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 voilà, 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.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Flora's Wish by Kathleen Y'Barbo ends February 25th

RITA and Carol award nominee Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than forty novels, novellas, and young adult books. In all, more than one million copies of her books are currently in print in the US and abroad, and her books have been translated into Dutch, German, and Spanish, to name a few. A tenth-generation Texan, Kathleen Y’Barbo has a daughter and three grown sons. She recently married her own hero in combat boots and is proud to be a military wife, even if it did mean giving up her Texas drivers license.

I'm happy to have Kathleen back on my blog. A great author and fun lady. Kathleen has graciously offered to give away her book Flora's Wish. To be entered answer the question: Have you ever run so far ahead of God and the path He set you on that you don't even know how to turn around and get back where you should be? Or just leave a comment. Remember to leave your email so I can contact you should you win and let me know if you are a follower of this blog for an extra entry.

Lessons Learned
Novel Crossings Devotional-Kathleen Y’Barbo

            My job as the author of Flora’s Wish, a Southern historical romance with a dash of steam punk, was to fit what I hoped would be an enjoyable tale into a greater lesson about God. A funny thing happened on the way to finishing that novel. These unruly characters taught me a thing or two. I love it when that happens.
            Flora Brimm, a not so prim and proper Natchez belle with four fiancés whose untimely deaths kept them from arriving at the altar has one wish: find a husband and secure the family home for a sibling who would otherwise be tossed out. Ever resourceful, she’s sure she knows exactly how to make that happen. So she makes her plans without taking time to consult the Almighty and then gives the scheme all she’s got only to find out she is the subject of a Pinkerton investigation and just may be engaged to a jewel thief.
            Has that ever happened to you? Not the engaged to a jewel thief thing, but the running so far ahead of God and the path He set you on that you don’t even know how to turn around and get back where you should be.
            Me too.
            See, I am a planner. I keep a calendar on my computer that is synched up with the calendar on my phone. Each appointment and deadline is entered promptly and color-coded to represent all the aspects of my life that must be scheduled. I am rarely without the ability to consult this calendar and know what I will be doing.
            After all, the bible says in Proverbs 29:18: “For lack of vision my people perish.” So I do my best to keep a strong focus on the vision and, by design, on the calendar that keeps me from perishing (figuratively, of course). It’s all very reassuring, and yet does having my life planned and recorded digitally truly mean I am in control of what happens?        
            Of course not. Anyone who has spent time inside the doors of a church has heard that sermon. We are to trust in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5) and know that all things work together for our good for those who are called to His purpose (Romans 8:28). And we do. We really do.
            Then God says we have to wait.
            And waiting is hard. What I am learning to remember, however, is that waiting is a whole lot easier than backtracking even if it doesn’t feel that way in the moment.
            Flora Brimm learns that, too. She also learns that it’s a bad idea to try and escape off the roof of a building if a handsome Pinkerton agent’s invention has not been tested for holding two people. But that’s a whole other story.
            My story, actually. It’s called Flora’s Wish. I hope you’ll check it out. You just might learn something. I know I did.

 Flora Brimm, a not so prim and proper Natchez belle with four fiancés whose untimely deaths kept them from arriving at the altar has one wish: find a husband and secure the family home for a sibling who would otherwise be tossed out. Ever resourceful, she’s sure she knows exactly how to make that happen. So she makes her plans without taking time to consult the Almighty and then gives the scheme all she’s got only to find out she is the subject of a Pinkerton investigation and just may be engaged to a jewel thief. Meanwhile, Pinkerton agent and inventor Lucas McMinn is trying to decide whether the lovely lady is part of the solution or the problem.
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, February 25th, 8:00 A.M. EST. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson and Before the Season Ends by Linore Rose Burkard ends February 11th




I am excited to announce the launch of a new historical blog we’re starting. Christian Fiction Historical Society is a blog of 31 talented writers coming to share tidbits of their expertise and to share parts of their life you. What’s so fun about this blog is we have writers from ancient biblical times, through the medieval time period, Regency, Victorian, Wild West, all the way to WWII. Take a look at all those tabs! Now that's some time periods. I’d venture to say if you have a favorite historical time period, there is a good chance we have it covered.

The authors come with so much knowledge and all that will be brought to our new blog. But even better is that these authors are here to show the unwritterly side of them. (I think I just invented a new word!) You’ll be hearing about hobbies, friends, family, pets, but no matter what we write about you’ll always gleen a bit of historical information because we plan to weave some interesting historical facts in every post we write.

Now on to some more fun stuff. February is our get to meet the author  month. But March is our huge giveaway month. We’ll be giving away something every day! And I don’t mean book marks. Hop over to the blog to take a peek at what all we are offering. I’ve listed most of our giveaways on the side bar but we will be adding a few more soon. You can glance down the list of contributors to find all the lovely ladies who will be posting monthly in our new endeavor. And to top off our month of giveaways anyone who comments during the month will be entered to win. Comment on all 30 and you’ll get 30 entries for the kindle!

              2 Free Books and 5 ways to enter!
If you hop over and leave a comment on Kathleenand Debbie Lynne’s post (February 7th post) and then let me know here, I’ll give you an extra entry. If you follow that same blog,Christian Fiction Historical Society I’ll give you 2 extra entries. Leave a comment here and get an entry. And don’t forget to let me know you are following this blog so I can give you 1 more entry. Do all 4 for a total of 5 entries. I'm running this contest here all week.

Two Hearts. One Hope. Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her---a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill. When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.

           Before the Season Ends
The Regency in England! This period boasted Jane Austen and Lord Byron. High society, the gentry, the working classes--they all knew their place. From coaches and curricles to Almack's, from lorgnettes and quizzing glasses to Drury Lane and Pall Mall, it's all here, from chambermaids to the Prince Regent himself! Add Miss Ariana Forsythe to the intoxicating mix of fun and inspiration, and what do you have? The first Christian Regency on the market today! Welcome to this delightful world, and prepare to fall in love with Ariana and her cohorts. From her home in the village of Chesterton to the very ballroom of Carlton House, you will follow her journey of faith--and adventure-- to its heartwarming conclusion.

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,February 11th  8:00 A.M. EST. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.