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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Enter Now! Davis Bunn's New Novel

Here's how you enter to win Davis Bunn's new novel, Hidden in Dreams. Leave a comment answering one of these questions:

  • If you had a recurring dream, who would you ask to help you interpret it?
  • Have you ever had a dream or vision about future events that later came true?
  • Describe the scariest dream you’ve ever had.
For an extra entry, sign up for Davis's newsletter (listed on my blog post from yesterday), for a third entry 'like' him on Facebook. 
For a fourth entry, subscribe to my blog.

Be sure you leave an email address so I can contact you if you win.

When you leave a comment please tell me how many of these you did (I'll trust you to be honest). I can only count what you tell me.

You must be in the U.S. to enter and have a physical address (not just P.O. Box) 

I LOVED THIS BOOK! The words that came to mind as I was reading?  Compelling and riveting, for starters. You're instantly catapulted into the mystery that surrounds dream specialist  Dr. Elena Burroughs, and which quickly spreads to over a dozen other 'dreamers' across the world. To be quite frank, this isn't the kind of book I'd typically purchase, but the characters were so well drawn, the story and mystery so compelling that it literally drove me to finish. I HAD to find out what was causing the exact dreams that were happening, simultaneously, to people with no connection to one another. And once you begin to get an inkling of why it's happening you're driven to discover how it will end. 

Here's an interview with Davis that I think you'll enjoy...

 Q: How much research did you have to conduct to write this intriguing story?
 A: In a way, I suppose you could say I’ve been researching this story all my adult life. I did my studies in international economics and finance. Observing the difficulties our nation and economy has faced over the past three years, as well as what we personally have endured, has been tough. It really was great to have this chance to give voice to what we increasingly hear, that the people at fault need to be brought to justice, and the risk of another economic collapse needs to be halted.

Q: Why is it important for you to write about such timely themes?

A: Economic uncertainty defines the world we live in. I feel it is important to show how the timeless and eternal messages are applicable to every aspect of our world and our lives. And how the gift of peace and wisdom can be used in every circumstance we face.

Q: When you wrote Book of Dreams, did you have plans for this sequel, Hidden in Dreams?
A: Two months after Book of Dreams was released, I had the call every author dreams about and yearns for—a vice president of NBC/Universal suggested we discuss the possibility of turning it into a television series. I was put in touch with one of their producers and over the next six months began working up the basic structure of what this program might look like. One of the ideas I found most appealing became the basis for Hidden in Dreams. There is as yet no firm decision about the television project. But it has been a blast to even be considered.

Q: In writing a sequel it’s always a challenge to include enough back story to satisfy those who haven’t read the first book while still making sure the book stands alone. How do you approach this dilemma?
A: You’re right, it can indeed be troublesome, but this time it all fell together very easily. The structure just flowed. That sometimes happens, where the story seems to create itself. I wish it was true all the time. I can’t even say why it was such a smooth process with Hidden in Dreams. But there was a sense of impatience about the back story, as though I needed to fit in just a few paragraphs, but I couldn’t allow myself or the reader to be drawn too far from this new story’s flow.

Q: You’re writing about two women in this novel. Is it ever a challenge to write from the female point of view?
A: Learning to write from a woman’s point of view is very difficult for a male writer, as it usually is for a woman author writing a man’s story. Before I was published, I became friends with a husband and wife team who were both opera stars. The woman often sang a male role in a Mozart opera that was originally designed for a young boy, but which nowadays is usually sung by a woman with a slightly lower range, called a coloratura.
I discussed my difficulty with her, of trying to make my women sound real. She told me that my trouble stemmed from working on a woman character from the outside. It wasn’t about making women ’sound’ anything. It was all about making the character live from the inside-out.
 As I worked on the point of view issue, trying to put my friend’s challenge into practice, I also began going into any meeting with a woman carrying a secret tape recorder, and taping everything that was said. I then went back and wrote out every word. It was perhaps the most boring month of my entire writing career.
But gradually I found that I could ‘hear’ the speech patterns of these women, and reshape them into structures that fitted around what was happening in my stories. And through this exercise, the emotional content that lay behind the dialogue, the person who was expressing herself, became more real, more solid.
And then I met my wife, Isabella. And the process of instruction at the intimate level of a God-centered marriage began to unfold.

Q: In Hidden, Elena and her colleagues are attacked in Miami. After the attack, why did Elena not take more precautions? 
A: Elena had a choice to make, and so did I. Either she could play the delicate flower – fearing everything and going nowhere – or she could go on the hunt. I liked the balance between her internal fears and uncertainties, and her quest as a professional psychologist. She is, in effect, trained to look for clues – to go on the quest of drawing out the hidden. I felt the actions she took, despite the dangers, to be her natural response.

Q: Is there another Elena Burroughs book planned?
A: I have another idea. The question is, what do the readers want, and how positive is the reaction to this story?

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Book Drawing--Davis Bunn's Newest!!

Want To Win a Copy of This New Novel by Davis Bunn? Watch for Instructions in tomorrow's post. This book is AWESOME!

ISBN (Trade Paperback): 978-1-4165-5672-5
$14.99; 256 pp
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-4516-6381-5
Release: July 3, 2012 from Howard Books, a Division of Simon  Schuster

Just when the world’s foremost expert on dream analysis, Dr. Elena Burroughs, thinks she is getting her life back under control after losing her position at Oxford University and the man she hoped to fall in love with, she is approached by Rachel Lamprey, the product manager of an innovative new ADHD treatment about to hit the market.
Rachel asks for Elena’s help with a clinical trial participant who has had a disturbing dream foretelling a cataclysmic global financial collapse. But even more alarming is the fact that fifteen people scattered across the globe—including Elena herself—begin to experience the same repetitive, devastating dreams of economic ruin just as one bank crisis follows another, suggesting that these aren’t merely dreams.

As Elena searches for answers in her professional networks, she is forced to form an unlikely alliance with her most vehement critic and is drawn back into the spotlight as the public face of the so-called dreamers. As Elena and her collaborators attempt to discover the dreams’ source, the clock ticks down to devastation. Suddenly, it’s no longer just about the dreams. It’s about survival.

Read Chapter 1 of Hidden in Dreams for free
Direct link to Chapter 1:

Reading Group Guide for Hidden in Dreams
Video Book Trailer for Hidden in Dreams
Link to YouTube book trailer:

Friday, July 13, 2012

Writing a Historical Novel? Research is the Key!

When I wrote my first historical romance, Love Find You in Last Chance, CA, I had a short panic attack. Not long, just a few seconds, as I'm not prone to panic, LOL! But I'd never written a historical before and wasn't sure I'd be able to find the information I needed to bring the story to life.

High school and one year of college taught me something about research, but that was years ago and so much has changed. The advent of the internet has opened a whole new world for fiction writers.

Here's what I ended up doing and have continued to do on each historical since.

*  Did a Google search on the town, the time period, and key words contained in the book

*  Joined an online historical writers' group where I could toss out questions and get help if I need it

*  Read other books set in the same time period by authors I trusted who created a realistic depiction

*  Checked out books from our local library. Some suggestions would be old memoirs, copies of journals   from your time period, nonfiction books written about the area where your book is set, and any books
containing information key to your story. i.e., ranching or mining in the Sierra Nevada Mts. of California, etc.

*  Visited the location and while there, talk to as many of the old timers as you can find. Visit the museums and historical society if available, and any local landmarks.

Next Week I'll be doing a blog and book drawing for Davis Bunn's book, Hidden in Dreams, a fantastic novel!! Be sure to check in and enter to win. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 4th is About Heroes

My daughter Marnee and I have a hero and he's younger than me. In fact, I gave birth to him 33 years ago. Our son Steven served in Iraq an Kuwait during the 'Shock and Awe' campaign when the troops were all moving in and the fighting was at its worst.

                                Marnee took this picture to send to her brother while he was in Iraq.

Heroes come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. And July 4th isn't just to remember the day we won our independence from Britain. It's a day to reflect on our freedom and what it's taken to win it. Let's don't ever forget our heroes.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Forty Years Ago.....

I married the man of my dreams--I was 18 (three weeks shy of 19),  and Allen was 19 (almost 20--mere babies).

We honeymooned at Wallowa Lake, Oregon, and spent our first year renting the parsonage from our church (our pastor built a house). We took care of the lawns for the church and house, as well as the flower beds, and only paid $50 a month in rent.

A couple of years later I was expecting my first child....a beautiful daughter we named Marnee. Later we added a son. This is a pic of Allen and I taken around our second anniversary.

The years sped by, we owned and operated a couple of businesses, took our daughter to riding lessons and I enjoyed hitting the trails on our horses with her. Our son got involved in stunt bikes, then dirt bikes, then airplanes. It wasn't long before they were grown and we'd hit our 25th anniversary. 

God has been faithful all these years and we're still in love. Sure, we've had tough times when we didn't FEEL any love, but we still pressed forward together. I'm so glad we did!
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