Author Interview and Giveaway Winner

Rachel Heffington At long last, I’m here to present an interview with Rachel Heffington, author of Fly Away Home. I’ll also be announcing the giveaway winner. So fasten your seat belt and we’ll be off!

What gave you the idea for Fly Away Home?
The idea came from a piece of flash fiction I wrote (“How About Coffee?”) that wouldn’t get out of my head. I wondered about the characters, their lives, their motives. All that wondering finally made its way into a defined plot that wouldn’t leave me alone till I’d explored all its nuances. πŸ™‚

Are any of the characters real historical figures?
None of the main characters (though it’s a well-known fact that Gregory Peck IS Wade Barnett in looks), but historical pop-culture figures are mentioned, and in one particular chapter of the book, you get to rub elbows with the Nelson family of The Ozzie and Harriet Show as well as actress Priscilla Lane and her husband.

What is the most interesting fact or story you uncovered while research for Fly Away Home?
Probably the existence of The Stork Club. I hadn’t realized that there really was such a centralized, well-documented site of celebrity relationships. Every famous person in the 40’s and 50’s visited the Stork Club; researching for the scenes there was so much fun…I was even able to view a video tour of the “Golden Room” from the 1950’s that had been part of a TV spot. Quite fascinating!

What are some of the challenges and rewards of self-publishing?
The challenges are the fact that you are a newbie and you are on your own. I am so blessed to have a lively group of fellow indie authors who have helped make the debut of Fly Away Home a rousing success, but the marketing and publicity side of things is entirely up to you as the author. And that is after you have already gone through the mess of design/formatting/editing. The rewards, though, are that you get to direct your career; I don’t have to write historical romance that is exactly like everyone else’s historical romance because it sells; I have the privilege to write in whatever genre I like. Also, on a terribly shallow level, I get higher royalty percentages than I would as a traditionally published author.

What message would you like readers to take away from this book?
The measure of success is not defined by your salary, your career, or how high you’ve gotten on the corporate ladder. God has a definite plan for your life and it might not look exactly the way the world tells you it ought to look; but it will be fabulous.

Do you have any final comments?
I am so thankful for the opportunity to visit here on Leah’s blog and I hope I may get to know you all better. If you would like to learn more about Fly Away Home, come visit my blog; we have such jolly times!

Thanks so much, Rachel! I’m sure everyone enjoyed the interview. And now, the winner of the Fly Away Home giveaway is…

The Aspiring Illustrator

Congratulations! I’ll be sending you an email to get your mailing address so you can get your copy ofΒ Fly Away Home. Hope you enjoy it! For those of you who didn’t win this time, but still want to read the book, the kindle version ofΒ Fly Away HomeΒ is currently on sale for $2.99 on Amazon. It’s a good price, and supporting a homeschooled author is always a special addition to a purchase. πŸ˜‰ Enjoy!

Princess Survey Results and Giveaway

Princess and the Goblin, TheThank you to everyone who completed the Princess Story Survey. Of the four princess books reviewed this month, The Princess and the Goblin is the most popular and received 35% of the votes. The Princess and the Kiss was close behind, receiving 30% of the votes. Next up was Ella Enchanted, which received 25% of the votes. And A Little Princess received 10% of the votes.

Not everyone voted on which book I should give away, but it’s a good thing there were an odd number of votes cast. We came very close to having a tie! As you may have guessed from the picture, The Princess and the Goblin won, receiving 53% of the votes while A Little Princess won 47% of the votes. So, I’m giving away a copy of The Princess and the Goblin. Please read carefully as the rules are a little bit different than usual.

I’m opening the giveaway up to people living internationally this time. In order to avoid shipping, there are three prize options this time. All three are available to residents of the United States. Only the e-book and audible book are available to international entries. Please indicate which prize you would like to win in your comment. Only one prize will be given away. The options are as follows.
A hard copy of The Princess and the Goblin (it may or may not be this edition)
The Works of George MacDonald kindle book
The Princess and the Goblin audible audio edition

To enter simply leave a comment stating why you like this story or would like to read it and indicating which prize option you would like to win

Giveaway ends October 16th.

Book Review & Giveaway: Burying the Sun & Angel on the Square

Burying the Sun *Giveaway Closed*
It’s been a while since I did a giveaway, but this month’s giveaway item is a copy of Angel on the Square, book one in Gloria Whelan’s St. Petersburg series. The giveaway is open only to readers in the US. To enter, leave a comment telling us about your favorite WWII book.

All that was long ago, and until that morning I had thought I would have no chance for my own adventures, only day after day of dreary study and work. With talk of war with Germany, the world was suddenly more exciting.

To fourteen year old Georgi, the idea of war with Germany seems exciting. Though too young to join the army and unable to find a way to sneak in anyway, Georgi throws himself into volunteer work, determined to help protect his country. It isn’t until the Germans begin surrounding Leningrad that reality sinks in. Now Georgi concerns himself with protecting his shrinking circle of family and friends. Can Georgi succeed in bringing himself and those he cares about through a brutal winter as he grows into manhood?

I enjoyed re-reading this book in preparation to write this review (I’m actually not quite finished yet). It’s been several years since I read it, and this time through I’ve been really appreciating the amount of research woven into the story. Gloria Whelan draws you into the lives of the people trapped inside Leningrad during the winter of 1941. A unique angle on the events of WWII.

Author: Gloria Whelan
Audience: Middle Grade–Tween
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 205

Don’t forget to comment for your chance to win Angel on the Square! The winner will be announced next Thursday

Book Review & Giveaway: The City of Ember

City of Ember, The*giveaway closed*
This months giveaway is a copy of The City of Ember. To tell the truth, the reason for the dystopian theme this month is because I had an extra copy of the book to give away. πŸ˜› As usual, the giveaway is only open to residents of the US because of shipping expenses. (I’m hoping to post a poll soon to see how many of you have e-readers so that I can look into a giveaway that could include my international readers.) To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below saying why you want to read The City of Ember or why you enjoy the dystopian genre.

The box ended up at the back of a closet, shoved behind some old bags and bundles. There it sat, unnoticed, year after year, until its time arrived, and the lock quietly clicked open.

The city of Ember is an island of light in the middle of the great, unknown darkness. But the light is failing. Tension among the citizens grows as the store rooms begin to run out of essential items and the electricity threatens to fail at any moment. Hope seems lost until young Lina finds ancient instructions and recruits classmate Doon to help her figure them out. Can they save the people of Ember before it’s too late?

Shortly after this book was suggested to me I found a copy at the library’s used book store. Curious, I purchased it and took it home to read. I discovered a sweet story about determination, friendship, and hope during difficult times. The story was easy to read and I found the ending satisfying despite a few story threads left open for the sequels. I chose not to read the sequels because of an apparent anti-religious theme in book three. That said, there is no objectionable content in this book, and readers in search of a gentle dystopian read will find it enjoyable.

Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Audience: Middle Grade to Young Adults
Genre: Dystopian
Pages: 270

Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of this book!

Book Review: League of the Scarlet Pimpernel + Scarlet Pimpernel Giveaway

League of the Scarlet Pimpernel*Giveaway Closed*
I’ve been looking forward to this giveaway ever since picking up a copy of The Scarlet Pimpernel at Barnes & Nobles two months ago. As usual, the giveaway is open only to residents of the US. I’ll announce the winner next Thursday. In the meantime, leave a comment on this post for a chance to win.

Now, if you will allow me to act as your friend, I will pledge you my word that I will find your son for you.

From rescuing the kidnapped son of a woman cast aside by society to other feats of courage and humanity, this book carries a full dose of the Scarlet Pimpernel’s trademark daring. Instead of a full novel, The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel is made up of several shorter stories. If you’ve enjoyed The Scarlet Pimpernel, you’ll definitely enjoy these too.

I received this book for Christmas two or three years ago. At first I was disappointed to realize that the book wasn’t a full novel, but after I got into the stories I found that I had no need for regrets. The stories are fast paced and mostly lacking the long expositional passages found in some of the other Scarlet Pimpernel books. They’re perfect for a quick read before you go to bed. πŸ˜‰

Has anyone not read The Scarlet Pimpernel. For those of you who have read it, have you read any of the sequels? Which Pimpernel book is your favorite?

And…a picture of the giveaway book. Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win!
Scarlet Pimpernel, The

Book Review & Giveaway: Shadow of the Almighty & Through Gates of Splendor

Shadow of the Almighty*Giveaway Ended*

Happy day after Valentines Day everyone. I hope you had a good one. I got my college midterms done, my brother gave me earrings and Daddy bought home flowers for Mom and balloons for us. Pretty good day. πŸ˜‰

Today I am reviewing one of my all time favorite books, Shadow of the Almighty, and launching a giveaway for Through Gates of Splendor. For those of you who are not familiar with these books, they are both about Jim Elliot, a martyr missionary. As usual, all you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment on this post*. So, enjoy the review and enter to win Through Gates of Splendor.

β€œIs the distinction between living for Christ and dying for Him so great? Is not the second the logical conclusion of the first?”

From an adventurous childhood, Jim Elliot matured into an intense man. In college, he began journaling and searching for God’s will in his life. This book uses narrative as well as Jim’s letters and journals to follow him through his college years and into his mission work in Ecuador. It showcases his love for his Lord and his desire to serve Christ, even into death. In his own, now famous word, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

This was the first non-fiction book to make me cry. In fact, I read about Jim’s death while walking on a treadmill at the gym. Awkward place to start crying. πŸ˜› I love this book because it shows what passion for Christ looks like. I copied many passages from the book into my journal and now, a year after reading it, I still frequently think about things I learned from this book. So next time you’re looking to be challenged and inspired by a powerful book, try this one.

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Audience: Young Adults and up
Genre: Biography
Pages: 250

And, here’s a picture of the giveaway book.
Through Gates of Splendor

*Due to the cost of shipping, giveaway is only available to residents of the United States.

Book Review & Giveaway: Peter’s Angel

Peter's Angel*Giveaway Closed*
I’m still savoring this book by reading it out loud to my mom and brother. After finding the title on Homeschool Authors and reading the sample on my kindle, I asked for Peter’s Angel for Christmas and got it! I was blown away by how interesting and well written it was. But, before we get to the review, let me do my spiel about the giveaway. Author Aubrey Hansen has kindly agreed to give a copy of Peter’s Angel to one lucky blog reader. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below.* As I mentioned, the book is really good, so you might as well go do that now. πŸ˜‰ The winner will be announced Thursday, January 31st. Okay, now for the review.

The rain drowned out the sounds of battle. Peter had heard cannon fire that morning, he was sure of it. His mother hoped it was just thunder signaling the oncoming storm, but Peter knew it was battle approaching. The Redcoats were close, and getting closer.

At the beginning of this book, political relations are tense. Gold has been discovered in the patriot state of Rhode Island and the ruler of New Britain wants it. His decisions have a radical impact on both the political and personal level. Peter Jameson, son of Rhode Island’s governor, wants nothing more than to protect his nation state. Mark Barrett, an outwardly cold man, struggles to protect those he cares for. Nathan, born Kennard William Conrad Beonred II, is rightful heir to the throne of New Britain but is desperate to remain incognito in Rhode Island. Edwin Kearney, son of a poor farmer, clings to what little hope is left him well all that is familiar is yanked away. How will these young men weather the coming storms life will bring them?

When I came to the last page of this book, I was rather sad to find it over. Many story lines remain open, ready to be picked up in book two, Peter’s Ally. I’ll be first in line for a copy when the author publishes it. Because of a few references to a romance gone bad, I wouldn’t recommend this for younger children, but teens and adults will definitely enjoy this book. It is important to know that Peter’s Angel an alternate history. The book explores the question “what would have happened if Britain won the War for Independence.” If you’re puzzling over my references to New Britain and Rhode Island, that’s the explanation. Anyway, I definitely recommend this story and I’m looking forward to seeing who wins the giveaway.

Author: Aubrey Hansen
Audience: YA and Adults
Genre: Alternative History
Pages: 333
Publisher: Self-Published

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*Due to shipping costs, this book can only be mailed within the United States.

Book Review & Giveaway: The Pirate Daughter’s Promise

The Pirate Daughter's Promise*giveaway closed*
You all ready for another giveaway? This time the book is The Pirate Daughter’s Promise. I hope you’ll take the time to read the review and leave a comment. Commenting will automatically enter you for a chance to win the book*. The winner will be announced this coming Thursday, January 10.

The little girl nodded but did not speak. Her wide eyes darted around the dank cell and finally fell on Daniel’s face, seeking reassurance. Daniel offered her a smile and glanced at the guards who stood stoically beside the closed cell door. He knew this would be the last time he would see Skye before his execution at dawn. This would have to be goodbye, and he didn’t know how long the guards would allow his daughter to stay.

Skye McHenry has led a difficult life cheered only by her faith and her two friends, Will and Matthew. Most people despise her because she is the daughter of a pirate. When pirates kidnap Skye, she knows they are hunting for her father’s treasure. She is determined to keep her promise to never reveal its location. Can Will and Matthew rescue her before it’s too late?

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and read the entire book the same day I got it. The writing style is a bit unpolished at times, but this does little to detract from the story. Skye’s faith and determination are admirable, and I love Will’s chivalry. I also like the fact that the entire family can read this book. The action and clean romance will keep older readers engaged while there is nothing inappropriate for a younger audience. I am looking forward to reading more of Molly Evangeline’s work.

Author: Molly Evangeline
Audience: All Ages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Adventure
Pages: 226
Publisher: Self-published

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Disclosure: I received a free reviewer’s copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinion’s stated are my own.

*Due to shipping costs, this book can only be mailed within the United States.