Tethered Author Interview and Giveaway!

About the Book

Book: Tethered

Author: Eleanor Bertin

Genre: Christian Contemporary

Release date: July, 2020

Perfectionistic librarian Jacqui Penn is ripped up by the roots when she’s dumped by her longtime boyfriend. She is drawn two thousand miles west across Canada to the last place she ever thought could offer stability—the old homestead where her father grew up.

Renovating the derelict house soon becomes a personal battle as it stubbornly resists her efforts. While Jacqui struggles to renew the home, she spends time with the family Pops bitterly resented. Her hunger for roots grows stronger as she fights to discover the long-buried reasons her father fled the house as a beleaguered teen. But will she ever find the belonging she craves?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Eleanor Bertin loves books, people, and the sweeping skies of the Canadian Prairies where she was raised.

She studied Communications in college and returned to writing after raising and home-educating a family of seven children. The author of LifelinesUnboundTethered, and the memoir, Pall of Silence about her late son, Paul, she lives in central Alberta with her husband and youngest son where, much like Jacqui, they are coaxing to life a century home.

More from Eleanor

Long before Jacqui came to be, I had the title Tethered, drawn from the first book in the Ties that Bind series, Lifelines. I was taken by the rope imagery that played so well into biblical themes of God drawing people to Himself. The second book, Unbound, deals with the way cables of guilt and fear can keep us in bondage to legalism.

But ropes have positive uses too. Tethered explores how ties of family and home provide the roots and grounding we all crave. Through each of the books, we see Anna, a widow of deep trust in God. She may seem insignificant, but her influence is powerful. Through her Jacqui, who’s been raised by Anna’s bitter brother, finds the foundation on which her family history is built, and makes it her own.

One of my favourite scenes in Tethered is where Anna teaches Jacqui to bake pie. It’s a piece lifted from my own life. My mother, now 94, was renowned for her pies, which she often gave to the bereaved or struggling. Like Anna, she generously taught her techniques and tips to the women of our family who carry on the tradition.

Here’s where Mom’s tips make all the difference. We don’t freeze whole pies. Instead, we freeze pie crusts already rolled out to size, layered between parchment paper, or better still, the plastic liners from cereal packaging cut to size. (Mom was “green” long before it was fashionable.) Making a batch of skins ahead of time saves space in the freezer compared to fully assembled pies, yields a fresher result when baked, and saves so much time. Whenever you want a pie, pull out a couple of the prepared crusts. While they quickly thaw, prepare your pie filling, assemble, and bake! Even our menfolk have been able to proudly say they baked a pie themselves.

Here is the recipe we use:

Pie Skins

5 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

In mixer, mix dry ingredients together. Then, a half cup at a time, cut in (with wire whips):

1 lb. lard (vegetable shortening will not give the desired flakiness)

Cut into flour mixture until crumbled to the size of peas. Do not overmix!

In a 2-cup measuring cup, beat:

2 eggs until frothy

Add:                2 Tablespoons vinegar

Add enough cold water to the liquid to make 1 cup. Then add to flour/lard mixture.

Using dough hooks, mix gently just until dough forms and will hold together. Again, do not overmix.

Divide dough into six or seven balls.

On each floured piece of cereal box plastic, roll out pastry from the center outward to just over 1/8-inch thickness. Keep flouring the rolling pin to prevent sticking.

Cut the crust to size of pie plate with ½ inch extra all around. Re-roll the scraps into the next ball of dough.

Freeze skins in a plastic pie keeper or even in a zippered plastic bag on a flat surface.

Bake pie on bottom rack of oven, 450F for 15 minutes, then 375F until golden brown (another 10-15 minutes). No pale, anemic pies for us!

Author Interview

  • Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I hear from readers I don’t know via Goodreads, Bookbub, and Amazon reviews. “Thought-provoking” is a common thread in their feedback. Family, friends, and members of my community often tell me they liked the book(s), but not much more than that. I’ve come to terms with these sorts of vague responses by reminding myself not to expect readers to be writers!

  • Do you read the genre you write? Why or why not?

Someone once told me my books are romances. If that’s the case, I guess I don’t generally read the genre I write. But if my work is thought-provoking fiction where life’s perplexities meet faith’s complexities, then yes. That’s what I read and love. One of the best compliments I ever received was a comparison of my books to Jamie Langston Turner’s writing.

  • How did you come up with the title for your book?

In my writing, theme and imagery always come first. I’m usually exploring a theological idea and devise a story to bring it to life. When readers asked for a sequel to my first novel, Lifelines, I was still immersed in the rope imagery of that book regarding God’s pulling us to Himself. As I expanded the family of the characters from that book and developed their story, I also began thinking about other ways that ropes behave. They coil, they tighten, and they bind, I realized. And there was my premise for Unbound. But ropes also secure, protect, and tether us to a foundation. And there was the idea for Tethered, where Jacqui, raised ultra-permissively by her bitter father, seeks out the family he estranged himself from and finds the grounding she’s longed for all her life.

  • How did publishing your first book change your writing process?

Believe it or not, I wrote most of my first novel longhand before retyping it onto the computer. There was just something about that intimidating blank screen and the cursor, tapping its impatient little foot that unnerved me. The retyping also allowed me to edit as I typed. But I soon got used to working on computer and haven’t looked back. Back then, too, I had a set of paper 3×5 cards in neon colours that I used for outlining. Now I use Scrivener (may its inventor be blessed forever) that provides the digital, and far more efficient version of that system.

  • Is your writing space pristine or organized chaos?

I share the computer with my husband at a roll-top desk in a corner of my living room so it’s as organized as I can make it. But my wretched habit of jotting notes on random scraps of paper, with their puzzling tendency to breed, requires frequent decluttering.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 21

deb’s Book Review, September 22

Inklings and notions, September 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 26

lakesidelivingsite, September 27

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 30

Guild Master, October 1 (Author Interview)

Rebecca Tews, October 1

For Him and My Family, October 2

For the Love of Literature, October 3 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, October 3

Pause for Tales, October 4


To celebrate her tour, Eleanor is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.



4 thoughts on “Tethered Author Interview and Giveaway!

  1. Interesting interview, Eleanor, Tethered sounds like a captivating historical for my mom and me!

    Thanks for sharing it with me and have a sunshiny day!


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