Monday, August 25, 2014

Sautee Shadows by Denise Weimer ends September 1st

Please welcome Denise Weimer to my blog. Denise is a first time visitor so please give her a warm welcome. She is graciously giving away a copy of her book Sautee Shadows. Ask Denise a question to be entered in the drawing. Don't forget to leave your email address and let me know if you are a feedburner follower for an extra entry.

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

In my basement where my PC is located, wearing capris and a t-shirt.

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

I really don’t have a funniest or strangest. I suppose the truth that penetrated me the most after spending over a year strictly in historical research is that we cannot make history turn out like we want for our novels! So many times I’d go into a topic with preconceived notions or a desire to make the situation meld with my story. I learned history is the firm framework you must bend your story around instead, letting the real life events shape the characters. I also learned we cannot be afraid to tell the truth of history, even when it isn’t pretty or packaged with political correctness. There were good and bad people of all races, eras, classes, etc. So the challenge as a historical fiction writer is to bring the reader a balanced but honest view of history and through that to show how any one person can rise above their circumstances through faith and integrity.

What is something that very few people know about you? 

I very nearly became a historical preservationist rather than a writer. Because of my love for beautiful architecture and the way mysterious old buildings would whisper their pasts to me, I almost became that person who helped take them back to their original. Instead I uncover their secrets through writing their stories, the stories of another time, bringing to life the type of people who once passed through their halls.

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
I don’t attach a lot of sentimentality or hold material goods too closely. Of course I have prized items that belonged to grandparents, but one thing that holds special meaning would probably be the framed original prints of all four of my book covers of The Georgia Gold Series. They are dear because they symbolize the trust one person can put in another and the value of mentorship. That is what my historical mentor and cover artist gave to me. He lent me his family letters and diaries and helped open doors for me with his excellent reputation as a historian and artist, but most of all he gave me the confidence to write such a big and sweeping series. Even though I was a new author, he believed I could capture the spirit of the time period and tell the story of Northeast Georgia. He was a true Southern gentleman, and his prints are all the more valued because he passed away this year. Seeing his prints hanging on my stairway remind me of where I began and the power of encouragement.

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? 

Since I spent many years doing living as a Civil War buff and led a mid-1800s dance group, for years I would have answered that question by stating the 1850s before the war broke out. Now, I don’t think I would want to have lived through that conflict. People were always people, and life in any historical era was definitely physically harder. While I love the idea that we like to capture in our historical romance novels of residing in a simpler time with better rules of etiquette … I truly think now that beauty of life we are seeking will only truly be found when the Lord Jesus returns for His peaceful reign! So I’ll just hold out for that!

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

A Work in Progress. Or maybe, more creatively, Evolution of a Southern Belle. Because I’m on a journey of so much change, and I have no idea where God is taking me next. I know it’s likely to be beyond any borders I once set for myself.

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

My first thought when I read this question is that there is actually a MOVIE version of a novel that made me want to jump in with the characters – SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, the version with Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson. I often got the same feeling when I was growing up and would watch the TV ANNE OF GREEN GABLES movies. I wanted to marry Gilbert Blythe! … Book-wise, a novel that really made me feel transported recently was THE FRONTIERSMAN’S DAUGHTER by my online friend, Laura Frantz. It was her first work, and you can tell she really put her heart into it.

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

I think it will stay a secret. J

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done? I told God I’d do anything He needed me to. Word of warning: He will take you up on your offer.

 Sautee Shadows

Book One of the Georgia Gold Series is the sweeping saga of four families whose lives intertwine through romance, adventure, and murder, linking antebellum Georgia's coast and mountains during the economic expansion of the 1830s.

Richard Randall's family moves from New York to Savannah to establish a shipping company. Richard's son, Jack, finds the Southern city alien. His struggle to fit in intensifies with the death of his mother. Eventually, the Randalls follow the example of many other coastal elite like the rice-planter Rousseaus, customers of Richard's, by building a summer home in Habersham County's foothills.

 Attracted by the possibility of future railroad tourism, Jack decides to purchase a hotel in Clarkesville, where he meets an unexpected competitor young, lovely, and spirited Mahala Franklin. Orphaned daughter of a Cherokee mother and a man murdered for his gold, Mahala was raised by a farm family in the Sautee Valley, only to be torn from them by her maternal grandmother as a teen. Mahala's life has been focused on the clues left in her father's strongbox and trying to discover if his murderer is still living in the same town. Separated by age and class, Mahala and Jack refuse to acknowledge their attraction.

As the country hurtles toward division and civil war seems imminent, Habersham's "summer people" must choose sides and alliances that could sustain or destroy them in the coming decade.

Upcoming release September 1

More about Denise:
Native Northeast Georgia resident Denise Weimer earned her journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. In addition to the historical fiction books she's authored, her magazine articles about her home region have appeared in numerous publications. Denise is also a wife and the "swim mom" of two daughters, a life-long living historian, and for many years was the director of a mid-1800s dance group, The 1860s Civilian Society of Georgia.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Cattleman Meets His Match by Sherri Shackleford ends 8/25

Please welcome Sherri Shackleford to my blog this week. We are so happy to have you. Sherri is giving away a copy of her new release, The Cattleman Meets His Match. Please, ask Sherri a question about herself to be entered to win. And don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you do. AND if you are a feedburner follower remember to tell me in your comment for an extra chance to win.

Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth. I am in my office, catching up on morning email. I’m wearing a shirt and jeans. I just took my kids to school and this is my routine – I’m up and dressed before the kids, take them to school, and then come home and catch up on emails and blogs. After that, I move to a comfy spot I’ve set up in my bedroom with a nice chaise lounge. I shut off the internet and write in 30 minutes segments.

What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research? As of 2012, the US was still paying out two Civil War pensions (which were for widows and children.) Can you imagine tracing back that paperwork?! The last Civil War widow died in 2003.

What is something that very few people know about you? This is a tough one because I’m certainly not a very mysterious person! I’m an excellent tap dance – I suppose most people don’t know that…since it doesn’t come up in conversation much.

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair) I have saved some items of clothing from my kids. Things they loved or wore until they wore out! It’s fun pulling out those items and watching my kids light up with the memories.

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’d enjoy living in the Regency Era – but only if I was rich. I don’t want to be a servant. I want to be the one who wakes at ten, takes a stroll through the gardens, and eats a twelve-course meal at eight. I do NOT want to be the one cleaning out the chamber pots. Or, it might be nice to be a man in the 50’s. That seemed like a Golden Age for guys.

If you were writing a book about your life what would the title be? Is That All There Is?

What one novel did you read that made you want to be a part of the story? I wanted to be Trixie Belden. I read the books as a kid. She solved mysteries, which seemed really cool.

What is the biggest secret you ever kept (of course it can’t be a secret anymore)? Hmmm, keeping my first publishing contract a secret until the papers were signed. That almost killed me!

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done? Again, I’m a pretty boring person. I should probably go out and do some crazy things so I have a better answer. I snuck into a concert, found some abandoned seats, and sat in the second row for Sting and The Police. That was fun. That happened a few years ago.


Cowboy John Elder needs a replacement crew of cattle hands to drive his longhorns to Kansas—he just never figured they'd be wearing petticoats. Traveling with Moira O'Mara and the orphan girls in her care is a mutually beneficial arrangement. Yet despite Moira's declaration of independence, the feisty beauty evokes John's every masculine instinct to protect, defend…marry?

Moira is grateful for John's help when he rescues her—and she can't deny that his calm, in-control manner proves comforting. But she is determined not to let anything get in the way of her plans to search for her long-lost brother at journey's end. However, can John show her a new future—one perfect for them to share.


A wife and mother of three, Sherri's hobbies include collecting mismatched socks, discovering new ways to avoid cleaning, and standing in the middle of the room while thinking, "Why did I just come in here?" A reformed pessimist and recent hopeful romantic, Sherri has a passion for writing. Her books are fun and fast-paced, with plenty of heart and soul. She loves to hear from readers: 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Rancher Under Fire By Vickie McDonugh ends 8/18

Please welcome Vickie McDonough back to my blog. Vickie and I started Christian Fiction Historical Society blog together ( a blog with 31 talented authors). She's a good friend and a wonderful writer. Answer Vickie's questions to be entered in a giveaway of her new book Rancher Under Fire. Don't forget to leave your email addy and let me know if you are a feedburner follower for an extra entry. If you aren't a feedburner follower I'd love to have you sign up for it and let me know.

When I first started writing, I wrote two contemporary novels, a historical, and then another modern day story. I didn’t know then that my career of over 30 books and novellas would follow a historical trail for the most part. I have had 3 contemporary stories published—a novella, a Heartsong novel, and an LIS suspense.

The suspense was definitely the most challenging.

Rancher Under Fire
is my suspense. I wrote the story years ago, but it never found a home until last year. My agent suggested sending it to LIS, but I told him it wasn’t suspenseful enough for that line. Imagine my shock when they

bought it. But, I was right in that it needed more suspense. You must keep the tension high in a suspense—keep throwing danger and difficult situations at your characters, and keeping them dodging trouble. I had lots of tension and bad things happening, but most of it was directed at my hero’s ranch rather than at him, such as stock tanks being shot, fences cut, etc. My LIS editor had me go back through the story and up the tension even more and direct more of the danger at my hero and heroine. I literally spent more time rewriting the book than it took to write it initially. But it’s done, and it’s a better story for all of the changes. I suspect it’s still not as suspenseful as many LIS’s, but I think you’ll enjoy it. I certainly have a much better appreciation for suspense writers like my good friend Margaret Daley.

Here’s the back cover blurb for Rancher Under Fire:


Jackson Durant would go to any lengths to protect his young daughter and his ranch. He knows the puzzling incidents on his homestead are no accidents. Someone is after him…but who? And why? Reporter Mariah Reyes is determined to find out. She never expected her pursuit of a story on the reclusive rancher would endanger her life—nor that she’d fall for the cowboy. But when Jackson’s daughter is kidnapped, she’ll do anything to help save the little girl—even if it means becoming a target herself.

Rancher Under Fire releases tomorrow (Sept 2nd), but you can pre-order it now:

I’m giving away a copy of Rancher Under Fire to one lucky commenter. If the winner lives some place other than the U.S. or Canada, I’ll email you a pdf. copy.

Now, I have a question for you:
Who is your favorite suspense writer? What’s your favorite suspense novel?


Vickie McDonough grew up wanting to marry a rancher, but instead, she married a computer geek who is scared of horses. She now lives out her dreams in her fictional stories about ranchers, cowboys, lawmen and others living in the West during the 1800s. Vickie is the award-winning author of 29 published books and novellas. Her books include the fun and feisty Texas Boardinghouse Brides series, and End of the Trail, which was the OWFI 2013 Best Fiction Novel winner. Whispers on the Prairie, which released last July, was chosen by Romantic Times as one of their Recommended Inspirational Books for July.

Vickie is a wife of thirty-eight years, mother of four grown sons, one daughter-in-law, and grandma to a feisty seven-year-old girl. When she’s not writing, Vickie enjoys reading, antiquing, watching movies, and traveling. To learn more about Vickie’s books or to sign up for her newsletter, visit her website and sign-up for her newsletter:
Readers can visit my website to learn about me and my other books:




Monday, August 4, 2014

A Lady and an Officer by Mary Ellis ends August 11th

Please welcome Mary Ellis to my blog this week. Mary is graciously giving away a copy of her book A Lady and an Officer. Ask Mary a question or comment on Lessons Learned to be entered in the drawing. Don't forget to leave your email addy and let me know if you are a feedburner follower for an extra entry.                Lessons Learned from Walks on the Beach by Mary Ellis

Do you remember the age-old story about the starfish? As told to me as a child, a young girl was walking along the beach with her grandfather when they happened upon thousands of starfish left behind with the tide. When Grandpa picked up one to fling back into the waves, the girl did the same. One by one another they returned the creatures to the sea before the scorching summer sun killed them. After a while the child peered up and wailed, “This is hopeless! There’re only two of us and thousands of them. What difference can we make?”

The sage grandfather pulled another starfish from the sand, its glistening surface almost completely dry, and flung it as far as he could into the surf. “You’re right. We can’t save them all, but I’m sure we made a difference to that one.”

That story has stayed with me my entire life, the concept returning in various applications: I recycle my water bottle instead of adding to a receptacle overflowing with plastic. I attempt to purchase green cleaning supplies and recycled paper products despite the plethora on the shelves. Americans are continually challenged to do the right thing ecologically…or as Christians. In the modern world it’s tough to walk the narrow path with every thought, word, and deed. How about the Bible’s command to introduce the saving power of Christ to non-believers? With the world’s population only thirty-three percent Christian, how can a humble fiction writer from Ohio have any impact whatsoever? But perhaps like the starfish dying in the sand, it might make all the difference in the world to the few I do reach.

In my historical novel, The Lady and the Officer, Madeline Howard arrives at a makeshift hospital following the Civil War battle of Gettysburg. Untrained, she’s completely ill-equipped for the enormous task sprawling before her. Although most would consider her brief nursing career an abysmal failure, Madeline manages to save the life of one dying soldier. Amidst a sea of suffering and death, she made a difference in the life of one Confederate colonel from Richmond. Each journey must begin with a single step, whether we’re reducing waste, helping the sick, or introducing a friend or neighbor to a life-changing relationship with our Lord.

“Colonel Haywood had been the only soldier she saved in Gettysburg. The hopelessness and futility of war would continue to haunt her forever.” ~from The Lady and the Officer

Love, Loyalty, and Espionage…

How Does a Lady Live with All Three?

Purchase book here
As a nurse after the devastating battle of Gettysburg, Madeline Howard saves the life of Elliot Haywood, a colonel in the Confederacy. But even though she must soon make her home in the South, her heart and political sympathies belong to General James Downing, a Union Army corps commander.

Colonel Haywood has not forgotten the beautiful nurse who did so much for him, and when he unexpectedly meets her again in Richmond, he is determined to win her. While spending time with army officers and war department officials in her aunt and uncle’s palatial home, Madeline overhears plans for Confederate attacks against the Union soldiers. She knows passing along this information may save the life of her beloved James, but at what cost? Can she really betray the trust of her family and friends? Is it right to allow Elliott to dream of a future with her?

Two men are in love with Madeline. Will her faith in God show her the way to a bright future, or will her choices bring devastation on those she loves?

More About Mary. 
Mary Ellis has written twelve bestselling novels set in the Amish community. Before "retiring" to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate. Living in Harmony, book one of her last series won the 2012 Lime Award for Excellence in Amish Fiction. Love Comes to Paradise won the 2013 Lime Award. She is currently working on a three-book series of historical romances set during the Civil War for Harvest House Publishers. The Quaker and the Rebel released in January and The Lady and the Officer released in July. Her current Amish release is A Plain Man. She can be found on the web at: or!/pages/Mary-Ellis/126995058236