Do you like free things? Do you like to read e-books? To get free books it helps to be an e-reader. I know many of you aren’t e-readers, but then some of you are. I do read on my Nook and also on a Kindle app on my i-pad. But I do like holding that paper book better.
Yesterday, I was one of the speakers at the Women Who Write Conference in Louisville along with many others. My session was about writing through the genres from historical to mystery. That’s what I’ve done in my many years of writing. My first published books were historical romances in the general market. Then I published eleven books for young adults and middle readers.
After that, I had a few years without publishing before I decided to write that one more book and make it one that I really wanted to write. Enter Jocie and family and friends in Hollyhill. That was the book I decided to write as a kind of last ditch effort to be published or as a test to see if maybe I should give up writing. Not sure I would have done that even if Scent of Lilacs hadn’t found a loving editor, but it was in my thinking that I should stop spending time writing if I was never going to see those stories in print.
But the Lord blessed me with that story and is still blessing me with readers’ responses to it. This book started me writing for an inspirational publisher, Revell Books, and for me, it was like coming home. Here were the editors who wanted stories like the kind I liked to write. They put the book out here and I found readers who wanted to read the kind of stories I like to write.
The book went out of print and then my editor and agent went to bat for me and the company re-issued the books with new covers. People are always asking me if I pose for my own covers. No. Not much way I could pose as a 14 year old kid now. 🙂 But I did think the young model on the cover of Scent of Lilacs had an amazing resemblance to this picture of me when I was maybe eleven or twelve. What do you think? That’s about when I started writing stories too.
Anyway, back to those free books. The publishers made Scent of Lilacs a free download once before. It stayed free for almost a year. Then at the beginning of July they decided to give the book another free run. It’s easy to give away e-books. No printing costs. No mailing costs. And for readers it’s easy to download the books. A click and it’s done. Try it at Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Christianbook.com, or your favorite e-book site.
I’m not sure if people are more willing to write reviews when a book is free, but Scent of Lilacs has gathered more Amazon reviews than most of my other books all put together. And so far the vast majority of the reviews have been favorable. You can’t imagine how relieved that makes me. I do care what readers think about my books. Perhaps too much because a writer really can’t get hung up worrying about reviews. Still, it’s good to see remarks like these:
“I took longer to read this book than I should have because I savored every word. I even went back and reread some chapters just because I enjoyed them so much.”
“From the very beginning the characters of Hollyhill had my attention. A child full of wonder, spirit and life, Jocie is real. She keeps me smiling. Her child like faith teaches me hope.“
“Ok. I hardly ever review the books I read, but this was a good one. The central theme of the faith of a young girl can be bittersweet, and her answered prayers remind me of the prayers I had answered as a child.“
“I completely enjoyed this story and all of the characters in it. I felt as though I knew everyone and loved most of them by the end of the book. A wonderful, heart warming story of a father’s love for his children and God’s love for all of His children.”
“What a heart string tugging, 5 Kleenex story!”
But since I know some of you don’t do e-reading, I’m going to give away a few books. How about one winner every week until the end of August? All you have to do is leave a comment. This week why don’t you let me know if you do have an e-reader and whether you use it. Or you can tell me if I’m way off base thinking that picture of me looks like Jocie on the cover of Scent of Lilacs.
Thanks for reading.