4.23.2014

A Pinterest Scavenger Hunt for A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander


Join me for a Pinterest Scavenger Hunt and win 1 of 7 copies of USA Today bestselling author Tamera Alexanders newest novel, A Beauty So Rare, the second standalone novel in the Belmont Mansion series. 

The questions are posted below and the giveaway runs through Sunday night, April 27. The answers to the questions can be found on Tamera'sPinterest page. Not on Pinterest? Doesnt matter. You can still participate and find the answers by using this link. 

Your answers must be submitted to TameraAlexander@ymail.com (numbered 1 - 6) by Sunday, April 27, midnight Central to be entered into a drawing to win one of seven copies of A Beauty So Rare, the second standalone novel in the Belmont Mansion series. 

Questions for the Pinterest Scavenger Hunt

    1.     On the ABeauty So Rare board, find the pin that shares the seamstress who sewed the dress on the cover of A Beauty So Rare (featuring the heroine, Eleanor Braddock) and *click the pin* to discover what the seamstresss most challenging part of making the pink dress was. 

    2.    On the ALasting Impression board, find the pin where Tamera shares about the desert seasons in her life––those times that helped her write about a certain relationship in her novel, A Beauty So Rare. *Click the pin* to learn what specific relationship Tamera mentions in that blog. Its the relationship between which two people?

    3.    On the My Novels board, find the pin where Tamera shares about the inspiration behind A Beauty So Rare. *Click it* and watch the video to learn the true history that ties the Belmont Mansion (the setting of A Lasting Impression and A Beauty So Rare) to the real Insane Asylum that existed in Nashville in the 19th century.

    4.    On the Recipes from mynovels board, what's the recipe from A Beauty So Rare thats posted about most often on that board (doesn't necessarily have the most re-pins)? It's also a favorite of Eleanor's.

    5.    On the My Loves board, find the pin that references Easter weekend then *click it* to learn what kind of fish Tamera caught this past weekend.

    6.    On the My Novels board, find the pin for the book trailer for A Beauty So Rare, then *click it* to watch the video. What is it that Aunt Adelicia is determined to find for Eleanor?

7. BONUS: LIKE Tamera's Facebook Page for an extra chance to win.

In your email, remember to number your answers from 1 to 6, like this:
1. Answer 
2. Answer
3. Answer
4. Answer
5. Answer
6. Answer

Hope you have fun with it!


Note: Pinterest is not sponsoring this promotion nor are they formally affiliated with it. 

Love Comes Calling by Siri Mitchell ~ An Historical Fiction Book Review



Siri Mitchell
Historical Fiction

About the book:

A girl WITH THE BEST OF INTENTIONS.
A heart SET ON HOLLYWOOD.
AN empty POCKETBOOK.

WHEN A LOOK-ALIKE FRIEND asks Ellis Eton to fill in for her as a telephone operator, Ellis jumps at the chance. For her, the job will provide not only acting practice but the funds to get Ellis a start in the movies. She's tired of always being a disappointment to her traditional Boston family, and though she can't deny the way he makes her head spin, she knows she's not good enough for Griffin Phillips, either. It's simple: avoid Griff's attentions, work, and get paid. But in typical Ellis fashion, her simple plan spirals out of control when she overhears a menacing phone call . . . with her very own Griff as the target.

With an endearing heroine as her lead, Siri Mitchell takes readers on a 
madcap tale of love and discovering one's true desires!

READ AN EXCERPT!

My thoughts:

If you are looking for an unpredictable read with a hot mess of a heroine, look no further! Love Comes Calling introduces us to the well meaning but always in a pickle, Ellis Eton. The story takes place in the roaring 20s during prohibition. Ellis is from a well to do Boston family that tends to be appalled by her behavior. Her mother is just sure that if Ellis would apply herself and try harder she would be more successful. 

Ellis is determined to escape from her family's expectations and disappointments and make her way to Hollywood where she is sure to be an instant success. But before she can set her plans in motion she makes a promise to a friend that will actually enable her to begin her journey. While Ellis is secretly filling in for her friend Janie as a telephone operator she inadvertently overhears a conversation that puts Griff, her beloved neighbor, in danger.

What's a girl to do except save the handsome and ever so patient Griff from imminent doom? Of course with Ellis in charge of the saving, something is bound to go awry! I loved the relationship between Ellis and Griff. Every girl everywhere deserves a Griff in their life. 

This book will make you laugh and sigh and think. In her intriguing way Siri Mitchell leads the reader to contemplate whether or not we can legislate morality. Prepare to be entertained as well as educated about a time in our country's history that looked like a rip roaring time of fun but had some very dark undertones. 

Connect with the author:








4.20.2014

He Is Risen ~ He Is Risen Indeed!


After the Sabbath, as the first light of the new week dawned, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to keep vigil at the tomb. Suddenly the earth reeled and rocked under their feet as God’s angel came down from heaven, came right up to where they were standing. He rolled back the stone and then sat on it. Shafts of lightning blazed from him. His garments shimmered snow-white. The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn’t move.

The angel spoke to the women: “There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.

“Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ That’s the message.

~ Matthew 28:1-7 (The Message)



Up From The Grave He Arose
(Low in the Grave He Lay)

Robert Lowry 1826-1899

Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior,
Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose;
with a mighty triumph o'er His foes;
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
and He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Vainly they watch His bed, Jesus my Savior,
Vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose;
with a mighty triumph o'er His foes;
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
and He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Death cannot keep its prey, Jesus my Savior;
He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose;
with a mighty triumph o'er His foes;
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
and He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!



From all of us at Rambles of a SAHM . . . we wish you the most blessed of Easter's this year. May God Himself reveal to you the power of trusting in His risen Son. Hallelujah! What a Savior!





 




4.19.2014

A Look Behind the Making of the Cover for A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander

Meet the Woman 
Behind the Cover Dress 
by Tamera Alexander

Have you ever wanted to meet the woman who sewed the dress on a novel cover? Then please allow me to introduce you to Beth Schoenherr, the ever-so-talented seamstress who sewed Eleanor Braddocks dress for the cover of A Beauty So Rare.

Im thrilled that Beth was willing to share about her experience in making the dress, and I love the behind-the-scenes glimpses she shares. I hope you will, too!

Tamera: Where did inspiration for the dress for A Beauty So Rare come from (both the style and color)?

Beth: The style, of course, was determined by the post–Civil War timing of the story.

I believe the cover designer and editors talked about a garden setting and felt pink would look lovely against the backdrop of the green foliage and other flowers, which it does! I then had the fun of finding the right shade of pink to keep it a believable color for the time. Hot pink or neon pink, of course, would never do!

Tamera: Um, no. LOL! Not even Adelicia Acklen could have coerced Eleanor into neon pink! ; )

Tamera: Have you made dresses for photo shoots before?

Beth: I started doing period costumes for men, women, and children in amateur theater in 1999 and then had opportunities in the following years to progress to working in the costume shop of a professional theater. This is my first costume for a photo shoot, however.

Tamera: How cool, Beth. I’m so grateful for your work on this dress. Well done!

Tamera: Do you have an appreciation for period clothing? And if yes, what’s your favorite style of women’s dresses from history?

Beth: I do enjoy period clothing. I don’t think I can pick one favorite style though. I just enjoy the various and changing silhouettes and fabrics throughout the history of fashion.

Tamera: Understandable. I have many "favorites," too!

Check out all those tucks and pleats . . .
can you say time consuming?!!
Tamera: What’s the most challenging dress you’ve created for a cover (and what was most challenging about it)? Also, what has been your most challenging sewing project in general?

Beth: As I mentioned, this is the first dress I have made for a cover. It has been really fun and exciting to create this dress from scratch and then see it on the cover of this book. A new experience I had when making this dress was the cartridge pleats at the back of the skirt. The pattern called for the front and side pieces of the skirt to be pleated to fit into the waistband and left only a five-inch opening in the back of the waistband. Then I had to fit the 50-inch-wide piece of fabric for the back part of the skirt into that five-inch opening. I thought, “There is no way I’m going to get that much fabric into that little space.” But the cartridge pleats worked fabulously at neatly pleating 50” down to 5”.

The most challenging costume I worked on was a waistcoat designed and then cut out by someone else and given to me to sew. Not a single piece matched up in size to its coordinating piece. There was no extra fabric to work with so I had to just rework the pieces I had while making sure the finished garment would still fit the actor it was designed for. Definitely a “make it work” project!

Finally, probably the most thrilling dress I got to make was the first complete dress for a play at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Many of my costumes prior to that had to be remakes of existing dresses or costumes due to tight budgets. But I was graciously given the opportunity to sew, from start to finish, the schoolteacher dress in Little House on the Prairie: The Musical, which premiered at the Guthrie and then went on to tour nationally. It was so exciting to see the professionally-designed dress come together step-by-step and then to see it on stage.

Tamera: Wow, Beth, I bet that was a rewarding experience with Little House on the Prairie: the Musical. Congratulations! I’ve always admired people who know how to sew, and sew well!

Thank you for sharing your talent and time with us––and with the cover of my latest novel.

Now For A Look At The Photo Shoot








For more "behind the scenes" glimpses from the photo shoot for A Beauty So Rare, visitTamera's blog.







4.18.2014

What Follows After by Dan Walsh ~ A Contemporary Fiction Book Review



Dan Walsh
Contemporary Fiction

Back of the book:

In 1962, life was simple, the world made sense, and all families were happy. And when they weren't, everyone knew you were supposed to pretend.

For the past year, Scott and Gina Harrison have been living a lie. While they show up at family get-togethers in the same car, they've actually been separated for over a year. To keep up the charade, they've even instructed their sons, Colt and Timmy, to lie--to their grandparents, their teachers, and their friends.

Colt, for one, has had enough, so he hatches a plan. He and his little brother will run away from their Florida home, head for their aunt's house in Georgia, and refuse to come home until their parents get back together. But when things go terribly, terribly wrong, Scott and Gina must come to grips with years of neglect and mistrust in order to recover their beloved sons, their love for one another, and their marriage.

In this emotional story, bestselling author Dan Walsh takes you on a journey to rediscover the things that matter most in life--love, truth, and family. With profound insight into the heart of a hurting child, he reminds us that a time will come to look back on hard times and smile, because we'll know that what follows after . . . is not what we expected at all.

My thoughts:

This is one of the hardest Contemporary Fiction books that I have read in a long time. The first part of the book depicts a child abduction and it is terrifying. The time frame is 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The normal protocol for searching for a stolen child is all derailed in the light of the national crisis. Dan Walsh does a masterful job of reminding us how different things were then. No GPS tracking on buses, no cell phones, no Amber alerts. All those things we take for granted now were absent then. In my mind I kept thinking why don't they just . . . then I would remember that technology wasn't available.

While the story line of the missing child had my heart racing, the plight of the parents left me cold. I don't want to give away plot lines so I will just say their strategies for finding their missing child just didn't make sense. And to top it off their focusing on their marital relationship in the midst of this disaster just seemed out of place. I really enjoy the writing of Dan Walsh but this just felt like two separate stories that just didn't quite fit together. Nevertheless I will continue to read his work because he really is a great story teller. This just didn't happen to be my favorite. 

Connect with the author:

Photo Credit: © Dan Davis Photography








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