Monday, October 28, 2013

Roaring Mice—and a 2 book Give-Away by @LaurieAEakes

Please welcome a very dear friend and mentor of mine, Laurie Alice Eakes. We are celebrating the release of her third book in the Bainbridge series, A Reluctant Courtship. Laurie Alice is graciously giving away books one and two in the series, A Necessary Deception and A Flight of Fancy. Choice of paperback or e-book in the lower 48. E-book only outside the contiguous 48 states. BE SURE TO ANSWER ONE OF THE TWO QUESTIONS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST TO BE ENTERED. Be sure to let me know if you are a feedburner follower so I can give you an extra entry and don't forget to leave me your email addy.

I’ve never seen the play “The Mouse that Roared” and I know the concept—a tiny little country goes to war with a bigger one and surprisingly, it wins.

In 1812, that was the United States of America. We had a miniscule Army and our Navy consisted of 18 ships, most of which weren’t seaworthy, while Great Britain’s Navy consisted of more than 500 seaworthy ships and the best trained Army in the world. We should not have won, let alone gotten every concession we wanted, but we did.

This war has fascinated me for decades because we were so much the underdogs. So when I was asked to come up with a proposal for a Regency, historical novels set in the early days of the eighteen hundreds in Great Britain, I looked to this war.

Every historical novel, even romances, need a background. If they do not include the history of the time, they are little more than people dressed up in costumes moving on a vague background that has carriages instead of cars and other inconveniences. True historical fiction includes some events of the time. The Regency is full of such events that make great backgrounds for stories.


The Napoleonic wars—France v. England—were also going on at this time. These are covered again and again in Regency novels. Other incidents were the Luddite Rebellion, an internal conflict with fighting between the authorities and the weavers in the north over price fixing and other issues, and more personal events such as poor harvests, enclosures of common land, and the growth of evangelism. Ballooning
was also a growing interest.

Napoleon’s desire to add England to his quiver of countries under France’s control makes for lots of fun ideas, and I used this to my advantage in A Necessary Deception. I have blackmail and spies and a dashing French hero, so dashing First for Women calls it a thriller. That makes me giggle.

In A Necessary Deception, I have a ballooning heroine and a hero who gets mixed up with the Luddite rebellion.

So what did I do for a Reluctant Courtship?

Yes, my favorite war—if that doesn’t sound too bloodthirsty—in history:  The War of 1812.

By the time of my story, the two countries had been at war for a little over a year. Britain wasn’t doing all that well. We didn’t have many naval vessels, and we had hundreds of privateers—privateers that were fast and maneuverable. For protection, the British sent out their merchant ships in convoys escorted by the Navy. But our privateers could dart in, cut out one of those merchantmen, and sail away with it
before the Navy got its guns run out. This happened so often the merchants began to scream to Parliament to do something about it.

But America didn’t win every battle. Sometimes the English ship prevailed and took an American ship. The men from that vessel had to end up somewhere, and one of those places was Dartmoor Prison.

This was  built in 1809 for the French prisoners of war, so why not toss in a few hundred Americans as well. Set on the high moors of Devonshire with icy winds and damp a constant there in that county with the sea on two sides of it, conditions were appalling…

And not always as secure as the English would like. One advantage of the sea on two sides was escape close at hand. Many prisoners managed to get out of those prison walls with the help of…

Traitors. Yes, if an Englishman helped them escape, that Englishman was committing treason, but money Is a powerful lure.

So who is helping American French prisoners escape from Dartmoor in A Reluctant Courtship? My hero, who is English through his parents, born at sea, and raised in America is the natural suspect. Or what about a heroine who is known to have consorted with a traitor in the past?

For a chance to win the first two books in The Daughters of Bainbridge series, answer one of the following questions. (E-Book only outside the contiguous 48 states.)

If my hero is guilty of helping men escape from this prison for those captured in battle, would you think him justified and why?

What is your favorite time period in history?


Honore Bainbridge has been courted by two men, one of whom turned out to be a traitor, the other a murderer. Banished to her family's country estate, where she will hopefully stay out of trouble, she finally meets the man she is sure is exactly right for her: Lord Ashmoor. Tall, dark, and handsome-what more could a girl ask for? But he too is under suspicion because of his American upbringing and accusations that he has helped French and American prisoners escape from Dartmoor Prison. For his part, Lord Ashmoor needs a wife beyond reproach, which Honore certainly is not. Amid a political climate that is far from friendly, Honore determines to help Ashmoor prove his innocence-if she can do so and stay alive.




About Laurie Alice:
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.



 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, November 4th at 8:00 A.M. EST. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky ends October 28th


 Please welcome my friend, Carrie Turansky to my blog this week. Carrie is giving away a copy of her new release, Governess of Highland Hall. If you like  Downton Abbey you are going to love Carrie's book! Leave a comment and tell us if you've ever watched Downton Abby and why you do or don't watch it or what you like about it to be entered in the drawing. Don't forget to leave your email addy and let me know if you are a feedburner follower.



What is your favorite Bible verse?
“I will go before you and will level the mountains. I will break down gates of bronze and cut though bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” Isaiah 45:23
I love this verse because it highlights the power of God to do the impossible and His promise to bless us and show us who He is through it all.


What intrigued you about writing in this time period?
When I watched the British TV series Downton Abbey I became interested in life in England during the Edwardian period, especially life on a country estate where there were not only aristocratic family members, but also many loyal and hardworking servants. I have a good friend and fellow author, Cathy Gohlke, who wrote a beautiful book set in England during this same time period, Promise Me This, and that also piqued my interest in the period.

How did you come up with the concept?
When I attended the American Library Association Convention in Philadelphia in 2012, I had a discussion with an editor about the success of Downton Abbey, and she encouraged me to create a story with a heroine who was a governess and set it in England on an estate like Downton. That got my mental wheels turning. I was hesitant to follow up on the idea at first because I knew it would take a lot of research to create a story that rang true for that period. But Cathy encouraged me and loaded me up with research books.

What is the one thing about you that most people don’t know?
Many may not know our family spent a year in Kenya, Africa, where my husband taught at a Bible college and all the kids attended Rift Valley Academy, a mission boarding school, although we all lived on the station. This was a wonderful, life-changing experience for all of us, and I feel like I left part of my heart in Africa.

Is any part of Governess of Highland Hall true?
I try very hard to get the historical details correct, and that’s especially a challenge for an American who is writing a book set in England in 1911 - 1912. I’m very thankful for two British “first readers” who helped me catch some historical and cultural items that needed to be tweaked to sound less American.  I hope the story will ring true for the time and place, but the plot itself is fictional.

What were the most interesting things that you learned while writing and researching Governess of Highland Hall?
I enjoyed learning about Amy Carmichael, missionary to India, who was the inspiration for my heroine and her family’s mission work there. I also enjoyed learning about the London Social Season. Young women had to prepare for months and sometimes years with the hope of meeting the right man and receiving a marriage proposal.

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?
I think one of the best perks of being a writer is hearing from readers who have been touched by one of my stories. Those letters and emails are a precious confirmation that God is working in and through me to share his love and truth with a reader.  That always amazes and encourages me and makes me want to keep writing.
What do you find to be the most challenging part of being a writer?
I am a consistent writer, but I am not a fast writer. So I need to set word count goals and stick to them. It’s hard to be creative when the pressure is on and a deadline is approaching. But God is faithful, and with his help I have been able to turn each book in on time.



Fans of “Downton Abbey” and the English Edwardian-era will love the romance of The Governess of Highland Hall, where governess Julia Foster must find her place when she is neither upstairs family nor downstairs help.
 Returning to England from the mission field in India, Julia Foster accepts the position of governess at Highland Hall to help support her parents. But she quickly finds that teaching her four privileged, ill-mannered charges at a grand estate is more challenging than expected.
 Sir William Ramsey, widowed and left to care for his two young children along with the two teenage daughters of his deceased cousin, is consumed with saving the estate from financial ruin. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a kindhearted-yet-determined governess who seems to be transforming his household with her persuasive personality, vibrant prayer life, and strong faith. Can William and Julia find a way to cross the great class divide that separates them?



More information about Carrie:
Carrie Turansky is the award-winning author of nearly a dozen novels and novellas, including Snowflake Sweethearts, Along Came Love, and Surrendered Hearts. She has won the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award. She lives in central New Jersey with her husband, Scott, who is a pastor counselor, and the author of several parenting books.  Carrie loves to connect with readers on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and her website: http://carrieturansky.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, October 28th at 8:00 A.M. EST. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Monday, October 7, 2013

DawnSinger by Janalyn Voigt ends October 14th

Please welcome Janalyn Voigt to my blog this week. Janalyn is giving away 3 ebook copies of DawnSinger. Leave a comment or ask Janalyn a question to be entered.

Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.
I’m sitting in the dining room at the table and wearing a striped red-and-white tee-shirt, blue jeans, black socks (because who needs to match when you’re at home), a red fleece jacket (because I live in a drafty old house), and I have my hair in a ponytail because it was bugging me down.

What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research?
While researching 13th-Century medieval warfare for my epic fantasy novel, DawnSinger, I learned that the Byzantines perfected something called Greek fire, which combusted upon contact with water. (I’m still getting my mind around that idea.)

Its primary use was in naval warfare although it also showed up in castle sieges. It burned with ferocity, even as one account claims, beneath the water. An eyewitness who saw a lighted barrel catapult toward a besieging army described it as a fireball with a long tail that lit up the night as if it were day. It roared like a dragon. Kind of makes you wonder, doesn't it?

The formula for Greek fire has been lost in the mists of time. While some believe it contained naphtha or petroleum in some form, no one today knows for certain what it contained. I can’t help but be glad about that.

What is something that very few people know about you?
I have a gift for drawing. I’m starting to post some of my pictures online, but it’s really a hobby. Here’s an orca I drew to use as a scene divider in the Islands of Intrigue linked-fiction series I’m entering into with two other authors: Something of a Mystery: Why and How I Drew This Orca. There’s more about the series at the site. It started as a project for fun, and has since turned into a joint venture. My title, Deceptive Tide, will release May 1st, 2014.

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
I have an antique scroll-back couch upholstered in blue velvet that reminds me of something from the American West. It doesn’t contour to your body very well and it’s kind of narrow so it’s not good for sleeping on, but it’s awesome looking!

If you could live in any time period other than the one we live in, past or future, when and where would that be and why?
The Middle Ages have always spoken to me. If I could have it without the filth and pestilence, that would be my choice. If I could have my druthers, I’d prefer to be a princess in a castle than a kitchen maid. I’m sure princesses had their share of tedious duties, but they probably didn’t break their fingernails while performing them.

If you were writing a book about your life what would the title be?

I actually have written a book about my life, but it’s never seen the light of day. I’m not sure if it ever will (or that I want it to anymore), but writing it was great therapy. It’s entitled Now I’m Found.

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

Hands down, it was Tolkien’s The Hobbit. My attention span was wandering until I reached the place where they rode on the back of giant eagles. Then I was with the story all the way. I’m addicted to adventure, just so long as it’s not life-threatening. Besides that, I fell in love with Middle Earth.

What is the biggest secret you ever kept (of course it can’t be a secret anymore)?

I’m lousy at keeping secrets. I usually forget they are secrets and blurt them out. However, I’m a private person, so there was one thing I kept to myself instinctually: the fact that I’m a writer. I was embarrassed to admit it. Looking back, I can’t remember why I felt this way, except that maybe I wasn’t ready to commit to my calling at the time. It’s no longer a secret or an issue, and I’m glad of that.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
When my job as an assistant underwriter for an insurance company ended, I didn’t look for another one but stayed home to write. That was a huge leap, because I was making pretty good money and I could have found another job easily. The money I’m making as a debut novelist just doesn’t compare, but I’ll never go back to my old life.


More about Janalyn:

It happened over time. My father instilled a love of literature in me at an early age when he read chapters from "The Wizard of Oz," "Robinson Crusoe" and other classics as bedtime stories. When I grew older, and he stopped reading bedtime stories, I put myself to sleep with tales I "wrote" in my head.

As a precocious reader, I soon graduated to the novels in my parent's bookcase. I'm sure those books contributed to my growth as a writer. Eventually, I scribbled my own stories on paper. A teacher noticed my storytelling ability when I was twelve. As a result of his encouragement, I identified my desire to write novels.


DawnSingerhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=novebookbook-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1611162009 is my debut novel and the first offering in Tales of Faeraven. WayFarer, the next book in my epic fantasy series, releases January 3rd, 2014. I’m currently completing DawnKing, book three. I’m represented by Sarah Joy Freese of Wordserve Literary.

My home is in a beautiful corner of the Pacific Northwest. I enjoy reading, gardening, and finding adventures in the great outdoors. I dream of travel to amazing places where castles can be found.


I can be found online at http://JanalynVoigt.com. Readers of fantasy may want to explore my Fantasy Worlds site. I also maintain separate sites for my other genre interests. Historical Worlds will be of interest to those who enjoy historical fiction. Romantic suspense readers might enjoy Dangerous Worlds.  



The High Queen is dying… At the royal summons, Shae mounts a wingabeast and soars through the air to the high hold of Faeraven, where all is not as it seems. Visions warn her of danger, and a dark soul touches hers in the night. When she encounters an attractive but disturbing musician, her wayward heart awakens.

But then there is Kai, a guardian of Faeraven and of Shae. Secrets bind him to her, and her safety lies at the center of every decision he makes. On a desperate journey fraught with peril and the unknown, they battle warlike garns, waevens, ferocious raptors, and the wraiths of their own regrets. Yet, they must endure the campaign long enough to release the DawnKing—and the salvation he offers—into a divided land. To prevail, each must learn that sometimes victory comes only through surrender.


WayFarer, Tales of Faeraven, book two

Elcon, an untried youth, assumes his duties as High King. But as trouble stirs between nations and rebellion threatens Faeraven, his position is far from secure. Can Elcon trust that the Elder youth accompanying Kai is the DawnKing, sent by the High One to deliver his people? Or has something gone horribly wrong?
Driven to prove himself, Elcon embarks on a peace-keeping campaign into the Elder lands, where he meets a beautiful Elder princess. But Aewen is betrothed to another, and Elcon has promised to court the princess, Arillia, upon his return. Declaring his love for Aewen would shame them both and tear apart the very fabric of Faeraven.
Elcon’s choices lead him into the Vale of Shadows, where he learns that to deliver his people, he must first find his own redemption.


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, October 14th at 8:00 A.M. EST. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.