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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.**

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Author Interview and Giveaway – All She Left Behind – Jane Kirkpatrick

15 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – All She Left Behind – Jane Kirkpatrick

Welcome to Jane Kirkpatrick! Isn’t this cover gorgeous? And the unusual romance has me intrigued, especially since it’s based on a true story, what about you?

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All She Left Behind

Already well-versed in the natural healing properties of herbs and oils, Jennie Pickett longs to become a doctor. But the Oregon frontier of the 1870s doesn’t approve of such innovations as women attending medical school. To leave grief and guilt behind, as well as support herself and her challenging young son, Jennie cares for an elderly woman using skills she’s developed on her own. When her patient dies, Jennie discovers that her heart has become entangled with the woman’s widowed husband, a man many years her senior. Their unlikely romance may lead her to her ultimate goal–but the road will be winding and the way forward will not always be clear. Will Jennie find shelter in life’s storms? Will she discover where healing truly lives?

Jane’s Website

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Questions about Jane’s Story

What inspired your story?

I’m interested in the lives of actual historical persons and when I learned about a woman who had been married twice (her second husband was 37 years older than her), had three children and then enrolled in medical school so she could serve women and children, I wanted to know how that might have happened. What were the barriers she had to overcome? Where did she gather her strength from?

What was the hardest part of your book to write?

Jennie’s son was addicted to alcohol and she prayed, offered healing oils and aromatics, worked with doctors in the new field of psychiatry but he was unable to stay sober. It was difficult to write about a parent’s struggle and with the current opioid epidemic to realize people have suffered for generations. That Jennie could find the strength to let the past go and believe that while she couldn’t heal her son – and God had not yet done so – that she could still make a difference as a healer in the lives of others. Part of what she had to leave behind was guilt and powerlessness to trust that God works in all things.

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

All of the characters except three were real historical people. One of the three was Jennie’s friend (she must have had one, right?) and her name was given to me by the winner of an educational fund-raiser in which I offered to name a character in my book.  It raised money for scholarships and the name was the winner’s granddaughter’s name, Ariyah which means “pure music.” I thought that was lovely as music plays a part in Ariyah’s healing of great loss.

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Questions about Jane’s Reading

If your job was to sell one author’s historical fiction, which author’s wares would you want to peddle? And which is your favorite by that author?

I really like Sandra Byrd’s work and my favorite of hers is To Die For that captures how Anne Boleyn’s faith helped her deal with the unpredictability of Henry the VIII, her husband and king. The details are exquisite and you feel as though you are in the court of Henry VIII. The intrigue and suspense is perfectly paced. Even when one knows the ending, the story is richly conveyed with new insights about those historical characters.

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

Karen Barnett’s The Road to Paradise. It’s set in a Rainer National Park and honestly, I thought for sure the author had climbed Mt. Rainer as those scenes – that were quite intense – were so authentic. And the character’s return to God, his forgiving of himself on top of that mountain was one of the most tender and realistic redemption scenes I’ve ever read.

What Christian Historical Novel in your To Be Read pile is begging you to make time to plop down with it right now?

Rebecca Demarino’s To Follow her Heart. I’ve had it sitting by my bed as a reward for when I finish writing my latest! It’s the last in a series and I might be letting it sit so that I don’t have to say good-bye to the characters.

Jane 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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Author Interview and Giveaway – Freedom’s Ring – Heidi Chiavaroli

22 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – Freedom’s Ring – Heidi Chiavaroli

Welcome to my friend, Heidi, whose adorable accent I miss. If you need to know my opinion of this book, just check out the endorsement on page 1! 🙂

Heidi has penned an intriguing tale of two women separated by time connected through their search for a strength they desperately need. History and the present are so deftly entwined, readers will be turning pages to keep up with the story tugging on their hearts.” ~Melissa Jagears

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Freedom’s Ring

Boston ~ 2015

Although two years have passed since the Boston Marathon bombing, Annie David continues to be haunted by the call to be Boston Strong. She knows the truth: she is far from strong. She cannot seem to release two burdens left to her that tragic day—guilt over a crippled niece, and an old ring that evokes a hazy hero’s face. But when she finds a business card with the same emblem as the ring, she’s finally able to discover her hero…and the story of the woman behind the ring.

Boston ~ 1770   

As a single woman in a rebellious town, Liberty Caldwell finds herself in a dangerous predicament. When tensions mount in the form of the Boston Massacre, her world is shattered as her brother, with whom she has just reunited, is killed in the fray. Overcome with anger at all redcoats, she plans to leave her employment at the British Officers’ Home. But upon her return she is attacked by the roguish captain when Lieutenant Alexander Smythe isn’t there to rescue her. In her fury she leaves the home with all of her belongings and a ring that belonged to her dear Alexander. Suddenly her attraction to him is tarnished by the uniform he wears.

The Boston Massacre sparked the American Revolution; the Boston Marathon bombing set a city on edge. Both became the proof of where true strength lies.

Heidi’s Website

heidi

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Questions about Heidi’s Story

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

Yes, James Caldwell was a real victim of the Boston Massacre, but he had no known family. I decided to give him familial connections—a sister, Liberty Caldwell.

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

Oh my, yes. Reading about the experiences of those in the Boston Marathon bombing was heartbreaking. At the same time though, so many were determined to not let evil have the last word. I was very inspired by that.

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Questions about Heidi’s Reading

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

I almost never reread books, but I have reread A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. The first time I read it, I had only just begun writing. The second time, I wanted to study it. Why was it so, so good?!

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

Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar. I loved that this explored a story from Acts, which is one of my favorite books in the Bible. Tessa really brought Lydia’s story to life.

What was the last Christian Historical Novel that made you cry?

Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson. I was blubbering by the end.

Heidi 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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ALSO! Don’t miss out on Heidi’s Boston Themed Giveaway!! Go here to enter.

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Author Interview and Giveaway – My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island- Carrie Fancett Pagels

28 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island- Carrie Fancett Pagels

Welcome to Carrie, a sweet woman who’s always helping to get out the word about Christian fiction, especially those that help us cope and grow.

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My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring

Although the Winds of Mackinac Inn has been in her mother’s family for generations, Maude Welling’s father refuses to let her run it without the guidance of a husband. So she seeks to prove her worth and independence by working incognito as a maid at the Grand Hotel.

Undercover journalist Ben Steffans, posing as a wealthy industrialist, pursues a story about impoverished men chasing heiresses at the famed hotel.  While undercover, he becomes attracted to an intriguing maid. By an act of heroism Ben endears himself to the closed-mouthed islanders—including Maude—and he digs deep for his story.

But when scandal threatens, will the growing love between Maude and Ben be scuttled when truths are revealed?

Carrie’s Website

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Questions about Carrie’s Story

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

Ada Fox, who is managing the household staff at the Grand Hotel. But she’s more than she seems! Ada is about to get her life back! I am SO excited for her! She needs her own novella! She’s also in another of my novellas as a mysterious woman (hint: I was a Maggie Finalist 2016 for this romance novella, which is set a few years before MHBoMI.) Ada needs a novella set maybe in 1896, which is when her life finally starts falling into the place God has planned for her. And, yes, I do think of my characters as real people haha!

Which scene (give us the chapter) is your favorite, the one you never tired of working with? Give us a reason to look forward to it.

The Arch Rock scene. I cried every time I worked on it. If you’ve ever seen beautiful Arch Rock and been atop it and looked down, you realize how dangerous it could be. And so I chose this to be the place that Maude’s young brother, Jack, finally reveals just how hurting he is and hero Ben opens up about what happened to him at about the same age. I am crying as I write this, thinking about it.  I’ve had therapy sessions that were deeply moving like this and I love when people finally “give it up” and unload their hurt like my characters do in this scene!

If you could be guaranteed to publish a book set anywhere and at anytime, what setting would you love to set a novel in?

Exactly this book!!! This is my legacy book. If I never wrote another word, I’d have written this book set exactly where and at the time I wanted it set!!!

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Questions about Carrie’s Reading

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

There’s a historical romance collection Of Rags and Riches (Barbour, July 2017) with several up North novellas in it – by Natalie Monk, Gabrielle Meyer, Anne Love, and Jaime Jo Wright and more. (I also have a series The Christy Lumber Camp Series, three books set in the area and a novella, Tea Shop Folly, book one of The Christy Cousins, set in the same era and nearby location.

(I’d be happy to give away a set of those to one of your readers in ebook format.)

I think we shall take her up on her offer, yes? Yes! 🙂

If your job was to sell one author’s historical fiction (besides your own) which author’s wares would you want to peddle? And which is your favorite by that author?

Tamera Alexander’s books. She hasn’t disappointed me yet. I can’t pick one as my favorite as I’ve enjoyed them all! I thank my friend, writer Kim Taylor, for recommending her novels even though I was looking for others set in the 18th century. And I thank Tamera for her endorsement of this book! To hear that my favorite author “loved” My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring was amazing!!!

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What Christian Historical Novel in your To Be Read pile is begging you to make time to plop down with it right now?

Yours, Melissa!!! Now that I found my missing Kindle Fire maybe I can finally read it!!!

 

Carrie is giving away a copy paperback (usa only) AND A set of the Christy Cousins books (ebook 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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A Scavenger Hunt and and bonus Giveaway for TEN Copies of A Love So True

33 Comments on A Scavenger Hunt and and bonus Giveaway for TEN Copies of A Love So True

Hello, my loyal Index followers! If you’ve been here for awhile, you know who I am already! And with this book release, I figure we’d do something more fun than listen to me interview myself. 🙂 So I figure we’d do a little Scavenger Hunt. For newer followers hopefully this is a nice way to get familiar with how to search the Index, and for those of you who are old pros at searching the Index, this will be easy peasy!

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A Love So True

Evelyn Wisely has a heart for the orphans of Teaville and works at a local mansion that rescues children out of the town’s red-light district and gives them a place to live. But her desire to help isn’t limited to orphans. The owner of the mansion, Nicholas Lowe, is willing to help her try to get the women working in prostitution out of the district as well–if she can gain the cooperation and support of local businessmen to go against the rest of the community.

David Kingsman has recently arrived in Teaville from Kansas City to help with one of his father’s companies in town. While he plans on staying only long enough to prove his business merit to his father, he’s shown interest in Evelyn’s work and is intrigued enough by her to lend his support to her cause.

They begin with the best of intentions, but soon the complications pile up and Evelyn and David’s dreams look more unattainable every day. When the revelation of a long-held secret creates a seemingly insurmountable rift between them, can they trust God still has a good plan for them despite all that is stacked against them?

Melissa’s Website

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Other Books in this series:

Engaging the Competition final cover HeartMostCertain cover
Only $1.99!

$2.99 or less

this month ONLY!

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So, I’ll give FIVE Paperback copies away on Rafflecopter. (And if you don’t like Rafflecopter just explicitly say so in the comments, and I’ll put you in there.)

And I’ll give FIVE random copies away to five people who finish the short Scavenger hunt.

You will be searching for a short sentence from A Love So True. You will find the six word sentence in pieces somewhere in the depths of the Index. Follow the clues below by inputting them into the search engine on the right side of the page. When you find the book indicated in the clue, you will find the clue word after the book’s blurb; it will be bolded and underlined. Once you’ve found the entire sentence go to this form and fill in your name, email address, and the scavenger hunt sentence to be entered to win one of five paperbacks. Good Luck.

Clues:

  1. Find the book that is set in “Michigan” with a “Married Romance” Storyline.

     2. Find the book set in “England” in an “asylum” (Place) in the time period of the “regency”

     3. Find the book with a “Marriage of Convenience” Storyline, set in the decade of “1880s” in “Texas” with a main character with an occupation of “Cowboy/Ranching” and an “Outlaw” for a type of main character.

     4. Find a book set in “London” during the historical event of “World War I”

     5. Find a “novella” (It can be found under Misc.) with a “holiday” topic with a main character occupation of “scientist” written by “Gina Welborn”.

     6. At the top of the Index where you can see all the pretty new release covers, click on the first cover in the line up.

***USA ONLY. Both the Scavenger Hunt and the Rafflecopter will end May 20th at midnight.***

Link to the form where you can input the sentence you found in the Scavenger hunt for your chance at five Paperbacks.

 

SCAVENGER HUNT WINNERS: MH,  Britney A., jcp, Gail H., and Jeanette T.

 

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Author Interview – Behind the Scenes – Jen Turano

33 Comments on Author Interview – Behind the Scenes – Jen Turano

If you like to read stories that are quirky fun, have you tried Jen Turano yet? If not, get yourself in the hat, or download her freebie prequel novella for the series so you can get ready to hop right to this one!

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Behind the Scenes

Miss Permilia Griswold may have been given the opportunity of a debut into New York high society, but no one warned her she wasn’t guaranteed to “take.” After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, she’s finally putting her status on the fringes of society to good use by penning anonymous society gossip columns under the pseudonym “Miss Quill.”

Mr. Asher Rutherford has managed to maintain his status as a reputable gentleman of society despite opening his own department store. While pretending it’s simply a lark to fill his time, he has quite legitimate reasons for needing to make his store the most successful in the country.
When Permilia overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Rutherford, she’s determined to find and warn the man. Disgruntled at a first meeting that goes quite poorly and results in Asher not believing her, she decides to take matters into her own hands, never realizing she’ll end up at risk as well.

As Asher and Permilia are forced to work together and spend time away from the spotlight of society, perhaps there’s more going on behind the scenes than they ever could have anticipated. . . .

Jen’s Website

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Other books in this series:

This is a FREE ebook. No reason not to go snatch it up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Questions about Jen’s Story

What inspired your story?

Ever since I began writing Gilded Age historical romances, I’ve been itching to write one set in the very midst of Alva Vanderbilt’s famous costume ball. Since I finally reached 1883 on my progression through the Gilded Age, it was the perfect time to write this particular book.

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

Mr. Asher Rutherford is my favorite because he’s just such a charming character, unaware of exactly how charming he is, which makes him all the more attractive.

Which scene (give us the chapter) is your favorite, the one you never tired of working with?

In Chapter Six, Miss Permilia Griswold and Mr. Asher Rutherford participate in the Go-As-You-Please Quadrille. Needless to say, with Permilia not being exactly light on her feet, it turns out to be more of an adventure than Asher was expecting.

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

The one bit of research I uncovered that was more than a little disturbing was learning about Miss Kate Strong and the costume she chose to wear to the ball. Miss Strong’s nickname was Puss, and because of that, she chose to attend the ball as a cat – complete with a stuffed taxidermy cat head perched on her perfectly styled hair, and honest-to-goodness cat tails sewn into the folds of her skirt.

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Questions about Jen’s Reading

 

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

Elizabeth Camden’s “Against the Tide.”  It was on the top of a pile of books needing to be shelved in my bookshelf.  Because it had been a few years since I read it, it was the perfect way for me to spend a snowy evening.   

 

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

Regina Jennings “For the Record.”  It was adorable and filled with amusing characters and a refreshing storyline.  

 

 

 

What Christian Historical Novel are you most excited to read that just released or hasn’t yet come out?

I have a huge list – but Elizabeth Camden’s “The Farthest Shores” is one at the top of the list, and of course, Melissa Jagears’ “A Love So True.”  

Jen is giving away a copy paperback (usa only), and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of either 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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Author Interview and Giveaway – Redeeming Grace – Jill Eileen Smith

31 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – Redeeming Grace – Jill Eileen Smith

I’ve so enjoyed these pretty covers for Jill’s newest biblical series. These rich dark colors are just a favorite. AND totally go check out Jill’s website, the effect at the top is really cool! I hope you enjoy the interview.

Redeeming Grace-Book Cover

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Redeeming Grace

When famine visits Bethlehem, Boaz holds out hope for rain while his relative Elimelech moves his wife Naomi and their sons to Moab. For a while, it appears the Lord is blessing Elimelech’s family, and his sons marry two lovely Moabite women. But calamities strike, one after another, leaving Naomi alone in a foreign land with only her childless daughters-in-law for comfort. When news reaches Naomi that the famine in Bethlehem has lifted, only Ruth will hazard the journey to her mother-in-law’s homeland. Destitute and downhearted, Naomi resigns herself to a life of bitter poverty, but Ruth holds out hope for a better future. And Boaz may be the one God has chosen to provide it.

Jill’s Website

Smith_JillEileen

Other books in this series:

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Questions about Jill’s Story

What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?

Ruth’s story is so well known that I didn’t really give the book a lot of thought until I sat down to write it. But then I had to come up with backstories on each of the characters and delve into their possible mindset. And it struck me then that I related more to Naomi than to Ruth—not because I’m widowed (I’m not) or have lost children (I haven’t) but because of her age and status as a mother-in-law. And I wondered how I would have felt if my husband had decided to stop trusting God for our future and moved us to a foreign land rather than wait out the difficult circumstances in the land God had given to us.

I also had to put myself into Ruth’s character, so I was essentially playing the roles of both daughter-in-law and mother-in-law, of which I’ve been both. It was interesting to see life from two differing perspectives. Most of us probably relate to Ruth when we read Ruth’s story in Scripture, and because the book carries her name, we naturally think the story is hers. But I sensed, perhaps because I related more to her, that this was actually Naomi’s story. She is the one who suffered the greatest losses and ended up with the most joyous gains.

I will say, however, that I loved the relationship Naomi had with Ruth. Ruth’s devotion to Naomi went beyond the expected, even in her day. She could have returned, as Orpah did, to her mother’s house and remarried a man from Moab. I have to think Ruth’s choices were not only for Naomi but because she was in search of a better life with Israel and their God whom she was only beginning to know. Both women took great risks, and I admire that. If the time came for me to make risky choices because God said “go” or “do,” would I have the same kind of courage to follow where He leads?

Why did you choose the year your book is set?

The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly when Ruth’s story takes place. We tend to think of it coming after the book of Judges because that’s where it falls in our Bibles. But the book itself only tells us that the story took place during the time when the judges ruled. It does not tell us which judge ruled then.

So I did some research and discovered that the placing of this story is tricky and can be confusing. As I mention in my Note to the Reader in the book, I chose to place Ruth’s story actually before Deborah’s because it was under the judge Ehud that Moab is most prominently mentioned. The death of Moab’s king at the hand of Israel played a significant role in crafting the story. There is some discrepancy with the placing of Salmon’s and Boaz’s birth by choosing this timing and setting, but wherever you place it, there is no perfect solution to understanding the time when Rahab birthed Boaz and Ruth bore Boaz a son. So I went with what made most sense to the story. If my timing is wrong, it doesn’t change the purpose or theme or truth of the story and that is what ultimately matters.

Were there any historical facts that you discovered in your research that made you change something in your story?

Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem during barley harvest. In Israel, the men of each tribe were expected to celebrate certain feasts, first at Shiloh and later in Jerusalem. The women and children often went along, but the men were required to be there. I had not expected the need to include the feasts, but found that studying them fascinated me. I wanted to show the reader what those celebrations might have looked like in Shiloh.

Years ago, my husband and I visited a replica of the Jewish tabernacle. You can also see pictures of it online and the Bible gives us the place where each tribe was to set up camp around it when they lived with the tabernacle in the desert. In a sense the people were making their dwelling where God had placed His name. In the same way, in the future, Jesus came (in the direct line of Boaz and later King David) and “tabernacled” or dwelt among us. He made His home in our midst, just as the people of the Old Testament came near to live as close as they could get to God’s presence, which was a shadow of things to come.

The Feast of Firstfruits is mentioned in connection with Feast of Weeks or Shavot, Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot, and Passover. All of these feasts have spiritual meaning and connection to the Messiah, but the main purpose I focused on in the story was that by giving God the first of our harvest, or the best of our resources, our talents, our time, etc., is an act of trusting that God will supply our needs for the future—even if we cannot not see what that future might be.

That trust was pretty significant for Ruth and Boaz and Naomi that first year of Naomi’s return because they had just seen the end of a very long famine. If similar circumstances occurred in my lifetime, could I have the same kind of trust?

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Questions about Jill’s Reading

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

I rarely reread any book other than the Bible. I can count on one hand the number of novels or non-fiction books that I’ve read more than once. That said, there are a handful that are hands-down my all-time favorites. The one that jumps to the top of the list every time is Two From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes. This is a love story of Joseph and Mary and I first read it when I was sixteen. I read it nearly every Christmas for years after that. This is the book that inspired my love of the Bible and brought the people in it to life. It is also the book that inspired me to want to write biblical fiction.

But I had not read it in years once I married and had children. Then nine years ago, my dad got sick and moved on to heaven four years later. That was the last time I read Two From Galilee. There is something about a favorite book from childhood that comforts us even when we are grown adults. When my dad died, my sister and I both had that desire to go back and read our favorite childhood story. That was when I reread for the umpteenth time, this favorite of all love stories.

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

The last Christian Historical Novel I read was Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar. I read an early copy for endorsement and was honored to do so. I have read several of Tessa’s books, but this one has topped them all thus far. The story is about the woman with the issue of blood in the New Testament and Tessa captures her story so well. My favorite thing about the story is the way Tessa took a little known woman, who is not even named in Scripture, and beautifully created her world. She helped us see what life would have been like for this young woman in the culture of her day. I always appreciate it when an author stays true to Scripture and brings culture to life. When I can come away feeling like I have time traveled to that place and walked in their sandals, the author has done his or her job well.

Jill is giving away a copy paperback (usa only), and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of either 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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Author Interview and Giveaway – A Moonbow Night – Laura Frantz

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I remember the first time I heard about Laura Frantz’s books, I was at my first writer’s conference and had joined a little group of six non-published ladies that went around with each other and one just raved about Laura’s book while we were headed to the bookstore and so, Laura’s book, The Frontiersman’s Daughter, was the very first book I bought at conference. Definitely a good purchase! I’m excited to feature her newest this month!

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A Moonbow Night

From the beloved author of The Frontiersman’s Daughter and Courting Morrow Little comes a new Kentucky novel…On the vast, uncharted Kentucky frontier of the 1770s, Temperance Tucker has learned to be fleet of foot, accurate with her rifle, and silent about the past. But her family secrets complicate her growing attraction to a handsome Virginia land surveyor with a harsh history of his own. Will the hurts and hardships of the past prevent them from a fulfilling future?

 

With her signature sweeping style and ability to bring the distant past to vivid life, Laura Frantz beckons readers to join her in a land of Indian ambushes, conflicting loyalties, and a tentative love that meanders like a cool mountain stream.

 

Laura Frantz’s Website

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Questions about Laura’s Story

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

Due to reader request, I include Daniel and Rebecca Boone in the novel, both heroes of mine. As a native Kentuckian, I’ve long admired them and find their lives incredibly inspiring! The entire plot pivots around a little known incident in the life of the Boones that has haunted me since childhood.

Why did you choose the year your book is set?

I chose 1777 or “the year of the bloody sevens’ as it was called in frontier times as so many historical fireworks occurred as far as Indian and settler conflict. Lots of story fodder there, much of it worth celebrating yet much of it heartbreaking.

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Questions about Laura’s Reading

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

Francine River’s The Mark of the Lion series. Bold and detailed, it didn’t sugarcoat anything, including early Christianity. I quickly read all her historicals after that and some are on my keeper shelf.

If your job was to sell one author’s historical fiction (besides your own) which author’s wares would you want to peddle? And which is your favorite by that author?

Joanne Bischoff. She’s unrivaled in so many ways and her upcoming The Lady and the Lionheart was truly a privilege to endorse. She writes with an incredible freshness in the genre, far beyond clichéd plots and prose.

Laura is giving away a copy paperback (usa only), and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of either 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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Author Interview and Giveaway – The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill – Julie Klassen

17 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill – Julie Klassen

I’m so excited to feature Julie Klassen this month with her first ever series. This is book #1 and its cover is gorgeous, don’t you think?

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The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant landlady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business. But with the town’s livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to overcome her losses and find purpose for the future. As she works with Jane, two men from her past vie for her attention, but Thora has promised herself never to marry again. Will one of them convince her to embrace a second chance at love?

As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane employs new methods, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, can Jane restore life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well?

Julie’s Author Website

julie-klassen

Website for the new series

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Questions about Julie’s Story

What inspired your story?

I have long wanted to write a village series, and was inspired in part by my love of British series like Larkrise to Candleford, Cranford, and the Thrush Green novels. I am drawn to their close-knit communities filled with unforgettable characters, and hope readers are similarly drawn to TALES FROM IVY HILL.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I especially enjoyed developing and depicting the flawed–but ultimately strong–friendships between the women of the village.

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

I ended up really loving the character of Thora Stonehouse Bell. As her name implies, she’s a strong character—a forceful and forthright widow. But her gruff exterior hides past hurts and vulnerability that are slowly revealed through her changing relationships with her daughter-in-law, son, and new suitors.

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Questions about Julie’s Reading

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

Michelle Griep’s The Captive Heart, and Lawana Blackwell’s The Widow of Larkspur Inn [out of print but available FREE in ebook].

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take one Christian Historical Novel, which would you pick?

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

If your job was to sell one author’s historical fiction (besides your own) which author’s wares would you want to peddle? And which is your favorite by that author?

Fun question! I would happily recommend author Lynn Austin all day long, and especially love her novel, Hidden Places.

Julie is giving away a copy paperback (usa only) or ebook, and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of either 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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You can also sign up to win books at Julie’s new little mini website for the series! You have until 1/5/2017 to sign up to win a copy of The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill there!

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