Wednesday, June 10, 2020

WITHIN GOLDEN BANDS - Norma Gail - One Free Book

Welcome, Norma. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
Land of My Dreams is romance/women’s fiction. Within Golden Band is romantic suspense/women’s fiction. My publisher added the women’s fiction into the list because I don’t write mushy, silly romance. While I love romantic scenes that make your heart flutter and poetic description, my stories follow the theme of women whose faith triumphs over trials. I led women’s Bible studies for over 21 years, and I know life isn’t easy. My characters need to come across as people my readers can relate to, with problems they might face.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The day I married my husband. We’re going on 44 years and we’ve still got that lovin’ feelin’. It hasn’t always been easy but we are blessed.

How has being published changed your life?
It’s a lot of work to be a published author. So much revolves around book promotion, numbers, and social media. Readers want to know the author. Social media is supposed to be relational, and that takes time. It’s also given me confidence in new areas. I’m constantly challenged to grow as a person and perfect my craft in order to become a better writer. Finding balance between family, friends, writing time, and book promotion can be a challenge.

What are you reading right now?
I envy the people who are reading a lot through the quarantine time. I’ve been editing and preparing for my book launch, so I quit reading about three months ago. It will be nice to go to work on my To-Be-Read list. The top book on the list is An Uncommon Woman by Laura Feagan Frantz. I stopped in the second chapter, so I’ll have to begin again.

What is your current work in progress?
There is an edited manuscript for a romantic novella in my computer. I need to finish it and send it back to the editor. It’s entitled The Song Writer, and is a rewrite of a story I wrote in high school. I think you could call it a coming of age story in reverse. Holly, the main character, looks through the peephole in her door and discovers her ex-husband, the rock star she eloped with when she was eighteen.

What would be your dream vacation?
Both Land of My Dreams and Within Golden Bands take place in Scotland. Kieran MacDonell’s sheep farm is on Loch Garry in the central Highlands. My husband is a Dutch immigrant, and the countries are very close together. My dream vacation would be to visit both. This time, I would love to rent a guest cottage at the place where I set the farm. The actual location is called Ardochy House.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Before our trip to Scotland in 2006, I dreamed about a man in a kilt playing the bagpipes on a misty mountainside surrounded by sheep. The dream grew into my books with Kieran MacDonell as the romantic Scottish sheep farmer/Highland Games competitor. Bonny’s home is in New Mexico, my home, and I love weaving the two together by contrast. The weather in both also works well as an accompaniment to the moods of the characters.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I don’t have many living heroes. However, when I was in high school, my dad helped with security for a Billy Graham Crusade in Albuquerque. We spent an evening with a couple who worked for the Crusade while they were babysitting Franklin Graham’s son Will. I would love to sit and talk to him as I admire the way he runs his father’s organization as well as Samaritan’s Purse. I appreciate most of the things he says about current world situations.

I agree with your last statement. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
My husband and I have a camper we’ve only used one season. We love going out in the mountains and visiting National Parks. I also love heading into the mountains on 4x4 trails in our Jeep. I don’t have time for a lot of other hobbies. I’m responsible for my 92-year-old uncle who is in an assisted living facility near me.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Aside from balancing the time between writing and book promotion, I struggle with creating enough conflict. I don’t like it in real life, so I guess I prefer not to write it. However, the early reviews of Within Golden Bands would make it appear that I succeeded.

I had a hard time with adding enough conflict, because I don’t like it in real life. I’m a peacemaker. What advice would you give to a beginning author?
No matter where you are in your writing career, it’s critical to attend writer’s conferences and take classes online. We all have to work at perfecting our craft and growing as writers. It’s also important to have your work critiqued and to work well with a good editor. Learning to take criticism and grow from it is a huge part of growth.

Tell us about the featured book.
Here’s the Back Cover Copy:
Newly married Bonny MacDonell finds the transition from American college professor to Scottish sheep farmer’s wife more difficult than she expected. When her miracle pregnancy ends in a devastating miscarriage, she fears her husband's reaction will hurt more than the loss of their child.

But Kieran never shows up at the hospital. When found, he is beaten and unconscious. The only memory of his attacker is the words, “Get off my land.” Reeling from the threat to her husband and the loss of their child, Bonny struggles to hold her marriage together. When faith in love is not enough, where do you turn?

Please give us the first page of the book.
“Your castles and strongholds shall have bars of iron and bronze, and as your day, so shall your strength, your rest, and security be.” Deuteronomy 33:25 AMPC
Fort William, Inverness-shire, Scotland
The incessant beep of a heart monitor drew Bonny MacDonell out of the blackness, forcing her to look around. In the dim light of the yellow-curtained cubicle, her eyes traveled up the dark red length of tubing to where blood dripped from a plastic bag. The unpleasant odor of sickness and antiseptics only added to her panic.



Hazy images floated through her mind. Stabbing pain. Red spots on the carpet. Eleanor kneeling.
What was their housekeeper doing?

“My baby!” Bonny’s left hand slid to her abdomen, cupping the imperceptible swell of her tiny, unborn baby. The fear of losing this baby was a horrific monster ready to snatch their miracle. Why was she here?

Surgery failed. Pregnancy impossible. The voice sounded familiar, and Bonny lifted her eyelids, squinting in the half-lit room. “Dr. Carson?”

The old dream had come again, leaving brokenness in its wake. Stars flickered against a background of darkness. When a wave of nausea hit, she squeezed her eyes tight.

Morning sickness. Blue eyes filled with joy. Our baby. Hope-filled dreams made her want to laugh, dance, and sing. “Kieran?”

Icy rivers of disappointment flowed through her veins. Why was she alone?

A warm hand touched her arm, and she startled.

“Mrs. MacDonell, you’re awake.” A tall, slender woman with dark brown hair knotted on top of her head and soft brown eyes stood beside her.

“Y … yes.” Her new name still sounded strange.

“I’m Sister Isla, your nurse.”

Bonny’s insides shriveled, curling into themselves. “Where am I? Where’s Kieran?”

“You’re in Belford Hospital in Fort William. You arrived by helicopter. I’ll find out about your husband.” Isla switched on the light and slid a paper from the pocket of her blue scrubs. “American. From Loch Garry. On holiday?”

The bright light hurt Bonny’s eyes for the moment they took to adjust. “American, yes. But my husband … we have a sheep farm on Loch Garry.” Helicopter? Fear fluttered, millions of moths trapped in her stomach, attempting to escape. The monitor beeped faster. “My baby?”

“Dr. Moncrieffe will want to know you’re awake. I’ll tell him.” Isla slipped through the curtain and pulled it closed.

Tears brimmed, memories of the morning forming a knot that rose from her stomach to her chest. It lodged in her throat and pricked, pinecone-sharp. Kieran went to the Laddie Wood after stray sheep. Cell phone service there was patchy at best.

Their honeymoon began in the emergency room in her hometown of Albuquerque, delayed three weeks after the wedding, while they waited for Kieran to recover from a gunshot wound. Bonny grasped the edge of the sheet in her left hand and swiped her eyes, remembering his joy when they discovered she had become pregnant in those joyous first days of their marriage. She tried to warn him the risk was high. Her failed surgeries for endometriosis, the scar tissue, all made pregnancy risky for her and the baby. Were they to lose their miracle child at two and a half months?

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Social Media Links:

Thank You, Norma, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me. I’m glad my book arrived, so I can start reading it when I finish what I’m reading now.

Readers, here are book links.

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10 comments: said...

Thank you for hosting me, Lena.

Alicia Haney said...

Hi, I have read a lot of very good reviews on Norma's book, it really sounds like a very good read, and the cover is Beautiful. <3

Kay B said...

Hi, I can't wait to get and read your books. I think I could get lost in tgem.

rubynreba said...

The best day of my life was when I married my husband too! Love to read Within Golden Bands.
Beth from IA

Norma Gail said...

Thank you, Alicia, Kay, and Reba! I appreciate your kind words and that you took time to stop by! Happy Reading!

Nancy Payette said...

Lovely cover. Thanks for the chance. FL said...

Thansk for stopping by, Nancy!

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Shelia64 said...

Sounds wonderful! Shelia from Mississippi

Norma Gail said...

Thank you for stopping by, Nancy, Sharon, and Sheila! I hope you enjoy Within Golden Bands!