Meet author Cindy Ervin Huff

Cindy Ervin Huff is an award-winning author of Historical and Contemporary Romance. She loves infusing hope into her stories of broken people. She’s addicted to reading and chocolate. Her idea of a vacation is visiting historical sites and an ideal date with her hubby of almost fifty years would be going to the theater.

Tell us about your newest book.

As her husband’s evil deeds haunt a mail-order bride from the grave, can she learn to trust again and open her heart to true love? Jed has his own nightmares from a POW camp and understands Delilah better than she knows herself. Can two broken people form a forever bond?

What inspired you to write Rescuing Her Heart?

I watched someone close to me have her life torn apart in a terrible relationship. And her now husband helped build her trust and loved her despite her past. He is a veteran with PTSD and he too has worked to put his life back together. I took the bones of their story and set it in 1870 Kansas. My what if moment revolved around a bad mail-order bride marriage and it developed from there.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

Rescuing Her Heart takes place in 1870 Kansas. Delilah made the biggest mistake of her life when she answered an ad to become a mail-order bride.

Lemont was nothing like his lovely letters. His cruel, controlling ways crushed her soul and spirit. When he died, she had no tears for him and a determination to never let a man have control over her again. Jed knows what it’s like to experience trauma. He takes it upon himself to help Delilah overcome her fears and learn to trust again. Can he keep the woman he’s falling for safe when he late-husband’s past comes calling.

What genre do you focus on and why?

Historical Romance, I also write contemporary romance. I love reading a good happily-ever-after. But I want to learn something I never knew and be inspired by the characters growth. That is what I write. Many relationships in the real world fail because baggage from the past taints the present. A novel that stays true to the theme at its center can be life changing for the reader. As a Christian I want to give readers hope in my writing. The verse that forms my themes of hope in my novels is Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He makes all things beautiful in His time…” (KJB)

Why do you write?

From childhood stories formed in my mind. It took me years to find an outlet for them. I’ve written scripts, short stories, articles and column for decades. Then when I turned fifty, God called me to write novels. It took years of learning the craft and many rejections. At sixty, my first book Secrets & Charades was published. I’ll soon be sixty-six and my ninth novel is complete. And my fifth novel releases in October. I’m in it for as long as God desires.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

Jed Holt and Delilah James. Jed was a secondary character in my novella Healing Hearts in The Cowboys collection. His full name is Jedidiah, but he prefers Jed. Delilah’s name seemed fitting considering how much shame she carries at the beginning of the story. But Jed gives her the nickname Dee, a new name for a new life.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

I get up early, sort out email, then write words until I have no more to write. I can generally write 1,000 words a day. Mornings are my most productive time, because that’s when I’m firing on all cylinders.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

Marketing. I have a hard time promoting myself. But marketing is necessary to sell books so I soldier on.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

Seeing my story in print with a wonderful cover. And people wanting to read my books. God called, and seeing readers enjoying my work reminds me why I do this.

What’s one thing your readers should know about you?

I grew up as an Air Force brat. I was always the new kid. So, I learned to put myself out there to find friends, knowing in a few years we’d move to another place. Because of that experience I don’t know a stranger. I love meeting new people.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I am getting better at editing my own words, so what I give my critique partners now gets a deeper edit. That makes me a better writer. I’ve met some phenomenal writers who’ve inspired me not only in craft but my walk as a Christian.

What is your favorite pastime?

Reading. I’m addicted. I love walking with my husband and spending time with him. And coloring relaxes me and releases tension.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Yes, my historical romances are Secrets & Charades, Healing Hearts, my novella in The Cowboys collection and Angelina’s Resolve will release October 15th. It is the first in my new series Village of Women. The only contemporary romance presently in print is New Duet. Type my name in the Amazon search bar and you’ll find them all. They are all available in e-book. Secrets & Charades and New Duet are available in audiobook. Rescuing Her Heart and The Cowboys are being produced as audiobooks too.

What are you working on now?

I’m editing Cherishing Her Heart the sequel to Rescuing Her Heart. I’m starting book 2 of Village of Women

Website:

Link to book: https://www.amazon.com/Rescuing-Heart-Healing-Hearts-Book-ebook/dp/B092SR6B5Y/

Social media links:

https://www.facebook.com/author.huff11

https://www.instagram.com/cindyervinhuff/

https://twitter.com/Cindyhuff11Huff

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/761142963

My website: www.cindyervinhuff.com

 

 

 

Meet author Jennifer Wright

Jennifer Wright has been writing since middle school, eventually earning a Master’s in Journalism at Indiana University. However, it took only a few short months of covering local news for her to realize writing fiction is much better for the soul and definitely way more fun. An Air Force wife, she spends most of her days corralling her two children and one grumpy old dachshund. She currently resides in New Mexico.

Tell us about your newest book:

If It Rains is a story of resilience and redemption set against one of America’s defining moments―the Dust Bowl. It’s 1935 in Oklahoma, and lives are determined by the dust. Fourteen-year-old Kathryn Baile, a spitfire born with a severe clubfoot, is coming of age in desperate times. Once her beloved older sister marries, Kathryn’s only comfort comes in the well-worn pages of her favorite book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Then Kathryn’s father decides to relocate to Indianapolis, and only the promise of a surgery to finally make her “normal” convinces Kathryn to leave Oklahoma behind. But disaster strikes along the way, and Kathryn must rely on her grit and the ragged companions she meets on the road if she is to complete her journey.

Back in Boise City, Melissa Baile Mayfield is the newest member of the wealthiest family in all of Cimarron County. In spite of her poor, rural upbringing, Melissa has just married the town’s most eligible bachelor and is determined to be everything her husband―and her new social class―expects her to be. But as the drought tightens its grip, Henry’s true colors are revealed. Melissa covers her bruises with expensive new makeup and struggles to reconcile her affluent life with that of her starving neighbors. Haunted by the injustice and broken by Henry’s refusal to help, Melissa secretly defies her husband, risking her life to follow God’s leading. Two sisters, struggling against unspeakable hardship, discover that even in their darkest times, they are still united in spirit, and God is still with them, drawing them home.

What inspired you to write If It Rains?

My husband is an Air Force pilot and, back in 2014, he transferred to a base in southern New Mexico. It was a completely new experience for someone like me who was born and raised in the Midwest, especially when I witnessed my first dust storm. My background is in journalism so I am a naturally curious (or nosy, depending on who you ask!) person to begin with, and I was soon down a rabbit hole of dust storm research that eventually led to the writing of ‘If It Rains.’

What genre do you focus on and why?

I write Christian historical fiction because I love the experience of traveling through time within the pages of a book. History is so much more than facts and figures; it is real people living real lives during extraordinary times. Even fictionalized accounts of historical experiences add a level of depth and understanding to past events that would not be possible otherwise. Through my books, I hope to encourage people to discover more about the richness of history while also illustrating the timelessness of God’s grace.

Why do you write?

From the day I learned to read, I have always been a bookworm. When I became a military spouse, books were the one constant in a life of incessant change. This deep love and respect for books and their authors created a desire in me to write one of my own—so I did! It took over ten years for me to score a publishing contract and, during those years of rejection, it was the belief in my dreams that kept me going, as well as the longing to show my children what it means to pursue your goals, even when it’s hard or seems impossible.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

If It Rains is a dual-timeline story. One of my protagonists, Kathryn, is named after my husband’s grandmother, with whom he was extremely close (and who is the middle namesake of my daughter!) The other protagonist is Melissa, which is the name of my maternal grandmother. She was a major influence in my faith journey during my childhood.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

I spent many years writing during my children’s naptime, but I’ve just entered a new season in which both my children are in school full-time! Now, I drop them off at school around 8:00 and come home to write. I usually have a word count goal (anywhere from 2,000-3,000 words) for the day rather than a set amount of time. Sometimes I get it done in a few hours; other days, I’m writing right up until it’s time to go pick my kids up from school and replace my “author hat” with my “mom” one.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

I think the hardest part of being author is simply getting the word out about your book. There are so many books out there demanding readers’ attention, and it’s difficult to find ways to differentiate yours from the pile.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

I absolutely love engaging with fellow readers and writers. I’ve been given the opportunity to chat with authors whose books have inspired and encouraged me, as well as “fan girl” with readers over novels we love. Book people are my people, and being able to connect with them has been the most rewarding part of this journey so far.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

I have traveled to fifteen different countries, lived in three of them, and called four different states home. Perhaps one of these days I will find a place in which to settle for more than a few years at a time!

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

The way I draft is completely different now from how I did it when I first started. I used to try so hard to have a “perfect” manuscript on the first try, which often stifled my creative flow. I’ve learned, when writing a first draft, the goal is simply to get the story from my head onto paper; making it “good” comes later. So now, when I’m writing, I just…write.

What is your favorite pastime?

I love reading, of course, but I also enjoy hiking and camping. Put me in the mountains with our RV and a few good books, and I might never come back down.

What are you working on now?

If It Rains is my debut novel, but I am currently working on a coming-of-age story set during the Trinity Test in 1945. It is entitled Come Down Somewhere and will be released by Tyndale House sometime in 2022. More information about it will be available in the coming months. In the meantime, you can find a preview of the first chapter at the back of If It Rains. J

Website: www.jennwrightwrites.com

Link to book: https://www.tyndale.com/p/if-it-rains/9781496456847

Social media links: Follow me on Twitter: @JennWright18 or keep up with the latest news on Facebook: www.facebook.com/JenniferWrightLit

 

 

 

The Thousand Islands Gilded Age

The American Gilded Age was a time of rapid technical advances, industrialization, and thousands of new inventions from about 1870-1910. Mark Twain coined the term in his 1873 novel The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today that satirizedthe era of social problems that were masked by a layer of thin, gold gilding. All of my books are based during the Thousand Islands Gilded Age, when the wealthy came and scooped up the islands and built lavish summer homes, mansions, and castles.

It was an era of economic growth. Since wages were higher than Europe, massive immigration drew about twenty million to the U.S. shores. Unions fought to stop child labor and establish an eight-hour work day. Social reforms included women’s suffrage, prohibition, and other civil changes. In the cities, labor unions became important in regulating industry, while trusts grew stronger in several industries. Education, prohibition, and racial inequalities dominated politics as did economic affairs of money supply and tariffs.

Unfortunately, it was also a time of unequal distribution of wealth where the rich got richer and the poor working class suffered. Many young women worked as servants until they married, and that’s what my stories are about—those nameless, faithful women who cooked and cleaned and served tables for the rich and famous. These “downstairs” women had fascinating stories to tell, and I plan to tell many of them.

The Gilded Age titans of industry changed our world—people like John D Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, George Pullman, and others who were sometimes called “robber barons.” But there were others who quietly made a difference—people like Frederick Bourne who took the Singer sewing machine around the globe as highlighted in my novel, Devyn’s Dilemma.

When city growth ballooned during this time, so did the economic problems of housing, the poor, and many social problems. Factories, railroads, finance, and mining were just a few of the growing industries during this time, while immigrants and others moved West and filled jobs in mining, farming, ranching, and building railroads. The number of public schools multiplied and so did membership in churches, especially in Catholicism due to so many Irish, Italian, and other immigrants. But the Panic of 1873 and the Panic of 1893 depressed growth for a season and brought political and social strife.

During this era, technology and industrialization grew the economy. Mechanization created less expensive products. The steel industry exploded, and the first transcontinental railroad opened in 1869. For the first time one could travel from New York to San Francisco in just six days. By 1880, railroad mileage tripled and brought the nation closer together. Markets became national and the world smaller.

During the Gilded Age, America led the world in innovation. A half-million patents were issued for new inventions including hundreds by Thomas Edison, Westinghouse, and others. Thanks to inventions such as delivery of electric power, the world became lighter, safer, more convenient and comfortable, and all around better.

So this is why I write Thousand Islands Gilded Age stories. To share the rich heritage this era gave us and better understand what it was like. What fascinates you about this time? I’d love to know.

 

 

Meet author Candy Arrington

Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, and speaker. She frequently writes on the topics of faith, health, personal growth, andmoving through, and beyond, challenging life circumstances. Candy has over twenty years of experience writing for publication. Her publishing credits include three nonfiction books and hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals in numerous print and online outlets. Read Candy’s blog, Forward Motion, on her website https://candyarrington.com/

Tell us about your newest book.

Life on Pause is one of those books you can’t successfully write until you’ve lived it. From traffic jams to extended life pauses, most of us don’t handle waiting well. We’re frustrated by having our plans and goals put on hold and chafe at delays. In learning how to approach waiting with patience and trust, we are able to view waiting as a gift rather than a burden. As a bonus, contributor stories provide insights on waiting well.

What inspired you to write Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well

My husband and I have experienced many seasons of waiting during our 40-year marriage. Some were prolonged waiting periods, others days or weeks. It was during these times that we learned to trust God, relinquish control, practice patience, and not rush ahead when God says wait. Following our most recent life pause, I wrote an article for CBN.com. Later, I used that article to pitch the book idea to a publisher.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

We live in a world of drive-thru dining, instant information, and next day delivery, so we find life pauses frustrating. Instead, perhaps we need to view waiting as preparation for the next opportunity, a time to develop patience and perspective.

Why do you write?

I write because I can’t not write. God provides ideas, outlines, words, sentences, paragraphs and I would be disobedient if I didn’t follow through with writing what he gives me.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

Mornings are my most creative and productive time, so I try to take advantage of that as much as possible. However, I’ve learned to utilize even small snippets of time instead of waiting for uninterrupted hours that sometimes don’t happen.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

Discipline. Many responsibilities and activities vie for my attention. It’s often tempting to let writing slide to the bottom of the list when other endeavors seem urgent. Giving writing the necessary time requires discipline and prioritizing.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

The best part of my writing life is having readers tell me my words helped them navigate challenging circumstances and gave them hope. When I hear from readers, it encourages me to keep writing the topics God lays on my heart even if they are difficult.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

When I was a teenager, I traveled to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Africa with my college-age cousin to visit his missionary parents and family. I was there for a month and saw amazing sites—Victoria Falls, Wankie Game Reserve (now Hwange National Park), and flew via helicopter to a mission hospital located in “the bush.” I’m so thankful I had the opportunity as a teen to visit this part of the world.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

When I first began writing, I thought I could write everything—poems, children’s books, devotionals, fiction, nonfiction. After attending several writing conferences, I learned I had a lot to learn! In the last twenty years, I have narrowed my focus to nonfiction, discovered my best topics, and found my writing voice.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Aftershock: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B & H Publishing Group)

When Your Aging Parent Needs Care: Practical Help for this Season of Life (Harvest House)

What are you working on now?

Currently, my focus is on promoting Life on Pause, but I am also considering several topics for another nonfiction book.

Website: https://candyarrington.com/

Link to book: https://amzn.to/3xvcYuP

Social media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Arrington.Author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CandyArrington

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/candyneelya/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet author Linda Hoover

Linda Hoover lives in west central Ohio. She earned a degree in psychology from Anderson University where she learned the voices in her head were actually characters from stories waiting to be told. Linda got her start writing columns and a middle grade serial for the South Charleston Spectator. As a recently retired librarian, she enjoys being a fulltime author in her home office, despite interruptions from family members and pets.

Tell us about your newest book.

In 1880 Boston, Julia Phillips’s father betroths her to wealthy Lucien Harris to cover up a tragic secret. She wants to marry Jacob Anderson, but her family will be ruined if she doesn’t comply. Will God make a way for Jacob and Julia to have their heart’s desire?

What inspired you to write Heart’s Desire?

I aspire to make my faith-based stories fun and entertaining, as well as encouraging. In this book,

my hero and heroine came to mind first. They want to be together but she’s upper class, he’s middle. So, the challenge is to take them on their journey from hopeful beginning to happy ending while dealing with all the obstacles, and there are several, along the way. When I researched what city to set the story in, I was drawn to Boston, which I love for its Revolutionary War ties, and for all the activities the characters could be involved in. I had a lot of fun writing this story.

What genre do you focus on and why?

I focus on historic romance. I’ve always been interested in history, especially the 1880s to 1920, and I enjoy a story with romance. I can get lost doing research, usually acquiring much more information than I need. The clothes they wore and the activities they participated in are fascinating. I’m not saying I’d want to live in the past, but it’s fun to write about it.

Why do you write?

I’ve had stories in my head since I was little and started writing them down when I was eleven or twelve. This probably sounds crazy, but I get frustrated and cranky when I can’t spend time writing. The stories need to be told.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

My main character is Julia Phillips. I can’t point to an exact reason for choosing her name other than it fits her. Her personality and appearance say Julia.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

I’d say the hardest part is being pulled in so many directions. I would be happy spending all my time writing, but I also need to keep up with social media connected to my books, send out newsletters, and generally deal with the business end of writing. I could spend days reading books and articles on the craft of writing. And then there’s a little thing called “Life.”

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

The best part is creating stories people can enjoy and hopefully be encouraged by. Since I retired, my favorite place to be is my home office.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I’d like to believe my writing has gotten better. When I look back at earlier works, it makes me cringe. I know so much more about the craft of writing than I did to begin with.

What is your favorite pastime?

I love to read adult and young adult historic fiction, but fantasy is also a favorite.

Collecting recipes and trying new foods, especially desserts, is something else I enjoy.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

My first book is Mountain Prophecy, a young adult novel set in the Appalachians in 1918.

Lighter Than Air is an adult historic set near Brighton, England, in 1900.

Heart’s Desire is my newest book and is set in Boston, 1880. It’s the first book in the Heart’s Desire series.

What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m working on Heart’s Journey, the next book in the series. I’m also working on a novella to give away to readers who subscribe to my newsletter.

Website: http://www.lindahooverbooks.com

Link to book: http://www. amazon.com/author/lindahoover

Social media links: www.Facebook.com/lindahooverauthor

 

 

 

 

 

Thousand Islands Vacation Planner

After reading my Thousand Islands Gilded Age books, dozens of you have said that the Thousand Islands is now on your Bucket List. So, to help you plan for your great adventure, I thought I’d give you some ideas of what to do while you’re there.

The Thousand Islands sit in the St. Lawrence River on the border between northern New York State (USA) and southeastern Ontario (Canada). There are 1,864 islands, but to be an island, it has to have one living tree and stay above water 365 days a year. That can be a challenge when the water can rise several feet each spring.

As I write in my books, there’s a lot of rich history in the islands. Gilded Age castles, mansions, and grand summer homes abound. Pirates and bootleggers once ruled the river where vacationers can now enjoy boat tours around the islands, see the area’s beauty, and experience nature at its finest. If you take a boat tour, you’ll pass by Pullman Island, setting for my novel, Katelyn’s Choice, and the place where it all began when President Ulysses S. Grant visited.

Accommodations are many, from hotels to motels to campsites to private homes. You can find lodging on Air B&B and other sites. You can even rent entire mansions like Casa Blanca that was the setting for my book, Reagan’s Reward. You also stay at Singer Castle, the setting for Devyn’s Dilemma!

If the borders are open (ahhh…COVID), be sure to bring your passport and see the Canadian side of the islands. You can drive over the beautiful Thousand Islands bridge or take a ferry from Cape Vincent to Wolfe Island, Canada, the largest of the islands and the setting for two of my novels, The Fabric of Hope and Christmas Charity. In case the borders aren’t open, I’m focusing on just the American side.

Susan’s top picks:

  1. Take a boat tour. There are several companies and lots of choices to see Millionaire Row, Singer Castle, Boldt Castle, Rock Island Lighthouse, and dozens of islands and Gilded Age mansions. You can take a sunset cruise, or a lunch or dinner cruise, too. All are fun, educational, and memorable.
  2. Visit Singer Castle and Boldt Castle. Wow! The history and magic are worth every moment you spend there.
  3. Visit the Cornwall Brothers Museum in Alexandria Bay, and the Thousand Islands Museum and Antique Boat Museum in Clayton.
  4. Visit the War of 1812 historic Sackets Harbor, and the Rock Island Lighthouse and Tibbets Point Lighthouse.
  5. Leave your diet behind. Dine by the river’s edge and be sure to stop for ice cream at one (or several) of dozens of roadside ice cream huts. Yum!

Finally, be sure to enjoy the quaint downtown areas of Alexandria Bay, Clayton, and Cape Vincent. Whether you like boating, fishing, swimming, diving, mini-golf, batting cages, go-karts, arcades, a hedgerow maze, zoos, aquariums, golf, tennis, or guided fishing charters, there’s so much to do. And do you enjoy special events? Try these: Bill Johnston’s Pirate Days. Powerboat Poker Run. Blues in the Bay Festival. Fourth of July Fireworks over Boldt Castle. Fish Day in the Bay. Roaring ’20s Weekend. The Cape Vincent French Festival held near Bastille Day on the second Saturday in July.

Ready to make plans? I am. Hope to see you there.