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, October 11, 2010

Shannon Vannatter and Free Books!

PhotobucketWhen a promotion transfers the town-drunk's daughter too close to home, can her new-found nephew and his guilt-laden guardian heal heart?

Today we meet Shannon Taylor Vannatter, author of White Doves (Heartsong Presents bookclub, October 2010 -- in stores April 2011).

PhotobucketShannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor's wife/writer. When not writing, she runs circles in the care and feeding of her husband Grant, their eight-year-old son, and their church congregation. Home is a central Arkansas zoo with two charcoal gray cats, a chocolate lab, a dragonfish, and three dachshunds in weenie dog heaven. If given the chance to clean house or write, she'd rather write. Her goal is to hire Alice from the Brady Bunch.

Please tell us five random things we might not know about you.

-- I live near a very popular lake, but I haven't been there since I was sixteen. I love to swim, but it's always crowded and I really like chlorine. The lake seems dirty to me.

-- I don't like to cook big complicated dishes. I like making simple soups and casseroles. I have a cookbook full of recipes with only five ingredients. It's my favorite and you'd be amazed at the tasty dishes you can make.

-- Pie is my downfall. Turtle anything, cheesecake, or cream cheese coolwhip. If there is pie in my house, it's the first thought I have when I wake up. It calls to me, "Shannon, there's pie in the refrigerator."

-- I drink iced sweet tea, year round and with every meal, even dessert. I never developed a taste for milk, so I take lots of calcium. Even though I thought I'd die without Coke when I was a kid, I never drink it anymore. It burns all the way down. Tea is so refreshing.

-- I didn't start drinking coffee until I was in my thirties. Until my husband made me an extra sweet cup when I had a sore throat. Now I can't live without it. Cold, hot, doesn't matter. I love crème brulee, caramel, and amaretto flavors. I like three teaspoons each of sugar and powdered creamer. If you only knew how many times I've been asked, "Do you want a little coffee with that?" I don't like coffee with food. It should be savored all by itself.

Oh my goodness, I have a refrigerator like yours--the one that talks about pie!

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of White Doves.

PhotobucketWhite Doves is book two in my series. Laken Kroft is the temporary postmaster in Romance, Arkansas. Laken was raised close to Romance and hasn't been home in eight years. She's estranged from her busybody mother and alcoholic father and wants to stay that way. Countless Sundays, she sat in church with her parents, listening to sermons about drunkenness and gossiping. She's certain all Christians are hypocrites like her parents. All she wants is to get out of Romance.

Hayden Winters is the hunky mail carrier, raising his paraplegic nephew and beating himself up over the accident that caused the boy's condition. He's fresh from a disastrous relationship and intent on never trusting another woman. When Laken's brother turns out to be the father of Hayden's nephew and comes to claim his son, she gets involved. But Hayden isn't sure who's side she's on. God is the only One he can depend on.

What is it about your lead character that will make your readers care about her?

Laken's hurting and she's lonely. Even though she's turned her back on her family, she longs for a real relationship with them. And even though marriage terrifies her because of her parent's dysfunctional home, she longs for a family of her own.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

Laken and Hayden are both hurting so badly, and they're hurts don't ease until they turn them over to God.

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

PhotobucketI'm so out of the loop. I don't watch TV, I don't know actors and actresses names and I usually only watch kids movies these days since I have an eight year old. Is there a young George Clooney with green eyes? That would be Hayden.

I couldn't find any blue-eyed Georges, but we'll use our imaginations.

PhotobucketKeri Russell would make a good Laken. I sent the cover artist pictures I'd clipped from a magazine, but I don't know who the people in the pictures were. The cover artist did a great job.

Share with us one line or paragraph (or so) that gives us a good feel for your book's tone.

No matter what life throws at you, God will get you through it, if you'll let Him.

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

A seashell. We're both made by God's intricate design.

What is the last book you read that you would recommend?

Can't pick one. Christine Lynxweiler's Along Came a Cowboy and the Reluctant Cowgirl. These are the only two I've read of Christine's, but if I ever have time, I plan to read the others. I'm currently reading Lorna Seilstad's Making Waves.

I love Christine's writing. She always paints such gripping characters with major issues, but there's always a happy ending.

I don't usually read historicals, but Lorna is one of my critique partners and she made me like it. Her characters are so funny and it's fun to read the actual book in my hands, instead of ripping apart her work on the computer screen a chapter at a time.

What are you working on now?

I just turned in the first book in a rodeo series that I hope will be my next contract. I'm also working on another romance, between an estranged, married couple.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

Group Blog
Twitter: @stvauthor
Facebook: Shannon Taylor Vannatter

Thank you, Shannon, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Shannon has offered to give a copy of her novel to the winner of our drawing on Monday, October 18. To enter, leave a comment for Shannon, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

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


apple blossom said...

I love heartsong books. Love to win this book. thanks for the interview
ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Jackie S. said...

Love Shannon's books; please enter me. Thanks!

Sylvia said...

I really enjoyed the first book in this series and would like to be entered into this drawing.


Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hi Apple Blossom,

I enjoyed the interview. It was fun.

Hi Jackie,

Thanks for the compliment.


I really hope everyone likes the second book as well. And the third.

Kim F said...

I love to read series - just when I get involved in the characters' lives a typical book is over - in a series you can grow with the characters

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hi Kim,

I'm going to miss these characters when the series is over.

squiresj said...

My youngestdaughter is like you. she has sweet tea year round. So you live in Arkansas - do you live near Bull Shoals Lake? Like you I think cholrine is better than the lake. My youngest used to get bad ear infections when we lived at a resort from the spring fed water.
I also like my desserts for breakfast. Especially pumpkin pie left from Thanksgiving. I am a cheesecake lover.
I would love to win your book.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Joyce said...

I enjoyed your interview! I really enjoyed the "White Roses" and am looking forward to see the rest of the series. From what I have read and seen from you I have really appreciated your stand for the Lord. Keep up the good work! joyce_alber@msn.com

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hi squiresj,

Bull Shoals is way north of me. Oh pumpkin pie for breakfast is the best, with Cool Whip.


Thanks for your kind comments. My writing isn't about me or the wonderful characters God puts in my head, it's about Him.

Brenda said...

The book sounds great and the interview was very interesting.

Please enter me!

dancealert at aol dot com

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hi Brenda,

I so appreciate your interest. Thanks for stopping by.

RosemaryTravis said...

I love Heartsongpresents books. I hope i win your book.

RosemaryTravis said...

I love Heartsongpresents books. I hope i win your book.

Misty Williams said...

I love heartsong presents books. Can't wait to read this one... Yay!

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hi Rosemary & Misty,

Thanks for following me around the net. I really appreciate y'all.

barbjan10 said...

Hi Shannon, guess who? The first giveaway I entered was for Shannon's "White Roses," and I won! I liked that story so much that I can't wait to read "White Doves." Hearing about the story in the interview made it very appealing to read. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win this great book. I hope I do!

Sharing Christ's Love,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hi Barb,

I'm glad you won White Roses. You've been a great cheerleader and encouragement to me.

jeff7salter said...

Enjoyed your post. Just time for a quick response to the issue of coffee.
I was a mere lad of 17 when I began drinking coffee seriously. It was the cheapest (10 cents)beverage at the college snack bar and you also got free refills!
Been drinking it ever since and can't imagine a day without it. On those few occasions when some medical test requires "fasting", I'm a zombie until I get out of the dr. office and head for the nearest coffee pot.
And -- like you -- I definitely prefer to drink my coffee by ITSELF. Don't want to slurp it while I'm eating anything. In particular: coffee with any meat dish ruins the taste of both coffee and meat. People have made fun of me for preferring coffee solo. Now I can point to one of your books and say, "Well, this author agrees with me!"
Please enter me in the drawing.

Trish Perry said...

I'm with you, Jeff and Shannon, about coffee solo. EXCEPT chocolate. I love coffee and I love chocolate, but when I get to savor them together . . . ooo la la!

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hi Jeff,

I'll be glad to back you up. I can't even imagine it with meat. Yuck. I limited myself to one cup a day when I was pregnant. It was torture.


I've tried chocolate with coffee and the chocolate's still good, but to me, it kills the taste of the coffee.

Rosemary Travis said...

I agree with Trish, Coffee and chocolate. I like Chocolate Raspberry Coffee. It's to die for. I'm mostly a TEA hollic. I would love to win Shannon's book. Can't wait. I think Shannon is a very good writer, and she has a good since of story line with strong characters. I think God will take her far as an Author. I love it when books carry on with a story thru all books in the series like my Amish books i read. Shannon as some people like to say: TUNE IN LATER FOR THE REST OF THE STORY.... keep it coming. Love ya, and May God Bless everyone.

Rosemary Travis said...

I agree with Trish, Coffee and chocolate. I like Chocolate Raspberry Coffee. It's to die for. I'm mostly a TEA hollic. I would love to win Shannon's book. Can't wait. I think Shannon is a very good writer, and she has a good since of story line with strong characters. I think God will take her far as an Author. I love it when books carry on with a story thru all books in the series like my Amish books i read. Shannon as some people like to say: TUNE IN LATER FOR THE REST OF THE STORY.... keep it coming. Love ya, and May God Bless everyone.

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hi Rosemary,

My favorite coffee flavors are Amaretto and Hazlenut. I'm tea drinker too, but not green, black, or hot. I like iced, sweet orange peco (however you spell it). I'm so glad you're enjoying my books.

Cindy W. said...

I love the cover art for White Doves. It sounds like a great book and one I would love to read. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

Cindy W.


Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hi Cindy & Nancye,

Thanks for the compliments. My cover artist has been great to work with.

barbjan10 said...

Hope I'm not too late for a last minute chance to win Shannon's "White Doves." I know it would look very nice on my book shelves next to "White Roses" which I enjoyed a lot. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win "White Doves." I hope I do!

Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Jo said...

Oh, I would love to win this book.




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