Thursday, November 29, 2018


~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight,
Author Bio, Author Interview &

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for When the Heart Sings by Liz Tolsma, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


When the Heart Sings-FINAL-front_cover_020518a-HR Title: When the Heart Sings  
Series: Music of Hope #2  
Author: Liz Tolsma  
Publisher: Gilead Publishing  
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance  

Natia has a secret, and she’s hiding him right beneath her captor’s nose...

The Nazis have forced Natia and Teodor from their Polish farm to a labor camp. When the couple is separated, Natia is chosen to be the housekeeper for the camp’s overseer, and Teodor is sent to work in the factory. Despite the strict camp rules—and the consequences for disobeying them—Natia finds a way to communicate with Teodor by sending messages through song as she passes Teodor’s dormitory.

The stakes get higher when Natia finds a Jewish orphan on the overseer’s doorstep. She is determined to protect the boy and raise him as the child she and her husband were unable to bear— but if her German captors discover how much she’s hiding, both she and Teodor may pay the ultimate price.  

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Christian Book | Book Depository


liz tolsma

Passionate might best describe Liz Tolsma. She loves writing, research, and editing. Her passion shone through in her first novel which was a double award finalist. On any given day, you might find her pulling weeds in her perennial garden, walking her hyperactive dog, or curled up with a good book. Nothing means more to her than her family. She's married her high-school sweetheart twenty-eight years ago. Get her talking about international adoption, and you might never get her to stop. She and her husband adopted three children, including a son who is a U.S. Marine, and two daughters.

CONNECT WITH LIZ: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

JUNE: Welcome to 'Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic', Liz. I'm pleased to have you as my guest here. 'When the Heart Sings' is Book Two in your 'Music of Hope' World War II series. Congratulations on having both of these books released in 2018!

JUNE: Please tell us how you created your setting and developed the characters for this book, 'When the Heart Sings'. Since this is an historical novel set in Europe during World War II, what types of research did you perform prior to or while working on the story?

LIZ: The labor camp is a compilation of several different labor camps I read about. The research was very difficult, because once the Soviets came into Poland, they didn’t allow WWII to be taught or talked about. There is very little out there to draw from. While I wanted to use a true camp, there wasn’t enough information to do that.

My characters end up coming to me. As I write, they reveal themselves to me, and I get to know them better as you get to know them. That’s one of the most fun things about writing – the surprises your characters have for you.

JUNE: Who is your favorite character in the story? Why is this person your favorite? Without spoiling the story, is there anyone in the story who you do not like? Why not?

LIZ: I really identify with Natia, but Elfriede was a character that I came to really like. She started out as someone I didn’t want to like, but the more I got to know her and the more she showed me about who she was, the more I liked her.

Without giving anything away, I do not like her husband. I’m sure you won’t either, but every story has to have a villain 😊

JUNE: I recently read the chapter one preview from 'When the Heart Sings' offered on your website. {Thank you!} The story is set in 1943 in war-ravaged Poland. I was struck by the kindness and compassion of the reverend, Pastor Jankowski, who visits the home of Teodor and Natia Palinska. {I don't want to spoil the story for those who have not yet read it so I won't say anything more about why he visited the young couple.} Was Pastor Jankowski's character based on a minister you have known in your life? Please explain how you were led to include him in this book.

LIZ: My father was a pastor, and he is one of the most compassionate men I know. He has a true heart for people and loved each member of his flock. Still does. Everyone who has been a member of a church he has pastored who speaks to me speaks so highly of him. He was my inspiration for Pastor Jankowski.

JUNE: Your books stretch across several genres--historical World War II novels, an Amish novel, and prairie romance novellas. I read on your website that you are now working on a romantic suspense story. What versatility! If you were not writing in those genres, what other fictional genre might you try? Would you ever consider writing non-fiction? If so, what subject(s) would you like to write about?

LIZ: Another genre??? Haha! I’m always up for it. I would like to try a time slip. Other then my Amish, I haven’t written contemporary, and it would be fun to try. If I would write nonfiction, I would write about marriage and adoption and raising children. Yes, I do have a couple of ideas in my head. Just not enough time to write them all!

JUNE: When you write a book, do you outline the entire story, or do you have a different way of organizing your plot, characters, etc.? Do you always know the ending of your story before you begin putting things down on paper, or into your computer?

LIZ: Plotting makes me break out in hives!! I get to know my characters and have a basic sketch of where I’m going, but that’s it. I use a writing program that helps me keep everything organized, so I can look up my characters or setting or plot ideas very easily. I do usually know the ending of my story before I start. The fun is getting there.

JUNE: Two of your three children are away from home. Your son is serving in the military and your eldest daughter is studying at college. With the hope that you'll all be able to gather together for this holiday season, please share some of your family's favorite Christmas traditions, recipes, church activities, decorations, etc., with us.

LIZ: We LOVE Christmas in our house. My husband was born on Christmas day, our oldest daughter was born on December 17th, and we were married on December 23rd. And yes, it was full-on Christmas-themed wedding. If I were to go into every tradition, I would need a month’s worth of blog posts LOL! When we open our gifts, we go from youngest to oldest, all taking turns opening. It can take us hours to get them done. But that’s a great way to savor the holiday.

For Christmas day dessert, my mom always makes grasshopper pie. She’s known for this dessert.

~ Grasshopper Pie Recipe~

24 Oreo cookies, crushed
1/4 c. melted butter

Combine these and press them into the bottom of an 8” springform pan.

1 jar marshmallow cream
2 cups heavy cream, whipped
1/4 c. crème de menthe
3 T. crème de cocoa

Add crème de menthe and crème de cocoa to the marshmallow cream. For a non-alcoholic version, start with a teaspoon of peppermint extract and taste until you have the mint flavor you want. Fold in the whipped cream and freeze.

JUNE: Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Liz. Your Grasshopper Pie recipe looks delicious. I appreciate your sharing it with my readers. Wishing you continued success in your writing!

when the heart sings blog giveaway


(1) winner will receive (US only)
  • a print copy of When the Heart Sings
  • 'Just One More Chapter' throw pillow seen HERE
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 26, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 3, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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  1. Loved the interview. And thank you for posting that wonderful recipe.I can't wait to read When The Heart Sings.
    Carol Luciano
    Lucky4750 at aol dot com

    1. Hello, Carol ~ I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview with Liz. You're welcome for the recipe--it certainly does sound delicious . . . I hope you get a chance to read this novel soon; and thank you for stopping by my blog to share your positive thoughts on this post. Sincerely, June

  2. Love the recipe so much, i will try that soon.

    1. Hi, Jodi ~ Thanks for visiting my blog to read this post. I hope you make your own Grasshopper Pie really soon. Thanks, June

  3. Fun author interview! I,too, will have to try out that recipe :-)

    Thank you for participating in the blog tour, both this book and The Melody of the Soul are on my massive want-to-read list!

    1. Welcome back, Trixi ~ I'm happy you enjoyed the author interview with Liz and that your Grasshopper Pie is delicious. You're welcome for the blog stop! Please visit me again soon. Best wishes, June