Sunday, January 30, 2011

Two giveaways: Head in the Cloud and $10 Giftcard link




Welcome Karen Witemeyer




I'll be giving away a copy of Karen's book, Head in the Clouds. Leave a comment and be entered in the drawing.

Check below to learn how to win a $10 Barnes and Noble giftcard.


Karen Witemeyer is a deacon's wife who believes the world needs more happily-ever-afters. To that end, she combines her love of bygone eras with her passion for helping women mature in Christ to craft historical romance novels that lift the spirit and nurture the soul. Her debut novel, A Tailor-Made Bride, recently claimed honorable mention in the 2010 Best Western Romance contest. Karen makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children.


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

Right now, I am in my office at my day job (on break) and I am wearing business casual attire including a lovely chocolate brown fleece my husband gave me for Christmas to help keep my cold-natured self warm.

Did anyone inspire you to write?

No one specifically inspired me to write, although there were key people who I can look back with hindsight and see the influence that had on my dream—teachers, my mom, friends. But mostly, I would have to say that books—well-written, mind-transporting, sigh-inducing books—inspired me to write.

If you could meet any person alive or dead who would that be and why? (excluding the Lord)

Hmm…My grandfather recently visited and showed me the family tree he and his sister have been working on. They'd traced several branches back to the 1700s. Since my stories tend to be set in the 1880s, I think it would be fun to meet one of my female ancestors who was young and falling in love during that era. What was she wearing? Where did she and her beau go to be alone, and what were some of their favorite courting activities? I would listen to her spin yarns and glean everything I could from her.

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)

My wedding ring. Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I had to pick the item that represented my very own happily ever after.

A couple years ago, however, I lost the diamond from my ring. I was devastated. I scoured the house, the office, retraced my steps, all to no avail. It may sound a bit silly, but I prayed to find that diamond. Sure it could be replaced, but it wouldn't be the same. After a week with no diamond, though, I gave up hope. Then one morning, as I reached into the tissue box on my bathroom counter and pulled out a tissue, I heard a little tinkling sound as something hit the counter. I just knew that had to be my diamond. And it was! I had pulled countless tissues out of that box during the week, as had my children. But that morning, the diamond that had somehow fallen into the box, came sailing out again. God is so good! The diamond has been reset and every time I look at it, I appreciate not only my husband, but my God as well.

After reading A Tailor-Made Bride, I have to ask this because I have been sewing for thirty years. Do you sew?

Do I sew? Well . . . I know how to sew. I've made dresses, Halloween costumes, and even a quilt once upon a time, but I wouldn't call myself a seamstress. My Singer only comes out of the closet once every year or so. I have basic skills, but not much beyond that. My preferred needlework pastime is cross-stitch.

Head in the Clouds heroine had an interesting predilection to yellow. What made you give her this character trait?

Somehow it just seemed right for Adelaide. It fit her disposition and made her unique. However, when I dug deeper to discover her reasons for only wearing yellow, I found it was her way of honoring her father who had died when she was sixteen. My own daddy died when I was sixteen, so this tribute became very important to me as her character developed.

What kinds of emotions go through you when you are writing such a strong and heart wrenching scene?

There is a part of me that clinically analyzes the craft as I write to ensure that the sentence structure and style fit the emotion I am trying to generate in the scene. But for the most part, I put myself into my characters and imagine what I would be feeling. I live the scene through them. My heart pounds, my stomach quivers, and I do my best to bleed that onto the page.

What is something that very few people know about you?

This probably will not be terribly surprising, given my bent toward historical novels, but I love classic Hollywood films, especially the musicals. In fact Seven Brides for Seven Brothers sparked the idea for the new story I'm working on, tentatively titled Short-Straw Bride. There are only four brothers in my story instead of seven, and they're not all redheads nor do they sing and dance while they do their chores, but hopefully I can incorporate the adventurous, fun-loving spirit of the musical into what will be my fourth novel.


Head in the Clouds

When a recovering romantic goes to work for a handsome ranch owner, her heart’s not the only thing in danger.

Adelaide Proctor is a young woman with her head in the clouds, longing for a real-life storybook hero to claim as her own. But when a husband-hunting debacle leaves her humiliated, she interviews for a staid governess position on a central Texas sheep ranch and vows to leave her romantic yearnings behind.

When Gideon Westcott left his privileged life in England to make a name for himself in America's wool industry, he never expected to become a father overnight. And five-year-old Isabella hasn't uttered a word since she lost her mother. The unconventionality of the new governess concerns Gideon--and intrigues him at the same time. But he can't afford distractions. He has a ranch to run, a shearing to oversee, and a suspicious fence-cutting to investigate.

When Isabella's uncle comes to claim the child--and her inheritance--Gideon and Adelaide must work together to protect Isabella from the man's evil schemes. And soon neither can deny their growing attraction. But after so many heartbreaks, will Adelaide be willing to get her head out of the clouds and put her heart on the line?


Chance to win a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card here. Please stop over to Keli's blog for my very first interview. I'll be giving away a Barnes and Noble gift card.


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 Monday, Feb.14th. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Tender Reed by Teresa Slack Giveaway

Please welcome Teresa Slack to my blog. Teresa is giving away a copy of her book A Tender Reed. Leave a post to be entered in the drawing.

Be sure to stop back by my blog on January 31st to learn how to be entered to win a $10 gift card to Barnes and Noble.


Teresa Slack is the author of five novels. Her first novel, STREAMS OF MERCY, won the 2005 Bay Area Independent Publishers Association award for “Best First Fiction”. Her last novel, EVIDENCE OF GRACE, debuted nationwide at #18 according to Christian Retail Magazine. Her years working in early childhood education provided insight into the needs and nuances of young children, which she brings to life in her book A TENDER REED. She and her husband Ralph live in southern Ohio where she is at work on another novel.

Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth. Office converted from a spare bedroom. I’m wearing slipper socks, black sweats, a green turtleneck with a gray sweater over that. An outfit I would never wear in public, even at gunpoint.

Who's your one biggest fan/supporter of your writing? I have so many. Do I have to limit to just one? Of course my wonderful husband Ralph is my biggest encourager and fan. But I have so many others in my life who believe in me. My neighbor Bonnie is so sure I’m one submission away from outselling every other writer alive today. My good friend Tammy who is constantly amazed that I actually finished something I told her I would. My church family is wonderful. They pray for me constantly, lift me up, ask questions, eagerly await the next book, and encourage and support. But the support of my dad means the most. He told me recently he knows I’ll make it big someday. He just hopes he lives long enough to see it.

If you could be any character in any literary book who would you be and why? Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, except I wouldn’t want to live without flushing toilets and central air. Elizabeth was so confident in who she was, regardless of the restrictions society put upon her. She was her own person and didn’t compromise to please or fit into a mold. “Lizzie, dearest, your poise, tenacity and wit never ceases to inspire me.”

Are you or any close family members in the characters personalities? It’s no accident my books are littered with loud, bossy, brassy female characters. Everyone in the family is sure they know what inspired A TENDER REED. There may have been a little influence within the family, but the story was simply a product of my imagination. My husband is a big inspiration for my heroes. Occasionally he’ll say something that I can’t wait for my leading man to say. The first kiss between my hero and heroine in REDEMPTION’S SONG is eerily reminiscent to our first kiss.

Did anyone inspire you to write? Nearly every teacher I had since first grade told me I would someday write books. The one who encouraged me the most was my ninth grade English teacher, Cynthia Smith. She recognized something in me after the first or second paper I turned in, and wouldn’t stop pushing me to try harder.

Are you working on any projects right now? I have several novels stewing at various levels of completion. The first in a series of romantic suspense was requested by two publishers at the ACFW conference. It’s called UNLEASHED and is about a woman who runs a doggy daycare. Another one nearly ready to submit to my agent takes place during the Great Blizzard of 1978. During the worst blizzard in Ohio history an old man falls down a flight of stairs in a remote farmhouse and sets in motion a chain of events that will change a family forever.

If you could meet any person alive or dead who would that be and why? (excluding the Lord) Since I only have one choice I pick Helen Keller. I have always been fascinated by her. She was absolutely amazing. To think she accomplished so much in her life with her limitations it utterly unfathomable. I would ask her what it felt like the first time she realized every object had a name. I would want to know how she learned the meaning and nuances of abstract concepts like beauty, faith, and love. Whenever I think of something I take for granted every day of my life, I think of Helen and imagine what those things must have meant to her.

I would also like to meet James Cameron and ask him what he was thinking when he made AVATAR.


"Michelle is a 33-year-old never married nurse. She lives an uneventful, predictable life, but her calm exterior hides unresolved resentment and emotional insecurity. When Nicole, her irresponsible younger sister, abandons her two children in Michelle’s front yard, she’s forced to recall her own mother’s abandonment of her.

How Michelle faces her childhood demons while building a family with Nicole’s kids offers a thought-provoking examination of family relationships. The author deftly handles Michelle’s spiritual cynicism as she struggles to find acceptance and love.

Infused with humor and practical insights, A TENDER REED and its characters will capture the hearts of readers who love children, understand their challenges, and appreciate the many definitions of family." ——Susan Dunman, Aspiring Retail

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 Monday, Feb.7th. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Leave Me Never Giveaway by Connie Stevens



Welcome Connie! I'm glad to have you on my blog. Connie is giving away a copy of her new release, Leave Me Never. Leave a post to be entered in the drawing.
Be sure to stop back by my blog on January 31st to learn how to be entered to win a $10 gift card to Barnes and Noble.

Connie lives in north Georgia with John, her husband and best friend of 37 years. She and John are active in a variety of capacities in their home church. One cantankerous kitty, misnamed Sweet Pea, allows them to live in
her home. (John calls her Crabby Tabby.) Connie has been in love with crafting stories since high school, but she only began pursuing a writing career since 1995. Some of Connie’s favorite pastimes include reading, browsing antique shops, collecting teddy bears, and gardening. She also enjoys making quilts to send to the Cancer Treatment Center Of America. Visit Connie’s website and blog at
http://www.conniestevenswrites.com Look for Connie on Facebook.

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

I’m sitting at my desk in my office. Even though I use a laptop for writing and could take it to any room in the house, more often than not I still sit at my desk to work. I’m wearing blue jeans, a Marine Corps T-shirt, my son’s old hooded sweatshirt, and my favorite old comfortable shoes.

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

That’s a tough one. My husband, several members of my family, my critique group ladies—any of those people could fit that description, but I guess I’d have to say my husband. He gave me the sweetest gift for Christmas—he bought me a beautiful Cross pen for signing my books.

What is your favorite time period to write in?

19th century. I’ve written one contemporary just to see if I could… but I went right back to immersing myself in history.

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

My first impulse is to answer Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth didn’t knuckle under to the day’s propriety, and was more apt to answer Mr. Darcy with a quick-witted retort or poke a bit of humor into a conversation, because—in her own words—she dearly loved to laugh.

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

No. I was afraid one of my relatives would recognize themselves and cut me out of the will. (Just kidding J )

Did anyone inspire you to write?

I think the first person who ever inspired me to write was my sister, Pam. She wrote short stories when she was in high school, and I remember thinking how cool it was that she could create characters and make them come to life on the page. The second person who really encouraged me to write was my high school English teacher, Mrs. Furgason. She was my cheerleader.

If you could live in any time period when and where would that be and why?

In my imagination, I’d love to live in the 19th century, in a log cabin on a wooded mountainside overlooking a valley dotted with birch and hemlock trees. But when I come back to reality and remember I’d have to do without air-conditioning, a microwave, and a computer….never mind.

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

That’s another tough one. There are so many places I’ve never seen that I’d like to visit. One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen is the Canadian Rockies and I’d like to go back there again some day. But first, I think I’d like to see the Grand Tetons, the Cascades, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Glacier National Park. Since I live in the east, I have visited the Smokey Mountains, the Blue Ridge, Shenandoah Valley, and several other places along the Appalachian Range—and I love them. But I’d like to become more familiar with the western mountains.

If you could meet any person alive or dead who would that be and why? (excluding the Lord)

There is a person in the Bible who I’m looking forward to meeting some day. The Bible doesn’t name her except to call her “a certain woman” in the book of Mark, chapter 7, verses 24 through 30. Jesus had been ministering and preaching, and He was tired. Scripture says He entered a house (no doubt to rest) and wanted no one to know it. But the Bible says He could not be hidden because this woman would not be refused. She stopped at nothing to get to Jesus on behalf of her child. As a mother, I want to look into the eyes of another mother who loved her child so much nothing deterred her from entreating Jesus to heal her child.


LEAVE ME NEVER

DOES GOD KEEP HIS PROMISES?

Mama always said He did, but Tessa isn’t too sure. How many times did Mama tell her God would never leave her or forsake her? Yet…here she is, stuck in Willow Creek, Iowa, with no food, no money, no home, no job. No future. Mama is dead and Papa left in the night without a word of farewell. Where are God’s promises now? Maybe Papa was right, and she really is worthless—so worthless even God doesn’t care about her.

When Gideon meets Tessa and acts as a good Samaritan, he didn’t expect to find love. His own problems are overwhelming—his business is failing and his dreams look more doubtful by the minute. But he can’t get Tessa out of his mind. Maybe the promise to look to is that God works all things together for good for those who love Him—even when it seems like evil is winning.

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 Monday, January 31st. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Golden Keyes Parsons Where Hearts are Free book giveaway

Golden has generously offered to giveaway a copy of her book, Where Hearts are Free. If you would like to be entered in the drawing, please answer her question at the bottom of her interview by leaving a post. Thanks for stopping by!

GOLDEN KEYES PARSONS

Golden Keyes Parsons is a popular retreat and conference speaker and author of historical novels. Her book, “In The Shadow Of The Sun King,” (Thomas Nelson Publishing), first in a three-book series based on her family genealogy, released Fall 2008, and was named a finalist in the ACFW’s Book of the Year Debut Author category. Her second book, “Prisoner Of Versailles,” was released September 2009 and was named a finalist in RWA’s prestigious Daphne contest. The concluding book in the series, “Where Hearts Are Free” released September 2010.

Golden lives in Waco, TX, with her husband, Blaine. When she isn’t writing or speaking, she is busy with their three grown daughters, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren or attending sporting and alumnae events at Baylor University.

www.goldenkeyesparsons.com

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

I am in our family room in front of a fire in the fireplace. It is a rainy, drizzly, cold Sunday morning here in Central Texas. My husband and I stayed home from worship this morning as we are recovering from a virus and didn’t relish getting out in this weather. Frankly, after being in the pastorate for years and having to be at the church whether well or ill (and this was in the mountains in snow country), we are enjoying in our retirement being able to stay in when we want to. J

Oh, I have on sweat pants and a v-neck sweater.

What thing surprised you the most when you were researching your book?

I think the things that surprised me most about this particular time period (late 1600’s in the colony of Pennsylvania) was how loose morals were, sometimes of necessity. For example, a high percentage of women were already pregnant when they officially married, because they would have to wait for a circuit rider preacher to come into the area to do the ceremony. Many couples just made the commitment to each other and set up housekeeping. We think about the Puritans and their strict moral code, but not all the colonies adhered to that.

Which of your three books in the series would you say you liked writing the most and why?

Definitely the first one, “In The Shadow Of The Sun King.” It’s more straight historical fiction, and that’s what I really enjoy writing. I don’t mind adding a thread of romance, but I’d rather not have the story driven by the romance.

Do you have a favorite scene in this book and what would it be?

There are several scenes that I feel are good, tight, tension-building scenes. I like the scene between Philippe and Madeleine when he tells his mother that he’s going after Bridget despite her objections. And I like one of the final scenes where --- shall I give it away? Let’s just say that one of the secondary characters steps up and takes some surprising action to remedy a dire situation.

What one thing on your writing journey influenced your work the most?

I’m a member of CLASS, which is a speakers’ organization that trains speakers and writers. I can honestly say that I would not be published today had it not been for their encouragement and contacts.

What one novel did you read that made you want to be a part of the story?

Good question. I had to think about that one. I’m going to have to say this series, because it was about my literal ancestors. Although I wouldn’t want to have been persecuted and have to flee for my life for my religious beliefs, I would love to have been able to view firsthand the heroism of my ancestors. Louisa (Madeleine) actually landed in Philadelphia a widow—her husband was washed overboard along with all their money—with two sons whom she had to sell to pay for their passage. Leaving them in Philadelphia, she then went with the other ship’s passengers to central Pennsylvania and settled to wait for them to serve out their time. She remarried, purchased land for them, and they were eventually reunited. What a courageous woman!

What is something that very few people know about you?

I am legally blind in my left eye.

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)

The genealogy of my family which was published in 1907. I have an original, leather-bound copy.

So, I would like to hear about what novel your readers would like to be a part of? That question really made me think. Leave me a comment. J





Bridget is in love with one man, and promised to another. Amid the liberty and promise of the New World Bridget Barrington and Philippe Clavell fall in love. But nothing about their love seems possible.
To pay for the Clavell family's passage from France, Philippe, a former member of French royalty, worked as an indentured slave to the Barringtons. Bridget is the heiress of the prominent plantation.
When Bridget's parents discover the budding romance between their daughter and their servant they quickly orchestrate her engagement to an older, more advantageous match. But Edward Moorehead has a secret. And he's anything but a good match for Bridget.
Separated from her true love and in danger from her betrothed, Bridget must rely on God to deliver her from Darkness into Light.


Winners of The Blacksmith's Bravery- Judy and Charlotte
Winner of Harbor Hopes-Linda

Congratulations!

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 Monday, January 24th. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.