Friday, August 07, 2015

THE HOPPER-HILL FAMILY - Erika S Castiglione- One Free Book

Welcome, Erika. What has drawn you to writing for the YA market?
Many of the books that have had the biggest impact on me are young adult, and I have spent a large portion of my adult life working with teenagers in ministry and as a teacher. 

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
My fourth grade teacher introduced me to creative writing. I distinctly remember writing a story from the point of view of my feet. I couldn’t believe something so fun could be considered schoolwork.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love the classics, especially classic children’s literature (Charlotte’s Web, Little Women, The Chronicles of Narnia Series, Anne of Green Gables Series, A Secret Garden), Jane Austen novels, and historical biographies and memoirs. My favorite modern novel is Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

What other books have you written?
I have a few half written novels in folders on my computer, but this is my first time to bring a novel to a satisfactory conclusion and publish it.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I had a family picture taken on The Great Wall of China when my youngest son was only eight days old.  

I love the picture of that. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I take time each day to pray, read scripture, and journal. I walk my dog. I read and laugh and cuddle with my family. I make thankful lists.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of, besides family?
I spent several weeks in China in between my junior and senior year of college. It was a big step of faith at the time and because of that initial trip, I ended up spending six years there after graduation.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A dolphin. They travel in groups and get to live at the beach.

What is your favorite food?
Dark Chocolate.

You’d be surprised how many authors say their favorite food is chocolate. I’m with you. I take mine dark. Is it hard to break into the YA market?
It seems that way, but I’m still at the very beginning of the process.

What advice would you give to an author wanting to do that?
Write the best book you can write and spend a lot of time editing. Get to know young adults, care about them and learn from them. Read a lot—not only will it make you a better writer, it will remind you why you decided to write in the first place.

What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
It is the story of adoption through tragedy and the joys and struggles of becoming a blended family. I hope it will touch you deeply, make you laugh, and encourage you to celebrate and appreciate your own family.

Please share the first page with us.
The News
For twelve years I dreamed about what it would be like to grow up in a large family. I would have been happy to have had even one brother or sister. I asked for one several Christmases in a row, and it was my standby wish every time I blew out my birthday candles, but I didn’t really expect it to happen, and certainly not in the way it did. It was a Sunday the day before school started for second semester, and Mom and I were pulling ornaments off the tree and putting them in boxes when Dad got the call. I could tell it was a serious conversation by the noises Dad was making, the way he drew in his breath, the way he whispered, “No.” Mom turned down the music, but he stepped outside anyway. I watched him on the front porch in his hoodie and jeans, his breath like smoke in the cold air.

“Melissa, could you step outside a minute?” he said, sticking his head in the door.

I watched them talk, knowing they would have to tell me whatever it was and wishing they would hurry. Mom nodded as she listened and pulled Dad into an embrace. I could see his shoulders tremble and her knuckles turning white as her arms tightened around him.

“Dad’s going to drive out to Gram’s house. He might bring her back for the night,” she said. “Let’s sit down. I guess you need to know what this is all about.”

And you have me hooked wanting to know what this is all about. I know my readers are, too. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Hopper-Hill Family - Paperback
The Hopper-Hill Family - Kindle

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 Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Cindy W. said...

Oh, wow! I need to know what happens next. I would love to wind a copy of this book.

I live in Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Beth Gillihan said...

Great first page! Sounds like a good read. Thanks for the chance to win!

Beth in Montana

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like it's going to be a wonderful story. I'd love to read more.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Melanie Backus said...

Oh my, I am hooked from this first page and would certainly love to read more. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Melanie Backus, TX

Anonymous said...

My family is in the middle of an adoption right now and I think I can relate to both the "tragedies" and "joys" of it. It's so hard knowing I've got a new baby sister and hardly ever being able to see her throughout her entire first year of life! This book sounds great and I'd love to win a copy.
J.C. -Indiana-

Erika said...

Thank you, Lena, for the opportunity to be on your blog today.

Cindy, Beth, Linda, and Melanie--Thank you for your encouragement and I hope you will get a chance to see what happens next!

J.C.--I pray God will guide and bless your family on your own adoption journey.

Anonymous said...

sounds like a interesting book! Shelia from Mississippi

Erika said...

Thanks, Sheila!

Erika said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deanna Stevens said...

:) I'd enjoy reading this...
Deanna from NEBR

Anonymous said...

Angela and oreo in KY would love to win.

Erika said...

Thank you, Deanna :)

Thanks, Angela and Oreo!

Brenda Arrington said...

Can't wait to read what happens next. Thanks for the chance to win. Great interview.

Mary Preston said...

The first page had me wanting to know more.

A lovely interview thank you.

Mary P


Erika said...

It was fun to check my messages today and see your comment, Brenda!

Thank you, Mary! I love the Belle picture :)

Melissa M. said...

Great start to the story!

-Melissa M. in TN

Erika said...

Thanks, Melissa! I hope you'll find out what happens next :)

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway, SC.

Raechel said...

I hadn't had the pleasure of hearing about this book before, but now I need to know what happens. :)

Thanks for the give-away and interview!
Raechel in MN

Erika said...

Thanks, Sharon and Raechel! I hope you'll find out what happens next :)

rubynreba said...

Books about blended families are always interesting. Love the cover!
Beth from IA

Erika said...

Thank you, Beth!

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Great first page! I look forward to reading more.
Thank you and Blessings!
Connie from KY

Erika said...

Blessings and thanks to you, Connie!

GrandaddyA said...

That first page grabs your interest. I want to know what they were talking about on the front porch.
Edward A in VA

Erika said...

I hope you'll find out!