Author Interview and Giveaway – The Tea Chest – Heidi Chiavaroli

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Timeless. Gripping. Masterful. Passionate. Empowering. These are just a few descriptors I’ve seen circulating about The Tea Chest. Heidi Chiavaroli is here to give us an insider on how this story came into being, as well as share some of her favorite reads. Welcome back to the Index, Heidi!

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The Tea Chest

Boston, 1773
Emma Malcolm’s father is staunchly loyal to the crown, but Emma’s heart belongs to Noah Winslow, a printer’s assistant and a Patriot. Her father has promised her hand to Samuel Clarke, forcing her to give up Noah and the friends who are like family to her—as well as the beliefs she has come to embrace.

After Emma is drawn into the treasonous Boston Tea Party, Samuel blackmails her with evidence condemning each participant, including Noah. Emma realizes she must do whatever it takes to protect those she loves, even if it means giving up the life she desires and marrying Samuel.

Present Day
Lieutenant Hayley Ashworth is determined to be the first woman inducted into the elite Navy SEALs. But before her dream can be realized, she must return to Boston in order to put the abuse and neglect of her childhood behind her. When an unexpected encounter with the man she once loved leads to the discovery of a tea chest and the document hidden within, she wonders if perhaps true strength and freedom are buried deeper than she first realized.

Two women, separated by centuries, must find the strength to fight for love and freedom. . . and discover a heritage of courage and faith.

Heidi’s Website


Questions about Heidi’s Story

What inspired your story?

Since I knew I wanted to write about the events of the Boston Tea Party, I dove into researching everything I could about the circumstances surrounding it. My historical heroine, Emma Malcolm, was birthed when I read an account of the brutal tarring and feathering of customs official John Malcolm. This servant of the crown was quite a character in his own right—very outspoken and stubborn, with no patience for the antics of the Patriots. And yet I found myself feeling compassion for him. He was treated cruelly and inhumanely by those we find ourselves lauding as heroes today.

I imagined what it’d be like if he had a daughter—one who sympathized with the Sons of Liberty . . . one who sympathized with the very political side her father was intent on squelching. What if his daughter befriended those plotting to dump the tea? What if she aided them? What if she was even in love with one of them?

Once I had the historical story line down, I thought it might be fun to explore a contemporary woman who also longs to fight for her country and prove herself the best way she knows how. In my research about women in the military I learned that in July 2017, it was announced that for the first time, a woman would enter the training pipeline to become a Navy SEAL. I imagined what this unidentified woman had gone through and what propelled her to enter such rigorous training. I decided to explore her story in fiction.

Emma and Hayley, my contemporary heroine, both long to serve their country despite broken families. They both long to prove themselves and seek a greater worth and identity.

What was the hardest part of your book to write?

There’s a scene with Emma at the end that I fought tears to write. She had become dear to me and I didn’t exactly look forward to what I was about to put her through. But I better not say any more, or I might spoil things!

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

I have a soft spot in my heart for my historical hero, Noah Winslow. He has some real struggles, but in the end I admire him for how he deals with them.


Questions about Heidi’s Reading

What was the last Christian Historical Novel that surprised you with a plot twist you didn’t see coming?

The Seamstress by Allison Pittman. Oh, my, what a masterpiece. That plot twist at the end completely wrecked me, but the story was all the better for it.

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

We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartells. This was a seamless telling of three different timelines, which made such a beautiful (and heartbreaking) impact on the reader. So well done.

Heidi is giving away a paperback copy of The Tea Chest (USA Only). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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