News and Reviews

New Series Outline Complete!

cropped-website-cover-3-16-2021-2.jpg

Happy July, readers! Let’s jump right in!

Writing Updates

I’m happy to announce that the outline for my 1850’s series, Larksong Legacy, is now complete! I don’t like to give too much away too soon unless plot points change, but here’s what I can tell you:

Book 1 follows the descendants of two very different plantation families, Tobias Lark and Sarah Walcott, who each possess special “Gifts.” Apart, their talents lead to isolation; however, together, they may be exactly the answer the other one most needs. Along with numerous secondary characters, Tobias and Sarah head west towards Washington in search of an escape, a community of acceptance, and a place to call home. Unfortunately, who you are isn’t always something you can simply leave behind.

Each book in the planned five-book series will focus on a different one of the Lark brothers – Daniel, Tobias, Garrett, Jamison, and Cade – alongside a strong female lead, weaving their individual stories into the overall tale of their family’s unusual legacy.

Here are some of the fantastic landscapes their wagon party would have seen as they traveled the approximately 2,000 miles from Missouri to Washington:

IMG_0122
Photo by Kelsey Gietl

clear open field under blue sky

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com
pine trees by lake in forest against sky
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

The Book Shop

Need a copy of my books? All four can be read on their own or in order of publication. Click the covers below to purchase! Available online in ebook and paperback or by request from your favorite indie bookseller or local library. For book club appearances, contact me here.

Unsettled Shores Cover - Front     Broken Lines Cover - Final 4-25-2020 small     Across Oceans Cover - 2.27 small     Twisted River Cover Final - 2-27-2020

Due to variability in social media algorithms, 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.

Follow me on:

flogo_RGB_HEX-114  Twitter_Social_Icon_Square_Color  glyph-logo_May2016 MeWe Logo 1454549143-1454549143_goodreads_misc  BB 96x96 S

COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2021

Author Interview with Andie Newton

f3dtFdfA

Today, I’m presenting a special post as part of the blog tour for historical fiction author, Andie Newton. I read her novel The Girl I Left Behind last year and jumped at the chance to interview Andie for her latest World War II novel, The Girls from the Beach.

Q. Andie, what inspired you to write The Girls from the Beach?

A. I was actually inspired by so many different things. This book is about four friends (battle nurses from the 45th) that are sent on a secret mission to patch up a few men across enemy lines. But it’s a lie. Their real mission is far more dangerous and will require each of them to constantly evaluate what they are prepared to risk and what they have to live for. This story is a work of fiction, but clandestine operations as wild as what happens in this book happened throughout the war. I suppose I was inspired by every true story I’ve read about bravery, daring rescues, and escapes during the occupation and after D-Day. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I was also inspired by the discovery of certain historical events that made the women’s mission possible. I’ve gone into detail in the author’s note about what those are.

Q. You’re an American author, but your novels are published under a British imprint. Does that have any impact on how you approach your writing? 

A. No. My stories are set in Europe and WWII was a shared mass event, so the subject matter appeals to readers all over. I suppose if I wanted to write a contemporary story set regionally in the US that would change things, depending on the subject matter.

Q. All of your novels so far are set during World War II. Why did you choose that time period and will any of your future novels explore another era? 

A. I think it is important to write about time periods that interest you. But also, I love spy stories with external and internal conflicts, and WWII provides the perfect backdrop. With that said, I’m open to other time periods. It would depend on the story.

Q. Of your three books, which one was your favorite to write and why? 

A. This is an interesting question. I didn’t think I could love a book more than I loved The Girl I Left Behind. Then I wrote The Girl from Vichy! Each book is different, and each book holds a special place in my heart. However, I particularly love The Girls from the Beach. I think this is because they are American characters (I adore all of them) and they are far from perfect (which means I had A LOT of fun writing them). The comradery between them, their grit, and their fierce loyalty is something I just love. So, right now out of the three, The Girls from the Beach is my favorite.

Q. Finally, just for fun, if you could have any job in the world (other than an author), what would it be and why? (In this hypothetical world, money/time/education etc. are not of concern.) 

A. Wouldn’t it be fun to be a secret vacationer? Like a secret shopper, but someone who goes on vacation every week and reports back to the resort’s corporate office about their experience. This might be everyone’s dream.

Book Synopsis

ARIA_Newton_The Girls from the Beach Final‘We’d heard stories about the nurses in tent seven. A secret mission, stolen money, and spies…’

In 1944, four American nurses disappeared for five days. No one knew what happened to them. Until now.

When Kit and Red set foot on French soil during the Normandy landings, they know they have to rely on each other. As they head for the battlefield, their aim is simple: save lives. But when they’re called away on a top-secret mission to patch up a few men behind enemy lines, everything changes.

Alongside fellow nurses, Roxy and Gail, they’re told to prepare for the worst, trading in their nurses’ fatigues for civilian clothes and hiding medical supplies under their skirts. But it’s a lie. Their real mission tasks them with the impossible – to infiltrate the Reich and steal something the Nazis desperately need to win their losing war.

In an ultimate test of courage and comradeship, each woman must decide what she is prepared to risk and what she has to live for.

Where to Purchase

The eBook is available now and the paperback will release on October 7.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3zq8oid

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3crPDjI

Google Play: https://bit.ly/30CdbwN

Apple: https://apple.co/38A7iVj

About Andie Newton

Andie NewtonAndie Newton is the USA Today bestselling author of The Girl from Vichy. All her books are fast-paced female-driven spy stories set in WWII. The Girl I Left Behind was her debut, and her forthcoming release, The Girls from the Beach, will be released in July 2021. She holds a Bachelor degree in History and a Master in Teaching. Andie would love to say she spends her free time gardening and cooking, but she’s killed everything she’s ever planted and set off more fire alarms than she cares to admit. Andie does, however, love spending time with her family, trail running, and drinking copious amounts of coffee. You can find book club discussion questions on andienewton.com.

Follow Andie on:

flogo_RGB_HEX-114  Twitter_Social_Icon_Square_Color  glyph-logo_May2016

Friday Fiction Reading Recommendations

Friday Fiction Cover 6-28-2021

Happy Friday, readers! If it is starting to feel like the structure of my reading recommendations is changing with every newsletter lately, that’s because it has been. One of the great things about managing your own newsletter is being able to change it based on reader feedback. When one element doesn’t work as expected, you can try another. Therefore, I’ve made a few more – and hopefully final – changes to the Friday Fiction newsletter.

  1. You’ll notice I’ve updated the overall look to match my monthly newsletter and my author website.
  2. The Friday Fiction newsletter will now be provided in e-mail quarterly, rather than monthly. However, if you prefer more frequent recommendations, I will also post these same reviews on Instagram, Goodreads, and BookBub after finishing each book.
  3. Reviews will be shorter, providing only my thoughts without a full synopsis. A link to the author’s website will be provided for more information.

Now on to the reviews!

Dreams of Savannah by Roseanna M. White

American Civil War

img_3652Dreams of Savannah is a beautifully written standalone novel of the Deep South during the Civil War. While the primary plotline revolves around the romance between a Confederate soldier and a Southern Belle, the story was so much deeper than that. The author addresses the economic, societal, and racial considerations behind the Confederate secession, approaching sensitive subjects like slavery and religion with grace and thoughtful consideration. Every character within the novel had strong convictions and no matter their leanings, I found them to be well-rounded and believable given the historical context. I also learned many new facts about the time period which had me researching online to find out if they were true (they were!). Make sure not to skip the author’s note at the end where Rosanna M. White discusses her unique perspective from living in West Virginia, a state considered by many to be both in the North and the South. For more information, visit: Roseanna M. White

The Stolen Princess by Kortney Keisel

Dystopian with a Historical Feel

IMG_3667Kortney Keisel’s books are labeled “dystopian,” but they’re not the usual post-apocalyptic reads that you might be used to. Her novels read like a perfect blend of historical fiction, fantasy, and dystopian with some amazingly witty dialogue thrown in. If you’ve read The Promised Prince (which you should before reading The Stolen Princess), you’ll get to see into the inner workings of Drake Vestry, Prince Ezra’s commander from Albion, plus meet Princess Myka, a new feisty character and the daughter of the king of Tolsten. There’s political intrigue, a royal kidnapping, slow burn romance, and a brilliant twist ending that will make you demand to read the next one (which is coming out in September 2021!). For more information, visit: Kortney Keisel

Shadows of the White City by Jocelyn Green

1893 Chicago world’s fair

IMG_3655Jocelyn Green’s latest inspirational historical, Shadows of the White City, does not disappoint. This is the second book in her Windy City Saga, and it is such a delight getting to see how Meg and Sylvie have grown since the first one and also meeting some exciting new characters in Kristof and Rose. Jocelyn Green brings such excitement with the setting of The Chicago World’s Fair and you can definitely tell she’s done her research. All her books are an immersive historical experience. I would recommend starting this series with book 1, Veiled in Smoke, which takes place during and after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. For more information, visit: Jocelyn Green

Great Waters by Jennifer Q. Hunt

Roaring Twenties/Great Depression America

Screenshot 2021-06-24 071223Great Waters is a beautiful novel of not only what it means to fall in love, but how to stay in love and stay faithful when the rose-colored glasses come off and everything crumbles beneath you. I loved the raw, rich, and real emotions that Jennifer Q. Hunt shows in every aspect of her characters from the young love of our leads, Russell and Katie, to the more seasoned (but no less complex) marriages of their siblings and friends. There are some tough topics discussed including spousal abuse, depression, and pregnancy loss that are all handled with a tender understanding and grace. Even if you don’t normally read historical fiction, the themes of this novel are worth considering. For more information, visit: Jennifer Q. Hunt

Also, don’t miss my Great Waters paperback giveaway ending July 16, 2021. Full rules are included in the link below.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE

The Book Shop

Need a copy of my books? All four can be read on their own or in order of publication. Click the covers below to purchase! Available online in ebook and paperback or by request from your favorite indie bookseller or local library. For book club appearances, contact me here.

Unsettled Shores Cover - Front     Broken Lines Cover - Final 4-25-2020 small     Across Oceans Cover - 2.27 small     Twisted River Cover Final - 2-27-2020

Due to variability in social media algorithms, 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.

Follow me on:

flogo_RGB_HEX-114  Twitter_Social_Icon_Square_Color  glyph-logo_May2016 MeWe Logo 1454549143-1454549143_goodreads_misc  BB 96x96 S

COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2021

Updates, Events, and Giveaways

cropped-website-cover-3-16-2021-2.jpg

Summer is here in Missouri and I am trying to get outside more, as hard as that is for someone whose day job and side job are both in front of a computer. But as Stephen King has said, “Books are a uniquely portable magic,” which means they can be enjoyed just as easily outside as well as in.

Unsettled Shores – One Month Later

USFirst Line Friday2

One of my favorite parts of being an author is the opportunity to connect with other authors and readers and discuss great books. Since the launch of Unsettled Shores last month, I’ve had the privilege of participating in two live stream events with Instagrammer, @paper_trail_adventures, and with fellow historical fiction author, Tanya E. Williams. We talked about everything from inspiration for my books to my writing process to which character I liked the best (hint, he reminds many of Flynn Rider). If you missed them live, they can still be viewed here:

Alexis (@paper_trail_adventures) – June 8, 2021

Tanya E. Williams – May 21, 2021

And if you still need a copy of the book, here’s the link to purchase:

Purchase Unsettled Shores

 

Writing Updates

My 1850’s series, Larksong Legacy, has crossed the halfway point in the outlining phase. I plan to finish plotting the rest of the series by August, with drafting for Book 1 beginning in early September. Research also continues as well as searching for those perfect inspirational pictures from the time period. The photo below is located on the Columbia River, which separates Oregon from Washington State, close to where my characters settle at the end of Book 1.

cape_horn,_columbia_river_1995.35.25

 

My Favorite Read of 2021 So Far

JHUNT - GW - Front Cover - Final

Last month, I revealed the relaunch cover I designed for Jennifer Q. Hunt’s Some Through the Fire. I am so excited to announce this month that I’ve completed the relaunch design for her second book, Great Waters. I finished reading this book shortly before designing the cover and it is my favorite read of the year so far. Although it is Book #2, it can be read as a standalone.

Taking place during the last few years of the 1920’s and into the Great Depression, this is a beautiful novel of not only what it means to fall in love, but how to stay in love and stay faithful when the rose-colored glasses come off and everything crumbles beneath you. I loved the raw, rich, and real emotions that Jennifer Q. Hunt shows in every aspect of her characters from the young love of our leads, Russell and Katie, to the more seasoned (but no less complex) marriages of their siblings and friends. There are some tough topics discussed including spousal abuse, depression, and pregnancy loss that are all handled with a tender understanding and grace. There were certainly times that this book brought me to tears, but thankfully there were many more instances, including the ending, which made me smile. I recommend this to all readers, especially those who are married. Even if you do not like historical fiction, the themes of this novel are worth considering.

To celebrate the relaunch, I’m giving away one paperback copy of Great Waters to one random winner (U.S. only). Giveaway ends on July 16, 2021. Full rules are included in the link below.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE

 

Upcoming Events

194775407_327626265617948_9145716471204660059_n

To help celebrate the July 1 release of Jenny Knipfer’s new historical fiction novel, In a Grove of Maples, I am participating in a multi-author event in the Journeying with Jenny Facebook group. During the two-day event, over 35 giveaways will be offered from 13 different authors, including a chance to win an ebook copy of one of my four novels. You will need to join the group and comment on the post in order to be entered to win. Winners will be chosen July 3. Not affiliated or sponsored by Facebook.

 

The Book Shop

Need a copy of my books? All four can be read on their own or in order of publication. Click the covers below to purchase! Available online in ebook and paperback or by request from your favorite indie bookseller or local library. For book club appearances, contact me here.

Unsettled Shores Cover - Front     Broken Lines Cover - Final 4-25-2020 small     Across Oceans Cover - 2.27 small     Twisted River Cover Final - 2-27-2020

Due to variability in social media algorithms, 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.

Follow me on:

flogo_RGB_HEX-114  Twitter_Social_Icon_Square_Color  glyph-logo_May2016 MeWe Logo 1454549143-1454549143_goodreads_misc  BB 96x96 S

COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2021

New Series Update and a Double Giveaway

cropped-website-cover-3-16-2021-2.jpg

Happy May (almost June), readers! Missouri weather is out in full force here, alternating between bright and sunny weekends and chilly rainy weekends. This weekend in the United States is Memorial Day, where we remember all those who fought and died for our country. We thank them for making the ultimate sacrifice and pray for all those left behind.

Unsettled Shores – Now Available!

US Release Day

My War Across Waters duology is the perfect series to talk about this Memorial Day weekend as it features World War I soldiers and their families. Unsettled Shores launched in eBook on May 15 and was met with some amazing reviews! I am so grateful for your purchases, kind words, and sharing with your friends and family. Reading your words brings a smile every day. For those of you who have stayed with the Hope or High Water world through all four books and six years, I offer an additional showering of gratitude. Over the series, I have grown so much as a writer and part of that is due to your support. As hard as it is to close this series, I am excited to bring you the next one! (See next section for more details on Series 2.)

Some praise for Unsettled Shores:

“This must read novel is sure to become one of your all time favorites. I loved this story so much and the author’s writing style that she is now on my auto buy list.” ~ Page Turners Blog

“Gietl has crafted a novel to sink your teeth into.” ~ Jenny Knipfer, author of Silver Moon

“Do you ever finish a book and then just wonder what book could ever possibly compare to the one you just finished? Yes, that was how I felt when I finished Unsettled Shores.” ~ paper_trail_adventures, Instagram

“I cannot get over my love for these characters. They are just so honest and layered and real!” ~ the.enchanted.library, Instagram

“A captivating and surprising read. I did not expect to love this book as much as I did … By the last few chapters, it was really hard to walk away from.” ~ readingthroughnaptime, Instagram

Purchase Unsettled Shores

Next Up – Larksong Legacy

Last month, I revealed that my next historical fiction series will be set in 1850’s America. At the time, I was deep in research and wasn’t sure where exactly the series was going. I’m pleased to say that I have a much better idea now and the story is really starting to take shape. Usually my writing process if fairly chaotic, so it’s a different experience for me to have so much plotted before starting to write the first book. This series has a bit of a different flavor than my last one though, so advance outlining and proper foreshadowing will be key. Here’s what I can tell you so far:

  • The working series title is Larksong Legacy as it revolves around the Lark siblings.
  • Book 1 begins in Mid-Missouri, but doesn’t stay there.
  • There’s an unusual twist to this historical fiction family saga.
  • The story also involves a cursed woman. No, that is not the twist.
  • Here are the books currently on my research pile. Any ideas what might be in store for our new characters?

LS Research

 

A Double Giveaway

Many of you already know that I design my own book covers, but I also had the privilege of designing the relaunch cover for Jennifer Q. Hunt’s Some Through the Fire. This is a wonderful novel spanning from the 1917 Atlanta Fire through World War I and up to the 1919 Boston Police Riot, and I love how the cover expresses the beauty of the story. To celebrate the relaunch, Jennifer Q. Hunt is providing signed paperbacks of both Some Through the Fire and Unsettled Shores to one random winner (U.S. only). Make sure to enter soon as the giveaway only runs through May 31, 2021.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE

Screenshot 2021-05-27 071858

 

Upcoming Events

187235712_773901133326375_5087588002766250290_n

 

The Book Shop

Need a copy of my other books? All three can be read on their own or in order of publication. Click the covers below to purchase! Available online in ebook and paperback or by request from your favorite indie bookseller or local library. For book club appearances, contact me here.

Broken Lines Cover - Final 4-25-2020 small     Across Oceans Cover - 2.27 small     Twisted River Cover Final - 2-27-2020

Due to variability in social media algorithms, 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.

Follow me on:

flogo_RGB_HEX-114  Twitter_Social_Icon_Square_Color  glyph-logo_May2016 MeWe Logo 1454549143-1454549143_goodreads_misc  BB 96x96 S

COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2021