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, March 5, 2012

Stephanie Grace Whitson and Free Books!

PhotobucketTogether, three women form an unlikely friendship that takes them to the end of themselves and, ultimately on a journey that proves prison walls can neither frustrate God’s plans nor keep love out.

Before we talk with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of The Hope of Shridula, by Kay Strom, is:

mac262@ . . .

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 Stephanie Grace Whitson, author of The Key on the Quilt (Barbour Publishing, March 2012).

PhotobucketStephanie Grace Whitson began playing with imaginary friends (i.e., writing fiction) when an abandoned pioneer cemetery near the Whitson’s country home provided not only a hands-on history lesson for her four home schooled children, but also a topic of personal study. That story became her first novel, resulted in a three-book contract, and put her on the ECPA best-seller list. She’s been a finalist for the Christy Award twice and is working on book #23.

In no particular order, Stephanie enjoys being Yaya (grandma), riding her motorcycle named Kitty, and quilting. She’s in graduate school pursuing her master’s degree in history and hopes someday to spend a summer in Paris, her favorite city on the planet.

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

--I love blackberry pie.

--I’m an introvert.

--Robert the Bruce gave Drum Castle in Scotland to one of my ancestors.

--I am a cancer survivor.

--I am a lifetime member of the National Sod House Society.

How cool to know that about your ancestry!

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The Key on the Quilt.

PhotobucketEllen McKenna is a devoted wife, but when her sheriff husband, Ian, accepts an appointment as a prison warden, her trust and devotion are challenged.

Mamie Dawson once offered herself to God as a foreign missionary. She has moments where she doesn’t quite appreciate the “foreign land” where God sent her. It’s only two miles south of town and it looks like a castle from a distance … but, still. And why doesn’t Martin Underhill see that their friendship is just that—friendship.

Jane Prescott is broken in spirit and feels like God has abandoned her. She’s also hiding a startling secret, and resists Dr. Max Zimmer’s stubborn faith in her. And God. A courthouse steps quilt with a brass key sewn to the middle block eventually reveals Jane’s secret, offering hope and solidifying friendships and a future for three women brought together in an unlikely setting.

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

The opening line of the book. “If it wasn’t for the occasional night when he tried to kill her, Owen wouldn’t be a bad husband.”

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

PhotobucketI realized something about myself this past week when I perused the results of the Oscars and watched a summary of the red carpet. My knowledge of actors and actresses is truly outdated. I didn’t know who half the people were on that red carpet. So I’m going to respectfully decline this one, because the actresses and actors I know by name are too old to play the part. Although I will say that George Clooney would be a perfect Dr. Max Zimmer.

Please share with us one quote that either inspires you or simply amuses you as you go about your efforts as a writer.

"I only write when I'm inspired, and I make sure I'm inspired every day at 9 a.m."  (Peter DeVries)

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

I just re-read Washington's Lady by Nancy Moser for my fiction book club. I love that book. It took me into George and Martha’s lives in a way that made me appreciate what it meant when the founding fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor in that grand experiment. Those aren’t just grand words, they were grim realities for the men who made that pledge. It reminded me of just how much they sacrificed, and it made me appreciate Martha Washington and admire her personally for all that she endured in life. I was newly amazed at what everyday life was like and what warfare was like. The Revolution went on for years. Wives spent winters in military camps with their husbands. It’s so unique to anything we know today. I’ve been to Mt. Vernon, but now that I’ve read that book, I’d like to go back.

What are you working on now?

Book two in The Quilt Chronicles, The Shadow on the Quilt. A woman snips a name off of a signature quilt, leaving the shadow of that name. She has to learn to deal with that name overshadowing her life.

Where else can readers find you online?

My website: www.stephaniewhitson.com My blog: www.footnotesfromhistory.blogspot.com
My Facebook page: Facebook
My email: Stephanie@stephaniewhitson.com

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

264420: The Key on the Quilt, Quilt Chronicles Series #1

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

What is the main reason that you take time out of your busy life to read? What does Christian fiction provide for you that makes it worth your time? What book met that need most recently for you? How?

Thank you, Stephanie, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Stephanie has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, March 12. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Stephanie's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interviews with Terri Blackstock and Carrie Turansky, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of each post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book.

And I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.

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.


Nancye said...

The main reason I read is simply because I love it! I like the escape that it gives me from my busy life. I also like to read because I usually learn soomething new.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Marianne said...

Although i read some books just for escape, i am an avid reader...no TV, and right now no handwork project on the go, so reading is my hobby. And though learning is not restricted to those novels published by Christian editors, and i do not limit my self to those, on of the novels that impacted my life was Nobody's Child by Austin Boyd, published by Zondervan that i won from the author. If nothing else it opened my eyes to the conflicts of others. i thoroughly enjoy Stephanie's novels, and have since i found them! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

Marianne from Arizona

mitzi underscore wanham at yahoo dot com

Jackie S. said...

I love to read to escape! Always learn something, too. Just finished A Hope Undaunted....it really gave me more hope! Would love to read this book!

Deborah M said...

I've all ways loved to read since I learned to read. It has also been a place you can go to get away from the stresses of everyday life.

Until about four years ago I didn't even know "Christian Fiction" existed. I yearned for books in the fiction genres I enjoyed to be able to read w/o the brass language and detailed love scenes. As a writer I was thrilled when I discovered Christian Fiction!

I don't know of any one book lately that has been special for me - they all are, but the first christian fiction book I read was one by Margaret Daley. I will never forget how that changed writing career.

Stephanie Grace Whitson said...

I am obviously among kindred spirits. I, too, read to escape ... and would rather read than watch television any time, with the possible exception of Castle. Ahem. I hope you ladies will make sure that Austin, Margaret, and your other favorite authors hear from you personally. You'll make their day! Thanks so much for your kind words.

Judy said...

I have always been an avid reader. It is a way for me to relax and unwind. Christian fiction brings joy and happiness into my life. Sometimes it forces me to face my own problems and that is o.k. too. I finished a book called "Lost and Found" by Ginny L Yttrup not long ago. There was a powerful message throughout this book. This book reminded me that all I need to do is pick up my cross and follow Jesus. Always, always, have Faith that Jesus will be there for you through the bad times as well as the good times.

I have given up FB for Lent. Through this 40 day period my desire is to draw ever so closer to my Lord and Savior. He sacrificed his life for me. How awesome is that?!


Anonymous said...

I have always loved to read. And I have read many kinds of books! I have been into Amish books since 2000. I love them for it seems to take me into the place they live. And, it always includes faith in the Lord. And no sex and bad language. I like that. Wanting to read this book since you are a new author to me.
Maxie Anderson ( mac262@me.com )

Abigail Richmond said...

I just love to read but usually the only time I get a chance to read is before I go to bed.
That is so cool about the Castle!!!
I love your books!

apple blossom said...

when I read it is generally for down time and good Christian fiction is a wonderful way to spend it.

ABreading4fu [at] gmail [dot] com

Pam K. said...

I find time for reading because for me it is as necessary as breathing. A day without reading is like a day without sunshine. Reading Christian fiction helps reinforce Biblical truths, often gets me to think of issues I may not otherwise, and sometimes just makes me laugh! I'm currently reading Mary Connealy's Lassoed in Texas series. Besides providing me plenty of laughs, the books remind me of the importance of keeping faith during difficulties.
I enjoy Stephanie's books and would like to read this one.


squiresj said...

I read to keep my sanity. When I am stressed, it de-stresses me. Also it encourages and uplifts me.
Please enter me to win
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Carol N Wong said...

I love to read Christian fiction because I feel that I come away after reading the book with a deeper sense of love and forgiveness and most of all hope. I have never been able to read something with expicit sex or violence so I also feel protected from that invading my time with the books. Often Christian fiction strives for meaning more than a lot of genres. I truly enjoy it.


by Pegg Thomas said...

What is the main reason that you take time out of your busy life to read?


What does Christian fiction provide for you that makes it worth your time?

Enjoyment with meaning.

What book met that need most recently for you? How?

I just finished John Robinson's "The Radiance". It's a good read with solid moral underpinnings, even though it's not a CBA book.

Krista said...

I've always loved to read... I just love escaping into a good story and immersing myself in the characters lives. I especially love historical fiction- I've always been a lover of history.
The wonderful thing about Christian fiction is not only is it clean, but usually there is always something in a book that speaks to a special need I have- it ministers to me.
Hmmm... I've read some really amazing books this year- but I think two of my favorites are "Heiress" & "The Shadow of your Smile" by Susan May Warren. Both remind you to continually hope, to place your life in God's hand and surrender control. Always something I need to be reminded of.

Krista said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Krista said...

Ooops! Forgot my e-mail address.
P.S. This book sounds wonderful! :)


windycindy said...

I like the way the characters in Christian characters find; and then possibly, lose their faith. But,
in the end, they usually find their belief/faith again!
Thanks, Cindi

Merry said...

I love to read Christian fiction because I always come away inspired, uplifted or encouraged. It makes my life richer. The Colonel's Lady by Julie Klassen really spoke to my heart about forgiveness and embracing God's plan for our lives. And, Hurricanes in Paradise by Denise Hildreth Jones, echoed the same theme but learning to forgive ourselves, accepting God's grace and mercy. Awesome books I will read again.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Stephanie Grace Whitson said...

You've not only encouraged with all your comments, but now I have a list of great books to add to my to-be-read pile. Thank you SO MUCH for welcoming me to Trish's blog. Blessings.



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