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!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Debby Mayne and Free Books!

 photo Unknown-1_zps25143ea7.jpegWhen life gets you down, you have choices: Wallow in self pity or pull yourself up and plow forward.

Before we visit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Silver Bells, by Deborah Raney, is:

richmond.abigail@ . . .

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! Subscribers are entered a second time when they comment.

Now let's revisit novelist Debby Mayne, author of Tickled Pink (Abingdon Press, September 2013).

Author and speaker Debby Mayne grew up in a military family, which meant moving every few years throughout her childhood. Debby was born in Alaska, and she has lived in Mississippi, Tennessee, Oregon, Florida, Hawaii, and Japan. She and her husband of almost 30 years have two grown daughters, a son-in-law, and a granddaughter.

Debby has published more than 30 books and novellas, hundreds of short stories and articles, and a slew of devotions for busy women. She has also worked as managing editor of Coping with Cancer, a national health magazine, product information writer for the TV retailer Home Shopping Network, a creative writing instructor, and a copy editor and proofreader for several book publishers.

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

-- I'm the Etiquette Guide for About.com.

-- My current favorite exercise is rebounding (jumping on a mini-trampoline).

-- I love peanut butter.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Tickled Pink.

 photo Unknown-1_zps25143ea7.jpegPriscilla Slater shows up at her 20-year reunion as a national celebrity. Her hair salon dynasty has skyrocketed, and to top it off, she has her own line of hair products. She has become a huge success with the “Ms. Prissy Big Hair” line that lets women with the thinnest of locks get the coveted “big hair” look so popular in the South.

Her classmates have finally come to terms with adulthood, but they’re handling it with the grace of a Southern woman wearing white after Labor Day. It’s just downright awkward!

Asserting the maturity that her classmates have often lacked, Priscilla holds her head high. But she can’t ignore everything. When she catches her mother in the arms of her former high school principal, Priscilla can’t get out of town fast enough.

Eager to get back to her more comfortable life, Priscilla runs head on into an ultimatum: Tim tells her they’re not getting any younger—as if she has to be reminded.

I've already said this to Debby, but readers, don't you just love that cover? This series has terrific covers, in my humble opinion.

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

She's as insecure as she is driven, so most people can relate to her regardless of what they do for a living or where they are in life.

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

 photo images_zpsf6882486.jpegPriscilla – Gwyneth Paltrow




 photo Unknown-1_zps78c37088.jpegTim – Jake Gyllenhaal






 photo images-2_zpsc0f345f8.jpegLaura – Kathy Bates when she was younger





 photo images-3_zpsddff5a9a.jpegTrudy – Emily Maynard




 photo Unknown-2_zps865379fa.jpegCeleste – Shelley Duvall when she was younger




Students returned to classes this month. If you could attend class in any subject—even something crazy—what would it be?

American History. I never appreciated it when I was in school, so I'd like a do-over.

I know so many people who have developed greater appreciation for history as they've . . . matured in life, so to speak? I'm with you on that, Debby.

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

I just finished reading A Marriage in Middlebury, by Anita Higman for an endorsement. I'm a long-time Anita Higman fan, and she came through with delightful characters in a comfy setting and that fabulous "ahh" factor that left me feeling good for a long time afterward.

Yes! I endorsed Anita's novel, as well. Since a couple of my novels involve a tearoom owner, I was drawn to Anita's heroine, Charlotte, owner of the Rose Cottage Tearoom.

What are you working on now?

I'm working on Trouble in Paradise, the second book in the Uptown Belles series for Charisma House. All 3 books in this series are fish-out-of-water stories with southern women moving up to New York City.

Where else can readers find you online?

www.debbymayne.com
Facebook
www.debbymayne.blogspot.com


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






CBD.com
733623: Tickled Pink, Class Reunion Series #3



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

Have you ever attended a class reunion, and if so, did it meet your expectations?

Thanks, Debby, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Debby has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, October 10. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Debby'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 post about great love stories, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of my book, Unforgettable.

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.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Great Love Stories and Free Books!

"From early 1942 until the invasion of Europe, over a million Americans landed in Britain. They came to serve on other battle fronts or to man the vast U.S. bases in England. Hardly a city, town or village remained untouched." (Yanks, Universal Pictures, 1979)

Before addressing today's topic, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Beloved, by Robin Lee Hatcher, is:

pepsi324@ . . .

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! Subscribers are entered a second time when they comment.

And now for today's topic.

Last weekend we celebrated my parents' 69th wedding anniversary. Sixty-nine years! As someone less than accomplished in this area, I have amazing respect for couples who succeed not only in keeping their marriages together, but in keeping their relationships loving.

Although my novels tend to focus on those initial years in romantic relationships, I think we all know the real romantics are the ones who hang in there during the tough times, too. I remember my parents having their share of arguments when I was a child, and I can still remember worrying that maybe they were angry enough to call it quits. That kind of angry never happened between them.

And now my heart melts to see the sweetness that passes between them in their senior years.

During World War II Dad was an officer with the Air Force (at that point in time, it was called the US Army Air Force), and Mom was a British volunteer selling tickets to a dance sponsored by the British version of the USO.



Their whirlwind romance, which led to marriage after three months, came to mind when I was a young woman and watched the movie, Yanks, starring Richard Gere. Ah, so romantic and heartbreaking.

And Mom and Dad's romance nurtured my image of the young hero of my 1951-era romantic novel, Unforgettable. Josh Reegan is an up-and-coming political journalist. He's also a former fighter pilot, as was my father. Josh is just as driven to rectify social and political wrongs as he was during his years as a pilot. Sometimes that drive keeps him from appreciating the more upbeat aspects of life.

And that's where dance-instructor heroine Rachel Stanhope comes in.

I'd like to give away a signed copy of Unforgettable to someone who leaves a comment below. What I'd like to know is what romantic experience (of yours, a family member's, or a close friend's) comes to mind in connection with a particular film or book? What is the film or book's title, and how does it relate to your own experience?

This Thursday, I'll draw a name from those posting answers, and the winner will receive a signed copy of Unforgettable.

Be sure to check out my interview with Deborah Raney, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book.

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, September 23, 2013

Deborah Raney and Free Books!

 photo SilverBellscoverhi-rez_zps7663b33f.jpegAs Christmas descends upon a small Kansas town, Michelle and her boss’s son, Rob, must decide if their growing love is worth losing their jobs and perhaps even their families.

Before we revisit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Congo Dawn, by Jeanette Windle, is:

vherlock@ . . .

and the winner of the signed copy of When the Clouds Roll By, by Myra Johnson, is:

bonnieroof60@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll email you both today to get your mailing addresses, 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! Subscribers are entered a second time when they comment.

Now let's chat with novelist Deborah Raney, author of the Christmas novel, Silver Bells (Guideposts, October 2013).

 photo ScreenShot2013-09-19at43710PM_zps283ddfb0.pngDeborah Raney's first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched her writing career after 20 happy years as a stay-at-home mom. Since then, her books have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists.

Deb's 23rd novel released from Howard/Simon & Schuster in May 2013 and she is currently working on a five-book series for Abingdon Press Fiction. Deb enjoys teaching at writers' conferences across the country.

She and her husband, Ken Raney, recently traded small-town life in Kansas ––the setting of many of Deb's novels––for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita where they enjoy gardening, antiquing, movies and traveling to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away.

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

-- I love antique shopping and decorating. (But I hate painting and hanging wallpaper!)

-- I’m not the best cook, but I’m a great baker––cookies, homemade bread, scones, granola, etc.

-- All my babies weighed over 9 pounds at birth, the oldest being 9 lbs 13 ozs! (And no it wasn’t gestational diabetes.)

Yikes. Big chilluns! Good for you for going through that more than once.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Silver Bells.

 photo SilverBellscoverhi-rez_zps7663b33f.jpegElvis croons from the radio as Christmas descends upon a small Kansas town in 1971. Michelle Penn has started a new job at a tiny weekly newspaper, and the boss’s son, Rob, is quickly making her forget all about her former sweetheart in Vietnam.

Rob feels trapped working for his father and dreams of working for a bigger newspaper. But now that he’s met Michelle, she is what he wants most of all. Unfortunately, Rob is forbidden by office policy to date her, but if he were to quit his job, he’d have nothing to offer her.

As snow blankets the town, it seems that the gifts Rob and Michelle most desire—each other—are out of reach. But then they didn’t count on a small Christmas miracle.

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

I think readers will find a bit of Michelle and Rob in themselves. They are both young and relatively innocent, discovering what life has in store for them, and hoping that it involves a heavy dose of true love.

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

Taylor Swift would make a great Michelle Penn;




and Kyle Chambers IS Rob Merrick.




Students returned to classes this month. If you could attend class in any subject—even something crazy—what would it be?

Ah, definitely psychology! I love studying people and what makes them do what they do. It’s probably why I like writing so much––exploring my characters’ psyches!

My major! I'll bet there are a lot of novelists out there with psych degrees. It's a good fit.

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

I loved Angela Hunt’s The Offering. She’s one of my all-time favorite authors, and this book was a page-turner.

What are you working on now?

I’m waiting on the edits for the first book in my new series for Abingdon Press. Home to Chicory Lane will release in August 2014. There are five books planned in the Chicory Inn Series, and each tells the story of one of the children of the Whitman family who run the Chicory Inn in a small town in Missouri.

Where else can readers find you online?

www.deborahraney.com
Twitter
Facebook
novelgarden.blogspot.com


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





CBD.com
934378: Silver Bells



Finally, I have a question for you, readers. Even though Christmas is relatively far off, if you could ask for one thing--a "gift" like the one mentioned above, rather than a sweater or piece of jewelry--what would it be?

Thank you, Deborah, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Deborah has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, September 30. 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 Robin Lee Hatcher, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book.

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, September 19, 2013

Robin Lee Hatcher and Free Books!

 photo 38_beloved_zps46d4d20b.jpgDiana is ready to begin a new chapter in her life—until the husband she believed dead reappears at her engagement party.

Today we're talking with novelist Robin Lee Hatcher, author of Beloved (HarperCollins Christian Publishing, September 2013).

 photo robinLeeDSC_0098_pp_400x400_zpsfde47669.jpgRobin Lee Hatcher is the best-selling author of seventy books. Her well-drawn characters and heartwarming stories of faith, courage, and love have earned her both critical acclaim and the devotion of readers.

Her numerous awards include the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA® Award for Best Inspirational Romance, Romantic Times Career Achievement Awards for Americana Romance and for Inspirational Fiction, the Carol Award, the 2011 Idahope Writer of the Year (now named the Robin Award in her honor), and the 2001 RWA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Catching Katie was named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.

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

-- Although I don't write humorous stories, I have a rather quirky sense of humor and love to be with quick-witted people who make me laugh.

-- I love rollercoasters!

-- In 9 holes of golf, I hit the ball so often it is like golfing 36 holes or more.

I'm with you on the laughing and the rollercoasters, Robin! Two of my favorite experiences.

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

 photo 38_beloved_zps46d4d20b.jpgDiana Brennan came west on the orphan train and was given a home with a loving couple who cherished and spoiled her. At 17, she fell hard for Tyson Applegate, the son of a wealthy mine owner. After a whirlwind courtship and marriage, Tyson took off for adventures around the world, including fighting with the Rough Riders in Cuba. Receiving no word from him in years, Diana’s infatuation with her dashing husband died an ugly death, and she is ready to move past the old pain and marry again, just as soon as Tyson is declared legally dead.

But when Tyson returns, claiming to be a changed man, he wants to reunite with his wife and run for the senate. While Diana suspects the election is his real reason for wanting her by his side, she agrees to maintain his home and to campaign with him, but when it is over, win or lose, she wants her freedom. He agrees with one condition—she must give him a chance to change her mind about him.

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

In the past, Tyson was completely thoughtless and hurt Diana deeply by deserting her. But he has returned a man changed by faith, and he wants to prove he is a new creation and can be the husband his wife deserved from the start. I love to write about second chances because God has given me so many of them in my own life.

As for Diana, because she lost her own parents, then her siblings, and finally her husband, she has abandonment issues and is prone to taking in strays, which leads to plenty of disruptions in Tyson's household.

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

 photo emily-blunt-lighter-locks_zps77c36c74.jpegDiana would be played by Emily Blunt.




 photo mel-gibson-young-photos_zpsf9829878.jpgTyson would be played by a younger Mel Gibson (he's too old for the role now, but it was his photo I used when crafting the character).


Students returned to classes this month. If you could attend class in any subject—even something crazy—what would it be?

The Roman Empire and the history of Jerusalem during that same time period.

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

Dog on It by Spencer Quinn. I love quirky detective novels. This is the first Chet and Bernie mystery. The stories are told by Chet who is the dog; Bernie is the PI. Warning: There were some curse words sprinkled through the book, but overall, it is a fun read. I loved being in Chet's POV, and there were many times when I could hear my own beloved dog saying, "Yeah, that's just what I think."

What are you working on now?

I'm currently writing a new contemporary romance. It's too early to reveal the title just yet, but it will release in November 2014.

Where else can readers find you online?

My web site and blog can be found at www.robinleehatcher.com. From there, readers can find links to social media sites such as Pinterest, YouTube, Goodreads, and Twitter. I am most active on Facebook. And I do monthly book giveaways on Goodreads.

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





CBD.com
753560: When the Clouds Roll By, Till We Meet Again Series #1



And the e-book links for Belonging and Betrayal (each on sale at $1.99!) are:

Belonging (Book #1) http://www.robinleehatcher.com/books/belonging/

Betrayal (Book #2) http://www.robinleehatcher.com/books/betrayal/

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

If you could go back in time, when and where would you like to visit?

Thank you, Robin, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Robin has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, September 26. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Robin'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 Jeanette Windle and Myra Johnson, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of each post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book.

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, September 16, 2013

Myra Johnson and Free Books!

 photo WTCRBcoverhi-res_zpsf4f5dfe0.jpegAs the Great War comes to an end, a young ceramicist is heartbroken when her wounded fiancé breaks their engagement, until her friendship with a duty-bound army chaplain slowly blossoms into love.

Before we revisit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Beyond These Hills, by Sandra Robbins, is:

infuse@ . . .

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! Subscribers are entered a second time when they comment.

Now let's chat with novelist Myra Johnson, author of When the Clouds Roll By (Abingdon Press, September 2013).

 photo MyraJohnson2012smallcropped_zps54c65a32.jpegAward-winning author Myra Johnson writes inspirational romance and women’s fiction—emotionally gripping stories about love, life, and faith. She is a two-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award finalist, most recently for her 2012 release A Horseman’s Hope. Her novel Autumn Rains won the Romance Writers of America 2005 Golden Heart for Best Inspirational Romance Manuscript and was a 2010 Carol Award finalist.

Married since 1972, Myra and her husband are the proud parents of two beautiful daughters and grandparents of four rambunctious grandsons and two precious granddaughters. Although Myra is a native Texan, she and her husband now reside in North Carolina and share their home with a very spoiled lapdog.

Myra writes full-time and is currently serving as president of Carolina Christian Writers (ACFW—Charlotte Chapter). When the Clouds Roll By is the first book in her Till We Meet Again series for Abingdon Press.

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

-- I still have all my Barbie dolls from the ’60s stored in the guest room closet. When my granddaughter comes to visit, we pull them out and play dress-up.

-- In high school I won a Best Supporting Actress trophy in a UIL One-Act Play competition. I loved acting but was too shy to pursue it as a career, so living vicariously through my story characters seemed a natural alternative.

-- I’ve always loved horses and finally had the chance to take riding lessons in my early 50s, thanks to good friends willing to share their horses. I competed in my first and only dressage show in 2005 but haven’t had the chance to ride since leaving Texas.

I sometimes wonder how many of us novelists have frustrated actors living within our hearts. It certainly does make for more imaginative character development, doesn't it?

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of When the Clouds Roll By.

 photo WTCRBcoverhi-res_zpsf4f5dfe0.jpegIt’s the autumn of 1918, and Annemarie Kendall prays daily for the safe return of her childhood sweetheart, 1st Lieutenant Gilbert Ballard, gravely wounded in the Great War. But the man who comes home, now suffering from headaches, depression, and morphine addiction, is not the same man Annemarie fell in love with.

Army Chaplain Samuel Vickary fights a different kind of war as he clings desperately to a faith shaken to its core by the horrors of the battlefield. His one bright light in a world struggling from beneath the clouds of war is the beautiful Annemarie—a woman promised to another.

While Annemarie tries to sort out her confused feelings about the two men in her life, she witnesses firsthand the bitterness and hurt they both hold within. Whom will she choose? Will she have the courage to follow her heart and become the woman God intended her to be? As bodies are mended and hearts are broken, their faith will be tested to the extreme.

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

A ceramicist with creative vision, Annemarie Kendall dreams of opening her own studio and showroom, even though she knows her practical father would disapprove—as would her wealthy, society-minded future mother-in-law.

Then Gilbert breaks off their engagement, and Annemarie’s pottery wheel and her growing friendship with Samuel Vickary are the only things keeping her sane. Loyal to her first love, she continues to hold onto hope for a future with Gilbert until finally forced to admit the war has turned him into someone she doesn’t recognize.

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

 photo anne_hathaway_2-normal_zps97727262.jpgAnnemarie would be played by Anne Hathaway,




 photo Simon-simon-baker-31348643-500-391_zps33671875.jpgand Simon Baker would portray Samuel Vickary.





 photo Unknown-1_zps991f3c9c.jpegI pictured actor Eduardo Verástegui as Gilbert (but without the Latino accent).



Students returned to classes this month. If you could attend class in any subject—even something crazy—what would it be?

There’s so much I wish I had time to study and become proficient in, not the least of which is a foreign language—probably Spanish. It would also be fun to take a horticultural or landscaping class so I could spruce up my lawn and severely neglected flowerbeds.

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

Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese. A friend recommended this book when she learned my husband and I planned to visit our daughter and family in Ethiopia, where they are currently serving as missionaries. Since much of the story takes place in Addis Ababa, the capital, the book took on new meaning for us as our daughter and son-in-law showed us around the city during our visit last month. Parts of the story are gritty, explicit, and hard to read, but the historical context is fascinating and the character development compelling.

One of my book clubs chose that novel, and I made the mistake of listening to it in audiobook format. I wasn't able to get past listening to the gritty, explicit scenes you mention. It was one of the few books I stopped reading. There's something more graphic about hearing someone speak the words. Maybe I'll revisit the book without listening to it!

What are you working on now?

Books 2 and 3 in the Till We Meet Again series are now in production. Whisper Goodbye releases next spring, and Every Tear a Memory is scheduled for Fall 2014. Most recently I’ve begun work on a contemporary romance set in West Texas.

Where else can readers find you online?

www.MyraJohnson.com
www.Seekerville.net
Facebook
Goodreads
I am also on Twitter as @MyraJohnson and as my alter ego, @TheGrammarQueen


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





CBD.com
753560: When the Clouds Roll By, Till We Meet Again Series #1


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

If you knew a book you wanted to read was being made into a movie, would you rather see the movie first or read the book first?

Good one. Personally, I always want to read the book first. I've often rushed to read novels after hearing they were going to be movies I'd probably want to watch! What about you, readers?

Thank you, Myra, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Myra has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, September 23. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Myra'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 Jeanette Windle, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book.

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, September 12, 2013

Jeanette Windle and Free Books!

 photo CongoDawncover-websize_zps394120f2.jpgIf power breeds corruption, what happens when a multinational corporation with unlimited funds hires on a private military company with unbridled power in a Congolese rainforest with the ultimate conflict mineral up for grabs?

Before we visit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Keeping Faith, by Hannah Alexander, is:

barn1451@ . . .

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! Subscribers are entered a second time when they comment.

Now let's meet novelist Jeanette Windler, author of Congo Dawn (Tyndale House Publishers, February 2013).

 photo JeanetteWindleHeadshot2_zps1f2c2eab.jpgAs daughter of missionary parents, award-winning author and journalist Jeanette Windle grew up in rural villages, jungles, and mountains of Colombia, now guerrilla hot zones. Jeanette married another missionary kid, and as a couple they have served in full-time international ministry ever since. Her detailed research and writing is so realistic it has prompted government agencies to question her as to whether she received classified information.

Currently based in Lancaster, PA, Jeanette has lived in six countries and traveled in more than thirty across thirteen time zones. Those experiences have birthed sixteen international intrigue titles, including bestselling Tyndale House Publishers release Veiled Freedom, a 2010 ECPA Christian Book Award/Christy Award finalist, sequel Freedom's Stand, a 2012 ECPA Christian Book Award/ Carol Award finalist, and Congo Dawn, 2013 Golden Scroll Novel of the Year.

Jeanette has taught writers conferences and mentored Christian writers in both English and Spanish on five continents.

What an impressive, unusual background, Jeanette! Now I understand how you manage to write stories with such exotic settings.

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

-- I am the rarest type of identical twins: mirror-image (I am left-handed, she is right-handed).

--I attended a missionary kids boarding school high in the Andes Mountains on the Colombia/Venezuela border from age seven to eighteen (2nd-12th grade).

--I've had the privilege of being interrogated as to possession of "classified information" by personnel from three different branches of government intelligence, experiences that like any good author I promptly appropriated for use in future story scenes (bottom line, in any global hotspot, missionaries and humanitarian expatriates on the ground will have a better grasp of facts and situation than the average intelligence operative sent to nose around!).

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Congo Dawn.

 photo CongoDawncover-websize_zps394120f2.jpgCongo Dawn takes place against the backdrop of the Democratic Republic of Congo's Ituri rainforest war zones.

A veteran in handling corruption and conspiracy, former Marine lieutenant Robin Duncan has never had any trouble discerning good guys from bad. But when her security team is sent to track down an insurgent killer, Robin faces a man who broke her trust years ago and discovers that gray areas extend deeper into the jungle than she anticipated. As a vicious global conspiracy emerges, run by brutal men who don’t leave witnesses alive, Robin must decide if there is anyone left she can trust.

And where is God in the midst of suffering and injustice? How is it possible followers of Yesu (Jesus) caught in the crossfire can still rejoice when everything they hold dear is ripped away?

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

At one of the story's high points,  Robin asks a question of the Congolese doctor's wife:

“I would give my own life to stop the pain I’ve seen. To stop little girls and boys from being raped. Or just as bad, forced into armies where they’re turned into killers. To keep families from being torn apart by war. Children dying of preventable diseases for lack of a dollar’s worth of medicine. So am I more compassionate than the God who created all these people, created all this beauty? How can an all-powerful God who claims to love humanity look down on our planet and watch such unspeakable things happening, innocent people hurting and dying, bad guys winning over and over again, so much suffering, without it breaking his heart? Without reaching down and putting a stop to it?"

It is a heart cry with which I think every reader can identify, and my prayer is that in walking through Robin's own journey, readers will find answers of their own to the core questions of this story. How can a world filled with such darkness, injustice and pain possibly be the creation of a God of love? How can followers of Yesu [Jesus] in the bleakness of an Ituri rainforest conflict zone or any other dark corner of this planet take seriously a Scriptural mandate to rejoice in their suffering [James 1:2; I Peter 4:13]? What value beyond our own comprehension might human suffering possibly hold that a loving Creator God permits it to continue?

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

 photo cc807313ac9c9ab9_evanrachelwoodxlarger_zps8fb38bb6.jpgFor Lieutenant Robin Duncan, Rachel Hurd-Wood (in her redhead roles since Robin is a redhead).




 photo hugh-jackman-12_zpse1fe97f0.jpgFor Dr. Michael Stewart a younger Hugh Jackman (Michael is 30).




Students returned to classes this month. If you could attend class in any subject—even something crazy—what would it be?

Geomythology, the study of alleged references to geological events in mythology. And, yes, that subject does tie in closely to my current work-in-progress described below.

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

Actually, I recently finished an entire series I'd be delighted to recommend, Tales of Goldstone Wood, by Anne Elizabeth Stengl.

The first in that series had popped briefly onto my radar when Heartless won a 2011 Christy Award for the debut novel category. I enjoy good fantasy and was offered a free copy, so I started reading. For a debut novel, Heartless was more than I expected—rich prose, a delightful tale of a young princess having to choose which Prince on which to bestow her heart, its spiritual parallels skillfully woven.

I didn't revisit Goldstone Woods until I received a request to interview Anne Elisabeth Stengl at the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) in St. Louis this past June. Discovering she'd published several titles since Heartless, I settled in to catch up through Veiled Rose (2012 Christy Award winner), Moonblood, Starflower  (2013 Christy Award finalist) and new release Dragonwitch. Wow!

This debut author's writing, along with Goldstone Woods itself, had grown up, its beauty of story, richness of prose, complexity of world no longer just for YA fantasy fans, but readers of all ages. Far more so, its spiritual themes of forgiveness, second chances, sacrifice, above all, the love of a heavenly Prince who never stops pursuing nor gives up on His beloved. I'm now eagerly waiting for the next Goldstone Wood tale and can't recommend this brilliant new author highly enough, no matter what genre a reader typically enjoys.

What a terrific endorsement! I interviewed Anne not too long ago, when Starflower released.

What are you working on now?

After seven consecutive adult international intrigue titles and a children's international mystery series, I am actually buried currently in a project that is very much outside either of those boxes, more The DaVinci Code meets Michael Crichton's Timeline than anything I've written to date. Set alternatively against a near-future and pre-diluvian Earth, Deluge is a story that has been bubbling for years, and I am excited about where it is going. But I hope I won't be leaving you in too much suspense if I reserve the details until I am much further along.

Where else can readers find you online?

I would like to invite any reader interested in knowing more about Congo Dawn, my other titles, or my own life journey to visit me at my website (www.jeanettewindle.com), contact me directly at jeanette@jeanettewindle.com, or through FaceBook and Twitter (user name: jeanettewindle). I am also delighted to participate with local book clubs or discussion groups through Skype video conference or on-line chat conference.

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





CBD.com
371581: Congo Dawn


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

In your own life experience, have you personally collided with the seeming paradox of a loving God and human suffering? If so, I would be delighted to hear from you as to your life story, questions and ultimate conclusions.

Thanks, Jeanette, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Jeanette has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, September 23. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Jeanette'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 Shannon Vannatter, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book.

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, September 9, 2013

Sandra Robbins and Free Books!

 photo BeyondTheseHills_zpsb282381d.jpegSparks fly when a young mountain woman and a government agent find themselves on opposing sides in the the sale of mountain land for the establishment of a national park.

Before we visit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Arkansas Weddings, by Shannon Vannatter, is:

plhouston@ . . .

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! Subscribers are entered a second time when they comment.

Now let's revisit with novelist Sandra Robbins, author of Beyond These Hills (Harvest House Publishers, September 2013).

 photo Sandra130_zps4cf8dbb5.jpeg Sandra Robbins, former teacher and principal, is an award winning multi-published author of Christian fiction who lives with her husband in Tennessee.

Angel of the Cove, her first book in the Harvest House Publishers historical romance series Smoky Mountain Dreams, released in August, 2012, and was recently named the 2013 winner in the Single Title Inspirational Category of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. This award is given by the Birmingham Southern Magic Chapter of Romance Writers of America for excellence in writing romance.

In addition in 2013 her Love Inspired Suspense books Shattered Identity and Fatal Disclosure were both awarded the HOLT Medallion in different categories of the Virginia Romance Writers of America contest to honor outstanding literary talent.

Dangerous Waters, the first book in her Cold Case Files Series, released the first of August and was followed by Beyond These Hills, the third book in her Smoky Mountain Dream series, in September.

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

-- I enjoy traveling. My husband and I were thrilled to take a cruise to Alaska this summer.

-- I’m a big fan of James Taylor and love to listen to his music.

-- I love watching movies. Two of my recent favorites are The Life of Pi and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Beyond These Hills.

 photo BeyondTheseHills_zpsb282381d.jpegThis is the third book in the Smoky Mountain Series. In this book, the government is in the process of establishing the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and the people who’ve lived in the remote valley of Cades Cove must sell their land and move out. Determined to hang onto the land that’s been in their families for generations, the residents try every legal means at their disposal.

When a young government agent arrives with the assignment to get the last residents to sell, he thinks he’ll be finished in no time, but he hasn’t expected to meet a beautiful mountain girl just as determined to help her family keep their farm. As their attraction grows, they realize the barriers that stand between them can only be broken down by uniting their lives in Christ’s love.

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

Laurel Jackson is the third strong woman in this series, with the first being her grandmother in Angel of the Cove and her mother in Mountain Homecoming. She has been taught to believe in God to provide her needs and to love her family. When she encounters Andrew Brady who has known neither of these things in his life, it seems she has come up against an immovable obstacle, but God has other plans for her and Andrew.

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

 photo images_zps9bad1c6e.jpegEmily Blunt would be Laurel,





 photo images-2_zpsae9d7cf1.jpegand Channing Tatum would be Andrew.




Students returned to classes this month. If you could attend class in any subject—even something crazy—what would it be?

I graduated from college with a degree in music with the piano as my instrument. I’ve also played several other instruments, but there’s one I’ve never attempted even though I have wanted to. I would love to take instruction in how to play the harp. I think it is a beautiful instrument with a gorgeous sound, and I wish I knew how to play it.

Yes, a very dreamy instrument!

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

I read a lot and in a lot of different genres, but there’s one book that I’ve read lately that really appealed to me. It is Try, Try Again by Ruth Logan Herne. It is the story of the reconciliation and healing of a family after years of the parents being divorced. Right before I read this book, my daughter and her ex-husband had remarried after being divorced for five years, so I can testify to how God can bring about healing when we think there is no hope.

What are you working on now?

I am working on Trail of Secrets, the third book in my Cold Case Files series. It’s a romantic suspense which is loosely based on the disappearance twenty-five years ago of the daughter of a family in our church. Only last year did her family finally discover the location of her body and were able to bring her home for burial. She was an anonymous murder victim in Texas, and her case is still unsolved.

How horribly sad, Sandra. That can't be an easy book to write.

Where else can readers find you online?

Readers can find me at my website at sandrarobbins.net or they can contact me at sandra@sandrarobbins.net. I am also on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

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





CBD.com
948883: Beyond These Hills, Smoky Mountain Dreams Series #3


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

Just like my friends in our church, there are perhaps thousands of families all across the country who live each day with the question of who harmed someone they love. Writing the Cold Case Files series has made me stop and think a lot about these families and the heartbreak they face because of unanswered questions. Have you or someone you’ve known ever had to endure such pain? Or perhaps there’s an unsolved case you’ve read about that you can’t get off your mind. Leave a comment and let me know.

Thanks, Sandra, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Sandra has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, September 16. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Sandra'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 Shannon Vannatter, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book.

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, September 5, 2013

Hannah Alexander and Free Books!

 photo Unknown-1_zps5f73b78b.jpegOvercoming bitterness over a broken romance from the past, Dr. Victoria Fenway and wagon train captain Joseph Rickard join forces to catch her late husband’s killer and save a group of slaves from murder.

Before we visit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Captured by Moonlight, by Christine Lindsay, 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! Subscribers are entered a second time when they comment.

Now let's meet novelist Hannah Alexander, author of Keeping Faith (Love Inspired Suspense, September 2013).

 photo Unknown-2_zps0e01c99a.jpegHannah Alexander is the pen name for novelist Cheryl Hodde, who writes with the editorial and research assistance of her husband, Mel. That help is especially vital when she includes medical scenes in her stories, because Mel has been an ER doc for more than two decades.

Nearing the mark of 30 published novels, Cheryl has found four vital ingredients she tends to incorporate into every story, whether historical or contemporary—romance, suspense, medicine and most important, faith in Christ. Animals and quirky secondary characters also show up as often as possible, and she has plans for more of these in the future.

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

--I am CFO and co-director of a new clinic in my hometown, which hasn’t had a family doc in forty years. Mel is using his long ER experience to reach out into the community to offer quality medical care. It’s been a wild ride.

--I once ran my pantyhose up the flagpole of my high school—which I can see from our sunroom—to protest the lack of a flag. The hose were replaced very quickly with stars and stripes.

--I grew up in California next door to Jim Arness, who was the star of Gunsmoke. I had a friend whose father was caretaker of Hopetown, a western town stage set owned by Bob Hope. I played amongst the buildings and hillsides of the fabulous set. These experiences helped develop my passion for making up stories.

Love the pantyhose story!

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Keeping Faith.

The wagon train ride from Missouri to Kansas Territory is rife with perils, but there are bigger obstacles for Dr. Victoria Fenway than cholera or creek floods. Years ago, she and wagon train captain Joseph Rickard were deeply in love. Now Victoria is tracking the man who killed her late husband, and she is determined to continue his work rescuing slaves, with or without Joseph’s help. She can’t allow herself to fall for Joseph again—not when he abandoned her once before.

Joseph told Victoria he’d love her forever, and he’s been as good as his word, despite a misunderstanding that led her to marry another man. But with dangerous slavers on their trail, he’ll do anything to keep her safe until they reach a new home hidden away in Kansas Territory—and a second chance at love.

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

Victoria has the strength and determination of a warrior, and she doesn’t care who she offends when she takes steps to catch her husband’s killer. She also struggles with a tender heart that nearly rips in two when she’s faced with a decision—she can either leave the wagon train to risk her life and follow the murderer, or she can stay with the train and tend to the heartbreak of her newly orphaned young assistant.

When, to her surprise, her assistant, Heidi, follows her into the forest, Victoria is nearly killed when she leaps between Heidi and an attacking panther.

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

 photo images_zps671cdb4a.jpegVictoria would be played by Kirsten Dunst.





 photo images-2_zpsf60bdfd0.jpegAnd sorry, but even after all these years, I’m a die-hard Pirates of the Caribbean fan, so Orlando Bloom would play Joseph.

No apology necessary! I've always liked his style.

Students returned to classes this month. If you could attend class in any subject—even something crazy—what would it be?

What do they call Home Economics these days? We had the best Home Ec. teacher, and she taught us a lot, but if she were to tour my home today she’d flunk me, because I’ve spent too many years writing and working on accounts, and not enough years attending to my home. Time to learn all over again…when I find the time.

Family Life Sciences--that's the current term, apparently. I'm with you, though. I'm excelling at Dust 101.

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

When I was working on Keeping Faith, I read Lynn Austin’s novel, Candle in the Darkness for research, but also to catch the beautiful flow of her words. Though my story is nothing like Lynn’s, and I could never hope to achieve such a poetic voice, I was reassured by her story of a strong woman who, like Victoria, also wished to end slavery. I would recommend her novel to anyone who wished to read an excellent historical novel filled with accurate detail, romance, and taut suspense.

What are you working on now?

My work-in-progress is a contemporary romantic suspense set in Jolly Mill, which is the same village where I set Keeping Faith nearly 150 years in the past—and yes, I included some quirky characters and a Doberman guard dog to protect the feisty, loveable daughter of my heroine. My working title is Reign of Fire.

Where else can readers find you online?

I can be found at www.hannahalexander.com and Hannah Alexander on Facebook

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






CBD.com
829800: Keeping Faith


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

I don’t wish to be self-serving, but this would require research: Which of my other novels would you like to receive if you win a copy of Keeping Faith, and why? (You can find these novels and their descriptions on my website.)

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

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.
 

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