Category: Author Guest Posts

Special Feature: Paula Moldenhauer Guest Post

In honor of the release of my debut novella, I have invited each of the other authors in the collection to write a post about the inspiration for their story.  Today, I’m pleased to share a post from Paula Moldenhauer, author of At Home with Daffodils.

On a warm summer’s day my husband, two youngest sons, my dad, and I drove through Camp Gruber, stopping to swim in the creek when I swam as a child. Afterwards we drove on through the camp, coming out the other side to discover a quaint little building. Dad suggested we stop for lunch. I didn’t know then that from this experience would come the inspiration for my novella, At Home with Daffodils.

On a warm summer’s day my husband, two youngest sons, my dad, and I drove through Camp Gruber, stopping to swim in the creek when I swam as a child. Afterwards we drove on through the camp, coming out the other side to discover a quaint little building. Dad suggested we stop for lunch. I didn’t know then that from this experience would come the inspiration for my novella, At Home with Daffodils.

We ordered—and enjoyed—our home-cooked meal. Debbie Rucker, the proprietor and cook, left her stove to share the store’s history. The store was opened many years before by her grandmother, a single mom. The building was passed down to Debbie, and she opens the restaurant on weekends to keep the spirit of the Qualls community alive for the next generation.

I commented on the french fries. I hadn’t had homemade fries like that since my grandmother made them for me many years before. My husband said, “Yes. The fries were just like Grandma Eunice’s weren’t they?”

Debbie whipped toward me, “You’re Aunt Eunice’s granddaughter?” She explained that she had been married to my grandma’s nephew. Then the stories began in earnest. She said my grandparents were well-loved in the Qualls community; everyone had a story of a time Grandpa or Grandma helped them out. Then Debbie began to tell her special story. It was about her daddy and my grandpa. How I treasure this story!

You’ll read a similar version in chapter one of At Home with Daffodils. I won’t spoil it for you by sharing it here, but I find great joy in honoring my grandpa by creating a fictionalized account of the event.

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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Special Feature: Mary Davis Guest Post

In honor of the release of my debut novella, I have invited each of the other authors in the collection to write a post about the inspiration for their story.  Today, I’m pleased to share a post from Mary Davisauthor of Holly and Ivy.

A BOUQUET’S SWEET SCENT

“Holly & Ivy,” my #HistoricalRomance novella in A #BouquetOfBrides, takes place in 1890, in Washington State. A young woman 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.

My initial idea for this collection popped into my head years before I started pulling the proposal together. The inspiration title that came to me was A Bouquet of Brides for the Bakersfield Bachelors. But coordinating so many stories by so many different authors can be quite challenging, time consuming, and confusing. So instead of having all the brides end up in the same location, I held fast to the flower theme. The collection bloomed and grew from there.

Flowers have been depicted for centuries in paintings, sculptures, music, books, tapestries, china, needlepoint, almost anywhere you can think of. Flowers have been used to honor important ceremonies and traditions, enhance environments, and of course to express feelings, especially love. Flowers mean many things to people.

My favorite flower is the carnation. I love its sweet, sweet smell and how it’s ruffly, almost lacey like. What’s your favorite flower?

Photo by Rowena Kong on Unsplash

 

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.

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#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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Special Feature: Kathleen Kovach Guest Post

In honor of the release of my debut novella, I have invited each of the other authors in the collection to write a post about the inspiration for their story.  Today, I’m pleased to share a post from Kathleen E. Kovachauthor of Periwinkle in the Park.

When I was first approached to write a story about a girl named after a flower, I had no idea that simple idea would spark into the book it became. I thought first of one of my favorite flower, the daisy. However, when I ran that idea by family members, they turned their noses up at it. And not to smell the flower! I then went with another choice, Periwinkle. Why I didn’t think of it in the first place, I don’t know. Periwinkle is not only a flower, but also my favorite color.

I ended up with a protagonist who is a naturalist from reading The Magnificent Mountain Women: Adventures in the Colorado Rockies. My heroine, Periwinkle and her sister, Sunnie (named after the sunflower,) are very loosely based on Elizabeth and Esther Burnell, sisters who came on the scene after the establishment of the park. Esther would eventually marry Enos Mills, known as “the Father of Rocky Mountain National Park.” But Elizabeth went on to become a nature tour guide once the park had been established.

I knew I wanted to write a story located in Colorado, and the aforementioned book helped me to isolate the area, the protagonist, and her occupation—a nature tour guide in the mountains.

Why Colorado? Why Estes Park? Why Rocky Mountain National Park? The answer lies in the photograph above. My grandparents were snowbirds. They worked in Estes Park in the summer and lived in Mesa, Arizona in the winter. When they were in Colorado, my parents took my sister and me to visit them every chance they could. Estes Park became my second home and the national park was my playground. Grandpa and Grandma, Milo (Mike) and Gwen Wiles, started out working at Tiny Town Cottages, sweet little cabins along the Big Thompson river. They went on to work at several other establishments over the years before they retired to Arizona permanently. I have such fond memories of my grandparents and the mountains—the two are synonymous in my mind. Gathering near the fireplace while Grandpa played his juice harp, sans his teeth. The hummingbirds at my grandmother’s feeder, every single one named. And playing on the Tiny Town grounds with the children who came through on vacation. One such family had me confused. They seemed to be talking my language, but I couldn’t get a handle on the words. Come to find out they were from Australia!

Yes, my inspiration came from as far back as when I was a little girl, falling in love with the Rocky Mountains. Who knew I would someday become a writer and create a character who also loves the mountains and gives tours with her trusty mule by her side. A mule named Daisy. I was determined to get that flower in there one way or another!

 

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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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Special Feature: Pegg Thomas Guest Post

In honor of the release of my debut novella, I have invited each of the other authors in the collection to write a post about the inspiration for their story.  Today, I’m pleased to share a post from Pegg Thomas, author of In Sheep’s Clothing.

When I was invited to write for this collection, it took me a bit to come up with a story because the connection between the stories was so loose. The brides all needed a first name that was also a flower. That was it. After that, the sky was the limit … which inspired me to write about something that is near and dear to my heart.

I learned to knit at the age of nine in 4-H. That was my introduction to what we now call the fiber arts. At age sixteen I was raising and showing rabbits in 4-H when I saw my first angora rabbit. Even better, the lady holding the rabbit was spinning the fluffy rabbit’s hair on a spinning wheel. I knew I had to try this. I took lessons, learning to spin on an antique great wheel. I was hooked. I saved my money and bought my first spinning wheel later that year and my first pair of angora rabbits.

Fast forward a bunch of years when my son started 4-H. He showed rabbits and then moved up to sheep. We spent a lot of years together raising sheep, sitting in the barn freezing while awaiting the births of lambs, doctoring sick sheep, shearing sheep, showing sheep … doing all things sheep. Those were wonderful years, but like kids tend to do, he grew up and moved on. To horses. But that’s another story.

Yarrow Fenn, the heroine in In Sheep’s Clothing, is a spinner and weaver. The hero, Peter Maltby, is a journeyman at the fulling mill. Don’t know what a fulling mill was? Well … there’s a good reason to read the book! And then there is Meadowsweet, an orphan lamb who does her best to steal the story.

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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Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. A life-long history geek, she writes “History with a Touch of Humor.” When not working or writing, Pegg can be found in her barn, her garden, her kitchen, or sitting at her spinning wheel creating yarn to turn into her signature wool shawls.

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Special Feature: Donna Schlachter Guest Post

In honor of the release of my debut novella, I have invited each of the other authors in the collection to write a post about the inspiration for their story.  Today, I’m pleased to share a post from Donna Schlachter, author of A Prickly Affair.

When I was writing my Bouquet of Brides story, “A Prickly Affair”, I found myself wanting to add in several different subplots—I guess that’s the suspense/mystery writer in me. But with the limited word count, there just wasn’t the room to do that. So I kept going back to the synopsis I wrote for the proposal, which kept me on track. This was a love story I was deeply invested in for several reasons, so I wanted it to be the best it could be. It’s not your typical romance story, but then again, I’m not your typical romance writer.

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 and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.

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Special Feature: Author Interview with myself

My debut novella comes out in January.  So exciting.  I’m honored to be included in a collection with six other authors.  To introduce you to the story and the other authors, we are doing a blog tour.  I’ll be posting about my heroine, hero, setting, and etc. on their sites.

I have asked each of the authors to send me a post about the inspiration for their story. Here is the first installment, my inspiration.

As a new author, I didn’t have to reach far for inspiration.  I used ideas that were close to home. I’m not sure what my next story will be about, because I may have used all my good inspiration in this one.

The story takes place in a fictional Colorado mining town in the 1880s.  I love historic mining towns and spend time poking around them every summer.  I visit museums and historic sites and try to imagine life in the town.  Every year, I buy a biography or novel about the historic town and read it while I am there, bringing the history to life.

My daughter claims to have visited enough pioneer and mining museums to last a lifetime.  Good thing for her, she married and moved away.  I can never have visit enough museums.

When I learned the heroines would all be named after flowers, I picked Rose—my daughter’s middle name.  Why not?  I liked the name enough to saddle a child with it for life.

And, as long as I’m using my daughter’s name, why not use her interests.  She studied opera in college, so I got to see lots of operas and share videos of arias with family and friends.  I enjoy music, but don’t know anything about it.  Don’t even read music.  I’m still not sure how she ended up majoring in opera.

Watching her college performances and her journey fueled my imagination.  I could put the opera theme into a historic mining town. And voila, A Song for Rose was born.

Read about Rose’s adventure at the Rockledge opera house in A Song for Rose in a Bouquet of Brides Collection.