Please join me in welcoming Angie Dicken to the blog today!
Angie Dicken credits her love of story to reading British literature during life as a military kid in Cambridgeshire, England. Now living in the U.S., she’s an ACFW member, a blog contributor to the Writer’s Alley, a baseball mom, and a self-proclaimed foodie. Two of her historical romance novels comprise her Fall 2017 debut: The Outlaw’s Second Chance, in September, and My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah, in November. She also writes historical and contemporary fiction.
You can connect with her on social media and learn about upcoming releases at www.angiedicken.com.
Her November release is My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah!
Journey now to Castle Gate, Utah of 1910 where…
Forbidden Love Tries to Survive Old World Expectations
Schoolteacher Leanna McKee plans on leaving the coal mining town of Castle Gate, Utah, and never looking back. Good riddance to coal dust, rugged men, and the fatal mine that took her husband’s life.
Until the widow meets a widower who awakens her heart…and she finds herself inexplicably falling for miner Alex Pappas which stirs up a whole heap of trouble.
Alex’s Greek parents have arranged a more traditional match for him. When the schoolteacher’s association with the Greek family begins to anger the American miners, they threaten Alex and his family. Leanna has received an offer to teach elsewhere and feels she has no choice but to leave Castle Rock. . .though she will be leaving her heart behind.
Hi Angie! Welcome to the blog!
Angie: Apples. I LOVE fall, and have fond memories of going to the apple orchard each year. Apple cider, apple slushie, apple donuts…apple pie…mmmmm…I love apples!
Carrie: Yummmm! YES!!
Angie: Ooh, tough one. I love bundling up near a fire, but I also love sitting in the sunshine—preferably on a beach. I guess because we just got over a scorcher of a summer though, I’ll say winter. 😉
Carrie: Oh good answer! 😉
Angie: DOGS! Just not a cat person. At all. My dad is allergic, so we were trained very early on that dogs were the best. And, they are.
Carrie: They absolutely are!
Angie: Coffee. Something I also “learned” from my parents. I love a GREAT cappuccino—my husband has perfected making them for me. We both loved cappuccinos when we visited Italy, and now it’s one of my favorite beverages. I do wish I liked tea more—especially being the anglophile that I am!
Carrie: I don’t think I could survive in Europe, since I don’t like coffee OR tea lol.
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Angie: I have to say making dinner out of nothing. I am an avid Chopped watcher, and I’ve learned how to take a few ingredients and make a somewhat successful dinner when it appeared we had nothing to eat. I am also cheap so I hate spending money on eating out! Is being frugal a superpower? LOL
Carrie: Can some of your cooking superpower rub off on me? Frugality wouldn’t hurt either lol.
Q: Who is your favorite book character from childhood?
Angie: I love this question because right now I am reading The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton, to my daughter. This is the same series that was introduced to me as a child when I lived in England (military brat), and truly sparked my love for reading. My favorite book character would have to be Moon Face, from this series. Besides having an awesome name, he lives at the top of a magical tree in the middle of the Enchanted Wood, and has a slippery slip that goes all the way down the middle of the tree trunk to the forest floor. Seriously. Who doesn’t want to be Moon Face’s friend?? He also has toffee that explodes in your mouth. As a child, I often looked for a similar tree with similar folk, which made traipsing through British forests super interesting and fun!
Carrie: I have never read this series but I think I’m going to have to!
Q: Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
Angie: This wasn’t recently, but it’s the last big-ish situation that I found myself feeling stuck. There’s this bike race across Iowa every year, and my friends talked me into training for a stretch of it a few years ago. HOWEVER, over the six months leading up to it…we trained…hmmm…about two times? This was to prepare for a 100 mile stretch of the race! I am telling you, the last time I had ridden a bike with any kind of dedication was when I had that iconic pink Huffy bike of the eighties, and I didn’t ride it very well ( I have the big ol’ scar on my knee to prove it)! Needless to say, the night before the big two-day bike ride, I had a panic attack and pretty much disowned my friends, and prepared my spouse for a possible E.R. visit. Seriously, I was flipping out. I just couldn’t get out of it though. It was too late. I signed up…and I try not to be a drop out. Partially because I have this really stubborn devil (or angel?) parked on my shoulder that tells me, “Don’t be a loser”…yeah, I’m kinda competitive…just a smidge. Anyway…I AM SO GLAD I RODE THE RACE! It was one of my most memorable experiences, and I fell in love with this adopted state of mine—Iowa is beautiful! Oh, and I also got rid of the illusion in my mind that Iowa is flat. The HILLS are no bueno on a road bike!
Carrie: Oh wow! That’s awesome! I wouldn’t have made it more than a couple of feet past the starting line haha!
Q: How did your own family history inspire Alex and Leanna’s story in My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah?
Angie: My great grandfather was a Greek coal miner in the Utah mountains at the turn of the 20th century. I grew up hearing how my grandfather was born in a tent on a mountain slope. I just cherish the stories of my grandparents growing up as Greek Americans outside/around Salt Lake City, and when I decided to write something in that time period, I couldn’t help but create a story world with Greek immigrants at its roots. The coolest thing is, this book comes out a month shy of what would have been my grandfather’s 100th birthday—and he was born fairly close to the setting of my story!
Carrie: Oh I love that, Angie!! What a neat heritage!
Q: What sort of surprises and/or interesting tidbits did you discover during your research for My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah?
Angie: The thing that surprised me most, was how real the discrimination was toward Greeks (and many immigrants) at that time. I had heard my grandmother mention feeling animosity a little as she grew up, but I had no idea that Greeks were threatened just like many minorities have been throughout American history. The time period of my story is called the Progressive Era—and as I researched, I realized how great the need for social reform was, and how many were affected by the hierarchy in society, and positively by the men and women who chose to fight for equality and quality of life.
Carrie: It’s so heartbreaking to realize that, no matter how much progress our country makes, discrimination is still with us, even now. Makes me appreciate Jesus even more – because with Him there is no discrimination!
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah?
Angie: First, I want readers to remember not only to forgive those who hurt them, but to forgive themselves. God’s grace is so much bigger than we sometimes think, and it’s easy to stay trapped in a skewered self-impression that sucks joy from everything we do. Secondly, I want readers to remember that no matter how different someone is from you, they aren’t less than or better than you. Just different. And that’s okay. Christ created all of us to be diverse and unique, but His love truly does make us one body. I hope that Alex and Leanna’s story inspires readers to love beyond the barriers that we construct, and that others try to construct for us.
Carrie: Yes. Amen.
Angie is offering a copy of My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah to one of my readers. Winner’s choice of ebook or print. (US shipping only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? Who is your favorite book character from childhood?