Friday, July 21, 2017

MY DAUGHTER'S LEGACY - Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould - One Free Book

Welcome, Mindy and Leslie. I know that this is a collaboration. How did this story come about?
Leslie: One of our dear readers told me about her Huguenot relatives and thought the topic would make a great series. She was right! I’d heard of the French Protestants, who fled France in droves in the late 1600s, but began seriously researching them after that. Their history was fascinating. I shared my research with Mindy and, voila!, a new series was born.

Did you find it easy to work together on it?
Writing a novel is never easy, but we’ve done so many books together now that we’ve definitely gotten it down to a science. I guess we’d say it was as easy as any book with two authors, two main POV characters, and two different time periods could be!

How did collaborating with this team impact you?
Mindy: Just the back and forth of working together always has a huge impact on me. Leslie is such a gifted writer that she continually raises the bar on my own writing. She’s so calm and rational that she keeps me from falling apart when the going gets tough. And mostly, she’s just such a lovely person to work with that our friendship grows with every project.

Leslie: Aww, I feel the same way about Mindy, but she’s the one who really pulls it all together as far as the plot and the mystery and tying up all of the loose ends, plus she’s a great editor. It’s really incredible to send a chunk of writing off to her and have her polish it up and make it shine. I have to say that I totally agree about the friendship aspect. Every time we finish a project, I miss Mindy! Writing can be a lonely endeavor, and co-authoring adds a nice layer of camaraderie to the experience.

What is the hardest thing about writing as a team?
Mindy: We have to set intermediate deadlines for the project so that we stay on track, time-wise, but I’m almost always late meeting those deadlines on my end. So for me, the hardest part is that constant feeling of stress and obligation knowing that the next deadline is looming but I might not make it—yet again. Ack!

Leslie: For me, it’s when I send Mindy an unpolished section because we’re on deadline (or for some other reason, lol), and I cringe at the thought of her reading it but know she can fix it faster than I can. J

What are you reading right now?
Mindy: I read audibly, and I always have three books going at once, fiction and nonfiction, for different times of the day. (Business-related or research-related stuff in the morning to get my mind rolling, and fiction as a reward in the afternoons or evenings once I meet my quota for the day.) Currently, my morning nonfiction is The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp and my after work novel is Fatal Pursuit by Martin Walker.  I also often listen to a third book in bed at night, something that’s good but somewhat slow and not too exciting so I can more easily drift off to sleep. Currently, my hubby is reading us Moby Dick.

Leslie: I usually read a novel, a non-fiction book, and a writing book, concurrently. (Although when I’m close to deadline I don’t start a new novel because I binge when it comes to fiction and that can be dangerous when I need to write, write, write!) Currently, I’m reading Landfall by Ellen Urbani, a debut novel set during Katrina; Hooked: Grab Readers on Page One by Les Edgerton; and Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, about our criminal justice system.

How did you choose your characters’ names?
When we were first planning out the series, Leslie came to Pennsylvania so we could brainstorm the plots, and part of that was figuring out the names of the main characters. They had to be of French origin and of course we wanted them to be appealing. In the end we came up with Renee, Madeline, and Nicole as the modern-day protagonists and Catherine, Celeste, and Therese as the historical protagonists.

Would you want to work on another book together?
Absolutely!  We’re already working on another one now, The Amish Quilter, which will be the fifth and final book in the Women of Lancaster County series and will come out in early 2018.

What do you want to tell us about the book?
My Daughter’s Legacy is the third and last book in our Cousins of the Dove series, which are all dual-timeline stories. In the modern thread, the same characters appear in each novel, but the historical threads cover three different periods of history: one in the 1600s, one in the 1700s, and the last one in the 1800s. Each of the historical stories impacts a modern character in some way. In My Daughter’s Legacy, the story of an ancestor during the Civil War inspires our modern-day girl to stand strong on her convictions and follow her heart.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Nicole
Sometimes a lie was the better choice— or at least that’s what I’d always told myself. After all, lying was easier, faster, and more efficient than the truth. “I’m sick” was a more prudent option than “I’m sick of working.” “I’m busy” was a lot kinder than “I don’t want to.” But for some, lying could become a habit, the proverbial spider weaving its tangled web. Problem is, once I’d made my own web big enough, I found I was no longer spider but prey, trapped by silvery threads of my own design.

I’d spent the last year and a half— ever since the night I got loaded and slammed my car into a tree at sixty miles an hour— slowly untangling my own threads. Now, after two months of convalescence, nine months in a drug rehab facility, and two full semesters away at college, I was nearly free of all that— save for one big, fat lie that remained.
“Nicole!”

My head snapped left to see the setter knocking the volleyball into an easy arc over my head. Telling myself to focus, I bent my knees, waited for the exact right moment in its trajectory, and then shot up from the ground to slam the ball as hard as I could, spiking it straight through the upraised arms of our opponent and onto an empty space on the court behind her.

Set and game. Our victory, 3 to 2.

My team burst into cheers, jumping and hugging and laughing. When we finally calmed down, we lined up and did the high-five-and-thanks-for-a-good-game thing with the opposing team. Then we gathered for a quick huddle, mostly so our team captain could remind us, yet again, to stay in shape over the summer. Ours was just a local league in a small town in Virginia, but it was important to us.

“Together now,” she said, holding out a fist. We circled around and each placed a hand atop until all were in. 

Where can our readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Mindy and Leslie, for sharing this new book with us. I’m sure my readers are as eager to read the book as I am.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
My Daughter's Legacy - Christianbook.com
My Daughter's Legacy (Cousins of the Dove) - Amazon paperback
My Daughter's Legacy (Cousins of the Dove Book 3) - 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, July 19, 2017

THE AMERICAN CONQUEST - Jenna Brandt - One Free Ebook

Welcome, Jenna. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Little pieces of how they would react, how they would think in a certain situation are from my own personal way, but if the character is opposite of me, I often think of how I would oppositely react. I also have certain scenarios happen which have happened to me in my own life.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I decided to take a year off from college and do a year of mission work. I trained in a rural area of Hawaii and then did overseas work in Thailand and Malaysia.

That’s so cool. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
As soon as I could put sentences together. I grew up writing, I am a fourth-generation writer on my mom’s side.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read sci-fi, fantasy, thrillers, dystopian futures, romance, apocalyptic. I love all types of books.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I spend time with friends, I watch movies with my kids, and I go to church. I also listen to worship music in my car to ground me.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I pick names I like, names I think readers will like. Some names are references to people I know, but most are just names I like and work for the area and timeframe in which I am writing.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Having two books at the same time on the best-selling list in my genre.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be a dolphin. I love the water, and they are social.

What is your favorite food?
I love Italian, specifically spaghetti.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I was a couple of months away from publishing my first book when my infant son passed away from SIDS. It froze everything in place. That was three years ago, and I decided this January that I wanted to start pursuing releasing my books again. My first book came out in May, my second book in June, and my third book in July.

Tell us about the featured book.
The American Conquest is the third book in my 3-part installment of the Window to the Heart Saga. It wraps up the main character Margaret’s journey as she travels the Oregon Trail west to the Colorado Territory and how she finds adventure, danger, and love along the way.

Please give us the first page of the book.
1865 Port of New York, America
Margaret Learingam held on to the ship’s rail with one hand and her toddler son with the other. As her family approached the New England shoreline, fear filled the pit of her stomach. Forced to flee to America, Margaret had no experience outside of Europe, where she had grown up in England and spent a year in France. She left everything behind, including her last name and titles, to keep her son from being taken away. And now, in just a few moments, she would be stepping foot into a new world that held the potential to offer her and her family a way to stay alive and together. It meant leaving behind her title, and the privileges that went with it, but she would do anything to protect her son.

Still haunted by the painful memories of losing the two men she loved, Margaret could not help but feel guilt over their deaths. Her late husband and fiancé were both killed by the invidious hand of the Duke of Witherton.

Her heart was broken when her husband, Henry, the Viscount of Rolantry, was killed in a duel over her “ruined” honor. She had wanted to die with him, but when she realized she was pregnant, she knew she had to force herself to live for her child’s sake. Fearful either the duke or her vengeful sister-in-law would take her son from her, Margaret fled from England to hide in France while she searched for her long-lost twin brother, Randall, whom she eventually found.

She thought she would never be happy after the tremendous loss of her husband, but she eventually found a way to live with the pain. When she met Michel, the Marquis de Badour, he showed her she could love again. But Witherton was not content to destroy her life only once; he had to do it again by killing Michel. In a cruel twist of fate, both men she loved were killed by the monster who had destroyed her life. After the second loss, Margaret shut her heart to the idea of finding love again, knowing the pain would be too crushing to warrant a third attempt. She had her son and brother, and they were the only two men she would need in her life.

The duke was still under the misguided assumption that her son, Henry, was his child, and he was determined to take him for himself. Knowing he would not stop until he got what he wanted, Margaret chose to leave behind her life in Europe and flee to America.

The trip across the Atlantic Ocean had been long and grueling, as they had encountered several storms in the process, lengthening their journey and causing sickness to run rampant on board. In addition, due to Margaret’s appearance, she had been receiving constant unsolicited attention from the single men on the ship, which made her uncomfortable. Her dark violet eyes and long raven locks contrasted against her smooth white skin, and her petite frame had adjusted admirably into shapely proportions after childbirth. But she knew her attractiveness was not going to be able to save her when they reached the new land. In fact, she had the type of appearance that could get her into trouble.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

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

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
The American Conquest: Christian Western Historical (Window to the Heart Saga Book 3

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, July 17, 2017

A MATCH FOR MELISSA - Susan Karsten - One free ebook

Welcome, Susan. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters. 
Everything about my characters comes from me, and they are infused with my perspectives and worldview.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I appeared on Wheel of Fortune as a contestant back in the 80s.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In college, when I finally got some legit writing instruction during sophomore year, my prof used one of my papers as an example for the rest of the class.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy reading many genres. My overall favorite is historical fiction, because I learn so much from it. But I also read CBA, ABA, and enjoy psychological thrillers, mysteries, Regency romance, and contemporary fiction. Older writers claim my attention as well – authors such as P.G. Wodehouse, George McDonald (his adult fiction is amazing), and read older books such as Quo Vadis, and Kirsten Lavransdatter.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I have a supportive husband, a strong church family, and live in a small town. I try to balance my work with other creative pursuits and exercise, too.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
In my debut, A Match for Melissa, I originally chose the name Melissande. Many critiques came back saying that name was too distracting, so I shortened it. One nice outcome is that a young lady at my church, whose name is Melissa, is delighted that her name is featured in Mrs. K’s first book. One of the romantic leads is named Peter, and I was thinking of Lord Peter Wimsey from the famous Dorothy Sayers series. The other romantic lead, Mark, was given that name simply because I’ve always been fond of that name and never got to use it.

I like the story about the young lady at church, but I think your first choice fit your time period better. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
All my accomplishments were done only by God’s grace and with His help. That said, I am pleased and gratified that I was able to home educate my three children who are doing well as adults.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be a koala, because they are so cute, and they are my youngest daughter’s favorite animal.

What is your favorite food?
Tomatoes are my favorite food. I love tangy foods, and tomatoes are so good cooked, raw, and appear in so many recipes.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest roadblock was when I discovered that my first two books weren’t long enough, and I had to go back and lengthen them. I added more dialog and a sub-plot or two.

Tell us about the featured book.
A Match for Melissa is a Regency romance. It is set in England, around 1816. This genre was popular for decades, and I read it because the romance was “clean” and the love culminated in marriage. Melissa’s widowed father is a wealthy businessman, who wants a titled husband for his only daughter. His obsession with a title leads him to arrange a marriage for her. The fun begins as my readers travel along with the story and find out how this works out. I don’t want to tell too much and spoil the fun.

Please give us the first page of the book.
“Stomping her feet on the hard-packed road didn’t relieve her frustration. Aggravation fueled her pace, destroying the usual peace found on her morning walks down country roads. But the spatters of wet clay weren’t worth it. The spatters of dirt would never come clean. Slowing, Melissa clenched her hand around the letter telling her she needed to return to London. Father and his plans took precedence over her wishes.

She stopped, unfurled the letter, and read the offending passage one more time.

You shall cut short your visit to the country. I have plans for you, plans that will be of much interest to you.

So like Papa to assume she’d fall in line with his schemes. She crumpled the letter and strode on, staring straight ahead. The hovering cloud of melancholy brought on by her mother’s death lessened each day. Visiting the vicarage to which her former governess, Miss Cleaver retired, helped restore her equanimity. And besides, she disliked London with its smoke and the lonely life she lived there. Returning to her home in the city did not sit well. But Papa’s command brought further apprehension.

Regret about ending her visit lowered her mood further. Melissa took deep breaths and resisted thoughts of departure by concentrating on the cool, fresh, moist air entering her lungs. Spring mud invaded southern England, but the road was good, and Melissa loved her morning walks too much to let a little mire stop her habit.

Snapping out of her daze, she took in her surroundings again. She glanced between the light green forest views on either side of the road and the lane ahead. Avoiding mud now became a distracting game—until an indistinct brown lump came in sight on the shoulder. Puddles forgotten, she hurried forward to discover a monogrammed leather saddlebag. Ignoring the dirt-spattered bag’s condition, she lifted it and peered inside. Empty. She dropped it to the ground.
Scattered nearby, she spied a London Times half in a puddle, and an ivory comb in a muddy in a rut. Chills ran up her arms and tingled down her spine at the evidence of a traveler’s misfortune. Surveying the scene, she cast a glance down the banked slope. Her breath caught even as her heart raced.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I have an author page on facebook (Susan Karsten – author) where you can interact with me and tag along on my writing journey, and I have a blog: graciouswoman.wordpress.com, where I review books, and share tips about homemaking and other topics of interest to women.

Thank you, Susan, for sharing your debut book with us. I’m eager to find out what happens next.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
A Match for Melissa (Honor's Point) - Paperback
A Match for Melissa (Honor's Point 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:

Sunday, July 16, 2017

WINNERS!!

Abigail (VA) is the winner of Aimee by Pam Watts Harris.

Winnie (UT) is the winner of The Captain's Daughter by Jennifer Delamere.

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.

Friday, July 14, 2017

HIDING FROM THE KIDS IN MY PRAYER CLOSET - Jessica Kastner - One Free Book

Welcome, Jessica. What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?
I’m very laid back, because I’ve learned to not take life, or myself, too seriously. I can usually see the humor in most situations, even the stressful ones!

Tell us about your family.
I have three of the best boys in the world—Jack, Eli, and Kenai, and have been blessed with greatest, most supportive family, especially my mom, two sisters, and many cousins and friends all living in the same small town we all grew up in. I feel God has blessed me “extra” in this department, because he knew it’d take a village to help my nutty self get through life gracefully.

Have you written other nonfiction books?
Nope, this is the first one!

Do you have any other books in the works right now?
Yes, I have two more books in the works. The first is called Pretty Holy, which encourages women to find joy, even from the trenches, and the next is a funny book about what dating is like, from a Christian woman’s perspective. So fun to write!

What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
Writing is my number source of fun, but when my fingers cramp up, I love trail running, hiking, and doing anything outdoors with my boys. I also run my state chapter of Straight Ahead Ministries, leading weekly Bible studies within juvenile detention centers. Biggest adventure of my life!

Why did you write the featured book?
I wrote this as a source of therapy after having two babies within two years, haha! Seriously though, when I had my first, I remember feeling a bit alone, not quite fitting in with the moms around me, or even at church. I’ve more “un natural” for me—like I didn’t necessarily enjoy or succeed at the typical mom activities like arts and crafts time, or joining the local moms club. I remember wondering, is it just me, or is this a bit more lonely, rough, unrewarding than I thought it’d be, or that everyone around me makes it seem? Later in life I fortunately made great mom friends to share my trials and victories with, but not everyone finds that, so I wanted to write a true, no-holds barred, manifesto about what motherhood is really like for us “unmoms,” to encourage readers they’re not alone, and to chose laughter over defeat when motherhood “gets real.”

What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
Honestly I’d love for moms to feel a sense of relief, feeling like they’re reading things they’ve always felt, but never said aloud because they thought they were the only ones interpreting motherhood through such a crazy lens. I hope moms laugh their hearts out and also feel comfort and liberation because I believe there’s such freedom in sharing our struggles.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell my readers about you or your book?
I always want to emphasize that although my brand is an #unmom (mothers who love their kids more than the daily acts of mothering) this isn’t a book casting a negative light on motherhood or any certain type of mother. Having kids has been, and always will be the single greatest blessing of my life, and has transformed my heart in ways nothing else could have. Motherhood takes sacrifice and hard work, but so do most experiences that are really worth it.

Please give us the first page or two from the book.
You can both read the first pages of the book and order a copy at this link:

How can my readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Jessica, for sharing this book with us. It sounds like a book I wish I’d read after my first child was born.

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.

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:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

GROUNDED HEARTS - Jeanne M Dickson - One Free Book

Welcome, Jeanne. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.  
I’m in all my characters. I go deep inside my soul to that place of sorrow or longing or fear or whatever is needed, and I find my character’s humanity.                                

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I collected an assortment of Barbie and Ken dolls that I dress and place on my desk for every novel I write. It’s like having central casting right here in my office.

Sounds like fun to me. When did you first discover you were a writer?
Sixth grade. I was so mad at my older brothers that I decided I was going to kill them off in a murder mystery novel. Unfortunately, it only took one page. But it was satisfying.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love clean romances, but I also enjoy a fast moving thriller. And I’ve never met a book on writing that I didn’t like. Or buy.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Humor for sure. And yoga classes. I also have a great husband who patiently listens to my rants, then calms me down and sets me straight.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
First names usually just come to me. For last names, I find them on my framed map of Ireland that has hundreds of clan names.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My two beautiful daughters.

I have only two beautiful daughters, too. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d be a big, lazy, over-loved house cat with a jeweled collar because I’d be admired and treasured. And I’d let my humans pet me. Sometimes.

What is your favorite food?
Greek olives.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
The craft of writing in general. I attended many workshops, read many craft books, and practice, practice, practice.

Tell us about the featured book.
Grounded Hearts is set in Ireland. In the midst of World War II, Ireland has declared herself neutral. Troops found on Irish soil must be reported and interned, no matter which side they are fighting for. When midwife Nan O’Neil finds a wounded young Canadian pilot at her door, she knows she’s taking a huge risk by letting him in. Not only is she a widow living alone, but if caught harboring a combatant, she’ll face imprisonment.

Still, something compels Nan to take in “flyboy” Dutch Whitney, an RAF pilot whose bomber has just crashed over County Clare. While she tends to his wounds and gives him a secret place of refuge, the two begin to form a mutual affection—and an unbreakable bond.

But Nan has another secret, one that has racked her with guilt since her husband’s death and made her question ever loving again. As Nan and Dutch plan his escape, can he help restore her faith?

Please give us the first page of the book.
10 February 1941
Ballyhaven, County Clare, Ireland
Dutch Whitney hit the bog hard, tumbling forward to smack facedown into the muck. The taste of dirt and the searing pain in his knee and arm signaled that the Canadian RAF pilot was alive. He’d survived the jump from the bomber. He looked side to side at the moonlit marsh for any sign of his crew.

He saw nothing.

His parachute floated down around him, the thin material in the moonlight. He unlatched the chute and batted the silk away, but it fell on top of him like a giant spiderweb.

Don’t panic, he told himself. Otherwise, he’d end up drowning in the bog like those RAF pilots in France.

Wind howled across the marsh, billowing the parachute. There. An opening in the material. Crawling on his elbows with his belly dragging through the mire, he managed to free himself. Icy mud and water sank into his boots, through his pants, and down inside his flight jacket. His old football injury, sustained in his days at McGill University, sent stabbing throbs through his knee. The shrapnel cut on his left arm burned with every movement, but he had to get out of the bog, find his crew, and then figure out where exactly in Ireland he’d landed.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Grounded Hearts - Christianbook.com
Grounded Hearts - Amazon paperback
Grounded Hearts - Kindle
Grounded Hearts - Audio book

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, July 10, 2017

MERMAID'S SONG - Darlene Franklin - One Free Ebook

Dear Readers, we’re celebrating something very special. The release of my friend Darlene Franklin’s 50th unique, stand-alone title. We’re glad you joined us today.

Welcome back, Darlene. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
As you know, Mermaid’s Song is my fiftieth unique, stand-alone title. I am so excited and thrilled that God has brought me to this milestone.

The immediate horizon is bright but a little unclear. I have three more novellas coming out this year, and I’m committed to write three more next year. I recently signed up with an agent (for the first time in several years) and we have several projects in mind. One editor has already requested a proposal, so I am very excited, but it’s not time yet to share any details. I’ll just say it would take me in a different direction. 


Tell us a little about your family.
My family is small but much-loved. My son lives only a couple of miles away from me. I’m blessed to see him every week. He loves the Lord and has followed in his mother’s steps, teaching children at church. He and his wife have two lovely adult daughters (by her first marriage), Savannah and Shannon. 8 ½ year old Jordan is a mini-me, with a talent for music and a love for telling stories, snapping brown eyes and dark, dark, hair. (The way mine used to be.) My lone grandson, Isaiah, brings up the caboose at six. He just finished kindergarten, and trains are his passion.

Recently I’ve also heard from my cousins. What a treat!

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
My reading habits have changed some. Lately I’ve read very little, which is a shame. I read more widely. I definitely read more romance than I did before, I try some of the bestsellers, and enjoy a good memoir, but mysteries continue to be my default preference.

What are you working on right now?
I just finished writing prayers to go with Barbour’s 12 Months to Better Prayer Guide for Women, due for publication next February. I’m also writing this year’s Christmas novella, The Christmas Child, which will be part of Forget-Me-Not Romances Christmas Masquerade collection.

For fun I’m working on a story about a horse for my granddaughter, and I’m listing all of God’s questions in the Bible for a possible devotional book someday.

What outside interests do you have?
I love to color pictures. I play piano for the church group that worships here on Sunday and Wednesday. I’m active with my local branch of American Christian Fiction Writers, which is OCFW. I’m not sure what the letters stand for—Oklahoma City Fiction Writers? Oklahoma Christian Fiction Writers?

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Sometimes the setting is dictated by the collection I’m in. Other times it’s a marketing decision. If a publisher is looking for certain settings, or state collections, I will consider that in preparing a proposal. I try to choose a setting I either know personally, or that is similar to one I know.

In the case of Mermaid’s Song, the story had to take place somewhere—anywhere—along America’s coastline. My mermaid would be shipwrecked. So I chose Maine, my beloved home state.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Oh, that’s always tough. I would love to meet one of those difference makers. What made them take that one bold step—Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, Rosa Parks’ seat on the bus?

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I’ve thought about this for a time, and I can’t think of anything. I might say, how hard it would be, how long it would take, that writing is just plain hard work. Writing isn’t for faint of heart!
Perhaps I would say, to trust my voice more. To believe in myself and not to ask for so much validation. When I was starting out, those external validations were important. Winning contests and getting positive reviews from paid critiques told me I was on my way to being a good writer. But even after I mastered the craft, I continued to seek validation.

We all need validation. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
A new-old lesson: dealing with adversity. Do I respond to the people who are serving me, whether poorly or well, with respect and gratitude, or do I react with anger? Is the appropriate response to stay and fight—or to seek other accommodations? If I choose to move, do I trust God to go before me, lining up the people and connections I need? I have relished the regular, twice-a-week ministry of a local church. “What if” I don’t find that if I move?

Times like this show me as the weakling I am, with my hornest’s nest with murmurings and unforgiveness and a lack of trust that God will lead me to a better place.

I am writing about some of this in my column “The View Through my Door” in the August issue of Book Fun Magazine.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Here I’m speaking to authors who have, to some degree, mastered the craft of writing and want to make a career of it:
Be flexible. If I refused to leave my pigeonhole, I wouldn’t have made it to 50 books. I might have run out of any publishing options a number of times over the years.

Study the market. If I am choosing between two ideas—say, a mail order bride story set in Wyoming or a regency romance—it helps to know that the mail order bride story will probably sell better.

Be prepared to promote yourself. Even the most established publishing houses expect their authors to do what they can to promote their books. If you self-publish, or work for a small independent publishing company like Forget Me Not Romances, it’s absolutely essential. People aren’t going to just stumble on your books. It’s more time consuming than difficult, but blogs, newsletters, social media, videos, so on and so on and so on.

Tell us about the featured book.
At last, the much anticipated 50th book by Darlene Franklin!

Noble Prescott is drawn to the scene of a shipwreck by a sweet song sung in a language he didn’t understand. The songstress is barely alive, holding onto a piece of the ship’s railing. Her dress wraps around her legs like a mermaid’s tail.

Thus begins this imaginative retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale.

Justine Battineaux, an Acadian forced from her homeland on Cape Breton Island by British decree, finds herself adrift in the Maine colony. She doesn’t know the language and is distrusted as a foreigner.

Noble lives up to his name, providing shelter for Justine—and protection, as distrust turns into danger. For himself, his family—and the woman he comes to love.

How will Justine and Noble overcome the evil woman’s schemes to find their own love everlasting?

I’m eager to read it. Please give us the first page of the book.
Justine Battineaux huddled next to her maman and her sister in the belly of the ship. The walls tilted and water spread across the floor.

“Will this storm never end? So many are sick.” A storm had raged since the previous evening. The three of them experienced only mild discomfort but many others suffered. After a brief rest, Justine moved among the passengers.

The English didn’t intend death for the Acadians. In fact, they had left them in peace for forty years after the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. It was only after the renewal of hostilities between the two countries that the British had demanded they show their loyalty to the crown by taking up arms against the French. The price of their refusal? Their homes had been burned and their lands confiscated. Justine was blessed that her family and village were left together. Others had been separated. No one knew where they were headed, except to some place totally loyal to the British. Until the storm arose, their final destination had dominated the passengers’ conversation.

Justine offered water to those who would take it until she ran out. Storm or no storm, she would ask for more. The door was locked, the guard gone. She knocked until her hands hurt from the effort before she sank to her knees. God, intervene. Protect and defend us, both English and Acadian.

The door creaked open. Theo Adams, a sailor who spoke passable French, stood on the other side.

“We need water,” Justine said.

He peered inside, taking in the many sick, before he shook his head. “The captain has ordered everyone on deck. The ship’s breaking up.”

She froze, struck to silence by his words.

“Hurry or die.” He brushed past her into the cramped, moldy quarters of the hold. Justine followed him as he went from passenger to passenger, many too weak to leave their pallets.

The ship bells rang. Adams grabbed Justine’s arm. “Anyone who is able must go. Now.”

Justine strained to see behind her, to get away from his grip. “Maman, you must come.” She couldn’t see if her mother had heard or was following. She tried again to yank away, but Theo held her fast. “You must go. I will get the others if I can.” He pushed her onto the deck.

At least two dozen Acadians had made their way topside, as well as the ship’s crew.

Cold sea water reached her knees. Portions of the railing had been torn from the side of the ship. The mainmast was broken. The ship was sinking.

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

Thank you, Darlene, for allowing me and my readers to participate in your special celebration.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Mermaid's Song (Love Everlasting Book 4)

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, July 09, 2017

WINNERS!!!!!

Connie (KY) is the winner of Sanctuary by T M Brown.

Paula (MO) is the winner of Who Killed My Husband? by Michelle Stimpson.

Vivian (CO) is the winner of Rescue Me by Sandy Nadeau.

Caryl K (TX) is the winner of 50 Hours by Loree Lough.

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.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

THE CAPTAIN'S DAUGHTER - Jennifer Delamere - One Free Book

Welcome, Jennifer, tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
There are of elements of me in all my characters; I think that’s unavoidable. But I also enjoy exploring personality traits that are not in my personal arsenal. For example, Rosalyn in The Captain’s Daughter is a lot like me in that she is an earnest individual with a generally positive outlook on life (even though in the book she gets dealt some hard knocks). On the other hand, Julia, the heroine of my next book, The Heart’s Appeal, is a take-charge person who doesn’t hesitate to jump into any situation, even dangerous ones. I’d say that is a trait I admire rather than fully own.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
There was a 1920s-themed restaurant in my town, and a friend of mine and I decided to have dinner there dressed in 1920s clothes. Our dates were bemused, but they played along. We got plenty of friendly comments from the other diners, too. It was a lot of fun to toss my boa over my shoulder while enjoying a cocktail called the “sidecar.” And it wasn’t even Halloween!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I wrote my first short story when I was around 12 years old. It wasn’t that great, but my mother encouraged me to keep at it. She was a journalist, so I think she enjoyed seeing her love for writing passed along to her daughter.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love nonfiction, especially history books. I’m sure that’s why I write historical fiction. The “research” part of it is just pure fun for me. I also enjoy historical fiction set in a wide variety of eras and countries. In general, I gravitate toward stories that are not flat-out depressing. I’ve read some contemporary fiction too, and I find the most enjoyment in those that have a lot of good-natured humor in them.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
By taking time every morning to pray. I lift my plans, challenges, and burdens to God. There is a favorite poem of mine that ends, “I had so much to accomplish, / that I had to take time to pray.” (I recommend checking out the whole poem; it is easily found via internet search.) The world does try to run you around in circles, but it doesn’t have to succeed. It’s important to take time every day to “unplug.” Something else I do is get out in nature whenever possible, even if it’s just a short walk at a nearby park. Nature can be a wonderful balm to the soul.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Since my books are set in England, I use a lot of names typical to the U.K. There is plenty of variety there, because English surnames reflect the many different people who have come to the British Isles over the centuries—the Saxons, Norman French, Norse, and more. I also use names I find in books written during the nineteenth century.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I am thrilled to have recently completed my fifth contracted novel. When I started the writing journey in earnest, I never thought I could even get this far. But now I feel as though I am just beginning.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Probably a cat, especially if I was in a good home. They are smart, independent, and can be very affectionate—if, perhaps a bit prone to mischief every now and then. The drawback to being any animal, though, would be not being able to read! That would be sad indeed.

I so agree. What is your favorite food?
I’m a huge fan of foods from around the world—especially Indian, Mexican, and Greek. But the one thing I would be incredibly sad to live without is cheddar cheese. Hmm….maybe that’s why I’m such an Anglophile!

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest problem was—and still is—gauging the time I need to write. I must balance writing with a “day job,” and also, it generally takes me longer to do a task than I expect. (I think that’s the perfectionist in me.) So I’m learning to take any estimate I make and double it! Organizing time is a challenge that I still struggle with, but I am working hard to get better at it.

Tell us about the featured book.
The Captain’s Daughter is the first in the London Beginnings series. It will follow the lives of three sisters who each come to London independently in order to find a new life. The series explores many fascinating aspects of London life in the 1880s, including the theater, the burgeoning art scene, and expanding career opportunities for women.

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater that is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.

A hand injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he’s glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can’t wait to leave behind.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Rosalyn crouched as low as her sturdy walking gown would allow, hiding behind the hedgerow. When she’d left the orphanage to begin her life as an adult, she’d anticipated some hard times. But never could she have imagined herself in the predicament she faced now.

She held her breath, although she knew it was impossible for him to hear her. The thunder of his approaching carriage, its wheels rattling through the ruts frozen into the road after a week of rain followed by frost, was deafening.

No, it was the sight of her that would bring the carriage to a stop. What would happen then, if he took her back to Russet Hall to face wrongful accusations of theft—or worse, what she would have to do to buy his silence—she could not allow herself to imagine. Not if she wanted to keep her courage.

Overhead a crow screamed. Startling at the sound, she nearly fell over into the prickly hedgerow. Worried that any nearby sound would draw attention in her direction, she crouched even lower. The crow flew away, the noise of its call replaced by the blood rushing to her ears as her heart rate increased with every turn of those swiftly approaching carriage wheels.

In seconds the carriage would pass her hiding spot. Shivering from both cold and fear, Rosalyn reminded herself that despite how it might look, she now she had an advantage of sorts. Mr. Huffman had assumed she was headed for Bainshaw, which had the closest and busiest railway station. However, once his carriage had passed out of sight, she could backtrack to the crossroads and head south toward Linden.

She’d fled the house in the dark gloom just before dawn. It had taken her four hours to reach this point, carrying all she owned in a carpetbag that had grown heavier with each step she’d taken. She’d counted on putting in a good distance before she was discovered missing, thinking no one would look for her before breakfast, but it appeared she’d miscalculated.

With unrelenting speed, the carriage approached. The pounding of hooves and the rattle of the wheels drowned out every other sound. Somehow Rosalyn was able to scrunch down even lower, squeezing her eyes shut—as though by some childish logic he would not see her if she couldn’t see him.

The carriage rolled past, not even slowing down. Rosalyn nearly cried out with relief, then clapped a hand over her mouth. She stayed crouched behind the hedgerow for several long, agonizing minutes, listening as the sounds of the carriage gradually receded.

Interesting. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter:  @JenDelamere 

Thank you for having me on your blog today!

And thank you, Jennifer, for sharing this new book with me and my readers.

Readers, here are buy links to the book.
The Captain's Daughter - Christianbook.com
The Captain's Daughter (London Beginnings) - Amazon
The Captain's Daughter (London Beginnings 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: