Tethered by her impulsive promise to marry Lord John Lemon—the path of least resistance—Alexandria Featherstone sets off from Ireland to Iceland in search of her parents with a leaden heart. Her glimpse of her guardian, the Duke of St. Easton—the path less traveled by—on Dublin’s shore still haunts her. Will he come after her? Will he drag her back to London, quelling her mission to rescue her treasure-seeking parents, or might he decide to throw caution to the wind and choose Foy Pour Devoir: “Faith for Duty,” the St. Easton motto. The Featherstone motto Valens et Volens: “Willing and Able” beats in her heart and thrums through her veins. She will find her parents and find their love, no matter the cost.
The powerful and wing-clipped Duke of St. Easton has never known the challenge that has become his life since hearing his ward’s name. Alexandria Featherstone will be the life of him or the death of him. Only time and God’s plan will reveal just how much this man can endure for the prize of love.
A devastated duke.
A girl of lonely exile.
Both have a path to follow, a heart’s desire to find, and choices that could change their lives forever.
Do you ever wonder if you are on that perfect path for your life? Are you “following your passion” and “finding your gift?” These popular catch phrases make us stop and ponder our lives and the direction we are going. While there is nothing wrong with that, we must keep in mind Matthew 6:33. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (KJV) This entire chapter in Matthew is amazing! It contains the Lord’s Prayer, instructions about our treasure (our gifts and calling), our money, our needs and the worries over those needs and then it ends with an exhortation to trust and seek God for everything. A true blueprint for life kind of chapter.
But let’s be honest. To really live in that place every day with all the storms and trials, the challenges and distractions? Well, it’s only possible with God’s help. And my characters, these wonderful characters who I love as if they were real people, are no different.
My hero – the brilliant Duke of St. Easton – wants his affliction healed and taken away. And he wants love on his terms. He wants his control back even though he was miserable when he had it.
My heroine – sweet, determined Alexandria – wants what she can’t have. And she’ll stop at nothing when it comes to taking care of her own heart.
Their journey is like ours – that push and pull against God – the desire to find freedom and purpose on earth but in our timing and our way because His way is too hard or scary or just doesn’t make sense.
Dear Reader, join me on this journey with Gabriel and Alexandria as they struggle to come to the end of themselves. I pray we might too lift up our lives as a sacrifice, and in that place, come face to face with the living God.
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m a preacher’s daughter, the eldest of five children, and a proud bookworm! I was incredibly blessed to have been raised with a constant flow of the Word of God playing in the background of my childhood. After college, I married my high-school sweetheart (well, kind of, it’s a long story that I just may tell some day). We’ve been married for twenty-three years and have three wonderful sons. Now that they are in school (and college), I spend my days doing what I love – writing about God’s great love for us and revealing secrets of the kingdom through stories.
2. How did you become interested in writing?
It started as an expression of worship to God. As a child, I wrote songs and poetry, and later, skits, short stories and articles. When I was in fourth grade my dad decided to throw out the television. My brother and I weren’t too happy with him at the time, but it was during those next few years that I fell in love with books. It was then that I discovered the magic of story. I began to read everything I could get my hands on – fairy tales to Little House on the Prairie, romance novels to history books. My grades improved, I started thriving in school and then I began dreaming up stories of my own.
3. What compelled you to write a book on this subject?
I love to travel and explore the world, both in person and on a journey with characters in a story, and this time I got to travel to the Land of Fire and Ice – Iceland. The Forgiven Duke is the second book in the Forgotten Castles series. My characters, Alexandria Featherstone and Gabriel Ravenwood, the Duke of St. Easton, continue their travels to find Alexandria’s missing parents and the manuscript that has kings of great nations frantic for it. Alexandria refuses to give up the search for her parents and Gabriel, having just chosen faith over duty, is devastated by her lack of trust in him. Determined to help her now—and keep her from marriage to the wrong man—Gabriel sets off on his own journey that quickly becomes fraught with danger and heartbreak. Alexandria’s trusting nature is tested as those around her embroil her in their own needs and wants, leaving her plummeting into the dark mists of doubt and betrayal.
When they finally meet face to face, they are forced to acknowledge their love and the barriers that keep them apart. Full surrender to God’s plan is their only glimmer of hope.
4. What is the main theme or point that you want readers to understand from reading your book? Are there any other themes present in the book?
There are two themes in this book. Alexandria is dealing with the consequences of straying off God’s path for her and Gabriel is coming to accept his affliction and learning to walk with God during trials.
5. Do you have a favorite part of the book or a favorite chapter?
I think my favorite scene in this book is when Gabriel finally bares his heart and tells Alexandria about his affliction. He was so afraid she wouldn’t love him if she knew, but she already loves the real him, the man she met in their letters to each other. It’s a sweet, heart-wrenching moment.
6. How does the book intertwine with God’s call on your life and how you are currently serving Him?
I really feel that in this series I am hitting my stride as a writer. I’ve been at this long enough now that I know what works for me and what doesn’t. This series is my niche, my groove, my lane, as it were. It feels like my whole life has been preparing me to write these kinds of stories and I’m so thankful to God for creating me for this purpose and giving me a voice in this time and place. It’s very humbling and amazing. I stay as close to Him as I can each day as I write, leaning on the Word and a devotional called, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Without God I couldn’t do any of this.
7. When you are not writing, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?
Lately I’ve rediscovered how much I enjoy gardening. I love flowers and even have a small vegetable garden. Digging in the dirt is therapeutic for me. Someday, I would like to do more singing, songwriting and maybe even acting.
8. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few of our questions. As we close, is there anything else you would like to add?
This is my first series and I was a little fearful at first. Could I really stay with the same characters over three books and keep the tension and pace of a single title? I’m happy to say that I believe this is my best work to date and I am loving the series format! I can’t wait to see what the readers think! It’s very exciting and I’m praising God all the way through.
Discussion Questions (Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t read the book yet these questions might give some of the story away!)