Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Author Interview: Silent Stars by Brett Armstrong

Silent Stars JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Silent Stars by Brett Armstrong, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Silent Stars

Title: Silent Stars
Series:
Tomorrow's Edge #3
Author:
Brett Armstrong
Publisher:
Expanse Books
Release Date:
September 26, 2023
Genre:
Christian, Dystopian, Science Fiction

AD 2040: Barely eighteen, things have become much harder for Elliott. Reeling from the losses during the confrontation that brought Project Alexandria to a halt, Elliott feverishly hunts for the original files needed to finish it off. Finding only dead ends, he instead stumbles upon something dire: messages about the Babel Initiative. Conceived as a successor that would make Project Alexandria’s manipulations seem tame, this new threat once again forces Elliott into alliances with morally grey programmers known as Siegers. Beset by continual setbacks and defeats, many Siegers abandon the cause and go underground to survive the dangers ahead. The bleak reality that Elliott and those closest to him are almost certain to die in the fight against Dr. Almundson begins to set in. But Elliott isn’t ready to give up. He knows the cost of such a silent surrender will be humanity itself.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop


More in This Series

 


Excerpt (Action Scene)


John got free and to his feet. Grabbing Elliott and hoisting him back into the fireman’s carry, the AI called out, “Wait, sir! Please stop.”

Not slowing, he narrowly got them through the doors before they snapped shut and ostensibly locked. The sound of sirens filled the warm afternoon air. No cars were in the pickup/drop-off lane. A brick wall surrounded most of the sprawling parking area, but as Elliott got whipped back and forth, he could verify no cars pulling out to help them.

“No sign of Chevy,” he concluded.

“Couldn’t wait two and a half minutes ...” John muttered.

From over John’s shoulder, Elliott saw security personnel for the hospital streaming into the lobby. “Um, we can’t stay here.”

“Right.” John took off, huffing down the sidewalk. The blue barriers indicating it was not safe to cross from the sidewalk by the building to those of its parking area did not drop, despite there not being a car approaching.

Another “safety measure” from the hospital?

Suddenly, amid the approaching drone of the sirens, a low whistling sound could be heard, and a car that had been low riding enough to be hidden behind the brick wall surrounding the parking area zipped out. The vintage sports car had been retrofitted from a combustion engine to an electric one. A door raised up on the sleek, jet-black car. “Jump in,” Chevy yelled as the car erratically swung around, almost onto the curb.

The protective barrier dropped, and John didn’t ask questions, essentially tossing Elliott inside and then jumping in after.


About the Author

Brett Armstrong

Brett Armstrong has been exploring other worlds as a writer since age nine. Years later, he still writes, but now invites others along on his excursions. He’s shown readers haunting, deep historical fiction (Destitutio Quod Remissio), scary-real dystopian sci-fi (Tomorrow's Edge), and dark, sweeping epic fantasy (Quest of Fire). Every story is a journey of discovery and an attempt to be a brush in the Master Artist’s hand. Through dark, despair, light, joy, and everything in between, the end is always meant to leave his fellow literary explorers with wonder and hope. Always busy with a new story, he also enjoys drawing, gardening, and spending time with his wife and son.

Connect with Brett by visiting brettarmstrong.net to follow him on social media and sign up for email updates.


Author Interview


Q:
What was the inspiration behind Silent Stars?

Brett: Since Silent Stars is the final entry in the Tomorrow’s Edge stories a lot of it’s inspiration drew from completing the journey for character arcs, plot lines, and themes in the earlier entries of the series. There’s motifs and symbolism all over the series, but one of the elements that was specific to Silent Stars and inspired the title and a core theme is found in the verses at the start of the book:

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.”*

I saw a Lou Giglio (thankfully this isn’t a verbal interview) talk where he mentioned that stars emit radio waves and that you can listen to their sound in a very physical fulfillment of those verses. That always stuck with me and while I was imagining where the story led after Veiled Sun, those verses came back to me, along with:

“…that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…”**


I also began to think about how in city limits it can be difficult to see the stars because of the artificial light. The intersection of all those things led me to a core theme of the story, which is the need for the stars which declare God’s glory in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation to not allow the artificial substitutes to drown out true light. The temptation to just ignore the truth and drift into accepting the easier surreality—a reality of our own imagining—and the protagonists clinging to the truth and the Truth, because it is too precious a treasure to relinquish and too important a cause to forsake.


Q: How long did it take you to write this story?

I suppose in a way I've been writing Silent Stars ever since I realized the story originally meant for Day Moon would be too long to resolve as a standalone. I've been actively dreaming and drafting it for the last four years at least, but then my active writing of the draft that made it to press started about a year and a half ago with a lion's share of it written earlier this year.


Q: Do you have a favorite quote from this book?

Brett: “I truly forgive you for what you did to me. You have my word I will do everything the Lord enables me to ensure that you are among those who live to see it.”

“See what?”
[REDACTED FOR SPOILERS]

“The glorious other side of the better tomorrow’s edge on which we stand.”

I picked that one because for years I felt like I understood the meaning of calling this the Tomorrow's Edge series and while coming down the slope from writing the climax of the story and series I was suddenly hit with this realization that I had never gotten it till that moment. The above quote is what I immediately wrote on realizing it. For years I struggled with the deep conviction that dystopian stories must end tragically in order for the core messages to ring out with the force they deserve. But realizing what the Lord was leading me to with the series title it changed everything and was one of the most beautiful experiences I've ever had as a writer.


Q: What do you hope readers take away from Silent Stars?

Brett: Hope. Resilience. Perseverance. The world is a dark and broken place and there are so many forces and pressures driving us towards a future that feels scary. It's easy to feel helpless and discouraged about where society is heading. We're standing on the edge of that frightening tomorrow, but I hope in reading Silent Stars, readers realize like Elliott that no matter how dark that future looks, just beyond is the day long promised where all of the dark will be forever forgotten and that is the tomorrow to keep our heart's fixed to as we weather the passage to there.


Q: Would you share something about yourself that most readers would not know?

Brett: I’m in need of all sorts of wisdom and insight into how to care for a cat. I grew up with dogs as family pets my whole life, so I understand them reasonably well. But my family adopted a stray cat during the height of the COVID pandemic after the poor guy came to our house consistently with a bloodied ear, mangy fur, and looking starved and cold. He’s been with us for a couple years now and I’ve learned a lot along the way, but we found out he has FIV (the cat equivalent of HIV) and sometimes I don’t know how much of his well being and behavior is just pure cat and how much is his condition wearing on him. He’s pretty much the nicest cat I’ve ever met and has literally never scratched us intentionally (the most he does is tap us with his paw, claws tucked in). He’s also the chattiest, most opinionated animal ever, with zero interest in cat things like toys, scratching posts, catnip, mice (that was a hilarious encounter), or laser lights. He often confounds me.


Q: How many bookcases are in your home?

Brett: We have four half book shelves and three fulls with er, um, some overflow...We really like books.


Q: How long ago did you start writing?

Brett: It depends on how one would want to date it. I wrote my first original story for the purpose of storytelling when I was nine and wrote stories off and on growing up. When I reached college, I tried for a few years to be “serious” and “realistic”, thinking there was no way I could be a writer and that I needed a real career. But then I had a creative writing class that felt like a breath of fresh clean air after holding my breath for so long. Through it, the Lord really put me back on the writer's path. Since then He’s helped me see that writing isn’t my career, it’s something He’s woven into me and so long as He leads me to do it, I want to tell the stories He brings me to. The Lord is the Master Artist and I want to be brush in His hand.


Q: What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

Brett: Picking just one thing is tough. I think it’s the feeling when I’m talking to a reader and I can tell that they really got the story and I see how it’s spoken to them. That taking the journey through that story world and leaving the signposts behind, so-to-speak, has helped them too. That’s an incredible and humbling feeling to know the Lord has used you to help others.


Q: What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Brett: I really enjoy walking in the woods, drawing, the harvesting side of gardening, but I don’t do an enormous amount of that, because my little boy makes sure I keep plenty busy in my “down time”. He’s creative and spunky and knows just about everything there is to know about Minecraft. So, whatever he’s got on his agenda is usually what I end up doing…and it’s a pretty great way to spend my days.


Tour Giveaway

(2) winners will win a $25 Amazon gift card, print copy of Silent Stars, and a poster of a scene from the Tomorrow's Edge series!

Silent Stars JustRead Tours giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight October 4, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on October 11, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Open to winners in the US, Canada, Australia, and UK only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Author Interview: The London Forgery by Heidi Eljarbo

The London Forgery JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for The London Forgery by Heidi Eljarbo, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

The London Forgery

Title: The London Forgery
Series: A Fabiola Bennett Mystery #1
Author:
Heidi Eljarbo
Publisher:
Independently Published
Release Date: August 29, 2023
Genre:
Historical Cozy Mystery, Dual Timeline

1973. Art historian Fabiola Bennett sees herself as a prudently observant deer who becomes a daring and even mischievous lioness if the situation calls for it. And that’s exactly what’s required when greedy criminals steal, forge, and tamper with treasured artwork. When the crooks add murder to their list of crimes, the chaos is complete. 

A mysterious note is delivered anonymously at the door of the National Gallery in London, and the director immediately calls Fabiola’s office in Oslo and pleads with her to come without delay. The message is confusing, but it seems one of her favorite eighteenth-century portraits is in trouble. 

Fabiola hops on the first plane and meets up with her vibrant side-kick Pippa Yates and the ever-loyal Detective Inspector Cary Green from New Scotland Yard. But she is not na├»ve enough to think untangling the purpose and meaning of the mysterious note will be as simple as a walk in Hyde Park. These things never are.  

1750. Newly married Robert and Frances Andrews, members of the landed gentry of Suffolk, England, hire young and talented Thomas Gainsborough to paint their wedding portrait. Their desire is a lovely conversation piece showing their wealth and class, an artwork to remember them by for generations to come. 

Little do they know the gifted artist portrays their personalities exactly how he perceives them, and the artistic symbolism is not as flattering as they’d hoped for. Even the looming clouds in the distance promise a troublesome future.  

This is the first book in a new dual timeline series by Heidi Eljarbo—an intriguing spin-off from the much-loved Soli Hansen Mysteries. 

Fans of Lucinda Riley, Rhys Bowen, Kathleen McGurl, Kate Morton, and Katherine Neville will love this cozy historical art mystery, which takes the readers back to the nostalgia of the groovy seventies and the classical Georgian era of the eighteenth century.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub


Excerpt


Cary turned to Fabiola. “Mysterious note? What’s that about?”

Director Wilson showed him the note and presented the details about the time and place of the anonymous message’s sudden appearance.

He read the note and then lifted his eyebrows. “Peculiar sentence. Almost theatrical or old-fashioned.”

The director nodded. “This could very well be a hoax, but I’ve called on Fabiola here to help us in case there actually is something amiss.”

Cary smiled at her. “A clever move.”

“Yes, she’s helped us many times when we’ve needed advice or assistance. This time I’m not exactly sure what the problem is or if there truly is one. The note we received is curious, to say the least. We hope it’s nothing serious, but my gut tells me it is. That’s why I’d like you here, as well, Detective Inspector Green… I mean, in case we need help from the Metropolitan Police.”

Cary frowned, causing deep creases to appear on his forehead. “Before we continue, please tell me, who are Mr. and Mrs. Andrews? Art dealers? The Bonny and Clyde of art theft? Who are they?”

Director Wilson spoke in a low voice. “It’s a priceless British masterpiece—an eighteenth-century portrait—much loved and well-known.”

About the Author

Heidi Eljarbo

Heidi Eljarbo is the bestselling author of historical fiction and mysteries filled with courageous and good characters that are easy to love and others you don't want to go near.

Heidi grew up in a home filled with books and artwork and she never truly imagined she would do anything other than write and paint. She studied art, languages, and history, all of which have come in handy when working as an author, magazine journalist, and painter. 
 
After living in Canada, six US states, Japan, Switzerland, and Austria, Heidi now calls Norway home. She and her husband have a total of nine children, fifteen grandchildren—so far—in addition to a bouncy Wheaten Terrier. 
 
Their favorite retreat is a mountain cabin, where they hike in the summertime and ski the vast, white terrain during winter. 
 
Heidi’s favorites are family, God's beautiful nature, and the word whimsical.

Connect with Heidi by visiting heidieljarbo.com to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.


Author Interview


Q: What was the inspiration behind The London Forgery?

Heidi: The London Forgery is the first book in a new series—a spin-off from Soli Hansen Mysteries. It is also a dual timeline art mystery, one that combines two different periods of the past.


Q: How long did it take you to write this story?

Heidi: I must have spent half a year doodling with ideas, plotting, and writing this book.


Q: Do you have a favorite quote from this book?

Heidi: Fabiola Bennett is a young widow. When speaking out loud to her late husband, she says, “You always told me to be courageous and adventurous but also careful and forehanded. I’m afraid those words don’t combine well.”

When you, as a reader, get to know Fabiola, you’ll see how she is a good girl who wants to do what is right, but solving art crimes often gets her into trouble.


Q: What do you hope readers take away from The London Forgery?

Heidi: I hope they’ll be swept up in the two combining stories and root for Fabiola and her friends as they try to solve the mystery, but also learn something about the art world and art history along the way.


Q: Would you share something about yourself that most readers would not know?

Heidi: I love nature and being outside in any kinds of weather. I live on a small island south of Oslo, Norway. We have beaches and the Oslo fiord just a few minutes’ walk from our house. We have sheep and horses next door. And a couple of hours drive from home, we have a mountain cabin. Rain, snow, sunshine, flowers, fog, wind, forests…it’s all so wonderful, and I am grateful for a kind Heavenly Father who created such a beautiful world for us to enjoy.


Q: How many bookcases are in your home?

Heidi: In addition to scattered books in most of the rooms in our house, we have a library—a room with sooo many books. I am very proud of the books my parents bought during WWII. They were married in Oslo, Norway during the German occupation, and were bound by strict rules…no parties, no popular music, set curfews, etc. There was no television, no radios (radios were confiscated by the Germans). But they had books and loved to read.


Q: How long ago did you start writing?

Heidi: Hard to say, as I’ve always wanted to write. I wrote a children’s book when I was a young mother, but it was never published (maybe I should get back to that one?). First, I worked as a magazine journalist for quite a few years before completing my first full-length historical novel after my children were grown.


Q: What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

Heidi: The creative explosion of all the stories and scenes in my head…building a world…developing characters…working on sentences and good words to use. I also like writing at home and choosing my own schedule. The hope that readers will enjoy my novels makes me excited and happy.


Q: What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Heidi: I do genealogy, paint watercolors, and try to keep up with house and garden. Most of all, I love being with my family, hiking with my dog and husband, and hugging my husband!

Tour Giveaway

(2) winners will win a print copy of "The London Forgery", an eBook "Of Darkness and Light" and a $10 Amazon gift card!

The London Forgery JustRead Tours giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight September 26, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on October 3, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. No shipping restrictions. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Author Interview: Battered & Torn by Allison Pearl



About the Book


Book: Battered & Torn

Author: Allison Pearl

Genre: Faith-Based Romantic Suspense

Release Date: February 6, 2023

As just another staff member in the mansion of billionaire Archie Hamilton, Nora’s finally found a place to hide from her murderous family. But when the handsome bigshot asks her out on a date, she worries Archie’s interest—no matter how thrilling—will blow her cover and shoot up a flare for those hunting her. And if she can’t squash his crush, only God will be able to keep him out of danger.

When Archie turned in his scalpel to run the family business, life became too busy to go home and deal with his grief. But when he discovers a suspicious hire at his ancestral estate, he’s forced to confront the situation as well as his anger at God for taking not only his family, but his dreams. Despite his objections, his grandmother is determined to keep Nora on staff, but that isn’t going to stop him investigating her on his own—no matter how attractive he finds her. But the more he digs, the more questions he has.

Drawn to Nora again and again, Archie wonders if she’ll help lead him back to the truth or get him killed. Is trusting a beautiful stranger worth the risk to his family, his life, and his heart? And when Nora’s past catches up with them, will anyone be left alive?

Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Allison Pearl is a small-town girl who’s lived just about everywhere. She loves books, tea, chocolate, and watching old movies with her husband and furbabies. To keep in touch and get updates on new releases visit www.allison-pearl.com or follow her Facebook page ‘Books by Pearl’ at www.facebook.com/allisonnicolepearl/, on Twitter at @AllisonPearl5, and on Instagram at @allisonnicolepearl.


More from Allison

We’ve all fantasized about running away and starting over. Maybe it’s to some gem of a small town or a thrilling big city, but who hasn’t wondered what it would be like to leave our history, our anxieties, and our problems behind and trade them in for something fairytale-worthy and new? Nora didn’t just dream about starting over, she did. But did she run far enough? The nightmares that haunt her at night say otherwise, leading her to wonder Can we ever really start over or do our fears just lie in wait?

Nora’s written her own fairytale, but will her murderous family steal the happy ending? Find out the truth by getting your copy of BATTERED & TORN!


Author Interview with Allison


Q: In what setting do you enjoy writing the most? 

Allison: I find that I need a certain amount of background noise—or even some chaos—to be able to work. I think that is most likely because when I worked, went to college, and more, I had to learn to write anywhere with anything and it turns out I did.

Q: What are you reading now? 

Allison: I’m about to finish ‘The Thursday Murder Club.’ It’s been an interesting year so far which has brought up some anxiety. And one of my go to escapes when I’m feeling that way is a good cozy mystery.

Q: How many bookshelves are in your home? 

Allison: For my husband, too many. For me, not enough.

Q: What do you like to do when you aren't writing? 

Allison: Mostly reading. My husband and I do like checking out all the different parks around us though. There’s just something relaxing about an after dinner walk in the park.

Q:  Where can readers find out more about you and your novel? 

Allison: My website, www.allison-pearl.com, usually has the most up-to-date links to what I’m doing and to all my socials. Keep in touch!


Blog Stops


Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 20

Texas Book-aholic, September 21

Gina Holder, September 22 (Author Interview)

The Lit Lady, September 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 23

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 24

Lily’s Book Reviews, September 25

Splashes of Joy, September 26 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 27

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 28

The Book Club Network, September 29

Beauty in the Binding, September 30 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, September 30

For Him and My Family, October 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 2

Through the Fire Blogs, October 3 (Author Interview)


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Link for giveaway: https://promosimple.com/ps/27fb5/battered-torn-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, September 29, 2023

Book Review: A Royal Christmas by Melody Carlson

About the Book:



Adelaide Smith is too busy for fairy tales. She's been working hard to put herself through law school, and she's determined to stay focused on her goals. Then she receives a letter notifying her that she is a direct descendant of King Maximillian Konig V, the ruler of a small European principality called Montovia.

What? No. That's the stuff of cheesy made-for-TV movies, not real life.

Still, curiosity gets the best of her, leading to a Christmas break trip chock-full of surprises, including a charming village, an opulent palace, family mysteries, royal jealousies, a handsome young member of Parliament, and the chance at a real-life fairy tale romance.


My Thoughts:

A Royal Christmas by Melody Carlson invites readers to Montovia, a small country with friendly citizens, Christmas spirit, and a dying king.  Law student Adelaide Smith receives a “Princess Diaries” experience when a DNA test identifies her as a close relation to King Max of Montovia. She agrees to meet King Max, who warmly embraces her, but she finds opposition in the form of a wicked stepmother and cunning step-sibling. The novella felt like a mashup of The Princess Diaries and Cinderella wrapped in Christmas festivities. There’s a mystery and a small twist at the end, but the story seemed predictable and mostly unoriginal. I wished for greater character development or more emotional depth, but readers who desire a light, Christmasy tale to pass a few hours with might enjoy this novella more than I did.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.


Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Guest Post: Finding Their Christmas Home by Donna Gartshore

Finding Their Christmas Home JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Finding Their Christmas Home by Donna Gartshore, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Finding Their Christmas Home

Title: Finding Their Christmas Home
Author:
Donna Gartshore
Publisher:
Harlequin Love Inspired
Release Date: September 26, 2023
Genre:
Inspirational Contemporary Romance

A holiday homecoming 

Could lead to a second chance… 

After years away, Jenny Powell returns to her grandmother’s home, known as “Christmas House,” only to find her ex already there. A household emergency left David Hart and his twin daughters with nowhere else to go, and he enlists Jenny to help him give his daughters a Christmas they’ll never forget. But with the past standing between them, could this holiday season bring the gift of a happily-ever-after for them all?


PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christian Book | Bookshop |BookBub


Also Available

Finding Her Voice


Excerpt


David and the girls walked a couple of steps ahead of her, and she watched as Rowe pulled her hand away from her father’s grip and picked up a snowball, which she turned and threw, with surprisingly lethal aim, in Jenny’s direction.

Jenny’s reflexes were excellent, however, and she jerked to the right just in time to have the snowball whiz past her ear rather than get a cold, wet slap in the face.

Once again, she was sure that she had at least as much in common with Rowe as she did with Reba.

Realizing what was happening, David spun around. “Rowe,” he exclaimed. “What are you doing? You could have hurt Jenny. Are you okay?” he asked her.

She laughed as she bent down and began to gather snow. When she stood up she saw Rowe watching her, pulsing with pent-up energy, holding her own snowball, and noticed that David and Reba were laughing and busily packing their own ammunition.

After David called out the quick rule that aiming at someone’s face was not allowed, the snowballs flew with abandon, and soon Rowena joined in with her own unrestrained giggle, a blissful sound, alongside her sister’s.

Jenny gave a sigh of relief and thanked God that she had been able to turn the moment into something fun and silly for them all to share. Because it hadn’t escaped her attention that Rowe’s first throw wasn’t completely without malice. Despite her whatever attitude, trying to come across like she didn’t care, Jenny was sure that she struggled hugely with her mother’s absence and did not want anyone to take her place.

Jenny’s heart ached for her. She knew how devastating it was to resent a parent’s absence while, at the same time, desperately longing for them to be present.

She had absolutely no intentions of being part of David’s life. But when she saw him with his eyes crinkled in laughter, it was like seeing him as a boy again, her best friend, her first love.

About the Author

Donna Gartshore

Donna Gartshore lives in Saskatchewan, Canada. Along with writing inspirational romance for Love Inspired, She has also published several short stories and poems with various literary publications and writes devotions. Donna loves family time, walks, coffee and movies with friends, serving in various capacities at the church she attends and talking about books and writing with her friends and the writing community

Connect with Donna by following her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


Guest Post


REMEMERING A SPECIAL HOUSE
By Donna Gartshore

Thank you for having me guest post on your blog! You asked a great question about the title of Finding Their Christmas Home and what was the inspiration behind that title.

I have always wanted to write a Christmas-themed story and I also thought it would be fun to write a second-chance romance between former high school sweethearts. So, honestly, the working title Reunion at Christmas House, just popped into my mind and I wrote the book that is now being released as Finding Their Christmas Home.

I did use some memories from a real house, however, in creating some of the descriptions of the house. But, something perhaps interesting is that I was never at that house in the winter so how it might have looked decorated for Christmas comes purely from my imagination.

On summer holidays when I was growing up, my parents, two sisters and I would often visit my dad’s aunt’s (my great aunt) house in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba in Canada.

That house always held such a sense of possibility and discovery for me. It was larger than our own house, it had two separate staircases, plenty of nooks and crannies for playing Hide-and-Seek in and, for me, most memorable of all, an attic room where I would take a notebook and pen and try to create the next Trixie Belden or Donna Parker.

The music boxes, knick-knacks and secret sliding panel in the attic mentioned in my book were in the Portage house but it has been many years since I’ve been there and in recreating the house for the book, I wanted mainly to capture the feeling it gave me being there.

When I was in that house, I knew I was part of a family that had a history of writers and I knew that I wanted to become one of them. When I was in that house, it seemed possible that I could become whoever I wanted to be. To this day my relatives ,who include authors, playwrights, ministers and journalists, enjoy reminiscing about the fun and bonding, and sense of home we experienced at our own `Christmas House’.

I’ve been writing long enough now to know that the book title that gets stuck in my head while I’m writing the book probably isn’t the one that the book will end up with but I fully believe that the title Finding Their Christmas Home captures the most important messages about this book: Messages about second chances, finding our way, finding our place and purpose in the world, love and forgiveness -- all of which I think the story of Christmas itself also represents.

I hope everyone enjoys the book. Thank you again.

Tour Giveaway

(3) winners will win a print copy of Finding Their Christmas Home, Finding Her Voice and a devotional!

Finding Their Christmas Home JustRead Tours giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight September 25, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on October 2, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Webinars Coming Soon: The Art of Writing 2023

Art of Writing JustRead Takeover Blitz

Welcome to the Takeover Blitz for The Art of Writing 2023 webinars, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

You are Invited

The Art of Writing 

Thursday evenings, 7 p.m. CT 

online October 19, October 26, November 2, November 9

This virtual conference for writers, storytellers, and publishing curators includes access and recordings to four webinars organized by publishers.

Session One: Dispelling the Myths Around Christian Fiction Thursday, October 19, 7 p.m. central Kelsey Bowen, Jamie Lapeyrolerie, Rachel McMillan

Kelsey Bowen Jamie Lapeyrolerie Rachel McMillan

Christian fiction is alive and well and this will be a great opportunity to hear more. Join a panel of publishing experts as they dispel myths surrounding this genre. This session will encourage you to replace unsettling rumors with exciting truths and be reminded of the unique and powerful place that Christian storytelling has in our world. 
 
Session Two: How Great Books Can Improve Your Novel and Your Life 
Thursday, October 26, 7 p.m. central 
Claude Atcho, Jamie Lapeyrolerie

Claude Atcho Jamie Lapeyrolerie

This session will provide dynamic conversation with authors and publisher sharing great works that provide excellent examples of authentic scenes, character arcs, characters with varying life experiences, and more -- to help you write a really great book. Come away with a few must-reads and a list of excellent writing examples to inspire your own craft. 

Session Three: Publishing Doesn’t Have to Terrify You! 
Thursday, November 2, 7 p.m. central 
Stephanie Broene, Tamela Hancock Murray, Barb Roose, Laura Wheeler

Stephanie Broene Tamela Hancock Murray Barb Roose Laura Wheeler

Writing a book is only the beginning of the publishing process and it can feel overwhelming. After you sign a contract or decide to self-publish, what comes next? With a panel of publishing experts, we’ll cover publishing aspects everyone needs to know, such as: How do I get endorsers? If I need an authenticity reader, where do I start? How can an agent help me in the process? If I’m just starting to build a platform, what should I focus on? Come away with tips and tricks that cover all areas of publishing! 

Session Four: Going Deep with Award-Winning Authors 
Thursday, November 9, 7 p.m. central 
Patricia Raybon, Steven James, Becky Wade

Patricia Raybon Steven James Becky Wade

Hear and learn from the life songs of three award-winning authors who will weave their real-life tales about writing fiction later in life, moving from nonfiction to fiction, then gaining a “seat” in the Christy Hall of Fame. Find out what motivates them, how they stay inspired, and what encouragement they have to pass on to fellow writers. Patricia, Sean, and Becky will provide a peek into their world to help you, with pen in hand.

Added Bonus

All registrants to the Art of Writing sessions can opt to “add-on” a publisher consult. Choose one or more of these small group sessions with a publisher: Pitch & Publish, Ask Me Anything, Strengthen Your Proposal & Get Your Foot in the Door, Calling All Debut Authors. Time/dates are determined based on attendee and moderator schedules. Space is limited. First come, first served.

Learn More about The Art of Writing 2023 Webinar Series


Register

Save the dates for The Christy Award Finalists Webcast & Winners Gala Webcast on October 12 and November 16, respectively. Hall of Fame author Chris Fabry and ECPA's Jeff Crosby will be announcing the 2023 finalists on October 12 at 11 a.m. CT. Janette Oke, Davis Bunn, and other award-winning novelists will be featured and winners announced during the 2023 Winners Gala Webcast on November 16 at 7 p.m. CT. The Christy Award webcasts are free but registration is required.

Chris Fabry Janette Oke Davis Bunn

The Christy Award® is a program of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) and is the foremost award honoring and promoting excellence in Christian fiction since 1999. For more information about ECPA, visit ECPA.org. For more information about the Christy Awards and Art of Writing conferences, visit ChristyAwards.com or email TheChristyAward@ecpa.org

Register Now for The Art of Writing & The Christy Award web events


Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive their choice of The Art of Writing registration OR print copies of The Christy Award finalist titles for one category!

Art of Writing JustRead Takeover Blitz Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight September 20, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on September 27, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

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