Thursday, September 19, 2019

THE ARIZONA TERRITORY BRIDES COLLECTION - Carol Cox - One Free Ebook

Welcome back, Carol. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
I seldom begin writing a book with a specific theme in mind. It tends to take shape as I watch the story unfold and discover new things about the characters along the way. Looking back, I can see that themes of trust and women discovering their inner strength seem to come up over and over again in my books.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?
My current project is bringing some of my older titles back into print, and I’m thrilled at the opportunity to make these books available to a whole new group of readers. This fall, I’m especially excited to bring back a favorite series: A Fair to Remember. The three books in the series—Ticket to Tomorrow, Fair Game, and A Bride So Fair—offer a blend of history, mystery, and romance set against the backdrop of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. It was a fascinating moment in time, and I hope readers will enjoy experiencing it as much as I did!

I love reading about the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. I’ll want to feature that series as well. If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
Over the past few years, I’ve become increasingly involved with Operation Christmas Child and have been blessed to meet some of the people serving on national leadership teams in different countries. These people are my heroes—especially those working in areas where sharing the Gospel truly means putting their lives and safety on the line. It would be an honor to spend time with one of those team members and see that kind of bold faith in action.

James and I have participated in OCC for decades, too. We love that organization and have also volunteered on the local level. What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
Working to get the A Fair to Remember series ready for release this fall, I’ve had my attention focused on 1893 Chicago. Fair Game includes a connection to Dwight L. Moody’s World’s Fair campaign, so Mr. Moody has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m inspired by the way he realized that the thousands of visitors coming to the fair from distant lands offered an unparalleled opportunity to spread the Gospel to countries all over the globe…without ever leaving Chicago. Being able to spend time with this man of God and get a glimpse of his heart for evangelism would be an amazing experience!

How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
There is nothing joyful about getting a rejection, especially when so much of our heart and effort have been poured into a project. It’s easy to focus on the pain and not much else. Not long ago, I was going through some story files that included early rejection letters for those titles. I remembered how much it hurt to be turned down and how easy it was to feel that my work just wasn’t good enough. If I had let those feelings take over, I might have given up and stopped pursuing publication. To be honest, that temptation was certainly there—discouragement has a way of blinding us to anything but the negative. Following the suggestions of more seasoned authors, I tried setting those rejections aside for a while before looking at them again. I was astonished to find a number of positive comments, when all I had seen at first was a resounding “No.” That helped me get back on track, learning from the criticisms, but encouraged by the favorable comments.

Tell us about the featured book.
Growing up in Phoenix—back in the days before dairy farms and cotton fields gave way to asphalt and new construction—I had the joy of listening to stories from some of the “old timers” who’d lived in Arizona since its territorial days. Those stories sparked a lifelong interest in the history of the West in general and Arizona in particular. The four books in this collection are a tribute to the women and men who worked together to tame this corner of the Western frontier.

MEET THE ARIZONA TERRITORY BRIDES--
Four strong, independent women—each determined to stand on her own two feet,
and not one of them looking for romance. But sometimes love shows up when you least expect it...

Elizabeth Simmons longs to realize her dreams of independence in the newly formed Arizona Territory. Will losing her heart to Michael O’Roarke undermine the independence she has worked so hard to achieve? Or could this land of danger also prove to be her Land of Promise?

Orphaned, then traded to a saloonkeeper by her unscrupulous guardian, Jenny Davis has learned some hard lessons in life. For one thing, she knows beyond a doubt that God doesn’t love her. Andrew Garrett is scouting land for mining investors when he meets Jenny. Digging ore out of hard rock may be easier than breaking down the walls of distrust Jenny has erected around herself in Refining Fire.

Before asking for Hallie Evans’s hand, Jacob Garrett wants to prove his worth to local ranchers—and himself. He’s determined to expose a ring of cattle thieves, then fight in a war for Cuba’s freedom. When his plans are sabotaged by Hallie’s impatient but well-meaning father, Hallie must help her father face his own demons…and sort out her feelings for Jacob. Can faith in God mend all wounds—and allow for romance—in Road to Forgiveness?

Catherine O’Roarke leaves the ranch she’s always called home and moves to Phoenix to take a job at a land investment company. Mitchell Brewer, a journalist for the Phoenix Clarion, comes across some land sales that appear to be a cover for fraud. Mitch knows he has to write the truth, even if it costs him dearly—so dearly that any future with Catherine could be gone. Will Mitch and Catherine be able to see the Lord’s hand at work under a Copper Sunrise?

Please give us the first page of the book.
February 1867
Prescott, Arizona Territory
Richard Bartlett leaned into the biting wind as he walked along, hating the wind, hating the cold, and finding no beauty in the brilliant streaks of rose and gold that tinged the late afternoon sky.

The letter tucked into his waistcoat pocket crackled with every step, reminding him of his dilemma. Should he tell his wife that fool of a girl had written again, proposing a visit? And if he did, how should he break it to her? Letitia was hard enough to please in the best of times, but with her laid up now, and after their recent trouble, she was more sharp-tongued than ever. Head down, chin tucked into the woolen scarf around his neck, he paid little heed to the rugged beauty around him.

He barely noticed when a stocky figure stepped out of the shadows, planting its solid bulk directly in his path, and not flinching when the inevitable collision came.

“Why don’t you watch where you’re…” Richard broke off, realizing who he had run into. His cheeks flooded with heat, then chilled abruptly. “Timothy! I’m sorry, I didn’t see you.” He tried a weak laugh that didn’t quite come off.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love to connect with readers online!
Visit my website at: www.AuthorCarolCox.com
You can also reach me on my Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/carol.cox
I’m spending more and more time on Pinterest these days, and it’s been a fun way to share ideas: www.pinterest.com/authorcarolcox.

Thanks so much for the chance to spend time with you and your readers, Lena. It’s always a
pleasure!

I love introducing long-time friends and their books to my blog readers.

Readers, here is a link to the book.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07W1BH5VS?ie=UTF8&tag=lenneldoochaw-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B07W1BH5VS

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, 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:

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

MEMORIES OF GLASS - Melanie Dobson - One Free Book

Welcome back, Melanie. As an author, I know it takes a lot of people to birth each book. Who were the people involved in the birthing of this book, and what were their contributions?
An entire labor unit worked alongside me to birth this book! It began with my friend Ann Menke urging me to check out the story behind a series of mines in The Netherlands. Then the courageous Johan van Hulst who was 107 when I wrote this book and many other Dutch friends who contributed by sharing the history of their family or helping me straighten out my facts. My critique partners gave me honest feedback as I rewrote this novel and then the editorial team at Tyndale House who was phenomenal at helping me sort through my many threads.

If you teach or speak. What’s coming up on your calendar?
I love to teach! I’m speaking in two weeks at a chapter of the Pacific Northwest Association of Church Librarians and then on October 1 at the ACFW group in Vancouver, Washington. In November, I’ll be speaking at the Olympic Peninsula Christian Writers Conference (https://www.opcwc.com/).

If you had to completely start over in another place, where would you move, and why?
My husband and I did this exact thing almost twenty years ago as newlyweds. Before we had children, we decided to move from Virginia to a mountain town in southwestern Colorado. Just for fun. In hindsight, it was a bit crazy, but we had a wonderful year. I was just building my PR and writing business, and Jon wanted to launch an animation company. We hiked to multiple ghost towns during our year and dreamed about the future and worked like crazy. God used this season in the Rocky Mountains to grow our marriage and launch our dreams.

Sounds wonderful. If you could only tell aspiring novelists one thing, what would it be?
Years ago, I watched an interview with a bestselling novelist, and I was shocked when the woman said she was a “horrible” writer. She quickly followed up this up by saying that while she was a horrible writer, she was a fabulous re-writer. 

At the time, I was talking frequently about writing and thinking about it even more. The problem was that I was not actually doing much writing because I was terrified I would fail. And if I failed, it would be the death of my dream. Once I realized my first draft didn’t have to be perfect, I let go of my fears and began scribbling down my thoughts and eventually scenes onto paper. Then I reworked and polished for several years until I had a clean manuscript to send off to a publisher.

So my advice to aspiring novelists is to write! Study the craft and then sit down with a computer or laptop or device and begin pouring out the first draft. Later you can think about the editing and ultimately publishing of your manuscript.

You’ve been asked to be in charge of a celebrity cruise. Who would you ask to take part, and why? (AS in what program, singers, etc. [it doesn’t have to be writing related])
Almost everything in my life is writing related. J I would probably organize a cruise to ports across Europe and invite writers and locals to share the history and stories of each city that we visited. My idea of a perfect cruise would be endless pots of tea and a quiet space with an ocean view to write so I wouldn’t be much of a help in coordinating any shows!

Tell us about the featured book.
Memories of Glass is a time-slip novel inspired by the Dutch men and women during World War II who rescued more than six hundred Jewish children from a deportation center in Amsterdam. Almost eighty years later, Ava Drake, the director of the prestigious Kingston Foundation, begins to uncover the devastating story about her family’s role in financing Hitler. As she and a child advocate named Landon West dig into the past, Ava discovers that her story is intertwined with the West family and an elderly Dutch woman who has spent a lifetime remembering a boy who was lost during the war. A boy she never expected to find.

I have a time-slip novel percolating in my brain right now. Please give us the first page of Memories of Glass.
Brilliant color flickered across her canvas of wall. Sunflower yellow and luster of orange. Violet folded into crimson. A shimmer like the North Sea with its greens and blues.

Most of the walls in her bungalow were filled with treasures of artwork and photographs and books, but this pale-cream plaster was reserved solely for the light, a grand display cast through the prisms of antique bottles that once held perfume or bitters or medicine from long ago.

The colors reminded her of the tulip fields back home, their magnificent hues blossoming in sunlight, filling the depths of her soul with the brilliance of the artist’s brush. Spring sunshine was rare in Oregon, but when it came, she slipped quietly into this room to watch the dance of light.

Sixty-eight bottles glowed light from shelves around her den, their glass stained emerald or amber or Holland’s Delft blue. Or transparent with tiny cuts detailing the crystal.

These wounds of an engraver—the master of all craftsmen with his diamond tools—made the prettiest colors of all.

Only one of the bottles was crimson. She lifted it carefully off the shelf and traced the initials etched on the silver lid, the ridges molded down each side, as she lowered herself back into her upholstered chair.

All of them she treasured, but this one . . .

This bottle held a special place in her heart.

I’m eager to read your book. It will go at the top of my to-be-read pile when it arrives. Where can we find you on the Internet?
I really enjoy connecting with readers. The best places to find me are on Facebook and Twitter (@MelBDobson) as well as on my website— http://www.melaniedobson.com.

Thank you, Melanie, for sharing this new book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Memories of Glass - Christianbook.com
Memories of Glass - Amazon paperback
Memories of Glass - Kindle
Memories of Glass - Audiobook

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, 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:

Monday, September 16, 2019

THE HEIRESS COMES TO TOWN - Janet Syas Nitsick - One Winner's Choice of an Ebook or Print Book

Dear Readers, I read The Heiress Comes to Town last week. It was the first book of Janet’s I’ve read. I love historical romances, and this is a good one. I loved her characters and the totally unexpected twist ending.

Welcome, Janet. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I believe each novel I write includes a little of myself, such as Annie Lee, a main character in my humorous, suspenseful, historical romance, The Bride List. She is fun loving, a teacher, and is a strawberry-blonde redhead. I, too, like to make funny comments, was a language arts teacher, and I am a strawberry-blonde redhead from birth. Jim Ward, one of the minor characters, was a reporter. I also am a former journalist

I also like to dress up. I feel my best in a dress and wearing a hat. Thus I love writing historical romances during the late 1800s since this was a time period where women wore beautiful gowns, donned fancy hats, and at times carried parasols. I love describing these beautiful clothes and wish I could wear some of them. Of course, I am happy I do not have to use an outhouse.

I live in Nebraska, so I feel best writing about towns and cities I know. Thus, all my stories take place in Nebraska. I can paint a picture of that primitive and simple period, and how people depended on each other. Yet people are people no matter what era you are talking about.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I do not know if you would call this quirky. However, I sing solos at church. I am not content in just singing a solo. I try to do something different to add something special to the performance.

For example, I sang the hymn, “In the Garden.” The words begin: “I come to the garden alone while the dew is still on the roses …” As I made my way to the microphone, I sang this first verse and presented congregants with flowers. The parishioners loved it!

That sounds wonderful. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I wrote a neighborhood play when I was 10 years old. We performed it front of the neighborhood parents. I’m sure it was awful, but that was my first foray into writing.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Since I was a former journalist, I enjoy reading non-fiction as well as fiction. However, I do not like horror or fantasy. Horror often involves blood and guts so I do not like that. Fantasy for me does not connect with reality. I do not like stories that take place in non-existent worlds.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Coffee, humor, and friends.

I love coffee. I can drink it at night without problems. It soothes my tensions. I do not drink a lot of lattes since I am not out and about every day to purchase them. But sipping on a cup quiets my spirit, and it also keeps me awake so I can write at night.

Humor always helps, especially in this topsy-turvy world. I crack jokes and my family also does some of that. You ought to hear us sometimes at our family celebrations. It keeps everyone happy.

Humor also is included in some of my novels even though the overall story is not humorous. Your characters determine this. In my first novel, Her Husband’s Secret, the main character, Owen Sias, nicknamed Red for his red hair, likes to tease those around him. For instance:

“The crisp air drifted in behind him as Red opened the door. He came over to her. His red hair swept down around his brow. He laid the dead animal on the kitchen table. ‘Here’s a goose for you to cook.’

“Edith glared at the furry, long-eared animal. She raised her face to her husband. ‘That’s a rabbit.’ She shook her head at him.

“He wrapped his arms around her waist. His cold lips pressed against hers. He took a step backward and gave a sly grin. ‘No, it’s a goose because his goose is cooked.’”

I have a group I formed after my mother’s death in 2009. It is called Circle of Friends. We share our troubles, talk politics at times, go out to eat each month, and once a year do an outing. This all helps to keep your sanity and be able to face whatever you are going through at that time.  

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I have a list of names taken from gravestones. I know kind of morbid. However, I also use names found in Western movies, and believe it or not, I still have my baby name book and often use that as well. That book gives the origin of the name, and what the name means, such as the name Irene is from Greek and means serene, peaceful.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
In 2010, my story, “The Silver Lining,” placed tenth in the Writer’s Digest short story contest in the mainstream/literary category. It is available on Smashwords as a free read: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/42833

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I always have loved watching the squirrels scramble up the trees and around the yard. I think they are cute. That is until I found out they are rodents and are close cousins of the rat and mice families.

Squirrels hunt for nuts and save them for winter. They are industrious animals, and I admire that.

What is your favorite food?
For Christmas, my mother and my aunt made fudge from scratch using cocoa. That fudge is delicious but quite a feat to do. Several years ago, I learned how to prepare it, and now make it for my family and send it to out-of-state family members and friends at Christmastime. Of course, we always have enough for ourselves as well. You cannot beat it, especially if you include walnuts.

I love, love, love fudge, but I like mine with pecans. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
As a former journalist, I had to learn how to write novels. A reporter deals with facts. You do not include emotions and you limit descriptions. Journalism and novel writing are like night and day.

I remember my first novel, Her Husband’s Secret, and how warm my cheeks became in writing tender and clean love interactions. I had to put my shyness behind me and write them. This took about a year’s time to move from reporter to novelist.  

However, a reporter’s background prepares you in being concise and accurate. As a journalist, you need to limit your words and not exaggerate. Short and sweet are the best news reports (as long as the story is complete) and allows for the paper to include as many advertisements as they can. Making sure my time period, dialogue, word terminology, and phrases were correct, helped me create historical romances, which were in line with that era.

Tell us about the featured book.
Slipping out of her father’s New York mansion on her wedding day, Nina Robert stands outside her home in the snow to hail a cab. Her father, a wealthy tycoon, has arranged for her to marry the son of a well-known, wealthy businessman.

Nina escapes and ends up in a small Midwest town where she meets a doctor. Love develops, but Nina’s father is determined to fulfill that marriage contract and has hired the famous Pinkerton Detective Agency to find her.

This clean, Christian, historical romance includes mystery, suspense, and is a page-turner. Those who have read it say they had no clue on how the plot played out.

The Heiress Comes to Town takes readers on a journey to small town life of 1896 before cars traveled the roadways and electricity illuminated buildings. Travel back in time and visit Nina’s yearn for freedom and her desire to marry the man she loves.

The book I’m writing right now is set in large towns in 1896. Large towns at that time in Texas had electricity, especially most businesses and wealthy homes. Please give us the first page of the book for my blog readers.
New York City, New York
1896
Pa’s gone to get the parson! With chance on her side, Nina Robert rushed upstairs to her bedroom. Throwing off her grandmother’s ivory wedding gown and veil, she stuffed the heirlooms along with a selection of dresses, underwear, sleep attire, a small notebook and a pencil into her portmanteau then fastened the straps.
           
She slipped on her tan blouse and skirt with lace and satin trim. Then she put on her cloak and furry hat. Realizing she needed funds, she took her petty allowance and shoved that into her purse before she put on her gloves.
           
Her heart thundered in her chest as she played out the daring scene she had planned for more than a month. Taking the servants’ stairway, she climbed down the narrow steps, dragging her medium-sized wooden trunk, clad in leather behind her. It clunked as she angled it down the stairs. Did anyone hear her descent? She took a deep breath then waited a few seconds before she proceeded downward again.
           
Nina stood in front of the back stairs’ door, which led into the kitchen. Pans clanged and voices reverberated. Her hand shook as she grabbed the doorknob. She bit her lip, hoping against hope she would make it out of the house without anyone seeing her. She stood there a minute to gather strength. Oh Lord, help me get out of here.
           
The servant bells rang. Footsteps raced across the floorboards. Nina released a long breath, knowing the domestic help were being summoned into the parlor to ready things for the marriage ceremony. Nina waited until the scurried footsteps stopped.
           
Creaking the servants’ door open, she surveyed the room and hurried across the kitchen, scooting the chest behind her. In normal circumstances, she would have been …

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter: JanNitsick
LinkedIn: Janet Nitsick

Thank you, Janet, for sharing your book with my blog readers and me.

Readers, here are links to the book.
The Heiress Comes to Town (Bonnets and Beaus) - Paperback
The Heiress Comes to Town (Bonnets and Beaus Book 1) - 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, 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:

Sunday, September 15, 2019

WINNERS!!!

IMPORTANT: Instructions for winners  - When you send me the email, make sure your subject line says this: Winner - (book title) - (author's name) If you don't do this, your email could get lost in my hundreds of emails per day. I WILL SEARCH FOR POST TITLES STARTING THAT WAY.

Emma (PA) is the winner of the ebook  My Dashing Billionaire by Katie Evergreen.

Beth (IA) is the winner of Breaking Point by Marji Laine.

Paula (MO) is the winner of Christmas Next Door by Vickie McDonough.

If you won a book and you like it, please consider giving the author the courtesy of writing a review on Goodreads, Amazon.com, Christianbooks.com, Barnes and Noble, or other Internet sites. Reviews are such a blessing to an author.

Also, tell your friends about the book you won ... and this blog. Thank you.

Congratulations
, everyone. If you won a print book, send me your mailing address:
Click the Contact Me link at the top of the blog, and send me an Email.


If you won an ebook or audio book, just let me know what email address it should be sent to.
Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

THE SCARLET COAT - Angela K Couch - One Free Book

Welcome, Angela. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I’m a lot like my heroine in this one. Maybe too much. I write a little bit of my hubby into every hero, as well. Makes them easier to love. ;)

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
That’s a hard one. Probably because I’ve done a lot of quirky things. One fun one though was making a medieval movie with friends and siblings. Costumes, swords, horses, stunts—the full nine yards with a little home camcorder. Thankfully it was before the days of YouTube.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I used to squiggle lines on a page before I could write, loving the idea of writing a book. As a teen, I started my first of many novels—some of which will never see that light of day for good reason.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
If there is romance and it’s clean, I’ll read just about anything. Romance and finance books. I know, a little strange.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I try to remember to walk. I love to sit on the porch and enjoy a pleasant evening or watch my kids play. Those moments to focus on the here and now and truly enjoy life.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Every conceivable way. Rachel had been one of my favorite names when I started this story. Andrew just fit him. In my latest story, Return of the King’s Ranger, Nora was my children’s babysitter and I told her I’d write her into a book.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Probably my babies. Giving birth to them, raising them. My last was born at home with midwives. One of my sisters-in-laws suggested I am a bit of a hippy, but no, I’m just very old-fashioned. My mother-in-law says it’s probably research (I do write historical, after all.) I’ll go with that.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I think I would be a horse. They are often seen as noble and powerful, hard workers with great endurance, but they are still prey animals so on the inside they are the equivalent of a scared bunny rabbit. 

What is your favorite food?
Italian. Anything (almost) Italian.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Kids…and I haven’t overcome it/them. Instead I keep adding more! Number four (born last summer) throw me for a little bit of a loop this past year (he was walking at 9 months!), but I’m still puttering along, writing when I can.

Tell us about the featured book.
Surrounded by the musket fire of the American Revolution, Rachel Garnet prays for her family to be safe. When the British invade the Mohawk Valley and her father and brother don't return from the battle, she goes in pursuit of them. She finds her brother alive but her father has been killed at the hand of the enemy. Amidst the death, how can she ignore a cry for help? Rachel reluctantly takes in a badly wounded British officer. But how long can her sense of Christian duty repress her hatred for his scarlet coat?

Passages of Scripture and fleeting images of society are all Andrew Wyndham recalls after he awakens to the log walls of his gentle prison. Even his name eludes him. Rachel Garnet insists he is a captain in the British army. He mourns the loss of his memory, but how can he hope to remember war when his “enemy” is capturing his heart?

Andrew’s injuries are severe, his memory slow to return, and the secret of his existence too perilous to ignore. As Rachel nurses him back to health, his hidden scarlet coat threatens to expose the deeds of her merciful heart, and Andrew is forced to face a harrowing decision—Stay hidden and risk losing the woman he loves or turn himself in and risk losing his life.

Please give us the first page of the book.
The last rays of sun faded into twilight, and the wind whispered through the trees, as if warning Rachel to turn back. She encouraged her pa’s stallion forward, though her pulse threatened to strangle her. Somewhere, not far away, a wolf wailed into the night. The mournful song resonated within her, bespeaking tragedy. She searched the deepening shadows of the forest. What if all the British hadn’t retreated? What if there were still Indians and Tories out there, waiting behind those trees?

Something unseen rustled the leaves, and a twig snapped. Lord, what am I doing? How would she even find them out here in the dark? Maybe she should go home or to the Reids’ for another night.

Her course of action seemed so clear when General Herkimer, and what remained of his regiment and the local militia, limped their way alongside the Mohawk River from Oriskany. The general lay on a stretcher, his leg below the knee wrapped in a crimson cloth, his face pale and expressionless—like so many of the men with him. Eight hundred had marched north the day before yesterday and barely half returned.

Her pa and brother were not among them.

Stay with the Reids. That was all Pa had asked of her. Benjamin Reid’s bad leg compelled him to remain behind and watch over their farms. Though the safest place for her, Rachel could no longer wait there trying to carry on a casual conversation with any of the Reid girls or hide behind her mother’s Bible. She couldn’t abide the confines of their snug cabin a minute longer without knowing her own family’s fate. Since losing Mama to illness two years ago, Pa and Joseph were all she had. She couldn’t lose them, too. But she’d ridden for hours now. Where was she?

A little farther along the trail, the wind shifted slightly, carrying on it the odor of burnt powder and blood. Battle. Rachel’s hand came to her stomach in an attempt to calm the sickness churning within.

The horse whinnied, shifting as he tossed his head.

“Whoa. Easy, Hunter.” She slid to the ground and surveyed her surroundings. Both sides of the road were heavily treed and thick with underbrush. Even still, she could make out the dark forms of fallen men. She stumbled over her feet but kept moving. “Joseph! Pa!” You can’t be dead.

Dragging the horse, Rachel ran. Each step constricted her throat until she could hardly breathe. Bodies littered the road—Indian, Tory, and American alike. She maneuvered around them, searching faces in the faint glow of the remaining light. She should have brought a lantern.

The road sloped downward into a deep ravine. Her feet faltered. Hundreds of men—a patchwork of blue and homespun. All motionless. All dead. If only she could close her eyes or turn away, but every muscle held her in place.

The rasp of a voice jolted her from the trance. She yelped and spun toward the intruder.

“Rachel?” The murmur of her name accompanied the form of a man emerging from the trees. “What are you doing here?”

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Angela, for sharing your book with us. Sounds like an intriguing story.

Readers, here are links to the book.
The Scarlet Coat (Hearts at War) - Paperback
Scarlet Coat (Hearts at War) - 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, 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:

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

9/11/2001

Just a quick interruption on my blog to share this with you. When the first plane hit the first tower, I was in the dressing area of our bedroom getting ready to go to work and heard the newscaster's disbelieving voice. I rushed to sit on the bed to watch the TV screen. I tried to understand. Then I saw the second plane hit the second tower. I cried.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

PRAIRIE TRUTH - Marilyn Bay - One Free Book

Welcome, Marilyn. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
All fiction begins with some element of truth. My fiction is heavily researched and highly accurate. Many of my characters are based on someone I know or an amalgamation of several people. In Prairie Grace, Georgia is much like my mother, who bucked her mother’s Southern plantation upbringing and propriety. Caroline in Prairie Truth, like her mother, is a horse trainer, and that is me. Although, I was never the rebel that Caroline is, some of my relationship story is written into hers. All We Like Sheep: Lessons from the Sheepfold, is a devotional-type set of stories of experiences raising sheep. My mother and I co-wrote this non-fiction book.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Oh boy, there are too many stories from which to choose. Among them is a decision to stay as a guest at the home of a woman I met on a ship. What made it quirky— maybe stupid or scary is a better description—is that it was a home in mainland China in the 1980s. She served hard-boiled, unrefrigerated pigeon eggs for the three days I was there, along with some other less notable foods. She lived two hours by car from Shanghai. I spoke Mandarin and was able to learn what life was life for this woman and her family.

I think that sounds wonderful, maybe except for the eggs. I’ve traveled to Mexico several times and stayed with a friend there most of the times. I love learning about other cultures. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I loved to write stories since I could write. I got a degree in journalism, and writing has always been a part of my career. I have always loved storytelling through the written and spoken word. I used to travel across the prairie with my parents, see an old decaying house and wonder what life had been like for the people who lived there. Stories emanated from there. Prairie Grace stems from a Thanksgiving story I wrote in elementary school about a dying Indian boy dropped on the stoop of a settler family’s home. They nursed him back to health, and he later came back to save them from starvation. I still have the hand-written story!

I love the San Luis Valley of Colorado where Prairie Truth is set. When we drove through the valley as a child and young adult, I always had stories percolating in my head. The hard thing is getting the stories researched, fleshed out and down on paper.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love Lynn Austin’s historical fiction. It is educational and never predictable. Sandra Dallas is a secular historical fiction writer I enjoy as well. Her stories are mostly set in Colorado mountain towns. CJ Box is another favorite. His writing is modern, action/suspense set in Wyoming. I also read non-fiction, but given the choice, I will usually go for good fiction. Fiction must be hard to put down or it’s just not worth the time.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I recently moved back to the farming community in which I was raised. Severing all activities from my former community, although they were fulfilling, made me be much more intentional about the commitments I now make. Nonetheless, it is difficult to balance a career that pays the bills with my small sheep raising operation, my author career, and family. My daughters are both adults and on their own. Living rural I don’t hear and see traffic, which does bring calm to my soul. I can’t imagine how young women today handle family, career, and other commitments.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
My maternal grandmother’s name was Georgiana, so that is where I got Georgia in Prairie Grace. Since I’m writing historical fiction, I always do research to make sure that name was used during the time period. For Prairie Truth, I used historical documents for surnames of people who were early settlers to the San Luis Valley. (Lead characters) Caroline or Carolina was my choice, because it is used both in English and Spanish. Mauricio is the name of the son of a family I lived with in Costa Rica. I used Mauricio because it isn’t the common, stereotypical Spanish given name for a man.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Hands down, it is raising two amazing daughters. Kelly and Shannon are kind, morally grounded, sweet young ladies. I could not be any prouder of them!

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
No question, I would be a horse. I raise sheep and have cats and dogs I like very much, but the horse is beautiful, strong, and true. I’ve owned, bred, and trained several horses throughout my life. They always teach me patience and how to be their leader. The horse training pieces in both Prairie Grace and Prairie Truth are my own experience.

What is your favorite food?
I love pulling a bison steak or roast from my freezer and preparing it with fresh veggies and herbs from my garden. I do a lot of gardening, freezing, and canning food from what it produces. We enjoy eating this throughout the year. As for ethnic cuisines, I love Thai, Indian, and Mexican (or is Mexican now more “American” than meat and potatoes?)

I live in Texas, and we eat TexMex. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Time is always the giant I must slay. My journalist training and experience has given me the ability to sit and write. I don’t have to get “inspired” or warmed up. I wrote much of Prairie Grace in 2012 on my laptop while waiting for my daughter at her choir practice.

Tell us about the featured book.
Prairie Truth, the sequel to Prairie Grace, is set in the San Luis Valley of Colorado in 1888 when 23-year-old Caroline seeks acceptance in a region of Colorado settled three decades earlier by Mexicans. Caroline’s mixed white-Indian heritage makes acceptance by either group difficult, as does her choice to excel as a horse trainer rather than to pursue more domestic, traditionally female work.

Caroline has a traumatizing childhood experience when she is first welcomed and later shunned at a nearby prairie schoolhouse. Her desire to fit in sends her to Denver as a young woman, but she finds Denverites to be even more disdainful of her Indian heritage than the settlers on the prairie where she grew up. Disappointed, Caroline’s attention is piqued by a comment from Lucy, an old friend of Caroline’s mother that Caroline could pass for a Mexican señorita.

Caroline flees to the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado where she learns Spanish and enough of the culture to pass for a Mexican señorita, trying to appear as someone she is not disquiets her spirit and causes her other problems. Her failed marriage officially ends when her pompous mother-in-law learns Caroline’s true identity. Again, she must flee into anonymity. This time she settles in the town of San Luis, Colorado’s oldest (European) town.

Caroline is assisted in her struggle to assimilate by Mauricio Cordoba, whose family of humble means prospered as ranchers in the San Luis Valley until the death of Mauricio’s father.  Mauricio’s own disastrous marriage and the influx of Anglo settlers into the San Luis Valley changed the economic climate and sent Mauricio looking for work with another ranch. Mauricio, a masterful leader of his crew of vaqueros and a talented businessman, must earn enough silver to sustain his own ranch, so that he can return home.

Mauricio Cordoba is intrigued by Caroline and knows she is running from something, but even he does not guess her true heritage. They part early in the story, but circumstances bring them back together in the town of San Luis.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Sanchez Estate, San Luis Valley, Colorado
Spring, 1886
Caroline kicked the statue of St. Jude, Señora Sanchez’s favorite saint, tugging her bulging saddlebags up and onto her right shoulder as she raced down the steps of the sprawling adobe estate house. Her brief marriage to Carlos had been a disaster in more ways than one.

“You may take a carpet bag of clothing, acquired during your marriage, no mas, and the lazy horse, saddle, and bridle you rode in here with when you presented yourself as a senorita,” Señora Sanchez bellowed after Caroline signed the annulment papers. “You’re nothing more than a half-breed!”

Caroline sprinted to the barn. What an ignorant woman her mother-in-law, now ex-mother-in-law, was to call her horse “lazy.” The woman knew nothing of horses. The bay mare did exactly what she was bred and trained to do. She worked hard, could pull down any steer and stood still as a rock when that was required of her. She was no high-stepping parade horse, but ranches needed strong, good-minded horses, and the bay was that indeed. Had Mrs. Sanchez told Caroline she couldn’t take the bay mare with her, the woman would have had a fight on her hands. Caroline’s ma had given the bay mare to her for her sixteenth birthday.

“I spec it’ll be one of the last my sorrel mare Cheyenne will birth. I want you to have her,” her ma had said. “Train her like I taught you, and she’ll serve you well. When you find the right stallion, you can raise a string of fine cattle horses.”

Caroline had left home two years later, the bay filly in tow. She had been such a fool, but she couldn’t wait to get away from her parents’ ranch in the Bijou Basin, a two-day ride southeast of Denver.

She jerked open the barn door, nearly pulling it from its hinges. “Azucar.”  Caroline called to the bay mare as she stepped into the tack room to fetch her saddle, saddle blanket, bridle and grooming tools. She had named the mare Sugar, Azucar in Spanish, shortly after she started training her because the young filly loved the lumps of sugar Caroline fed her. The mare nickered, swinging her head toward Caroline. How long had it been since Caroline had groomed her mare? Much too long. The Sanchez’s groom placed little value on grooming a horse, other than when it would be on display, such as when it made a trip to town or during festival days when the Hispanos paraded their high-stepping horses down the main street. Caroline would have been glad to groom Azucar or the other horses, for that matter, but Mrs. Sanchez insisted it was not fitting for a woman of her standing.

Not only had Azucar been neglected, Caroline felt the sting of Señora Sanchez’s unsuccessful attempt to transform her into a dutiful daughter-in-law. For her mother-in-law, a proper woman excelled in embroidery, discarded her personal opinions and rode only when required and only side saddle while wearing a full skirt. It was “unladylike” for a woman to ride astride, according to the señora.

Caroline had tried in the beginning. She really had. Her ma had taught her the basics of sewing. She could hem a dress or sew on a button, but it was beyond her why every towel and handkerchief had to be stitched with ornate designs. Had she known being married would require her to become someone she was not, she would never have agreed to marry Carlos. It was just one of the reasons she regretted marrying the spoiled mama’s boy.

As she brushed and saddled Azucar, she wished she had left the dress she was wearing in the house. Trousers and shirts were so much easier for riding and working. And, she would have enjoyed her mother-in-law’s outrage at seeing her former daughter-in-law ride down the lane at a gallop in men’s trousers. At least she had the presence of mind to pull on her sturdy leather boots before Señora Sanchez had thrown her out.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you for sharing your book with us. I’m very intrigued by your story.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Prairie Truth : A Novel - Paperback
Prairie Truth: A Novel - 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, 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:

Monday, September 09, 2019

SISTER OF THE BROTHERHOOD - Ginny Patrick - One Free Book

Welcome, Ginny. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
In my 36 (so far) books, there have been very few characters that don’t have some element of me in them. Some have so much of me I’m embarrassed at how much I reveal, while others just have a touch of me. I believe that’s the way a writer creates characters that resonate with readers, by instilling those characters with believable emotions, thoughts, and actions. For instance, I’m aware that many of my actions and attitudes exist because of the things that I experienced in childhood. In Sister of the Brotherhood, the antagonist (who is pretty unlikable) acts as he does because of his past and his family influences. That’s one little piece of me and what I’ve learned about myself that helped me to develop his character.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I ran through my neighborhood wearing a sequined green tutu. I was training for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon and wanted to make sure the outfit was going to work. But my neighbors didn’t know my reason. I’m fairly certain they still refer to me as That Weird Woman Who Runs In A Tutu.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Not until my mid-twenties, when I read a published short story that contained what I considered a couple of major flaws. I thought, “I can do better than this!” So I tried. Sigh. Thus began a long and painful lesson: writing is a lot harder than it looks. It took me twenty years to come up with my first publishable piece of fiction.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My first love is fantasy and science fiction. I blame my mother, who read The Chronicles of Narnia to me when I was very young. But I also love a well-plotted mystery. And I enjoy novels that depict characters who are impacted, shaped, and changed by their environment, like The Book Thief and The Nightingale.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Writing keeps me sane. When I’m working on a book, the real world fades into the shadows of my fictional world. Armchair psychologists will probably have fun with that.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
That’s such a great question, because I think names are extremely important in defining a character, a culture, and the genre. For contemporary novels I use the Social Security Administration’s baby name register. (https://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/). I search for popular names during the year my character was born. I also Google common surnames in the city or state where my book is set. I recently finished a Biblical novel set in the eighth century B.C., so I researched Hebrew and Phoenician names. (The Last Drop of Oil will be released by Guideposts in March 2020.) For Sister of the Brotherhood, which is epic fantasy, I selected fairly common English names and modified them. Peter became Petro. Jonathan became Jothan. Ariel became Arien.  

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Last year my husband became extremely ill very suddenly. Multiple doctors and other practitioners kept telling me he had the flu, and to take him home and let him rest. I knew it was more, and I refused to give up. I successfully navigated the complicated medical system, learned how to approach medical practitioners to get their attention, negotiated with insurance companies, befriended nurses and aides, and as a result he lived. I’m serious – if I had listened to the first four doctors, he would not have survived past March 2018. I’m extremely proud of that—and very grateful to those who gave us advice and support along the way. (He’s doing much better today!)

I’ve had to do that for my father-in-law years ago and for my husband recently. It is a major undertaking. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Today I’m kind of tired so I’d be a sloth. I like the idea of taking life slow and easy, and of sleeping 15-20 hours per day. And I think they’re cute.

My youngest granddaughter, who is getting married later this month, loves sloths, too. What is your favorite food?
That’s a terrible question to ask a woman on a diet! My favorite is chicken and dumplings, the way my mother made them when I was growing up. Alas, there is nothing diet-friendly about Mom’s dumplings.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
That’s an easy one: procrastination. If my deadline is several months away I have a very hard time making myself sit down and get started on the book. Once I’m into the story I’m more disciplined, but I tend to delay starting. The closer the deadline gets, the harder and faster I write.

And the Internet helps us procrastinate, too, and it’s right in front of us when we’re writing. Social media anyone? Tell us about the featured book.
Sister of the Brotherhood is epic fantasy set in a land where the mental ability to manipulate physical matter (telekinesis) is found only in men. That is, until a member of the Brotherhood of Power discovers Arien, an orphaned girl with the strongest ability he’s ever encountered. Being female, her power is enhanced with special qualities men don’t possess. That makes her dangerous, an enigma. When a spy intercepts a covert message detailing an invasion plot by a hostile empire, only Arien’s unique abilities have a chance of saving thousands of innocent lives.

Sister of the Brotherhood is published under the pen name Ginny Patrick, so readers will be able to easily distinguish it from my other books. Epic fantasy is a unique kind of story, and I didn’t want there to be any confusion.

Sounds wonderful! Please give us the first page of the book.
Exhaustion tugged at Lisette’s eyelids. She must listen, or Jerolin would chastise her later for not paying attention to the Foretelling. But the babies, a son and daughter of the same birth, had been up most of the night and she was too attuned to their infant minds to sleep through their cries. Though the wet nurse had been on hand to care for them, Lisette insisted upon taking her turn pacing the floor, trying to coax the newborns back to sleep. She clamped her teeth together to suppress a yawn and fixed her eyes on the scene before her.

Gathered around an open area in the center of the room, a dozen or so well-dressed men fixed their attention on an old woman with a face like a prune. The Seer, chanting in a low, coarse voice, unfastened the wrapping from one of two bundles and withdrew a gnarled staff the length of her own leg. She tapped the staff gently, dislodging the excess powder, then turned to the first infant. The staff passed slowly over Lisette's sleeping son once, twice, thrice, while the chanting grew soft, then loud, then soft again. As the staff completed its third pass the old woman dashed it to the floor. One of the watchers jerked at the clatter. Blue powder scattered, and the rod rolled a short distance across the polished flagstones before coming to a stop.

The old woman knelt beside the powder, careful not to touch it, and peered at the pattern through half-closed eyelids. No one in the room dared to breathe, lest they disturb her.

Lisette glanced at her husband. Jerolin stood with his hands resting on a narrow table, a wine goblet before him. His jaw bulged as he watched the Seer, though occasionally he glanced toward the other men in the room as though to assure himself that everyone was attending to his son's Foretelling. His guests, in town to witness tomorrow's Naming Ceremony, all gave proper attention to the ritual.

When she finished her examination of the powder, the woman straightened and turned to face Jerolin.

“The child will come to adulthood strong and healthy.” Rheumy eyes fixed on a point somewhere above his head. “He will wear his father's name with pride and add to the wealth of that name. I see opportunities in his life never before available to his bloodline. He will touch three crowns, though none will be his to wear.”

The Seer bowed her head. Loud applause burst from the onlookers, and the men flanked Jerolin to clap his back. A successful Foretelling.

Three crowns. Lisette smiled and dipped her head at the congratulations offered to her as well. What could the message mean? Perhaps her son would serve three of this kingdom's monarchs, which may portend either a long life for him or short ones for the kings. Or might they be kings from three different kingdoms? A disturbing thought, though Lisette sensed nothing but pride in her husband's mind. Jerolin was not frustrated at the lack of information in this Foretelling, as she was.
(end of excerpt)

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is www.virginiasmith.org. On Facebook (where I hang out far too much) I’m at www.facebook.com/ginny.p.smith. On Twitter I’m @VirginiaPSmith. And on Instagram I’m at www.instagram.com/ginnypatricksmith.

Thank you, Ginny, for sharing this new book with us. I’m eager to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Sister of the Brotherhood - Paperback
Sister of the Brotherhood - 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, 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: