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Author Spotlight,  Giveaway,  Hope-filled Fiction

Carol James: Spotlight on A Time for Singing & a Giveaway

This week Carol James is sharing a really cool story about the inspiration behind her latest release, A Time for Singing. Enjoy!

Comment below by August 30 for a chance to win a digital copy of the book.

Deena, thanks for letting me visit today.

What would you do if you were on vacation, and you discovered secret letters hidden in your room?

The idea for A Time for Singing was born one year when my husband and I stayed in Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury, MA. The old inn has no TV in the rooms, so that leaves reading, visiting and playing games with other guests, or walking the lovely grounds as primary forms of entertainment.

The first evening after dinner, we went to our room to finish unpacking, and I noticed an unsealed envelope peeking out from behind a curtain. Wouldn’t you have opened it? Yes, me, too. The letter was a fictional missive to General George Washington warning him of an imminent attack. We had the best time reading it. 

Washington’s stone at Wayside Inn

That one letter sent us on a treasure hunt around our room. We decided to check the old antique desk next. Several of the drawers held letters, most of them addressed to “The Secret Drawer Society.” Even the chest of drawers was crammed full. Some of the letters, like the one to Washington, were fictional, but many of them were heartfelt expressions of the writers’ feelings. 

I remember one in which a couple wrote that they had just married at a nearby chapel and were spending their wedding night in the inn. At the bottom of this same letter was an entry written five years later when the couple returned to celebrate their fifth anniversary. They found their original letter and added to it. (Sigh! So romantic!)

Another letter I remember reading was written by a woman who had recently become a Christian after spending years of her life in the world of prostitution. The joy in her heart flowed onto the paper.

My husband and I laughed, I cried, we stayed up way too late reading the hundreds of letters.

I was fairly new to writing at the time. But I knew one day I would create a story in which the hero and heroine would share their pain of past relationships by writing anonymous letters and hiding them in secret drawers at a local inn for the other to find. And Chance, Charlee, and Noah came to life in the pages of A Time for Singing.

Wow, Carol. I love this so much! I can see why your experience at the Inn led you to write such a novel. Sounds like a great read. I’ll definitely be adding this to my TBR list. Thanks so much for sharing on the blog this week. May God bless you and your writing ministry.

Join the conversation. Have you ever found anything interesting in a hotel room or maybe a family member’s attic that captured your interest? Does Carol’s inspiration for her novel pique your interest in reading her book? What comments or questions do you have?

Be sure to comment by August 30 for a chance to win a digital copy of Carol’s book.

A Time for Singing by Carol James

Click the book cover for purchase link

Charlee Bennett is running from her past. Once deserted by her musician ex-fiancé, she’s vowed to avoid anything that reminds her of the pain of his betrayal.

Chance Jackson is starting over. Hoping to redeem the mistakes of his earlier life, he wants to become the music and worship pastor of the largest church in Crescent Bluff.

Charlee tries to convince herself she should not be attracted to Chance. But then she discovers an old letter hidden in the secret drawer of an antique desk. The pain expressed by its author resonates deep within her.

Can the words of long ago soften Charlee’s heart and help her to discover that there is a time for singing?   

Photo of author Carol James

Raised as an Air Force brat, the longest Carol James ever lived in one place was a year and a half. Maybe that’s why when she and her husband bought their first home over forty years ago, they stayed put.

Wife, mother, grandmother, and dog-mama, Carol loves writing stories of Redemptive Romance, intriguing, transformative stories with happy endings..

Visit her website to sign up for her newsletter and get a free short story: https://www.carol-james.com

Connect with Carol: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Goodreads / BookBub / Amazon / Newsletter sign-up

Please share Carol’s story on social media to help spread the word about her new release!

If you missed last week’s interview with Sami A. Abrams, find it here.

As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life, which fuels her passion to inspire others through hope-filled fiction based on true to life stories. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and is a multi-award-winning writer, an active ACFW member, and ACFW Virginia president. Connect with Deena through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  • Jeanette Davis

    ****please do not enter me in the contest****

    Just wanted to say that the Wayside Inn is so close to my home, so this interview caught my attention quickly~ although my husband and I have only eaten at the Inn for special occasions, now I would love to stay at the Inn as well. Your book sounds wonderful.

    Jeanette Davis

    • Carol James

      Jeanette, how exciting! The area around Sudbury is so lovely. We have been to the inn twince, both times in the fall. I hope you’ll get a chance to stay there some time. In all the traveling we’ve done and all the places we’ve seen, this was one of the most unique!

    • Deena Adams

      That’s so cool that you live near the Inn featured in Carol’s book, Jeanette! Maybe you’ll get to stay there someday soon and read the letters for yourself.

  • Sherry Moe

    Ohhh my goodness I love the sounds of this book. And your stay at the inn with all the letters you found. That would be so enjoyable to stay there.

    • Carol James

      Sherry, thanks for your comment. I felt like I’d stumbled across some hidden treasure! We’ve stayed there twic over the years. It was so much fun and the grounds are lovely for walking. Good luck on the drawing.

  • Susan shay

    What a great idea! But I want to know more. Where is the first letter that started the whole thing?
    If I read the book will I find out?
    Hope so!

  • Roxanne C.

    I have been a fan of handwritten letters since I was a preteen, and the premise of this book definitely has stirred up my interest.

    • Deena Adams

      Hi, Roxanne. Handwritten letters have almost become a thing of the past but they are so special. I love the premise of Carol’s book too! Thanks for reading and joining the conversation!

      • Elisama Lucena

        That’s a huge story! I’ve never found a letter in a hotel room (that would be interesting 🤔), but I have read some old letters my mom sent to my aunt years ago. My mom moved to another city, far from her family, as she got married to my dad, and she missed my relatives (so my aunt) so much. I found it so weird, in a funny way, because the woman the wrote those letters was very young, a little different from my mom from that time I read the letters. Haha Of course she got mature, but kept being joyful 😊.

        So, I would love to read A Time For Singing!

        Thanks for sharing your story, Carol! And thanks for posting it, Deena!

        God bless!

        • Deena Adams

          Hi, Elisama. Thanks so much for joining the conversation. I’ve gone back and read letters I wrote to my husband and grandma and they sounded so immature. But I’m sure they were well received at the time!

        • Carol James

          Elisama, Thanks for your kind words. We had so much fun at the inn, we went back for a second visit. Letter-writing is such a lost art. I love reading old letters, but I hated writing them the years before email existed. I hope you get a chance to read the book, and if you do, I’d love to hear your impressions.

    • Carol James

      Hi, Roxanne,

      I’ve come to recognize that letterwriting is a lost art. Our culture likes emoji’s and text messages (of which I am guilty, LOL). I do remember the days when my mom and I would exchange weekly handwritten letters.

      I’m glad you were intrigued by the story premise, and I wish you good luck in the drawing.

  • Connie Isbell

    What a great story line and I am definitely intrigued! I’m not usual a reader of romance but I do love singing and music. Thank you for sharing the inspiration behind the book. I’m looking forward to reading it!

  • Barbara M. Britton

    Hi Carol and Deena. I loved “A Time for Singing” and I would read an old letter that I found in an inn.
    Don’t put me in the giveaway since I have a copy of your book already, Carol.

    • Carol James

      Barb, Thanks so much for stopping by. Yes, there’s no way I would not have read that letter! I’m so glad you enjoyed the book!

    • Deena Adams

      Hi, Barbara. It’s hard to imagine anyone not reading an old letter found in an inn! Thanks so much for reading Carol’s post and commenting. 🙂

  • Carol James

    Deena, thanks so much for letting me share about the story behind Chance and Charlee’s stoery.