Monday, October 20, 2014

THE YULETIDE ANGEL - Sandra Ardoin - One Free Ebook

BIO: Sandra Ardoin is a multi-published author of short fiction who writes inspirational historical romance. Her Christmas novella, The Yuletide Angel, releases October 2014. She’s the married mother of a young adult and lives in North Carolina.

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
My mother told me I was boring, so … I guess if there’s anything of me, it’s my belief system and how I see the world. I’m not sure I can create protagonists that see things in a different way—spiritually, etc. But I can relate well to the shyness of my heroine in The Yuletide Angel.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
The quirkiest thing I’ve ever done is probably not something I should speak about in public. J

One thing that was out of character for me happened when I visited my parents who lived on Florida’s intercoastal. Hurricane Elena struck in 1985, and we evacuated to my brother’s apartment to worry for three days over the damage done to the house. After they gave the all-clear to return to the neighborhood, we sat for hours in traffic. Once we were within a few blocks of the house, my mom broke free of the vehicle, impatient to find out if their home still stood. I yelled for her to come back. She didn’t. What could I do? Someone had to be there when the National Guard tossed her in the pokey for dodging their check point. I took off after her with an eye out for pursuing soldiers pointing guns. I’m happy to say we made it, and the house was fine. But for this law-abiding citizen, it was an adventure.

Now I and my readers are wondering about that quirkiest thing that shouldn’t be talked about I public. J When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In 1986, I made my first sale. My poster quote was purchased by Argus. It said, “Christ is the third partner in a perfect marriage.” It was all up hill after that.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
When I was in third grade, I devoured the Little House books. In high school, I developed a love for anything by Mary Roberts Rinehart, Agatha Christie, and Phyllis Whitney. Rebecca is still my favorite classic, but I also enjoyed Jane Eyre and anything by Jane Austen. For years, gothic romance/mystery/romantic suspense was my reading mainstay—the authors above, plus Mary Higgins Clark, Elizabeth Peters, Tony Hillerman. Then I started reading more historicals, which is the direction the Lord has given me in my writing. But I still love mystery/suspense and prefer my historicals with at least a thread of such.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
First, lists! If I write out my tasks and mark them off as I do them, I see my progress and don’t worry as much about forgetting to do something important.

Second, I try to stay on top of things. I try not to procrastinate. It gets on my nerves.

Third, I relax at night. After supper and the dishes are done, I try to chill out watching TV or reading.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
They need to fit the time period. I have an aversion to reading obvious contemporary names in a 19th century-set novel. However, I’ve learned that some names we might consider contemporary are not so much. One source I’ll use is www.galbithink.org/names/us200.htm to find names.

I kept my baby name book to use for first names. I’ll use the phone book, or lists by country, for last names. Mark McCutcheon’s Building Believable Characters has a great list toward the back of the book. And it depends upon the setting. So many places in North Carolina (and Texas, for that matter) were settled by Germans and Scotch-Irish. Last names can reflect that.

I love to dig through past documents for names—for instance, marriage records. I came up with some wonderful ones in a Texas marriage document from the mid-1800s. There were names like Reason, Green, Valentine (all men), Sophronia, Easter, Delaney (all women). Now, Delaney is one that sounds more contemporary, doesn’t it?

Last, but not least, they have to fit my idea of the appearance and personality of the character. Violet Madison, my heroine in The Yuletide Angel, is very shy, which brought to mind “Shrinking Violet.”

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Violet learns that we have to be careful of the “pride” thing, so let’s say that I’m thrilled each time my writing finds a home, but I try to keep it in perspective.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A quarter horse. I love horses—always have, always will.

What is your favorite food?
Mexican. I miss Tex-Mex, but I’ve gotten accustomed to the white-cheese queso served in North Carolina restaurants.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Frankly, it’s something I’m still working on—wordiness, or not writing tight. Why say something in three words when I can say it in six?

Tell us about the featured book.
The Yuletide Angel is a Christmas novella set in 1890.

Here’s the summary:
It's Christmastime in 1890s Meadowmead, and someone is venturing out at night to leave packages at the homes of the needy. Dubbed The Yuletide Angel, no one knows the identity of this mysterious benefactor.

No one, except Hugh Barnes, a confirmed bachelor who finds himself drawn to the outwardly shy but inwardly bold Violet Madison, a young woman who risks her safety to help others.

When Violet confesses her fear of eviction from her childhood home, Hugh longs to rescue her. His good intentions are thwarted, however, when Hugh's estranged brother shows up in town ... and in Violet's company.

But Violet faces an even bigger threat. A phantom figure lurks in the shadows, prepared to clip the wings of The Yuletide Angel.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Hugh Barnes hid behind the winter skeleton of an oak tree near the rundown house on Kelsey Street and watched a shadowy figure creep up the porch steps. By the dull beam of the cloud-covered moon, he distinguished more movement than features. He needed no light to discern who skulked outside the widow’s clapboard house. According to local accounts, he was witnessing a visit by The Yuletide Angel.

After opening the front door and leaving a flour sack bulging with good will, the angel tiptoed away. At the road, she turned and swept back toward town, her dark skirts swaying with her quick, bold steps.

Hugh blew a warm breath on his cold hands and stepped out from behind the tree. He kept his distance, but made certain the town’s Christmas-season Samaritan remained in sight as she delivered food to someone else in need. He frowned as the crisp, December air bit his face. A bout of insomnia had led him to his bedroom window in time to see her leave her home well after midnight. Curiosity caused him to follow.

Violet Madison, his shy neighbor, was The Yuletide Angel. He could scarcely take it in.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Visit me at www.sandraardoin.com and on the Seriously Write blog. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

The Yuletide Angel, is available for pre-order on Amazon.

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

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Yuletide Angel

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, October 17, 2014

FAREWELL FOR A WHILE - Sharon A Lavy - On Free Book, Ebook or Print

I was blessed to read this book for endorsement. Here’s what I said: Just knowing Sharon A. Lavy has helped me learn about German Baptists. This book takes the reader deeper into the beliefs of this church. A good romance, a taste of suspense, and amateur sleuths round out the picture. They kept me turning pages until the end of the book. You won't want to miss this one.
--Lena Nelson Dooley, multi-award-winning author of the McKenna's Daughters Series--Maggie's Journey, Mary's Blessing, and Catherine's Pursuit

Welcome back, Sharon. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
The time is short and most Christian writers want to be a part of the movement to make the world around us aware that Jesus loves them and that He died for them. Billy Graham is the most famous Evangelist alive in our day. And all of his teams encourage each person—who confesses his or her need of a savior—to find a local church to bond and grow with. A group to be accountable to on the Christian journey.

I believe the most important relationship is the one we can have with our Lord Jesus Christ. In my stories, I learn and relearn this principle right along with my characters.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I find each day is a new adventure. And I wonder…What does the Lord want to teach me today?

How has being published changed your life?
As an introvert I am more comfortable staying in the background. I am more at ease one on one rather than in a crowd. And even then it is easier to share objects or things, than it is to share the deep things of my heart.

But with the feedback from readers telling me that my stories have touched their lives, I realize God wants me to be willing to come out of my shell and share what He is teaching me.

What are you reading right now?
I like to read books that make me stop and think. I just finished reading Escape from the World Trade Center by Leslie Haskin. It brought back memories of feeling my life was frivolous. To paraphrase James 4:14: Life is a vapor…here for a while before it vanishes away.

What is your current work in progress?
Forgiving the Unforgivable. When the novel Deadly Secret ended, one reader complained that I hadn’t printed an epilogue telling what happened next…Did Danni and Pete actually get together…or what.

A bit of the mystery thread that began in Deadly Secret snuck into Farewell for A While and now it is time to clear things up once and for all in Forgiving the Unforgivable. At least, that is the plans.

I can already see God working on Pete in the beginning scenes of Forgiving the Unforgivable and I am excited to discover what He is trying to teach me through Pete’s experiences in this story.

What would be your dream vacation?
A short trip anywhere with my husband. Preferably in our small plane and with great weather.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
The settings are parts of actual places I have been, and modified for the benefit of story.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love to work with graphics. I use both Corel Draw 6 and Photoshop Elements 12 to create.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Concentrating on the subject.

Sharon, thank you sharing this new book with me and my readers.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Farewell For A While

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, October 16, 2014

THE SEA HOUSE - Elisabeth Gifford - One Free Book

Dear Readers, this book is from a company that isn’t a Christian publishing company, so I wanted to read it before I put it up on the blog. The author lives in a suburb of London, England. Here’s my review of the book.

I love Elizabeth Gifford’s writing. It’s often lyrical and intense. The characters really came alive to me on the page, and her setting took me to the islands off of Scotland. I’d never read any novel set here, and I loved learning about them.

The novel is actually two stories woven together—one from the mid 1800s, the other from the late 1900s. The way they came together gave me an even greater understanding of life on those islands. And other historical events revealed where some of the folk tales came from. And some of them were from Norway, and I'm one-fourth Norwegian.

At times, I wished I had a better understanding of some Scottish words, but taken in context, I understood what she meant. The contemporary story deals with post traumatic stress syndrome, and in one of the scenes, a word was used twice that I really don’t like in the books I read. However, they fit the circumstances. I just wanted to alert you to the fact that they are there.

Welcome, Elisabeth. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
There’s almost always a bit of myself in all of the characters. I can’t write a character unless I can empathize with them and try and walk in their shoes for a while. I don’t, of course, always share their logic and views but drama comes from the way characters see things and the choices that they make, often initially shooting themselves in the foot before seeing – or not seeing – that there might be another way to do things. You also use what you know to make new and imagined characters, and it feels a bit like making patchwork quilts, constructed from snippets of things you recall in yourself and others, but sewn together to make a new pattern and a new creation. If I don’t feel a sort of love or sorrow for a character as I write, and especially when I really know them, then it’s not a good sign. However, if you get too autobiographical, it makes it difficult to let the story breathe and things can go flat for the reader.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
It’s not very quirky, but an impulse decision set off the chain of events that led to The Sea House. While visiting Scotland, St Andrews, I saw an ad for a tiny white cottage on a remote Scottish island and was so entranced by it that within a few days we were there - after a long drive and ferry trip. It was in the middle of nowhere, on the edge of the sea, with only a wheelbarrow to get the luggage to the cottage across the turf field. It was like traveling back in time to an almost lost Gaelic lifestyle. We explored the island, made friends with people who lived there, and heard the story of the seal people. That was where The Sea House began, writing the first pages upstairs in the cottage in Harris.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In primary school, the class was allowed an afternoon to do the thing they really wanted to do – in a school setting - and I chose writing. It was a natural extension from reading stories all the time; I began telling my own stories.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read everything and anything. I love page-turners and thrillers, and also romances. I studied French and loved reading my way through most of the great French novels such as Madame Bovary. Anything with beautiful writing such as Home by Marilynne Robinson or books by Marquez, I read slowly, enjoying every word.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I try and have a time of quiet at some point in the day – or week - where I remember what really matters and what my purpose is. Knowing why you do things is both energizing and gives you permission to stop and not work towards burnout. I also try to get out and walk in Richmond Park nearby or along the Thames.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
They come out of the air sometimes, but I do assess if that name will reflect their personality and history in some way. You don’t want a name to stick out or jar the reader. I look at period names if a book is set in the past.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My three kids, and not because of anything I have done but because of who they are. A little loving neglect, it turns out, is an old fashioned parenting skill that is very healthy. Children need love and care, yes, but they also need the space to think for themselves, be creative, and find out who they are. They always surprise me and make me very proud.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A seal. Having written a book based on the legend of the seal people and watched films of seals under water, I’d love to experience the way they swim as if they are flying through air.

What is your favorite food?
I prefer chocolate but fish oils are essential for my diet as I have immune issues and this really makes a big difference in keeping down symptoms. It’s also really important for the brain and especially for a child’s brain. So for writing purposes I keep the alcohol off the menu as I have no tolerance and I actually can’t think and drink, but fish oil is really helpful. Beginning to wonder if there is some seal in my background in fact!

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I was a working mum, but as the children grew up, I began taking writing classes for fun and loved it so much I kept going. By the time the kids left for university, I found I had enough for almost two novels. I also had to give myself permission to write! Now I think that everyone writes in a unique way, just like everyone has a unique face, with stories that only you can tell. If my writing feels stale, I read a good book and get inspired by the way it’s written.

Tell us about the featured book.
The Sea House is based on a real letter to The Times newspaper reporting a mermaid sighting by a Scottish schoolmaster in 1809. There were lots of mermaid sightings in Scotland 200 years ago, and also some very old stories about seal people or Selkies. I was amazed to find from Gaelic historian John MacAulay that some very real events lay behind these stories, which were in fact a form of oral history about a lost tribe of Sea Sami from Norway. I also fell in love with the wild and remote beauty of Harris, where the church services are often held in Gaelic. It’s a really intense experience to hear the congregation singing psalms in Gaelic. The old mansion there in Scarista became the focus of the story, and I pictured a young couple coming to restore it from its past dereliction, making a disturbing discovery as they did. The island’s villagers were shipped to Canada during the clearances just over a hundred years ago and the voice of a girl from that time, Moira, also entered the story. Cross and feisty, red haired Moira became my favourite character in the end!

Yes, I loved Moira. Please give us the first page of the book.
Prologue
My grandmother’s grandmother was a seal woman. She cast off her sealskin, fell in love with a fisherman, had his child, and then she left them. Sooner or later, seal people always go back to the sea.

At least, that’s the story that Mum used to tell me.
‘But is it true?’ I wanted to know.
‘It’s as true as you and me, Ruthie,’ she said. ‘There’re plenty of people up in the islands that come from the seal people.’
And later, I used to think, of course, that’s what must have happened. That’s why she left me. She couldn’t resist going back to the water, because she was a Selkie.
 
For a long time, I liked to think that. Because it meant she might come back one day, and then I could go home.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is www.elisabethgifford.com and Facebook page is Elisabeth Gifford Author. I’m also on Pinterest as Liz Gifford where you can find photos of Harris and the Hebrides on my Secrets of The Sea House board.

Don't miss The Sea House, a stunning fiction debut from the UK. Set in a house on the windswept coast of the Outer Hebrides, Elisabeth Gifford's haunting tale effortlessly bridges a gap of more than a century. Adeptly interweaving two tales involving residents of the titular house, Gifford sets up an absorbing mystery revolving around local lore and myths about mermaids, selkies, and sealmen. Stretching seamlessly back and forth through time, layers upon layers of secrets are slowly and effectively peeled away in this evocative debut (Booklist).

Celebrate with Elisabeth by entering her Kindle giveaway!
E.Gifford, The Sea House Giveaway

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 19th. Winner will be announced October 20th at Elisabeth's Blog.
seahouse-enterbanner

Watch the trailer:


Thank you, Elisabeth, for sharing these two stories with us. I found them interesting.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Sea House: A Novel - Amazon
The Sea House: A Novel - 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, October 15, 2014

IN PERFECT TIME - Sarah Sundin - One Free Book

Welcome back, Sarah. How did you come up with the idea for this story?
The idea for the Wings of the Nightingale series came about when I was researching nursing in World War II and read about the flight nurses. Their stories were so fascinating and exciting, and I needed a series to tell them all. In Perfect Time is the final novel in the series, but it stands alone. Since the nurses flew from airfield to airfield, I imagined a nurse who had a boyfriend in every airport.

About that same time, I was listening to a family from our church that sings a cappella. Every single member of that family has an exceptional singing voice. Since I have a horrible singing voice, I imagined what it would be like to be born into a family like that. Now, the family from my church is so loving, it wouldn’t matter. But what if the family saw a lovely singing voice as a sign of God’s blessing? What if they judged this little tone-deaf girl? Treated her like an unrepentant sinner? Hmm. So my wounded, tone-deaf girl grew into a bold and flirtatious nurse. I couldn’t wait to tell her story and lead her to healing and joy.

Sounds wonderful, Sarah. I have an aunt who was a US army nurse in Germany during World War II. She’s shared many memories and pictures with me. 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?
Time. Being a published author is a full-time plus job. Working from home is a challenge with kids in and out, carpooling, and doing all the mom/wife stuff. At times, I long for an office where I could work from nine to five, then come home and leave work behind. But that doesn’t happen. With the internet, it’s go, go, go. I love writing, but I still struggle to manage my time.

Tell us about the featured book.
World War II flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, but C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper seems immune to her charms. Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer. Can they confront the fears and misunderstandings of the past in order to take hold of the future?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Over the Mediterranean
March 25, 1944
For Lt. Kay Jobson, flight nursing meant more than physical care. It meant reconnecting a broken soldier with the shards of his humanity.

Kay assessed her planeload of patients en route from Italy to Tunisia. A restless lot, downhearted. That wouldn’t do.

She headed to the front of the C-47 cargo plane, past six men confined to litters and eleven in seats along the sides of the fuselage. The soldiers had been wounded on the battered beachhead at Anzio or in one of the many bloody failed attempts to take Cassino. “Say, fellows, what do you think about the ’44 baseball season? Starts soon, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah, it does.” Seated to her left, Sergeant Logan gave her a don’t-worry-your-pretty-little-head look.

She knelt beside the patient and took his wrist to measure his pulse. What was more fun—showing off what lay inside her pretty little head or shocking people? “Do you think the Cardinals can come back from their World Series loss?”

“Um, sure.” One bushy eyebrow sprang high. “But I’m a Tigers fan myself.”

Kay rolled her eyes. “Hal Newhouser might be a great pitcher, but the Cards have Stan Musial, and he batted .357 last season. Mark my words, they’ll take the whole shebang this year.”

Logan’s mouth opened and closed around nonexistent words.

Kay tapped him under the chin. “I don’t just follow the game, I play it. If I weren’t a nurse, I’d be the star of one of those girls’ teams.”

“Well, I’ll be.”

Swishing her hair over her shoulder, Kay turned to the rest of the patients. “So, boys, who do you like this year?”

Over the roar of the twin engines, the men called out their favorite teams and players and stats, and Kay smiled, her goal accomplished.

She loved everything about this job—the glamour of flight, the challenge of nursing, and the game of lifting spirits. Now she just needed to sweet-talk chief nurse Lt. Cora Lambert into recommending her for the Army Air Forces’ chief nurse training program.

If only she could have an in-flight emergency to highlight her skills.

I must read this book. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love connecting with readers! Come say hi!
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sarahsundin

Thank you, Sarah, 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.
In Perfect Time - Christianbook.com
In Perfect Time: A Novel (Wings of the Nightingale) - Amazon
In Perfect Time (Wings of the Nightingale Book #3): A Novel - 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

Monday, October 13, 2014

THE NUTCRACKER BRIDE - Margaret Brownley - One Free Ebook

More Love and Laughter from
Margaret Brownley

            "How many bullets have you taken out, Miss Langdon?”

            “Yours was the fourth, or maybe the fifth.” She spoke in the same straightforward tone he’d already come to expect.

             He stared at her. “That many?”

            “Yes, and they weren’t all accidents.”
                                      -The Nutcracker Bride (The Twelve Brides of Christmas)

Bio: New York Times best-selling author Margaret Brownley has penned more than thirty novels. Her books have won numerous awards, including Readers' Choice and Award of Excellence. She's a former Romance Writers of American RITA® finalist and has written for a TV soap. She's currently working on a new series. Petticoat Detectives--the first book in her Undercover Ladies series—will be released in December. Not bad for someone who flunked eighth grade English. Just don't ask her to diagram a sentence.

How did you come up with the idea for this story?
Hi Lena, thanks for letting me visit.
 
Actually, I have a small but impressive collection of nutcrackers which I display every Christmas. Tchaikovsky wrote a ballet about a nutcracker, so I figured why not write a short story about one? The heroine's grandfather carved nutcrackers, which the heroine uses to crack nuts for her bakery. Nutcrackers have a fascinating history, some of which I wove into my story.

If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
·                     I'd invite Debbie Macomber because she's a joy to be around and a true inspiration. She might also agree to teach me to knit.
·                     Robin Lee Hatcher would have to be on the guest list because she and I go back a hundred years, and she writes with such passion.
·                     Debra  Clopton because she's a new friend and knows about new beginnings.
·                     What's a party without a bit of suspense and no one fits the bill better than Terri Blackstock.
·                     James Scott Bell. Parties are dull without at least one man present, and I've got a plot problem I want to ask him.
·                      And maybe Jan Karon because she wrote her first novel at the age of 10, which is the exact same age I was when I wrote my first novel. 

Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
·                     I'd invite Mary Connealy because she's a funny lady in person as well as on the                         written page. 
·                     Michelle Ule would be next on my list.  I met her only once, but we've done so many collections together I feel she's family.  She's also a terrific marketer so I just know she'd come up with a great invitation.
·                     Vickie McDonough has to come because she's part of the 12 Brides collection and her Fruitcake Bride made me laugh.
·                     Lauraine Spelling and I once went camping together and she knows how to have a good time.
·                     Louisa May Alcott.  Yes, I know, she's dead and probably doesn't qualify as a Christian writer (though she should), but she inspired me in my youth and that makes her worthy of an invite. Whether she can attend is something else.
·                     And you, Lena, because you're where the action is!       

I'd love to be at a party with these people. 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?
Good question. Staying fresh is one thing I worry about. After writing nearly forty books, it's challenging to come up with different ways to describe, say, blue eyes or even a kiss.

Also time management has become a major issue in recent years. Deadlines are now closer together, and writers are expected to keep a strong Internet presence. There just isn't enough time in the day. 

Tell us about the featured book.
The story opens with Lucy Langdon gathering nuts. Suddenly, a handsome stranger on a black horse gallops by and yells, "Save that for me!"  She has no idea what he wants her to save, but when he later shows up at her house to claim it she accidently shoots him.

By the way, the story is available in eBook format or can be found in The Heartland Brides collection sold exclusively at Walmart.    

Please give us the first page of the book.

The Nutcracker Bride
Chapter 1

Kansas1880

Thunderous hoof beats broke the silence on that gray December day. Even the air crackled with urgency.

            Lucy Langdon dumped a handful of hulled nuts into her bucket and looked up from beneath the walnut tree. Someone was in a big hurry. Such haste generally meant an emergency: a tornado, prairie fire, or locust invasion—a doctor needed. Or maybe Mr. Jones had been attacked by one of his chickens again.

            She craned her neck, but the road curved around the Holbrook orchard, preventing her from seeing much beyond the bend.

            Even her sorrel, hitched to the wagon, sensed something amiss. Ears pricked forward, she pawed the ground and whinnied.

            “It’s all right, Penny,” Lucy called as she hastened to calm her skittish mare. As the pounding hooves moved closer, Penny tried pulling free from the traces. In the struggle to contain her horse, Lucy’s straw bonnet flew off.

            A shiny black steed sprang into view and galloped at full speed toward her. The horseman reined in next to her wagon, his powerful mount rearing back on its hind legs and pawing the air. A flash of blue eyes and a handsome square face greeted her from beneath his wide-brimmed hat.

            “Save that for me!” the stranger yelled, spinning his mount around in a tight circle beside the wagon.

            Startled, she called back, “Save what?” But her question went unanswered, for already the man had raced away.

            No sooner had he vanished than three more horsemen rode into view, their faces half-hidden by scarlet kerchiefs. A shiver of panic raced through her. Outlaws!

             Lucy released Penny and grabbed her shotgun from the back of the wagon. Her rapid heartbeats all but drowned out the pounding of hooves as the desperadoes raced past.

            Paying her no heed, the masked men headed in the direction of her house. Her first thought was for her grandfather. God, please don’t let them stop there!

            She swooped up her bonnet and reached for the bucket, tossing both into the wagon. She would have to pay old man Holbrook later for the nuts.

            Scrambling onto the driver’s seat, she grabbed the reins and released the brake. “Gid-up!” she shouted. Cracking her whip, she drove home helter-skelter, the wheels of her wagon kicking up dust in her wake. 

I can't wait to read the rest of the story. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can reach me through my website or facebook

Thank you, Margaret, 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 Nutcracker Bride - Christianbook.com
The Nutcracker Bride (The 12 Brides of Christmas) - 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.

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Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Friday, October 10, 2014

PRUDENCE PURSUED - Shirley Raye Redmond - One Free Book

Welcome, Shirley. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Not much—once I outline a story the characters begin to take on a life of their own. But I do frequently dole out characteristics (both physical and personality traits) that I’ve noticed in other people and bestow them upon my characters.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Hmm, well, one of the most embarrassing was the time I went running across the moors in Yorkshire, England, pretending to be Cathy in Wuthering Heights, with my friend Debbie egging me on. So with arms outstretched, I dashed out across the heather shouting, “Heathcliff, Heathcliff!” An elderly Englishman, apparently out for walk, came up over the rise, replying, “Yes, luv, how can I help you?”
Was my face red!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I was 12 and in the 7th grade. I’d just finished Little Women and idolized Jo March. I started a journal and filled it with stories. I made up my mind then to pursue writing as a career.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I am a voracious nonfiction reader, and I love reading memoirs by missionaries and other generally unknown or long-forgotten individuals, such as the travel journals of Isabella Bird and Mary Kingsley. I love Georgette Heyer (the inspiration for Prudence Pursued) and romantic suspense.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
My local Community Bible Study class is an enormous blessing to me. As part of the leaders’ council, I meet with my sisters on both Tuesdays and Thursdays. Those 6 hours a week keep me on an even keel.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes I use a phone book from the location where the novel is set. Other times, I glean names from journals or biographies. Other times, I select a name that exemplifies the character I am writing about—such as Prudence.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I raised two children who “fear the Lord” and walk in His ways. Not an easy task in any age and one we shouldn’t take for granted. And I’m thankful that they do.

What is your favorite food?
I love lemon anything—especially lemon meringue pie. I like dark chocolate covered lemon creams from Ethel M’s. Hmmm! I love New Mexico green chile in most everything too.

What is the problem with writing that has been your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it? 
Guilt has been a problem over the years, not the sort of guilt that leads one to lament, “I should be writing more often,” but the more deadly variety that I shouldn’t spend so much time writing—that I need to volunteer more or scrub the baseboards or organize the family photos in color-coordinated albums.

Tell us about the featured book.
At the advanced age of twenty-seven, Prudence Pentyre is on the shelf. Content to occupy her time by attending meetings of Mr. Wilberforce’s Abolition Society, Prudence is resolved to see that her younger cousin Margaret, shy and plain, does not share her own unmarried fate.

Despite her best efforts, all of Prudence’s matchmaking attempts fail. Margaret proves reluctant to accept Sir James Brownell’s marriage proposal, and fears being “bovinised” if she undergoes the controversial cowpox vaccination he recommends. And the dashing baronet—with his sunburned skin, eye patch, and unfashionable attire—seems more concerned about the plight of headhunters in Borneo than Margaret’s stubborn refusal of his offer.

Prudence, on the other hand, finds herself unexpectedly smitten with the man. Can she trust that God’s plan for her life is richer and more rewarding than the one she had planned for herself?

Please give us the first page of the book.
 “You should not wear that to the pox party,” Prudence Pentyre said, indicating her younger cousin’s dress of light green Italian silk. “I recommend something with short sleeves which allows you to expose your forearm to the lancet.”

Margaret shuddered. Her plain face, pale and lightly freckled, appeared downcast. “Oh, Pru, I wish I didn’t have to go.” She stood, slender shoulders drooping, in front of her open wardrobe.

“Truly, Meg, there’s nothing to worry about,” Prudence assured her, slipping a comforting arm around her cousin’s slim waist. “Papa had all of us vaccinated with the cow pox when we were still in the school room—and the servants too. I’m quite surprised my Uncle Giles didn’t do the same,” Prudence replied.

A glint of disapproval flashed in her soft brown eyes. Silently, she fumed. Uncle Giles had held too many old-fashioned notions. Such an old stick! He was dead now, having suffered an apoplexy two years ago. Her mother, if she knew of Prudence’s unspoken condemnation, would have reminded her not to speak ill of the dead. This dictate had never made sense to Prudence. Why were some of life’s most unsavory characters deemed to be saints after their deaths? Not that Uncle Giles was unsavory, but he had been shamefully old-fashioned.

“Look, Meg, there’s not even a scar.” Prudence held out a white arm for her cousin’s perusal. “Mr. Jenner’s procedure is almost painless and quite safe, much safer than buying the smallpox and enduring the dreaded disease.”

“Papa didn’t believe in it. He said it was God’s will some people should die of the small pox,” Margaret said, turning away from her to examine an array of dresses hanging in the wardrobe.

“God is not so cruel,” Prudence insisted.

“Some say the vaccination will cause one’s facial features to resemble those of a cow,” Margaret ventured, her forehead creasing with anxious wrinkles.

Prudence laughed. “Neither John or Patience have any cowlike features, and you can see for yourself I do not.” Slightly unsettled by her cousin’s close examination, Prudence shrugged.

“Yes, look at me, Meg! Do I resemble a cow? I can assure you I don’t have a cow tail hidden beneath my skirts either. None of us have bovinized, as you fear. I believe Mr. Jenner’s procedure to have been God-inspired. Truly. Papa has preached this same opinion from the pulpit. Mr. Jenner took notice how milkmaids and dairy farmers did not succumb to the deadly small pox plague when there was an outbreak in their village. It was because of their exposure to the harmless cowpox. It was an amazing observation which will benefit us all.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can contact me through my website at www.shirleyrayeredmond.com or
visit my author facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shirley-Raye-Redmond-Author/533496973399344

Thank you, Shirley, for sharing your new book with us.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Prudence Pursued - 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, October 09, 2014

KEEPERS OF THE COVENANT - Lynn Austin - One Free Book

Welcome back, Lynn. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write historical fiction because I love history, especially the history of our nation. For me, reading about the past and how ordinary people lived lives of courage in difficult times, helps me live a life of faith and grace with God’s help. When we look back in history, I think it’s easier to see how God used tragic events as part of His redemption story. And that gives me faith to believe that He is still working now and that my life can play a part in His story, too.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The day, 44 years ago, when I married my husband and best friend, Ken.

How has being published changed your life?
It has deepened my faith and my walk with the Lord. I had to rely on Him every step of the way and trust that the work I was doing was not in vain. I had to listen closely to Him and understand that writing was a calling from Him.

What are you reading right now?
Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg. It is wonderful!

What is your current work in progress?
I’m working on the sequel to Keepers of the Covenant, my current new release. On this Foundation will continue the story of the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah, and while Keepers of the Covenant featured Ezra as the main character, the one I’m working on now will feature Nehemiah.

What would be your dream vacation?
To rent a big house on a tropical island that has lots of bedrooms so my entire family could join me there. Of course, all of our meals would be included so we would never have to cook. And I would have a stack of excellent books to read on the beach, too.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
The inspiration for each of my books comes from an actual, historical time period, such as the Great Depression or the Civil War. As I read about the history of that time, I begin to imagine storylines and plots for my characters. Usually, the setting comes last and grows out of my research and the plot I decide on.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I would choose author Eugene Peterson. His books have had such a huge impact on my thinking and on my journey of faith, and I would love to hear his challenging thoughts in person. His lyrical, poetic use of language is extraordinary, and I would hope that just a little of it would rub off on me.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Riding my bicycle, hiking on the beach and in the woods, interior decorating, and traveling to foreign countries. It’s especially nice when two of my hobbies coincide and I can bicycle in foreign countries!

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
The hardest thing for me is forcing myself to stay indoors and work on beautiful, sunny days when I’d rather be riding my bike or spending time with my family. The only way I can resist that urge is by looking at my calendar and remembering my deadline. I’ve learned that if I resist the temptation now, I’ll be saving myself a lot of grief and stress when my deadline comes.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Don’t give up. I needed to hear that advice several times along the way. Beginning authors also need to spend enough time in prayer to become convinced that God is truly calling them to write—not necessarily to be published, but to write. Once they accept that calling, they won’t be tempted to quit when tough times come.

Tell us about the featured book.
Keepers of the Covenant is the second book in the Restoration Chronicles series. It brings the biblical book of Ezra to life and tells the story of how he led the Jewish exiles back to their homeland in Israel—and back to God. In the process, Ezra faced a devastating challenge to his leadership when a decree arrived from the Persian emperor announcing that in a few, short months, every Jewish man, woman, and child in the empire would be executed.

Please give us the first page of the book.
The Citadel of Susa, Persia 
Spring 473 BC
Haman paced the citadel’s rooftop, waiting for the court astrologers to finish their work. He despised his impotence. His destiny should be under his own control, not determined by mere pinpricks of light, sparkling in the midnight sky. This muttering huddle of stargazers in their night-black robes shouldn’t decide his future—he should. But the request he wanted to bring before King Xerxes, supreme ruler of the Persian Empire, was much too important to leave to chance or fate.

Haman paused near the parapet to gaze down at the sentries standing watch at the king’s gate. His obsession first began at that gate when an impudent Jew refused to bow down to him. The entire world bowed before Haman now that he’d earned a seat of honor above all of the king’s nobles, now that he’d become the second most important man in the empire. He’d spent his entire lifetime in the king’s service, yet after everything Haman had achieved, Mordecai the Jew refused to bow.

 “Lord Haman . . .?” He turned at the sound of the chief astrologer’s voice. “We have an answer for you, my lord.”  Haman took his time crossing to the waiting astrologers, unwilling to let them see his urgency or the power they held over him.

“What do the stars say tonight?” he asked, folding his arms across his chest.

“Tomorrow will be an extremely favorable day for you, my lord. We see no opposition from the heavens to whatever you plan. In fact, the heavenly bodies all line up in your favor.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
website: www.LynnAustin.org  
Facebook: LynnAustinBooks
Goodreads: LynnAustin
blog: Inspired by Life and Fiction
Publisher: www.bethanyhouse.com

Thank you, Lynn, for sharing your new book with us.

Lynn Austin is back with the next book in The Restoration Chronicles series, Keepers of the Covenant. Austin weaves together the struggles and stories of both Jews and Gentiles, creating a tapestry of faith and doubt, love and loss. Here, the Old Testament comes to life, demonstrating the everlasting hope displayed in God's unwavering love for His people.

Lynn is celebrating with a Kindle HDX giveaway and a live author chat webcast on October 21st.
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One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 21st. Winner will be announced at the Keepers of the Covenant LIVE webcast event on October 21st. Connect with Lynn for a fascinating evening centered around God's unwavering love for His people. She'll be hosting a Biblical fiction book club discussion, giving away prizes, answering your questions, offering an exclusive peek at the next book in The Restoration Chronicles, and much more!

So grab your copy of Keepers of the Covenant and join Lynn and friends on the evening of October 21st for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)
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Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 21st!

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Keepers of the Covenant - Christianbooks.com
Keepers of the Covenant (The Restoration Chronicles) - Amazon.com
Return to Me (The Restoration Chronicles Book #1): Volume 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