June 12, 2017

Someplace Familiar blog tour

 Welcome to the Blog Tour for Someplace Familiar by Teresa Tysinger. I’m posting today about this debut novel, a contemporary southern romance with themes of faith, hope in new love, and grace. It’s the first in a series of books set in Laurel Cove, a fictional town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

Artist Livy Johnson needs a fresh start. That's what a broken heart and forgotten dreams can do to a person. On little more than a whim, she reclaims her grandmother’s old home in quaint Laurel Cove, North Carolina and vows to restore its original charm. When she literally collides with childhood friend, Jack Bowdon, Livy wonders if she’s back for an entirely different reason. 

Jack can’t believe his childhood crush is back. As the owner of Bowdon's Supplies, and once again the town's most eligible bachelor, he offers to help Livy with repairs. Together they embark on the project—and an undeniable whirlwind romance. 

But it’s not all smooth sailing. Can they survive the destructive pain of their pasts to discover God’s grace waiting to renovate their hearts?

Find Someplace Familiar on

Amazon: http://a.co/iYoxB1U
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2mo0GAc

Teresa Tysinger is a wife and mother transplanted from North Carolina to North Texas. When not working as the Director of Communications for a large downtown church, she writes charming southern romances inspired by grace. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Religious Communicators’ Council, and the Association for Women in Communications, Teresa has spent over a decade committed to telling stories of faith through written word. She loves coffee, caramel, and stories with happy endings. 
My Review
 A fantastic debut novel! I am not usually that taken by a cover of a book. To me what is important is the story and the characters. But this cover caught my eye a long time ago. I can't even remember if I saw it on Facebook or Goodreads but I KNEW I HAD to read this book. And I am so glad that Teresa Tysinger sent me an advanced copy to read because it was AMAZING. And I'm not just saying that because I got a free early copy. It truly was a wonderful book for many reasons.

I loved the characters. Livy and Jack both have such depth to them. It was great to see them grow and develop throughout the book. And I also loved the small glimpses into their childhood too. I find there are too many novels out there where the characters fall in love for the first time or have never had a truly serious relationship before. And while those stories are good.... This book offers a view of a relationship where the previous relationships have to be overcome in order for the new one to take hold. It was a nice change of pace. I love how the characters grew and how they overcame their pasts.

I'm not going to lie. I loved the romance too. I love Christian Fiction that is clean but still shows what a dating relationship is really like. That things get heated up and passionate. That it shows on the pages of a book that two people can be in love, hot for each other and still make good decisions. I think it is important for young people to read Christian fiction that doesn't end with a peck and a friendly hug.

Another aspect of this book that was so very well done was Livy's past relationship. Too often we gloss over the bad things that happen in relationships and we don't talk about the hard things. I appreciate Tysinger tackling the hard conversation of verbally abusive relationships. I hope that if a woman reads this and realizes it is happening to her that she can find the help she needs.

I also really liked how Tysinger ended this book. I won't give it away but the reconciliation and forgiveness involved was truly inspiring. I was very encouraged by the ability Livy had to be such a wonderful example.

Jack and Livy feel like old friends now. I loved the setting of the book too. And I hope that Tysinger has a second novel up her sleeve before too long because I need to read more of her writing!

I was provided an advanced copy of this book by the author. This is my honest review.
Q & A with Teresa:
  1. Where did you get the inspiration for Someplace Familiar?
    The inspiration for the book came from two places. First, my memories of my own great-grandmother’s charming home and gardens inspired Livy’s Gram’s cottage. It gave me the chance to catalog my memories into a living story. Also, I am completely enamored with the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Having grown up in Florida, when I attended college in the mountains, I fell in love with the area and knew writing a story with it as the setting was meant to be!
  2. What is it about the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina that made such an impression on you as the setting for this book?
Oh goodness, the list is so long! I love the four distinct seasons—each offering something uniquely beautiful and enchanting. The culture is rich, eclectic, and full of whimsy. And don’t forget the slow pace of easy rocking chairs, bubbling brooks, rustling trees, and the gentle roll of both the mountains and the southern drawls. I love it all!
  1. Christian romance is a popular genre. What defines the genre for you as a writer?
The story of Christ’s love for us is the truest, most pure romance. So, when a book of fiction can combine the love story between two humans with the transforming, powerful love of God it’s the best of both worlds. I personally enjoy romances that show readers that real life and relationships are messy and the “happily ever after” isn’t necessarily riding off into the sunset, but rather comes with sacrifice and compromise. So, that’s what I aim to write, too!
  1. What is your favorite part of the writing process?
    My favorite part of writing a book comes at the earliest stages. I love naming characters and being creative putting the plot together. At that stage, anything is possible and it’s okay to be a little messy with it!

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