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!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Gail Gaymer Martin and Free Books!

Friends, Four-legged Friends and Love.

On occasion I'm going to feature a new release, apart from my interviews with authors. Rather than giving the author's book away, I'll simply add commenters' names an extra time to existing drawings.

Today I'm highlighting Groom In Training, by Gail Gaymer Martin. This is the second book in the Man's Best Friend Series from Steeple Hill Love Inspired.

What's it about?

A widow with a sad past, Steph Wright, finds comfort in her faith and her adorable Border Collie, Fred. When Fred becomes enamored with the neighbor's pedigreed Bouvier, Steph meets Nick. With a broken engagement and a busy job, Nick isn't open to love and romance. But when Nick steps in to defend Steph, long talks ensue during dog walking, and both begin to learn that God has plans for each of them, especially Steph who sees some unexpected "groom-in-training" going on.

Endorsements from readers:

"Had a hard time putting this book down. I highly recommend Groom In Training, and look forward to reading more from Gail Gaymer Martin." (Rikki Lee Howland, Reader)

"A delightful story of two hearts discovering where they belong." (Jo Huddleston, Reader)


About Gail:

Multi-award-winning author, Gail Gaymer Martin writes fiction for Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing, where she was recently honored by Heartsong readers as their Favorite Author of 2008. Gail has written forty-four contracted novels with three million books in print. She is the author of Writing the Christian Romance, a Writers Digest Books release. Gail is a co-founder of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a keynote speaker at churches, libraries and civic organizations and also presents workshops at conference across the US. Gail has a Masters degree and post-master’s classes from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and is a licensed counselor. She lives in Michigan with her husband.

Links:

Website: www.gailmartin.com
Gail's Thoughts: www.gailmartin.blogspot.com
Writing Fiction Right: www.writingright-martin.blogspot.com
Facebook:: www.facebook.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com

Groom In Training available where books are sold or click below
amazon.com

You can find this book and the first book in the series, Dad In Training, at
amazon.com

Leave a comment below to be added an additional time to the drawings on February 8 and February 10. Leave your email address (in case you win) like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Susan Page Davis, Megan Elaine Davis, and Free Books!

PhotobucketWhen Emily moves back to the sleepy lakeside town of Baxter, Maine, mysterious things start happening.

Before we chat with today's featured authors, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for Out with the In Crowd, by Stephanie Morrill, is:

gasweetheart211@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you today for your snail mail address, and we'll get your book to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right in order to participate in future book give-aways!

And now let's chat with mother-daughter novelist team, Susan Page Davis and Megan Elaine Davis, authors of the anthology Mainely Mysteries (Barbour Publishing, January 2010). This anthology contains three full-length mystery novels: Homicide at Blue Heron Lake, Treasure at Blue Heron Lake, and Impostors at Blue Heron Lake.

Susan Page Davis is a Maine native and author of 25 novels in the mystery, romantic suspense, and historical romance genres. She and her husband Jim (a veteran editor of news and books) have six children and six grandchildren.


PhotobucketMegan Elaine Davis is now Mrs. John-Mark Cullen, living in England, where she continues to write and makes extraordinary hand-crafted animals and soft sculpture.

Please tell us a bit more about the plots in your anthology.

PhotobucketEmily Gray returns to Baxter, Maine to prepare her mother's island cottage for sale.

PhotobucketIn Homicide at Blue Heron Lake, she is reunited with her childhood sweetheart, Nate Holman, who owns the marina beside the lake. When Nate takes her out to the island, they discover the body of Emily's elderly neighbor, Henry Derbin. As they help solve the murder, Emily decides to give up her high-powered job in Connecticut and move back to the island.

In Treasure at Blue Heron Lake, Emily spends the winter on shore, rooming with the weekly newspaper's editor, Felicia Chadbourne. Nate takes Emily to visit Lakeview Lodge, a sporting camp owned by his friend Jeff Lewis, and proposes to her there. A few weeks later, one of the hunting guides working at the lodge is found murdered in his room and Jeff--the main suspect--calls on Nate and Emily to help him.

In the third book, Impostors at Blue Heron Lake, Nate has finished training and is now a county sheriff's deputy. Emily goes to interview the owner of a historic house and finds Stella Lessard dead in the kitchen. When Stella's attorney begins searching for the heir to the estate, two young women with the same name show up and try to claim it. As Emily and Nate plan their wedding, they try to untangle the claims and find out how Stella really died.

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

I love Nate and Emily. They are true Mainers, even though Emily tried to move to the big city. I also like Felicia, the editor of the tiny newspaper that Emily's family used to own. She's practical and no-nonsense, but has a flair for the news. Rocky is also a favorite. Megan and I just love him, in spite of his foibles.

Why will readers enjoy this anthology?

Smalltown Maine is always a fascinating place to be, and we've added mystery and romance. With characters you might encounter at every turn in real life (provided you have strange neighbors), this anthology is just plain fun.

This month we're looking at character motivations. Let's say you're working on a new novel in which a minor character, an elderly woman, simply dislikes your protagonist. Your protag eventually learns why. What's the problem?


The elderly woman (lets call her Annie) sees herself in the young woman (we'll call her Zoe). Annie wishes she'd spent her life differently. When she was Zoe's age, she had all sorts of plans and dreams. But she married the boy next door and has worked in the shoe factory for fifty years because boy-next-door grew up to be the town's dump attendant. Now, if she had gone to college and opened her own detective agency like Zoe has, things would be different!

Aw, poor Annie.

What are you working on now, Susan?


I'm now writing my third book in The Ladies' Shooting Club series, westerns set in Idaho in the 1880s. The first book, The Sheriff's Surrender, released in December. It's a fun mystery with a cast of feisty women and the men they put up with.

I just happen to be reading The Sheriff's Surrender right now! I have about ten nail-biting pages left, so I'll finish it tonight. I've completely enjoyed the book, and I plan to post positive reviews on all the online bookstore sites in the next day or so. Lots of fun. I recommend it, readers!

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?


Buy Mainely Mysteries at Amazon.com.

I'd love to see you over at my Web site: www.susanpagedavis.com, and Megan's teeny tiny animals can be found at: www.etsy.com.

Thanks, Susan, for visiting with us and telling us about Mainely Mysteries. Readers, Susan has offered to give a copy of her anthology to the winner of our drawing on Wednesday, February 10. To enter, leave a comment for Susan, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

If you'd like to win a signed copy of my novel Too Good to Be True, stop by my post below and leave an appropriate comment. I'll draw a winner's name from the comments on Monday, February 8.

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

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ren and Tru and Free Books!

When I interview an author, I usually ask who would play the lead roles in the movie version of her novel. Recently I shared the same information about one of my own books. I'm going to do that again, with Too Good to Be True, and give the book away.

Before I show you my characters, I'd like to announce that the winner of Linda Hall's novel, Storm Warning, is:

augustlily06@ . . .

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 for Too Good to Be True.

This is similar to how I pictured Ren Young, the heroine of Too Good to Be True. I've used a black and white photo, because Ren has dark hair, and this helps give that impression. This actor is Kate Winslet, by the way.



And this is how I pictured Tru Sayers, the hero of the story. The actor is Vincent Perez. Very romantic actor.



What do you think? If you've read Too Good to Be True, I'd love to hear if these two match what you pictured. If you'd like to read the book, I'm going to give away a signed copy Monday, February 8. But you have to leave a comment below, specifically about this post. Leave your email address like so, in case you win: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.


Check out my interview with Stephanie Morrill and leave a comment for Stephanie below her interview to be entered in a drawing for her novel, Out with the In Crowd. If you subscribe to my blog, at right, you'll be entered a second time and will be automatically entered into future drawings as well.

This Thursday we'll revisit with Susan Page Davis, author (with her daughter Megan Davis) of Mainely Mysteries.

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

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stephanie Morrill and Free Books!

PhotobucketEighteen-year-old Skylar knew changing her life wouldn't be easy, but she never knew it'd be this hard.

Before we chat with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for Welcome Home--Our Family's Journey to Extreme Joy, by Kimberly Woodhouse, is:

barn1451@ . . .

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 revisit with novelist Stephanie Morrill, author of Out with the In Crowd (Revell, January 2010).

PhotobucketStephanie Morrill is a twenty-something living in Kansas with her high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband and their daughter. She's the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series and loves writing for teens because her high school years greatly impacted her adult life. That, and it's an excuse to keep playing her music really, really loud.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Out with the In Crowd.

PhotobucketSkylar Hoyt may have vowed to change her partying ways, but it's not so easy to change her friends. Even though the old Skylar is gone, she's still not sure who this new Skylar really is. Add to that two parents battling for her loyalty, a younger sister struggling with a crisis pregnancy, and a new boyfriend wishing for more of her time, and Skylar feels like she can't win. After all, how do you choose favorites among the people you love most?

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

Skylar's 15-year-old sister, Abbie, was the hardest and most interesting character to me. Because of the pregnancy, every single scene of hers was full of conflict and emotion.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

In the first book, Me, Just Different, Skylar's biggest struggle was moving away from popularity toward the path God had laid out for her. In Out with the In Crowd, Skylar's trying to figure out what it means to be a Christ follower in her imperfect world. Sometimes she does a great job at this, and other times she fails, same as everybody else. I think her struggles are very real and identifiable.

Yeah, that's definitely a situation with which Christians of all ages can identify!

I asked you this when you visited last, but refresh my memory. If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?


Last time I was here, I mentioned that the model on the covers of the books better be able to act, because she's a perfect Skylar.

PhotobucketI think I also said Adam Brody for Connor.



PhotobucketAnd Allison Munn for Abbie.




PhotobucketJodi plays a pretty critical role in Out with the In Crowd, so I'll add that I'd cast Blake Lively for her.



This month we're looking at character motivations. Let's say you're working on a new novel in which a minor character, an elderly woman, simply dislikes your protagonist. Your protag eventually learns why. What's the problem?

I think the elderly woman had a daughter very similar to Skylar--pretty, popular, into fashion. The elderly woman kept trying to push her daughter toward things of meaning and substance, but the daughter resisted to the point where they no longer speak without fighting. Because of her experience with her daughter, she isn't able to see that there's more to Skylar than fab clothes.

Aw, that's sad. It's also interesting that you featured the lady in another book with Skylar--you're definitely rooted in Skylar's world right now!

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


Definitely A Stray Drop of Blood, by Roseanna White. It's her debut novel, and it's utterly fabulous. The story is set in Jesus' time, and I was fascinated to read about the early Christians and the struggles and questions they had. Made me extremely grateful to have a personal copy of the Bible, shelves of commentaries, mentors, and a wonderful church.

I just featured Roseanna last week. That book looks excellent.

What are you working on now?


Edits for the third book in the Skylar series, So Over It, which releases in July.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

www.StephanieMorrillBooks.com. I blog daily, and you can read the first chapters of both Me, Just Different and Out with the In Crowd. I'm all about trying before buying!

Out with the In Crowd can be purchased here: Amazon.com.

Thanks, Stephanie, for visiting with us and telling us about Out with the In Crowd. Readers, Stephanie has offered to give a copy of her novel to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, January 28. To enter, leave a comment for Stephanie, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out my interview with Linda Hall, below, and leave a comment for Linda to be entered in a drawing for her latest book, Storm Warning. I'll draw a name this Monday, January 25.

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

Monday, January 18, 2010

Linda Hall and Free Books!

Only when we brave the storms that come our way with God's help, do we become stronger.

Before we chat with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for A Stray Drop of Blood, by Roseanna White, is:

thepeachykeenwriter@ . . .

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 revisit with novelist Linda Hall, author of Storm Warning (Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense, January 2010).

Award winning and twice-Christy-nominated author Linda Hall has written eighteen novels of mystery and suspense, plus many short stories. She grew up in New Jersey where her love of the ocean was nurtured. Most of her novels have something to do with the sea. When she's not writing, Linda and her husband enjoy sailing the St. John River system and the coast of Maine. In the summer they basically move aboard their 34' sailboat aptly named Mystery.

Right now Linda writes romantic suspense for Steeple Hill's Love Inspired Suspense line, and loves it. She grew up reading Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt and feels like she has "come home" in her writing.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Storm Warning.

The rustic lakeside homestead is supposed to be a refuge for widow Nori Edwards. However, the moment the single mom arrives, strange and frightening things start happening. Former police officer Steve Baylor--the only resident who'll step foot on the "cursed" property--vows to protect Nori. And catch the shadowy someone dead set on terrorizing her. For the first time, she feels safe. But danger won't stay hidden forever . . . and neither will Nori's stalker, who's waiting for a chance to let a deadly storm roll in.

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

That's difficult to answer. When I'm writing from my heroine's point of view, she is my favorite character, but when I switch to my hero's point of view, he becomes my favorite character.

That can certainly happen when you're in deep point of view, can't it? You empathize with the character so much you're especially intrigued.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?


It's a fun read. It's a love story which is sometimes scary, sometimes sweet, sometimes mysterious and has, of course, a satisfying ending--all the elements that I love the most in the novels I read.

This month we're looking at character motivations. Let's say you're working on a new novel in which a minor character, an elderly woman, simply dislikes your protagonist. Your protag eventually learns why. What's the problem?

Oh, what a fun thing to do! Okay, here goes:

Bea is the elderly minor character and for a long time, a very long time she has held a quiet grudge against Paige, my heroine. Paige has no idea why the older church woman turns away from her when Paige enters the church. In her mind, Paige has gone through every meeting, every church social and potluck and can't figure out why the older woman dislikes her so. She's almost wondering if she should nicely ask the woman.

Finally, Paige gets her answer. One of Bea's friends tells her. Apparently, Paige was directly ahead of Bea in the church potluck line. And when Paige failed to take a spoonful of Bea's green bean casserole--and even made a comment to her friend about it ("Well, since mushrooms are my least favorite foods, I'll be passing on that one."), Bea decided that Paige was unpleasant and lacked manners.

Love it! Has a folksy feel to it. It also makes me wonder if I've ever made the faux pas Paige made!

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


Ideas come to me. Like already I'm thinking about the idea in the previous paragraph. What I find difficult is writing fast. And writing for Love Inspired means writing fast. I guess I'm too much of a perfectionist. It's something I've been really working on.

I completely identify. I don't know how people write so many books so quickly and still do it well. I know many do, but I don't think I could be one of them!

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


An iceberg. It's the first thing that came to my mind. I know, I know. Why would I think of an iceberg? It's big and cold and slow moving. (And I'm not really big and cold and slow moving.) But let me focus on the positive aspects. I'm basically an introvert, and way more of me is 'underneath' than what shows--a whole lot more. Plus, there is beauty in the slowness of an iceberg. They get more beautiful and intricate as they melt. And so hopefully--I'm really stretching here--my writing will become better with time.

Linda, I love that you went with what first came to mind and waited for the psychological connection to surface (if you don't mind my continuing your iceberg metaphor). That's what I hope for when I ask that question. Nicely done!

What is the last book you read that moved you?

About a year ago I read The Shack, by William P. Young. I very much was moved, changed, and challenged by this fictional look at God. It helped me understand how much God loves me, and what his love is really like.

By coincidence, that's the next book on my TBR list, after I finish what I'm currently reading. I try not to read too much about it, since it's been somewhat controversial in the Christian world. I want to form my own opinion before hearing what everyone else thinks.

What are you working on now?


I'm finishing up the third book in the Whisper Lake series of suspense novels.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

My website is writerhall.com. This includes information about past novels and in the ‘Short Fiction and Essays’ link there are a few short stories free online.

Here is a link for purchasing Storm Warning online: www.eharlequin.com

Thanks, Linda, for visiting with us and telling us about Storm Warning. Readers, Linda has offered to give a copy of her novel to the winner of our drawing on Monday, January 25. To enter, leave a comment for Linda, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out my interview with Kimberly Woodhouse, below, and leave a comment for Kim to be entered in a drawing for her latest book, Welcome Home--Our Family's Journey to Extreme Joy. I'll draw a name this Thursday, January 21.

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

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kimberly Woodhouse and Free Books!

PhotobucketEncouragement for anyone and everyone--especially if they feel like they’ve found themselves face-first in a mud puddle.

Before we chat with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for The Raven Saint, by MaryLu Tyndall, is:

mitziathome@ . . .

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 Kim Woodhouse, author of Welcome Home--Our Family's Journey to Extreme Joy (Tyndale House Publishers, September 2009).

PhotobucketKimberley Woodhouse is a wife, mother, author, and musician. A popular speaker, she has shared at more than 600 venues across the country. Recently the Woodhouse clan has been featured on ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Montel Williams Show, and Discovery Health Channel’s Mystery ER. She also writes romantic suspense and has a new series releasing from B&H Publishers in 2011 written with her daughter. Kimberley and her husband, Jeremy, homeschool their two children in a truly "extreme" Colorado home.

Please tell us a bit more about your book.

PhotobucketWelcome Home is our story of joy through trials. You won't find out that I'm supermom or perfect. ('Cause I'm not. Not even close.) You'll probably laugh at me and the crazy predicaments I've found myself in. And you may even cry through the gut-wrenching trials. But through it all, you will find that God's joy is always there. Even in the darkest of times.

And readers, here's a description of the book, in case you aren't already aware of what Kim has written about.

Thanks to being featured on the hit TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, the Woodhouse family of Colorado Springs is known across the country. Their poignant, heart-touching story of having a child with a rare medical disorder, which led to a mountain of hospital bills and the loss of their home--and their need for a home that would be safe for daughter Kayla--has put them in the public spotlight and kept them there. The theme that carries through Welcome Home is James 1:2-4. We're all a work in progress, and it can be "Pure Joy" to be a parent. But, how does joy evolve out of a potentially devastating reality? Kimberley's candid stories of both failures and successes, and the ultimate resource--the Bible, will point readers in the right direction for establishing JOY in their homes.

Why will readers enjoy your book?

I think people enjoy the book because it's real. We're just a regular family with extraordinary circumstances. And as we face life with each day being a new adventure, we're encouraging people along the way with hope and joy.

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

Word of mouth. The more people read it, talk about it, and pass it on--the more we are blessed by the amazing responses from all over the world.

I usually ask this question of my guest novelists, but I'd still be curious about your answer for your nonfiction book, since it really does involve an amazing story about real people: If you were the casting director for the film version of your book, who would play your lead roles?

PhotobucketI'd like to ask Sandra Bullock to play me. She's beautiful and skinny. My husband and I just saw the movie The Blindside, and I thought she did an incredible job portraying a southern mom with humor. And for my husband, well--he's already so stinkin' cute, it'd be hard to find someone to fill his shoes.

Put on your novelist's hat now, Kim, if you don't mind a little hat hair. What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? What do you struggle with?

Brainstorming and plotting. I excel at those--and could stay up all night long setting up a new story.

Sometimes I struggle with how much my characters have to go through. There are days when it would be easy to just make their life a bowl of cherries, but that's not very real.

As a suspense novelist, my characters endure a lot. So my children bought me a "guardian angel" teddy-bear that sits on my desk. Just to make sure I don't torture my characters too much.

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

My Hands Came Away Red, by Lisa McKay. Not only was it a great story--I think about it a lot, and it challenged me. And I think that is what Christian Fiction and Non-Fiction is all about--challenging the reader.

What are you working on now?

My 12-yr-old daughter, Kayla, and I are working on our series for B&H Publishers. They are romantic suspense set in the great state of Alaska.

How cool to be able to work on something like that with your daughter. You're forging a lifelong bond there.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

kimberleywoodhouse.com
kimberleyandkaylawoodhouse.com
kaylawoodhouse.com
amazon.com

Thanks, Kim, for visiting with us and telling us about Welcome Home--Our Family's Journey to Extreme Joy. Readers, Kim has offered to give a copy of her novel to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, January 21. To enter, leave a comment for Kim, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out my interview with Roseanna White, below, and leave a comment for Roseanna to be entered in a drawing for her latest novel, A Stray Drop of Blood. I'll draw a name this Monday, January 18.

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

Monday, January 11, 2010

Roseanna White and Free Books!

Beautiful is a dangerous thing to be when one is unprotected.

Before we chat with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for The Husband Tree, by Mary Connealy, is:

angelahipp@ . . .

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 Roseanna M. White, author of A Stray Drop of Blood (WhiteFire Publishing, December 2009).

PhotobucketRoseanna M. White is a wife, mommy, writer, reviewer, and lover of all things literature related. She makes her home in the mountains of Maryland, where she runs the Christian Review of Books. She is a member of ACFW, HisWriters, and HEWN Marketing.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of A Stray Drop of Blood.

PhotobucketFor seven years, Abigail has been a slave in the Visibullis house. With a Hebrew mistress and a Roman master, she has always been more family than servant . . . until their son returns to Jerusalem after his years in Rome. Within a few months Jason has taken her to his bed and turned her world upside down. Maybe, given time, she can come to love him as he says he loves her. But how does she open her heart to the man who ruined her?

Israel's unrest finds a home in her bosom, but their rebellion tears apart her world. Death descends with Barabbas's sword, and Abigail is determined to be there when the criminal is punished. But when she ventures to the trial, Barabbas is not the one the crowd calls to crucify. Instead, it is the teacher her master and Jason had begun to follow, the man from Nazareth that some call the Son of God . . .

Born free, made a slave, married out of her bonds, Abigail never knows freedom until she feels the fire of a stray drop of blood from a Jewish carpenter. Disowned by Israel, despised by Rome, desired by all, she never knows love until she receives the smile of a stoic Roman noble.

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

Definitely my heroine, Abigail. At first she was a very straightforward character in my mind, but as I wrote, got to know her, and explored the depths of her situation and heart, I realized she was far more complicated. And hence more interesting. Though she's a slave through much of the book and "lived" 2,000 years ago, she is still a woman I think we can all relate to, one who struggles with where she fits in the world, what it means to love, and finding her self-worth in a society where she is often dismissed. I loved diving into this far-removed place and pointing out how humanity hasn't changed.

Excellent point. It's one of the reasons we can still relate to historical novels, isn't it?

Why will readers enjoy your novel?


They'll love being transported back to Bible times and thrust into a very familiar story from a totally new angle. Readers have raved about how they come to love the characters and are totally engrossed in the setting.

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

PhotobucketAm I allowed to cast actors from other eras?

Sure!

For Abigail, I picture a young Monica Bellucci (I haven't found a teen actress that embodies her quite like Monica did back in the day).

PhotobucketFor Jason, I see Matthew Bomer, star of USA's new show, White Collar.

We'd definitely have to send him for a wardrobe change!

This month we're looking at character motivations. Let's say you’re working on a new novel in which a minor character, an elderly woman, simply dislikes your protagonist. Your protag eventually learns why. What's the problem?

Sheesh, you're making me think?

I know, sorry. But my favorite answers are the ones that force the interviewee to create.

Okay, let's see . . .

The problem is that my protagonist has come from an abusive situation and tries to avoid conflict by deferring to those around her. Our elderly friend thinks Miss Protag is weak and flighty and doesn't like people who can't speak their mind. But when she learns all that Protag has been through, she decides it's her job to step in and help the young woman learn how to stand up and make her opinions known.

There, see? That wasn't so bad, was it? I always like to see the difference between various authors' reactions to those questions.

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


What comes easiest to me is characters. When an idea comes to me, it's usually about the people. I get their backstory, their struggles, their desires--then I have to figure out a plot to put them in. But I struggle with fitting my stories into particular genres that make them easy to sell. I tend toward the less popular settings and edgier plots, and when I try to write something geared toward a particular publisher, I usually stall a few chapters in.

Yeah, that's a pretty impossible way to create, I think--trying to fit within someone else's parameters. I don't think the right hemisphere functions well that way.

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


I had to ask my best friend about this one, and she said, "A Magic 8 ball that only has positive answers." I am an optimist in the extreme--you can't toss a complaint or concern at me without getting a positive spin in reply.

How nice to know you impressed someone else in that way. Great affirmation.

What is the last book you read that moved you?


I'm kind of embarrassed to admit it, but that would be the Twilight Saga, by Stephenie Meyer. I could not put those books down, and when I walked through the mall and saw all the ridiculous promo stuff for the new movie, I had to remind myself that I am not fourteen and I am not allowed to jump up and down and squeal, "Look honey! Twilight! Twilight!!"

But I totally understand why they're so popular. They are incredibly emotional books, books that pull the reader into this girl's world and heart and really make you live it with her. I loved that a huge theme throughout was being better than what "nature" says you should be, overcoming your weaknesses, not letting excuses rule you. Lessons I think we could all use from time to time.

Your admission is safe here, Roseanna. I only picked up Twilight because another Christian author said Meyer did a good job of portraying passion without the protagonists consummating the relationship--something we Christian romance authors need to be able to do well. After reading the book I agreed. She did an excellent job in creating chaste passion. But then my daughter encouraged me to read the rest of the saga. I know many authors pooh pooh Meyers' writing, but I was absolutely compelled to finish the series. And I am SO not a 14-year-old, fer sher.

What are you working on now?

I have a few things started, but I'm kind of waiting to see what happens with some of the proposals with publishers before I dedicate myself to them. So just for the fun of it (and because my mind refuses to let it go), I'm working on a modern-day pirate story starring a displaced Bedouin woman, an ex-Navy SEAL who rescues her from a Russian pirate, and a black market villain out to get her back at any cost.

Wow. You don't mess around! I'd love to see how that plotline runs, Roseanna.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?


I blog daily at RoseannaMWhite.blogspot.com and have a ton of complementary information for A Stray Drop of Blood up at www.roseannawhite.com. I'm on Facebook and Shoutlife, I'm the senior reviewer at www.ChristianReviewofBooks.com, and I have a ton of guest blog appearances scheduled through Easter—a complete list is at www.roseannawhite.com and most will have accompanying giveaways.
A Stray Drop of Blood can be purchased at my mom's online bookstore (hey, gotta send business her way before I send it to Amazon!) www.crosspurposesbooks.com

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

Check out my interview with MaryLu Tyndall, below, and leave a comment for MaryLu to be entered in a drawing for her latest novel, The Raven Saint. I'll draw a name this Thursday, January 14.

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

Thursday, January 7, 2010

MaryLu Tyndall and Free Books!

A bitter French Mercenary who has sworn off God, falls in love with the pious woman he intends to sell as a slave to the Spanish.

Before we meet today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for one of my novels, is:

jrs362@ . . .

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 MaryLu Tyndall (M.L. Tyndall), author of The Raven Saint (Barbour Publishing, January 2010).

PhotobucketM.L. Tyndall, a Christy Award Finalist, and best-selling author of the "Legacy of the King's Pirates" series is known for her adventurous historical romances filled with deep spiritual themes. She holds a degree in Math and worked as a software engineer for fifteen years before testing the waters as a writer. MaryLu currently writes full time and makes her home on the California coast with her husband, six kids, and four cats. Her passion is to write page-turning, romantic adventures that not only entertain but expose Christians to their full potential in Christ.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The Raven Saint.

PhotobucketWhen Grace Westcott is kidnapped by a French mercenary, tossed aboard his ship, and told she will be sold to a Spanish Don in Columbia, she cannot imagine what she has done to deserve such a horrid fate. She has spent her entire life serving God and helping the poor, not to mention trying to save the souls of her two wayward sisters. Thinking perhaps God has sent her to preach to the vile captain and his crew, Grace's every attempt to correct their sinful ways is rewarded with only mockery. When Grace's situation grows far worse than she could imagine, she is forced to face her own human weaknesses. But she isn't prepared to face her biggest weakness of all--falling in love with the nefarious God-hating captain, Rafe Dubois.

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

You know, I thought it would be the hero, Rafe Dubois, who would interest me the most because he's my favorite type of character to write--the wounded bad boy. But as I got into the story, it was Grace who intrigued me. She started out being such a pious prude, trying to convert everyone around her to Christianity while snubbing her nose at the sins of others. I loved watching how God changed her heart and humbled her through various harrowing situations--each one revealing more and more that beneath her religious exterior, darkness lurked within her own heart.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

The Raven Saint is a swashbuckling tale set in 1718 Caribbean. There's action, adventure, romance, all interwoven with a strong spiritual theme. Think Pirates of the Caribbean meets Titanic.

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

PhotobucketAmanda Peet would play Grace.

PhotobucketAnd Orlando Bloom would make a perfect Rafe Dubois.

Such intense eyes on both of those actors! I can see fiery scenes coming from those two.

This month we're looking at character motivations. Let's say you're working on a new novel in which a minor character, an elderly woman, simply dislikes your protagonist. Your protag eventually learns why. What's the problem?


Jealousy. And not the jealousy one would expect of an elderly woman toward a younger lady. Not jealousy of her youth. For at first glance, that seems to be all Claire has going for her. She's not particularly good looking. She hasn't got a lot of money. Her career as a grocery store clerk is not one that draws a jealous eye. No, it's Claire's zest for life. Claire has a radiance that shines on her face. She is always happy, always excited about something new she's doing or some new hobby she's discovered. She takes pleasure in the simplest things and lives life as if every moment were precious. She is positive and makes people feel loved when they are around her. Consequently people flock to her. And Agnes hates her for it. In her youth, Agnes had everything, beauty, money, prestige, yet she dragged her feet through life, loathing every mundane moment. Claire's exuberance and joy when she has absolutely nothing to warrant it, infuriates Agnes more than anything else in her bitter life.

Love that, MaryLu! Thanks for getting so into the characters for us!

What is the last book you read that moved you?


Francine Rivers' A Voice in the Wind. It's an incredible story of a young Jewish girl brought to Rome as a slave. This book encouraged me to be a better witness of my faith to others.

What are you working on now?

I'm starting a new series called "Surrender to Destiny." The three books in the series are set in Baltimore during the War of 1812 and follow the adventures of three women who, against their will, are thrust into the center of the war but who end up greatly affecting its outcome. It's a series about finding your God-given destiny, and each story will be filled with adventure, action, and lots of romance!

Wow, you historical writers blow me away. As a contemporary writer I'm so impressed by what you undertake, research-wise!

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?


Website: www.mltyndall.com
Blog: crossandcutlass.blogspot.com

Link to buy The Raven Saint at Amazon

Link to buy The Raven Saint at Cbd.com

Thanks, MaryLu, for visiting with us and telling us about The Raven Saint. Readers, MaryLu has offered to give a copy of her novel to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, January 14. To enter, leave a comment for MaryLu, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out my interview of Mary Connealy below, and leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for her novel, The Husband Tree. I'll draw a name this Monday, January 11.

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

Also on January 11, we'll talk with Roseanna White, author of A Stray Drop of Blood..

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mary Connealy, New Releases, and Free Books!

The toughest lady rancher you've ever seen hires a cynical cowboy who has to convince five women he's right for their family . . . when he can't quite convince himself.

Before we revisit with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for A Prisoner of Versailles, by Golden Keyes Parsons, is:

mce1011@ . . .

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 revisit novelist Mary Connealy, author of The Husband Tree (Barbour Publishing, January 2010).

PhotobucketMary Connealy is the author of the "Lassoed in Texas" series: Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. She has a Christmas romance, Cowboy Christmas and has just released book #2 in her "Montana Marriages" series, The Husband Tree. Book #1 Montana Rose was released last summer and Book #3 Wildflower Bride is coming in May. She will be releasing historical romantic comedies for Barbour for the next two years.

Mary is married to her high school sweetheart. She is the mother of four beautiful daughters and has one beautiful granddaughter.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The Husband Tree.

PhotobucketBelle Tanner buries her third worthless husband and makes a vow over his shallow grave. She's learned her lesson. No more men.

Silas Harden just lost his second ranch because of a woman. The first deserted him when times got tough. Now he's had to quit the whole state of New Mexico to avoid a trumped-up shotgun wedding and the noose of matrimony. He's learned his lesson. No more women.

Belle needs hired hands to move a cattle herd late in the season and there's no one around but seemingly aimless Silas. She hires him reluctantly.

Silas signs on, glad for the work, though worried about a woman doing such a thing as hiring drovers, only to find out he's the lone man going with five woman, including a baby still in diapers. After the cattle drive is over, he might as well shoot himself to speed up the process of being embarrassed to death.

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

I adored Belle. She was so tough and yet, in her heart, she still couldn't help but hope for True Love. No matter how hard she tried to kill the impulse.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

PhotobucketTo anyone who's read Montana Rose, they'll be delighted when I start Book #2 of the "Montana Marriages" series with Belle Tanner burying her worthless husband. No one is going to be sorry to see Anthony has turned up his toes. But then to find a man who is right for Belle, hard to imagine. Romantic comedy with cowboys.

This month we're looking at character motivations. Let's say you're working on a new novel in which a minor character, an elderly woman, simply dislikes your protagonist. Your protag eventually learns why. What's the problem?

I usually give a lot of credit to elderly characters. So, if she dislikes the hero, she'll have a good reason. I'm going to make her the grandmother of the heroine and she sees the hero as charming her granddaughter into love, when he doesn't return those feelings. But there's at least a degree in selfishness to her resentment of the hero. If her granddaughter finds a man to love, she'll leave. And grandma will be alone.

What is the last book you read that moved you?

I just read the book Mischief, by Amanda Quick, and it may be the funniest thing I've ever read. The characters in this book are just so hilarious. It's secular so be aware, and a Regency romance which isn't usually my thing, but this couple, well, I love romantic suspense and I love comedy. If they're sassing each other and falling in love while they're running for their lives, then I'm happy. And this book has it all.

What are you working on now?

I'll be writing for Barbour Publishing for a while yet, more romantic westerns. The next book up is Wildflower Bride, Book #3 in the "Montana Marriages" series.

A white woman raised by the Flathead tribe, has never met a man she didn't want to pull a knife on, including the man who's determined to marry her.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

Find out more about my books at www.maryconnealy.com and check out my blogs: mconnealy.blogspot.com; petticoatsandpistols.com; and seekerville.blogspot.com

To purchase The Husband Tree: Amazon

Thanks, Mary, for visiting with us and telling us about The Husband Tree. Readers, Mary has offered to give a copy of her novel to the winner of our drawing on Monday, January 11. To enter, leave a comment for Mary, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out my post of December 31, 2009, below, and leave an appropriate comment to be entered in a drawing for one of my books. I'll draw a name this Thursday, January 7.

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


Finally, to start the New Year off right, I'd like to bring your attention to some of the fine inspirational fiction that's being released this month:

1. A Stray Drop of Blood, by Roseanna M. White from Whitefire Publishing. Born free, made a slave, married out of her bonds, Abigail never knows freedom until she feels the fire of a stray drop of blood from a Jewish carpenter.

2. A Deadly Wilderness, by Kelly Irvin from Five Star/Gale/Cengage. A family that will stop at nothing to protect its secrets and a drug cartel hit man are just two of the pieces to the puzzle Homicide Detective Ray Johnson must solve to find a murderer--and save his own life.

3. Becoming Lucy - The Winds Across the Prairie Series, by Martha Rogers from Realms Division of Strang Communications. An alleged murderer reclaims his life, but can he reclaim his beloved?

4. Burn, by Erin Healy and Ted Dekker from Thomas Nelson. A supernatural thriller about a woman who gets an unwanted chance to extinguish her fiery past.

5. First Impressions , by Michelle Sutton from Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. Playing the role of a saloon girl taught her how to flirt, but it makes a lousy first impression on the man whose heart she longs to win.

6. Jenna's Cowboy- Callahans of Texas, 1, by Sharon Gillenwater from Baker/Revell. Will Jenna's love enable Nate to put the horrors of war behind him and become the man she deserves?

7. Never Far from Home- 2nd in the Miller Family Series, by Mary Ellis from Harvest House Publishers. Emma's rebellious Rumschpringe may lead to her banishment as friendship turns to love with the English sheepfarmer.

8. Plain Jane, by Hillary Manton Lodge from Harvest House Publishers. Girl reporter Jayne Tate finds more than she bargained for when she goes to Amish Country to research a story.

9. Sworn to Protect, by Diann Mills from Tyndale. Danika Morales has sworn to protect our nation's borders. But that oath has come with a price.

10. The Chic Shall Inherit the Earth - All About Us #6, by Shelley Adina from Hatchette FaithWords. At exclusive Spencer Academy, Lissa Mansfield gains popularity when she replaces her nemesis, Vanessa, on the senior Cotillion committee, but graduation and major decisions about the future loom.

11. The Choice - Lancaster County Secrets, Book 1, by Suzanne Woods Fisher from Revell. A tender story of love and forgiveness, "The Choice" uncovers the sweet simplicity of the Amish world--and shows it's never too late to find your way back to God.

12. The Husband Tree - Montana Marriages, by Mary Connealy from Barbour. A tough lady rancher drags a reluctant cowhand on a cattledrive, along with her four daughters.

Happy reading, and Happy New Year!
 

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