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, February 9, 2009

Victoria Bylin and Free Books!

Reverend Joshua Blue is searching for his sister when he meets Adie Clarke, a woman with a secret and a particular dislike of preachers.

Before we meet today's author, I'd like to announce today's book-drawing winner. The signed copy of Donna Schillinger's book, On My Own Now, goes to:

azv444@ . . .

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 Victoria Bylin, author of The Maverick Preacher (Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historicals, February 2009).

Victoria Bylin writes for Love Inspired Historicals. Her next book, The Maverick Preacher, will be released in February 2009 and is a prequel to The Bounty Hunter's Bride (2008). Prior to joining LIH, Victoria wrote five westerns for Harlequin Historicals. Abbie's Outlaw was a 2006 Rita Finalist in the Best Short Historical category. She's also finaled in the Holt, the National Readers Choice Awards and the Bookseller's Best Awards.

Vicki really does believe in "happily ever after." She and her husband have been married forever and have two grown sons. Both are college students who occasionally return to northern Virginia for home-cooked meals. She and her husband also own a hilarious beagle/Jack Russell terrier named Hartley.

Vicki, tell us a bit more about the plot of The Maverick Preacher.

Here's the back-cover copy:

A Man on a Mission . . . Once upon a time, he was one of Boston's most righteous ministers. Now Joshua Blue is a guilt-stricken man scouring the West to find the sister he drove away with his pride. When the trail leads him to Denver, a beautiful boardinghouse owner might be the key to unlocking past secrets . . .

By sheer determination, Adelaide Clark has raised her young son alone. When Joshua arrives at her door, Adie fears he'll tear her family apart. As she gets to know the charming preacher, however, she sees he's come to make amends for past wrongs. Soon his strong faith sparks Adie's long-buried hope for a future with a God-sent partner at her side . . .

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

I loved writing about Reverend Joshua Blue. Before I had a word of the story, I had the title. I could see a troubled man dressed in black, riding alone in search of something . . . or someone. Josh has made big mistakes, and he's paid for them. By the grace of God, he's come back from a disaster and is determined to make things right. I loved telling his story because I really do believe in big turn-arounds. There's not a problem in the world God can't fix.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

At its core, The Maverick Preacher is a romance. It's about a woman who's given up hope of ever being loved, and a man who needs a family. Josh and Adie have a hard time. She has secrets and he's made mistakes. Yet they both triumph. There's always hope. I hope this book brings that inspiration to readers in all stages of life.

There's nothing quite as rewarding as hearing from a reader who feels that kind of hope after reading one of your books, is there? So, Vicki, if you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

Johnny Depp would make an excellent Joshua Blue.

Adie Clarke has reddish hair and is young, about twenty years old. Can I go back in time and pick Julia Roberts?

Sure you can go back in time--you're in charge here! That's one of my favorite things about writing fiction, the way we get to imagine situations and details as we want them to be. What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you, Vicki? Explain.

Editing comes easiest by far. I love the hunt for the perfect phrase, the perfect word. I'm a puzzle addict. I do crosswords, cross sums, anacrostics, anything in a Dell-brand puzzle book. Editing is like assembling a verbal puzzle. I enjoy putting small pieces together and discovering a bigger picture.

Hmm. You sound like you'd make an interesting mystery writer, too. What do you struggle with in your writing?

First drafts are hard for me. A blank computer screen is one of the scariest things in the world. I've had to learn to put aside my internal editor and "just tell the story." My first drafts are truly dreadful. They're poorly written, riddled with cliches and just plain dull. But they accomplish one thing . . . they put the puzzle pieces in the box. The editor arrives and story starts to unfold.

Ah, so you're working the puzzles with your current writing, as well. Now I want to ask you to advise new authors for a moment. This month we're taking a look at point of view. Say a new writer tells you she's going to write her novel using the omniscient point of view. In three sentences or less, give her your thoughts on that idea.

If you love writing in omniscient POV, go for it. But be aware . . . it's unique. Being unique will set you apart in a good way or a bad way, depending on the quality of your story.

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

How about my 2002 Toyota Camry? It's got some dings in the paint, but it runs great. It's low maintenance and is happy to wait in the parking lot while I browse bookstores.

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

I recently finished Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion trilogy. These books inspired me to be bold in telling a story. Where darkness abounds, light abounds much more. By describing both darkness and light as fully as she did, Ms. Rivers gave a resonant voice to the fullness of the Christian experience. I'm in awe of these books.

What are you working on now?

I'm under contract for four more Love Inspired Historicals. The next is called Kansas Courtship. It's set in 1859 Kansas in a town devastated by a tornado. It's part of a continuity called "After the Storm." After that, I'll be writing the next book in the series called The Women of Swan's Nest. The Maverick Preacher is the first in this series. The next book is almost done and will be followed by two more.

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

My website: www.victoriabylin.com
My blog: www.victoriabylin.blogspot.com
Love Inspired: www.loveinspiredauthors.com
My book is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and ChristianBook.com

Vicki, thanks for visiting us today and telling us about The Maverick Preacher! Readers, Vicki has offered to sign a copy of her book for the winner of our drawing on Monday, February 16. To enter, leave a comment for Vicki, 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 meet author Shirley Connolly, author of I See God in the Simple Things. And we'll draw the winner of Robin Shope's novel, The Valentine Edition. You can still enter for that drawing, below.


Linda said...

Hi, Just found your website and the books you wrote. Am looking forward to reading them and those you write about by different authors. Whoohoo! More books to read!
Count me in on the contest, too.


Anna W. said...

Sounds intriguing! Please enter me!

Anna W.

Cheri2628 said...

I have read Victoria's books in the past and loved them. This new book sounds like a heartwarming story of finding love and inner peace. Thank you for a chance to win a copy!

Cheri2628 said...

I am one of your subscribers, Trish!


Trish Perry said...

Welcome to the site, Linda! I hope you enjoy my books and those of the authors I feature. This is a great way to hear about what's new out there in Christian fiction (and a little nonfiction to boot).

I agree, Anna--the story sounds fun. And what a great cover!

And Cheri, I'm glad you're also a subscriber. As long as you are, you'll always be entered at least once in every give-away. You'll be entered twice in Vicki's.

sarahw said...

i enjoyed reading Victoria's other book and am looking forward to reading this one. please enter my name in the draw,
sarahwoll at hotmail dot com

Maureen said...

I've enjoyed reading Victoria's books before and this looks like a good story.

ladystorm said...

This sounds like a great book. I would love to win this one.


Victoria Bylin said...

Hello everyone,
Thank you for stopping by. Aren't book drawings fun? I'll be sure to send the book to the winner a.s.a.p..

Writers aren't supposed to have favorites--it's like mothers and children--but "Maverick Preacher" will always be special because it honors the many ministers / preachers / pastors / teachers who have enriched my life.

P.S. to Trish! Thank you for inviting me to your blog. It's a happening place!

becca dowling said...

Please enter me in the drawing for The Maverick Preacher. It sounds like a delightful romance.

Thank you, Trish and Vicky, for the engaging interview.


Jo said...

Thank you for the great interview. Vicky is a new author to me and I look forward to reading her books. "The Preacher" sounds like a very good read. Please enter me in the drawing.


flchen1 said...

Hi, Vicky! I followed you here from your blog--I've read quite a few of your backlist and your books are pretty much auto-buys. I know I'll enjoy your stories and how well you intertwine faith with your characters' lives. Thanks for continuing to write!

BTW, is The Maverick Preacher connected with your last LIH I read (The Bounty Hunter's Bride)?

Thanks so much!
f dot chen at comcast dot net

sherrinda said...

Trish, great interview! I just signed up for ACFWBOOKCLUB and found your blog and love it! Your books look like the kind I love to read...funny!

Victoria, loved the interview and I really love the premise for your book. Being a minister's wife, I have a special love the the role of a minister. To live with a man called to serve, sometimes with joy, sometimes with pain, is a great calling in itself. God bless you!

Put my name in for the drawing! I would love a chance to win!


Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to reading this book. I loved Bounty Hunter's Bride. One of my favorites in the Steeple Hill HIstorical line. Please enter me to win.

bookwurm70 at gmail dot com

mez said...

The Maverick Preacher sounds great and I love the cover! Add me, thanks.

Becky C. said...

This sounds like a very interesting book.

Please enter me in the contest.

Thank you,

Becky C.


Katie said...

Please enter me.. thanks


windycindy said...

Greetings! I like when the author says that both of the main characters triumph. There is always hope! I like that.....Thanks, Cindi

Martha A. said...

Sound like a neat story!



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