Posted in Interview

Interview of Beth Vogt and Giveaway!

Update: Congrats Kandra! You Won!

Thank you so much for willing to be interviewed!

1.      What was your inspiration behind Catch a Falling Star?

I like to write fiction that is based on real life. The catalyst for Catch a Falling Star was a conversation I had with a friend several years ago. She has a fulfilling life—lots of friends, a satisfying career/ministry, is involved with lots of worthwhile things—and yet some of her dreams haven’t come true yet. And she was asking, “How did I end up here? Did I miss something? Did I take a wrong turn?” And that conversation stuck with me for weeks. Everyone experiences life not going according to plans—the question is: What do you do when life takes a detour?

2.      When you write, do you plot the story out beforehand or are you surprised as to where it takes you?

Yes and yes.  I use The Book Buddy to plot out my novels. The Book Buddy is a marvelous work-text created by best-selling author Susan May Warren that helps you map out your novel. I then fast-draft my novel—and that’s when the surprises happen. I know where I’m going, but there’s always an unexpected plot twist or two. I start writing a scene and end up thinking, “I didn’t know that was going to happen!” Plotting is needed—but I have to give the story room to breathe and lead me a little bit too.

3.      I found Griffin to be such a fascinating character. Was there anyone/anything you based him off of?

Oh, Griffin. Such a fun hero. My husband was in the air force and we made several good friends who were pilots – some helicopter pilots and some jet pilots. Getting to know them, I discovered that pilots can balance the demands of that career field and their faith. But other than that, Griffin was created in my own head. I think anyone who has been single for a long time gets rather set in their ways—and that was true for Griffin (and Kendall, my heroine).

4.      Your novel deals with a lot of medicine (Kendall is a doctor) as well as issues with adoption. How much research did you have to do?

I had to do a fair amount of research for the medical aspects of the book, especially since I created an imaginary herbal supplement. Even made up, it had to be based in plausible reality. Thankfully, my husband is a physician, so he’s my very-close-at-hand expert. The adoption subplot came about because one of my closest friends has adopted two children. I’ve watched her pray over her children, face the challenges, embrace the ministry God has given her. I wanted to address at least some of that in Catch a Falling Star. She read the entire manuscript, but I especially wanted her feedback on Evie’s story.

5.      Can you tell us a little about what you are currently working on?

I’m finishing up book #3, which is titled Somebody Like You. It’s also a contemporary romance, and it has twins in it. That’s been fun to write because I have a twin sister. I’m also working on a novella and, like any novelist, I’m already thinking, “What next?”


Author Bio:  Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best is often behind the doors marked “Never.” After being a nonfiction writer and editor who said she’d never write fiction, Beth’s debut novel, Wish You Were Here, released in May 2012. Catch a Falling Star releases May 2013. Connect with Beth, where she talks with others about quotes through her “In Others’ Words” blog.

Beth Vogt has generously decided to do a giveaway of Catch a Falling Star! All you need to be entered into the running is to leave a comment. The giveaway ends May 24th. Please include your email address. If you are the winner, you have 48 hours to respond to the email that will be sent to you. To start the conversation going: Are there any dreams of yours that you’re still waiting to come true?

Posted in Interview

Interview of Becky Wade And Undeniably Yours Giveaway!

Update: Congrats Ganise! You Won!


*Disclaimer: This interview is posted on Becky Wade’s website. She has given permission for it to be posted here. And frankly, the questions were so much like I would have asked, I thought they were great for today.

1.What inspired you to write Undeniably Yours?

I was inspired by Regency-era love stories I read growing up that featured wealthy and aristocratic heroines paired with brave-hearted, common-born heroes.  I write contemporary romance and so it was great fun for me to bring these character types into a modern Texas setting and give their storyline my own unique twist.

2.What is the book’s theme?

Undeniably Yours is about a woman’s journey from weakness to strength.  She’s able to find that strength, little by little, as she trusts in God’s power and plan.

3.How would you describe your writer’s voice?

My voice is funny, authentic, and modern.  I write love stories about imperfect people redeemed by a perfect God.  It’s my hope that my books will charm and entertain my readers, while simultaneously stirring their emotions and encouraging their faith.

4.Is Undeniably Yours part of a series?

All of my books stand alone.  They each tell a complete story in and of themselves.  At the same time, I’ve long wanted to write a group of books about members of the same family, and starting withUndeniably Yours, I’ll have that chance!  Undeniably Yours is the first of four books about the Porter family from Holley, Texas.  Each book will detail the story of a different sibling.

5.What was your reaction when your CBA debut novel, My Stubborn Heart, was recently named a finalist for the RITA award?

Joy!  I was so conscious, when I received the news, that God is the one worthy of recognition for the creation of My Stubborn Heart.  I believe that it’s not me who writes, so much as it’s me who steps out of the way and seeks to let God write books through me.

The nomination also filled me with gratitude for the people responsible for bringing the book to publication.  My agent believed in it from the beginning.  My editor, Sarah Long, championed and improved the manuscript.  Everyone at Bethany House — from the editorial staff, to the cover designer, to the marketing and sales teams — lent it amazing support.

Becky Wade has graciously offered to give away a copy of Undeniably Yours two weeks from today on May 17th! All you need to do to win is leave a comment and a winner will be randomly selected. I ask that you please include your email address. So, to get conversation started what is one thing you like about a Becky Wade novel or what is the first thing you would do if you found out you inherited millions?

Posted in Interview

Interview of Ronie Kendig

Thank you for willing to be interviewed!

1.      When writing military fiction, what comes first, the people or the situation? Almost every time when I write my fiction, the characters come to me first. Before I step into the tricky—sometimes muddy—waters of the plot, I make sure I know the characters. To me, that’s essential because in order to know how the plot plays out, you have to know what your characters will do in the situations the plot presents.

2.      You have a couple of different countries and cultures represented in Talon. How much research did you have to do for Talon? There is always an incredible amount of research. I’m easily distracted, so I often have to turn off the internet to write, but in doing so, I also end up cutting off a tap for information. Research doesn’t necessarily come before I write. It’s an active part of my process. I’ll get my characters into a  situation, want them to do “X,” and wonder—can they even do that? And off I go to dig out the plausibility from research tools, either via email, books, or internet searches.

3.      When you started writing the A Breed Apart Series, how far in advance do you plan the subplots of the other main characters? Or do they surprise you? Subplots often develop of their own accord in my stories and/or develop organically from the characters or something else already happening in the story. Sometimes, however, they are a plot device I use to give readers a peek into another aspect of the story. For example, while writing the third book in the series, Beowulf: Explosives Detection Dog, I needed readers to see a different viewpoint to what was happening. . .and I wanted something a little different, so I gave a minor character a very prominent subplot role. The effect—at least to me and my editor—was incredibly powerful.

4.      You have written quite a few novels. Has there been any one character that has stayed with you the longest? Max Jacobs is still *right there* in my mind. He’s a commanding character, and I just haven’t felt as if he’s been willing to step down and leave me alone. I still would love to see him take center stage in a movie or made-for-TV drama or something. The guy has a lot of “presence” and skills.

5.      Can you tell us about what you’re working on now? Currently, I am working on Raptor Six, the first book in the Quiet Professionals. This series focuses on the OA452 group (Green Berets) that readers meet through the A Breed Apart books. I think readers will really enjoy this series because there is a constant team-camaraderie that is similar to the Discarded Heroes series. . .but maybe a smidge more intense.

Posted in Interview

Interview of Morgan Busse

Thanks for willing to be interviewed!

1.      Since this is book two in a series (and I’ve heard those can be tricky books to write) what was the one thing you wanted to accomplish in Son of Truth?

My goal with each book I write is to leave a piece of the story inside the reader; that the reader will resonate with one of the characters or plot lines. Son of Truth explores the issues of how does a person change after a spiritual encounter? What happens to one’s faith when God doesn’t come through? Why does God allow bad things to happen? If my readers walks away with the story still brewing inside their mind, I feel like I’ve accomplished what I set out to do.

 2.      Which novel has been the easiest for you to write? Daughter of Light or Son of Truth?

Son of Truth was by far easier. Daughter of Light went through many rough drafts and rewrites as I was learning the craft of writing. When I wrote Son of Truth, I was able to focus more on the story and less on learning how to write. I also knew the characters and plot, so writing Son of Truth was merely continuing the story.

 3.      When writing sci-fi/fantasy, what are some constraints you come up against, if any?

The reaction of people. Really J. For the longest time I hid what I wrote because some of the people I knew viewed fantasy and science fiction as wrong. Of course, now everyone knows what I write. But people can still be hesitant to pick up my book because they think it will be “too weird”; that it will be filled with elves and dwarves and dragons and stuff. They think they won’t be able to relate to my book. Getting past people’s prohibitions is the biggest hurdle I have. But when I do, I have readers coming up to me saying they never read fantasy, but they loved my book. And that makes my day!

 4.      You have a lot of great characters: Rowen, Lore, Caleb, and Nierne. Is there any specific inspiration for any of them? Or did they just unfold as the story was told?

Every story I write begins with an image of a character. I look at them and ask: “Who are you?” “Where do you come from?” “How did you end up here?” When I first met Rowen, I saw her in the field with the wolves attacking (a scene from Daughter of Light). When I first met Caleb, he was assassinating a man (another scene from Daughter of Light). Lore morphed from a very hard, cold man, to the Captain of the Guard. And I met Nierne in the dungeon after her city was taken over.

As you can see, I met each character and started asking them those questions and the story began to unfold as they revealed who they were and what happened to them.

 5.      Can you tell us anything about book three?

Book 3 will be a book of revelations. Many of the questions I have planted throughout the series will be answered, like what happened to the Eldaran race? Who are the Shadonae? Where did Caleb’s mother come from? Why couldn’t Rowen’s father stop the Shadonae?

Relationships will develop and the fate of the country of Kerre will be revealed. Rowen will meet the Shadonae and the final confrontation will happen. One thing I will say is there will be no family revelations. No Star Wars “I am your father” kind of moments J.

Posted in Interview

Interview of Ruth Axtell

Thank you so much for being willing to be interviewed!

  1. What was your inspiration for this story?  A few years ago, I was writing another regency (A Bride of Honor) and I woke with a dream, which I don’t even remember now. All I remember is that it gave me the basic premise for this story: a lady whose butler is a spy in her household.
  2. What are two things that you feel every regency novel should have?  Good dialogue, whether it’s witty, sparring, or flirtatious and filled with underlying meaning, between the hero and heroine; and a sense of the period, whether hinting at the large-scale events of the time (Napoleonic Wars, beginning of the Industrial Revolution, slavery issue, etc.) or smaller but equally significant movements (influence of intellectual women; growth of evangelical Church, power of rising middle-class, rigid class system, manners and habits of the higher class, etc.).
  3. In Moonlight Masquerade, the Napoleonic War is in the background. How much research did you have to do? Quite a bit. In a romance, the author doesn’t want to overwhelm the reader with the history of the period, but in order to write casually about it, one must know it pretty well. I have readers who think I put in too much history, others love that best, so you can’t please everyone.
  4. You have written a number of novels. Do you have a favorite hero or heroine? Simon & Althea from my first published novel (Winter Is Past) and Caleb and Geneva from my second (Wild Rose,) though I wrote that book first, are among my favorites, but really, to ask an author which are her favorite characters is like asking her which are her favorite children. They are all the most special at the time of writing. Then you send them out into the world and detach yourself emotionally from them.
  5. Can you tell us about what you’re working on now?I have just finished the sequel to Moonlight Masquerade and am editing the sequel to my previous book (Her Good Name). My working title is The Lady and the Logger.
Posted in Interview

Interview of Julie Lessman

1)      When did you first decide to write Patrick and Marcy’s story?

Right after I wrote A Passion Denied, which had a sub-story about a love triangle in Marcy and Patrick’s past that causes BIG problems for them in APD. The tension from that sub-story was SO strong, I just knew I had to write the love story attached to it someday. Never gave it another thought until I finished writing the last book in the O’Connor family saga, A Love Surrendered. That moment was so bittersweet that I did not want to let the O’Connors go just yet, so I immediately started the prequel, basically creating—for me, at least—a full circle of love in a family to whom I was reluctant to say goodbye.

2)      How much did you have to return to your previous novels when writing this one?

Quite a bit, actually. Fortunately for me, I always reread all of my O’Connor books prior to the next release in order to be primed and ready for the next one, so I did that while I was writing A Light in the Window, which helped A LOT. Regrettably, I was tightly locked in to dates and ages as well as tiny details that didn’t always gel with the story I wanted to tell, so I really had some fancy footwork to do, but my agent said nobody would notice, so I let it fly. Wouldn’t you know I had one diehard reader call me out on a minor point and consequently gave me a 4-star rating instead of the 5-star she said she would have given me otherwise. Sigh.

3)      You have written a number of female heroines (Faith, Charity, Lizzie, Katie, Emma, Annie, and Marcy), is it easy to keep their personalities separate?

You know what? It absolutely IS easy to keep them apart because they are ALL so different, as are my heroes, which is something I truly did not expect. I especially worried that somehow all my heroes would sound the same, but these characters became like flesh and blood to me, so I was able to convey every nuance of their personalities, every quirk, every voice. Uh … I hope …

4)      Whose novel for you was the hardest to write? Which one was the easiest?

Oh, good question! The hardest book to write? Professionally, that would be the third book in the Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Denied. It was difficult to write for a number of reasons. First of all, I hit the wall on that book because I was reading another author whose incredible talent made me feel like I wanted to puke on my keyboard whenever I read my own writing. And secondly, it was difficult because I was attempting not only to tell a very complicated and dark love story about the third daughter, but also weaving in second-tier stories about the parents and each of the other daughters.

You see, whenever I read a first book in a series, I generally fall in love with the hero and heroine and don’t want to say goodbye to them. So in my Daughters of Boston series, each book continues to grow and becomes more complicated and layered. As a result, I worried that book 3 would end up seeming like a bunch of disjointed stories, but many readers have told me it’s seamless and the best of the three books, so I’m very proud of that accomplishment, especially since it’s the only one of my books that has a full 5-star rating on Amazon.

The easiest book to write? Oh, without question that would be book 2 in The Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Redeemed, which is my VERY favorite of all three books of that series. In fact, I SO loved delving into Mitch and Charity’s story that I actually wrote this nearly 500-page doorstop in two months while working my part-time job.

Why, you ask? Well, I just love, love, LOVE Charity—she is so wonderfully flawed and was SO fun to redeem! Yes, you feel like slapping her in A Passion Most Pure (I actually received an e-mail asking me to slap Charity for them and another that wanted to see her maimed or killed!) but I hope readers grow to love her or at least like and understand her before her book is done. She is SO very quirky and funny and becomes more so with each book until finally in the 5th book in the saga, A Heart Revealed, she makes me laugh out loud in almost every scene she’s in, even the sad ones. And A Passion Redeemed reminds me a lot of favorite old-time movies of mine like McClintock with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara or It Happened One Night with Clark Cable and Claudette Colbert, where the hero and the heroine butt heads like crazy, which is something I love to both read and write. In fact, APR was so fun and easy to write, that I feel as if I hit my stride in that book, making it a very FAST read according to one reader friend who devoured it in a little over three hours!

5)      Can you tell us something about The Heart of San Francisco series?

The “Heart of San Francisco” series, which launches April 1, 2013, is kind of a poor-man, rich-man scenario among three cousins during the Irish-political landscape of 1902 San Francisco. Think Little Women meets Dynasty. J And for those too young to remember the TV show Dynasty, think family wealth and poverty in a political setting.

This series is a bit of a departure for me because it’s a lot lighter and I hope a lot more fun than the angst and high drama of my two prior series.  It will be shorter and less complicated than the O’Connor saga, which means the books will be about 400 pages rather than my usual 500+, and the plots will be two-tier instead of three- and four-tier. You’ll have the romance between the hero and heroine front and center, of course, but also a second-tier love story between the older couple in the series, just like there was with Patrick and Marcy O’Connor. Only instead of a happily married mother and father such as we had in the O’Connor saga, Caitlyn McClare is a godly widowed matriarch who butts heads (and hearts) with her rogue brother-in-law Logan McClare, with whom she was once in love. Engaged to Logan at a very young age, Cait broke the engagement when she discovered Logan’s infidelity, resulting in her marrying Logan’s brother instead. Now, twenty-seven years down the road, Cait is a widow and Logan is determined to win her back, so the romantic tension between these two undergirds the romantic tension between our heroine, Cait’s niece Cassie McClare, and the hero, Jamie MacKenna. The one-line premise for Book 1, Love at Any Cost is: “A spunky Texas heiress without a fortune falls in love with a handsome pauper looking to marry well.”

And here’s the jacket blurb:

Fooled by a pretty boy once, shame on him.

Fooled by a pretty boy twice, shame on me.

Jilted by a fortune hunter, cowgirl Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who just as soon hogtie a man as look at him … until Jamie MacKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well, lassoes her heart. But when Jamie discovers the woman he loves is poorer than him, Cassie finds herself bucked by love a second time, sending her back to Texas to lick her wounds and heal her heart. In her absence, Jamie discovers money can’t buy love, but love built on faith can set a heart free, a truth he discovers a little too late … or is it?

I guarantee you there’s a lot of sass and fun in this new series, so I’m really looking forward to introducing my readers to this lighter style and the San Francisco McClares!

Thanks, Embassie, for allowing me to connect with your readers. I LOVE to hear from reader friends, so if they like, they can contact me through my website at, either by sending an e-mail via my site or by signing up for my newsletter at Also, I have a cool blog feature on my website called “Journal Jots” at, which is a very laid-back Friday journal to my reader friends that will give your readers an idea as to my relaxed style of writing. Or readers can check out my favorite romantic and spiritual scenes from each of my books on the “Excerpts” tab of my website at Finally, I can be found daily at The Seekers blog at, a group blog devoted to encouraging and helping aspiring writers on the road to publication.




Ms. Lessman has generously decided to give away any book of hers that you would choose. The contest rules are as follows: In order to win the copy, you must leave a comment and the winner will be randomly selected. If you are interested in participating in the contest, your comment must include your email address. If you are notified as the winner, please respond within 48 hours. Winner will be announced on 2/22!

In order to help precipitate comments: which heroine in Julie’s books do you relate to the most?

Posted in Interview

Interview of Melanie Dickerson

Thank you for willing to be interviewed!

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Embassie!

1. Is there any one thing you use when approaching fairytales?

I like to read the original fairy tale, or the oldest version of the story, as well as studying the Disney movie version, if there is one. I try to take the basic story and expand it, fleshing out the characters and asking myself what the story would have been like if it had actually happened.

2. Snow White got a lot of focus last year, what was one thing you knew had to be in your re-telling and one thing that you didn’t want to focus on in your re-telling?

I didn’t want to focus on magic, which I leave out entirely, except for a few mentions of the evil duchess’s potions and poisons she likes to use on people. I also wanted a heroic hero, which is missing from the Disney version. In that one, the prince is completely passive. I wanted to focus on my two main characters and their journeys, both their literal journey away from the evil duchess, and their spiritual and emotional journeys as well. They both have things they needed to deal with from their pasts.

3. I loved Gabe, but I kind of felt bad for Valten at the end. Will he get his own story?

Yes! My next book, which comes out in October and is a retelling of Cinderella called The Captive Maiden, is Valten’s own story! He gets to be the hero this time. I felt bad for him too and knew even before I finished The Fairest Beauty that Valten would be my next hero. I had a lot of fun having him save his own damsel in distress—a very feisty damsel. They get to have their own exciting journey.

4. My favorite fairytale is Beauty and the Beast (loved The Merchant’s Daughter), do you have a favorite?

I think my two favorites were Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty. But I love them all! At least, all the romantic ones with happy endings.

5. Can you tell us anything about your next project?

I have finished The Captive Maiden, my Cinderella retelling, but I have plans to write three more fairy tale retellings. In the meantime, I’m enjoying writing a romantic three-book series set in Regency England. I should be able to announce the details about that very soon. If you stay tuned to my facebook page, , you should see something about that in the next week or so.

You can check out my review of the Fairest Beauty here:

Posted in Interview

Interview of Patrick Carr

Thank you for willing to be interviewed!

1. Mr. Carr, what inspired you to write A Cast of Stones? I was reading my Bible and came across a verse that said “God is in the lot.” I started to wonder about that and my imagination kind of ran wild. What would it be like to have a world or church based on the ability of certain people to cast and read lots. That’s when the thought occurred to me that it would look similar to the medieval church before the Reformation, sort of mechanistic in its approach. After that, I tried to create interesting characters.

2. When writing a fantasy-like novel, what are some roadblocks that you come up against, if any? The biggest roadblock is staying consistent within the world you’ve created. The temptation is there to make up new rules as you go along whenever you get to a tricky point in the story. Readers are pretty unforgiving of that approach, but it does happen quite a bit. You can see hints of it even in the very best selling fantasy series. I had the luxury of being able to make minor edits to the first book even while I was working on the last one. That helped make the story very consistent throughout.

3. Errol is such a well rounded character, did anything (anyone) influence his creation? I’m like any other writer, I pull my characters from real life and Errol is an amalgam of a lot of people. But in addition to that, he represents the kind of person I’d like to be. Physically, he looks like my oldest son. I use my family’s likenesses quite often when I’m writing.

4. As far as secondary characters go, one minute Cruk was my favorite, then Martin, then Luis, and Liam’s role as a foil to Errol was almost comical. Did you have a favorite secondary character? I’d have to say Rokha. She’s a lot like my wife in some ways, strong, but very caring. Mary is a nurse now, but when I met her she was her school’s crew team and had all the muscles you’d expect on a warrior woman. Rokha acts as the caravan’s impromptu medic which is another similarity.

5. Can you tell us anything about The Hero’s Lot? It’s the second book in the “Staff and the Sword” trilogy. The middle books are sometimes a little slower in their pacing as the author gets ready for the big finish, but everyone who’s read “The Hero’s Lot” so far has told me it’s even better than the first. I will say that Errol discovers the truth of his parentage. It’s not what the reader would expect.

You can check out my review here:

Posted in Interview

Interview of Kristen Heitzmann

Thank you for willing to be interviewed!
1) I just have to ask, what made you decide to write another novel with Morgan Spencer?
Morgan is one of those characters who doesn’t go away. I listened to an old play list while hiking, and he was right back in my head with a new opening scene.

2) What inspired your use of the insane asylum in the novel and did you have to do a lot of research for it?
I didn’t know about the asylum until Quinn told Morgan, and then the creep factor was too good to ignore. So, yes, I researched those kinds of facilities in that time period, and especially the use of LSD in treatment.

3) When writing novels, do you plan them out first or do you get surprised as you write along?
I suppose you can already guess by my previous answers, that I plan nothing, not even the initial idea. Those sneak up on me too.

4) Of all the novels that you’ve written, do you have a favorite series or family?
Besides Morgan and the Spencers, I love Lance and the Michelli family series, SECRETS, UNFORGOTTEN, and ECHOES.

5) Can you share with us about any new projects you’re working on?
I’m writing a wildfire novel, after living through the Waldo Canyon Fire, that is set in my fictional town Redford, Colorado. It includes characters from INDIVISIBLE and INDELIBLE and introduces new firefighting characters.
I’m also writing a romantic comedy set in NYC.

Please check out my review of The Breath of Dawn:

Posted in Interview

Interview of Elizabeth Camden

Thanks for willing to be interviewed!
1) When approaching Against the Tide, what made you choose the background of the Navy?
I’ve got to admit, having a heroine of the 1890’s work for the Navy seems a little odd at first glance, but the Navy employed plenty of civilians in various capacities. Lydia is fluent in six foreign languages, and this skill makes her of great use to the Navy.

I was also itching to set a novel in Boston. What a fabulous city for a novel…. full of historic settings and a wonderful cross section of blue-blood, immigrant groups, and rabble-rousers. I wanted this book to be heavily imbued with the atmosphere of Boston….everything from the food, the architecture, even the smell of the ocean…so what better place to set it than at the Navy shipyard?

2) What/Who was your inspiration for Bane?
Bane appeared in my first book, The Lady of Bolton Hill, and I had a huge clamor from readers demanding a sequel for him. I was happy to write one, but my editor asked me to be sure this book was totally independent from the first book. Readers may not even know they are reading a follow up, so there is NO NEED to read the first book before diving into this one.

As for his inspiration? I needed a villain in my first book, but I wanted him to be change of pace from the stereotypical villain. Therefore, Bane is an intensely funny and charming teenager with no moral compass. By the end of the book he finds one, and he turns into an amazing hero, risking his life in order to become a god-fearing Christian.

Bane’s conversion only goes so far… Against the Tide he is all grown up and still a good man, but his irreverent sense of humor and daring outlook on life is still in full force.

3) Did this novel require a lot of research?
Research is one of my favorite parts of writing! In my day job I am a university research librarian, so this is something that comes naturally to me. I usually spend around a month reading books written during the era. I find old maps and explore the streets, old cookbooks and try the recipes. I love wallowing in the era and stumbling across interesting locales to have my scenes. For Against the Tide I used a number of historical buildings in Boston, as well as local museums, shops, and actual neighborhoods.

4) When thinking about Lydia, what characteristics did you know she had to have?
My heroines are always very intelligent, although this manifests in different ways. Lydia’s skill is her amazing ability to learn foreign languages. She is also very charming and fast on her feet, which makes her a dynamic match for the hero.

As clever and smart as Lydia is, I wanted her to have a deep gash of vulnerability. She has a couple of huge, howling secrets she will need to conquer in the course of the novel. I believe that if you create an amazingly talented character, you ought to give her an equally profound weakness for her to overcome. I’ll be delving into spoiler territory if I reveal any more than that!

5) Can you tell us about anything you’re working on?
My next novel is called Into the Whirlwind, and is set during the great Chicago fire of 1871. It is mostly a love story, but also traces the monumental changes that happened to the city as a result of the fire. Look for it in August of 2013.

Please check out my review: