Sunday, April 20, 2014

Blessings this Easter

Just stepped outside on the back deck to thank Jesus, yet again, for bearing the weight of my sin and shame so I wouldn't have to, so that I could live with Him eternally. By his wounds, I am healed and made whole. Thank you, Lord, for the cross, for your sacrifice. He is risen! He is risen, indeed!

Blessings to you and yours this Easter!

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Beauty So Rare at Kroger

Attention Kroger Shoppers!

Did you know that A Beauty So Rare is on sale now at Kroger? I kid you not. 

The next time you visit your local Kroger store, breeze down the book aisle and let me know if you see Eleanor there in all her pink glory! If you do, snap a pic and share it here! 

I suggested to the Kroger book rep that we set up a display of books with sacks of russet potatoes, either that or strawberry milk, but apparently my idea didn't go over too well... : )

Are you a Kroger shopper?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Overcoming in the Desert Seasons

Do you like deserts? Not desserts, mind you, those are much easier to love. But deserts. Specifically, the desert times of life. Those seasons in our earthly journey when our hearts feel dry and empty, purposeless. When our spirit can grow weary due, perhaps in part, to a prolonged illness or injury, to trials or troubled relationships, or maybe disappointment in a career. Those times when there seems to be no end in sight to the "soul drought...." 

KEEP READING at Overcoming with God where I'm sharing about the desert seasons of my life and what I've learned through them. I'd love to hear what God has taught you, too. So I hope you'll join us!

Meet the Woman Behind the Cover Dress

Beth Schoenherr,
Seamstress Extraordinaire
who sewed the dress on the cover of
A Beauty So Rare
Hey friends!

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 Braddock’s dress for the cover of A Beauty So Rare. 

I’m 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! ; )

Keep reading... You'll gain a new appreciation
for all these pleats!

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!

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: I bet that was a rewarding experience with Little House on the Prairie: the Musical, Beth. 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!

For more "behind the scenes" glimpses from the photo shoot for A Beauty So Rare, visit here.


Photo Shoot for A Beauty So Rare

Have you ever been on a photo shoot for a novel cover? 

If you haven't, then I'm right there with you! But I'm so grateful that my publisher took a ton of photos for me on the photo shoot for A Beauty So Rarethe second standalone novel in the Belmont Mansion series

Here are a few behind-the-scenes glimpses…

And now, if you're willing to be so bold, I'd love to know:

1. What's your biggest pet peeve about historical fiction novel covers? 
2. Which do you prefer in historical women's fashion: hoop skirts or bustles?

To read about the woman who sewed Eleanor Braddock's dress for the cover of the novel (and to learn what the most challenging part of the project was), click here!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Inspired by Life…and Fiction GIVEAWAY

A giveaway just in time for Easter!

The authors of Inspired By Life…and Fiction invite you to enter our current giveaway in which one reader will win ten bestselling novels (1 from each author).

Complete list of novel titles and authors
at the bottom of this page

How do you enter? 
Subscribe to the Inspired by Life…and Fiction blog. It's that simple. Visit the link inside the Rafflecopter box, then follow the instructions to start your free subscription.

We're so grateful for our community at Inspired by Life…and Fiction and appreciate you being there. We love sharing life…and fiction with you!

Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund
Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade
Shadowed by Grace by Cara Putman
Return to Me by Lynn Austin
Silver Bells by Deborah Raney
The Kissing Bridge by Tricia Goyer
The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen
The Heart's Pursuit by Robin Lee Hatcher
A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander
Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Scavenger Hunt Stop 30

Welcome to Stop #30 in the 

2014 Spring Scavenger Hunt

You have arrived at stop #30. There are 32 stops in all, so you're nearly finished. 

The hunt begins at noon (Mountain Time Zone) on Friday, April 4, 2014. You may have arrived here before the start which could mean all of the sites aren’t ready quite yet. Once the official start has begun, you can work your way through the sites, gathering clues, and entering bonus giveaways, until you arrive at the final stop which will be back at the very beginning, on Robin Lee Hatcher's site (where the Scavenger Hunt Rafflecopter entry form is located).

The hunt ends on Sunday, April 6, 2014, at midnight (Mountain). That means you have all weekend to finish it, so relax, take your time. Enjoy reading the exclusive content the authors have prepared for you. Don't read too quickly or you may just skip across some other fabulous giveaways nestled amongst the posts. Consider yourself forewarned!

We have prepared a page with direct links to each author's post in case a site goes down or a link gets broken. We'll be working on getting all of the links prior to the start of the hunt, but sometimes there are still issues even after the hunt starts, so make a note of the URL for the Participating Authors & Stops page so you can check back and be able to complete the hunt.

You will collect a CLUE IN RED at each stop. Write the clues down as you go. At the end of the hunt, you will enter the clues into a Rafflecopter form. (The answer will make sense, even if you aren’t familiar with it.)

The hunt is open to international entries. The grand prize is a Kindle Fire HDX (valued at $229) + $100 gift certificate. Two runners-up will receive all 32 of our latest releases. Terms and conditions of the giveaway listed on the Rafflecopter Form on Robin's page.

Now it is my pleasure to introduce you to friend and fellow author Rachel Hauck. I've known Rachel for several years and she's as phenomenal a woman as she is a writer! Welcome, Rachel!

Meet Rachel Hauck

Rachel Hauck

Rachel Hauck writes the stories she loves to read. She lives in Central Florida with her husband and little dog, too.

Through The Headlights – America’s Auto Tableaux with Rachel Hauck 

I’m fascinated by cars. 

Not so much to tinker with them––I don’t like grease under my fingernails. But I’m intrigued by the automobile’s reflection of American culture.

Henry Ford, often thought to have invented the car, (he didn’t) was the first automobile maker who believed the automobile should be parked in every American driveway. He perfected the assembly line making it possible for cars to be mass produced, cheap. Before the assembly line, cars were nothing more than a motorized horse-n-buggy with a driver escorting the rich around town.

Automobiles were luxury items until the Model T came off the assembly line in October 1908.

From Wikipedia:

The car was very simple to drive, and easy and cheap to repair. It was so cheap at $825 in 1908 ($21,430 today) (the price fell every year) that by the 1920s, a majority of American drivers had learned to drive on the Model T.

Ford’s simple vision of a car changed the landscape of our culture! Travel became easier. The pace of life picked up. In our day, the advent of the Internet and home computers have changed our cultural landscape. Think back to the mid ‘90s. To your bulky PC desktop running Windows 3.1.1. Now we tap a “mini computer” screen and talk face-to-face.

In the early 20th century it was the automobile that enhanced the American life. In the early 21st century, it was the smart phone that changed everything. Suddenly, communication had an element of speed… Can you imagine life without cars? Without the car would we have the airplane? The importance of invention is fostered in a free society. It’s why our freedom and dependence on God and ourselves (not Government) is so vital.

Ford was also fascinated with race cars. He developed Engine #999 in 1901 and in the coming decade set speed records. Since then, America, the world, has been enthralled with the automobile. Throughout the centuries we moved from big luxury cars to the compact economy car to the electric car.

After World War 2 when the world was finally at peace and prospering, we see the big Cadillac’s and the invention of sports and muscle cars.
The first Corvette was introduced by General Motors in 1953.  The Mustang hit American streets a decade later in 1964. Three years later, the Camaro rolled off the assembly lines. Gas was $.25 a gallon as the ‘60s came to a close. Cars were cheap to operate and fun to drive.

More than that, these cars reflected the social and economic boom in post-war America...

Jobs were aplenty.  Suburbs were developing. The baby boomers were growing up, learning to drive. Older Americans coming off of a Depression and World War wanted ease and luxury. Their hunger for prosperity and freedom was demonstrated by the cars on the road.

When the economy and oil crisis of ’79 hit, American’s were forced to think differently about the size of our car. And they way we drove them. The ‘80s and ‘90s introduced the compact, more economic car, replacing the big luxury mobiles like the Caddy and the Oldsmobile. We also saw some of the most hideous car designs. The AMC Pacer anyone?

Today we drive hybrids and Smart cars. Some of them so small I’m not sure they are really safe to drive. But they reflect where we are as a society. Wonder what “tomorrow’s” cars look like? How they will function? I’m envisioning a large, gasoline powered iPad. Can you see it? I used my own fascination with cars for my heroine in Princess Ever After. She restores classic cars and is intrigued, herself, by an antique racer much like Ford’s Engine #999.

I created a car called the Starfire #89. This car becomes a key to her past and her present. In dream language, cars represent a journey. So when we look at American automobiles, we see America’s sociological journey. I had fun creating a car in Princess Ever After, using it to symbolize her life – a past she never knew existed and a future she was challenged to "restore." Cars, movement, travel, the transient American culture is a fascinating study.

What do you think? How has the American automobile impacted your life? Do you have a favorite car?

~ Rachel

The Scavenger Hunt Skinny

Tamera here again… 
Thanks so much for stopping by my site and participating in the 2014 Spring Scavenger Hunt. Before you move on to Stop #31 (Rachel Hauck's blog) to pick up your next clue, be sure to write down the Stop #30 clue: “ITS AUTHOR."

Before You Hurry On, TWO Bonus Prizes

While you're here, you can earn chances to win a signed copy of To Whisper Her Name and Loveless Cafe Biscuits and Jam by liking my Facebook Page. If you already like my Facebook Page, simply give the "I'm a Fan" button in the Rafflecopter box below a click and your name will go into the drawing. Then you'll get an opportunity to earn another five (5) chances by signing up for my quarterly e-mails. This bonus giveaway is for US mailing addresses only. Hey, Southern biscuits are heavy

And now…onto Stop #31, Rachel Hauck's blog

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Beauty So Rare #GIVEAWAY

Sponsored by Bethany House Publishers...

click to enter

Hey friends, 

I'm thrilled to share this with you. Best wishes, and be sure to leave a comment letting me know you're entering!


About the prizes:

1st Prize Package: A Kitchen Full of Love

Eleanor Braddock loves to cook, but her dream of opening a restaurant and becoming self-sufficient takes her down a road she wouldn’t have chosen for herself. When her life intersects with those of widows and fatherless children, she finds her dream challenged and her heart––and kitchen––suddenly filled in ways she never imagined. Enjoy everything you need to fill your table with food and your kitchen with love as part of this first-prize package.
1. KitchenAid Gourmet Stainless 10-Piece Cookware Set with copper base core for even heating. This professional quality set has beautiful tempered glass lids, is dishwasher safe and is exquisite in style and function. Enjoy your kitchen again, and serve your family a plate of love.
2. First Prize Pies: Shoo-Fly, Candy Apple, and Other Deliciously Inventive Pies for Every Week of the Year … a cookbook by Allison Kave. Eleanor Braddock had to try her recipes over and over until she found perfection, but this delicious cookbook has done the hard work for you, and you will love every delicious bite of the results!
3. Turquoise Fiesta Deep Pie Dish – Give your pie masterpieces the flare they deserve with this gorgeous dish.
4. A $100 gift in your honor:  The simple tools to be able to prepare a meal can change a woman’s life.  It changed Eleanor’s life and the lives of the women and children around her.  As part of this first prize package, a gift of $100 will be donated to OXFAM to provide cooking stoves to 4 women in need. This stove offers both warmth and meal preparation and is an essential survival tool for displaced women. 
5. Your own copy of Tamera Alexander’s exquisitely written new book, A Beauty So Rare.

2nd Prize Package: No Ordinary Bloom
1. Marcus Gottfried is much more than he appears on the day Eleanor Braddock meets him. Mistaking him for an under-gardener, she watches in fascination––and a tad disbelief––as he seeks to create a rose the color of dawn that has been commissioned by her wealthy aunt. For the second-prize package, we’ve sought to capture that same sense of beauty. The Day Breaker Floribunda Rose is the embodiment of Marcus’s commission. This stunning rose bush will be a bright addition to any garden and will remind you year after year of the true nature of beauty.
2. One of the themes of A Beauty So Rare is the depth of God’s forgiveness and the hope that offers. Be inspired in your own journey of hope by both the beauty of this bronze statue of the Prodigal Son, and its message of reconciliation.
3. The winner of 2nd prize will receive both of the books in Tamera Alexander’s Belmont Mansion Series. The books stand alone (meaning they can be read separately from one another), but give such an amazing insight into this gorgeous Nashville estate and period in time, you will love the opportunity to read them both.

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Beauty So Rare Available on Kindle

To my Kindle Readers! A Beauty So Rare is 

NOW AVAILABLE for download


No more waiting until April 1st, friends! If you pre-ordered A Beauty So Rare from Amazon, it should already be on your eReader. 

I'd love to know when it downloads! And a picture of you reading would be like having an Iced Caramel Latte with whipped cream on top. Well, almost like that. 

Thanks, friends, for your enthusiasm over this book's arrival. I hope you enjoy Marcus and Eleanor's journey!

Soul Inspirationz Interview

Ellie Whyte from Soul Inspirationz and I chatted recently and the interview is posted! She asked some great questions. Among them, "How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?" and "What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?" 

I'm wondering, how would you answer that last question? What's significant about Christian Fiction in your life?


Saturday, March 22, 2014

$1.99 ebook sale TODAY ONLY on Kindle longer! 

Welcome to the $1.99 TODAY ONLY Amazon Gold Box Deal ebook sale of 58 bestselling titles, including my title To Whisper Her Name. 

Load up on classic favorites and new gems.  Today only, download the e-book editions of 58 first-in-series novels for just $1.99 each in the Kindle Store.  Romance, historical, suspense, young adult, fantasy—all on sale!

I'm telling you, it's a huge sale. 

Check it out then come back and let me know what you got! 

Also, if you've already read and enjoyed some of these books, you might consider SHARING this post with fellow readers who share your reading interests. 

Have fun browsing! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Seeing you in all YOUR BEAUTY!

I am loving see you gals in all your beauty!  I hope you enjoy A Beauty So Rare and would love to hear from you when you're finished! 

If you haven't shared your picture with your print copy of the book (or your ebook, which is releasing any hour now!) on my Facebook Page, please do! I'd love to see you there! And thanks for reading.

Thanks, Valerie, for reading!

Lisa, sweet author buddy, hope you enjoy!

Susan, LOVED your analogy of chocolate! Hope you enjoy the story!

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