24 September 2020

His Gift | Excerpt + Giveaway

JustRead Publicity Tours


Dreams Can Come True!

Brace yourself for a thrilling race through the twists and turns of a young woman determined to see her dream come true. On the cusp of the stock market crash of 1929, seventeen-year-old Molly has aspirations for a career in music after high school. With the passion of an athlete preparing for the Olympics, she trains relentlessly to become the best she can be. As her world collapses in unimaginable ways, she is left to find peace and purpose in the midst of her crisis. The message of His Gift is universal to anyone who has ever dared to dream in spite of uncontrollable circumstances. The reader will discover with Molly, the hope and peace in a life when yielded to the Giver of all gifts.

Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing
Release Date: July 26, 2020


I heard the car on the gravel drive. Bracing for whatever might be my evening fate, I stopped playing and listened. The door burst open, followed by the sound of heavy steps. I felt my body tense up in anticipation. Father seemed more upset than he had been the night before. Oh, no. Not again. I went to the front entry to greet him, but he brushed past me. His behavior stirred my curiosity, and I followed.

It was apparent the aroma of fresh baking did nothing to provide relief from Father’s problems. He had always noticed Mama’s freshly baked chocolate chip cookies whenever he got a whiff. In fact, he usually snuck at least one before dinner. It was a family joke. Mama would always pretendfuss over his violation of the “no sweets before dinner” rule with some chiding wrapped in love. Father often teased back that she would sure not want him to starve to death after his hard day at the office.

No joking this time. He was all business.

“Haven’t you heard, Ruth?” Father said, waving the newspaper headlines in his hand.

Mama did not know what he was talking about.

“I think I will withdraw our money from the bank— now. While I can.”

All of this commotion was before Father even washed his hands. Father was an accountant who made a steady income for our family. I didn’t know how much he made, but we always had what was needed. “Why would we need to take money out of the bank, Hank?” Mama queried.

“Because if the banks close like the financiers warn, our money will not be accessible. Maybe not ever again.”

Father began slowly and softly, his voice escalating with intensity as he explained each point of his argument.

“Don’t you see?” he added. “The banks can’t stay in business if they lock all the dollars up in a building. They have to invest it to make money. If the investments go up in flames, then that source is gone. Forever. Imagine what would happen if everyone rushed to the bank to grab their savings at the same time.”

“Come now.” Mama coddled. “You need to calm down a bit. Then we can talk some more.”

Here we go with the sacred suppertime show. It’s called “Let’s act like everything is fine so we can have a ‘relaxing’ meal together.” It made no sense to me to live in this fantasy world.

“Let’s sit down to a little baked chicken and mashed potatoes, Hank. Then you’ll feel better,” Mama encouraged.

We joined hands at the table, thanking God for our nourishing meal. Truly, that was the only normal thing about the evening. An unsettling silence distanced us, each left to our own reflections. The meddlesome clinking of silverware was the only interference in the lull. I thought how much we needed some spirit lifting music. Maybe it would at least relieve the obvious despair written on Father’s face for a few moments. How can banks spend our money if we gave it to them for safekeeping? I didn’t dare pursue that line of questioning.

Then I thought of an important question which might turn the tide of conversation. Father had planned to pick up the train tickets, so we wouldn’t have to wait in line Saturday morning.

“Father, not to disturb you, but since we leave early in the morning for Detroit, did you pick up the tickets? This is such a dream-come-true for me. I thought I’d sleep with them under my pillow,” I said, joking. I watched his face for a slight sign of humor.

“You two do not understand,” Father said, bounding from his chair. “If the banks fail, it doesn’t matter how beautifully you play the piano, Molly. Nobody will even have food for their bellies. Rich or poor. Everyone will be trying to survive. Who will have the money to afford a luxury like a concert?”

No longer feeling confident, I pleaded. “What are you saying? What about tomorrow?”

Mama looked stunned. She turned to face Father with his hands on his hips, and food barely touched.

“How much money do you want to take out?” she asked.

“Every penny. And I’m doing it tomorrow. If the banks close on us, we will lose everything we’ve worked so hard to save.”

“Now you’re scaring me, Hank.”

“Father?” I was starting to feel queasy. “Are you going to the bank before we take the train to Detroit?” I dared ask.

He ran his hands roughly through his hair.


Joan C. Benson is a freelance writer, a former reading specialist and educator, wife, mother of four adult children, and a proud grandmother to eight cherished grandchildren. She has been a contributing author to numerous magazines from children to adult content. With a long career of writing for English language learners, Joan has contributed to both student and teacher programs for various educational publishers creating all genres of texts and curriculum. Most recently, her debut historical fiction novel, His Gift, was released by Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. Joan lives in Chesapeake, VA, with her husband and their two Bichon Frisé dogs.


(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card!

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight September 22, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on September 29, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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  1. I encourage reading so having a family who loves to read I sure support.Thanks for sharing your terrific read with us.

  2. Sounds like a great read.

  3. Anonymous24/9/20 12:35

    Thank you! :) - JustRead Tours

  4. This is a great excerpt, thanks for sharing

  5. Sounds like a great read. Looking forward to reading the book.

  6. This sounds like an excellent read.

  7. congratulations on your book. I cant wait to read this. Dreams are so important to the human race. And to have God lead those dreams make it all so very exciting. I love seeing where God leads us when we rely on Him.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net


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