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, August 11, 2014

Davalynn Spencer and Free Books!

 photo RomancingtheWidow_zps99dd67ef.jpgAfter losing her heart, her husband, and her hope, a young widow returns home to Cañon City and meets a rugged, worn, and disarming Colorado Ranger.

Today we're talking with novelist Davalynn Spencer, author of Romancing the Widow (Love Inspired | Heartsong Presents, August 2014).

 photo mug_2_zps7cbdbdab.jpgWife and mother of professional rodeo bullfighters, Davalynn Spencer began her writing journey in the national rodeo market and as a newspaper journalist, winning awards in both arenas. Today she continues to win acclaim with her inspirational western romance, placing second in the 2014 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards, and finaling for the Selah Award and the Holt Medallion.

Davalynn teaches writing at Pueblo Community College, and with her handsome cowboy, has three children and four grandchildren. They make their home on Colorado’s Front Range with a Queensland heeler named Blue.

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

-- I’ll eat bacon on anything but ice cream.

-- I prefer shoes without shoe strings.

-- I don’t do windows.

I remember a day when that first item might have sounded odd. But our love of bacon seems to have led to just about everything edible being available in bacon flavor, to wit:

But I digress. Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Romancing the Widow.

 photo RomancingtheWidow_zps99dd67ef.jpgMartha Stanton isn’t looking for love because the light went out of her soul when her husband fell to a bullet in St. Louis. Now, back in her hometown of Cañon City, she's convinced she'll never know happiness again. Until she crosses paths with a darkly mysterious Colorado Ranger.

Haskell Jacobs has a mission, and it’s not the beautiful, flame-haired widow he nearly runs down in the street. However, she is somehow mixed up in the crime that brought Haskell to the rough-and-tumble town of Cañon City, Colorado, and soon she's entangled in the lawman's heart.

But the danger that lurks around them is all too real. Can they find strength and love in each other before it's too late?

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

Martha Stanton does not want to be called Marti. Nor does she appreciate everyone telling her what she should and should not do now that she’s a widow. Her life is set in stone as rigid as the bluffs encasing prehistoric fossils north of her hometown. As a young girl, she was fascinated by those fossils, but then she grew up and became one. Now, added to her resolve to live alone and lifeless is the unnerving presence of a mysterious man who must be more than he’s telling.

Haskell Tillman Jacobs is constantly at war—with himself, with outlaws, and with God. And then he meets the preacher’s daughter, a woman he can’t afford to spend time with. Except she dogs his thoughts and dreams and won’t leave him be. Maybe it’s time to surrender.

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

 photo images_zps4d7ffdf9.jpegMartha would be played by Renee Felice Smith of NCIS Los Angeles, only with long hair. I love her spit-fire spunk.

 photo Unknown_zps581f1d81.jpegHaskell would be, without a doubt, Michael Weatherly of NCIS. The perfect, chronically single lawman smitten by a lovely, independent woman.

Do you ever attend writers’ conferences? At what point in a writer’s career do you think she or he should consider attending conferences, and why? Or why not?

I have attended conferences annually for the last eight years. Absolutely necessary – if not for learning new things about craft, then for networking, making new writer friends, or stretching yourself by teaching a workshop.

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

Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck. Not only did I love it, I turned right around and reread it because of the way Hauck uses words. It wasn’t just the setting, the characters, the plot, or the spiritual thread. It was the way she wove all those things together.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on a contemporary romance set on the California coast that involves a young, cynical reporter and a bronc-riding sheriff’s deputy with sea-green eyes.

Where else can readers find you online?

Twitter @davalynnspencer

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

487212: Romancing the Widow

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

How important to you is the setting of a story?

Thanks, Davalynn, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Davalynn has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, August 18. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Davalynn'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 Melody Balthaser, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book.

Also, 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.


Susan Johnson said...

Sometimes the setting of the story isn't important. Other times, like with this book, I was drawn to it because it is set in a place where I have visited.
I love your choices for your lead characters.
Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this book.
susanmsj at msn dot com

RATS SMITH said...

Trish, thanks so much for the awesome interview you did with Davalynn Spencer! She is one one of my favorite authors and I love to read new stuff about her.
To answer her question, the setting of a story is what makes the story!! Like you wouldn't write about a cowboy and a whale in the ocean....would definitely not be a good story...just a bunch of words....so without the right setting, the story would not be good. Not being a writer, I am not too good at explaining myself but you see what I mean?
"Romancing the Widow" sounds like another great book from Davalynn, and I would be honored to win one. I thank you for the opportunity to enter the giveaway.
God's Blessings to you and Davalynn.

Davalyn Spencer said...

Thank you, Susan. It's so fun to know that readers have visited the area I write about. Thanks!

Davalyn Spencer said...

Rats (Ruth) - Thank you so much for your comment. I'm so glad you enjoy my books.

Granny's Attic said...

Sometimes the setting of the story is crucial to the plot. However, I don't usually choose a book based on the setting, although I have done several times. When I find a book whose setting is a small, obscure town that I have visited or have lived in, or have relatives who live there, I will read it just to see how true to the location it actually is. You would not believe the liberties taken with real locations!

Davalyn Spencer said...

Granny's - love your observation, that you will read to check out accuracy. Sometimes I read a book because I want to go to that setting - like Hawaii!

sn said...

Well, in the case of your book, it means a lot; we are on a road trip and will stop in Canon City, CO next week to see if the Gorge is open after the fire. Love to win and read your book. Love this location! sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I think some settings draw a reader more than others but when you read what it is about then you will buy it anyway if the story interest you. But, the cover draws my attention first. I am also a widow so would love to read this book. Thanks for the give-away. I would love to win this book. Maxie
> mac262(at)me(dot)com <

Davalyn Spencer said...

Sharon - how exciting that you're coming here! I believe the new park officially opens Aug. 30 But even if you're here before then, there are places where you can see the Gorge. I'd recommend a Jeep Tour - about 3 hours. Great views from the top of Fremont Peak where you can see not just the Gorge, but Pikes Peak, the Sangre de Cristo range, and even Pueblo 35 miles east on the plains.

Davalyn Spencer said...

Maxie - thanks for your comments. One of my friends is also a widow, and she loved it. Hope you do, too.

Lisa Stifler said...

The setting of a story is important to me since I like to visualize while I am reading. Weather it is an area I am familiar with or a new area I think that it helps bring the story more to life. Thank you for sharing and a chance to win. ~ Blessings ~ lisastifler(at)yahoo(dot)com

susanlulu said...

Setting of a story is very important to me, and one of the firs things I notice about a book. I want my setting to be "country." It relaxes me!

Merry said...

The setting of a story is like a beautifully set stage for a play or the frame that completes a lovely painting. You can have either without it but it adds so much color, depth and life. :)
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com



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