Mel Gibson and the Making of Woad — Renee Yancy

Today I’m happy to welcome author Renee Yancy as she shares some history behind her book, The Fury of Dragons.

What do Mel Gibson, blue paint, and woad have in common? Read on!

Who could forget Mel’s gorgeous blue eyes in Braveheart?

Or the battle scenes with the warriors and their blue-painted faces? Historically, that blue paint would have come from woad, a plant used for 2000 years to make a highly coveted blue dye.

My recent historical, The Fury of Dragons, features a woadmaker named Gethin. It was fascinating to research the history of woad. The process is a complicated and laborious one to turn the green, strap-like woad leaves into the actual dye.

Because of the odors produced in its manufacture, woad makers were forced to live far from towns and villages.

You see, the rank odor of cat urine and rotten cabbage mixed with feces made people nauseous. So nauseating, in fact, that Queen Elizabeth I issued a proclamation in 1585 that forbade the production of woad within four miles of a market town and five miles from any of the Queen’s residences!

Woad dye produced a gorgeous blue color. Quite a contrast to the drab and washed-out reds, browns, greens, and yellows usually worn. Only the wealthy could afford garments dyed with woad.

The Picts and Celts also used woad to paint their faces for battle.

You can bet the makeup people on the set of Braveheart took pains to get an exact match to go with Mel Gibson’s blue eyes.

It’s also possible that men and women used woad to tattoo themselves. The research is inconclusive. I also have a Pict character, Nectu, in The Fury of Dragons, and I chose to write that his tattoos were permanent.

The Picts used animals and fish in interlaced designs for their tattoos.

The tattoos may have looked something like those on the young woman above. The beginning of the end for woad making and other natural dyes began in 1856, when an enterprising chemistry student named William Henry Perkin accidentally discovered aniline dyes.

In the last few years, there has been a resurgence in woad and natural dyes and you can find lots of interesting articles about making woad today.

And that is what Mel Gibson, blue paint, and woad have in common!

About the book:

Eleri is abducted on the day of her baptism by pirates on a slaving raid and taken across the sea to Britannia. About to be auctioned off to the highest bidder for the second time in her young life, she is taken off the block at the last moment by Coroticus, the fearsome British chieftain who led the raid.

Coroticus doesn’t understand why this skinny girl-child has bedeviled him from the moment he laid eyes on her. But when, on the deck of his ship, she speaks to him the identical words carved into his mother’s tomb, all he knows is he cannot let her go.

The premise of The Fury of Dragons is based on St. Patrick’s fifth-century text, Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus, in which he condemns the British chieftain who stole his converts and “gave girls away like prizes.”

Renee has reduced the Kindle price of the book to .99 for three weeks in December. (Normally, $3.99)

Amazon link to The Fury of Dragons:  https://www.amazon.com/Fury-Dragons-Roman-Britain-Spirit-ebook/dp/B074XGPGWQ/

 

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:

What genre(s) do you write in and why?

I became fascinated with archaeology and history when my dad brought home a full cover coffee table book on Tutankhamun in the 60’s. I only wish I had started writing earlier!

What is your least favorite part of writing?

The dreaded first draft. For some reason, I struggle to get it down. Once I do, however, away I go.

Tell me about your ideal reader.

My ideal reader is someone like me, who loves history and archaeology, and wants a story that immerses you in the time period with details from clothing, food, medicine, language, artifacts, and more.

About Renee:

Renee Yancy is a long time history and archaeology nut who has been living vicariously through historical fiction since she was a young girl. Now she writes the kind of books she loves to read—stories filled with historical and archaeological detail on every aspect of living in a different time period, interwoven with strong characters and a tale full of pathos and conflict. She wants to take you on a journey into the past so fascinating that you can’t put the story down.

 

 

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The Inspiration Behind “Along The Yellowstone River” — Debby Lee

Today I’m happy to welcome author Debby Lee as she shares the inspiration behind her latest story.

When I was first asked to be part of this collection, I ran through several ideas before settling on the fur trapping trade during the 1830’s. What helped me make the decision was the vacation my husband and I were planning to Yellowstone National Park. After researching the location, what is present day Wyoming, and history behind it, I decided to make my hero a fur trapper.

I had also watched the 1970’s mini-series Centennial some years ago, and really enjoyed it. I liked the story so much I purchased the book and read it. The characters were realistic and longed for adventure. Their courageous and daring temperaments seemed to fit the theme of the Miss Adventure Brides Collection, so of course, I wanted to write characters like them.

Another film that inspired me was Reverent with Leonardo DiCaprio. Watching Leo on the big screen certainly had nothing to do with why I watched the movie. (wink, wink) I wanted to see what type of clothing the trappers wore, and what kinds of shelters they lived in.

Although there were several fur trapping companies in the early to mid 1800’s, most notably the Hudson Bay Company, I chose to focus my story on the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, owned by the Astor family. After all, how many people know the Astor’s made their wealth via the fur trapping industry? I certainly didn’t.

When my husband and I made out trip to Yellowstone, there was so much information on fur trapping I almost couldn’t keep track of it all. But it was a vacation of a lifetime, and one that might possibly inspire other novellas to come.

About Debby:

Debby Lee was raised in the cozy town of Toledo, Washington. She’s been writing since she was a small child but never forgets home.

The American Christian Writers and Romance Writers of America are two organizations Debby enjoys being a part of. She is currently the President of the Olympia Chapter of Romance Writers of America. Her fifth novella collection with Barbour Publishing releases in December 2018. The Courageous Brides and Mountain Christmas Brides both made the ECPA Bestsellers list. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steven Laube Literary Agency.

A self-professed nature lover, Debby feels like a hippie child who wasn’t born soon enough to attend Woodstock. She wishes she could run barefoot all year long but often does when weather permits. During football season, Debby cheers on the Seattle Seahawks with other devoted fans. She’s also filled with wanderlust and dreams of traveling the world someday.

On the Trail Beyond — Faye Roberts ( + GIVEAWAY)

Today I’m happy to welcome author Faye Roberts as she shares about her book, On The Trail Beyond. Read through to the end to find out how to enter her giveaway.

Was Louisa Frederici Cody a nagging shrew, as Buffalo Bill Cody claimed when he twice tried to divorce her? Or was this beautiful, dark-haired French woman a saint, putting up with her husband’s long absences, recklessness with money, indulgence of liquor and relationships with other women?

Growing up in a secure St. Louis family and schooled by nuns, Louisa was unprepared for the hard life of making a home in what was still considered the Wild West. Due to the Civil War, her beaus had been few, so it’s no wonder Louisa was smitten with a rugged army scout named William F. Cody, and agreed to his proposal within weeks. Hours after their marriage the newlyweds boarded a steamer for the west where Louisa followed her husband from post to post and dream to dream.

While “Willie” learned the art of entertaining dignitaries on buffalo hunts, Louisa learned to skin sage grouse and shoot a gun with her horse in a full run and a child strapped to her breast. She prepared antelope for a Russian Grand Duke while tending to toddlers and shooing Pawnee Indians from the tiny kitchen of her crude cabin. Louisa would later say those days were the happiest times of her troubled and often lonely marriage. The more famous “Buffalo Bill” became, the more heated came the conflicts. The scandalous courtroom drama of her refusing his request for a divorce played out nationwide through newspapers.

In 1910, the final season of old age brought with it a truce after the couple was locked in a room together. Only William’s death in 1917 would end their fifty-year marriage. One thing is certain—without Louisa Cody and her talents and business sense, there would not have been a world-renowned figure still revered today as “Buffalo Bill”. Yes, theirs was certainly an intimate and yet stormy relationship. But then again, is there ever a perfect marriage?

Shrew or saint? I’ll let you the reader decide. Based on true events, On The Trail Beyond is the fictional account of the life of Louisa Cody, wife of the illustrious Buffalo Bill. Written by Faye Roberts, the book is due for release in January, 2019.

To enter the drawing for a free e-book copy of On The Trail Beyond, please enter a comment on the blog post.

 

Faye Roberts started her writing career after winning a contest through Guideposts Magazine. She wrote for various inspirational magazines and published a book of devotionals for working women. Faye branched into fiction with her first novel, Fragile Treaties, that was selected as a finalist for a Willa Award, telling the story of Lily Bodeen, the matriarch of the Silver Cross. Since then, Faye worked on a family saga, weaving actual historical events into the lives of the mothers and daughters who run the Silver Cross Ranch from 1897 to 2014. The series is available on Amazon both is print and e-book format.

The Silver Cross Legacy Series:

Book One – The Legacy of Rose Bodeen

Book Two – The Legacy of Birdie Bassett

Book Three – The Legacy of Mavis McCall

Book Four – The Legacy of Claire Delany

On The Trail Beyond – The Life of Louisa Cody, wife of Buffalo Bill

Fragile Treaties

Hey Lord, Can Angels Type? Five-minute Devotionals for Working Women

As a writer, I bring the lessons of history to a modern world searching for heroes. It’s said the more things change, the more they remain the same. We have the same desires, hopes and dreams of those who came before us. We want a better life for ourselves and our children. We want to belong, to matter and to make a difference. No matter the era or the circumstances we are born to, we want strength, acceptance and peace. The intention of my words is to bring that kind of hope to my readers.

Blessings on your journey,

Faye Roberts

For more information , visit www.fayerobertswriter.com

or visit her on Facebook at Faye Roberts Author – The Lessons of History

https://amazon.com/author/fayelroberts.com

 

Sneak Preview of the On the Trail Beyond

CHAPTER ONE

May 1, 1865

It was a warm spring day the first time Louisa Frederici set eyes on William Cody. She’d been racing her horse through a field, the wind pulling her dark hair from heavy pins. Free. Free from binding corsets and the binding rules that tethered her life.

Papa and Mama were getting itchy about her future. She was soon to be twenty-two, almost past the age for marrying and having babies. However, the war left little prospects for a husband. She surely was too choosy, Papa said, hinting that she should be settling for whatever came through the door to court her, whether it be cads, limp noodles or scoundrels. The men left in St. Louis were a boring lot, faint of both spirit and courage.

When Louisa saw two men dressed in Union uniforms watching her from the hillside, she nudged Fancy in the flank and the horse readily agreed to the request. Both loved speed and showing off their skills. In rhythm, the pair soared over a wide ditch, and then spun at the far end of the field like a whirligig on a stick. Then the show was over. Louisa pulled the horse up, patted her mount on the neck and headed toward home, not once glancing at the men, though she hoped they sat on their horses with mouths gaped open like fish, amazed at what they saw.

The show continued the next day, and the next, but now a lone soldier on the hill watched. Every morning at the same time, Louisa jumped the ditch. Knowing the mysterious man on the far hill was watching gave her a tingling, mysterious thrill, and slight disappointment that he didn’t come closer. Dare she be bold? Throw caution to the wind as well as her convent rules of deportment for a young lady? Dare she? She pulled on the reins to turn her mount toward the hillside.

Sister Margaretta’s voice in her head was stern.

Louisa Maud Frederici, God is watching. And so am I.”

Like a billowing sail whose wind subsided, her shoulders dropped as she reined the horse back toward the road home.

Who was the stranger? Moreover, why was he watching her? In her dreams, she knew.

*****

William sat tall in the cavalry-issued saddle, trying to sum up the courage to head down the hill. But what would a beautiful Madonna want with a young private like him? She clearly came from money. The beautiful black horse she was riding had thoroughbred blood running through its veins. Horses like that didn’t come cheap. The deep blue riding habit spelled money as well, speaking in a loud voice that her breeding was obviously as fine as the marvelous mount. A voice chided him for even considering the ridiculous notion that a woman like her would bother to give him a second glance.

She didn’t ride as if she were a spoiled child, used to a fancy buggy and well-broke nag, but like a woman with game and sass. As spirited as the horse she rode with grace, finesse and skill. A woman who could make a man’s blood run hot and soul feel the stars.

Too much of a woman for the likes of him. That was true fact. Still, somehow, some way, he would figure out a way to meet her. He couldn’t bear the ache in his chest much longer. That gnawing, burning ache that demanded he dig deep for the courage to ride down and tell her hello.

However, all he could do was watch, and let the morning spring air cool his burning desire for her. He hoped and prayed, something he rarely did, for fate or God or whoever, to give him a chance.

Someone had been listening and a few days later, that chance came.

St. Patrick, Green Beer and Myths — Renee Yancy

Today I’m happy to welcome author Renee Yancy as she shares some history behind her book, The Fury of Dragons.

There are many legends and traditions associated with St. Patrick, including one that young Americans absolutely love, drinking green beer on St. Patty’s day. And I should know, because with a surname like Quinn, I could down green beer as well as the next mick.

It’s no wonder that St. Patrick’s history has been greatly embellished over the centuries, because after potatoes and alcohol, the Irish love nothing better than a good story!

Actually, most of the myths developed because of something called hagiography, which is an highly idealized biography of a saint.

St. Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland, turned his walking stick into a living tree, and defeated ancient Celtic heroes, among other things.

Most people don’t know, however, that Patrick wasn’t Irish. He was Romano-British, born into a culture that began in 43 AD with the Roman conquest of Britain. Sixteen at the time of his abduction from Roman Britain, Patrick spent six years as a slave, tending sheep.

After escaping Ireland, he returned home, obtained holy orders, and returned to Ireland, after a dream in which he  heard the voices of the Irish people, imploring him to come back.

I imagine most people think of St. Patrick looking like this saintly icon. However, in my story, A Secret Hope, the real Patrick is a living, breathing, very human man. I picture him looking like the second photo.

In my BC college days at SUNY Brockport in western New York, we drank plenty of green beer on St. Patrick’s Day in the Rathskeller on campus. (I’ll leave out the sordid details about the morning after. But it was bad, really bad!)

However, St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland is a holy day, passed quietly, in prayer, at home or in church. Pubs closed, and it remained a dry holiday until 1970, when the beer started flowing again.

Patrick led an amazing life, and the churches and communities he founded are the basis of what is called Celtic Christianity today. One of St. Patrick’s writings, Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus, inspired my historical novel The Fury of Dragons.

If you want to make your own green beer, here’s the recipe.

About the book:

Eleri is abducted on the day of her baptism by pirates on a slaving raid and taken across the sea to Britannia. About to be auctioned off to the highest bidder for the second time in her young life, she is taken off the block at the last moment by Coroticus, the fearsome British chieftain who led the raid.

Coroticus doesn’t understand why this skinny girl-child has bedeviled him from the moment he laid eyes on her. But when, on the deck of his ship, she speaks to him the identical words carved into his mother’s tomb, all he knows is he cannot let her go.

The premise of The Fury of Dragons is based on St. Patrick’s fifth-century text, Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus, in which he condemns the British chieftain who stole his converts and “gave girls away like prizes.”

Renee has reduced the Kindle price of the book to .99 for three weeks in December. (Normally, $3.99)

Amazon link to The Fury of Dragons:  https://www.amazon.com/Fury-Dragons-Roman-Britain-Spirit-ebook/dp/B074XGPGWQ/

 

About Renee:

Renee Yancy is a long time history and archaeology nut who has been living vicariously through historical fiction since she was a young girl. Now she writes the kind of books she loves to read—stories filled with historical and archaeological detail on every aspect of living in a different time period, interwoven with strong characters and a tale full of pathos and conflict. She wants to take you on a journey into the past so fascinating that you can’t put the story down.

 

 

Dreams Change — Cynthia Hickey

Today I’m happy to welcome author Cynthia Hickey as she shares about her writing journey, PLUS her inspiration for her newest novella in the MissAdventure Brides Collection.

I’ve been making up stories since I was little. Almost since the time I learned to read at the age of five. Interestingly enough, I wanted to be a teacher. Being an author didn’t occur to me in any shape or form, although I always wrote my stories down. No, I was pretty emphatic about being a teacher.

Funny how God often has other plans. I didn’t go to college (kind of need to in order to be a teacher). I got married right out of high school when my boyfriend joined the Air Force. It wasn’t until my second marriage and almost twenty years later that I became a teacher of sorts. First, girl scouts, then Sunday school for ten years, then foster care for nine more years, then I worked in an Elementary School as a Detention Monitor, and now I teach workshops on writing. Maybe not a teacher in the normal sense, but still a teacher all the same.

And, I keep writing my stories down. While working at the Elementary School, I had opportunities to write while supervising students. As time went by, I wrote more and dealt less with children. My dream was changing.

Or…was teaching ever what I was meant to do in the first place? Perhaps teaching truly was only a child’s dream. The trials of my life have led me to this point. Had even one thing changed, I might not be making a living doing what I love…a job that enables me to hang at conferences with like-minded peeps, stay at home with hair undone and no makeup, wearing comfy clothes. I can set my own hours, even write while traveling.

Yes, I’m convinced I’m right where I was meant to be.

What inspired your novella in the MissAdventure Brides Collection?

The inspiration for this story came from my love of the Ozarks and teaching. When I was a child, I dreamed of being a teacher or writing books. I do both! I write and teach about writing. Not exactly the type of teaching I’d dreamed about a long time ago, but I’m happy. I also love the Ozark mountains more than any other place on earth. Hawaii comes in a close second. Because of my love of those beautiful foothills and mountains, choosing the setting for Lessons of Love was a no-brainer. Writing about a place you love and the challenges people face who live there makes writing the story fun.

About Cynthia:

Multi-published and Amazon and ECPA Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey has sold over a million copies of her works since 2013. She has taught a Continuing Education class at the 2015 American Christian Fiction Writers conference, several small ACFW chapters and RWA chapters. She and her husband run the small press, Winged Publications, which includes some of the CBA’s best well-known authors. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs, one cat, and three box turtles. She has eight grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”.

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www.cynthiahickey.com

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Website at www.cynthiahickey.com

The Inspiration for “Maddy’s Llamas” — Marjorie Vawter

Today I’m happy to welcome author Marjorie Vawter as she shares the inspiration behind her latest story.

The inspiration for Maddy’s Llamas in MISSAdventure Brides comes from my life verse, claimed many years ago in my college years: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). As a teenager, I had been in trouble many times because of the things I said, which of course came from my heart. I knew it didn’t honor the Lord, and when I stumbled over this verse in my quiet time one morning, I knew it was the verse I needed to think first before speaking, especially in anger. So when it came time to give Maddy life, the Lord brought this verse to mind. And I knew her story. My prayer is you will love it, too.

About Marjorie:

Marjorie Vawter is a full-time author, freelance editor, proofreader, and speaker. She has over 200 published devotionals, articles, and book reviews and is the author of four novellas & six nonfiction books. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) since 2004, she has served as the Colorado Area Coordinator, and past president of HIS Writers, the first Colorado ACFW chapter. She is a past member of the MozArks chapter in Springfield, MO, and has served as the ACFW Central Zone Director.

A freelance editor, Margie edits, proofreads, and is an indexer for individual clients and publishers. An avid reader, she also judges for several prestigious awards in the inspirational marketplace.

Margie is married to her college sweetheart and best friend, Roger, and they live in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking and snowshoeing in the mountains near their family cabin. They have two adult children, a daughter-in-love, and two beautiful grandchildren.

You can find her online at www.marjorievawter.com or http://marjorievawter.blogspot.com

 

 

 

Christmas Angels — Carole Brown

Today I’m happy to welcome author Carole Brown as she shares about her story, Christmas Angels.

Christmas Angels has a tiny bit of suspense, nostalgia, and romance in it. The novella has been called a tear-jerker. Written some time ago, I loved this short sweet tale set during WWII.

  • I love to add quirks or special touches to evoke the spirit of the story, the characters, and/or the era. Below, I will share a short scene that touches on the era—the “call to action”—that the people from WWII lived through—that of rationed food.

  • I love to bring to life characters that convey emotional reactions to their storybook life. In all I write, I want strength, goodness, and faith to prevail. In Christmas Angels, Abigail’s wavering faith is barely flickering, her fear and doubts are crushing, so is God truly listening? Does he see her struggles?

And most of all, what kind of Christmas miracle could possibly save her?

Here’s a brief scene

Gingerbread Scene from Christmas Angels (From the Lake to the River Anthology)

He beckoned with his gnarled hand “Come in. Come in, Abigail. Want some tea? That dismal Dana—even if she is a good cook—brought me some gingerbread last evening. Have some. Have some. It’s good even if I didn’t make it. Sit down, child, for a minute.” Albert toddled over to the fridge and brought out a quart of milk. “Want milk with your tea, Abigail?”

Where had he gotten real milk?

But she shook her head, not wanting to use up his precious supply, and sniffed. The spicy, delectable smell of the gingerbread wafted toward her, and she closed her eyes to savor it. When was the last time she’d had such a treat? Suddenly ravenous, she couldn’t wait any longer and crammed her mouth full of the sweet bread. A little sound of moaning escaped from between her lips. This was so-o-o good.

And the reasoning behind all this…

During WWII most people were food rationed. Delights such as nuts, milk, sugar and eggs were sometimes hard to come by making delights such gingerbread non-available throughout the war. Everyone was touched by the rationing and all encouraged to participate in “giving up” for the soldiers and the war.

In Christmas Angels, elderly Mr. Albert, Abigail’s boarding house neighbor shares his loaf of gingerbread that another resident (Dana) had given him. Though reluctant to eat any of his treat, knowing how hard the ingredients were to come by, Abigail can’t resist. Both Mr. Albert and Abigail enjoy this special blessing through Neighbor Dana’s generosity.

May you be blessed as you feast on this moist, delightfully spiced dessert.

Gingerbread Loaf

Ingredients for the loaf:
1 stick real butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup of applesauce
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
chopped walnuts, for topping (optional)

for the frosting:
1/2 block (4 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray (or shortening and flour). Using a stand mixer or an electric mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar until fluffy.

Beat in the vanilla and the egg. Blend in the apple butter (or applesauce.)

Slowly add the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices (ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.)

When everything is mixed, pour the batter into your loaf pan. Bake for about 55 minutes until it is risen and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely on a rack before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese with the vanilla and then add 2 cups of the powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. Add a little more sugar if it’s not as thick as you like.

Spread a thick layer of the frosting over the gingerbread cake. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Enjoy!

 

ABOUT THE BOOK: Christmas Angels Blurb

Her mother called her a failure, and maybe she was. Her husband was gone—in the service, yes, but if he loved her—really loved her, why didn’t he write? Or call? Or send the money she needed?

She was scared too, afraid of being alone, and though she loved this sweet little bundle of joy—her baby—well, was she smart enough and strong enough to raise her? She didn’t mind doing without all the nice things she’d love to have, but not being able to provide luxuries like Christmas trees, ornaments and presents for her baby girl was beyond enduring.

What she needed was a miracle…and that wasn’t going to happen.

Buy Link:

https://www.amazon.com/Carole-Brown/e/B00EZV4RFY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1492661357&sr=1-1

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carole Brown

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten fiction books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Brown’s books include:
The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman
2015 USA Best Books Winner
2015 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year
2015 EPIC’s eBook Awards, Romantic Suspense
2014 Selah Debut Fiction finalist
2014 Genesis semi-finalist
2014 Clash of the Titles, Laurel Awards finalist
2014 Oklahoma RWA International Digital Awards, 2nd place

The Denton and Alex Davies Mystery series:
Hog Insane
Bat Crazy

Appleton, WV Romantic Mystery series:
Sabotaged Christmas (best seller and award winner in book and cover)
Knight in Shining Apron
Undiscovered Treasures
Toby’s Troubles

The Spies of WWII series:
With Music in Their Hearts
A Flute in the Willows

Christmas Angels, a novella in the From the Lake to the River collection

Connect with her here:

Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaroleBrown.author

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Carole-Brown/e/B00EZV4RFY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1427898838&sr=8-1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/browncarole212

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/carole-brown

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/browncarole212/?hl=en

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sunnywrtr/boards/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5237997-carole-brown

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carole-brown-79b6951a/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113068871986311965415/posts

Stitches in Time: http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/

 

 

The Inspiration for “MissTaken Identity” — Kimberley Woodhouse (+ GIVEAWAY)

Today I’m happy to welcome author Kimberley Woodhouse as she shares the inspiration behind her latest story. Read to the end to find out how to enter her giveaway.

The inspiration for MissTaken Identity—my story in the MissAdventure Brides Collection—came from a visit to the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco, Texas years and years ago. Ever since my visit there—and of course the purchase of many great research books from their bookstore—I’ve had multiple stories simmering on the back burner of my brain.

When I was asked to be a part of this collection, one of my Texas Ranger stories was the first thing that popped into my brain. I wanted my readers to have fun with this story and so Abigail was born. (Shameless plug: To read about her adventure, you’ll just have to check out the book.)

Happy Reading!

GIVEAWAY!

I’m hosting a giveaway on my website too – so leave a comment here and on my blog post about the collection and you’ll be entered!

About Kimberley

Kimberley Woodhouse is a best-selling author who loves the JOY of story. With more than a quarter of a million copies sold, she loves to share her heart and love of research with her readers. Kim and her incredible husband of almost thirty years have two adult children. She’s passionate about reading, music, cooking, and Bible study.

You can connect with Kimberley at: www.kimberleywoodhouse.com and www.facebook.com/KimberleyWoodhouseAuthor
Instagram: kimberleywoodhouse and twitter: kimwoodhouse

 

 

Riders of the Painted Star — The Inspiration — Kathleen E. Kovach

Today I’m happy to welcome author Kathleen E. Kovach as she shares the inspiration behind her latest story. Read to the end to find out how to enter her giveaway.

Often when I start out writing a book, there is no particular inspiration that sparks my creativity. I’ll get a gleam of an idea, and when I start to research it, other details begin to gel until I have a story resembling a glob of fruit preserves. I mix in a little bit of my history and things that make me happy or frightened or perturbed. Then I fold in the exotic ingredients, facts that I hadn’t even thought of until my crazy writer mind draws them from somewhere. I painstakingly prepare it until it eventually becomes the perfect (hopefully) mold of fruit Jell-O.

This book was no exception. I was given the writing prompt from the collection’s team leader, Mary Davis, to write about a heroine having misadventures. We narrowed down the state in which my story was to take place and the decade. I settled on Arizona because I had lived there early in my marriage. As for the year, I prefer to write about the early to mid-1900s as I’m fairly new to historical writing. First, I thought about my chosen state, Arizona, and what could be happening there in the 1930s. Dude ranch! From there my imagination took off and I began to mix the recipe using the ingredients that I listed above.

As a self-proclaimed movie aficionado, the first thing that popped into my head once I had the setting and the decade was the Singing Cowboy era. This led to thoughts of my dad watching old westerns every Saturday morning. What followed was a memory of his Zane Grey hardback book collection that I wish I had kept. And, because I’m a writer, my brain mulled over the aspects of book producing. As I created my little world, I put a famous western author ala Zane Grey on my dude ranch, and then realized he owned it. And what does an author need? A cover artist. Great! That can be my heroine. But she must be a fish out of water, so I plucked her from the art-deco glam of Manhattan.

And my story was off and running.

It’s fun to think that my dad contributed to my story as I included things he loved. Western movies, Zane Grey novels, music. As you can see from his picture, he played the guitar. His repertoire included Country and Western, but also music of the ‘40s. When he became a Christian, he added hymns and contemporary praise music. I like to think of him as my singing cowboy.

Whenever I dedicate a book, I always acknowledge my husband. However, this time I also included my father:

To my cowboy, Jim, who makes me feel like a star every day.
And to Daddy, your love of Zane Grey novels did not go unnoticed.

GIVEAWAY!
Come to my blog through the month of November, when I’ll be hosting all of the heroes of the collection. Then, join me in December as I talk about my own story. I’ll be giving away copies of MISSAdventure Brides at the end of both months.

About Kathleen:

Kathleen E. Kovach is a Christian romance author published traditionally through Barbour Publishing, Inc. as well as indie. Having grown up in Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park was her playground. She lives in northeast Colorado with her husband of over four decades and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. An award-winning author, she presents spiritual truths with a giggle, proving herself as one of God’s peculiar people. Please visit her at http://www.kathleenekovach.com.

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Behind the Story of Christmas Charity by Susan G. Mathis

Today I’m happy to welcome author Susan G. Mathis for an author spotlight.

— Where did you get the idea for this book?

Christmas Charity is a story about Susan Hawkins and Patrick O’Neill who find that an arranged marriage is much harder than they think, especially when they immigrate from Wolfe Island, Canada, to Cape Vincent, New York, in 1864, just a week after they marry—with Patrick’s nine-year-old daughter, Lizzy, in tow. Can twenty-three-year-old Susan Hawkins learn to love her forty-nine-year-old husband and find charity for her angry stepdaughter? She hopes so, before Christmas comes.

Susan Hawkins is the ten-year-old girl from my debut novel, The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy. She’s all grown up now and is given in marriage to a man twenty-six years older. Can you imagine? Actually, I’m named after my great-great grandma Susan Hawkins, and she really did marry my great-great grandpa Patrick O’Neill who was, indeed, twenty-six years older!

— Why did you choose this time and setting?

I grew up just twenty minutes from Cape Vincent, NY, and it really was where Susan and Patrick settled. It’s an adorable little village and a great place to write about and visit. In fact, my husband and I visit the Thousand Islands region in upstate NY every summer. It’s a beautiful, largely unknown, piece of the world where the St. Lawrence River meets Lake Ontario. There are nearly 1800 islands there, including the largest, Wolfe Island, which is in Ontario, Canada.

— What about the story itself?

My first two published books were Tyndale nonfiction, co-authored with her husband, Dale. Countdown for Couples: Preparing for the Adventure of Marriage and The ReMarriage Adventure: Preparing for a Life of Love and Happiness. I wanted to explore the topic of stepfamilies in my fiction since I was a stepchild and am also a stepmother. It’s an important and complicated topic, so Lizzy came to be. I hope that my readers will come to understand a little more about stepfamilies by reading about this little girl’s pain and the challenges this couple faces.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan G. Mathis

Susan G Mathis is a multi-published author of stories set in her childhood stomping ground, the beautiful Thousand Islands in upstate NY. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy and her Christmas Charity novella take readers to a time and place few have gone as does Katelyn’s Choice, the first in The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series that releases in March, 2019.

Susan is also a published author of two premarital books with her husband, Dale, two children’s picture books, seven stories in compilation books, and hundreds of published articles. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs, enjoys traveling globally with her wonderful husband, Dale, and relishes each time she gets to see or Skype with her four granddaughters. Find out more at www.SusanGMathis.com.

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