Author Interview with Heather Day Gilbert & Giveaway

Today I’m thrilled to have visiting with us Heather Day Gilbert.  I enjoyed reading her Viking saga books “God’s Daughter” & “Forest Child”.  I’ve invited Heather here today to talk with us about both of these books. (read my review)

HDGAUTHOR BIO:
HEATHER DAY GILBERT, a Grace Award winner and bestselling author, writes novels that capture life in all its messy, bittersweet, hope-filled glory. Born and raised in the West Virginia mountains, generational story-telling runs in her blood. Heather writes Viking historicals and Appalachian mystery/suspense. Publisher’s Weekly gave Heather’s Viking historical Forest Child a starred review, saying it is “an engaging story depicting timeless human struggles with faith, love, loyalty, and leadership.” Find out more on heatherdaygilbert.com.

Webpage // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest 

For those who may not be familiar with the Viking Saga, A quick review of the books “God’s Daughter” and “Forest Child”

GodsDaughterGod’s Daughter

One Viking woman. One God. One legendary journey to North America. In the tenth century, when pagan holy women rule the Viking lands, Gudrid turns her back on her training as a seeress to embrace Christianity. Clinging to her faith, she joins her husband, Finn, on a voyage to North America. Almost five centuries before Columbus, Viking women sailed to North America with their husbands. God’s Daughter, Book One in the Vikings of the New World Saga, offers an expansive yet intimate look into the world of Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir—daughter-in-law of Eirik the Red, and the first documented European woman to have a child in North America. This novel is heavily based on the Icelandic Sagas and is written from a Christian worldview.

 

FCForest Child

Viking warrior. Dauntless leader. Protective mother. Determined to rise above her rank as the illegitimate “forest child” of Eirik the Red, Freydis launches a second voyage to Vinland to solidify her power and to demand the respect she deserves. She will return home with enough plunder to force her brother, Leif, to sell her the family farm in Greenland. Historically based on the Icelandic Sagas, Forest Child brings the memorable, conflicted persona of Freydis Eiriksdottir to life. This immersive tale is Book Two in the bestselling Vikings of the New World Saga.

 

Thank you Heather for stopping by today.  It is a pleasure to have you here to visit and talk about the Viking’s Saga.   Before we talk Vikings, let’s ask a few getting-to-know-you questions.

coffee-1629158_640Q:   What is your favorite beverage?

Heather:   Hands down, it’s coffee!

Ahhh, yes!  Must start the day with a cup of coffee.

 

 

Q:   What would you say is your guilty pleasure?
Heather'sGardenHeather:   I love to stroll around in garden stores looking at plants/flowers, which bores my kids to death. I also love playing video games, which doesn’t bore my kids, but gives them lots to laugh about due to my inferior skills. LOL

LOL! I’m pretty sure that is why my son asks me to play video games with him also! 

 

Q:   How often do you people watch?

Heather:   You know, I don’t do this as much as I like. Since we live in a rural area, I don’t get out a lot, and when I do, sometimes it takes something really strange/unique to catch my attention since I’m usually distracted by watching my kids. On the other hand, I tend to brainstorm every chance I get.

We also live in somewhat of a rural area, but the occasional trip to the mall can be entertaining when people watching. 

 

Iceland.birdQ:   Is there a place you have wanted to visit, but haven’t yet?
Heather:   Oh, YES! Newfoundland, Iceland, and Greenland—where my Viking characters really lived. Also Norway and Sweden, where my great grandpa/grandma lived before they came to the USA. Wales and England also look beautiful—my hubby is part Welsh. And given how much I loved that show Yukon Men, Alaska would also be fun.

Those all sound like fantastic place to visit. I too have wanted to visit Norway & Sweden. 

 

book-1209805_640Q:   What is your favorite Bible verse?
Heather:   Psalm 73:25-26: “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

I love this verse because our lives are constantly shifting, people let us down, and we lose those we love. But in the end, God is the Great I AM and we will be with Him someday.

Oh, that’s a fantastic verse and a beautiful reminder that no matter what changes in our lives God never changes!

 

VikingFoodQ:  In your research for the Vikings Saga, was there anything that surprised you?
Heather:   Sometimes I was surprised by foods they didn’t have (like potatoes). I was also surprised a couple of times when I brainstormed what my characters would do, then I checked the sagas, and I realized they HAD done that. Maybe I’d remembered it from reading it, but it was always a nice little surprise. 🙂

That has got to be a great feeling, knowing that your initial idea was spot on!

 

GuildridFreydisQ:   What was most difficult to write about when writing about Gudrid?  Freydis?
Heather:   Great question. For Gudrid, she doesn’t really share my personality. She’s always looking back to the past, she’s pretty easily depressed, and given the choice to run or fight, she’ll run or retreat into herself. I’m so much more like Freydis—I just charge ahead, trusting I’ll make things work. Fight trumps flight. 😉 So Gudrid was a bit harder to write, but she resembles people I know, so it was easier to guess how she would react to certain situations. And the toughest thing about writing Freydis is that I was in her head (I write in first person, present tense, so it’s VERY alive in my mind), and that means I was “there” when she did a super violent thing. My readers prayed me through as I wrote that scene.

 

ForestChildMimeQ:   Which of these strong leading women (Gudrid & Freydis) is your favorite?
Heather:   I loved Gudrid best when I wrote God’s Daughter, but then I wrote Forest Child and I was pretty surprised by how Freydis grew on me. So I think Freydis is my fave, but I would be FRIENDS with Gudrid. LOL

That really is a tough question.  I couldn’t pick a favorite myself.  I liked each for different reasons.

 

GuildridQ:   When writing Gudrid & Freydis, who did you use as a character inspiration for their appearance?
Heather:   For Gudrid, I loved Amanda Seyfried. Naturally blonde hair, wider-set green eyes—just a knockout.

FreydisFor Freydis, I initially liked Tilda Swinton just because of her quirky, gangly redheadedness, but toward the end, I thought Queen Aslaug in the Vikings miniseries really resembled her. So the cover art for her was spot-on how I’d pictured her, since the woman looks like Aslaug to me.

 

I enjoyed looking thru the photo’s on your Pinterest board for both of these books.  It really gives a visual insight to what you had in mind when writing the stories. (click here to visit Heather’s Pinterest board)

 

Q:   Can we look forward to reading more Viking stories? VikingLongBoat

Heather:   I do hope so, but right now, I do feel my saga is finished (at least the one that was based on real people/events from the sagas).

LeifHowever, I do keep thinking about Leif Eiriksson. 😉

We’ll see!

 

Ohhh, a story about Leif Eiriksson would be a good one!  Thank you Heather for stopping in for a visit.  It sure was fun chatting and learning more about these fantastic characters in your books!

Heather:   Thanks so much for letting me visit!

GodsDaughter

You can purchase both God’s Daughter

 

 

 

FC

 

and Forest Child at Amazon or where ever books are sold

 

 

 

Heather is giving away ONE digital copy of either “God’s Daughter” or “Forest Child” for two blessed individuals.

 (the winners may each choose which digital book they would like).

The giveaway will run for one week, the winner of the digital book will be announced on this page at the conclusion of the contest. For additional information please review the Disclosure & Policies page.

To enter the giveaway

FIRST: comment below which book you would like to win and please include any question you may have for Heather.

SECOND: CLICK HERE to enter the Raffelcopter and follow the directions within.

 

**** Giveaway has ended ****
Winners of the digital copies are:

Arletta B. – God’s Daughter
Connie S. – Forest Child

Author Interview: Carrie Turansky

I’m beyond thrilled that Carrie Turansky has agreed to stop by for an fun interview, (and a surprise tea party).  Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Carrie today!

cturansky-2lowCarrie Turanksy has loved reading since she first visited the library as a young child and checked out a tall stack of picture books. Her love for writing began when she penned her first novel at age twelve. She is now the award-winning author of seventeen inspirational romance novels and novellas. Carrie and her husband, Scott, who is a pastor, author, and speaker, have been married for more than thirty-five years and make their home in New Jersey. They often travel together on ministry trips and to visit their five adult children and three grandchildren. Carrie leads women’s ministry at her church, and when she is not writing she enjoys spending time working in her flower gardens and cooking healthy meals for friends and family. She loves to connect with reading friends.

 

You can connect Carrie at these locations:   Web Page / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

 

Welcome Carrie, it is so very nice to have you join us today.  With the release of your 17th novel shine-like-the-dawn Shine Like the Dawn beginning to slow down and your schedule a little less hectic, I thought it would be a good time to have you stop in for a brief interview.  I’m so happy to have you here today!

A brief excerpt of my review:

“A gentle reminder that even through the messy bits of life, the heartbreak, the disappointments, and unmet dreams, that God is always with us. His plan is perfect, even when we can’t see it.”

 

Trisha: Let’s get started with our fun interview questions, shall we?

Q:   What 7e3ee79caa15de6e986e5b63ce69311ais your Favorite Beverage?
Carrie: On cold days I enjoy hot tea. Earl Grey and mint are my favorites. On warm days I enjoy iced Passion Tazo tea. I’m also trying to drink my water every day.

Trisha: Yummy! Iced Passion Tazo tea is also a favorite of mine.  

 

Q:   What would you say is your Guilty Pleasure?                                                Carrie:  I make some really delicious homemade chocolates with cocoa, carob, a dash of salt, melted coconut oil, and stevia. I add some roasted almonds too. Yum!

Trisha: Those sound delicious! I’m ready for a tea party now. 

 

Q:   Is there a place you have wanted to visit, but haven’t yet?                                           Carrie: There are several places in England I’d like to visit, including Northumberland where Shine Like the Dawn is set, and Kent, where my next book, Across the Blue, is set. There are so many beautiful historic estates, gardens, and lovely sights to see!

Trisha:  You have some fun vacation spots in your future!

49d03a8967f6d8acccbeca276b27196c

Q:   What is your Favorite Bible Verse?          Carrie: I have so many that give me strength and encouragement! One of my favorites is:    “Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14.

Trisha: such a wonderful reminder that God desires that we do everything in Love.

 

 

Q:  What was your inspiration for Maggie’s character in Shine Like the Dawn?
Carrie: I’ve always wanted to write a story where the hero and heroine were childhood friends who grew up and fell in love. So that was the first idea I had in mind when I started developing Maggie’s personality. I had a much clearer image of Nate, the hero, when I first plotted out the book. But I knew Maggie was going to face a tragedy at the beginning of the story, so I thought about how that would impact her and what kind of character she would need to be to live through that and move forward in life. As I started writing those early scenes in the story, Maggie took shape and became a living breathing person for me.

Trisha: Maggie’s tragedy stuck a cord with many as well as her struggle with trust and forgiveness, it also helps make her more down to earth. 

ShineMeme_02-1 2

 

Q:   Did you find anything challenging when writing Shine Like the Dawn?

Carrie: Writing a novel that included a mystery was a real challenge for me. I don’t watch mystery or crime TV series, and I don’t often read mysteries . . . so I don’t know why I thought I could write a novel with strong mystery elements! Thank goodness I have good author friends who helped me brainstorm the story when I reached the midpoint and wasn’t feeling very confident about the direction I was going. They really helped save the day! My editor also enjoys reading mysteries and watching crime series, so she was a great help too.

Trisha:  I would have never guessed!  The mystery in the book was well done, I enjoyed trying to figure out what would happen next.  

 

Q:   Will there be a book in the future about Maggie’s little sister, Violet?
Carrie: That’s a fun idea! Right now my publisher has asked me to write stand-alone novels rather than series. I usually write one book a year, and readers don’t like to wait for a whole year to continue a series. Bookstores also don’t want to stock books 1 and 2 a year or two later. So for now, I have no plans to write Violet’s story. But I do have an idea for a WW1 novel featuring a heroine who loves horses and helped care for military horses during the war. The drama of that time period would make it a great book to write.

Trisha: Violet was such a fun character.  I do understand that it is more difficult to sell a series when too much time has elapsed between.

 

Q:   What book can we look forward to reading from you next? 
Carrie:  I’m working on my next English historical novel, Across the Blue, that will come out early in 2018. It’s set in 1909 in Kent England. The hero is a young pilot and airplane designer who wants to be the first to fly across the English Channel and win the prize offered by the Daily Mail newspaper of London. The heroine is the daughter of the wealthy owner of the Daily Mail. She is an aspiring journalist who believes covering the hero’s story will help establish her career, but her parents want her to focus on marrying well and helping them move forward in society. Romance, adventure, inspiration, and secrets from the past make this a fun story to write and hopefully for you to read.

Trisha:  Across The Blue sounds like a fascinating story.  I’ll be adding it to my watch list!  Thank you Carrie for taking time from your writing to stop by and visit with us.  It was fun getting to know a little bit more about you and about Shine Like The Dawn.

You can find a short list of Carrie’s most recent released books below.  These can be found at many locations where books are sold.

Recent Books by Carrie Turansky:

The Governess of Highland Hall, WaterBrook Multnomah, Carol Award Finalist

The Daughter of Highland Hall, WaterBrook Multnomah

A Refuge at Highland Hall, WaterBrook Multnomah, Maggie Award Finalist

Shine Like the Dawn, WaterBrook Multnomah, 2/27/17

Friends: What is your favorite book by Carrie Turanksy?  Please add any questions you may have for Carrie in the comments below.