And the winner is…

I’m excited to announce the winner of Cynthia Simmons fantastic book Struggles and Triumphs: Women in History Who Overcame is…

Dale Harcombe!

Dale, Cynthia will be in touch with you soon regarding your book. Thank you to everyone for entering!

And if you haven’t already,  be sure to enter to win the new contemporary romance from Staci Stallings To Protect and Serve here on my blog at  http://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/interview-and-giveaway-with-author-staci-stallings/

Also, I am giving away a copy of the winner’s choice of one of my Montana Skies Historical Romance Novels (McKenzie, Kaydie, or Hailee) and today is the last day to enter! That contest (along with a funny story about what happened once when I was doing an interview) can be found at http://chatwithvera.blogspot.com/2012/05/humorous-life-of-writer-by-penny-zeller.html

 

 

Book Spotlight and Giveaway with Author Linda Yezak!

I’m excited to bring you yet another fab giveaway! This time, my author friend Linda Yezak is here for a book spotlight of her latest book Give the Lady a Ride

Patricia Talbert is a high-class social coordinator from New York. Talon Carlson is a rugged bull rider from Texas. He thinks she’s too polished. She thinks he’s insane.

 Opposites aren’t quick to attract when the lady who enters the cowboy’s world is on a mission to sell the ranch. But a box of letters changes her mission-letters of unshakable faith and a love deeper than anything she’s ever experienced.

 Soon she finds his integrity appealing. Her spunk draws him in. He has the faith she craves; she may be the love he longs for. But faith and love aren’t achieved in a single weekend.

 To buy time to explore the possibilities between them, she issues a challenge: “Teach me to ride bulls.”

 From here on, they’re in for the ride of their lives.

If you love contemporary romance, you will want to read this book!

And now, here are the super-easy details on how you can enter to win a copy of Give the Lady a Rideleave an encouraging comment for Linda (and yes, anyone 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 April 26, 2012. A winner will be chosen at random.

Finally, let’s learn a bit about the woman behind this fabulous book!

Linda W. Yezak holds a BA in English, a graduate certificate in Paralegal Studies, and a bucket list as long as her arm. Among the things on the list is owning a stable full of horses, and since that’s not likely to happen any time soon, she includes horses in each of her novels, from her contemporary western romance Give the Lady a Ride and her current work, The Cat Lady’s Secret, to her work-in-progress, a contemporary western romance series tentatively called “Family First.” Until the day she can retire with her husband to their land in Central Texas and ride to her heart’s content, she’ll continue with her writing and freelance editing careers.

Thank you, my awesome readers, for taking the time to enter this giveaway.  Be sure to join me each Thursday for special giveaways and be sure to stop by on May 3 when I’ll have a very special giveaway in honor of my blog’s anniversary! Until then, have a fantastic rest of your week!


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.