Thursday, March 15, 2012

Beauty For Ashes | Dorothy Love | Book Review, Exclusive Author Interview & Giveaway, Blog Tour & Author Giveaway

She’s a beautiful young widow. He’s a Southern gentleman with a thirst for adventure. Both need a place to call home.

After losing her husband in the Civil War, Carrie Daly is scared she will never have the family she longs for. Eligible bachelors are scarce in Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, but Carrie has found love. Not the weak-in-the-knees kind, but something practical. Still, she isn't quite ready to set a wedding date with Nate Chastain.

Griff Rutledge is a former member of Charleston society, but has been estranged from his family for years. He’s determined to remain unattached, never settling in one place for too long. But when asked to train a Thoroughbred for an upcoming race in Hickory Ridge, he decides to stay awhile.

Despite objections from the townsfolk, and her fear that true happiness has eluded her, Carrie is drawn to Griff's kindness and charm. It will take a leap of faith for them to open their hearts and claim God's promise to give beauty for ashes.

Join me after the jump for my review of Beauty For Ashes, an exclusive interview with the author, an exclusive giveaway just for readers of Our Little Bit Of Wonderful, and info on how you can win a Kindle Fire and other prizes from Dorothy Love!

Beauty For Ashes is the moving story of a young widow who's life seems to be one tragedy and set back after another when all she really wants out of life is a little peace and a measure of love, and of a young man estranged from family and legacy who carries the reputation of a handsome yet unknown drifter and all the charm of the southern heritage he left behind. Carrie and Griff are nothing alike, but attraction rarely recognizes social differences, nor respects our timing. As Carrie's life spirals out of her control and she finds herself caretaker for a difficult sister-in-law and her sons, she learns that sometimes trusting God also entails trusting the people He places in our lives - even when doing so seems to go against common sense. And Griff learns that caring for someone else might just be more important than his own ideas of freedom.

Dorothy Love has written a brilliant story of love, tears, trust, and redemption that I highly recommend to anyone in search of a story worth remembering!

Before returning to her writing roots in historical fiction, Dorothy Love published twelve novels for young adults. Her work has garnered numerous honors from the American Library Association, the Friends of American Writers, the International Reading Association, the New York Public Library, and many others. The Hickory Ridge Novels mark her Christian fiction debut.

For more about Dorothy visit her website, or friend her

You can purchase your own copy of this moving book here for only $15.99

Dorthy is a truly lovely woman, and she graciously consented to an exclusive interview about her new book for you, my dear readers, here on Our Little Bit Of Wonderful...

Beauty For Ashes is the story of a young widow who wants to move on to love again, but is held back by doubt and by a harridan sister-in-law, and about a young man estranged from his roots. As the story unfolds, event after heartbreaking event compounds poor Carrie's misery. As a reader, even though I suspected that things would end well, it was hard not to wince for the poor girl. Was it difficult to write such a sad story?

In a way, yes, but as I planned all along for the ending, I was excited to show readers how Carrie's faith and courage overcame the difficult parts of her story.  A story is really not a story without conflict and Carrie experienced plenty of that, but she received blessings, too, and in the most unlikely place. Which is what I love about storytelling--that ability to surprise and delight the reader.

I was impressed with how things ended up working out in this story. At one point, despite greatly enjoying the story, I was beginning to be concerned that the situation might become so bad that it would be impossible for you to resolve the story in a believable manner, but you surprised me; I loved the ending! Did you struggle at all to resolve all the issues involved?

Thank you. I love the ending, too.  I didn't have to struggle to resolve the issues because I am a planner when it comes to writing my novels, so even as Carrie went through her difficult times, I knew how it would end, and I had so much fun writing that final scene. It gave me so much joy to write it, and I hope readers will experience that same kind of happiness at the way it all turns out. 

What inspired you to write Beauty For Ashes?

It's the second book in the Hickory Ridge series, following Beyond All Measure. When I introduced Carrie to my readers in that first book, she was mourning the death of her young husband at the battle of Shiloh. I loved her and wanted her to find joy and love again. Beauty For Ashes is for Carrie.  

Are you working on any other projects?

Every Perfect Gift, the last book in the Hickory Ridge series, is in line edits now and will be out late this fall. And I'm currently writing a new Southern historical  novel for Thomas Nelson set on a South Carolina rice plantation in the years following the Civil War. It's inspired by the life of an actual woman rice planter. I'm having a ball writing it. 

I understand that Beauty For Ashes is not your first book. Can you tell us about your previous work? How did you get your start writing novels?

Beauty For Ashes
is my fifteenth or sixteenth published book. I've lost count. I began my career writing historical novels for young readers and as my readers grew up, I switched to writing Young Adult novels for them. But my heart has always been in writing historicals and in writing stories that are hopeful and uplifting.  In 2009, after more than fifteen years publishing at New York houses such as Random House and Simon and Schuster, I made the decision to move to writing for  adult readers in the inspirational market. Thomas Nelson bought the Hickory  Ridge Series. I published Beyond All Measure last year, and have never looked back. I love writing for this audience and am so glad I made the switch. 

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Read at least five novels for every one you write. Write every day, even if it's a journal entry, an essay, a short story. It's important to exercise your writing muscles,  so to speak. Take classes at workshops and conferences. Seek qualified feedback on your work. Know who you are as a writer and know what stories you want to tell.  Check out my blog Writers Caffeine on my website, where I post writing tips and advice.  

How can your fans get to know more about you and your work?

I love connecting with fans through my website, On the site, you'll find a bio, a photo album, images of all my book covers, reviews, information about the settings of my books, a calendar of events, and two blogs. Writers Caffeine is for aspiring authors. Inside Story is about history, my research for my historical novels, behind the scenes looks at how I choose and develop characters, recipes connected to the books. I love getting reader comments there.

I also connect with readers at my  author page on facebook at and right now we are gearing up for my online Author Chat on March 20 where we will be giving away books, gift cards and a fabulous prize with a connection to Beauty For Ashes. I hope everyone reading this will join the party.

Thank you for taking the time to come on Our Little Bit Of Wonderful and have a conversation with me. I'm happy to get to know you a little better, and I'm sure my readers do, too! Take care *smiles*

Dorothy has kindly offered my readers the chance to win not one, but two giveaways exclusively here on Our Little Bit Of Wonderful, in addition to the blog tour-wide giveaway she's already doing (details on that can be found a little farther down this post). That's right, one of you will win a copy of Beauty For Ashes, Dorothy's newest book, and another one of you will win a copy of Beauty For Ashes AND Beyond All Measure, the first book in the Hickory Ridge series! To win you must be a resident of the United States and 18 years old. Only entries gathered via the Rafflecopter form below will count toward this giveaway, so be sure to follow the directions and complete each entry you select exactly as directed; the winning entries will be verified. Only the first entry is mandatory, and you can do as many or as few of the optional entries as you wish - the more you do, the better your chances are of winning! *wink* (Don't forget to read past the end of the Rafflecopter form for information on how you can win a Kindle Fire and other prizes, too!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dorothy Love's Beauty for Ashes Kindle Fire and a Sapphire Ring Giveaway! Enter Today & RSVP for 3/20 Facebook Author Chat Party! We're thrilled to announce the fun giveaway Dorothy is hosting! First, she'll be giving away a Kindle Fire (3/1-3/20), then on the evening of the 20th she's inviting everyone to her Facebook Author Page for a fun Author Chat party! Don't miss a minute of the fun ... sigh.

One beautiful winner will receive:
  • A Brand new Kindle Fire with Wi-Fi
  • Beauty for Ashes by Dorothy Love
  • Beyond All Measure by Dorothy Love
  • A beautiful sapphire ring 

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/20/12. Winner will be announced at Dorothy's Facebook Author Chat Party on 3/20. Come for an evening of chat, trivia, and a sneak peek at the next book in Dorothy's Hickory Ridge series - bring your friends! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books and a stunning sapphire ring!

So grab your copy of Beauty for Ashes  and join Dorothy and friends on the evening of March 20th for an evening of fun.

Don't miss Dorothy's delightful giveaway and party. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 20th!

{ Disclosure }

I received a copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity Group for the purpose of providing an honest review. All opinions are my own. This post is in compliance with FTC regulations. To learn more, please visit my Disclosure page. If you are interested in having your book, product, or service reviewed on this blog, please see my PR Friendly page, and send me a message via my Contact page. Thank you!


  1. Oh yes, seems like that happens a lot to me, lol. I pray, take a deep breath and one day at a time. I definitely does bring me closer to God.


  2. Great info.It is help us a lot. Thanks for sharing.

  3. It happens a lot to me and I often struggle. I find a few walks around the house or down the long driveaway helps me breath and regroup.

    your1chef at aol dot com


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