Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton, is ordered by the king to take guardianship over Lady Alexandria Featherstone whose parents are presumed dead after failing to return from a high profile treasure hunt. But the heart-driven Alexandria ignores this royal reassignment. Believing her parents are still alive, she travels to faraway lands to follow clues that may lead to their whereabouts.
Gabriel, pressured by the king’s ulterior motives, pursues Alexandria across windswept England and the rolling green hills of Ireland but is always one step behind.
When they do meet, the search for earthly treasure begins to pale in comparison to what God has planned for both of them.
I am so excited to share this with you all! My wonderful publishing house, B&H Publishing, arranged for a special video called The Making of The Guardian Duke cover shoot. This is the first book in my Forgotten Castles series out February 2012. It really impacted me. I cried every time I watched it for two days! I think it was because this model so perfectly fits my heroine, Alexandria Featherstone, that it was as if this character I had dreamed up had come to life. All of my heroines are like daughters to me and here she was, all grown up and so beautiful, just as I had imagined her. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
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.
Favorite PASTimes Blog Interview
Revealing secrets of the Kingdom, one story at a time… Jamie Carie is an inspirational fiction novelist and the author of Snow Angel, a USA News Book winner for Best Romance, a ForeWord Magazine award winner and a RITA Awards® finalist. Her third novel, Wind Dancer, was a 2010 Indiana State Library Best Books of Indiana finalist. Jamie lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with her husband and three boys.
You have some great stories about your growing-up years and your faith. Will you share a bit about that with us?
I would love to! I’m actually thinking about writing my “memoirs” next year and really delving into this. I had a wild upbringing. Wild in the sense that my parents were authentic Jesus freaks (and us kids as well!) and dove headfirst into the Charismatic movement that swept the US and Canada in the 1970’s and 80’s. My dad quit his welding job and started a church when I was around five and for the next fifteen years we literally lived by faith. Gas lasted longer in our tank that it should have, groceries showed up at the front door when the cabinets were bare, an anonymous person gave us a car once, which we desperately needed. The list of both practical and outrageous healing and deliverance miracles goes on and on.
Another important aspect which has greatly impacted my writing today is teaching tapes. Remember cassette tapes? Well, we had hundreds of them by the Charismatic teachers of the day – Derek Prince, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Bob Mumford to name a few. These tapes were the soundtrack of my life. And I have to say they really taught me the Word and some deep theology that has shaped my faith today. There were some wild negatives too. That particular movement, at least in my experience, got into some error with legalism, submission, focus on Satan and deliverance, and the emotional side of the gifts of the Spirit. There was some damage done there that I still struggle with. But I always loved the Lord! I may have had my rebellious times, my afraid to really trust Him times over the years, but my love for God/Jesus/Holy Spirit has not faltered. I credit God with that and am so thankful. Maybe some of your readers can help me think of a title for my memoirs. Growing up wild: A Preacher’s Daughter’s Story Something like that?
Just like many other authors, you were an avid reader who decided to write the kind of book you wanted to read. What was different about that first book from what you were reading at the time?
At the time there were a lot of sweet, prairie romances out there and the characters seemed a little too sweet and good for me. I needed a heroine who had been through some true trauma (like myself) and had found real answers from God and people that were decent and loving. In Snow Angel, Elizabeth is like the church, all kinds of messed up! And Noah is a symbol of Christ, willing to sacrifice anything, even his own life for her. Elizabeth has to struggle to trust that kind of love and it takes her awhile. She falls back into patterns of taking care of herself. I think a lot of people can relate to that. I wrote about raw brokenness as I knew it and God led me back to Him and His love through Elizabeth’s journey. I have had many letters and emails from teens and women telling me how much God poured out His love on them, healing them from some deep wounds and emotional trauma, while reading that story. That made all the struggle and years trying to get it published worthwhile!
You waited 10 years from the time you finished your first book, Snow Angel, until it was published. What did you learn during that time, and how did you manage to keep persevering?
It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. When I finished Snow Angel I had no idea what was involved in trying to get it published. Boy, did the Lord have some lessons in store for me! I was absurdly naïve but steadfast in my belief for this story. There were lots of rejection letters, dead ends, near contracts, an ill-matched agent, prayers, PRAYERS! I mean the prayer and fasting kind, the get on my face on the floor and beg kind, the my son’s fourth grade class prayed for me every day and my poor friends in Bible study groups for years prayed for this every week kind of prayers. I can’t thank all those kids and ladies enough! I cried, I gave up and railed at God to please take the burden away from me because I couldn’t stand the pressure. I quit and then couldn’t keep myself from the keyboard because the stories were flowing out of me (I wrote two more books in those eight years). You know, I heard Joyce Meyer say that waiting is an active pursuit of faith (something like that). And it felt like that. It felt like I was nine months pregnant for those last two years. It felt like God had my hide on the pottery wheel and I did my share of screaming. My husband kept telling me, “someday you’ll look back on all this and laugh. Just hang in there.” But I have to say, when I really think back on it like I am now, I’m not laughing. I’m incredibly thankful, but I’m cringing a bit too.
Tell us a bit about the main characters in your upcoming book, Pirate of My Heart.
Lady Kendra Townsend is a bright ray of sunshine who changes people’s lives just by being around her. She is optimistic, enthusiastic, funny and cheerful….sweet. Have you ever been around someone who is kind and loving, cheerful and optimistic most of the time? I’m telling you, there is power in that. People around her start to change – hope again, trust again, feel again. Imagine if one person in your family (maybe you!) was like that. She has her share of hardship and trials and she feels the emotions from that but she just plugs along and trusts God to see her through. I love this girl and I hope to be more like her!
Dorian Colburn, on the other hand, has been hurt and has built a wall around his heart to protect himself. He has an instant physical attraction to Kendra (the sparks really fly between these two!) but as he gets to know her he falls in love with her spirit. Slowly the walls come tumbling down and he learns to love again. Love is healing force – both God’s and ours. It’s my favorite theme to write about.
A few years ago I was in a band with my brothers, husband and sister. Here’s a song I wrote about this very theme:
I can feel the walls of Jericho rumble
I can hear the stones begin to fall
I can see the rocks roll and tumble
I shout until my throat is raw
I can see the giants roaring
I can hear the demons scream with rage
All we did was march around this holding
All we did was walk onto this stage
Oh promised land
I can’t allow my eyes to see
These giants waiting to conquer me
I raise my gaze to the Son
Stop this hell-bent, desperate run
And believe in victory
I can feel the walls of my heart shaking
I can hear the wails of my own fear
I want to hide in a life of my own making
The cost to follow is so dear
You back me in my willful corner
You wait for me to seek Your face
You besiege from every quarter
Then you love me with amazing grace
The Writing Process
Some writers love plotting, some like writing that first draft, and others enjoying researching or digging into the revisions. What’s your favorite part about writing a book, and why do you think it is?
That’s a tough one. Lately, I have really enjoyed plotting with my 18-year old son for my first series coming out next year – The Forgotten Castles Series. Seth has given me some great side characters and a creative direction at times that I wouldn’t have thought of myself. I also love to research. I’m a history geek and love my armchair traveling that I get to do while learning about new lands/cultures/histories. The first book in the series, The Guardian Duke, is set in Ireland so I immersed myself in all things Irish which was a blast. Irish music, movies, food, books – I even met an Irish gentleman from Killyleagh online and he helped me make it historically and geographically accurate. Now, I’m writing the third book in the series, A Duke’s Promise, set in Italy. I am soaking in the Italian culture of food, art, opera, fashion and family – la famiglia! It has inspired me to resurrect the Sunday family dinner and I am planning lots of Italian meals.
And then nothing can quite compare to when the words are flowing and I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit as words that are beyond my capacity appear on the page. Don’t get me wrong, there are hard times when the words aren’t coming too, which makes it all more astounding and miraculous when I’ve written something that is God breathed. I am profoundly humbled in those moments.
You’ve written about women during gold rush days, the Revolutionary War, Regency England, the French Revolution, and more. Where do you find your inspiration for all these complex characters?
I think I get easily bored and am a little ADD! When I homeschooled, I started a whole new curriculum every year which made it so much harder on myself but I couldn’t seem to help it! I’m pretty fearless in the belief that if I research a place well enough and let my heroine grow from that research that she will show me her story. I just dive in to whatever I’m currently interested in and trust God will pull me out of any ditches I may get myself into.
What are one or two of the most interesting things you’ve learned while researching a novel?
Oh, so many! How about one from each book:
Snow Angel – The trek across Alaska to the gold fields in Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada were extreme adventures not for the faint of heart. I couldn’t believe how many people made that treacherous journey.
The Duchess and the Dragon – The Quakers believe in following the “inner light” which reminded me of my Charismatic roots in following the “leading of the Holy Spirit.”
Wind Dancer – George Rogers Clark had no reason to believe so steadfastly that taking the northwest territory (Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio) would be so key to winning the American Revolution except that God just put a burning desire to see it through in his heart. I was amazed at how God gets His will done using fallible, wonderful people like him.
Love’s First Light – The French Revolution came right after our own American Revolution but the differences were astounding to me! While we had good, upright men to take leadership of our new country, the French had corrupt and evil men take over. I felt so thankful and blessed to have had Godly men (fallible yes, but men who loved God) lead us into our democracy.
Angel’s Den – The devastation of domestic violence and abuse is so horribly I almost couldn’t write this story. I kept praying that God would show me Emma’s way out. Some people never get that, they die in it and that breaks my heart.
The Snowflake – The intricate beauty of snowflakes astound me. Here is a quote I was given permission to use in my book: “They sat that every snowflake is different. If that were true, how could the world go on? How could we ever get up off our knees? How could we ever recover from the wonder of it?” – Jeanette Winterson
Pirate of My Heart – One person really can change the world. I learned that the fruit of Spirit is power. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Gal. 5:22-23 When it says there is no law it speaks to the power behind these beautiful fruits – nothing can come against them.
Do you find a particular theme recurring in each of your stories? If so, how does that theme relate to your personal life experience, or what do you hope readers will gain?
I would say my favorite theme is love conquers all, God’s love and sometimes our love for each other. My personality tends to be anxious, emotional and guarded. Life has given me some trials and traumas that make me want to take control of my own life. Of course, my head knows that I don’t have control and that only God can heal and restore and save. But my heart is stubborn and rebellious – that preacher’s girl in me is still pretty strong. I’m hoping someday God’s love will sink in so deep in my heart that I will live from that place. What a picture of freedom that is to me!
What does your ideal writing day look like?
I’m writing this series fast so I have to be disciplined but, at the same time, I try to be led by the Holy Spirit and to put the worry of it onto God’s shoulders. Yesterday, I wrote a whole chapter. Today, I’m doing two interviews, catching up on emails and reading some poetry that someone asked me to critique. I’m not sure what tomorrow will hold yet, but I have hope that God will give me what I need to get it done.
What is the biggest challenge or obstacle you face in protecting your writing time? How do you deal with that challenge?
Time is less of an issue for me than discipline. Some days I would rather be shopping! Or watching TV. Or even cooking and cleaning. Deadlines are what keep me in line. Thank God for deadlines!
If you could be a character from one of your favorite historical novels, who would you be and why?
Wow, you really know how to ask the questions! If Scarlett O’Hara had ended up with Rhett at the end I would have said her but I like happy endings. How about Cinderella? She gets her prince, lives in a castle and reminds me of Kendra – optimistically bringing sunshine into everyone’s lives around her. Sounds like a bit of heaven to me.
Anything else about yourself, writing, or your books that you’d like to share?
My publisher, B&H Publishing does some fabulous media for me. You can check out book trailers on my website at www.jamiecarie.com. My current favorite is the “Making of the Guardian Duke Book Cover” video. When I watched it for the first time, it was like my heroine had come to life. I cried for two days every time I watched it. I think I’ll watch it again now and, I’m sure, tear up again. Join me? http://jamiecarie.com/the-making-of-the-guardian-duke
You can also find me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/jamie.carie
And Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/jamiecarie
Discussion Questions (Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t read the book yet these questions might give some of the story away!)