Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bees in the Butterfly Garden by Maureen Lang Ends July 4th


 Maureen Lang writes stories inspired by a love of history and romance. An avid reader herself, she’s figured out a way to write the stories she feels like reading. Maureen’s Inspirationals have earned various writing distinctions as a finalist for the Rita, Christy and Carol Awards. In addition to investigating various eras in history (such as Victorian England, First World War, and America’s Gilded Age) Maureen loves taking research trips to get a feel for the settings of her novels. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, children, and Labrador retriever.

Welcome to my blog Maureen. It's nice to have you on here. Maureen has generously offered to give away a copy of her book, Bees in the Butterfly Garden. To be entered answer the question, Do you know any interesting historical facts? or leave a comment. As always don't forget to leave your email addy so I can contact you if you win, and tell me if you are a follower so you get that second entry. Good luck and enjoy the interview.   
 
Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.
Nothing too exciting, just capris and a cotton flowered shirt. I don’t normally sit down to the computer until after I get my handicapped son off to school or summer day camp, so since I have to be seen in public first, I’m usually decent by the time I start working. Sorry to have such a boring answer to this one, but it does remind me of a “Come As You Are Party” that my sister’s church once hosted. Everyone who was invited was given the name and phone number of someone else on the list. When that person called, they had to come to the party dressed in whatever they were wearing when they picked up the phone. Needless to say, there were lots of calls made really early or really late in the day, so a number of people had to come in their PJs. I wasn’t there, but it sounded like fun!

What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research?
Oh, my goodness, it would be hard to find just one. I love doing research, because I find so much material for my books that way. In the project I’m working on now that set in Denver 1887, I learned prostitutes could go to the druggist and for ten cents buy enough morphine to kill herself. Or she could swallow a bichloride tablet that was normally used as a douche chemical (which sounds like a horrible death, since it’s an acid that would basically eat her from the inside out). Nothing funny about any of that, of course; I found it so sad that women could so easily and cheaply end their own life.

What one thing on your writing journey influenced your work the most?
Reading. I love a book that captures my attention and gives me the aspiration to write better.

If you could work with any author who would you choose?
In a sense I already do. My critique partner is Siri Mitchell, whose work I absolutely love. We regularly exchange ideas and try improving one another’s work, so it’s been a great blessing to both of us.

When writing, what is the part of the story you enjoy writing the most?
I love writing toward the end of my novels. Not the actual end, but at about the fourth quarter spot. Everything – hopefully – is really coming together, the action is building, and I can hardly wait to tie it all up.

What is a typical working day for you? Where and when do you write? Do you set goals?
I write as soon as my sons are off to school. My oldest son, 17, has Fragile X Syndrome, and because of that he functions like a two-year-old. Needless to say, when he’s home I don’t get much time at the computer (imagine a two year old with the reach of a 17 year old!). So my working day starts when he’s either at school or, during the summer for five weeks, at day camp. This quiet time typically lasts about 5 hours, between shorter school days and transportation issues, so the time goes quickly. I’m a terrible in-a-rut kind of writer, meaning I prefer sitting at my own desk with my own keyboard (not a laptop) in my own chair. As little noise in the background as possible. Then I can write unhindered! I do set rather vague goals—I like to be halfway done with my project by halfway to the deadline. If I don’t see t hat happening, I go into panic mode and my husband takes on more care-giving responsibility on the weekends so I can write, and instead of going for a brisk walk before anyone else is up I might sit down to the computer very early in the day. I’ve also been known to write at night, but only when absolutely necessary, since I’m a morning person.

If you could have written any piece of literature in history, be it books, speech, poetry, what piece would you want to say Written By Authors Name here
My absolute favorite book is Peace Like A River by Leif Enger. I’d love to have written that! Either that or The Gettysburg Address. That speech brings tears to my eyes.

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
I’d have to say it’s a ring that used to belong to my grandmother. It’s a manufactured Alexandrite so it’s worth only a tiny fraction of what it would be worth if it were real, but it’s still lovely—and it holds fond memories for me of the days my grandmother wore it.

Thanks very much for having me!


 Raised in an exclusive boarding school among Fifth Avenue’s finest, Meg Davenport has all she’s ever needed . . . but none of the things she’s wanted most, like family, or dreams of a future that includes anything other than finding a suitable match. So when her distant father dies, she seizes the chance to throw etiquette aside and do as she pleases. Especially when she learns that John Davenport wasn’t the wealthy businessman she thought, but one of the Gilded Age’s most talented thieves.

Poised to lead those loyal to Meg’s father, Ian Maguire knows the last thing his mentor would have wanted is for his beloved daughter to follow in his footsteps. Yet Meg is determined, and her connections to one of New York’s wealthiest families could help Ian pull off his biggest heist yet. But are they both in over their heads? And in trying to gain everything, will they end up losing it all?

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 10th . Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Liberty Belle by Patricia PacJac Carroll Ends July 2nd

 
I am a writer, Christian first, and blessed beyond my imagination. I live in the Dallas-Ft Worth area in Texas with my wonderful treasure of a husband, my spoiled dog Jacs, my 90 yr old Father in law, and my awesome grown son, Josh. Did I say I was blessed? 
The PacJac is from my initials and my husbands. I wouldn’t be able to write if it weren’t for him. I belong to American Christian Fiction Writers, http://www.acfw.com/ And two wonderful critique groups who help me hone the craft of writing.
I write Inspirational stories filled with adventure, romance, and hope. 

Patricia has graciously offered to give away a copy of Liberty Belle. Be sure to leave a comment to be entered and don't forget to leave your email addy and let me know if you are a follower. 

Humor me as I always ask the first and the last question. =o)

Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.  In my office wearing my standard blue jeans Tshirt and tennis shoes.

Do your characters ever give you surprises when you are writing? Can you give us an example if they do and if they don’t  do you know why? Do they ever! In my current WIP, I thought the main character, Abigail, was going to marry the sheriff, Bret. But then I noticed that Bret kept talking about the fire in Hannah’s eyes. Hmm, then someone pointed out that Abigail was a city girl, Bret would not make in the big city. So along comes Rade Sterling. He’d been waiting in the far corner of my imagination to sweep Abigail off her feet.

Many writers will say they see stories all around them. Is there some place you found this story? Actually, I found Liberty Belle in a joke. A friend wanted me to write an email saying I had a story about a schoolteacher, lame boy, and a sheriff. And Liberty Belle was born. Of course, the story took some turns from the original but that was where she started. I have had stories attack me in many different ways. Abigail’s story came from a line that kept going through my head until I wrote it down.

Do you have a favorite scene in this book and what would it be? Now that is a tough question. One thing that always sticks out in my mind is Libby’s aunt, Flora. Originally, she was only going to be a bit part in the first chapter, but she threw me a line – “Nobody ever notices me, but I notice everything.” She wrote herself into the story, and now, I don’t see how Libby would have ever gone west without her.

What was something you did as a kid that was just plain crazy?  I loved to ride my horse. We would ride to a racetrack and get our horses in the starting gate and burst out like we were on Secretariat. Of course, most of the time we rode bareback.

What is something that very few people know about you?  I am pretty much an open book.

If you could have written any piece of literature in history, be it books, speech, poetry, what piece would you want to say Written By Authors Name here
Since I write historicals, I guess I will say Gone with the Wind.

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair) I love my techie toys. One of my good friends and I regularly visit our toy stores – Best Buy and Staples.  


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0086WMFES 

 
Set in 1859 Denver, Liberty Belle is a story of finding freedom and forgiveness. A jilted bride, a wayward sheriff, a small boy, outlaws, and a gallows provide plenty of action, romance, and hope.
Email    Libertybelle@patriciapacjaccarroll.com


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,  July 2nd . Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Miss Aggie's Gone Missing by Frances L. Devine Ends June 25th

 
Frances L. Devine grew up in the great state of Texas, where she wrote her first story at the age of nine. She moved to Southwest Missouri nearly thirty years ago and fell in love with the hills, the fall colors, and Silver Dollar City. Frances has always loved to read, especially cozy mysteries, and considers herself blessed to have the opportunity to write in her favorite genre. She is the mother of seven adult children and has fourteen wonderful grandchildren. Frances is happy to hear from her fans. Leave a comment at www.facebook.com/francesdevineauthor or email her at fdevine1@gmail.com


Frances has graciously offered to give away a copy of Miss Aggie's Gone Missing in an option of different ebook forms. If you've already read this book she had offered to give you a choice of one of the other ebooks. Be sure to leave a comment to be entered and don't forget to leave your email addy and let me know if you are a follower. 

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 and I’m wearing pajamas.

Do your characters ever give you surprises when you are writing? Can you give us an example if they do and if they don’t do you know why?
They absolutely do sometimes. Miss Aggie totally surprised me in her second book when she decided to walk out in the middle of an investigation.

What is something that very few people know about you?
I like doo wop music.

Can you tell something about this book or in writing it that is maybe a behind the scenes that we’d find interesting?
I was in my 60s when I was first published.

If you could live in any time period when and where would that be and why?
This one. This is where God put me.

If you could visit any place in the world where would you go and why?
London. I’ve always longed to go there. Maybe because London is the setting for so many of my favorite books.

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
My Bible and my Photo albums.
 The Miss Adventures of Miss Aggie
The Misadventures of Miss Aggie series was originally written for Barbour’s former cozy mystery bookclub.  Recently, those of us who wrote for that line received the rights back to our books. With the help of MacGregor Literary Agency, some of us decided to give our mysteries a new home in e-book form.
The new line, Spyglass Lane Mysteries, is doing very well, especially on Amazon.  My series is about a young woman name Victoria Storm who inherits a converted hunting lodge/mansion which is now a boarding house for a group of senior citizens, long-time friends who can’t seem to stay out of trouble.
Titles: 
Miss Aggie’s Gone Missing
Miss Aggie Cries Murder
Rest in Peace, Miss Aggie

These books and the other Spyglass Lane cozy mysteries can be purchased for kindle at www.amazon.com . For other formats and to see a list of the books visit www.spyglasslanemysteries.com.

At 10:29 a.m., on a cold day in January, the Cedar Chapel Bank was robbed.

At 5:41 that same afternoon, Aggie Pennington-Brown was declared missing. Victoria Storm, new owner of Cedar Lodge Boardinghouse, and her elderly boarders reluctantly agree with Sheriff Turner’s conclusion—Miss Aggie’s been kidnapped by the robbers. But when secrets and long-lost loves begin to surface from their missing friend’s past, a horrible possibility arises. Could someone they know and love have harmed Miss Aggie? Could it be one of them?

As Victoria and her elderly friends attempt to solve the mystery and locate Miss Aggie, more secrets are revealed until Victoria begins to wonder if there is anyone she can trust—including, or perhaps especially, the dashing local reporter, Ben Grant.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer Ends June 18th


Two-time RITA® Finalist and winner of the coveted HOLT Medallion, CBA bestselling author, Karen Witemeyer, writes historical romance fiction for Bethany House, believing that the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. Karen makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at: www.karenwitemeyer.com.

Karen, it's great to have you here with me this week. I finished Short-Straw Bride last night and have to say I loved it and I think it was my favorite! It was a lot of fun. Karen is giving away a copy of her new release answer the question below to be entered in the drawing. As always don't forget to leave your email addy so I can contact you if you win, and tell me if you are a follower so you get that second entry. Good luck and enjoy the interview.  
Question for readers:
Short-Straw Bride was inspired by the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. What is your favorite musical? Or what book have you read that you think would convert well into a musical format?

Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.
Right now, I'm actually up at my office at work using a few spare moments before closing time to get a start on this interview. I'm in my normal business casual attire, sporting tan pants with a sage green top. I wish I were at home in my jammies. That would be much more comfortable.

Do your characters ever give you surprises when you are writing? Can you give us an example if they do and if they don’t do you know why?
Their personalities rarely if ever surprise me because I usually have a pretty strong grasp on that part of their character before I start writing. However, sometimes their actions or backstory surprise me.

For example, as I was writing Short-Straw Bride, I wanted Travis to take Meredith to some hidden spot on the ranch where the two of them could be alone and do some courting away from his brothers. As Travis led her down to the creek, out of nowhere came this memory he had of going to the creek to do some fishing as a young boy and accidently coming across his parents having a romantic moment by a large boulder at the water's edge. Suddenly, he wanted to mimic his father's actions and take Meredith to the "kissing rock" as he'd dubbed it in his mind as a child. Until I wrote that scene I never even knew there was a kissing rock on the Archer ranch.

If you could be any character in any literary book who would you be and why?
I'd like to say Jane Eyre since she's my favorite literary heroine, but I'm not sure I could handle living through her harsh, unloved childhood. So instead I'll choose Elizabeth Bennett. She seemed to have such a wonderful relationship with her father and eldest sister and had a sensible head on her shoulders. Besides, she ended up with the heroic Mr. Darcy. It's hard to beat that.

What is something that very few people know about you?
 Historical novels have always been my favorite reading material, but as a kid, history was my least favorite subject in school.

Can you tell something about this book or in writing it that is maybe a behind the scenes that we’d find interesting?
As a diehard romantic, I have to admit that I adore the sappy old Hollywood musicals, and my all-time favorite is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I adore the western setting, the rough and tumble men, and the marriage of convenience story. In fact, it's this very musical that served as the inspiration for Short-Straw Bride.
My story has four brothers instead of seven, and the men don’t sing and dance while they do their chores. However the spark came when I thought about this movie and then asked, what if? What if instead of having the heroine agree to a marriage of convenience at the beginning of the story, the brothers drew straws to see who would marry her when a good deed of hers goes awry? And what if instead of all the brothers being named in alphabetical order after Bible characters, my four brothers were named for heroes from the Alamo?
From there, the Archer clan was born—Travis, Crockett, Bowie (who only answers to Jim), and Neill. And when Meredith infiltrates their isolated ranch, these bachelors are never the same.

If you could live in any time period when and where would that be and why?
I guess I would have to choose 1880's Texas, since all of my books so far have been set somewhere in this large state during this decade. The Indian wars were past, civilization was stretching across the state, and small towns were sprouting up along the rail lines. It was an exciting time of growth and change. I would love to experience that. Of course, I would need in-depth tutoring on how to use a wood stove, how to drive a buggy, and just about everything else that goes with living in that era. Do they have an app for that?

If you could visit any place in the world where would you go and why?
If money was no object, I would love to tour the castles of Germany. I love mountain settings, romance, and fairy tales. What could be more romantic than the castle that inspired the home of Disney's Sleeping Beauty situated in the Bavarian mountains? I get dreamy-eyed just looking at pictures of Neuschwanstein. I'd also like to see elegant Eltz Castle and historic Wartburg Castle. Wartburg is one of the oldest preserved castles as well as a place where church reformer Martin Luther lived and translated the Bible into German. How awesome would that be to see? My daughter would love touring the castles and my husband would dutifully ooh and aah, but I might have to bribe my boys with a ski trip or something to get them to tour the castles with me.


What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
I'd have to say my wedding ring. Except for my watch, it’s the only piece of jewelry I wear most days. It reminds me of the love and commitment I share with the man who is my true hero, and I never go anywhere without it.

 
No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk.
Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.
Four brothers. Four straws. One bride. Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she determines to stand by his side against the enemy that threatens them both. But will love ever be hers? Or will Travis always see her merely as a short-straw bride?


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 10th . Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.