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

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

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

Monday, March 21, 2011

April Gardner and Free Books!

PhotobucketA loyal Creek warrior, Totka’s conflict with the Whites was simpler before his enemy became a beautiful face with a quiet strength and dignity he cannot resist.

Before we chat with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of today's drawing for Sweet Baklava, by Debby Mayne, is:

vanetta@ . . .

And the winner of today's drawing for The Perfect Wife, by Winnie Griggs, is:

wsmarple@ . . .

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

Now let's meet novelist April Gardner, author of Wounded Spirits (Vinspire Publishing, November 2010)'

PhotobucketApril Gardner has been a military brat, missionary's kid, and military spouse. After 21 years in various countries overseas, April happily resides in Georgia with her USAF husband and two sweet kiddos. In her free time, April enjoys reading, gardening, and DIY. In no particular order, she dreams of owning a horse, visiting all the national parks, and speaking Italian.

Librarian, reviewer, and avid reader, April adores anything books. She writes a regular column for the joint blog, Reflections in Hindsight, and is the founder and senior editor of the website, Clash of the Titles.

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

-- To me, coffee is like jeans—it goes with everything.

-- Marrying into the Gardner family did not cure my black thumb. Still, I try.

-- I tiled the backsplash in my kitchen and am quite proud of the accomplishment. Bathroom floors, here I come!

-- I have walked across an entire country in an hour.

-- I have dyslexia.

I'm picturing Lilliputia . . .

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of
Wounded Spirits.

PhotobucketIn 1813, Alabama was Mississippi Territory and the furthest west Americans dared go. Those who chose to live there did so at their own risk. Adela McGirth and her family are no exception. They are swept away by the fervor of the Red Sticks as they attempt to cleanse their land of encroaching whites.

A loyal warrior, Totka takes scalps with little compunction. It’s either kill or be killed. Fight for what’s yours or lose it to the enemy. When beautiful and courageous Adela is placed in his charge, his hands are bloody with guilt. But she could never love him anyway. He’s the enemy, after all, and the source of her grief.

Their lives molded by the course of history, these Wounded Spirits must learn to rely on God’s grace during one of the bloodiest conflicts in the South.

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

Unlike her wild, vivacious sister, Adela is a rule-follower. It’s important to her to do what’s right. She is a deeply good and predictable person, so when she does the unexpected, everyone’s already upturned world takes another spin. What readers love about Adela is watching her grow in faith and integrity as she readjusts her thinking of what’s right. Sometimes what we have always believed to be “right” turns out to be what has held us in bondage. We just don’t realize it until we break free. This is Adela’s journey.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

My readers all seem to enjoy the unique historical setting the most. Even those who yawn at history are drawn into the frontier world of Wounded Spirits and never want to leave.

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

PhotobucketGreat question! One of my all time faves is the Daniel Day-Lewis version of The Last of the Mohicans.

Oh, me, too.

I’d definitely have a young Eric Schweig (Uncas) play Totka.

PhotobucketDeborah Kerr would play a wonderful Adela. Deborah is best known for her role in The King and I as well as An Affair to Remember.

How do you restart the creative juices when you feel a block coming on?

I recently experienced my first real writer’s block. It had always been my understanding that when a writer was “blocked” she just didn’t know how the story should continue. Now I understand a whole different level of this frustrating mental state. For me, it had nothing to do with not knowing what to write but how to write it. Each word was torture, like pulling teeth. I began to think I’d missed my calling and wasn’t a writer, after all! How did I work through it? I just kept going. Most of it was junk, but I just wrote and wrote until I finally broke through and found my groove again.

So smart. And I've talked with authors who attacked writer's block that way and realized later, when they read it back, that they couldn't tell where the rough part was.

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

Naomi Musch’s The Green Veil was the last book I completed that I would recommend (I’m in the middle of several others right now). The setting was one I’d never read before—the big woods of Wisconsin Territory. And the author kept me guessing. The questions had me turning e-pages eager to know what in the world was going to become of the heroine. Great book!

What are you working on now?

I’m currently writing Warring Spirits, the next book in the Creek Country Saga. Here’s a bit about the book:

In 1816 Georgia, a fort controlled by runaways looms over the white population, threatening everything they hold dear. But to Milly—neither white nor black—it is a refuge. Major Phillip Bailey has orders to subdue the uprising at any cost, but a devastating event drives the price higher than any expected to pay. Neither imagines that where blood is spilt unexpected love may bloom.

Where else can readers find you online?

I love to hear from readers! You can find me at these locations:




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

Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

If you could change one thing about Christian fiction, what would it be?

Thank you, April, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, April has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, March 28. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to April's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interview with James L. Rubart and leave a comment at the bottom of his post to enter the drawing for his 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.


April W Gardner said...

I'm so glad to be here, Trish! Looking forward to getting to know your readers and giving away a copy of Wounded Spirits!

squiresj said...

I am a big fan of stories about Indians. My Great Grandma was full blooded Cherokee. This books sounds very interesting.
I am like you were coffee is concerned.
If I change something about Christian literature, I don't have a clue what it could be as I enjoy it just as it is.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

apple blossom said...

One thing I would change is if you want to publish as Christian fiction you can use no curse words.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Cindy W. said...

The one thing I would like to change in Christian Fiction is to have more of it published and stores allow a larger area to display the books. It seems the racks are just too short to hold the books so they only bring in one or two of each title. It's sad.

Your book sounds wonderful April!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Marianne said...

What would i change about Christian Fiction? i would like easier access to it in stores and libraries. other than that, nothing! Thanks Trish and April for the interview and chance to win this book. mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com marianne from arizona

windycindy said...

I agree with the others, that
there is not enough exposure of
Christian fiction. I love winning
books like this one because they
aren't easy to find, sometimes...
Many thanks, Cindi

by Pegg Thomas said...

If I could change one thing regarding Christian fiction, I would add a rating system. We need the sweet Christian stories that are appropriate at all ages, but I also like the grittier fiction that might not be suitable for young teens, I just want a 'heads up' as to which is which. By grittier I don't mean bad language or graphic sexual content, but topics that may touch on infidelity, alcoholism, crimes, etc.

twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

April W Gardner said...

Great suggestions coming in! More shelf space in books stores for sure!! And a universal rating system would be rather handy. Good one! I wish libraries had their own christian fiction section instead of having them all mixed in.

Ann Lee Miller said...

There are so many tastes among people who read Christian fiction, that I hesitate to give an opinion. I like to read stories that lean toward gritty realism.

Christina said...

I'm a writer and I'm kind of in that spot that wonders if I've missed the boat. I like your advice of pushing forward.

If I could change one thing about Christina fiction . . . hmmmm if you would have asked me this a few years ago I would have said more realistic characters. Thankfully, we are beginning to see that happen.

christinainspirationals [at] gmail dot com

rbooth43 said...

More Christian Fiction books in stores such as Walmart and Target! Otherwise, this si my favorite genre of books to read-so uplifting!

April W Gardner said...

I find it interesting that both Ann Lee and Christina mentioned realism. "Hokey" is a term far too often associated with Christian fiction, so I agree--bring on reality! Although, yes, it's much better than it was even a few years ago. And "Amen!" to more CF in Walmart and Target!!

diana said...

Please don't enter me as I just finished Wounded Spirits. I just wanted to say that, girls, if you don't win this book, please go to Amazon and purchase it! I literally could not put it down. Those that mentioned reality in CF will certainly find it in this book, as it's based on true events. April, honey, I was so proud of you when I was reading Wounded Spirits, since it is your first book, and you did such an excellent job! Can't wait 'til the next one in the series!

Diana Flowers

COTT said...

Diana, that's the dearest thing anyone has ever said about Wounded Spirits! You made me cry!! I think I'll live on this compliment for the next few months. It'll certainly get me through the next dreaded writer's block. :-) Big hugs to you today, sister!

April W Gardner said...

COTT is actually me--April. I was unaware that I was signed into my Clash of the Titles account. I had no idea I could even comment as "COTT". Now I'll have to figure out how to keep it from happening again! Thank goodness my computer-geek husband is finally home from deployment. "Honey, I need you!" :-)



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