Monday, September 8, 2008

Courting Miss Adelaide released at last!

Janet here.
Since childhood I’ve loved September for the Labor Day holiday and the sense of optimism about a new start in school. September is also my birthday month so that makes it special. But this year, September is an extraordinary month of firsts.

My first novel. Courting Miss Adelaide, Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical, will hit the shelves September 9.That’s tomorrow! Talk about butterflies! I’ve waited over two years for the LIH line to launch and my book to release. It’s hard to believe it’s actually going to happen. I know the book exists. I got my author copies. Still I keep wondering if I’ll find them when I go searching tomorrow, with a camera in hand and my heart in my throat.

My first book signing. I’m praying someone will come on Saturday. Our kids gave me a gorgeous pen engraved with the title that I’ll use to sign. My husband and daughter will be there to help. Our grandkids will stop in with their dad to see their grandmother signing her books. Hopefully! I’ve got a giveaway—a hatbox my milliner heroine would be proud to stash one of her hats in. I’ve filled it with duplicate Seeker books, chocolate, teddy bear, Little Women video and other goodies. I figured it couldn’t hurt to use bribery to lure readers. Along with that enticement and my generous nature , I have another reason for the giveaway. Each buyer will write who they want the book signed to on an index card. After I autograph the book, I’ll toss the card into the pot for the drawing. Voilá! No worries about misspelling, or worse, forgetting friends and acquaintances’ names.

More firsts—I had my first radio interview last week and only babbled a little. The host assured me they’d cut and make me sound smooth. Love a man who can do that.

This isn’t in September, but I’m booked for my first library talk in May 2009. Sounds like forever, but the timing will be great. Right around the release of Courting the Doctor’s Daughter. I’m hearing rumblings of the possibility for more talks. I’m sure speaking will have me quaking in my shoes, but it’s good to be stretched. Thankfully God promises I won’t break.

So what’s Courting Miss Adelaide about?

Lonely milliner Adelaide Crum sees the “Orphan Train” coming to town as her only chance for motherhood. Newspaper Editor Charles Graves sits on the committee that will determine Adelaide’s future. He feels she’d be the kind of mother he’d read about in books and supports her request, but the town fathers disagree and turn her down. William and Emma, orphaned siblings arrive on the train and from that moment on events thrust Adelaide and Charles together….

Sorry, no spoilers here.

Perhaps you’re not familiar with the orphan train phenomenon. I wasn’t until my Social Studies teacher father sent me a newspaper clipping. Are you able to make out the children standing on and around the train in a picture taken during that time? Immigrant orphans and half orphans lived on New York City’s streets in abject poverty and in its overcrowded orphanages. Charles Loring Brace, a Methodist preacher and founder of the Children’s Aid Society, decided relocating these children to farms and small towns would give them a chance for a better life. Between the years of 1853 and 1929, 250,000—some say as many as 350,000—children rode trains to a new life in the Midwest and beyond. Not all those children got a HEA ending. Some lived as indentured servants. A few were sent back, only to ride the train again. Can you imagine the stories those children could tell? I was fascinated and had to put that nugget of history in a book. The result was Courting Miss Adelaide. And later, the sequel, Courting the Doctor’s Daughter.

I love American history, particularly the 1800s. The Courting books are set in 1897 and 1898, a time when women were fighting against the boundaries society placed on them, a perfect fit for Adelaide and Mary, heroine in Courting the Doctor’s Daughter. I love reading and writing historical romances so I’m thrilled to write for Love Inspired Historical, along with the other great authors in the line. If you love historical romances, I hope you’ll check us out on My Space. And don’t forget to get the Seekers wonderful historical novels—Mary’s Calico Canyon and Julie’s A Passion Redeemed in stores now.

Anyone going to American Christian Fiction Writers in Minneapolis in a couple weeks? If so, please attend the Mall of America book signing and stop at Seeker tables and say hello. Cheryl, Debby, Camy, Julie, Mary, and I would love to see your friendly faces!

Leave a comment here to get into the drawing for a copy of Courting Miss Adelaide. If you want another chance to win a book, note my scheduled blog appearances up on Saturday’s Seekerville post.

Blessings, Janet


Tina M. Russo said...

What a thrill. I am headed to my bookstore to find this lady after work. Congratulations!!!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Can't wait to read your book, Janet! Hopefully I can bring my copy to the Mall of America book signing!
Congratulations on your first-of-many book release!

Janet Dean said...

Hi Tina! The actual release date is tomorrow but Wal-Mart had copies on the shelf yesterday.

Hope you enjoy the journey with Adelaide. It's unnerving to know my writer pals and friends will or are reading my book. Guess that's the point though. LOL


Janet Dean said...

Thanks Melanie! If you bring a book you purchased elsewhere to the Mall of America book signing, you might want to bring your receipt.


Rebekah E. said...

Congrats on your release. Sounds like a great book. I always found the history of the orphan train really interesting. I think it is neat that you used it for part of your story. Thanks for the great post.

Janet Dean said...

Hi Rebekah. Like you I'm fascinated by the orphan train and the stories those children could tell. I wonder what went through their young minds when they left the only life they knew and traveled cross country by train, stopping at small town along the way. How had it felt to be picked out like a new pair of shoes? Wish I knew how many got happy homes.


CrystalGB said...

Congratulations on your new release. Sounds wonderful. Love the beautiful cover.

Ruth Logan Herne said...


Wonderful book. You did a great job of blending the three threads of romance, faith and conflict. And who doesn't identify with a woman who not only wears a great hat, but makes them?

I wish hats would come back in style. I might just get some with or without society's permission. A woman in a pretty hat just looks...


In honor of that, we're doing a fancy tea here in Seekerville today. I've got fresh fruit scones, biscuits and homemade sour cherry jam, tea-hat cakes dusted with powdered sugar and a lovely flan.

Plus there's cream custard to go with the sponge cake and fresh fruit.

Coffee's to your left, tea assortment are alongside. And feel free to use my grandmother's tea service. Adelaide would approve, I'm sure, because my grandma rode an 'orphan train' from New York city to Rochester. Not FAR west, but she worked for a lawyer as a serving girl, then met my grandpa and they were married out of her employer's lovely Oxford St. home.

I have the old oak dressers he gave her (the lawyer, not Grandpa!) and an antique picture frame that came from his house. Also a stool that belonged to his grandparents in pre-Civil War days.

Love these things. And like Janet's story, my Grandma was one of the lucky ones. God bless people who open heart and home to neglected and/or orphaned children.


Mary Connealy said...

I think the orphan train info is so fascinating.

A lady from Nebraska went around the area doing book signings just recently featuring interviews with residents of this area who had come out on the Orphan Trains. It was everywhere. And they kept the trains rolling until the 1920s so it's not that long ago.

Mary Connealy said...

I'll be on the look out for Courting Miss Adelaide. I can't WAIT to see it on the shelves.

Myra Johnson said...

Ruthy, what a lovely story about your grandmother. I'm sure those heirlooms are cherished indeed!

As a fortunate advance reader of Janet's book, I can promise you it's as good as everyone says. The writing is superb, the blend of faith and romance so touching.

And Janet is a guest on my blog today offering a copy of her book to one of the lucky commenters. Stop by Writer at Random and say hello!

sheriboeyink said...

How exciting. So many firsts. Congrats. God bless.

robynl said...

a big congrats on the book release; I love the color on the cover and the lady is so cute.

Very interesting about the orphan trains.

Janet Dean said...

Oh, Ruthy, I love a tea party!

The Tea Hat cakes are too pretty to eat. Almost. Yummy!!! The scones and biscuits with sour cherry jelly are divine. I'm heading for the flan and custard next. Just a small serving of everything with my cup of tea. Tea never tasted better from when its served in lovely Irish china cups. I won't dare step on the scales tomorrow!

Your grandmother rode an orphan train? How did I miss that? Tell us more. Please! How old was she when she left New York? Her employer must've have been like family if he gave her all these treasures. And now you have them, family heirlooms to remember her adventure.

I love rider stories. Thanks for sharing, Ruthy! And thanks for the lovely words about Courting Miss Adelaide!


Janet Dean said...

Hi Mary! Let me know where you find Courting Miss Adelaide. I found the book in Wal-Mart yesterday, but didn't remember to change my post. What a thrill!

The last trains left New York in 1929. The relocation of children ended then with the passing of Child Labor laws, long overdue. Do you remember the title of the book this woman signed?


Janet Dean said...

Myra, thanks for your kind words about Courting Miss Adelaide! What the Seekers think is huge with me.

It may seem a long time away now, but before you know it, we'll be chatting up One Perfect Christmas in Seekerville. Can't wait.

Hope you all will come over to Myra's and say hello! Oh, and I'm Camy's Loft today, too.


Keli Gwyn said...


Enjoy those firsts. I love what you have planned for your first book signing. Wish I could be there to help you celebrate. Since I couldn't, I did the next best thing and read your book.

I'd been so eager to get my hands on Courting Miss Adelaide that I got it from eHarlequin and devoured it over the Labor Day weekend. Wonderful story, and spunky, determined Miss Adelaide is such a great heroine. Gotta love how she fights for what she believes in.

Janet Dean said...

Hi Sheriboeyink! Thanks for the congrats!


Janet Dean said...

Hi Crystalgb, I'm so grateful for a great cover. Not all authors are so fortunate. Have you heard of the cover where the heroine had three arms? LOL. Who knows, the fact that it was weird may have sold lots of books. :-)


Janet Dean said...


I love the color, too. I tried to make bookmarks using the same shades as the cover, but the second batch came out bluer.


Patty Wysong said...

Well this explains why I couldn't find it when I looked two weeks ago! *eye roll* Guess what's at the TOP of my shopping list this week?! I adore historicals and I'm really, really looking forward to reading Miss Adelaide!

Patricia W. said...

Congratulations, Janet!

How fascinating! I don't read a lot of historical fiction, because I usually think Regencies or Old West, but I love it when I can find one with a different twist and something in history that I've never heard before.

Janet Dean said...

Hi Keli. Thanks for buying my book and for your praise of Miss Adelaide! She's not afraid to stand up for what's right. And she'd not a quitter, just like all of us at Seekerville.


Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Janet, Great post with all the firsts to celebrate. Happy birthday again too. What a blessing you are to us.

I looked in the stores Saturday and couldn't find it yet. sob. What are they thinking??? Anyway I know you'll be thrilled to see your first book on the shelf.

Ruthy how interesting about your Grandma and thanks for the yummy tea and goodies.

Best wishes Janet on your signings and blogs. Hugs

Janet Dean said...

Patty, sorry Miss Adelaide led you on a wild goose chase. :-) We both thank you for hanging in. Hope you enjoy the book!


Janet Dean said...

Hi Patricia! Thanks for taking a chance on Courting Miss Adelaide. I love Americana historicals best though Westerns come in a very close second. I love the cowboys. :-)

I'm still amazed that the "Orphan Train" didn't get into the history books for years. At least my father, a Social Studies teacher, never read a word about this massive relocation of children.


Janet Dean said...

Sandra, the official release date is tomorrow. I hope you can find it! Thanks for the good wishes regarding my signing. I'll let you know if anyone shows up.


Debbie said...

Hi Janet! Congratulations on the release of Courting Miss Adelaide!
I've always been fascinated by the orphan trains. I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the wonderful post.

Amy said...

I feel like I've been waiting ages to read this book! I was captivated by the cover long ago.

And I too am fascinated by the orphan trains. I read Train to Somewhere by Eve Bunting with my adult students often and it always makes me a bit teary eyed. Can't wait to read this book!

Janet Dean said...

Hi Debbie! I read that nothing much was known about the orphan train until the 1980s. Perhaps that's why it fascinates me!

Thanks for stopping.


Janet Dean said...

Amy, I sold Courting Miss Adelaide over two years ago so it's been a long wait for me, too. The last couple months have sped by. So I'm guessing the month the book will be on the shelves will just fly!

I'll check out Train to Somewhere. Sounds fascinating.


Josanne said...

I was reading this morning an email recounting, with pictures of brave women, that it was just 1920 when women received the right to vote. My mother was four years old. Women in history -- fascinating, courageous and passionate stories to tell. I am anxious to read the story you've spun around the orphan trains!

Cara Slaughter said...

Janet, I loved Courting Miss Adelaide! It's really wonderful. I can't wait to read Courting the Doctor's Daughter. Enjoy your books signings and all the fun involved with your first book.

kimmyl said...

I've got to have this book. LOL What research did you have to do for this book. What will be your next book?

Ausjenny said...

I read some books by Jane Peart about the orphan train and it was quite interesting.
one way or the other I will get a copy of this book
On my trip to Canada and Seattle Walmart is on the list of places to go. (we dont have one) dipping dots is another to see what its all about.
Once again congrats on the book release.

sarahw said...

I love stories about orphan trains. congrats on your first book release. please enter my anme in the draw. thanks,
sarahwoll at hotmail dot com

DBarker said...

Please enter me into the drawing. Janet, Good Luck with the release tomorrow!

danelli04 [at] hotmail [dot]com

Glynna Kaye said...

Congratulations on your debut book, Janet! Fascinating time in history. I remember my grandmother telling me how "uppity" men were on election days when she was growing up. They'd groom their horses until they'd shine, then don their Sunday best and ride into town to vote--rubbing it in at every opportunity that females weren't qualified for such a privilege!

Margie said...

Hi Janet! Congrats on the release of Courting Miss Adelaide! What an exciting time for you. Best wishes for the success of your first book!

Lorna said...

Janet, congratualtions! I cannot wait to read it. It sounds wonderful.

Kimberli said...

Congratulations, Miss Janet. That's fantastic!

Until your book, I'd never heard of the orphan trains, so thank you for bringing this to light. Happy sales!

Oh, do you have a post about the release or a booksigning event listed on Facebook? If so, I'll add it to my profile.

Janet Dean said...

Hi Josanne,

Isn't it amazing how long it took for women to get the right to vote? Adelaide had some thoughts on that subject. :-)


Janet Dean said...

Hi Cara! I'm so happy you enjoyed Courting Miss Adelaide!

Shirley, my cp, sent me the most adorable rose bouquet nestled in a delicate cup and saucer in honor of CMA's release. Isn't that sweet of her? If the flowers survive, I'm taking it to the book signing Saturday.


Janet Dean said...

Kimmyl, the research for Courting Miss Adelaide centered around the orphan train, but I also spent time in the town where the books are set and talked to the County Historian. With every historical, there's countless things to check, even the age of words.

In Courting the Doctor's Daugher, I researched medical practices in 1898, focusing on the use of herbs or medicinal plants in treating illness.

Here's a blurb for Courting the Doctor's Daughter:

When Luke Jacobs arrives in Noblesville peddling his remedy, he goes toe-to-toe with the town doctor’s daughter, Mary Graves, who tries to convince the townspeople to not throw their money at another worthless tonic. Unknown to Mary, Luke is in town for another reason, one that will forever change her life.

Janet Dean said...

Hi there Jenny! Hope you're able to find Courting Miss Adelaide. Have a great trip!


Janet Dean said...

Sarah, thanks for stopping! Your name, along with all the names of those who comment, will be in the pot.


Janet Dean said...

Hi dbarker, My daughter reported a sighting of Courting Miss Adelaide at B&N. Only three on the shelf there.


Janet Dean said...

Glynna Kay, I'm not happy with their attitude, but isn't it refreshing to see that men respected the privilege of voting? And women fought long and hard for the right? I've heard that more Americans vote for American Idol than at the polls. That amazed me.


Janet Dean said...

Thanks for the congrats, Margie! It's great fun to celebrate with all of you!


Janet Dean said...

Lorna, thanks for your enthusiasm!


Janet Dean said...

Hi Kimerli! I don't have an announcement about the release of Courting Miss Adelaide on Facebook. I'd appreciate it if you added it to your profile. Thanks!


Missy Tippens said...

I can't believe I didn't stop by earlier for the celebration!! Janet, I'm so thrilled for you!! I can't wait to see it in the store.

For those who don't win the drawing, be sure to buy the book. You don't want to miss it! It's such a sweet, touching story (and has some suspense in it as well!).

Janet Dean said...


Glad you made it! Sorry all you found are the crumbs, what's left from Ruthy's wonderful Tea.

Delighted to hear again how much you enjoyed Courting Miss Adelaide! :-)


Kimberli said...

Done. I posted a link from your website. How I could summarize your book in eleven words when I can't summarize the novel I've been working on for nearly a year in less than twenty, I don't know. And I took Camy's class! I don't know if she would be proud or ashamed of me.

I'm sorry I didn't offer this to others sooner, but I didn't think about it until yesterday. Ish, I'm getting

ForstRose said...

I remember reading an Orphan Train series several years ago and enjoying the stories. Would love to win a copy of this book.