Two on Tuesday with Jessica Marie Holt

This week’s guest for the Two on Tuesday author spotlight is historical and contemporary fiction author, Jessica Marie Holt. Her Unsung Legacies series is an interconnected series of family dramas centered around a small town in rural North Carolina, told in a lyrical, literary style.

Jessica’s Two on Tuesday Facts:

  1. I rely on music to inspire me and help me stay in the mood and vibe of a story. I will often pick a specific song that reflects a specific book, and listen to it often as I write. For example, I listened to Gregory Alan Isakov’s “The Stable Song” on repeat as I wrote Just Before Dawn, the first book in my historical fiction series. I live in a somewhat rural area of North Carolina, where my historical fiction books take place, and I will often drive through the countryside listening to folk, bluegrass and blues. Hearing the music, and passing by picket fences, ponds, wooded areas, and dilapidated hundred-year-old houses really connects me to the history and spirit of the setting.
  2. I do extensive research, and fuss a lot over historical details, like whether a specific tree existed in North Carolina in 1868. This leads me down some rabbit holes, and forces some rewrites. I was once researching whether indoor bathrooms existed in New York City boarding houses, and ended up learning about the history of bathrooms through the ages. And when I found out that many, if not most larger homes in rural NC had separate outdoor kitchens, I had to rewrite a number of scenes in Sunlight and Shadows to reflect this fascinating fact.

Jessica is available to connect with readers on Facebook and Twitter. More information on her books can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/everywordmatters/

Calling all authors!

Are you an an author interested in being featured on Two on Tuesday? If so, please complete the form here.

Disclaimer: Authors featured within the Two on Tuesday Author Spotlight were not compensated in any way for their participation. Content included within each author’s current or future works or the legitimacy of any information provided within this spotlight are not the responsibility of Kelsey Gietl. Authors were provided book content guidelines prior to applying. Authors should be contacted directly with any questions.

May Newsletter – New Release Date!

Whew, another month has passed in our crazy world, and it seemed as busy as ever. As always, I continue to pray that this newsletter finds you and your families well.

Latest News

Broken Lines Cover - Final 4-25-2020 ebookLast month I mentioned how the proof copy of Broken Lines didn’t print exactly as I expected, requiring some additional color manipulations. In the process of doing so, however, I came across another version of my cover model that I felt fit the book’s main character even better. After swapping out the main photograph, touching up the background, and lightening the color, I now have the end result you see here. I hope you like the updates as much as I do.

In even more exciting news, Broken Lines has a new worldwide release date of August 29, 2020! The first book in the War Across Waters duology can be pre-ordered through all major ebook retailers via this link: Pre-Order Now. It will also be available in paperback format both online and (hopefully) at an in-person launch party. More details to come.

And for those of you who prefer not to purchase paperbacks through Amazon, I have good news. I recently upgraded all of my novels to Expanded Distribution, making it possible to purchase Across Oceans and Twisted River in paperback from Barnes & Noble online, order through independent bookstores, and request for purchase from your local library.

Recommended Reads

AndieNewton2One of the key questions authors often ask while marketing is, “How effective is social media at drawing in new readers?” Well, for me, I would say highly effective. Andie Newton is one of several authors I have purchased books from after following them on social media and luckily, her novel was worth taking a chance on.

The Girl I Left Behind tells the story of Ella Strauss, a young woman who works as a secretary for the Nazi government all the while stealing secrets in hopes of helping the resistance and saving her captured friend. At its heart, it’s both a spy novel and a coming of age story, and certainly an emotional read, especially at the end. Ella very much leaves her girlhood behind, trusting the best – and worst – people of her country in pursuit of what she believes to be right, even while the world around her tells a different story. Many of the World War II novels I’ve read lately have focused on British or American spies, so it was intriguing to read a novel that focused on Germans  instead, especially when they would have been raised from children to believe everything the Nazi party proclaimed as truth. My only complaint was I felt a few characters’ stories were left slightly open-ended, although I know that is one of the unfortunate realities of war – sometimes not knowing where people ended up. I’m hoping though that perhaps it actually means a sequel is forthcoming? (*Hint, hint, Ms. Newton.)

For more information on Andie’s books, visit: https://www.andienewton.com/

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COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2020

Two on Tuesday with Jo Schaffel and Sara Webley

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This week’s guests for the Two on Tuesday author spotlight are Young Adult Historical Fiction writing team, Jo Schaffel and Sara Webley. In their novel, Somewhere Besides Denver, three seventeen-year-old girls, seeking a future more exciting than society parties and safe marriages, leave their Denver homes in 1907 to greet the new century on a Grand Tour in Paris and London.

Jo Schaffel’s Two on Tuesday Facts:

  1. Sara and I worked together at the Boston Children’s Zoo. We both love reading, writing, and old movies, so we decided to write a young adult book together. My father-in-law had told me family stories about his great-aunt, Josephine Marion, who chaperoned wealthy young women on European trips in the early 1900s. This was the inspiration for Somewhere Besides Denver. Josephine, who never married, was a Denver socialite and spoke several languages. She worked for the city of Denver—and had streets named after her! During the Depression, “Aunt Jo” remained in Paris, and died there in 1946.
  2. I especially enjoyed researching the transportation, clothing, city life, and time period of 1907–1908, when women’s roles, as well as art and music, were shifting. Fashion, too, was changing: women were rejecting stiff clothing and corsets.

Sara Webley’s Two on Tuesday Facts:

  1. Paul Poiret’s fashions freed women from wearing corsets. (See photo below.) His designs appeal to me because my dad was an industrial designer and artist, and my grandma Marie emigrated here from Slovenia in the early 1900s, when the suffrage movement was catching fire. Marie told me great stories, like being fooled by the “chocolate scam” featured in Somewhere Besides Denver. Marie was a dynamic, independent woman, like the characters Jo and I created.
  2. Fancy-dressed dogs appear in Somewhere Besides Denver. I loved researching the fad of dressing up dogs, popular in Europe in the early 1900s. Besides writing books for young readers, I’ve also worked as an animal technician in the zoo and aquarium field. So most of my writing includes animals: my recent fantasy Zo in the Roosting Tree is the story of a crow and a girl who switch places.

SBD Dress

Jo and Sara are available to connect with readers on Instagram, Facebook, and Goodreads. For more info on Somewhere Besides Denver, visit www.somewherebesidesdenver.com and for more info on Zo, visit www.zointheroostingtree.com

Calling all authors!

Are you an an author interested in being featured on Two on Tuesday? If so, please complete the form here.

Disclaimer: Authors featured within the Two on Tuesday Author Spotlight were not compensated in any way for their participation. Content included within each author’s current or future works or the legitimacy of any information provided within this spotlight are not the responsibility of Kelsey Gietl. Authors were provided book content guidelines prior to applying. Authors should be contacted directly with any questions.

Two on Tuesday with Julie Coulter Bellon

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This week’s guest for the Two on Tuesday author spotlight is Canadian Regency romance author, Julie Coulter Bellon. An author known for romantic suspense, Julie’s latest novel, The Marquess Meets His Match features the tagline, “A traitor with a deadly plan—two agents sent to expose his identity before he strikes. But danger is closer than they think …”

Julie’s Two on Tuesday Facts:

  1. I am a descendant of several dukes and earls, including the Duke of Norfolk, the Duke of Somerset, the Duke of Clarence, and the Duke of Buckingham. For The Marquess Meets His Match, I used my own ancestor, the Earl of Pembroke in the story, as well as the Earl of Huntington. My ancestors’ real-life histories included a lot of spies and intrigue, and I loved including a bit of intrigue in my fiction story! I really enjoy the regency time period and my new book, The Viscount’s Vow will be released June 1st.
  2. I am Canadian and have always been fascinated by the royal family. When I was thirteen years old, I got to meet Princess Diana and shake her hand. She asked what time it was, and if it was always that hot in Canada. I swore I’d never wash my hand again after our conversation, but of course, I did.

JulieBellon princess-diana-397649_1920

Julie is available to connect with readers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. More information on Julie’s books can be found at: www.juliebellon.com

Calling all authors!

Are you an an author interested in being featured on Two on Tuesday? If so, please complete the form here.

Disclaimer: Authors featured within the Two on Tuesday Author Spotlight were not compensated in any way for their participation. Content included within each author’s current or future works or the legitimacy of any information provided within this spotlight are not the responsibility of Kelsey Gietl. Authors were provided book content guidelines prior to applying. Authors should be contacted directly with any questions.

Two on Tuesday with Pat Wahler

Pat WahlerTitle

This week’s guest for the Two on Tuesday author spotlight is fellow Missourian and historical fiction author, Pat Wahler. Based on the notorious outlaw, her novel, I am Mrs. Jesse James, features the tagline, “For Jesse James, the bloody Civil War will never be over. For the woman who will become his wife, the war is only beginning.”

Pat’s Two on Tuesday Facts:

  1. The plight of homeless animals has always been one of my passions. I’ve served on the board of a local shelter and have fostered both cats and dogs. I even played midwife and helped to deliver a litter of six kittens! Not surprisingly, this interest in animals has worked its way into my books, where you’ll typically find a four-legged critter in the story—be it horse, dog, or cat. After all, I do work under the close supervision of a Peke-a-poo named Winston, who heads the marketing department and co-attends all Zoom meetings. Second in command is my tabby cat, Bogey, who oversees preliminary edits for my books (see photos below). Does it surprise you to learn they are both rescues?
  2. I am hopelessly addicted to research. Just like Alice, I have no trouble tumbling down the rabbit hole to verify when women abandoned hoop skirts, only to later realize I’ve spent four hours viewing dresses in Godey’s Lady’s Book. I suspect a loving but firm intervention would be appropriate.

I am Mrs. Jesse James is currently on $1.99 ebook sale now through July 2020. Pat is available to connect with readers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bookbub, Goodreads, and Pinterest. More information on Pat’s books can be found at: https://patwahler.com/

Calling all authors!

Are you an an author interested in being featured on Two on Tuesday? If so, please complete the form here.

Disclaimer: Authors featured within the Two on Tuesday Author Spotlight were not compensated in any way for their participation. Content included within each author’s current or future works or the legitimacy of any information provided within this spotlight are not the responsibility of Kelsey Gietl. Authors were provided book content guidelines prior to applying. Authors should be contacted directly with any questions.

Two on Tuesday with Tanya E. Williams

TanyaEWilliamsCoverI’m excited to invite historical fiction author, Tanya E. Williams, as the first guest for the Two on Tuesday Author Spotlight. Tanya’s Smith Family series is an emotional rollercoaster of a read following three generations over the time leading up to, during, and in the aftermath following World War II.

Tanya’s Two on Tuesday Facts:

  1. The first story I remember drafting was when I was five years old and it was a story about the life of the crickets. I told the story to the crickets as I crouched along the edge of an alfalfa field. It took me another thirty five years before I became brave enough to share my stories with the world.
  2. I write character driven historical fiction because I love how the lessons of the past, no matter the time period or the location, tend to be of similar nature when it comes to human emotion, motivation, and experience. I also have a fascination with historical research – yep, I’m a history nerd at heart. (The photo below is of me in the Maps room of the New York Public Library. I am researching the historic maps of Seattle, WA for my upcoming historical novel ETA Fall 2020).

Tanya is available to connect with readers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bookbub, and Goodreads. More information on Tanya’s books can be found at: https://tanyaewilliams.com

New York Public LIbrary Map Room

Calling all authors!

Are you an an author interested in being featured on Two on Tuesday? If so, fill out the form here.

Disclaimer: Authors featured within the Two on Tuesday Author Spotlight were not compensated in any way for their participation. Content included within each author’s current or future works or the legitimacy of any information provided within this spotlight are not the responsibility of Kelsey Gietl. Authors were provided book content guidelines prior to applying. Authors should be contacted directly with any questions.

April Newsletter – Writing in the time of Coronavirus

I hope this newsletter finds you healthy and surviving our current “normal.” Please know that you are all in my prayers during this trying time. In particular, I thank God for all those on the front lines, putting their own lives at risk to ensure that we stay healthy and safe. Now that my own family is more into the groove of managing work, school, and a pandemic, I’ve had a little more time for writing.

Latest News

First thing’s first. Tomorrow, April 25, was supposed to be the official launch date for Broken Lines before Coronavirus swept in and changed plans. I’m still providing the first two chapters in a sneak peek sent directly to my email newsletter subscribers, so if you haven’t signed up yet, you can still do so today.

The paperback proof of Broken Lines arrived yesterday and well, the colors aren’t quite what I expected. Unfortunately, that tends to happen when the digital file is converted to ink on paper. In fact, I had to adjust the coloring for Twisted River three times before I landed on the correct combination. So, it’s back to Photoshop until I get this one right too. And speaking of ways to stay in the know, I’ve now joined Instagram. Make sure to follow me over there for updates, book recommendations, and more.

Lastly, I had a particularly productive month and finished my detailed outline for War Across Waters Book 2: Unsettled Shores. I’m super excited about the unexpected twists the plot line is taking and also a bit overwhelmed as they require a lot more research than I anticipated. So, that stack of library books I said I checked out last month? Well, that’s only going to be a drop in the ocean of information I need to learn. To give you a taste, my currently compiled list includes topics such as treatment of war-inflicted injuries, convalescent homes, spy rings, French culture, and WW1 German occupation.

Recommended Reads

71-29nCUOMLI had been looking forward to reading Veiled in Smoke ever since I saw the cover last fall. From the rose and grey colors to the woman’s gown to the smoke swirls encasing the aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire, it’s a perfectly lovely combination. The story surrounds Meg and Sylvia Townsend, two Chicago bookshop owners whose father returned from the Civil War suffering from “soldier’s heart,” a 19th century version of PTSD. When fire sweeps through the city, he mistakes the resulting chaos for rebel invaders and, memory compromised, wakes the next morning accused of murder and locked in the city asylum. It’s now up to his daughters to discover what really happened the night of the fire and save their family from the ashes.

This is a wonderful intriguing book both inside and out. All of the characters were interesting in their own right, with the two sisters being distinct from each other, even though their day to day situations were often the same. The author transported me to several fantastic historical locations whose details painted a vivid picture without overloading the senses. One detail in particular that I liked was her accurate use of spectacles worn by the newspaper reporter, Nate. It may seem like a silly observation, but if you wear glasses, you probably understand the adjustments, cleaning, and tired eyes that can come with wearing them. I’ve found very few authors really nail that level of accuracy. Finally, as an author myself, I often see plot twists coming, but this story actually kept me guessing. Twice I thought I had it all figured out, then the author made me guess again, which I truly loved. I recommend reading her historical notes at the end which discuss her research for the story and distinguishing fact from fiction. She also includes a neat guide to real life locations on her website here. I believe there are two more books to this series and you can be sure I will be pre-ordering them.

 

The best way to receive this newsletter is through e-mail. If you were directed to this site via social media or a search engine, you can subscribe to updates by entering your e-mail on the Contact page. E-mail addresses are never sold or distributed. You may unsubscribe at any time.

COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2020