Bio: Janalyn Voigt’s lifelong love of storytelling began in childhood when she dreamed up her own bedtime stories. She grew into a precocious reader, a pastime she credits with teaching her to write. Janalyn trained formally with Christian Writers Guild. Today she is a multi-genre author and literary judge. Janalyn is represented by Wordserve Literary.
Welcome back, Janalyn. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I had to smile at this line from a Romantic Times review of Hills of Nevermore: “Voigt is a talented author who has weaved several genres into her novel, and has created a beautiful first story in her Montana Gold series.” The reviewer seemed to think I crossed genres on purpose. My novels always contain adventure, romance, history, and whimsy. This combination is my particular brand. I’ve been a storyteller ever since I put myself to sleep at night with bedtime tales of my own. For me, the writing process is always the same. Inspiration comes to roost in my mind. It develops into a fledgling story. I fuss over it, then send it off on a wing and a prayer.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
It’s hard to choose between marrying my husband and giving birth to three children. Those all qualify as happiest days, although each of them contained stress. At my wedding, we’d misplaced the license and had to hunt it down at the last minute. Giving birth goes down as one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Each time, however, the joy of the occasion canceled out the pain. Maybe having to work at happiness is the key to appreciating it.
How has being published changed your life?
It helped me confess to others that I’m a writer. I kept that information close before then, and I’m still guarded about mentioning it. I go away from home more now. I take trips for research, promotion, retreats, workshops, and conferences. It’s a good thing that I and my family love travel.
What are you reading right now?
I’m facing stiff deadlines, so I’m not reading beyond the news. Once life settles down again, the next book in my to-be-read pile is Not a Sparrow Falls, a historical romance by Lynnette Bonner.
What is your current work in progress?
I’m writing Cheyenne Sunrise, the second book in the Montana Gold series. It’s about a wounded young Irish woman headed with her brother to his ranch in
Against her better judgment, Bry Brennan finds herself drawn to Nick Laramie,
the half-Cheyenne guide for their wagon train. Nick is an outcast wherever he
goes. He doesn’t fit in with his mother’s people or the settlers. While he’s
attracted to Bry, he won’t wish his isolated lifestyle on a woman. To their
mutual dismay, circumstances throw them together and force them to face their
beliefs about themselves and God. Montana Territory
What would be your dream vacation?
I want to go to
land of my ancestors on the Campbell
side. I’ve heard that the highlands are breathtaking, and I’m curious about the
Isle of Skye, which was inhabited by the Campbells.
I wonder if I’d feel a sense of homecoming.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Really, it’s whether a story tied to a particular place beckons to me. That’s what happened with Hills of Nevermore. My family drove through
, on vacation, and I picked up a tourist
brochure that laid out a tale of road agents, stagecoach robberies, gold, and
vigilante violence. I just had to write about it all. Virginia City, Montana
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I’d love to get together with Miralee Ferrell and discuss books, authors, and the publishing industry. She is one of my mentors, my publisher for the Montana Gold series, and an award-winning western historical romance author in her own right.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I’ve already mentioned my love of gardening. I also sing, walk, and hike. I’m planning to get into bicycle touring.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Overbooking myself is my biggest problem. I insist on turning out novels written to a high standard, so I have to put in the time to make that happen, even when the schedule is tight. That can mean staying up past midnight or letting the housework go for a while. But boy do weeds in the garden bug me.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Allow yourself to be exactly where you are as an author. Too often, we writers are so eager to move on down the road we miss experiencing the journey.
And it’s all about the process or journey. Tell us about the featured book.
Hills of Nevermore is the story of a young widow hiding a secret shame and the Irish circuit preacher who wants to help her survive in a rough gold camp. Here’s the full description:
America Liberty Reed overhears circuit preacher Shane Hayes try to persuade a
hotel owner to close his saloon on Sunday. Shane lands face-down in the mud for
his trouble, and there’s talk of shooting him. Idaho
Territory America intervenes and finds
herself in an unexpectedly personal conversation with the blue-eyed preacher.
Certain she has angered God in the past, she shies away from Shane.
Addie Martin, another widow, invites
America to help in her cook tent in Virginia City, the new mining town. Even with Addie’s
teenage son helping with America’s
baby, life is hard. Shane urges America
to depart for a more civilized location. Neither Shane’s persuasions nor road
agents, murder, sickness, or vigilante violence can sway America.
Loyalty and ambition hold her fast until dire circumstances force her to
confront everything she believes about herself, Shane, and God.
Based on actual historical events during a time of unrest in
of Nevermore explores faith, love, and courage in the Wild West.
Please give us the first page of the book.
“I can’t have lost it!” Tears blurred the trail beneath
She’d been a fool to wear the locket Kyle had given her. She should have kept
it stashed away. When she’d felt her necklace’s chain break, she’d stopped
walking at once. Why couldn’t she find it? If she didn’t come across the locket
soon, she’d have to leave it behind. Catching up to the wagon train would take
some doing even now, and every passing moment carried her baby, only three
months old, farther away.
A meadowlark trilled, the song a sharp accent against the deeper thud of hooves.
A shiver ran down her spine. She jerked her gaze upward.
A spotted pony pranced on the path. The rider on the horse’s back watched her from dark eyes. Beneath the quillwork adorning the brave’s chest, his skin gleamed the color of robust tea. A black stripe of paint slashed across the bridge of his nose. Two tight braids fell to the sash that bound fringed leggings at the waist. Strips of cloth crisscrossed a wide forehead, and feathers fanned sideways behind his head.
A group of Indians on ponies clustered beside him. One of them called out, laughing.
The brave held up his hand for silence.
Wisps of hair escaped
America’s bonnet, stinging her
eyes. She clawed them away with a trembling hand. One thought crashed into
another, beating to the rhythm of her wild pulse. Could she outrun them? No. What
would they do to her once they caught her? Horrible.
I love the opening and want to read more. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Visit me at http://janalynvoigt.com.
Stop by to enter the giveaway drawing for an antique locket similar to the one
loses in the scene, above. For a limited time, purchasers of Hills
of Nevermore will receive a free copy of Hearts Reunited, a western historical romance novella by the
aforementioned awesome author, Miralee Ferrell.
I’m giving away three Kindle copies of DawnSinger (Tales of Faeraven, book one) to readers of
Lena’s blog. Comment with your email address to enter,
telling where you would most like to go on a historical vacation.
Sometimes victory comes only through surrender.
The High Queen is dying… At the royal summons, Shae mounts a wingabeast and soars through the air to the high hold of Faeraven, where all is not as it seems. Visions warn her of danger, and a dark soul touches hers in the night. When she encounters an attractive but disturbing musician, her wayward heart awakens.
But then there is Kai, a guardian of Faeraven and of Shae. Secrets bind him to her, and her safety lies at the center of every decision he makes. On a desperate journey fraught with peril and the unknown, they battle warlike garns, waevens, ferocious raptors, and the wraiths of their own regrets. Yet, they must endure the campaign long enough to release the DawnKing—and the salvation he offers—into a divided land. To prevail, each must learn that sometimes victory comes only through surrender.
Thank you, Janalyn, for sharing this new series with us. I’m eager to read Hills of Nevermore, and I know my readers will be glad to win a copy of Dawnsinger.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.Hills of Nevermore: An Inspirational Historical Romance (Montana Gold) (Volume 1) - Paperback
Hills of Nevermore: Inspirational Historical Romance (Montana Gold Book 1) - Kindle
DawnSinger (Tales of Faeraven) - Paperback
DawnSinger (Tales of Faeraven) - Kindle
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