Monday, March 14, 2011

Guest Post and Signed Book Giveaway: Kristina McMorris, author of LETTERS FROM HOME.


I'm excited to introduce a most talented writer, Kristina McMorris. She's the author of the newly released novel,  Letters From Home. She's going to be talking with you today about the road to getting published and is graciously giving away a signed copy of her novel that released February 22, 2011 by Kensington. It's already getting five stars on Amazon! Let's check out what the book is about...

 In the midst of World War II, a Midwestern infantryman falls deeply in love through a yearlong letter exchange, unaware that the girl he's been writing to is not the one replying.

Chicago, 1944. Liz Stephens has little interest in attending a USO club dance with her friends Betty and Julia. She doesn't need a flirtation with a lonely serviceman when she's set to marry her childhood sweetheart. Yet something happens the moment Liz glimpses Morgan McClain.
They share only a brief conversation—cut short by the soldier's evident interest in Betty—but Liz can't forget him. Thus, when Betty asks her to ghostwrite a letter to Morgan, stationed overseas, Liz reluctantly agrees.

Thousands of miles away, Morgan struggles to adjust to the brutality of war. His letters from "Betty" are a comfort, their soul-baring correspondence a revelation to them both. While Liz is torn by her feelings for a man who doesn't know her true identity, Betty and Julia each become immersed in their own romantic entanglements. And as the war draws to a close, all three will face heart-wrenching choices, painful losses, and the bittersweet joy of new beginnings.

Beautifully rendered and deeply touching, LETTERS FROM HOME is a story of hope and connection, of sacrifices made in love and war—and the chance encounters that change us forever.

It's an intricate, romantic and dare I say, dramatic read. I'm not going to delay her any further. Here's Kristina in her own words, discussing her journey in finally getting that elusive book deal...

The Road to Publication: Buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride
by Kristina McMorris

It's known across the globe as the "Happiest Place on Earth." Yet one begins to question this self-proclaimed title while standing in a two-hour line at Disneyland, in ninety-degree heat, surrounded by crying children and irritable strangers. I remember pondering this irony years ago, awaiting my very first turn on the popular Thunder Mountain ride. This thing better be worth the trouble, I thought to myself.

Looking back, I suddenly realize the similarities shared by my journey to publication. Many a time, my query letters, then copies of my manuscript, stood in lengthy queues to reach the eyes of a promising agent or editor—only to learn it didn't reach the required height line. With a pat on the head, I was sent away, encouraged to come back when I had grown enough, or to try a more suitable ride.

And so, I continued to improve my craft, despite the rejections that streamed in, and I would stand in line after line. Each time that I was told World War II women's fiction would be a tough sell—or worse, that it would never sell—I grew more determined to succeed.

You see, I didn't write my first novel, LETTERS FROM HOME, to fit neatly into the marketplace. Truth be told, I was barely a reader when I discovered my grandparents' wartime courtship letters, which inspired the premise of my story. Instead, I transcribed the vision of a movie that played out in my head, and always I did my best to write from the heart.

Eventually, I made it to the front of that daunting line again, though this time, to my delight, I was invited to board. An official contract was offered with my name on it. Since then, uncertainty and excitement have continued to swirl through the clickety-clack, two-year climb to reach my book's launch date. The past few weeks, following the release, has passed in a blur. Twists and turns and an almost constant adrenaline rush have often overpowered what I had foreseen to be a blissful feat.

At last, however, life has begun to settle to a comfortable speed. And this week, I actually had the chance to sit back and savor the moment. The ride has hardly been free of bumps, but as I stood in the Costco aisle, staring at my pleasantly shocking stack of books—of a novel, mind you, that was never supposed to sell—I couldn't help but smile.

Was it worth all the trouble? I asked myself.


Letters From Home at Costco!


 Kristina McMorris lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. She has garnered more than twenty national literary awards since writing her first novel, Letters from Home. A graduate of Pepperdine University, she spent twelve years hosting weekly television shows, including an Emmy® Award-winning television show at age nine. Prior to her literary career, she was the owner of a wedding/event planning business and public relations director of an international conglomerate. Find out more about Kristina by visiting her website:

If you would like the opportunity to receive Letters From Home, leave a comment telling us if you've ever seriously considered writing a book or not. If you have, how far along are you in your journey? Don't forget to leave your email so you may be contacted if you win. That is all. The winner will be chosen randomly.

Giveaway open to residents of the US and Canada only and ends Friday, March 18, 2011.



  1. Great post. Thanks for sharing. Write a book. No desire to. Will stick with my blog. I will leave to those who have an imagination.

  2. I did write a book (a couple of decades ago) but it was a textbook—I would love to write a novel but I'm just not a storyteller!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  3. What a great post. I have never considered writing a book of any sort.But my hats goes off to those who can.There are soo many wonderfully written stories to be told and so many who can write them. "Letters from Home" sounds great.I put it on my TBR list.

  4. Forgot to leave my email.I am a little confused this morning or either a little so going.Go authors and thanks for letting your readers understand you all a little better.

  5. Yep, wrote a book, which I've been shopping to agents and received some nice rejections. Thinking about the next two books and wondering if I have the stamina to go through it again! (Yes, I think I do, but I might be out of my mind...)

    Thanks for the opportunity! virginiawilliams (at) yahoo(dot)com.

  6. Great article/interview. Yes I started to write a book after having several harrowing days in and out of hospitals. There were many things I learned that I thought should be shared with anyone with serious allergies, or with any serious problems while staying in the hospital. I thought if loved one could read the book might be helpful. I've been a patienet and a caretaker of someone with cancer, and went through eight surgery's myself and had some really life threatening problems that came up and I had to get myself out of. I saw a book after I started mine that was pretty close to what I wanted to write and it took the wind out of my sails, and I stopped writing. I'm not good at writing, I'm thinking starting a blog though. Perhaps that would be easier for me to pass on tips to others.
    I would love to read this book. I have read a few books about love during WWII and those are always great reads. Please put me in the mix for this book!
    dancealert at aol dot com

  7. Greatly impressed by the sound of this novel - in setting and theme as well as cover design, it reminds me of Sarah Blake's excellent The Postmistress. Enjoyed the interview too. (I can't give you a contact for the giveaway, as I'm in Europe. I will buy it myself!)

  8. Thanks for having me here today, June! And thanks to everyone for their thoughtful comments. Wishing all of you well with your writing--or reading--endeavors. :)

  9. My hubby and I have thought about writing a children's book, but never got past deciding what it should be about, and named.

    Thanks for the chance to win.

  10. No, I will leave that job up to the authors, they have such an imagination to write it is
    amazing to me.

    cenya2 at hotmail dot com

  11. I sometimes wish I could write a book but I don't think I have the imagination to get a novel out. I dream about how nice it would be to live on a lake house, swinging on the huge porch, sun glistening off the water and ideas flying onto my paper...Yes, I wish I could write even just for the thrill but I've never tried. So I just continue doing what I do best which is read. And I definitely will be reading Letters From Home it sounds so interesting!

    Jessie D

    riderchick_89 at yahoo dot com

  12. Thanks for the giveaway. I don't imagine myself as a writer but I'm sure a good reader.

  13. I couldn't write my way out of a paper bag - but I sure admire people that can and do write. I am an avid reader!!

    follow on gfc

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  14. Writing a book? I've written three in the past 2 years. The last is the one I plan on querying. It's a rough road but I can't imagine not writing. Thanks for the opportunity. (Hugs)Indigo

  15. Congrats Kristina!! Letters from Home sounds like a cool book!!

  16. June...I totally hate it when you post about a book I don't have...because you know what happens...this one sounds delicious and what fun to have the author here, too...

  17. Awesome guest post and the book sounds amazing. I have tried to write a book for as long as I can remember. I am great at starting stories but finishing them becomes my problem. The farthest I have come is about 10 pages when I was in my early 20's. I have started a story recently and I am very detremined to see it through. A few of my author friends have been encouraging me to keep at it and not give up. Their advice and support has been tremendous. I know if I keep at it I can be published someday....^_^.


  18. Wonderful post. Loved learning more about Kristina and her book writing journey. I often day dream about writing a book. Sometimes I even make notes or write a few paragraphs. But I just can't seem to stop reading long enough to write - and I've convinced myself that I couldn't be as good as those already writing.

    bevarcher (at) me (dot) com

  19. Write a book? I'm not so sure but have been told my life would make a good book, but I don't think i'll be writing one soon. LOL

  20. would love to read this beautiful story...thanks for the chance...and no, i am definately not a writer...i do admire those who have that 'gift'

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  21. Yes, I have thought about it. I written short things. My problem is that I love to read more!


  22. When I was in high school I loved to write! I would write ALL the time. I "tried" writing a book then. It ended up just being a really long short story! LOL
    I'll leave the book writing to the professionals!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net


I enjoy reading what you have to say. Seriously!