Monday, May 28, 2012

Spring Hope by Martha Rogers Ends June 4th


Martha’s book credits include the novella, Sugar and Grits and A River Walk Christmas, as well as the historical romance series, Winds Across the Prairie. She had also written seven Bible studies, contributed to compilations by Wayne Holmes, Karen O’Conner, and Debbie White Smith. Martha has also written devotionals in several anthologies including recently released Blissfully Blended, Devotionals for Step-moms from Barbour. Martha is currently working on another series, Seasons of the Heart. Book one, Summer Dream, will released in the summer of 2011. Martha sings in the choir at her church and is a co-leader for a First Place 4 Health group. She loves to scrapbook when she has the time. She is a retired teacher and lives in Houston with her husband, Rex where they enjoy spending time with their grandchildren and attending football and baseball games when one of them is playing.

Viva La Difference
Authors are such unique individuals. We all may think alike as far as our writing skills and knowledge are concerned, but when it comes to topics and styles, we all have our own way of doing things. Some are plotters, planners, and organizers. Others of us are Pantsters and don’t know the whole story until we write it. Those who write mystery, suspense or thrillers have their own way of thinking and keeping their readers on edge until the end. We have gentle, sweet, romance writers who have conflict, but it doesn’t blow up in our face. We have a limited number of true plot ideas from which to draw, but how we present that plot is as varied as the personalities of the authors who write them.
I envy those who can write mystery, suspense, speculative and fantasy. That’s just not me, but I enjoy reading those genres. Perhaps that’s because I don’t feel I am competing with them for a reader base. I want my stories to touch the hearts of my readers as they watch the lives of my characters grow and evolve in their relationships with each other and with the Lord.
The libraries and bookstores are full of books for every kind of reading tastes. If you can’t find something you would enjoy reading, you just haven’t looked hard enough.
Each of us writes with our own style and voice, and that’s how it should be. Being true to ourselves in our writing is what makes our writing sincere and keeps it moving. It also builds our fan base if we strive for excellence in our writing. When the quality of our writing stays true to our voice and style, our readers won’t be disappointed.
So many times we may wonder if that first book was a fluke and if everyone will hate the next one and the one after that. As long as God is helping us write, and we rely on Him to supply us with the stories, we will not disappoint.
With ten books under my belt and five more contracted, my greatest concern is that the quality will diminish the more I write. I’ve seen it so often in the secular world, but only a few times in CBA authors. Later books by well known, best-selling authors sometimes lose the pizzazz of the first few and the plots and outcomes become much too predictable. That’s what I hope I can overcome and write so that each book keeps getting better rather than predictable.
With my newest release, Spring Hope, I drew on a personal experience that was painful at the time it happened. Each revision drew me deeper into my feelings until my hero truly agonized with the same type decision I had to make almost thirty years ago.
Of course in romance there has to be some predictability in the hero and heroine resolving all issues and coming together at the end, but the journey to that end must be exciting and keep the reader turning the pages to find out how the two will finally be together.  
What do you do to make sure each book is as good as or even better than the previous one, especially in a series?

Libby Cantrell’s life has gone from bad to worse since her mother’s death. With an abusive father, and life in a brothel, she sees no hope for her future until she gains the courage to make her escape one cold winter night.

When she arrives exhausted, hungry, and ill in Portersfield, Texas, Sheriff Cory Muldoon finds her in an alley and takes her to a doctor. Against Cory’s better judgment, Seth and Erin Winston take her in and offer her a job as a nanny for their young son. As a minister, Seth sees it as his duty to take care of the young woman. As a deputy, Cory sees it as his duty to find out the truth about her even as he is attracted to the waif of a young woman. An unexpected late winter storm and an accident at the river brings the two of them even closer.   

As his love for her grows and winter becomes spring, will he be able to accept her as she is now and truly forget and forgive her sordid past?

Set in the late 1800s, Seasons of the Heart weaves together the stories of four women whose great faith make a difference in the lives of the men they love. The series moves from Connecticut to Texas as it follows the lives of these women and their families as they find true love and bond in friendship only God could orchestrate.  

Martha Rogers is the author of Becoming Lucy; Morning for Dove; Finding Becky; Caroline’s Choice; Not on the Menu, a part of a novella collection with DiAnn Mills, Janice Thompson, and Kathleen Y’Barbo; and River Walk Christmas, a novella collection with Beth Goddard, Lynette Sowell, and Kathleen Y’Barbo. A former schoolteacher and English instructor, she has a master’s degree in education and lives with her husband in Houston, Texas.

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.
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,  June 4th . Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Heart's Safe Passage and Lady in the Mist by Laurie Alice Eakes Ends May 28th

Laurie Alice Eakes used to lie in bed as a child telling herself stories so she didn't wake anyone else up.  Sometimes she shared her stories with others; thus, when she decided to be a writer, she surprised no one. In the past three years, she has sold six books to Baker/Revell, five of which are set during the Regency time period, four books to Barbour Publishing, as well as two novellas to Barbour Publishing and one to Baker/Revell. Seven of her books have been picked up by Thorndike Press for large print publication, and Lady in the Mist, her first book with Revell, was chosen for hardcover publication with Crossings Bookclub. She also teaches on-line writing courses and enjoys a speaking ministry that has taken her from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast. Laurie Alice lives in Texas with her husband, two dogs and two cats, and is learning how to make tamales.

I'm very happy to have my dear friend, Laurie Alice back with me this week. Laurie Alice is sharing from her heart today. If you ever wondered why her novels are so moving, your question is about to be answer. If you haven't read any of her books, you need to put her on your HAVE TO READ list! One book and she'll have you hooked. Laurie Alice is generously giving away two books this week (your choice of print or e-book), a copy of A Heart's Safe Passage and a copy of Lady in the Mist. Answer the question, How has a novel you've read helped you in your spiritual walk? Or leave a comment to be entered. Let me know if you are a follower for a second entry and don't forget to leave your email address so I know how to contact you should you win. Good Luck!
The Writing of a Heart

Recently, someone said that a writer should be able to produce a romance novel in one to two months. Don’t we wish—or not. Writing the heart of our characters takes time and thought, and exactly the right words.

The weird thing about being a writer is that it is a solitary profession in which we write about people and the human condition; i.e., emotions like love and distaste; antagonism and hope; rage and yearning. Although one would hope that no writer has faced the difficult situations into which she has set her characters, a few have, and, ironically, that makes writing the scene all that much worse.

Writing from personal experience is risky. I put a lot of personal stuff into a novel once and had an editor tell me I didn’t know what I was talking about. Sigh. I knew that I knew a whole lot more than she did in this particular situation, but was helpless to tell her so.

So when I started writing Heart’s Safe Passage, I didn’t want to write a background for Phoebe I knew the story demanded me to write. It meant digging deep into my soul, my spirit, the very heart of my being to dredge up memories.

No, I was never locked in a room to keep me from going out with friends. Not exactly. I never had things happen to me that happened to Phoebe, which I won’t say here so as not to create spoilers. Yet I understand from the places inside me that matter, what emotions Phoebe needed to feel.

When I was young enough to think it didn’t matter, and old enough to know better, I got involved with someone who dragged me away from my faith and from myself. By the time I managed to extricate myself from that period in my life, thanks to the last words to me of a dying friend, the prayers of my parents, and, yes, Christian fiction, I knew how to walk the appearance of a godly woman, say the right things, do the right things, while buried beneath my veneer  of spiritual renewal, my spirit ached like a tooth that looks just fine, but has a cavity deep inside at the root.

Ironically, I had long since forgiven him and held no enmity toward the person who hurt me. I had long since moved on, married, launched my writing career. And yet, as I wrote Phoebe’s story in Heart’s Safe Passage, I dug deep enough into my heart to write down what was going on in Phoebe’s, and found my own buried secrets and spiritual issues needing healing, God’s love, and, above all, self-forgiveness.

Yes, this is the theme of my midwives books—self forgiveness. As I began writing of the hearts of women, strong, independent, courageous women, in this series, I realized that accepting God’s forgiveness, though not always easy, is far easier than accepting the forgiveness of ourselves. We bully ourselves. We beat ourselves up. We call ourselves fat, stupid, ugly, and often act like self-deprecation is amusing. Yet Mark 11:25 says, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

I had to come to realize that “anyone” includes myself.

This is my story—or part of it—that I made a lot of bad choices. God has forgiven me; therefore, I am required to do nothing less.

This is Phoebe’s story—she made choices mainly because of social pressure of her day and standing in the community. God forgave her, but the events that follow because of how she has not forgiven herself are a thread that runs through the swashbuckling romance of the story until she finds her Heart’s Safe Passage home.

 One woman takes the treacherous journey toward redemption . . . and love.All Phoebe Lee wants out of life is to practice midwifery in Loudon County, Virginia. But when she refuses to accompany her pregnant sister-in-law to help save her husband from an English prison during the War of 1812, Phoebe finds herself pressed aboard a British privateer.

Captain Rafe Docherty promises to get Phoebe's brother-in-law out of prison in exchange for information Rafe needs to exact revenge on the man who destroyed his family. As he realizes his attraction to Phoebe, she determines to get ashore before her patient goes into labor--and before her own heart is in danger. But an enemy in their midst threatens to end their plans--and their very lives.


 By virtue of her profession as a midwife, Tabitha Eckles is the keeper of many secrets. Dominick Cherrett is a man with his own secret to keep: namely, why he, a British aristocrat, is on American soil working as an indentured servant.

In a time when relations between America and England rest on the edge of a knife, Tabitha and Dominick cross paths, leading them on a journey of intrigue, threats, public disgrace, and . . . love. But can Tabitha trust Dominick? Finding true love seems impossible in a world set against them.

 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.

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 28thh. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mary's Blessing by Lena Nelson Dooley ends May 21st

Award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley, has more than 690,000 books in print. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers http://www.acfw.com/ and the local chapter, DFW Ready Writers. She’s a member of Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

It's good to have you back on my blog again, Lena. Lena is giving away a copy of Mary's Blessings to one blessed winner. Leave a comment or answer one of the questions she asks to be entered to win. And as always, don't forget to let me know if you're a follower so you get a second entry and leave your email addy so I can contact you if you win. Good luck!

  Of Great Importance in My Writing Life

One of the most important things in this author’s life is my readers. I love all of you. Hearing from you is a high point of my day. Even if you didn’t like some aspect of my book, I like to hear from you. I want to connect with you in every way I can. And you can find me on a lot of online venues—Facebook, Twitter, Shoutlife, Pinterest, Goodreads, my blog, and my web site.

I’m really interested in book clubs and reading groups. I enjoy connecting with you through the electronic technology of telephone calls or Skype video. I’m happy to answer questions about the stories, why I wrote them, and any other question you may have.

My newest series McKenna’s Daughters. The heroines were born on one of the last wagon trains on the Oregon Trail. Their mother died giving birth, and because of the circumstances, they were separated. It’s not until they are about eighteen years old that they learn they have two sisters. And the desire to find their sisters is strong in each of them.

Books one and two are stand alone novels, which can be read in any order. But you’ll probably want to read book one and two before book three releases in January 2012.

Maggie’s Journey released in October 2011. I’ve heard from a lot of readers. Many of they have been adoptees. They were interested in that aspect of the book, which was set in1885 in Washington Territory. Maggie journey took her to Little Rock, Arkansas, by train.

Maggie had grown up the spoiled daughter in a wealthy family. She had no idea she was adopted. Most people were intrigued by the way she found out. One Christian reviewer put Maggie’s Journey on her Top Books of 2011 list.

Mary’s Blessing is releasing May 15, 2012. Mary has always known she was adopted, but because her mother died when she was eleven years old, no one told her the circumstances. That information really affected her when she found out. Her mother had called her God’s Blessing, but she didn’t feel like anyone’s blessing. Her spiritual and romantic journey intertwine in an interesting and surprising way.

If you didn’t get a chance to read book one, we’ll give away a copy to one lucky (or I should say blessed) reader.

Have you ever let an author know when something in a book bothered you?

Have you ever contacted an author and let that person know how much their book meant to you?

In either case, what happened?


Featured Book:
Author: Lena Nelson Dooley
Title: Mary’s Blessing
Series: McKenna’s Daughters Series, Book 2
ISBN: 978-1-61638-617-7
Publisher: Realms

“Lena Nelson Dooley paints a vivid picture of all the tragedies and triumphs of nineteenth-century life. The charming characters, godly themes, and tender love story will leave you wanting more and eagerly awaiting her next book.—Margaret Brownley, New York Times best-selling author of Brides of Last Chance Ranch

When her mother dies, Mary Lenora must grow up quickly to take care of her brothers and sisters. Can love help her to shoulder the burden?

Mary Lenora Caine knows she is adopted. As she was growing up, her mother called her “God’s blessing.” But now that she’s gone, Mary no longer feels like any kind of blessing. Her father, in his grief, has cut himself off from the family, leaving the running of the home entirely in Mary’s hands.

As she nears her eighteenth birthday, Mary can’t see anything in her future but drudgery. Then her childhood friend Daniel begins to court her, promising her a life of riches and ease. But her fairy-tale dreams turn to dust when her family becomes too much for Daniel, and he abandons her in her time of deepest need.

Will Daniel come to grips with God’s plan for him? And if he does return, can Mary trust that this time he will really follow through?

More about Lena
 
Lena loves James, her children, grandchildren, and great grandson. She loves chocolate, cherries, chocolate-covered cherries, and spending time with friends. Travel is always on her horizon. Cruising, Galveston, the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, Mexico. One day it will be Hawaii and Australia, but probably not the same year. Helping other authors become published really floats her boat, with eighteen signing their first book contract after her mentoring. Three of her books have been awarded the Carol Award silver pins from American Christian Fiction Writers, and she has received the ACFW Mentor of the Year award at their national conference. The high point of her day is receiving feedback from her readers, especially people whose lives have been changed by her books.

Her 2010 release was Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, from Summerside Press which recently won the Will Rogers Medallion Award for excellence in publishing Western literature for fiction. Lena is currently under two 3-book contracts with Charisma House/Realms. The first book released in October 2011. Maggie’s Journey appeared on a reviewers Top Books of 2011 list. The second is Mary’s Blessing, which will release in May 2012.

In addition to her writing, Lena is a frequent speaker at women’s groups, writers groups, and at both regional and national conferences. She has spoken in six states and internationally. She is also one of the co-hosts of the Gate Beautiful blog radio show.

Lena has an active web presence on Shoutlife, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Linkedin and with her internationally connected blog where she interviews other authors and promotes their books.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/333031.Lena_Nelson_Dooley

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.

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 21st. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.