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, April 16, 2018

Renee Ryan and Free Books!

A heartening novel of the immigrant experience—and of redemption, self-sacrifice, and the power of hope when all else seems lost.

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Their Amish Reunion by Lenora Worth, is:


Congratulations! 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 visit with novelist Renee Ryan, author of the women's fiction/romance, 223 Orchard Street (Amazon’s Waterfall Press, April 2018).

Renee grew up in a Florida beach town where she learned how to surf and skateboard very poorly. As a teenager, she gave up on both pursuits and began entertaining herself by reading all the classics while she worked on her tan.

After graduating college with a degree in Economics and Religion she explored various career opportunities at a Florida theme park and a modeling agency. She moved on to teach high school Economics, American Government, and Latin while coaching award-winning cheerleading teams. Renee now writes for Amazon's Waterfall Press.

Quite a varied background, Renee! Please tell us one random thing we might not know about you.

I had dinner with Oprah. Yes, that Oprah! We discussed her movie Beloved along with the director Jonathon Demme and five other guests. A once in a lifetime experience, to be sure. I have pictures. ☺

I'd love to hear how that came about. Maybe you could encapsulate it in the comments later!

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of 223 Orchard Street.

Irish immigrant Katie O’Connor and her younger sister, Shannon, risk everything to journey to America at the turn of the twentieth century. As each woman passes into an intimidating, stirring, and unpredictable New York City, she is forced to rethink her dream of a better life.

It isn’t until Katie begins serving the sick in the depressed slums of the Bowery alongside Dr. Titus Brentwood that she discovers her true calling. Meanwhile, fate directs the vulnerable Shannon down an unsettling path that could put her life at risk.

As Katie’s and Ty’s selflessness and devotion turn into something deeper, Ty must make a choice that could save one O’Connor sister at the expense of losing the other. But Katie hasn’t come this far to let go now. She’ll do anything to save Shannon and hold on to the man she’s come to love.

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

Katie is a woman determined to better her lot in life and those of her loved ones. She understands hard work, knows the battle she faces to pull herself out of poverty. Her optimism wavers, she has disagreements with her family, but she remains constant. No sacrifice is too great. I think every woman can relate to that kind of devotion to the people we love.

What initially planned facet of a story or character developed or changed while you wrote?

Originally, this book was supposed to be a light-hearted historical romance. However, as I began digging deeper into the immigration experience during the turn of the twentieth century I couldn’t gloss over the hardships these brave people endured. The story turned a bit more serious.

And then Katie’s younger sister Shannon showed up on the page and I knew I wanted to explore the dynamic between these two. Add in a cousin and an ailing aunt and soon the women took over the story. The hero had his own story to tell.

I love where this book took me, both in my storytelling and my understanding of the immigrant experience.

Yes, it's wonderful when a story surprises even the author. I've had times when I finished a novel and then couldn't believe what I had planned in my early notes. I use an outline, typically, but that doesn't mean characters and situations won't take you somewhere else!

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

The Lake House by Kate Morton. Kate’s writing is beautiful, both lyrical and yet very readable. I found myself both immersed in the story and mesmerized by the language. I highly recommend any of Kate’s books. I’m such a fangirl. I would love to meet her someday.

I haven't read any of her books. Her plots sound intriguing. Thanks for the recommendation!

What are you working on now?

I’m working on another Women’s Fiction set in WWII during the Nazi occupation in the Champagne region. I’m exploring how far a woman will go to safeguard her family. 223 Orchard Street had a similar theme, but the stakes are much higher during times of war. When survival is on the table, the line between right and wrong becomes blurred. I’m feeling quite challenged.

Where else can readers find you online?

Check out www.ReneeRyan.com or go to my Facebook page, Renee Ryan. My Twitter handle is @ReneeRyanBooks

The novel can also be purchased on Amazon via the following button:

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

I told you about my brush with fame, now it’s your turn. Have you met anyone famous?

Thank you, Renee, for visiting and telling us about yourself and your book. Readers, Renee has offered to give away a copy of her novel (the format will be reader's choice). To enter, leave a comment and your email below in answer to Renee'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 title.

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


kim hansen said...

Looking forward to reading the book. New Author for me. cheetahthecat1986@gmail.com

kim hansen said...

Several semi famous people when I lived in northern Utah my favorite was della reese.

Jan H said...

I met one of the Dallas Cowboys when I was a teenager. I was the lifeguard at the Elks Lodge and he was at the pool with his kids. He kept dunking his kids and they were not happy. I told him to quit and when he didn't I told him he had to get out of the pool. He was so mad he went upstairs and came back with my parents and the exalted ruler of the club. They were ready to fire me until I said who would be responsible if one of the kids drowned. They said me. Then my stepdad spoke up for me. I kept my job and the Dallas cowboy never came back. I don't remember his name. fishingjanATaolDOTcom

jacqui19 said...

No brush with fame yet, but still hoping. One never knows, and we travel to various places so it may be just ahead. The book sounds intriguing. Thanks. jacquir613@gmail.com Jackie Robertson

Kelly Blackwell said...

223 Orchard Street sounds wonderful!
Lunch with Oprah! That is just crazy cool!
I've met a lot of famous people but that is mainly because I worked in hospitality for many years and they were customers. Never had lunch with them.
My fave would be Hugh Jackman. He filmed a show in our casino for a brief time, and he always greeted us with a "Good morning ladies!" How do you not like that?


Paula Shreckhise said...

I worked at a grocery store near downtown St. Louis. A lot of the team players would come in. Cardinals, Blues and Rams. I got an autograph from one of the Cardinal players for my husband. A lot of the news anchors came in, too. I talked to quite a few of them. On a trip to DC as a child , we toured the Capitol. We were in an elevator with Hubert Humphrey. My sister has met a lot more people. She has her own marketing firm in California. Among her clients were Jean Michel Cousteau and an astronaut. She also dated Cary Grant for six months and ate at Bob Hope’s estate at the same table as Ed McMahon. It was at the dinner for the troops.
Thanks for the chance to win. paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet

Caryl Kane said...

Several years ago I met Willie Nelson and Morgan Freeman.

Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this book.


Renee Ryan said...

Kim, Della Reese was such a classy lady. I would have loved to meet her!

Renee Ryan said...

Jan, as a huge football fan I have to say that must have been AMAZING!!! THANKS for stopping by!

Renee Ryan said...

Oh, Kelly, Hugh Jackman? Squeeeeeeee!!!!

Renee Ryan said...

Jackie, one thing I've learned about famous people. They're just like us!

Renee Ryan said...

WOW, Paula. Just...WOW!!!!

Renee Ryan said...

Caryl, that had to have been quite an adventure! Thanks for commenting!

Katie Andersen said...

I have met Tracie Peterson and Lauraine Snelling! 223 Ordhard Street sounds so good! katie07edgar(at)gmail(dot)com

Patty said...

I can’t think of anyone famous that I have met right off. I do share a birthday with MLB hall of gamer and Atlanta Braves great Chipper Jones.


Library Lady said...

As a reader, I have met and talked with lots of authors.
My Mom got on an elevator along with Robert Stack, the actor and my Dad had breakfast with Fred Gwynn who played Herman Munster, who also wrote a children's book that we have in the church library.
Janet E.

Trish Perry said...

Years ago I met Telly Savalas (of Kojak fame). He seemed like a nice enough man. Now that I live in L.A., I see famous people once in a while, going about their business. As Renee says, they're just like us. Fame always sounds like a good thing, and many people seek it, but I can't imagine the loss of privacy. I wouldn't ever want to lose that.



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