Welcome, Mindy and Leslie. I know that this is a collaboration. How did this story come about?Leslie: One of our dear readers told me about her Huguenot relatives and thought the topic would make a great series. She was right! I’d heard of the French ...

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  1. MY DAUGHTER'S LEGACY - Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould - One Free Book
  2. THE AMERICAN CONQUEST - Jenna Brandt - One Free Ebook
  3. A MATCH FOR MELISSA - Susan Karsten - One free ebook
  4. WINNERS!!
  5. HIDING FROM THE KIDS IN MY PRAYER CLOSET - Jessica Kastner - One Free Book
  6. More Recent Articles

MY DAUGHTER'S LEGACY - Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould - One Free Book

Welcome, Mindy and Leslie. I know that this is a collaboration. How did this story come about?
Leslie: One of our dear readers told me about her Huguenot relatives and thought the topic would make a great series. She was right! I’d heard of the French Protestants, who fled France in droves in the late 1600s, but began seriously researching them after that. Their history was fascinating. I shared my research with Mindy and, voila!, a new series was born.

Did you find it easy to work together on it?
Writing a novel is never easy, but we’ve done so many books together now that we’ve definitely gotten it down to a science. I guess we’d say it was as easy as any book with two authors, two main POV characters, and two different time periods could be!

How did collaborating with this team impact you?
Mindy: Just the back and forth of working together always has a huge impact on me. Leslie is such a gifted writer that she continually raises the bar on my own writing. She’s so calm and rational that she keeps me from falling apart when the going gets tough. And mostly, she’s just such a lovely person to work with that our friendship grows with every project.

Leslie: Aww, I feel the same way about Mindy, but she’s the one who really pulls it all together as far as the plot and the mystery and tying up all of the loose ends, plus she’s a great editor. It’s really incredible to send a chunk of writing off to her and have her polish it up and make it shine. I have to say that I totally agree about the friendship aspect. Every time we finish a project, I miss Mindy! Writing can be a lonely endeavor, and co-authoring adds a nice layer of camaraderie to the experience.

What is the hardest thing about writing as a team?
Mindy: We have to set intermediate deadlines for the project so that we stay on track, time-wise, but I’m almost always late meeting those deadlines on my end. So for me, the hardest part is that constant feeling of stress and obligation knowing that the next deadline is looming but I might not make it—yet again. Ack!

Leslie: For me, it’s when I send Mindy an unpolished section because we’re on deadline (or for some other reason, lol), and I cringe at the thought of her reading it but know she can fix it faster than I can. J

What are you reading right now?
Mindy: I read audibly, and I always have three books going at once, fiction and nonfiction, for different times of the day. (Business-related or research-related stuff in the morning to get my mind rolling, and fiction as a reward in the afternoons or evenings once I meet my quota for the day.) Currently, my morning nonfiction is The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp and my after work novel is Fatal Pursuit by Martin Walker.  I also often listen to a third book in bed at night, something that’s good but somewhat slow and not too exciting so I can more easily drift off to sleep. Currently, my hubby is reading us Moby Dick.

Leslie: I usually read a novel, a non-fiction book, and a writing book, concurrently. (Although when I’m close to deadline I don’t start a new novel because I binge when it comes to fiction and that can be dangerous when I need to write, write, write!) Currently, I’m reading Landfall by Ellen Urbani, a debut novel set during Katrina; Hooked: Grab Readers on Page One by Les Edgerton; and Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, about our criminal justice system.

How did you choose your characters’ names?
When we were first planning out the series, Leslie came to Pennsylvania so we could brainstorm the plots, and part of that was figuring out the names of the main characters. They had to be of French origin and of course we wanted them to be appealing. In the end we came up with Renee, Madeline, and Nicole as the modern-day protagonists and Catherine, Celeste, and Therese as the historical protagonists.

Would you want to work on another book together?
Absolutely!  We’re already working on another one now, The Amish Quilter, which will be the fifth and final book in the Women of Lancaster County series and will come out in early 2018.

What do you want to tell us about the book?
My Daughter’s Legacy is the third and last book in our Cousins of the Dove series, which are all dual-timeline stories. In the modern thread, the same characters appear in each novel, but the historical threads cover three different periods of history: one in the 1600s, one in the 1700s, and the last one in the 1800s. Each of the historical stories impacts a modern character in some way. In My Daughter’s Legacy, the story of an ancestor during the Civil War inspires our modern-day girl to stand strong on her convictions and follow her heart.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Nicole
Sometimes a lie was the better choice— or at least that’s what I’d always told myself. After all, lying was easier, faster, and more efficient than the truth. “I’m sick” was a more prudent option than “I’m sick of working.” “I’m busy” was a lot kinder than “I don’t want to.” But for some, lying could become a habit, the proverbial spider weaving its tangled web. Problem is, once I’d made my own web big enough, I found I was no longer spider but prey, trapped by silvery threads of my own design.

I’d spent the last year and a half— ever since the night I got loaded and slammed my car into a tree at sixty miles an hour— slowly untangling my own threads. Now, after two months of convalescence, nine months in a drug rehab facility, and two full semesters away at college, I was nearly free of all that— save for one big, fat lie that remained.
“Nicole!”

My head snapped left to see the setter knocking the volleyball into an easy arc over my head. Telling myself to focus, I bent my knees, waited for the exact right moment in its trajectory, and then shot up from the ground to slam the ball as hard as I could, spiking it straight through the upraised arms of our opponent and onto an empty space on the court behind her.

Set and game. Our victory, 3 to 2.

My team burst into cheers, jumping and hugging and laughing. When we finally calmed down, we lined up and did the high-five-and-thanks-for-a-good-game thing with the opposing team. Then we gathered for a quick huddle, mostly so our team captain could remind us, yet again, to stay in shape over the summer. Ours was just a local league in a small town in Virginia, but it was important to us.

“Together now,” she said, holding out a fist. We circled around and each placed a hand atop until all were in. 

Where can our readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Mindy and Leslie, for sharing this new book with us. I’m sure my readers are as eager to read the book as I am.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
My Daughter's Legacy - Christianbook.com
My Daughter's Legacy (Cousins of the Dove) - Amazon paperback
My Daughter's Legacy (Cousins of the Dove Book 3) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:
    

THE AMERICAN CONQUEST - Jenna Brandt - One Free Ebook

Welcome, Jenna. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Little pieces of how they would react, how they would think in a certain situation are from my own personal way, but if the character is opposite of me, I often think of how I would oppositely react. I also have certain scenarios happen which have happened to me in my own life.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I decided to take a year off from college and do a year of mission work. I trained in a rural area of Hawaiiand then did overseas work in Thailandand Malaysia.

That’s so cool. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
As soon as I could put sentences together. I grew up writing, I am a fourth-generation writer on my mom’s side.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read sci-fi, fantasy, thrillers, dystopian futures, romance, apocalyptic. I love all types of books.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I spend time with friends, I watch movies with my kids, and I go to church. I also listen to worship music in my car to ground me.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I pick names I like, names I think readers will like. Some names are references to people I know, but most are just names I like and work for the area and timeframe in which I am writing.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Having two books at the same time on the best-selling list in my genre.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be a dolphin. I love the water, and they are social.

What is your favorite food?
I love Italian, specifically spaghetti.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I was a couple of months away from publishing my first book when my infant son passed away from SIDS. It froze everything in place. That was three years ago, and I decided this January that I wanted to start pursuing releasing my books again. My first book came out in May, my second book in June, and my third book in July.

Tell us about the featured book.
The American Conquest is the third book in my 3-part installment of the Window to the Heart Saga. It wraps up the main character Margaret’s journey as she travels the Oregon Trail west to the Colorado Territory and how she finds adventure, danger, and love along the way.

Please give us the first page of the book.
1865 Port of New York, America
Margaret Learingam held on to the ship’s rail with one hand and her toddler son with the other. As her family approached the New England shoreline, fear filled the pit of her stomach. Forced to flee to America, Margaret had no experience outside of Europe, where she had grown up in England and spent a year in France. She left everything behind, including her last name and titles, to keep her son from being taken away. And now, in just a few moments, she would be stepping foot into a new world that held the potential to offer her and her family a way to stay alive and together. It meant leaving behind her title, and the privileges that went with it, but she would do anything to protect her son.

Still haunted by the painful memories of losing the two men she loved, Margaret could not help but feel guilt over their deaths. Her late husband and fiancé were both killed by the invidious hand of the Duke of Witherton.

Her heart was broken when her husband, Henry, the Viscount of Rolantry, was killed in a duel over her “ruined” honor. She had wanted to die with him, but when she realized she was pregnant, she knew she had to force herself to live for her child’s sake. Fearful either the duke or her vengeful sister-in-law would take her son from her, Margaret fled from England to hide in France while she searched for her long-lost twin brother, Randall, whom she eventually found.

She thought she would never be happy after the tremendous loss of her husband, but she eventually found a way to live with the pain. When she met Michel, the Marquis de Badour, he showed her she could love again. But Witherton was not content to destroy her life only once; he had to do it again by killing Michel. In a cruel twist of fate, both men she loved were killed by the monster who had destroyed her life. After the second loss, Margaret shut her heart to the idea of finding love again, knowing the pain would be too crushing to warrant a third attempt. She had her son and brother, and they were the only two men she would need in her life.

The duke was still under the misguided assumption that her son, Henry, was his child, and he was determined to take him for himself. Knowing he would not stop until he got what he wanted, Margaret chose to leave behind her life in Europe and flee to America.

The trip across the Atlantic Oceanhad been long and grueling, as they had encountered several storms in the process, lengthening their journey and causing sickness to run rampant on board. In addition, due to Margaret’s appearance, she had been receiving constant unsolicited attention from the single men on the ship, which made her uncomfortable. Her dark violet eyes and long raven locks contrasted against her smooth white skin, and her petite frame had adjusted admirably into shapely proportions after childbirth. But she knew her attractiveness was not going to be able to save her when they reached the new land. In fact, she had the type of appearance that could get her into trouble.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Jenna, for sharing this new book with me and my readers.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
The American Conquest: Christian Western Historical (Window to the Heart Saga Book 3

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:
    

A MATCH FOR MELISSA - Susan Karsten - One free ebook

Welcome, Susan. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters. 
Everything about my characters comes from me, and they are infused with my perspectives and worldview.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I appeared on Wheel of Fortune as a contestant back in the 80s.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In college, when I finally got some legit writing instruction during sophomore year, my prof used one of my papers as an example for the rest of the class.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy reading many genres. My overall favorite is historical fiction, because I learn so much from it. But I also read CBA, ABA, and enjoy psychological thrillers, mysteries, Regency romance, and contemporary fiction. Older writers claim my attention as well – authors such as P.G. Wodehouse, George McDonald (his adult fiction is amazing), and read older books such as Quo Vadis, and Kirsten Lavransdatter.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I have a supportive husband, a strong church family, and live in a small town. I try to balance my work with other creative pursuits and exercise, too.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
In my debut, A Match for Melissa, I originally chose the name Melissande. Many critiques came back saying that name was too distracting, so I shortened it. One nice outcome is that a young lady at my church, whose name is Melissa, is delighted that her name is featured in Mrs. K’s first book. One of the romantic leads is named Peter, and I was thinking of Lord Peter Wimsey from the famous Dorothy Sayers series. The other romantic lead, Mark, was given that name simply because I’ve always been fond of that name and never got to use it.

I like the story about the young lady at church, but I think your first choice fit your time period better. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
All my accomplishments were done only by God’s grace and with His help. That said, I am pleased and gratified that I was able to home educate my three children who are doing well as adults.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be a koala, because they are so cute, and they are my youngest daughter’s favorite animal.

What is your favorite food?
Tomatoes are my favorite food. I love tangy foods, and tomatoes are so good cooked, raw, and appear in so many recipes.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest roadblock was when I discovered that my first two books weren’t long enough, and I had to go back and lengthen them. I added more dialog and a sub-plot or two.

Tell us about the featured book.
A Match for Melissa is a Regency romance. It is set in England, around 1816. This genre was popular for decades, and I read it because the romance was “clean” and the love culminated in marriage. Melissa’s widowed father is a wealthy businessman, who wants a titled husband for his only daughter. His obsession with a title leads him to arrange a marriage for her. The fun begins as my readers travel along with the story and find out how this works out. I don’t want to tell too much and spoil the fun.

Please give us the first page of the book.
“Stomping her feet on the hard-packed road didn’t relieve her frustration. Aggravation fueled her pace, destroying the usual peace found on her morning walks down country roads. But the spatters of wet clay weren’t worth it. The spatters of dirt would never come clean. Slowing, Melissa clenched her hand around the letter telling her she needed to return to London. Father and his plans took precedence over her wishes.

She stopped, unfurled the letter, and read the offending passage one more time.

You shall cut short your visit to the country. I have plans for you, plans that will be of much interest to you.

So like Papa to assume she’d fall in line with his schemes. She crumpled the letter and strode on, staring straight ahead. The hovering cloud of melancholy brought on by her mother’s death lessened each day. Visiting the vicarage to which her former governess, Miss Cleaver retired, helped restore her equanimity. And besides, she disliked London with its smoke and the lonely life she lived there. Returning to her home in the city did not sit well. But Papa’s command brought further apprehension.

Regret about ending her visit lowered her mood further. Melissa took deep breaths and resisted thoughts of departure by concentrating on the cool, fresh, moist air entering her lungs. Spring mud invaded southern England, but the road was good, and Melissa loved her morning walks too much to let a little mire stop her habit.

Snapping out of her daze, she took in her surroundings again. She glanced between the light green forest views on either side of the road and the lane ahead. Avoiding mud now became a distracting game—until an indistinct brown lump came in sight on the shoulder. Puddles forgotten, she hurried forward to discover a monogrammed leather saddlebag. Ignoring the dirt-spattered bag’s condition, she lifted it and peered inside. Empty. She dropped it to the ground.
Scattered nearby, she spied a London Times half in a puddle, and an ivory comb in a muddy in a rut. Chills ran up her arms and tingled down her spine at the evidence of a traveler’s misfortune. Surveying the scene, she cast a glance down the banked slope. Her breath caught even as her heart raced.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I have an author page on facebook (Susan Karsten – author) where you can interact with me and tag along on my writing journey, and I have a blog: graciouswoman.wordpress.com, where I review books, and share tips about homemaking and other topics of interest to women.

Thank you, Susan, for sharing your debut book with us. I’m eager to find out what happens next.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
A Match for Melissa (Honor's Point) - Paperback
A Match for Melissa (Honor's Point Book 1) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:
    

WINNERS!!

Abigail (VA) is the winner of Aimee by Pam Watts Harris.

Winnie (UT) is the winner of The Captain's Daughter by Jennifer Delamere.

If you won a book and you like it, please consider giving the author the courtesy of writing a review on Goodreads, Amazon.com, Christianbooks.com, Barnes and Noble, or other Internet sites. 

Also, tell your friends about the book ... and this blog. Thank you.

Congratulations
, everyone. If you won a print book, send me your mailing address:
Click the Contact Me link at the top of the blog, and send me an Email.


If you won an ebook, just let me know what email address it should be sent to.

When you contact me, please give the title and author of the book you won, so I won't have to look it up.


Remember, you have 4 weeks to claim your book.
    

HIDING FROM THE KIDS IN MY PRAYER CLOSET - Jessica Kastner - One Free Book

Welcome, Jessica. What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?
I’m very laid back, because I’ve learned to not take life, or myself, too seriously. I can usually see the humor in most situations, even the stressful ones!

Tell us about your family.
I have three of the best boys in the world—Jack, Eli, and Kenai, and have been blessed with greatest, most supportive family, especially my mom, two sisters, and many cousins and friends all living in the same small town we all grew up in. I feel God has blessed me “extra” in this department, because he knew it’d take a village to help my nutty self get through life gracefully.

Have you written other nonfiction books?
Nope, this is the first one!

Do you have any other books in the works right now?
Yes, I have two more books in the works. The first is called Pretty Holy, which encourages women to find joy, even from the trenches, and the next is a funny book about what dating is like, from a Christian woman’s perspective. So fun to write!

What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
Writing is my number source of fun, but when my fingers cramp up, I love trail running, hiking, and doing anything outdoors with my boys. I also run my state chapter of Straight Ahead Ministries, leading weekly Bible studies within juvenile detention centers. Biggest adventure of my life!

Why did you write the featured book?
I wrote this as a source of therapy after having two babies within two years, haha! Seriously though, when I had my first, I remember feeling a bit alone, not quite fitting in with the moms around me, or even at church. I’ve more “un natural” for me—like I didn’t necessarily enjoy or succeed at the typical mom activities like arts and crafts time, or joining the local moms club. I remember wondering, is it just me, or is this a bit more lonely, rough, unrewarding than I thought it’d be, or that everyone around me makes it seem? Later in life I fortunately made great mom friends to share my trials and victories with, but not everyone finds that, so I wanted to write a true, no-holds barred, manifesto about what motherhood is really like for us “unmoms,” to encourage readers they’re not alone, and to chose laughter over defeat when motherhood “gets real.”

What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
Honestly I’d love for moms to feel a sense of relief, feeling like they’re reading things they’ve always felt, but never said aloud because they thought they were the only ones interpreting motherhood through such a crazy lens. I hope moms laugh their hearts out and also feel comfort and liberation because I believe there’s such freedom in sharing our struggles.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell my readers about you or your book?
I always want to emphasize that although my brand is an #unmom (mothers who love their kids more than the daily acts of mothering) this isn’t a book casting a negative light on motherhood or any certain type of mother. Having kids has been, and always will be the single greatest blessing of my life, and has transformed my heart in ways nothing else could have. Motherhood takes sacrifice and hard work, but so do most experiences that are really worth it.

Please give us the first page or two from the book.
You can both read the first pages of the book and order a copy at this link:

How can my readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Jessica, for sharing this book with us. It sounds like a book I wish I’d read after my first child was born.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:
    

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