Road Trip Reads Giveaway (Oregon): Hero Debut by Angela Ruth Strong

Posted August 29, 2023 by meezcarrie in Angela Ruth Strong, Author Interview, Christian, contemporary, giveaway, Road Trip Reads Giveaway 2023, romance / 17 Comments

Road Trip Reads Giveaway

today’s book: Hero Debut by Angela Ruth Strong
on tour with JustRead Tours

We are moving right along on our summer-long Road Trip Reads Giveaway where we will be visiting all 50 states on the pages of recently released books. Because road trips are always better with friends – and books – right? So grab your fave snacks, a cold soda or bottled water, an upbeat playlist and let’s head back to the PNW!

today’s stop: Oregon


Hero Debut

HERO DEBUT by Angela Ruth Strong
SERIES: Love Off Script #2
GENRE: Christian Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: August 29, 2023
PAGES: 308

“Another sparkling feel-good romance, brimming with perfect doses of heart and heat!”– Bethany Turner, award-winning author of The Do-Over

Gemma Bennett is the leading lady of her own life, and her true love is writing screenplays. With her trusty pink notebook in hand, she signs up for the Citizen’s Safety Academy to research her newest blockbuster hope, a rom-com with a police officer as the hero. And the fact that the handsome and heroic Lieutenant Karson Zellner is the one leading the training? Well, who can blame her for wanting to spend evenings with the man she swooned over months ago when he responded to a call at her apartment?

Karson already has his fair share of problems before Gemma shows up, and he’s not exactly a fan of the ditzy blonde who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. The last thing he needs is a damsel in distress to rescue; there are plenty of people in real need of his help. The fact that she seems to think his job makes him a superhero is just one more strike against her. This isn’t a movie, and he feels like the furthest thing from a leading man.

Gemma can’t seem to stop doing the worst, most embarrassing things at just the wrong time. And as time goes on, Gemma begins to realize that the scripts for a perfect screenplay and a real-life happily-ever-after are two very different things. Can she step out of her own way to find the hero her story needs?

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Other Books in This Series

left my heart in oregon

by Angela Ruth Strong, author of Hero Debut

When I pitched my Love Off Script series to a director, I mentioned it was set in Portland, Oregon. The response I got? “Ugh, Portland.” This was after the city was sadly torn apart by riots then new bills allowed the homeless population to expand.

Like any urban area, Portland has their struggles, but it’s also an area of natural splendor and art, which is what I wanted to highlight in my trilogy. I was honored when a reader mentioned the first novel, Husband Auditions, as a book that influenced her life because it helped her fall back in love with her home state and encouraged her to start praying for the people once again.

In Hero Debut, readers will see the ugly side of Oregon because my hero, Karson Zellner, is a cop who’s angry about the campaign to defund the police and how it affected his life. Of course, the book’s focus remains on the beauty of the Rose City along with the beauty of redemption, so let me take you on a little road trip through some of the story’s settings.

1. Mount Tabor Park – I attended my grandpa’s memorial here and was stunned by the views as well as the history. Not only is it a mountain forest in the middle of the city, but it sits on an actual cinder cone in which they hold events like concerts. There are also a number of reservoirs built in the early 1900s to collect water. Though they aren’t used anymore, walking trails and staircases guide hikers to what look like giant stone wading pools behind wrought iron fences. When I saw the park hosts a downhill skateboarding competition, I snagged the idea for Karson’s nephew.

2. Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden—The beloved children’s author was born in the small town where I attended high school, but she grew up in Portland and set her Ramona stories there. Near her childhood home is a park with sculptures of her most famous characters, which I thought would be great inspiration for my aspiring screenwriter character. Gemma actually has a “conversation” with one of the statues.

3. The Grotto—To bookend this story, Karson has an important conversation in another park with statues representing Bible characters. This venue is considered a woodland sanctuary built by the Catholic church in the 1920s and inspires meditation for all faiths. It includes cliffs, caves, and an outdoor cathedral as well as acres of botanical gardens.

I honestly didn’t realize I wrote so many parks into this novel until I summarized them above, but I think they fit. All heroes need a fortress of solitude, and only Portland could offer such iconic locales for our hero and heroine.

If you read the rest of the series, you’ll get to visit lots more unique settings from climbing Multnomah Falls (where I used to bribe my kids with ice cream so they’d hike all the way up) to apple picking with a view of Mt. Hood (where my brother got married). Like the roommates in my series, my son also graduated from film school at Portland State, worked as a cameraman for the Portland Pickles, and entered the 48-hour film competition. The books may be fiction, but the settings come from real life.


Oregon is a gorgeous state, it just needs a little love. So let’s love it.

Angela Ruth Strong

Angela Ruth Strong is an expert on Write That Book, blogs on and How to Write a Novel, and is the founder of IDAhope Writers. She is the author of the Resort to Love series and the CafFUNated mysteries. Angela lives in Meridian, Idaho

Connect with Angela by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

comment to claim a bonus entry in the giveaway!

(1) winner will receive signed copies of Husband Auditions & Hero Debut and some book-themed items that play a role in the plots of each book!

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight August 28, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on September 4, 2023. 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 JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

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What about you? What makes you want to read Hero Debut by Angela Ruth Strong? Have you ever visited Oregon?

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17 responses to “Road Trip Reads Giveaway (Oregon): Hero Debut by Angela Ruth Strong

  1. Linda Palmer

    I have been to Oregon and even spent two years of college in Portland. I’ve been to the Grotto, and it was amazing! And I’ve been to towns in eastern Oregon that had some of the nicest people living there.

  2. Winnie Thomas

    I’ve been to Oregon a couple of times but haven’t spent much time there. I’d enjoy going back and exploring more of it.

  3. Laura C

    I live in OR and I love it! It is so much more than Portland! I love reading any books set in OR and I’m looking forward to this one.

  4. Sandy Avery

    I love the setting of Oregon and the story sounds interesting. My family has spent time in Bend Oregon area and we loved it.

  5. Lelia “Lucy” Reynolds

    I landed in Oregon when I went to visit my sister in WA. This sounds good. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Pam K.

    I haven’t ever visited Oregon. I’d like to read Hero Debut because I met the main characters in Husband Auditions.

  7. I had no idea that there was a Beverly Cleary sculpture garden! That’s neat, I loved reading her books growing up, and I still enjoy reading them from time to time.

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