Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A WHITE CHRISTMAS IN WEBSTER COUNTY - Laura V Hilton - One Free Book

Bio: Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools three of her children. Her two oldest children are homeschool graduates and are in college. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love. A nonAmish book Swept Away  released November 2014 from Abingdon Press. She is contracted for another three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, begins in November 2014 with The Snow Globe, The Postcard in June 2015, and The Bird House in September 2015, and A White Christmas in Webster County (Amish) released in September 2014. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites.

Welcome back, Laura. Why do you write the kind of books you do? 
I love writing about the Amish. A mix of contemporary and historical in the same book, a study of my family history, a platform for clear faith message, and romance.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life? 
The day that I knew my second son wouldn’t die from the weird disease almost claimed his life as a baby and was misdiagnosed multiple times before treated correctly.

How has being published changed your life? 
It introduced deadlines. And interviews.

What are you reading right now? 
At this very moment, I’m reading The Tidewater Sisters by Lisa Wingate. I’ll finish that tonight. Next up is Child of Mine by David and Beverly Lewis.

What is your current work in progress? 
The Birdhouse. It’s the third book in the Amish of Jamesport series, releasing in September 2015.

What would be your dream vacation?
Unlimited time and resources to travel across the Midwestern Amish communities and end at a cabin on Lake Superior.

How do you choose your settings for each book? 
Ease of getting to them for research.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why? 
My husband. We don’t have much alone time to date.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?  
I have five kids still at home, homeschool, and am a pastor’s wife. No time for other hobbies. J

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it? 
Quiet time!  I overcome it by attempting to zone other noise out.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Sit and stay. You won’t get published if you don’t sit down and write.

Tell us about the featured book. 
A White Christmas in Webster County  
Wanting to relocate from Shipshewana to somewhere new, Mercy Lapp answered an ad in The Budget to work as a mother’s helper for Matthew and Shanna Yoder in Seymour, Missouri. Mercy relocated from Shipshewana to give herself space and time to heal after the death of her beau in a fishing trip on Lake Michigan.

Abner Hilty fled Shipshewana to Montana to work on a ranch after he and his twin brother witnessed a murder. Now that the killer is safely behind bars, Abner decides to visit his brother Abram in Missouri where he’d settled with his bride of one month. Mercy is surprised to see Abner there, and equally surprised by how much he’d changed physically since she’d last seen him. Even though the two live in different districts they occasionally see each other in town and form a fledging friendship.

As Christmas approaches, an unexpected heavy snow lets Abner and Mercy spend a lot of time together in wintertime fun. Abner hopes to interest Mercy in a more permanent relationship. But then Mercy has a potentially life changing discovery. Will she return to Shipshewana to answer the summons of the past? Or settle in a new place?

Please give us the first page of the book.  
“Would you kiss me?”

Mercy Lapp stumbled to a halt. She looked up from the list she’d been perusing and into a pair of beautiful, twinkling blue eyes. They belonged to a clean-shaven Amish man who held out a pair of plastic vampire teeth on a Halloween clearance rack. They were brown, crooked, and ugly. He moved them closer to her.

Her stomach lurched. “Ewww. Nein!”

He chuckled, then glanced around.

She followed his gaze. They were alone in the aisle. She turned her attention back to him, surprised to find him falling to his knees in front of her, his hands clasped together as if in prayer, the package of teeth dangling from his fingertips.

“Have mercy!” He puckered up in an exaggerated kiss.

She blinked. None of the Amish men back home acted like this. So bold. So…tempting.

“Please? I’ll never get kissed by a pretty girl if I have teeth like these.” He lifted his hand and shook the package.

She wrinkled her nose. “Enough already, jah?” She tried to look away from those yucky teeth but got distracted by a dimple in the bu’s cheek.

He reached forward and fingered the hem of her dress—a bold move—then gazed up at her with an inquisitive expression as she stepped away. “An Amish-style dress. Pink. Camouflage. You aren’t from around here, are you?”

Mercy’s face heated. “Uh, nein. But…well, I just got here. I took a job advertised in The Budget for a mother’s helper, and I haven’t had time to make any new dresses. And Shanna, the woman I’m staying with, just laughed and said it’d probably be a gut thing to add some color around here anyway. I’m from Shipshewana

How can readers find you on the Internet? 
twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton

Purchase links to my books:



DeeperShoppinghttp://www.deepershopping.com/index.php?query=laura+hilton&x=0&y=0&module=productsearch&_logmode=Y&querymodule=SPX 

Thank you, Laura, for sharing this Christmas book with us today.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (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, Google+, 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:

Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A MOST INCONVENIENT MARRIAGE - Regina Jennings - One Free Book

Bio: Regina Jennings is homeschooling mother of four from Oklahoma. She enjoys watching musicals with her kids, traveling with her husband, and reading by herself. When not plotting historical fiction, she plots how she could move Highclere Castle, stone by stone, into her pasture and how she could afford the staff to manage it.

Regina is the author of five historical romances. Her latest release is A Most Inconvenient Marriage. She loves to hear from readers at her website - www.reginajennings.com and on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Dear Readers, I have loved every one of Regina’s novels. This latest one is my favorite of the new novels connected to the Civil War. She always gives us a fresh and different look at the historical time periods she covers with her novels. Since I grew up in the Arkansas Ozark Mountains, I know a lot about the whole range, which reaches into Missouri, where her book is set. She remained true to the setting and the people who lived there.

And her characters were well-developed. I couldn’t help but care about what was going to happen to them. I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but I know you will be sorry if you miss reading this book.

Welcome back, Regina. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
One of my favorite themes is reconciliation. The Bible says we have been given the ministry of reconciliation, of bringing people to the Lord, so that their sins may be forgiven and their relationship with their Creator repaired. That’s what I like to see happen in my stories. Characters must deal with the conflicts that separate them from God and from those who would love them. Ending strife, clearing misunderstandings, and striving to do better, those are elements that are found in all my stories.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?
A Most Inconvenient Marriage is the first of a series set in the Missouri Ozarks. The second book will be titled At Love’s Bidding. Miranda Wimplegate’s family owns an auction house in Boston, but their future is threatened when her grandfather accidentally allows a priceless heirloom to slip through their hands. In order to keep the powerful family happy, Miranda and Grandfather trace the art to a small town in the Ozark Mountains, but he makes yet another mistake by purchasing a livestock auction instead of an antique auction house and firing everyone except the manager.

Wyatt Ballentine didn’t expect the auction house he manages to be sold out from under him, but he surely didn’t reckon on the new owners being a naïve young woman and her batty grandpa. Now they’ve barged into his life and disrupted his business. He’d have pity on the girl, if he didn’t suspect that she was trying to steal his legacy.



I can’t wait to read that book, Regina. We must schedule it on my blog for my readers. If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
Can the answer to this one be Jesus? No? Okay, then I’d have to say Ree Drummond, a/k/a The Pioneer Woman. Ree and I have a lot in common—we’re both authors, Oklahomans, and homeschooling mothers of four kids. The glaring differences are that she’s an amazing cook, has a perfectly decorated house (or two, or three), and an amazing sense of style. Despite all those faults, she’s hilarious and seems like a great lady to hang out with. Plus, I’m just down the turnpike, so come on over, Ree!

I’ve watched her a few times. I didn’t know she lived in Oklahoma. You know she started as a blogger before she got her cooking show. What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
George Washington. I’d love to hear what his hopes were for our country and what he thinks of the various branches of the government and the roles they play now. Plus I hear he was a superb dancer.

Tell us about the featured book.
A Most Inconvenient Marriage is about a nurse named Abigail Stuart who feels like her only friend in the world is the sweet but gravely wounded patient Jeremiah Calhoun. Fearing he won't survive, the Confederate soldier's last wish is that Abigail look after his sickly sister at home. Marry him, return to his horse farm, and it'll be hers.

Abigail takes him up on his offer and moves to Missouri after his death, but just as the family learns to accept her, the real Jeremiah Calhoun appears—puzzled to find a confounding woman posing as his wife. Jeremiah is determined to have his life back to how it was before the war, but his own wounds limit what he can do on his own. Still not fully convinced Abigail isn't duping him, he's left with no choice but to let the woman stay and help—providing that she give up her claim that she’s his wife and doesn’t ruin his chances with his childhood sweetheart.

“Inconvenient” barely scratches the surface of what the two of them feel about each other, but maybe they’ll find some common ground.

Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
February 1865           
Gratiot Street Prison - St. Louis, Missouri
“First you're going to write my good-bye letter to my sweetheart and then you're going to marry me.” The prisoner's smile belied the beads of sweat condensing on his forehead.

Abigail Stuart wrung tepid water out of the rag and mopped his brow. “I will not write your Lady Juliet to tell her that I've replaced her. Your fever must be causing you to hallucinate. Romeo was no fickle lover.”

A fly landed on his chin. The prisoner lifted what was left of his arm, forgetting he couldn't reach his mouth with the putrid stump. Abigail shooed the pest away and wished for a blanket to alleviate his chills. Two years of caring for the dying Confederate prisoners had numbed her to the sight of mangled flesh, but she'd never stopped mourning the senseless pain these young men suffered.

“You won't be happy, Miss Abby, not without a stable full of horses,” he said. “And I can give you that. You've got to be sick and tired of this prison.”

“My horses are gone. Nursing is all I have left.”

The man wet his lips. “Marry me and you won't have to stay here another day. The farm, the stock, the nicest horseflesh in the hills——they'll all be yours. If the last thing I can do with this life...”

Dr. Jonson caught Abigail's eye. She'd already tarried too long with her favorite patient, but she wasn't sorry. He'd been kind to her, no matter what color his uniform had been before they'd cut him out of it. She sloshed the rag in the basin. The gangrene had poisoned his blood. She didn't have much time—and neither did he.

“What about your lady? Why not will the farm to her?”

“My sweetheart?” His eyes grew soft beneath the pain. He closed them and inhaled like he was filling his lungs with the smell of fresh hay instead of the stench of the medical ward. With his good hand he tapped the thin mat beneath him. “My fiancée can take care of herself. This war won't slow her down. It's my...my sister that I worry about. Rachel isn't strong—hasn't been since she took the fever. You're a nurse and you could help her ma with the farm. It's the perfect solution.”

A faint hope stirred in her chest. Could this be the answer she’d been praying for? “But what if I don't like the Ozarks? What if your family doesn't welcome a Yankee invading their home?”

“Then walk away. What have you lost?”

She took his hand, surprised again by the dry heat in the freezing room. “You don't even know your real name, Romeo. Or has that memory finally been restored, too?”

He wiggled his feet against the end of the cot and shuddered as another chill ravaged his body. Quickly he mastered the pain and the smile returned.

“My name is Jeremiah Calhoun. Captain Jeremiah Calhoun.”

That should whet their desire to read the book. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter: twitter.com/#!/ReginaJennings
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/reginaljennings/

Thank you, Regina, for sharing this new book with me and my readers.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
A Most Inconvenient Marriage - Christianbook.com
A Most Inconvenient Marriage - Amazon
A Most Inconvenient Marriage (Ozark Mountain Romance Book #1) - Kindle


Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (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, Google+, 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:
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Sunday, November 23, 2014

WINNERS!!!!!

Janet E (FL) is the winner of Swept Away by Cindy Loven.
Sierra (IN) is the winner of Secrets and Lies by Janet Sketchley.
Granny's Attic (OH) is the winner of Lori's Redemption by Pamela S Thibodeaux.
Angela (KY) is the winner Last Family Standing by Jennifer AlLee.
Kandi (MT) is the winner of Winter Brides by Denise Hunter, Deborah Raney, Betsy St. Amant.

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

Also, tell your friends about the book ... 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, just let me know what email address it should be sent to.

When you contact me, please give the title of the book you won, so I won't have to look it up.


Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A NOVEMBER BRIDE - Beth K Vogt - One Free Ebook

Welcome back, Beth. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Professionally, I’m launching a Destination Wedding series in 2015. Spiritually, I’m praying more and more to understand how I am collaborating with God as I write.

Tell us a little about your family.
My family is God’s best blessing to me. My husband and I have been married 34 years. We have one son and three daughters—and we are also blessed with one daughter-in-love and two sons-in-love. Our youngest daughter is almost 14. We have one GRANDchild, with a second due in 2015. And I am so thankful for how my family supports me as I pursue my dream of writing.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Now that I’m on deadline—or just off deadline, or waiting for rewrites or edits—I don’t have as much time to read as I would like. I find my downtime is usually around Christmas or spring break and I go through several books then.

What are you working on right now?
I’m finishing up Can’t Buy Me Love, the novella that will launch my Destination Wedding series in May 2015. It has a bit of a Pinterest story line and involves a Manhattan destination wedding.

What outside interests do you have?
I love to walk—I walk a minimum of three miles a day with a friend. We use the time to talk and to pray for our families. I also love to watch football—I am a very vocal Broncos football fan. And I love hanging with friends and family for game nights.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
So far each of my books have somehow been tied to Colorado, which is where I live. I love Colorado and there are so many beautiful locals here. This was true for A November Bride, which is set in Denver and included some of places I’ve been to in Denver, including the aquarium.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
I would like to visit with Maya Angelou. I have a blog, In Others’ Words, that is all about quotes. I have quoted Maya Angelou a number of times and respect her greatly. It would be fun to sit down and have a conversation with her.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
My agent, Rachelle Gardner, told me this recently: We’re involved in publishing, Beth, not brain surgery. There is never any reason to panic. I wish I’d learned that truth earlier.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
The Lord is teaching me to not put him last in the writing process—to not write a book and then ask him to bless it. But rather, to walk with him daily, hour by hour, as I write my stories. It all goes back to the idea of “collaborating” with him as I write.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
1. Find a mentor.
2. Find someone else to mentor.
3. Expect to fail and always learn something from that experience.

Tell us about the featured book.
A November Bride is the last in the Harper Collins A Year of Weddings novella series. I was thrilled to be invited to participate in this project. A November Bride tells the story of Sadie and Erik and asks the question: Can a decades-long friendship marred by two romantic missteps lead to happily ever after?

Please give us the first page of the book.
This was Sadie’s star moment. The reason she collected recipes and watched cooking shows. Why she made color-coded, computerized grocery lists cross-referenced by availability and quality of items, store locations, and layouts. Spent hours shopping for fresh produce and meats and poultry—and sales, always sales.

At last, it was time for the presentation of the prepared dish.

She turned from the professional-grade oven, heat wafting against her back, dampening the cloth of her white chef jacket. Was it still clean? With a flourish and a well-practiced smile, she held the steaming dish aloft in her gloved hands. Inhaled the aroma of chicken in the bubbling sauce of Italian dressing, and topped with lightly browned, grated Parmesan cheese. At the last second, she remembered to nudge the oven door closed with her shoulder.

Hold the smile. Always hold the smile.

“Oh, this smells delectable.”

Ugh. Maybe not the best word. Too late now.

Sadie set the deep red stoneware dish on the waiting trivet, turning it just so, knowing a trusty cameraman would capture just the right angle. “Boneless chicken breasts. Grated cheese. Italian dressing. And, for those of you who are gluten- free, I used a coating of crushed cornflakes instead of bread crumbs.”

She stood tall, despite the tightness in the small of her back, recounting the other dishes she’d made that day.

And smile.

“There you have it. A week’s worth of dinners: chicken Parmesan, chicken piccata, salmon Sedona cakes served with English muffins, crown rack of lamb, and braised beef short ribs. ” She resisted the urge to push the bangs back from her face. The focus was on the meals she’d prepared, not her.

“On the next segment of Your Personal Chef, I’ll share another week’s worth of dinners, including—”

When notes from the “Peer Gynt Suite no. 1” sounded from her smartphone on the desk in the corner of the kitchen, Sadie closed her eyes, her mouth twisting. “A call? Really? We were almost finished.”

Silence—and then her phone sounded again.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter: @bethvogt
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBethKVogt?ref=hl

Thank you, Beth, for sharing this new book with us today.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
A November Bride - Christianbook.com
A November Bride (A Year of Weddings Novella Book 12) - Kindle


Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (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, Google+, 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:
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Friday, November 21, 2014

CALCULATED RISK - Zoe M McCarthy - One Free Book or Ebook

Welcome, Zoe. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Especially with Calculated Risk, I wrote a lot of myself into Cisney, a marketing rep, and into Nick, the analytical actuary. (Actuaries evaluate financial risks for insurance companies.) I’m a retired actuary. Two popular personality tests confirmed I’m creative and expressive on one hand and analytical and introverted on the other. So it was easy to get into the heads of expressive, vibrant Cisney and analytical, numbers-man Nick. My analytical husband, also a retired actuary, was good model for Nick.

The tests have shown that I am equally strong in both sides of my brain as well. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
When I was twenty, I accepted a ride in a taxi with a drunk American stranger in his fifties in Bangkok, Thailand. That was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. When I was ten, my sister, two friends, and I walked on ice to the middle of a lake and all fell through. That was plain dumb. But quirky? Well, at a come-as-your-character dinner, I dressed up like Cisney with yellow stickies plastered all over my suit and hair. Attendees didn’t remember my name, but the next day, they said, “You’re the one who had adhesive notes stuck to her outfit.” So, the quirky part is, I’m going to wear my Cisney costume to my upcoming book signing and to my launch party.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Others have said if you write anything, even journals, you’re a writer. I didn’t start calling myself a writer until I wrote contemporary Christian short stories to explain to myself what I read in the Bible and heard in Bible studies. People liked the stories, so I self-published two books of them. Then I performed dramatic readings of the stories in several venues, including a male juvenile correctional center. I felt guilty calling myself a writer at that time. But now, I believe if one spends time writing on a regular basis, he’s a writer. That doesn’t mean he’s a good writer.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I especially enjoy witty romances with sassy or droll heroines. Much to my husband’s chagrin at bedtime, I laugh through Jenny B. Jones’s adult and young adult books. Reading her books gave me permission to use my dormant writer’s voice. Check out her Just Between You and Me, So Not Happening (YA), and In Between (YA). I also loved the heroine in Talking to the Dead by Bonnie Grove. In addition to romances, I like suspense, legal thrillers, and historical fiction. On the non-fiction side, I read biographies and books classified as Christian living or spiritual growth.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I spend considerable time in the early morning praising, praying, reading devotionals, and studying the Bible. And I’m blessed to have a husband who loves me, supports me while I treat writing like a 9 to 6 job, and does all the laundry, grocery shopping, and vacuuming. I won’t say I’m calm and serene. (I grind my teeth while I sleep.) But my life is full and good.

My husband is like yours. We truly are blessed. How do you choose your characters’ names?
Cisney is my deceased maternal grandmother’s middle name. I liked it. For Nick, I looked for an unusual last name. Finally, I asked my husband what was the least common surname of someone he knew from his past. LeCrone. The name fit Nick.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My college freshman math teacher assigned a “marbles” problem. My three roommates worked on it for an hour and gave up. I worked on it all afternoon and evening. Well after midnight, I climbed into my top bunk. But the problem wouldn’t go away. I had my hands in the air, using my fingers for marbles. Then the solution hit me. The answer wasn’t one case but a set of cases. On the floor outside our room, I scribbled like crazy, writing out cases. Someone approached and asked me a question. I’d been in “marble world” so long I couldn’t compute what she said. The next day the professor asked smugly if any of us got the answer. Two of us out of fifty had. I shot my hand up so forcefully, the professor chose me to put it on the board. After I started writing the second of multiple cases, he smiled and nodded. So exhilarating.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A puma. I startle very easily. Two kinds of people cause me to jump: quiet people who are suddenly there and loud people who come in talking. One Christmas, I gave everyone in the office rattles to wear so they wouldn’t scare me. At another company, the chief actuary started rapping on my outer office wall for ten feet so he wouldn’t scare me when he reached the door. So, if I were a stealthy puma, I could startle others for a change.

What is your favorite food?
Potpourri. I like to bring all kinds of foods from the pantry that are in bits and put a little of each on a plate. For example, one meal might be: Froot Loops, Craisins, peanuts, and dark-chocolate-covered pomegranate nuggets. Another might be: small chunks of ham, cherries, chips, and almonds.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Characterization. For a while, I’d been adding traits to people like I was dressing and accessorizing paper dolls. In my first four “practice” books, I avoided letting my hero and heroine have family near them. To me, creating parents and siblings was too much painstaking work. Then during a couple of short stories I wrote, I found my voice. I felt free to just let the characters be who they are. I loved writing all the members in Nick’s family. Their quirks surfaced so easily. For me, it’s easier to model characters using bits from several people I know. Cisney’s mother was the hardest to write because she’s somewhat like my deceased mother.

Tell us about the featured book.
I decided to use the little known actuarial profession for my hero. I like romances about extreme opposites, so I knew Cisney had to be a social marketing rep. I maintain that opposites distract before they attract. This’s true for Cisney and Nick. In the throes of being dumped by her overbearing father’s choice, Cisney has rashly accepted Nick’s invitation to spend Thanksgiving with his family. After Nick witnessed the dump-Cisney call, he extended the invitation only because he felt sorry for her. Now she’d rather be skiing with her single marketing friends in Colorado than spending four days with a house infested with actuaries. And so the fun begins.

Please give us the first page of the book.
In search of the yellow sticky with her ideas for today’s meeting, Cisney Baldwin sifted through papers on her desk. She had a choice: honor her rash commitment to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with Nick LeCrone and his family, or lie and join her friends on the Colorado ski slopes.
Biting cold air and exhilarating speed might keep her mind off slime-ball Jason. And, she’d need her Richmond friends nearby to nurse her self-esteem after she told Daddy she’d lost his pick for her future.

She planted fists on her hips and stared at the papers sprinkled with yellow stickies that covered her workspace. Minutes before her meetings with Nick, she could never put her fingers on her notes. Why did this always happen?

How was she going to face him today, after he’d stood in her office doorway last week and watched her disintegrate during Jason’s dump-Cisney phone call? If only she’d stopped there, but no, she hung up and blubbered about the end of her six-month relationship and having nowhere to go for Thanksgiving.

She splayed her arms over her paper-covered desk and knocked her head on the piles. This was all Jason’s fault. Jason needed space? Right. What he needed was freedom to date that woman with a waist the size of his muscular neck.

“Hi.”

Way to leave us hanging, Zoe. How can readers find you on the Internet?
http://zoemmccarthy.com

Thank you, Zoe, for sharing your new book with us and giving us a peek into your life.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Calculated Risk - Christianbook.com
Calculated Risk - Amazon



Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

LOVE IS A ROSE - Pamela S Thibodeaux - One Free Ebook

Bio: Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative nonfiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

Welcome back, Pamela. What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?
Sometimes I wonder what people think about me and all the things I do and say. Don’t we all? But if I had to sum up my thoughts/prayers and offer one insight into the heart of Pam, I’d say … regardless of how you perceive me, or what I do/say that strikes you as odd, at the very depths of my soul, my goal is to be a blessing to everyone I come in contact with.

Tell us about your family.
Ah … there’s not enough room in this context or time in the day to tell you all about my family! These gifts God has placed in my life are indescribable. I have 4 children (2 by blood and 2 by marriage) … 2 beautiful daughters and 2 of the greatest son’s imaginable. The girls have married wonderful men and blessed me with 3 grandchildren … 1 Angel Girl and 2 handsome little guys. I come from a long line of people with strong ties to family and am blessed with wonderful parents, great brothers, and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Have you written other nonfiction books?
To date I have 2 nonfiction books which are published, Love is a Rose and Simple Promotional Tools for Authors as well as over 60 articles and essays. I have nonfiction pieces in 2 anthologies (The Dog Next Door and Deliver Me; Hope, Help and Healing Through True Stories of Unplanned Pregnancy). “Soul Therapy,” another nonfiction piece will be published in The Horse of My Heart by Revell in 2015.

Do you have any other books in the works right now?
Yes, I have 2 other nonfiction projects in the works.

What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
Reading is by far my favorite hobby and leisure activity but I absolutely LOVE to dance! I also enjoy walking, horseback riding, swimming, and other outdoor activities.

Why did you write the featured book?
One morning in 1995 “The Rose” by Conway Twitty came on the radio. I’d been walking with the Lord for several years, and as I listened to the words of that song, scriptures came to mind, all of which correlated to the verses of the song. As I developed the work, I realized God spoke to me of His love and how to dwell in Him through those words. Several years and numerous revisions later, I decided it was time to publish the book as a devotional. Since it is time sensitive due to the lyric license, independently publishing through my own imprint seemed the best choice.

Please tell us more about the book.
Blurb: Music is the magical entry into the spirit world; the golden gate into the Kingdom of God. But we mustn’t be of the mindset that God only uses Christian music to reach out and touch our mind, heart, and spirit. God uses any and every means available to speak to His children.

Our job is to be open and receptive.

In this devotional, Pamela S Thibodeaux shares how God opened her spirit to a deeper understanding of the abundance of His grace and mercy through the words of the song, “The Rose” sung by Country and Western artist Conway Twitty.

Pamela offers Seeds to Ponder and a prayer as she parallels the love of God and the Christian life to each verse of the song.

Excerpt: Some say love, it is a hunger, an endless aching need ...
How very true! The Bible speaks of a longing of our soul to be in communion with the Lord. Psalm 42 says, “As the hind longs for running water, so my soul longs for thee, oh God ...”

Endless, aching need; we all feel it––the need to be loved, to be worthy; the ache to know God more intimately and to glorify Him.
           
Many describe this aspect of their walk with God as an ache or a hunger which is forever present. Sometimes it is more prevalent than others but always there … The need to be close to Him, to know His will, to feel His presence, to be made worthy and whole by His Holy Spirit.
           
Just when we feel we’ve gotten closer to Him still, the ache smarts again––deeper, more desperate than the last time. A longing that cannot be described––one that can only be satisfied by the Holy Spirit leading you closer and deeper into the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Every one of us can relate to the insatiable hunger we’ve experienced in our lives. Many times we seek after and pursue more … bigger and better things (money, houses, cars, jobs) thinking those will satisfy, not realizing the hunger in our soul is one only God can satisfy. As I look back over my life, I recall a time when I got wrapped up in the things of the world, and yet, I’ve always been a seeker of peace above all things. Oh, that we would teach our children that more is not better and the more things you have, the more time you’ll spend taking care of them and the less time you’ll have to pursue what really matters in life—people and relationships!

The accumulation of things will never satisfy the soul like an intimate relationship with the Creator and His creation. Get rid of the stuff in your life and see how much peace there is in simplicity.

Seeds to ponder: In Matthew 5: 6, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” How many times do we fill the hunger in our hearts with things of the world instead of filling it with things of the Spirit?

Prayer: Dear God, help me to recognize true, spiritual hunger and turn to You instead of giving in to the lusts of my flesh and the lure of the world by engaging in unholy attitudes and actions.

What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
That love is a gift and like a rose, needs to be appreciated and handled with care and that even through the dark, cold times in our lives, God is always there.

Is there anything you’d like to tell my readers about you or your books?
I’m often asked why I write what I do. My answer is always to share God’s message of hope and healing to a hurting world. My prayer is that every thing I write will touch the hearts and impact the lives of each and every reader and in some small way lead them closer to Him.

Where on the Internet can the readers find you?
Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com   
Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

Thank you, Pamela, for sharing this new book with us. I know my readers will love it.

Readers, here are purchase links to the book.  
Print @ Amazon  http://amzn.to/1naYIRr
Smashwords http://bit.ly/16vCHl4  
Deeper Shopping http://bit.ly/1cxivVf

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (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, Google+, 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:
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

CURRENCY OF THE HEART - ONCE A MARINE - Loree Lough - Two Free Books

Bio: With nearly 5,000,000 4- and 5-star books in circulation, reviewers and readers alike have called best-selling author Loree Lough "a gifted storyteller whose novels touch hearts and change lives." Her 103rd and 104th novels (Currency of the Heart, #1 in the Secrets on Sterling Stree” historical series, Whitaker; Once a Marine, #1 Those Marshall Boys contemporary series for Harlequin Heartwarming) will reach bookstore shelves in January. Loree lives near Baltimore and loves spending time at her little cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, where she delights in showing off her identify-the-critter-tracks skills. She loves interacting with readers on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and via email (she answers every letter, personally!)

Loree Lough: First, I’d like to thank you, Lena, for once again sharing your blog space with me! I’ve been in this business a long, long time and know a whole lot of authors, and I do believe you’re in the top three when it comes to generosity and kindness of heart!

It’s always a pleasure to have you here, and I love interacting with you on Facebook and other places, Loree. You have a lot of books out now. What is your favorite setting to use in your books?
I love historicals, and I’m particularly fond of the old west: Colorado, Texas, Montana, Idaho…. The more wild ‘n’ woolly a place was, the better backdrop it is for the characters!

What do you look for when you’re shopping for a book to buy for yourself?
I’ll read just about anything, from cereal boxes to calendar squares! But when I sit down to relax with a book, I like reading things that are nothing like the stuff I write. So believe it or not I turn to Dean Koontz, John Grisham, James Rollins, and naturally, the old classics.

Give us a little tour of the setting for this book.
Well, there are two coming out on almost the same day in January: Once a Marine takes place mostly in Vail, Colorado, but the characters spend quite a bit of time at the Double M Ranch on the outskirts of Denver.

Currency of the Heart also has a Denver setting, but the year is 1883.

I was privileged to read Currency of the Heart. I love this book—the characters grabbed me from the first page and didn’t let me go until long after I finished the book. And since I’m familiar with that area of Colorado (I’m actually writing a book set not far from Denver in a similar time period), I loved the authenticity of the setting. Dear readers, you won’t want to miss this one by Loree.

Loree, what other books do you have coming out soon?
Funny you should ask! This interview allowed me to take a break from the second books in each of those series, which (God willing!), will release in June of 2015. I’ve sketched out the plot outline, characters, settings, and conflicts for the third books in each series, too, so stay tuned!

Please give us a glimpse inside your home.
Larry and I live in a modest house in a normal neighborhood just outside Baltimore, Maryland. I cook at least two meals a day in a tiny galley kitchen…and I love everything about it. When I’m not cooking (or chowing down!), Larry and I enjoy reading or watching TV in the family room, or chatting as we watch the dancing flames inside the woodstove. There’s a big bright sun porch out back, and it’s the first place the grandorables go when they arrive on too-rainy or too-cold days, because it’s the next best thing to being outside. When the weather is good, that’s where you’ll find them. (But you’ll have to look up, because as often as not, they’re perched on a tree limb!) We keep the dining room table opened all the way up, which saves us rearranging things every Sunday when the kids and grandorables join us for dinner. On major holidays, we enjoy sit-down dinners, and that table (extended by three long folding tables) holds food and eating utensils for up to 40 people. It’s the only time I allow shouting in the house, because asking someone to pass the gravy in an “inside voice” just wouldn’t get the job done! I have a terrific office, adjacent to the laundry room. There are plusses and minuses to that. Mostly perks: Being so close to the dryer means I almost never have to iron!

Is this novel part of a series or a stand-alone book?
Both books are part of a series: Currency of the Heart (Secrets on Sterling Street) is a 3-book historical series, and Once a Marine (Those Marshall Boys) is part of a 3-book contemporary series.

Tell us about the story.
Once a Marine (#1 in the “Those Marshall Boys” series for Harlequin Heartwarming) is the story of a war-weary Marine who comes home to Denver without firm plans for his future. When his younger sister becomes the victim of violent crime in Vail, he puts his self-defense skill to use, and opens a self-defense studio to teach her and women like her how to prevent such attacks. Enter Summer Lane, whose hippy-dippy actor parents were off filming a movie when she was attacked. After multiple surgeries and physical therapy, she buys a townhouse in Vail…and pretty much becomes a hermit. If not for her teenage neighbor, Alex, who runs her errands and fetches her mail, Summer wouldn’t have known about Zach Marshall’s studio. She takes a leap of faith, signs up for classes…and both she and Zach hope for the best….

The other novel is Currency of the Heart (#1 of the “Secrets on Sterling Street” series for Whitaker Denver, 1883, and socialite Shaina Sterling hates that she’s living a lie. Soon after the shocking death of her husband, she discovers just how deep in debt he left her. So, to protect his legacy, her own reputation, and the stately home at Sterling Hall, Shaina sells off valuable possessions, one item at a time…and prays her wealthy Denver friends won’t find out. But she isn’t fooling successful rancher and businessman, Sloan Remington. He knows far more about her than she realizes. Because of a promise made as her husband lay dying, he guards her secrets as carefully as he looks after Shaina’s safety and well-being. Then, tragedy strikes, and makes her beholden to him…and threatens to expose a dark secret he’s been hiding most of his life. Will trial and tragedy bring these two closer together…or drive them apart, forever?
House). Set in

Please give us the first page of the book.
From Once a Marine:
Zach’s dad hadn’t said a word since hearing the “Your daughter has been rushed to the hospital” from the Vail, Colorado police department.

Halfway into the two-hour drive, his dad said “Keep your eye on the speedometer, son. Last thing we need is to lose half an hour while some state trooper writes us a ticket.”

Under normal circumstances, he might have shot back with a joke, reminding his Dad that he’d just returned from his third tour in Afghanistan. But there was nothing normal about the situation, and this was no time for jokes. 

“You okay up there?” his mom asked.
           
No, he wasn’t. But admitting it would only add to her stress.
           
“I’m fine.” He glanced into the rearview mirror and met her gaze. “How ‘bout you? Holding up okay?”

She sighed heavily. “I’ll feel better when I see her.”

Yeah, he could identify with that. Hopefully, his sister’s condition wouldn’t be anywhere near as bad as what his imagination had cooked up: Libby, broken and battered. Libby, unconscious. Libby, connected to tubes and monitors.
           
Zach shook off the ugly images and focused on the dark highway…and his dad’s white-knuckled grip on the grab-handle above the car door.

And Currency of the Heart:
Elsie grabbed a tiny brown bottle from the shelf above the exam table. Sloan read the label—Tincture of Merthiolate—and groaned inwardly. Jaws clenched as she poured some onto a cotton ball, he waited for the sting.

“You’re lucky that ruffian didn’t put your eye out,” Elsie said, dabbing the orange liquid to the cut.

Right again, he thought, doing his best not to wince. “Hey, take it easy, will you?”

Elsie seemed not to have heard him. “So now you’ll have a scar for the rest of your life. And for what? To defend a woman like that?”

While she re-bandaged the wound, the should haves piled up: He should have waited until Elsie left the room to tell Doc Wilson what happened that night. Should have gone straight home five minutes ago, when she said her brother was out, delivering the Patterson’s third child. Should have found a way to shut down Elsie’s anti-Jennie gossip the instant it began.

She opened her mouth to say more, but a thunderous rumble stopped her.

Medicine bottles clattered on metal shelves as the doctor’s wheeled stool rolled across the floor. It slammed into the apothecary cabinet’s glass door as the big pendulum clock crashed to the floor, a shattered face stopping both hands on the number 6. The floorboards creaked and groaned as the ground beneath them shifted, throwing Elsie off balance, and right into his arms.

“Wh-what…what’s going on?”

A second, larger tremor rolled through the clinic, then two more in quick succession.
           
“Too close and too fierce to be some fool miner, trying to dynamite gold from the mountains.” He knew, because he’d heard it as a boy, when his pa dragged the family from Kansas to Aurelia to find a lode. He pressed his wife and twin sons into manning a cradle strainer, and when that didn’t work, he built a crude sluice box. But all they got was cold and wet and sick, and as May drew to a close, his ma and brother were dead.
           
“My guess is, it’s an earthquake.”
           
“Here? In Denver?”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’m in all the usual places, and I hope everyone will visit, often:

Again, thank you, Lena! You’re the best!

And thank you, Loree, for sharing these new books with us today.

Readers, here are purchase links to the books. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Once a Marine:
Once a Marine (Those Marshall Boys)
Currency of the Heart:
Currency of the Heart (Secrets on Sterling Street V1)

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (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, Google+, 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:
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

HIDDEN - Vannetta Chapman - One Free Book

Welcome back, Vannetta. Tell us about your salvation experience.
I was 10 years old, and we were members of a small town Baptist church. There was an altar call every Sunday morning, and I remember needing to make that walk to the front, but being terrified. Later that day at home, I told my mother and daddy. They called over the youth director and we talked and prayed and I asked Jesus into my heart. I wanted to go back up to the church THAT DAY and be baptized. I had to wait a week, and that seemed like an impossibly long time. My two sisters, my brother, and I were all baptized on the same day. It’s one of my most treasured memories.

You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
Alive or dead? I’ll choose a combination of both – C.S. Lewis because he was such a trailblazer in our mission. Ted Dekker because he showed the world that Christian writers can make a terrific impact. Shelley Shephard Gray because she’s such a sweet spirit and will remember to bring me chocolate. And finally, Janette Oake because I grew up reading all of her books.

Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
Yes! I love speaking to groups. I have spoken to quilt clubs about Amish quilting and the desire to bring simplicity to our Christian walk. I’ve also taught quite a bit of writing classes—on everything from “Adding Mystery to your Manuscript” to “Working with Agents and Editors.” I taught high school and college for 15 years, so I miss that aspect of my life. Speaking to groups is something that allows me to connect to others in a very special way.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
It’s hard to pick one, as I’m a bit distracted at times so I tend to do things like leave the house with my shirt on inside out. One of the most embarrassing moments was at our local Walmart. I was looking down to find something in my purse and ran my cart right into one of those large concrete pillars. It hurt and it was embarrassing!

People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
People do tell me this. I think many of us have an urge to share our story. What I tell them is that there are many ways to do this—perhaps you want to type up your story and share it with family members, or perhaps you want to seek publication. Everyone’s road is different and all writing has its own value.

Tell us about the featured book.
Hidden is the story of Dana Jacobs—who SEEMS to have it all together, but in fact is held back in her personal and spiritual life by events in her past. Faith is something she stopped having as a small child. Now Ben Marshall is in her life—a steady, calming, faithful presence, and she doesn’t know what to do with him. When they become deeply involved in a case that threatens both their town and their lives, Dana must decide if she’s going to let her past define her. She must decide whether she’s going to live in fear or live by faith. It’s a fun, suspenseful story that focuses on God’s grace and love for us. 

Please give us the first page of the book.
Livingston, Texas, Fall, 1990
Dana Jacobs tried to scream, but no sound came. A small hand slipped into hers and pulled her away from the violence playing before her like an interminable, looping video. She turned and looked into the terror-filled eyes of her sister. Erin tugged again, pleading silently. A ragged, brown teddy bear hung from her other hand, nearly forgotten.

Dana scooped up the three-year-old, mindful that the bear found its way into her arms as well. She backed away from the cries of her mother and fled into the night.

They went into the woods, far enough away to escape the sounds and sights of the house. At ten years old, Dana outweighed her sister by nearly forty pounds, but her fear made her weak.
She prayed as she stumbled along the path.

The tall, old pine finally loomed in front of them. She placed Erin on the ground beside it.

“I have to go back,” she whispered, even as she worked to unclasp the grip Erin had on her neck. “You’re okay. You have Snooky. I have to go help Mama.”

She pushed the bear into her sister’s hands.

The smell of him reached her before his words—the unmistakable stench of liquor and sweat.
“And how do you plan to help her?”

She drew herself up to her full four-foot height and turned in the darkness to face her father.

I can’t wait to read it. How can readers find you on the Internet?
http://vannettachapman.com/blog/

Thank you, Vannetta, for sharing your new book with me and my readers.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Hidden (Jacobs Family Series) (Volume 1) - paperback
Hidden (Jacobs Family Series Book 1) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (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, Google+, 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:
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com