Monday, August 30, 2010

Giveaway Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico

I'm happy to have Lena Nelson Dooley with me this week on my blog. Be sure to leave a post for a chance to win Lena's new book, Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico.

1) Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.

I am in my home office, sitting at my computer, wearing a jungle print outfit. Should I roar?

2) Who's your one biggest fan/supporter of your writing?
There are quite a few. My best friend is a missionary. She and her married daughters and her sisters are really big fans. But there are many more who have told me they love my books.

3) What is your favorite time period to write in?
I actually work in my office from about 8 am – 9 am, then 11 am – 2 pm, then 3 pm – 6 pm most days.

4) If you could be any character in any literary book who would you be and why?

I usually want to be in the book that I’m reading right now, whatever time book it is.

5) They say what a person would take from a burning building tells a lot about them. If you could only save one thing (nothing living) from your home, what would that be?
My external hard drive that I backup everything on.

6) Have you written any other Love Finds You stories or do you plan to write more?
Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, is my only Love Finds You story at this time. Who knows what the future will hold.

7) Did anyone inspire you to write?God told me to become a professional writer. I give the testimony of that on this page of my blog: http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com/p/about-me.html

8) Can you tell us a little about your writing journey? When you started how long before you got published, what you found difficult, what you love, what is hard, etc.
After God told me to become a professional author, it took me 6 months to write the first novel, but it took me about 8 years to get it published. Then there were 10 years between the first and second book, but since 2002, I’ve had more than 25 book releases.
I’m not real fond of rejections, but I learned with each one I received and became a better writer.I’m not a patient person, and there’s a lot of waiting involved in the selling book proposals. I’m learning to be more patient all the time.

9) Is there any person who has been a strong influence in your Christian walk?

When you get to be my age, there have been many people who have influenced me. It would be hard to name them all.

10) If you could live in any time period when and where would that be and why?
I used to say that I had been born too late. I loved wearing long dresses. I even made me some before maxi dresses were in style in the late ‘70s. But I now know that God chose the time for me to live, and it is a perfect time for me.

11) If you could visit any place in the world where would you go and why?

Australia. I fell in love with Australia long before it was chic to like Australia. I’ve read at least 300 books set in Australia. I may even write one set there.

12) If you could meet any person alive or dead who would that be and why? (excluding the Lord)
I’d love to sit down with George and Laura Bush and visit with them. But going back to biblical times, I’d love to know Esther.
Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico
By Lena Nelson Dooley
ISBN: 978-1935416746
Summerside Press
Historical Romance

All that glitters is not gold.

It’s 1890, and Golden, New Mexico, is a booming mining town where men far outnumber women. So when an old wealthy miner named Philip Smith finds himself in need of a nursemaid, he places an ad for a mail-order bride—despite the protests of his friend Jeremiah. Hoping to escape a perilous situation back East, young Madeleine Mercer answers the ad and arrives in town under a cloud of suspicion. But just as she begins to win over Philip—and Jeremiah himself—the secrets she left behind threaten to follow her to Golden...and tarnish her reputation beyond redemption.
Lena Nelson Dooley is a multi-published, award-winning author who loves to mentor other authors. With her 25th book release, she has close to 650,000 books in print. Her latest release, Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, went on sale May 1, 2010. Look for it bookstores everywhere.

Lena has spoken at conferences and writers’ meetings in four states. She also speaks at women's retreats and event of all kinds. She lives in Hurst, Texas with her husband of over 45 years.

Lena’s door and heart are always open to those God places in her path. She seriously considers her ministry as a mentor, prayer warrior, even a champion of the downtrodden, her life’s work


Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Friday, September 14th.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Erin Rainwater

I'd like to welcome Erin Rainwater to my blog today.

1) Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.

Since I’m NOT in the bathroom I’ll tell the truth. I’m at my kitchen table where my laptop mostly resides, facing my often-lovely-but-now-rather-burned-out backyard (little rain this summer here in Colorado), wearing my loose-fitting purple shirt and gray shorts for coolness and comfort. Barefoot, of course.

2) Who's your one biggest fan/supporter of your writing?

God. But humanly speaking, I’ve been blessed with many supporters and honestly couldn’t name one in particular. All the members of my critique group are right up there among the top, though. Their encouragement (read: pushiness) transformed Refining Fires from the short story I had intended it to be into a novel. They wouldn’t settle for anything less than my telling Peter and Clare’s far-reaching love story.

3) What inspired you to write this story?

Since Refining Fires is actually three shorter stories that make up one larger one, the inspiration came over time and from different sources. The first story in the book, “Refining Fire,” came from a combination of personal experience as a nurse, Mel Gibson’s 1993 movie The Man Without a Face, and the fact that the Korean War is unfortunately sometimes referred to as the Forgotten War—a tragedy in my eyes. It’s for that reason I set the stories in the late 1950s. Peter Cochran, the 35-year-old male protagonist, is a bitter, disfigured Korean War veteran, and Clare is the tenacious nurse who enters his employ. The second story, “Blind Courage,” is the rewriting of an English class assignment I had in the eighth grade. The only criteria we were given was that the protagonist had to be the same age and gender as we were, and it had to be written in the first person. I honestly don’t know what inspired me to write about the frightened little girl who had to trek beyond the walls of her safe mountain cabin to save her mama’s life. Of course, I changed and lengthened the story, tying it into Peter and Clare’s tale. I can only say that “Kept Woman” was given to me by God. Her story is not based on anyone or anything I’ve ever seen or heard about.

4) Are you or any close family members in the characters personalities?

I have a tee shirt that reads: CAREFUL, OR YOU’LL END UP IN MY NOVEL. So be forewarned. But seriously, I really don’t have family members or friends in mind when I write a story. The characters are fresh and unique from anyone I know. Some of my life experiences show up in my stories, but my heroines are more the way I wish I was but am not. They’re braver than me, more outspoken and confident. That said, I do admit that once the main characters are drawn, everything and everyone around me becomes fodder for supplying additional plot lines and characterizations.

5) Do you have a favorite scene in the book?

Oh, it’s so hard to choose. But if I have to narrow it down to one, I’d go with the scene in Peter’s library where he approaches his nurse Clare, who is obviously troubled over something. As someone who has never know what it is to love sacrificially, he struggles with his motives, challenging himself to prove whether he merely wants her or truly loves her.

6) Are you working on another book right now and if so what time period is it?

I’m not working on a new book at the moment. I’m working on collaborating with a theater producer in Pittsburgh who is translating some scenes from one of my self-published books, True Colors, onto the stage. I’m extremely excited about the prospect of seeing my characters “alive” on the stage, complete with Civil War costumes and scenery and all that goes with it. My favorite time period to both read and write is America’s past eras. I’ve always had a passion for history. I think the reason some people don’t like history all that much is because they see it as a boring record of wars and dates and outdated societies. I’ve always seen it as people, how they lived their lives, and how they reacted to and were shaped by the world into which they were assigned. Good storytelling places the reader in the moment, making them feel the danger, the meaning of consequences. With historical fiction you get all of that plus a telescopic view of a time and place with the customs, culture, dress, vernacular, attitudes, prejudices, and beliefs (including false beliefs) of a different time. Yet you still experience those timeless issues, like dealing with a traumatically-acquired handicap, or separation from loved ones.

7) Can you tell us some of the differences you see between self-pub and traditional?

Not very long ago there was a huge difference, but the gap is narrowing, I believe. The stigma of self-publishing is slowly disappearing as more accomplished authors who have studied the craft choose that route for publication. The up side is that the author controls all of the content, retains all the rights so there’s no seeking permission to do things with it (like having it turned into a play), and the title and cover they’ve chosen won’t be changed by some editor. As POD (print on demand), the book never goes out of print. The publisher I chose pays royalties monthly, which is practically unheard of. There are obvious down sides, including the fact the author pays to have the work published, although it doesn’t have to be nearly as expensive as you may have heard. The author has to do all of his/her own marketing and promoting. However, traditional houses are requiring more of that from their authors these days, so I’m not sure there’s much difference there. But with self-published books, it really is harder to get your foot in the door of bookstores, libraries, and other venues. Not impossible, just harder.

8) Can you tell us a little about your writing journey?

Many authors will tell you they knew from the time they could read “See Spot run,” or hold one of those fat pencils in their fingers, that they wanted to be a writer when they grew up. But I wasn’t particularly fond of writing when I was young. I was pretty good at it, though, and earned good grades in writing—and this was at schools that placed heavy emphasis on writing. But it wasn’t until I was in my thirties that the desire to write came over me, and it stemmed mostly from reading. Once my kids were all in school I began to read a lot more again, and was disappointed that stories didn’t move me the way they seemed to when I was a young reader. With the exception of Louis L’Amour and a few others, I felt let down by authors who I had hoped would take me away to other times and other worlds. So I thought I’d give it a go myself, and only then found out how very, very difficult it is to actually write a good story. Plus, I was living in Hawaii, married with four young children, and was working part time as an ICU nurse. I guess I figured, “No time like the present to start writing a novel!” So I studied the craft informally, and eventually decided to write with the goal of one day being published. It took about two decades for that to happen, although for some of that time my writing was placed on hold for one reason or another. I self-published my two historical love stories, True Colors and The Arrow That Flieth By Day, in 2006. And now Torn Veil Books published Refining Fires in July. I’m excited that it is out in both print and eBook formats, so both traditional, have-to-have-the-feel-of-the-book-in-my-hands readers and the more tech-minded, love-the-feel-of-an-electronic-device-in-my-hands readers will be satisfied.




REFINING FIRES BLURB:

A disfigured veteran. A ruined nurse. A tormented child. A kept woman. Strangers whose paths cross, bringing redemption into each other’s lives in ways none of them could have predicted.


Her career in ruins, a desperate nurse answers an ad to care for a disabled veteran.


Disfigured in the war, the antisocial businessman can’t get his mind off the nurse he

had tossed out of his home.


A young child who never leaves the confines of her mountain home must make a

treacherous journey alone to save her mother’s life.


A woman kept by men all her life learns through an old love that she has been kept

all along by Someone else.


Three parts. One amazing story.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Countryhouse Courtship Book Giveaway and Reader Survey


Welcome!

Today's blog is a little different. It's all about you and what you like. I love to do interviews with the many talented authors, but today I thought I'd like to spot-light my readers. I'd like to get some feedback from all of you. I'm interested in what you like to read and what you'd like to see change or stay the same. So here's a few questions. Leave a post with your answers and I'll enter you in a drawing for award-winning author, Linore Rose Burkard's The Countryhouse Courtship. Be sure to read Linore's answers at the bottom.



1) What do you like to read in historical romance?

a) Americana
b) European
c) a combination of both

2) In American setttings which do you prefer?

a) Eastern
b) Western
c) a combination of both

3) In European settings which do you prefer?

a) Victorian
b) Regency
c) Medieval
e) a combination of all three
f) a combination of these two ___ and ____

4) Would you like to see more Eastern American settings?

a) yes
b) no
c) doesn't matter

5) Would you like to see some Christian Medievals on the bookshelves?

a) yes
b) no
c) doesn't matter

6) What do you like about the books being written today?

7) What would you like to see changed or added to the Christian books that are out there now?




Here are Linore's answers.

1) What do you like to read in historical romance?
I like to read about history, so I don't only read romance when it comes to historicals. But I love practically any era in England or the US except early 20th century. I also love to read about the lives of monarchy, Napoleon, etc. but again, not contemporary leaders. I read anything from slave narratives to the life of Cahterine the Great. So--my answer would be:


a) Americana
b) European
c) a combination of both

2) In American setttings which do you prefer?

a) Eastern
b) Western
c) a combination of both

3) In European settings which do you prefer?

a) Victorian
b) Regency
c) Medieval
e) a combination of all three
f) a combination of these two ___ and ____

4) Would you like to see more Eastern American settings?

a) yes
b) no
c) doesn't matter

5) Would you like to see some Christian Medievals on the bookshelves?

a) yes
b) no
c) doesn't matter

6) What do you like about the books being written today?

The scope and humor are really entertaining, and I think the growing selection of genres and styles within the CBA make our books more and more appealing to people who are unchurched.


7) What would you like to see changed or added to the Christian books that are out there now?
Interesting question. It would be good if books weren't rushed through the publishing process in some cases, so that better editing could occur; but overall, I think we should acknowledge that the industry is constantly broadening and improving what it offers, and that's good for everyone.

Thanks for having me on your blog, Debbie Lynne!




Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Friday, August 16th.