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!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Harry Wegley and Free Books!

 photo TripleThreat_MINEHalfSize_zpsfgxam8ui.jpgAdventure spans the Pacific Northwest from the shores of the Olympic Peninsula to the mountains of Whistler, BC, a conspiracy you might read in tomorrow's paper, but pray you never will.

Today we're chatting with Harry Wegley, author of Triple Threat (Harbourlight Books, Pelican Book Group, November 2014).

 photo HLWegleycrop_zpsdnqip7dg.jpgH. L. Wegley has been an Air Force Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer, then a research scientist for several years, where he published in the scientific literature. After earning an advanced Computer-Science degree, he developed computing systems for 20+ years for Boeing in Seattle, then retired to write.

He published his childhood adventure stories, Colby and Me: Growing Up in the ‘50s, and then published a 4-book, inspirational-suspense-series with Pelican Book Group. The 4th book released in November 2014. He’s currently finishing, and preparing to publish, his 8th novel.

Harry and his wife of 49 years enjoy small-group ministry, their 7 grandchildren, hiking the beaches of the Olympic Peninsula, and snorkeling Maui whenever their travel savings jar fills up.

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

-- As a kid, I played with old, wet, unstable dynamite and lived to tell about it.

-- While on the staff of Bomb Wing and Missile Wing Commanders, I was awakened by a phone call in the middle of the night which fully convinced me we were going to war with the Soviet Union. Scary feeling.

-- My buddy and I used to jump off a 40-foot-high bridge into 7 feet of water. After a few abrasions, and splitting the skin on our feet, we learned to do it without touching bottom.

Quiet, homespun fella, are ya? Yikes.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Triple Threat.

After spending much of her life in the foster care system, 21-year-old Katie Brandt, PhD candidate and woman of faith, frequently takes risks to prove she's worthy of love and acceptance. Her brilliance, beauty, and brawn—a triple threat—have never let her down in any type of conflict.

When she detects another triple threat, a three-pronged cyber-terror plot with the potential to cripple our nation’s infrastructure and kill millions, she pulls fellow grad student, Joshua West, with her into a high-risk investigation. But Katie realizes too late that Josh, an agnostic, is not prepared to die. She must keep him alive, stop the conspiracy, and also protect her heart, a heart rapidly falling for Josh in a relationship that appears doomed by conflicting worldviews.

This time the dangers, both physical and emotional, will take more than Katie’s triple threat to overcome.

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

Katie Brandt is loyal to a fault and will go to any lengths to protect the people she loves. She has a heart that doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit. She is quick to defend her faith when it’s challenged, and she’s learned enough to give reasons for the hope she has to anyone who asks.

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

 photo 1355994752julie-gonzalo-2011-3bc95_zpslpw4wojh.jpgKatie Brandt is almost impossible to cast. She has it all, 5’ 9”, long blond hair, slender and extremely athletic, and has an IQ approaching 200. The best I could come up with was Julie Gonzalo. I think Julie is a couple of inches too short, and I’m sure she could never hit 90 mph on a radar gun throwing a baseball, like Katie Brandt did in college.


 photo Drew-Waters_zpsecgj0qz5.jpgDrew Waters, from a few years ago, would make a good Joshua West. However, Josh played tight end on a state-champion football team, so he’s probably a bit bigger than Drew.




Most of us authors have experienced this: what unplanned facet of a story or character developed during your writing of a novel?

One of my scenes in Triple Threat depicts my hero getting stuck on top of one of the peak-to-peak gondolas in Whistler, BC, leaving him suspended a half-mile above Whistler Village. I knew that no thriller (book or movie) had ever used this longest stretch of unsupported cable in the world, so I wanted to do that.

But not until I had studied the engineering of these marvelous gondolas, and then started writing the scene, did I envision getting my hero stuck on top, fearing that a lift tower, or the terminal, might rake him off or crush him. Some readers have accused my action scenes in this book of being unrealistic. I can assure them that every aspect of this scene, and the other action scenes in the book, were written after thorough research to ensure that events in the story, while they might seem implausible, could actually happen. But don’t ask me to act them out to prove it. ☺

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

I would recommend Trinity: Military War Dog by Ronie Kendig. Her writing is superb. Her stories are action-filled, which I enjoy, immensely, and this is a great story that touches on some of the horrific things our men and women in the armed forces face as they defend us, things more of our citizens need to understand and appreciate.

Presidents send our soldiers into combat, often for good reasons, but it’s the veterans and their families that must pay the consequences. In addition to all that, if you like dogs, you’ll love Trinity.

What are you working on now?

I’m putting the finishing touches on two full-length novels. A political thriller which I’ll say more about in a few weeks, and an espionage thriller where the tentacles of the Cold War reach into the present, endangering a young woman. I miss the Cold War espionage stories, so I sought to resurrect one of them. The way things are heating up between the West and Russia, the whole Cold-War scenario may soon be resurrected.

I've always loved espionage stories. Ludlum, Follett, Forsyth. Good stuff.

Where else can readers find you online?

Readers can find me on my web site, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, as well as Twitter, and Pinterest.


The book can be purchased via the following buttons:



163827: Triple Threat


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

In 15 words or less, how would you describe the authors you know? Be nice, now. ☺

Thanks, Harry, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Harry has offered to give a signed copy of his book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, April 27. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Harry'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 Marian Merritt, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a free 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, April 6, 2015

Marian Merritt, April Releases, and Free Books!

 photo TheVigil_h11658_680_zps9ozxvfp3.jpegWhen the Broussard family secrets are revealed, can Cheryl deal with the truth and accept the blessing of a second chance for relationships with her family, old friends, and with the God she never really knew?

Before we visit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Lightning on a Quiet Night, by Donn Taylor, is:

mauback55@ . . .

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 revisit with novelist Marian Merritt, author of The Vigil (Harbourlight Books, February 2015).

 photo 0002_zps18ewwqnq.jpegMarian Pellegrin Merritt writes stories that blend her love of the mountains with her deep Southern roots. Her tagline, Where the Bayous Meets the Mountains, grew from both loves. She is the author of Deep Freeze Christmas, A Cajun Christmas Miracle, and Southern Fried Christmas.

Marian is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Women's Fiction Writers Association. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy and an accounting certificate from the University of South Alabama. This Louisiana native writes from the Northwest Colorado home she shares with her husband and a very spoiled Labradoodle.

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

--I rode my own Harley Motorcycle for several years – a 2004 Road King Classic. Now I ride on back of Hubby’s Motorcyle.

--I love to cook.

--I’m gluten intolerant but discovered that I could eat gluten products while in Italy without ill effects.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The Vigil.

 photo TheVigil_h11658_680_zps9ozxvfp3.jpegCheryl Broussard made two vows: She'd never fall for an abusive man, and she'd never return to her Louisiana hometown. But she's learned all too well the lesson of never-say-never. Now, back in Bijou Bayou after fleeing from an abusive boyfriend, Cheryl finds work as a hospice nurse.

While reading a dying patient's Korean War love letters, family secrets shatter Cheryl's beliefs about her family and herself and shed light on the reason she fled her hometown.

When the Broussard family secrets are revealed, can Cheryl deal with the truth and accept the blessing of a second chance for relationships with her family, old friends, and with the God she never really knew?

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

Cheryl Broussard is not perfect. She makes mistakes, assumptions, and judgments. Yet she is compassionate. She also learns that God hasn’t given up on her despite her mistakes. I believe readers will be able to relate to her.

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

 photo Unknown_zps5q3x6l6p.jpegCheryl Broussard by: Anne Hathaway




 photo Unknown-1_zpsyiusagsg.jpegVivian Broussard by: Meryl Streep




 photo images_zpsgew6kp4o.jpegBeau Battice by: Channing Tatum




 photo Unknown-2_zpsqe0svb5x.jpegCarlton Perilouix by: Robert Duvall







Most of us authors have experienced this: what unplanned facet of a story or character developed during your writing of a novel?

The resentment Cheryl harbored against her mother was based on a lie. This was revealed as the story unfolded.

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

The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate. I loved the characters in the story. They were well developed and real. I also loved that it was not a “preachy” story.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on my next Christmas story set in Cavazzale, Italy. True to my tagline, the story has a Louisiana/Colorado connection.

I’m editing a Women’s Fiction: The Moon Has No Light (Summer 2015 release). Two mothers. One son. Twenty years later. Can the adopted son of one woman be the abducted son of another?

I’m also writing another Women’s Fiction set in Tuscany, Italy and Mandeville, Louisiana. A story of love lost and found.

Where else can readers find you online?

I love to connect on my Facebook author page.

Also, love having readers join my Reader’s Group.

www.marianmerritt.com

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



164145: The Vigil


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

When reading a book, if the setting is a place you’ve never been before, after reading the book, do you feel like you’ve been there? Does it make you want to learn more about the place/region? What settings are your favorites?

Thanks, Marian, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Marian has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, April 27. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Marian'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.

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.

As you scroll down to the bottom of today's post to answer Marian's question, take a look at the terrific Inspirational fiction being released this month!

Amish Romance:

The Postcard by Laura V. Hilton -- David Lapp moves to Jamesport for a fresh start after surviving a "code blue" when he was in a buggy/semi truck accident. His new call to the ministry is complicated by his lingering mobility problems, the Amish church, and a postcard friendship with Jamesport local Rachel Miller. (Contemporary Romance from Whitaker House)

Contemporary Romance:

Pesto and Potholes by Susan M. Baganz -- Renata Blake trades her abusive past for a new home and church family in Milwaukee, not expecting her attraction to handsome chef and Packer fanatic, Antonio DeLuca. Tony has been burned by love and is too busy to let a woman in his life again. With God's help, and the support of a faith community, will Tony and Renata learn to love again? (Contemporary Romance from Inspired [Prism Book Group])

Together With You by Victoria Bylin -- An agnostic, Dr. Ryan Tremaine loses his heart to his children's god-fearing nanny in this modern twist on The Sound of Music. (Contemporary Romance from Bethany House [Baker Publishing Group])

Coast Guard Courtship by Lisa Carter -- Coast Guard Officer Braeden Scott's wants freedom and adventure, not assignment to a tiny Virginia coastal village-until a feisty redhead puts charm back into small-town life. Amelia Duer is all about home and hearth and caring for her nephew. As Braeden spends more time with her and the boy, his hopes for a family begin to resurface. Could Amelia be the anchor this charming Coastie needs to stop wandering and create a home for good? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Pinky Promise by Valerie Comer -- Kelly Bryant's young daughter wants a daddy and sets her sights on her new best friend's single father. The man may be charming, sweet, and a believer, but Kelly is embarrassed. She extracts a pinky promise from her six-year-old to stop proposing to men on her behalf. Ian Tomlinson isn't looking for a wife but does need care for his daughter during spring break the week after his move to Riverbend. He hates to ask Kelly - and plant ideas in the girls' minds - but he's rather low on options. How can two single parents fall in love for real with a pair of mini-matchmakers pushing from both sides - pinky promises or not? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Like a Love Song by Camille Eide -- Susan Quinn, a social worker turned surrogate mom to foster teens, fights to save the group home she's worked hard to build. But now, she faces a dwindling staff, foreclosure, and old heartaches that won't stay buried. Her only hope lies with the last person she'd ever turn to-a brawny handyman with a guitar, a questionable past, and a God he keeps calling Father. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Island Refuge by Kimberly Rose Johnson -- A five star chef running from a broken engagement takes a job as a cook and housekeeper at a B&B on a small island off the coast of Washington state. There she meet's Dr. Nick Jackson, the new owner of the Wildflower B&B. (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook, INC.)

Dating the Best Man by Gail Sattler -- Cory Bellanger wants to be more than just a friend to his best friend's sister, Daphne Carruthers, but first he needs to come to terms with her painful past and earn her trust. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

From the Start by Melissa Tagg -- Kate Walker's love life may have left her brokenhearted, but it hasn't kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays...until a major career slump sends her running back to her hometown of Maple Valley. There she meets recently injured, and permanently sidelined, NFL quarterback Colton Greene, who is hiding out from the media. When an unexpected project gives Kate and Colton a chance to jumpstart their new lives, will they follow through? (Contemporary Romance from Bethany House [Baker Publishing Group])

Reclaiming the Cowboy's Heart by Rose Ross Zediker -- Donna crosses paths with her former fiancé, Jamie Martin, at Cheyenne Frontier Days, unprepared for the feelings that still endure after twenty years. As a former party boy, Jamie's newfound faith could pave the way for a second chance at his first love...if Donna can find it in her heart to forgive him for almost destroying her family business so long ago.

General Fiction:

Memory Box Secrets (Coming Home Volume 2) by Brenda S. Anderson -- Years after being abandoned by her parents, a successful sales executive receives a call from her father that he wants back in her life. (General Fiction, Independently Published)

Historical Romance:

The Lady and the Mountain Doctor by Misty M. Beller -- When a hunting accident dashes a mountain woman's hopes of ever becoming a genteel lady, can God use the new doctor to heal her wounded heart? (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

The Oregon Trail Romance Collection by Amanda Cabot, Melanie Dobson, Pam Hillman, Myra Johnson, Amy Lillard, DiAnn Mills, Anna Schmidt, Ann Shorey, and Jennifer Uhlarik -- Nine romantic adventures take readers along for a ride on the Oregon Trail. Enjoy the trip through a fascinating part of history through the eyes of remarkably strong characters, who stop at famous landmarks along the way. Watch as their faith is strengthened and as love is born despite unique circumstances. Discover where the journey ends for each of nine couples. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

With This Kiss Historical Collection by Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne, Pam Hillman, Cara Lynn James, and Julie Lessman -- Five multi-published, award-winning and best-selling Christian authors transport you to yesteryear, when times were tough and love was far more simple...in some ways! (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

The Doctor's Undoing by Allie Pleiter -- During WWI, serious, dedicated doctor Daniel Parker finds his life and his Parker Home for Orphans turned upside down by the vibrant, optimistic nurse Ida Lee Landway. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

The Creole Princess (Gulf Coast Chronicles) by Beth White -- During the American Revolution, Frenchwoman Lyse Lanier is best friends with the daughter of the British officer in command of Mobile, Alabama. Rafael Gonzalez is a charming young Spanish merchant with a secret mission and a shipment of gold to support General Washington. As their destinies become increasingly tangled, Lyse and Rafael must decide where their true loyalties lie--and save Lyse's family from being executed as traitors to the British Crown. (Historical Romance from Revell [Baker Publishing Group])

Romantic Suspense:

Buried Secrets (A Men of Valor Novel) by Irene Hannon -- Former Chicago homicide detective Lisa Grant takes a job as a small-town police chief, wanting a kinder, gentler life. But the discovery of a human skeleton by a construction crew taxes her department's resources. Enter backup, Detective Mac McGregor, an ex-Navy SEAL. As they work together to solve the mystery behind the unmarked grave, it becomes clear someone will stop at nothing to make certain a life-shattering secret stays buried. (Romantic Suspense from Revell [Baker Publishing Group])

Royal Rescue by Tammy Johnson -- Hidden away for fourteen years, Thea James was presumed dead by most-killed in the fire that burned the royal palace. Thea's new bodyguard, Ronin Parrish, knows she's the only one who can clear his father of the king's murder-and so does the killer. To a commoner like Ronin, the strong, beautiful princess can never be more than a mission, a race to restore Thea's throne...before the murderer ends her reign forever. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Presumed Guilty by Dana R. Lynn -- Melanie Swanson lost her friends, her fiancé and her freedom when she was found guilty of a crime she didn't commit and spent four years in prison. Police lieutenant Jace Tucker still believes Melanie is guilty-until she is repeatedly attacked and the people around her are picked off one by one. Melanie's memories may help solve the crime she witnessed rather than caused-but proving her innocence could cost her life. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Duty Bound Guardian (Capitol K-9 Unit) by Terri Reed -- Art curator Lana Gomez's life in on the line, and K-9 Officer Adam and his partner, Ace, must stop the assassin. As the danger escalates, Lana and Adam grow closer...but will they survive? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Speculative Fiction:

Heir of Hope (Follower of the Word series, Book 3) by Morgan L. Busse -- When the great city of Thyra falls, Rowen Mar, the last Truthsayer, is taken before the Shadonae. But the Shadonae are not who she thought they were, and now they want to claim her as their own. Caleb Tala, former assassin and prince, is now an exiled Guardian of mankind. He wanders the desert in search of his true identity. Rowen and Caleb must find their way through the shadows or the human race will be no more. (Speculative Fiction from Enclave Publishing)

Happy reading!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Donn Taylor and Free Books!

 photo Lightning Cover - 300dpi_zpsdl4o6ijv.jpgA small town too proud of its virtues has to deal with its first murder.

Before we visit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of A Horse for Kate, by Miralee Ferrell, is:

robbyefaye@ . . .

and the winner of the signed copy of Dreams of Caladria, by Joseph Bentz, is:

nicehomesniceparks@ . . .

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 revisit with novelist Donn Taylor, author of Lightning on a Quiet Night (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, November 2014).

 photo DonnTaylor-1271sm_zps98uwyvp0.jpgDonn Taylor is a novelist and poet of varied career. He led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he earned a PhD in English literature (Renaissance) and for eighteen years taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. He was chosen by faculty as "Scholar of the Year" at one and by students as "Professor of the Year" at the other.

His poetry is collected in his book Dust and Diamond: Poems of Earth and Beyond. In addition to his historical novel Lightning on a Quiet Night, he has published two suspense novels and a light-hearted mystery. He is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences and groups.

He lives near Houston, TX, where he continues to write fiction and poetry, as well as essays on writing, ethical issues, and U.S. foreign policy.

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

-- I was born two days before the planet Pluto was discovered. (They would never have found it without me?) Some astronomers now say Pluto isn't a planet, but they're wrong. If it hadn't been a planet I wouldn't have helped them discover it.

-- Some years ago, Mildred and I rented a Piper Pacer at Toule Rosiere AFB in France and flew it to Copenhagen for a vacation. She proved to be an excellent navigator. We watched a Danish-language movie and for two hours we didn’t understand anything but the shooting and kissing.

--Mildred and I were married sixty-one years, seven months, and four days before the Lord promoted her to join the heavenly choir.

So many people know of your great love and respect for Mildred, Donn. You had a beautiful marriage. My sincere condolences for your loss.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Lightning on a Quiet Night.

 photo Lightning Cover - 300dpi_zpsdl4o6ijv.jpgIn the years following World War II, a town too proud of its own virtues has to deal with its first murder.

Despite the implications of this crime, the town of Beneficent, MS, population 479, tries desperately to hold onto its vain self-image. The young veteran Jack Davis holds that idyllic vision of the town and tries to share it with Lisa Kemper, newly arrived from Indiana. But she is repelled by everything in town.

While the sheriff tries to find the murderer, Jack and Lisa’s contentious courtship reveals the town’s strange combination of astute perceptions and surprising blind spots. Then they stumble onto shocking discoveries about the true nature of the town.

The question then is where these discoveries will lead: To the town's repentance? Or to denial and continuation in vanity? And what will its actions mean to Jack and Lisa?

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

There actually are two leads: First is Jack Davis (note the ordinary name). His endearing qualities are loyalty to friends, sincerity, and devotion to truth no matter how much it hurts. He is modest and never showy. He appears to be completely ordinary, but he always comes through in the clutch.

The second is Lisa Kemper, transplanted for a year from Indiana to Mississippi. She begins by despising her new home, but her open-mindedness enables her to adapt. Her loyalty to her father is endearing, as is her courage and poise when in danger for her life.

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

 photo Annex - Ladd Alan_02_zpsdo7k1ssi.jpgI'm showing my age on this one. To play Jack Davis I would choose Alan Ladd (at his age when he played Shane).





 photo Unknown_zpsehp7mjig.jpegFor Lisa Kemper, I would choose Laraine Day (at the age when she played in Mr. Lucky).





 photo images_zpsdfhocxhj.jpegFor Sheriff Clayburn Rainwater I would choose either Edgar Buchanan



 photo Unknown-1_zpshwjtwb11.jpegor Alan Hale (Jr. or Sr.).



I had no idea the Skipper was the son of that actor! You've taught me something new. And I love when people choose classic actors in answer to this question.

What have you learned about yourself as a result of your writing career?

I think the main thing I've learned is that everything is going to take at least twice long as I think it will, and often three times as long.

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

Actually, I can't choose between two because both are outstanding. First is Susan Sleeman's Web of Deceit. It is a beautifully developed contemporary suspense novel with an unusual depth of research behind it, tightening suspense with each chapter in a direct line to a thrilling conclusion.

The other is Mel Starr's The Abbot's Agreement. I've never read anything quite like it. It centers on the murder of a novice outside a monastery in A.D. 1368. The author's research, style, and tone convey a convincing sense of the age, the society, and the values of its citizens.

What are you working on now?

A lot of time has gone into publicizing Lightning on a Quiet Night. In writing, I've completed a sequel to my light-hearted mystery Rhapsody in Red and begun a second sequel.

Where else can readers find you online?

I post something every day at Facebook, usually funny but often philosophical or scriptural.
Other places are www.donntaylor.com
donntaylor.blogspot.com
Facebook Author Page
Twitter

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



840459: Dreams Of Caladria




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

What do you think keeps people from reading good poetry? No, not the stuff coming out of the graduate schools. I said good poetry like Robert Frost used to write.

Thanks, Donn, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Donn has offered to give a signed copy of his book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, April 6. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Donn'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.

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, March 23, 2015

Joseph Bentz and Free Books!

 photo Dreams of Caladria_zpsucev0hfp.jpgWhen Jeremy finds himself thrust into a world where music is forbidden on pain of death, the young musician must decide between securing his own survival or risking all for a mission he was sent there to fulfill.

Today we're revisiting with novelist Joseph Bentz, author of Dreams of Caladria (Enclave Publishing, March 2015).

 photo Bentz Enclave photo_zpshq6xs1rg.jpegJoseph Bentz is published in both fiction and non-fiction, with four novels and four non-fiction books.

His most recent book is Dreams of Caladria, a fantasy novel published in March by Enclave Publishing. His next non-fiction book, Nothing is Wasted, is scheduled for publication by Beacon Hill Press later this year.

Joseph is a professor of English at Azusa Pacific University in Southern California, where he teaches courses in writing and American literature. Among the awards his books have received, his second novel, A Son Comes Home (Bethany House, 1999; republished by Randall House, 2007), won the Silver Angel Award and was chosen as one of the Top Ten Christian novels of the Year by Booklist magazine.

Bentz is a regular book reviewer for CBA Retailers + Resources magazine, which covers the Christian book industry. His blog, Life of the Mind and Soul, focuses on issues of reading, writing, the imagination, and the Christian life.

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

-- My parents did not give me a middle name. They gave me only an initial, M.

-- I played the tuba in my high school marching band.

-- When I was younger, I so hated anyone looking over my shoulder and reading what I wrote that I developed an entire code language that I could write in so that no one could read it. I can still write (and speak) that language.

That last item is wonderfully eccentric, Joseph. I love it.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Dreams of Caladria.

 photo Dreams of Caladria_zpsucev0hfp.jpgThrough the breaking ice, in a vortex of brilliant light, energy, and sound, Jeremy plunges into a dangerous and mysterious new world. It is a place where music is absolutely prohibited – on pain of death. And Jeremy breaks that law when he arrives in Persus Am in a swirling cloud of light and music. A stranger in a strange land, he does not know why he has been sent.

But it soon becomes clear that he must risk everything to help his new friends in the weary and war–torn world. From the vast Gray Desert to the jeweled palace of Persus Am, the forbidding Rock of Calad to the fabled land of Caladria, Jeremy finds himself in the midst of horrifying evil and heroic goodness.

As he searches for an answer to why he is here, he must face the truth that is written on his own heart.

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

I think readers can relate to Jeremy because deep down, so many people are like him. He has a heroic nature, but it is sometimes obscured by layers of confusion, hesitancy, and fear. Once he finally sweeps those aside, he is capable of great things. He is tempted by the flashy pleasures of life, but he has an even deeper desire to find the truth and do the right thing.

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

 photo images_zpsrpkreuuw.jpegI would have Shia Labeouf play the main character, Jeremy. He exudes that same energetic and independent spirit.




 photo Unknown_zpsgmjdmxhl.jpegThanks to my daughter’s suggestion, I would cast Victoria Justice as Anne, the love of his life.




 photo images-1_zpsr1livfyo.jpegI would choose Ian McKellen for the role of Tarius Arc.




What have you learned about yourself as a result of your writing career?

Writing is my way of figuring things out. It’s how I make sense of the world. For me, writing is part of my spiritual life and fills a need similar to prayer and reading Scripture. I think I would have been a mess without it. The spiritual issues that I struggle with may appear in the novels in indirect, disguised forms. A physical landscape may stand for a spiritual landscape, for instance. My characters also sometimes confront spiritual issues directly.

I also write non-fiction Christian living books, so those spring from the deep questions I have struggled with and that I think readers may be able to relate to also—such as why we have to spend so much of our lives waiting on God to act, or why he sometimes seems silent.

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

The novel that is most on my mind right now is one that I’m teaching: Light in August, by William Faulkner. It is a novel with unusual depth. I have read it several times before, but like many great books, it only gets better with each reading. The characters are drawn with such care and complexity that they come alive in my mind just as much as if they were real people. My students are also loving it, and our discussions have made it a rich experience.

That increasing depth is one of my favorite things about the classic novels, Joseph. I read Light in August in college, and I know if I reread it now, it would be like reading an entirely different novel.

What are you working on now?

This month I will turn in the manuscript of my next non-fiction book. The working title is Nothing is Wasted, and it will be published by Beacon Hill Press.

The idea is that God has sprinkled redemption throughout the universe in ways that are easy to overlook. Although life is filled with pain, I believe there is also a countervailing force at work in the world. In the midst of all this loss beats a relentless pulse of redeeming love and good that pushes through the chaos and pain. It does not obliterate the pain, but it does not allow it to be wasted. Good is wrenched from it, like a gold nugget pried from deep underground. I examine these redemptive hints in a wide variety of places—in tragedy, in popular entertainment, in nature, and elsewhere.

I just finished co-writing a book of short devotions, and this theme arose quite often as I asked God to show me the verses to use. You're addressing a very uplifting topic there, Joseph.

Where else can readers find you online?

Website/blog: www.josephbentz.com
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

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



840459: Dreams Of Caladria



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

If you were forced (or given the chance) to leave the life you’re living now and enter into the world of a novel in order to live there, what novel would you choose, and why?

What a great question! I'm eager to hear how people answer. 

Thanks, Joseph, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Joseph has offered to give a signed copy of his book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, March 30. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Joseph'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 Miralee Ferrell, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a free 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, March 19, 2015

Miralee Ferrell and Free Books!

 photo A horse for Kate_zps3ps8uiov.jpgA horse of her own would be awesome, but Kate figures that might be a long way away.

Before we visit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of The Outlaw Takes a Bride, by Susan Page Davis, is:

chris_davebures@ . . .

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 revisit with novelist Miralee Ferrell, author of A Horse for Kate (David C Cook, March 2015.)

 photo Author photo_zpsapcsmwsx.jpg Miralee Ferrell is the author of The Other Daughter and four books in the Love Finds You series, which includes the award-winning novel Love Finds You in Sundance, WY, along with the best-selling novel, Blowing on Dandelions, part of the Love Blossoms in Oregon series.

She and her husband live on eleven acres in southern Washington State, where they love to garden, ride horses, take hikes, and visit with their children and grandchildren.

Miralee recently launched a new side-venture, opening her own small press to publish some of her own novels as well as helping other authors.

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

-- I’m now a publisher as well as an author! I’m pretty excited about opening my own small press. I just signed my first author to a three-book series—Kimberly Rose Johnson’s first book releases in a month. This is new territory for me, but I have a strong sales background and I’m loving it.

-- Years ago, we owned two cougars (not removed from the wild but raised in captivity). They were my husband’s project while the horses were mine.

-- I used to do a lot of oil painting—mostly scenery, and I actually sold one painting of a bull elk in a field for $300! I wish I still had time to paint, but writing takes up most of my time now.

That's very exciting about your publisher status, Miralee. As more and more of us dip our toes into the indie pool, it's good to know who already knows the way!

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of A Horse for Kate.

 photo A horse for Kate_zps3ps8uiov.jpgA horse of her own would be awesome. But Kate figures that might be a long way away, especially since she had to give up riding lessons and move to her late grandfather’s farm. Besides, it would be a lot more fun to have a best friend to ride with.

When Kate discovers a barn on their new farm that’s perfect for a horse, and a dusty bridle too, she starts to think that her dream might come true.

Then she meets Tori at school, who is totally the best. So when they discover a thoroughbred that appears to be all alone, could it be the answer to her prayers? Maybe. If she can convince her dad ... and figure out what’s going on with that horse.

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

Kate is spunky, fun-loving thirteen-year-old girl who is extremely loyal to her friends, and most important, she wants to do the right thing.

What have you learned about yourself as a result of your writing career?

That I actually have a degree of creativity. When I knew that God had called me to write, a friend suggested I write Christian fiction. I knew I could write short stories about real-life happenings, but I truly didn’t believe I could ever write fiction, as I didn’t feel I had the creativity to do so. Now, 12 novels later, I still question that at times, but not quite as much.

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

I’m reading the Mitford series again. I love the people in those books, and the way Jan Karon brought them all to life. When I’m in Mitford, I truly do feel like I’m at home.

What are you working on now?

I just finished the fourth book in my Horses and Friends series, so now I’m starting on a novella for Barbour—one of 9 authors each writing a story for a Cowboy Brides collection that will release next spring.

Where else can readers find you online?

My website and blog (where they can also sign up for my newsletter) is www.miraleeferrell.com
Twitter
Facebook fan group: Facebook

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



411141: #1: A Horse for Kate




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

Have you ridden a horse or owned one, or ever wanted to? If so, what was it and what made it special. If not, do you still want to?

Thanks, Miralee, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Miralee has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, March 30. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Miralee'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.

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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