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, December 4, 2017

Donn Taylor and Free Books!

Among intrigues at a state university, Professor Preston Barclay proves that a supposed suicide was actually murder.

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of What Hope Remembers, by Johnnie Alexander, 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 Donn Taylor, author of the (nearly cozy) mystery, Murder in Disguise (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, October 2017).

Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he completed a PhD at The University of Texas and taught English literature at two liberal arts colleges.

Now retired from college teaching, Donn writes suspense and mystery fiction as well as literary poetry designed for the ordinary reader. His historical novel Lightning on a Quiet Night was a finalist for the Selah Awards in 2015, and his mystery Murder Mezzo Forte was a finalist there in 2017.

Donn is a frequent speaker at writers' conferences and study groups. He lives near Houston, TX, where he continues to write fiction, poetry, and essays on ethics and U.S. foreign policy.

And I'll add that I had the pleasure of sitting with Donn at lunch years ago at a conference, and a kinder gentleman I've never met. 

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

When Mildred and I were stationed in France, we rented a Piper Pacer from the Aero Club at Toule Rosiere AFB in France and flew it to Copenhagen for a vacation. She proved to be an excellent navigator. We watched a Danish-language movie, and for two hours we didn't understand anything but the shooting and kissing.

Ah, yes, shooting and kissing--the two universal languages. That's a lovely memory, Donn.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Murder in Disguise.

Official verdict: Suicide. But why would that vigorous department chairman commit suicide? Did he kill himself to avoid disgrace from exposure of his rumored activities on the dark side?

When visiting professor Preston Barclay questions his long-time friend's suicide, he receives threats. Press has enough problems already in proving his competence to students and faculty in the newly hostile environment of the state university. That task is made more difficult because the new department chairman does all he can to undermine him. And the sexy siren assigned as his student assistant creates problems with Press's courtship of his colleague Mara Thorn.

The more things don't add up, the more dangerous the threats become, and the more determined Press becomes to clear his friend's name.

But can he and Mara prevail against the well-organized forces of police, campus radicals, and an unseen but powerful criminal organization that increasingly puts their lives in danger…?

What is it about Press that will make your readers care about him?

Press maintains his personal and academic integrity despite all pressures of campus politics. He cannot stand pretentiousness, and he is determined to find the truth, regardless of the consequences: A life built on comfortable falsehoods is not worth living.

How much prep work do you usually do before you start writing a novel?

My preparatory work varies greatly. I did extensive research on Colombian society, history, politics, and geography before writing The Lazarus File. Although Mildred and I both grew up in Northeast Mississippi in the time setting of Lightning on a Quiet Night, we both did a lot of miscellaneous research. In the state archives we even tracked down an automobile license tag from the period. However, much less research was required in the campus settings for my mysteries because my academic experience and membership in the National Association of Scholars made me already familiar with the environment and its problems. The new research required was limited to details of the crimes.

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

I've been privileged to read Mary Hamilton's novel Pendant. It is a well-crafted suspense novel with interesting and believable characters and an intriguing situation. It will keep you glued to your chair until you finish it.

What are you working on now?

I'm working on one more in the Preston Barclay Mystery series. After that, I'm not sure. For several decades I've been fascinated by an idea. Would it be possible to write a contemporary novel generally imitative (or adaptive) of Renaissance epic romances like Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, Tasso's Jerusalem Liberated, and Spenser's The Faerie Queene? It would be quite a task, and I doubt that I'll ever try it. I also doubt that it would be publishable as commercial fiction. But still, it's a fascinating idea . . .

I do love the retelling of classic stories in modern form, although going as far back as the Renaissance sounds rather daunting! If you decide to take that on, I'd love to hear about it. 

Where else can readers find you online?

My page on Amazon is tinyurl.com/y7mpsskd.
My Web site is www.donntaylor.com.
My Facebook page, where I post something every day (mostly funnies), is Facebook.
My Twitter page is Twitter.

The book can be purchased online via the following button:

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

What happens to you when you read fiction? Can you describe the total experience?

I love that question! I'm looking forward to your answers, readers.

Thanks, Donn, for visiting and telling us about yourself and your book. Readers, Donn has offered to give away a free e-copy of his novel. To enter, leave a comment and your email below in answer to Donn'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


tammy cordery said...

I would love to win one of Donn,s book. Thank you for the giveaway. my email is mommystuck1(at)optonline(dot)net

Library Lady said...

When I read fiction, the world could come to an end and I wouldn't know it.
Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.
Janet E.

Paula Shreckhise said...

I like to escape into another world. I like to learn about history through the fiction I am reading. It makes it interesting. This book looks very good. I’m anxious to read it! Thanks , paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet

carmkatz said...

Reading fiction helps me sharpen my own writing skills. My addy is nava_nirel@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Fiction helps me travel when staying home. I make new friends that I don’t want to leave. It gives me a chance to escape from my real world for just a little while.
Gail Hollingsworth

Pat said...

Fiction is my escape, my best friends and transports me to another time, place, or some place exotic. Sometimes I get to revisit places I've been to. I was raised as an only child and books became my best friends. While my friends had siblings to entertain them I had my books. Recently at a 50th class reunion I was asked if I still read as much as I did. My answer, "yes, more than I used to. I now do book reviews too". I love to curl up with a good book, a cup of hot chocolate, ice tea, water, etc and read. Favorite spot is under the big oak tree with my shih tzu beside me. She sits in her mini fence and I in my lawn chair. We spend hours like that. I can do that since I retired. Would love to win your contest. I enter a lot of contests and gives me a chance to try authors I might not have read yet. When the book is one I can honestly leave a 4 or 5 star rating then I will leave reviews.

Unknown said...

I love historical fiction - you get to learn so much through the setting and period of the story. I enjoy a good non-fiction, but my favorite is fiction. I'm fascinated by the creativity God has given His children as they craft their stories. Lexington gal howellsincolumbia@gmail.com

Trish Perry said...

What I love most about fiction is how it puts me inside the thoughts of people who think differently than I do (or similarly to me, but in circumstances unlike mine). I like how fiction helps me to consider different points of view. It helps me understand others and it helps me understand myself. But as I read your comments above, I found myself nodding in agreement. Fiction is awesome.

Deborah Dee Harper said...

I love to immerse myself in the characters, setting, and plot of the book. Any book that can transcend today's problems and insert me into the problems and joys of other times or places or characters or worlds is a great book in my opinion! I'd love to have a copy of Donn's book. Anything Donn Taylor writes is pure gold. And Donn, the memory you shared was beautiful!

My email is deborahdeetales@gmail.com




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