Prairie Roses Collection Book 7 “Kate”: Visit the Setting and Explore the Theme ( + Giveaway )

Two key aspects of a story which are often overlooked are the setting and the theme. In many cases, the setting can become like a character in the book. If this same story was told in a different time period or place, it would be different. The theme encapsulates ultimately what the story is about. Not its plot, but its core meaning.

Kate begins in Fort Laramie, Wyoming Territory, in September 1878. This is important for several reasons: wagon trains with emigrants from the Prairies heading west often began here; the city was at a major crossroads of trails, so there were more choices on which destination to choose; the city was big enough to supply wagon trains of all sizes; although the Westward migration had slowed by 1878, wagon trains continued west into the 1920s; and it was a direct run from Deadwood, Dakota Territory to Fort Laramie.

The Oregon Trail to Oregon City, California, remained open late in the year, and although most wagon trains departed in the late spring, giving six weeks of warm and dry weather, it’s possible a train left in September. The train in my story is a small one by comparison, comprising only seven wagons. Some trains could be as large as 200 wagons. However, the couple-only requirement of the train leader would keep the numbers small, as would his strong Christian morals and insistence on observing a day of rest each week, and of holding weekly church services.

The theme of this story is that we may be victims of our past through no fault of our own, but that doesn’t mean we are prisoners of what happened to us. So many folks struggle with overcoming their childhood, bad marriages, poor choices, and outright attacks from others. I wanted to tell a story with two characters desperately seeking a new start in life, a second chance, and they learn that comes only through a resurrected life in Jesus Christ.

Since no two people’s stories are the same, I chose characters with unlikely backgrounds. The daughter of a prostitute, and the brother of a stagecoach robber, aren’t likely to be people readers live next-door to. Giving my characters diverse and unusual pasts might help readers understand that there is nothing that surprises God, nothing that He can’t overcome, and no sin too great that He can’t use us.

This story has basically the same theme all my stories do: that God offers us second, and third, and fourth chances to find our way to Him. I know this for a fact. If I was a cat, I’d be borrowing another life from the pampered kitty in the high rise down the street

Leave a comment, and I will randomly choose the winner of a print (US only) or digital copy of Kate.

And, if you’d like a copy of a cookbook Kate could have used along the trail, containing recipes that can be prepared on a wood stove, over a fire, or in a Dutch oven, email me: donna AT Historythrutheages DOT com

About Kate:

A prostitute’s daughter, an outlaw’s brother, and a stagecoach robbery—can anything good come out of Deadwood?

Kate Benton, daughter of a saloon floozy, runs away days before her official introduction into that sordid life, straight into the arms of Tom McBride, fleeing from his outlaw brother’s past. Can these two young people, damaged and labeled by life experiences, tear down the walls of guilt and mistrust that separate them? Will they allow God to change them forever from the inside out? Or are they destined to remain alone forever?

https://www.amazon.com/Kate-Prairie-Roses-Collection-Book-ebook/dp/B084VTBGF2

About Donna:

Donna writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, and has been published more than 30 times in novellas, full-length novels, and non-fiction books. She is a member of ACFW, Writers on the Rock, SinC, Pikes Peak Writers, and CAN; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests.

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DonnaschlachterAuthor

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DonnaSchlachter

Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2gZATjm

What Can Be Online University: online courses on the craft of writing: https://what-can-be-online-institute.teachable.com/

Etsy online shop of original artwork, book folding art, and gift items : https://www.etsy.com/shop/Dare2DreamUS?ref=search_shop_redirect

Travel West in a Covered Wagon — Vicariously! ( + Giveaway )

Several years ago, hubby and I visited a museum that offered a virtual Covered Wagon ride. We sat inside a wagon bed, and looked ahead of us where the driver and oxen or horses would normally reside. Then a short film played about the wagon going down over the river bank and across a fat-flowing river. The wagon bed we sat in rocked and rolled according to the view on the video, and about the only thing missing was we didn’t get dunked.

That was a lot of fun, and gave me a whole new insight into the struggles and hardships faced by westward emigrants. Sometimes the stories we read tend to gloss over the deprivations we now take for granted: a hole in the ground for a privy; food cooked over a fire; little privacy; dust, dirt, smoke, and sweat everywhere; lack of medical care; close quarters for months on end.

But if you can’t go to a museum to experience the realities of life on the trail, you can get the next-best thing: read a book. Allow your imagination to run wild—or not, if you prefer a touch more civilization—as you travel alongside the half million or so folks of all ages, classes, and colors who headed westward.

The “Prairie Rose Collection” released last year with four titles, and returns this year with the next three. Each stand-alone book tells the tale of a young woman traveling west for many different reasons: fleeing an arranged marriage; in search of employment; running from a mistake in their past; looking for a husband; seeking her fortune in California—each lass has their own reason as well as their own story to tell.

My contribution this year, Kate, is based in a real-life stagecoach robbery that happened in Deadwood, South Dakota Territory, and my hero was one of the bandits, forced into a life of thievery in order to save his brother’s life. My heroine is running from the brothel where she was raised to avoid being made into a saloon girl following her mother’s death.

Books from last year are available right now, and Kate is available for preorder, too: https://www.amazon.com/Kate-Prairie-Roses-Collection-Book-ebook/dp/B084VTBGF2

Leave a comment, and we will randomly select a winner to receive a print (US only) or digital copy of Kate.

About Kate:

A prostitute’s daughter, an outlaw’s brother, and a stagecoach robbery—can anything good come out of Deadwood?

Kate Benton, daughter of a saloon floozy, runs away days before her official introduction into that sordid life, straight into the arms of Tom McBride, fleeing from his outlaw brother’s past. Can these two young people, damaged and labeled by life experiences, tear down the walls of guilt and mistrust that separate them? Will they allow God to change them forever from the inside out? Or are they destined to remain alone forever?

 

About Donna:

Donna writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, and has been published more than 30 times in novellas, full-length novels, and non-fiction books. She is a member of ACFW, Writers on the Rock, SinC, Pikes Peak Writers, and CAN; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests.

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DonnaschlachterAuthor

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DonnaSchlachter

Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2gZATjm

What Can Be Online University: online courses on the craft of writing: https://what-can-be-online-institute.teachable.com/

Etsy online shop of original artwork, book folding art, and gift items : https://www.etsy.com/shop/Dare2DreamUS?ref=search_shop_redirect

 

Prairie Rose Collection — Patricia PacJac Carroll

Today I’m happy to welcome author Patricia PacJac Carroll as she shares about her new book, Susan.

Susan traveled to Missouri as a mail-order bride. Not that she was leaving anything behind, but she wasn’t sure what she was walking into. When she arrives at the broken-down hotel, she learns that Dan, the man she was to marry, is dead. Then finds out that he’s left her a wagon and supplies to travel to Oregon.

John, Dan’s friend, helps her and takes her to the wagon train where the wagon master suggests she marry as he doesn’t like to have unmarried women on his wagon trains. He points out John to her.

Susan figures she didn’t know Dan much better than John and agrees to marry him. After John cleans up, and she changes into her wedding dress, the wagon master begins the wedding. John says his, I do. Susan is just about to seal the marriage with her, I do, when a gunshot shatters the peace

A stranger steps forward and claims the wagon as his.

Susan is faced with a decision.

You’ll enjoy this clean and wholesome story of people on the journey of their lives. A gentle historical western romance combines choices, fun, and faith as their stories unfold along the Oregon Trail.

ABOUT PATRICIA:

Patricia PacJac Carroll  ~  I am blessed beyond my imagination, and I get to do what I love ~ write stories. I write Christian Historical Western Romances with some fun and faith and always a happily-ever-after. 

 

 

Debut Day — Caryl McAdoo ( + Giveaway )

Today I’m happy to welcome author Caryl McAdoo as she shares about her new book, Lilah. Read through to the end to find out how you can enter her giveaway.

It’s DEBUT DAY and SOMEONE’s Turning SEVENTY!

So, how could a body be so mad at someone she loved so much?

Lilah kicked a rock onto the grave, then hurried over, kneeled beside it, and lifted the stone from the bare mound. She thought to toss it far away then changed her mind and slipped it into her skirt pocket where she rubbed its cool smoothness.

Tears welled, but she didn’t want to cry.

Lord knew she’d cried a bucketful the past six months. She swiped her cheeks.

“Why did you have to die?”

“It’s time, baby. Come on; we’re ready.”

Ready? Ready for what? To ruin her life? She turned. Her mother walked toward her, looking as happy as a simpleton to be leaving.

How could she be so callous? So unconcerned?

“Please, Lilah, let’s not rile him. He’s hoping to make twenty miles today. Come on, baby. I’ve loaded your carpet bag into the wagon.”

If only she had a choice. She filled her lungs.
One glorious day not so far into the future, she would. But on that most horrible of days, destiny forced her to do what they wanted—leave the only home she’d ever known and head off for a place none of them knew much about.

 

. . . And thus begins the passage of fifteen-year-old Lilah, a daddy’s girl who daddy just died; and his evil brother has already forced her mother to marry! She hated him! Stupid Uncle Stepfather! The girl’s whole purpose focuses on getting away from the man.

My reader’s Journey has only just begun, too. In 2018, my husband Ron and I decided to pack a bag and go drive the Oregon / California Trail. It was an amazing trip as we stopped at most every museum along the way and traveled the same terrain as the thousands who made the trek almost two hundred years ago to settle the west.

I believe that research makes this story all the more awesome as it takes readers along on the historic trek to the Pacific Northwest. I hope you’ll all enjoy LILAH, and as always, I’m praying my story gives God glory!

BUY LINK: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084VTVRXD

Jacket Copy for LILAH :
How can death, betrayal, a rash proposal, and revenge lead to romance?

An abusive controller compels reluctant travelers westward. To flee her abusive stepfather, Lilah proposes marriage to the wagon train scout, which only leaves Padraig thinking she’s a bit soft in the head. It’s 1855. Come join the journey along the Oregon Trail with Captain Cumby. Wagon Ho!

Oh, and I’m the one turning SEVENTY today! I came into the world on May 3, 1950. Oh, how the world has changed in my lifetime! It would seem like more than any other generation before with practically all knowledge at my fingertips! But it’s been wisdom I’ve sought above knowledge!

I’m glad to be living my golden years with a complete trust in God which ends all fear and worry, providing perfect peace. If you don’t know such peace, if you haven’t met the Way, the Truth, and the Life, please contact me and let me introduce you to the only One Who can fill the emptiness in your heart.

GIVEAWAY: I’d like to bless one of Donna’s readers today by offering REMI, another Prairie Roses story, book 2, as my gift. Please comment with whether you would like to go on a wagon train for over two thousand miles? Like Remi did? Like Lilah did?

 

ABOUT CARYL:

Award-winning hybrid author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory. Her best-selling novels have garnered over 1000 5-Star reviews, attesting to the Father’s favor. Readers love her Historical Christian romance family sagas best, but she also writes Christian contemporary romance, Biblical fiction, and for young adults and mid-grade booklovers. They count Caryl’s characters as family or very close friends. The prolific writer loves singing the new songs He gives her almost as much as penning tales—hear a few at YouTube! Married to Ron over fifty years, she shares four children and nineteen grandsugars. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.


LINKS:
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Caryl-McAdoo/e/B00E963CFG

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/caryl-mcadoo?follow=true

Website: http://www.CarylMcAdoo.com    

Newsletter: http://carylmcadoo.com/sign-up-to-the-caryler/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_1hQx6UZbWi3OYwmKKxh6Q

(Hear Caryl sing her New Songs!)

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CarylMcAdoo.author

 

Free Recipe Book for Campers

And for those who like to cook outdoors.

I compiled this book while researching cooking over an open fire, as Becky would have done in Double Jeopardy and Kate would have done in the book by her name, Kate.

Lots of folks have asked for it on our various Facebook events, so here it is if you’re interested. Receipe handout

Singer Castle — Susan G. Mathis

Today I’m happy to welcome author Susan G. Mathis as she shares about Singer Castle and her book, Devyn’s Dilemma.

Singer Castle was originally called “The Towers,” and Frederick Bourne affectionately dubbed it his “hunting lodge.” Now named “Singer Castle” it’s set on Dark Island, one of the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence River. It’s the only fully completed and existing castle of the Thousand Islands Gilded Age era. The castle can be toured from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and you can even spend the night there! I’ve toured the castle several times but still haven’t seen it all. One day, I hope to spend the night there.

Frederick Bourne, a New York resident, self-made millionaire, and the fifth president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company (thus the name “Singer Castle”), bought the seven-acre island and contracted Ernest Flagg, a famous architect of the time, to design the magnificent castle to surprise his wife and children. Flagg chose to design it much like the English castle in Sir Walter Scott’s book, Woodstock, complete with eight fireplaces, eight bathrooms, dungeons, secret passageways, a piazza, a portrait of King Charles II that can be opened to spy on guests, and more.

Construction began in 1903, but to support such a massive stone castle, Bourne bought nearby Oak Island and a plot of land in Canada to bring tons of granite to the island over water and the winter ice to build up the island. Two years later the 28-room, four-story castle was a wonder to behold.

Three towers/turrets, secret panels and passageways, massive stone arches, and the dungeon add mystery to the place. The island also includes three boathouses (one that houses a powerhouse), and an icehouse.

The castle is completely furnished with furnishings, a library full of books, dozens of sewing machines, period dishware, and all kinds of cool stuff from that era, most of which were actually there during the Bournes’ ownership and residence. Medieval weapons and suites of armor complete the castle’s ambiance.

Want to add this to your bucket list? Check out more here: https://www.singercastle.com

Check out Devyn’s Dilemma, Book 2 of the Thousand Islands Gilded Age series

You can experience this wonder yourself and/or read about it in my latest novel, Devyn’s Dilemma.

1910, Thousand Islands, New York. Others may consider The Towers castle on Dark Island an enchanting summer retreat, but to Devyn McKenna, it’s a prison. Yet as she works as a maid for Frederick Bourne, former president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, her life blossoms under the kindness of his family and fascinating entrepreneurs such as J.P. Morgan, Thomas Lipton, and Captain Vanderbilt. But more than anything, the growing friendship of Mr. Bourne’s valet, Brice McBride, begins to pry away the painful layers that conceal Devyn’s heart.

Brice is drawn to the mysterious Devyn even though he’s certain she’s hiding a secret, one far more dangerous than the clues they find in The Towers that hint of a treasure on the island. When Devyn is accused of stealing Bourne’s investment in Vanderbilt’s New York City subway expansion, he might not be able to protect her.

 

ABOUT SUSAN G. MATHIS

Susan G Mathis is an award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Her first two books of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, Devyn’s Dilemma and Katelyn’s Choice are available now, and she’s working on book three. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise are also available. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more.

Susan is also a published author of two premarital books with her husband, Dale, two children’s picture books, stories in a dozen compilations, 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.

Lighthouse Publishing: https://shoplpc.com/devyns-dilemma

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Devyns-Dilemma-Thousand-Islands-Gilded/dp/1645262731

Website: www.SusanGMathis.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanGMathis

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@SusanGMathis

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susangmathis

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/susangmathisaut

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6044608.Susan_G_Mathis

Excerpt from Devyn’s Dilemma by Susan G. Mathis

Today I’m happy to welcome author Susan G. Mathis as she shares an excerpt from her novel, Devyn’s Dilemma.

Devyn’s Dilemma, book two of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, just came out April 3, 2020. It’s a story set in 1910, in the mysterious Towers Castle on Dark Island in the Thousand Islands, New York.

While others may consider The Towers castle on Dark Island an enchanting summer retreat, to Devyn McKenna, it’s a prison. Yet as she works as a maid for Frederick Bourne, former president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, her life blossoms under the kindness of his family and fascinating entrepreneurs such as J.P. Morgan, Thomas Lipton, and Captain Vanderbilt. But more than anything, the growing friendship of Mr. Bourne’s valet, Brice McBride, begins to pry away the painful layers that conceal Devyn’s heart.

Brice is drawn to the mysterious Devyn even though he’s certain she’s hiding a secret, one far more dangerous than the clues they find in The Towers that hint of a treasure on the island. When Devyn is accused of stealing Bourne’s investment in Vanderbilt’s New York City subway expansion, he might not be able to protect her.

Here’s an excerpt to whet your interest:

Devyn took one step into the entryway and stopped dead in her tracks. “And he deceived me about this being a hunting lodge. I had no idea it was so grand.”

Brice laughed, his voice deep and comforting. “Aye, and I am to give you a tour. I was with the Bournes when they first viewed this place, and they reacted the same way as you. Mrs. Bourne was entirely overcome, though their primary home on Long Island, called Indian Neck Hall, is far grander.” He allowed Devyn to take in the large stone fireplace, massive granite pillars, carved stone arches, and vaulted ceiling before continuing. “This is the Great Hall where we receive our guests. And look at these infinity mirrors.” He led her to the center of the room and pointed to the mirror over the fireplace.

“Oh my! It seems to go on forever.” She snapped her head around to see a duplicate mirror on the opposite side of the room that created the illusion. “Amazing.”

He grinned and motioned her on to what looked like a hall closet. “And over here is the wine vault. It holds an excellent collection.”

“And suits of armor?” Devyn quirked a brow as she glanced at the armor standing at attention and then turned back at her tour guide.

“Aye, this room makes quite an impression for first-time guests, don’t you think? The Bournes love to delight everyone who visits them.” Brice set down Devyn’s carpetbag and continued his tour of the lower level. He led her past the kitchen, gesturing toward it. “You’ll see the kitchen soon enough. Everyone is reelin’ just now preparing for a dinner party tonight, so we won’t disturb them. But you’ll be pleased to know it’s a fully equipped, modern kitchen with indoor plumbing, a gigantic range, a dumbwaiter, and a servant call box.”

She liked his slight brogue that spoke of his Irishness. He rubbed his clean-shaven chin, apparently debating with himself where to take her next. He was a head taller than her, his short hair neatly parted down the middle. His strong features made him appear rather aristocratic. But those eyes …

“This is the east wing where some of the servants reside, and the laundry is there too. You’ll explore that another time.” Brice touched her arm to turn her around, sending a shiver through her. He motioned her down the hall. “Are you cold? The castle can be chilly at times.”

“I’m fine, thank you.” She scurried past the kitchen and back into the Great Hall, where she hoped to catch her breath. His presence, his voice caused her heart to race.

Brice caught up with her. “Another fascinating detail about The Towers is that you’ll find several secret passageways throughout the castle.”

“I’m sorry, I just can’t get over my shock. Falan told me none of this.” Devyn rested her hand on her chest.

“Aye, well, let’s finish touring the ground level, shall we?” Brice didn’t wait for her to answer but led her once again back through the Great Hall to the other side of the fireplace. “Here’s the library and billiard room, and over there …” He pointed to the left of a huge granite fireplace. “There’s a hidden switch in the bookcase panel that opens a secret passageway so we servants can move from room to room without disturbing anyone.”

Devyn grinned so wide that her lips felt dry and taut. She loved secrets and hidden places—and books. She loved to read and discover faraway places and marvelous stories. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad here, after all.

ABOUT SUSAN G. MATHIS

Susan G Mathis is an award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Her first two books of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, Devyn’s Dilemma and Katelyn’s Choice are available now, and she’s working on book three. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise are also available. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more.

Susan is also a published author of two premarital books with her husband, Dale, two children’s picture books, stories in a dozen compilations, 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.

Lighthouse Publishing: https://shoplpc.com/devyns-dilemma

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Devyns-Dilemma-Thousand-Islands-Gilded/dp/1645262731

Website: www.SusanGMathis.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanGMathis

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@SusanGMathis

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susangmathis

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/susangmathisaut

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6044608.Susan_G_Mathis

Frontier and Romance Party April 10th!

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Join NINE authors Friday, April 10th, from 3-8 p.m. Eastern time at our first-ever Smitten Historical Romance Facebook party!

We’ll chat, encourage each other, answer questions, play games, and learn about these authors’ Smitten frontier romances (not just the Western frontier, but Eastern and Midwestern as well!) and recent releases. Enter to win multiple individual giveaways as well as a grand prize that includes one frontier romance e-book from each author plus a $50 Amazon gift card! There will even be an “Ask the Editor” slot for budding authors to post questions and pitch their work.

Simply click this link (https://www.facebook.com/groups/244736866699446/), ask to join, and you will be approved.

Schedule for the day (Eastern Time/Central Time/Mountain Time/Pacific Time)

3:00 PM – 3:30 PM (2:00, 1:00, noon) — Jodie Wolfe

3:30 PM – 4:00 PM (2:30, 1:30, 12:30) — Denise Weimer

4:00 PM – 4:30 PM (3:00, 2:00, 1:00) — Donna Schlachter

4:30 PM – 5:00 PM (3:30, 2:30, 1:30) — Cindy Regnier

5:00 PM – 5:30 PM (4:00, 3:00, 2:00) — Linda Yezak

5:30 PM – 6:00 PM (4:30, 3:30, 2:30) — Sandra Merville Hart

6:00 PM – 6:30 PM (5:00, 4:00, 3:00) — Cindy Ervin Huff

6:30 PM – 7:00 PM (5:30, 4:30, 3:30) — Naomi Musch

7:00 PM – 7:30 PM (6:00, 5:00, 4:00) — Jennifer Hough Uhlarik

7:30 PM – 8:00 PM (6:30, 5:30, 4:30) — Ask the Editor and Final Commenting

Author Spotlight with Susan G. Mathis

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

When did you first discover you were a writer?

I can’t remember not writing. I’ve taught Language Arts for nine years to 4-8 graders, had my own newspaper column, wrote missions curriculum, and have written just about anything God put in my path.

Before I jumped into the fiction world, I served as the Founding Editor of Thriving Family magazine and the former Editor/Editorial Director of 12 Focus on the Family publications. My first two published books were nonfiction, co-authored with my husband, Dale. I also authored two picture books and am published in various book compilations including three Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Ready to Wed, Supporting Families Through Meaningful Ministry, The Christian Leadership Experience, and Spiritual Mentoring of Teens.

I swore I’d never write fiction, but never say never! My hubby and I went to a book talk/signing, and after we left, I jokingly said, “I could write a story about a quilt!” I then proceeded to tell him the entire story, and he said, “Well, write it!” Thus began my journey of writing historical fiction.

What are your novels about?

I have five published historical fiction novels on the market. All are set in the enchanting Thousand Islands in Upstate New York during the Gilded Age era.

My debut novel, The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy is the story of a 1850s Irish immigrant and a 21st-century single mom who are connected by faith, family, and a quilt.

Christmas Charity is the story of 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.

Katelyn’s Choice is book one of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age with Lighthouse Publishing. It’s the story of nineteen-year-old Katelyn Kavanagh who leaves her family’s struggling farm to work on Pullman Island for the famous George Pullman. There she finds herself serving powerful men such as President Ulysses S. Grant, and General Sheridan—and falling in love with her best friend’s brother, Thomas, the handsome boatsman. Katelyn gains popularity with her friends by spilling the sensitive high society gossip she’s privy to. But when she overhears possibly damaging presidential conversations, she knows she can’t tell anyone. She could lose her job—and endanger her president’s 1872 reelection—and jeopardize her relationship with the man of her dreams.

Sara’s Surprise is the story of Sara McNully and Sean Graham who must navigate the challenging waters of work and romance. Sara befriends Sean’s 6-year-old daughter, Madison, but when Sara’s trust is shattered, can Sara learn to trust Sean with her heart or will she break two hearts and run away?

What’s your newest novel?

Devyn’s Dilemma, book two of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, just came out April 3, 2020. Here’s the back-cover copy: 1910, Thousand Islands, New York. Others may consider The Towers castle on Dark Island an enchanting summer retreat, but to Devyn McKenna, it’s a prison. Yet as she works as a maid for Frederick Bourne, former president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, her life blossoms under the kindness of his family and fascinating entrepreneurs such as J.P. Morgan, Thomas Lipton, and Captain Vanderbilt. But more than anything, the growing friendship of Mr. Bourne’s valet, Brice McBride, begins to pry away the painful layers that conceal Devyn’s heart.

Brice is drawn to the mysterious Devyn even though he’s certain she’s hiding a secret, one far more dangerous than the clues they find in The Towers that hint of a treasure on the island. When Devyn is accused of stealing Bourne’s investment in Vanderbilt’s New York City subway expansion, he might not be able to protect her.

I hope you’ll take a peek at these five Gilded Age stories and immerse yourself in Downton-Abby like history, intrigue, wonder, redemption…and love.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Susan G Mathis is an award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Her first two books of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, Devyn’s Dilemma and Katelyn’s Choice are available now, and she’s working on book three. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise are also available. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more.

Susan is also a published author of two premarital books with her husband, Dale, two children’s picture books, stories in a dozen compilations, 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.

Lighthouse Publishing: https://shoplpc.com/devyns-dilemma
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Devyns-Dilemma-Thousand-Islands-Gilded/dp/1645262731
Website: www.SusanGMathis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanGMathis
Twitter: https://twitter.com/@SusanGMathis
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susangmathis
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/susangmathisaut
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6044608.Susan_G_Mathis

 

April 2020 New Releases!

April 2020 New Releases

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

Biblical:

Claiming Canaan: Milcah’s Journey by Barbara M. Britton — When the tribal elders make marriage a requirement for claiming her land, Milcah bat Zelophehad must find a betrothed straightaway. The only problem in finding a husband is that all her suitors were slain while conquering the land of Canaan. Men avoid her in order to stay alive. After praying to God to send her a bold suitor, a man from her father’s clan plummets from a tree right on top of her. Is this God answering prayer, or a foolish antic by Eli, the war-scarred brother from one of her clan’s rival families. Will settling in Canaan sort out Milcah’s troubles, or have her woes just begun? (Biblical Fiction from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])

Contemporary Romance:

Ryan’s Father by June Foster — The rippling influence of Ryan Reid’s less than moral mother and absent father made a mark on his soul. Yet everything changed when the young school teacher accepted Christ—almost everything. An earthquake hurls the beautiful Sandy Arrington into his life, tossing his world upside down. When God calls him to build an annex for needy teens at his church, Ryan must face the carefully guarded secret he’s held deep in his heart. Though Sandy falls in love with him, Ryan’s forbidden affections lie elsewhere, and he must depend on the Lord to see him through a struggle he always hoped he’d never have to face. Sandy’s wealthy cardiologist father and the battle Ryan is powerless to win are hurtles to their romance. Can he dig his way out to find Sandy’s love? (Contemporary Romance from Winged Publications)

Historical Romance:

The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep — What Can a London Opera Star and an Escaped Dartmoor Prisoner Have in Common? Opera star Maggie Lee escapes her opulent lifestyle when threatened by a powerful politician who aims to ruin her life. She runs off to the wilds of the moors to live in anonymity. All that changes the day she discovers a half-dead man near her house. Escaped convict Oliver Ward is on the run to prove his innocence, until he gets hurt and is taken in by Maggie. He discovers some jewels in her possession—the very same jewels that got him convicted. Together they hatch a plan to return the jewels, clearing Oliver’s name and hopefully maintaining Maggie’s anonymity. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Spies & Sweethearts by Linda Shenton Matchett — A secret mission. A fake bride. A run for their lives. According to the OSS training manual, the life expectancy of a radio operator in Nazi-occupied France is six weeks. Partnered with one of the agency’s top spies, Gerard Lucas, newly-minted agent Emily Strealer plans to beat those odds. Then their cover is blown and all bets are off. The border to neutral Switzerland is three hundred miles away-a long way to run with SS soldiers on their heels.
Will Emily and Gerard survive the journey and get home? And what about their hearts? Nothing in the manual prepared them for falling in love. (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)

Devyn’s Dilemma by Susan G Mathis — 1910, Thousand Islands, New York. Others may consider The Towers castle on Dark Island an enchanting summer retreat, but to Devyn McKenna, it’s a prison. Yet as she works as a maid for Frederick Bourne, former president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, her life blossoms under the kindness of his family and fascinating entrepreneurs such as J.P. Morgan, Thomas Lipton, and Captain Vanderbilt. But more than anything, the growing friendship of Mr. Bourne’s valet, Brice McBride, begins to pry away the painful layers that conceal Devyn’s heart. Brice is drawn to the mysterious Devyn even though he’s certain she’s hiding a secret, one far more dangerous than the clues they find in The Towers that hint of a treasure on the island. When Devyn is accused of stealing Bourne’s investment in Vanderbilt’s New York City subway expansion, he might not be able to protect her. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

A Life Renewed by Olivia Rae — In 1554, Lady Jane Grey, “The Nine Days’ Queen” was executed for high treason. But what if, instead of feeling the blade on her neck she secretly survived? Escaping execution, Lady Jane hides as a peasant girl in a principality in Germany. She loves the simple life and never wants to return to England. But her benefactor, a power-hungry German prince, wants to march on London and place her on the English throne again, thereby increasing his dominance in Europe. If she doesn’t agree to his plan, her beloved childhood nurse will be put to death. Desperate for help, Jane must put her trust in the mysterious spy Asher Hayes. Asher Hayes is done rounding up Protestants for “Bloody Mary” and wants nothing more than to live a quiet life as a farmer and expunge the blood of many from his hands. Except Queen Mary isn’t done with him yet. She throws his father, mother, and sister into prison on false charges in order to force him to accept one last mission – find and kill Lady Jane Grey. But when Asher discovers Lady Jane isn’t a threat to the throne as he believed her to be, he faces a devastating decision – does he sacrifice his family for the woman who reigns in his heart? (Historical Romance from HopeKnight Press LLC)

The Chisholm Trail Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo — Stubborn Hearts Clash on a Cattle Drive Eliza Gentry’s pursuit of marriage to the son of her family’s sworn enemy has cost her greatly. Furious at his daughter’s choices, her father sends her off with the cattle drive heading toward Fort Worth and the Barnhart ranch, but under the watchful eye of Wyatt Creed, a Pinkerton man he has hired to see to her safety. With danger at every turn—not the least of which to his heart—can Wyatt Creed keep his focus with Eliza Gentry around? Is the Chisholm Trail a place for falling in love or a place to die at the hands of cattle thieves? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Mystery:

Cooking Up A Mystery by Gail Pallotta — In this romantic mystery Laney Eskridge battles insecurities, loss and a criminal who attempts to destroy her tea house and catering business. (Cozy Mystery from Inspired [Prism Book Group])

Romantic Suspense:

Flight Risk by Cara Putman — Savannah Daniels has worked hard to establish a small law practice, and her early career gambles have paid off with a life that she loves. Jett Mason Glover has almost reached the pinnacle of the journalism ladder in Washington, DC. He just needs one breakout story to seal his destiny. When a plane crashes into the 14th Street Bridge during take-off from Reagan National, everyone thinks it’s a freak accident—until the passenger list is released and the black box is compromised. Savannah does not expect to be connected to the crash until she learns her ex-husband was piloting the plane. She must manage his estate while his name is under a fog of accusations leveled by a journalist named Jett who now claims he wants to help Savannah find the truth. As the threads untangle, Savannah begins to question what she knows and whether she’ll survive the investigation. Maybe she’s as deceived as everyone else, but someone believes she’s closer to the truth than she is. And that belief may just kill her. (Romantic Suspense from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Border Breach by Darlene L. Turner — When drugs are smuggled across the border, it’s their duty to stop the culprits…at any cost. Forming a joint task force, Canada border officer Kaylin Poirier and police constable Hudson Steeves have one objective: take down a drug-smuggling ring trying to sell a new lethal product. But when the smugglers come after Kaylin and Hudson, this mission becomes more than just a job. Can they live long enough to solve the case? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:
Only a Glimpse by LuAnn K. Edwards, Contemporary Romance
Fugitive Trail by Elizabeth Goddard , Romantic Suspense
Critical Decision by Richard L. Mabry, MD, Medical Mystery
Glacier of Secrets by J Carol Nemeth, Romantic Suspense
A Perfect Fit by Christine Schimpf, Contemporary Romance
Riven by H.L. Wegley, Romantic Suspense (Historical)