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Interview & Giveaway – Lady Jayne Disappears – Joanna Davidson Politano

22 Comments on Interview & Giveaway – Lady Jayne Disappears – Joanna Davidson Politano

Don’t you just love the word play on this cover? I sure thought it was clever. Now that’s a cover that intrigues. 

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Lady Jane Disappears

When Aurelie Harcourt’s father dies in debtor’s prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet houseguest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.

When Aurelie decides to complete her father’s unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother’s disappearance—and perhaps even her father’s death.

Joanna’s Website

Joanna Davidson Politano

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Questions about Joanna’s Story

What inspired your story?

When I was young and I’d see kids treating other kids terribly, or adults relentlessly harping on children to try to make them adults and rob them of normal childhood adventures, it bothered me. Being really quiet, I couldn’t simply walk up and tell the person all the spiteful things I wished to say, but neither could I let it go. So like any resourceful girl with a wild imagination, I simply wrote every one of those people into stories—and then punished their characters mercilessly. In my novel, the main character is equally quiet and equally merciless in her fictional punishment of the people around her. She finds herself in a household of wealthy “bullies” who need to be put in their place. She’d be homeless if she falls out of favor with them though, so she takes up her only weapon. Using the pen name Nathaniel Droll, she writes everyone into her serial novels and deals with them on paper. However, unlike my story, Aurelie is found out when the people around her start recognizing themselves in her characters.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

This book is about a writer, and I poured myself into her character. I am fascinated with the concept of story and historical writing because, like my heroine, I love to encounter people’s stories. I want to know all the pieces of their background that fed into who they are and inform the decisions they make. I regularly approach strangers and ask, “what’s your story?” The answers are often surprising and always delightfully intriguing. People want to be known, for it gives them a sense of value. Sharing their story and their life somehow validates their experiences. Very little eclipses the feeling of sitting at the feet of an older person whose body has all but stopped working and delving into their minds so alive with decades of life, watching their faces light up as they share themselves and realize their story is still very relevant. Each time I write a story, I sit at the feet of someone and I listen to their story. It was an immense blessing for my writerly heart to convey through this novel my love for story and the value of the people behind each one. Aurelie cares deeply about people and that always figures into the novels she writes. Writing this book allowed me to share my heart in a way few other writing projects have.

Did you stumble upon anything in your research for this book that made you sad?

“Anyone can walk into debtor’s prison. It’s getting out that’s hard.” That paraphrased dialogue from a Charles Dickens book was painfully true. Debtor’s prison completely baffled me. Charles Dickens actually spent a small portion of his youth in one of them (Marshalsea Prison) because his father, the family breadwinner, had become a debtor. The place was run like a business, with the prison guard essentially taking bribes from his inmates for edible food and blankets. Well-meaning relatives or friends gave “contributions” to the inmates when they visited, but the money was soon handed over to the man running the prison, and the inmates seldom climbed out of their situation. How is one supposed to pay off his debt if he’s locked up anyway?

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Questions about Joanna’s Reading

What Christian Historical Novel taught you something about the craft of writing because it was so well done? And tell us a bit about what it taught you.

Laura Frantz’s A Moonbow Night is brilliant in both the laying out of gorgeous scenes and the expansive historical detail. What draws me to this book however, and every book by this author, is the warmth that gently cradles you as you step into her story and walk around with her lovely characters. The historical details ground you and set the scene, but Frantz has an incredible command of language—the color, the texture, and the feel of each word is gently drawn out like artful brush strokes. Laura Frantz books are to be savored and experienced as she skillfully draws you into the scene, attaches your heart to her characters, then lets you watch them firsthand as they experience heartache and hope and everything in between.

 

Which was the last Christian Historical Novel you read, and what was your favorite thing about it?

Kristy Cambron’s An Illusionist’s Apprentice is a masterpiece. Cambron writes historical novels with themes that deeply resonate with us today, because she realizes that human nature, as well as the hope God offers, never changes. With a unique vintage backdrop to give the story flair, The Illusionist’s Apprentice takes you through a contrast of light and dark, hope and despair. As always with Cambron’s novels, you are left with a supreme sense of hope because of God, who is always evident in a big way with each of her stories. Aside from vibrant spiritual themes that nearly always give me the chills, her unique setting and immense historical research make her book unique and fascinating.

Joanna is giving away a copy paperback (usa only) and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of any of the books mentioned above. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

**If you don’t want to enter Rafflecopter, tell me in a comment below: “I’m not entering the rafflecopter, but please throw me in the hat” so I can manually put you in there for a chance.**

 

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Interview & Giveaway – Too Far Down – Mary Connealy

28 Comments on Interview & Giveaway – Too Far Down – Mary Connealy

I have found, by running this sight, that I really like lantern’s on covers. I don’t know why, but they draw me, and today’s giveaway book has a lantern on it! Bonus points. Plus it’s Mary Connealy, so it’s going to be a fun book, I’m certain!

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Too Far Down

When an explosion kills men and damages the CR Mining Company, the Bodens realize their troubles are not behind them as they thought. Shadowy forces are still working against them.

Cole Boden finds himself caught between missing his time back East and all that New Mexico offers. Sure he fights with his siblings now and then, but he does care for them. He enjoys running the mine and, when he’s honest, he admits that Melanie Blake captures his interest in a way no other woman ever has.

Melanie has been a friend to the Bodens forever. A cowgirl who is more comfortable with horses and lassoes than people, she never expected to find herself falling for someone. Particularly for refined Cole Boden, a Harvard graduate who may not stay long at the ranch. She’s determined, however, to help the Bodens finally put an end to the danger that’s threatened all of them. But will putting herself in harm’s way be more dangerous than anyone expected?

Mary’s Website

Mary Author Pic

Others in this series: First one is FREE!

 

 

 

 

 

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Questions about Mary’s Story

What character in your book turned out to be your favorite?

I loved Cole Boden, the hero of Too Far Down, which is book #3 in the series. He is in the prequel, The Boden Birthright, right now free as an ebook and available in print in a collection called All For Love which will release next May. He was a little child in The Boden Birthright and saving Cole was almost all the focus of that book, though it led to romance and his father’s marriage and general mayhem. So, I loved writing this book. I’ve been eager to tell Cole’s story.

If you could be one of your characters, who would you choose to be and why?

Oh no contest. I’d want to be Mel (Call-Me-Melanie-and-I’ll-Kill-You) Blake. Melanie, the tough frontier cowgirl heroine of Too Far Down, is the kind of character I love writing. Tough, smart, hard working. She doesn’t back down for anyone and she always says exactly what she means. This could not be more exactly the opposite of me. I am non-confrontational to an alarming degree. I keep my mouth shut and think long and hard before I say anything that could upset anyone. My humor is mostly self-deprecating because at least I won’t be mad at myself, right? And then I go home and I write books and shoot people in them. It’s a nice safe outlet.

Did you include a real historical character or incident in your story?

I did. I based this story on a land grant conflict that was real life. Where an American changed his citizenship to Mexican to earn a land grant, then the border changed and suddenly his land grant is in America. and he changed his citizenship back to American. The New Mexico territorial government started rescinding these massive, million acre land grants and this American/Mexican/American guy wasn’t quite American enough, so he had his daughter marry a for-sure American and he managed to save his land grant. Anyway, research was fun and the story is outlandish and yet based on truth, it’s called the Maxwell Land Grant.

Why did you choose the year your book is set?

Heath Kincaid was a child in my Kincaid Brides Series. I’ve been dying to give him his own love story and he needed to grow up. That helped set me in time because I needed it to be at least ten years after Heath appeared as a ten-year-old in Over the Edge.

What research did you have to look up to make your character’s professional decisions authentic?

It’s so fun to do research because you end up on rabbit trails, looking up one thing, and that leads to something else. The research I enjoyed the most was when I found a bunch of old Indian fables to explain the ruins on top of some New Mexican mesas. Very fascinating to read and compare the story to reality and see the seeds of truth in them. For this specific book I found the Philmont Ranch—now owned by the Boy Scouts of America. And the gold mines on the top of Mt. Baldy…part of which is on the Philmont Ranch. That set me on the path to use those mines as a setting for my story.

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Questions about Mary’s Reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those below are FREE!

 

What other Christian Historical Novels are similar to yours in setting or storyline?

Lori Copeland’s Men of the Saddle and Brides of the West series. Regina Jennings novels are favorites of mine. Everything by Karen Witemeyer. Margaret Brownley does work that reminds me of mine. I love Melissa Jagears work. Jen Turano has humor in her books and I’m always looking for that.  I shouldn’t have started because I’m leaving people out. Cowboys are hot right now!

 

What Christian Historical Novel did you reread last, and why did you reread it?

Well, oddly enough, I just ‘sort of’ re-read my Wild at Heart series. I had eye surgery recently for a detatched retina…and part of the aftermath of that is the doctor requiring me to lie face down for TEN DAYS! Yes, I was under Doctor’s orders to smother myself. So I needed books on tape and the one My Cowboy got me from the local library was my Wild at Heart series. I honestly really enjoyed it and it saved my sanity.

What Christian Historical Novel taught you something about the craft of writing because it was so well done?

And tell us a bit about what it taught you. When I read Francine River’s Mark of the Lion trilogy I felt like I really realized the power of word. The way she created that world, 1st century Rome, and then pulled me into it. Absolutely brilliant.

Mary is giving away a copy paperback (usa only) and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of any of the books mentioned above. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

**If you don’t want to enter Rafflecopter, tell me in a comment below: “I’m not entering the rafflecopter, but please throw me in the hat” so I can manually put you in there for a chance.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Christmas Star by Robert Tate Miller

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Time Travel/0BC – Israel

Paul Bennett had the perfect wife, the perfect family, the perfect life—until one fateful Christmas brought an unthinkable tragedy. In deep despair, he turns to drinking to drive away the pain, but he only succeeds in driving away his wife. His marriage shattered, his family gone, Paul now despises Christmas.

But can the holiday he so detests hold a miraculous surprise? After an accident in which he loses consciousness, he wakes up in the company of the shepherds who will soon travel to Bethlehem to see the newborn Christ in the manger. Can Paul find salvation on the night that forever changed the world? Can he discover the true spirit of Christmas?

Love Held Captive by Shelley Shepard Gray

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1867 – Texas

Major Ethan Kelly has never been able to absolve himself of the guilt he feels for raiding a woman’s home shortly before he was taken prisoner during the Civil War. He is struggling to get through each day until he once again crosses paths with Lizbeth Barclay—the very woman he is trying to forget.

Life after the war is not much different for former Captain Devin Monroe until he meets Julianne VanFleet. He knows she is the woman he’s been waiting for, but he struggles to come to terms with the sacrifices she made to survive the war.

When Ethan and Devin discover that their former colonel, Adam Bushnell, is responsible for both Lizbeth’s and Julianne’s pain, they call on their former fellow soldiers to hunt him down. As the men band together to earn the trust of the women they love, Lizbeth and Julianne seek the justice they deserve in a country longing to heal.

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A Mountain Christmas Romance by Misty Beller

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1867 – Wyoming

Stripped of the family so important to his Viking heritage, Matthias Bjork is now on the hunt for his sister. Despite combing the entire Wyoming Territory, he hasn’t found any substantial leads regarding his sister’s whereabouts, but he has discovered a most unusual woman. This woodland nymph who’s come to work for his good friend in the quiet town of Mountain Bluff is like no one he’s ever met.

Opal Boyd has finally found the haven she’s longed for all her life, in a most unlikely place—working for a German couple in this remote Wyoming mountain town. She learned long ago that most men couldn’t be trusted, but when a mountain man stops in the boarding house where she works, he seems to have the respect and affection of the two people she’s learned to trust implicitly. And the more she comes to know Matthias, she struggles not to trust him the same way the others do.

When he shares the magical experience of his family’s traditional Viking Yule celebration, she can’t help but fall a little more in love with him each one of the twelve days of Christmas. But when Matthias’ search for his sister takes an unexpected twist, Opal is forced to make a choice that will alter the course of her life—no matter which answer she chooses. When Matthias’ decisions land Opal in danger, what must he sacrifice to rescue her

The Other Side of Freedom by Cythia Toney

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1925 – Louisiana

In a southern U.S. farming community in 1925, thirteen-year-old Salvatore and his Italian immigrant father become involved against their will in a crime that results in the murder of an innocent man and family friend. Will Sal keep the secrets about that night as his father asks, or risk everything he and his family cherish in their new homeland, including their lives?

Amidst bigotry, bootlegging, police corruption, and gangland threats, Sal must discover whom he can trust in order to protect himself and his family and win back his father’s freedom. Sal’s family, their African-American farmhand, and the girl who is Sal’s best friend find their lives forever changed as dreams are shattered and attitudes challenged in a small community called Freedom.

Montana Bride by Christmas by Linda Ford

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1890 – Montana

When preacher Hugh Arness advertises for a marriage of convenience, the single father’s not expecting Annie Marshall to apply. She’s too vivacious—and far too pretty. Yet Annie connects with his withdrawn young son, Evan, and he agrees to a trial period—which her grandfather will chaperone—until Christmas. By then he’ll have found a candidate who doesn’t make him long for more than he feels worthy of…

Security and her own home…Annie wants both, without the heartache love brings. Soon she’s earning little Evan’s trust, eager to show his papa that their partnership can work. She knows that Hugh needs tenderness, too. And maybe this Christmas could mark the end of their practical arrangement…and the start of a true union and real family.

A Mistaken Match by Whitney Bailey

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1895 – Ohio

Hoping for a fresh start, Ann Cromwell travels to New Haven, Ohio, from London, England, as a mail-order bride—and learns she’s not the wife her groom-to-be was looking for. Though handsome farmer James McCann is kindly, he’s made it clear he wants the matchmaking agency to fix their mistake. But if she can’t convince him to give her a chance, she’s not sure where she’ll go.

James can’t imagine why the matchmakers ignored his request for a plain bride. He was burned by a beautiful woman before, and he’s sure someone as stunning as Ann is unsuited for rural living. While the agency sorts out the error, though, Ann quietly works her way into James’s life…but can he ever allow her into his heart?

Cowboy Lawman’s Christmas Reunion by Louise M Gouge

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1887 – Colorado

Sheriff Justice Gareau can make outlaws quake in their boots…yet coming face-to-face with Evangeline Benoit once again takes away all his composure. She broke their engagement, and his heart, to marry a wealthy older man. Despite his reluctance, Justice can’t avoid the widowed single mother of two when they’re collaborating on a Christmas village for the town’s children.

The loving boy Evangeline once knew has become an unyielding lawman. Forced to flee New Orleans over false allegations, Evie doubts Justice will take her side when the past follows her to Colorado. Especially when he and her troublesome son butt heads. But perhaps the spirit of Christmas will soften his heart and give them a second chance at love.

Mistletoe Mommy by Danica Favorite

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1883 – Colorado

Widower Luke Jeffries needs a mother for his three young children, whether or not they agree. When he meets Nellie McClain at the mail-order-bride agency, Luke thinks his problems are solved, but they’ve only just begun. Though the beautiful widow awakens his grieving heart, Luke won’t betray his cherished wife’s memory.

A marriage of convenience is exactly what Nellie wants, since she’s been wounded by love before and doesn’t plan to risk her heart again. But despite her chilly reception at Luke’s family’s simple Colorado cabin, her feelings for Luke and the children grow deeper every day. Can Nellie and Luke heal the pain in each other and finally make their family whole again?

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