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, November 27, 2017

Johnnie Alexander and Free Books!

When you need a new beginning, sometimes the best place to start is home.

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Enchanted Isle, by Melanie Dobson, is:


Congratulations! I'll email you for 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 chat with novelist Johnnie Alexander, author of the contemporary romance, What Hope Remembers (Revell, May 2017).

Johnnie Alexander imagines heart-tugging stories in multiple genres whether she’s at home in Florida or Tennessee. Her award-winning debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, is a CBA bestseller which has been translated into Dutch and Norwegian. She’s also the author of the popular Misty Willow Series: Where She Belongs, When Hope Arrives, and What Hope Remembers.

Since Johnnie also enjoys talking about writing, she hosts Novelists Unwind, which features videotaped interviews with inspirational authors, and Writers Chat, a weekly online show. She also teaches at writers conferences and for Serious Writer Academy.

Johnnie volunteers as marketing director for the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference. She is a founding member and past president of both the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Memphis and Central Florida chapters.

Sharing Johnnie’s vagabond life are Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, her raccoon-treeing papillon.

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

This past October, my sister and I spent a week traveling from one city to another on the Eurail. Then we spent a week in Lisbon. I wish I could say we were backpacking through Europe, but our backpacks were actually strapped to two-wheeled luggage carts. Even so, the experience was phenomenal.

How wonderful! I've only taken one trip to Europe--a single week--and the idea of having two full weeks to explore further sounds great. There's so much to see. Also, no judgment on the luggage carts! We stayed in pensiones all the way, and I remember constantly complaining about the mosquitoes and the heat. I can't imagine backpacking it!

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of What Hope Remembers.

When Amy Somers loses her job as a lobbyist, she moves to Misty Willow, well aware that she’s crossing bridges she’d burned years before. With all the mistakes she’s made and the uncaring things she’s done–even to her own family–she can hardly believe that happiness will find her, especially when Gabe Kendall, her first crush and her first kiss, rides back into her life atop a buckskin mare.

A former Marine, Gabe is at loose ends after serving a prison sentence for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He sees beyond Amy’s hard exterior to the girl he once knew and loved, and he longs to see her open her heart. Yet with his vision clouded by shame for his past and fears about the future, he finds it difficult to see the path ahead.

But the memory of that long-ago kiss just may have the power to reignite a romance that brings out the best in both of them.

What is it about Amy and Gabe that will make your readers care about them?

Both Amy and Gabe feel unworthy of each other—Amy because of past choices and Gabe because of circumstances beyond his control. They come to realize that even though the past cannot be changed, it doesn’t have to define who they can become. Many of us hold onto guilt despite being forgiven. Like Amy and Gabe, we can trust in God’s steadfast love.

So true. Sometimes we believe in God's forgiveness but have a had time forgiving ourselves.

What is the most positive thing you can tell my readers about the state of Christian fiction today?

I recently talked to new writers at a conference about their story ideas. Christians are talented, imaginative, and creative. Even though it’s hard to break into traditional publishing, we’re blessed to have other alternatives so these wonderful stories can be shared with readers.

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

Murder Is No Accident is the third novel in A. H. Gabhart’s Hidden Springs Mystery Series. I read Ann’s first mystery in this series while preparing to interview her for my Novelists Unwind website. Though the series may be considered cozy mysteries, Ann breaks a few of the cozy mystery genre “rules.” The stories are fun, but also have emotional depth.

Yes! I featured Ann HERE in September, when she discussed one of her historical novels, These Healing Hills. She's multi-talented!

May I also mention Julian Fellowes' novel,  Belgravia? Many may recognize Mr. Fellowes as the creator of Downton Abbey. Belgravia is a lovely story with well-rounded characters who are affected by a long-ago scandal.

Fellowes definitely knows how to spin a good tale incorporating the social classes and secrets!

What are you working on now?

While waiting to get the edits back on two projects, I’m doing research for a novella proposal and another historical.

Where else can readers find you online?

My favorite place to connect with readers is on Facebook—both on my author page and my profile.

The book can be purchased online via the following button:

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

What plot device or theme do you feel has been used too often in Christian fiction? (I’m speaking on this topic at a 2018 conference so I very much value your input.)

Thanks, Johnnie, for visiting and telling us about yourself and your book. Readers, Johnnie has offered to give away a signed copy of her novel. To enter, leave a comment and your email below in answer to Johnnie'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 readers, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.

Remember, if you'd like information on additional new releases, check out Christian Book Heaven, a new email newsletter for Christian book deals in whatever genres you select. You can subscribe here: ChristianBookHeaven

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


Jan H said...

I can't think of one.

Jan H said...

Oops. fishingjanATaolDOTcom

Becky said...

I guess that I can't really think of a theme that has been used too often, because each author handles the theme differently from a different point of view. I really enjoy the different authors and the creativity that God has given them. I think we can never hear enough about forgiveness, and I agree that it's hardest to forgive ourselves. Becky lelandandbecky [at] reagan [dot] com.

Sonnetta Jones said...

I cannot think of one, I think that Christian authors needs to be more real about the relationship between the couples. Let the readers see some affections(not graphic)between the married couples. I like to see people working through the issues rather than reading that the couples have no issues.


Trish Perry said...

You make a good point, Sonnetta. As a Christian author, my experience in the past has been that traditional publishers are often very cautious about how we describe romantic relationships, and about the past experience of the hero and heroine.

For example, in real life, people sometimes come from broken marriages, but it's more acceptable for them to be widows and widowers. So that's one plot device that I personally think has been overused in Christian fiction.

With the emergence of independent publilshing, more realistic, faulty people people our stories. I'm speaking in generalities, of course. But traditional publishers have treaded quite carefully in the past to avoid upsetting more conservative readers.

Johnnie Alexander said...

Hey, everyone! Thanks for sharing your insights into creativity and themes. I love that you aren't seeing "clichés" because authors bring their own perspective.

One of my novels features a widow with two young children because it was considered more acceptable but the heroine of What Hope Remembers (the third story in the same series) is a young woman with a promiscuous past. She no longer wanted that lifestyle.

Despite this heroine having the most sinful past, this novel is the most chaste of the three! That wasn't on purpose--just how the story turned out.

I love this discussion. Thanks again!

Trish Perry said...

I'm glad to see that, Johnnie. If our characters don't have faults, past or present, our readers can't identify with them. Good for you and good for Revell!



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