Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse

Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse
Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse ~ Photo: Mark Papke

Friday, June 17, 2011

"Harriman, New York--Overlooking the Hudson"

American Historical Christian Fiction

Welcome to American Historical Christian Fiction, where the Cross and Quill come together to create a sampler of faith, folklore, and our country's early history. Please be sure to check the links for more information about early American life and colonial history, too.

Each month, one of the beautiful paintings done by an artist of the Hudson River School will be featured on the American Historical Christian Fiction blog.

....And please stop in to Colonial Quills for a special Fourth of July Celebration!

Since I'm celebrating Independence Day throughout the month of July, I will have as guests two great authors who write about Early America--MaryLu Tyndall and Joan Hochstetler. And for this week only: Tom Blubaugh with his engaging story of Russian history and adventure for Young Adults, and Marianne Evans introducing her sweet contemporary romance. So it's something for everyone, folks!

(Book giveaways are offered for all these authors).

A special Independence Day Gift Basket which includes a book, flags, hand-made doll of the period (colonial or federalist), and a Chinese silk hand fan, comes with MaryLu Tyndall's and Joan Hochstetler's books.

You will have an opportunity to download a free copy of MaryLu Tyndall's book, "Surrender the Heart"....

....or win a copy of her book,"Surrender the Night". And please don't forget to check her Book Trailer (near the top right of this blog) for a preview of her latest book to be released in August: "Surrender the Dawn". Both books are published by Barbour.

Surrender the Night
Publisher: Barbour
Author: MaryLu Tyndall

A timid American farm girl at the mercy of the enemy. . .

A wounded British sailor driven into hiding. . .

Both are about to change the course of history forever.

When British soldiers invade Baltimore amid the War of 1812, Rose McGuire, alone on her family farm, is easy prey for a brutal lieutenant. In the midst of the attack, she’s saved by British 2nd Lieutenant Alexander Reed. Will she now have to heal, as well as hide, this enemy soldier?

Alex hadn’t meant to kill his superior, nor get shot in the process. Now badly wounded, he’s at the mercy of this tomboy who obviously hates him. Can he trust her or will she turn him over to the Americans?

Rose is having trouble keeping Alex hidden from her family, the townspeople, and the man intent on courting her. Will the discovery of Alex’s presence force her to accept an abhorrent proposal?

As their love blooms, trouble looms, for the British are on the move again. This time, their target is Washington DC. Will these young lovers at heart find themselves enemies at war?

It is my pleasure to present an interview with author J.M. Hochstetler Joan's books are not only packed with adventure and romance, but are impeccably researched--she has the unique ability to place you in the thick of battle, and to show the way it truly was during the American Revolution! And in times like these, when few Americans are able to recall the price that was paid--and is still being paid--to safe-guard those valuable historical lessons and freedoms, Joan's books are gems in American story-telling. For further information:

Daughter of Liberty
Publisher: Zondervan
Author J.M. Hochstetler

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was a voracious reader from the time I made friends with Dick and Jane, but strangely enough as a young person I never had any ambition whatsoever to be a writer. The only writing I did was a bit of nonfiction and poetry in high school, and then I wrote for the newspaper published at the regional campus of the university I attended until moving to the main campus. I don’t recall writing any fiction at all. I really wanted to be an artist, not a writer. But then I got married and had babies, and I lost the motivation.

Then in 1977 I had this dream. Seriously, I had a dream one night that was so intriguing it kept haunting me. I finally realized that if I was going to make any sense of it, I was going to have to figure out who the characters were and what their story was, and the only logical way to do that was to write it all down. That turned into my medieval epic tragedy, which I swear I will get published someday! Anyway, that was the beginning of my life of adventure, intrigue, war, and romance.

How did you prepare? College courses? Workshops? Books on Craft?

To be honest, the classic stories I’ve read over the years were a better preparation for writing than anything else. As far as formal training is concerned, history has been a major interest of mine since I was in high school, and I minored in history and English in college. When I began to write I read craft and markets books and attended a lot of writers conferences, all of which helped me to develop enough knowledge about the business and the courage—or masochism…hmmm…maybe that should be sado-masochism—to start sending out submissions.

Why do you enjoy writing historicals? (and anything more you want to add to this—anything particularly special about a certain time/setting etc.) Would you consider yourself an expert on the American Revolution?

History has been a major interest of mine since I was in high school. I was raised a Mennonite, and faith, family, church, and community are very important to the Amish and Mennonites. The Hochstetler family has an especially interesting history that’s well known in the community and is regularly recounted. So that had a powerful impact on my life and interests.

Early on I developed a love of research. I love to learn about the lives of people in earlier times, and then bring the past to life for readers, especially for those who think they hate history. One of my greatest rewards is when I hear back from readers who loved my books and mention that they never enjoyed history in school, but that my stories brought the era to life for them. I love that! That’s exactly what I’m trying to do.

Over the years I’ve read, researched, and studied a wide range of resources on the American Revolutionary period, so I guess that qualifies me to be somewhat of an expert. I just wish I had more time to focus on it than I do.

Native Son
Publisher: Zondervan
Author: J.M. Hochstetler

Do you have other work besides writing; and if so, how do you manage to balance both?

I founded my own small press, Sheaf House, in 2006, and in 2008 we released our first 3 titles. That’s something I never anticipated. But the Lord called me to do it, and where I lack ability, God is supplying more than abundantly.

Balancing publishing with writing is daily challenge. Sheaf House business tends to override my writing time, but I’m learning how to protect the time I do have to focus on my own projects. I try to write on weekends, early in the mornings, and later in the evening and focus on Sheaf House during the late morning and in the afternoon. That seems to be working pretty well.

How many years/stories did you write before the first one was accepted?

I began writing in 1977 and got my first publishing contract in November 2002. I wrote 4 books during that time, and my first book was the one that was published first. A lot of life happened in those years!

What’s your next book/release date we can look forward to? (A quick sentence or two of what it’s about to whet our appetites? :)

Currently I’m working on book 4 of my American Patriot Series, Crucible of War, which is set to release in Spring 2012. This volume is going to cover the very end of 1776, and then pretty much all of 1777, from the battles of Trenton and Princeton through the Battle of Saratoga, a crucial period for the Revolution. It’s also going to delve more deeply into the political situation than any of the previous volumes have.

Of course, there will be lots of complications and delicious romantic tension between Elizabeth and Jonathan, not to mention between several of the secondary characters. Pieter Vander Groot’s fortunes will undergo a dramatic change, and there will be a wrenching development in Charles Andrews and Blue Sky’s story. This volume also ends on a cliffhanger that will hopefully keep readers looking forward to the next book in the series. In fact, I plan to include Chapter 1 of Valley of the Shadow at the end so my readers will get an idea of the resolution and won’t kill me!

Wind of the Spirit
Publisher: Sheaf House
Author: J.M. Hochstetler

You can be in the drawing of an Independence Day Gift Basket for MaryLu's Surrender the Night and Joan's Daughter of Liberty or Wind of the Spirit. (Native Son is all sold out, but used copies are freely available on Amazon, and you can also get it on Kindle and Nook). Drawings for the Gift Basket will be held at the end of the month, and anyone who has left a comment, or won any of the weekly books is eligible for the Basket drawing.

Night of the Cossack
Publisher: Bound by Faith
Author: Tom Blubaugh

As an educator, it is now my very great pleasure to present the Young Adult novel "Night of the Cossack" by Tom Blubaugh. Not only is the story exciting, but Tom takes us to a unique time and place in history that should be examined more closely by young readers. Out of his personal history, Tom has given us a story that is not only entertaining to read but tells us more about the Cossacks, and a time in Russia when it was dangerous to be a Jew.

In thinking about whether I would post this book for the celebration of America's Independence Day, I decided what better time than to present a story which contrasts the wonderful and hard-won freedoms we still enjoy in this country today, with those that people are still fighting for all over the world. This story should be in every school library in the nation!

"In Night of the Cossack, Tom Blubaugh has created an interesting fictional account of a young boy facing a series of tough life-or-death decisions when forced into the life of a Cossack soldier. Readers are sure to be entertained by this tale of Nathan Hertzfield's life, his struggle to maintain the upstanding character and morality set forth by his mother." -Author Michelle Buckman, Christy award finalist.

For more information:

To draw Independence Day to a close, I'd like to hi-light award-winning, multi-published author, Marianne Evens and her latest book, "A Face in the Clouds" (Sort of saving the frosting on the cake til last! :)

Title (contemporary)A Face in the Clouds
Publisher: White Rose Press
Author: Marianne Evans


Marianne Evans is a multi-published author of contemporary romance novels. Her professional career began when Kensington Publishing purchased her book, Friends & Lovers. Her second offering, Right Hand Man, followed shortly thereafter. Her third release from Kensington, Hannah’s Heart, won critical acclaim from reviewers and in the local media.

Her fourth book is her inspirational romance debut at White Rose Publishing – an award-winning novel entitled Hearts Crossing. Hearts Crossing led to the creation of a four-book Christian romance series: The Woodland Series. Book 2, Hearts Surrender, released in late 2010 with Books 3 and 4 – Hearts Communion and Hearts Key, slated for late 2011 and early 2012 release. A Woodland Series Bonus Story, A Face in the Clouds, is an Easter-themed short story, also from White Rose Publishing.

Recent awards include:

Hearts Crossing:
Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist
CAPA Finalist
5-Star Review, The Romance Studio
5-Star Review, Coffee Time Romance

Hearts Surrender

Christian Small Publishers Association Book of the Year Finalist
4-Star Review, Romantic Times Magazine
5-Star Review & Book of the Week, The Romance Studio
5-Klover Review & Recommended Read, Kwips & Kritiques

A lifelong resident of Michigan, Marianne is an active member of Romance Writers of America and the Greater Detroit RWA where she served the chapter in a number of capacities, but most notably for two terms as Chapter Treasurer and two terms as Chapter President. She also belongs to the Faith Hope and Love chapter of RWA, American Christian Fiction Writers and the Michigan Literary Network.

Marianne loves to connect with readers ~ find her at:


Reporter Paul Hutchins is all about finding facts and uncovering the truth. Verification, authenticity and quantification are the fuel of his spirit…Until he falls in love with producer Sandy Pierson.

Sandy sees Christ alive in every aspect of her life. No need for quantified facts. Faith is the fuel of her spirit . But her love for Paul puts her at odds with God's call toward faith and all of its mysteries.

Paul considers Christianity to be well-meaning myth—hyperbole. To Sandy, it’s everything—and she can accept nothing less from the man she loves.
Can a miracle happen? Can the touch of God Himself keep their relationship from shattering?


“I know how deeply you feel things, Paul. You have a wonderful heart. That’s part of why I love you so much. I’m torn in two about my feelings for you.” Sandy’s declaration would have filled him were it not chipped and cracked by the impact of her doubts.

“Your reporter’s instinct toward authenticity and revealing the truth is a big part of what I admire about you. There’s nothing wrong with facing the world honestly, but you need to make room for a few other truths.”

“Like God.”

“Yes, and the fact that life holds as much mystery, and as many intangibles, as it does realistic things you can hold tight with both hands.”

She wanted him to change. Right down to the soul. Paul continued to study her. She was hurt enough that she had almost stepped away from attending tonight’s event—out of a frustrated sense of love. Yet here they were—together—out of a frustrated sense of love.

And if he wasn’t mindful of her beliefs, she’d step away from him.

Paul navigated the rapidly-filling parking lot of Woodland Church. Once they stopped, he killed the car engine and used a restraining hand to keep Sandy in place. He closed the space between them and gave her a kiss that lingered and thoroughly tasted. He felt the gesture ease a bit of the tightness in her shoulders and back. “I’ll keep an open mind, OK?”

She touched his face, and there was yearning in her eyes. “Keep an open heart. That’s much more important.”

If you see any books you may be interested in receiving as a giveaway prize, please leave a comment and your e-mail address! myspace graphic comments
Christian Graphic Comments

"May the Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: may the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." Num.6:25-26 (KJV)


  1. Thanks so much for introducing us to some new authors! I'm looking forward to reading MaryLu Tyndall's "Surrender the Heart" (already downloaded on my Kindle), and I'd love a chance to win one of the others!

  2. Sorry, forgot to leave my email:


  3. Your welcome, Jan--and thank you for stopping in!

  4. Thanks for reviewing some great books. These authors are new to me but I have the books on my wish list and hope to read all of them.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com