Olivia Newport wall of booksA person can only have so many books in the house, depending of course on the house and how many other people you have to make room for. Eventually, there comes a time when you have to pull a book off the shelf and consider whether it’s time to send it off to its next life on someone else’s shelf.

Some books I must keep and I don’t feel obliged to explain to a single person why I will not give them away even though I haven’t opened them in, say, 28 years. Other books may be happier in new homes, whether through direct personal gifting or via the local thrift store. It’s for their own good, really, that I give them away to a home that will love and appreciate them.

The most fun books to give away, I’ve discovered, are copies of one I wrote! It’s been a blast these last few weeks to see The Pursuit of Lucy Banning reach eager readers’ hands. In my overexcitement, it may be slightly tempting to go around slapping books down in front of people and forcing them to look at the beautiful cover. Have you seen that dress?Olivia Newport The Pursuit of Lucy Banning

The book is not for everyone. (A few reviews remind me of that.) But lots of people have enjoyed the book. (Happily, the rest of the reviews remind me of that.)

I want to give a book away to someone who really wants it. I’m offering a book drawing from now through midnight on June 6. That’s a week from this posting. Answer this question in the comments to enter to win a copy of the first book the Avenue of Dreams series.

Fill my head with stories! I don’t want to miss anything!

What historical place have you visited that made you want to learn more about the events that made the place famous?


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  1. Marie Burton on the May 30, 2012 remarked #

    Here I am again trying to win your book. =)
    I am thinking very far back trying to think of a historical place I’ve visited and I’ve got nothing.
    Perhaps the most ‘famous’ would be the school field trips to the Intrepid and the Statue of Liberty. When I was in grade school, we collected copper pennies to donate to the cause of refinishing Lady Liberty.
    I know that some of my parent’s ancestors arrived on Ellis Island long, long ago, and I would love to know more about them. Who saw the Statue of Liberty and were awed by the hope for freedom?
    Someday I might be able to find out just who they were.

    • Olivia on the May 30, 2012 remarked #

      Marie, thanks for your persistence! I remember seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time. My ancestors did not come through Ellis Island, but the whole idea of it fascinates me.

  2. Blanche Faur on the May 30, 2012 remarked #

    I would love to win this book. World’s Columbian Exposition! I grew up in Chicago. My family and I love to visit to Navy Pier, Soldier Field, the Field Museum, etc… to give us a picture of how the World’s Columbian Exposition looked at that time. Too bad they demolished most of the buildings. If they didn’t then Chicago will be a huge famous place in the world for tourism.

    • Olivia on the May 30, 2012 remarked #

      Blanche, I grew up near Chicago. I know the feeling.

  3. Becky Doughty on the May 30, 2012 remarked #

    Hi Olivia!

    If that is your bookshelf, then you and I are surely twins!

    In the year 2000, I went on a “life quest” on my own (I was 30 and terrified of what the next 30 years would bring – I was such a lost soul!) and backpacked/bussed/railroaded/ferried my way from London up through the Yorkshire Dales, up into Scotland, across on the ferry to Northern Ireland, and on down to Dublin where I ran the Dublin marathon (don’t ask me why – I claim insanity). I traveled on down to the southern tip of Ireland, crossed back over to Wales, then barely made it back to Heathrow in time to catch my plane home. An epic journey, to say the least, and if I’d been searching for God, I would have come home a much better woman. I was searching for ME, though, and I wasn’t there either – go figure – and I came home tougher and just a wee bit more lost. BUT, I think something in my lostness related to the border castle ruins that I sought out; often just remnants, jutting piles of stones with traces of humanity still standing centuries later. Some of the castles had stories, others were just monuments of a time gone by. But there was one, especially, far off the beaten track, high up on a precipice overlooking the sea…. I was there alone and came apart a little. Inside its walls it was almost like being inside a seashell and I could HEAR the earth breathing around me. It was like the sighing of all those who came before me, who stood on that spot, who lived out their days in a different life, a different world. I was almost sure that if I closed my eyes and stood there perfectly still, that I might just slip away, back, like Alice, falling through time…. I would love to go back some day!

    • Olivia on the May 30, 2012 remarked #

      Becky, that’s a stock photo. The difference is my bookcases are brown, no white. On a more serious note, thanks for sharing such a poignant journey and personal moment.

  4. Jean Kropid on the June 1, 2012 remarked #

    In 2001, when I moved to south Florida, (from Buffalo, NY) I happened to pick up a book by Eugenia Price and it had so much Florida/Georgia history in it (I love historical fiction), that I went on to get all her books, traveled to Savannah, GA. and then to St. Augustine, FL and Jacksonville, FL. and actually looked up the buildings and cemetaries that still existed, which were represented in her book. I think about those books often. I think it’s time for me to read them again!

  5. Olivia on the June 1, 2012 remarked #

    I used to read Eugenia Price! What a trip that must have been for you.

  6. april on the June 6, 2012 remarked #

    I haven’t visited many historical places, but for me I’d have to say St. Augustine, FL. The place is rich with history, and as a native Floridian, I was fascinated by the stories. Of course I got most of my info from tours, so I wonder how much of it was embellished 🙂 But the old hospital, the fort, and the ghost tours were great fun.
    You have inspired me to read up on St. Augustine to see how things really were! Oh, and I’d love to win a copy of your book. I enjoy your writing style!

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