Monday, May 12, 2014

Featured Debut Novelist: Liz Tolsma

Liz Tolsma has lived in Wisconsin most of her life, and she now resides next to a farm field with her husband, their son, and their two daughters. All of their children have been adopted internationally and one has special needs. 

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Her novella, Under His Wings, appeared in the New York Times bestselling collection, A Log Cabin Christmas. Her debut novel, Snow on the Tulips, released in August of 2013. Daisies Are Forever releases in May 2014.

 When not busy putting words to paper, she enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping with her family. She is also a regular contributor to the Barn Door blog.


The following is a May 2014 interview with Liz.

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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
AT THE END 
OF 
THE INTERVIEW


Be in to win a copy of 
Daisies Are Forever
by Liz Tolsma


One copy to be won
Contest open to entrants with USA addresses only.
Contest runs from 9-23 May NZDT


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Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve lived in Wisconsin most of my life and have been married to my high school sweetheart for 25 years. We have three beautiful children. I love to walk and garden and spend time with my family.


What inspired you to become a novelist, and did you always want to write?
I’ve always loved writing. In fifth grade, our teacher had us write tall tales. It was great to let my imagination go wild! She encouraged me to become an author. Many detours and many years later, here I am.


What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?

It’s significant because our stories have deeper, spiritual meanings. They affect people on a different level than secular fiction. We can tell light, humorous stories or tackle difficult subjects and yet have a strong message that will stick with the reader long after they close the book.


How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write?

I hope it makes them thankful for the peace and freedom that we have and thankful for the sacrifices of people all around the world that gave us these freedoms. I want to share stories that shouldn’t be forgotten.

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What has been the most surprising aspect to becoming a published novelist? 
All the marketing work. I spend almost as much time each day on that as I do on writing. Whew. But I love getting to know my readers and reaching out to people.


How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ? 

Often the topics I explore are situations that I struggle with in my life. My research, my development of my characters and my exploration of Scripture brings me into a closer walk with my Lord.


Other than being a novelist, what other goals do you have for your life? 
To get my house clean LOL! And the laundry folded. Actually, I would like to finish raising godly children, spend time with my family and my husband.


What do you like to do in your spare time? 

 I love to walk and garden. I have a huge perennial garden that I’m expanding (when the snow melts). In the winter, we enjoy snowshoeing and in the summer we camp and spend time at our cabin. And I read as much as possible.

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What can you tell us about your debut novel? 
Snow on the Tulips is set in the Netherlands in the closing months of WWII. Gerrit Laninga is a wounded Resistance worker, brought to Cornelia de Vries’ house by her brother, whom she is hiding from the Nazis. Cornelia, a war widow, is afraid of having responsibility for another man wanted by the Germans, but she cannot turn him out. But losing her heart to him might be just as dangerous as the underground activity.


What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead? 

The second book in the Women of Courage series, Daisies Are Forever, releases in May. This one is set in East Prussia and Berlin at the end of the war. American born Gisela Cramer must stay one step ahead of the Russian troops, but her task is complicated by an escaped British POW, two old women, two little girls, a wounded German soldier and a young woman with big dreams. But when they reach Berlin, will they really be safe? And what about her heart?

The third book in the series is set in the Philippines during the war and focuses on an American woman detained by the Japanese at the Santo Tomas Internment Camp.


What would you like to say to your upcoming fans in New Zealand and around the world?

These stories resonate with women from around the world and from all walks of life. They make you look at yourself and wonder what kind of courage you would have had in these situations. They’ve forced me to step out in faith and courage in my own life.


Do you have any parting words? 

Thanks for having me. It’s been great fun! I appreciate it. 


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Snow on the Tulips
by Liz Tolsma
  • Thomas Nelson Publishers
  • Historical
  • 6 August 2013
  • ISBN: 9781401689100
Purchase:
[Kindle Amazon The Book Depository]


A stranger’s life hangs in the balance. But to save him is to risk everything.

The war is drawing to a close, but the Nazis still occupy part of the Netherlands. After the losses she’s endured, war widow Cornelia is only a shadow of the woman she once was. She fights now to protect her younger brother, Johan, who lives in hiding.

When Johan brings Gerrit Laninga, a wounded Dutch Resistance member, to Cornelia’s doorstep, their ives are forever altered. Although scared of the consequences of harboring a wanted man, Cornelia’s faith won’t let her turn him out.

As she nurses Gerrit back to health, she is drawn to his fierce passion and ideals, and notices a shift within herself. Gerrit’s intensity challenges her, making her want to live fully, despite the fear that constrains her. When the opportunity to join him in the Resistance presents itself, Cornelia must summon every ounce of courage imaginable.

She is as terrified of loving Gerrit as she is of losing him. But as the winter landscape thaws, so too does her heart. Will she get a second chance at true love? She fears their story will end before it even begins.


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Daisies are Forever
by Liz Tolsma
  • Thomas Nelson Publishers
  • Historical
  • 6 May 2014
  • ISBN: 9781401689124
Purchase:
[Kindle Amazon The Book Depository]


Gisela must hold onto hope and love despite all odds in the midst of a war-torn country.

Gisela Cramer is an American living in easternGermany with her cousin Ella Reinhardt. When the Red Army invades, they must leave their home to escape to safety in Berlin.

However, Ella is a nurse and refuses to leave, sending her young daughters with Gisela.During their journey, Gisela meets Mitch Edwards, an escaped British POW. She pretends she is his wife in order to preserve his safety among other Germans, especially one wounded German soldier, Kurt, who has suspicions about Mitch’s identity. Kurt also has feelings for Gisela and tries to uncover the truth about her “marriage.”

Their journey to Gisela’s mother in Berlin is riddled with tragedy and hardship, but they strive to keep Ella's daughters safe so they can reunite with their mother. During the journey Gisela and Mitch begin to develop feelings for one another beyond friendship. They reach Berlin, but their struggles are far from over. Gisela and Mitch must learn to live for the day and find hope in the darkest of circumstances.

In this moving, historically accurate portrayal of WWII Germany, the characters learn that,even with destruction all around them, some things last forever.



Buy Liz's Books at The Book Depository

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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Be in to win a copy of 
Daisies Are Forever
by Liz Tolsma


One copy to be won
Contest open to entrants
with USA addresses only.
Contest runs from 9-23 May NZDT



Please comment about the interview, or leave a message for Liz Tolsma. 
Simply commenting about entering the draw or wanting to win the books does not qualify for valid entry into the draw. 
All entries must be made using the Rafflecopter contest to be eligible for drawing. 
Winning entries drawn will have their entry options validated before being accepted - if incomplete another entry will be drawn.


Previous Featured Author Interviews


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