Thursday, March 25, 2021

~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE A TAPESTRY OF LIGHT ~

 ~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE ~
--  'A TAPESTRY OF LIGHT'  --
AUTHOR KIMBERLY DUFFY
~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight + Excerpt,
Author Interview + Recipe, 
Author Bio & Giveaway~ 

A Tapestry of Light JustRead Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour for A Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

 

A Tapestry of Light

Title: A Tapestry of Light
Author: Kimberly Duffy
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release date: March 16, 2021
Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Calcutta, 1886. 

Ottilie Russell is adrift between two cultures, British and Indian, belonging to both and neither. In order to support her little brother, Thaddeus, and her grandmother, she relies upon her skills in beetle-wing embroidery that have been passed down to her through generations of Indian women. 

When a stranger appears with the news that Thaddeus is now Baron Sunderson and must travel to England to take his place as a nobleman, Ottilie is shattered by the secrets that come to light. Despite her growing friendship with Everett Scott, friend to Ottilie's English grandmother and aunt, she refuses to give up her brother. Then tragedy strikes, and she is forced to make a decision that will take Thaddeus far from death and herself far from home. 

But betrayal and loss lurk in England, too, and soon Ottilie must fight to ensure Thaddeus doesn't forget who he is, as well as find a way to stitch a place for herself in this foreign land. 

 EXCERPT:

Ottilie set her packages on the table beside the settee and drew the shawl from its wrapping. She carefully unfolded it and laid it over Mrs. Winship’s lap. As Ottilie pulled the reticule free, she watched Mrs. Winship’s fingers trace the intricate embroidery edging the ruffle, her nails catching the elytra splayed in a floral pattern.

“Your mother was quite good. How do I know she didn’t do this work?”

Ottilie’s brows rose. “You don’t, I suppose, but why would I take on work I’m not qualified to do?” She held out the reticule.

Mrs. Winship didn’t reach for it. She picked up the shawl and shoved it at Ottilie before leaning back against the settee. With an elegant yawn, she gave a wave. “I’m sure you’re qualified, but I’m looking for something exceptional. Damaris is reaching an age where even our money won’t be enough to turn a man’s head. She needs to look spectacular. Especially with all those Fishing Fleet girls coming and stealing the Raj’s best men.” She pressed her fingers to her temples, and her eyes drifted shut. “It’s a shame your mother is no longer here. I had something spectacular in mind.”

“Mother!” Damaris’s rebuke covered Ottilie’s small gasp.

Ottilie focused on the paper-wrapped shoes she held in her arms. She didn’t want to show this foreign woman the gift she’d made for the most precious person in Calcutta. Didn’t want her pale fingers prodding the embroidery and picking apart the memories Ottilie had tucked away of hours snipping wings and beading thread and giggling in the lamplight, impatiently anticipating Maji’s joy and pride and the sight of her small, perfectly arched foot slipping into something beautiful again.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kimberly Duffy 

Kimberly Duffy is a Long Island native currently living in Southwest Ohio, via six months in India. When she's not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes her readers back in time and across oceans. She loves trips that require a passport, recipe books, and practicing kissing scenes with her husband of twenty years. He doesn't mind.

 

Welcome to Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic, Kimberly. Congratulations on your new release, 'A Tapestry of Light'.

JUNE:  Do you have a desire to write in other genres of fiction? Do you have any goals for writing books for children? Are you interested in writing non-fiction? If yes, what subject would you write about?

KIMBERLY:  I occasionally write short contemporary romances and I have two contemporary romance novels, as well as an overlong fantasy, but I’m pretty happy writing historical fiction. I do have plans to write for children (specifically in a ministry capacity) and am working toward that end. I would love to write non-fiction as well—mainly in the areas of parenting, travel, and faith—but that wouldn’t happen for a good long while.

JUNE:  What types of research did you perform for your newest release, 'Tapestry of Light'? 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.

KIMBERLY:  I do big-picture research before I ever sit down to write a book. That consists of reading books and scholarly articles. Watching videos and documentaries. Interviewing experts. And then I research little things as I go along like dress styles of the era I’m writing in or street names of a particular area of the city I’m setting a scene or train schedules (train schedules are the bane of my existence.)

One of my favorite tips for research is to look at photographs from the time (if you’re writing in an era that had photography.) You can often gather a ton of details that will lend authenticity to your book. They give a glimpse into dress and hairstyles and interiors. You can see business signs and the way a street may have looked. You’ll be able to sprinkle these things into your story and transport readers. Another tip is to read autobiographies from the time. I read one written by a woman who had traveled from India to England and it was full of interesting perspectives that I would have never considered. I also like putting real people and places into my books where I can. When I’m reading, I often pull out my phone and Google things so if I stumble across something that actually existed, it sends me off on a happy little rabbit trail. If you Google many of the places mentioned in A Tapestry of Light, you’ll find a lot of them were real.

JUNE:  I noticed that both of your books are set in India in the late nineteenth century. 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 else in the world that you would like to write about in the future?

KIMBERLY:  I think the late 19th century is my favorite era to write about. So much was changing. Technology was just exploding. Women were really fighting for their futures. People were exploring and traveling more. I do have a couple ideas set in the early 20th century and I’ve been mulling over a series of books set in ancient times. I think that’s a time period, outside of late 19th century, that I would most likely consider writing in. I love ancient history. In particular, ancient Roman history.

I have a book already written set in 19th century Ohio. I’d love to publish it one day. If you read A Mosaic of Wings, it’s Rose’s book. That won’t be for a little while, though. And I’m planning on my next few books being set, at least partially, in the United States.

I’d love to write a book set in Italy (I’m working on getting dual citizenship and my family is from Sicily.)

JUNE:  I noticed on your website you mentioned that you enjoy collecting historical cookbooks and cooking. What styles of cooking do you and your family enjoy? Do you have a favorite family recipe you would like to share with us here?

KIMBERLY:  I love cooking! It’s my favorite thing after writing. I know it’s a chore for most people, but it feels like rest to me. I really enjoy cooking foods from other countries—Indian is my favorite but I also regularly make Cuban, Turkish, and Greek food (now that I think about it, maybe Mediterranean food is my favorite. Or maybe I just don’t have a favorite. It’s all my favorite.) I really love historical cookery. One of my favorite recipes (yep, it’s all my favorite) is from a medieval cookbook. It’s chickpea stew, which sounds bizarre, but it’s so good. Especially in the winter. It is full of warming spices and just feels cozy. I think food connects people across countries and times. When you make something someone would have eaten three hundred years ago or enjoy a meal someone right now is preparing for their family across the globe, it knits you to them.

My kids aren’t allowed to be picky. That was really hard to stick to with one of my children who has sensory processing disorder. It took five years to get her desensitized to eating meat. But we persevered and now they’ll all mostly eat anything (except the littlest who acts like vegetables were put on earth to torture him. He’ll get over it eventually.) They’re pretty adventurous eaters, though. We all just love food. But we’re snobs about it. My oldest once cried when her father brought her to Pizza Hut (her great-grandparents wanted to go.) I’m from NY but now live in Ohio. I make my own pizza every Friday. It’s a lot better than Pizza Hut. ;)

RECIPE:

A great, quick recipe I make often is shakshuka. You just cook up a mess of bell peppers, onions, and garlic. Add some spices (usually I use cumin, paprika, and cayenne. Salt and pepper, of course, too), and canned tomatoes. Cook it all down. Make a few holes in it and crack an egg into each hole. Then bake it for about eight minutes on 375 until the eggs are set. I like serving it with crusty bread, olives, and feta cheese.

JUNE:  One of the characters in this book is skilled in the art of beetle-wing embroidery. As someone who has enjoyed hand embroidery since I was a child, I am interested in knowing what prompted you to include this beautiful technique in your story. Do you work in any types of needlework yourself?

KIMBERLY:  I went to an Indian fabric exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center a couple years ago with my husband and stumbled on a length of beetle wing embroidery. It was so beautiful! At least a couple hundred years old, the fabric was fraying and thin, but the beetle wings were as vibrant as the day they were sewn on. I knew right away I would use it in a story one day. I’ve always loved fashion and fashion history in particular. During the time Tapestry is set, women were doing all kinds of crazy things in the name of fashion. They would wear massive stuffed birds on their heads and let exotic insects attached to chains crawl around their bodices. Using beetle wings seems, to me, the least offensive way to adorn oneself with living creatures (or parts of them.)

I don’t do any type of needlework but I admire the skill in other people. I can sew a little, but I don’t love it. I’d rather design something and have someone else worry about all the details of putting it together. I do collect patterns, though. I have boxes of them. I’ve only ever actually used one or two when I made doll clothing for my kids at Christmas one year. The rest just sit there and taunt me.

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

KIMBERLY:  There are so many favorite things (this is a lot like food for me. How can I choose?) I love that I get to share my love of history and story with people. I love the Christian publishing community. It’s so supportive. Some of my closest friends are other writers. I love that I get to research a million things I find interesting and call it work. I love that I can travel back in time and live vicariously through my characters.

JUNE:  What are your plans for your next writing project?

KIMBERLY:  I’m finishing up edits on book #3. It’s called Every Word Unsaid and releases November 2, 2021. It’s set in Poona (Pune today), India and features a heroine who is a kind of early-prototype travel blogger and a doctor hero who is adorably nerdy. I was also able to write in one of my real life heroes—Pandita Ramabai. And it has the prettiest cover.

 

CONNECT WITH KIMBERLY: Website | Facebook | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of A Tapestry of Light, A Mosaic of Wings, and Recipes from an Indian Kitchen!

A Tapestry of Light JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 22, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 29, 2021. 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.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


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~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE EVERY WINDOW FILLED WITH LIGHT ~

  🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼   ~ FRIDAY FICTION FEATURE~ BLOG TOUR STOP --  'EVERY WINDOW FILLED WITH LIGHT'  -- AUTHOR SHEILA STOVALL ~ ...