GIVEAWAY Novel Teas, Book Sleeve, and Bookmark

It has taken me forever to finish this quilt!

To celebrate, I am giving away a quilted book sleeve and book marker to newsletter subscribers, along with a package of NovelTeas. If you’re not already signed up, you can do so here.

Giveaway ends Monday Dec 7th. U.S. entries only, please.

Visit my Instagram for ways to gain extra entries.

 

I posted a story about my quilt on Facebook here.

Happy Reading!

Induction into the Louisiana Writers Collection and Promo Giveaway

I live in Texas, but I’m in an anthology of mostly Louisiana writers.

I plan to attend this event.

Exciting!

 

My contemporary sweet romcom short story has shades of bittersweet moments and takes place on Kaitlyn’s wedding day. It tells of two couples in love, one just starting out and a devoted pair who are dealing with Alzheimer’s.

I’m doing a GIVEAWAY of this original watercolor painting of my character, Kaitlyn, to promote the release of the newest RWA NOLASTARS Anthology, Forever and Always A B & B Anthology.

Email me at donnastonem@gmail.com for further details.

Books will be discounted at $12 each for this promo. Contact me directly to take advantage of this giveaway and the discounted book price.

Please share!

Thank you, guys!

Author Interview: Judy Christie’s Upcoming Release~Before and After

GIVEAWAY ALERT There is currently a Goodreads  giveaway for this book.

About the book: Before and After: The Incredible Real-Life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children’s Home Society” is a unique nonfiction sequel to Lisa Wingate’s No. 1 best-selling novel “Before We Were Yours” and tells the poignant true stories of victims of a notorious adoption scandal—some of whom learned the truth from Before We Were Yours and were reunited with birth family members as a result of its wide reach. 

Encouraged by their contact with Wingate and award-winning journalist Judy Christie, who documented the stories of fifteen adoptees and their families in this book, many Tann survivors set out to trace their roots and find their birth families. Often raised as only children, many have joyfully reunited with siblings in the final decades of their lives. In a poignant culmination of art meeting life, long-silent victims of the tragically corrupt system return to Memphis with Wingate and Christie to reclaim their stories at a Tennessee Children’s Home Society reunion . . . with extraordinary results. The book releases Oct. 22 from Ballantine, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

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Y’all, Before We Were Yours was such an amazing book. It’s one of those that sticks with you long after you read it and I had to interview Lisa Wingate about it when it was fresh. I was on my 2018 Best Reads list. I am eager to read more, and, naturally, this new book Before and After is one of my must reads.

If you still haven’t read Before We Were Yours, go get it! But first read this post. 😉

Judy Christie is a wonderful writer and a sweet soul. I’m so glad she agreed to talk with us about Before and After.

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Before We Were Yours is such a heart wrenching read, I feel like it should come with a box of tissues. What emotional words would you use to describe the follow up book?

Inspiring. Hopeful. Bittersweet. Life-affirming. “Before and After” shows the resilience of every-day people and their heroic efforts to find brothers and sisters and to keep Georgia Tann from owning their stories. 

What was the most satisfying thing about working on this project?

—Saving these stories means so much to me, and I am blessed to have gotten to be friends with these great families. And what a delight to write with longtime friend Lisa. We had a great time working together, both in the same room and by phone. Neither of us had tried this approach to a book before, and it was incredible. The project sometimes felt like it was coming together by magic.

You’ve written novels, nonfiction books, and are also a reporter. Do you feel that one of these jobs prepared you better to write this particular book? How did each of these jobs come into play?

-It blew me away to feel uniquely qualified to do this project. My journalism experience helped me research and interview, and my novel-writing experience helped me structure the stories. I was the editor of a newspaper in West Tennessee, am married to a Tennessee native and am very familiar with the state. I’m a southerner and love visiting with folks. It all came together.

What do you feel was the biggest thing you gained by tackling this project?

-Realizing that no matter how much we plan our careers, we don’t know when the perfect project will come along, and we have to be open to good ideas. A little over a year ago, I had no idea I’d be writing this book. Working with Lisa was not only fun but a great learning experience.

Can you tell us about any future books you are working on?

—Oh, yes! I’m working on a new novel, and I’m quite excited about it. I can’t wait to tell readers about it when it’s a little further along.

Thank you so much for visiting with us, Judy. I’m looking forward to reading your new book!

Author Judy Christie has had 18 books published, including three Southern small-town novel series. An award-winning newspaper reporter and editor for 25 years, she has had lunch at the White House with First Lady Nancy Reagan; met Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon; and ridden across a Southern city in a hot air balloon. She’s run marathons—26.2 miles–in Alaska and at Disney World, been chased by a monkey on a city street, fished for piranha on the Amazon and once got a black eye playing putt-putt at the beach. She’s always up for a good story and a good adventure, and no matter what she’s doing, she enjoys reading, writing and talking about books. Sign up for her e-newsletter and a free guide to telling family stories at www.judychristie.com. Follow her on Facebook @judychristieauthor.

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Guys, what’s next on your must read list? Go add this one to your Goodreads want-to-read shelf. There’s a giveaway that’s about to expire. Hurry and enter.

IG Bookmarker Giveaway

 

I’m doing my first Instagram giveaway. These are two book markers I made with watercolor. Head over to this IG post if you would like to enter. You chances are pretty good since not many entered yet. Ends tomorrow.

Do you do giveaways? Do you have any tips for me?

Giveaway and Interview With Author Donna Everhart

THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET by Donna Everhart

“Readers will find The Road to Bittersweet to be a lovingly crafted coming-of-age novel set in the unforgiving Carolina hills. Everhart understands the mindset of a young girl on the cusp of womanhood as her world fills with hardship, betrayal, and the wonderment of growing up. Readers will be struck by how beautifully Everhart captures the dialect of her well-drawn characters and the landscape – both harsh and beautiful. Here is a story that tugs at the heartstrings with its believability and evocative prose, leaving readers believing there is always hope when a family stands together.”- RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

“Everhart (The Education of Dixie Dupree, 2016) is a good storyteller and makes her characters and their experiences come alive.”  Booklist

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I loved this book! I won a signed copy of Donna Everhart’s The Road to Bittersweet from the facebook group A Novel Bee, no strings attached. I enjoyed this novel so much, I asked Donna if she would come and chat with us a bit.

If you like coming of age stories with a strong voice, you should check out Donna’s work. I think The Road to Bittersweet is a great selection for book clubs.

~ GIVE AWAY ~  GIVE AWAY  ~ GIVE AWAY! ~

I thought you guys might like this book, so I decided to GIVE AWAY a kindle copy. Details below.

 

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Listen to The Pretty One by Pam Tillis, written about the book, The Road to Bittersweet.

 

 

As a reader, I seem to be drawn to historical settings. The Road to Bittersweet is set in the 1940s. Have you always been interested in that particular time in history?  

Not so much 1940 in of itself, but really anything from the 70s or earlier.  For instance, all of my books take place in the 40s, 50s or 60s.  I like writing about those times because while there were complex issues going on relative to what might have been in the news, lifestyles were much simpler than today.  For example, there were two, maybe three channels on TV to watch, and TV was the only medium – compared to the hundreds of channels today, plus we have all of these various devices on which we can watch those hundreds of shows.  Here’s another one – Oreos.  It’s a strange example, but an Oreo cookie used to be this one type of cookie, dark chocolate wafer with a cream filling.  Then came Double Stuff. Then came vanilla wafers.  Then mint flavored filling.  Then colors for holidays.  Just the other day I saw . . . Cherry Cola flavored.   I bet there might be fifteen varieties of the Oreo cookie now.  I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

I love Wallis Ann’s resilience and grit. Where did you find the inspiration for her character? 

Partly it came from books I’ve read where hardship was overcome through sheer will and determination.  For instance, some of my favorite characters who are similar to Wallis Ann would be Julie Harmon from Robert Morgan’s GAP CREEK, or Ruby and Ada in Charles Frazier’s COLD MOUNTAIN.  They were confronted by what seem like impossible situations, yet managed to overcome it by working hard, and keeping an attitude of persistence.  So, Wallis Ann certainly came from the influence of those stories, plus my own desire to create characters people can relate to and admire for their endurance and fortitude.  I would also say there’s a bit of me in these characters I write about, because I’m always thinking, how would I react?  What would I do?  Would I do this – or not?  Etc. etc.  Also, there is nothing better, in my opinion, than to have readers come away from a story feeling wrung out, yet happy with how it all turned out.

When you were researching for this book, what historical tidbit or event did you find most interesting? 

Some years ago my husband and I hiked to a historic cabin in Doughton Park, NC off the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The structure survived the 1916 Basin Cove flood, and this cabin was the impetus for the story.  The family that lived there consisted of eight people, two adults and six children, and it was fascinating to know how they lived and thrived there before the flood.  It was a very rustic cabin, no bigger than about three hundred square feet.  The closest town was eight miles away.  They were true survivalists, killing for meat, growing vegetables and fruit trees, hauling water, chopping wood, preserving foods, sewing their own clothes, milking cows, and on and on.  Their job was never-ending, but they were used to that hardscrabble life.  And yet, I could see how a flood would be an incentive to leave because all they’d worked for would be gone.  How would they expect to get back to where they’d been?  What if they’d stayed?  Could they have recovered?  It was interesting to explore these questions.

What life lesson did you learn while writing your novel? 

I had no idea where this story was headed at times, or what I was doing, but I kept at it, persevering like Wallis Ann.  In a nutshell, perseverance is a wonderful thing – as long as you know when to try a different approach if something isn’t working and don’t beat yourself up over it if the goal you intended to reach shifts – or changes altogether.

What are you working on now?

Well, my third book is done.  It’s a story that takes place in 1955, on a cotton farm in Jones County, NC.  All of my books are coming of age stories, and my main character in this one is a twelve year old girl named Sonny Creech, a girl who loves cotton farming, her family’s land, and knows how to divine water.  After a tragedy, she and her family become entangled with a reclusive, bigoted neighbor.  I’m really excited about that story.  It’s in the production phase, meaning I’ve already been through the copy editing part.  I’ll soon receive page proofs, the final step before it goes to print.  The title is THE FORGIVING KIND and it’ll be out in February of 2019.

My newest project is in the really (I mean REALLY) ugly first draft stage.  This story’s main character is sixteen year old Jessie Sasser and she’s quite unhappy with her lot in life.  Born into a family legacy of moonshining, she wants no part of it because she’s certain this is what killed her mother.   So far, I’m having fun with it, while trying not to pull my hair out.

Donna Everhart is a USA Today bestselling author who writes stories of family hardship and troubled times in a bygone south.  A native of North Carolina, she resides in her home state with her husband and their tiny heart stealing Yorkshire terrier, Mister.  Readers can visit her at www.donnaeverhart.com.

 

 

Thank you for visiting with us, Donna! I can’t wait to read The Forgiving Kind. 

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Giveaway Time! I am giving away one kindle copy of The Road to Bittersweet. Click here to go to the entry form.

Here’s a question for my readers. I love coming of age stories. What’s your favorite coming of age novel? Do you have one you recommend?