Thursday, May 14, 2020

ONE HUNDRED VALLEYS - Bonnie Leon - One Free Book

Welcome back, Bonnie. As an author, I know it takes a lot of people to birth each book. Who were the people involved in the birthing of this book, and what were their contributions?
A book is never written by only one person. It takes a team, as it did with my book One Hundred Valleys, especially because the story takes place in my hometown.

When I came up with the idea for this book, I first visited our local museum. It is well done, especially for a small town. The displays were extremely helpful and the people working in the museum answered my many questions and directed me to some excellent research books on our local history.

I talked to some of the locals who have had families in the area for several generations and they each provided additional pieces of the puzzle that helped bring the story together. And I appreciate the support and prayers of dear friends, including those at church and in Bible study. A writing friend of mine, April McGowan, read the early manuscript and gave me invaluable feedback.

Readers, especially those on my author page on Facebook, were a big help. I was able to keep them up to date on my progress and ask for their opinions while I created the story. They truly felt like partners in the project.

My daughter Kristi worked with me on research, editing, and we had some fun brainstorming sessions.

Part of the enjoyment of creating a book is connecting with others who help along the way.

If you teach or speak. What’s coming up on your calendar?
As you can guess things are very quiet right now, with so many tied to home and social distancing, but I hope to be stepping out more in the near future. I love to meet with writers and with readers groups. Although we need to be more creative during this difficult time, connecting is possible. Online meetings work quite well.

I had a book signing scheduled for March 21, but because of social distancing guidelines I was forced to cancel. That was a big disappointment, but I hope to have a local event in Roseburg, Oregon, in the fall.

March 12-14 of 2021, I will be joining the women of the Chemult Bible Fellowship and their sister church in Gilchrist for a retreat in Sunriver, Oregon. Friday evening there will be a small gathering of women from both churches, and on Saturday I will be speaking at a Sunriver church. This will be open to anyone who would like to attend. I will have more details in the months to come. To stay up to date, you can visit my website at

My event page is always changing, so make sure to check it out from time to time.

I've Skyped with book clubs that chose one of my books to read, and that was before the “Shelter in Place” order. If you had to completely start over in another place, where would you move, and why?
Actually, this is something my husband and I have talked about. At our age, it’s common to think about the “what ifs” of life.

We’ve never come up with a good answer. Sometimes we wish we lived closer to a city with more of the conveniences, but in light of the present crisis we are thankful we never made that move. We often think about how lovely it would be to live on the Oregon coast, but then we remember the weather—too much rain and wind for us.

We always come to the same conclusion. We’re living right where we belong. The foothills of Douglas County are wild enough to satisfy our craving for wilderness living and the weather is just about right, not too hot or too cold. And the forests around us are lush with a multitude of wildlife to add to the beauty.

If you could only tell aspiring novelists one thing, what would it be?
Write from your heart. Create stories you would like to read and remember that you weren’t meant to write anyone else’s story. You were meant to write yours.

I apologize, but I couldn’t come up with just one thing.

What you said was very pertinent. You’ve been asked to be in charge of a celebrity cruise. Who would you ask to take part, and why? (AS in what program, singers, etc. [it doesn’t have to be writing related])
This would be fun!

I’d have to choose Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, though sadly Kenny Rogers recently passed away. I like both of their personalities and when they sing together their voices are a perfect blend. Dolly Parton is a great talent, so personal yet bigger than life. She almost glows while she’s on stage. Kenny is a quieter performer but has a wonderful softer gravelly voice. The two of them would put on an outstanding show, and the audience could likely sing along with the songs.

If I’m organizing the entertainment it would give me the opportunity to get to know them both a little better. That would be a special bonus.

Tell us about the featured book.
I think the back cover says it well. Here it is.
After the death of her mother, Emmalin Hammond discovers she is not the heiress she’d always assumed she’d be. The revelation exposes her fiancĂ©’s true intentions when he withdraws his marriage proposal, leaving Emmalin heartbroken and humiliated. When she discovers the father she believed to be dead is still alive and living in the Oregon Territory she decides it is time to meet the man who has been hidden from her all of her life.

Accompanied by her Uncle Jonathon, she sets out for the Oregon Territory in search of answers and hoping for a renewed relationship with her father. When tragedy strikes, she confronts the terrifying challenge of completing her quest alone. Faced with few options, she entrusts her life to a mountain man named Jacob Landon who agrees to transport her to a small settlement in Southern Oregon called Deer Creek, a place also known as the Land of One Hundred Valleys.

Emmalin is not prepared for the hardships of life in the Oregon wilderness. Each day presents a new challenge. Newfound friends, including the reserved Jacob Landon, who unexpectedly stirs her heart, come alongside to help her adapt. Yet she feels out of place. Should she brave the arduous journey back to Philadelphia for the life she once knew or remain and hope for something better in the Oregon wilderness?

Sounds like a wonderful story. Please give us the first page of the book.
Oregon City
August 1855
Oregon City was not what Emmalin had expected. She’d been told the Oregon Territory was cool with lush meadows, sprawling farmlands and heavy forests fed by unrestrained white water rivers. Instead, as the wagon train rolled across the eastern territory and over the mountains, she’d been confronted by rocky, unyielding trails sandwiched between cliff sides. The great Columbia River was jammed with steamboats, barges and canoes. And a sawmill encroached on a powerful waterfall near the settlement.
The hodgepodge town of Oregon City had overcrowded streets congested with travel-weary settlers who kept the land claims office abuzz. Their wagons and cattle swirled up dust in the streets. The air was hot, and there were no clouds promising rain or cooler temperatures.
Sweat pearled on the fair skin of her forehead and at the base of her neck where Emmalin tucked a strand of ginger-colored hair into place. She stepped out of the hotel and onto the boardwalk. The hour was early and already the heat was insufferable.
A wagon rattled past, kicking up more dust. A pig, tied to a hitch at the back, trotted along, moving its stout legs in clipped, quick steps in order to keep up. Children’s dirty faces peered over the side rails, eyes wide with curiosity.
What had she done? She shouldn’t have come. She didn’t belong here.

Where can we find you on the Internet?
I love to hear from readers. Here are a few of places where they can find me.
Twitter                        @Bonnie­_Leon

Thank you, Bonnie, for sharing this new book with my blog readers and me. I’m eager to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book.
One Hundred Valleys - Paperback
One Hundred Valleys - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (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.

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Bonnie Leon said...

Lena, thank you so much for including me on your blog. It is always a pleasure.

Bless you.


Anonymous said...

Bonnie already knows I love her--but you don't, so I want to say thank you for having a great interview with my friend! Patti Iverson

Caryl Kane said...

Hello Lena and Bonnie! I'm looking forward to reading One Hundred Valleys.

Caryl K in TEXAS

Melanie Backus said...

What a great story! I would love to read it!
Melanie Backus, TX

Bonnie Leon said...

Hi Caryl. I had a great time writing it and hope you enjoy Emmalin and Jacob’s story.

Bonnie Leon said...

Hi Melanie. I love your enthusiasm. If you win a copy I’ll get it in the mail right away. 😊

Robin in NC said...

Stories set in the 1800's are some of my favorites. This book sounds great! Thanks for sharing your interview, excerpt & chance to win. Stay safe.

Robin in NC

Abigail Mitchell said...

Your books always look so good!
Abigail in VA

Wendy Newcomb said...

This sounds wonderful, thank you for bringing it to my attention and the chance to win a copy.

Wendy in Nebraska

wfnren at aol dot com

Diana Flowers said...

I 1st got acquainted with Bonnie's books when she wrote the Sydney Cove series set in Australia. Loved it! Would enjoy reading One Hundred Valleys. Great cover BTW!

Diana in SC

Vera Godley said...

This book sounds interesting, has a beautiful cover, and I would look forward to reading this author. I don't believe I've ever read one of her works.

Vera in North Carolina 0 kindof in the middle.

Bonnie Leon said...

Hi Robin. The 1800's is my favorite historical time period. It was a transitional era with so much going on. I hope you'll have the opportunity to read the book. I am jumping into the sequel now and very excited to find out what happens to my beloved characters.

Bonnie Leon said...

Abigail, the publishing house did a fabulous job on the cover. I can't wait to see what they come up with for book two.

Bonnie Leon said...

Hi Wendy. I hope you're having a good day. The sun is out here, and I'm having to force myself to stay at my desk. I do plan to take a walk, though, soon. I hadn't planned on writing a series when I started One Hundred Valleys but when I completed the book I knew there was more to the story. And I can't wait to see where this tale will carry me.

Bonnie Leon said...

Hey there, Diane. I'm so thrilled you've been reading my books for a while. I loved writing the Sydney Cove series. The research process was eye-opening and the tale gut wrenching but I loved my characters and how courageous they were. I hope you'll read my new book and like it, as well.

Bless you.


Bonnie Leon said...

Hi Vera. I hope you'll get to read this new book. I love it when readers find my books for the first time, though it is sometimes scary, hoping they like what they read. I hope you enjoy.



Connie Porter Saunders said...

Thanks for sharing your book with us today. This is a fabulous cover!
Connie from Kentucky

Lucy Reynolds said...

Sounds like a must read. Thank you for sharing. You ladies have a blessed weekend.
Lucy from WV.

Nancy P said...

Lovely cover. Thanks for the chance. FL

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Barbara Castellari said...

What an awesome interview for you, Miss Bonnie. Thanks for your blogs.

rubynreba said...

I enjoyed the interview and reading about your new book! Love to read it.
Beth from IA

Melissa M. said...

Sounds interesting!
-Melissa from TN