Posts Categorized: Historical Fiction

A Love Affair With Lighthouses

Old Presque Isle Lighthouse
Author Jody Hedlund

Author Jody Hedlund

Meet Jody Hedlund, the bestselling author of seven novels, including Captured By Love, Rebellious Heart, and A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award and Inspy Award. Jody received a bachelor’s from Taylor University and a master’s from University of Wisconsin, both in social work. Currently she makes her home in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children.

I’m delighted that Jody agreed to stop by and share her love of lighthouses with us and give away a copy of her new novel, Love Unexpected. (more…)

A Christmas Story, Available Today!

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I think it was in 1990, that I stood in my great aunt’s farm kitchen in Gardnerville, Nevada. Ellen Gansberg loved to cook and she was an avid reader. I’d been writing for publication for a couple of years, and I’d sold several devotionals and short articles to various publications. Of course, Aunt Ellen was excited for me. Even seemed proud to know there was a real writer in the Gansberg family.

But there was that one point in the conversation, that she turned to me, wiped her hands on her apron, and got down to business. “Have you written for Guideposts?”

That’s when I noticed the Guideposts Magazine stack at the end of the counter top.

Gulp. (more…)

Mackinac Island Inspiration & Book Giveaway

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Tiff_headshot_lowresI’m excited to share a guest post from author Tiffany Amber Stockton today! Tiffany has agreed to give us a peek behind the scenes of her new novel, A Grand Design. And she’s giving away a copy!

 Behind the Scenes of A Grand Design

By: Tiffany Amber Stockton

Ever since childhood when I first saw the film, Somewhere in Time, starring Jane Seymour (Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman) and Christopher Reeve (Superman), I dreamed of visiting Mackinac Island (pronounced Mak-i-naw). If you want to step back in time and experience a little of life in the past, Mackinac Island won’t disappoint. (more…)

World War ll Flight Nurses

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Author Sarah Sundin

Author Sarah Sundin

I’m excited to welcome our Guest Author, Sarah Sundin, to my blog today. Sarah has agreed to talk about some of the research she did for her latest historical novel, In Perfect Time. And she’s giving away a copy! But first, I’d like you to . . .

MEET SARAH!

Sarah Sundin is the author of six historical novels, including In Perfect Time (Revell, August 2014), plus a novella in Where Treetops Glisten (WaterBrook, September 2014). Her novel On Distant Shores was a double finalist for the 2014 Golden Scroll Awards. In 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Sarah lives in northern California with her husband and three children. When she isn’t ferrying kids to tennis and karate, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies.

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War brings change.

The chaos and necessity of wartime spurs innovation and raises up pioneers. In my Wings of the Nightingale series, I highlight some pioneering women—the World War II flight nurses. (more…)

American Historical Fiction in German

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I’m excited to see another of my American Historical Fiction novels translated into German. Same story, but a different title for the German translation. See what you think.

In English: Too Rich for a Bride, a Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek novel.

In German: Who Needs a Man? (WER BRAUCHT SCHON EINEN MANN?) Not necessarily my sentiment, mind you, but the title does fit Ida Sinclair’s attitude upon her arrival in the 1890s mining camp of Cripple Creek, Colorado.

Do you have any family, friends, or colleagues who read German? Have any connections with instructors who teach German? Might they enjoy Historical Romance set in America, but translated into the German language? I’d love it if you’d share this post with them! (more…)

Naming Horses

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Last week, on my Facebook page, I asked for help in naming a boy’s horse for my work-in-progress.

If you’re wondering if the boy’s horse has a name yet . . .

I received several hundred great suggestions and narrowed it down to seven for the boy’s horse. I found a name for his father’s horse: Haggis. And I named another horse: Honeysuckle. Thanks so much to all who participated in the Facebook horse naming challenge. You all gave me a fantastic name bank for future stories.

New Story News

If you’ve read Prairie Song, you’ve met the Kamden family. Immigrants from Scotland, they settled in St. Charles, Missouri, for five years before joining the Boone’s Lick Wagon Train Company going west. We meet up with them again out on the Nebraska prairie in Keeper of My Heart, a novella in the Convenient Brides Romance Collection by Barbour Publishing, scheduled for a July 2015 release. (more…)

Story Building and Book Giveaway

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I’m excited to have bestselling author Lauraine Snelling with us today. How does a story present itself to an author? Where do the ideas come from?

You may Lauraine Snelling for her historical fiction, in particular, her Norwegian immigrant series. Here, Lauraine shares the story building process for her new contemporary novel, Heaven Sent Rain. And she’s giving away a copy! (more…)

Wagon Train Quiz

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Ever watch the TV show, Wagon Train?

Just about any Western movie or TV show captured my attention, pulling me into the adventure and possibilities. Shows like Wagon Train led to my fascination with wagon train travel, which inspired Prairie Song. In Prairie Song that sense of adventure and the promise of possibilities compel the Boone’s Lick Wagon Train Company to roll out of St. Charles, Missouri, headed for a fresh start out west. The television and big screen depictions may have sparked my interest, but I couldn’t use those flawed Hollywood dramatizations after my research.

Sequel to The Quilted Heart novellas

Sequel to The Quilted Heart novellas

Test your knowledge of wagon train trivia.

1.  Horses were the preferred animal for pulling a covered wagon across the prairie. True or false?

False. While some folks did have horses pull their covered wagon, more chose burros or mules for the job. Most pioneers, however, yoked four or more oxen steer to their wagons because of the superior strength and stamina that allowed the oxen to pull the 2500 pounds or more. Besides, horses are more skittish and easily spooked. Which animal would you prefer to trust to ford a stream or descend a mountain with all of your earthly possessions?

2.  TV shows and movies depicted covered wagon overlanders riding on the wagon seat.

False. That was something that seldom happened. Would you want to sit on a narrow, hardwood seat suspended between side rails with no springs? Most trail conveyances were simple farm wagons with no thought given to comfort. The wagon beds rode on steel tires mounted on wooden wheels, on solid wood axles, for fifteen or so miles on a rutted road. That’d be quite the bone rattling ride. I’d rather walk, thank you.

Most travelers walked alongside the team of oxen or took shifts riding a horse.

3. Need some butter for the biscuits you plan to cook over the supper campfire? Just hang the milk on the wagon.

True. Milk the cow first thing in the morning then, before you set out for the day, secure the crock to a hook on the side of the wagon. All the jostling over rocks and through ruts will churn the butter for you.

4.  The TV screen and paintings of the period got it right when they showed wagons circled for defense against hostile Indians.   

False. The wagon companies didn’t typically circle their wagons. When they did, it was usually to corral the livestock. Most wagon train roads led through safe territory, and hostilities were rare. But if a caravan of wagons was attacked, they didn’t have time to find an area big enough to arrange the wagons.

5.  Wagons were covered, which made them into a 19th century recreational vehicle.

False. We’re talking about an eleven foot long by four foot wide, ten foot tall space crammed full of barrels, casks, trunks, and miscellaneous household items. Things the pioneers would need for the journey as well as items and heirlooms packed for their new home. Ready to curl up for the night in the covered wagon?

Most overlanders slept outdoors, on the ground, with or without a tent overhead, or in a hammock suspended between trees or between a tree and the wagon. Exceptions to that rule included travelers who were sick and sometimes children. Excessive rain might have warranted taking shelter inside of the wagon, but it would’ve been an uncomfortable night.

Reading Prairie Song, you’ll discover that I busted many of the perpetuated myths in my telling of an 1866 wagon train story.

Do you have a favorite wagon train novel, nonfiction, or movie?

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Tea, Quilts, and Books in Saint Charles

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Today, I’m flying into Missouri. Here I come Saint Charles!

I’m excited to participate in several Author Events, May 14-18. I hope you’ll join me in St. Charles, the setting for The Quilted Heart, also the launch city for The Boone’s Lick Wagon Train Company in Prairie Song. (more…)

Author Events in Saint Charles

Quilt Square Author Events

 

Are you in Missouri or know someone who lives there? I’m headed to Saint Charles, Missouri, next month for the Lewis & Clark Heritage Days and several Author Events, May 14-18. Join me at the setting for The Quilted Heart, also the launch city for The Boone’s Lick Wagon Train Company in Prairie Song.

Here’s my current itinerary:

Wednesday, May 14, 1:00-3:00 pm

The Frenchtown Heritage Museum; Quilt Show and Ladies Tea where I’ll talk about the appeal of quilting circles and the quilting connections that inspired The Quilted Heart novellas. (more…)

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