Monday, March 25, 2013

Interview & Giveaway with Lena Nelson Dooley!

Readers! Please join me in welcoming Lena Nelson Dooley to my blog today! Enjoy this interview, and at the bottom, make sure to enter the giveaway for one of Lena's books. There are lots of ways to get entries (and lots that you can do every day if you like!). Have fun, and enjoy!

Welcome, Lena! I’m delighted to have you here today to talk about your newest book, Catherine’s Pursuit. Looking forward to learning more about it. First, could you please give us a short auto- biography?
Bio: Award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley, has more than 700,000 books in print.
Helping other authors become published really floats her boat, with over 20 signing their first book contract after her mentoring. Three of her books have been awarded the Carol Award silver pins, and she has received the ACFW Mentor of the Year award. The high point of her day is receiving feedback from her readers, especially people whose lives have been changed by her books.

Her 2010 release Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, won the 2011 Will Rogers Medallion Award for excellence in publishing Western Fiction. Maggie’s Journey appeared on a reviewers Top Ten Books of 2011 list. It also won the 2012 Selah award for Historical Novel. Mary’s Blessing released in May 2012. It recently appeared on a review site’s Top Five Reads in 2012 list. Catherine’s Pursuit is coming in February 2013.

In addition to her writing, Lena is a frequent speaker at women’s groups, writers groups, and at both regional and national conferences. She has spoken in six states and internationally. She is also one of the co-hosts of the Gate Beautiful blog radio show.

Lena has an active web presence on Shoutlife, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Linkedin and with her internationally connected blog where she interviews other authors and promotes their books.
Find her online here:
Other blogs where she’s a regular contributor:
Please tell us a little bit about the plot of Catherine’s Pursuit and the McKenna’s Daughters series.

McKenna’s Daughters series is about identical triplets born on one of the last wagon trains on the Oregon Trail. Their mother dies giving birth, and they are separated. They don’t find out they have sisters until near their 18th birthday. Each book is about one of the sisters.

In Catherine’s Pursuit, the daughter Angus McKenna kept pursues finding her sisters.
Here’s the back cover copy:
"A heartwarming tale filled with history, adventure, faith, and love." --Lisa Wingate, bestselling and award-winning author of Dandelion Summer and Firefly Island
The search for her sisters will become a spiritual journey for the entire family.
Raised by her father, Catherine McKenna has never lacked for anything, surrounded by people to take care of her every need. On her eighteenth birthday she discovers that not only did her mother die when she was born, but she has two identical sisters. Although her father vowed not to look for his daughters, Catherine made no such promise. Setting out on her own with one clue and her maid in tow, she's determined to find her sisters.
Collin Elliott has seen better days. After losing his ship to a violent and unexpected storm, he is trying to recover--physically and emotionally. When Angus McKenna sends him to find, follow, and protect his daughter, he wants nothing more than to finish his task and return home. Can he help her find her sisters?
And will the discoveries they make along the way teach them both what's most important in life?

What was your favorite part of Catherine’s Pursuit to write?

There were several scenes I just loved. One was when Catherine is in Oregon City, and someone recognizes her as her sister Mary. I loved writing the scenes between the hero Collin Elliott and Mary’s fiancĂ©. And the scenes on the ship with Catherine and Collin were fun to write. But I really enjoyed watching this story develop as I wrote it. God gave me some deep insights into the characters as we went along.

What kind of research did you do, specifically for Catherine’s Pursuit?

My historical books are known for their historical authenticity, as well as for the characters who grip reader’s hearts. I do extensive research into the settings, the language of the time period, clothing, modes of transportation, society, etc. In my book, the only things that are fiction are my characters and their stories and homes. Streets, businesses, etc., not owned by my characters are all real businesses and streets at the time the book takes place.

What gave you the idea, or inspired you to write the McKenna’s Daughters series?

I know that God dropped these stories into my heart. In addition to the romantic threads of the stories, there are many issues that people today experience—bitterness, unforgiveness, lack of trusting God, a poor self-image, difficulty keeping a commitment, many frailties of the human condition.

Which of the three books in the McKenna’s Daughters series is your personal favorite? Which cover is your favorite?

I can’t pick a favorite book. Each one is individual, just as our children are individuals, and we love all of them equally, but maybe in different ways because of their uniqueness.

About the covers, when the design team created the first one, I loved it. Then when the second one came out, I loved that cover even more. And now with Catherine’s Pursuit, I love it even more. It helps that many of my favorite colors are on this cover. But more important to me and I believe to readers is that every detail of each cover perfectly fits the stories.

Do you have another book in the works yet?

I am writing book one in my Love’s Road Home series. My agent has a couple of editors who have expressed an interest in it.

Your biggest fan and supporter is… my husband, and my children are close behind, and now my grandchildren are big fans, too. Even my brother has read all my books. This is wonderful, because not all authors have such strong family support, and I thank God for it.

If you could live in any time period, which time period would it be?

I sometimes think about living in other time periods, but I don’t think I could do without the conveniences we have in this age and time. I know God chose this time for me, so I’m happy here.

Is there a random fact about you that most people don’t know?

I love purple, because as a daughter of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, I can wear the royal color.

What is one thing you dread doing?

Going to the doctor.

What are you currently reading?

Mystery of the Heart by Jillian Kent.

What’s your favorite classic book?

Gone With the Wind

So fun to learn more about these books, Lena! Thanks so much for taking the time to come be with us. Do you have a website where our readers can learn more about you? and I interview other authors and promote their books on my blog:

Charity here...check out these extras about Lena's books!

Review of Maggie's Journey:
Cover Focus on Maggie's Journey:
Review of Catherine's Pursuit:

Again, thanks for coming, Lena! And also thank you for offering a giveaway for our readers. 

Ready for the giveaway everyone? It's for...Mary's Blessing! This is the book in this series that I haven't yet had opportunity to read -- so one of you will get to read it before I do! Enter via the Rafflecopter below. Best of luck! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Bluerose said...

How fun!! :) I read Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico and really enjoyed it. I may even re-read it for one of my challenges. I have 2 of these 3 books and can't wait to read them. (Mary's Blessing is the only one I'm missing).

Becky said...

I have the first book just haven't read it yet, but I would love to win this one to add to the set. They both look like great books.

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Thank you, Charity, for featuring me here. And Blue Rose and Becky, thanks for your comments.

regencygirl01 said...

I can't wait to read this book. I read the first back to back not realizing there was a third book. SO I am very ready!

Rissi said...

Nope, I've not read any of Lena's novels. For historicals I like Susan May Warren. :)

Wendy Newcomb said...

No I haven't yet but I really want to get this series, they sound great and I love the covers.


Kara said...

I haven't read any of her books yet. But I really need to change that fact because the ones you featured sound great! As for a historical novel, one of my absolute favorites is The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz. :)

Anonymous said...

I've wanted these books since I read the first review. I love the idea of triplets I just know I will love them. Hoping to win this one. Thanks for having Mary for a guest.
Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Forgot the question. Can't remember the title of the last one I've read for it's been awhile. I am reading the #1 book of Maggie's Journey , but haven't finished it.

Patty said...

I read and enjoyed Love Finds you in Golden NM. Haven't read any of this series yet.


Anonymous said...

I have never read any of Lena's books before but these ones look great and are definately on my must read list now.

Katie J.

KayM said...

I so enjoyed the interview. Lena is a person whom I admire greatly for her writing and for her Christian example. One of my favorite books is by Lena--Minnesota Brothers: Four Stories of Swedes Who Find Romance in Their New Homeland. I have read several others. I am really looking forward to reading this series about the triplets. Thank you for offering a copy of Mary's Blessing.
may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

Jana said...

These books look really good!! I love historical fiction books!

Anonymous said...

I actually haven't read any of Lena's books, but they sound great. I have read some historical fiction books by Lisa Tawn Bergren and Lynn Austin. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Barbara said...

Have not yet read Mary's Blessing by Lena. Would love to receive a copy.
Looking forward to your next series, Love's Road Home.

A J Hawke
ajhawkeauthor at aol dot com

Hannah America said...

I don't think I've read anything by Lena yet. I like Gilbert Morris's books pretty well.

Lisa Medeiros said...

I have never heard of this author but am adding this series to my to read list! I LOVE historical fiction! The covers are beautiful!