Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Lena Nelson Dooley: What's Really Important?

Thank you, Cheryl, for allowing me to be a part of your celebration.

Readers, I’ve known Cheryl for a lot of years, and I know she feels the same way I do about people who love to read books.

Of Great Importance in My Writing Life

One of the most important things in this author’s life is my readers. I love all of you. Hearing from you is a high point of my day. Even if you didn’t like some aspect of my book, I like to hear from you. I want to connect with you in every way I can. And you can find me on a lot of online venues—Facebook, Twitter, Shoutlife, Pinterest, Goodreads, my blog, and my web site.

I’m really interested in book clubs and reading groups. I enjoy connecting with you through the electronic technology of telephone calls or Skype video. I’m happy to answer questions about the stories, why I wrote them, and any other question you may have.

My newest series McKenna’s Daughters. The heroines were born on one of the last wagon trains on the Oregon Trail. Their mother died giving birth, and because of the circumstances, they were separated. It’s not until they are about eighteen years old that they learn they have two sisters. And the desire to find their sisters is strong in each of them.

Books one and two are stand alone novels, which can be read in any order. But you’ll probably want to read book one and two before book three releases in January 2012.

Maggie’s Journey released in October 2011. I’ve heard from a lot of readers. Many of they have been adoptees. They were interested in that aspect of the book, which was set in1885 in Washington Territory. Maggie journey took her to Little Rock, Arkansas, by train.

Maggie had grown up the spoiled daughter in a wealthy family. She had no idea she was adopted. Most people were intrigued by the way she found out. One Christian reviewer put Maggie’s Journey on her Top Books of 2011 list. Then in late May of this year, the book was awarded the Selah Award for historical novels.

Mary’s Blessing is releasing May 15, 2012. Mary has always known she was adopted, but because her mother died when she was eleven years old, no one told her the circumstances. That information really affected her when she found out. Her mother had called her God’s Blessing, but she didn’t feel like anyone’s blessing. Her spiritual and romantic journey intertwine in an interesting and surprising way.

If you didn’t get a chance to read book one, we’ll give away a copy to one lucky (or I should say blessed) reader.

Have you ever let an author know when something in a book bothered you?

Have you ever contacted an author and let that person know how much their book meant to you?

In either case, what happened?

Award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley, has more than 690,000 books in print. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the local chapter, DFW Ready Writers. She’s a member of 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 eighteen 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.

Her 2010 release was Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, from Summerside Press which recently won the Will Rogers Medallion Award for excellence in publishing Western literature for fiction. Lena is currently under two 3-book contracts with Charisma House/Realms. The first book released in October 2011. Maggie’s Journey appeared on a reviewers Top Books of 2011 list. The second is Mary’s Blessing, which will release in May 2012.

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.

Author: Lena Nelson Dooley
Title: Mary’s Blessing
Series: McKenna’s Daughters Series, Book 2
ISBN: 978-1-61638-617-7
Publisher: Realms

“Lena Nelson Dooley paints a vivid picture of all the tragedies and triumphs of nineteenth-century life. The charming characters, godly themes, and tender love story will leave you wanting more and eagerly awaiting her next book.” —Margaret Brownley, New York Times best-selling author of Brides of Last Chance Ranch

When her mother dies, Mary Lenora must grow up quickly to take care of her brothers and sisters. Can love help her to shoulder the burden?

Mary Lenora Caine knows she is adopted. As she was growing up, her mother called her “God’s blessing.” But now that she’s gone, Mary no longer feels like any kind of blessing. Her father, in his grief, has cut himself off from the family, leaving the running of the home entirely in Mary’s hands.

As she nears her eighteenth birthday, Mary can’t see anything in her future but drudgery. Then her childhood friend Daniel begins to court her, promising her a life of riches and ease. But her fairy-tale dreams turn to dust when her family becomes too much for Daniel, and he abandons her in her time of deepest need.

Will Daniel come to grips with God’s plan for him? And if he does return, can Mary trust that this time he will really follow through?

Lena is giving away a copy of either Maggie's Journey or Mary’s Blessing to one blessed reader who leaves a comment today!
(Please leave your email address in your post so we can contact you if you win.) 


  1. I love the sound of these stories--and the time and place! Rememember all the good Oregon Trail books when we were kids?

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  3. Hi Lean, so far i never let an author know when something in a book bothered me but i ever contacted an author and let that person know how much their book meant to me and they are happy to know about that :)

  4. Liz, I thoroughly enjoyed researching the Oregon Trail.

    Pradeep, Thanks for dropping by to meet me.

    Eli, I'd rather hear from readers who love my books, but I welcome feedback from every reader.

    Cheryl, I'm enjoying meeting your readers.

  5. Lena,
    I do try and let authors know when their book touches me--I know how good those notes and emails feel. :) Sometimes that little spark is just what's needed to make someone's day.

    Your latest books sound interesting. I'm always interested to learn how others are affected by unknown families. Everyone's reactions are so different.

  6. Lizzy, thanks for stopping by. I hope you get a chance to read my McKenna's Daughters series.

  7. We have a heat advisory in the Midwest, so maybe people will be indoors this evening, checking their favorite blogs. Happy 4th of July!

  8. I am from Arkansas, I will have to read Maggie's journey

  9. It's a joy to have you visit my blog today, Lena!

  10. I love to read and books that follow each other (or can be read separately)are really interesting. You don't feel that you are missing something when you start a new one. Sue

  11. Love the covers and the stories sound great. Glad to hear of a new great author. The Oregon Trail is a subject you can really get caught up in. I certainly did when I wrote my book The Tender Touch which I hope to see published as an e-book in a few months. Best of luck, Lena.

  12. Lena, your series sounds terrific. I'll definitely add them to my TBR list. I have a granddaughter named McKenna, so that really caught my eye. Good luck and good writing, Phyliss Miranda

  13. Lena, this sounds like a great series - love the concept for the set-up! I'll have to put these on my must read list..

  14. Hi Cheryl and Lena!!

    Your books sound intriguing, because I've always loved Oregon Trail stories. I think I wrote one myself in fourth grade!

    Yes, I've contacted writers, and if I've told them something bothered me, I usually phrase it that their writing was so strong that it made me feel strong emotions toward their characters. Which is usually true. But I definitely take the time to tell an author if I loved her book!

    Please include me in the drawing. Stephludwig at hotmail dot com

  15. Lena, I once emailed a really FAMOUS author who's name I won't mention because there is this MOMENT in her book that is so wonderful this totally unexpected moment when we find out the heroine, who is searching for her birth father, is the daughter of a man who has been a recurring character in many of this author's books as a man who can handle ANYTHING, sort of a ruling patriarch type.
    And when the heroine is musing ... quite a way into the book and her birth father's name is mentioned for the first time it had such an amazing affect on the whole book.
    The heroine is with the hero, he's protecting her from danger and helping her to get home-though she hasn't told her her true destination because she's worried about publically associating herself with her father for fear he won't accept her.
    But the moment when she thinks her father's name everything changes. Up until then I'm worried and rooting for the reasonably tough hero and hoping they stay close.
    Then BAM, from this moment on all I can think is, "Get her to her father. He'll save her. He'll fix everything."
    It really changes the emotional mood of the whole book in a way I KNOW was deliberate. Very well done. I was extremely impressed.
    Anyway, I emailed her and said "WOW! Thank you for that perfect moment."
    And she wrote back was just funny and sort of gloating and said, "Was that not a sweet switcheroo in that book."
    (she used a much cooler word than switcheroo. LOL
    But it was fun. I felt like we shared an author moment.
    And I loved this unexpected hook to her other books.

  16. Love this series, Lena. Don't put me in the drawing. I've got my copies.

  17. Fourth grade, seriously, Stephanie? You were an early bloomer.

    Very cool, Mary. I loved your story of the books.

  18. Hi Lena, the books and excerpt really got my attention. Congrats on the series!

  19. Lena,
    These books looks wonderful. Like you, I love to hear from my readers and really enjoy talking with them. I admire anyone who can write a series. I'm working on one right now, but they are short novellas. These books are going on my TBR list!

  20. Hi Lena good to see you again, I have not ever read a book, and I have read a lot, that had something bother me enough to let the author know. I do interact with authors through blogs and facebook also the goodreads site. It is wonderful when an author likes to be close to the readers-I think it must give them insight into stories that want to be read and therefore what an author can write more about.
    thanks for sharing today
    Paula O(

  21. I would love to win this book, I don't even remember how many times I've tried. I sounds so good and I love the cover.


  22. Hello Lena! I'm part of a book club that loves historical fiction and historical romance. Your books are right up our alley!

  23. Hi Lena,

    Glad to see you here, too. I've emailed authors when I've liked something in particular. I don't email them as much anymore--I try to post it on Amazon or Goodreads instead. I figure the good review is better for the author than an email from me.

    coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

  24. Robyn - I've found that - if a reader likes the book, they'll email me directly - if it's 'ho-hum', they'll write a review!

  25. Oh, my goodness, so many of you have dropped by while I was tryint to meet my daily goals for the book I'm writing for my next series Restored Hearts. Thank you for all your comments. I read every one.

    Victoria, check out my website. I have information for book clubs that choose one of my books to read.

    I'll gladly either call your meeting and let you ask questions, or Skype with you.

    Of course, if you live close enough, I'm glad to attend one of your meetings, so you can ask questions.