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, November 27, 2008

Kathleen Y'Barbo and Free Books for Thanksgiving!

It's Robinson Crusoe meets Pirates of the Caribbean in this tale of sun-drenched beaches and sailing ships, of smugglers and safe harbors, of life at sea and love on the island of Fairweather key.

Happy Thanksgiving, all! Before we meet today's featured novelist, I want to announce that the winner of all three of my published books is:

azv444@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you today for your snail mail address, and I'll get The Guy I'm Not Dating, Too Good to Be True, and Beach Dreams to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right in order to participate in future book give-aways!

And now let's meet novelist Kathleen Y'Barbo, author of Beloved Captive (Barbour Publishing, 2008).

PhotobucketKathleen Y'Barbo first discovered her love of books when, at the age of four, she stumbled on her grandmother's encyclopedias. Letters became words, and words became stories of far-away places and interesting people. Eventually Kathleen learned that her love of story could carry her off to places far beyond her small East Texas town. Then she hit the road for real, earning a degree in Marketing from Texas A&M before setting off to such locales as Jakarta, Tokyo, Bali, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. Finally, though, the road led back to Texas.

Now the girl who only dreamed of books is a best-selling author of more than thirty novels, novellas, and young adult books. In all, more than 750,000 copies of her books are currently in print in the US and abroad. In addition, she is thrilled to not only write books but also to tell the world about them in her other job as exclusive publicist for Books & Such Literary Agency.

Wow! Your own story sounds like the dream-come-true stuff of novels, Kathleen! Now tell us a bit more about Beloved Captive's plot.

PhotobucketIn this sequel to Beloved Castaway, Emilie Gayarre is learning to accept her mixed race heritage while finding fulfillment in teaching children of the key. There is no denying the attraction between Emilie and the handsome young naval commander, Caleb Spencer, who is shadowed by his own flock of secrets. But if her heritage is found out, even greater things than his career are at risk. Enjoy this historical romance full of risk and redemption.

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

I loved writing about Navy Lt. Caleb Spencer, son of the law and the lawless and a man conflicted by duty not only to his family but to the country he loves. His was a story of a man trying to please everyone but God. Eventually he realizes it is impossible to please anyone but God. I found his a fascinating journey that held many parallels not only for my life but as a sort of modern day parable for anyone who might be held in bondage to the expectations family places on your life, whether knowingly or unknowingly.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

One reviewer called Beloved Castaway, book 1 of the Fairweather Key series an "adventure romance." I love that! In writing this book, which is the second in the series, I really upped the adventure and the romance. I think readers love to be transported to places that are beyond the everyday. In Beloved Captive, readers will find themselves swept away.

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

I love this question, because this is exactly how I approach the characters in my books. I'm going to go a little off reality here because I actually chose two people whose time lines don't exactly add up. For Emilie, I would love to have a young Elizabeth Taylor in the role.Photobucket

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Caleb was written to look like Keith Urban, not an actor but definitely a recognizable face.

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Ironically, Ruby O'Shea, a secondary character here and heroine of book 3, takes her characterization from Keith Urban's real-life wife, Nicole Kidman.

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Oh, and Caleb's pipe-smoking companion? Definitely Sean Connery.



What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? Explain.

Research. I love it. I could happily research and never lift my nose from the book (or computer screen) to write a word!

What do you struggle with in your writing?

Time. Like most of you, I have a life outside of books that involves real flesh and blood people. I also have a job that places certain demands on my time. Between the two, I often give up the best-laid plans and put my writing aside when I should be typing twice as fast.

Other than your writing, what is something about your life, right now, that thrills you?

The people I meet, whether writers or readers, constantly thrill me. What other job gives you access not only to the names on the covers of books on my keeper shelf but also to people who tell you how much your words touched them. It's priceless, this reward for writing.

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

I'm still reading it, actually. My pastor highly recommended Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala. When I purchased it, a second book, Fresh Faith, came as part of the set. Wow! A few days ago I read this: "Unbelief talks to itself, faith talks to God." That's from Fresh Faith. I cannot recommend these books enough.

What are you working on now?

Line edits for my Waterbrook release, The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper. It's a fun Western set in 1880 Leadville and Denver and will be released in June 2009. After that, I'll start on my Texas Hill Country Christmas historical novella that will release in the fall of 2009.

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

Both Beloved Captive and its predecessor Beloved Castaway are available at www.christianbook.com and www.amazon.com.

Also, my amazing web designer Kelli Standish of PulsePoint Designs is working her magic on my website, so be looking for a whole new www.kathleenybarbo.com coming soon. A hint: the site will definitely reflect my Texas roots!

Thanks, Kathleen, for chatting with us today! Readers, Kathleen has offered to sign a copy of Beloved Captive for the winner of our drawing on Monday, December 8. To enter, leave a comment for Kathleen, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com. If you subscribe to my blog, at right (or if you're already subscribed) you'll be entered an additional time to this drawing and all future drawings.

Check back on Monday, when we'll draw the winner of Leah Starr Baker's novel, The Bunko Babes. You can still enter for that drawing, below.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Leah Starr Baker and Free Books!

Eight women come together each week to play that delightfully simple game of Bunko. Becca and her Babes come to learn the true value of friendships as they come to depend upon each other and their faith in God to help get them through some very difficult times.

Before we meet novelist Leah Starr Baker, let's see who won the drawing for Candice Speare's book Kitty Litter Killer. The winner is:

kalea_kane@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you today for your snail mail address, and we'll get your book to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right in order to participate in future book give-aways!

And now let's meet novelist Leah Starr Baker, author of The Bunko Babes (Emerald Pointe Books, 2007). Tell us about yourself, Leah.

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From preacher's kid to youth pastor's wife to Mrs. Oklahoma, "setting a good example" is pretty much second nature for me. And, like most women, I am all too familiar with the pressure to be perfect in all arenas. But since surviving a bout with Systemic Lupus, a chronic disease that affects the immune system, I am more apt to celebrate life's imperfections these days--and have found a creative outlet that allows me to do just that.

I and my husband, Douglas, along with our children, Alexandria and Deuce, happily reside in Tulsa, OK.

Tell us a bit more about The Bunko Babes.

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My debut novel chronicles the lives of eight women who rely on each other through giggles, fattening foods, and weekly bunko games for strength and support. If anyone who has ever awoken at the crack of dawn, cooked breakfast, clothed an army, run errands, forgotten the dry cleaning, lost the cell phone, played chauffeur to three rowdy boys, cooked dinner, taken on the role of nursemaid, while trying to be as enticing as a French Maid for your husband, then this is the book for you!

Take a break for goodness sake! Kick up your feet, make yourself a treat, and enjoy this read about eight women who are trying their best to get through this life while maintaining their sanity. You’ll laugh, cry and fall in love with these women and even better yet, with God all over again.

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

Rebecca Thornton or Becca as her friend's call her just poured out of me. It was like she was the character that I was meant to create. Her voice came quite easily to me. My friends say that is because she is a lot like me and I will admit that we are similar in many ways but Becca isn't me. Her development as a character was a gradual process. Each day and with each chapter she came alive more and more. That's one of the things I love most about writing . . . the shaping of the characters and the surprises that occur as you are pounding out the story. I can't tell you how many times I would just write something and I would have to stop and wonder where that came from. It's hard to explain but the characters and the story take on their own lives that not even the author is aware of until they are being written.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

My novel is about real life and that life is full of challenges. Anyone who understands and enjoys stories with rich characters that are far from perfect will love The Bunko Babes. The characters and the struggles they live through will touch and inspire all who read it. Becca and her "Babes" will crawl inside of you and become your new circle of friends. They will touch your heart and change your life. "The Bunko Babes" is a refreshingly real look at the transforming power of true friendship.

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

I can't tell you how often I have daydreamed about just this. I think that Jennifer Aniston or Mary Stuart Masterson would make an awesome Becca.Photobucket

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Julia Roberts would be perfect for Jessica.

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Charlize Theron without a doubt could play Madison.

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Eva Longoria would be a fabulous Mercedes.

The funky, fun, and hip Autumn would be the perfect part for Kate Hudson.
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Kitty Kat would be awesome played by Katie Holmes.

Cristina Ricci would do great as Michelle.
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And Drew Barrymore I would love to play Karen.

Wow! What a high dollar, talented dream cast. Wouldn't that be fun? A real dream come true.

Truly. Women would flock! What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? Explain.

The basic story line comes easiest for me. I can sit down and pound out a 1200 word chapter in about 45 minutes. I really enjoy getting the basics down. The scene, the setting, the fashion, the tics of certain characters, all of these things come rather easy to me. It is definitely my favorite part of the writing process.

What do you struggle with in your writing?

I simply do not enjoy researching. It is exhausting and frustrating to me. I also don't really get pumped up for the editing process. Like I said I like the broad strokes not so much the details.

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

Can't say that I've ever been asked this particular question. What an interesting concept. I would have to say that I am like a pair of boots, a little sassy pair that is. I have style and flair like my favorite pair (black leather, knee high, with an octagon shaped heel and a big brass buckle at each ankle). All my boots are interesting, different than any others. You see I like to stand out. When I make an entrance, I want to be noticed. In any pair of my boots, I feel confident, flirty and beautiful. I can take on the world.

Other than your writing, what is something about your life, right now, that thrills you?

I am thrilled by the possibility of my husband getting a job in Ketchikan, Alaska. It has always been a dream of mine to live in SE Alaska. As a writer, I can think of no better place to inspire me. Towering mountains climbing up out of the ocean like a specter of your imagination . . . a true piece of heaven on earth. The idea that this might actually come true thrills me like nothing else in my life right now.

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

This may sound trite but I have to say that the last book I read that truly affected my life was the book of Daniel in the Bible. Last spring, I did the Beth Moore Bible Study on Living with Integrity in a Babylonian World. It was based on the book of Daniel. I learned so much from that study and received such encouragement. It has especially helped me as I've dealt with the devastating blow of the Presidential election results. Through the study, I learned not only a crash course on eschatology but how to depend upon God even when the world around you is going in the opposite direction. I recommend this study to everyone. It is so apropos for our generation.

What are you working on now?

I am excited to be working on a novel with my father Richard Exley. He is one of the most gifted writers of our time. He taught me everything I know about writing. All of it I owe to him and to God. We decided to rework my very first manuscript. He is helping me open up my mind and stretch the story. It is such a strong storyline but I feel that I cut it short. There are so many areas of the characters that I can explore further. With his help, we are beginning to do just that.

We make a wonderful team. I create the skeleton. He gives it muscle and skin. Then I, of course, give it the clothes and a bit of panache. What more could you ask for? Now if only we could find an agent to shop it around to the New York publishing houses. Then we'd really have it made.

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

You can find me on my personal website: www.thebunkobabes.biz. I have different sections for recipes and theme ideas for planning your own Bunko gathering. I also have a section where I write a blog when I am feeling particularly directed. But promise me that you won't be disappointed if I haven't updated my website since July I believe. Living with Lupus, I have had to learn to prioritize my life. And sadly, my blogging has taken a back seat to simply surviving and taking care of my family. You can purchase my book on Amazon.com. Simply type in The Bunko Babes and it will bring my book up immediately.

Thanks for visiting today, Leah! Readers, Leah has offered to sign a copy of The Bunko Babes for the winner of our drawing next Monday. To enter, leave a comment for Leah, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com. If you subscribe to my blog, at right (or if you're already subscribed) you'll be entered an additional time to this drawing and all future drawings.

And be sure to enter your name for my give-away this Thursday: Someone will win all three of my published novels (The Guy I'm Not Dating, Too Good to Be True, and Beach Dreams). See details below!

Check back on Thursday, when we'll meet novelist Kathleen Y'Barbo, author of Beloved Captive.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Golden Keyes Parsons and Free Books!

In the Shadow of the Sun King relates the story of the persecution and flight of the Huguenots in 17th century France from King Louis XIV's Catholic government.

Today we're talking with novelist Golden Keyes Parsons, author of In the Shadow of the Sun King (Thomas Nelson, 2008).

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Golden is an author and speaker who has been in ministry for over thirty years. She and her husband retired from the pastorate this fall and live in Central Texas near their three daughters, eight grandchildren and two great-grandsons. Sun King is her first novel.

Tell us more about In the Shadow of the Sun King, Golden.

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Seventeeth century France was a dangerous time to be a Huguenot (Protestant). By order of King Louis XIV, all French Huguenots must convert or face immediate imprisonment or death. The king's dragoons ferret out the non-conformists, pillaging villages and destroying homesteads. When the dragoons descend on the Clavell estate, the family's fate hangs in the balance. Quickly, quietly they send their two sons into hiding, trusting that the young age of their daughter will offer her protection. Madeleine Clavell, the lady of the manor, holds a secret--one possible chance to save the family. She and the king share a past. Madeleine travels to Versailles to plead for mercy from the fickle king. It's a gamble, but she is left with no other choice. Madeleine soon faces an agonizing decision. One that changes her family forever.

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

Well, of course, my heroine was my chief interest. I am intrigued by strong women who have had to take charge of their families and weather the storms of life. For some reason, the term "strong woman" has a negative connotation in our culture, and I don't think it necessarily should.

Absolutely not! Most readers love strong women. Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I think readers will enjoy the fast pace and action in the story, laced with a strong commitment and love between a husband and wife. I also believe the story of the struggle of the French Huguenots and the terrible consequences that they suffered to attain freedom of worship will intrigue and perhaps inform the reader.

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

For Madeleine I would cast Julia Ormond.Photobucket

For her husband, Francois, Keanu Reeves.Photobucket

Antonio Banderas as Pierre.Photobucket

Photobucket And Russell Crowe as King Louis.

Strong cast! What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? Explain.

Descriptions. I am a very visual person, and I "see" the characters and the scenes in my head and just write them down.

What do you struggle with in your writing?

Getting ahead of myself and not filling in timeline for my readers.

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

A silk blouse--soft, quiet, simple, but elegant.

Oh, that's so perfect for you, Golden! Readers, I met Golden briefly this year, and this is exactly the impression she makes. So, tell us what, other than your writing, thrills you right now?

That my husband is alive and well. He survived cardiac death in the Albuquerque Airport in August, and just came through open heart surgery with flying colors. We are so grateful to God. And that our children and grandchildren are healthy, and doing well.

Wow. We'll have to keep your husband in our prayers. Golden, what is the last book you read that impacted you? How did it affect you?

Probably Captivating by Staci Eldredge. It touched deep places in my heart that I didn't even know were tender.

What are you working on now?

Book #2, A Prisoner at Versailles, in the series.

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

Three sites are www.goldenkeyesparsons.com, www.thomasnelson.com, and www.amazon.com

Thanks for chatting with us today, Golden! Readers, Golden has offered to sign a copy of In the Shadow of the Sun King for the winner of our drawing on December 4. To enter, leave a comment for Golden, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com. If you subscribe to my blog, at right (or if you're already subscribed) you'll be entered an additional time to this drawing and all future drawings.

Check back Monday, when we'll meet Leah Starr Baker, author of The Bunko Babes.

And be sure to enter your name for my give-away next Thursday: Someone will win all three of my published novels (The Guy I'm Not Dating, Too Good to Be True, and Beach Dreams). See details below!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Candice Speare and Free Books!

Trish Cunningham is pussyfooting around with a murderer to clear her best friend's name.

Before we meet novelist Candice Speare, let's see who won the drawing for Donn Taylor's books Rhapsody in Red and Dust and Diamond . The winner is:

vie@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you today for your snail mail address, and we'll get your books to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right in order to participate in future book give-aways!

And now let's meet novelist Candice Speare, author of Kitty Litter Killer (Barbour Heartsong Presents--Mysteries! Mid-December 2008).

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Candice Speare lives with Mr. Winston Churchill the African Gray Parrot and Jack Pup in countryside of Maryland. She writes for Heartsong Presents--Mysteries! Her first two books, Murder in the Milk Case and Band Room Bash, were released earlier this year. Her third, Kitty Litter Killer, will be released in the late fall. Candice is a freelance content reviewer for Heartsong's cozy mystery line, working closely with associate editor Susan Downs.

Candice, tell us a bit more about Kitty Litter Killer's plot.

PhotobucketAmateur sleuth Trish Cunningham has retired from her short-lived foray into crime solving. No more walking deliberately into danger. Her short-term goal is to see her best friend Abbie marry fiance' Eric Scott in three weeks. But the brutal murder of Abbie's ex-husband could ruin the nuptials, especially since Abbie was the last one seen with him--when they had a hostile argument at a local convenience store. With evidence pointing at Abbie and the possibility of jail instead of a walk down the aisle, Trish comes out of self-imposed sleuth retirement. And as the clock ticks down to the wedding date, Trish once again puts herself in reach of the claws of a murderer--this time to protect her best friend.

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

In this book, probably the character named Abbie because she had to work through some serious forgiveness issues.

Why will readers enjoy Kitty Litter Killer?

If the reader is a mystery lover, they'll like my books. Solid cozy mysteries with good spiritual themes.

What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? Explain.

Editing. Once the final rough draft is done, I love to go back and polish.

What do you struggle with in your writing?

Depends upon the day. I think my worst problem is hitting a wall and wondering if my first three books were a fluke, and I'll never be able to write again. (Of course, when I was writing my second book, I was afraid my first was a fluke. Then when I was writing my third book, I was afraid the first two were flukes. So that's obviously an ongoing issue for me.)

And the pile of flukes is going to get pretty daunting at this rate, eh? All right, Candice, choose an inanimate object to represent you. Explain what you have in common with that object.

Okay, this question totally flummoxed me. Finally I called my sister and asked her what she thought. She said I'm like a blender. When I'm on, I'm really moving. When I'm off, I'm quiet, mellow, and still. That works.

Other than your writing, what is something about your life, right now, that thrills you?

I'm training my dog to earn his CGC (canine good citizen certificate), and then hope to earn his therapy certificate so we can visit nursing homes together.

What a cool idea! During the last weeks of life for a late friend of mine, a lady used to bring her dog in to visit him, probably under the same program you're doing. He absolutely loved the visits. Very kind ministry, Candice. Now tell us: what is the last book you read that impacted you? How did it affect you?

I'm still reading the book that's really impacted me. John Adams by David McCullough, who is a fabulous nonfiction writer. The story of John Adams is fascinating. He and his wife Abigail had an amazing relationship. He traveled quite a lot. They constantly wrote letters to each other that began with salutations like, My Dearest Friend. That is so romantic to me. He treated her like she was his equal in all ways--interesting for that period of time. They inspire the romantic in me.

My Dearest Friend. How lovely. And what are you working on now?

A second cozy series and a thriller.

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

Contact me on my blog and Website: www.candicemillerspeare.com. Murder in the Milk Case and Band Room Bash are my first two books.

Thanks, Candice, for chatting with us today. Readers, Candice has offered to sign a copy of Kitty Litter Killer for the winner of our drawing next Monday. To enter, leave a comment for Candice, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com. If you subscribe to my blog, at right (or if you're already subscribed) you'll be entered an additional time to this drawing and all future drawings.

Check back Thursday, when we're meeting Golden Keyes Parsons, author of In the Shadow of the Sun King.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm Giving My Books Away!

In two weeks, on Thanksgiving Day, I'm going to give all three of my books away to one person. Before I tell you how you might win, let's see who won the drawing for the signed copy of Nancy Moser's wonderful novel, John 3:16. That winner is:

caree2@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you today for your snail mail addresses, and we'll get your book to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right in order to participate in future book give-aways!

And here's how to enter my Thanksgiving drawing for a copy of each of my books:

Visit my humor column in the Christian Fiction Online Magazine by cutting and pasting the following link. http://www.christianfictiononlinemagazine.com/berzerk_stranger.html

I'm not posting a hyperlink, because I want you to visit the column from your own server (otherwise my dear editor will just think it's me visiting my own column, over and over, as if I just can't get enough of myself).

Come back here and post a comment--any comment at all--about the article to show you gave it a read. Your comment can be as simple as mentioning how many paragraphs are in the article. Or telling what it was that fell through Anichka's roof.

Just make sure you don't repeat someone else's comment, or yours won't count.


Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com

I'll draw from the names of those who commented, as well as from my subscribers. If you subscribe and comment, your name will be entered twice.

The winner will be drawn and announced on Thanksgiving morning!

I hope you'll come visit this Monday, when we'll give away a signed copy of Donn Taylor's Rhapsody in Red. It's not too late to enter that drawing! And we'll hear from novelist Candice Spear, author of several fabulous Heartsong Presents Mysteries.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Donn Taylor and Free Books!

A history professor with musical hallucinations and a headstrong female colleague must solve a campus murder before the police can pin it on them.

Today we're talking with novelist Donn Taylor, author of Rhapsody in Red (Moody Publishers, September 2008).


Donn Taylor 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 completed a PhD degree at The University of Texas and taught English literature at two liberal arts colleges. Before his latest novel, Rhapsody in Red, he published a suspense novel, The Lazarus File (spies and airplanes in the Caribbean), and the poems he published in various journals over the years are collected in his book Dust and Diamond: Poems of Earth and Beyond. He is a frequent speaker for writers' groups and has taught poetry writing at the Glorieta and Blue Ridge conferences. His current teaching crusade is to promote the writing of good-quality poetry that's accessible to ordinary readers. He and his wife live near Houston, where he writes fiction, poetry, and articles on current topics.

Donn, I had no idea you were so accomplished. Readers, this is a humble, humble fellow. Tell us more about Rhapsody in Red, Donn.

"That Wednesday, two weeks before Thanksgiving, was a bad day to find a corpse on campus." Preston (Press) Barclay is a self-made recluse and intends to remain one. Teaching college history allows him time to grieve the loss of his pianist wife and find relief from the musical hallucinations that have been playing in his head since her death. But when he and a headstrong colleague, Mara Thorn, discover the body of another instructor on campus, Press's planned solitude is destroyed.

When preliminary evidence points to Press and Mara, they must take some chances (including trusting each other) to build their own defense--by bending the rules just a little bit.

Although ill-matched and often conflicting, they form a desperate alliance to stay ahead of the police, the college's wary and incompetent administration, and whoever is trying to get away with murder. If they fail on any of these, they might end up unemployed, behind bars, or worse . . .

The idea of musical hallucinations is intriguing enough to read the story, as far as I'm concerned. Which character in your novel most interested you while you wrote? Why?

It's a tossup between Press and Mara. I enjoyed Press because he says the things most people would like to say but don't dare. (That's why he stays in trouble.) I enjoyed Mara because of her determination to find absolute truth and her unwillingness to settle for the psychological anodynes our culture tends to substitute for it.

I like the fact that both characters seem to be concerned with truthfulness, just from different angles. Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I hope they will like the characters, including those with bit parts. I hope they like the repartee between characters. (I try to put something unexpected and interesting on each page.) I hope they enjoy the light-hearted satire of college life. And I hope they will consider the serious themes that lie beneath the light-hearted actions.

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

Preston Barclay would be played by Leslie Howard (Pygmalion, The Scarlet Pimpernel).

Mara Thorn would be played by Carole Lombard (Vigil in the Night, My Man Godfrey).







I guess it's obvious that Mildred and I watch classic movies. Contemporary movies? No way. I've been cussed by experts for free, so why pay eight bucks to be cussed by amateurs?

Amen to that, Donn! The good classic movies had intelligent dialogue and arguments. Any schmo can call someone a foul name. So, what facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? Explain.

Once I know the general outline of a scene, it's fairly easy to let the characters and situation develop it for me. I let them bounce off of each other like balls on a billiard table. Next easiest would be editing that same scene to get the junk out of it and give it shape.

What do you struggle with in your writing?

The overall plot of the novel. The premise comes easily enough, but detailing it into a coherent structure comes hard.

I so identify. Great ideas just aren't enough, are they? All right, now, Donn, choose an inanimate object to represent you. Explain what you have in common with that object.

Gosh, why don't you ask an easy question? Some might suggest a buffalo chip or a drip from a faucet. But after consideration, I think I'd choose a hardwood stump. I'm deeply rooted in the history, theology, culture, and traditions of Christendom, I'm convinced of their worth above other possibilities, and I'm not about to be moved by the whirlwinds of political correctness that try to force people in other directions.

Excellent! See, that wasn't so difficult, was it? Other than your writing, what is something about your life, right now, that thrills you?

My continuing thrill and deepest earthly satisfaction is my marriage to Mildred. Shakespeare put it best: "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale/Her infinite variety . . . And she is fair, and fairer than that word,/Of wondrous virtues . . ." She denies all this, of course, which is part of her charm.

You and Mildred sound like a fantastic story yourselves, Donn. What is the last book you read that impacted you? How did it affect you?

Mark Moyar's Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War 1954-1965. It's the most thoroughly documented history book I ever read, and it makes extensive use of Communist as well as U.S. sources. I am appalled that American politicians, journalists, and intellectuals in the early 1960s were unable to break out of their own preconceptions and think in terms of existing facts on the ground. I'm even more appalled that much the same situation exists today, but that's another story.

I hear you. And the problem isn't merely American. Or recent! My son and I watched Breaker Morant last night, involving the British involvement in the South African Boer War. That inability to "think in terms of existing facts on the ground" was exactly what the movie was all about. Heartbreaking. What are you working on now, Donn?

I'm working on a sequel to Rhapsody in Red, as well as a poem or two here and there.

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

The best place to start is my Web site, www.donntaylor.com, which provides the opening chapter of Rhapsody, a segment from Lazarus, and excerpts from Dust and Diamond: Poems of Earth and Beyond. There are also buttons to take readers to on-line markets like Amazon or Christianbook.com.

Donn, it's been a pleasure chatting with you today. Thanks for stopping by. Readers, Donn has agreed to sign a copy of Rhapsody in Red and a copy of Dust and Diamond for the winner of our drawing next Monday. To enter, leave a comment for Donn, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com. If you subscribe to my blog, at right (or if you're already subscribed) you'll be entered an additional time to this drawing and all future drawings.

Check back Thursday, when we'll announce the winner of Nancy Moser's novel, John 3:16. It's not too late to enter that drawing--just leave a comment after Nancy's interview, below and/or subscribe to my blog, at right. Each action enters your name a separate time.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Nancy Moser and Free Books!

The lives of five people are changed on a bright, fall day, when one of them holds up a sign at a football game with a short message: John 3:16.

Before we meet novelist Nancy Moser, let's see who won our two drawings this week. The winner of the signed copy of Vickie McDonough's Oklahoma Brides is:

cherryblossommj@ . . .

And the winner of Craig Harms' Day Omega is:

spowell01@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you both today for your snail mail addresses, and we'll get your books to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right in order to participate in future book give-aways!

And now let's touch base with novelist Nancy Moser, author of John 3:16, Tyndale House Publishing, October 2008.


Nancy Moser is the award-winning author of nineteen inspirational novels that focus on discovering our unique purpose. Her genres include contemporary stories: John 3: 16, The Good Nearby, Time Lottery, The Sister Circle; and historical novels that allow real women-of-history to share their life stories: Just Jane (Jane Austen), Mozart's Sister (Nannerl Mozart), Washington's Lady (Martha Washington) and How Do I Love Thee? (Elizabeth Barrett Browning--summer 2009.)

Nancy and her husband Mark live in the Midwest. She's earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She gives Said So Sister Seminars around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She is a fan of anything antique--humans included.

Tell us a bit more about John 3:16's plot, Nancy.

Five people looking for a reason to keep living are about to find it in the last place they expected. After the loss of his wife, Roman Paulson's life revolves around his son Billy. As a football hero at the University of Nebraska, Billy has a promising life ahead of him. As Billy's coach begins encroaching on Roman's relationship with his son--especially when he brings God into Billy's life--Roman starts to fear he'll lose Billy forever. Nothing could prepare Roman for what is about to happen. Roman isn't the only one whose life has been turned upside down. He's one of five people whose lives are about to intersect on a bright, fall day, when one of them will hold up a sign at a football game with a short message: John 3:16. This simple act of faith will have the power to change lives forever.

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

Maya Morano. She's very complex. She wants something desperately, which spurs her to go beyond what's ethical, which, of course, has its consequences. And yet she learns from her mistakes and finds that God has been listening to her prayers and has answered her, even though the answer is not what she expected. I too have wanted something desperately, and though I never went the unethical route, I know the ache Maya feels, and have also experienced the aha! moment when I realize God has answered, and His way is better than mine.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I took great care (and joy) in making the characters' lives intersect in surprising ways. It's like a puzzle. Also, I've tried to make the characters flawed and real, so readers can relate and be inspired by how they grow.

I love the intersecting factor of your story, Nancy! Now, if you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

Roman Paulson: Robert Urich (I know he died, but he would have been perfect).




Velvet Cotton: a younger Carole King.


Peter McLean: T.R. Knight from "Grey's Anatomy."


Lianne Skala: Carly Smithson from American Idol.

Maya Morano: Courtney Cox.











What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? Explain.

Writing the scenes. The hard part is figuring out where I want to go, the characters, the interweaving of the plots . . . the writing is the easy part.

What do you struggle with in your writing?

Being patient. When I'm on a roll writing, I rush forward with the plot and need to learn to pause and let a character fully experience a moment.

Yes, it's difficult to make yourself slow down, because those "rolling" moments are so wonderful! Okay, now choose an inanimate object to represent you. Explain what you have in common with that object.

A porch swing because it's content to just sit there and enjoy the shade, the breeze, and the view, but on the other hand, it really wouldn't mind if someone came over and sat down. And the relaxing act of swinging up and back . . . that's the swing's true calling, but it can't be achieved on its own. It needs others. I feel disjointed sometimes because of my love of being alone; I struggle with finding a balance between solitude and my desire to be around people in order to have any real purpose.

I think you have a lot of company in that dichotomy, Nancy, especially among writers. Other than your writing, what is something about your life, right now, that thrills you?

Grandchildren. I'd always heard that the love for grandchildren was something special, but I didn't understand. Until recently when we gained two granddaughters and have another grandson on the way. I adore these children with a love that is more intense and more free than even the love I had for their parents.

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

Levi's Will by W. Dale Cramer. It was written so simply, yet so elegantly. And the story of the family relationship and the faith of its characters was very moving. I found myself underlining profound things in the book.

What are you working on now?

I'm editing a biographical novel on the love story of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It's called How Do I Love Thee? and comes out in June 2009.

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

My website (including excerpts from all my books) is www.nancymoser.com, and the website for those interested in the Sister Circle novels is www.sistercircles.com. I also write a monthly devotional for Christian Fiction Online Magazine: www.christianfictiononlinemagazine.com. John 3:16 and my other novels can be found at: www.christianbook.com

Thank you, Nancy, for sharing with us. Readers, Nancy has agreed to sign a copy of John 3:16 for the winner of our drawing next Thursday. To enter, leave a comment for Nancy, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com. If you subscribe to my blog, at right (or if you're already subscribed) you'll be entered an additional time to this drawing and all future drawings.

Check back Sunday, when we'll meet novelist Donn Taylor, author of Rhapsody in Red.

And if we didn't talk about enough books for your liking yet today, here's a list of November releases. Happy reading!

1. Dark Pursuit by Brandilyn Collins from Zondervan. An elderly, muddle-minded suspense author must create the plot of his life to save his granddaughter from the killer who has trapped her.

2. Home Another Way by Christa Parrish from Bethany House. The only way for Sarah Graham to find her future is to make peace with her past.

3. Misfortune Cookies, An Until The Fat Ladies Sing Mystery Book One by Linda P. Kozar from Heartsong Presents Mysteries. Bodaciously big beautiful friends Lovita and Sue Jan crack open a fortune cookie to a sinister message, spies, Szechwan and sizzlingly handsome strangers.

4. Of Mice...and Murder, The Maxie Mouse Mysteries Book One by Mary Connealy from Heartsong Presents Mysteries. Carrie hates mice and loves the big city. So why is she living in a huge mouse infested house in her dinky hometown-with a dead guy in her pantry?

5. My Son's Wife by Shelia E. Lipsey from Kensington/Urban Christian. Look at others like God looks at you, with the heart. First Lady Audrey has a hard time doing this, especially in her own family.

6. Redeeming Gabriel by Elizabeth White from Steepe Hill/Love Inspired Historical. Divided by war, united by love: Union spy Gabriel Laniere is in Mobile, Alabama, on a mission, but he discovers the lovely Camilla Beaumont has a secret of her own.

7. The Bossy Bridegroom, South Dakota Weddings series Book Three by Mary Connealy from Heartsong Presents. He was raised a tyrant. She was born to be a doormat. The perfect marriage, until as new Christians, they try fixing the mess they’ve made of their lives.

8. The Clueless Cowboy, South Dakota Weddings series Book Two by Mary Connealy from Heartsong Presents. A lady rancher finds a burned out city boy next door. She needs to keep him alive, and protect her heart, until he gets rested and abandons her.
 

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