Thursday, March 01, 2012


Welcome, Ramona. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I’ve always loved history, especially the history of my state—Indiana. I also love stories of romance, and as a Christian I enjoy fiction with a spiritual theme. By writing Christian historical romance novels, I can combine all these interests.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
That would be a three-way tie; my wedding day 39 years ago, the day my first daughter was born, and the day my second daughter was born.

How has being published changed your life?
Now when I tell people I write books the response I get is more often a raised brow accompanied by an appreciatory-toned “Oh,” instead of the incredulous eye-roll I regularly got in my pre-pubbed days.

What are you reading right now?
Kim Vogel Sawyer’s new release, Song of My Heart.

What is your current work in progress?
Heart’s Heritage, a historical romance set in 1812 in my own southern Indiana county. Barbour Publishing will release the story later this year as a Heartsong.

What would be your dream vacation?
A trip to the British Isles.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
My settings tend to be relatively local i.e. my state, my county, even my town because that’s what I know. Usually, the setting chooses the story when I ask he proverbial author’s question “I wonder what would have happened if. . .” like to take local history and weave a fictional story around it. A Bride’s Sweet Surprise in Sauers, Indiana, is a perfect example. Sauers is a German farming community in my county. I can trace a branch of my family tree to the place. A Bride’s Sweet Surprise was actually inspired by a couple incidents in my own family history my uncle told me about.  

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
The oldest person in my state with a clear memory of what life was like here when they were young. I love hearing first-hand accounts of Indiana in simpler times.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Visiting places of historical interest. Always looking for the next inspiration.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Deciding where to begin a story. I try to imagine the story I’m writing as a movie. I ask myself “What would be the perfect opening scene?”

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Have a teachable heart, and despite discouragements—and there will be many—keep writing and never give up.

Tell us about the featured book.
As I mentioned before, A Bride’s Sweet Surprise in Sauers, Indiana, is set in my Southern Indiana county in 1849. An arranged marriage situation among German immigrants, the story features a reluctant bride and groom. Devout Christians, the young couple are forced to question what exactly is required of them in order keep the commandment  “Honour thy Father and Mother.”

Please give us the first page of the book.
Have you lost your senses? My Vater will shoot you!” Fear for the young man standing before her bubbled up in Regina Seitz’s chest.

A deep laugh rumbled from Eli Tanner, but the cacophony of his father’s horse-powered gristmill behind them quickly swallowed the sound. The nonchalant stretching across his handsome face told her he did not share her concern. “Your pa is a reasonable man. He may run me off his farm and give me a tongue-lashing in German, but I doubt he would shoot me for taking you to a box supper at Dudleytown.”

“He might if you take me without his consent and without a chaperone.” With all her heart, Regina wished her words were not true. In her seventeen years, she couldn’t remember a longer, colder winter than the one their little farming community had just endured. Now that the harsh weather had finally given way to a warm and glorious spring and with Lent and Easter behind them, she looked forward to occasions like this Saturday’s gathering at the Dudleytown School to socialize with friends her age. And of all the boys in the county, she could think of no other she would rather have squire her to the event than Eli. But Eli hadn’t seen the thundercloud form on Papa’s face last September after her sister Elsie’s marriage to her non-German husband, William. Eli hadn’t heard Papa’s voice ring like a death-knell, proclaiming that he would never again sanction the marriage of a daughter to a non-German.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My web site is I’m also on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you, Ramona, for this interesting peek into your life and your book.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
A Bride's Sweet Surprise in Sauers, Indiana - paperback
A Bride's Sweet Surprise in Sauers, Indiana - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Patty said...

As a single girl, I know my parents approval would be important if I were to marry, I'm interested to see where this story goes.

Patt in SC

Debbie Lynne Costello said...

Hey Ramona and Lena, Great interview. Oh I can so relate to the response of an unpubbed. Sigh. Thank goodness for such great friends like you, who are always encouraging and saying you can do it! I loved the idea of meeting the oldest person in a town. I wish I could talk with Joe's father he had so much wisdom. He'd be 130 if he were a live today. Joe's dad was like Abraham btw. I thank God that at an old age he was blessed with children.

Ramona Cecil said...

Hi Patty! Thanks for stopping in! Good luck in the drawing. Either way, I hope you check out the book.

Ramona Cecil said...

Hi Debbie Lynne! Never give up in your quest for publication. You will get there! Wish I could have heard some of your father-in-law's stories!
Thanks for stopping in and good luck in the drawing!

Louise M. Gouge said...

Ramona is a gifted writer with a talent for taking readers into the past for a an endearing story. A Bride's Sweet Surprise is a delightful story with some big surprises and a beautiful, selfless romance.

Unknown said...

i love to read about these type of situations. i have a couple of dear friends who are 91, and i love to listen to them talk about their childhood!

Thanks for the interview and opportunity to win

Marianne - Arizona

mitzi underscore wanham at yahoo dot com

Jo said...

Great interview! This book sounds quite interesting!

Jo from Southern Arizona

MaryLu Tyndall said...

So much fun to learn more about you, Ramona! I simply adore the first line of your book! That would definitely keep me reading!! Thanks for being such a sweet, encouraging friend.

Coolestmommy said...

Having great-grandparents who are Germans from Russia who immigrated here, this sounds like a story I'd really enjoy.

Thanks for sharing,
coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Ramona Cecil said...

Aww, thanks, Louise! I appreciate you kind words, especially coming from someone whose work I truly admire.

Ramona Cecil said...

Thanks, Marianne! Good luck in the drawing! Either way, I hope you check out the book

Ramona Cecil said...

Thanks, Jo! I hope you get the chance to check it out. :o)

Ramona Cecil said...

Oh thank you, MaryLu! I really appreciate that. I actually agonized over that first sentence. Another example of the power of prayer. LOL You've been a great encouragement to me, too.

Ramona Cecil said...

Thanks, Robyn! I do think you'd enjoy this story. Hope you get the chance to check it out.

Mary Preston said...

What a wonderful story. I loved the first page & now have A BRIDE'S SWEET SURPRISE on my wish list.

I am descended from German immigrants, so this will be great.

Mary P


Judy Cooper said...

I enjoyed the interview and I know that I would enjoy the book, historical romance and christian oriented is the best. Please enter my name. thank you Judy C. Louisiana

apple blossom said...

Thanks for the interview. Love to win the book live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Ramona Cecil said...

Hi Maybelle! Or should I say G'day? ;o)Thank you so much for the kind words. Good luck in the drawing!

Ramona Cecil said...

Thanks, Judy! Good luck in the drawing. But either way, I hope you check out the book.

Ramona Cecil said...

Hi Apple Blossom! I LOVE your name!
Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the drawing.

Kandra said...

interesting beginning to the book! I'm in Tennessee

Judy said...

This sounds like a great read! I'd love to win a copy of "A Bride's Sweet Surprise".

I enjoyed the inteview very much. Ramona is a new author to me and I love finding new authors!

Blessings from another Hoosier!
Judy from Indiana

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me I would love to win a copy of this book it sounds and looks like a great story! Thanks and God bless.
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

ticLooks and sounds interesting!
Please enter me in the drawing!
God Bless,
Sarah Richmond

Courtney said...

Sounds like a great book, please enter me! Thanks!

Courtney from WA state

Ramona Cecil said...

Hi Kendra! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you get a chance to check out the book.

Ramona Cecil said...

Hi Judy! Always nice to meet another Hoosier! Good luck in the drawing and I hope you get to check out the book.

Ramona Cecil said...

Hi Sharon! Thanks for the kind comment and good luck in the drawing.

Ramona Cecil said...

Hi Sarah! Thanks for stopping by to check out the interview. Good luck in the drawing!

Ramona Cecil said...

Hi Courtney! Good luck in the drawing.

Abigail Mitchell said...

This book looks very interesting! Please enter me in the drawing.
Thanks and God Bless!
Blanch, N.C.

Karen G. said...

This sounds like an interesting book. Would love to win it. Will put on my book wish list if I don't win.
Karen Gervais
Troy, NY

Faith said...

Thanks for the wonderful interview :) Sounds like a great story! Arranged marriages somehow fascinate me, probably because I still can't get my head fully around what it would be like!

Faye, SD

Cindy W. said...

Being from Indiana, I would love to win a copy of Ramona's book! Love the cover too!

I live in Auburn, IN.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Angie Adair said...

This sounds like a great book!

Maggie Carr said...

being a hoosier i love picking up books where the setting is so close to home. id love to win.
maggie, northern indiana

rubynreba said...

I enjoyed the interview and first page of the story. Makes me anxious to read it!
Beth from Iowa

Ramona Cecil said...

Hi Abigail! Thanks for stopping by. Good luck in the drawing. Either way, I hope you get to check out the book.

Ramona Cecil said...

Thanks, Ruby! Good luck in the drawing!

Ramona Cecil said...

Hi, Faye! I share your interest (intrigue?) in arranged marriages. When my uncle told me about the incident in our family history, I knew there was a story there. I hope you like the angle I took on it in A Bride's Sweet Surprise.

Ramona Cecil said...

Hi Cindy! Hollering really loud from waaay down here in the southern part of the state! I'm always happy to meet another Hoosier. I do think you'd love this story. Good luck in the drawing!

Ramona Cecil said...

Thanks, Angie! Good luck in the drawing. Either way, I hope you get to check out the book

Ramona Cecil said...

Hi Maggie! I'm glad to see so many fellow Hoosiers here! I do think you'd like the book and I wish you good luck in the drawing!

Ramona Cecil said...

Hi Beth! Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words. Good luck in the drawing!

Kristie said...

I'm glad that the arranged marriage tradition has gone by the wayside. At least with the folks I know. It's interesting that your setting is always pretty much the same. Do your characters go on vacation? I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

Joanna Richmond said...

Isounds very interesting, I would Love to read this book. Thanks for the Chance to win. Thanks
Joanna Richmond
Blanch NCg

Aizess said...

Please enter me! Thank you for the chance to win.

I live in New York

Alicia said...

Looks like a great book. enter me in the drawing.
Ali from Ny

Samantha K said...

I really would love to have a chance to read this book! This was a really great interview. It's fun to learn about the authors of the books you read.
Samantha from Kentucky