Monday, May 6, 2013

It Happened at the Fair

It Happened at the Fair
Deeanne Gist
(Howard Books)
ISBN: 978-1451692372
April 2013/432 pages/$15.99

A transporting historical novel about a promising young inventor, his struggle with loss, and the attractive teacher who changes his life, all set against the razzle-dazzle of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Gambling everything, including the family farm, Cullen McNamara travels to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair with his most recent invention. But the noise in the Fair’s Machinery Palace makes it impossible to communicate with potential buyers. In an act of desperation, he hires Della Wentworth, a teacher of the deaf, to tutor him in the art of lip-reading.

The young teacher is reluctant to participate, and Cullen has trouble keeping his mind on his lessons while intently watching her lips. Like the newly invented Ferris Wheel, he is caught in a whirl between his girl back home, his dreams as an inventor, and his unexpected attraction to his new tutor. Can he keep his feet on the ground, or will he be carried away?

Read an excerpt.


Deeanne Gist—known to her family, friends, and fans as Dee—has rocketed up bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her very fun, very original historicals. She has received numerous RITA nominations, two consecutive Christy Awards, and rave reviews. Deeanne has a background in education and journalism and a degree from Texas A&M. She has written for "People," "Parents," and "Parenting." She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and has four grown children. She has a very active online community on her website at


I love Deeanne Gist's historical novels, and this is another delightful read. Set in the midst of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, Gist has crafted a story that is pure fiction but which is infused with painstakingly researched details of the actual event. While Gist does take a bit of literary license with a few details, which she explains in the afterword, I felt as if I had been transported more than a century back in time to view the wonders which displayed the rapidly changing technology as the nineteenth century drew to a close. Photographs of the actual fair are included throughout the novel, providing the reader with an even greater sense of the setting and time period. Cullen and Della both captured my heart from the opening pages. I was fascinated by the attitudes of the general public toward the deaf and even someone like Cullen, whose sense of hearing was only declining, as well as by the vigorous debate between lip-reading and signing. Historical events, a bit of romance, some whimsical moments, are woven together with faith and trust as all of It Happened at the Fair!

Deeanne Gist is celebrating the release of It Happened at the Fair with an iPad Mini Giveaway and a Live Author Chat Webcast event {5/22}!


One "fair" winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • A $25 iTunes gift card
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 21st. Winner will be announced at the "It Happened at the Fair" Live Webcast Event on May 22nd. Connect with Deeanne for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Deeanne will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books and fun gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of It Happened at the Fair and join Deeanne and friends on the evening of May 22nd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 22nd!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from Howard Books and Litfuse Publicity as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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