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, April 5, 2012

Jennifer AlLee and Free Books!

PhotobucketSometimes, the end of the road is just the beginning.

Before we talk with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Prophet, by R.J. Larson, is:

ashley.vanburen@ . . .

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 Jennifer AlLee, author of The Mother Road (Abingdon Press, April 2012).

PhotobucketJennifer AlLee believes the most important thing a woman can do is discover her identity in God – a theme that carries throughout her stories. She's done extensive freelance work for Concordia Publishing House, including skits, Bible activity pages, and over 100 contributions to their popular My Devotions series.

Her previous novels are The Love of His Brother, (Five Star, November 2007) and The Pastor’s Wife (Abingdon Press, February 2010). Her upcoming novel is A Wild Goose Chase Christmas (November 2012) from Abingdon Press.

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

-- I lived above a mortuary in Hollywood, California for the first 10 years of my life.

-- When I was two years old, my Chihuahua saved my life.

-- I took one year of Naval Jr. ROTC in high school (I was NOT very good at it).

-- I have always wanted to own a horse, but never have.

-- My not-so-secret dream is to be a musical theater performer. I’d be happy just to be in the chorus!

I'm always delighted by how many of my author friends sound like novel characters themselves when I read these five random items.

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

PhotobucketWithin the course of a week, marriage expert Natalie Marino is dumped by her husband, receives an urgent call home from her father, and discovers her estranged sister, Lindsay, is pregnant. A road trip on Route 66 may not help, but it sure couldn’t hurt.

Or so Natalie thinks, until Lindsay’s boyfriend starts stalking them. Will their trip down the Mother Road bring the two sisters closer, or turn out to be the biggest wrong turn of their lives?

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

Natalie is a woman whose whole life falls apart in a matter of days. When her husband announces he wants a divorce, he’s not just ending their marriage, he’s undermining her career. She feels she has nothing left of the life she knew. I think we’ve all been at that point at some time in our lives… when there is nowhere to turn, nothing to do, but cling to God.

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

This is a great question, because I actually “cast” all my books when I start writing them. It helps me to have a picture of the characters in my head. Here’s my entire dream cast:

PhotobucketNatalie - Diane Lane

PhotobucketTony (Natalie’s soon-to-be ex) – Aaron Eckhart

PhotobucketLindsay - Rachel McAdams

PhotobucketBen (Lindsay’s boyfriend) – Dominic Monaghan

PhotobucketJade (Natalie’s assistant) – Mila Kunis

PhotobucketNatalie’s Mom – Debbie Reynolds

PhotobucketNatalie’s Dad – Victor Garber

PhotobucketAdam (Natalie’s new friend in Beaumont) – Bradley Cooper

What would you say has been the greatest challenge to your writing life that you’ve faced recently?

Probably the fact that I’m between contracts. I don’t do well without a deadline. If I have a set goal, then I’m fine. I’d rather be running like a mad woman with my hair on fire than meandering.

I completely identify. When a writer has a contract, she just has to make the time. Otherwise, it's too easy to let everything else take top priority.

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

Dry as Rain by Gina Holmes. Gina has a gift of putting you right inside the character’s head. This book is particularly impressive because it’s written entirely from a man’s point of view. From the first page, I never thought about the fact that a woman wrote it, I was just swept up in this man’s story. It’s a very honest look at how a marriage can slowly fall apart over the years, one misunderstanding at a time, but it’s also full of hope. Just fabulous!

What are you working on now?

I have several proposals out right now, but as I said, I’m in that dreaded limbo stage between contracts. One project I’m excited about is the re-release of my first book, The Love of His Brother, as an eBook. I’m in the process of having the rights revert back to me, and once that’s done, I can move forward.

Where else can readers find you online?

I’m all over the place!
My website – www.jenniferallee.com
My blog - jenniferallee.blogspot.com
The Inkwell Inspirations blog - www.inkwellinspirations.com
Facebook - www.facebook.com/Author.Jennifer.AlLee
Twitter - twitter.com/JenniferAlLee

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

713125: The Mother Road

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

With the advent of blogs and Twitter, it seems that people prefer their reading in smaller chunks. I’d love to ask your readers what they think about that... Do you enjoy shorter books? Long books with shorter chapters? Or does length have no bearing, as long as the story is good?

Thanks so much, Trish. I had a great time sharing with you and your readers!

Thanks, Jennifer, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Jennifer has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, April 12. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Jennifer'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 Cara Putman, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of her 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.

Finally, take a look at some of the terrific Inspirational fiction releasing this month!

Race Against Time by Christy Barritt -- Were it not for her cop neighbor, widowed mother Madison Jacobs would be dead. Thankfully, Detective Brody Philips interrupts an attempt on her life in the nick of time. But the would-be killer hasn't given up, and each tick of the clock brings the madman closer to finishing what he started. Brady vows to catch the serial killer plaguing the sleepy Virginia town...especially when he realizes the danger has followed him from the big city. With everyone around him at risk, it'll take everything Brody's got to do his duty and keep Madison and her son safe. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired).

Always the Designer, Never the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker -- It's taken Audrey Regan years to establish herself as a wedding dress designer, and to date she's been roped into creating dresses for nine of her girlfriends. Request #10 follows her vow to "Just say no!" and comes from her very best friend. She can hardly turn Carly down! Audrey arrives in Atlanta early to perform all of her maid-of-honor duties along with final fittings for a one-of-a-kind dress. But Carly's wedding is nothing short of an event, complete with Prince Charming, and the festivities make Audrey question whether there's a prince of her own anywhere in her future (Contemporary Romance from Abingdon Press).

A Love Rekindled by Margaret Daley -- Zane Davidson and Kim Walters were sweethearts years ago, but he betrayed her love. Now he's the only one who can help Kim rebuild her family. Can their love be rekindled? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired).

Cowgirl Trail by Susan Page Davis -- When a rancher's cowboys go on strike, his daughter enlists her girlfriends to help her finish the roundup and cattle drive. (Historical from River North (Moody)).

Lady Anne's Quest by Susan Page Davis -- Lady Anne must give her uncle important news--but somebody wants to stop her. (Historical from Barbour).

The Chase by DiAnn Mills -- To FBI Special Agent Tigo Harris, it's a cold case, but to writer Kariss Walker it's a story that she has to write despite the danger. (Romantic Suspense from Zondervan).

A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island by Cara Putman -- Mackinac Island is accessible only by ferry or small plane. Its laid back pace, sans cars, is the perfect place to recover from hurt—unless the injury occurred there. As Alanna Stone tries to reconcile past to present she discovers her future lies in learning to listen to God. (Romantic Mystery from Barbour).

Brush of Angel's Wing by Ruth Reid -- Rachel and Jordan's feelings for each other are hostile at first, but angelic intervention helps the two discover peace . . . and perhaps love. (Contemporary Romance from Thomas Nelson).

The Quakers of New Garden byJennifer Hudson Taylor, Claire Sanders, Anne E. Shrock, Sussette Williams -- Four Quaker women face challenges of the heart. Ruth hesitates to give her bridegroom a third chance at love. Underground Railroad worker Deborah meets a bounty hunter. Leah tries to turn a marriage of convenience into a marriage of love. Christian Jaidon falls for Quaker Catherine. Will love endure in their hearts and lives? (Historical Romance from Barbour).

The Discovery by Dan Walsh -- The Discovery is a richly woven novel filled with romance, suspense and intrigue that explores the incredible sacrifices that must be made to forge the love of a lifetime. (Historical from Revell).

Need You Now by Beth Wiseman -- Experience a family's triumphant defeat over lies, betrayal, and loss while still clinging to the One who matters most. (Women's Fiction from Thomas Nelson).

Happy reading!


Soni B said...

She sounds like a perfect author for me to experience...

Soni B said...

oopps I forgot

hope I win : )


Nancee said...

It doesn't matter to me how long a book is, as long as it keeps my interest and doesn't drag. I do tend to like shorter chapters because I tend to get a lot of interruptions.

Anonymous said...

The longer the book, the better. After I get to know the characters I don't want to let them go! Alva raegale2@gmail.com

squiresj said...

Link has no effect as long as the story is good. A short story can sometimes be too short. I like a story you can get into and feel like you are on an adventure.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Jo Huddleston said...

If the story is GOOD (well written) it doesn't matter the length. I love to read a book that I can't put down and sneek bits of time to pick it up. Today I read The Vow in one sitting!
Trish, thanks for having Jennifer on today,enjoyed the interview.

apple blossom said...

length has nothing to do with the books I read

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Cheryl Barker said...

When it comes to books, the length doesn't matter to me as long as the story is good and the writing is strong.

ckbarker at gmail dot com

Marianne said...

i actually prefer longer novels. i like getting to know a character. Actually, if there is a series, so much the better! Thanks for the great interview and opportunity to win this giveaway, Tish

mitzi underscore wanham at yahoo dot com

by Pegg Thomas said...

In general I prefer longer books, but only if the story warrants that length. If the author is simply dragging it out for the sake of words...nope.
twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

Abigail Richmond said...

It doesn't matter how long the book is as long as the story is a good one.

beemama said...

I enjoy a good read, and it doesn't matter about the length, unless of course we are talking WAR AND PEACE.
Sometimes when I only have a little time I'll grab something along the lines of Love Inspired or Heartsong books. Other times I enjoy the longer reads like Jennifer's books.
By the way I adored THE PASTOR'S WIFE.

Anonymous said...

This is something I had never
thought about.But I decided that
I read any length book, but have
a slight preference for a longer
book. That gives me a chance to
get to know the characters better
and to wonder as I read about
what various things or happenings
mean in the context of the book.


Jennifer AlLee said...

Good morning, Ladies! So good to see you all here. Big thanks to Trish for allowing me to visit her blog and spend time with you.

It appears the overwhelming answer to my question is: Quality trumps quantity. In other words, a good story is essential, but length is negotiable. I'm glad to know that :)

karenk said...

i love a good story...the length of it doesn't matter to me

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

The Mother Road sounds like a good book to win. I just love the stories, but guess I'd say a long story, since I'm never ready for them to end. Hope I win!
Maxie ( mac262@me.com )



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