Thursday, September 24, 2020

FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE HIS GIFT

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~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE ~
--  'HIS GIFT'  --
AUTHOR JOAN C. BENSON
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, Excerpt,
Author Bio, Unique Author Interview & Giveaway~
 
His Gift JustRead Blog Tour 
 
Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for His Gift by Joan Benson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
 
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ABOUT THE BOOK

His Gift

Title: His Gift
Author: Joan C. Benson
Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing 
Release Date: July 26, 2020
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Dreams Can Come True!

Brace yourself for a thrilling race through the twists and turns of a young woman determined to see her dream come true. On the cusp of the stock market crash of 1929, seventeen-year-old Molly has aspirations for a career in music after high school. With the passion of an athlete preparing for the Olympics, she trains relentlessly to become the best she can be. As her world collapses in unimaginable ways, she is left to find peace and purpose in the midst of her crisis. The message of His Gift is universal to anyone who has ever dared to dream in spite of uncontrollable circumstances. The reader will discover with Molly, the hope and peace in a life when yielded to the Giver of all gifts.


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EXCERPT: 

“Molly Martin—a word, please.” Mr. Hill stepped into my path, blocking my exit from class. I glanced at the clock, but I didn’t need a reminder. I only had fifteen minutes.

“I have to run, Mr. Hill. Remember my permission for early-release on Mondays and Thursdays?”

Draping the lab coat over his arm, Mr. Hill looked aloof, yet stern. He towered above me with his tall, skinny frame. He ignored the students edging around us to get on to their classes. Some students called Mr. Hill ‘the teacher with no soul.’ I would add he had no heart if he made me late for my pre-audition at the Music Conservatory.

Chapter 1—Ready or Not

The audition, the Audition, the AUDITION …

October 12, 1929, was only two days away, but it had been penned in my diary for two years. With almost a thousand hours of practice behind me, I knew my destiny hung in the balance.

The bell rang. I scooped up my things and made a beeline to the door. The staff at the Music Conservatory frowned upon tardiness. Could I prove I was ready for Saturday?

“Molly Martin—a word, please.” Mr. Hill stepped into my path, blocking my exit from class. I glanced at the clock, but I didn’t need a reminder. I only had fifteen minutes.

“I have to run, Mr. Hill. Remember my permission for early-release on Mondays and Thursdays?”

Draping the lab coat over his arm, Mr. Hill looked aloof, yet stern. He towered above me with his tall, skinny frame. He ignored the students edging around us to get on to their classes. Some students called Mr. Hill ‘the teacher with no soul.’ I would add he had no heart if he made me late for my pre-audition at the Music Conservatory.

“I’m confused, Miss Martin. Why are you taking this chemistry class?” he said, as if to pique my defense.

Good question. Did he think I would admit my parents insisted? I held my tongue. My parents drilled respect into me from childhood.

The fleeing students glanced with curiosity as they brushed by. Talking. Laughing. Being normal. My instinct was to escape this confrontation, but I stood rooted to my spot.

“I believe you’re a smart girl,” he said. The smell of stale coffee wafted in the air as he waved his hand in exasperation.

Apparently, I was not smart enough to escape his little lecture.

 

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PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon Book Depository


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joan C. Benson

Joan C. Benson is a freelance writer, a former reading specialist and educator, wife, mother of four adult children, and a proud grandmother to eight cherished grandchildren. She has been a contributing author to numerous magazines from children to adult content. With a long career of writing for English language learners, Joan has contributed to both student and teacher programs for various educational publishers creating all genres of texts and curriculum. Most recently, her debut historical fiction novel, His Gift, was released by Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. Joan lives in Chesapeake, VA, with her husband and their two Bichon Frisé dogs. Follow her at www.joancbenson.com.

CONNECT WITH JOAN: Website Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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June:  Welcome to Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic, Joan. We are pleased to have you as our guest to discuss your latest book and a few other topics.

Joan:  Thank you!

June:  You have a background in education, and you have written many non-fiction materials such as devotional writings and children's ministry materials. Do you have a desire to write fiction for children? If yes, what age group would you target -- picture books for younger readers, middle-grade fiction, or young adult fiction? In what genre would you write?

Joan:  Yes, I taught young children in my career more than the older students. I can see middle grade fiction in my future, but right now I have another Y. A. book in the creation stage. I’ve already written some chapters and a complete upfront book proposal for my agent.

June:  Your new book, 'His Gift', was based upon your mother's diaries of her life as a child during the Great Depression. What types of research did you perform for this book? Is researching a task you work on before you sit down to write a story, or do you research topics as they come up in the story? Please feel free to offer any research tips you may have for those of us who also write historical fiction.

Joan:  Yes, my mom’s diaries were sort of the heart of the story, and put me in touch with the young girl she was at the time of the stock market crash. It helped me know her speech patterns, and the common slang of her day: golly, gee, etc. Finally, my husband and I traveled to the site of the story, a little suburb of what was once the great, thriving motor city, Detroit, MI. I had connected with a senior historian in Royal Oak, my mother’s hometown, who was happy to share her knowledge and personal remembrances. She was younger than my mom, but old enough to remember a lot of important details. She helped me locate my grandparents’ home, and I was happy to see it so nicely maintained as is the whole community. We also spent many hours in the Detroit Central Library digging through microfiche files of that historical period. Many details are in the book from that firsthand digging. I had done a lot of research online before we took the trip. That was my starting point and the basis for my refined research. At the library and in Royal Oak, I knew what I was looking for to refine what I needed to know.

June:  Is there a time period in history you would like to write about in the future? Is there a place in the United States or somewhere in the world that you would like to write about in the future?

Joan:  Yes, I would like to write about my home state of Kansas during the Civil War. It is a significant tale to tell because it declared itself to be a “free state” and didn’t want to side with either the north or south. Outsiders would come and raid the towns, and try to take it over for the purpose of having another state on “their side” of history.

June:  What is your favorite thing about being an historical fiction author?

Joan:  I find it fun to put the emotional and personal side of history into stories. It helps the readers experience life during a particular time period more than reading facts in a book.

June:  Do you have hobbies you would like to tell us about? Are there any hobbies that you would like to pursue in the future?

Joan:  I have many interests one can call hobbie. English smocking for beautiful baby garments is one of them. The only problem is I don’t seem to have enough time to pursue that and my writing as much as I used to. I also love to swim laps for exercise. I’ve missed that during Covid days. Music is in my genes, and I played the piano growing up as my mother did. In fact, I inherited her beautiful Steinway grand piano. It brings me much pleasure when I sit for awhile and play.

June:  Do you enjoy traveling to and exploring new places? If yes, where are some places you would like to visit once the travel restrictions are lifted? What attracts you to these locales?

Joan:  We travel a lot because our grown children and grandchildren are in four different states: CA, LA, KS, NC. It has been very hard to be away from the little ones, even though we Zoom as a family from time to time. It’s sometimes challenging to get everyone’s schedules together. My personal favorite place is FL in the winter. I live near the Atlantic Ocean, but Virginia can be pretty cold in the winter. So, a little quality beach walking, sunset viewing, and swimming in February makes me happy!

June:  Thank you very much for sharing some of your valuable time with us, Joan. Best wishes for a successful book launch!


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TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card!

His Gift 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 September 22, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on September 29, 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. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

 
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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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9 comments:

  1. I am enjoying these tours and finding all the terrific books my family is enjoying reading. Thanks for bringing them to us and keeping up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i love this cover. what an interesting book. what a fun interview. thanks for sharing. i really love how this book came to be. thanks for being willing to be authentic and transparent.

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  3. Thank you for sharing! JustRead Tours

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  4. Sounds like a great read. Looking forward to reading the book.

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  5. I enjoyed reading about the research the author did for this book.

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  6. This sounds like a really good read.

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  7. These book tours are awesome! What a fascinating book.

    ReplyDelete

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