Santa’s Dog Blog Hop Kit

Santa's Dog Blog Hop (4)

About the Book

Santa's Dog Cover Page_07-24-2018

In this rhyming picture book for dog lovers of all ages, readers follow the adventures of Santa’s best dog, Lance, when he falls out of the sleigh one Christmas Eve. He’s taken in by the animal shelter and then brought home by a military family who needs some help as Dad is called to serve his country. When Christmas Eve comes ‘round the next year, Lance must decide whether to return to the North Pole with his friend Santa or stay with his new family. Kirkus Reviews describes SANTA’S DOGS as “a sweet, powerful Christmas story.”

SANTA’S DOG would be a great addition to any library or classroom reading program! To accompany this book, we have developed full teacher resources, including a Teacher Lesson Plans packet as well as an Activity Packet, both of which are available for FREE download from the Dogs & Books website. JoAnn also offers FREE virtual author visits to schools. Additional information about all of these resources can be found here.

GOODREADS

About the Author

JoAnn Sky has written for years as part of her job (business and marketing plans and the like). One day she tried her hand at writing for fun—and liked it. Now she authors adult contemporary romance and young adult romance with a magical twist as well as children’s books. She is a two-time Golden Heart® finalist and a member of Romance Writers of America. Originally from the Midwest, JoAnn currently lives in northern Nevada with her husband a.k.a. love of her life, three teenage children, and three crazy rescue dogs.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM BOOKBUB | WEBSITE

Author Interview

(Insert here or include the one below from SLB Tours.)

1. How did you decide that you wanted to write a children’s book?
I didn’t start out wanting to or trying to write a children’s book. I started out writing a short story that I thought I’d use on my author website to encourage readers to sign up for my newsletter. The story came out rhyming (it just seemed natural that way), and I loved it so much I decided it needed illustrations. One thing led to another…. Dogs & Books (my publishing company) was born… and now I’m planning an entire series of “Santa’s Dog” books!

2. What is your favorite part about the Christmas holiday?
That’s easy: decorating the tree with my kids! Growing up, we didn’t decorate our tree with matching ornaments. Our tree was filled with eclectic ornaments my mom had collected over the years—and then as my sister and I grew up, the collection of ornaments grew to include those we’d receive as gifts. When I grew up and left home, my mom packed up all of “my” ornaments and gave them to me, so that I’d have a start for my own tree.  Once married, I continued decorating the tree with these ornaments (and expanding the collection every year). And now that we have kids, each have their own box of ornaments that grows every year. We’ve got too many ornaments for our tree now, but certain ornaments always “make the cut” and get on the tree—like my Chip & Dale chipmunks from 1976. Plus, these two friends must always hang next to each other!

 

3. What inspired the idea for Santa’s Dog? Is the dog in the story based off a dog you know or completely from your imagination?
Santa’s Dog was initially inspired by our first rescue dog, a husky-mix named Sampson. When my husband was deployed to Iraq, I had a hard time sleeping in the two-story house we had just moved into prior to hubby’s deployment. So, I decided to adopt a dog to keep me company!  The kill-shelter I went to told me Sampson was three years old, though I suspect he might have been a bit older because he was so laid back. He was the absolute Best. Dog. Ever.

It was after my husband returned home that I realized that Sampson always took a while to come to me when I called him. I decided there must be something wrong with his hearing and took Sampson to the vet (I mean, what other reason could there possibly be for a dog not to listen, right?) The vet very kindly explained that Sampson was a “northern breed” dog, and that his behavior was typical of a northern breed—that they like to do things on their own time (including, apparently, coming when called). I shared this information with my husband when I got home, and he replied, “Northern dog? Maybe he’s Santa’s dog and got lost from the North Pole!”

That evening over a glass of wine, my husband and I plotted out the storyline of a dog who got lost from Santa, ended up with a military family, and then had to decide whether to stay with the family or return with Santa to the North Pole.  For the next decade, I kept telling myself that I would someday write out that story. Well, I finally did!

 

4. Do you have any other projects currently in the works?  What can you tell us about it?
I have another small-town contemporary romance coming out by the end of the year with Entangled Bliss publishing. It is the 2nd in the A BIGGEST-LITTLE LOVE STORY series and takes place in Reno. The first, NO COWBOY REQUIRED, was released this past May. I love this story because I was able to weave in Reno’s wild horses, which are so beautiful and majestic. Unfortunately, all of the new housing developments are taking away their land.

Another project of course, is a second “Santa’s Dog” book next year. Soon there will be an entire series of Santa’s Dog books!

Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book

1. Lance in the story is a combination of two rescues we’ve been lucky to have as part of our family over the years: Sampson and Lance. Sampson was our first rescue, and I adopted him from a kill-shelter while my husband was deployed to Iraq about 15 years ago. Lance was a wonderful older dog who spent about five years with us. Lance crossed the Rainbow Bridge earlier this year.

2. This story didn’t start out intending to be a children’s book. I began writing this as a short story that I thought I’d give to readers to encourage them to sign up for my author newsletter. As I wrote it out, it would only come out in rhyme—it just didn’t seem to work any other way. Then once I was done, I had a huge desire to add illustrations. The whole thing just snowballed after that!

3. The illustration of Santa going to pick up Lance and finding the shelter closed initially didn’t have the cardinal or the cat. I thought it needed “a little something,” so Ed Koehler (the most awesome illustrator in the world) added the cardinal. But it still seemed to need something! I asked Ed if he would add an animal peeking through the window. He wasn’t convinced it was necessary but added a cat. We both loved it, so that cat got to stay!

4. For the illustration of when Lance packs his things and waits for Santa, I had this vision with his dish on his head. I’m pretty sure Ed thought I was nuts when I first described it. But then he added the photo of the kids, and it was absolutely perfect!

5. SANTA’S DOG would not exist in its final form as a beautiful hardcover with dust jacket if I had not purchased Bobbie Hinman’s book, “How to Create a Successful Children’s Picture Book.” Bobbie is a successful author and editor. Her book is the bible for writing and publishing a children’s book. Seriously.

Facebook Party

Santa's Dog FB Party Banner

Join the Facebook Party HERE.

Giveaway

Santa's Dog Blog Hop Giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Blog Hop Schedule

October 8-Life Is What Its Called
October 9-Emily Yager My Book a Day | Cafinated Reads
October 10-Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen | Remembrancy
October 11-Why Not? Because I Said So!
October 12-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic
October 13-Maiden of the Pages | Paulette’s Papers | Blooming with Book​

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Helpful Blog Hop Information

Please note that there is no purchase link included.  The author does not want this included due to the fact that the current listing on Amazon is messed up.  It’s showing as being able to be fulfilled in 1-3 months as Amazon has no inventory and will not allow buyers to switch to purchasing the book from the author.  So please DO NOT include a purchase link in your post.

1. The blog hop kit  for Santa’s is now live.
2. The blog hop landing page will go live 11:30pm MT the night before the blog hop begins.
3. Have your posts up by 12 noon ET on your assigned day.
4. To help promote, please share posts links on social media sites, such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Please tag SLB when possible.  Thank you!

5. For those on Facebook, please also share your post in the team Facebook group.
6. If you are reviewing, please post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. as well as your blog (not required, but greatly appreciated).
7. When your blog post is live, please email me the link so I can update the tour landing page.  Thank you!

Blog Hop Schedule and Assignments

October 8-Life Is What Its Called (Spotlight + 10 Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book)
October 9-Emily Yager (Spotlight + Author Interview (you ask the questions)) My Book a Day (Spotlight + 10 Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book) | Cafinated Reads (Spotlight + 10 Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book)
October 10-Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Spotlight + Author Interview (via SLB)) | Remembrancy ​(Spotlight + Author Interview (via SLB))
October 11-Why Not? Because I Said So! ​(Spotlight + Author Interview (via SLB), 10 Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book)
October 12-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic (Spotlight + 10 Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book)
October 13-Maiden of the Pages ​(Spotlight + Author Interview (via SLB), 10 Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book) | Paulette’s Papers (Spotlight + 10 Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book) | Blooming with Book​ (Spotlight + 10 Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book)

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Regency House Party: Somerstone Book Blast Kit

RHPS Book Blast Banner

About the Books

The Unwanted Suitor

1-The Unwanted Suitor

When Cornelia Greystock received a proposal from Sir James Hawkston, she couldn’t bear it. It had been inspired, she knew, from pity and remorse—not love. Unable to face him afterward, she leaped at an offer of employment from the Countess, Lady Du’Breven. Serving as her companion, Cornelia struggles to adjust to the change in her social status, but the hard work distracts her from her broken heart. That is, until the Countess decides to hold a summer house party at her family estate and invites Sir James.

Sir James has never recovered from his disappointment when Miss Greystock refused his proposal and then fled, according to her family, to live with an unheard-of aunt in Ireland. When he grudgingly accepts an invitation to Lady Du’Breven’s house party, however, he is astounded to find Miss Greystock there. One thing is certain—this time he’ll court her the way he always should have. He is almost certain she returns his feelings, but he must tread carefully. If she refuses his proposal a second time, it would not be gentlemanly to ask a third. As time grows short and she continues to hold him at arms-length, will he find a way to at last win her hand?

GOODREADS | AMAZON

An Unlikely Courtship

2-An Unlikely Courtship

One can only be careless with so many hearts before he ends up breaking his own.

Lord Anthony is an outrageous flirt with a devil-may-care attitude. The last thing on his mind is settling down. When the Countess Du’Breven invites him to her house party, promising to see him married, Anthony finds the prospect diverting and accepts. But when he meets a damsel in distress unwilling to accept his help, Anthony realizes his attraction to her may be his downfall.

Isabel Townshend is at her breaking point, caring for her ailing father and her innocent younger sister. She has a family secret to protect and no time for handsome young men, even at a house party with so many eligible bachelors. When Lord Anthony disturbs her well-laid plans, Isabel realizes her determination to protect her family may cost her future happiness.

With hearts at odds and defenses drawn, will Isabel and Anthony be able to put aside their differences and find love at last?
An Unlikely Courtship is one of five books set in the Regency House Party Series. While each is a stand alone story, watch our characters mingle together with others from the books in the series. The stories can be read in any order.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

Mistaken Identity

3-Mistaken Identity

Conrad Pinkerton, the Marquess of Kendal, despises society; the scheming, the guises, and the games they play. And yet, for his twin brother, he agrees to a temporary guise of his own, pretending to be his brother for a house party. Playing the fop should be easy, as long as he keeps everyone at a distance. But when he meets Jessica Standish, he wishes she didn’t think he was someone else.

Jessica Standish has never been considered worthy by the ton and now that she and her mother are penniless, the chances of a good match seem out of reach. Even the matchmaking schemes of the Countess Du’Breven seem doomed to failure. This house party will change nothing, though it’s hard not to hope when she sees Lord Ian again. The connection between them grows, though he seems so different from the man she remembers.

With his family name and fortune on the line, Conrad knows he should leave with his secret intact. After all, how can she truly love him if she thinks he’s someone else?

GOODREADS | AMAZON

The Stable Master’s Daughter

4-The Stablemaster's Daughter

Marjorie’s days as the barefoot daughter of the stable master are long past—she’s an educated and accomplished artist. But at the house party of the summer she is out of her social depth, especially when reunited with Reginald, a man she has secretly loved for years. Just when he begins to show real interest in her, his older brother Miles tries to separate them and sparks fly. Miles is maddening and intriguing, and stirs a longing for a radiant future, but are his intentions sincere? An alliance is forbidden and a chance for love may cost Marjorie’s dignity and her father’s employment.

Lord Miles Beauchamp is the heir to an earldom and unyielding in his principles. He doesn’t have time for trivial social gatherings, except when reforming his brother. Miles anticipates Reginald’s wandering eye, but is caught off-guard when he pursues a wholesome woman, one Miles is honor-bound to protect. It will take all Miles’ effort to keep his brother in line, Marjorie from harm, and himself from falling in love. In a society keeping them a world apart, can Miles and Marjorie find a future together?

GOODREADS | AMAZON

Tabitha’s Folly

5-Tabitha's Folly

Tabitha’s Folly is one of Five books all set at the same Regency House Party Series. While each is a standalone story, watch our characters mingle together with others from the books in the series. The stories can be read in any order.

Lady Tabitha Easton recklessly dodges four over-protective brothers while trying to gain attention from the man who holds her heart. She has many choices of suitors, and with Henry as disinterested as ever, she turns to what is wholly forbidden, an irresistibly handsome footman. While their friendship grows, her trust in him increases while her hurt and doubt in her childhood love and friend pushes her away from all she’s ever known as family.

When Lord Henry Courtenay discovers a new attraction to his childhood friend, his role as one of her chaperones at the house party becomes near impossible. Irrationally defensive about any potential suitors and seeking time alone with the enticing Tabby, maintaining friendship with her brothers proves more difficult than he ever imagined. His task becomes all the more difficult when she refuses to understand his growing attraction and often finds herself in almost compromising situations.

When Tabitha’s choices might lead her to danger, and doubt and distrust are high, Henry must prove himself or lose her forever.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

 

About the Authors

Michelle Pennington

Michelle Pennington

Michelle Pennington writes clean, heart-pounding, sigh-inducing romance across multiple genres. Her books include Young Adult, Contemporary, Regency, and Fantasy. The genre might change, but her characters will always be falling in love.

She spends her days quoting movies with her husband and making messes faster than her four kids. She also has a cat her kids call Boots, but is really Hessian Boots, the perfect Regency gentleman, complete with a snowy white cravat. She loves to make magic by stringing words together, but she also creates designer sugar cookies, sings loud in church, and kills too many house plants. ​

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | WEBSITE

Heidi Kimball

Heidi Kimball

At a young age Heidi perfected the art of hiding out so she could read instead of doing chores. One husband and four children later, not much has changed. She has an abiding love for peanut butter M&Ms, all things fall, and any book that can make her forget she is supposed to be keeping her children alive.

Heidi currently lives just north of Boston, in a charming old town in southern New Hampshire.

FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | WEBSITE

Mindy Burbidge Strunk

Mindy Burbidge Strunk

Mindy loves all things history and romance, which makes reading and writing Regency romance right up her alley. When she isn’t living in her alternate realities, she is married to her real-life Mr. Darcy and trying to raise five proper boys. They live happily in the beautiful mountains of Utah.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | WEBSITE

Sara Cardon

Sara Cardon

Sara Cardon craves happily ever afters—which is why she writes heartfelt stories to uplift and inspire. She grew up in West Texas and graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree that has nothing to do with writing. Sara has four kids, a dog, and a true-blue husband. He laughs at her hero crush on George Washington. She and her family are putting down roots near Dallas where there’s plenty of wide-open sky, cattle, and sunshine.

FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST AMAZON | BOOKBUB
NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIPTION | WEBSITE

Jen Geigle Johnson

Jen Geigle Johnson

An award winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards, Jen Geigle Johnson discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager.

She once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. She knows all about the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. During a study break date in college, she sat on top of a jeep’s roll bars up in the mountains and fell in love.

​Now, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure. She is a member of the RWA, the SCBWI, and LDStorymakers. She is also the chair of the Lonestar.Ink writing conference.

FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | WEBSITE

Giveaway

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$25 Amazon Gift Card

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Book Blast Schedule

October 2
Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen
Emily Yager
Blooming with Books
Remembrancy
Among the Reads

October 3
Puddletown Reviews
Heidi Reads…
My Book a Day
Katie’s Clean Book Collection

October 4
Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic
Jorie Loves A Story
Maiden of the Pages
Why Not Because I Said So
Singing Librarian Books

SLB Tours Button for Team (1)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Helpful Book Blast Information

1. The book blast kit  for the Regency House Party: Somerstone Series is now live.
2. The book blast landing page will go live 11:30pm MT the night before the tour begins.
3. Have your posts up by 12 noon ET on your assigned day.
4. To help promote, please share posts links on social media sites, such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Please tag SLB when possible.  Thank you!

5. For those on Facebook, please also share your post in the team Facebook group.
6. If you are reviewing, please post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. as well as your blog (not required, but greatly appreciated).
7. When your blog post is live, please email me the link so I can update the tour landing page.  Thank you!

Book Blast Schedule and Assignments

October 2
Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen
Emily Yager
Blooming with Books
Remembrancy
Among the Reads

October 3
Puddletown Reviews
Heidi Reads…
My Book a Day
Katie’s Clean Book Collection

October 4
Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic
Jorie Loves A Story
Maiden of the Pages
Why Not Because I Said So
Singing Librarian Books

 

Santa’s Dog Book Blast Kit

Santa's Dog Book Blast

About the Book

Santa's Dog Cover Page_07-24-2018

In this rhyming picture book for dog lovers of all ages, readers follow the adventures of Santa’s best dog, Lance, when he falls out of the sleigh one Christmas Eve. He’s taken in by the animal shelter and then brought home by a military family who needs some help as Dad is called to serve his country. When Christmas Eve comes ‘round the next year, Lance must decide whether to return to the North Pole with his friend Santa or stay with his new family. Kirkus Reviews describes SANTA’S DOGS as “a sweet, powerful Christmas story.”

SANTA’S DOG would be a great addition to any library or classroom reading program! To accompany this book, we have developed full teacher resources, including a Teacher Lesson Plans packet as well as an Activity Packet, both of which are available for FREE download from the Dogs & Books website. JoAnn also offers FREE virtual author visits to schools. Additional information about all of these resources can be found here.

GOODREADS

About the Author

JoAnn Sky has written for years as part of her job (business and marketing plans and the like). One day she tried her hand at writing for fun—and liked it. Now she authors adult contemporary romance and young adult romance with a magical twist as well as children’s books. She is a two-time Golden Heart® finalist and a member of Romance Writers of America. Originally from the Midwest, JoAnn currently lives in northern Nevada with her husband a.k.a. love of her life, three teenage children, and three crazy rescue dogs.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | BOOKBUB | WEBSITE

Facebook Party

Santa's Dog FB Party Banner

Join the Facebook Party HERE.

Giveaway

Santa's Dog Book Blast Giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Book Blast Schedule

Bibliophile Reviews 
Emily Yager​
Maiden of the Pages
Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic​
Singing Librarian Books

SLB Tours Button for Team (1)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Helpful Tour Information

Please note that there is no purchase link included.  The author does not want this included due to the fact that the current listing on Amazon is messed up.  It’s showing as being able to be fulfilled in 1-3 months as Amazon has no inventory and will not allow buyers to switch to purchasing the book from the author.  So please DO NOT include a purchase link in your post.

1. The book blast kit  for Santa’s is now live.
2. The blog hop landing page will go live 11:30pm MT the night before the blog hop begins.
3. Have your posts up by 12 noon ET on Wednesday, October 3.
4. To help promote, please share posts links on social media sites, such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Please tag SLB when possible.  Thank you!

5. For those on Facebook, please also share your post in the team Facebook group.
6. If you are reviewing, please post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. as well as your blog (not required, but greatly appreciated).
7. When your blog post is live, please email me the link so I can update the tour landing page.  Thank you!

Blog Hop Schedule and Assignments

All posts should be live Wednesday, October 3 by 12 noon Eastern Time.

Bibliophile Reviews 
Emily Yager​
Maiden of the Pages
Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic​
Singing Librarian Books

 

Love & Secrets at Cassfield Manor Tour Kit

Love & Secrets

About the Book

Love and Secrets at Cassfield Manor

Genre:  Adult, New Adult, Christian, Fiction, Historical, Regency, Romance
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Publication date: August 14, 2018

Wealthy socialite Christine Harrison’s life seems perfect until the man she planned tomarry, Mr. Davenport, proposes to someone else. Heartbroken, Miss Harrison vowsnever to love again, and to distract herself, she sets out to rescue a fallen youngwoman. Little does she know that her journey will reveal more than she expected about her friends, her seemingly perfect life, and her own heart.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

About the Author

Sarah headshot

From writing an award-wining tale of a dragon falling from the stars in the 3rd grade to regency romance written at thirty, Sarah McConkie has always had a passion for creating intriguing stories. After years of singledom looking for romance (and teaching Junior High Choir to fill up real life), Sarah began a Master’s degree in Literacy. When love finally found her, she married and became a wife and eventually a mother. After tucking in her own little princess one January evening she determined to attempt her life-long dream to write and publish a novel. Using her many years of experience in the single realm, a robust knowledge of regency classics, and a love of all things old fashioned and proper, Sarah wrote Love and Secrets at Cassfield Manor. She now lives with her own Mr. Right and her two daughters, and believes providing stimulating and moral stories promotes literacy in a world which needs more readers. This is her first novel.

FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | WEBSITE

Author Interview

(Insert interview here or include the one below from SLB)

1. Who or what inspired you to become an author?
Since I was a little girl, I always wanted to publish a book. After reading a few great and not so great novels as a new mom, I decided I could write as well as some of the books I read and tried my hand at this story.

2. What does a “day in the life of Sarah McConkie” look like?
I try to do my most important things first, and the hardest chores first. That means reading scriptures and doing my least favorite chores: vacuuming and bathrooms, etc, so that when nap time happens, I can read and write. I try to have a few afternoon hours and evening hours to write and read.

3. What does your writing process look like?
I used to fly by the seat of my pants. Now I organize by plot points, and go from there. I try to think about my scenes when driving, in the shower, or doing dishes, and then when I sit down to write it just flows.

4. What inspired the idea for Love and Secrets at Cassfield Manor?
I thought about my life and journey to find my husband, and realized that if I took a bunch of those characters from my college days and threw them into the Regency Era, I might have a framework for a story.
5-What did you as an author take away from writing Love and Secrets at Cassfield Manor? Three things: I love writing stories and plan to keep it up, and that it takes TONS of hard work and attention to detail, and that I need to always structure my plot BEFORE I write thousands of words!

6. What is your current WIP?  What can you tell us about it?
My current WIP is another historical romance, a little later 1830’s. I’m about 1/3rd finished, and plan to have it all written in the next few months. Involves an arranged marriage, a vicar’s daughter, a Vicar and a Lord who like each other’s girl.​

Guest Post

(Insert guest post here)

10 Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book

1. Several of my character’s physical appearance are based on my friends, and I let them choose their character’s name.
2. I wrote the whole story in 1st person first, and then re-wrote it in 3rd person.
3. The font on the cover is the same font I used in my own wedding invitation.
4. The two characters who are sisters have the  names Elizabeth (Lizzy) and Christine. My two daughters’ middle names are Elisabeth and Christine.
5. I finished editing the final manuscript 4 days before I had my third child. I told my doctor I couldn’t go early because I had to finish my book!
6. The love stories of Lizzy and Edmund, Christine and William, and Meg and Mr. Grenville are all based on real people’s love stories.
7. The front cover background is an actual beach in England: Cornwall.
8. It took me about 2-3 years from first word to a finished manuscript.
9. Much of the “boy drama” comes from my years of college roommates and actual connections between different people.
​10. The character William is based off of read the manuscript in an early edition and said he himself was way too boring, so I added some flavor to make him more dynamic.

Snippet 1

Christine breathed deeply, circling her arms around herself. As she stood among those high, stalwart cliffs, she formed a resolution. Their presence spoke to Christine once more, reminding her that she could change. She could be more steadfast in her desires. She determined then to look outward, toward others, and stop caring about herself and her status in life. She affirmed that day that she did not need high connections to validate her existence. She did not need a man to establish or promote her social standing. And perhaps most importantly, Christine resolved to never again let these base motives stand in her way of real and lasting relationships with the people around her.

Snippet 2

After a half hour, Christine begrudgingly thought to herself, Well done, Ivory, contrary to all previous misgivings. Christine had not yet made out his character, but he seemed like a fine man—presenting himself admirably on many fronts. He was not quite as well established or attractive as Mr. Davenport, but Ivory seemed quite taken with him, and if she really did not care about his income or standing, he might just do the job credibly.

Snippet 3

Happiness spread throughout her being, and she felt so completely whole. The wet hem of her skirt and tear-stained bodice of her dress held no chill against a heart so warm.

Snippet 4

She had, in her evil persuasion, combined attraction with ultimatum in the scariest form of alliance.

Review

(Insert review here)

Giveaway

Love & Secrets Giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

September 17-Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen | Paulette’s Papers
September 18-Mindy Houng (reviewer) | Blooming with Books
September 19-Emily Yager | Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic
September 20-Heidi Reads… I Life Is What It’s Called
September 21-Pause for Tales | Bookworm Lisa
September 22-Jorie Loves A Story

SLB Tours Button for Team (1)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Helpful Tour Information

1. The tour kit  for Love & Secrets at Cassfield Manor is now live.
2. The tour landing page will go live 11:30pm MT the night before the tour begins.
3. Have your posts up by 12 noon ET on your assigned day.
4. To help promote, please share posts links on social media sites, such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Please tag SLB when possible.  Thank you!

5. For those on Facebook, please also share your post in the team Facebook group.
6. If you are reviewing, please post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. as well as your blog (not required, but greatly appreciated).
7. When your blog post is live, please email me the link so I can update the tour landing page.  Thank you!

Tour Schedule and Assignments

September 17-Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Spotlight, Guest Post (pre-made by author), Snippet) | Paulette’s Papers (Spotlight, Snippet)
September 18-Mindy Houng (reviewer) (Review) | Blooming with Books (Review, Author Interview (you ask the questions), Snippet)
September 19-Emily Yager (Spotlight, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet) | Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic (Spotlight, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet)
September 20-Heidi Reads… (Spotlight, Snippet) I Life Is What It’s Called (Review, Author Interview (you ask the questions))
September 21-Pause for Tales (Review) | Bookworm Lisa (Review, Snippet)
September 22-Jorie Loves A Story (Review)

Chasing the Hunter Blog Hop Kit

Chasing the Hunter Tour Banner

About the Book

Chasing the Hunter

In 1788, Aria Stonewood is chased from her home in the New England colonies after being accused of murder and abducting twin baby girls.

Hiding a secret, Aria travels west deep into the north-woods of the Minnesota territory. She seeks shelter at a French trading post that is run by a former priest and meets Francois Marcks; both of whom distrust her and do not want her staying there. But with the dangers of winter coming they have no choice but to reluctantly let her stay unaware of what the coming winter will bring to their door.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

About the Author

Emily Yager

Growing up in Northwestern Minnesota, Emily spent the long winter days dreaming and creating stories. She loves the mild summers and cold, wind swept state so much that she incorporates the landscape and small towns into her stories. A life-long book dragon, Emily is fulfilling her dream by writing novels.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | WEBSITE

Author Interview (via SLB)

1. Who or what inspired you to become an author?
I was raised with a family of avid readers and storytellers, Momma, Mimmie (Grandma) and Pappaw (Grandpa) always seems to have a book hidden somewhere close by just in case. I followed in their footsteps. Though the person who inspired me the most is Momma. She always encouraged creative thinking and writing. After all she did name me after three of her favorite writer’s: Emily Bronte, Anne Bronte, and Emily Dickerson. Perhaps she knew something even back then.

2. When did you first start writing?  When was your first novel published compared to when you first started writing?
According to family member’s I have always been able to create elaborate tales at a moment’s notice. I wrote my first story when I was in second grade in my school notebook instead of doing the assignments. My first book was not published until 2016, A Whippoorwills Song, which is still available. So, I spent quite a few years, practicing my writing with several unfinished or poorly told stories safely hidden away and reading anything I could get my hands on.

3. How do you deal with publisher rejection letters?
As an Indie author this is not something I’ve had to deal with much. I did start out wanting to be traditionally published. Even sent my first novel to several publisher’s and got rejected by all of them. How’s the saying go ‘when one door closes, you open a window. That is what I did, when tradition publishing didn’t work out of me, I turned toward indie-publishing and so far it has worked out fine for me.

4. What authors would you recommend to your fellow readers?
Oh, my giddy aunt. I have SO many favorite’s that I enjoy reading that it would be a very long list. My top 10 that I would recommend in a heartbeat, since I’ve read all or at least most of their books would be (in no particular order): Jody Hedlund, Melanie Dickerson, Mary Lu Tyndall, Cathy Marie Hake, Mary Connealy, Jen Turano, Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, Tracie Peterson, and Tessa Afshar.

5. What does “a day in the life of Author Emily Yager” look like?
My day starts with a cup of coffee with butter in it, then spend the rest of the morning catching up on everything, phone calls, mail, email, social media, Family, housekeeping (sometimes), and time with my dog. Then after lunch It try and leave most of my afternoons flexible to be able to hang out with family or going places, occasionally writing or research. After supper, is my main writing time. I tend to write late into the night. It’s not uncommon that I am up until one or two (sometimes later or would it be earlier?) in the morning. That’s an overview of a typical day for me.

6. When you are not writing, what hobbies do you enjoy?
Besides reading, I enjoy cooking and/or bakingarts and crafty things like drawing, crocheting, scrapbooking, cardmaking, sewing and quilting. I love music, whether it be listening to it, singing, playing an instrument (or try to). I play several instruments including piano, banjo, ukulele, penny whistle, and bodhran. Other hobbies I enjoy are gardening, hiking, canoeing, and archery.

7. What inspired the idea for Chasing the Hunter?
As a history geek, I love learning about the history of Northern Minnesota (where I grew up and currently live) I saw this exhibit on the French Fur Traders in Minnesota and the thought hit me: I have never seen nor read a book about the fur traders that wasn’t a documentary, essay, or a dry factual history book. I even Googled the topic to prove it. So, I told myself that I would be the one to change that and since I love canoeing and drifting down the river it just made sense.

8. What did you as an author take away from writing Chasing the Hunter?
I think the biggest thing that I learned or at least relearned while writing this book was to be more forgiving and to be willing give people the benefit of doubt when something bad happens or something from their past comes up. Because we don’t always know what happen to a person in the past or what caused them to do what they did. That it is something that, as a Christian especially, we need reminded of from time to time. I know I certainly do.

9. What is your current WIP?  What can you tell us about it?
I just finished book two in the Pursuing Voyageurs series “Coaxing the Clerk” which will be released in mid- October. And I am about half-way through writing book three in the series “Catching the Nor’wester” They continue to showcase the difficult life that the Fur Traders endured as they lived and working in the Northwoods. Each book is about a different ‘couple’ and their own struggles. Book two feature’s Allis and Stefan’s story, book three is about Calliope and Etienne’s. Beyond that I can’t really say anything else yet.

Gust Post

If you selected to provide a topic for the author, her response has been emailed to you.

Giveaway

CTH e-book giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Blog Hop Schedule

September 3-Britt Reads Fiction
September 4-Blooming with Books
September 5-Robin’s Nest
September 6-cherylbbookblog
September 7-Among the Reads
September 8-ReadingIsMySuperPower
September 10-Remembrancy
September 11-Singing Librarian Books
September 12-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic
September 13-Edits and Reviews by Leslie
September 14-Tell Tale Book Reviews
September 15-Life Is What It’s Called

SLB Tours Button for Team (1)

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Helpful Tour Information

1. The blog hop kit  for Chasing the Hunter is now live.
2. The tour landing page will go live 11:30pm MT the night before the tour begins.
3. Have your posts up by 12 noon ET on your assigned day.
4. To help promote, please share posts links on social media sites, such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Please tag SLB when possible.  Thank you!

5. For those on Facebook, please also share your post in the team Facebook group.
6. If you are reviewing, please post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. as well as your blog.
7. When your blog post is live, please email me the link so I can update the tour landing page.  Thank you!

Tour Schedule and Assignments

September 3-Britt Reads Fiction (Author Interview (via SLB))
September 4-Blooming with Books (Author Interview (via SLB))
September 5-Robin’s Nest (Author Interview (via SLB))
September 6-cherylbbookblog (Author Interview (via SLB))
September 7-Among the Reads (Author Interview (via SLB))
September 8-ReadingIsMySuperPower (Guest Post (you provide the topic))
September 10-Remembrancy (Guest Post (you provide the topic))
September 11-Singing Librarian Books (Guest Post (you provide the topic))
September 12-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic (Guest Post (you provide the topic))
September 13-Edits and Reviews by Leslie (Author Interview (via SLB))
September 14-Tell Tale Book Reviews (Author Interview (via SLB))
September 15-Life Is What It’s Called (Author Interview (via SLB))

Love at Lakewood Med Book Blast Kit

Love at Lakewood Med Book Blast

About the Book

Love at Lakewood Med

Genre:  Adult, New Adult,Conetemporary, Romance
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Publication date: March 13, 2018

Savannah Drake would be thrilled about starting her final year of medical school if it weren’t for one thing: she has to spend a month working in the emergency room with cold, aloof Dr. Wesley Kent as her mentor. When her first day in the ER proves to be a humiliating disaster, Savannah is ready to swear off emergency medicine forever. Gradually, though, she finds that the unpredictable, emotional experience of caring for patients in the emergency room is affecting her far differently than she expected – and Dr. Kent turns out to be anything but the arrogant attending physician that she assumed him to be. But just when Savannah finally admits to herself that she is falling for Dr. Kent, she learns that things at the hospital are not all what they seem. Faced with a seemingly impossible choice, Savannah must decide between her future career and everything that she has come to care so much about.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

About the Author

tj-amberson-author-photo

TJ Amberson hails from the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her husband and nutty cocker spaniel. Her most recent novels include The Kingdom Of Nereth, Fusion, and Love at Lakewood Med. When she’s not writing, TJ can probably be found enjoying a hot chocolate, pretending to know how to garden, playing the piano, or surfing the Internet for cheap plane tickets.

GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | WEBSITE 

Author Interview #1

1. If you could go to lunch with one of your characters from Love at Lakewood Med, who would you go with and why?
Savannah, of course! Her subtle sense of humor cracks me up, and I would love to hear more of her stories about the ups and downs of working in an emergency department.

2. If you could travel anywhere in the world for book research (expense covered for you by an anonymous donor), where would you go and why?
Oooo, this is an awesome question. Ultimately, I would choose to travel back to the UK in order to do more research and get more inspiration (aka sightseeing!) for books two and three of my young adult medieval historical fantasy trilogy. I am currently finishing book two of this trilogy, THE COUNCIL OF NERETH, and I’m excited to share the story with readers soon.

3. What does your writing process look like?
My writing process is quite variable. Some days, I’m totally in “the writing zone” and churn out a lot of words for a manuscript that’s in-process. Other days, I’m in an editing mood, and so I focus on polishing the manuscripts that are already completed. I try to allow myself that type of flexibility as much as possible, so the writing process never becomes a chore or something forced.

4. Where is your favorite place to write?
My favorite place to write is in my office at home. It’s quiet, and the view out the window is beautiful. But I’m always up for taking my laptop somewhere scenic! 

5. If you could choose someone famous for your lead characters to star in Love at Lakewood Med as it is made into a movie, who would you choose and why?
Another awesome question!

For Savannah, I envision someone like Alexis Bledel from her Gilmore Girl Days in the role – she both looks the part and has the right personality:

 


As for who could portray Doctor Wesley Kent (swoon!), I actually had to think about this for a while. I could see someone like Ben Barnes in his post-Narnia days looking right for the role:

 

6. What is your current WIP?  What can you tell us about it?
The first, as mentioned, is THE COUNCIL OF NERETH, book two of the Nereth Trilogy. It’s a YA medieval historical fantasy – I’m really looking forward to taking my readers back to the land of Nereth.

The second is a new romantic comedy, THE BEST MAN. I am having so much fun writing this lighthearted story!

The third is a YA paranormal romance, BETWEEN. I actually wrote it years ago, and now I have pulled it off the shelf and started the polishing process.

Author Interview #2

1. What does “a day in the life of TJ Amberson” look like?
A day in the life of TJ Amberson is hard to predict! Some days, I’m at home writing, doing laundry, walking the dog, and making a run to the grocery store. Other days, I am heading to my “real” job. And somewhere in there, I try to fit in yard work, riding my bike or working out on the elliptical, and helping my husband with home renovation projects (thank goodness, he knows what he’s doing!).

2. Who are some of your favorite authors?  Do these authors inspire your own writing?
This question is a meaningful one to me. I’m deeply indebted to numerous authors for inspiring me both as a reader and as a writer over the years: L.M. Montgomery, Victor Hugo, Beverly Cleary, Jane Austen, Alexandre Dumas, Sophie Kinsella, Dan Brown, Charlotte Bronte, C.S. Lewis, Norton Juster, and Chris Van Allsburg, to name just a few. Since I was a child, a wide array of authors’ works have captivated and taught me, made me laugh and cry, and inspired my writing. And authors both new and old continue to entertain and enlighten me now.

3. What period of history interests you the most?  Does this influence your own writing?
Cool question! I don’t think there’s one period of history that captivates me more than all others. So if I could go back in time somehow, I would be in trouble because I don’t think I could choose! Thankfully, as an author who loves writing in several genres and voices, I get the chance to explore many different time periods, cultures, and settings, which is about the best of all worlds!

4. How many books have you written and in what genres?
My first published novel, THE KINGDOM OF NERETH, is a young adult medieval historical fantasy – I am in the process of finishing its sequel, THE COUNCIL OF NERETH, which I am very excited to publish at the end of this year, and then the final novel of the trilogy should be out in 2019. My second published novel, FUSION, is a contemporary, YA lite sci-fi action story, which is one of my favorites! My third published book was LOVE AT LAKEWOOD MED, a contemporary romantic comedy that centers around an emergency department. Meanwhile, I’m working on another romantic comedy, THE BEST MAN, and I’m polishing a manuscript that I wrote years ago, a YA paranormal romance, BETWEEN.

5. How important are the names of the characters in your novels?  How do you choose the names for your characters?  Do you have any name resources you would recommend?
For me, characters’ names are extremely important – I think that a name conveys so much about the “feel” of a character! I enjoy the process of choosing names, even though it can be an arduous task at times! I first research names that are appropriate for the novel’s setting and time period. I then do research to make sure that the name isn’t too common and that there isn’t already a famous person or character with the same name. I also like to make sure that the characters’ names in a book start with different letters of the alphabet, to add subtle variety.

6. When you are not writing, what other “hats” do you wear?
When I’m not wearing my author hat, I might be pretending to know how to garden, working in the emergency department, riding my bike, or hoping to find cheap plane tickets on the Internet.

Snippet #1

Danielle uses her fork to stab another strawberry out of her fruit salad. “Come on, you can’t tell me that working with someone as good looking as Doctor Kent isn’t going to help you enjoy this rotation a little bit.”
   “Are you kidding?” I exclaim. “You saw how he was at the orientation meeting yesterday. He’s completely devoid of personality.”
   “Devoid of personality or not, Doctor Kent is handsome.” Danielle gives me a wry smile. “At least your view at work will be nice.”

Snippet #2

Footsteps approach fast. An instant later, the drunk guy is ripped off of me by a person who is wearing dark scrubs. I collapse to the floor, shaking from adrenaline. Havoc continues directly above where I’m cowering. I crawl away from the stretcher and stagger to my feet. Turning around, I am met by the sight of Doctor Kent pinning the drunk guy down on the stretcher.

Snippet #3

 “The patient thinks she’s a hiccup,” I announce.
   Doctor Kent scratches his chin. “She has hiccups?”
   “No. She believes that she is a hiccup, and she states that she has been a hiccup for a long time. Oh, and she would like to go home.”
   He arches an eyebrow. “I see. Does she have any signs and symptoms of someone who is a hiccup?”
   I’m hit with a pulse of alarm. Doctor Kent isn’t kidding. Did I miss a class about patients being hiccups? Or is there a different meaning of ‘hiccup’ that I’m not thinking of? How—
   “I’m only messing with you.” Doctor Kent gets to his feet.
   “What?” I’m not sure whether to laugh or kill him. “You . . . you were . . .”
   “I’ll go give her my blessing so she can go home.”
   Doctor Kent heads off to Room Seven. I gaze after him. I have to admit that what he did was kind of funny. Actually, it was really funny.

Snippet #4

Next to me, Doctor Kent remains all business. He moves to my right side and carefully lifts me to a sitting position. The next thing I know, he has slung my arm over his shoulder, picked me up, and begun to carry me. At first, I’m too shell-shocked to do anything. But as I get rocked by the steady motion of his steps, weariness overcomes me, and I drop my aching head against his chest.

Guest Post #1: Balance

Thanks for the chance to join you on your blog!

Balance. How do we keep balance? This is a recurring theme in writing as in life, and I’m often asked something along the lines of how I keep sane as a writer, how I balance writing with the rest of my life, how I keep the creative juices flowing, etc.

These are great questions.

And, I realized long ago, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. What works well for one person may not work at all for another. So for whatever it’s worth, here are my thoughts on the topic:

I have found that allowing flexibility has been key for me. Some days, I am in the writing “zone” and can churn out tons of words on a manuscript that’s in-process. On other days, I am simply not in a “write new stuff” type of mood. And there are even occasional days when I don’t have the inclination to do anything writing-related.

For me, accepting instead of fighting this variability has kept the writing process fun and fresh, rather than making it a chore. On days when I’m in the “zone,” I go with it! On days when I don’t have creative juices flowing, I still stay productive by editing manuscripts, or doing book promotion and advertising. And on those occasional days when I want to step away from all things writing, I allow myself to do so. Granted, there are times when deadlines are looming – and there are times in life when you just have to hike up your britches and get ‘er done, whether you’re in the mood or not. But I surprisingly get more written, and better words written – and I get more done overall – when I allow myself to mix it up and step away when I need to, rather than trying to force creativity when it’s at a standstill.

Whatever your answer for finding balance, the key, of course, is making sure that you do what you need to do so writing remains a joy. Because that is what it’s all about.

Guest Post #2: Social Media

Thank you for allowing me to join you on your blog!

I thought I’d talk briefly about a topic that comes up a lot – not surprisingly, since it’s relevant to just about everyone: social media. As someone who entered the social media scene on the later end of things, I’m certainly no expert. But it doesn’t take an expert to recognize that social media has significant pros and cons. Nor does it take an expert to recognize that social media is now a mainstay in our culture, for good and bad.

This duality of social media holds true in the writing world. How grateful I am for social media, which has allowed me the wonderful opportunity to be in touch with my readers, as well as to advertise, network, and support other authors. Both for my independently published and traditionally published novels, social media has allowed me to share my love for reading and writing with audiences that I never would have reached otherwise.
My main social media tools are Facebook and my author website. (I’m just not cool enough to also do Instagram, Twitter, and whatever the latest social media thing is!)

Of course, almost everything has a downside. And social media is a glaring example. Great reviews and likes on social media have become essential to an author’s success, although this is not necessarily fair or right or accurate. And authors certainly are not superhuman – they can be negatively impacted by what is said online. In many respects, social media is “a necessary evil” for authors.

But I am thankful for social media, despite its shortcomings and significant flaws, because it has opened doors that I would never have been able to access otherwise.

Most importantly, though, I extend my immense thanks to my readers – the people who have supported me on social media. Your support is what really makes the difference. Your positive reviews, your heartwarming comments, and your ongoing enthusiasm means everything. Thank you, thank you!

Guest Post #3: Love

Thank you for letting me join you on your blog today!
Question: why do we love stories about love?
There is no question that stories about love captivate us.
Perhaps there’s no better example of how much we love stories about love than the books of Jane Austen.  Her novels have been cherished, quoted, and adored by thousands – all over the globe – for over 200 years. Her books have been made into movies and stage productions, which have gathered their own unfailing fan clubs. Austen’s tales have been the inspiration behind spin-offs, modern-day retellings, and countless other novels.
And beyond Austen, we can cite equally influential and adored love stories as penned by other great authors, such as Shakespeare, Bronte, and Hugo.
Certainly, the love of love is not limited to literature. Music is driven by love, too – love has been the inspiration behind songs for as long as music has been sung. And let’s not forget artwork, which is also often dedicated beautifully to the subject of love.
It’s apparent that this love affair with love has been ongoing for centuries, and it continues in full force today. Romantic comedies abound (hooray!) in literature, television shows, and movies. Pop music fills the radio with matters of the heart. Social media posts about love are frequent. And even grocery store checkout aisles display those gossipy magazines that are filled with stories about – you guessed it – celebrities’ love lives.
Why do we love stories about love?
Frankly, I’m not sure. Perhaps it is because love is one of the basic emotional needs that we all strive to fulfill. Perhaps it is because love – with its ups and downs – is something universally understood. Perhaps it is because it is one of those ties that bind, and stories about love speak to our souls as much as they do to our minds.
We may never understand completely why, but I am immensely thankful for the love of love stories. I love reading them. I love writing them. And I am grateful for the unfailing support of those who have loved my stories. Thank you!!

 

Giveaway

LaLM Book Blast Giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Book Blast Schedule

July 26-
Cafinated Reads
CherylBBookBlog
Wishful Endings
Paulette’s Papers
July 27-
Singing Librarian Books
Heidi Reads…
Why Not Because I Said So
July 28-
Life Is What It’s Called
Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic
Blooming with Books

SLB Tours Button for Team (1).png

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Helpful Tour Information

1. The book blast kit  for Love at Lakewood Med is now live.
2. The tour landing page will go live 11:30pm MT the night before the tour begins.
3. Have your posts up by 12 noon ET on your assigned day.
4. To help promote, please share posts links on social media sites, such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Please tag SLB when possible.  Thank you!

5. For those on Facebook, please also share your post in the team Facebook group.
6. If you are reviewing, please post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. as well as your blog.
7. When your blog post is live, please email me the link so I can update the tour landing page.  Thank you!

Tour Schedule and Assignments

July 26-Cafinated Reads (Book blast info + extras (Author Interview #1) | CherylBBookBlog (Just the book blast information) | Wishful Endings (Book blast info + extras (Snippet #1) | Paulette’s Papers (Book blast info + extras (Guest Post #1)
July 27-Singing Librarian Books (Book blast info + extras (Snippet #2) | Heidi Reads… (Book blast info + extras (Snippet #3) | Why Not Because I Said So (Book blast info + extras (Author Interview #2)
July 28-Life Is What It’s Called (Book blast info + extras (Guest Post #2) | Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic (Book blast info + extras (Snippet #4) | Blooming with Books (Book blast info + extras (Guest Post #3)

***Reminder: Those that signed up for “extras” have each been assigned a different blog post.

The Secret of Haversham House Tour Kit

The Secret of Haversham House Tour

About the Book

The Secret of Haversham House

Genre:  Christian, Fiction, Historical, Regency, Romance
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Publication date: June 12, 2018

Francesca Haversham is eighteen years old and about to step into a glittering future – all she has to do is secure her wealth with an advantageous marriage. Then she learns the truth:her entire identity is a lie. Now Francesca faces a horrible choice. Will she give up all she knows or continue to lie about her past and risk everything, including her heart?

GOODREADS | AMAZON

About the Author

MATERN Julie_author photo

Julie Matern is a resident of Utah. She attended the University of Exeter in Exeter, England, and graduated with a double major in French and Education. She was born and raised in England, moving to America after her marriage and is the mother of six children. She has served in the PTA for over 20 years, taught tap dance, and enjoys amateur photography. She is the author of ‘British War Children’ ( for which she received a “Recommended Read” award from the League of Utah Writers) and ‘British War Children 2: An Enemy Among Us’.

Hometown: Highland, UT

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE

Author Interview

(Insert the interview below via SLB Tours OR your own interview with the author)

1. If you could go to tea with any of the characters in The Secret of Haversham House, who would you go with and why?
Lady Augusta Haversham firstly, though she might refuse the invitation as I am a social ‘nobody’! I would ask her if she is lonely and whether her pride is worth the price of exclusion from her family. I would also ask her if she has any regrets about her own behavior.

Secondly, I would be very interested to talk to Antonio, Francesca’s birth father, about how he felt when he learned that he had a daughter and all the emotions it stirred up and if he was angry about the contract they made him sign.
I think I might also like to go to tea with Mario and ask what he really thought of Giorgio’s revelation about a secret granddaughter and the search for her.

2. Did you travel to gather research for The Secret of Haversham House?  If so, where did you go? If not, what did you do to gather your research for this story?
I travel to England frequently to visit family and I have lived in France twice and often pop over when I am in England. So my research has been conducted over a lifetime. I have been to Italy once but a daughter spent time there on a study abroad and shared her love of it. In terms of research of the language style, I read Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskill and watch lots of period dramas.

3. What did your writing process look like for The Secret of Haversham House?
This was my first book for adults and though I was careful not to write down to the middle grade readers obviously, the language for an adult regency book needed to be of a higher level. Also, the number of characters was much greater (necessitating some family group sheets and family trees to keep it all straight!) and the plot was more complex. I am not an extensive planner when I write (though many authors are). I know the end and perhaps the middle but then I let the story write itself. It can surprise me and is an exciting way to write. The characters are like this to some extent too. I write a bio of each character for reference at the beginning but they often change during the course of the novel and I have to go back and edit the bio. I also often write amidst lots of noise and activity. I am drawn into the writing so much that I am able to block the disturbance out, fortunately, which means I can be in the middle of my family while writing and not closeted away.

4. What inspired the idea for The Secret of Haversham House?
Social class. It is still alive and well in England but not to the extent it was in this period. One day I wondered what would happen to a person who discovered that they were actually from a much lower class. Would it change the way friends and family treated them? I decided it would and thus a main character with a secret past was born.

5. What did you as a writer take away from writing The Secret of Haversham House?
When I started the novel I did not know that Phillip was going to experience an emotional crisis. His reaction to Francesca’s heritage showed me that we all might have hidden prejudices that we only discover when circumstances tease them out. I also firmly believe that through Christ we can overcome all and any prejudices.

6. What is your current WIP?  What can you share with us about this project?
Arranged marriage was obviously the standard during this period. Jane Austen’s writings show us that marrying for love was an often unattainable wish. It is a concept so foreign to our culture that I wanted to examine it. In order to do this, I created a character who is thrust into different households as a governess. She experiences the difficulties of arranged marriage as an observer. I plan on writing a third novel from the viewpoint of the bride of an arranged marriage.​

Guest Post

Book Covers

Book covers are somewhat of a science, incredibly. I recently took a class at a writer’s conference where the presenter shared a story about an author who was having moderate sales of a book and then changed the cover, after researching popular covers in the genre, and how the sales soared. Covers matter.

My publisher creates the covers of their author’s books. They asked me some questions about the plot and the main character and what I might like depicted on the cover. They also explained that I would not have the final say, though my input would be considered. Then the graphic designer created the cover. Fortunately, I loved it immediately. If I had not liked it I would have been able to say why and they would have again considered my opinions but that does not mean it would have been changed. Like I said, it’s a science and they are the professionals in that area and I trust them.

If you do a quick search of the genre on Amazon, most of the covers have a photo of a girl in period dress on them so mine fits right in with what is trending.

 

Making Characters Believable

This may be the crux of a book’s success or failure. For me, this will be an evolving skill throughout my career as a writer. The key is to get your readers to engage with your character in such a way that they are compelled to keep reading. How do you do that? The reader must either relate to the character through a shared experience, sympathize with them or really like/hate them.

When I am editing I ask myself some questions; Is this action consistent with the character I have created? Would the character speak this way? Is this character unrealistically good? All people have faults – what are theirs?

I took a writing class on secrets. The presenter emphasized the power of secrets on the reader. The secret can be something the reader does not know until later in the novel, or a secret that the reader knows but the character does not. If your reader has bonded with your character then they will have an emotional response if they know something the character does not. It can be a powerful tool that I hope I employed successfully in The Secret of Haversham House.

 

5 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before

In no particular order-

 

  1. Writing isn’t just about writing any more.

 

I had no idea how much the publishing industry had changed because of the internet. (Yep, I’m old!). When I first started out, before I had anything more than an idea for a plot, I took an adult education class at a local college by a visiting presenter and came back absolutely overwhelmed. I had thought I was going to a class about how to write a book and found out it was really a class about how to market the book you have written. I almost gave up as this was not really what I wanted to sign up for. I decided just to write the book and worry about the other stuff later. I entered my book into a local contest which meant joining my local writer’s chapter. This was a gift. I was with like minded strangers who were hiking the same path as me and once a month they had education classes on the whole industry. It has been invaluable.

I won third place in the contest! (we had self-published and made mistakes on the formatting and done the cover ourselves – these were the main critiques)  This was the validation I needed that I could write. Then I had the courage to take the plunge into the marketing side.

It has been five years and I still feel like a marketing novice but I am continuing to learn new things all the time.

  1. You feel like a fraud.

It’s called the ‘Imposter Syndrome’. It’s a real thing and there are studies about it. When I grabbed my courage by the throat and attended my first writer’s meeting I felt way out of my league. I almost didn’t go back. These people were real writers (or so I thought) and I was just a pretender. After attending several meetings and meeting a few of the other members I learned that  many of them had not published anything. That didn’t mean they were not writers.

Jennifer A Nielsen author of ‘The False Prince’ gave the keynote at the second writer’s conference I attended. It was a game changer for me. She gave the most inspiring pep talk ever and really boosted my confidence. Then she showed us the pile of rejection letters she had received when trying to get her book published. She had felt like a fraud once!

  1. You can spend a lot of money.

If you have a ton of money then spend away. Most people don’t so I would caution you to be careful with your precious funds.

I self published my first book on a shoestring. Three web-site domains that were $15 each, I incorporated by creating an LLC and the license cost approx $40. I designed the cover and we used KDP to upload the e-book and Createspace for the hard copy which are both free. So for around $100 my first book went live. My initial goal was just to publish a book. For $100 I achieved that goal and it was a great feeling. Did I make any money on it? Nope. But that was not my initial goal.

Here’s some ways you can spend money to improve your chances of making money on your book:

 

  • Pay an editor. The price here can vary but it’s not cheap. This is valuable if you don’t have the best grammar and are worried about plot holes etc…
  • Pay a cover designer. Again the price can vary widely. If you send your finished manuscript to a publisher they may not use your cover.
  • Pay someone to design your web-site and pay to have someone maintain it.
  • Pay for FB or other social media advertising.
  • Hire an agent to sell your book to publishers.
  • Buy promotional products to give away.

 

  1. You’ll make lots of new friends

If you are an introvert you may not see this as a perk! Joining writer’s groups and attending writer’s conferences are great ways to meet new people who are like-minded. The conference I attend has evening social activities for those from out of town who are staying at hotels near the conference.

  1. Critiques can be harsh

I have a critique partner who is a close friend who is an author. She is kind in her critiques.

My writer’s group moved closer to me so I thought I would try their critique session. There were not many in attendance that night so I was not put with people who write in my genre. They were brutal. I was a mess. I had already had my manuscript for Haversham House accepted by this point and I was still a mess at their harsh critique.

 

10 Things you didn’t know ( and maybe didn’t want to know) about Julie Matern

 

  • I was born and raised in England.
  • My name was going to be Victoria as my maternal grandfather died just before I was born and his name was Victor.
  • I attended an all girls high school from age 11. We had a very strict uniform. At the beginning of each school year the teachers checked our uniforms to make sure they were to code. They even measured the height of our heels. They couldn’t be higher than 2”. I credit that school with giving me the best of educations and helping me believe that I could become anything.
  • I love dogs. I have had 7 dogs during my life. My current dog is a Golden Retriever named Duchess.
  • I was a tap dance teacher for 7 years.
  • I love amateur photography. I cannot do it for money as I become neurotic that the pictures won’t be good enough and drive myself and my husband crazy!
  • I sew. I sew clothes, curtains, baby bedding and table runners.
  • Thrillers and detective novels are my guilty pleasure. I have subscribed to the Reader’s  Digest edited books for decades. This is how I read my thrillers and detective books – edited.
  • I am the mother of twins. Double trouble and double the fun. I have six children and three grandchildren.
  • I hate running. Like really hate it. I could dance for three hours straight but I can’t run to the end of the block.

 

10 Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book

  1. The view from the villa in Grasse, France is the view from my apartment when I worked there one summer. I pulled back the shutters ( all French homes have them) and just gasped. 
  2. Septimus Sladden is an actual ancestor of mine. It was such a delicious name I had to use it. Although the actual man was not a vicar the name seemed to suggest that profession to me. 
  3. I have been to Italy but only to Rome. The movie, ‘A Room with a view’ was my inspiration for Giorgio’s empire. 
  4. The first manuscript was full of dates. Then one day I realized that the French Revolution might prevent some of my events and after further research I took out all the dates so that the timeline was more vague. 
  5. My first two books were historical fiction for ages 8-13. There was a small cast of characters so keeping track of them was easy. Not so with this book. Every new event seemed to call for new characters and in the end I had to put them on a genealogical tree and fill out family group sheets for each family to keep them straight. I also had a bio sheet for each character for reference. 
  6. Many of my ancestors are from Wiltshire which made it a good choice for Haversham House. Having been raised in London myself and taking every opportunity to visit the places of interest I think I’ll have to set a future novel there. 
  7. The idea of arranged marriage is a very foreign notion to our culture but quite standard for the upper classes of that period. I am fascinated by it. Francesca’s paternal grandparents, though both selfish and egotistical have managed to build a workable relationship when we first meet them. It makes me wonder how many people were able to be happy in such forced unions? It is a topic I will continue to prod in future novels. 
  8. I do not need a quiet place to write and I am able write in snippets if that’s all the time I have. This year I opened a fortune cookie and this was inside: (picture) ( I’ll send it in a separate email as I can’t figure out how to insert it here on my phone. Hopefully you can make that magic happen!)
  9. I thought perhaps Augusta Haversham was too unrealistically awful and that no one would treat their granddaughter that badly but I am part of a closed FB group and not long after I created Augusta someone shared a true story about how awful her mother was to her and I decided perhaps Augusta wasn’t unrealistic but that I was just blessed to be part of a great family!
  10. I must confess that I have never dated anyone as heartless as Mr Ashbourne. My husband is definitely a Phillip!

Snippet

Francesca stopped breathing as Mr. Ashbourne gently took her gloved hand in his and expertly spun her around the room, leaving her former partner spluttering at the lack of manners, in the center of the dance floor. She became dizzy at the realization that Mr. Ashbourne was actually dancing with her. After several turns, he lowered his head and whispered into her ear, his nose tickling her skin and sending a thrill up her spine, causing a delicious sensation in her midriff. “Are you unwell?” he asked. “You look faint.” She recovered herself and observed that he had a playful smile on his lips, fully aware of the power his presence had on young ladies. Not wanting to appear as inexperienced as she really was, she blurted out, “Oh no, you merely surprised me, that is all.” “Then I shall take pleasure in surprising you whenever I can as it only serves to heighten your beauty!” Francesca’s cheeks burned under his scrutiny and she bent her neck to avoid his piercing gaze and gather her confused thoughts.

Review

(Insert review here)

Giveaway

TSoHH Tour Giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

Tour Landing Page

July 23-The Power of Words | Paulette’s Papers
July 24-Life is What It’s Called | Encouraging Words From the Tea Queen | Blooming with Books
July 25-Pause for Tales | Reading Is My SuperPower | Singing Librarian Books
July 26-Heidi Reads… Bookworm Lisa | Why Not? Because I Said So!
July 27-Remembrancy | Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic 
July 28-Edits and Reviews by Leslie | Jorie Loves A Story​

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____________________________________________________________________________________________

Helpful Tour Information

1. The tour kit  for The Secret of Haversham House is now live.
2. The tour landing page will go live 11:30pm MT the night before the tour begins.
3. Have your posts up by 12 noon ET on your assigned day.
4. To help promote, please share posts links on social media sites, such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Please tag SLB when possible.  Thank you!

5. For those on Facebook, please also share your post in the team Facebook group.
6. If you are reviewing, please post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. as well as your blog.
7. When your blog post is live, please email me the link so I can update the tour landing page.  Thank you!

Tour Schedule and Assignments

July 23-The Power of Words (Review) | Paulette’s Papers (Spotlight (no review))
July 24-Life is What It’s Called (Review, Author Interview (you ask the questions)) | Encouraging Words From the Tea Queen (Review, Author Interview (via SLB), 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Guest post (pre-made by author) (Book Covers)) | Blooming with Books (Review, Author Interview (you ask the questions), Snippet)
July 25-Pause for Tales (Review) | Reading Is My SuperPower (Review) | Singing Librarian Books (Spotlight (no review), Author Interview (via SLB), Guest post (pre-made by author) (Making Characters Believeable), 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet)
July 26-Heidi Reads… (Spotlight (no review), Snippet) | Bookworm Lisa (Review, Snippet) | Why Not? Because I Said So! (Review, Author Interview (via SLB), Snippet)
July 27-Remembrancy (Review, Guest post (pre-made by author) (5 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before)) | Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic (Spotlight (no review), 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet)
July 28-Edits and Reviews by Leslie (Spotlight (no review), Author Interview (via SLB), Guest post (pre-made by author) (10 Things you didn’t know ( and maybe didn’t want to know) about Julie Matern), Snippet) | Jorie Loves A Story​ (Review, Author Interview (you ask the questions))

Building a Life Tour Kit

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About the Book

Building a Life

Genre:  Inspirational, LDS, Romance
Publisher: Books You Can Trust
Publication date: May 8, 2018

Sara Castleton resolved to make better choices now that there was a new life growing inside her. When her husband, Peter, plowed through that stop sign and left this world, he left a mess behind. Picking up the pieces of her shattered life and finishing the house Peter started could be the answer to her future, but she needed help.
When Nicholas Bradford was asked to step into Sara’s unfinished house project, he reluctantly agreed. He didn’t always see eye-to-eye with Peter’s friends and business associates, but one look at his pregnant widow and Nick couldn’t say no.
Before they know it, they aren’t just building a house, they’re Building a Life.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

About the Author

lauraine-henderson-1_orig

Lauraine lives with her husband, dog and cat on 68 acres of woodland 40 miles north of Portland, Oregon. After growing up in Oregon, they moved their family of three children to Utah. From there they moved to Hawaii and Arizona, finally coming back to Oregon in 2015. Their three children, two girls and a boy, are all grown and live across the United States. After being a professional bookkeeper for over twenty years, she turned her hobby of writing into her first published novel in 2016. She loves to write inspirational romance and hopes her readers will be both entertained and uplifted by her stories. When she’s not writing, she loves to paint (watercolors, oils, and acrylics), sew, knit, crochet, and read (of course!).

 FACEBOOK | BLOG | AMAZON

Author Interview via SLB

(Or insert your interview below.)

1. What kind of research do you do?
I’m still in the phase of writing what I know. I’ve been around awhile so there is still a lot in my life to draw from. J How long do you spend researching a book before you begin writing? Any research I do I usually do as needed. If I have a question about a medical condition, for example, I Google it while I’m writing and then use the information I discover when it’s appropriate.

2. What does your writing process look like?
I struggle with making time to write every day, so I have participated in NaNoWriMo twice and have had great success writing that way. It gets me going and committed to writing at least a little every day. Other than that, it seems like I can’t focus on writing until the dishes, laundry, and my other part time job are done. Once of these days, I plan to put writing first. Once I’m in the groove, it’s hard to stop, but I always take time out for my family.
In the sense of how a book comes to fruition, I write the rough draft, send it out to critique partners, revise, revise, and revise some more. Then I hire a professional editor, revise some more, and then work on cover art, back cover copy, and book description. Finally it’s ready for publishing.

3. Do you have a day job?
I have a very part time bookkeeping job for a company in Hawaii that I used to work full time for. I work from home and remote into their computers. It’s a little silly because I only work one day a week for a couple hours, but I like to keep the connection to Hawaii. Do you like it? I’m a bit weary of bookkeeping. I’ve done it for over 30 years. Writing is much more fun!  Does it ever get in the way of your writing? Not really. I don’t have enough work for it to get in the way.

4. Do you enjoy book signings?
I’ve only been to one book signing and it was a mass signing at a writer’s conference. Honestly, it was more interesting talking with authors whose books I’ve read than the actual book signing. It would be interesting to do a book signing at a book store. I still think it’s kind of funny that anyone would want my autograph.

5. What of your books was first to get published?  How did it feel when you finally had your first book published?  What did you do to celebrate?
My first published book is called The Triple-Date Dare.

Since I published it myself, it was a quiet press of the computer key that finally published the book on Amazon. I was adequately stupefied. It all seemed so unreal until I met other authors who were just normal people like me, and I realized I could be part of that community.

It was in the middle of the Christmas holiday season, so my celebration was limited to acknowledging the event at dinner and lots of support from my family and friends. I did a big post on Facebook, though!

6. What inspired the idea for Building a Life?
My husband is a builder and I’ve been surrounded by building ever since we met over 40 years ago. He’s told me for years that I could probably run a building project since I’ve been involved in the building of so many of my own homes. The actual story came to me suddenly while I was on my way home from work when we lived in Hawaii. I remember the exact place in the road when I had the thought. I firmly believe Heavenly Father helps me come up with story ideas. It truly just popped into my head.

7. What did you as a writer take away from writing Building a Life?
I wrote this book during a NaNoWriMo month. Every day I sat down at the computer and although I had a general outline, the details of the story were vague to begin. As I would write, the characters took the story line in their own hands and I simply followed. There are many parts to this story that I feel wrote themselves. That’s the miracle of writing for me and this book amazed me in that way. Every book isn’t that way, but I love the writing process and the inspiration that comes as the story unfolds.

8. What is your current WIP? What can you share with us about it?
My current WIP is called Daisies in the Driveway.  It’s about two unrelated grandchildren who take over their grandparents’ bed and breakfast and campground so the grandparents can retire and get married. The story centers around the younger generation learning the ins and outs of running the Inn and the campground and the various problems along the way as they fall in love with each other.

10 Behind the Scenes Facts about the Book

1. My husband, a builder by trade, built two houses for us during the writing and revision process of this book. To make sure I had the facts right, I would sometimes stop him in the middle of working on our house to clarify details.

2. Nick’s two soccer goals in the book were taken directly from my son’s high school soccer experience as a center forward. Nick’s love of the game beyond high school and college stemmed from my husband’s experience playing on a city league when we were dating.

3. Nick’s neglected drafting table in his home office was a salute to my late father-in-law who was a professional draftsman before the days of computer aided drafting programs.

4. Brenda’s house that screamed with bright light was originally supposed to be a house that was immersed in darkness. I had stayed with some friends who lived with the drapes drawn, the blinds closed, and the TV room dark like a theater and found it terribly oppressing. I thought it played well into her dark nature, but I was afraid this friend would see themselves in the book if they read it and changed it to the opposite. I felt it still worked well, showing Brenda as a woman who lived in fear of the dark instead of embracing it.

5. Nick getting beat up was a complete surprise until the day I wrote the scene. In my notes and outline, there was no mention of Nick being attacked. When the story headed that direction, I followed along, interested in seeing where it would go. I was impressed by how well it fit into the story.

6. I didn’t dwell on the many opportunities for complications during the birth of Sara’s baby, but the part where she held Nick’s hand and squeezed it so hard she almost broke his fingers happened for real during the birth of my second child. It was my first natural delivery and my husband shook out his hand and offered two fingers for me to squeeze instead so I would hurt him. It’s amazing how much strength a woman delivering a baby has!

7. Nick and Josh’s experience with the welcoming attitude of people in the LDS church when they were investigating various churches was much like every ward I’ve ever visited or moved into. I wanted to show the openness that the church demonstrates to people who are new.

8. When Sara described Nick’s maneuvering in the trusses as a slow dance, it was exactly how I feel watching my husband when he sets trusses on a house. When the crane operator knows what they’re doing, it can be as smooth as I made it sound and just as riveting.

9. The name of Peter’s friend, Mitch, was just a name when I started writing the book. During the course of revision, I met someone named Mitch who turned out to be the boyfriend of the daughter of people who were living with us. (another story). While I was describing the storyline to the mom of the daughter (to pass the time while we painted the house), Mitch (the boyfriend) joined us. I immediately apologized for the name and explained that the Mitch in the story wasn’t a good guy. He reassured me it was okay and kind of liked the idea that his namesake was the bad guy.

10. Nick’s smile is a direct correlation to Josh Turner’s smile on the cover of his album Haywire. It’s a breathtaking sight to behold and truly swoon-worthy! (Or you can watch the video of Josh’s song Firecracker for more of that Hollywood smile.)

Snippet

She thought of Brenda. No, she couldn’t. Brenda drove her crazy. She still wasn’t sure her in-laws realized she wasn’t moving in with them. Her mind automatically landed on Nick. She could call him. He would take her to the hospital. She wasn’t sure she should be driving anyway. If she had a contraction on the way to the hospital, she could get in an accident. She shivered. She tapped Nick’s speed dial number.

He picked up on the first ring.

“Sara,” he started. “I’m sorry. I mean, I’m not sorry I kissed you. I’ve wanted to kiss you for a long time, but I’m sorry I didn’t give you more warning or whatever, so you were prepared and didn’t think I was kissing you to prove a point. I know you were upset, and I was trying to be supportive, and I heard what Mitch said and it worried me, and I was trying to comfort you, and I just got carried away when you were talking about Peter, and I just don’t want you to think I was trying to take advantage of you because I wouldn’t do that. I really do care about you.”

Finally, he took a breath.

“Good,” she said with a glimmer of a smile after his rambling, “because I need your help, again.”

“Sure, anything. What can I do for you?”

“I need a ride.”

“Did your car break down? Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. I’m at home, but I can’t drive. I’m in labor.”

“Oh,” He paused. “Oh! I’ll be right there!” The line went dead and Sara smiled, knowing she had called the right person. Regardless of where things stood at the moment, she knew Nick would take care of her.

Review

(Insert review here.)

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Giveaway

Building a Life Tour Giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway includes the winner’s choice of an e-copy (International) or autographed signed print copy (US only) of the book.  Giveaway ends 11:59pm MT on July 21st.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

July 16-Heidi Reads…
July 17-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic
July 18-Singing Librarian Books
July 19-Wishful Endings
July 20-Jorie Loves A Story
July 21-Reading is My SuperPower

SLB Tours Button for Team

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Helpful Tour Information

1. The tour kit  for Building a Life is now live.
2. The tour landing page will go live 11:30pm MT the night before the tour begins.
3. Have your posts up by 12 noon ET on your assigned day.
4. To help promote, please share posts links on social media sites, such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Please tag SLB when possible.  Thank you!

5. For those on Facebook, please also share your post in the team Facebook group.
6. If you are reviewing, please post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. as well as your blog.
7. When your blog post is live, please email me the link so I can update the tour landing page.  Thank you!

Tour Schedule and Assignments

July 16-Heidi Reads… (Spotlight, Snippet)
July 17-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic (Spotlight, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet)
July 18-Singing Librarian Books (Spotlight, Author Interview (via SLB), 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet)
July 19-Wishful Endings (Spotlight, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet)
July 20-Jorie Loves A Story (Author Interview (you ask the questions), 10 behind the scenes facts about the book)
July 21-Reading is My SuperPower (Spotlight, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book)

The Last Summer Tour Kit

The Last Summer Tour

About the Book

The Last Summer

Genre:  Contemporary, Inspirational, Romance
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Publication date: June 2017

A group of seven friends navigate relationships and personal growth during a season of change.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

About the Author

Bruceauthorphoto (1)

Brandy Bruce is a mom, a wife, a book editor, an author, and someone who really loves dessert. She’s the author of the award-winning novel The Last Summer, Looks Like Love, and The Romano Family Collection. Brandy, her husband, and their children make their home in Colorado.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | BLOG

 

Author Interview via SLB

1. What does your writing process look like?
I write as the story comes to me. I don’t usually create outlines; sometimes I’ll list out things that I know need to happen in the story (or to help me keep track of my timeline). Usually, I write the story in order, but often one or two scenes will come to me out of order and I’ll jot those down to add in later.

2. If you could travel anywhere in the world for book research (no cost to you), where would you go and why?
England! I’ve been once before and loved it so much. Also, I love writing about travel. My novel Looks Like Love involves a trip to Europe, and I hope to eventually write another book that includes travel.

3. What does “a day in the life of Brandy Bruce” look like?
My children trickling into my bed, one by one—usually by 7:30 a.m. Then everyone starts begging for breakfast, and my husband and I have to get up. It’s summer now, so our days are pretty low-key. My husband heads to his office, and the kids and I do whatever we’ve got planned for the day. (This usually involves playing in the backyard and eating ice pops.) Lots of snacks and sunblock happen—then finally Jeff comes home. We eat dinner early at our house, usually by five o’clock. Then Jeff and I switch off, and I work on whatever freelance edits or writing projects I have going on before we tag-team bedtime for the kiddos.

4. If you were to go to lunch with one of the characters from The Last Summer, who would it be and why?
I’d choose Sara. She’s my favorite out of the gang, and I think we’d get along well. Also, we both really like California Pizza Kitchen. That’s where we’d go.

5. What inspired you to write The Last Summer?
I was in college when the story came to me. It’s a time when friendship is paramount, and that’s why it’s a huge theme in the book. All seven of the main characters came to me almost at once.

6. What did you as a writer take away from writing The Last Summer?
That friendships change as we grow older and enter different seasons of life. And that when it comes to real-life love stories, no one is perfect. That’s where grace comes in.

7. What is your current WIP?  What can you share about this project with us?
We’re going through the proofs for the follow-up book to The Last Summer. (Squeals with happiness!) I’m so excited about this next novel. It’s slated to release early February 2019 and I’ve poured my heart and soul into it.

10 Behind-the-Scenes Facts

about The Last Summer’s Texas Setting

  1. The museum’s Pink-Floyd-laser-light-show date that Sara goes on was inspired by one of my first dates with my husband! He planned the whole date and we went to the Spaghetti Warehouse (which was also a place my parents went to when they were dating) and then the laser light show at the very same museum. Best. Date. Ever.
  2. Bodegas, the restaurant near the museum where Sara and her friend Wendy like to eat, is a real restaurant very near the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
  3. I wrote the scene about the gas station barbeque because there’s truly a gas station in Texas that serves amazing barbeque. (There are probably hundreds actually!) The food in Texas can’t be beat.
  4. Sara and her girlfriends go eat doughnuts at Shipley’s. Shipley’s is my favorite doughnut chain in Texas. I am still devastated that there are no Shipley’s in Colorado. For the longest time, no one I knew in Colorado had ever even heard of kolaches! What in the world. I grew up eating sausage kolaches and chocolate-iced doughnuts at Shipley’s Donuts, and every time I’m in Texas, finding a Shipley’s is a must.
  5. The Lake Shore Woods lake house was inspired by a real lake house out in East Texas. My best friend and I stayed there for a weekend years ago and I remember loving how woodsy and beautiful the area was, and thinking that I was going use that setting in a book too.
  6. Sara goes shopping in The Woodlands at a place called Market Street and it’s an area I love to go to whenever I’m back in town—lots of fun restaurants and shops and a movie theater.
  7. There’s a scene where the gang are all hanging out in Hermann hospital waiting room and one of the characters, Debra, brings in several sacks of Whataburger meals. Which is Texas to a T.
  8. I mention Dickens’ on the Strand at Christmastime in the book. This is a real festival in Galveston, Texas, held in late November/early December. It’s a Charles Dickens-esque Christmas celebration with people in costumes and a parade and carolers and street vendors. My grandmother was the one who first told me about it. She and her best girlfriends loved to go to Dickens’ on the Strand together.
  9. When describing Sara’s parents’ house in the affluent Willow Heights area, I mention the azalea bushes by the back deck. This stemmed from the trail of azaleas in Houston’s River Oaks section. It’s a beautiful area with stately homes and during azalea season, you can drive through and see what they call the trail of azaleas. My dad used to drive us through River Oaks when I was a little girl.
  10. As you can probably tell, I love Texas. I was born in Houston and lived there, then Conroe, Texas, and then Porter—both on the outskirts of the city—until I went away to college in Virginia. All of my extended family still live there and whenever I step off the plane and feel the humidity and heat of Texas—and see all the belt buckles and cowboy hats and T-shirts that say, “Most likely to Secede”—I know I’m home again. The places in the book that I didn’t create, such as the museum district and The Woodlands and San Jacinto, are all real places that I’ve touched and experienced. And from the sweet tea the girls drink to the tomato plants Addison grows, these little details come from real-life in Texas.

Guest Post: Everybody Loves Jason

I’ve had people ask about the inspiration behind the characters in The Last Summer and while I love talking about the group of friends, truth be told, they came to me so long ago that it’s hard to remember the original inspiration! Almost all seven friends came to me at once. The book was always meant to be a story about friendship. Every member of the group is essential. But over time, as I reworked and rewrote the story, the characters became more developed, and I can definitely see some glimpses of who and what inspired the people they became.
I’ve said before that the image of Sara in my mind looks a lot like my sister, who happens to be named Sara! 😊 My sister is elegant and introspective and great at design. I think I put some of my own characteristics into her as well (mainly my love for Diet Dr Pepper and tacos). So, in some ways, Sara’s character is a bit of a blend of me and my sister. Jason is another one who is clearly defined for me. I have a cousin named Jason, who happens to have tattoos and dark hair and he’s Hispanic (so am I!) and he’s funny and delightful.
I’ll be honest, I’m pretty sure Luke was heavily influenced by an early Brad Pitt (think Legends of the FallA River Runs Through It, and Oceans 11). Not a bad place to start, if you ask me! As time went on, Luke started to look a lot like Chris Hemsworth to me (aka Thor). Everett’s character, while not really a member of the group, also came to me almost from the beginning and was essential, of course. As I worked through his character, in my mind he started to look a lot like Henry Cavill (also known as Superman).
To me, all the characters bring to the table something that adds to who they are as a group. The insecurity and yet elegance of Sara; the sweetness and levelheadedness of Addison; the Southern sarcasm and loyalty of Lily; the swagger and flirtatiousness of Jason; the easygoing, along-for-the-ride person who is Sam; and the calm, dedicated, a-bit-hard-to-read (intriguing) Luke. Then you add in the charm and boyishness of Everett, and you’ve got a story.
One thing I found to be unexpected and great was that as we were going through the editing process, I had two lovely girls as my editors. When I’d read their comments, I kept seeing “Team Jason!” or “Team Everett here!” or “Team Luke!”, which I thought was hilarious. I loved how invested they were. I honestly think I saw “Team Jason!” the most. And when feedback started rolling in from other authors who read the book for endorsements, I started hearing again how much people enjoyed Jason. He seemed to be a favorite among the group. He’s a favorite of mine too.
I mainly just love the idea of a group of friends who love each other like family. That sense of community—that you always have people who will show up for you. In The Last Summer, that perfect circle of friendship gets a bit fractured, and I think that’s a mirror of real life too. Friendships change over time and as people move into different seasons of life. I think lots of people have certain groups of people during specific times in life. You’ve got your college friends, then young marrieds or maybe work colleagues, then often, you find yourself looking for fellow moms and dads to be friends with. Church groups, neighbors, friends at work—it helps to have community to lean on and help each other. But people change, sometimes they move away, and sometimes friends just drift apart. All of that is normal and part of life. Sometimes this can hurt more than others, and I explore a little of that in The Last Summer. The beauty of friendship and the push and pull of life changing.
One thing I think a lot of readers don’t know about is the Pinterest board I created for the book. I love Pinterest boards for writers. It’s a great place to gather photos that help you visualize your characters or settings. My Pinterest board is where I gathered photos of actors who look like my characters, quotes, images of lake houses that are what I envision for the book, and pictures from the book launch gathering. So hop over and take a look and get to know these characters even better! (The specific Pinterest board is called ‘book launch for The Last Summer.)
The follow-up novel releases in early February next year, so now is the perfect time to read The Last Summer!

Meme

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Snippet

They all exchanged looks around the table. I felt like they were having this private conversation and hoped the conclusion would be that they wanted me. Because there was something special about the people at this table. The way they kidded and joked and touched each other and moved like one breathing organism. The way they did seem like a family. Six people connected to each other. I wanted to be the seventh.

“I have a feeling, Sara Witherspoon,” Addison said, tilting her head to the side and studying me as though she could see all the way to my heart, “you belong too.”

I don’t know how she knew, but she did. Like I said, Addison is the leader. She’s the glue. Once she said those words, all tension melted away, and I was included. If Addison said I belonged, I did. She reminded me of Melanie Wilkes in Gone with the Wind. If Mrs. Wilkes was the cool-headed voice of reason that could settle the chaos around her, Addison was that same strong, trusted constant amid these six friends. Her word was law. And from that day forward, the six people around that table at Isabella’s became like six extensions of myself.

We were a circle. Within a month, Jason asked me to go out to dinner with him. Luke hadn’t shown any romantic interest in me, and there was Jason, with that thick, dark hair and playful personality and handful of tattoos on his olive skin—how could I say no? We started dating. A year after that, we

broke up. As much as I truly liked Jason and couldn’t help feeling attracted to him, I hadn’t fallen in love. I couldn’t picture us married and having babies. We were better as friends. I know Jason didn’t agree, but he and I both refused to let our break up damage the circle. Eventually, things between us returned to normal.

During my dating-Jason phase, Sam and Lily got married, which didn’t really change anything since they were already such a unit. I realized early on that Luke and Debra were never an item. I’d mistaken Debra’s warm and friendly demeanor and Luke’s tendency to be protective and kind as the traits

of a dating couple, but those endearing qualities of both of them extended to all of us. My crush on Luke diminished as Jason and I dated and then shifted to ‘just friends.’

Sort of.

And somewhere along the way, painfully, Luke and I became best friends.

Review

(Insert your review here.)

Giveaway

TLS summer pack giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway package includes the following: summer swag (beach towl, flip flops, sunglasses, bookmark, and candy) & winner’s choice of a print or e-copy of the book.

Giveaway open to US residents only and ends 11:59pm MT on July 21st.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

July 16-Jorie Loves A Story | Joy of Reading  | amandainpa
July 17- Paulette’s Papers  | The Power of Words
July 18-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic | Pause for Tales | Among the Reads
July 19-Book by Book | Edits and Reviews by Leslie | The Green Mockingbird
July 20-Heidi Reads… | Reading Is My SuperPower | Why Not? Because I Said So!
July 21-Remembrancy | Katie’s Clean Book Collection

SLB Tours Button for Team

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Helpful Tour Information

1. The tour kit  for The Last Summer is now live.
2. The tour landing page will go live 11:30pm MT the night before the tour begins.
3. Have your posts up by 12 noon ET on your assigned day.
4. To help promote, please share posts links on social media sites, such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Please tag SLB when possible.  Thank you!

5. For those on Facebook, please also share your post in the team Facebook group.
6. If you are reviewing, please post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. as well as your blog.
7. When your blog post is live, please email me the link so I can update the tour landing page.  Thank you!

Tour Schedule and Assignments

July 16-Jorie Loves A Story (Review) | Joy of Reading (Spotlight (no review), 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet)  | amandainpa (Review)
July 17- Paulette’s Papers (Spotlight (no review), Snippet)  | The Power of Words (Review)
July 18-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic (Spotlight (no review), 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet) | Pause for Tales (Review) | Among the Reads (Review, Guest Post Provided by the Author, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book)
July 19-Book by Book (Review, Author Interview (via SLB), Guest Post Provided by the Author, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet) | Edits and Reviews by Leslie (Spotlight (no review), Author Interview (via SLB), Guest Post Provided by the Author, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet) | The Green Mockingbird (Review)
July 20-Heidi Reads… (Review, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book, Snippet) | Reading Is My SuperPower (Spotlight (no review), 10 behind the scenes facts about the book) | Why Not? Because I Said So! (Spotlight (no review), Guest Post Provided by the Author, Snippet)
July 21-Remembrancy (Review, 10 behind the scenes facts about the book) | Katie’s Clean Book Collection (Review)

 

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