Tuesday, February 25, 2020

~ BLOG TOUR HOMETOWN HEALING ~

~ BLOG TOUR STOP ~
-- 'HOMETOWN HEALING' --
AUTHOR JENNIFER SLATTERY
~Post Includes: Book Spotlight, Excerpt,
Author Bio, Unique Author Interview &
Giveaway~
Hometown Healing JustRead Blog Tour 
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour & Giveaway for Hometown Healing by Jennifer Slattery, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Hometown Healing by Jennifer Slattery Title: Hometown Healing
Author: Jennifer Slattery
Publisher: Love Inspired
Release Date: August 1, 2019
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance

She’s home again, but not for long… 
Unless this cowboy recaptures her heart.

Returning home with a baby in tow, Paige Cordell’s determined her stay is only temporary. But to earn enough money to leave, she needs a job—and her only option is working at her first love’s dinner theater. With attraction once again unfurling between her and Jed Gilbertson, can the man who once broke her heart convince her to stay for good?

EXCERPT:
Paige followed to the archway that signaled the end of the kitchen, and then she stopped short. Jed was sitting on the ground, next to Ava, and had begun playing with her grungy stuffed cat, talking to it as if it were real. The image triggered memories of dreams—of her and Jed and their happily-ever-after—she’d long since let die.

She could not—would not—allow them to resurface.

Two heartbreaks in one lifetime were more than enough. Besides, by summer’s end, she’d be back in Chicago, with its museums, restaurants and shopping malls.

Upon seeing Paige, he stood and sort of hovered there, as if uncertain where to land. He eventually chose the edge of the couch where her mom hadn’t piled laundry.

Paige took his place on the floor, largely to distance herself from him.

She grabbed some board books from her backpack and handed one over. Ava started flipping through the pages, repeating random words from memory.

That entertained the adults for a bit, but soon the conversation, which had already felt stilted, stalled.

Jed shifted. He scratched at the back of his neck, looked at her and then at Mom, with his brow pinching in that way it always did when he was trying to come up with something to say but had reached a blank. But then he grabbed a cookie and shoved half of it into his mouth.

Paige was tempted to do the same, if only to distract herself from the much-too-handsome man sitting in her mother’s living room.

It was almost like old times.

But if her divorce had taught her anything, it was that she had no business dabbling in romance. The deeper one fell, the more it hurt when everything came undone. And based on the way her breath stalled every time his chocolate eyes latched on to hers, she was dangerously close to regressing back to her teenage years, when Jed’s crooked smile and laughing eyes had threatened to steal her reason. She’d responded to her ex-husband in much the same way and had allowed his sweet talk and promises of forever blind her to some major red flags.


PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Slattery

Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of the soon to release Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she’s passionate about helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. Visit her online to learn more about her speaking or to book her for your next women’s event and sign up for her free quarterly newsletter HERE  and make sure to connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW:

June:
Welcome to 'Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic', Jennifer. I'm delighted to have you as my special guest for this blog tour stop. Congratulations on your newest Love Inspired release, 'Hometown Healing'!

Jennifer: Thank you so much for letting me visit with you and your readers!

June: Please tell us how you created and developed the characters for this novel. Are any of the characters or their personality traits or physical descriptions based on people you've come across in your own life? If yes, what prompted you to include them in 'Hometown Healing'?

Jennifer: My daughter often teases me about how often my husband finds his way into my stories. Though my heroes have unique personalities, they’ve all followed some of the more romantic examples set by my husband. He used to be my cowboy, coming to see me in his cowboy hat and boots. He wears a ballcap more often than not now, but he still sweeps me off my feet and helps me remember what a true hero acts like—how a true hero treats a lady.

I’ve encountered a few Paiges as well—women who want to live their dream, try to plot and plan their way to achieving it, but learn sometimes their greatest steps come when they relinquish their grip and grab hold of unexpected opportunities.

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

Jennifer: Definitely Mrs. Tappen, my hero's grandmother! She is the sweetest thing, always ready to open her home, and she's always got fresh baked treats. She loves to bake and shows her love through yeasty, sugary concoctions. During her teen years, Paige spent many afternoons sitting at Mr. Tappen's breakfast counter, a steamy cinnamon roll in front of her. Oh, the conversations they had, and during a time when Paige desperately needed someone to listen. Everyone needs a Mrs. Tappen in their life!

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? Do you have any particular organizational tips that you'd like to pass along to other authors and aspiring authors?

Jennifer: I have to laugh at myself here. I begin plotting and will plot every scene from beginning to end. But then I get to writing and forget about all that hard work entirely. Then, I get about a quarter of the story in, realize I have no idea where I’m heading, and take a day to plot and plan again. But then my muse takes over, and after another 25,000 or so words, I once again realize I’ve veered so off track, I’m writing an entirely different story. I’m certain there’s a more efficient way to go about things, but I doubt my muse would listen.

June: I noticed on your website that you have written novels in the romance and women's fiction genres. I also noticed, with interest, that you have published a non-fiction work, 'Becoming His Princess: A Seven-Week Bible Study Based on the Life of Sarah {Genesis 12-22}'. Do you plan on writing more Bible Study materials? Have you ever considered writing in any other genres in fiction such as middle-grade, picture books, mystery, historical, or a fictional genre other than inspirational romance? How about poetry? If yes, what projects would you like to work on in the future?

Jennifer: My ministry team and I are actually working on a Bible study now: Unbreakable, Unshakable Joy. I’ve also enjoyed writing devotions and Bible reading plans. Going forward, I anticipate working on fiction and various nonfiction projects, but I don’t see myself venturing into other fictional genres.

June: What writing project(s) are you currently working on? Does 'Hometown Healing' kick off a series or is it a standalone?

Jennifer: Thanks for asking! I recently finished what I hope to be my fourth Love Inspired novel (My third will release in June.) I’m doing a final read through now and hope to get it to my agent by mid-March. Hometown Healing isn’t part of a series but I have set all my Love Inspired books in the same town, so readers will encounter the characters they’ve grown attached to in other stories.

June: Are there any hobbies or interests you would like to pursue in the future? Where would you like to travel if and when your busy schedule allows?

Jennifer: I really should pursue more hobbies, but I find, when I have spare time, I tend to find a book—either one I’m working on or one I can read. For traveling, I love going anywhere with my man. In fact, I’m answering these questions while in the car heading to Oklahoma City. Though I’m going for a speaking engagement, we have some fun things planned. We’ve gotten to where we plan our trips around my speaking engagements. It’s a great way to see new places, meet new people, and combine our love for travel with my love for words.

There are two trips I would really like to make, however. One, I want to go to South Korea, where my baby brother and sis-in-law live, with my husband, daughter, and her soon-to-be husband. Her fiancΓ© hasn’t had an opportunity to meet my brother, and I want to make sure that happens. I also want to take a trip with my daughter, just the two of us. I don’t really care where we go so long as we experience it together. But knowing her, we’ll likely end up in Europe somewhere.

June: Thank you for sharing your time with us today, Jennifer. I appreciate your chatting with us about your writing journey. Best wishes for your continued success in your writing endeavors.

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CONNECT WITH JENNIFER: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a signed four print book bundle including Restoring Her Faith (Love Inspired), Hometown Healing (Love Inspired), Breaking Free (New Hope), and Restoring Love (New Hope)!

Hometown Healing JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight February 22, 2020, and last through 11:59 PM EST on February 29, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and will be given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Continental US mailing addresses only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

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Sunday, February 23, 2020

~ MMGM CLASSIC FICTION FEATURE LASSIE COME HOME ~

~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE
MONDAY CLASSIC FICTION
FEATURE ~
--  'LASSIE COME-HOME'  --
ADAPTED BY:  AUTHOR ROSEMARY WELLS
ORIGINAL SHORT STORY BY:
AUTHOR ERIC KNIGHT
ILLUSTRATED BY:  SUSAN JEFFERS




ABOUT THE BOOK:
Lassie is Joe's prize collie and constant companion. But when Joe's father loses his job, Lassie must be sold. Three times she escapes from her new owner, and three times she returns home to Joe, until finally she is taken to the remotest part of Scotland—too far a journey for any dog to make alone.

But Lassie is not just any dog.

First published in 1940, Lassie Come-Home has become one of the best-loved dog stories in the world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR OF THIS ADAPTATION, ROSEMARY WELLS {from Goodreads}:
Rosemary Wells is the author of a number of popular children's books, most notably the Max and Ruby series which follows the everyday adventures of sibling bunnies - curious three year old Max and bossy seven year old Ruby. She gets the inspiration for Max and Ruby from her two daughters and the experiences they have with friends and school. Her West Highland Terriers Lucy and Snowy have also worked their way into her books, as McDuff and insight for other characters. 

She has also written Noisy Nora, Yoko, Voyage to the Bunny Planet series, a Christmas Book called Morris's Disappearing Bag and a collected book of illustrations of Rodgers and Hammerstein songs. In April 2007, her children's book The Gulps featuring illustrations by Marc Brown was released. Also that year she published Red Moon at Sharpsburg, a historical novel featuring a young girl in the American Civil War. 2008 brings Otto Runs For President, followed by Yoko Writes Her Name, scheduled to be published in July.

Wells grew up in Red Bank, New Jersey. She is the daughter of Helen Bamberger.

ABOUT THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR, ERIC KNIGHT {from Goodreads}:
An author who is mainly notable for creating the fictional collie Lassie.

He was a native of Yorkshire in England, and had a varied career, including service in the Canadian Army during World War I and spells as an art student, newspaper reporter and Hollywood screenwriter.

His first novel was Song on Your Bugles (1936) about the working class in Northern England. As "Richard Hallas," he wrote the hardboiled genre novel You Play The Black and The Red Comes Up (1938). Knight's This Above All is considered one of the significant novels of The Second World War.

Knight and his wife Jere Knight raised collies on their farm in Pleasant Valley, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. His novel Lassie Come-Home (ISBN 0030441013) appeared in 1940. It was adapted into a movie in 1943 and has been reprinted several times since then.

In 1943, at which time he was a major in the United States Army - Special Services, Knight was killed in an air crash in Dutch Guiana (now Surinam).

BONUS CONTENT:

--  MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR FROM ROSEMARY WELLS'S WEBSITE, INCLUDING A VIDEO OF WELLS WORKING IN HER STUDIO MAY BE FOUND AT:

--  TO VIEW SOME FULL-SIZED ILLUSTRATIONS FROM THE BOOK, CHECK OUT THE BOOK'S PAGE ON THE PUBLISHER'S WEBSITE AT:

MY THOUGHTS:
I was inspired to read, or should I say 'reread', this story by an elderly collie. Let me explain. We were walking on a bayshore trail recently when a gentleman returning to the trailhead approached us. He was holding his dog's leash in his hand. I said, "Good morning."

He smiled at us and said, "Gentle old collie coming through!" Following along behind the man, at a slow pace, was a beautiful collie. The dog stopped briefly at my side and looked up at me. I smiled and softly greeted the collie with "Hello."

We all continued on our way, and I said to my walking partner, "That dog reminds me of Lassie. I used to love those stories and the TV show when I was a kid." Right then I decided to look for a Lassie book at the local public library.

This book was the only Lassie book I could find on the shelf at our branch. When I saw it was an adaptation of Eric Knight's original short story from 1938 written by one of my favorite children's authors, Rosemary Wells, I knew I wanted to read it and share it here for Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday.

The story is touching, heartwrenching, and engaging all at the same time. Susan Jeffers's delightful illustrations add even more emotional depth to the story because they depict the bond between Joe, the young protagonist, and Lassie, his family's champion dog.

Without telling Joe, his father sold Lassie to a Duke who had a kennel full of champion dogs. Joe's father had lost his job in the coal mine, and the family was in dire need of the money gained from the sale of their dog. The Duke lived three miles away from Joe's family's home.

Lassie escaped from the kennel and ran back home to Joe. The Duke's hired hand came to retrieve Lassie and took her back to the Duke's kennel. The next day, Lassie escaped again and was waiting for Joe at his school, as she was on every other school day. Joe and his father took the dog back again.

The dog escaped one more time and was reluctantly returned to the Duke. This time the Duke moved Lassie up to the mountains of Scotland, the Highlands, eight hundred miles away! The journey was a two and a half day train ride from Joe's home in Greenall Bridge in England.

The Duke's granddaughter, Priscilla, was instrumental in helping Lassie escape from bondage on the grounds of her grandfather's castle. This part of the story was pretty amazing and exciting.

The rest of the story relates Lassie's long, arduous journey through Scotland and England. She was heading home. Kind humans helped Lassie along the way by feeding her. A woman demanded the dog catchers free Lassie from a dog catcher's net. With a promise to return in one hour to take the dog to the her home, Lassie was taken to the pound temporarily.

Desperate to escape from the pound, Lassie jumped out a window twenty-feet above the cobblestone street below. She was badly injured. An elderly couple found Lassie, collapsed, on their property and nursed her back to health. They named her Bonnie.

Meanwhile, back in Greenall Bridge, Joe was adjusting to not having Lassie around. By now it had been nearly a year since Lassie had been taken to the Highlands. Lassie was fewer than one hundred miles from home, but her trials and tribulations were not over yet. There was a fight with a farm dog in which Lassie was badly injured. There was a lack of food and bad weather. She was weak and sick.

One day Lassie was lying in the schoolyard when Joe's class was dismissed. She was too weak to walk any further, so Joe carried her home. The family nursed their beloved pet back to health, but that is not the end of the story . . . You'll have to read the story for yourself to learn the entire story!

➤ What are some of your 'classic' favorite reads from your childhood? Please share in a comment on this blog post.

Highly recommended for fans of animal/dog stories, historical fiction, fiction set in the United Kingdom, and family sagas.

I borrowed a copy of this book from the local public library.

 **************

Find the links to read more great Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts from middle-grade authors and bloggers at Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' Blog. 


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Thursday, February 20, 2020

~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE THE SHERIFF'S SECOND CHANCE ~

~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE ~
BLOG TOUR STOP
--  'THE SHERIFF'S SECOND CHANCE'  --
AUTHOR TANYA AGLER
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, Excerpt,
Author Bio, Unique Author Interview &
Giveaway~
  
The Sheriff's Second Chance JustRead blog tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Sheriff's Second Chance by Tanya Agler, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Sherrif's Second Chance by Tanya Agler Title: The Sheriff's Second Chance
Author: Tanya Agler
Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming
Release Date: January 1, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Broken things can’t be fixed… 
Or can they?

Officer and single dad Mike Harrison doesn’t believe in second chances. Ever. That is, until he learns that his former best friend—gorgeous green-eyed car mechanic Georgie Bennett—is back in town. Unfortunately, she’s also a suspect in a recent break-in! But it’ll take an old classic car to show Mike and Georgie that almost anything can be restored with a little patience…and a whole lot of love.

EXCERPT:

The thieves knew what they were doing. Mike would give them that much. They’d make a mistake, though. When they did, he would solve the string of B&Es and get his dependable life back. The one that didn’t involve people asking him pesky questions about running for sheriff. The one he’d scrabbled together the day Caitlyn sashayed into his dorm room announcing his impending fatherhood and he’d had to grow up quick.

As soon as Georgie provided an inventory of what was missing, he’d write up the report. Back at the station, without her. With the adrenaline of seeing her again wearing off, he needed to step back. Whenever he ran on emotion rather than logic, he ended up in a heap of trouble.

Excerpt From: Tanya Agler. 'The Sheriff’s Second Chance'

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tanya Agler

An award-winning author, Tanya Agler moved often during her childhood and settled in Georgia where she writes sweet contemporary romance novels, which feature small towns, family and pets, and themes of second chances and hope. 

Her debut, The Sheriff’s Second Chance, is a January of 2020 Harlequin Heartwarming release. A graduate of the University of Georgia with degrees in journalism and law, she lives with her wonderful husband, their four children, and a lovable Basset, who really rules the roost. Represented by Dawn Dowdle and the Blue Ridge Literary Agency, she’s currently at work on the sequels to her debut.  When she’s not writing, Tanya loves classic movies, walking, and a good cup of tea.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW:

June: Welcome to 'Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic', Tanya. I'm delighted to have you as my special guest for this blog tour stop. Congratulations on your debut Harlequin release, 'The Sheriff's Second Chance'!

June:  Please tell us how you created and developed the characters for this novel. Are any of the characters or their personality traits or physical descriptions based on people you've come across in your own life?  If yes, what prompted you to include them in 'The Sheriff's Second Chance'?

Tanya:  Books revolving around small towns and family have always been some of my favorites. My debut novel, The Sheriff’s Second Chance, came about from a couple of ideas that all came together at once. One of the main inspirations was a classic car show occurring at a park where my family stopped for a picnic (I love picnics!) on the first leg of a vacation. Seeing some of the classic cars spurred my imagination into full gear. The idea of a story centered around restoring something broken and run down suggested the themes of second chances and hope, and that’s when I realized this would have to center around a reunion for the hero and heroine. I loved writing this book, and Beau popped up after I plotted the story, but the dog that’s featured on the cover helped make the writing all the more fun.

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

I love Georgie and Mike, but Rachel stole my heart when she came on the scene. She definitely has some of my favorite lines in the book, including a line early on when she asks Georgie if twenty-three dollars and fourteen cents will be enough money to hire Georgie to fix her father. I’ll also admit I’d adopt Beau from an animal shelter in a second.

Overall, I love all the characters, but Mr. Crabtree, a minor character who only appears once in the book, is probably my least favorite character. Second chances and hope are key themes throughout the book, and he’s a close-minded person who’s not willing to give Georgie a chance. He’s set in his ways and refuses to open his mind to new opportunities.

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?  Do you have any particular organizational tips that you'd like to pass along to other authors and aspiring authors? 

Tanya:  Overall, I do spend quite a time outlining the story and trying to get to know the characters before I start writing the story. For The Sheriff’s Second Chance, I had a chapter outline at the beginning, but I also take time during the course of writing to make changes. For instance, the original ending is different, and I knew during the first draft that I had to change the resolution scene, but that’s all I’ll say so I don’t ruin the surprise! So, I did know the ending but there were details of the ending that changed along the way. I do write the book in chronological order so I’m more adaptable to surprises that pop up. For instance, Beau was not in the original plotting stages and he came to me during the first day of writing the actual book.

I’m a mom of four so organization is key for me. Personally, my calendar planner helps keep me somewhat on track. My advice to aspiring authors is to tell the people around you what you’re doing and get them on board. Having my family’s support is a big part of my being able to write on a consistent daily basis. For instance, right now, my older son is sitting across from me working on schoolwork while I’m typing my answers. One other piece of advice is to write a story you love. As one workshop presenter once said, if you’re excited about your characters and you think of them as friends, you’ll want to spend every day with them getting to know them better. In my current manuscript, I love the heroine and I can’t wait for her and the hero to overcome their internal conflicts to earn their happy ending.
 
June:  Have you ever considered writing non-fiction or writing in any other genres in fiction such as middle-grade, picture books, mystery, historical, or a fictional genre other than inspirational romance? How about poetry? If yes, what projects would you like to work on in the future?

Tanya:  When my twins started preschool, I thought about writing a non-fiction book about being the mom of twins. There are a couple of books on surviving the first months, but not that many about what to do after that point. However, I’ve wanted to write fiction, and I love romance. Even my stuffed animals had weddings, and my childhood favorite ended up married with three little stuffed animal children, including twins. So, romance has always been dear to my heart, and I’ve always wanted to write romance.

I’d love to expand to romantic suspense someday but, for now, I love working on sweet contemporary romance blending laughs and tears. I love books that make me laugh and tug at my heartstrings, and I hope that I’m able to give readers that same emotional experience.

June:  What writing project are you currently working on? Does 'The Sheriff's Second Chance' kick off a series or is it a standalone? 

Tanya:  Thanks for asking this! Yes, The Sheriff’s Second Chance kicks off a series. I just turned in Lucie’s book, which deals with redemption and hope, and I’m now working on Natalie’s book. Lucie and Natalie are Georgie’s friends, and Natalie is also Mike’s sister.

June:  Are there any hobbies or interests you would like to pursue in the future? Where would you like to travel if and when your busy schedule allows?

Tanya:  My husband and I are already planning a trip to Europe after our twins graduate high school. We have plenty of time to plan, however, as our twins are in fourth grade. Traveling is definitely on my agenda in the future. I’d love to visit Europe and Australia and New Zealand.

I’m also interested in canoeing and would love to introduce our two youngest to whitewater rafting in the upcoming years. I’d also like to see more national parks and hike to more waterfalls. I love seeing nature and, while I’m not a camper, I do love day hikes and would like to pursue more of those in the future.

June:  Thank you for sharing some time with us today, Tanya. I appreciate your chatting with us about your writing journey and other interesting topics! Best wishes for your continued success in your writing endeavors. 
 
Tanya:  Thank you so much for having me!
                                                   * * * * *

CONNECT WITH TANYA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram



TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of The Sheriff’s Second Chance, swag, and a bookmark!

The Sheriff's Second Chance JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight February 18, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on February 25, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Ebook prize available to Canada. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

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Sunday, February 16, 2020

~ MMGM HISTORICAL FICTION FEATURE SOMEPLACE TO CALL HOME ~

~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE
MONDAY HISTORICAL FICTION
FEATURE ~
--  'SOMEPLACE TO CALL HOME'  --
AUTHOR SANDRA DALLAS





ABOUT THE BOOK {from Goodreads}:
In 1933, what's left of the Turner family--twelve-year-old Hallie and her two brothers--finds itself driving the back roads of rural America. The children have been swept up into a new migratory way of life. America is facing two devastating crises: the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.

Hundreds of thousands of people in cities across the country have lost jobs. In rural America it isn't any better as crops suffer from the never-ending drought. Driven by severe economic hardship, thousands of people take to the road to seek whatever work they can find, often splintering fragile families in the process.

As the Turner children move from town to town, searching for work and trying to cobble together the basic necessities of life, they are met with suspicion and hostility. They are viewed as outsiders in their own country. Will they ever find a place to call home?

New York Times-bestselling author Sandra Dallas gives middle-grade readers a timely story of young people searching for a home and a better way of life.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR {from Goodreads}:
Award-winning author SANDRA DALLAS was dubbed “a quintessential American voice” by Jane Smiley, in Vogue Magazine. Sandra’s novels with their themes of loyalty, friendship, and human dignity have been translated into a dozen foreign languages and have been optioned for films.

A journalism graduate of the University of Denver, Sandra began her writing career as a reporter with Business Week. A staff member for twenty-five years (and the magazine’s first female bureau chief,) she covered the Rocky Mountain region, writing about everything from penny-stock scandals to hard-rock mining, western energy development to contemporary polygamy. Many of her experiences have been incorporated into her novels.

While a reporter, she began writing the first of ten nonfiction books. They include Sacred Paint, which won the National Cowboy Hall of Fame Western Heritage Wrangler Award, and The Quilt That Walked to Golden, recipient of the Independent Publishers Assn. Benjamin Franklin Award.

Turning to fiction in 1990, Sandra has published eight novels, including Prayers For Sale. Sandra is the recipient of the Women Writing the West Willa Award for New Mercies, and two-time winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award, for The Chili Queen and Tallgrass. In addition, she was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award, the Mountain and Plains Booksellers Assn. Award, and a four-time finalist for the Women Writing the West Willa Award.

The mother of two daughters—Dana is an attorney in New Orleans and Povy is a photographer in Golden, Colorado—Sandra lives in Denver with her husband, Bob.

MY THOUGHTS:
Sandra Dallas has been one of my favorite historical fiction and non-fiction authors in the adult book market for over two decades. Some of my favorite books by this author include: 

The Christmas Quilt, The Bride's House, The Quilt that Walked to Golden:  Women and Quilts in the Mountain West from the Overland Trail to Contemporary Colorado, and The Persian Pickle Club.

Naturally, I was delighted to learn that she has been writing middle-grade novels for the past few years, too! When I found a copy of Someplace to Call Home on the new middle-grade fiction shelf in the children's section of the local public library, I knew I wanted to give it a try. It turns out, this is one of the best middle-grade historicals I've read since I began blogging about middle-grade books two years ago. It is right up there with Lauren Wolk's Wolf Hollow and Kirby Larson's Code Word Courage in my list of top books for this genre.

The three Turner siblings--sixteen-year-old Tom, twelve-year-old Hallie, and six-year-old Benny--are on the road to California during the Great Depression in 1933. They end up in Kansas to be exact. They are out of gas, out of food, out of money, and out of hope.

Then some very fortuitous events begin happening. Sure, there are plenty of bad times; but there is also kindness from strangers who throw the family a lifeline during these hard times. There are challenges to overcome and obstacles along the road of life, but this tight-knit family is devoted to each other and their love and dedication to staying together takes them a long, long way.

I don't want to reveal to much about the plot in case you decide you would like to read this gem for yourself, but I will say that the bullying the three Turners suffer through in this book is realistic and unfortunately, probably all too common. I feel I can say this with assurance because two of the incidents directed at Hallie at school are very similar to things perpetrated against me by a few of my classmates when I was in the fifth grade

This is one thing that Author Sandra Dallas does so well through her writing. She draws the reader into the plot and makes her/him feel the pain of the characters in the story. I believe that first and foremost, Sandra Dallas is a masterful storyteller. She includes a lot of historical facts and era-accurate lingo, events, and social culture in her books; but she weaves a thread through her tales that causes the reader to have great empathy for the characters in the story.

Highly-recommended to fans of historical fiction, small-town fiction, and American family fiction.

 I borrowed this book from the local public library.

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Find the links to read more great Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts from middle-grade authors and bloggers at Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' Blog. 


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~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE REVELL STANDOFF ~

~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE ~ REVELL READS BLOG TOUR STOP --  'STANDOFF'  -- AUTHOR PATRICIA BRADLEY     ABOUT THE B...