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!

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 Inspirational novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sharon Souza and Free Books!

Isabella Nichols wants to know what caused her sister to drive herself and her husband off a cliff into the Truckee River. Her eleven-year-old niece Bronte may know the answer, but she hasn’t spoken since the accident seven years ago.

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the e-copy of The Lost Generation: A Novel of World War I, by Erica Hogan, is:


Congratulations! We'll e-mail 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 chat with novelist Sharon Souza, author of the contemporary women's fiction novel, What We Don’t Know (Independently Published, May 2017).

Sharon K. Souza is a freelance author whose passion is writing inspirational novels for and about women. Her novels address difficult subjects women often face, head on, including infertility, infidelity, extreme loss, but always include a healthy dose of humor. Her stories are rich with relationship: best friends, sisters, and the deeply complex relationship between mothers and daughters.

Sharon was the recipient of the 2009 Author of the Year Award from Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference. Her debut novel, Every Good & Perfect Gift, received recognition from Publisher’s Weekly:

“In her moving debut novel ... Souza laudably refuses to succumb to a pat ending that neatly ties up all the loose ends. Souza’s poignant story shows promise and should earn her some fans among inspirational fiction readers.” 

It was also a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year for Debut Author and Women’s Fiction. Her novel, Lying on Sunday, ranked third place in the 2009 RWA Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest for Women’s Fiction category.

Sharon speaks to women’s groups, and loves to interact with book clubs, locally and via Skype.

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

I’d rather fish than just about anything. But I don’t bait my own hooks. When guys tease my husband for doing it for me, I just say: He doesn’t iron his own shirts; I don’t bait my own hooks. That seems to quiet them.

You tell 'em. There might even be a place in the Bible that spells that out. Maybe.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of What We Don't Know.

Selective Mutism. That’s the diagnosis for eleven-year-old Brontë McCabe, who hasn’t spoken a word in seven years. And who could blame her, after witnessing her parents’ deadly plunge into the Truckee River near Lake Tahoe?

Isabella Nichols, Bronte’s guardian and self-proclaimed defender, will do anything to protect her niece. So when Brontë’s uncle—her dad’s twin brother—suddenly shows up and threatens to fight for custody, sparks fly. Especially considering their history.

Isabella’s mother wants to help. Even though she may be right—about a lot of things—Belle doesn’t want her help. Especially considering their history.

Those aren’t the only sparks flying, thanks to Ty Cole, who’d like to be more than Isabella’s friend. Way more. Why does she keep pushing him away? Why does she push everyone away?

What does Brontë really remember about that night? And does Isabella Nichols really want to know?

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

Isabella Nichols is a passionate young woman, especially in her care for her niece, Bronte. Belle’s mother thinks she’s over-protective and thinks Bronte should be in counseling to help her regain speech. But Belle and Bronte communicate just fine. Belle believes Bronte will speak when she’s ready.

Belle isn’t a people-person and only allows a few to get close, like her best friend CJ and her neighbor Verlie, who’s like a grandmother to Bronte. She has a strained relationship with her mother, and misses her sister every day. In spite of how reserved Isabella may be to people outside her very small circle, you can’t help but admire her fierce devotion to Bronte.

Sometimes a writer’s imagination can be triggered with word mapping. If I give you the word “danger,” what three words first come to you, and how would you word a sentence (or two) using all four words?

Fear, protect, defeat.

Stepping into the darkness, I felt the danger all around me and feared the worst. I had to protect my child; I had to defeat this threat once and for all.

I like how the protective aspect carried over from your novel.

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

One of my all-time favorite novels is Blue Hole Back Home by Joy Jordan-Lake. It’s one of the few books I’ve read more than once. This story deals with prejudice in an unexpected way, with an unexpected target, and to me it ranks with To Kill a Mockingbird. Joy’s character and story development are outstanding. This is a book I can’t recommend highly enough.

High praise, that comparison!

What are you working on now?

I’m working on my first series ever. It’s my “I Don’t Do …” series. I Don’t Do Blood is the first in the series of five. It’s a light-hearted story of a young woman who works as a courier for a medical lab, picking up blood samples and biopsy items, such as tumors and even a uterus. She wants eventually to be a Lab Technologist, studying those very things she now collects as a courier, but has a deep aversion to blood—and for good reason.

I love the intrigue in that last phrase.

Where else can readers find you online?

My website is www.sharonksouza.com and my FB page is facebook.com/sharonksouza

The book can be purchased online via the following button:

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

What, if anything, makes you want to read a book more than once?

Thanks, Sharon, for visiting and telling us about yourself and your book. Readers, Sharon has offered to give away an e-copy of her book. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Sharon's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Remember that subscribers are entered an additional time in each drawing. The drawing is done by email, so leave your email address, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com. Many commenters are left out of the drawing because they forget to include a way for me to notify them of their win (their email).

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


Melanie Backus said...

When there is a story line that captures my heart or great characters, I will read a story again. When a story grabs you from the first line abd won't let you go...I am in! mauback55 at gmail dot com

Sharon K. Souza said...

Thank you, Melanie. I appreciate your input!

Latayne C Scott said...

I've read this book and it is terrific. It reminds me of the Song of Solomon phrase about not hurrying love, taking its time. And the mystery is solved in a satisfying way. Sharon's awards are well-deserved, and this book should get an award, too.

Becky said...

What makes me read a book again is that it is well-written and grabs my attention, as well as the book having a good theme to it - something that uplifts me and causes me to think. I haven't read any of Sharon's books, but this sounds interesting. lelandandbecky at reagan dot com

Gail H. said...

I rarely read a book a second time. I have too many I haven't gotten to yet and I want to read all I can before I kick the bucket. I would love to read this book. My daughter is a speech therapist and I bet she would also.

Brenda Arrington said...

I read a large amount of books and usually don't read a book a second
time but the book would have to really have to hold my attention from page 1 to the end for me to read it again. Occasionally that happens.

Sharon K. Souza said...

Latayne, thank you! Thanks for the input, Becky. I appreciate it. Brenda and Gail, I'm with you. So many books, so little time!

Mindy Grant said...

I've read "What We Don't Know" and h-i-g-h-l-y recommend it. It's such a moving and sweet story, with the touches of humor Sharon's readers have come to know and love. I've read all of Sharon's books and love the style of her writing. Her characters feel so real, like someone I could have a cup of coffee with. As far as what makes me read a book for a second time (which I almost never do), it's when a character is still with me a year, two, five, ten years later. If I feel like they're an old friend I would love to see again, I'll pick up the book for a second (or, gasp!, third time).

Sharon K. Souza said...

Thank you, Mindy! And I love your answer about what makes you read a book more than once.

Pat said...

You are a new author for me. I read your interview and your book sounds like me. I love a good romantic suspense.. From what other readers are saying, sounds like I may have found another author to add to my "favorites" list. Specially what Mindy said about rereading authors. I have a few books I've read so many times that I've had to replace the books several times. I'll wait 2-3 yrs. in between & even when it's been longer I find myself missing the characters like they are friends. I love finding a book that is a keeper and I can add it to that "Special Shelf".

Sharon K. Souza said...

Pat, thanks for your interest. I hope you'll give my books a try.

Kathleen Popa said...

What makes me read a book more than once is if it touches my emotions in a way that transforms me, and Sharon K. Souzas books have that quality. Also, she makes me laugh out loud. What We Don't Know is one of her best. Can't wait for the next one!

Sharon K. Souza said...

Wow, Katy, thank you.

Anonymous said...

How exciting that Sharon Souza is featured on this! I loved her newest book "What We Don't Know". It forces you to realize that sometimes you don't know a situation as well as you think you do, so we should always have forgiveness in our hearts. I also enjoyed her book "The Color of Sorrow Isn't Blue". It ripped my heart out, and it speaks deep to a mother's soul.

Sharon K. Souza said...

Thank you, Shelly. And thank you for the mentioning Color of Sorrow.

Judy Prouty said...

I don't generally read a book more than one time, but I definitely would if the book was really memorable, even some time later. For me, a book has to capture my heart. I want to be drawn in from the first page. I want to identify with the characters and feel like I almost know them. I want to be cheering for them by the time I'm done reading the story, and that is exactly what has happened whenever I have read any of Sharon's books. Her most recent however, " What We Don't Know" was brilliantly written and worthy of a second read for sure!

Sharon K. Souza said...

That was really nice, Judy. Thank you!

Trish Perry said...

Remember to leave your email if you want to be entered in Sharon's drawing!

Trish Perry said...

I'm like most of the commenters here in that I seldom read a book a second time, because I have so many books that I want to get to before, as Gail says, I kick the bucket! Usually if I read a book a second time, it's because my book club has chosen it. Even if I already know the story, it surprises me how much I've forgotten about the book when I give it another read.

Sharon's book has an intriguing premise, and I look forward to next week's drawing!

Sharon K. Souza said...

Thanks for your answers to my question, every one. I laughingly have to agree with Gail -- so many books to read before it's lights out, so I seldom read a book more than once. But there are a handful that I've loved enough to read them again -- feeling the need to visit old friends. It's usually the characters that entice me back, but a good story works just as well.



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