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, May 28, 2009

Tina Forkner and Free Books!

A vivid story of a private grief, a secret painting and one woman's search for hope.

Before we meet today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of Janet Dean's Courting the Doctor's Daughter is:

dheath211@ . . .

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 Tina Ann Forkner, author of Rose House (Waterbrook Press, May 2009).

PhotobucketTina Ann Forkner is a women's fiction author who grew up in a small Oklahoma town and eventually settled in Wyoming where she lives with her husband, their three children, and a faithful mutt.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Rose House.

PhotobucketAmid a tangle of rose blooms and thorns, widow Lillian Diamon's private moment of grief is captured in a painting on display in a present-day, Sonoma Valley, California, art gallery. Her quest to find the artist unravels a greater mystery changing everything about her loss--and her future.

Oh, I like that, Tina. Great idea. And I know I've already mentioned this to you in the past, but I love your cover. Now I see the reason for it's having an antique flavor.

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


I think I answer about a different character every time I am asked this question. Certainly, Kitty, who is from my first novel, Ruby Among Us, interested me just as much in the second novel. I love her "let's get it done" attitude. She is the kind of person who is wise and encouraging without wasting time on moping around.

I also found Truman Clark, the artist, to be very interesting. I have had readers ask me if he is real. He is fictional, but wouldn't it be cool if he stepped off the page? Of course my husband would want to shove him back into the book where he belongs.

How funny! Yes, it's much easier for a man to be perfect if he's fictional.

I never thought I would write about a man who is so dashing and tempting, but he just kept showing up until I finally put him in the story. Of course, I have a very dashing husband and he inspired Truman's amazing good looks and charming personality.

Well, you should have him read your interview answers, Tina. What a nice description!

Why will readers enjoy your novel?


I think they will enjoy it for the romance and mystery. I also hope they will enjoy it for the hope it brings. The idea of Rose House is not just about a house, but it's about where we go to find hope. Where is home? Where is our shelter? Our own personal "Rose House" is not always a house or even a place. Sometimes we find it where we least expect it.

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

Well, I guess I don't really watch enough television, so I had to think about this one a bit.

PhotobucketKate Hudson might make a good Lillian. She has that purity about her personality, like Lillian does, but she could also pull off the troubled parts of Lillian's character.

PhotobucketI might choose Cameron Diaz as Geena because they both have that tall lean, sexy look.

As for Truman, I am not sure. He has to look good bald. He has to be mature and not one of the really youngish actors.

PhotobucketWould Kirk Cameron look good bald?

PhotobucketI thought the man who plays Sawyer on Lost might work, but then I don't know how he would look bald or if he could pull off the really good, sincere side of Truman. What do you think?

Sawyer (Josh Holloway) would most definitely get my vote--that man would look good bald, hairy, dreadlocked, or mohawked, as far as I'm concerned. I was unable to find bald pictures of either actor, but I did manage to find one of Cameron:

Photobucket It seemed a waste not to use the picture here, since "Cameron Diaz" and "bald" both figured in your interview. She even looks good bald, doesn't she? A great smile can work wonders.

But I digress.


What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? What do you struggle with?

The initial creation is the easiest part for me. I love developing a new story and discovering all the different aspects of my characters and the story. I'm always sad to see the story end because I fall in love with my characters.

As far as struggles, keeping up with my blogs, etc., is sometimes hard to work into my author schedule, but I do it because I love connecting with my readers and I think it's wonderful that it's so easy for them to send me an email if they have a question or that I can update them with news about books that might interest them.

You're the last of my May authors, Tina. This month I've asked authors for their thoughts on Print on Demand (POD). Let's say an unpublished writer is tired of the rejections and is considering using POD for her novel. What advise would you give her?

POD can be good if you are recording a family history or have a niche idea that would focus on a very small population of readers. If a writer isn't in that type of situation, then I encourage him or her to wait on a traditional publisher. Use the waiting time to improve their craft and then they will feel so much better about the process when it happens.

I agree, as did most of the May authors. I would encourage any beginning writers to look over the POD comments made by my May interviewees to benefit from the experience represented here.

Now, Tina, let's have you choose an inanimate object to represent you. Explain what you have in common with that object.


I would choose my old antique manual typewriter. It is just sitting there waiting for someone to change the old ribbon and peck out a story. I like an Emily Dickinson line that says "I dwell in possibility." That's how that typewriter is, waiting for someone to inspire its words. I am like that too, waiting for someone or something to inspire the words of my next story.

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

What the Bayou Saw, by Patti Lacy. I loved her prose and I loved the depth of the story. The whole book inspired me as an author to write better and dig deeper. The topic, which deals with friendship and race, challenged my spirit and inspired me to be a better person and a better American. It's one of those books that you can't stop thinking about when you put it down.

What are you working on now?

Right now I am working on two new novels that I'm really excited about. They are a bit different than Rose House and Ruby Among Us, but are still Women's Fiction.

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

You can find me at www.tinaannforkner.com. I have a blog tab at that site and love to hear from readers.

My books are available at your favorite local bookstores and online stores. This is a good link to buy the book at too: Christianbook.com

Thanks, Tina, for telling us about yourself and Rose House. Readers, Tina has offered to sign a copy of her book for the winner of our drawing on Thursday, June 4. To enter, leave a comment for Tina, 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 check back this Monday, when we'll hear from novelist Sharlene MacLaren, author of Maggie Rose. We'll also hold the drawing for Ramona Richards novel, The Taking of Carly Bradford. You can still enter your name for that drawing, under Ramona's interview, below.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ramona Richards and Free Books!

When a mother who lost her own family to a drunk driver finds crucial evidence in a the case of a missing child, she becomes determined to prevent another mother from suffering as she has, determined to help the local police chief, whether he wants her to or not.

Before we meet today's featured author, I want to announce the winners of two book drawings today. The winner of Roxanne Henke's On a Someday is:

orca0024@ . . .

And the winner of Elizabeth Ludwig and Janelle Mowery's Where the Truth Lies is:

bc428@ . . .

Congratulations to both of you! I'll contact you 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 meet novelist Ramona Richards, author of The Taking of Carly Bradford (Steeple Hill, May 2009).

PhotobucketRamona Richards, an award-winning editor and author, has worked on more than 350 publications. The author of seven books, her first three Steeple Hill novels, A Murder Among Friends, The Face Of Deceit, and The Taking Of Carly Bradford received 4-1/2 stars from Romantic Times magazine. Field Of Danger will be released in December.

Please tell us a bit more about The Taking of Carly Bradford.

PhotobucketThree years ago, Dee Kelley lost her family. Three months ago, eight-year-old Carly Bradford disappeared. When Dee finds crucial evidence in a case rapidly growing cold, she becomes determined not to let another mother suffer the way she did. She will help police chief Tyler Madison find Carly, whether he wants her assistance or not. But Tyler isn't the only one determined to keep Dee off the case. And evidence isn't all that she'll find waiting for her in the woods.

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

Carly, oddly enough. I found my hero and heroine, Dee and Tyler, enjoyable, and I adored leading them through the suspense and into love, but 8-year-old Carly enchanted me, as she has many of my readers. In part, it's because of her innocence and her unshakeable faith.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

It's a non-stop thrill ride of a mystery that handles hard issues--yet engages them in a great romance.

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

PhotobucketAnna Belknap of CSI: NY

Photobucketor Amanda Righetti of The Mentalist would make great choices for Dee. Both show the ability to play a "girl next door" look, which would be Dee to a T.

PhotobucketDavid Cubitt of Medium

Photobucketor Eric Close of Without a Trace would be perfect for Tyler, who has a strong look, calm personality, and a drive to do what's right, no matter what the risk.

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

Characters are the easiest for me. I have been a people-watcher all my life, so building complex characters comes naturally to me. I struggle with the plotlines, always.

An unpublished writer is tired of the rejections and is considering using Print on Demand (POD) for her novel. What advice would you give her?

Unless you have a built-in sales channel (speaking platform, online blog with more than 30,000 followers, radio show, etc), you will be publishing just for yourself and your family. Most bookstores and distributors do not accept POD books that haven't been vetted by a publisher, and there are a lot of small and independent publishers that are hungry for new writers and can get your book out.

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

A camera. I love focusing on one moment in life and holding it, showing it to others, and (I hope) keeping it around for a long time to come.

I like that--a good description of what an author does. What is the last book you read that impacted you? How did it affect you?

I read a lot, so this is like picking a favorite child. Probably one book that inspired me was Robert Morgan's Red Sea Rules. Another is a new translation of the Bible that's starting to grow in popularity, The Voice.

What are you working on now?

Right now I'm in line edits for Field of Danger, which comes out in December. Shortly after that, I'm starting a follow-up book with the working title of The Murder Next Door.

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

My website has several excerpts on it: www.ramonarichards.com.

Readers can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook: www.facebook.com
Twitter: twitter.com/RamonaRichards

The Taking of Carly Bradford:
www.amazon.com

Thanks, Ramona, for telling us about yourself and The Taking of Carly Bradford. Readers, Ramona has offered to sign a copy of her book for the winner of our drawing on Monday, June 1. To enter, leave a comment for Ramona, 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 check back this Thursday, when we'll hear from novelist Tina Forkner, author of Rose House. We'll also hold the drawing for Janet Dean's Courting the Doctor's Daughter. You can still enter your name for that drawing, under Janet's interview, below.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Janet Dean and Free Books!

A widow wounded by her dead husband's alcoholism clashes over patent medicine with a peddler who's carrying a secret that will turn her world upside down.

Before we meet today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of Robin Lee Hatcher's A Vote of Confidence is:

immaculata13@ . . .

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 Janet Dean, author of Courting the Doctor's Daughter (Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical, May 2009).

PhotobucketJanet Dean believes in love stories that grab people from the first page and carry them along the sometimes rocky journey of maintaining faith in trying circumstances. Fascinated with history and the role of strong women in our nation's past, Janet brings both together as she sits at her computer spinning stories for Steeple Hill. Her debut novel, Courting Miss Adelaide (Love Inspired historical), released September 2008. The second book in the series, Courting the Doctor's Daughter released May 2009. The Substitute Bride will release February 2010.

Janet is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Faith, Hope & Love. When she isn't writing, Janet enjoys stamping greeting cards, playing golf and is never without a book to read. The Deans love to travel and spend time with family.

Please tell us a bit more about Courting the Doctor's Daughter.

PhotobucketAn Unexpected Match: A widow with three boys to raise, Mary Graves has no time for peddlers of phony medicine. She's a dedicated healer working alongside her doctor father. When a handsome stranger blows into town with his "elixir of health" and asks questions about her newly adopted son, Mary's determined to uncover the truth behind all his claims.

Once the reckless heir to a Boston fortune, Dr. Luke Jacobs travels the country with his herbal medicine while searching for his long-lost son. After meeting the feisty doctor's daughter and her youngest boy, Luke has found what he's been looking for at last. But can he convince her to let him into her home, her family--and her heart?

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

It's hard to choose, but I find my heroine most interesting. Mary Graves is an over-committed widow with three sons. She's been wounded by her deceased husband and struggles with trust issues and self-worth. Though she has a strong faith, she worries about those she loves instead of trusting them to God. Like all Christians Mary is flawed but she takes the tough steps to overcome her past.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I believe readers love to root for characters as they move from conflict to trust, and then to love, knowing they've found the person God intended for them. They do this by overcoming the wounds of their pasts through trusting and obeying God.

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

PhotobucketLuke: Tom Welling

PhotobucketMary: young Jane Seymour

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

Internal conflict comes easily for me. I could tell you dozens of things that happened to my characters in their pasts and how that impacts them now in relationships. I struggle with book-length external conflict, something tangible that keeps the hero and heroine apart, something so important to both of them that it threatens their happy ending and keeps the reader turning pages. True conflict can't be resolved easily, say by having a conversation.

An unpublished writer is tired of the rejections and is considering using Print on Demand (POD) for her novel. How would you advise her?

Print on Demand requires the author to handle the entire process, from writing to distribution to marketing and bookkeeping. Writers need to be aware of all the pros and cons and various aspects involved before signing the dotted line. An example of a con: the books are expensive and that cost is passed on to their friends and relatives.

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

I'd choose colorful art glass that catches light and reflects prisms of color. Like art glass, I hope my writing and my life reflects God's light.

Oh, that's lovely, Janet.

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


I'm always affected by a book in some way. But I'd say Francine Rivers' books have impacted me most. Especially The Sin Eater, a beautiful allegory of the gift of grace.

What are you working on now?

I'm promoting Courting the Doctor's Daughter, available in bookstores and discount stores now. I'm working on revisions for The Substitute Wife. (mentioned above)

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

My Web site: www.janetdean.net
My blog: www.janetdean.blogspot.com
My group blog: www.seekerville.blogspot.com
Love Inspired Authors: www.loveinspiredauthors.com

Harlequin: www.eHarlequin.com
Amazon: www.amazon.com

Thanks, Janet, for telling us about yourself and Courting the Doctor's Daughter. Readers, Janet has offered to sign a copy of her book for the winner of our drawing on Thursday, May 28. To enter, leave a comment for Janet, 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 check back this Monday, when we'll hear from novelist Ramona Richards, author of The Taking of Carly Bradford. We'll also hold the drawings for Roxanne Henke's On a Someday and Elizabeth Ludwig and Janelle Mowery's Where the Truth Lies. You can still enter your name for these drawings, under the author interviews, below.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Elizabeth Ludgwig, Janelle Mowery, and Free Books!

Before we chat with today's authors, I'd like to announce that the signed copy of Amber Miller's Copper and Candles, goes to:

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 co-authors Elizabeth Ludwig and Janelle Mowery, co-authors of Where the Truth Lies (Barbour Publishing, 2008).

PhotobucketElizabeth Ludwig and Janelle Mowery also co-authored books two and three of this series, Died in the Wool, and A Black Die Affair, respectively, which are slated for release in 2010 as part of a collection titled Massachusetts Mayhem.

In 2008, Elizabeth was named the IWA Writer of the Year for her work on Where the Truth Lies. She is a regular contributor to the popular literary blog, Novel Journey, named one of Writer Digest's 101 Most Valuable Websites for Writers, 2008, and she manages Spyglass Lane, the official blog for readers and members of the Heartsong Presents Mysteries book club. Elizabeth is an accomplished speaker and dramatist, having performed before audiences of 1500 and more. She works fulltime, and currently lives with her husband and two children in Texas.

PhotobucketJanelle Mowery became a member of American Christian Fiction Writers in the year 2002 and immediately joined one of their critique groups, which provided many opportunities for growth and development. In 2003, she entered her first novel in the Noble Theme contest and was named one of the top ten finalists in the historical category. In 2004, she had a short story titled "A Fair Chance" published in the e-magazine, Romancing the Christian Heart. In 2005, her third novel, entered in the San Gabriel Writers' League 'Writing Smarter' Contest, won first place. Also, Janelle's fifth novel made it to the top ten finalists in the Noble Theme contest. This year Janelle signed contracts with Harvest House Publishers for a three book historical series titled Colorado Runaways. All three are set for release in 2011. Janelle has been married twenty years and is the mother of two sons. She is a member of Sandy Point Bible Church and serves as Treasurer. She also assists in the church’s teen program.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of your novel.

PhotobucketWe don't want to give too much away. Here's the copy off the back cover.

A case of suicide leads an amateur sleuth on a trail of deceit and corruption . . .

Casey Alexander refuses to believe her aunt committed suicide. Convinced a murderer is hiding out in her aunt's sleepy hometown, she'll do anything to uncover the truth. But as her personal investigation produces mounting evidence, the danger to Casey grows. Now she'll be forced to trust certain residents of Pine Mills for help, including local nursery owner, Luke Kerrigan . . . the man with whom she's falling in love . . . and who may be stalking her. Prompted by strange clues and a mysterious stranger, Casey does a little more digging. The secrets she unearths will turn lives upside down and threaten the peace in Pine Mills' small community--especially when she discovers that the truth can sometimes be hidden in a lie.

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

Elizabeth: I loved all of the characters, but Casey Alexander especially. She's like one of my crazy, goofy, fun-loving alter egos! Plus, she's smart, and something I only wish I could be--a computer geek.

Janelle: As far as I'm concerned, Elizabeth is a computer geek. She knows so much more about them than I do. As for characters, I really liked Monah. Yes, she was a secondary character but she was so fun to write. She's a little kooky and loves chocolate but loves her Lord even more. That may be, in part, why we moved her to the main character in Died in the Wool.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

Elizabeth: Janelle and I really tried to create a story with so many twists and turns that our readers would be kept guessing right up until the end. I think we accomplished that, so if you love a good mystery, this is the book for you.

Janelle: I've got to agree again with Elizabeth. One reviewer said we had more twists than a bag of rotini. I loved that. We worked hard to put in several misleading clues while always making sure we countered with real clues that would make the reader say, "Oh, yeah." In the process, our brains did a few twists of their own trying to keep everything straight.

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

Elizabeth: This should be easy for me. I watch a lot of movies. LOL! But honestly, I had a hard time coming up with two actors who fit the parts perfectly. If I had to choose, I guess I would pick

PhotobucketEmily Blunt

Photobucketor Scarlett Johansson for my heroine

and Patrick Dempsey for my hero.Photobucket

Janelle: Oh, no. This will probably be the most difficult question to answer for me. I don't watch enough movies to know who would work the best in each role. I don't even know the people my coauthor mentioned. I guess in this case I'll have to defer to the actors Elizabeth listed.

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

Elizabeth: I've gotten pretty good at writing description and action, but only because those were problem areas for me that forced myself to focus on. Now, those two things come much easier. Areas I still struggle with are characterization and backstory. When is enough, too much?? LOL!

Janelle: Easiest? Nothing about writing is all that easy but I think characterization and dialogue come the easiest. I'm awful with description. I don't like to read that much of it in novels and tend to scan over it as I read, so I have a very difficult time remembering to put it in my own stories.

An unpublished writer is tired of the rejections and is considering using Print on Demand (POD) for her novel. Give her your advice.

Elizabeth: Don't do it! Wait on God's timing, improve your skill as a writer while you're waiting, and trust that ultimately, it will be His will that is accomplished.

Janelle: Again, I agree with Elizabeth. By waiting for acceptance from a traditional publisher, you'll know your writing skills have improved and are of the quality that they require. And there's nothing sweeter than being able to look back at the steps the Lord took you through to get you published. Oh, could I tell you a story . . .

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

Elizabeth: An inanimate object is hard to choose, because I seldom ever sit still. However, if aliens were to suddenly invade our planet and change everyone into inanimate objects, I think they would make me a potato. Why? Well, because potatoes have eyes so I'd still be able to see, they're full of starch, which, when used in reference to a person, used to mean that the person was strong willed and stubborn, and potatoes have a wide variety. IE: They can be French fries, curly fries, mashed, boiled, cottage fries, waffle fries, baked, stuffed, wedged . . . and that's all I have to say about that. (In my best Forrest Gump impersonation. See? I told you I watch a lot of movies. LOL!)

Janelle: LOL. Elizabeth is so deep. I'm much more simple. I would want to be a game cam. We bought one for one of our sons this past Christmas and I think I enjoy it more than he does. But to just be able to sit and watch wildlife is one of my loves. Ask Elizabeth. I called her up one day exclaiming how I'd just seen a newborn fawn with its mother. Made my day. Yep, I'm a wildlife nut.

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

Elizabeth: I love to read, and while I enjoy many different types of books, it takes a really special story to impact me. That's why I think I would have to say the last one that really changed the way I write would be The Last Sin-Eater by Francine Rivers. Ms. Rivers took the gospel and wove a really great story around it. It was a moment of personal revelation when I realized that I'd been doing the opposite--trying to write a good story and weave the gospel into it. Now, I always look at the spiritual side of my characters first, before figuring out how their faith impacts who the characters are and how they will behave.

Janelle: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers has always been my all-time favorite. I've read many books since then but that one always stands out in my mind as absolutely unforgettable. Francine has a way of pulling the reader into the story and so close to the characters that when you finally manage to put the book down, you feel like you've just peeled yourself from the pages. And scripture is so skillfully woven throughout the story, a reader can't help but walk away knowing more about our Lord if not having enriched their relationship with Him. I also have to share that I just started The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner and she had me captured from the first chapter. Great stuff.

What are you working on now?

Elizabeth: I have Christmas anthology coming out from Barbour Publishing this fall called Christmas Homecoming. It's a wonderful collection about a grandmother whose family comes home to celebrate her marriage to a long-time friend. My novella, called "I'll Be Home for Christmas" is a loosely based re-telling of the Prodigal Son. With so many people facing loneliness over the holidays, I think this story will really speak to people's hearts. I also just finished up a proposal for a historical romance set in Calico, California. Calico was a silver mining town back in the 1800's. It's a ghost town now, but tourists are still attracted to the place. My husband and I visited there the last time we went on vacation. I loved the area, the history, everything about the place. I'm hoping I can find a publisher for this book, because getting to know the history of the place has truly captured my imagination.

Janelle: Working on now? I am working on a historical romance with a good bit of humor. I settled on the hook of: Whoever said trouble comes in threes has never been to Peculiar, Missouri, where peace and acceptance face off against chaos and rejection, and the winner is not always clear. I just may have too many irons in the fire, but as I'm editing the books signed by Harvest House, I'm also working on the proposal for a new historical series title Indentured Hearts.

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

Elizabeth: Readers can find out all about my books by visiting me at www.elizabethludwig.com or at my blog www.elizabethludwig.blogspot.com. I'm also a regular contributor to Novel Journey, www.noveljourney.blogspot.com and I'm a member of the Christian Author’s Network. Visit me at christianauthorsnetwork.com

Janelle: More information about my writing can be found by visiting my website at www.janellemowery.com or my blog at www.janellemowery.blogspot.com. I can also be found on the website of my agent, www.macgregorliterary.com or on the Christian Author's Network, christianauthorsnetwork.com

Thanks, Elizabeth and Janelle, for telling us about yourself and Where the Truth Lies. Readers, Elizabeth and Janelle have offered to send a copy of book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, May 25. To enter, leave a comment for them, 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 check back on Thursday, when we'll hear from novelist Janet Dean, author of Courting the Doctor's Daughter. And we'll draw the winner of the signed copy of A Vote of Confidence, by Robin Lee Hatcher. You can still enter for that drawing under Robin's interview, below.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Roxanne Henke and Free Books!

How often have you said, "Someday I'm going to . . . ?" What if 'someday' is now?

On this bonus Saturday post, we get to visit with novelist Roxanne Henke, author of On a Someday (Harvest House Publishers, January 2009).

PhotobucketRoxanne Henke's, first novel, After Anne, was selected as Christianbook.com's Favorite Book of 2002. Her subsequent six books have appeared on a bestseller list, been "Top Picks" for Romantic Times magazine, and given a Retailer's Choice award. Roxanne was named Writer of the Year at the 2003 Mt. Hermon Writers Conference. In addition to writing, Roxy also speaks and teaches at conferences and events across the nation on the topics of friendship, depression, achieving goals, and writing. She writes from her home in rural North Dakota, where she lives with her husband and an annoying-friendly dog. She has two daughters and two wonderful sons-in-law.

What can you tell us about On a Someday?

PhotobucketJim Westin is tired. Over most-of-a-lifetime he's built his grocery business, hoping someday to hand it over to one of his kids. The only trouble is none of his kids want the business. Jim's wife, Claire, thought she was ready to retire along with her husband, but an unexpected career development has exciting new opportunities coming her way. Their son, Drew, is climbing-the-ladder in New York. No way would he consider moving back to North Dakota to help his dad . . . or would he? What happens when plans conflict? When "someday" is different than you planned?

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

I always identify a little bit with all of my characters. I have to in order to get inside their heads and personalities.

But, that said, in this book I identify with both Jim and Claire. Jim because he is looking at the work he's done his whole life and wondering, "Is this enough?" And, "What's next?" I faced a similar situation when my youngest daughter left home. I'd spent years-and-years being a "mom," now what was I supposed to do? It turned out I had books to write!

And I identified with Claire because when she stepped outside of her familiar comfort zone (teaching at a college) she was faced with all sorts of new career choices. Much like what happened to me when I started writing.

Roxanne, you're making me both dread and look forward to that empty nest!

Why will readers enjoy your novel?


I think my younger readers will enjoy On a Someday as they follow Drew and his wife, Trisha, through the career-building years, trying to decide what's best for them work-wise and family-wise. My more 'mature' readers will identify with Jim and Claire as they near what seems like the end of their careers and they grapple with the issues of "what's next?"

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

PhotobucketOkay, this might sound silly, but I can really see Anderson Cooper (the TV news guy) as Jim Westin. (Although he might be a little "young" in real-life.) I'm completely stumped as to who could play the other characters . . . but I'm open to suggestion. And so is Hollywood. Ha.

Sigh. Wouldn't that be great? It's certainly not unheard of.

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


I love doing dialogue scenes and I especially love them when they are between two women characters. Maybe it's because I love the concept of "friendship." And having two women talking to each other seems to come very naturally to me.

And that's fun to read, too, I think. What do you struggle with in your writing?

I wish I could write faster. When I'm writing a novel, whether it's the very first pages, or the slam-bam end, I always feel like I am the "turtle" of writing. With me it's slow-and-steady. But I often wish I was the "hare."

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

Oh, it has to be a book. My favorite inanimate object in the world!! What do I have in common? Well, I suppose, much like a dust-jacket, I can look nice and respectable on the outside but, once you open the book, there are all sorts of things you don't expect inside.

You do always look nice and respectable on the outside! So polished.

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


I love having adult kids! They are the reward for all those years of in-the-trenches parenting. My two daughters (and two sons-in-laws) are cool and interesting. They are opinionated (in a good way). They are beautiful inside and out. And they are FUN!!

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

Someone Knows My Name, by Lawrence Hill. It's a novel about a young girl, ripped out of her tribe in Africa and sent to America to become a slave. No one but her "knows her name." But she makes sure she won't be forgotten.

What are you working on now?

Actually, right now I'm taking a writing-break. After writing eight novels (one-a-year for eight years) I need some time to reflect and refresh. I'm percolating some ideas. Keeping up with my blog. Doing some speaking. And keeping busy . . . funny how that works!

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

Every now-and-then I send out an e-newsletter. If readers would like to subscribe they can e-mail me at: roxannehenke@yahoo.com and ask to be added. Or, check me out on the web at: www.roxannehenke.com. If you'd like to order autographed copies of any of my books, go to the Home page of my website and click on the "SignedbytheAuthor" icon beneath the description of my books. Type in my name and follow directions. In a few days my books will arrive on your doorstep. Happy reading!!

Thanks for the interview, Trish. You had some very interesting and thought-provoking questions!

Thanks, Roxanne, and thank you for telling us about yourself and On a Someday. Readers, Roxanne has offered to sign a copy of her book for the winner of our drawing on Monday, May 25. To enter, leave a comment for her, 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 check back this Monday, when we'll hear from novelists Elizabeth Ludwig and Janelle Mowery, authors of Where the Truth Lies. And we'll draw the winner of Amber Miller's Copper and Candles. You can still enter for that drawing under Tiffany (Amber Miller) Stockton's interview, below.

You also have time to enter
to win Robin Lee Hatcher's novel, A Vote of Confidence, by commenting below Robin's interview.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Robin Lee Hatcher and Free Books!

"Who says a woman can't do a man's job?" In 1915 a beautiful, independent woman runs for mayor against her handsome opponent.

Before we meet today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of Wild Prairie Roses, featuring novelist Lena Nelson Dooley, is:

chellegoodson@ . . .

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 veteran novelist Robin Lee Hatcher, author of A Vote of Confidence (Zondervan, May 2009).

PhotobucketRobin Lee Hatcher discovered her vocation as a novelist after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, two RITA Awards for Best Inspirational Romance, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over 60 novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.

Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She is passionate about the theater, and several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying Shakespeare under the stars. She makes her home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with Poppet the high-maintenance Papillon.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of A Vote of Confidence.

PhotobucketComplaining about Bethlehem Springs' dissolute mayoral candidate, Gwen Arlington is challenged to take on the role herself. For seven years, she's carved out an independent life in the bustling mountain town of Bethlehem Springs, Idaho, teaching piano and writing for the local newspaper. But now she's a single woman running for mayor--and in 1915 this decision is bound to stir up trouble.

Morgan McKinley is fed up with the delays that hinder the construction of New Hope Health Spa, a place where both rich and poor can come for rest and healing. New to the area, he has determined that serving as mayor would help him push through his agenda for progress.

Gwen and Morgan each want to prove they are the most qualified candidate, not only to voters but to each other, and so sparks fly as the two campaign. Although Morgan has learned to guard his heart as fiercely as Gwen guards her independence, could they learn to be allies instead of adversaries?

I love the forward movement implied in the front covers on this series. Which character in your novel most interested you while you wrote? Why?

I'm always fond of and interested in both the hero and the heroine of my historical romances. It would be impossible to choose one over the other. I love Gwen's independence and her desire to make a difference in the town, and I admire Morgan for what he wants to achieve with his health spa.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I fell in love with this time period while writing my suffragette novel, Catching Katie, and so I couldn't help wanting to return to the era again. Naturally, I believe readers will enjoy the novel mostly because they'll want to see Gwen and Morgan find happiness with each other. But I think they'll also be intrigued by insights into how women challenged convention and shaped America in the early 20th Century.

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

I don't "cast" my characters with actors in mind. They become so real to me that they have their own individual looks, apart from photographs of others.

PhotobucketBut off the top of my head, I can see Reese Witherspoon in the role of Gwen.

PhotobucketAnd Richard Armitage in the role of Morgan.

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

Characters are the easiest for me. A very common theme in reviews of my books is that readers feel like my characters are real people and that they have become friends with them. I believe that's because the characters become real in my mind first.

What I struggle with most is the external plot thread. I usually understand the characters and their motivations and their emotions early on, but the action part of the book takes me a little longer.

An unpublished writer is tired of the rejections and is considering using Print on Demand (POD) for her novel. How would you advise her?

The problem with POD is that, while POD books can be ordered by the big chains (Borders, B&N, etc.), they rarely are ordered by them; a customer must know they want that specific book and ask for it to be ordered. A new author needs their book to be mass produced so that readers can discover them because of the cover and the back blurb and the feel of the book in the reader's hand; impulse buys are what grow your readership. Before a writer goes the POD or vanity press route, they should be sure they've exhausted all of the traditional avenues first.

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

Wow! That's a difficult question. I think I'll choose a book. One never knows what they'll find within the covers of a book, and I like to think there would be a few surprises once somebody gets to know me beneath "my covers" too.

Speaking of books, what is the last book you read that impacted you? How did it affect you?

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. This was one of those novels that has stayed with me for months. I still miss the characters and I still mourn for the character I never got to meet personally. I want to go to 1946 on the island of Guernsey and spend time with my new "friends."

What are you working on now?

I'm working on the third and final book in the Sisters of Bethlehem Springs series, A Word to the Wise. Daphne McKinley is the heroine of this book, and she has a secret that's about to come to light.

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

My web site is at www.robinleehatcher.com
I blog alone at Write Thinking, robinlee.typepad.com
I blog with four other historical writers at Writes of Passage,
writespassage.blogspot.com

You can buy my latest book on Amazon.com
Amazon.com

and on Christianbook.com
www.christianbook.com

Thanks, Robin, for telling us about yourself and A Vote of Confidence. Readers, Robin has offered to sign a copy of her book for the winner of our drawing on Thursday, May 21. To enter, leave a comment for Robin, 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 check back this Saturday, when we'll hear from novelist Roxanne Henke, author of On a Someday.

Finally, check out our interview with Tiffany (Amber Miller) Stockton, below, and be sure to leave a comment for Tiff. We'll draw the winner of a signed copy of Copper and Candles this Monday, May 18. It's not too late to enter for that drawing.

Also on Monday we'll hear from Elizabeth Ludwig and Janelle Mowry, co-authors of Where the Truth Lies.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tiffany (Amber Miller) Stockton and Free Books!

A young lady of means hides her identity from a copper refinery worker and discovers that keeping secrets, no matter how noble their intent, demands a price that she and the worker, with all their resources, might not be able to pay.

Before we chat with today's author, I'd like to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Wild Prairie Roses, featuring Laurie Alice Eakes' Better than Gold, goes to:

b.werts@ . . .

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 revisit novelist Tiffany (Amber Miller) Stockton, and hear about her latest release, Copper and Candles (Barbour Publishing/Heartsong Presents, April 2009).

Photobucket(Tiffany) Amber Stockton is an author and freelance web site designer who lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart, in beautiful Colorado. They celebrated the birth of their daughter in April and have a vivacious puppy named Roxie, a Border Collie/Flat-Haired Retriever mix. Amber has sold six books so far to Barbour Publishing with more on the horizon. Other credits include writing articles for various publications, five short stories with Romancing the Christian Heart, and contributions to the books: 101 Ways to Romance Your Marriage and Grit for the Oyster.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Copper and Candles.

PhotobucketSociety teas and garden parties, shopping, gossip--Life as a young lady of means may be fun, but Felicity wants to do more. Unfortunately, she finds that her position and wealth can sometimes hinder her efforts to help those around her in need. Thus, when a charity case falls ill and cannot work, Felicity determines to go to work as a commoner in Detroit's dangerous factory district. Relationships become complicated, however, and she soon finds herself falling in love with a worker from the copper refinery next door. She knows her family would never accept him as a suitor, but what's a girl to do? What she doesn't know is that Brandt has his own secrets and hides his identity just as carefully as she. Brandt and Felicity soon discover that deception--no matter how noble its intent--demands a price that even they, with all their resources, may not be able to pay. Can they survive the storm when truth is revealed?

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

That would probably be Brandt, because of his sense of humor as well as his loyalty to his father, regardless of how he disagreed with the old-fashioned ideals. In regard to Felicity, even when he sensed something wasn't right with the stories she told him about herself, he continued to befriend her and see past the facade to the woman underneath. And when the true test came for Brandt to prove his worth, he came through with flying colors--they were just a smidgeon blurred along the way.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

Well, if you're a fan of historical fiction and unique settings, this will appeal to you. Detroit today isn't exactly a desirable location, but it wasn't always that way. In addition, the familiar issue of class incompatibility plays a key role. Throw in honest intentions, deception, secrets, scheming families and romance, and you've got the recipe for Copper and Candles.

I don't think I've ever read a historical set in Detroit. I love the idea of reading about its earlier days. If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

Oh, wow. You made me think on this one a lot last time. LOL! This isn't an easy question, but it's a fun one. For Felicity and Brandt, I'd go with the pair from Legend of the Seeker:

PhotobucketBridget Regan

Photobucketand Craig Horner.

They both often find themselves in dual roles, deception with honest intentions and defending themselves against accusations that prove untrue. They also have a fantastic on-screen chemistry that stands out to me as being perfect for the roles in my book.

When you visited us last, you told us your writing strengths and weaknesses were dialogue and description, respectively. Has that changed in any fashion?

I would definitely say I've improved in the description area, but I feel I still need a lot of work. With each book I write, it gets easier to figure out the nuances and strengthen my weak areas, but it also becomes clear that each book actually has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, depending upon the topic or time that I write it. I just take it one book at a time and work through whatever is needed to get it done.

We're taking a look at Print on Demand (POD) this month. Suppose an unpublished writer tells you she's tired of the rejections and is considering using (POD) for her novel. Give her your advice.

POD has been changing drastically in recent years, and it doesn't come with the stigma once attached to it. If you consider this route, do your research and homework. You want one as close to a standard publisher as possible in regard to royalties, advances, author copies, etc.; one that doesn't require YOU to pay them to print your book; and one that sets the price of your book competitively with the going prices of other equivalent books on the market.

Someone has just handed you a box containing exactly what you need at this moment in time. What’s in the box?

About 4 extra pairs of hands. LOL! Seriously, with a 5-week-old at home, book deadlines, client work, household responsibilities, appointments, meetings, marketing and other duties, I feel pulled in so many different directions and wonder if I'll ever get on top of things again. I'd love to have at least one extra set of hands to hold my daughter while I take care of things around the house. It'd also be great if that box came with one or two girlfriends/women to come visit for a spell and break up the routine a bit.

I remember when my teenaged son was as young as your little sweetheart. I was completely ragged from all the work, especially because I was working on my Psych degree at the same time. One day my husband came home and cheerfully announced he had heard a speaker on Christian radio saying women in that stage of life are blessed with a chemical burst of energy that makes it possible for them to get it all done. I can only assume the speaker was a man. I can attest to a burst of energy at that particular moment, but it didn't help me get anything constructive done, I can tell you.

Okay, back to reading and writing. What is the last book you read that impacted you? How did it affect you?


Honestly? That would have to be the Bible. I haven't had much time to do a lot of pleasure reading in fiction or nonfiction lately. However, I did work through a Beth Moore Bible study with women from my church called Stepping Up. Wow! Talk about an amazing journey through the Psalms of Ascent! If you need a study that takes you deeper in your relationship with God and with other women, this is fantastic!

That does sound like a worthy Bible study goal, Tiff! What are you working on now?

I am finishing my 6th novel, which is the 3rd in this new series, beginning with the featured novel here today. The title of my current work is Patterns and Progress. Hearts and Harvest will release in September 2009. All 3 are part of my historical Michigan series set in Detroit during the Industrial Revolution.

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

They can come see me at my web site, www.amberstockton.com, where I have several pages and a blog. You can also find me on Facebook under Tiffany Amber Miller Stockton, and on ShoutLife at www.shoutlife.com/ambermiller. I am just getting started with Twitter, but I haven’t quite gotten steady with it yet. Regardless, if you’d like to follow me, you can do so here: www.twitter.com/amberstockton.

Thanks, Tiff, for telling us about yourself and Copper and Candles. Readers, Tiffany has offered to sign a copy of her book for the winner of our drawing on Monday, May 18. To enter, leave a comment for her, 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 check back on Thursday, when we'll hear from novelist Robin Lee Hatcher, author of A Vote of Confidence. And we'll draw the winner of another signed copy of Wild Prairie Roses, compliments of Lena Nelson Dooley. You can still enter for that drawing under Lena's interview, below.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lena Nelson Dooley and Free Books!

Elusive dreams of gold unite three couples.

Before we meet today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of Bonnie Leon's novel, Enduring Love, is:

jeanereads@ . . .

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 Lena Nelson Dooley, one of the authors of Wild Prairie Roses (Barbour Fiction, May 2009).

PhotobucketLena Nelson Dooley is a multi-published, best-selling author. Her books have finaled in several contests. She has five book releases this year.

A full-time writer, she enjoys mentoring the other authors the Lord brings to her. She has hosted a critique group in her home for over 20 years. More that a dozen authors have sold their first book after her mentoring them.

She speaks at writing meetings, women's meetings, and conferences.

Lena lives in Texas with the love of her life. They have two daughters, two sons-in-law, two grandsons, two granddaughters, and one great grandson. James and Lena are active in church, serving in several capacities over the years. They spend time with family, and they love to travel.

Lena, we chatted earlier this week with one of your co-authors, Laurie Alice Eakes. What can you tell us about Wild Prairie Roses?

PhotobucketA historical fact: Near the end of the Civil War, a shipment of Union gold disappeared. It was headed toward the frontier forts to pay the soldiers. This gold is the thread that ties the three stories in the book together.

Three women find that Browning City, Iowa, is hiding a dangerous mystery. Upon visiting town, Constance finds her every move shadowed. Tara enjoys the hunt for lost gold, until the competition becomes too heated. Lily underestimates the secret dangers her sleepy town harbors. Will each woman find a man to partner with in love and against evil?

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

Actually, I loved both the hero and the heroine. Two characters from vastly different backgrounds. I loved writing their interaction.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I've been told by readers that my writing reminds them of the writing of Tracie Peterson and Lauraine Snelling. I took that as a great compliment. Although the plot is important, my novels are character driven.

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

PhotobucketJohn Schneider would make a good Hans.

PhotobucketAnd Jennifer Aniston would be a good Constance.

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

I love the rewriting and editing once the story is on the paper. Getting the story down probably is harder, but I really love writing.

And no doubt you wrote for awhile before publishing. How would you advise an unpublished writer who is tired of the rejections and is considering using Print on Demand (POD) for her novel?

I recently read a statistic from a reliable source that said the average sales of a POD book is 200 copies. That would be enough to keep me from going that direction.

If God wants you to be published, wait for His timing. Even though it seems to take a long time in our minds, His timing is perfect. I do believe that a large majority of the authors who go the POD path wish they were with a regular publisher instead.

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

That's hard. I think of myself as more animated. Maybe a recliner. I could meet people's need for rest. That's important. I do like to meet people's needs. Spiritual and otherwise.

You are quite the nurturer; I can attest to that. What is the last book you read that impacted you? How did it affect you?

Demon by Tosca Lee. This book showed the depth of the love of the Father for His children. I loved it. I need to read her new one, Havah. It's on my to-be-read list.

Oh, me too. I loved Demon, and my copy of Havah is at the top of my ridiculously long list. I want my teenaged son to read Demon. I think it will appeal to teens and up, both male and female.

What are you working on now, Lena?


I'm excited to be writing my first 80,000-95,000 word novel. It will release in the summer of 2010--Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico. I'm glad I was able to sign with Summerside Press.

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

I am all over the net:

My web page: www.lenanelsondooley.com

My monthly newsletter: lenanelsondooleynewsletter.blogspot.com

My author interview blog: lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Twitter: twitter.com/lenandooley

Facebook Fan page: www.new.facebook.com/pages/Lena-Nelson-Dooley

Facebook profile: www.new.facebook.com

Shoutlife: www.shoutlife.com

Regular blogger: www.bustlesandspurs.com

You can order Wild Prairie Roses using this link:




Finally, readers and writers, if you've ever wondered how authors come up with ideas for those animal-centered books, a la Marley and Me, you might want to check out my column at ChristianFictionOnlineMagazine

Monday, May 4, 2009

Laurie Alice Eakes and Free Books!

Lily wants to move to the city. Ben wants the security of a small town. They face danger and heartache to find a cache of lost gold and discover something far better.

Before we meet today's author, I'd like to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Lynette Sowell's book, The Wiles of Watermelon, goes to:

cepjwms@ . . .

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 Laurie Alice Eakes, author of Better than Gold (Barbour Books, May 2009, in a collection with two other novels under the title Wild Prairie Roses).

PhotobucketAward-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes does not remember a time when books did not play a part in her life; thus, no one was surprised when she decided to be a writer. Her first hardcover was a 2006 Regency historical from Avalon Books and won the National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency, as well as being a finalist for Best First Book. She has also sold many articles, short stories, and essays. She is an active member of RWA and on the blog staff for Novelists Inc. A graduate of the Seton Hill University Master of Arts Degree in Writing Popular Fiction, And a Bachelor of Arts graduate in English and French from Asbury College, she is an experienced speaker, and has made presentations at local and national RWA conferences, as well as local universities and libraries.

She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, who is about to graduate from Georgetown University School of Law, and assorted cats and dogs.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Better than Gold.

PhotobucketLily Reese is so afraid of being alone after a traumatic experience on her family farm, she wants to get out of the small town and live in the big city. Her job as a telegraph operator is likely to make this possible.

Ben Purcell has traveled all his life, as his father was a peddler. When he learned he has a great aunt, who is still alive, he decides to settle in the small town until he can afford his own land. He wants permanence.

For years, people in the town have been hunting a cache of stolen gold said to be hidden in the area. Lily and Ben hunt for it, too, and find their lives in danger, as they find more clues, and their hearts in danger as they fall for one another.

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

Lily for sure. She's pretty complex in her goals and motivations, but it took me a while to figure her out, understand why she would want money so badly she would risk everything to get it.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

It is a blend of mystery, suspense, and romance in a historical setting. What's better than that?

Excellent point, Laurie. You've covered a lot of bases there! If you were the casting director for the film version of Better than Gold, who would play your lead roles?

PhotobucketFor Lily, Jenna Fischer, who plays Pam on The Office.

PhotobucketFor Ben, David Boreanaz, who plays Agent Booth on Fox's Bones.

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

The easiest part for me is coming up with ideas. I can read a couple of books about a time or place and have a three-book series outlined in a week.

Beginnings are the hardest part for me. No matter how well outlined my story is, the first three chapters take me longer to write than do the next six to nine. I think this is because all the character charts in the world don't help me figure out my characters until they are talking and moving around.

Pretty much like real people, eh?

This month I'm asking authors their thoughts on Print on Demand (POD). Say an unpublished writer is tired of the rejections and is considering using POD for her novel. How would you advise her?


Don't do it. Wait upon the Lord's timing and don't rush it. Your stories aren't selling for a reason and if you force the issue, you could do more damage to your career than good.

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

What do you mean? I am an inanimate object.

LOL! I guess many avid readers and writers fall into that category, don't we?

Maybe a sofa. A loveseat. Four legs, two arms . . . Oh, yeah, I only have two legs. Hmm. I know, a bookcase. I have many facets like shelves and am full of knowledge, some of it useful, much of it not, as well as some other objects just for fun.

We'll go with that. Speaking of books, what is the last book you read that impacted you? How did it affect you?

Fiction or nonfiction? Nonfiction is probably Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell. Gina Welborn recommended it. What a great perspective--we get paralyzed because we have too much choice and we need to trust our gut instincts. I call that trusting the still small voice of God.

Yes, Gladwell is fascinating. I read his book, The Tipping Point, which I would actually recommend to any author curious about how many books become best-sellers. And how about a fiction choice, Laurie?

I'm pretty moved by the book I'm reading now. Secrets, by Kristen Heitzmann.

What are you working on now?

I am working on the second story in the Heartsong New Jersey historical series. It's called The Heiress and follows The Glassblower, which will be out in November.

And you just got great news today about another project, didn't you? Tell us!

I've just received contracts for four books for Avalon. Set in the 1890s in Virginia, they feature young women entering careers dominated by men. The old counting game

Rich man, poor man,
Beggar man, thief,
Doctor,lawyer,
Merchant, chief,
Tinker, tailor,
Soldier, sailor


inspired the series. My heroines are a doctor, a lawyer, a merchant in the form of a seacaptain, and, instead of a chief, a chef.

When the Snow Flies, the first one, is scheduled to come out next June. I still have to write the other three, and will be starting soon.

Fantastic news, Laurie! Sounds as if you're going to be busy for quite awhile. Where else can readers find you or your writing online? Please include the link for purchasing your book.

You can find me at www.lauriealiceeakes.com and www.seizethechance.blogspot.com. I'm doing a free read on the blog, and it's more up-to-date than the web site.

As for buying my books, anywhere you can buy Christian fiction. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christian Book.com, www.heartsongpresents.com or www.barbourbooks.com. Wild Prairie Roses should be in Walmart by the second week in May. It's also available at all the on-line outlets.

Thanks, Laurie, for telling us about yourself and Better than Gold. Readers, Laurie has offered to sign a copy of her book for the winner of our drawing on Monday, May 11. To enter, leave a comment for Laurie, 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 check back on Thursday, when we'll hear from novelist Lena Nelson Dooley, another author featured in Wild Prairie Roses. And we'll draw the winner of Bonnie Leon's book, Enduring Love. You can still enter for that drawing under Bonnie's interview, below.

Finally, don't go anywhere without taking a look at some of the excellent Christian fiction being released during the month of May!

1. A Bride of Honor by Ruth Axtell Morren from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical. An impoverished preacher from the working class falls in love with a young lady of the London ton and risks all including his reputation to save her honor.

2. A Prairie Romance Collection, by Lynn A. Coleman, Mary Davis, Lena Nelson Dooley, Susan K. Downs, Birdie L. Etchison, Linda Ford, Linda Goodnight, JoAnne A. Grote, Cathy Marie Hake, Judith McCoy Miller, Kathleen Paul, Janet Spaeth from Barbour Publishing. Relive history On The American Great Plains.

3. Beyond Corista, Shadowside Series - Book 3 by Robert Elmer from Zondervan. In the last book of the trilogy, Oriannon and Sola set out to take the word of Jesmet beyond their planet, but are captured by traders, who hold the girl as a pawn in an interplanetary struggle.

4. Bittersweet Memories by Cecelia Dowdy from Barbour Heartsong Presents. Karen's fiancé has disappeared after embezzling money from their large mega-church; can she learn to love again?

5. Enduring Love, Sydney Cove Series, Book Three by Bonnie Leon from Revell. John and Hannah have lived by faith. When all seems lost they must continue to believe in a God who can do all things.

6. Lethal Lasagna, by Rhonda Gibson from White Rose Publishing. Lethal Lasagna is a cozy romantic mystery.

7.Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana, by Melanie Dobson from Sommerside Press. A Quaker woman risks everything to operate a station on the Underground Railroad in 1850.

8. Rose House, by Tina Ann Forkner from Waterbrook Press. vivid story of a private grief, a secret painting, and one woman's search for hope.

9. So Not Happening, A Charmed Life, book one by Jenny B. Jones from Thomas Nelson. Isabella Kirkwood had it all: popularity at a prestigious private school in Manhattan, the latest fashions, and a life of privilege and luxury. What's a girl to do when God gives you the total smackdown?

10. The Lyons Den , 3rd Book in The Shelton Heights Series by Kendra Norman-Bellamy from Urban Books. With his and his family's life placed in danger by a stalker who only identifies himself as "Dr. A.H. Satan," Stuart Lyons has to somehow maintain his faith in God.

11. Tour de Force, by Beth White from Zondervan. Gilly Kincade, rising star in a premier NYC ballet company, and Birmingham artistic director Jacob Ferrar wrestle with ordering the priorities of building a relationship, pursuing artistic dreams, and serving God.

12. Trail to Justice, by Susan Page Davis from Heartsong Presents. A police dispatcher and a veterinarian compete in a 100-mile horse race for fun, but find intrigue and romance, along with an injured champion and a wrecked airplane.

13. What the Bayou Saw by Patti Lacy from Kregel Publishing. Sally Stevens, Mary's Southern friend in an Irishwoman's Tale, grapples with her own memories, buried beneath the murky waters of a Louisiana bayou.

14. Wild Prairie Roses, by Lena Nelson Dooley and Laurie Alice Eakes and Lisa Harris from Barbour Publishing. Elusive dreams unite three couples.

15. Who Made you a Princess, All About Us #4 by Shelley Adina from Hatchette Faithwords. Will Shani Hanna choose the boy next door or a real-life handsome prince?

Happy reading!
 

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