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Tag Archives: Historical Fiction

New Contract with Barbour!

pegg-signing-2nd-barbour-contract-12-28-16In December I received my second contract from Barbour Publishing. It came one week after I’d told my husband, “If I never sell another manuscript, I’m okay with that. My goal was to write a book and have it published. I’ve done it. It’s off my bucket list.”

Galatians 4:4a – But when the fullness of the time came, God

God’s timing is always perfect. In everything. In the big things and in the littlest things. tweet this

I’d submitted the proposal for In Sheep’s Clothing back in June 2016. It was one of seven stories in a collection called Bouquet of Brides. Six months later, I’d not heard a peep from Barbour. I’d written it off.

God sends His blessings in His time. Generally when we least expect it. How sweet is that?!

 

PeggThomas.com

Debut story will release in April 2017 from Barbour

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2017 in Pegg Thomas, Writing

 

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Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Deep WatersDon’t you love a book that draws you in and doesn’t let you go? That’s how I felt reading Kim Vogel Sawyer’s new book Through the Deep Waters. I picked it up because I am interested in the Harvey House girls. While Dinah Hubley isn’t old enough to work as a server, she does work in Clifton Hotel as a chambermaid and has ambitions to join the ranks as a Harvey House girl as soon as she turns eighteen.

When a handsome local chicken farmer, Amos Ackerman, takes notice of her, she has to make some difficult decisions about her future. Above all else, is making sure nobody finds out about her past and the terrible thing she did.

Kim Sawyer has a gift of weaving a tale set in history and drawing the reader into it. I hated when I had to put the book down to do things that had to get accomplished. Instead I wanted to slip into Dinah and Amos’ world until I came to the final page…then I didn’t want to leave. 🙂

What are you reading?

JodSocial Media 2015ie Wolfe loves to stroll through history with the characters she creates. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband, reading and walking.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2016 in Book Reviews, Jodie Wolfe, Writing

 

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Author Chat with Susan Anne Mason

 

Susan and booksWe welcome author Susan Anne Mason to the Quid Pro Quills. Susan writes historical novels including Irish Meadows and A Worthy Heart. They are the first two books in her Courage to Dream series. I recently reviewed A Worthy Heart.

QPQ: Having a bit o’ Irish blood meself, I’m enjoying this series immensely. What prompted you to center on the Irish in New York at the beginning of the 20th century?

SM: I always wanted to write a family saga because I enjoy reading them so much, and as I was researching my own family’s history. I discovered that my father’s side of the family came from Ireland and settled in Brooklyn around the turn of the century. So that became the seed that grew. My ancestors, like many immigrants, weren’t well off when they arrived. I wanted to portray the patriarch of my story, James Leary, as having clawed his way up from poverty to achieve a good measure of success. Because it’s always more fun to read about the rich, isn’t it?

QPQ: Adam O’Leary … wow. What a difference a book can make! How did you recreate Irish Meadow’s bad boy into A Worthy Heart’s hero?

SM: This was indeed a challenge! To be honest, at first I didn’t like Adam O’Leary much! That’s why I moved him ‘offstage’ in Irish Meadows. I didn’t know much about him, only that he would end up in prison. But the more I delved into Adam’s character, the more I understood what drove him, and I began to see his potential as a hero! (I can’t give away Adam’s secrets. You’ll have to read to find out!) But it was certainly fun reforming him, and helping him heal from his childhood wounds — with a little help from Maggie Montgomery!

QPQ: Maggie Montgomery is an instantly likeable heroine who has no intention of returning to Ireland. Historically, how common was this for Irish relatives visiting their American relations?

SM: To be honest, I have no idea. I know that during the Irish Potato Famine, a huge influx of Irish immigrants came over to Canada and the United States, which I’m sure resulted in a lot of their families coming to join them. In my own family, my uncle married a sweet Irish girl who came to Canada for a visit and when the two fell in love, she quickly moved to Canada. Her sister and her widowed mother also came over from Ireland and all of them eventually ended up living in California (with another rather large Irish population!)

QPQ: I mentioned in my book review of Irish Meadows that you didn’t bury the Catholic roots of these characters. We see that too often in historicals dealing with the Irish, and I don’t understand that since it was such an intricate part of who they were. Yes, the Christian in-fighting in Ireland was horrible, but it happened. Was there any push-back from your publisher regarding that?

SM: Interesting question because when I was first shopping Irish Meadows to potential agents and publishers, I received a lot of negative feedback about the fact that the characters were Catholic. I believe one person said that a story with a priest would never get published. Thankfully Dave Long at Bethany House didn’t hold that opinion. I only got one mild suggestion to make sure that anything “Catholic” in the book was accurate because if we got it wrong, the readers would surely let us know!!

QPQ: Aurora Hastings, she’s the quintessential “poor little rich girl” isn’t she? You’re dragging that dear young woman through the emotional mud in the first two books. Dare we hope she’ll reach a happily-ever-after at some point? Soon?

SM: The lovely Aurora reached her happily ever after at the end of A Worthy Heart. I’m afraid you’ll have to imagine the rest, because we don’t see her again in the next book. The third and final book in the series is called Love’s Faithful Promise, which mostly centers on the youngest O’Leary, Deirdre and her tug-of-war with the handsome Canadian doctor, Matthew Clayborne, as they work together to help Mrs. O’Leary overcome a health crisis. In this book, which takes place for the most part back at Irish Meadows, we see Gil and Brianna and their children, as well as some appearances from Colleen and Rylan and a cameo by Maggie!

Susan small author photoQPQ: Where can readers connect with you on the web?

SM: Readers can find out more about me and my books on my website: http://www.susanannemason.com/

My author page on Facebook

I LOVE Pinterest!

My Twitter handle is: @samason.

QPQ: Thank you for visiting and sharing some behind-the-scenes information about your books. I’m looking forward to Love’s Faithful Promise already!

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2016 in Author Chat

 

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Author Chat with Elizabeth Camden

 

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We’re excited to have Elizabeth Camden visiting the Quid Pro Quills today. Elizabeth has written a number of historical fiction books, the latest of which is Until the Dawn. A review of that book is HERE.

QPQ: Welcome, Elizabeth! If I’ve done my math correctly, you’ve released 8 books in the past 4 years. These aren’t short serial romances, these are full-length historical novels. How on earth did you do that?

EC:  I’ve always been a fast writer. I am also a voracious reader, so as I am researching details for my work-in-progress, something will usually capture my imagination and the seeds of a new book are planted and begin taking shape before I reach the finish line. For example, as I was writing Beyond All Dreams, which is about a congressman and a librarian, I wanted my heroine to stumble across some maps produced by the Weather Bureau, which required me to do a little research into that organization. I learned some fascinating details about the early years of this organization and I knew it had the makings of an interesting story. This research became the basis for Sophie’s work in Until the Dawn. Eagle-eyed readers can often spot minor plot points that surface as major themes in subsequent books.

QPQ: One of the things I enjoy about your books is that you pick an actual historical event that works in the background – some in the foreground – of the fictional story. In Until the Dawn, you used the beginnings of the National Weather Bureau. Why that?

EC Office

Elizabeth Camden in Her Office

EC: See above! What intrigued me about the Weather Bureau is that during its early years so much of their work depended on thousands of volunteers spread out across the nation, taking climate readings, then telegraphing it to Washington every day without fail. They received no monetary compensation at all….merely the desire to serve the community. What kind of person would volunteer for such a thankless task? THAT was a topic that interested me!

 

QPQ: Sophie van Riijn is an interesting heroine. She bops between the kitchen and the weather station (a position typically held by males) and seems equally comfortable in both roles. What do you hope readers will see in Sophie?

EC: I had a very clear image of what I wanted for Sophie. After several novels featuring tough, driven heroines, I was in the mood to try something different. I wanted a heroine so kind, beautiful, and feminine that she tips the scales of believability. I wanted her to be the ultimate Proverbs 31 woman….a fantastic cook, gentle but strong spirit, and eager to help her community. She is so appealing to men that she attracts them with ease, but I gave her an almost supernatural curse….any man who gets too close seems to come to harm, which she does not understand. Why would God give her such a strong desire to be a wife and a mother, and keep failing her?

QPQ: I likened this story to Beauty and the Beast in that your hero, Quentin Vandermark, at the start of the story, was anything but a hero. He wasn’t physically a beast, but he was emotionally a very rough character. What did you see in him from the start that intrigued you enough to make him your hero?

EC: Because Sophie was so sweet and kind, I needed the hero to be the opposite. Sophie is forced to screw up her courage and go in and rescue this guy. Frankly, it is easier to rescue someone who is grateful and sympathetic, but it is far more admirable and interesting to extend kindness to a person who doesn’t seem to deserve it. I wanted this to be a romance, so of course I ultimately gave Quentin a deep and profound sense of goodness buried deep down. I enjoyed having Sophie discover Quentin’s rich, hidden worth.

QPQ: There is a fabulous twist at the very end of this story – and we don’t want to give any spoilers – but I’m curious if that was something you had in mind from the first sentence, or if it sprung out of the process of writing the story.

EC: No, it came up at the very end as I wrote the epilog. I love writing epilogs in my novels, but only if they have the potential to surprise the reader with some delightful twists or insights. Too often epilogs are a crutch to wrap up loose story threads or bump up the word count by showing saccharine snippets of the hero and heroine enjoying wedded bliss. Yawn. I only add an epilog if I can deliver a fantastic, satisfying, and unexpected twist. When the idea you are referring to first came to me, I wondered if I’d have the hutzpah to do it, but after I put the words on paper I knew it was a perfect ending so I let it stay.

FromThisMomentQPQ: Now that we’ve teased everyone with the question above, how can our readers find you on the web?

EC: I can be found at www.elizabethcamden.com and at Facebook. I also have some Pinterest pages that feature images taken from some of the actual places and things that inspired my various novels. It is a great place to check out the setting and vibe of a book.

QPQ: It’s been great chatting with you. I look forward to your next book. Do you want to leave our readers with any little hint of what’s next?

EC: I am terrifically excited about 2016. It starts with a free e-book novella in May which is a prequel to the full-length novel releasing in June called From this Moment. It is a brisk, alternatingly joyful and emotional novel set in the high society world of Boston in 1897. It’s my first novel with a major secondary romance threaded into it, and I’m thrilled with the way it turned out.

QPQ: Wonderful! We look forward to seeing both of these new works in the months to come. Thank you for visiting with us today.

 

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2016 in Author Chat

 

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Happy New Year – But When!?

colonialtimesDid you know that for the first 130 years of Colonial America we celebrated New Year’s Day on March 25th? It’s true.

Britain at that time reckoned March 25th as the beginning of the new year. On this day rents were due, contracts began, and obligations were renewed. They based this on the Julian calendar – authored by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. That calendar had 12 months and 365 days, but had one flaw. There was no allowance for leap years, so it didn’t quite match up with the solar year.

Many European countries had already adopted the use of the Gregorian calendar – authored by Pope Gregory XIII. Britain, not wanting to follow a Pope’s lead, clung to the Julian calendar until 1752.

Colonial America was part of the British Empire, but it was also already culturally diverse. Immigrants from across Europe made the colonists familiar with both calendars. When the official switch came in 1752, the colonists took it all in stride, avoiding the upheaval that happened across the pond, and showing once again the colonists unique ability to adapt and prosper.

A nice tidbit of history to think about when writing – or reading – books set in Colonial America.

 

~ Pegg Thomas

Trooper and Pegg cropped

 

 

 

 

 

PeggThomas.com

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2015 in Pegg Thomas, Writing

 

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The Methuselah Project – Behind The Story

As promised, here’s the story behind the story of one of the hottest new releases in Christian Fiction Suspense -The Methuselah Project by ACFW author Rick Barry.

Author Rick BarryEven without knowing me, reviewers of The Methuselah Project have rightly concluded several things about me:

One, that history fascinates me, especially World War II history. (I don’t care so much about big-picture troop movements as I do the individual experiences of ordinary men and women thrown into incredible circumstances. I always wonder, “What would I have done?”)

Second, that I like airplanes. My Dad, Tom Barry, learned to fly in the 1940s, so all the time I was growing up, our family owned one kind of single-engine airplane or another at the Pontiac Airport in Michigan. Even as a tot, I went flying with Dad as he piloted over our house and our neighborhood. Later in life I took skydiving lessons. What a thrill!

Third, reviewers picked up on the fact that sci-fi has influenced me since this novel contains a slight flavor of science fiction without actually being a sci-fi story. I have two older brothers, and even when I was too little to turn on the TV, they were tuning in to programs such as The unnamedTwilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and the original Star Trek series. (I was the first person in Mrs. Yuchartz’s third-grade class at Dublin Elementary who could do a proper Vulcan salute. My young claim to fame!)

Lastly, I’m a bit of a romantic. Sure, I could’ve written a macho story about Roger Greene and the experiment without any women in it. But the real world does have women, and we are not Vulcans. Real people have feelings. We long to connect, to fall in love. So I definitely wanted at minimum a thread of romance to bring the story alive and give it more appeal for a wider audience of readers.

I have a strong faith in the Lord. The book is not preachy, but my God-centered worldview is there. I prayed over every chapter as I wrote it.

unnamed4There have been past movies and even a couple short-run TV series (one of them British) that brought an aviator from the past into the present. For instance, Mel Gibson starred in a 1992 movie called Forever Young. He was not a WW2 pilot, but he got frozen in a device that somehow kept him on ice for decades without even being plugged in. The title was ridiculous since Mel rapidly aged at the end. The story was so-so, but in my opinion fell far short of its potential.

As I developed the concept for The Methuselah Project, I did not want space ships or aliens or any hardcore science fiction. But I needed someTMP believable method of getting my main character from 1943 to 2015 without aging him much. When I hit upon the idea of a Nazi experiment—Bingo! All the pieces began to fall into place. That’s when I got seriously excited and couldn’t wait for each opportunity to get back to the keyboard!

Judging from readers’ enthusiastic responses, this mix of history, suspense, romance, and a light dusting of sci-fi is a success. I credit the Lord for that. I also thank all the readers who are contacting friends and urging them to try The Methuselah Project!

If anyone would like to connect with me, I invite them to visit my author site, http://www.rickcbarry.com.

 

Kara writes supernatural suspense thrillers and is an ACFW Genesis 2013 Finalist in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category. BlogPhoto Resized

She’ll also keep you updated on upcoming writing contests and some of the best reads in Christian suspense.

To contact Kara, email her at fictionwithfaith@gmail.com or by clicking the below link:

@KaraHunt2015 on Twitter

 

 
 

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Chivalrous by Dina Sleiman

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Chivalrous is a new release, the second in Dina Sleimen’s Valiant Hearts series. Set in medieval times, these young adult action/romance tales appeal to young and old(er) readers alike. Here’s a peek into Chivalrous:

 

“You shall never win at that pace!” Gwendolyn shouted over her shoulder as she raced Andromache through a rainbow field of wild flowers.
 
Rosalind’s faint, “I’m trying,” was muffled against the rush of wind.
 
Gwen thrilled at the exhilarating moment of freedom as she clutched her horse’s mane, leaning forward over her graceful white neck. Hovering weightless with each powerful stride, she felt as if she could fly.
 
Together they dashed down a rolling hillside and crashed through a trickling stream. Droplets of frigid mountain water splashed against the bare skin of her forearm and speckled her tunic. They raced across her hidden jousting field, through a patch of trees, and up a rocky incline before pulling to a stop next to a small wooden building.
 
Gwen had already removed her hilt and sword by the time Rosalind joined her, though she left a small jeweled dagger in her boot.
 
“Not fair,” declared Rosalind. “Should I not get some sort of head start? You’ve been riding all your life.”
 
“Now, where would be the fun in that? You must challenge yourself if you wish to be a warrior worth your armor.”
 
“Who said I wished for that? I’d be happy braiding flowers into your golden hair and fussing over your silken gowns.”
 
Although Gwen had managed to woo Rosalind to her warrior ways, the young woman had not adjusted entirely. Rosalind might have spent a boisterous childhood dancing through fields,climbing trees, and tussling with village lads in the dirt, but weapons of steel and giant horses still tested her limits.
 
“But admit it.” Gwen grinned impishly. “This is so much better.”

QPQ: Dina, tell us the truth, how much of Gwen is your alter ego, or are you more like Rosalind?

DSI’m more like Rosalind. She loves beautiful things and in many ways is a typical girl, but she is also strong and tough enough to hang with a serious tomboy like Gwendolyn, and she appreciates the new skills she’s learned from her. This line pretty much sums me up, “Rosalind might have spent a boisterous childhood dancing through fields, climbing trees, and tussling with village lads in the dirt, but weapons of steel and giant horses still tested her limits.” I do, however, share some of Gwendolyn’s traits too, like an appreciation of music, a tendency to daydream, and a love of freedom and justice.dina

QPQ: While writing this story, who tugged on your heart the most and why?

DSI love all my characters, but Gwendolyn tugged really tugged on my heart. The way she turned into a shell of her strong, confident self around her abusive father made me so sad, yet I think it is so true to life. I hate to see anyone victimized, but I also loved the way Gwendolyn learned to overcome this huge obstacle in her path to freedom and joy.

QPQ: If you could pick one thing that readers could take away from reading Chivalrous, what would it be?

DSOne of the big questions that Chivalrous raises is how to balance fulfilling your duty to the authorities in your life with following your own heart. I hope readers will see that in the end, each of us is responsible for our own life and choices. We must seek God’s best for our lives and then stand up to fulfill that calling. To borrow a modern phrase, much of the book is about establishing healthy boundaries.

QPQ: Rumor has it there will be a third book in this series, want to give a clue what/who that one is about? I think I can guess!

DSYes! Book 3, Courageous, is about Rosalind in the scene above. I’m afraid I leave her in quite a low place at the end of Chivalrous, but don’t despair. In book 3 Rosalind will take off on a crusade to the Holy Land in search of redemption. You won’t want to miss this exciting adventure.

QPQ: I’m already looking forward to it! (And that’s who I guessed it would be!) My review of Chivalrous can be found here.

Readers can find Dina Sleiman and her books on-line at:

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2015 in New Releases

 

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