|Author Gabrielle Meyer|
Trixi is offering a #Giveaway of an autographed copy of
A MOTHER'S SECRET!
Gabrielle: I have always loved writing historical novels. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society and the Morrison County Historical Society, I fell in love with the amazing history right in my own backyard and dreamed of one day writing novels set in my hometown. I was able to write for Love Inspired Historical for a couple years, and told some of that history, but when the line closed, I was at a loss. There was still so much history to tell, but if I wanted to share it, I would have to do it through contemporary novels. One of the places in my hometown that has a wealth of history is called Linden Hill. It's a nine-acre estate on the banks of the Mississippi River and it was built by lumber barons in the 1890's. I knew I wanted to set my story there, so that's what initially sparked my idea. I used a lot of the original family's history as my hero's family history, and was able to share my love for architecture, as well. It was my writing friend, Erica Vetsch, who suggested that the hero and heroine would be "fighting" over the estate. They both wanted it, for their own reasons. Friends of ours are in the midst of doing foster care toward adoption, and that's what sparked my idea for the heroine. She is a foster mom, trying to keep a stable home for her children. She's living at the historic estate (which I renamed Bee Tree Hill) and the hero is her old boyfriend who shows up to sell the property, not knowing she's living there.
Trixi: One thing I learned from the back of the book, your family used to live in the carriage house of what's called Linden Hill aka Bee Tree Hill. I loved that you made it Chase's legacy and gave historical background about it in the story! Tell us more about your real life experiences.
Gabrielle: You're right! I did grow up at Linden Hill. Because of that, it holds a very, very special place in my heart. The last living family member, Laura Jane Musser, was in her eighties when she hired my dad to be the caretaker for the property and offered the carriage house for our family to live in. I was only three when we moved in, but I clearly remember the day, because it was so magical. The entire property is enclosed by fencing on three sides and the Mississippi River on the fourth and we had almost all of it as our backyard. Growing up at Linden Hill sparked my love for local history, as well as my love for the river, and almost every story I write has an important river in the setting. The amazing thing about the property is that it hasn't changed since I was little! I love taking my own kids there and showing them where I grew up.
Trixi: You wrote for the Historical line of Love Inspired before it closed down, how was the transition to contemporary? What do you like most about it?
Gabrielle: It took me over a year to wrap my head around writing contemporary! At first, I had no desire to step out of historical, but my editor told me several times that if I was interested, she'd love to see some ideas from me. To be honest, writing this story was one of my favorite experiences! I went without a book contract for eighteen months, and this was the first story I wrote after that time. I tell people it was like dancing in the rain after an eighteen-month drought! It was so much easier relating to these characters on a personal level, because I know what it's like to live in the modern world. It's a lot harder to relate to an English lady living in 1803! It also requires a lot less research, and I never once had to look up an etymology dictionary to see if a word was in use at the time of my story. There's a lot more freedom in writing a contemporary story, to be sure!
Thank you for hosting me on the blog! I appreciate all your support and encouragement.
YOU'RE SO WELCOME, GABRIELLE!
Readers, visit Gabrielle's home on the web and her Author Facebook Page
A mother will do anything to protect her children and that's exactly what Joy has done for her twin girls Kinsley and Harper for the past four years. Keeping them away from their father Chase Asher was an unfortunate result of his father's ruthless dominance of his life. She never told Chase about her pregnancy but when he literally shows up at her doorstep, the truth could tear them apart. Or could it build a life together stronger than before? Joy has her hands full with not only her gregarious twin girls but three rambunctious boys she's fostering. Living in Bee Tree Hill is a dream come true and the kind of stability this little family needs.
“When we make choices based on fear, we often make the wrong decision. It's the choices we make based on faith that really matter. But thank God that whatever the enemy intents for evil, God will use for good. Nothing has been broken that can't be fixed, Chase. Jesus was a carpenter. He's in the business of mending and repairing. ~page 170”
One other thing I loved about this story was that Gabrielle Meyer gives us true life history of Bee Tree Hill or what's called Linden Hill in real life; Chases family legacy. It really was built in the 1890's by lumber barons and the author's family lived in the carriage house just as Chase did. So she's very familiar with the nine acre property and the history behind it! Today it's used as a conference and retreat center and can be toured if you are ever in the area. She combines her love of history with a contemporary twist and it's a fantastic story to get lost in!
This is a hard book to put down once you start it, the author compels you to stay a while as you get caught up in Joy, Chase and the children's lives. You'll laugh and you'll cry, all while reflecting on what makes a family....love, affection, God in the center, and a lifetime of someone by your side helping you along the way.
*I received a complimentary copy from the author and was under no obligation to leave a favorable review. All opinions are my own. *
For those of you who prefer to avoid Rafflecopter, our giveaway today is based on your comments.
Please let us know in the comments if you'd like to be in the drawing (Continental U.S. only, ends March 5 at midnight EST). Tell us:
1) what area or small town would you choose for a 'home town' romance?
2) do you read more historical or contemporary stories or a balance of both?
Her home is at stake…and her first love holds the key.
Joy Gordon’s life is far from perfect. The lavish house she lives in with her children was loaned to her by a wealthy philanthropist—and his death means she has to give up her home. To satisfy his controlling father, Chase Asher must take his great-uncle’s property from the woman he once loved…but what will he do when he learns he fathered Joy’s twins?
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