Category Archives: Book Promotions

For the Record by Regina Jennings

for-the-record-book-cover

Betsy Huckabee is motivated to submit articles to a big city newspaper in order to support her budding career as a writer. The only issue is that her sleepy town of Pine Gap, Missouri, does not have enough unique excitement to sell her stories. That is, until the dashing Deputy Joel Puckett arrives in town. His goal might be to establish the law and show the masked marauders who is boss, but he is surprised when a feisty female is the one who seems to be resisting his methods. As Betsy attempts to elaborate Joel’s attributes in order to sell stories, she soon realizes that her stories may harm those she loves and entangle her heart in a messy situation.

I like strong heroines in novels so I was excited to read this story, as Betsy has spirit and gumption to carry her through all sorts of adventures. Her independence, however, never overshadows her desire to help her family, a trait I can admire. There were several surprising twists and the villain in the story keeps you guessing. This particular novel can be read alone as the story develops entirely in this book. I expected a little more humor to the dialogue, but I did still enjoy the characters, the setting, and the overall plot. The main protagonists both grow up a little in the novel and I enjoyed watching their friendship and eventual romance develop. I recommend this novel to lovers of historical fiction!

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers and the generous author, Regina Jennings, in exchange for an honest review.

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An Interview with Tamera Alexander about To Win Her Favor!

For those who have already seen my recent review of Tamera’s newest novel, To Win Her Favor (to be released on May 12th), you may already be familiar with her fantastic new release.  But here is a fun interview with the author herself on her ambition behind writing this newest novel.  Enjoy!

Q: To Win Her Favor is the second in your Belle Meade Plantation series. Can you tell us where the story picks up in the series? Is it directly connected to the first book?

Each of the Belle Meade Plantation novels are standalone novels, so each tells a complete story. However, you might just catch a glimpse <wink> of Ridley and Olivia from To Whisper Her Name in To Win Her Favor (releasing May 12, 2015). But Cullen and Maggie’s story definitely takes center stage in To Win Her Favor, the second of three novels in the Belle Meade Plantation series.

Coming in July is a Belle Meade Plantation novella—To Mend a Dream. To Mend a Dream continues the story of a secondary character we meet in To Win Her Favor, Savannah Darby. Savannah is Maggie’s closest friend and while we learn about Savannah’s struggles in To Win Her Favor, the culmination of her story is told in To Mend a Dream, a novella in a Southern novella collection entitled, Among the Fair Magnolias (written with authors Shelley Shepard Gray, Dorothy Love, and Elizabeth Musser).

You are a resident of Nashville, which is a city rich with culture and history. Is this why you chose to set your series there? 

I’ve always had a love of history. Southern history, specifically. Being from Atlanta, I grew up around antebellum homes, so when I was in Nashville on a business trip in 2004 with my daughter, we toured the Belmont Mansion, and I knew then I wanted to someday write about Belmont’s fascinating history (A Lasting Impression and A Beauty So Rare). Likewise, when I learned about Belle Meade’s thoroughbred legacy, the ideas started coming (for To Whisper Her Name and To Win Her Favor). I’m honored to write about these two Nashville estates and their real history. It never gets old for me.

How many times did you visit the actual Belle Meade Plantation while writing this book?

Oh gracious, I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been out there (Belle Meade is only 25 minutes from my house). Just two weeks ago, I met a book club of about 30 women at Belle Meade. They were from Alabama, having a girl’s weekend out! After they toured the mansion, we walked down to the old Harding cabin, one of my favorite places at Belle Meade, and where Belle Meade all began. No visit to Belle Meade is complete for me without stopping by that cabin. It has such a presence about it.

I’m grateful to Belle Meade’s director, Alton Kelley (a descendant of the Harding family who owned Belle Meade in the 1800s) and to Jenny Lamb (Belle Meade Educational Director) for opening up the family files, letters, and artifacts to me. I couldn’t write these books with such historical detail about the house, the family members, and the servants without Belle Meade’s assistance.

How much of the novel is based on actual events and how much is from your imagination?

The backdrop of the novel—Nashville’s history, the Belle Meade mansion, outbuildings of the estate, the family members, and most of the servants at Belle Meade—are from history. I often take documented historical events—such as parties, horse races, or catastrophic occurrences—and weave them into the fabric of my stories. Then I intertwine a fictional story that follows the journey of a male and female protagonist within that story world. In To Win Her Favor, that’s Cullen McGrath and Maggie Linden.

The basis for Cullen’s character is founded in the history of Irishmen who came to Nashville in the 1850-70s, and who faced very real prejudice from Nashville residents. Likewise, Maggie’s character was inspired by accounts of women who were formerly landed gentry (from wealthy families who were major land owners) but who lost everything following the war and the changes that conflict brought. The rest of the details are filled in by asking myself the question writers constantly ask themselves, “What if…”

How was this book different from other projects you have worked on?

To Win Her Favor is definitely one of the more passionate stories I’ve written, and I don’t mean that solely in a romantic sense. From the start, this story was simply more evocative because it delves into the intimacies of a marriage of convenience, and also explores prejudice within a marriage—in addition to examining the prejudices between former slave owners and former slaves. Passions run high between the characters in To Win Her Favor. Everyone was learning how to be with each other in that time period, learning where the new boundaries were, where everyone fit.

As I read and researched for To Win Her Favor, I often found my own emotions stirred by real events that occurred in Nashville during Reconstruction. At times, the accounts were repugnant and heartbreaking. Yet at others, they were remarkably soul stirring with fresh whispers of hope.

View vignettes filmed on location at Belle Meade Plantation, the setting of To Whisper Her Name and To Win Her Favor, on the Belle Meade Plantation novels page on Tamera’s website.

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To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander

Maggie Linden has only one dream: to run her prize thoroughbred Bourbon Belle in a high stakes race, the winner being guaranteed a fat purse and notability among Nashville’s finest. However, financial strain has made horse racing difficult for her and her father, an ailing gentleman whose health is declining rapidly. Desperate to escape a horse racing scandal in England, Irish-born Cullen McGrath arrives in Nashville and desires to purchase a peaceful farm. But Southern prejudices against his people abound in the post-Civil War era, making his task nearly impossible. When he stumbles upon Linden Downs and meets Maggie’s father, however, he finds the kind man’s welcoming nature to be a sweet relief. But Mr. Linden’s daughter is much less receiving. As circumstances thrust them together, it may take all Cullen’s strength to win Maggie’s favor and fulfill their dreams in a country healing from a recent war.

Tamera Alexander is a long-time favorite author of mine because she is able to craft the most wonderful characters and create a truly fantastic depth to their personalities, struggles, and joys. I am able to get to know them and understand them on such a complex level. This novel is no exception! The romance in this particular story is unique as the characters are in a different situation than some of her other books, but this only added a richer dimension to the plot. I loved reading how the characters grew and changed throughout the book. In addition, there is lots of great Nashville history, a few cameo appearances from her other books, and a fantastic plot to round out this delightful book. A highly recommended novel!

I received a copy of this book from Zondervan Publishers and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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The Secret of Pembrooke Park: Behind the Scenes Tour and Book Trailer!

A couple of fun links to check out, both related to The Secret of Pembrooke Park, a fantastic new historical fiction novel by Julie Klassen!  If you have not yet read this book, be sure to get your copy today!  It has suspense, history, romance, mystery, and secrets galore!

Behind the scenes tour by the author herself while visiting the manor behind her inspiration for Pembrooke Park in England.

A book trailer if you would like to find out more about this exciting novel!

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The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen: Book Quote

I’m honored and excited to partner with Julie Klassen and Bethany House Publishers to promote the release of Ms. Klassen’s newest novel, The Secret of Pembrooke Park (see my earlier review of this most fabulous book!).  I will be posting exciting tidbits over the next several weeks all related to the novel.

The following quote does such a wonderful job of summarizing the genuine and instantly lovable heroine, Abigail Foster.  She is a quiet girl with a love of mysteries and a heart of pure gold!  Her courageous and curious nature allows her to enjoy quite a few adventures in this exciting tale.  And during her search for a treasure in a truly delightful old mansion, she learns to better seek God’s presence and peace.  Be sure to pick up a copy from your favorite retailer today!

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Favorite Quotes from A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander

Picking a favorite quote from a great novel is like choosing a favorite dessert — there are so many to pick from, so many delicious choices, that selecting just one is nearly impossible.  However, the following quote (no spoilers, I promise!) sums up a reoccurring theme from the wonderful novel A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander.

“[Eleanor] paused briefly to finger one of the flowers, and her focus slipped down the stem to the scar marking the place where Marcus had originally grafted the two flowers together.  She knew that, with time, and as the plant grew stronger, the slight imperfection would become less noticeable.  All of the grafted plants bore scars–evidence of the cutting, and also of the healing around it.  But what beauty had come from both.

If you have not picked up a copy of this historical novel yet, do so today!  You will not be disappointed!

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Pinterest Scavenger Hunt for A Beauty So Rare!

Would you like an opportunity to win one of seven copies of the marvelous book A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander?  Follow the link below to Tamera’s page to get started!

http://tameraalexander.blogspot.com/2014/04/pinterest-scavenger-hunt.html

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