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, May 17, 2012

Carla Stewart and Free Books!

PhotobucketAn East Texas widow sets her dreams on running the Stardust Tourist Court, but when her dead husband’s mistress arrives with a child in tow and polio strikes, her dreams are crippled.

Before we revisit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Hannah's Joy, by Marta Perry, is:

crazi.swans@ . . .

The winner of The Homesteader's Sweetheart, by Lacy Williams, is:

rosemcnana@ . . .

And the winner of Traveler's Rest, by Ann Tatlock, is:

k527@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you all for your snail mail addresses, 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 Carla Stewart, author of Stardust (FaithWords, May 2012).

PhotobucketCarla Stewart’s writing reflects her passion for times gone by. She’s an alumnus of the Guideposts Writer’s Workshop, a two-time winner of the ACFW Genesis contest. Her debut novel Chasing Lilacs was the 2011 trophy winner at OWFI (Oklahoma Writers Federation Inc.) and a 2011 finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award. Broken Wings was a 2012 Oklahoma Book Award finalist.

Carla believes in Jesus, the power of the written word, and a good cup of coffee. She and her husband have four adult sons and delight in the adventures of their six grandchildren. Her desire is to take readers to that place in their hearts called “home.”

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

-- My husband and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary this month!

-- My miniature dachshund, Zelda, is my muse and writing companion.

-- I’m not afraid of snakes or lizards, but I can’t stand salamanders.

-- As a teen, I rode a Trailways bus from Oklahoma to California by myself.

-- I’m a huge Statler Brother fan and have been to their concerts in four different states.

Some day I'd like to hear more about the unpleasantness of salamanders. That actually sounds like an obscure book title: The Unpleasantness of Salamanders.

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

PhotobucketShortly after burying her unfaithful husband, Georgia Payton inherits the derelict Stardust Tourist Court from a distant relative. Faced with opposition from the aunt who raised her and others in the town, Georgia breathes new life into the cottages.

The guests who arrive, though, aren’t what Georgia expects: her gin-loving mother-in-law; her dead husband's mistress; an attractive drifter who's tired of the endless road; and an aging Vaudeville entertainer with a disturbing link to Georgia's past. Dreams of a new life are crippled amid the havoc.

Georgia's only hope is that she can find the courage to forgive those who've betrayed her, the grace to shelter those who need her, and the moxie to face the future. One thing is certain: under the flickering neon of the STARDUST, none of their lives will ever be the same.

I love the sound of this book, Carla. What is it about Georgia Payton that will make your readers care about her?

Georgia was abandoned as a child to the care of her aunt, and now her husband has left her for another woman. She’s not one to lament over her situation, though. She’s headstrong and spunky and determined to make a new life for herself and her daughters. She’s generous and struggles to forgive, but for her children and others, she rises above and does the right thing.

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

PhotobucketGeorgia Payton: Amy Adams with curly hair.

PhotobucketPeter Reese: Owen Wilson – I think he could do a Georgia accent.

PhotobucketAunt Cora: Dee Wallace.

PhotobucketLudi Harper: Viola Davis.

If a novel were published today, based on your life, what would be an appropriate title?

Ack! I’m horrible at titles, but I’ve always been a glass half-full person and am willing to try new things, so Rose Colored Glasses.

Or maybe The Unpleasantness of Salamanders?

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

Thunder and Rain by Charles Martin. He’s one of the best at mining the emotions and pulling the reader along with enough mystery so you have to finish the book. I love all of his books!

What are you working on now?

I just turned in Sweet Dreams (2013), a novel set in 1963. Two close-knit cousins struggle to fit in at an exclusive Southern charm school, but when they both fall for the same handsome guy, their love for each other is tested. Patsy Cline sings “Crazy” on the radio while the worlds both inside and outside the walls of the charm school begin to crumble. Past secrets and family lies collide with the changing times. Sweet Dreams has a flawed cast of characters whose dreams have the power to take them to new heights or tear them all apart.

Where else can readers find you online?

My website: www.carlastewart.com

Follow me on Twitter




Stardust Video Trailer

504282: Stardust

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

In Stardust, the guests are not what Georgia expects. What is the most unexpected or surprising thing that has ever happened to you?

Thank you, Carla, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Carla has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, May 24. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Carla'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.

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.


lgm52 said...

Pregnancy...unexpected and a surprise....and thank goodness for my wonderful son!

Julia M. Reffner said...

Meeting my hubby the first semester at college and marrying young. I was the nerdy type with few boyfriends in high school so I didn't expect the man of my dreams to waltz into my life so quickly.


Lane Hill House said...

My firstborn passing away last June 3. But it wasn't a surprise to the Lord. Kathleen

Debbie Clark said...

When I met my husband, all he could talk about was cars, cars cars. After we were married and had moved from where I grew up, the job that I had for the first 17 years of our marriage was at an insurance company. You guessed it. I learned all about cars, cars, cars. I learned to like and be interested in what made my hubby tick. I think that it was real ironic and that God was laughing when He made sure that I got that job.


carla stewart said...

First off, thanks, Trish, for having me here. I would have come sooner, but I was researching salamanders!

lgm52 - An unexpected baby! What a wonderful surprise.

Julia - I identify completely. I met my husband my 2nd year of college, but we dated until I graduated and will celebrate our 40th anniversary soon. Much wedded bliss to you!

LaneHillHouse - I'm so sorry for your loss. This must have been a difficult year for you. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Debbie - God has a great sense of humor, doesn't he? And happy that you can laugh about it!

Thanks, everyone. Good luck in the drawing.

Faye said...

Carla congrats on your 40th anniversary!!!

Ass for the most unexpected thing that ever happened to me...that's a hard one, but I would have to say that being allowed to help out with my church's library was definitely a huge thing :)

crazi.swans at gmail dot com

Sonja said...

Hello. after 22 years of marriage, with a lot of difficult and troublesome days, my husband quit drinking... he told out daughters it was because he loved me more than anything in his life...
then I had 17 much better years including a trial of myself having cancer, and into a period of time that involved sickness for my husband before GOD took him home

Unknown said...

Congratulations on 40 years... We're at 38.

My fourth son was an unexpected surprise.

carla stewart said...

Thank you, Faye!

Any job that involves books is a great plus. Your church is fortunate to have you.

squiresj said...

An unexpected and surprising thing that happened tome was when my oldest was little, she was in a bad mood. Someone knocked on the door and it was her Grandparents we were not expecting. From then on they always seemed to show up every time we fixed polish sausage and cabbage. It became a joke. Now they are gone. Wish sometimes they could show up but girls are grown too.
I always loved the Statler's growing up.
I would love to win as I have read none of your books and would love to.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Joanne Bischof said...

I'll never forget my biggest surprise--it was the worst and saddest day of my life. BUT the Lord works in miraculous and mysterious ways and He used that incident for His amazing glory! :)

Anonymous said...

Two bad surprises were when my daddy died with a heart attack while on a trip and I had just moved near my folks after being away for many years. I know you never know, but sure wasn't expecting to not see him again when he went to my sisters. The other was when I found out my husband had cancer, but with todays medicines, GOD allowed us almost 9 extra years. A blessing. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

Rick Estep said...

It would have to be the day that I won my iPad! My kids and I had participated in a scavenger hunt that had a grand prize of an iPad. So we did the hunt one Saturday afternoon and a couple of weeks later found that we were the winners!

Cheryl Barker said...

One of my biggest surprises was when our oldest daughter and her husband showed up for a weekend trip when we didn't think they were coming. So much fun to have that unexpected time with them.

Happy Anniversary, Carla!

apple blossom said...

we have had guest that were suppose to show up for a meal and call an hour or two later and show up that is down right rude if you ask me.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

The most surprizing thing that ever happened to me? A super critical relative actually complimented me once. I was driving and nearly lost control of the car. It was so nice to hear that. Afterwards, she went back to her usual unpleasant self, but I enjoyed that compliment.


Judy said...

The day that I was diagnosed with breast cancer was most certainly unexpected! The doctor felt that the lump in my breast wasn't malignant. So imagine the surprise of shock that greeted me when I was told I had cancer.

In July I will be 13 years cancer free! Praise God for his goodness!


carla stewart said...

Thank you all for sharing your stories. Unexpected things change us, don't they? Whether it's a wonderful surprise or horrible news, our lives are not the same as they were. You're brave to tell your stories. Thank you for stopping by and doing just that.

You're all precious to me.

Thanks, Trish, for having me.

Lisa E. said...

The most surprising thing that has ever happened to me was 7 years ago, seeing TWO heartbeats on the ultrasound monitor -- and I just knew it was twins before my ob/gyn said a word. I was in a daze for the rest of the day. :-)


Nancee said...

I think that the most unexpected news that I've received was about two years ago when my daughter was doing some history of our city and residents. She discovered that my father had been married to someone else before he married my mother. No one ever to us, but I have since found out that others in the family knew about it. Shocking for us.

Merry said...

Hmmm, this is a hard one... Last summer two of my children married within 6 weeks of each other. It was wonderful but I never expected two weddings so close to each other!
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Cara Putman said...

I love Carla's writing and this book sounds like a lot of fun.

Cara cara at caraputman dot com



Content Copyright Trish Perry | Graphic Design and Layout Eagle Designs