Saturday, May 20, 2017

"The Beloved Hope Chest" by Amy Clipston Book Tour and GiveAway


 
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book



Book: The Beloved Hope Chest  
Author: Amy Clipston  
Genre: Amish  
Release Date: May 9, 2017  

In the final installment of the Amish Heirloom series, the Fisher sisters learn the mystery behind their parents’ marriage—and about the sibling who has never been spoken of.

Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past.

But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to reopen old wounds. Will dredging up the past change the way her children view her? Or her marriage to their father? And can she handle the pain of revisiting the memories that preceded the last few happy decades?

Mattie’s story is one of grief and learning to love again. But like the best things preserved in a hope chest, it’s a story of love and redemption born out of heartache—and it’s past time to share it.

My Review 

I know I have said this before about a book but this book literally had me crying, not just tears falling but well crying and I am crying as I type this review.

This book is a story about real love that a man had for a woman, and how he didn't give up when she did.

"The Beloved Hope Chest" by Amy Clipston can be a standalone but it is the fourth in the ("Amish Heirloom series" )and as my  blog readers know I have to read all the books in a series and in order and again I am glad I read the others first.  I think a reader would enjoy the "The Beloved Hope Chest" by Amy Clipston  without reading the other three books first but it was really wunderbaar ( great) to know the reason while after her three daughters were grown, Mattie finally decided to tell them the secrets that were locked in the hope chest.

The emotions these character are experiencing in this series is written so well that you feel like you are sitting with them and listening to them tell their stories and not just reading the pages.

I think my favorite character is, well all of them, I can't say any of them are not my favorite. But my most favorite has to be Leroy because he demonstrated what true love was.

  If you want to read a book or a series about real love then I truly recommend any of the books in the ("Amish Heirloom series") , yes this review is about the "The Beloved Hope Chest" by Amy Clipston, but I believe if you read any of the books in the series you would want to read them all.

 "The Beloved Hope Chest" by Amy Clipston is a wonderful conclusion to the series. I would really like more books about this family because I feel like they could be a family that I would like to be my neighbors, except I am not Amish. But, I would love to be friends with all the characters. I feel like they have a lot to teach me and others about love, faith, and forgiveness, and how to go on after heartaches.

I don't think I have read anything by Amy Clipston ( except novellas with other stories) before reading this series even though she has been on my to read list and I am so glad I now have another  author to enjoy, I must read her other series now!

I was given a complimentary copy of  "The Beloved Hope Chest" by Amy Clipston and Celebrate Lit. These opinions are my own.  I have given it 5 stars.

About the Author



AMY CLIPSTON is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. She has sold more than 1 million books, and her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and three spoiled rotten cats. Visit her online at amyclipston.comFacebook: AmyClipstonBooks and Twitter: @AmyClipston

Guest post from Amy Clipston

I am thrilled to share the The Beloved Hope Chest, which is the final installment of my Amish Home series.


In The Beloved Hope Chest, the Fisher sisters learn the mystery behind their parents’ marriage—and about the sibling who has never been spoken of. Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past. But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to reopen old wounds. Will dredging up the past change the way her children view her? Or her marriage to their father? And can she handle the pain of revisiting the memories that preceded the last few happy decades? Mattie’s story is one of grief and learning to love again. But like the best things preserved in a hope chest, it’s a story of love and redemption born out of heartache—and it’s past time to share it.

This book is very close to my heart since it is the last in my Amish Heirloom series. I’ve grown to love the Fisher family, and writing Mattie and Leroy’s story was bittersweet. This is a very emotional story, and I poured my heart and soul into it. I hope you enjoy this book since it reveals all of the mysteries that have been placed throughout the series.

Blog Stops

May 13: Just Commonly
May 16: A Greater Yes
May 17: Quiet Quilter
May 19: Pause for Tales
May 19: Book by Book
May 21: Bigreadersite 

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Amy is giving away a copy of An Amish Home and an handpicked Amish goodie chosen by Amy to two winners! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b3b3








Saturday, May 13, 2017

"For Love & Honor " by Jody Hedlund Book Tour and Giveaway




 
To purchase your copy, click here.

About the Book



Book: For Love & Honor
Author: Jody Hedlund  
Genre: Young Adult Historical  
Release Date: March 7, 2017

Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?

Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?

As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?

My Review:

This book is full of humor among a serious plot. I can't pick one favorite theme out of the several in this book because I thought they were all weaved together perfectly.

The story is set in medieval times amidst castles, knights, and ladies so chivalry is one of the main plots. 

This book is about forgiving and accepting others even when they are different.

This book has heroes rushing in to save the day.

Ok, I'm going to get into what I didn't really like in the book because it is just one chapter in the book and I was thinking if this ends up the way I think it is going to I am not going to finish the book because I wouldn't be able to stop crying. But, I am happy to say, I finish the book and am happy that I did. There were several intense scenes in this book but the one I mentioned above is the only one that made me think I might not finished reading it.

My favorite character has to be the grandma, why you say, because I loved my grandma and I am a grandma. This grandma in the story is different than my grandma was and me because she is rich and has the means to plot and arrange things so that what she wants happens. But the similarity is the greatest part of why I think the grandma is my favorite is because of the love between the two. And of course I felt sorry for Lady Sabine because she was afraid to be herself. And if I need a hero to save me I would want Sir Bennet to come to my rescue.

My least favorite is Captain Foxe because he is just mean and evil.

I would recommend "For Love & Honor "to readers that like reading about medieval times and castles, knights and ladies in distress. 

Before I end this review I want to include two quotes from the book, 
 1 "I'd come to the conclusion that I needed to be the first to accept myself, flaws and all, before I could expect anyone else to. If I was ashamed of the way God had made me, then it stood to reason that others would be ashamed of me too. "
2 " There is not a single man here who is faultless,"...."Each one of us is imperfect in some way. Perhaps God designs it so. Then none of us can claim to be like Him, the only truly perfect being."

I was given a complimentary copy by the author and Celebrate Lit. These opinions are my own.

I am giving "For Love & Honor" by Jody Hedlund four stars. 


About the Author





Jody Hedlund is a best-selling and award-winning author who loves fairy-tales and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI with her husband and five teen-aged children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading.

                                                    



Guest Post from Jody Hedlund

Why I Write Young Adult (YA) Books
By Jody Hedlund
FOR LOVE & HONOR is the third book in my Young Adult (YA) series set during medieval times and centering around knights, castles, and daring damsels. For those who haven’t yet read An Uncertain Choice or A Daring Sacrifice, don’t worry. All of the books can be read as standalones.
While this YA medieval series has been a step away from my usual historical romances, I have to admit that the series has been SUPER fun to write.
First, I love writing in the medieval time period, a time overflowing with danger, wars, plagues, strange customs, harsh living conditions, and incredible differences between the have’s and the have-not’s. All of that is such excellent fodder for developing page-turning stories. And so usually as I’m writing these stories, I have no trouble putting my characters into life-threatening danger, which is always fun.
Second, I’ve had fun writing my YA series because I love being able to speak truths into the hearts of young people. I have 4 teenagers and one tween, so I’m surrounded by teen angst every day! As a result of dealing with lots of teen issues with my children and their friends, it’s my goal to share hope and encouragement that if my characters can persevere and handle the growing-up issues with integrity and strength, then my readers can too.
Finally, I’ve enjoyed writing my YA series because I believe teens need clean romance alternatives.  A lot of teens are reading romances (that’s when I started reading them). I’ve loved being able to provide a clean romance alternative with chivalry and honor and courage and lots of other themes that will hopefully give young ladies encouragement and inspiration as they move forward into building healthy relationships of their own.
Lest adult readers worry that FOR LOVE & HONOR might be too juvenile for them, then let me put your fear to rest. Reviews from my adult readers are showing that they, too, are enjoying the new book:
“This is marketed as YA, but it’s wonderfully interesting for all ages, in my opinion.”
“Even though it is written with the younger set in mind, I, being of the older set, enjoyed it immensely.”
“For Love and Honor is everything that fans of Jody Hedlund have come to appreciate and enjoy; regaling her readers across the generations with the timeless reminder that God-given uniqueness is a priceless gift, bestowed out of everlasting love.”

How about YOU? Have you read any YA books lately?

 

Blog Stops

May 8: Book by Book
May 12: Just Commonly
May 14: God1meover
May 15: thewitsabout
May 15: Baker Kella
May 15: Remembrancy

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away all three books in the Noble Knights Series!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b6fc


Friday, May 12, 2017

"His Brother's Bride" (Mail Order Brides of Sanctuary Book 2) By George McVey

Book Info Lyla Duntston has come to Sanctuary, Montana to be courted by and marry Glenn Williams. She wants a marriage like her parents have, but when she meets Glenn he is cold and standoffish. He'd told her he was shy but this farmer isn't shy he's clueless. Can she give her heart to this man or will his handsome brother steal it? 

Greg Williams returns home after four years as a cowboy to start his own ranch. He just happens to arrive as his brother's Mail Order Bride gets off the stagecoach. He's smitten at once. Will he step aside for his brother, or will he think of his own wants and desires to woo His Brother's Bride

My Review

"His Brother's Bride" (Mail Order Brides of Sanctuary Book 2) By George McVey is just as good as the first book in this series. I guess a reader can enjoy the book as a standalone but personally I recommend reading book 1"The Pastor's Replacement Bride" first because it is a continuation of the first book.

What I loved about this book : The charters were real people, I mean they are like us and not super heroes and such. The plot is who is the right brother for Lyla. This book is written so well that you can actually feel Lyla's struggle as she tries to determined who should be courting her.

The character I didn't really like to much is Glenn, yes, I cannot like a character and be ok with it because after all Glenn isn't really a real person except in the author's mind.  Ok, you are asking why I didn't like Glenn is because he really doesn't act like he wants to be bothered with courting, his  chores were more important!

My favorite character was Greg because he has learned from his past four  years and wants to do the right thing.

I was given a complimentary copy by the author. These opinions are my own. 

I am giving "His Brother's Bride" five stars!


Biography

George McVey always wanted to be a Superhero, sadly no radioactive storms or animals have been a part of his life. One day while spinning a tall tale for his family, some suggested once again that with all his experiences in ministry, and his imagination he should be writing books. This time it was like lightning struck him and he decided why not.

Since then George has been hard at work using his creative imagination and writing several books. He's still adding to his bibliography to this day. You can find them all on his Amazon.com page

George lives in the wonderful state of Almost Heaven West Virginia. A few years ago he moved from a single family home to a deluxe apartment in the sky, well the fourth floor anyway. He lives with his wife of thirty years, and a service dog named Daisy Mae. He is visited often by his three children and two grandsons.

If you ever come to visit him you will probably find him setting in his lazy boy recliner or at his desk in the corner office, working on some writing project. If not a teaching book,then a novel. If he isn't working on a novel either then he will be working on a short story or blog post. If he isn't doing either of those then he is either asleep or eating his other two favorite past times.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

"Alice’s Notions" by Tamera Lynn Kraft Book Tour and GiveAway


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book: Alice’s Notions
Author: Tamera Lynn Kraft  
Genre: Christian historical romance
 Release Date: April 1, 2017

 In this quaint mountain town, things aren’t always what they seem.World War 2 widow Alice Brighton returns to the safety of her home town to open a fabric shop. She decides to start a barn quilt tour to bring business to the shop and the town, but what she doesn’t know is sinister forces are using the tour for their own nefarious reasons.Between her mysterious landlord, her German immigrant employee, her neighbors who are acting strange, and a dreamboat security expert who is trying to romance her, Alice doesn’t know who she can trust.


My Review:

"Alice’s Notions" by Tamera Lynn Kraft is a really good book. The genre is listed as Christian historical romance but to me it seems more as a mystery.

What I liked about this book is that Alice is able to overcome her prejudice and accept a refugee who is a German. At first she wasn't really sure she wanted to but then she realized that she has no  choice.

This story has me laughing out loud at some of the husband and wife spats in this book. And I liked the way Alice talked to her dead husband Joe, maybe I like this because my son's name is Joe.

This book is also a book about letting go and giving love a second try and learning to trust even if you aren't sure if you should. 

The mystery really pulls the reader into the story. The reader wants to know why lifetime friends aren't the same as they were before.  The twists and turns really kept me guessing till the end who the bad guy was and I was really shocked who it turned out to be.

This books has quilts although I am not a quilter it was interesting to read about the different quilt designs. The book also has spies, which I am not a fan of these type of stories but I really liked this story. 

I am giving "Alice’s Notions" by Tamera Lynn Kraft five stars. 

I was given a complimentary copy by the author and Celebrate Lit. These opinions are my own.
About the Author

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest and has other novellas in print. She’s been married for 38 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and two grandchildren. Tamera has two novellas in print: A Christmas Promise and Resurrection of Hope. Her first full length novel, Alice’s Notions released in April through Desert Breeze.


You can contact Tamera on her website at http://tameralynnkraft.net

 Post from Tamera Lynn Kraft

How Classic Movies from the 1940s Made Their Way in My Latest Novel

By Tamera Lynn Kraft

One thing I loved about writing my post World War Two novel was my main character’s passion for movies. Alice Brighton and her late husband loved to go to movies on Friday nights. Now, even after the war made her a widow, Alice still loves movies and compares everyone she meets to a movie character.

Of course for Alice, all these wonderful classic movies and movie stars and a part of her culture, but for me, it was so much fun because I love classic movies. In the novel, Alice compares her landlord to Cary Grant. Cary Grant is one of my favorites. After starring in movies like Suspicion, Arsenic and Old Lace, and Notorious, Grant was one of the biggest stars around in 1946 when Alice’s Notions takes place. My favorite Cary Grant movie wouldn’t be made until a few years later. An Affair to Remember, released 1957, with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr is one of my all-time favorites.

At one point in the novel, Alice thinks back to when her late husband always said she reminded him of Judy Garland. Garland would have been twenty-four at the time, just a bit younger than Alice, but she became a big star in her teens. She began acting at two years old when she debuted as Baby Francis and sang Jingle Bells. After playing in various roles including a few movies with Mickey Rooney, Garland had her big break in The Wizard of Oz. She went on to star in a ton of movies and had a thriving singing career until she committed suicide in the 1960s. One of my favorite Judy Garland movies released in 1945 during the war was The Clock. The Clock was about a woman who met and fell in love with a GI on leave. Their romance was intensified because they only had the weekend before he was shipped out again for the remainder of the war. This movie must have been in Alice’s mind since she had lost her husband shortly after the movie came out.

During Alice’s Notions, Alice goes on a date to see the movie, The Postman Always Rings Twice, starring Lana Turner and John Garfield. It was released in 1946 and was considered scandalous at the time because the two main characters have an affair and murder her husband. The main theme of the movie is you can’t get away with your sin. The truth will be revealed. In Alice’s Notions, the truth being revealed is also a main theme.

So you may be wondering what classic movie Alice’s Notions reminds me of. Charade with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn was released in 1963. In that movie, Hepburn is being pursued and doesn’t know who she can trust. The movie has light hearted intrigue, suspense, and romance just like Alice’s Notions. Alice, also, doesn’t know who she can trust.

Blog Stops

May 11: Genesis 5020
May 13: Carpe Diem
May 19: Jami’s Words
May 20: Mary Hake
May 22: Vicky Sluiter
May 23: Bigreadersite 
Giveaway

[Insert Giveaway Picture Here]

To celebrate her tour, Tamera is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b723

"A Second Chance" by Alexis A. Goring Book Tour and GiveAway




 
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book: A Second Chance  

Author: Alexis A. Goring  

Genre: Contemporary Romance  

Release Date: Jan 25, 2017

Newly single food critic and newspaper reporter Traci Hightower is done with dating. After the man of her dreams left her at the altar on their wedding day and ran off with the woman she thought was her best friend, Traci resolves to focus on work and resigns herself to being a bachelorette for life.

Marc Roberts is a political reporter who is known as Mr. Nice Guy, the one who always finishes last. However, Marc’s compassion and kindness are of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina Braxton who is trying to raise her two kids in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death.

Traci and Marc may be the perfect match, but they don’t know it yet. With God’s guidance and the help of Gina’s matchmaking skills honed by her career as a bestselling romance novelist, there is hope for a happily ever after for these two broken hearts.

My Review: 
This is a sweet story about being rejected and forgiveness, and as the title suggest a second chance at love.

I just thought the romance was a little two fast for me but that is to be expected when the book is only 155 pages.

This book theme is Jeremiah 29:11. I though the story covered that verse really well and showed that if you trust God and put anything in His care things work out, maybe not how you thought things would turn out or what you thought you wanted.

My favorite character would have to, well, to be honest I have to say they all are. Why, you ask because Samantha and Regan are the children in this story.  Grandpa because he is the one who helped a long time dream come true. Marc just because he is the reason Illinois was mentioned in the story which is the state I live in.  And Gina is because she is a writer, one of my favorite type of people after children.

If you want a story that you can read in just an hour or two and that leaves you in a relaxing and peaceful frame of mind then I recommend "A Second Chance" by Alexis A. Goring.

I am giving this book four stars.

I was given a complimentary copy by the author and Celebrate Lit. These opinions are my own. 

About the Author

Alexis A. Goring is a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.

Guest Post from Alexis Goring

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
~Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

God has good plans for every single person living here on Earth. It’s important to remember to trust Him because no matter how bleak a situation looks, hope is always on the horizon when God’s in the picture…and the good news is that no matter what God is always in the picture.

I thought that it would be a good idea to explore the theme of Jeremiah 29:11 through a fictional story about characters who are in need of a second chance in life and love. So I create Traci and Marc and wrote their story, A Second Chance.

Traci and Marc are entry-level journalists therefore they struggle with the industry’s tough system of paying your dues and they know the conflicts firsthand about struggling to pay your bills because of that system.

But it’s not just the bills that weigh heavily on their hearts. Traci and Marc are facing battles that are unique to their individual life stories but common to people in the real world.

When the reader meets Traci, they see that she is bitter and cynical because she was left at the altar. Her fiancĂ© ran off with her Maid of Honor and left Traci with a mile-high stack of bills to pay for their wedding that never happened. So when Traci’s Mom shows up on her doorstep with an inheritance letter that stipulates Traci must be married before receiving her inheritance from her late grandfather, Traci is closer to destroying the letter and being a bachelorette for life than she is about husband hunting.

When the reader meets Marc, they see that he is smitten with Traci at first sight. But they soon learn that he has trust issues because of his previous romantic relationships with women who would dump him because he was “too nice.” However, his niceness is of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina who is struggling to raise her children in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death. Naturally, Marc wants to help his sister. So he volunteers to babysit her kids and take them out of the house so that she can meet her book deadlines. Gina is a bestselling romance novelist.

All of these main characters go on their own faith journey with God. Some resist His love at first (like Traci), some draw back because of broken trust (like Marc) and some heal slowly from pain (like Gina) but they all realize how much they need God in their life.

Faith elements are a woven lightly throughout this story but also go deep as the characters work toward wholeness and restoration.

If anything, this is a story about how the Creator of the Universe (God) loves humankind and desires to restore broken hearts, homes and lives.

I hope that you will enjoy reading this book!

God bless your heart.

Sincerely,

Alexis A. Goring

Author of A Second Chance
 

Blog Stops

May 9: A Greater Yes
May 10: Quiet Quilter
May 11: Remembrancy
May 14: Carpe Diem

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Alexis is giving away four eBook copies of her book – A Second Chance!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b54b

Monday, May 8, 2017

"Behind The Scenes" by Jen Turano Book Tour and GiveAway



 
To order your copy, click here

About the Book

Book: Behind the Scenes  


Author: Jen Turano  

Genre: Inspirational Historical Romance  

Release Date: April, 2017

Miss Permilia Griswold may have been given the opportunity of a debut into New York high society, but no one warned her she wasn’t guaranteed to “take.” After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, she’s finally putting her status on the fringes of society to good use by penning anonymous society gossip columns under the pseudonym “Miss Quill.”

Mr. Asher Rutherford has managed to maintain his status as a reputable gentleman of society despite opening his own department store. While pretending it’s simply a lark to fill his time, he has quite legitimate reasons for needing to make his store the most successful in the country. When Permilia overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Rutherford, she’s determined to find and warn the man. Disgruntled at a first meeting that goes quite poorly and results in Asher not believing her, she decides to take matters into her own hands, never realizing she’ll end up at risk as well.

As Asher and Permilia are forced to work together and spend time away from the spotlight of society, perhaps there’s more going on behind the scenes than they ever could have anticipated. . . .


My Review:
"Behind The Scenes" by Jen Turano is a Historical Romance and a mystery. I was eager to get  to the end of this novel because I really needed to know who wanted to kill Asher.  The book explains the reason why but why would that be a reason to kill someone?

The character's descriptions are really written in detail so the readers can actually see them as they are reading the book.

You know that the book is a Historical Romance but there are several romances that might develop and I hope there is another book in the series.

I love the twists that ends this story. They are quite surprising.

I recommend "Behind The Scenes" by Jen Turano to anyone that already love her novels because this book won't disappoint her fans and to anyone that likes romance and mystery.

I am giving "Behind The Scenes" by Jen Turano five stars.

I was given a complimentary copy by Celebrate Lit and the author. These opinions are my own.

About the Author



Jen Turano, author of nine books and two novellas, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.

Interview With Jen Turano

  1. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you personally?

Amusing things happen to me all the time, but I think my favorite was back in college when I was a lifeguard. You see, there’s a lifeguard code – You will be cool at all times, especially when you’re sitting in a lifeguard chair, twirling your whistle exactly so, and, you know…looking cool. So, there I was, in my black lifeguard bathing suit – swinging my whistle. It was an unusually hot day, so I’d angled my umbrella exactly right as I watched the diving-board section. Now, I know this might come as a surprise, but being a lifeguard at the neighborhood pool isn’t exactly thrilling. It’s rare that anything exciting happens, and that particular day was no exception…until a large gust of wind came out of nowhere and the umbrella took it upon itself to close – right over me. And because it was now really gusty, the umbrella then lifted up, taking me with it right off the chair and into the depths of the deep end of the pool. From all accounts, it was quite the sight. First, there I was, swinging my whistle and looking groovy. Then all you could see were my legs flailing about as the umbrella covered the rest of me, and then…I was plummeting toward the pool, hit the water with the umbrella over me, and promptly sank. Obviously I managed to get out of the umbrella, but in the process, part of my bathing suit came off, and…well, that’s a story for another day.

  1. What is your favorite book from your childhood?

“Andrew Henry’s Meadow.” It was actually my little brother’s book, gotten from one of those book of the month clubs, but I loved it. I recently found a copy on an e-site and ordered it, and it’s just as delightful today as it was back in my childhood.

  1. Who does the cooking and cleaning in your house when you are on a deadline?

I don’t actually cook much even when I’m not on deadline, so that’s not really an issue. Al and I do a lot of salads or throw some chicken on the grill. We also have a lot of grocery stores that have wonderful deli and gourmet foods, so we get a lot of things there. As for cleaning, I’m one of those neurotic people who can’t work without everything being in place, so I do a lot of tidying up before I go to bed. And, because I do some of my best thinking when I clean, I’ve been known to abandon my writing when I get stuck and pick up a mop or cleaning rag, which means my house is rarely a disaster since I need to get unstuck a lot.

  1. Where is your favorite place to write?

I do the majority of my writing in my office, although I will occasionally take a pad of paper and a pen outside to handwrite when I get bored of my office or it’s a really nice day and I don’t feel like being trapped inside. It’s not that my office is my favorite place to write, it’s more that my writing is my job and I’m more focused on that writing when I approach it as such.

  1. What is your favorite part of the writing process?

I really like when characters and new story ideas begin to fester. That normally happens when I’m in the midst of another series. By the time I’m done with whatever series I’m working on, the next series is pretty firmly set in my mind, which means I can jump right in as I wait for edits on recently completed work. My absolute favorite part of writing, though, is when I turn in the very final edit on a book and don’t see it again until it comes out in print. Although, I must admit, I’ve never, not once, read one of my books after it has gone to print. Seems rather pointless since I do always know how the book is going to end.

  1. Why did you choose the timeframe or setting this book is written in?

I’ve been wanting to set a book during Alva Vanderbilt’s famous costume ball of March, 1883, for years. Since I decided to slowly travel through the Gilded Age, I just reached 1883 on my plot timeline, so knew I was finally going to get to throw some characters into the very midst of Alva’s ball. It was a blast to write, loved going back to all my books on this particular ball and seeing the pictures, and only wish the Vanderbilt house at 660 Fifth Avenue was still standing so I could visit it in person to visualize the splendors located inside a little more clearly.

  1. What inspires you?

I think like most writers, I simply get inspired by the world around me. I love to people watch, and I love to imagine all sorts of outlandish scenarios as I do that watching. I also get inspired by reading the headlines of the daily papers, and by the research books I read. I also love to look through old photographs of the Gilded Age, and became intrigued with Alva Vanderbilt’s ball when I saw a picture of a young lady, Miss Kate Strong, with a stuffed cat on her head and wearing a choker necklace with the name Puss engraved on it. That was all it took for me to investigate the Vanderbilt ball further, delighted to discover it truly was a ball that only comes along every blue moon.

Blog Stops

April 27: The Scribbler
April 27: Genesis 5020
April 28: Back Porch Reads
April 29: Bookworm Mama
April 29: Karen Sue Hadley 
April 30: Lighthouse Academy
April 30: Radiant Light 
April 30: Bigreadersite
April 30: Lane Hill House
May 3: Book by Book
May 5: Baker Kella
May 6: A Greater Yes
May 6: Just Commonly
May 8: Giveaway Lady


Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card and the four books: After a Fashion, In Good Company, Playing the Part, Behind the Scenes!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4664b04910/