Page 1 of 212

Author Interview and Giveaway – The Yellow Lantern – Angie Dicken

1 Comment on Author Interview and Giveaway – The Yellow Lantern – Angie Dicken

Have you been checking out this historical series based on true crimes? Such an interesting premise for a series! I’ve always wanted a book cover with a lantern, and Angie’s not only has that, but a plot revolving around grave robbing, so intriguing. Welcome Angie to the Index!

yellowlantern , , , , , , , ,

The Yellow Lantern

Josephine Clayton is considered dead by everyone in her Massachusetts village–especially the doctor she has assisted for several months. Yet, she is still very much alive.
 
After the doctor’s illegal dealing with his body snatcher to obtain her body, Josephine awakens, positioned as the next corpse for his research. To cover up his crime, the doctor tries to kill her, but Josephine begs to be spared. They strike a deal–Josephine will leave her village and work at a distant cotton mill. All the while, she’ll await her true mission–posing as a mourner to help the body snatcher procure her replacement.
 
At the mill though, Josephine is praised for her medical remedies among the other female workers, gaining attention from the handsome factory manager, Braham Taylor. Yet, when Braham’s own loved one becomes the prey for the next grave robbing, Josie must make a choice that could put her dark past behind her or steal away the promise of any future at all.
 
What price will Josie pay for love when her secrets begin to unravel?

Angie’s Website

Angie Dicken Bio

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Angie’s Story

What inspired this story?

There are a couple of things that inspired me. One, my father is a doctor and grave-robbing is a curious part of medical history in the U.S. And two, I had read Charles Dickens’ American Notes about his visit to Lowell cotton mill in Massachusetts—a fascinating corner of women’s history. Gloughton Mill is modeled after what I learned about Lowell.

Why did you choose the year your book is set?

I chose the year 1824 because this is after grave-robbing became officially illegal in Massachusetts (yeah, it wasn’t written into law until 1815!), and cotton mills had been established in America.  

What research book or website used to write this book was your favorite to peruse?

The National Geographic Desk Reference to Nature’s Medicine! Because my heroine loves healing, this book shared different plants and their historical medical uses in different parts of the world. It is a fascinating reference book!

Did you stumble upon anything in your research for this book that you thought was strange or surprising?

How common grave-robbing was throughout history, and how the pressure from the deceased’s families is what led to implementing laws in the U.S.

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Angie’s Reading

lordofherheart

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

Sherrinda Ketchersid’s Lord of Her Heart. I loved reading in the medieval time period. We don’t see many books set there in the Christian Fiction category, and it’s a fascinating time period!

seamstress

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

The Seamstress by Alison Pittman. I am so excited about the premise of this book. I love the concept of looking into an actual literary figure and speculating the story behind the story.

Angie is giving away a choice copy (USA Only for print). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview and Giveaway – Where Dandelions Bloom – Tara Johnson

23 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – Where Dandelions Bloom – Tara Johnson

Isn’t this a gorgeous cover? And to know it’s based on a real person is always cool. I’m so happy to have Tara on the Index!

wheredandelionsbloom

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Where Dandelions Bloom

Cassie Kendrick is on the run. Her abusive father arranged her marriage to a despicable man, but she’s discovered an escape. Disguised as a man, Cassie enlists in the Union army, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer.

Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase the darkness and guilt lurking from his past, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships with many of the men he encounters, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding.

Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel learn to forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places?

Tara’s Website

pic_FULL_Johnson_Tara

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Tara’s Story

What inspired your story?

Where Dandelions Bloom was inspired by real-life Civil War hero Sarah Emma Edmonds. I discovered this larger-than-life hero while doing research for another story and was immediately entranced with Emma’s courage. Not only did it take guts for her to run from her abusive father to find shelter in the chaos of war, but she was so remarkable as a soldier, her commanders took note and had her work with James Pinkerton as a spy. At one point, she was a woman playing the part of a man playing the part of a woman. Talk about courage!

What was the hardest part of your book to write?

Writing Cassie’s mental and emotional break-down was extremely difficult. Soldiers endure so much both on and off the battlefield. Compound that trauma with the continual deception of being a spy, as well as the scars of running from an abusive father, and trying to write inside Cassie’s viewpoint was emotionally exhausting.

What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?

God has a unique way of testing me on what I write. It makes me think twice before embarking on a new story! Where Dandelions Bloom was written at a time in my life when I was struggling with forgiving someone. God used Cassie and Gabe’s story to tenderly remind me that holding on to that anger and bitterness only keeps me strapped to the one who hurt me. Forgiving cuts the cords and removes the weight, allowing me to enjoy freedom and joy again.

God also taught me of the resilience of the dandelion…beauty that continues to bloom among the hard places. He showed me that sometimes He doesn’t remove us from our hard circumstances because He’s more concerned about shaping us into the image of His Son through those circumstances. That’s when something amazing blossoms.

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

Jonah Phifer. How could anyone not love such a fun-loving, precocious little bundle of trouble? He was the dandelion in this story…a beam of light during the shadows of war.

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Tara’s Reading

wingsofthemorning

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

When I was a young teen, my Mom had a collection of books by Janette Oke and Lori Wick. I would gobble up everything they wrote. While reading Lori Wick’s The Californians series and Wings of the Morning, I realized I could do nothing but read historicals for the rest of my life and be completely content.

avoiceinthewind

Who is your favorite Christian Historical heroine?

Hadassah from Francine Rivers’ A Voice in the Wind. Her transformation from a trembling girl who questions her faith to a brave, heroic woman of God is inspiring and deeply touching.

Tara is giving away a hardback book (USA Only). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview and Giveaway – The Medallion – Cathy Gohlke

34 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – The Medallion – Cathy Gohlke

If you like stories based on true stories, this one’s for you. A friend of mine read it and said, “This story completely undid me, then stitched me back together with hope.”

medallion

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Medallion

Seemingly overnight, the German blitzkrieg of Warsaw in 1939 turns its streets to a war zone and shatters the life of each citizen―Polish, Jewish, or otherwise. Sophie Kumiega, a British bride working in the city’s library, awaits news of her husband, Janek, recently deployed with the Polish Air Force. Though Sophie is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe, the days ahead will draw her into the plight of those around her, compelling her to help, whatever the danger.

Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich never imagined they would welcome their longed-for first child in the Jewish ghetto, or that they would let anything tear their family apart. But as daily atrocities intensify, Rosa soon faces a terrifying reality: to save their daughter’s life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war―if any of them survive―is a medallion she cuts in half and places around her neck.

Inspired by true events of Poland’s darkest days and brightest heroes, The Medallion paints a stunning portrait of war and its aftermath, daring us to believe that when all seems lost, God can make a way forward.

Cathy’s Website

pic_FULL_Gohlke_Cathy

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Cathy’s Story

What inspired your story? 

The Medallion was inspired by two true stories—the first was the WWII account of Itzhak Dugin and his Jewish family, persecuted in Lithuania.  Their heart-wrenching story made world news when the tunnel from which Itzhak escaped the Nazis was discovered using modern technology. The second was the story of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker within Żegota (an underground Polish Council to Aid Jews), who developed a network to rescue children.  Despite terrible risks, they smuggled 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto and certain death at the hands of the Nazis, then hid them in Polish homes, convents, churches and hospitals until the end of the war.  Approximately 2,000 of those children were found after the war. Theories abound regarding the whereabouts of those missing.  I couldn’t help but wonder, and imagine:  What became of those 400 to 500 missing children?  What became of one?

What did you learn about yourself while writing this book? 

Researching Poland and all that happened to its citizens—Jewish and Gentile alike—during Nazi and Russian occupation broke my heart.  Conditions and the atrocities perpetrated loomed horrific, creating impossible choices amid life and death situations. There were times I wondered if I could keep researching the details of that history, keep writing a story that grew out of it.  But I learned—or learning was reinforced—that I could do hard things, research hard things, write hard things.  We’re all made for hard things.  Sometimes what the Lord asks of us is not easy, but the journey and the outcome prove so very worthwhile.

Why did you choose the year your book is set? 

Germany’s September 1939 bombing of Warsaw, Poland shocked the city into the startling reality of blitzkrieg and occupation—and set the stage for all that would come in my story.

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Cathy’s Reading

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

Christy, by Catherine Marshall.  I’m writing a novel that leads up to America’s entry into WWII set in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, not far from where I grew up and where my grandfather’s family lived.  Rereading Christy, even though it took place in the mountains and was set years before my novel, felt like coming home, back to the roots of my ancestors.  It connected me with people my older characters might have known in their childhood and helped me find my sense of place for the story I’m writing.  Besides, I simply love Christy. Catherine Marshall created characters that live in my memory as real people.

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.

I’ve learned from many Christian historical novels, but especially from Christy.  Catherine Marshall brought extraordinary detail to her setting and to the personal and cultural challenges her characters faced.  She infused flesh and blood into multi-dimensional characters set in a unique time and place, then brought her heroine, a young and naïve girl, into a world she could barely comprehend but was determined to navigate and join. Through Christy, Catherine wove heartache, faith challenges, romance, and ultimate but realistic victory into one beautiful novel.  When I grow up I want to write like that.

nooceantoowide

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

I read Carrie Turansky’s No Ocean Too Wide for endorsement.  It’s a beautifully written book about the plight of British Home Children sent to Canada, with or without their parents’ permission.  Carrie’s treatment of the topic rang authentic, her characters sprang to life on the page and her historical settings were vibrant.  It’s truly a heart tugging book and so well done.

Cahty is giving away a hardback book (USA Only). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview and Giveaway – The Heart of a King – Jill Eileen Smith

17 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – The Heart of a King – Jill Eileen Smith

Have you ever been curious about the palace life of the Old Testament kings? This looks like a wonderful way to immerse yourself in that life without actually having to live it! 🙂 I hope you enjoy Jill’s interview!

, , , , , , , , ,

The Heart of a King

King Solomon was wealthy and wise beyond measure. He could–and did–have anything he wanted, including many women from many lands. But for all his wisdom, did he or the women in his life ever find what they searched for all of their lives?

In this engrossing novel, you’ll find yourself whisked away to ancient Israel, where you’ll meet Solomon and four of the women he loved: Naamah the desert princess, Abishag the shepherdess, Siti the daughter of a pharaoh, and Nicaula the queen of Sheba. As you experience the world of Solomon through his eyes and the eyes of these women, you’ll ask yourself the ultimate question: Did Solomon’s wisdom ultimately benefit him and those he loved . . . or did it betray them?

Jill’s Website

Smith_JillEileen_MAIN

Other Books in this Series:

thedesertprincess theshepherdessdaughterofthenile queenofsheba

 

 

 

 

 

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Jill’s Story

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

This book was meant to be a compilation for four e-books that I wrote on four women in King Solomon’s life. Exploring their stories was fun as I wrote them in first person and could better put myself into their worlds.

When I went to compile the stories, however, I didn’t want to give readers the same books under different packaging with a little more of Solomon added in. So I turned the book from first to third person, interwove the four e-books and added much more from Solomon’s point of view. I had to cut some of the e-books, so if people want the full picture, they will still want to read those, but what I enjoyed most was pondering Solomon through the book of Ecclesiastes. I used much of the Song of Solomon in the e-books and in this book, but I added section breaks where “The Teacher” speaks from his older and wiser perspective. I love the book of Ecclesiastes, so it was poignant to imagine how he might have felt at the end of his wild pursuits and frantic living. Wisdom taught him much, but wisdom could not keep him from sin. Only God’s grace can do that. In the end, I hope and believe that he learned that lesson.

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

That’s a tough question because each woman as well as Solomon were unique and I liked all of them. Siti (Pharaoh’s daughter) was probably one that was the most challenging because her faith remained in her god Bastet. She questioned Solomon’s loyalty to Yahweh and accused him of breaking his God’s laws. She reminded me of so many skeptics in the world today.

But I probably enjoyed Abishag (The Shepherdess) the most. In my imagination she came from humble roots and she accepted her role in life even when it went against her dreams. Her faith in Adonai kept her strong, and if she remained close to Solomon, she could have been a good influence on him.

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

The Queen of Sheba is mentioned in the folklore of Ethiopia and Arabia – both claim her as theirs and both have different stories to tell of her relationship with Solomon. She is given different names by both countries/kingdoms and since I didn’t want to use either one of their stories exclusively, I mixed them together and gave her a different name that also came up in my research. The true story is lost to history and known only to God, but Jesus mentions her (The Queen of the South), which authenticates her existence outside of the Old Testament alone.

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Jill’s Reading

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

I rarely reread a book except the Bible. However, I have reread Two From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes many, many times over my lifetime. The last time I read it was probably a few Christmases ago. And I reread it the year my dad died. He died in November and it was a great comfort to me that Christmas. (It is a love story of Joseph and Mary.)

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

I am in the middle of reading The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen right now. So far my favorite things about it are the multiple romantic threads woven throughout and the hint of mystery that I’ve yet to discover. I’m rooting for a certain character to marry her true love, but I haven’t reached the end yet to find out what happens.

awreathofsnow

What was the last Christian Historical Novel you binge read?

A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella by Liz Curtis Higgs. I downloaded the sample at Christmas this past year and quickly bought the book to finish it. The story was compelling and I hated to see it end. Stories like that, which offer the reader hope, make a difference in a person’s heart, especially during the holidays, which can be difficult.

Jill is giving away a paperback book (International Entrants welcomed!). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview & Giveaway – The Artful Match – Jennifer Delamere

39 Comments on Author Interview & Giveaway – The Artful Match – Jennifer Delamere

This is my favorite cover of this series, they were saving their best for last. Maybe Jennifer is too! 🙂 Thanks to Jennifer for coming to share about her story.

artfulmatch

, , , , , , , ,

The Artful Match

Cara Bernay has never fit in. At loose ends in 1881 London after a near tragedy costs her a job, she befriends a carefree artist. With his help, she begins planning a new life and developing her own artistic talent. But soon Cara finds herself at odds with the artist’s brother–a handsome but arrogant earl forcing his brother back to a “respectable” life.

Henry Burke, the Earl of Morestowe, feels the weight of growing financial burdens. His younger brother is the one person who can save their family, and Henry needs him back home. Despite misgivings about Cara’s mysterious background, Henry sees she’s a positive influence on his brother and on Henry’s young ward, and he strikes a deal with her to return with them to their estate.

But the family has their own secrets, and when Cara, drawn ever closer to Henry, stumbles onto the truth, she must choose between following her heart and pursuing a bold plan that could bring disaster.

Jennifer’s Website

Delamere author photo compressed

Other Books in this Series:

captainsdaughtertheheartsappeal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Jennifer’s Story

What inspired your story?  

The framework for The Artful Match grew out of the series itself: three sisters who were raised in George Muller’s famous orphanage in Bristol each come to London at different times and find new lives. The more unique aspects of Cara’s story grew out of my interest in Victorian art. I thought it would be fascinating to visit the Bohemian world of the artists, who freely take Cara in when she has nowhere else to go. I also knew early on that Cara’s story would be especially fun to write, because her personality is so different from my own. Not only is she a talented artist, but she is free-spirited, impulsive, and wears her heart on her sleeve. She never quite fits in anywhere and is desperate to step out from the shadow of her more grounded and successful sisters. Surprisingly, she finds her answer in the place she least expects. A big theme in this book is the joy of discovering the real purpose for the talents God gave you.

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

I love them all, of course—even the crusty dowager countess, who has her reasons for seeing the world as she does. However, the character who really warms my heart is 7-year-old Amelia, Henry’s ward. There is some question about her parentage, and although she is well treated, she has no real emotional bonds with anyone. Her caretakers are not equipped to give her the kind of love a child craves. Amelia’s frustrations make her stubborn and unruly, but she is also clever and resourceful. Her bravado is a cover for her insecurity about where she belongs in the world. Cara’s heart immediately goes out to the girl, for she understands what it is like to grow up without parents. Although Amelia begins the story as an emotional outcast, she will ultimately be the catalyst that brings the family together.

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

Yes! Early in the book, Cara pays a visit to the Grosvenor Gallery, an art gallery that was famous for being very forward-thinking and unique. Cara meets Lady Blanche Lindsay, who co-owned the gallery with her husband, Sir Coutts Lindsay. They both loved art and were painters themselves. In addition, Lady Lindsay played the violin, wrote music, and even had a song copyrighted. Later in life she wrote novels, too. A woman of many talents! Unfortunately, her marriage to Sir Coutts was not a happy one, and eventually they separated. But while they were together, the gallery had a huge impact on the art world and is still remembered today for its many innovations.

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Jennifer’s Reading

farsideofthesea

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

The Far Side of the Sea by Kate Breslin. At the moment, I seem to be fascinated with books set during World War I. So many interesting books about this time period are being written.

numberoflove

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

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White. Code breakers and spies –sounds intriguing!

Jennifer is giving away a paperback book (International Entrants welcomed!). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview and Giveaway – A Tender Hope – Amanda Cabot

27 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – A Tender Hope – Amanda Cabot

So glad to have Amanda with us today. If you just must read series in order, make sure you pick up #1 at $3.20 on ebook on Amazon or check out the other book dealers’ sales prices! Let’s hear about the newest, it looks great!

atenderhope , , , , , , ,

A Tender Hope

As far as Thea Michener is concerned, it’s time for a change. With her husband murdered and her much-anticipated baby stillborn, there is nothing left for her in Ladreville. Having accepted a position as Cimarron Creek’s midwife, she has no intention of remarrying and trying for another child. So when a handsome Texas Ranger appears on her doorstep with an abandoned baby, Thea isn’t sure her heart can take it.

Ranger Jackson Guthrie isn’t concerned only with the baby’s welfare. He’s been looking for Thea, convinced that her late husband was part of the gang that killed his brother. But it soon becomes clear that the situation is far more complicated than he anticipated–and he’ll need Thea’s help if he’s ever to find the justice he seeks.

Amanda’s Website

Cabot_Amanda

Other Books in this Series:

astolenheartaborroweddream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Amanda’s Story

What inspired your story?

I have my readers to thank for this particular story.  When I finished the Texas Dreams trilogy, many readers told me that they wanted to know what happened next.  In particular, they were intrigued by Thea, the little sister in Paper Roses, and wanted her to have her own book.  It took a while – Paper Roses was released in 2009 – but they finally have a chance to see what happened to Thea when she grew up.  I hope they’re as captivated by her story as I was.

What research book or website used to write this book was your favorite to peruse?

I’m a firm believer in on-site research, so you won’t be surprised that my favorite source of information for this book wasn’t a book or a website, but a museum.  One of the times when my husband and I were traveling through Texas to research books, we visited the Texas Ranger museum in Waco.  What a fascinating place!  I could have spent the whole day there, studying the exhibits and watching the films.  When we finally pulled ourselves away, I knew that one day I would write a book with a Ranger as its hero.  That’s why Lawrence, the hero of Tomorrow’s Garden, the third of my Texas Dreams books, was a Ranger.  But one Ranger hero wasn’t enough, so when I was plotting A Tender Hope, I decided to match Thea with a Ranger.  What fun that turned out to be!

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Amanda’s Reading

aclaimofherown

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.

I’ve admired Stephanie Grace Whitson’s books for many years and for many reasons, including her meticulous research and her memorable characters. The book where her craft shone most brightly for me was A Claim of Her Own. Although I don’t consider myself easily surprised, when I reached the second scene and discovered the freighter Swede’s true name, I laughed, then reread the first scene, watching how carefully Whitson had crafted that scene. Great job!

mindingthelight

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

I just finished reading Suzanne Woods Fisher’s Minding the Light and can’t wait to read the third book in the series, The Light Before Day. If I could only choose one thing as my favorite aspect of the book, it would be the skill that she used in weaving two historical periods together at the same time that she gave readers unique insights into the Quakers. (Yes, I know those were two things, but there are so many things to admire in Fisher’s writing that it’s difficult to choose only one.)

Amanda is giving away a paperback book (USA entrants only). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview and Giveaway – The Seamstress – Allison Pittman

23 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – The Seamstress – Allison Pittman

If you loved The Tale of Two Cities, or just want something out of the ordinary, Allison’s new book looks like a winner. I’ve heard great things about it already, and it’s cheap on ebook at the moment–if you don’t want to wait to see if you win, snap it up right away!

seamstress , , , ,

The Seamstress

It is the best of times . . .

On a tranquil farm nestled in the French countryside, two orphaned cousins—Renée and Laurette—have been raised under the caring guardianship of young Émile Gagnon, the last of a once-prosperous family. No longer starving girls, Laurette and Renée now spend days tending Gagnon’s sheep, and nights in their cozy loft, whispering secrets and dreams in this time of waning innocence and peace.

It is the worst of times . . .

Paris groans with a restlessness that can no longer be contained within its city streets. Hunger and hatred fuel her people. Violence seeps into the ornate halls of Versailles. Even Gagnon’s table in the quiet village of Mouton Blanc bears witness to the rumbles of rebellion, where Marcel Moreau embodies its voice and heart.

It is the story that has never been told.

In one night, the best and worst of fate collide. A chance encounter with a fashionable woman will bring Renée’s sewing skills to light and secure a place in the court of Queen Marie Antoinette. An act of reckless passion will throw Laurette into the arms of the increasingly militant Marcel. And Gagnon, steadfast in his faith in God and country, can only watch as those he loves march straight into the heart of the revolution.

Allison’s Website

allisonpitmanpic

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Allison’s Story

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

My favorite character turned out to be Gagnon, the young widower who brought these two orphaned cousins into his home. That was a little surprising for me, because I don’t usually enjoy crafting the more godly characters in my novels. Usually they just stand as stalwart examples who serve as a gravitational pull for my more interesting “sinners.” While Gagnon certainly fulfills that role, he is a bit more dimensional than that. I loved the moments when his anger and frustration bubbled to the surface. I couldn’t wait to get to the part of the story when we learn of his struggle with sin. Most of all, I enjoyed crafting his love for his country—faults and all. He lives in the grip of poverty but refuses the call to revolution. He recognizes the monarchy’s faults but will not allow slanderous talk at his table. In fact, “Gagnon’s table” becomes a metaphor in itself throughout the novel. It is a place of peace and welcome and plenty, even when that plenty doesn’t seem like it would be nearly enough.

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

I’d have to say it’s the chapter that depicts the attack of the women on Versailles. Chapter 25. This is a favorite scene of mine from A Tale of Two Cities, with the infamous Mme Defarge at the forefront. To think, these were women driven by poverty and starvation, who had held their dying children and watched the life drain from their husbands. They took up what weapons they had and took action. I’m not one to ever (really, ever) condone violence, but this gives us a picture of what happens to a society pushed too far. Often, men are credited for the dramatic shakes in history. In this case, women—housewives, mothers, widows—delivered a terrifying message to the monarchy, a taste of the murderous regime to come. I loved taking that momentous event and whittling it down to three women: Renée, the seamstress, an innocent observer to the chaos; Marie Antoinette, the queen, a wife and mother herself, cowering in the face of homicidal rage; and Anne, a persona pasted to a nameless, forgotten figure, who may have struck the first mortal blow of the revolution.

What research book or website used to write this book was your favorite to peruse?

I had this great book called Versailles (Tony Spawforth, 2010) that went into exquisite detail about the history, architecture, floor plan, and functionality of the palace at Versailles. Early in planning the book, I desperately wanted to actually go to Versailles, but now I wonder if I would have gleaned as much from that trip as I did from this book. Today, it is a museum; in the days of my story, it was a working home, a public place, a government workplace, a warehouse. So I incorporated a lot that I learned in that book into the plot, of course, whenever Renée is running around the halls, zipping in and out of rooms. But certain details also wormed into my understanding and depiction of historical characters. For example, I learned that Louis XVI’s office was in a room still depicting murals and other decor in deference to the god Poseidon. I’ve always felt Louis XVI was unprepared, and maybe a bit unwilling, to be a king—literally underwater, out of place, drowning in the rising sea of revolutionary violence.

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Allison’s Reading

refugeassured

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

This one came out a couple of years ago, but A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green takes place in the years immediately following the French Revolution. The heroine is a lace-maker spared the violence of the regime (they executed anyone associated with the excesses of the aristocracy), and the story highlights one of the great mysteries of the royal family: Whatever happened to the dauphin, Louis-Charles? It’s a fantastic read, bringing the survivors of the violence in France to the newly formed United States.

sonsofblackbirdmountain

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 Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof. It’s actually been out for a while, but I was waiting to read it when it was my turn for book club pick! My favorite thing about it is the same as my favorite thing about her previous novel, The Lady and the Lionheart—Bischof is unafraid of crafting physically imposing heroes—with almost brutish physiques—and giving them true, deeply buried, heartbreaking vulnerability. In this novel, Thor—a totally deaf man who struggles with alcoholism—has carried a hatred for his younger brother, blaming him for their mother’s death. It’s something he cannot reconcile and, given the limits of language, has no recourse to really work it out. Nobody writes men better than Joanne. They are interesting and dimensional, their stories crafted so individually to themselves. She’s fearless that way.

priceofprivilege

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

There are so many! But two that stand out as an actual challenge are the final titles in the Price of Privilege series by Jessica Dotta. These, too, have been out for a while and just came to my attention in the past year through the gushing of my friend and agent, Rachel McMillan. There’s an urgency here, because the three books comprise a single story arc, and I’ve let far too many other reads get in the way of finishing the series!

Allison is giving away a paperback book (USA entrants only). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview and Giveaway – Laurel’s Dream – Pepper Basham

31 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – Laurel’s Dream – Pepper Basham

There is just something about the mountains that draws, yes? And if you loved Christy and want to return to that beautiful setting in fiction, check out Pepper Basham’s next book.

heartbelongsblueridgelaurelsdream, , , , , , , ,

My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream

Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?

Pepper’s Website

pepperquiltesmile

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Pepper’s Story

What inspired your story?

I LOVE THIS STORY!!! 😊 This book came out of family history stories that my grandmother would tell me from as many as five generations back. Some of the characters are based on real-life people from my family history but most are just representations of people I grew up imagining as I’d listen to my granny’s stories. Having the opportunity to celebrate my Appalachian culture through the mode of creative writing, and allowing readers to ‘visit’ this disappearing culture, has been such an honor and joy.

Which scene is your favorite, the one you never tired of working with?

AHHHH!!! Only one???? Well, in the second chapter (spilling into the 3rd chapter) there’s this encounter with a mountain lion that was SUPER fun (and a little eerie) to write! It’s a great way to introduce the hero to the Appalachia culture with a little zing 😉

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

Actually, both sad and ‘aha’ – in Appalachia there was a lot of alcoholism, but for a portion of folks in this area (particularly men) they had this very strange way of being drunk. Seasonally, actually. My granny would share stories of men staying drunk during winter, but working 9 months out of the year (spring-fall) without any ‘drunk’ spells at all. When I started doing research about this, there were a few articles relating Seasonal Affective Disorder to the type of alcoholism that was happening in the mountains. With the natural darkness of the days, combined with the ‘darkness’ of the surrounding mountains, AND the relative remoteness of being stuck in those mountains during the cold winter – it started making a lot of sense.

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Pepper’s Reading

anameunknown 

What was the last Christian Historical Novel whose characters stayed in your head days after you finished reading it?

A Name Unknown by Roseanna White

 

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

Mary Connealy’s books – beginning with Petticoat Ranch 😊

 aboundheart

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

Laura Frantz’s novel A Bound Heart

Pepper is giving away winner’s choice of a paperback book (USA entrants only) or an ebook (Worldwide entrants). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview and Giveaway – The Liberty Bride – MaryLu Tyndall

7 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – The Liberty Bride – MaryLu Tyndall

I hope you enjoy learning about another installment in the popular Daughters of the Mayflower series, set in the war of 1812 on a ship, by an author who knows her war of 1812 and her way around a ship!

thelibertybride

, , , , , , , ,

The Liberty Bride

Lieutenant Owen Masters and Emeline Baratt meet on a British warship as sworn enemies. Where will Emeline place her loyalties when forced to spy against her country?

A trip home from England to Maryland in 1812 finds Emeline Baratt a captive on a British warship and forced to declare her allegiance between the British and Americans. Remaining somewhat politically neutral on a ship where her nursing skills are desperately needed is fairly easy—until she starts to have feelings for the first lieutenant who becomes her protector. However, when the captain sends her and Lieutenant Owen Masters on land to spy, she must choose between her love for him and her love for her country.

MaryLu’s Website

maryluphoto

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about MaryLu’s Story

What inspired your story? 

I have always loved the War of 1812. I don’t remember ever learning about it in school, but it’s truly a fascinating war. Did you know the British burned down Washington D.C.?  Anyway, I have a series set during this war called Surrender to Destiny. This is the war in which our National Anthem was written!  So, when my publisher asked me to write this book as part of the Daughters of the Mayflower series, I jumped at the chance.

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

Hmm. Well, at the risk of giving away part of the story, *SMALL SPOILER ALERT* there’s this one scene that I had so much fun writing. The hero and heroine have fallen in love, but they both think the other one is a spy for their enemy. Hence, they are forced to confront each other and both pull a pistol on the other at the same time. It sounds like a frightening scene, but it ended up being rather fun and humorous

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

Yes, there was a tragic death on the British side that really hit me hard. His name was General Robert Ross and he was a hero and a darling of England. He made a name for himself in the Napoleonic wars. He was young, honorable and well-liked among his men. They say his death caused the troops to lose so much morale that they lost the war.

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about MaryLu’s Reading

buccaneerseries

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals? 

Linda Chaikin’s Buccaneers series!

captiveheart

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?

Without a doubt, Michelle Griep.  I simply adored her novel, The Captive Heart!  But I love everything she writes.

nobleguardian

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

The Noble Guardian by Michelle Griep

MaryLu is giving away a paperback book (USA only). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview and Giveaway – Romancing the Bride – Melissa Jagears

45 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – Romancing the Bride – Melissa Jagears

hopebythebookcoverHave you heard of Hope by the Book? It’s a new magazine for readers of Christian Fiction and it looks so good! The first issue comes out soon and you can use the code BOOKISH to save $4 on a subscription. This month’s book just earned a bookmarked review from Hope by the Book, check it out!

hopebythebookreviewRTB

RomancingtheBrideSMALL , , , , , , , ,  

Romancing the Bride

Marrying a stranger to save a ranch is one thing; losing the land on their wedding day is another.

Desperate to keep the ranch where three of her children and a husband lie buried, Annie Gephart must marry or sell. Which of the few bachelors in town would consider a surprise proposal to wed a plain widow with a rebellious daughter, a spirited boy, and unpaid taxes—without laughing in her face?

Jacob Hendrix has never fully let go of his ranching dreams despite ending up as a small Wyoming town’s marshal. The job wouldn’t be so bad, except he’s more errand boy than lawman. When Annie proposes marriage without a single coquettish bat of an eyelash, can he commit himself to a woman he hardly knows for a choice piece of property he’d be an idiot to pass up?

But taxes aren’t all that threaten Annie and Jacob’s plans. Cattle rustlers, crumbling friendships, and wayward children make this marriage of convenience anything but. When they lose what they’ve sacrificed everything to save, will the love of a stranger be enough?

Melissa’s Website

jagearshorizphotoauthor

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Melissa’s Story

 

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

I’d choose Jacob. The man has integrity and patience. Patience beyond what I possess.

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

I did a ton of research, of course, but I hit upon a JACKPOT article that basically shaped Jacob’s job and several plot threads. The article was titled: “City management in the old west: what was it like to manage a small city in Wyoming in the mid-1880s, and how did the city administration evolve in response to a variety of issues confronting the Laramie city council?”

If you’re not a writer, you may not know how exciting it is to find an article that answers EVERY question you could possibly have on how to set something up. Usually you have to go digging around all over the place to find answers, but I found so many answers in this article and even things I could add that I’d never have thought to add. Some of the crazy jobs I gave to Jacob you may think I just made up to complicate his life, but I didn’t. Read this sentence from the article:

“However, in these early days, the chief of police or town marshal performed many duties not normally associated with law enforcement, including removing corpses from an old cemetery, notifying citizens that they needed to construct sidewalks, capturing stray livestock, filling potholes on city streets, and raking the city’s streets and alleys.”

If you read the book, you can see Jacob doing all of that. 🙂

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

Yes, eight years ago, when I first started writing this, I set it in 1887 (for some reason I don’t recall) and as I worked at writing the book, I kept reading historical books on the area and ran across a single sentence that blew away my whole entire premise! In the winter of 1886/1887 there was a huge blizzard that basically devastated the area. Land in the area would have been pretty worthless and Jacob could buy basically any land he wanted so Annie’s land wouldn’t have been much of an enticement. So I had to change some things to set it earlier in the 1880s.

So, given the blizzard coming, I knew in a few years, Jacob and Annie’s place is going to fall on some major hard times historically, which made me sort of sad for their happily ever after, hence why I decided to make Jacob think about breeding fine horses instead of going all gung-ho about cattle ranching so that they’ll be ahead of the game come the blizzard they don’t know will hit them. I’m looking out for my characters. 🙂

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Melissa’s Reading

earlsmistakenbride

 

 

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

I reread the two Abby Gaines books: The Earl’s Mistaken Bride and The Governess and Mr. Granville. I remember reading those years ago and saying that the author was now an auto-buy, so I wanted to brush up on why I said that because I forgot. 🙂 Probably because it was well written and it was refreshing that the heroes both primary and secondary were rather highly flawed and yet I still rooted for them.

maidtomatch

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.

Maid to Match by Deanne Gist. I remember reading that one and being so impressed at the end on how flawlessly the set up was for me to flip pages and there felt as if there was no lag anywhere. So I outlined the book and discovered some tricks on how to keep the push/pull between the hero and heroine going strong if set up similarly.

markoftheking

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

Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green. I read that on a long drive during vacation and had to sniff back the tears as my husband in the driver seat likely thought I was a loony crying beside him in silence.

I’m giving away a choice of paperback or ebook (International Entrants welcome if you are on this list of countries.). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview & Giveaway – Jacob’s Bell – John Snyder

6 Comments on Author Interview & Giveaway – Jacob’s Bell – John Snyder

Are you in the mood for Christmas? Doesn’t the cover look like one you ought to read by a fire?

jacobsbell

, , , , , , , , , ,  

Jacob’s Bell

At one time, Jacob had it all: wealth, a wonderful family and a position as one of the most respected businessmen in Chicago. Then he made some bad decisions and all that changed. For the past twenty years he lived in an alcohol-induced haze, riddled with guilt for the dreadful things he had done to his family and his role in the untimely death of his wife. Estranged from his children and penniless, he was in and out of jail, on the street and jumping freight trains for transportation. Realizing he needed a drastic change, Jacob embarked on a journey to find his children, seek their forgiveness, and restore his relationship with them. Befriended by a pastor at a Salvation Army mission, he struggled to transform his life. Yet finally he overcame his demons, but not without a fair number of setbacks. Jacob became a Salvation Army Bell Ringer at Christmastime. While ringing his bell on a street corner one snowy day, he met a young girl who, through a series of strange coincidences, led him back to his children and facilitated Jacob’s forgiveness just in time for Christmas.

John’s Website

johnsnyder

 

 

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about John’s Story

What inspired your story?

I am intrigued by people, family dynamics and overcoming obstacles. Jacob’s Bell: A Christmas Story encompasses all of this. I also, love Christmas and how the holiday can transform peoples’ hearts.

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

Jacob! Absolutely hands down.

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

Jacob. His life was such a roller coaster, and at some points, such a train wreck, but he overcame his obstacles and achieved his goal; forgiveness. What a journey!

*******************************************************************************************************

John is giving away FIVE books (USA only). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview & Giveaway – Hidden Among the Stars – Melanie Dobson

36 Comments on Author Interview & Giveaway – Hidden Among the Stars – Melanie Dobson

Heidi Chiavaroli Endorsement - HATS

 hiddenamongthestars

, , , , , , , , , ,

Hidden Among the Stars

The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan―even their very lives―in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambi that connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.

Melanie’s Website

pic_FULL_Dobson_Melanie

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Melanie’s Story

What inspired your story?

A castle in Austria! My husband and I backpacked across Europe to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary, and our favorite stop was the ancient town and alpine lake called Hallstatt. Along the lakeshore was a medieval castle that captured my attention, but it took me years to uncover its story.

On this trip, we discovered that this Austrian region is often called “Devil’s Dustbin” because the Nazis retreated through these Alps near the end of World War II, throwing all sorts of valuable items in the lakes. Because of the water’s depth and the many hiding places in the underwater forests, caves, and shifting sands, people continue searching for World War II artifacts here today.

Which scene is your favorite, the one you never tired of working with? 

The first chapter with Max Dornbach digging in the cemetery was my favorite scene to write. Annika, the girl who helps care for the Dornbach property, is watching her friend Max as he digs in this plot behind his family’s estate, and the first paragraph hints at the future for her character. Then the scene transitions into her longing to be loved by him.

I loved writing this chapter, because I wanted readers to hear Annika’s heart and see Max from her point of view. Also, I wanted readers to wonder what Max is burying in the cemetery.

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

A historical fact that I uncovered completely changed the direction in the second half of the story. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what it is because this unusual fact is pivotal to my contemporary character finding resolution to the almost eighty-year-old mystery in the book. 🙂

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Melanie’s Reading

secretsshekeptlostcastle

 

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

Cathy Gohlke’s Secrets She Kept and Kristy Cambron’s The Lost Castle are both fascinating time-slip novels with stories set partially during World War II.

Julie

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

Catherine Marshall’s Julie compelled me to read and then write inspirational historical fiction. I empathized with the main character (a young writer) and was inspired by the powerful themes of faith and love in the story.

solaceofwater

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

I just finished reading The Solace of Water by Elizabeth Byler Younts. It’s a beautifully-written story about three women, set during the 1950s in Pennsylvania’s Amish country. Elizabeth is a gifted wordsmith and invites readers into her fictional world in such a way that you feel deeply for the characters and their heartache, hoping they will find healing for their pain.

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

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more chances to win a paperback, Melanie is giving away ten on her website here. And there is a Goodreads giveaway from 9/4 – 10/4.

Author Interview & Giveaway – Thief of Corinth – Tessa Afshar

12 Comments on Author Interview & Giveaway – Thief of Corinth – Tessa Afshar

I had the privilege of reading this book early and recommend it. Those that prefer that the romance does not take center stage and those that want something of a romance involved should both be happy. If you’ve ever read Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion trilogy and have ever wanted to read something else like it, this book has the same feel without all the gladiator games. Ancient Corinth/Athens, underhanded Romans, the early church. Skilled writing.

Greece, , , , , , , , , ,  

Thief of Corinth

First-century Corinth is a city teeming with commerce and charm. It’s also filled with danger and corruption—the perfect setting for Ariadne’s greatest adventure.

After years spent living with her mother and oppressive grandfather in Athens, Ariadne runs away to her father’s home in Corinth, only to discover the perilous secret that destroyed his marriage: though a Greek of high birth, Galenos is the infamous thief who has been robbing the city’s corrupt of their ill-gotten gains.

Desperate to keep him safe, Ariadne risks her good name, her freedom, and the love of the man she adores to become her father’s apprentice. As her unusual athletic ability leads her into dangerous exploits, Ariadne discovers that she secretly revels in playing with fire. But when the wrong person discovers their secret, Ariadne and her father find their future—and very lives—hanging in the balance.

When they befriend a Jewish rabbi named Paul, they realize that his radical message challenges everything they’ve fought to build, yet offers something neither dared hope for.

Tessa’s Website

_SC10001

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Tessa’s Story

What inspired your story?

The apostle Paul had a special affection for the people of Corinth. Perhaps this was because he founded the first church there through his personal ministry. Many of Corinth’s inhabitants were on the naughty side. In his letter to the house churches he helped to build, Paul says they had been greedy, immoral, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers before Jesus grabbed a hold of them (1Corinthians 6:9-11). I wanted to write about a character that fit this mold. Someone who was a bit of a rascal, with a lot of spunk, and yet managed to be lovable. My favorite books are often about imperfect characters, people who make wrong choices and land themselves in deep pits. That is how my character Ariadne was born. A woman who seemed to have it all, but turned to theft in order to solve the mounting financial problems of her beloved family.

Why did you choose the year your book is set?

Most of this story takes place around 50 AD, smack in the middle of Paul’s second missionary journey. It is an exciting time both in history and in the world of faith. The Romans are at the height of their power and ingenuity. The city of Corinth sparkles with engineering marvels. They have figured out ways to install glass in their windows, an art which is subsequently lost for centuries. They have indoor plumbing (a fact I use to advantage in one of Ariadne’s heists. I’m afraid I have a weakness for bathroom humor.) The Roman Empire of the first century is one of the most exciting time periods to write about. Subtly running beneath this grand display of power is the river of faith that is flowing through the work of men like Paul. As a writer, I can’t ask for a better period to write about.

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

I am known for writing biblical fiction. But I would love to write a historical novel based in England during Jane Austen times.

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Tessa’s Reading

Isaiah's Daughter

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

Biblical fiction is growing in popularity, and many writers are contributing to the genre. From Ted Dekker to Davis Bunn, Christian authors are penning stories based on Bible events and times. Other writers include the lovely Mesu Andrews, who recently released Isaiah’s Daughter, a novel set in the Old Testament era.

avoiceinthewind

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

Hard to say. I have always been a fan of historical fiction. I think my first specifically Christian historical novel was A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. Of course I became a fan after that!

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

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview & Giveaway – The Hope of Azure Springs – Rachel Fordham

8 Comments on Author Interview & Giveaway – The Hope of Azure Springs – Rachel Fordham

If you’re one who’s looking for an unusual heroine in a romance (as in, not the gorgeous, flawless heroine) this may be the book for you! Welcome Rachel with her new book!

, , , , , ,  

The Hope of Azure Springs

Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won’t be able to do it alone.

For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He’s determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn’t expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.

Rachel’s Website

rachelfordham

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Rachel’s Story

What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?

During the writing of this book my son became very ill. In fact he was so sick I didn’t open my laptop for five months. When I did come back to it I found a lot of strength from the words I had previously written. The Hope of Azure Springs is full of characters that have endured hard things and have to go on living despite them. In my writing I’d encouraged them to continue to find joy. At that time in my life I very much had to follow my own advice and like Em I had to live and love and trust in brighter days ahead.

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

I really came to love all of the fine folks of Azure Springs but Margaret might be my favorite. She was so true to herself, full of wisdom and she has an excellent sense of humor. If I lived in Azure Springs I’d want to be her neighbor!

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

Honestly, the epilogue is the scene that stands out the most to me. I was done writing this book and happy with how it wrapped up. Then days later I woke up in the middle of the night and just knew it needed a little bit more. An early reader said “it’s the cherry on top of a perfect sundae” and I agree. It’s not long but it’s what brings it full circle and I could not imagine the story without that little ending scene.

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Rachel’s Reading

ladyandthelionheart

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

The Lady and the Lionheart By Joanne Bischof. The setting was so intriguing but more than that it was the characters that won me over. By page one I was rooting for them. I still haven’t figured out how she did it. It’s really a wonderful read.

The Lacemaker

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

The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz. It’s sitting where I can see it right now and as soon as I have a lull in my busy life (we have a houseful of little people) I’m going to pick it up and devour it.

Rachel is giving away either a signed paperback or ebook (USA only) and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of any of the books mentioned above. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview & Giveaway – The Captured Bride – Michelle Griep

58 Comments on Author Interview & Giveaway – The Captured Bride – Michelle Griep

I’m excited to have Michelle on the blog. I recently read Brentwood’s Ward and I’m now a fan. Here’s her newest!

thecapturedbride

, , , , , , , , , , ,

The Captured Bride

A War-Torn Countryside Is No Place for a Lady

Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause. . .to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not her life that is threatened. It is her heart. 

Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he is offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort—but he is the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought.  

Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?

Michelle’s Website

Headshot Michelle GRIEP

 

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep.

Book I: The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
Book II: The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)

Here’s a fun site you might want to mention. It’s just for the Daughters of the Mayflower series and offers extras and freebies. http://www.daughtersofthemayflower.com/

mayflowerbridepiratebride 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Michelle’s Story

What inspired your story?

The idea for this story came from a legend that sprang up during the years of the French and Indian War and was first printed in an 1875 Ohio newspaper. Apparently there was a shipment of French gold being moved from Fort Duquesne to Fort Detroit. En route, the French soldiers were afraid of an impending attack, either by Indians or British soldiers—it’s unclear. They decided to bury the gold and then hide until the threat passed. When they went back to retrieve their cargo, it was gone. Where did it go? To this day, no one knows.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

For research, my husband and I took a trip last summer to upstate New York. Wow. I had no idea how beautiful that part of the country is! The highlight of this trip was visiting a 3 day re-enactment camp set at Fort Niagara. They condensed an entire 18 day siege of the fort down to 36 hours.

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

My heroine is a scout for the British army. While I didn’t uncover any actual women scouts set during this period, I did find many women who were messengers. In actuality, a scout is a messenger, bringing back news of what they’ve seen, so I based my information on those brave women who passed news along the front.

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Michelle’s Reading

amoonbownight

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

Author Laura Frantz is a huge inspiration to me. Her writing is always stellar, but in particular, I re-read A Moonbow Night to get into the mood of this era. She captures Colonial dialogue like none other.

ladyjanedisappears

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 new-to-me author I recently discovered is Joanna Davidson Politano. Her debut novel, Lady Jayne Disappears, is absolutely exquisite. It’s set in Victorian England, and as the name implies, is a bit of a mystery. I love both those elements. But what I really love is her beautiful prose. Her combination of words paints mind pictures like none other.

Michelle is giving away either a signed paperback or ebook (USA only) and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of any of the books mentioned above. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview & Giveaway – Millie’s Resolve – Rebecca Jepson

19 Comments on Author Interview & Giveaway – Millie’s Resolve – Rebecca Jepson

Please welcome a debut novelist, Rebecca Jepson! I know there are many fans of the My Heart Belongs series and I’m happy to have Rebecca with us today to tell us about hers!

milliesresolve

, , , , , , ,

My Heart Belongs in Glenwood Springs, CO:

Millie’s Resolve

Millie Cooper, fisherman’s-daughter-turned-nurse, flees a painful entanglement with the wealthy Drexel family who summered near her childhood home in Nantucket, only to encounter them again six years later in Glenwood Springs. The serenity of her mountain hideaway in a town with healing springs is disrupted when she faces caring for the elderly mother and the expectant wife of Stephen Drexel, the man she’d once loved—at the request of his brother John, the man who’d kept them apart. Will Millie forgive the wrongs she feels were done to her, or will she come to see them as a blessing in disguise that leads her to greater joys?

 

Rebecca’s Website

Rebecca Jepson_photo

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Rebecca’s Story

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

The characters, especially Millie, John, and Stephen. They’re so vivid to me, so . . . likable. That probably sounds strange, since I made them up! But whenever these three people interact, whether one-on-one or all together, the story comes to life. I also love the romantic element of the book, the reluctant attraction, the misunderstandings, the unspoken heart’s desires. The dynamic between the brothers is fun, too.

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

There’s a scene in chapter six where the romantic tension really builds. The hero is puzzled by the nervous way Millie is acting toward him. Being an unassuming guy, at first he doesn’t recognize her attraction to him for what it is, and mistakenly believes she’s afraid of him. I love this moment when he realizes the truth:

She gave him a skittish glance, half a smile, and suddenly, he knew. Intuition hadn’t revealed it to him, nor had experience. He had neither where women were concerned. But somehow, he’d solved the mystery.

She’s flustered. Not scared, flustered. He was unable to stop himself, then, from finding her gaze…and holding it until she blushed.   

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

A fishing village in Wales, probably sometime between 1900 and World War I. I’ve been captivated by Wales ever since I watched The Englishman Who Went up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain, a delightful movie set in rural Wales in 1917. As for fishing villages, I think my fascination might have begun when I visited Seward, Alaska, an incredibly beautiful fishing port on the Kenai Peninsula.

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Rebecca’s Reading

thorninmyheart

Who is your favorite Christian Historical heroine?

Probably Leana McBride from the Lowlands of Scotland series by Liz Curtis Higgs. Leana possesses a quiet, meek inner beauty, while still being imperfect enough to be relatable. And though she’s entangled in a web of deception, conflict and rivalry, she somehow manages to find joy in the little things, tending her garden and sewing her one-of-a-kind garments with an infectious delight. I return to the series again and again, always stirred by her story, which is based on the life of Leah in the Old Testament.

stealinghome

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.

Stealing Home by Allison Pittman, a novel set in Picksville, Missouri in 1905. The writing in this book is absolutely fluid—an especially impressive feat because one of the main characters is deaf, yet whenever he communicates with the other characters, the writing flows seamlessly. One of the main things I gleaned from reading this book was to choose my words with great care and economy. I noticed as I read the story that wordy, sappy scenes weren’t needed to create a world of chemistry between the hero and heroine. It’s as if every word chosen to build that relationship is infused with passion.

Rebecca is giving away THREE paperbacks (USA only) and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of any of the books mentioned above. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview and Giveaway – The Unconventional Governess – Jessica Nelson

38 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – The Unconventional Governess – Jessica Nelson

Welcome Jessica Nelson! We’re talking about her newest Regency release today. Who doesn’t love a library background for a cover?

unconventionalgoverness , , , , , , ,

The Unconventional Governess

Henrietta Gordon has one dream: to practice medicine alongside the uncle who raised her. But when he insists she stay in London and find a husband, she must figure out a way to earn money toward her goal. Could handsome earl Dominic, Lord St. Raven, be the answer?

Desperate to find a governess for his niece after his brother’s death, Dominic hires Henrietta—and is soon taken by her smarts and determination. But as Henrietta comes to care deeply for Dominic and his charge, the thought of inevitably leaving them feels impossible, forcing her to decide what’s more important—following her dreams or her heart.

Jessica’s Website

AuthorJessicaNelson

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Jessica’s Story

What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?

I learned that I want to be like Henrietta, and not only learn to recognize real love, but to also accept it.

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

I had to read historical medical sites about surgeons, apothecaries, and physicians. I hunted down sites that deal with healing herbs that grow in England, and I even downloaded the pdf book A Practical Synopsis to the Materia Alimentaria and the Materia Medica. Written in 1808 and it fascinates me that I can digitally hold it in my curious little palms AKA hard drive. 🙂  

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

The way epileptics were treated, the state of hospitals and asylums.

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Jessica’s Reading

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

That would be Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion series

Who is your favorite Christian Historical heroine?

I think I will always love Hadassah, from A Voice in the Wind. There is so much about her that resonated with me when I read it.

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.

The historical detail in Julie Klassen’s regencies put me to shame. And I have to mention the romantic tension in Julie Lessman’s A Passion Most Pure. Both books inspired me to take more care in how I write.

Jessica is giving away a copy paperback (USA or International) and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of any of the books mentioned above. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview and Giveaway – A Borrowed Dream – Amanda Cabot

35 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – A Borrowed Dream – Amanda Cabot

I’m excited to host Amanda Cabot for a second end of the month giveaway! And Amanda’s been gracious to offer two paperbacks to two lucky readers, along with the ebook of anything book she mentions in the interview. Welcome, Amanda.

aborroweddream , , , , , ,

 A Borrowed Dream

Catherine Whitfield is sure that she will never again be able to trust anyone in the medical profession after the town doctor’s excessive bleeding treatments killed her mother. Despite her loneliness and her broken heart, she carries bravely on as Cimarron Creek’s dutiful schoolteacher, resigned to a life without love or family, a life where dreams rarely come true.

Austin Goddard is a newcomer to Cimarron Creek. Posing as a rancher, he fled to Texas to protect his daughter from a dangerous criminal. He’s managed to keep his past as a surgeon a secret. But when Catherine Whitfield captures his heart, he wonders how long he will be able to keep up the charade.

With a deft hand, Amanda Cabot teases out the strands of love, deception, and redemption in this charming tale of dreams deferred and hopes becoming reality.

Amanda’s Website

Cabot_Amanda

Other Books in this Series:

astolenheart

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Amanda’s Story

What inspired your story?

I’ve always been intrigued by the dramatic changes in medicine during the nineteenth century as doctors shunned the previously popular Heroic Medicine (techniques like bleeding and purging), and moved toward germ theory and a recognition of the importance of cleanliness.  There was such a contrast between the two schools of medicine that I thought it would be fun to pair a hero who exemplified all that was good about modern (well, as modern as it could be in 1881) medicine with a heroine who had good reason to distrust all doctors based on her experiences with the horrors of Heroic Medicine.

What research book or website used to write this book was your favorite to peruse?

T.R. Fehrenbach’s Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans is my go-to book for basic historical research on Texas.  Like the state itself, it’s big – more than 750 pages long – and filled with fascinating facts.  

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Amanda’s Reading

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

Stephanie Grace Whitson’s Secrets on the Wind was so beautifully written and had such an intriguing plot line that it made me not only want to read everything she’d written but also try my hand at writing a Christian Historical novel of my own. It also inspired me to take a trip to Fort Robinson, but that’s a story for another day.

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?

Without a doubt, that would be Ann Gabhart. She’s such a talented, versatile author, giving readers wonderful books set in different time periods, not to mention that she writes mysteries as well as historical fiction. See what I mean about versatility? It’s hard to choose just one of Ann’s books, so let me list my two favorites: her current release, These Healing Hills, and Angel Sister.

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

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview and Giveaway – The Amish Nanny’s Sweetheart – Jan Drexler

34 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – The Amish Nanny’s Sweetheart – Jan Drexler

Are you ready for Spring? I am! And this cover’s trees blossoming is making me impatient! Jan often bases her books on stories of her ancestors as she’s done for this one and that always intrigues me. Welcome Jan!

The Amish Nanny's Sweetheart

  , , , , , ,

The Amish Nanny’s Sweetheart

As nanny for her nephew, Judith Lapp’s finally part of a vibrant, joyful Amish community instead of living on the outskirts looking in. But teaching her neighbors’ Englischer farmworker to read Pennsylvania Dutch wasn’t part of her plan. And the more time she spends with Guy Hoover, the more he sparks longings for a home and family of Judith’s own.

Guy figured he would never be truly accepted by his Amish employers’ community—even though the Mast family treats him like a son. But Judith’s steadfast caring shows him that true belonging could be within his reach…if he and Judith can reconcile their very different hopes—and hearts.

Jan’s Website

Jan Drexler 300 dpi

Other Books in this Series:

 

 

 

 

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Jan’s Story

What inspired your story?

This story was inspired by my grandfather. He had been left in an orphanage at an early age by his father only days after his mother died in childbirth. His newborn sister was placed for adoption, but his father never signed away his parental rights for Guy and his younger brother. So, they grew up in the orphanage, spending their summers working for area farmers. I put a fictional twist on the true story but kept my hero’s character as close to my grandfather as I could.

Did any of your characters “fight” with you until you succumbed and changed their personality or the story choice you were forcing them into?

I tried to make Luke Kaufman, one of the secondary characters, into a real weasel. I thought he was one of these fellows who considered himself a superstar in the community. But even though he cooperated with me early in the story, he wouldn’t stay in his predetermined role.

Which scene is your favorite, the one you never tired of working with?

There is a scene in chapter ten that was very hard to write, but it is definitely my favorite. Up until this point, Guy has been hiding behind an emotional wall, not revealing his feelings to anyone, not even himself. In this scene we see and feel what he wants…what he needs… And we’re left wondering if he is ever going to be brave enough to grasp at that dream that floats just beyond his reach.

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Jan’s Reading

phoebeslight

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

I recently read Suzanne Woods Fisher’s new release, “Phoebe’s Light.” I could tell that Suzanne had done extensive research on the history of Nantucket, the whaling industry, and the Quakers in the 1700’s, but the historical accuracy came second to the characters. Somehow, even when Phoebe made the wrong choices, I was rooting for her. I can’t wait to read the other books in the series!

likeariverfromitscourse

What was the last Christian Historical Novel whose characters stayed in your head days after you finished reading it?

Last spring, I read “Like a River from Its Course” by Kelli Stuart. It was haunting and beautiful. I had stayed up all night reading it and was a basket case the next day…but it was worth it.

Jan is giving away a copy paperback OPEN WORLDWIDE and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of any of the books mentioned above. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!

lostcastle

, , , , , , , , ,

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

*******************************************************************************************************

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!

*******************************************************************************************************

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.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

, , , , , , ,

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

Fisher_SuzanneWoods

*******************************************************************************************************

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.

*******************************************************************************************************

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.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

  , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Luesse_Valerie -

 

PHOTO CREDIT: Image by Mark Sandlin

*******************************************************************************************************

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.

*******************************************************************************************************

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.

*******************************************************************************************************

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.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!

houseonfosterhill

, , , , , ,

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

*******************************************************************************************************

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.

*******************************************************************************************************

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!

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!

dishonourablemissdelancy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  , 

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

*******************************************************************************************************

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.

*******************************************************************************************************

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.**

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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. 

 ladyjanedisappears

, , , , , , , ,

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

*******************************************************************************************************

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?

*******************************************************************************************************

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.**

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!

, , , , , ,

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!

 

 

 

 

 

*******************************************************************************************************

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.

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Mary’s Reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those below are FREE!

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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?

All She Left Behind-Book Cover , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Kirkpatrick_Jane

*******************************************************************************************************

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.

*******************************************************************************************************

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.**

Save

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Save

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

Freedom's Ring Cover

, , , , , , , ,

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

*******************************************************************************************************

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.

*******************************************************************************************************

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.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Save

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.

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island , , , , , ,

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

Carrie headshot colonial PM

*******************************************************************************************************

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!!!

*******************************************************************************************************

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!!!

coverALSTsmall

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.**

Save

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Save

Save

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!

coverALSTsmall  , , , , , , ,  

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

jagearshorizphotoauthor

 

Other Books in this series:

Engaging the Competition final cover HeartMostCertain cover
Only $1.99!

$2.99 or less

this month ONLY!

****************************************************************

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.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

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!

behind the scenes cover

, , , , , ,

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

IMG_1634A

Other books in this series:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*******************************************************************************************************

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.

*******************************************************************************************************

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.  

 

 

 

coverALSTsmall

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.**

Save

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Save

Save

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

, , , , , ,

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:

*******************************************************************************************************

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?

*******************************************************************************************************

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.**

Save

Save

Save

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Save

Author Interview and Giveaway – A Moonbow Night – Laura Frantz

11 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – A Moonbow Night – Laura Frantz

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!

a-moonbow-night-book-cover , , , , , , ,

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

laura-frantz-author-promo-shot

*******************************************************************************************************

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.

*******************************************************************************************************

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.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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?

, , , , , , , ,

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

*******************************************************************************************************

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.

*******************************************************************************************************

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.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!

Author Interview and Giveaway – Lynn Austin – Waves of Mercy

30 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – Lynn Austin – Waves of Mercy

Isn’t this a gorgeous cover? I’m excited to have Lynn Austin here to share about her new book! PLUS if you were here last month, author Rachel McMillan mentioned that she got to read an advanced copy of this and had this to say about Lynn’s work: “I think what I love most about Austin’s books is that they encourage you to accept that God uses all manner of people.  Her heroines always validate me as a woman who has never quite felt that she fit into a traditional woman’s role.”

waves-of-mercy-cover-1 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Waves of Mercy

Geesje de Jonge crossed the ocean at age seventeen with her parents and a small group of immigrants from The Netherlands to settle in the Michigan wilderness. Fifty years later, in 1897, she is asked to write a memoir of her early experiences as the town celebrates its anniversary. Reluctant at first, she soon uncovers memories and emotions that have remained buried all these years, including the story of her one true love. 

A few miles away at the Hotel Ottawa Resort on the shore of Lake Michigan, twenty-three-year-old Anna Nicholson is trying to ease the pain of her broken engagement to a wealthy Chicago banker. But her time of introspection is disturbed after the violent storm her steamship encounters on her journey across the lake, stirs up memories of a childhood nightmare. As more memories and dreams surface, Anna begins to question who she is and whether she wants to return to her wealthy life in Chicago. When she befriends a young seminary student who is working at the hotel for the summer, she finds herself asking him all the questions that have been troubling her.

Neither Geesje nor Anna, who are different in every possible way, can foresee the life-altering surprises awaiting them before the summer ends.

Lynn’s Website

lynnaustin_hi_02

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Lynn’s Story

What inspired your story?

The story of the Dutch immigrants who settled Holland, Michigan has interested me since I first visited Holland, Michigan as a Hope College freshman. I saw how proud the community was of their faith and their Dutch heritage—so much so, that they imported a 250 year-old windmill from the Netherlands as the showpiece of their town, and planted nearly 4 ½ million tulips in parks and gardens and along city streets. The annual Tulip Time Festival brought swarms of tourists in cars and buses and motor homes to the otherwise quiet town. All of this impressed me as a young college student.

I met my husband Ken while we were students at Hope College, and although he grew up in Holland, he didn’t know very much about his Dutch ancestry. In the years since, we’ve learned that his great-great-grandfather immigrated to Holland, Michigan with his family in 1871, when the town was only 25 years old. When Ken and I decided to move back to Michigan two years ago, I began researching Holland’s history to see if it would make a good novel, and I wasn’t disappointed! The first Dutch settlers arrived here in 1846 for religious freedom after suffering persecution and famine in the Netherlands. Since that’s been true of so many other immigrant families over the years, I knew the story would resonate with many readers. The commitment that the Dutch community had to each other and to God is very impressive.

What was the hardest part of your book to write?

Before I began researching “Waves of Mercy,” I had no idea how much hardship and suffering these early settlers endured. They decided to come to America in 1846 because of religious persecution in the Netherlands. They left behind beautiful, centuries-old cities to move to the virgin wilderness of Michigan and live in crude log cabins. Their first summer here, malaria struck the community killing many settlers. A year later, a ship called the Phoenix, carrying 225 passengers, including 175 Dutch immigrants, caught fire and sank in Lake Michigan, five miles from their destination. 180 men, women and children died. As the bewildered immigrants buried their loved ones, they must have asked, “Did we really hear from God? How could He allow these tragedies to happen?”
I found it hard to write about all of these things in a realistic way because I’ve never had to endure such tragedies. But it was also difficult for me because I needed to portray their spiritual questioning in a realistic way—how did they endure and not become bitter toward God? This is an issue that many Christians still face, and I wanted to do it in a way that would bring hope without resorting to “pat” answers.

What research book or website used to write this book was your favorite to peruse?

One resource that really sparked my imagination were the wonderful programs presented by a local group called the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association. This group of divers search for sunken ships in the Great Lakes using historic records, then film their underwater dives as they explore the wrecks. Along with their website, they’ve also published several books that document the history of various vessels, detailing how and why they sank. The Association’s books and presentations gave me a peek into the sometimes-dangerous world of sailing on Lake Michigan in the 19th Century and inspired me to include a shipwreck (or two!) in my upcoming novel, “Waves of Mercy.”  

*******************************************************************************************************

Questions about Lynn’s Reading

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

It would have to be “The Zion Chronicles” by Bodie Thoene, published back in the late 1980s. Book One was “The Gates of Zion” and tells of the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948. I was just beginning to think about writing back then, and these books were all the rage in our church library in Canada. The books were among the very first to be categorized as Christian Historical Fiction and really paved the way for the variety of historical fiction published today.

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

I would choose “Christy” by Catherine Marshall. It was released in 1967, long before Christian books became popular, but it is an all-time classic. Her characters are unforgettable and she deals with issues of faith in a realistic, appealing way. The fact that it was based on the true story of her mother’s experiences makes it even more fun to read.

Lynn is giving away a copy of her book (Paperback – US only) and I’m giving away winner’s choice of any available ebook of the books mentioned above. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Page 1 of 212