Monday, June 27, 2011

Book Giveaway for Margaret Brownley's A VISION OF LUCY

DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING by following my blog with Powered by FEEDBURNER on the right, and don't miss any giveaways (the button with the flame). If you already follow my blog go ahead and follow by FEEDBURNER so you can be entered twice. If you're not getting an email telling you I have a new giveaway you're not following through Feedburner. Just mention that you follow through Feedburner when you leave a comment with each giveaway and you'll be entered twice. 


Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this—except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction." So that’s what Margaret did. She now has more than 25 novels and novellas to her credit and has been published in 15 languages.  The first book in her Rocky Creek series A Lady Like Sarah was a 2010 Women of Faith selection, and Romance Writers of American RITA finalist.    She is currently at work on a new series for Thomas Nelson. Happily married to her real life hero, Margaret and her husband live in Southern California, and have three grown children. 

 Leave a comment to entered to win A Vision of Lucy by Margaret Brownley. This is a great book you don't want to miss reading. So if you don't win, I highly recommend you buy it. If you'd like to read my review, check out my May 20th blog post. Good Luck!
More Love and Laughter 
in the Old West 
 From Bestselling Author  
Margaret Brownley


Sage Advice from A VISION OF LUCY

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. For this reason a woman wishing to look appropriately domesticated for her Mail-order Bride photograph should wear an apron and wield a kitchen utensil (preferably not a rolling pin).


Say Cabbage

In 1850, Julia Shannon of San Francisco took the family portrait to new heights when she shockingly advertised herself as a daguerreotypist and midwife.  After reading about her I just had to write about a lady photographer.  Of course, the heroine of A Vision of Lucy doesn’t deliver babies but she still finds plenty of ways to get into trouble.

I loved writing about old time photography and have nothing but awe for the brave souls who first took camera in hand.  Not only did they contend with unwieldy equipment but also dangerous chemicals and exploding labs.

Women had an advantage over male photographers who were often confounded by female dress. This explains why one photographer advertised in 1861 for an assistant, “Who Understands the Hairdressing Business.”  Women also had a few tricks up their leg of mutton sleeves—or rather their skirts.  Elizabeth Withington invented a “dark thick dress skirt” to use as a developing tent when she traveled.   

Those cheerless faces in early photographs were partly due to vices that held heads still for long periods of time. Photographers used all sorts of devices to hold a client’s interest.  One even had a trained monkey. Another photographer had a canary that sang on command.  Mechanical birds were a favorite gimmick and “Watch the birdie” became a familiar refrain in studios across the country.

Magazines and newspaper ran ample advice for posing.  An 1877 edition of The Chicago Inter-Ocean advised women with large mouths to say the word “Flip,” although one photographer preferred the word “Prunes.” If a small mouth was the problem the word “Cabbage” would make it appear larger.

Not everyone was enamored with cameras.  One dog owner put up a sign warning “photographers and other tramps to stay away” after his dog had an unfortunate run-in with a tripod.

Did photography have a bearing on the suffragette movement?  Indeed, it did, but it appeared to be more of a detriment than a help.  The photographs of militant suffragettes or women dressed in bloomers did more harm than good.
 
If you think America was tough on suffragettes, think again. The women’s rights movement was considered the biggest threat to the British Empire.  According to the National Archives the votes-for-women movement became the first "terrorist" organization subjected to secret surveillance photography in the world. 
           
Photography has come a long way since those early daguerreotype days.  One can only imagine what the brave souls of yesteryear would think of today’s “aim and click” cameras.  Now days you can’t even drive down the street without having your picture taken. But as Lucy would say, Never leave the house unless you’re ready for your close up.

Speaking of photography, my publisher is running a “Vision of Funny” photograph contest with prizes.  To enter go to margaretbrownleybooks facebook page and click on “Contests” under the book image. I think you also have to do something silly like click the “like” button. (just be sure you do it with a smile.) Hurry, contest ends July 13th.


   Trouble may follow Lucy wherever she goes, so does a vision of second chances.

Lucy Fairbanks dreams of working as a photographer at the Rocky Creek newspaper. If she can earn money making photographs, then maybe her father will see that what she does is worthy, more than just a distraction. And her deepest hope is that he’ll see her as an artist, the way he thought of her deceased mother, whose paintings still hung on their walls.

But trouble follows Lucy on every photo shoot: a mess of petticoats and ribbons, an accidental shooting, even a fire.

When Lucy meets David Wolf—a quiet, rustic man who lives on the outskirts of town—she thinks she can catch the attention of the town with his photograph. She doesn’t count on her feelings stirring whenever she’s near him.

Two things happen next that forever change the course of Lucy’s life. But will these events draw her closer to God or push her further away. And how will David accept this new version of Lucy?

Congratulations to Ann winner of The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y'Barbo.
 
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, July 11th.






Monday, June 20, 2011

Giveaway for Roseanna White's JEWEL OF PERSIA

DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING by following my blog with Powered by FEEDBURNER on the right, and don't miss any giveaways (the button with the flame). If you already follow my blog go ahead and follow by FEEDBURNER so you can be entered twice. If you're not getting an email telling you I have a new giveaway you're not following through Feedburner. Just mention that you follow through Feedburner when you leave a comment with each giveaway and you'll be entered twice.

 
Roseanna M. White, author of A Stray Drop of Blood, makes her home in the mountains of Western Maryland with her husband, two small children, and the colony of dust bunnies living under her couch. After graduating from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, she and her husband founded the Christian Review of Books, where she is the editor. She is a member of ACFW, HisWriters, Biblical Fiction Writers, and HEWN Marketing.

Roseanna is graciously giving away a copy of A Stray Drop of Blood or Jewel of Persia. It is the winner's choice and it can be either digital or paper back. Leave a comment to be entered!

Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.
I'm in my living room, curled up cross-legged in my chair, laptop on the end table in front of me, wearing my jammies.
What thing surprised you the most when you were researching your book?
There was a lot I didn't know about the Persian culture, so that was surprise upon surprise. But aside from the utter wealth of the Persian kings, the aspect of it that surprised me the most was how modern they were in many of their ideals. Persia, though a monotheistic society, practiced religious tolerance; more interesting still was their treatment of women. Though you might not expect it of polygamists, Persia was very fair with women, often paying them twice the wage a man would make for the same job so they could support their children, and giving a year's maternity leave. How cool is that??
Many writers will say they see stories all around them. Is there someplace you found this story?
Um . . . the shower? LOL. That's where the idea struck, as I was trying to figure out a new take on my all-time favorite Bible story—Esther.
Do you have a favorite scene in this book and what would it be?
My favorite scenes are from what I've come to term “The Day of Darkness”--a documented day in Persian history when the sun was blotted out and it became black as night. These folks knew their astronomy, and it wasn't an eclipse, or heavy clouds. In trying to figure out how to include this strange phenomena in my story, I was led into a spiritual side to the tale that I hadn't realized would be there, and that really deepened my characters as I wrote it.
What is something that very few people know about you?
I hate traveling. I love being new places, but the process of getting there usually gives me migraines. I really, really wish it didn't—I have a cross-country flight coming up in August. ;-)
If you could visit any place in the world where would you go and why?
This answer changes weekly. =) Lately, it's Sicily. My family's former foreign exchange student is living there now, and he keeps torturing us with awesome pictures of the Sicilian countryside, trying to convince us to come for a visit. I'd really love to oblige him! I've always loved Italy (my hubby's half Italian, by the way), and I would so adore the chance to experience the centuries of history there, and see the amazing landscapes.
What was the greatest thing you learned in school?
The power of a good story. =) I had a slew of awesome teachers in my early education who all encouraged my writing and pointed me in the direction of great literature. And so it was a natural step for me to go to St. John's College, known as the Great Books School. There, I learned the value of asking the right questions and how to read, not just to see what an author thinks, but to figure out what I think about it.
What is most unusual, funny or interesting thing you have learned when doing research?
That a bad winter nearly destroyed the peace with England following the Revolution. The delegates couldn't get to the capital to ratify the Treaty of Paris, and the founding fathers were prepared to get sneaky and underhanded to guarantee King George didn't renege. Thankfully, it all worked out, LOL.
What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
Hmm, this is a tough one. I just got a box of really old books from my grandmother that I'm totally in love with, and I have some family jewelry that's really special to me. But I think one of my favorites has to be the old oil lamp I got from my great-grandfather. He collected them, restored them, converted some to electric. This one, though, is Civil War era and totally gorgeous. It has a place of honor on the buffet in front of my living room windows. =)
How can she love the king of kings without forsaking her Lord of lords?

Kasia grew up in a poor Jewish home with more siblings than luxuries. But when a chance encounter forces her to the palace of Xerxes, she becomes a concubine to the richest man in the world. She alone, of all Xerxes' wives, loves the man beneath the crown. She alone, of all his wives, holds the heart of the king of kings.

Traveling with Xerxes through Europe as he mounts a war against Greece, Kasia knows enemies surround her, but they’re not the Spartans or Athenians. The threat lies with those close to the king who hate her people. She determines to put her trust in Jehovah–even if it costs her her marriage.

Years of prayers are answered when Kasia's childhood friend arrives at the palace after the war, but even as she determines to see Esther crowned in place of the bloodthirsty former queen, she knows the true battle is far from over. How far will her enemies go to see her undone?

Combining the biblical account of Esther with Herodotus's Histories, Jewel of Persia is the story of a love that nearly destroys an empire . . . and the friendship that saves a nation.

CONGRATULATIONS JO! Winner of The Wedding Season by Louise Gouge

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, July 4th.