Sunday, October 16, 2022

 



I'm thrilled that IN THE SHADOW OF A QUEEN is now available in Hardcover, e-book, Audible, Audio CD, and Bookshelf Audio

My interest in royal families dates back to the 1980s when I began reading about Queen Elizabeth I. Monarchies have always fascinated me. Queen Victoria became of particular interest to me when I learned more about her five daughters and the contributions they made to women’s causes throughout Europe by establishing schools and founding charities. Not only that, but her daughters also became the voice of the Crown. Queen Victoria relied on them to serve as her private secretaries while she battled with severe depression and kept her eldest son—and heir—at arm’s length.

More specifically, Princess Louise interested me because she deviated from the traditional path of royals during her era by marrying a commoner and pursuing the masculine career of a sculptor. One might consider the modern embodiment of Princess Louise to be Princess Diana, who was also committed to the downtrodden and redefined what it meant to be a royal.

My family lineage extends to British royalty, as does my husband’s, and I tried in vain to find a direct link with Princess Louise herself. There was no link since she didn’t have children, but my husband is a distant cousin to the Argyll family.

I spent a full six months researching and writing about Princess Louise. Even in the editing process, I was still discovering nuances and tidbits. Princess Louise might have been a member of the most prestigious royal family of her time, but she took a step back from glitter and glamour and found ways to positively impact the lives of others, even when the climb was straight uphill. She had a queen for a mother, and Louise’s voice was often strictly controlled and limited to what was considered acceptable for the era. Yet she managed to carve out a fulfilling life and push through barriers in order to achieve her hopes.

It was my honor to write her story.

For all things Queen Victoria & Princess Louise, join the Facebook page here.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Hannah: Mother of a Prophet


 

Thank you everyone for the wonderful reception of HANNAH. I’m excited that it’s now available on paperback on Amazon for those who don’t have access to a bookstore that carries my books (or are Prime shoppers like me. Haha).

I once had a conversation about one of my biblical novels with one of my agents, who is Jewish, and she told me, “I think you know more about my religion and history than I do.” Even if I’ve done a lot of focused research, I always use advance readers who are historians, scholars, or members of the faith or culture I’m writing about (now called “sensitivity readers”). Not everyone wants to write a book about their ancestors or heritage. I wrote Condemn Me Not about my 10th great-grandmother. It was a passion project the spanned 4 years of starting and stopping. I recognize that there are traumas in many people’s backgrounds, and they don’t want to dig them up and write about it, even if it’s important to not forget history. This also makes me appreciate authors who work to bring stories to life for me as well, so that I can keep learning and growing.
When I wrote RUTH, I felt that yes, I needed to do my research and have the right advance readers and experts give me feedback, but ultimately it was a story of two women, one a daughter-in-law and another a mother-in-law. My mother-in-law passed away several years ago, but I was able to use her example and our relationship as a springboard into the characterization.
Back to HANNAH. I’m not Jewish or Hebrew. I've never struggled with infertility. But as a woman and a mother and a sister and daughter (all human stuff), I was able to glean the emotions that Hannah might have gone through, in addition to watching my older sister go through years of infertility and frustrations with wanting a family and not being able to have one. (She now has 6 children, so she experienced more than one miracle.)
One of my favorite reviews on Hannah is from a Jewish reader (Carol F, NetGalley), “It was interesting to read a Christian view of Hannah and Samuel. It was smooth reading and full of information. Why did I really want to read this? My Hebrew name is Chana or in English is Hannah. My father, may his memory be a blessing, is Samuel. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it.”
Thanks again, my friends, for supporting a small Christian author who is hoping to bring more interest and understanding to our sisters in the scriptures.

Monday, April 11, 2022

2022 Booksignings

 Join me at a book signing in 2022!


April 25 at Orem Deseret Book: 6-8:00 pm. 

May 7 at Layton Seagull Book: 1-3:00 pm. 

May 14 at Provo Utah Valley Convention Center: 5:30-7:00 pm

June 4 at Duchesne Library Event: 1:00 pm. 

June 16 at Deseret Book City Creek, SLC, 5-7:00 pm

June 18 at American Fork Seagull Book, 11:00 am

June 25 at Cedar City Deseret Book: 2-4:00 pm

Aug 13 at Cottonwood Heights Deseret Book 2-4:00 pm




Friday, September 3, 2021

Video interviews with Bob Inama

On June 30, 2021, my publisher and I went to Idaho Falls and met with Bob and Diane Inama. We recorded a series of video interviews, and listened as Bob recounted his experiences serving in the US Army 1960-1962.

Bob did basic training at Fort Ord, then additional training at Fort Sill, before being assigned to Hanau West Germany. Months into his Germany assignment, he was asked to go undercover into East Germany--posing as a University student taking an economics class. 

Here's the video interview with Bob Inama, the hero in The Slow March of Light
June 30, 2021





The Slow March of Light releases September 7, 2021 to most retailers.


Join the Facebook page for more updates.


 

 

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Editor's Pick

 I'm thrilled to share that The Slow March of Light was selected as an Editor's Choice by the Historical Novel Society. 

Full review can be read here.

Releases September 7, 2021. You can pre-order here.




Thursday, May 20, 2021

Booklist Review: The Slow March of Light

Thank you to Booklist for the wonderful review of The Slow March of Light

Full review can be read here (p. 37).



Amazon pre-order: https://amzn.to/3yeUXkt

Coming soon to other retailers. Official release date: September 7, 2021.

Summary from the publisher:

Based on a true story. Inspired by real events.

A riveting and emotionally-gripping novel of an American soldier working as a spy in Soviet-occupied East Germany and a West German woman secretly helping her countrymen escape from behind the Berlin Wall. 

In the summer of 1961, a wall of barbed wire goes up quickly in the dead of night, officially dividing Berlin. Luisa Voigt lives in West Berlin, but her grandmother lives across the border and is now trapped inside the newly- isolated communist country of East Germany. Desperate to rescue her grandmother and aware of the many others whose families have been divided, Luisa joins a secret spy network, risking her life to help bring others through a makeshift, underground tunnel to West Germany. Their work is dangerous and not everyone will successfully escape or live to see freedom. 

Bob Inama was an outstanding university student, with plans to attend law school when he is drafted into the US Army. Stationed in West Germany, he is glad to be fluent in German, especially after meeting Luisa Voigt at a church social. As they spend time together, they form a close connection. But when Bob receives classified orders to leave for undercover work immediately, he does not get the chance to say goodbye.

With a fake identity, Bob's special assignment is to be a spy embedded in East Germany. His undercover job will give him access to government sites to map out strategic military targets. But Soviet and East German spies, the secret police, and Stasi informants are everywhere, and eventually Bob is caught and sent to a brutal East German prison. Interrogated and tortured daily, Bob clings to any hope he can find from the sunlight that marches across the wall of his prison to the one guard who secretly treats him with kindness to the thought of one day seeing Luisa again.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Publisher's Marketplace: next book announced!

 I'm excited to announce my next historical novel, which will be based on Princess Louise Duchess of Argyll. She was the fourth daughter, and sixth child, of Queen Victoria. I'm building a Pinterest page for my research. I could spend years on this book, but I have about six months to draft, so it's a full-time job right now. 

Here's the announcement from Publisher's Marketplace:


Now back to work!