Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Giveaway Week: Lena Nelson Dooley!

Please join me in welcoming Lena Nelson Dooley to Austenitis! If the layout of this post is strange, it's entirely my fault. I'm sorry. Computer problems have been plaguing me lately. Now, yesterday a post was published of my review of Maggie's Journey, the first book in Lena's "McKenna's Daughters" series. As you saw, I enjoyed it! I also have a Cover Focus coming soon. Love that cover. :)

Welcome, Lena! How do you choose your characters’ names?

I’ve used various means. I’ve used family members’ names or friends’names. Sometimes the character tells me what his or her name is. I’ve even had two casual acquaintances ask me to name a character after them. Which I did. So last year when Brenda Novak had the auction to raise money for diabetes research, I auctioned the naming rights to a character in the book I’m writing now. It was fun, and we raised money for a good cause.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Most of my accomplishments have been gifts from God. And I praise Him for them. Receiving the Mentor of the Year award from ACFW in 2006 was a high point. So was receiving the Will Rogers Medallion Award this year.

What wonderful awards! How does your faith play into your writing?

Since my relationship with the Lord is such an integral part of my life, a strong spiritual thread is an integral part of every book I write.

Has God ever provided an unexpected “detour” in your life that turned out to be positive?

Way too many to enumerate. I’ve found that when my life takes an unexpected turn, either for the better or for the worse, God has something for me to learn from the experience. After realizing that, I deal with possible roadblocks in an entirely different way from the way I did before.

Let’s talk about your new book, Maggie’s Journey (Charisma House, October 1, 2011), the first in your McKenna’s Daughters series. Please tell us about it. {{Below is the complete cover -- isn't it cool to see it all spread out?}}

Maggie is one of triplet sisters born on one of the last wagon trains west in 1867. Their mother dies soon after giving birth to them. And they’re separated and grow up in different areas of the western United States. Not until near their 18th birthdays do they find out they have two sisters. Maggie has grown up not even knowing she was adopted. Finding out that she was brings all kinds of emotional and trust issues into her life, as well as man who can love her for who she really is.
Sometimes we learn from our character’s experiences.

What did Maggie’s Journey teach you?

To trust God through every circumstance.

In Maggie’s Journey, you trace both the geographical and spiritual journey of Margaret Caine, who searches for an identity of her own after her discovery that she is an adopted child. Can you tell us how you came to write this particular book and the series of which it forms a part, McKenna’s Daughters?

Actually, I believe God gave this series to me. It percolated in my head for several years before my agent Joyce Hart found a home for the series. There are shadows from my life in several things in the book. I actually only found out when I was about 30 years old that my mother was rushed back to the hospital a few days after I was born. She had surgery to remove a mass of tissue, hair, and bone
that they believe was an undeveloped twin. Some of the feelings experienced by the heroine came from my life. I lost my mother when I was 7 years old, and the feeling from that loss also appeared in part in the heroine’s life.

Authors are often told that they should know their audience. Do you envision a particular audience as you plan and write your books? If so, what readers do you feel make up your audience?

I do have a fan base, and they have enjoyed various genres I’ve written—contemporary, historical, a mystery, a romantic suspense, romance, and now romantic women’s fiction. My tagline is: Characters Who Grip Your Heart. So I try to write characters the readers can really connect with. Right now, I’m writing more historical than contemporary, so I’m aiming at the audience that loves historical authenticity. That’s one of the things I strive for. Bringing the era alive with details that are

Many of your books are historical romances. Besides the quality writing, why do you think readers relate so well to historical fiction? What does it offer readers that more contemporary fiction does not?

Sometimes, it’s taking the reader to a more simple time, so it really is an escape from the stresses of today. Also, a large segment of the reading population hated history in school. That’s the main reason I strive for correct details. If authors aren’t as careful with the details, these readers are getting a skewed picture of history. I like to help them learn to love history through an interesting story.

Where can people find you on the Internet? – Official
Fan Page
I’m also on Goodreads, Linkedin, and Google+

Thanks for coming, Lena! I enjoyed having you. :) And we're back to me. You already know what Lena has offered to do...a giveaway of Maggie's Journey! Are you ever in luck! This is one fun book that I know you'll love. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment for Lena! You don't have to leave your email address, but if you don't, make sure you check back to see if you won.

And yes, we do have extra entries!

+2 if you posted about the Christmas Giveaway Week (or emailed five friends, if you don't have a blog).

+2 if you post about this specific giveaway.

+2 if you follow Austenitis.

That's it. USA only, and the giveaway ends at midnight on December 31!


Beth said...

I would love to be entered in this giveaway! I don't have a blog, but I do follow yours. :)

Thanks for the opportunity to win!


Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Thank you, Charity, for featuring me today. I hope your readers enjoy meeting me as much as I look forward to meeting them.

wfnren said...

I have been wanting this book sooo bad Lena, it's on my wishlist for Christmas, hopefully I'll win it here or get it then!

+2 for blogging this giveaway at:

+2 for blogging the Giveaway week at:

+2 for following you on GFC:

wfnren at aol dot com

Miss Dashwood said...

I'd like to enter this giveaway! I follow Austenitis.
This interview was so interesting! I'm a historical fiction nut, AND I firmly believe in the importance of Believable Characters, so this struck a chord with me. :)

Melanie ~ Christian Bookshelf Reviews said...

I've been wanting to read this book! Please enter me in the giveaway!

frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com

+2 GFC follower

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Thank you, ladies, for stopping by. I love reading your comments.

Anonymous said...

I love the cover of this book and have heard a lot about it. Thanks for offering a giveaway!

Sue Henderson

Merry said...

Maggie's Journey sounds terrific, triplets born on the trail, then separated... I hope each one has a story, Lena!

I'm a follower.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com