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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Interview & Giveaway: Alicia G. Ruggieri ~ Author of The Fragrance of Geraniums!


Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Alicia!! Will you tell us a little about yourself? 

Thanks for having me here, Melanie. I’m a native New-Englander, a lover of all things pertaining to George MacDonald and C.S. Lewis, and a scribbler of historical fiction novels. I’ve earned my B.A. in Communications and History, but I’ve enjoyed a wide array of work experiences, from directing children’s theatre to owning a consignment boutique.

What is your novel, The Fragrance of Geraniums, about?

The Fragrance of Geraniums is the powerful story of three women – of the threads of mercy that connect them – and of heart-wrenching sorrows alchemized by the Heavenly Father’s grace. Set in Rhode Island during the Great Depression, this historical novel chronicles the grace that God gives through the brokenness of poverty, infertility, and infidelity.  

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 
I was born with, as a friend once put it, “stories in my head.” So, I’ve always written, but I realized that God was placing this path of writing seriously before me when I committed to refining and then publishing my debut novel The House of Mercy in 2013.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00P4PB7W6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00P4PB7W6&linkCode=as2&tag=chrisbooksrev-20&linkId=XAZWNA4ZLESTTYWZWhat would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? 
I love writing from a villain’s perspective! I want to know why he is so evil – what choices, what attitudes he’s adopted to make him the way that he is.

Where do you like to write? 
At my kitchen table with all of my research materials spread around me; at Panera Bread with a bottomless cup of coffee before me (I love their hazelnut brew!); in my recliner with the laptop balanced on my knees.

What do you like to do when you're not writing? 
I love to take walks in the forest and by the sea – I’m blessed to live by both. I enjoy reading, of course, and I take delight in baking and cooking. I love doing laundry – Yes, I know it’s strange! Spending time with my family, singing hymns and spiritual songs together, and getting to know my little nieces and nephews better all top my list!

What is your favorite genre to read and why?
Definitely historical fiction, if it’s done well, but I also really enjoy excellently-written fantasy. It’s incredible to find that “there’s nothing new under the sun,” as King Solomon says – to find resonance with other people living in completely different time periods, in utterly different places.

What is your least favorite genre to read?
Generally, I dislike sci-fi. It’s very difficult for me to get into it.

Is there a place you'd like to visit, but haven’t yet? 
Oh, yes! I’ll take a ticket to Scotland, Israel, Italy, and India. Perhaps we could stop by China and New Zealand on the way back? ;-)

Do you have a favorite Bible verse? 
2 Corinthians 4:7 – "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power might be of God and not of us." God has used this to remind me that my sufficiency is found in Him alone.   

Do you have a favorite song and/or movie? 
One of my favorite contemporary songs is “Be at Rest,” from Steve Green’s album Somewhere Between. For traditional hymns, I love Charles Wesley’s “Arise, my Soul, Arise.” And The Lord of the Rings trilogy holds first place for movies in my heart.

What is your favorite holiday? 
I love Christmas and Easter – the traditions, the centering on Jesus Christ’s birth and redemption, the special times with family and at church.

What is your favorite season and why is it your fav?
Fall in New England is simply wonderful – the glorious last burst of color from the trees, the nostalgia that settles around my shoulders like a warm sweater, the fragrance of burning leaves and apple pie, the sharp biting air – and the knowledge that spring will come again.

Some this-or-that questions:

Snowstorms or Thunderstorms? Thunderstorms – especially really wild ones!
Chocolate or Vanilla? Peanut-butter. ;-)
Tea or Coffee? Large amounts of coffee are necessary for life and godliness, but I’ll take peppermint tea, too!
Call or Text? Call.
Cats or Dogs? Is this even a question?! Dogs, of course!
Early-bird or Night-owl? Night-owl transitioning into an early-bird.
Introvert or Extrovert? Introvert.
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook.
Mystery or Romance? Romance with a little mystery, Dickens-style.
Sneakers or Sandals? Sandals, preferably flipflops.

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint? 
Of course! I have a couple of things that I’m working on right now: I’ve recently begun writing a colonial-era Christian romance as well as the second book in my middle-grade girls’ fiction series, The Regency Adventures of Jemima Sudbury.

Thank you so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?
Thanks for having me visit! Readers can find me at a few places online:

Enter for a chance to win a Kindle copy of The Fragrance of Geraniums by Alicia G. Ruggieri! Giveaway is open internationally. Ends 2/26

How to enter: Sign into the Giveaway Tools form below (it might take a moment to load) and submit each entry you complete. Commenting alone will not get you entered – you must click enter on the form. Happy entering!

Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Giveaway Tools and announced here as well as emailed and will have up to one week to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Giveaway Tools or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. I am not responsible for any packages lost or damaged in the mail. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


  1. This sounds like a great book to read! thanks for the giveaway....
    rita dot navarre at yahoo dot com

  2. I liked your interview. Interesting to learn that Alicia writes in several places. That's the way I write as well. Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Loved the interview! I will definitely be checking out this book. PS. My youngest daughter's name is Grace. :)

  4. Looks like an interesting book, this was a very difficult time in our nations history. I'm sure there are some powerful stories to come out of this time period.

  5. Enjoyed getting to know you today.. This is a lovely cover & I'd love to win a copy :)

  6. It was great to read about you. I am a lover of C.S. Lewis as well.
    I will put your book on my TBR list.

  7. Really enjoyed reading this interview!

  8. Stories in and around the WW years are of great interest to me because of my mom's heart breaking experiences in Germany. I would love to read this book. sonja dot nishimoto at gmail dot com

  9. I've had "The Red Geranium" on my GoodReads list for a few months now - it was probably one of my first books there. :) It'd be fun to read! :)

  10. This sounds like an interesting story that I would enjoy reading.

  11. Wow, this sounds like a great read. Historical Christian is a favorite of mine.

  12. Love this interview. I'd love to win this for my daughter (one of the 3) who loves C.S. Lewis. I find interesting that you write from a villain's perspective.

  13. Enjoyed this interview. I like Historical Fiction also, but also many genres. Love this cover but don't like the smell of geraniums. LOL I have some and hate to touch them when I water them because makes my hands smell bad. Sounds like Lara has a nice location to live. Don't see how authors write in busy places like coffee shops. Would love a chance to win this book. Thanks Melanie.
    Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <


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