Monday, December 21, 2015

Mid-Winter's Eve Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to my blog! I'm so happy to be part of this Mid-winter's Eve Giveaway Blog Hop! Thanks to Bookhounds and I Am a Reader Not a Writer blogs for hosting.


The book I'm giving away is Soda Springs by Carolyn Steele. It's a newly-released historical fiction/romance book set in the 1860s. 

Historical Fiction is my favorite genre, and this book has a little romance thrown in for good measure.

Soda Springs was published by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media. The book has 284 pages. This is Carolyn Steele's second novel. Her first is Willow Springs, also published by Cedar Fort. The romance is "sweet," there are some jump/gasp scenes, there are religious overtones, but this is not a religious book.

Here's a teaser about the book:
     When Tessa Darrow discovers her father burning his Confederate uniform, she has no idea how his secret will devastate their family and drive them from their home in North Carolina. The family journeys along the Oregon Trail, but tragedy strikes, leaving Tessa and her father to build a new life in Soda Springs, Idaho. 

Carolyn Steele writes real life. You will gasp in many places. Heartwarming and heart wrenching, each chapter has a hook, meaning, you're hooked, so don't even try to put down the book. Get comfortable. 

     I was hooked from the very first chapter due to Carolyn Steele's beautiful word tapestry, charm, descriptions, colloquy, and images. The book transported me to another time and place. 

     Carolyn Steele weaves in real life people from Soda Springs to interact with her fictional characters which makes me want to do more research about the era and the location--1860s Idaho. It also captures the turmoil of the effects war can have on those who fight and live through it.

     As mentioned, the book begins with an angst-ridden bonfire which precipitates the Henry Darrow family's flight from North Carolina. 

Here's an excerpt from the book:
     Following the wagon master's bellow, Tessa climbed into the back of the wagon to sit beside Bethany. Bawls from the oxen and mules mingled with the shouts of anxious men and cracks from whips to start the procession of wagons and herds that would eventually lead to Oregon.
     "I'm not scairt," Bethany whispered.
     Tessa felt a lurch as the wagon fell into line. "No reason you should be," Tessa said, but she pulled her sister closer. Watching the town grow smaller against the pinking dawn on the horizon, she felt the embrace of anxiety tightening around her heart.
     "Are you scairt?" Bethany asked, clutching Tessa's arm between her tiny hands.
     "Naw," Tessa lied.

      Once ensconced in the town of Soda Springs, I was introduced, along with the Darrows, to a faction of Latter-day Saints I'd never heard of--the Morrisites. True story. There was a war between the followers of Brigham Young and the followers of Joseph Morris, a wannabe prophet. After a few deaths and injuries on both sides, the Morrisites escaped to the Idaho Territory and beyond. This book is about those who settled near Soda Springs. This true story, and some of its historic characters, are beautifully woven into the fictional plot lines. The book is not a religious one, though mention is made of the LDS religion and the Morrisite dissenters. You'll have to read about it. I had no idea!

     The tale takes us from North Carolina to Idaho, beginning when Tessa Darrow is nearly fourteen. We watch her grow into a lovely, young lady, and eventually a young woman, fit to be married--but to whom? She has three marriage proposals in all; one she would sooner forget. Which suitor does she choose? No spoilers here. You'll have to read through the twists and turns and, truth be told, the nail biting (mine), to find out. And while you're reading, enjoy the descriptions of the area surrounding Soda Springs, such as Grays Lake and Sulphur Springs. There's even an eventful trip in the story to Great Salt Lake City.


About the author:
      Born and raised in Utah, Carolyn Steele imagined herself with her name on a book for twenty years before her first novel, Willow Springs, was published in 2014 by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media. She was introduced to western novels at a very young age by her grandfather, the son of a gold miner. Her father was raised in the Grays Lake valley of southeastern Idaho, near Soda Springs. She visited there every summer as a child, so it's no wonder her descriptions of the valley are so vivid.
     Carolyn's day job is writing marketing communications for a non-profit health insurance company. She earned her undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Utah. Her non-fiction articles have appeared in numerous national magazines. She is also a professional photographer, and hopes to travel the world one day with her camera--and her husband, of course. 

Please enter for a chance to win a free copy of Soda Springs!

 And don't forget to visit the other fabulous blogs in this Blog Hop so you can win other wonderful prizes.
Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list...



22 comments:

  1. Thank you for the giveaway, I really want to read this book.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. It's a great book. Fingers crossed!

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  2. Thanks for your participation in this great hop!! I enjoyed checking out your website.

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    1. Thanks, Judy! I'm glad you came by!

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  3. Carolyn Steele is a new-to-me author. Your review makes me want to read this book right now! :)

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    1. It's a wonderful historical fiction/romance about a settlement in Idaho. It's beautifully written. If you love words, you'll love this book. The story line is authentic to the time, and you'll learn a lot of history.
      Fingers crossed you'll win!

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  4. I love historical fiction, but I haven't read any Carolyn Steele yet. Thanks for participating in the hop.

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  5. Hopefully you'll win "Soda Springs" and you can read it then. Good luck!

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  6. Thanks for the chance
    GOOD LUCK EVERYONE AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Barbara! Good luck!

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  7. Happy New Year! Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Happy New Year to you, too! Good luck!

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  8. Thank you for taking part in the blog hop. I love the book you have chosen. Wishing you all the best in the new year!

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    1. It was fun to be part of the blog hop. Wishing you the same for the New Year!

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  9. Happy New Year! Thank you for the giveaway.

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    1. You're welcome! Thanks for visiting!

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  10. I havent read anything from her yet so thank you for that chance to win and i hope you had a joyful holiday and have a great new year!

    Beverly Gordon

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    1. I hope you will pick it up and read it. It's a great read. Happy New Year!

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  11. I think you have an awesome giveaway! I am excited to read this book with the copy I already won on your last giveaway. I just wanted to Thank you so much for it!!!

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    1. You will like the book!
      Happy New Year! And thanks for all your help for this blog hop. ♥

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  12. Bobbie J. is the winner of the "Soda Springs" paperback, by Carolyn Steele.
    Congratulations!
    Bobbie, I have emailed you and asked that you give me your address and I will let Cedar Fort know where to send you your book.
    Happy New Year!
    It's been a great 10 days of blog hopping! I'd love to do it again!

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