Please join me in welcoming Linda Weaver Clarke to the blog today to chat about her new book, Tales of Willow Valley!
I was raised in the Rocky Mountains of Southern Idaho and now live among the red desert hills of Southern Utah. I am the author of Historical Romance, Cozy Mystery, Swashbuckling Romance, Historical Mystery Romance, a Children’s Book, and Nonfiction.
I work at the Family Search Center where I help people find their ancestors so they can learn about their heritage. Every month I teach a class called Writing Your Biography that is free to the public online at the St. George Family Search Center website via zoom. I believe it is important to learn about our ancestors.
TALES OF WILLOW VALLEY
SERIES: Willow Valley Historical Romance #5
GENRE: Historical Romance (clean & wholesome)
RELEASE DATE: October 19, 2020
A Collection of Five Love Stories!
The Light at the End of the Tunnel: When Thomas finds out that the proprietor of Hannah’s Hot Chocolate Shop is struggling, he comes up with a brilliant idea. Will she agree to such an unconventional plan? Leave or Perish: When Jonathan watches Serenity chase off thieves with a sword in her hand, he becomes intrigued with her. How will he win her heart? A Broom in her Hand: When Laura reports that a thief snuck into her home, William finds out that she chased the intruder off with a broom, but he soon learns the man’s invasion is much bigger than he realizes. Deception: When Peter accepted the job of writing letters to a young lady on behalf of his employer, he soon realizes he is falling in love with Pauline. A Cry for Help: When Joshua is sent with a message for Mary, the note says that she must go on a dangerous quest and he is determined to accompany her.
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Praise for Tales of Willow Valley
“Ms. Clarke brings us five love stories based on the lives of real people and true events. The heroines are brave, spunky women who attract their suitors with their independence and ability to cope with the perils of the day as well as their beauty. Getting lost in the historical detail and excellent characterization, I felt I was with the characters in yesteryear times. The struggles of the heroines and the chivalry of the heroes who won their hearts touched mine and kept me turning the pages to find out what would happen next. I highly recommend these stories for those who enjoy history, people facing and overcoming difficulties and romantic scenes.” –Author Gail Pallotta
“This full length book entails five historical short love stories. The stories are refreshing tales of good people working through life as do we today. The title of one of the stories gives me hope for the struggles we are going through now: The Light at the End of the Tunnel. God is always watching out for us and there are good things yet to come. I found these happy stories just what I needed in these trying days.” –Sunnie Reviews
“If you are in the mood for some sweet, clean, historical, romantic short stories then look no further. This book contains five short stories based on actual events by the author’s ancestors. I enjoyed each story and how the women are not sitting back waiting on a man, but are take-charge women that start their own businesses, aren’t afraid to face ruffians, and encourage women to fight for their rights. I enjoyed reading the author’s notes after each story to learn more about which ancestor was involved in the various situations and other bits and pieces of history. It is amazing what you can learn when an author does research into events in the past to make sure their works are as authentic as possible.” –Story Book Reviews
Hi Linda! Welcome to the blog!
Linda: Cats purr. What more can I say?
Carrie: But dogs snuggle & look at you adoringly & love you unconditionally – and they purr too! Sort of. haha
Linda: Music soothes the soul. It’s a perfect stress reliever.
Linda: Mountains have fresh air, hiking, and chipmunks.
Carrie: I don’t like hiking or chipmunks, but I do love the mountains 🙂
Linda: Board games are a great entertainment for our family.
Carrie: We love playing board games too!
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Linda: My superpower is helping people find their ancestors. It is so much fun to see their face light up as I find one of their ancestors for them. I actually helped a young woman find her parents because she was adopted. Her adoptive parents told her the names of her biological parents and where they were from. That was all the information she had and we were able to find them. When she saw her grandparents’ names, she got so excited and said, “I have grandparents? Wow!”
Carrie: how fun!
Q: If you knew you were only going to be allowed FIVE books for the rest of your life, besides the Bible, which five would make the cut?
Linda: There are two books that would be first on my list. I have two books of my ancestors’ biographies that were written by their children, three generations back. I have a book on my father’s side and one on my mother’s side. These two books have made me understand who I am and that means a lot to me. The stories of my ancestors are inspiring. These would have to be on my list, for sure. The last three books are romantic fantasy: The Treasure of Isian, The Alliance of Isian, and The Secret of Isian written by Serena Clarke. These are books that I could read more than once. I love them.
Carrie: It’s wonderful to have those family histories!
Q: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled while researching a book?
Linda: It wasn’t weird that I researched Halloween, but it was really weird to find out why it was celebrated in the very beginning. They called it All Souls Day and it was a time to remind people of their mortality and the importance to pray for the souls of their kindred dead who were in purgatory. This was a time to honor the dead. It was celebrated with bonfires and the people dressed up in costumes such as saints, angels, devils, or animals. The community would meet together and have bonfires to ward off bad luck and evil spirits. They celebrated by telling ghost stories, playing games, and making mischief. The following day the ashes were spread over their gardens for good luck. This was also a time for finding one’s future husband and wife. If you dropped a strand of your hair into the bonfire, the identity of your spouse would be revealed in a dream.
Carrie: Very intriguing!
Q: Did you have the whole plot outlined before you started writing these stories, or did you let the characters dictate what came next?
Linda: With Tales of Willow Valley, which has five short love stories, I actually had each plot planned out. The inspiration for each story was taken from an ancestor. When I read their life stories, I realized what intriguing experiences they had, and that gave me an idea for my next book. With that in mind, I gave an experience to each of my female characters and planned out the plot. For example… one of my ancestors had a feeling that someone was in her home, so she went searching with a broom in her hand. When she discovered a man hiding under her bed, she swatted him good until he came out from beneath the bed. Then she pummeled as she chased him out of the house and down the road. From that experience, I created a fun plot for my readers to enjoy. Who was the intruder? Why was he hiding under her bed? The mystery is one that my readers are surprised to find out. I called it: A Broom in Her Hand. This is just one story out of five that was inspired from an ancestor’s story.
Carrie: oh my goodness haha – what a great story!
Q: Some authors like to hide little things in their stories. Is there anything you have hidden in Tales of Willow Valley?
Linda: In three of my short stories from Tales of Willow Valley, I actually have a mystery that will surprise the reader. This book was such fun to write.
Carrie: it sounds like it was 🙂
Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from Tales of Willow Valley & why do you love it?
Linda: In A Cry for Help from Tales of Willow Valley, Mary and Joshua were childhood friends. When her mother gets them together to help out a friend in distress, Mary asks him why his feelings for her have changed. This is my absolute favorite quote…. her question and his answer!
“When we were young, you told me several times that I was the most stubborn girl you knew. You mentioned that I was too daring for my own good and shouldn’t express my opinions so freely. So why do you want to marry me, Joshua? Tell me. I want to know. I don’t think I’ve changed much.”
He nodded, as if agreeing with her. “Sure, I was worried about you because you were on a campaign to change the world. You were only eighteen and I didn’t think you knew what you were up against. But I have since realized that I admire those qualities about you. Why do I admire your stubborn ways? If you firmly believe in something, then no one can sway you or push you around. As for your daring ways… you are the most courageous woman I know. What we just did was very dangerous. We could have been arrested.”
Carrie: three cheers for strong women! 🙂
Linda Weaver Clarke is offering an ebook copy of Tales of Willow Valley to one of my readers! (Open internationally except where prohibited by law or logistics.) 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? What makes you want to read Tales of Willow Valley by Linda Weaver Clarke?