1. How did you come up with the title?
One of my favorite poems is Castes of Yellow by Viola Jacobson Berg inspired the title. The image of a dandelion viewed as a mere weed to be discarded--a weed tossed about on the wind--came to mind when I considered my main character, Maren Jensen, and the other women in the Saint Charles Quilting Circle. The life they'd known...before Maren came to America and the life the women knew before the Civil War was gone, leaving them feeling like Dandelions on the Wind.
2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Our value isn't based upon our circumstances, what we do or don't do, how we feel, how we see ourselves, or how others see us. Our true value is based upon who created us. You were fearfully and wonderfully made by God's own hand (Psalm 139:14). And He has a plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11).
3. How much of the book is realistic?
My goal is that the entire story is realistic. I love it when readers email me or post on my Facebook Mona Hodgson Author Page that they felt like they were actually strolling the boardwalk in Cripple Creek with one of the Sinclair Sisters in Two Brides Too Many or hearing the hiss of the steamboat on the shore of the Missouri River in Bending Toward the Sun. I strive to truthfully write fiction, which means I set my story characters in a real time and place with authentic goals, challenges, emotions, and journeys toward a deeper relationship with their God.
4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
I don't let myself go there. I do my best, thankful for all of the editors in the production process, and then I release the story with open hands and a heart full of gratitude, praying that my readers will be edified, and God be glorified.
5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Getting started, drawing all the characters onto the stage and getting to know them, and then having to let them go. That's why I write series. At least I get to live with a set of characters in a particular setting for three or four stories. It's also why you'll recognize a couple of the characters from The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series in The Quilted Heart Novellas.
6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
In every historical novel I write, I learn more about my favorite time period--the mid-1800's into the 1900's, more about what I didn't know I knew about human nature, and more about God's faithfulness. I have typed the end on eight works of historical fiction for WaterBrook Press now, and I always marvel at the thrill and power of story.
7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
In 1984 at a conference for police families, I met a real life writer. She interviewed my hubby and I for a magazine article. I remember sitting across the table from her, thinking, hmm, a writer. Very interesting.
8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have to name two: 1) Grace Livingston Hill because her stories reached out to me in high school and introduced me to Christian Romance. 2) Cathy Marie Hake is one of my favorite historical novelists. Her books, Fancy Pants and Whirlwind made me laugh and cry and sigh, teaching me much about humanity, writing, and the Providence of God.
9. Tell us your latest news.
I have four historical fiction stories releasing this year. All three eBook novellas in The Quilted Heart Series (Dandelions on the Wind, Bending Toward the Sun, and Ripples Along the Shore) this spring and the first novel in my Hearts Seeking Home Series releases August 6th.
10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I appreciate you! Thank you for spending time in my books and for meeting me here. If you have a love for Old West historical fiction that is true to the human experience and inspirational, I'd be honored if you'd connect with me on a more regular basis.
About the Book
When Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household.
But when Gabi’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren. Despite the failing eyesight that caused her suitor to reject her, she can see that Wooly desperately needs to reconnect with the family he abandoned when his grief sent him running toward the army—and into the Civil War. She also senses there could be something more between the widower and herself, if either can move beyond their past hurts.
Comforted and counseled by the wisdom of the women in her beloved quilting circle, Maren begins to discover the cost such decisions demand of her heart. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan? Is it too late for love to be stitched into the fabric of her life?
Prices/Formats: $1.99 ebook
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Buy Links: Amazon
About the Author
The author of nearly forty books, Mona Hodgson writes historical fiction for adults and picture books and readers for children. In 1987, Mona began writing articles, poems, and short stories for publication and has had several hundred printed in more than 50 different publications. Her publishing credits now include The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek historical fiction series, The Quilted Heart eBook novellas, nearly 30 children's books, and contributions to 11 books for adults.
Mona is a speaker for women's retreats, schools, educators and librarians, and at writers conferences throughout the United States and Canada. She holds professional memberships in Women Writing the West, American Christian Fiction Writers, Pikes Peak Writers Group, Romance Writers of America, Christian Authors Network, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.
What does Mona like to do when she's not writing? Picnic, read to kids, visit museums, play Wii Tennis, sink her toes into wet sand at the beach, retreat with her sisters, explore new places, gaze at sunsets and share lunch with a friend.
Links to Connect with Mona:
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