Dear Readers, I discovered
when her debut novel released. Since then, I’ve read every one of her releases,
except this one, but as soon as my book gets here, I’ll dive right in. Her
characters really grab me and pull me into their stories. Stories that stay
with me for a long time. Jennings
Regina Jennings is
a homeschooling mother of four from Mustang, Oklahoma. She enjoys watching musicals with
her kids, traveling with her husband, and reading by herself. Regina
with a degree in English and a history minor. She has worked at The Mustang News and First Baptist
Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and
various livestock shows. For more posts by Regina or information about her
novels—At Love’s Bidding, A Most
Inconvenient Marriage and others—please visit her website - www.reginajennings.com. Oklahoma
. How did you come up with the idea for
this story? Regina
My grandparents owned a few auction houses in
and my dad’s business required him to attend several auctions a week, as well.
I guess you could say I was raised in a barn! While the family business
involved livestock auctions, I love estate auctions, too. In fact, we bought
our house at an auction, which was very exciting!
The auctions I’m familiar with are frenzied, loud, and involve real estate or animals. They are part-carnival, part-garage sale, part-sporting event. They bring communities together, spawn competitions, and break out into fights. I wanted to contrast these exciting events with the staid, dignified art auctions of a house like Christie’s or something that dealt with more highbrow offerings.
In order to do that I had to think of something that would bring a woman from a Boston Auction House to an Ozark Livestock Auction. That’s when I came up with the idea of a missing painting, and the rest fell into place from there.
If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Only six? Well, the four I’m most likely to gather with are Julie Jarnagin, Susan Crawford, Erin Taylor Young and Lacy Williams. In fact we do get together regularly because they are all OKC ladies. If my party includes airfare, then I’m sending invites to Becky Wade and Dani Pettrey. I always look forward to seeing them at conference.
Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Historical fiction is even tougher, because I have so many of my genre friends who help me out! I’ll start with my conference roomies, Stephanie Landsem and Karen Witemeyer. It really is a pity that I only see them once a year or so. We’re never together long enough. Other people that I’d invite to this party—Kate Breslin, Sarah Sundin, Cara Putnam and no party would be nearly as much fun without Jen Turano.
Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
The most difficult thing for me is to realize that there’s always more writing to do. I’m not a procrastinator. I like to get finished with something, and then put it away. When I sign a new contract I feel like I’m signing over my freedom because that means I have work I have to do for the next three years. I want to get done with stuff, but this isn’t going to be done for a long time. I just have to stop thinking about the number of words that’s going to be, the number of hours that’s going to be, and think about the awesome stories I get to be a part of.
Tell us about the featured book.
After helping her grandfather at their
auction house, Miranda Wimplegate discovers she’s accidentally sold a powerful
family’s prized portrait to an anonymous bidder. Desperate to appease the
people who could ruin them forever, they track it to the Missouri Ozarks and
make an outlandish offer to buy the local auction house and all its holdings
before the painting can move again.
Upon crossing the country, however, Miranda and her grandfather discover their new auction house doesn’t deal in fine antiques, but in livestock. And its frustratingly handsome manager, Wyatt Ballentine, is annoyed to discover his fussy new bosses don’t know a thing about the business he’s single-handedly kept afloat. Faced with more heads of cattle than they can count–but no mysterious painting–Miranda and Wyatt form an unlikely but charged partnership to try and prevent a bad situation from getting worse.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Behind the massive marble building where even in May the crisp sea air never chased away the odors ground into the cobblestones, the newsboys and shoe-shiners gathered, waiting on her. They didn’t have much time. Every moment away from their posts meant missed customers, but Miranda Wimplegate was under similar constraints. The auction only paused briefly at noon, just enough time for her to snatch a tray of apricot tarts and crepes and sneak out before Grandfather took the platform and the bidding resumed. The silver platter dug into Miranda’s side as she made her way down the narrow steps of the servants’ entrance. She wished for something more substantial to feed them, but the dirty scamps of
Boston—unlike the French citoyens—preferred
cake, so her head was safe, at least until her mother learned of her largesse.
Little Ralphie sat at the foot of the steps, but he hopped up quick enough when she opened the door. He was nearly trampled as the boys wrestled for the sweets on the tray, but she held back a choice few for him. After they settled down, Miranda took her perch on the top step with Ralphie sitting next to her French kid boots. All right, they weren’t kid leather, probably just cow, but Ralphie didn’t know the difference. He was content nibbling the edge of the tart, holding it in hands as grubby as the bottom of the trash bin beside him.
“Well, are you gonna tell one of your stories, or not?” That was Connor. Quick to express his impatience, but always listening, always thinking. He wouldn’t work the corner in front of the Wimplegate Auction House much longer. Already his shoulders were broadening. Soon he’d catch the eye of one of the dock foremen and would give up hawking papers for a better paying job—a job that would begin to bow his back before it ever had a chance to reach its full height.
Miranda balanced the empty silver tray on her lap, careful to keep it from getting scratched against the rough ground. “We’ll continue the story about Joseph. You remember what I told you yesterday?”
Two boys tussled as boys do when one wants to savor a treat and the other has already consumed his. With a quick thump to their heads, Connor quieted them.
He was trying to help, but Miranda saw an opportunity for improvement. “Connor, I’d rather be interrupted than have you inflict pain on someone. Remember that, please. Turn the other cheek…and our story today is a perfect example.” She tried to smooth Ralphie’s stiff red hair as she began. “Joseph was sold as a slave by his brothers, but God didn’t forget him…”
How she wished they still had the neat classroom leased across the alley, but since Grandmother had died, Grandfather had let his work with the street children wane. He was all business now, but she couldn’t give it up, even if Mother didn’t approve of her feeding their expensive sweets to the urchins. As she talked, Miranda glanced between the buildings for a glimpse of the church clock on
She was running out of time.
You have me hooked. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Regina, for sharing this new book with us. I know my readers are as eager as I am to read it.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.At Love's Bidding - Christianbook.com (Best price today)
At Love's Bidding - Amazon
At Love's Bidding (Ozark Mountain Romance Book #2) - Kindle
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