Monday, April 25, 2011

Giveaway for TO WIN HER HEART by Karen Witemeyer

 WELCOME KAREN! SO HAPPY TO HAVE YOU BACK!
LEAVE A POST AND ANSWER ONE OF KAREN'S QUESTIONS AT THE BOTTOM TO BE ENTERED IN THE DRAWING!! AND MAKE SURE YOU READ ABOUT HER CONTEST!

Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance fiction for Bethany House and was recently named a RITA® Finalist in the category of Best First Book for her debut novel, A Tailor-Made Bride. She loves to watch movies (even those not inspired by true stories), cross-stitch, and eat chocolate chip ice cream. Karen makes her home in Abilene, Texas with her hunky, computer nerd husband and their three children. To Win Her Heart is her third novel.


Karen Witemeyer has a fun announcement about a new contest she is sponsoring on her website. It is open to any writer or reader who would care to try their hand at fan fiction. In conjunction with the release of her latest novel, To Win Her Heart, she is inviting readers to write an epilogue for two of her secondary characters - Duncan and Chloe.
 
Entries will be judged on creativity, trueness of character, and the sigh factor – how much she enjoys the ending you create for this pair who stole her heart during the writing of Levi and Eden's story, and who deserve a fitting happily ever after of their own.
 
And she is giving away some great prizes, too.
 
$40.00 Amazon Gift Card
Your fan fiction piece published on her website
An autographed copy of any one of her books - winner's choice
 
The contest will run from now until the end of June. And the winner will be announced no later than July 15th.
 
Anyone can enter. Full guidelines are available on her website. http://www.karenwitemeyer.com/contest.php
 
Inspired By Actual Events

My husband always gives me a hard time when I get excited about a movie trailer that has the catch phrase, "Based on a True Story" or "Inspired by Actual Events". He rolls his eyes and moans while I perk up and move to the edge of my seat. I can't explain it, but there is something about the knowledge that this story was based on real people and events that adds another layer of enjoyment to the experience for me.

When I write, my characters are strictly products of my imagination. However, if I stumble upon an element in my research that allows me to weave threads of actual history into my stories, I get that same little thrill of excitement as when I see those movie trailers. My plots aren't in any way based on true stories, but every once in a while, a story element comes to life that I can honestly say was inspired by actual events. That happened for me in my latest release, To Win Her Heart.

My hero, Levi Grant, enters the story after spending two years in Huntsville State Prison for an unintentional crime. He is a large, muscled man and was put to work in the labor camps breaking rock at a granite quarry. The abusive camp sergeants he faced there left him with scars inside and out, but the compassion of a prison chaplain helped him rebuild his faith and rededicate his life to serving the Lord. Upon his release, he takes up his father's blacksmithing trade and tries to create a fresh start by keeping his past a secret. Now, as the author, I couldn't allow this secret to stay hidden forever. So I began looking for ways to expose my hero's past. And I found the perfect solution in my time period research. 

(Top Picture) Texas Capital as it appeared in 1875
(Bottom Picture)  Texas Capital after the fire of 1881
In 1881, the Texas Capitol building was destroyed by fire. The Texas Legislature decided that when they rebuilt, they would use only materials native to the state. They initially chose limestone, as there was a quarry near Austin, but when iron particles in the rock led to discoloration, they elected red granite instead. The granite was obtained from Granite Mountain in 1885, and to cut costs, the state contracted convict labor for breaking the stone. The use of free—or almost free—convict labor in the quarries, however, was seen as an attempt by the state to undermine unionized labor and was opposed by virtually every organized labor group in Austin. Hence, word spread throughout the region about the controversial labor force.

This historical event allowed me to supply Levi with quarry experience during his incarceration (breaking rock at Granite Mountain), but with a project that was so well known for using convict labor, that it could easily expose his past should anyone learn of his involvement. And, of course, someone does. History provided me the perfect scenario.
So no, To Win Her Heart, is not based on a true story. But yes, there are some aspects of the setting and character development that were inspired by actual events.
                 

 How about you? Are you inspired by books and movies that are based on real people and situations? Which true story movies are your favorites? Some of mine include Apollo 13 and Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken.Unstoppable, and the new Christian film, Soul Surfer looks good, too. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of To Win Her Heart. I'm still waiting to see Unstoppable, and the new Christian film, Soul Surfer looks good, too. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of To Win Her Heart.


           To Win Her Heart

A blacksmith with a criminal past. A librarian with pacifist ideals. Do they have a fighting chance at finding love?

Having completed his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father’s knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past. But small towns leave little room for secrets. . . .

Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she steels herself against the attraction he provokes. His halting speech and hesitant manner leave her doubting his intelligence. Yet as the mysteries of the town’s new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.

Levi’s renewed commitment to his faith leads Eden to believe she’s finally found a man of honor and integrity, a man worthy of her love. But when the truth about his prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian’s affections?

Thanks, Karen, for that wonderful tidbit! I love history. Thank you for being on my blog!

CONGRATULATIONS Charity. You won The Sheriff's Sweetheart by Laura Kingery.
 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, May 9th.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Giveaway for REVEALING FIRE by Connie Stevens

Welcome Connie Stevens to my blog! She has kindly offered to give away her new book REVEALING FIRE to some lucky commenter. So be sure to leave a comment!

Connie Stevens lives within sight of the north Georgia mountains—her favorite place on earth. She and her husband of nearly thirty-eight years, John, are active in a variety of capacities in their church. One cantankerous kitty, misnamed Sweet Pea, allows Connie and John to live in her home. When Connie isn’t writing, she is reading, planting flowers, browsing antique shops, and collecting teddy bears. She enjoys making quilts to send to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Connie’s debut novel, LEAVE ME NEVER, was released in January. REVEALING FIRE is her second book. Visit Connie’s website and blog at www.conniestevenswrites.com




Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth. I’m in my office and I’m wearing jeans and a Marine Corps T-shirt.


      What thing surprised you the most when you were researching your book? I don’t know if this qualifies as “surprising”, but the most interesting thing to me in my research for REVEALING FIRE was the information I found about the history of music boxes and the intricate detailing that went into tuning them to achieve a certain scale of notes.


       Many writers will say they see stories all around them. Is there someplace you found this story? This story came to me as I was writing the story that preceded it. The main characters in REVEALING FIRE were minor characters in the first book of this series, LEAVE ME NEVER. I so fell in love with Miss Pearl and Hubert I had to give them their own story.


      Do you have a favorite scene in this book and what would it be? There are several scenes that I enjoyed writing. One depicts Pearl sitting on the side of the bed listening to the silver music box Hubert gave her, struggling with a difficult decision. Another is a scene between Hubert and his son showing them sharing their faith. I can’t really tell more than that without giving away part of the story.


      Did anyone inspire you to write or was this something you always wanted to do? My high school English teacher, Mrs. Furgason. She always told me to “follow my dream”, but for a long time I didn’t. When I finally started writing seriously I dug out my old high school yearbook, cut out Mrs. Furgason’s picture from the faculty page, and put it in a little frame on my desk with the words, “Follow your dream”.


      If you could be any character in any literary book who would you be and why?  I love Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. She’s such a strong woman in an era when most women were considered weak and helpless. Her tenacity and the way she stands up for herself makes me smile, but the way she boldly retorts to Mr. Darcy’s haughty criticism makes me laugh.


      What is something that very few people know about you? I love to work in my garden. But because I’m allergic to beestings (and I’m terrified of bees and wasps) I go out and work in the garden when it’s raining, because bees don’t fly in the rain. Of course, the neighbors think I’m nuts…


What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)  My son’s quilt. From the time he was first born I sewed nearly all of his clothes, and I saved scraps of material from everything I ever made for him—little sunsuits, overalls, shorts, pants, jackets, curtains for his room. I saved these leftover pieces of fabric with the intention of making a quilt for him whenever he married. In 2005, he was diagnosed with cancer. It was time to make the quilt. I gave it to him for Christmas that year. He died three weeks later. That quilt—though not the best quilt I ever made—is priceless.

Thank you for being on my blog, Connie. 



Pearl Dunnigan is in her September years, well beyond the age when most women fall in love. She married her childhood sweetheart years ago. Now as a widow, she operates the only boardinghouse in Willow Creek, Iowa, and is content with life . . . until Hubert dares to convince her to dream again.

During Hubert Behr’s youth, blind ambition and careless actions destroyed his family and his marriage. Have the lessons he’s learned since then made him worthy of a second chance, or has his past made him unsuitable for love? Hubert is willing to try again, but what will Pearl say when she learns his secrets?

Hubert’s estranged son arrives in town, and his anger and scorn threaten to undo Hubert’s and Pearl’s plans. When all the truth is revealed, will their love be destroyed or refined by fire?



Congratulations to Debra, winner of Louise Gouge's AT THE CAPTAIN'S COMMAND.


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, May 2nd.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Book Giveaway for Laurie Kingery's THE SHERIFF'S SWEETHEART


Please welcome Laurie Kingery to my blog. Leave a post for a chance to win her new release, The Sheriff's Sweatheart.

Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth. *My office, and I’m wearing my hospital scrubs.

Do you think birth order affects the way you write? *I don’t know—I’m an only child. It certainly made it necessary to learn to amuse myself, which I did by reading, and then writing stories, so I suppose it did influence my love of writing.

What was the greatest thing you learned in school? *That I could tell stories, and that not everyone could, or even wanted to. Second greatest is grammar and spelling, then history.

What is the hardest part in writing a story? *The middle. I know how it’s going to start and how it will end, but not how they will get there. I wish I could dismiss that with a sentence in the synopsis I have to write for my editor—“and then stuff happens…”

If you were writing a book about your life what would the title be? *Third Time’s the Charm.

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, computer, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair) *My Ipad, followed closely by my Ipod. I’ve become gadget girl in middle age.

What is something that very few people know about you? *That I sold my very first manuscript. Don’t worry, I got rejections later…


And Simpson Creek, Texas, is the perfect place to do it. On the run from his dangerous past, Sam Bishop is happy to find a town seeking "marriage-minded bachelors." A wealthy wife is just what he needs to make his gambling problems disappear. But when Prissy Gilmore catches Sam's eye, she proves to be much more than a rich match. Sam wants to deserve her, wants to become sheriff and protect her hometown--wants to be the man she believes him to be. Yet the true test is waiting, when his past returns to challenge his future."

Win a $10 gift card to Amazon. I'm being interviewed. Leave a post and be entered to win! Three chances!

CONGRATULATIONS CARRIE. YOU WON MARYLU TYNDALL'S new release!

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, April 25th.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Giveaway for Louise Gouge's AT THE CAPTAIN'S COMMAND

Please welcome my friend Louise Gouge to my blog. Louise is giving away a copy of her new release, AT THE CAPTAIN'S COMMAND, so be sure to leave a comment to be entered.

Award-winning Florida author Louise M. Gouge writes historical fiction, calling her stories “threads of grace woven through time.” In addition to numerous other awards, Louise is the recipient of the prestigious Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award for her 2005 novel, Hannah Rose. With her great love of history and research, Louise loves to visit museums and travel to her stories’ settings to ensure accuracy. She has been married to David Gouge for 46 years. They have four grown children and six grandchildren. She earned her BA in English/Creative Writing at the University of Central Florida in Orlando and her Master of Liberal Studies degree at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. Louise is also an adjunct professor of English and Humanities at Valencia Community College in Kissimmee, Florida.



Hi, Debbie Lynne. Thank you for inviting me to your blog. I’d like to share with your readers the inspiration for my Revolutionary War series: Love Thine Enemy (2009), The Captain’s Lady (2010), and At the Captain’s Command (April 5, 2011), all published in Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historical line.

As a proud American whose ancestors helped to establish this nation, I love to look back at the struggles the colonists had in deciding whether to join the Revolution or remain loyal to the English Crown. While this decision may seem obvious for us today, it required careful consideration on the part of those living in that momentous period of history. After all, attempting to break away from the world’s most powerful nation would not be easy AND it had never been done. In fact, many European nations scoffed at the idea. Clearly, such a move would require a war, which in turn would result in severe losses, even death, for the ragtag army of volunteers who fought against the well-armed, well-disciplined, red-coated regiments of the Crown.

So what reasons could be so compelling as to drive the colonists, as a group and as individuals, to sever ties with England? I didn’t have to look far to find the answer. Every semester, I have my freshman English students read the Declaration of Independence. Without fail, as I read it to refresh my own mind, I get goose bumps thinking about all that my ancestors stood ready to sacrifice so that they might be free. Rather than recite here what it says, let me give you a challenge. If you haven’t read this historic, world-changing document, why not find it online and take a look at why the signers (and countless Patriots) were willing to risk their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to create a new nation. It’s a five minute read, and I guarantee you’ll feel shivers of awe and appreciation.

Beyond my real-life appreciation for the Declaration, I also found in it inspiration for my fictional Revolutionary War stories, each of which features this document as a motivation for the various decisions my characters make. In the first two books, my hero and heroine are on opposite sides in the War, which always makes for great conflict in a romance novel. For the third book, just to be different, I have a hero and heroine on the same side. Not only that, but both are on the British side! That was certainly a case of writing from a different point of view for this author, but it was also great fun. Let me tell you a little bit about the story.

In At the Captain’s Command, a heroic British naval captain, son of an influential British earl, dares to fall in love with a provincial American girl. Then he discovers her family's devastating secret. Loyal to the British Crown, orphaned Dinah Templeton has vowed never to marry a seafaring man, for her father died at sea and her merchant captain brother is always away. But when Captain Thomas Moberly sails into St. Augustine to defend the East Florida shores from American pirates, Dinah finds that her heart may overrule her head regarding this seafarer. Captain Thomas Moberly, captain of HMS Dauntless, has been assigned to capture the notorious American pirate Nighthawk, who plagues the Atlantic coast of East Florida. War-weary and hoping for a refreshing visit with his brother and sister, who live near St. Augustine, Thomas never expects to find love. But how can he resist the lovely Miss Templeton, even though she is what his father, Lord Bennington, would call a common American?

Come along with me on this adventure! You’ll be glad you did. Then let me know what you think. My website and contact information are http://blog.Louisemgouge.com. Come on over and visit me! You can purchase all the books in this series at amazon.com, cbd.com, and barnesandnoble.com, and in person at Walmart.

It's not to late to enter to win MaryLu Tyndall's new release. Stop by last weeks interview for a chance to win her book, too.

Congratulations Lisa! You won A GENTLEMAN'S HOMECOMING by Ruth Axtell Morren.


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, April 18th. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.