A few summers ago, Erica Vetsch and I set aside several weeks to work on our novels together. I was famous for stealing 15 minute powernaps and Erica was faithful about equipping us with peanut M&Ms, Cheez Nips, and laughs. Now I’m thrilled to introduce all of you to Erica as a newly published author! “The Battered Bride” is her debut novel, but there are more to come. Before I even tell you about the book, Erica, or share my interview with her, I want you all to know that I will put the names of everyone who comments here into a hat and draw one name, and Erica will send the winner a signed copy of The Bartered Bride! If you aren’t the lucky winner, than for pity sake, order a copy … it’s only $2.49! That’s less than a copy of coffee and whole lot more fun!
I’m warning you … Erica weaves a captivating tale. The Bartered Bride is a quick read, because you won’t want to put it down. Take it from me, I homeschooled, put on make-up, fixed two meals, and swept the kitchen WHILE READING THE BOOK. 🙂 It’s a great story and if you happen to be from MN and are familiar with the shores of Lake Superior, you’re in for an extra treat. I could almost feel the icy water splashing my face as I devoured the climax of the the story. Check it out for yourself!
(Check out Erica’s website where you can see her FULL picture and the FULL picture of her cover. Something funky is going on with my blog tonight.)
About the Author ~
ERICA VETSCH is married to Peter and keeps the company books for the family lumber business. A home-school mom to Heather and James, Erica loves history, romance, and storytelling. Her ideal vacation is taking her family to out-of-the-way history museums and chatting to curators about local history. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Calvary Bible College in Secondary Education: Social Studies. You can find her on the web at http://onthewritepath.blogspot.com
About the Book ~
Duluth, Minnesota in 1905 boasts more millionaires than any other U.S. city. Tycoon Abraham Kennebrae intends to marry his grandsons off to three of the wealthiest heiresses in town and allow Kennebrae Shipping to gain control of Duluth Harbor.
Tempests rage, in the board room, the ball room, and on treacherous Lake Superior. Will hearts and helms survive? Will God prove Himself sovereign over wind, waves, and weddings?
Jonathan Kennebrae, oldest of the three Kennebrae brothers, finds himself backed into a corner. Marry heiress Melissa Brooke or lose his own considerable inheritance. Can he find a legitimate reason to avoid the wedding and still keep his fortune? But as the wedding day approaches, does he want to escape?
Melissa Brooke, only heir to her father’s empire, is bartered by her parents into a marriage contract to a man she’s never met. Can she trust him with her deepest secret? Can she trust him with her heart?
My Interview with Erica~
This is your first published novel, but I know firsthand that you’ve been writing for a long time. How many novels have you written over the years and what motivated you to persevere?
I wrote five novels before beginning The Bartered Bride. Then, while waiting to hear back on whether the publisher would pick it up for publication, I wrote two more. (It was a long wait. 🙂 )
Motivations to perservere? Does sheer hard-headedness count? Actually, I love to write. I love to spin stories in my head. I also love a challenge and learning new things. I jumped into learning the craft of writing fiction and I haven’t stopped learning.
I know you enjoy haunting museums with your family, so I assume you hit some hot spots in Duluth as you researched “The Bartered Bride.” Where did you go, and did you hear specific stories that inspired your story?
Oh yes! The St. Louis County historical society, the U.S.S. Meteor across Duluth Harbor in Superior, WI. the Maritime Museum, Split Rock Lighthouse just up the coast, Fairlawn Mansion in Superior. Then there are the archives of the Minnesota Historical Society as well.
The story for The Bartered Bride came about as a result of hearing the tale of the Mataafa Blow. In November of 1905, a massive storm hit Lake Superior and many ships were lost. Of particular interest to me was the fate of the Mataafa, which hit the Duluth Canal pier and spun sideways to ground on a shoal just off shore. All rescue attempts failed while the storm raged and those trapped on board were forced to spend a freezing night on a crippled ship. Duluth citizens turned out by the thousands to keep vigil on the shoreline. The image of those people all banding together to pray for and watch over those sailors became the basis of my novel.
Jonathan Kennebrae has two brothers who are also facing prearranged marriages. Will we be hearing their stories in months to come?
Absolutely. The Marriage Masaquerade, which is Noah’s story, comes out early in 2010, and The Engineered Engagement, Eli’s story, comes out in the summer of 2010.
What’s been your greatest challenge and greatest surprise as an author?
The greatest challenge? Not getting so tunnel-visioned that all I do is write and focus on my writing instead of taking care of other things I need to do. My family would like to see more of me than just the DELL insignia on the top of my laptop. 🙂
Greatest surprise? How all-consuming the writing life can be, but also how fulfilling it is. I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing. It’s a dream come true.
What kind of books are on your nightstand and do your reading choices reflect your preferred writing genres?
Right now, I’m reading Just Between You and Me by Jenny B. Jones, one of the truly funniest people I’ve ever met. The Enclave by Karen Hancock, which I haven’t had a chance to start yet. I just finished Autumn Rains by Myra Johnson, a contemporary romance. And Mary Connealy’s Cowboy Christmas. I have very eclectic tastes when it comes to reading, but I mostly read fiction.
Finally, what do you hope your readers take away from “The Bartered Bride”?
First, I hope the reader is entertained, taken away from their daily life to another time and place.
Second, I hope through Jonathan and Melissa’s struggles, the reader might consider their own beliefs about God’s sovereignty and goodness.
Third, that through the story, the reader might gain a new interest in the history of MN.
Okay … one more question … will you be doing a book signing in the Rochester area, and if so, when?
I’m speaking at Cornerstone E. Free Church tomorrow afternoon, and I’ll be signing books there. That’s the only booksigning on the schedule at the moment, but I hope to do more in the future.
Thank you so much for having me here, Vicki.