Tuesday, February 23, 2021

FOREVER UNDER BLUE SKIES - Valerie Massey Goree - One Free Book (Give away: print or e-book to any USA address; e-book overseas.

Welcome back, Valerie. Why do you write the kind of books you do? I write romantic suspense novels because that’s the genre I prefer to read. Adding unexpected twists and turns help the plot move forward, and I think, help keep the reader engaged.

I love reading romantic suspense. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life? The day I married Glenn, because that event allowed so many other happy days. Serving as missionaries. Holding our daughter and son when they were born, and then holding our granddaughter and grandson when they were born.

How has being published changed your life? I don’t think my life has changed that much. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still love to hold one of my novels and think to myself, “With God’s help, I wrote this. Created the characters and plot. And people buy it to read.” That is a grand feeling. When I mention I’m a published author and someone says, “Really! I’ve never met an author before.” Those accolades last a long time.

Yes, they do. What are you reading right now? Dark Justice by Brandilyn Collins.

What is your current work in progress? My next novel is with Winged Publications for their new My Mother’s Secret collection. My heroine’s mother was involved in genetic research. Tentative title Shadows of Time.

What would be your dream vacation? My husband and I spent a month in the UK several years ago, but we didn’t do all the usual touristy things. Glenn has a deep interest in the Roman occupation of the British Isles. We visited many such sites, from an underground coliseum in London to Hadrian’s wall. I had researched where my ancestors grew up and was able to visit their places of birth—the street where my paternal great-grandmother lived before sailing to South Africa where she met my great-grandfather, and the actual house where my maternal great-great-grandparents lived before sailing to Australia. (I used part of their story and family tree in my new novel.) My agenda also included Port Isaac, the site of filming the Doc Martin TV series, and Highclere Castle, the setting for the Downton Abbey TV series. We also visited several old friends from my days of living in Rhodesia. We rented a car and crisscrossed England and Scotland, driving over 1,000 miles and ended up in Edinburgh. We drove through lovely countryside but didn’t take the time to stop and savor the scenery and atmosphere. We were too intent on getting to our next destination without getting lost. PS: Don’t try to drive without a great sat-nav system! My dream vacation would be to go back to the UK, but this time without an itinerary. I want to stop in any little village that takes my fancy. Spend a night or two. Visit with the locals and ramble through the lanes. Drink tea in every cafe I find, and eat fish and chips that remind me of growing up in the former British Colony of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe in Central Africa.

How do you choose your settings for each book? I usually choose a place I’ve visited or have lived in. I like to include the local history if relevant, and add a flavor of the places and people. I wrote the first draft of Forever Under Blue Skies many years before I visited Australia. However, I found that most of my research—from library books—proved to be accurate.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why? I would love to spend an evening with my childhood friend, Valda. We met when we were seven and were inseparable until I left Rhodesia to attend university in America. I returned home after six years, and Val and I reconnected, but we lived in different parts of the country and seldom saw each other in person. That was way before technology allowed instant communication. My husband and I came to America a few years later, and I haven’t seen Val for 35 years. We do keep in touch through social media, but a face-to-face meeting would be wonderful. I’d love to play one of our favorite games again. When we’d meet someone for the first time and were asked our names, I’d say, “My name’s Val.” And she would say, “My name’s Val.” And the person would stare wide-eyed and say, “No, you much be joking.” No joke. Val and Val, pals for life.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading? I love to travel and have been blessed with many opportunities. I have lived in three countries and four states, and visited countries on five continents. However, my husband’s health issues have put an end to overseas travel right now.

I understand that. My husband is experiencing health issues, and they take so much of your time. What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it? My biggest obstacle is making time to write each day. Unless I have a couple of hours of uninterrupted time, I have a difficult time concentrating. I also have a hard time keeping personal or family issues from intruding. As I answer these questions, my husband is undergoing chemo infusion treatments. After tending to him and taking him to his numerous medical appointments, I usual don’t have any emotional energy left to write. In other words, I haven’t overcome my obstacle.

What advice would you give to a beginning author? Read the craft books, attend workshops and conferences, pay attention to the ‘rules,’ but then write what’s on your heart. Yes, grammar, plot, and structure matter, but don’t let all the formality get in the way of telling your story.

Very good advice. Tell us about the featured book. Forever Under Blue Skies is very close to my heart. It is based on the first novel I ever wrote a long time ago. The back cover burb:

“Travel to Australia to solve a family mystery? Sure, Marlow could do that. But she didn’t take into consideration the vast Outback, nor the owner of the sheep station. Widower, Jake Barclay, is everything her late husband was not—honorable, considerate, a pure gentleman. She came prepared with sunscreen, but hadn’t built a high enough screen around her heart.

Jake was dubious about Marlow’s reason for visiting his station and thwarts her plan at every turn. Until he sees how she interacts with his vulnerable, young daughter. 

If they solve the coded message, can Marlow return to Texas, or will Jake offer her a forever home in the outback?” 

The story is set in 1983. The Australian Government changed their immigration laws in 1985. My story as written, couldn’t take place after those laws were enacted. Now, my family didn’t live on a sheep station, but that’s were the fiction part comes in.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Queensland, Australia,

November, 1983

Driving nearly eight hundred kilometers from Brisbane to Cunnamulla in Queensland’s interior might not qualify as the most foolhardy action of her life, but it came close.

Marlow Barclay adjusted her sunglasses and stared at the narrow, tarred road shimmering ahead that sliced through the paprika-colored earth like an arrow aimed toward a target on the horizon. The beauty of the Australian heartland had long ago morphed into monotony. No houses. No people. Just scrubby trees, clumps of blond spinifex grass, and acre upon acre of flat land, if possible, flatter than west Texas. Despite aching shoulders, nothing could suppress the excitement bubbling inside her which energized her every more. Another day in this fascinating country, another adventure. And she was eight hundred kilometers closer to her destiny.

She glanced at the odometer. Eight hundred and one.

A gold star for knowing the kilometer-to-mile conversion rate by heart. Five hundred miles. To fulfill Steven’s dying wish, she’d drive five hundred more.

Before the accident, Marlow and Steven had made plans to visit Australia to celebrate their fifteenth anniversary and to honor Great-grandfather Graham Barclay’s wishes.

How can readers find you on the Internet?



Thank you, Valerie, for allowing me to feature this book on my blog. I fell in love with Australia long before it became so popular in the US. I’ve read well over 100 books set in Australia, and I’m eager to read this one.

Readers, here are links to the book.



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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Sarah Taylor said...

Hello Lena and Valerie Blessings To You Both, Valerie is A New to Me Author I would Love to read a Print copy of this Beautiful Cover Book! Please enter me in this giveaway. Sarah T. in Ohio Sarahbaby601973(at)gmail(dot)com

Connie Leonard said...

This book sounds interesting. I have always been fascinated with Australia. I would like to read this book. I would love to win a copy. Connie L. in Texas

Valerie Massey Goree said...

Sarah and Connie - thank you for checking out my post on Lena's blog. As I mentioned, this book is very close to my heart.

Lucy Reynolds said...

Sounds good. I would love to read. Blessings from WV.

Diana Flowers said...

I love books & movies set in Australia! This one sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

Diana in SC

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Patricia B. said...

HI, North East Tennessee here. Thank you for the giveaway. I too read books set in Australia when I can. The ruggedness of the land and those who inhabit it are what attract me, I guess.