May 23, 2013

Love's Miracles Blog Tour & Interview + 2 Giveaways!!


Welcome to the Love's Miracles blog tour hosted by Seasons of Humility! I have the very great pleasure of author Sandra Leesmith dropping by today to answer some questions.

Sandra, welcome to Flowers of Quiet Happiness! So glad you could stop by today. What inspired you to write Love's Miracles?

Sandra:  Thank you, Kara. You have a lovely blog site and I’m delighted to join you today. Love’s Miracles was definitely a book of my heart. My brother served in Vietnam in the Air Force and it just broke my heart how the Vets were treated when they came home. We all hated war, but the men and women who served went to war believing they were making a sacrifice for their country. And they were. But when they returned home, they were spat upon, ridiculed and worse. I wanted to honor that sacrifice. The research of this story brought to life the horror those Vets faced and I wanted the world to know the terrible price they paid.

Your character, Zane, is a Vietnam veteran. Was it difficult to write such a character who's dealing with so much pain and turmoil due to his experiences? Did you draw on personal experiences for the character or research or both?

Sandra:  Zane is a fictional character and fortunately I did not personally know anyone who experienced what Zane experienced. I was blessed to hook up with a psychiatrist who worked at the Veteran’s Hospital and she gave me more information than I would ever want to know. It always amazes me how I meet the people I need to know when I’m researching for a book. I also interviewed several Marines who helped with the accuracy of the war scenes.

If you could pick a song that would describe the mood of your story, what would it be and why?

Sandra:  There is a song in the story, Forever Friends, that plays a key role in the story. I wrote the poem that are the lyrics so the song is not real, but I always pictured Bob Dylan singing it.

What were your favorite books as a child and have they influenced your writing in any way?

Sandra:  As a child, I bypassed Nancy Drew and went straight for my mother’s books.  So I read romance from as far back as I can remember. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell and Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier stick in my mind.

Name five things you can't live without.

Sandra:  Five things I can’t live without would be my Bible, my family, my motorhome, my pickleball paddle and my reading glasses.   (I’m assuming you aren’t talking about the basics like air, food, water. LOL)

Pickleball?! I've never heard of that before. The name alone intrigues me! :D

Tea or coffee?

Sandra:  Coffee for sure and I absolutely adore Chocolate Velvet. Black.

I'm a tea person myself, but chocolate velvet sounds delicious.

Where's your favorite place you and your husband have visited? Where do you want to go that you haven't been yet?

Sandra:  Lake Tahoe used to be our favorite place, but we discovered Bend/Sunriver in Oregon and really enjoy that area. I want to travel to Spain and will be doing that next fall. My hubby and I would love to go to New Zealand and Australia.

I'd love to visit Australia or New Zealand. And Spain sounds wonderful. I hope y'all have a lovely trip! :)

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

Sandra:  This is a tough question. I never thought about it before. I suppose the burning question still in my mind is, "What is heaven like?". I will have to wait until I get there to really know.  *smile*

I can't wait to find that out either!

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions, Sandra! I really appreciate it.

Sandra:  You are welcome, Kara. It has been a pleasure.

 About the Author

Sandra loves to hike, read, bicycle, and write. She lives in Arizona with her husband and Labrador retriever. During the hot summer, she and her husband travel throughout the United States in their motorhome, where she enjoys the outdoors and finds wonderful ideas for her next writing project.

You can learn more about Sandra and her books at her website.

 About the Book

Dr. Margo Devaull came to Dominic Zanelli's mountain retreat confident that she could help this Vietnam veteran overcome the torment that kept him apart from the world. But her training as a psychologist had not prepared her for the tragic, explosive contradictions brewing inside him. For here was a sensitive artist who could be gentle – and a man whose eyes flashed with violence and pain when he told her to leave and never come back. Yet Margo did come back, slowly gains his trust, and awakens the sleeping needs of his heart. Only by reliving her own wounded past and helping Zane confront a terrible memory from the war could she set them both free – and save their last chance for love.

{The Kindle book is now available through Amazon and will be free on May 24th - 27th as a special Memorial Day promotion.}

Giveaway #1

Sandra has generously decided to giveaway one of her books (The Price of Victory or Current of Love) to one of YOU! Please leave a comment below in order to be eligible, along with your email address so we can contact you. Giveaway ends on May 31st.

Giveaway #2

Note: US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



29 comments:

  1. Love this post, Kara! Sandra's right - your blog is lovely, indeed! In fact, the colors of the blog tour buttons, the cover, etc. all seem to fit in so well here. :)

    Those are some great questions - lots of fun! And Sandra!!! My family and I LOVE Sunriver! It's too bad we've never run into each other there, LOL. Unfortunately, I don't think we're going there this summer - for the first time in quite a few summers. We usually go with my grandparents, but I don't think they'll really be up for it this year. :( My parents, sister, and I might go to Disneyland, and my sister might do some horse camps, so we'll see how it turns out! But perhaps someday we shall meet up at Lake Tahoe or Sunriver. ;)

    Anyway, thanks so much for sharing, Kara! Now I better go finish up a few things and hit the hay - got a long day of driving tomorrow! ;)

    ~Amber

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    1. Oh Amber wouldn't that be fun to meet up in Sunriver. We seem to have a lot in common. smile.

      Disneyland sounds like fun. I used to go there all the time when I was in high school. We'd go there on dates.

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    2. Amber, we're headed for Lake Tahoe for the Memorial Day weekend. Long drive, but worth it. smile Then off to Sunriver.

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    3. Thanks Amber! I thought it was a lovely coincidence that the pictures all tied in so well with my blog colors. Of course it helps that the cover itself is so very gorgeous! :)

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    4. Sandra, Lake Tahoe is beautiful! I've only been there once, it's quite a ways from where I live, but was definitely worth the drive. I'd love to go back some day! I hope your weekend is wonderful. :)

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  2. Interesting interview, I'd love to win this giveaway!

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    1. Thanks for joining us Karen and Gerard. Your name is in the drawing. My friend Ruthy puts names in a cat dish. Well, at least it isn't there. LOL

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    2. Thanks for stopping by, Karen! It's always fun to see your name pop up in my comment section. :)

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  3. Morning Kara, Great blog post. Thank you so much for your support.

    Pickleball is a sport played with a paddle and wiffle ball on a court the size of a badmitten court but with a net like a tennis court. The name came from the inventors of the game who had a dog named Pickles and he always chased the balls so hence the name picklesball which morphed into pickleball. You can find out info on www.usapa.org.

    Thanks again for the lovely post.

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    1. Thank you, Sandra! For giving my little corner of the web some of your time. This has been fun to look forward to! :)

      Ah, sounds like a fun game! What a funny story on how it got its name. I'll have to try it sometime. Thanks for the link.

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  4. Hi, Kara (Beautiful title for a blog, BTW!) and Sandra! Just stopping by during the Love's Miracles blog tour. Sandra, interesting to learn about your favorite books and your travel plans. I'm so ready for summer....with plenty of time for reading!

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    1. Hi Sherida, Kara does have a cool blog doesn't she?

      I am enjoying my first blog tour. It is fun.

      And I'm with you. Come on summer. And remember this weekend you can get a free kindle version of Love's Miracles to read.

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    2. Thank you, Sherida! When I read the quote with that phrase, it just struck me immediately. I'm so glad you stopped by! :)

      I love summertime myself. And definitely amen to having time to read! Can never have too much of that. ;)

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  5. I love that she was inspired by her brother.

    You bypassed Nancy? Nooooo. I love me some ND.
    I use to read romances too though when I was young.
    I loved getting the insight on love.

    Great interview.

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    1. Hi Juju, Yep, bypassed Nancy. Although the first published author I worked with in RWA was one of the authors for Nancy Drew. So I guess I was inspired the back way. chuckle

      Her name was Sharon Wagner. She was one of the founders of my local group, Desert Rose Chapter in Phoenix area.

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    2. I agree, Juju. It's awesome that Sandra wanted to honor her brother (and all vets) this way.

      I've never read Nancy Drew either. But then I was more into romance back then than mysteries (still am for that matter), so I definitely raided my mother's shelves. ;)

      And Sandra! That's so cool that you have connections to the Nancy Drew books. Better the back way than no way, right? :D

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    3. Yes, Kara, It was a pleasure knowing Sharon Wagner. She wrote many Nancy Drew books and also wrote for Sillouette and Harlequin. She taught me so much about the publishing world. She was probably a main contributor to my getting published back in those days.

      Sadly she passed away this month. I will always remember her with fondness.

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    4. It's wonderful when we find someone like that, isn't it? Someone who helps and teaches us and yet becomes a wonderful friend in the process. Obviously, I haven't had anybody help me with publishing. But I do have a couple ladies who I know I can go to with questions about things in my life and they will do whatever they can to advise me and always, always pray with me and for me. They are so precious to me.

      I'm glad she was such a person for you in those days. And now you have lovely memories to remember her by. Thanks for sharing! I love hearing stories like that. :)

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    5. Hi Kara, Sharon didn't help me get published per se. She helped me in that she showed me how to format my manuscript and submit it to a publisher. She helped as a critique partner and she gave me encouragement.

      Now the person who helped me publish is Amber Stokes. I would never have put Love's Miracles out there by myself. It was too daunting. Amber made it look easy. smile

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  6. Aw! Great "tour stop," Kara and Sandra.

    LOL! I wasn't a Nancy Drew fan either - although mine was because mysteries freaked me out. I saw a movie as a kid and yeah, that pretty much cured my of creepy things. Nowadays I am the opposite: I'm kind of a suspense/crime show junkie. And you know what? It's fun. ;)

    Congrats on your new novel, Sandra! :)

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    1. Hi Rissi, Isn't that funny how our tastes change? What is your favorite show? ARe you into all the CSI shows?

      Thanks for the congrats. I'm really excited about all of this.

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    2. Thanks, Rissi! :)

      I'm still not a huge mystery reader today. I enjoy some, but give me a sweet romance instead! Now when there's a good romance along with the mystery, that's the best of both worlds! :D

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  7. Loved this interview. Ah...travel. I'd love to just go somewhere for a week and have the guts to leave my computer and iphone at home. lol I'm not sure if I can do such a thing, though!

    Amazing that years ago we vacationed and called home maybe once or twice while we were gone.

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    1. Don't you sometimes long for those days? I sure do. The thing is, when I'm out of cell range I do get a break but it isn't worth it when I have to do catch up. yikes

      So Pam, if you take off will you take me with you?

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    2. Hi Pam! Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

      I can't hardly imagine leaving my phone for more than a day or two myself. I went camping last summer and had no service for two days. But that was only two days! Not sure what I'd do with an entire week like that! ;P

      And you're so right. It's crazy that only a few short years ago, I didn't have a cell phone at all. Now mine is with me wherever I go.

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  8. Stopping by as part of the tour to say hi to everyone! Great interview! I especially like the question and answers of 5 things you can't live without :)

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    1. So glad you did, Julie! And thank you. :) I figured a fun question would be interesting. Happy you liked it!

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  9. Hi Kara, I want to thank you for hosting Love's Miracles and my first blog tour. I appreciate all you did. It has really been fun. I like your blog.

    Thanks again and happy reading.

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    1. Thank YOU, Sandra! For being so nice and lovely to chat with. The last couple weeks have been so fun! :)

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Thank you so much for visiting! I love comments and try to respond to each one. (Please comment!) Have a splendiferously awesome day and y'all come back anytime! :)

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