Thursday, February 23, 2023

The History in Historic Novels with Marisa Masterson

Talkshow Thursday: Marisa Masterson
The History in Historic Novels 

It’s only a romance. Why include all those historical details?


Yes, people really do say things like that to me. Let me share with you my reason for including historical facts in my book Priscilla’s Piggy.

To me, historical details are essential to the book. I want the reader to feel as if she is in the past, to let the setting become real for the reader. This meant returning again and again to my research about the Battle of Little Bighorn as I wrote about my hero’s nightmares and time in the 7th Cavalry. That was something referred to as “total war”. That means men like my hero probably killed women and children and burned villages. Would they have become hardened to the sight of death? How would their type of experiences affect a man’s faith in God?

Those details from Jack Dixon’s experience when he and his squad discovered the nude bodies of
Custer and his men create part of the conflict in this book. Once the heroine decides she will marry Jack, things still aren’t perfect. All because he suffers from violent nightmares after taking part in the Sioux War.

While he and Priscilla, the heroine, want to be married and have a family, they are unsure how his horrific dreams can be overcome. This throws up a roadblock to the relationship. After all, how can she even share a bed with him? Also, she’s a believer. If his faith is so crippled, should she marry him?

Would this be as believable without the details? I don’t think so. Take this excerpt from the novel, for example:

“You heard my nightmare, didn’t you?”

His wife lifted the covers and moved close to him. He set the candle on the bedside table and clung to her. She nearly jumped when his whisper cut through the heavy quiet. “It was terrible, Priscilla. Worse than anything I’d seen.”

“What?”

“Custer and his men. They were stripped. Some had lost heads or arms.” He stopped speaking, stiffening next to her.

She lifted a hand to his cheek. “Ears.”

“Yes, ears.” A sob rumbled in his chest. “It should have been all of us. We’d raided villages. The order was to kill everyone. Total war.”

He broke down. Sobs shook him as he hugged her to him. Priscilla wanted to shush him. Instead, she let him cry as she prayed.

Under the blankets, his hand found hers. “I shouldn’t have married you, but I couldn’t live if you weren’t with me.”

Do historical details bog down a novel? Too many, yes. A smatter in just the right spot are a must in historical romance.


Thursday, February 16, 2023

Talkshow Thursday: The Story Behind the Story with Elaine Manders

The History behind Emily’s Cause 
By Elaine Manders

I’m delighted to be here today with the History, Hope, and Happily Ever After blog. My thanks to Linda for inviting me to share about my latest release, Emily’s Cause, Book 8 of the Suffrage Spinsters series.
 
For those who don’t know me, I’m Elaine Manders, author of 35 books, mostly Christian historical romance. These stories twist and turn and surprise told by strong and courageous men and women of the late nineteenth century. Emily’s Cause is no exception.

Emily Atkinson is a crusader for women's suffrage and, since she’s the daughter of a U. S. Senator, she knows any cause needs the press to persuade people to support the movement. That takes her to Drew Michaels, a local reporter. Drew is instantly smitten with the lovely Emily and promises his help. However, he has another cause he’s publicizing—the plight of Standing Bear.

The history of Standing Bear caught my interest back when I was researching for my Intrigue under
Standing Bear
Courtesy of NPS
Western Skies series. That series, like Emily’s Cause, was also set in eastern Nebraska. I don’t often have real historical figures in my books, but I made an exception in this case. I did fudge on the dates. Standing Bear’s trial in Omaha actually took place in 1879 and my story is set in 1882. However, newspaper publicity played a big part in this important event in United States history.

Standing Bear was a Ponca Indian chief who was mistakenly sent to the Oklahoma reservation. When his son died, he set out to Nebraska to bury his son in their ancestorial burial grounds and was arrested because, at that time, Indians were not allowed to leave the reservation. His case was heard in Federal Court in Omaha, and he won in a landmark decision that defined, at last, that Indians were persons as defined in the Constitution.

I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Emily’s Cause, and take a look at all my books at https://www.amazon.com/stores/author/B0116MKKJG

About Emily's Cause

Emily Atkinson's father, a US Senator, left everything, including the huge Bar A Ranch, to her when he passed away suddenly. Now, her days are a constant battle with fortune hunters while dealing with her overbearing mother. The business world is not kind to women, so she joins the local chapter of the Women's Suffrage movement, a cause she hopes to advance. The need for publicity leads her to the handsome, ambitious newspaper reporter, Drew Michaels.

One look at the beautiful, intelligent Emily and Drew is smitten, But Drew has another righteous cause to fight-a lone Indian who wants the right to be recognized as a human being. Drew knows the best way to persuade people to a cause is the truth, and he intends to print Standing Bear's story, regardless of the danger to him. Too late, he realizes he is also endangering the woman he loves.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Release Day: Dial V for Valentine

Release Day: Dial V for Valentine




Valentine’s Day is perfect for a wedding. If only the bride will agree.

Being part of the military is not just a job for Fergus Rafferty, it’s a calling. He’s worked his way up the ranks and doing what he loves best: flying Apache helicopters. The only thing that will make his life complete is marrying Celeste. After he transfers to a unit scheduled to deploy in three months, he’s thrilled at the idea of marrying before he leaves so they can start their new life. Except Celeste wants to wait until he returns. Can he convince her to wed before he leaves?

Celeste Hardwicke has just opened her law practice when she finally accepts Fergus’s marriage proposal. Not to worry. She has plenty of time to set a date, then plan the wedding. Until she doesn’t. But a quickie wedding isn’t what she has in mind. Besides, why get married when the groom will ship out after the ceremony? When she stumbles on her great-grandmother’s diary from World War II, she discovers the two of them share the same predicament.

At an impasse, Celeste and Fergus agree to call into WDES’s program No Errin’ for Love. Will DJ Erin Orberg’s advice solve their dilemma or create a bigger divide? One they’ll both regret.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3DTF5IX

Friday, February 3, 2023

Fiction Friday: New Releases in Christian Fiction

February 2023 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website

Amish Romance:

Every Good Gift by Kelly S. Irvin -- Maisy never expected that a Plain girl like her could have her heart stolen by an Englisch boy. But when her rumspringa ends and Maisy realizes she’s pregnant, the reality of their choices—and their differences—sets in. Maisy knows she will never leave her faith to marry her baby's father. But she also knows the road to acceptance as an unwed mother in an Amish community will be long and hard. To protect her family from the scandal, she goes to live with her cousin in Haven, Kansas, where she will have some solitude to figure out what kind of future she might have. In Haven Maisy begins to find her way—thanks in no small part to Joshua Lapp, a Plain man who’s made it clear he isn’t bothered by her situation or ashamed to be seen with her, despite the bishop’s warnings. But Joshua has struggled with his faith ever since the death of his twin brother, leaving Maisy to wonder: How can two people who are so lost ever help each other discover Gott’s plans for their future? (Amish Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Contemporary Romance:

Dial V for Valentine by Linda Shenton Matchett -- Being part of the military is not just a job for Fergus Rafferty, it’s a calling. He’s worked his way up the ranks and doing what he loves best: flying Apache helicopters. The only thing that will make his life complete is marrying Celeste. After he transfers to a unit scheduled to deploy in three months, he’s thrilled at the idea of marrying before he leaves so they can start their new life. Except Celeste wants to wait until he returns. Can he convince her to wed before he leaves? Celeste Hardwicke has just opened her law practice when she finally accepts Fergus’s marriage proposal. Not to worry. She has plenty of time to set a date, then plan the wedding. Until she doesn’t. But a quickie wedding isn’t what she has in mind. Besides, why get married when the groom will ship out after the ceremony? When she stumbles on her great-grandmother’s diary from World War II, she discovers the two of them share the same predicament. At an impasse, Celeste and Fergus agree to call into WDES’s program No Errin’ for Love. Will DJ Erin Orberg’s advice solve their dilemma or create a bigger divide? One they’ll both regret. (Contemporary Romance from Shortwave Press)

Love Delivered by Amy Anguish, et. al. -- Romance at Register Five (Amy R Anguish) - Mack McDonald isn't happy about the Grocerease app coming to his grocery store. But he's committed to the sixty-day trial period, and braces himself to lose money. Kaitlyn Daniels loves how the Grocerease app helps her make ends meet so she can assist her mom, the reason she moved to small Sassafras, AR. Mack and Kaitlyn struggle to overcome differing opinions on the perks of the app. But if they don't, it could keep them from something even better. Where Love is Planted (Sarah Anne Crouch) - Ivy Aaronson is surrounded by family at their flower shop in West Texas-just the way she likes it. But she's given up hope on ever finding a man who understands her choices. When attorney Grant Keller orders flowers for his mother, Ivy wonders if maybe there are indeed some considerate men left in the world until she learns Grant's relationship with his parents is less than ideal. How can Ivy ever find love when every man she meets puts career over family? Sweet Delivery (Heather Greer) - After winning Cake That!, Will Forrester thinks his Pastry Perfect baking dreams have come true. The sweetness fades when a chain bakery moves to town, and Will must adjust his plans to keep his customers. Hiring Erica Gerard is one of those changes. As they work together, Erica challenges Will and offers new ideas to improve the bakery. Soon, Erica and Will start bringing out the best in each other. But Erica harbors a secret, and if it's discovered, Will might never be the same. The Mermaids, the Ex and USSS (Rachel Herod) - Braig Sanborn is the most loyal employee the United States Shipping Service has ever seen, which is why he agreed to transfer across the country with only a few weeks' notice. Ella Morrison is so busy planning a friend's wedding, she didn't expect to fall for the carrier who delivers packages to her house. When they both find themselves in too deep, will they agree the relationship was doomed from the start? (Contemporary Romance from Scrivenings Press)

Muskoka Hearts by Carolyn Miller -- Toni Wakefield may be a talented artist, but past choices means this single mother never feels the equal of those around her—especially her brother’s best friend, investment funds manager Matt. Matt long ago fell in love with his best friend’s younger sister, and try as he might, he just can’t fall out of it. And between his crazy working hours and the fact she's now settled two hours away in beautiful Muskoka it seems they never have any time together. How can he persuade her to consider to give him a chance, when she’s sworn the only man she can care about is her baby boy? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)


Never Find Another You
by Narelle Atkins -- Hannah Gilbertson has deep roots in her small East Washington home town, including a lake named after her family. Sporty and hard-working, she loves running the rowing club and supporting the town’s water recreation tourism. She’s determined to avoid dating and becoming entangled in her mother’s matchmaking schemes, and she wants to prove to her successful father that she’s worthy of carrying on his legacy. Joel Manning left behind his life in Sydney, Australia, and a broken heart, to start over in Trinity Lakes. A tiler by trade, he’s embarking on a year-long working vacation adventure, and he’s not looking for love. The handsome Aussie captures Hannah’s interest when she hires him to do repair work at her rowing club. Joel is drawn to the beautiful American, and values spending time with her. Their shared faith and love for kayaking lays the foundation for their friendship to become something more. A shocking secret combined with family upheaval leads to more questions than answers, and threatens to push Joel and Hannah apart to faraway shores. Can their love overcome the miles between them? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

General Contemporary:

Songs for a Sunday by Heather Norman Smith -- Two sets of sisters, generations apart―can one big sister’s sacrifice teach the other about love and forgiveness? 1963: Twenty-year-old Annie dreams of managing the dance studio where she has trained since childhood and of marrying her high-society boyfriend. But when her younger sister with special needs gets pregnant, Annie is forced to set her dreams aside for the sake of family. Present Day: Missy Robbins has always lived in her younger sister’s shadow. When given the opportunity, Missy steps out of her comfort zone as stay-at-home mom of four to prove she’s as good a singer as Erica. Missy’s new pursuit puts her on a path to self-discovery and reclaiming her discarded faith. Until she discovers her grandmother has a sixty-year-old secret. Will Missy conceal Grandma Annie’s deception or will she be forced to reveal the hidden truth. (General Contemporary from Iron Stream Fiction)

Historical Romance:

A Not So Persistent Suitor by Sandra Merville Hart -- He’s fighting for his career…She’s bent on achieving her own goals…Will their love survive a second chance at happily ever after? Cora Welch dreams of a future teaching kindergarten, which is in its infancy, and marriage to Ben Findlay, her beau and her twin brother’s best friend. But she returns to college from summer break to learn of Ben’s unwise choices in pursuit of his career—choices that destroy her trust in the man she thought she knew and loved. Ben is working hard toward his dream to become the best reporter in the city. He’s no stranger to fighting for a goal against all odds, ever since he was orphaned at age thirteen. Even though Cora has captured his heart, he makes the mistake of escorting the boss’s daughter to a fancy banquet to further his career—with far-reaching repercussions. Now he’s hurt Cora and botched his career goals. Winning Cora’s trust again proves harder than Ben expects, especially as they both face struggles of their own. When events spiral out of their control, catapulting them into hardship and even danger, only God can restore their dreams—though the outcome may look far different than either of them planned. (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)

Conterfeit Hope by Crystal Caudill -- When Secret Service operative Andrew Darlington is brought in to support a US Marshal case involving counterfeiters in rural Indiana, he thinks it's simply the next rung on his climb to the top of his career. But liars can only climb so high--and Andrew is keeping a dangerous secret he doesn't ever want to get out. When he clashes with the criminal family that took over the town of Landkreis and killed the Marshal he was sent to assist, his past life is in danger of being exposed. Widow "Lightning Lu" Thorne has only one goal: escape the clutches of the Thorne family with her son. Her decision to be an informant and testify against the Thornes looked like the perfect answer. Until the Marshal ended up dead. Now the tether keeping her tied to her felonious family is tightening, and a forced marriage to someone else in the Thornes' clutches threatens to kill any hope of escape. Andrew and Lu find themselves on the same team--unwillingly. They each believe the other to be the enemy to their future plans. And even if they could learn to work together, the secrets they hold could shatter all hopes and dreams. Despite the encouragement of the local preacher, they're not even sure God can be trusted--much less other humans. Can either of them escape their past--and the family that is willing to kill their own when they smell betrayal? (Historical Romance from Kregel Publications)

The Cairo Curse by Pepper D. Basham -- Clue meets Indiana Jones with a fiction-loving twist only Grace Percy can provide. Newlyweds Lord and Lady Astley have already experienced their fair-share of suspense within their young marriage, but nothing quite prepares them for Egypt. As a gift to his bride, Frederick takes their honeymoon on a detour to the land of Pharaohs where Frederick's cousins are involved in an archaeological expedition. But soon the trip turns more dangerous than even Grace with her fiction-loving mind could predict. From an assortment of untrustworthy adventure-seekers to a series of “suspicious deaths” to a newly discovered tomb with a murderous secret, Frederick and Grace must lean on each other to navigate their hazardous surroundings and even less predictable cast of characters. As the suspects mount in an antiquities’ heist of novel-worthy proportions, will Frederick and Grace’s attempts to solve the mystery lead to another death among the sands? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)


The Sound of Light by Sarah Sundin -- When the Germans march into Denmark, Baron Henrik Ahlefeldt exchanges his nobility for anonymity, assuming a new identity so he can secretly row messages for the Danish Resistance across the waters to Sweden. American physicist Dr. Else Jensen refuses to leave Copenhagen and abandon her research—her life’s dream—and makes a dangerous decision to print resistance newspapers. As Else hears rumors of the movement’s legendary Havmand—the merman—she also becomes intrigued by the mysterious and silent shipyard worker living in the same boardinghouse. Henrik makes every effort to conceal his noble upbringing, but he is torn between the fa├žade he must maintain and the woman he is beginning to fall in love with. When the Occupation cracks down on the Danes, these two passionate people will discover if there is more power in speech . . . or in silence. (Historical Romance from Revell)

Thriller/Suspense:

Kill Shot by Angela L. Gold -- After Rory Rydell invites the world to accept Jesus as Savior while levitating above her execution platform, she is the natural choice to serve as one of the co-presidents of the new nation created by God’s miraculous defeat of the United World Order. But then the Kingdom Advisory Council selects Dawson Fortis—her former jailer under the Order—to serve beside her as co-president. Will the two be able to put their complicated past behind them and serve the needs of the country? Or will the council meetings descend into endless arguments? Although crippled, the Order in the Eastern and Central zones has survived. The Order’s supreme commanders are hotter than a solar flare over their defeat in the Western zone. They see Rory and the new nation as a threat to their very existence … one that must be eliminated. Rory trusts God for protection, even though she understands she is a target and is acutely aware that many of God’s devoted followers have been martyred over the ages, even Jesus. But she has made her choice—serving God is the one thing important enough to risk her life for. The question is, what will it ultimately cost her? (Thriller/Suspense, Independently Published)

Thriller/Suspense/Psychological:


A Cry in the Dark by Jessica R. Patch -- Led to an isolated Appalachian Mountain town by a trail of disturbing murders, FBI special agent Violet Rainwater’s determined to catch a serial killer with a twisted agenda. With locals refusing to reveal their secrets, Violet’s only ally is Detective John Orlando. But even John has an ulterior motive—he’s convinced this case is connected to his wife’s murder. As they dig deeper, Violet uncovers a link to her own unresolved past. For years she’s worked the cold case of her mother’s abduction, which had led to her birth. The need to look into the eyes of the sinful man who fathered her consumes Violet. Until she can, she’ll never have peace. Because she’s terrified she might be exactly like him. In this chilling novel, when the present collides with Violet’s mysterious past and John’s tragic loss, they must unravel the warped, sinuous connections before the killer strikes again. But solving the case might not be nearly as terrifying as the possibility that Violet’s finally found her roots… (Thriller/Suspense/Psychological from Love Inspired/Harlequin)

Thriller/Suspense/Romance:

Alaskan Avalanche Escape by Darlene L. Turner -- After surviving a sudden avalanche, mountain survival expert Jayla Hoyt and her search-and-rescue K-9 discover that it was no accident—someone deliberately triggered the mountain explosion. To uncover the culprit, she’ll have to partner with Alaska park ranger Bryson Clarke, a man she doesn’t trust. But when the investigators become targets, can they capture the criminal mastermind…before they’re buried alive? (Thriller/Suspense/Romance from Love Inspired/Harlequin)


Cold Light of Day by Elizabeth Goddard -- Police Chief Autumn Long is fighting to keep her job in the quiet Alaska town of Shadow Gap when an unexpected string of criminal activity leaves her with a wounded officer, unexplained murders, and even an attack on her own father. Despite her mistrust of outsiders, she turns to Grier Brenner, a newcomer who seems to have the skills and training Autumn needs to face this threat to her community. Grier is in Alaska for the same reason so many others are–to disappear–when Chief Long enlists his help. He emerges from the shadows and proves his mettle, but his presence in her life could be a deadly trap for them both. If his secret is exposed, all will be lost. And he’s not sure even Autumn could save him. As the stakes rise and the dangers increase, Autumn and Grier must rely on each other to extinguish the deadly threats. (Thriller/Suspense/Romance from Revell)

Courage in the Shadows by Robin Patchen -- Ever since she and thirteen other models were kidnapped years before, Summer Lake has fought to ensure that she can protect herself. But when her job as a bodyguard brings her into contact with a man she believes masterminded her kidnapping, her first urge is to run, terrified of being taken again. Instead, she follows the stranger, determined to bring him to justice. Bodyguard Grant Wright fell in love with Summer the instant he saw her, a fierce protector standing in front of the other endangered young women he'd come to rescue. Years later, Summer still sees him as barely more than a coworker. Grant bides his time, sticking close in an effort to keep her safe and hoping she'll eventually open her heart to him. When her life is threatened, he's not about to allow her to fight her enemies alone. He'll stay by her side whether she wants him or not. But Summer and Grant have an enemy whose global smuggling organization is so powerful, so pervasive, that it'll be a miracle if either of them emerges from this battle alive. (Thriller/Suspense/Romance, Independently Published)


Every Flower of the Field by Sara Davison -- Safe is the most dangerous feeling of all. For as long as she can remember, Rose Galway has been a captive, controlled by one man or another. To her, though, God is the one holding the keys, refusing to set her free despite the desperate pleas she has sent heavenward. Detective Laken Jones has known hardship too, including the daily trauma of racism. Still, nothing he has gone through compares to what Rose has endured. He wants nothing more than for her to experience hope and healing and maybe even happiness in her life. But first he has to find her. Laken is willing to risk everything to set Rose free. And to help her find her way to God. Even if that means letting go of her—and the future he envisions for the two of them—forever. (Thriller/Suspense/Romance, Independently Published)

Perilous Security Detail by Elizabeth Goddard -- With threats on all sides…Secrets can prove deadly. Narrowly surviving an intentional hit-and-run, Sawyer Blackwood hires his unexpected rescuer to guard his niece. Bodyguard Everly Honor will do anything to protect a child, even if it means working with her ex. But, as attacks escalate, how can she accomplish her mission to keep them safe when Sawyer is keeping secrets from her…and she’s concealing the truth about her own past? (Thriller/Suspense/Romance from Love Inspired/Harlequin)

Western Romance:


Forged in Love by Mary Connealy -- When sparks begin to fly, can a friendship cast in iron be shaped into something more? Mariah Stover is left for dead and with no memory when the Deadeye Gang robs the stagecoach she's riding in, killing both her father and brother. As she takes over her father's blacksmith shop and tries to move forward, she soon finds herself in jeopardy and wondering--does someone know she witnessed the robbery and is still alive? Handsome and polished Clint Roberts escaped to western Wyoming, leaving his painful memories behind. Hoping for a fresh start, he opens a diner where he creates fine dishes, but is met with harsh resistance from the townsfolk, who prefer to stick to their old ways. Clint and Mariah are drawn together by the trials they face in town, and Clint is determined to protect Mariah at all costs when danger descends upon her home. As threats pursue them from every side, will they survive to build a life forged in love?. (Western Romance from Bethany House (Baker)br>
Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:

 
 
A Future and a HopeCaroline Susan Powers, How will they handle their unwanted attraction in circumstances they don’t control? (Contemporary Romance)

 
 
Ambush in AlaskaDarlene L. Turner, Can they rescue the other abducted children and bring down the gang…all while protecting a little boy and keeping themselves alive? (Thriller/Suspense/Romance)

 
 
FalloutCarrie Stuart Parks, Her carefully crafted life is about to be demolished. (Thriller/Suspense/Crime)

 
 
Rescuing RoseSusan Pope Sloan , Only their strong faith can help them find love in the midst of war. (General Historical)

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Denise Weimer!

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Denise Weimer!


I love Denise Weimer's books so I was thrilled when she signed up to talk about her latest release, A Winter at White Queen. Grab a "cuppa" and read on to learn more about her inspiration and writing journey.

What was your inspiration for the story?

A Winter at the White Queen was originally intended to become part of a collection that did not move forward. In the way that God has of not wasting anything, after it sat a while, it was selected to become novella #1 in Romance at the Gilded Age Resorts Series with Wild Heart Books. A different story will release every few months, written by a different author and set at a unique location in the United States. Please, hop on board our tour of Gilded Age resorts and enjoy the ride!

What sort of research did you do for your story, and was there an exceptionally interesting tidbit you knew you had to include?

Research included lots of online and book reading about the fashions and customs of the Gilded Age, tycoons and trendsetters of the time, and the Florida resorts created by Henry Plant. I also got to tour the boutique hotel that remains which was part of the Hotel Belleview, nicknamed “the White Queen on the Gulf”: https://www.opalcollection.com/belleview-inn/  The inventions that were part of the “Age of Wonder,” as I like to dub this time period, played a big part in White Queen, from the humorous to the fantastical.

Have you ever considered writing under a pseudonym? Why or why not?

I have, indeed! “Weimer” is a difficult last name to pronounce. You can’t imagine all the things I have been called, especially living in the South with a last name more common in the North…and originally from Germany. However, I ruled it out because I decided it would make publicity and taxes more complicated.

How do you come up with storylines?

I tend to look for something in real history to spur an idea or dictate a storyline. This could involve a
Henry B. Plant
WikiImages
unique setting, such as was true for White Queen, or a little-known event. From there, I imagine how that place or event would have impacted the people involved. The most unique things that happen in my stories are often true-to-life.

Why do you write in your particular genre?

My parents were avid history lovers, and as a child, we traveled to historic locations. My active imagination kicked in, and before long, I was writing stories in spiral-bound notebooks. I absolutely love the notion of bringing history alive with all five senses and making the reader feel as though they have been transported to another time. What is your process for writing? (do you outline, have a special place or time of day you write, etc.) What is your favorite part of the process? For my historicals, I always start with research. I’ll plug maps and photos into a timeline of facts. Usually, online research leads to ordering books which leads to a research trip. Seeing a location in person if I haven’t been there before is so vital to accurately depicting things like the lay of the land, the flora and fauna, and the social customs of a region. I weave my fictional story among the framework of that timeline.

I work in my home office where it’s quiet (or with low music on, often from the time period), and I try to write in the mornings when I’m the most fresh and creative. My favorite part of the process is when the research has percolated in my head enough to produce a scene that just flows organically.

How does/did your job prepare you for being a novelist?

Pixabay/Dariusz Sankowski
For many years, my main job was staying home with my girls. Gradually, I added in my writing and then was trained as an editor. I’ve worked in both a freelance capacity and for smaller publishing houses. That experience has definitely honed my writing, enabling me to know how I want to put things and to do so more accurately the first time around. A neat sideline…when I was growing up, I convinced my parents to take me to re-enactments and living history events to help inspire my writing. As a young adult, I led a vintage dance group for quite some time. Now, I often combine my book promotion with historical events. Sometimes, I get to do so in historical costume. It’s neat how God worked everything together, including my hobbies.

What is your next project?

I’m currently working on the Scouts of the Georgia Frontier Series for Wild Heart Books. Book One, A Counterfeit Betrothal, will release this September. This series features fictional scouts or Georgia Rangers who patrolled the boundaries of my home state starting in 1814 and moving back to 1765. I find myself drawn to the bravery and fortitude of the early settlers in America, and I love to unearth unique history set in and around Georgia. My backcountry heroes and heroines will face espionage, attacks by Cherokees and British Loyalists, challenges from nature, and, of course, heart-stopping romance.

About A Winter at the White Queen: 

In the world of the wealthy, things are never quite as they appear.


Ellie Hastings is tired of playing social gatekeeper—and poor-relation companion—to her Gibson Girl of a cousin. But her aunt insists Ellie lift her nose out of her detective novel long enough to help gauge the eligibility of bachelors during the winter social season at Florida’s Hotel Belleview. She finds plenty that’s mysterious about the suave, aloof Philadelphia inventor, Lewis Thornton. Why does he keep sneaking around the hotel? Does he have a secret sweetheart? And what is his connection to the evasive Mr. Gaspachi, slated to perform at Washington’s Birthday Ball?

Ellie’s comical sleuthing ought to put Lewis out, but the diffident way her family treats her smashes a hole in his normal reserve. When Florence Hastings’s diamond necklace goes missing, Ellie’s keen mind threatens to uncover not only Lewis’s secrets, but give him back hope for love.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3YhFHjd