WHAT'S IT GOING TO BE?

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

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

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

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Marcia Gruver and Free Books!

A strong-willed city girl meets her match in a stubborn vaquero.

Before we visit with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of Christina Berry's novel, The Familiar Stranger is:

oceandreamerfla@ . . .

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 Marcia Gruver, author of Emmy's Equal, book three in the Texas Fortunes trilogy (Barbour Publishing, October 2009).

PhotobucketMarcia is a full-time writer who hails from Southeast Texas. Inordinately enamored by the past, she delights in writing historical fiction.

Marcia's deep south-central roots lend a southern-comfortable style and touch of humor to her writing. Through her books, she hopes to leave behind a legacy of hope and faith. When she's not plotting stories about God's grace, Marcia spends her time reading, playing video games, or taking long drives through the Texas hill country. She and her husband, Lee, have one daughter and four sons. Collectively, this motley crew has graced them with eleven grandchildren and one great-granddaughter so far.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Emmy's Equal.

PhotobucketWhen a high-spirited girl lands in country thick with cattle, cactus, and cowboys, the South Texas border may never be the same. Emmy Dane's finding obedience to God a bother, and sure won't take orders from a hardheaded wrangler. But as hard as she pushes God and the vaquero away, they continue to pursue her with equal fervor.

Emmy's recent decision to trust God with her life has yet to rub off on her stubborn spirit. When God steers her toward a relationship with the last man on earth she'd choose for herself, she bucks like an unbroken stallion.

Diego (Isi) Marcelo can't be labeled a half-breed because there are more than two cultures in the mix. His father was a Spanish merchant, his mother part Choctaw and part Irish trader. Isi, his Indian name, means deer in his grandmother's tongue, but the locals north of the border call him El Toro. Loyal and passionate, he gives Emmy a run for her money when it comes to being stubborn.

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

I have to say my heroine, Emily Dane. This feisty girl threw herself to the forefront in book two, Chasing Charity, and hasn't settled down yet. Emmy's quite the rascal. In fact, she insisted on being featured in book three, despite my original plan to hop a generation. With all her flaws and failings, Emmy's backbone and adventuresome spirit make her an admirable character. Emphasis on 'character.'

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I chose Carrizo Springs for my setting because the unique mix of cultures and South Texas flavor takes the reader to a unique time and place in Texas history. Rugged vaqueros living in the shadow of the notorious Pancho Villa amid whispered tales of bloodthirsty monsters with fangs intrigued me. I hope it will do the same for my readers.

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

PhotobucketFor Emmy? Maybe Hilary Duff. At least as far as looks go. It was hard to match Emmy to an actress. Funny story: I found a close version of the Emmy I carry in my head and put her on my trailer for Chasing Charity. This earned me a comment that she looked like a porn star. Yikes! I've since changed that photo to the book cover representation of Emmy, but you can see the problem with finding a match for a rascal with blonde hair and pouting lips.

PhotobucketI love the image of Diego on my cover. He's a cutie. But the Diego I pictured while writing is closer to a gorgeous Christian actor named Eduardo Verastegui. Eduardo is in the amazing short film entitled The Butterfly Circus. If you haven't seen this haunting film, do yourself a favor and watch it on his website. I caution you that it's somewhat hard to watch, but it's a heartrending interpretation of God's love for broken humanity.

I remember him! He was also the lead in the film Bella. Very moving actor. Nice choice, Marcia.

This month we're talking about books on the craft of writing. Of those you've read, which one would you most enthusiastically recommend?


I'm a little hung up right now on Karen S. Wiesner's First Draft in 30 Days. It's the book I grab first when starting a new novel. I also love Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass.

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

I love to delve into the interpersonal relationships of my characters. It's fun to see how many layers of their personalities I can peel back without jumping out of the story. I actually struggle with description. There are days a descriptive scene will come to me effortlessly (bless those days), but for the most part I have to work at it.

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

Can a space be an inanimate object? If so, I choose my bedroom closet. It's filled to overflowing, some items useful, some not so much. You won't find it very organized, but on most days, I try to keep something comfortable if you need it--something sensible when you don't.

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

It's official. I'm jaded. I confess that I couldn't come up with an answer. Maybe I'm not reading the right stuff these days. I'd love to find a book that could take me by the throat and rattle my cage. If your readers have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

I'm probably the wrong one to advise you there. I'm easily moved, even if I'm not thrilled with a novel in general but one scene is poignantly done. Readers? Suggested novels to shake Marcia up?

What are you working on now, Marcia?


The ink is still wet on a contract I signed with Barbour Publishing for a three-book series entitled Backwoods Buccaneers.

Elevator pitch: Blazing across North Carolina to Mississippi then landing in the East Texas Piney Woods, three generations of land pirates confront the inescapable wages of sin and greed.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

You can read more about me at www.marciagruver.com and follow my too infrequent posts on www.yieldedquill.blogspot.com.

For personalized copies go to www.signedbytheauthor.com. All three books in the series are available at online stores like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Thanks, Marcia, for visiting with us and telling us about Emmy's Equal. Readers, Marcia has offered to give a copy of her novel to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, November 5. To enter, leave a comment for Marcia, 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 interviews with Alice Arenz and Christa Parrish, below. There's time to leave a comment to enter the November 5 drawings for both of their novels, (The Case of the Mystified M.D. and Watch over Me, respectively).

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

Monday, October 26, 2009

Christa Parrish and Free Books!

The rescue of an abandoned infant entwines the lives of three lonely people, forcing them to confront their own secrets.

Before we visit with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of Shirley Connolly's devotional, I See God in the Thorns~n~Thistles is:

rec@ . . .

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 Christa Parrish, author of Watch Over Me (Bethany House Publishers, October 2009).

PhotobucketChrista Parrish graduated high school at 16, with every intention of becoming a surgeon. After college, however, her love of all things creative led her in another direction, and she worked in both theatre and journalism.

A winner of Associated Press awards for her reporting, Christa gave up her career after the birth of her son, Jacob. She continued to write from home, doing pro bono work for the New York Family Policy Council, where her articles appeared in Focus on the Family's Citizen magazine. She was also a finalist in World magazine's WORLDview short story contest, sponsored by WestBow press. She now teaches literature and writing to high school students, is a homeschool mom, and lives with her husband, author Chris Coppernoll, and son in upstate New York, where she is at work on her third novel.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Watch Over Me.

PhotobucketDeputy Benjamin Patil is the one to find the infant girl, hours old, abandoned in a field. When the mother can't be located, Ben and his wife, Abbi, seem like the perfect couple to serve as foster parents. But the newborn's arrival opens old wounds for Abbi and shines a harsh light on how much Ben has changed since a devastating military tour. Their marriage teeters on the brink and now they must choose to reclaim what they once had or lose each other forever.

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

I really enjoyed writing all my characters, but I think writing Matthew was the most challenging, because his disability limited both the way he communicated with people and the way he perceived the world, therefore constraining those facets of my writing.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I think many readers will be able to identify with the feelings these characters have--disconnection, loneliness, uncertainty--but will also enjoy the story.

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

PhotobucketBenjamin Patil--Kal Penn (from the television show House).

PhotobucketAbbi Patil--Amber Tamblyn (from the movie Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants).

PhotobucketMatthew Savoie--Josh Hutcherson (from the movie Bridge to Terabithia).

This month we're talking about books on the craft of writing. Of those you've read, which one would you most enthusiastically recommend?

Writing the Breakout Novel, by Donald Maass.

That book's been strongly recommended this month!

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


I hate plotting, simply because plots don't interest me. I focus on the characters and--more importantly--the words I use to tell the story.

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

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. I read it in a few hours and bawled my eyes out.

Ah, I love a book that does that to me. What are you working on now?

My third novel, which explores the way God unexpectedly brings strangers together at different times, and uses them in each other's lives to bring about hope and healing.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

I have a website, www.christaparrish.com, and my novels are available through Bethany House Publishers, Amazon, CBD, and other online book retailers.

Thanks, Christa, for visiting with us and telling us about Watch Over Me. Readers, Christa has offered to give a copy of her novel to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, November 5. To enter, leave a comment for Christa, 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 interviews with Alice Arenz and Christina Berry, below. There's time to leave a comment to enter the October 29 drawing for Christina's book, The Familiar Stranger and the November 5 drawing for Alice's book, The Case of the Mystified M.D.

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 hear from Marcia Gruver, author of Emmy's Equal.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A.K. Arenz, Free Books, and Holiday Booksigning!

First a foot, now a hand . . . what body part is next?

Before introducing you to today's author and novel, I want to draw your attention to a multi-author book signing coming up on November 28. If you're anywhere near Hagerstown, Maryland (an 80-minute drive west of Washington, D.C.) over the Thanksgiving holidays, you're going to want to come meet:

Lisa Samson
Wanda Dyson
Cathy Goehlke
Rita Gerlach
Candice Speare
Melanie Jeschke
Tracy Higley
Joyce Magnin
Loree Lough
Jeanette Windle
Terri Gillespie
Dave Greber
And me!

Borders Books and the Virginia Avenue Church of God are sponsoring the event, which will include gift basket giveaways, a coffee/pastry bar, opportunities for photos with the authors, as well as plenty of signed books for yourself or people on your Christmas list!

If you have a Facebook account, you can view a related video, HERE.

Hope to see you there!

Now let's meet Alice Arenz (writing as A.K. Arenz), author of The Case of the Mystified M.D. (Sheaf House, October 2009).

Tell us about yourself, Alice.

PhotobucketI'm the mother of two grown daughters and the grandmother of four. I've been writing since I was a child, and finally achieved my dream of publication with the first in the Bouncing Grandma Mystery Series, The Case of the Bouncing Grandma.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The Case of the Mystified M.D..

PhotobucketWhen Glory's puppy finds a severed hand on a walking trail, she's positive she recognizes the signet ring as belonging to a missing college professor who's been causing a lot of trouble around town. Her insatiable desire to solve the mystery of his murder finds her in over her head with a community filled with secrets, blackmail, and arson.

With her sister Jane overwhelmed by the arson fire in her home and trouble with her fiance, Glory latches onto an unlikely partner, and soon feels as though she's stepped into a whacked out version of the Twilight Zone--where nothing is as it appears, and danger lurks around every corner . . .

Including from her boyfriend, Detective Rick Spencer.

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

I love the lead character, Glory Harper, because she is fun, funny, and feisty.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

If you enjoy mysteries and like to laugh, then this cozy will fit the bill. That said, the characters are very real and, in the case of Mystified, are revealed with all their warts--and still likeable. For the most part, of course.

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

PhotobucketI've always thought that Goldie Hawn--as she is now--would make a great Glory Harper.

PhotobucketAnd since Detective Rick Spencer resembles Harrison Ford . . . Harrison Ford!

This month we're talking about books on the craft of writing. Of those you've read, which one would you most enthusiastically recommend?

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass is the first one that pops into mind.

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

My box contains healing--a package to use not only for myself, but for all those who come near. That may sound weird, but that's what I thought of!

I like that choice, Alice. I'm struck these days by how much of my prayer life is about the healing needs of friends and family.

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


Last night I started reading The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. There has been so much hype about it that I didn't expect to like it. I didn't read long, and I'm already halfway through!

I haven't read it yet, but it's just two books away on my TBR list.

What are you working on now?


A mystery/suspense called Mirrored Image--this is not a part of the Grandma series.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

You can visit my website at www.akawriter.com. My book can be purchased at Amazon; Barnes and Noble; and Christianbook.

Thanks so much for the interview, Trish!

Thanks, Alice, for visiting with us and telling us about The Case of the Mystified M.D. Readers, Alice has offered to give a copy of her novel to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, November 5. To enter, leave a comment for Alice, 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 Christina Berry, below. There's time to leave a comment to enter the October 29 drawing for Christina's book, The Familiar Stranger.

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

This Monday we'll hear from Christa Parrish, author of Watch Over Me.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Christina Berry and Free Books

Craig Littleton has decided to end his marriage, but an accident lands him in the ICU with fuzzy memories. As his wife helps him remember who he is, she uncovers dark secrets.

Before we visit with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of my novel, Sunset Beach is:

denndonn@ . . .

And you know what? I feel like sending a copy to someone who specifically took the time to comment below my Jane Austen post, so the winner of that smaller drawing is:

ABreading4fun@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you both today for your snail mail addresses, 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 Christina Berry, author of The Familiar Stranger.

PhotobucketSingle mother and foster parent, Christina Berry carves time to write from her busy schedule because she must tell the stories that haunt her every waking moment. (Such is the overly dramatic description of an author's life!) She holds a BA in Literature, yet loves a good Calculus problem, as well. Her debut novel, The Familiar Stranger, released from Moody in September and deals with lies, secrets, and themes of forgiveness in a troubled marriage. A moving speaker and dynamic teacher, Christina strives to Live Transparently--Forgive Extravagantly!

Her work has also appeared in The Secret Place, The Oregonian, and Daily Devotions for Writers.

Tell us more about The Familiar Stranger.

PhotobucketThe Familiar Stranger is about a couple going through a really rough patch in their marriage. When an accident incapacitates the husband, their relationship must be redefined. Which would be a lot easier to do if big secrets from his past didn't raise their ugly heads. Despite the upheaval, the choices they make involving forgiveness and trust might allow a new beginning. Or they might not.

How did you come up with the story?

In the summer of 2006, two stories appeared in the newspaper. One was a huge, national story; the other a smaller, local-interest item. I wondered what it might look like if those two stories conceived a child. Boom! I had the entire plot for The Familiar Stranger. It will be interesting to see if readers can figure out which stories inspired the book.

Intriguing! I hope you'll tell us at some point.

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


Strength-wise, while the idea of writing or editing may seem hard, I usually get quite a lot done in a short amount of time once I start. An object in motion tends to stay in motion. That applies to our writing. A little momentum can go a long way!

As a single mother of young children, and currently serving as a foster parent, time is my biggest challenge. I have to make sure my family knows they come first, but to balance that with treating writing as a career.

Why will readers enjoy your novel? What would you like your readers to take away from The Familiar Stranger?

The recent changes in my life--losing my husband, facing finding a "real" job, selling my home--have done nothing but solidify what I hope to be the theme of the book and my life: Live Transparently--Forgive Extravagantly. If reading The Familiar Stranger makes even one man or woman be more honest with his or her spouse or delve into trust issues in a healthy way, I'll consider it a success. Maybe there's a hurting heart that can find a new path to forgiveness because of the story.

Whose work do you admire and how has it influenced you as a writer?

Most of my favorite authors have voices I never dream to come close to: Nancy E. Turner, Jane Kirkpatrick, Leif Enger, Francine Rivers, or Randy Alcorn, to name a few. The writers that really influence my stories are ones that examine the real grittiness of life like Roxanne Henke, Bette Nordberg, and James Scott Bell.

Tell us something fun we might not know about you.

I was the team captain and second answerer in the speed round for our family on Family Feud in 2000 . . . and we won! Also, I grew up in Nigeria, West Africa, while my parents were Southern Baptist missionaries. I remember being awed at the selection of toilet paper in the grocery store when we returned to the States.

What made you start writing?

Buried deep within my closet, one might find some angst-filled poetry from my teenage years and a very spooky seven pages of the novel I started in high school. Though I was in love with the idea of being a writer, it wasn't until I finished college and stayed home with my first child that I actually decided to write a book. Truthfully, my mom told me we were going to write one together, and being the obedient daughter I am . . .

Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

Any character has some aspect of my personality, for better or worse. I can only write what I know. I've seen a richness develop in my writing as I've grown in my faith and walked through some valleys in the last decade.

Denise and Craig's story is based on the lessons of forgiveness God taught me when my marriage fell apart . . . the first time. Accordingly, many of the emotions Denise goes through correspond to what I felt, though our situations differ. However, I also wanted to really understand the male perspective, so Craig had parts of me in him as well. The path away from God and following temptation is something we can all recognize and, unfortunately, identify with.

During the editing process and years after my husband and I reunited, our marriage of thirteen years unexpectedly ended. The words I had written as a happily married woman ministered to me in my singleness. My heart's hope is that this book will lead people to Live Transparently--Forgive Extravagantly!

This month we're talking about books on the craft of writing. Of those you've read, which one would you most enthusiastically recommend?

I would say that James Scott Bell's Plot and Structure is my favorite of them all. My other advice for writers:

~Write consistently
~Join a critique group
~Attend writing conferences
~By open to criticism. One always has room to grow!

What are you working on now?

I'm about 1/5 of the way through my next manuscript, Unafraid, a story about a girl's kidnapping, and how her life unfolds because of the trauma. One of my characters is a PI, so I'm having loads of fun with the research.

The humor Sherrie Ashcraft (my sometime co-author and always mother) and I display in our infrequent, humorous newsletters--sign up at www.ashberrylane.net/update.aspx--has garnered the attention of an editor. You just might see a funny, non-fiction cooperative work from the Ashberry Ladies at some point in time. Plus, I have a funky TV-based devotional a house is interested in. Busy, busy, busy!


Where else can readers find you or your writing online?


My site with my mom (Sherrie Ashcraft)
My blog
My site

Here are two links to purchase my book:

CBD.com

Amazon.com

You can also have any bookstore order copies for you if they don’t have any in stock.

Thanks, Christina, for visiting with us and telling us about The Familiar Stranger. Readers, Christina has offered to give a copy of The Familiar Stranger to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, October 29. To enter, leave a comment for Christina, 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 Shirley Connolly, below. There's time to leave a comment to enter the October 26 drawing for Shirley's book, I See God in the Thorns~n~Thistles.

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

This Monday we'll hear from Christa Parrish, author of Watch Over Me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Shirley Connolly and Free Books!

Before we visit with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of Brenda Lott's novel, The Jewel of His Heart is:

carrie@ . . .

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 author Shirley Connolly about her devotional, I See God in the Thorns~n~Thistles.

PhotobucketShirley Kiger Connolly is a graduate of Institute of Children's Literature. When not penning historical fiction romances laced with nuggets of inspiration or journaling reflections aimed at readers in search of lighthearted encouragement, Shirley serves as teacher and speaker to women's groups, and writer of Bible study curriculum for various retreat and workshops. Shirley also writes features for local community organizations and several online women's Christian groups, while she stays actively involved with numerous writers' groups: American Christian Fiction Writers: Hearts through History Chapter of Romance Writers of America; and Faith-Hope-Love RWA, and several others.

Shirley enjoys interviewing and promoting other authors at her blog apenforyourthoughts.blogspot.com and spending time with her animals, taking walks with her dogs, playing her piano or guitar, and doing needlework when she hasn't got a pen in her hand. She and her husband live on the southern tip of Oregon but are hoping and praying to sell their home soon and move to Texas. If you can find the right boots (not too high or pointed) and hat (not too high or pointed) that would go well on a short redhead, be sure to let her know. She can be reached at sh1rlee@verizon.net most of the time.

Tell us about your latest devotional.

PhotobucketI See God in the Thorns~n~Thistles is my second in a three-book devotional series for readers who enjoy lighthearted reflections. The first came out last February. I called it I See God in the Simple Things. I think I told you about it a while back. Thorns~n~Thistles speaks more to the heart that's burdened or to someone experiencing times of trial. (Who isn't?)

The truth is, all of us get challenged by the complexities of life, the afflictions, the tests, and the tragedies…right? Where do we run when we do? Regardless of how long we have been Christians, or even if we haven't made that decision yet, do we run to or from God during the hard times? Do we try to see what He's teaching us?

Since God remains there for us not only in the simple circumstances but also during the toughest times, this book points to how much we are never alone. Thorns~n~Thistles, like my first devotional offers not only short reflections, but also independent devotions, a way to make the most out of the troubles, and a way to draw closer to God because, and oftentimes in spite of, whatever pain we are in.

It's all about life-changing lessons we learn while on our personal journeys, while teaching us to have compassion for others when they go through their difficult times. Isn't that what life's all about for the believer?

How are the devotions structured?

A devotional is so individual I imagine everyone does it differently. I like to begin mine with an introduction about why I wrote the book to give the reader a better understanding of what they are about to take part in, and how to use each section. I prefer setting each lesson or reflection up with a feature first which shows God in the middle of a situation and sometimes in a very unusual way. (But of course He is always there, we just don't see it if we aren't looking) and then a section for the reader to journal her or his own thoughts that might relate to the same type of situation or whatever comes to mind and how God shows them something.

I add a scripture portion so people can have their own Word Study time which I think is important because that way they have the Bible handy with everything they are reading. It causes all of us to take the time to spend in devotions without getting too heavy if we have busy lives. And sometimes people prefer doing devotions in various ways. I don't like to interrupt that.

And then I end with a prayer of my own which the reader can join me in if they like. I like an organized life (though my house doesn't always show that) and it comes through in my devotional books. Structured and with a set pattern from beginning to end. (Oh, at the end of my devotionals I also like having an index of scripture references with words so that people can look up something quickly if they have a mind to.)

Who would your book best serve?

I've noticed that it meets the needs of a wide spectrum of people, i.e., both women and some men who have written me to say they have read my devotionals. Also young adults who I've heard from that have gotten a lot out of them because they are easy to work with.

Where can readers find Thorns~n~Thistles?

This book is set to release in November, officially the 30th but I know it will be out closer to the middle of the month, at least a sneak peak. I just finished my first line of edits for the final product. Readers can find it at Booksamillion, Target, Amazon and Barnes n Noble (though B and N) are usually higher priced. Amazon, many times, offers discounts which is great for the reader. The best place to get the book at the best price will be right through www.vrpublishing.com which is going to have an area where all its authors' books can be sold at very reasonable prices.

And this isn't your only book, is it, Shirley? Where can readers learn about your other books?

No, I write both fiction and nonfiction. I've written two fiction stories: It Happened Near the Cliff Rock and Flame from Within. Then there is the I See God series which readers can find available at stores throughout and with discounts at most online stores. My third I See God book releases in 2010. (I See God on that Narrow Road). I am also finishing up my third fiction novel. I hope you'll be watching for that.

Thanks so much for having me, Trish!

Thanks, Shirley, for visiting with us and telling us about I See God in the Thorns~n~Thistles. Readers, Shirley has offered to sign a copy of her book for the winner of our drawing on Monday, October 26. To enter, leave a comment for Shirley, 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 review of Sense and Sensibility, below. There's time to leave a comment to enter the October 22 drawing for my book, Sunset Beach.

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 hear from Christina Berry, author of Familiar Stranger.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sense and Sensibility and Free Books!

For this month's Everything Austen Challenge, I treated myself to Ang Lee's 1995 award-winning film, Sense and Sensibility. If you haven't yet seen the film, rent it at once, and make sure you have tea in the house. And tissues.

The film is perfectly cast, down to the smallest role. Emma Thompson, who wrote the screenplay over a four-year period, aged heroine Elinor Dashwood by nearly ten years, at Lee's request. Lee also insisted Thompson take the role of Elinor, and she does a beautiful, nuanced, completely believable job as the sister who struggles to maintain decorum in the face of much adversity and heartache. A young Kate Winslet is her more openly passionate sister Marianne, and she's as fine an actress in this film as she is in her films of today. Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman portray men you just don't see often enough in real life--dashing, noble, lovable, and honorable to a fault.

As is typical of films based on Austen's work, the humor is smart and subtle, and it usually finds its mark in upper-class snobbery and in the universal weaknesses of human nature.

And the romance! Ah, what a struggle is romance! And what a worthy goal. We read and view romances expecting a happily ever after, and although we must deliciously wait for it, Sense and Sensibility doesn't disappoint.

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

And now, I'd like to announce that the winner of Jenness Walker's novel, Double Take, 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!

Since I'm not interviewing an author today, it looks as if I'll just have to give away a book of my own! If you'd like to leave a comment below, tell me if you have a favorite Austen book or film based on one of her books. I'll draw a name next week and send a copy of Sunset Beach to the winner. If you're a subscriber (see the box at right), I'll enter your name an additional time.

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

Monday, October 12, 2009

Brenda Lott and Free Books!

"My story is set in 1890's Montana and perfectly captures life on the American frontier, introducing readers to rugged, independent souls and their inner spiritual struggles."

Before we visit with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of Mary Connealy's novel, Cowboy Christmas is:

hediru@ . . .

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 Brenda Lott (writing as Maggie Brendan), author of The Jewel of His Heart (Revell, October 2009, the 2nd book in Heart of the West series)

PhotobucketMaggie Brendan is a member of the American Christian Writers (ACW) and the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). She was a recipient of the 2004 ACW Persistence Award.
Her book, No Place For a Lady, the first in the Heart of the West series, was released in January 2009 and received a 4.5 star review from Romantic Times. The Jewel of His Heart, book 2, was just released (October 2009) and received a 4 star review from Romantic Times. A Love of Her Own is scheduled for release in 2010. She has begun writing another historical series called The Blue Willow Brides. Maggie is also quoted in Word Weavers, The Successful Writer’s Critique Groups released in June 2008. She has led a writer's critique group for the last 6-1/2 years. A screenplay of her first novel is at Lifetime TV for possible movie production. She recently spoke at a Regional Church Bookstores and Libraries conference in Marietta about The Value of Christian Fiction. She participated in LifeWay Christian Store's Annual Fiction Event Day at the Mall of Georgia and will be participating again in October for them in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Maggie is married with two grown children and four grandchildren. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading, singing, painting, scrapbooking, and being with her family. She lives in Marietta, GA.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The Jewel of His Heart.

PhotobucketThe Jewel of His Heart is set in 1890s Montana. It is here that Juliana calls home when she meets Josh McBride, a handsome, gentle sheepherder. When he discovers a rare kind of sapphire on his property and considers striking out on his own path in the world, he is forced to decide what's most important to him: the world's riches or the eternal value of love in a woman whose eyes rival the rarest of gems.

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

I fell in love with my male character Josh McBride, who has so much love to give and is a gentle, kind sheepherder but struggles with his self-esteem. With his strong faith in God he learns to trust Him when confronted with hard decisions.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I believe readers will enjoy my novel about a man's struggle between the riches of the world or the eternal value of love and a woman who must learn to forgive the past and learn to trust and love. I think the issues are just as relevant today.

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


PhotobucketI’d love to see Dale Midkiff play Josh McBride. He would fit that character perfectly.

PhotobucketFor Juliana Brady I’d pick Zoe Deschanel with her gorgeous blue eyes that reflect the color of the Yogo sapphires.

This month we're talking about books on the craft of writing. Of those you've read, which one would you most enthusiastically recommend?

I'd recommend two favorites that I read years ago--Techniques of the Selling Writer, by Dwight V. Swain, and Writing Novels that Sell, by Jack M. Bickham. They're considered "The Bible" on writing.

Someone has just handed you a box containing exactly what you need at this moment in time. What's in the box? And it's not food (everyone always says food--we writers are a hungry bunch).

That's easy to answer. A gift certificate for a weekly massage for an entire year! Sitting and typing is hard on the arms, back and shoulders, not to mention the hands. That would be so lovely to receive and I wouldn't let anything stand in my way to show up for them.

What is the last book you read that impacted you?

The first one that comes to mind is The Prayer of Jabez, by Bruce Wilkinson. Bruce Wilkinson gave a conference at my church a few years ago. That little book and his conference taught me a lot. Once I faithfully prayed for God to expand my territory for Him on a daily basis, many wonderful opportunities to share the gospel and expand my boundaries through my writing occurred, and that was not coincidental. It's a divine gift that I don't deserve but He chose to bless me exceedingly above all that I could ever imagine.

What are you working on now?

I've just signed a contract with Revell for another series entitled The Blue Willow Brides. It's a story of three sisters from Holland who become mail order brides in America.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?


southernbellewriter.blogspot.com

www.BustlesAndSpurs.com – resident blogger

Thanks, Brenda, for visiting with us and telling us about The Jewel of His Heart. Readers, Brenda has offered to sign a copy of The Jewel of His Heart for the winner of our drawing on Monday, October 19. To enter, leave a comment for Brenda, 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 Jenness Walker, below. There's time to leave a comment to enter the October 15 drawing for Jenness' book, Double Take.

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 hear from Shirley Connolly, author of I See God in the Thorns and Thistles.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Jenness Walker and Free Books!

Cole must save Kenzie from someone using a popular thriller as his playbook . . . but the villain is re-writing the ending.

Before we visit with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of Myra Johnson's novel, One Imperfect Christmas 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 Jenness Walker, author of Double Take (Steeple Hill, October 2009).

PhotobucketJenness Walker has always loved a good story. She grew up scouting around her grandparents' basement for something good to read. Today she doesn't feel complete if there's not a book nearby. When she's not reading or writing, she enjoys hanging out with her website-designer husband, playing with her part-time dog, and planning trips to explore small-town America. Double Take is her debut novel.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Double Take.

PhotobucketDouble Take begins with Cole, the hero, reading a best-selling thriller where the villain plays a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with the heroine. When the first scene from the book is replicated in real life in front of Cole and a woman is kidnapped, Cole believes he holds the clue to her survival in his hands. But will anyone listen to him? Or will he be too late to save her? The story is set mostly in Atlanta and includes some of the scenes from the thriller.

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

Probably Cole. I like wounded and mysterious characters. But his struggle is something many can relate to, especially me. No one's good enough. No one can become worthy of God's mercy--it's only through Jesus Christ and His grace.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

Because I wrote it and I'm amazing. LOL. Okay, maybe not. But there's lots of suspense, some pretty good action and plot twists, and some romance that's not too gushy. Seriously. No birds singing and violins playing at the very sight of the hero, I promise. And it's got a great first line. I can say that without bragging because best-selling novelist Warren Flint wrote it.

Readers, I've met Jenness, and her first reason was actually a pretty good one.

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


This is a tough one!! Putting acting abilities/styles aside (which would make me a horrible casting director, eh?), I would want a petite actress with a sweet face for Kenzie.

PhotobucketLike Elisha Cuthbert--



Photobucket--or Kate Bosworth, but of course as a brunette.



PhotobucketOr maybe even Alexis Bledel.





I tried to find a picture of Elisha Cuthbert as a brunette, to no avail. I had a difficult time just finding a picture of the girl with pants on. Not a terribly shy gal.

And for your hero?


PhotobucketSomeone tall and able to pull off some scruff for Cole. Maybe Josh Duhamel?

Nice!

This month we're talking about books on the craft of writing. Of those you've read, which one would you most enthusiastically recommend?


I admit I didn't get very far the first time I went through the Writing the Breakout Novel workbook. I get bored with nonfiction very easily. But I just sat through a Donald Maass workshop at the ACFW conference and it was amazing. If I could have made myself pay attention to the workbook itself, I bet it would have made a big impact on my stories as well. It is now on my to-do list.

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

I love coming up with ideas. They come to me all the time, and I love that beginning rush and all the directions you could go with it. Staying excited about one project when another one with lots of potential hits me can be pretty tough.

Yeah, new ideas can be distracting, especially if you're past the honeymoon stage with a book project. Contract deadlines are very helpful for keeping one focused!

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


Flip flops--likes to be comfortable, is low maintenance and laid-back, shows flaws, makes sure there's plenty of room to breathe.

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

Scared, by Tom Davis. I could feel the author's heart through the story. It left me longing to make a difference in the world like his hero did.

What are you working on now?

I have a couple projects going right now--a long-term WIP that's very close to my heart and is different from anything I've tried before. I just got some good advice for it at the ACFW conference, so it's going on the back-burner once again while I mull over the best way to move forward with it. I'm also just starting to rewrite my very first novel to cut it down and make it a fit for the Love Inspired line. It's about a man who's lost everything, the woman who tries to bring him back to life, and the killer who wants to destroy them both.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

www.jennesswalker.com, and www.amazon.com or www.cbd.com.

Thanks, Jenness, for visiting with us and telling us about Double Take. Readers, Jenness has offered to sign a copy of Double Take for the winner of our drawing on Thursday, October 15. To enter, leave a comment for Jenness, 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 Mary Connealy, below. There's time to leave a comment to enter the October 12 drawing for Mary's book, Cowboy Christmas.

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

This Monday we'll hear from Brenda Lott (Maggie Brendan), author of The Jewell of His Heart.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mary Connealy and Free Books!

A secretive singer with trouble following her, and cowboy who hates liars, especially female liars, need a Christmas miracle to take a chance on love.

Before we visit with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of Debbie Fuller Thomas' novel, Raising Rain is:

beautifulmomentsofjoyandpeace@ . . .

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 Mary Connealy, author of Cowboy Christmas (Barbour Publishing, September 2009).

PhotobucketMary Connealy writes romantic comedies with cowboys for Barbour Publishing. Cowboy Christmas is in bookstores now.

PhotobucketMontana Rose, Book #1 of the Montana Marriages series, released in July.

PhotobucketBook #2, The Husband Tree, comes in January.

And book #3, Wildflower Bride, comes in May 2010.

Mary is also the author of the Lassoed in Texas series and a cozy mystery collection, Nosy in Nebraska.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Cowboy Christmas.

PhotobucketElijah Walker's lost his father at the hands of a deceitful woman. The one thing he can't abide is lies. Citified Annette Talbot is on the run from something, and Eli knows a liar when he sees one.

After a lifetime of being a good girl who does what she's told, Annette's obedient nature has led her straight into danger. She's determined to live more bravely and she's planning to start just as soon as she can hide behind her tough Wyoming rancher father.

Once in Wyoming, she finds her father is missing, possibly dead. Elijah can't ignore a damsel in distress. Walker can't help protecting her, especially since God pretty much dropped Annette straight into his unwilling arms. But helping her isn't the same as trusting her, and that he will never do. As Annette and Walker fight their attraction, danger draws near and Christmas approaches. They'll get one special chance to follow their star to True Love.

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

Annette was my favorite, though the combination of her and Elijah is what makes the book fun. She's trying to live bravely for God. She's trying to take up her cross and follow the Lord. But she keeps fumbling her cross, and mostly dropping it straight on poor Elijah's head.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

It's a romantic comedy with cowboys at Christmas. It is impossible not to enjoy that combination.

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

I don't like answering this. I like to leave the appearance of my characters to the imagination of my readers. Have you ever noticed there aren't any people on my book covers? I've had to beg for that. I think it works well, though. I mean seriously, once we saw Daniel Radcliff's face, could we ever recapture what Harry Potter really looked like, the real Harry, the one we conjured in our own heads?

Yes, I imagine J.K. Rowling is really miffed about that whole movie enterprise. Okay, Ms. Mary, no movie deal for you!

Seriously, though, I understand what you mean. The book trailer for my most recent novel uses a male model who doesn't look at all like I pictured the hero looking. It was quite a surprise to see how someone else imagined him.

This month we're talking about books on the craft of writing. Of those you've read, which one would you most enthusiastically recommend?


I hate to say this . . . and it might explain why it took me ten years to get published, but I've almost never read a book on the craft of writing. Sorry. I've read The Moral Premise, by Stanley D. Williams, which I liked, good solid advice. And I've read Stephen King's On Writing--A Memoir of the Craft. But that mainly just confirmed what I already know, still, except for the unpleasantness of his abused childhood and the profanity, it's a solid book on writing.

Well, see there, you have read books on the craft. Both of those books were recommended by other authors on this blog recently. I really enjoyed King's book, even though I'm not a big fan of his fiction. And I keep hearing about The Moral Premise. Maybe I should check it out.

Someone has just handed you a box containing exactly what you need at this moment in time. What's in the box? And it's not food (everyone always says food--we writers are a hungry bunch).

Hey, I need food. That's just mean. How about, could my granddaughter be in that box. I mean, it's kind of abusive, Trish, shame on you. But I haven't held her for . . . a week and a half. It's getting pretty serious. I need that baby!!!!!! I heard she might be getting a tooth. She needs her grandma for something that traumatic.

Fine, fine, we'll punch a few air holes in the box. Will that make you happy?

I hear you, though. I don't even want to get started on how fantastic my grandson is, and I completely empathize with your need for a fix.


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

I read the first book in MaryLu Tyndall's new series recently, Red Siren. I loved it. She really had a fantastic grasp of adventure and high stakes. I love what she's doing. I've got The Blue Enchantress in my hot little hands now and can't wait to get to it.

What are you working on now?

I've got book #2 in the Montana Marriages series releasing in January. We're just doing final edits for that. I love that book. I don't suppose I should pick a book to prefer but I have to say, I think it's the most fun I've ever had writing a book. Belle Tanner, a secondary character in Montana Rose, stars in this book. And if a woman has ever been a hard sell to find true love, it's Belle.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

Seekerville
Petticoats & Pistols
My Blog
My Website
Link to purchase Cowboy Christmas: Amazon.com

Thanks, Mary, for visiting with us and telling us about Cowboy Christmas. Readers, Mary has offered to sign a copy of Cowboy Christmas for the winner of our drawing on Monday, October 12. To enter, leave a comment for Mary, 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 Myra Johndon, below. There's time to leave a comment to enter the October 8 drawing for Myra's book, One Imperfect Christmas.

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 hear from Jenness Walker, author of Double Take.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Myra Johnson and Free Books!

A woman, guilt ridden after her mother's stroke, must find her way back to forgiveness and love before the upcoming Christmas season destroys her.

Before we visit with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of Christmas Homecoming, featuring Debby Mayne's novella, "Silver Bells," is:

klmc_37@ . . .

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 Myra Johnson, author of One Imperfect Christmas (Abingdon Press, September 2009).

PhotobucketMyra Johnson's roots go deep into Texas soil, but she's proud to be a new Oklahoman. Empty-nesters now, she and her husband share their home with two lovable dogs and a snobby parakeet. In addition to her debut novel with Abingdon Press, Myra also writes for Barbour Publishing's Heartsong Presents line. Autumn Rains, winner of the 2005 RWA Golden Heart for Best Inspirational Romance Manuscript, releases October 2009. Myra writes full-time and is active in her church as well as local and national writers groups. She and her husband Jack have been married since 1972. The Johnsons have two married daughters and five grandchildren.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of One Imperfect Christmas.

PhotobucketNatalie Pearce loves Christmas so much she'd gladly make it a year-round celebration--until her mother suffers a massive stroke while taking down the decorations. Natalie's guilt over not being there to help her mom soon builds a wall that separates her from the rest of her family, including her husband, Daniel, and their teenage daughter.

As the next December approaches, the last thing Natalie wants to be reminded of is another Christmas season. Only her family's tenacious love and an unexpected Christmas gift from her mother can help Natalie mend the broken pieces of their lives.

I have a feeling we're going to need a box of tissues nearby at the end of this one, Myra.

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


While I loved delving into the character of Natalie, the heroine, I was probably most fascinated with her office assistant, Deannie. It was so much fun creating Deannie's quirky personality and playing it off Natalie's all-business attitude. I haven't given up on the idea of featuring Deannie in her own story someday.

I love when that happens! Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I hope readers will enjoy getting to know the characters, cheer for them as they try to get their lives back on track, and perhaps find points of identification in the characters' struggles. Natalie isn't always likable, but she's real, and I'd like readers to see that it's okay to be honest about our feelings. It's okay to struggle with faith. And it's okay to hope for a miracle, because even if God doesn't answer our prayers exactly the way we want Him to, He always finds a way to bring healing out of tragedy.

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

PhotobucketHmm. I could see Reese Witherspoon as Natalie.




PhotobucketAnd Scott Foley (formerly of The Unit) as Daniel, Natalie's husband.

PhotobucketFor Lissa, Natalie's daughter, AnnaSophia Robb would be a great match.

Those two actresses do actually look as if they could be related!

This month we're talking about books on the craft of writing. Of those you've read, which one would you most enthusiastically recommend?

That would have to be one I read just a few months ago, The Moral Premise, by Stanley D. Williams, Ph.D. I recently reviewed the book on Mary DeMuth's blog. Williams explains how the Moral Premise looks at both sides (virtue and vice) of a universal truth--what we commonly think of as a story's theme--and how that premise plays out in every aspect of the characters' journeys. When a writer uses Moral Premise effectively, the story is much more likely to resonate with readers long after they finish the book.

That sounds fascinating. I'll have to check it out.

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


The absolute easiest facet for me is revision. Once I have something to work with, I actually enjoy finding ways to make it better. The hardest part is plotting. As a seat-of-the-pants writer, I panic every time I am pressed to come up with a synopsis or chapter-by-chapter outline before I've written the book. While I usually have a good idea who my characters are, what the central conflict will be, and how I want the story to end, individual scenes come to me only as I do the actual writing.

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

Wow, this question took some thought! Maybe a pair of binoculars. If you look through them the normal way, it brings everything up close so you can study it. As a writer, I have to look closely at my characters' lives--their background, emotional makeup, lifestyle, hopes and dreams. But then if you turn the binoculars around and look through them, everything gets pushed far into the distance. Sometimes I can get too close to my subject and fail to see the bigger picture. I need to back off and take the long view.

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

Allison Pittman's Ten Thousand Charms. Reminiscent of Francine Rivers's Redeeming Love, this story shows how a young woman forced into prostitution as a child comes face to face with God's love in the form of a widower who helps her see her own worthiness. I think no matter who we are or what struggles we deal with, beneath it all is a desperate urgency to believe we are loved, forgiven, and valued.

What are you working on now?

Since One Imperfect Christmas released, much of my time has been spent in promotional efforts. I've also been working on the final edits for my next two Heartsong Presents romances, Romance by the Book and Where the Dogwoods Bloom, which should be out sometime in 2010. These, along with my first Heartsong, Autumn Rains, are all contemporary romances set in Missouri.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

My website is www.MyraJohnson.com, and my personal blog, Writer at Random, can be found at www.myra.typepad.com. I also participate in two group blogs, The Seekers (www.seekerville.blogspot.com) and Romance Your Spouse (www.romanceyourspouse.blogspot.com)

For more about One Imperfect Christmas, readers can visit the page on the Abingdon Press Website, www.abingdonpress.com, where you’ll also find a downloadable expanded study guide. The book is available through all major bookstores, including Cokesbury (www.cokesbury.com) and Amazon (www.amazon.com).

Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog today, Trish! It's been a pleasure!

Thanks, Myra, for visiting with us and telling us about One Imperfect Christmas. Readers, Myra has offered to sign a copy of One Imperfect Christmas for the winner of our drawing on Thursday, October 8. To enter, leave a comment for Myra, 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 Debbie Thomas, below. There's time to leave a comment to enter the October 5 drawing for Debbie's book, Raising Rain.

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

This Monday we'll hear from Mary Connealy, author of Cowboy Christmas. Is anyone besides me getting eager about Christmas already? All of these holiday-themed novels are stirring me up!

Other books to consider right now (and for possible Christmas gifts) include those released this month:

1. A Star Curiously Singing, The DarkTrench Saga, Book 1, by Kerry Nietz from Marcher Lord Press. An augmented human programmer is sent to space to solve the mystery of a bot's destruction.

2. Double Take, by Jenness Walker from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. When a stalker becomes obsessed with a woman, the key to stopping him lies in a best-selling thriller . . . until he stops going by the book.

3. Dreaming of Home, by Glenna Kaye from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Two wounded hearts must learn to trust that God's dreams for them far exceed any they may have for themselves.

4. Eternity Falls - A Rick Macey Cyberthriller, Book 1 of the Rick Macey Cyberthriller series, by Kirk Outerbridge from Marcher Lord Press. A cyber-enhanced detective must stop a religious zealot from destroying a serum for eternal life.

5. Gripped By Fear, Chicago Warrior Thriller Series, 2nd book, by John M. Wills from Total Recall. Chgo Detectives hunt a serial rapist in the mean streets of Chicago in the midst of personal struggles.

6. Leaving Yesterday, by Kathryn Cushman from Bethany House. A mother rejoices at the return of her prodigal, but is faced with an impossible decision as evidence from his past refuses to stay buried.

7. Loves Finds You in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, by Lauralee Bliss from Summerside Press. Set in the Guilded Age within the beauty of New Hampshire's White Mountains, successful artist Tom Haskins and penniless Sara McGee discover through their circumstacnes that the most precious gifts of life and love don't always come as they're expected.

8. Love Finds You in North Pole, Alaska, by Loree Lough from Summerside Press. A story that's sure to warm your heart, despite the icy Alaskan setting!

9. Love is a Battlefield, Book One in the Walk in the Park series, by Annalisa Daughety from Barbour Publishing. War rages again at Shiloh, but this time it's a battle of the heart.

10. Seaside Letters, by Denise Hunter from Thomas Nelson. Sabrina Kincaid didn't intend to fall for Nantucket native Tucker McCabe, the man she serves coffee to every morning-a man tied deeply to a past she deeply regrets. But she has. And she's fallen hard. But she's kept this a secret from her handsome customer. And now Tucker wants to hire Sabrina to help locate his friend "Sweetpea"-the mysterious woman he's falling in love with online. Sabrina is not inclined to help, but if Tucker hires someone else, it could spell disaster. Because if someone else sifts through the emails and figures out the truth-then Tucker will discover that the person he's trying to find is . . . her.


11. Soldier Daddy, Wings of Refuge Series-book 5-all standalones, by Cheryl Wyatt from Steeple Hill. A USAF Pararescue Jumper searches for a nanny for his twins and instead finds a future with a woman harboring a secret tied to his past.

12. The Case of the Mystified M.D., Book 2, Bouncing Grandma Mysteries, by A.K. Arenz from Sheaf House. First a foot, now a hand--what body part is next?

13. The Christmas Journey, by Winnie Griggs from Steeple Hill Love Inspired.

14. The Jewel of his Heart, Heart of the West Series, by Maggie Brendan from Revell. Discover the classic struggle between the world's wealth and the lure of eternal love in this Western story of elegance and survival.

15. The Matchmaking Pact, After the Storm #4
, by Carolyn Aarsen from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. A single father and a single mother have to deal with matchmaking children.

16. Thirsty, by Tracey Bateman from Waterbrook. "Deep, cutting, an intoxicating blend of human and supernatural, of characters scarred by the past, drained by life. This is the book I've waited for."

17. Trial By Fire, by Cara Putman from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. When an arsonist targets her family, Tricia has to find him before harm is done without losing her heart to a fireman.

Happy reading, all!
 

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