Tuesday, April 28, 2020

One Upon an Irish Summer Blog Tour: Author Interview + Giveaway

Once Upon an Irish Summer Blog + Review Tour 
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour & Giveaway for Once Upon an Irish Summer by Wendy Wilson Spooner, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Once Upon an Irish Summer by Wendy Wilson Spooner Title: Once Upon an Irish Summer
Author: Wendy Wilson Spooner
Publisher: Ambassador International
Release Date: April 3, 2020
Genre: Young Adult Historical Romance

Two teenagers, two centuries, one city.

1817 Ireland - Allen Hamilton crosses the Atlantic alone to find a way to save his family from imminent financial and social ruin before it's too late. Instead he is met with prejudice, sickness, and starvation.

2018 Fort Wayne, Indiana - A gifted young artist struggles with debilitating grief after a sudden death in her family. When she unearths Allen Hamilton's noble rise from rags to riches in Antebellum America, their shared connection inspires her own healing and renewed inspiration.

Based on a 200-year-old letter collection, Once Upon an Irish Summer brings to life and weaves together this true story of romance, mystery, and hope.

Wendy Wilson Spooner

Wendy Wilson Spooner became a novelist after writing academically and for family history clients. Her love of history compels her to write the true stories she unearths during research, and she's found that truth is indeed much more exciting and inspiring than fiction! She writes about family, faith, grief, art, and overcoming obstacles in life by coming to know who we truly are—children of God, and the descendants of remarkable people who paved the way for us—even if they really struggled. Wendy believes in learning from our ancestors, honoring them, and standing on their shoulders to become someone even better. When not writing, Wendy currently serves as Vice-Chair for Daughters of the American Revolution over the American Heritage Contest in Art and Sculpture. She also loves to hike, paint, travel and spend time with her favorite people—her family.

CONNECT WITH WENDY: Website | Facebook | Instagram  

Hi Wendy! Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and giving my readers the chance to get to know you and your debut book- Once Upon an Irish Summer- a little bit better. I always like to begin these interviews the same way with something fun… tell us 5 random facts about yourself that we WON’T find in your bio!
1.    I’m a Bollywood movie freak (I’ve traveled to India three times and I adore the country and people).2.    I collect vintage gloves and compacts from the 1940s and 50s.3.    One of my greatest therapies and mind-clearers is to sit and play the piano.4.    I have to literally restrain myself when I see a no-trespassing sign, because I know that’s where all the good stuff is—on the other side.
5.    I love spending time with people of all ages from newborn babies to the very elderly.

Let’s talk writing! Have you always had a passion for writing, or how did that come about?

I think I HAVE always had a passion for writing. I started keeping a daily journal when I was 13 and I’ve always enjoyed telling short stories. But writing a novel was what I decided a few years ago so I could share with more people my message and passion.

Once Upon an Irish Summer is your debut novel… congratulations! What was it like seeing your words in print for the first time?

Well, I screamed and giggled like a little girl. It really was that exciting for me! My husband got that on film…

Aside from being a writer, you are also a professional Genetic Genealogist. What a fascinating career that must be! Can you tell us more about that and how it helped to inspire this story?
I unearth a lot of details about people’s lives while I’m researching, and I’ve come to see that every life matters and has/had a purpose. Sometimes I come across eye-opening facts that are utterly moving, like if I’m scrutinizing census records and I find a child who was home with their family in one census, and then in the next census 10 years later, they’re listed as a servant or in jail. I’ve learned that life is tricky and sticky and to not judge anyone because we can’t know what kind of trauma or circumstances led to that person’s choices or situation. While writing Once Upon an Irish Summer, I loved scripting Leslie’s character—Allen’s best friend from Ireland—because he was a rough and tough character on the outside with a heart of gold on the inside. We have to remember not to judge someone from what we THINK we see on the outside. We’ll usually be wrong and miss out on knowing a remarkable individual.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I hope readers will be inspired to dive into the records of their own ancestors. What we can learn from the people we come from can change us and redirect our paths. That’s what happened to me and that is why I became a professional genealogist.

Once Upon an Irish Summer is a YA Historical Romance, but I must admit at 32 it sounds like a great read to me too. Do you feel like this story will appeal to readers of all ages?
This story DOES appeal to all ages. I wrote Once Upon an Irish Summer for everyone. Even men like it because they relate to Allen Hamilton, the main character in the historical timeline.

I was initially drawn to this book from the title alone, as Ireland happens to be the one place in the world I would LOVE to travel to. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be and why?

I have been blessed to travel a ton. I gained this passion from my parents who were globe-trotters. My father was a summer tour guide, who took groups of people all over the world during summer months. My dad was a University Professor of Religion and was also a learned an insane history buff like me. One of the places he took tour-groups was Israel. This is the number one destination at the top of my bucket-list! I wish my dad were still here to go with me so he could tell me everything he knows. I look forward to walking where Jesus walked and to especially experience the garden tomb where our Savior was resurrected.

I have found that writers are so often some of the best readers too. If we were to take a look at your own TBR, what might we find there?

Well, I’ve become fascinated with Chaim Potok, so all of his books are on my next list TBR.

Thank you again for taking the time to answer my questions. Before we go, can you give us an idea on what we can look forward to next? Any projects you are currently working on that you can share?

Yes! I’m working on the sequel to Once Upon an Irish Summer, which is the continuation of the present-day character’s stories, and in the historical chapters, we go back in time to find out what Allen Hamilton’s younger sister endured when she was left behind in Ireland.

(1) winner will receive a signed copy of Once Upon an Irish Summer with a gorgeous Irish bookmark!!

Once Upon an Irish Summer 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 April 28, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on May 5, 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 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!
*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


  1. Wendy Spooner is a new author to me. I love the cover of the book Once Upon an Irish Summer and look forward to reading it.

  2. I love historical fiction and time travel, this sounds like a great book!

  3. I enjoy reading about the Irish and Ireland.

  4. I enjoy reading historical romances. Wendy Wilson Spooner is a new author to me and I am looking forward to reading her book. The story line is very intriguing.

  5. Looks really interesting, good setting.

  6. Love this! Thanks for sharing! - JustRead Tours

  7. This sounds like a very moving story and I want to read it. Vivian Furbay jtandviv (at) q (dot) com

  8. This sounds like a very touching story and I would like to read it. Vivian Furbay jtandviv (at) q (dot) com

  9. This sounds like a wonderful historical romance. Thank you.

  10. A perfect story for relaxing during these times.


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