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, March 15, 2010

Gayle Roper and Free Books!

PhotobucketA stranger's request, a secret key, a handsome man, a series of escalating threats--Kristie faces them all as she boards at an Amish farm.

Before we meet today's novelist, I'd like to announce that the winner of the drawing for Ronie Kendig's novel, Dead Reckoning, is:

jthauge@ . . .

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 Gayle Roper, author of A Stranger's Wish (Harvest House, February, 2010).

PhotobucketGayle Roper is the author of more than 45 books. She says, "I have been in love with story all my life. Give me a novel with strong characters and a captivating plot, and I'm one happy reader. Or writer."

Two of Gayle's books have been named Book of the Year, she's won a RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, won three Holt Medallions, received a Reviewer's Choice Award, and finaled repeatedly for the Christy Award.

She lives in Southeast Pennsylvania with her husband Chuck. She teaches frequently at writers conferences and speaks at women's events across the country. She loves her kids and grandkids, and enjoys eating out whenever she can talk Chuck into it.

Wow, Gayle, I'm in awe of your accolades! You're Superwoman! I think Chuck should take you to dinner whenever you darned well please!

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of A Stranger's Wish.

PhotobucketKristie Matthews, artist and teacher, moves to an Amish farm. On her first day she's bitten by the family's German shepherd and rushed to the hospital by a handsome neighbor. There she meets an old man having a heart attack. He gives her a key to keep for him and makes her promise to tell no one she has it. Trouble and romance follow until she solves the mystery of the key.

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

I like all the characters of this novel, but one of my favorites is Mary Zook, the Amish mother who is a closet artist. In her culture, art is frowned upon, but she has this gift and a compulsion to use it. When Kristie, our heroine and an artist, comes to board, Mary's world suddenly expands, but she has to decide how much she can step outside what is comfortable and right.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

A Stranger's Wish has suspense, mystery, interesting characters, and it's a great story. There are also lots of interesting facts about Amish life, something that interests a lot of folks. How should we balance law and grace?

There's certainly no denying the appeal of Amish fiction. I think it was literary agent Chip MacGregor who wrote the other day that he believes Amish fiction is here to stay (versus a passing fad)--a permanent genre of its own.

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

PhotobucketThe guy who plays The Mentalist (Simon Baker) can be Clarke, our hero.

PhotobucketAnd Amy Adams can be Kristie.

This month we're looking at opening lines. What are the first lines (or the first line, if you prefer) of your novel? What did you hope to convey with those opening lines?

By the time Jon Clarke What's-his-name drove me to the hospital, my terrible inner trembling had stopped.

I hoped to intrigue readers enough to make them read on and find out what had happened to Kristie.

Yes, it already poses a number of questions!

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

I can usually see the opening and the finale though not in great detail. I know who my bad guy will be. I try hard not to use the same devices over again. One car chase in one book is it. I think the hardest thing is delving into personalities of characters who are different from me. What would they think, what would they do in a specific situation when they are so different from me?

What is the last book you read that moved you?

I'm a sucker for a good romantic suspense, mystery or romance. I've been reading several contemporary romances as a judge for the RITA Awards. I read a new author, Susan Mallery, a title called Straight from the Hip. An unusual set-up, characters of depth, and a satisfying ending. I find some romances have the big break-up and then the last two pages are the rekindling of the affection--too little too late. I don't buy that fences can be mended that quickly.

What are you working on now?

I'm writing a short romantic suspense for Love Inspired Suspense called Hear No Evil. It's the second of three about a trio of teachers who share a house. Lucy is the impetuous, leads with her heart character whose personality will be fun to capture.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

I have several short stories posted on my web site, www.gayleroper.com. They're there just for friends and visitors to read. There's lots of information about my other books there too. All the titles can be purchased at a local book store or through christianbooks.com or Amazon.com.

Thanks, Gayle, for visiting with us and telling us about A Stranger's Wish. Readers, Gayle has offered to give a copy of her novel to the winner of our drawing on Monday, March 22. To enter, leave a comment for Gayle, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out my interviews with Amber Miller Stockton and Linda S. Clare, below, and leave a comment under their interviews to be entered in drawings for signed copies of their novels

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


Julia said...

I would love to read this book. Amish fiction is one of my favorite genres. Please enter me.


Sylvia M. said...

I don't want to enter this contest because I already have this book when it was orginally printed in the Palisades line from Multnomah called The Key. This book and the following two are great! In my opinion the best is yet to come in the form of the third book in this set. It is fantastic!:)The first and second books, though, are definitely not ones to miss. The heroines are always normal acting people who do get into scrapes, but manage to get out one way or another. They are humorous and suspensful with a romantic thread woven throughout.

Wanda said...

Enjoyed the interview with Ms Roper. I've never read any Amish fiction but a Stranger's Wish sounds like an interesting read.


Anonymous said...

enjoyed this posting...please add my name to this drawing...i, too, enjoy Amish fiction.


Casey said...

This book looks good, please enter me!


Sue said...

This books sounds like a good read, it has me interested already. Please enter me. Thank you.


Carole said...

I do enjoy Amish fiction and Gayle's book looks very interesting. Thank you for the interview and chance to win a copy.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

ladijo said...

What a interesting book this sounds like. I enjoyed reading the interview and would love to get entered in the drawing.


denise said...

Your book sounds so interesting. Would love to have it.

Carman said...

Please enter me. :) I'm ejoying reading more Amish books lately.


Judylynn said...

Yes, I'd love to win this book. Thanks for this opportunity!


Merry said...

I have several of Gayle's books and she is wonderful. Please include me in the drawing for A Stanger's Wish, thanks!


Desiree said...

Looking forward to reading Gayle's new book!


Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview! Please enter me. Thank you!


Barbara said...

Please enter me in the drawing. I love Amish Fiction.


Sheryl Barnes said...

Trish & Gayle -
Thanks so much for sharing about Gayle's new book. I must admit that I haven't read Gayle's books, but am definitely interested. Please enter me in the drawing.

Linda said...

An Amish read with some definite suspense. Makes Amish reading a notch higher on my reading list. Please enter me.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Caroline said...

I'd love to win Gayle's book! Thanks for the opportunity!


Sandee61 said...

I love Amish fiction and would love to be entered in your giveaway. I enjoyed the interview for this new to me author. Thank you! Have a great day.



windycindy said...

I am one of those readers who enjoy
Amish books very much! There is a small Amish Community about 2 hours
from where I live! I love to attend
their Quilt Auctions.
Thanks, Cindi

squiresj said...

This is an author I do know and I'd love to win this book.
Enter me to win:

rbooth43 said...

I love reading about the Amishand would be interested in reading this book.



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