Digging deep with Clementine Hutton from Treasured Bride

51Lu9QxVOXLNovel PASTimes: If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?

Clementine: I would love to spend the day searching for new specimens for my rock collection. I’m a closet rock hound, much to other people’s chagrin. It’s simply not done for a decent young lady to be playing in the dirt. *grins widely* And I adore it!

Novel PASTimes: What impression do you make on people when they first meet you?

Clementine: I think they believe I am clumsy or shy.

Novel PASTimes: What’s your idea of a good marriage?

Clementine: I believe having acceptance and friendship makes a good marriage. People aren’t perfect. I don’t believe you should expect perfection out of yourself or a spouse. Love them for who they are.

Novel PASTimes: What are you most proud of about your life?

Clementine: My strength and perseverance.

Novel PASTimes: What are you most ashamed of in your life?

Clementine: Believing that I had failed as a wife with my first marriage, when in fact, I had the wrong husband the whole time.

Novel PASTimes: Do you believe in God?

Clementine: Absolutely! I had once thought I was abandoned but then he brought me my own angel.

Novel PASTimes: Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done?

Clementine: I think perhaps I would like to discover a new rock formation or mineral

Novel PASTimes: What was the best and worst thing that’s happened in your life?

Clementine: Worst was when I was lost. I fell and was trapped. I almost died! The best thing? Finding myself and my Micah.

Novel PASTimes: Tell me about your best friend.

Clementine: Oh, that is easy! Micah. I have never had anyone support me like he has. He loves me unconditionally and it amazes me every day.

Novel PASTimes: What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone? Why?

Clementine: My goodness! Well, I… uh… I disobeyed my first husband. I guess that was the worst? He would get really angry when I acted out of line. I hate disappointing people so I try to treat everyone like they are family.

Novel PASTimes: What would you like it to say on your tombstone?

Clementine: Very simple: Beloved wife and mother.

Novel PASTimes: Describe your ideal mate.

Clementine: Understanding, loving, strong morally

Novel PASTimes: What are you most afraid of?

Clementine: enclosed spaces

Novel PASTimes: What do you like best about yourself? Least?

Clementine: The best: I particularly like how strong I have become mentally and how much I feel like I have grown. I have been through a lot and feel like I can handle just about anything now. What do I like least? I hate being antsy or nervous.

Novel PASTimes: What do you like best and least about the other characters in your book?

Clementine: I found a few new acquaintances in Virginia City. Doctor Brown and his wife were a godsend! Such a warm and loving family. They took me in when I had no one and nothing left. I think they were my guardian angels when I needed them.

Novel PASTimes: We have enjoyed having you share with us Clementine. Good luck with your endeavors in Virginia City.

Author bio: Ginny Sterling is a pen name for an Indie romance writer. She has lived in several different parts of the United States and settled finally in Kentucky. She spends most of her free time writing, quilting, shopping or watching a select few television shows.

Ginny has a twisted fascination with collecting Starbucks coffee mugs from all over the country and adores the smell of coffee brewing. Her collection has literally filled over six kitchen cabinets…and does she stop? No.

Ginny loves to write (and read) books that make her smile, laugh, or cry. She has been known to cry at Hallmark commercials and still cannot watch the movie “Titanic” or “The Notebook” to this day without bawling for hours. Softy!

If you would like to learn more about Ginny, you can reach her on her website or on Amazon.

Spending time with Laurel Grace (Campbell) MacLayne from In Search of Shiloh

65254014_High Resolution Front Cover_7217277 (1)Novel PASTimes: Physical appearance

Laurel Grace: I’m slightly built…thin, but not skinny.

Novel PASTimes: Eyes

Laurel Grace: They are gray, with green and gold flecks when emotions creep in.

Novel PASTimes: Hair

Laurel Grace: Long, tawny masses of curls tamed by a braided coronet around my head when Mac will allow it.  He hates my braids and so I have to let my hair down most of the time.  Those long curls are a real bother on the trail.

Novel PASTimes: Can you tell me about your parents?

Laurel Grace: I’m an orphan.  That’s why I got married six weeks ago.  My papa, Mark Campbell died in mid-March of this year 1857 of consumption.  He’d been really sick for about four months, and I’d been taking care of him at our homestead.  My mama died about twelve years ago giving birth to a baby sister who’d been named Mary.  Mama’s name was Leah. I remember her being really beautiful, like an angel.  Papa has a drawing of her by his bed.

Novel PASTimes: Do you have any siblings?

Laurel Grace: No one’s home anymore but me.  I do have a brother named Daniel who moved to Texas few years ago with his new wife.  My brother Samuel died two years ago trying to break a horse.  He got bucked off and broke his neck.  He’s buried next to mama and Mary at the Hawthorn Chapel Cemetery.

Novel PASTimes: Where have you lived?

Laurel Grace: I was born in North Carolina but when I was almost twelve, papa moved us to Arkansas to homestead in the Boston Mountains in the Ozark Region.  We been here ever since.  These mountains are really beautiful, and we’ve had a really good life here since we came. At the time of creation, God decided the Arkansas Ozarks would be one of his masterpieces, I know.

Novel PASTimes: Do you work?

Laurel Grace: Since I was fourteen, I have been the woman of my father’s household.  I fix the meals, clean, store food for the winter, garden, care for our animals, make our clothes, and whatever it takes to run our homestead.  I finished common school early so I didn’t need to go to school anyway.

Novel PASTimes: Tell me about your friends.

Laurel Grace: I have a best friend.  Her name is Rachel.  We saw each other lots when I went to school at Hawthorn school, but now only on Sunday a little.  She married my cousin Josh and has four kids and doesn’t have much time to visit now.  I love to tell Rachel things…when we can talk, which isn’t often. I have wonderful memories of our friendship.  Then there is Elizabeth Wilson who lives down the road a piece.  She’s about my papa’s age, but she’s a good companion, and she’ll listen to me when I need to talk about woman stuff.  She’s our local healer, too.

Novel PASTimes: DO you have any enemies?

Laurel Grace: No, I don’t think I do…some people don’t like me much.  When I went to school, they called me names.  They said I was too smart and the teacher’s pet.  They teased me because I wore glasses.  I still do.  But not really enemies, I don’t think they are anyway.

Novel PASTimes: Are you involved with anyone?

Laurel Grace: Here at Hawthorn Chapel people can’t believe I got married at all.  They don’t know I know, but everyone calls “the Spinster of Hawthorn” behind my back.  It used to make my papa really angry when he heard anyone whisper about me like that.  My preacher almost wouldn’t marry us…my husband Patrick and me…because we only knew each other four days, but my papa was so sick and it was his dying wish to see us married.  He and my uncle Matthew Campbell had arranged a marriage of convenience with his friend Patrick MacLayne.  That’s how I got to be Laurel MacLayne about six weeks ago.

Novel PASTimes: Overall outlook on life.

Laurel Grace: There is so much about my faith I still am learning, but I do believe that the Lord looks out for me every day.  I don’t know why Patrick came across the state to marry me, but I know the Lord sent him so I consented to marry him, and I am sure that eventually I will understand how everything is supposed to work out.  Romans 8:28 is the verse that I recite to myself when I am most puzzled.  “And we know all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” (1850 King James Version Holy Bible)

Novel PASTimes: Do you like yourself?

Laurel Grace: Yes.  I’m a good person. I like that I am independent and I can take care of myself.  I’m plain.  I am smart, but because of that people don’t seem to like me much.  I put myself in the background of life because I don’t like to draw attention to myself.  I will defend myself when I get pushed into a corner though.  I surely ain’t better than anyone else, but I don’t guess anyone is any better than me either.

Novel PASTimes: What, if anything, would you like to change about your life?

Laurel Grace: I wish society would let me be my own person.  My papa wanted me to marry Mr. MacLayne because he knew if he died, I’d be without anyway to provide for myself.  The stupid state law would not let me inherit our homestead so I could go on living here and taking care of myself, even though I am perfectly capable of doing so.  Just because I am female!  Don’t get me wrong.  I appreciate Mr. MacLayne.  He is a kind man…a God-fearing man.  He’s quite attractive…too attractive to have a wife as plain as I am, but marrying a stranger is difficult even under the best of circumstances.  Only the Lord knows what the future holds for us, but we’ve made vows.  We’ll try to make a good marriage in the eyes of the Lord.

Novel PASTimes: How would you describe yourself?

Laurel Grace: An average twenty-seven-year-old woman trying to survive the best I can, relying on myself, my faith, and others when I have no other choice.

Novel PASTimes: What are your strongest and weakest character traits?

Laurel Grace: My strongest character trait is independence and determination to survive.  My weakest trait is self-worth.

Novel PASTimes: What are your fears?

Laurel Grace: Rejection, travelling to make a home three hundred miles across the Arkansas wilderness in Northeast Arkansas.

Novel PASTimes: When are you happy? Angry? Sad? Laugh?

Laurel Grace: I try really hard not to let emotion dictate my life.  I take care of business and do what has to be done. If the going gets too hard, I try to let the Lord handle it.  I do lose my temper once in a while, but always regret it so I really try not to.  It’s better to just live one day at a time and try to stay the course.  Of course, I must admit, Mac does make the days more enjoyable when we talk or when he teases me or sometimes he even sings me that silly song he made up about “Annie Laurel.”

Novel PASTimes: What has been your biggest trauma?

Laurel Grace: I still don’t remember all the details…but that terrible Harvest Festival when I fourteen and the nightmares that I’ve had for years.  Patrick has pleaded with me to tell him what causes them, but I don’t know why it scares me so much.

Novel PASTimes: Do you have a secret?

Laurel Grace: Yes, but if I tell it and Mac finds out what it is, it could cause an end to our marriage so I’d better not share it with anyone else yet.

Patricia Clark Blake, The Author

 

 

About Patricia Clark Blake:

Professing Christian…United Methodist, RetiredProfessional School Counselor, First Time Novelist…The Shiloh Saga, Native Arkansan, Traveler…whenever she can. To find out more about Patricia you can visit her on her blog or Amazon.

Talking with Charlene Lehman from The Sheriff and the Miner’s Daughter

Sheriff and Miner's Daughter cover 2_resized - Amazon

Novel PASTimes: Are you dating anyone?

Charlene: Nobody right now. But I am sweet on Jubilee Springs sheriff – Jim Hawkins

Novel PASTimes: What person do you most admire?

Charlene: My father, Amos and the sheriff

Novel PASTimes: Overall outlook on life?

Charlene: Go for your dream or it just won’t happen

Novel PASTimes: Do you like yourself?

Charlene: Not at first, but once I got out from under Aunt Lucretia’s thumb, I have learned to like myself.

Novel PASTimes: What, if anything, would you like to change about your life?

Charlene: I want to be married and have a family of my own

Novel PASTimes: How are you viewed by others?

Charlene: Everybody likes me

Novel PASTimes: Quick facts

Parents: Amos and Kathleen Lehman

Places lived: Burlington, Iowa – Fulton, Mssouri – Jubilee Springs, CO

Jobs: Clerk for the Misouri School of the Deaf

Friends: Earl and Bessie Janney and their son, Donald in Missouri.  In Jubilee Springs – Josephine Jacobs and many of the town folks

Enemies: Aunt Lucretia

Physical appearance: Thin, but shapely, pretty, average height

Eyes: Very light blue

Hair: Medium blonde, like a wheat field

Voice: Soft, lilting

Right- or left-handed? right

Novel PASTimes: How would you describe yourself?

Charlene: Sometimes stubborn and insecure, I used to be a very untrusting person, but that seems to be changing.

Novel PASTimes: Strongest character trait

Charlene: When I love, I love with all my heart.

Novel PASTimes: How much self-control do you have?

Charlene: I have self control UNTIL I’m pushed beyond a certain point – then look out!

Novel PASTimes: What is your biggest fear?

Charlene: Something will happen to people I care for and I’ll be alone

Novel PASTimes: What do people like best about you?

Charlene: I’m a kind person who will help folks any time I can.  I have a good sense of humor and a ready smile.

Novel PASTimes: What makes you angry?

Charlene: People who are cruel or mean spirited

Novel PASTimes: Hopes and dreams?

Charlene: To have a family of my own

Novel PASTimes: What’s the worst thing you have ever done to someone and why?

Charlene: I broke into my Aunt Lucretia’s room and rummaged through her drawers to find money she had stolen from me.  It was then I found years worth of letters from my father.

Novel PASTimes: Greatest success?

Charlene: Making enough money to leave my Aunt’s house and go find my father.

Novel PASTimes: What does you care about most in the world?

Charlene: My father and his new wife Josephine.  I also care deeply for Jim Hawkins and his daughter.

Novel PASTimes: What do you like best about the other main characters in your book?

Charlene: Jim Hawkins is extremely handsome, though when I first met him he thought I was a gold digger.

You can purchase The Sheriff and the Miner’s Daughter on Amazon.

PennyPenny Estelle is a best selling author who writes for all ages, from the early reader to adults. Her books range from pictures books for the little ones, to fantasy. time-travel adventures for ages 9 to 13. She also, under P. A. Estelle, has written adult stories including a family drama and contemporary, paranormal and historical westerns romances.

Penny was a school secretary for 21 years. She and her husband moved to their retirement home in Kingman, AZ, on very rural 54 acres, living on solar and wind only.

Penny and her books can be found on her website, Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Goodreads.

 

Spending time with Tilly Cleaver from Found in Flight: Book 2 in The Baxter Romances

found in flightNovel PASTimes: What is your favorite thing to do?

Tilly: I am the personal maid to Mrs. Martha Baxter. When I came to the Baxter Homestead, I didn’t have much thought of what they would do. I just knew they had taken me in when I had nowhere left to go. They gave me the job, and I really like it! I love working hard for a good woman, and I especially love the nights when Mrs. Baxter and I sit out on the porch and watch the ranch hands doing their last-minute chores, listening to cattle low in the distance and just talking about life.

Novel PASTimes: What impression do you make on others when they first meet you?

Tilly: You know, I never thought about that! I guess I really don’t know. I hope they think I’m a good person, and one who speaks my mind. I spent so much time being silent and afraid, I just want people to know I’m not afraid anymore. I’m not silent.

Novel PASTimes: What is the most important thing you look for in a man?

Tilly: My goodness, you do ask a lot of questions about things I barely think of! I suppose that my idea of a man would be. . . strong, but kind. I love to watch. . . well, there’s this one ranch hand named Paul, and he can pick up more in his one hand than most men can pick up with both arms. So he’s strong as a bull, but when he smiles, you just know he’s thinking the best about you. . . and the best for you, which is even better.

Novel PASTimes: What is the greatest thing you have ever done?

Tilly: I ran away from Poppa.

Novel PASTimes: What is your greatest shame?

Tilly: That it took so long for me to run away.

Novel PASTimes: Do you believe in God?

Tilly: Absolutely! I must admit that in my darkest days there were times when I felt He maybe wasn’t paying too much attention to me. But I do believe in Him, and that he answers prayers. . . just not always in the way we want him to. Which is fine, because when that happens the answer is always better than the one we hoped for!

Novel PASTimes: What’s the worst thing that ever happened to you?

Tilly: Living with Poppa. It wasn’t just that he beat me and basically made me a slave, it’s that he kept me hidden away from everyone. Well, hidden isn’t the right word. He pretended I was there, pretended we were just normal, friendly folk. But every time someone came to make friends with me, or to ask me if I’d like to go with them to a church social, Poppa would scare them away right quick. It was terrible, to be so alone.

Novel PASTimes: What are you most afraid of?

Tilly: That Poppa will find me again.

Novel PASTimes: What do you like best about living on the Baxter Homestead?

Tilly: Well, it’s the first place I’ve ever been free! And there’s Mrs. Baxter, and. . . well. . . and Paul.

 

More about Found in Flight: Book 2 in The Baxter Romances

Only a woman with a broken heart can show a broken man how to live. Tilly Carver is a woman on the run. After a lifetime under the control of her cruel father, she has finally fled. But running does not mean you leave all your problems behind. After being saved from a gruesome death while on the run, she accompanies the young Clayton Baxter to his family’s home: the Baxter Homestead. But Tilly’s troubles are far from over. As Clayton begins to show his true colors as a cowardly, conniving villain, Tilly finds herself thrust deeper and deeper into intrigue and even danger.

Luckily, though, there are people looking out for her. Mrs. Baxter – Clayton’s mother and a tornado of a woman – has adopted her as one of the family. Clayton’s brother, Adam, loves her like a sister. And then there is Paul. A man of mystery, who showed up at the homestead not long after Tilly, he is always there. . . watching her, protecting her, perhaps even. . . loving her? She does not know. No one knows who Paul really is, or where he came from. She only knows that he is the strongest man she has ever known, and the only man with whom she has ever felt safe. She only knows that Paul understands her, because he also is on the run from a past he only wants to forget.

But the past is never really gone. And as Tilly’s and Paul’s past lives reach out to threaten them once more, they both realize that they can only find safety with each other. They can only find happiness in the arms of someone who understands what they have gone through, and what they have done. They can only find love if they stop running, and face what is coming. . . together.

You can contact Angelica Hart on her Website, Facebook, Twitter, or Amazon pages. She would also love for you to join Angie’s Friends (mailing list): Text “hartauthor” to 444999.

 

 

Character Interview with Harrison Mark Taylor from West of Forgotten

 

West ofForgotten_w11514_750.jpgNovel PASTimes: Where have you lived?

Harrison: Family home in Straight Creek, KY; New Orleans; drifted around a bit, and landed in Federal, Wyoming Territory

Novel PASTimes: What job have you had?

Harrison: Cavalry officer during the War of Southern Rebellion, and now, U.S. Marshal

Novel PASTimes: What person do you most admire?

Harrison: That’s a toss-up between two people—my wife and A.J. Adams. Rachel is head-strong, determined, smart as a whip, and I’m not ashamed to admit, most of the time, she’s a better person than me. Doesn’t hurt I think she’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen, even when she’s dressed in denims and a chambray shirt.  A.J….he’s the most honorable man I’ve ever known.

Novel PASTimes: What is you overall outlook on life?

Harrison: Life’s what you make of it.

Novel PASTimes: What if anything, would you like to change about your life?

Harrison: Right now, not a single thing. Guess you could say I’ve got everything a man needs to be happy and content—a good woman at my side, a job that most of the time should kill me with sheer boredom interspersed with moments of utter insanity, a kid that’s as smart as his mother, and another one on the way.

Novel PASTimes: How are you viewed by others?

Harrison: Most people would say I’m a straight shooter.

Novel PASTimes: How would you describe yourself?

Harrison: I’m a little taller than most men but appearance wise, I’m no better looking than the next man.

Novel PASTimes: What is your strongest and weakest character traits?

Harrison: Rachel says that I can’t see shades of grey, that everything is black and white in my world. Guess that could be both a strength and a weakness.

Novel PASTimes: How much self-control do you have?

Harrison: When I was younger, I had a wicked temper. I’ve learned to control that.

Novel PASTimes: Do you have a talent?

Harrison: I’m pretty good at reading people. Made winning at poker a lot easier.

Novel PASTimes: What do people like best about you?

Harrison: I don’t beat around the bush.

Novel PASTimes: What’s your favorite food and drink?

Harrison: I’m a steak and potatoes man. Never did like all that fancy French food in New Orleans. And, give me a smooth, mellow bourbon over anything else.

Novel PASTimes: What book are you reading at the moment?

Harrison: Reading one by Robert Stevenson called An Inland Voyage.

Novel PASTimes: Best way to spend a weekend?

Harrison: What is a weekend? Rachel and I own one of the largest spreads in the Territory and I’m a deputy U.S. Marshal. Friday and Saturday nights get a little busy in town and I’m spending those nights breaking up fights in the saloons. There’s times, I think the ladies of the morality preservation group have it right, that the saloons should be shut down.

Novel PASTimes: What would a great gift for you be?

Harrison: If someone could turn back time for me to June 30, 1863. I would have let A.J. go back to his troops and not taken him prisoner.

Novel PASTimes: When are you happy?

Harrison: When I’m with Rachel. Don’t even need to be doing anything, just sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee and knowing she’s in the house…

Novel PASTimes: What makes you angry?

Harrison: Look, I know this isn’t a popular sentiment and when there’s a war, someone has to win and someone has to lose, but that anger aimed at the South in this country right now makes me angry. I’m not arguing that the War of Southern Rebellion mowed down more than half a million lives. I’m saying that the men who fought for the Confederacy were just like me and almost all the other men who fought to save the Union. I won’t say if they were right or wrong in their assertions of state’s rights and over-taxation. But, I will say that for the most part, those men were as steadfast and brave as any man who wore Union colors. And, to blame them for the war—it was a war, like any other. Rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight. I guess someone has to take the blame for tearing this country apart but it makes me angry to hear it.

Novel PASTimes: What makes you laugh?

Harrison: Rachel. And her—no, our son, Joshua.

Novel PASTimes: Hopes and dreams?

Harrison: That Joshua never experience anything like that war.

Novel PASTimes: What’s the worst thing you have ever done to someone and why?

Harrison: I told you that Rachel says I can’t see grey areas, that it’s all black and white to me. She’s wrong. After the war was over, I realized that there has to be grey, somewhere, but orders are orders. At Tullahoma, I captured my best friend. I was personally responsible for sending him to a prisoner camp in upstate New York. And, he’s dead because he was in that camp and I blame myself to this day for his death.

Novel PASTimes: Biggest trauma?

Harrison: Seeing Rachel held at gunpoint and not being able to keep her safe.

Novel PASTimes: What do you like best about the other main characters in your book?

Harrison: I like that Rachel doesn’t take any guff from me and she gives it right back in full measure. It makes me real happy when Joshua says I’m his father, even though I’m not. I’m the only father he’ll ever know.

Novel PASTimes: What do you like least about the other main characters in your book?

Harrison: I can’t and I don’t hold it against either Rachel or Joshua, but it does bother me who that boy’s father is.

Novel PASTimes: If you could do one thing and succeed at it, what would it be?

Harrison: I want to be a better father to Joshua than my father ever was for me.

Novel PASTimes: Fast Facts

Parents: Joshua and Kyla

Siblings: Two sisters and a half-brother, Jason

Eyes: Hazel, I guess.

Hair: Rachel says it’s a brownish-blond. I never thought about the color—though there is some grey in it now.

Voice: Deep

Right- or left-handed? Right-handed

author picture betterAbout Lynda J. Cox: Once upon a time there was a little girl who said when she grew up, she was going to have dogs like Lassie, own horses, and live on a ranch just like the Ponderosa. Two out of three isn’t bad. If she can’t live on a ranch, Lynda J Cox writes about characters who do. She writes steamy westerns, what one reviewer called an authentic blend of Old West action and happily ever after romance. She has won The Laramie Award for best debut novel, short listed for The Laramie for her third book, and her last three books have all been given 4.5 to 5 stars by InD’Tale Magazine. You can found out more about Lynda on her Amazon Author Page, FB Author Page, or Author Web page.

 

 

Interview of Tavin Knox and Gemma Lyfeld from The Reluctant Guardian, a LIH Regency.

susie coverThe pair arrive in the drawing room of a Mayfair townhouse. After exchanging pleasantries, taking our seats and pouring tea, we begin with small talk.

Novel PASTimes: Gemma, I like your red cloak.

Gemma: Thank you, ma’am. So do I.

Tavin: I wish you’d have worn something else. That cloak has caused naught but trouble.

Novel PASTimes: Trouble?

Gemma: Mistaken identity. Someone else has one like it.

Tavin: Someone dangerous. And it almost cost your life.

Gemma: Well, it didn’t, thanks to you.

Novel PASTimes: Can you elaborate?

Gemma: A female smuggler who operates near my home wears a red cloak like this, and a smuggling ringleader known as The Sovereign thought I was she. Since I am not—and I saw his face and can identify him—there is some concern I might be in danger. Which I am not. The Sovereign does not know who I am, and dozens of ladies wear red cloaks. Besides, he is in Hampshire, and I am now here in London for my Season.

Tavin: I agree that you are not in danger, but I still say you shouldn’t wear that thing anymore until things are. . . settled.

Tavin’s gaze occasionally flickers to the door and windows, as if certain someone will barge in on our interview.

Novel PASTimes: Let’s move on. Where were you born?

Gemma: Hampshire. The New Forest area. ‘Tis beautiful, so green.

Tavin: Scotland.

Novel PASTimes: Oh? I detect no noticeable Scottish burr.

Tavin: I was educated in England. My mother was English. It was important to her family that I sound English. I haven’t been to Scotland in years.

Novel PASTimes: Would you like to go back shortly? To visit family?

Tavin: I’m a little busy these days.

Novel PASTimes: Ah, yes. You’re a spy for the Revenue Agency.

Tavin: No, you’re mistaken. I’m in the import business.

Gemma: *shaking head*:We may speak freely here, Tavin. She won’t tell anyone. *Turning to interviewer* Of course he’s a spy. “Import business” is a euphemism for his secretive work for the Revenue Agency. He was hunting down the Sovereign when I intruded upon his investigation. He’s been ordered to guard me for the time being.

Tavin: I’m not accustomed to playing nursemaid. I should be back in Hampshire to bring that rogue to justice.

Gemma: If it was up to me, you would be. Believe me, I do not like you watching me, disapproving of everything I do.

Tavin: I don’t disapprove. Unless you’re careless. Which you are, far too often for my liking.

Gemma: You’d have us live in a cage. The boys cannot be confined.

Novel PASTimes: The boys?

Gemma: My brother’s children. They adore Tavin. Their parents allowed me to bring them to London with me for the Season. They’re my greatest joy.

Tavin: She’s more of a parent to them than their own mother. And they love her, those imps.

Novel PASTimes: You’re smiling, Tavin. Thinking of the boys?

Tavin: They’re a mischievous pair. They love castles and knights and making trouble. I’m. . . fond of them. In my line of work, a family is out of the question. Perhaps spending time with them is making me realize what I shall never have.

Gemma: You could, someday.

Tavin: Not in my line of work, and I’ll not leave it until—well, that is neither here nor there. I have one occupation: capturing The Sovereign.

Gemma: Then let us finish this once and for all. Let’s make a plan I shall return to Hampshire and lure the Sovereign out. If he wants to kill me because I can identify him, he is sure to take the bait—

Tavin: Ach, no—that’s the maddest thing I’ve ever heard—

Novel PASTimes: Wait a second—I hear a trace of Scottish burr in your voice that I didn’t detect before, Tavin.

Gemma: That happens when he’s upset.

Tavin: *scowling* Forgive me.

Gemma: There’s nothing to forgive. It’s the real you.

Tavin: *still scowling* Next question?

Novel PASTimes: Um, all right. There’s been gossip about town regarding your relationship. People think you’re courting.

Tavin: As I’ve said, a man like me cannot have a family. I’ve had to stay close to her to protect her, but everyone has been told we are family friends. ‘Tis no lie. Those gossipmongers say what they like.

Gemma: His closest friend is my brother-in-law.

Novel PASTimes: So you wouldn’t be together at all, ever, by choice?

Gemma: No. I mean—if circumstances were different. . .

Tavin: I—well, I suppose not.

Gemma: But we are friends, are we not?

Tavin: Of course. And it hasn’t been all bad, spending so much time together.

Novel PASTimes: So you’re friends and that’s all? You’re sure there are no romantic feelings underlying things here?

Tavin: No. Next question.

Gemma: None whatsoever. Our relationship is strictly platonic. A matter of business ordered by the Crown. Tavin doesn’t. . . and I do not. . . there are no feelings of that nature.

Novel PASTimes: That’s not what your book says. I see a kiss on page—

Gemma: Oh my.

Tavin: That’s enough. Interview over.

The Reluctant Guardian Blurb: When Gemma Lyfeld inadvertently interrupts a dangerous smuggling operation in her English village, she’s rescued by a mysterious Scottish spy. Now with criminals after her and her hopes for an expected marriage proposal recently dashed, she will make her society debut in London. But not without the man tasked with protecting her…

Covert government agent Tavin Knox must keep Gemma safe from the criminals who think she can identify them—a mission he never wanted. But as he escorts her and her rascally nephews around London, the lovely English lass proves braver than he ever imagined. Suddenly, the spy who works alone has one Season to become the family man he never dreamed he’d be.

SD author photoSusanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she’s the award-winning author of over a dozen historical romances who’s seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and enjoys fancy-schmancy tea parties, genealogy, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos.

If you would like to connect with Susanne Dietze, you can sign up for her newsletter or visit her website, Facebook, Twitter or Amazon pages.

 

Character Interview with Minnie Geneanne Smith from The Blacksmith’s Daughter

TBD-LDWhat a pleasure to have Minnie Geneanne Smith with us on Novel PASTimes today. We’re excited to get to know you and find out all about you and your book, The Blacksmith’s Daughter.

Novel PASTimes: Can you tell us about your friends?

Minnie: While I lived in Portland, my poppa was my best friend. I’m afraid at that time there were girls who would have been my friend, but until I moved to Gunther City, I couldn’t get past hurtful things some of the girls did to me in school, and I’m afraid I judged them all unfairly. The train ride to Oklahoma taught me that to have friends required I be a friend. Now, I can happily say my dear friends are Dixie, Lou Lou, Martha Grace, Jane Anne, and even Helen. Widow Drummond and I are still good friends and sweet Wilma Gunther.

Novel PASTimes: Do you have any enemies?

Minnie: Oh. Jet Butterfield and his horrible men: Hayden Gray and Alford Graves. But they all got their due diligence. Jet’s in prison and well, I can’t tell you what happened to the men, it would spoil the story before you read it.

Novel PASTimes: Are you involved with anyone?

 Minnie: I found my happily ever after in Gunther City, but it wasn’t an easy journey. I can’t say any more without spoiling the surprise.

Novel PASTimes: What person do you most admire?

Minnie: Gosh. Right off the top of my head, I’d say my poppa. He built a successful blacksmithing business, raised me by hisself after Momma died, and wasn’t afraid of anything or anybody. He made me who I am today.

Second, I’d say Dixie Levine. She grew up an orphan and grew to be a lovely person. She’s sweet, loving, loyal, and a dear friend. We are a different as a stick and a tree, she’s five foot nothing, and I’m, well, I’m six feet tall in my bare feet. But I love her like a little sister.”

Novel PASTimes: Overall outlook on life

Minnie: *Sighs* When I lived in Portland, I was happy living with my poppa and learning his blacksmith trade. Life has a way of filling in your in-completes, even when you don’t realize you needed anything added. While I miss my Poppa and Momma like you can’t believe, I have such a rich life in Gunther City.

Novel PASTimes: Do you like yourself?

Minnie: *Pauses* I grew up thinking I was a freak, because I’m the spitting image of my poppa, who was a really big man.” *giggle* But when I moved to Gunther City . . .

Novel PASTimes: What, if anything, would you like to change about your life?

Minnie: Hmm. There was a day when I could have given you a laundry list of things, but now. . . I can’t think of a thing.

Novel PASTimes: How are you viewed by others?

Minnie: *shakes head slowly* I’d have to let others answer that question. I know that I take after my poppa and I’m a really tall woman, which surprises people when they first meet me. I’d like to think, once people get past my size, they think I’m a good person. I’m good at working iron and I’d like to think, because I’m a woman, I can make simple iron work into a prettier thing, which other women like to have. For example. I can take an iron rod, and with just the right manipulation, I can peal it like a banana, so to speak, and make a rose. I then attach those roses to fences and lamp posts. The women love that accessory in the design of a simple thing like a gate.

Novel PASTimes: How much self-control do you have?

Minnie: *hangs head* I’ve been know to lose my temper. But, most of the time, because of my size, I can just stand tall and put my hands on my hips, and people will back down.

Novel PASTimes: Fears?

Minnie: Oh gosh. Being alone. Again, I grew up being called horrible things for my height and girth, I guess my biggest fear is being completely different and not having a place where I fit in.

Novel PASTimes: What is your favorite food and drink?

Minnie: My momma made such a delicious, melt-in-your mouth dumpling. When you add them to a meat stew…Oh my, it’s absolutely my favorite. Mrs. Forrest makes an amazing lemonade that I find I crave.

Novel PASTimes: What is your favorite book?

Minnie: Oh listen, I’ll read anything, but I especially enjoy Dixie’s books that she brought from Maine. They are adventurous, and romantic, and fun to read.

Novel PASTimes: What would a great gift for you be?

Minnie: Hmm. . . I appreciate anything someone wants to take the time to make for me.

Novel PASTimes: When are you happy?

Minnie: *Smiles* It wouldn’t be ladylike to tell you that.

Novel PASTimes: What makes you angry?

Minnie: injustice

Novel PASTimes: What makes you laugh?

Minnie: Dixie’s dachshund, Mr. Darcy. There’s nothing he can’t manage to get into.

Novel PASTimes: What’s the worst thing you have ever done to someone and why?

Minnie: Hmm. Once I told Helen Baird my momma made a better tasting bread than her momma. It was the truth, but I said it to hurt Helen cause she’d told me I should be in the circus. It wasn’t kind of me to say it.” *hangs head* “But she deserved it and it was the truth.”

Novel PASTimes: Biggest trauma

Minnie: My momma died when I was ten years old. It was the most. . . I just can’t talk about it.

Novel PASTimes: Do you have a secret?

Minnie: In my story I have a secret.” *looks at author and nods* “I snuck down to the blacksmith’s shop at night and completed the jobs that Samuel was so far behind on, because he had been badly injured and couldn’t get out of bed for many weeks. People don’t think a woman can do such strenuous work, and so I had to do it in secret. I didn’t expect Samuel to accept me doing such a thing. I was terrified how he’d react, but I couldn’t stand to see all that work piling up.

Novel PASTimes: What do you like best about the other main characters in your book?

Minnie: I told you Dixie is my favorite person. She’s just such a hoot. Her and that dog, Mr. Darcy! *laughs* They get into more trouble.

Novel PASTimes: What do you like least about the other main characters in your book?

Minnie: Well, I don’t like to speak bad about people, but Helen Baird. . . well, she’s go a long way to go to become a kinder person. That’s all I can say.

Novel PASTimes: Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you

Minnie: Because of my big feet, I have to order men’s boots. My seamstress had to order extra yardage. But the most embarrassing thing is when I walk up or, especially, down stairs I have to turn sideways. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve lost my footing and either fell down the stairs on my back side, or knocked my self silly, hitting my head on the header above the staircase.”

Quick facts:

Physical appearance:

Eyes: Brown

Hair: Mousy brown

Voice: I have a deep voice for a woman, I suppose it’s because I’m big like my poppa.

Right- or left-handed? right-handed

Parents: Eugene and Annie Smith

Siblings: none

Places lived: Portland, Maine

Jobs: Blacksmith’s apprentice

Thanks for sharing with us today, Minnie. If you would like to find out all about Minnie’s journey, get her story on Amazon.

LD photoLynn Donovan spends her days chasing after her muses, trying to get them to settle down and behave long enough to write down their words and actions. The results are numerous novels, anthologies, and short stories.

Lynn enjoys reading and writing all kinds of fiction, paranormal, speculative, contemporary romance, and time travel. You never know what her muses will come up with for a story, so you could see a novel under any given genre. All that can be said is keep your eyes open, because these muses are not sitting still for long!

You can check out Lynn’s Blog or visit her on her Facebook or Amazon pages to find out what she is working on currently.

 

Interview with Amelie Leclaire and Pierre Girald from The Oregon Pursuit by Jenna Brandt

The Oregon Pursuit1

Novel PASTimes: If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?

Amelie: I can’t imagine such a luxury since my parents died. I would love to go into Oregon City and pick out some new clothes.

Pierre  winks: You mean a regular day for me. I am kidding. I do have some responsibilities. I usually go out for the evening with friends after I handle my business affairs. *He turns to Amelie* By the way, I can take you into Oregon City any time you like and make that happen.

Novel PASTimes: What’s your idea of a good marriage?

Amelie: Both the man and woman have the same ideas and beliefs and they need to respect one another, allowing each to be their own person.

Pierre: Finding someone who makes you happy and you love them not despite their flaws but because of them.

Novel PASTimes: What are you most proud of about your life?

Amelie: I’ve been able to take care of my younger sister after our parents’ deaths.

Pierre: I’ve done my best to protect the people I love.

Novel PASTimes: What are you most ashamed of in your life?

Amelie: I refused to accept help from those who offered and I ended up putting myself in a dangerous situation because of it.

Pierre: I refused to see the reason why the two women I loved in my life both picked God over me.

Novel PASTimes: What do you believe about God?

Amelie: He is always there for me. His strength and love is what got me through the loss of my parents.

Pierre: I was raised without God. I continued on that road until I met Amelie Leclaire. She showed the power of God’s love and mercy.

Amelie blushes: You flatter me. I’m glad to see the changes in your heart.

Novel Pastimes: Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done?

Amelie: I want to travel to France one day and see where my parents came from as well as sample French cuisine.

Pierre: Since Amelie wants to go to France, I would love to take her there. I can’t help giving her whatever she wants.

Amelie: I have to admit, he loves to spoil me.

Novel PASTimes: What’s the worst thing that’s happened in your life? What did you learn from it?

Amelie: Both my parents died in a tragic accident. I learned to lean on God as well as the friends God placed in my life.

Pierre: I lost the woman I thought I loved to another man. I learned that what we consider an awful turn of events often can be a blessing in disguise. If I had ended up with Margaret, I never would have met Amelie. She is the true love of my life.

Novel PASTimes: Tell me about your best friend.

Amelie: Debbey McCoy is funny, loyal and a good Christian. She had been my friend since as far back as I can remember. Her father is the pastor of West Linn’s only church.

Pierre: William Almonbury speaks his mind, loves adventure and thinks he’s witty, but between you and me, he’s not as funny as he thinks. However, he is a good and loyal friend.

Novel PASTimes: What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone? Why?

Amelie: I judged someone before I knew them. I thought all the women who worked at the local saloon where disreputable women but due to circumstances, I ended up working with them. As I got to know the women, I realized I was wrong. Just because you have to do certain things to survive doesn’t make you a bad person.

Pierre: I belittled their beliefs. I didn’t understand why they were so important to them and instead of asking why, I just avoided it.

Novel PASTimes: Describe your ideal mate.

Amelie: I’m drawn to tall, dark haired men with a handsome smile. He has to enjoy my independent nature and love the Lord as much as me.

Pierre: *He looks at Amelie* I am glad to fit your description. For me, I love a smart and loyal woman. I also tend to be drawn to when with strong faith and gumption. Physically, I don’t really have a type but after meeting Amelie, I would say my favorite combination is golden brown hair with blue eyes.

Novel PASTimes: What are you most afraid of?

Amelie: My aunt will take my sister, Elise, back to Paris with her if I can’t manage to take care of her.

Pierre: Failing the people I love.

Novel PASTimes: What do you like best about yourself? Least?

Amelie: I like that I am loyal to my friends and family. I wish I could stand up for myself, especially with my aunt.

Pierre: I like my protective nature. I wish I was better at accepting rejection.

Novel PASTimes: One last thing. Will you share an excerpt and blurb from your book The Oregon Pursuit as well as a buying link?

Blurb:

Surrender to destiny: a window to heart opens, when one door closes.

The Oregon Pursuit (Book 4) After Amelie Leclaire’s parents pass away in a tragic accident, she must return home to West Linn, Oregon to take over the family bakery. Amelie was training to be a midwife but must give up her plans in an attempt to provide a stable life for her younger sister. Pierre Girald, the Vidame of Demoulin, is traveling to West Linn on business. A chance meeting at the bakery and Pierre is instantly intrigued by the alluring Miss Leclaire, she on the other hand, is less impressed until she gets to know him. Through many trials and setbacks, will the couple be able to form a lasting relationship or will his past and her financial problems put an end to their potential?

Window to the Heart Saga: a recountal of the trials, adventures and relationships of the family and friends of Lady Margaret. The first three books detail her journey and book four focuses on the cousin of her best friend. The series has compelling themes of love, loss, faith and hope with a supremely gratifying conclusion in book 3 and 4.

Exceptionally sincere and wondrously engaging, The Oregon Pursuit shows the journey between letting go of a troubled past and finding new hope.

This book can be read on its own as a stand alone book or as part of the series.

Excerpt:

“I am glad you allowed me to take you to dinner tonight, Amelie.”

“I am glad you asked me to join you.”

“You have no idea how badly I want to lean down and kiss you right now, but with your aunt sitting in the carriage watching us, I will abstain. I do not want our first kiss to be a spectacle for others.”

“How considerate of you, but how do you know I would let you kiss me in the first place?”

He gently let his hand travel along the length of her upper arm and felt her skin prickle under his touch. “Because if this happens when I touch you,  I know you want to know what will happen, as much as I do, when we kiss.”

If we kiss,” Amelie corrected, with a playful smile.

“Oh, I am certain, mon étoile, it will happen. It is only a matter of when,” he stated as he moved towards her, as close as proper etiquette would permit, “and how.”

Amelie looked up into his eyes through her bounty of thick, dark lashes, and Pierre felt himself go weak in the knees. This woman had an effect on him unlike anything he had ever encountered. Every time he thought he had the upper-hand, she managed to cause him to become off kilter again.

You can buy The Oregon Pursuit on Amazon

About the Author:

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Jenna Brandt would love for you to follow her on Amazon. Just click the above follow button. She is a Christian historical fiction author and her books span from the Victorian to Western to WWI eras with elements of romance, suspense and faith. You can find out more about her any time at http://www.jennabrandt.com and sign up for her newsletter.

She has been an avid reader since she could hold a book and started writing stories almost as early. Jenna has been published in several newspapers as well as edited for multiple papers and graduated with her BA in English from Bethany College where she was the Editor-in-Chief of her college newspaper. She’s an on-going contributor for The Mighty Website and her first Blog was published on Yahoo Parenting and The Grief Toolbox as well as featured on the ABC News and Good Morning America websites.

Writing is her passion but she also enjoys cooking, watching movies, reading, engaging in social media and spending time with her three young daughters and husband where they live in the Central Valley of California. She’s active in her local church where she volunteers on their first impressions team as well as writes for the church’s creative team.

Visit Jenna on her Website, Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads