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, March 13, 2017

Dandi Mackall and Free Books!

 photo With-Love-Book-Cover-200x300_zpscy7xmaq3.jpgBased on the incredible, true story of the author’s parents, With Love, Wherever You Are follows the whirlwind romance of a WW2 Army doctor and Army nurse, sent to different countries, surrounded by danger and desperately wounded patients, and only their letters to connect them for months at a time, as the war seems eternal—and their marriage a distant dream.

Before we meet today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of the free signed copy of My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains, by Susan Page Davis, is:


Congratulations! I'll email you to get your snail mail address, and we'll get your book right out to you. 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 let's revisit novelist Dandi Mackall, author of the historical romance, With Love, Wherever You Are (Tyndale House, March, 2017).

Dandi Daley Mackall is the award-winning author of nearly 500 books for children and adults. She visits countless schools and presents keynote addresses at conferences across the United States. She is also a frequent guest on radio talk shows and has made dozens of appearances on TV.

Her awards include the Edgar Award, ALA Best Book, NY Public Library Top Pick, Romantic Times Top Pick, the Geoffrey Bocca Memorial Award, Dean Arts and Achievement Award, Outstanding Alumna Award from the University of Missouri. She is the 2016 Hall of Fame recipient of the Council of International Reading Association’s Award.

Her novel My Boyfriends Dogs is now a Hallmark Movie.

Dandi writes from rural Ohio, where she lives with her family, including horses, dogs, cats, and an occasional squirrel, deer, or raccoon.

Please tell us one random thing we might not know about you.

I love to dance—fast, slow, rock and roll. I even dance to TV commercials. I just can’t help myself.

I'm a repeat offender in that respect, too, Dandi! I love the release dancing brings!

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of With Love, Wherever You Are.

 photo With-Love-Book-Cover-200x300_zpscy7xmaq3.jpgPublisher’s Weekly Starred Review:

Mackall (My Boyfriends’ Dogs) provides a fictionalized account of her parents’ World War II marriage in this well-researched page-turner. Nurse Helen Eberhart had no intention of getting married, but when she enlists in the Army to care for the wounded in 1944, she meets lieutenant and doctor Frank Daley and her plans soon change.

After a quick wedding in Chicago, the two are sent to different areas of Europe for what turns out to be the final year of the war. While they manage to arrange an occasional rendezvous, most of the time they are unaware of each other’s locations and maintain their relationship through letters, writing two or three times a day and waiting eagerly for the unpredictable mail to come through.

The “Story Behind the Story” and discussion guide included in the back of the book offer a fascinating look at where real life ends and fiction begins. While one might expect a story written in homage and remembrance of one’s parents to be overly sentimental and idealized, Mackall has admirably resisted that urge. Instead, she has crafted memorable, complex characters who courageously face the tragedy of war and the difficulties of cultivating a bond while separated. While the real people behind the characters pack additional punch, Mackall’s heartbreaking narrative and precise prose alone will stay with readers long after the final page.

What a wonderful review, Dandi!

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

They’re real. True, I’m telling my parents’ story, but that’s not what I mean. I inherited Dad’s Army trunk full of letters they’d written to each other while overseas, in different countries, over 600 letters, tied in stacks with bootstrings, untouched since 1945. After reading those letters and discovering Young Helen and Young Frank, it became easy to care.

Separated for so long, they struggled to remain “real,” for each other while caring for horribly wounded and dying soldiers, 18-year-old amputees, German POWs, and concentration camp survivors. Yet they never considered themselves exceptional or heroic.

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

 photo images_zpsz6ju7sye.jpegErika Christensen (Parenthood) because she starred in my Hallmark movie, and she’s delightful, as convincing in terror as she is in angst or love.

 photo paul-newman-movies-2_zpsfoj3g9dt.jpgCould I please have a young Paul Newman

or Robert Redford, fresh from The Sting or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?

Absolutely! Ah, it was a pleasure seeking pictures of those two stunning gents. 

Emily Dickinson said this about writing: “A wounded deer leaps the highest.” How do you interpret that, and do you agree?

In a sense, this is a major theme in With Love, Wherever You Are. 2 Cor. 12, 9-10, ". . . my power works best in weakness. . . . For when I am weak, then I am strong.” War and danger and tragedy can show us that we’re not so powerful on our own. And that’s when we’re willing to see our need for God and let God be God.

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

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny. I’m always immersed in the locale, Three Pines, and the quirky, compassionate characters waiting for me on the park bench.

What are you working on now?

I’m dipping my toe into my Aunt Dot’s remarkable story. She was an Army nurse in the Philippines when bombs were dropped on Pearl Harbor and then on her base and hospital. She had a whirlwind romance too, married in a foxhole, and saw her husband captured and sent on the Bataan Death March.

Wow. My parents met during the war, as well. Mom was a Brit, and Dad was a young fighter pilot. They both passed away very recently, just one month apart from each other. I love the durability of so many of the romances that began during World War II. A lovely generation.

But I’m also finishing a teen novel, Just Sayin’, and a lively, rhyming picture book, Rock Away Granny!

Where else can readers find you online?

Video trailer

The book can be purchased online via the following button:

421223: With Love, Wherever You Are

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

What fun! OK: What’s the worst thing an author can do to a reader?

Thanks, Dandi, for telling us about your novel. Readers, Dandi has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, March 20. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Dandi's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. The drawing is done by email, so leave your email address, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com. 

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, as well as my Disclosure of Material Connection HERE


Katie Edgar said...

Some of the worst things an author can do to a reader is either leaving the book as a cliff-hanger, where I question if that is really considered a book or a partial book, or too many unanswered questions or when the description of the book tells too much of the story and it takes over half way through the book to get to anything new. I think this book looks so good! Thanks for this chance! katie07edgar[at]gmail[dot]com

Unknown said...

Katie, it's easy to tell you're a reader! I'm bugged by everything you mention, especially all the unanswered questions. Thanks for commenting! Dandi

Melanie Backus said...

Reading a great book is so wonderful. When I am all in a book and it comes to an abrupt ending with no lead in or the ending leaves you hanging, I just want to scream!!!!! Nothing like a good book!

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

That's happened to me too, Melanie. Sure hope it's never happened to my readers! Dandi

Papa Eagle said...

I love reading a variety of books and genres. Lately though, I've found myself drawn to more of the historical books, both fiction and non-fiction. I love a good ending, even if there may be some tragic events in the storyline. But I hate cliff-hangers from some of my favorite authors knowing that the next book in a series will not be out for a year or more. I have not read this book yet, but I'm looking forward to getting a copy soon. I've been hearing some really great things from my friends. What's not to love about WWII stories from perhaps the greatest generation in our history?

Julie said...

Would love to read this book from a home town girl, Her Dad Frank, Mom Helen and Aunt Dot were the best. Walk in didn't matter, they would stay till the last person was see. Dr. Daley was the best. None left like him. Thanks for the chance to maybe get a good read. Her blogs are awesome.

Rebecca Maney said...

Worst thing an author can do to his/her readers? . . . .. I really don't like cliffhangers in a series. I understand the reasoning behind it, but it makes me want to throw a "book tantrum" at the time.

Since I had a father who served in the war, this would be an interesting story on many levels. Thanks for writing it.
rmaney(at)firstarpchurch (dot) org.

Jennifer Hibdon said...

I am agreeing with most of the commenters, ckiffhangers are the worst!!!!! Tie up all the lose ends, but do it naturally in the story. The interview was great. Thanx for the giveaway!!!!

Cathy said...

I have to agree with the prior comments about cliffhangers or perhaps I should quantify that to say very major cliffhangers. I don't mind if secondary characters continue with some aspects of the story line in a continuing series. This book sounds very interesting as well as the next one set in the Pacific....my parents were young adults during the War, and I have heard many stories from that time period. Thanks! dixiedobie at yahoo dot com

Jessica Ott said...

I love to read but the book has to brag me. It has to be interesting and keep my attention. So I guess the worst thing an author could do is be boring. LOL I know it's all in perspective and to the individual reader to decide. A good book is the best! I definitely have some favorites. And would love to get a chance to read this one!

Jessica Ott said...


Jessica Ott said...

Jes4christ 96 @yahoo dot com

Susan Hutchens said...

The thing that drives me crazy about authors is when a book is promised....and just never seems to come out! I know that publishers play a big role in this problem, but it's still frustrating!

Met you at the Missouri Children's Literature Festival several years ago. Have had fun reading your books, and the Hallmark movie was great!

juliehill090@centurytel.net said...

The writer always needs an ending, I dislike reading a book that leaves you hangin'. A lot of times I read the last 2 pages to see the ending, not one I put it back. Thank you for the chance at receiving this one.

Dena McCrea said...

I think the worst thing an author can do is having too many central characters to a story line. I like to leave a book feeling I knew them in depth,, almost like good friends. Having known Doc Dailey, I loved his dry sense of humor and wry smile.


Dandi Daley Mackall said...

Wow! What wonderful comments! You guys are great! Fun to hear from a couple of people who knew my dad! And someone else I knew from that Missouri conference. So I apologize for not checking for more comments. When the comments stopped at 4, and 2 of them were mine ("unknown"), I couldn't bear to check in again and feel nobody was interested.

I love hearing from readers! I've heard from so many people who had parents and grandparents in WW2. We all need to capture those stories!

Just so you know, if I can't figure out how to change "unknown" to "Dandi," it's really still me.Looks like my old email is listed here, so I'll try to fix that so I get the alerts.

Susan Hutchens said...

I forgot to add in my email! susanhutchens@ymail.com
Hope I'm not too late for the drawing!

Trish Perry said...

Sorry for the email mix-up, Dandi. That must have something to do with however Google has you signed up, maybe?

I agree with many of you about the frustration when a book doesn't provide a sense of closure at its ending. I enjoy series, but I want each installment to have it's own full story while maintaining a connection with the other books.

The other thing that turns me off to a book is when the author lectures me. There's a fine line between a book that leaves an impact and makes me think, long after I read The End, and a book that sits me down and TELLS me what to think.

Thanks for visiting us Dandi. And Susan, you're not too late for the drawing!

Library Lady said...

The worse thing an author can do for me is to leave me hanging on until the next book comes out.
but..... I wouldn't have it any other way.
Janet E.

Donamae Kutska said...

I don't care for cliff hangers at the end myself. Sounds like a great book!



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