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 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.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Melody Balthaser and Free Books!

 photo SeekingSophie3DCover_zpsf196143f.jpgOn the run, Sophie’s relieved that older brother Erik has swooped in and taken her under his wing until he drops her off on Eagle Head Island at the mercy of a complete stranger.

Before we visit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of A Plain Love Song, by Kelly Irvin, is:

wileygreen1@ . . .

and the winner of the signed copy of Tokens of Promise, by Teresa Pollard, is:

mauback55@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll email you today to get your mailing addresses, and we'll get your books 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 Melody Balthaser, author of Seeking Sophie, (CrossRiver Media, September 2014).

 photo Melody_zpsa4e35ac6.jpgMelody Balthaser lives in rural Pennsylvania with her husband. They have two grown daughters and a ten-year-old son. Melody has been a student of natural health and a certified reflexologist for twenty-three years and enjoyed homeschooling her children throughout much of that time.

Melody’s passion is to encourage people to open up and let the love of God free them of fear and rejection to live the adventurous life their Creator intended. She hopes, though her fiction, readers can relax and take their own transforming journey to the Father’s heart.

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

-- I love road trips.

-- Farming is in my blood (both maternal and paternal grandparents were farmers) and one of my most fulfilling tasks is mucking out a stall. It is wonderful for my mental health!

--My husband and I got married, in Florida, on a sailboat at sunset (just the two of us, the captain and a witness).

How romantic!

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Seeing Sophie.

 photo SeekingSophie3DCover_zpsf196143f.jpgSeeking Sophie, set in mid-nineteenth century New England, is the story of Sophie Stalz, an orphan and indentured house servant to Master Sherman. With less than one year to freedom, she becomes the object of Damien’s desires. When his advances become violent, she flees Boston leaving a severely wounded master bleeding in the stairwell.

With the help of older brother, Eric, she ends up on Eagle Head Island, Maine where she unhappily marries resident lighthouse keeper, Jackson Scott.

Burdens from the past complicate their union and, to make matters worse, a very vengeful Master Sherman is on the hunt for his runaway maid.

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

Sophie’s sweet spirit, inner strength and tenacity will have readers cheering for her at every turn.

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

 photo Unknown_zps6f5c832a.jpegSophie- Amanda Seyfried,






 photo images_zps0016c013.jpegJackson- Richard Armitage,





 photo Unknown-1_zps91383d91.jpegDamien- Hugh Jackman (with black hair)



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?

Due to time and financial restraints I haven’t attended a conference. I believe they are important, however, for making connections, sharing lessons learned, and for encouragement that only other writers can give.

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

The last novel I read and would recommend is Kristen Heitzman’s The Breath of Dawn. Kristen is one of my favorite authors and all of her books have the perfect balance of suspense, romance and the human condition. Her novels, whether historical or contemporary, do not disappoint!

What are you working on now?

I am working on the second novel in the Drawn to the Light series entitled Chasing Clare where readers will get to know Sophie’s best friend, the sassy Irish lass, Clare O’Malley.

Where else can readers find you online?

www.melodybalthaser.com
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
melodysperspective.me

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

Where is your special place to read a good novel?

Thanks, Melody, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Melody has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, August 14. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Melody'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.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Teresa Pollard and Free Books!

 photo Unknown_zps2c208d7c.jpegExperience a vivid imagining of the love story of Tamar and Judah based on Genesis 38.

Today we're chatting with novelist Teresa Pollard, author of Tokens of Promise (HopeSprings Books, June 2015).

 photo FBHeadshotforbooks-FB_zpsf3a4d8b0.jpgTeresa was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. She spent most of her life as a wife, mom and grandma.

Although she received a Master’s degree in English and Creative Writing in 1989, her first novel wasn’t published until 2013.

In 2007, her life changed dramatically. Her marriage of almost 40 years disintegrated, and her youngest daughter died from cervical cancer. But God is still in control. He has brought her through it, and given her another grandchild to help raise in Dacula, GA.

I'm so sorry about your hardships in life, Teresa. So difficult.

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

--People say I’m young at heart because I like to walk or hike up mountains chasing waterfalls with my friend Krystal.

--I love red. I wear a lot of it.

--I also love hats. At church, some people call me the hat lady.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Tokens of Promise.

 photo Unknown_zps2c208d7c.jpegWhen Tamar is rescued from a wicked slave trader by Judah, the handsome prince of Hebron, she immediately falls for him and he’s attracted to her also, but he has a wife, and has vowed to have no other, so instead he marries her off first to his evil son Er.

Then when Yah slays Er, he marries her to his second mentally deficient son Onan. Yah also slays Onan.

So Tamar is sent home in disgrace to her family to await Judah’s third son’s coming of age. When that time passes, Shelah (the third son) comes up with a plan to make his father do the right thing by Tamar, but will that plan cost Tamar her life?

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

She’s naive and fears the God of Israel, but also gutsy and determined to fulfill the destiny she believes Yah has ordained for her.

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

 photo Unknown-1_zps7853bbde.jpegI pulled up images and a beautiful young model by the name of Amina Sheikh was exactly what I thought Tamar would look like.




 photo images_zpsc9a018d5.jpegI think Dean Cain might be my idea of Judah.




Sometimes a writer’s imagination can be triggered with word mapping. If I give you the word challenge, what three words first come to mind, and how would you word a sentence (or 2, if needed) using all four words?

Meet, beat, or overcome. I can meet, beat, or overcome any challenge I need to in order to do what God has set before me to do.

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

My favorite book I’ve read recently was Jeremiah Peters’ A Message to Deliver. It’s a fantasy novel about a girl who comes back to earth from heaven with a message to deliver. Only problem—she doesn’t remember who she’s supposed to deliver it to, so she starts telling everyone she meets, “Jesus loves you, and He forgives you.” This novel is so beautiful, it had me in tears.

What are you working on now?

I have two novels due out in 2015. Not Ashamed, written with Candi Pullen is due in July. It’s the sequel to Not Guilty, and is the story of Charity Wright who comes home at eighteen to confront her biological father and gets caught up in a murder mystery.

The second, due in October, is called Woman of Light. It’s a story of Deborah based on Judges 4 & 5. I’m just starting the editing process on it.

Where else can readers find you online?

www.teresapollardwrites.com

Like and follow me on Facebook, and I’m also starting a new blog Teresa Talks the Taboo: Applying God’s Word in an ungodly world. I want to talk Truth about all the things most Christian writers don’t talk about: rape, abortion, depression, suicide, etc. I don’t know the URL for it yet because we’re still designing it, but look for it and come join the discussion.

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?

Do you know my Jesus? If not, can I invite you to know Him? He’s an amazing Savior!

Thanks, Teresa, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Teresa has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, August 7. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Teresa'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 Kelly Irvin, 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, July 28, 2014

Kelly Irvin and Free Books!

 photo PlainLoveSongA_zps8a01f504.jpgIf Adah Knepp, a young Amish girl, pursues her dream of being a musician all the way to the music capital of Branson, Missouri, will she find happiness or lose everything that’s important to her?

Before we visit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of The Best Man's Secret, by Gail Sattler, is:

pumpkinbabjane@ . . .

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 Kelly Irvin, author of A Plain Love Song (Harvest House Publishing, July 2014).

 photo KellyFinal1_zpsd1619671.jpgKelly Irvin is the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both from Harvest Housing Publishing. The Beekeeper’s Son, her first novel in the Amish of Bee County series from Zondervan/HarperCollins will debut in January 2015. She has also penned two inspirational romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.

The Kansas native is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism. She has been writing nonfiction professionally for thirty years, including ten years as a newspaper reporter. She has worked in public relations for the City of San Antonio for twenty years.

Kelly is married to photographer Tim Irvin. They have two young adult children, a new granddaughter, two cats, and a tank full of fish. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and read books by her favorite authors.

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

--I became a grandma for the first time last September.

--I’m originally from Abilene, Kansas, hometown of Dwight D. Eisenhower and the greyhound capital of the world.

--I hate sweet potatoes unless they’re in pie.

Congrats on your new Grandma status!! It's a fantastic club to join, isn't it?

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of A Plain Love Song.

 photo PlainLoveSongA_zps8a01f504.jpgAdah Knepp wants nothing more than to make music. It’s all she’s ever desired—to sing and play the guitar and write her own songs. That’s a dream that will never come true in the confines of her strict Amish community. But then she meets Jackson Hart, and suddenly she sees the chance for a different kind of life…a real stage, a real guitar, and a real opportunity to sing her songs to a real audience!

But pursuing her dreams means turning her back on her faith, her family, and her community—and saying goodbye to Matthew, the gentle Amish farmer she can’t get out of her mind. Is it worth giving up the only home she’s ever known to pursue her dreams?

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

Everyone has dreams. Adah’s dream of writing songs and playing them is one many people have. Because of the life into which she was born, she tries to ignore that dream. I think readers will empathize with her struggle to do what she believes is right, knowing that it means she’ll never have that dream.

Jackson Hart is a young man with a good heart who believes in what he’s doing. He’s passionate, he loves Adah, and he’s a cute cowboy who plays the guitar and sings.

How can she resist? I think my female readers will be just as conflicted as Adah about what path she should take.

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

 photo images_zps8ec260d3.jpegClaire Bowen (Scarlett from the TV show Nashville) would play Adah. She’s perfect because she’s both an actress and a gifted singer.




 photo Unknown_zps5dce3626.jpegIf Brad Paisley, the country music singer who does some acting, were younger, I’d have him play Jackson Hart.




 photo Unknown-2_zps45bf845c.jpegZach Gilford (Matt Sorenson, Friday Night Lights) would be perfect for Matthew, again if he were younger.



Sometimes a writer’s imagination can be triggered with word mapping. If I give you the word challenge, what three words first come to mind, and how would you word a sentence (or 2, if needed) using all four words.

Challenge. Obstacle. Overcome. Persistence. Prayer.

Everyone has challenges in their lives. The key to overcoming these obstacles is persistent prayer.

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

All for a Story This Christy-nominated book by Allison Pittman is a historical novel filled with memorable characters. Allison has a beautiful, lyrical style of writing and she doesn’t let her characters take the easy way out.

All for a Story, set in the Roaring Twenties, is about a gossip writer named Monica Bisbane, who frequents speakeasies in Washington, D.C., for fodder for her column. The story unfolds around what happens when the former editor-in-chief of evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson’s magazine inherits the tabloid newspaper for which Monica works and decides it should contain positive, uplifting stories. They’re oil and water, fire and ice, and the sparks fly.

What are you working on now?

I’ve finished the first draft of the second book in the Amish of Bee County series I’m writing for Zondervan/HarperCollins. The working title is The Bishop’s Son. I’ll pause shortly to do the line edits for the first book, The Beekeeper’s Son, which comes out in January 2015. This series is based on a small Amish district in South Texas, the only one in the state of Texas. The Amish families living there moved to Texas from Tennessee more than 20 years ago. It’s a tough place to make a living from farming because of the lack of rain and rocky soil. The first book explores how the world’s view of beauty is different from what God sees as beautiful.

Where else can readers find you on-line?

www.kellyirvin.com
Facebook
Twitter: @Kelly_S_Irvin

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




CBD.com
954983: A Plain Love Song, New Hope Amish Series #3



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

If an author you regularly read because you like their writing decides to try a new genre, would you follow him or her? Or are you a genre specific reader?

Thanks, Kelly, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Kelly has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, August 7. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Kelly'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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