His Gift Blog Tour: 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!


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.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon Book Depository



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








Hi Joan! Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and giving my readers the chance to get to know you and your new book- His Gift a little bit better! I like to start these interviews the same way with something fun to break the ice: can you share 5 random facts about yourself that we will NOT find in your bio? 

Thanks for letting me respond to your interview for the Blog Tour for His Gift. 😊 

1. I’m an introvert, yet I can handle public speaking. I’m an introvert, yet I have performed playing the piano. How so? Being “out front,” so to speak, is not my greatest comfort zone, but when I’m enthusiastic about what I’m sharing, it’s all good. My comfort zone? My computer. My office. Walking on the beach and being inspired by its beauty. 

2. I am easily brought to tears by beauty … the colors of nature (fall leaves in the mountains, clear turquoise waters lapping on white sand, etc.), an inspirational piece of music. BEAUTY! I don’t know what I would do without my senses. That would be hard. 

3. ICE CREAM! I have a soft place in my heart for ice cream and pizza … just like most kids! 

4. Swimming. I love to swim laps for exercise. It feels so good to glide through the water. I enjoy swimming in the quiet of a private pool, or even a public one without a lot of noise. 

5. Making things: handsmocked baby clothes, wreaths for décor, anything I can knit or crochet to give as a present. 

Let’s talk writing. You’re no stranger to writing professionally as you’ve been a freelance writer featured in several magazines, etc. However, His Gift is your first fictional novel published. Congratulations! I find that fiction vs nonfiction is a completely different ballgame, in that fiction feels much more personal. How has the experience been different for you? 

I agree. In writing fiction, the creative process takes your mind and emotions to places you create. The story and characters take on life, and pretty soon, they are as real to you as your family members. They have feelings, reactions, problems to solve … they become real. When I first began writing His Gift, I based the plot on a true event in my mom’s life. However, as I continued on, developing conflicts, resolutions, events, one after another, I found the story took on a whole new dimension. I absolutely love how, as an author, I could control outcomes. In real life, that doesn’t happen, now does it? 😊

Can you share the excitement of seeing your novel in print for the first time? 

Well, I have held other books I’ve written for the educational publishing market, so that experience wasn’t entirely new. However, this book-baby was a long time in coming – so it was exciting to see it, hold it, and share it with family and friends. I hope many people will read it and love it as much as I do. For many years after starting, the story sat stagnant. I wasn’t sure how to resolve the conflict. I couldn’t see a redeeming resolution. When that came together in my mind and spirit, the last third of the book practically wrote itself. What a thrill. 

What drew you to writing historical fiction?

This was a true story, as I mentioned, about my mom’s life as a teen at the onset of The Great Depression. After she passed away, I read through her teen diaries. Treasures. I knew she had a story to tell, and I was the one to do it.

What type of research went into creating this Great Depression era story? 

I began online, of course, finding out everything I could about that historical period. Of course, I knew of it from history classes, but this time I needed more personal information. I also needed more about the setting, a small bedroom community outside of the then-prosperous Motor City of Detroit. After I’d begun the writing, my husband and I had the opportunity to make a road trip up there from our home in VA. I’d networked with a local historian who was a treasure trove of information. It was a wonderful experience, which I will never forget. Then, we did our due diligence of digging through microfiche files and running copies of pertinent newspaper articles, ads, etc. 

Can you tell us a little bit about His Gift

His Gift is a story about a young woman’s dream to become all she could be, to use her talent to its fullest extent. She worked hard to excel, and everything was on track for her to become the professional musician she wanted to be. [Side note: This story could be about any person’s hope for achieving their personal goals in life whether it be in sports, career, or personal relationships.] Molly, the main character, fought fiercely to do this thing she believed she was gifted to do. 

When circumstances beyond her control turned her world upside down, she was left holding the ashes of her dream. This story is about what so many of us experience at one time or another in life. Many people today have been facing unanticipated losses during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our nation has been so blessed to be wealthier than most, not to have had a war on our own soil since the Civil War, and many people have assumed life will always be so fortunate. The release of His Gift seems Providential in these uncertain times. 

The story of His Gift is not a depressing story because it is a story of redemption. It’s not a story of ashes, but the story of hope restored. As it says on the book cover, the message of His Gift is universal to anyone who has ever dared to dream in spite of uncontrollable circumstances. 

What do you hope readers will take away from the book?

Hope. 😊 

My desire for this story as the reader reads, and even explores the Preface and the Afterward, the Big Picture is often not what we see when crises come. I hope my readers will realize along with Molly how hope and peace in life come when yielded to the Giver of all gifts.

Thank you again for taking the time to answer these questions. Before you go, are there any other projects you are currently working on that you can share? 

Yes, I am currently working a fiction novel which I HOPE will also encourage readers. Having spent three years as a trained volunteer women’s crisis counselor, I will reflect on those stories and their tears to bring encouragement and hope to others who may also be facing crises. 

(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.


 
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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13 comments

  1. It's been great getting to discover your book and share with the readers in my family. Thank you and thanks for the giveaway. 

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  2. Nice giveaway.
    Marion

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  3. Thank you for sharing! - JustRead Tours

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  4. I appreciate getting to read about your book. With sisters and daughters who love to read, this helps so thank you.

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  5. This sounds like an excellent book.

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  6. I just love this cover. Thank you for sharing about yourself. I am an introvert also and understand about talking/showing about our passions. God truly is awesome.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

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  7. Sounds like a great book. Looking forward to reading.

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  8. It sounds like an interesting story.

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  9. congratulations on your book. I love this cover. It really speaks to me. My mom was a big crocheted and knitter. She taught me to do both. I remember when she first started to crochet. She made my dad a sweater. Big undertaking for the first project. I was soft blue yarn. But when dad put it on his left sleeve was longer than his right. But he rolled it up and pushed both sleeves up half way his lower arm and wore it numerous times so mom would feel good. You have to understand that dad was a businessman who was very finicky about his looks, so for him to do this was HUGE. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

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  10. Thanks for taking time to share your book with us and it's always a pleasure in our family to learn about a new one.

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