|Author Bonnie Leon|
See Paula's review below and find out how to win ONE HUNDRED VALLEYS!
Paula: Was it easy to get back into writing after your absence?
Bonnie: It was difficult. After discovering I am losing my vision I decided to retire, and then both my sister and my mother died within a six week span. I lingered for a long while in my grief.
When I decided it was time to get back to work (because I could still see, kind of) I had to shake off my grief, at least during my working hours. Some of what Emmalin suffered in the book was similar to my personal experience, and walking through her journey was cathartic for me.
Although I’ve been writing for many years getting back into a daily rhythm was a surprising challenge. I’m still working on it but gaining ground.
I am grateful to be writing again. It’s good for my soul. My life is richer and more meaningful when I’m writing.
Paula: Where did the idea for your new setting come from?
Bonnie: I’d like to say that I had a compelling reason for choosing Southern Oregon, but that’s not true. I’ve lived in the Umpqua Valley region for forty years and have never written about it, and I decided it was time. The depth of the story came as I developed the plot and the characters. Discovering what the book would say continued into final edits.
Paula: So, you've been to the area of Oregon where your town of Deer Creek is!
Bonnie: Yes. I’ve lived in the Land of One Hundred Valleys for forty years. The present town of Roseburg was originally called Deer Creek, the setting for my story. I love Southern Oregon and would never want to live anywhere else. Even after all of these years I am still moved by the beauty—deep valleys, rolling hills, forests and mountains, wild rivers—it’s magnificent. And I get to live in the midst of it all. For me, there is no better place.
Paula: What surprised you most about Emmalin?
Bonnie: I was disappointed in her attitude toward the natives. She had no factual concept about who they were. She trusted in newspaper reports, books, and conversations among people who knew little more than she did. And for a long while she was inflexible in her beliefs. But Emmalin wasn’t hard-hearted and in time she came to understand what was true about the Umpqua Indians.
Paula: The cover of One Hundred Valleys is stunning. How much input did you have in its creation?
Bonnie: I love the cover. WhiteFire Publishing allowed me a great deal of input. They are very easy to work with.
When Roseanna White began developing the cover, she asked if I had anything that would be of help. I sent off photos of the main characters as well as pictures I’d taken of the beautiful countryside here in Oregon, and the North Umpqua River. Roseanna’s first draft of the cover was stunning, but I was still able to offer insight into what Emmalin might have been wearing and some of the cover background. At each phase Roseanna asked for my opinions and ideas. When we had what we thought were acceptable cover options, I held a contest on my Facebook author page. We received a great deal of insight and ideas from my followers, and we paid attention.
In the end, even with all the input, the gorgeous presentation of my book is about Roseanna. She’s the one who pulled it all together.
Paula: What are you planning for your next book?
Bonnie: I have a contemporary romance in the works, but when I’d finished writing One Hundred Valleys I didn’t feel finished with the story. I want to spend more time with Enmalin and Jacob and see what happens to them. And I love the community of Deer Creek and would truly enjoy spending more time there. I am considering writing a sequel.
Paula: Great news! How has the present pandemic affected your publishing life?
Bonnie: It has made launching my book more difficult. It’s been hard to stay focused. My mind wanders often to the darkness of the world. I will be thankful when Covid 19 has run its course. In the meantime I pray a lot.
I had to cancel a book signing scheduled in Roseburg, which was a huge disappointment. Because the book is local it would have been great fun to celebrate with hometown readers. I’ve had a difficult time getting signed copies to readers in my community, but have had some success.
However, I don’t think the consequences are all bad. I suspect more people are reading during this pandemic, and I hope some of those readers will pick up my book and discover the harshness and beauty of wilderness life in the Oregon Territory of 1855.
Paula: Thank you so much for being our guest, Bonnie!
Visit Bonnie at her website, or Facebook Author Page
From the stunning cover of One Hundred Valleys, to the picturesque settings, you will be captured by the story of wealthy Emmalin Hammond as she makes her arduous journey to remote Deer Creek, Oregon in 1855. Emmalin sets out to find her estranged father but doesn’t know what to expect when she arrives. Can she trust Jacob Landon, the rough, backwoods guide who leads her to her destination?
Emmalin has an immature faith but it grows in spite of the hardships that confound her. In Deer Creek, she gets to know her father and makes a friend in Margaret a widow and owner of a cafe, who becomes her mentor. As they talk of tragedies that have befallen Emmalin, Margaret counsels: “God didn’t promise to protect us from all harm, but he did promise to walk with us as we struggle in the hard times and to help lead us through life. When it feels the darkest is when His light shines its brightest. And He uses every bit of the good and bad times to mold us into people who will honor Him.”
After much soul searching, Emmalin finally realizes where she belongs and “that what the enemy meant for evil, God always intended for good.”
For a story of reconciliation and finding your worth in God, be sure to pick up a copy of this book.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through WhiteFire Publishing. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
After the death of her mother, Emmalin Hammond discovers she is not the heiress she’d always assumed she’d be. The revelation exposes her fiancé’s true intentions when he withdraws his marriage proposal, leaving Emmalin heartbroken and humiliated. When she discovers the father she believed to be dead is still alive and living in the Oregon Territory she decides it is time to meet the man who has been hidden from her all of her life.
Accompanied by her Uncle Jonathon, she sets out for the Oregon Territory in search of answers and hoping for a renewed relationship with her father. When tragedy strikes, she confronts the terrifying challenge of completing her quest alone. Faced with few options, she entrusts her life to a mountain man named Jacob Landon who agrees to transport her to a small settlement in Southern Oregon called Deer Creek, a place also known as the Land of One Hundred Valleys.
Emmalin is not prepared for the hardships of life in the Oregon wilderness. Each day presents a new challenge. Newfound friends, including the reserved Jacob Landon, who unexpectedly stirs her heart, come alongside to help her adapt. Yet she feels out of place. Should she brave the arduous journey back to Philadelphia for the life she once knew or remain and hope for something better in the Oregon wilderness?
Available in digital ebook and paperback:
Buy One Hundred Valleys at Amazon
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It's always a treat to have an author interview, and this was no exception. Thanks so much Bonnie and Paula! And we're thrilled to be able to help you give away this new historical for one of our readers! So good to have a new book from Bonnie!ReplyDelete
Hi Debra. It is a privilege to take part.Delete
And I agree ... it feels good to have a new book from Bonnie. :-) I am thanking God for that.
Sounds like a great book. I enjoy historical fiction so am looking forward to reading this one! Thank you for sharing about the book and the interview. It’s always interesting to learn more about authors.ReplyDelete
Hello, Anne. I hope you enjoy the book. Stay in touch and let me know. God's blessings to you.Delete
I loved hearing from the author, Bonnie Leon. Since the story sounds quite exciting and the setting quite striking, I'm looking forward to reading this book.ReplyDelete
Susie, thank you. So happy you stopped by.Delete
I forgot to mention that the cover is gorgeous!ReplyDelete
And YES! I agree with you.Delete
The cover really is gorgeous! It grabs your attention and pulls you right in. Looking forward to reading this story!ReplyDelete
Melissa, it was such fun to work with Roseanna from WhiteFire Publishing. She is gifted and is dedicated, a good combination.Delete
Thank you for the interview Paula and Bonnie! It sounds like the story comes directly from your heart! I'm glad it helped you with the healing <3ReplyDelete
Hi Natalya. Some of this story did come from my own hurting heart. Sometimes it poured out and other times it came in drips and drabs, but in the end I think I was able to say what I needed. Though, I do believe there is more to this story. I'm working on ideas now.Delete
Paula, thank you for including me on your blog. It is always fun to chat with readers and other writers. In the midst of this Covid 19 epidemic I pray for you all. Be safe and stay well. Grace and peace to you from God.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for stopping in Bonnie! We are so happy for your new release!ReplyDelete
Always my pleasure to interact with other readers.Delete
What a lovely interview Paula and Bonnie! Bonnie is a new-to-me author. I can see I need to start reading her books.ReplyDelete
I like the sounds of that, Winnie. :-)Delete
This sounds like a book I would enjoy. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!ReplyDelete
Hi Carolyn, I wish you luck in the drawing. If you win, I hope you enjoy the book.Delete
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres and reading how Emmalin changes her opinion about the Indians makes it seem both intriguing and inspiring. Thanks for this review and giveaway.ReplyDelete
It's so human how we think we know and understand things that we aren't familiar with. And then we become acquainted with something new and... blam! We're smacked in the face with reality.Delete
Sounds fantastic. Great cover.ReplyDelete
Hi Nancy. I agree with you. I think the cover is stunning. I'm so happy to be working with a publisher that thinks through all the details of publishing, including coming up with great covers.Delete
Hello Bonnie and Paula! Historical fiction is so fascinating. I'm looking forward to reading "One Hundred Valleys". The cover is GORGEOUS!ReplyDelete
Hi Caryl. I'll make sure to pass on all the positive comments about the cover to Roseanna White, the creator or this gorgeous cover.Delete
I hope you enjoy the book. Blessings to you.
The romance part, and the cool interview draws me in.ReplyDelete
Calvin, I love romance, even though I'm now one of the "older" generation - a Baby Boomer. Gasp.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. I think the questions were well done and were fun to answer.
I like the idea of a story about a totally unprepared woman going forward into a whole new "world" & way of life & (hopefully) succeeding at it!ReplyDelete
I am drawn to this story because I like Christian historical fiction and this sounds like it has a lot of adventure in it. Vivian Furbay jtandviv (at) q (dot) comReplyDelete
Historical fiction has always been my favorite genre! I also have family in the PNW, so it would be neat to read a book set thetr.ReplyDelete
I have to be honest that the firsr draw is the incredibly gorgeous cover. Then I see that it is historical with a good faith thread, yep. It sounds fantastic!ReplyDelete
perrianne (DOT) askew (AT) me (DOT) com