Monday, February 25, 2013

Heart's Heritage by Ramona Cecil ends March 4th

Ramona K. Cecil is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance poet, and award-winning inspirational romance writer. First published in poetry, she’s had ninety inspirational verses published on gift items sold by Dicksons, Inc., a leader in the Christian gift market. Her other publishing credits include five inspirational historical romance novels and two novellas.
Ramona lives in southern Indiana with her husband, Jim. When not writing, she enjoys reading, gardening, and visiting places of historical interest.
Please welcome Ramona Cecil this week. Ramona is my dear friend and a wonderful prayer warrior. She is giving away a copy of her new release Heart's Heritage. Answer the question: How much historical facts do you like or How much is too much historical facts? Ramona is wonderful at finding the perfect balance between the two! Be sure to let me know if you're a follower and to leave your email addy. 
 
Blending Historical Facts With Juicy Fiction to Cook Up a Sweet Romance

             Hi everyone! I’m so glad to be here on Sword and Spirit. Thank you, Debbie Lynne for inviting me to talk about my latest book, Heart’s Heritage, and what inspired the story.
            Those who know me know I love history, especially Indiana history. I often look to actual historical events as well as local lore for story ideas. Heart’s Heritage is the product of just such an inspiration. The story is set in my southern Indiana county of Jackson in 1812, just prior to the outbreak of the War of 1812 and four years before Indiana earned statehood.
            I’ll try to give you a bit of background about the story’s setting without completely boring you with dry, historical facts. About thirteen miles from where I live is Vallonia, Indiana. Nestled in a bucolic valley surrounded by wooded hills, Vallonia is a small rural community with a rich history. First settled by French fur traders, the place was the site of a 19th Century settlers’ fort built as protection from the local Shawnee and Delaware Indian tribes. Each October, to celebrate the town’s history—Vallonia was once in the running for state capitol—the town hosts “Fort Vallonia Days,” an outdoor fall festival built around a replica of the old fort.
            For me, the place has always conjured up colorful images of French Voyagers sporting red knit hats and baggy pantaloons as they step from pelt-laden canoes to trade with the local Indians on the banks of the White River. And if that were not enough to fire my imagination, add a local legend about settlers starving in the fort besieged by warring Shawnee. Turns out there is no truth to the legend, but hey, a great story, huh? Stir both images together briskly, throw in a dash of the War of 1812, a sprinkle of the Shawnee war chief Tecumseh and voilĂ , you get the story of a French voyager’s daughter and an American soldier on the lamb from the army. Think Alice of Old Vincennes meets The Last of the Mohicans.  
            Though I love history and I’m a stickler for historical accuracy, in the end, I peddle fiction. I didn’t want my readers to confuse all that happens in the book with the actual history of Vallonia, so I knew I’d need to fictionalize the place. A few years ago when the idea of the book was still fermenting in my mind, a local historian advised that if I chose a fictional name for the place it should be a French one since Vallonia is from the French word Vallon, meaning “small valley.”
            I considered several options, but because two local rivers, the White and the Muscatatuck merge there, I settled on Deux Fleuves, which is “Two Rivers” in French. Fort Deux Fleuves in my story is patterned exactly after the modern day reconstructed fort that now stands in Vallonia. In my mind, Deux Fleuves settlement and Fort Deux Fleuves is Vallonia, and geographically it is. The names of the rivers, though, and all the other places mentioned in the book are real. Also real was the New Madrid earthquake that struck the Midwest in late 1811 with aftershocks that continued well into the early part of 1812.
            Something fun I like to do in my writing is to work family names into my stories. I was able to do that in a couple instances with Heart’s Heritage. My maternal grandmother’s maiden name was Brock, the given name I use for my hero. My maternal great-grandmother’s maiden name was Martin, Brock’s last name and Annie’s married name. It’s kind of like giving a wink to my own family heritage.
            As you’ve probably gathered, my recipe for a good romance is blending the right measure of fact and fiction. For me, the fictional story and characters help to bring the history of Indiana alive. In turn, I hope the real places and factual history I sprinkle through my stories help to give life to my characters and their fictional tales of romance. Hopefully I got the recipe just right, and Heart’s Heritage will leave you wanting seconds.  


After the deaths of both her husband and papa, Annie Martin is left with nothing of their legacy but a small plot of land in Indian Territory. Her place is on the homestead they cherished, and she will not let anyone take what is hers. Until she meets Brock Martin and learns he has rights to half of the land….
Brock only recently discovered that his uncle bequeathed him land. Now he is torn between protecting Annie's feelings and protecting his own neck. A false murder charge forced him to flee the army, and the only way to clear his name is to hire a lawyer to defend his case. He needs money, and selling the land may be the only way to get it.
Can the two find common ground before something more precious than sod beneath their feet is ripped from their hands?


DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING by following my blog with Powered by FEEDBURNER on the right, and don't miss any giveaways (the button with the flame). If you already follow my blog go ahead and follow by FEEDBURNER so you can be entered twice. If you're not getting an email telling you I have a new giveaway you're not following through Feedburner. Just mention that you follow through Feedburner when you leave a comment with each giveaway and you'll be entered twice.
Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Monday, March 4th, 8:00 A.M. EST. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

43 comments:

  1. Blending Historical Facts With Juicy Fiction to Cook Up a Sweet Romance....I love that!
    Hello, Ramona, very nice interview. I must say that your book sounds very good. I love the cover. It's definitely a book I would pick up at a bookstore and investigate.
    Hey Debbie, thanks for having Ramona on here today!
    May God bless you both.

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    1. Hi, Debbie! Thanks for the compliments. I love the cover, too. I do think a fetching cover is hugely important in the sale of any book. Of course, the story inside must live up to the cover. LOL The first time I saw the cover of Heart's Heritage I thought "They've really captured the essence of this story." I hope you get to check it out.

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    2. Hey Debbie. Thanks for coming by. Ramona is a very dear friend of mine. She's an amazing writer and lady.

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  2. I enjoyed reading the article. I like history but too much would be for me like reading a textbook in school. There should be just enough history to hold the reader's interest without getting bogged down in facts.
    Thanks for entering me in the giveaway.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi, Janet! I couldn't agree more. That's precisely the reason, I think, that some people say they don't like history. A ponderous amount of dry historical facts bores anyone to tears. That's why I love historical fiction. You can learn some neat history without even realizing it while getting an interesting story at the same time. I wouldn't want to eat dry flour either, but flour made into a cupcake? Now that's yummy! LOL

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    2. OH yes! I so agree, Janet. I love to learn something I don't know when I'm reading but I want it to just be part of the story not a history lesson.

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  3. I'm an avid fan of historicals, and like to learn a little bit of history with each book I read.

    Your cover is gorgeous!

    Please enter my name in the drawing.

    Christi Corbett

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    1. Thanks, Christi! I'm really pleased with the cover. The landscape looks much like that around Vallonia, and the couple looks much like I pictured Annie and Brock. I hope you get a chance to check out the book.

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    2. Hey Christi. thanks for coming by. I love the cover too. It's beautiful. Throwing your name in the hat.

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  4. Hi Ramona and Debbie Lynne...this sounds intriguing! Mixing family names into the mix sounds like a win-win situation. i would love to be an influencer...Thanks for the chance.

    mitziUNDERSCOREwanhamATyahooDOTcom

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    1. Oh thank you very much, Marianne! It was really fun getting to use those names. Good luck in the drawing, but in any event I hope you get to check out the book.

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    2. Hey Marianne! Thanks for coming by. I love Ramona's ideas and stories. Good luck on winning!

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  5. This sounds like a great book, thank you for the chance to win it.

    I already follow by Feedburner.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Hi Wendy!Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words. Good luck in the drawing! Hope you get to check out the book.

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    2. Thanks for being a follower Wendy. Good luck.

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  6. I love the cover of this book. Makes me want to spend some time there. I would love to win and read this story. Please enter my name Debbie, and hello to Ramona, a new author to me.i am a follower by feedburner.
    MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Maxie! Your comment supports my theory that a book's cover is sooo important. If you visited Vallonia, Indiana, you would see an area much like the one depicted on the cover of my book. They nailed it! Good luck in the drawing. Either way, I hope you get to read the book.

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    2. You're entered, Maxie. I love the cover too. Makes a person want to read about that kiss on the cover!

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  7. Always a joy to connect with Ramona! She is a FANTABULOUS writer with an amazing gift of word-weaving--she inspires me!

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    1. Aw, what a sweet thing to say, Kim, and a huge compliment from a master wordsmith. You've inspired me for years. :)

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    2. Hey Kim. Thanks for coming by. I am in total agreement. Ramona has a wonderful gift that so many writers strive for. She's is an inspiration and a great friend!

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    3. Thanks for the kind words ladies. I feel blessed to have such great friends like you. :-)

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  8. I love historical details! When it goes beyond the story then it can be too much - but I haven't found a book yet that was too much for me. :) Can't wait to read this!
    farmygirl (at) hotmail (dot) com

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    1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by. I don't think you'll find the history in this one too cumbersome. Hope you get to check it out.

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    2. Hey Sue! Oh you sound like me! I can't get enough history either! Why didn't I love it this much in high school? Now I wished I'd have absorbed all that information they were trying to feed me. lol

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  9. Hi Ramona & Debbie , I love historial Fiction Romances books. I do like some history in a book .
    , enough to make it interesting . Love the cover on" Heart's Heritage " & thinking it would be a very good read. Would to be entered in the contest. Thanks.
    lizd225(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hey Elizabeth. I'm throwing your name in the hat for Ramona's book. The inside is guaranteed to be as interesting as the cover. You'll enjoy the book! Good luck.

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    2. Hi Elizabeth! Good luck in the contest! Win or lose, I hope you get to check out Heart's Heritage. :)

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  10. Sounds exciting. Lovehistoricals
    Please sign me up.
    Aprilr
    tarenn98@yahoo.com
    Thanks

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    1. Signed you up, April! Thanks for coming by.

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    2. Hi April! Good luck in the drawing! There is a fair amount of action in the story, which I think you'll find exciting.

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  11. I absolutley love the cover on this book. Please enter me in the drawing.

    Katie J.
    johnsonk133[at]yahoo[dot]com

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    1. Hey Katie, thanks for coming by. You're name is entered. Good luck!

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  12. I like having some facts in the story because I like to learn about things. I'm a follower. I'd love to win this story! shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Hey Veronica. I think I've learned as much through fiction reading as I learned in history class! LOL. I'm with you, I love to learn and its nice to enjoy what you're reading as you learn. :o) Good luck!

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  13. You can never have too much history in a story! Of course... I also love documentaries and am generally a history geek. :) twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

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    1. OH! A history geek! How fun! Much more fun that a techie geek that my boys are. :o) I love documentaries too. Love The Men who Built America! Great documentary. Good luck!

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  14. Good evening, Ms. Debbie Lynne and Ms. Cecil! :)

    It feels like a CFHS reunion, as I read through the comments and noticed quite a few regulars of CFHS, not to mention the fact your both apart of CFHS! :) I'd be delighted in having a chance to win this book -- on two fronts, one I haven't yet had the pleasure to read a book by Ms. Cecil and secondly, January marked the month Mum was able to re-join Heartsong Presents, as she was a member years ago,... we always read the novellas between us {including Dad, who loved the compact size of story that had such a lot of heart inside!},...so you could say, it would be a happy surprise to introduce them to this book and to your writing! :)

    Did you know one of my favourite overtures is the 1812!? :) The New Madrid quake zone still puts shivers up and down my spine, as its gaining new strength! :/ I love how you found a kernal of a story wrapped up in a legend, a real locale, and a place that you know so well,... I could almost see the characters starting to come to life, as as soon as you said "fur traders" it brought me back to my Frontier fiction days,... if only I could remember who penned those stories!!

    This sounds like another Heartsongs winner to me!! These are exactly the kind of stories we love to read as a family! :) Heartwarming, historically riveting, and characters that stay with you! :) Blessings to you as you continue to find ways to incorporate personal facts and Indiana history into your writing(s)!!

    See you over on the CFHS!! :) Cheers!!

    NOTE: I posted a reply to you Ms. Debbie Lynne on Ms. Rich's CFHS posting today! I was thrilled to find that our interests are running parellel!! I need to see if I can find the RSS feed button lateron tonight,... if I can, I'll put a quick comment to say I subscribed!

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    1. Eek! I forgot my email:

      inkand-bookaways(at)usa.net
      //Florida

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  15. Hey Jorie! I'm glad you found my personal blog! I would love for you to follow my blog. I have a button on the sidebar that you can follow by feedburner and it is delivered to your email every time I put up a new post which is every Monday. Ramona is a dear friend and a wonderful author. You'll enjoy her books. You mentioned you love the frontier books, are you from out west? I write mostly Charleston, SC and Savannah. But I live in upstate SC so I get down to Charleston frequently and even down to Savannah, another lovely city. I do like western books too though. And I like them set in England too! I just love historicals! LOL. Thanks for coming by and now I'm going to jump over to Christina Fiction Historical Society blog and see what you had to say!

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    1. Good evening, Ms. Debbie Lynne! :)

      Guess what!? I FINALLY made it back! *Whew!* Its been absolutely chaotic around here, this past week! The hours slip past me before I even get to notice the hour passing on the clock! I was meant to return last night, but forgive me, I've only had the chance now to set up my Feedburner RSS feed! I am not sure if that counts!? I set up RSS blog feeds as I have an ancient Mac, so it works easier for me to read the blogs I love the most -- plus, I don't have to take up to much time on my parents' PC! Laughs. Your RSS feeds for "Atom" run through Feedburner, I just clicked on XML to get the feed to open into my browser window! :) Let me know if it counts, and as your next bookaways come along I can say "Feedburner Follower"! :)

      I was looking over my list for CFHS authors, and only a handful are available through my local library,... therefore, I'm in the process of updating my ILL list to see which past books of theirs I could go for, as I have to wait six months for new releases! I'm quite sure I am going to enjoy her books once I get my hands on them! :) Laughs.

      I'm not from out West, as I was bourne in Florida, but I always hankered for life outside the South, as I thrive in four season climates, and I love to ride horses! I used to read a series of frontier books, they were in trilogy format, and some had a bigger series attached to them as well! Most of my books are packed up for right now, so I cannot easily walk over and pick them up and relay an author name for you! :( I liked them because it was like stepping back into the days when America was barely a name for herself, everyone East was moving West, and the last inbetween the Pacific & Atlantic Coasts was up for grabs!! It was wild, it was heartwrecking, full of hard work, hard climates, and a make/break attitude for those who dared to forge ahead! I loved reading about the settlers, the fur traders, the 'friendly' Indian traders who helped the settlers, but uprisings were possible... it just brought to life that whole era, which is most likely how I ended up liking the 'historical' branch of literature originally! :)

      Upstate SC? I nearly moved there, to Greenville!? I know quite a heap all about that general area, as well as Spartanburg -- wicked Dickens Festival, and there is the best book fest in Greenville, where people dress up as famous authors, give lectures, and answer Q&A sessons as their authors!? I know how to say it aloud but how to spelt it is another thing entirely! :(

      I'd love to read books set in Charleston + Savannah, as I'm able to get yours as well, know I will be reading them! :) I used to buy more books, but of late, I've been using my library more! :) I purchase as I'm able too, using Powells + the Book Depository at the moment, in lieu of a local indie bookshoppe! :)

      Ooh, I could write you in length how much I love to read about England!! I read across genres though, so not everything I read is inspirationally bent, which I know might not be keen for everyone, but I've always read in this way,... going across the literary boundaries, and fnding writers who write stories that uplift their characters and the reading audience at the same time!

      Ooh, I think I responded to your post about children's quilts made out of tshirts earlier today on CFHS,... I can barely remember typing out my reply, as I've been on the go all day long! :O Laughs. I best close this off -- its longer than I planned it to be! :/ Next time I ought to see if you have a Contact Tab/Email! Sorry if I took up too much space! I'll be back regularly now,...

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    2. LOL! Jorie, you are fine to write long posts. I'm so glad you were able to follow my blog! I will certainly give you the extra entry! Sounds like you love to read. I figured out you were from Florida when you left the post on CFHS. All those birds were a dead giveaway. heehee. Thanks so much for coming by. Good Luck!!!

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    3. Forgot to say, I live north of Greenville. But Oh what a lovely city! I love the downtown area. It's just beautiful!

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