Girls Write Out
Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Driftwood Lane

Meridith Ward has crafted a carefully ordered life to make up for the chaos that plagued her childhood years. 

But one phone call upsets all that. Her father who abandoned her is dead, and she's been named the sole guardian of his other three children. She nervously heads to Nantucket to care for the siblings she's never met with plans to stay until their uncle returns from his trip before relinquishing guardianship to him.

She arrives to find the children living in Summer House, a Bed & Breakfast that's falling apart around them. Meridith wants to move on as soon as possible, but the inn will never sell in its dilapidated condition. Then an itinerant handyman, Jake, shows up with an offer she can't refuse.

Much like the powerful ocean just a short walk from her deck, Jake appeals to Meridith. But she senses he is also capable of pulling her under in a heartbeat. What if the thing she fears the most is exactly what she needs? Can she trust God with the details and relish the adventure?

Buy on Kindle
Denise Hunter  
posted at 9:07 AM  
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Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Releasing March 11, 2014
Congrats to:

Keri-Elizabeth (
Sarah (
Summer (

They've won an early copy of "Dancing with Fireflies" and have been notified.

Denise Hunter  
posted at 11:23 AM  
  Comments (0)
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Be one of the first to read "Dancing with Fireflies", book 2 of the Chapel Springs Series! 

To be entered, leave a comment with your email address. US addresses only. Winner announced tomorrow (Feb 19).

Denise Hunter  
posted at 6:56 AM  
  Comments (108)
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Monday, February 10, 2014

Hello friend! 

We Smitten gals have a couple fun things coming up! We'll be hosting a facebook party on February 20th. There will be lots of giveaways--including a Kindle Fire--trivia, Q&A and more! Don't miss it.

Enter to win here!

Also, there will be 100 book club brunches gathering on March 22 to discuss "Smitten Book Club". Sign up to host one and have a chance to win 1 of 3 book club kits! Click on the link below for more details:

Sign up to host a brunch!

Denise Hunter  
posted at 4:48 PM  
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Saturday, February 08, 2014
Well, girls, you know that free book I found out about just last night, Last Resort? It has apparently already been changed, and is no longer free. Does that happen to anyone else? No one tells you what they're doing with your book, and then when you find out about it and try to catch up, they change? Sigh. Sorry for the alert.

Hannah Alexander  
posted at 11:22 AM  
  Comments (1)
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Friday, February 07, 2014
Hey girls, I was checking on my books with Amazon and found that Last Resort is free on Kindle tonight. If you haven't read that title yet, you might still find it for free. Check it out!
Hannah Alexander  
posted at 11:56 PM  
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Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Today we’re participating in a blog tour for a new book by award-winning novelist Susan Meissner who’s here with us today to talk about her newest book from Penguin NAL. A Fall of Marigolds is a part historical novel, part contemporary novel set on Ellis Island in 1911 and in Manhattan a hundred years later. 

Susan is a super writer and a terrific lady! I hope you enjoy meeting her. Make sure you read to the end of the post so you can find out how to get in on a drawing for a fabulous gift basket that includes a $100 Visa gift card.

1. Susan, tell us where the idea for A Fall of Marigolds came from.
I’ve long been a history junkie, especially with regard to historical events that involve ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances. A couple years ago I viewed a documentary by author and filmmaker Lorie Conway called Forgotten Ellis Island; a hauntingly poignant exposé on the section of Ellis Island that no one really has heard much about; its hospital. The two man-made islands that make up the hospital buildings haven’t been used in decades and are falling into ruins, a sad predicament the documentary aptly addresses. The images of the rooms where the sick of a hundred nations waited to be made well stayed with me. I knew there were a thousand stories pressed into those walls, stories of immigrants who were just a stone’s throw from a new life. But unless they could be cured of whatever disease they’d arrived with, they would never set foot on America’s shores. Ellis Island hospital was the ultimate in-between place – it lay between what was and what could be. A great place to set a story

2. What is the story about, in a nutshell?
The book is about two women who never meet as they are separated by a century. One woman, Taryn, is a 9/11 widow and single mother who is about to mark the tenth anniversary of her husband’s passing. The other is a nurse, Clara, who witnessed the death of the man she loved in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in Manhattan in 1911.In her sorrow, Clara imposes on herself an exile of sorts; she takes a post at the hospital on Ellis Island so that she can hover in an in-between place while she wrestles with her grief. She meets an immigrant who wears the scarf of the wife he lost crossing the Atlantic, a scarf patterned in marigolds. The scarf becomes emblematic of the beauty and risk inherent in loving people, and it eventually finds it way to Taryn one hundred years later on the morning a plane crashes into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The story is about the resiliency of love, and the notion that the weight of the world is made more bearable because of it, even though it exposes us to the risk of loss.

3. Why a scarf of marigolds? What is their significance?
Marigolds aren’t like most other flowers. They aren’t beautiful and fragrant. You don’t see them in bridal bouquets or prom corsages or funeral sprays. They don’t come in gentle colors like pink and lavender and baby blue. Marigolds are hearty, pungent and brassy. They are able to bloom in the autumn months, well past the point when many other flowers can’t. In that respect, I see marigolds as being symbolic of the strength of the human spirit to risk loving again after loss. Because, face it. We live in a messy world. Yet it’s the only one we’ve got. We either love here or we don’t. The title of the book has a sort of double-meaning. Both the historical and contemporary story take place primarily in the autumn. Secondarily, when Clara sees the scarf for the first time, dangling from an immigrant’s shoulders as he enters the hospital building, she sees the floral pattern in the threads, notes how similar they are to the flames she saw in the fire that changed everything for her, and she describes the cascading blooms woven into the scarf as “a fall of marigolds.”

4. Are you working on anything new at the moment?
My next book is set entirely in England, mostly during The London Blitz. My main character starts out as a young, aspiring bridal gown designer evacuated to the countryside with her seven-year-old sister in the summer of 1940. Though only fifteen, Emmy is on the eve of being made an apprentice to a renowned costumer and she resents her single mother’s decision to send her away. She sneaks back to London – with her sister in tow – several months later but the two become separated when the Luftwaffe begins its terrible and deadly attack on the East End on the first night of the Blitz. War has a way of separating from us what we most value, and often shows how little we realized that value. I have always found the evacuation of London’s children to the countryside – some for the entire duration of the war – utterly compelling. How hard it must have been for those parents and their children. I went on a research trip to the U.K. in the fall of 2013 and I spoke with many individuals who were children during the war; some were separated from their parents, some were bombed out of their homes, some slept night after night in underground Tube stations, some watched in fascination as children from the city came to their towns and villages to live with them. This book explores issues of loss and longing, but also the bonds of sisters, and always, the power of love.

5. Where can readers connect with you?
You can find me at and on Facebook at my Author page, Susan .Meissner, and on Twitter at SusanMeissner. I blog at I also send out a newsletter via email four times a year. You can sign up for it on my website. I love connecting with readers! You are the reason I write.

6. This is your first general market novel after having written more than a dozen books for the inspirational market. Why the switch?
I got my start in the inspirational market and am immensely grateful for that experience. Every published novelist wants to connect with her ideal reader. We don’t all like the same genres and we don’t all like the same style and voice. I believe a great many of my ideal readers shop in the general marketplace because that’s where I shop. My favorite authors — among them Kate Morton, Geraldine Brooks, Lisa See, Jamie Ford, and Diane Setterfield — are all general marketplace authors. Add to this that my faith threads are always subtle rather than obvious, then the move to the general market place seems like a great way for me to connect with more readers. My approach to faith in my writing is one that I liken to the subtlety of God’s presence and influence in the Book of Esther in the Old Testament. The faith thread in the Book of Esther is as subtle as it can be – God is never even mentioned – and yet the story is powerfully told and the virtues of loyalty, trust, hope, and courage are obvious. I have never thought of myself as writer of Christian fiction but rather a Christian who writes fiction.

Thanks for stopping by, Susan! 

As part of the release of A Fall of Marigolds and this blog tour, Susan is giving to one lucky winner a gift basket that includes a $100 Visa gift card, a copy of the book, the DVD Forgotten Ellis Island, and a beautiful re-purposed infinity scarf patterned in marigolds and made from a vintage Indian sari. To be eligible, just leave a comment here between today and midnight Eastern on Friday, February 21. If you would like to see a list of the other participating blogs on this tour, just click here. Feel free to visit those blogs and increase your chances of winning by posting one comment on those blogs as well. One comment per blog will be eligible.
Additionally, there will be one winner of a signed copy of A Fall of Marigolds from among those who comment on this blog. Just leave a comment by midnight Eastern on Friday, Feb. 28 and you’re in the running for the grand prize as well as a signed copy of the book. Good luck!

Denise Hunter  
posted at 12:20 PM  
  Comments (48)
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Saturday, February 01, 2014
I'm so excited to announce a very special Valentine's Day giveaway.

Colleen, Cheryl, and I have  joined with nine best-selling author friends to bring our readers this great giveaway. In addition to a brand new Kindle Fire HDX, the winner will receive new or upcoming books as follows:

A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander
Butterfly Palace by Colleen Coble
Dancing with Fireflies by Denise Hunter
Hallowed Halls by Hannah Alexander
It Had To Be You by Susan May Warren
A Match Made in Heaven by Mary Connealy
Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck
A Promise Kept by Robin Lee Hatcher
Shadowed by Grace by Cara C. Putman
Silver Bells by Deborah Raney
Somebody Like You by Beth K. Vogt
Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate


* The giveaway runs from February 1st through February 13th. A winner's name will be drawn on and announced on Valentine's Day.
* This giveaway is open to entrants with USA mailing addresses.
* Entrants must be 18 years old and over. No purchase is required.
* The winner will receive a Kindle Fire HDX and 12 novels.
* Not all novels included in the prize package will be available at the time the winner is announced. Books will be sent to the winner as they become available. The prize is valued at over $400.
* Entrants must complete ALL 12 MANDATORY entry options (the first 12 listed on the Rafflecopter form) to be eligible to win. Before the prize is awarded, completion of all 12 mandatory entry options will be confirmed.
* Entrants can earn extra entries by completing any or all of the remaining twelve options.
* Every attempt will be made to announce the winner within 48 hours of the end of the giveaway.
* The winner of the Kindle Fire HDX and novels will be given 48 hours to reply to the email they are sent. If they do not respond to the announcement email within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.

Denise Hunter  
posted at 9:08 AM  
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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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