Tag Archives: Christian book giveaway

We Have a Winner for Captain Jack’s Treasure….

Baloons and Confetti for Blog Book Winners.001

Jen Pen  from Wisconsin is our winner!

Jen is thrilled to be the winner of Captain Jack’s Treasure by Max Elliot Anderson, and being able to give her son a new book to read!  I know he will enjoy it.  Jen is also a fellow blogger, one that I follow and love to read her posts.  Her blog is:  http://savurbks.wordpress.com.  I hope you take the time to check her blog out because I know you’ll enjoy it.  I love how she constantly changes out the picture on her blog…she’s always finding cute ways to put books in unexpected places.  Neat and creative!

Congrats, Jen!  Come back and let us know how your son enjoyed the book.

1 Comment

Filed under Featured Author & Book Giveaway

Christmas Interview with Ann Gabhart and Book Giveaway (11/1 – 11/7)

Ann was our very first featured author/giveaway back in June.  She had so much fun (and we did too!) that she said she would love to come back.  Of course I said “YES!”.  Since she had a new Christmas book coming out in September, I thought having Ann back in November with a special Christmas interview and giving away an autographed copy of her new Christmas book, Christmas at Harmony Hill, would be great.  So, sit down with your favorite Christmas tea or apple cider and enjoy reading this wonderful interview with Ann.

Make a comment between Nov. 1-7, 2013 to be entered in the giveaway. See rules at the end of the interview.

Make a comment between Nov. 1-7, 2013 to be entered in the giveaway. See rules at the end of the interview.

Untitled.003

ANN H. GABHART, the author of several bestselling novels, has been called a storyteller, not a bad thing for somebody who never wanted to do anything but write down stories. She’s published twenty-five novels with more stories on the way. She keeps her keyboard warm out on a farm in Kentucky where she lives with her husband, Darrell. They have three children, three in-law children, and nine grandchildren. To find out more about Ann or her books visit www.annhgabhart.com. Check out her blog, One Writer’s Journal, www.annhgabhart.blogspot.com or follow her on Facebook, www.facebook.com/AnnGabhart , Twitter, https://twitter.com/AnnHGabhart , or Pinterest, http://pinterest.com/annhgabhart/.

I’m reading, Christmas at Harmony Hill, right now.  It’s nothing like I expected.  I’m really draw in and can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen.  What can you tell us about the book and why you decided to write it?

I never intended to write a shelf full of Shaker books. When I wrote The Outsider I thought that would be the only book I would write about the Shakers. In fact, that story sat on my reject shelf for a couple of decades before it was finally published. And then readers liked my Shaker story, and my editor encouraged me to write more books with a Shaker background. So I agreed as long as I could write other historical stories along with those Shaker books.

My editor, Lonnie Hull Dupont and my agent, Wendy Lawton, are the reason I wrote a Shaker Christmas book. Several years ago they took a road trip together and came to visit me out here on the farm. We had a great time and of course did a lot of talking about books. One of them said wouldn’t it be fun to read a Shaker Christmas book. I didn’t even know if the Shakers did anything special at Christmas time, but being carried away by the moment and the great company, I said I might be able to find out about Shakers and Christmas. So I did and came up with some plot ideas that fit into a Christmas theme. Four years later, Christmas at Harmony Hill is the result.

The story is a bit different from most Christmas novels. I feel like it could be read any time of the year even though it is set in December 1864. The Civil War is drawing to a close, but Gideon is still fighting for the Union Army while Heather returns home to have their baby. When she finds no welcome there, she seeks shelter in the Shaker village where her aunt, Sister Sophrena, the Shaker journalist in The Gifted, has lived for many years. Sister Sophrena is ready to help Heather even as she is beginning to doubt her own Shaker walk.

Does your family have any Christmas traditions that have carried over from your parents?  Have you created new traditions?

I remember the great times I had as a child. Every Christmas Eve we went to my aunt’s house for dinner and presents. My aunt never married and so she was like a granny to my sisters and me. She made Christmas special. She died shortly after I married and so the traditional Christmas Eve dinner was then at my mother’s. I’ve had to adjust traditions somewhat after my children got married and all the family traditions had to be merged with their spouses’ traditions too. So now my children try to find an agreeable Saturday or Sunday to come home for Christmas. I suppose if we have a tradition it is just to try to get together and have a time of giving and sharing. I do still make the same orange and pineapple juice punch in my aunt’s cut glass punch bowl.

Do y’all open presents one at a time or everyone at the same time?

We used to open presents one at a time. I still like that way best, but when you have nine grandkids with seven of them under ten, things can go south pretty fast. So now we let the grandkids open their presents all at the same time and then while they’re playing with their new toys, the adults open their presents one at a time. So fun!

Do y’all have a special meal you always have each Christmas or do you just wing it?

I do serve some traditional dishes that the children expect. I have ham, both city ham and a delicious country ham roast. My homemade rolls are a must as well as green beans (canned from the garden), corn pudding, grape salad, fruit salad, and hummingbird cake. The other dishes vary from year to year. And of course, if anybody is here for Christmas breakfast or breakfast on whatever day we have our family celebration, we have homemade cinnamon rolls. Yum!!

Do you have a favorite recipe (or two) that you make every Christmas?  Can you share with us?

Sure. First my punch recipe. We never had a recipe written down, but my aunt just told me what to do. I started making that punch when I was a kid. I loved stirring it all together. So I’ll name it after her. If you’ll notice I also dedicated Christmas at Harmony Hill to her memory.

Aunt Bond’s Christmas Punch

One large can pineapple juice

One large can grapefruit juice

One large can frozen orange juice with only one can of water added

½ gallon orange sherbet

2 liter Gingerale

Mix the juices. Right before add scoops of orange sherbet and half the gingerale to the juices. Save the rest of the Gingerale for each individual to add to their cups to taste.

Note: My aunt always added the grapefruit juice but I often leave it out. If you do use the grapefruit juice, you may need to sweeten the punch to taste.

Then my hummingbird cake recipe. I found it years ago when our newspaper published the prize winning cakes for the Kentucky State Fair from 1971 through 1980.

Hummingbird Cake (Helen Wiser -1978 winner)

3 C flour (see Ann’s note in the directions about the flour and what she does)

¾ C chopped pecans

2 C granulated sugar

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp salt

1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained

1 tsp baking soda

¼ C chopped black walnuts (optional)

1 tsp cinnamon

2 C chopped banana

3 eggs, well beaten

1 ¼ c vegetable oil

Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. (I cheat and use self-rising flour and leave out the baking soda and salt.) Add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not beat with a mixer. Stir in nuts, vanilla and pineapple. Finally add the bananas. Spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 9 inch round cake pans. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 25 or 30 minutes or until Cake tests done. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn onto cooling racks. Cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Icing (from Debby Osborne’s 1980 prize winning recipe)

2/3 stick butter or margarine

2 tsp vanilla

8 ounce package cream cheese

1 C chopped pecans

1 pound confectioners’ sugar

Whip margarine and cream cheese together. Add remaining ingredients and beat well. Spread between cake layers and then frost sides and top of cake.

Do y’all ever have a white Christmas? And speaking of white Christmas, what’s your favorite Christmas songs?

In Kentucky, it’s hit or miss with the white Christmas. We have had several Christmases that were white. One year, the family built a snowman. Another year we went sledding. And one year, my son ran off the road trying to go home and had to be pulled out of the snowy ditch. But I also remember some Christmas days when the sun was shining and it was nearly sixty degrees. Kentuckians have a saying that if you don’t like the weather, just stick around till tomorrow. So snow is an option, but far from a guarantee on Christmas day.

Untitled.004

I love Christmas songs. I’ve liked “The Little Drummer Boy” forever, but I also like “What Child is This” and “Mary, Did you Know.” So many great Christmas songs, it’s hard to pick just one or two. “Joy to the World” is my favorite carol.

Do you remember, way back when, when they had all those wonderful Christmas programs on, like Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope?  I do, and I miss them!

I do remember those shows. I remember Bob Hope going to Vietnam and having Christmas shows for the soldiers there. I wrote about that once on my blog and got a message back from a soldier who was there for one of those shows. It’s neat the way the internet connects people.

I love the Christmas story told from the original KJV from the book of Luke?  What’s your favorite?

If you’re reading the Christmas story, the King James Version sounds the best in my ears because that’s what I grew up hearing. I do like the New King James because it keeps some of the poetic sound of the KJV but changes enough to make it easier to read. At our youth programs at church, we always read from both Luke and Matthew so that we get the story of the shepherds and wise men too. When I autograph one of my books, I always include a Scripture reference with the signature. I try to match up a Bible verse with the title of the book or the story. For Christmas at Harmony Hill, I use Luke 2:19. I think people will understand why after they read the story.

Do you have any unusual traditions you do each Christmas?  Or if not unusual, maybe just something you do each year without fail?

Life has changed for me since my mother’s dementia, so that some of the Christmas traditions that I loved have been lost along with her memory. I can’t think of any unusual traditions we ever had. For several years I loved going with my mother to her church for a midnight candlelight service on Christmas Eve after our family gathering. It was just so neat to go out of the church as the church bells rang the hour of midnight. We do have the tradition of having a candlelight service at our little country church too, but we usually have it on a Sunday night close to Christmas. I do enjoy the candlelight services and the imagery of the “light of the world” giving light to each of us.

Come to think of it, I guess I do have a grandmother tradition. When my first grandbaby was born, almost twenty years ago now, she was six months old on her first Christmas and I took a picture of her on the floor in front of my Christmas tree. She was my special Christmas gift.Untitled.001 Then, every time I had a new grandbaby come into the world, I’d get that picture of the new baby under the tree. Also I make, beg, bribe, whatever it takes, to get all the grandkids in front of the tree for a picture each year. They have to sit for that picture before they can open presents. Sometimes the toddlers have not been that eager for pictures or presents, but so far we’ve always gotten the picture.

Untitled.002

Oh, and there is that other tradition I have of giving all my kids and grandkids at least one book whether they want one or not. LOL. Fortunately they all love books and this tradition is fun for me too since I love shopping at bookstores.

I’m enjoying this so much I can’t stop, but I’m going to have too!  Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! I do enjoy hearing from readers. It’s fun having conversations with you on Facebook and on my blog, One Writer’s Journal. I hope you have so many blessings in the coming year that your cup overflows and you’re drinking out of your saucer.

Quick, Quirky Questions:

Decorate by yourself or have help?

I love having help to decorate, but it doesn’t always happen. When I was a kid, we had a great time helping my aunt put up her tree and that’s a great memory for me now. Sometimes my grandkids, who live near by, come to help, but they aren’t quite as carried away by the magic of decorating the tree the way I was. It could be because their mom puts up seven or eight trees. By the time I get around to dragging my tree out, those kids are all Christmas tree decorated out. They do like helping me get my Santa collection out of the boxes.

Real tree or artificial?

For years we had real trees. Actually we went out in the fields on our farm and cut a cedar tree and put it in a bucket. They smelled wonderful, but dried out quickly inside the house and were very scratchy to decorate. We also bought a live tree once and it’s now growing into a towering pine out in the yard. But I went the artificial tree route some years ago. Now I have one of those pre-lighted trees. Trouble is the lights are no longer working on some of the strands, but I don’t seem motivated to buy a new tree. I just string some more lights on it. My daughter-in-law says I need to buy a taller tree to fit in my added on family room. Maybe someday I will.

Untitled.005

Wrapping paper or bags?

I know it’s silly, but I feel like I’m cheating somehow when I use bags. I’ve always sort of enjoyed wrapping presents, but it can get tiresome wrapping that many presents since I usually buy several presents each for my husband, three kids, three sweet in-law kids, and nine grandkids. I’ve even been known to buy my daughter’s two dogs doggy treats and wrap them up.

When it gets down to crunch time and I haven’t got the gifts all wrapped, I’ll grab bags. I also use bags for oddly shaped items that don’t fit in boxes.

Cookies or brownies?

That’s according to the flavor cookies or brownies. Maybe my favorite is oatmeal cookies with craisens mixed in and spread in a 9 x 13 pan instead of dropped as cookies.

Cake or pie?

Pie. Very definitely pie. What kind of pie? Round will do. LOL

Tinsel on the tree?

When I was a kid and we were decorating those cedar trees, we always draped shiny tinfoil icicles on the tree. Then when we took the tree down after Christmas, we had to painstakingly pick off the icicles and lay them as straight as possible for use the next year. It was a freeing moment when, after I married, I decided trees looked better without the icicles.

Angel or Star topper on tree?

Angel, naturally, for a writer who titled one of her stories Angel Sister.

Thanks so much for inviting me back for a visit. I’ll look forward to your comments. Why don’t you tell me your favorite traditions at Christmas?  Ann

Ok, if you read this last sentence from Ann, she wants to hear your favorite Christmas tradition too!  So, feel free to include that in your comment below.  This is so much fun!!!

Now for the autographed book giveaway:

Make a comment between Nov. 1-7, 2013 to be entered in the giveaway. See rules at the end of the interview.

Make a comment between Nov. 1-7, 2013 to be entered in the giveaway. See rules at the end of the interview.

  1. You must be 18 years or older and be a U.S. resident.
  2. Leave a comment in the comment section at the end of THIS post.  One entry per person.
  3. We will randomly compile a list of everyone who made a comment and will draw a name.  We will then notify you by email giving you further instructions on collecting your free book.  DO NOT include your personal mailing address in your comment for security reasons.
  4. If we do not hear back from you in 5 days, we will draw another winner.
  5. Please allow 2-3 weeks for book delivery.
  6. If you win the book it would be really great if you could come back to this post after you have read it and tell us what you thought about the book.

119 Comments

Filed under Featured Author & Book Giveaway

Tomorrow…Here…Ann Gabhart Interview and Book Giveaway! You Don’t Want To Miss This!

We hope to see you starting tomorrow November 1-7 for this wonderful Christmas interview with Ann.  She’s sharing Christmas photos and recipes!!  And she will personally respond to each comment made to the post (Nov.1-7) and your comment will enter you into our giveaway.

Ann is also asking people to share their Christmas traditions on their comments, so be thinking!!!

5 Comments

Filed under Featured Author & Book Giveaway

Blog Tour for The Beloved Daughter by Alana Terry

The Beloved Daughter, an inspirational suspense novel by award-winning author Alana Terry, is a story of persecution and triumph set in the oppressive North Korean regime. The audiobook version of Alana’s bestselling debut novel is narrated by Kathy Garver, a four-time Audie award winner and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Motion Picture Council. (You might also recognize Kathy as Cissy from the TV show Family Affair.)

Listen to a sample of Kathy reading from The Beloved Daughter.

The Beloved Daughter

Synopsis: In a small North Korean village, a young girl struggles to survive. It is her father’s faith, not the famine of North Hamyong Province, that most threatens Chung-Cha’s well-being. The Beloved Daughter follows Chung-Cha into one of the most notorious prison camps the contemporary free world has known. Her crime? Being the daughter of a Christian.

Join the giveaway

Acclaim: 
 
*Winner, Women of Faith Writing Contest

*1st Place, Book Club Network Book of the Month

*Amazon Bestseller (#5 Christian Suspense)

Reviews:

“…an engaging plot that reads like a story out of today’s headlines…” ~ Women of Faith Writing Contest

“Alana is a master storyteller, and I can’t imagine anyone failing to be
captivated by this harrowing tale
. What we have here is a compelling
story, but it’s also one of great importance.” ~ Brad Francis, Author of The Savvy Demon’s Guide to Godly Living

“The Beloved Daughter is a beautifully written story that is…both personal and representative of the challenges that many North Koreans still face today.” ~ Sarah Palmer, Rescue Team Coordinator at Liberty in North Korea

“The author does a phenomenal job… HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – but have tissues handy.” ~ Pauline Creeden, Editor AltWit Press

Order your own copy of The Beloved Daughter.

Awesome Prizes!

You don’t want to miss out on the month-long Beloved Daughter audiobook launch party. RSVP now on Facebook or see the Alana Terry facebook page to get started. Dozens of winners … Hundreds of $$$-worth in prizes!

ENTER THE DRAWING: In addition to the Facebook party, you can enter the grand prize drawing below for a chance to win a $100 gift card to either Target or Amazon (you choose!), or one of the awesome prizes from the prize gallery (think Christian T-shirts, jewelry, books, CDs, lotions, and more)!

SEE THE AUDIOBOOK HERE

SEE THE PAPERBACK HERE

SEE THE EBOOK HERE

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My thoughts on The Beloved Daughter:

I’ll tell you up front that this is not an easy book to read.  But it is worth it.  Chung-Cha lives in North Korea with her father and mother.  Her family are Christians, which is not a good thing to be in North Korea.  Chung-Cha’s father helps deliver Bibles and hides other Christians and helps them get across the border to China.  It’s a suspenseful novel, full of twists and turns and scares and so much heartache.  It touches your heart to think that, yes, there are people like this in the world who fear for their lives just because they are Christians and if they are blessed enough to have a Bible, that it will be found and they will not only lose their Bible but will be put in prison or killed.

As I look around my house I see several Bibles in every room, I’m free to go to church and worship God, I’m free to speak the name of Jesus.  I have become so used to these freedoms that I forget how precious they are.  I’m ashamed, I’m touched, and I’m encouraged all in one by reading this book.  I have read the e-book and have not listened to the audio version of the book, but it would be great to have to listen to on long trips or riding back and forth to work (although you might very well shed some tears along the way) or for someone who has bad eyesight and can’t read – audio books would be great.  I love Family Affair, then and now with re-runs, and I was very excited to know that “Cissy” Kathy Garver is the one narrating this book!

Here’s a short interview with the author, Alana Terry:

What inspired you to write this novel?

I’ve always had a passion for Christians enduring persecution. It’s been a great prayer burden of mine. North Korea was just always at the top of my prayer list, so it was a natural progression to write a novel set there.

I know you haven’t visited North Korea, so how did you learn so much about this country?  Have you ever visited China?

Unfortunately, no, I haven’t been able to travel much. Most of my research came from reading and listening to interviews with defectors who came out of North Korea. Organizations like Voice of the Martyrs also provided a lot of helpful information.

There’s so much detail and knowledge in this book, I was wondering how long did it take you to write this novel?

I spent about three months researching and planning before I started to write. The actual first draft took less than two months, but it was several years until it was edited and published after that.

You seem to be so in tune with the persecuted church in other countries.  Do you know missionaries or Christians in other parts of the world that have inspired you?

My grandma grew up as a missionary kid in China. Since then she’s returned there several times, even into her seventies, to deliver Bibles. So yes, she’s definitely an inspiration of mine! (A little extra info on Alana’s grandma…after I read this I emailed her and told her I figured she had to have had someone in her life that was a missionary.  She shared this with me:  “Yeah, my grandma’s pretty amazing. I’m working on a book for kids that shows a glimpse of her life growing up in China during the 1930s Chinese-Japanese war. Intense stuff!”)

Do you have any other books in the works?  If so, can you share?

I have a follow-up novel to The Beloved Daughter that I need to edit and get ready to publish. Unfortunately, I had to take several months off due to carpal tunnel issues. I hope to get back into it soon, but we’ll see how my wrists hold up.

NOTE: TO ENTER ALANA’S GIVEAWAY CONTEST – YOU MUST CLICK ON HER LINKS PROVIDED ABOVE.  DO NOT ENTER HERE BY MAKING A COMMENT – IT WON’T WORK!  SO PLEASE CLICK ON HER LINKS AND ON THE “JOIN THE GIVEAWAY” UNDER THE GRAY SQUARE PICTURE “LAUNCH PARTY” TO BE DIRECTED TO HER SITE TO ENTER!

You can leave comments here, but these comments will just be to our Media Center. Tell us if you enjoyed reading about Alana and getting to know her with our interview.  But, click on her links to enter her giveaway!  Thanks so much.  This is our first “Blog Tour” that we have hosted and it’s fun!  I hope you enjoyed getting to know Alana Terry and are inspired to read her book.

6 Comments

Filed under Featured Author & Book Giveaway

The Winner of Our Book Giveaway from Hannah Alexander Is….

Baloons and Confetti for Blog Book Winners.001

Danie Walther from California!

Congratulations, Danie (what a cute name!).  We are excited you won, Keeping Faith, I know you are going to love this book.  It’s such a sweet historical romance, with elements of medicine and mystery!  You just can’t go wrong with that, can you?

Thanks to everyone who made comments and entered the giveaway, you really blessed Cheryl (Hannah Alexander) by your sweet comments!

For those who didn’t win, I hope you’ll find a copy of this book by Hannah Alexander and read it.

3 Comments

Filed under Featured Author & Book Giveaway

Hannah Alexander Interview and Book Giveaway – October 1-8, 2013

Untitled.002

I met Hannah Alexander last May when she was giving away some books on her website.  Of course, I’m all for free books, so I commented that I would love a book.  She then emailed me telling me that she would send a book my way and I started telling her about our blog and our new monthly Featured Author & Book Giveaway post we were starting in June.  I asked if she would be interested and she said “yes!”.  She had a new book coming out in September and would love to be our October featured author and giveaway an autographed copy of her latest book, Keeping Faith.  I was so thrilled!!!  So now it’s finally October and time for our interview and giveaway.  You’ll need to make a comment at the end of this post between October 1st – 8th, to be entered in the giveaway.  I have all the “Rules” listed at the bottom, but for now let’s get to the good stuff!!

Let’s meet “Hannah Alexander”:

Untitled.001

Their Bio:

When Mel and Cheryl were first married, he would come home from work as an ER doc and talk about his day—without ever betraying a patient confidence. She was so inspired by his stories that she decided to write a novel with an ER flavor. With Mel’s medical input, encouragement and help with plotting, and Cheryl’s writing skills, they developed their first novel together, and called it Sacred Trust. Bethany House published it in 1999. Eight months later came the sequel, Solemn Oath. To end the three-book series, Silent Pledge was published in December 0f 2000. They wrote another ER series afterward: Second Opinion, Necessary Measures, and Urgent Care.

Afterward, they signed a new contract with a new editor, Joan Marlow Golan, with Steeple Hill Women’s Fiction, and for the next ten years they worked with Joan, their champion and friend, giving priority to women’s fiction, including contemporary suspense, historical suspense and medical suspense. Their novels have served as launch books for four new lines of fiction, including Steeple Hill Women’s Fiction, Love Inspired Suspense, Love Inspired Historical and Summerside’s American Tapestry. They have won multiple awards, including the Christy Award for Excellence in Fiction, Holt Medallions, Readers Choice, Library Journal Yearly Top Five, and as a writer, Hannah Alexander was finalist for Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award.

Now for the interview:

Tell us about yourselves and how you came up with the pen name “Hannah Alexander”?

We chose the name “Hannah Alexander” to incorporate our two names into one. We have read that Hannah means “her hope is in the Lord”, and Alexander means, “servant of mankind”. We live in the Missouri Ozarks where we like to set the majority of our books.

I read a funny story about your first date with Mel, will you share it with our readers?

  • “YOU’RE A DOCTOR?” I leaned toward Mel and raised my voice to be heard over the din of Mazzio diners on the night of our first surprise blind date set up by my pastor and church staff. “You could help me paralyze someone, then, couldn’t you?”
  • Mel stared at me with some trepidation, and I could read his mind:  This was the “nice young lady” Brother Ron wanted him to meet?  “Um…well…what, exactly, did you–“
  • “I’d better explain myself.”  I smiled at him, trying hard to put him at ease.  “I write novels.  I’m doing research on book number thirteen, and I need one of my characters to be paralyzed through part of the story.  Any idea how I could do that without damaging him permanently?”
  • With relief and sudden interest, Mel gave me all the information I needed.  Actually, I received more than I needed, in detail.  I only ate half a slice of pizza the whole evening.
  • Thus was my introduction into the world of an emergency room physician.  It was Mel’s introduction into fiction.  We were both fascinated.  A year and a half later, we were married.

How did y’all come up with the idea of co-writing your books?  And how exactly do you do it…brainstorm ideas, one writes, one researches, both write?

Mel was telling me one evening how he felt about his calling to medicine. He said he felt it was a sacred trust. Being a novelist, I honed in on those two words. Hmmm. Sacred Trust. Good name for a title. If I recall correctly, that was when I suggested we work on a novel together. I’d always been interested in medicine, and to Mel’s surprise I was able to pick up on some of the diagnoses he made in the ER. I’m the writer in the family, though Mel wrote his share of poetry when he was a boy. I would sit and listen to him tell about cases he’d had in the past, and some of them caught on. I discovered the hard way that it was difficult to wait for Mel to come home to help me work out medical cases that would fall into place in the manuscript. He had to teach me how to do CPR—we started closing the curtains when we feared someone might think he was beating me.

Mel doesn’t pick up on what I’m writing or how I’m writing it in the beginning of the book, because I don’t really know, myself, so I was pretty much on my own until I’d fleshed out the story and he could grasp what I had in mind. Then he would help me write the medical scenes. We did six fast-paced ER novels, and by then I was worn out. I needed to slow down and focus on something less taxing to my brain, and Mel discovered he couldn’t keep up the pace. That was when I began to write women’s fiction. I still have medical characters, but I don’t have nearly as many medical scenes, so Mel’s off the hook. He can edit for me, and he’ll answer any questions I have about medicine that I don’t already know, but now our novels aren’t filled with medical scenes on every page, and I’ve sort of slid into the Hannah Alexander persona while Mel involves himself more and more with medicine.

So Mel is a doctor and he works in the ER and his own clinic, is that right?  Sounds like he’s busy, is that why he’s not helping out as much with the books now?

We’re actually both busy with the clinic, so these are busy days for us. Mel works at a local hospital ER on the weekends and at our clinic during the week. I handle the business side of things with the able help of our office manager, while Mel focuses on the patients. He’s loving it, but we’ll be glad when we get the patient load we need to support the clinic and us.

I’m always interested in how authors come up with their stories.  How do you get your ideas for your books?

I begin with characters that interest me, so my stories, even the fast-paced suspense, are always character-based. I also love to place those characters in difficult situations such as bad home lives, obsessive-compulsive disorder, dyslexia, and of course medical situations in which my hero has to fight for the life of my heroine, and sometimes vice versa. In my historical novels, my characters are typically herbalists who have learned medicine passed down from their parents or from local Indian tribes. Mel helps me with that research, as well. For those, since I love the idea of living in the past in what we sometimes imagine is a simpler time in life, I place myself in the heroine’s shoes and have her doing what I hope I might do in their situations. For instance, in The Wedding Kiss, my heroine is left homeless, and she has to ask the husband of her deceased best friend to marry her. My favorite heroine so far is Victoria in Keeping Faith, whose determination to save lives sends her into horrible danger when she leaves the wagon train, and yet she doesn’t give up, even after she steps between an attacking panther and her young, rebellious assistant. I love strong heroines, but I also love stronger heroes.

As soon as I married Mel, I began to rewrite my unpublished novels to make the heroes reflect the depth and kindness of my husband. I’d like to think that’s why my work began to sell—I knew a real hero, and could reflect him well on the written page. Mel has actually saved my life, risking his own in the process. We were hiking along a steep embankment of slick-rock in Utah and I began to slide backward. Thirty feet below was rocky ground. Mel jumped behind me just in time and pushed me back against the rock wall, nearly sliding down, himself. He’s my true hero.

That’s so sweet!  A real-life “husband” hero is better than a fictional one anytime!

How many books have y’all written? And do you have a favorite?

I’m presently doing rewrites on number 27, which is due to be released in June of 2014. The tentative title for it is Reign of Fire.

Every time I complete a novel, it becomes my favorite, but I’d have to say that, over all, the novel titled Hideaway, which was the first in a ten-book Hideaway series with Steeple Hill, remains my favorite, and not because it won the Christy. I think the reason I care so much for those characters, Cheyenne, Dane and Blaze, is because they all experience great trauma in their lives and learn to overcome it, coming together as strangers, and forming a bond that is unbreakable.

Do you ever plan on writing a contemporary medical suspense novel again?

I’m working on a series entitled Hallowed Halls, which will involve medical suspense, but not nearly as detailed as our first six ER novels. I don’t know if we could write books like that again, as busy as we are with real medical situations in our lives. Maybe when we retire…

In looking through your website, I found your posts that you write on the blog GirlsWriteOut, and you really have a great sense of humor.  How often do you write on this blog? Have you ever thought about writing a funny, romantic, sleuthing novel?

I used to blog on GirlsWriteOut every week, but situations change so quickly that the service stopped going out to many of our readers who had signed up for it. The girls on the blog are still beloved friends, and we keep in touch weekly. I miss the interaction we had when one of us was always blogging daily. I’m now blogging every other Tuesday on www.Christiansread.com and am presently writing about the trials and joys of romance. I always try to insert humor in my novels to keep them from being so heavy, but comedy is such a difficult note to hit and stay with, I’m afraid I’d be a flop if I had to do a whole comedic novel.

Now that Keeping Faith is out, do you already have plans for another novel?  Can you share anything about it?

Reign of Fire—don’t depend on the title being the same when it comes out next year—is set in the same fictitious village of Jolly Mill where Eye of the Storm and Keeping Faith are set. Though Reign of Fire and Eye of the Storm are both contemporary romantic suspense novels, and Keeping Faith is historical, all contain suspense—how much you find of that is in the eye of the reader. Jolly Mill, my setting, is a local, privately owned historical park. The owners of the park gave me special permission to fictionalize my series there, to use the map of the town created by an artist depicting the actual mill and Village of Jollification over 150 years ago.

Wow, that sounds fascinating! I did a search for Jolly Mill and I found a good bit of info. Click HERE to be directed to Wikipedia’s information about Jolly Mill.

The next series I hope to publish will be set along the scenic Missouri River in a fictitious college and med school town by the name of Juliet, set between the real towns of Hermann and Frankenstein. Look them up on the map—they’re just east of Jefferson City.

What do you like to do in your “free” time?

One can dream. I was once an avid hiker, and hiked extensively in several states. For true hikers, logging 1,500 miles on my favorite trails wouldn’t seem like much, but I’m afraid I’ll have to wait until heaven to reach my goal of hiking every trail on the earth. These days I’m blessed if I can make the thirty minute drive to a wilderness preserve for an hour of soaking up the beauty of prairie, forests, birds, deer and rooting armadillos. I think I wore Mel out years ago, and he took up model airplanes. Unfortunately, it’s been almost a year since he’s been out to fly.

Do you have any favorite TV shows or movies?

We have a lot of favorite shows and movies, particularly television shows, where I seek inspiration for fresh suspense or intriguing story lines in NCIS, Criminal Minds (gives me nightmares) Bones (which, strangely, doesn’t give me nightmares) and anything else we can find on Netflix that doesn’t depress us or gross us out too much—remember, Mel’s an ER doc, so nothing grosses him out. I close my eyes during a lot of scenes. We haven’t watched regular television in years, so we’re spoiled when we travel and turn on the TV to discover fifteen minutes of commercials interspersed between ten minutes of actual show.

I haven’t yet found a favorite movie to top Lord of the Rings, though Mel and I are Trekkies, so we watch a lot of reruns. (I’m with you on those…I can’t count the times my husband and I have watched Lord of the Rings and we love Star Trek too!)

Do you have a favorite author?  If you’re like me you have a bunch of favorites!

I have a lot of favorite authors in the Christian community, and it seems that my closest friends are some of my favorite authors. These include, but are not limited to, Nancy Moser, Stephanie Grace Whitson, Carol Cox, Colleen Coble, Diann Hunt, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, James Scott Bell, Angela Hunt, Judy Miller, Doris Elaine Fell, Rene Gutteridge, Harry Kraus, Lissa Halls Johnson, Alton Gansky, Francine Rivers, Terri Blackstock, Bill Myers, Kathy Herman, Wanda Dyson, Jerry Jenkins, R.J. Larson, Deborah Raney, Vicki Hinze, Miralee Ferrell…and forgive me, but the list just keeps on going. I have, however, read practically every novel written by Dean Koontz, not because I like horror, but because I like to study the flow of his words. It was once said that he writes in iambic pentameter . He also writes with a strong delineation between right and wrong, and sometimes he’s managed to slip his faith into his stories, even passages of scripture. Not many can get by with that in secular fiction these days, so I applaud him for it.

What are you reading now?

I’m presently reading an upcoming Harry Kraus novel, as well as a Miralee Ferrell novel, both for endorsement. I’d better not give anything more away about those, since they won’t be out for a few months, but I can tell you they’re both good.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

Philippians 4:8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you and Mel?

I was a wild child who strayed for about five years, made hideous choices in my life, and paid for it through many more years of suffering, but when I came back to the cross and waited on Christ, He placed Mel in my life. Now when I write about romance, I know what the real thing is. Don’t make determinations about a person based on attractiveness or personality or sex appeal. Make determinations based on that person’s faith in Christ, and on the character that lies beneath all the outward trappings. I had to learn that the hard way. It’s a wise person who learns from the trials and experience of others, and especially the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit.

Cheryl, thank you so much for this wonderful interview and personal insight into your life with Mel.  I don’t know about other people, but knowing personal information about the author of a book makes it so much more personal to me! I feel like I’ve made a new friend now!  Can I email you with some of my symptoms and you run them by Mel?  HA!!!  I hope you know I’m just kidding! My friends know not to take me too seriously.

Here’s where you can find Hannah (Cheryl) on-line:

www.hannahalexander.com

https://www.facebook.com/author.HannahAlexander

www.Christiansread.com

Now for the autographed book giveaway:Untitled.002

  1. You must be 18 years or older and be a U.S. resident.
  2. Leave a comment in the comment section at the end of THIS post.  One entry per person.
  3. We will randomly compile a list of everyone who made a comment and will draw a name.  We will then notify you by email giving you further instructions on collecting your free book.  DO NOT include your personal mailing address in your comment for security reasons.
  4. If we do not hear back from you in 5 days, we will draw another winner.
  5. Please allow 2-3 weeks for book delivery.
  6. If you win the book it would be really great if you could come back to this post after you have read it and tell us what you thought about the book.

Next Month – November 2013 – Our Featured Author from June, Ann Gabhart, will be returning to giveaway an autographed copy of her latest book, Christmas at Harmony Hill.  Since we got to know her pretty well back in June, we are going to do a different kind of interview, it will be fun and full of holiday traditions and ideas!

24 Comments

Filed under Featured Author & Book Giveaway

Tomorrow is the Big Day-Our Interview with Hannah Alexander

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up about our interview with Christian author, Hannah Alexander and the autographed book giveaway, Keeping Faith.  The giveaway will run October 1st – 8th, 2013 and the winner will be drawn on October 9th and notified by email.

Here’s a little YouTube presentation to hopefully get your interest:

4 Comments

Filed under Featured Author & Book Giveaway

The Winner of our Book Giveaway with Elizabeth Ludwig is…..

Baloons and Confetti for Blog Book Winners.001

Carol from Trevose, PA is our winner!

Congratulations, Carol.  We are excited you won and I know you are going to love this book…the whole series!!

Thanks to everyone who made comments and entered the giveaway, you really, really blessed Elizabeth.  She said to me in an email yesterday;

Thank you so much, Debbie. I’ve been very encouraged by the number of people who said things like “I’m not familiar with this author” or “I haven’t read these books”, because that means you’ve helped me reach new readers!!

And that’s great!  There are some really great Christian authors out there that we haven’t “met” yet and getting to know them through these interviews and book reviews posted on this blog and other Christian book review blogs is wonderful!

For those who didn’t win, I do hope you’ll find you a copy of this series by Elizabeth and start reading.

4 Comments

Filed under Featured Author & Book Giveaway

Interview with Christian Author – Elizabeth Ludwig – and Book Giveaway!

Y’all are in for a treat today!  We have a fantastic interview with Christian author, Elizabeth Ludwig.  Her current series that is out, The Edge of Freedom, has two books already and I’m eagerly waiting for the third book next year!!   She has generously donated an autographed copy of, Dark Road Home, as our giveaway this week: 9/23 – 9/27 (the winner will be selected on 9/28).

Enter to win an autographed copy of this book!  9/23 through 9/27

Enter to win an autographed copy of this book! 9/23 through 9/27

I have been in contact with her through email and she is one of the sweetest people you’d ever want to meet!  So, let’s get to the interview so you can “meet” her too!

Elizabeth Ludwig

Elizabeth Ludwig (Isn’t she beautiful?)

Here’s Elizabeth’s Bio:

Elizabeth Ludwig is the award-winning author of No Safe Harbor and Dark Road Home, Books One and Two in the Edge of Freedom series. Her popular literary blog, The Borrowed Book, enjoys a wide readership. Elizabeth is an accomplished speaker and teacher, often attending conferences and seminars where she lectures on editing for fiction writers, crafting effective novel proposals, and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. Along with her husband and children, she makes her home in the great state of Texas. To learn more, visit ElizabethLudwig.com.

Let’s get to know Elizabeth better through this interview:

The Edge of Freedom series is about Irish immigrants coming to New York.  Are you an Irish descendent that immigrated or does this era just fascinate you?

Hey, Debbie! First, let me start by saying I’m so thrilled to be on your blog, and I can’t wait to talk with your readers!

Now, to business.

Though many of my ancestors emigrated from Europe, I am not Irish. I am part Spaniard, part Mexican, and 100% American! LOL! My husband’s family, however, does have some Irish blood, as well as German and Dutch. I guess that’s why I wanted to write a story about immigrants—to do our ancestors justice and make them proud!

It would seem like writing an historical novel would take a lot of research.  How much time did it take you to research this book?

Oh my goodness…by far, this series has involved more research than any I have ever had to do. Part of that was simply because the saga carries across two continents. Not only was researching New York City in 1897, I was researching Ireland and everything that was happening there during the same time period. Fortunately, I stumbled across the Ellis Island Foundation’s website, which helped me immensely. I also found and studied a wonderful PBS production called Forgotten Ellis Island, which provided such an interesting look into America’s history.

I’m always interested in author’s process of writing a book.  How do you come up with your ideas?  Do you plan the whole story out or just start writing and see where it takes you?

It’s a little of both, I think. I always start out with a detailed timeline, but every now and then, inspiration strikes, and the story takes off in a direction I didn’t see coming. For example, in No Safe Harbor, when Douglas Healy comes to visit the boarding house, I really had to stop and ask myself what he was doing there. It was in my timeline, but his motivation for being there, and what he would say when he arrived, those things eluded me. Finally, inspiration took over, and I realized he wouldn’t lie about why he came. He would do something even more shocking—he would tell the truth. Not only was it believable, it was a stunning twist that readers have told me totally caught them off guard.

Where do you like to write?  At a desk or sitting in a comfy chair?  Desktop computer or laptop?

We have a room in our house that is very comfortable and private—no TV, no phones, no distractions whatsoever. It’s decorated like an old-fashioned parlor, and I absolutely love it because it transports me to another era. And of course, there’s my comfy red chair…

Elizabeth's "quiet room" with her comfy red chair!

Elizabeth’s “quiet room” with her comfy red chair!

So far there are two books in this series, No Safe Harbor #1, and Dark Road Home #2.  When will book 3 be released?  I can’t wait!  Can you tell us something about Book 3?

Book 3 in the series, Tide and Tempest, releases in February, 2014, and believe it or not, I’m as excited about it’s release as you are!! Originally, I had intended for Edge of Freedom to be a two book series, so this was the only story that wasn’t planned. It has turned out to be my favorite. I love, love, love this hero and heroine—Keondric and Tillie. Their story amazed me, and their love was just phenomenal to write.

Also, I share a common grief with Tillie—the loss of a child. I think that’s why she resonated with me so deeply. I really hope her triumph over guilt and grief speaks to readers.

The Edge of Freedom Series by Elizabeth Ludwig

The Edge of Freedom Series by Elizabeth Ludwig

How many books have you written and are they all historical? 

All told, I have eight books to my credit, with two more to come in 2014. They are not all historical, in fact, I started out writing cozy mysteries (think Murder She Wrote starring Angela Lansbury). From there, I went to writing Contemporary Romance, and then finally came full circle to my first love, which was Historical Romance with more than a touch of Suspense. Readers can find a complete list of my books here.

What’s your favorite genre when you have time to sit down and read?

Definitely Romantic Suspense. Definitely. Definitely Romantic Suspense.

Who’s your favorite author?

Oh, this is hard. I love several—Dani Pettry, Jessica Dotta, Michelle Griep…they are all fabulous storytellers, but if I had to pick a favorite, I would probably say Francine Rivers. She influenced how I right early, and I’ve admired her ever since.

What are you reading now? 

I just finished A Heart Deceived by Michelle Griep. It’s an amazing book by a very talented writer. And I love that it has that Gothic Regency type feel that I try to infuse in my own books.

If you could go anywhere in the whole world for a vacation, where would it be?

Ireland. Absolutely. I would love to see and taste the culture that I’ve spent so much time researching.

What’s your favorite Bible verse and why?

My favorite scripture, one I sign all my books with, is from Habakkuk 2:2-3. It says:

2 Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

I received these verses at a time when I was really questioning my call to write. Now, it is a reminder to me that God is faithful to complete the good work HE has begun.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

LOL! Well, anyone who knows me would say, what day is it, cuz she does crazy stuff all the time. Just recently, I was sitting at The Cheesecake Factory, and Shaquille O’Neal walked by. For a second, I was too stunned to say anything, but then, I saw him start down the stairs. From my vantage point, I could see him hop up onto the hand rail, as though he wanted to slide down. For a split second, our eyes met, and then I sorta growled, “Dooo it!”

He just smiled, and slid down the railing! LOLOL!

Shaquille O'Neal and his ride down the hand rails!

Shaquille O’Neal and his ride down the hand rails!

If you could meet one person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

There are many people I would love to meet, but I think I’d like to chat with George W. Bush about his faith, his family, and his presidency.

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you?

I have a website at www.elizabethludwig.com and a blog at www.theborrowedbook.blogspot.com, but my favorite place to connect is still on facebook. I hope you’ll stop by!

Quick, Quirky Questions:

Are you a list maker? Always.

Do you like to cook? Love it. Wish I knew how.

What’s your favorite food? Pizza. Or Pasta. Or M&M’s. Oh, and seafood.

Do you have a pet? Dachshunds! Four of them. LOL!

What’s your favorite color? Black and Gold, especially when worn by the Steelers.

What’s your favorite holiday? Christmas.

Do you have a hobby? Knitting! And skiing. Sometimes both at the same time.

Elizabeth, I feel like I got to know the “real you” while reading this interview.  I loved your answers and finding out about your talent for skiing and knitting at the same time! LOL!!!!  

Thank you so much for being with us today and for being so generous by donating an autographed book for our giveaway.  I know everyone that comments will be looking forward to your comments back to them.  That makes it SO special!  

Now for the autographed book giveaway:

Enter to win an autographed copy of this book!  9/23 through 9/27

Enter to win an autographed copy of this book! 9/23 through 9/27

  1. You must be 18 years or older and be a U.S. resident.
  2. Leave a comment in the comment section at the end of THIS post.  One entry per person.
  3. We will randomly compile a list of everyone who made a comment and will draw a name on 9/28/13.  We will then notify you by email giving you further instructions on collecting your free book.  DO NOT include your personal mailing address in your comment for security reasons.
  4. If we do not hear back from you in 5 days, we will draw another winner.
  5. Please allow 2-3 weeks for book delivery. And we can’t be held responsible for lost books, sorry! (So far, everyone who has won a book has received it.  Way to go USPS!!!)
  6. If you win the book it would be really great if you could come back to this post after you have read it and tell us what you thought about the book.

103 Comments

Filed under Featured Author & Book Giveaway

Here’s a Great Interview with Rene Gutteridge from another Blogger Friend

Hey, I wanted to let you know about this great interview with one of my newest favorite authors, Rene Gutteridge.  And there is a book giveaway involved too!

miserylovescompany

Just visit my friend, Melanie, at: christianbookshelfreviews.blogspot.com and read this great interview and enter to win a copy of Misery Loves Company.  It’s a great Christian suspense novel.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Featured Author & Book Giveaway, New Arrivals

Jen Turano Giveaway: 9-16 September 2013

Great giveaway from booklovers1.wordpress.com. This is a fantastic book, A Most Peculiar Circumstance! Make sure you go to the bottom of her post and click on the link to read the great interview with Jen Turano.

booklovers1

I am super thrilled to have my first giveaway being one of Jen Turano’s books: A Most Peculiar Circumstance orA Change of Furtune – The winner’s choice!!!
IMG_1635-2A

Firstly, however, I just wish to say a big THANKYOU to Jen for generously donating the signed copy of either book. I certainly don’t know how to thank you enough!!!

Giveaway Rules:
1. You MUST be a US resident (really appologise to anyone who isn’t)
2. Must follow my blog: Booklovers1 (only so no-one takes advantage of this offer and so that it is fair for the people already following me!!)
3. Leave a comment at the end of THIS post.. One entry per person.
4. DO NOT include your personal mailing address in your comment for security reasons.
5. If we do not hear back from you in 5 days, we will draw another winner.
6. Please allow 2-3 weeks for…

View original post 569 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Featured Author & Book Giveaway

The Winner of Sautee Shadows is….

Blanche Diane Henry from Orange, NJ!

Congratulations Blanche and I hope you enjoy reading this historical novel, Sautee Shadows by Denise Weimer and find out interesting facts about Georgia, my home State!

Thanks to everyone who entered to win.

Beginning October 1, 2013 we will be interviewing romantic suspense writer, Hannah Alexander.  We will be giving away an autographed copy of her latest book, Keeping Faith.  The giveaway will run Oct 1st – 8th.   So mark your calendars and come back and read this revealing interview with Hannah Alexander.  I KNOW you’ll learn an interesting fact that I didn’t know before hand!

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Featured Author & Book Giveaway

Denise Weimer Interview and Book Giveaway – September 1st – 7th, 2013

September Book Givaway Make a comment below to enter!

September Book Giveaway 9/1-9/7
Make a comment below to enter!

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of meeting Denise Weimer at a book signing at The Carpenter’s Shop in Athens, GA.  I had such a wonderful time talking to her and I even got to meet her mother.  They are both precious women and love the Lord.  I knew then that I would want her to be one of our featured authors and this is the perfect month for it because we are giving away, Sautee Shadows (Georgia Gold Series #1), and The Gray Divide (Georgia Gold Series #2) is coming out this month.  So this is the perfect opportunity to win the first book in this series and then you won’t have to wait for Book 2, you can go right out and buy it!  The giveaway is September 1st – 7th, and the winner will be randomly selected on September 8th, 2013.

Here is a great timeline photo of all the history that is covered in this book.  It’s incredible how much research Denise did for this book.

I know it's hard to read here, but just click on the picture and you'll be directed to the actual picture on her website and you can read it much better.

I know it’s hard to read here, but just click on the picture and you’ll be directed to the actual picture on her website and you can read it much better.

Let’s meet Denise and get to know her better:

Denise Weimer

Denise Weimer

Is Sautee Shadows your first novel, or have you written before?

I began writing at age 11 – historical novels! I published a novella called Redeeming Grace with PublishAmerica about 7 years ago. It was about a struggling opera singer from NY who found love with a local minister when she vacationed at Tallulah Falls, GA, during the 1880s. The publisher set the book price too high, so the book was only marketed locally and is now out of print. I hope to self-publish it again in the future. But the important thing was that Redeeming Grace opened the door for The Georgia Gold Series, because my historical mentor, well-known artist John Kollock, read it and offered his help in research should I write another novel …

Why did you decide to write your novels about Georgia history?

… I took Mr. Kollock up on his offer, and he gave me a tour through his family’s 1848 summer home outside Clarkesville, along with a stack of books and his ancestors’ diaries and letters. The Kollocks had been among the families who lived on the coast but had summer homes in the Northeast Georgia mountains to escape heat and yellow fever. This first person research gave me an inside understanding of life in the mid-1800s in Georgia. Using that base, I was able to craft a story with four fictional families that moved among real people, places and events and incorporated the fascinating history of the Georgia Gold Rush, the Cherokee Removal and The Civil War. A sweeping historical fiction series had never been written about that exact era and area.

I can tell from reading, Sautee Shadows, that you did a lot of research.  How much time and effort did you put into your research before you were able to write the book?

I researched about a year before starting to write, then continued to research as I wrote to try to provide the reader the feeling of “being there.”

How much of your book is actual facts?  Are all the characters fictional or are some of them real people?

Most of the main characters are fictional to give them “room to move” so that I could develop their stories as I wished, but those stories overlap many real people like Jarvis Van Buren, Stand Watie and Francis Bartow. The reader will learn many fascinating facts about Northeast Georgia in the mid-1800s; the most surprising things in the book are the things that really happened! Truth is really stranger than fiction.

What would you like your readers to discover by reading this book?

In The Georgia Gold Series, I sought to re-create a very real time period and to portray all sides of issues with historical accuracy and balance. It was important for my characters to overcome the challenges of their day and age, personality deficiencies and prejudice – and to rise above that regardless of race or background – to show how God working in their lives can help them become people of integrity. I hope our generation will be reminded of the virtues of courage, sacrifice, commitment, faith and honor.

This is Book 1 in a series and Book 2, The Gray Divide, comes out this month, right?  How many other books will there be?

Yes, Book Two, The Gray Divide, releases September 1. There are two more books after that, The Crimson Bloom and Bright as Gold.

Books 1-3 and the 4th and final book is titled, Bright as Gold

Books 1-3 and the 4th and final book is titled, Bright as Gold

Do you already have plans for future books once this series is finished?

Right now I’m concentrating on publicizing the series. I don’t have any specific plans but will just be open to what God leads me to do in the future! I do have some ideas bouncing around. And if the next book is fiction, I always tend to write in the setting of where I am currently living! There is so much rich history surrounding the Athens area, I’m sure I can come up with something!

Are you a native Georgian?  Where do you live?

Yes, I was born in Atlanta and raised in Jackson County. I lived in Habersham County for ten years while raising my girls and researching and writing The Georgia Gold Series. My family now resides in Watkinsville. My husband’s job as area manager for Woodmen of the World Life Insurance and Investments brought us to the Athens area.

What are your hobbies, besides writing?

Of course I also enjoy reading – historical fiction and Christian non-fiction. I’m an avid swim mom and help support my daughters in Athens Bulldog Swim Club. I love going to movies, antique stores, tea rooms or coffee shops and touring historic homes. For most of my life I’ve been involved in living history, and for many years I was founder and director of a mid-1800s dance group. Writing and being a mom are taking priority now.

If you could visit anyplace on earth, where would it be and why?

I’d enjoy a trip to England and Scotland, because I haven’t been there yet and those are the countries from which my own ancestors came.

Who are your favorite authors?

I enjoy many Christian historical fiction writers. Laura Frantz is one of my favorites. Her book The Frontiersman’s Daughter hooked me because I could tell it was written from her heart. It reminded me of my favorite movie, “The Last of the Mohicans.” I’ve had the honor of becoming online friends with Laura and found her to be as gracious a person as she is a talented writer. I also find Deanne Gist, Tamera Alexander and Francine Rivers to be among the best.

Are you reading a book now, if so, what is it? 

I am currently finishing up a Christian non-fiction book on marriage written by a local author, at the request of one of my friends.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself and your books?

The publishing industry is tighter than ever, with the economy and e-books putting pressure on traditional publishers. However, for those who write, I’d say you should never give up your dream if you are sure that is where your talent lies. Create a tight package for publishers – a well-edited manuscript with a story that makes the reader want more, a strong query letter, plus the training and willingness to help market yourself. Then target publishers and agents only in your niche or genre. Regional presses are often much more likely to accept new authors, especially if their story is regional as well.

Denise, thank you so much for sharing your time with us and telling us so much about your books and all that went into writing them.  I find it interesting, especially since I live in Georgia and have visited a lot of the places you mention in your book.  If you live in the Athens, GA area, you can visit The Carpenter’s Shop to purchase Denise’s books.

You may visit Denise’s website and her publisher’s website by clicking on the links below:

www.deniseweimerbooks.webs.com

www.canterburyhousepublishing.com

  1. You must be 18 years or older and be a U.S. resident.

    September Book Givaway Make a comment below to enter!

    September Book Giveaway 9/1 – 9/7
    Make a comment below to enter!

  2. Leave a comment in the comment section at the end of THIS post. One entry per person.
  3. We will randomly compile a list of everyone who made a comment and will draw a name.  We will then notify you by email giving you further instructions to collect your free book.  DO NOT include your personal mailing address in your comment for security reasons.
  4. If we do not hear back from you in 5 days, we will draw another winner.
  5. Please allow 2-3 weeks for book delivery.
  6. If you win the book it would be really great if you could come back to this post after you have read it and tell us what you thought about the book.

Next Month – October 2013 – our Featured Author will be Hannah Alexander and we will be giving away an autographed copy of Keeping Faith.

17 Comments

Filed under Featured Author & Book Giveaway

The Winner of our Jennifer Erin Valent Book Giveaway is…..

We are excited to announce the winner of an autographed book, Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent to Diane White, from New Port Richey, FL.  She is also a writer and has a website:  www.DianeDeanWhite.com.  You will want to check out her website and see what she’s up to.  I’ll have to add her books to my “to be read” list!

Diane was very excited to get the news that she won!  She loves Jennifer’s books and is looking forward to reading Jennifer’s next novel.

We want to thank everyone who entered the giveaway and made comments.  It was a wonderful experience with Jennifer.  And those of you who didn’t win, I highly recommend reading her books.  You won’t regret one minute of time spent reading this series.

Our next author and giveaway begins September 1, 2013 and the author is Denise Weimer and we will be giving away an autographed copy of her book, Sautee Shadows.  So, come back on September 1st to read our interview with Denise and comment to enter.

May God bless each one of you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Featured Author & Book Giveaway

Jennifer Erin Valent Interview and Book Giveaway-Make a Comment on This Post to be Entered in the Giveaway!

August Giveaway August 1-10, 2013

August Giveaway – Autographed Copy
August 1-10, 2013

I am so excited to have Jennifer Erin Valent be our August Featured Author.  I first heard of her back in November 2010 when Carmen picked her book, Fireflies in December, for our January 2011 Book Club.  After the first sentence in that book, I was hooked.  We ended up reading the entire series for our Book Club and the highlight of our July 2011 meeting (Cottonwood Whispers #2) was having a conference call with Jennifer.  It was so amazing to talk to her and ask her questions about her book, her writings and her life.  We were all thrilled! One member was so impressed, I think she told everyone she knew about these books. I asked her to write a little something for this post, here is what Zu wrote:

“Jennifer Erin Valent has a gift for making you long for the leisurely days of swimming holes, tire swings and sweet tea. However, that longing for days of old must be tempered with the remembrance of the brutal hatred and fear that existed, and sadly still does.

As the WFBC Book Club was getting ready to read Book Two, Cottonwood Whispers, I checked out, Fireflies in December, my first introduction to Jessilyn Lassiter. From the opening line, “The summer I turned thirteen, I thought I’d killed a man… ” I was hooked! In fact, as I devoured the book and had to wait for my turn to check out Cottonwood Whispers, I started thinking of all the things I wanted to ask Ms. Valent starting with “How do you come up with such fantastic opening lines?” Imagine my joy when she agreed to call us during our book meeting and I was actually able to ask her that very question. In fact, when I finished the last page of Catching Moondrops, the final and very satisfying finish to the series, I emailed Jennifer to ask her if it was as hard for her to say goodbye to the characters as it was for me.

I am thrilled that Jennifer Erin Valent has agreed to be part of our featured author book giveaway and I urge you to get your hands on Fireflies in December, Cottonwood Whispers and Catching Moondrops. Go ahead, it’s ok… get lost in this satisfying coming of age story of Jessilyn Lassiter. PS…Follow Jennifer Erin Valent on Pintrest for glimpses into the inspiration of the character and setting.” Zu

Jennifer Erin Valent

Jennifer Erin Valent

Jennifer Erin Valent is the 2007 winner of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild’s Operation First Novel contest and 2010 Christy Award winner for Fireflies in December. She lives in central Virginia, where she has worked as a nanny for nearly twenty years. A lifelong resident of the South, her surroundings help to color the scenes and characters she writes.

Jennifer, we are so thrilled you agreed to be our featured author this month and I know there is some very blessed person out there who will win your autographed book, Fireflies in December, and fall in love with the series.

When did you know you wanted to write?

I dabbled with it some as a kid, but it was never a passion, just a hobby. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-20’s that I started to consider it more seriously. I started out writing children’s stories then tried my hand at non-fiction articles. But it was when I finished my first novel that the bug really hit. Typing THE END on that first children’s story was a rush, but there was nothing like putting the finishing touches on the novel. That made me realize I was meant to do this.

Do you have a favorite place to sit down and write?  Can you share a picture of your fav writing site?

Nowadays, I always write at my desk. When I first started to write, I used a laptop literally as a laptop… and my chiropractic bills will tell you why I don’t do that anymore. So it’s got to be at the desk. Ideally, it’s a beautiful breezy day with the window open and a mocha on the table beside me. If we’re going full-on dream writing space, it would be oceanfront with the sea air drifting through the screen. Talk about inspiration!

Image 2

Was Fireflies in December your first book? And what inspired you to write it?

No, the first novel I ever wrote was a romantic comedy that I STILL hope will get out to readers someday. In fact, I’ve written 3 ½ novels with those same characters. They still live on my computer, but one day I hope to see them sitting on shelves.

As for general inspiration, I’ve always had a very active imagination. I could daydream with the best of them, so I had plenty of stories percolating inside my head for years. Once I decided to really give genuine effort to trying to write some down, it just made sense. The particular inspirations for the romantic comedies were the brilliant screwball comedies of the 1940’s. For example, consider Cary Grant and Irene Dunne in The Awful Truth… the books are based on that type of staccato dialogue and wacky characters. Tons of fun to write!

How did you come up with the title?

The title Fireflies in December was not original to the story. I started out with no title. In fact, the first sentence of the book was the official name of the Word file for quite some time. I eventually got to thinking about the charm of fireflies and ideas of how I could incorporate them in the title. The title really came from a desire to find the right one to match the feel of the story, and the conversation between Jessie and her dad was the perfect place to weave it all together.

How much of the book is based on fact?

There are no elements of the story that are specifically based on any actual events; however, I did research the time period and events that had happened in history to lend credibility to it. My rule of thumb for this story was, “Could this really happen?” My research gave me the basis for how I felt things could pan out had these people really encountered these events in depression-era Virginia.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I very much hope it encourages readers to live rightly even when so much wrong is around them. I have always had a fascination with bullies, on both a large and small scale. Whether it’s a school bully, a mafia boss or a dictator—what makes a large group of people put up with the nonsense of one dominant personality? Were the masses to rise up against the one, surely the masses would win. So what I tend to address a lot in my books is the good winning out over the bad; solitary individuals making the choice to stand firm and knowing that with the Lord’s help, anything is possible. I’m a justice-seeker by nature, and so is Jessilyn, the main character in these books, and I wanted her to stand out as someone who will do what needs to be done no matter the cost.

Jennifer Valent's Book Series Pics.001

What books have most influenced your life?

Undoubtedly, the Bible takes the top spot by far. It’s what I base my life on. I turn to the Word of God for answers, guidance, wisdom… it’s all in there. Also, I’ve been very impacted by Phillip Keller’s A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23. This book explains the shepherding references found in that passage so that we can better understand the word pictures. It really opens your eyes to how much the Lord loves us and cares for us.

What are you reading now? And who are your favorite authors?  If you are like me I have a lot of favorite authors! 

Right now I’m reading Butterflies in the Garden by Maureen Lang. I’m not very far in, but I’m really enjoying it so far. My favorite author in Christian fiction is Julie Klassen. I’ve read every one of hers and eagerly await each new release. I’ve also enjoyed Tim Downs’ Bug Man series and Eva Marie Everson’s books, as well. And I’ve long ago gone through all of Victoria Holt’s and Helen Macinnes’ books. When an author is no longer writing, it’s so sad when you’ve reached their last title!

Are you working on another book and can you tell us about it?  I hope one comes out soon, because I totally loved this series and I’m looking forward to more great books from you. 

Thank you! That’s so wonderful to hear. I am nearing completion on another novel that is unrelated to the Calloway Summers series, although we don’t have any publication plans… yet! This story is set in Virginia in the late 1940’s and follows a young abused war-widow on her journey to find her identity outside of being a battered wife. But her struggle is complicated when she is faced with the decision of whether or not to defend her former mother-in-law against an abusive relationship of her own. I have really grown to love these characters and have learned a lot while walking in their shoes. Hopefully we will have some good news to share soon.

It’s been awhile since you published this series, what have you been doing since then?

I still work as a nanny, a career I’ve been in for twenty years now and still love. I’m so blessed to have two jobs that I enjoy so much. I have still been writing in the meantime, but some tendonitis issues have kept me from being as active at the computer. It’s been a relief these last few months to be back at work without physical complications.

What are your hobbies, besides writing?

I like to eat! What can I say? I wouldn’t call myself a foodie, but I do enjoy trying new restaurants. I have a wonderful mother and some fantastic friends that I enjoy getting out with to shop, chat, eat, drink coffee… those are some of my favorite times. I also love watching ice hockey (huge Pittsburgh Penguins fan!) and I picked up figure skating in my early twenties. Unfortunately, I don’t get on the ice as much as I used to, but I still love the sheer freedom of gliding around out on the rink.

Do you have any pets?

No, but I grew up with a Shetland Sheepdog named Tammy that I adored. She was like my furry little sister.

Image 1

Is there anything else you want to share with our readers today?

I love interacting with readers. Writing is such a solitary venture that getting a chance to see the books through the eyes of others is a unique experience. I try to actively participate in conversations on my Facebook page and also have a public Pinterest board that readers can contribute to so we can see their personal vision about the characters and settings in the books. Pinterest has been a great place for me to make my vision of the books come alive, so I also have a board that takes a walk through Jessilyn’s world as I see it and one that provides recipes I think would have come from Miss Cleta’s delightfully-scented kitchen. If anyone reads the books and wants to join in the conversations, please feel free to stop by.

Jennifer, thank you so much for taking the time to share yourself with us through this interview. We have certainly enjoyed getting to know you better.  I want to share with our readers your sites in cyberspace, so they can connect with you themselves.  I know I enjoy your Facebook posts and looking at your boards on Pinterest! Just click on the underlined links and you will be directed to Jennifer’s sites.

Jennifer’s website     Jennifer’s Facebook page    Jennifer’s Twitter account     Jennifer’s Pinterest boards

The giveaway starts today, August 1, 2013 and ends on August 10, 2013.  A winner will be randomly selected on August 11, 2013 and notified by email.

August Giveaway August 1-10, 2013

August Giveaway
August 1-10, 2013

  1. You must be 18 years or older and be a U.S. resident.
  2. Leave a comment in the comment section at the end of THIS post. One entry per person.
  3. We will randomly compile a list of everyone who made a comment and will draw a name.  We will then notify you by email giving you further instructions to collect your free book.  DO NOT include your personal mailing address in your comment for security reasons.
  4. If we do not hear back from you in 5 days, we will draw another winner.
  5. Please allow 2-3 weeks for book delivery.
  6. If you win the book it would be really great if you could come back to this post after you have read it and tell us what you thought about the book.

Next Month – September 2013 – our Featured Author will be Denise Weimer and we will be giving away an autographed copy of her book, Sautee Shadows.

91 Comments

Filed under Featured Author & Book Giveaway

The Pirate Queen Giveaway at WaterBrook Multnomah

Just wanted to let y’all know about a great book giveaway at WaterBrook Multnomah.  This is for The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman.  Just click HERE and you’ll be directed to the site to enter.  Giveaway ends on July 26, 2013, so hurry on over and enter.

Leave a comment

Filed under Just Me!

We Have Our 100th Follower – Now We Are Going For 200!

Cindy Paulson from Athens, GA, is our 100th follower and we are so excited!!  She picked, The Killing Frost by Hannah Alexander as her “thank you” gift.

It took us about 6 months to reach 100 followers, let’s see if we can make 200 sooner!  We just love our followers and feel so blessed that you take the time to browse our blog from time to time.  We hope you enjoy what you read and are getting some good e-books for free or cheap.

Read through our author interviews, June was Ann Gabhart (even thought the giveaway is over,  you’ll still be blessed to read her interview).  And this month the author is Colleen Coble (the giveaway is over but I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading the interview we had with her, it’s like meeting a new friend by reading these interviews with authors).  Starting August 1st, we will have an interview with Jennifer Erin Valent and we’ll giveaway an autographed copy of, Fireflies in December.  If you haven’t heard of her or read this series (3 books) you are missing out on a very special treat! I consider these books as “Christian fiction classics”.  I can’t wait to post the interview with her!  The giveaway will run from August 1 – 10, 2013 and the winner will be picked randomly on August 11th.

Thank you again for following our blog.  Happy Reading!

Leave a comment

Filed under Just Me!

And The Winner of Colleen Coble’s Book, Rosemary Cottage, Is…..

I’m excited to say that Melanie, from Illinois, is the winner of Colleen‘s autographed book, Rosemary Cottage.  Melanie, I know you’ll love this book. You’re already a big fan of Colleen’s and now you’ll have an autographed book for your collection.  Colleen was so nice to give her time to us with the interview and donating the autographed copy of her new book. Thank you again, Colleen!  I hope all of you will check out Colleen’s books and I know you’ll enjoy each and everyone of them!

A BIG “Thanks” to all who entered.  Please come back on August 1st and read the interview we’ll have with author, Jennifer Erin Valent.  So far she has published a 3 book series and we’ll be giving away, Fireflies in December #1.  I consider this series to be a “classic” in Christian literature.  I’m always recommending it to people who come in our Media Center looking for a good book to read.  I alway go through my list of favorite authors and books and Colleen and Jennifer and Ann Gabhart (last month’s author) are always ones I mention!

 

1 Comment

Filed under Featured Author & Book Giveaway

Colleen Coble’s Book, Rosemary’s Cottage – Giveaway – July 1-8, 2013

Sweepstakes to win this book, July 1-8, 2013

Sweepstakes to win this book, July 1-8, 2013

I’m not sure if this is a bad week to have a book giveaway or what, but so far we only have 4 people commenting on the post to enter to receive an autographed copy of Colleen’s latest book.  Colleen is a fantastic Christian author of mystery and romance and those of you who have read her books know this.  If you haven’t read any of her books, now is the time to start.  Colleen was so generous with her time in answering the interview questions and donating the autographed book and I just want everyone to have a chance to read her interview and comment on the post to enter to have a chance of winning.

So, what’s stopping you?  We have some great authors lined up all the way through December for interviews and book giveaways and if we don’t get any better response than this, I don’t think we’ll continue this feature in 2014.  Come on, let’s support these great authors and read their books and visit their websites/blogs.  I don’t know what I would do without Christian fiction and I want everyone to know about these authors and read their books.

So just look at the top of our blog and see the “Featured Author & Book Giveaway” title, click on it and scroll down and find the post “Meet Colleen Coble…” and read and make a comment to be entered in the contest.  It’s simple!  It’s free!

4 Comments

Filed under Featured Author & Book Giveaway

July 1-8 Sweepstakes and Interview with Colleen Coble

Set your calendar for July 1st and visit us to read our interview with Colleen Coble and enter our sweepstakes to win an autographed copy of her latest book, Rosemary’s Cottage (Hope Beach Series #2).

Sweepstakes to win this book, July 1-8, 2013

Sweepstakes to win this book, July 1-8, 2013

This is our second “Featured Author and Book Giveaway” and we are learning as we go along.  Last month the sweepstakes lasted for 3 weeks.  That was way too long for people to wait to see if they won.  So now we will run a shorter time for entering…so be ready…July 1-8, 2013 will be when you can make a comment on the post that will come out on July 1st with our interview with Colleen Coble.

2 Comments

Filed under Featured Author & Book Giveaway