Dear Readers, I love marriage of convenience romances. The premise of this story piqued my interest, so I read it as soon as it arrived. It didn’t even make it to m to-be-read pile. It was wonderful. It had a stronger heroine. And there were twists and turns that kept me turning pages late in the evening. You won't want to miss this amazing read.
Welcome, Cindy. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
In Secrets and Charades, Evangeline is tall for a woman. Most heroines seem to be tiny petit things. I’m tall and knew I wanted my heroine tall. Other than that, I didn’t intentionally put myself into my book.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In seventh grade my teacher wanted to submit a story I wrote for class to a magazine. I didn’t win or even place, but it was my defining moment.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love stories.
is my addiction next to chocolate. I gravitate toward women’s fiction, but I
have lots of mysteries in my collection. I enjoy dystopian. Romances (both
contemporary and historical) are piled on my shelves and in my e-reader.
Westerns are fun reading adventures as well. I’ve found YA books interesting
and love the classics like Jane Austin, Lucy Montgomery and Charles Dickens. Reading
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I try not to multi-task. The older I get the less I feel the need to do everything. I’m focused on my family. I have 5 children and 6 grandchildren. My writing takes priority over things I used to stress about. Housework for one and lots of additional church activities for another. Time in prayer and walking with my husband keep me focused on what’s truly important.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Evangeline told me hers. Jake was originally Drake, but there was a Duke character, and I was advised characters should not have the same first letter or the reader might be confused. Jake fit him better as the story evolved.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Winning the Editor’s Choice Award that resulted in holding the printed copy of Secrets and Charades in my hand.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’ve been asked this question before and my answer remains the same. I love being human and can’t imagine being anything else.
What is your favorite food?
Mine, too, but I have to limit mine. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Doubting myself. I stopped looking at other writers’ accomplishments and comparing their work to mine. I wrestled it in prayer. I laid down the doubt and took up the gift and just keep writing. I confess I have a writing voice that is uniquely mine. I am not my favorite authors or my peers. Reminding myself to keep honing my craft to create the best work I can is all that matters. My path is mine not anyone else’s, and I don’t need to imitate them.
Tell us about the featured book.
This is the one-year anniversary of Secrets and Charades. Below is the back cover copy.
Jake Marcum’s busy ranch leaves him no time for courting, and his wounded heart has no place for love. When battlefield nightmares disturb his peace and his tomboy niece, Juliet, needs taming, somehow a mail-order bride seems like a logical solution.
Dr. Evangeline Olson has no idea her niece is writing to a rancher on her behalf, and she sure isn’t interested in abandoning her medical practice for a stranger. But when an inheritance threatens to reveal a long-buried secret, she travels west to become Jake’s wife.
Jake soon realizes Evangeline is more than he bargained for, especially when her arrival causes a stir in the community. As the two try to find their way in a marriage of convenience, their fragile relationship is further tested by cattle rustling and kidnapping. Can their hearts overcome past hurts to create a real marriage?
Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
March 3, 1873
“Young lady, my marital status is none of your concern.” Evangeline Olson paced about her medical clinic. “What possessed you to answer an ad in the Matrimonial Times on my behalf?”
“Aunt Evie, please,” Maggie said.
Evangeline steeled herself from Maggie’s doe-eyed pleading. “No.” She waved a dismissive hand. “You got yourself into this mess, you can get yourself out.” Her heart beat a tempo perfect for flight, and she reached the door to her bedroom at the back of the clinic before Maggie could respond. Without a backward glance, Evangeline slammed the door. The pounding in her head muffled Maggie’s pleas through the closed door.
“Aunt Evie. I have all of his letters. Read them.”
Evangeline slid to the floor, back against the wall, forehead in her palms. At twenty-eight she had chosen a career over marriage. A headache thumped in her temples. Deliver me from interfering family.
“Are you listening? Please, I’m begging you. Just read them. If you don’t like what you read, I’ll write him an apology.”
Evangeline remained silent.
“They’re on your desk. Mother says the truth is easier to remember than a lie. You’ll find a journal on the desk where I copied all my correspondence to Jake.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Amazon Author Page:
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secrets-charades-cindy-ervin-huff/1126086057?ean=9781946016140
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