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, January 31, 2013

Jill Eileen Smith and Free Books!

PhotobucketCan love heal the rift between two souls?

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the PDF of False Alarm, by Veronica Heley, is:

johnsonk133@ . . .

Congratulations! We'll get your PDF of Veronica's 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 Jill Eileen Smith, author of Rebekah (Revell, January 2013).

PhotobucketJill Eileen Smith is the author of the bestselling Michal, Abigail, and Bathsheba, all part of the Wives of King David series, and of Sarai and Rebekah books one and two in the Wives of the Patriarchs series.

Her writing has garnered acclaim in several contests. Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

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

-- My two favorite forms of exercise are bike riding and swimming.

-- My favorite vacations involve my family and the Pacific Ocean.

-- The best Christmases when my kids were small included Legos.

-- My maiden name and my married name are the same.

-- I was one of eight co-valedictorians in high school.

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

PhotobucketWhen her beloved father dies and she is left in the care of her conniving brother Laban, Rebekah knows her life has changed forever. Though she should be married by now, it’s clear that Laban is dragging his feet, waiting for a higher bride-price to line his pockets.

When she is given a chance to leave her home to marry Isaac, a cousin she has never even seen, Rebekah’s hope for the future is restored. Little does she know what a wondrous and heart-wrenching journey she is beginning.

As Rebekah experiences the joy of young love and the bitterness of misunderstanding and betrayal, her resolve will be tested. When the rift between her and Isaac grows so wide it is surely too great to be mended, can she trust the God of Isaac’s father Abraham to bridge the gap?

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

Rebekah faced many of the same problems women face today – miscommunication, betrayal, deceit, favoring one child over another, allowing love and devotion for a son to replace the love that only a husband or more importantly, only God can give. By relating to Rebekah’s trials, I think we can learn a lot about our own.

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

PhotobucketBased solely on looks, I “cast” my characters to an Idea Board when I begin each novel. For Rebekah, I cast Rachel Weisz as Rebekah.




PhotobucketAnd David Strathairn as Isaac.




As we begin the new year, what do you hope to change about your life, either writing or otherwise?

This year promises to be extremely busy for me, for our family, with many milestone birthdays and a son’s wedding. I also have two books to write and a lot of editing ahead.

I guess my biggest goal is to keep the Lord my focus, to trust that He will work everything out better than I could ask or imagine, and just do the work He’s given me, one day at a time. It doesn’t pay to worry about tomorrow. I only hope I don’t become overwhelmed in the process of each new thing.

Oh, isn't that something we all have to keep telling ourselves? I completely identify with that goal, Jill.

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

Two From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes. I used to read it every Christmas from the time I was sixteen. Then years went by where it sat on the shelf. But last year, when my dad died, I read it again for comfort. I found myself turning to it yet again this year and was struck by the depth of emotion that story always evokes in me. It never grows tiresome, and I’ve probably read it at least ten times. Highly recommended!

What are you working on now?

I am rewriting the first novella, Naamah, in the Loves of King Solomon e-book series. The book is due March 1, 2013. I’m hoping to finish by the end of January because I need to start Rahab, book one in the Brides of the Promised Land series. At the very least I need to begin research on Rahab by February. My goal is to finish the first draft of Rahab by June so I can concentrate on Rachel (book three in the Wives of the Patriarchs series) edits, and enjoy our son’s wedding!

Where else can readers find you online?

My website: www.jilleileensmith.com
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

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




CBD.com
734305: Rebekah, Wives of the Patriarchs Series #2


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

What is your favorite female Bible character and why?

Thanks, Jill, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Jill has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, February 7. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Jill'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 Ron Benrey, 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.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ron Benrey and Free Books!

PhotobucketRon Benrey was perfectly content in middle age with being sort-of Jewish, but on one ordinary August afternoon, God “flipped his switch”— without an invitation and without any warning — and everything Ron had heard about Christianity made perfect sense. Seconds later he knew that he’d become a Christian. The Day God Flipped My Switch tells the story of Ron’s high-speed “conversion on the road to Annapolis.”

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Love Comes to Paradise, by Mary Ellis, is:

montanamade@ . . .

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 visit with Ron Benrey, author of The Day God Flipped My Switch, A Memoir (Greenbrier Book Company, February 2013).

PhotobucketRon Benrey, a writer for all of his career, specializes in writing “interesting words about difficult subjects.” He’s written ten nonfiction books (including Know Your Rights: A Survival Guide for Non-Lawyers and Understanding Christianity) and co-authored (with his wife Janet) nine mystery novels.

Surprisingly, learning to write mysteries was the key to Ron’s unexpected conversion to Christianity. He imagined putting himself into a novel he wrote and abruptly understood how God could be a Trinity...and how Jesus could be the incarnate Son of God, fully human and fully divine.

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

— Janet and I owned a sailboat for 25 years, but we recently made the transition to a small powerboat. I still feel a tad guilty—like I’ve helped “the other side.” :)

— I love computers and related technology. Years ago, I discovered that computers are the only things in life that listen to me unreservedly when I explain what I want.

— I read theology books for fun. I make this point in The Day God Flipped My Switch, but I know that lots of readers won’t believe me. Nonetheless it’s really true. My favorite contemporary theologian is the eminently readable N. T. Wright.

— Although I’ve been a writer all my life, I earned degrees in electrical engineering, management, and law. I “wrote my way” through all three schools and have managed to fold the three disciplines into my writing.

— Janet and I recently became the “oldest first-time grandparents in the U.S.” (At least it seems that way.)

Congratulations, Grandpa! I love being a grandparent--nothing like it. 

Please share more about The Day God Flipped My Switch.

PhotobucketThe Day God Flipped My Switch is the story of Ron’s remarkable change of mind and heart—and the novel teaching approach that God used to convey the truth of Christianity to him.

Whether you’re a fellow late bloomer or you became a Christian much younger in life, Ron shows you how to use the same ways of thinking to build your faith and grow your understanding of Christianity.

The Day God Flipped My Switch also explains with engaging humor the various twists and turns that Ron navigated to recalibrate his personal identity and worldview, as he learned to think like—and act like—a Christian, rather than a cultural Jew.

Why will readers enjoy your book?

For starters, The Day God Flipped My Switch is an unusual and (I’ve been told) well-written story of a surprising conversion—the kind of improbable epiphany that readers enjoy.

The book also describes with engaging humor (another compliment I’ve received) the various twists and turns that I navigated to recalibrate my personal identity and worldview, as I learned to think like—and act like—a Christian, rather than a cultural Jew.

Finally, the “fiction writing analogy” that helped me twig to the truth of Christianity can help many other Christians broaden their understanding of thorny Christian doctrines and deepen their faith.

I usually ask this question of my guest novelists, but I'd still be curious about your answer for your nonfiction book, since it sounds as if it involves an amazing story about real people: If you were the casting director for the film version of your book, who would play your lead roles?

PhotobucketModesty forbids a detailed answer, but since Anthony Hopkins can play Alfred Hitchcock successfully, he probably can also play Ron Benrey.

Just slip some glasses on him, and there you go!

What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? What do you struggle with?

I struggle with all of it. I’ve always been skeptical about —and a tad jealous of—people who say they find it easy to write. I need a large jar of butt glue to keep myself seated in front of my computer, and then I wrestle with every word, every sentence, every concept, every plot detail.

What is the last book you read that moved you?

Curiously, the last book I read was actually a re-reading of a book I'd first read years ago: The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis. This time around I found myself “getting” the allusions and the characters. Simply put, I think I understood the novel (I hadn’t earlier). I also found myself disagreeing with some of Jack Lewis’s notions—the first time I’ve ever done that. I’d rather not be specific, because I don’t want to have to defend my post-reading thoughts.

What are you working on now?

Two novels: One with Janet—A Jam of a Different Color, the next book in our “Royal Tunbridge Wells Mysteries” series. The second, written by myself, is set in the first century (I refuse to say anything more).

We'll await future details! Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

Our website is: www.benrey.com

Readers, I'm going to pose today's question for you: Ron's book addresses his "recalibrating" his personal identity and cultural stances after he became a Christian. What's a current cultural stance or personality trait that you currently work at recalibrating in your own heart?

Thanks, Ron, for visiting with us and telling us about your book. Readers, Ron has offered to give a signed copy of his book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, February 4. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to my 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 Veronica Heley, 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.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Veronica Heley and Free Books!

PhotobucketBea Abbot ran a domestic agency which did not--repeat not--deal with murder . . . until, that is, she became involved in the affair of Lady Ossett’s divorce.

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Ashton Park, by Murray Pura, is:

outlawarkansas@ . . .

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 Veronica Heley, author of False Alarm (Severn House Publishers, November 2012 UK, March USA).

PhotobucketVeronica Heley celebrated the publication of her 70th book this winter, having been in the business for over 30 years. She is currently writing two gentle crime series; the Ellie Quicke Mysteries and the Abbot Agency series. She also writes a short story once a quarter for the Methodist Recorder. Her early books, which include more crime and some historical novels, are currently being brought out as E-books.

She’s involved with her local church and community affairs, likes to break for coffee with friends and does the garden when she has time. She has been a member of a book reading club for 40 years, but has decided that life is too short to read depressing literature any more.

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

--I believe in chocolate as a reward when I’ve written to my target – and I believe in chocolate when things have gone wrong and I’ve missed said target.

--I like to buy my clothes in Bruges, because their styles are that little bit different from High Street shops everywhere in the UK.

--I prefer drinking beer to wine.

--I usually do everything ‘at the double’ and have to pray for patience with people who like a slower pace in life.

--I like to identify with the heroes and heroines of the books I read, and get depressed if all the characters are unlikeable.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of False Alarm.

PhotobucketBea is asked to track down the man or woman who laid a booby trap for the powerful Sir Lucas Ossett in his own block of flats. She finds Lady Ossett in a state of fear, while gossiping elderly ladies cast doubt on the probity of their neighbours . . . including a ‘therapist’, an ex-employee of Sir Lucas’s and a cross-section of yuppies and oddballs with life-threatening problems.

Call-girl cards have been left in innocent tenants’ letterboxes, a cat has met an untimely end, and snow is forecast.

Bea ruins two beautiful pairs of high-heeled boots in her attempt to separate the foolish from the murderous and reveal who it is who has brought death and destruction to this exclusive part of London.

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

Like many widows, Bea works for her living. In this case, she runs a successful domestic agency. Like many other women in their sixties, her self-important son thinks he knows better than her about everything . . . but seldom does. She’s taken in a dysfunctional pair of youngsters who call her ‘Mother Hen’, and a large cat called Winston. She is hard-working, tries to take care of her appearance and has a wry sense of humour.

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

PhotobucketIt would be a good part for many of the older actresses, who’d relish Bea’s wit as well as her wisdom.

Personally, I picture Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, or Judi Dench, three of my favorite British actresses.
Photobucket Photobucket





As we begin the new year, what do you hope to change about your life, either writing or otherwise?

In this New Year, I have to try to find a balance between work and looking after my family. I believe that’s something most writers have to struggle with, and I’m not sure it gets easier with age. Certainly I need more patience!

I agree, Veronica, that the struggle for balance is constant and tricky!

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

I read voraciously but can’t recommend most of what I’ve read recently. The last novel I read which I can recommend is The Hunger Games. Actually, this is a second reading as I propose to lead a discussion on it at one of our local Book Reading Club sessions. It is a gripping read, the characters are complex and worth study, and the theme of good versus evil is brilliantly worked out. Of course, it’s only the first of a trilogy...

What are you working on now?

I have just finished another Ellie Quicke story – tentatively titled Murder with Mercy, – and that’s shortly coming back to me for copy-editing. Meanwhile I’ve started another Bea Abbot, called False Diamond, in which a projected merger with another agency turns sour, a young mother goes missing and there’s hints of something very nasty in the background of her pushy husband. What’s more, he thinks women should be controlled by force – which doesn’t sit well with Bea.

Where else can readers find you online?

My website is at www.veronicaheley.com. I send out a monthly newsletter with lots of news and views on it. A shortened version of this is later posted as a blog on my website: blog.veronicaheley.com Both can be accessed through the home page of my website.

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

Some of my readers ask me to bring back characters from earlier books. This can be difficult to do as I think up new characters to meet the demands of new plots. I would like to ask readers to pick out a favourite character, someone who has not appeared in either series for a while. I promise to try to work the most popular choice into the next book that I write.

Thanks, Veronica, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Veronica's book won't be available in the U.S. for a few months, so she has offered to give a PDF copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, January 31. You could be the first to read the book this side of the pond! To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Veronica'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 Mary Ellis, 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.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mary Ellis and Free Books!

Photobucket A new home, a new friend, and a catastrophe…does she have a future to hope for?

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of In the Shadow of Sinai, by Carole Towriss, is:

scaramouche9999@ . . .

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 Mary Ellis, author of Loves Comes to Paradise (Harvest House, February 2013).

PhotobucketMary Ellis grew up near the Amish and fell in love with them. She has now written nine bestselling novels set in their communities.

When not writing, she enjoys gardening, bicycling, and swimming. Before "retiring" to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate.

Living in Harmony, book one of her current series won the Lime Award for Excellence in Amish Fiction. Her debut Christian book, A Widow's Hope, was a finalist for the 2010 ACFW Carols.

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

--I eat popcorn and chocolate for breakfast.

--I love to sleep with my head under the covers when it’s cold.

--I’m a terrible winter driver. I’ve been in more ditches than five average women put together.

--I can’t stop making up stories in my head.

--I always check out purses and shoes. I love purses especially.

Breakfast of champions, huh? Sounds delish to me.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Love Comes to Paradise.

PhotobucketIn Love Comes to Paradise Nora King is a woman in love. When Elam Detweiler leaves the ultraconservative Amish district of Harmony, Maine, and moves to Paradise, Missouri, Nora boldly follows soon after. But is she in love with the man or the independence and freethinking he represents?

Though she soon finds work she enjoys and a new best friend Nora can’t decide whether she wants to capture Elam’s heart or commit finally to her Amish faith.

Then, unexpectedly, Lewis Miller comes from Harmony to offer Nora what every woman hopes for—a lifetime of unconditional love. As Lewis attempts to claim her affections, Elam’s interest piques. Suddenly, Nora is irresistible to him.

Wooed by two such different men, will Nora come to her senses before Elam’s thoughtless choices ruin her reputation beyond repair? Will Lewis’s pursuit survive the challenge?

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

Nora is torn between two choices—a difficult spot most of us have been in at one time or another. Whether it’s romantic attachments, different career paths or where to live, each decision means we leave something…or someone behind.

I like the emotional danger you've injected in your plot line. Great conflict.

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

PhotobucketI would pick Emma Stone (from The Help) to play Nora.




PhotobucketAnd Johnny Lee Miller to play Elam Detweiler.





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

I just read Doc, by Mary Doria Russell, about Doc Holliday. I love historical fiction.

What are you working on now?

I’m finishing book 3 of the New Beginnings series, A Little Bit of Charm.

Where else can readers find you online?

www.maryellis.net
Blog: www.maryeellis.wordpress.com
Facebook

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




CBD.com
938679: Love Comes to Paradise, New Beginnings Series #2


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

What decision did you have to make that changed your life?

Thanks, Mary, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Mary has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, January 28. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Mary'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 Murray Pura, 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.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Murray Pura and Free Books!

PhotobucketWar in Europe, revolution in Ireland, an ancient estate and its family at the center of it all, but love and romance still find their way with the human heart despite the turmoil and the tragedy.

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Path of Freedom, by Jennifer Hudson Taylor, is:

jilian2011@ . . .

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 visit with novelist Murray Pura, author of Ashton Park (Harvest House Press, January 2013).

PhotobucketMurray was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His first novel was released in Toronto in 1988. Since that time he has published seven more novels, two collections of short stories, and a number of nonfiction titles including the Zondervan books Rooted and Streams.

He has been a finalist for several awards in the US and Canada and in 2012 won the Word Award of Toronto for Best Historical Novel. His book The Wings of Morning has been nominated for several literary awards including Best Inspirational Romance by ACFW.

Murray lives and writes in southwestern Alberta and is currently published by Barbour, Baker, Harper One, Zondervan, and Harvest House as well as several other publishing houses.

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

-- I have belts in Shotokan Karate & Tae Kwon Do.

-- I have enjoyed having various dogs in our home for almost 30 years – right now it’s Alaskan Malamute.

-- Two knight helmets and two swords are part of the décor on the brick wall in our living room.

-- I’ve been to the summit of a peak right next to Everest called Kala Pattar (18,800 feet).

-- I love wilderness camping in the Rocky Mountains.

Knights' helmets! That sounds awesome. I'd love to see those.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Ashton Park.

PhotobucketFour daughters and three sons have come of age at the Danforth family estate in Lancashire, England called Ashton Park. Some are liberal-minded, some conservative, some are wild, some more self-controlled, but each one tries to care for the others and each one is looking for the love of their life. They don’t necessarily look for that love among other aristocratic peers, a fact that drives their well-meaning parents, Sir William and Lady Elizabeth, to distraction.

But amidst the pitfalls of war and revolution, sibling quarrels and misunderstandings, forbidden love between nobility and commoner, and tragedy that strikes when you have three sons in uniform, a deep-rooted faith and hope in God sustain the family through the trials and heartbreaks of the early years of the 20th century, 1916-1923.

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

Victoria Danforth is full of fire and full of compassion. She wants to change the world overnight but she also wants to give the world a big hug and kiss and make everything all right. How she works out a balance between being a revolutionary change-maker, and being an irrepressible romantic and lover of all humanity despite people’s shortcomings, is a struggle I believe many readers will find intriguing.

And not only intriguing but something they will genuinely care about in terms of who Victoria is and how people make the life choices that ultimately define who they are.

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

PhotobucketVictoria Danforth should be played by a short-haired Angelina Jolie – it’s time for Angelina to step away from her superwoman roles in Tomb Raider and Salt and portray a deep and complex and romantic female character.


PhotobucketThe role of her lover, commoner Ben Whitecross, ought to be played by Hugh Jackman.




As we begin the new year, what do you hope to change about your life, either writing or otherwise?

Truthfully? Professional writing is an isolating and sedentary business. I want to make sure I have more “away from writing” days where I do all sorts of things with friends and family. And I need to have a disciplined and energetic exercise routine because no author should wind up looking like a big rectangular desk.

Right! Or a beanbag chair.

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

The Time It Never Rained by Elmer Skelton. You can tell a person is a good writer by page three and Elmer is a good writer, giving us a great story written in a rich, rugged, sinewy style, perfect for the Texas ranch life he is portraying.

What are you working on now?

Several things simultaneously: an Amish-American romance set in the Colonial Era revolving around a witch hunt and a witches trial (The Rose of Lancaster County); a novella for Christmas 2013 about a soldier returning home from Afghanistan only to find home doesn’t want him (An Amish Family Christmas); and the story of a young woman who opens her home on a Virginia plantation to famous and not so famous Confederate officers during the Civil War, creating a haven of peace and restoration for them and finding love along the way (Seven Oaks).

What a great variety of subject matters. Where else can readers find you online?

Look for my author page on Facebook – Murray Pura Writing; look for the titles of my books and their reviews on Amazon, CBD.com, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads; check out my Thursday morning blog each week entitled The Wind at my Back & The Sun on my Face – you’ll find it at Murray Pura Writing; drop in on my soon to be revised website at murraypura.com.

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




CBD.com
952859: Ashton Park, Danforths of Lancashire Series #1


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

Do you like the kissing and romance scenes in the books you read to be simple and sedate and straightforward or do you like them to be intense and passionate?

Thanks, Murray, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel.  Readers, Murray has offered to give a signed copy of his book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, January 24. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Murray'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 Carole Towriss, 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.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Carole Towriss and Free Books!

PhotobucketCan an artisan conquer his anger and see his ability as a gift from El Shaddai, or will he let his resentment rob him of his chance to build a masterpiece?

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Texas Wildflowers, by Anita Higman, is:

carlyberd@ . . .

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 visit with novelist Carole Towriss, author of In the Shadow of Sinai (DeWard Publishing Company, November 2012).

PhotobucketCarole Towriss grew up in beautiful San Diego, California. Now she and her husband live just north of Washington, DC.

In between making tacos and telling her four children to pick up their shoes for the third time, she reads, watches chick flicks, writes and waits for summertime to return to the beach.

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

-- I love chocolate and Mexican food.

-- I have four children, three of whom are adopted from Kazakhstan.

-- I love sappy movies.

-- I love the beach and we vacation there each summer.

-- I was a Navy brat, but we never moved.

Mmm, chocolate and Mexican food. I'm dieting right now, and both of those sound so much better than romaine lettuce.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of In the Shadow of Sinai.

PhotobucketBezalel is a Hebrew slave to Ramses II. An artisan of the highest order, Ramses has kept him in the palace even when all other Israelites have been banned. Bezalel blames El Shaddai for isolating him from his people.

When Moses and Aaron appear one summer, and El Shaddai shakes Egypt to its core, Bezalel must reexamine his anger. Over the course of the next year, Bezalel’s life becomes intertwined with those of an Egyptian child-slave, the captain of the guard, and especially a beautiful, young concubine.

When spring arrives, all of them escape with the young nation of Israel. But that’s only the beginning…

That really sounds fascinating, Carole! Different from the typical Inspirational storyline. 

What is it about Bezalel that will make your readers care about him?

Bezalel has to decide whether or not to trust God when some earth-shattering events shake his world. Like all of us, the trials in his life threaten his faith, and he considers giving up. His grandfather had told him, “You can trust God, or be blown about like a leaf in a desert wind.” We can either fight against God’s will in our lives, or we can rest in it. He really struggles with that choice.

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

PhotobucketI think maybe a young Orlando Bloom looks the most like what I pictured in my mind. I saw a picture of him with long hair and a beard.

Great choice. Sometimes he has such a classic beauty about him.

As we begin the new year, what do you hope to change about your life, either writing or otherwise?

I really want to be more disciplined. In my writing, my spiritual life, exercise—everything.

Ah, yes, discipline. I wonder if we ever feel disciplined enough?

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

I like pretty much everything I read. That’s what makes me a terrible reviewer! I just finished this morning Nicole O’Dell’s The Shadowed Onyx . It’s a young adult novel about spiritual warfare and it really made me think about the power of prayer.

What are you working on now?

I’m doing final edits on the sequel, By the Waters of Kadesh. I’ve also been plotting the third of the series in my head.

Where else can readers find you online?

www.caroletowriss.com, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest

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?

All right—my first daughter was born after eight years of trying on Christmas Eve Day. We took her home on Christmas Day. What was the best Christmas present you ever received?

Great question. Congratulations! Thanks, Carole, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Carole has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, January 24. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Carole'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 Jennifer Hudson Taylor, 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.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Jennifer Hudson Taylor and Free Books!

PhotobucketWith only a mother’s quilt as a secret guide, two young Quakers embark on a perilous journey of promise, love, courage, and forgiveness.

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Hurt, by Travis Thrasher, is:

lorigeorge@ . . .

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 visit with novelist Jennifer Hudson Taylor, author of Path of Freedom (Abingdon Press, January 2013).

PhotobucketJennifer Hudson Taylor is an award-winning author whose work has appeared in numerous national publications, such as Guideposts, Heritage Quest Magazine, Everton’s Genealogical Publishers, and The Military Trader.

When she isn't writing, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, researching her own family history, and reading. She resides with her husband and daughter in the Charlotte, North Carolina.

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

--I dislike bananas.

--I love parasailing over the ocean.

--I have never visited Scotland and it is my dream vacation.

--I have been to Disney World 4 times and I don’t think I’ll ever outgrow it.

--My first visit outside the country was to Toronto, Canada.

I'm with you on Disney World, Jennifer. I've lost count of how many times I've gone, and I'm eager to return!

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Path of Freedom.

PhotobucketWhen Quakers Flora Saferight and Bruce Millikan embark on the Underground Railroad, they agree to put their differences aside to save the lives of a pregnant slave couple.

With only her mother’s quilt as a secret guide, they embark on their perilous journey of promise where love sustains them, courage builds faith, and forgiveness leads to freedom.

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

She has experienced ridicule as a child from the hero and has a self-confidence problem in trusting others as so many of us do in real life. Yet, she strives to have a strong faith.

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

PhotobucketHeroine – Georgie Henley from the Chronicles of Narnia





PhotobucketHero – Alex Pettyfer from Beastly





As we begin the new year, what do you hope to change about your life, either writing or otherwise?

We plan to start homeschooling our daughter. High school has been difficult for her now that she has Epilepsy and we believe she will have a safer and happier environment at home.

Oh, I'm so sorry about the reason for switching to homeschooling, Jennifer! I pray your daughter will be all right and will thrive in the new environment.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on the 2nd novel for the 3-book series, The MacGregor Quest. It is set in Wilmington, NC during the American Revolutionary War.

Where else can readers find you online?

Website/Blog: www.jenniferhudsontaylor.com
Facebook
Twitter

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




CBD.com
752636: Path of Freedom, Quilts of Love Series #3


I'm going to pose today's question, readers. Jennifer's heroine has to overcome feelings of conflict with regard to the novel's hero in order to work with him and focus on something more pressing. When have you or a loved one been in a similar situation?

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, January 17. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to my 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 Anita Higman, 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.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Anita Higman and Free Books!

PhotobucketRomance is in full bloom for four McBride sisters living in Texas.

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Catherine's Pursuit, by Lena Nelson Dooley, is:

judyjohn2004@ . . .

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 novelist Anita Higman, author of the novella collection, Texas Wildflowers (Barbour Publishing, November 2012).

PhotobucketBest-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

What are 5 things that your readers might not know about you?

-- While I was in college I tried working in a pillow factory. I was terrible at it. I got so weary with the repetition I started yakking with the woman next to me. We got reprimanded over and over until I quit. I discovered one thing from that college job—talking is something I excel at.

-- I once won a hog-calling contest at a banquet. I was not embarrassed, but I should have been.

-- I have a bird phobia, and yet I love birds! (That is, from a distance.) My house is filled with the fake kind—prints on the walls, statues, and general bird doodads. Go figure.

-- I keep some interesting treasures near me when I write—a wooden jewelry box my son made me when he was in school, a candle from the 1960s, a hat once owned by a famous mystery writer, the inner parts of a music box, a birthday card that plays The Twilight Zone theme song, and an old family toy helicopter that says, “Going up.”

-- Thirty-four years ago I rappelled off a cliff alongside the man I was dating. We kissed in mid-air while dangling off that cliff. I ended up marrying that man, and we've celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary! Texas Wildflowers is a 4-in-1 novella collection through Barbour Publishing. Each novella is set in an exotic location in Texas. They are lighthearted romances, and they’re all tied together with the four McBride sisters.

Ornithophobia. I always have to look up the different phobia names. (Which might mean I'm a logophile.)

PhotobucketWhich of the four novellas was the most fun to write?

They were each fun to write in their own way, but my favorite character was Lily, the counselor, in Forget Me Not Lily. She was quirky and fun, relatable and loveable. At least that’s what I hope readers will feel.

Was it hard to write four separate stories and keep them fresh?

That task was very hard, because it is so easy to repeat plot elements and character traits and bits of dialogue. I had to constantly check myself to make sure the stories and characters were as unique as they could be. All these novellas are set in Texas.

Are the towns and parks real?

Yes, in fact one of the novellas is set in Big Bend National Park, where my husband and I went on vacation. So, when you read about the characters on certain trails, they’re real, and we hiked them!

Did you have a favorite book when you were a child?

I loved fairytales. Cinderella was my favorite.

Do you have a vacation spot you’d love to visit?

I’m dreaming of Ireland. My husband and I plan to travel there next summer. Can’t wait! Then I’m going to use the emerald isle as a setting in one of my novels.

When readers finish the last page of Texas Wildflowers, what do you want them to come away with?

I would love for them to be inspired, challenged, and entertained. If I accomplished even one of those things I would feel my writing time wasn’t wasted.

Where else can readers connect with you online?

Please drop by my website at www.anitahigman.com, or visit my Reader Page on Facebook.

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





CBD.com
265953: Texas Wildflowers


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

What foreign country would you like to see as a setting for a novel?

Thanks, Anita, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Anita has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, January 14. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Anita'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 Travis Thrasher, 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.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Travis Thrasher, January Releases, and Free Books!

PhotobucketIf you liked Twilight or The Hunger Games, then you’ll enjoy The Solitary Tales, especially since the fourth and final book called Hurt just released.

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Thyme for Love and Love Will Find a Way, by Pamela S. Meyers, is:

ibjoy195@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll email you today to get your mailing address, 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! Today's winner didn't comment but is a subscriber, so the name was automatically entered. Commenters get an additional entry in the drawing.

Now let's meet novelist Travis Thrasher, author of Hurt (David C. Cook, January 2013).

PhotobucketTravis Thrasher is the author of over twenty works of fiction in a variety of genres. He has collaborated with musicians, filmmakers, and pastors. His stories all feature broken characters on journeys toward redemption.

Upcoming books for 2013 include the novelization of Home Run and Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not? co-authored with the band Thompson Square.

Travis and his wife, Sharon, live in a suburb of Chicago and have three daughters.

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

--First name is William

--Hate politics

--Have never found a salsa I didn’t like

--Broke a school record in tenth grade for the 300 meter hurdles

--Slightly color blind

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

PhotobucketBoy moves to creepy town junior year of high school. Falls for the wrong girl. Again. And again. Struggling with his lack of faith.

The town is full of strange people who focus on him for some reason.

A hundred questions remain unanswered until the fourth and final book where our protagonist realizes who he is and tries to become the hero he’s meant to be.

Yes, it’s about a teenager coming of age, but it’s about a lot more. A spiritual battle centering around the soul of a boy named Chris Buckley.

What is it about Chris that will make your readers care about him?

Chris Buckley struggles and has doubts and constantly fails. He is our hero but he’s real. He’s got a unique sense of humor and deep down he’s a good guy. He just can be stubborn and stupid sometimes.

Yep, that sounds like a real person, all right.

As we begin the new year, what do you hope to change about your life, either writing or otherwise?

I hope to win the lottery, never cut my hair, move to a foreign town, and publish books under my pseudonym: Honker Van Snoodle.

And I thought Thrasher was an eye-catching name.

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

I have three girls ages 6, 2 & 2. I wrote ten novels last year. Last novel I read? For some reason I’m thinking of a Hardy Boys book I read in third grade.

Clearly this is not your reading "season." I wish I could tell you girls get easier as they get older.

What are you working on now?

A memoir about an amazing couple. Also starting work on an epic supernatural series in the vein of The Solitary Tales.

Where else can readers find you online?

www.travisthrasher.com

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





CBD.com
764164: Hurt, Solitary Tales Series #4


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

What do you do about a toddler who likes to climb out of her crib and fights going to bed. Oh, wait, is this supposed to be a literary question? Okay. What are you real thoughts about italics?

Before answering Travis' question--either one of them--take a quick look at some of the excellent inspirational fiction releasing this month!

Mind of Her Own by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer -- Who knew making dinner could change your life? (Contemporary Women's Fiction from Tyndale House).

Waiting for Morning by Margaret Brownley -- If Molly's purple attire doesn't blind you, her dazzling smile will. She doesn't just sing to cattle, she puts on a whole show with dancing and all. If only she wasn't so stubborn about her brother's care. Or so suspicious of a certain handsome doctor... (Historical Romance from Thomas Nelson).

Waiting for Spring by Amanda Cabot -- In the second of the Westward Winds series, a young widow discovers danger and love in 1886 Cheyenne. (Historical Romance from Revell).

A Daughter's Redemption by Georgiana Daniels -- Inheriting her estranged father's property isn't the reason Robyn Warner wanted to come back to Pine Hollow. She thought she'd make amends with her father-but his sudden death made that impossible. And when she learns the identity of the handyman fixing the run-down cabins, Robyn is ready to flee Pine Hollow again. (Romance from Love Inspired).

Where Treasure Hides by Johnnie Alexander Donley -- Gifted artist Alison Schuyler and British officer Ian Devlin fall in love on the eve of war. But Alison's spurned Nazi suitor has his own plans for her future. Will Alison and Ian hold onto their love despite the forces against them, or is it their fate to be separated forever? (Historical Romance from Tyndale House).

Choices of the Heart by Laurie Alice Eakes -- In this gripping story of trust, deception, and bittersweet loss, you'll discover the true meaning of choices of the heart. (Historical Romance from Revell).

Vanished by Irene Hannon -- A tenacious reporter... A dubious PI... A secret that will shatter lives.... (Romantic Suspense from Revell).

Claiming Mariah by Pam Hillman -- In light of her father's death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father's farm, the only home she's ever known, was bought with stolen gold.. Though Mr. Frederick Cooper, a local landowner, promises to answer her financial woes if she agrees to be his bride, Mariah finds herself drawn instead to the angry young man demanding her home. (Historical Romance from Tyndale House).

A Horseman's Hope by Myra Johnson -- Four years after his girlfriend, Shana, became pregnant, Ryan still can't believe he's a father . . . and can't imagine being anything else. His daughter is the light of his life. Now if only Shana could embrace motherhood and the three become a real family. . . . (Contemporary Romance from Heartsong Presents).

Denali Dreams by Ronie Kendig and Kimberley Woodhouse -- Vast and rugged, Denali National Park brings adventure and love into the lives of four courageous women. Will cancer survivor Karon reach Mt. McKinley's summit? Will heiress Jolie survive against the terrain and an assassin? Will flightseeing tour guide Deline save her stalling business? Will love conquer all for ranger Deanna? (Romantic Suspense from Barbour Publishing).

Lily's Plight by Sally Laity and Dianna Crawford-- Amid threats of impending Indian attacks, two people find themselves facing an entirely different challenge...forbidden love. (General Historical from Barbour Publishing).

A Mother's Promise by Anna Schmidt -- The third and final book in the Women of Pinecraft series. Set in the Amish/Mennonite community of Pinecraft on the Gulf Coast of Florida readers have fallen in love with these strong women who meet life's challenges with faith and courage. (General Contemporary from Barbour Publishing).

Path of Freedom by Jennifer Hudson Taylor -- 1850 - When Quakers Flora Saferight and Bruce Millikan embark on the Underground Railroad, they agree to put their differences aside to save the lives of a pregnant slave couple. With only her mother's quilt as a secret guide, the foursome follows the stitches through unknown treachery. As they begin their perilous journey, they hope and pray that their path is one of promise where love sustains them, courage builds faith, and forgiveness leads to freedom. (Historical Romance from Abingdon Press).

Doctor to the Rescue by Cheryl Wyatt -- A former Air Force combat doctor and single dad returns from deployment to raise his daughter and enters a childcare barter with a neighbor that lends to unexpected blessings. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired).
 

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