Sisters of Mercy Flats

Copeland, Lori. Sisters of Mercy Flats. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers. 2013.

SUMMARY:
SistersofmercyflatsAbigail, Amelia and Anne-Marie, three feisty, beautiful sisters, are hauled off to jail while dressed as nuns. Add a numbskull of a shoe salesman, Mr. Hershall Digman, and things just get crazy. While being rescued, Amelia steals a horse, discovers secret papers in a saddlebag, and finds herself in a few precarious predicaments (the shoe salesman turns out to actually be a handsome captain). Through it all though, she grows in faith, responsibility, love, and maturity.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
For a shorter book, this story definitely offered a lot! While giggling in the beginning with the hilarious, outrageous heroine, I was intrigued to watch Amelia grow as the story took on a more serious tone. Romance, war, forgiveness and struggles all played a part in this novel which I enjoyed as much as the humor, courage, spunk and sassiness. As the story moves along, it was also heartening to experience the growth in faith along with Amelia and her Rebel captain/ shoe salesman. I would love to see a continuing story of the other two rescued sisters in much the same way!!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Sisters of Mercy Flats from Harvest House Publishers for my honest review*

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His Treasure

Shepherd, Sheri Rose. His Treasure: Gems of Love from Your King. Tyndale House Publishers: 2013.

SUMMARY:
HisTreasureWritten from God’s point-of-view as our Heavenly Father to His earthly daughters, this devotional speaks to the heart of all women. Each devotional contains a love-letter straight from God to inspire, encourage and uplift His precious daughters. Along with the each letter, a “Treasure of Truth” thought and a Scripture verse are included. The devotionals address subjects all women experience (roadblocks, perspectives, solace, salvation, direction, faithfulness) from a loving Father’s perspective.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
This absolutely charming little devotional is truly a gem. From the size of the smaller-shaped book to the exquisite pictures that accompany each devotion, I enjoyed the entire package. The letters spoke to me full of hope, commitment, rest and unconditional love. Very, very well done, I would be proud to share this book or give as a gift…positively delightful!

RATING:
5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of His Treasure from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review*

WIL MARA VISITS SAVURBKS

Welcome

PLEASE WELCOME WIL MARA TO SAVURBKS!

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WIL MARA’S BIOGRAPHY:

Biography

Wil Mara has been writing books since 1988. He started with a manuscript about herpetology (a childhood hobby), which led to a job as an editor with TFH Publications, aka, ‘The World’s Largest Publisher of Animal Books.’ In the mid ‘90s, he left TFH to work for Harcourt-Brace, at which time he began his first foray into fiction, ghostwriting a title for Albert Whitman and Company’s popular ‘Boxcar Children Mysteries.’ By the time he did his fifth ‘Boxcar’ in 1999, he was also editing for textbook publisher Prentice Hall and writing extensively for the school-library market.

His first novel for adults, Wave, was released in 2005. The flagship title in a series of disaster thrillers, it chronicled a small island community’s reaction to the news that a tsunami would strike its shores in less than two hours. Wave sold through its first printing in a matter of weeks, went on to win the New Jersey Notable Book Award, and was picked up in both paperback and eBook by Macmillan Publishing.

Wil’s second disaster thriller, The Gemini Virus, was released by Macmillan in October of 2012, in hardcover, eBook, and audio. Gemini tells the chilling story of a supervirus that begins in the industrial Northeast and spreads rapidly through the rest of the world. It received excellent reviews from critics and consumers alike, stayed on Amazon’s list of ‘Top 20 Best New Medical Thrillers’ for fourteen straight weeks, and was picked up for overseas distribution within a month of its initial publication. The mass-market paperback came out the following August.

In July of 2013, Wil’s first novel featuring Jason Hammond, Frame 232, was released. Examining the possiblity of a final, decisive piece of evidence to the Kennedy assassination being discovered in modern times, the book immediately earned scores of excellent reviews, reached the # 1 spot in its category on Amazon.com, and was nominated for the 2013 Lime Award for Excellence in Fiction. The second book in the Hammond series, The Nevada Testament, is scheduled for release in the second half of 2014.

Wil has four other Hammond titles in development, as well as one standalone story due for publication in 2015. His disaster series will also continue with a new story, Fallout, that same year

AN INTERVIEW WITH WIL MARA:

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What are the challenges of writing a contemporary novel that delves into the mysteries of the past?

The greatest challenge for me was to make certain I didn’t violate any of the established facts. One of the aims of the Jason Hammond series (Jason is the recurring hero in all these books) is to fill in the gaps with entertaining-but-still-plausible fiction. Sounds easy enough, right? Not necessarily—you have to first make certain you know all the little details that have already rooted. None of the Hammond books attempts to rewrite history—I extrapolate reasonable possibilities from the truths that exist, then endeavor to write an entertaining story. And if a reader learns a thing or two along the way, all the better.

How did you select the JFK assassination as a central topic to Frame 232?

I’ve been fascinated by the assassination all my life—and even if I wasn’t, I couldn’t escape it because it has loomed over my generation with a long and foreboding shadow. The story itself came together in a matter of seconds after I heard about a mysterious figure called the ‘Babushka Lady.’ This lone woman was wearing a head scarf (i.e., a babushka) and standing about thirty feet from the president’s limousine when he was struck. Most assassination researchers believe she also had a camera in hand, quite possibly an 8mm that took motion pictures rather than stills. And yet, we’ve never seen the images she captured, and her identity has yet to be determined. That got me thinking, “What if she caught something that no one else noticed…and then her film turned up now and altered all that we thought we knew about the assassination?” I figured that was a pretty interesting premise, so I followed up on it.

What are your literary influences?

They are many and varied. Everything from the classics—Shakespeare, Flaubert, Chekov, Austen—to modern commercial fiction—King, Grisham, Koontz, etc. I don’t like to pigeonhole myself as a reader, and I don’t harbor that snobbish, literary hardening-of-the-arteries attitude, either. I’ll give almost anything a try, and if I find it intriguing and enjoyable, I’ll see it through to the end. If I had to pick a favorite writer overall, it would probably be Steinbeck; even his ‘lesser’ works are brilliant. But my favorite novel of all is still To Kill a Mockingbird. I would place that above even Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer in terms of American relevance, certainly in the latter half the 20th century. But please don’t interpret that as a knock against Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain. Everything that flowed from the end of his quill was magnificent.

What are tips for keeping a reader engaged, yet not overwhelmed, by too much suspense?

Keep things happening and keep them fresh. Spend time fleshing out your players and make them real people rather than ‘novel characters.’ You don’t have to have a James Bond-esque action scene every five pages, but you do have to demonstrate to the reader that the story has substance and is steadily growing and evolving. And when you reach the last quarter of the book, you better be sledding down the hill at full speed. When the hero is about to lower the boom on the bad guys, don’t have him stop at the convenience store for a bottle of Coke. Bad idea, that.

A NOVEL ON THE JFK ASSASSINATION:

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The time had come, she decided, to rid herself of this burden, to take the steps necessary to put the matter to rest once and for all. And the first, she knew—against every instinct and desire—was to watch that film….

FACT — Only a handful of people who were standing in Dealey Plaza on the day JFK was assassinated remain unidentified.

FACT — One of them, a woman wearing a head scarf who has since become known as the ‘Babushka Lady,’ was no more than thirty feet from the presdient’s limousine when he was struck.

FACT — Many assassination experts believe she not only had a camera, but a video camera, and thus probably shot the clearest and most detailed moving images of the horror that unfolded. However, her film has never seen the light of day.

WHAT IF — This film surfaced now…and showed something that no one except the elusive ‘Babushka Lady’ has ever seen…something that radically altered everything we thought we knew about the assassination…and became a dire threat to a few very powerful people…people who would stop at nothing to keep the truth concealed….

During the reading of her mother’s will, Sheila Baker discovers that she has inherited everything her parents ever possessed, including their secrets. A mysterious safe-deposit box key leads her to the answer to one of history’s greatest questions—Who killed John F. Kennedy? Not only does she have the missing film that exposes her late mother as the infamous ‘Babushka Lady,’—she has incontrovertible proof that there was more than one shooter.

On the run from people who will stop at nothing to keep their secrets buried, Sheila turns to billionaire sleuth Jason Hammond for help. Having lost his own family in a tragic plane crash, Jason knows a thing or two about running from the past. With a target on their backs and time running out, can Jason finally uncover the truth behind the crime that shook a generation—or will he and Sheila become its final victims?

Ten years in the making, Frame 232 is the new suspense novel from critically acclaimed, award-winning author Wil Mara, and the first in a new series featuring pivotal character Jason Hammond. It was released on July 1st from Tyndale House in eBook, hardcover, paperback, and large-print editions.

INTRIGUIED?

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http://www.wilmara.com/eshop.html

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE? VISIT WIL MARA AT:

HOME

http://www.wilmara.com/index.html

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS?

RED QUESTION MARK

Forever Friday

Lewis, Timothy. Forever Friday. Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook Press. 2013.

SUMMARY:
forever fridayRecently divorced, Adam Colby is hired to go through the belongings of Gabe and Pearl (aka Huck) Alexander. Surprised, he finds a collection of personal postcards in an old photo album dating back six decades which speak of true devotion. Through the Friday poems, much is learned about Gabe and Huck…their relationship, their soul-mate love, their unending devotion to each other as well as the many circumstances which tested all of these. “Two hearts commanding devotion”…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Spanning decades between the postcards and the present day, Forever Friday linked two different time periods together by the timeless lesson of true love and devotion. Through postcards at the beginning of each chapter, flashbacks to Gabe and Huck’s relationship, and present day happenings, the author really was able to convey a strong message in his novel. Though not exactly what I was expecting, I found myself caught up in the story and the moments portrayed. I enjoyed the author’s writing style which kept the book moving forward to a final conclusion joining past and present.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Forever Friday from WaterBrook Press for my honest review*

Fifteen Minutes

Kingsbury, Karen. Fifteen Minutes. New York, NY: Howard Books. 2013.

SUMMARY:
fifteenminutesHoping to save his family’s horse farm, Zack Dylan auditions for Fifteen Minutes, the singing show sure to bring fame and fortune to the winner but also compromise, heartache, and a test of character. Once a young man who worshiped God, strong in his faith and sure of his convictions, as Zack moves through the process, he soon realizes he is not the person he once was. Advised by Chandra Olson, one of the show’s voice judges, along with his high-school sweetheart, Reese Weatherly, Zack soon learns what he must do…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Based on the popular reality show, American Idol, Karen Kingsbury has taken a behind-the-scenes look at the entertainment culture. Though not always what is seen, fame and fortune can have quite an effect on lives, including one’s faith. In true Kingsbury style, the author writes an interesting account of today’s reality show society. A fan of “American Idol”, the “X-Factor” or the “The Voice” will enjoy this backstage pass written for mainly a young adult audience.

RATING:
3.5 (out of 5) pennies

LORENA MCCOURTNEY VISITS SAVURBKS

Welcome
PLEASE WELCOME LORENA MCCOURTNEY TO SAVURBKS!
Lorena, reduced

MEET LORENA MCCOURTNEY
Biography

Lorena McCourtney started out with a degree in agriculture and the intention of writing non-fiction on agricultural subjects. But, as with many plans, life went in a different direction, and her writing turned into a career in fiction. She first wrote numerous children’s stories, then short stories for women. Romance novels followed, then a switch to Christian romances, and now she feels she’s found her real home in Christian romantic suspense.
Lorena and her husband live in southern Oregon, where their only livestock now is one eccentric cat.

Q&A WITH LORENA MCCOURTNEY:

Q&A

How did you create your character Ivy Malone?

Ivy is an older woman who is dismayed to realize she seems to have aged into invisibility. This came out of my own personal experiences with getting older and turning invisible, so Ivy is really a part of me with some differences and additions to make her a full-blown character. She’s more adventurous than I am – I wouldn’t, for example, want to spend the night alone in a cemetery as she did! She’s more outgoing. She’s tossed into becoming a sleuth because of circumstances in her life and quickly realizes that “invisibility” can be a handy asset. I didn’t fully create her before I started writing, and other facets of her personality simply pop up along the way. Ivy, I discovered, is not an arts-and-crafts sort of person. Neither is she a great gardener. Some writers develop a character fully before they ever start writing, but mine kind of grow along the way.

What is your process for writing a mystery?

Idea comes first, of course. I think of any story – mystery or otherwise – as kind of a circle, with the necessary elements of a story spaced around it. These necessary elements are plot, characters, setting, theme, and title. An idea may enter at any point on that circle. The Ivy books started with the idea of the character of Ivy. The Julesburg Mysteries started with a plot point – what if a woman is accused of murder and isn’t sure if she did it or not? The idea for the Andi McConnell Mysteries started when I saw the huge trunk of a limousine at a car show and thought – hey, wouldn’t that be a great place to stuff a dead body? I’ve done a couple of books where a title popped into my head and I wrote a story to fit it. (I do like to have a title early on, as it seems to give me a sense of direction, but it may be one of those well-known exercises in futility, because someone at the publishing house usually comes along and changes it.) And setting – well, I simply wanted to set a story in the Grand Canyon, where we took a great raft trip, and so I thought of a story that fit that setting. Which resulted in a romance titled “Canyon.”

Where/ how do you come up with your story lines?

I probably answered that in my answer to “what is your process for writing a mystery?” but I might add that I think of plot in a fairly simple way. A mystery starts at Point A, commission of the crime, usually murder (called the “inciting incident” in some teachings on writing) , and ends at Point B, the apprehension of the killer. So it’s a matter of getting from point A to point B in the most interesting and tension building way possible, with a final climax scene of danger and revelation.

How do you create realistic humor in your novels?

I’m really not sure. My main characters often have a wry or quirky sense of humor and so they simply see the world from that viewpoint. Since my stories currently as usually classified as “cozies,” I go for a lighthearted view of life, including crime, rather than the dark side. Circumstances simply seem to pop up that have a humorous twist. I don’t deliberately try to manufacture them.

ARE YOU DYING TO READ A GOOD MYSTERY?

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Cate Kinkaid is just dipping her toe into the world of private investigating until one of the many résumés she has floating around lands her a real job. All she has to do is determine that a particular woman lives at a particular address. Simple, right? When the big and brooding house happens to contain a dead body, this routine Pi job turns out to be anything but simple. Is Cate in over her head?

READY TO READ?
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AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Dying-Read-Novel-Kinkaid-Files-Book/dp/0800721586
BARNES AND NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dying-to-read-lorena-mccourtney/1106874146?ean=9781441238221

WANT TO LEARN MORE? VISIT LORENA MCCOURTNEY AT:

HOME

http://www.lorenamccourtney.com

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS?
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The Soul of the Rose

Trippey, Ruth. The Soul of the Rose. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press. 2013.

SUMMARY:
soulof the roseSet in the 1870s, Celia Thatcher is sent by her parents to work in a bookstore while mourning her friend’s death. While staying with a wonderful couple, Celia soon makes friends in the community which benefits her love of flowers, books and the arts. Celia also gains the attention of two suitors: the secluded, unsociable Mr. Edward Lyons and the captivating Harvard law student, Charles Harrod. Through some deep conversations and debates, Celia is able to stay true to her beliefs while selecting her future husband.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Reminiscent of “The Beauty and the Beast”, this book was an insightful read. Though difficult to follow in places (perhaps due to the dialogue style), I found the underlying premise to be of value and interest. My attention did seem to wander during the reading of this book but I did find myself wanting to finish it (to see how Celia fared). The title of the novel was interwoven throughout the plot of the story which I found to be compelling. (Literary enthusiasts would probably truly appreciate this novel.)

RATING:
3.5 (out of 5) pennies

Interview Questions for Ruth Trippy:

Every book starts with an author and every author has a story of their own. Tell about yourself and how you became a writer.
Growing up, I wanted to teach, never thought to write. However, in my 30’s I experienced a tremendous restlessness and started praying daily for God to show me what to do. Then I reread a treasured historical romance, St. Elmo by Augusta Evans, and was so moved, so encouraged, particularly in my difficult marriage, that I suddenly knew the answer. I thought: if I can write to give others the kind of hope this novel gave me, my prayer has been answered.

Readers might see a connection between your book and Jane Eyre. Was this connection intentional? Why did you decide to include elements of classic literature in your story?
I taught American and British literature so this was a natural focus for my characters who love literature. The connection with Jane Eyre: I loved that novel, but didn’t set about purposely to include it in my book. Yet, it ran deep in my consciousness, so pushed its way into my story. Both Mr. Rochester and Edward are wounded heroes. When Mrs. Harrod, the lawyers’ wife, presents her son Charles’s gift of the novel to Celia and recognizes the resemblance, well, I just had to go along with her! This is what writers mean by characters taking on a life of their own. It’s as if they direct the story.

You use the imagery of a rose throughout the narrative. Where did this idea come from? How do you want readers to interpret this?
I love flowers, the rose being my favorite. The rose is Celia, and not only is she the rose that “gets into a man’s blood,” but she is the rose outside Edward’s prison walls, representing loveliness and hope. And, she is that soul (of the title) who needs to decide what she will choose: the forbidden love that pulls at her or her deep faith in God.

Your book touches on some pretty big topics of religion and philosophy, including Unitarianism and Transcendentalism. What’s the secret to writing a book that accurately represents the societal discussions of a specific historical time but keeping it engaging and inspiring at the same time?
To keep deep topics engaging to the reader, I believe these topics must be important to the protagonists, to their future happiness. Their very different beliefs are at the core of who they are, so cannot be easily put aside: Edward, as a Boston Brahmin, was Unitarian; Charles, a Harvard law student, was sympathetic to Transcendentalism; Celia, daughter of a scholarly minister, believed in Biblical Christianity. Will these characters change as the result of their discussions? This will determine the outcome of their love, their passion for each other.

Celia is starting life afresh after the tragic death of a close friend. Why did you choose to present a character just after a life-changing event? Is there a message or word of advice here for the reader?
After this trauma, Celia is having to “find her way,” which many of us do after experiencing something tragic. But if we can learn from it, grow from it, so that we can then help others—like Celia did when she counseled Edward to forgive Mrs. Divers and to forgive quickly—then we find purpose in the trauma.

Celia is a forgiving character. Forgiveness is a very spiritual concept. What other faith-based ideas run through your book?
One in particular comes to mind: Can we trust God when our situation is difficult? And then to take it a step further: Are we willing to make the right choice when it is a hard one? Celia knew she could not be obedient to God and marry an unbeliever. She could not honor and love—both God and her lover. A difficult choice had to be made.

Is there a certain Bible passage or verse that goes along with the message of The Soul of the Rose?
An important message of the book centers around that of a tender, hard-won love. This is a picture of the way Christ loves us. “I am my beloved’s…” (The Song of Solomon 7:10). The characters and their love story is a metaphor of the love between Christ and His bride the church.

Many authors write characters inspired by people they know. Are your characters based on specific people in your life?
Some of my characters are composites of people I know, like Celia’s father: a composite of my grandfather and a former minister, or they might be completely fictional, like Mrs. Adams. One character, the mischievous Loydie in the story, was
based on a childhood nemesis of mine.

Who is your favorite character and why?
I love Celia and the Chestleys, but I will choose Edward. After I read George Howe Colt’s non-fiction The Big House and saw how this Boston Brahmin family portrayed one branch of my family, it both warmed my heart and gave me an immediate understanding of Edward. I loved the workings of Edward’s mind, his athleticism and how he grew in his love.

You’ve written history, literature, and romance all in one book. What is the main theme you want readers to take away from The Soul of the Rose?
There are many take-a-ways from this book. The main one, for me, is that God is preeminent. When it comes right down to it, this is what Celia faces when she is confronted with the difficult decision of what to do with a lover who doesn’t know her God—and doesn’t care to.

What’s next for you? Where can our audience find out more about Ruth Trippy?
I am writing another historical romance set in 1870’s Connecticut which then moves onto NYC and St. Louis. Everyone is invited to visit my website: http://www.ruthtrippy.com. The Contact Page has my email and FB. I would enjoy hearing from readers!

*I received a complimentary copy of The Soul of the Rose from Abingdon Press for my honest review*

Truly Devoted

Wright, H. Norman. Truly Devoted. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2013.

SUMMARY:
truly devotedTruly Devoted is a devotional that shows what our dogs teach us about life, love and loyalty. The devotions in the book are short enough to easily read in a single sitting – about 2-3 pages each. Each devotion provides a humorous story about dogs and then parallels the lesson learned from the story to lessons learned in the Scriptures. Among the lessons are topics such as companionship, trust, worry, loyalty and love.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
This devotional will definitely appeal to all dog lovers. The pages are filled with German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Shelties and more! The adorable dog stories provide not only a smile but also a ponder point. This is a must read that should be shared with your best friend – your dog of course! Who knew that Man’s Best Friend, aka our furry companions, could provide lessons in life, love and loyalty? (Definitely a relevant read for me as our newest member of Savurbks teaches me unconditional love, loyalty beyond measure, and a huge amount of patience! See my August post introducing our newest member, a puppy!)

MY RATING:
4 (out of 5) Pennies

* I received a complimentary copy of Truly Devoted from Harvest House Publishers in exchange for my honest review*

Seeking Christmas

Robinson, Renee. Seeking Christmas: Finding the True Meaning Through Family Traditions. USA: CrossLink Publishing. 2013.

SUMMARY:
SeekingThrough seven days of Christmas devotionals, Renee Robinson has created a book for families to enjoy together. By considering Christmas memories of own childhood, the author expands upon those to build even deeper, more meaningful traditions with our own families. Each devotion includes a chance to Remember (for adults to read and cherish), Read (a Bible verse), Reflect (a chance to expand on the Bible verse appropriately for each age), Research (a brief history of a Christmas tradition), and Rejoice (a summary of the devotion). Renee encourages families to keep and record their experiences throughout the devotional time in a journal to revisit and expand upon in years to come.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
I was pleasantly surprised at this devotional. I appreciated the concept of seven days of devotionals which could be done daily or weekly throughout the busy season. Giving us a chance to reminisce on our own Christmas traditions while creating new ones is a priceless idea. Each devotion can be used as a whole or elaborated upon if preferred. The author even took into account suitability for different ages. As an added bonus to fill your own heart, 10% of the author’s royalties from Seeking Christmas will be donated to organizations that reach out to change an orphan’s heart.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a copy of Seeking Christmas from BookCrash and CrossLink Publishing for my honest review*

TRACIE PETERSON VISITS SAVURBKS

Welcome

PLEASE WELCOME TRACIE PETERSON TO SAVURBKS!

Tracie Peterson

MEET TRACIE PETERSON:

Biography

Tracie Peterson is an award-winning, best-selling author of over 95 books. Having given her heart to Jesus at the young age of six, Tracie has always felt called to some form of ministry, and writing fulfills that mission field.

Tracie received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings’ Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership’s vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.

In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers. She has co-written with a variety of authors including Judith Pella, Judith Miller, James Scott Bell and her daughter Jennifer.

Throughout her writing career Tracie has found time to speak at writer’s conferences where she has a special heart for new authors. She is often joined by her husband Jim, whose background in history offers new authors insight into research. Besides teaching at conferences, Tracie also at one time managed Barbour Publishing’s Heartsong Presents book line – overseeing the production of 52 books a year. Tracie teaches at women’s conferences around the country and shares her testimony and insight for Christian living through the eyes of an author passionately in love with her Heavenly Father.

Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers. Her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests, including USA “Best Books 2011” Awards, best Religious Fiction for Embers of Love!.

Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family–especially her three grandchildren–Rainy, Fox and Max..

Q&a WITH TRACIE PETERSON:

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What is your first step in writing your novels?

I always prepare a detailed synopsis. I start with the concept and then grow it to a line or two and then a paragraph and then flesh that out. Eventually I have a chapter by chapter synopsis that I use as a guideline or map to complete the story. The synopsis gives me an idea of additional research that I’ll need, as well as helps me maintain the pacing and develop of the characters.

What are your techniques for maintaining reader interest?

I try to make the character true to their natures and their responses accordingly. I work to keep the book constantly moving forward so I avoid a lot of back story, flashbacks and purple prose.

What is your favorite genre to write? Why?

Historical – especially romance or family saga. I love the various time periods in America and elsewhere. I love showing that there truly is nothing new – that emotional and spiritual problems in the 1800’s are some of the same we face today. I want each of the books to entertain, but also to educate and encourage.

How/why did you start writing?

I’ve written most of my life. My mother used to give me a pencil and paper and tell me to write a story in order to keep me quiet in church. Afterward she would have me tell her the story. So storytelling has been a part of my life since I was little. I tried to get published in my late teens, but that didn’t work so well as I still had much to learn. Then I had a family and put aside writing for a time, but always read and gathered ideas for books I’d like to write. In 1992 I sent a letter to Barbour Publishing asking for guidelines. I had heard in one of my writer’s meetings that you should also include what you were currently working on or what you had readily available. I told the publisher that I had completed a Christian historical romance and if they would like to see it, I would send it in. Two weeks later I got call from the editor of new line called Heartsong Presents. He ask if I was interested in writing contemporary romance as at the moment he had enough historical. I really wasn’t, but he convinced to try my hand. When I turned that synopsis in, I reminded him that I had a historical romance ready to go. A couple of weeks later – he called and said they’d like to see the historical. Shortly thereafter Barbour Publishing bought it and it became one of the earliest books in the Heartsong series. Later, I switched to Bethany House Publishers because I wanted to write longer novels and at that time Barbour didn’t do that. Now I write exclusively for Bethany House/Baker Publishing. I write as a minister to share the Gospel of Jesus and to offer Biblical application and encouragement. My goal is that through the books the reader will fall more deeply in love with God.

COMING SOON BY TRACIE PETERSON:

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A Sensible Arrangement – Coming March 2014!

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Marty Dandridge Olson is a widow looking for a way out of Texas. Widower Jake Wythe has secured a job as a bank manager in Denver, only to discover that the bank board wants him to be a married man. With Texas in his roots, he advertises for a Lone Star bride, and Marty answers the call. They both agree they are done with romance and love and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.

Marty works to carve out a new life in high-society Denver as Jake works to guide the bank through a collapsing economy. But when money goes missing at the bank and accounting discrepancies point to Jake, he must find a way to prove his innocence. Yet all he wants to do is go back to Texas and own his own ranch. Marty, on the other hand, owns a ranch–one she’s never told her husband about. She hates Texas because it represents the losses in her life. But as the couple grows closer and love begins to bloom, Marty realizes she needs to tell Jake the truth. Can she come to terms with the past and her anger toward God in order to make room for love?

All Things Hidden – Coming January 2014!

AllThingsHidden

Gwyn Hillerman acts as a nurse at her father’s medical practice in 1935 rural Alaska. Her family life has been rough ever since her mother, hating Alaska, took Gwyn’s younger sister back to Chicago to live.

Dr. Jeremiah Vaughan finds his life suddenly turned upside down when his medical license is stripped away after he loses an affluent patient. In a snowball effect, he then loses his engagement to Gwyn’s sister, Sophia. When the government decides to send a group of families to Alaska in hopes of making a better life, Dr. Hillerman sends a letter urging Jeremiah to join his practice. Thinking his secret would be safe in the isolated Alaska Territory, Jeremiah agrees.

Gwyn and Jeremiah soon recognize a growing attraction to each other. But when another suitor enters the scene and Jeremiah’s secret is revealed, their hopes for a future are threatened.

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