Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tamsen Littlejohn on Pinterest

This morning I finished a labor of love that's taken me months to complete. It's the Pinterest board for The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, which released yesterday.

I know most readers haven't had time to read the book (or maybe even to buy the book, but you plan to, right? :-) ), so let me be upfront and warn that there are MINOR SPOILERS in the first half of this Pinterest board.

Seriously. Including short excerpts from the book. So if you don't like even minor spoilers, better save the board for after the book.

Otherwise.... enjoy!

The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn Pinterest Board

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Here it is at last, the release day for The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn. I hope you enjoy the adventure along with Tamsen, Jesse, and Cade. 

If you'd like to know a little more about what went into writing this story (and have a few chances to enter a drawing for a copy of The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn), here's a few of the places where you can find me right now:

At I'm talking about themes in writing, and how sometimes themes choose the writer. 3 copies of the book to give away.

Cassie Baker wrote an article about me and my writing for Family Fiction Magazine. Forgotten History Inspires a Novel.

At J M Hostetler's American Patriot Series blog you'll find an article I wrote about the inspiration behind The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, and how I developed the story. 1 copy of the book to giveaway.

Lifeway Fiction blog is featuring an article I wrote on the Lost State of Franklin, the historical backdrop of the story.

And an interview with Sara Bowers at her blog, It's Just Me. 1 copy of the book to giveaway.

Hope to see you at these stops around the web. 

Happy Release Day to Tamsen and Jesse!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tamsen Littlejohn: Pinnable graphic #4

Here's the last in my series of pinnable graphics for The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn. I had such fun creating these. My thanks to my awesome book cover designer Kristopher Orr for creating the original material I had to work with.

If you have a Pinterest account, a Facebook profile, or a blog where you'd like to display the graphic to help spread the word about the book's release (Tuesday!!!), go for it!

And just so they are all in one place, here's the rest of them:

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Tamsen and Ivy

ONE WEEK from today, April 15, two novels will release from WaterBrook Multnomah. 

The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn is set in 18th century western North Carolina. A Broken Kind of Beautiful is set in the South Carolina of today.

At a glance, these two novels would seem to have little in common (aside from their publisher!). But take a closer look.

What they have in common is a heroine who has been defined by her outward appearance, her life shaped by other people's perception of her beauty, and how they can best profit from it. But for both Tamsen Littlejohn and Ivy Clark, all that is about to change...

A Broken Kind of Beautiful

Sometimes everything you ever learned about yourself is wrong.
Fashion is a fickle industry, a frightening fact for twenty-four year old model Ivy Clark. Ten years in and she’s learned a sacred truth—appearance is everything. Nobody cares about her broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows—so when it starts to unravel, she’ll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving to the quaint island town of Greenbrier, South Carolina, to be the new face of her stepmother’s bridal wear line—an irony too rich for words, since Ivy is far from the pure bride in white.

If only her tenuous future didn’t rest in the hands of Davis Knight, her mysterious new photographer. Not only did he walk away from the kind of success Ivy longs for to work maintenance at a local church, he treats her differently than any man ever has. Somehow, Davis sees through the fa├žade she works so hard to maintain. He, along with a cast of other characters, challenges everything Ivy has come to believe about beauty and worth. Is it possible that God sees her—a woman stained and broken by the world—yet wants her still?
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Enjoy a sneak peek of A Broken Kind of Beautiful HERE

The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn

Frontier dangers cannot hold a candle to the risks one woman takes by falling in love

In an act of brave defiance, Tamsen Littlejohn escapes the life her harsh stepfather has forced upon her. Forsaking security and an arranged marriage, she enlists frontiersman Jesse Bird to guide her to the Watauga settlement in western North Carolina. But shedding her old life doesn’t come without cost. As the two cross a vast mountain wilderness, Tamsen faces hardships that test the limits of her faith and endurance.

Convinced that Tamsen has been kidnapped, wealthy suitor Ambrose Kincaid follows after her, in company with her equally determined stepfather. With trouble in pursuit, Tamsen and Jesse find themselves thrust into the conflict of a divided community of Overmountain settlers. The State of Franklin has been declared, but many remain loyal to North Carolina. With one life left behind and chaos on the horizon, Tamsen struggles to adapt to a life for which she was never prepared. But could this challenging frontier life be what her soul has longed for, what God has been leading her toward? As pursuit draws ever nearer, will her faith see her through the greatest danger of all—loving a man who has risked everything for her?

Friday, April 04, 2014

Tamsen Littlejohn: Pinnable graphic #3 (and we have a winner!)

Another pin for you Pinterest pinners, if you feel inclined to help my publisher spread the word about this upcoming release. 11 more days!

Though I believe some readers, who pre-ordered through CBD, may already have their copies! If you do, let me know. I'm wildly curious to know...

Feel free to use this graphic on Facebook or your blog, too, if you'd like to help let your reading friends know about The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn.

I've closed the drawing from the previous post. has chosen a winner from all those who commented (thank you everyone!). The winner of a signed copy of The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn and The Mysterious Lost State of Franklin DVD is....

Jean Dennis

Congratulations, Jean! I've sent you an email for your mailing address.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The Lost State of Franklin (plus a giveaway)

If you live in the United States, you might recall that the original colonies to form a union during the 1770s, ultimately becoming our first states, numbered thirteen. You may also recall that the 14th state added to the union was Vermont (March 4, 1791). But did you know it almost wasn't?

Once upon a time there was a state called Franklin...

 Ten years ago this April I started writing my first novel set in the 18th century. The setting was North Carolina, a state I’ve visited many times, from childhood on. I've been sunburned beach-combing for shells on the Outer Banks... dug in a garden for arrowheads in the hills of the Uwharrie Piedmont... and had my fingers chilled by cold mountain mist on the trails of the Blue Ridge.

During the 18th century, North Carolina claimed a far more extensive territory than it does today. Several of the river valleys west of the Blue Ridge were settled before the Revolutionary War and considered themselves part of North Carolina, but those frontier settlements were far removed from the eastern political center of the state. With hundreds of miles between them—sometimes impassable mountain miles—the settlers on the frontier became frustrated with the lack of response to their needs from the North Carolina government.

By 1784 a group of these frontier citizens declared their region independent of North Carolina. They formed the State of Franklin and elected a governor (John Sevier), but they never drew enough support from outside the region for their efforts to succeed. Though it was put to a vote, the United States Congress failed to recognize Franklin. The region itself was divided, with those who clung to their identity as North Carolinians at odds with their neighbors who called themselves Franklinites.

For some four and a half years the people of the Overmountain valleys were under the jurisdiction of two governments fighting over the same territory. Understandably this led to confusion. For instance, if a couple wanted to be married, it was a good idea to do so twice, once before a North Carolina judge, once before a Franklin judge—to be sure of being legal in the end. 

The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn opens in late summer of 1787, well into this unsettled situation. I thought it a fitting setting for a story about a young woman from east of the mountains and an Overmountain man who find themselves thrown together in a moment of crises with a bewildering array of paths to choose toward freedom and safety—much like the choices that confronted the people west of the Blue Ridge.


It's only 15 days to the release of The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn

I'm celebrating by offering a signed print copy of the book AND a copy of the East Tennessee PBS's documentary production, The Mysterious Lost State of Franklin, The story of America's first secession, both to one winner.

To enter the drawing...

1. You'll need a USA mailing address.

2. Answer the following question in a comment on this post: Had you heard of the State of Franklin before? If so, when and how did you learn of it?

Be sure to leave your email address too, so you can be contacted if you are the winner. 

3. Like my Facebook Author Page and you'll be entered twice. Let me know you did so in your comment.

Contest will run through Friday April 4 at 9:00AM Pacific time, when I'll draw and announce the winner.

photo credits: Hatteras by Sonja/arrowheads by bobistraveling/Uwharries by Blake/Blue Ridge mountains by Patrick, courtesy Flickr creative commons