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!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sandra D. Bricker and Free Books!

PhotobucketIs it possible that Sherilyn is allergic to her fiancé?

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Christa Allan's novel, The Edge of Grace, is:

lucieinca@ . . .

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 one of my very favorite people, novelist Sandra D. Bricker, author of Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride (Abingdon Press, September 2011).

PhotobucketSandra D. Bricker has been publishing in both the Christian and general market for years with novels, devotionals, magazine articles and short stories. With 11 novels in print and 5 more slated for publication through 2012, Sandie has carved out a niche for herself as a best-selling and award-winning author of laugh-out-loud comedy for the inspirational market.

Sandie was an entertainment publicist for fifteen years in Los Angeles, and her client list reads like a Who’s Who? of daytime television. She currently writes full time and lives in a suburb of Tampa, Florida.

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

--I am a closet interior designer, and you can find HGTV on my television at any time of the day or night.

--I mostly prefer spending time with dogs to spending time with humans.

--I spent several years battling agoraphobia, and it sometimes takes me several hours to work up to walking into a room filled with people.

--I sometimes still miss the girls from Sex & the City, despite that dismal last movie.

--When I’m in a blue mood, I like to blast classic oldies…and I dance and sing at the top of my lungs! It ain’t pretty, but it works.

A girl after my own heart. Sometimes I do that blasting/dancing/singing, even if I'm in a fantastic mood. Even if I don't know the words and I sound like I'm singing in Klingon.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride.


PhotobucketAs a wedding planner, Sherilyn Caine should have the perfect wedding experience...After all, she just landed her dream job at the wedding destination hotel, The Tanglewood Inn. The rest should be a piece of cake for Sherilyn's Type A personality. But while everything else goes smoothly, her own wedding plans start to sink right before her eyes. One way or the other, Sherilyn is determined to make this wedding work—until the latest development threatens to call the whole thing off. Is it possible that Sherilyn is allergic to her fiancé?

Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride is the second book in a series of four set at The Tanglewood Inn, a fictional wedding destination hotel in Roswell, Georgia. In this book, Emma’s best friend Sherilyn moves back to the Atlanta area to take a job at the hotel, and to marry her doctor boyfriend, Andy. In addition to going back out to play with the characters everyone loved from the first book (Always the Baker), a whole new cast is introduced as well.

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

Sherilyn is actually more of me than any other character I’ve written. She’s totally Type A, used to organizing things right down to the last, most minute detail. So when things don’t go according to her plans, she’s thrown for a loop. In addition, she and I share the unusual situation of having no real family ties, and she’s had to create her own tribe out in the world in order to fulfill that natural human need to connect, to feel like she belongs somewhere.

Readers, I've read this fun novel, and here's what I said in my review:

I didn’t think Sandra D. Bricker could write another story in this series to outdo Always the Baker, Never the Bride. I was wrong. With her gift for natural, sparkling dialogue and her ability to throw believable, tension-causing conflicts into the path of our heroine, Sherilyn, Bricker has written another winner in Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride. While it was wonderful revisiting characters from the first book, new lovebirds Sherilyn and Andy stole my heart and awakened my empathy as soon as I met them. Before you start reading the book, you might need to check your own planner—it’s hard to set it down once you dive in!

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

PhotobucketThis is the very first book I’ve written where I didn’t have a specific actress in mind as I wrote. It was rather odd. Sherilyn just took form in my head out of nowhere. When I was working with Marian Miller, my video guru, on the trailer for the book, I came across a stock photo of exactly the person I’d had in my head. Red hair, bright blue eyes…but she’s just a random model somewhere out there. But Andy, her fiancé, never had an identity crisis. He was clearly Noah Wylie.

What were some of your favorite words of encouragement from a mentor, colleague, or reader?

That’s easy. It came from my agent, Rachelle Gardner: “Stop it! Stop second-guessing yourself and your talent and your future! Let me and God worry about all that. You, just write wonderful books…Anything beyond that, just stop it right now!” She may be the first person I’ve ever met who is strong enough to out-control me.

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

I’m currently reading The Help, and I’m blown away by its candor and simplicity. I can’t wait to see the movie!

Oh, yeah, that movie was fantastic. What are you working on now?

I’m writing the final book in the Baker series, Always the Baker, FINALLY the Bride. At last, I get to give Emma and Jackson their happy ending!

Where else can readers find you online?

My Web site is located at www.SandraDBricker.com and my blog is at sandradbricker.blogspot.com. In addition, I’m a contributor at wordservewatercooler.com, a brand new industry blog that launched August 1st from the collective client roster of WordServe Literary Group.

The book is available at fine book stores and for online purchase through the following buttons (the distributors display the book with the wrong color, but these are the right buttons--trust me!):






CBD.com
731600: Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride, Emma Rae Series #2


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

If I had the opportunity to sit in a room filled with readers, I would love to chat with them about what drew them to books in the first place. Were they young readers, or did they find books as adults? What’s their first memory of being truly moved by a book? I think you can learn so much about a person when you explore the roots of the things they’re passionate about.

Thank you, Sandie, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Sandie has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, October 6. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Sandie'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 Sarah Sundin, 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.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Donita K. Paul's Dragons of the Watch

PhotobucketBeing in the wrong place at the wrong time points the way to the right future for some beloved characters.

Today's bonus post doesn't involve a giveaway, but I wanted to draw your attention to Dragons of the Watch (Waterbrook Press, October 2011), a new release by my writer friend, Donita K. Paul.

About Donita:

PhotobucketDonita K. Paul retired early from teaching school, but soon got bored! The result: a determination to start a new career. Now she is an award-winning novelist writing Christian Romance and Fantasy. She says, “I feel blessed to be doing what I like best.”

She mentors all ages, teaching teenagers and weekly adult writing workshops.
“God must have imprinted 'teacher' on me clear down to the bone. I taught in public school, then home schooled my children, and worked in private schools. Now my writing week isn’t very productive unless I include some time with kids.”

Her two grown children make her proud, and her two grandsons make her laugh.

Donita has also released a prairie romance, Taming the Wild Wind. Check out her website for details: donitakpaul.com

About the book:

PhotobucketWith the final installment of the Twilight film series scheduled to be released in October, vampires and zombies are set to be among the year’s most popular Halloween costumes. Many parents feel torn between their child’s love for imagination and not wanting to encourage the darker side of fantasy. How can they encourage reading and wonder, but without all the junk? Meeting that precise need, popular and trusted author Donita K. Paul brings us her newest tale of dragons, adventure and faith in The Dragons of the Watch.

The Chronicles of Chiril continue as Ellie and Bealomondore find themselves trapped in an isolated city guarded by dragons and separated from everything they know and love. How can they escape? Along the way they meet a group of wild children and a very old man, whose needs they must meet before they can find their way home. With the help of the dragons of the watch, they discover that their fate depends upon their ability to recognize and step in line with the Creator’s will.

Mrs. Paul has created a fascinating and detailed world where dragons and humans “mindspeak,” tiny creatures are heroes, and gateways serve as doors to an entirely different place and experience. With a warm, accessible and humorous tone, lots of action, and avoidance of the heavy, dark elements found in much of today's fantasy fiction, The Dragons of the Watch is a great family read. On a deeper level, it also encourages discussion of how to interact with those who do not share one’s faith in a foreign culture or one’s own city. The book includes a map and a glossary of characters and terms, and fans can go even deeper at DonitaKPaul.com with puzzles, recipes, resources for aspiring writers and links for homeschooling families.


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






CBD.com
073412: Dragons of the Watch


Be sure to check out my interviews with Christa Allan and Sarah Sundin, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of each post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the 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, September 26, 2011

Sarah Sundin and Free Books!

PhotobucketIn a time of peril, can they find the courage to confront their fears and embrace a love that lasts?

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Lisa Bergren's novel, Torrent, is:

blstef1@ . . .

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 Sarah Sundin, author of Blue Skies Tomorrow (Revell, August 2011).

PhotobucketSarah Sundin lives in northern California with her husband and three children. When she isn’t ferrying kids to soccer and tennis, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies.

She belongs to American Christian Fiction Writers and Christian Authors Network. She is the author of the Wings of Glory series—A Distant Melody (Revell, 2010), A Memory Between Us (2010), and Blue Skies Tomorrow (August 2011). In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.

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

--During summer breaks in college, I worked as a ride operator at Knott’s Berry Farm. I knew how to jump on and off of a moving merry-go-round. Don’t ask to see it now.

--For my birthday present I made my husband buy me a model kit of a B-17 Flying Fortress (the plane my heroes fly in my series). He and I put it together—175 itty-bitty pieces to paint and assemble—and I was a prissy girly girl who never did models. It’s so cool! One half of the fuselage is clear so you can the itty-bitty crewmembers and bombs and all.

--I don’t like mushrooms, beans, or fish.

--I wrote the rough drafts for all three of these books longhand, curled up on my couch. I’ve skipped that step with my next series.

--My least favorite subject in school? Creative writing. Go figure.

I lived right down the road from Knott's Berry Farm when I was a little kid! It was itty bitty back then. Fond memories . . . 

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Blue Skies Tomorrow.

PhotobucketLt. Raymond Novak prefers the pulpit to the cockpit, but at least his stateside job training B-17 pilots allows him the luxury of a personal life. As he courts Helen Carlisle, a young war widow and mother who conceals her pain under a frenzy of volunteer work, the sparks of their romance set a fire that flings them both into peril.

After Ray leaves to fly a combat mission at the peak of the air war over Europe, Helen takes a job in a dangerous munitions yard and confronts an even graver menace in her own home.

Will they find the courage to face their challenges? And can their young love survive until blue skies return?

Blue Skies Tomorrow is the third book in the Wings of Glory series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II. Each book stands alone.

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

Helen Carlisle is an energetic young war widow who does everything she can to help her country on the Home Front while raising her young son alone—and dealing with deep hurt in her past. Raymond Novak is a gentle thoughtful soul who takes on a role he feels ill-equipped for, and he has to find the courage to forge forward and to turn to God to find the purpose in his adventure.

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

This is always so hard for me. I don’t picture celebrities for my characters. I see them firmly in my head but almost never find anyone who looks just like them. But for Ray, I would cast the model who “plays” him on the book cover. Oh my goodness! He looks just like the Ray in my mind. Uncanny. The model for Helen isn’t quite like I pictured her, but she’d do nicely. She has that pretty, girl-next-door look.

What were some of your favorite words of encouragement from a mentor, colleague, or reader?

Ironically what encouraged me most was some verbal slaps upside the head. During a discouraging time in my rejection letter years, I had two godly women ask me the same question in a week’s span: “Sarah, what are you afraid of?” Afraid? I wasn’t afraid. I just had natural concerns. Or did I? Nope. Fear. And what’s God’s most common command—do not fear! I had to let go of my fear, turn to Him for guidance, and obey.

I think nearly every woman I know struggles with fear. No wonder the Lord addressed it so often in the Scriptures. 

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

I’m stuck in research mode right now, so my fiction to-be-read pile is getting way too high and it taunts me. The latest book I finished was And If I Perish, by Evelyn Monahan, about front-line nurses in World War II. While it was research, it was a touching and exciting narrative about some of our least-recognized veterans.

What are you working on now?

I signed another contract with Revell for a series tentatively titled Wings of the Nightingale. It follows three World War II flight nurses who discover love, friendship, and peril in the skies and on the shores of the Mediterranean. I just finished the first novel in the series, which will release Fall 2012. It features a You’ve Got Mail-like anonymous pen pal relationship between a loner nurse and an Army engineer burdened by the legacy of his infamous father.

Where else can readers find you online?

Website: www.sarahsundin.com
Blog: www.sarahsundin.blogspot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SarahSundinAuthor
Twitter: twitter.com/sarahsundin

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




CBD.com
734237: Blue Skies Tomorrow, Wings of Glory Series #3


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

I love hearing people’s family World War II stories, from the child collecting scrap metal to the grandmother counting ration points to the uncle on the Normandy beaches to the father working in a factory. What’s your story?

Thank you, Sarah, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Sarah has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, October 3. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Sarah'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 Christa Allan, 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, September 19, 2011

Lisa Bergren and Free Books!

PhotobucketThey’ve come back from the modern world to medieval Italy…and now they not only have to save those they love…they have to save themselves. Ride the River with Gabi and Lia and find out what happens next.

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Alison Strobel's novel, Composing Amelia, is:

eviesmommo@ . . .

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 Lisa Bergren, author of Torrent (David C. Cook, September 2011).

PhotobucketLisa Bergren is the author of over forty books, which total over two million copies sold. She lives with her husband and three children in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she dreams about her next trip to Italy while her little white dog stares at her, begging Lisa to just take her for a walk around the block.

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

--I like to watch my husband make pizza on the grill.

--Any Internet post on Italy captures my interest.

--I think of myself as adventurous, but just four-wheeled over the Continental Divide and think that I’m really not.

--I’m hoping I get to lead a 3DM huddle soon.

--I like dark chocolate.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Torrent.

PhotobucketGabriella is back in medieval Italy, but this time, her heart is literally on the line. She is falling, deeper and deeper, in love with Marcello, but now she has much more to think about than herself…her family. Will she give up everything in her present for what she might gain…in the past?

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

She’s fighting for right, for justice, for hope, for love.

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

Marcello: An Italian 20-year-old who embodies hope, strength, passion

Gabriella: An Italian-American 17-year-old who embodies strength, gumption, passion and love

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

Love The Help. Such a great dive into the best—and worst—of humanity. Loved it.

What are you working on now?

The first book in my adult Grand Tour Series, Glamorous Illusions. It’s about the illegitimate daughter of a copper king of 1913 who sends his kids on the Grand Tour of Europe…and on the search for what identity really means.

Where else can readers find you online?

www.LisaBergren.com and on Facebook: “River of Time Series” and “Lisa Tawn Bergren”

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



CBD.com
764294: Torrent, River of Time Series #3


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

Hmm…If you could time-travel to any time and location, where/when would it be?

Thank you, Lisa, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Lisa has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, September 26. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Lisa'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 Christa Allan, 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.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hannah Alexander's Wedding Kiss!

PhotobucketA kiss can be life-changing.

Today's bonus post doesn't involve a giveaway, but I wanted to draw your attention to The Wedding Kiss (Summerside Press), a new release by my writer friends, Cheryl and Mel Hodde, writing as Hannah Alexander.



About the authors:

PhotobucketHannah Alexander is the pen name for the writing collaboration of Cheryl and Mel Hodde. They chose the name "Hannah Alexander" to incorporate their two names into one. They have read that Hannah means "her hope is in the Lord," and Alexander means, "servant of mankind." Mel and Cheryl live in the Missouri Ozarks, where they like to set the majority of their books.



About the novel:

PhotobucketWhen Keara and Elam Jensen share their first kiss on their wedding day, a marriage of convenience becomes much less convenient! It also becomes more than they expected when God shows them what He really has in store for their lives. Will their mysteriously injured visitor ruin their future, or will her influence--and her personal battle--draw them into deadly danger? Visit Eureka Springs, Arkansas, in 1901, and discover for yourself what excitement and romance await along the White River Hollow.


And here's an excerpt from Chapter One


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



CBD.com
363086: The Wedding Kiss, Wedding Tapestry Series #1

Be sure to check out my interviews with Alison Strobel and Christa Allan, below. Leave appropriate comments at the bottom of their posts to enter drawings 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.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Christa Allan and Free Books!

PhotobucketWhen a woman’s brother is attacked because he is gay, she is forced to make hard choices about family, faith, and her own future; choices that take her to the very edge of grace.

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Susan Page Davis's novel, Captive Trail, 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 (above my list of books) in order to participate in future book give-aways!

Now let's revisit novelist Christa Allan, author of The Edge of Grace (Abingdon Press, July 2011).

PhotobucketA true Southern woman who knows that any cook worth her gumbo always starts with a roux and who never wears white after Labor Day, Christa Allan writes not-your-usual Christian fiction that’s unafraid to tackle the tough questions. Walking on Broken Glass, her debut novel, released in 2010. The Edge of Grace released in 2011. Four more novels with Abingdon Press follow in 2013 and 2014. Love Finds You in New Orleans (Summerside Press) is set to release in 2012.

Christa is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and its Faith, Hope, and Love chapter. She also belongs to writing organizations in her community. Christa, a high school English teacher, and her veterinarian husband live in Abita Springs with their three neurotic cats. Christa is the mother of five and is totally smitten with her two grand girls.

I find it hard to believe you have grandkids! You look far too young for that.

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

--I like weeding my garden.

--I won first place for a stand-up routine in a talent show.

--I am addicted to fine point roller ball pens.

--I dance like Elaine on the Seinfeld show.

--I hate roller coasters.

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

PhotobucketCaryn is a widowed, single mother plodding her way through the world with her catering business to make a life for herself and her son, Ben. After losing her husband, she put God on hold. Then, her brother David calls to announce that, not only is his pending wedding not happening, he’s gay. Already overwhelmed, Caryn sees this as one more problem in her life, and she tries to fix it.

Then, when David is attacked, Caryn is forced to stop looking outside of herself, and examine what it means to be his sister, her own issues, and how she can come to love him.

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

I hope readers come to see Caryn as someone who, like all of us, isn’t perfect, but she’s doing the best she can with what she has--physically and emotionally.

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

I seem to change my mind about this one each time I answer that question!

PhotobucketCaryn: Laura Innes








PhotobucketDavid: Jonathan Rhys Meyers







Photobucket
Max: Jake Gyllenhaal






What were some of your favorite words of encouragement from a mentor, colleague, or reader?

A reader shared this after finishing Walking on Broken Glass: “Through that book, I was forced to face a truth about my life that I had been running from for years. Facing that truth has led me to a healthier life today.”

“I believe in you.” What my husband always tells me when I’m in tears or tantrums!

Aw. Both of those are terrific comments.

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

The Girl Who Chased the Moon, by Sarah Addison Allen. Her language is delectable, and she ties the plot together in unexpected ways. I especially love the element of magical realism in the novel.

Magical realism is definitely an acquired taste! 

What are you working on now?

I’m waiting on edits for Love Finds You in New Orleans (Summerside Press), and I’m starting A Matter of Trust, one of the books in Abingdon’s new quilt series.

Where else can readers find you online?

Twitter: ChristaAllan
Google+
LinkedIn
Facebook

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



CBD.com
713118: The Edge of Grace


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

What makes you eager to recommend a book to friends?

Thank you, Christa, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Christa has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, September 29. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Christa'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 Alison Strobel, 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, September 12, 2011

Alison Strobal and Free Books!

PhotobucketA young pianist is determined to follow her dream of playing professionally—even if it means staying behind in LA when her husband gets relocated to the middle of nowhere—and chasing that dream nearly kills her.

Before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Kim Cash Tate's novel, Cherished, is:

plhouston@ . . .

And the winner of the signed copy of Margaret Daley's novel, From This Day Forward, is:

ABreading4fun@ . . .

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

Now let's meet novelist Alison Strobel, author of Composing Amelia (David C. Cook, September 2011).

PhotobucketAlison is a wife to (and co-author of children’s books with) Dan Morrow, a homeschooling mom to two daughters, and an avid crocheter and reader. She’s written six contemporary fiction novels and two children’s books, and she works from her home office in Colorado, which has an amazing (and sometimes distracting) view of the Rockies.

Her passion in writing is to see God’s truths conveyed through stories about life, love, and faith; through stories that make readers think; but most importantly, through stories that are thoroughly enjoyable. Her second novel, Violette Between, was a Rita finalist in 2007, and her first children’s book, That’s Where God Is, has won two awards.

If she wasn’t a writer and a mom she’d be an elementary school teacher, which is what she was before quitting to write full time.

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

Oddly, most of my weird trivia comes from my college years:

--For about five minutes I planned to major in musical theater in college.

--I studied abroad at the University of Glasgow in Scotland my junior year, and lived just a couple blocks from the flat where my grandmother had grown up and lived before coming to the states as a war bride.

--I was addicted—in the real sense—to an online role playing game my freshman and sophomore years.

--And then, two not related to college: my husband and I met on eHarmony.com—he was my 100th match, I was his first.

--We were in a bunch of television and radio commercials for them in 2003/2004.

I'd love to see one of those ads!

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Composing Amelia.

PhotobucketAmelia has been running from her mother for years, afraid of making the same mistakes she made and of becoming the same kind of failure she was. Her dream to be a professional pianist is, in her eyes, a ticket to security—if she can achieve that, then she’s sure she’ll never be like her mom. Her husband, Marcus, has his own ambitions and his own parental angst, and both assume that God’s will is behind them and their desires.

But when Marcus gets a prestigious position in a small town in Nebraska, their marriage, their faiths, and their dreams are tested.

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

I think readers will really like and relate to Amelia because, like so many of us, she’s trying to escape dysfunctional family dynamics and be her own person. She doesn’t want to be defined by the same mistakes her mother made, but try as she might she just can’t seem to grab the success she so desperately wants. And like many couples, she and Marcus are torn between their shared desire to be together and their separate desires for what success looks like.

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

PhotobucketA younger Matt Damon would make a good Marcus.



Photobucket


As for Amelia…hmmm, that’s hard! I think maybe Beth Riesgraf (from my favorite show, Leverage) would be a good match. She’s a good fit for the image I had in my head of Amelia, though I’m not sure how she’d look as a redhead!

And I was unable to find a redheaded version of her. We'll have to use our imaginations, just like when we read books! 

What were some of your favorite words of encouragement from a mentor, colleague, or reader?

I’m so blessed—I get the most incredible feedback from readers! One of my favorite quotes came from a reader who called my book “steak and potatoes” reading—in other words, a solid, “filling,” and satisfying story. I loved that! One woman wrote to tell me that one of my books had opened her eyes to how she needed to change and grow deeper in her relationship with Christ. Incredibly humbling stuff. It’s such an honor to get to write these books and then see God use them to change people.

And how wonderful and thoughtful when readers take the time to let you know, right?

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

I’m currently listening to Terry Pratchett’s The Fifth Elephant. I think Pratchett is one of the most brilliant writers alive right now. I highly recommend him to anyone who likes imaginative stories, boldly drawn characters, British humor, and fascinating social commentary in the guise of quirky fantasy. (If you decide to check him out, start with the Night Watch books—I believe the first is called Guards! Guards!)

And way a shame we're losing his genius to Alzheimer's--I agree with you, he's wonderful.

What are you working on now?

I just—literally just, like 10 minutes before starting this interview—sent away four book synopses to my agent to be pitched to one of my publishers. Hopefully by the time this interview is up I’ll have another contract lined up! Until then, I’m going to keep promoting the books I have out, brainstorming some possible YA projects with my husband, and outlining the books my agent is proposing so that they’re ready to go.

Where else can readers find you online?

My website will soon undergo a facelift, and when it’s live I think I’m going to start blogging again. So keep an eye on www.AlisonStrobel.com (and check out the behind-the-scenes stuff I have posted for Composing Amelia and my other novels as well!).

I’m also very active on Facebook, where my group page is full of fun conversations on all sorts of things. I’m on Twitter, but I’m less “author” there and more “mom/wife/Christian Libertarian/Attachment Parenting, Gentle Discipline, and homeschooling advocate”. I don’t usually do Twitter until I’m in bed, don’t ask me why, so if you’re a night owl you’re a lot more likely to see my tweets!

My husband and I also have a fan page on Facebook (Dan & Ali Morrow) and a website (DanAndAliMorrow.com) where we give away free books every month! Come check us out!

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




CBD.com
767738: Composing Amelia


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

Oh, so many things I’d love to ask! But since I can only ask one thing, I’ll ask this: What do you wish your favorite author would do more of? More in-store book signings? More virtual events (virtual book launch, virtual book discussions, etc)? More blogging? Curious to see the answers; I hope y’all leave some comments for me!

Thank you, Alison, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Alison has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, September 19. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Alison'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 Susan Page Davis, 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.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dan Walsh's Remembering Christmas!

PhotobucketCan one Christmas Change a Life Forever?

I'm not doing a giveaway for this extra post today, but I wanted to draw your attention to this lovely novel that would be an excellent read or gift for Christmas this year. I just finished reading Remembering Christmas (Revell, September 2011), by Dan Walsh, and I recommend it!


About Dan:

PhotobucketDan Walsh is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. His first novel, The Unfinished Gift won two 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, released in May.

For those who haven’t read Dan’s novels, reviewers often compare his books to Nicholas Sparks, Richard Paul Evans, and Jason Wright.


About the book:

PhotobucketRick Denton lives his life on his terms. He works hard, plays hard, and answers to no one. So when his mother calls on Thanksgiving weekend begging him to come home after his stepfather has a stroke, Rick is more than a little reluctant. He's never liked Art and resents the man's presence in his life, despite the fact that his own father abandoned the family when Rick was just twelve. When what was supposed to be just a couple days helping out at the family bookstore turns into weeks of cashing out old ladies and running off the homeless man who keep hanging about, Rick's attitude sours even more.

Still, slowly but surely, the little bookstore and its quirky patrons--as well as the lovely young woman who works at his side each day--work their magic on him, revealing to Rick the truth about his family, his own life, and the true meaning of Christmas. With skillful storytelling, Dan Walsh creates a Christmas story will have readers remembering every good and perfect gift of Christmas.


Here's my review of the novel:

One of the best things about this novel is the fact that, despite much conflict--a life-threatening health emergency, strained relations between the hero and his stepfather, a tenacious homeless man planted outside the Book Nook, a single mom struggling to make ends meet--the book just makes you feel good. Perhaps that's because you know the hero is surrounded by so many good people, it's hard to imagine his heart won't eventually soften. And when you become acquainted with why his heart hardened in the first place, you root for that softening to happen. Walsh subtly draws the reader in, avoids predictability, and provides a satisfying, believable ending. I can see this book being enjoyed time and again during the Christmas season.


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





CBD.com
719791: Remembering Christmas

Be sure to check out my interviews with Margaret Daley and Susan Page Davis, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of each post to enter the drawings 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.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Susan Page Davis and Free Books!

PhotobucketA girl has become a woman while in captivity, and a stagecoach driver longs to return her to the home she barely remembers.

But before we visit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Robin Lee Hatcher's novel, Belonging, is:

bookwurm70@ . . .

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 novelist Susan Page Davis, author of Captive Trail (Moody Publishers, September 2011).

Susan Page Davis is an award-winning author with thirty-six published novels and novellas. A Maine native, she has also lived in Oregon and recently moved to western Kentucky.

Susan has six children and eight grandchildren and loves to spend time with them. She loves animals, puzzles, reading, and genealogy. In January, 2011, she was named Favorite Author of the Year among readers of Heartsong Presents books. She’s a member of Women Writing the West and American Christian Fiction Writers and a past winner of the Carol Award (ACFW’s Book of the Year) and the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award.

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

--I once served Bob Dylan a cup of tea.

--I love cats.

--I grew up in an 1850s stone farmhouse.

--I like to find wild plants you can eat.

--I had my appendix removed while I was nine months pregnant.

Oh, my goodness, Susan! That last one is shocking! I dealt with appendicitis just a year or so ago, so I vividly remember the pain involved. I can't imagine what you went through, carrying a baby in the midst of appendicitis!

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Captive Trail.

PhotobucketTaabe Waipu has run away from her Comanche village and is fleeing south in Texas on a horse she stole from a dowry left outside her family’s teepee. The horse has an accident and she is left on foot, injured and exhausted. She staggers onto a road near Fort Chadbourne and collapses.

On one of the first runs through Texas, Butterfield Overland Mail Company driver Ned Bright carries two Ursuline nuns returning to their mission station. They come across a woman who is nearly dead from exposure and dehydration and take her to the mission.

With some detective work, Ned discovers Taabe Waipu’s identity. He plans to unite her with her family, but the Comanche have other ideas, and the two end up defending the mission station. Through Taabe and Ned we learn the true meaning of healing and restoration amid seemingly powerless situations.

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

Taabe is a very strong woman, even though she’s first presented in a weak and vulnerable situation. Her struggle to belong and to accept her past and future will touch hearts.

What were some of your favorite words of encouragement from a mentor, colleague, or reader?

The thing that really encouraged me to keep trying and pushed me on into publication was my husband and his support. He took over shopping and some other chores so I could write.

Oh, let's hear it for supportive spouses! That can make all the difference for an author.

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

Oh, that’s easy! Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind, by Ann B. Ross. It’s hilarious (but not a Christian book).

What are you working on now?

I’m writing another western, but this one’s much lighter in tone. Lady in the Making will be the third in my new Prairie Dreams series. In it, a lady with a past has to convince a gentleman that she really is a lady now.

I see a lot of potential humor in that premise!

Where else can readers find you online?

See my website at: www.susanpagedavis.com. I also have a FaceBook page maintained by my daughter, but I can’t interact directly with readers there, so I like to encourage folks to visit my personal site. You can also find fun stuff about Captive Trail and the rest of the Texas Trails series at: www.texastrailsfiction.com.

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






CBD.com
405845: Captive Trail, Texas Trails Series #2

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

I’d love to have some ideas for 10-minute refreshers (A walk around your garden? A glass of cold tea?). I need to get up and take a short break once in a while, so tell me—what rejuvenates you in a short time?

Thank you, Susan, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Susan has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, September 15. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Susan'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 Margaret Daley, 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.
 

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