Rhode Island Authors Showcase – Featuring Debbie Tillinghast!

The Rhode Island Authors Showcase is back! Each day in November, I’ll be featuring a different RI author. Each post features a giveaway – a book, an anthology, or something else! All you have to do to be eligible for the daily drawing is leave a comment on the blog post. I’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner one week after the blog post (to give you time to catch up).

By commenting on each post, you’re also entered to win our bigger prizes: GRAND PRIZE is a $250 Amazon gift card, BONUS PRIZE is a $100 Amazon gift card, and the CHEER UP YOU WON SOMETHING PRIZE is a $50 Amazon gift card. The big prizes will be chosen, again using a random number generator, on December 7.

Debbie Kaiman Tillinghast

My friend Debbie Tillinghast is here today, and I couldn’t be happier. Naturally, I’ve got questions:

What name do you use as an author? Debbie Kaiman Tillinghast

And where is your hometown? Prudence Island, Rhode Island during my childhood, Now Chepachet, Rhode Island

What genre(s) do you write? Fiction, Memoir, Poetry

What have you written? The Ferry Home (memoir), 2015; A Dream Worth Keeping (novel), 2020; A Gift of Cookies, A Gift of Love (cookbook and memoir), 2022. My poetry also has been featured in all seven of the ARIA anthologies (https://tinyurl.com/nhexeku6)

Who are some of your favorite authors? Jenny Colgan, Elin Hilderbrand, Debbie Macomber

What were your favorite books growing up? All the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder; The Nancy Drew Mystery series by Carolyn Keene; Mr. Poppers Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater

What do you like best about writing? I lose myself in words and stories, and I can write myself to peace. I can live everything twice. I see the daffodils in the spring, but I can write about them any time and experience again their dancing yellow dresses swirling in the air. Details in life matter, and moments that might have vanished unnoticed, I save on the page.

What do you find most challenging about writing? Sometimes my mind disappears when I want it to be present. It wanders through bills to be paid, laundry to be washed, or the lawn that needs mowing. I want to call it back, to sit and tell my pen what to write, but it can’t be bothered. It gets lost in a world of concrete blocks, and I want to stroll through a field of tulips.

Where do you draw your inspiration? When I walk, my brain takes flight in unexpected directions. My mind moves with my body, it spins a story in time to my steps, and I write dialogue to the rhythm of my feet. I wrote The Ferry Home and A Dream Worth Keeping as I walked, with a recorder in my hand.

Youve just been given the chance to collaborate on a book with Erin Hilderbrand. Whats the title going to be? Island Girls

You can find out more about Debbie and her books by visiting her website http://www.debbiekaimantillinghast.com

And find her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/debbiekaimantillinghast

Debbie is offering a CHOICE of books to the winner – her memoir The Ferry Home, her novel A Dream Worth Keeping, or her soon-to-be-published cookie cookbook A Gift of Cookies, A Gift of Love. For a chance to win, just mention below in the comments your favorite family holiday tradition!

You can pick up your own copy here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/195821762X

45 thoughts on “Rhode Island Authors Showcase – Featuring Debbie Tillinghast!

  1. Hi Debbie! When I was a child in Athens/Greece, I adored baking with my mother for the holidays. And believe me when I say, there was A LOT OF BAKING going on for Christmas! My mom was the best cook in her family, so her five siblings always dropped by to taste her delicacies. She and I would sing Christmas carols and bake for hours. There had to be kourambiedes (Greek almond cookies), melomakarona (Greek walnut cookies dipped in honey), diples (Greek fried pastry with honey and walnuts) on the table, together with tsoureki (sweet bread), German Stollen, Silesian almond cake, British plum pudding and mince pies. You name it, my mom could bake it! How I miss those days . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I miss baking with my mom too. I have made kourambiedes and German Stollen in the past. I’d love to share baking stories sometime. My mom was a wonderful baker, except she didn’t like to make pies. My grandmother taught me how to make those.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My favorite holiday tradition as a child was when my father would dust off the Christmas Albums and we would play the records which would be the official start of the Christmas season. I kept these records and my son recently received a turntable as a gift so this year we will listen to the records on Christmas Eve.
    When my children were little we started a tradition of making a time capusule every year on New Years Eve. Not that they are older we open one every year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jen,
      How wonderful that you still have and plan to play the old records. I remember listening to holiday records when I was growing up too. I’m sure it will also make lasting memories for your children. What a great idea to make a time capsule!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved your answers to Martha’s questions, so I know I will enjoy reading your books! My favorite family Christmas tradition was that every Christmas eve, my Mom, Dad, Sister and I would walk up the hill to our closest neighbors, an older couple who had no children of their own. Dad would bring his guitar, and we would all sing carols, (Mrs. Vogel loved music) share stories (Mr. Vingel loved to talk) and eat goodies. This happened most years and even after Mr. Vingel passed, but time happens and children grow up and on to make new traditions.
    Good luck with your writing and I hope I win one of your books!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My favorite family holiday tradition is opening Christmas crackers, having plum pudding, and watching A Child’s Christmas in Wales based on prose by Dylan Thomas. I, also, love setting up all the advent calendars that I have and letting my grandson open the doors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bonnie,
      Your Christmas tradition sounds wonderful. I have a funny plum pudding story-when I was a child, my mother said we were going to have plum pudding for dessert. I sat through dinner filled with excited anticipation. I expected a pudding the consistency of chocolate pudding, only purple and plum flavored. Imagine my surprise!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Good morning, very nice to meet you Deborah and welcome. Your books sound like great reads. My favorite Holiday is Christmas , and one of our traditions is decorating gingerbread houses with my family , we always have alot of fun doing that while sipping on hot apple cider. When I was growing up at home , we would always make tamales, my parents , my siblings and I would all join in and make tamales on Christmas Eve. I don’t make tamales at all , but I do make sure that we always purchase some so that we can enjoy them during Christmas. Have a great weekend and a Happy Thanksgiving Day. . I enjoyed reading your interview.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Alicia. I love making gingerbread houses too. I made a Victorian gingerbread house with my youngest son one Christmas. I have made smaller versions with my grandchildren. There is a picture of one project in my new book. Although not part of our family tradition, I’m sure the tamales are yummy.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you, Alicia. I love making gingerbread houses too. I made a Victorian gingerbread house with my youngest son one Christmas. I have made smaller versions with my grandchildren. There is a picture of one project in my new book. Although not part of our family tradition, I’m sure the tamales are yummy.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Debbie, My favorite holiday tradition is decorating gingerbread houses after our family has shared in a Thanksgiving feast! Our two children, four grandchildren and this year our little greatgrandson each has their own ginger bread house to decorate. Their creations are wonderful! One year my grandson made a mail box to the entrance of his. My daughter made a chimney with smoke coming out. They make wreaths on the door and it is a fun competition to see who will win “best gingerbread house”! I love watching as they laugh and talk and and tease and I make sure they have everything they need. Their Gp is there to help with anything that is too difficult. Have our gingerbread boxes all ready to go for this year’s fun tradition!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. A couple of other holiday season traditions came to mind as I took my daily walk yesterday (Like you, I ponder as I walk).
        Each year I watch four Christmas movies, in the same order every year: Thanksgiving night is for “Miracle on 34th Street,” the original of course. In the weeks leading up to Christmas follow “A Christmas Story (Every year I ask myself, “Do I really want to watch this again?” Then I put it on and laugh for an hour-and-a-half. Love the ‘old man.”), then the George C. Scott version, 1984, of “A Christmas Carol.” Finally, on Christmas Even once the dust settles, my favorite of all, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

        In my ethnic heritage, French-Canadian, a meal is served after Midnight Mass. It is call “Réveillons,” or “Let us awaken.” The featured dish is French-Canadian Meat Pie. My Mom always served it with New England Baked Beans (from scratch), cole slaw, and corn bread. Since Midnight Mass is too late at this stage in our lives, and who can eat like that at 1:00 a.m. anymore?, I moved the feast to New Year’s Day. I still use Mom’s menu. Dessert if flexible.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. When the children were younger, on Christmas Eve, my husband lit the fireplace and we snuggled on the couch and the two of us took turns reading the Night Before Christmas. I hope to carry that tradition on with our new granddaughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Our family tradition is a dinner of homemade lasagna on Christmas Eve, then we all attend Midnight Mass. We have a big breakfast, exchange gifts. One of us sisters host a Christmas dinner. Everyone brings a dish because everyone has a specialty, we all love and praise. It’s all about being together.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My favorite holiday tradition is making homemade gingerbread houses. Did this with my son’s and now with my grandchildren. It is such a happy day!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My favorite holiday tradition is decorating the Christmas tree. I have a pretty good collection of antique family ornaments, and taking them out brings back so many nostalgic memories of Christmas past , especially with my grandmother. I like to make cookies too, and your book cover looks scrumptious! Once when I was very pregnant, I got a craving for my favorite, Chocolate Snowballs. I made and ate nearly a whole batch and landed in the ER from sky-high blood sugar! But they sure tasted good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Cherie,
      I still have ornaments that hung on the tree when I was a child. They do bring back so many memories.
      I hope you made a speedy recovery from the Chocolate Snowball overload. I’m glad you liked the cover of my book, maybe you’ll find a new favorite recipe inside.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving because I get together with my family in person and always bring my favorite fudge. I also do Zoom meetings with my relatives who live far away.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Interesting q and a. That being mindful comment is so relevant to writing. Is almost like to write a story you have to feel it and progress through it, to attempt to take the reader with you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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