Sunday, June 28, 2020

Book Blog Tour and Giveaway: What Momma Left Behind by Cindy K. Sproles

Cindy K. Sproles

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: June 2, 2020
Number of Pages: 256

Scroll down for the giveaway!
Worie Dressar is seventeen years old when influenza and typhoid ravage her Appalachian Mountain community in 1877, leaving behind a growing number of orphaned children with no way to care for themselves. Worie's mother has been secretly feeding a number of these little ones on Sourwood Mountain. But when she dies suddenly, Worie is left to figure out why and how she was caring for them.

Plagued with two good-for-nothing brothers—one greedy and the other a drunkard—Worie fights to save her home and the orphaned children now in her begrudging care. Along the way, she will discover the beauty of unconditional love and the power of forgiveness as she cares for all of Momma's children.

Storyteller and popular speaker Cindy K. Sproles pens a tender novel full of sacrifice, heartache, and courage in the face of overwhelming obstacles.

"Worie Dressar isn't your typical heroine—she's tough, she's opinionated, and she's loud. But at her core she wants to love and be loved—just like the rest of us. Cindy's special talent is in telling about life the way it is—hard parts and all—while preserving the beauty and wonder of love shining through even the darkest night." —Sarah Loudin Thomas, Christy Award-nominated author of Miracle in a Dry Season

"Seldom does a story move me to tears and encourage me to examine my life. A powerful story. Highly recommended." —DiAnn Mills, author of Fatal Strike

"Cindy Sproles has a way of placing readers inside the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her ability to transport readers into her Appalachian adventures is nothing short of genius. Leaving us hanging on every word, Cindy writes with feeling and incredible historical knowledge. This book is a must-read!" —LaTan Murphy, writer, speaker, author of Courageous Women of the Bible
Cindy K. Sproles is the cofounder of Christian Devotions Ministries. An author, storyteller, and popular speaker, Cindy teaches at writers’ conferences across the country and directs the Asheville Christian Writers Conference in North Carolina. Editor of and managing editor for Straight Street Books and SonRise Devotionals, Cindy has a BA in business and journalism and lives in the mountains of East Tennessee with her family. 

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- How has being a Tennessean influenced your writing?
I grew up in the Appalachian culture; my family roots are deep in these mountains. Being raised here, having a family that, when my grandmother was alive, still gathered together to work, making apple butter, canning, setting tobacco, etc. It’s given me the perfect insight.

- Why did you choose to write in your particular sub-genre?
I want folks to know the culture of the people in the mountains. They were very innovative. Life was hard but the people and their ways were solid and good. These things just aren’t being taught in school anymore.

- How long have you been writing?
Fifteen years seriously but, honestly, since I was a kid. I’ve always loved writing.

- In addition to being an author, you also have a number of other positions. Can you tell readers how these roles have played a part in making you a better novelist?
I’ve been fortunate to spend quality time with much better writers than myself, learning from them, picking their brains, and accepting their guidance and advice. As a managing editor for a publisher, I’ve been blessed with opportunities to have these experiences. I’ve learned to persevere and take the falls and tumbles that come with rejection, knowing that those bloody knees bring about experience. Finally, practice, practice, practice—learning the craft of writing and honing it to write the best I can.

- How does your book relate to your faith?
When you’re raised in these mountains there are certain things that are just automatic to your upbringing—religion is one. The people of the mountains are and always have been a faithful, God-fearing sort of people. I was raised with that deep faith and taught to look for the life lessons that God teaches us.

- What do you think most characterizes your writing?
Without a doubt, the mountain dialect. If you are not from the area, it may take you a page or two to fall into the flow of the mountain dialect, but after that, you’ll have no problem. The biggest thing to remember is mountain dialect is lazy. Instead of adding “ing” to the end of words, we just say “n”: seein’, feelin’, hearin’. Once you adjust to that, there shouldn’t be a problem. This, by far, characterizes my writing.

- What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Research when there is little information to research. This is the classic issue for writing based on truth in the Appalachians. Especially on things like pandemics, like influenza. Records simply weren’t kept in the deep parts of the mountains. Not only that, but doctors were a rarity. The hardest part of writing this book was piecing together bits and pieces of research to be as accurate as possible with the underlying truth of the story.

- Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book?
I believe so—the children who are orphaned. Even in today’s world, our country has hundreds of thousands of children who flounder in and out of our foster and adoption systems. Adoption inside our country is expensive and difficult, and it forces many more parents who desire to adopt children [to go] out of our country to adopt. There is nothing wrong with that, but when you have so many children in your own country who need love and families, these children are definitely under-represented.

- You set your novel in the Appalachian Mountains during the late 1800s. What motivated you to write about this place and time?
The Appalachian Mountains are home. The culture of that time was strong, and the people were strong and innovative individuals. Their lives were rough, but their sense of faith, family, and community was strong. I don’t want younger people to miss out on the hardships of these people or the amazing culture they nurtured.

- What type of research was required to accurately portray this setting?
Since I live in the Appalachian Mountains, research is only a few miles away. Family stories and experiences were passed down through the years, and I had personal interviews with elderly mountaineers who were children during that time frame. I took quick visits to local areas such as Chattanooga, Etowah, Gatlinburg, and Townsend, where the culture is still very thick, and people are still willing to share information and stories. I also gleaned information from the Appalachian Studies program through East Tennessee State University.

- What are you working on next?
I am currently working on a ninety-day devotional entitled Meet God on the Mountain, and I am working on my fourth Appalachian historical novel.
First Winner: Copy of What Momma Left Behind by Cindy K. Sproles and a $20 Barnes & Noble Gift Card 
Second Winner: Copy of What Momma Left Behind  by Cindy K. Sproles and a $5 Starbucks Gift Card 
Third Winner: Copy of What Momma Left Behind by Cindy K. Sproles
 June 23-July 3, 2020
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