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, June 13, 2011

Margaret Brownley and Free Books!

PhotobucketWhen posing for Lucy anything can happen—and usually does!

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Carla Stewart's novel, Broken Promises, is:

jeanasworld@ . . .

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 Margaret Brownley, author of A Vision of Lucy (Thomas Nelson, June 2011).
Tell us about yourself, Margaret.

PhotobucketThrills, mystery, suspense, romance: I penned it all. Nothing wrong with that—except I happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, my former pastor took me aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction."

So that’s what I did. I now have more than 25 novels to my credit, including bestselling and RITA finalist A Lady Like Sarah—not bad for someone who flunked 8th grade English. Just don’t ask me to diagram a sentence.

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

-- I already told you I flunked English.

-- I wasn’t that great in history, either—all those dates and battles!

-- I’m allergic to broccoli.

-- I still like to watch old Colombo movies, and my current favorite TV show is Dancing with the Stars.

-- I just know that somewhere inside of me is a dancer trying to get out.

You give hope to bad grammarians everywhere, Margaret! Please tell us a bit more about the plot of A Vision of Lucy.

PhotobucketSage Advice for Photographers from A VISION OF LUCY

• When photographing stampeding cattle, charging bulls or blazing shoot-outs, use a fast shutter speed.

• Brides, take pity on your photographer. Matthew S. Brady and his helpers were able to record the entire War Between the States with little more than 1100 photographs. Half that number should satisfy most brides.

• Doctors, do not look at the camera like it’s a patient needing help through death’s door. Such a pose will speak ill of you, and it won’t do much for your practice, either.

• A man imagines himself more handsome than his photograph; a woman believes herself more homely.

• While posing for a photograph spinsters should avoid looking desperate or deprived. A serene smile will show that your circumstances are by choice and not for lack of beauty or character.

Lucy Fairbanks dreams of working as a photographer at the Rocky Creek newspaper. If she can earn money making photographs, then maybe her father will see that what she does is worthy, more than just a distraction. And her deepest hope is that he’ll see her as an artist, the way he thought of her deceased mother, whose paintings still hung on their walls.

But trouble follows Lucy on every photo shoot: a mess of petticoats and ribbons, an accidental shooting, even a fire.

When Lucy meets David Wolf—a quiet, rustic man who lives on the outskirts of town—she thinks she can catch the attention of the editor with his photograph.

But instead of landing her a job Lucy’s photograph stirs up old resentments and hurts, forever changing the town, and revealing the truth about David’s past that left him deeply scarred. The truth turns out to be more painful than the lies—especially when it keeps him from the woman he loves.

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

Lucy is funny, loyal and dearly loves her brother. She talks too much, is a terrific friend and isn’t afraid to go after what she wants. If only that didn’t get in her so much trouble.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I hope readers will enjoy the romance, humor and elements of faith. It’s a fun story but it touches on serious themes of acceptance, forgiveness and redemption.

And if your novel were brought to film, what’s one song you’d like to hear featured in it?

"Unchained Melody". Remember it in Ghost? Love it!

Oh, yes. What a rebirth that song had, thanks to that movie. 

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

If you happen to be writing about a cattle ranch I highly recommend the Working Cowboy Manual. If per chance you’ve got a hankering to shoe a horse you might want to give The Art of Blacksmithing a try. Hey, you asked!

I guess a historical author had better be sure she enjoys her particular time period before committing to it, right?

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a new series call Brides of Last Chance Ranch, which is why I’m deep researching mode.

Where else can readers find you online?

My homestead address is www.margaretbrownley.com I’m also on Facebook and Twitter and resident blogger on www.petticoatsandpistols.com

The book is available at fine bookstores and via the online buttons:

548115: A Vision of Lucy - Rocky Creek Romance Series #3

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

Curious minds want to know: How do you choose your books? By the cover, reviews, back copy, setting, author or word of mouth?

Thank you, Margaret, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Margaret has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, June 20. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Margaret'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 T.L. Higley, 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.


rbooth43 said...

By the cover, reviews, back copy, setting, author or word of mouth. All of these and more, blogs, websites and publishers websites.

Anonymous said...

All of the above, but especially from reviews of several book bloggers I trust. There's a lot out there to choose from, and bloggers help me sift through it.
Lisa E.


Margaret Brownley said...

It's interesting to know that blogs sell books. Thanks Trish for letting me be on yours!

Rose said...

I first get interested in books by their covers and then I decide if I want to by them by the back cover summary.

windycindy said...

Most of the books that I decide
to read are based upon all of the
above! Other times, the setting
and back copy are how I choose
my books...
Many thanks, Cindi

apple blossom said...

The cover definitely must appease me. Then I read the blurb on back

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Pam K. said...

I choose books often by the author; I have a long list of books to find by authors who have made my "favorite" list. However, I do enjoy finding new authors and books by reading blogs such as yours. This is how I first became acquainted with Margaret Brownley's "A Lady Like Sarah," and Trish's book "The Perfect Blend," both of which I enjoyed immensely. An attractive cover makes me want to delve inside, especially if there is a short excerpt that hooks me too.
Thanks for this opportunity to win and read Lucy's story.

Leah said...

Usually by the cover.(Front and back cover.)I do have my favorite authors too that I'll read any of their books.
The Cover is the big thing for me though...Hope my answer helped!

I cant wait to read this book, It looks and sounds awesome!

Lady DragonKeeper said...

"How do you choose your books? By the cover, reviews, back copy, setting, author or word of mouth?"

When I purchase books, I often buy new releases by my favorite authors. I almost always have to read something by the author before I buy, so I love libraries and book giveaways/contests that are done by blogs. In fact, that's how I heard about "A Suitor for Jenny" --it sounded great, and since I really enjoyed it, when I saw a bookstore had "A Lady Like Sarah" I bought it.

A book with a cover that catches my eye might prompt me to read the summary or look it up online. I first saw "The Healer's Apprentice" on a blog and fell in love with the cover (a girl with the most gorgeous medieval dress standing by a window). When I read the summary, I knew I had to get that YA historical romance. As long as the book cover looks professional, I don't usually judge the book by it ...

Certain settings interest me more than others (e.g. since reading tons of Janette Oke and such books in high school, I don't often look for "westerns" anymore and am more selective in the ones that I read).

The summary or back cover blurb is a huge part of my decision ... if it doesn't interest me, I probably won't buy it.

Word of mouth is good, but unless I know the person well, I'd still want to try and read the book first before I purchase it.

Thanks for the chance to win "A Vision of Lucy"!


Trish Perry said...

A good question, Margaret, and really helpful answers, friends. Often the author has little to no control or say about the cover or back cover copy on a book, but as a reader I've always agreed on the importance of both of those. Reviews are also a big draw for me as a reader. I don't like to know much about the plot line, but I do like to get a feel for the reviewer's overall impression.

Thanks so much for the shout out about The Perfect Blend, Pam! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a really fun story, and I'm looking forward to reading it!

If the book is a by an author I know and like, I will nearly always get it. Otherwise, my decision is made mostly by the cover (both front and back). Ultimately, though, I think it really depends on the mood I'm in. I might choose something one day that I wouldn't choose on another day.

Thanks for the opportunity to win!


Merry said...

I read many reviews, mostly on blogs, before I purchase a book. An intriguing cover may draw me or a favorite author will also tempt me.

I'd love a chance to win A Vision of Lucy, thanks.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

CraftyMama said...

I'll admit, I tend to judge a book by its cover. The author only matters if I've ever read anything by them before. If the plot of the book sounds good, I'll give it a try. I tend to lean toward Christian historical romances, so that helps get me going in the right direction. :)

CraftyMama said...

Oh! Email is:


barbjan10 said...

Great interview with Margaret. Her book appeals to me from the way she described the heroine and I love to laugh...it's so healthy and good exercise for the tummies. LOL

My reading material is frequently chosen by word of mouth and blogs. I admit that I'm also hooked on the freebies on Amazon and other sites. I like to read the back of the cover also. The cover is very important. I love the cover on this book.

Thanks for this giveaway and the chance to win it. I hope I win!!

Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Megan said...

Great interview! The way I choose my books varies. Usually the cover is what grabs my attention but I also have certain authors that I always have to read.

lovetoread205 [at] gmail [dot] com



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