‘Grounded Hearts’ Giveaway and Blog Tour

What do you get when you mix World War II, a brave midwife, a wounded pilot, and a risky secret? Jeanne M. Dickson’s new historical fiction novel, Grounded Hearts. When midwife Nan O’Neil finds a wounded young Canadian pilot at her door, she knows she’s taking a huge risk by letting him in. Still, something compels Nan to take in “flyboy” Dutch Whitney, an RAF pilot whose bomber has just crashed over County Clare. While she tends to his wounds and gives him a secret place of refuge, the two begin to form a mutual affection-and an unbreakable bond.

About the book:

In the midst of World War II, Ireland has declared herself neutral. Troops found on Irish soil must be reported and interned, no matter which side they are fighting for. When midwife Nan O’Neil finds a wounded young Canadian pilot at her door, she knows she’s taking a huge risk by letting him in. Not only is she a widow living alone, but if caught harboring a combatant, she’ll face imprisonment.

Still, something compels Nan to take in “flyboy” Dutch Whitney, an RAF pilot whose bomber has just crashed over County Clare. While she tends to his wounds and gives him a secret place of refuge, the two begin to form a mutual affection—and an unbreakable bond.

But Nan has another secret, one that has racked her with guilt since her husband’s death and made her question ever loving again. As Nan and Dutch plan his escape, can he help restore her faith?

My Review:

This book starts off strong. With realistic characters and action packed adventure, you will find yourself smack dab in the center of the action.

I appreciated the history and research that went into make this story come to life, and I enjoyed learning more about how Ireland and it’s people experienced World War II.

Nan is a strong heroine. You quickly come to understand why she makes some of the choices she makes. Although, there were several times that I wished I could go inside the book and give her a good strong talking to. Nan feels like she has to earn forgiveness, and with that feeling she never feels like she has done enough to earn it.

Dutch is as handsome as he is patient and kind. He’s the perfect yin to Nan’s yang. Dutch is fighting his own history and struggles, yet he is willing to reach out and help others.

For me the tempo of the story is a little slower toward the end, and there was not as much character growth as I would have preferred.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write a positive review. The thoughts an opinions expressed are my own.)

About the Author:

jeannebiophoto_origJeanne was born into an Irish-American family, the only girl in a family with four brothers. Her Irish grandmother lived with them, and was a constant source of stories about life in Ireland and the saints and ancestors long gone from this earth. She credits her mother, her aunts, and grandmother for her love of storytelling. Today she lives in Coastal San Diego with her fabulous husband, her two wonderful girls, and a dozen disobedient rose bushes.

Jeanne writes romances set in WWII Ireland and also contemporary romances either set in Ireland or there’ll be Irish/Irish American characters.

Web Page // Twitter // Facebook // Goodreads

Join Jeanne in celebrating the release of her new book by entering to win the Celtic Knots Giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on July 31. The winner will be announced August 1 on the Litfuse blog.

Please visit the Landing page for this tour at:

Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway with Sarah Monzon – Author of “All of You”

I’m am beyond excited to have Sarah Monzon here with us today to chat about her latest book “All Of You” and to share a excerpt from her book (Warning: you may need a fan or your fainting couch!).  Oh, and did I mention Sarah is also giving away a digital copy of her book? You are in for a special treat!

SarahSarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn’t in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.

Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book, Finders Keepers, has finaled in contests such as the Inspy Awards and received a 4 star review from Romantic Times.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Amazon

About “All Of You

AOYMaryland, Present Day
Jacqueline Rogers can rebuild anything…except the shambles of her past. A restorer of vintage planes, she’s worked hard to earn the reputation of being one of the guys. The last thing she needs is a former Navy pilot fighting his own inner demons stepping in to defend her from dangers she thought she’d outrun long ago. Some battles must be fought alone.

After a freak accident severs Lieutenant Michael “Finch” Carrington’s dreams, as well as two limbs, he’s left with nothing but a fragile faith and a duty-bound promise to watch out for his friend’s baby sister. A promise she insists is as unnecessary as it is unappreciated. But when she turns the tables and begins to weld together the broken parts of his life, it may be his heart that is in need of protection.

England, 1942
With the world at war yet again, Alice Galloway rejects her father’s traditional expectations and offers her piloting expertise to the Air Transport Auxiliary. She may be a woman in a man’s world, but when she overhears key intelligence, she must find the strength to transcend boundaries and her own fears. Or countless people may die.

Sometimes the past reaches forward to bring hope to the future. (My Review) 

* * * *  Excerpt * * * *

(note:  Heroine: Jacqueline Rogers, nickname “Jack”)

Knuckles rasped against the hangar’s sheet-metal walls, and she looked up from her project. Michael Carrington hobbled in, an Under Armour shirt pulling against his chest and running pants hanging loose from his hips. The top of a white paper bag bunched between his palm and the crutch’s handle, and the stump of his arm pressed two Jamba Juice paper cups against his chest.
Jack dropped the staple gun on top of the pilot’s chair and rushed over, grabbing first the drinks, then the to-go bag. “What are you doing here?”
He grimaced. “Good morning to you too.”
She deposited the food on the workbench and turned toward him, hands on hips. “Good morning, but I thought we agreed I didn’t need a babysitter.”
Michael sat and lifted a bagel from the bag. He reached back in for a plastic knife and a small travel-size container of cream cheese. Using the table as leverage, he peeled back the wrapping and then picked up the knife. Every swipe through the cream cheese sent the small container scurrying across the wooden table.
Jack huffed and grabbed the bagel and cream cheese, yanking the knife from Michael’s grip. She smeared the spread over his plain bagel and then placed it in front of him.
Michael stared at the bagel, then lifted his head slowly, his eyes piercing through her. “Neither do I.”
She looked away, shame washing over her. How thoughtless can you get? Growing up with brothers, she knew one thing at least—men needed to be treated as men. Not as helpless children who couldn’t do for themselves or others. That was the truth of any regular Joe out there. Military men? Especially those highly trained in a competitive field such as aviation? Yeah. She would have insulted him less if she’d spit in his face.
And for what? Her pride? The justification behind the flash of frustration of his continued hovering presence died an agonizing death.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered, looking down at her hands.
“Forgiven.”
A to-go cup with a green straw entered her line of vision.”
“Banana Berry smoothie?”
The chilled drink cooled her palm as she wrapped her hand around the beverage. “Thanks.” She offered him a half smile.
Michael took a bite of bagel, cream cheese sticking to his upper lip. Jack’s smile lifted a little higher. Far be it from her to emasculate him again by handing him a napkin.
“What’s so funny?”
Jack pointed to her own lips, signaling he had something on his.
Michael’s gaze lowered to her mouth, held there.
Her heart skipped a beat as if it had decided to play hopscotch right then and there. She should say something, do something. Divert his attention. Because whatever had flashed through his eyes shook her foundation.
Interest? In her? Maybe she had only imagined the look. It had blinked on and turned off faster than a lightning bug’s glow in the dusk of summer.
His gaze met hers. “Kissing friends?” He winked. “I’m not sure that’s what Geyser had in mind, but who am I to argue?”

* * * * * *

Welcome, Sarah;  It is wonderful to get to chat with you today! That excerpt….SIGH!  We may need to pause for a moment and let the warm fuzzy feelings simmer a bit before moving on to our interview!

Q:   What is your favorite season, and why?
road-1072823_640Sarah:   There are things about each season that I love and I’ve lived in a lot of different regions of the US (South, Midwest, PNW) so my love of the seasons changes as much as they do. When I lived in Florida, I loved winter. It was the only time the heat wasn’t quite so unbearable, although it never truly felt like winter (winter must have snow). When I lived in Michigan, I loved spring. The flowers. The trees budding. The days growing in warmth. Right now, I live in WA and I am loving summer. Clear blue skies with breathtaking views of mountain vistas. If I *had* to choose just one, though, it would probably be fall. When the temperatures drop to a chill, boots and sweaters coming out as leaves change colors on the trees and fall. Toasty, comfortable, beautiful.

Trisha:  Fall is beautiful; we live not far from several large vineyards, I love the smell of the grapes in the air!

 

Q:   What is the best part of your day?
baby-1266117_640Sarah:
   Do you want a “nice” answer or an honest one? LOL. Will you think I’m awful if I say my favorite time is when the kids go to bed? I love my kids, I do! And I love doing things with them all day, but they are five and three and have 20x the amount of energy that I do, they never stop talking, and they bicker like siblings do. Some days I count down the hours to bedtime. That said, I couldn’t imagine my days looking any better, either.

Trisha:  LOL! I completely understand. You are not awful at all! After my son’s bedtime is my favorite also, because it’s quiet and I can just unwind and hear myself think.

 

Q:   What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?
book-863418_640Sarah:
   It’s almost easier to say who were some of my favorite authors from 10 years ago. LOL. I love Lori Wick. I refuse to pick just one of her books.

I’m also going to say Siri Mitchell, although she is a current author, I simply adore her early works like “Chateau of Echoes”, “Kissing Adrien”, and “Cubicle Next Door.”

But then there are the Corrie Belle Hollister series and the Stonewyke books by Micheal Phillips and Judith Pella.

The memories! There are some seriously good books out there from decades past!

Trisha: Those are some great books. Brings back good memories!

 

Q:    If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?
mobile-616012_640Sarah:
   You’d definitely find Rend Collective, Lauren Daigle, Mercy Me, and other worship leaders.

Trisha:  Those are some excellent selections!

 

Q:    Did the plot-line or the characters come first?
Sarah:    Well, since this is the second book in the Carrington series, I knew the story was going to be about Michael Carrington and because such all of the Carrington family was already established. I also knew I wanted the historical thread to be WWII. Everything developed from there.

Trisha:  I loved Michael’s story! I’m excited to see what you have in store for Adam.

Q:    Which character took you by surprise?
Sarah:    Henry. I originally thought he was going to be a Royal Air Force pilot, but he refused to talk to me a few days, the stubborn man, because he was *not* a pilot, he was a journalist. He surprised me two more times after that too, when he showed me more of his identity, but I don’t want to give any spoilers. Shhh…

Trisha:  Yes! Henry surprised me also. I didn’t see it coming!

 

Q:    What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?
Sarah:    Actually, not that late. I don’t function well at night. Never have. But that’s only exponentiated after motherhood. I’m pretty much brain dead at 8pm.

Trisha:  I usually stay up later than I should… reading!

 

Q:    What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?
Sarah:    This would be a great time to add a juicy deleted scene, except…I don’t have one. I didn’t take anything out of the manuscript after the rough draft, but I did add a few things. The emails between Jack and Alice were not in the rough draft copy, but early readers offered good insights that helped me craft those to more seamlessly weave the two stories together.

Trisha:  I liked the emails between Jack & Alice, it shared detail quite effectively, and brought together the story nicely.

Thank you Sarah for visiting today. It has been fun hanging out with you and learning the behind-the-scenes details of “All Of You“. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you better and I’m looking forward to our lunch at Baguette de France!

 

GIVEAWAY

Sarah is giving away one (1) digital copy of her latest book “All Of You” (open to US residents only).  The giveaway will be open for 1 week. The winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page at the conclusion of the giveaway.

 

To Enter:

1.)  Leave a comment on this post answering the following question:

Jacquelyn doesn’t like her full name and insists that people call her “Jack”.
Do you have a nickname that you prefer people to call you?

2.)  CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter form and follow the directions.

NOTE: Earn bonus entries daily, by tweeting about the giveaway
using the rafflecopter form.

 

****** The Giveaway has ended *****

Congratulations Tami L.

Author Interview & Giveaway – Melissa Jagears

I’m excited to have with us today Melissa Jagears, Welcome Melissa!jagearsheadshotcompressed-199x300

Carol Award winning writer, Melissa Jagears, is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian Historical Romance into the wee hours of the night. She’s the author of the Unexpected Brides Series with Bethany House. The prequel ebook novella, Love by the Letter, is her ACFW Carol Award winning novella and free to try. You can learn more about her, her books, and where she hangs out online at

Web Page // Facebook // Goodreads // Pinterest

Melissa is here today to talk with us about her most recent book release A Love So True the 2nd book in the Teaville Moral Society. (see my review) 

ALST

Evelyn Wisely has a heart for the orphans of Teaville and works at a local mansion that rescues children out of the town’s red-light district and gives them a place to live. But her desire to help isn’t limited to orphans. The owner of the mansion, Nicholas Lowe, is willing to help her try to get the women working in prostitution out of the district as well–if she can gain the cooperation and support of local businessmen to go against the rest of the community.

David Kingsman has recently arrived in Teaville from Kansas City to help with one of his father’s companies in town. While he plans on staying only long enough to prove his business merit to his father, he’s shown interest in Evelyn’s work and is intrigued enough by her to lend his support to her cause.

They begin with the best of intentions, but soon the complications pile up and Evelyn and David’s dreams look more unattainable every day. When the revelation of a long-held secret creates a seemingly insurmountable rift between them, can they trust God still has a good plan for them despite all that is stacked against them?

Now that everyone has had a moment to re-familiarize themselves with this fantastic story, let’s start our chat with Melissa.

milk-1887234_640

Q: What is your favorite beverage? 

Melissa: Milk. We buy four gallons at a time. I’m pretty sure I’m responsible for drinking three of them. The rest of my family drinks the leftover one.
Trisha: 4 Gallons, Wow! That is an impressive amount of Milk!

 

intjdarcy

Q: What Literary character is most like you and why?

Melissa: Mr. Darcy. Most all literary characters who are like me are males and almost always the villain role. Probably because broody, socially awkward, quiet, jerk types who aren’t really jerks but are usually working covertly behind the scenes in a hands-off, logical way to make the lives of the people they love better are harder to imagine in the female form. Considering my personality is the rarest female personality, I’m just guessing many people don’t know one and think female Mr. Darcys (INTJs) aren’t realistic….or even likeable, though I won’t argue that….. But thankfully Jane Austen, who was likely an INTJ as well, provided the world with an INTJ character who isn’t a villain. 🙂

Trisha: I wouldn’t have guessed Mr. Darcy!

 

isla-diablo-1994800_640

Q: Is there a place you have wanted to visit, but haven’t yet?

Melissa: The Caribbean or any tropical island. Preferably a deserted island, no tourists, warm weather, sand, ocean, no schedule, and books.

Trisha: Sounds like the ideal get-a-way spot!
book-1209805_640Q: What is your favorite Bible verse?

Melissa: I don’t have one. “Never Read a Bible Verse” (see link) — it’s all about context. I have favorite sections. The book of Romans is great. I Tim 4:6-16 maybe….

Trisha: I agree. You want to read the entire passage to gain the full meaning. My favorite passage is Psalm 91

 

133233232.xp05SzWaQ: How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

Melissa: In A Heart Most Certain, the prior book, I had to come up with a reason for my bachelor hero to build a mansion he didn’t need in the middle of nowhere. (Because I wanted to write a story with the Coffeyville Brown Mansion as a set piece.) And I needed to know what his motivations were for the Scrooge/Aladdin spinoff I wanted to combine with it. So creating Nicholas is responsible for the subject/themes of the series.

Trisha: That is a beautiful house and a great starting point for inspiration. (photo credit: pbase.com)

 

heart-1908901_640Q: What do you most want readers to take away from your book?

Melissa: Don’t be quick to judge people by how they act or what you see. Take your time forming opinions about those you meet, only do so if you have enough first hand insight.

Trisha: I feel it is important to be kind to everyone you meet.
Q: What 5 books have had the greatest impact on your life?

Melissa: The Bible, Decision Making and the Will of God by Gary Friesen, The Well-Behaved Child by John Rosemond, Love and Respect by Eggerichs, Whatever Tomorrow Brings by Lori Wick (It’s the first book I read in my now favorite genre).

Trisha: Those are all excellent books. You are in good company, I have a collection of Lori Wick books on my shelf also!

 

Q: Do you have any unusual writing habits?

Melissa: If I can’t figure out what to write next, I take a shower. Best place to get unstuck. My brain is on auto-pilot just enough to keep all the millions of directions of my brain subdued so I can focus on the problem.

Trisha: That is an unusual place, but I can see the benefits. As a mother, often times the only time you have to yourself is when your in the shower.

Thank you Melissa for stopping in today to share with us about yourself and about your wonderful books!

 Melissa is generously giving away a soft-cover printed copy of A Love So True, along with a note pad to one (1) lucky winner.  (open to continental USA residents only). The giveaway will be open for one week. The winner will be announced here on this page at the close of the contest.

To Enter the giveaway:

1.) Comment below sharing your favorite place to vacation and who you’d take with you.

2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter form (this helps with tracking entrants).

Note: You may receive one entry per day by tweeting about the giveaway via the rafflecopter.

********   GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED   ********

Congratulations:   Jackie W.

 

Author Interview & Giveaway with Stephenia H. McGee – In His Eyes

I am thrilled to have Stephenia H. McGee visiting today to chat with us about her newest book In His Eyes (my review).  In His Eyes was released on May 5, 2017

Steph

Stephenia H. McGee is a wife, mother of two very active little boys, author, and lover of all things historical. Stephenia currently lives in Mississippi with her husband and sons where she writes stories of faith, redemption and life steeped in the South

 

For those not familiar with Steph’s lasted book that just came out this past Friday…

IHE

Mississippi, 1865. A time when war has stolen men’s souls and left their women and children aching for sanctuary.

Ella Whitaker rescues a newborn from the dying arms of a woman of ill repute and at long last she has someone to love. In need of a wet nurse, she arrives at Belmont Plantation just as Federal soldiers demand to speak to the owner. Thinking quickly, Ella masquerades as a Yankee officer’s widow in order to have a roof over her head and a home for the child.

Major Westley Remington has dedicated his life to serving his country. The Civil War has divided his family, torn his thoughts of glory, and left him with a wound that may never heal. Westley returns home on medical furlough to settle his father’s estate at Belmont Plantation, only to find his home is being run by a fiery and independent woman—one many believe to be his wife. Now he is faced with a conflict he’s never been trained to fight, and one she has yet to conquer.

Welcome Steph, I’m so happy to visit with you today! Let’s get started with a few fun questions and then we will discuss In His Eyes.

Trisha: What is your favorite beverage?
Steph: Sweet tea. After all, I am a Mississippi gal. 😉
Trisha: Yes, the perfect summer drink!

Trisha: What would you say is your guilty pleasure?
Steph: Hmm…ultimate guilty pleasure would have to be a hot bath, a good book, and a huge slice of red velvet cake.
Trisha: Can’t go wrong with a hot bath, a good book and a slice of red velvet cake!

Trisha: Is there a place you have wanted to visit, but haven’t yet?
Steph: I would like to see a lot of places. I love to travel. I’d love the chance to get to go back to Italy and get to see Florence this time, and I have always wanted  to see Scotland, Ireland, and Greece.
Trisha: Sounds like you have some fun places to visit. Scotland is on the top of my list.

book-1209805_640Trisha: What is your favorite Bible verse?
Steph: John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches.     If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (NIV) This verse reminds me that I have to stay connected to Him daily. When I do, life is fruitful, and when I don’t I feel empty.

Trisha: In your research for In His Eyes, was there anything that surprised you?
Steph: Well, during my research for the locations and battles I wanted to use, I got sidetracked by this fascinating article on “The Angel’s Glow”. After the battle at Shiloh, there were soldiers that reported glowing wounds. As you can imagine, this unnerved them quite a bit. Then, strangely enough, the soldiers who had glowing wounds healed far better than those who didn’t, so they dubbed the glowing wounds as being touched by angels. 150+ years later it was discovered that a bioluminescent bacteria happened to have just the right conditions in the soldier’s hypothermic bodies to feed on the infection. It didn’t directly have anything to do with this particular novel, but it really took me by surprise. That is one of my favorite things about writing historical fiction—all the interesting things I find during my research.
Trisha: That is interesting! Yes, I love uncovering interesting historical details also.

Trisha: What was most difficult to write about when writing In His Eyes?
Steph: This book was a journey for me. I felt God asking me to dig deep and walk through some of Ella’s discoveries with her. I share some of her insecurities, and He kept nudging me to lean on Him as I wrote. The dream chapters in particular took a lot out of me. It was emotionally draining, and I spent most of the time writing them with tears on my cheeks, but I know that He taught me something through it. It’s my hope that there is a reader out there somewhere that He has the same message for and that this story can help point them toward Him.
Trisha: I love that! The dream chapters were quite powerful, I really enjoyed those.

Trisha: Reading the second half of the book a song kept playing in my mind; Did you have a song or songs that you thought of while writing?
Steph: I think that Jordan Feliz’s song Beloved could really be a theme song for Ella! This song came on the radio a lot while I was writing this book, and it felt like He used it to keep inspiring me. I’d love to know what song you had in mind during the second half.
Trisha: Oh, that’s is a good song! The song that kept coming to my mind was Jason Gray’s song “Remind Me Who I Am” from his album A Way To See In The Dark

Trisha: I enjoyed reading Ella’s dreams; what was your inspiration for her dreams?
Steph: At one of the classes I attended during the ACFW conference last year the teacher handed out notebooks. And I think this is super cool—he prayed diligently over them and God led him to write a from God note in each one. He prayed over them again and then handed them out to the attendees—each with their own note from God. The way people reacted and how each note really meant something to the one who received it was amazing to watch. Mine said, “Use your stories to give others a glimpse of the not yet. This is a season where we will go into new lands and dream new dreams.” Not too long before that, I had a dream where the colors were unreal and the place was stunning. I must have reread that note a hundred times, it so stirred me. A couple of months later as I began to pray over the next book I wanted to write, those words came back to me, as did my dream of that place of color and light. I didn’t do the things Ella does during her dreams in the book, but the place I saw in my own dream really stuck with me and           inspired the story.
Trisha: It is quite humbling how God whispers to our hearts and leads us to help and bless others.

Trisha: Will there be future stories at Belmont Plantation? And, what book are you working on next?
Steph: As of right now, this is a stand-alone book and I do not have any others planned for Belmont. My readers have been asking me for a couple of years for a new book in my Ironwood Plantation Family Saga, so my fall book will be set in the 1890s with Lydia and Ruth’s (from The Whistle Walk) daughters.
Trisha: Oh, that’s great! I look forward to reading it. Thank you Steph for visiting today, it sure was fun to sit down and talk about In His Eyes!

IHE  In His Eyes

24926454  The Whistle Walk (Ironwood Plantation Family saga #1)

33826065  Heir of Hope (IronWood Plantation Family saga #2)

GIVEAWAY Time:
Friends, Steph is graciously offering one digital copy of In His Eyes to one lucky person. Entries are open to USA residents. Contest will run for one week. The winner will be notified via email and announced on this page at the close of the contest.

To Enter Giveaway:

1.) Comment below, sharing with us a historical place you have visited or wish to visit
2.) Make sure to CLICK HERE to enter the Raffelcopter.

Giveaway ended.

*** THE WINNER IS ***

Kay G.

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!