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Author Interview and Giveaway – The Lost Castle – Kristy Cambron

14 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – The Lost Castle – Kristy Cambron

I’ve always said if you smack a castle on a book cover, I’ll buy it. Well, it might not be a picture of a castle, but having it in the title on such a pretty cover comes close! 🙂 Welcome, Kristy, to the Index!

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The Lost Castle

A thirteenth century castle, Château de Doux Rêves, has been forgotten for generations, left to ruin in a storybook forest nestled deep in France’s picturesque Loire Valley…

Ellie Carver arrives at her grandmother’s bedside expecting to find her silently slipping away. Instead, the beloved old woman begins speaking. Of a secret past and castle ruins forgotten by time. Of a hidden chapel that served as a rendezvous for the French resistance in World War II. Of lost love and deep regret . . .

Each piece that unlocks the story seems to unlock part of Ellie too—where she came from and who she is becoming. But her grandmother is quickly disappearing into the shadows of Alzheimer’s and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history. Drawn by the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty—a forgotten castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale—Ellie embarks on a journey to France’s Loire Valley in hopes that she can unearth its secrets before time silences them forever.

Bridging the past to present in three time-periods—the French Revolution, World War II, and present day—The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged in the hearts of men, and an enchanted castle that stood witness to it all, inspiring a legacy of faith through the generations.

Kristy’s Website

KCambron_Profile 2017

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Questions about Kristy’s Story

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

This is the first novel I’ve written where a main character doesn’t have a single line of dialogue—the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ castle became that unexpected favorite character as the story evolved. The castle is the silent witness of the stories that passed through the generations, recording the lives of those who lived and fought and died around its ruins. I loved to write a character that is immoveable but alive, ever-present but in the background, and asleep yet awakened, all at the same time!

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

It’s a little scary to admit, but Ellison Carver has shades of my own life layered into her—so I kind of am a character! (This is my first novel in which that’s happened…) I wanted to honor the legacy of the generations who’ve lived and passed stories down to us. My grandmother—a college professor like Ellie’s Grandma Vi—battled Alzheimer’s Disease, and it felt right to tell a story from that place of deep understanding. Ellie’s journey in daring to dream of a new tomorrow… it was also similar to the “step-out and step-into your calling” author journey our family has been on in the last several years.

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

How fun is this question, because I get to say that this is actually going to come true! I’m working on Book #2 in the Lost Castle series now, and it’s in a setting I love (Dublin, Ireland) with a storyline I’ve always found fascinating (WWI and the Easter Rising). After traveling to Ireland for research (with my husband and oldest sons – aka ‘Research Partners’), I fell in love with the land and the spirit of the Irish people. I can’t wait to write their story!

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Questions about Kristy’s Reading

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?

A couple of new 2018 titles I’ve recently read (and loved) are: THE WEAVER’S DAUGHTER by Sarah E. Ladd, and THE SEA BEFORE US, by Sarah Sundin. And a little secret I don’t mind sharing? I read every novel by these Sarahs. 😊 They’re the gold-standard for me in air-tight historical research seamlessly woven with skillful storytelling. I’m always swept away by their talent—and transported by their stories!

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

Every Joanne Bischof novel/novella I’ve ever read has drawn such strong emotion, I end up in tears and remember the characters long after the final page. Joanne is a rare talent and I adore everything she writes.

Kristy 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 – Phoebe’s Light – Suzanne Woods Fisher

17 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – Phoebe’s Light – Suzanne Woods Fisher

I’m always excited to see books about time periods that don’t get much light in the fiction world! This sounds like a great one, and a story-within-a-story at that!

Phoebe's Light-Book Cover

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Phoebe’s Light

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Macy, a man whom she loathes.

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way–just in time.

Suzanne’s Website

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Questions about Suzanne’s Story

What inspired your story?

While on a research trip, I signed away my life at the Nantucket Historical Association, put all my belongings in a locker, wore white gloves, and then…at last, I was able to hold Great Mary’s accounting book. It’s over 350 years old! She was one of the first settlers on Nantucket and was considered to be the “Deborah” of the Old Testament. As I squinted to read the faint ink of Mary Coffin Starbuck’s beautiful handwriting and careful accounting (she ran a store), I felt chills run down my spine. It was clear that she was highly regarded, extremely intelligent (though her husband, apparently, was illiterate), and involved in the lives of nearly everyone on the island—local Wampanoag Indians, settlers, visitors, traders, seamen. I knew there was a story here!

What was the hardest part of your book to write? 

Here’s the tricky part. I created a journal, written by Great Mary, that her great grandchildren pass on to each other. Thus, each book in the Nantucket Legacy series has a story within a story. It was not easy to write, to pull a reader along in a story without a sudden jarring of another time frame, another story. Hopefully, the entries of Great Mary’s journal slipped into the larger story arc without being distracting. Hopefully!

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

I’m a firm believer in original sourcing for research—so I visited a number of historical ship museums to try and capture life in the American colonies. There was one whaling ship still in existence, and on it rested a “cuddy.” Think, shed-like. The captain’s wife had joined him on a whaling voyage. Most everyone experiences some seasickness at first, but a very few never recover and get their sea legs. Sadly, this captain’s wife was sick as a dog. He built her the cuddy, which helped a little. But she ended up disembarking and heading home at the first chance. As for me, I tucked that cuddy away and used it in Phoebe’s Light.

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Questions about Suzanne’s Reading

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

Lynn Austin’s Hidden Places. I loved the spunk of her female main character.

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

Christy, by Catherine Marshall, has a little bit of everything—a love triangle, a wise older woman, a secret that shocks everyone, charming and quirky characters, and just enough haunting moments.

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

Jane Kirkpatrick’s All She Left Behind. Jane writes only one book per year, and puts so much careful research into her work. Can’t wait to dig into it!

Suzanne 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, you must put something very similar to this in a comment below: “I’m not entering the rafflecopter, but please throw me in the hat” so I know to manually put you in there for a chance.**

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Author Interview and Giveaway – Missing Isaac – Valerie Fraser Luesse

34 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – Missing Isaac – Valerie Fraser Luesse

I had the opportunity to read Missing Isaac before it released and I quite enjoyed it! Here’s my review:

The title made me think there would be more to the search than there was and the cover and first chapters made me think this was a story of a young boy which I don’t think I would have enjoyed as much as what the book truly turned out to be. The story extends over years and sees him into adulthood and other characters share a lot of the limelight too, but it’s more a story of a set of characters as they grow in a world struggling with change. Valerie’s descriptive ability was simple and authentic feeling, making this town and its people seem real and sucked me in. Reading the author note, she did most of her research by oral history and is likely the reason why it felt so real.

Missing Isaac

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Missing Isaac

There was another South in the 1960s, one far removed from the marches and bombings and turmoil in the streets that were broadcast on the evening news. It was a place of inner turmoil, where ordinary people struggled to right themselves on a social landscape that was dramatically shifting beneath their feet. This is the world of Valerie Fraser Luesse’s stunning debut, Missing Isaac.

It is 1965 when black field hand Isaac Reynolds goes missing from the tiny, unassuming town of Glory, Alabama. The townspeople’s reactions range from concern to indifference, but one boy will stop at nothing to find out what happened to his unlikely friend. White, wealthy, and fatherless, young Pete McLean has nothing to gain and everything to lose in his relentless search for Isaac. In the process, he will discover much more than he bargained for. Before it’s all over, Pete–and the people he loves most–will have to blur the hard lines of race, class, and religion. And what they discover about themselves may change some of them forever.

Valerie’s Website

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PHOTO CREDIT: Image by Mark Sandlin

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Questions about Valerie’s Story

What inspired your story?

I think I was still in college—many years ago!—when my uncle told me about the disappearance of a man who helped him pick cotton on his family farm. The man just vanished and was never heard from again. One of my cousins, listening to the story, speculated that this farm worker had met with foul play and ended up in a backwoods hollow. Those stories were the spark for mine—just imagining what might have happened. Before I knew it, I had a community of interconnected Southern families, a coming-of-age story, and two love stories, all wrapped around this mysterious disappearance.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I would have to say the freedom of it—the joy of just turning my imagination loose. When I first started, I wasn’t thinking about getting published or writing to a particular market. I just wanted to see if I could take what I’ve learned as a magazine writer and produce a good fictional story. I so enjoyed watching the central character, a boy named Pete McLean, grow up, and I loved “meeting” other characters as they materialized: Isaac Reynolds, a black field hand who becomes Pete’s mentor and beloved friend; Dovey Pickett, a beautiful backwoods girl and the love of Pete’s life; Pete and Dovey’s widowed parents, Lila McLean and John Pickett; Miss Paul Pickett, queen of the backwoods . . .

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

Dovey’s widowed father, John Pickett, who started out as just a cardboard cutout of a character—very primitive and a little scary. I saw him primarily as an obstacle for Pete and Dovey to overcome. But the more I wrote him, I realized that John was meant to be a true romantic hero and the perfect vehicle to illustrate the basic dignity of every human being: Just because a man is poor, that doesn’t mean he isn’t intelligent and talented and devoted to his family. John embodies the longing and loneliness that I think are key to the book, but he also has great strength, integrity, and passion. Plus he’s one handsome farmer-craftsman. 🙂

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

There are actually two—Pete McLean and Dovey Pickett’s first real date and first kiss (Chapter 14), and the scenes during the tornado and its aftermath (Chapter 26). Those were incredibly difficult because it’s so easy for a romantic scene—or a highly dramatic one—to turn melodramatic. I tried to make them realistic—to capture that throbbing-heartbeat moment when you’re not sure what’s going to happen next. Readers will have to let me know if I managed it.

Some of my friends who read the manuscript described it as cinematic—they said they felt like they were watching it instead of reading it. That’s how I wrote the scenes I mentioned. I “watched” them first in my imagination and then wrote what I saw, if that makes sense.

Why did you choose the year your book is set?

There’s a wonderful singer-songwriter named Kate Campbell whose music I first discovered many years ago. I remember listening to her CD Visions of Plenty, which included songs about the South during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. And I was so taken by it because she was singing about that time the way I remembered it—through the eyes of a white Southern child. It was such a confusing time for kids—black and white—because so much of what we saw around us didn’t make sense. And it was such a dramatic and violent era that what often gets lost are the little pockets of humanity I saw back then —just ordinary people trying to do the right thing, only they weren’t sure what that was any more.

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Questions about Valerie’s Reading

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

I’m actually very new to this genre because I didn’t set out to write a Christian Historical—I just set out to tell a compelling story, and it so happened that the characters who interested me were people of faith, and the time period that interested me was historically significant. So I sort of looked up and found myself in Christian Historicals! I had a little exposure to them way back in the eighties (dating myself here), when I worked for a literary journal as a grad student at Baylor. Since then, this category seems to have exploded, with talented writers taking it in countless directions and exploring myriad time periods, settings, and characters. I just got back from the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance trade show in New Orleans, and it was almost too much to take in—so many exciting new titles and interesting writers. I look forward to discovering their work.

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Since Valerie is new to the genre, comment below with the name of one  Christian Historical novel you’ve loved that you’d recommend and a Christian Historical novel you really want to read but haven’t got your hands on yet. If you win the ebook, I’ll send you either Valerie’s book or the one you want the most but don’t have. 🙂 (Must be available in ebook format)

Valerie is giving away a copy paperback (USA only) and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook. 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 for a chance.**

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Interview and Giveaway – The House on Foster Hill – Jamie Jo Wright

33 Comments on Interview and Giveaway – The House on Foster Hill – Jamie Jo Wright

Welcome Jamie Jo and her debut Split Time novel!

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The House on Foster Hill

Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather’s Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house’s dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide.

A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy’s search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives–including her own–are lost?

Jamie Jo’s Website

jaime-wright-media-12

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Questions about Jamie Jo’s Story

What was the hardest part of your book to write?

I believe the hardest part in writing this book was to switch from a very historical perspective and move into a present day scene as my present day character sought to uncover the history of the house, the people who’d inhabited it and how history then affected today. Not only was it sometimes hard not to get lost, but it was also hard to become aware of how much history does truly impact generations. Our choices, our faith, our consequences really are not our own. They touch many in the family tree.

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

Because one of the main characters, Ivy, is an assistant to her father who is a medical examiner, I had to research the different visual and physical signs related to post-mortem individuals. Time of death, signs of how they died, how to find forensic detail on what they died from. All of this information had to be consistent with the turn-of-the-century. Things like DNA and even fingerprints weren’t used or weren’t used frequently.

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

Oh yes. Very much so. In researching human trafficking, which is a thread through the novel, I found it horrific in current day, but even more horrific how prevalent it really has been for centuries. It is a very overlooked, unaddressed crime against humanity that must be stopped.

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Questions about Jamie Jo’s Reading

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

Recently published, Lady Jayne Disappears has many of the same gothic, suspenseful and mysterious elements as The House On Foster Hill. I also would best compare my novels to Kristy Cambron’s as it relates to the split-time (half-historical, half-present day) structure.

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

I am super lucky to have a copy of Kathleen Y’Barbo’s book, The Pirate Bride due out in 2018 in my stack to read NEXT. I am super excited about the entire Barbour Publishing’s series Daughters of the Mayflower. I can’t wait to read them all!

Jamie Jo 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!

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Interview and Giveaway – The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey – Carolyn Miller

44 Comments on Interview and Giveaway – The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey – Carolyn Miller

A merry welcome to Carolyn with this newest installment in her series!

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The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey 

Tainted by scandal and forced to leave London for the quieter Brighton countryside, the Honorable Miss Clara DeLancey is a shadow of her former society self. She’s lost the man she loved to another and, in a culture that has no patience for self-pity, is struggling with depression. A chance encounter brings her a healing friendship with the sisters of an injured naval captain. But Clara’s society mama is appalled at the new company she’s keeping.

Captain Benjamin Kemsley is not looking for a wife. But his gallant spirit won’t let him ignore the penniless viscount’s daughter–not when she so obviously needs assistance to keep moving forward from day to day. Can he protect his heart and still keep her safe?

When they’re pushed into the highest echelons of society at the Prince Regent’s Brighton Pavilion, this mismatched couple must decide if family honor is more important than their hopes. Can they right the wrongs of the past and find future happiness together–without finances, family support, or royal favor?

Carolyn’s Website

 

Other books in this series:

elusivemissellison captivatingladycharlotte

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Questions about Carolyn’s Story

What inspired your story?

Miss Clara DeLancey is considered something of a villain (!) in the first two novels of this series, so I wanted to write something that presented her side of the story. Trying to make an unlikeable character likeable is a bit of a challenge, so I had to make sure there were enough redemptive qualities with her story, and provide a thread of humor and another romantic subplot in order to maintain reader interest. I hope readers come to understand why she has behaved as she has and grow in sympathy for her.

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

I love Benjamin Kemsley, the injured Naval captain and hero of our story. He might have saved hundreds of lives, but his struggles with family, finances, and fight for recognition are things many of us can relate with. He’s not your typical ‘tall, dark and handsome’ character, but someone who holds a certain rugged appeal in the Chris Hemsworth style. 🙂 Just because he might not have been born a gentleman does not mean he lacks gentlemanly qualities, as his care and protection and courage for those he loves proves. And he has a nice line in self-deprecating humor. (Oh, and did I mention he looks not unlike Chris Hemsworth?)

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

Yes! With great fear and trepidation, I incorporated England’s Prince Regent into Miss DeLancey’s story. I was fortunate enough in 2015 to visit Brighton and see the Prince Regent’s magnificent Marine Pavilion, which was simply begging to be incorporated into a story, which naturally had to include something of King George III’s son, too. Contemporary accounts suggest that the Prince Regent (who later became King George IV) was a complex man, known for his corpulence as much as his somewhat hedonistic lifestyle, someone who sought pleasure in food, women, and appearances. To achieve something of the style of his manners and address I found The Letters of King George 1812-1830, edited by A. Aspinall, to be an excellent resource.

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Questions about Carolyn’s Reading

 

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

Kaye Dacus’s Regency-era ‘Ransome Trilogy’ deals with English sea captains, and has settings on the English coast.

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?

This is a hard one! I have truly appreciated Carrie Turansky’s support and encouragement, so I would want to help promote her Edwardian-era ‘Highland Hall’ series. But then, I’d also like to support Juliana Deering’s ‘Drew Farthering’ series, because I love the settings, the 1930s style and wit. And then there’s Dawn Crandall’s series…
Argh! Too many good authors out there!

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

Roseanna M White’s ‘The Reluctant Duchess’ has such real characters that I couldn’t help but have a little cry. Very evocative writing. 🙂

Carolyn 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 – 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!

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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

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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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