Tell us about Unbridled Hope, the featured book.
Almost from page one (when a steamboat explosion kills Callie's parents, oldest brother, and fiance), there's action and adventure in this, the 3rd and final novel in the Lone Star Legends series. Like the first two books (Beautiful Bandit and Maverick Heart), the story focuses on truth, trust, family, and faith:
Micah, thinking the baby boy who's foisted on him by a female con artist, accepts responsibility for little Liam. Callie, who wrongly blames herself for the explosion, believes she doesn't deserve love, marriage, or a child of her own, volunteers to take care of the child. Soon, she's bonnet over boots in love with the baby and his "daddy."
Will they trust the Lord--and each other--with the secrets that have kept them apart, and discover a love like they could ever have imagined?
Can you tell us how many books you have in print in the Christian market?
At last count, there were 79 of my titles on the shelves. Unbridled Hope is #80.
Is there a particular book among those you've written that you would especially recommend to our readers? If so, why?
I'm really excited about the release of The First Responders series (Abingdon Press), partly because all of the novels pay tribute to those brave men and women who risked it all on 9/11...and those made the ultimate sacrifice to save others. All of the stories center around characters who were directly impacted by the tragedy, and show their struggles--emotional, physical, and spiritual--with the aftermath. Another reason I'm really excited to see this series succeed in a big way is because I've promised to donate a generous portion of my own proceeds to organizations that exist solely to assist and support first responders (police, firefighters, EMTs, soldiers, etc.).
The first novel, From Ashes to Honor, is scheduled for release in September, to coordinate with the 10th anniversary of the tragedy. (And yes, it's available for pre-order online, via Christianbooks.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.!
The Christian fiction field has rapidly expanded over the past few years. What would you like to see happen in this field in the years to come?
My most heartfelt prayer for Christian fiction is that one of the stories--mine, a writer pal's, an author I've yet to meet--will become a HUGE hit as a book and as a movie. Not only would our Father in heaven find "lost sheep" among the readers and movie-goers, but the message would provide a healing balm for our nation, which is hurting in innumerable ways.
How can readers and fans encourage you as you pursue what is sometimes a challenging and solitary job?
I love interacting with readers at Twitter, Facebook, Shoutlife, and through my email and snail mail addresses. When they tell me how they identified with what one or more of the characters were going through, or found hope by reading about how the character(s) coped with a particular problem, I'm always humbled...because the situations come straight from God...proof to me that He wanted those specific readers to "get the message" in a very personal and profound way. So what they can do to encourage me is to keep on writing to let me know which elements of every story touched them...and why!
Many writers are also avid readers. Do you have any favorite authors? If so, could you name a few?
I have always loved Steinbeck, Twain, and C.S. Lewis. But my all-time favorite author, right from the get-go, is Jack London. Of all the books and stories he wrote, White Fang is right up there at the top of my "favorites" list.
If you could only take five books with you on a journey of ten years, which ones would you take?
Well, the Bible, naturally, and its trusty companion, the concordance. Then I'd bring a dictionary and a thesaurus, and my collection of Jack London stories. Yep. That would keep me happy for a long, long time!
If you had 48 hours to hang out with any TWO people (besides Jesus), alive or dead in the history of the world who would you hang out with and what would you do?
Thomas Jefferson, definitely! I'd ask him to tell me about every one of his inventions--why he was inspired to create them, and how long it took to perfect each. And then I'd just sit back and enjoy all the witty and profound things he said (that I love to quote, every chance I get) to find out which has been inaccurately recorded by historians!
And my Italian grandpa would join us, to share the amazing stories from his childhood (being gored by a bull as a boy, becoming a proud citizen of the U.S. by fighting for our country in WWI, etc.). I think the two men would have so much in common that they'd spend the entire 48 hours laughing and talking!
What three things are you most thankful for in your life?
First, I'm thankful that, by the grace of God, I am saved.
Second, I'm thankful for my family. (And yes, that includes all you in-laws!
Third, I'm thankful that the Lord chose me to write. And write. And write!
What is the most fun thing you have ever done?
Wow. That's a tough one! I guess I'd have to say my Ocean City, Maryland honeymoon, because as a Midwest girl, transplanted to the East coast, I'd never seen the Atlantic. Yes, Lake Michigan is expansive and turbulent, but it pales in comparison to the ocean. Especially at sunset, when--if you're very, very lucky--you can see the astounding "green flash."
What are you writing now?
I'm working on book #3 in the First Responders series, An Honorable Man. This one features a former NYC firefighter, scarred inside and out on 9/11, who becomes a big-hearted, tattooed, pony-tailed, Harley-riding youth pastor who puts the heroine's "don't judge a book by its cover" mindset to the ultimate test!
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Before I answer that, I want to thank you, Wanda, for inviting me to share your blogspace!. Your generosity and big-heartedness is a blessing! I'd also like to thank all of your regular readers/followers for slogging through my answers to your questions; those who are so inclined can find me at Facebook, Twitter and Shoutlife, and people can also find me at http://www.theloughdown.blogspot.com, http://www.loreeloughcom, and by reading my monthly column, "Loree's Lough Down" in the "Berzerk" secion of Christian Fiction Online Magazine.
One of you will win the book Unbridled Hope by Loree Lough. It is a fantastic book that I loved.
Leave a comment with your name and email address. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment AND your email address.
Here are the ways to get extra entries:
~Be or become a follower +1
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Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. ENTRY DEADLINE July 8, 2011