Friday, November 04, 2011

A LASTING IMPRESSION - Tamera Alexander - Free Book + Much More

The post today will be a little different from usual.

About Tamera Alexander

Tamera Alexander is a best-selling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband now make their home in Nashville Tennessee, along with their two adult children who live near by. And don't forget Jack, their precious--and precocious--silky terrier.

Tell us about your walk with Christ.
I came to Christ as a teenager and asked him to be not only my Savior, but Lord of my life. I didn’t begin to understand the true cost of discipleship and what “taking up your cross daily and following me” meant until later in life, and I’m still learning. I’m so grateful that Jesus never changes––not yesterday, or today, or tomorrow. He’s always the same. Rock solid. Dependable. Trustworthy. Lavish in grace. But that grace isn’t cheap. He loves me far too much to leave me where I am. The roads that God chooses for me are rarely the ones I’d choose for myself, but with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and by following in Christ’s steps, I trust him to lead me every step of the way. And something I’ve learned…every step changes the view!

You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
C. S. Lewis…because his perspective and writings on this life and the next have long captivated me. Laura Ingalls Wilder…so I could thank her for first igniting my love for story and for the hours I spent with her family on the prairie. Kahlil Gibran, author of The Prophet…for first opening my eyes to the immense beauty and artistry of words (and my thanks to my seventh grade teacher, Debra Ackey, for the gift of that book). Finally, I’d invite Luke, the writer of the Book of Acts in the Bible, because I’m currently in Bible Study Fellowship and we’re reading one of “Luke’s books!” I’d love to know the “behind the scenes details” of some of the events he recorded, and thank him for faithfully penning the historical account of the early church.

Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
I used to speak publicly far more than I do now. I’m currently contracted for several books and they all have back-to-back deadlines, so I’ve had to greatly limit my number of speaking engagements. But I do love to talk and visit with readers. In fact, just tonight I Skyped with a book club in Atlanta and we had such fun! For more information on virtual book club meetings, visit

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
I’m not sure it’s the most embarrassing thing but right now––as I’m typing this––I’m still feeling sick to my stomach over something that happened earlier today. I forgot a luncheon I was supposed to attend. Flat forgot it. It was on my iCal, plain as day, but I failed to set a reminder alarm with the event and this morning I got bogged down in planning details for upcoming projects, emails were flying back and forth, and I totally spaced the appointment.


The woman who invited me (and who paid for my ticket) very kindly emailed afterward to make sure I was all right, and when I read her note on my laptop, my heart dropped like a stone. I hadn’t forgotten something like that in a long time. How embarrassing. I immediately called and apologized, profusely. She was very gracious and understanding. But oh…embarrassing just doesn’t describe it.

We all make mistakes, and as hard as we try not to, we all let others down from time to time. Still, you hate when it happens. I’ve found it’s best just to admit your mistake and ask for forgiveness. Then learn from your mistake and put measures into place to decrease the likelihood of it happening again. Then go eat a piece of Weight Watchers Peanut Butter Pie that you keep in the freezer for such moments as these.

People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
I always try to encourage them and then also ask, “What are you willing to give up so you can accomplish that goal? What price are you willing to pay to learn the craft?” There’s a cost inherent in learning anything and especially in learning to do it well. Writing is no exception. I tell them about American Christian Fiction Writers ( It’s THE single best resource for writers who aspire to write stories for the Christian market. Then I point them to my list of favorite writing resources:

     The Moral Premise by Stan Williams 
     Stein on Writing by Sol Stein
     How to Grow a Novel by Sol Stein 
     Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell
     Getting Into Character by Brandilyn Collins
     Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
     Word Painting by Rebecca McClanahan
     Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave
     Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Tell us about the featured book, A Lasting Impression, a Belmont Mansion novel.
When I first stepped foot across the threshold of the Belmont Mansion in Nashville, TN, and learned about Adelicia Acklen––the born-before-her-time woman who built Belmont––and her “tough as nails” personality and extraordinary life, I knew I wanted to write a story that included her, her magnificent home, and this crucial time in our nation’s history.
But when I “met” Sutton Monroe and Claire Laurent while visiting the mansion one afternoon, or more rightly, when they shoved their way into my imagination and met each other, I knew I had to write their story. And I knew exactly what the setting would be too. The historic Belmont Mansion. After over two years of research and writing, A Lasting Impression is the culmination of that “chance meeting.”

A Lasting Impression is about being authentic in one’s life and relationships, and in one’s faith. It’s a love story about a nation mending after war, ­­the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves––and each other––for who they really are.

Please give us the first page of the book.

A Lasting Impression
Chapter 1

Claire Laurent studied the finished canvas on the easel before her, and though masterpiece hardly described it, she knew the painting was her best yet. So why the disappointment inside her? The fiendish fraudulence trickling its way through her like tiny beads of sweat beneath layers of crinoline and lace. She ran a hand through her curls and dropped the soiled paintbrush into a cup of turpentine, full well knowing why. And knowing only deepened her guilt.

Her gaze fell to the lower right­hand corner of the canvas, the one reserved for the artist’s signature. She hadn’t yet been able to bring herself to sign this one. Not with that name. Because of all the landscapes and still lifes and portraits she’d painted, none had truly felt like hers . . .

Until this one.

A breeze, moist and swollen, heavy with the certainty of rain, wafted in through the open second­story window, and she peered from her bedroom over the town, breathing in the tang of salty air moving in from the gulf. She viewed the Vieux Carré below, the Old Square she’d painted so many times she could close her eyes and still see every detail—the rows of pastel­colored buildings clustered together and edging the narrow streets, their balconies of decorative black cast iron boasting hanging baskets that cascaded with late summer blooms. The combination lent a charm and beauty unique to this part of the city.

No wonder she’d fallen in love with New Orleans so quickly, despite the hardship of recent months.

The steady tick-tick-tick of the clock on the mantel marked the seconds, and she released her breath with practiced ease. She rose from her stool and stretched, paying the toll for retiring so late in recent evenings and for rising so early, but there was no avoiding it. This painting had taken longer to complete than she’d estimated.

Much longer, as her father kept reminding her.

Almost half past two, and she needed to “take leave of the gal­ lery no later than three,” as her father had insisted. She knew she shouldn’t allow his request to bother her. It wasn’t the first time he’d demanded she leave while he “conferred” with gallery patrons. And it wasn’t as if she didn’t know what he was doing during that time. What they did as a family business.

Read a full two chapter excerpt here:

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Author Website:
Author Blog:   
Author Twitter:

Tamera and her publisher, Bethany House, are hosting A Lasting Impression Kindle Fire Giveaway a Southern-Style Facebook party with a TON of Giveaways!

A Lasting Impression Giveaways and Facebook Party!

Beginning November 4th, Tamera's celebrating the release of her novel with a KINDLE FIRE Giveaway. Then on November 15th she'll be wrapping up the release of A Lasting Impression with a lavish Southern-Style Author Chat Party on Facebook!

Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Party from Tamera Alexander! While Tamera and her book,  A Lasting Impression, are traveling across the country virtually (with a few international stops as well!), she will be hosting a Kindle Fire Giveaway (11/4 - 11/15) and preparing for a lavish Southern-Style Facebook Party (11/15) (dripping with hospitality, of course). She will be giving away Southern Food Baskets, books, and an array of other fabulous freebies! Don't miss a minute of the fun. Swoon!

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Brand New Kindle Fire (shipped as soon as it releases)
  • A copy of A Lasting Impression and 3 other special books Tamera wants you to have (for Kindle)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on November 15th. Winner will be announced at A Lasting Impression Facebook Party on the 15th. Tamera will be wrapping up the A Lasting Impression celebration with an author chat and giving away Southern Food Baskets (Loveless Cafe Food Baskets, books, Amazon & Starbucks gift certificates, and copies of Christy Jordan's Southern Plate cookbook), six gift certificates to Starbucks and, and copies of A Lasting Impression! So grab your copy of A Lasting Impression (it's okay if you don't have one yet- you might win one!) and join Tamera on the evening of November 15th for an author chat, a trivia contest (How much do you know about the 1860's?) and lots of Southern-inspired giveaways (complete listing here).

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on the 15th!

Here's a link to the complete blog tour schedule:

In addition to that, one reader will receive a free copy of the book on this blog.

Thank you, Tamera, for the fun interview.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Lasting Impression, A (A Belmont Mansion Novel)

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Robyn said...

The book sounds fascinating. I can't wait to see what happens to our forging painter!

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Patty said...

Love, love, love Tamers's books! I will have to check out her Kindle giveaway.

Patty in SC

wfnren said...

Thank you for doing the giveaway, this sounds like it will be a good read.


Jillian Kent said...

I just know I'm going to be hooked on this series. Can't wait to read it.

Kristie said...

It's nice that you can speak about your faith to others. I'm not gifted in that way. You also accomplish that through your writing too. I just try to do it my example. Sometimes I'm successful, sometimes not. Your book sound great. Strong Southern women during the Civil War are excellnt heroines. I do not think I could do that if we had a war on American soil. Kudos to them. I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

scottsgal said...

This is a new author to me - her book sounds like a time period I enjoy reading about
cheryl in IL
msboatgal at

Jen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

I really want to read this book, it sounds so good. Thanks for the giveaway


Jen from Florida!

Tamera Alexander said...

Hey gals! So appreciate you stopping by and thanks for the kind, kind words! A Lasting Impression took about a two-year chunk of my life in researching and writing so I hope you enjoy it.

And I hope one of you gals wins the Kindle Fire!! But we'll also be giving away Southern Biscuits and Ham at the FB Launch Party too, which are almost as good! ; )

Courtney said...

I've been really wanting to read this book, it sounds really great!! Thanks for the chance!! Thanks for a great interview!!

from WA state
kcmelone at yahoo dot com

AnnMetcalf said...

We have many of Tameras books on Vyrso, a Christian ebookstore!

Cathy said...

Would love to win this book. The cover is gorgeous! Please enter me, thanks

Cathy from B.C. Canada

Aizess said...

I have been wanting to read this book! Please enter me in this giveaway!

I live in New York

Kd said...

I'd love to read & WIN Tamera's new book A Lasting Impression! The party sounds like a winner, too...I'll be there. Kd in Glacier Country, Montana ~

Pam K. said...

This book has such a gorgeous cover. Knowing that it is set in a real mansion makes it even more interesting. I'd love to win a copy of the book! Thanks for the interview and book giveaway.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely LOVE Tamera's books. Can't wait to read her newest one!

from Michigan

Judy said...

I haven't met Tamera before so I really enjoyed the interview. I love her commitment to Christ. I'm a little jealous that her adult children live near them. I miss my adult children so much. I would love to win a copy of "A Lasting Impression". I can't wait to get to know Tamera more through her books.

Judy B from Indiana

Judy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tammi said...

Please enter my name into the drawing for A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander. She is one of my favorite authors and I look forward to each of her new books.


Tammi in Maine

dandtdearing [at] earthlink [net]

Emily said...

The book looks interesting! Can't wait to read it! Please enter me!



Debbie said...

Thanks so much for the giveaway, looks like an amazing read!


Long Island

John said...

Please enter me for this drawing.



rubynreba said...

Thanks for a chance to win this book.
Beth from Iowa

Lorna Faith said...

Love the 1st page:) Your books are so your word painting, Tamera!
I would love to win this historical romance:)

Lorna from Alberta

lornafaith at gmail dot com

Jo said...

Thank you for this giveaway. It sounds awesome and the book sounds like a great read.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Diana Flowers said...

Tamera is a wonderful author and I would love to win this book! The cover is soooo striking!

Diana in SC


karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read tamara's latest novel :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Marianne said...

Thanks, Lena for a great interview/post, and for the giveaway, and to Tamera, too. would love to win the book.


from Peace River Country, Alberta

karenk said...

ooops..i did it again...

thanks for the chance to read tamara's latest novel :)

karenk...from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Sarah said...

It looks and sounds interesting!!
Please enter me in the drawing.
God Bless,
Sarah Richmond

Laura in Texas said...

Intriguing! I went to Amazon and downloaded the sample to read later today. Darn -- I have LONG backlog of books on my Kindle waiting to be read. :-)

Faye said...

I've heard so many wonderful things about this book :)

I'm from SD

holdenj said...

I always loved Laura Ingalls Wilder as a kid too! A Lasting Impression looks like a great story, thanks for the chance to win!
Julie in MN

Lindsey said...

Thank you for the interview! I love Tamera Alexander's books. :)


Patsy said...

Tamera is such a talented writer. I would love to read this book. Love the cover!!

from South MS


Bakersdozen said...

I loved the interview. I appreciated the books she listed as resources for aspring writers. The book sounds great. I live in S. CA.

Merry said...

"A Lasting Impression" has such a lovely cover and interesting storyline. I look forward to reading Tamera's newest very soon.
Merry in TX

Lady DragonKeeper said...

Gah, that is one GORGEOUS book cover! I wish those FB book release parties were on weekends ... but I entered the Kindle Fire giveaway. Thanks for the chance to win!


(P.S. I'm from Hawaii)

Rose said...

This book sounds great!

Aly Logan said...

Thanks so much for the chance to win Tamara's book!

Ann Lee Miller
Gilbert AZ

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

I have not yet read a Tamera Alexander book despite my friends saying they love her writing. Thanks for this nice post and I love how you have all this info organized, Lena! cfpagels (at) aol (dot) com

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me I would love to win a copy of this book! Thanks and God bless!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Joanna Richmond said...

sounds very interesting I would Love to read it enter me in the giveaway Thanks and God Bless
Joanna Richmond,
Blanch NC

Abigail said...

I love Tamera's books. Please enter me!
Thanks and God Bless!
Abigail Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Gwendolyn Gage said...

I would love to read this book! Thanks for this opportunity!

gwen dot gage at gmail dot com

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Oh...and I'm from texas. :-)

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this wonderful novel :)

karenk...from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I love Tamera Alexander! Can't wait to read this one.
Emily S. in Texas

Courtney said...

I would love to read this book, it sounds fantastic!! Thanks for the chance to win!

from WA state