Memorial Day Historical Giveaway

ALT="book cover, Far Side of the Sea"

I felt it quite fitting that today’s post for Memorial Day be presented from wartime novelist Kate Breslin. Kate’s answers to my questions are well thought-out and insightful. Comment below for entry into a giveaway for a paperback copy (ships US) of her latest release, Far Side of the Sea. Winner chosen randomly on June 1, 2019 at 8 p.m. (MT).

Welcome, Kate. I have long enjoyed your thrilling, heart-tugging stories. If you could spend a week/month as a main character from one of your novels, which character would you choose and why?

Interesting question, Davalynn! As an author of wartime historical fiction, I wouldn’t want to experience any of the hardship and trauma of my characters; however I would like to be Johanna Reyer, the heroine of my most recent WWI novel, Far Side of the Sea. Johanna’s had a very difficult life, but instead of being weakened by her experience, she’s a bit of a “scrapper,” becoming strong, determined, and daring. She’s also very clever and uses a most creative ploy to call in the necessary aid to help her find her lost family. And though she harbors deep wounds from the past and feelings of unworthiness, she is still willing to listen and learn about God’s love for her, and to put that faith to the test when it counts most.

What was your most unusual source of inspiration for a story.

During my research years ago, I was surprised to read about pigeons being used by the military in WWI and their successful service in battle. I’d thought to write about them one day and then at our local pet store, the young woman behind the counter brought into work her pigeon, Stuart, and he seemed quite happy to be near her in his wooden cage. She told me that she’d rescued him from a cat fight and nursed him back to health and he became hers. At home she would let him out of his cage and he would fly out the window, but always came back. I think her love for Stuart helped to spark my desire in writing about Little Corporal, my pigeon in Far Side of the Sea.

How important to you is the setting of your story? Is the story’s plot dependent upon that setting, or could the story take place anywhere at any time?

For me, with writing wartime fiction, my settings are key because the specific events of that place and time period constitute the narrative of my story. The setting can also be the basis of growth for my characters.

Do you visit your story (place) settings or rely primarily on research from afar?

With Far Side of the Sea, I was fortunate to have been in Paris, France, many years ago and more recently I took my mom to visit Barcelona, Spain. I have also been to other countries mentioned in my stories, like Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, however I have yet to visit Great Britain, where I love placing my characters! In that case, I have to rely on research, using online tools like Google Earth, YouTube, Pinterest, and travel blogs in order to get a good visual grasp for my story setting. It can be challenging too, since my writing timeline is 100 years ago—old buildings have been torn down, new buildings erected, and street names have changed over the years, not to mention another Word War occurred between my storyline and the present. I try to utilize real places whenever I can, so it requires digging a bit deeper to see how the area has transitioned through the years. An example: in my new novel, my characters visit the Place du Capitole in Toulouse, France. In the early 1900s, the capitol building’s rosy brick façade was covered over in a white paint that was removed in later years. This may seem an inconsequential detail, but because Toulouse is famously known as the “La Ville Rosa,” or the Pink City for its rosy brick buildings, and because my characters were there in 1918, I felt it necessary to mention the paint for historical accuracy.

How much effort (if any) do you put into choosing character names? Do different names fit better with specific personality traits than others? If so, how?

I actually put a lot of thought into naming my characters. I teach a class on character development and this is the first step. When we think of a name, it conjures an instant impression and perhaps two or three traits that describe a behavior type. Maybe the name of someone we know, or a famous figure in history, or a character from a movie. Choosing the right names for my characters at the start helps me to flesh them out and shape their personalities.

What is your favorite scene from the book featured today? Why are you emotionally invested in it?

Davalynn, I have more than one, but because they are story spoilers I’ll just say that there is a reunion scene that’s very poignant to me because it reminds me of my dad, to whose memory I’ve dedicated this novel.

When readers come to the end of today’s featured book, what do you want them to leave with besides a satisfying ending?

I always hope my stories entertain and give my readers a history lesson without seeming like a history lesson, but it’s always on my heart to share some facet of God’s love as well. In Far Side of the Sea, it’s the idea that our heavenly Father isn’t One to be feared, but to befriend. He is with us always, and we are each unique and equally important in His eyes, and in His unconditional love.

Thank you, Kate, for joining us today and for writing such inspiring, truth-filled fiction.

Comment below for a chance to win a copy of Kate’s latest novel, Far Side of the Sea.

Memorial Day Giveaway Click To Tweet

ALT="author Kate Breslin"Former bookseller-turned-author Kate Breslin enjoys life in the Pacific Northwest with her family. A writer of travel articles and award-winning poetry, Kate’s first novel, For Such A Time, was shortlisted for the Christy and RITA awards and won ACFW’s 2015 Carol award for Debut Novel. Kate’s fourth novel, Far Side of the Sea, released in March 2019. When she’s not writing inspirational fiction, Kate enjoys reading, hiking in Washington’s beautiful woodlands, and traveling abroad. Please visit her at

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Far Side of the Sea – In spring of 1918, Lieutenant Colin Mabry, a British soldier working with MI8 after suffering injuries at the front, receives an unexpected message by carrier pigeon: it is an urgent summons from Jewel Reyer, the woman he once loved and who saved his life—a woman he believed to be dead. Leaving Britain’s shores to return into war-torn France, he hopes his reunion with her will ease his guilt and this mission restore the courage he lost on the battlefield.

Colin is stunned when he arrives in Paris to discover the message came not from Jewel, but from a stranger who claims to be her half-sister, Johanna. Johanna works at a dovecote for French Army Intelligence; having found Jewel’s diary, she believes her sister is alive and in the custody of a German agent. With spies everywhere, Colin is at first skeptical of Johanna, but as they travel across France and Spain, a tentative trust begins to grow between them.

When their pursuit leads them straight into the midst of a treacherous plot however, that trust is at stake, as danger and deception turn their search for answers into a battle for their lives.


ALT="cowboy boot with sunflowers"

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(c) 2019 Davalynn Spencer, all rights reserved.

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66 thoughts on “Memorial Day Historical Giveaway

  1. Robin in NC

    Sharing God’s love with a bit of history, it just doesn’t get any better than that! Beautiful cover too. Thanks for sharing Davalynn & Kate.

    1. davalynn

      Glad you enjoyed it, Robin.

    2. Thanks for your kind words, Robin. God bless!

  2. Tammy

    I have heard great things about this book. Thanks for the chance.


    1. davalynn

      Thanks for stopping by, Tammy.

    2. Thank you, Tammy! Good luck on the contest!

  3. Sharon Sparks

    Since this year is the World War I Centennial, I’ve been searching for historical fiction books about the Great War. Far Side of the Sea sounds like a great story, and I look forward to reading it.

    1. davalynn

      This is a great one, Sharon. I hope you enjoy it.

    2. Sharon, thank you for your interest! Far Side of the Sea is my third WWI-era novel, so I hope you’ll enjoy my stories!

  4. Barbara Raymond

    Enjoy stories of history. This book sounds awesome. Thank you for this opportunity.

    1. davalynn

      Absolutely, Barbara. There is so much to enjoy and learn.

    2. Hi Barbara! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll enjoy reading Far Side of the Sea!

  5. Always interested in WWI stories…my husband’s great uncles came from Ireland, were not U.S. citizens, but fought for the U.S. in WWI, each sustaining injuries which sent them to military homes, where they later passed away. To me, they are truly heroes…..sacrificing so much because they believed in freedom.

    1. davalynn

      Amazing, indeed. Thank you for sharing their valor, Barbara.

    2. Barbara, thank you for sharing this history! You and your husband have good reason to be proud, having such heroes in the family tree. God bless their memory!

  6. Jan B

    This sounds extremely interest and just the type of book I’d like to read. It just went on the top of my to be read list.

    1. davalynn

      Awesome, Jan. Thanks!

    2. Thank you, Jan!

  7. Marilyn Bonnette

    Book sounds really interesting including the carrier pigeon. Looking forward to reading the book.

    1. davalynn

      Yes, Marilyn, it sounds like there’s something fun to learn here.

    2. Marilyn, I loved writing about the pigeons, and I hope you’ll enjoy learning more about these brave little birds!

  8. RD

    I would love to win a copy of this book! Sounds so good! Thanks for the chance.

    1. davalynn

      Thanks for stopping by, RD.

    2. Thanks, RD! Good luck with the contest!

  9. Trudy

    The book sounds soo good!! I haven’t read any books about WWI, though I have WWII and the Civil War. I’ll have to add this to my wish list!

    1. davalynn

      It’s perfect for a wish-list, Trudy!

    2. Trudy, thanks for your interest in WWI history! I hope you’ll enjoy reading Far Side of the Sea!

  10. Kathy West

    Far Side of the Sea has realistic characters, vivid scenes, interesting historical details, and an exciting story with a satisfying ending. I could not put it down!

    1. davalynn

      Sounds like a typical Kate Breslin book, Kathy – I love her writing!

      1. Thank you, Davalynn!!

    2. Kathy, thank you so much for your kind words! You made my day! 🙂

  11. Joanne K

    It never feels right to say “Happy Memorial Day”. It is a day of remembrance and reflection. But I still want to wish happiness every day! I would love to read your book! Plus I really enjoy your adventures, thank you so much for all of it!

    1. davalynn

      I know what you mean, Joanne. Well said.

    2. Joanne, very well said, and thank you so much! I hope you’ll enjoy reading Far Side of the Sea!

  12. Alison Boss

    Thank you, Kate & Davalynn, for this wonderful interview! I enjoyed getting to know more about Kate’s writing. I have had Far Side of the Sea on my TBR list and after having read this post, I want to read this book even more! Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this book!!

    1. davalynn

      It’s a great book. Hope you enjoy it, Alison.

    2. Hi Alison, thanks for stopping by! Good luck on the contest! 🙂

  13. Susan D

    Historical fiction is my favorite genre – especially those with strong female characters. I love to read inspirational stories that allow me to visualize building my own strength by lessons of hardships I am so fortunate to have not faced, but want to respect because I know those who have come before have sacrificed so much. Memorial Day is truly about remembering all those men, women and their children who we have so much to learn from.

    1. davalynn

      So glad you see things this way, Susan. That is exactly what Christian novelists want to do – encourage and inspire readers through fictional characters.

    2. Susan, what a wonderful sentiment! There is comfort and inspiration to be found in learning about the lives of those who have gone before us. Their ability to survive, their faith to overcome gives us hope. Which is why I enjoy writing historical Christian fiction. 🙂 God bless!

  14. Alicia Haney

    I enjoyed this interview! I am always an awe of how Christian authors love our Lord immensely and that’s how it should be. Our Heavenly Father loves us all equally. Your book sounds very intriguing and like a really good page turner ! I love the cover. I will have to definitely read this book. Thank you all so much. God Bless you all.

    1. davalynn

      So glad you enjoyed it, Alicia.

    2. Alicia, thank you! I hope you’ll enjoy reading Far Side of the Sea!

  15. Alicia

    I loved the interview. The book sounds like a real page turner . It sounds very intriguing and I Love the cover. God bless you.

    1. davalynn

      Thank you, Alicia. Kate Breslin has great books.

    2. Bless you, Alicia! Good luck on the contest!

  16. Vicki Nicholson

    Can’t wait to try her nooks. Thanks for the recommendation, Davalynn!

    1. davalynn

      I think you’ll really like her writing, Vicki.

    2. Thanks, Vicki! I hope you’ll enjoy my stories!

  17. Lovely interview! This book is on my TBR list. I love Kate Breslin’s books, and I would love to win! Thank you for hosting this giveaway!

    1. davalynn

      Absolutely, Kaitlin. Thanks for entering.

    2. Hi Kaitlin! Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by. Good luck on the contest! 🙂

  18. Brittaney B

    Yay! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read Kate’s other books. I’m so excited to fall in love with this one too.

    1. davalynn

      I’m sure you will, Brittaney!

    2. Brittaney, thank you so much! I’m delighted to know that you’ve enjoyed my other novels, and I hope you’ll like Colin’s adventure as well!

  19. Stacey Ulferts

    Great interview! I love this book and would love having my own copy ❤️

    1. davalynn

      So glad you enjoyed the interview, Stacey.

    2. Thank you, Stacey! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading Far Side of the Sea and good luck on the contest! 🙂

  20. Caryl Kane

    Kate Breslin is one of my must read authors! I’m excited to read this one!

    1. davalynn

      You won’t be disappointed, Caryl!

    2. Oh, Caryl, thank you! I do hope you’ll get the chance to read and enjoy Far Side of the Sea!

  21. Chanel M.

    Great interview! I enjoyed learning more about you as an author and Far Side of the Sea. My favorite part was learning about the inspiration for Little Corporal. So cute! Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. davalynn

      Thanks for stopping by, Chanel!

    2. Chanel, thank you for stopping by, and I did have fun including that darling pigeon in my novel! ? I hope you’ll enjoy reading Far Side of the Sea!

  22. I’m really looking forward to reading this sometime!

    1. davalynn

      Thanks for stopping by, Erin.


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