Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Author Interview/Book Giveaway-Sharlene MacLaren


I really love this book. Here is my review link if you would like to read it.   http://thelifeandtimesofwanda.blogspot.com/2011/12/ellies-haven-by-sharlene-maclarena.html 




Tell us about Ellie's Haven the featured book.
Ellie’s Haven is book two in my “River of Hope” series set in Wabash, Indiana in 1928.  Here’s the book blurb taken from the back cover:

A courageous young woman seeking refuge...

Ellie Booth was never the type to run away. But she'd witnessed her stepfather commit a heartless crime, and, knowing he'll stop at nothing to keep her quiet, she has no choice but to flee. Soon, she finds herself in Wabash, Indiana, scrambling for a cover identity to evade her stepfather. For lack of a better option, she answers an ad for a wife/housekeeper/nanny, praying that her lack of experience won't be obvious.

A widowed father with no domestic skills to speak of...

Gage Cooper is reaching the end of his rope. With four children between the ages of three and ten, he needs a reliable nanny, yet each one he's hired has thrown up her hands and deserted her post. When an attractive, spirited young woman applies for the "job," he knows he should pray about the matter, but his desperation for help propels him headlong into a marriage of convenience.

A trial by fire of their wedding vows...

Ellie immediately falls in love with the Cooper children, and, not long after, with their father. Soon, the "marriage of convenience" becomes less of a business arrangement as husband and wife yield to an attraction neither one had expected. When secrets of the past and dangers of the present arise in their lives, their marriage is put to the test, and God alone knows what will become of their union.

Can you tell us how many books you have in print in the Christian market?
When Ellie’s Haven releases in February that will bring my total to 11 books.  Number 12, the final installment in my “River” series, will hit shelves in late 2012.

Is there a particular book among those you've written that you would especially recommend to our readers?  If so, why?
Haha, that’s sort of like asking a mother, “Which of your 12 children is your favorite?” I don’t really recommend any in particular other than if someone wants to read one of my three historical series, it’s best to start with volume one of each set.  The first in my “Little Hickman Creek” Series is Loving Liza Jane, number one in “The Daughters of Jacob Kane” is Hannah Grace, and in the “River of Hope” Series, you’d want to begin with Livvie’s Song. If a reader prefers stand-alone contemporary fiction then Long Journey Home, Through Every Storm, and Tender Vow are all available and I’m thrilled to add have received excellent reviews.

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?
Just ten years ago, Christian fiction, or as it’s more commonly referred to now, faith-based fiction, is definitely on the rise.  Authors are developing relatable, imperfect characters and realistic, page-turning plots.  I think folks appreciate being able to read a book that contains these elements minus all the sex, unnecessary violence, and vile language. Even non-Christian readers have voiced their appreciation for cleaner fiction as long as it doesn’t come off too preachy.  Authors are finding ways to present the gospel so that it draws readers to Christ rather than turns them off to His message of love and redemption. This gives faith-based fiction a more positive “face” with the average reader. My hope is that this trend will continue. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t believe in watering down the gospel, but I also don’t believe in making fiction so preachy that even Christian readers want to toss the book aside for something more realistic.  Let’s face it; Christians aren’t perfect.  If there’s a way we can show the world that God provides answers in an imperfect world, then that should be our main thrust.  I always pray that when my readers finish one of my books they won’t so much go in search of another Sharlene MacLaren book as go in search of their Bibles.  I want my readers to realize there can be true purpose and meaning to their days; that there’s a God out there who solves real-life problems and hears their cries for help.

How can readers and fans encourage you as you pursue what is sometimes a challenging and solitary job?
I love receiving fan mail!  It is the highlight of my day when someone drops me a line in my website guestbook or sends me an email.  It is like getting a whiff of the best smelling perfume on the market – it just lifts me to the heights. Writing IS a solitary job, so I connect myself to others via Facebook. When I take a quick writing break I’ll often log into FB and see what’s ‘cookin’’ with my friends.  I compare it to going to the teacher’s lounge during a recess break, something I did for 31 years. That’s where I got re-energized, refocused, and rested up for the next stretch of the day.

Many writers are also avid readers.  Do you have any favorite authors?  If so, could you name a few?
In non-fiction, I love anything by Beth Moore (who doesn’t?), Anne Graham Lotz, Sarah Young, and numerous others.  In fiction, I enjoy almost too many to name, but for starters, Jody Hedlund, Julie Lessman, Marcia Gruver, Francine Rivers, Lena Nelson Dooley, Loree Lough, Kim Vogel Sawyer, and several others. Sadly, since taking up writing, I have little time for reading unless I’m between projects.  I tell people the only author I have time to read is Sharlene MacLaren.  I sit at my computer and say, “Oh, I wonder what’s going to happen next?” because, truthfully, as a seat-of-the-pants writer, I usually don’t know!

If you could only take five books with you on a journey of ten years, which ones would you take?
Obviously, my Bible first!  What would I do without the Book of Books? I’d probably choose to take Sarah Young’s devotional book, Jesus Calling, perhaps Hannah Whitall Smith’s The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love, and maybe John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. (That was a tough question.)

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?
Oh, my goodness, Beth Moore for sure and Billy Graham!  I bet in two days time I could learn so much from those two.

What three things are you most thankful for in your life?
Love these easy questions! My precious relationship with Jesus, my wonderful husband, and my adorable children and grandJOYs!

What is the most fun thing you have ever done?
It’s difficult to pin that down to just one thing, but when I think of FUN and EXCITING things in my lifetime – aside from getting married and raising wonderful daughters – I’d have to say that before I got married I stopped teaching for a year and traveled all over the U.S. and parts of Canada with 7 other singers.  We performed concerts for large conventions, small and large churches, high school assemblies, and numerous other events. We recorded albums in the Bill Gaither studio, hit the road, listened to ourselves on Christian radio, and generally had a blast spreading the gospel message in song wherever we went.  In that year, we visited approx. 40 states, so it was a whirlwind year packed with experiences I will never in my lifetime be able to duplicate.  

What are you writing now?
Currently, I’m writing book three in my “River of Hope” series titled Sofie’s Song.  This book won’t release till winter of 2012, but I will have to turn it in to my editor by June 1.  After that, I will jump into my next series!  The writer’s life (at least MY life) is eternally busy – just the way I like it!

How can readers find you on the Internet?
*You will find my website at http://www.sharlenemaclaren.com
*You can find me at Facebook by going to http://www.facebook.com/sharmaclaren. Let me know you read this interview and then request my friendship!
*Check out my MONDAY MUSINGS and THURSDAY THOUGHTS and other miscellaneous tidbits at my blog at http://www.sharlenemaclaren.blogspot.com
*And feel free to shoot me an email at smac@chartermi.net

Hope to hear from y’all VERY soon!

Thank you so much Sharlene for the wonderful, entertaining interview.
Sharlene has agreed to give her book Ellie’s Haven to one of you followers. 
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
~Be or become an email subscriber +1
~Be or become a networked blog follower +1

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 January 22, 2012

34 comments:

Kara said...

what a great interview! loved your answers sharlene :) thanks for this giveaway, would love to win Ellie's Haven! I'm also a follower, blessings!
kara
wman4jc@aol.com

wfnren said...

Great interview and it sounds like a good story.

wfnren(at)aol(dot)com
wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

wfnren said...

I am a GFC follower, wfnren.

wfnren(at)aol(dot)com
wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

wfnren said...

I am an email subscriber.

wfnren(at)aol(dot)com
wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

wfnren said...

I am an networked blog follower, wfnren.

wfnren(at)aol(dot)com
wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

Rebecca said...

Oh this looks like a great book. I would love to read this. Thanks for the chance to win.

agent_beckster(at)yahoo(dot)com

Linda said...

This: "I always pray that when my readers finish one of my books they won’t so much go in search of another Sharlene MacLaren book as go in search of their Bibles. I want my readers to realize there can be true purpose and meaning to their days; that there’s a God out there who solves real-life problems and hears their cries for help." is the reason I love Christian books and would love to win yours.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

SHARLENE said...

Hello, everyone! Thanks so much for checking out my interview. When Wanda selects a winner for a free copy of Ellie's Haven she'll send me the name and address of the winner. Just a reminder, this book isn't scheduled to release till mid to late February. The "official" release date is March 1.

So excited!

Hugs to all...

Marianne said...

Ellie's Haven sounds romantic and mysterious. Do you really feel i need to read Livvie's Song to enjoy Ellie's Haven? If so, i'll head to my local library just as soon as i win this book. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

mitzi[underscore]wanham[at]yahoo[dot]ocm

Marianne said...

i am a gfc follower -

Marianne Barkman

mitzi[underscore]wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com

http://www.marianne-barkmansofwanham.blogspot.com

Marianne said...

i follow your blog via email

mitzi[underscore]wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com

http://www.marianne-barkmansofwanham.blogspot.com

Marianne said...

i also follow your blog via networked blogs as Marianne Barkman

mitzi[underscore]wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com

http://www.marianne-barkmansofwanham.blogspot.com

kykitty said...

would love to have this. I am an email subscriber.

kykitty@att.net

rubynreba said...

Great interview. I'd enjoy this book. Thanks!
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

email subscriber
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

GFC Follower
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Merry said...

I love books set in the 20's, Ellie's Haven sounds like a terrific story.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Merry said...

I'm a follower via GFC.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Merry said...

I'm a subscriber.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. This sounds like a wonderful story.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Carol N Wong said...

Great interview! I didn't know about this series before. I am from Indiana and have been to Wabash long ago so this is super interesting to me.

I agree with the author about not being over preachy in books. I think it slows down the story and irritates readers. It is much better to be subtle.

Thank you so much for this giveaway!!!

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

+1 I am a follower of your blog.

CarolNWong(amt)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I am an e-mail subscriber of your blog.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I follow your blog with Networked Blogs.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

apple blossom said...

thanks for chance to win a copy of this book

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

apple blossom said...

email subscriber

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

apple blossom said...

follower

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this story :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

i'm a follower :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

email subscriber :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Nancye said...

Wow! This book sounds very intriguing! A little bit like Sarah Plain and Tall, but suspenseful. I would LOVE to win a copy! Thanks for the chance!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

GFC Follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

email subscriber

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I follow you on Networked Blogs

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net