Thursday, April 19, 2018

30 DAYS HATH REVENGE - C Kevin Thompson - One Free Book


Welcome, Kevin. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I’ve been told some of the phrases I use come out in the dialogue of characters. “I hear you say that,” my readers will tell me. But overall, I try to use certain things from time to time to help make the character more authentic. I remember putting into the manuscript of The Serpent’s Grasp a description of a car Micah Gregson used to own that caused him to purchase the car he owned now, a red Mustang Cobra. The car he “used to own back in the day” was a red 1971 Mach 1 Mustang with a 351 Cleveland. That was the car I had in high school and when we were first married (boy, do I wish I still had it now). Unfortunately, that recollection of Micah got axed in the final edit. However, he is driving the Mustang Cobra when he gets followed by the FBI agent, trying to find a news station that carries late, breaking news, and wishing he hadn’t allowed his satellite subscription to expire (another personal piece of info about me, by the way).

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’ve sat here for ten minutes, and I can’t think of much. I even asked my wife, who’s known me since we were 15. She can’t either. So, I guess I’m not a very “quirky” person. More on the conservative side when it comes to my actions, I guess. However, I suppose it depends on who’s watching, too. Some people would say becoming a writer is a little quirky. “How can you sit at a computer for hours on end?” Ever heard that one? I’ve also had others “say”—not with their words so much but more with their looks and actions—that becoming a follower of Christ is quirky, if not borderline crazy.

When did you first discover you were a writer?
I had an inkling when I was in middle school. Creating stories was an interest, for sure. However, I really didn’t have anyone around who noticed or encouraged it growing up, and there weren’t the opportunities available back then like there are now for young writers (which maybe answers why I wasn’t encouraged?). I finally got more serious about it in my mid-thirties, got more serious about it in my mid-forties, and now, here I am, wishing I’d gotten serious about it way sooner.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
With fiction, I enjoy mysteries and thrillers and wander around that section of the bookstore the most. That doesn’t mean I won’t pick up something else and give it a try, like a speculative fiction work or a science fiction piece. As for non-fiction, that’s all over the map, depending on what I’m doing. Christian spiritual growth books, if I want to read something for personal edification. Books about education, which are related to my day job as an assistant principal at a middle school (that job choice may qualify as quirky, too). Books about the subject I am researching for a novel I am writing. If you look at the bibliography in the back of The Serpent’s Grasp (and yes there is one…I put it there for a reason…), then you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about here.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Sanity? What’s that? I work in a middle school. And I’m a writer. Doesn’t get much more insane than that. Especially in this day and age of school shootings and brick-and-mortar store closings. But hey, you can’t say that I’m a bystander in the game of life. I’m right in the middle of the action. 

Through it all, though, the only thing that keeps me even-keeled is Christ. If I wasn’t a Christian, I’d probably be in prison by now. Some of the thoughts that cross our minds at times are far from Christ-like. Understandable, maybe, but miles away from unconditional love. So God helps me stay on track, especially when I start to jump the rails. I do have to admit that as the days get darker and the pressure gets more constrictive, I’m finding the need for more time with Him. But my biggest struggle is I don’t deal with “stupid” and “foolishness” very well. I have always had very little patience for it, and that is wearing thin these days. I understand when people get upset about things that are unfair or even teeter on the line of being criminal or not (we’d all probably be upset if we were in those shoes). But there is so much foolishness going on today, so much stupidity, and so much senselessness. For example, humans taking challenges like eating Tide pods. Really? Back in the day, those teens would be working on a farm somewhere or learning a trade that would eat up all the free time they have. Or what about those who take a stand on political, divisive subjects they have no clue how to truly solve (but they’ll tell you how to solve it so it helps their cause)? The Apostle Paul’s description of minds thinking, acting, behaving, and believing as if they were seared with a hot iron was never truer than it is today. And all this drives me to God more and more. Personally, I don’t know how He does it (doesn’t destroy us all), or how He did it (died on a cross to save us). I know why (love). But to know and to act are two very different things. I guess that’s what makes Him God and me a fallen human.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
You know, that’s a good question. Some are just random. I need a certain name, and I’ll scan the books on my shelf to see if one jumps out at me. Other times, I’ll run across a name I really like and jot it down for future reference. In many cases, because the names are nationalistically important, I’ll do a web search of “Russian surnames” or “Hispanic female first names,” for example, and choose one after researching it further to verify that it would work. But my favorite way has been when I have assigned the names of my children and grandchildren to secondary characters in my books. I try to use them creatively, and not use them exactly like the real name. Like, for example, making my grandson’s first name the last name of a deputy.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I’m assuming you’re talking about writing accomplishments? Because I’d say being married for over 36 years is quite an accomplishment, especially with everything my wife and I have been through. J As for the writing, my proudest moment was when my book, The Serpent’s Grasp, won the 2013 Selah Award at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference for first fiction (debut novel). My second proudest moment was when my second novel, 30 Days Hath Revenge (A Blake Meyer Thriller – Book 1), won second place in the 2013 Readers’ Favorite awards for Christian Fiction. I found out later that the only reason it didn’t win first place was because of the cover, which I admit was not that tantalizing. This book has since come out in second edition with a new, great-looking cover.

I was surprised and honored when my novel Maggie’s Journey won the Selah for long historical. I had only won one other major prize at that time.  If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Probably a cheetah. I could outrun anything trying to catch me and outrun anything I’m trying to catch. And I’d have the tools needed to defend myself from most anything. Next would be a tiger. Wouldn’t be able to run as fast, but I’d better better-looking. J

What is your favorite food?
That’s a tie between an inch-thick, medium-well ribeye steak cooked to perfection with a slight char on the outside (I’m channeling my inner Guy Fieri here) and a good pepperoni pizza (preferably from a locally-owned place versus chain stores). If I could eat these two things every day and not gain an ounce, that would be heavenly.

Good luck with that. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
When my first two novels were published, the publisher who had them started having problems (a common tale these days). They stopped publishing new titles, and became very hard to get a hold of. Although they were still “in business,” I was not receiving any monies from sales either. During this time, I acquired an agent. We both agreed that getting the rights back would be the best option, since publisher was, by that time, in breach of contract. It took well over a year to see that come to pass. Because my second book, 30 Days Hath Revenge, was the beginning of a series, it really caused issues because most publishers don’t want to reprint the first book in a series. As a result, we had to “self-publish” that book and the subsequent books in the series (I put it in quotes because it’s a bit of a different process than your typical self-pub route). My agent did find a home for my first novel, and it was reprinted by Hallway Publishing last summer.

Now, we have four books out. Book 4 of the Blake Meyer series, When the Clock Strikes Fourteen, is coming out later this year. Books 5 and 6 will complete the series in 2018.

Tell us about the featured book.
The featured book is 30 Days Hath Revenge. The overarching theme of the series is, “What is true peace?” We hear about that topic a lot these days. So did the Israelites in the days of Jeremiah…right before the Babylonians showed up. It’s this biblical scenario that has given me the bones from which to develop this story.

In my Blake Meyer Thriller Series, SSA Blake Meyer is the biggest patriot out there. He’s served his country in the military. He’s worked undercover. He has Black Ops training. And now he’s part of the FBI as a means of keeping tabs on certain people. Nobody bleeds red, white, and blue more than him.

It’s this past that raises its ugly head when a man by the name of Colin Murphy, who Blake actually worked with 15 years prior, organizes a diabolical plot to release a deadly, weaponized contagion with no known cure within the major cities of the U.S. as an act of revenge. This attack is being orchestrated by several big financial players from around the world, who are using Murphy to help bring the U.S. to its knees so it can use economic espionage to finally topple a nation they would never be able to beat militarily.

Blake is the only one who knows all about the past, and he has now been tasked by the president to lead the effort at finding the people responsible before it’s too late.

Please give us the first page of the book.
June 14
Four Years Earlier
Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa
A Congolese man stumbled down a narrow, filthy alley clutching his chest. He staggered like a drunken man, bouncing back and forth off the walls like a pinball as he traversed its length.

He burst forth into a swarm of people in an open market and scanned the crowd before grabbing his head with both hands. He took a few more lumbering steps before falling face-first into the busy dirt road.

He rolled onto his back with a grimace, and his body contorted and writhed in agony. Mouthing something inaudible, he mustered the strength to flip over to his stomach.

Pounding the ground with his fist, he willed himself to his hands and knees. His labored breathing and internal pain caused his entire frame to heave in a distressed, desperate dance.

The ailing man finally rose to his feet. His well-worn clothes puffed plumes of dust as he teetered toward a passing ambulance, attempting to flag it down. Frantic but unable to wave his arms, he watched the vehicle turn the corner and disappear behind a building. He shook his head in despair and raised his arms in disbelief. Unintelligible words were overcome with tears as the man collapsed into a sobbing heap.

Seconds later, the man’s body shook with a violent force. Then, as if a great cable or rope was wrapped around his midsection, pulling him to the clouds, he arched his back and let out a horrific cry. As the man’s howl subsided, his body eased back down to the ground like a deflating balloon.

Very graphic description. Very good. How can readers find you on the Internet?
They can find me in these locations:
My website:                www.ckevinthompson.com
Kevin’s Blog:             www.ckevinthompson.blogspot.com/
Facebook:                   C. Kevin Thompson – Author Fan Page
Twitter:                       @CKevinThompson
Goodreads:                 C. Kevin Thompson

Also, check in soon to my website for the links to my new Pinterest page and Instagram page!

Thank you, Kevin, for sharing this book with me and my readers. We are all eager to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book.
30 Days Hath Revenge - Paperback
30 Days Hath Revenge - 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, April 18, 2018

REDEEMING GRACE - Ward Tanneberg - One Free Book


Welcome back, Ward. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I enjoy reading good thrillers. Using this motif, I’ve written several inspirational thrillers, Without Warning, Vanished, Pursuit, and Redeeming Grace. Pastor John Cain and Marwan Dosha thread their way through all four books, along with new characters who are introduced and play major roles.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
The day Dixie and I were married.

How has being published changed your life?
It has opened for me a broader pulpit from which to share Christ. It involves the skills of both artist and prophet (forthtelling, not foretelling). It has offered me a platform with which to speak in a variety of ways to those who have known me through the years, as well as a new audience of readers.

What are you reading right now?
Catherine Coulter’s The Sixth Day
Peterson’s Running with the Horses (third reading)

What is your current work in progress?
Blog - Perspective
Living InBetween
the promise given and the promise received - Abraham

What would be your dream vacation?
A month in the California desert
A month in Europe

How do you choose your settings for each book?
The story scenario First, then the settings. My first two novels take place in California, Maine, Boston, Israel, Jordan, Iran, and Yugoslavia. My third novel is set in California and Turkey. Redeeming Grace takes place in Georgia, the San Francisco Bay area, and Palm Springs, California.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
The person I most love spending an evening with is my daughter.
Picking someone I don’t know - perhaps Coulter or Baldacci

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Walks with GAGE, golf, reading, sports

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Most recently it has been emotionally “hitting the creative wall” following the publishing of Sacred Journey.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Don’t give up if you are serious about your craft

Tell us about the book.
Seven years ago, Grace Grafton died in a boating accident while partying on the Georgia, South Carolina coast. Was her death the result of alcohol and drugs or something more sinister? Nobody knows. Her body was never recovered. Now years later, a woman reads in disbelief the note addressed to her: Hello Grace, did you think we wouldn’t find you?

Those nine chilling words end Grafton’s self-imposed witness protection. Now she and everyone she loves are in grave danger. Long believed dead, she has a secret that can change the world. She knows the man running for President is guilty of a double murder! But who will believe her?

Sounds very interesting. Please give us the first page of the book.
Sunday, 06 June—2145 local time
Palm Springs, California
“Marry me.”
           
The words floated into her ear on his soft and husky whisper. She caught her breath at their sound, fueled by Brad’s intensity. Like a match to dry kindling. “Say yes, Taylor. Please, you have to say yes eventually. I’m not giving up on us.”
           
It was the third time he had coaxed her like this, an ardent proposal of marriage. She turned to face him, gazing into eyes that teemed with adoration. 
           
“You know I love you, darling,” she said at last. “More than I can ever say.”
           
“Okay then. So what is keeping you from saying ‘yes?’” he asked, gathering her in his arms.
           
What is it?
           
A moment in time, that’s what. One she could not forget. Not ever. She wanted this man. Wanted so much to say “yes” to him. Wanted to live the rest of her life with him. In this house and in his arms. For years she had steeled herself to the fact that this could never be. Not for her, and certainly not with him. Not with any man. Yet finding Brad, getting to know him and the children these last two years, falling more deeply in love than she could ever have imagined, and right now swimming in that love’s reflection as she looked into his eyes…no more hesitation. This was it. The wall was down! Like a huge rush, the suddenness of it left her breathless. And yet …

Way to leave us hanging. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Ward, for sharing this book with us. I’m eager to read it, and I know my blog readers are as well.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Redeeming Grace - When a murderer moves into the White House no one is safe ... Not even the dead - Paperback
Redeeming Grace - When a killer moves into the White House no one is safe ... Not even the dead. - Kindle
Redeeming Grace - Audiobook

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, April 16, 2018

AGNES HOPPER BETS ON MURDER - Carol Guthrie Heilman - One Free Book


Welcome back, Carol. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I have always loved older people, and that’s a good thing because now I am one. In my Agnes Hopper books I work toward giving seniors a voice, as well as dreams and hopes. Too often, it seems in our hurry-up world, we don’t slow down long enough to listen to our elders.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Two days. When the Lord opened the doors for my husband and I to adopt our daughter, after we had been married for ten years and were told we could never have children. And then four years later I gave birth to our son! Two miracles!

I love miracle stories. How has being published changed your life?
Being published has opened up a new world of fellow authors, readers, publishers and editors. Each one has enriched my life.

What are you reading right now?
Hush Now, Baby by Angela W. Williams, a SC author. Excellent read. A quote by Kirkus reviews: “An adoring view of a childhood nanny . . . that does not disguise the ugly specter of 1950s segregation.”

What is your current work in progress?
Book three of the Agnes Hopper series. Working title: Agnes Hopper and the Arsonists. It’s a cozy mystery.

What would be your dream vacation?
I would love to visit Scotland, Ireland, and Wales and explore some of the small villages, castles, and countryside.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Agnes, inspired by my mother, had to be from a small, southern town. Sweetbriar is a fictional town somewhere in the southeast.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Steve Revis, missionary to the Haitian people for over twenty-five years. Because he has the most amazing stories of God at work.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love hiking mountain and costal trails, cooking up new or favorite recipes for family and friends, and playing cards.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Fear. Lots of prayer before taking the plunge. It takes a lot of courage to begin or to continue writing. I cannot do it under my own power.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Keep a writing journal of ideas, thoughts, and observations. Your many jewels will be there when you need them and God will open your eyes to his hand upon your writings.

Tell us about the featured book.
This is from the back cover.
When Agnes Hopper travels to Beulah Cemetery to inform her late husband, Charlie, of the dire financial pickle she’s in, she discovers the shoeless and quite dead body of Charlie’s best friend laid out on a concrete bench.

Despite the indifference of the local sheriff, Agnes’ nose for trouble smells something foul and she vows she won’t rest her aching knees until Josiah Goforth can rest in peace.

But as she and her sometimes-love-interest, Smiley Abenda, uncover a growing list of suspects and illegal activities in their small town, they must also rally the fellow residents of Sweetbriar Manor to help prevent the sale of their home to a halfway house for female inmates. The antics these senior citizens pull would surely make Charlie roll over in his grave!

Can Agnes curtail her spending and stop the sale while looking for a murderer?
Or will the murderer stop her first?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Agnes Hopper Bets on Murder

Always do right. It will gratify some people
and astonish the rest.
~ Mark Twain
Resolved to calm my jitters, I plunked myself onto Sweetbriar Manor’s porch swing to untangle my thoughts. It didn’t help one iota. Something was amiss. In all my seventy-something years, my intuition had never steered me wrong, like my big toe warned me when bad weather was coming.

No matter what was brewing, my life could stand a little excitement. After I witnessed our former administrator, Miss Johnson, get carted off to the clink—thanks to me—things had been as bland around this retirement home as tapioca pudding.

 Mama always said there’s no use fretting about trials or tragedies lurking around the corner. I took her advice, closed my eyes, and lifted my face to the October sun. A shimmering vision appeared—my dear friend, Smiley, and me waltzing across a shiny wood floor. My red hair, freshly permed and dyed, bounced as we swirled in a cloud of Old Spice. My matching blouse and skirt glimmered like an indigo bunting—a real garage sale find. A flash of red flats completed my outfit as we danced the night away, despite my gimpy knee.
 
The red shoes, modeled on a QVC channel, had not only caught my eye on the sitting room’s television, they had the power to melt my resolve to curtail all my frivolous spending. But what if they’ve been marked down? Surely then I could—

 My daydream vanished like steam from a teapot when the front door slammed. Its beveled glass rattled in protest, and the now-familiar tune of “Dixie” filled the air.
 
Mr. Lively, the new administrator of the Manor, planted himself in front of me, casting a dark shadow with his ample form. As always, he smelled like he had emerged from an old, musty basement. “Learn to carry your cell, Agnes. And turn it on. I don’t have time for these interruptions.”
           
I peered up at his pinched face. “But no one ever—”

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Carol, for sharing this book with us. Many of my blog readers love cozy mysteries and humorous books.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Agnes Hopper Bets on Murder (The Adventures of Agnes Series) (Book 2) - Paperback
Agnes Hopper Bets on Murder (The Adventures of Agnes Series Book 2) - 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, April 15, 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) 

Elly (IN) is the winner of The Private Bride by Kathleen Y'Barbo.

Bonnie (AZ)  is the winner of The Rejected Princess by Katie Clark.

Sandy Q (TX) is the winner of Light Up My Life in Texas by Connie Lewis Leonard.

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, April 12, 2018

THE KEEPER'S CROWN - Nathan D Maki - One Free Book

Bio: A life-long love for historical fiction and a passion to create high-intensity, realistic novels from a Christian worldview has propelled Nathan into his writing career. He is the author of the War Within series of novels set in Ancient Rome, and most recently The Keeper's Crown, a novel of the Apostle Paul.

A recent trip to
Rome to walk the ancient streets, explore the Catacombs, and stand in the Coliseum plunged Nathan even deeper into the ancient world he brings to life for his readers.
Nathan's novels combine the faith and romance of Francine Rivers's Mark of the Lion trilogy with the action and adventure of Bernard Cornwell or Conn Iggulden.

Nathan lives in Ontario, Canada, with his wife, son, and three very spoiled dogs. He pastors a church and manages his own business in addition to his writing. Sometimes he even sleeps.


Nathan Fun Facts
Like most true Canadians Nathan has a fake tooth thanks to hockey (and his high-sticking brother!)

Nathan, Rachel, and their son Alexander have two pugs, Pandy and Portia, whose idea of a good life is waking up, eating, napping, eating, napping, potty, and bed. A recent addition is Oliver, the Boston Terror…er…Terrier.

Nathan spent 13 years in a program called Bible Quizzing and memorized over 6000 scriptures. His team took 2nd place in North America one year.

Nathan graduated from Carleton University with highest honors in Journalism and History only to become a landscaper, author, and pastor. Go figure! :)

Nathan has ridden horses in Texas and Arizona, studied fencing and saber dueling, and considers skiing, skating, and tobogganing a great way to spend his free time in the winter. (When he’s not reading or writing historical fiction.)

Welcome, Nathan. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I think every character a writer brings to life contains a piece of their creator, but it certainly varies from character to character. Quintus, the male protagonist in The Keeper’s Crown, suffers a shoulder injury like I did, so I could bring that to life more effectively. Not only how it felt physically but also mentally. Quintus is also a catalyst for my own internal question, “What is true success?” He seeks success by the world’s standards until Paul shows him that God’s ways are so much higher.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Growing up, I always went to a church camp in the summer. It had a strict curfew. Well, my last year of camp a couple friends and I snuck fireworks onto the campgrounds and set them off outside the girls’ dorms at 2 in the morning. We got caught and in trouble, but we went out with a bang!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve always loved books. Even before I learned to read at 5 my parents or grandma would finish reading me a book and I would push it back into their hands and say “Wead! Wead!” I guess my love for writing grew out of that.  Books are my favorite things. Park me in a library for the rest of my life and I’d be happy. So the idea of creating something as amazing and immortal as a book became my dream over my teen years and became a reality in my 20s and now into my 30s.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I’m mainly a historical fiction nut, given that that’s the genre I write. Of course, that’s a kind of chicken and egg sort of thing. I mostly prefer the ancient or medieval world, but I’ll delve into books about the World Wars, etc if it’s well-written. Besides historical fiction, I also enjoy fantasy like Lord of the Rings, historical mysteries like the Bro. Cadfael series, some dystopian novels, and modern-day political/military thrillers.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Who says I do?

Seriously though, between pastoring, running my own business, homeschooling my son, and writing books I’ve got a lot of hats in the air. Fortunately, here in Canada there’s several feet of snow on the ground during the winter so I get a break from my landscaping business and take that 3-4 months of the year to write.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I always want to pick names that are appropriate to the time and place, so I’ll pull up lists on Google of ancient Roman or Jewish names and then either pick one that sounds good or pick one that has a meaning I like. In the case of Jael, the heroine of The Keeper’s Crown, I picked her name because she’s one of my wife’s favorite Bible characters, and I envisioned my Jael having the same fiery spirit.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My greatest accomplishment in life is wooing and winning my wife Rachel and creating my son Alexander. Xander’s eight, and speeds through life at 100 miles an hour. Young Quintus is largely based on him.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d like to say an eagle, soaring above the world, or a lone wolf loping through the timber, but in actual fact I’d probably be a beaver. Very Canadian of me, I know. But I love to build something lasting, and I’m a fairly unassuming kind of guy. 

What is your favorite food?
My wife asks me this all the time and is exasperated when I tell her, “Anything you cook, Love.” Seriously though, I’m pretty easy-going about food. I do love a good steak with onions, mushrooms, and green peppers on the grill.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I think the biggest problem with writing is the fact that after the writing and rewriting and publishing process is done the hard work of promoting your book begins. I’m not naturally the kind of person to put myself forward and promote myself or my own work, so while the writing is a joy the promotion is a job.

Tell us about the featured book.
My latest novel, The Keeper’s Crown, is based on the later life of the Apostle Paul, from his arrest in Jerusalem through his martyrdom in Rome. We follow his life through the eyes of a young Roman named Quintus who is exiled to Judaea by Emperor Nero, fights to win a victor’s crown, and instead ends up chained to Paul of Tarsus. Along the way, a young Jewess named Jael saves Quintus from her brother, a rebel captain, and though they are from completely different worlds that meet only to bleed they are drawn into a tumultuous love story that culminates the night of the Great Fire of Rome.

Please give us an excerpt of the book.
The prisoner looked over his bare shoulder at Quintus. “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?” His voice was steady and calm, as if he were asking a newcomer to a bathhouse about the weather outside.

A Roman! Quintus froze. If this man’s claim was true, by law they should not even have fettered him. They certainly could not scourge him.

“Hold,” he told the inquisitor. “Don’t touch him until I return.”

Quintus sprinted the stairs three at a time. He found Lysias nursing a cup of wine and staring blank-faced at the milling crowd in the Temple courts below. Lysias turned and cocked an eyebrow. “Has he broken already? I had him made of sterner stuff.”

“Watch what you’re doing with this one,” Quintus said. “This man is a Roman.”

The tribune set down his cup so abruptly its contents sloshed over his hand. He didn’t seem to notice. “Take me there.”

When they reached the dungeon, the prisoner was still bound as Quintus had left him. His arched back and lean, outstretched arms reminded Quintus of a juniper clinging to a wind-lashed crag. If he felt discomfort from the strained position he gave no sign of it.

Lysias paced around to face him. The man’s eyes were closed, and his lips moved without a sound. “Tell me,” the tribune demanded, “are you a Roman?”

The bound man looked up and met the tribune’s eyes with a frank gaze. “I am.”

“Hmm.” Lysias ran a knuckle back and forth across his lips as he slowly shook his head. “With a great price I obtained this citizenship.”

“But I was born free.” The prisoner’s eyes gleamed an inner light. “My name is Paul.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?


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

Readers, 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.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

SACRED JOURNEY - Ward Tanneberg - One Free Book


Welcome, Ward. What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?
I have been in active ministry for 58 years, beginning as a young evangelist, serving as a denominational youth director, college public relations director, pastor in three churches, lecturer, adjunct professor, writer, novelist, and nonprofit organization executive director. Obviously the man can’t hold a job!

Tell us about your family.
I am a widower. Dixie and I were married for amazing 59 years. We have 2 married children, 3 grandchildren, 4 step-grandchildren and 2 great grandsons. All of whom I love dearly.

Have you written other nonfiction books?
The first book I wrote was a history of the Pentecostal movement in the Pacific Northwest, called  Let Light Shine Out. I picked the topic for a Master’s thesis while in grad school. It turned out to be a book instead.

Do you have any other books in the works right now?
I write the “almost” weekly blog, Perspective. Its target audience is “people living, learning, and leading in life’s second half.” I try to speak into their spiritual journey with stories, humor, church, life experience, and other issues relevant to the season they are in. I also invite guest bloggers to share their stories from time to time. How about it? Want to share some perspective with people who hear regularly from me?

I also have some too-new-to-talk-about fiction, non-fiction, and allegory projects that will soon be looking for a home. They don’t have names yet, although I’m thinking of a few good ones. They are like unborn babies. Not sure if they are boys or girls. It’s a surprise.

What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
I enjoy quiet evenings, being with family, long walks with GAGE, the wonder dog, people, good books and movies, sports, swimming, golf, and travel.

Why did you write the featured book?
On Valentine’s Day 2014, Dixie was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Short of a miracle she had only a few months to live. We both had thought I’d be first to go. This was truly unexpected news.

In discussing the idea of my telling her story, at first she said, no. Eventually, however, she realized, her story written by her husband, might well bring encouragement, hope, and healing to others facing similar circumstances. She had taught us how life could be a “sacred journey.” And at the end she taught us how to die.

Dixie’s life has been filled with teaching moments and I was nowhere near ready for these moments to end. We used to laugh when she’d look at me or our children and ask her most familiar question, a question seeming to sum up who she was. As her final line in the book, she offers up this question for one last time to each and every reader on their own sacred journey. “So tell me, what do you think we’ve learned from all of this.”

Sacred Journey contains discussion questions designed for couples, book clubs, small groups, grief recovery or bereavement settings, to encourage seeking the reader’s answers to Dixie’s question, “So tell me, what do you think we’ve learned from all of this.” Each set of questions are directed to a specific chapter, making it easy for a group leader to access.

What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
It is a true love story, framed in the final eighteen months of a woman’s life, written by the man who loves her still. It is not a how-to book, but you will better understand the emotional, physical, and spiritual crises you, other family members, or friends could be facing one day, or perhaps are dealing with right now.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell my readers about you or your book?
This is a book for family and for caregivers. One pastor provided all the hospital chaplains in his city with a copy. It’s not a sad book, but you will cry. It’s not a carefree read, but you will be uplifted in spirit. It is a book for pastors and pastors’ wives to read. It’s about one of their own. She was who they are now. Dixie’s journey will help them help others.

Please give us the first page or two from the book.
Calm before Storm

The year was 1935. The stock market had crashed six years before, causing a domino effect of bank failures, unemployment, disintegrated fortunes, and homes lost to foreclosures, leaving people feeling helpless and fearful. Many lived in despair, while others reached for strong inner resources and fought their despair with hope. And some just gave up on life, choosing death by their own devices. Still others existed in a living death of fear and anger, my parents included. My family were farmers in Oklahoma, and probably not greatly affected by bank failures and stock market demise. They lost their land! The lack of rain and fury of winds and irreparable farming practices collided in mid-America, creating the perfect storm for soil erosion as farms literally blew away ~ DLT diary, 2015.


There is no doubt. Loss brings with it its own demons. And when crises subside, the demons are not gone with the winds. They settle in with no intention of going away. ~ WT

Early in January, after two long travel days driving south from our home in Bellevue  Washington, we arrive in Indio, California, exhausted and wondering why we left the comforts and conveniences of home to accept the inconveniences and less comfortable circumstances of a hotel situated in the middle of a desert. This is a different kind of desert however, an oasis made beautiful by money and water. Oh yes, and sun. Well, there is that! When rain is normal and seeing the sun in January a rare event, this might be enough. But there is more. 

A different place helps me gather up life’s fringes and draw them into my center. To focus and think. To plan and pray. It can happen almost anywhere, but there is something for me that is truly restorative about the desert. The warmth and sun, the barren hills and jagged mountains. I grew up in the high desert of eastern Washington state. This could be part of it. Or maybe it’s because so much of what happens in the Bible, what Jesus did, how God reveals himself to us, takes place in the desert.

It’s about roots. The desert has a way of speaking to us. The trees, the barrenness, sudden rain-flooded streams, and dry river beds. When you plant something here and water and nurture it, it grows quickly, leafs out, bears fruit, becomes a beautiful thing. I like that. It shouldn’t happen, but it does. A stick turns into an orange or lemon or grapefruit tree almost overnight it seems. A little water and the desert blooms. It’s extraordinary!

Life, I think, is like this. Even in January.

Dixie and I spend the entire month of days here in this desert where once we lived for four years. In the early morning sunshine, we stretch our legs by walking a 2.8-mile route before preparing a breakfast we enjoy outdoors on the deck. Later I go for a swim, then sit by the pool and read. I am preparing to go to Russia in a few weeks to teach in a seminary extension program. Dixie prefers the quiet of our room to do some catch up reading and meditation.

We do not tell acquaintances in the area we are here. We want to be together, but alone. Just the two of us. Something we need, especially since I will be leaving soon. Each day is a pleasant repeat of the one before. Evenings are warm and quiet and meals are simple. We enjoy desert sunsets, more beautiful, we agree, than anywhere else in the world. At least we feel that way right now.

The final day comes at last as we knew it would. Reluctantly we leave this desert hideaway to resume our real life. As we drive north on I-5, we are unaware we have just completed our last major trip together.

That passage really grabbed my heart. Where on the Internet can the readers find you?
For more author information and to subscribe to Ward’s free website, Perspective, go to www.wardtanneberg.com.

Thank you, Ward for sharing Dixie’s final days with us. I know my blog readers will be as eager as I am to read the book.

Readers, here is a link to the book.
Sacred Journey

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: