Friday, September 21, 2012

Romancing Olive by Holly Bush ~ Blog Tour with review and giveaway

  • File Size: 456 KB
  • Print Length: 205 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: BookBaby; 1 edition (November 1, 2011)

 November 1, 2011
In 1891, spinster librarian, Olive Wilkins, is shocked to learn of her brother’s violent death at a saloon gaming table and her sister-in-law’s subsequent murder, traveling far from her staid life to rescue her niece and nephew, now orphans. She arrives to find the circumstances of her brother’s life deplorable and her long held beliefs of family and tradition, shaken.

Accustomed to the sophistication of Philadelphia, Olive arrives in Spencer, Ohio, a rough and tumble world she is not familiar with, facing two traumatized children. Her niece and nephew, Mary and John, have been living with a neighboring farmer, widower Jacob Butler, the father of three young children of his own and a man still in pain from the recent loss of his wife.

Real danger threatens Olive and Mary and John while Jacob and his own brood battle the day-to-day struggles for survival. Will Olive and Jacob find the strength to fight their battles alone or together? Will love conquer the bitterness of loss and broken dreams?

My take on this book:
"Romancing Olive" by Holly Bush really stands out from the typical historical fiction read. 

First of all she gives us a character that is more middle aged, and she also throws in a bit of suspense to keep the plot moving along.Normally  within the first few pages of a story I am pretty sure how things will work out in the end, but with "Romancing Olive," I wasn't so sure.

Olive Wilkins is 35 years old who's days in Philadelphia are well planned. She took care of her parents who died within a year of each other, now she lives with her cat Tiger,and works at the library. Her best friend Theda lives a similar life. When Olive gets a message that her brother's children have been orphaned in Spencer, Ohio she decides to go get them. When she arrives what  she finds is two traumatized children. They have been taken in by their neighbor, 25 year old Jacob Butler, who is struggling with taking care of the children and farm, while still grieving the loss of his beloved wife. Olive decides to stay in Spencer and let the children get to know her before she takes them home to Philadelphia, and the only place to stay is with Jacob.  As Olive's life dramatically changes she comes to realize that life has been passing her by and perhaps she is being given a second chance at life.

"Romancing Olive" is a wonderful historical fiction read about second chances. I found myself swept up in the plot of the story immediately but   it was actually the individual characters that resonated with me. Ms. Bush created characters that could have easily been real people during the late 1800's. Strong people who rise to the challenge of adversity.  I found myself immediately drawn to Olive. She was such a strong, self sufficient,brave woman, capable of taking care of herself. I loved the transformation that went on in her life during the story. She went from someone who was just sitting on the sidelines watching life go by to actually living life.Jacob, was a proud man who was guarding his heart against more pain. His actions, especially trying to fight his attraction to Olive, was very realistic, and often gave me a few laughs. I enjoyed seeing the children blossom under Olive's care. I found it amusing that Olive's friend Theda, was a bit bowled over by what she found in Spencer. Her departing words to Olive really broke my heart a bit, and if I could have one wish it would be that Theda would return to Spencer and have her own story!The author also weaves in a bit of suspense that added another layer to the story. Overall, "Romancing Olive" was a page turning historical fiction read with memorable characters and a satisfying ending. Highly recommended!

Please enjoy this sneak peek of "Romancing Olive"

Spencer, Ohio 1891

Olive Wilkins found the sheriff’s office as promised, beside a busy general store. The walls were thick stone and the bars at the windows cast striped patterns on the floor. A weary faced man with sun toughened skin sat behind the desk. 

“Just a minute . . .” the sheriff said.

Olive waited dutifully as he wrote, letting her eyes wander from the cells in the corner of the room to the gun belt looped over the hook near the door to the sign proclaiming Sheriff Bentley as the law in this small Ohio town. 

“What can I help you with, ma’am?’ he asked as he looked up from his papers and tilted back his hat.

“My name is Olive Wilkins and my brother, James Wilkins and his wife Sophie, lived here in Spencer. I am here to take his children back to my home in Philadelphia. But I am not quite sure with whom they are staying. The note from my sister-in-law’s family is unclear,” Olive explained as she pulled the oft folded and unfolded letter from her bag.  

The sheriff sat back in his chair and tapped his pencil stub against his mouth. “John and Mary are staying with Jacob Butler.”

“How are the Butlers related to my brother’s wife?” Olive asked.

“They’re not,” Sheriff Bentley replied.

“Then how did the children come to . . .”

“None of Sophie’s family, the Davis’s, would take them in,” he interrupted.


“Jacob Butler couldn’t abide two children living on their own in that shack, so he took them home. He was your brother’s closest neighbor,” the sheriff explained. 

“Sophie’s family abandoned them?” Olive asked. Could this man be talking about James’ nearest relatives? Could there be two sets of orphaned children in one small community? With the same names? No, there could not be. 

“The Davis clan couldn’t tell you how many children or dogs belong to them,” the sheriff said. “But they sure didn’t want more.” 

About the author:

Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. She worked in the hospitality industry, owning a restaurant for twenty years and recently worked as the sales and marketing director in the hospitality/tourism industry and is credited with building traffic to capacity for a local farm tour, bringing guests from twenty-two states, booked two years out.  Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject.
Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She has written four romance novels, all set in the U.S. West in the mid 1800’s. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group.

Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, and vice-president of her local library board and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.



Holly will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

-Giveaway is OPEN TO EVERYONE!
-To be entered, MUST leave a comment, ALONG WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDY.
-One commenter will be chosen randomly from all comments made throughout the tour, so the more tour stops you make a comment on the greater your chances of winning. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 9/21. 

Here is a list of blogs participating in the tour.

September 18:Love Saves The World
September 19:It's Raining Books
September 20:The Bunny's Review
September 21:Queen Of All She Reads
September 21: Stop 2 WV Stitcher



  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for allowing me to take part in the tour for this fantastic book!

  2. Good Morning and I am so glad you liked Olive's story. You are not the first to mention Theda as a main character. She would have an interesting story, I'm thinking.


    1. Holly, I am certain Theda's story would be fantastic, and just think if you take us back to Spencer for her story, we could find out how Olive and Jacob and the children are doing!

  3. I do like not knowing where the story is headed. It makes the read just that more involving.

    A fabulous review thank you.


  4. Sounds good, count me in!

    JoyAnne11 at gmail dot com

  5. Loved the sneak peek, thank you.

  6. Great review and outstanding excerpt. This has to be a fantastic story.

  7. I haven't read many historicals, but this looks very refreshing and lovely.


  8. I enjoyed the excerpt.


  9. This book sounds lovely.



Your wonderful comments make my day, thanks for dropping by!