Friday, March 17, 2017

Three Truths and a Lie with Steena Holmes, Author of Abby's Journey + Giveaway (US/Can)

Abby's Journey
Steena Holmes

Twenty-year-old Abigail Turner has only known her mother, Claire—who died shortly after she was born—through letters, videos, postcards, and journals. Abby’s father, Josh, has raised his precious daughter himself, but his overprotectiveness has become stifling. Abby longs to forge out on her own and see the world after a childhood trapped indoors: she suffers from bronchopulmonary dysplasia, which means a case of the sniffles can rapidly escalate into life-threatening pneumonia.

But when Abby’s doctor declares her healthy—for now—her grandmother Millie whisks her away to Europe to visit the Christmas markets that her mother cherished and chronicled in her travel journals. Despite her father’s objections, Abby and Millie embark on a journey of discovery in which Abby will learn secrets that force her to reevaluate her image of her mother and come to a more mature understanding of a parent-child bond that transcends death.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Steena Holmes offers a tender and heartfelt exploration of parental love and a daughter’s longing for connection in the poignant next chapter following Saving Abby.

Three Truths and a Lie... Guess to WIN!

Let’s play a fun game.

I’m going to tell you four things about Abby’s Journey... three of them are true, one is a lie. Guess which one is the lie and comment to be entered for the giveaway. I promise not to make it TOO hard...
  1. Throughout the novel, I include letters from Claire to both Josh and Abby. The idea came to me after reading an article I found on Facebook of a father who was dying of cancer and the letters he wrote his son—I’m pretty sure I bawled like a baby reading that article. It took me two days, but I wrote almost a dozen letters from Claire to her family and I imagined these were all letters I would leave for my husband and daughters. I was a wreck for those two days, let me tell you! Right before I sent the novel to my editor, I had an idea. I wanted to start the book off with a list of things Claire wanted Josh to know—things about taking care of baby, things to remember, words to live by... like bath times are important but so are tea parties and dress up days. I asked my reader group—Steena’s Secret Society on Facebook what one piece of advice they would give... and boy, did they have a lot of suggestions! I wasn’t able to use them all, but I used many in that opening note.
  2. I didn’t visit every place Abby visited in Abby’s Journey. Hard to believe right? London. Germany. Salzburg, Austria. Brugge, Belgium. I’ve never visited those places. Ever. So all those special little notes about the locations and the markets... they’re all imagined.
  3. The town of Kincardine, Abby’s quaint little small town where she grew up surrounded by love, is my hometown. Kincardine is located on Lake Huron, in Ontario, Canada and yes, it really is that quaint and adorable and picturesque. In fact, not only is the town used in Saving Abby and Abby’s Journey BUT I build almost every small town I write about around Kincardine.
  4. In December 2015, while writing Abby’s Journey, I decided I needed to experience the magic and wonder of the German Christmas Markets for myself. My middle daughter loves to travel almost as much as I do so she joined me on this quick five day trip. I hired a local guide to take us to a few out-of-town markets (just like in Abby’s Journey) and we actually stayed at the Hotel Laimer Hof—same place within the novel. Every day of our journey made it into the book—complete with our train ride to Salzburg, Austria, visiting Oberammergau and buying our own nativity scene. It was probably one of the best trips of my life (so far).
Abby’s Journey will always hold a very special place in my heart. Every aspect of who I am as a person—a mother, a wife, a traveholic, and Christmas nut—is in this story. I hope you enjoy it!

About the Author

After writing her first novel while working as a receptionist, Steena Holmes made her dream of being a full-time writer a reality. She won the National Indie Excellence Book Award in 2012 for her bestselling novel Finding Emma. Now both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Steena continues to write stories that touch every parent’s heart in one way or another.

Steena loves to travel and fell in love with the sheep covered hillside, old castles, and romantic history of Scotland and England. She dreams about waking up in Tuscany and touring small town shops in the south of France with her husband, of placing her toes in the ocean and experiencing history first hand. As a mother with three daughters, she is learning that teaching them to pursue their dreams is a lasting legacy. She loves 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 her 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 Abby's Journey—yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is answer Steena's question in the comments below:
Which of Steena's four "facts" in her post do you think is the lie?
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! :)

For a bonus entry in the giveaway, try guessing which of MY tidbits is the lie, and which are truths! You do not have to guess correctly for the extra entry, but if you DO, there may be a surprise prize up for grabs... :)
  1. I am allergic to hazelnuts and peanuts.
  2. In high school, I ran both varsity and JV cross country.
  3. My little sister is 8 years younger than I am.
  4. I have only been to 2 out of the 7 continents.

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 March 31st 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!