What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Inspirational novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Monday, June 21, 2021

Gail Kittleson and Free Books!

Cursed by her losses and forsaking faith and love, Abigail Ferguson flees southern Missouri for Arizona Territory, where unrewarded labor awaits her, and the massive Mogollon Rim blots out even the sunset.

Before we chat with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the free copy of the dual-timeline suspense novel, Bridge of Gold, by Kimberley Woodhouse, is:


Congratulations! We'll get your book right out to you. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to learn about new releases! U.S. subscribers are entered in the drawings a second time when they comment.

And now let's visit with novelist Gail Kittleson, author of the historical women’s novel, Second-Hand Sunsets (WordCrafts Press, January 2021).

Writing has always been Gail’s passion, but it took decades to develop the self-confidence required to become an author. Previously, she earned her M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language and instructed college expository writing.

As a Baby-Boomer reared on a farm, Gail cherishes the old-fashioned values of rural life. Her memoir led to fiction writing and a bona-fide addiction to the World War II era. Her stand-alone novels and Women of the Heartland series honor Greatest Generation members who sacrificed so much for the cause of freedom.

Gail and her husband live in northern Iowa, but retreat to Arizona’s Mogollon Rim Country in winter. They enjoy grandchildren, gardening, and historical exploration. It’s no secret why this late-bloomer calls her website DARE TO BLOOM, and she loves to encourage other writers through facilitating workshops.

Please tell us one random thing we might not know about you.

I love to walk and am presently recovering from hip replacement surgery.

Walking is a great joy to me as well, Gail! It's great exercise, and you can accomplish a lot of thinking or listening to music or to audiobooks while enjoying nature. I'm glad to hear you're recovering from your surgery.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Second-Hand Sunsets.

The Civil War era presents the perfect opportunity to re-invent oneself, and Ray McHale takes full advantage. 

Grieving the loss of her betrothed and her parents, Abigail Ferguson grows bitter and rejects even her pastor’s consolation. Believing she is cursed in her Missouri hometown, she accepts Ray’s offer of a hasty departure for Arizona Territory. She packs just one trunk, and at the last minute adds her father’s copy of Les Miserables and her mother’s Bible.

Two years after Abby and Ray reach their plot under the Mogollon Rim, Martin Tolzmann, a Cavalry sergeant who once met Abby in her father’s general store, receives orders to ferret out a rustler of government cattle.

In an unlikely reunion that brings his buried feelings for Abby to the surface, Martin discovers her living as a virtual slave on Ray’s isolated ranch. Martin’s shyness equals Abby’s belief that her life is over—but can grace still work a miracle?

What is it about Abby that will make your readers care about her?

Abby is quite young at the outset, an only child. She is convinced her terrible losses—her betrothed to the war, her parents and aunt to a terrible fire—set her apart from other people as cursed. Unable to borrow others’ faith any longer, she gives up on the spiritual side of life, and on beauty. Once, she loved to sketch, but she leaves her pencils, paper, and other tools behind. I think we’ve all felt a little like this at times, and can identify with the temptation to push away anything that reminds us of the past.

Yes, it's difficult to feel inspired or creative when one is depressed or feeling poorly physically. 

Consider the characters you’ve created. You know how characters can evolve as we write their stories? What was one way a character changed from how you initially imagined him or her, either in this book or some other story you’ve written?

I’ve recently completed a World War II manuscript about a British immigrant to Texas Hill Country. After losing his wife and home, he and his butler buy some American property with an old stone house and a fruit orchard, and take his young son to live there.

Just as they are getting settled, something occurs with the butler that I didn’t foresee, and sets in motion events that greatly alter the main character’s life. Quelle surprise! Since I’m a “pantser,” this type of thing occurs quite often, and I love the way the characters whisper our next steps in my ear.

So do I. Much more fun than following what was planned.

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

I really enjoyed Bookends by Liz Curtis Higgs. I usually don’t choose contemporary stories, and especially not romances, but found this one at my neighbor’s garage sale, to be honest. I would recommend this book because the setting deals with historical facts being investigated, so it’s an historical novel in disguise. Also, the characters come off as real, with redeemable flaws that in essence draw them to each other.

What are you working on now?

I’m between the novel I just described and going back through a cozy mystery one more time to make sure it’s in the best shape possible for publication.

Where else can readers find you online?

Amazon Author Page
@gailkittlesonauthor (Instagram)

The book can be purchased online via the following button:

Readers, you can access a sample from the novel by going HERE and clicking on Look Inside.

Finally, Gail, what question would you like to ask my readers?

What draws you to historical novels, and what era/setting do you prefer? Have you ever grown weary of one era and switched? (I realize this = three questions, but I’m really interested in your responses!)

So am I! Thanks, Gail, for visiting and telling us about yourself and your book. Readers, Gail has offered to give away a free copy of her book. To enter, click on the word "comments" below to reach the comments page, and leave your answer and your email in answer to Gail's question above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Remember that U.S. subscribers are entered an additional time in each drawing. The drawing is done by email, so leave your email address, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com. 

Only United States residents are eligible for the drawing, but anyone can subscribe to the blog posts via the GDPA-compliant Feedblitz box above my list of books, at right.

Also readers, if you connect with me on Bookbub, you'll get alerts when my books release and when they're available at special sale prices. And if you'd like to connect with me on Facebook, just click HERE or on my name at the right of today's post title.

Annoying legal disclaimer: as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases; drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer, GDPA notice, and my Disclosure of Material Connection HERE


Melanie Backus said...

I love reading books during the WWII era. Books do amazing things…. They take you to places you have never been, give you experiences you have never experienced and sometimes make you happy and sad at the same time.
mauback55 at gmail dot com

Gail H. said...

I have read a couple that occurred during the early days of America. Where individuals gained passage by agreeing to work as a servant for a specified period of time. I enjoyed those. I also like WWII stories. My father in law was in the navy and participated in D Day on Omaha Beach.

Joan A said...

My favorite era is probably the 1700s in America but I prefer to switch it up and read a variety of genres and time periods. I like to read about a simpler time even though I know life was harder then. jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com

Trish Perry said...

I love learning history through novels! It's much easier to relate to people from other eras when they're characters in stories. I've never grown weary of particular eras, but I did find I was reading so many WWII novels that I needed to read from other times for awhile. And I bounce between historical and contemporary, which keeps it all fresh, too.

Gail Kittleson said...

I'm having trouble replying to each of you, so will post one big response--thank you for visiting and taking the time to chat. Joan A, I agree, life was harder in some ways, but those times have so much to teach us. I hope we never stop learning from history! Gail, did your father-in-law ever talk about that experience at Normandy? What a legacy! And Melanie, I so agree--LOVE reading historical, whether nonfiction or fiction. Like Trish, I got hooked on WWII, but from time to time, I dip into some other era. Thanks, everyone.



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