Interview and Giveaway with Author Deb Raney – 3 book giveaway!

I’m super excited to welcome Author Deb Raney to my blog and she is giving away, not one, not two, but THREE books. Yes, you read correctly! Deb is giving away a copy of each of the three books in her Hanover Falls Series.

Here is a bit about this awesome series:
An unlikely group of people are drawn together to cope with the tragic aftermath of a fatal fire at a downtown homeless shelter in Hanover Falls, Missouri. Four widows, one widower, a battalion chief, and a son of one of the heroic firefighters—a rookie fireman himself—struggle to make sense of their broken lives in the midst of discovering the mystery surrounding the fire that destroyed their dreams and their futures.
 
Doesn’t this sound like a series to be added to your TBR list? And now, let’s take a minute and meet the author behind the books…
Thank you for being with us today, Deb. It is such an honor to have you here discussing with my readers your latest series. Speaking of which, what was your inspiration behind your Hanover Falls Series? A few years ago, my husband placed a newspaper clipping beside my plate at breakfast one morning, the story of nine firefighters who died in a tragic blaze in South Carolina. “I think there’s something worth exploring here,” he said. I began thinking how the tragedy would change the lives of those firefighters’ families, yet how they would pull together, because the firefighting world is a “family” unto itself, and before long, the Hanover Falls series was putting itself together in my mind. My niece is married to a firefighter whose family has a proud history of serving as firefighters and my nephew-in-law was an invaluable resource to me, sharing stories and details about the world of firefighting, and loaning me his training manuals for most of the three years I was writing these books.

I love hearing the inspiration behind books, Deb! Do you have a favorite book in the series? A favorite character? I am learning that I’m a little fickle when it comes to books. At one time, I would have said that Almost Forever, the first book in the series, was my favorite, but with After All (book 3) just released with a nice review from Publishers Weekly and readers responding so favorably, now I’m leaning toward After All as my favorite. I really love my “middle child” Forever After, too! Fickle, I tell you!

I completely understand! I can never answer that question when I’m asked to choose which book I like most in my Montana Skies Series. Speaking of books, what is your favorite verse in the Bible and why? For several years now, I’ve thought I really should change my “favorite verse” because it seems like my verse is everyone’s favorite verse: Romans 8:28. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. And yet, that verse has been so foundational in my life that I want to shout it from the rooftops. It’s wonderful to know that even when I can’t see anything good in a certain circumstance, God’s intention for me is good. And everything that happens to me serves HIS purpose for my life. That’s a truth you can live by!

That is such a great verse!  And now, for my favorite question… if you were suddenly given one million dollars, what charity would you like to found and why? I don’t suppose I could talk you into letting me found the Deborah Raney Travel Through Europe Fund, could I? Well, in that case, I would want to fund a charity that provides workers to rebuild Haiti. My parents served on the board of an organization that supported a girls’ home in Haiti, and for more than a quarter of a century, they spent a week or two every winter working at that orphanage. Twice my family and I were scheduled to go with my Dad to spend time at the girls’ home near Port au Prince (I was researching my novel, Over the Waters, set in Haiti) but both times the trip was cancelled at the last minute due to unrest in Haiti. But because of my parents, I have a heart for the country and people of Haiti. What amazes me is how much an American dollar can accomplish in that poverty-stricken nation. We have so much and are so often discontent. They have so little, and seem always to be smiling. There’s a lesson there!

What a wonderful idea for a ministry – and I loved learning about your parents and their ministry to Haiti. Lastly, where can readers connect with you?

http://www.deborahraney.com

https://www.facebook.com/deborah.raney

https://twitter.com/authordebraney

http://novelgarden.blogspot.com

Thank you again for being here, Deb. You are truly an inspiration!

Deborah’s first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched her writing career after 20 happy years as a stay-at-home mom. Her books have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Deb’s 23rd novel will release from Howard/Simon & Schuster Spring 2013. She and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy the wildflowers and native grasses in the Kansas prairie garden in their large backyard. They also love traveling together to teach at conferences, and to visit four children and four small grandchildren who all live much too far away.

And now, readers, here’s your chance to win all THREE books in Deb’s Hanover Fall’s Series! All you have to do is leave an encouraging comment for Deborah. A winner will be chosen at random. Sorry this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. If you are a subscriber to this blog, you will receive two entries.  The contest ends on October 25, 2012.

Also, stay tuned as I will be announcing the winners of Lisa Buffaloe’s book Nadia’s Hope and Darlene Franklin’s book A Bride’s Rogue in Roma, Texas tomorrow.

Interview and Giveaway with Diana Brandemeyer!!!

I am super excited to have talented to spotlight author Diana Brandmeyer’s new bookA Bride’s Dilemmain Friendship, Tennessee, which is just fantastic, by the way. As a writer of historical romance, that is also my favorite genre to read. 🙂

Diana is giving away a copy of The Bride’s Dilemma to two lucky entrants (yes, two!), and believe me, you will want to read this book! I am on page 236 and am enjoying every page!

I have a special treat for you today…I will be interviewing Angel Wharton, one of the strong secondary characters in Diana’s  book. She’s the 11-year-old sister of Heaven and sweetheart with a lot of spunk. I’ll be chatting with Angel in a moment, but first, let’s find out a bit about A Bride’s Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee…

Heaven’s Stolen His Heart

After witnessing the ravages of the Civil War, Travis Logan vowed to give up doctoring. But when fellow steamboat passenger Caleb Wharton collapses at his feet, Travis knows he must lend his aid. As the old man lies dying, he makes Travis promise to take care of his land and find Heaven. Travis can’t help but wonder what Heaven has to do with a real place, so he heads to Caleb’s farm to fulfill his promise.

Weeks of facing marauders and caring for her father’s home have finally taken their toll on Heaven Wharton. When an unknown young man charges the house, Heaven attempts to fire a warning shot but ends up shooting the man instead. Shocked, she and her sister, Angel, drag a semi-conscious Travis into the house and nurse him back to health.

 As Travis and Heaven both struggle to control their destinies, will they learn that only a heart that follows God can ever find peace on earth?

After the Civil War, Travis Logan vowed to give up doctoring. But when fellow steamboat passenger Caleb Wharton collapses at his feet, Travis lends his aid. As the old man lies dying, he makes Travis promise to take care of his land and find Heaven. Travis can’t help but wonder what Heaven has to do with a real place.

When an unknown young man charges the house, Heaven Wharton attempts to fire a warning shot but ends up shooting the man. Shocked, she and her sister, Angel, drag a semi-conscious Travis into the house and nurse him back to health.

As Travis and Heaven both struggle to control their destinies, will they learn that only a heart that follows God can ever find peace on earth?

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And now, for my interview with Angel Wharton…

Hello Angel. Thank you for stopping by my blog today.

Hello Mrs. Zeller. Heaven said you wanted to ask me a few questions. She said to be polite too, but I was already planning on that.

Heaven does likes to protect you doesn’t she?

Yes, Mrs. Zeller, she does. Most of the time I don’t mind. When it thunders loud and the air gets still I like it when she sits next to me and reads to me.

When don’t you like it, Angel?

Sometimes I want to be by myself or take a walk with Mr. Jackson. He’s my friend. He’s a goat but he’s still my friend. Anyway Heaven follows me, she doesn’t think I notice but I know she’s back there.

I think you’re very smart, Angel! So, what do you think of Mr. Logan?

Well, once we got all the blood off of him he turned out to be pretty interesting. Heaven thinks so too. Mrs. Zeller, I have to go now. It’s time for me to do my chores. Don’t tell Heaven, but I could do harder ones. She doesn’t need to know that.

Thanks for being so polite, Angel. I enjoyed our chat.

I almost forgot, Heaven said to tell you that she likes your blog readers so much she wants to give two of them a book, but only if they live in the United States of America because we’re still recovering from that war between the states.

That’s very generous, Angel. I’ll be sure to pass that along to my readers. Have a wonderful day and thank you for stopping by my blog to chat!

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And now a bit about the author…

Christian author, Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, writes historical and contemporary romances. Her historical, A Bride’s Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee is now available. She’s also written We’re Not Blended-We’re Pureed, A Survivor’s Guide to Blended Families. Once widowed and now remarried she writes with humor and experience on the difficulty of joining two families be it fictional or real life.

LINKS

http://www.dianabrandmeyer.com

http://www.pencildancer.com (blog)

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/dianalesirebrandmeyerauthor

Twitter @dianabrandmeyer

And now my awesome readers, here’s all you do for a chance to win a copy of this awesome book…leave an encouraging comment for Diana Brandmeyer,  and yes, anyone in the U.S. can enter, but confirmed subscribers receive two entries, so be sure to sign up to follow this blog, then check your email and confirm your subscription to be added to the subscriber list!) Giveaway ends on June 28, 2012. Two winners will be chosen at random!

Also, I will be announcing the winners of Deborah Bateman’s, Staci Stallings’, and Rita Schulte’s books tomorrow afternoon. I’ve just returned from vacation and am soooo far behind, but I can’t wait to announce the winners! Have a great rest of your week! 🙂

Starbucks gift card and book giveaway celebration!!!

In honor of Mother’s Day and my blog’s anniversary, I am giving away two Starbucks giftcards and two books to two lucky winners!

My mom and I on a hiking trip – love ya Mom!

When I first decided to begin blogging two years ago, I had no idea what I would be blogging about. I knew it would have something to do with my passion for writing books, inspiring and encouraging others, bringing humor into the lives of others, and sharing about movies for the entire family. Thus, A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, & Author was born!

I want to thank everyone for visiting my blog and leaving comments over the past two years. I have enjoyed meeting you all and appreciate you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much!

So, in celebration of my blog’s anniversary and a very important upcoming holiday – Mother’s Day – I am giving away two prizes each to two winners. Each of the two winners drawn at random will receive both a Starbucks giftcard and their choice of one four of my  books: McKenzie, Kaydie, Hailee, or 77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference.

Choose from a book in my Montana Skies Series:

McKenzie: Desperate to save her sister from an abusive husband, socialite McKenzie Worthington responds to a mail-order bride ad in the Montana Territory—where God-fearing rancher Zachary Sawyer prays for a wife to share his life. But when McKenzie arrives with a plan that includes divorce, will Zachary’s persistent kindness and self-sacrifice change her heart?

 

 

 

 

Kaydie: Haunted by her marriage to an abusive man, Kaydie Kraemer is determined never to fall in love again, and it will take the grace of God to change her mind – the same grace that works in the heart of Jonah Dickenson, a confirmed bachelor who has unhealed wounds of his own to overcome.

 

 

 

 

 

Hailee: For years, orphan Hailee Annigan roamed the streets as a thief trying to provide for her siblings. After turning her life around, she’s finally getting a fresh start. But what will happen when she crosses paths with the handsome Reverend Nate Adams?

 

 

 

 

 

Or from my nonfiction book…

77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference: Serving others is a vital part of the Christian life. Time and again Christ demonstrated the importance of putting others first and giving what we can to help those less fortunate. As adults, we recognize the importance of instilling these values in our children and youth, but simply telling them to love their neighbor isn’t enough; to leave a lasting impression, they need to see and experience love in action.

Filled with suggestions, activities, Bible verses, and topics for discussion, this re-usable manual inspires families to look for ways to make the world a better place by making a difference in the lives of others.

 

 

 

Keep the book  and giftcard for you, or win it for that special mom in your life!

Here’s all you have to do...leave me a comment about what you love most about your mom and which book you would most like to win if you were chosen as the winner. Anyone can enter (I’m sorry, U.S. residents only on this one) and confirmed subscribers receive two entries.

In addition, because this is a giveaway in celebration of Mother’s Day and my blog’s anniversary, you can earn an extra entry for “liking” my newly-remodeled Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pennyzellerbooks.

A big “thank you” to social media designer Carrie Chwierut of Carrie’s Social for the remodel of my Facebook page, which included some awesome tabs!

Giveaway ends on Thursday, May 10, 2012. Two winners will be chosen at random to each receive a Starbucks giftcard and their choice of one of my books.

I feel blessed beyond blessed that God has called me to be a mom. And to my own mom and to all the mother’s out there, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

And the winner of “Give the Lady a Ride” by Linda Yezak is…

Hello Everyone! The winner of Linda Yezak’s book Give the Lady a Ride is…

Kim F.

Congratulations, Kim!

Thank you everyone, for entering. And don’t forget…there is still time to enter to win Jennifer Fromke’s awesome debut novel A Familiar Shore by going here: https://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/interview-and-giveaway-with-author-jennifer-fromke/

Join me each Thursday for a new giveaway!

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!

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!

Book spotlight and giveaway with Gina Conroy!!!

I’m thrilled to have my author friend, Gina Conroy, as my guest once again. Today, we are spotlighting her new release, Cherry Blossom Capers and you have a chance to win a copy by leaving a comment for Gina (U.S. residents only, please). For all the details, see below…

Four townhouse neighbors encounter romance and mystery near our nation’s capital. In State Secrets, White House assistant chef Tara Whitley and FBI agent Jack Courtland stop a plot to sabotage a State dinner—and find love still hidden in their hearts. In Dying for Love, attorneys and opponents Ciara Turner and Daniel Evans uncover love while searching for justice. In Buried Deception, archaeologist Samantha Steele and security guard Nick Porter dig up love while uncovering a forged artifact. In Coffee, Tea and Danger, amateur sleuths Susan Holland and Vince Martini find love while investigating a string of mysterious accidents.

I haven’t yet read this book, but I think it sounds SOOOOO good!

And now, for some interview questions with Gina!

What inspired you to write this book? Several years ago when I was homeschooling, we took the kids on a cross-country trip up the east coast. I remember walking through Mount Vernon’s Mansion wondering if all the antiques were real and what would happen if one of them was a forgery? The mom character with her rambunctious kids came first, NOT that I would know anything about that sort of thing. Then came the snarky, but lovable, brooding security guard. Again, not that I would know anything about sarcasm…

What did you find the most difficult aspect of writing a mystery? Making all the clues match up and make sense in my head! The research and clue dropping had to be precise, and at times even I got confused as to whodunit. There was a lot of police procedure involved where I counted on my police officer friend, Steven Hunt, to educate me in all areas of background checks, firearms, and cop lingo. When it came time to reveal the villain, it took more mental power than I had imagined to make sure everything lined up with the facts. Just thinking about all the double and triple checking I had to do makes my head hurt.

Aside from writing, what else are you passionate about?I love to encourage fellow writers and people to pursue their dreams. In fact, I started the pursuit of another lifelong dream of mine. Ballroom dancing. While I won’t be on Dancing with the Stars anytime soon, I am enjoying the physical and mental challenge of dancing. Not to mention it’s a great work out and lots of fun!

Where can we find you on the web and what should we expect?  For a more personal account of my life and triumphs and trials as I pursue my dreams along side my kids’ dream, you can find me blogging at Defying Gravity.

I share my writing insecurities and celebrations, but also share fun stuff about my family like when my kids got a Disney audition call back! After all, my blog is all about helping people follow their dreams, and I have to include my own children!

Gina’s bio: Gina Conroy used to think she knew where her life was headed; now she’s leaning on the Lord to show her the way.  She is the founder of Writer…Interrupted at http://writerinterrupted.com/  where she mentors busy writers and tries to keep things in perspective, knowing God’s timing is perfect, even if she doesn’t agree with it! 😉 Her first novella, Buried Deception, in the Cherry Blossom Capers Collection, releases from Barbour Publishing in January 2012. On her blog Defying Gravity at http://www.ginaconroy.com/ginablog/wordpress/ she chronicles her triumphs and trials as she pursues her dreams while encouraging her family and others to chase after their own passions. Gina loves to connect with readers, and when she isn’t writing, teaching, or driving kids around, you can find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Gina-Conroy/198614450154235 and Twitter at https://twitter.com/ginaconroy

Gina and the other authors will be guests tonight at 10pm EST at www.choicesradio.com or on iTunes–podcast available after tomorrow.

Want to have a chance at winning a copy of Gina’s new book? Here are the full details…

All you have to do is leave a comment for Gina.  Confirmed subscribers (be sure to check your email to confirm your subscription!) receive two entries.  The giveaway ends on Thursday, February 16, and a winner will be chosen at random. Entries are limited to those residing in the United States.

**Be sure to stop by each Thursday for book spotlights and chats with some of my favorite author friends. I have a wonderful lineup coming up in the next couple of months. On Mondays, I do movie reviews – you might want to check out this past Movie Monday review of Marriage Retreat at https://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/movie-monday-marriage-retreat-2612/. On Tuesdays, I share humorous or inspirational postings about the everyday life of a wife, mom, and author. You can check out some hilarious spelling word sentences I unearthed in my daughters’ school notebooks here: https://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/need-a-good-laugh/

Have a fantastic rest of your week!