Monday, June 13, 2016

Top 10 Secrets Behind Saving Abby by Steena Holmes + Giveaway (US/Can only)

Saving Abby
Steena Holmes

All children’s book illustrator Claire Turner ever wanted was to be a mother. After six years of trying to conceive, she and her husband, Josh, have finally accepted that she will never be pregnant with a child of their own.

Yet once they give up hope, the couple gets the miracle they’ve been waiting for. For the first few months of her pregnancy, Claire and Josh are living on cloud nine. But when she begins to experience debilitating headaches, blurred vision, and even fainting spells, the soon-to-be mother goes to the doctor and receives a terrifying diagnosis. Since any treatment could put their unborn baby’s life at risk, the Turners must carefully weigh their limited options. And as her symptoms worsen, Claire will have to make an impossible decision: Save her own life, or save her child’s?

USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Steena Holmes brings us an unforgettable story of one woman’s courage and love.

Top 10 Secrets Behind Saving Abby

I always said that Finding Emma was the story of my heart, but I can honestly that say that Saving Abby is the story that stole my heart. Let me give you the top 10 reasons why Saving Abby is so special (and hopefully you’ll agree with me after you’ve read the story).
  1. Claire’s lists. When I was young I kept lists just like Claire, lists about what I wanted my future husband to be like, my wedding, things I wanted to do in life, places I wanted to visit. I’ve always been a big dreamer and I loved being able to add this into Claire’s story. I still keep a bucket list today—it’s not a list of things I need to do before I ‘kick the bucket’ but rather a wish list of things I want to do with my life right now.
  2. The first sentence of Chapter 1 actually happened to me. “Would you like to see my babies?” was something a lovely woman asked me on my own Mediterranean cruise (where I wrote 1/3 of this story). You’ll have to read that scene to find out who or what her babies are.
  3. My main characters are children authors. With Claire being the illustrator while her husband is the author. My youngest came up with the idea; she has a few children books we’ve worked on together and honestly, how could I say no?
  4. There is an extra special character in the story that I will always hold dear. Sami is named after the daughter of a reader who passed away and it’s been an honor to include her in my story.
  5. I’m a coffee addict. Apparently most of my characters are too... but what you might not know is during a stint in college, I knew someone who was a tea addict and through them, I came to realize that certain types of teas can help a body.
  6. I’m also a chocolate addict—especially when it comes to cake—which most of my readers know. My husband however loves coconut cake. He challenged me to not make chocolate a focus in one of my stories... a challenge I refused to accept. But I did however, make his love for coconut cake part of this story. One character loves chocolate cake. One loves coconut cake. I think you’ll be surprised at who those characters are.
  7. There are a few chapters set in different countries I’ve visited. I love to travel. In fact, I call myself a travel-holic and started a travel website where I blog about my trips and places I want to go. The first travel scene is set in England. I have travel books with lists of different bakeries to visit in different countries and one such bakery—The Hummingbird—is one I couldn’t wait to visit and just had to add it to Saving Abby. If you’re ever in London and visiting the Portobello Market, be sure to stop at the bakery and try their Salted Caramel.... so good. Also, find a used bookstore there. I bought a few books there that I proudly display in my office (like Alice in Wonderland, the same book featured in that scene I wrote).
  8. The chapter on Marriage Promises—a list that both Claire and Josh wrote—my husband actually helped me to write. You can see a little bit of my husband’s humor via his comments. I married a man who knows how to make me smile, that’s for sure!
  9. The town of Heritage, Ontario is not real but it is based on several towns I’m grew up in or around. I wanted to give homage to my hometown of Kincardine, Ontario in this story by placing it on Lake Huron, adding the town park and the quaintness of cottage country.
  10. Josh Turner isn’t a perfect man but he is perfect for Claire. A lot of their marriage and they way they interact is based on where my husband and I are today in our own marriage. We are celebrating our 19th anniversary this year and I wanted to write a love story between a couple who had gone through a lot in their marriage, who were strong together and yet faced with an impossible decision to make. I enjoyed the challenge this presented, of writing real characters making real decisions and leaving the reader wondering how they would react. There are no right or wrong decisions here, just personal ones.
I hope you enjoyed a little behind-the-scenes and insight into Saving Abby and I really hope you enjoy reading the story!

About the Author

Growing up as a small town Canadian girl, there wasn’t much to do but ride your bike, hang out with friends on the beach and daydream. I always wanted to write but never dreamed it was something I could do as a career. I love to travel and fell in love with the sheep covered hillside, old castles and romantic history of Scotland and England. I dream about waking up in Tuscany and touring small town shops in the south of France with my husband, of placing my toes in the ocean and experiencing history first hand. As a mother with three daughters, I’m learning that teaching them to pursue their dreams is a lasting legacy. I love to wake up to the Rocky Mountains, will forever enjoy the taste of coffee and chocolate and can’t imagine the day when a story doesn’t unfold in my heart. Living a life with passion and pursuing dreams is a life well lived.


Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy of Saving Abby—yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is answer Steena's question in the comments below:
What's one of the top things on your bucket list?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Steena and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

I would love to write a novel someday! Someday...

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist and publisher—a huge thank you to the lovely folks at TLC Book Tours and Lake Union Publishing!
Giveaway ends June 27th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada residents only. Sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!