Kristy Cambron: author spotlight + giveaway

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Y’all!!! Today’s featured author is a “new-to-me” favorite!!! Seriously, I have read one of her books and I love her, that’s all it took! She’s sharing some favorites about her newest release (y’all need to read it, really, really), her latest bookish news, and a giveaway!!!

About the Author

Kristy CambronKristy Cambron has a background in art and design, but she fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. She is the author of The Ringmaster’s Wife, named to Publishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion & Spirituality TOP 10. Her novels have been named to Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books and RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best lists, and received a 2015 INSPY Awards nomination for best debut novel. The Illusionist’s Apprentice (HarperCollins, 2017) is her fourth novel. Her first Bible study DVD and study guides, The Verse Mapping Series, will release in spring, 2018.

Kristy holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University and has 15 years of experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation. Kristy lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read. You can connect with Kristy in her WRITING DESK newsletter at: KristyCambron.com

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Five Favorite Behind the Scenes Secrets

from The Illusionist’s Apprentice

Kristy: The main character’s name has a hidden meaning… My great-grandfather was a coal-miner from New Castle, England. So the family story goes, he loved animals and tamed a wild wren into a pet, teaching it to land on his shoulder and eat from his hand. He named his pet “Jenny Wren” – also the name of a character in Dicken’s novel, Our Mutual Friend. My sister is named Jennifer, but we always called her Jenny Wren from that family history. I wanted to honor her, so Wren Lockhart bears that special name.

Beth: I love that! How special for your sister and your family to have Jenny Wren live on in your story. 🙂

Kristy: Harry Houdini wasn’t the first choice as the mentor in the story… We originally wanted to wrap a story around the unique perspective of Bess Houdini, Harry Houdini’s wife (similar to Mable Ringling’s story in The Ringmaster’s Wife). But after determining Wren’s character would be an infamous female illusionist on the vaudeville circuit, we knew the story must encompass the mentor’s perspective– and how that wisdom affected Wren’s life and showmanship. We could see no way to tell that without Harry Houdini’s influence occurring in a grand way.

Beth: Readers certainly get a more intimate look at the vaudeville lifestyle this way, very interesting!

Quote from The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy CambronKristy: The novel was born in a brainstorming session with bestselling suspense authors… I’ll be the first to admit it was an incredible experience to brainstorm in a room with some of the most gifted women in the field of suspense writing Christian fiction. I’m not giving spoilers away, but those women helped craft the opening scenes for the book – placing a cemetery, a botched vaudeville show, and a corpse – all in the first chapter! I’m grateful for the mentoring those authors gave this writer-gal, and helped nudge me into my first mystery/suspense novel.

Beth: I love hearing about authors working together and supporting one another. That is wonderful! 😍

Kristy: The title never changed… I usually don’t select my book titles. Like much in the publishing industry, we have teams of professionals who are sooooo good at things like titling books. But from day one with this story, it was always whispering that the title would be The Illusionist’s Apprentice. I loved it. And fortunately for me, the titling team also loved it. So, here we are… a title that always knew its own name. 😊

Beth: Ta-dah!!!

Kristy: The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a stand-alone novel, but it has connections to The Ringmaster’s Wife… If you read John and Mable Ringling’s story in The Ringmaster’s Wife, you might find a connection or two between both of these Jazz Age Entertainers novels. Hungarian artist and illustrator, William “Willy” Pogany, was a close friend of the Ringlings and Mable contracted him to design much of the whimsical paintings on the interior of their famed Ca’ d’Zan mansion in Sarasota, FL. (Readers might notice that he also makes a cameo in that book.)

In The Illusionist’s Apprentice, Willy Pogany’s iconic illustrations in Wren’s beloved Welsh Fairy Book is woven into the story. It’s also noted that Harry Houdini’s real-life manager was a friend and business acquaintance of John Ringling – so the entertainment circles of the circus and vaudeville really do overlap both in history, and in the novels.

Beth: Now I’m even more eager to read The Ringmaster’s Wife!!! I enjoy connections between stories!

Harry Houdni’s one-time apprentice holds fantastic secrets about the greatest illusionist in the world. But someone wants to claim them . . . or silence her before she can reveal them on her own.

The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy CambronBoston, 1926. Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric—even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman’s dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.

In the months following Houdini’s death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini’s ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he’s known as one of her teacher’s greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton’s defender.

Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren’s carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her. Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age’s bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life’s stage.

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Beth: This is a wonderful story, reader friends! Get your hands on it!

Books

Tell us about your latest bookish news

Kristy: I’m so excited to share that I’m working on several new things in 2017!

For fiction, I just finished writing Book #1 in a new split-time historical fiction series set in Europe– THE LOST CASTLE series. We’re just beginning the editing process on the first novel– set in France’s Loire Valley– and will follow that up with Book 2 in Ireland (2019), and Book 3 in England (2020). I’m terribly excited about this new adventure and can’t wait to explore the stories of fairy tale castles in Europe. Book #1 will arrive in bookstores in February, 2018.

And new for me… I’m also writing non-fiction this year too! I’m working on (2) DVD Bible studies with my publishing family at HarperCollins Christian Publishing. If you’re interested in simple but life-changing Bible study through #VerseMapping, you’ll get to join in when these studies release in April, 2018.

Beth: Yay!!! So much excitement for you and your readers!!!

Coming soon to Sam's Club!Kristy: I have some mega-fun news to share – beginning April 17-21st, #IllusionistsApprentice will be one of eight selected HarperCollins Christian Publishing titles available at participating Sam’s Club stores across the country! (So you’ll be able to pick up snacks in the same place you can buy Christian fiction books for your summer reading by the beach!)

Beth: Convenience is a must and who doesn’t like one stop shopping?!

Kristy: I’ve loved visiting with your readers, Beth! Thanks for letting me share some of the secrets behind the writing process, and what Wren’s world looks like behind the stage curtain. Have a magical reading experience, dear friends!

 Beth: Thank you for sharing with us today, Kristy!!!

Giveaway

Kristy Cambron has generously offered to send one fortunate reader a signed copy of The Illusionist’s Apprentice! (US only)

The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron giveaway on Faithfully Bookish

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Do you have a special nickname or story behind your name?

58 Comments


  1. // Reply

    My aunt picked out my name since she always wanted a daughter but didn’t have one.


    1. // Reply

      I love that! We have 3 sons, so I never got to use our girl name either. We’ll use it in a book one day. 😉


  2. // Reply

    Don’t have a nickname. My name was going to be Jamie no matter if I was a boy or girl. My uncles name is James and my middle name is Suzanne like my aunt’s. Thanks for the chance!


    1. // Reply

      Clever of your parents to pick a full proof name like that, I’m guessing they would have tweaked the middle name for a boy though 🙂


  3. // Reply

    I was recently given the nickname “Joy” by my new blogging friend Faith! 🙂
    Great blog post for a super fun book!


    1. // Reply

      Hehehe! Well, I didn’t want to out your real name if you were commenting incognito 😉


      1. // Reply

        Since we are talking nicknames… I’ll tell you that my name, Trisha is my full name, not a nickname. My mother has a younger sister named Patricia, and she goes by Patti. However, mine is Trisha.
        LOL! Beth, you can call me Joy anytime. It brings a smile to my face. When your name pops up I now think “Faith”! 🙂 (Hugs)


  4. // Reply

    As far as I know, I wasn’t named after anyone and I never had a nickname. Guess when your name is Kay there’s really no way to shorten it to something else. 🙂


  5. // Reply

    Loved this book! My mum loved a book called ‘Kate and Anna’ (I think that was its name) when she was younger, and I think I’m named after the character Kate (except my mum preferred Katie–especially since my surname was also one syllable until I was married).

    My middle name (Evelyn) is after my great-grandmother. 🙂


    1. // Reply

      One syllable names are the pits. My great-grandmother’s name was Evelyn, too!


  6. // Reply

    My father served in the korea war so he wanted to name his first born Kim. People always ask me if its kimberly but I tell them no and if they ask the reason behind the name Kim.


    1. // Reply

      YAY! I’ve had the same question but I’m just Beth. It’s nice to know I’m not alone 😉


  7. // Reply

    My dad ONLY called me Lucy. He did not call me by my real name until I was 25.


  8. // Reply

    My nickname is Di or Dee, people I worked with and my friends call me by my nickname. Family not so much.


  9. // Reply

    My mom watched a French subtitled movie while pregnant with me. The main character’s name was Danielle and my mom fell in love with the sound of it. I’m very happy with my name.


  10. // Reply

    I was named after my mother’s sister. My mother was sure I was going to be a boy, so she told my aunt she’d name me after her if I was a girl. I got stuck with Winnie, and we never could decide which was better to differentiate between us–big Winnie and little Winnie, or old Winnie and young Winnie. We only lived a block apart while I was growing up, so it could get a little confusing.

    I loved reading your author spotlight. It’s so fun to know more about authors and their writing. How fun to have a castle series to look forward to! Such a great idea! I’ll be looking forward to it, Kristy!


      1. // Reply

        Well, it would be quite a misnomer for me now, and, since my aunt passed away a few years ago, I’m the only Winnie. Today I’m feeling like old Winnie! 🙂


  11. // Reply

    My name is Constance Rose. My granny’s name was Connie and my great grandma’s name was Rosa. My parents wanted to name me after them, but had to make some minor changes for a good fit. I’ve always been called Connie, or little Connie from family members. I was my granny’s youngest grandchild of 7, and even though my name is the same as hers, she would still call me the wrong name sometimes.


  12. // Reply

    My middle name is Maureen because my dad liked the actress Maureen O’Sullivan.


    1. // Reply

      Maureen O’Sullivan was in the Jane and Tarzan classic movies, right? I looooove classic films — and your lovely middle name. 🙂


  13. // Reply

    My dad always calls me his little minnow. I’m now 28. Not so little anymore but we would fish when I was a child and I was little
    Like a minnow.


  14. // Reply

    My name is from a soap opera my mom watched while she was in the hospital preparing to give birth to me.


  15. // Reply

    I was called Debbie growing up; now Deb; or my given name Debra


  16. // Reply

    The spelling of my Caryl comes from a high school classmate of my Mom.


  17. // Reply

    I haven’t heard myself called this for many years because my Daddy had been gone 11 years and his dad has been gone almost 55. My papaw called me Brigs and so did my Daddy. I have a feeling that it was a shortened version of briggatty (brigetty)and you probably won’t recognize this word unless you are from Kentucky or the South. Today, it might be similar to precocious but I think they were using it to tell me I was acting “too big for my brtiches”. This may sound like I was a bad child but it really was a term of endearment and I would love to hear myself called that one more time!


      1. // Reply

        I am so sorry for the loss of your Dad. I miss mine too – going on 4 years now. Remembering happy times, and walking alongside you, my friend. <3


  18. // Reply

    My mom always told me I was named after the actress Ann Marie. So my parents compromised and came up with my first name of Trixianne and middle name of Marie (I simply go by Trixi). I’m not sure who the actress was, but she must have been famous, lol! I need to look it up one of these days 🙂

    Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to win a copy of “The Illusionists Apprentice”. I remember when we got to vote on the cover and I’m so glad the publisher went with this one. It really draws the eyes!


  19. // Reply

    Another Maureen here. My nickname is Mau, pronounced “Mo,” and it came about when I had friends over who heard my little brother mispronounce my name. It stuck! 🙂


  20. // Reply

    My dad served a church mission in Austria before he married my mom and always liked the name Heidi 🙂


  21. // Reply

    In college I had a Japanese exchange professor as a roommate. She called me Mandar which tickled my cousin’s funny bone, so to this day she still calls me Mandar.


  22. // Reply

    I have my Mom’s middle name Levena and she is called by that name but my whole family calls me Brenda Lee. Most of my extended family thinks Lee is my real name.


  23. // Reply

    I don’t have a nickname and I don’t know why my parent’s chose my name. They’re both gone now so it’s too late to ask them. All of us 7 kids had unusual names. I share my middle name with two aunts and a grandma.


  24. // Reply

    I was named after my great-grandma Amy. When my sister came along she was named Andrea. Shortly after that Dad realized he had Amos & Andy. Andi’s nickname stuck easier than mine. Only a few people call me Amos, but I wear it with pride: it is part of our cultural history, and the name came from my Dad.


  25. // Reply

    the TGIF Autism Group gave me the nickname “Fire Queen”
    because I seem to have a knack for keeping the campfire going.

    Don’t ask me why … but a lot of folks call me “Troublemaker” at church!

    “Buddy” is the nickname that my dad and I use for each other.


  26. // Reply

    my middle name is marie, but when mom got made i was lady jane, lol. in school, because of my freckles, i was named after a kool-aid flavor, freckle-face strawberry, lol.


  27. // Reply

    My dad lived in the Philippines for two years and met an adorable lady that he wanted to name his first daughter after. He ended up American-izing her name, since he couldn’t remember exactly how to spell it. I feel privileged everyday to have someone to be connected to (and follow in her footsteps) although I will never meet her.


  28. // Reply

    I was going to be named after my gg-grandmother, but my mom changed her mind at the last minute! Lol


  29. // Reply

    Hmmm…I don’t have a nickname or special story. The only nickname I can think of that I’ve had is Stuffy Knees (not because of my knees it’s just a word play with my name). The guy who called me that, still does to this day. 😁

    Thank you,
    Stephanie C.

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