I don't know about you but I can't get over how quickly this summer has flown by. I welcome cooler temperatures that make me want to snuggle under a blanket while reading a good book. Today Kathleen Maher is here to share about her writing. Welcome, Kathleen.
Thirty-five years ago, I was a thirteen-year-old, crazy about boys, horses, and books. Back in the day, I’d rather dream up an adventure than go out and live one. (I’m still that Hobbit at heart). 1983 was also the year I learned that my hometown history unfolded a drama involving boys barely older than me—boys, and horses!
My town, Elmira, NY, was a military training complex during the Civil War, and the site of the worst prison camp in the North, having the highest mortality rate on either side--even higher than the infamous Andersonville. Hardly a romantic setting, but definitely a dramatic one!
This launched my lifelong fascination with local history. And birthed characters that have waited many years for me to tell their story.
The Civil War is often called a war where brother fought against brother. I set out to write a scenario to flesh this out. I imagined twin brothers and best friends before the war—consummate horsemen who own a thoroughbred farm in the Shenandoah Valley. But what could possibly come between such a close bond? The answer presented itself in real life as I experienced a falling out with my own best friend at that time. If like me, my hero had a spiritual awakening, it could change his convictions dramatically in the months leading up to war. Differing views could drive a wedge, even between friends as close as family.
Our local history also boasts a pioneering first in educational opportunities for women. Elmira Female College inspired the idea for my heroine. She’s passionate about serving in ministry capacities not necessarily open to the women of her time. Without being shrewish or brazen, she finds ways to breach the societal expectations on women of her day and exercises her influence.
And her persuasion is exactly what the hero needs to take a stand against the great moral evil of the times, even though it will cost him everything.
By 2008 the story is written and I’m seeking publication. I join American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). I learn and meet amazing people, such as my best friend and invaluable critique partner Debbie Lynne Costello. I win their prestigious Genesis contest for unpublished writers and land an agent. Then a series of family crises hit, and I must leave writing for a time.
Ten years after I joined ACFW I land a contract to write a Christmas novella for Barbour, a publishing house for whom I once only dreamed of writing. Finally I have the confidence to let my literary fledglings fly!
Book Blurb for The Abolitionist’s Daughter
The Abolitionist’s Daughter by Kathleen L. Maher
1860-1864 Shenandoah Valley, and Elmira, NY
The crusading daughter of a Washington politician comes between twin brothers as the country plunges toward Civil War. Horsemen from Virginia, the twins would defend their livelihood from her meddling kind. When love ignites, friends become enemies. Can the very girl who divided bosom brothers unite them again?
The Abolitionist’s Daughter purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/Abolitionists-Daughter-Kathleen-L-Maher/dp/1718026242
The Abolitionist’s Daughter book trailer link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Brp28ZTOWHo
Book blurb for “Love Brick by Brick” in the Victorian Christmas Brides collection
Love Brick by Brick by Kathleen L. Maher
1857 Elmira, New York
SarahAnn Winnifred overcomes orphanhood apprenticing with pioneering doctors. Rufus Sedgwick, relocating his English estate, seeks help for his ailing Mum. Christmas reveals the secret wish of both hearts—for love.
Victorian Christmas Brides Collection purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/Victorian-Christmas-Brides-Collection-Christmases/dp/1683227190
Kathleen L. Maher has had an infatuation with books and fictional heroes ever since her preschool crush, Peter Rabbit. She has a novella releasing with BARBOUR in the 2018 Victorian Christmas Brides collection, featuring her hometown of Elmira, New York. Her debut historical, Bachelor Buttons, blends her Irish heritage and love of the American Civil War. She won the 2012 ACFW Genesis contest for her Civil War story, releasing this summer under a new title The Abolitionist’s Daughter. Kathleen shares an old farmhouse in upstate New York with her husband, children, and a small zoo of rescued animals.
on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KLMaherAuthor/
on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mahereenie
and on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/kathleenlmaher
Thanks so much once again for having me today, Jodie. I look forward to interacting with your readers, and today I am giving away a copy of Victorian Christmas Brides Collection or The Abolitionist’s Daughter to one lucky commenter. Winner’s choice of format, (print or ebook--US residents only.) To enter, please answer the following question:
Would you ever enter a contest in writing, art, photography, or your favorite craft?
Please be sure to leave your email in your entry so you can be notified if random.org selects your entry.
In addition, I am hosting a rafflecopter, with winners to be drawn at the conclusion of my blog tour just before Thanksgiving. Several prizes, including Ammy gift cards, books, and a Christmas goodie basket. Be sure to follow each stop on the tour to increase your chances of winning! (US residents only.)
Link to rafflecopter: