Sunday, June 10, 2012

Wings of Hope: Virtual Book Tour & Amazon GC Giveaway

As part of the book tour for Wings of Hope, I would like to welcome the author, Hillary E. Peak.

Welcome, Hillary. Please tell us a bit about yourself.  
I aspire to be a retired lawyer.  But currently, I am an attorney.  I work in education law for the District of Columbia.  I’m married.  We have a two year old girl who hung the moon and a badly behaved beagle.

What keeps you writing? 
It is my dream to make it as a novelist!  I know that the more I write, the better I get!

Can you tell us a little more about your novel?
 It is the journey of a father, who’s dying, and his daughter, who is learning how to live.  He reminisces about his life, while teaching her to reach for her own dreams and live life to the fullest.

What inspired you to write this novel?
Unfortunately, my father passed away before my daughter was born.  When I was pregnant, I wanted to write down his stories to share with her. From that, I ended up writing a novel.

How did you come up with the title? 
I changed the title more times than I can count.  In the end, I took my main theme:  hope.  I started researching quotes about hope and put them at the beginning of each chapter.  “The wings of hope carry us, soaring high above the driving winds of life,” by Ana Jacob, was my favorite, so I chose it as the title.

How long did it take you to research and write the novel? 
About three months.  There wasn’t much research involved.

Is there a certain message you would like readers to get out of this novel?
 It is worth it to try to live the life of your dreams rather than settle for only so-so.

Do you experience writer’s block? How do you deal with it? 
I don’t really.  I make myself write no matter what—even if days later I delete it all.

Are you a full time writer? If not, how do you make time to write? 
No, I am not yet a full time writer—but that is my goal.  I try to carve out an hour a day to write—even if I just eat my lunch at the computer.

How does your daily writing schedule look like? 
I don’t have one.

How does your marketing schedule look like? 
I’m trying a virtual book tour to see if I can get my novel out there.  At night, I spend half an hour or so marketing my novel.

Which avenues do you use to market your books?  I’m working with author platforms on goodreads and facebook as well.

What books can we expect from you in the future?
 I’ve just finished a legal thriller entitled, “Justice Scorned.”

What was your best ever moment as a published author? 
Holding a finished manuscript—even better when it came with a professional cover!

What other question are you dying to be asked? And the answer is? 
What is the hardest thing about writing?  Putting yourself into a novel and showing such a vulnerable part of you to the world.

Do you have a message for your readers?  
If you love my book, please leave feedback and share it with your friends!

Thank you so much, Hillary, for telling us a little more about you and your novel. I appreciate it.

Hillary E. Peak

The letter said he was dying, that’s all Jules Weinstein knows when she leaves her life in San Francisco and moves to New York City to be with her father.  She goes for the remarkable opportunity to really know her father. She never dreamed he had liberated a concentration camp, dealt cards to Bugsy Siegel or saved the life of a Black Panther. Wings of Hope is a road trip through the memories of a man making peace with his life.  Little does she know that by getting to know her father, she will find herself.  While her father struggles with whether his life was meaningful, Jules discovers that her father’s last gift to her is the ability to reach for her dreams.  Her journey teaches her that “the goodbye” is sometimes the most heartbreakingly beautiful part of life.  


“Jules, were you trying to beat your Dad in a friendly game of poker?” Jack teased.

 “You know,” Dad looked at me, “Jack only invited me to his poker game once.  He never let me come again.”  He was grinning slyly.

 “Right, we wanted a card shark to play with.  You know,” he turned to me again, “your Dad took home two grand the one night we let him play with us?”

 “Told you then, it was beginners luck.”

 “Hardly.  Bill Patterson told me that you killed some guy in a plane over a card game.”

Dad hooted and nearly doubled over.  “Did you think that was true?”

 “Well, no,” Jack responded glumly, but I could tell he might have believed it.

 “I do know what he’s talking about.  When Jules was about four, just before her mother and I divorced, we were on a plane coming to New York.  We’d flown from Lubbock to Dallas.  The weather was terrible—an ice storm if I remember correctly.  The plane from Dallas to New York had been boarded, but we were sitting on the tarmac.  Hours went by—literally.  After three or four hours, they started serving free booze, no food, just booze.  The plane got blitzed.  Those people were drunker than anyone I’ve ever seen, truly.
I’ll never forget; Jules was starving.  My ex was begging the stewardess for some food, crackers, anything.  Jules was crying and crying.  Eventually, she fell asleep.  Her mother and I were exhausted and angry—we were furious they won’t give us anything for our child to eat, wouldn’t let us off the plane and we felt terrible that our four year old had just cried herself to sleep hungry.

There was no end in sight, so I pulled out the deck of cards I used to entertain Jules.  The ex and I started to play gin rummy.  Usually, she wouldn’t play with me, but there was nothing else to do. 

A guy in the row in front of us starts getting really rowdy.  He was laughing, spilling alcohol everywhere.  I got up; I was on the aisle.  I can remember touching his shoulder, ‘Excuse me, can you keep it down, my little girl just fell asleep. ’

 ‘What’s your problem buddy? ’ He slurred all his words and talked at the top of his voice.  He reeked of alcohol and perspiration.

 ‘My child is tired and hungry, she’s finally asleep.  I’m asking you, keep it down so that you won’t wake her. ’

 ‘S’not my problem.  What the hell do I care if she wakes up? ’

That did it.  I grabbed the guy by his necktie, shoved him up into the ceiling of the plane, knocking him out and tossed him into a seat about three rows back.  My ex was so stunned, she jumped and all the cards went flying into the air, it looked like it was snowing because she had the full deck to shuffle. 

But I’ll tell you, the plane was silent after that—for two hours until we took off.  Also, the stewardess came and brought food for Jules.  Everyone apologized in hushed tones.  It was great.”


Hillary Peak is a recovering idealist. She became a lawyer to change the world and is still somewhat shocked that didn't occur. Now, her goal is to retire from practicing law and write novels that people love. She is currently a practicing attorney in the District of Columbia. She lives with her family in Alexandria, VA.


Hillary will award a $10 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

Twitter: @hillaryepeak


  1. Hi Hillary, good luck with the tour. I have to say I have found some amazing authors & books by following tours, so I wish you well.

    The blurb, the cover & the excerpt all certainly got my attention.


  2. Liz, Thanks so much for having me!

  3. Marybelle,

    I hope you'll try my novel and love it! Thanks for following tours! Hillary

  4. Congrats on the book, Hillary! I enjoyed reading the excerpt and book summary. :) Wings of hope is definitely added to my TBR. All the best with the book. :)

    1. Thank you Cecilia! I hope you'll let me know what you think when you read Wings of Hope! Hillary

  5. Hey Liz, I tagged you over at my blog for the Lucky 7 meme. Hope your Monday is going great! :)

  6. Good luck with the release and the book tour!


    1. Thanks! Hope you'll read the book and ejoy it! Hillary

  7. It was so touching to read the reason for the story. I lost my father early in life too, and I wish I could have had more time to talk to him and learn more about his life.

    1. I think you will find the story uplifting (sad too), but almost everyone who has read it and has lost someone has really found it a good story. Thanks for following! Hillary

  8. Your inspiration for writing this was so touching, Hillary. I'm sorry for your loss. Was the writing process a cathartic experience?

    1. Yes, it really was. It was a pleasure to think about my father and his stories. I loved being able to share him with the world.

  9. You're very welcome, Hillary. It's my pleasure. Your book really sounds amazing and I'll add it to my to-read list. I wish you all the best.

  10. Just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! You are a new-to-me author so I will enjoy following you around on your tour to get to know you and your work.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

    1. Thanks so much for checking in anyway! Thanks for following the tour! Hillary

  11. Thank you for interviewing Hillary on the blog. I am really looking forward to this book.

    bas1chsemail at gmail dot com

  12. Awesome interview! It's nice to meet you Hillary. I think holding the finished manuscript is always the most rewarding experience a writer can ever have, and it makes all of the copy editing, gruesome and not-so-gruesome writing sessions, critiquing, and querying worth it in the end.

    ~Wendy Lu