Wednesday, February 21, 2018

THE MAN HE NEVER WAS - James L Rubart - One Free Book (You'll want this one!)


Bio: James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man's body. He thinks he's still young enough to water ski and dirt bike with his two grown sons, and loves to send readers on journeys they'll remember months after they finish his stories. He's the best-selling, Christy BOOK of the YEAR, CAROL, INSPY and RT Book Reviews award winning author of nine novels, a speaker, branding expert, co-host of the Novel Marketing podcast, and co-founder of the Rubart Writing Academy. He lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in Washington. More at www.jameslrubart.com

Welcome back, James. The first line of your bio made me laugh. I interviewed Sharlene Maclaren on “The Lena Nelson Dooley Show” on the Along Came a Writer Blogtalk radio network. We talked about the age we feel inside being so far distant from our bodily age. Since you’re being published regularly, what new avenues will your future books take?
I’m excited because things are changing! I’ve always published traditionally, but I recently got the rights back to my first three novels so I’ll be reissuing them with added bonus material. In addition, I’m working on a series of indie novels with Susan May Warren that will start to release in 2019. My indie books will help promote my traditionally published books and vice versa.

I’ve been doing some indie publishing, and my last indie book won the Faith, Hope, and Love Reader’s Choice Award last year. It was the only indie to final. What conferences will you be attending this year? Will you be a speaker at any of them?  
I’m cutting back this year on conferences, but will be speaking at the Spokane Christian Writers conference in March, at the Northwestern Christian Writers Conference in St Paul, Minnesota, in July, and at the Oregon Christian Writers Conference in August.

If you were in charge of planning the panel discussion at a writing conference, what topic would the panel cover, and who would you ask to be on the panel, and why?    
Great question! The topic would be how to write from the deep heart, and the identity of a writer. The panel would include Susan May Warren, Ted Dekker, and I might slip in there for a question or two.

I’d love to hear that panel. How important is it to you to be active in writing organizations?
When I started out, it was critical. I made connections, found inspiration and encouragement, and formed relationships with people who are now some of my closest friends. These days I’m still involved, but more by trying to help other writers. I’ve formed a company with my son called The Rubart Writing Academy where I teach authors how to get published, and maybe most importantly discover the theme of their lives which gives the motivation to keep going when they fell like giving up. We did our first Academy last October and the students said it was life changing. It’s a thrill to get to do it with my son.
           
Maybe I should interview you on “The Lena Nelson Dooley Show” about the academy. Email me if you’re interested. Where in the community or your church do you volunteer?
Darci and I are in a wonderful spot (empty nesters) where we can invest time in younger couples who are going through the struggles of young parenthood and marriage. Also, I’m part of a weekly men’s group where we read a book and talk about it. Was a thrill last summer when they chose to read one of my novels. Quite fun being a fly on the wall and seeing what they got out of it.

If you could write the inscription on your tombstone, what would it be?
Brought the Light of Christ to Everyone Around Him

I like that. Tell us about the featured book.         
What if You Woke Up One Morning and the Darkest Parts of Yourself Were Gone?

Toren Daniels vanished eight months back, and his wife and kids have moved on—with more than a little relief. Toren was a good man, but carried a raging temper that often exploded without warning. So when he shows up on their doorstep with no notice, they’re shocked to see him alive. But more shocked to see he’s changed. Radically.

His anger is gone. He’s oddly patient. Kind. Fun. The man he always wanted to be. Toren has no clue where he’s been, but knows he’s been utterly transformed. He focuses on three things: Finding out where he’s been. Finding out how it happened. And winning back his family.

But then shards of his old self start to rise up from deep inside—the man kicked out of the NFL for his fury—and Toren must face the supreme battle of his life.

In this fresh take on the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story, James L. Rubart explores the war between good and evil within each of us—and one man’s only chance to overcome the greatest divide of the soul.

Please share the first page with us.
Toren Daniels rolled over in bed and light pierced his closed eyelids, which meant five a.m. had come and gone. Which meant Quinn was already at the gym, into his third set. Which meant Toren would be buying lunch at the end of the week. And Quinn ate like a whale when he was training heavy. Toren groaned. He’d set two alarms on his phone and still overslept. Not good.

Toren opened his eyes for a second, then immediately closed them against the sunshine, far too bright. His head. Yeah, he’d been pushing his conditioning hard for the past seven weeks, but the haze swirling through his mind along with the dull ache that pressed in from all angles in his skull didn’t feel like the usual day after hard sprints and heavy weights. It felt like the day six years back, the only time he’d ever been rip-roaring drunk, after he’d made the team and all the vets forced Toren and the rest of the rookies to drink far past a rational level. At least he hadn’t puked. Right now? Same feeling. And his stomach might win this time.

What was wrong with him? He lay still, head on the pillow, eyes closed. Took in a deep breath, a vain attempt to clear his senses. Didn’t help. He ignored the pain in his head. He had to ping Quinn, apologize for blowing the workout. Toren covered his eyes with one hand and with his other reached for his cell phone, which he always placed in the same spot on his nightstand, a few inches from the edge, a few inches from the front. His fingers searched the smooth surface of the wood in widening circles. He blew out a sigh of exasperation, turned his head to the side, and opened his eyes again. The phone wasn’t anywhere on his nightstand. Worse, this was not his nightstand. Toren’s heart hammered.

“Sloane?”

He twisted and clutched a handful of the white sheets on the king-size mattress, blinking. Except for three pillows lumped up against the headboard, the bed was empty. His wife wasn’t there. His heart pumped. This wasn’t their bed, their room. The increased pulse brought a new level of throbbing to his brain. Toren did a slow half-circle spin until he sat upright on the edge of the bed, still squinting against the light. Why was it taking his eyes so long to adjust? He blinked and rubbed his eyes as he took in the room. A hotel room. Why? It made no sense. He’d gone to bed last night at home after a movie night with the kids, Sloane next to him, his alarm set for four forty. Toren staggered to his feet and wobbled over to the bathroom door.

“Sloane?”

No response. Toren pushed open the door. No lights. No Sloane standing under a rainfall of steaming water. He was alone. His pulse increased as his gaze swept the room and spotted nothing familiar except a pair of Nike sweats and a Seattle Seahawk’s T-shirt lying over the back of the overstuffed chair next to the window. Toren slipped on the sweats but hesitated with the shirt. His old team. The one he wanted to rage against for releasing him—but the cutting truth was he’d pulled the pin on that grenade all by himself. Still, whoever was behind this had a distorted sense of humor.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
On my website http://jameslrubart.com/ where they can sign up for my newsletter and get a free copy of one of my short stories.
On Twitter: @jamesLrubart
On The Rubart Writing Academy website: http://rubartwritingacademy.com/  

Thanks for having me, Lena!

As always, it’s my great pleasure. - I. Love. Your. Books. - That first page made me want to read your book right now, but I only have 8 days to meet a book deadline. Maybe my copy will be her by the time I meet the deadline.

Readers, here are links to the book.
The Man He Never Was - Christianbook.com
The Man He Never Was: A Modern Reimagining of Jekyll and Hyde - Amazon paperback
The Man He Never Was: A Modern Reimagining of Jekyll and Hyde - Kindle
The Man He Never Was: A Modern Reimagining of Jekyll and Hyde - Audio bookl

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Monday, February 19, 2018

A SEASON TO DANCE - Patricia Beal - One Free Book


Welcome, Patricia. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
In the debut, I wrote a lot of myself into Ana. We both made a lot of mistakes and experienced great heartbreak because we lived life without God for too many years. We heard the Gospel for the first time well into our adulthood and came to saving faith practically together. But she’s better than me when it comes to surrendering. I look up to her now in matters of dying to self. In fiction you can make everything bigger and better, right? She’s a professional ballerina. I danced pre-professionally in three continents, but never earned a penny dancing ballet. Not one. I got a free costume once. Oh, and I never had a Baryshnikov lookalike and/or a Blake Shelton lookalike fighting over me. I did manage to land a handsome paratrooper who’s been putting up with my writing madness and other insanities for more than twelve years now.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I wanted to write an accurate scene about a frustrated woman destroying a pregnancy test. So I purchased a First Response pregnancy test, used it, waited as the character would have, then threw it against the bathroom floor to see if it would break, and if so, how and in how many pieces.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
The desire to write a novel came thirty years ago, when as a teenage girl back home in Brazil, Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist touched my heart. I wanted to do that to people, touch their hearts with a simple story that had something to say about the human condition. I moved to the United States, learned English, and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati with a B.A. in English Literature. It was in college that I learned how to write and realized that the writing dream was possible. I was the news editor of the university newspaper for two years and continued in journalism after college while trying to come up with a story idea for a novel. After an internship at the Pentagon, I worked as a public affairs officer for the U.S. Army for seven years. Then came marriage and babies. Then the story idea and the book baby—at long last.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read friends’ books more and more these days because I love them and know how hard it is to birth a book baby. So whatever they write is what I read. I find myself reading more historical novels and speculative novels than I ever thought I would. But I also read a lot of contemporary fiction and devotionals.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I don’t. I’m either crazy and running or sane and still. When I figure out how to run sanely, I will let you know how I got there.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I usually have faces in my head first. Then I begin toying around with names—names that match the faces. Ana’s name is spelled this way because her mom grew up in Brazil and was also a ballerina. So she’s named after beautiful Brazilian ballerina Ana Botafogo. Peter is a man she mistakes for stability for her soul when no mortal men can give her that. What she really needs is the real Rock, the Lord. There’s a quirk about all the names of the people in her journey in the novel. I have a note on that in the readers guide. I won’t spoil the surprise. I do look at names’ meanings before going final on them. I also look at those long movie credits for last names.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Taking the leap and becoming a homeschooler. I thought for sure 2017 would go down in history as the year I got published. But no. Becoming a homeschooler is far more historical. See, I received an Asperger’s diagnosis in 2014. This thing is now considered an autism spectrum disorder—I’m not certain I understand or agree with that, but I’m not a doctor. Anyway, having Asperger’s makes me clinically selfish and giving my children my most productive hours when their peers are in school and mine are at Panera is a big deal to me. But the Lord is blessing our home school, and I’m proud of each of us for the work we produce and the love we share around our family table daily. There’s joy in obedience, right?

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A backyard bird. Mine bring me great joy—to me and to my children. We have woodpeckers, chickadees, cardinals, tufted titmice, and many others who visit daily and fight the squirrels for the food we put out. If I were an animal, I would want to bring that kind of joy to those who hold down the fort day in and day out. Flying would be cool too.

What is your favorite food?
Churrasco! Have you ever heard of it? It’s a way of grilling different meats in the south of Brazil, where I’m from. We’re like the Texans of Brazil. Unique. There are several Brazilian-style restaurants in the U.S. that serve a good churrasco. But my dad’s is the best.

There was a Brazilian-style restaurant near us for several years. They are rather expensive here. (I live in Texas.) James and I went to eat there twice, and the meat was so delicious and tender. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Being lost. I didn’t write with an awakened heart. How I overcame it? Jesus passed by. I became a Christian during the writing of the novel. When I finally understood the Gospel and surrendered to Christ, I realized I had to rewrite the whole story. My novel wasn’t just the story of a woman looking for love and professional success. It was about a woman trying to fill the God-shaped hole in her heart with terribly misguided romantic and professional pursuits. She had to come to faith first. Then she could find sufficiency, love, and professional joy. Boom! God had me writing my own salvation story all along. Here’s how it happened: http://internationalchristianfictionwriters.blogspot.com/2015/10/a-season-to-dance-book-that-wrote-me.html

Awesome. Tell us about the featured book.
A Season to Dance is the heart-wrenching love story of a small town professional ballerina who dreams of dancing at the Met in New York, of the two men who love her and of the forbidden kiss that changed everything.

Blurb:
Ana Brassfield has her path to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House all figured out until her first love, renowned German dancer Claus Gert, returns to Georgia to win her back. Despite a promising start toward her ballet career and pending marriage to landscape architect, Peter Engberg, Ana wonders if her dreams of dancing at the Met are as impossible as her previous romantic relationship with Claus.

Then, an on-stage kiss between Ana and Claus changes everything.

Convinced the kiss is more than a one-time mistake, Peter breaks off their engagement. With an old dog crippled by arthritis and dreams deferred but not left behind, Ana moves to Germany to be with Claus. But the ghost of his late wife, Ana’s own feelings for Peter, and the pressure of earning a spot in a large ballet company are a high price for a shot at success. Ana seems on the verge of having everything she ever dreamed of, but will it be enough?

Please give us the first page of the book.
November 12, 2011
This is for them. This is for the magic. This is for every little dreamer in the room. Dozens of little awestruck faces crowded the large studio as I took position to practice my Sugar Plum Fairy solo. Everyone in the company and the school had come together for the first full-length rehearsal of The Nutcracker season.

I’d been in every one of those shoes: mouse, soldier, angel, every flower, every food, and every country. Now I was the Sugar Plum Fairy at long last, the one role that eluded me all those years. Had it been worth the wait?

Images of the first Sugar Plum Fairy rehearsal I’d ever seen flashed before my eyes—a beloved mental movie my heart flocked to every year around this time.

Could a young dancer ever forget the magic of watching the Sugar Plum rehearse her solo for the very first time? I hadn’t. I peered toward the girls from beneath the bright studio lights. And they wouldn’t.

This moment was going to last forever in their little minds. And I knew that, within the next three minutes, most of them would be thinking, That will be me one day.

My breathing quickened with the first notes of the music, and I moved to Tchaikovsky’s composition in steps that were delicate, like the heavenly sounds of the celesta, and precise, like the pizzicato—or pinched—sounds of the string instruments. The descending bass clarinet punctuated the variation.

Tchaikovsky used the celesta, a keyboard instrument new in his time, to make the music of the Sugar Plum Fairy sound like “drops of water shooting from a fountain,” the imagery Petipa, the choreographer of the ballet, had requested. I imagined the fountain: sparkly, flowy, and elegant.

Glittering bell-like sounds inspired the gliding steps that followed, and regal arm movements came naturally in a variation that suited my strengths.

Sure, twenty-nine was ridiculously late for a professional ballerina to dance the role of Sugar Plum Fairy for the first time, but I didn’t let that bother me.

I’m eager to read the rest of the story. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Patricia, for sharing this book with me and my blog readers. I know we’ll all enjoy reading it.

Readers, here are links to the book.
A Season to Dance - Paperback
A Season to Dance - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Sunday, February 18, 2018

WINNERS!!!

New instructions for winners in 2018 - When you send me the email, make sure your subject line says this: Winner - (book title) - (author's name) 

Tyffanie (TX) is the winner of The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers.

Sharon (SC) is the winner of a copy of the Ebook, Sweetwater Romances by Various Authors.

Sandie Q (TX) is the winner of The Treacherous Journey by Misty M Beller.

If you won a book and you like it, please consider giving the author the courtesy of writing a review on Goodreads, Amazon.com, Christianbooks.com, Barnes and Noble, or other Internet sites. 

Also, tell your friends about the book ... and this blog. Thank you.

Congratulations
, everyone. If you won a print book, send me your mailing address:
Click the Contact Me link at the top of the blog, and send me an Email.


If you won an ebook, just let me know what email address it should be sent to.

When you contact me, please give the title and author of the book you won, so I won't have to look it up.


Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

THE EMBERS SERIES - Carrie Daws - One Free Book

Welcome, Carrie. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
A piece of me can be seen in every book, even though I work to create characters who are different from each other. If a character needs a favorite food or color, I tend to pick something I’d like, or if a character has a bad habit or struggle, I also tend to pick things from my own life or those close to me.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
One time, I kidnapped a friend and her two young children. It sounds fun and we laugh about it now, but at the time it was an intervention of sorts. She desperately needed to talk to our pastor’s wife but was hesitant to go, so I pre-arranged both childcare and the meeting, then showed up at her house unannounced and ordered them all into my car.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I can be very slow to realize truth, and I think part of my difficulty with assuming the title of writer was because I didn’t want the burden of responsibility that comes with readers ready to hear more. Readers ready for my next story. So it’s only been within the last two years that I accepted my calling as writer and storyteller—five long years after my first book hit the store shelves.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read all kinds of books! My favorite is probably historical romantic comedy, but I also enjoy historical fiction and fiction based on Bible stories or Bible times. I read some action and adventure, mystery, and young adult, and I aim for one or two classics per year. Additionally, I read a bunch of nonfiction, mostly Christian living and books on writing/publishing, but also some history, biography, and health books.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’ve worked hard the past three or four years to build solid, healthy boundaries and to say, “No,” or “Let me check my schedule,” before agreeing to anything. I actively protect my calendar, make things I love a priority (from family to reading to doing puzzles), and schedule in adequate time for sleep and exercise.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I always start with a birthdate then I’ll search online for popular baby names from that birth year. I’ll scroll through, rarely picking any in the top ten, and trying to pick names different from any I’ve used in my other books. I also keep a list of names I’ve used in each book, purposely trying to pick names that start with different letters of the alphabet, which regularly forces me out of my favorites. For last names, I use a similar process except I start with the character’s family heritage or surnames common to the area where they are born.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Learning perseverance. The publishing world is tough, and authors have a constantly changing barrage of information to learn and adapt to. Besides getting better at writing, we must learn marketing, social media, websites, and publishing, consider speaking, book clubs, and book signings, and don’t even get me started on how the grammar rules change! It all can be very overwhelming. God gently led me into these waters, and He’s gradually increased His expectations over time, always providing exactly what I needed to prod me another step deeper. I’m most proud and thankful that I’ve persisted in spite of the difficulties, obstacles, and uncertainties.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’m horrible at these questions! But, I can tell you that I’d love to be my Chihuahua. The spoiled pup spends her time sleeping on pillows underneath blankets or in laps getting regular back rubs. The most stressful part of her day is waiting until dinner is served.

What is your favorite food?
Oh, hands down, pizza. Deep dish and thin crust. New York style and Chicago. Restaurant bought and homemade with my fresh milled flour. I love it all! Just go easy on the sauce, add some pepperoni and mozzarella, and I’m in a happy place.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest roadblock to writing is fear: fear that no one would want to read my stories and fear that my stories truly were not worth reading. This fear kept me from asking for reviews, or even letting people know that I had books for sale! I still fight this tendency, but enough readers have left encouragement through emails or reviews that I’m more likely to reach out and try.

Tell us about the featured book.
The Embers Series is currently my favorite fiction book I’ve written so far. The stories are full of intrigue, provide a look inside a fire marshal’s life, and add a touch of both romance and fun. The two main characters are modeled after friends, both of whom knew and approved of what I was writing. And the stories tackle fear head on: Does God know when danger lurks around us? Is He in the business of actively protecting His children? And can we grow in our trust in Him when circumstances threaten to overwhelm us?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Friday, October 9th
White billows replaced the dark, ominous clouds that still drifted over the tops of the loblolly pine trees along the North Carolina roadside. Inspector Cassandra McCarthy released her breath, knowing the color change meant the firefighters had water on the blaze. Those who were returning to nearby homes at the end of the workday should be safe.

Her phone on the console beside her buzzed with an incoming text message. “On the scene yet?”

Showing her identification card from the Silver Heights Fire Marshal’s office, Cassandra pulled her white Chevy Tahoe around the sheriff’s barricade shutting down the country road to all nonemergency traffic. Stopping in the grass near the last tanker truck, she grabbed her phone and responded to the text. “Just arrived. Beaver Creek and Black Branch Fire Departments both on scene. Flames still visible.”

She knew her boss wouldn’t be satisfied with that answer, but before she could give him more details, she had to get her mind on her job. Her heart ached with memories of today, of the anniversary she should be celebrating. Releasing her seat belt, she grabbed the camera from the passenger seat. She could at least start taking pictures for the report she’d have to file later. Her phone buzzed again.

“Contained? Any woods burning?”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
The best place to find me is at CarrieDaws.com. However, I also like to hang out at:

Thank you, Carrie, for sharing this book with me and my readers.

Readers, here are links to the book.
The Embers Series - Paperback
Embers series - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

THE WEDDING BARTER - Alice K Arenz - Two Free Kindle Copies


BIO: Though Alice K. Arenz is known for her cozy mysteries and romantic mystery/suspense novels, the Carol Award winning author has branched out with her newest release, The Wedding Barter, a romance that is both serious and funny.

Arenz is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Her first three novels were honored by two finals and one win in ACFW’s Carol Awards: cozy mysteries The Case of the Bouncing Grandma (a 2009 finalist), The Case of the Mystified M.D., (2010 winner), and mystery/suspense Mirrored Image (a 2011 finalist). These novels have been followed by An American Gothic, Portrait of Jenny, and short story, Home Cookin’.

Hi, Lena and Readers! It’s nice to be here.

Welcome back, Alice. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write what God gives me—it’s the only explanation there is. Yes, I’ve always been fascinated with mystery/suspense, so it seemed a natural genre to write. But my latest, The Wedding Barter, is a romance. Though there is always an element of romance in my books, this one is so completely different—no murders or mayhem.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I know it’s cliché, but my happiest “days” were when my daughters were born. Close, are the births of my four grandchildren. When I think about them, I get goose bumps and thank God for blessing me with all of them.

How has being published changed your life?
It’s added a different dimension to my life, allowed my imagination to soar and opened up a whole new channel of communication between God and me. That probably sounds odd, but I pray and ask Him for guidance—and try to be patient long enough to “hear” the answer. I remember when I was writing The Case of the Bouncing Grandma and wanted to know how it would end—when it would end! I kept on asking until one night I clearly heard “And then he kissed me.” Nothing about what would lead to that point, but it was enough to make me want to go on. I even put in a hard page break and typed those words. And He was right, that’s exactly how it ended.

What are you reading right now?
Actually, I’m re-reading my Bouncing Grandma Mystery series so that everything is at the forefront of my mind as I start on the third in the series. It’s tentatively called The Case of the Stolen Identity.

What is your current work in progress?
Ah, I got ahead of myself! Stolen Identity will be a cozy mystery like The Case of the Bouncing Grandma and The Case of the Mystified M.D.

What would be your dream vacation?
I’ve always wanted to visit the British Isles—especially Ireland and Scotland.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
The main locations are always fictional—I’ve taken the adage of “write what you know” and used it for the main setting. From that point, the book dictates the rest.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Wow, I’ve really never thought about this. I’m so family oriented that I rarely think beyond wanting to spend time with them.

Let’s see. . . I would have to say Pat Robertson because five years ago when I couldn’t move from my chair the result of a sudden attack on all my senses, CBN and the 700 Club were there to remind me God was holding my hand, carrying me. Yes, my husband and family were right here and supportive, but there was something about Pat Robertson that spoke to me and made me listen even when my head was screaming, when light and sound assaulted me on more levels than I knew existed. I couldn’t watch other TV programs, couldn’t stand to “over” hear the sounds or the movement. But something I’d never watched before, always passed by. . . spoke to me. So, I choose Pat Robertson.

What a wonderful tersimony. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I used to enjoy sewing and painting, but because of problems with my hands I haven’t done those things in years. Well, until a few weeks before this past Christmas. I was trying to come up with a way to give my grandchildren (ages 19-8) a special gift—something they could have the rest of their lives. We’d always gotten them a tree ornament, but with our tight budget, even that would’ve been a stretch. That’s when I came up with the idea to make ornaments.

Chris looked up the directions on how to make homemade clay—flour, salt, water. After he mixed it together, I got out my old cookie cutters and very carefully rolled out the clay. Once they’d baked and cooled—five ornaments for each grandchild—I dug out my acrylic paints for the first time in nineteen years and painted/decorated them, praying God would help my hands to stay working and to keep the pain away. And He did exactly that!

Another wonderful testimony. I love stories of how God has been so present in our lives. What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Marketing. I don’t have the finances to advertise, so I rely on friends and family to help get the word out. I’ve also been blessed with people like you, Lena, who invite me to be on their blogs.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Stay true to your faith and listen to what God’s telling you. It’s also very important to develop a tough skin. Remember that everyone will have a different opinion and/or advice. Take what they have to say and learn from it and don’t let it discourage you. Pray a lot and take the time to really listen to what God’s saying.

That last part is the most important part. Tell us about the featured book.
Here’s the back cover blurb for The Wedding Barter.

Riley Carr has been best friends with Amy Lawton since they were toddlers.  While Amy awaits her discharge from the Army, Riley's been left in charge of helping to arrange "a very small, intimate ceremony with no fanfare" for Amy and her fiancé. But, Riley has something else in mind.

With the aid of two other friends, Riley presents her “wedding barter” idea to groom, David Herron. He agrees, providing best man, Mike Todd, stays in the loop to keep things from getting out of hand.

It doesn't help that the giant of a man is threatening, overbearing, and just doesn’t seem to like her or her ideas. But, when Todd gives Riley an ultimatum of producing results in three weeks or he’ll take over, she’s determined to prove him wrong. . .in more ways than one.

Please give us the first page of the book.
“You have to look at this!” I passed the pages I’d printed to Natalie, indicating she should give the extra one to Hannah, who’d already begun munching on a crunchy breadstick—one of Marcello’s specialties.

“Wha’s this?” Hannah spoke around the food in her mouth. A trim finger, with hot pink nail polish, covered her lips—probably to keep crumbs from falling out.

“It’s obviously important, Han, or she wouldn’t have asked us to read it.” Nat flounced in her chair, or would have if she’d been wearing anything other than jeans. She just naturally had that attitude—all super girly girl. There was nothing pretentious about her, never had been. Just because she was always “put together,” even when covered with dirt, some people believed she was not only stuck up but stuck on herself. Quite the reverse was true; Nat was an introvert on steroids—unless she knew you well.

Hannah, neither introvert nor extrovert, perused both sides of the paper I’d given them, her dark blue eyes wide.

“Is this for real?” She finally asked, stabbing at the page with a hot pink nail.

“As far as I know. Remarkable, huh?”

“Audacious is more like it.”

“Come on, Riley. A bridesmaid auction? Most people I know would rather bow out and risk the loss of a friend than incur such an outrageous expense.” Nat tossed the paper on the table. “The very fact there’s such a lengthy email chain speaks loudly of a hoax. Why on earth would anyone—”

“Did they?” Hannah asked before taking another bite of the breadstick.

I raised an eyebrow in response, realized what she was asking, and shrugged. “Actually have the auction? I don’t know. There’s nothing in the chain beyond the invitation, announcement, or whatever you’d call it. It was scheduled for what—um—a couple months ago? May, wasn’t it?”

Both girls nodded. I was about to say something when our waitress came by to take our orders. Knowing Nat needed to return to work in an hour, I knew we shouldn’t waste anymore time. We all ordered Marcello’s lunch specialty, BBQ beef calzones with the flakiest crust this side of heaven, and iced teas—unsweetened, of course—then went back to our conversation.

Hannah looked through the pages again. “The auction was in May and the wedding, um, is in September. Yesterday, if it was held this year.” Shaking her head, she continued. “You don’t really care about these strangers, do you?”

“This is a joke, right?” Nat narrowed her eyes. “I mean, you’re not thinking of doing an internet search…” She choked on her sip of water. “Our very own dinosaur searching the net for anything has got to be a joke.”

We all laughed. My friends knew me well. Ever since I’d suffered a head injury that left me in a coma for three days, computers and I were barely friends. I rarely used one except for work and email. And, it wasn’t just the loss of my computer skills; all my interests and hobbies suffered because of the accident—my love of reading and my determination to one day further my photography skills. But, this wasn’t the time to think about such things.

“It got me thinking, you know?” I leaned back in my chair and studied my friends. “If someone could devise a plan like that auction, surely we can come up with some ideas to help Amy plan her wedding.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?

And the book is available from Amazon at:

Thanks for hosting me on your blog. It was fun—and a little challenging. God Bless you all! Alice

Thank you, Alice, for sharing this new and different story with me and my blog readers.

And readers, please share the link to this blog to all your reader friends. I know others will be interested in this story idea.

Leave a comment for a chance to win one of two free Kindle copies of the book. Alice wanted to giveaway two to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Thank you, Alice.

You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

AIN'T MISBEHAVING - Marji Laine - One Free Ebook

Dear Readers, Marji Laine is a dear friend of mine, who is a very good writer. I’ve loved every book of hers I’ve read. I’m really looking forward to reading Ain't Misbehaving. I know you'll love it, too. This is one you won’t want to miss.

Welcome back, Marji. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I think in terms of romance and mystery. In any given setting, I can see either romantic conflict and comedy or a potential hiding place for a body!

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
They day I married my best friend, my joy couldn’t be suppressed. I caught a glimpse of him in the lighted sanctuary as I stood in the darkened room at the back and could not control my giggles. My dad had to hush me and the laughter squeezed out the edges of my eyes and dripped down my cheeks. The joy with that man has continued, and it started with a bang of intensity that day!

How has being published changed your life?
Working with the people at Write Integrity Press, seeing the genuine committed hearts of the editors and other authors, made it so easy for me to be whole-heartedly committed as well. And that has had unimaginable consequences as I’ve become the executive director of the company. Working daily with such talented authors has also honed my own writing ability. I LOVE my job!

What are you reading right now?
My reading, nowadays, is generally editing purposes. I’ve just completed Joan Deneve’s heartwarming romance set in Africa. That is due to come out in April. But I do like to listen to recorded books when I’m driving or walking. Right now, I’m listening to a Hannah Swenson Mystery: LEMON MERINGUE PIE MURDER by Joanne Fluke.

What is your current work in progress?
I am in the planning stages of my next romantic suspense. BREAKING POINT is the second story of the Heath’s Point Suspense series, following COUNTER POINT. This story focuses on the couple who own the Sunrise Inn on the edge of town and their daughter who visits from Dallas.

I’m eager to read that one! What would be your dream vacation?
I took it this summer! My kids sent hubby and me on an Alaskan cruise. I saw animals and scenery I’d only dreamed of seeing in and around picturesque little towns that stole my heart. We both hope to return!

James spent part of his army time in Alaska. When we married, he told me he wanted to take me there. Our lives have prevented it so far. How do you choose your settings for each book?
I like using small towns as my settings. My college is in the East Texas town of Commerce where my brother and sis-in-law still live. It inspires most of my environments. But recently, I started placing my stories in Dallas. AIN’T MISBEHAVING and before that, most of the Grime Fighter series. For those, I loved finding a unique building and creating a story there.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I would want to spend the evening with a graphic artist – an expert on photo shop who could teach me ways to take our book covers – and my photography in general – to new levels.

I’m with you on that. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Game night with the fam, photography, Hallmark movies, crochet, oh, and currently – planning a wedding! Squee!

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
TIME! And I haven’t exactly overcome it completely. I am WAY-organized, though, and most of the time I’m on schedule with things. I just haven’t found a way yet, to immerse into my new story well enough to take advantage of moments here and there for writing.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
That’s a great question. I think the most important thing a writer should have is a teachable spirit. Their stories will only get better if they listen to the critiques of trusted partners and value the opinions of readers. Authors who are serious about their careers should always be open to insight from readers.

That is so true. Tell us about the featured book.
I loved working on this story. Annalee is wealthy, cultured, and empty. But in the depth of her heart, she has a dream of mattering someday. But her dream disappears when she utters one word. That word sets into motion an impossible situation for Annalee. The girl who never finishes anything, not even a sketch or a painting, is faced with losing her very freedom if she can’t successfully complete this impossible task.

Enter CJ Whelan. His past disgusts him, as does the society in which he grew up. He’s dedicated his time and all of his resources to bettering the lives of others, a practice his father barely tolerates. Not only does CJ have to constantly avoid the obstacles his dad throws in his way, he faces living down his background and social standing with those who would like to use him for their own purposes.

And Annalee’s arrival into CJ’s world ensures her failure, if it’s up to the ones who would like status and fortune of their own.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Her future wasn’t the only thing at stake.

Annalee Chambers slipped into the bare consultation room with her mother, father, and attorney. Reporters filled the hallway and shouted questions as the door closed.

She tugged at a stray blond curl the August breeze had pulled from her hair clip and sank into the wooden chair. If only invisibility were possible—a desire initiated when they’d arrived at the Frank Crowley Court Buildings, and cameras started flashing.

Leaning against the high back of the seat, she stared at a ceiling fan making a slow rotation. For a solid minute, she matched her breathing to the fan’s rhythm.

“The judge has to toss away this whole fabrication.” Her mother paced the same path as the shadows from the circling blades. “Can’t she identify the real victim in this case?”

Annalee bristled at the insinuation. “Mr. Madison was the victim. He and his family are the ones impacted by the accident.” Accident. She hadn’t even realized she’d hit anyone.

“It’s clear the district attorney is only trying to hurt my campaign.” Father lifted a slat from the blinds hanging over the only window in the room. The sunlight made him squint. “He’s been a fan of Mayor Ellis since the beginning. Now, since I’m a real threat, he’s doing everything he can to make me look bad.”

And Annalee had aided in the destruction of her father’s mayoral campaign when she traveled to club-row to pick up her tipsy friend.

I can hardly wait to get my copy of this book. I have to know what happens next. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I roam a lot of places. Find me on www.Facebook.com/MarjiLaine, www.Twitter.com/MarjiLaine, and on www.Amazon.com/Marji-Laine/e/B00AJF2MFC. You can also find me at my website, www.MarjiLaine.com and my publishing site, www.WriteIntegrity.com. Hope to hear from you!

Thank you, Marji, for sharing this new book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Ain't Misbehaving (Dallas Duets) (Volume 1) - Paperback
Ain't Misbehaving (Dallas Duets Book 1) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:

Monday, February 12, 2018

WHERESOEVER THEY MAY BE - Terri Wangard - One Free Book or Ebook


Welcome back, Terri. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I completed a rough draft on Christmas Day. Unlike my four published books, this is not World War II. Right now, my project is set in 1915, but I see myself going farther back in time.

Tell us a little about your family.
Shortly after I graduated with an MLS degree, my dad started publishing Classic Boating magazine. My mom, brother, and I were his crew. I left my library job after a few years, because they needed my full-time help. My mom died in 2011, and my dad is partially retired during the winter while he’s in Florida, but my brother and I are still full-time at it. I have a sister in California whom I rarely see.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I tend to critique as I read novels. And I seem to read more nonfiction, especially biographies and memoirs. That may have started with research, but I don’t limit myself to the time period I’m writing.

If a novel grabs my attention to I don’t critique, then I know it’s a very good story. What are you working on right now?
I just complete a draft on the Lusitania, and plan a companion story about World War I in Wisconsin.

What outside interests do you have?
I loved to travel around the world, although lately my travels have been confined to Florida and writing conferences. For many years, I’ve been involved with child sponsorship and presently sponsor five girls in Central and South America. And I enjoy genealogical research. My ancestors give me story ideas.

The ideas for my second novel by Heartsong came from my ancestors. The first three books in that series were published in a collection titled Brides of Minnesota in December 2017. How do you choose your settings for each book?
For my WWII series, I chose Ridgewell Air Base in England for my B-17 navigators because it is one word and easy to pronounce. In keeping with writing what you know, most of my characters live in Milwaukee. For Wheresoever They May Be, I chose Long Beach, California, because of the war factories and the coast.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Marguerite Lamiraud, my tenth great-grandmother, born around 1645. She moved to Quebec from France to marry one of the settlers already there. What was it like to move so far from everything familiar to a land where Indian attacks were common, and she was expected to marry someone she just met?

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
What a long, difficult road it is to be published. You’ve written what you think is a great novel, but surprise, surprise, no one else thinks so! 

Or maybe you haven’t found the right publisher yet. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Be open to new directions. I went through a rough stretch last summer, and then I read a blog post on why do you want to be published. I questioned whether I should continue writing. I still am, but if I don’t have another book published, that’s okay.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Be very patient, join a critique group, and attend conferences.

Tell us about the featured book.
After writing about B-17s in my series, I wanted something else. My characters are a sailor, his Rosie-the-Riveter wife, her WAC sister, and a grasshopper pilot.

Frank Swanson has plans. He has good job prospects, maybe even broadcasting in Hollywood. The war is an interruption to a good life he’s eager to get back to.

Lily Swanson longs to be a mother. Soon Frank should be home for good and they can furnish a nursery. Maybe even find a bigger house.
           
Joe Gallagher grew up in a small house with plenty of siblings. He loves the solitude of flying, but the war has dragged on for so long. He’s ready to go home.
           
Susan Talbot has a bad attitude. She’s estranged from her family and she doesn’t attract friends. But war can bring out the best in people and Susan’s surprised to realize she’s happy.
           
They all do their part in striving for victory in World War II. Sometimes, though, the danger can be hard to identify.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Lily
Chapter 1
Sunday, September 4, 1943
“Tomorrow’s the big day.” Lily Swanson joined her friend in the crowd funneling into church. “I hope we aren’t making a mistake.”

Charlotte cast her a wide-eyed glance. “A mistake? Nonsense. The men can’t win this war by themselves. They need us women to make their airplanes. Don’t forget, this was your idea.”

With her Bible tucked under her arm, Lily kneaded her hands. “I know, but factory work! Seems like such a rough-and-tumble business.” She jerked her hands apart. She’d ruin her lace gloves twisting them like that. “Building airplanes is a lot different than clerking at the department store.”

 “You did well in training. And it looked okay on our walk-through. Just noisy. Incredibly noisy.” Charlotte repositioned her tiny straw hat as they entered the foyer. “I’m going to have to find some ear plugs. All that racket gave me a headache.”

Lily nodded, distracted by Charlotte’s hat, tilted so far forward that Lily expected it to fall off. She patted her head. The beret she’d fashioned from a Good Housekeeping pattern sat snugly where it belonged.

“I’m not concerned by the outcry that we’ll lose our femininity, or even about the men giving us a hard time. I guess it’s the scope of what we’ll be doing.” Lily nodded to an acquaintance. “If we make a mistake on these airplanes, men in battle could lose their lives.”

“Poo foo. The factory gives them quality control checks before sending them out. How many times did we hear that on our walk-through?”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter: @terriwangard

Thank you, Terri, for sharing this new book with us. I can hardly wait for my copy to arrive.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Wheresoever They May Be - Paperback
Wheresoever They May Be - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. (If the winner is from outside the US, the book will be an ebook. A winner inside the US can choose a print or ebook.) You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link: