Monday, April 11, 2016

The Seafaring Women of the Vera B. ends 4/18

The Seafaring Women of the Vera B.
By Susan Page Davis and James S. Davis


     Giveaway details.
I will give away one copy, paperback or e-book; the winner can choose.
Debbie, please limit the paperback winners to USA residents. Thank you!

Our book is The Seafaring Women of the Vera B., set in 1854.
With the captain dead in Melbourne, Australia, Alice Packard thinks the worst has happened, until she learns the crew has deserted her husband’s ship in favor of the goldfields. Only one old man, Gypsy Deak, sticks by her, but Gypsy alone can’t raise a crew from the depleted population. In desperation, Alice turns to the only source of plentiful workers: the women of Melbourne. In a bold move, she and Gypsy empty a brothel, promising the escaped women a new life. Her all-woman (save one) crew put their backs and hearts into the voyage, but Alice finds training her sailors much harder than she expected. Her faith is tested to the limit. With a cargo to sell, angry brothel and tavern owners in pursuit, pirates to evade, and a mysterious stowaway, will the seafaring women of the Vera B. survive to tell the tale of this daring adventure? 

You wrote this book with your son, Jim. How did that work?
I had the initial idea for a sailing ship with a crew of all women. My son helped me pinpoint the time and place this could believably happen. We worked out the plot together during a holiday visit. We live almost 500 miles apart, so most of our communication after that was by phone or email. We worked our way through it, with each of us writing the scenes closest to our hearts. The research was a huge challenge for both of us, but we pulled everything together at last.

Many writers will say they see stories all around them. Is there someplace you found this story?
Yes, I was inspired by a true story. I had read about Abby Pennell, whose husband was a ship captain and died in Rio de Janeiro. She took the ship home. Of course, she had the original crew to do most of the work, but I wondered, what if the crew deserted her? Jim and I found the perfect situation: during the Australian gold rush, dozens of ships sat idle in their harbors while the crews flocked to the goldfields. Where would our heroine find a new crew? That was the big obstacle for her to solve. But once she found her sailors, more trouble followed.

Do your characters ever give you surprises when you are writing? Can you give us an example if they do and if they don’t do you know why?
Yes, they do. I thought Nell was going to cause a lot of trouble on the ship, but she turned out to be a valuable member of the crew. Ned, on the other hand, nearly got everyone killed. Didn’t see that coming.
Do you have a favorite scene in this book and what would it be?
I love the scene in the hold when Jenny discovers the stowaway. It’s a little scary, but it fits perfectly in this story.

What is your favorite time period to write in?
While I write both historicals and contemporaries, the late 1800s works well for me, especially 1850 to 1880. I love to tell about the simpler times, and it can be very helpful to a plot if communication and travel are slower than they are now.

If you could live in any time period when and where would that be and why?
I would love to visit Medieval days, but I don’t really think I would like living then. I’m too attached to my modern conveniences, better medical care, longer life expectancy rate, etc. But I would be thrilled to step back there for a week or two.

If you could visit any place in the world where would you go and why?
Jim has visited Australia, but I never have. I’d love to see some of the country there. I think a road trip through the Outback would be awesome.

What was the greatest thing you learned in school?
Mostly organization and meeting deadlines. My editors love those traits.

What is the hardest part in writing a story?
Getting everything right, especially in a historical. I’m always afraid I’ll miss something.

What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research?
The many real shipwrecks around Australia are fascinating. We mentioned one in this book, but there are dozens that could be jumping-off points for a story.

James Samuel Davis is a writer who has traveled in Australia, China, Micronesia, and Alaska. He resides in rural Travelers Rest, S.C., with his wife and seven children.

Susan Page Davis, James’s mom, is the author of more than sixty Christian novels and novellas. Her historical novels have won numerous awards, including the Carol Award, the Will Rogers Medallion for Western Fiction, and the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest.

Find us at:
Twitter: @SusanPageDavis

Buy Links:
Buy the paperback from Amazon:
Kindle e-book:


  1. I enjoyed reading how Susan and James were able to write together without physically being together. This sounds like a great book!

    1. Thanks, Connie! We had our moments, but it was fun.

  2. This sounds like a very good read. I enjoy pirate stories, and I to read a book with women in charge sounds interesting.
    sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

    1. Thanks! sound like this one is right up your alley!

  3. We have Susan's books in the church library. What a wonderful addition to the library this book would be.
    Janet E.

    1. Thanks, Janet! I love hearing my books are in church libraries. Warning to librarian, though: this one has a bit more violence than most of my books. I know some folks have a higher tolerance for that than others.

  4. Will there be a followup to this book? I would love to see how the women have changed and what they become after this experience.
    I follow with feed burner. fishingjan[at]aol[dot]com

  5. Jan, we are planning Book 2, but it will be several months before we can put it together. Thanks for asking. We hope to follow up on most of these women. Of course, a few new faces will be added as well.

  6. Would love to win a copy of this book. rebunting(at)yahoo(dot)com

  7. How technology has made it possible for authors to write a book together but not be in the same room amazing. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom.

    1. I know! When I started writing fiction, everything was via the post office. Now everything is via email. Such changes in the last 15 to 20 years!

  8. Great interview! Would definitely love read this book!


  9. This sounds like a very interesting book/plot--one I would love to read. I love strong female characters.


  10. Hi, Mallori! thanks for your kind words.

  11. Looks like a wonderful book. Thanks for the chance to win! truckredford(at)gmail(dot)com

  12. I have read a few of Susan's books and really enjoyed them. This sounds like an amazing story.
    susanmsj at msn dot com

  13. Looks like a great book Thanks for the chance to win Feedburner Follower at iamabho(at)gmail(.)com

  14. Thank you, Linda, Eliza, and Susan. You all make me want to keep writing forever.

  15. Great interview and the book sounds fascinating. I hope to win it, but have it on my TBR list anyway. Good luck everyone.
    princessdebbie1_2000 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

  16. Wonderful interview! This book sounds incredible!
    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

  17. Thanks, Caryl. Glad to see you here.

  18. Susan, I always enjoy your books! Looking forward to this one!
    I am a follower.

  19. And the winner is...Caryl Kane! Congratulations!

  20. I am THRILLED to have won! Thank you Debbie Lynne and Susan!