Saturday, August 12, 2017

Interview with Rachel Linden, Author of Ascension Of Larks + Giveaway (US/Can)

I'd like to welcome Rachel Linden to the blog today to celebrate the exciting release of Ascension of Larks from Thomas Nelson!

Welcome to Books à la Mode, Rachel! Let's get this interview started.

Will you please share a brief introduction with us?

Rachel Linden spent her childhood in a magical world of make-believe, enjoying countless hours playing pioneer house under a towering blue spruce tree, mixing potions for enchantments, and pretending to be a member of the French Resistance in WWII. These early adventures prompted her to write stories with such exciting titles as Beans!, which she fashioned into books bound in cardboard from cereal boxes.

Rachel’s taste for adventure and her interest in the world led her to a career as an international worker with a faith-based charity, and her experiences living and traveling in forty-seven countries around the globe continue to provide excellent grist for her stories.

Rachel holds a BA in Literature from Huntington University, an MA in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College, and studied creative writing at Oxford University in England during her undergraduate education. She currently splits her time between Seattle, Washington, and Budapest, Hungary, where she lives with her husband and son on the banks of the Danube River.

When she is not dreaming up a new story, Rachel spends her time traveling on trains across Central Europe with her family, enjoying good food and wine with friends from around the world, and exploring the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the history and architecture of Europe.

It's amazing to get to feature you today! Readers, here's a bit about the book, which hit shelves in June:

When globetrotting photographer Magdalena Henry loses the only man she’s ever loved, she risks her stellar career to care for his widow and young children on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest.

Free-spirited and fiercely independent, Maggie adores her life of travel and adventure. But she has a secret. She can’t let go of her first and only love, renowned architect Marco Firelli, now married to her best friend Lena.

When Marco drowns in a kayaking accident, Maggie rushes to the Firelli family’s summer home on San Juan Island. Once there she discovers that Marco was hiding something that could destroy his family. As fragile, perfectionistic Lena slowly falls apart, Maggie tries to provide stability for Marco and Lena’s three young children.

When Maggie is offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to compete in the world’s most prestigious photography competition, she thinks she’s found the answer to their problems. Then Lena makes a choice with unexpected and devastating consequences, forcing Maggie to grapple with an agonizing decision. Does she sacrifice the golden opportunity of her career or abandon the Firellis just when they need her the most?

Gradually the island begins to work its magic. A century-old ritual to beckon loved ones home offers hope in the midst of sorrow. And a guilt-ridden yet compelling stranger hiding on the island may offer Maggie a second chance at love, but only if she can relinquish the past and move forward to find joy in unexpected places.

What was your favorite book as a child?

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The plucky, kind, and intelligent March sisters were inspirational. Also any story where girls were having grand adventures!

Growing up homeschooled in rural Ohio, I had plenty of time to devour books by the dozen. Those stories gave me a thirst for adventure that significantly influenced my life’s direction. I just got my 50th country stamp in my passport last year (I think it was Morocco) and have lived for the past 7 years in Europe working with a faith based organization.

This summer our family relocated from Budapest back to our beloved Seattle. This week we finally unpacked our 14 boxes of books. (That’s after we pared down a lot!) In one box I found my tattered copy of Little Women. It was like being reunited with a childhood friend.

What book did you read that first made you want to be an author?  

Little Women for starters. As a little girl I wanted to be a writer like Jo and even wrote my own books with scintillating titles like Beans! that I bound in cardboard from cereal boxes.

Also Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. When I read it in college it was like a light bulb flickering on in my head. Lamott describes the inner life of a writer so perfectly, and I thought “Oh, this is me! I can identify with this.” It gave me permission to call myself a writer.

What books are currently on your nightstand?

Given our recent international move and my darling and exuberant toddler son and infant daughter, my formerly luxurious hours of reading are now confined to a few hasty minutes with a headlamp before sleep, but I’m still a confirmed bookworm.

Currently on my nightstand: With by Skye Jethani which is a spiritual breath of fresh air. The stunning Pulitzer Prize winner All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I’m managing to read about 2 pages at a time but I’m savoring it! And my beloved Kindle. It saved my literary life living in Central Europe where English language books are rare and expensive. My Kindle has traveled on plane, trains, buses and boats to about 35 countries with me.

Where can you be found on the web?

Before we conclude this interview, is there anything you'd like to ask our readers?

The main character in Ascension of Larks is a professional photographer. If this was your profession, what would you like to capture through a camera lens?

It was a pleasure to be able to get to know you better today, Rachel! Thank you again for dropping by, and best of luck with future endeavors!


Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy of Ascension of Larks—woohoo! To enter, all you have to do is answer Rachel's question in the comments below:
If you were a professional photographer, what would you want to capture through a camera lens?
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. Rachel and I really want to hear your thoughts! :)
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 over at TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson!
Giveaway ends August 26th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada residents only. Sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar on the right 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!