Let’s Chat! Liz Tolsma

Welcome, everyone!

Liz TolsmaLiz Tolsma honors us as our guest author this week. In her own words, Liz writes a little bit of everything, but her specialty is WWII women’s fiction. 

Liz is giving away a digital copy of her October 2018 release, When the Heart Sings. So chat along with us, and you’re entered in the drawing!

P.S. Michelle is the winner of Liz’s giveaway: When the Heart Sings!

Liz Tolsma’s Life Before Writing

I was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and have two younger sisters. When I was eight, my family moved to Wisconsin, where I still live. I love it here and have little desire to go elsewhere. My husband and I met when we were in sixth grade and started dating our senior year of high school. There is a story I’ve heard that his locker was across from mine in eighth grade, and he had a crush on me then. Much to my chagrin, I don’t remember that. While I went away to college, he stayed in Wisconsin. That was tough.

I graduated from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois, and returned to Wisconsin to marry Doug. For four years, I taught second grade at a Christian school, and then I quit to start a family. God had different plans for us, though. Years of infertility and treatments followed. They were difficult times for us. I was devastated and questioned how this could be His will for us. Slowly but surely, he worked in my heart to accept his perfect plan. For us, that meant adoption.

A Family for Liz

Liz Tolsma
wenty-three years ago, we brought a beautiful baby boy home from Vietnam. Five years later, we added an infant daughter from Korea, and eight years after that, a five-year-old girl from the Philippines. What was the hardest trial of our lives turned out to be the greatest blessing.

Our son is now a U.S. Marine. We couldn’t be prouder of how he’s chosen to serve the country that he feels has given him so much.

Our oldest daughter has just started college. It’s been hard on this mama to be so far away from her girl, but we are equally proud of the bright and talented young lady she is.

Our youngest daughter has multiple physical and cognitive delays. She’s our “lifer”, so we’re as empty nest as we ever will be. But that has been a blessing, too. She keeps me from getting too lonely with the other kids gone.

Debuts for Liz Tolsma, the AuthorLiz Tolsma

My first publication was in a Barbour novella collection, A Log Cabin Christmas. Wanda Brunstetter was the lead author on that, and it made the NY Times bestseller list. I was literally about to start another book – blank document open, thinking about the first line – when my agent sent an email about this project and asking if I would be interested. I only had a few days to put together a proposal and write the first three chapters. While I did go camping with my family that weekend, I spent much of it in the camper writing.

Liz TolsmaMy debut full-length novel was Snow on the Tulips in 2013. It is based on a family story of a Dutch woman during WWII who hides a wounded resistance worker in her home. All of it was such a learning curve, from editing (cue panic attack at an 8-page editing letter) to cover design, to marketing, to speaking and appearances. And I loved every minute of it.

What’s Up With Liz Tolsma Now?

Since then, I’ve written several more WWII books, several novella collections, and even an Amish romance. My first romantic suspense, The Pink Bonnetis due out in June 2019. So, I’ve been very busy. While I enjoy writing across a wide range of genres, my favorite by far is WWII.

Right now, I’m editing my sixth WWII novel. The fifth, When the Heart Sings, is releasing in October and is set in a Polish labor camp. It’s very personal for me because it also explores infertility, pregnancy loss, and adoption, all of which I’ve experienced in my own life. The one I’m editing now is set in Hungary and deals with the Zionist Youth movement in that country.

I have another novella to write, but after that, I’m not sure where I’m going to go from here. I would dearly love to keep writing WWII novels, but we’ll have to see how interested my publisher is in keeping going with that line.

All I know is that I do want to keep writing.

A Giveaway From Liz Tolsma

will be happy to give away a digital copy of When the Heart Sings.

A Peek Inside When the Heart Sings

Natia has a secret—and she’s hiding him right beneath her captor’s nose.

In 1943 Poland, the Nazis have forced Natia and Teodor from their peaceful farm to the harsh confines of a labor camp. When the couple is separated, Natia is chosen to be the housekeeper for the camp’s overseer, and Teodor is sent to work in the factory. Despite the strict camp rules—and the consequences for disobeying them—Natia finds a way to communicate with Teodor by sending messages through song as she passes Teodor’s dormitory.

The stakes get higher when Natia finds a Jewish orphan on the overseer’s doorstep. She is determined to protect the boy and raise him as the child she and her husband were unable to bear—but if her German captors discover how much she’s hiding, both she and Teodor may pay the ultimate price. . .

Where Readers Can Find Liz Tolsma





When the Heart Sings  

The Melody of the Soul

The Amish Widow’s New Love 

Snow on the Tulips 

Other Stories by Liz Tolsma  

The Amish Widow’s New Love      The Rails to Love

Liz TolsmaLiz TolsmaLiz TolsmaLiz Tolsma












Melody of the Soul    Remember the Lilies

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Lord, we bow before You in adoration and thanksgiving, for You alone are worthy of worship. You alone are the Fount of Every Blessing. What a joy it is to read Liz’s stories and see You working the threads of characters’ lives into beautiful tapestries, just as You do the lives of Your children. We exalt Your name above every name in all the Earth. Please bless each word Liz writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake

9 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Liz Tolsma



  2. Perrianne Askew

    Congrats to Liz! Her books sounds like something I’d really enjoy reading.

  3. A Log Cabin Christmas looks inviting and what a lovely debut.
    I would love to win a copy of `When The Heart Sings`
    I love reading historical fiction because of all the research behind them.

  4. Alison Boss

    I LOVE Liz Tolsma’s books! She is an amazing author. I enjoyed reading more about her and her writing journey. Historical Christian fiction is my favorite genre to read, and WW2 is one of my favorite time periods to read. I am so excited to read Liz’s newest book, When the Heart Sings!! Thank you for the chance to in a copy!!!

    1. Hi, Alison. Lovely to have you in the circle. You’re entered in the drawing 🙂

  5. Becky Smith

    This cover is really amazing! I so enjoyed reading this! Sadly, I have not tried Liz’s books yet, but now, after reading this, I want to read them!

    1. Great to see you in the circle, Becky. I feel the same way about Liz’s book cover and reading her stories.

  6. Liz Tolsma

    Thanks for having me!

    1. My honor and privilege, Liz!


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Join our Author Chat with Gail Kittleson

Today I’m delighted to welcome to our circle Gail Kittleson, author of memoir and women’s fiction. Gail hosts the delightful website, Dare to Bloom.

Gather ’round as we get to know a bit about Gail’s pre-author life, some influences along the way, her journey thus far, and maybe a tip or two.

Welcome, Gail

Thank you, Gail, for carving out a spot in your busy schedule for a visit. We’re excited to get to know you. Thank you also for offering a give-away of an autographed copy of your novel In Times Like These to someone who joins our chat.

**Congratulations to Mary L. Ball, winner of Gail’s novel, In Times Like These!**

~ ~ ~

Gail’s Pre-Author Life

I’m an Iowa farm girl, born and bred. I still dip my forefinger into the eggshell when I’m baking, to be certain no speck goes to waste. My grandparents lost a farm in the Depression and earned it back through sheer determination and hard work. They affected me greatly—especially Grandma.

She raised 1,000 chickens and worked from dawn to dusk. She loved to fish, but rarely took the time. I’m told she played the violin, but never heard her. Her mother died when she was eleven, so she started “working out” at other homes, doing those nasty turn-of-the-century necessary daily tasks. You can imagine.

She reared five children, and in later life, made do with her $62 monthly Social Security check. Working in the garden with her stands out in my memory—not one dry lima bean went unused for seed the next year. I’d have to say this contributed to my “crazies.” One can be ridiculously frugal—a kind of crazy I’ve struggled with most of my adult life.

Grandma died when I was a college freshman. I don’t remember her funeral, but certainly recall her advice: If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything at all—things like that. 

(Tweet That!) 

I taught college expository writing and English as a Second Language. Now I write memoir and women’s fiction and facilitate writing workshops and women’s retreats. My husband and I make our home in northern Iowa, where we enjoy our grandchildren and gardening. In winter, the Arizona mountains provide new novel fodder.

Gail Kittleson’s Author Debut 

Catching Up with Daylight by Gail Kittleson. WhiteFire Publishing, November 2013 http://amzn.to/2kMlWOG

Catching Up with Daylight was my first publication. This book inspires through memoir, contemporary women’s stories, ancient meditation practices, and encouragement to live in the present moment.

In This Together

This was my first novel. I met the editor at a small writing conference, and she gave me an open-ended invitation to submit. A couple of years later, I did, and my experience with this company taught me a lot.

First, it’s great working with an editor who cares about your work’s quality. I also learned that you give up control when you sign a contract.

The first box of books arrived during my little writing class, and one member took pictures of me hugging the Fed Ex man. (:

Second chances are the farthest thing from widow Dottie Kyle’s mind as she cooks and cleans at a local boarding house.

Wild Rose Press-Vintage Imprint, November 2015 Purchase link: http://amzn.to/1HXdTCV

But every morning and evening as she treks to work, her lonely next-door widower neighbor observes her, hoping somehow to win her heart.

Dottie grieves her son, lost in WWII, and longs to meet her two little grandchildren in California, but the long train ride from Iowa calls up her worst fears. Readers will resonate to Dottie’s down-home integrity and cheer her on as she faces her fears.


How Gail’s Journey Has Continued

In Times Like These by Gail Kittleson http://amzn.to/1VFEoYh

In Times Like These, Book 1 of Women of the Heartland series, taught me even more. A professional in the field of verbal abuse, Patricia Evans, read the manuscript and gave her endorsement. She’s sharing my work on her website: www.verbalabuse.com which displays her own non-fiction books.

In Times Like These

In this story Pearl Harbor has been attacked, and the United States is at war.

But Addie fights her own battles on the Iowa home front. Her controlling husband Harold vents his rage when his father’s stroke prevents him from joining the military. He degrades Addie, ridicules her productive victory garden, and even labels her childlessness as God’s punishment.

When he manipulates his way into a military unit bound for Normandy, Addie learns that her best friend Kate’s pilot husband has died on a mission, leaving her stranded in London in desperate straits.

Will Addie be able to help Kate, and find courage to trust God with her future?

Coming Up for Gail Kittleson

The sequel, With Each New Dawn, releases on February 24. The research for this book transported me to London (in my imagination) and Southern France—pure joy.

In this story American RAF widow Kate Isaacs leaves war-torn London to parachute into southern France and aid the French Resistance. Her alliance with grieving Basque shepherd-turned-Resistance fighter Domingo Ibarra brings both sorrow and relief as she discovers her familial roots, along with second chances.

Preorder at http://tinyurl.com/jmvc36a.

More About Gail Kittleson

Reader responses are the very best perk—people thank me for not making things easy for my characters, for allowing them to ask honest questions, even of God. One fan says, “I’ve earmarked Addie’s story so often it looks like my Bible. She’s helping me with a difficult relationship.”

Doesn’t get any better than that, imho.

~ ~ ~

Thank you again, Gail. I’m preordering With Each New Dawn along with In Times Like These. Can’t wait!

To learn more about Gail’s books, please visit her website at www.gailkittleson.com

Purchase links:

Amazon.com – http://amzn.to/1HXdTCV

All Romance – ebook – http://tinyurl.com/p8y7u4e

BookStrand.com – ebook – http://tinyurl.com/pj7sowz

Kobo Books – ebook – http://tinyurl.com/nvbasf3

Barnes & Noble – ebook – http://tinyurl.com/ob3szbq

~ ~ ~

Father, You are the Lord of Angel Armies, the God of Second Chances, and Author of The Greatest Story Ever Told. We bow before You in awe and thanksgiving. Bless Gail with far-reaching influence for good through her stories and make our lives testimonies to Your goodness. For Jesus’ sake



9 thoughts on “Join our Author Chat with Gail Kittleson

  1. Ann Ellison

    Enjoyed the interview with Gail. I love her books. I was blessed to be a beta reader for With Each New Dawn and loved it.

    1. Thanks so much for joining us, Ann.

  2. Hi Clarice and Debra,

    Clarice, I thought I responded to you before, but something must’ve gone wrong. Anyway, thanks for stopping by, and I mentioned that for me, writing contemporary just doesn’t work – I’ve tried it, and do so much better at historical. I guess we each have our niche, eh?

    And Debra, I’m excited about your love for historical. There’s DEFINITELY a wringer washer In In Times Like These — and in my own childhood. Glad for a new reader!!

    Thanks, both of you, and Linda for having me visit.


  3. Gail’s books sound fantastic. I cyber met Gail a couple years back, she’s a wonderful lady. Blessings with all your pursuits.

    1. Hi, Mary. So glad you joined us. You’re entered for the drawing. 🙂

  4. Debra Duncan

    These books sound amazing. I love historical books and i truly appreciate how you show their struggles. I cannot wait to read. Thank you so much for sharing your memories. I also have gond menories of time with my grandparents, working in the garden, washing clothes in the wringer washer and hanging on line. I still love those old fashioned traditions.

    1. I enjoy remembering (and giving honor to) the older ways and those who led lives of worth. We owe them so much! Thanks for joining the discussion, Debra. You’ve encouraged Gail and me both.

  5. Hanging out here with fellow female authors is fun! Thanks, Linda, for finding some interesting people out there. Gail Kittleson’s historical settings intrigue me, probably because I’ve yet to try writing one! And I love it when an author gives back through teaching and mentoring others in the craft. Kudos to you, Gail!

    1. Yes, Clarice. Gail’s all-around terrific. Her soon-to-be released With Each New Dawn is on my TBR list for sure. Thanks so much for joining in. You’ve affirmed Gail and me both.


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