Welcome to the Blog Blitz & Giveaway for The Sewing Sisters' Society, a collection of historical novellas by Ruth Logan Herne, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
Author: Ruth Logan Herne
Genre: Historical/Western Romance novellas
Release Date: January 22, 2019
Hattie McGillicuddy might not look like your typical matchmaker, but Hattie makes things happen in the little town of Second Chance, South Dakota. With the arrival of the railroad and official statehood, Hattie’s determined to bring brides west, and not just any brides. Brides who need the wide open prairie as much as the prairie- and the prairie men- need them! Three pioneer stories of unlikely love are woven around a little town full of homespun characters that take us back to another place and another time but with the same faith, hope and love we cherish today.
Macy can’t sew a lick, and she’s come to town with a sacrifice and a secret, but when Hattie’s first apprentice is attracted to the pastor of the only church in town—the man raising her illegitimate son— will the truth set her free? Or make her leave the town and her son behind? (The Pastor Takes a Wife)
Unjustly accused, Nellie comes west to escape the law. She has a way with tucks and gathers, and every Western town could use more tucks and gathers. She’s determined to improve the drab look of the prairie and manages to brighten hearts as well. But will her quick speech and firm ideas of women’s suffrage draw Levi Eichas closer or send the somber carriage maker running? (Second Chance Christmas)
Grief has robbed Ann Hazel, but when her aunt pushes her to go west and help an ailing Hattie McGillicuddy turn hems, Ann’s shamed into it. She’s managed to avoid life for awhile, but when Sol Eichas’s nanny comes down sick, Ann reluctantly agrees to help. As she winds her way around Sol’s heart and home, can the two troubled souls leave the past behind to embrace a future together? (Second Chance at Love)
PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon
She lives on a pumpkin farm in Western New York where they grow all kinds of cool things for fall from sumptuous squashes and veggies to gorgeous stacking pumpkins. Ruthy’s farm is quickly becoming the place to be every September and October!
CONNECT WITH RUTHY: website | Facebook | Twitter
JUNE: Welcome to 'Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic', Ruth. I'm thrilled to have you as my guest. Congratulations on this new release and on having your Love Inspired title, 'Her Secret Daughter', named as a finalist in The 2018 Christy Awards!
RUTH: Oh my gosh, I am so happy to be here and thank you for your kind words. I was also thrilled to represent “Her Secret Daughter” and Love Inspired at the Christy Awards. What an amazing honor!
JUNE: Please tell us how you created your setting and developed the characters for this new historical collection, 'The Sewing Sisters' Society'. Since this is an historical Western romance collection, what types of research did you perform prior to or while working on the stories?
RUTH: Research? Was I supposed to research this, LOL?
You know I was given a challenge a few years back from Becky Germany when she hired me to contribute to “Homestead Brides” a really fun Barbour collection that’s being re-released this year… she said, “Ruthy, I’m dying to see if you can actually make a soddy romance romantic.”
So I did! I’m laughing because I had so much fun with that, and I wanted to do a “Little House on the Prairie” type series and that’s how Second Chance, South Dakota and The Sewing Sisters’ Society got started. Who doesn’t love the idea of mail order brides? Only these brides were brought out to sew… but with Hattie McGillicuddy’s firm intent on finding good women to populate their growing town these women were meant to find all kinds of happiness on the prairie.
JUNE: I have been sewing since I was eight years old, so the title of this collection immediately caught my attention. Do you like to sew? If yes, when and how did you learn to sew? Do you work on any other types of needlearts such as hand-embroidery, cross-stitch, knitting, or crochet? Who or what led you to choose this theme for your story collection?
RUTH: I used to sew all the time when my kids were young. I made clothing and curtains and dresses (and messed up a prom gown!!!) and I even taught myself how to make things on a treadle machine, just to know how to do it. I made baby clothes and playclothes on that! It was really interesting and a simple machine to run, so that was almost delightful compared to how often my more modern one would break down.
And the reason behind sewing as an industry was the lack of women and the need for clothing when you’re working the railroad, the town, the prairie without a woman… and I loved putting Hattie McGillicuddy in this position because she is an ardent supporter of women’s rights and Massachusetts was pretty stuffy back then, so this was a perfect coupling!
JUNE: When you write a book, or in this case a story collection, do you outline the entire story, or do you have a favorite method of organizing your plot, characters, etc.? Do you always know the ending of a story before you begin putting things down on paper or into your computer?
RUTH: I don’t chart at all. I don’t outline… I know where the story is going to go, the happy ending, but I use the circumstances and personalities and traits of the characters to build that important middle. I think that’s what strengthens a story when I’m writing it, that the middle isn’t constructed as a bridge, it’s just a series of normal molehills and an occasional mountain to climb because isn’t that just what life hands us? A whole bunch of hills and an occasional mountain!
JUNE: I noticed on your website that you have had twenty of your romance novels published with Love Inspired, four 'Mysteries of Martha's Vineyard' published by Guideposts, and many more novels published by various publishers or indie-published on Kindle. Is there a fiction genre you have not yet explored for which you would like to write a book? Have you ever considered writing for the children's market? If yes, for what age group and in what genre would you write? Have you ever thought about writing non-fiction? If yes, what subject would you like to write about?
RUTH: Such a great question!
I did actually do some fun kids books that my daughter and indie editor Beth Jamison and I are re-doing so we can put them out as paperbacks. The Mighty Finn books are available for Kindle and they’re adorable and so much fun to read to kids!
And genre-wise, we’ll see. I love romance, I love women’s fiction, and I think those are strong suits for me, including historical and contemporary… but I also have a half-done middle grade novel that should be one of three eventually, because I love adding history and fantasy to strong books for kids. At the moment there’s no time to pursue that project, but the Good Lord willing, it will happen!
JUNE: I noticed on your blog that you like to cook/bake/create in the kitchen and that you love flowers, gardens, and getting dirty! Do you have any new hobbies you'd like to take up in the future? Oh, and what are your favorite kinds of flowers? Mine are dahlias--I simply adore dahlias!
RUTH: I love dahlias!!!! I love gardening, it’s the best peace therapy ever, and on our pumpkin farm in Western New York, I’m the mum-grower… 1600 mums will find their way to my door in June and I plant them with a team of young friends, and then I nurture them every day to produce the crop for our fall pumpkin sales… and this is a new project for me, this is going to be the third year, but what a wonderful thing it’s been… And our family farm is a family endeavor, so my writing time in August, September, and October is limited to pre-dawn… and then it’s hit the ground running in prep for the pumpkin kick-off on Labor Day weekend. I also do all the baking for the pumpkin stand, breads and muffins and cookies and whoopee pies, so those days are busy in a very different way! I love that three things I love to do, wait… make that four… to share my faith and God’s love, my love for writing that waited until I could focus on it after raising six kids and working countless nametag and hairnet jobs… and baking and gardening. Party bonus!!!
JUNE: Thank you so much for sharing your time with us today, Ruth. Wishing you continued success in your writing endeavors!
RUTH: It is absolutely my pleasure to be here, June!
(1) winner will win a 'books and chocolate' prize pack from the author (US only), including at least:
- (1) print copy of The Sewing Sisters' Society
- (1) print copy of Christmas on the Frontier
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.