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, May 12, 2011

Jillian Kent and Free Books!

PhotobucketAn English noblewoman rescues a runaway from a lunatic asylum.

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Shellie Neumeier's new release, Driven, is:

lisset.delgado@ . . .

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 (below my list of books) in order to participate in future book give-aways!

Now let's meet novelist Jillian Kent, author of Secrets of the Heart, The Ravensmoore Chronicles, Book One (Charisma House, previously Strang Communications, May 2011).

PhotobucketJillian Kent delivers a powerful romance wrapped around a fascinating mystery/suspense plot brewed to perfection. Readers will be intrigued with a story that explores the Regency from a perspective not typically portrayed. Jillian lived in England in 1976 when she spent a semester in Oxford with other students from her college and their English professor. That experience ignited her imagination and her love for England and its history.

Jillian is an advocate for persons suffering from mental illness and wants readers to come to know those who are mentally ill through her books. The history of mental health and mental illness is both sad and fascinating. The men and women who tried to help the afflicted through history are as interesting as those who were ill. Jillian hopes that by bringing that which was in darkness into the light of understanding will help eliminate the stigma against those who are suffer from mental illness today.

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

-- I was born in Coral Gables, Florida.

-- Fell in love with Alfred Noyes poem, "The Highwayman," when I was about ten.

-- Love country music and Brad Paisley.

-- Rode horses in dressage, cross-country, and stadium jumping events in 4-H and Pony Club.

-- Love the card game PITT!

Hmm! Sounds like a country/cowboy/horse novel might emerge from your interests one of these days . . .

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

PhotobucketMadeline Whittington, daughter of the deceased Earl of Richfield, emerges from English society’s prescribed period of mourning in the winter of 1817. Madeline believes that she no longer belongs in a world of gossip and gowns after experiencing multiple losses. When she rescues a runaway from Ashcroft Insane Asylum, her life will be forever changed as she discovers the dark secrets within the asylum walls.

Because of his elder brothers unexpected death, Devlin Grayson becomes Earl of Ravensmoore and struggles between two worlds: one of affluence and privilege and one of poverty and disease. Torn between his desire to become a doctor and the numerous responsibilities of his title, he wrestles with God’s calling for his future. Will he be able to honor this God-given gift and win the woman he falls in love with in a society that does not value gentlemen who work? And will Lady Madeline be able to honor her father s memory when she is attracted to the man she holds responsible for her father s death?

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

I’m going to chose the male lead to comment on here: He’s a man of integrity who is pulled between doing what he thinks he is called by God to do and what English society says he must do. He harbors secrets and heartache and he wants to make a difference, but he also wants the woman he’s fallen in love with and fears that she will not accept him if she knew everything about him.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

It’s a love story. Who can resist? I think the suspense element will keep their attention and the story is entertaining.

Give us one sentence that shows us something about your main character as a child.

This is a line I cut from my original manuscript that depicts Madeline as a young teen.

“I will never understand how Mozart or anyone else for that matter ever produced a pleasing sound from this wretched instrument.”

As an instrument-challenged gal, I completely identify with poor young Madeline.

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

Julie Lessman’s, A Passion Denied. Why? Because it’s well written and covers a lot of emotion, passion, and true to life fears about the past. It’s a powerful love story.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on revisions from my editor for book two in the series called Chameleon, brewing my plot for book three in my head that I need to start writing and marketing Secrets of the Heart.

Where else can readers find you online?

My website is www.jilliankent.com
My blog is jilliankent.blogspot.com
And I also blog a couple times a month with the rest of the Realms gang over at justthewritecharisma.blogspot.com

381851: Secrets of the Heart, Ravensmoore Chronicles Series #1

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

When you read a book, do you imagine the characters as described by the author, or do you fit them into the persona or mold of a famous actor or actress that you like?

Thank you, Jillian, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Jillian has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, May 23. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Jillian'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 Elizabeth Ludwig, below, and leave a comment at the bottom of the post to enter the 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.


by Pegg Thomas said...

As described by the author, I let them build the character before me. That's part of the JOY of reading!

twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

Diana Flowers said...

I'm with Pegg, I don't imagine anyone else in the character's role, except the person the author has created. One time, maybe, the heroine had reddish or auburn hair, and I kept seeing Melissa Gilbert, but that has never happened since. haha This book sounds great BTW!


Jillian Kent said...

Good Morning Trish,
What fun to be here! Thanks for having me and helping readers get to know about Secrets of the Heart. I'll be dropping by again later and am happy to answer any questions, so feel free to ask away.

I work as a counselor for nursing students during the day and today is their graduation so I'll be attending that event from about 2-5but I will be back.

Pegg, thanks for your comment. The reason I asked that question is that it seems many women in their twenties don't seem to be reading much. That's what I hear around the work place anyway. So I wondered if women in their 20's might answer this question differently because of growing up with computers and video games, etc.

More later,

Anonymous said...

I like to 'see' the story unfold in my mind's eye as I'm reading, so I do often imagine an actor/actress that might fit the author's description. Not always, though. If the cover has an image of the character that seems fitting to me, I'll use that. Or my imagination!

Lisa E.


lgm52 said...

I imagine the characters as the author describes them..

Julie Lessman said...

Hey Jillian and Trish -- great interview!!

And THANK YOU, Jill, for your kind words about A Passion Denied -- MUCH APPRECIATED.

AND reciprocated, as you know, as far as Secrets of the Heart is concerned. LOVED that book and have my own copy, so don't enter me, Trish -- we need to bless someone else with it.


diana said...

Guess blogger deleted earlier comments. I picture main characters just as author describes them. Only one time heroine had auburn or reddish hair and I kept thinking about Melissa Gilbert, but that is the only time.:-) This book sounds great and I like the cover alot!


apple blossom said...

yes, blogger was having problems I must say. It took them 2 days to get it fixed then I had to go back in there and redo what I had done while they were messed up and still don't have it all fixed. ugh

Anyway, I'd love to be in on this giveaway. Hopefully, they'll keep my comment this time.

I like to picture the characters as the author describes them.

thanks for the giveaway.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Trish Perry said...

Thanks, ladies, for re-entering your comments. That's why I resent the Feedblitz on this particular post. I was hopeful people would return and comment again.

Jillian Kent said...

Hi Everyone!
Well it's been a weird couple of days with Blogger messing us all up. Oh well, that's technology for you. :) I'm thrilled that you were kind enough and interested enough to come back and post.

This novel is unique in that it takes a look at the Regency era through a different perspective. I think you'll like it.

Have a great weekend!

Ann Lee Miller said...

I never picture a character as an actor or actress. I go solely on the author's description.

Jillian Kent said...

Hi Ann and all,
I'm beginning to think that being a writer has effected my reading way more than I thought it had. Now I don't only read with an eye that looks for how I can improve my craft, I imagine what actress/author they might be. Maybe that comes from character development phase and looking up pictures in the magazines and on line as I write my stories. Writers really are weird. Okay. This writer is weird. :)

Hey Trish and all,
I was out shopping at Family Christian today and they had your novel in the best seller section. Whoo! Whoo! And I saw my book there. It was the first time I'd seen it in a store, between Ronnie Kendig and Karen Kingsbury. What a rush.:)

Brenda said...

I had a real problem with blogger but it seems to be working now.
Made a mess of things for some!
Please enter me....
Brenda from Michigan.

dancealert at aol dot com

Lady DragonKeeper said...

"When you read a book, do you imagine the characters as described by the author, or do you fit them into the persona or mold of a famous actor or actress that you like?"

I have to say that I picture them as described by the author, but if that description happens to match an actor or actress I can picture, I may use that actor or actress ...

The only time I may picture actors or actresses first is when I'm reading a book based on a movie or t.v. show (e.g. Star Wars or Star Trek novels) ... actually, an exception I can think of is Jane Austen novels in high school, because it was easier for me to follow and keep track of the characters in the book if I pictured them as the actors/actresses from the BBC miniseries' I was watching at around the same time.

Thanks for the chance to win --this sounds like an interesting book!


Trish Perry said...

Oh, yes, Lady DragonKeeper, I've experienced that effect of reading a book after a movie version has come out. I always try to read the book first, because I enjoy the read best if I don't know anything about the plot. But if a film gets a lot of press, and the actors are shown, I'll often picture them as I read. I kind of like that.

I'll admit here that I've read the Twilight books--a fellow Christian author said Meyers did a good job writing chaste but intense romance, so I write it off as research--but I read the first in the series before the actors were chosen, and then the characters' looks changed for me once they started releasing the films.

Trish Perry said...

Oh, and thank you, Jill, for mentioning my book's status at the Family Christian store. And congrats re yours! Whoo Whoo is right!

Jillian Kent said...

Hi Brenda. Yes, Blogger was very misbehaved this week. Let's hope that doesn't happen with any regularity. Good point about the BBC Miniseries, Lady DragonKeeper. I haven't read the Twilight books, Trish, but I did watch the first movie. So now if I go back and read them you all know who'll be seeing. :)

Diana Flowers said...

Trish, thank you for giving us another chance to comment. Blogger erased all my info and I redid it today, and it still just took my name and pic and profile info won't show up. GRRRR! LOL I am going to be doing reviews on Overcoming Through Time (Carrie Pagels' blog) on Wed. called Diana's Book Corner. People can find the blog on networked blogs and I would love to see ya'll over there. (Sorry for the plug, I'm just excited)! I already answered Jillian's question above and really, really would like to win this book, so am grateful for opportunity to repost, Trish!


Courtney said...

Oh when I'm reading a book I always come up with my own picture of what they look like as described by the author but sometimes I tweek my image a bit! For example, I don't like the idea of a man with long hair, like a lot of historicals books, so I just edit that out in my own mind! ha ha :-) This sounds like a great book, thanks!


Jillian Kent said...

Interesting edit system you have going there Courtney. :)

Anonymous said...

I don't picture actors or actresses, unless it is something (like Twilight) that I'm already familiar with. I usually picture something of a cross between the artist's description and whatever my imagination manages to come up with! :)

This sounds like a good story and I'm looking forward to reading it!


squiresj said...

I picture the main characters as described by author. Sometimes they seem so real you hate to quit reading about them.
I have never read any of your books.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Anne Payne said...

PITT is so much fun! And The Highwayman...I'll always associate it with Anne of Green Gables :)

I love any book set in or near the Regency period. I try not visualize the characters to resemble anyone I am familiar with. I really do. But if they sound like Mr Darcy...well...I can't help thinking of Colin or Matthew :)
I'm in the draw for this one.


Michelle said...

I've been wanting to read this one, it sounds so good. And the drawing will be on my birthday. ;)

I always picture the characters as the author has described them.

mchapman (at) windstream (dot) net

Trish Perry said...

Hey, all, Jillian tried to post here while out of town and had some technical difficulties. She emailed me her comment to post:

Hey everyone,

I'm in Atlanta visiting good friends and have developed the sinus infection from hades so I didn't get to respond to everyone.

Randi, squires, Anne, and Michelle; Thanks for joining us and commenting. And congratulations on the win Anne.

Hope you enjoy the read and for those of you who don't win I hope you'll find a way to read it through your local library or a purchase. Speaking of library books, if your library doesn't have Secrets of the Heart I'd appreciate you requesting it for your library.

Bless you Trish and all,

Anne Payne said...

Thank you, Jillian! I am really looking forward to reading your book :)



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