Categories
Author Interviews

A Chat with CAN President Angela Breidenbach

Author and genealogist, Angela Breidenbach
CAN President Angela Breidenbach

February greetings from Marti Pieper, who is grateful to have had both power and water throughout this chilly month! I’m also grateful to reintroduce a familiar face to our CAN readers today. It belongs to our multitalented president, Angela Breidenbach. I first met Angie when we were both teaching at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference. I then had the privilege of working closely with her on the CAN newsletter for several years. I know you’ll enjoy learning more about her and her books.

Welcome, Angie! I’m so glad you’re with us today. Please tell us about your latest book.

The Mail-Order Standoff: Marriage plans put on hold in the Old West when four mail-order brides have second thoughts. How will their grooms win their trust?

This four-in-one book includes Right on Time by Angela Breidenbach. Could two people be less suited than an English gentleman and a Western gal who is used to giving the orders? From the wild Montana Territory to the refined Kentucky horse farms, can Timothy prove worthy of Tara’s heart?

Do you have an unfulfilled dream?

The Mail-Order Standoff
The Mail-Order Standoff by Angela Breidenbach and others

I do, but I’m constantly working toward them. Them—because as I achieve one, I move to the next on my list. Oh yes, I have a long list. Currently I’m close to graduating with my genealogical studies degree and specialty in English records. I’d like to add more specialties (halfway to Scottish records already) and take small professional tours on genealogical research visits to Scotland, England, and other countries. I’m also working toward having my screenplays produced on TV and big screen. I dream of writing movies that touch lives and of leaving a body of work. I’d also like to have an endless lap pool someday inside a heated sunroom. Why not, right? Who wants to walk out in the snow to swim? Some very big stretch dreams.

Especially when you live in Montana, as I know you do! What talents do you have aside from storytelling?

Music. I love singing and am learning the harp. I hope to use both of those talents in church and music therapy. I also really enjoy teaching/speaking on genealogy, writing, and historical topics.

You amaze me with all you fit into a day! Do you have a “day job” or a previous career? Does it influence what or how you write?

I’ve had a variety of jobs from airlines to radio to heating company co-owner (still am, but no longer in the day-to-day). Every job I’ve had informs my writing as I create characters. Once I’m finished with my last few genealogy classes, I’ll take genealogy projects for clients starting late summer/fall 2021.

Anyone who follows you on social media knows the answer to this one: Do you have pets, and do they inspire your writing or hinder it?

Muse, my fe-lion executive assistant, inspires a lot of humor. I share our Muse and Writer conversations on social media and my website. He also inspired An A-Muse-ing 2021 Calendar. We hope to work together more this year to produce A-Muse-ing Tales series in the genre of cat comedy.

Sounds purrfect! What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?

Themes are a little harder to define because they’re not as interesting as the story world that reveals the deeper meaning. But the themes I tend toward are unique life experiences that reveal our life purpose and overcoming. For instance, I’ve written nonfiction in story form that deal with one specific characteristic like becoming a confident woman in Gems of Wisdom: The Treasure of Experience, and I’ve taken that same thing and built it into a character’s sense of not being good enough in the historical romance Right On Time (Mail-Order Standoff).

What is one thing about writing that you wish non-writers knew?

Writing is telling stories whether fiction, nonfiction, articles, screenwriting. The biggest thing to me is that as a writer, I don’t read one genre or write only one genre because I’m interested in so many different things. As much as the industry tries to box writers into brands, and we have to establish that for readers, but my writing interests are hugely varied.

I understand that well! What inspired you to write this book?

I love following obscure historical tidbits, then setting characters into those interesting events. This one is in 1883, the year my own grandfather was born. The time zones, as we know them today, did not exist. Train crashes killed thousands of people because clocks and watches were set to the sun at high noon at the nearest town. I was fascinated by how something so mundane and normal today changed the entire world my grandfather was born into. I wondered how something that seemed so small might actually have caused a huge shift in societal life. What would that be like? How would that affect families? Business? I was stunned how long it took for the time zones to be normalized, but how it immediately saved lives. Some of the smallest decisions have the biggest impact.

And what do you hope readers will take away from this book?

Change, though scary in the expectation, becomes an amazing opportunity. Change in hindsight becomes normal, and fear disappears as that change becomes normal life. Each time we conquer the fear of change, we gain confidence.

So true. So what was your greatest challenge in writing this book?

I’ve been in college for that genealogy degree. Writing while in college, while speaking at conferences, and while caring for my family was really an adventure in pushing myself and my capabilities.

And I know you did it with excellence. Please tell us about your next project.

Coming this summer, I’m excited to release my Queen of the Rockies series. It’s set in Helena, Montana, starting in 1889. Helena was a very modern and beautiful city in what was considered the wild west. I love this gorgeous series full of vivid characters and real history.

Muse and Writer will also release A-Muse-ing Tales, book 1, cat comedy for the whole family in time for Christmas.

Marti Pieper
Marti Pieper

To learn more about Angela Breidenbach, visit Angie’s website or Angie’s blog.

For His glory,

Marti Pieper

Marti’s website

Categories
Author Interviews

A Chat with Author Sarah Sundin

Davalynn Spencer here, pleased to introduce you to our regular host today, Sarah Sundin. It’s her turn for the spotlight, and what a light it is for her new book, When Twilight Breaks.

Sarah, tell us a little about this book.

Munich, 1938—Evelyn Brand is an American foreign correspondent determined to expose the tyranny in Nazi Germany. After brutality hits close, American graduate student Peter Lang uses his connections in the Nazi Party to feed information to Evelyn, pulling them deeper into danger as the world marches toward war.

Your titles are always so intriguing, drawing us into the lives of people impacted by WW2. What inspired you to write this particular book in your collection?

When we visited Ellis Island several years ago, I fed family names into their computer. I found a record of my grandfather’s trip from Hamburg back to New York after his junior year abroad in Munich. In 1936. I knew he’d studied in Germany—he was a professor of German—but it had never occurred to me that he’d studied in Nazi Germany. My novelist brain got to spinning. What was it like for Americans living in Hitler’s Germany? And—of course—what sort of trouble could I get my characters in?

Categories
Book reviews

Book Review: His Gift

His Gift by Joan C. Benson
His Gift by Joan C. Benson

We shared reviews of His Gift on October 10, 2020 and December 5, 2020, and here’s another review for this terrific novel!

His Gift: This historical novel is suitable for all ages, but the main character is in her late teens. This book is written to appeal to the YA audience, the NA audience, and every adult who has ever cared to dream.

Brace yourself for a thrilling race with twists and turns as a young woman is determined to see her dream come true. On the cusp of the stock market crash of 1929, seventeen-year-old Molly has aspirations for a career in music after high school. With the passion of an athlete preparing for the Olympics, she trains relentlessly to become the best she can be.

As her world collapses in unimaginable ways, she is left to find peace and purpose in the midst of her crisis. The message of His Gift is universal to anyone who has ever dared to dream in spite of uncontrollable circumstances. With Molly, the reader will discover the hope and peace found in a life yielded to the Giver of all gifts.

Review of His Gift by Elaine Johnson:

In life, it is easy for us to set goals that we think will bring us a touch of fame, fortune, or celebrity. Our thoughts may have developed from experiences with childhood recognition or a parent’s prodding, but sometimes it arises from an inner longing to develop a natural gift because of the innate satisfaction it brings. Such was the case with Molly, the 17-year-old protagonist of His Gift. Because of her musical ability, her desire to play professionally became a driving force, and she pursued her goal with determination and perseverance. However, when the opportunity came that would catapult her into a professional career, unforeseeable obstacles threatened her dream. The Great Depression had personal consequences she never imagined.

Readers may be able to relate to Molly as they recall their childhood visions of playing football in the NFL, competing in gymnastics at the Olympics, or having their art work hung in prestigious galleries. But few childhood dreams contain the resolve we see in Molly. Her faith in God carries her through her difficulties, though she doesn’t understand how God is working in her life. Many of us have shared that confusion during the pandemic of 2020. How can God allow these circumstances you may have wondered?

Benson’s research into this time period stays true to history, and opens our eyes to the struggles many endured in the 1930s. Her impeccable attention to details would bring a smile to my face, sometimes bringing my own past to mind.

Molly’s courage waffles up and down as she faces her challenges. At last, Molly relinquishes her grip on what she believed was hers and releases it to God’s Sovereignty. She begins to understand that His Gift was not given for Molly’s individual fame or fortune, but for God’s honor and glory. This lesson is for all of us. When we stop trying to do things our way and actively live according to His plan, then we will find deep joy, peace, and contentment.

~ Elaine Johnson, M.S. Education

* * *

Joan C. Benson, Author
Joan C. Benson, Author

Joan Benson is a freelance writer, a former (K-8) classroom teacher and reading specialist, and a wife a mother of four adult children. She enjoys traveling to spend time with her eight cherished grandchildren who live in various parts of the nation. Joan has produced devotional materials for CBN.com, written numerous magazine articles (most recently for LifeWay’s ParentLife and Regent University’s The Christian Leader). She developed children’s Sunday School curriculum for over twelve years for LifeWay. In addition, Joan continues to write for an array of educational publishers (K-12), developing both teacher and student facing materials, including fiction, nonfiction, and assessments. Joan’s debut historical novel, His Gift, was released in July 2020. Joan and her husband, Jan, live in Chesapeake, VA, with their two Bichon Frisé pets.

Categories
New Releases

NEW RELEASE – Reagan’s Reward by Susan G Mathis

Reagans Reward Book Cover
Reagan’s Reward

Title: Reagan’s Reward
Author: Susan G Mathis
Genre: Historical
Publisher: smWordWorks

ISBN-13: 978-0692686645

About the book:

It’s 1912. Reagan Kennedy assumes the position of governess to the Bernheim family’s twin nephews, and her life at Cherry Island’s Casa Blanca becomes frustratingly complicated. Service to a Jewish family when she is a Gentile and tending to eight-year-old, mischievous boys yields challenges galore.

Daniel Lovitz serves as the island’s caretaker and boatman. He tries to help the alluring Reagan make sense of her new world, but she calls into question his own faith background and forces him to face the hurts of his past. Then there’s the jealous lady’s maid who seems intent on wedging herself between them. Can he and Reagan ever find common ground on such a small island?

About the author:

Susan G. Mathis
Susan G. Mathis

Susan G Mathis is an award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Her first two books of The Thousand Islands Gilded Age series, Devyn’s Dilemma and Katelyn’s Choice are available now, and she’s working on book three. The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family LegacyChristmas Charity, and Sara’s Surprise are also available. Susan’s books have won numerous awards, including the Illumination Book Award, the American Fiction Award and the Indie Excellence Book Award. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com for more.

Categories
Author Interviews

A Chat with Author Marsha Hubler

Marsha Hubler
Marsha Hubler

Greetings from Sarah Sundin! Today I have the joy of interviewing novelist Marsha Hubler, who has turned her love of children and the Lord into a string of books for young people.

Marsha, please tell us about your new book, Tommi Pockets.

Thirteen-year-old “Pockets” Leland wants to be the first female world champion pool player. She also runs with a gang, is arrested, and meets her match in fiery “Captain Ar,” a Salvation Army counselor, who shares what’s really important: loving God and loving others. Does Pockets listen or does she continue in a downward spiral leading to more trouble in her young life?

Intriguing! What inspired you to write this book?

I have a passion to share the gospel in all my books so that my young readers know the truth that Jesus saves, and He can help everyone with any problem in their lives.

Categories
Author Interviews

A Chat with Author Tiffany Amber Stockton

Davalynn Spencer, Author
Davalynn Spencer

Welcome, readers. Davalynn Spencer here, warming by the wood stove as I wait for spring to arrive in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Please join me in welcoming author Tiffany Amber Stockton who will tell us about her featured book for today, A Grand Design.

Tiffany – thank you for joining us. Please give us the 50-word thumbnail for your book.

Tiffany Amber Stockton
Tiffany Amber Stockton

When Alyssa Denham and her best friend embark on a getaway to Mackinac Island, they also agree to help Alyssa’s grandmother piece together an heirloom quilt. Their quest unlocks amazing insight into her grandmother’s life … and attracts the attention of Scott Whitman, an island resident in charge of hotel transportation. Will memories of her past keep Alyssa from letting go, or will that past bring healing to her entire family?

Did you have specific reasons for writing this story?

My agent actually asked me to write it. She had been shopping a collection of proposals and book ideas from me when she heard about the Quilts of Love series from Abingdon Press. Although I had only written historical up to that point, she thought one of my stories would fit perfectly with this line . . . as long as I could weave in the story of a quilt and make that the focal point of the book. I’m often up for a challenge, so I agreed. After reworking the synopsis and sending it back to her, I waited to hear the publisher’s response. When it was accepted the next day, I considered that a pretty strong confirmation that this particular story needed to be told.

Categories
Devotional Encouragement

History Matters

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”—Sir Winston Churchill

Thousand Islands
Thousands Islands

History still matters today, and with all the revisionist history going around our world—in the media, popular culture, and even in our educational system—we need to be wise. As Churchill wisely warned us, we need to learn from history so we don’t repeat the failures of the past. The historical parts of the Bible are important for that reason. So is our own history.

We can learn so much from the people who lived before us. They shaped and were shaped by the events of their time, and so are we. We can find inspiration from people of the past, but we can also understand the world today if we take the time to connect the dots.

Unfortunately, the subject of history often becomes a list of dates and names so many have turned their backs on it. And that’s where historical fiction fills a void we desperately need filled today.

Historical fiction allows us to explore and experience history in a tangible way. We can catch glimpses of the past through the people who lived it. We can explore the human condition through the story and see history rather than just hear about it. That’s why dramas like Downton Abbey are so popular.

I love learning while being entertained with drama, whether in a novel, TV show, or movie. Moreover, studies prove that when we’re interested in something, like what will happen to our heroine in the novel we read, we’ll remember the historical details that surround it. Readers get to not only enjoy the character’s story but also learn from history, and that’s a win-win.

So whether you read about the kings of Israel, the days of Esther, or the Thousand Islands Gilded Age, never stop learning about history and applying it to your world. If we all did, we’d make a much better world for ourselves and for those who will come.

Katelyn's Choice
Katelyn’s Choice
Susan G. Mathis
Susan G. Mathis

Susan G. Mathis is vice president of Christian Authors Network and a multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in Upstate New York. Katelyn’s Choice,The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, and Christmas Charity will transport you to a time and place few have visited. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs, enjoys traveling globally with her husband, Dale, and relishes time with her four adorable granddaughters. Find out more at www.SusanGMathis.com.

 

 

Categories
New Releases

New Nonfiction Releases and a Wonderful Review!

Becky Harling
Becky Harling

Becky Harling has a new book releasing February 6th titled, Who Do You Say That I Am? This new Bible study considers the challenging questions Jesus asked and answers those question by considering His I Am statements. 

 

 

 

12 Ways to Experience More with Your Husband by Cindi McMenamin
12 Ways to Experience More with Your Husband by Cindi McMenamin

What do you do when your marriage isn’t broken, but it doesn’t seem to be growing, either? Noted author and speaker Cindi McMenamin shows you the small changes you can make to touch your husband’s heart in a big way in her Feb. 1 release from Harvest House Publishers:  12 Ways to Experience More with Your Husband. McMenamin, who has been married 30 years to a pastor and introvert, is hoping this book will help wives regain the joy and sparks they once experienced in their marriage. The book includes biblical insights, stories of marriages that have been transformed, and practical ways to recapture your husband’s heart.

 

 

 

**********

“Author Susan G Mathis did a wonderful job with this dual timeline novel, The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy. Beginning in 1851 Ireland, you could “see” what was happening. The family forced to make a difficult decision. You could “feel” the ship creaking and swaying on the sea. The fear and the hope were evident. Then in the modern day, you sensed Maggie’s desperation and witnessed her spiritual growth.

I thoroughly enjoyed the historical information that was woven throughout this book. Maybe because I have Irish ancestry it meant more, but it was all so well written that you were there. Despair turns to triumph as both women learn to trust and lean on God. If you enjoy historical fiction, or stories with Irish legacy, I highly recommend this book!” —V.B. Sluiter

Categories
New Releases

New Nonfiction Releases and a Wonderful Review!

Becky Harling
Becky Harling

Becky Harling has a new book releasing February 6th titled, Who Do You Say That I Am? This new Bible study considers the challenging questions Jesus asked and answers those question by considering His I Am statements. 

 

 

 

12 Ways to Experience More with Your Husband by Cindi McMenamin
12 Ways to Experience More with Your Husband by Cindi McMenamin

What do you do when your marriage isn’t broken, but it doesn’t seem to be growing, either? Noted author and speaker Cindi McMenamin shows you the small changes you can make to touch your husband’s heart in a big way in her Feb. 1 release from Harvest House Publishers:  12 Ways to Experience More with Your Husband. McMenamin, who has been married 30 years to a pastor and introvert, is hoping this book will help wives regain the joy and sparks they once experienced in their marriage. The book includes biblical insights, stories of marriages that have been transformed, and practical ways to recapture your husband’s heart.

 

 

 

**********

“Author Susan G Mathis did a wonderful job with this dual timeline novel, The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy. Beginning in 1851 Ireland, you could “see” what was happening. The family forced to make a difficult decision. You could “feel” the ship creaking and swaying on the sea. The fear and the hope were evident. Then in the modern day, you sensed Maggie’s desperation and witnessed her spiritual growth.

I thoroughly enjoyed the historical information that was woven throughout this book. Maybe because I have Irish ancestry it meant more, but it was all so well written that you were there. Despair turns to triumph as both women learn to trust and lean on God. If you enjoy historical fiction, or stories with Irish legacy, I highly recommend this book!” —V.B. Sluiter

Categories
New Releases

My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily’s Dilemma by Andrea Boeshaar

My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley:

Lily’s Dilemma

by Andrea Boeshaar

Barbour Publishing

Release date: September 1, 2017

ISBN-10: 1683222229

ISBN-13: 978-1683222224

About the book: 

Journey into Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley of 1816 where a woman’s dreams and future happiness are on the line. Lily Laughlin is forced to make the impossible choice between a loveless marriage with a man twice her age or the man who has shown her what true love could be. How can she choose between love and economic security? Her family is depending on her. Is her heart destined to break?

About the author: 

Andrea Boeshaar
Andrea Boeshaar

Andrea Boeshaar has been married for nearly 40 years. She and her husband have 3 wonderful sons, 1 beautiful daughter-in-law, and 5 precious grandchildren. Andrea’s publishing career began in 1994. Since then, 31 of her books have gone to press. Back in the year 2000, Andrea cofounded ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and served on its Advisory Board for a number of years. Presently, Andrea is a member of her local ACFW chapter. She also serves as the secretary for the CAN organization (Christian Authors Network). In 2007, Andrea earned her certification in Christian Life Coaching and she’s now the co-president of the newly-founded Steeple View Ministries, a world-wide organization focused on eradicating illiteracy.

For more information, log onto her website: www.andreaboeshaar.com