Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour & Giveaway for Once Upon an Irish Summer by Wendy Wilson Spooner, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
Title: Once Upon an Irish Summer by Wendy Wilson Spooner
Publisher: Ambassador International
Release Date: April 3, 2020
Genre: Young Adult Historical Romance
Two teenagers, two centuries, one city.
1817 Ireland – Allen Hamilton crosses the Atlantic alone to find a way to save his family from imminent financial and social ruin before it’s too late. Instead he is met with prejudice, sickness, and starvation.
2018 Fort Wayne, Indiana – A gifted young artist struggles with debilitating grief after a sudden death in her family. When she unearths Allen Hamilton’s noble rise from rags to riches in Antebellum America, their shared connection inspires her own healing and renewed inspiration.
Based on a 200-year-old letter collection, Once Upon an Irish Summer brings to life and weaves together this true story of romance, mystery, and hope.
Hi! Welcome to the blog!
Wendy: Over. But I’m not the one who cares. My husband does, and I’m happy to accommodate because there are other things I DO care about, and he accommodates me. Winning!
Carrie: part of the secret to a lasting & happy marriage 🙂
Wendy: Ocean any day, every day. But I do live between two mountains with a trailhead at the top of my street, and I’m on that trail all the time.
Carrie: Oh man! You live between two mountains? I’m jealous! I want to live between mountains!
Wendy: Board game, and my family and I are obsessed with Settlers of Catan, although sometimes we need to take a break for a few weeks if it gets too heated…yikes.
Wendy: PRIIINT, which equals dog ears, bookmarks (I collect those), booklights in bed at night, always buying a new book in an airport, and continually adding to my home library from which I actually check out books to friends and neighbor kids.
Carrie: I’m so glad there is someone else out there who collects bookmarks but dog ears their pages too lol
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Wendy: My superpower would be my zest for life and doing the things I love and then sharing those things with the people I care about. Like writing, traveling, experiencing new cultures, painting, art exhibits, camping, watching movies in the backyard with pillows piled on the grass, or just sitting with a child in my lap and coloring with them at the kitchen table.
Carrie: awww i love that answer!
Q: Who is your favorite book character from childhood?
Wendy: Definitely Anne of Green Gables–with her love of writing, quirky ways, and beautiful story setting!
Carrie: Anne is the best 🙂
Q: Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
Wendy: A month ago, I ended up lost in the mountains, ALONE, for four hours, IN THE DARK, while the sky threatened rain. The mountains I was lost in are full of cactus, rattlesnakes, coyotes and bobcats—all things I couldn’t see in the dark. I never stopped praying until I found my way out, and the skies didn’t start pouring rain until I was safely home. I wrote about that experience because it was one of the flukiest things I’ve had happen to me in my whole life.
Carrie: oh my word!!! I’m rethinking the “wanting to live between mountains” thing now haha
Q: Which of your main characters in Once Upon an Irish Summer is most like you?
Wendy: I’m a cross between Beth the artist, and Mimi the genealogist. They are grandmother and granddaughter in the story, and their relationship is just so close. That’s how I was with my own grandmother. And even though she’s been gone 20 years now, she’s still one of my greatest heroes, someone I think about often, and someone who I still want to become like.
Carrie: I was super close with both of my grandmothers and I totally understand that!
Q: What surprised you about this book or your characters as you wrote their story?
Wendy: I didn’t realize that Preston and his mom would become so dear to me or become so important to the story–especially with her unknown illness. Like they’re real people to me, and I’m rooting for her to get well. We shall see what happens in the second book!
Carrie: It’s amazing how ‘fictional’ characters can become so real and so dear to us, isn’t it?
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Once Upon an Irish Summer?
Wendy: I want readers to become interested in their own ancestors! I want readers to KNOW the people they come from, because studies show (Emory University) that teens especially, who feel connected to their ancestors, have higher self esteem and a more solid identity about who they are in this world.
Carrie: I can attest to this, though it was in my adulthood rather than adolescence that I found out a lot about who I come from. Learning more about them became learning a lot about myself too – or at least connecting long-separated dots.
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Wendy: The SEQUEL to Once Upon an Irish Summer is what’s next!
Wendy Wilson Spooner became a novelist after writing academically and for family history clients. Her love of history compels her to write the true stories she unearths during research, and she’s found that truth is indeed much more exciting and inspiring than fiction! She writes about family, faith, grief, art, and overcoming obstacles in life by coming to know who we truly are—children of God, and the descendants of remarkable people who paved the way for us—even if they really struggled. Wendy believes in learning from our ancestors, honoring them, and standing on their shoulders to become someone even better. When not writing, Wendy currently serves as Vice-Chair for Daughters of the American Revolution over the American Heritage Contest in Art and Sculpture. She also loves to hike, paint, travel and spend time with her favorite people—her family.
(1) winner will receive a signed copy of Once Upon an Irish Summer with a gorgeous Irish bookmark!
Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight April 28, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on May 5, 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 mailing addresses only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.
What about you? What interests you most about Once Upon an Irish Summer and/or my Q&A with Wendy Wilson Spooner?