Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): April W Gardner

February 21, 2017 April W Gardner, Author Interview, Christian, giveaway, historical 37

Author Interview RIMSP

I am so pleased to welcome April Gardner to the blog today!

APRIL W GARDNER writes history with a Christian perspective and a little imagination.

She is a copyeditor, military wife, and homeschooling mother of two who lives in Texas. She writes Christian historical romance with a focus on our Southeastern Native tribes. In no particular order, April dreams of owning a horse, learning a third language, and visiting all the national parks.

You can connect with April on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Her newest book, Bitter Eyes No More, released February 7th and is the 4th book in her Creek Country Saga series (but is itself a single, complete story)

A man of abiding honor, tested by a woman of ruinous passion. A woman of unspeakable sins, pursued by a God of unquenchable mercy.

Spanish Florida once sheltered Lillian McGirth from her fears. Now, it feeds them. Mercy is for the deserving; for Lillian, an unwed mother accused of treason, there is only battering and defeat, but her fall breaks softly in the arms of an unexpected arrival, a man too beautiful of soul to stain with her lost character.

Captain Marcus Buck sails in on a pledge to save Miss McGirth from herself and from her child’s father, a ruthless don. All the while, he’s to regard her as virtuous and worthy of protection and to guard said virtue from pilfering. But the terms are flawed since he must first guard her from himself. Regardless, he is determined. He will free her, repair her name—simple labor compared to dodging the army’s noose, mending wounds three years deep, and navigating a host of rebel Natives bent on inflicting more.

Through the steady crumble of his pledge, their friendship becomes a consolation, for she knows his pain as no other can or will. Their scars are one; their paths, however, might irrevocably become two…

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Hi April! Welcome to the blog 🙂 I’m so honored to be chatting with you today! I start all of my guests out with a fast four:

apples or oranges

April:  Apples! Preferably Fuji. I’m too lazy to peel oranges.

Carrie: haha! I hear that!

winter or summer

April: When I lived in England, summer. In Texas, I’m much preferring my 70-degree-average winter!

Carrie: Ugh!! Too hot for me lol.

dogs or cats

April: Dogs because they adore me. 🙂

Carrie: My dog Zuzu says, “Well of course we do!”

coffee or tea

April: Coffee, but England taught me a great appreciation for all kinds of teas. Why coffee? Because it’s comforting (nothing at all to do with addiction, folks! hehe).

Carrie: Coffee does seem to be a prerequisite for authorhood. lol.

Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

April: Growing up, my recurring dream was being able to fly. When I was in first grade, I became convinced this was a real ability and for several days went running through the house, taking flying leaps only to be disappointed with the results. It was so impactful a notion, I can still feel that conviction like it was yesterday. So hands down, if I could pick a superpower, I’d fly!

Carrie: Well and that would be just all kinds of awesome, too!

Which books are “on your nightstand”?

April: Fun question! Currently, I have a four-book stack on my nightstand.

  1. A 1979 edition of Louis L’Amour’s Bendigo Shafter. My dad mailed it to me from Spain (where he lives) because it has a Native American theme, so it’s super special.
  2. William Bartram on the Southeastern Indians (research book). Bartram was a naturalist and a contemporary of my early 1800s Southeastern settings. He toured the area before whites influenced it, then wrote about it extensively. The info I get from him is highly accurate and valuable. Yes, I’m a history nerd.
  3. Settle for More by Megyn Kelly. Another gift from my dad! I haven’t started it, so I’m not sure what to expect with it, except that it’s probably good since Dad recommended it.
  4. The Chicago Manual of Style. I read a couple pages from it every night. Yes, I’m a grammar nerd, too. 🙂
  5. My kindle! Right now, I’m reading Broken Butterfly by Cindy Patterson. I’m only 8% in, but so far, it’s really good!

Carrie: I have the AP Stylebook on my nightstand so … yeah… I get it LOL.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled while researching a book?

April: There have been some crazy topics to cross my desktop, but the one that comes to mind first is the 1700s-enema syringe. My latest hero is an 1818 army surgeon who pioneers blood transfusions. I needed the history of syringes. In case you were wondering enema syringes do NOT work for blood transfusions… Haha!

Carrie: Do I want to know what they DO work for? Hmmm… Probably not haha!!

I am completely enraptured by Bitter Eyes No More’s premise. Both main characters find themselves in pretty impossible – and seemingly irredeemable – situations. What inspired you to write their story?

April: Yes, they do! The historical event was the basis for the plot. It’s a rich setting and a such a tragic period that it lent plenty of conflict on its own. But I did try to come up with the most complex way to portray it. Shoving the main characters into the center of all that cultural and political upheaval did precisely that. I got them into as deep of water as I could and let them flounder. I’m so cruel!

Carrie: I’m convinced all writers have a cruel side – the side that likes to torture their characters and their readers 😉 LOL

Between Lillian and Marcus, which character surprised you the most once you started writing this novel?

April: Probably Marcus because he eluded me like no body’s business. Going in, I thought I knew him, but nope! Marcus is like ogres and onions—they all have layers. Took me a while to unpeel Marcus’s to get down to the core of who he was, but I finally managed it, and now, I feel confident he was worth all the effort!

Carrie: haha! I laughed out loud at this part of your answer – “Marcus is like ogres and onions—they all have layers.” What a great phrase!

What do you most want readers to take away from Bitter Eyes No More?

April: My passions are history and Jesus’s redemptive power, so that’s what my readers will find in Bitter Eyes. Most readers will be unfamiliar with Fort San Marcos of Apalachee and the events that took place there in 1818-19, but that forgotten corner of Florida changed the course of American history.

The spiritual themes are mercy and justice. Lillian seeks mercy for her many sins. Marcus seeks justice for having been press-ganged by the British Navy. Both are attributes of God that shine loud and clear throughout the story. This is the scripture etched into Justice, Marcus’s sword: Thus, speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother. (Zechariah 7:9)

Carrie: History and redemption – two of my very fave things as well! I can’t wait to read this book!

April, thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

April: I’m already hard at work on the second book in the Drawn by the Frost Moon Trilogy, Love the War Woman. It will follow the life of Fierce Mink, a war woman who is bodyguard to Chief Tall Bull. He is every unwed woman’s desire, and she is not exception, but he is far too prestigious to bind his life to the “husband killer.” The story’s tagline: Love him, shield him, die for him. They are one and the same. Readers of Bitter Eyes will be introduced to both of these characters!

Thanks for having me, Carrie! Loved these questions. Fun times!

April Gardner is giving away a digital copy of Bitter Eyes No More to one of my readers! This is open internationally, except where prohibited by law.  Giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What about you? What most interests you about Bitter Eyes No More?

Carrie

37 Responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): April W Gardner”

  1. Ochegba

    I would love to win a copy of this book. I have never read any of this authors work but I’m looking to trying new authors this year.

  2. April Gardner

    Hey there, Carrie and readers! I hope you’re all have a gorgeous day. Mine has started out GREAT because, of course, I’m visiting here with you.
    Thanks for having me, Carrie! Can’t wait to hand over the winning copy of Bitter Eyes.
    P.S. Love that map!!

  3. Brittaney B

    I love historical fiction. And I really love when it introduces me to a piece of history that I am unfamiliar with. Since I know very little about the history of Florida and have never heard of Fort San Marcos, I’m excited to learn more through this story!

    • April Gardner

      Brittaney, you’re a reader after my own heart! I always go for the books with a unique setting and some tidbit of history I haven’t heard of. That’s my aim when I write too. The event covered in Bitter Eyes No More changed the course of Florida history and, consequently, that of the United States. And no one knows about it. Tragic! Thanks for your interest and best wishes on the giveaway!!

  4. Bhriv

    I’ve bought the book, read and reviewed it and LOVED it! Love the interview, Carrie! It’s always great to get to know authors with your great questions. Since April isn’t a new-to-me author, I strongly encourage new readers to check it out because it’s a great book…and awesome addition to the series! If you love history and romance…this one is for you! As always, love to check out your blog, reviews, and interviews 🙂 (don’t add me to the giveaway 😉 )

  5. Amanda G.

    I’m most interested to see how the noose part catches up with them. Sounds so interesting!

  6. DeAnna Dodson

    Wow, this sounds just fascinating. I love historicals, but I’ve never read any set in Florida. I love the premise of the new book, too. Who could resist that tagline?

    • April Gardner

      Hi DeAnna! I agree, historicals set in Florida are rare, especially Spanish Florida. I don’t think I’ve ever read one either, lol. Since I grew up in Spain, I adored learning about this time period and incorporating Spanish culture in my writing. Thanks for stopping by and good luck on the giveaway!

  7. Winnie Thomas

    Wow! Fabulous interview, Carrie and April! April, your book sounds so fascinating! I love historical fiction and would love to learn more about this time period and setting. So intriguing!

  8. Katie Donovan

    Great interview! I’m looking forward to reading this when I get the chance.

    And I can’t believe I’m actually eligible to enter a giveaway, and I already have a copy of the book… 🙄

  9. Connie Scruggs

    I love historical novels. I’m interested in reading about the struggles of an unwed mother in that time period.

    • April Gardner

      And boy, does she have struggles, Connie. I threw her into some pretty hot water. Hope you get a chance to read it. Thanks for commenting and good luck!

  10. Dianne Casey

    I enjoy reading historical fiction and “Bitter Eyes No More” sounds like an interesting read. Looking forward to reading.

  11. Lou Ann Keiser

    Loved reading the interview! I am reading the Blackberry Moon Series now–almost done!–and I think I’d love Bitter Eyes No More. Lillian is one of those characters you love to hate, so now we get to love her! Cool!

    • April Gardner

      Hey there, Lou Ann! So glad you’re reading Blackberry Moon. It was no easy task turning that spitfire Lillian around, especially since *I* had to learn to love her first. Good thing I’m not God! Hehe. Thanks for your sweet support!

  12. Kay Garrett

    Bitter Eyes No More interest me because it’s such an awesome combination – touching on history, romance and showing that there are still good in the world willing to help with a hand up. Thanks for the opportunity to win what sounds like an awesome book.

    • April Gardner

      You’re very welcome, Kay! Thanks for playing and for your kind words about the premise of Bitter Eyes No More. Good luck!

  13. Brenda Murphree

    I love reading historical fiction! The cover immediately caught my eye. A lot of times I look at the cover and just know I want to read this book. I have this in an ebook which I haven’t found time to read yet, but would love to have a paperback. Thanks for the giveaway!

    • April Gardner

      Hi Brenda! Thanks for getting the ebook! The print won’t be out for at least two months, but I’m working on it. 😀 Thanks for entering!

    • April Gardner

      Awesome! Bitter Eyes would be extra fun for you then, Jocelyn. Thanks for entering and good luck!

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