Sing in the Sunlight Blog Tour with Celebrate Lit

Sing in the Sunlight

About the Book

Book:  Sing in the Sunlight

Author: Kathleen Denly

Genre: Christian historical fiction

Release date: March 2, 2021

Sing in the Sunlight (1)

Richard Stevens isn’t who he thinks he is. Neither is the woman who now claims his last name.

Disfiguring scars stole Clarinda Humphrey’s singing career, her home, and her family, but she refuses to let her appearance steal her future. While attending The Young Ladies Seminary in 1858 Benicia, California, she finds a man who promises to love and cherish her. Instead he betrays her, leaving her with child, and Clarinda must take drastic measures to ensure her child doesn’t suffer for her foolishness.

Richard Stevens’s life hasn’t turned out as he expected, and when a shocking letter turns even his past into a mystery, he travels to San Francisco in search of guidance. On the way, he encounters a mysterious young woman hiding beneath a veil. That night he experiences a dream that sends him on a quest to find the bride God has chosen for him. He never imagines she’s already told everyone they’re married.

Unwilling to lie, nor accept a marriage of mere convenience, Richard wants the real thing. Yet Clarinda’s not interested in love, only a chance to save her child. Can he help her rise above the pain that runs deeper than her scars to accept a love worth every risk?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Kathleen Denly Headshot 3

Kathleen Denly lives in sunny Southern California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.

More from Kathleen

Hiding our Flaws

We all have things we’d like to change about our physical appearance. Personally, I’ve yet to lose the weight I gained with my last pregnancy and sitting behind a desk all day hasn’t helped things any. Despite this, I know that my husband, kids, family, friends, and most importantly, God, loves me just as much now as when I was my healthiest self. I want to lose the weight not because I need to earn someone’s approval but because I know I’ll feel better and be able to do more without tiring as quickly if I do. In the meantime, I’m okay with where I am because it’s the best I’ve been able to do so far.

This level of self-acceptance has come with maturity and the love of a godly man. When I was younger, I’d spend hours in front of the mirror trying to disguise my flaws beneath layers of makeup and stomach smoothers. In fact, one of the most memorable moments of my courtship with my now husband was the day I returned from a women’s retreat. I hadn’t gotten much sleep all weekend and we’d had to pack up and leave early, so I’d made the unusual decision to skip my makeup that morning. I was going to carpool back to the church, grab my car, and head home for a nap. What was the point in painting my face when the only people who’d see it were the women who’d seen me wake up bare-faced that morning anyway? Well, it turns out my now husband had missed me. So he was waiting in the church parking lot when we arrived, just to say hi before I went home. Sweet, right? Um yeah. At the time, part of me thought it was sweet, but more of me wanted to melt into the floor’s carpet and vanish from sight. I had ZERO makeup on, people! And I had bags under my eyes! *gasp* *shudder*

Needless to say, after almost nineteen years of marriage, he’s seen me a few times without my makeup on. Actually, these days, I only wear makeup for videos, photographs I intend to share online, special events, and (if the kids are nice to me that morning) church. Not that I don’t have my insecure moments or those photographs that friends share but I really wish they wouldn’t. (You know who you are.) But overall, I am okay with how I look because I know that I am loved and accepted.

However, in Sing in the Sunlight, my character, Clarinda, feels unloved, and unwanted by those closest to her. She describes parts of herself with words like hideous. She uses long sleeves, high necks, gloves, and veils to hide herself from a world that has rejected her. And she keeps almost everyone at arm’s length—especially God. So when she finally lets someone in, only to be betrayed, it sets off a series of desperate decisions that tangle her in a web from which she cannot find an escape. It’s my prayer that her story will touch readers’ hearts and show them how much they are loved—flaws and all.

Interview with Kathleen

  • When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was still in elementary school I remember asking my parents if they mentally rewrote their own and other people’s spoken words until it felt right. They looked at me like I was nuts. That was my first inkling that I was different. 

Looking back, I can see glimmers of clues that I was meant to write sprinkled throughout my childhood, but I didn’t start taking my writing seriously until I was in my early twenties. My journey into writing historical romance truly began after a college assignment sparked the idea for my first historical Christian romance novel.

  • What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? 

As much as possible, I try to immerse myself in my character’s world. I visit the places they would have visited. I cook the recipes they would have cooked. I spin wool the way they would have. I make candles and start fires the same way they would have. I  even try acting out my action scenes where possible. My husband’s been a good sport about letting me use my cardboard knives and paper tube guns on him. 😉

  • Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

So many places! Of course the research usually begins with the internet, but from there I’ll usually turn to local history archives, historical experts, cultural experts, and, of course, books. 

The initial ideas can come from anywhere and are usually the result of a combination of inspirations. For example, with Sing in the Sunlight, I was inspired to write a character with scars because of my daughter who has scars. Then I learned about the only hurricane to strike the California coast and knew I had to include that in a story. Then I learned about the effect of a major drought on ranches in the San Diego are during the time surrounding the hurricane. Then I learned about The Young Ladies Seminary in Benicia. All of those things combined to create the foundational inspiration for Sing in the Sunlight.

  • What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I’m a huge crafter and there are very few mediums I haven’t tried by now. My current passion is junk journaling. I also enjoy hiking and visiting local historical sites. Yes, those trips add to my research, but they’re so much fun I’d do them even if I weren’t writing.

  • What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

How characters can surprise us just like people can. There were a few things the characters in these stories did that weren’t in my original outline. And those changes made all the difference in bringing God’s message through their struggles. I think that’s true of life as well. Though we sometimes resist and even dread change, it’s often the change, the unexpected, that God uses to work out our story for the better.

  • Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Let God guide you. No matter how many words you feel pressed to write that day, always begin with Bible study and prayer. Your words will flow more easily and your story will be better when you prioritize time with God first.

  • What’s your favorite part about being a writer? Research? First Draft? Editing?

Definitely the brainstorming and research stage. At that point its this magnificent movie playing in my head that I can enhance, rearrange, and enjoy any way that I like. Plus as I research, I discover these little golden nuggets of history that I can toss into the story like a clove of garlic in pasta sauce. Playing around with the beginnings of a story like that…well, the best way I can explain the joy of it is to compare it to holding your best friend’s newborn. That baby is adorable, precious, and constantly changing. You feel like you can never get enough of those tiny little fingers holding your one big finger. But the second he/she starts to eject bodily fluids you can hand him/her back to their mother and go on with your day. The first draft is more like having your own newborn, and I’d liken editing to having a cranky teenager. LOL

  • What do you think makes a good story?

A unique premise, well-chosen words, layered characters, descriptive settings, appropriate pacing, and a satisfying ending. All of which means nothing if God isn’t woven throughout.

  • As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Be a mother or some paid version of that (day-care worker or teacher).

  •  What project are you working on now and how do we find your books?

I’m currently waiting for my editor to send me her macro edit notes for my third Chaparral Hearts novel, Harmony on the Horizon.  That novel will release in January 2022. In the meantime I’m working on the research for my next series which is still in its infancy stage. The easiest way to find my books is to visit my website’s book page where I have links to all the major retailers offering my books for purchase. The address is www.KathleenDenly.com/books. On that page, readers can also sign up to join my Kathleen’s Readers’ Club. Members receive important emails with my latest writing news, exclusive giveaways, alerts to book sales, and more.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 2

Simple Harvest Reads, March 2 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Texas Book-aholic, March 3

lakesidelivingsite, March 3

Inklings and notions, March 4

Genesis 5020, March 4

For Him and My Family, March 5

A Novel Pursuit, March 5

Betti Mace, March 6

deb’s Book Review, March 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 7

Labor Not in Vain, March 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 8

Connie’s History Classroom, March 9

The Meaderings of a Bookworm, March 9

Older & Smarter?, March 10

Adventures Of a Travelers Wife, March 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 12

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 12 (Author Interview)

KarenSueHadley, March 13

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 13

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 14

Blossoms and Blessings, March 14

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 15

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a Kindle Paperwhite, one bookish scarf, one pair of bookish socks, one bookish necklace, one Chaparral Hearts Pen, and one custom bookmark made and signed by Kathleen Denly!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1089f/sing-in-the-sunlight-celebration-tour-giveaway

5 thoughts on “Sing in the Sunlight Blog Tour with Celebrate Lit

  1. Roxanne C. says:

    I enjoyed the interview with the author, especially her suggestions for being a better writer. I am looking forward to reading Sing in the Sunlight.

    Liked by 1 person

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