When her doting father dies, Lady Kendra Townsend is given a choice: marry the horrid man of her uncle’s choosing or leave England to risk a new life in America with unknown relatives.
Armed with the faith that God has a plan for her, Kendra boards a cargo ship and soon finds herself swept away by the rugged American sea captain Dorian Colburn. But this adventurous man has been wounded by love before and now guards his independent life.
He wasn’t prepared to give up anything for anyone…
No swashbuckling man needs an English heiress with violet-hued eyes to make him feel again or challenge his faith with probing questions—or so he thinks. It is not until Dorian must save Kendra from the dark forces surrounding her that he decides she may be worth the risk.
Have you ever tried really hard to be a good Christian? You’re reading your Bible, praying, controlling your flesh and following after Him. And it feels great! You might even feel justified, sanctified, worthy by your actions. And then BAM. Something (or someone) happens that throws you into a tail spin and reveals how weak and helpless you really are. You fail. You feel bad about yourself. And you might even hide from God, distancing yourself in shame instead of running to Him for help.
In my latest book, Pirate of my Heart, Lady Kendra Townsend finds out that she isn’t nearly as good as she would like to be and that the American sea captain she falls in love with challenges all of her good intentions. Captain Dorian Colburn has a lesson in store too. It is easy to forget about God when life is going along perfectly. Oh sure, he goes to church and goes through the motions of being a Christian, but it takes a violet-eyed Englishwoman to knock the wind out of his sails and send his perfect life sinking faster than a flaming pirate ship. If they can just get through the struggles, there is real treasure to be found at the end.
It is such a relief to finally give all of our being over to Christ Jesus, admit defeat and ask for help. That’s where the peace is. That’s where the joy lies. In Him is our treasure.
I hope you enjoy Dorian and Kendra’s love story. It was great fun to watch the sparks fly between these two characters and see them find treasure in God and in each other.
~How did you get interested in Colonial Fiction?
Oh, what a great question! My love for colonial history goes way back. Do you remember that movie from school, Johnny Tremain? I was swept away! It was so sad when he hurt his hand making that silver cup and I loved all the drama surrounding the time leading up to the American Revolution. That’s the first moment when I fell in love with that time period. Later, I homeschooled for years and teaching that time period – from Plymouth Rock and the Thanksgiving story to post American Revolution – was my favorite. Three of my books are set during that time period: Wind Dancer – George Rogers Clark and his role in winning the mid-west territories during the American Revolution, The Duchess and the Dragon – the Pennsylvania Quakers and indentured servants, and my new book, Pirate of my Heart, set in the “historic triangle” of Yorktown, Jamestown and Williamsburg just after the American Revolution among the James River plantations. I visited those towns a few years ago and they just so happened (God moment!) to be having a reenactment that weekend. I held my first long rifle in Yorktown. Those guns are heavy! And the Colonial Williamsburg Historical Site was amazing. I’m a true history geek!
~ Why do you enjoy writing it?
This book was so much fun! The sparks really flew between these characters. Here’s an example:
Here’s what Kendra (my heroine) thinks of Dorian the first time she sees him:
“Kendra’s glimpse of the man had only lasted a few seconds but his image burned in her mind. She’d never met an American before and he looked as wild as she’d heard them to be, handsome in a rugged way that she was unaccustomed to. His face was tan, so different from the milky white complexions she was used to seeing. He had rather long, dark hair that had been brushed back from chiseled features and waved in the breeze. His eyes were a cerulean blue with silver flicks in them and filled with piercing intensity and . . . disdain. Thick black brows arched almost wickedly over his eyes. His chin was square with a small cleft and she sensed he may have a dimple in his left check when he smiled. Small lines stood on either side of his well-molded mouth. His lips were slightly wide with even white teeth peering behind them. Kendra peeked up through her lashes and saw broad shoulders and a wide chest. He looked like a pirate she’d once read about. Goodness Lord, I didn’t know you made such men for real!”
I really enjoyed watching these two fall in love and learn to trust God through their adventures!
~Is there anything special you’d like to point out about your new book–especially related to the period?
The hats! Lady Kendra Townsend has a bit of a thing for hats. She’s not the tallest girl around and she feels more statuesque in her tall, feather swaying, beribboned and bejeweled, with the occasional fake bird attached to the brim. I had a lot of fun researching the hats of that period.
~ Are you a Plotter or SOTP writer?– How does it affect your deadlines?
I’m a bit of both. I do a loose outline and then let the characters lead and change the outline if necessary. Deadlines keep me at the keyboard when I’d rather be shopping! I try to get at least five pages in a day.
~ What are some of your favorite books on the writing craft?
I honestly don’t read a whole lot of these. I learned to write by reading and studying my favorite books. Laura Kinsale has had a huge impact on my attempts to learn the craft. She is the best – in my opinion.
~ What part of writing is the most difficult for you? Developing the characters? Dialogue? Pacing etc.?
Just getting started each day. Sometimes I have to circle around the computer a few times, look at it sideways and then take a deep breath and make myself plunge in. I pray a lot for help!
~ When you made out your first proposal, who did you compare your writing style to?
That’s a hard one. I hoped and prayed to be like Laura Kinsale but I never dared to compare myself with her. I would have to ask my readers who they think I sound like. It would be interesting to hear what they think.
~ Do You write your stories in long hand first? How long, start to finish, does it take you to write a book?
I shudder at the idea of having to write long hand! My handwriting is terrible. When I first started writing it took about two years to finish a book (before I had contracts and deadlines), then I managed to get one out every eight months. Next year I will have four books coming out, one a novella, but whew! I’ve been working hard getting these ready and writing a book in about four months. I don’t think I can go any faster!
~ Maybe a quick sentence or two (tag line) about your next book to whet our appetites?
Book One in the Forgotten Castles series. The Guardian Duke is a sweeping love story where hero and heroine know each other through letters while the duke tracks his ward across wind swept Ireland as she looks for her missing parents.
Discussion Questions (Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t read the book yet these questions might give some of the story away!)