WHAT'S IT GOING TO BE?

What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free--and signed by the author!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Christian novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Veronica Heley and Free Books!

 photo Unknown-1_zps0e13b5d2.jpegEllie Quicke has no great opinion of herself, but in listening to others and by the exercise of common sense, she solves crimes in the community.

Before we visit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of The Lady and the Officer, by Mary Ellis, is:

klmc_37@ . . .

and the winner of the signed copy of Speak No Evil, by Mary Hamilton, is:

Sonja

Congratulations! I'll email you today to get your mailing address, and we'll get your book to you right away.

Sonja, you didn't leave your email address, so get that to me as soon as possible, if you'd like to get your signed book. You can leave your email as instructed in the comments section of this post.

I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to participate in future book give-aways! Subscribers are entered a second time when they comment.

And now let's chat with novelist Veronica Heley, author of Murder in Time (Severn House Publishers, September 2014.

 photo Unknown_zps693d0ce5.jpegVeronica Heley celebrates the publication of her 73rd book in 2014, having been in the business for over 40 years. She is currently writing two gentle crime series; the Ellie Quicke Mysteries and the Abbot Agency series. She also writes a short story once a quarter for the Methodist Recorder.

Her early books, which include more crime and some historical novels, are currently being brought out as E-books.

She’s involved with her local church and community affairs, likes to break for coffee with friends and does the garden when she has time.

Please tell us three random things we might not know about you.

--I love chocolate but hate coconut.
--I like to have something flowering in the garden, all year round.
--My favourite colour is blue.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Murder in Time.

 photo Unknown-1_zps0e13b5d2.jpegEllie Quicke opens the door with her grandson in her arms – and recoils. A stranger is standing there, who is instantly recognisable as the man who raped Ellie’s young housekeeper at a party when Vera was still a schoolgirl. Abdi, powerful and moneyed, wanted nothing to do with Vera or his son then, but now he has no legitimate heir he plans to pay off Vera and adopt Mikey – much to their dismay.

To protect Vera and Mikey, Ellie has to unravel the sequence of events on the fateful night of the party so long ago – where the host’s father was also killed. No one wants to talk about it now, but Abdi will stop at nothing to get what he wants, so Ellie has to act fast.

What is it about Ellie that will make your readers care about her?

She is a housewife of a certain age who knows she ought to go on a diet, and hasn’t much of a dress sense. She is continually being harassed by her greedy daughter Diana. But, she understands people and when she has to put her foot down, she manages to do so. She has a nice sense of humour, which is helpful when she finds herself in difficulties.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

Ellie would be a gift for any older actress. All the lead roles here are for character actors and actresses. And the 12 year old Mikey is no conventional boy hero, either.

Do you ever attend writers’ conferences? At what point in a writer’s career do you think she or he should consider attending conferences, and why? Or why not?

I usually teach at one a year. This year I’m doing Murder One at the Warwick University’s Writers’ Festival. Most writers benefit from contact with others, supporting one another, and sharing tips and information. A conference is the best place to find such people. And, if you need to brush up your craft, this is where you can find those who can help you to do so. Some conferences also give writers a chance to meet agents and editors, but be prepared to listen and take on board the advice given to you – even if you later decide to reject that advice, it is given by those who will know more about the business than you do.

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

Love, Nina: A Nanny Writes Home, by Nina Stibbe. It’s fun and it’s light, but it’s also an insight into a school-leaver growing up while working as an au pair in London. She rubs shoulders with people such as Alan Bennett and playwright and Jonathan Miller, without realising who they are.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on another Ellie Quicke, in which suspicion is cast upon her temporary and inefficient housekeeper. Beryl the Tearful seems to be acting under the orders of the self-styled prophet of a dodgy ‘church’ which is trying to tap into Ellie’s trust fund for money. But, any minute now I’m going to have to drop that to attend to the copy editing of another Bea Abbot story. I do find it difficult to leave one story just as it’s getting interesting, to look at commas and full stops in a story which I’ve stopped thinking about some time ago.

Where else can readers find you online?

Readers can find me online at www.veronicaheley.com. Also at my blog which is blog.veronicaheley.com and my e-books can be found at: www.veronicaheley.com/ebooks There are over twenty of my backlist now available on e-books, and more to come. These include some more crime books, and some historicals, as well as the early Ellie Quicke and Bea Abbot stories.

The book can be purchased in fine book stores and online via the following buttons:





Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

I like cats. Both Ellie and Bea have been adopted by cats, who appear in their later stories. Do you think they should go on the covers, too?

Thanks, Veronica, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Veronica has offered to give a PDF copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, September 11. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Veronica's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interview with Vickie McDonough, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book.

Also, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Vicki McDonough and Free Books!

 photo SongOfThePrairie_Final_zps0e7fabb3.jpegA music teacher’s dream of being an opera singer fades when she flees Boston with her deceased cousin’s newborn son to protect him from his cruel father.

Today we're chatting with novelist Vickie McDonough, author of Song of the Prairie, book 3 in the Pioneer Promises series (Whitaker House, August 2014).

 photo VickieMcDonough3small_zps58a51f78.jpegBestselling author Vickie McDonough grew up wanting to marry a rancher, but instead she married a computer geek who is scared of horses. She now lives out her dreams in her fictional stories about ranchers, cowboys, lawmen, and others living in the Old West during the 1800s.

Vickie is the award-winning author of over thirty published books and novellas. Her books include the fun and feisty Texas Boardinghouse Brides series, and End of the Trail, which was the OWFI 2013 Best Fiction Novel winner. Whispers on the Prairie was a Romantic Times Recommended Inspirational Book for July 2013 and was a Holt Medallion Award of Merit winner.

Vickie has been married thirty-eight years to Robert. They have four grown sons, one of whom is married, and a precocious eight-year-old granddaughter. When she’s not writing, Vickie enjoys reading, antiquing, watching movies, and traveling.

Please tell us three random things we might not know about you.

-- I bought a motorcycle with money I’d made babysitting when I was 14.

-- I lived on a kibbutz in Israel for a year, right after I was married.

-- I’m primary caregiver for my eighty-four-year-old mother.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of your novel.

Janie Dunn’s dream of being an opera singer suddenly fades when, at her dying cousin’s request, she flees Boston with her cousin’s newborn son to protect him from his abusive father. She moves to Kansas to live with her brother, but life takes another dire change when he is suddenly killed.

Is a marriage of convenience the answer to her problems? Is Kansas far enough away from Boston that they are safe from the baby’s vengeful father?

What is it about Janie that will make your readers care about her?

My heroine is willing to give up her job and dreams to protect and raise her cousin’s newborn son, even though she knows nothing about raising a baby.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

 photo Unknown_zps886c3848.jpegJanie Dunn, heroine = Zena Grey



 photo Aaron-RobLangPortrait-of-a-handsome-young-cowboycopy_zps83edf3c4.jpgAaron Harper, hero = This is the guy I always envisioned as my hero in Song of the Prairie. Don’t ask his name though because I don’t know it. Photo is courtesy of Rob Lang Photography.



Do you ever attend writers’ conferences? At what point in a writer’s career do you think she or he should consider attending conferences, and why?

Yes. I try to attend two each year. I think that once you’re serious about writing you should start attending conferences. Writing is such a solitary life. You need to be around other people who understand you and what you face as a writer. You will learn lots of things, most likely have a chance to meet with an agent or editor and pitch your book idea, and you’ll go home excited and ready to work, having made some new friends.

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

I’m currently reading Yankee in Atlanta by Jocelyn Green. It’s an incredible portrayal of life during the Civil War. Her descriptions are stunning and you’ll suffer with her characters and empathize with them as they endure those awful days and rejoice with then when a rare happy event occurs.

What are you working on now?

Joline’s Redemption, book 2 in my Land Rush Dreams series. It’s the story of a stubborn young woman who’s bad choices have left her in dire circumstances, and the one person who can help her is the last person she wants to ask.

Where else can readers find you online?

Website: www.vickiemcdonough.com (There’s a sign-up link for my newsletter on the Home page)
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Christian Fiction Historical Society blog


The book can be purchased in fine book stores and online via the following buttons:




CBD.com
11170X: Song Of The Prairie, Pioneer Promises Series #3


Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

My husband and I are currently traveling. In Arkansas, we saw a sign for a park named Toad Suck Park. I also know of a place in that state called Booger Hallow. Then in Tennessee, we saw a sign to Bucksnort. What’s the oddest name for a town or place that you’ve come across?

I love that question! Thanks, Vickie, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Vickie has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, September 8. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Vickie's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interviews with Mary Ellis and Mary Hamilton, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book.

Also, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mary Hamilton and Free Books!

 photo speaknoevil_zps7aef2889.jpgTaylor Dixon knew having his younger sister at camp would be a pain, but he never expected the pain to go so deep.

Before we visit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Romancing the Widow, by Davalynn Spencer, is:

ruth_mangabhai@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll email you today to get your mailing address, and we'll get your book to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to participate in future book give-aways! Subscribers are entered a second time when they comment.

And now let's chat with novelist Mary Hamilton, author of Speak No Evil (HopeSprings Books, August 2014).

 photo MaryHamilton_zpsf636c479.jpgMary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in southern Wisconsin, much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. She is a graduate of the Long Ridge Writers’ Group and a member of ACFW.

When not writing, Mary enjoys knitting, reading and being outdoors. She and her husband raised three children and make their home in Texas with a rescued Golden Retriever.

Please tell us three random things we might not know about you.

-- I used to hide gourmet chocolate chunk cookies in the freezer to enjoy when my kids were napping.

-- Though I love being with people, I tend to be a cocooner. I force myself to get out of the house.

-- I’m not a very random person.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Speak No Evil.

 photo speaknoevil_zps7aef2889.jpgAt 15, Taylor Dixon dreams of getting his driver’s license and driving racecars when he’s older. But his younger sister’s adventurous spirit keeps landing him in trouble, which means Dad refuses to let him get his license. Dad’s convinced Taylor is heading for the same jail cell as his once-favored older brother.

Taylor returns to Rustic Knoll Bible Camp, expecting softball, swimming and sermons. Then he discovers a classic Mustang in the camp’s machine shed, and the owner’s invitation to help restore it fuels his dream of driving.

But when Marissa falls for his snobbish cabin mate, the ensuing war of words and pranks escalates, threatening to destroy both the car and his dreams for the future.

Will Taylor end up in jail, fulfilling Dad’s prediction? Or will he finally learn the message found in the old Mustang’s engine?

What is it about Taylor that will make your readers care about him?

Taylor is a bit of an antihero. His bullying ways haven’t endeared him to many of the other campers. But we see him hungering for some positive attention from his dad. And his subtle devotion to his younger sister is another likeable quality. He fears losing her because she’s the only one who believes in his dreams.

Do you ever attend writers’ conferences? At what point in a writer’s career do you think she or he should consider attending conferences, and why? Or why not?

I try to attend one writers’ conference a year, even if it’s only a small local one. The benefits of a conference are many, from learning the business of writing and getting a feel for the industry to networking with other beginning writers and learning from more experienced writers.

Attending a large national conference can be overwhelming for a novice writer, so start small and work up. By the time you’re ready to submit your work to an agent or editor, then you need to attend one of the national conferences. But even then, look at the agents and editors who will be there and plan to attend one where you’ll get a chance to meet with the ones you think would be most interested in your work.

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

The last novel I read was Tim Shoemaker’s Below the Surface. I highly recommend his Code of Silence series for middle grade readers. The characters are four kids in junior high school who stumble into some pretty heavy crimes. Even as an adult, I couldn’t put the books down, and I even cried near the end of the second book, Back Before Dark.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on See No Evil, the third book in my Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. It features Steven Miller, the blind but capable camper from the first two books. He’ll be training for a half-triathlon while dealing with a possible stalker, and the book will touch on the issue of pornography as well.

Where else can readers find you online?

www.maryeellis.wordpress.com
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

The book can be purchased in fine book stores and online via the following buttons:






Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

Taylor dreams of driving race cars when he’s older. When you were a kid, what did you dream of doing when you were older?

Thanks, Mary, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Mary has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday , August 28. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Mary's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interview with Mary Ellis, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book.

Also, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mary Ellis and Free Books!

 photo LadyandtheOfficerThe_zps000ce355.jpgMadeline Howard had never intended to become a spy, but when military intelligence lands in her lap, how could she not serve her country behind enemy lines?

Before we visit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Seeking Sophie, by Melody Balthaser, is:

cpk153@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll email you today to get your mailing address, and we'll get your book to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to participate in future book give-aways! Subscribers are entered a second time when they comment.

And now let's chat with novelist Mary Ellis, author of The Lady and the Officer (Harvest House Publishers, August 2014).

 photo MaryEllislowreshead_zpsb57eed7f.jpg Mary Ellis has written twelve bestselling novels set in the Amish community.

Before "retiring" to write full-time, Mary taught middle school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate. She has enjoyed a lifelong passion for American history and is an active member of the local historical society.

She is currently working on several romances set during the Civil War. The Lady and the Officer is her current release.

Please tell us three random things we might not know about you.

--I have recently discovered I’m gluten intolerant. When did that happen?

--I’m not afraid of snakes, bugs, or toads. But crowds of people send me to the restroom to hide.

--I believe I can eat some form of corn every meal of the day.

I would not have pegged you as shy or an introvert, Mary! Your charm shines right through in person, and you're very comfy to be around.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The Lady and the Officer.

 photo LadyandtheOfficerThe_zps000ce355.jpgAs a nurse after the battle of Gettysburg, Madeline Howard saves the life of Elliot Haywood, a colonel in the Confederacy. But even though she must move to the South, her heart belongs to General James Downing, a Union Army corps commander.

Colonel Haywood has not forgotten the beautiful nurse, and when he unexpectedly meets her again in Richmond, he’s determined to win her.

While spending time with army officers and war department officials in her uncle’s palatial home, Madeline overhears plans for Confederate attacks against the Union soldiers. She knows passing along this information may save the life of her beloved James, but at what cost? Can she really betray the trust of her family and friends?

Two men are in love with Madeline. Will her faith in God show her the way to a bright future, or will her choices bring devastation on those she loves?

What is it about your lead characters that will make your readers care about them?

My heroine and hero are not too “big” that they can’t admit when they’ve made a mistake. They experience tremendous spiritual and emotional growth during the story, as should we all when life tests our mettle.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

 photo images_zps092cf73f.jpegLet’s see…I would love to see Scarlett Johansson play my heroine




 photo images-1_zps7cb2ac20.jpegand Chris Evans play hero because they have such chemistry together.




Do you ever attend writers’ conferences? At what point in a writer’s career do you think she or he should consider attending conferences, and why? Or why not?

I have attended the Blue Ridge Mountains Writers’ Conference, along with RWA and ACFW conferences many times. Fifteen years ago, I attended to learn my craft. Now although I continually try to improve my writing, I attend mainly to network and find out where the industry is headed. There is no bad time to attend. If an author can afford the cost, the money is well spent.

Excellent answer. 

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

I just finished Cajun Hearts, a collection of three novellas by Kathleen Y’Barbo. I love how her settings become a bigger-than-life character.

What are you working on now?

I am putting the finishing touches on The Last Heiress, a stand-alone romance also set during the Civil War. When heiress Amanda Dunn sails to North Carolina to reestablish the cotton trade for her father’s mills, she discovers a city embroiled in war, her estranged twin sister, and an irresistible shopkeeper.

Where else can readers find you online?

www.maryellis.net
www.maryeellis.wordpress.com
Facebook


The book can be purchased in fine book stores and online via the following buttons:



CBD.com
950541: The Lady and the Officer, Civil War Heroines Series #2



Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

Have you ever had to go against your family to maintain your ethical convictions?

Thanks so much, Trish, for inviting me back!

Always a pleasure, Mary! Thanks for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Mary has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday , August 28. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Mary's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interview with Davalynn Spencer, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book.

Also, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Davalynn Spencer and Free Books!

 photo RomancingtheWidow_zps99dd67ef.jpgAfter losing her heart, her husband, and her hope, a young widow returns home to Cañon City and meets a rugged, worn, and disarming Colorado Ranger.

Today we're talking with novelist Davalynn Spencer, author of Romancing the Widow (Love Inspired | Heartsong Presents, August 2014).

 photo mug_2_zps7cbdbdab.jpgWife and mother of professional rodeo bullfighters, Davalynn Spencer began her writing journey in the national rodeo market and as a newspaper journalist, winning awards in both arenas. Today she continues to win acclaim with her inspirational western romance, placing second in the 2014 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards, and finaling for the Selah Award and the Holt Medallion.

Davalynn teaches writing at Pueblo Community College, and with her handsome cowboy, has three children and four grandchildren. They make their home on Colorado’s Front Range with a Queensland heeler named Blue.

Please tell us three random things we might not know about you.

-- I’ll eat bacon on anything but ice cream.

-- I prefer shoes without shoe strings.

-- I don’t do windows.

I remember a day when that first item might have sounded odd. But our love of bacon seems to have led to just about everything edible being available in bacon flavor, to wit:


But I digress. Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Romancing the Widow.

 photo RomancingtheWidow_zps99dd67ef.jpgMartha Stanton isn’t looking for love because the light went out of her soul when her husband fell to a bullet in St. Louis. Now, back in her hometown of Cañon City, she's convinced she'll never know happiness again. Until she crosses paths with a darkly mysterious Colorado Ranger.

Haskell Jacobs has a mission, and it’s not the beautiful, flame-haired widow he nearly runs down in the street. However, she is somehow mixed up in the crime that brought Haskell to the rough-and-tumble town of Cañon City, Colorado, and soon she's entangled in the lawman's heart.

But the danger that lurks around them is all too real. Can they find strength and love in each other before it's too late?

What is it about your lead characters that will make your readers care about them?

Martha Stanton does not want to be called Marti. Nor does she appreciate everyone telling her what she should and should not do now that she’s a widow. Her life is set in stone as rigid as the bluffs encasing prehistoric fossils north of her hometown. As a young girl, she was fascinated by those fossils, but then she grew up and became one. Now, added to her resolve to live alone and lifeless is the unnerving presence of a mysterious man who must be more than he’s telling.

Haskell Tillman Jacobs is constantly at war—with himself, with outlaws, and with God. And then he meets the preacher’s daughter, a woman he can’t afford to spend time with. Except she dogs his thoughts and dreams and won’t leave him be. Maybe it’s time to surrender.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

 photo images_zps4d7ffdf9.jpegMartha would be played by Renee Felice Smith of NCIS Los Angeles, only with long hair. I love her spit-fire spunk.




 photo Unknown_zps581f1d81.jpegHaskell would be, without a doubt, Michael Weatherly of NCIS. The perfect, chronically single lawman smitten by a lovely, independent woman.



Do you ever attend writers’ conferences? At what point in a writer’s career do you think she or he should consider attending conferences, and why? Or why not?

I have attended conferences annually for the last eight years. Absolutely necessary – if not for learning new things about craft, then for networking, making new writer friends, or stretching yourself by teaching a workshop.

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck. Not only did I love it, I turned right around and reread it because of the way Hauck uses words. It wasn’t just the setting, the characters, the plot, or the spiritual thread. It was the way she wove all those things together.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on a contemporary romance set on the California coast that involves a young, cynical reporter and a bronc-riding sheriff’s deputy with sea-green eyes.

Where else can readers find you online?

www.davalynnspencer.com
Facebook
Twitter @davalynnspencer

The book can be purchased in fine book stores and online via the following buttons:




487212: Romancing the Widow



Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

How important to you is the setting of a story?

Thanks, Davalynn, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Davalynn has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, August 18. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Davalynn's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interview with Melody Balthaser, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book.

Also, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.
 

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