Check out a Q&A with Author Lynn Austin + an upcoming author event! (Interview & #Giveaway) #booktwitter #historicalromance #ANovelTeaEvening #christfic #christianfiction @justreadtours

Welcome to my tour stop for A Novel-Tea Evening with Authors including Lynn Austin, Susie Finkbeiner, Jocelyn Green, Laura Frantz, Kate Breslin, Amanda Barratt, and Joanna Davidson Politano, with JustRead Publicity Tours! I'm sharing an interview with Lynn Austin featuring her book, Long Way Home. Check out all the details and enter the giveaway below...

Long Way Home
By Lynn Austin
Christian Historical Romance
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & eBook, 391 Pages
June 1, 2022 by Tyndale House Publishers


In this gripping portrait of war and its aftermath from bestselling author Lynn Austin, a young woman searches for the truth her childhood friend won’t discuss after returning from World War II, revealing a story of courage, friendship, and faith.

Peggy Serrano couldn’t wait for her best friend to come home from the war. But the Jimmy Barnett who returns is much different from the Jimmy who left, changed so drastically by his experience as a medic in Europe that he can barely function. When he attempts the unthinkable, his parents check him into the VA hospital. Peggy determines to help the Barnetts unravel what might have happened to send their son over the edge. She starts by contacting Jimmy’s war buddies, trying to identify the mysterious woman in the photo they find in Jimmy’s belongings.

Seven years earlier, sensing the rising tide against her people, Gisela Wolff and her family flee Germany aboard the passenger ship St. Louis, bound for Havana, Cuba. Gisela meets Sam Shapiro on board and the two fall quickly in love. But the ship is denied safe harbor and sent back to Europe. Thus begins Gisela’s perilous journey of exile and survival, made possible only by the kindness and courage of a series of strangers she meets along the way, including one man who will change the course of her life.

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Author Interview

What inspired you to write a story that is set both during and after WWII?

As I researched World War II for my two previous books, I kept thinking about my dad, who enlisted in the Navy at age 18 and served in the war in the Pacific. Dad never talked about his experiences, but we noticed that certain activities caused him anxiety. While researching, I came upon accounts from other WWII veterans and their children that described similar anxiety-producing episodes. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) wasn’t recognized back in the 1940s, and psychiatry was still in its infancy. Returning soldiers were left to struggle on their own with what was called “battle fatigue,” or cope with risky treatments such as electric shocks or insulin comas. I created “Long Way Home” to honor all the brave veterans who had to battle symptoms of PTSD long after doing battle with the enemy.

While researching my earlier WWII novels, I also read about the S.S. St. Louis, which sailed from Hamburg Germany in 1939 with more than 900 Jewish passengers, desperate to escape Nazi persecution. After learning about their harrowing journey, I decided to retell this little-known story to honor the courageous families who sailed onboard that ship.

Would you tell us more about the main characters from LONG WAY HOME?

Jimmy Barnett, is a World War II veteran who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after returning home. His anguish is deepened by a crisis of faith and anger at God. How could a loving God allow the suffering he has witnessed? Why have his prayers gone unanswered?

Peggy Serrano’s mother died when Peggy was eleven, and she lives with her un-nurturing father in a shabby apartment above his auto-repair garage. Growing up, Peggy was bullied by the other children, and Jimmy was her only friend. Now she is determined to do whatever it takes to help him recover from the effects of the war.

Gisela Wolff is a young Jewish woman living in Berlin, Germany in 1939. As the Nazi persecution intensifies, she and her family attempt to escape to Cuba onboard the S.S. St. Louis. Her story eventually intersects with Jimmy’s and Peggy’s, but you’ll have to read the novel to discover how.

Which character do you most relate to and why?

I think I identify most closely with Peggy. Like her, my friends are very important to me, and they have helped me navigate through all the joys and struggles in life in so many wonderful ways. If one of them was suffering from depression or a loss of faith, I would do whatever I could to help them, not giving up until they’d recovered.

What advice would Peggy give about supporting a friend who is struggling?

I think she would say, don’t try to do it on your own. Gather support from as many friends and family members as you can to let your friend know he isn’t alone. And don’t stop trying to help even if he tries to push you away. If your friend is suffering a crisis of faith, you don’t need to

know all the answers. Your comforting presence and continued friendship will mean a lot, even if he doesn’t respond to it.

What advice or wisdom would Gisela share about persevering?

It’s okay to get discouraged and to feel like giving up, but never lose hope. The courage to persevere through the most difficult trials comes from trusting God and knowing that He is in control, even when it doesn’t seem like it. Trust and believe that He is able to bring good from evil.

What part or aspect of this story do you love the most?

I love the way that the importance of community is illustrated. Peggy asks Jimmy’s army friends to help her and they work together to help him recover. There were also groups of people who worked together and took great risks to help Gisela and her family. I love the message that we need each other.

When you reach for a book to read, what genre do you grab and what are some of your favorites in that genre?

I love large, complicated, sprawling stories that cover large periods of time. It’s fun to see how the many pieces of the story work together over time. Two of my most recent favorites are “Cloud Cuckoo Land” by Anthony Doerr, and “Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford. I also love family sagas by authors such as Maeve Binchy and Rosamunde Pilcher.

What was a book that made you cry, a book that made you laugh and a book that made you swoon?

The most recent novel to bring me to tears was “All Manner of Things” by Susie Finkbeiner. A book that made me laugh out loud was “Plot Twist” by Bethany Turner. And one that made me swoon was “By Way of the Moonlight” by Elizabeth Musser.

What’s something you enjoy doing when you’re not reading or writing?

Biking! My husband and I ride our bikes on miles and miles of local bike trails every chance we get. My favorite vacation of all time was a group biking trip around Lake Constance a few years ago that took us through Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

What are you working on next?

My next novel, “All My Secrets,” is a sprawling, family saga that tells the stories of three generations of women. It’s set in the Gilded Age in New York City and will release in Spring 2024.

You are Invited

A Novel-Tea Evening with Authors
September 2, 2023 at 7 p.m.
Palmer House Hilton Hotel, Chicago

Join us at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 2, at Chicago’s historic Palmer House Hilton Hotel for a tasteful evening with tea and talk of books, writing, history, and the power of story. Emceed by Chris Jager of Baker Book House, seven novelists will share what inspires them, tales from the research files, what they’ve learned on the journey, and their hope for readers.

About the Author

Lynn Austin has sold more than one and a half million copies of her books worldwide. A former teacher who now writes and speaks full-time, she has won eight Christy Awards for her historical fiction and was one of the first inductees into the Christy Award Hall of Fame. One of her novels, Hidden Places, was made into a Hallmark Channel Original Movie. Lynn and her husband have three grown children and make their home in western Michigan.

Connect with Lynn by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

Tour Schedule

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

Tour-Wide Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a tote bag, one bag of Pride and Peppermint Novel Tea, plus a $20 egift card to!

Full tour schedule linked above. The giveaway begins at midnight April 12, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 19, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.


Are you interested in attending? What did you like about the interview with Lynn Austin?

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