Friday, November 02, 2012


Welcome back, Erica. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I’ve got two releases coming out in back-to-back months, but beyond that, I’m waiting on God to see what He has in store for my writing. I’ve got a proposal circulating, and I’m hoping it finds favor with someone.

Tell us a little about your family.
I have a wonderful husband of almost 23 years (In December.) Peter is so supportive of my writing and pretty much any other passion I decide to pursue. He’s gentle and quiet and a perfect balance to my talkative self. I also have a 20 year old daughter who is currently a senior at Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN. She’s studying Early Childhood Education, and she’s looking forward to being a preschool teacher when she graduates next Christmas. My son James is 16, loves reading and playing basketball for the Rochester Defenders homeschool team. Our cat Pookie rounds out the family and pretty much runs things the way she sees fit.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
It’s certainly cut down on the time I have to read. I read a book per week when I used to read two or three. My reading has picked up a little bit since I got my Kindle, because I can read more easily in bed at night without waking my husband.

What are you working on right now?
I’m working on the first of what I hope will become a three-book series set in 1860’s Kansas at Fort Larned on the Santa Fe Trail. The first book is called The Major’s Minors, about the post surgeon who inherits a pair of twins and the commander’s daughter who arrives at the fort under protest and can’t wait to return East as soon as possible. It’s the story about how each of the main players learns the true definitions of home and family. Home isn’t a house, and family is more than blood ties.

What outside interests do you have?
Reading, family, church, cross-stitch, now quilting. I love connecting with folks through blogging and facebook, and I love to travel.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Many of my settings have been places I’ve visited. When I can’t visit a place, I read everything I can about the place and try to talk to someone who has been there. My current release is set in the inhospitable desert of southeast California, a place I’ve never been. Several people questioned the location, saying it was a horrible, hot, barren place, but it’s what I needed for the story, so the location actually becomes a character, forcing the character to make decisions based upon where she lives.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
I’ve always been intrigued by Winston Churchill. I’d love to have dinner with him and listen to him tell stories about his amazing life and all the historical events he not only witnessed but was a part of.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
How all-consuming it can be. It takes time, imagination, money, patience, support, and so much more. I thought it would be easier, but it’s hard work.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Patience and trust. I’ve been under contract non-stop for the past three+ years, having thirteen books published in that time. But at the moment, I’m not under contract, so I’m waiting and working and trusting that God has something in store for me.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Persevere – keep writing, keep learning, keep networking and finding out how this publishing business works.
Cherish the friendships this journey will bring to you. Nobody ‘gets’ writers like other writers.
Find ways to give back. Judge contests, mentor writers, be a critique partner. 

Tell us about the featured book.
About The Book: (From the back cover)
A Bride Sews With Love in Needles, CA
A Harvey Girl waits on True Love.
With her brother already on the front lines in France, Meghan Thorson becomes a Harvey Girl in Needles, California. Ready and willing to wait on the hundreds of doughboys heading for Europe, Meghan deems this service her way of contributing to the war effort. When a Red Cross representative breezes through town, Meghan embraces the challenge to do even more, committing to completing a Red Cross signature quilt and canvassing the town for donations to the cause.

Horseman Caleb McBride makes his living by training stock for the US Cavalry and keeps his pride by remaining a loner. When Meghan meets Caleb, she senses something mysterious and wounded about him, piquing her curiosity. But after the townsfolk scorn him as a coward and a profiteer, Caleb feels her pity and becomes even more guarded.

When Needles is hit by an influenza epidemic and the Harvey hotel is made into a temporary hospital, Meghan discovers Caleb’s shameful secret.

Will both Caleb and Meghan find a way to kill their pride before their chance of love rips them apart at the seams?

Please give us the first page of the book.
“There is nothing so stubborn and exasperating as a headstrong Irish daughter.”

“You only bring up my Irish half when I’m suggesting something you don’t like. If I please you, you claim my Norwegian side.” Meghan set her jaw, determined to stand up to Papa.

“How do I know this isn’t just another one of your wild schemes? Like the mail order candy or the door-to-door sewing notions? Remember how those ended? Flying high only to fall to earth with a thud after only a few weeks.” His huge boots clomped as he passed the sitting room floor, drowning out the sound of rain pattering against the windowpane as a late spring storm blew through. “You always start out with the best of intentions, child, but you don’t think things through. Always you think you can whip the world, but you take on too much and come crashing down.”

“It won’t be like that. I was a child then. I didn’t know what I was doing.” Meghan Thorson poked the logs in the fireplace, sending up a shower of sparks that raced up the flue. “I won’t be trying to start my own business. I’ll be working for one of the most reputable companies in the country. And it’s only for six months, not forever. If I don’t like it, I can come home then. But I will like it. You’ll see. You’re the one who has been saying I need to find something to occupy my time, something that would help the war effort and keep me out of your hair. This job will definitely keep me out of your way. Needles is more than fifteen hundred miles from here.”

Papa stopped pacing, stroked his reddish-blond beard, and studied her with somber blue eyes. “And how long will it be before I get a letter saying you hate it out there and you’re coming home?”

“You won’t get such a letter from me.”

“Couldn’t you find something closer to home? I thought you would get a job here in Mantorville, or even over in Rochester. California is too far away.”

Mama’s knitting needles clicked, a sound as familiar to Meghan as her own breathing. “You hoped it would be in Rochester so you could have an excuse to drive your new motorcar over there.” She barely looked up from the sock she knitted. Socks, socks, and more socks. American soldiers in the trenches in France needed socks, and Mama’s knitting needles never stopped.

I pray over every pair as if they were going to Lars himself. They are all my sons in that way, all those soldiers. And I know their mamas are praying for them as well. Mamas of soldiers knit and pray.

“I don’t want a job close to home. I want to stand on my own two feet, do something bigger, travel, and—” she spread her hands “I don’t know how to explain it. I just know I need to do this. I knew it as soon as I saw the advertisement in the Tribune.

Mama sighed. “She needs to go. She’s gone in her heart already.” Click, click, click. “I’m surprised we were able to keep our little sparrow in the nest this long. She’s always desired to fly. This is her chance.” A faraway look invaded Mama’s expression, softening her face in the firelight.

But Papa was not softened. “Mary Kate, I thought you would have agreed with me that Meghan should stay here. With us. She’s too young to leave home.” He thrust his hands into his pockets and stood square before Mama’s chair. “She is barely more than a child. Not old enough to go so far away from home.”

Mama’s red lashes flicked upward from her yarn, showing eyes so green they seemed to glitter—the same eyes she’d passed onto Meghan, along with her red hair and freckles—and according to Papa her Irish stubbornness.

“Look at her. She’s twenty years old. When I was eighteen, I set out on a wonderful adventure. I sailed away from Ireland to America. And I met a handsome Norseman on the boat who swept me off my feet and carried me away to his new home in Minnesota.” She grinned. “By the time I was twenty, I was already a mama to Lars.”

Papa’s brow scrunched. “That’s different.”

“Is it? I think it is very much the same. Let her have her adventure, Per. She’s young, and there is so much strife in the world right now, so little for a young woman to be excited about. Who knows, perhaps she’ll find a strapping, brave young man to call her own like I did.”

I love the sound of this book. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Author Bio: Erica Vetsch is a transplanted Kansan now residing in Minnesota. She loves history and reading, and is blessed to be able to combine the two by writing historical fiction set in the American West. Whenever she’s not following flights of fancy in her fictional world, she’s the company bookkeeper for the family lumber business, mother of two terrific teens, wife to a man who is her total opposite and soul-mate, and avid museum patron.
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Thank you, Erica, for sharing this story with us.

Readers, here is a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
A Bride Sews with Love in Needles, California

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.


pol said...

Good morning, I have not read this author before but the story sounds wonderful, I have read some books about the "Harvey Girls" and enjoyed them so this sounds like one I would be interested in reading. I like this time period too. thanks for sharing today.
Paula O(
A Ga Reader

Jo said...

Another new to me author. Thank you for the opportunity of getting to know another new author whose book sounds quite interesting.

Jo from Southern Arizona

apple blossom said...

sounds like good book

live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Unknown said...

We had friends who owned an RV park just outside of Needles, CA, so the place draws me in...nursing invovled, another draw. Oh, let me just say that this novel sounds wonderful and i'd love to win. Thanks for the great interview, Lena and Erica.

Marianne from northern Alberta


Wendy Newcomb said...

This sounds like a wonderful book! Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

Wendy from FL


Patty said...

I read and enjoyed 'A Brides Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas' by Erica. Love the clever titles of this series of books=)

Patty in SC

spangldlady said...

I love reading about the "Harvey Girls". This genre is really a favorite of mine. Haven't had the pleasure of reading Erica's work before but sure would love to win A Bride Sews with love in Needles, California! Blessings! Darlene from MO

Sparks of Ember said...

This book sounds like a sweet story!

from the black hills of SD!

Erica Vetsch said...

Hello, Lena, and her faithful blog readers!

POL, I, too, enjoy reading about the Harvey Girls. I wonder if I would've been as brave as they, leaving home and heading so far west.

JO, and APPLE BLOSSOM, thank you so much for stopping by and saying hello!

MARIANNE, an RV Park near Needles? Must've been like living in an oven! Yikes. :)

Erica Vetsch said...

WENDY, I love your picture. Raggedy Ann was a big favorite of mine growing up.

PATTY, I'm so glad you enjoyed the Dodge City book. Hopefully the Needles book won't disappoint. :)

SPANGLDLADY, I have always loved Historical Romance myself. And I used to live in MO (near Kansas City) when I was in college.

Erica Vetsch said...

LADYSAOTOME, thank you so much for commenting, and I hope you get a chance to enjoy the book. :)

Karen G. said...

Cover looks really nice and the book sounds great. Will have to put it on my wish list. Would love to win a copy.

Karen G, Troy, NY

Jasmine A. said...

This book looks really interesting...
montana(at)gmail(.com) living in Beautiful Northwest Montana

Anonymous said...

I would love to win the address i'm fr Loretto Tn...

Erica Vetsch said...

KAREN, JASMINE, and SANDRA, Thanks so much for stopping by!

Anonymous said...


Melody said...

I would love to slip this into my stocking!

from Donna, TX

Erica Vetsch said...

Hi, Angela and Melody! thanks for commenting!

Shopgirl said...

This sounds fascinating! I love stories about harvey girls and I like that she wants to get involved with the Red Cross. I'm in MN.

Mary Preston said...

I love the sound of this book as well.

Mary P


Mus said...

Thanks for this review. I think its a lovely story.

karenk said...

would love to read this beautiful story...thanks for the chance

karenk...from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

A Cooking Bookworm said...

Sounds really good!! It's on my WL...and I love the Harvey Girls!

Binghamton, NY

mybabyblessings AT gmail DOT com

Lyndie Blevins said...

Thanks for the opportunity to get this book.
Lyndie Blevins
Duncanville, Tx

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

I would love to win,Enter me!!
Thanks for the giveaway and God Bless!!

Angie Adair said...

Sounds like a great book...would love to win! Angie in Illinois

sharon m. said...

San Diego, CA
I like reading historical fiction. I have learned lots about the Harvey Girls and visited National Parks where Harvey Girls were employed tow work the hotels, El Tovar, for one, at Grand Canyon.

Erica Vetsch said...

VERONICA, hey, from another Minnesotan! :)

MARY, ARITHA, KARENK, thank you for stopping by and reading about my new release!

STEPHANIE, LINDIE, SARAH, ANGIE, Thanks for commenting!

Sharon, I would love to visit El Tovar. A trip to the Grand Canyon is on our family vacation to do list!

Unknown said...

I have never read anything by this author and this book looks like a fascinating read. Erica, is this a book in a series? Where did you get the idea for the story line?

I live in Las Vegas, NV

lastnerve2000 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

The book sounds like a great read. Would love to win and read it. Looking forward to your next book "The Major’s Minors". Sounds like another great read.

Kay from NY

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me this book looks great!!
Sharon Richmond

Judy Cooper said...

I have not read anything by this author but it is the kind of book I enjoy. Please enter my name. Thank you. Judy C. in Louisiana.

rubynreba said...

Thanks for the great interview nd review. I hope to read this book soon. Thanks!

bonnie said...

Would love to have the opportunity to read one of your books!

Linda Ortiz said...

I have not read this authors books, I love historical fiction. Thank you, please enter me in the contest!

Evlin said...

It would be a pleasure to win this book. It sounds really good. Thank you for the opportunity.

Kevlin from NY

Mama Cat said...

Hello! I love the books that Erica has written; each book is better than the one before it! I haven't heard about the Harvey Girls and look forward to learning about it in her new book. Please enter me in the contest - and thank you, Lena, for this opportunity to learn more about our favorite authors and meet new ones. Jeanie from Phoenix

Diana Gardner said...

Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks! Portsmouth, VA

Merry said...

Erica captured me as a reader with her book The Bartered Bride, she is awesome. I'd love to be entered for her newest release!
Merry in TX

Jes said...

The book sounds interesting! My brother loves to read excerpts of Winston Churchill speeches to me! :)

Jes (CA)
jswaks at gmail dot com

Jasmine A. said...

I just got the book in the mail today and I can't wait to read it! Thanks so much Erica!!!