WHAT'S IT GOING TO BE?

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

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

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

Monday, May 31, 2010

DiAnn Mills and Free Books!

Sage Morrow had it all: life on a beautiful Colorado ranch, a husband who adored her, and a baby on the way until five ruthless gunmen rode up to their ranch and changed her life forever.

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for Shades of Morning, by Marlo Schalesky, is:

spowell01@ . . .

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's revisit with novelist DiAnn Mills, author of A Woman Called Sage (Zondervan, May 2010).

PhotobucketDiAnn Mills believes her readers should "Expect an Adventure." She is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels. Currently she has fifty books in print with over a million and a half in print.

Five of her books have won placements through American Christian Fiction Writer's Book of the Year Awards 2003-2008, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader's Choice award for 2005 and 2007. She was a Christy Awards finalist in 2008 and 2010.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and is the Craftsman mentor for the Christian Writer's Guild. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops.

DiAnn and her husband live in Houston, Texas.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of A Woman Called Sage.

They took away everything she loved ... now, she's out for revenge. Sage Morrow had it all: life on a beautiful Colorado ranch, a husband who adored her, and a baby on the way. Until five ruthless gunmen rode up to their ranch and changed her life forever.

Now Sage is a bounty hunter bent on retribution. Accompanied only by her majestic hawk, she travels throughout the Rocky Mountains in search of injustice, determined to stamp it out wherever it's found.

The stakes are raised when two young boys are kidnapped and Sage is forced to work with Marshall Parker Timmons to rescue them. But Sage may ultimately get more than she bargained for when she realizes she is now the one being hunted.

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

Sage Morrow is a strong woman who is determined to find the killers of her husband. Her role as a bounty hunter shows her strength, and her beauty and compassion demonstrates her ability to love.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

Sage is in a role that normally belongs to a man. Not only does she develop a reputation for her expertise, she also is known for her beauty and fairness.

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

PhotobucketSage Morrow - Navi Rawat

Photobucket

Parker Timmons - Dylan Bruno




One of the advantages of traditional publishing is the amount of editing one's manuscript receives before the publisher releases it as a novel. How much editing do your manuscripts typically get before you release them to your publisher?

I edit and edit then I pass them on to my three critique partners--one at a time. Then I reread the manuscript and pass it on to my husband, who has an eye for plot.

What subject matter or era have you not yet published about (but would love to)?

A series of FBI cold cases in a romantic suspense series.

What is the last book you read that moved you?

Intervention by Terri Blackstock. I have an adult child who is addicted to drugs.

I can imagine how moving Terri's novel would be, then, DiAnn.

What are you working on now?

A romantic suspense set in 1935 high desert New Mexico. I'm so loving this story. The heroine is a New York socialite who has fled for her life to New Mexico, and the hero is a Navajo physician.

What a fascinating combination! Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

My Website. This link will take you to the sites that I value, respect, and participate.

Also I blog once a month for www.bustlesandspurs.com.

DiAnn's book can be purchased online through the following buttons:



CBD.com
293293: A Woman Called Sage

Thanks, DiAnn, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, DiAnn has offered to give a copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, June 7. To enter, leave a comment for DiAnn, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out my interviews with Mary Connealy and Martha Rogers, below, and leave a comment under their interviews to be entered in drawings for signed copies of their books.

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.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Contest for Teen Fantasy Readers!

Do you have teen fantasy readers in your family or church? Here's a fun contest that might interest them:

Teen Fantasy Readers: Would you like to win a private book party with bestselling fantasy authors Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper? Would you like to win a sword of your very own? Join the Tribe Building Contest that begins today! For details, Visit: www.enterthedoorwithin.blogspot.com

Martha Rogers and Free Books!

PhotobucketAlthough Luke and Dove are in love, they are not prepared to fight the prejudice that comes from Luke's mother. Forgiveness, a prairie fire, and a near tragedy threaten everything they hope to attain.

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for Two Brides Too Many, by Mona Hodgson, is:

nancyecdavis@ . . .

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's meet novelist Martha Rogers, author of Morning for Dove (Realms, Strang Book Groups, May 2010).

PhotobucketMartha's book credits include the novella Sugar and Grits, Becoming Lucy, and Morning for Dove. Also coming in 2010 are Finding Becky and Key to Her Heart in River Walk Christmas anthology and Blissfully Blended, a devotional book for step-moms.

Martha served as editor of an eight page monthly newsletter for the writer's organization, Inspirational Writers Alive! for six years and is the state President. She is also the director for the annual Texas Christian Writer's Conference and a member of ACFW.

Martha and her husband have been married for fifty years and have three sons and daughters-in-law, ten grandchildren, and one great grandson. They live in Houston. Texas and are active members in their church.

You've had a busy publishing year, haven't you, Martha? Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Morning for Dove.

PhotobucketDove is half-Cherokee Indian and that incites the prejudices in Luke's mother because of a childhood experience with a massacre of her family. Until Mrs. Anderson can reconcile her past and forgive, there is little hope for Luke and Dove to marry. An unexpected visitor, a prairie fire, and Dove's injuries lead to forgiveness and understanding.

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

Dove has faced prejudice and rejection for most of her life, but she doesn't hold resentment. Instead she relies on her faith to see her through believing God will answer her prayers.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I think they will see the power of God's love and how He can change the most bitter of hearts to one that can love and forgive.

One of the advantages of traditional publishing is the amount of editing one's manuscript receives before the publisher releases it as a novel. How much editing do your manuscripts typically get before you release them to your publisher? 

My main critique partners are a great help. With this series there was no time for extra readers.

Yet another reason our publishers' in-house editors are so valuable!

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


Dialogue is fairly easy as I like to write conversations. I struggle with narrative. I'm never sure of a happy medium. I feel like I either have too much or not enough.

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

Possibly a piano because I love to make music and took piano lessons as child. I wish I could play today, but I can read music and sing in our choir.

What is the last book you read that moved you? 

My Heart Remembers by Kim Vogel Sawyer. That book made me think about the importance of family and how siblings are always close to our hearts. I just can't forget the beauty of that book.

Kim truly is a gem to the Christian publishing world! And a sweet woman, too.

What are you working on now?


Book 4 of Winds Across the Prairie: Caroline's Choice.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

My website.

And Martha's latest release is available online via the following buttons:



CBD.com
799841: Morning for Dove, Winds Across the Prairie Series #2

Thanks, Martha, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Martha has offered to give a copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Saturday, June 5. To enter, leave a comment for Martha, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out my interviews with Mary Connealy and Marlo Schalesky, below, and leave a comment under their interviews to be entered in drawings for signed copies of their books.

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.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mary Connealy and Free Books!

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

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for Anna's Return, by Marta Perry, is:

slking1@ . . .

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's revisit with novelist Mary Connealy, author of Wildflower Bride (Barbour Publishing, May 2010).

PhotobucketMary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is the author of the Lassoed in Texas series, Petticoat Ranch, the Christy Award nominated Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. A new series begins now. Montana Marriages, Book #1 Montana Rose, Book #2 The Husband Tree and Book #3 Wildflower Bride. A stand-alone romantic comedy with cowboys, Cowboy Christmas released in September. Black Hills Blessing a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances is in bookstores now.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Wildflower Bride.

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

Glowing Sun has vague memories of her former life, including a name--Abby Lind. When she's forced to sever all links with her adopted Indian family, Abby wonders if she'll ever find a home again.

Tenderhearted Wade, responsible for Abby's survival during the village massacre, convinces the knife-wielding woman to return with him to the Sawyer Ranch, never realizing danger lurks behind every corner. Can they survive long enough to fall in love?

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

Wade Sawyer is at the heart of Wildflower Bride, although Abby supplies most of the comedy with her disrespectful ways. But Wade had gone from a villain in Montana Rose to a hero in Wildflower Bride. I hope I was able to really bring his character along in a way that is honest, in the way a person who has been broke by life, and redeemed by God, would actually be.

I love it when things work out that way with a series. I've had "bad guys" become "good guys," even when I hadn't originally anticipated it. 

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

Abby's mouth. Wade's sweetness. Murderous villains. Gunfire and chaps. Comedy and so much trouble that only True Love can win out over it all. What's not to love?

One of the advantages of traditional publishing is the amount of editing one's manuscript receives before the publisher releases it as a novel. How much editing do your manuscripts typically get before you release them to your publisher?

I have two chances to get it right. Barbour does one round of edits, done by a guy who's been so terrific to work with, Aaron Carver, who is an author himself. Then I get the galleys and that's my last chance. I don't run my book through critique partners anymore. I used to and I miss that. But there's just not time. As for readers. That seems like a good idea.

What subject matter or era have you not yet published about (but would love to)?

I really love to write almost anything, Trish. I've tried my hand at lighthearted cosy mysteries, like Nosy in Nebraska, sweet romances like Black Hills Blessing and I've got a contemporary suspense coming out in summer 2011.

I've written more than that, too. I've got about ten or eleven finished books on my computer that have never sold. And they're all romances, but widely different. A gothic, more suspense, cop drama's, spy thrillers. All the many years I wrote without getting published, I just developed this attitude of writing whatever interested me. I have more fun writing that gothic romance than a human being should be allowed to have.

I've always wanted to try my hand at a regency and I've got a yen to try a Noel Coward-ish romance with all the upper crust dialogue. For now though, I'm really having fun with my romantic comedy with cowboys

It's important for struggling authors to note your comment above about all of the unpublished books you have on your computer. 

I think we've all seen situations when an author gets that first book published and then suddenly seems more prolific than is humanly possible. Sometimes that's simply the result of several books having been written well before the one that broke through. 

That awareness should spur on authors who wonder what the point is in continuing to write additional books, even without that first contract. Those hidden gems may be unearthed at some point in the future!

What is the last book you read that moved you?

I've just finished Cara Lynn James' Love on a Dime. It is really a special book. Cara just captured this time. This era. Rhode Island 1899, wealthy, the coast. I could hear the surf pounding and the gulls screaming. And such a great love story.

I just finished endorsing a book I loved, too: Lorna Seilstad's Making Waves. It's got a similar feel to Cara's. It's on a lake not the ocean, but the wealthy heroine falls for the 'regular guy' against her parent's wishes. Lorna's involved in sailing and it was fantastic. I swear I could feel the wind on my face.

Both of these books really took me away to these places.

What are you working on now?

A new series starts in July. The Sophie's Daughters series. Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats, Sharpshooter in Petticoats. Sophie McClellen from Petticoat Ranch has her daughters all grown up now. You didn't think they'd be quiet little things did you?

Oh, I'm sure your readers will be glad to hear that! 

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

Find Mary online at:
Seekerville
Petticoats and Pistols
My Blog
My Website

Mary's book can be purchased through the buttons below:



CBD.com
601442: Wildflower Bride, Montana Marriages Series #3

Thanks, Mary, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Mary has offered to give a copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, June 3. 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 interviews with Mona Hodgson and Marlo Schalesky, below, and leave a comment under their interviews to be entered in drawings for signed copies of their books.

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.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Marlo Schalesky and Free Books!

PhotobucketMarnie has her life until control, her past hidden, her regrets locked away . . . until a boy with Down syndrome comes to turn her world inside out and free her from the secret sins of her past.

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for The Narrow Path, by Gail Sattler, 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's meet novelist Marlo Schalesky, author of Shades of Morning (Waterbrook-Multnomah Publishers, June 2010).

PhotobucketMarlo Schalesky is the award winning author of numerous books, including her latest novel Shades of Morning, which combines a love story with a surprise ending twist. Marlo's other books include the Christy Award winning Beyond the Night, and its sequel If Tomorrow Never Comes.

Marlo is also the author of nearly 700 articles, the mother of 5 young children, and holds her Masters in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. When she's not changing diapers, doing laundry, or writing books, Marlo loves sipping Starbucks white mochas, reading the New Testament in Greek, and talking about finding the deep places of God in everyday life.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Shades of Morning.

PhotobucketMarnie has her life just where she wants it. At least that's what she tells herself--her past is hidden, her regrets written down and locked tightly in a box on her shelf, and her bookstore and coffeeshop business is all that she wants. No one knows what she's done, who she's been.

That is, until the man she once loved finds her again and brings startling news--she's now the guardian of her 15-year-old nephew, a boy she never knew existed. And to make matters worse, when the boy arrives, she discovers he has Down syndrome.

The past collides with the present, the box of regrets is exposed, and Marnie's world shattered and rebuilt through the love of one special boy who makes all things new. But is this boy everything he appears to be?

Shades of Morning is my third "Love Story with a Twist" (think a Nicolas Sparks type love story with an M. Night Shyamalan type twist!).

From Romantic Times: Top Pick! 4 ½ Stars! "Schalesky has a knack for weaving a surprising spiritual twist into her tales. The touching plot will make readers examine how they deal with past regrets, and how God moves them through it. A not-to-be-missed, stunning novel!"

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

Marnie Wittier is just a lot of fun. After all, when she's finally able to choose the first pet she's ever been able to have, she picks an iguana! No normal dog, cat, or cute little hamster for her. She wants the big, green monster. She's just like that--full of sass, a wry internal humor, and paradox--warm and giving on the outside, deeply wounded and hurting on the inside. That's the paradox that Emmit, her teenage Down syndrome nephew will uncover so she can be healed. I think readers are going to love Marnie. I do!

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

Pre-readers are telling me that they've fallen in love with Emmit, with all his quirkiness, all his fun, all the things that drive Marnie crazy and make the reader laugh. So, readers need to pick up Shades of Morning just to meet Emmit and add a little delight to their day. He is my poster-boy for finding God's gifts of joy and laughter in unexpected places.

And of course, there's my signature ending twist . . . I love stories with surprise twists that tie into the overall theme of the book. So, for my books, I always plan in a twist that reveals a deeper meaning in the story. I love to surprise and delight readers not just with something they didn't see coming, but with twists that make them know and understand the characters' journeys in deeper ways. I love to catch my breath in wonder when I read a book, and I love to give my readers that same experience.

Hmm, I like that, Marlo. I may use your idea as inspiration in a future novel.

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


PhotobucketHugh Jackman (clean-shaven)


PhotobucketAnd Maggie Gyllenhaal (as she was in Stranger Than Fiction)



One of the advantages of traditional publishing is the amount of editing one's manuscript receives before the publisher releases it as a novel. How much editing do your manuscripts typically get before you release them to your publisher? 

I probably give it about 5 swipes. Once I write notes for a chapter and then get my initial draft done, I'll do a close edit of the chapter. Then, my husband reads for me (chapter by chapter--what a guy!), and I edit again. After all the chapters are done, I go through it all one more time (or, sometimes I will do sections of the book as I go too, then through it all when it's cone).

Next I usually have one other person do a read-through and make suggestions--this person is different for every book and is usually someone who has a specific expertise in an area that's prominent in my plot. For example, my friend Diane Pate read through Shades of Morning for me. Shades of Morning was inspired by her teenage Down syndrome stepson. She, like my main character, became the mother of a Down's boy when he was older, so she could give great insight and advice as to whether I'd drawn my Emmit character realistically and in an engaging way.

After my reader gives me comments, I go through it again and after that hold my breath and send it off to the publisher where it gets numerous rounds of editing again (Waterbrook-Multnomah has fantastic editors! Love 'em!)

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

The part that comes easiest is writing a scene from my initial notes. Once I get the notes down and it's time to really make the scene come to life, I find that the words and images tend to flow, and that's when I most get the sense of partnering with God in the creative process. Sometimes it feels like I'm listening in on his musings. And I'm finding that there's a moment in every book when I see something, when I write something unplanned and unexpected, something that I didn't realize the story had been leading up to. That's when I feel the touch of God, I sense His pleasure, and it's like getting a glimpse of heaven. I love those moments . . . those flashes when I know that this is what God has been doing, and the story impacts my heart and life in some new and unexpected way.

My biggest challenge is finding the time and energy to focus on writing the story God has for me to write. With five little kids, a business to run, church ministries and other responsibilities, getting that quiet, focused time is a challenge.

And then, of course, there's the doubt. Every time I start a new book, I find myself muttering "What was I thinking?!!? I can't write this book! Why did I ever think I could do this?" By the end, though, I see God working and how He's been faithful in the writing of the story He's given me to write. So, right now I'm in the very earliest stages of some new ideas, and of course all those doubts are raging. I just need to push through, do my best, and the story will come.

It is phenomenal, isn't it, when you near the end of a manuscript and see everything He's poured into your mind and heart. That's one of my favorite parts of writing books.

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

Today I feel like a good, thick tissue--can be torn if you try, but it's tough when used for its purpose of wiping up snotty noses to make kids' faces clean and happy again. (Of course, having all seven of us sick is probably contributing to my choice . . . lots of runny noses in the house this week--ugh!)

LOL! That's one of the funniest metaphors I've received on this question. I kept losing the connection between you and the tissue, because your details were so graphic. But I get you. We're all most effective when we're serving our true purpose.

What is the last book you read that moved you?

I recently reread Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. I was again deeply affected by the place in the story where Much-Afraid is sitting with all her little, ugly stones that represent all the lessons God has taught her on her journey. It's stormy, she's discouraged, and she's tempted to throw them all away. But she holds on, tucks them back away, and continues her journey anyway. Those stones that seemed ugly later become the beautiful jewels in her crown. Much-Afraid's journey helps me to hang on through discouragement too, and to treasure God's lessons even when they seem like ugly bits of rock.

What are you working on now?

I have four proposals for new novels that in are in the works right now. I'm not yet sure which one will turn into my next book. We'll see!

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

I hope people will visit my website at www.marloschalesky.com and check out the excerpt for Shades of Morning, various audio and TV interviews, resources, and other helpful information there. And, I'd love for people to sign up for my e-newsletter, which I put out a few times a year (or whenever there's exciting news like a book release!). You can sign up on the front page, right hand column of my website.

I hope readers will also visit my blog. About once a week I post news and hopefully helpful info on rekindling the wonder in our walks with God.

I'm also on Twitter and Facebook. On my Facebook page , we focus on living the deeper life for everyday people.

Shades of Morning is available online via the buttons below:



CBD.com
420251: Shades of Morning

Thanks, Marlo, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Marlo has offered to give a copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, May 31. To enter, leave a comment for Marlo, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out my interviews with Mona Hodgson and Marta Perry, below, and leave a comment under their interviews to be entered in drawings for signed copies of their books.

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.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mona Hodgson and Free Books!

PhotobucketTwo sisters arrive in an 1896 mining camp expecting marriage, but finding love.

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure, by Susan Marlow, is:

seizethebookblog@ . . .

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's meet novelist Mona Hodgson, author of Two Brides Too Many (WaterBrook Press/Random House, May 2010).

PhotobucketMona Hodgson is the author of Two Brides Too Many and Too Rich for a Bride (October 2010, available exclusively at Walmart), the first two books in the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series. Her writing credits also include 28 children's books, Real Girls of the Bible: A Devotional, Bedtime in the Southwest, and four Princess Twins Zonderkidz I Can Read books. She speaks regularly at women's retreats, schools, and conferences throughout the United States and Canada. Mona lives in Arizona with her husband, Bob.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Two Brides Too Many.
PhotobucketTwo sisters.

Two missing misters.

Two Brides Too Many is the first in the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series. The books will chronicle the journeys of four sisters and their father to Colorado.

Kat and Nell Sinclair, the two middle sisters, are headed west--away from the manicured lawns of Maine to the boisterous, booming mining town of Cripple Creek, Colorado, to start new lives for themselves as mail-order brides. But when the ladies disembark at the train depot, neither fiance' awaits them with open arms. The well-bred Sinclair sisters find themselves alone in the wild, frontier town--a place where fire threatens to reduce the buildings to rubble, the working women strut the streets, rogues will gamble for the shoes on one's feet, and God's grace is found among the most unlikely of folks.

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

Kat Sinclair faces hardship with determination. She's flawed, but endearing.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

Two Brides Too Many is a sister story full of adventure, humor, and heart. The eclectic cast of characters features a "real life" woman (Sister Mary Claver Coleman) from the time and place. And an actual event (a devastating fire) from the time and place serves as a chilling plot point.

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

Kat: Alexis BledelPhotobucket

PhotobucketMorgan: Jake Gyllenhaal


PhotobucketPatrick: Justin Chambers





PhotobucketNell: Rachel McAdams

PhotobucketJudson: Ryan Gosling





PhotobucketMiss Hattie: Meryl Streep


One of the advantages of traditional publishing is the amount of editing one's manuscript receives before the publisher releases it as a novel. How much editing do your manuscripts typically get before you release them to your publisher?

My hubby, Bob, is my first reader. Next, my critique partner takes a hard look at my chapters. And by the time I send the manuscript in to my editor, I've gone over it at least six or seven times.

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

Characters and point of view seem to come most easily these days. Beats aren't as much of a chore, although I still have to concentrate on them. But I struggle with pacing the romance. I tend to pattern them after my own and speed them up.

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

I think a table might best represent me because there's a lot of surface. Wait, that didn't come out right.

LOL! We could interpret that in a number of ways.

Because there's an edge to me and people stack a lot of stuff on my shoulders.

Oh, yes. I imagine many women will identify with that one.

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

The Bridegrooms by Allison Pittman. I love books about sisters. And this one's twists and turns revealed that the choices we make issue out of the condition of our heart. Heart matters.

Amen! My novel, Sunset Beach, is about sisters, as well. I love sister stories.

What are you working on now?

I've just started writing Beyond a Bride, Book Three in the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online? 

To read the first chapter of Two Brides Too Many, go to www.monahodgson.com, click on Mona's Novels then on Sneak Peek. If you're part of a book club, please check out the For Book Clubs page.

www.twitter.com
www.facebook.com Mona Hodgson Fan Page

Email me at mona@monahodgson.com with Quarterly E-newsletter in the subject line to receive quarterly updates and behind-the-scenes news.

The novel can be found online via the buttons below:



CBD.com
458902: Two Brides Too Many


Thanks, Mona, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Mona has offered to give a copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Saturday, May 29. To enter, leave a comment for Mona, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out my interviews with Gail Sattler and Marta Perry, below, and leave a comment under their interviews to be entered in drawings for signed copies of their books.

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.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Marta Perry and Free Books!

PhotobucketAnna Beiler returns to her family after living Englisch for three years, with a baby and without a husband.

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for Meander Scar, by Lisa Lickell, is:

mttip5@ . . .

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's meet novelist Marta Perry, author of Anna's Return (Berkley Books, June 2010).

PhotobucketInspirational author Marta Perry has spent her life in rural Pennsylvania, and her own Pennsylvania Dutch roots led her to write her current Amish series for Berkley Books. Ann's Return is her 36th published novel, many of which were Love Inspired and Love Inspired suspense. Marta lives in a hundred and fifty-year-old farmhouse in a central Pennsylvania valley with her husband, a retired college professor. They have three grown children and six beautiful grandchildren, ranging in age from two to nine. In winter, Marta and her husband escape the snow to the South Carolina coast, where her current Love Inspired series is set.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Anna's Return.

PhotobucketAnna Beiler flees back to her Amish family in central Pennsylvania after three years of living Englisch, desperate to protect her adopted year-old daughter by disappearing into the Amish community for sanctuary from the baby's violent father.

It surprises Anna how quickly her Amish habits return to her and how satisfying it feels to reconnect with her father, her sister Leah, and her brothers. Even Anna's childhood friend Samuel, whose slow, thoughtful manner used to frustrate her, becomes a fond and reassuring companion. But Anna hasn't fully faced the consequences of her irresponsible youth, when her behavior led to a nearly-tragic accident. And now her mere presence may endanger the family she holds dear.

How tempting it is to return to the safe and familiar community whose blessings she once took for granted. But can she experience the true change of heart it takes to make a new beginning? And if she does, how can she count on the pacifist Amish to protect her daughter from a man who will stop at nothing?

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

Readers met Anna in Leah's Choice, when she was a heedless, rebellious teenager intent on her own happiness. In Anna's Return, they'll find a more mature Anna, still quick and headstrong, but tempered by the trials she's undergone, and ready to sacrifice her life if necessary for the child she loves.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I hope readers will enjoy a visit to the peaceful countryside of Pleasant Valley and be refreshed by the community and support Anna finds there. I hope they'll also be challenged a bit by Anna's struggle to determine who she is and how she can best protect and care for the child she loves.

One of the advantages of traditional publishing is the amount of editing one's manuscript receives before the publisher releases it as a novel. How much editing do your manuscripts typically get before you release them to your publisher? 

I do a number of editing passes through the novel myself, and then it goes to my editor. She reads it, sends me a letter with her comments, and I go through it again, rewriting it with her comments in mind. Much as I love my writer friends, I feel that it's the editor's editing I need!

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

I'm not sure that any aspect of writing is easy! I do a great deal of pre-planning before I ever start a book, struggling to find the framework that will best express my characters' growth. I find that I naturally sink myself deeply into the character's viewpoint, and perhaps that ability helps me the most.

What is the last book you read that moved you?

I was very moved by reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer, and I find that even months later, I still sometimes visualize scenes from it. That's particularly interesting because it was told in letter format!

One of my favorite reads this year!  Shaffer has a real gift for characterization. And the film version is in development, although details are very sketchy so far.

What are you working on now?


I am revising the next book in the Pleasant Valley series, Sarah's Gift, which will be out in March of 2011. And I'm writing the first draft of the second of a series of Amish-set romantic suspense novels for HQN Books, Vanish in Plain Sight.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

Find me at www.martaperry.com and click through from there to my blog for current updates, articles about the Amish, recipes, and random musings.

The book is available online through the following buttons:



CBD.com
234266: Anna"s Return, Pleasant Valley Series #3

Thanks, Marta, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Marta has offered to give a copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, May 27. To enter, leave a comment for Marta, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out my interviews with Gail Sattler and Susan Marlow, below, and leave a comment under their interviews to be entered in drawings for signed copies of their books.

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.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gail Sattler and Free Books!

PhotobucketCaught in the chasm between their staunchly conservative and enthusiastically progressive lifestyles, can Old Order Mennonite Ted Wiebe and modern Mennonite Miranda Klassen somehow meet in the middle, and still glorify God?

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for Seeds of Summer, by Deborah Vogts, is:

dianemestrella@ . . .

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's meet novelist Gail Sattler, author of The Narrow Path (Abingdon Press, May 2010).

PhotobucketGail Sattler lives in Vancouver, BC, where you don't have to shovel rain, with her husband, sons, dogs, and lizard, who is quite cuddly for a reptile. When she's not busy writing, Gail plays bass guitar (loud) for her worship team. Gail also enjoys playing bass in a local jazz band, and that's loud, too.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The Narrow Path.

PhotobucketExcept for sharing the same denomination, modern Mennonite Miranda Klassen and Old Order Mennonite Ted Weibe have nothing in common. Ted's church embraces old-style roots, where a women never wears pants, has no body piercing--including ears--wears no makeup, and lives in accordance with old-fashioned values. Miranda thrives in her modern big city lifestyle, embracing the latest styles and technology. When Miranda enters Ted's church and community she feels like she's been transported back into Little House On The Prairie, with cars. Ted's head spins when Miranda reads her Bible on her cell phone.

Ted is supposed to help Miranda fit in, and Miranda is supposed to help his church reach out into the community. When it's time to start planning and organizing, then the fun really begins. Depending on one's definition of fun . . .

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

Most people can relate to being a fish out of water, and that's what Miranda feels like when she moves into Ted's community and church. She tries her best, but doesn't always succeed. Yet, even though she's different, everybody still likes her. Well, almost everybody.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

Strangely, this is a question I've never asked myself before. I would think different people would enjoy it for different reasons. The heroine is thrown out of her environment into a world where she doesn't fit in, and she does her best to belong and accomplish her task and not hurt anyone in this protected community with her progressive and modern ways. Some people will like the solid and thoughtful Ted as he does the best he can with the obstacles that are thrown in his path, which is mainly the heroine. Others will enjoy reading about the community and the way the Mennonite people live and care for each other. Others will enjoy the gentle humor wound around a serious topic.

I honestly didn't realize there were Mennonites like Miranda, so the dichotomy between her ways and Ted's would be a draw for me as a reader.

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


PhotobucketI think Nicole de Boer would play Miranda,

Photobucketand Peter Cambor would play Ted.


One of the advantages of traditional publishing is the amount of editing one's manuscript receives before the publisher releases it as a novel. How much editing do your manuscripts typically get before you release them to your publisher?

That's hard to say, as it differs book to book and chapter to chapter. Some of my books have received more editing, some very little. I had a critique partner for a number of years, and I'm in a critique group now, but I've done most of my books without a critique partner or group. I guess it depends on the book.

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

For me, the easiest is characterization. I've never had problems with giving each character their separate personalities and quirks, and making them like real people to the reader. But I struggle with giving my characters deep personal issues that they have to struggle to overcome. Not that my characters are shallow, but they don't need a psychiatrist to help them overcome their personal issues.

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

I had no idea what to say, so I asked my husband, and he said a big fuzzy teddy bear. I guess that means that despite the times I growl I'm really just a softie.

And cuddly, right? 

What is the last book you read that moved you?

Moved me . . . that's different than saying simply "enjoyed". So as to moved, I have a rather strange answer. That would be Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. The heroine is very aware of her flaws and kept trying to send the hero packing, but he kept coming back anyway.

Yes, Crusie is skilled at creating flawed, believable heroines. Certainly not a read for the CBA, but I enjoy her writing, too. She's excellent at what she does.

What are you working on now?

Believe it or not, I'm working on a supernatural thriller with my husband.

How fun!

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

www.gailsattler.com
www.mennoniteromancenovel.com
www.gailsattler.blogspot.com
www.goldenearsjazzband.com

The book is available online via the buttons below:



CBD.com
702372: The Narrow Path

Thanks, Gail, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Gail has offered to give a copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, May 24. To enter, leave a comment for Gail, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out my interviews with Lisa Lickell and Susan Marlow, below, and leave a comment under their interviews to be entered in drawings for signed copies of their books.

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.
 

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