I know. I know. I'm way behind in announcing the winners. But, I DO have an excuse. I was out of town for 8 days with no internet access, and although the posts were done ahead of time, I wasn't here to announce the winners.
So, I'll be doing that later today. Be on the lookout for the past 2 weeks' worth of blog spotlights and book giveaways. The winner just might be you!
And now on with today's spotlight...
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
Deep in the Heart of Trouble
(Bethany House Publishers - June 1, 2008)
by Deeanne Gist
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
*Note from Amber - Deeanne is such a sweet lady, and her books are absolutely fantastic! I was hooked from the first page of her first novel. And when I met her through her blog, I discovered a kindred spirit. Meeting her in person at ACFW in Dallas was only icing on the cake. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I enjoy counting Deeanne a friend.
Deeanne Gist has been a busy lady. She had a career in elementary education. She raised four children. In fifteen years she has: run a home accessory/antique business, member of the press, penned freelance journalism for a few well-known publications, People, Parents, Family Fun and more. She was the CFO for her husband's engineering company, she did all this in her home.
She also founded a publishing corporation for the purpose of developing, producing and marketing products which would reinforce family values, teach children responsibility and provide character building activities. In answer to Gist’s fervent prayers, God sent a mainstream publisher to her door who licensed her parenting I Did It!® product line and committed to publish the next generation of her system, thus freeing Gist to return to her writing.
Eight months later, she submitted A Bride Most Begrudging to Bethany House Publishers and they picked it up for their new "edgy inspirational" line of historical fiction. After its release in July 2005, Bride hit eight best seller lists and has sold over 100,000 copies and won the Christy Award for BEST ROMANCE 2006. The Measure of a Lady was her 2006 summer release. It hit five best seller lists and won the Christy Award for BEST ROMANCE 2007. Gist is contracted to have a new book come out every summer. Courting Trouble was her 2007 summer release and it hit three best seller lists.
Deeanne lives in Texas with her husband of over twenty-four years. They have two kids in high school, two in college.
DEEP IN THE HEART OF TROUBLE
by Deeanne Gist
Published by Bethany House
ABOUT THE BOOK
A Texas-Sized Tale of Unexpected Love
Essie Spreckelmeyer is the last woman anyone in Corsicana, Texas, expected to see with a man on her arm. Independent and outspoken, she's known more for riding bicycles in outrageous bloomers than for catching a man's eye.
And the last man who seems willing to give her a second glance is Tony Morgan, newly hired at Spreckelmeyer's oil company. The disinherited son of an oil baron, Tony wants most to restore his name and regain his lost fortune--not lose his heart to this headstrong blonde. She confounds, contradicts, and confuses him. Sometimes he doesn’t know if she’s driving him toward the aisle or the end of his rope.
That’s how life is ...Deep In The Heart Of Trouble.
If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE.
"Christy Award winner Gist's historical romances have increasingly gained popularity, combining witty dialog, well-balanced plots, and fully developed characters who seem almost real. Recommended for CF and romance collections."
-- Library Journal
"Gist does it again! Her signature prose is consistent and she delivers a thoroughly delightful and entertaining story that's worthy of our time and attention. Not only won't you want to put this book down, you'll want to enjoy this story again and again."
-- JUNE TOP PICK, 4-1/2 STARS, Romantic Times, Jennifer Reyes
"Gist has once again written a delightfully humorous historical romance. After reading the first book in this series of two, I was anxious to get my hands on this one. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed ... It is a spectacular, feel-good story which I highly recommend. You will definitely be glad you read it."
-– FIVE STAR RATING, The Romance Studio, Brenda Talley
I'll confess that there were aspects of the first book in this set that rubbed me the wrong way. The biggest was the fact that by the end, Essie hadn't found a beau or suitor. And the man who had actually come to her and offered to do the honorable thing after they went a little too far in their affections, well, Essie sent him packing. I was actually rooting for him.
However, one thing you always know will be included in Deeanne's books is humor and witty dialogue or humorous--sometimes embarassing--circumstances.
The same goes for Deep in the Heart of Trouble. Sparks fly when Tony Morgan (aka Tony Bryant) sets out to regain his status, his father's name, and his fortune only to come against Essie Spreckelmeyer standing in his way.
Burnt from previous heartbreak and heartache, Essie's shyness where men are concerned actually provides a good source of comedy and a nice counterpart to her often brazen behavior. Despite Tony's handsome good looks and appeal, he had to work extra hard to get Essie to trust him, and that often led to comical mistakes whenever she was near.
With supporting characters that only served to heighten the flow of the story and keep the pace at page-turning speed, Deeanne once again delivers a winner. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see yet another award nomination from the Christy's, the RITA or ACFW's Book of the Year.
1. You're back with the mis-adventures of Essie from Courting Trouble. What gave you the inspiration for this story?
Most people think the oil industry in Texas started with Spindletop. But it actually started in the little town of Corsicana while they were drilling for water and accidentally struck oil. The townsfolk were up in arms about this because the oil was ruining their water well!
So, they discover the oil in Courting Trouble (1894) when they are a small, struggling cotton community. Then four years later, they are Deep in the Heart of Trouble when Corsicana becomes a full-fledged oil boom town and our heroine owns the largest oil company in town.
2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that are theirs and theirs alone?
I’m sure my characters reflect me in some ways. I don't see how they couldn't, but I don't intentionally make them personal. I couldn’t even pick out what parts of the novels are personal and what parts aren't. I'm simply not aware of it. If you were to ask my sister, though, she would probably be able to tell you. On second thought, let’s not ask my sister. That could be dangerous.
3. What themes exist in Deep in the Heart of Trouble that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?
My main goal in writing is to use my gifts and talents to glorify the Lord. I have themes for my novels (the overall theme for DEEP is that God is trustworthy), but I don't set out to convey a particular spiritual message to my readers. To me, that is between God and the reader. But if my character wants to tap into their spiritual selves, they usually let me know (just like they let me know when they want to tap into their sinful selves).
4. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?
This was the first time I've ever written a sequel (and most likely my last). And not only was it a sequel, but it was centered around the same main character. So, the hardest part for me was to give the heroine another internal flaw that she had to overcome. She'd experienced so much growth in the first novel, I secretly wanted to let her off the hook in this one. But, of course, you can't do that.
My favorite part was I didn't have to research a whole new time period or location. Wow, was that ever nice!
5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?
All my books come out in June. So, you can look for my next novel in June of 2009. It is set on the West coast just after the Civil War. That's all I can tell you for now, though. I do, however, offer sneak peaks of my work-in-progress in my Chat Room. So, if you go to www.deeannegist.com, find my blog and click on the Chat Room icon, you can keep an eye out for posts about the new, upcoming book.
* * * * *
Thank you, Deeanne, for being in the spotlight with us.
Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of Deep in the Heart of Trouble or a FREE unsigned copy. Two chances to win with this spotlight, thanks to the generosity of Deeanne. :)
If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.
Make sure you leave your email address (name at domainname dot.com/net) or that there's a way to contact you. Otherwise, you won't be entered. Wouldn't want you to miss out on winning a book. :)
And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.
This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.
* * * * *