Posts Tagged: Christian Fiction

Oklahoma Land Runs & Book Giveaway

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Bestselling author Vickie McDonough is launching a new Historical Fiction series ~ Land Rush Dreams! And we get to celebrate with her! Vickie is our Guest Author today and will be giving away a copy of Gabriel’s Atonement, Book 1 in her new series featuring the Oklahoma land runs.

Romantic Times Magazine gave Gabriel’s Atonement 4 ½ stars. Congratulations, Vickie! (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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Book Club Fun to Celebrate The Quilted Heart

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Do the members of your book club or reading group enjoy reading a series of novellas and spending time with an ensemble cast? If so, Elsa Brantenberg’s Quilting Circle in St. Charles, Missouri, might be a great fit. And I’m happy to say the 1860’s heartland setting lends itself well to having fun with historic Main Street and riverside flair.

For some book club fun, your group may want a themed meeting after each of the novellas, or may choose to save the party for after they have read Ripples Along the Shore, the third and last novella in The Quilted Heart omnibus. Either way, here are some meeting ideas and resources for a Quilted Heart celebration. (more…)

Meet Caroline from The Quilted Heart Omnibus

Meet Caroline from The Quilted Heart Omnibus

Today, I’m featuring the two main characters in Ripples Along the Shore, the third and last novella in The Quilted Heart. After you’ve read The Quilted Heart, read Prairie Song to spend more time with Garrett and Caroline.

MEET Garrett Cowlishaw

Garrett Cowlishaw  is the a friend of Rutherford Wainwright and is in St. Charles to recruit a band of people to travel west to the frontier.

MONA: How would you describe yourself? (more…)

Recipes Inspired by The Quilted Heart

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The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek novels and Prairie Song, Book 1 in the Hearts Seeking Home Series all feature fun foods and inspire recipes. The novellas, Dandelions on the Wind, Bending Toward the Sun, and Ripples Along the Shore are no different. Enjoy a meal with three recipes inspired by The Quilted Heart omnibus. (more…)

Meet Elsa Brantenberg from The Quilted Heart

Meet Elsa Brantenberg from The Quilted Heart

If you’re familiar with my Historical Fiction, you know that my stories tend to feature a “Titus 2:3” type mentor as a secondary character. In The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series, it was Miss Hattie, the proprietor of a boarding house. In The Quilted Heart novellas,the key woman of influence is Mrs. Brantenberg.

Meet Elsa Brantenberg, who owns the farm where the Saint Charles Quilting Circle meets in The Quilted Heart novellas. By the way, I borrowed my mother-in-law’s birth name for this character

1) How would you describe yourself to others?

A busy widow and Oma to my granddaughter, Gabi, with no time to fuss over what was or could have been.

2) Do you have any favorite pastimes or special skills?

I have lots of experience at running a farm and tending an apple orchard. Some say I’m a fine quilter. Actually talked me into starting a quilting circle and teaching quilting in my home. Most fun I’d had in a long spell.

3) How would the women in your quilting circle describe you?

I’m a hugger. No woman gets past my porch, either direction, without a hug.

4) What is most important to you?

That my sweet little Gabi girl, my granddaughter, grows up knowing she is loved. The assurance that you’re loved and cared for can carry you a long ways.

5) How do you face disappointments in life?

I grit my teeth. Probably stomp my foot. Whisper or  shout a prayer. Then I embroider a tea towel, make apple crisp, or finish a quilt and take it to someone who needs the encouragement even more than I do.

6)  What do you put off doing because you dread it?

Explaining to Gabi that the war has been over for several months, and that if her papa hasn’t returned by now, he is dead. Or alive without any intention of returning.

7) You buried your husband then your daughter, and lost your son-in-law to grief, how did you keep going?

I had a farm to run and a precious granddaughter to raise, and I knew the good Lord was at my side. Always is. It was after I buried Gretchen that I started the quilting circle out here on the farm. Many of those dear women are like daughters to me. A couple of them like sisters.

8) What is the thing you love most about Quilting Circle Thursdays?

The laughter and the tears. The smiles and the sighs. Hearing the other women grow in their confidence to share the Scripture with one another and their commitment to pray for one another.

9) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My emotions can swing like the pendulum on that fancy clock at the bank. If I could change, I would not be so passionate. I’d rather my emotions be steady, unwavering. At least, slow enough for my brain to catch up to them.

10) Do you have a life verse, a passage of Scripture that holds special significance to you?

Yes, from Psalm 119:104. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” I may not always be able to trust my feelings and emotions, or anyone else’s for that matter, but the Word of the Lord is completely and consistently trustworthy.

Thy Word

If you’ve read The Quilted Heart novellas, you’d be doing me a huge favor, if you’d write a review on The Quilted Heart omnibus for amazon.comgoodreads.comchristianbook.combarnesandnoble.com, and novelcrossings.com, and any other outlets you’re familiar with.

Thank you! And Happy Reading.

Meet Rutherford & Maren from The Quilted Heart

Meet Rutherford & Maren from The Quilted Heart


A broken soldier.

A nearly-blind abandoned bride.

Will love bind their hearts together,

or will stubborn pride unravel the family they both love?

Meet the main characters in Dandelions on the Wind, Novella #1 in The Quilted Heart omnibus!

Now available! Paperback and eBook

Now available!
Paperback and eBook

RUTHERFORD WAINWRIGHT

1. What is your job? Describe a little about what you do.

I was a farmer then a soldier. What I do next, work or otherwise, depends upon how Elsa Brantenberg receives me.

2. How would you describe yourself?

A disappointment. But I’m hungry to change that description. And that reality.

3. What do you need most?

Forgiveness. And a second chance at fatherhood.

4. How do you face disappointments or hardship?

In the past, I ran. Now, I pray. Real hard. And press on.

5. What is your most important goal in life?

To reunite with my little girl. She’d be four years of age now.

6. What are you most afraid of?

That I won’t be given a second chance.

7. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

To the day before my daughter was born. I’d like a chance to do things differently. To do right by her and her grandmother.

8. What do you put off because of dread, or you just don’t want to do it?

Returning to Saint Charles and the farm that had been my home.

9. What is most important to you?

To return to Saint Charles and make sure the daughter I abandoned knows I love her.

10. What do you want others to see in you?

My new dependence upon God for each step.

 

MAREN JENSEN

 1861, March

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,

To gain all while you give,

To roam the roads of lands remote,

To travel is to live.”

Maren Jensen’s fondness for Hans Christian Anderson’s romantic musings had waned somewhere in the Atlantic between Denmark and America. Now, weeks later, she sat on another boat, a paddlewheeler steaming up the Missouri River and the poet’s words were taunting her. She’d started the day in the wee hours, stepping off of the train from New York and onto the boat in Saint Louis that had carried her up the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Hans Christian Anderson could keep his traveling for himself. All she wanted was a home.

Click here to read the complete PREQUEL scene to Dandelions on the Wind.

Have you read The Quilted Heart novellas? If you did and enjoyed the stories, you’d be doing me a huge favor, if you’d write a review on The Quilted Heart omnibus for amazon.com, goodreads.com, christianbook.com, barnesandnoble.com, and novelcrossings.com, and any other outlets you’re familiar with.

Thank you! And Happy Reading.

Enter to win a trip to St. Charles, the setting for The Quilted Heart

Enter to win a trip to St. Charles,
the setting for The Quilted Heart

 ENTER THE SWEEPSTAKES!

Story Inspiration for The Quilted Heart Novellas

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Happy Book Birthday to The Quilted Heart omnibus! I’m celebrating the release of Dandelions on the Wind, Bending Toward the Sun, and Ripples along the Shore–3 novellas in 1 book. Here’s a peek at the inspiration behind the stories.

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 The American Civil War

  (more…)

The Birth of Book Ideas by Cara Putman

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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.

 

Shadowed by Grace, Monuments Men Series

Shadowed by Grace, Monuments Men

When a book is born, there’s a scary moment, hour, or week. As an author, I sit at the computer with the germ of an idea, a blank document page, and a blinking cursor. Somewhere, somehow, I have to find 90,000 words that will communicate a story that will captivate me…my editors…and eventually readers.

(more…)

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