and in my book.

Should I decide to pick another backdrop for a future book, my wife and I already have discussed using St. Simons Island. We both love the storied homes, shops and of course the landmark lighthouse. Yep, before I hang up my author’s hat, you can count on at least one story having St. Simons Island as the setting. I might even invest several weeks, maybe months there before writing a compelling seaside mystery there.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Well, I’m a theology and history major. Picking one person poses a challenge, but I guess I’d pick Nicodemus. No one person had a more inquisitive viewpoint on the life and teachings of Jesus. He also could shed much light on what took place between Jesus’ death and when the disciples discovered the empty tomb. I believe he also played a significant role afterward supporting the early growth of the Christian community. I’d also ask him about his Sanhedrin colleague, Joseph of Arimathea. Both sacrificed so much, but have been the source of much speculation over the centuries.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?The process of publishing and promoting books. Authors today must invest so much time and resources to market their books in the wake of today’s sea of books. An author must remain acutely aware of the ever-changing marketplace and keep a clear vision on the publishing path his or her book needs to take.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Patience, perseverance, and persistence, because I am more acutely aware that all things happen in His timing, not mine; for His purposes, not mine. Likewise, humility has a new meaning to me because I know without question that everything I have accomplished has its genesis through His inspiration and handiwork, not mine.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Phew. I am still defining what it means to be successful myself. But, I have learned this:
1. If you started writing to make lots of money, you would likely be very disappointed.
2. You will reach and impact far more people through your books than you will ever personally meet or speak to, so take care of the message readers will take away from reading your book. It not only reflects on you but also your relationship with God.
3. Your book will leave a lasting legacy about who you were. What will your grandchildren and their children say about the content of your books? Will they share stories about you and what you stood for as an author? The value of one’s legacy is measured by the extent of time what you left behind is preserved and passed on to future generations.

Tell us about the featured book.
Sanctuary - A Legacy of Memories, between now and late March my focus will be on continuing to promote my first novel with its revised edition preparing the way for the sequel. In this opening story, retired publishing executive, Theo Phillips, and his wife, Liddy, move from the shadows of Atlanta and return to their South Georgia roots. Theo is recruited by the local paper's publisher to write special-interest stories, which leads Theo to explore questions about the tragic death of a town hero. However, he uncovers that scandal and dark secrets have fractured Shiloh's otherwise time-lost tranquility and their plans to peacefully retire in their home of local notoriety takes an unexpected turn that impacts others in Shiloh.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Until three years ago, the former Adams County Courthouse had proudly stood since the Civil War as the landmark in Shiloh. After the powers-to-be transferred the county seat to Alexandria during the Depression, the majestic edifice underwent renovation to appease the folks in Shiloh and became the town’s city hall. The elegant lady had worn her nostalgic brick and stone exterior well, but the makeover had been superficial.

Questions have lingered since city officials reported the fire as accidental, cause unknown.

* * *
A prolonged Indian summer gripped Georgia. Though already the first Sunday of November, hot and humid weather more suitable for early September caused sweat to trickle unabated down my neck dampening the collar of the fresh cotton polo I had just yanked over my head. The moving truck had pulled away while Liddy patiently watched from her passenger window. I walked up the sidewalk one last time and locked the front door of the colonial brick suburban house we had called home for the past seven years.
I jumped into the driver’s seat, buckled up, squeezed the hand of my wife of forty years, and then reached for the gear shift. “Any regrets?”
Liddy raised her window and turned her gaze straight ahead as a silly smirk appeared. “Nope, Let’s roll! We’ve got a moving truck to meet in Shiloh tomorrow.”
My foot then slid from the brake to the accelerator, and our Expedition jolted forward with the packed trailer in tow. Liddy stared straight ahead for the first few minutes. She caressed the manila envelope stuffed with photos, brochures, and paperwork about the house we contracted to purchase for our retirement, but soon dozed off after we turned south onto US Highway 19. I settled in for the long afternoon drive to our destination an hour below Albany.
The all-too-familiar gated communities and shopping centers under Atlanta’s ever-present shadow faded in my rearview mirror. I snapped a farewell salute as we passed Cornerstone Books where I served as chief publishing editor until one week ago. The historic highway narrowed as the scenic panorama of autumn colors revealed more and more farms, fields and forests along the landmark route.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Author webpage -
Inspirational Blog -

Thank you, Mike, for sharing this new edition with us.

Readers, 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.

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Unknown said...

Lena, thank you for this opportunity once again.

Just in case anyone gets confused when they follow the Amazon link to my Author page the logarithm they use still pictures my first edition next to my photo, but when you click on it you will find links to the new 2nd edition paperback and Kindle books.

For those who would like a quicker link:

Thanks to Sanctuary, A Legacy fo Memories, I have been nominated for the GAYA - Georgia Author of the Year Award 2017 for First Novel.

The launch date for my sequel, Testament, An Unexpected Return is March 29th! Look for more in the coming weeks.

VanG said...

I enjoyed this interesting interview and would love to win a copy of this book. It sounds like a great read. Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that Mike will write a story soon based on St. Simons Island, as he mentioned. I read all of the books by Eugenia Price and fell in love with St. Simons, although I have never had the opportunity to actually visit. 😊 Blessings on your continued writing, Mike.

Melanie Backus said...

Great interview! Thank you! Melanie Backus, TX

Vivian Furbay said...

Very interesting story and I would like to read it. Vivian Furbay of CO

Shelia64 said...

sounds like a great book! Shelia from Mississippi

Connie Porter Saunders said...

This sounds like a great read! Thanks for this interview and the chance to win.
Connie from KY

Natalya Lakhno said...

Congratulations Mike! And thank you for the interview.
Natalya from Citrus Heights, CA

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me.
Conway SC.

Library Lady said...

Our men readers are going to love this book.
Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.
Janet E.