#TackleTBR Giveaway for The Sea Keeper's Daughters by Lisa Wingate

I'm thrilled to have Lisa Wingate stopping by today as part of my Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon! She's being nice enough to answer some of my questions and Tyndale House, her publisher, is giving away a print copy of The Sea Keeper's Daughters to one lucky winner. You can read my review here and the first chapter here.

The Sea Keeper's Daughters (Carolina #3)The Sea Keeper's Daughters
(Carolina #3)
by Lisa Wingate
Christian Contemporary Women's Fiction, Romance
Paperback & ebook, 400 Pages
September 1st 2015 by Tyndale


Wingate's third Carolina book follows the highly reviewed, The Prayer Box and The Story Keeper as well as related three novellas.

From modern-day Roanoke Island to the sweeping backdrop of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and Roosevelt’s WPA folklore writers, past and present intertwine to create an unexpected destiny. . .

Restaurant owner Whitney Monroe is desperate to save her business from a hostile takeover. The inheritance of a decaying Gilded Age hotel on North Carolina’s Outer Banks may provide just the ray of hope she needs. But things at The Excelsior are more complicated than they seem. Whitney’s estranged stepfather is entrenched on the third floor, and the downstairs tenants are determined to save the historic building. Searching through years of stored family heirlooms may be Whitney’s only hope of quick cash, but will the discovery of an old necklace and a depression-era love story change everything.

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Author Q & A

Welcome to my blog today, Lisa! I loved reading The Sea Keeper's Daughters and I'm looking forward to asking you some of my questions. :)

  1. What was the inspiration for The Sea Keeper’s Daughters?
While working on my first Carolina book, set on the Outer Banks, I became fascinated with the mystery of the Lost Colonists of Roanoke Island.  You can’t spend time on the Carolina Coast without realizing that theories abound as to the fate of the 117 people who vanished from Sir Walter Raleigh’s ill-fated colony over thirty years before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. While writing my second Carolina book, The Story Keeper, I delved into the mystery of what early explorers deemed to be “blue-eyed Indians,” who were found to have been living in the Appalachia decades before other Europeans pressed in. I knew that the third Carolina book would somehow bring these two fascinating bits of history together.

An interesting thing happened when The Story Keeper hit the bookstores. Because the novel is about the discovery of an untold story, readers began sharing their own family stories with me. One reader mentioned that she’d traveled through the mountains many times as a child and one day had noticed that there were doors in the mountainside. When she asked about the doors, her father told her that during the Depression, families who lost their farms or had no place to live would often move into a nearby cave. Many people salvaged doors, windows, and furniture from their repossessed homes before leaving. They used those to outfit their new cave houses. I couldn’t resist researching that tale, but I found very little about Americans living in caves during the Depression. What I did come across were life history interviews written by participants in a little-known WPA program called the Federal Writers’ Project. The Project hired impoverished writers, academics, housewives, and reporters, and turned them into Federal Writers. The Field Interviewers of the FWP were tasked with traveling the hidden corners of America and recording the stories of the common man. The narratives they wrote were fascinating, but what I really wondered about were the lives behind the pen. What was it like to be a Federal Writer, literally wandering the dusty back roads, looking to scare up stories?

The Sea Keeper’s Daughters was born from that process of researching and imagining the experiences of a Federal Writer. In the novel, a modern woman, Whitney Monroe, finds herself tasked with cleaning out a turn-of-the-century hotel once owned by her grandmother. Inside, she discovers the letters of Alice, a great-aunt she never knew, who left behind her wealthy family to become one of Roosevelt’s Federal Writers during the Depression.  What does Whitney find among Alice’s field notes? Possibly, among mountain stories handed down by oral tradition, not only her own family history, but a clue to one of America’s oldest mysteries.

  1. Are there any character cameos from the other two books in the series?
 A few favorites from the other Carolina books do make appearances in The Sea Keeper's Daughters, including Tandi (from The Prayer Box), and Lily Clarette (from The Story Keeper). There are also a few familiar settings, including The Benoit House Museum, housed in Iola Poole's big white house from The Prayer Box, and a stop for coffee at the world famous Sandy's Seashell Shop. It's always fun to catch up with old friends living in the margins of a new story.

  1. What was your favorite thing about writing this story?
I love history mysteries, so the real-life history behind the story compelled me, as did the settings on the Outer Banks and in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Both places are alive with myth and legend.  Both contain isolated communities where people can live somewhat undisturbed by outsiders. In the mountains, the mysterious “little races” like the Melungeons were historically shrouded by rumor and folk legend. Even today, the heritage of “blue-eyed Indians” discovered by the first European explorers remains a mystery. What were the origins of their Caucasian blood? Were they descendants of shipwrecked sailors? Journeying Norsemen or Turks? The progeny of the Lost Colonists who vanished from Roanoke Island without a trace, decades before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock? The mystery carried me deep into this new story, and both Roanoke Island and the Blue Ridge Mountains became characters in themselves as the dual storylines developed.

  1. What authors have influenced your writing and life?
In terms of classics, I have so many. I love the rhythm of the prose and the wisdom of Eudora Welty and Zora Neal Hurston (who incidentally were involved in the Federal Writers Project). I love the sense of place and the intermingling of both the humorous and the profound that is so present in Mark Twain's works. What I have learned, sitting at the knee of these and other timeless writers, is exactly this – the stories that drive deepest into us are those that tell us things we already knew, that crystallize truths we’ve felt but not yet framed into words in our own minds. When a story pulls something from within the reader, it is a kidnapping, in a way. A piece of personal truth is forever tied to that story.

I think that's what we all want as writers. It’s what we seek to create on the deepest levels beyond just entertainment.  The best stories both draw on life experience and expand it to deliver meaning.
  1. What are you working on next, if you can share?
Right now, I'm ramping up for The Sea Keeper's Daughters book tour which will take me to six states, beginning in September (FMI and schedule: http://lisawingate.com/blog3/appearances/). Usually, before heading off on tour, I try to wrap up my current writing project and send it to the publisher.  My next novel, a dual time frame story in which the historical thread follows five children who are displaced from their family life on the Mississippi river, is safely off my desk and working its way toward publication, though the publication date hasn't yet been scheduled.

Thank you, Lisa! I'm looking forward to your new series as I expect it will be just as fabulous. 

About the Author

Lisa Wingate Author PictureSelected among Booklist’s Top 10 for two consecutive years, Lisa Wingate skillfully weaves lyrical writing and unforgettable settings with elements of traditional Southern storytelling, history, and mystery to create novels that Publisher’s Weekly calls “Masterful” and Library Journal refers to as “A good option for fans of Nicholas Sparks and Mary Alice Monroe.”

Lisa is a journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the author of twenty-five novels. She is a seven-time ACFW Carol Award nominee, a multiple Christy Award nominee, a two-time Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RT Booklovers Magazine Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner for mystery/suspense. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life. Booklist summed up her work by saying, “Lisa Wingate is, quite simply, a master storyteller.”

One hardcover copy of The Sea Keeper's Daughters by Lisa Wingate
US Only
Provided by the publisher, Tyndale House
Ends September 27th

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