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!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Janice Hanna and Free Books!

PhotobucketAlways the groomsman, never the groom… It’s 1914, and Jake O’Farrell is about to become the last single man in the town of Groom, Texas.

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Julie Carobini's new release, Fade to Blue, is:

Ann_Lee_Miller@ . . .

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 chat with novelist Janice Hanna, author of Love Finds You in Groom, Texas (Summerside/Guideposts, June 2011).

PhotobucketJanice Hanna (also published as Janice A. Thompson) has published more than sixty novels and non-fiction books. She has also published more than fifty magazine articles and several musical comedies for the stage. Janice makes her home in the Houston area near her children and grandchildren.

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

--As a child, my dad’s idea of a family vacation was a trip to Vegas. I never went camping or slept in a tent, but I did get to see Liberace in person, and even swam with Diane Carroll (at the Sands Hotel).

--My dad was the president of the University of Houston Cougar Cagers Club, so my birthdays, holidays, etc. were spent at basketball games. Our family traveled to Mexico with the U of H Cougars to watch them compete, which was great fun. When I was eleven, I got to play (for fun, of course) with the Harlem Globetrotters, who came to Houston for a visit. To this day, I love a good basketball game.

--I once lied to a fellow camper at church camp, telling her that my dad (Billy Hanna) was William Hanna of Hanna/Barbara (Flintstones) fame. That lie still haunts me, though, to his credit, my dad did eventually work as a movie producer on our co-authored movie, Liar’s Moon. (Yes, it’s true. I got to meet and work with Matt Dillon. Eat your heart out, girls!)

--I grew up on the stage, (both at church and at school) playing nearly every role imaginable. In 1977 I was named Memorial High School’s “Best Thespian.” Try explaining that one to your kids.

--I occasionally bake wedding cakes. In 2009 I baked a lovely four-tiered white cake with strawberry filling and cream cheese frosting that toppled less than an hour before the wedding. I managed to piece together two very messy/ugly layers. Thankfully, the bride did not murder me. It made for a great scene in a later book. (Nothing ever gets wasted.)

Oh, yeah. One of the perks of being a novelist is using those messed-up, real-life moments as story fodder!

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Love Finds You in Groom, Texas. (And may I just say that's one of the finest looking cover models I've ever seen gracing a novel.)

PhotobucketAlways the groomsman, never the groom… It’s 1914, and Jake O’Farrell has gained an unusual reputation among the locals: He’s played the roles of groomsman and best man in all four of his older brothers’ weddings, but he’s never been able to find the woman to capture his heart. And now with the upcoming wedding of his best friend, Jake will become the last single man in the town of Groom.

Anne Denning has made the difficult decision to move with her sisters to Texas, but a train derailment forces them to seek shelter in Groom, near Amarillo. Mrs. O’Farrell, hopeful that Anne will catch her youngest son’s eye, invites the girls to stay at her home until the train is repaired and ready to pull out. Anne has no idea of the blissful chaos that lies ahead!

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

Readers will care about Anne because she’s been through so much and still chooses to move forward. They will also love her relationship with her younger sisters. She’s the only remaining parental figure and takes that position very seriously.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

In spite of the lead character’s tough situation, the story is filled with comedic elements. Anne’s two younger sisters are a hoot. So is Maggie (the hero’s mother). She’s an Irish spitfire! I think readers will appreciate the romance between Anne and Jake. It’s filled with all sorts of sweet and comic moments.

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

PhotobucketBecause Anne (a one-time socialite from Denver) has dark hair and pale skin, I envision her looking a little bit like the character of Diana Barry in Anne of Green Gables. Diana was played by Schuyler Grant.

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

Papa used to say the only ‘buts’ were the ones left behind when a man finished a good cigar.

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

I recently read (and loved) Marcia Gruver’s new book, Raider's Heart. Just one word: Wow! She got me! The book was loaded with twists and turns and I found myself captivated by the story and the characters.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently writing Love Finds You in Daisy, Oklahoma, a fun story about a single woman in her late 30’s who moves from the Gulf Coast to the landlocked state of Oklahoma to become the director at an orphanage. It’s a love story, of course! She falls in love with the town sheriff, who has adopted two of the unruliest boys from the orphanage.

Where else can readers find you online?

I love to connect with my readers at the following places:
www.janicehannathompson.com
www.freelancewritingcourses.com
www.facebook.com/jhannathompson

The book can be purchased at fine book stores everywhere and online through the following buttons:



CBD.com
360061: Love Finds You in Groom, Texas

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

What do you like most about light-hearted/comedic novels?

Thank you, Janice, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Janice has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, June 6. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Janice'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 Mona Hodgson, 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.

Stephen Bly and Free Books!

PhotobucketWe're not doing a giveaway of this book, but I wanted to mention Throw the Devil Off the Train, an exciting new novel by my friend, Stephen Bly.

About the book:

It's 1880.

Catherine's got to escape from her hometown in Virginia. She heads west to marry a childhood friend she hasn't seen in 17 years. She needs a fresh start and he's got a booming business in Paradise Springs. She'll do almost anything to get there. . .except reveal her true last name.

Race heads west set to avenge his brother's death, with a body aching for sleep, and determined to avoid the conniving lady with a throw-away heart. But it's a long, cramped, chaotic train ride from Omaha to Sacramento.

The only thing these two agree upon: they despise each other. And something evil's on board. As they gnaw on each other's nerves, a holdup, hijack, kidnapping and gold mine swindle shove them together, then push them apart. Fiery, opinionated and quick to react, can they team up long enough to throw the devil off the train?

About Stephen:

PhotobucketStephen Bly is a Christy Award winner for westerns and author of 105 books of fiction and nonfiction, some of them co-authored with wife, Janet. They live in north-central Idaho at 4,000 ft. elev. on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. They have 3 married sons, 4 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild.

Throw The Devil Off The Train is available through BlyBooks.com and via the following link:


Check out free stuff on Stephen and Janet's website: BlyBooks.com Be featured on their blog with 'Country Life Captions':  BlyBooks.blogspot.com

Follow Stephen and Janet on Twitter, and friend them on Facebook: Stephen Bly or Janet Chester Bly.

As a special treat, Stephen is sharing one of his cowboy recipes with us! I have a  venison chili recipe that's almost as tasty when made with beef, so don't let an absence of elk meat (or the wherewithal to follow all of Stephen's directions!) keep you from trying this one out. Let's hear it, Stephen.

PhotobucketSTEPHEN BLY’S SPICY ELK CHILI

Many of you have asked me. . .well, only one, maybe two . . . for my world famous recipe for chili. This is an expected and anticipated dish at every Wild Game Feed potluck at our northern Idaho church each November. It’s also a staple at our Broken Arrow Crossing events in the summer. Broken Arrow Crossing is the false-front town I’ve built beside our house. Wife Janet calls it our ‘theme yard.’

So, now the secret’s out. You can create your own chili sensation, Bly-style.

Ingredients:
  • 2-4 pounds of elk meat (for my pals in Quebec, that’s Wapiti meat)
  • 1 16-ounce jar of Pace salsa (“medium” for most gringos; I prefer “hot”)
  • 2 cans of Hormel Chili With Beans (life is too short to wait for beans to soak)
  • 1 green bell pepper (make sure it’s crisp…the red or yellow bells will work good too)
  • Several fresh jalapeno peppers (don’t wimp out; leave the seeds)
  • An unending supply of Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • Red Tabasco Sauce
Directions:

Apply for an out-of-state elk tag from the Idaho Fish and Game Department. Clean your Winchester 1895, 405 caliber rifle. Fly to Idaho and camp deep in the forest along the upper stretches of the north fork of the Clearwater River. Shoot your elk (whether you taxidermy the head or not is your decision). Pack meat in dry-ice and take it home with you on the plane. OR . . . accept that package of wild game meat your brother-in-law keeps trying to give you every Christmas.

The night before . . . put one cup of water, 2-4 pounds of elk (steak or roast) in the crock pot. Season with Montreal Steak Seasoning to taste. Turn that sucker on low, then go to bed.

Sometime the next day . . . drain most of the juices off the meat (yes, you can make elk gravy for breakfast, provided you don’t put it on biscuits that come out of a tube). Place meat in very large pan (the one on the bottom shelf at the back that takes forever to yank out). Dump in your two cans of Hormel Chili Beans (or more if you’re feeding the starting offensive line of the Green Bay Packers, or their equivalent). Important note: never use cheap canned beans that taste like they were soaked in fast food restaurant catsup.

Gut out your bell pepper and carve it into ½ inch squares, then sauté (that means fry ‘em in a skillet, but don’t burn ‘em black or let ‘em get mushy). Toss them in the big pan.

Cut the stems off the jalapenos, quarter them and toss them in. If your fingers blister while cutting the peppers, you have to invite me over for supper. Add a bunch more Montreal Steak Seasoning (bunch=6 tads) and red Tabasco.

Stir everything together and simmer the chili for an hour or so. (Simmer is what happens when you ought to throw another log in the stove, but you wait until half-time of the football game and the fire almost goes out.)

Now, it’s time for the taste test. After stirring the chili again (wooden spoons seem to be less susceptible to corrosion), take a small taste. You may want to add more Tabasco. (Note: if an obnoxious nephew is visiting, let him test the chili. It’s about right if he spends the rest of the day out in the yard with his head buried in leaves, sand, or snow.)

Serving size: this varies. Most times, the bowl is scraped clean with only 10 to 12 people. But, with luck, there will be some leftovers and you’ll get to have it cold for breakfast for several days.

Personally, I think Stephen needs to write a cowboy cookbook.

Be sure to check out my interview with Mona Hodgson, 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.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mona Hodgson and Free Books!

PhotobucketThe oldest of the four Sinclair sisters arrives in Cripple Creek and is successful in business but not in love, and the town’s disdain could make that impossible.

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Mary Connealy's new release, Deep Trouble, is:

ABreading4fun@ . . .

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 revisit with novelist Mona Hodgson, author of Too Rich for a Bride (WaterBrook Press/Random House, May 2011).

PhotobucketMona Hodgson is the author of Two Brides Too Many and Too Rich for a Bride, both published by WaterBrook Press. Mona's writing credits also include nearly thirty children’s books (Bedtime in the Southwest and Real Girls of the Bible: A Devotional), contributions to eleven books for adults, and hundreds of short stories, articles, and poems in fifty different newspapers and magazines.

One of Mona’s favorite things to do (besides writing or eating dark chocolate) is to speak at women’s retreats and conferences.

Mona lives in Arizona with her husband, Bob.

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

-- I’ve ridden a camel.

-- I’ve fed a giraffe mouth-to-mouth.

-- I’ve held a baby crocodile.

-- I’ve flown in a bi-plane.

-- I’ve driven a tow truck.

You're a regular Jack Hanna, aren't you, Mona?

Please put your writing cap back on and tell us a bit more about the plot of Too Rich for a Bride.

PhotobucketIda Sinclair has joined her sisters, Kat and Nell, in Cripple Creek, Colorado for one reason: to work for the infamous but undeniably successful businesswoman, Mollie O’Bryan. Ida’s sisters may be interested in making a match for their determined older sister, but Ida only wants to build her career.

Under Mollie's tutelage, Ida learns how to play the stock market and revels in her promising accomplishments. Fighting for respect in a man's world, her ambition leaves little room for distractions. She ignores her family's reservations about Mollie O'Bryan's business practices, but no matter how she tries, she can't ignore the two men pursuing her affections—Colin Wagner, the dashing lawyer, and Tucker Raines, the traveling preacher.

Ida wants a career more than anything else, so she shrugs off the suitors and pointed "suggestions" that young ladies don’t belong in business. Will it take unexpected love—or unexpected danger—for Ida to realize where her priorities truly lie?

Okay, I'm rooting for Tucker, since that's my son's name. How could he possibly fail to be everything Ida needs?

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

Ida is a young woman with plans, but when unpredictable choices arise, she has the courage to change her course. She’s flawed, but endearing.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

Too Rich for a Bride is a sister story full of adventure, humor, and heart. The eclectic cast of characters features a “real life” woman (Entrepreneur Mollie O’Bryan) from the time and place.

Oh, that's fun! I love it when authors do that.

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

PhotobucketIda – Carrie Underwood




PhotobucketTucker – Jake Gyllenhaal




PhotobucketMiss Hattie – Meryl Streep




PhotobucketBoney – Dustin Hoffman



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

The moon was high that Thursday night when I found Dr. Haufbauer standing outside my folks’ bedchamber, shaking his head and puffing his pipe. Ever since then, I’ve felt responsible for my father’s well-being and my sisters’ care.

You do a good job, Mona, of arousing curiosity about your series and how the sisters ended up needing Ida's care, even if that need is only from Ida's perspective.

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


Serendipity by Cathy Marie Hake, one of my favorite historical novelists. Cathy is a master at creating compelling characters and taking them (and the reader) on an undeniable journey.

What are you working on now?

I’ve just finished the edits for Beyond a Bride, and now I’m writing Book Four in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series.

Where else can readers find you online?

www.monahodgson.com
www.twitter.com/monahodgson
My Mona Hodgson Author Page

To read the first chapters of Two Brides Too Many and Too Rich for a Bride and to watch the videos, go to www.monahodgson.com. Click on Mona’s Novels, then on Sneak Peek.

You can sign up to receive my quarterly E-newsletter at www.monahodgson.com.

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



CBD.com
458920: Too Rich for a Bride, Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series #2

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

What have you dreamed of doing? Have you achieved your dream? Are you pursuing your dream? Has your dream changed?

Thank you, Mona, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Mona has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, June 2. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Mona'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 Julie Carobini, 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.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Julie Carobini and Free Books!

PhotobucketA single mother lands a dream job restoring priceless artwork for the famed Hearst Castle, but two major heartaches await her there.

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Jillian Kent's new release, Secrets of the Heart, is:

homesteading@ . . .

And the winner of the signed copy of Dan Walsh's new release, The Deepest Waters, is:

armybrat005@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you both 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 Julie Carobini, author of Fade to Blue, (B and H, May 2011).

PhotobucketAward-winning author Julie Carobini writes seaside novels filled with faith, flip-flops, and waves of grace. Her fifth novel, Fade to Blue, was released in May 2011 and received a 4-star review from Romantic Times Book Reviews. Julie is the recipient of two writing awards from the The National League of American Pen Women, and her books, Truffles by the Sea (2008) and Sweet Waters, were both ACFW Carol Award finalists. She is a member of ACFW, CAN, and RWA. Julie and her husband Dan have three children and live on California’s central coast.

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

-- I was a phantom shopper for Taco Bell.

-- I wear contacts.

-- I have terrible balance and couldn’t make the high school dive team …

-- So I swam on my high school swim team instead.

-- I’m a beach girl who used to live in a mountain cabin.

You sound perfectly suited to write your beachy books, Julie!

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Fade to Blue.


PhotobucketEver since the inception of the Otter Bay Novels with Sweet Waters, I’ve wanted to set a book with the famed Hearst Castle as its backdrop. So much intrigue and mystery about that real castle on the hill and its eccentric, yet astute owner. Of course, novels are more than their location. So after writing the 2nd of these stand-alone novels, A Shore Thing, even I longed to know what happened next for the big-hearted, single mom from that story. Would she overcome the stigma of being a divorcée with an ex in prison? How would she explain his father’s incarceration to her young son? Would Suz land her dream job restoring art for the Hearst Castle—and finally make a stable, uncomplicated life for her and her child? And what would happen if not one, but two painful past relationships followed her to Otter Bay?

Fade to Blue answers all those questions … and more.

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

Suz is a determined dreamer. Those who hang onto their dreams—no matter what—will relate, and I hope they’ll love her as much as I do!

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I hope readers get lost in the story and the beautiful setting, that they revel in God’s creation as much as I did while writing it. I also hope they experience the Good Shepherd’s gentle leading (Psalm 23), and fall in the love with the concepts of forgiveness, sacrifice, and grace—as much as they do the breathtaking locale

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

Hmm…how fun would that be? Okay, let’s see:

PhotobucketSuz would be played by Rachel Bilson.




PhotobucketSeth would be played by Hayden Christensen.




PhotobucketAnd Len would be played by Chad Michael Murray.



Such attractive young people!

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

The pages of my diary flapped free, like sweet memories, like the days I longed to recapture when life was at its simplest.

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

Kathryn Cushman’s, Another Dawn. I’d recommend this book because she had me conflicted as I found myself rooting—at different times—for each side of the same issue.

Oh, yes, that's fun reading!

What are you working on now?

I’m writing a story set in Santa Cruz, California that will be released in spring, 2012. Watch for an announcement soon!

Where else can readers find you online?

I love visitors. Please stop by my website and my “Waves of Grace” blog. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

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




CBD.com
448743: Fade to Blue, Otter Bay Series #3



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

I’m running out of movies to order on Netflix, but I’m sure I’ve missed some great ones! Suggestions?

Thank you, Julie, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Julie has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, May 30. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Julie'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 Mary Connealy, 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.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mary Connealy and Free Books!

PhotobucketA gold crazy woman and an over-protective rancher set out to find a city of gold in the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

Because of the Blogger glitch that deleted reader comments and made it impossible for readers to view and comment for a couple of days last week, I'm going to wait until Monday to draw the winner of Jillian Kent's novel, Secrets of the Heart. If you haven't yet commented for that drawing, be sure to check out Jillian's interview, below!

Now let's revisit novelist Mary Connealy, author of Deep Trouble (Barbour Publishing, May 2011).

PhotobucketMary Connealy writes fun and lively "romantic comedy with cowboys" for the inspirational market. She is the author of the successful Lassoed in Texas, Montana Marriages, and Sophie's Daughters series. Her novel Doctor in Petticoats is a finalist for a Rita Awards, her novel Calico Canyon was nominated for a Christy Award and her novel Cowboy Christmas won the Carol Award.

She lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her husband, Ivan, and has four grown daughters, two fine sons-in-law and two spectacular grandchildren.

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

-- I am third in a family of eight and my husband is sixth in a family of seven. Between us we have over 100 immediate family members. I’m not talking aunts and uncles and cousins, only brothers, sisters, their spouses and children. And growing.

-- I have two grandchildren and they are the two most beautiful grandchildren on the planet. What are the chances, huh?

-- I am a GED Instructor on an Indian Reservation, that’s my day job and I’ve been doing it for nearly seven years. I can multiply fractions like nobody’s business.

-- I have conversations constantly inside my own head and always have. Sometimes those conversations are so lively and real I catch my lips moving.

-- I was the color commentary person for women’s basketball on the college radio station many long years ago.

Sounds like the talent for multiplication runs in your family, Mary.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Deep Trouble.

PhotobucketDeep Trouble is a sequel to my Carol Award winning novel Cowboy Christmas.

Photobucket
Gabe would have willingly fallen in love with the heroine of Cowboy Christmas—after he stopped wanting to see her arrested and hung. Now Gabe has taken to wandering because of his uncomfortable attraction for a married woman.

Shannon Dysart is on a quest to repair her professor father’s tattered reputation. She’s determined to find the city of gold her father died searching for.

Gabe finds Shannon stranded by evil companions, who have left her to die and gone after the gold themselves. With the dream of gold coloring every decision Shannon makes, and Gabe determined not to fail yet another helpless female in his life, they set out on together only to find themselves running for their lives.

Speaking of color, I have to say the color on these two covers is really gorgeous. Great job by Barbour. 

What is it about your lead characters that will make your readers care about them?

The meeting between Shannon and Gabe is one of my favorite scenes ever. Shannon needs to be rescued. Gabe is definitely going to do it. But how? She’s stuck in the highest cave in a cliff dwelling with no way up or down. I’m hoping that by the time Gabe figures out how get Shannon down you will be completely in love with both of them.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I think they’ll find the setting intriguing. It begins in a Mesa Verde-like cliff dwelling and ends in the belly of the Grand Canyon. The myth of lost treasure, bad guys on their trail and the growing feeling…against all common sense…between the roving rancher and the wealthy professor’s daughter is a mismatch that can only be overcome by true love.

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

PhotobucketGabe is a young Sam Elliot (let’s face it, the best cowboy since John Wayne).

No argument there! 


PhotobucketShannon is Sigrid Thornton, the heroine in The Man from Snowy River.


Give us a sample from the story that shows us something about your main characters.

"How long was I unconscious?"

Gabe didn't have a watch but it had taken him a while to crawl down, fiddle with that ladder, give up, get his rope and climb back. The sun had lowered past the rock wall they were standing on. The caves were facing east and the whole canyon was filling with shadows. "Not long."

"Obviously not, if this is the only plan you had time to come up with."

"Shannon, c'mon." Gabe froze. That tone of voice. He hadn't heard it for a long time. It was his 'little brother' voice. Many of his big brothers would call it whining. He paused for a second to apologize silently to his brother Abe, whose home Gabe was heading too right now. He was gonna be late. Not that he minded. Whenever he was near any of his six big brothers he immediately began feeling about ten years old. He caught himself acting like a kid, too.

Deepening the tone, he said, "I haven't been able to think of another way to get you down. It's this or nothing."

"What's wrong with your voice?"

Gabe glared at her. "Don't change the subject. Come up with a better plan or do it my way.”


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

I just finished Ruth Logan Herne’s Reunited Hearts. It’s the first book in a series called Men of Alleghany County. It’s a wonderful book full of intriguing developments that kept me reading far into the night. And it’s the first book in a new series set in that beautiful wild country. She populated a sweet little town with great characters. I can’t wait for the next book.

What are you working on now?

PhotobucketI am doing my final edits for the second book in my new series, Kincaid Brides. Book #1 comes out in August. Out of Control. Book #2 is coming in January, In Too Deep.

Where else can readers find you online?

Seekerville
Petticoats & Pistols
My Blog
My Website

Deep Trouble can be purchased online via the following buttons:




CBD.com
601499: Deep Trouble, Wild West Weddings Series #2

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

I’d like to know if any of them have ever been to the Grand Canyon. I found it absolutely fascinating to research. Have they ever read a book set down there? Does a setting that is so well known intrigue them or is it a distraction from the love story?

Thank you, Mary, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Mary has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, May 26. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Mary'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 interviews with Jillian Kent and Dan Walsh, below, and leave a comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for signed copies of their books.

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, May 16, 2011

Dan Walsh and Free Books!

PhotobucketWhat would you do if you’d finally found the love of your life, then were suddenly separated on your honeymoon by a shipwreck, and were now forced to face life alone in a strange city, living with people you’ve never met (and you’re pretty sure they can’t stand you)?

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Elizabeth Ludwig's new release, Died in the Wool, is:

hediru@ . . .

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 Dan Walsh, author of The Deepest Waters (Revell, April 2011).

PhotobucketDan Walsh is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). His first novel, The Unfinished Gift won 2 Carol Awards (Book-of-the-Year) from ACFW for best debut author and best short historical fiction. The sequel, The Homecoming, released last year in June. His third novel, The Deepest Waters, has just released and his fourth, Remembering Christmas, comes out this September. For those who haven’t read Dan’s novels, reviewers often compare his books to Nicholas Sparks, Richard Paul Evans and Jason Wright.

He writes fulltime in the Daytona Beach area, where he lives with the love of his life, Cindi, his wife of 34 years. They have two grown children and one grandson. As they await more grandchildren, they enjoy the company of two mini-aussies, Bailey and Darcy.

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

I am something of a contradiction with seemingly opposite interests.

-- I can be totally satisfied with a pizza, but I also love fine gourmet dining.

-- I love hanging around people, but equally love long periods of quiet and solitude.

-- I used to be a long-haired surfing bum with absolutely no aspirations (I actually wore a surfer shirt and baggies underneath my high school graduation robe).

-- I love babies and small dogs.

-- If there was an American Idol for the middle-aged, I wouldn’t win, but I’d make it into the early rounds (as long as I could sing the old standard love songs).

We must be from the same generation, Dan. I wore shorts and a T-shirt under my high school graduation robe!

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The Deepest Waters.

PhotobucketIn 1857, John and Laura Foster are sailing from San Francisco to New York on their honeymoon aboard the steamship, SS Vandervere. After a hurricane strikes, the grand ship begins to sink. The women and children are rescued when an old sailing ship passes by, but there’s no room to take on the men, who are left to flounder on the open sea.

On the lonely voyage to New York, Laura mourns her beloved husband. She takes inspiration from Micah, an elderly slave who works on the boat. As Laura battles despair, John battles the elements, both believing they'll never see each other again.

The Deepest Waters tells an epic story of hope, faith and love through an intimate lens. It’s inspired by real events.

I haven't started reading my copy yet, but I love this premise.

What is it about your lead characters that will make your readers care about them?

First, I suppose I need to decide who the lead character is. It started off being Laura Foster, but Micah, an old Negro slave who befriends her, certainly grew through the story to become a major force in the book.

I think readers will care about Laura because of her courage in the face of heartbreaking challenges, and the honest way she confronts her fears. And I think they’ll care about Micah, who has this abounding joy and Christ-like demeanor, despite the fact his life is filled with suffering and loss. He seems to know God intimately, though he’s never been able to read a Bible. The few verses he’s memorized are powerfully owned and practiced in his life, causing a profound effect on everyone around him, especially Laura.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I can’t improve on what Athol Dickson said: “It has everything: action, romance, 
tearful partings, desperate situations, beautiful and terrifying natural 
settings, history, characters I hated and characters I loved, and plenty of 
unexpected twists, all wrapped up in eloquent and straightforward 
prose.”

Quite an endorsement, especially coming from such a fine writer.

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

PhotobucketFor Laura Foster, Emily Blunt would work (but you’d have to think of her in an 1850’s dress, soaking wet and worried sick).

Okay, here she is, pre-soaking.


PhotobucketFor John Foster (Laura’s husband)…I’d like Jim Caviezel. I think he’d be great, just the way he is.

You and me, both, Dan!



PhotobucketFor Micah, I’d pick Andre Braugher. He’d be perfect. Great actor, deep voice, even the right age (if you see a recent picture).


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

Although born to a family of moderate means, Laura loved to travel through her books, and longed to one day experience a measure of the life, love and adventures that had so captivated her imagination.

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

Book of Days by James Rubart. I’d recommend it because every time I had to put it down, I found myself making time to get back to it. I had been asked to read and endorse it, but I worried, “What if I don’t like it?” I knew the concept Jim was aiming for and didn’t see how he’d pull it off. Well, he did. And I loved reading it. Jim’s just a great writer.

What are you working on now?

I’m doing the final edits on my 5th novel, called The Discovery, which releases next spring. Also, starting to research my 6th novel with Revell, which I’ll be writing through the summer.

Where else can readers find you online?

Website: www.danwalshbooks.com

My blog: danwalshbooks.blogspot.com

Twitter: twitter.com/danwalshauthor

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The book can be purchased online through the following buttons:




CBD.com
719807: The Deepest Waters

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

What would it take to get you to take a chance on an author you’ve never read before? What kinds of things influence you the most? Things you’ve read online, the book cover, the first few pages, what friends have said?

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

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rachel Hauck's Dining with Joy

PhotobucketWe're not doing a giveaway of this book, but I wanted to mention a fun new novel by my friend, Rachel Hauck, Dining with Joy

Welcome, Rachel.


Thanks for having me today!

I’m no genius in the kitchen, but my heroine, Joy Ballard, finds herself doing a job she can’t do for all the right reasons. She’s a cooking show host who can’t cook!

PhotobucketWhen I started this book, that premise got a good laugh from those who heard it. Then, I’d ask, “But what’s that story about?”

The person would shrug. “I don’t know.”

“Yeah, me neither.”

 I had to ask a lot of questions about what a woman hosts a cooking show when she can’t so much as fry eggs. I didn’t want an insincere, lying heroine. She’s not a manipulator or conniver.

Joy simply found herself filling a job she was asked to do – by her father. She was great in front of the camera. Just not behind the stove.

Not long ago, I stood on stage at church with my worship team praying before the service started. Head back, eyes close, I said in my heart, “Lord, help us. You have to help me. I’m so weak in leading worship. I cannot do it without You.”

While I’m a decent singer, and I can lead the people to worship Jesus, I’m not a musician. I’m not one who can skillfully bring the band and the worship sound together. And until I found myself with a “starting over” band, I never realized how gaping this weakness was for me.

A few days later, I was thinking of all the great worship leaders, singers and musicians. Of great writers. And I just felt weak and inadequate in the two main callings of my life.

Again, I went to the Lord. “Why can’t You find a good worship leader for church? Why can’t you help me be a more successful writer? I see people who are good at what they do, succeeding.”

This is what He said to me. “… most people won’t give me their weaknesses.”

I was stopped cold. I understood that a lot of times God invites us on a journey to participate with Him in some aspect of our lives or others, but because we are not good at that thing, or because we are weak with fear or shame or whatever, we say no.

It’s in our weaknesses His strength is manifest. God is not looking for mighty men and women, He’s looking for weak men and women in which HE can show His might.

Don’t misunderstand, God loves excellence, skill and devotion. While leading worship practices, I have to be excellent as I can be to bring the team and songs together.

I’ll never have a recording or national ministry as a worship leader, but for our little church in Florida, I’m God’s girl. For now.

That, in some ways, is Joy’s journey. She said yes to her father’s desire. Can we say “Yes?” to our Father’s desire for us? Offer Him all of our strengths AND weaknesses? He’s more than willing to overcome.

In my story, Joy’s secret is revealed and takes a pretty good tumble, but love is waiting to catch her. In the form of cowboy chef and hero, Luke Redmond.

Sigh… Love wins.

One of the things Joy discovers along the way is her father’s banana bread recipe. It’s delish!

Here it is:

Charles Ballard’s Banana Bread
From Connie Spangler

Photobucket1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1t. baking soda
1/2t. salt
1/2t. cinnamon
2 eggs
3 mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup oil (I use canola)
1/4 cup plus 1 T. buttermilk
1t. vanilla
1/2 cup choc. chips
1/2 cup p.butter chips

In a large bowl stir together flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, combine eggs, bananas, oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Fold in chips. Pour into a greased 9-in. x 3-in. loaf pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until it tests done. Cool on a rack 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Tips for baking banana bread:

DON'T over mix the batter, just until moistened. Banana bread is always best if after its cooled to wrap up and serve the next day.

ENJOY!

Oh, yum. I want it.

RACHEL’S BIO


Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and writes books from the second floor of what she calls her “turret tower.” A gift from the Lord. Besides Dining with Joy, Rachel has written fourteen other novels. Also out is Softly and Tenderly, which Rachel wrote with country artist, Sara Evans.

Visit her web site at www.rachelhauck.com Blessings!
 

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