Friday’s Feature with Donna Schlachter

Giveaway ~ Win a FREE copy by commenting on this blog! Winner chosen 5/6/2022!

Calli

I always like to have a theme verse for every book I write. I find it helps keep me on track for the story I have in mind. For Calli, I chose:

The Lord preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow…

Psalm 146:9

This story has both the fatherless and a widow. Calli’s husband recently died in an accident while on military duty, and she’s not completely recovered from that. Bot does anybody, really? However, as we know, most don’t want to be reminded of death, so she feels both alone and scared, as if she’d never known and loved her husband. Is that what his death meant? That this was it? She’s angry with God and cannot reconcile the notion of a loving God with One who would take her husband.

Here’s the short description of the story:

Calli works as a nurse with the US Army at Fort Bridger, Wyoming in 1880. When a wagon train full of discouraged emigrants passes through on its way east, a pregnant widow delivers her baby then dies. Bradley Wilson, leading this train, has few options. He asks Calli to travel with them until they find a relative to take the child in St. Joe, Missouri. Calli, drawn to both this dark and quiet man and the child, resists. But when she disappears, he wonders if she’s run away or been kidnapped. Can these two put their pasts behind them and move into a new future together? Or will Calli insist on having things her own way?

I set this story in 1870, a time when wagon trains were still heading west, but now some were straggling back, not having found what they’d hoped for. Unofficial estimates put these “returners” in the tens of thousands. I felt that was a story I wanted to tell.

I’ve visited the historic Fort Bridger site, and as I wrote the story, I envisioned the buildings as they were then and are today. That’s a great benefit for me as an author, because I immerse myself in the story and can focus on the characters and what’s going on.

Here is where you can find out more about Calli: 


About Donna

A hybrid author, Donna writes squeaky clean historical and contemporary suspense. She has been published more than 50 times in books; is a member of several writers groups; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, traveling extensively for both. 

www.DonnaSchlachter.com Stay connected so you learn about new releases, preorders, and presales, as well as check out featured authors, book reviews, and a little corner of peace. Plus: Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

www.DonnaSchlachter.com/blog

Check out previous blog posts at www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com and www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com

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Etsy online shop of original artwork: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Dare2DreamUS  

Friday’s Feature with Donna Schlachter

Giveaway and Excerpt

Question: Answer the following question to enter a random drawing for a print (US only) or ebook copy of Hollenberg Hearts: What’s your favorite genre and why?

Hollenberg Hearts

Hearts of the Pony Express

Book 1

Most people know something about the Pony Express, but few realize it only operated from April 1860 through to November 1861. The first ride left St. Joseph, Missouri heading west, and from Sacramento, California heading east, on April 3rd, 1860. 

The idea for a Pony Express was conceived in the minds of its owners because of the possibility of winning the contract for the overland US mail. Another company, Butterworth, was running a southern route that took up to three weeks to deliver to the west coast, and Majors and Waddell thought they could beat that time by taking the shorter northern route.

The time period, 1860, fascinates me as there were so many changes happening in America. The train is a dream; the cross-country telegraph is nearing completion; the country is brewing for civil war; women are campaigning for voting and civil rights. In just a few short years, cameras will photograph war for the first time; telephones will be installed in people’s homes; electricity will light our lives into the dark of night.

When the final rider left Sacramento in November 1861, carrying letters going east as far as St. Joseph, Missouri, the company was already about $600,000 in debt. Although the project was well-conceived and well-executed, it was never designed as a long-term system. And when the Overland Express lost its bid to garner the mail contract, the company ended up merging with its competitor Butterworth to deliver mail that kept the country united through the coming war and for many years to come.


About Hollenberg Hearts

Catherine Malloy escapes a poor past in response to a mail order bride ad her best friend answered. However, Margaret dies before meeting the man who owns horses and property in Kansas.

Benjamin Troudt works for the Hollenberg family at their way station in Kansas, and owns nothing but the clothes on his back. Unbeknownst to him, his pastor is corresponding with a potential wife from back East for him.

When Catherine, now calling herself Maggie, arrives, Benjamin knows nothing of the pastor’s match-making, and rejects her. However, a seriously ill pregnant woman needs tending. Perhaps Maggie can prove herself useful.

Not only does she do just that, but she finds herself attracted to the very man who is looking for ways to send her away.


About Donna

Donna writes historical and contemporary mysteries, and has been published more than 50 times in novellas, full-length novels, and non-fiction books. She is a member of several writing communities; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; blogs regularly; and judges in writing contests. She lives in Denver with her husband and two cats, finding mysteries wherever she travels. You can find her books on Amazon under both her name and that of her former pen name, Leeann Betts.

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com Stay connected so you learn about new releases, preorders, and presales, as well as check out featured authors, book reviews, and a little corner of peace. Plus: Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DonnaschlachterAuthor

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DonnaSchlachter

Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2gZATjm

Friday’s Feature with Donna Schlachter

Interview, Excerpt, and Giveaway!

Leave a comment to enter a random drawing for a print (US only) or ebook copy of Time Will Tell.

Question: What other kinds of non-traditional businesses might a woman own in 1889?


Welcome, Donna! Thank you for coming back to share your new Christmas story.

What is the theme or message of your book?

Thanks for having me here today. Time Will Tell releases December 14th, and the theme is that God makes everything difficult that we go through beautiful—in His time.

What is your favorite genre of books to read?

I absolutely love reading Christian historical romance, particularly those set in the 19th Century. I guess that makes sense since it’s also what I write. I also love reading cozy mysteries, especially anything that remotely resembles Agatha Christie-like stories.

Who are some of your favorite authors? 

As I said, Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Davis, RL Ashly, Davalynn Spencer, and Toni Shiloh.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

Never give up. If people hate your stuff and can give you specifics to work on, then do that. But don’t let the story die within in.

Some people believe that being a published author is glamorous, is that true?

If you define glamorous as having more stories than time to write, or always second-guessing whether your last book was any good at all, or blushing when a reader writes a review and you wonder if they are talking about your book because it’s wonderful, then sure, being published is glamorous.

If, however, you define it as providing a lavish lifestyle and joining the Vacation-of-the-Month club, not so much. But I wouldn’t trade it for any other job.


Excerpt from Time Will Tell:

Sadie sank onto the ancient leather chair behind her father’s workbench. Correction. Her workbench, now. She huffed, her breath raising the errant strands of hair at the center of her forehead. Her trembling hand gripped the official-looking envelope neatly addressed to her father. Not her. Although he died a month ago, still his loss created an ache in her throat. 

Bitter tears burned at the back of her eyes, blurring her vision, making the words dance. All around her, reminders of him. That ratty old sweater, holes in the elbows and all the buttons long gone, hanging on the coat rack inside the door. His cold pipe in the ashtray in front of her, a faint whiff of his favorite tobacco hanging on. At her elbow, the sign she’d placed on the front door alerting customers to a death in the family. She must open the shop, generate income, and save her father’s—correction—her business and livelihood.

She set her reticule on the table and sat back in the chair. Surely no good news ever arrived in a linen wrapper from a law firm. Sadie picked up a jeweler’s file, its length and span in stark contrast to the task she now assigned it. Slipping the pointed tip beneath the seal on the rear of the envelope, she eased the brittle red wax from the stark white. 

Inside, a single sheet of paper. She inhaled, then breathed out through her nose.

Stop wasting time. Read it.


About Donna

Donna writes historical and contemporary mystery, and has been published more than 50 times in novellas, full-length novels, and non-fiction books. She is a member of several writing communities; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; blogs regularly; and judges in writing contests. She lives in Denver with her husband and two cats, finding mysteries wherever she travels. You can find her books on Amazon under both her name and that of her former pen name, Leeann Betts.

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com Stay connected so you learn about new releases, preorders, and presales, as well as check out featured authors, book reviews, and a little corner of peace. Plus: Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/DonnaschlachterAuthor

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DonnaSchlachter

Books: Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ci5Xqq