Monday, September 30, 2013

A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears ends October 7th

Please Welcome a friend of mine who I am very excited for. Melissa Jagears debut! She was a blast to interview. Have fun and learn a little about Melissa.

Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.
Oh, I totally forgot you ask this question (I’d told myself to be prepared!) but I, thankfully, am dressed in maternity capris and a regular top that somehow still fits over my rather large pregnant belly sitting in my writing area in the living room barefoot. When you post this, I’ll probably still be wearing maternity, but the baby will be kicking me from the outside instead of the inside. If not, I’m rather overdue. Oh how fun!! So tell us. What did you have?

What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research?
In my research today, I read that between 1870-1880, the Blue-Glass Cure Craze was going on. Many ailments were supposed to be cured if sunlight hit the affected areas/person through blue glass. So not only did they make eyeglasses out of blue glass, but also fitted windows of houses and horse-drawn cars with blue glass. Supposedly it could even cure a mule’s deafness! It didn’t last long though, here’s a newspaper editorial from 1877 starting to question whether staying at home to sit behind your blue glass was worth people’s time.

What is something that very few people know about you?
I don’t like to eat lemon flavored anything. The smell makes me imagine I’m eating a household cleaning product, like lemon Pine-Sol or something, and I just can’t enjoy it.

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
Goodness, my hubby would tell you that there is no physical thing we own that I might not try to throw in the trash ever since the day he fished my empty engagement ring box out of the garbage…. (Is it just me or is that over the sentimental deep-end? But don’t worry; it’s safely tucked away in one of his dresser drawers so I can’t try it again.) I’m trying to imagine saving something impractical in a fire…and I draw a blank. Oh Melissa, I shouldn't be the one you ask about that! I have my box in my cedar chest. LOL

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?I would have said the late 1800s and live off the land, but um, my gardens fail miserably and so I would have died. So how about Regency England—only if I could be one of the landed gentry and have tenants do the gardening for me.

If you were writing a book about your life what would the title be?
How my husband and I got together is my most entertaining story to tell, so: “How two unlikely people fell in love.” Which no one would read since that’s like the least cleverest title ever….But now you have our curiosity up so you are going to have to tell us!
What one novel did you read that made you want to be a part of the story?

DebbieLynne, your questions are hard! But well, stories are all about the worst things happening to your characters until you FINALLY reward them after stringing along one bad day after another, not sure I want to go through all that! Maybe um, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? I really want to try the lickable wallpaper…just not the lemons. LOL! If they have coconut I'll join you!

What is the biggest secret you ever kept (of course it can’t be a secret anymore)?
Unfortunately, the biggest is something I couldn’t share in public, so, I’ll have to skip this one unless I can come up with something shareable. Yikes! Another one in the Witness Protection Program, huh? heehee

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

My sister, mother and I were in a really silly mood one day back in high school. I grew up in tourist town, and we decided to do some touristy things on a slow day. One stop was the wax museum. It’s probably unethical to jump the ropes, but we decided to chance being caught and become part of the scenes—this was before cell phones, so we had to go buy a disposable camera from the gift shop and use whatever props we could scrounge up from mom’s purse since we couldn’t leave without paying again. I’ll send along a few photos—just don’t turn me in to the wax museum police!
Ummm too late. I think they maybe knocking on your door now. ;o)
MASH (Melissa, I see BJ Honeycutt!)


Wizard of Oz


More about Melissa Jagears
Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade, is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She's a member of ACFW and CROWN fiction marketing, and her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly.
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Love by the Letter is the prequel to A Bride for Keeps and is available for free download!
Dex Stanton’s first attempt at acquiring a mail-order bride fails when the lady writes back ridiculing his atrocious spelling. Rachel Oliver, the smart little brunette who sat in front of him in school, is the last woman he wants to ask for help. How can he handle her knowing what a dunce he really is?
Rachel Oliver has had enough. She’s lingered in town for two years mooning over Dex and now she’s done, done, done. If the fool wants to write to a mail-order bride company so be it. She’ll help him find a fancy eastern wife and then go to college as her parents wish. Except once she starts working with Dex, she wants to stop. How can she help him capture another woman’s heart as thoroughly as his laidback charm has captured her own?

A Bride for Keeps
Although Everett Cline can hardly keep up with the demands of his homestead, he won't humiliate
himself by looking for a helpmate ever again--not after being jilted by three mail-order brides. When a well-meaning neighbor goes behind his back to bring yet another mail-order bride to town, he has good reason to doubt it will work, especially after getting a glimpse at the woman in question. She's the prettiest woman he's ever seen, and it's just not possible she's there to marry a simple homesteader like him.

Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. Having finally worked up the courage to leave her life in Massachusetts, she's determined to find a place where people will value her for more than her looks. Having run out of all other options, Julia resorts to a mail-order marriage in far-away Kansas.

Everett is skeptical a cultured woman like Julia could be happy in a life on the plains, while Julia, deeply wounded by a past relationship, is skittish at the idea of marriage at all. When, despite their hesitations, they agree to a marriage in name only, neither one is prepared for the feelings that soon arise to complicate their arrangement. Can two people accustomed to keeping their distance let the barricades around their hearts down long enough to fall in love?

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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 7th at 8:00 A.M. EST. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Where Treasure Hides by Johnnie Alexander Donley ends 9/30

 Image of Johnnie Alexander Donley

Please welcome  Johnnie Alexander Donley to my blog. She is giving away a copy of her ebook Where Treasure Hides. Leave a comment to be entered. Don't forget to let me know if you are follower for your extra entry. 

Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.

I’m relaxing on my brown leather couch in our family room with my netbook propped on a pillow. My cute little papillon Rugby is beside me, sound asleep and with his hind legs up in the air.

Typical for an evening at home, I’m wearing jeans, a long-sleeved sweater, and blue socks. (Actually, that’s typical for daytime, too. Except for the socks.)

What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research?

It’s estimated that only about six to eleven percent of Jewish children in Europe survived World War II---a horribly tragic statistic. One young boy spent his days sitting on a wooden chair inside a wardrobe. The family hiding him lived in an apartment, and they couldn’t risk their neighbors finding out about him. Stories like this one are heartbreaking but also heroic. It required great courage to protect a Jewish child during those awful war years.

I was drawn to the plight of the hidden children and wove a little bit of what I learned into my novel. The opening scene of a train official threatening to take away a young Jewish boy’s violin is based on a real event. My heroine smuggles twins from Holland to England, and my hero becomes Papi to a German orphan.

What is something that very few people know about you?

I have an irrational fear of broken glass.

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)

This one is hard. Do I choose the angel figurine I received on my 9th birthday? The baby doll quilt I’ve had since I was two? Family photo albums?

Those are all precious, but I’ll choose my mom’s class ring. She lost the onyx and school crest before she gave it to me, so the ring has a polished gold surface. I’ve been wearing it since I was about thirteen. It’s over sixty years old.

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?

Another tough one. I hesitate to go too far back in time because I appreciate hot showers and air conditioning. And yet, I’m a fan of the Jane Austen era. Just please let me have enough of an annual income to live in a charming cottage, perhaps in the Cotswalds.

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

Behold the Sun.

The phrase comes from a verse that has been a favorite since I was a teen. Ecclesiastes 11:7 says, “Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun” (KJV).

I don’t spend much time outdoors, but I need sunlight. A skylight brightens my kitchen, and a few of my windows are without curtains. My car has a sunroof.

I love sunshiny days, and I love how the sun sometimes shines even through the rain here in Florida.

The truth is, I’m very much an ordinary person living an ordinary life. But beholding the sun is an important part of my life. And so is beholding the Son, and having the light of Jesus shining in my heart.

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

I’m sure there’s more than one, but I’d love to live in Lothlorien or Rivendell even though I’m not an elf. So I’ll say The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

It’d also be fun to explore the hundred rooms of Misselthwaite Manor (The Secret Garden).

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

A big secret that’s no longer a secret---this is the hardest question of all. I suppose it was when Tyndale first contacted my agent about their interest in my novel. That was a difficult secret to keep until after the contract was signed, sealed, and delivered.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I am not a crazy and wild gal, so there’s not much to choose from. Probably the craziest thing I’ve ever done was to go see Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl nine times when it was in theaters. I just loved the story, the language, the wit, and the pure fun of the movie.

While writing about my Pirates obsession, I remembered something else that was absolutely “you’ve-gotta-be-kidding” ridiculous. When I first learned to play Angry Birds, I didn’t know to tap the screen to have the birds do whatever they do. I got stuck on a level, something like 1-14, and was determined to beat it. “One more time,” I kept telling myself. “Just one more time.”

I said “just one more time” until I finally beat that level. And realized it was 4:30 in the morning. I had “one-more-time’d” for hours. Something like nine hours. (I’m so embarrassed!)

Image of Johnnie Alexander DonleyArtist Alison Schuyler spends her time working in her family’s renowned art gallery, determined to avoid the curse that has followed the Schuyler clan from the Netherlands to America and back again. She’s certain that true love will only lead to tragedy—that is, until a chance meeting at Waterloo station brings Ian Devlin into her life. Drawn to the bold and compassionate British Army captain, Alison begins to question her fear of love as World War II breaks out, separating the two and drawing each into their own battles. While Ian fights for freedom on the battlefield, Alison works with the Dutch Underground to find a safe haven for Jewish children and priceless pieces of art alike. But safety is a luxury war does not allow. As time, war, and human will struggle to keep them apart, will Alison and Ian have the faith to fight for their love, or is it their fate to be separated forever?
Link to Chapter One:

More about Johnnie Alexander Donley:

Author Johnnie Alexander Donley writes stories of suspense, intrigue, and romance set in World War II. Her debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, won the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest for Historical Fiction in 2011. A history enthusiast, Johnnie has also edited nonfiction manuscripts and textbooks. She is a founding member and current president of the ACFW Central Florida chapter. A longtime Florida resident, Johnnie treasures family memories, classic movies, road trips, stacks of books, and her papillon Rugby.


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