Dear Readers, this book is #4 on the ECPA Bestseller list this month.
Bio: Susan Page Davis is the author of more than 50 novels and novellas in the historical romance, mystery, and suspense genres. She is the mother of six and grandmother of nine. A
Maine native, she now lives in western Kentucky with her
Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
For this particular book, not a lot, but in some of my books it’s much more pronounced. I find that when writing characters who are about my age, they become more like me, and when they are in the settings where I spent a lot of time, they think like I do.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Well, I’ve never roller skated in a buffalo herd, but I have hugged a raccoon.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I was very young I began creating stories.
Reading and thinking up
stories was always part of my life, at least since I learned to read at age 4.
As an adult, I spent many years as a nonfiction writer. Finally I decided to
seriously try fiction. I sold my first short story in 2001 and my first book in
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love reading historical fiction and true history, but I also love mystery and suspense.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Mostly I ignore the world and let it run. I do enjoy getting away from my desk for a break. Taking some time to just be with family and friends refreshes me. I also like to solve ciphers, read, and walk.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
This is hard for me sometimes. I keep a few baby name books handy, and I also have a couple of naming websites and the census site bookmarked. If I hear a name I like and think I might use it later in a book, I put it in a computer file called “Names.” Now and again I’ll browse through those I’ve collected.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
By nature, I think I’d be some reclusive, rarely seen critter, like a pine marten. But real life has made me more sociable.
I’m glad, because if you were so reclusive, I might now have ever met you. What is your favorite food?
I love fruit. If you want to make me happy, give me a fruit salad.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Turning off the momentum of everything going on around me can be a problem. I need a real office and dedicated writing time, so that I’m not so easily distracted.
Tell us about the featured book.
In The Westward Christmas Brides, take the journey into the American West alongside nine women who are chasing their dreams—Cynthia, for security; Beryl, for a new family; Adeline, for freedom; Molly, for marriage; Beth, for a new start; Belinda, for a place to heal; Suzette, for adventure; Juliet, for peace; and Caroline, for a future for her children. Celebrate Christmas alongside these pioneers as love finds them in nine distinctly different romances penned by leading Christian fiction authors, including Wanda E. Brunstetter, Vickie McDonough, Melanie Dobson, and more.
In Another Christmas Story, my novella in The Westward Christmas Brides collection, the tale opens with another tragedy. Beryl’s father has been shot in a hunting accident and is critically wounded. His dire condition forces Beryl and her little brother, Sam, to leave the wagon train and stay with the family that runs the nearest trading post on the
Oregon Trail. Their mother has previously passed away,
and with their father’s death imminent, Beryl has to make some hard decisions.
Will she take Sam on to Oregon,
as her father had planned, or go back East to live with relatives there? In the
meantime, they are stranded by bad weather with the Lassen family for the
winter. Beryl can’t see what’s ahead, but God has plans for her and Sam’s
Please give us the first page of the book.
Dust hovered in the air as the wagons lumbered along, and Beryl Jenner coughed. Her shoulders ached from holding the reins all day. Usually her father drove the team of six mules, but he’d ridden off that morning with four other men to hunt. Fresh meat would be welcome, but her father’s presence would be even better.
“Sam, do you see them yet?” she called over her shoulder.
Her little brother had been playing in the back of the wagon and keeping her posted whenever he saw anything interesting outside the canvas cover.
“Not yet,” came his muffled voice, still babyish though he was four years old, going on five.
Beryl heard him scrambling over the crates and sacks in the wagon bed.
“Can I get down for a while?” Sam asked, squeezing out between her arm and the front curved wagon bow.
Beryl wished she could climb down from the wagon seat and stretch her legs too.
Normally, she and Sam walked most of the day and chatted with the other women and children on the train, but their father’s absence kept them both cooped up today.
“Not unless you find someone you can walk with. Do you see Mrs. Markham?”
“No.” Sam steadied himself with a hand on her shoulder and stood on the seat beside her, squinting as he studied the scene around them. Straight ahead of their mule team, another wagon rolled along the rutted trail. Leaning to the side, Beryl could see trees and bluffs ahead, which probably meant they would be crossing the river again. Pa would find them at the encampment if the men came in late from the hunt. But she had no confidence in her own ability to get the wagon across the river without his expertise.
Sam sighed and crouched down. “All I see is Danny Bowden and his brother.”
“Well, those boys aren’t big enough to watch you.”
Sam climbed over the seat back, into the wagon bed. Beryl could hear him working his way to the rear. She arched her back in an effort to ease the strain on her muscles. She hoped they would make camp soon—on this side of the river. Then she could leave this hard, unyielding board seat. Of course, she would have to unhitch the team if Pa hadn’t returned, and care for them before making a fire and getting supper.
“There they are,” Sam yelled.
Beryl tried to see around the wagon cover, but it was hopeless. She turned back to her driving, though the mules plodded along with little guidance, so long as the wagon ahead kept on at a steady pace.
To her right, two horses loped past. One rider had a gutted antelope slung behind his saddle. Beryl smiled. Her father was on his way. Several people called out to the men, but they didn’t stop. Instead, they rode on toward the head of the column. Beryl felt a twinge of unease. One of the hunters was Mr. Arnold, and she knew his wagon was two behind the Jenners’.
She turned her head and called, “Sam! Do you see Pa yet?”
Beryl pushed the brim of her bonnet back and wiped her brow with a grimy handkerchief. She hoped they would stop long enough to do laundry soon.
A few minutes later, the wagon master, Mr. Etherton, rode back along the train, calling out to the drivers, “We’ll make camp a half mile on, near the water.”
It wasn’t until she had driven her team into position in the wagon circle and begun to unhitch the mules that Mr. Etherton approached her, accompanied by Mr. Arnold.
“Yes?” She turned toward them with a tight smile, still fumbling with the straps on one of the leaders’ bridles.
“I’m afraid I have some bad news,” Mr. Etherton said.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Visit my website at: www.susanpagedavis.com . You can subscribe to my newsletter there and enter my monthly drawing.
Thank you, Susan, for sharing this new book with us.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.The Westward Christmas Brides - Christianbook.com
Westward Christmas Brides Collection: 9 Historical Romances Answer the Call of the American West - Amazon
The Westward Christmas Brides Collection: 9 Historical Romances Answer the Call of the American West - Kindle
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