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 7, 2011

Lauraine Snelling and Free Books!

PhotobucketWhen Dr. Astrid Bjorklund is called to leave her home and practice in Blessing, North Dakota, to care for the measles decimated Indian Tribe on the Redbud Reservation in South Dakota, can the man she thinks she is falling in love with set aside his antipathy toward Indians and help her be the doctor she is?

Before we chat with today's author, I want to announce that the winners of today's drawing for three copies of my latest novel, Unforgettable, are:

wpd_2@ . . .
kjv1611as@ . . .
paulalipper@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact each of 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 (below my list of books) in order to participate in future book give-aways!

Now let's meet novelist Lauraine Snelling, author of A Heart for Home (Bethany House, March 2011).

PhotobucketLauraine Snelling’s dream to write began with her love for storytelling, especially stories for young girls involving horses. She was born loving horses and was given her first pony, Polly, of stubborn Shetland lineage, when she was five and various horses have peopled her life since. Her Norwegian heritage spurred her to craft An Untamed Land, volume one of the Red River Bjorklund family saga. Due to reader demand for more stories about her fictional family, she spun off three more series.

Writing about real issues within a compelling story is a hallmark of Lauraine’s style, shown also in her contemporary romances and women’s fiction, which has probed the issues of forgiveness, loss, domestic violence and cancer. With over 60 books published, her work has been translated into Norwegian, Danish and German.

When not writing, Lauraine can be found with paintbrush in hand happily creating flowers, barns and landscapes or in her garden, coaxing spectacular blooms from seeds, bulbs or corms. She and her husband Wayne live in the Tehachapi Mountains, along with their Bassett Hound named Chewy. A dedicated animal lover, Lauraine has rescued two and a half Bassets, plans to bring home a rescued/retired Thoroughbred one of these days, maybe two, and dreams of owning cows again, a pig or two and chickens, if her husband will ever agree. Yes, farming is in her blood. But her love of travel keeps her on the road so much that taking care of the menagerie would be difficult. Years ago, Lauraine was the swine superintendent at the county fair for several years, back when her boys were in FFA.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of A Heart for Home.

PhotobucketReaders have fallen in love with Blessing and the Bjorklunds, the founding family of this fictional North Dakota town. Astrid is Ingeborg, the matriarch of the Red River series, only daughter. Astrid has followed in her mother’s footsteps of healing, only gone beyond the natural remedies and studied medicine to become a licensed physician.

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

Strong-willed, Astrid struggles with many of the same things we all do, how do I know for certain what God wants me to do and can I trust Him to take care of me and my life.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I think readers will enjoy A Heart for Home because those who have been following the series want to know which of the three men in her life, Astrid will truly fall in love with. Will the hospital they dream of really happen and what all is going on in Blessing with all the other characters they have come to love. New readers will be caught up in the drama of this dynamic character saving lives, grieving losses, building dreams and growing in faith.

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

PhotobucketWere any of the books in this series to be made into a movie, I see Meryl Streep playing Ingeborg

and ??? in the part of Astrid.

PhotobucketHow about Kate Winslet? She looks quite a lot like your cover girl.

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

I hate to use the word writer’s block, but I sure understand it and more often, writer’s slow down. A friend reminded me that I so often go dig in the dirt. Getting my fingers in the soil, planting or weeding, frees my mind to go play with the story again. I know others say cleaning house, argh, washing the car, my mother would say scrubbing the floors on her hands and knees. What it boils down to is physical action that doesn’t take a lot of mind concentration. I mean how much thinking does it take to pull weeds, wash windows? When the body is busy this way, the mind can relax and let the ideas flow again. Extreme tiredness is another writer killer. Get some rest, sleep yes, but rest too. I spent time watching the ocean recently. Ah, what a mind free-er.

I've always been amazed by the way the ocean brings on calmness. I completely agree.

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

I recently finished DiAnn Mills’, Fire in Ember, the sequel, sort of, to A Woman Called Sage. I heartily recommend all of her books, she keeps getting better and better. I just started The Lace Reader for fiction and Boenhoffer for non fiction. I am also reading The Alchemy of Mind by Diane Ackerman and read my first Joan Hess mystery. I usually have a book on writing and a business book going too. Also a devotional, this time, Babes with Beattitude. And yes, I now have a Kindle which makes having a lot of books along on my travels.

Ah, a woman after my own heart. I always have numerous books going at once, too.

What are you working on now?

Right now I am working on the publicity for A Heart for Home and my April release, On Hummingbird Wings. I am rewriting A Valley of Dreams, a new historical series with Cassie Lockwood, a trick rider/shooter who leaves her life in a wild west show to travel to South Dakota to find her father’s dream valley. I start writing Reunion, my next contemporary after the end of Valley. Crazy life, I know, and I love it.

Where else can readers find you online?

Readers can always find me at my websites, www.laurainesnelling.com and www.BlessingND.com; FaceBook where I used my own name and Twitter at laurainesnellin. I do enjoy FaceBook and try to respond to all the messages. I read all my email but my assistant Cecile answers many of them for me.

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

206115: A Heart for Home, Home to Blessing Series #3

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

If I could bring a huge group of my readers together and ask them questions usually they are asking me, I’d love to hear their responses to “What makes a perfect book to you?” I do love to talk books with people; what do you like to read? being one of my favorite questions.

Thank you, Lauraine, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Lauraine has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, March 14. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Lauraine'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 Jill Eileen Smith, and leave a comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for her novel.

And see my post about Delight Yourself in the Lord . . . Even on Bad Hair Days below, and leave an appropriate comment under the post to be entered in a drawing for three signed copies of the devotional.

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.


windycindy said...

I enjoy a vast array of genres;
including fiction and non-fiction.
Being an animal lover, I read many books dealing with animals and
their relationship with people.
In fiction, I enjoy reading historical romance, Amish living,
suspense and strong heroines are
Many thanks, Cindi

Emily said...

I'd have to say that my perfect kind of books has the right balance of everything. Action, romance, history. It's gotta have it all for me to really enjoy it. Personally, I definitely think that Lauraine's books have all of these things!
Thanks for the giveaway!


Debbie said...

To make a good book I think there has to be some truth in there. A lot of authors don't put enough of God in their stories for whatever reason. But I think that if it's fiction it definitely needs more of God. To read empty books is just a waste of time.
Can't wait to read this one!


John said...

I definitely go for the Amish fiction more than anything else. There's just always the right amount of everything in there. Historical fiction is interesting also, especially when it has something to do with the past of the Christians.


diana said...

What makes a perfect book? Lauraine's books...right answer! On the serious side, I like a book that has something exciting at the end of chapters where I can't put it down because I have to find out what happens. A perfect book to me is also not just romance, but along with the romance, a realistic storyline with human thoughts and emotions. I love a happy ending! The ending can make or break a book just like in a movie. Adventure, suspense, and I love history as long as it is lived by the characters and not a bunch of facts. That being said, I would love to win Heart for Home!


Elyssa said...

What do I like to read? Well, I love historical fiction, but I also love stuff in there with some humor and drama. Also, I LOVE happy endings!


Jenny said...

My favorite genre would definitely be contemporary Amish. I love the simplicity of their lives, but also how they're far from boring!


Ira said...

My favorite book is anything with the name of Jesus being proclaimed through every page!


The Jesus Freak said...

I'd say I read a little bit of everything- contemporary, historical, suspense, and Amish. They're all unique and great in their own way!


apple blossom said...

I love seeing the characters develop in relationship with God, self and man. I'm a Snelling fan. Have all of her Blessing books. Would love to win this one. thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

EJ said...

A good book for me is one that has enough twists in the plot to keep me from putting the book down - I hate reading a book that I can figure out the ending after only reading a few chapters. Like also reading about personal struggles that I can relate to - especially in my walk with God. But mostly I love reading a book where the characters are so real & personable that I think about them even after the book is done. Elaine Jordan rejordan79@msn.com

splashesofjoy said...

Wow I like about any Christian Fiction, but I do like books that brings God into the middle of the characters' struggles and lives. I've been encouraged many times when the struggles in a fiction book are much like what I am going through.
I also love Lauraine's books! I've read most of them....have many of them and would love this one too!
Thanks for telling us a bit about yourself and your book!

Lady DragonKeeper said...

If I knew what makes a perfect book, I'd write one myself ... =) I read almost anything but I enjoy stories with believable characters that I can relate to or emphasize with ... if I can't invest in the characters or if I don't care about them, why would I want to finish the book?

Thanks for the chance to win!


jeff7salter said...

Ocean, stream, waterfall, brook. To me, it seems nearly any type of water is soothing to the psyche and liberating to the muse. I've heard authors speak on that matter and they agree. In fact, even the shower sometimes gives me ideas for poems or stories. [When I used to shave everyday, I'd sometimes get terrific images as I shaved]!
The perfect book?
Depends on the genre.
In novels I'd call action / adventure [including spy novels ... whatever the era], I like interesting plotting, exciting action scenes, and characters who are believable.
In comedy stories, I want to laugh my butt off.
So, it depends on what I'm reading.
But I DO NOT want to be bored, or bogged down in intricacy which seems to be crafted for its own sake.

Cherie J said...

What makes a perfect book to me is the development of the characters. If the characters feel so real to me that I grow to care about them and find myself rooting for them to find their happily ever after then the authors work is done. I want to be able to sympathize with the characters and really care about them. I read alot but the one thing I read the most is romance and a happily ever after is essential.


Brenda said...

I love so many types of books. I love romance I guess the best, don't mind if it is Amish, spicy, I know that is a stretch, and everything in between. I like to have a little more going on, some mystery, kids or pets thrown into the mix, anything that makes it not just a romance!

dancealert at aol dot com

Brenda said...

I know you didn't ask for it but I did poast it to my blog. Perhaps you'll become a follower of mine?


squiresj said...

Lauraine Snelling is an author's who's books I love to read. Her books are hard to put down. I am a follower of yours. I have even reviewed your books.
I did not know you wrote books about horses though. I have a 10 year old granddaughter (whom God gave to me - not by natural birth) who loves horses. I buy her books and DVDs with horse stories.
What makes a good book to me is one that will encourage and uplift while holding your interest from beginning to end. When you finish you will feel like you have gathered something to help you in life from it.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

diana said...

I did post above about what I like in a book, and I forgot to mention that every time I see Lauraine's books I think about my daughter-in-law, who looks just like the young lady on the covers!


tarenn98 said...

I read a vast array of genres,but historicals are by far my favorite.
I have read a lot of you books and so enjoy them."A Heart for Home" sounds awesome.I enjoy books with trials and tribulations with a happy ending of course.One that holds your interest from the first page to the last.And keeps your heart thrumping.This was a great post today,thank you.



Marianne said...

i have to say that any book by Lauraine Snelling is a great book. and i look back with fond memories to the day my mom and i spent the day with Lauraine in Saskatoon and at Living Books in Sask. Canada. i prefer my books told in the third person, and the first page has to grab me...need not be tense as in mystery. thanks for the chance to win, and the interview with Lauraine. i am a follower, get your emails and am in Arizona. mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com

Ann Lee Miller said...

A good book needs characters I fall in love with and relate to, high romantic tension, plausible complications.


lorlyn63 said...

This sounds like a book I would enjoy reading, please sign me up for the giveaway and my response to the question is: I love books set back during the West era - settlersm cowboys, and Indians - just something about that time in our history that fascinates me. I do like other books, mysteries, modern day romance, but I am drawn to those that are written during the time the West was being discovered.

My email address: triplel@evertek.net

Thank you!


lgm52 said...

I enjoy a variety of fiction, with historical romance being probably my favorite gendre. A perfect book has to catch and hold me from word 1. I won't read a book that I have little interest in until page 50, or whatever. There are too many books I want to read to "waste" time reading something that isn't holding my interest.

by Pegg Thomas said...

What do I like to read? Good books! I read a wide variety of genres but mostly I like a story that has characters I care about, that I can invest some emotion in, that are real and believable. Then I like those characters to struggle and succeed. Pretty simple, eh?

twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com



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