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, July 31, 2008

Shirley Connolly and Bonus Book Give-Away!

July 31 already?! The toasty, lazy days of summer are slipping away too swiftly, and I'm not a big fan of wind chill, freezing rain, or packing lunches in the morning. Life is tough, isn't it?

To chase away the dreads, I'm doing a bonus author interview today, and that means an opportunity to win yet another book!

Here's our teaser: As Aimee saw herself living in a swirling fire of torment and bitterness, she had to wonder--how in the world could anyone possibly help her now?

Today we meet Shirley Connolly, author of Flame from Within, Vintage Romance Publishing, April 30, 2008.


Shirley Kiger Connolly has always loved historical fiction and enjoys writing anything that includes the life of a soldier and how he might connect with her heroine. As a wife, mom, and grandmother of three, Shirley's historical-fiction romances are laced with nuggets of inspiration for the believer and the nonbeliever. When she is wearing her other writing hat, she stays busy penning her light-hearted devotionals meant to help believers keep looking up and introduce the nonbeliever into a simple relationship with God. Shirley's motto: "I am a Christian who loves to write books, not simply a writer who only loves to write for Christians." Shirley and her husband live on the Southern Coast of Oregon with their dogs, cats, and seven personally named chickens who she talks to daily. (And they talk back!)


Tell us a bit more about Flame from Within, Shirley.

Young, plantation-bred, Amethyst Rose, raised with everything and spoiled early by her papa, prepares for her arranged marriage with Jonathan, the son of a Baron. As the war breaks out, however, everything changes. Aimee loses her betrothed on her wedding day, and not long after, a war-torn fire destroys her home and family. In order to save herself and her last two servants she must hide in an underground cave. Angry and bitter toward the Yankees and a God she's never known her only choice left is to leave her beloved Vicksburg to live down in a bordello run by her sister in the Louisiana The French Quarter. For Aimee, it's a decision guaranteed to destroy her respect, her innocence, and the family name. On the boat traveling South, Aimee becomes no longer concerned whether she lives or dies and gets entangled with a couple of hated Union officers, immediately drawn to her, who make plans to save her from her sister. Each in his own way, find ways to tug, not only at Aimee's heart but to reach her soul--before it is too late.

Which character in your novel most interested you while you wrote? Why?

Wow! Great question! There were several actually, but I think I had a lot of fun with Aimee's loyal servant, Lulu. I had great fun working her dialogue and character throughout the story. (I love to do dialogue with my characters, anyway.) Lulu was very outspoken and if anyone could work on Aimee by calming her down or getting her excited about something it was Lulu. She was also a very strong believer and her relationship with God shown throughout the story.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I tried hard to make my scenes the kind, which would make the readers, feel they simply had to move along to the next one rather than set the book down to pick up later. I also enjoy being descriptive as I tell my stories and there is usually a twist. I made sure to include one in Flame from Within too. People will enjoy being, caught by surprise by the one twist that is in there. I hope that becomes my trademark in all my stories. Flame from Within really is an affair of the heart, too, and about the torn feelings certain people have because of past experiences. What does it take in order to bring them back to forgiveness and compassion? As it takes place during the time of the War between the States, there is much bitterness going on. The goal is to reach that place of God's forgiveness we all need for our own lives and to have toward one another. I think readers will appreciate seeing how it all comes about in various peoples' lives throughout the book.

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

How fun! My hero would naturally be Mel Gibson, without a doubt since Clark Gable is unavailable.

Cary Elwes would play the hero's cousin and if he's not available, Matt Damon.

My antagonist would definitely be Johnny Depp.

My heroine would be Robin Wright but they would have to dye her hair coppery red and Nicole Kidman could be there if Robin turned down the role.


My heroine's controlling sister would need to be Margaret Kidder.

Lulu would be played by Halle Berry.Photobucket

Nina Burdett...well, I need a contest for her. I need people to send in suggestions for which actor should play her (at shirleylovestowrite@gmail.com). She's a real slime who lives with Aimee's controlling sister. She has dark eyes with black slick hair and is petite and bossy and mean as all get out. The winning name I would choose would be by submissions. I would have a great prize for the winner.

An all star cast for sure. Wanta' come to see my film?

I'd say your producers will be freaking out over your casting budget. But only the best for the film versions of our books, eh? I'll try to forgive you for casting Johnny as a bad guy. So, what facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you Shirley? Explain.

I'll wager it is working with my characters' dialogues and making them come out the way they truly talked regardless of their ages or where they came from. I used to write and direct plays for the children at my church and in our community when my kids were growing up. (Maybe I should be doing screenplays!) Dialogue just comes naturally for me. I also think plotting comes together quickly for me...once I get started. (That's the trick...getting started.) I have always got a story in my head and I love getting it down on paper. My crit partner appeared to agree with me on the dialogue and plotting as she went through my most recent mss.

What do you struggle with in your writing?

Writing mechanics--I have no excuse, either, with the writing courses I have taken and the fact that English was my favorite subject growing up. I also have a hardhead when it comes to getting what my editor calls vanity POVs correct. Where the person who is in POV describes something on his or her person, but there is no mirror. It's a woops I am still trying to catch when I go back over my manuscripts many times.

Choose an inanimate object to represent you. Explain what you have in common with that object.

Maybe a clock. It takes a lot to get me wound up. People have to get to know me a while before they know what makes me tick. I can seem very docile, but there is a lot about me when you see what's really there. You have to know just what to do to get my alarm to go off, and I can sit there and do nothing or keep my hands moving. It all depends on the condition I'm in. LOL

Hmm. And I suppose you become still for about ten minutes if someone gives you a quick whack on the top of your head, huh? Okay, time to move on. What is something about your life, right now, that thrills you?

Jesus loves me whether I deserve it or not. I'm so blessed because of it and thrilled that He even takes the time for me.

Amen to that. What are you working on now?

I just finished the sequel to Flame from Within, my working title is Forever Thing. As a newer author, I know each book I write will be and should be better than the one before, because we can only improve if we put our mind and heart to it. I am very excited about this mss. I have worked incredibly hard to hone my skills and take those things I've learned from editors and other writers and show the results in my finished product. It is a great story. I look forward to it being picked up by a publisher. I also have a three-book light-hearted devotional series coming out in 2009-10 all of which I am excited about.

What's the last book you read that impacted you? How did it affect you?

That impacted me...hmm--probably Michele Ann Young's Regency book, No Regrets. I love Regency stories and hope to write one. I read a lot of fiction (mostly historical, but not always) books for research purposes more than anything, especially since I write historical-inspirational. Young's style impressed me, and I can see why she won Book of the Year. On the inspirational side, I really enjoyed Irene Hannon's Rainbow's End just last week. She handled her scenes so well! Authors, who can leave me with something to remember, after I am finished reading their books, always impress me...so many do. It is difficult to name them all, Trish. I read about three books at the same time, I'm writing. I guess it goes along with the way my splattering brain works. Who knows?

Where else can readers find you or your writing online? Please include the link for purchasing your book!

Thanks for asking. My website and my blog is A Pen For Your Thoughts (I usually have a contest going at my blog for a nice gift or a signed book.)People can purchase my book at bookstores or online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. They will get their best deal right now at Amazon where the book is on sale.

Thank you so much for having me, Trish! These were great questions!

Thanks, Shirley, and thanks for sharing a bit about yourself and your writing.

Shirley has agreed to give away a free copy of Fire from Within to the person whose name is drawn and announced on next Thursday's blogpost. If you subscribe at right (or are already subscribed), you will be automatically entered into the drawing. You'll be entered an additional time if you leave a comment below about Shirley's interview.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bonus Chance to Win Beach Dreams!

If you'd like to enter a drawing for a free, signed copy of Beach Dreams, my latest release, hop over to Jennifer AlLee's blog and leave a comment on her interview with me. (Her link is below.)

Before you go, be sure to leave a comment on my interview with Frances Devine, below, to enter the drawing for a free, signed copy of her new novel, Miss Aggie's Gone Missing. Leave your email address so I can reach you if you win. (leave it like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com)

And if you subscribe (at right) to my blog, you'll be entered in this drawing (and all future drawings) a second time.

As promised: Jennifer's link for Beach Dreams: Jennifer AlLee

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Free Book and Frances Miller!

Before we meet today's novelist, Frances Devine, I'd like to announce the winner of of Sunday's drawing:

stampedwithgrace

Congratulations! You'll receive a signed copy of Amber Miller's new release, Quills and Promises. Enjoy!

I encourage everyone else to continue posting comments and/or to subscribe to my blog to participate in upcoming drawings. We'll have two more this month, and one of the drawings will be for today's novel. Here's our teaser: What happens when a young lady inherits a senior citizen boarding house and one of the residents disappears?

Today we meet Frances Devine, author of Miss Aggie's Gone Missing (Barbour Publishing: Heartsong Presents Mysteries, July 2008).

Frances spent most of her childhood, teen, and young adult years in Dallas, Texas, but lived for five years in a little country community called Brushy Creek among the beautiful Pine woods of East Texas. There, she wrote her first story at the age of nine. She moved to Southwest Missouri more than twenty years ago and fell in love with the hills, the fall colors, and Silver Dollar City. Frances has always loved to read, especially mysteries, and considers herself blessed to have the opportunity to write in her favorite genre. She is the mother of seven adult children and has fourteen wonderful grandchildren.

Frances, the cover your novel looks great. Tell us more about Miss Aggie's Gone Missing.

When Aggie Pennington-Brown mysteriously disappears on the same day the Cedar Chapel bank is robbed, the sheriff assumes she was kidnapped by the robbers, and the whole town seems to agree. Victoria Storm, owner of Cedar Lodge Boarding House and her elderly boarders reluctantly come to the same conclusion. But when secrets from their missing friend's past begin to unfold, a horrible possibility arises. Could someone they know and love have harmed Miss Aggie? Could it be one of them?

As Victoria and her elderly friends attempt to solve the mystery and locate Miss Aggie, more secrets are revealed until Victoria begins to wonder if there is anyone she can trust.

Love those cozy mysteries! Which character in your novel most interested you while you wrote? Why?

I think Miss Evalina Swayne. She's a very strong lady, yet also loving and sensitive. I wish I was more like her.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I hope they'll experience the fun that I had writing it.

Choose an inanimate object to represent you. Explain what you have in common with that object.

A tape recorder. I'm usually very good at listening, then erasing what needs to be erased.

What is something about your life, right now, that thrills you?

I've recently become a great grandmother and two more are on the way.

Wow! Very busy year for your family! What book are you working on now?

I've just completed a historical, working title, Rest in Peace, Miss Aggie.

Uh oh. That title doesn't bode well for Miss Aggie, does it? We'll have to hear more about that. Where else can readers find you or your writing online? Please include the link for purchasing your book!

My website in progress is Frances Devine

Spinster Brides of Cactus Corner is available at Amazon
Spinster Brides

Miss Aggie's Gone Missing is available to
Heartsong Presents Mysteries members at this time, but will available via retail in a few months, either through Amazon or bookstores.

Thanks, Frances. We're looking forward to hearing more about Miss Aggie and your other novels.

Frances will be giving away a free signed copy of her latest novel, Miss Aggie's Gone Missing, next Monday. To enter the drawing, simply leave a comment below and/or subscribe to the blog, at right. If you're a subscriber, you're always automatically entered once. But you can enter a second time by commenting on our interview with Frances.

Check back this Thursday, when we'll feature novelist Shirley Connolly and her latest, Flame from Within.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dialogue That Hits Home

What line in a book or film has resonated with you?

Yesterday my son and I watched the film, Shadowlands, about the love between author C.S. Lewis and poet Joy Gresham. Two pivotal, related bits of dialogue stuck with me.

Lewis, the famous author and scholar, is unaware that he always hesitates in risking the vulnerability of fully loving someone. Joy challenges him about that and he drops his guard for her. But their love is cut short by her terminal cancer.

Once the couple learns that Joy has a short time left to live, Lewis expresses frustration with finally finding happiness only to have it now threatened. Joy says, "We can't have the happiness of yesterday without the pain of today. That's the deal." So they try to resign themselves to accept today's pain in the light of the happiness they have already had together.

After Joy dies Lewis struggles in his faith. But his healing is shown by his final comments: "Why love, if losing hurts so much? I have no answers anymore: only the life I have lived. Twice in that life I've been given the choice: as a boy and as a man. The boy chose safety, the man chooses suffering. The pain now is part of the happiness then. That's the deal."

My son's next comment wasn't as flip as it sounds, and it gave me such a strong word picture of Lewis' point. He said, "That's like when you get a dog."

He had made basic the loftier point Lewis stated. When we invest our love in a dog, we pretty much know we're going to outlive him. We know we're probably going to go through pain and grief when that dog dies. Yet we dive right in and risk that pain because we know we'll experience happiness before that time comes. Love is like that, on a grander scale. If we lose love through death or through other means (divorce, for example), loss "now" is part of the happiness "then." That's the deal, and Lewis reflected that his suffering was worth the love he had with Gresham, brief though it was.

That hit home for me, from where I sit today.

How about you? Has a line in a book or film hit home for you recently? Share the line in a comment below, and I'll add your name to our drawing Sunday for Amber Miller's Quills and Promises. Leave your email address (so I can reach you if you win) like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tiffany Stockton and Book Give-Away!

Before we meet today's featured author, Tiffany Stockton (writing as Amber Miller, I'd like to announce the winner of Sunday's drawing:

weceno

Congratulations! You'll receive a signed copy of Michelle Sutton's new release, It's Not About Me. I know you'll enjoy it.

I encourage everyone else to continue posting comments and/or to subscribe to my blog to participate in upcoming drawings. We'll have three more this month.

And now, consider today's book teaser: Separated from Madison when he leaves to fight the French and Indians, Elanna Hanssen must choose between her heart and her head, especially when Madison's integrity is questioned.

Today we're talking with Tiffany Stockton, who writes as Amber Miller.

Tell us about yourself, Tiff. I am an author and freelance web site designer who lives with my husband in beautiful Colorado Springs. We don't have any children yet, but we do have a vivacious puppy named Roxie, who is half Border Collie and half Flat-Haired Retriever. I have sold four books to the Heartsong Presents line of Barbour Publishing with the promise of two more before the end of the year. Other writing credits include writing articles for various publications, five short stories with Romancing the Christian Heart, and nine contributions to the book, 101 Ways to Romance Your Marriage. A born-again Christian since the age of seven, my faith in Christ has often sustained me through difficult experiences. I seek to share that with others through my writing.

Which of the Heartsong books have already released?

Well, the first one is Promises, Promises, and it was released in February to the Heartsong Presents book club by Barbour Publishing. But, the book that just released this month is Quills & Promises, also released to the book club. Book 1 will be hitting stores, Amazon, CBD, Barnes & Noble and Parable stores online in August. I'm excited about that!

That is exciting, and you've already started building a readership, thanks to the bookclub. Excellent! What can you tell us about the plots of your first two books?

Promises, Promises: Has God forsaken Raelene? What kind of God would take a girl's family and leave her alone in a wild land where women have no voice? When Gustaf Hanssen promises Raelene's dying father that he will take care of her, he finds himself bound to her happiness, her success, and her well-being in ways he never imagined. To keep his word, must Gustaf really oversee all of Raelene's affairs, find her a husband, and maintain her farm, while she does nothing but scorn him? Can God reach through Raelene's pain and self-centeredness and give her the love that awaits, if only she will accept His will?

Quills and Promises: Innocence paired with wisdom beyond her years--With these traits, Elanna Hanssen unwittingly captures the attentions of Major Madison Scott. Her honest desire to understand the war fascinates him, and he resolves to get to know this perspicacious young lady better. When he is called away to fight the French and the Indians, they begin a correspondence, cautiously baring their hearts to one another. Elanna has never known emotions like these before, but she is drawn to the integrity she sees in her major. When a writer for the first newspaper in the colony questions the major's credentials and activities, however, will she allow her heart or her head to rule? Can true love grow over such distance and around such obstacles?

Which character in your novels most interested you while you wrote? Why?

That would be Gustaf. I had a lot of fun, and quite a challenge, writing his Swedish dialect in English. He believed himself to be a clumsy oaf, but he possessed a true heart of gold, and when the going got tough, he stuck around. His steadfastness and devotion became the favorite part for most readers. He was the man every woman loves to read and the man every man can become when they trust God to guide them and not their own sinful flesh. Was he perfect? Not by a long shot. He got angry. He made mistakes. And he hurt others. But he always came back and made it right…or he paid the consequences.

Why will readers enjoy your novels?

The setting isn't used very often. If readers love historical fiction, they'll love entering the world of Colonial America where life was so different from what it is today or even in the popular post-Civil War era that is frequently used in historical novels.

I also infuse a bit of humor into the issues and struggles for the characters. And let me tell you. It was NOT easy developing comical moments from an 18th century mindset. Laughter and funny moments were viewed quite differently, but I seem to have bridged the gap so modern viewers will still find the comedy as they read.

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

I had to ask my husband to help me on this one. The heroine I'd think would be well-played by Rachel McAdams. She has just the right mix of a tough exterior and a soft heart that would be perfect.
Photobucket

For the hero? Brendan Fraser. He does "oaf" rather well. LOL! And he's handsome to boot!


Love Brendan Fraser! What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? Explain.

Dialogue always comes easy as does the progression of a scene. I can generally develop or hear great verbal exchanges for my characters. And it flows well, plus gives the readers solid insight into that character. Everyone who has ever read my writing usually comments on how much they loved the dialogue. Considering how much I love to talk, that doesn't come as much of a surprise. *winks*

What do you struggle with in your writing?

Thankfully, the general issues like point-of-view or showing vs. telling don't present as much trouble as they do for a lot of writers. For me, it's often the lack of description of the surroundings and setting the scene that cause holes in my stories. I try to go back and add to the scene so readers get immersed in the surroundings right along with the characters, but I don't want it to sound like I'm just throwing in the description for description's sake. And that's a struggle for me.

I think that's often the case with writers who enjoy dialogue (at least from my own personal experience). So, what's the last book you read that impacted you? How did it affect you?

Lonestar Sanctuary, by Colleen Coble. She is a master at crafting 3-dimensional characters and developing a mystery plot that will keep you guessing clear to the end of the book. The romance she weaves into her stories appeals to the soft-hearted, and the tragic moments of the mystery compel readers to keep turning pages. This one, I could hardly put down. It's Anathema next, and from what I've heard, it's going to be an amazing read!

Choose an inanimate object to represent you. Explain what you have in common with that object.

Hmm, this isn't an easy one. How about a hairbrush. I can sometimes be viewed as hard and bristly when I'm focused or leaning more toward my task-oriented side. But, when you put me to work, I generally know just the right spots to hit to untangle a mess and smooth out everything that's not working right. But if you don't want to do anything to fix the mess, I'm not the person you need. grins

Since you're my webmaster, I can attest to your ability to untangle messes! What is something about your life, right now, that thrills you?

The fact that I have not one, but TWO books that have released and hearing the astounding feedback on my first book. The reviews have blown me away and humbled me at the same time. Just knowing that I am on this exciting journey and I've seen my dream come true is enough to keep me going for years to come.

I also work full-time from home as a writer and web site designer. God's provided the talent and the opportunities, and I've taken them, developed them and set them in motion in a way that I pray pleases Him.

What are you working on now?

I have sold 4 books with the promise of 2 more and 2 anthology collection repackagings of those 6 novels. By the end of 2009, I'll have 7 books in print. This year, I'm working on finding an agent so I can diversify a bit more and get my foot in the door with trade-length fiction. I have 2 historical fiction novels and 2 contemporaries that I'd love to sell. Right now, I just turned in book #4 and am working on book #5, which is due in December. These 2 and the 3rd are part of my newest series, Michigan Brides, which is set in Detroit during the Industrial Revolution.

Man, you're a busy one, Tiff! Where else can readers find you or your writing online? Please include the link for purchasing your book.

You can come visit my web site (www.ambermiller.com) any time to learn the latest news. I have a blog that is kept up to date with 2-3 posts each week, and you can subscribe to it receive email alerts when I make a post. That's the best way to keep up with me and everything I'm doing or where I'm headed next. I don't have a newsletter yet, but I'm working on it for 2009. We'll see where it goes. For now, subscribe to my blog to know when I put up a new post.

I always love to hear from visitors to my site and especially readers of my books or my writing in any form. Feel free to drop me a line through the contact form on my site. I respond within 48 hours unless I'm out of town and without an internet connection.

For the latest information on my books and release schedule, go to the books page of my site. Ordering links, covers and details for requesting an autograph are all there.

Thanks so much for having me here, Trish. I've loved all of your books, and you've become a great friend. I'm thrilled and honored to be part of your brand new blog. And following on the heels of another new author, Michelle, from last week. Can't be better!

It's been great learning more about you, Tiff. Thanks!

Tiff will be giving away a free signed copy of her latest novel, Quills and Promises, next Monday. To enter the drawing, simply leave a comment below and/or subscribe to the blog, at right. If you're a subscriber, you're always automatically entered once. But you can enter a second time by commenting on Tiff's interview.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Okay, NOW You Can Take the Wheel

My teenaged son started Behind-the-Wheel training today. In preparation he's been driving me around town for the 40 hours required of every teen driver in Virginia before he can get his license. Now, I'm not about to claim a fellowship of suffering with our Lord in the desert, or the Israelites of Exodus, or Noah on the floodwaters. But I find it significant that the Commonwealth of Virginia chose the number 40--the number often associated Biblically with testing--when deciding how long a parent and teen should "bond" together in a two-ton steel cocoon hurtling forward at speeds as high as 65 miles per hour.

It's not that my son drives recklessly. He's actually an impressive learner. But there's nothing that drives home one's controlling nature like having to turn that wheel over to someone whose capabilities haven't yet been proven.

And isn't that just a little slice of your average person's struggle with life? Like the character in Carrie Underwood's song, "Jesus Take the Wheel," we often wait until our cars (our lives) are careening out of control before we offer that wheel over to Jesus. "Okay, Lord, I've made a total mess of things. Now this baby is all Yours. Here Ya go, right there, that's fer You, yessir."

Aren't we more sure of His capabilities than that?

Certainly, He's willing to take over when we drive our lives into pot holes, ditches, and swimming pools. (Hey, it happens.)

PhotobucketPhotobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

He's awesome that way. But wouldn't it be nice for us (and I'll bet the Lord would appreciate it, too), if we started each morning turning the wheel over to Him before we even had anything to do with it?

I make it a point to touch base with the Lord before I brush my teeth each morning. Okay, sometimes I touch base while I'm brushing. But having a physical cue helps. Do any of you have a way to remember to put Him behind the wheel each day? Will you share it?

Post your comment and/or subscribe to my blog, and I'll add you to this Sunday's drawing for Michelle Sutton's novel, It's Not About Me. Leave your email address in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com. If you're subscribed your name will always get an entry in the drawing; commenting will add another chance.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Michelle Sutton and Free Books!

Before we meet today's featured author, Michelle Sutton, I'd like to congratulate the four winners of Sunday's drawing:

kalea_kane
Bookwurm70
mnjesusfreak
jo

You'll each receive a signed copy of my latest novel, Beach Dreams. I'll be contacting each of you individually to get your mailing addresses. For those of you who didn't win, keep checking back (or subscribe to my blog, at right), as I'll usually give away at least a book a week--either one of mine or one from the author(s) interviewed that week.

Consider this tease about today's featured novel: "Tragedy befalls a young woman two brothers claim to love, and causes a rift between them only a miracle can heal."

Today we're talking with Michelle Sutton, author of It's Not About Me (Sheaf House, Sept. 1, 2008).

Michele larger
Michelle is the Volunteer Officer on the ACFW Board, Editor in Chief of Christian Fiction Online Magazine, an edgy fiction writer, book reviewer, avid blogger/alliance member, web designer, wife, marketing director, mother of two teens, social worker by trade, and follower of Jesus Christ. Best known for her numerous Edgy Author review sites and Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers groups, she also gives away two books a week on her blog and posts numerous reviews on Edgy Inspirational Author

Michelle, tell us about your novel, It's Not About Me.

Annie has a great life. She's attractive, graduated with honors, was accepted at the college of her choice, has supportive parents, good friends, and a steady boyfriend who loves her. One night when an unexpected visitor appears, Annie's safe world is destroyed. As she tries to recover the pieces of her broken life, a war ensues between two brothers who both claim to have her best interests at heart. But who will Annie choose? Or will she decide to turn her life in a different direction when she discovers life is not about "me"?

Which character in your novel most interested you while you wrote? Why?

Tony, the younger brother. He interested me the most because he's a selfish jerk and I love writing stories about people who have attitude problems and need counseling, LOL!

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

Because it's about real people with real temptations and feelings. They don't skirt around bad behavior, but they learn something from the natural consequences they receive.

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

Hillary Duff would play Annie.

Tony would be Ashton Kutcher (cause of his attitude and cockiness--if they could make him look 19 or 20).



And Dan would be Trent Ford. He is so good at playing the sweet, kind, and alluring man, and he's young enough looking to play Dan, who is 23 in the book.

What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? Explain.
Dumping the words on the page. I just put my hands on the keyboard and out they come. I've been told I've got very clean first drafts and honestly, I don't have to change much, which is a blessing given how busy I am.

What do you struggle with in your writing?

Right now I just don't have time to do it. I need to go over the sequel to It's Not About Me as I haven't read it in two years! I need to polish it before I send it to Sheaf House for production the following year.

Choose an inanimate object to represent you. Explain what you have in common with that object.

A well-read novel. You can read me pretty easily and I tell it like I see it.

What's the last book you read that impacted you? How did it affect you?

Right now I'm reading Beach Dreams, and I'm on page 91. I'm enjoying it. Yesterday I was brushing the tears from my cheeks as I read On the Loose by Jenny B. Jones. That author has the most amazing first person present point of view and inner dialogue. You can't help feeling for the characters. And despite the regular LOL humor, it had some tender moments, too. Rarely am I as moved as I was when I read about how Katie finally broke down and agreed to let the Lord control her life. My face was a waterfall of tears. I love it when books do that to me.

What is something about your life, right now, that thrills you?

The new Christian Fiction Online Magazine and the release of my first book.

What are you working on now?

Besides filling out this interview questionnaire? I'm reading my 100+ e-mails.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

Michelle Sutton
Shoutlife/Michelle Sutton
Edgy Inspirational Author
Christian Fiction Online Magazine

Thanks, Michelle! Readers, if you'd like to win a free signed copy of It's Not About Me, be sure to leave a comment about the interview. And leave your email address like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com. The winner will be announced next Monday.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Can't Say "No" to That Many People!

I hate to say "no," don't you? There have been plenty of people who have entered my Beach Dreams give-away and subscribed to my blog. Sending a book to just one person out of so many doesn't seem fair. So I'm going to draw four names and send four free copies out.

Just wanted to let you know your chances just got better. Thanks for your comments! They've been fun. I'm ready for more!

And if you haven't subscribed, make a note to check back here Monday to see who won and to read my interview of Michelle Sutton, author of It's Not About Me. We'll start a one-week drawing for a free signed copy of Michelle's book, too!

One more thing: I've managed to secure interviews with many wonderful authors through the end of the year, so this blog has already become a twice-weekly event. I have a feeling we'll be moving to three posts a week soon. I hope you'll tune in and leave questions, suggestions, and comments.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Balloons, Lawn Chairs, and Dreams

You may have heard about Kent Couch this past weekend. He's the 48-year-old gas station owner who strapped more than 150 giant party balloons to his lawn chair Saturday and flew 235 miles, from Bend, Oregon to Cambridge, Idaho, in his third such attempt in as many years. His goal was to fly from home to another state in this unorthodox fashion. His dream, since childhood, had been to "ride on a cloud."

Personally, my stomach flips just imagining being so high and so exposed. But you have to admire the guy's tenacity. He had a dream--albeit a weird one--and he kept at it until he realized that dream. He learned from his failed attempts, made adjustments, and tried again.

Writers must embrace the same attitude. Learn from rejection, adjust what you can, and submit again. What's the worst that can happen--having to try again? That's better than plummeting to your death in a lawn chair, don't you think?

If you'd like to see photos of Ken's takeoff, go HERE. But before you go, you might want to enter the CONTEST I mentioned on Friday. I'm giving away a free signed copy of my new novel, Beach Dreams. Simply leave a comment at the end of any of my blog posts (today's post is only my fourth) and/or subscribe to my blog, using the subscription box on the right. Why subscribe? I'll be giving away books (mine and those of the authors I interview) at least once a week. If you subscribe you'll never miss notice of a give-away.

So you have up to five chances for today's drawing. For each comment and each subscription, I'll add your name to the drawing once. Comment after each post and you'll increase your chances of winning. I'll draw the winner's name on July 13 and announce the winner on July 14, along with my interview of Michelle Sutton, author of It's Not About Me (Sheaf House).

If you'd like to win a free copy of Beach Dreams, be sure to leave your email address so I can reach you. For cyber-safety's sake, enter your address like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com

See you Monday!

Friday, July 4, 2008

What Are You Going to Read Next?

Here's a bonus posting!

CONTEST COMING! Check this Monday's post for details on how you can win a free copy of my new release, Beach Dreams!

In the meantime, American Christian Fiction Writers just announced 11 new Christian novels this month - a great selection for those lazy days of summer!

1. Beach Dreams, The Beach House Series Book 3 by Trish Perry from Harvest House. Tiffany gets away from it all at a California beach house; but a viper-like roommate, a handsome (unavailable) visitor, and uncovered secrets make her life no day at the beach.

2. Calico Canyon, Lassoed in Texas Book #2 by Mary Connealy from Barbour Trade Fiction. A prissy school marm is forced into marriage to the father of her most unruly students.

3. Fudge-Laced Felonies First book in the Summer Meadows series by Cynthia Hickey from Barbour Heartsong/Mysteries. Summer Meadows sets out to find the owner of a stash of diamonds and gain Ethan Banning's love.

4. Maine Brides by Susan Page Davis from Barbour. Can faith bridge the road to love and bring three men who have been cast off by society to new lives alongside women who love them?

5. Masked by Moonlight by Allie Pleiter from Steeple Hill Historicals. Nothing could tempt Matthew Waterhouse to reveal his secret identity, until the English gentleman met Georgia Waterhouse, whose pseudonymous newspaper accounts had made his daring "Black Bandit" exploits famous.

6. Mission: Motherhood, Homecoming Heroes continuity series Book One by Marta Perry from Love Inspired. When Caitlyn Villard becomes the guardian of her twin five-year-old nieces, she's forced to return to Prairie Springs, Texas and the military community she'd run from, finding the man and the life of her dreams where she least expects.

7. Seaside Cinderella by Anna Schmidt from Love Inspired Historical (Steeple Hill). Lucie McNeil's quiet life on Nantucket is a blessing for the tragedy-haunted Irish immigrant, but everything changes when her employers' handsome son steps ashore bringing her haunting past with him.

8. Table for One by Georgiana Daniels from The Wild Rose Press. In a town where the ratio of single Christian women to men is 7:1, blundering stockbroker Lucy Brocklehurst searches for love through a series of misadventures.

9. The Molech Prophecy by Thomas Phillips from Whitaker House. When Tommy finally surrendered his life to Christ, leaving the world of crime behind him, he never expected the pastor of his church to force him back into his old ways.

10. The Prince Charming List Book Three of the "Prichett" Series by Kathryn Springer from Steeple Hill Cafe. Heather Lowell comes to Prichett to manage the Cut and Curl for the summer and discovers that life in a small town holds some BIG surprises!

11. The Power of Love/The Courage to Dream Love Inspired Classic
(Two novels in one) by Margaret Daley from Love Inspired Steeple Hill. The Power of Love: Can Police Chief Gabriel Stone help Rebecca Michaels with her troubled son and special needs baby enough to guide her back to the Lord and find hope for the future? The Courage to Dream: Returning to her Southern roots is a bitter journey for Rachel Peters, but old flame Michael Hunter is determined to reunite her with the faith and love she left behind.

Happy reading ~
 

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