My Relationship with Christian Historical Romance

Every once in a while I read a Christian historical romance. The lack of heat sort of cleanses my pallet. In order to hold my interest the book has to have strong well-developed and relatable characters as well as a solid plot.

Why do I not read more than a few each year? Often my issue with Christian romance lies in the Christian aspect. While I am a Christian I do not like to be preached to and I have found that many Christa stories come across like a sermon at church. Eek.

I know that some readers like this aspect. As an author I also know that it is impossible to please everyone. At one point I had considered writing Christian historical romance. For any of you who have read my current romance titles don’t laugh. I can’t write clean and sweet. I just don’t think I could work in the Christian aspect well.

The latest Christian historical romance I’ve read is The Unlikely Wife by Debra Ullrick. I give it 5 stars because all the characters were well-developed (including flaws) and were relatable. The historical aspect of mail order brides and life in Idaho Territory was well done and well the writing was stellar. I never really felt preached to and the Christian aspect seemed to be woven naturally into the story instead of forced. If you are looking for a good Christian historical romance to read I recommend this one. I will be checking out more of Debra’s titles in the future. I have discovered it is book #2 in the Bowen series. I did not realize this when I checked it out from the library. I better read book #1.

The Unlikely Wife Blurb:

The arrival of Michael Bowen’s bride, married sight unseen by proxy, sends the rancher reeling. With her trousers, cowboy hat and rifle, she looks like a female outlaw—not the genteel lady he corresponded with for months. He’s been hoodwinked into marriage with the wrong woman!

Selina Farleigh Bowen loved Michael’s letters, even if she couldn’t read them herself. A friend read them to her, and wrote her replies—but apparently that “friend” left things out, like Michael’s dream of a wife who was nothing like her. Selina won’t change who she is, not even for the man she loves. Yet time might show Michael the true value of his unlikely wife.

New Release: Midnight Kiss

It is release day! Today Midnight Kiss, Moonlight Romance Book 3 is now available from ebook retailers. I’m really excited to continue the Moonlight Romance series. I feel blessed that the series has been so well received by readers. African American and Interracial historical romance is a small niche, but thankfully it is growing.

Blurb:

Midnight Kiss-CoverUnjustly accused of stealing, nanny April Windmire is turned out on the streets without pay. With no place to go and no friends, she stows away on a Mississippi River steamboat. Her hopes to hide through the journey to St. Louis are dashed when a handsome white officer finds her. But instead of turning her in, he takes her to his private quarters where she fights her growing attraction to a man she cannot have.

Matt Seever’s wife died four year ago, leaving him alone with two small mulatto children. But his job as an officer on the Queen Bee isn’t family friendly. He knows he needs a new wife, but no southern white woman will marry him. When April lands in his lap, his prayers are answered. Or are they? April’s not the trusting type and racial prejudice runs deep in post-Civil War Missouri. Just when Matt convinces April he loves her, his new family becomes a target and there’s no backing down from this fight.

Together, April and Matt must brave heinous race prejudice crimes to find an enduring love.

Review and Giveaway:

Check  out Sarah’s review of Midnight Kiss and comment to enter the giveaway for a copy of my latest release.

Buy Links:

Liquid Silver Books

Amazon

Amazon UK

ARe

Does Classical Music Jump-start the Brain?

I usually listen to music when I write only if I’m trying to inspire my muse. While I can’t write in complete silence I easily tune out the noises around me whether it is the TV, radio or people talking at the table next to me in the coffee shop.

Yesterday evening after a long day of housework, yard work, and a hike I went to the last city symphony of the season. The theme was songs inspired by Shakespeare. That piqued the interest of the romance author in me. Despite being tired, I really enjoyed the music. In fact, it was my favorite symphony concert I’ve been to. I was surprised when I came home rejuvenated and full of creativity. It got me thinking did the classical music jump-start my brain?

You have probably heard of the Mozart effect. It’s the idea that if children or even babies listen to music composed by Mozart they will become more intelligent. The phrase “the Mozart effect” was coined in 1991 and about that time when I was in elementary school it became school policy to start the day by having the students listen to classical music. I’m not sure if it helped me focus then but it does have a calming and stimulating effect.

The classical music study was actually done on young adults and not children which makes me think that the benefits of listening to classical music could reach past childhood into adulthood. Unfortunately, according to the study, the benefits only lasted for 15 minutes. On the positive side don’t we only need 15 minutes of good productivity to get something done or get us going in the right direction?

By the way, you can learn more about the study here if you are interested.

I was so inspired by the symphony that I have decided to listen to classical music before I start writing on my next work in progress. I’ll let you know if I think it helped.

Lovely Review of Midnight Caller and Giveaways

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Do you know how to make an author’s day? Write a lovely review of one of their books. Today Sarah from Sarah Says Read Romance has made my day. I have to admit when she confided in me that she wasn’t a big fan of historical romance I got a little nervous.

This is an excerpt from the review:

“I really have to be a in certain type of mood to read historical romances because I have remember that the times have changed.  However, this one caught my attention and kept it through out the whole story.  As a matter of fact, I told Erin that she may enjoy it to, since she is usually our historical romance reviewer.”

Whew. Now in my  opinion that’s big praise!

If you want you can read the full review.

Also, Sarah is hosting a giveaway. GIVEAWAY: Haley Whitehall is giving a copy of Midnight Caller to one lucky commenter who leaves the title and link to your favorite interracial or African American story.  Please make sure she can contact you by providing your email.

*I have a secret*

Also, Sarah wanted to read the rest of the Moonlight Romance series. You may see her review of Midnight Heat on her blog tomorrow and her review of Midnight Kiss on Monday. Each review will come with a giveaway!

Where did the historical fiction go?

Did that blog title get your attention?

The past few months I have been writing historical romance. There is something rewarding about bringing two characters together who are perfect for each other and ensuring they have a happy ending. I switched to writing historical romance for a variety of reasons. With a lot of stress and family obligations in my life my emotions were running high. The happily-ever-after in a romance story cheered me up, and writing romance did not take as much brain power as writing straight historical fiction.

Now the stress in my life is fading and I want to return to my roots. Straight historical fiction is my first love. It will always be. I have a history degree and love spending hours scouring through books and journals and researching on the Internet. I know, I’m odd.

It is hard to believe the last straight historical fiction I have written was Brother Against Brother: A Collection of Civil War Short Stories. I have been working on those short stories off and on for a long time and I finally published them in January.

CW Cover w-text

I have many partial historical fiction WIPs and ideas. I haven’t decided which historical fiction story I am going to work on next. I’ve had readers asking me when Plantation Shadows, Book 2 is going to be released. I can’t believe I published Grits and Glory in 2012 and it is now 2014! I think some readers have given up on ever learning the rest of Peter’s story and I feel really bad about that.

I plan to ease back into the realm of straight historical fiction slowly. I have a few short story and novella ideas and then I will dive into writing In Dixieland’s Grasp (Plantation Shadows, Book 2). I want to be in top form when I finish Peter’s story. :)

New #HistoricalFiction #Tribes on @Triberr

I’m new to Triberr. Okay, for those of you who have been with me for a long time I joined Triberr two years ago when it was just getting started, but I got frustrated with it and gave up. A friend of mine persuaded me to try it again and promised me they had ironed out all the bugs and it was now user-friendly. I’m happy to say she was right. When I started to explore the new Triberr I was disappointed to see very few historical fiction tribes. So you know what I did? I decided to make my own.

I made two tribes. Feel free to join one or both if you feel inclined. I want to build up both of these tribes to grow the historical fiction and historical romance communities. We have our groups on Goodreads and Facebook. We need a place to connect on Triberr too.

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LIGHT ON HISTORY

A tribe for historical fiction authors and readers to connect and share their mutual interest in history. Any form of historical fiction is welcome… alternative history, historical fantasy, historical romance, steampunk etc.

Link to Join: http://triberr.com/pages/tribe-overview.php?tid=19039

HISTORICAL ROMANCE AUTHORS

Okay so I didn’t write a description for this tribe. I think it is self-explanatory. ;)

Link to Join: http://triberr.com/pages/tribe-details.php?tribe=51416

I hope to connect with you on Triberr soon!

By the way, Triberr profile is: http://triberr.com/HaleyWhitehall

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Get to Know the Heroine of Soldier in Her Lap #CivilWar #Romance

Depositphotos_9010011_originalReading through Civil War diaries and letters one thing continually amazes me: how strong the people were back then. Union and Confederate soldiers faced the dangers on the battlefield and hardships of army life bravely. Both Northern and Southern womenfolk endured having their sons, brothers and fathers gone off to war. They had to take on more responsibilities with the men away.

I know from experience that it is human nature to rise to a challenge. I often wonder how I would have fared had I lived during this trying era.

I did try to put a lot of myself in Sophia Carpenter. She probably has more of my traits and personality than any other heroine I have written so far. I guess it was an exercise of trying to put myself in her shoes.

Sophia is a strong heroine. She had a rough life. After her mama dies she takes care of her alcoholic father and works their dirt farm alone. She does what she needs to do in order to survive. Her mama told her the story of Cinderella when she was little and she fell in love with the story instantly thinking of herself as Cinderella.

In Soldier in Her Lap Sophia Carpenter’s life collides unexpectedly with that of Confederate soldier Lucas Grady. He doesn’t look like prince charming in his bloody uniform but together they have a shot at a happily ever after.

Learn more about Sophia Carpenter, her thoughts about Lucas and more in this character interview. Diane Saxon asks all the good questions including having her describe her first kiss!