Posts Tagged: Romance

American Historical Fiction in German

Too Rich in German Cropped

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

Boy on horse cropped 3

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…)

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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QUEEN ALEXANDRA NURSING CORPS

Captured by Moonlight Banner

Today, my Guest Author is Christine Lindsay, who has agreed to talk about the Queen Alexandra Nursing Corps, part of the inspiration for Captured by Moonlight, her newest work of Historical Fiction. She’s giving away a signed copy too!

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Christine Lindsay

Christine Lindsay

In Captured by Moonlight, Book 2 of my Twilight of the British Raj series, I was like a kid in a candy store researching The Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Corps. Their gray ward dresses, starched white aprons and veils, and scarlet capes were the vision of hope to wounded soldiers. My fictional character, Laine Harkness in Captured by Moonlight, is one of those nurses decorated for bravery with the Royal Red Cross medallion. (more…)

Book Club Fun to Celebrate The Quilted Heart

Sewing Circle by Howard Sanden Blog Banner

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.

Civil War Stars Block Pattern

Civil War Stars Block Pattern

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but story research is so much fun!

Visiting a story setting, yes. But so is the nose-in-books research, which is what led me to The CIVIL WAR Sewing Circle by Kathleen Tracy. Better than a candy story for someone with a sweet tooth, Kathy’s book is full of quilts, patterns, and sewing accessories from the era of the American Civil War. Letters and stories, too! Such yummy stuff, and an important resource for this writer of Historical Fiction. (more…)

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.

Civil War Pic

 The American Civil War

  (more…)

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