Shadowed by Grace Banner

The Birth of Book Ideas by Cara Putman

  Today, our Guest Author is Cara Putman, who agreed to chat with us about The Birth of Book Ideas and share with us her creative process for her newest book, just released this month–Shadowed by Grace.   When a book is born, there’s a scary moment, hour, or week. As an author, I sit at the computer with the …

Wagon women

Story Inspiration

What inspires a novelist to create characters, explore a setting, tell a story? For me, it’s often visual stimulus that stirs my imagination, sparks memories, and starts me spinning a tale of love and loss, loneliness and community, grace and second chances. DISCOVER Prairie Song on PINTEREST   

Burning Sky Feature Image

Guest Author: Lori Benton and Book Giveaway

The day I’ve been waiting for . . . Lori Benton is our guest! Lori is a debut novelist whose work reads like that of a polished veteran storyteller. Lori writes historical fiction set on the American Frontier. Lori’s storytelling brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history. Lori’s milestone 30th birthday gave her a chilling and …

Mt Pisgah Cemetary PicMonk

A Cripple Creek Tribute

Research trips for my historical fiction takes me to museums, libraries, historical societies, archives . . . and old cemeteries. Like the Mt. Pisgah Cemetery in Cripple Creek, Colorado. Established in 1892, the Mt. Pisgah Cemetery is one of Cripple Creek’s oldest sites. Mt. Pisgah remains a natural setting with native plants and wildflowers. Depending upon the time of year, you might find wild …

Dandelion on the Wind Pic

Castes of Yellow

Where do novelists find a title for a work of fiction? Anywhere, and everywhere. For Maren Jensen’s story, I drew inspiration for my book title from a favorite poem, Castes of Yellow by Viola Jacobson Berg. Mrs. Berg’s two books on poetic forms–Pathways for the Poet and Poet’s Treasury: Second Book of All New Patterns have served as resources I used to teach myself how to …

Me and Carol in Granary

Toasted Ravioli, Fife & Drum Corps, and Daniel Boone

My March 2012 research trip for The Quilted Heart novellas returned me to a setting I first discovered in 1999–a charming riverside city that stirred my imagination and captured my heart. Toured a historical farm that would inspire the farm setting in Dandelions on the Wind. Savored toasted ravioli (twice) at Little Hills Restaurant and Winery. Explored the city and the surrounding areas with …

Me in Arch

Research Trip for The Quilted Heart: 1st Stop, Gateway Arch

In March 2012, after thirteen years, I returned to St. Louis and St. Charles, Missouri. This time, as a historical novelist writing for WaterBrook Multnomah, to do research for my new series, The Quilted Heart. The post Civil War mid-1860s provides the historical backdrop for my three Quilted Heart eBook novellas. First stop: The Gateway Arch and the Museum of Westward Expansion in St. Louis. Everything …


Research, Cookbooks, and Christmas Plum Pudding

Research can be many things: Fascinating, engaging, time-consuming, surprising, delightful. Even yummy. If you’ve been reading The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek novels, you know Miss Hattie attends First Congregational Church in Cripple Creek, Colorado. In Two Brides Too Many, the Sinclair sisters began attending the church. By the end of Too Rich for a Bride, Ida’s husband Tucker Raines …


The Intersection of Reality and Character Experience

Many of my closest friends are liars. Those friends may prefer the title storyteller extraordinaire. Tale-weavers. And whether the literary yarn they spin is set in an actual place or based upon real life events and historical characters, like me, they are authors of fiction. As novelists, we have chosen to write fiction, not fact. But even so, is the …

two_brides 40

Guest: Mark D. Ford, Artist for Two Brides Too Many Book Cover

How much does a book cover factor into your reading choice? It’s the first draw, right? (Forgive the artsy pun.) Today’s guest isn’t an author. But as the Senior Art Director at WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, Mark D. Ford is a key member of my publishing team. MONA: Mark, thanks so much for joining us on Hindsight today. We’d like to …