Tuesday, December 10, 2019

COURTSHIPS AND CARRIAGES - Janet Syas Nitsick - One Free Book

Welcome back, Janet. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write sweet, clean, Christian romances with suspense and/or mystery because those are the movies or television shows I like to watch, and those also are stories I enjoy reading. In addition, I want to spread God’s faithful and steadfast message through my characters and their interactions and trials.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
One summer evening before my husband and I got married, we walked hand in hand through Memorial Park in Omaha. The peaceful evening was graced with a nice summer breeze, which flowed around us, and row after row of fragrant, colorful roses marking our path. We took in the fresh air while we continued to hike up the hill to see the memorial for veterans who served in World War II. In front of the stone semicircle memorial is a statue of a kneeling army man who carries a wounded soldier. A flagpole stands beside the statue with the American flag flapping in the wind. The excitement of that quiet night, which occurred forty years ago, has never left me.

How has being published changed your life?
I do a lot of book signings at craft shows. People remember me and stop by to admire my costume, which goes along with my most recent book cover. They will say how beautiful I look and readers, who have read my books, will express their appreciation for my writing and the stories I write. For example, one person stopped by and said she bought all my books a few months ago and loved every one of them. In other words, I stand out in a crowd, which is quite different from my childhood where I was so shy I barely spoke to anyone. In fact during my grade school years, I never used the bathroom because I was too shy to ask where they were located.

What are you reading right now?
The One-Flesh Covenant written by S. T. Theophanie, a pen name used by my friend. This is not a book I normally would have chosen; however, this friend has read all of my books. I owe her my loyalty in reading her only book. She wrote this several years ago but was forced to republish it since the original publisher went bankrupt. I have not finished it. Her biblical research states when someone enters a marriage that bond will not be lifted until their spouse dies. Only then can the widow/widower remarry.

What is your current work in progress?
The Librarian’s Secret. This is the second book in my Bonnets and Beaus series with the first in the series being The Heiress Comes to Town. I plan on releasing The Librarian’s Secret Feb. 15, 2020. This clean, Christian romance includes mystery and suspense and takes place in 1896 and is set in Nebraska City, Neb.

The librarian’s secret … held inside a father’s journal … two hearts intertwine

What would be your dream vacation?
My husband and I would like to visit Ronald Reagan’s library in Simi Valley, Calif. Since we are caretakers of our oldest and nonverbal autistic son, we would have to do this on a long weekend trip. We would love to do this next year to celebrate our 40th anniversary. However, getting away for such a trip without our son is going to be a challenge. We cannot go this far with him because we do not know if we would cooperate in seeing the museum once we got there.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
All my books are set in Nebraska. I write about places I have visited and know.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet and talk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. His beautiful story shows us how in America you can rise from poverty to importance through hard work and determination. My father knew his wife’s parents. They lived in Nebraska. The Justice also is a big fan of the University of Nebraska football, and in Nebraska, that is a big thing.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Singing. I have sung solos and enjoy being a member of my church’s choir. Right now, we are practicing for our Christmas cantata, which relays the story of Christ’s birth through song.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
This year has been my most difficult writing obstacle. On March 21, I carried two coats down the basement stairs. These are narrow steps. One of the coat’s belts got caught in the corner of the stairwell. I tugged on it and missed a couple of steps and landed face down on concrete. For three months, I was on a walker and could not put pressure on my left foot. I finally moved from that to the cane. Right now, I am pivoting from the cane to walking unassisted.

Besides this, my eldest son’s wife passed away in June and now my oldest granddaughter is separated from her husband. It has been one of those years. All of this has hindered my writing and only now has my stamina returned.

2019 has been my most difficult year, too, with a serious problem with one daughter and my husband having seven skin cancer surgeries. But I praise the Lord that He was with us every step of the way. What advice would you give to a beginning author?
I was a former journalist, which taught me to write tight. This helped me in going from non-fiction writing to fiction. However, it also hindered me, for in journalism you deal with facts, no emotions are allowed. Thus, I went for about three years to this critique group. Their input helped me develop my fiction writing skills. I would suggest a new writer go to such a group and listen and implement their suggestions. The more you carry out their recommendations the better your work will become.

Tell us about the featured book.
Courtships and Carriages is the first in my Great Plains series. There are three in the series: Courtships and Carriages, The Bride List, and When Hearts Rekindle.

Courtships and Carriages, a sweet Christian romance, returns readers to the Midwest in 1893, where men who drove fancy carriages like debonair Nolan Bradford could make ladies’ hearts flutter, such as Gwen Ward’s. Her heart raced every time she saw him, especially when these rides included secret rendezvous, pretty flowers, and stolen kisses.  

Her decision could be an easy one if only her dear-childhood friend, Russ Knudson, a kindhearted, humble man, a man who works with his hands – a farmer – was not also vying for her hand. He may not be as refined as Nolan, but his feelings were just as sincere, and Gwen’s love for him ran deep. And, if only Nolan was not the son of the corrupt mayor and her father, the publisher of a local paper, was not investigating that mayor.

The answer is in her court in Courtships and Carriages, which includes intrigue and suspense when a trunkful of mayoral electoral ballots comes up missing.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Winter 1893
Omaha, Nebraska
“Be careful,” Gwen yelled to her mother as the snowflakes fell around them. She shrugged, thinking about how these wet flakes had to come as they headed for this boring inaugural. Stepping onto the boardwalk, she planted her feet firmly on the wooden planks dusted with snow before pressing forward. The biting air stung her face and hands. She thrust her cold-gloved hands further inside the fox muff. Glancing at her ma, who wore a blue coat trimmed with fur sleeves, she asked, “Am I going too fast?”
Her mother took a deep breath. “No. I’m able to keep up. I’m more concerned about being late.”
Gwen gazed ahead of her. “I don’t know why the mayor decided to have his ceremony at the train station.”
“Pa said it’s because it’s the city hub of business activity, and the mayor wants to highlight that.”
“But it’s on the other side of town,” Gwen said with disgust. She jerked her hand from the muff to brush the snow off her shoulders. She shivered. Horses hoofs pounded the brick pavement. Gwen turned and stared at the yellow-wheeled carriage approaching. What a beauty. …

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter: JanNitsick
LinkedIn: Janet Nitsick

Thank you, Janet, for sharing this book with us. I’m eager to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book.
Courtships and Carriages - Paperback
Courtships and Carriages (Great Plains Series Book 1) - Kindle

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Melanie Backus said...

Sounds like a good one!
Melanie Backus, TX

Janet Nitsick said...

I think you will love this story. It's a sweet, clean romance with suspense. Who will win Gwen's heart? The corrupt mayor's son who drives a fancy carriage and has lived a life of luxury, or her long-time friend who has loved her for years. Find out in Courtships and Carriages, the first in the Great Plains series.

Janet Nitsick said...

The second in the series is The Bride List and the last in the series is When Hearts Rekindle. God bless.

Wendy Newcomb said...

OH MY! This is a must read, thank you for the chance to win a copy of this book. This is a new author for me so I'm excited to read it.

Wendy in Nebraska

wfnren at aol dot com

Lucy Reynolds said...

Thank you for sharing a new author to me. Merry Christmas from WV.

Emma said...

"COURTSHIPS AND CARRIAGES by Janet Syas Nitsick sounds wonderful.PA. Thank you for the chance to win.

Janet Nitsick said...

Hi! Wendy in Nebraska,

All my books are set in Nebraska. Courtships and Carriages is set in Omaha in the year 1893. The Bride List is in Elkhorn, Neb., in 1893 and the last in the series is When Hearts Rekindle is in Omaha 1894. Good luck to you. Visit my Web site for more information: www.JanetSyasNitsick.com.

Janet Nitsick said...

Hi! Lucy from West Virginia,

I've never been to your state, but an acquaintance I know lives there and loves it. She says it is very pretty, and she also loves the people. She is a teacher there. God bless.

Janet Nitsick said...

Hi! Emma from Pennsylvania,

Now I have been to your state. My husband had relatives who lived in Aliquippa. We visited them once in the 1990s and most recently in 2007. God has taken most of them, and there are no survivors that my husband has contact with now. It's a shame. We enjoyed the rolling hills as we traveled there. It is such a different terrain than Nebraska which is mostly flat land. Good luck and God bless.

rubynreba said...

Since I am from the Midwest I love books from the area!
Beth from Iowa

Janet Nitsick said...

Sounds good, rubynreba. What part of Iowa do you live? As a reporter I use to cover part of eastern Iowa went as far Red Oak, Iowa. I also have visited other places in Iowa since I live in your neighboring state of Nebraska. God bless.