Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lena Nelson Dooley's LFY in Golden, NM

It's Hartline week here at The Book Loft! All of this week's books were contracted by Hartline Literary. Enjoy
Award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley, has more than 650,000 books in print. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and president of the local chapter, DFW Ready Writers. She’s also a member of Christian Authors Network, CROWN Fiction Marketing, and Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

Lena loves James, her children, grandchildren, and great grandson. She loves chocolate, cherries, chocolate-covered cherries, and spending time with friends. Travel is always on her horizon. Cruising, Galveston, the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, Mexico. One day it will be Hawaii and Australia, but probably not the same year. Helping other authors become published really floats her boat, with fifteen signing their first book contract after her mentoring. Three of her books have been awarded the Carol Award silver pins from American Christian Fiction Writers and she has received the ACFW Mentor of the Year award at their national conference. The high point of her day is receiving feedback from her readers, especially people whose lives have been changed by her books. And she loves chocolate, especially dark chocolate.

Her latest release is Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, from Summerside Press. Lena is currently under two 3-book contracts with Charisma House/Strang/Realms. Her McKenna’s Daughters series contains Maggie’s Journey–which releases October 2011, Mary’s Blessing–May 2012, and Catherine’s Pursuit–January 2013. Her Restored Heart series releases in October 2013, May 2014, and January 2015.

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.

Lena has an active web presence on Shoutlife, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and with her internationally connected blog where she interviews other authors and promotes their books. You can check out her books and find out more about her on her blog by clicking the tabs across the top.

You can find Lena online at:
Her Official Fan Page

Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico

All that glitters is not gold.

It’s 1890, and Golden, New Mexico, is a booming mining town where men far outnumber women. So when an old wealthy miner named Philip Smith finds himself in need of a nursemaid, he places an ad for a mail-order bride—despite the protests of his friend Jeremiah. Hoping to escape a perilous situation back East, young Madeline Mercer answers the ad and arrives in town under a cloud of suspicion. But just as she begins to win over Philip—and Jeremiah himself—the secrets she left behind threaten to follow her to Golden...and tarnish her reputation beyond redemption.

Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, received 4 stars from Romantic Times Magazine.

Here's an excerpt of Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico:

Early spring, 1890

Golden, New Mexico

“Are you plumb crazy?” Jeremiah Dennison’s loud retort bounced around the main room of the adobe house and returned to mock him. “Where did you get such a harebrained idea?”

Trying to control his anger, he shoved his clenched fists into his denim trousers’ pockets, paced to the window, and stared out, paying scant attention to the piƱon trees bending in the wind. He loved Philip Smith like a father, but the man could vex the weather. And this latest idea was the most farfetched yet.

Philip gave a snort. “Harebrained?” He put his rocking chair into motion that sent out a rhythmic squeaking. “Why’d ya say that? It’s worked fer other men.”

Jeremiah tried to calm down. He wanted to measure his words, season them with wisdom that would awaken his elderly friend to all the pitfalls he would face. “What would you do with a mail-order bride?”

The old miner stilled the chair and stared at Jeremiah, obsidian eyes piercing under his bushy white brows. “Somethin’ ”—he smothered a hacking cough with his fist, then swiped a clean handkerchief across his face—“has a deadly grip on me.”

“I know you’re sick. I take care of you, don’t I?” Jeremiah resented the fact that what he’d done wasn’t enough. Otherwise, Philip wouldn’t even consider such a preposterous proposition.

His old friend reached up to scratch the scraggly beard he’d worn all the years he was a miner, but it no longer covered his clean-shaven chin. Old habits died hard. “Jerry, I don’t wanna be a burden on ya.”

“You’d rather be a burden to a woman you don’t even know?” Jeremiah regretted his cynical tone the moment the words flew from his lips. He softened his tone. “I’ve never considered you a burden any more than you thought I was a burden when I came to the gold fields as a greenhorn.”

Philip clutched the arms of the rocking chair and slowly rose. He took a moment to steady himself before he ambled toward Jeremiah. “I ain’t come to this decision easy.” He squinted up into Jeremiah’s face. “I done studied on it fer a while.”

Jeremiah straightened the fingers he’d gripped into fists and relaxed his stiff spine. “What do you mean, ‘studied’?”
“Well, I figure a woman who’d answer them ads in the newspaper must be purty needy, maybe even desperate to get out of a particular bad situation.” He gave a vigorous nod that riffled his snowy hair. “Made me a fortune when I sold my mine. More money than any man can spend in his lifetime. What good is a fortune to an old-timer like me? Won’t never have a family of my own. Maybe I’ll git me a woman with children. She can take care a me, and my money can take care a her.” Another nod punctuated his last statement. “And her young’uns, if she has any.”

How could Jeremiah deny his mentor’s request? Philip never asked for much. If he didn’t do this, the stubborn old man would look for help from someone else. A lesser friend might have a wagging tongue and spread the story all around Golden. Philip didn’t need people gossiping about him sending for a bride. And other miners might try to nab her for themselves when she arrived. If Jeremiah had his way, it would be fine with him if they did, but his friend would be too disappointed. He didn’t want to break Philip’s heart, just talk him out of making this mistake.

“Jerry, ya ain’t mad ’cause I’m plannin’ to give my money to someone else, are ya?”

The words stabbed Jeremiah’s heart. How could Philip believe that about him? “I don’t need your money. I have more than enough of my own, thanks to selling my own mine and starting the ranch like you told me to.”

The hoary head nodded. “That’s what I figured.”

“Where you going to send the ad?” Jeremiah couldn’t believe he was considering being a part of this crazy scheme. But what else could he do?

Philip limped toward the sturdy pine dining table where a stack of newspapers was piled haphazardly beside blank paper, an inkwell, and a pen. “I read all these, and I think I’ll send it to the Boston Globe.” He picked up the top newspaper and shoved the rumpled pages toward Jeremiah.

Taking the newsprint, Jeremiah glanced at the headlines on the front page. An unusually hard winter had left many people out in the cold. “Why Boston?”

“Don’t want jist anybody. Wanna help a lady in distress.” Philip folded his scrawny arms across his bony chest. “Figure most a the women in Boston are ladies. My aunt Charlotte come from Boston, and she was a lady.” He stopped and cleared his throat, then wheezed out a slow breath. “You do the writin’, ’cause mine looks like hen scratchin’.”

Judging from the stubborn tilt to the older man’s chin, Jeremiah knew Philip’s mind was made up. He dropped the newspaper back on the stack and pulled out the chair beside the stationery. “What do you want to say?”

He picked up the pen with the golden nib—another of the things the old miner had bought after he’d sold the mine. It had never been dipped into the inkwell until now.

Philip leaned both hands on the table, puffed out his chest, and wrinkled his forehead in concentration. “How about, Wanted, a… No. Makes it sound like she’s an outlaw, or somethin’. Do it this way. A Christian man in Golden, New Mexico, is seekin’…” He waited for Jeremiah to finish writing the phrase. “Sound all right so far?”

Wanting to laugh, Jeremiah kept his eyes trained on the words before him. Philip was so serious. “What are you seeking?”

The old miner scratched his head. “I want a lady. Done already told ya that.”

“Maybe we could say, a Christian lady. That should cover it.”

Jeremiah dipped the pen in the inkwell. When he held it poised over the paper, waiting for Philip to agree with his suggestion, a small drop fell and quickly spread into an unsightly blob. “I’ve messed up this sheet. Do you have a pencil? I could use it while we figure out the wording. Then I’ll copy it in ink.”

Philip made his way to the sideboard against the back wall of the large open room and pulled out a drawer. He shuffled through the contents before holding up the stub of a pencil. “Here’s the onliest one I got.”

“It’ll do.” Jeremiah reached for the pencil and continued, “A Christian man in Golden, New Mexico, seeks a Christian lady…where do we go now?”

O nce again, Philip was deep in thought. “…who needs a chance at a new life.”

Jeremiah nodded and added the words. “I like it. Do you want to say anything else, or should I just put your name and address?”

“That’s enough, but put General Delivery as my address.” A smile crept across the older man’s face, bringing a twinkle to his rheumy eyes.

He returned to his rocking chair while Jeremiah copied the words with ink, folded the message, inserted the paper in an envelope, and wrote the address for the Boston Globe on the front.

“I suppose you want me to take this to the post office.” He knew Philip didn’t get out much in the chilly spring air of the Ortiz Mountains, because it aggravated his breathing problem.

“If ya don’t mind.” Philip reached into the watch pocket of his trousers and pulled out a coin. “Here’s the money.”

“I don’t need your money.” Jeremiah headed toward the front door. “I just hope you aren’t making a mistake.”

Philip cleared his throat. “Jerry?” Huskiness colored his tone. “I’m thankful fer all ya do to help me.” He paused until Jeremiah gave him a nod. “I’ve talked to the good Lord about this. I’m sure He agrees with what I’m doin’.”

What could Jeremiah say to that? Nothing. He couldn’t explain why, but when Philip Smith talked to his Lord, things happened. Jeremiah pushed his hair back before donning his Stetson and exiting through the front door, being careful it latched behind him. He didn’t want Philip to have to get up and close it again if it should blow open after he was gone. Let him rest in his rocking chair. After all his long years of mining, he’d earned it.

Marching down the cobblestone street toward the post office, Jeremiah hoped he wouldn’t meet anyone who wanted to talk. The sooner he got this letter mailed, the sooner he could wash his hands of the whole situation. Maybe no one would answer the ad. Or maybe he could just tear the whole thing up and not tell Philip he didn’t mail it.

If he wasn’t honorable, he could get away with that. But he couldn’t lie to the man who meant more to him than anyone in the world. Wouldn’t be right. He’d make sure to look over any letters Philip received. He wouldn’t let some floozy use his friend as her meal ticket and think coming here was her golden opportunity—in more ways than one. No sirree, he’d watch anyone who came with an eagle eye. She would have to pass his inspection before he’d introduce her to Philip. Even if his old friend did say he’d talked to God about it.

As Jeremiah walked into town, he fastened the top button on his long-sleeved shirt. The day would heat up later, but spring brought cool breezes in the early morning. When he passed the hotel, Caroline Oldman stepped through the door and started sweeping the boardwalk.

“Morning, Caroline.” He tipped his hat to the proprietress, who was also the wife of the preacher. They’d been good friends to Jeremiah since they arrived in Golden. Their influence had calmed the rowdy town a lot.

He kept walking toward the post office. Would Philip hear from a woman before summer? Jeremiah hoped the old miner wouldn’t receive a single answer to his ad.

Jeremiah thought back to when he came from Missouri to New Mexico searching for gold. Philip was the first miner he’d met. Thin and wiry, the old man’s face was almost hidden behind his long beard and thin gray hair that reached to his shoulders, but he had a heart of gold. He’d befriended Jeremiah and helped him learn all about mining. He was even there when Jeremiah’s partner was killed in a cave-in at the mine they owned together.

Philip had listened to all of Jeremiah’s rantings and guided him toward becoming a cattleman. He knew Philip prayed for him all the time. But Jeremiah couldn’t accept all that God nonsense himself. Where had God been when train robbers killed his mother and he was left in the clutches of his cruel uncle and father? With a shudder, he shook his head to dislodge the images invading his thoughts. The less he thought about the past, the better. Too much pain and suffering there.

He was sure Philip had prayed about sending this letter, but Jeremiah wasn’t convinced there was a God. And if there was, why would He care whether some greedy woman came to fleece the old miner?

No, Jeremiah would guarantee that didn’t happen.

On a personal note--I'm reading this book right and I can tell you the exact moment I was hooked into the book. Here it is: “Are you plumb crazy?” Jeremiah Dennison’s loud retort bounced around the main room of the adobe house and returned to mock him. “Where did you get such a harebrained idea?”

Yup. The very first sentence hook me and the rest of the short paragraph set the hook good. Esther is dying to read it--good thing I had dibs on it! LoL (This is serious business here at my house!!)

I'm totally loving Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico!

Purchase at CBD

Purchase Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico at CBD.

Lena is giving away a copy of Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

If you have trouble leaving a comment, you can email your comment to me at Patty {at} PattyWysong {dot}com.


Joanne Sher said...

No need to enter me - cuz I already have and have read it (sooo good!). Looking forward to more of her books coming out soon. Yay!

Anonymous said...

This book sounds good!

Amy said...

My mom loves the Love Finds You Series.


Meredith said...

Great excerpt!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Jo said...

I love reading the Love Finds You books. Please enter me.


PriviesAndPrims said...

Would love to win more romance!

priviesandprims at yahoo dot com

ann said...

would like to enter for the book


Tracy Smith said...

Would love to try some of the Love Finds You series. Thank you for having this giveaway!

countrysunset40 (at) aol dot com

Courtney said...

Oh, the excerpt has got me really interested in this great book! Thanks for the chance to win it!

Judy B said...

I enjoyed this interview. This book sounds like a good read and I would love to win it.

Judy B

Amy said...

Please enter me. Thanks.


Lee Smith said...

Looks great - I'd love to read this book. Thanks for the chance to win this book.

leesmithwriting at yahoo dot com

Charity said...

Would love to be entered! Thanks for the chance at winning this book:)

Lady DragonKeeper said...

Wow, what a twist to the "mail order bride" plot ... sounds like a great book. Thanks for the chance to win!


Leanne said...

I'd love to read it!

leanniegehrke at hotmail dot com

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