Book Giveaways This Week…

Happy Wednesday morning! I hope you are all having a great week.

A couple of announcements to share (including a couple of freebies at the end of this post!)…

McKenzie2Today is the last day to have a chance to win a copy of McKenzie on Amada Chavez’s awesome blog at http://ascphotosanddesigns.blogspot.com/2013/02/interview-and-giveaway.html. Amada interviewed me and asked some fantastic questions about the writing life, including how I started writing, where I write, and how I came up with the idea for McKenzie. So…if you didn’t have a chance to download McKenzie while it was free on Kindle last week, here’s another chance for you to get your hands on a copy!

slide fam smSecondly, anyone who has read my books will notice that I’m a huge supporter of adoption. As such, when my fellow writing friend Jessie Gunderson told me of the dream she and her husband have of adopting two precious children from Ethiopia, I knew I had to help.

Jessie and her husband are attempting to raise $1,800 to begin their dossier to bring their children home. She is offering everyone who makes a donation a chance to be entered to win a first place prize of Disney Tickets. There is also a second place prize – a choice of one of any of five of my books (paperback form of McKenzie, Kaydie, Hailee, 77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference, or Hollyhocks). All of the details are at Jessie’s blog. Please consider a donation of any size to assist in giving two children their forever home.

77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference

jake and jesusThird, don’t miss the awesome birthday celebration! My fellow author friend, Kelly Hagen, is celebrating the two-year anniversary of her delightful children’s book Jake & Jesus and you’re invited! When you purchase her book, you will have a chance to win an autographed copy of Kaydiebook #2 in my Montana Skies Historical Romance Series. You’ll also receive valuable savings off Amanda Beth’s books You Can Have a Happy Family and The Love Walk (both books I would highly recommend!) and a discount off JBAM Candles. All of the details are at Kelly’s blog.

Kaydie2

If you’d like to read the review I wrote of Jake & Jesus, you can find it here. The review I wrote for Amanda Beth’s You Can Have a Happy Family can be found here.

You Can Have a Happy Family is also free on Kindle today and tomorrow. The Love Walk is free tomorrow for Valentine’s Day.

Amanda_Beth_Book_cover

Lastly, join me in the coming weeks for a revamped blog, including some changes on my Movie Monday postings. I’m looking forward to sharing some more fantastic movie reviews with you and some hilarious and inspirational posts. Stay tuned! In the meantime, feel free to check out my Mom-Approved Movie Listings for some fantastic ideas for your next family night.

Planning on a get-together? Find out how to host your own Sisters in Christ Community Girls Night Out.

Have a fantabulous rest of your week and join me later today for my annual Valentine’s Day post.

TBCN Interview with Nora St. Laurent (with special giveaways!!!)

I am honored to have Nora St. Laurent as my guest this week. She is the CEO of The Book Club Network, a popular and well-known online book club that points readers to the best in Christian fiction. Be sure to visit The Book Club Network’s website all this month for their birthday bash, which will include book giveaways – 10 each day!

I will be giving away a copy of each of my Montana Skies Series – McKenzie, Kaydie, and Hailee as well and I’ve included some fun chit-chat questions for my readers on TBCN’s page. My guest dates will be August 28-31.

Good Morning, Nora. What inspired you start TBCN?

The Book Club Network was born out of a desire to share Christian Fiction authors with other book clubs, share book club ideas with other leaders and to encourage the authors who are writing such amazing books. The economy has been really tough for a few years and people are not parting with money like they used to. Through TBCN they can take their time and find the right book or win it. We have give away opportunities each month. ALL of our contests are from the 19th – 21st of the month.

I run two face to face book clubs one at the Christian Book Store I work at and the other at the church I attend. It’s a position I never imagined I’d be in since I didn’t read for pleasure much before I started working in a Christian book store 11 years ago.

But since I love talking with people and the main thing to talk about in a book store is books I started reading Christian Fiction (publishers sent ARC copies to our store and I started checking them out) The first book that rocked my world and got me hooked in Christian Fiction was a book by Linda Nichols called Not a Sparrow Falls her next book did me in and I couldn’t stop talking about it, At the Scent of Water was her next book that prompted me to contact the author and let her know how much her book touched my spirit.

After reading these two books and telling customers about these reads I had a reason to read.  These books spoke to me because I wasn’t expecting it. It reminded me of the stories in the bible. Jesus is the greatest story teller and He knew a story could change a life or prick our spirit and move us in a direction we never thought we’d be in.

I tell you all that to say I’m dyslexic and I have not been a fan of reading. Movies were more my thing. I could watch a movie of a book and have a lot more fun. Reading Christian Fiction changed my life in more ways than one.  I wanted to tell everyone about the greatest book I read, and I’d do that at the book store.  It was possible to talk about the new book I read and loved for about a month or more but when At the Scent of Water and Not a Sparrow Falls were not on the shelf anymore, I had to find some other books to talk about at work.  I’m not a very fast reader so; discovering the next new book was a challenge. Would I get the book read before it disappeared from the shelf?  How long do books live on a book shelf? The shelf life of a book was a mystery to me and still is.

I was whining to my husband Fred about my problem. How can I get the word out about great books for a very long period of time??? Being a man who likes to face challenges head we began to talk about how we could do this and the fact that I can’t read books fast enough to keep up with it’s shelf life at the store.

I also told him as a book club leader I wanted to promote great books and share them with other groups. Not everyone has the advantage of working at a book store and see what new books hit the shelves each week. Another struggle I had was if I had an author speaking at my book club I wanted to share them with other book clubs in the area. How could I do that? Where are book clubs meeting?

Our answer to many of these questions and more was the birth of The Book Club Network – TBCN. Connecting authors to book clubs and readers to their books; it’s also a network of book clubs as they post what they’ve read and how the meeting turned out.

It’s a place to find where a book club is located. We have a member map where you can find a book club near you. Message them and see if they are accepting new members. I envision it to be similar to be similar to the Weight Watchers program (don’t laugh Grin) you can go to a meeting anywhere in the country right? All you have to do is look on line and get connected. This is my hope for the future of TBCN.

Have there been any surprises for you @TBCN? What benefits have you seen by bringing readers and authors together?

I’ve been encouraged and fascinated by our growth. I can see there were other people out there like me wanting to connect with other book club members.

I’ll tell you what has surprised me is the author/reader interaction each month. This is something I didn’t foresee as I’ve watch the authors are having a blast interacting with the readers and visa/versa. The beauty of this discussion is it’s there forever for all to read no matter when you join TBCN.

The authors have done a great job coming up with questions for reader to answer that give them a peek into their book – create interest and then the discussion helps book club leaders connect with the author. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the amount of authors that want to be featured @The Book Club Network. It’s been a great thing.

The interaction with the authors is almost like having a book club meeting on line. It’s a huge benefit for both the authors who’ve wanted to ask clubs questions and readers who want to get to know authors. The authors are catching on. Our sponsors have loved the interaction as well. Members have told me that they love the author interaction from the 19th-21st as much as having a chance to win all these books. It’s hard to know if a book will be a fit for your group so these interaction times are helpful for that and so much more. Another thing I love about TBCN members is the fact they are not afraid to share what they think in a good way. I’ve learned so much and laughed out loud in some discussion where the questions lead to sharing funny moments.

My hope is that book club leaders and/or members participate in the discussions and make that book connection with the author and their book. I want TBCN to be a tool for them in picking out their books. Maybe invite the author to speak to their book club on the phone. It’s my hope. The discussion will be there forever. No worries about a books shelf live here @TBCN. So, everyone has time to get to know each other!! It’s a beautiful thing!

How can readers join in the anniversary celebrations?

It’s easy to sign up to be a member of TBCN.  We ask a few questions for you to answer and for other information that helps us keep spammers and other information seekers out of the network. It’s also FREE. You have opportunities to win lots of books. For our BIRTHDAY BASH we are giving away 10 books a day and announcing winners once a week. You’ll have all week to enter the daily featured contests.

Do you have any other comments for my readers?

If you are avid reader this is the place for you to learn about the latest in Christian Fiction and interact with the author each month.

Are you a book club leader? Well this is the place for you to find your next book club pick. We’d also love for you to set up your Book club page at our site for others to see. It’s a place to share your latest featured book. Post pictures of your club and the field trips you’ve taken. The authors you’ve met and the book fun you’ve had. Learn from other book clubs that have already set up their pages.

Want to start a book club but felt it was too overwhelming? You can learn from other experienced book club leaders, and you can start right away making your book club list!

Do you like to win books? This is the place for you. You’ll have a chance to get to know the authors and their books and read genre’s you normally wouldn’t. We’ve been giving away about 100 books a month and for our birthday bash it’s going to be 10 books every day; starting August first. Winners are picked weekly and announced each weekly.

THANK YOU! You’ve been a grand host to have me here and let me talk about The Book Club Network and our Birthday Bash!! I hope to see you there @TBCN www.bookfun.org

You are a Blessing!!

Nora :o)

The Book Club Network CEO

Thank you, Nora, for being my guest! Don’t forget to pop on over to TBCN’s website for your many chances to win all through the month of August!

Nora Stlaurent’s Bio: Nora is the CEO of The Book Club Network Incorporated. Nora and her husband run The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org She runs two book clubs near Atlanta, Ga., Former ACFW On-Line Book Club. Nora currently writes a Book Club column for the Christian Fiction OnLine Magazine and is a Book Club Talk Columnist for Novel Rocket. You can read author interviews on her Finding Hope Through Fiction blog, located at http://www.psalm516.blogspot.com, and reviews around the web at The Christian Pulse Mag, Title Trakk, Novel Reviews, and Suspense Zone.

And the winner of Shannon Vannatter’s book is…

Yay! I love announcing winners! The winner of Shannon Vannatter’s awesome contemporary romance novel chosen at random is…

Ingrid!

Ingrid, Shannon will be in touch with you soon. Thank you, everyone, for entering! Join me each Thursday for more giveaways. This Thursday, I am honored to have Jennifer Fromke as my guest and she’ll be giving away a copy of her fantastic new novel A Familiar Shore.

Until then, if you haven’t yet done so, you still have time to enter to win Linda Yezak’s contemporary romance Give the Lady a Ride at https://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/book-spotlight-and-giveaway-with-author-linda-yezak/

I’m also giving away copies of my own Montana Skies Historical Romance novel to three lucky winners. The details are here: https://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/three-chances-to-win/

Have a wonderful rest of your day!

Interview and giveaway with Author JoAnn Durgin!!!

Today I have a special treat for you. JoAnn Durgin is here to talk with us about her new release Twin Hearts. If you love contemporary romance, this book is for you! What’s especially exciting is that this book won’t be released until April 1, so you – my awesome blog readers – get first dibs on the inside scoop about this fab book.

One lucky commenter will be chosen to win a copy of Twin Hearts. (Please see below for all the details on how to enter).

And now, let’s welcome JoAnn!

Hello JoAnn! It’s wonderful to have you here. Can you tell us a little about your newest release? Twin Hearts features the parallel and simultaneous love stories of Louisiana twins Josh and Rebekah (“Beck”) Grant. They are each other’s best friend, and their loving, teasing relationship was a joy to write. The twins are volunteers in a Christian organization called TeamWork Missions (led by my core characters in The Lewis Legacy Series, Sam and Lexa Lewis). Even if readers haven’t read the first two books in the series, Awakening and Second Time Around, they can pick right up with this one. Josh was my wayward sheep in the first book; he’s handsome, funny and charming, but he’s seeking forgiveness for past transgressions. As the book begins, Josh is an up-and-coming attorney in Baton Rouge, and he goes to Houston to make his apologies to his former mentor, Sam. His last meeting with another TeamWork member still haunts him, and when he also seeks her forgiveness, he gets the shock of his life. Although Josh isn’t looking for love, he finds it in a most unexpected and tender way.

Rebekah is an elementary school teacher just outside Baton Rouge, and she’s at a personal crossroads. She has two men vying for her heart: a dashing British aristocrat and a quiet, faithful lumber man who’s also a TeamWork member. In a different kind of plot twist, a plan is hatched in Twin Hearts: give the girl what she thinks she wants in order to help her see what she really needs. Josh is instrumental in that plan, and at eight-minutes-older, loves playing the role of the wiser “big” brother and mentor to Rebekah.

My teaser about Twin Hearts is this: What do guppy lips, frog legs and a gazebo have to do with anything? Believe it or not, they’re very significant components. There’s another untraditional “twin” dynamic to the story, but readers will have to find that one out for themselves.

I can’t wait to read it! Now, you’ve hinted there’s a big secret revealed in Twin Hearts. Can you give us a clue? The only thing I’ll say is that it’s part of Josh’s storyline. My first reader called it a “very shocking, but sweet surprise.” I’m also not revealing the name of Josh’s love interest until the book comes out, with valid reason. Twin Hearts is full of love, humor, emotion, romance, fun dialogue, intriguing characters, drama, conflict—all the elements I hope you’ve come to expect from one of my books.

You write humor into your books, something many writers find difficult. Do you enjoy it? Nothing brings me greater joy than being able to make the reader smile or laugh. There’s enough sadness in life, and my books don’t shy away from that inevitable part of life, but I also strive to bring hope and light into my stories. I adore writing what I hope is witty, clever banter. I go very deep into point-of-view, and such internalizing hopefully helps the reader feel more connected to my characters. They are real to me, and I know that passion shines in my writer’s voice. My humor can sometimes be a little sarcastic, but indigenous to each character. What I love are those moments that make me laugh out loud. If it continues to make me laugh after multiple readings, I know it’s worth keeping.

What was the most challenging aspect in writing this book? Twin Hearts presented a unique challenge: how to go back and forth between the two stories without frustrating the reader? After moving a few chapters around, I realized I needed to do it chronologically and not worry about giving “equal” time to each couple. I wrote until the end of the scene instead of leaving the reader hanging. That might break some of those writer “rules,” but it would drive me crazy as a reader if I cut off a scene in the middle! In the end, it all works out fine. Frequent phone conversations between the twins (and a shared dinner) clue in the reader and keep the action moving forward. Because of a pivotal event in the lives of the twins, the stories converge about two-thirds of the way into the book.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book? Christians aren’t perfect, but we’re forgiven. We sometimes fall prey to the same temptations and sins as the rest of the world. It’s how we ultimately deal with the consequences of our sin that makes all the difference and can have an impact on others. My characters make mistakes—sometimes pretty big ones—and yet they pray, they seek to follow and honor the Lord, and when they stumble and fall, they pick themselves up and keep on going. Some have called my books modern fairy tales, with a dash of realism. I’m a firm believer in happy endings, and when you reach the end of one of my books, you’ll more than likely have a smile on your face.

I agree, JoAnn. I LOVE happy endings! Can you tell my readers where they can connect with you on the web? Sure. I love to connect with readers at my website at http://joanndurgin.com/

Thank you for allowing me to tell you a little about Twin Hearts. Blessings, my friends, and may your light shine for His glory! Matthew 5:16

Thank you so much for being my guest, JoAnn. And now, here’s your chance to win a copy of JoAnn’s book! (Please note, the winner’s book will be shipped after April 1, 2012).

The rules to enter are super easy! Leave a comment for JoAnn (and yes, anyone can enter, but confirmed subscribers receive two entries and be sure to remind me that you’re a confirmed subscriber!)  Giveaway ends on March 22, 2012. A winner will be chosen at random using random.org.

And the winners of the Laura Hilton’s and D.M. Webb’s books are…

Due to the stomach flu making a visit to our home, I am a  bit behind. However, I do have exciting news! According to random.org, the winner of Laura V. Hilton’s Promised to Another is

Sparksofember

And the winner of D.M. Webb’s Mississippi Nights is…

Beth C.

Congratulations to the winners! Laura and D. M. will be notifying you shortly.

Thank you to everyone who entered – I truly appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment for my fellow authors.

A bit later today, I’ll be posting about another chance to win yet another awesome book! Stay tuned!

Interview and giveaway with Author D.M. Webb!!!

I love helping my readers discover new authors! And today, I have Author D.M. Webb here for a visit. She is giving away a copy of her exciting suspense novel Mississippi Nights. ..

Two brothers, one death–The bond of brotherhood faces its greatest challenge against resentment and guilt.~~ Can the love between two brothers eventually win against pain and guilt?

When Firefighter David Boyette’s fiancée perishes in a car fire, he blames his brother, Sgt. Jeremy Boyette, for her death.

Three years later, David returns home with a dark and devastating secret. With the help of family, a woman’s love, and a small child’s devotion, can David overcome insurmountable odds as he and Jeremy face the bitterness that enslaves him?

Together the brothers must decide if the bond of brotherhood is stronger than resentment and hate.

I haven’t yet had the opportunity to read D.M.’s book, but doesn’t it just sound so good?!

And now, let’s take a minute to get to know the author behind the book…

Hello, D.M., it’s great to have you on my blog this week. What was the inspiration behind your latest book? Inspiration, beyond what God granted me, was a little different than the books I am working on now. Mississippi Nights started out as a small story written when I was only 14 and with the title One Big Happy Family. Who knows where the original manuscript is, but the story lived inside me until last year. I changed a few names around, resurrected the dead brother, and then the characters grew. The heartaches I had lived through, what I’ve seen others live through, and my own spiritual growth lent a hand in writing Mississippi Nights. That and I LOVE to read. Other authors’ (or musicians) stories help inspire new ideas and new directions.

Speaking of  books, what is your favorite book in the Bible? I will bounce back and forth between Song of Solomon, the ultimate love story, and Matthew. I find Matthew to be a fulfilling and engrossing book. The Book of Matthew has so many stories that relate to today and the things we all go through.

So true! So tell me, If you suddenly were given one million dollars to start a new charity, what type of charity would you launch and why? An orphanage. There are way too many children who has to live life with no love and not knowing of any hope. I would love to start an orphanage that will teach, guide, and mentor to those who were not chosen into families. And maybe a ministry for women, those who need a helping hand, a shoulder to lean upon, or someone to just listen and guide them.

I love your answer! I also have a heart for orphans as well.  So, what project(s) are you currently working on? I am currently working on my next book, Alabama Days. Plotting the third book, which is tentatively based on the life of a musician I know and parts of my life. Then there is the small book titled Bury Me Under the Elmore Tree, which is a comedy of sorts. I use it as a stepping stone into my daily writing. It helps fire up those synapses so I can string together an intelligible sentence.

And lastly, D.M., how can readers connect with you? I have a website: www.dmwebb.com Facebook as https://www.facebook.com/WebbDM, and https://www.facebook.com/MississippiNightsNovel Twitter as @DaphMichele

Wonderful! Thank you again, for being my guest. It’s been an honor to have you here!

All right, readers! This is your chance to win a copy of D.M.’s book! Here’s how…

Just leave a comment for D.M. and those who are confirmed subscribers (be sure to check your email to confirm your subscription) will receive two entries. Sorry, but this giveaway is limited to those in the U.S. The giveaway will end on March 15, 2011 and a winner will be chosen at random.

Thank you for entering and join me each Thursday for more fantastic interviews and book giveaways!

Author Spotlight/Book Giveaway with Laura V. Hilton!

I’m excited to welcome my friend, Laura V. Hilton, back to my blog for a book spotlight and giveaway! Read on to find out more about Laura’s new book and how you can enter to win your own copy.

Laura’s latest book Promised to Another will soon be released by Whitaker House and is the third in her Amish of Seymour series. Following is the blurb…

Annie Beiler is a spunky, spirited schoolteacher, but she’s struggled ever since the man she was promised to “jumped the fence” and left the Amish of Seymour. To make matters worse, she’s in danger of losing her job because she took her students on an unauthorized field trip.

Soon after Joshua Esh moved from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to Seymour, Annie Beiler caught his attention. He’s disheartened to discover that she is promised to another man-Luke, who left the Amish but vowed to return one day and claim “his” Annie. So, Joshua mingles with all of the girls but Annie, not wanting to rock the boat.

Before long, Luke and Joshua are fighting over Annie, and God alone knows what will become of this triangle of tension.

I caught up with Laura to ask her a few questions…

What prompted your interest in writing about the Amish community?  Well I love reading Amish books.  I read somewhere to go check your bookshelves to see what genre of books you keep and then write that genre.  Hmmm.  Not sure that’d work for me.  I have chick lit, contemporary, women’s fiction, children’s, YA, Amish, suspense, historical…..   LOL  But then my agent suggest I “try” Amish fiction.  I thought about it, prayed about it, and well, I knew I had Amish background, but wasn’t sure I could do the Amish justice. But I gave it a shot.

Very fascinating! I love discovering how other authors have chosen the genre in which they write.  So…can you tell me what role have your life experiences played in the characters and/or the situations you develop in your books?   Well, I’m a quiet shy person, so I struggled with acceptance and finding my place in the world. Still do at times. I’ve found that even seemingly outgoing people have issues they struggle with where they find they don’t quite fit in.  We are all made from a different mold.  So, finding your special niche or gift where you fit is a topic that always seems to make it into my stories – so far.

I have been wondering, and I’m sure others are wondering as well…do you want to be Amish?   No, I don’t want to be Amish. I’m too attached to air conditioning.  And being able to go someplace w/o hitching up a buggy to a horse or finding a ride.

Would you please share with us your bio? Sure! Here is my “official” bio:  Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools three of her children. Her two oldest children are homeschool graduates and are in college.  Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.

Her publishing credits include Hot Chocolate and Shadows of the Past from Treble Heart Books; a devotional in a compilation from Zondervan; and the first book Patchwork Dreams in her Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House released in April 2011, the second book, A Harvest of Hearts in September 2011, and Promised to Another in April 2012. Laura has her business degree from Ozarka and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Laura is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites.

Laura loves to connect with her readers through her blog, where she also writes book reviews.

Thank you so much for for joining us today, Laura. It’s always a pleasure to have you as my guest!

And now, my wonderful blog readers, you have a chance to win Promised to Another. The rules to enter are super easy! Leave a comment for Laura (and yes, anyone can enter, but confirmed subscribers receive two entries and be sure to remind me that you’re a confirmed subscriber!)  Giveaway ends on March 8, 2012. A winner will be chosen at random.

I will be announcing the winners of Fay Lamb’s book and Shellie Neumeier’s book this Friday, so if you haven’t entered to win Shellie’s awesome book, there’s still time by going here: https://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/author-spotlightgiveaway-with-shellie-neumeier/

Join me each Thursday for author interviews and giveaways. Also, join me on Mondays for Movie Mondays, where I review movies, and on Tuesdays for my humor posts.  If you enjoy humor, please check out my most recent humor post Extreme Bathroom Makeover!

Interview and Giveaway with Author Fay Lamb!!!

It’s Thursday and that means I have the honor of introducing you to another awesome author friend! This time, I have as my guest, Fay Lamb. She is giving away a copy of her book Because of Me. Here’s a bit about her book… (and isn’t that just a cool cover?!)

Issie Putnam’s life took a detour the night she was raped at gunpoint in front of her fiancé, Michael Hayes. Instead of marrying Michael, a promising young investigative reporter, Michael, along with the man who attacked her, and the man who held the gun on Michael, are imprisoned for conspiracy to assassinate the local district attorney—a crime Michael was trying to expose but had no intention of committing. Issie’s name is ruined, she lost her perfectly-planned future, but she gained Cole, her son—born of that rape.

On the eve of her attacker’s parole, Michael, already released from prison, follows through on his plan to return to the small town of Amazing Grace and protect Issie from the madman who promised to seek revenge. There, he meets Issie’s seven-year-old son for the first time.

Can Michael learn to love the child Issie holds so close to her heart? Will Michael be able to protect the woman he loves from the man who will stop at nothing to destroy them all?

Because of Me is available through Amazon.

Let’s take a minute to chat with Fay about her new book…

Hello Fay! Thank you for being my guest today! Tell us a little about your novel, Because of Me. I met Michael Hayes one cool autumn day while sitting on my porch. Michael, unshaven, his hair a little scraggly, and his young face filled with tension, began to tell me his story. “There’s a young boy, Cole. I’m not his father, but he’s definitely on this earth because of me. I allowed something horrible to happen to his mother, but I still love her. I despise the kid, though. I’ve forgiven another for so much more, and Cole’s only fault is that his father is the man who took everything from me. How can I learn to love this child and protect his mother from the man who can again take her from me?”

And as easily as Michael entered my imagination, he turned and walked away.

Michael’s revelation brought forth layer after layer of plot, and my novel, Because of Me was born.

Wow! Very fascinating! So, what motivated you to write it? Deep down, I think this story came about because my two boys were like Cole. In fact, my youngest son—the one who really never had the favor of his natural father—his middle name is Cole. My boys needed a man in their lives who would love them unconditionally, who would nurture and care for them, and show a Christ-like example of a true father. My husband, Marc, stepped into that role when my children were six and four years old, and he’s never let those boy think for a moment that he wasn’t as much their dad as the man they share DNA with.

Still, there’s so much more to Because of Me. It’s a story of forgiveness, the depths of which some may never experience, and the story will truly renew your faith in the Lord’s design for us. After all, God is always in the details whether you recognize it or not.

What is the main message you hope your readers will take away? That no matter how badly we mess up or how much comes upon us, God is always nearby. I truly believe Paul didn’t idly pen the words of Roman 8:28. When the Scripture tells us “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose,” the Lord is telling us that it isn’t just the good in our lives that will work together for good. Only our awesome, loving Father can make provisions for us when we make mistakes. Only He knows the thoughts He has toward us, as Jeremiah 29:11 says, and there again, he promises an expected end, a future of hope.

I, too, love Jeremiah 29:11 and have it has one of my life verses. So, Fay, which character did you most enjoy creating and why? A very hard question for me. This story has some truly memorable characters—not just the hero and heroine, but secondary characters. I absolutely love Michael Hayes and Isabel Putnam, the love of Michael’s life. They’re flawed, but they endure some mighty big conflict.

However, my favorite fellow in Because of Me is Ted McGillicudy. Ted kind of sneaked up on me and inserted himself in the story. He’s a gruff old country boy, and Ted knew that for Michael to eventually love Cole, he’d need an example of a father in his life. Ted watches out of Michael, accepts him, and for Michael, whose father left him when he was very young, Ted fills a void in his life. And Ted, he spouts off some one-liners that will take you by surprise.

Which character do you think your readers will most relate to and why? Definitely, Michael. He’s lost so much, and he returns after being in prison and away from his hometown for several years. He is shocked to find that the woman he loves isn’t alone any longer, and he has issues to deal with before he can win back her heart. Michael struggles through those issues, but he clings to his life verse: Job 13:15: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him: but I will maintain mine own ways before Him.”

What are you working on now? I have completed a second romantic suspense, Willow’s Path, and two contemporary romances, Charisse and Faith. Currently, I’m working on two other romantic suspense novels and the last story in the contemporary romance series while editing a contemporary fiction entitled, Storms in Serenity. Beyond that I am excitedly looking forward to delving into a novel that includes the intriguing world of professional surfing.

Thank you, Fay, for being here. It was an honor to have you as my guest!

Fay Lamb works as an acquisition/copyeditor for Pelican Book Group (White Rose Publishing and Harbourlight Books), offers her services as a freelance editor, and is an author of Christian romance and romantic suspense. Her emotionally charged stories remind the reader that God is always in the details. Because of Me, her debut romantic suspense novel will be released on February 3, 2012, by Treble Heart Books/Mountainview Publishing.

Fay has a passion for working with and encouraging fellow writers. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she co-moderates the large Scribes’ Critique Group and manages the smaller Scribes’ critique groups. For her efforts, she was the recipient of the ACFW Members Service Award in 2010.

In 2012, Fay was also elected to serve as secretary on ACFW’s Operating Board.

Fay and her husband, Marc, reside in Titusville, Florida, where multi-generations of their families have lived. The legacy continues with their two married sons and five grandchildren.

Now here’s your turn to have a chance at winning Fay’s new ebook! While I haven’t yet read it, it looks like a touching read to add to your “must read” pile! Here’s all you have to do…leave a comment for Fay (and yes, anyone can enter, but confirmed subscribers receive two entries and be sure to remind me that you’re a confirmed subscriber!). Giveaway ends on February 23, 2012. A winner will be chosen at random.

Join me next week when I’ll have one of my favorite author friends, Shellie Neumeier on my blog talking about her new tween book The Wishing Ring  – and you’ll have a chance to win once again!

And the winner of Peg Phifer’s new book is…

Whew! I can’t believe I forgot to announce the exciting news about the winner of Peg Phifer’s new book To See the Sun…

 

The winner, chosen at random, is Cass! Cass, Peg will be in touch with you soon. Thank you to everyone who entered! There’s still time to enter the giveaway for Gina Conroy’s book, and tomorrow, I’ll be hosting a giveaway by author Fay Lamb.  Have a great evening!

And the winners of the Days of Christmas Book Giveaway Celebration are…

Before I announce the winners,  I want to invite you to join me for my humor post 5 things a man should never buy his wife for Christmas at https://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/5-things-a-man-should-never-buy-his-wife-for-christmas-2/  You won’t want to miss this post!

Phew! What an exciting 10 days with some fantastic book giveaways! Thank you so much to all who entered. Thank you, especially, for sharing your wonderful Christmas memories and traditions with me! I enjoyed reading the comments and “chatting” with you all, as did the other authors! I am feeling rather thankful right now for random.org, which helped me to decide the winners at random.

All right…without further ado, below are the winners. The authors will be contacting you shortly. In the meantime, congratulations and  thank you again for entering these giveaways. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Day 1 (Staci Stallings/Sarah Witenhafer book giveaway) – Paula Osborne

Day 2 (Amanda Beth/Mukkove Johnson book giveaway) – Terri Harr

Day 3 (Tracy Ruckman/Jordan T. Maxwell book/cd giveaway) – Kim Justice

Day 4 (Shawn Lamb/Suzanne Hartmann book giveaway) – Wendy Marple

Day 5 – (Naty Matos/Valerie Comer book giveaway) – sparksofember

Day 6 – (Lyn Cote/Wendy Young book giveaway) – Judy K. Burgi

Day 7 – (Penny Zeller/Karen Baney book giveaway) – Teela

Day 8 – (Stephanie Shott/Matt Patterson book giveaway) – Janice

Day 9 – (Nike Chillemi/Ada Brownell  book giveaway) – Cindy Regnier

Day 10 – (Gina Conroy/Shellie Neumeier/Darlene Shortridge book giveaway) – Joy (jumpfourjoy)

Movie Monday is taking a break this week, but will resume next week.  And be sure to join me in January for more giveaways from some of my favorite authors on Thursdays throughout the month.