Lena Nelson Dooley: 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.

I love to hear from my readers whether they liked the book or not. I know you can’t please everyone, so if a reader has a problem with one of my books, I like to know. The opinion might make a difference to how I write my next book. Of course, I prefer that the person be kind in the way they tell me what they didn’t like.

And it’s always a blessing to an author when a reader lets them know how much they liked a book. Especially when they give specifics.

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 http://www.acfw.com/ 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.

Website: www.lenanelsondooley.com

Blog: Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/lenandooley/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lena.nelson.dooley

Official Fan Page: www.facebook.com/pages/Lena-Nelson-Dooley/42960748768?ref=ts

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/333031.Lena_Nelson_Dooley

Featured Book:

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

Mary’s Blessing
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?

I’m giving away one copy of either MAGGIE’S JOURNEY or MARY’S BLESSING (winner’s choice) to a commenter.

Guest Blogger

21 Comments

  1. Welcome back to the Junction, Lena! So glad you’re hear.

    As I told a group I spoke to last week, without them–the readers–our job as writers isn’t nearly as much fun!

  2. Lena, I agree with you about the value of hearing from readers. Iron sharpens iron. When a reader takes time out of their busy life to offer me input, I receive it as a gift and an investment that I want to repay. Thanks for the post.

  3. I have contacted authors so that they were informed about how their novel affected me. It was always positive and I wanted them to know that the book was memorable and special. They appreciated this greatly.

  4. I live in WA state and enjoy historical fiction. I would love to read about WA territory in the 1880’s.

  5. Avatar

    I love being able to contact authors who’s books I love to read. It gives me a closer look at how they come to write the books and where inspiration comes from and what going on in their everyday lives.. I am on many chat sites, blogs, FB to keep in touch with all my fav authors. I love western historical and contemporary fiction… I would love to add you to those authors I read… your books are ones I just love to read..

  6. Hi Lena,
    I love reading your books. One of my favorites is the Minnesota Brothers. I have already purchased Maggie’s Journey to read but would love to win your new book Mary’s Blessing. By the way,
    I love the covers of your new books.

  7. Lena, I LOVE the covers of your books… LOVE THEM! I just want to grab them up and start reading. 🙂

    I have actually contacted an author about something in her book. It was categorized as Christian Fiction, but one of the characters used the word “B*tch” twice in it. I was shocked when I saw it. Not only was I surprised to find any profanity in “Christian” fiction, I also didn’t think it fit. As it was only used 2x, I just felt it was out of place. If it had been peppered throughout the character’s speech throughout the book, it would have been understandable, but it was just out of place. Anyhow, I let the author know how I felt and we pretty much agreed to disagree. 🙂 I still enjoyed the book as a whole and she wasn’t going to change it for one person.

    I have also contacted authors I really enjoy as well. (Including Kathi Macias). I so appreciate good CLEAN Christian fiction. I like the “eye-candy” (stuff that’s just fun to read) and the in-depth, dealing with social issues (like Kathi’s). I don’t write, so I love all the wonderful authors out there that use their “powers” for good not evil, haha.

  8. These books sound fantastic and the adoption story line is different and intriguing. Can’t wait to read these!

    ecriggs1990(at)aol(dot)com

  9. Lena,

    This series sounds wonderful! I’ll have to pick them up for sure.

    I have contacted authors and told them how much their stories meant to me, and I always get a nice reply back.

    –Kirsten

  10. A few times I have written to authors and told them how much I enjoyed their books… I feel I should do it more often… Your series sounds truly wonderful… thank you for sharing it with us today! 😀

  11. cool would love to win Maggie’s journey. I have Mary’s Blessing thanks

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  12. I have contacted authors after I have read their books. All have responded thanking me for my support.

  13. Congratulations on how well your books have done. McKenna’s Daughters sounds like a series I will enjoy.. I wish I were still working at the library. These books would be very popular with the patrons I dealt with. I will have to talk to the person now doing the ordering. It is too bad that small libraries have such limited shelf space. There are so many authors that deserve to be made available to a new audience.

    I try to let writers know how much I enjoy their books. I have been terrible about writing reviews. I’ll set the book aside then start reading another. I have mentioned to a few authors a thing or two that bothered me or seemed not just right in a book. That is usually in an email. Negatives or suggestions don’t need to be public. If I do mention something in a public forum, it is usually in the vein of “this didn’t work for me, but others might like it.”

    Must head out. I hope this series is doing well. I will be looking for it.

  14. Enjoyed reading the comments. Your book sounds really good.
    If I win an author’s book. I always send them a letter telling them how I enjoed it. If they are nice enough to share the book with me, I feel like I own them an analysis.

  15. Love your books…Down to earth and just a jewel to read….Covers are just awesome…Thank you for sharing

    Melinda

  16. Sorry I was gone from the computer so long today.

    Tracey, I’m thrilled to be here. Some of my good friends are part of this blog. I wish I were a regular here.

    Diane and Diane, thanks for dropping by and commenting.

    Nomad, I had a lot of fun doing the research for this book. I found lots of information to make it authentic to the time period.

    Kathleen, I hope you will add me to the readers you read regularly.

    Sharon, Ladette, my publisher does a wonderful job with my covers. I’m anxious to see what they do with the last one in the series. Although my books are entertainment, they also deal with issues.

    Liz, Kirsten, Colleen, thanks for dropping by. I used the name Kirstin (which is the 19th century Scottish spelling of the name) in book three of the series.

    Hi, Apple Blossom and Estella, thanks for dropping by. I love reading all the comments.

    Patricia, I welcome those kinds of comments from readers.

    Joye, I would love an analysis of my books from you.

    Melinda, I’m so glad you enjoy my stories.

  17. I have contacted authors and have been amazed that they answered back. Once a 3 in 1 book had about 10 pages missing in the last part. I emailed, asking if they could.just send that chapter. She emailed that book plus her 2 newest ones to me, autographed. What a surprise!

  18. I have loved many books, but do not often take the time to contact the author….I should work on that!
    And Lena, I’ll start by saying that I bought and read Mary’s Blessing (haven’t read Maggie’s Journey) – and really loved it. I think that part of the reason it hit such a chord with me was because I am the oldest of 6 kids and am used to taking care of all of them – especially when one brother needed a bone marrow transplant, so I became mom and dad for my siblings while my parents were focused on that brother.
    And recently my parents have been talking about the need to update their wills – and, with my permission, will name me as the guardian of my siblings should anything happen to both my parents……All of this made the reading of Mary’s Blessing so much more of an emotional journey and impact than most other books I’ve read. I could really identify with Mary’s worries and struggles.
    So thank you, Lena, for that experience! 🙂 Now to read the 1st and 3rd books. (Would love to get an autographed copy of Maggie’s Journey!!)

    admurphy(dot)musician(at)gmail(dot)com

  19. Hi Lena, welcome to the P&P. I have not read your work before but your books sound really good. I will have to start looking for them. So many authors and so little time to read. I just had back surgery and have had a little more time on my hands to read. Although I have not had much luck getting hubby and son to do the things that need to be done. I will have a hard time getting caught back up when I can do again.

  20. These books look and sound very interesting. I shall be checking them ouy.
    I have contacted authors and have always had super responses. One was very difficult for me but has turned out great. My son met an author who also belonged to a city theater when he was in college. When she found out how much I read she gave him a copy of her first published book which I read and did not care for. It was fantasy and I was not a fan. Told my son to tell her I found it interesting. She has been publish dozens times since then and I not only have read every book but my copies are autographed and recently the first book was republished with some changes which for me were improvements and I let her know how much I liked it now. We have become friends.

  21. Melody, Quilt Lady, and Connie, thanks for stopping by. I loved reading your comments.

    Amanda, I’m so glad you liked Mary’s Blessing.

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