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Message in a Bottle Book Launch and Give-away! (Blog Hop Stop #5)

Mon, 2017-02-27 11:14 -- Jocelyn Green

Flames lapped at the monk’s robes. He raced down the corridors that crackled with the collision of dampness and heat, dodging fire-lit debris. So this was to be the end, then. The night the stones of Ballyfir Monastery would tell their last tale…

So begins the tale of a humble monk, his unwavering courage, and the bronze bottle he sends into the night with a prayer that its contents might bring hope—the very word etched into the bottle—to someone, somewhere.

The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection follows the journey of that same bottle throughout the centuries in five novellas. It travels the world and touches hearts… and today, we’d like to invite you along for that journey.

Would you care to come along with us for a look behind the scenes in this short five-stop blog tour? At each stop, one of the five co-authors will interview another, to take you chronologically through the novella collection and unwrap some fun bonus material. Joanne is kicking us off with an interview of Heather, who wrote the first novella in the collection. 

Oh! And don’t miss the chance to enter the giveaway (more information at the bottom of this post). Thank you for joining us, friends!

Go Behind the Scenes with Joanne Bischof

I'm delighted to be hosting Joanne on my blog today! I'm sure many of you already know and love her work, including her most recent full-length historical romance, The Lady and the Lionheart. Joanne Bischof has a deep passion for Appalachian culture and writing stories that shine light on God’s grace and goodness. She lives in the mountains of Southern California. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, folk music, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life. She is a Christy Award-finalist and author of Be Still My SoulThough My Heart is Torn, and My Hope is Found (WaterBrook Multnomah). 

1) Did you learn anything new in the research for The Swelling Sea?

Joanne: I learned a lot about rowboats in the Victorian era! It seems such a small thing but rowing plays such a large role in this story that getting the details as correct as possible was really key. Feeling really outside of my element, I read articles about the different types of boats available during that time—both for leisure rowing, and for sport, which is what the team of four young men in this novella do. I also studied up on which colleges did or didn’t have a crew team in 1890. I watched dozens of videos on the sport and the techniques involved from rower positions to signals and calls. A friend who’s a rower helped me immensely with the details and what began as one of the biggest challenges of the research ended up being a really special collaboration.

2) What makes your heroine unique in this story?

Joanne: I’d say definitely her memory loss. During a near-drowning, she suffered from oxygen asphyxiation as a child and has never fully recovered. Her symptoms not only included her having to relearn how to use some of her motor skills on one side of her body, but working on regaining her memory—and as the story plays out—learning to make peace with the possibility of not regaining some memories at all. Her personality is a lot of fun because she gets confused easily and it’s rather endearing. She’s also strong and determined, so she doesn’t let it beat her. I think it’s one of the reasons why the hero, Jonas, is first taken with her. She’s very unique and that made her a fun heroine to get to write.

3) What kind of role does the setting play in The Swelling Sea

Joanne: The setting is a big one as the novella is set at the historic Hotel Del Coronado. As a native southern California girl, Coronado Island is one of my favorite places to visit. It’s just a two-hour drive from where we live and any excuse to head that way is worth it. Crossing over the great bridge is a magical experience and seeing the grand Hotel Del which was built in 1888 is even more special. I’ve visited it many times and each time, get to discover new nooks and crannies of the hotel. It’s iconic enough to have been filmed in “Some Like it Hot” alongside Marilyn Monroe, and has housed many famous actors and actresses as well as 14 US presidents from Taft to Kennedy. Walking its halls and corridors, and standing upon its beach is like experiencing a whimsical part of Victorian-era history. I hope that as readers discover it within Jonas and Rosie’s story, they’ll understand the magic pull it has and why I return to that place time and time again.

4) How does writing for a collection differ from writing your individual novels/novellas?

Joanne: It differs in the sense that we all have a common thread to stick to. With this series, of course, the bottle, and what a fun one it was! What made this collection extra unique, is that it begins with a unified prologue and ends with an epilogue, both which tie the stories all together. The bottle also travels from novella to novella, so there is a commonality touching the hands and lives of all our characters. That made it really special. Not only for the stories themselves, but for getting to work that closely with the other authors.

5) Any lessons or elements of encouragement you hope the reader will take away from your novella?

Joanne: This was the first time that I didn’t think I would be able to complete a deadline. Due to some personal trials, the writing for this novella was easily harder than any other story I’ve written. When I was near to giving up (and my agent and co-authors were rallying around me) what happened is that I began to simply write my heart right into the tale. Like Rosie, I didn’t have it all together, but like her, I wanted to cling to the promise that there is always hope. It was such a gift from the Lord, that amid my own struggles, I got to be a part of this collection centered around that one, incredible word. HOPE. My greatest wish for this story is to bring that very reminder to readers who might be going through their own trials or struggles. That it would be a reminder that we’re never alone, and the world is a large place filled with hurting people who struggle just like us. It’s a comfort in knowing that we walk shoulder to shoulder with so many others.


The Giveaway 

Thank you for being here! If you haven’t had a chance yet, do hop over and enter this hope-themed giveaway, which we hope will be a blessing to our readers.

Top 3 Reasons to enter:

  1. We want to celebrate you! We’re so thankful for our readers, and this giveaway is one way we’d like to thank you.
  2. Super quick and easy giveaway form—as simple as entering your name and e-mail, then clicking through to submit! As you’ll see, there is a chance for additional entries, but it’s entirely optional.
  3. …you could win a wee plot o’ land in Ireland!

Not to mention this. . .

And the . . .

This was the final stop in our Message in a Bottle 5-stop blog hop! (Psst, if you missed my interview on Maureen Lang's blog, you can find it here.)
If you’re just now joining us, do stop by Joanne’s post. She kicked us off with a wonderful interview with Heather and we’re so excited to share some behind-the-scenes fun from each story with you.

Thank you for joining us!

(One final note: If your comment doesn't appear on my blog at first, never fear. They will wait for me to moderate and approve them, which I will do as often as I can. Thank you for your patience with me on this, as I am finishing up my next novel this week, as well!)


About the Author: 

Jocelyn Green

Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning and bestselling author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including The Mark of the King; Wedded to War; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. Her books have garnered starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly, and have been honored with the Christy Award, the gold medal from the Military Writers Society of America, and the Golden Scroll Award from the Advanced Writers & Speakers Association. She graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. As a speaker, Jocelyn inspires faith and courage in her audiences. She loves Mexican food, Broadway musicals, Toblerone chocolate bars, the color red, and reading on her patio. Jocelyn lives with her husband Rob and two children in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Visit her at


Submitted by Heidi Robbins on
I live in San Diego and we love to visit Coronado on beautiful weekends! The Hotel Del is such an iconic landmark. Can't wait to read the story!

Submitted by Jocelyn Green on
Hello Heidi! Such a pleasure to have you here. I am sad to say I have never been to California! I have lived in Washington, DC, Alaska, Austria, Mexico, and have visited many other wonderful places, but Cali is still on the bucket list!

Submitted by Anne L. Rightler on
The blog hop has been fun and am so looking forward to reading this collection. Loved all the stories from each author about things they learned or how they came up w/ their novella. Thank you again so much. P.S. I was unable to find a place to comment on Amanda's part of the hop.

Submitted by Jocelyn Green on
Thank you Anne! Amanda is looking into the commenting function on her blog post as we speak. Sorry about that!

Submitted by Jocelyn Green on
Hi Anne! OK, Amanda has fixed the comment field issue on her post. Thank you for bringing this to our attention!

Submitted by Lucy Reynolds on
I enjoyed this interview. Can't wait to read my copy. Next on my TBR pile. Thank you ladies. I was also unable to find where to comment on blog stop 3. Blessings

Submitted by Jocelyn Green on
Hi Lucy! Thanks so much for participating and reading soon! Amanda has fixed the comment field issue on her post. Thank you for bringing this to our attention!

Submitted by Raechel on
Goodness does this collection sound amazing! I really enjoyed reading each of these interviews and learning more about each other! Thank you for the fun, and the giveaway!

Submitted by Jocelyn Green on
Thank you Raechel! It's been our pleasure to have all of you drop by our blogs!

Submitted by Roanne King on
Wow, Joanne! Yet another inspiring interview... I love how history and fiction can thread truths into our present lives. I wasn't planning on spending my morning reading 5 blogs but I'm so glad I did. Every one of you have blessed and inspired me!

Submitted by Jocelyn Green on
Roanne, thank you so much for spending your morning with us! We've had such fun putting this together for you, and we so appreciate you sharing these moments with us!

Submitted by Annie JC @JustC... on
This has been fun! Several authors are fairly new to me and I love getting to meet them! Thank you!!

Submitted by Jocelyn Green on
Greetings Annie! I'm so delighted to hear you've been introduced to some new authors through this blog hop. It has been such fun to be able to work with them over the last year-plus on this collection. Hope you enjoy the stories!

Submitted by Emily Endrizzi on
Wonderful interview! I really enjoyed it. Thank you for the fun hop and cool giveaway.

Submitted by Paula S. on
Loved this nice short hop. It had so many fun facts and background information! Can't wait to get the book and start reading!

Submitted by Jocelyn Green on
Thanks Paula! We can't wait for you to get started reading, too. Hope you love it!

Submitted by Winnie Thomas on
What a fun blog hop! I so enjoyed getting to know more about each of you wonderful authors and your parts of The Message in a Bottle. I'm excited to read this book and learn more about all these settings and time periods and meet the characters involved. Thanks to you all for sharing your time and talents!

Submitted by Jocelyn Green on
Thank you, Winnie! I learned some new things about the settings, too, from this blog hop! :) Happy reading to you!

Submitted by Andrea Stephens on
I loved all the stories in this collection! I have also loved this blog hop. It has been fun getting to meet each of the authors.

Submitted by Jocelyn Green on
Andrea, we are so delighted to hear that! Thank you so much for reading and hopping along!

Submitted by Tammy Cordery on
I loved the blog hop. It is great learning about different authors. What a great giveaway.

Submitted by Jocelyn Green on
Hi Tammy, I'm so glad you've enjoyed this little hop! Best wishes in the give-away!

Submitted by Marylin Furumasu on
Thanks for doing this contest and time of getting to know all you wonderful authors! I LOVED the book collection. I was fortunate to be able to read it from Netgalley. I truly enjoyed each of your stories and how they all tired together so well. Also how you each brought God's love and hope to us through your stories. Thank you!

Submitted by Jocelyn Green on
Hello Marilyn! Thank you so much for being one of our early readers! So thrilled to hear that you loved the collection.

Submitted by Heather Day Gilbert on
Oh WOW! I didn't realize this was the hotel in Some Like it Hot! How interesting! And you know we're all so thrilled you were able to not only get this novella written, but to pour your heart into it, Joanne! Can't wait to get to it--reading through the collection now.

Submitted by Jocelyn Green on
I didn't realize that, either, Heather! Now I want to watch that movie again... I'm so thrilled with how Joanne's story turned out. Of course, I had no doubt it would be so special, but knowing she stitched her heart right into the words makes it even more so.

Submitted by Kim on
This sounds so interesting. I really enjoy reading this kind of anthology, where the stories share a common theme, and the message in a bottle is always so mysterious - you never know what you are going to get. I can't wait to read it. Thank you so much for sharing your gift with us - each of you, even when it was hard to keep going. God bless you all. Kim

Submitted by Lane Hill House on
What a treasure I have before me ~ a five story collection... unread! Thank you all of you!! Kathleen

Submitted by Bonnie Roof on
Loved learning about the Hotel del Coronado, Joanne - would love to tour it. So interesting to learn the background behind each story in The Message in a Bottle collection. Thank you!!

Submitted by Betti on
So very excited to be a part of this launch and I am looking forward to some quality reading time!

Submitted by Anne Payne on
HOPE - Such an awesome word! I love this theme and can't wait to read this collection.

Submitted by Betti Mace on
Thanks for sharing from your heart, Joanne. It really is good to know we have hope! I would love to visit the Hotel Coranado someday!

Submitted by Sheri Lesh on
This sounds like several stories within a story! Neat premise! Looking forward to reading it!

Submitted by Lisa Harness on
Oh my! Makes me want to go visit the Hotel. Joanne your characters sound very inviting.

Submitted by Jeanie Dannheim on
GREAT FUN, looking forward to reading it and seeing memory loss and Coronado Island through Jocelyn's eyes. Will have to look for her books set in Appalachian Mountains, which sounds even more interesting! jeaniedannheim (AT) ymail (DOT) com

Submitted by Elly on
Memory loss. Why does it seem I keep running into books, movies, and real life experiences that involve memory loss lately? First, my sister turns on two different shows on two different nights and they're both about people who've lost their memory. Then we went to see my grandma today who's getting confused and forgetting things due to her glioblastoma. And now I come across your book about a girl with amnesia. So ironic.

Submitted by Britney Adams on
I love these glimpses into your story and writing process, Joanne! The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection is a true gem!!

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