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, August 29, 2011

Ann Gabhart and Free Books!

PhotobucketEstranged from her family, Lacey finds herself in a marriage of convenience to a preacher twice her age, but she never expected him to take her to a Shaker village where marriage is forbidden and individual family units dissolved.

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Michelle Sutton's novel, Letting Go, is:

godlovinmomandwife@ . . .

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

Now let's meet novelist Ann Gabhart, author of The Blessed (Revell Books, July 2011).

PhotobucketAnn H. Gabhart has published over twenty novels for adults and children including her bestselling Shaker novels. Ann lives just thirty miles from a restored Shaker village in Kentucky and so has walked some of the same paths her characters might have walked in generations past. That personal knowledge of the physical layout of a Shaker village and her thorough research provide a colorful backdrop for her Shaker novels.

Ann enjoys bringing history to life in her stories whether that’s national history, Shaker history, or her family’s history as she did in her book, Angel Sister, her Depression era novel with a setting based on her mother’s childhood.

Ann lives on a farm in Central Kentucky with her husband, Darrell who sings bass in a Southern Gospel quartet. They have three children and nine grandchildren.

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

--Let’s see. I got the dog hunger when I was about ten and have had at least one dog in my life ever since. They go with me on my walks in the woods and fields here on our farm where my husband still raises beef cattle.

--The only time I ever had to go to the doctor for stitches was after a cow slung her head and knocked me about five feet. I had a boxer’s cut on my eyebrow and a major black eye.

--I go to a little church where if we have fifty people for morning services we think we have a crowd, and sometimes I lead the singing even though I can barely carry a tune. At little churches like mine whoever is brave enough to stand in front of the congregation gets the job. That leads me to the last thing most people can’t believe when I tell them now.

--When I was young I was so shy I melted into a puddle of nerves if I had to get up in front of people. I even had to work up my courage to call someone other than friends and family on the phone. I got over it and now I enjoy speaking in front of people.

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

PhotobucketLacey Bishop’s life is a tangled mess. After her mother’s death, her father marries a woman who has no patience with Lacey. So at age thirteen, she’s sent to work for a preacher and his wife, Miss Mona. When Miss Mona dies, the preacher convinces Lacey, now twenty, the only decent thing to do is marry him. That way, she can continue to act as mother to the little girl left on his doorstep as a baby four years earlier.

Reluctantly, Lacey agrees, but she never once imagined Preacher Palmer would give up his church to join the nearby Shaker community where all live as brothers and sisters and believe marriage to be a sin. To make matters worse, Lacey is drawn to Isaac Kingston, a man who came to the Shakers after his young bride died. Any thought of love between them seems no more than a foolish dream. Will Lacey ever find true happiness?

I really find this premise intriguing, Ann. The conflicts you've set up are wonderful.

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

Lacey’s had some hard knocks in life, but she keeps getting back up and facing each new challenge with an invincible spirit. When Lacey was a little girl, her mother taught her to do a dance every year to welcome spring at the first sighting of a dandelion bloom. Even with all the trials that come her way after her mother dies, Lacey keeps doing her spring dandelion dance. She wants to keep joy in her heart and she wants to be loved. At the same time she’s a sensible person who knows there’s always some balancing to do in life. She’s blessed with a good helping of common sense. That’s why she finds the Shakers so odd when she goes into the community during the strangest period of Shaker history, what the Shakers called their Era of Manifestations.

Most novels feature a villain, whether in the form of a person or as an entity or psychological fear. Who or what would you say is your novel’s villain?

In some ways Preacher Palmer could be considered the villain even though he is a man of God. He’s sure he knows what’s best for Lacey and for himself and his flock, but past sins catch up with him and ensnare him in his own tangled web of missteps he’s taken in his life. In other ways the Shaker beliefs could be considered the obstacle to Lacey’s happiness when they separate her from the child she loves.

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

PhotobucketI don’t watch very many movies or much TV because I prefer to read. So when I’m asked this question I have to Google photos of actresses and actors to pick look-alikes. The trouble is that people can look so different from one photo to the next. But for my lead roles in The Blessed, I picked Rose Byrne for Lacey.



PhotobucketAnd Paul Wesley for Isaac.




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

Bad Ground by Dale Cramer. Dale has a wonderful command of the tools of a writer’s trade. He plops readers down into his unusual setting in Bad Ground and makes us care what happens to his characters. I found the information about hardrock mining fascinating. It’s a background Dale can write about with much expertise because he lived the life of a hardrock miner before he started writing.

What are you working on now?

I just finished my fifth Shaker novel, The Gifted, scheduled for release next summer. My main character, Jessamine, is very different from Lacey in The Blessed. The Shaker sister in charge of teaching her the Shaker way keeps wondering whatever will she do with Sister Jessamine. Before that I have a historical novel, Words Spoken True, releasing in February 2012. This novel, set in 1855 Louisville, KY, has, by far, the most romance of any of my inspirational titles, but there’s some interesting and surprisingly timely history too.

Where else can readers find you online?

I enjoy meeting readers in person or via the net. My website is www.annhgabhart.com. I send out an occasional newsletter readers can sign up for there. I post about my writing and life down here on the farm a couple of times a week on One Writer’s Journal, www.annhgabhart.blogspot.com. I have a Facebook author’s page, Ann H Gabhart, and do some tweeting on Twitter with a user name annhgabhart.


The book is available at fine bookstores and for online purchase through the following buttons:





CBD.com

734541: The Blessed, Shaker Series #4


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

Since I’m a dog lover, I sometimes put a dog or other animal in my stories. So here’s my question for you. What fictional pets or animal characters stick in your memory from books you’ve read? I’ll tell you mine in the comments after I hear yours.

Thank you, Ann, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Ann has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, September 5. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Ann'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. Leave an appropriate 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.

Margaret Daley's From This Day Forward

Photobucket“A wonderful love story in the American Tapestries series with characters who are trying to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives after the War of 1812. Daley turns the ugliness of war into a new beginning for the ones who pick up the pieces. Her characters are willing to do what they need to in order to survive, but also are willing to give a friendly hand to those around them.”   (Patsy Glans, Romantic Times)

This isn't an interview and doesn't feature a giveaway, but I wanted to draw your attention to this new release, From This Day Forward, by my novelist friend, Margaret Daley.

PhotobucketAbout Margaret: Margaret Daley is an award winning, multi-published author in the romance genre. One of her romantic suspense books, Hearts on the Line, won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Book of the Year Contest. Recently she has won the Holt Medallion, Golden Quill Contest, FHL's Inspirational Readers' Choice Contest, Winter Rose Contest, and the Barclay Gold Contest. She wrote for various secular publishers before the Lord led her to the Christian romance market. She currently writes inspirational romance and romantic suspense books for the Steeple Hill Love Inspired lines. She has sold sixty-six books to date.

Margaret is currently the Volunteer Officer for ACFW. She was one of the founding members of the first ACFW local chapter, WIN in Oklahoma. She served as vice-president for two years in WIN-ACFW and is still on its board as an advisor. She has taught numerous classes for online groups, ACFW and RWA chapters. She enjoys mentoring other authors.

About the novel:

Rachel Gordon is stranded in South Carolina, pregnant, a recent widow when her husband fell overboard on the voyage to America. Nathan Stuart, a physician who came home from serving in the American army during the War of 1812, disenchanted with his life and the Lord, rescues Rachel and saves her life. Feeling responsible for her, Nathan tries to discourage her from living at a rundown farm her husband bought to start a new future in America. He wants her to return to England.

Rachel refuses to go back to England where her father disowned her for marrying against his wishes. The farm is all she has, and she is determined to make it on her own. But Nathan has other ideas and becomes her farmhand to discourage her from staying in America. Instead he ends up protecting her and being challenged by her. Can two wounded people heal each other?

Chapter One Excerpt:

March 1816

“We are going to die,” Rachel Gordon’s young maid cried out.

Rachel looked up at the clouds rolling in. Dark, ominous ones. She shivered and pulled her shawl tighter about her as the breeze picked up. A storm brewed, and she still had several miles to go until she reached her new home in South Carolina. “God willing, we will make it, Maddy.”

Fear deepened the lines on Maddy’s plain face. “’Tis like the squall on the boat.”

Lightning flashed, momentarily brightening the shadows of the forest. A clap of thunder rumbled the ground. Maddy screamed. The old gelding that pulled the cart—all Rachel’s meager coins could afford—increased its speed, weaving from side to side. Out of control.

Determined to be there before nightfall and in one piece, Rachel gripped the reins and fought to slow the maddening pace of the horse. Finally it resumed its plodding step. The weather-beaten cart she had bought near the dock in Charleston hit a bump in the road, jostling her into Maddy. Her maid clutched the seat with one hand and held onto Rachel with the other.

Steadying herself, Rachel rested her wrists on her rounded stomach. She had more than herself and Maddy to worry about now. Her life had changed so much since she left her ancestral home in England. She had married, conceived a child, and was now a widow, all in the space of a year. And worse, she was going to a place she had never seen because she had nowhere else to go. Her husband had used most of their money to purchase this plantation she was traveling to. It was her future, whether she wanted it to be or not.

The warmth of a spring day quickly faded as the sky grew blacker. Rachel stared at the menacing clouds through the treetops and realized she would not make it to her new home before the storm broke. She scanned the area for a place to seek shelter.

Sinister shadows lurked just beyond the road. Again she shivered, her imagination conjuring images of wild animals staring at her from the depths of the forest. She’d heard stories about the bears. Huge. Fierce. Sharp teeth and claws. Shifting on the seat, she darted a glance from side to side, feeling as though she were some beast’s next meal. She could not stop, even if it poured down rain.

Oh, how she missed England, with its gently rolling hills and refined beauty—not this raw wilderness. Like a fish floundering on land, she did not belong here. Nothing in her life had prepared her for this strange environment.

Drops of water spattered her. The wind picked up.

“That man on the boat told me about a big cat. They are out there.” Maddy whimpered, draping her shawl over her head and hunching her shoulders. “Lord, have mercy on us.”

Rachel forced herself to keep her gaze fixed on the road ahead. Once they were at the plantation Maddy would settle down. The squall two days out of Charleston had nearly sunk the ship they had traveled in. Surely this storm would not be as bad.

Taking deep breaths, Rachel calmed her racing thoughts and heartbeat. Pain spread through her lower back. She gripped the reins, the leather digging into her palms. The pain dulled to an ache. Another deep inhalation and the panic nibbling at her composure abated. Soon she would be at her new home and could sit in front of a warm fire, put her legs up, and rest. Hopefully the letter her husband had sent ahead would alert any staff to her arrival. Her glance strayed to the tall pine trees, swaying in the gust. Everything would be all right when she arrived at Dalton Plantation.

But even with Maddy next to her on the seat, the feeling she was the only person in the world overwhelmed her.

The wind picked up, whipping strands of her long brown hair that had escaped its coiffure about her face and threatening to whisk away her bonnet. Lightning zigzagged across the sky, followed by thunder. Maddy jumped in her seat. The gelding’s ears flattened.

A chill embedded itself deep in Rachel. She arched her back to ease the pang still plaguing her. Suddenly lightning struck a tree nearby, its flash a beacon in the growing darkness. A crack as the pine split into two pieces echoed through the forest. Immediately afterward, a boom of thunder cleaved the air. Maddy shrieked. The horse increased its pace while a few more splotches of water splashed Rachel. Then all at once rain fell in gray sheets.

The gelding lurched forward even faster. Rachel grasped the reins, trying to maintain control. She pulled on the leather straps to slow the horse. Nothing. He kept galloping down the road, oblivious to his surroundings, as though the hounds of hell were nipping at his hooves.


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






CBD.com

363093: From This Day Forward

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mary Connealy and Free Books!

PhotobucketA Colorado rancher must face the greatest failure of his life to be with a woman who loves a dangerous cavern—more than she loves him.

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Bonnie Leon's novel, Wings of Promise, is:

mnjesusfreak@ . . .

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

Now let's revisit with novelist Mary Connealy, author of Out of Control (Bethany House, August 2011).

PhotobucketMary Connealy, author of "romantic comedy with cowboys," is a Christy Award Finalist, a Carol Award Winner, a Rita Award finalist and an IRCC Award finalist. She is a GED Instructor by day and an author by night and so she can remember what she's doing, she likes to wear a little crown and a Wonder Woman cape while she types.

Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her husband, Ivan, and has four grown daughters.

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

--I’m third in a family of eight children. We grew up in a tiny, ramshackle, two bedroom farm house with no money but a wonderful Christian family that believed in education.

--Out of that group there are eight bachelor’s degrees, five master’s degrees, two pastors, a surgeon and one published author, me.

--My husband and I, just counting immediate family, have over one hundred brothers, sisters, sister & brother’s in-law, nieces, nephew and their spouses and children. Try having a small wedding with this crowd!

--I have eaten a peanut butter sandwich for lunch nearly everyday for six years and I just hit a wall. I almost barfed the last time I ate one…about two weeks ago. Now I have no idea what to take to lunch.

--I have just enough computer skills to be truly dangerous to myself and others. I have a tendency to give advice about things I have no idea how to do myself—and I’d like to apologize right now to all the people I’ve lead astray.

Considering that the average number of workdays in a year is 260, that means you ate around 1,560 peanut butter sandwiches before hitting that wall. I'm surprised you didn't stick to it.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Out of Control.

PhotobucketJulia Gilliland has always been interested in the natural world around her. She particularly enjoys her outings to the cavern near her father’s homestead, where she explores for fossils and formations and plans to write a book about her discoveries. The cave seems plenty safe—until the day a mysterious intruder steals the rope she uses to climb her way out.

Rafe Kincaid has spent years keeping his family’s cattle ranch going, all without help from his two younger brothers, who fled the ranch—and Rafe’s controlling ways—as soon as they were able. He’s haunted by one terrible day at the cave on a far-flung corner of the Kincaid property, a day that changed his life forever. Ready to put the past behind him, he plans to visit the cave one final time. He sure doesn’t expect to find a young woman trapped in one of the tunnels—or to be forced to kiss her!

Rafe is more intrigued by Julia than any woman he’s ever known. But how can he overlook her fascination with the cave he despises? And when his developing relationship with Julia threatens his chance at reconciliation with his brothers, will he have to choose between the family bonds that could restore his trust, or the love that could heal his heart?

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

Rafe is so take charge that he’s alienated almost everyone he knows. And he’s lonely and trying to change. But still, people don’t always do things right and he can’t stand quietly while they mess up. Watching him struggle to give control of his life to God … especially with Julia nagging him to do that and hurry up so she can run things, is pretty funny.

Control freaks might not be all that much fun in real life, but they do make fun characters.

Most novels feature a villain, whether in the form of a person or as an entity or psychological fear. Who or what would you say is your novel’s villain?

My villain is in many ways the cavern that’s at the heart of the story. It is both beautiful and deadly. I tried to capture the lure and the terror I felt after a long ago visit to Carlsbad Cavern.

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

I just finished reading Pam Hillman’s Stealing Jake and I loved it. It’s only available as an ebook from Tyndale. I bought a Kindle just so I could read Pam’s book.

Wow, that's quite a compliment! What are you working on now?

I’m just finished with book #2 in the Kincaid Brides series and on to book #3. In Too Deep, book # two is Ethan’s story, the second brother. It’s coming in February. I love these three titles, Out of Control, In Too Deep and Over the Edge.

Yes, those are fun titles! Where else can readers find you online?

My Website
My Blog
Seekerville
Petticoats & Pistols

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





CBD.com
209113: Out of Control, Kincaid Brides Series #1


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

I was inspired to write Out of Control after a long ago visit to Carlsbad Cavern. That place captured my imagination like no where I’ve ever been. Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever been emotionally or mentally transported by a beautiful place or a frightening place? That was the fascination to me of Carlsbad Cavern. The beautiful of it is so tempting. And I could imagine being in there, with only lantern light. The cliffs, the floors that looked like they’d broke like glass. The darkness and the staggering beauty that would lure you on to see more. Tell me about a beautiful place or event.

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, September 1. 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 interview with Michelle Sutton, below. Leave an appropriate 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, August 22, 2011

Michelle Sutton and Free Books!

PhotobucketSometimes for dreams to come true, you have to let go . . .

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Veronica Heley's novel, Murder My Neighbour, is:

mittens0831@ . . .

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

Now let's revisit with novelist Michelle Sutton, author of Letting Go (Sheaf House, August 2011).

PhotobucketMichelle is a social worker who has been writing romantic fiction for over seven years and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, as well as an avid book reviewer and blogger on a variety of sites. She founded Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers social networking site which has over 1000 members.

Southeastern Arizona is where Michelle calls home. She loves being surrounded by mountains and clean air, which inspires many of her novels. She and her husband are approaching twenty-one years of marriage and their two sons will begin their second year of college in August.

She is the author of a dozen novels releasing through Dec 2011 and and additional six new titles and two re-releases are scheduled to happen between 2012 and 2014.

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

--I have written several books that will never be published.

--I met my first publisher at a conference when we were roommates.

--I've been married for over twenty years.

--I have a step-daughter that is 18 months younger than I am.

--I'm allergic to cats, but I have one… (God bless my precious feline family member.)

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Letting Go.

PhotobucketOutwardly Diane Simmons appears to have everything a woman could want. A successful attorney, she’s beautiful and talented, and yet she always seems to be attracted to the wrong men. Longing to be loved for who she is, not for what she looks like, she finally realizes the world’s view of love is totally unrealistic and distorted and gives up on romance. She wants to find a better way but has no clue where to look.

Dave Passel can never father a biological child. He loves his foster son deeply, but something goes terribly wrong before the adoption can be finalized. When the State tries to reunite the child with the birth mother he has never known and the new caseworker accuses Dave of sabotaging visits with her, he hires Diane to fight for him in court. He believes in God’s sovereignty, but bad experiences with his late wife make it hard for him to trust Diane as she advocates for his son. If only he didn’t struggle so much with letting go.

I wanted to write a story that resembled the social work scenarios that I've experienced for years, and wanted to show the healing process occurring between two broken-hearted people. Hence the characters in my book were born. Dave had a bad experience with his previous wife that followed the situation of several foster-adoptive single dads that I'd worked with whose wives were suddenly pregnant, yet he - the husband - was sterile. I thought that would make for an interesting backstory for the hero. I also have known a number of women who have longed to be mothers, but for one reason or another that wasn't meant to be (in a biological sense.) So an interesting situation develops where both of my characters think the other won't want them because they can't produce children. They see themselves and defective even though they are beautiful and successful people with the means to parent a child and a heart full of love for children.

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

I think Diane's experience exemplifies many women in the world today. She has been used by men who didn't want to commit to her. She believed that if she learned everything about romance and pleasing men (through women's magazines, romance novels, etc.) that she would snag a good man and keep him for life. This theory fails to be proven in her life over an over again. She feels cheated because of the lie that she believed for many years… if you are sexy enough, someone will love you and want to marry you. Her anger turns inward when she decides she's been deceived for the last time and she becomes very depressed.

Most novels feature a villain, whether in the form of a person or as an entity or psychological fear. Who or what would you say is your novel’s villain?

In this case I thought it would be fun to make the attorney appointed by the court to represent what is in the child's best interest to be an ex-girlfriend of Dave's from high school. He is conflicted because he wants to adopt his son more than anything in the world, so he worries about upsetting his ex for fear that she will recommend against him adopting. It really stokes the hero's anxiety in the story when the two attorneys (Diane and his ex) try to one-up each other in court to impress Dave.

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

PhotobucketDave Passel – actor Dylan Bruno



PhotobucketDiane Simmons – actress Scarlett Johansson (looks sexy without even trying)



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

I've read a ton of books lately, but I really enjoyed Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond. It's a debut novel and historical fiction. The publisher was Thomas Nelson.

What are you working on now?

I have a deadline for a book that I wrote seven years ago. Finally sold.

Where else can readers find you online?

www.michellesutton.net
edgyinspirationalauthor.blogspot.com

The book can be purchased in fine bookstores and online via the following buttons:




CBD.com
438013: #Letting Go, Healing Hearts Series #1


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

What topics do you think cliché in the Christian fiction market today?

Thank you, Michelle, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Michelle has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, August 29. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Michelle'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 Bonnie Leon, below. Leave an appropriate 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, August 18, 2011

Bonnie Leon and Free Books!

PhotobucketBush pilot Kate Evan’s spunk has always gotten her through tough times, but does she have what it takes to go the distance?

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the copy of MaryLu Tyndall's novel, Surrender the Dawn, is:

sunny_girl_anna@ . . .

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

Now let's visit with novelist Bonnie Leon, author of Wings of Promise (Revell, August 2011).

PhotobucketBonnie Leon is the author of eighteen novels, including the popular Touching the Clouds, Wings of Promise, the Sydney Cove series and the bestselling Journey of Eleven Moons. She also stays busy speaking for women’s groups and teaching at writing seminars and conventions.

Bonnie and her husband, Greg, live in Southern Oregon. They have three grown children and five grandchildren.

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

--I hate asparagus.

--I close my eyes during violent scenes in movies.

--I love to pick blackberries.

--I cry easily when emotionally moved.

--I love deep winter snowfalls.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Wings of Promise.

PhotobucketKate Evans is a lone woman in a man’s world. Spunk, determination and guilt drive her to fulfill her dream to be a bush pilot. She’s made a place for herself in the Alaskan territory, but living her dream isn’t easy. A question goads her—does she have what it takes to go the distance? Every flight tests her ability as a pilot. Every run might be the last.

Her personal life is complicated. She wrestles to make peace with her past and in the present she is torn between her affection for fellow pilot Mike Conlin and doctor Paul Anderson.

When a terrible tragedy occurs, Kate’s mind may be made up for her.

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

Kate and Paul are real people, like you and me. They have flaws and strengths. The challenges they face are the kind we all struggle with. Readers can relate to these two people and will find themselves rooting for them.

Most novels feature a villain, whether in the form of a person or as an entity or psychological fear. Who or what would you say is your novel’s villain?

My characters face challenges from all three of the villains you’ve mentioned, but the one with the greatest power to destroy them is the psychological fears they carry. It will take more than their own strength to prevail.

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

PhotobucketI’d love to see Hillary Swank in the role of Kate.



PhotobucketA young Gregory Peck would be just right for Paul Anderson.


Oh, just look how gorgeous he was.

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

Only one? That’s a tough question to answer. However, if I must choose I’d have to say Rooms by James Rubart. It surprised me. It’s not a genre I usually read and I was prepared not to like it. But I loved it. The book kept me guessing and trying to figure out who the villain was. And it was full of spiritual gems.

What are you working on now?

I have several ideas percolating in my mind, but what’s up front at the moment is a series proposal I’m preparing for Revell. I think it’s one they’ll like. It takes place in the 1920’s at a posh resort on the Southern California coast. The working titles are A Square Peg, Susie Sunshine, and A Rose by Any Other Name. It is a three book series with a different heroine for each book. I love the way the stories are falling together, interconnected but each its own tale. As I get to know the characters I’m becoming more and more excited to actually begin the process of writing the books.

Where else can readers find you online?

www.bonnieleon.com
Facebook

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





CBD.com
733605: Wings of Promise, Alaskan Skies Series #2

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

I’d like to ask you for your help—for me and other writers. If you like a book, tell others about it. Writers work hard and sometimes getting the word out about a new book is difficult. Word of mouth is the best method of spreading the news.

If you read my books and like them, I’d so appreciate a helping hand. Thank you.

Readers, since Bonnie didn't put this in the form of a question, I will. How do you tend to spread the word when you've read a book you love? 

Thank you, Bonnie, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Bonnie has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, August 25. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to my 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 Veronica Heley, below. Leave an appropriate 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, August 15, 2011

Veronica Heley and Free Books!

PhotobucketIt came naturally to Ellie Quicke to look after her family and friends, but there were no easy answers to the problems of those around her, and one of these was about to get way out of hand.

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the copy of Winnie Griggs's novel, Second Chance Family, is:

judyjohn2004@ . . .

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

Now let's visit with novelist Veronica Heley, author of Murder My Neighbour (Severn House, May 2011).

PhotobucketVeronica Heley celebrated the publication of her 67th book this summer, having been  in the business for over 30 years. She is currently writing two gentle crime series; the Ellie Quicke Mysteries, the Abbot Agency series. Also some short stories. In the past she’s also written a straightforward biography of St Paul, some historical fiction, many articles and reviews, masses of children’s and resource books, and story-boards for cartoons.

She’s involved with her local church and community affairs, likes to break for coffee with friends and does the garden when she has time. She has been a member of a book reading club for 40 years, but has decided that life is too short to read depressing literature any more.

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

--I believe in chocolate when inspiration fails.

--I like to buy my clothes in Bruges, where they are accustomed to clients who like cream with their cakes.

--I prefer drinking beer to wine.

--I get cross when the powers-that-be change the Latin names of plants I’ve known since childhood.

--I love Sir Terry Pratchett’s fantasy books – even those originally meant for children.

Oh, my goodness, I can't tell you how many of your items rang true for me, as well, although I've never been to Bruges.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Murder My Neighbour.


PhotobucketEllie’s old friend and housekeeper falls of a ladder after seeing a ‘ghost’ in a neighbour’s house . . . while Ellie is trying to get rid of a desperate young man . . . who says he is looking for his great aunt . . . who has gone missing.

Flavia Pryce was supposed to have moved to a retirement home, but it seems she never arrived there. Ellie’s walk round the block reveals that someone is still tending the vegetables in Mrs Pryce’s garden. Perhaps the house is not as deserted as it looks?

So where is Mrs Pryce, and who knows more about her departure than they are prepared to tell? And how can Ellie deal with her difficult daughter Diana’s latest financial disaster?

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

Readers identify with Ellie Quicke because she is a sixtyish housewife who has had the great good fortune, second time round, to marry her best friend. She doesn’t think of herself as intelligent, but she solves neighbourhood crimes because she has sharp eyes, and networks in the community. She is gradually learning how to deal with a family inheritance – and an appallingly ambitious daughter. Readers tell me they know someone just like Diana, and they cheer Ellie on in her constant battle to deal with her daughter’s problems.

Most novels feature a villain, whether in the form of a person or as an entity or psychological fear. Who or what would you say is your novel’s villain?

In Murder My Neighbour there are a number of people whose greed and stupidity leads them to commit acts which have disastrous and unforeseen consequences. The suspects in this book are not black or white; generally speaking, people aren’t all good or all evil, but shades of grey. Ellie comes across some unlikeable characters but also some for whom she finds sympathy.

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

PhotobucketI’d love to see Imelda Staunton play Ellie, because she can do vulnerability as well as determination.

Exactly. She's excellent.

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

At the moment I’m reading everything I can find by Lawrence Block, because he can take a flawed character and get us to understand and identify with him. And technically, he’s a master of suspense.

What are you working on now?

Another Ellie Quicke, provisionally titled Murder in Mind, in which I am killing off the members of a horrible family, one by one. I’m enjoying that.

Hilarious. I'm intrigued and very interested in that one. 

Where else can readers find you online?

My website is at www.veronicaheley.com. Readers can also sign up to receive my monthly newsletter, by pressing the button on the home page of the website.

The book is available for purchase at fine bookstores and via these online buttons:





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

I have been getting published for over thirty years and have a large number of books – some for children, some for adults – which are now out of print. If I could find the time to do some editing on them, would you like to have them available on E-books?

Thank you, Veronica, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Veronica has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, August 22. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Veronica'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 MaryLu Tyndall, below. Leave an appropriate 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; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

MaryLu Tyndall and Free Books!

PhotobucketDesperate to save her family, a feisty Baltimore lady hires a handsome, yet treasonous town rogue as a privateer during the War of 1812, a war in which the future of America hangs in the balance.

Before we look at today's book and author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of my novel, Tea for Two, is:

paleface.lu@ . . .

Congratulations! Paleface.lu won our little contest for the best recipe idea. Although I loved the sound of every shared recipe idea, I thought this one was not only tasty sounding but timely, considering how tight things are, economically, for so many of us these days. This recipe could keep many of us out of Starbucks and other ridiculously pricey coffee spots!

COFFEE PUNCH:

12 C. Strong Coffee
1/2 C. Sugar
6 1/2 C. Milk
1/2 Cup Hershey's Syrup
1 Qt. Vanilla Ice Cream

Mix and serve! Top with Whipped Cream and drizzle with Caramel for best results!

I'll contact you today, Paleface.lu, for your snail mail address, and I'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!

Also, as promised, I've posted the recipe for Malted Chocolate Mousse Cake at the bottom of this post for anyone who would like to try it! It's also in Tea for Two, along with a number of other yummy recipes fit for any tea party!

But first let's revisit with novelist MaryLu Tyndall, author of Surrender the Dawn (Barbour, August 2011).

PhotobucketM.L. Tyndall, a Christy Award Finalist, and best-selling author of the Legacy of the King’s Pirates series is known for her swashbuckling historical romances filled with deep spiritual themes.

She holds a degree in Math and worked as a software engineer for fifteen years before testing the waters as a writer. MaryLu currently writes full time and makes her home on the California coast with her husband, six kids, and four cats.

Her passion is to write page-turning, romantic adventures that not only entertain but expose Christians to their full potential in Christ.

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

--I’m an insomniac.

--Popcorn is my favorite food.

--I’d rather be on a warm beach than anywhere else.

--I’m a health nut.

--I love to oil paint.

And six kids?! I'm surprised you find time for painting!

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Surrender the Dawn.

PhotobucketWhen the war of 1812 robs Cassandra Channing of her father and brothers, she must find a way to support her mother and younger siblings without being forced to marry a man she does not love. Determined to remain independent, she hires a privateer, captained by the town rogue.

Tortured by guilt for his parents’ death, Luke Heaton spends his time drinking and gambling. When Cassandra offers him enough money to fix up his ship, he sees an opportunity to redeem his reputation and help the lady he has loved from afar. Things go well until the British blackmail him into selling supplies to their ships. Still Luke cannot allow Cassandra’s family to be tossed on the streets.

Cassandra has fallen in love with Luke. When she begins to suspect his nefarious activities, she is heartbroken. Hoping to prove her suspicions wrong, she sets out to catch him in the act. But what she doesn’t expect is to get caught up in a massive British invasion… and one of the most decisive battles of the war where lives, liberty, and the future of a nation are at stake.

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

Cassandra is extremely loyal to family and country. She’s feisty, headstrong, and independent, yet desperate to be loved and cared for by a man she can trust. Betrayed and abandoned by people she had come to rely on, she is suspicious of anyone offering their help. I think most of us can relate to Cassandra in some way. She is fighting for the survival of her family in the only way she knows how. Life has let her down, but she hasn’t given up. She’s a fighter with a heart of gold.

Most novels feature a villain, whether in the form of a person or as an entity or psychological fear. Who or what would you say is your novel’s villain?

Although there are outward villains in this story in the form of devious people trying to thwart the plans of my hero and heroine, the true villains are within them. For my hero, Luke, it is his guilt and the cloud of failure which hangs over him and his inability to forgive himself and turn to God. For Cassandra, it is her unbelief and her lack of reliance on a loving God who wants to help her through her troubles.

I love it when the true villain is within the character. As you stated above, many of us can identify with that dynamic.

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

PhotobucketAmy Adams for my heroine, Casandra.



PhotobucketKarl Urban for my hero, Luke.



Wow. He sounds perfect for the character you describe. I don't think he's used enough as the lead in films. 

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

Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz. All I can say is it’s one of those books that really captivates you in many ways. I love it when I get lost in the world of a great story!

What are you working on now?

Veil of Pearls – a single title set in Charleston 1811. Here’s a brief blurb:

Charleston in 1811 is bustling with immigrants like Adalia, a runaway slave so light-skinned that no one guesses her past. Terrified her secret will be discovered, she settles into a quiet life making herbal remedies for a local doctor. But when Morgan, the handsome son of a prominent family, sweeps her into his glamorous world—a world in which the truth about Adalia’s heritage would ruin them both—suspicions and petty jealousies are aroused. What will Morgan do when he discovers that the woman he has fallen in love with is a runaway slave?

Where else can readers find you online?

Website: www.marylutyndall.com
Blog: www.crossandcutlass.blogspot.com
Facebook

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




CBD.com
601673: Surrender the Dawn, Surrender to Destiny Series #3


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

What is your favorite all time book and what is it about that book that hooked you?

Thank you, MaryLu, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, MaryLu has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, August 18. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to MaryLu'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 Winnie Griggs, below. Leave an appropriate 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.

Now, as promised, here's something truly decadent and fabulous for you. Honestly, you have to try it.

MALTED CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKEPhotobucket

Ingredients:

6 ounces crushed malt balls
8.8 ounce container mascarpone cheese
7 ounces heavy cream, whipped
3 seven ounce packages white chocolate & Macadamia cookies
1 cup Bailey’s Irish cream liqueur (for non-alcoholic version use Irish Crème coffee creamer)

Chocolate mousse:
10 ounces chopped dark chocolate
2 eggs (room temperature)
¼ cup caster sugar (very fine granulated sugar)
¾ cup heavy cream, whipped

Directions:

Make chocolate mousse—
• In microwave-safe bowl, microwave chopped chocolate until almost melted, stirring after each minute. Set aside to cool slightly.
• Beat eggs and caster sugar with electric beater for five minutes.
• Stir in cooled chocolate.
• Fold in ¾ cup whipped cream.
• Refrigerate until needed.

Set aside ¼ cup crushed malt balls.

Fold together mascarpone, 7 ounces whipped cream, and remaining malt balls. Remove the base of an 8-inch spring form pan and place the ring on a large serving plate (ring will serve as a mold for the cake). Cut a strip of parchment paper and line side of ring. Dip cookies, one at a time, into liqueur and place in single layer in mold to cover base. Spread half mascarpone mixture over cookies. Top with another layer of cookies dipped in liqueur.

Spread chocolate mousse over cookies. Top with one more layer of cookies dipped in liqueur. Spread remaining mascarpone mixture over cookies and sprinkle with the ¼ cup reserved malt balls.

Cover and refrigerate overnight. Then remove spring form, peel away parchment paper, cut, and serve.

Yummy!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Winnie Griggs and Free Books!

PhotobucketMarriage was out of the question... until it became the only answer.

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the copy of Susan Meissner's novel, The Shape of Mercy, is:

nancyecdavis@ . . .

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 Winnie Griggs, author of Second Chance Family (Harlequin Love Inspired Historical, July 2011).

PhotobucketWinnie Griggs has written 12 books for three different lines and is currently hard at work on her 13th. A small town girl herself, Winnie’s books focus on family and community and matters of faith - all subjects that are near and dear to her own heart. In fact, the motto on her website reads “Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace”

Winnie has been married for 35 years to her college sweetheart and together they have raised four proud-to-call-them-mine children and a too-numerous-to-count assortment of dogs, cats, fish, hamsters, turtles and 4-H sheep. Besides reading and writing, Winnie’s favorite activities include cooking, exploring flea markets and pretending the growing army of dust bunnies who have invaded her home will disappear if she just ignores them long enough.

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

--I collect trinket boxes.

--I was born on Friday the 13th.

--I have a BS degree in Mathematics.

--I once made a patchwork quilt.

--I’m the oldest of five siblings.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Second Chance Family.

PhotobucketTake one sheriff who is convinced marriage is absolutely not for him and one widow who is all about the importance of family, then add two mistreated orphans desperate for a loving home and a busybody neighbor determined to send them packing, and you have all the makings of a head-butting confrontation set to rock the sleepy town of Knotty Pine, Texas.

The honorable sheriff has vowed never to love again, for fear of wounding someone else. The most he can offer widow Cora Beth Collins is marriage in name only, which is not at all to Cora Beth’s liking. But with no other way to adopt two runaway orphans, she accepts.

Despite his intentions, however, Mitch is starting to want more from Cora Beth...and from himself. For in her trusting eyes he sees everything he hopes to be - as a lawman, a father and a husband.

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

He is an honorable man who champions those who most need his help. And he is fighting his very obvious attraction to the heroine in order to protect her from the hurt he fears he will inflict on her.

Most novels feature a villain, whether in the form of a person or as an entity or psychological fear. Who or what would you say is your novel’s villain?

There is a backstory villain, in the form of the hero’s grandmother, who inflicted emotional wounds. But the on-stage villain, who drives the story forward, is the town’s busybody.

Gossip mongers! Excellent bad guys!

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

PhotobucketI patterned my hero after a young Tom Selleck.




PhotobucketAnd my heroine after Kate Winslet (the character she played in The Holiday).



What are you working on now?

I’ve completed a novella, Home For Thanksgiving, that will be released in the Once Upon A Thanksgiving anthology that will come out in October. At the moment I’m working on the third book of a continuity about three sisters who immigrate from Ireland to the US in 1850

Where else can readers find you online?

I always love hearing from readers! My website is www.winniegriggs.com, I’m active on facebook, and I blog once a month over at Petticoats and Pistols.

The book is available at fine book stores and by online purchase via these buttons:






CBD.com
828770: Second Chance Family


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

I love to collect quotes - of the inspirational, motivational or quirky-view-of-life variety. Do you have a favorite you’d be willing to share?

Thank you, Winnie, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Winnie has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, August 15. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Winnie'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 post about your recipes and my Tea for Two giveaway. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of my post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book (or one of my other 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.
 

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