Friday, February 17, 2012

Author Interview and Giveaway with Holly Bush

Today we have an interview with Holly Bush, who writes about the Western United States in the late 1800s. She's graciously agreed to give away a copy of her historical romance, Romancing Olive, at the end of the interview, so stay tuned for details!

JDP: Thank you for joining us today, Holly.

Holly: Hello Joyce and thanks for having me.

JDP: Tell us a little about your historical romance, Romancing Olive.

Holly: Spinster librarian, Olive Wilkins, is shocked to learn of her brother’s violent death at a saloon gaming table. Compelled to rescue and raise his children, Olive travels to Ohio, intending to return to her Philadelphia home with her niece and nephew. Little does she know that the children have come to love their caretaker, widower Jacob Butler. Will Olive return home without them or learn to love Jacob as well?

JDP: Romancing Olive is set in 1891. Is there a particular reason you chose that year?

Holly: Yes, actually there is. At one point in the book, Olive asks a friend to ship her new Singer sewing machine from her home in Philadelphia to Ohio so that she can quickly make clothing for her niece and nephew and Jacob’s children. Singer machines were first manufactured in 1851 but became much more popular towards the end of the century. Train travel was still the most typical means of transportation and the Civil War had been over for 15 years.

JDP: What did you find most fascinating about this time period? 

Holly: The U.S. was settled but not tamed. We were on the cusp of the industrial revolution which would bring huge changes to a mostly agrarian lifestyle. But at that time war wounds would have been healing, and a small town culture flourished prior to the automobile. This was a happy period for the U.S.

JDP: I’m always interested in how authors research their historical novels. Could you tell us a little about how you researched the historical background for Romancing Olive?

Holly: I read about the time I’m writing about, historical facts and events, and then I like to read about the mundane or not famous during that period. That’s always where characters get fleshed out. What did the average women or mother do during her day? How many children went to school? What was a holiday tradition? What did families do to relax or for entertainment?

JDP: Those are all excellent questions when trying to find ways to bring characters and a historical era to life. Can you share with us your top three favorite research books or other resources?

Holly: I’m on the board of my local library so I spend some time there reading general history books. And of course I use the internet for much of my research. I’ve found Wikipedia to be an amazingly accurate source. College libraries are often completely on-line now as well and are a great source for me.

JDP: Are there any historical figures from the era of Romancing Olive who particularly intrigue you?

Holly: It was an era of the Average Joe.

JDP: What inspired you to write Romancing Olive?

Holly: I had picture in my head of Olive riding on the train to Spencer, looking out the window and imagining her brother had been a model citizen, terrified to raise his children yet ready to face the challenge. Those fears paled in comparison to the reality she was forced to deal with on her arrival. There’s something about those huge turns in one’s life where comfort ends and a new world begins that is both terrifying and exhilarating. For Olive, it was a catharsis.

JDP: Are you working on any new projects?

Holly: I’m working on a women’s fiction book that is untitled and about 30,000 words in length at this point. About 50,000 or so more words to go!

JDP: Where can readers obtain copies of your books?

Holly: Romancing Olive is available at Good Reads, Amazon and Nook Book. I have 3 other historical romances that I will be making available over the next 6 months. 

JDP: How exciting! Then your readers have a lot to look forward to. :-) Thank you again for joining us today.

More about Holly! : Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. She worked in the hospitality industry, owning a restaurant for twenty years and recently worked as the sales and marketing director in the hospitality/tourism industry and is credited with building traffic to capacity for a local farm tour, bringing guests from twenty-two states, booked two years out.  Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject.

Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She has written four romance novels, all set in the U.S. West in the mid 1800’s. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group.

Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, and vice-president of her local library board and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior. Visit Holly's website at to learn more about her and her books.

Now for the giveaway! Holly is offering an e-copy of Romancing Olive to one lucky reader who leaves a comment on this interview. Be sure to include your email address so I'll know how to contact you if you win. Deadlines for entries is February 26, midnight PST.


USA entries only
Entrants must be 18 years or older
Entries may be left in a comment or sent via email to
Prize: 1 e-copy of Romancing Olive, by Holly Bush, retail value $2.99.
The number or eligible entries received determines the odds of winning
Winners will be selected on February 27. Winners have 48 hours to respond to an email notifying them of their win.
Prizes not claimed within 48 hours will be reawarded
Sponsor name and contact info: Joyce DiPastena, or PO Box 673, Kearny, AZ 85137


Debby said...

I enjoyed reading the interview. I have not r3ad any of Holly's work but would like to change that
debby236 at gmail dot com

Heidi said...

Sound like a cute fun book!

Tressa said...

I also find it interesting to see how authors have researched historically for their books. Sometimes it seems there is too much information. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

tressa dot sherman at hotmail dot com

Kat said...

I love historical fiction as an escape, to step into a time so different from my own!

katsaddress AT gmail. DOT com

brendajean said...

Thanks for the interview. I loved all the ways that Holly researched her story. I too find Wikipedia to be a great source of information:) The book sounds great. Thanks for the chance:)

bchild5 at aol dot com

LAWonder said...

I enjoyed reading this interview and am excited to read the book. She is an author I am not familiar with. This sounds like a really neat story.

Marie said...

This book sounds great!
fishingem208 at gmail dot com

Jordan and Heidi Jensen said...

Sounds like such a fun book. I would love to be entered in on the give away! Thanks!

scrappergirl said...

Sounds like a cute book I'd enjoy reading.

squiresj said...

Barely found this one in time to enter. I reviewed one of your books I remember. I love your books. But not any by this author and would love to win and review one.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com