Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for His Gift by Joan Benson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! Don’t you just love the cover!?
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: His Gift
Author: Joan C. Benson
Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing
Release Date: July 26, 2020
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Dreams Can Come True! Brace yourself for a thrilling race through the twists and turns of a young woman determined to see her dream come true. On the cusp of the stock market crash of 1929, seventeen-year-old Molly has aspirations for a career in music after high school. With the passion of an athlete preparing for the Olympics, she trains relentlessly to become the best she can be. As her world collapses in unimaginable ways, she is left to find peace and purpose in the midst of her crisis. The message of His Gift is universal to anyone who has ever dared to dream in spite of uncontrollable circumstances. The reader will discover with Molly, the hope and peace in a life when yielded to the Giver of all gifts.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joan C. Benson is a freelance writer, a former reading specialist and educator, wife, mother of four adult children, and a proud grandmother to eight cherished grandchildren. She has been a contributing author to numerous magazines from children to adult content. With a long career of writing for English language learners, Joan has contributed to both student and teacher programs for various educational publishers creating all genres of texts and curriculum. Most recently, her debut historical fiction novel, His Gift, was released by Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. Joan lives in Chesapeake, VA, with her husband and their two Bichon Frisé dogs. Follow her at www.joancbenson.com.
My chosen topic to discuss combines the inspiration for the story with the character spotlight because they go together like hand-in-glove. I became inspired to write His Gift years ago after my mother passed away. My mom had always been willing to share the details her life growing up—boyfriends, first love, my father during courtship, and her grand aspirations for her future. So, some of her story of teen life was already very real to me. However, it took me years to complete the book because I was stymied as to the conflict resolution. Eventually, I knew where it needed to go, and it, happily, almost wrote itself.
Here is the backstory. My mom was a gifted pianist as a teen, and imagined life as a concert pianist, touring Europe, and the whole nine yards. In her era, a typical girl would marry right out of high school, with only a few being able or interested in higher education. However, my mom, Milly, was dedicated to fulfilling her dream, and was trying to postpone her romantic fantasies. She applied herself with great determination to practice and pursuit of excellence as a musician. My mother studied music at a local Conservatory of Music during her junior and senior years in high school. Her talent was recognized so she was allowed early release days from her high school classes. These details are all in the book, His Gift.
Once a year, the Detroit Symphony held an audition for advanced student pianists. The winner was awarded the opportunity to play a piano concerto with the symphony during a winter concert. During my mother’s senior year, in October 1929, she auditioned. She won the exciting privilege of launching herself into recognition by playing the Rachmaninoff Concerto in C minor with the symphony. However, later that same month, the stock market took its historic fall, and the United States was not the same for nearly a decade. Businesses were shuttered. Jobs were lost. Symphonies became luxuries to a population who suddenly didn’t have a way to provide for itself. Even basic subsistence visited upon the once-wealthy along with the middle class and impoverished. In some ways, hunger and survival became societal unifiers.
After Mother died, I had the opportunity to read through some of her teen diaries, felt the pulse of her young heart, and realized the enormity of her loss. I knew she had a story to tell. After I wrote about two-thirds of the book, I realized the story also contained a crisis of faith. I went back to the beginning and revised with this crisis in mind. If one believes in a Higher Power, or God of love, how does one respond when one’s dreams dissipate overnight? This is the inspiration of His Gift. The message of this story is universal to anyone who has ever dared to dream in spite of uncontrollable circumstances. The reader will hopefully discover, with Molly, hope and peace in life when yielded to the Giver of all gifts.
PS I had to rename my main character Molly instead of using my mother’s nickname, “Milly,” in order to fully develop her as a fictional character. It worked!
I hope you enjoy His Gift and I hope it will encourage all of its readers.
(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card!
Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight September 22, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on September 29, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
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