Saturday, October 15, 2011


Come say hello to Nena with me!

Award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley, has more than 675,000 books in print. She is a member of ACFW and president of the local chapter. She recently received the Will Rogers Medallion award for western fiction.
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 at the same time. Helping other authors become published really floats her boat. She has been awarded three Carol Award silver pins and received the American Christian Fiction Writers Mentor of the Year award at their national conference. The high point of her day is receiving feedback from her readers, especially her fans. And she loves chocolate, especially dark chocolate.

SKC:  I'm so excited to have you with us this week! What book or project would you like to tell us about today?

Maggie's Journey
By Lena Nelson Dooley
ISBN 978-1616383589
Realms/Charisma House
October 6, 2011
McKenna's Daughters Series, Book 1

Maggie's Journey grabs you on page one with characters and events that reflect real-life joys and heartaches that change the characters forever. Make room on your "keepers" shelf! —Loree Lough, best-selling author of 80 award-winning books, including From Ashes to Honor.

A girl who’s been lied to her whole life…

Near her eighteenth birthday, Margaret Lenora Caine finds a chest hidden in the attic containing proof that she was adopted. The daughter of wealthy merchants in Seattle, she feels betrayed both by her real parents and by the ones who raised her.

Maggie desires a place where she belongs. But her mother’s constant criticism and reminders that she doesn't fit the mold of a young woman of their social standing have already created tension in their home. With the discovery of the family secret, all sense of her identity is lost.

When Maggie asks to visit her grandmother in Arkansas, her father agrees on the condition that she take her Aunt Georgia as a chaperone and his young partner, Charles Stanton, as protection on the journey. Will she discover who she really is and, more importantly, what truly matters most in life?

SKC:  That sounds intriguing! What inspired you to come up writing in your particular genre?

LND: I love writing historical novels. The research is so much fun, and the stories just leap from my brain onto the computer screen.

SKC: I love doing historicals for the very same reason, Lena. I also loved reading all about you on your website, and I especially enjoyed talking with you at the conference this year. What do you think it takes to write a good book? Do you have any secrets?

LND: Never start writing without spending your time with the Lord. He will put a special spark in your work.

SKC: Amen to that. Do you read other books besides inspirational? If so, how do they help you in your craft? If not, why do you think not? 

LND: Only research books. I used to read other novels, but my time is so limited, and I really miss the spiritual thread in the novels.

SKC: Please include a short excerpt of your newest book.  


Margaret Lenora Caine sat in the library of their mansion on  Beacon Hill. Because of the view of Puget Sound, which she loved, she had the brocade draperies pulled back to let the early September sunshine bathe the room with warmth. Basking in the bright light, Maggie concentrated on the sketch pad balanced on her lap. After leaning back to get the full effect of the drawing, she reached a finger to smudge the shadows between the folds of the skirt. With a neckline that revealed the shoulders, but still maintained complete modesty, this dress was her best design so far. One she planned to have Mrs. Murdock create in that dreamy, shimmery green material that came in the last shipment from China. Maggie knew silk was usually a summer fabric, but with it woven into a heavier brocade satin, it would be just right for her eighteenth birthday party. And with a few changes to the design, she could have another dress created as well.

Once again, she leaned forward and drew a furbelow around the hem, shading it carefully to show depth. The added weight of the extra fabric would help the skirt maintain its shape, providing a pleasing silhouette at any ball. She pictured herself wearing the beautiful green dress, whirling in the arms of her partner, whoever he was. Maybe someone like Charles Stanton, since she’d admired him for several years, and he was so handsome.

“Margaret, what are you doing?”

The harsh question broke Maggie’s concentration. The charcoal in her hand slipped, slashing an ugly smear across the sketch. She glanced at her mother standing in the doorway, her arms crossed over her bosom. Maggie heaved a sigh loud enough to reach the entrance, and her mother’s eyebrows arched so quickly Maggie wanted to laugh…almost, but she didn’t dare add to whatever was bothering Mother now. Her stomach began to churn, a thoroughly
uncomfortable sensation. Lately, everything she did put Mother in a bad mood.
SKC: Ooh, I like it. I'm sure it will draw a crowd your way, Lena. Tell us also about the book you selected to share with one of our viewers. Do you have any particular question you enjoying asking of a reader that helps you to better know what people want?

LND: I’m giving away a free copy of Snowbound Colorado Christmas. This novella collection is set during an actual snowstorm in Denver, Colorado in 1913. I am always glad to hear what readers like about my books.

SKC: Thank you for joining us at A Pen for Your Thoughts. 

Please send in your comments about Lena's books or any comments you have about her great excerpt. Be sure to leave an email address for me.

In a few days I will lift a name out of my magic basket! And Snowbound Colorado Christmas just might be yours!


  1. The excerpt is very enticing, I can immediately see the setting. I have the book on my tbr list. Please enter me in the draw if you include readers from Canada.

    Wyndy Callahan
    wyndyc at gmail dot com

  2. I admire anyone who writes historical novels.
    Your new release sounds like it would hook me in and keep me there.

  3. I haven't read "Maggie's Jurney" yet but am looking forward to reading it. Have a feeling that it is one of those books that I am not going to be able to put down. I love reading Christmas stories as well.


  4. I have a copy of Maggie's Journey and will be reading and hopefully writing my review of it this week. Snowbound Colorado Christmas looks good! I love Christmas stories :o) Thanks, Lena & Shirley!


  5. What a beautiful cover! It sounds like a wonderful story and characters.

  6. The last book I read by Lena was Christmas Love at Lake Tahoe and can't wait to read more of her books. I love the story line in Maggie's Journey and enjoy stories with hero's and heroins who make their own destiny. Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  7. We do include readers from Canada for the drawing.

    Sorry to take so long to drop by. I've had a very busy weekend. The Book Release Party at Mardel's was Saturday, then I worked in Passages church bookstore Saturday evening. I also watched the Texas Rangers win the American League Championship. Go Rangers!!
    And then there was Sunday with church, lunch with two of my adult grandchildren, and then I had to rest.

    Thanks for dropping by.

  8. Woops! Tried to get this on. Forgot that I have to click twice.
    Thanks, Lena. I know what you mean about being so busy, especially on weekends. Me too. In fact, I don't often even turn on my computer on Sundays.
    I am really enjoying the comments.

  9. I loved the excerpt. Thanks for telling it to us. I am going to check out your books.

  10. Thanks, everyone, for stopping by. I love connecting with my readers.

  11. My friend told me to stop by. I'm glad I did. I liked the interview, and your books look very interesting. Are they in ebook too?
    Diane Carver
    Boise, Idaho

  12. I really like the excerpt. I love most historical. This seems like historical fiction more than historical romance? I would love to be entereed. Thanks a lot.