WHAT'S IT GOING TO BE?

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

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

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

Monday, September 28, 2009

Debbie Fuller Thomas and Free Books!

A single woman desperate for a child and the three college roommates who raised her meet her terminally ill mother on a stormy weekend and confront the past.

Before we visit with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of any one of my books is:

msgtspfox@ . . .

And just for good measure, I thought I'd draw a second winner, who is:

booklovercb@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you both today for your snail mail addresses and to find out which of my books you want to receive. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right in order to participate in future book give-aways!

And now let's talk with novelist Debbie Fuller Thomas, author of Raising Rain (Moody Publishers, September 2009).

PhotobucketDebbie Fuller Thomas writes contemporary fiction from a historic Gold Rush town in Northern California. When she's not working on her next book or planning children's programs for her community, she enjoys singing with Colla Voce of the Sierras with her husband and spending time catching up with her two adult children. Her debut novel, Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon was a finalist for the 2009 Christy Award and the ACFW Book of the Year.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Raising Rain.

PhotobucketRain Rasmussen is thirty-something, newly-single and disillusioned with the career that failed to bring her ultimate fulfillment in life. Having a baby is the answer, and she confides in Bebe, one of the four college roommates from the turbulent 70's who raised her. Bebe's radical fervor has mellowed since she renewed her faith, and she worries that the causes they fought for may have ruined Rain's chances for happiness. Bebe must face her own ghosts as Rain's estranged terminally ill mother demands a 'Celebration of Life' before she dies, forcing all the roommates to face secrets and confront hurts from the past.

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

My favorite character was Bebe, because I saw a bit of myself in her. The most fun character to write was Toni. She threatened to take over a few times, and I had to clamp my hand over her mouth.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

It's about mothers and daughters and old college friends, and how we learn to give and receive grace as we come to know God more intimately.

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

PhotobucketBebe: Karen Allen (or Mary Steenburgen).

PhotobucketRain: Selma Blair.







PhotobucketJude: Judy Davis.

PhotobucketToni: Sigourney Weaver (someone suggested Cher).




PhotobucketMare: Mia Farrow.

Can you tell I had fun with the characterization?

I already want to see this movie!

What has been the most effective marketing move for your books?


I think the best response I received was from being featured on a national book club site that included a book contest. The cost is prohibitive, though.

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

The part that comes easiest is to see my characters fully formed and interacting with each other. Once I told my family something funny that Toni had said to the others in the book (as though I were surprised), and my husband's comment was, "Now, you're scaring me."

I struggle with maintaining a level of creativity at times. My day job is demanding and I find that stress tends to drain away my creative juices, which is further complicated by having to write in short spurts instead of continuous hours on a daily basis. I once read that writers who have day jobs should stick to mindless professions that they can walk away from at the end of the day. Unfortunately, I haven't found one with benefits that will pay the bills.

Oh, goodness, I hear you, Debbie. If the job can be done in a mindless fashion, why would anyone be willing to pay much for it?

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


I'm a crockpot. I toss in all the ingredients I need for a novel, set on low, and in time produce a story that I hope is fragrant and palatable.

What is the last book you read that moved you?

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer, moved me because I really didn't read any reviews beforehand and had no idea of the depth of the story or where it would take me. It is a great example of a significant and powerful story that was at the same time understated enough for wimps like me to be able to handle the content.

So glad to hear that! That's the book my neighborhood book club is reading next. Thanks for not giving anything away!

What are you working on now?


I tend to write about families and relationships, so I have another family in the throes of challenging circumstances that lead them deeper in their relationship with the Lord.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

My website is www.debbiefullerthomas.com, and I also blog with five fabulous authors at www.novelmatters.blogspot.com. I can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Thanks, Debbie, for visiting with us and telling us about Raising Rain. Readers, Debbie has offered to sign a copy of Raising Rain for the winner of our drawing on Monday, October 5. To enter, leave a comment for Debbie, 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 check out my interview with Debby Mayne, below. There's time to leave a comment to enter the October 1 drawing for Debby's book, Christmas Homecoming.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants.

This Thursday we'll draw the winner of one of Christmas Homecoming from Debby Mayne. And we'll hear from Myra Johnson, author of One Imperfect Christmas.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Debby Mayne and Free Books!

When Carol Scheirer calls her family home to Colorado to be with her during a special time, her granddaughters don't hesitate.

Before we visit with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of Latayne C. Scott's The Latter-Day Cipher is:

debracollins@ . . .

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 talk with novelist Debby Mayne, author of the novella "Silver Bells" in the Christmas Homecoming anthology (Barbour Publishing, September 2009).

PhotobucketAuthor and speaker Debby Mayne grew up in a military family and moved every few years throughout her childhood. She was born in Alaska, and has lived in Mississippi, Tennessee, Oregon, Florida, Hawaii, and Japan. She has published more than 20 books and novellas, approximately 400 short stories and articles, and a slew of devotions for busy women. Debby has worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for the Home Shopping Network, and instructor for the Long Ridge Writers Group. She lives on Florida's West Coast with her husband and two cats.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of "Silver Bells."

PhotobucketWidowed grandmother Carol Scheirer is still friends with Alex Knight, the man who once saved her now-deceased husband's life in Vietnam. As Carol and Alex's friendship develops into romance, she's faced with a variety of issues, including her children's resistance and reluctance to accept her moving on. Three of her granddaughters who have moved away from Colorado return and give her the emotional support she needs.

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

The main character, Carol, is the most interesting character to me because I can relate to her on many levels. Not only is she a healthy, vibrant woman, she wants to make her family happy. Due to her maturity, she understands what her children are going through, so she's sensitive to their feelings. However, she's willing to work hard and overcome obstacles to be with the man she loves.

Why will readers enjoy your novella?

Readers have been asking for older heroines for a while. I think they'll appreciate the fact that Carol Scheirer still has that heart-flutter as she falls in love with her hero. All four stories in this anthology are connected, so readers will find someone to connect with and root for.

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

PhotobucketHelen Mirren would be the ideal woman to play the part of Carol Scheirer because she's a beautiful, active woman in her sixties.

Oh, yes. She's very cool! And for the hero?

PhotobucketThe best man for the part of the hero would be James Brolin because he's attractive, interesting, and heroic.

When you visited us last, you told us your writing strengths and weaknesses were dialogue and struggling to avoid being distracted by your secondary characters, respectively. Has that changed in any fashion?

I still think my dialogue continues to get stronger. I eavesdrop on conversations and mentally record inflections and differences between people based on age, sex, geographical location, and life experiences. My weakness has become keeping my stories short. I love secondary characters and plots, and I always want their stories to be longer than they should. When I have to cut for word count, that's always the first place I look.

I would imagine writing novellas would really hone your ability to keep stories concise. I haven't tried writing a novella yet.

What has been the most effective marketing move for your books?


I think that having more books available has an exponential growth effect. After I sent postcards to people about one of my books, I got e-mail from some of them saying they bought more than one of my titles. I'm involved in several blogs, and I post on others, which gives me more of a presence.

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

I'd love to be able to spend more time with my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter who live in another state. Sometimes I just need to see them and kiss their cheeks. Can you put them in a box? I promise to feed them.

Now that the Post Office is so gung ho on those flat-rate boxes, I'll see what I can do.

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


I read so many books, that's hard to say. What moves me one day might not move me the next. Sometimes I want to laugh, and other times I just want to go on the journey with a woman falling in love for the first time. And then there are times I like reading about people who do things I wouldn't dare do. Some of my favorite authors are Sandra D. Bricker, Camy Tang, Rachel Hauck, Trish Perry, Sophie Kinsella, and Diann Hunt. All of those authors are able to make me laugh on one level, but still leave me with a sense of something more important and lasting.

Well, thanks very much for including me in such fine company!

What are you working on now?


I'm finishing up Portrait of Love, my third Heartsong Presents that's set in West Virginia, then I'll finish my first Abingdon Press book, Sweet Baklava. I'm super excited about that one because it's set in Tarpon Springs, Florida, which is very close to where I live. The research will definitely be fun, too! (Baklava? Hello!)

I'm so impressed with how many projects you have going on. And I'm always easily impressed by Baklava. I know we're going to get that in Heaven.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?


In addition to my website, I'm on several blogs: DebbyMayne.blogspot.com, AvalonAuthors.blogspot.com, BeStillDevos.blogspot.com, and LoveFindsYou.wordpress.com. I'm also on Facebook--just look for Debby Tisdale Mayne.

Here's a link to Christmas Homecoming on Amazon.

Or if you prefer: ChristianBook.com

Thanks, Debby, for visiting with us and telling us about "Silver Bells". Readers, Debby has offered to sign a copy of Christmas Homecoming for the winner of our drawing on Thursday, October 1. To enter, leave a comment for Debby, 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.

This Monday we'll draw the winner of one of my novels (winner's choice). Check out my post on Jane Austen in Manhattan to see how to enter.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants.

Also this Monday, we'll revisit with Debbie Thomas, author of Raising Rain.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Movie Stars and Book Winners!

When I interview an author, I usually ask who would play the lead roles in the movie version of her novel. Recently I've been asked the same thing about my own books.

Before I show you, I'd like to announce that the winner of Dana Mentink's novel, Race to Rescue, is:

kefarley89@ . . .

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!

Now let me show you my movie leads. Today I'll just show you who I pictured when writing Kara Richardson and Gabe Paolino, the heroine and hero from The Guy I'm Not Dating.

This is Shelby Lynne, a country music singer. I haven't a clue whether or not the girl can act, but this particular picture of her was very much how I pictured Kara (although Kara was less serious looking than this).

And this guy? I have no idea who this person is in real life, but he's how I pictured Gabe. Tall, dark, not too pretty, not too rugged. Juuuuuuuuust right. Okay, maybe he looks a little bit pretty here, but picture him in a white T-shirt and jeans. That's Gabe.

More "book stars" later. If you'd like to comment, below, I'll add your name again to next Monday's drawing for one of my books (winner's choice).

And check out my post on Jane Austen in Manhattan to see other ways to get your name in the drawing.

This Thursday we'll revisit with Debby Mayne, author of Christmas Homecoming, and we'll draw the winner of Latayne C. Scott's Latter-Day Cipher.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Latayne C. Scott and Free Books!

Take the intrigue of The DaVinci Code and what The Lost Symbol explores about the Masonic movement, and you have the way that Latter-day Cipher looks at today's Mormon Church.

Before we visit with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of Michelle Sutton's It's Not About Him is:

ryanx6@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you today for your snail mail address, and we'll get your book to you right away.

Michelle has also offered to provide a copy of her e-book, Danger at the Door, to a commenter, so the winner of that drawing is:

ashley.vanburen@ . . .

Congrats! I'll send your email address to Michelle so she can get you your copy.

I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right in order to participate in future book give-aways!

And now let's talk with novelist Latayne C. Scott, author of Latter-day Cipher: A Novel (Moody Publishers, April 2009).

Tell us about yourself, Latayne.

PhotobucketI am a former faithful Mormon. Leaving that church I loved and becoming a Christian is an experience has colored most of my life and much of my writing. I've written four books on that subject, the most notable of which are Latter-day Cipher and The Mormon Mirage; as well as 11 additional books on other subjects (published by Zondervan, Moody, Baker, Word, and other publishers.) I also have published hundreds of magazine articles and poems and other shorter works--almost all of which have nothing at all to do with Mormonism. Pepperdine University honored me with their Distinguished Christian Service Award for "creative Christian writing." I blog with five other "upmarket" Christian writers at NovelMatters.blogspot.com.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Latter-Day Cipher.

PhotobucketA man discovers a corpse that has mysterious symbols carved into her flesh, but hides the note he found beside the body. This is the beginning of subterfuge and dark secrets about the history and doctrines of the Mormon Church. Roger, a television anchor and relatively new convert to the LDS faith, becomes spokesman for the LDS church while trying to defend it to his visiting cousin, an agnostic reporter named Selonnah. Meanwhile, more murders and strange crimes surface--committed by someone who is trying to prove loyalty to the foundational doctrines of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, the originators of Mormonism.

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

I am not an agnostic but I do identify with Selonnah. Her encounters with some of the little-publicized but essential doctrines of Mormonism produce a "What the heck?" response that most people outside of Mormonism also express. So the reader can learn along with Selonnah.

I've had exactly that reaction in the past, Latayne, when hearing about some of the doctrines of the Mormon Church, and I was surprised that many Mormons were unaware of them.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?


If there is one thing that most people say about this novel is that they learned a lot about Mormonism as they read. For instance, most people don't know about the Masonic symbols in the secret LDS temple ceremonies. (Decode that, Dan Brown.)

People also say that they can feel my compassion toward Mormon people in this novel--which isn't surprising, since I once faced the disillusionment and shock of discovery that my LDS characters experience.

Good for Moody for publishing this story!

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


Can I use dead people? Oh wait, the Mormon Church baptizes for dead people, so maybe it would be okay.

PhotobucketI'd have Heath Ledger play the police chief.

PhotobucketMoving on up to the realm of the living, I'd have a young Meryl Streep play Selonnah and some impossibly-handsome 30-something hunk play Roger (fill in the name of your favorite hunk here.)

What has been the most effective marketing move for your books?

I want to acknowledge how much I appreciate the marketing people at Zondervan and Moody (The Mormon Mirage was released almost simultaneously with Latter-day Cipher.) There's been a real synergy between my novel and the heavily-documented non-fiction book. If people wonder if the doctrinal and historical things in Cipher are true, they can find out in Mirage. If they want to see how the facts of Mormonism play out in the real lives of genuinely nice people, they can read Cipher.

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

All of my previous books (with the exception of a children's picture book) have been solid nonfiction. The parameters were facts beyond which I could not linguistically travel. For me, writing fiction is like having the tether cut. Waaaay too much freedom. I have to continually rein myself in.

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

In my garage I have a large, shallow, strong cardboard box where I keep emptied vitamin bottles now filled with odd bolts, nuts, screws and other leftover hardware. I have a friend who once remarked that I am convinced I could fix almost anything if I just keep looking for a part that can be made to work.

"Made to work" is the operative term here. I am that box, and God has reached inside me and pulled out all kinds of things that anyone else would see as inconsequential or even trash. He continually calls forth those things and redeems them for new purposes.

Love it.

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


I'm a hard case. I am rarely moved to tears by a book. The last section of The Great Gatsby will haunt me for the rest of my life but I was stunned rather than tearful. But tears--one memorable exception (though I'm sure it is not the most recent one in my reading) was a scene from Toni Morrison's Beloved:

"She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order."

Now, that's not fancy language but when I read it at the end of the novel I wept for days.

There are some novels I can't bring myself to read, knowing their subject matter. Beloved was one of them. Just too sad, and I fear that haunting you mention. Hard to shake.

What are you working on now?


I call it my first-first-first second novel. Chronologically it will be, God willing, my second published novel. It's a first-person account by a first-century character, Priscilla. And it's the first novel I know of that postulates at length that she was the author of the book of Hebrews (which means that she received revelation in the same way that other writers of Scripture did.)

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

Find me at www.latayne.com. And any of the online book outlets such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Book Distributors (as well as many specialty online bookstores dealing with Mormonism) carry my book.

Thanks, Latayne, for visiting with us and telling us about Latter-Day Cipher. Readers, Latayne has offered to sign a copy of Latter-Day Cipher for the winner of our drawing on Thursday, September 24. To enter, leave a comment for Latayne, 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.

This Monday we'll draw the winner of Dana Mentink's Race to Rescue.

Also, check out my post on Jane Austen in Manhattan to see how you might get a free copy of one of my books.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dana Mentink and Free Books!

Anita Teel leaves her research work to find her brother who last words on the phone were, "Help . . . murder."

Before we visit with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of Raynene Burgess' Hopeful Chances 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 talk with novelist Dana Mentink, author of Race To Rescue (Steeple Hill, September 2009).

PhotobucketDana Mentink is a resident of California where the weather is golden and the cheese is divine. After many years teaching elementary school, she now writes full length fiction for Harlequin and Barbour Books. She is a 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist for romantic suspense. She juggles her writing career along with a husband, two children and a dog with social anxiety problems.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Race to Rescue.

PhotobucketWell you've got your setting which is the hottest part of the Arizona desert. You've got your reluctant cowboy who was ruined by the heroine several years prior to the start of the novel. Then you've got your missing person, Anita's brother, who is in possession of something he shouldn't have that may mean his death and hers.

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

I think Anita is the most interesting because she copes with some tragic circumstances by becoming what society would judge as a rip roaring success. It's interesting to me how a person can be spiritually ruined yet super successful in the eyes of the world.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

My books are always setting driven, filled with details about creatures and environments that folks may not ever have the chance to see.

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

PhotobucketHow about a young Clint Eastwood.

PhotobucketAnd Nicole Kidman?

I know that's quite a beefcake picture of young Clint, but he looks like a cowboy there (rather than a spaghetti western star).

What has been the most effective marketing move for your books?


Harlequin is a genius at marketing. They've helped me tremendously. I enjoy hosting monthly contests which seem to encourage readers to give my books a whirl too.

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

Coming up with an interesting setting is a snap. Finding the time to write 2000 words a day with two youngsters at home and a part time job is tricky.

I'm always impressed with people who can produce that much with little ones running around the house. I was never organized enough.

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


I'd probably be your favorite coffee mug. Sure there are brighter, fancier mugs in your cupboard, but you're gonna go for the one that fits your hand comfortably and isn't fussy or glitzy. That's me.

Oh, I like that one, Dana. Very comfy.

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


I read Mrs. Mike, by Benedict and Nancy Freedman, for the first time this year. (I know, it took me a while!) It was fantastic and managed to be a page turning thriller of a novel without being a 'formula' romance. Inspiring!

What are you working on now?

Too many projects to count! Send help immediately!

Not a bad situation to be in! Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

You can find me on my blog, on Facebook and on the Craftie Ladies of Suspense website. You can get all my books through my website at www.danamentink.com. Thanks for hanging out with me!

Thanks, Dana, for visiting with us and telling us about Race to Rescue. Readers, Dana has offered to sign a copy of Race to Rescue for the winner of our drawing on Monday, September 21. To enter, leave a comment for Dana, 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.

This Thursday we'll meet Latayne Scott, author of Latter-Day Cipher, and we'll draw the winner of Michelle Sutton's It's Not About Him.

Also, check out my post on Jane Austen in Manhattan to see how you might get a free copy of one of my books.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Michelle Sutton and Free Books!

A botched pizza order causes a fearful young woman living with the pain of loss to finally leave the safety of her home only to discover danger stalking outside her door.

Before we visit with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of Diana Brandmeyers's Hearts on the Road is:

michellekidwell1977@ . . .

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 talk with novelist Michelle Sutton, about a couple of her new releases. Michelle is the author of the e-book, Danger at the Door (Desert Breeze, August 2009), which we'll address first.

PhotobucketMichelle Sutton is the Editor-in-Chief for Christian Fiction Online Magazine, a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, an author of edgy Christian fiction, a book reviewer, an avid blogger/alliance member, CWOW blog mistress, mother of two teenagers, wife, pet owner, social worker by trade, and follower of Jesus Christ. Michelle has 11 novels releasing through 2011 and continues to write more edgy fiction.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Danger at the Door.

PhotobucketUpon her fiance's death, Laney became a recluse who only left her home for emergencies. She managed to survive - barely - on food delivery service and her work-at-home job. When she tries to move on from her grief, the commemorative meal she orders is ruined. However, it leads to an unlikely friendship with an attractive man, Bojan, who speaks little English. As he befriends Laney he continually says the wrong things, but he doesn't give up trying to win her trust. Meanwhile, she has this strange feeling of being watched and wonders if she's losing her mind. Complicating things further, every time she leaves her house something bad happens, confirming that she is safer at home. Can Bojan convince Laney she'll be safe with him, or will his presence put her in further danger? Will he be able to protect the woman he loves before it's too late?

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

Bojan is my favorite character in this book because he's exotic and tender-hearted. He cares about people and isn't afraid to let go of what he has to help. He's generous and kind. He's very heroic. I guess I just love writing about guys, lol!

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I'd like to think readers would enjoy my stories because they are intense and not at all boring. So far no one has said they were bored or couldn't finish the book. Usually readers say the opposite and say they read it in a day or two. Plus, I like to get into issues that Christians don't like to talk about.

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

PhotobucketEric Bana would be the hero because he looks like Bojan in my mind.



PhotobucketRachel McAdams would be Laney because when I created the character this is what she looked like in my mind even though I'd never seen her before.

As a bonus, Michelle discusses another of her recent releases:

The second novel in my Second Glances series, It's Not About Him (Sheaf House), released September 1, 2009.

Please tell us a bit more about the book's plot, Michelle.

Susie wakes up after a party knowing something isn't right. When she discovers she is pregnant but has no idea who the father is, she decides to place her baby for adoption with an infertile couple from church. Following through ends up being more challenging than she'd imagined. But she wants to do the right thing. If only Jeff would quit trying to marry her so she'll keep her baby! Why doesn't he understand? It's not about him; it's about what's best for her child. Meanwhile, a man shows up in her life that looks irritatingly familiar. Could he be the father?

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

Tony is my favorite character because he is so human and has such passion for life and yet has intense struggles at the same time. I like his character so much I put him in every book in the series. The third book is his actual story and is titled It's Not About Her (because it's all about him, tee hee) and releases in Sept 2010.

And who would play your lead roles in the film version of this one?

PhotobucketThe model on the cover. LOL! Just kidding. She is a friend of mine but she is not an actress. She's just beautiful. Anyway, I always pictured Mandy Moore as Susie when Mandy plays a brunette, like in How to Deal.

PhotobucketAnd Jeff would be played by Zac Efron.

When you visited us last, you told us your writing strengths and weaknesses were "dumping the words on the page" and finding time to write, respectively. Has that changed in any fashion?

Not really. Still don't have enough time.

I hear you. What has been the most effective marketing move for your books?

Being on social networks like Facebook. People tell their friends when they discover you and then they tell their friends, etc.

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

Chocolate, of course.

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

The last book? I have had a lot impact me but the one that made me cry the most and reflect on my life was Scared, by Tom Davis, with Havah, by Tosca Lee, second in line.

Loved Havah. I haven't read Tom Davis' book yet.

What are you working on now?


My cowboy romance. It releases January 2010.

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

You can find me through my blog at edgyinspirationalauthor.blogspot.com, at www.michellesutton.net, or edgychristianfictionlovers.ning.com.

For the list of blogs where you'll find out more about Danger at the Door click HERE. To find out more about purchasing the book, go to Desert Breeze HERE.

It's Not About Him is available from Amazon.com.

Thanks, Michelle, for visiting with us and telling us about Danger at the Door and It's Not About Him. Readers, Michelle has offered to sign a copy of It's not about Him for the winner of our drawing on Thursday, September 17. To enter, leave a comment for Michelle, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com. If you subscribe to my blog, at right (or if you're already subscribed), you'll be entered an additional time to this drawing and all future drawings.

This Monday we'll meet Dana Mentink, author of Race to Rescue, and we'll draw the winner of Raynene Burgess's Hopeful Chances.

Also, check out my post on Jane Austen in Manhattan to see how you might get a free copy of one of my books.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Raynene Burgess and Free Books!

Thoroughbreds are being stolen, and when Jaralyn Collins' stud, Hopeful Farm, is threatened, she asks her former fiance, Andrew Kerrigan, to come home from England and help solve the crimes.

Before we visit with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of Vickie McDonough's A Wagonload of Trouble is:

jeanasworld@ . . .

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 talk with novelist Raynene Burgess, author of Hopeful Chances.

Tell us about yourself, Raynene.

PhotobucketI grew up in a solid, loving home, living my early childhood in LaBelle, Florida and graduating from Clewiston High School in Clewiston, Florida. I majored in American History at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton and graduated in December 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 2008 I completed my Master of Arts in Religion and am currently working on my Master of Divinity degree.

In 1973 I discovered boys. In 1974 I discovered romance novels in the form of Harlequin Romance books at the library in LaBelle, Florida. Little did I realize what an impact the stories would have on my life. From 1974 until 1979 I carried around in my head several characters who kept me company during difficult times at high school. I created situations for them to get into and out of, and carried on conversations with my "friends" when I felt lonely or out of place in school. The fantasy romance stories I created during that time period would become the basis for writing a romance story of my own!

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Hopeful Chances.

PhotobucketJaralyn Collins and Andrew Kerrigan, formerly engaged, are reunited when Andrew's brother, Thomas, urgently calls Andrew home to help solve a rash of equine thefts spanning the past three years. Apparently no one has been able to pin down the reason or the person(s) responsible for these crimes against area thoroughbred farms. Upon seeing Andrew again, Jaralyn realizes she is still very much attracted to Andrew, but wary of giving her heart free rein to love him again until these crimes are solved.

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

Jaralyn (Jari), because of her determination to succeed in a cut-throat business, beginning at the age of 15, after the death of her parents.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

It's a love story about hope, renewed love, animals and strength of character.

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

PhotobucketI think I'd want Julia Roberts for Jaralyn.

PhotobucketAnd Richard Gere for Andrew.

Julia and Richard have such a screen presence and chemistry that I love to watch them together.

We're looking at book marketing techniques this month. What has been the most effective marketing move for your books?

Probably my website and being able to now guest blog on some sites. I finally have the time to devote to doing more marketing and it's exciting.

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

Probably the easiest is creating the stories in my head. Getting to know my characters, putting some of myself into my heroines, learning to understand and get into my heroes' heads. Once I can brainstorm with my characters about where they want the story to go, it usually goes easier, but there are times when I try to write and nothing comes out on the paper correctly. Suddenly my heroine's silent or sulky and my hero's off doing something else. Trying to understand where they want the love relationship to go is difficult, too at times.

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

Because I love roses, I can usually say that I'm like one. When the gardener's taking care of me, I bloom and blossom and my color is gorgeous. When he's not and is off taking care of something else and I'm neglected, I begin to wilt. My petals start to fall off. I used this analogy for how I felt when my husband of eleven years ended our marriage. But, this rose is now blooming beautifully all by herself!

So glad to hear it, Raynene! It's easier to count on the Master Gardener, isn't it?

What is the last book you read that moved you?


I recently read two books that are new favorites. One was Mary Called Magdalene, by Margaret George. She nailed Mary's character and her relationship with the Lord. It's a beautiful book that spans both Mary's and Jesus' childhoods up through the time of the book of Acts. The other book is Mary: Mrs. A. Lincoln, by Janis Cooke Newman, that gave me a different perspective on the President's wife. It's a truer look into her life and times. I got to know Mary Lincoln and will be doing additional research on her, since that was my undergraduate concentration at Florida Atlantic University all those years ago for my BA.

What are you working on now?

I'm currently editing and submitting Merry's Go Round, which is an inspirational romance about an amusement park developer and a carousel restorationist who come together to restore and build an amusement park with carousels and someone locally doesn’t want the park built on the land.

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

My first two books can be found and purchased through Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com.

PhotobucketMy titles are Good Morning, Father! which is a Christian annual devotional with Scripture readings and thoughts for every day of the year, and Hopeful Chances, which is my romance.

Thanks, Raynene, for visiting with us and telling us about Hopeful Chances. Readers, Raynene has offered to sign a copy of her book for the winner of our drawing on Monday, September 14. To enter, leave a comment for Raynene, 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.

This Thursday we'll revisit with Michelle Sutton, author of Danger at the Door, and we'll draw the winner of Diana Brandmeyer's Hearts on the Road.

Also, check out my post on Jane Austen in Manhattan to see how you might get a free copy of one of my books.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Jane Austen in Manhattan and Free Books!

For today's bonus post--reviewing Jane Austen in Manhattan--I'm giving away a copy of one of my novels--winner's choice.

PhotobucketFor the Everything Austen Challenge this month, I viewed the 1980 film, Jane Austen in Manhattan. I chose the film because it was a Merchant Ivory Production. How could I go wrong with a film from the company that produced A Room with a View and Howard's End?

Let me tell you, I could go very wrong.

Jane Austen wrote her play, Sir Charles Grandison, when she was 12. Merchant Ivory Productions (MI) became interested in filming the play, sight unseen, and apparently they invested a healthy sum for that privilege.

But when they gave the play a good look, they discovered Jane hadn't quite come into her own by the age of 12, and there wasn't much play to work with. As a consequence, MI spun the slight plot into something else altogether: A contemporary tale of two rival acting troupes that vie for the right (and funding) to perform Jane's play in their chosen style. One director prefers an operatic performance; the other desires an avant-garde treatment. Trust me, you don't want to see either one.

Photobucket The avant-garde director is played by Robert Powell--the blue-eyed actor who played Jesus in Jesus of Nazareth.

PhotobucketIn this film he's wearing Suzanne Pleshette hair and mom jeans; talk about falling off the pedestal. Also noteworthy is that this film marks actress Sean Young's debut--just one year before she played the comely MP in Stripes and I think maybe a year before she started waxing her mustache.

The acting is wooden, the dialogue stilted, and the pacing painfully weird. I was thrilled when the end credits scrolled so I could do something more intellectually and creatively stimulating, like popping bubble wrap or repeatedly banging my head against the wall.

PhotobucketPhotobucket







I need to find me some real Jane to get this nasty taste out of my mouth.

I don't often give such mean reviews, and I won't be posting this one on Amazon or any other vastly viewed site. As a published author I know the helpless feeling of doing my best only to face a rotton review. But after 29 years the film is immune to anything I might say about it. In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that my own personal past has included Suzanne Pleshette hair, mom jeans, and the occasional mustache waxing. I'm just glad none of it was captured on film.

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

Now, about that book giveaway: You can be entered twice to win whichever of my novels you'd prefer. Leave a comment below to be entered once.

To be entered a second time, take a detour and check out my column in this month's Christian Fiction Online Magazine. Find the answer to the following question. E-mail me and tell me what was really driving poor Horst crazy. I'll enter your name in a drawing to be made on Monday, September 28. The winner can tell me which book she/he wants. The odds of winning depend upon the number of participants.















While you're here, you might want to leave a comment after my interviews with Vickie McDonough and Diana Brandmeyer, below, to be entered in their book giveaways as well.

Have a terrific Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Diana Brandmeyer and Free Books!

A woman trucker attempts to drive away from relationships but finds herself parked in three.

Before we meet today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of Nicole O'Dell's All that Glitters is:

wsmarple@ . . .

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 Diana Brandmeyer, author of Hearts on the Road (Heartsong Presents [Barbour], June 2009).

PhotobucketDiana lives in Southern Illinois where the corn grows at a rapid rate behind her home. She's married and has three grown sons all on their own now, each of them bringing someone special to join the family. Yay! Daughters-in-law!

She writes contemporary romances and children's books along with articles for My Devotions, and several magazines.

Diana loves having pets. Right now there is only one in the house, a cat named Wendell, and an occasional granddog named Rusty.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Hearts on the Road.

PhotobucketAbandoned, betrayed, and feeling forsaken by God, truck driver Randi Davis crisscrosses Wyoming with a broken heart, vowing never to love another man. Suddenly Matthew Carter, a pastor in search of a mobile ministry is thrust into her life and into her cab. And there's nothing she can do about it.

Matthew sees the seedier side of trucking every day, and he feels a pull toward the the people--a definite call to minister to them. But getting this ministry established is proving more difficult than he imagined.

Soon Matthew and Randi find themselves at cross-purposes. His life on the road has just begun. Her eight-year-old niece needs a parent to come home to every day. Will this be the end of the road for Randi and Matthew's romance?

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

Randi. She was so tormented, keeping herself away from God.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

The world of trucking is a mystery to most of us and we get a peek at what goes on in that world in Hearts on the Road.

I can't imagine living on the road most of my days!

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


PhotobucketRandi would be great played by Katherine Heigl from Grey's Anatomy.

PhotobucketAnd Matthew? James Tupper from Men in Trees.

What has been the most effective marketing move for your books?

Social networking has been effective for me. I use Twitter, Facebook, Shoutlife and Sparkpeople. Sparkpeople is a weight loss site that I've belonged to for a long time. Lots of readers there!

What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you?

Dialogue, my fingers really like to talk.

What do you struggle with?

Research is hard for me because it means having to talk to people. I'm getting better at it though, finding that most people enjoy talking about what they do for a hobby or for a living.

It is interesting how much easier it's becoming for shy people to be "sociable" thanks to the Internet community. Even research cyber-chatting is getting easier these days. I like that.

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

A quartz rock. God makes them in pink, one of my favorite colors, they appear fragile but they aren't. The things I've gone through in my life have made me very strong on the inside, they are shiny and I love shinny things!

What is the last book you read that moved you?

Shadows of Lancaster County by Mindy Starns Clark. It made me feel like a kid reading under the blanket with a tiny light. She reminds me of Dauphne du Mauier.

What are you working on now?

I have three projects going, a nonfiction book I'm writing with a friend who is a psychologist, a mystery and a romance. I need to learn how to focus!

Oh yeah. Welcome to my world!

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


You can go to my website www.dianabrandmeyer.com for the professional side of me along with a page of the quilts I've made. If you want to know more about me as a person my blog will do that www.pencildancer.com and if you'd like to purchase Hearts on the Road from my publisher www.heartsongpresents.com in January you'll be able to get it from Amazon.com.

Thanks, Diana, for visiting with us and telling us about Hearts on the Road. Readers, Diana has offered to sign a copy of her book for the winner of our drawing on Thursday, September 10. To enter, leave a comment for Diana, 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. The odds of winning depend upon the number of participants.

This Monday we'll meet Raynene Burgess, author of Hopeful Chances, and we'll draw the winner of Vickie McDonough's A Wagonload of Trouble.

Before I let you go, I wanted to share with you a look at some of the fabulous Inspirational fiction being released this month:

1. A Blue and Gray Christmas, by Carrie Turansky, Vickie McDonough, Lauralee Bliss Tamela Hancock Murray from Barbour Publishing. A Blue and Gray Christmas highlights the faith and courage of four couples who remained true to their convictions and found lasting love despite the hardships of the Civil War.

2. A Man of His Word, Book 1 in the Hearts of Middlefield Series, by Kathleen Fuller from Thomas Nelson. Moriah's heart will only be safe with a man of his word.

3. A Passion Redeemed, by Julie Lessman from Revell. Depth of beauty ... shallow of heart, Charity O'Connor is a woman who gets what she wants. She sets her sights on a man who wants nothing to do with her. Although the sparks are there, he refuses to fan the coals of a potential relationship with a woman who ruined his life. Charity burned him once, destroying his engagement to the only woman he ever truly loved. He won't play with matches again. But Charity has a plan to turn up the heat, hoping to ignite the heart of the man she loves. And she always gets what she wants-one way or another.

4. A Silent Fury, by Lynette Eason from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Detective Catelyn Clark and her ex-boyfriend, FBI agent Joseph Santino, must overcome their rocky past while working to solve the murder of a deaf student and find the friend who's still missing.

5. Always Ready, Book 1, by Susan Page Davis from Heartsong. Two Coast Guard officers find danger and romance in the hostile seas of Alaska.

6. An Amish Christmas, by Kathleen Fuller, , Beth Wiseman, from Thomas Nelson. Follow the lives of three Amish families through the Christmas season.

7. Beautiful Ugly, by Shelia Lipsey from Kensington Publishing Corp. Three friends need plenty of faith in God and support from each other to see their real beauty lies within.

8. Christmas at Lake Tahoe, by Jeanie Smith Cash, Lena Nelson Dooley, Jean Kincaid from Barbour Publishing. Will four young women fresh out of college, find love at Christmas as they persue their careers at a new ski lodge at Lake Tahoe's Incline Village?

9. Cowboy Christmas, by Mary Connealy from Barbour. A secretive singer with trouble following her, and a cowboy who hates liars, especially female liars, need a Christmas miracle to take a chance on love.

10. Distant Thunder, by Jimmy Root Jr. from American Book Publishers. The coming fulfillment of the Ezekiel 38 and 39 prophecies. A coalition of nations will attack Israel, but God will intervene.

11. Fields of Grace, by Kim Vogel Sawyer from Bethany House. A Russian Mennonite family fights to survive and maintain their faith in a new land.

12. Finally Home and Finally Found, by Lyn Cote from Heartsong Presents. Two stories in one book. Finally Home-After her wedding that wasn't, Hannah Kirkland hides in her parent's small WI town But hiding is hard in a house that's under construction! As friendship with carpenter Guthrie Thomas, Hannah learns how to build a home--and love--of her own. In Finally Found-Ten years ago Marco da Palma left Spring Kirkland behind. What did a poor scholarship student have to offer her anyway? But when Marco, now a successful doctor, finds Spring again, the pair have a second chance. If only Marco can release his fears, and see the happiness that has been waiting all along...

13. Hearts and Harvest, by Amber Stockton from Heartsong Presents. A destitute young man fights society's mores to win the hand of his privileged sweetheart.

14. It's Not about Him, Second Glance Series, Book #2, by Michelle Sutton from Sheaf House. Two young Christians with an unplanned pregnancy where she wants to place her child in a good home but he wants to marry her so she'll keep her child even though it's not his.

15. Just Between You and Me, by Jenny B. Jones from Thomas Nelson. A family emergency pulls Maggie Montgomery back home to a town full of painful secrets and people she left behind. Sometimes the only thing scarier than living on the edge is stepping off it.

16. Love Finds You in Charm, Ohio, by Annalisa Daughety from Summerside Press. A summer in Charm, Ohio, gives Emma Miller the chance to decide once and for all what she wants from life--but soon finds herself pulled between two worlds.

17. One Imperfect Christmas, by Myra Johnson from Abingdon Press. Christmas is the season of miracles, but when blame and guilt keep people apart, a miracle needs a helping hand.

18. Painted Desert, by Nancy Farrier from Barbour. As modern life takes unexpected turns, love comes knocking on the doors of three Arizona women's lives.

19. Protector's Honor, by Kit Wilkinson from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. Rory Farrell searches for the link between Tabitha Beaumont and his ongoing murder investigation, but to protect her, he'll have to her trust as well.

20. Raising Rain, by Debbie Fuller Thomas from Moody Publishers. A single woman desperate for a child and the 3 college roommates who raised her meet her terminally ill mother on a stormy weekend and confront the past.

21. The Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry, from Moody Publishers. Secrets from Craig Littleton's past threaten to undo his troubled marriage, but if he literally can't remember the damage he's done, can he ever be trusted?

22. The Transformation, Project Restoration Series Book 3, by Terri Kraus from David C. Cook. Can a good, hard-working Christian man disregard his cultural and religious admonitions--as well as his mother's plans for his life--for the love of a woman and an historic church building?

23. The Unfinished Gift, by Dan Walsh from Revell, Division of Baker Publishing Group. Set at Christmastime in 1943, The Unfinished Gift is an engaging story of reconciliation between a father and son, and how God uses an unexpected gift from the past to mend this broken family.

24. Tidings of Great Boys, All About Us #5, by Shelley Adina from Hatchette FaithWords. Lady Lindsay (Mac) MacPhail invites her classmates home to her castle in Scotland for an unforgettable Christmas.

25. Wild West Christmas, by Lena Nelson Dooley, Kathleen Y'Barbo, Vickie McDonough, Darlene Franklin from Barbour. Christmas courtships corral four sisters in Texas.

Happy reading!
 

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