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!

Friday, July 31, 2009

WINNERS of the $200 and Sunset Beach Bag Contests!

Who won the $200 Foreshadowing Contest? Who won the Sunset Beach Bag Contest?

I'm thrilled to announce that CARMAN BOLEY was the first entrant who correctly guessed the answer for my $200 foreshadowing contest:

On page 118 of The Guy I'm Not Dating, Kara pegs her friend Ren's reluctance to date again after her husband Greg left and divorced her. Kara says, "You're understandably gun shy right now." About which:

Ren sighed. "And hopeful, I guess. Greg might change his mind, you know. The Lord might have a miracle waiting for me." And Kara says:

"True."

The foreshadowing in this exchange is fairly subtle, as is much foreshadowing. Tru is the name of the man God brings into Ren's broken life. He is the miracle He had waiting for her. But you don't learn that until Too Good to Be True.

Congratulations to Carman for being the first to recognize the foreshadowing. Others found it, but Carman was first. Carman, I'll be in touch with you today to get your address to send you your $200.

Thanks to everyone who entered. There were a number of other moments of foreshadowing pointed out, and it was fun to see what you found.


And now, the winner of the drawing for the Sunset Beach Bag Contest is JENNY KWON.

Congratulations, Jenny! I'll be in touch with you today, as well, to get your snail mail address and send your beach bag, books, and other beach goodies to you right away.

My thanks to everyone who entered these two contests. Stay tuned for more contests in the future! If you're not yet subscribed, you might want to do so. That way you'll get notice of any future giveaways and contests on my site.

Have a terrific weekend, all.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lena Nelson Dooley and Free Books!

A startling discovery following her mother's death puts Leiann's life in a tailspin.

We have a book to give away before we meet today's featured author. The winner of Liz Johnson's novel, The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn, is:

wonderbook@ . . .

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, author of the novella, Who Am I? in the collection titled Cranberry Hearts (Barbour, July 2009).

PhotobucketLena Nelson Dooley is a multi-published author who has had books on bestseller lists. She's had books place on the Top Ten Favorite list in the Heartsong Presents poll. She's also been named one of the Top Ten Favorite authors in that poll. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she has been a speaker on both the regional and national level. She's also president of the local chapter-DFW Ready Writers. In 2006, she received the prestigious Mentor of the Year Award at their national conference. She also teaches writing seminars and speaks at writers' groups and conferences in two states. Besides speaking for writing events, she has spoken for women's groups and women's retreats both in the US and internationally.

Mrs. Dooley and her husband James will celebrate their 45th anniversary in 2009. They live in Hurst, Texas, and are involved in the lives of their children and grandchildren.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Who Am I?

PhotobucketLeiann Hambrick was settled into a comfortable life as a Texas schoolteacher . . . but then her mother dies and her world is turned upside down. A letter Leiann receives causes her to question her very identity. What will she learn when she goes to Boston to meet the grandfather she nas never known?

Gerome Mays has discovered that someone is stealing from his wealthy stepfather. When Leiann shows up claiming to be his stepfather's long-lost granddaughter, Gerome wonders if she's involved. But as his attraction for her grows, unexplained accidents lead Gerome to a more sinister plot.

Will Leiann learn to forgive those who lied to her and find her true identity in the Lord? Can Gerome save Leiann's life and his stepfather’s fortune?

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

Although I loved Leiann, I think I loved Gerome even better. His bad-boy persona hid a heart for God and strong sense of responsibility. I loved creating his layers.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

This is my first romantic suspense. The fast pace will keep the reader turning pages. And I believe they'll care about the characters.

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

Often movies cast characters who don't exactly look like the description in the book.

PhotobucketI think John Schneider would make a good Gerome.

PhotobucketAnd Roma Downy would make a good Leiann.

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

I could always use some Godiva Chocolates. They're good for anything you need.

Amen to that!

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


I read a lot of books and review them. Many of them touch me. I will say that you can't read a book by Leanna Ellis without the book making an impact. She has a quirky writing style, but with great depth. Elvis Takes a Back Seat - Lookin' Back, TexasRuby's Slippers. And anything Mary DeMuth writes will touch your core.

What are you working on now?

Right now I'm doing a rewrite for a client, then I'll return to my Summerside Press contracted book--Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico.

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

I'm all over the place. Here are my blogs:

lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com -– I interview authors and give away free books.
lenanelsondooleynewsletter.blogspot.com -– my monthly newsletter –- I changed to this kind of newsletter because people can sign up for it.
www.bustlesandspurs.com -– I'm a monthly contributor.
www.new.facebook.com -– This is my official Fan page.
www.new.facebook.com/profile -– my profile page.
www.shoutlife.com –- my profile page on Shoutlife.
And I have an Amazon Author’s page.

Thanks, Lena, for visiting with us and telling us about Who Am I? Readers, Lena has offered to sign a copy of her book for the winner of our drawing on Thursday, August 6. To enter, leave a comment for Lena, 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.

There's only one more day to enter my Sunset Beach Bag Giveaway. See me July 6 post to learn how to enter. You could win all four of my novels, as well as a few other beach goodies.

And there's only one more day to send your guess for my August 1 $200 giveaway. See my July 27 post below for details.

Be sure to read my interview with Sandra Robbins, below, and enter a comment below her interview to take part in this Monday's drawing for her novel, Final Warning.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Final $200 Clue, Beach Bag Giveaway, Sandra Robbins, and Free Books!

A radio talk show hostess must solve a killer's riddles to prevent murder.

Before we meet today's featured novelist, here's our final $200 contest clue. Full details of the contest are given on my June 4 post.

The first seven hints were:

1. If you haven't yet read Too Good to Be True, you might want to read it before reading or re-reading The Guy I'm Not Dating. That way you're more likely to recognize the foreshadowing when it happens in The Guy I'm Not Dating.

2. The moment foreshadows something good, not bad.

3. The foreshadowing occurs during a conversation between Kara and Ren.

4. The foreshadowing makes use of a play on word(s).

5. Even though his name is not specifically mentioned, the foreshadowing has to do with Tru Sayers.

6. The foreshadowing has to do with miracles.

7. The actual foreshadow is a single word.

And the final hint is:

8. The foreshadowing happens on page 118 of The Guy I’m Not Dating.


Now, if you can't find the answer with all of that, you really aren't grasping the whole foreshadowing concept! Many people have already emailed guesses to me, but I encourage everyone to get their guesses in as quickly as possible by this Friday, July 31. The first person to guess correctly will be the winner. There is no limit to how many times any one person may guess.


On August 1 we'll also announce the winner in my Sunset Beach Bag Giveaway. See my July 6 post to learn how to enter. You could win all four of my novels, as well as a few other beach goodies.


And, before we meet today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of Stephanie Morrill's novel, Me, Just Different, is:

jssmcg@ . . .

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, finally, let's meet novelist Sandra Robbins, author of Final Warning (Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense, August 11, 2009).

Tell us about yourself, Sandra.

PhotobucketI live in Tennessee, and I met my husband when he visited my church. We have been blessed to have four children and five grandchildren. I taught in the Tennessee public schools for 16 years, then worked as an elementary school principal for 17 years. I always knew I wanted to write a book, and my childhood love for Nancy Drew led me into the mystery/suspense genre. As I approached retirement, God began to open doors. At a writers' conference I met a woman who became my first editor.

PhotobucketMy book Pedigreed Bloodlines, a cozy mystery, was published by Barbour in 2008. This book was a finalist in the Inspirational Category of the Daphne du Maurier Contest sponsored by Kiss of Death, a special interest chapter of Romance Writers of America. Barbour also bought Murder in Small Doses (release date to be announced), and Mountain Peril will release from Love Inspired Suspense in April 2010.

A wonderful success story, Sandra! Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Final Warning.

PhotobucketRadio talk show hostess C.J. Tanner finds herself the pawn in a madman's twisted plan when he challenges her to a game. He has chosen her to be the recipient of his riddles that give a clue to the identity of the person he is going to kill. If C.J. can solve the riddles, she can end the game. The gruesome murders begin when she is unable to figure out the answers. Mitch Harmon, her ex-fiancee is determined to stop this killer and end C.J.'s torment. When the answer is revealed, C.J. makes a terrifying discovery--she is to be the killer's final victim.

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

C.J. interested me the most. As a child she lost her faith in God when her parents became drug addicts. Her father's abuse of her mother and his eventual desertion of the family made her determined that no man would ever control her. The experiences of her childhood caused her to distrust men and left her with the belief that she didn't need God in her life.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

Readers will enjoy seeing the transformation that takes place in C.J.'s life as she comes to see that God was just as saddened as she was at her parents' rejection of Him. As she embraces His love, she discovers that God had never abandoned her but was waiting all along for her to acknowledge Him. When she does this, she comes to understand how blessed she is that God sent her such a wonderful man to love.

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

PhotobucketKeira Knightley would play C.J.

PhotobucketAnd Christian Bale would play Mitch.

I'm asking my July authors about the technique of foreshadowing. Please give an example of foreshadowing that you've used in one of your books or that you've appreciated in another author's book or even in a film.

I think the first sentence in the book is important in that it needs to give the reader an idea of what is to come. I try to make that sentence convey the mood of the book. For instance in my book Pedigreed Bloodlines the first sentence said, "They've got to be the best looking legs I've ever seen." The heroine who suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder is talking about the legs of a table, but her words conjure up another vision which is what happens frequently throughout the book. Final Warning is suspenseful and is about a killer's mad challenge to the heroine. The book begins with these ominous words, "Let’s play a game, C.J."

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

Plotting the story seems to come rather easily to me. That may be because I am a former teacher and loved reading and telling stories to my classes. I struggle with descriptions. I can see what I want a room, a person, etc. to look like, but for some reason I have trouble putting it down on paper. That's one area that I continue to work on in hopes of improving.

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

I think I'm like a piano. When my young granddaughter comes to my house, she likes to sit at the piano and bang on the keys. All she accomplishes is making noise. Then I like to play for her, and she can hear what a piano is really built to do. I think of my life like that. Without God, my life would be all discord and empty noise, but with Him in my life, it's different. He touches my soul each day and brings sweet music to my heart. It's up to me how I take what the Master's hand has placed there and show it to the world. I pray that I do that in how I deal with those around me and how I present His love to readers of my books.

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

I recently read The Water Is Wide by Pat Conroy. Although this book was written in 1972, I had never read it. My sister gave me a copy, and I couldn't put it down. It's the true story of white teacher Pat Conroy's experiences working in an all black school on an island off the coast of South Carolina in the 1960s. I suppose because I'm a former teacher this book affected me deeply. It grieved me to see how the people of the island had been neglected by society and how education for the children had been non-existent. The struggles that these children endured just to exist and the efforts of a courageous teacher touched me deeply. The children in the story are now middle-aged adults, and I find myself wondering what their lives have been like.

Oh, wouldn't that be an interesting sequel? Pat Conroy has lived a life full of fodder for novels, that's for sure.

What are you working on now?


I am working on a romantic suspense about a woman whose cadaver dog discovers a serial killer's graveyard. It is set in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

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

I hope readers will drop by my website at sandrarobbins.net The trailer for Final Warning is posted there as well as more information about my other books, my family, and my interests. My books are available online at Amazon.com, as well as other online stores.

Thanks, Sandra, for visiting with us and telling us about Final Warning. Readers, Sandra has offered to sign a copy of her book for the winner of our drawing on Monday, August 3. To enter, leave a comment for Sandra, 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.

Be sure to read my interview with Liz Johnson, below, and enter a comment below her interview to take part in this Thursday's drawing for her novel, The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Oh, Mr. Darcy!

PhotobucketMy July activity of choice in the Everything Austen Challenge was to rewatch the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.

Of course, I'm going to have to deal with another Colin Firth crush for the next month or so, but oh, what a great way to start off six months of Austen. This six-hour treatment of Austen's most popular novel brings far more of the book's story and flavor to the screen than is possible in a two-hour version, such as Joe Wright's 2005 adaptation with Keira Knightley. I enjoyed that version, as well, and I think they're both worth seeing. Photobucket

BUT: Michael Macfadyen, the 2005 Mr. Darcy--who grew on me despite sounding as if he always needed desperately to blow his nose--simply could not fill the knee-boots of our man Colin. Please excuse me for a moment while I step away from my computer, sigh, and fan my face with the DVD case.

Firth's Mr. Darcy is such a delicious prig, and it's an absolute pleasure to watch Jennifer Ehle's Elizabeth (Lizzy) break him out of his ridiculous shell. I don't want to spoil the viewing for anyone who hasn't yet seen this fine production. But there is one moment--when Lizzy comes to the aid of Darcy's sister--in which so much is expressed in a look between Lizzy and Darcy: I believe you. I appreciate you. I . . .

Oh, mama. So romantic I want to go back and watch it again right now.

PhotobucketAlthough all of the actors were fabulous, there were a couple of casting choices I thought a little odd. Susannah Harker (farthest left in this picture), who plays the famously beautiful Bennett sister, Jane, did have a face you might see in a cameo pin, so I suppose for the times, she could have been considered beautiful. But that wrestler's neck of hers was a little strange. She looked more like Michelangelo's David than a Victorian "beauty."

PhotobucketAnd Mr. Wickham? Come on, now. Actor Adrian Lukis was more Gomer Pyle than Casanova. Would Lizzy have actually fallen for that guy? A little hard to swallow.

That said, oh, my goodness, if you haven't yet savored this excellent rendition of Pride and Prejudice, please do. I'd love to hear what you think.

And if you've already watched the series, tell me below: What did you like? What would you have changed? What was your favorite scene? Have you suffered through a CF crush, too?

And, if you'd like to get in on the Everything Austen Challenge, here's the link: Stephanie's Written Word.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Liz Johnson and Free Books!

Kenzie Thorn, the governor's granddaughter, is kidnapped by one of her inmate students, who claims to be an undercover FBI agent in place to protect her from an unknown threat.

We have a book to give away before we meet today's featured author. The winner of Linore Rose Burkard's novel, The House on Grosvenor Square, 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 novelist Liz Johnson, author of The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn (Steeple Hill's Love Inspired Suspense, July 2009).

PhotobucketLiz Johnson grew up reading Christian fiction, and always dreamed of being part of the publishing industry. After graduating from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff with a degree in public relations, she set out to fulfill her dream. In 2006 she got her wish when she accepted a publicity position at a major trade book publisher. While working as a publicist in the industry, she decided to pursue her other dream--becoming an author. Along the way to having her novel published, she completed the Christian Writers Guild apprentice course and wrote articles for several magazines.

Liz lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she enjoys theater, ice skating, volunteering in her church's bookstore and making frequent trips to Arizona to dote on her nephew and three nieces. She loves stories of true love with happy endings. The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn is her first novel.

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

PhotobucketMyles Parsons is just another inmate in Kenzie Thorn's GED course until he kidnaps her, offering only a feeble explanation--that he’s actually FBI Special Agent Myles Borden. Terrified, Kenzie doesn't want to believe his story of being undercover to protect her. Moreover, she can't believe that someone might really want her dead.

But just when Myles thinks he has her out of harm's way, his plans start to fall apart. He attempts to take Kenzie to a safe house--but the stubborn woman won't go! So together they must uncover the clues that will reveal a most shocking perpetrator. All the while Myles tries to keep his distance from Kenzie . . . but finds himself falling in love.

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

I'd have to say that Kenzie was definitely my favorite character to write. She has so much spunk, but she still seems so real. She has emotional highs and lows, and I love how much she loves her family. Mostly I loved how I never knew exactly how she'd respond.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I hope that readers will enjoy Myles and Kenzie's humor and laughter even while they're on the run from someone who wants to kill Kenzie.

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

My editor made me pick some stars to play the roles of Myles and Kenzie when I was offering cover suggestions.

PhotobucketWe agreed that Kenzie could definitely be played by a young Debra Messing--wild red hair and a really thin frame.

PhotobucketAs for Myles, he was a lot harder to cast. I spent an entire evening with my writing buddy talking through all the actors we could think of, and when she threw out the idea of Adam Baldwin, who plays Casey on the TV show Chuck, I knew we had a winner! Adam has all the spunk and macho needed to be a good romance hero and just enough tenderness to be Myles.

I'm asking my July authors about the technique of foreshadowing. Please give an example of foreshadowing that you've used in one of your books or that you've appreciated in another author's book or even in a film.


One of my favorite uses of foreshadowing is in the movie The Prestige, directed and co-written by Christopher Nolan of the recent Batman movies. The movie begins with a shot of dozens of black top hats, but we don't have any idea what these hats mean until over halfway through the movie. But then when we see the hats again, we get a glimpse of how they relate to the main character and how they tie in to a huge twist at the end. When I saw it for the first time, I was completely shocked, but the ending made sense because of those hats. I think the best kind of foreshadowing doesn't give away the whole story, but rather helps us believe that the resulting reality is real.

Now you've made me want to go back and rewatch The Prestige.

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


The brainstorming and story idea development has always been the easiest part of writing for me. I can sit for hours and ask "what if" questions about characters and scenarios. It's my favorite part of writing a book. The hardest part of writing for me is the discipline it takes to get the book written. Carving out the hours to actually write has always been my biggest struggle. But when I finish a manuscript, the most satisfying part of it is knowing that I conquered my struggle, overcame other temptations and got the words written.

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

I'd say my glasses really represent me. They're black--a little bit traditional--and square-ish--a little bit trendy. They're fun and so am I. Glasses are sometimes called "bookish," and I sure love books, but I've never had a pair that so accurately reflects my personality.

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

Because I work for a publisher, I end up reading a lot of books before they're actually published. Recently I read the upcoming release The Hope of Refuge, by Cindy Woodsmall. I walked away from that book and couldn't stop thinking about what I would be willing to give up to reach out to someone with Christ's love. I questioned my motives and how I show love to others. It's been a good time of prayer and self-reflection.

What are you working on now?

I recently finished my second romantic suspense novel, which isn't under contract yet, but is currently in consideration with my editor. It's not a follow up to The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn, but it has some overlapping characters and is a rousing romp into fictional Crescent City, Colorado. Since finishing that manuscript, I've been working on a proposal for a contemporary romance set in my home state of Arizona. I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens with both of these stories.

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

Readers can follow my adventures in writing at www.lizjohnsonbooks.com. And they can buy The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn at Amazon.com, www.christianbook.com, or other online retailers and stores.

Thanks, Liz, for visiting with us and telling us about The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn. Readers, Liz has offered to sign a copy of her book for the winner of our drawing on Thursday, July 30. To enter, leave a comment for Liz, 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.

See my July 6 post to learn how to enter my Sunset Beach Bag Giveaway. You could win all four of my novels, as well as a few other beach goodies.

And there's still time to enter my August 1 $200 giveaway. See my July 20 post below for details.

Be sure to read my interview with Stephanie Morrill, below, and enter a comment below her interview to take part in this Monday's drawing for her novel, Me, Just Different.

Monday, July 20, 2009

$200 Clue, Beach Bag Giveaway, Stephanie Morrill, and Free Books!

Reformed party girl, Skylar Hoyt, learns that getting a fresh start is harder than it looks.

Before we meet today's featured novelist, here's this week's $200 contest clue. Full details of the contest are given on my June 4 post.

The first six hints have been:

1. If you haven't yet read Too Good to Be True, you might want to read it before reading or re-reading The Guy I'm Not Dating. That way you're more likely to recognize the foreshadowing when it happens in The Guy I'm Not Dating.

2. The moment foreshadows something good, not bad.

3. The foreshadowing occurs during a conversation between Kara and Ren.

4. The foreshadowing makes use of a play on word(s).

5. Even though his name is not specifically mentioned, the foreshadowing has to do with Tru Sayers.

6. The foreshadowing has to do with miracles.

And the seventh hint is:

7. The actual foreshadow is a single word.


Several people have already emailed guesses to me, but I encourage everyone to keep sending their guesses. Each week's clue will get more specific, but the first person to guess correctly will be the winner. There is no limit to how many times any one person may guess.


We also a book to give away before we meet today's featured author. The winner of Betsy St. Amant's novel, Return to Love, 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, finally, let's meet novelist Stephanie Morrill, author of Me, Just Different (Revell, July 2009).

PhotobucketStephanie Morrill is a twentysomething living in Kansas with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband and their daughter. She loves writing for teens because her high school years greatly impacted her adult life. That, and it's an excuse to keep playing her music really, really loud.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot Me, Just Different.

PhotobucketSkylar Hoyt is a girl who seems to have it all--she's pretty, popular, and has a great-looking boyfriend. Her senior year should be the best one yet. But a horrible experience at a summer party has changed everything. Now she's vowing to make better choices, including going back to church. But as Skylar tries to gain new perspective on life, the world as she knows it begins to fall apart.

Her parents are constantly fighting. Her younger sister has a big secret that Skylar is forced to keep. The guy she's dating is annoyingly jealous. And the new guy down the street is just plain annoying. In the midst of the chaos, Skylar starts to wonder who her real friends are and, even more importantly, who she is.

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

I loved writing Skylar. She's almost the complete opposite of who I was in high school, so thinking through her reactions and experiencing high school through her eyes was really fun. Abbie's also a really enjoyable character. I think because of her strong emotions.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

Because Skylar is so much fun to hang out with. Even if a girl's life situation is totally different than Skylar's, I think she'll still be able to draw on the inner strength Skylar shows as she navigates high school.

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

I hope the girl on the cover of my book can act, because she’s a perfect Skylar.

PhotobucketI see Connor as a less-stylish version of Adam Brody.

PhotobucketAnd Abbie as Allison Munn (when her hair is red).

Uh oh. I'm getting old. I had never heard of Allison Munn until you cast her, Stephanie!

I'm asking my July authors about the technique of foreshadowing. Please give an example of foreshadowing that you've used in one of your books or that you've appreciated in another author's book or even in a film.


I just reread Twilight and loved when Bella was on her way to her first day of school. She says, "I can do this, I lied to myself feebly. No one was going to bite me." And then she, of course, ends up dating a vampire.

LOL! I've read all four of those books, so I may just have forgotten by now, but I think that blatant foreshadow might have slipped past me. As an aside, I was prompted to read Twilight at the suggestion of another Christian novelist who said Stephanie Meyer did an excellent job of creating romantic tension without having her hero and heroine engage in anything more serious than a kiss. She was right.

But I digress. Stephanie, what facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? What do you struggle with? Explain.


Dialogue is super easy for me. My dialogue-intense scenes seem to write themselves, and they're the ones I get the most compliments on. I struggle with descriptions. I'm in the less-is-more camp when it comes to description, but I really wrestle with finding the right details that will enhance a scene for a reader without slowing down the pace.

I'm with you on all counts there.

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


I was totally stumped on this question, so I asked my husband. He instantly said, "A Day Planner. With a to-do list." I like to have everything organized, planned, and I'm kind of a list freak.

It is funny how many of us creative, right-hemisphere thinkers are obsessive list freaks, isn't it?

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


Other books have certainly moved me since this, but no book as touched me quite like Magdalene, by Angela Hunt. I wept and wept at the end, and it really motivated me to lean on God for courage to do the things He asked of me.

What are you working on now?

Final edits for the next book in the Skylar series, Out with the In Crowd, which releases in January. I also have a couple other YA projects going on that I can't talk about quite yet.

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

My web site is www.StephanieMorrillBooks.com. I blog daily, and you can read the first chapter of Me, Just Different. If you like what you read, the book can be purchased here Amazon.com or at your favorite book store.

Thanks, Stephanie, for visiting with us and telling us about Me, Just Different. Readers, Stephanie has offered to sign a copy of her book for the winner of our drawing on Monday, July 27. To enter, leave a comment for Stephanie, 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.

See my July 6 post to learn how to enter my Sunset Beach Bag Giveaway. You could win all four of my novels, as well as a few other beach goodies.

Be sure to read my interview with Linore Rose Burkard, below, and enter a comment below her interview to take part in this Thursday's drawing for her novel, The House on Grosvenor Square.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Linore Rose Burkard and Free Books!

With only two weeks until their wedding, Ariana Forsythe and Mr. Phillip Mornay expect smooth sailing ahead, but instead are faced with mysterious goings-on, thefts and abductions, putting not only their marriage, but Ariana's very life, in danger.

Before we meet today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of Deborah Vogt's novel, Snow Melts in Spring, is:

lincaca3@ . . .

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 chat with novelist Linore Rose Burkard, author of The House in Grosvenor Square (Harvest House Publishers, April 2009).

PhotobucketLinore Rose Burkard writes Inspirational Romance for the Jane Austen Soul--Christian Regencies. Her first book, Before the Season Ends, has been so popular with readers that The House in Grosvenor Square was written as a sequel--yet each book can stand alone. The upcoming release of The Country House Courtship rounds out the series. Fans of Linore's books or the period can receive a free monthly newsletter (Regency Reflections) by signing up at her website. Raised in NYC, Linore now lives in Ohio with her husband and five children.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The House on Grosvenor Square.

PhotobucketMystery and mayhem attend this madcap march to the altar of a book! It's got all the benchmarks of a regency novel, but a lot more suspense and twists than the first book in the series. Readers who loved Before the Season Ends, will still enjoy this book, as it continues the story of Ariana and Phillip, but as they approach their wedding, strange things begin to happen in the house in Grosvenor Square; and when two brothers with a grudge decide to abduct the future bride, who knows if Phillip can ever get her back?

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

I think it was a tie between the hero and the villain. On the one hand, I was intrigued by Phillip's reaction to being so close to his wedding, deeply in love, and then to find his happiness threatened by evil. He has to contend with his growing desire for his future wife, and then with her abrupt disappearance. He's sort of on a roller coaster ride throughout the story, and he takes the reader right along with him.

The other really interesting character was the villain. He's a titled man, but no gentleman, and I've never had to explore the musings of a person so bent on self-destruction, before. We get to see that he is human, and vulnerable, but he hardens his heart and sticks to his doomed path.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

Like Before the Season Ends, Grosvenor Square is thoroughly a regency, and takes the reader into the world of that day, with its customs and costumes, morals and manners, the upper class and the servants. But the pace is quicker, the stakes are higher, the level of possible disaster is raised, while at the same time, there is a great deal of humor and romance. Plus, the characters that readers already know and love are here, being themselves, and yet faced with new challenges, which reveals them in a new way. We get to see changes in Phillip, in particular, which are a result of his newfound faith, and it's very touching and even fun.

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

PhotobucketEver since I saw Johnny Depp as Lord Rochester in The Libertine, I've known he would make the perfect Mr. Mornay. And the model on the first two bookcovers for Ariana would be perfect for her.

When you visited us last, you told us your writing strengths and weaknesses were thinking up the stories and then struggling to bring them to life, respectively. Has that changed in any fashion?

I'm not sure if my strengths and weaknesses have changed, but my assessment of them has. I now think a weakness of mine as a writer, at least when I'm planning a book, is knowing where to begin a story; I always want to start early, and gradually work into the main conflict. I usually write two to four "first" chapters before deciding which one is the real start of the story, so the others get scrapped.

I'm asking my July authors about the technique of foreshadowing. Please give an example of foreshadowing that you've used in one of your books or that you've appreciated in another author's book or even in a film.

I love spotting foreshadowing in films or books, and I do enjoy planting some in my own. In a sense, every plot is based on foreshadowing and then the unraveling of the mystery or the problem, and the way it's played out becomes the solution. Does that make sense? In my first book, (Before the Season Ends), the minor plot thread about the heroine's lack of correspondence from home is first mentioned in passing, then is given more attention, until it becomes an outright mystery that must be solved. Thus, foreshadowing is mentioning something early without giving away its full importance until much later.

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

This is an interesting question. At this moment, it's a tall glass of unsweetened, lemony iced-tea, a piece of dark chocolate, and a footrest! (I'm easy to please!)

I can't tell you how often the answer to that question involves food. We authors are a hungry bunch.

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


"Impacted" me? Since you're not asking for a recent read that I enjoyed, but one that had a real "impact," I'd have to say it was, Shopping For Time by Carolyn Mahaney. I read it about a year ago but I still strive to incorporate some of what it teaches in my daily life. I also found Happy for No Reason very interesting, and, The Best Year of Your Life. Shopping for Time was the most important of the three, however, and I highly recommend it to any Christian woman at any stage of life. It's all about coming to grips with having enough time, really, to do the most important things. It's about setting priorities and making godly choices with how we "spend" our hours. Very eye-opening and inspiring!

Interesting that your choices are all nonfiction. I don't see that often when interviewing novelists. What are you working on now?

Besides painting and some redecorating which was overdue, I'm thinking about finishing a novel called, The Honourable Miss Tavistock. A regency, of course.

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

My website has many illustrated, free pdf's for readers, which anyone can access without signing up or leaving their email. And my books are in bookstores, or available at any online bookseller, like Amazon or Christianbook.com

Thanks, Linore, for visiting with us and telling us about The House on Grosvenor Square. Readers, Linore has offered to sign a copy of her book for the winner of our drawing on Thursday, July 22. To enter, leave a comment for Linore, 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.

See my July 6 post to learn how to enter my Sunset Beach Bag Giveaway. You could win all four of my novels, as well as a few other beach goodies.

Be sure to read my interview with Betsy St. Amant, below, and enter comments below her interview to take part in the drawings for her latest novel!

And check back this Monday, when I'll give the next $200 contest clue, and we'll chat with Stephanie Morrill, author of Me, Just Different.

Monday, July 13, 2009

$200 Clue, Beach Bag Giveaway, Betsy St. Amant, and Free Books!

He stole her heart, she changed his life--will a band of penguins and a rowdy youth group help these former friends return to love?

Before we meet today's featured novelist, here's this week's $200 contest clue. Full details of the contest are given on my June 4 post.

The first five hints have been:

1. If you haven't yet read Too Good to Be True, you might want to read it before reading or re-reading The Guy I'm Not Dating. That way you're more likely to recognize the foreshadowing when it happens in The Guy I'm Not Dating.

2. The moment foreshadows something good, not bad.

3. The foreshadowing occurs during a conversation between Kara and Ren.

4. The foreshadowing makes use of a play on word(s).

5. Even though his name is not specifically mentioned, the foreshadowing has to do with Tru Sayers.

And the sixth hint is:

6. The foreshadowing has to do with miracles.


Several people have already emailed guesses to me, but I encourage everyone to keep sending their guesses. Each week's clue will get more specific, but the first person to guess correctly will be the winner. There is no limit to how many times any one person may guess.


We also have two books to give away before we meet today's featured author. The winner of Donita K. Paul's novel, The Vanishing Sculptor, is:

forest_rose@ . . .

And the winner of Susan Page Davis' novel, Always Ready, is:

randenlee2000@ . . .

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, finally, let's meet novelist Betsy St. Amant, author of Return to Love (Steeple Hill, Love Inspired, July 2009).

PhotobucketBetsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Her contemporary romance, Return to Love, released July 1, and the sequel, A Valentine's Wish, is contracted for a February 2010 release. Her third novel with Steeple Hill, Rodeo Sweetheart, is scheduled for April 2010. Betsy has also been published in the Christian Communicator magazine and Praise Reports: Inspiring Real Life Stories of How God Answers Prayer. One of her short stories, "Kickboxing or Chocolate," appears in a Tyndale compilation book, and she is also multi-published through The Wild Rose Press. Betsy has a B.A. in Christian Communications and regularly contributes articles to Crosswalk.com. Betsy is a wife, author, new mother, and avid reader who enjoys sharing the wonders of God's grace through her stories.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Return to Love, Betsy.

PhotobucketGracie Broussard headed to the big city of New Orleans to escape her childhood love--a man who smashed her dreams and her heart with his guitar. The last thing Gracie expected was for Carter Alexander to show up in her new life, much less as a changed man. Unfortunately, he's the last resort for musical entertainment at the Save the Penguins gala Gracie is coordinating for the aquarium, and they are forced to work together. Carter, looking for a fresh start from his secretive past, teams with his best friend, the pastor at Gracie's church, to get the youth group involved in the fundraiser. But Gracie's forgiveness is harder to earn than he thought, and a star-struck bombshell volunteer following his every move further complicates his and Gracie's fledgling relationship. Will these childhood best friends ever be able to find harmony and return to love at last?

Readers, I've read Betsy's novel, and here's my mini-review, as posted elsewhere:

How can you not love a heroine who loves penguins? Penguins! Kind-hearted Gracie Broussard not only needs to pull off a successful fundraiser for the sake of her little tuxedoed friends. She has to live up to her name and extend grace and forgiveness to one Carter Alexander, the fetching and talented superstar who humbly comes back into her life. But no one easily overcomes rejection, and Gracie struggles with risking it again at Carter's hands. A sweet love story, Return to Love addresses the concept of trusting in loved ones and in God's perfect will and protection. An enjoyable read for teens and up.


Betsy, which character in your novel most interested you while you wrote? Why?

I was really intrigued with Carter and all of his secrets. Plus, his musician background of local fame drew me in. I love music, and have always wished I could play an instrument! So I guess I'm jealous of him. Haha!

I liked him a lot, too. Very masculine. Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I believe readers who enjoy sweet romances, realistic characters, and animals will enjoy this novel. I love penguins and it seemed natural that Gracie would take care of them at the Aquarium of the Americas. I've also been told the New Orleans setting, somewhat unique to romance novels, is a draw to readers. Hopefully when you finish the story, you'll understand why Gracie, Carter and I love the city so much--and not just for the beignets!

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

PhotobucketI would place Isla Fisher for Gracie, since she's about the right age and has that beautiful red hair. For Carter, I can't decide. Another interviewer asked me this same question and I couldn't pick for her, either! I think my readers should decide who they picture Carter as and let me know!

PhotobucketI kind of pictured him looking like Nathan Fillion. But it would be interesting to hear what others think.

I'm asking my July authors about the technique of foreshadowing. Please give an example of foreshadowing that you've used in one of your books or that you've appreciated in another author's book or even in a film.


Many people think foreshadowing only belongs in suspense or mystery novels, but that's a misconception. It certainly plays a part in the plotting of a suspense, to give readers clues to "who dun it," but in romance, it's equally as important in sharing snippets of the character's back story. For example, in Return to Love, the reader gets a hint early on that all is not well between Carter and his father, and that secrets exist in their past. Foreshadowing is used to continually hint at the secrets before the details of the secret is revealed later in the book, during a time of optimum reader impact.

Excellent example, Betsy, and I love the idea of a foreward hint pertaining to a past event. What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? What do you struggle with? Explain.

I think the easiest part of writing for me is internal conflict and voice. I definitely struggle with stakes! I'm forever trying to figure out how to amp up the conflict, give the story a "time bomb." My stories are always character based, so I tend to go overboard with the internal conflict rather than focusing equally on the external. A writer is always a work in process herself!

Amen to that!

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


My first thought was a Diet Coke can, mostly because it's sitting here beside me and I'm addicted to them. But maybe it's true! Sweet, but low calorie. Comes in a shiny package? HAHA. I'm bad at this. I'd hate to think about how the can is also cold and hard. Yikes. Next question!

That made me laugh out loud, Betsy. Especially considering what a sweet, feminine woman you are.

So, what's the last book you read that impacted you? How did it affect you?


Susan Meissner's The Shape of Mercy has stuck with me over the last several months and I bet will continue to do so. What an amazing story! It drew me in and hasn't let me go yet. I highly recommend it. It's about a college-aged woman transcribing an old diary from the days of the Salem Witch trials, and how it affected her life during the project. Lots of deep thinking in this one, but still a fast read.

I have Susan's book sitting right here on my TBR pile. I'm really eager to get to that one.

What are you working on now?


Right now I am racing to meet my mid-July deadline of my latest contracted novel for Steeple Hill: Rodeo Sweetheart. Look for this country western romance in stores April 2010!

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

Readers can email me or visit my blog or my website. I'd love to see you there!

Thanks, Betsy, for visiting with us and telling us about Return to Love. Readers, Betsy has offered to sign a copy of her book for the winner of our drawing on Monday, July 20. To enter, leave a comment for Betsy, 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.

See my July 6 post to learn how to enter my Sunset Beach Bag Giveaway. You could win all four of my novels, as well as a few other beach goodies.

Be sure to read my interview with Deborah Vogts, below, and enter a comment below her interview to take part in this Thursday's drawing for her novel, Snow Melts in Spring.

And if you're a Jane Austen fan, check out yesterday's blog, below!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jane Austen Challenge!

Have you heard about the Everything Austen Challenge originated on the Stephanie's Written Word blog? I'm signing up today, and I invite all fellow Jane Austen fans to do the same.

Oodles of Austen fans are participating by reading and/or watching books and films by or connected to Jane Austen in some fashion, and then blogging about them. You'd be amazed by how much more exists than Austen's six novels. Full details about the challenge and prizes are available on Stephanie's blog, but here's what I plan to do to meet the challange over the next six months:

PhotobucketRead and post a review of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, by Syrie James.

PhotobucketWatch and post a review of Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility.




PhotobucketRead and post a review of Emma, by Jane Austen.


PhotobucketWatch and post a review of James Ivory's Jane Austen in Manhattan.




PhotobucketRead and post a review of A Walk with Jane Austen, by Lori Smith.




PhotobucketWatch and post a review of the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice.




If you'd like to participate, visit

Stephanie's Written Word


And if you sign up, let me know, below--we'll compare notes!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Deborah Vogts and Free Books!

When a horse is injured in a terrible accident, country veterinarian Mattie Evans must try to save him as well as the wounded relationship between a prodigal son and his ailing father.

We have two books to give away before we meet today's featured author. The winner of Jean C. Gordon's novel, Mara's Move, is:

michellekidwell1977@ . . .

And the winner of Terri Kraus' novel, The Transformation, is:

klmc_37@ . . .

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 chat with novelist Deborah Vogts, author of Snow Melts in Spring (Zondervan, June 2009).

PhotobucketDeborah Vogts and her husband have three daughters and make their home in southeast Kansas where they raise and train American Quarter Horses. In writing the Seasons of the Tallgrass series, she hopes to share her passion for one of the last tallgrass prairie regions in the world, showing that God's great beauty rests on the prairie and in the hearts of those who live there.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Snow Melts in Spring.

PhotobucketShe loves the land: Mattie Evans grew up in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Although her family has lost their ranch, she still calls this land home. A skilled young veterinarian, she struggles to gain the confidence of the local ranchers. Fortunately, her best friend and staunchest supporter is John McCray, owner of the Lightning M Ranch. They both love the ranch, and can't imagine living anywhere but in the Flint Hills.

He's haunted by it: Gil McCray, John's estranged son, is a pro football player living in California. The ranch is where his mother died and where every aspect of the tallgrass prairie stirs unwanted memories of his older brother's fatal accident. Gil decides leaving the ranch is the best solution for his ailing father and his own ailing heart. But he doesn't count on falling in love.

Falling in love isn't an option. Or is it? When Mattie is called in to save a horse injured in a terrible accident, she finds herself unwillingly tossed into the middle of a family conflict. Secret pain, secret passions, and secret agendas play out against the beautiful landscapes as love leads to some unexpected conclusions about forgiveness and renewal.

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

I really enjoyed all of my characters, but I suppose I was most drawn in by Mattie's story, as I could relate best to her situation. Mattie Evans is a large animal veterinarian in the ranching community of Charris County. Although she struggles with her practice, she is determined to settle in the Flint Hills, a place that is firmly planted in her heart. Almost against her will, she finds herself falling in love with the owner of one of her patients--a man who is determined to run away from the Flint Hills and his problems at home.

Like Mattie, I love the country life and in particular, the Flint Hills. As a young woman, I remember living in Topeka, Kansas and yearning for wide open spaces. I soon found myself returning to my home roots. My character Mattie is intent on never leaving hers. I guess I can identify with that.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I hope my readers will fall in love with my characters, inviting them into their hearts and hold them in their thoughts for long while.

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

LOL. Someone else asked me this question recently, so I'm halfway prepared for this question. Although it's difficult to find the "perfect" actors/actress, here are my choices at this time.

For Mattie Evans, PhotobucketAmy Adams or Isla Fisher. Photobucket

For Gil McCray, Patrick Dempsey.Photobucket



Photobucket
For John McCray, James Garner.


Oh, I had such a crush on James Garner when I was a little girl. So masculine.

I'm asking my July authors about the technique of foreshadowing. Please give an example of foreshadowing that you've used in one of your books or that you've appreciated in another author's book or even in a film.


Foreshadowing is a wonderful tool for authors to use in their writing. Sometimes I'll be writing, and I'll come up with a scene and think, "This would make a great foreshadowing," and so I'll try to work another scene in later that goes with it. On other occasions, it is totally planned. I'm not sure which is more effective. In Snow Melts in Spring, there is a moment early on when Gil visits his mother's grave and tells her that he will bring her real flowers the next time he visits. This scene came automatically, but proved to be an excellent foreshadowing of a later scene when he has a breakthrough in his "conflict" and pulls off the road to get some irises for his mama's grave. There are many more in the book, but that's one that comes to mind.

Thanks for that, Deborah. I know it's hard to remember exactly where you applied a writing tool like that when you're put on the spot. That's a good foreshadowing example.

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


I enjoy getting to know my characters and that is probably my greatest writing strength. My struggle comes in plotting, especially when I don't have a clear view of where a scene might take me. For example, I didn't know how my second book, Seeds of Summer, would end until perhaps the last month I was writing it. I had written a synopsis with a proposed ending, but it wasn't one I was satisfied with. And the final ending just wouldn't come to me. When it finally "arrived" (in the middle of the night, I might add) I danced and emailed my critique partners. Yahoo!!!

I love it when that happens! Sometimes I think it's best to just let it go and wait for the answer to pop into your head when we're not working at it quite as hard.

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


Goodness, that question takes some thought . . . okay, I guess I'm going to go with a teapot. What was once glossy and pretty, has with age, lost some of its shine, and on the inside, it's plain and practical, but serves up lots of love, comfort and moments of joy for those it loves . . . and it is content sitting quietly on a shelf or as a centerpiece on the table. (That’s pretty rough, but we'll go with it. LOL)

No, that's not rough at all--really charming!

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


The last book with greatest impact for me was Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger. I so enjoyed that story from beginning to end, especially getting to know his characters, and perhaps even taking that walk down memory lane because it was written in a time period of when I grew up. The ending, although sad, was believable and satisfying, leaving me content . . . and wanting to read more of his work.

Yes, I was so impressed with that book, too, but I haven't read anything else of his. What are you working on now?

I'm continuing on with the Seasons of the Tallgrass series. I'm waiting for edits of my second book, Seeds of Summer, and have started working on my third book, tentatively titled Blades of Autumn. One of the neatest parts of the publishing process is seeing what the creative team comes up with for a cover. I'm eager to view the cover for Seeds of Summer, a story about a former Miss Rodeo Kansas queen, and her return to the Flint Hills to care for her deceased father's ranch and her two younger siblings. After the Seasons of the Tallgrass series, I'll wait for God's lead to see what happens next.

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

At My Site or at My Blog. And you can purchase Snow Melts in Spring at Christianbook.com.

Thanks for having me on your site, Trish. Many blessings to you!

And the same to you, Deborah. Thanks for visiting with us and telling us about Snow Melts in Spring. Readers, Deborah has offered to sign a copy of her book for the winner of our drawing on Thursday, July 16. To enter, leave a comment for Deborah, 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.

See my July 6 post to learn how to enter my Sunset Beach Bag Giveaway. You could win all four of my novels, as well as a few other beach goodies.

Be sure to read my interviews with Donita Paul and Susan Page Davis, below, and enter comments below their interviews to take part in the drawings for their latest novels!

And check back this Monday, when I'll give the next $200 contest clue, and we'll chat with Betsy St. Amant, author of Return to Love.

Monday, July 6, 2009

$200 Clue, Beach Bag Giveaway, Susan Page Davis, and Free Books!

A woman following her father's footsteps as a Coast Guard officer is injured on the job in Alaskan waters and wonders if she can be "Always Ready" for what God sends her way.

Before we meet today's featured novelist, here's this week's $200 contest clue. Full details of the contest are given on my June 4 post.

The first four hints have been:

1. If you haven't yet read Too Good to Be True, you might want to read it before reading or re-reading The Guy I'm Not Dating. That way you're more likely to recognize the foreshadowing when it happens in The Guy I'm Not Dating.

2. The moment foreshadows something good, not bad.

3. The foreshadowing occurs during a conversation between Kara and Ren.

4. The foreshadowing makes use of a play on word(s).

And the fifth hint is:

5. Even though his name is not specifically mentioned, the foreshadowing has to do with Tru Sayers.


Several people have already emailed guesses to me, but I encourage everyone to keep sending their guesses. Each week's clue will get more specific, but the first person to guess correctly will be the winner. There is no limit to how many times any one person may guess.


Also ongoing is my Sunset Beach Bag Giveway. Details can be found HERE.

And if you'd like your name entered a second time, visit my CFOM column to see what caution was printed by the China Daily newspaper. Send me an E-Mail with the answer, and I'll enter your name in the drawing again.


Thirdly, I'd like to announce that the winner of the drawing for Missy Tippens novel, His Forever Love, is:

tiff@ . . .

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!


Finally, let's revisit with novelist Susan Page Davis, author of Always Ready (August 2009, Heartsong Presents).

PhotobucketSusan Page Davis is a Maine native and author of more than 20 published novels. She's the mother of six and grandmother of five. She's married to Jim, an editor for a daily newspaper.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Always Ready.

PhotobucketCaddie Lyle, boatswain's mate third class, USCG, has the assignment she's dreamed of--serving on a buoy tender out of Kodiak, Alaska. Her life intertwines with that of Aven Holland, an officer on a law enforcement cutter homeported at the same base. Caddie has begun to wonder, since her father's death, if she began her military career to please him. Does God have a different future in mind for her? Aven is busy chasing down a band of smugglers when he learns that his dad played a tragic role in Caddie's life. Can they get past their mutual grief and find love and a new purpose together?

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

Aven, the hero, appealed to me the most. He's a man of fine character and yet he struggles with his flaws. He also deals with family issues and ethics. He is probably the most complex character in the book, and I found him very likable.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

This book brings you to the raw Alaskan landscape--and seascape. I hope they'll like the adventure as well as the romance and the faith journey of Caddie and Aven.

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

Well, I'm still scrambling for time. If I carve out the time to write, other things suffer. But I'm thankful to have stories to write! As to my strengths, I think organizing helps a lot--doling out my time, keeping track of characters and their traits and connections, building timelines for my stories.

I'm asking my July authors about the technique of foreshadowing. Please give an example of foreshadowing that you've used in one of your books or that you've appreciated in another author's book or even in a film.

PhotobucketIn the book I'm now writing (The Gunsmith’s Gallantry, which will be book 2 in my new Ladies' Shooting Club series; book 1 is pictured here), a schoolboy plays a practical joke at the schoolhouse. The teacher later remembers this and uses the same stunt to help save her life. It's believable, because she saw it happen in her classroom earlier. If that hadn't happened, I'm sure readers would raise their eyebrows.

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

A fully cooked meal for my family--it's almost time for me to put lunch on the table!

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

Ben Holladay, Stagecoach King, by J.V. Frederick. It's changed some of my stories for The Ladies' Shooting Club series and given me new respect for the people who made transportation in the West possible.

What are you working on now?

I'm finishing up The Gunsmith's Gallantry, and also have begun writing my third Alaska book, Polar Opposites. Aven's mother will be the heroine of this book (his sister Robyn is the heroine of the second book, Fire & Ice).

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

They can read one of my short stories (previously published in Woman's World magazine) on my "romance" page at my Website: www.susanpagedavis.com. I also draw a name monthly for a free book giveaway--winner picks the title he or she wants. All of my books are listed there as well.

And you can find me at ShoutLife. My Heartsong books, including Always Ready, can be found at www.heartsongpresents.com. My Ladies' Shooting Club books will be available in stores, at www.christianbook.com, and other book-selling locations.

Thank you, Susan, for visiting with us again and telling us about Always Ready. Readers, Susan has offered to sign a copy of her book (as soon as it's released) for the winner of our drawing on Monday, July 13. To enter, leave a comment for Susan, 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.

Be sure to read my interviews with Jean C. Gordon, Donita Paul, and Terri Kraus, below, and enter comments below their interviews to take part in the drawings for their latest novels!

And check back this Thursday, when we'll chat with Deborah Vogts, author of Snow Melts in Spring.
 

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