WHAT'S IT GOING TO BE?

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

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

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

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tamera Alexander and Free Books!

PhotobucketSometimes the greatest step of faith is taken neck-deep in fear.

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for A Prairie Christmas Collection, featuring Deborah Raney, is:

vie@ . . .

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 Tamera Alexander, author of Within My Heart (Bethany House Publishers, September 2010).

PhotobucketTamera Alexander is a best-selling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband, Joe, now make their home in Nashville Tennessee, along with Tamera's father, Doug, and with their two adult children who live near by. And don't forget Jack, their precious--and precocious--silky terrier.

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

-- I was voted Most Courteous by my 7th Grade classmates at Idlewood Elementary School in Tucker, GA. All of whom I'm sure, if given the choice, would vote quite differently today.

-- When I first met Robin Lee Hatcher in 2003 at the ACFW Conference in Houston, she gave me some of the best counsel I've ever received about writing (during our paid critique session). When I asked her if she thought I "had what it took" to be published some day, she answered, "I don't know what God has in store for you, Tammy. But more than anything I want His will for your life. And that's what I'm going to pray for." Now that's a great answer! (And that paid critique is still the best $25 I've ever spent, Ms. Hatcher.)

-- I LOVE Dark Chocolate. The darker the better.

-- I adore The Closer and Dancing with the Stars.

-- All of my books should also have Ms. Deborah Raney's name on the cover. Deb's my fabulous writing critique partner. She reads every first draft before I turn it in. (Bless you, Deb! And thanks for the chapter you just sent back this evening. Can't wait to dive in and make those changes!)

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Within My Heart.

PhotobucketWithin My Heart is the third and final book in the Timber Ridge Reflections series. We first meet Rand Brookston and Rachel Boyd, the two protagonists in Within My Heart, in From a Distance, Book 1 in the series. We glimpse them again in Beyond This Moment, but Within My Heart is their love story. Here's a peek at the back cover:

Determined to fulfill her late husband's dream, Rachel Boyd struggles to keep her ranch afloat with the help of her two young sons. But some days it feels as though her every effort is sabotaged. When faced with a loss she cannot afford, she's forced to trust Rand Brookston, the one man in Timber Ridge she wishes to avoid. And with good reason. He's a physician, just like her father, which tells her everything she needs to know about him. Or so she thinks ...

Dr. Rand Brookston ventured west with the dream of bringing modern medicine to the wilds of the Colorado Rockies, but the townspeople have been slow to trust him. Just as slow in coming is Rand's dream to build the town a proper clinic. When a patient's life is threatened, Rand makes a choice--one that sends ripples through the town of Timber Ridge. And through Rachel Boyd's stubborn heart.

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

As soon as I learned about Rand Brookston's past (a specific incident that happened to him years before the story in WMH opens), and then saw what he'd accomplished with his life, I loved his character. And when I glimpsed his continuing struggle with that haunting fear, I loved him even more. And knew Rachel would too. Once she truly got to know him!

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

Because there's dark chocolate tucked inside of page 211, and again at page 328. Unless, of course, it was scarfed by some greedy bookstore employee as they shelved the new releases. If the chocolate's been absconded, then readers will have to rely on what's hopefully a deeply moving love story with characters that become like friends.

See, now, that's a sales ploy that just won't work with e-books. We're all going to have to stop embedding free chocolates in our novels . . .

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


I'm not one of those writers who uses pictures of actors and actresses for their characters, so I didn't have anyone specific in mind when I wrote Rand and Rachel. Yet they're very clear in my mind. And, of course, Rachel's picture is on the cover. Hopefully readers will be able to "see" them for themselves as they read.

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

How about the opening sentences of the prologue, then of Chapter One, since they have slightly different voices, being written from different points of view (POV):

Prologue:

Half hidden beneath the bare-limbed canopy of a dogwood tree, the gravedigger kept a reverent distance, patiently waiting for the last whispered prayers to be uttered and for the final mourner to take her leave. Only then did he step into the fading light, a worn spool of string clutched tight in his gnarled hand. Not much time left. It would be dark soon. And the last grave still needed tending before the pewter skies let loose their winter white.

Chapter One:

Rachel Boyd stood motionless in the main aisle of the general store, knowing she shouldn't eavesdrop. But heaven help her, she couldn't bring herself to move! Half afraid that Ben and Lyda Mullins would hear her if she did try to make a stealthy exit, she gripped the jar of molasses in her hand, unable to stifle a giggle. The only patron in the store, she was grateful for the lull in afternoon traffic and was more than a little amused--and surprised--by the affectionate whispers coming from beyond the curtained doorway.

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

At this very moment, at 11:37 p.m. after a full day of writing and I'm nearly comatose, I'm looking around our bedroom (my husband is beside me in bed, already asleep, so is Jack, our silky terrier, but he's on a chair across the room, no dogs sleeping in the bed for me), and I'm going to chose . . . The Elephant Clock on the dresser.

The clock belonged to my precious Mom who loved elephants. I'm choosing it because I'm remembering how tired I am and how slow moving I'll be in the morning if I don't get to bed right this minute. And I'm also feeling the incessant tick-tick-tick of my next deadline that's stampeding toward me faster than any elephant could outrun. How's that? Oh, and if I don't get this book turned in on time, it definitely won't be the elephant in the room because my editor will definitely be having words with me. As well she should.

Tammy, that's one of the most efficiently milked metaphors I've read in quite some time. Not bad at all for a tired author. I'm very impressed.

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

The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I've read several books since I read The Help last year, but I absolutely loved this story. Adored it! I even bought the audio version and enjoyed the story again that way. Best audio book I've ever listened to! And I've listened to lots!

I think that book has been the most common answer answer to this question all year. I listened to the audio version, as well. Fantastic. I can't wait for the film, set to release August 2011! Young actress Emma Stone is playing Skeeter. Perfect casting, in my opinion.

What are you working on now?


A Lasting Impression, the first book in a brand new three-book historical series that releases in fall 2011. I love these new characters and new setting and hope readers will too.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?
Website: www.tameraalexander.com
Blog: www.tameraalexander.blogspot.com
Group Blog: www.writespassage.blogspot.com
Twitter: www.twitter/tameraalexander.com
Facebook: www.facebook/tameraalexander.com

The book is available for online purchase through the following buttons:



CBD.com
203916: Within My Heart, Timber Ridge Reflections Series #3

Thank you, Tamera, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Tamera has offered to give a copy of Within My Heart to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, November 4. To enter, leave a comment for Tamera, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out how you can win a signed copy of my novel The Perfect Blend below, and leave an appropriate comment under my post to be entered in a drawing for a signed copy of my book. Be sure to actually read the post, so you'll know what kind of comment is required to be entered in the drawing.

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, October 25, 2010

The Perfect Blend and Free Books!

I'm going to give away another copy of The Perfect Blend to one of my readers next Monday. 

But first, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for the signed copy of A Woodland Christmas, featuring Darlene Franklin, is:

sbsalzer@ . . .

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!

Okay, so the give-away. When I interview fellow authors, I usually ask them to tell us which actors they would choose to play their leads if their novel went to film. So I'm going to show you who I chose for The Perfect Blend.

Some authors don't like to put that image in the reader's mind--they worry they'll interrupt the reader's experience and imagination. But, even if I have an actor in mind when I create a character, my character doesn't look exactly like that actor. It just gives me a general idea of the character's looks and style.

PhotobucketThe books in The Tea Shop Series have a uniting character, tea shop owner Milly Ashford Jewell, a sharp, lovable Brit. She's in her fifties, so my actor choice is a bit old, but I pictured Julie Christie when I created Milly.



PhotobucketFor Steph Vandergrift, the heroine in The Perfect Blend, I used actress Lizzy Caplan.






PhotobucketPhotobucketI had been saving actor Gabriel Macht for a future hero for quite some time. He became Kendall James. I'm including two pics of him, because I wanted to show you his/Kendall's wonderful smile. The other is just a bonus for a Monday afternoon.


PhotobucketPhotobucketAnd for Steph's new friends, sisters Christie and Liz Burnham, I pictured real-life sisters Emily and Zooey Deschanel, respectively.

There you have it. Now, in order to be entered into the drawing, here's what you have to do. I'm going to describe one more character and ask you to tell us which actor you envision playing the role. I'll tell you next Monday which actor I chose, but I'd love to hear your ideas. (A blanket "please enter me for the drawing" won't get you entered.)

No spoiler alert here. Most of this information is on The Perfect Blend's back cover.

Rick Manfred is Steph's fiance, and he lives in the charming little town of Middleburg, Virginia, where the story is set. No one who loves Steph thinks Rick is good for her. Rather than taking their advice, she elopes, leaving behind broken hearts and friendships. And then Rick stands her up at the altar. She is left drastically alone in a town where she has no friends, no job, and now, no love.

Who do you envision playing Rick?

If you're interested in purchasing a copy of the book, you can do so online through the following buttons. The book is available in e-book format, as well.

Kindle version:





CBD.com
930154: The Perfect Blend, Tea Shop Series #1
13361EB: The Perfect Blend - eBook CBD eBook


Check out my interview with Deborah Raney below, and leave a comment under her interview to be entered in a drawing for a signed copy of her book.

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, October 21, 2010

Deborah Raney and Free Books!

PhotobucketAn anonymous gift comes full circle years later to unite giver and receiver in a wonderful "Circle of Blessings."

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for A Suitor for Jenny, by Margaret Brownley, is:

countrybear52@ . . .

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 Deborah Raney, author of the novella, "A Circle of Blessings," in the collection, A Prairie Christmas Collection (Barbour Books, September 2010).

PhotobucketDeborah Raney is at work on her twentieth novel. Her books have won the RITA Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers' Choice Award, Silver Angel, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the highly acclaimed World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Her newest books, the Hanover Falls Novels, are from Howard/Simon & Schuster. She and her husband, Ken Raney, have four children and enjoy small-town life in Kansas.

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

-- I grew up on a farm, the oldest of five children.

-- I play the piano by ear (not very well, but love playing for my own enjoyment.)

-- Tiramisu is my favorite dessert. LOVE that stuff!

-- I witnessed a murder the day before I got my first contract offer.

-- I love kids and wanted 12 of them! (Before I had my 4, which seemed like 12 most days!)

Wow! From tiramisu to murder. Quite a range!

Tell us about the collection, Deborah.

PhotobucketIn this holiday romance collection, the warmth of Christmas will radiate new love from the high plains of Minnesota and Dakota Territory, across the rolling hills of Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois, and down into the flats of Kansas. Filled with inspiration and faith, each story will become a treasure to be enjoyed again each year. A Prairie Christmas Collection was penned by multi-published authors, including Tracie Peterson and Deborah Raney.

Featuring deckled-edge pages and a foil-stamped cover with fold-under flaps, the collection makes an ideal gift for the romance reader.

Along with Peterson and Raney, other contributing authors include Tracey Bateman, Pamela Griffin, JoAnn A. Grote, Maryn Langer, Darlene Mindrup, Janet Spaeth and Jill Stengl.

And your novella within the collection?

My novella in the collection, "A Circle of Blessings," is set in 1871 Dakota Territory on the campus of (fictional) St. Bartholomew's Academy. James Collingwood meets Stella Bradford who is in need of his services as an English tutor. Recently graduated and acting as an aid in the English department, James agrees to help Stella, who sees no practicality in conjugating verbs or diagramming sentences. Instead of learning more about English, Stella falls in love. However, an indiscretion in James's past threatens to undermine their relationship.

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

I think James Collingwood will tug at the people's heartstrings. He's made mistakes in his past that he can never change, but he's willing to do what it takes to make up for his errors.

Why will readers enjoy your novella?

"A Circle of Blessings" is the only historical novella I ever wrote, but I thought it was a great vehicle for writing a story based on one of our family's Christmas traditions. (I can't tell you what that tradition is without giving away my story, so you'll just have to read it to find out!) It was also fun to use my grandmother's names for my characters in this novel.

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

Photobucket
James McAvoy would be perfect for my James.


Ah, I haven't seen that handsome, blue-eyed face for awhile!

PhotobucketAnd a young Jane Seymour would be Stella.


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

Stella Bradford hurried across the campus of St. Bartholomew's Academy, a stack of textbooks in arm and a bulging drawstring bag looped over one shoulder. The petticoat beneath her long-sleeved cotton dress clung to her legs, and with her free hand, she dabbed beads of moisture from her brow with a crumpled handkerchief. One should not have to perspire in October! If she didn't hurry, she was going to be late for class, and it would be the second time this week. She was having enough trouble with this infernal English grammar class as it was. It certainly wouldn't help matters to be late again.

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

I just finished Ann Tatlock's Promises to Keep (coming soon from Bethany House Publishers). Like all of Ann's books, this one is a wonderful, warm and compelling story. The last few chapters had me on the edge of my seat!

What are you working on now?

PhotobucketI just finished copyedits for Forever After, second in the Hanover Falls Novels series from Howard/Simon & Schuster. Now I'm back to work on the first draft of Book 3, After All.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

www.deborahraney.com
novelgarden.blogspot.com

The book is available for online purchase through the following buttons:




CBD.com
260040: A Prairie Christmas Collection


Thank you, Deborah, for visiting with us and telling us about your novella. Readers, Deborah has offered to give a copy of A Prairie Christmas Collection to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, October 28. To enter, leave a comment for Deborah, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out my interview with Darlene Franklin below, and leave a comment under her interview to be entered in a drawing for a signed copy of her book.

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, October 18, 2010

Darlene Franklin and Free Books! (Updated)

PhotobucketJoey Carpenter is searching for the one woman who is fitting for The Face of Mary.

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for White Doves, by Shannon Vannatter, is:

wpd_2@ . . .

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 Darlene Franklin, author of The Face of Mary (a novella in the anthology A Woodland Christmas from Barbour, September 2010).

PhotobucketAward-winning author and speaker Darlene Franklin recently returned to cowboy country--Oklahoma--to be near family. She recently signed the contract for her twelth book. This fall she is celebrating the repacking of her Rhode Island romance in Seaside Romance and her third novella anthology, Face of Mary in A Woodland Christmas.

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

-- Last month I became a grandma for the fourth time, this time to my first grandson.

-- I just returned home from a 1400 mile trip to the Texas hill country.

-- I love mountains and on this trip I managed to identify Oklahoma's "mountain" -- in the Arbuckles.

-- I love to play peek-a-boo with babies.

-- My mother let me stay up until 11 on a school night to watch the original Star Trek.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The Face of Mary.

PhotobucketAn itinerant woodcarver moves from town to town in the woodlands, delivering "sawdust sermons" that hold even more value than the furniture he crafts. Will the advice he dispenses help four couples find their way to the miracle of love at Christmas?

In my novella, The Face of Mary, Mary "Polly" Jessup holds onto a promise of marriage made five years ago, but when Joseph "Joey" Carpenter returns from law school with a new outlook and new girlfriend, her future hopes are dashed.

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

Polly took over as mother for her siblings after their mother's death. Now their father is struggling with memory loss, and she's afraid. Her hopes that Joey will fulfill his jesting promise to marry her when he comes home from law school are dashed when he's courting the banker's daughter.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

They will root for Polly and her struggles, and I pray they will search their own hearts as Joey looks for the face of Mary.

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

PhotobucketHow about the familiar pair who played Alonzo Wilder and Laura Ingalls? Dean Butler and Melissa Gilbert.

I couldn't resist this shot of them together--we'll pretend she's babysitting a friend's child . . .

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


"Any girl who loves the law of the Lord like the Psalmist did is a woman after my lawyer's heart. If you don't have a beau when I come home from college, I think I'll marry you myself." He smiled at the girls and left the room.

Speechless, Polly stared after him. Did Jean's handsome brother just say he might marry her someday?

His words engraved themselves on her heart.

Oh, mercy. Poor impressionable girl!

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

I am always on the search for a new mystery writer who I want to read repeatedly. I believe I've found one in Barbara Fister, who dedicated her book In the Wind to "citizen librarians" and wrote a thoughtful mystery comparing the current espionage climate to that of the Vietnam era.

What are you working on now?

I have two projects at the moment: next year's novella, First Christmas, and the third book (Knight Music) in a Colorado contemporary trilogy based on my first published novel (Romanian Rhapsody.)

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

Darlenefranklinwrites.blogspot.com

The book is available for online purchase via the following buttons:



CBD.com
609702: Woodland Christmas (Texas)


Thank you, Darlene, for visiting with us and telling us about your novella. Readers, Darlene has offered to give a copy of A Woodland Christmas to the winner of our drawing on Monday, October 25. To enter, leave a comment for Darlene, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out my interview with Margaret Brownley below, and leave a comment under her interview to be entered in a drawing for a signed copy of her book.

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, October 14, 2010

Margaret Brownley and Free Books!

PhotobucketLove and Laughter in the Old West

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for Betrayal in the Badlands, by Dana Mentink, is:

mrlyndly@ . . .

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 Margaret Brownley, author of A Suitor For Jenny, A Rocky Creek Romance (Thomas Nelson, September 2010).

PhotobucketMargaret Brownley has published more than 20 books and has written for Harlequin, St. Martin's Press and Penguin. Her books have been published in 15 languages. Her first inspirational novel, A Lady Like Sarah, was a Women of Faith selection for 2010 and a Romance Writers of American RITA finalist. Margaret and her husband live in Southern California and have three grown children.

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

-- I failed 8th grade English (Still can't diagram a sentence).

-- Didn't much like history either (all those dates!).

-- A bull once chased me across a field. It took me forever to climb over the fence to pick wild berries, but mere seconds to scramble back.

-- While I was doing research on the 49er trail, wild goats chased me down a mountain (Do you see a theme, here?)

-- I'm allergic to broccoli--really!

Goodness. After considering the scholastic and animals-gone-wild challenges you've overcome, a little broccoli allergy sounds pretty tame! 

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of A Suitor for Jenny.

PhotobucketAfter their parents died, Jenny Higgins felt responsible for taking care of her two younger sisters. Learning that Rocky Creek has the highest number of eligible bachelors per capita, Jenny rolls into this Texas town with a clear objective: find suitable husbands for her two younger sisters and then start fresh somewhere far, far away. Jenny believes that women who fall in love at first sight often wish they'd taken a second look, so she diligently begins to follow all the rules set forth in her handy manual on how to land a husband.

But while Jenny is interviewing the less-than-promising candidates, her sisters are falling in love the old fashioned way. Jenny is convinced she knows how to pick "perfect" men and it will take two rebellious sisters, a handsome marshal and a whole lot of faith to convince her otherwise.

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

Determined to find appropriate husbands for her two sisters Jenny surrounds herself with lists, schedules, and etiquette books. Worse, she puts every perspective suitor through the PHAT (Potential Husband Aptitude Test). She means well and is truly concerned about her sisters' futures, but she does tend to carry things too far. It takes a very strong and motivated hero to peel away her defenses and find the soft, vulnerable and lonely women inside.

She's a bit of a precursor to our Type A personality, isn't she? 

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I hope it will make readers laugh and maybe even cry. More important, I hope it makes readers feel a little closer to God.

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

PhotobucketI had to get help on this one. My daughter suggested Anne Hathaway for the role of Jenny.



PhotobucketHugh Jackman has to play the part of Marshal Rhett Armstrong, he just does!


Share with us a line or paragraph that will give us a good feel for the tone of your novel.

Sage advice from Margaret Brownley's new book A Suitor for Jenny:
-- Charm and composure must prevail at all times. If a gunfight erupts, exit the scene with grace and serenity.
-- If you don't know whether or not to kiss a handsome man, give him the benefit of the doubt.
-- Never engage in boisterous laughter. If you must show mirth, a polite smile or titter will suffice.
-- Never criticize your beau. If it wasn't for his faults he'd probably be courting someone else.
-- An inappropriate suitor should be quickly and thoroughly banished before he wins the heart of his intended.
-- A woman more knowledgeable than a man is obliged to hold her tongue and feign ignorance in all matters except, of course, childbirth.
-- Never show affection in public. Love may be blind but the townspeople are not.
-- Once your vows are exchanged devote yourself to domestication--his.
-- Eschew secrets, for they are normally discovered at the worst possible time. If confronted, weep and deny everything.

Oh, yes. That definitely gives us a good feel for your book's tone. Made me laugh.

What are you working on now?

I'm working on the first book in a new three book series. This one takes place on an Arizona cattle ranch and so far I'm loving where the characters are taking me.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

Visit me at www.margaretbrownley.com
I'm also a resident blogger on www.petticoatsandpistols.com
If you want a laugh you might want to check out Stagecoach Etiquette: YouTube

The book is available for online purchase through the following buttons:




CBD.com
548108: A Suitor For Jenny, Rocky Creek Romance Series #2



Thank you, Margaret, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Margaret has offered to give a copy of her novel to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, October 21. To enter, leave a comment for Margaret, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out my interview with Shannon Vannatter below, and leave a comment under her interview to be entered in a drawing for a signed copy of her book.

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, October 11, 2010

Shannon Vannatter and Free Books!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are you working on now?

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

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

Website
Blog
Group Blog
Twitter: @stvauthor
Facebook: Shannon Taylor Vannatter

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

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

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sandra Byrd's Don't Kiss Him Goodbye

PhotobucketIt was just a kiss. A simple kiss, a quick kiss, an innocent peck because they were saying good-bye and no one was watching. But someone was watching them--me.

This weekend I want to highlight two terrific new releases for you to check out. Today, check out Sandra Byrd's fun new release, Don't Kiss Him Goodbye:

A bit about the book:


London Confidential Series -- Book Three, Don't Kiss Him Goodbye, finds Savvy, now established in her quirky British village, working hard to get an article with her own byline published. When an attractive and mysterious boy asks her for help with his school work, Savvy is slowly pulled into his circle and soon finds out that the wrong set of friends--boys and girls--can influence her own behavior. Following her own advice to cut ties with a charming bad boy would mean abandoning her dearest wishes, and it just doesn't seem as wrong as it feels. Is it? Read on for surprise twists throughout the book!

In a shocking turn of events, all writers for the Wexburg Academy Times will cast their votes for next year's editor--and it looks like Savvy's vote will be the tie breaker! In Book Four, Flirting With Disaster, Savvy must choose between a nasty-girl-turned-nice, with a sudden interest in letting Savvy get what she wants, and the prickly Hazelle, who promises nothing at all. Savvy then finds herself wrapped up in a new, seemingly innocent but potentially dangerous activity. It's all at risk in this book: her position on the paper, the boy she likes, the ministry she wants to go well. At a critical moment, Savvy must figure out how to rely on God rather than luck and to overcome temptation before it is too late.

London Confidential is a new series for tweens and teens where British fashion, friendships, and guys collide as an all-American teen girl learns to love life and live out her faith.


What reviewers are saying: "Byrd's ability to provide a fun story that incorporates biblical truth will help teens relate to this new series. Readers will identify with the struggle to fit in while staying true to one's convictions." (Romantic Times, 4 star review)


PhotobucketPlease visit Sandra online at www.sandrabyrd.com

The books can be purchased online through the following buttons, and through Sandra's website or at other fine online or local bookstores near you. If they're not stocked, just ask!




CBD.com
325996: #3: Don"t Kiss Him Good-Bye


London Confidential Books 1 and 2 were featured in Focus on the Family's Thriving Family Magazine ... click HERE


Remember to check out my interview with Dana Mentink below, and leave a comment under her interview to be entered in a drawing for a signed copy of her book.

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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