Sunday, October 30, 2011

Winner's Choice of any of Julie Lessman's books Ends November 14th


 I'm very excited to have Julie Lessman with me this week! I had the privilege of meeting her at conference and then have been blessed to correspond with her. She is a funny, sweet, amazing lady. And I'm so glad I met her! She is giving away a copy of winner's choice of her books. Be sure to leave a comment to be entered.
Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 13 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as “Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction”. Chosen as #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2011 Readers Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Series of the Year in that same poll and #3 Author of the Year, #5 Novel of the Year and #4 Historical Fiction Author of the year. She resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son and daughter-in-law and is the author of “The Daughters of Boston” series, which includes A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied. Her “Winds of Change” series has recently released with A Hope Undaunted, which ranked #5 on Booklist’s Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010. You can contact Julie through her website at www.julielessman.com.




1.) What sparked your interest in romance and how has this impacted your writing?

Four life-altering words: Gone With the Wind. You see, when I read that novel at the age of twelve, I was swept away into the world of romance for the very first time. It captured me like no other book had done, and I immediately set out to write (along with thousands of other love-struck young girls, I’m sure), what I hoped would be “the great American novel.” Obviously my dreams of grandeur didn’t go anywhere, but I did write 150 single-spaced pages of a story that became the basis (some forty years later!) for my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure.

Today, I like to think that not only are Margaret Mitchell’s fingerprints are all over me in my religious devotion to passion, but God’s as well—merging my passion for romance with my passion for Him.

2.) You’ve joked about being the “Queen of Rejections.” Can you tell us a little about that?

Uh, yeah … anyone who attended the 2005 ACFW Conference will remember me as the poor slob who waved her hands wildly in the back of the room when Brandilyn Collins asked who had the most rejections in a year. I won hands-down with 19 (at that time) and went on to garner in excess of 45 (both agent and publisher rejections, including three received AFTER I signed a 3-book contract with Revell Publishing!). Even my agent, Natasha Kern, blanched a bit when she first signed me, realizing after the ink was dry just how many times I’d been rejected. I believe the word she used was “daunting.” But apparently not too daunting for her amazing skills as an agent because she landed a contract for me within six months. Imagine my shock and awe when a few years later I stood on the same stage on which I’d received that booby prize for the most rejections, to receive ACFW’s Debut Book of the Year. Go ahead— pinch me! 

3.) What would you like your readers to take away from your books?

The MOST important thing I pray readers take away from my books is the reality of how natural and fulfilling an intimate relationship with God can and SHOULD be. Like breathing. These books may be fiction, but this is NOT a fairy tale here. It IS possible to have a living, breathing relationship with the God of the Universe. He’s crazy about us, and if most people really understood that, their lives would turn on a dime and blessings would overtake them. Believe me, I KNOW this firsthand—I used to be a hard, cynical, coarse human being before God pulled me up by the scruff of the neck and said, “Yo, Julie! Get a clue. You’re the apple of my eye!” J He’s been the love of my life ever since.

4.)    How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

I RUNnot walk … to the throne of God! He is my high tower, my place of refuge in ANY storm, be it professional or personal. For me, He has never been a last resort, but a first resort when life’s hurried pace overwhelms me. A good example is a story on my Web site about when a doctor told us he thought our college-age son had cancer. Now I am a wired individual under the best of circumstances, so this had the potential to fell me like a tree. But I sprinted to God faster than Jackie Joyner Kersee going for the gold, and the prize was God’s peace. You can read the steps I took in maintaining my sanity at http://julielessman.com/from-the-heart/.

5.) Your husband and children are the light of your life. Do they enjoy your stories?

Well, yes, most of them … You see, my husband Keith wouldn’t read A Passion Most Pure until he could hold a published book in his hand because he hated the gargantuan binders I’d use. But once he did, I was shocked at his response. He admitted he was nervous because what if he didn’t like it??? I still remember the first day I caught him reading it—it was so weird seeing this big, hulking guy holding a romance novel. But the moment he looked up, his eyes locked on mine and he mouthed the words, “It is soooo good!” Needless to say, my heart swooned! I mean, the man’s only read two or three books in 30 years, and my book actually kept him up till the wee hours of the morning AND made him cry! Now, I’m not saying the ability to make your husband cry is necessarily a good thing, but in this case, it was pretty special!

Now my daughter? Another story altogether! Although she was an A student in college, she despises reading, so I actually had to bribe her with $20 to read the first chapter of A Passion Most Pure. But I am happy to report that it hooked her, and the rest of the book and the other two didn’t cost me a dime! J  But … my son the financial advisor? He’ll probably read one of my books when I include baseball statistics or financial advice!

6.) Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release, A Heart Revealed?

A Heart Revealed is book 2 in “The Winds of Change” series, and it’s the forbidden love story of the oldest O’Connor brother, Sean O’Connor, a confirmed bachelor, and his sister’s best friend, Emma Malloy, a battered married woman. Here’s my blurb:

The ring on her hand belongs to one man …
But her heart belongs to another.
As a battered woman, Emma Malloy fled Dublin for Boston ten years ago, seeking shelter for a heart badly bruised by both her husband and guilt. But when she falls in love with Sean O’Connor, a confirmed bachelor who wrestles with demons of his own, fear and shame almost destroy her … until she is finally set free by a heart revealed.
7.) What makes Emma and Sean’s romance unique?

Emma and Sean’s romance in A Heart Revealed is not my typical romance where boy meets girl and sparks fly. Instead, it is a ten-year friendship that grows spiritually and emotionally, ripening into unconditional love where two people sacrifice themselves for the other. In many ways, A Heart Revealed is a departure for me—a heroine who is scarred, both inside and out, and a forbidden love with minimal romantic interaction. You see, Emma Malloy is married, a battered woman who fled Dublin to seek shelter for a heart badly bruised by an abusive husband. But when she falls in love with Sean O’Connor, a confirmed bachelor with demons of his own, fear and shame wreaks havoc in her life until God finally sets her free with “a heart revealed.”

8.) What do you hope readers take away from A Heart Revealed?

One of the basic themes of A Heart Revealed is “honesty is the best policy.” Every character in this story is struggling with some form of honesty with people they love, whether it’s guilt, delusion, deception, secrecy, manipulation or outright stubbornness. It is my hope that Sean and Emma’s story will not only “reveal” the grace and mercy of a loving God, but the healing power of His truth … which truly does set us free.

9.) Tell us about Emma, the gentle and scarred heroine in A Heart Revealed. How did you come to write a story about her?

Believe it or not, I never planned to write Sean and Emma’s story until three-quarters of the way through A Passion Redeemed, when Charity brought Emma home for dinner. The moment I wrote the following very innocent lines in that book, I felt a spark of something that I KNEW would grow into an amazing love story someday.

Marcy smiled and passed the rolls. “Sean, Charity brought her good friend home to stay. Emma, this is Sean, my oldest.”
Sean stood and extended his hand across the table, his smile as broad as his reach. “Welcome. Anyone who can put up with this sister of mine has to be the genuine article.”
Charity smacked him.
Emma blushed. “Nice to meet you, Sean.”
“Emma, Charity tells me you and she met at Shaw’s and that you’ve worked there forever.” Faith dolloped potatoes on her plate, then handed them off to Collin.
Emma gave her a crooked smile. “Yes, I was actually Mrs. Shaw’s top sales clerk before Charity came on the scene. Dublin’s gentry took one look at her and pushed me aside.”
“Oh, pshaw. Don’t believe her. It took me a solid six months to catch up.” Charity removed a roll from the basket, eyed the lighter one on Brady’s plate and switched it with hers. He stared her down, but she ignored him.
“What happened to your face?” Katie asked.
“Katie Rose!” Marcy, Faith and Charity’s voices rang in shock.
Emma smiled. “No, it’s a natural question and one I don’t mind answering. I got in the way of a pan of hot grease, I’m afraid.”
Katie’s eyes bugged. “How did you do that?”
“Katie, zip it,” Charity warned.
“Someone accidentally threw it in my face.”
Forks, knives and spoons stilled as all eyes focused on Emma.
Charity cleared her throat and elbowed Sean, who stared as if Emma had just announced she was from the moon. “So, Sean, Mother tells me you finally wrangled a promotion.”
He chewed slowly, his eyes still fixed on Emma. He swallowed and turned to his sister. “Yeah, I did. Don’t look now, sis, but you’re rubbing shoulders with the Assistant Manager of the largest hardware mercantile in south Boston. Not to mention future manager of a new store.”
One of her brows slanted up. “Well, well. Must be those dangerous good looks drawing all the ladies in to buy nuts and bolts.”
He grinned and chomped on a roll. “Must be.”

Oh, and by the way, Emma’s name was originally Myrna. I know, I know, not as appropriate as “Emma,” but keep in mind that originally, Emma was to be just a comical bit character in the beginning of A Passion Redeemed. However, just like Cluny McGee was only meant to be a bit character in A Passion Denied (but charmed me into making him a huge subordinate character), “Myrna” charmed me as well when she came to Charity’s defense over and over again. I fell in love with her gentle loyalty so much, that I made her a critical part of the story in A Passion Redeemed.

10.) How can readers find you on the Internet or get in touch with you?

I LOVE to hear from reader friends, so they can contact me through my Web site at www.julielessman.com, either by sending an e-mail via my site or by signing up for my newsletter at http://www.julielessman.com/sign-up-for-newsletter/. My newsletter is chock-full of fun info on my books and there’s always a contest featuring signed book giveaways including one right now to have a character named after you or a loved one in my next book. Also, I have a cool feature on my website called “Journal Jots” (http://www.julielessman.com/journal-jots/), which is a very laid-back, Friday journal to my reader friends that would give your readers an idea as to my relaxed style of writing. Then finally, I can be found daily at The Seekers blog (http://seekerville.blogspot.com/), a group blog devoted to encouraging and helping aspiring writers on the road to publication.
Ten years ago, Emma Malloy fled Dublin for Boston as a battered woman, escaping the husband who scarred her beautiful face. The physical and emotional wounds have faded with time, and her life is finally full of purpose and free from the pain of her past. But when she falls for her friend Charity's handsome and charming brother, Sean O'Connor, fear and shame threaten to destroy her. Could Sean and Emma ever have a future together? Or is Emma doomed to live out the rest of her life denying the only true love she's ever known?
New Blog announcing giveaways! Want to know where all the book giveaways are? We've started a new blog that gives you the links to other blog giveaways. Are you a blogger or an author needing a way to get the word out to readers you have a giveaway? Check out and follow us: fictionaddictionfix.blogspot.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,  November 14th. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Monday, October 24, 2011

This Time for Keeps by K. Dawn Byrd Ends November 7th

K. Dawn writes inspirational romance (both adult and young adult) and is an avid blogger who gives away several books per week on her blog at www.kdawnbyrd.blogspot.com, most of which are signed by the authors. She's also the moderator of the popular facebook Christian Fiction Gathering group at http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=128209963444. When not reading or writing, K. Dawn enjoys spending time with her husband of 16 years while walking their dogs beside a gorgeous lake near her home and plotting the next story waiting to be told.

Welcome Dawn! So glad to have you on my blog this week. Leave a comment for Dawn and be entered to win a free download for her new release, This Time for Keeps. Thanks for stopping by!
 
Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.
I'm in my den, a room with several aquariums, a comfy couch, my grandmother's china cabinet, a couple of tables, and an antique desk. I'm wearing on old t-shirt and a pair of capris. I like to get comfy when I come home from work.

If you could be any character in any literary book who would you be and why?
Nancy Drew, of course! She had so much fun solving mysteries.

What is something that very few people know about you?
I own two hairless Chinese Crested dogs.

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
My Blackberry without a doubt!

If you could live in any time period when and where would that be and why?
WWII because it was wonderful how America came together and worked toward a common cause.

If you could visit any place in the world where would you go and why?
England because I'd like to visit some of the places my grandfather saw during WWII.

If you could meet any person alive or dead who would that be and why? (excluding the Lord)
Mildred Wirt Benson, who wrote many of the first Nancy Drew books. She was brave enough to step outside the box and write about a girl who was too independent and courageous for the day.

What is the hardest part in writing a story?
Editing. I hate it most of the time.

What is the funniest/strangest/or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research?
While researching for my WWII romance, Queen of Hearts, I ran across this website.  http://www.opacity.us/locations/. I loved it so much that I sent my heroine into hiding in an abandoned mental institution.

If you were writing a book about your life what would the title be?
Divide and Conquer. Because I love a challenge.
 
India McGuire's peaceful life is shattered when on the night of her engagement to David Richards, she comes face to face with Chase Porter, a long lost love. India must come to terms with her overpowering feelings for Chase and choose between David, the neighbor who says he loves her, and Chase, the man who broke her heart.

Chase's plans of leaving quietly turn to disaster when he finds that it's impossible to disappear without seeing India one last time. Feelings begin to surface that he believed buried forever and he finds himself fighting to win her back even as David struggles to hold onto her.

India longs to follow her heart, but she's been hurt too deeply. Who will she choose? The neighbor who can provide stability or the man she vowed to love forever who may once again heed to the call of the open road? 
 
New Blog announcing giveaways! Want to know where all the book giveaways are? We've started a new blog that gives you the links to other blog giveaways. Are you a blogger or an author needing a way to get the word out to readers you have a giveaway? Check out and follow us: fictionaddictionfix.blogspot.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,  November 7th. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Welcome Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Jennifer Hudson Taylor is an award winning author of historical Christian fiction set in Europe and the Carolinas and a speaker on topics of faith, writing and publishing. Her work has appeared in national publications, such as Guideposts, Heritage Quest Magazine, Romantic Times Book Reviews, and The Military Trader. She serves as the in-house Publicist at Hartline Literary Agency. Jennifer graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in Journalism. When she isn't writing, she enjoys spending time with family, long walks, traveling, touring historical sites, hanging out at bookstores with coffee shops, genealogy, and reading.

A Sanctuary of Secrets...

Gavin MacKenzie, a chieftain heir who is hired to restore the ancient Castle of Braigh, discovers a hidden village of outcasts who have created their own private sanctuary from the world. Among them is Serena Boyd, a mysterious and
comely lass, who captures Gavin’s heart in spite of harboring a deadly past that could destroy her future.

The villagers happen to be keeping an intriguing secret as well. When a fierce enemy launches an attack against them, greed leads to bitter betrayal. As Gavin prepares a defense, the villagers unite in a bold act of faith, showing how God’s love is more powerful than any human force on earth.




Where to find Jennifer
Website/Blog: http://www.jenniferhudsontaylor.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JenniferHudsonTaylor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jt4novels

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

When Love Gets in the Way by Janelle Mowery Ends October 24th

JANELLE MOWERY lives in Texas with her husband and two sons, though a portion of her heart still resides in her birth state of Minnesota. Janelle began writing inspirational stories in 2001 and has since written several historical novels as well as a mystery series. Her first published novel, 'Where the Truth Lies', released in 2008. This was followed in 2010 by 'The Christmas Chain', part of a Christmas anthology titled, 'A Woodland Christmas'. Her second novel, 'Love Finds You in Silver City, Idaho', released October 2010 and received four stars from the Romantic Times review. Janelle's Colorado trilogy releases in 2011. The first of this series, 'When All My Dreams Come True', also received four stars from the Romantic Times review. The second of the mystery series, 'Died in the Wool', released May 1, and 'Where the Heart Is', part of another Christmas anthology titled, 'Christmas at Barncastle Inn', will release in September 2011. When she isn't writing, her interests include reading, enjoying nature, and visiting historical sites. To learn more, visit her Web site at www.janellemowery.com.



            From the moment I joined my writers group, I was told to know my characters as well as I know myself, not to mention your setting so you can ground your readers in the scenes. As writers, we’re to know what makes our characters tick, dig into their past to know why they think and act the way they do so we’ll know where they’re going and why they want to get there. Having just returned from a trip I’ve taken numerous times, I found the perfect example of this writing rule. Or rather, my husband made me aware of it.
            We were halfway home and trying to get through a big city with rain pouring down by the truckload. I pointed and told my husband he’d need to ease his way to the left lane because we’d have to exit soon from the freeway we were on. Sure enough, within a couple miles, we made our exit. My husband glanced at me with raised brows. Several hours later, we came to another large city. No rain this time but he was cruising along in the left lane. I told him that in a few miles he’d have to move to one of the two right lanes because we had an exit coming up. My husband looked skeptical but did as I’d asked. Not much later, he saw the sign announcing our exit. He gave me another raised-brow look and said, “Man Nell, you know these roads like the back of your hand.”
            I’d spent a couple hours pondering what I would write about for this blog, and the moment my husband said that, I knew. This was such a wonderful illustration of how well we should know our characters and settings…just like the back of our hand. While we were on our vacation, I took one day to research an area for one of my books. I wanted to see what my character would see, feel what she’d feel the first time she drove the roads. The story came alive in my mind as I almost got lost trying to follow a creek for miles. I climbed into my character’s skin and the excitement grew with each turn of the wheel.
            Before you start writing your story, take the time to get to know your main characters, and even some of the secondary characters. Examine their back story. Travel through their lives over and over until you know them as well as you know yourself to the point where you’ll know what’s coming as you move forward. And if at all possible, go to the place where your story is set and get to know it well. Not only will your characters come to life for you, but you’ll be able to make them come to life for your readers as well.


Grace Bradley wishes all she touches would turn to gold. Instead, it tends to tarnish…that is, until she finds freedom on the Double K Ranch. Grace is fleeing from the man her father chose to be her husband. But once her heart is captured by her new employer’s best friend, and she finally understands the meaning of God’s sacrificial love, she relinquishes her independence to save her loved ones.
Cade Ramsey contemplates running for dear life from the accident-prone nuisance he brought to his hometown. The trouble that trails her seems to latch on to him at every turn. But when Grace manages to win his calloused heart, he chases her down, praying he can keep her from following through on a decision that could ruin their lives.






 New Blog announcing giveaways! Want to know where all the book giveaways are? We've started a new blog that gives you the links to other blog giveaways. Are you a blogger or an author needing a way to get the word out to readers you have a giveaway? Check out and follow us: fictionaddictionfix.blogspot.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 24th. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants