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Tag Archives: Paula Moldenhauer

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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Paula Moldenhauer – A Packaged Deal

Paula is back today to tell us about her new release, A Packaged Deal. Welcome back, Paula! Give us a brief summary of the book.

A Packaged Deal is the first book in my new Towering Pines contemporary romance series. Here’s the back cover copy:

Snuggle next to a fireplace in Towering Pines, the Colorado ski town where friendship is served up in hearty helpings and love is as true as the cobalt blue sky.

When Olympic hopeful Aspen Carlisle gave up her ski-racing dreams to raise her orphaned siblings, she found out the hard way that men aren’t interested in a “packaged deal.” Thrust into a stiff learning curve on motherhood, Aspen discovers the love and support of her friends in Towering Pines, but when the handsome new resort manager Stephen Wallace shows kindness to her little family, can she drop her guard long enough to allow him into that trusted circle—and her heart?

As Aspen struggles to believe in him, Stephen battles ghosts of his own. Time with Aspen and her family causes old issues to bubble to the surface. Does he have what it takes to push through the fear and regret, or will he stay stuck in the pain of the past? If he can believe in himself enough to become the husband and father they need, he’ll discover how wonderful a packaged deal can be.

I heard a rumor this book is something you started at seventeen or eighteen?

It sure is! I still have the handwritten cursive manuscript on lined notebook paper to prove it. I’m forever grateful to Mr. Wyly for agreeing to let me write a novel instead of doing what everyone else was doing during that nine weeks of creative writing class my senior year in high school. It was one of those touch points that kept my dream of becoming an author alive and sustained it during my busy years as a teacher and young mom when I thought I would write and didn’t.

How much of the story was written? How did it change?

I think I had less than fifty hand-written pages, but even much of the unfinished story-line lived in my head all those years. The story matured with me, of course. The heroine became Aspen instead of Kimberly. Originally there were two men vying for her attention, but the more grown-up me didn’t want to do that. One thing that didn’t change is Aspen’s need to take care of her siblings. That was in the original storyline. It’s precious to me, maybe because I love my brother, Curtis, so much. Sibling relationships are so important! I did move the family to Colorado and created Towering Pines.

Towering Pines seems like a wonderful place to live. Is there a real town it is patterned after?

Yes and no. I started writing this story when my middle son, Stephen (yes, couldn’t resist using his name for the hero) was in middle school. He was on Nederland Middle School’s ski team with my nephew, Caleb, who lived in the area. My sister-in-law and I would take turns driving the boys up the mountain. While Stephen skied, I sat in a coffee shop made out of railroad cars and wrote.

Thus the Whistle Stop was born. Is that the coffee shop in your story?

Yes. And I was actually sitting in the Train Cars Coffee and Yogurt Shop, the real place in Nederland, having a writing day with my buddy Kathleen Kovach and a cute little girl came in named Willow. I was struggling to name Aspen’s sister, and when Kathy and I heard the mom call her daughter Willow, we know it was perfect. (Kathy and I are both authors – with Pegg – in A Bouquet of Brides which releases in January.)

We’ll have you back to the blog as that release date gets nearer. So your fiction city and resort, Towering Pines and Eagle View Resort, are patterned after Nederland, CO, and Eldora Mountain?

Yes and no. Nederland and Eldora are unique in Colorado. Eldora is a small resort, and Nederland still feels like a real town, not only a tourist stop. I enjoyed attending events at the local school and manning the concession stand to raise money for the ski team, so I did buy into the community atmosphere. That said, I imagine Towering Pine and Eagle View a little fancier than Ned but without giving into the rich-ski-town-catering-to-tourists feel that is connected to the larger Colorado resort towns. I love Nederland. It’s a quirky little place with a variety of characters. Just Google “Frozen Dead Guy Days.” But I imagine Towering Pines a little more down-home and a little less . . . exotic. I grew up in Oklahoma, so it’s probably that small town girl trying to create the community atmosphere of the south/mid-west region and place in the Colorado Mountains.

Where can readers get this book? Is it a Christmas story?

A Packaged Deal is available on Kindle and in paperback. There are Christmas scenes, but I think of it more as a story that takes place in the winter.

When does book two in the series release and what’s its title?

Rattled releases spring of 2018.

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Posted by on December 11, 2017 in Author Chat, New Release

 

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Author Chat with Paula Moldenhauer

Thank you for coming on the blog today, Paula. Many people know you because of the non-fiction books, devotionals, and articles you’ve written. Your last book, Soul Scents: Flourish, was a deep journey out of emotional, verbal, and spiritual abuse. Tinseled Tidings is a collection of light, inspirational romance. How do you reconcile such different writing?

I’ve come to understand that God didn’t call me to a specific genre, but to a message. Everything I write comes from my passion to see others set free to flourish with Jesus. When He died upon that cross, He set us free from the things that hold us back in this life.

Next to my computer I have a statement that says, “I write to join with the Holy Spirit in setting captives free and healing the broken-hearted. To call forth the true essence of life, person, self. To be a part of the grand Love Story with Jesus.” Everything I write about goes through this filter. Messages of freedom appear in a short-word count novella just the same as in a complex work of fiction or deeply researched and vulnerably written work of non-fiction.

We all need to be fed spiritually. God’s truth comes to us in many forms. A song on the radio. A conversation with a friend. Deep study of the Holy Bible. Prayer. Many of us read books seeking an encounter with Jesus, whether we realize it or not.

I’m a smorgasbord gal myself. There are times I need meat—a deep dive into a serious work of fiction, non-fiction, or Biblical study. There are times I need a salad or dessert. I think of my writing like that. Everything I present to readers should offer the glorious grace and truth Jesus offers. Sometimes it comes in the form of key-lime pie, which is how I think of the first novella in this series, You’re a Charmer, Mr. Grinch. (The second story, The Joy Scrooge is more like dark chocolate.) But some of my writing is steak, and it takes a while to chew.

Okay, this has turned into a pretty serious interview about a book and collection designed to be fun. (Well, if calling books key-lime pie is serious.) Tell us more about the Tinseled Tidings collection and why it is playful.

It really started because I needed fun and wanted to offer fun to my readers. I’m in a season where I need to laugh more and be reminded of happy endings. Romance books illustrate that in the end we are Christ’s beloved bride, and we will have a happily-ever-after. What better way to pursue hope and joy?

Briefly share a tidbit of spiritual discovery you experienced as you wrote each title in this series.

Brief. Hmmmm. Not my strong point. Okay. Here goes.

When I sign You’re a Chamer, Mr. Grinch, I usually add the Scripture reference John 10:10 below my name. It says, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (NLT). I got this book contract after a particularly trying season of about seven years in which my husband almost died, did lose his business, and we almost lost our home. There was more, but the point is when we’ve been through something especially difficult, it is hard to believe there can be abundant life. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who struggles with this!) So my heroine’s struggle to hope again was part of my soul working its way out of those years of hardship.

 

The Joy Scrooge connects to this promise in Scripture: “I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing,” (Jeremiah 31:13, NLT). I write these kinds of stories for fun, but I also write them out of my passion to join with Jesus in His healing work. This is a simple love story, but it is dear to me. Grief is a part of life, and just as Tait had to face his grief to walk through it, we all must allow the seasons of mourning in our lives. But I don’t believe the Lord wants us to stay in grief. He promises to exchange our pain and sorrow for praise and joy. That’s a great deal, my friend!

 

In Fruitcake Fallout there is an over-arching theme based on Song of Solomon 4:7, but a secondary theme emerged as I wrote. I found myself thinking about how there is no place or person so dark that it (or they) is God-forsaken—an important concept in a book set during WW2! While I wrote this book, there was a random shooting at “my” Walmart, which traumatized many and stole the lives of a few. Then the horrific church shooting in Texas. Then the man who tried to enter the elementary school and went on a shooting binge. I wrote, in part, to remember that God is there in the worst of times, caring for the hurting. As a race we must stand even when darkness threatens our light. Because really, the Light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it (John 1).

 

One last question. Umm . . . make that two. How can readers find out about new releases or free days for your electronic books? Where can they get the Tinseled Tidings Collection?

The best way is to know what is going on with promotions and new releases is to sign up for my newsletter by visiting my website: www.paulamoldenhauer.com.

The Tinseled Tidings Collection is available at: https://www.amazon.com/Tinseled-Tidings-3-Book-Series/dp/B077BWG77T The individual titles were released on Kindle for 99 cents, and the whole collection releases in paperback this week!

You can find Paula in the following places:

www.paulamoldenhauer.com

https://blog.paulamoldenhauer.com/

https://www.facebook.com/PaulaMoldenhauerAuthor/

https://twitter.com/PaulaMoldenhaue

https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulamoldenhauer/

amazon.com/author/paulamoldenhauer

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2017 in Author Chat, New Release

 

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