Wednesday, February 26, 2014
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?
posted at 9:07 AM
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
|Releasing March 11, 2014|
They've won an early copy of "Dancing with Fireflies" and have been notified.
posted at 11:23 AM
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).
posted at 6:56 AM
Monday, February 10, 2014
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!
posted at 4:48 PM
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.
posted at 11:22 AM
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!
posted at 11:56 PM
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.
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
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.”
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.
Where can readers connect with you?
You can find me at www.susanmeissner.com
and on Facebook
at my Author page, Susan .Meissner, and on Twitter at SusanMeissner. I blog at
susanmeissner.com. 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
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.
posted at 12:20 PM
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.
posted at 9:08 AM