WHAT'S IT GOING TO BE?

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

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

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

Monday, December 29, 2008

Last Free Book for 2008!

I hope Christmas was good to all of you and that you spent precious time with family and friends. We want to give away one more gift, a signed copy of Bonnie Leon's Longings of the Heart, to:

amanda.k.hansen@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll send you an email today for your mailing address.

As mentioned in my last post, this Thursday, New Year's Day, I'll draw the names of three people to receive a signed copy of each of my released books.

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Your name could be drawn if you leave a comment under this post.

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If you left a comment below my December 22 post, go ahead and leave another comment here. I'll add your name a second time.

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Be sure to leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com. And if you're already subscribed to this blog or if you subscribe before the drawing, your name will be added a third time.

I'd like to take this moment to thank everyone who has participated in this blog this year, whether as a reader, commenter, or interviewee. I've loved interacting with all of you, and I look forward to what the Lord has in mind for all of us in 2009. May you all have a wonderful, blessed New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas give-aways!

Merry Christmas, readers and writers! On this, my only blog post this week, we'll give away a novel and an ARC, and we'll start another drawing to win my books.

First, the winner of Nicole Baart's novel, Summer Snow, is:

becca.dowling@ . . .

And the person who will receive, read, and review the Advanced Review Copy of Nicole's upcoming novel, The Moment Between, is:

kherbrand@ . . .

Congratulations to you both!

Now here are the details for the drawing of my three released novels:

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This time I'll do a separate drawing for each of my books, but you can enter for all three of the books if you're interested. Maybe you're only interested in one particular title; if so, mention that title in your comment, below. If you'd like to be considered to win any of the three released titles, tell me that. Be sure to leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com

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If you're a subscriber, you'll automatically be entered in all three drawings, but you can add to your chances by leaving comments. And there will be other days to enter your name additional times--just check back or subscribe to know when those times occur!

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I'll draw the winner's names on January 1!

Check back next Monday, when we'll give away Bonnie Leon's Longings of the Heart. That day will also afford you another chance to enter your name in the drawings for my books.

I pray you all have a beautiful Christmas Day and that you feel close to friends, family, and especially the Lord. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bonnie Leon and Free Books!

After surviving prison, John and Hannah Bradshaw reach for a new beginning, but secrets from Rebecca's past threaten to destroy their present happiness, and there is someone in their midst who knows Hannah's secret and lies waiting to tear the young couple's life apart.

Before we meet today's featured novelist, I want to announce that the winner of Michelle Griep's novel, Gallimore is:

talker445@. . .

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 Bonnie Leon, author of Longings of the Heart, book two in the Sydney Cover Series (Revell, 2008).

Photobucket Bonnie Leon is the author of fifteen novels, including the popular Queensland Chronicles and the Sydney Cove Series, plus the bestselling Journey of Eleven Moons. Look for more books from Bonnie. Enduring Love, book three in the Sydney Cove Series, will be on bookstore shelves in May 2009. She's already deeply entrenched in a new series, an Alaskan adventure about a woman named Kate who dreams of being an Alaskan bush pilot.

Bonnie also stays busy as the deacon of women's ministries in her church and teaching Bible studies. She enjoys speaking and teaching at writing seminars and womens meetings and retreats.

She and her husband Greg live in the mountains of Southern Oregon with their Boxer, Emma. They have three grown children and four grandchildren.

Bonnie, tell us a bit more about the plot of Longings of the Heart.

Hannah and John have embraced the wondrous land of Australia as their own. As they venture into the unknown to start a sheep farm, they must rely on God and each other to scrape out a living and fulfill their dreams of having a family of their own. However, Hannah has withheld the truth about her past from John. Her sin of omission is revealed and threatens to destroy the couple's fragile bond.

When a mysterious woman, who knows Hannah's secret, shows up in town, she uses her power to control and manipulate John and Hannah. The young couple is forced to confront the truth of their own character and integrity and must find the courage and strength to stand up to a tumultuous storm.

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

Being female I relate more to Hannah. However, John intrigues me. His love for his wife is powerful and one would think it could overcome any conflict. But when he discovers his wife has failed to tell him a dreadful part of her past, he's knocked off his feet. She's not who he believed her to be and he doesn't want anyone else to know he's been duped. Her humiliation is his. And so the love he feels is marred by his need to maintain a pretense of righteousness.

The human psyche is mystifying, and watching John struggle for strength and integrity had me wondering just how he would find strength within himself to do the right thing. God always offers opportunities, however, we must possess the courage to do what He asks of us.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

The time and place is not something you see much of in the CBA market. Plus Australia in the early nineteenth century was unique in history. The country began as a penal colony. Everyday life was a struggle for survival, in and out of prison.

The story speaks about the power of sin to destroy, even those who belong to God. Sin, then and now, is still sin and mankind continues to wrestle with the same transgressions. The apostle Paul said in I Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man."

The story illustrates the power of God over sin and the power of love to prevail. It is a story of truth and of hope. Hope is something we all need.

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

Oh my gosh, I'm so bad at this kind of thing. I don't keep up with the latest movie stars. I'll take a stab at it, though.

I think Jennifer Garner has a good look for Hannah and she can portray the naivete as well as the strength Hannah possesses. She'd do a good job. Photobucket

Photobucket Ben Affleck is my pick for John. He's got the build and facial features. And he's sexy, but not too sexy. He's capable of playing a sensitive but masculine character, just the right qualities for John who is a man of honor, and who loves intensely.

Wouldn't it be great if one day a director is picking actors to play the parts of Hannah and John? I can dream, eh.

Yes, that dream is a particular one of mine. See, Bonnie, you did just fine with your picks--a good match. I have a feeling those two actors get along fairly well, too. What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? Explain.

Once I have the basics down, the bare bones shall I say, then it's fun. I love to flesh out scenes, to get to the heart of my characters, to drop in foreshadowing and build tension. And when I find just the right word or phrase that articulates exactly what I want to say, only in a new and distinctive way, then I really get excited because it feels like art.

What do you struggle with in your writing?

The first draft is the most difficult for me. The editor part of my brain wants to be in control. However, if I allow my left brain to take over then creativity is quashed. In order to get past that I use free writing to create my first drafts. I don't stop writing until I've finished a scene--not to correct spelling, stupid ideas, things that just don't fit, nothing. I just write, write, write, which really helps. I discover things I didn't know were lurking in my mind.

Excellent writing advice for all of us, Bonnie. Keep that right hemisphere unencumbered, right? All right, now. Choose an inanimate object to represent you. Explain what you have in common with that object.

Trish, you really make a person think.

I try!

Hmm. Okay, got it. I'd be a picture frame. Although I'm a take-charge kind of person, I relish helping others grow and become successful. A picture frame helps a photo look more complete and enhances the photo. In life I love taking that role. And although is sounds kind of strange for someone who speaks and teaches, I relish not being the one people focus on. When people are admiring a picture they're not necessarily looking at the frame, and yet the frame brings the picture into focus and makes it more beautiful.

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

My family is at the top of my list of what thrills me, but I'm at a place in my life that is best described as "everything is changing." My children are grown and on their own. My youngest daughter and her family, who have been living with us for nearly two years, will soon be moving away. I've loved having them here, but now it's time to change my focus.

My husband and I are learning that "It's just you and me babe." We're back to just the two of us. I'm excited to see what that's going to look like. This empty nest thing has been difficult for me, but I'm coming out on the other side and looking forward to a new adventure.

The other thing that thrills me is my ministry with the women in my church. One of my spiritual gifts is leadership and so overseeing the women’s ministry is a natural fit for me. I love to encourage and mentor other women, to see them grow and mature and reach down and find the courage to try something new, something they didn't think they could do. Being part of God's family and actively participating in the growth of others thrills me right down to my toes.

Well, you certainly won't be bored during the empty nest years, will you? What is the last book you read that impacted you, Bonnie? How did it affect you?

Oh my gosh, I'm so glad you asked this. I just read a wonderful non-fiction book called, When God Breaks Your Heart, written by Ed Underwood. It's his first published book. He skillfully integrates his story with that of Lazarus and his sisters and does a super job of sharing his own journey with honesty and transparency.

Ed has been a pastor for many years and his expertise in bringing God's Word and real life together is demonstrated in this work. Bottom line message is God doesn't allow anything without a reason and His love never ends.

The book strengthened my faith and it reminded me that God is always in the midst of my life, working out His will in me.

What are you working on now?

I'm presently working on a new series with the working title of The Sleeping Lady. It's the story of a woman who dreams of becoming a bush pilot in the mid 1930's. Kate's willing to give up everything for her ambition. She just doesn't know yet that achieving her personal dream doesn't require that she sacrifice everything else in life, but she's about to discover that to serve God requires we relinquish all that we are to Him.

There's also a mystery man named Paul. He lives in the bush where he's hiding from his past. Hiding never works. We try to convince ourselves it does until we're forced to look at what we hate most about ourselves.

The series follows these two characters through all kinds of adventures and dramas. As they grow as individuals they also help one another find their way back to the truth.

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

My books are available at bookstores, used and new and at a multitude of websites. The most well known would be at Amazon.com or www.christianbook.com and www.barnesandnoble.com. There's also a link at my website at www.bonnieleon.com.

I blog twice a week, most weeks. My blogs are generally a devotional style. One is called Quiet Moments With God and the other is Tips for Triumphant Living. Often experiences in my life find their way into my blogs so readers will get to know me pretty well. I try to be transparent about who I am.

Thanks, Bonnie, for spending some time with us today. Readers, Bonnie has offered to sign a copy of Longings of the Heart for the winner of our drawing on Monday, December 29. To enter, leave a comment for Bonnie, 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 Nicole Baart's novel, Summer Snow. And we'll pull a second name from the comments under Nicole's interview to decide who will receive the Advanced Review Copy of Nicole's upcoming novel, The Moment Between. You can still enter for those drawings, below.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Nicole Baart and Free Books!

What are the emotional risks of relationships between a 30-year-old unmarried accountant looking to reinvent herself, her troubled sister, and the man who becomes, for very different reasons, their shared obsession?

Before we meet today's featured novelist, I want to announce that the winner of Sharon Dunn's novel, Death at a Discount is:

jrs362@. . .

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 Nicole Baart, author of Summer Snow (Tyndale, 2008) the sequel to her debut, After the Leaves Fall. Today Nicole will tell us about her upcoming novel, The Moment Between (Tyndale, Spring 2009), to which the above tease refers.

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Nicole Baart was born and raised in a small town in Iowa. She is the mother of two young sons and the wife of a pastor. After the adoption of their infant son, Nicole discovered a deep passion for global issues and is a founding member of a non-profit organization that works with a church and orphanage in Liberia. Nicole and her family live in Iowa.

Nicole, tell us a bit more about The Moment Between.

PhotobucketAbigail Bennett knows all about ambition. She's poised, confident, and successful--she's convinced that nothing can shake the firm foundation she has constructed for herself. But when the unthinkable happens, Abigail finds herself driven by an unfamiliar motivation: obsession. Abigail abandons her job, her swanky south Florida apartment, everything, to chase Tyler Kamp, a handsome and charismatic man like none she's ever known. As she races toward her uncertain future, she finds herself continually replaying her past and her relationship with her younger sister, Hailey. Indefinably needy and strangely toxic, dangerously beautiful and frighteningly volatile, Hailey seemed to take all the risks that Abigail avoided . . . until now. Past and present finally collide when Abigail's obsession forces her to chase Tyler from Florida all the way across the continent to British Columbia's fabled Summerlands. And though Abigail is convinced that everything is black or white, right or wrong, justice proves to be much more complicated than she ever imagined it to be.

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

I have a deep love for both of the sisters in my novel. Abigail is everything a big sister should be: stable, protective, caring, loyal. But all of that comes at a very high personal price. I find her character fascinating because she is so cleanly torn between what she believes she should do and what she wants to do. I'm not a fan of the old adage "follow your heart," but Abigail really struggles with this concept in a way I never planned to explore.

Hailey is everything that Abigail is not. She's moody, temperamental, unpredictable, and wild. She is the perfect foil to Abigail's strong and steady character. But when I examined these sisters more closely, I discovered that Hailey's weaknesses can also be her strengths and vice versa. There is more to both of these sisters than meets the eye.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I think readers will enjoy The Moment Between because it is a compelling story that blends many different elements into one. There's a little mystery, a little romance, a little suspense. You'll read about love and loss, sisters and lovers, guns and wine. It's similar in some ways to books like Jodi Piccoult's My Sister's Keeper and Kim Edwards' The Memory Keeper's Daughter. So if you like those sorts of books, I think you'll love The Moment Between.

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

I have a very hard time picking Hollywood celebrities to fill my books because my characters are so clearly defined in my head that any aberration drives me nuts. Instead, I'll let you see the pictures I found that most closely fit Abigail and Hailey. Photobucket

Abigail is the dark, mysterious one.

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Hailey is the blond beauty.

I often use images of unknown people for my characters, too. I wouldn't be able to answer my own question for some of my novels! So, what facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? Explain.

Dreaming up the original story. I have so many books ideas cluttering up my brain! Each story is very gripping and meaningful in my mind. Then I have to go through the hard work of putting it down on paper. Sadly, it's never quite as good as I imagined it to be.

What do you struggle with in your writing?

My biggest struggle is finding time to write. I am the mother of two young boys (5 and 2), and my husband is a pastor so I have many commitments at our church. Every time I sit down to write it seems like something goes wrong: my babysitter can't make it, my kids are sick, I have to finish up an important project for our non-profit, the phone rings and I have to take it. The list goes on and on. I keep thinking that life will slow down, but it never does. I suppose everyone feels like that to a certain extent.

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

Oh, I'm so bad at these questions. I suppose if I had to be an inanimate object I'd be a simple white shirt. Button down, no frills, but nicely tailored to show off feminine curves. What I have in common with my favorite white shirt is all the adjectives that I use to describe it: easygoing but classy, versatile but feminine, approachable but composed. I feel like I can go both ways: I'm just as comfortable playing football with my boys as I am dressed in heels and speaking to a crowd of people.

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

I am absolutely wild and crazy about the non-profit organization that my husband and I founded nearly two years ago. One Body, One Hope started when Aaron and I were in Africa picking up our son. What began as a casual friendship blossomed into a thriving partnership that spans the Atlantic. It's a long, beautiful story, but the end result is a growing organization that provides for 54 orphans, a church, and an agricultural project in Monrovia, Liberia. We've raised over $50,000 to date and God continues to fling open doors before us. It's very, very exciting.

Wow, that is a thrilling facet of your life! I wonder if a story might not emerge eventually out of your experiences. I can imagine some fascinating ideas you could work on. What is the last book you read that impacted you? How did it affect you?

That's a tough question because I read a lot and if the book doesn't start to impact me in the first few pages, I put it down and move on. But, if I had to chose just one, I'd say that Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw was absolutely life changing. In many ways it was a hard read because it challenged so many things that I've just always assumed are good and right and true. I had to read a chapter at a time, wrestle with it, talk to my husband about it, pray about it, and then move on to the next. I'm still struggling to assimilate some of the ideas presented into my thought processes. The book was very gripping, very convicting. It made me cry. Oh, and I loved the graphic novel style of the layout. It made reading a sensory experience.

What are you working on now?

I'm working on my fourth book. It's been a bit of a slow go because The Moment Between was emotionally and spiritually exhausting for me to write. I finished that manuscript in a daze, and I still feel like I'm trying to get my writer's feet under me. But book #4 (I'm calling it Bridgewater right now) is an awesome story and I'm very dedicated to giving it all I've got.

The idea for this book came to me a few summers ago when an ethanol tanker ignited near the train tracks in our small town. There were thirteen other fuel tankers on the tracks and an entire field of anhydrous ammonia tanks only yards from the blazing fire. Half of the town was evacuated as we all fervently prayed that the tanker wouldn't blow. Thankfully, it didn't, but it made me wonder what would have happened if it did. It's really quite unbelievable. Type in "tanker explosion" on YouTube and you'll see dozens of similar situations. Bridgewater is all about the worst-case scenario. But it's more than that, too. There's romance, unexpected kindness, heroism, and a huge plot twist that makes me giddy every time I think about it.

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

My website is: www.nicolebaart.com. My novels are available wherever books are sold, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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Thanks, Nicole, for visiting with us and telling us about The Moment Between and your writing life.

Readers, we have a different scenario for our give-away today:


1. Nicole has offered to sign a copy of Summer Snow for the winner of our drawing on Monday, December 22. To enter, leave a comment for Nicole, 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.

Photobucket2. In addition, Nicole and Tyndale will provide an ARC (Advance Review Copy) of The Moment Between to the winner of a separate drawing. This winner will receive their copy (probably in January) before the book is actually released in the spring. The one request is that the winner will read the ARC and post a review (or reviews) of the book with Tyndale and anywhere else you usually post reviews, within a few months after receipt. If you'd like your name entered in this special, separate drawing, you must state that in your comment to Nicole. This will be a much smaller drawing than we typically have, so your chances are better than usual!

I'll announce the winners of both drawings next Monday.

Check back on Thursday, when we'll draw the winner of Michelle Griep's novel, Gallimore. You can still enter for that drawing, below.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Michelle Griep and Free Books!

A young widow travels through time to discover forgiveness, love and the restoration of faith.

Before we meet our featured novelist, I'd like to announce the winner of Donita Paul's DragonLight. Congratulations to:

sharonalavy@ . . .

I'll contact you today for your snail mail address, Sharon, 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 Michelle Griep, author of Gallimore (Black Lyon Publishing, December 15, 2008). Michelle's blog tour organizers provided us with plenty of fun questions and answers about Michelle and her work. Gallimore is her debut novel.

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Minnesota author, Michelle Griep, has been writing since she first discovered Crayolas and blank wall space. She has homeschooled four children over the past twenty years, and teaches both Civics and Creative Writing for area co-ops. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers.

Although Michelle's novel is releasing through an ABA publisher, it carries a strong Christian message.

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Jessica Neale's faith is lost the day of her husband's death, and with it, her belief in love. In a journey to find peace, she encounters a gentle, green-eyed stranger who leads her to the ruins of the medieval castle, Gallimore.

On his way to battle, Colwyn Haukswyrth, knight of Gallimore, comes face to face with a storm the likes of which he's never seen, and a woman in the midst of it who claims to live centuries in the future. The Lady Jessica of Neale is an irksome, provoking bit of woman to be sure. And she's about to turn his beliefs on end.

The product of a family rooted in pain and evil, Colwyn has focused on naught but himself--until Jessica. To a mysterious prophecy stitched on a tapestry, through the invasion of Gallimore itself, Colwyn and Jessica are bound together by a lesson in forgiveness and love--a bond that might be strong enough to survive the grave.

Which fiction character would you most like to be, and why?

I always wanted to be Lt. Uhura on Star Trek because her uniform is pretty sweet, she gets to wear a funky ear piece, and she never had a bad hair day in her life.

If you could change something in any novel, what would you change about it and why?

I'll be stepping on some toes here, but personally I'd cut a dinner party or two out of Sense & Sensibility.

Favorite turn of phrase or word picture, in literature or movie.

Classic: "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries." (from Monty Python and the Holy Grail)

Most Recent: "The sun stretched its rays further and stronger, like a thousand lances determined to strike a strong blow and leave a red mark." (from In the Shadow of Lions by Ginger Garrett)

If you were assured of writing a best-seller, what genre would it be? Give us a sliver of information, a characteristic or glimpse of a scene.

Time travel. I love to throw myself into history, and of course I'm always the heroine. Naturally there'd be an unbelievably muscular hero who's a warrior with a big heart that's completely devoted to the heroine. And sorry, Fabio would NOT be on the cover.

Book, music, person, food you would take with you on a very long trip?

Book: Bible
Person: Jesus
Music: Third Day
Food: Chocolate

Favorite book setting and why?

Jane Eyre when she's walking the misty moor and Rochester appears on a rearing horse. That's how God most often works in my life. I'm usually walking around in a daze and bam! He appears.

Which compliment related to your writing has meant the most and why?

Actually, I try hard to ignore compliments and criticism (mean-spirited, anyway) because I don't want to get a big head, nor do I want to have my heart pierced.

What is your current project? Tell us about it.

I'm taking a vacation from time-travel and visiting the land of cozy mysteries . . . and this time I'm taking along someone to help carry the luggage. A writer buddy of mine--you may have heard of her, Kelly Klepfer--and I are co-conspirators of Out of the Frying Pan. Shameless but brief blurb: Murder in Paradise whips life into a froth. Zula and Fern Hopkins, sisters-in-law, grudging roommates, and sometimes friends reside in Sunset Paradise retirement community. Their escapades land them in hot water when they attempt to sniff out a murderer. The added ingredient of a handsome, young detective who'd make a fine main dish for their niece spices up the action even more.

Tell us about your journey to publication. How long had you been writing before you got the call you had a contract, how you heard, and what went through your head?

I didn't actually get a call. It was an e-mail. I'd been a closet writer since 2000. The first manuscript I wrote is so incredibly horrible, I use it as an example of what-not-to-do in a Creative Writing class I teach. I finished my second manuscript, Gallimore, in 2005. I shopped it around a bit, then edited and re-edited until there was no more red ink in my pen. I sold it to Black Lyon, Spring ’08. I'm pretty sure the stunned disbelief that charged through me fried a few thousand brain cells, but with a little counseling, I'll be fine.

What mistakes have you made while seeking publication? Or to narrow it down further what's something you wish you'd known earlier that might have saved you some time/frustration in the publishing business?

I've recently had an incredible epiphany--agents and editors are . . . drum roll please . . . human. All the palpitations, sweaty palms, and acid reflux I endured when even thinking of talking to an agent or editor was a complete waste of time and Pepto Bismol. Do yourself a favor and take them off the pedestal. They don't belong there.

What's the best or worst advice (or both) you've heard on writing/publication?

BEST: Get yourself a copy of Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne & King

WORST: When you get a rejection, slap on some red lipstick and kiss it good-bye, which is a bad idea unless you use lipliner first . . . makes the edges much more defined.

Do you have a dream for the future of your writing, something you would love to accomplish?

One day I'd love to be able to have the time to write more than one night a week. Currently, that's my allotment. I'm happy to have it, but I wouldn't mind more.

What is your favorite and least favorite part of being a writer?

FAVORITE: Working out my own theological questions and dilemmas in the lives of my characters.

LEAST FAVORITE: Writing a synopsis--I'd rather cough up a hairball.

Parting words?

Write for the enjoyment of playing with one of God's great blessings to us--words. If you're writing from your heart, and it's a heart centered on God (not publication), you will glorify your creator. That's what writing is all about.

We thank Michelle and her blog-tour organizers for the above interview! Readers, Michelle has offered to sign a copy of Gallimore for the winner of our drawing on Thursday, December 18. To enter, leave a comment for Michelle, 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 Sharon Dunn's novel, Death at a Discount. You can still enter for that drawing, below.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sharon Dunn and Free Books!

Four women bonded together by the need to clip coupons find themselves hunting down clues instead of good deals when they get pulled into mysteries.

Before we meet today's featured novelist, I want to announce that the winner of Kathleen Y'Barbo's novel, Beloved Captive is:

runninmama@. . .

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 Sharon Dunn, author of Death at a Discount (Multnomah Publishers, January 2009).

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Sharon's Bargain Hunters mysteries, combines the two things Sharon loves: a solid mystery and the hunt for a good deal. The first Bargain Hunters mystery Death of a Garage Sale Newbie recently won second place in the ACFW Book of the Year competition. Book two Death of a Six-foot Teddy Bear was released in January 2008. Death at a Discount comes out January 2009. Her books have been praised for their humor and characters people can relate to, transparent portrayal of the Christian journey. Sharon is also the author of the Ruby Taylor mysteries. The second book in that series, Sassy Cinderella and the Valiant Vigilante, won the ACFW Book of the Year Award in 2004.

Sharon lives with her three kids, husband of twenty-one years and three cats. Her hobbies include trying to remember where she put things and making pets out of the dust bunnies under her furniture.

Welcome, Sharon! Tell us a bit more about Death at a Discount.

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In this third and final installment of the Bargain Hunters mysteries, Ginger and the other Bargain Hunter ladies head down to Denver to be guests on the Discount and Value network, a shopping channel for the coupon clipping crowd. A network hostess is found dead. A snowstorm strands Ginger at the studio with a group of suspects. With the electricity out, a spy stealing industry secrets, and Suzanne relapsing into compulsive shopping, Ginger must root out the killer because her life depends on it.

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

Death at a Discount is the third book in the Bargain Hunters series. When I started brainstorming for it, I was a little burned out. My ideas felt forced and I was having a hard time getting excited about the story. Then I came up with a supporting character who brought back the inspirational spark. Andrew, a thief who steals corporate secrets, is not like any other character I had ever done. He is a funny, poignant little man and coming up with his growth journey helped the other elements of the story fall into place.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

The humor, the follow the clues mystery, and the friendship between the Bargain Hunter ladies.

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

PhotobucketI think for the head Bargain Hunter, Ginger, you would need a funny lady like Reba McEntire.

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For Suzanne, the mom of four, the actress who plays Pam on The Office (Jenna Fisher).

For the spunky sharp shooting seventy something Arleta somebody like Carol Burnett.

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PhotobucketMaybe for the college student Kindra a young funny lady like Amanda Bynes.

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

Once I get a really bad rough draft written which is truly an agonizing process, the rewrites are a lot of fun. Seeing a novel get closer and closer to the vision in my head is energizing.

What do you struggle with in your writing?

When I first started writing, I just wrote whatever I wanted. I wrote a great deal and I got lots of rejections. But the writing process itself was never hard. Then, I started to comprehend the importance of matching manuscripts to markets and publishers. Now as I write, I sometimes find myself second guessing the choices I am making and hearing editor's voices in my head as to why they will turn the manuscript down. Becoming more market savvy was an important step in my career, but at the same time, it has messed with the creative process and I have to work through self-doubt and learn to turn off the negative voices.

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

Vanilla ice cream. I am not something glamorous and exciting like Rocky Road or Moose Tracks, maybe I am even a little boring compared to Jalapeno ice cream. But I am dependable, safe comfort food that never lets you down.

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

My husband recently lost his job, in true bargain hunter fashion, I am enjoying the challenge of cooking great tasting stuff on a budget. Also, I think God has really laid down the gauntlet for me. I have spent the last couple of years taking deliberate steps to let go of the spirit of pessimism I learned from childhood. We have suffered some other losses recently and I think my training time is over, this trial is God saying, "Okay Sharon, learn to see the blessings through this trial and trust me." I feel like I was in spiritual boot camp and now it's time for the battle. It seems an odd thing to be thrilled about, I know, but I am delighted that I recognized that God was preparing me for something. Sometime I can be so clueless.

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

Last year, I read The Glass Castle. I don’t read much memoir and most of what I read is Christian fiction or non-fiction. But the book was powerful, made me think about my own life and also I was fascinated by how the writer used fiction techniques to tell a non-fiction story.

What are you working on now?

I am continuing to work on more humorous mystery series and am also looking at writing some romantic suspense. Also, when I am not staring a deadline in the eye or going full tilt with promotion, I like to write how-to articles about aspects of writing.

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

Web address: www.sharondunnbooks.com. You can buy my book at: www.amazon.com

Thanks, Sharon, for visiting with us and telling us about Death at a Discount and your writing life. Readers, Sharon has offered to sign a copy of Death at a Discount for the winner of our drawing on Monday, December 15. To enter, leave a comment for Sharon, 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 Thursday, when we'll draw the winner of Donita Paul's novel, DragonLight. You can still enter for that drawing, below.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Donita K. Paul and Free Books!

On the surface, the land seems to be at peace, but an ugly twisting of doctrine is undermining the foundation of the nation.

Before we meet today's featured novelist, I want to announce that the winner of Golden Keyes Parsons' novel, In the Shadow of the Sun King is:

weceno@. . .

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 Donita K. Paul, author of DragonLight (WaterBrook, 2008).

PhotobucketDonita K. Paul is an ex-teacher, a current Mom and Grandma, someone who cares about our youth and is concerned that the current media influence is too negative, and a registered procrastinator. She loves to read and dips into many genres. In the warm months, she likes to travel and meet readers. In the winter, she hunkers down and spends quality time with the characters in her books.

Donita, what can you tell us about DragonLight?

PhotobucketThis is the final book of the Dragon Keeper Chronicles.

Kale and Bardon leave their comfortable home to help discover the source and strength of this dangerous movement. Their friends, Regidor and Gilda, are facing trials that embroil the heroes even more. The clues to both mysteries lead them far north of the Amaran border and into conflicts deadly and of worldly consequence.

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

Toopka, a doneel child who just doesn't grow up. In fact, she seems to become more innocent as the story progresses. This is her fourth book. I always knew she had a special purpose because I knew her background. It was wonderful to see how she was going to be used at the crucial moment in this last book.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

My readers say that the adventures capture them and keep them turning the pages. I get comments on how the subtle lessons of the Christian walk have changed the readers life. Moms tell me their reluctant reader is devouring the books. Adults tell me the tales took them to a place they needed to be in order to process some crisis in their own lives. Some read to escape and some read to deepen their awareness of God.

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

Dialogue. I've always been told I capture dialogue well, and I can only believe that it is because I would rather listen than talk.

What do you struggle with in your writing?

Self-discipline. I would much rather play than work.

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

A book. Once you open it up, it can become quite noisy, demanding, and have unexpected surprises.

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

Working with children from preschoolers to teens.

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

Does it count that I read my daughter's manuscript, Brandy and the Vine? I was pleased to see that the characters took life seriously but not so seriously that they couldn't laugh.

What are you working on now?

I'm working on several things. The edits for Vanishing Sculptor. It comes out June of 2009. A fantasy Christmas novella set in contemporary times. Two picture books I wrote with Evangeline Denmark. Those will come out sometime in 2010. Some early readers and early chapter books because I am passionate about providing good literature on which young people can practice their reading skills.

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

www.donitakpaul.com This website has everything from FAQ to book purchasing information. I can't praise my webmaster enough for all the innovative ways she's developed to entertain our visitors.

Thanks, Donita, for visiting with us and telling us about DragonLight and your writing life. Readers, Donita has offered to sign a copy of DragonLight for the winner of our drawing on Thursday, December 11. To enter, leave a comment for Donita, 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 Kathleen Y'Barbo's novel, Beloved Captive. You can still enter for that drawing, below.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Book Winner and New Novels!

Happy December, readers! I'd like to announce the winner of Leah Starr Baker's novel, The Bunko Babes:

talker445@ . . .


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!

Today I want to bring your attention to a group of novels releasing during the month of December. You might want to consider these when you do your Christmas shopping!

1. A Promise for Spring by Kim Vogel Sawyer from Bethany House. Can their promise of love survive more than just years of separation?

2. Before the Season Ends by Linore Rose Burkard from Havest House Publishers. A heroine who embodies "Principles" meets the man who is all "Pride." What happens when they clash in Regency London makes adventurous innocence well worth reading!

3. Deceptive Promises, Delaware Brides, book 3 by Amber Miller from Barbour/Heartsong Presents. Living during the American Revolution, Margret Scott gets involved with a spy and a life of deception that could endanger herself, her family, and the man she loves.

4. Flashover by Dana Mentink from Steeple Hill. Ivy Beria's life explodes when arson robs her of her job and the man who set it hunts her down.

5. Missouri Brides by Mildred Colvin from Barbour Publishing. Three women tied together by family find true love on the Missouri prairie of the 1800s.

6. The Owling, Shadowside Series - Book 2 by Robert Elmer from Zondervan. Life gets even more confusing for fifteen-year-old Oriannon when her former music mentor, Jesmet, miraculously returns from the dead and promises his students a special power called Numa.

Some excellent choices there!

I invite you to check back on Thursday, when we choose a winner of the signed copy of Golden Keyes Parson's novel, In the Shadow of the Sun King. It's not too late to enter for that drawing! See her interview, below.

Also on Thursday, we'll meet fantasy novelist Donita Paul and learn about her latest novel. I hope you'll visit.

In the meantime, happy reading!
 

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