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When it comes to writing historical fiction, I can research using books and Web sites until the cows come home, but there is something so special about on site research. Going to museums, historical sites, and local archives makes the history come alive to me, which makes it so much easier to breathe life into it when I portray it to you in my books. My recent trip to Montreal and Quebec City was no exception. I already turned in the manuscript of Between Two Shores (releasing spring 2019), but there were still some details that were fuzzy to me. So while my editors are reading the book...
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Happy Valentines Week, everyone! I'm so excited to be teaming up with TWO of my launch day sisters, Kristy Cambron and Sarah Sundin, to bring you a special triple give-away! One lucky winner will receive all three of our new releases: The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron; A Refuge Assured by yours truly; and The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin. It isn't just our release date we have in common! My book takes place during the French Revolution, and is set in Paris and the U.S. Sarah's book, of course, is a World War 2 tale. And Kristy's is the link between both - a triple-timeline book that includes...
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Happy Release Week to A Refuge Assured! Every book that launches is special, but this one is noteable for one extra reason: this is my 15th book, which is a nice round number worth celebrating. And I want to celebrate with YOU with another nice round number: 50, for 50 states! Introducing: The Refuge in Every State Contest! Here's how it works: Be the first person from your state to take a picture of your own paperback copy of the book and send it to me via email or through my Facebook page,* and you will receive: 1) A personalized signed bookplate to put in your book 2) Matching...
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Today I'm so excited to take you behind the scenes, into the making of a book cover! There's more than one way to go about the process, of course. I will just share with you the most recent one in my experience: A Refuge Assured, published by Bethany House.  Even before we landed on a title, they asked for my input on the art direction. This is a great opportunity, and I was happy to put together an 8-page document for them. It included notes and images on period dress, location, book covers I like, and any other ideas or strong feelings I had about the cover. (For instance, I may...
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Happy Release Day to my friend and fellow author, Laura Frantz, for her new novel, The Lacemaker! I'm tickled pink that today of all days, I received my copy of my February release, A Refuge Assured, as well. (Don't they look fantastic side-by-side?) The reason I love seeing them together is that our heroines are related!  Laura's story is set in colonial Williamsburg on the eve of the American Revolution. Mine starts in Paris during the French Revolution and quickly moves to Philadelphia in 1794. The connection between the lacemakers was easy to imagine, because ...
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Today I’m hanging up a fresh calendar for 2018. It’s pretty basic—12 months, from January to December. Seven-day weeks, each of which begins with Sunday. Christmas is marked on December 25. The year 2018 is dated from the approximate birth of Christ. After researching the French Revolution and writing A Refuge Assured, I no longer take all this for granted. Here’s why. In October 1793, the revolutionary government declared a new way of ordering their days by replacing the Gregorian calendar with a new Republican calendar. The rise of human reason over religion are obvious in the changes...
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In January of this year, I set a goal for myself to read 50 books in 2017, which felt daunting since I also needed to write and release books of my own. But reading is really, really important to me, personally and professionally. I can't be a great writer if I'm not also a great reader.  According to Goodreads, I've read 60 books, which amazes me! I'm sure my new addiction to Audible greatly helped. I've recommend books throughout the year on my Facebook page, but I thought it would be fun to put a bunch of them all in one place.* I've broken them down into several categories. Which...
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Today I'm celebrating Susie Finkbeiner's new release,A Song of Home, the third and final book in the Pearl Spence series! If you are just now hearing about this series, I recommend starting with A Cup of Dust, and then find A Trail of Crumbs, and finish with A Song of Home.I first met Susie several years ago when I attended Breathe Christian Writers Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which she helped plan. (Hey, speaking of Breathe, you should join us in October 2018!) I have so enjoyed reading Susie's work, and A Song of Home is every bit as good as I was expecting it to be. Here's what I...
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I'm thrilled to welcome Jaime Jo Wright to the blog today to talk about her new release, The House on Foster Hill (Bethany House Publishers)!  I first met her at an ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference, but really got to know her last summer when we roomed together while attending a writers conference in St. Paul, Minnesota. Since she hails from Wisconsin, she's a fellow Midwesterner, which means we totally dig each other's denims and plaids. (hee hee) Here's what her novel is all about: Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago...
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This week I travelled to Nashville to attend The Art of Writing Conference and the Christy Awards Gala, hosted on the campus of Lipscomb University. The last time one of my books was a Christy finalist was 2013, for Wedded to War, and I skipped the Gala so I could stay home and write. Afterward, even though my novel didn't win, I second-guessed my decision to forfeit the opportunity to gather with like-minded writers.  For those who aren't familiar, The Christy Award™ is the foremost award honoring and promoting excellence in Christian fiction since 1999, and is...
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