Wednesday, April 08, 2020

THE QUEEN OF PARIS - Pamela Binnings Ewen - One Free Book

Welcome back, Pamela. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
Every book I’ve written was borne from something interesting that struck me, causing me to research the questions raised. Usually it’s something unusual—as with The Queen of Paris.  I came across a non-fiction book about Chanel with information about the famous designer that I’d never before heard. The book is Sleeping with the Enemy, by Hal Vaughan., published by Random House. After some research, I knew this was a story made for historical fiction. One I had to write.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The day my son, Scott, was born. He was the light of my life. At the time I was working at various jobs, just sort of wandering around. His birth motivated me to straighten up. I had to support him. I went to college by working at a university and getting free tuition for classes in my spare time. Then I went to law school. I became a lawyer because I wanted to be certain that regardless of whatever happened in my son’s life, I could give him what he needed and protect him.

How has being published changed your life?
With publishing came new confidence and ambition and a whole new career. I’d practiced law for twenty-five years and loved every minute of it. But writing just grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. My first book, Faith on Trial, was non-fiction. But I moved to fiction after that book because not only was it more fun, but often with fiction I find you can dig down to a deeper truth. Not long after Faith on Trial was published, I resigned my partnership with a large law firm and began to write full time.

What are you reading right now?
Right now I’m still hooked on WWII books. I’ve found a wonderful series by Jane Thynne, someone I’d not read before. She writes about a young woman spy operating in Berlin in the years leading up to the war. I’ve so far read The Scent of Secrets and The Pursuit of Pearls.  Her research is amazing, and I love her crisp writing style.

What is your current work in progress?
My next book is tentatively titled The Girl from Provence. It involves two minor characters in The Queen of Paris, but is not a sequel to that book. Set at the beginning of the occupation of France, this is more a love story than a war story.

What would be your dream vacation?
If money were no object I would love to spend a few weeks in Italy in Positano, on the Amalfi coast in Italy, and also on the island of Capri just a ferry-ride away. I’ve been to Capri for day trips and it’s not only beautiful, but exploring it would be so much fun. It’s full of history.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
In the case of The Queen of Paris, as historical fiction the book dictated the settings. Which was fine with me because most of it takes place in Paris and the south of France, two wonderful places! Sometimes I choose a setting just because I love the place, as in the case of my trilogy of two young women lawyers struggling to climb the ladder in a law firm in New Orleans. (Dancing on Glass, Chasing the Wind, An Accidental Life)  I set the story in the 1970’s and early 80’s because that’s when I was at law school and first began practicing. And although I’ve never practiced law in New Orleans, I do consider it home and have great memories of those days in the city in the 1960’s and 1970’s. So it was fun to set the story there.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Dr. Jim Allison, head of Immunology at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.  He won the Nobel Prize in 2018 for finding a new way to treat cancer using what’s call immunotherapy. As I understand it, this is a way to activate the immune system so that it attacks the cancer cells instead of treating the tumor. Lessening the need for chemotherapy. Dr. Allison’s work has given live-saving treatments to so many people who otherwise would have had no hope. From everything I’ve read, this man has dedicated his life to extending the lives of people with late stage cancers. This choice may sound strange, but twenty-one years ago I was treated for cancer for a year at MD Anderson, and for me and many others doctors like Dr. Allison who spend their lives working to help others are amazing. I wasn’t treated by Dr. Allison and never met him. But I would love to know how this man’s mind works! And to meet him and say thanks.

Also, I’m happy to say that I’ve been completely healthy for the last twenty years, thanks to MD Anderson cancer center.  And every day is a blessing.

Interestingly enough, I have a dear friend who has an inoperable cancer tumor in her brain, but it didn’t grow larger. She was sent to a team of doctors in Dallas who studied her. She actually had antibodies in her body that was keeping the tumor from growing. When the discovered that, they told her they had seeking a woman who had those antibodies. They’d found men, but no women. They’ve been using antibodies they’ve extracted from her blood to help them in their search to find a cure for cancer. When she first told me about it, she said she felt blessed. Chosen to be a vessel to carry what would help others.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love to travel. My husband, Jimmy, and I have had some great and some funny adventures while traveling. I love to explore cities and new places and talk to people. But I’m not multilingual, unfortunately. Took French in high school, but when I attempt to speak the language in Paris they usually scream and run! Oh well. I do Love river boat cruises—it’s relaxing and easy. Not ocean trips though. Recently we took one on a ship from Rio de Janerio to Buenas Aires, and we hit a tropical storm with sixty-five mile an hour winds for about eight hours. That’s almost hurricane strength, which is seventy mph. Never again.

I also love riding bikes. I have a bright yellow bike with fat tires, no gears, and an old-fashioned pedal brake. Just like the old days. Its great exercise, and I love the free feeling I get from riding.

And I’d say that researching interesting ideas or issues would qualify as a hobby. It’s just fascinating to research an issue or place or idea online and in real books, etc. In the French Quarter of New Orleans we’ve got an amazing research library. Research is critical to writing historical fiction. I try hard to keep an open mind as to both sides of my topic or issue or question. At least until I’ve completed my quest for answers. Regardless, one of my goals in
writing, is never to write with a preordained outcome agenda.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
After about three hours of straight writing, often your mind plays trick on you. When I reread I often find the words are flat, or repetitive, or just unnecessary. That when I stop, relax, and read poetry. It’s strange, but regardless of the subject, poetry seems to expand my thinking. Clears things up.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
First, read the best books you can find, and start with the classics. After that, move to contemporary classics and other really good fiction. Read to learn how different writers handle problems, plots, characters, point of view. Pay attention to how the authors do things. For example, in War and Peace, Tolstoy has a hunting scene—man and dog in the woods. The man’s looking for prey, and the dog is patiently waiting for his master. Suddenly Tolstoy switches the point of view to the dog, and what the dog is thinking at that time. It’s fabulous, and very subtle as that’s the only scene like it I can recall in that book. That one scene taught me to pay great attention to the point of view assigned to characters. (Which, by the way, was very helpful when I was writing The Queen of Paris.)

And second, become involved in the literary community, local and far away and online. Go to literary conferences—many of them have editors attending who take appointed interviews and who will review your work as part of the conference. Same with agents—sometimes you can find a great agent at a book conference. Get to know your local bookstores, librarians, writers, book clubs—online and local, and get to know anyone who loves those same things. You will not only learn a lot about the business of writing, but you’ll make friends for life that way.

Tell us about the featured book.
The Queen of Paris is the story of Coco Chanel’s hidden life in Nazi occupied Paris during WWII, as discovered in recently unearthed war-time files. I came across photographs of those files in the book Sleeping with the Enemy and was fascinated to learn that Chanel was actually recruited as a Nazi spy during the four years that Germany occupied France during the war. She had a code name, “Westminster,” and was assigned a number. She went on missions; visited Berlin. It was just unbelievable. When I began researching this information, to my surprise it appeared that no one had yet written the whole story of her years during that war. But the question that wouldn’t leave me alone was this: Why? At the time Chanel was one of the richest and most famous women in the world. She was an icon.

So why would she agree to spy for Germany?

Chanel was such a complicated woman. So my research turned to answering the question I’d asked myself. I think I did find the right answers in the end, and I don’t think your readers will have heard this story before. My intent was to make no judgments, but just to answer the question “Why.” Judgment is up to each reader. I think Foreward Reviews summed this up best. They said The Queen of Paris reveals another room in the House of Chanel.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Unfortunately I don’t have the finished manuscript on my computer, only edit copies.  But here’s the first thing the reader will see when they open the book, before the prologue. A statement which appears to be Chanel’s, but isn’t.. It’s mine.  

“I’ve found the key to survival. Trust no one but yourself.”

I think these words pretty much sum up the key to Chanel’s personality. At the time that WWII began and the Nazi’s marched into Paris, she had reasons not to trust.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I invite all of you to visit my website, www.pamelaewen.com. Also readers can contact me through the website, and I read every one of those and answer. I’d love to have each and every reader here sign up for the newsletter! I’m also on FaceBook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Thanks for the interesting questions, Lena. My thoughts and prayers go out to each and every one of you in this terrible, trying time. God Bless all of us. God bless our country, and God bless the world and those hurting and those who’ve passed away in this pandemic.

Yes, Pamela, all of my close friends and family are praying for our whole country during this trying time. Thank you for joining us.

And thank you for sharing this interesting book with me and my blog readers. My copy is at the top of my to-be-read list. It’s my next read.

Readers, here are links to the book.
The Queen of Paris: A Novel of Coco Chanel - Hardback (on sale for about half price on Amazon)
The Queen of Paris: A Novel of Coco Chanel - 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.

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Monday, April 06, 2020

DEVYN'S DILEMMA - Susan G Mathis - One Free Book

Welcome back, Susan. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
All of my books explore faith, hope, and redemption. Devyn’s Dilemma deals especially with the spiritual challenges of overcoming family abuse and the spirit of fear.

What are you working on and what other books do you have?
I’m currently working on Reagan’s Reward, book three of the Thousand Islands Gilded Age series.

I have five published historical novels on the market. All are set in the enchanting Thousand Islands in Upstate New York during the Gilded Age era.

The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy is the story of a 1850s Irish immigrant and a 21st-century single mom who are connected by faith, family, and a quilt.

Christmas Charity is the story of Susan Hawkins and Patrick O’Neill who find that an arranged marriage is much harder than they think, especially when they immigrate from Wolfe Island, Canada, to Cape Vincent, New York, in 1864, just a week after they marry—with Patrick’s nine-year-old daughter, Lizzy, in tow.

Katelyn’s Choice is book one of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age with Lighthouse Publishing. It’s the story of nineteen-year-old Katelyn Kavanagh who leaves her family’s struggling farm to work on Pullman Island for the famous George Pullman. There she finds herself serving powerful men such as President Ulysses S. Grant, and General Sheridan—and falling in love with her best friend’s brother, Thomas, the handsome boatsman. Katelyn gains popularity with her friends by spilling the sensitive high society gossip she’s privy to. But when she overhears possibly damaging presidential conversations, she knows she can’t tell anyone. She could lose her job—and endanger her president’s 1872 reelection—and jeopardize her relationship with the man of her dreams.

Sara’s Surprise is the story of Sara McNully and Sean Graham who must navigate the challenging waters of work and romance. Sara befriends Sean’s 6-year-old daughter, Madison, but when Sara’s trust is shattered, can Sara learn to trust Sean with her heart or will she break two hearts and run away?

They all sound wonderful. What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
I’d love to meet Frederick Bourne, owner of Singer Castle—the setting for Devyn’s Dilemma. Though a Gilded Age titan, he was a godly, kind, and giving man as you’ll experience in my story. He was one of the wealthiest men in the world and known for giving much of his wealth to charity. He rubbed shoulder with the likes of J.P. Morgan, the Vanderbilts, and others—some of which you’ll also meet in my novel.

How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
If you feel that God is leading and guiding you to write, don’t give up. Keep learning! Read books. Take classes. Join webinars. Grow. Grow. Grow in your craft! 

Tell us about the featured book.
Devyn’s Dilemma, book two of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, just came out April 3, 2020.

Here’s the back-cover copy: 1910, Thousand Islands, New York. Others may consider The Towers castle on Dark Island an enchanting summer retreat, but to Devyn McKenna, it’s a prison. Yet as she works as a maid for Frederick Bourne, former president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, her life blossoms under the kindness of his family and fascinating entrepreneurs such as J.P. Morgan, Thomas Lipton, and Captain Vanderbilt. But more than anything, the growing friendship of Mr. Bourne’s valet, Brice McBride, begins to pry away the painful layers that conceal Devyn’s heart.

Brice is drawn to the mysterious Devyn even though he’s certain she’s hiding a secret, one far more dangerous than the clues they find in The Towers that hint of a treasure on the island. When Devyn is accused of stealing Bourne’s investment in Vanderbilt’s New York City subway expansion, he might not be able to protect her.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Devyn McKenna trembled as her brother, Falan, beckoned her into the skiff. She gazed at the choppy river, the dark clouds scuttling across the sky. Yes, she had to admit that the mighty St. Lawrence River was beautiful. But that same majestic water was also deadly—as she knew all too well.

She scowled and huffed as she shifted from one foot to the other. Why could she not work in Watertown or somewhere else far from the river? Why? She glared at Falan. This was his doing, just to spite her.

She turned her back on him before he could mock her angst as he always did. Before he could resurrect her pain. Her nerves prickled with memories she’d rather forget. Her burning eyes joined in the rebellion, threatening to spill tears.

She hated the river and what it had done to the ones she loved.

Falan scowled. “Come on, Devyn. We don’t have all day. They’re waitin’ for ya, and there’s a dinner party tonight.”

She heaved a ragged moan and gathered her skirts to climb into the small, rocking boat. “I shan’t be able to cross this divide too often.”

He chuckled. “Y’re such baby. What happened before ain’t got nothin’ to do with today. I’ve lived on the island on and off near two years now, and I’m the better for it. Ya’ll be too, if ya grab hold of it instead a fearin’ it.”

Devyn had nothing left to say, at least to him. Instead, she sat down in the middle of the seat and held on for dear life. She had to remind herself to breathe, to swallow. As Falan shoved the boat off from the dock, every wobble and wave frightened her more. What if they capsized? She couldn’t swim. She wouldn’t survive. And this folly would be all for naught.

In sheer panic, Devyn began to stand up, but the rocking waves plunked her down on the hard bench. “Take me back. Take me back now! I cannot do this.” Devyn’s heart beat so fast that she feared it would leave her chest. She held her hand over it, but then she broke into a sweat, and a large knot that threatened to choke her filled her throat. “Take me back now!”

Falan gave her an annoying shake of his head and grunted. “Not on yer life. Or mine. I promised the Bournes, and Mama needs the money ta feed the young ’uns. Just stop yer hysterics, girl, or I’ll slap it out of ya.”

“I’m not a slave! Surely, I can find work inland. I can’t live on an island. I beg you. Take me back.”

Falan laughed at her. He actually threw back his head and laughed hard. Loud and boisterously.

He was mocking her. Again.

Her eyes narrowed, and she dug her fingernails into her fists. “What kind of brother are you, that you have no compassion? You know my story. And you don’t care?”

“I care. A bit.” He quirked a brow and shook his head. “I put yer name forth fer Mama, not fer you. Ya gotta grow up sometime. Y’re twenty years of age and need ta let go and move on. This can be yer ticket out of the hell ya caused.”

Wow! How can readers find you on the Internet?
Here’s how you can connect with me:
Lighthouse Publishing: https://shoplpc.com/devyns-dilemma

Thank you, Susan, for sharing this new book with my blog readers and me. I’m eager to read the book and find out her secret and the other intriguing things.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Devyn's Dilemma (Thousand Islands Gilded Age Series) - Paperback
Devyn's Dilemma (Thousand Islands Gilded Age Series Book 2) - 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, April 05, 2020

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.

Nancy (FL) is the winner of the ebook Saving Sabine by Kelley Rene

Connie (KY) is the winner of 8 Pillars of Chickening In by JJ Gutierrez.

Alison (MI) is the winner of The Letters  by C Kevin Thompson.

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, April 02, 2020

A LIFE RENEWED - Olivia Rae - One Free Book

Bio: Olivia Rae is an award-winning author of historical and contemporary inspirational romance. She spent her school days dreaming of knights, princesses and far away kingdoms. It made those long, boring days in the classroom go by much faster. Nobody was more shocked than her when she decided to become a teacher. Besides getting her Master’s degree, marrying her own prince, and raising a couple of kids, Olivia decided to breathe a little more life into her childhood stories by adding in what she’s learned as an adult living in a small town on the edge of a big city. When not writing, she loves to travel, dragging her family to old castles and forts all across the world.

Olivia is the winner of the Golden Quill Award, New England Readers’ Choice Award, Southern Magic Contest, and the American Fiction Award. She is an Illumination Award Gold and Bronze medalist. She has also been a finalist in many other contests such as the National Readers’ Choice Awards, and the National Romance Fiction Awards. She is currently hard at work on her next novel.

Welcome, Olivia. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write Christian inspirational fiction. Not only do I enjoy writing this genre, it is a way for me to express my faith and spread the love of Jesus Christ. I feel truly blessed to be able to write these types of books.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I would have to say giving birth to my two children. They were a joy to raise, even though at times it was very trying. But in the end, they both came out okay. Both my children now live in California. My daughter is happily married and my son has a great job in the tech industry.

How has being published changed your life?
Being published has taught me to be organized and disciplined. Not only are you responsible for writing your books, but marketing them also. Becoming a writer is not a job for the faint-of-heart. It’s hard work every day of the year.

What are you reading right now?
Right now, I am reading two books.  Queen Elizabeth I by Milton Waldman for research, and I am also reading for fun, Heavenly Lights: Noah’s Journey by Barbara M. Britton.

What is your current work in progress?
My current work in progress is the sequel to A Life Renewed. The book will be called A Life Redeemed. The story takes in England and Scotland during the beginning of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.  Not only will you meet actual historical figures, you get a plot with a lot of twists that will keep you guessing until the end.  A sneak peek of this book is in the back of A Life Renewed.

What would be your dream vacation?
I have been to a lot of places because I love to travel. I think my dream vacation would be a trip to the Holy Land. How wonderful would it be to walk and see places that Jesus did all those years ago. Another place I would love to go to would be Rome. The Vatican and the Sistine Chapel are at the top of my list.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Choosing my setting is one of the first things I do. Since most of my books have visits from historical figures, I usually start where they lived. Then the plot of my story and the religious theme of the story might carry my characters to new settings. As in A Life Renewed, Lady Jane Grey escaped from England and then wound up in Germany during the reformation struggles. Here she learned a lesson that Catholics and Protestants are more alike than different. They both believe Jesus Christ died for their sins and are saved by His grace.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Wow, who would I spend one special night with? That is a tough question. Besides my kids who live faraway from me, I can’t really think of anyone. Since I write a lot about the past I’m more interested in dead people. I am sure there are many great personalities living right now, but only time will tell if their decisions and advice was correct. So I guess I will abstain from this question.

With your kids is a perfectly okay answer to that question. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
My other hobbies are hiking and biking. This year I hope to go to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Hitting all the national parks is on my bucket list.

Sounds like a wonderful bucket list. What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Time is my obstacle. I don’t mean finding time to write. I am a slow writer. It can take me three hours to write a thousand words. Not because I don’t know what to write, but often I am back tracking and making sure the story is flowing in the right direction. Sometimes I have to stop to do additional research. Anyone who writes historicals knows exactly what I mean.

Yes, I do. I do a lot of research intermittently during my writing. What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Write what you love to read about. This is even more important than writing what you know. Plot out your story. Make sure you have a goal, motivation, and conflict for each character (villains too!). Then stick with it. Don’t stop until you write, “The End.”

I haven’t written “The End” on any of my books, except the first one. Tell us about the featured book.
The idea of my new book, A Life Renewed came when I took a trip to England and learned about the tragic life of Lady Jane Grey. Her life was so disastrous, I just wanted to give her a second chance at happiness. So that’s exactly what I did when she escaped her execution instead of dying as she did in real life. My greatest challenge in writing this book was picking a heroine that actually lived. I had to do a lot of research in Lady Jane Grey’s life and her family. It was very interesting. Lady Jane was what we would call a progressive protestant. The conflicts between the Catholics and Protestants (The beginning of The Church of England) was very real and very deadly at that time. What many people don’t know is that Henry VIII was actually against many other Protestant religions (Calvinists, Lutherans, etc.). He feared their religious influence as much as he did the Catholic’s. His son Edward was more progressive, like Jane. If he would have lived, Jane’s outcome would have been totally different. After Jane’s death, Queen Mary went on a mission to turn England back to Catholicism. In her reign, she killed over 300 Protestants. Hence later in history she was known as “Bloody Mary.”

In 1554, Lady Jane Grey, “The Nine Days’ Queen” was executed for high treason.

But what if, instead of feeling the blade on her neck she secretly survived?

Back Cover Blurb

Escaping execution, Lady Jane hides as a peasant girl in a principality in Germany. She loves the simple life and never wants to return to England. But her benefactor, a power-hungry German prince, wants to march on London and place her on the English throne again, thereby increasing his dominance in Europe. If she doesn’t agree to his plan, her beloved childhood nurse will be put to death. Desperate for help, Jane must put her trust in the mysterious spy Asher Hayes.
 
Asher Hayes is done rounding up Protestants for “Bloody Mary” and wants nothing more than to live a quiet life as a farmer and expunge the blood of many from his hands. Except Queen Mary isn’t done with him yet. She throws his father, mother, and sister into prison on false charges in order to force him to accept one last mission – find and kill Lady Jane Grey. But when Asher discovers Lady Jane isn’t a threat to the throne as he believed her to be, he faces a devastating decision – does he sacrifice his family for the woman who reigns in his heart?

Please give us the first page of the book.
February 12, 1554
Tower of London
John Feckenham, chaplain to Queen Mary, donned his heavy black cloak before clasping his sweaty palms together. He dropped to his knees and offered up one last prayer for the poor soul whose death this day would ease many minds. All this could have been avoided had Lady Jane Grey returned to the true faith. Perhaps then Queen Mary would have held off the executioner’s blade. Yet, she had not.

He would miss their lively doctrinal conversations, for Jane did have a quick mind. A pity they could not continue in this fashion for another month or so. But he had failed to make Jane see the errors of her Protestant faith, and she would not give up the Church of her great-uncle Henry VIII for the true Catholic religion. Jane even made Feckenham promise to give her prayer book to the queen when all was over and done, the hope being that Queen Mary might see the light and turn away from the Pope and Rome, thus saving her body from the flames of hell.

John placed his cap upon his head and slowly made his way to Gentleman Gaoler’s quarters where Jane had been staying since she had been deposed. Though a satisfactory place within the Tower, it still held an unfortunate view of the Tower Green where Jane’s scaffold had been constructed.

Sir John Brydges, Lieutenant of the Tower, was waiting by Lady Jane’s door. A grim line creased his lips. Within the house, the weeping and wailing of Mrs. Ellen and Mrs. Tilney, Jane’s attendants, twisted Feckenham’s heart. All knew their parts to play. The question was, did the fair Lady Jane?

John followed Sir Brydges into the room. “It is time, madam,” Brydges said kindly.

The woman flinched as if Brydges’s words were a hard lash. Dressed in the black gown and dark French hood Lady Jane wore at her trial, the dry-eyed woman finally nodded. In her hands she held a new prayer book and a crumpled piece of parchment, lest she forget the memorized words. As she departed the home and walked to the scaffold, her lips moved slowly, though no words could be discerned—almost as if she were rehearsing the lines to a tragedy.

Few were present to watch this spectacle unfold; after all, Lady Jane did have royal blood coursing through her veins and her death was not subject for public display. All walked on in silence until they stood at the scaffold steps. She turned; her gaze locked with his. “God grant you all your desires and accept my own hearty thanks for all your attention to me. Although indeed, those attentions have tried me more than death can now terrify me.”

Her words swirled through Feckenham’s head and tied his tongue. Before his voice returned, she had ascended the scaffold stairs. With haste, he followed.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I am also on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Thank you, Olivia, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me. I’m eager to find out how she escaped.

Readers, here’s a link to the book.
A Life Renewed (Secrets of the Queens Book 1) Kindle (The paperback book will be available soon.)

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, March 31, 2020

CRITICAL DECISION - Richard L Mabry, MD - One Free Book


Dear Readers, I’ve known Richard Mabry for a long time, and as soon as he sold his first novel, I fell in love with his writing. I eagerly await each new book. Critical Decision once again captured me in his story. The story line is unique and kept me guessing. He always writes relatable characters, and these quickly pulled me deep into the situation. You don’t want to miss this book!

Welcome back, Richard. Where do you write?
Unlike some of my colleagues who like to take their laptop to various places (from their living room to Starbucks), I do all my writing in my office. It seems like “going to work” when I do this.

I’m with you. Most, if not all, of my books are written in my office. And on a desktop computer. When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took?
I’ve covered the waterfront, so to speak. My first four novels were published by a house that was just getting started with Christian fiction, then I had an offer from a large house that published my next three novels, and finally I went back to my original publisher for three more. I’d probably still be working with a traditional publisher, but financing problems intervened so I managed to use agent-assisted publishing (sort of like indie, but with a bit of help from them) for six novellas and three more novels. So, to answer the question, I simply followed the route that opened in front of me, and so far it’s worked out.

What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I started playing golf with a friend about 20 years ago, and we’ve tried to continue that, although lately the weather has kept us off the links. My wife puts in her time doing Grandma duty. Other than that, we’re mainly homebodies.

What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?
Never stop learning. And never give up. It’s disconcerting when you see how many new books are published each year, but I urge you to keep on trying.

Very good advice. What is your favorite book? Favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write?
My tastes are varied, but mainly I read mysteries, thrillers, and detective stories. The books and authors are too numerous to mention.

Where did you get the idea for Critical Decision?
My wife (who is my biggest fan and severest critic) was brainstorming with me, and she suggested a book that starts with a physician who finds a strange cell phone delivered to her house. Then it rings, and a voice tells her that she’ll never see her husband again unless she gives one of her patients a medication that will probably kill him. I took the idea and ran with it, and Critical Decision was the result.

From idea to final revision, how long did it take to write?
Most of my books are written in 6 to 8 months. This one took a bit longer—about 9 months.

Are you working on anything now?
I’m fiddling with a book, working title Medical Mystery, featuring a woman taken to the ER with an unusual EKG and slow pulse, her daughter who works as a nurse, and a family practice physician who has a crush on the younger woman.

Please tell us about the story of Critical Decision.
The book begins with a female physician who finds a package on her doorstep. It contains a cell phone, which rings. She finally answers it, and a voice tells her that unless she gives a patient a drug that will probably kill him, she won’t see her husband again.  

Please give us a peek at the first page of the book for my readers.
Dr. Kathy Hoover stood at the back door, but soon found that shouting “Go do your business” to her canine companion had little effect.  She was anxious to return to the office, but the dog didn’t seem to understand. She really hadn’t wanted to take the time to come home at lunch, but Darren was out of town, and Kathy forgot to let Archie out this morning before she left. If she didn’t want to clean up a mess on her return home, she figured it was best to go at lunch time and take care of that chore.

Finally, patience and the passage of time accomplished what she couldn’t manage by exhortations, and the deed was done. The dog at the center of all this seemed to sense that Kathy was leaving now. He whined to signal his disapproval. The master was at home and Archie was ready for playtime.

She looked down at the dog and shook her finger. “No time for play. I’ll be back this evening. Now be good.” She wasn’t certain the golden retriever understood, but when she turned toward the kitchen, the dog lay down quietly. Kathy headed for the garage but didn’t quite make it before the doorbell stopped her.

Kathy paused and listened to the door chime’s reverberation fade. The local TV news had run a feature just yesterday about packages disappearing from porches. What if… She sighed and reversed direction. It would only take another minute or two for her to open the front door, check to see if FedEx or UPS had left a package, and bring it in if one were there.

Kathy looked through the pane of glass beside her front door and saw a panel van just pulling away. It wasn’t the familiar dark brown of UPS, nor did it bear the blue and orange logo of FedEx. And it didn’t look like a Postal Service delivery truck. Didn’t she read that Amazon had their own delivery service in some areas? Were those vehicles marked in some way? Whoever brought it, she might as well look at what they’d left.

She unlocked the door, took one step onto her front porch, and saw a small box lying on the stoop. The package was about the dimensions of a shoebox, wrapped in plain brown paper, with her name on a label. Otherwise, it bore no address, no return data, nothing to indicate the carrier. Strange.

Kathy reached down to pick up the box. Now that the dog was taken care of, she needed to get back to the office. Then again, she couldn’t turn loose of the situation with the box. 

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
You can learn more about me at my website, and via my blog and Facebook page. I also have a presence on Goodreads.

Thank you, Richard, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me. 

Readers, here’s a link 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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Monday, March 30, 2020

SHADOW OF THE DAGGER - Anne Greene - One Free Book

Welcome back, Anne. 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?
My publisher is Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. Deb Haggerty is my editor. My dear husband always proofreads my books. Crystel Phelps was my editor and Joyce Hart was my agent.

If you teach or speak. What’s coming up on your calendar?
I do book signings, blog interviews, and telephone interviews. I’m thinking of authoring a book on How To Write An Excellent Novel, but my contracts are keeping me too busy this year.

If you had to completely start over in another place, where would you move, and why?
I love to live by the ocean, but in the middle of Texas that’s not possible, so I dream of starting over somewhere on the Texas coast. I don’t want to leave Texas because my children and grandchildren are proud Texans and never plan to move. I love Galveston so if I ever leave this highly-populated, congested traffic Metroplex of Dallas/Ft. Worth, I would start anew in Galveston which is on the southern coast of Texas. People here are fine, loving, neighborly as in helpful, and conservative. Texans are great people.

If you could only tell aspiring novelists one thing, what would it be?
Forget about writing what you know and write about what interests you.

That’s good advice, Anne. Early on, I was told to write what you know, and I did that for the first books, and I’ve done in a few scattered books. The rest have been what I’m interested in. 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])
I would have a healthy weight loss and physical activity cruise. The cuisine would be healthy with different options of different diets or life-style menus. There would be choices of yoga, Pilates, cardio, and swimming exercises. This would be an adult only cruise.  All entertainment would be humorous and light-hearted. Music would be peppy to keep people stimulated and moving. Prizes would be awarded for the most weight lost each day by sex and age group.

That sounds like a fun cruise. Count me in. Tell us about the featured book.
SHADOW OF THE DAGGER is set in Texas and in the exotic country of Turkey where the seven churches of Revelation were as well as Paul’s journey.

Three people are murdered and one kidnapped to find the solution to a priceless treasure map.

As Nicole Phillips seeks to find her kidnapped brother, she doesn’t know whom to trust. No one is who they appear to be. All is deception.

To bring his brother’s murderer to justice, CIA Intel Analyst, Josh Baruch, lays his life on the line. Can he walk the tightrope between obeying the killers’ instructions and bringing them to justice?

Because Nicole’s husband died in a mysterious plane crash, she fears falling in love again with a reckless, danger-loving type like her late husband. Josh Baruch, the CIA Analyst using her as bait to track her brother’s kidnapper, is just such a risk-taking man. Besides living on the edge, Josh is bitter about women and questions God.

Please give us the first chapter of the book.
“My marriage can’t end this way!” Nicole Phillips gripped her brother’s arm as the helicopter door opened. Her tears blurred the desolate, wind-swept slice of Texas land abutting the Mexican border.

The hope she’d nurtured since the police helicopter left the Dallas Police Station wilted like the yellowed sagebrush dotting the arid earth. More tears veiled the officer holding up his arms to assist her off the chopper. She stumbled. The unsteady step down to the rough ground jolted her. She ducked her head beneath the whump, whump, whump of the helicopter’s blades.

Her brother thudded to the ground beside her.

She followed Ian and the policeman away from the blasts of wind created by the spinning blades. Her cowboy boots kicked up dust as she walked across several hundred yards of empty flat land. She and Ian reached a dip in the vast, open landscape.

Scattered wreckage glinted in the sunlight.

Behind her, the helicopter shut down.

A cold chill settled over her. She hugged her arms to her chest. “It’s a mistake. This can’t be Paul’s plane.”
With strong, gentle fingers, Ian squeezed her shoulder. “Nikki, there’s no mistake.”

She raised her face toward her newly-deaf brother, so he could read her lips. “Of course, there is. Don’t look so worried. Paul’s fine. Fine.”

Her husband had been missing ten days, six hours, and thirty-five minutes. No, Paul wasn’t fine. She brushed numb fingers across her eyes and blinked hard at the piles of metal.

“Surely, that can’t be all that remains of a plane?”

“I’m afraid so, Sis.” Ian shrugged.
  
I can’t believe it.” Nicole clenched her fists and shook her head. “This scorched earth is no place to say goodbye.” She gazed at Ian. “No place for a man like Paul to die.”
  
“Not much left.” Ian’s scratchy voice sounded strained—unlike the usual well-spoken words he practiced each month at rehab. An early diagnosis two years ago had given both of them opportunity to learn lip reading and signing before silence shut Ian from the world of hearing.
  
“Why here?” Nicole choked, swallowed, then forced words through her constricted throat drier than the desert beneath her boots. “Even if mechanical trouble forced Paul down, he could have skid-landed here. He wouldn’t have crashed. This doesn’t make sense.”
  
Ian rubbed his square chin. “You’re right. The crash here is more than strange.”
  
Her boots crunched on the burned grass as she circled the scattered pile of twisted metal and shattered plexiglass. Stark shadows and deadly quiet added to her sense of unreality.
“Nothing here adds up,” she signed.
  
Ian’s long strides shortened to match her steps. She loosened her hand on his sleeve but didn’t let go.
  
“Bizarre.” Ian stooped by a metal fragment.
 
“Ma’am.” The police officer loomed beside her.
  
She’d forgotten him.
  
“This way, Mrs. Phillips.” He led her to a jagged, misshapen piece of metal hidden by a sheared off bush. “The FAA ruled this crash an accident. Said the plane was out of gas.”
  
She knelt, touched the metal, then jerked back.
 
“Careful, sun’s baked it hot.” Ian’s warning came too late.
  
Nicole rubbed her stinging fingers. With the tip of her nail, she traced the still legible scarlet-painted S. Her heartbeat slowed, turned bleak, deadened.
  
“I’m sorry, Nikki.” Ian’s baritone voice shook.
  
“Summer’s Girl,” Nicole whispered.
  
Ian held out his hand and tugged her to her feet.
 
“Sorry, ma’am.” The police officer’s hat shielded his eyes. His mouth was set in a hard line. “We searched the area but …” He shook his head. “… couldn’t find any remains. We think coyotes …” he paused and cleared his throat. “Wreck’s been here a few days. There’s blood ...”
  
The policeman’s voice drifted into background sound. Paul’s plane found but not Paul. Perhaps he was still alive. Nicole gazed around the vast emptiness and said vaguely, “Paul and I talked of having a baby.”
  
Ian laid gentle hands on her shoulders. “Nikki.” He drew her against his chest.
  
Her knees threatened to buckle. She leaned into her brother’s shoulder and spoke into his crisp dress shirt. “Sometimes …” She remembered Ian’s deafness and lifted her face to him so he could read her lips. “Sometimes, Paul loaned his plane to one of his buddies.”

Ian shook his head, squinting against the harsh sunlight. His blue eyes brimmed sympathy. “Not this time.” He lowered his voice. “But this was no accident.”

Where can we find you on the Internet?
I love chatting with my readers. You can find me at
Thanks so much for having me on your excellent blog, Lena. You are a fine fellow author, and I appreciate you.

It’s my pleasure to share your book with my blog readers. I’m eager to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Shadow of the Dagger (CIA Operatives) - Pasperback
Shadow of the Dagger (CIA Operatives 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.

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