Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Interview with Lori Benton and a Book Giveaway

It is with great pleasure that I welcome today's author to my blog. I met Lori Benton for the first time at the Books & Such Retreat in Monterey, California last October. I had not yet read Lori's books, though I had heard a great deal about them. When I had the opportunity to read and review The Wood's Edge, (you can see my review here) I jumped at the chance--and I'm so happy I did. I was instantly (I mean instantly!) captivated by her story. If you read no other book this year, read The Wood's Edge (but please read other books!!). I'm so excited to have Lori here today, and I'm even more excited to offer her book to one lucky reader!! See below for details.
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Welcome to my blog, Lori! I’m thrilled to have you visit for the first time and talk about your newest release, The Wood’s Edge.

Thank you, Gabrielle. I’m so pleased to chat with you.

I can’t wait a moment longer to start discussing The Wood’s Edge! I was given an advanced reader’s copy to review, and I was mesmerized by the story. Truly, it is now in my top five favorite! I couldn’t put the book down and I fell in love with Two-Hawks, Anna, Reginald, Lydia, William, Good Voice, and Stone Thrower.

The story explores the collision of British Colonial and Oneida cultures in the second half of the 18th century. How did your passion develop for this time period and subject?

I stumbled upon a passion for the 18th century and the particular types of conflicts it encompasses on something of a whim. After a season away from writing due to illness, I decided to try my hand at historical fiction. This was 2004, and by then I’d seen the movie The Patriot (with Heath Ledger and Mel Gibson), and knew I wanted my male characters clad in knee breeches. A little research told me I’d better choose the 1700s for that. I know, how utterly profound! Little did I know what awaited me in the pages of the now hundreds of research books that fill my bookshelves.

I'm thinking Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger have inspired many a writer. :) Our daughter Maryn is actually named after William Wallace's wife (Murron) from Brave Heart with Mel.

Your writing is beautiful and filled with depth and emotion. Which authors have influenced your writing the most?

There are so many, but at the top of the list are James Alexander Thom, Diana Gabaldon, Susanna Kearsley, and Ellis Peters/Edith Pargeter.

I love discovering new authors, especially ones that inspire other writers. I'll have to look into some of these.

The Wood’s Edge is rich with historical detail and a vibrant setting. How long did it take you to research this story? And what research tools did you use? Did you visit the setting?

I wrote the first draft of The Wood’s Edge in 2012; safe to say I was researching for a few months prior. A lot of the research for this novel happened while I was writing Burning Sky in 2009. Much of what happens in The Wood’s Edge and especially its sequel, A Flight of Arrows (spring 2016), forms the back story of Burning Sky. So it’s accurate to say I began research for The Wood’s Edge as early as 2008, though of course I didn’t know then that’s what I was doing.

I didn’t do any traveling for research this time around, unless you count multiple visits to the Mohawk Valley and points westward via Google Earth and other people’s YouTube videos. Amazing what you can find online these days.

It is amazing what research tools we have at the tips of our fingers!

If one of the characters from The Wood’s Edge could come to life, and you could spend the day with him/her, which one would you choose? And why?

I’m sure I’ve wished to be able to do this at some point with every single character in this book. But now that I have a little distance from it I’d say Two Hawks, because he’s the one most caught between two worlds in this book—a theme that continually draws me to write novels—and even more so in A Flight of Arrows.

I really enjoyed Two Hawk's character. He is caught between two worlds, and as a reader, you feel the pull. I can't wait to see where his story goes in Flight of Arrows.

For readers meeting you here for the first time, could you give us an overview of your writing and publication story?

It was long and winding. I began writing as a child, but didn’t get serious about it until my early 20s. 1991 to be exact. I wrote several novels and submitted them to publishers in the mid to late 1990s, but met with rejection. Then I faced cancer at age 30 (1999), and while I came through the treatment relatively unscathed (and have been in remission since) for the next 4-5 years I suffered a long term side effect called chemo fog. I wasn’t able to write much at all during that time. When my brain began to clear is when I decided to try writing historical fiction. That was 2004. I was very rusty, so it took a while—nearly four more years—to finish another novel and then edit into shape for submission. I was in no hurry however, and still discovering who I was as a writer, and all the changes God had worked in me through that cancer and non-writing experience. Around 2008 I felt I was again ready to submit my work to agents (the publishing scene had changed during my hiatus and a writer now needed an agent). It wasn’t until 2010 that I finally signed with my agent and not until 2012 that I signed a contract with WaterBrook Press for my first novel, Burning Sky. Which of course wasn’t really my first novel. Or second, or sixth. Some of those early attempts will never see the light of day, and rightly so. But maybe some of them will. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.  

I'm so thankful you answered God's call to be a writer, and continued to pursue the call even through the difficult seasons of life. Your writing has a great impact on me, and I'm looking forward to many more of your novels to come. Thank you for visiting my blog, Lori! I’ve had fun interviewing you.

Thank you very much, Gabrielle. My pleasure!

Lori has kindly agreed to give away a copy of The Wood's Edge to a reader. Please see the Rafflecopter below.

YOUR TURN, READER: Have you read any of Lori's books? What authors and/or stories have had the greatest impact on you?

Meet Lori:
Lori Benton’s novels transport readers to the eighteenth century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history. When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching, Lori enjoys exploring the Oregon wilderness with her husband. She is the author of Burning Sky, recipient of three Christy Awards, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, an ECPA 2015 Christian Book Award finalist, and The Wood’s Edge.

The Wood's Edge:
At the wood’s edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact?

The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths.

On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald’s wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples.

When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood’s edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin’s absence, another unaware of his twin’s existence. And for Anna, who loves them both—Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow Him?

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Book Review: The Wood's Edge, by Lori Benton

Sometimes there are no words to express the depth of enjoyment I experience while reading a book. There are some stories that drag me in, and I become so immersed, I feel as if I am standing amidst the action, watching every detail, listening to every word, and feeling every emotion the characters are feeling.

This was the case with The Wood's Edge, by Lori Benton. I was given a free copy by the publisher to review and offer my honest opinion. And my opinion is that this is an award-winning story. It quickly rose in the ranks, and became one of my top five all-time favorite novels.

The story begins in 1757 during the fall of Fort William Henry. This is where we meet one of the story's heroes, Major Reginald Aubrey. His wife has just lost yet another child, and Major Aubrey is distraught. He and his wife will have to flee the fort--but not before he tells her their child died in her sleeping arms. As he makes his way through the fort with his dead son, he comes across a white woman who is dressed like an Oneida Indian. She is also asleep, and has just given birth to a set of twin boys--one is white and the other is dark. In a split second decision, Major Aubrey switches his dead infant for the white child in the sleeping woman's arms, and then he presents the living baby to his wife.

This is the first scene, which sets up the story in a magnificent succession of events that follow two very different families--one Oneida, seeking their lost son, and the other British Colonials, hiding the truth of their son's origins.

This story has everything a good story should have. Love, hatred, loyalty, betrayal, faith, doubt, forgiveness, vengeance, hope, despair, mystery, revelation, and so much more. I had a hard time putting this story down--and then I had a hard time reading the end, because I knew it would be hard to say goodbye to the characters.

I loved The Wood's Edge. Lori Benton is an incredible author--one who has quickly become a favorite.

The book releases April 20th. If you'd like to pre-order, it's available here.

Lori Benton will be my guest on Wednesday, April 15th! Please come back for a visit and a chance to win a copy of this stunning book.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Interview with NLB Horton

Today I'm welcoming author Norma Horton to my blog. Norma and I are agent-mates with Books & Such Literary Management. It's my pleasure to have her here today! Please sit back and enjoy this fun interview.
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Welcome to my blog, Norma. Thank you for stopping by to visit and to talk about your newest release, The Brothers’ Keepers.

Gabrielle, it’s so kind of you to invite me! It’s always a joy to share my work with readers, especially when they follow an author represented by my literary agent. We’re a sisterhood!

For readers meeting you here for the first time, can you tell us a little about yourself and your publication story?

Somehow, much to my surprise, I have lived a pretty adventurous life.

I married late, then homeschooled when necessary. (They survived my teaching to become an attorney and engineer.) I retired from twenty-five years of owning a marketing and advertising agency, pursuing a later-in-life master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

As part of my study, I embarked on archaeological surveys of the Holy Land. These laid the groundwork for the adventures of my protagonist, archaeologist Grace Madison. I also traveled along the journeys of Paul through Greece and Turkey; returned to the Holy Land a year ago; and just returned from the Mediterranean. I write about what I know and places I know well.

I can pinpoint the date of Grace’s birth because I stood on the top of tel Dan in far northern Israel, under artillery fire from Syria and machine gun fire from Lebanon. My then-teenage kids were with me as a camo-painted bomber with an IDF (Israeli Defense Force) tail number dropped through the clouds. Happy birthday, Grace!

She continues her adventures, via my imagination, across the Middle East (When Camels Fly), through Western Europe (The Brothers’ Keepers), and the Near East (book 3, which I’m drafting).

Along the way, I floated the Amazon River with a Robinson’s tarantula on the prow of the skiff. Studied with an Incan shaman. And was nominated to membership in the Explorers Club, whose members have included Teddy Roosevelt and Sir Winston Churchill.

The Brothers’ Keepers is the second book in the Parched series. Can you tell us a little about the series?

Humanity’s role at creation was that of co-stewards of the garden; I am committed to environmental stewardship. Living in the west, I am familiar with drought. My protagonist’s daughter is an international hydrologist, and the importance of water is an undercurrent in the Parched series.

According to Christy Award winner DiAnn Mills, the series is “masterful international suspense driven by contemporary dynamics.” Aside from kidnappings and disappearances, running for their lives and loving each other, Parched touches on the importance of careful and fair management of the most precious natural resource on earth: water.

And as an aside, The Brothers’ Keepers will be featured on BookBub on April 10, kicking off a ten-day, 99-cent sale of the e-book. Although readers prefer to start with book 1, When Camels Fly, everyone likes to save their pennies, right?

I hope everyone will take advantage of the sale--as well as buy the first book!
What meaning does the series name hold for you?

I rode out the Hayman Fire summer at our ranch, watching a huge hunk of Colorado burn. We were at the end of a seven-year drought. Although our water table was steady at ten-thousand-plus feet, where the ranch house perched, many down-valley families received air and dust when they turned on their spigots.

As Americans, we think that drought is a problem for Africa or the Middle East. Drought is our problem, and it’s here to stay.

What plans do you have next for your Parched series?

Ah, Grace. She just keeps getting into trouble. And when she’s behaving, her family finds ways to draw her into their misadventures.

Right now, she’s in a war zone. Not willingly, of course. She’s too smart and careful for that. But nonetheless, someone has just been shot (by her) in self-defense. Her family is trying to figure out how to rescue her. Her daughter, Maggie, a hydrologist, is about to have a very personal encounter with the young man she doesn’t know she loves.

Seriously, book 3 should go to the editor next month, with a planned release of January 2016. Two or three are fighting for dominance in my frontal lobes, and I’m trying to keep that rowdy crowd under control.

What do you hope readers walk away with after they’ve finished reading The Brothers’ Keepers?

I hope they’re empowered to find the joy with which Grace lives. I hope that they admire the way she and her family stretch to use their God-given gifts to the utmost to glorify God and share the love of Christ.

We are all created so uniquely. Not everyone wants to ride a camel across the Negev, but there’s a place at God’s table for so many gifts. I hope readers dig deeply into themselves, searching for what makes them special. Then have the courage to share their discoveries with the people in their lives.

Thanks again for having me here, Gabrielle.

Thank you for being my guest, Norma. Your series, and life experiences, sound so fascinating.

YOUR TURN READERS: Do you live in a part of the US under drought conditions? If so, please share your experience. What do you think environmental stewardship means?

When a dear friend disappears without warning, archaeologist Grace Madison exposes his deadly deception--only to realize that it endangers everything she cherishes.  
While cataloging looted antiquities in Brussels, Grace learns that her son's bride has been attacked in Switzerland. Her day careens from bad to catastrophic when daughter Maggie, a hydrologist, disappears in France.

Coincidence is a luxury that Grace cannot afford. Particularly when near-fatal history--saturated in espionage--is repeating itself.

Family members convene in Paris, where they discover the key to the danger consuming them. Embedded like a taproot in the Ancient Near East, the cuneiform clay tablet is their only lifeline. But before they can save themselves, they must first find and rescue their elderly friend--if he'll let them.

On an epic journey following two brothers, crossing three continents, and spanning four thousand years, the Madison family risks it all to save it all. They rediscover and reinvest in love. Offer and receive redemption. And summon the courage to face truth: about themselves, each other, and the difference in right and wrong.

Because sometimes, doing what's right is all that's left.

(The Brothers' Keepers is book 2 in the Parched series, continuing the misadventures and exploits in When Camels Fly.)

Meet Norma:

After an award-winning detour through journalism and marketing, then a graduate degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, NLBHorton returned to writing fiction. She has surveyed Israeli archaeological digs accompanied by heavy artillery rounds from Syria and machine gun fire from Lebanon (twice!). Explored Machu Picchu after training with an Incan shaman. Cruised the Amazon and its tributaries after tossing a tarantula from her skiff. And consumed afternoon tea across five continents and the North Atlantic.

She writes international suspense driven by contemporary family dynamics.

NLB is a member of the venerable Explorers Club, an international, multidisciplinary society dedicated to the advancement of field research and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore.

A mother of two adult children, she lives atop a Rocky Mountain with her husband of almost thirty years, an ancient tabby cat, and whatever predator wanders through the back meadow. She’s passionate about her faith, archaeology, women’s issues, and the environment. She’s also a world-class angler, a competent wing-shooter, and a dirt-encrusted gardener once the snow melts.

Her first and second novels, When Camels Fly (May 2014) and The Brothers’ Keepers (November 2014), are available on Amazon. She is writing the third now and plans to release it in January 2016.
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We have a winner from last week's drawing for Jill Kemerer's debut story! The winner is: Shelli Littleton!!! Shelli, I'll email you right away!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My New-To-Me Hometown...With Jill Kemerer

Today I'm welcoming my author friend, Jill Kemerer, and we're celebrating the release of her debut novel, Small Town Bachelor! I first met Jill online at her blog, and then in person at the 2012 ACFW Conference in Dallas, Texas. Jill is a fellow Midwesterner and she's been a wonderful example of hard work, tenacity, and perseverance. Many of us celebrated with Jill this past year when she announced she had sold her debut story to Love Inspired. She's here to talk about that story and to give away a free copy to one lucky winner!!

Here's the first night of the 2012 ACFW Conference.
Jill is wearing white and I'm in the jean jacket. :)
Here's Jill:

My husband and I have moved many times for his job. We’ve lived in various parts of Michigan, Ohio and even Virginia. Almost three years ago, we moved to our current home in a teeny town outside of Toledo, Ohio. I love it here!

I’m a nature girl. I crave being outside, unless it’s below freezing. Then I’ll gladly snuggle up with a blanket in front of a fire and watch the snowflakes dance beyond the windows. The rest of the year, though, I’m hiking, bird-watching or just plain sitting outdoors.

The Maumee River flows past our cute downtown, and there are bike trails for miles along the river. We often hike, just soaking up nature and listening to the gentle babble of the water and birds singing overhead. Bald eagles perch high in the sycamore trees. Great blue herons and snowy egrets stand in the shallows. The water itself is brown, but I still think the setting is beautiful.

Farmland surrounds our town, and I’ve always felt a deep peace when I drive past rows of corn or soybeans. We see plenty of deer and rabbits. The blue sky stretches forever, and Midwest sunsets snatch your breath away.

Some of my favorite things in my new-to-me hometown?

The local ice cream shop opened up a few weeks ago, and we’re lining up for Slushies and cones. There’s never more than a two-minute wait at the post office. Our library might be small, but it has a terrific selection of books, music and DVDs. I only have to drive a mile to get to my grocery store, and I make the short trip to Toledo to purchase gifts or to shop for clothes.

We’re thrilled to plant roots in our new home. It’s a perfect fit.

Tell me about where you live!

About Jill ~

Jill Kemerer writes inspirational romance novels with love, humor and faith. A full time writer and homemaker, she relies on coffee and chocolate to keep up with her kids’ busy schedules.

Besides spoiling her mini-dachshund, Jill adores magazines, M&M’s, fluffy animals and long nature walks. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children.  Jill loves connecting with readers, so please visit her website and find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Small-Town Bachelor ~
A Place to Call Home
When Reed Hamilton arrives in Lake Endwell for a family wedding, he expects to do his part as best man then head back to the big city. But when a tornado postpones the wedding, the town is in shambles and Reed is injured. Thankfully maid of honor Claire Sheffield offers him one of her cottages to recuperate in.

Dedicated to her family and her dream job at the zoo, Claire is all about roots. She's this city slicker's opposite, yet as they help the town rebuild, Reed is captivated by her stunning looks and caring ways. He can't ask Claire to leave the life she loves for him, but he also can't imagine ever leaving her behind...

Interested in buying Small-Town Bachelor? Click on for links to purchase!
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Kindred is…as Kindred is...With Anne Love

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” ~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables 
Today I'm thrilled to invite my writing friend and kindred spirit, Anne Love, to the blog! Anne is one of those people I instantly loved. We immediately knew we had much in common, and when we started to talk it was as if we had known each other for years.
I'm also excited to announce I have joined Anne, Jaime Wright, and Erica Vetsch on the Coffee Cups & Camisoles Blog as a weekly contributor (you can see my introduction post here). The blog is focused on history, romance, and community--three things I adore. I hope you'll join me there on Thursdays, and be sure to stop by on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays to get to know my blogging buddies, too. :)
Without further ado, here's Anne.
Anne and me at the 2013 ACFW
Genre Dinner Night

The fun of growing older isn’t sagging shapes, getting wrinkles , or being told you need glasses, and then bifocals eventually.


Each decade brings more and more opportunity to discover that life is full of kindred spirits. You just have to find them. You have to look for them. And the fun thing about finding kindred spirits is not only the bond of friendship, but learning about yourself in the process.

Kindred spirits aren’t just dopplegangers who show you a reflection of yourself. They aren’t just a mini-me. But they do “get you” in a special way that no one else quite can, and it’s mutual.

The word kindred can mean:  allied, similar, suitable, fitted, family, folks, tribe, clan, or “of the same blood.”

When you meet a kindred, though you may never have met before, you just “know” each other easily.

So it is with writers. Especially historical writers.

I first met Gabe at ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference in Indianapolis, 2013. A whole group of writers who had connected in cyberspace met in the lobby as a group for the first time and went out for dinner. I was sitting across from Gabe and we struck up a fun conversation about history. I was hooked. I knew of all the wonderful new friends, Gabe was the one I’d love to have more time to chat with later.

Turns out we exchanged some writing and helped each other with some critiques in the following months. Since then, we’ve met again in 2014 in St. Louis, and shared phone calls and private messages.

Meeting literally hundreds of other Christian writers over the last seven years has truly been better than pen pals on steroids for me. Gabe and I are both in love with history and storytelling. We love it that we’ll never bore each other talking about historical events, museums, or fiction. So, this week at the blog I share with historical romance writers, Jaime Wright and Erica Vetsch, we are beyond thrilled to add Gabe as a weekly contributor at

Because Jaime, Erica, Gabe, and I are a tribe. We are a clan. We are of “the same blood.” We love history, all things vintage, Jesus, romance, and coffee. If you love those things too, we welcome you to stop by the blog and find your fit with us as we lift a cup of dark brewed coffee at our cyber cafĂ©!

Me and Anne at the 2014 ACFW
Gala Awards Dinner

...Writer of Love Notes...
 Anne Love writes full length Christian Historical Romance novels from rural settings of the 19th century. She works full-time in Northern Indiana as a Family Nurse Practitioner, and balances out her life as a wife and mother with writing, blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads and of course strong black coffee. She is a member of ACFW, has participated in Scribes critique groups and has attended ACFW conferences where she met her fellow bloggers and dearest critique partners ever. Her roots and faith are Mennonite, but neither she nor her heroines wear bonnets. In her spare time she enjoys reading, gardening, music, science, worship, and historical research. She is represented by Sarah Freese of WordServe Literary.
You can email her at loveae1967 at live dot com
Find her on Pinterest
Friend her on Facebook
Connect at Goodreads
Read old blogs at Love Notes
Follow her on Twitter
YOUR TURN: Who are your kindred spirits? Have you ever met someone you've connected with immediately? Do you believe in friendship at first sight? :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Winner!

Last week I had the privilege of hosting one of my favorite historical authors, Laura Frantz. If you haven't read the interview, go here.

Laura graciously agreed to give away a copy of one of her books to a lucky winner! And the winner is: Carla Gade!

Carla, I will be contacting you shortly. Be thinking about which book you'd like...

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway. Be sure to check back here next Wednesday for another guest author and some fun news!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Interview with Laura Frantz & a Book Giveaway!

I've been looking forward to this day for weeks!! It's the day Laura Frantz visits my blog. :) I met Laura on the pages of her novel, The Colonel's Lady, and became an instant fan. She was one of the first authors I reached out to on my writing journey, and she's become a wonderful friend. Though we've not met in person, she has been a joy and encouragement to me along the way. The best part? Her books are amazing, and they keep getting better!!
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Welcome to my blog, Laura! I’m thrilled, as always, to have you here. Today I’m excited to talk about your latest release, Love’s Fortune, and find out what we can look forward to next.

Gabrielle, I’ve always felt a special connection with you, ever since you found me on Facebook and we discussed our mutual fascination with Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh and all that rich history near your home and heart! That was, of course, only the tip of the iceberg! Now here you are, another novelist!

I remember that first conversation! It was the start of a beautiful friendship. You've been so kind to come alongside me and offer your support. 

First, let’s chat a little about, Love’s Fortune, which is the third and final installment of the Ballantyne Legacy Series. I shared my review last September when the book released, and when I looked back at it just now, all the wonderful feelings and emotions from the story returned to me. It’s a lovely tale that still tugs on my heart. How do you feel leaving the Ballantyne family behind to write new stories?

I’m thrilled Wren’s story reached you on an emotional level, always my heart’s desire. Leaving the Ballantynes was bittersweet as I had become quite attached to Eden and Silas and their descendants over the course of 3-4 years researching and writing about them. Ending their story in Scotland, the land of my hero’s birth, brought the series full circle and made it easier to type THE END. Publishing doesn’t give you a lot of time to catch your breath so it’s off to another storyworld…!

Your next novel, The Mistress of Tall Acre, will release in September 2015. The back cover copy sounds so intriguing! 

The American Revolution is finally over and Sophie Menzies is starved for good news. When her closest neighbor, General Seamus Ogilvy finally comes home to Tall Acre, she hopes it is a sign of better days to come. But the general is now a widower with a small daughter in desperate need of a mother. Nearly destitute, Sophie agrees to marry Seamus and become the mistress of Tall Acre in what seems a safe and sensible arrangement. But when a woman from the general's past returns without warning, the ties that bind this fledgling family together will be strained to the point of breaking. When all is said and done, who will be the rightful mistress of Tall Acre? 

Oh, my! I can’t wait to read this story! Can you share with us where the story idea came from?
I’ve always wanted to write a novel about a hero who’s both a widower and a father. There’s something especially poignant about that to me – far more angst! So Seamus, grieving widower and war hero and single father, was the launching point for this novel. Since I love Virginia history, I set the story there, and modeled Tall Acre after Gunston Hall (George Mason’s estate). But the lovely house you see on the cover is quite different than Mason’s (Revell couldn’t use Gunston Hall due to copyright issues). My heroine is also older this time round as you will also see from the cover. I like that maturity very much and appreciate Revell nailing her look. I was able to choose the gown she’s wearing – the fabric is exquisite though the button are a bit taboo for that time period :), at least for women.
The cover is gorgeous, and I love the age and wisdom in the heroine's face! Can you share a few images you used for inspiration?
I really hoped to have the hero and his little girl on the cover. In fact, a dress was sewn for the child model but the heroine won out. This cover is very different than my others, less portrait-ish and more realistic. When it goes live it will be interesting to hear comments, ayes and nays ;). I really wanted to have the house, Tall Acre, a very fine, old Georgian estate incorporated and that did come to be. Tall Acre is truly the linchpin of the novel, perhaps more than any other aspect except the general’s little daughter, whose name is such a delight to me I wish I had one!
I had so much fun naming my own daughters--and it's just as fun naming my book characters! :)
I just read on your Author Facebook Page that you’re working on an upcoming novel set on the Isle of Mull in Scotland. There is so much about this bit of information that excites me! Many of your American stories have had a wee bit ‘o Scottish in them, but I know you’ve been longing to set a story in Scotland. It reminds me of Proverbs 13:19 “A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul.” I have a feeling this story has been sweet for your soul. Can you share how this story idea developed, and give us a glimpse of what we can expect?
Oh, love that particular Scripture, Gabrielle. Very true of this Scottish story! Since my family lineage is Scottish and they came to the colonies in the early 18th-century, I’ve always longed to put that on paper. This novel will have quite a bit of suspense within and takes place on two continents. It begins on the Isle of Mull, a place I’ve had the joy of experiencing several times – and very atmospheric, complete with a whisky cave I climbed down a cliff to see at low tide! This is also incorporated into the novel. I just hope to do all that rich history justice!
I can't wait to read both of your upcoming novels! Thank you for visiting today, Laura, and thank you for sharing a glimpse into your writing world. Your stories, and your sweet heart, make you one of my all-time favorite authors.
Always a joy to spend time with you and reading friends here and share some book buzz, Gabrielle! Thank you!

Dear Readers! Laura has graciously offered to give away a copy of one of her stories! The winner's choice. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below.

YOUR TURN: Have you read one of Laura's stories? If so, which is your favorite? And what do you think of that lovely cover?!?!

Award-winning author Laura Frantz is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century, and writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage. She is a direct descendant of George Hume, Wedderburn Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, settled in Virginia, and is credited with teaching George Washington surveying in the years 1748-1750. Her family resides in Kentucky and Virginia.
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We have a winner from last week's visit with Jennifer Major!! The winner is Paula Moldenhauer!! Congratulations. I'll contact you soon.

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