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At Home with Daffodils – the History & a Giveway

When I originally proposed At Home with Daffodils, my story in A Bouquet of Brides, I wanted the story set in 1895 in northeastern Oklahoma. When the novella was picked up by Barbour, and I began my research in earnest, I requested permission to move the historical timeline to after Oklahoma’s statehood, which happened on November 16, 1907. I made this change because I found myself getting lost in Oklahoma’s varied history. At the time of the original date part of what is now the state of Oklahoma was Indian Territory and part of it was Oklahoma territory.

To further confuse things, it was difficult to know just which part of Indian Territory had white people “squatting” on the land. There were many white settlements in Indian Territory, despite legal efforts to keep this from happening. Take this a step further by digging into the history of the Cherokee Nation, which settled in the area I wanted to write about, and it became very difficult to know how to handle history accurately.  Though my blond hair and green eyes might not show it, I have Cherokee and Choctaw ancestry. I wanted to handle those years with the respect due this heritage but soon realized that kind of research and historical undergirding was too dense for a book of novella length. I was relieved when the editor at Barbour allowed me to move my story to the years right after statehood.

Though modern conveniences like the automobile and electric lights were seen in the big city in these years (and the Titanic was being fully equipped with electric lights), this type of extravagance hadn’t made its way to the back hills of northeastern Oklahoma. Thus my story has undertones of the same kind of life many of us experienced through Pa and Laura as we watched the classic TV series, Little House on the Prairie.

In my story, my heroine’s mother is part Cherokee. It’s interesting to note that the nearest real town to my fictional setting is Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Tahlequah is the capital of the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokee Supreme Court Building, located in downtown Tahlequah and constructed in 1844, is the oldest public building in Oklahoma.

It was fun to research how my heroine, Dilly, dressed, fixed her hair, and managed daily life. Though this is the Edwardian era of Titanic fame, Dilly was far removed from all this fuss.

(Photo from http://thevintagesite.com.)

Dilly’s work in the general store and her life in this tiny community made a simple long black skirt, white shirtwaist, and sturdy boots more sensible.

I picture her more like this (photo found on Pinterest):

You can learn more about the history in northeastern Oklahoma by reading At Home with Daffodils.

I hope you enjoy A Bouquet of Brides, where you meet seven American women who were named for various flowers but struggle to bloom where God planted them. Watch how love helps them grow to their full potential!

To celebrate the release of A Bouquet of Brides, I’m giving away a copy of the book. Enter the drawing by signing up for my newsletter or leaving a comment on my blog during the month of January (USA readers only). Check out my website, where I have free resources and information about the Free to Flourish writing and speaking ministry.

 

 

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Author, speaker, and mom of four, Paula Moldenhauer encourages others to live free to flourish. She shares this message when speaking at women’s events, and it permeates her written work. Paula has published over 300 times in non-fiction markets and has a devotional book series, Soul Scents. Her first published novella, You’re a Charmer Mr. Grinch, was a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards, and she now has six published works of fiction. Paula and her husband, Jerry, are adjusting to a sometimes-empty nest in Colorado. They treasure time with their growing family of adult children, spouses, and spouses-to-be. Paula loves peppermint ice cream, going barefoot, and adventuring with friends. Visit her at www.paulamoldenhauer.com

 

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Holly & Ivy – the History

Holly & Ivy, my #HistoricalRomance novella in A #BouquetOfBrides, takes place in 1890, in Washington State. It’s about a young woman who accompanies her impetuous younger sister on her trip across the country to be a Christmas mail-order bride and is helped by a gallant stranger.

Like many people, I’m fascinated with the concept of mail-order brides. The idea of and use of finding a bride via the mail or advertisement gained popularity in the United States in the 1800s. A far larger number of men from the east traveled across the country to settle the west than women. This meant that finding a woman to marry for these men was severely limited. Unable to travel back to the east, men sent for brides. It might sound absurd at first glance, but women answered the call.

Being a romantic, I struggled with how marrying a person you hardly know could work with love and romance. What kind of a woman would choose to marry a man she’s never met? Traveling alone over such a vast distance could be dangerous for a woman in the 1800s with no guarantee her husband-to-be would be a good and kind man.

In addition to what would cause a woman to make a huge lifelong decision like this is the romance factor. I like romance before the wedding because I like the romance to lead up to the proposal and wedding. If they are already married, there isn’t a concrete goal to strive for. But it’s also fun to explore a couple falling in love after marriage.

This quandary sets my mind to work overtime coming up with possible scenarios. For this story, it’s not my main heroine, Holly, but her flighty sister, Ivy, who is the mail-order bride. Holly travels with her to talk her out of this nonsense. But her sister is unmoving in her position all the way across the country in spite of unsavory men bothering them. But when she meets her intended, her conviction waivers.

This is not the first nor the last mail-order bride story I hope to write. Cinda’s Surprise was the first. In her case, her friends corresponded with the prospective husband without her knowledge. Two others I hope to write in the future have heroines who are either trying to find and reclaim her children and the other wants to get out of a miserable situation and start anew.

In celebration of the release of Holly & Ivy, I’m giving away (US only) a print copy of A BOUQUET OF BRIDES Collection. To enter, subscribe to my newsletter and receive a free short story. I’ll be drawing for the book at the end of January.

Follow my blog at Mary’s Blog.

#BouquetOfBrides

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS is an award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. She has four more titles releasing in 2018; Courting Her Amish Heart in March 2018, The Widow’s Plight in July 2018, Courting Her Secret Heart (Working Title) September 2018, & “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in MISSAdventure Brides Collection in December 2018. She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.

Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-three years and two cats. She has three adult children and one incredibly adorable grandchild. Find her online at:

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Periwinkle in the Park – the History

One could say the history of my little tale stems from one of the greatest love stories of all time. No, not a romantic love, although a bit of romanticism comes into play. But rather love of nature, a love that goes deep into the appreciation of God’s creation.

Periwinkle in the Park, part of the Bouquet of Brides collection, takes place in 1910 Estes Park and in what will someday be Rocky Mountain National Park.

The federal park was established on September 4, 1915, thanks to the efforts of activists such as Enos Mills, dubbed the “Father of Rocky Mountain National Park.” He was a naturalist with an all-consuming love of the land in which he lived. He believed the beauty of the area should be shared with the people, but also must be protected. Through his spearhead efforts, and other like-minded souls, the park was established, and I, among countless others, am grateful.

I make mention of Enos Mills in my story. How could I not while writing about the labor pains of his efforts? The heroine of my story, Peri, is also a naturalist and student of Enos Mills. As I studied him, I placed Peri in his footsteps. I gave her the same experiences, from a memory of becoming snow blind on the tundra to talking to the gentle mountain folk, (aka, the animals.)

Although not a Colorado native, (missed it by just a couple of years,) this is my home. Yet I never understood the rich history of the two places I love most, Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, until I researched this story. I encourage you to dig into the places that mean the most to you. I, for one, was surprised at the sacrifices made just so I could experience the grandeur of snowy mountain peaks, mirrored lakes, and magnificent beasts such as elk and deer. Thank you, Enos Mills and others, for this selfless gift.

 

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Kathleen E. Kovach is a Christian romance author published traditionally through Barbour Publishing, Inc. as well as indie. Having grown up in Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park was her playground. She lives in northeast Colorado with her husband of over four decades and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. An award-winning author, she presents spiritual truths with a giggle, proving herself as one of God’s peculiar people. Please visit her at www.kathleenekovach.com.

 

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A Song for Rose – the History

Hi everyone. I’m Suzanne Norquist, author of A Song for Rose in the Bouquet of Brides collection. If you haven’t heard of me, it’s because I’m a new author. I’m honored to be in a collection with so many talented multi-published authors.

I love historical fiction. It takes me to a time without computers and cell phones. A time where the world is smaller and relationships happen in person. When I visit a historic site, I imagine the time in an idyllic light.

At the same time, conditions were harsh. I’m so glad to have running water, central heat, and an electric stove. These difficulties add color to historical fiction. Fun to read about, but not fun to live.

Prospectors found gold in Colorado after the California gold rush. Mining towns popped up starting in about 1859. They started as tent cities, soon to be replaced by wooden structures. If the mines proved rich enough, the town turned into a regular city with brick buildings. Men brought their families to settle and their wives brought culture and refinement.

A Song for Rose takes place about twenty years after gold was first discovered and the town has grown into a bustling metropolis. Interesting how the old newspapers like to refer to their town as a metropolis.

Although on the edge of the Wild West, these mining towns were part of a nation that had experienced an industrial revolution. All kinds of manufactured goods could be shipped from the east. The mines provided money to purchase these goods.

I love writing about this time period with its mix of untamed elements and new inventions. Rose’s story centers around an opera house that brings culture to the fictional mining town of Rockledge, Colorado.

Read about Rose’s adventure in 1882 Rockledge Colorado in A Song for Rose in a Bouquet of Brides Collection.

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Suzanne Norquist explores past and present through story.

Everything fascinates her, so she never settled on a career. She has worked as a sales clerk, chemist, professor, financial analyst, and even earned a doctorate in economics. As an author, she experiences different worlds without starting a new career every time. Research feeds her curiosity, and she shares the adventure with her readers.

She lives in Colorado with her mining engineer husband and has two grown children. When not writing, she explores the mountains, hikes, and attends kickboxing class.

She authors a blog entitled, Ponderings of a BBQ P.h.D. Sign up to receive her blog and receive a free five-day devotion.

Learn more at suzannenorquist.com. Or visit her Facebook Page.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2018 in Author Chat, New Release

 

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The Lacemaker

The LacemakerThe Lacemaker by Laura Frantz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yet another wonderful story from Laura Frantz. This one is set in Virginia at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. The heroine is a rich and pampered young woman of privilege whose family is torn apart by the coming war. The hero is all that a hero should be, handsome, gallant, and committed to his cause. Both will face changes. Both have decisions to make. But the war won’t leave them unscathed.

I especially enjoyed the hero in this story. His background is Welsh, as was a large part of my family when they immigrated here in the 1600s. I enjoyed the Welsh influence in the words, the bits of history, and even the food. All those details added depth to the overall story.

If you like historical romance with vivid and rich history woven through it, you’ll enjoy “The Lacemaker.”

 

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In Sheep’s Clothing – the History & a Giveaway

For me, there is no reason to write historical romance if you don’t give serious attention to the history. I love history! It makes every story richer, deeper, and more colorful. When I was invited to write for A Bouquet of Brides collection, I was deep into learning about the antique spinning wheel I’d recently purchased and restored. During my research into my new wheel, I learned some interesting historical facts.

The Restraining Act of 1699—also called The Wool Act—was signed into law by King William III. England’s monopoly on textiles was in jeopardy from the upstarts in the American Colonies. Even though Britain had outlawed the importation of sheep from the beginning, the Dutch brought them into New Amsterdam (now New York).

The sheep soon multiplied and supplied the colonists with enough wool to not only clothe themselves but to export to other colonies. Britain was not amused. The Restraining Act outlawed the sale of wool or wool products between colonies. Massachusetts Colony could not sell to Virginia Colony, for instance.

This effectively shut down the budding textile industry in the colonies for a time and left colonists with the choice of buying fabric from England that most could not afford or relearning the art of making their own cloth. This is the background into which I drop my main characters, Yarrow Fenn and Peter Maltby, in In Sheep’s Clothing.

If you’re interested in how wool is made into fabric, here’s a nice video, narrated by Orson Wells, explaining the process including some historical information.

To celebrate the release of A Bouquet of Brides collection and my story, In Sheep’s Clothing, I’m giving away one of my signature shawls. To enter, subscribe to my newsletter. I’ll be drawing for The Meadowsweet Shawl at the end of January.

 

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A Prickly Affair – the History & a Giveaway

Donna Schlachter is one of my co-authors in the Bouquet of Brides. Like all the rest of us, she did her research to make sure her story was historically accurate.

 

When I decided on the time period for my Bouquet of Brides story, “A Prickly Affair”, I wanted to keep it close to my favorite time, which is the 1860’s to 1880’s. It had to be after Cave Creek, Arizona was founded, so I picked 1858. I did some research into what was going on in the area at the time, including weather, rainfall, sunrise/sunset times, and the extent of cattle ranching and the population of the area, all of which fell directly into line with the story I had in mind.

To celebrate the release of A Bouquet of Brides collection and my story, A Prickly Affair, I’m giving away a free print copy (US only) of the book. To enter, subscribe to my newsletter. I’ll be drawing for the book at the end of January. If you’re already subscribed,follow my blog . And if you’ve already done both of those, feel free to follow me on Twitter or Facebook (see the links below)

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor, and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a hybrid author who has published a number of books under her pen name and under her own name. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters In Crime; facilitates a local critique group, and teaches writing classes and courses. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She loves history, research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com

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Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2gZATjm

 

 

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