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

When God Made You – Book Review & Giveaway

By: Matthew Paul Turner  illustrated by David Catrow

“YOU, you…God thinks about you. God was thinking about you long before your debut.”

From early on, children are looking to discover their place in the world and longing to understand how their personalities, traits and talents fit in.

My Review:

Both my son and I enjoyed reading this delightful book together.  The vivid illustrations and the charming lyrical rhyming  phrases makes this book one that you will want on your book shelf to pull out again and again to read with your child.

Every child needs to know they are special, and loved.  This sweet book helps children see how they are not only God’s masterpiece, but designed with great care, and thought about long before their debut.

This book is ideal for pre-school age children. However, even young elementary age children will delight in the story and the beautiful illustrations.

I give this book 5 stars

[I received a complimentary copy of this book from blogging for books to review. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own]

Favorite Quote:

“An exclusive design, one God refined, you’re a perfectly crafted one of a kind.”

WGMYYou can purchase When God Made You on Amazon or anywhere books are sold.

About the Author:

Matthew Paul Turner is the author of sixteen books. He lives with his wife, Jessica, (TheMomCreative.com, author of The Fringe Hours) and their three children in Nashville, Tennessee.

David Catrow is an editorial cartoonists whose vibrant illustrations have appeared in more than seventy children’s books, including several New York Times bestsellers, such as I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More and I Like Myself. David lives in Ohio with his wife, Deborah.

Giveaway

I am giving away a hard copy of this book to one lucky winner.  To be eligible you must be a resident of the Continental United States (see Disclosure & Policies page for other rules). This giveaway will run for one week.

To Enter click here for the Raffelcopter entry & comment on this blog post answering the following question: What is your favorite Childhood book?

***** Giveaway has closed ******

Winner of the Hard copy of “When God Made You” is:

Russell W.

Thank you to all who entered this giveaway.  Please stop by again in the future for book reviews and giveaways.

 

Author: Pepper Basham with a Character Spotlight & Giveaway!

I’m so very excited to be hosting Pepper Basham on my blog today!  Pepper is as super sweet in person as she is on-line, she enjoys connecting to her readers.

pepperbarnsmile

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus. Her debut historical novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015 and has garnered awards such as Reader’s Favorites Award, finalist in the Grace Awards, shortlisted for the Inspy Awards, and most recently a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards. Her second historical novel, The Thorn Keeper, released in Feb 2016 and her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, released in April 2016 with a 4 star review from Romantic Times. The third book in the Penned in Time series, The Thorn Healer, released in December 2017 with a 4 1/2 star review from Rt and Top Pick rating.

Pepper’s first novella arrives in March as part of a Love at First Laugh novella compilation and her novel, Just the Way You Are, releases on April 6th – a funfilled Britallachian romance! Both books are up for preorder on Amazon.

You can get to know Pepper on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

I’ve invited Pepper to stop by and share with us about Julia Ramsden & Geoffrey MacLeroy, two secondary characters that caught my attention and curiousity from Just The Way You Are.  Please join me in welcoming The Pepper Basham!

Trisha,
It’s such a delight to get to visit with you today and talk about my upcoming novel, Just the Way You Are. It’s even MORE interesting to get to share two characters who people know VERY little about—but their story creates the subplot of the novel.
So…a little info: Julia Ramsden is Eisley Barrett’s (my heroine’s) ancestor, and Eisley sets out on a journey to England to uncover the mystery behind this amazing woman. All she has is a letter passed down through her family, along with a few generationally-shared hints about her smuggling Tyndale Bibles during King Henry VIII’s reign. No one knows who she married, how she survived capture, and…interestingly enough…how she smuggled the Scriptures.

(And, as a teaser, someday I’m going to write this story because I have it outlined and ready to go 😉 As a treat I might share the first paragraph or so 😊)    

Anyway, my inspiration for Julia and the hero of the story, brooding Geoffrey MacLeroy, were not too difficult to find in this wonderful age of visual media and amazing movies. It may sound pretty petty, but I really like to find pics of my characters dressed in period-attired (or as close to that attire as I can get).

I used photos of  Natalie Dormer as she plays Anne Bolyen from The Tudors (which I’ve not watched but the time period fits beautifully). GW200H240

And here’s another

23ae53dff006caf31079d09f8b8f8905Lady Julia Ramsden is a strong-willed, intelligent, compassionate woman who lives under the tyranny of a cruel father. Left motherless from a young age, her maid, Marguerite, has attempted to fill the maternal void in Julia’s life and also nurtured a deep-set Protestant faith in her – unknown to her irreligious father. Her father has designs on increasing his prosperity and name by marrying Julia off to a wealthy lord, who is a devout Catholic, so the knowledge of her faith (let alone the fact that she helps smuggle Bibles) could pose a definite threat to her father’s plans.

Clive Owen as he looks in King Arthur, is the picture I have of Lord Geoffrey MacLeroy. A strong face, serious, cautious, with an eye-color as changeable as his moods 😊 MCDKIAR EC010(and here’s a pic just so you can see his pretty eyes) young-clive-owen-wallpaper-5

Lord Geoffrey is the step-son of Lord Alastair Blackwood, a kind-hearted lord who married the widowed bride of a close friend and inherited, not only a vast estate, but also the heart of the bride and the son from her previous marriage, Geoffrey. Having been left as a single parent to a daughter, Alastair took great care to raise Geoffrey as his own while respecting his old friend’s memory. Geoffrey grew up fiercely loyal to the land he is to inherit, the much older sister he gained through the marriage, and to the father who raised him.

When a land dispute, followed by some questionable deaths, lead to Geoffrey’s younger brother, Philip, kidnapping Lady Julia Ramsden—the enemy—an unlikely bond bridges the wounded gap in both their hearts, but Julia’s father will do whatever it takes to get his daughter back…or sacrifice her life in his desire for power, especially if she is unwilling to relinquish her hold on her faith for his future.

So…. want a teensy bit of a peek at the story? It’s not much yet, but a little 😊

The wind passed harsh judgment through the oaks along the wooded path. “Treason,” it whispered with the thrums of Julia Ramsden’s pulse. “Death.” And a shudder tensed her shoulders, but she forged ahead into the twilight, sliding into the shadows of the well-worn trail with her latest painting tucked beneath the cover of her cloak.

Condemnation already stung a blow from her fiancé’s hand six months before, when he’d quitted their betrothal due to her Protestant leanings, his concern palpable in the letter he left in her maid’s care. The wind’s fury paled in response to her father’s reaction. Her cheek still warmed from the memory of his blow—a heavy hand and a dark warning to her future. She offered a silent prayer into the gray dusk and resumed her steps down the path to her meeting place. Some things were worth her future. Her fingers wrapped more tightly around the canvas of her latest landscape as she scanned the darkening forest for Thomas.

His tall, lean frame emerged out of the shadows of the trees, and even in the fading light she could see the ashen stains on his breeches and hosen. She almost grinned away the warning of the wind at her friend’s approach. Obviously his leather apron protected his shirt from the toils of blacksmithing, but little else. Would she ever recognize him without the remains of coal smoke dusting up his clothes?

He removed his cap and gave his customary bow at her presence, reminding her of their differing stations, but the smile in his eyes held no distance. A bond forged in a year of their secret mission. His golden hair curled in an unruly mass, dimmed by the fading light.
“I had thought you might not get away.”

She turned to scan the path behind her and the hood of her cloak fell away, her dark curls whispering against her cheeks. “I almost did not, but for my faithful maid’s creative distractions.” A smile pushed free at the corners of her mouth. “The poor guards will be itching for a few days with the powders she hid in their doublets.”

Thank you Pepper for stopping by to share with us about these two intriguing secondary characters, and for giving us an inside look at their story. I look forward to reading more about them in the future!

And now for the giveaway!  One lucky winner will be chosen to receive a digital copy of Just The Way You Are.

To Enter the giveaway for your very own digital copy of Just The Way You Are Please comment below which Pepper Basham book is your favorite, or which one you are most looking forward to reading & click on the Raffelcopter giveaway below.   The winner will be contacted via the email provided.

The drawing runs from 3/27 – 4/1/2017 and is open to both national and international entries.  The winner will be announced on this page at the conclusion of the giveaway.

CLICK HERE for Raffelcopter Giveaway

*** The Giveaway is over. The Winner is Yolande R.

Thank you to all who entered!