Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of The Day God Flipped My Switch, by Ron Benrey, is:
mac262@ . . .
Congratulations! I'll email you today to get your mailing 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! Commenters get an additional entry in the drawing.
Now let's revisit with novelist Loree Lough, author of For Love of Eli (Abingdon Press, February 2013).
With more than 4,000,000 of her books in circulation, best-selling author Loree Lough's 90 novels have earned hundreds of awards, 4- and 5-star reviews, and 4 movie options.
She and her husband split their time between a humble home in the Baltimore suburbs and a tiny cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, where Loree delights in showing off her "critter tracks identification" skills.
A writer who believes in giving back, she dedicates a generous portion of her income to charity; visit her site for the complete list of her favorites. Loree loves hearing from her readers and answers every letter, personally.
Please tell us five random things we might not know about you.
-- I paid my way through college by singing for my supper, literally.
-- I really do know how to identify critters by things they leave behind in the woods. Like paw prints.
-- I love rearranging the furniture. Every room has been "diagramed" on graph paper, so that when I get bored, I just move the teeny-tiny things around to see if it fits.
-- I have 10 bird feeders and 6 birdbaths in my yard (but only one bath is heated).
-- I have very little patience with whiny people and absolutely no tolerance for it in myself.
Please tell us a bit more about the plot of For Love of Eli.
When unspeakable tragedy leaves little Eli an orphan, two families are devastated. His Aunt Taylor, Eli's legal guardian, vows to help him remember his mom and dad by creating a memory quilt. As she begins piecing together the moments of his parents' lives, the story of a young family takes shape, and Taylor and Eli begin to heal.
For Eli's Uncle Reece, letting go of the past isn't so simple. He still blames Taylor's brother for his sister's death, a fact that forces him to keep a safe distance from Taylor, despite his attraction to her.
Can their love for Eli pave the way to forgiveness?
Or will Taylor and Reece be forever separated by misunderstanding and bitterness?
What is it about Reece that will make your readers care about him?
Reece pretty much raised himself and his younger sister, Margo, so that their missionary parents could travel the world, spreading God's word. His drive and determination kept a roof over their heads and food in the pantry, and put both of them through college, too. Being forced into the head of household role at such an early age made him resent the parents who wouldn't leave their mission work long enough to attend Margo's wedding. So here's this guy with a big, loving heart who fails at every man-woman relationship he enters into, because he feels guilty if he isn't trying to provide for others. And when his widowed sister dies in a car accident—and those same parents refuse to leave their native village to attend her funeral—he needs someone to blame…
…so he blames Margo's husband, whose loyalty to the Marines reminds him way too much of his parents' dedication to mission work. And since his brother-in-law was killed in action, that leaves Eliot's sister, Taylor. It isn't easy, transferring blame for Margo's accident from Eliot to Taylor, but he gives it all he's got! I think readers will root for this hard-working, wounded guy, and, as they turn the pages, I believe they'll pray he'll let down his guard, just long enough to let Taylor's love in.
If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?
Reece: Patrick Dempsey.
Taylor: Reece Witherspoon.
Mention a scene in your novel and name a piece of music that would make good background music for that scene.
The song would be "Forgiveness" by Toby Mac, in the scene where Eli is in the hospital. Tensions are high. Reece, a pediatrician, has just lost a patient, and Taylor is terrified they'll lose Eli, too. If For Love of Eli was a movie, I'd have that song playing in the background as Reece watches her staring out the window of Eli's hospital room, praying silently for Eli to get better: He wants to go to her, to offer her all the comfort and compassion his own soul is feeling, but knows that first, he must clean up his own act.
I love that image, Loree.
What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?
The Street Lawyer, by John Grisham. It's the story of a young guy who has it all…including the promise of getting a whole lot more, very soon. And then a crazy thing happens that changes him in ways he never would have imagined. All the things that were so important to him: Money, prestige, a corner office aren't so important any more. I think it's Grisham's best work, ever, because it reminds the reader that what we think we want and need is rarely what we ought to have.
What are you working on now?
I'm halfway through The Road to Normal, book two in a 3-book series for Harlequin's Heartwarming line.
Where else can readers find you online?
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, www.theloughdown.com, www.loreelough.com
The book can be purchased in fine book stores and online via the following buttons:
Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?
Have you ever written to an author, and, if so, what reason(s) prompted you to do it?
Thank you, Loree, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Loree has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, February 11. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Loree'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 Jill Eileen Smith, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book.
And see my post about an exciting new cell phone plan I started using in 2012. I'm thrilled with it--unlimited talk, text, and data for $49/month, with no contract. Send me an email through the "Email Trish" button, above, if you'd like me to send you a link to learn more about the phone plan and the income opportunity it presents.
Finally, 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.