Friday, August 22, 2014

A PLAIN LOVE SONG - Kelly Irvin - One Free Book

Welcome back, Kelly. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I’m now working on a new series for HarperCollins. The Amish of Bee County series is set in Bee County, Texas, where the only Amish district is located in the state of Texas. It’s tiny and conservative and you won’t see any lush landscapes and neatly kept flower gardens there. I’m enjoying the change of scenery, and it’s close enough that I can make a day trip for research as needed. I feel blessed each and every day for the opportunity to write fiction, my lifelong dream. A writer never knows when the next contract will come or even if it will come, so I try to stop and smell the roses and appreciate the road I’ve traveled to get here.

Tell us a little about your family.
My favorite topic! I’ve been married twenty-six-plus years to Tim Irvin, a former TV news photographer who now works for the biggest school district in the state of Texas. Tim is my webmaster, he does my business cards, orders my promotional materials, and takes my photo for book covers. He’s also a fabulous cook who does all the cooking on the weekends, giving me more time to write. We have two adult children. My daughter is married to a U.S. Navy sailor, and they have a baby daughter who is the light of her grandma’s life. I don’t get to see them as often as I like since my son-in-law is currently stationed in Norfolk, Virginia. We have the pleasure of still having our son at home. He works as a computer support technician for a large pharmaceutical company. As much as I know children are meant to grow up, spread their wings, and fly, it’s still hard to let them go!

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
It’s harder for me to read a book without mentally editing it. A novel has to really hook me into the fictional world or I find myself critiquing the craft or admiring the choice of metaphors and similes. That can be a good thing in terms of improving my own writing, but sometimes I simply want to sit back and be transported to another world. It takes a really well-written book to do that for me now.

What are you working on right now?
I’m nearing the end of the first draft of The Bishop’s Son, the second book in The Amish of Bee County series. It needs lots and lots of work so I imagine I’ll be working on it right up until the deadline in September.

What outside interests do you have?
I have a full-time job in public relations so I don’t have much time to do more than work and write. I love to read fiction, and I write poems and short stories when I have time. Entertaining my granddaughter is at the top of my list these days, but unfortunately we don’t get to see each other as often as I would like.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
I set my first series, The Bliss Creek Amish, in a fictional town in Kansas because I wanted to be able to build the town the way I wanted it. With a fictional Amish district, I could decide on their ordnung or set of written and unwritten rules as I saw fit. Plus my sister and her husband have a farm in Kansas so they were able to help me with crops and growing seasons and other farming-related details in that region. The spin-off series set in Missouri, The New Hope Amish, allowed some of my families to move to a new location and start a new district with all the challenges that involves. The setting helps me add conflict to the stories. With The New Hope Amish, we have the fictional town of New Hope where the newcomers aren’t feeling welcome, and also Stockton Lake and Branson, Missouri. I had a lot of fun with setting in this series.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
That’s a hard choice, but at the moment, I think I’d choose Abraham Lincoln. So much has been written about what he thought, said, and did, I’d love to get the scoop straight from the horse’s mouth. He led this country at a time when change was bloody and heartbreaking and scary, but also inevitable. What was he thinking as he gave the Emancipation Proclamation speech? How did he feel about the toll his service to his country took on his family?

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wish I had known that I should wait longer to start submitting my work to editors and publishing houses. I needed to hone my craft to a much greater degree. I wrote a novel and immediately jumped into pitching it to editors at conferences. They loved my pitches, but didn’t buy my work because it wasn’t good enough. Writing fiction well takes practice and work and the willingness to accept criticism and rejection.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
There are so many. I’ve been in my day job for more than 20 years and suddenly I have a new supervisor with a completely different management style and set of expectations. I’m close to retirement and a new season in my life. Navigating these changes on a daily basis has been a trial at a time when I thought I should be experiencing smooth sailing. Add to that my daughter leaving the nest and moving across the country and I admit to floundering a bit. Did I mention that change is hard? But God is good and He’s teaching me to find joy in new, unexpected places.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Wait to submit your novel until you know it’s the very best work you can do.
Attend conferences and hone your craft by learning from others.
Take writing seriously. Make it your job. Write everyday as much as humanly possible.

Tell us about the featured book.
I have to say I had more fun writing this book than any other I’ve written so far. It’s about a young Amish woman named Adah who dreams of being a country music song writer, an aspiration her family and her district frown upon. While cleaning houses, she meets a young English man who is a country music singer with big dreams of his own. He teaches her to play the guitar and in the process, falls in love with her. The story takes us to Branson, Missouri, where Adah has the opportunity to live out her dreams—but only if she’s willing to give up her Amish faith and family.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Not having a pencil and paper handy made writing a song a challenge for Adah Knepp.

But then she liked a challenge.

Adah belted out the lyrics, the bob-bob of the horse’s head along with the clip-clop of his hooves kept time on the asphalt highway. The squeaking of the buggy wheels joined in. Her voice carried on the warm June wind across the wheat fields of Missouri. Sparrows preening on the power lines that ran along the road served as her only audience. They probably thought she’d gone crazy, talking to herself.

She closed her eyes for a second, listening to her own words. They weren’t quite right. They didn’t sound like the songs she heard on the radio while she cleaned the Harts’ house. Not like Miranda Lambert or Taylor Swift. She sounded flat. Of course, she didn’t have the benefit of steel guitars, fiddles, keyboards, and drums. She stomped one black sneaker, and then the other, against the floorboard, picking up the beat. “Love like sun-kissed apples ...” She shook her head. Nee, nee. “Love like a baby’s sweet kisses ...”

No, that wasn’t it either. Still mulling the words, she turned into the open gate adorned with a huge wrought iron H and onto the sunflower-lined dirt road that led to the Hart farm. She would clean the house lickety-split and use the rest of the afternoon to work on her song before she went home. That way she wouldn’t be late and Mudder wouldn’t have cause to complain. Stop mooning around, Adah, and get to work. Those dishes won’t wash themselves.

Which, of course, they wouldn’t. Having six brothers and sisters, Adah surely wished they would. How about that for a fanciful notion?

She could write her song, cook, clean, and still be ready to take a ride after dark if Matthew Troyer should happen to shine his flashlight in her window. Gott was good.

A horse whinnied, an uncertain, unhappy sound that carried on a breeze that kept the day from being stifling hot. A man answered in a soft, coaxing sing-song. The voice reminded Adah of the announcer on the radio the Harts kept tuned to a country music station. It was husky like sandpaper, yet smooth and warm like kaffi made with an extra dollop of milk and three pinches of sugar.

“Come on, sweetie, come on, it won’t hurt you, I promise. It’s fine, it’s okay, it’s fine.” The voice sang in a steady patter of sweet nothings. “Let me just do this one thing and you’re gonna like it, I promise.”

Drawn by the velvety words, she hopped from the buggy and approached the fence. The voice belonged to a tall, lean man with a shock of black hair, ruffled and sweat soaked under the rim of a dirty straw cowboy hat. He held a blanket in one hand while he used his other hand to hold the lead rope attached to a tawny Palomino with a long dark mane and tail. The man wore a T-shirt and tattered jeans faded to a blue-white. The sun glinted on a huge silver buckle on a belt that hugged his narrow hips.

“Sweetie, come on, come on, baby,” he crooned as he crept closer to the horse. “It won’t hurt you, I promise. Remember this blanket. We played with it yesterday. You remember.”

At that moment he looked across the corral and their gazes met. “Hey there, Amish girl.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter: @Kelly_S_Irvin
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KellyIrvinAuthor

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

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
A Plain Love Song - Christianbook.com
A Plain Love Song (The New Hope Amish) - Amazon
A Plain Love Song (The New Hope Amish) - 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

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A STRANGER ON MY LAND - Sandra Merville Hart - One free book

Bio: Sandra Merville Hart loves to find unusual facts in her historical research to use in her stories. She and her husband enjoy traveling to many of the sites in her books to explore the history. She serves as Assistant Editor for DevoKids.com where she contributes articles about history and holidays. She has written for several publications and websites including The Secret Place, Harpstring, Splickety Magazine, Pockets Magazine, Common Ground, Afictionado, and ChristianDevotions.us.

Welcome, Sandra. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I don't think of my characters as being me. They have different personality traits, and they don't look like me. The characters in my stories often react in ways I don't expect. Allowing the characters in my imagination to show me what happens next brings unexpected twists.

Before reading my debut novella, my husband asked me if he was the main character's love interest. I told him, "He's not you. She's not me. If it was you, I'd definitely want her to be me." 

Good answer. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I don't drink coffee. I get my morning caffeine from chocolate milk. I know—most adults grow out of this stage. I never did!       

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I wanted to be a writer in elementary school but received no encouragement. I set the dream aside until about ten years ago. I've been told, "No one thinks like you. No one talks like you." Obviously some one does think like me—me. Those comments left me feeling like an outsider.

I attended my first writers' conference about eight years ago and found a whole room full of people with lively imaginations. For the first time it struck me that God made me this way on purpose. He equipped me to think like a writer. In this literary group of about four hundred people, I belonged.

That’s a wonderful discovery, isn’t it? Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
The type of book I most often gravitate to is inspirational historical romance. I enjoy contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. I also read a lot of non-fiction books as part of my research.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
As much as I try to protect myself from over commitment in busy seasons, it happens anyway. To keep myself organized in stressful times, I write out to-do lists. These contain all business-related items that are on my plate. Then I begin tackling the hottest fires or the things that can be quickly completed. Checking things off brings a sense of accomplishment.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Choosing character names can be difficult. As I begin a story, I create a document with names, descriptions, jobs, etc., about each character I already know about. New characters pop up in the story all the time. Then I have to stop and figure out the name. If an idea doesn't come, I look in a phone book for last names. These books provide plenty of possibilities.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My family. I'm proud of whatever part I played in the wonderful people they've become. 

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Dolphins seem to enjoy life. They jump in and out of the water with wild abandon. They travel with family and friends. Sounds like a lot of fun, doesn't it?

Yes, it does. I love watching them. What is your favorite food?
Chocolate. I tend to crave it most during stressful times. Thankfully bite-sized candies are usually enough to satisfy me. The new chocolate rice cakes are pretty tasty—chocolaty without containing a lot of calories. Have you tried them yet?

I haven’t seen those yet. I do love dark chocolate. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
There are so many things to learn about writing. In the beginning, it was writing a query and then a proposal. I find myself putting off new writing tasks that I've not done before, perhaps due to a fear of failure. After I force myself to work through it, the second time isn't as difficult.

Tell us about the featured book.
My inspirational Civil War novella, A Stranger on My Land, released today. Carrie and her little brother, Jay, find Adam, a wounded Union soldier, on their land after a battle near their Lookout Mountain home. Carrie takes Adam to the cave where her family has been hiding from the soldiers. Before long, she falls in love with him, but she can't save his life. He requires a surgeon. Carrie weighs the potential danger of revealing her family's hideaway with saving Adam's life.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Lookout Mountain, Outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee,
Wednesday, November 25, 1863
As the sound of a hundred firing muskets echoed across the valley, Carrie Bishop stepped out of the darkness of the cave that had sheltered her family for over two months. Peering left and right before replacing the branches that obscured the mouth of the small cave, she felt grateful for the wispy fog. It should help to mask her movements from any watchful eyes in the valley. Leaving the safety of the shrubs and one tall oak tree that further hid the entrance, she exhaled with relief to find no sign of the soldiers on Lookout Mountain. A noisy battle had taken place here yesterday.

Leaves rustled behind her. “Can I come out there with you, Carrie?”

Turning swiftly at her little brother’s loud whisper, she motioned him back inside. “No, Jay. I told you to wait for me.”

 “Aw, come on, Carrie. I don’t want to stay with Aunt Lavinia.” Her nine-year-old brother raised his eyebrows imploringly.

Carrie sighed. They’d both been stuck inside too much lately, and their bedridden aunt’s bitter complaining didn’t make returning to the cave such a pleasant prospect. “Let me look around first. I’ll be right back.” 

How can readers find you on the Internet?


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

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
A Stranger On My Land (Civil War Romance Series) (Volume 1) - Amazon
Stranger On My Land: The Battle of Lookout Mountain, TN, November 24, 1863, (Civil War Romance Series) - 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

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

RUTH'S DILEMMA - June Belfie - One Free Book

Welcome, June. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I’m sure there is a part of me that goes into each of my protagonists, but it isn’t consciously done. My daughter often recognizes me in different characters. When I wrote about my life as an innkeeper, (Inn Sane), it was first person and yes, that was the real me.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
This came to my mind the other day and I can’t think of anything any quirkier. My husband and I were vacationing in Jamaica and had not rented a car, thinking we’d stay at the resort the whole time. One day we walked to a tourist attraction. It was farther than we realized, and on the way home, my feet were killing me. Those lousy thong sandals cut into my skin. Soooo, we hitch-hiked! Believe me, you don’t want to do that in a foreign land! Or anywhere else, for that matter. Fortunately, a nice elderly native in a rickety truck squeezed us into the front seat, patches and all, and took us back to our resort. Looking back, I realize how dangerous it was!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Though I always loved to write and aced my English courses, I never attempted a full-length book until my adult children pushed me into writing about our eleven years running a 38 room inn in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. We had so many interesting tales to tell and as time passed, they began to fade. Before they would totally evaporate, I was assigned the task of recording the events we found most interesting. I enjoyed the process so much, I began a novel, which ended up being a series of three books. I have not submitted them to anyone yet, as I’m editing them now and they need work. (I guess my writing has improved.)

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Before I began writing seriously, I read mostly non-fiction—either religious, political, or historical biographies. Once I began writing fiction, I switched to my genre—Christian fiction, and then the Amish books. I don’t read many of the books by Amish writers though, since I don’t want to emulate them. That’s a comment some of my readers have made; my books are different in the approach I give them. I always read before turning in at night and enjoy using my Kindle, since it is light and easy to hold.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
That’s a tough one. Am I sane? Hmm. It’s easier now that my children have all grown and left the nest. I do wear several hats though—I own an antique shop, sell on Etsy (JunesShoppe), garden, and travel on occasion. I don’t have as much time as I’d like to sit at the computer. I’m an early riser, so I spend my first hours writing, editing, and plotting my next book. When I’m writing a first draft, I write with intensity, spending several hours a day virtually in total isolation. (Hubby supports my habit) I can complete an average length novel in three to four weeks, though I’ll spend the next month editing it. It’s important to prioritize, and I will always find the time to write.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Some names pop into my head without effort, but there are times I’m stymied. There are web-sites, which give the most popular names of the different decades. I refer to them sometimes. I also check out Amish names in The Budget, a newspaper for the Amish and Mennonite communities.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I’d have to say that raising five kids to be productive, moral adults, is the most rewarding accomplishment, however, it’s difficult to take much credit for that, since so many factors go into raising a child. Today’s society makes it far more difficult for young parents and my heart goes out to them as they struggle to impart their values in such an immoral atmosphere.
In writing, I guess, I am proud to have completed my first book. It took determination and persistence to write “the end” to my manuscript. It did take more than a year to get to that point.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Probably a lioness. I love their beauty and graceful movements. And hey, they live with lions! How cool is that?

What is your favorite food?
I’m embarrassed to admit I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Always have. On the slightly more gourmet side of things, give me roast duckling or grilled lamb chops. Yum!

I love duck. Whenever we go to a restaurant that serves it, I have to try it. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Perhaps it was—and is—keeping all my characters in my head at the same time. After a few chapters, it gets easier, since they become real and I envision them, hear them speak, and get into their minds. I like doing a series, since my characters have become my friends and it’s easier to write about them as they go through their trials. It’s helpful to keep index cards for each major character. I include birthdays, physical and mental traits, and other pertinent data.

Tell us about the featured book.
Ruth’s Dilemma danced about in my head for some time before I put it on my computer. I loved her character. Having been a music major myself, I could relate to her love of music. Her love for an Amishman, who was also her sister’s choice, became a major problem in her life. She also struggled with the two worlds open to her—the Amish and the English. When she had to make her final decision, I suffered with her. So much to consider. I believe she made the right choice, but my readers will be the final judges of that.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Ruth Zook was aware of Jeremiah Fisher’s eyes on her as she tried to emerge from the buggy with a semblance of grace. Her foot slipped and she was headed for the ground when firm hands reached around her waist to steady her. Jeremiah’s boyish grin, as he released his grip on her, made her feel even clumsier. A flush reached her cheeks. “Danki.”

He gave a slight bow, removed his straw hat from his golden locks, and beamed at her. “You’re willkum. See you in church, Ruthie.”

Ruth’s older sister, Emma, jumped down from the buggy, grabbed Ruth’s arm, and snatched her away from the smiling group of young men resting against Bishop King’s fence. “That was so deliberate,” Emma whispered. “You knew Jeremiah would grab you in time.”

“Don’t be silly. Why would I want to look like an oaf? Besides, Ezekiel Schrock was closer.” Ruth tucked a loose strand of her shiny brown hair under her kapp and quickened her pace.

“Don’t get any ideas about Jeremiah Fisher, Ruth. He’s far more interested in me.”

That thought had never occurred to Ruth. Perhaps he did favor Emma. After all Emma was twenty, the same age as Jeremiah, while Ruth was only eighteen.

“Then I suppose it would have been better if I’d fallen flat on my face?”

Emma rolled her eyes. “Oh, let’s forget the whole thing. Mamm and Katie are waiting inside for us. Church services should start soon and I want a good seat inside where I can see into the next room and watch Jeremiah.”

Ruth sat next to her mamm, waiting in silence, for the service to begin. She could see Jeremiah talking to friends as he placed his hat on a wooden peg by the front door. Her heart danced each time she saw him. He always had a strong affect on her and in Ruth’s eyes, he was the most desirable man in the district. That was for sure and for certain. Was what she felt true love, the kind you have for a husband, or was it just girlish infatuation?

Emma had never made it known before how she felt toward Jeremiah. If only Ruth had expressed her feelings sooner—staking her own claim. But then it was only in recent weeks that she realized how much she actually cared for him.

Ruth’s older brothers arrived with their families and soon the rooms were filled—women and children in one room and the men seated in an adjoining room. It was cramped in the farmhouse, but since it was early April, it was still too cool to meet in the barn for the service.

Church lasted over three hours. Ruth’s favorite part of the service was the music sung from the Ausbund. It was poignant as everyone sang in unison. One of the Zook men started the “Das Loblied” and everyone in the congregation added their voices. Ruth closed her eyes as she included her soprano voice to the others around her singing praises to the Lord. She could hear Jeremiah Fisher’s strong tenor voice from the next room and smiled, visualizing his startling blue eyes as he sang. Someday Jeremiah should be the vorsinger, she thought to herself. He could easily lead the singing.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
You can reach me by my domain name: junebelfie.com. If someone wants to e-mail me, it is: mosttrulyyours@yahoo.com. Add writer somewhere in the heading, or it might end up in spam. I also have a personal site on Facebook and love to have readers join me.

Thank you, June, for letting us into your life and for sharing this book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Ruth's Dilemma (The Zook Sisters of Lancaster County) - Amazon
Ruth's Dilemma (The Zook Sisters of Lancaster County 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

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

THE LAST LIE - Leann Harris - 2 Free Ebooks

Readers, Leann Harris is a dear friend of mine. I’m excited about this new series she’s started, Legacy of Lies.

Welcome, Leann. How did you come up with the idea for this story?  
Several years ago a question occurred to me: What would happen if you came home from college and discovered your family had disappeared? Then eighteen years later, when you’re in France on vacation you see your dad getting on a bus, but it’s obvious he’s had a stroke. What would do? That’s the basis of my story. And what if the man, a good-looking Scotsman offers to help you search for your father. Later, you discover he’s lying to you. What do you do then?

Wow! What a premise. If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Only six authors? That’s like asking me which of my children I love more. Okay, let’s try.  Margaret Daley, Kelly Gilbert, Angie Breidenback, Beth Shriver , James Rubart, and James Scott Bell. These people each write in a different area, and I’d love to compare experience and compare notes.

Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?  
Allie Pleiter, Lynne Gentry, Lena Nelson Dooley, Tricia Goyer, Lori Copeland, and Julie Lessman. I love the books these ladies have done and see how the historical market differs from the contemporary market.

What a party. I’d really enjoy that one. I love all these authors’ books, and I am blessed to be included. Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
After I recovered from my cancer, (Hodgkin’s Lymphoma)  God sent people into my life to put this book , The Last Lie, out as an ebook. I wasn’t thinking about it, but years ago, I wrote this book, but knew the time for it wasn’t right. God brought the people to me, and I got the message now was the time. I had to, learn an entirely new skill set, but it was exciting to learn.

Tell us about the featured book.
When Catherine Lyons comes home from college, she discovers her family has disappeared. Fifteen years later when Catherine is on vacation in France, she sees her father getting on a bus, but he’s had a stroke. When she tries to talk to him the nurse taking care of him won’t allow it. Cat shows up at the clinic the next day, but the people there claim to know nothing of the man. This time Cat isn’t going to give up. Cat learns the name of the nurse she talked to and goes to her apartment and finds her dead.
Colin Montrose is with MI-6 and doesn’t know who this woman is who has stumbled into his operation, but he wants to know. He follows Cat and asks if she murdered the woman. Before she can answer, they hear police sirens and flee. Together, Cat and Colin chase after Cat’s father, trying to discover the truth behind her life and her parent's lives.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Prologue
Thanksgiving Day, 1989
Colorado
Springs
Catherine Lyons glanced around the faces at the dining room table. Her father and Melvin Fitzpatrick were arguing about who would win the Thanksgiving Day football game, the Cowboys or the Broncos. Of course, Papa thought it would be the Broncos by two touchdowns.

 “Go ahead and tell them,” Sarah Fitzpatrick whispered, elbowing Cat.

For the last eight years, her family had celebrated Thanksgiving with the Fitzpatricks. Both of Catherine’s parents were only children and their parents dead. That first Thanksgiving, when the Fitzpatricks discovered the situation, they had adopted the Lyons into their big Irish family. Since that time, holidays were celebrated with the Fitzpatricks, all seven of them. When they invited their family—all aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, it was a houseful filled with noise, laughter, and joy.

Catherine glanced at her friend. “I’m waiting for the right moment.”

“You better tell them before the FBI shows up.”

Sarah had a point. She didn’t want to freak out her parents. They might think the FBI was here for a different reason.

“What mischief are you two thinking up?”

Okay, this book just moved to the top of my to-be-read list on my Kindle. How can readers find you on the Internet?
http://www.leannharris.com

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

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
The Last Lie: Inspirational Romantic Suspense

Leave a comment for a chance to win one of two free copies of the ebook. 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

Monday, August 18, 2014

THE BUTTERFLY AND THE VIOLIN - Kristy Cambron - One Free Book

Dear Readers, it’s a great pleasure for me to introduce you to Kristy Cambron and her debut novel. We share the same agent, and we’ve become friends through the agency. When The Butterfly and the Violin first arrived at my house, I read it right away. Normally, I’m not too fond of World War II novels, but this one grabbed my heart from the first page. The characters wouldn’t let go of me until the very end. This truly is a page-turner. I kept it with me and read it every time I could grab a few minutes. It was a spark of beauty in a horrible time in history. A lyrical quality.

Bio: Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with the WWII era since hearing her grandfather's stories of the war. She holds an art history degree from Indiana University and received the Outstanding Art History Student Award. Kristy writes WWII and Regency era fiction and has placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations and 2012 FCRW Beacon contests, and is a 2013 Laurie finalist. Kristy makes her home in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons.

Welcome, Kristy. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Quite a lot so far. There are moments between Adele and Vladimir – our main characters from the WWII storyline – that have been taken right from the years my husband and I were dating. And Sera? She’s an art history buff like me. We both love all things vintage and have a borderline obsession with Paris.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
It’s a present quirk that my editor assures me is not too odd… I like to write on my iPhone. In fact, the majority of The Butterfly and the Violin was written on my iPhone, during the early morning hours I was awake to feed our newborn his bottles. Since that time, I’ve found that writing chapters on my phone really fits with my always-on-the-go lifestyle. I’ve even been known to jot down a sentence or two on a long elevator ride. J

Wow, I don’t see how you can do that. I’m a sit in front of my desktop writer. I’ll edit on my laptop, but on a smart phone? No way. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
It was in early 2001 when I was working a late-shift call center job. My husband had purchased an old refurbished laptop so I could write during the dead-air time in-between calls, and I was sold. I literally remember a wave washing over me, feeling like I’d come home somehow when I was typing away at my first story. But to become an author? That was a dream that surpassed anything that young writer could have imagined at the time.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I try not to read books of my WWII genre, especially when I’m writing or editing one of my books. It’s too risky to find that some of that author’s voice or their research will melt into the story I feel called to write. But in reading for pleasure? I love anything historical, especially set in Regency England. The Jazz Age is also a new interest that’s sparked for me. I’m reading on it right now in hopes that I can set a novel in that immersive era.  

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Easy – my husband keeps it for me. J With three young sons, a full-time job and writing career that comes alive at night, I really have little sanity to pull from. My husband is the one who cheers me on, who partners with me and takes care of all of us. He demands very little in the way of fanfare, so it’s my hope that I can do it here.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
What a fabulous question! (To which I have a secret answer…) I watch old black and white movies. Classic movies are a passion of mine and I find some of the most interesting names while reading the credits. I also pull names from my favorite works of literature. (In fact, Adele came from one of the characters in my favorite novel, Jane Eyre.)

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
It’s not an accomplishment, but a very candid reality that I survived the loss of a very dear loved one. We never know how we’ll respond in life until we’re tested. And while I’m not particularly proud of the way I struggled through the days leading up to my Dad’s passing, I am extremely grateful for the Savior who restored, comforted, forgave, encouraged, loved, and in those tough moments, never left me.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I can’t tell you how much I love this question! My ultra-quick answer is a penguin. They’re fun. Laid-back. Quirky and unconcerned with anything too cumbersome. I’d love to have one day where I could waddle around in a little tuxedo, hopping and swimming without a care in the world.

What is your favorite food?
It’s not really a food per se, but I am completely smitten with coffee. Put it in ice cream form, make it into candy, or put it hot and steamy in a vintage tea cup and I’m completely sold.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I’m going to serve up a little transparency here… I had no idea what I was doing when I started writing! I didn’t have a firm grasp on plot design, character development, or how to craft a story that readers will never want to put down. I haven’t completely overcome it (because we should always keep exploring and learning new things to polish our craft), but I have fabulous editors who are helping me along the way.

Tell us about the featured book.
My heart has been wrapped up in the prisoner camp art of Auschwitz since I first learned of it in an art history class more than a decade ago. I was truly humbled that these artists were willing to risk death to create beauty in such a horrific place. Their watercolor images if butterflies, their sketches of children in striped uniforms and the stunning images of landscapes of such a hellish place are haunting to this day. When Auschwitz was liberated in January, 1945, found in the rubble of the camp was more than 1,600 pieces of art that had left behind. 

Perhaps the reason your book resonated with me so much is that my aunt was an army nurse in Germany during the trials after the end of the way. She had shared with me a lot about that time period, even had pictures. Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
“Is this it?”

Sera James bounded through the front doors of the Manhattan gallery, so excited that she nearly slipped for running across the hardwood floor in her heels. She came to a flustered stop in front of the large canvas hanging on the back wall.

Breathless, she asked, “You’ve confirmed—this is her?”

“Did you run all the way here, Sera?”

“Yes. Wouldn’t you?” She wasn’t ashamed to admit it. From the second she’d received the phone call, Sera had pushed and shoved her way off the subway in a frenzy and had run the eight blocks back to the gallery, dodging taxis and cracks in the side- walks all the way.

Penny nodded. “The guys in the back just opened the crate. Can you believe it’s been there for a week and we didn’t even know it?”

She shook her head in disbelief. “Unfathomable.”

Sera unwound the chiffon scarf from her neck and shrugged off her trench coat as she stepped away for a moment, draping them both over the antique wooden counter stretching the back of the room. She twisted her long ebony hair and tucked it into a loose bun, then secured it atop her head with a pencil she found nearby. It wasn’t until she turned back to her assistant that she noticed the girl hadn’t moved an inch. Penny stood like a statue, her only movement an index finger that twirled a lock of strawberry blond hair at her nape.

Sera laughed. When her assistant took to whirling a strand of hair around her finger, something had to have completely captured her attention.

“You’re doing it again, Penny.”

The action was telltale. But Sera didn’t blame Penny in the least. This moment was special. If the painting was what they both thought it was, standing in awe was warranted. The rest of the city could have flown by outside the front windows and neither one of them would have noticed. Or cared.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
You can connect with Kristy at:
Twitter: @kcambronauthor
Facebook: Kristy L. Cambron
GoodReads: Kristy Cambron  

The Butterfly and the Violin, Hidden Masterpiece Book #1 – Available now!


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:

Sunday, August 17, 2014

WINNERS!!!!!

Sierra Faith (IN) is the winner of a copy of The Turning by Davis Bunn. 
Anonymous (IL) is the winner of Speak No Evil by Mary L Hamilton.
Aerykah (OK) is the winner of an ebook copy of The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall.
Melanie (TX) is the winner of Sweet Mountain Music by Suzie Johnson.
Jackie (GA) is the winner of Chapel Springs Revival by Ane Mulligan.

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.

Friday, August 15, 2014

THE DOCTOR'S RETURN - Narelle Atkins - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I love Australia. I’ve wanted to go to Australia for decades but haven’t made it yet. I read dozens of Lucy Walker paperbacks. Then Mary Hawkins started writing Heartsong Presents novels soon after I did. I read all of them. Now Narelle Atkins is writing Heartsong novels. This is her third one. I read it last week and loved it. She takes me to 21st Century Australia. I love getting to know her characters. I know you will, too. I had a good time with Narelle at the American Christian Fiction Writers national conference a few years ago. I love her as much as I love her books.

Welcome back, Narelle. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I’m currently finishing the final book in my six book contract. I have three more books releasing with Heartsong Presents in a new series set in my home town of Sydney, Australia. My next project is writing Heartsong proposals for my agent.

As you know, Narelle, I want to feature all of them on this blog. Tell us a little about your family.
I married my real life hero eighteen years ago and we have two school-aged children. We’ve lived in Canberra, the national capital of Australia, for the past decade. My children are really into Minecraft and love technology.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I’m more purposeful in terms of the books I choose to read. I have less reading time, and I’ll stop reading a book if it doesn’t catch my interest in the first couple of pages. I also prefer to read outside the romance genre while I’m writing my romance books, so I tend to read a diverse range of books in various genres.

What are you working on right now?
I’m working on my sixth book that’s due to my editor next month. It will be a May 2015 release and the third Heartsong Presents book in my Sydney series.

What outside interests do you have?
I like spending time with my friends, cycling, going to the gym, and long walks around nearby lakes with my family. I love traveling and exploring the world. I’m looking forward to having more time soon to cook, experiment with different recipes, and teach my children essential culinary skills.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
My books are all set in Australia, in a mixture of fictional and real places. I prefer to use settings where I’ve lived or visited in real life. My husband has family in the Snowy Mountains region, the setting for my Snowgum Creek books. I grew up on the northern beaches in Sydney, the setting for my upcoming Sydney series.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
King David. I’ve always been fascinated by his life and his deep, authentic relationship with the Lord.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wish I’d known that each book doesn’t become easier to write.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
To trust Him in all areas of my life. Life is full of uncertainty and He is our rock who will provide for our needs.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Have tangible writing goals and be disciplined in your writing routine.
Find your personal balance between the creative aspect of writing and the administrative side of book marketing, promotion, and networking. Multiple book releases will help you build your readership and is more effective than marketing one book to death.
Resist the temptation to indie publish your debut book that is underdone and not ready to be published. You only have one chance to make a great first impression with your debut book.

Very good advice, especially the last one. Too many authors take the easy way out. Tell us about the featured book.
The Doctor’s Return, Luke and Megan’s story, is the third book in my Snowgum Creek series set in the Snowy Mountains region of Australia. Luke is the town doctor and Ben’s brother from The Nurse’s Perfect Match (Book 2). Megan is Jack’s free-spirited sister and Kate’s best friend from Falling for the Farmer (Book 1). A reunion romance, the story starts when Megan returns to her home town of Snowgum Creek and starts working with Luke in his medical clinic.

Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
Megan Bradley inhaled the sweet perfume of a champagne rose in her sister-in-law’s garden. “Kate, I love your roses. Jack has outdone himself this time.”

Kate smiled. “A belated wedding present but definitely worth the wait.”

Megan’s brother had planted the rose garden along one side of the newly built home on the family apple farm in Snowgum Creek. After a number of delays, the house had been completed a couple of months ago, but Kate’s debilitating morning sickness had postponed their Saturday lunch housewarming until today.

Megan stretched out the muscles in her back, stiff after yesterday’s long drive from Sydney. Family and friends gathered on the spacious wooden deck at the back of the sandy brick house overlooking the Snowy Mountains. Only one person was missing—her brother’s best friend, Luke Morton. She needed to summon the courage to talk to Luke soon.

She lifted her arms above her head, releasing tension in her shoulders. “As much as I’d love to hide away and chat, we should mingle with your guests.”

Kate nodded. “I’ve been ordered to take it easy. Your mom and Aunt Doris have taken over my kitchen, and Jack is in charge of our new outdoor grill.”

Megan straightened the hem of her lilac shirt. “They won’t stop fussing over you until the baby arrives.” She grinned. “I can’t wait to meet my little nephew or niece.”

Kate placed her hand on her slightly rounded abdomen. “Hopefully bub won’t arrive early. I’d like some time to get settled in the house first.”

A black Jeep meandered along a narrow dirt track leading to the house. Megan sucked in a deep breath, her pulse skyrocketing.

Kate lifted a brow. “I told you Luke was coming.”

“I know.” A busy doctor, Luke Morton had probably been delayed at the Snowgum Creek Medical Clinic. “I need to ask Jack something.” She strode toward the back deck, away from Luke, who had parked his Jeep under a gum tree near the front of the house.

Kate followed close on her heels. “You can’t run away from him forever.”

“I’m not running.” She frowned. Who was she kidding? She’d spent eight years trying to forget the events that had transpired the last time she’d seen him. “And I will talk to him today.” Assuming he was willing to talk to her.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can connect with me on my website, blog, Facebook page, Google+, and Twitter.
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+NarelleAtkinsAuthor
Twitter: @NarelleAtkins https://twitter.com/NarelleAtkins


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

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Doctor's Return - Christianbook.com
The Doctor's Return (Heartsong Presents) - Amazon
The Doctor's Return (Heartsong Presents) - 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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

SONG OF THE PRAIRIE - Vickie McDonough - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I was privileged to read this book for an endorsement. Song of the Prairie is a satisfying conclusion to Vickie’s Pioneer Promise series. I’ve loved the Harper family all through the series, and each of the heroines has brought a different dynamic to the family. I think you’ll love it as much as I did.

Welcome back, Vickie. How did this book come about?
I visited the Mahaffie Stage Stop in Olathe, Kansas, on a research trip, and got the idea for a story about a family who ran a stage stop along the Santa Fe Trail. Song of the Prairie, which is set in 1870s Kansas, is the third book in my Pioneer Promises series, a saga about the three Harper brothers. I’ve written Ethan’s and Josh’s stories in Whispers on the Prairie and Call of the Prairie, so it’s time for Aaron’s. He’s the oldest brother, a widower with two young children.

Tell us about the book’s cover and what makes it unique.
The sunflowers represent Kansas, but the picture of the woman and child is what makes it special. She sacrifices her dream to protect her cousin’s baby from his cruel father.

Please explain and differentiate between what’s fact and fiction in the book.
I placed Harpers fictional ranch on the real Santa Fe Trail, which thousands of pioneers traveled in the years before the railroad crisscrossed the country. Rabies is a real disease, as we all know, but in the 19th century, if a person contracted it, it was a death sentence. There was no treatment for it. Some of the towns are real places, but Windmill, Kansas, is fictional. The rest of the story is pretty much all made up too. It is fiction, after all.

How much research did you have to do for this book?
Since this is the third book in the series, I didn’t have to do as much research for it as with the other two. I did study up opera and musical terminology for the heroine’s story and on rabies and how it affected bitten animals and people. Writers sure look up some strange things.

Yes, we do. What are some of the most interesting things you found about this subject that you weren’t able to use in the story?
I found the research on rabies rather interesting. It’s a horrible disease, and people who contracted it back in the 1800s suffered terribly. I chose not to show this in my story and opted instead to have a character die quickly after he has an encounter with a rabid coyote.

What inspired and surprised you while you were writing the book?
Aaron, the hero, is a good man. He’s the oldest of the three Harper brothers and used to being a take-charge, responsible man. He was extremely kind to Janie after Paul’s death, and helped her a great deal, even though he was wrestling with his own problems. He freely opened his heart to Benji, Janie’s adopted son, and he’s a fine example of a godly man. 

What do you hope the reader takes away from the story?
I hope readers will see that no matter what they are going through—no matter how hard the circumstances in their lives are, God is always ready to help them if they call on Him.

What is the next project you’re working on?
I’ve just finished Gabriel’s Atonement, which is book 1 in my Land Rush Dreams series. That series centers around two of the Oklahoma land runs and the land lottery. Gabriel’s Atonement releases in January. I’m also working on a novella for a summer collection called The County Fair Bride.

What do you do when you have to get away from the story for a while?
Several things. My sister and I have a booth at a vintage/antique mall, and I like to shop for things to sell in it. Sometimes I paint on a project for the booth. I also dabble in stained art, but my favorite get-away is probably to get lost in the pages of someone else’s book.

Please give us the first page of the book.
September 1874
Juliet Fairchild bounced on her toes, nervous anticipation making her limbs quiver, as she waited off stage to hear her name introduced for the first time. Years of training and sacrifice had brought her to this moment—her debut performance in New York’s Academy of Music opera house. A crescendo of applause heralded her entrance. A grinning stagehand winked, tipped his cap, and tugged the curtain open, and she walked onto the stage. Exuberant cheers and whistles joined the ovation. Smiling, Juliet curtsied and glanced up at the private box seating to her left where her parents sat, but shadows greeted her instead of their happy faces. The audience’s clapping shifted, taking on a repetitive tempo.

Juliet blinked as her dream faded. Her eyes focused on the moonlight peeking through the opening between the curtains—her bedroom curtains. She wasn’t in an opera house, preparing for her debut performance, but in her small rented room down the street from the music school where she taught voice lessons to young girls from affluent families. Though the chimes of the church bell down the street signaled five in the morning, the overly warm room was still shadowed in darkness. She bolted up from her bed, suddenly aware it wasn’t applause she heard but knocking.

And she wasn’t Juliet Fairchild but plain Jane Dunn, teacher at Boston Academy of Music for Young Women.

Yawning, Janie tugged her robe over her gown and hurried across the room. Who could possibly need her at this hour?

She unlocked the door and pulled it open just far enough for her to see out. “Who’s there?”

“It’s me, ma’am. Mazie.”

“Mazie?” Her mind ran through her list of new music students and fellow teachers, but she couldn’t remember anyone with that name.

The woman took a step back, and in the faint illumination of the lamp the landlady had placed on the hall credenza to help boarders to find their way downstairs to the privy, she recognized the dark-skinned young woman who worked for her cousin Carolyn.

Janie’s heart pounded a hard staccato beat. She pulled the door back and motioned for the maid to enter, then lit her lamp. “Has Carolyn gone into labor?”

Mazie flipped back her cloak, revealing the bundle she held. Tears glistened in her eyes. “Yes, ma’am, but she done had d’baby.” Mazie sniffled and held out the blanketed package.

“What this?” Janie shook her head and stepped back, fearful of the thought that charged across her mind.

“It d’baby, ma’am.”

“What?” Janie crossed her arms. “Why did you bring it here?”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Website: vickiemcdonough.com (There’s a sign-up link for my newsletter on the Home page)
Christian Fiction Historical Society blog: http://christianfictionhistoricalsociety.blogspot.com/

Thank you, Vickie, for letting me share this new book with my readers.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Song of the Prairie - Christianbook.com
Song of the Prairie (Pioneer Promises) - Amazon
Song of the Prairie (Pioneer Promises) - 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