Interview & Giveaway: A Mother's Promise by K.D. Alden

Hello, dear readers! Today on the blog I am very excited to be hosting Author K.D. Alden who is currently touring the blogosphere for A Mother's Promise! I loved this book and can you can find my review here. It's an emotional read for sure, but an important one. Highly recommended!

I hope you enjoy getting to know more about K.D. Alden and her book! Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Hello K.D. and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about A Mother’s Promise!

Thank you for having me! It’s great to be here.

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your writing?

Sure! So I’ve been trying to write books since I was four, lol. They were “published” by my mom on the fridge door, to great (cough) acclaim. I was not an English major—I studied art history, which wasn’t very practical, but I loved it!

What inspired you to write A Mother’s Promise?

The idea for a Mother’s Promise came when a friend told me I should listen to Shankar Vedantam’s Hidden Brain podcast on NPR about Carrie Buck, the girl at the center of the 1927 Supreme Court case, Buck v. Bell. I was so shocked, saddened and outraged by her story that I literally ran to my laptop after hearing her voice and began chapter one. Within eleven days (!!!) I had three chapters and a synopsis for the novel and a new agent. Within 48 hours of sending out the book, we had an offer. The whole process felt surreal. I’m still not sure how it all happened.

What research did you undertake when writing A Mother’s Promise?

I read many excellent non-fiction books (Paul Lombardo’s Three Generations, No Imbeciles: Eugenics, the Supreme Court, and Buck v. Bell, and Adam Cohen’s Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck are only two of them) and a heartbreaking memoir by Leilani Muir called A Whisper Past: Childless After Eugenic Sterilization in Alberta.

What would you like readers to take away from reading A Mother’s Promise?

It’s hard to choose one theme in particular. But one: that justice is not always done under the law. Two: that science can be extremely flawed—not to mention dangerous. And three: it’s not what happens to you in life, but how you handle it that ultimately matters.

What was your favorite scene to write?

Hmmm. I loved writing a happier ending for Ruth Ann than Carrie Buck had in real life. I felt so strongly that she deserved better.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

The hardest scene to write in the entire book was the board meeting scene where the doctor, lawyers and other members discuss eugenics and the “science” behind it. My research involved so much background info and philosophy that it was incredibly hard to distill it into a chapter that wouldn’t make readers yawn or run away! My editor called it the “research paper chapter.” I called it … well, something unprintable!

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

From a very young age. I just didn’t know what I would write, or was qualified to write. I began my first novel at age eleven, in a spiral-bound notebook. It took me 56 pages to figure out that it didn’t have a plot, lol. What does your daily writing routine look like?

When I have a synopsis to follow and a contract deadline to meet, I’m pretty disciplined. I aim for 10 pages a day of draft writing. Of course some days are easier than others, and I do run into snags. I also edit the previous day’s work before writing new material.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

My greatest challenge is usually plotting. I do overcome it, but it takes me a while. I have to follow a three-act structure with very specific guidelines so that I don’t meander all over the place—not that meandering isn’t fun.

Who are your writing inspirations?

There are so many I couldn’t possibly name them all! And they vary widely in genre—not all of them are historical. I will say I’m a big fan of Anthony Doerr, and I love Phillipa Gregory novels. Kate Quinn, Kate Morton and Natasha Lester come to mind as well.

What was the first historical novel you read?

I honestly can’t remember! But I used to devour anything about Elizabeth I.

What is the last historical novel you read?

The last historical I’ve read to date was Kim Michele Richardson’s The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, which is incredible. I couldn’t put it down! And the one before that was Natasha Lester’s The Paris Seamstress, which is also an amazing book. I’m not sure I ate or slept while reading it, lol.

What are three things people may not know about you?

1. I look very “girly” but enjoy using power tools!
2. I have a totally irreverent sense of humor.
3. I’ve been with my husband for thirty years! (How did we get this old?!)

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I never imagined that I’d write historical novels. It was purely by accident/luck that I came across the idea for A Mother’s Promise. But I’m so happy that I did … because I truly love going back in time and doing the research to make the past come alive again on the page. There’s a magic about it.

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

I’ve been reading a lot of WWII era fiction lately, but that will change. I read widely and probably weirdly!

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

I love cooking, binge-watching various series and being on any kind of boat.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

That’s a great question! I’m banging out a plot that unfolds in 1920’s Washington, D.C. But I’m torn between it and a new idea that I just came across yesterday … we’ll have to see which one “wins.” I’m happy to answer any other questions readers may have. And I invite everyone to follow me on social media (@kdaldenauthor) drop me a line and/or sign up for my mailing list at 

To purchase A Mother’s Promise, click here:

Thank you so much for this interview! It’s been a pleasure.

Thank you for stopping at Passages to the Past today! It was so great to have you with us!
K.D. signs A Mother’s Promise at Murder on The Beach Bookstore in Delray Beach.

A Mother's Promise by K.D. Alden

Publication Date: January 19, 2021
Forever/Grand Central
Paperback & eBook; 384 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Based on the true story behind a landmark U.S. Supreme Court Decision, K.D. Alden’s debut is a rich and moving story of one woman’s courage and strength at a pivotal point in America’s history.

Virginia, 1927. A chance to have a family. That’s all Ruth Ann Riley wants. But because she was unwed and pregnant, she was sent away and her baby given to another woman. Now they’re trying to take Ruth Ann’s right to have another child. But she can’t stand the thought of never seeing little Annabel’s face again, never snuggling up to her warmth or watching her blue eyes crinkle with laughter. Good thing she has a plan.

All the rich and fancy folks may call her feeble-minded, but Ruth Ann is smarter than any of them have bargained for. Because no matter how high the odds are stacked against her, she is going to overcome the scandals in her past and get her child back—and along the way, she just may find unexpected friendships and the possibility of love in the most unlikely of places.

"A Mother's Promise is a powerful, heart-wrenching, ultimately uplifting novel about the bonds of family and one woman's courage in the face of adversity. K.D. Alden brings history to life with rich storytelling and deep emotion."―V.S. Alexander, author of The Magdalen Girls

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Hudson | IndieBound | Powell's | Target | Walmart

About the Author

K.D. Alden is the pseudonym of an award-winning author who has written more than twenty novels in various genres. She has been the recipient of the Maggie Award, the Book Buyer’s Best Award, and an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. A Mother’s Promise is her first historical novel.

K.D. is a graduate of Smith College, grew up in Austin, Texas, and resides in South Florida with her husband and two rescue greyhounds.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 16
Review at The Review Crew

Wednesday, February 17
Review at Crystal's Library

Thursday, February 18
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Saturday, February 20
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, February 22
Excerpt at Bookworlder

Tuesday, February 23
Review at Novels Alive

Wednesday, February 24
Review at Girl Who Reads

Thursday, February 25
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, February 26
Review at Rajiv's Reviews
Review at The Enchanted Shelf


Enter to win a $25 Gift Card to Amazon or Target! Two gift cards up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on February 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

A Mother's Promise Tour

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