Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Blatant self-promotion: Myra Johnson's WHEN THE CLOUDS ROLL BY

Myra here. Sorry, can’t help myself. I’m just so excited about the release this week of my first trade-length historical romance!

When the Clouds Roll By is book 1 in a three-book series from Abingdon Press titled “Till We Meet Again.” The setting is Hot Springs, Arkansas, and the story begins the day the Armistice is signed ending World War I.

Hubby and I have vacationed in Hot Springs almost every year since the ‘80s. It’s an area rich in history, and the more I learned about it, the more enthusiastic I became about using Hot Springs as the setting for a novel.

There’s the historic Arlington Hotel. This shows the hotel as it existed in 1918, when my story begins. The building burned to the ground in 1923 and was rebuilt across the street, where the hotel still stands today.

The Arlington Hotel

And the Army and Navy Hospital. Several original buildings still exist on the hospital grounds, but the current veterans hospital now occupies the area where the Swiss-chalet-style administration building once stood.

The Hot Springs Army and Navy Hospital

The bathhouses along Central Avenue remain popular tourist attractions, although only the Buckstaff continues traditional operation. Others have been modernized or are being converted into shops, galleries, or offices. The Fordyce, operated by the National Park Service, offers self-guided tours and a glimpse into the history of “taking the baths” in Hot Springs.

The Fordyce Bathhouse

I couldn’t have written these books without the invaluable assistance of the staff and volunteers of the Garland County Historical Society! They provided old photos, maps, documents, and book excerpts to ground me more fully in my setting.

Have I mentioned I’m pretty crazy about my book cover? Abingdon always does such a great job with covers. I pictured my heroine, Annemarie, as actress Anne Hathaway, but the cover model the Abingdon art department selected comes pretty close!

Anne Hathaway as Annemarie Kendall

For my hero, Army Chaplain Samuel Vickary, I envisioned Simon Baker. Just love his curly blond hair and impish smile!

Simon Baker as Samuel Vickary

And then there’s 1st Lieutenant Gilbert Ballard, the antihero. I needed somebody darkly handsome and a little on the scruffy side. Enter Eduardo Verástegui. He was too adorable to end life as a villain, so have no fear--he takes on the hero’s role in book 2, Whisper Goodbye, coming next spring!

Eduardo Verástegui as Gilbert Ballard

To celebrate the release of When the Clouds Roll By, I’m giving away TWO autographed copies! Just mention your interest in a comment to be entered in the drawing.

And . . . so we’ll have something to chat about and I won’t feel so guilty about rambling on and on about my new book . . .  

When researching your wip, what are your top three go-to sources, and why?


About the book: Annemarie Kendall is overjoyed when the armistice is signed and the Great War comes to an end. Her fiancé, Lieutenant Gilbert Ballard, is coming home, and though he is wounded, she is excited to start their life together. But when he arrives, her dreams are dashed when she learns Gilbert is suffering from headaches, depression, and an addiction to pain killers. This is not the man she had planned to marry.
 

After serving in the trenches, Army Chaplain Samuel Vickary is barely holding onto his faith. Putting up a brave front as he ministers to the injured soldiers at the hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas, he befriends Gilbert and eventually falls for Annemarie. While Annemarie tries to sort out her confused feelings about the two men in her life, she witnesses firsthand the bitterness and hurt they both hold within. Whom will she choose? Will she have the courage to follow her heart and become the woman God intended her to be? As the world emerges from the shadow of war, Annemarie clings to her faith as she wonders if her future holds the hope, happiness, and love for which she so desperately longs.

101 comments:

Wendy Newcomb said...

I LOVE the cover on this book! I would like to win a copy of it, I don't think I've read any of Myra's work and always like to try out new authors.

wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

Courtney Faith said...

I agree with you on the cover. And that is such a great title also! It's little things like those that create my beginning interest in a book. I'll put this on my Amazon wish list if I don't win it in this giveaway:)

And I don't blame you for the "blatant self-promotion". I'd do the same if I had a book being released!

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Myra, I am beyond excited about this series and can't wait to dive in.

Hope you are recovering from "jet lag!" Hee, hee.

Put me in for the drawing.

Peace, Julie

Abbi Hart said...

Finally! I have been seeing this cover for so long now and it looked so very good that I could hardly wait till it came out! I absolutely loved the behind the scenes look and now I want to read it even more!
Would love to win a copy! Thanks!

Cindy W. said...

I absolutely LOVE the cove of your new book Myra! I also love it when an author lets us know who they envisioned as their main characters.

Please drop my name in the hat to win a copy and thank you for the opportunity.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

Jackie said...

The book cover is beautiful. I'm so excited for you!

I hope your story reaches lots of reader. Congrats!

Please toss my name in the hat.

Jessica Nelson said...

Your cover is gorgeous!
I don't have any specific sites, just good old Google. :)

Mary Hicks said...

Myra, I love the cover. But when I read your book, of course you know I'll see Ann Hathaway and Simon Baker. Since I like both those characters, it'll be fun!

Good luck with sales!

Would be thrilled to win a signed copy of WHEN THE CLOUDS ROLL BY.

Myra Johnson said...

Good morning, early birds! I'm still trying to pry my eyes open this morning. Need to catch up on rest after the wonderful ACFW conference last weekend in Indy.

Ladies, thanks, all of you for the sweet comments about my book and cover!! I'm so happy about the response it's getting!

Let me pull myself together and get organized for the day, and I'll be back soon to chat!

Naomi Rawlings said...

Myra, I have a copy of this sitting on my kindle right now just waiting for me to read it so I can post some reviews . . . so yeah, I should probably get around to the READING part of it, huh?

Congrats on your new release. The book looks fabulous (hence why it's currently on my kindle). And I hope you enjoy the release of your first full-length novel. :-)

Jeanne T said...

MYRA, your cover IS beautiful. And I love who you pictured for your MC's. :)

When I've done research for my wips, I've gone to Youtube for learning how to do things, like laying a wood floor, or learning a specific ballroom dance. I also like to interview people who are actually in the occupations my characters work in. I've also Googled topics to gain information (evictions, anyone? :) )

Please put me in the drawing. :)

Connie Queen said...

Count me in on the "love your cover club." But I see Catherine Zeta Jones as the model.

I'm one of those who always imagine history as the frontier with false storefronts and all. Then I see pic like these and amazed at the architecture. Absolutely beautiful and perfect for romance.

Sounds like a wonderful story. Please throw my name in the hate.

Connie Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janet Dean said...

Myra, no wonder you're excited! Your cover is beautiful! The heroine is drop dead gorgeous. No wonder two hunks have fallen for her. You created a great premise for an emotional story. Can't wait to read When The Clouds Roll By!!

Your first two images appear to be antique postcards. Not easy to find, but a wonderful resource.

My top three research resources are the Internet, Writer's Guide to Everyday Life books (in the 1800s and in the Wild West), and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. The latter I use to determine when words came into usage.

Janet

Sherri Shackelford said...

What a gorgeous cover! Can't wait to read the book :)

Pepper said...

TOTALLY CAN NOT WAIT to get my hands on this book, Myra. I love the premise, the cover, and WWI! Plus, I love you!

Rose said...

Sounds great!

Good Luck, Myra.

Ruth Ann Dell said...

Congratulations on the release of your novel, I agree with previous comments that it has a stunning cover.

Please enter me in the draw.

My top three research resources are visits to the Nature Reserve where my WIP is set, the internet and geocaching sites wherever I find them.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I just downloaded it to my Kindle!!!! I am falling in love with my Kindle... and I never thought that would happen, but it did and I'm happy dancing that I have a new Myra Johnson read on my "Kindle device!!!"

This rocks, Myra!!!

Um... Myra????? Well, I've brought coffee for all and some sweet Danish from the bakery and celebretory balloons to celebrate a new release because we should nevah, evah take new releases casually....

They are the stuff that dreams are made of!!!!

Bring on the mariachi band and let's party!!!!

Kav said...

Am so excited ot read this, Myra. The cover is luscious!!!!

And wait a minute...why isn't librarian on the top of everyone's go-to research list?! Humph! :-)

Sandra Leesmith said...

OH MYRA , Congrats girlfriend. I love your picks for actors. smile

Can hardly wait to read this.

Julie Lessman said...

MYRA!!!!! DYING TO GET MY MITTS ON THIS ONE, MY FRIEND!!!!!!

It looks like EVERYTHING I love in a love story, so BRING IT ON!!! And written by a GH-winning, Carol-nominated award-winning author??? CAN. NOT. WAIT!!!!

Hugs,
Julie

kaybee said...

Myra, congratulations! This isn't "blatant self-promotion," it's sharing your good news with friends who are happy for you. Including cyber-friends. I would love to read this but will have to buy it or go to the library, I just won a book from Seekerville last week.
I am fascinated with the period after World War I and how the veterans came home -- or didn't. I have an unpubbed novel about the period, a romance set in a settlement house in New York's Hell's Kitchen. It was a watershed moment for our country. from which we could never go back.
My research? Internet, internet, internet. I write historicals and nobody's alive from the periods I cover, so Internet will have to do. Before the Internet it was library, library, library. I especially like the Children's Room for hard-to-understand concepts (hard to me, anyway). Children's nonfiction is more precious than gold to me.
Congratulations again, hope I get to read it.
Kathy Bailey
Pre-pubbed in New Hampshire

Terri said...

Myra - please put me in the drawing. You have a beautiful cover! I'm already anticipating book two, because of your hunky hero.

I love your setting. I've been wanting to visit there.

Congratulations!

Deb said...

I would love to win a copy
rdunson(at)knology(dot)net

Myra Johnson said...

Okay, somewhat organized and ready (???) to buckle down to business!

WENDY, delighted you visited with us today!

COURTNEY, I really got attached to my titles for this series because they're phrases from a WWI song my mom used to sing in the car when we went on long trips. I'll never forget it.

JULIE HS, at least I didn't cross time zones on this trip, but ACFW creates a whole 'nother kind of "lag"!

Myra Johnson said...

ABBI, thanks for visiting Seekerville today! I am so amazed at ALL of Abingdon's covers. They never disappoint.

CINDY W, I've gotten into the habit of finding character images early in the writing process. Having photos next to my desktop really helps me with character development. I like getting several different poses of the same person, too.

JACKIE, thanks for your kind words!

Myra Johnson said...

JESSICA, what would we do without Google? Just type in what you're looking for and all kinds of stuff pops up! (Some of it actually helpful, thank goodness!)

MARY H, I had fun imagining Anne and Simon as my lead characters. It really helped me bring them to life!

NAOMI, thank you for downloading my book to your Kindle! It's actually my second full-length novel, though. My first was One Imperfect Christmas, also with Abingdon. I'm honored to be a part of their fiction program!

Myra Johnson said...

JEANNE T, I agree--YouTube is a great resource when you want to actually see how something is done. I used it for researching horseshoeing while writing A Horseman's Hope, my Carol Award finalist.

Evictions??? Sounds interesting!

Myra Johnson said...

CONNIE, you're right--Catherine Zeta Jones might have made a great character model! And I really love Hot Springs. So much history there. I may have to delve into the Al Capone era someday. He actually stayed at the rebuilt Arlington Hotel.

JANET, those are antique postcards. Wish they were in my possession, but I found them on Google. So nice to have those pictures of how the buildings used to be.

Mary Connealy said...

Oh, Simon Baker. I need a blonde hero picture and I just got one.
THANK YOU, MYRA!

Myra Johnson said...

SHERRI, PEPPER, and ROSE, thanks for your kind words! It was so enlightening learning more about the first World War. And depressing, too. Too much suffering, too many needless deaths. So very, very sad.

RUTH ANN, a nature reserve--what a great idea for setting research! What's the setting for your wip?

Mary Connealy said...

Such a great cover.
I'm so looking forward to this book

Myra Johnson said...

A mariachi band, RUTHY??? Yes, um . . . why didn't I think of that? So appropriate for a WWI novel set in Arkansas.

But thanks for the Danish and coffee! Sorry for neglecting the buffet table. I'll set out some fresh blueberries (eat 'em fast--the season's ending!) and cream.

Myra Johnson said...

KAV, librarians rock! I confess I haven't always made the best use of libraries--too lazy to leave the comfort of my recliner and laptop, I suppose. But I love doing programs at libraries and meeting new readers and writers!

SANDRA, thanks! I'm reading Love's Miracles now. Can hardly put it down!

Mary Connealy said...

My research always starts with Google + Wiki that's step one. It's never the ONLY step though, it's just a jumping off point.
Partly because I don't really consider Wiki a dependable source, though it is pretty dependable about basic stuff like dates and names. It can have a slant though about a topic so I don't trust if they have a tone about a subject as being a good or bad thing.
So I start there and start following rabbit trails. It's common for me to buy books on Amazon. Sometimes books I find referenced on Wikipedia. Old books by long dead union soldiers for example will be right there, for sale, often very inexpensively on Amazon, sometimes almost free on Kindle. So I always check.
Then I have a first person account of something and even if that account is possible inaccurate it reflects ONE PERSON'S true impressions of that event and that has legitimacy as far as my characters impressions of an event.
Does that make sense?
So a Union Soldier comes through something and feels a certain way.
Well a rebel soldier may feel a different way and may he has a more 'fair' view of things in a historical sense viewed through the prism of time, but still that union soldier was there, living it and my characters were there living it.
So I love finding something like that.

Myra Johnson said...

JULIE, you are my romance-writing guru! Anytime I get a compliment about my romance novels from you, I am in seventh heaven!

KATHY, you are too sweet!!! Thank you for absolving me of my guilt. Oh, yes, the children's section at the library. I have used it myself.

TERRI, I was just riveted the first time I saw Eduardo's photo! Oh, WOW!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

I kept looking for Mary Curry at ACFW. Well, honestly, I kept looking for a person with an iPad for a head. But I never found one.

We had nice Seeker gatherings every nice. After the Gala was the best one. A big crowd and lasted pretty late. I was so tired the first two nights I quit really early.

We headed for the airport at 4:30 am the first day so I was wrecked that night.

But by Sunday night I was all rested up, except of course the conference itself was exhausting.

Now I'm home and missing everyone and regretting every moment I spent sleeping.

Myra Johnson said...

MARY, I am so taken with Simon Baker that this summer we have been getting all past seasons of The Mentalist from Netflix. Hadn't watched it before, but now I'm hooked!

I agree about Wiki. Good basic info to point you in the right direction. And first-person accounts. That's why I loved reading Doughboy War as I started researching WWI. Just one amazing personal story after another from the men who were there and lived to tell about it. Many of those stories will bring you to tears.

Myra Johnson said...

Never regret sleeping, MARY. Sleep is our friend.

Mostly.

Jamie Adams said...

Congratulations on your new book.
I love the cover. It says to me "this is a book you have to read" also I live in Arkansas and have been to Hot Springs many times. So please put me in the drawing :)

Myra Johnson said...

JAMIE! Don't you just love Hot Springs? So much history! Thank you for your kind words about my cover. Honestly, I was blown away by how many compliments I received about it during the ACFW conference, even from people I didn't even know knew about the book!

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Well, my Kindle just informed me I preordered Myra's book and it is now just waiting to be read.

This is what happens when you try to switch from coffee to tea as your morning beverage.

Peace, Julie

Bridgett Henson said...

Love the cover and the description.

By the looks of this post, I'd say you've done your research. I cringe at historical novels with inaccurate settings. I'd love to read this story.

Enter me in the drawing. But I'll probably download the kindle version too.

Congratulations on a great book!!!

Myra Johnson said...

That's okay, JULIE HS. A couple of years ago I paid for and downloaded the same ACFW workshop twice--several months apart! Forgot it was on my computer already!

BRIDGETT, I confess I am intimidated by research--worse, getting important details wrong! Someone will surely notice and inform me, that's for sure. So I apologize in advance and ask readers to grant me a little poetic license for the sake of storytelling.

carla stewart said...

Myra, I'm so thrilled for you and remember talking about this and the song that inspired the title. I LOVED seeing you at ACFW!!! You looked so chic and elegant as always. Hoping your sales fly off the charts!!

Elaine Manders said...

Myra,

Seems like I've been waiting a long time for this book. Yay, it's here. Beautiful cover.

I begin research by reading history books, then books written by contemporaries of that period, fiction and nonfiction. I have Ladies Home Journal for clothing, old newspapers and magazines for odds & ends. If I have a specific question, I google.

Mary's right. A lot of those old books are free. I had to explain the Dewey Library system in one of my books and downloaded Mr. Dewey's book outlining his methods. Talk about dull reading.

Love that cover, and Wow, if Eduardo had darker eyes he'd be a dead ringer for the hero in one of my WIPs. I have to keep this for future reference.

Mary Connealy said...

And so many of the details end up being TINY in your book and yet in their own way they set the tone.

And they also set this foundation of ... oh ... authority. Like they either reveal you as knowledgeable or they make you look like a slacker who didn't care enough to do her research.

So hours spent can lead to...a half a sentence...and yet it sets a tone that can really ring true and I think (hope) make a difference.

Debby Giusti said...

Myra, such a beautiful cover. Such an interesting story that begs to be read. I'm ordering a copy from Omega Book Center, my local independent bookseller, because I want to hold your book in my hands and stare at the cover and then flip through the pages as I become totally absorbed in your story. I like my Kindle, but I love print books. :)

Your Hot Springs reminds me of Warm Springs, GA, which is about an hour's drive from my house. It started as a resort spot for the rich and famous and then became a therapeutic center for polio victims when FDR started going there. Whenever I visit the pool area I can almost breathe in the spirit of those many people who came to Warm Springs for healing. in fact, Lyndee Henderson and I talked about it at ACFW. I wrote non-fiction articles about Warm Springs in the past and am wondering if a story (contemporary suspense) set there is waiting for me to tell today. Something to pray about.

Research for me? The Net, of course, but I love to interview folks in person or walk the same steps as my characters. Being "there" in person--no matter where there is--makes for great inspiration.

Debby Giusti said...

Elaine,

Old Ladies Home Journals? What a wonderful wealth of information. I love looking at the ads from yesteryear that tell so much about how people lived.

Jan Drexler said...

Myra, the cover is fabulous! I can hardly wait to read this book, and the rest of the series :)

My go-to resources for my Amish historicals are gameo.org (The Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online); the Goshen College Mennonite Historical Library (a lot of Amish resources, especially for northern Indiana); the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College; and publications from Pathway Publishers - an Amish publishing house.

I also go to Ancestry.com a lot for dates, place names, character names, etc.

But my biggest resource is my Dad. He's the family historian, and has collected a lot of stories through the years :)

And I'm just starting research on a story about homesteaders in South Dakota, so publications from the South Dakota historical society are high on my list right now!


After reading the last two paragraphs over again, I can see why I write historicals. The research just draws me in!

I'm adding some donuts from Wall Drug to the celebratory buffet! Enjoy :)

Debby Giusti said...

Janet, you mentioned the Writer's Guide to Everyday Life books. Must go to Amazon and take a peek. Are there certain issues you use more than others?

Thanks again for the trip to Connor's Prairie last week. I plan to post pictures on Seekerville tomorrow. Such a delightful way to experience history.

Debby Giusti said...

Don't forget our Seekerville friend Barbara Vey's live webcast at 1 PM Eastern.

Register (it's easy peasy) at:
https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=registration.jsp&eventid=670632&sessionid=1&key=1C3E0B5F321F572B15AF1A997C237C8F&sourcepage=register

You can find the link of the WE.

Even if you can't listen to the webcast, you'll help Barbara if you register. She always needs our support so Publishers Weekly will realize the importance of the romance genre.

karenk said...

Looking forward to reading your novel, Myra...congratulations!!!!

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Myra Johnson said...

CARLA!!!! My dear, dear Oklahoma friend!!! LOVED seeing you at ACFW! We need to catch up again soon! And you looked maaaahhh-velous, too!

ELAINE, thanks for the great research ideas! Historic editions of Ladies Home Journal would be so fun to browse through.

MARY, so true. Tiny, tiny details that take time and diligent research to uncover can add so much authenticity.

Myra Johnson said...

DEBBY, Warm Springs sounds a lot like Hot Springs. The Fordyce Bathhouse had a special tub with an overhead transport system to get patients to and from the tub.

Yes, definitely you should look into writing a contemporary suspense there!

Myra Johnson said...

JAN, how wonderful you have your dad as a research source! Bet he has some fantastic stories to share! So important to make sure we hear our older relatives' stories while they're still around to tell them.

Thanks for the donuts!!!

Myra Johnson said...

Okay, I registered for Barbara Vey's event! Made myself CEO of "Myra Johnson, Author." Fun!

Myra Johnson said...

KARENK, thanks for visiting!

BTW, Seekervillagers, I am about to leave for a few hours. I'M SO EXCITED!!! We're bringing home a new doggy this afternoon!!! We'll never replace Gracie, the sweet Lab mix we said goodbye to last spring, but our little dog Shadow has seemed kind of depressed and lonely ever since, so we're bringing him home a new "sister." Her name is Poppy, and I can hardly wait! Pix to come!

Janet Dean said...

Myra, I found a postcard of The Arlington Hotel on ebay.

Janet

kaybee said...

Anne Hathaway and Simon Baker. Yeah, but can you imagine what the children will look like?
KB

kaybee said...

MARY CONNEALY, agree with you about Wikipedia. Can be biased and inaccurate. Always get a second opinion.
KAV, I still use libraries!
MYRA, I also have an unpubbed World War I novel. (Sheesh, my whole writing life is flashing before me.) Takes place in a convalescent hospital in France. That was a really important time I our country, women in the workforce, our first MAJOR war out of the country, Woodrow Wilson's reluctance, and of course the sheer stupidity behind the war in the first place. Plus it set the tone for World War II. I first became fascinated with WW I when I was reading Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy Tacy books, the older ones, not the little kid ones, and Betsy was almost stranded in England on the eve of the war during her Grand Tour. "The Passing Bells" by Philip Rock is a good WW I story and also Anne Perry's four-volume series on the war, which also has a solid Anne Perry mystery running through it. And, most recently, Who Could Forget Downton Abbey?
KB on a roll

Sherida Stewart said...

Myra...I love your cover....I'm passionate about trains! Please enter me in the giveaway for a signed copy of WHEN CLOUDS ROLL BY. Sounds like a interesting time period.

Enjoyed the pictures of you at the ACFW conference. I was cheering for you! Thanks for letting us stay-at-homes in on your excitement!

I use historical societies, museums and Youtube to gather information. I agree that travel provides interesting ideas.

Dora Hiers said...

Myra, you should be excited! New releases are a cause for celebration, and I'm excited for you! LOVE the cover and your inspiration for the characters and the setting, and I know the book has to be fantastic because you wrote it. Congrats!! :)

Helen Gray said...

I just got home from conference at 11:30 this morning. Had a great time!

Early in our marriage we lived in Hot Springs for 3 years. Love it there. So would love to win your book.

CatMom said...

CONGRATULATIONS on your beautiful new book, Myra---cannot wait to read it!!

For research I usually use the internet and books, but think it would be amazing and interesting to do a live interview.

It was WONDERFUL seeing you, Myra, along with some of my other Seeker friends at ACFW!! You ladies are SO kind and welcoming!

I baked a peach cobbler and whipped up some Georgia pecan pralines for an afternoon snack--so anyone who needs sugar (besides moi) please help yourself.
Hugs, Patti Jo

Piper Huguley said...

Hi Myra,

I love the cover of your book and your series sounds great. My favorite research "go-to" sources are the dictionary (found a phrase in there just the other day that will not work for 1866. So helpful), Amazon for books and for my 20thc stuff, the Charles "Teenie" Harris photography exhibit. He was a photographer in Pittsburgh during the 1930's and 1940's and his pictures give all kinds of help with details of places and people (and helps me our of plot holes as well). No need to put me in the drawing.

Piper

Myra Johnson said...

Back with our precious Poppy! She is exploring the house and making herself at home. Shadow was so excited to see her!

Okay, back to Seekerville . . .

JANET, I'm afraid to ask how much eBay wanted for the postcard!

KB, you know they're gonna be adorable kids! Yes, WWI initiated major changes concerning women in the workforce. Such fascinating history.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Boy, you should be excited about this book, Myra. Amazing cover and the storyline sounds fresh as well.

There are two more in this series we have to look forward to, correct?

Myra Johnson said...

SHERIDA, you and my brother-in-law would get along great! He's been a train nut since childhood and now has a booth he operates at several train shows every year. Even has a layout in his converted garage room!

DORA, my friend! Welcome back from your wonderful cruise! Can't wait to see you again!

Welcome home from the conference, HELEN! Wasn't it great? So you used to live in Hot Springs. I love vacationing there, but I don't think I could live there. A little too touristy year-round.

Myra Johnson said...

PATTI JO, so wonderful to hug you at ACFW! Oh, boy, pralines!!!! Love 'em!!! Internet and books are my main sources. I've found some wonderful historical photo collections that really help me picture the era.

PIPER, you're right--historical authors need a good dictionary that includes when words and phrases first came into use. It's so easy to throw something into dialogue or description that the characters would never have said.

Myra Johnson said...

There's TINA! Hey, girlfriend! Yes, there are two more books in the series. The titles all come from the song "Till We Meet Again," hence the name of the series.

Book 2: Whisper Goodbye, Spring 2014

Book 3: Every Tear a Memory, Fall 2014

Heidi said...

I adore Simon Baker :) The Mentalist is one of my faves. Please enter me in the giveaway! Thanks!

Chill N said...

Myra! I pre-ordered your book the moment I knew about it ... and lo and behold it was ready for download a couple of days ago. I guess that's my way of saying don't enter me in the drawing.

I am so thrilled about the locale you chose. What a wonderful area ... I'll be picturing it as I read. And thank you for all that time spent on research. Somehow the fact that the writer knows comes through in the story even though it isn't written. Okay, that sounds weird but I hope you know what I mean.

I go for primary sources in my research, and the Internet and digital libraries are a treasure for me. I can read newspapers from the 1880s, see pix, maps, train routes, read letters and accounts. I also thank heaven everyday for the Library of Congress American Memory Collection and the old, out-of-copyright books available on the Internet. I found out my holistic veterinarian wasn't an anomaly for his time because of some old vet books. Oh, and museums. There's nothing like seeing the real thing from that time period. Because of my journalism background I guess, I'll contact an expert in the blink of an eye. Folks generally love to share their knowledge.

Congrats on the book, Myra. Will be into it soon ... and looking forward to more stories about Hot Springs.

Nancy C

Myra Johnson said...

HEIDI, we still have a couple of seasons of The Mentalist to catch up on. I think we're nearing the end of season 3 now. Isn't it going into 5 or so this fall? I love Patrick's boyish charm. He can be so silly!

NANCY C, primary sources are the best. That's why I really got a lot out of Doughboy War and all the personal accounts. Really brought out the realities of war. Museums are great, too. You can see the "real thing" in many cases to help with description. Thanks for pre-ordering my book!!!

Kav said...

Oooohhh congratulations on your new puppy! That's almost as good as your new release news. LOL. Books and dogs are high up on my list of loves.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Congratulations, Myra! Can't wait to read this! Wishing you many sales and great reviews!

Cheers,
Sue

Mary Curry said...

Myra, sorry to be so late checking in. No less enthusiastic though!!!!

I fell in love with this cover the first time I saw it. Now, hearing about how the story evolved I love it even more.

I was going to be flippant when answering your question and say Google, Google and Google, but then it hit me that my favorite - when possible - is on site research. There's absolutely nothing like standing in a place and envisioning your story happening all around you.

Count me in for the drawing, please.

Elizabeth said...

A WWI book. I need it. But I am super picky about books set in this time period because I am a bit of a WWI buff. But I am sure this one is a winner.
If you like the time period the amazing "Promise Me This" is totally worth the read. Also Allie Pleiter's " Homefront Hero." But I do wish there were more WWI Christian novels. Perhaps the 100th anniversary will help promote interest.

Elizabeth said...

A WWI book. I need it. But I am super picky about books set in this time period because I am a bit of a WWI buff. But I am sure this one is a winner.
If you like the time period the amazing "Promise Me This" is totally worth the read. Also Allie Pleiter's " Homefront Hero." But I do wish there were more WWI Christian novels. Perhaps the 100th anniversary will help promote interest.

Myra Johnson said...

KAV, we are loving our new doggy! She has settled in quickly, and Shadow was so glad to get a new sister. They are getting along great!

SUE, thank you! I'm so happy with the response this book is already getting!

MARY CURRY, I wish it were always possible to visit my settings and see them for real. Especially to be able to go back in time and see how things used to be. Glad there are so many history sources to rely on.

ELIZABETH, I do hope I did the WWI story justice. It was such a pivotal time in history and affected so many lives. Hard to believe it's already been nearly 100 years.

Courtney Faith said...

Okay, I've got a writing question--how many words do you shoot for each of your scenes to be?

That's for anyone to answer, if anybody wants to.

Chill N said...

Off topic: Has anyone heard how Melissa and Nathan are?

Nancy C

Myra Johnson said...

COURTNEY, scene length is very flexible. Scenes can be as long or short as the scene goal requires. But if you're asking for an average, I'd say mine generally are somewhere between 500 and 2000 words. Some longer, some shorter. You do want a little variety.

NANCY, I haven't heard anything recently about Melissa's baby. Still praying.

Courtney Faith said...

Thank you! I had that idea, but I like to get authors' opinions.

Audra Harders said...

Myra, I love the glimpse into your research. When I write historicals, I research volumes of reference books trying to compare view of the date and era. Definitely tends to work my brain into a lather, LOL!

For my cowboy work, I talk to local people, pay attention to ranching practices, and take wonderful road trips through the mountains of Colorado!

I love your cover. Abingdon hooked me on first glimpse. Congrats on the 3-BOOK SERIES!! WooHoo!

Lyndee H said...

Myra,congratulations on the new book and having a horse in the Carol's this past weekend. So pleased for you. I'd love to read this new one, too. Will certainly be on the TBR.

Regarding research - My dear Daddy is my key! I'm so fortunate to have his knowledge and guidance at the other end of the phone line. He's a tremendous scholar
and historian and I write because of his example and encouragement.



Donna said...

Myra, congratulations on the series and the new dog! We love to visit Hop Springs. I bet it's history is interesting.
Please enter me.

Mary Preston said...

I would love to read WHEN THE CLOUDS ROLL BY thank you.

Fabulous casting I must say.

jubileewriter said...

I love the idea of post WW I. Sounds intriguing. Enter me in the giveaway. cindyshuff at comcast dot net

Cherie Burbach said...

Love the premise and casting, and like most comments here I adore that cover! Congrats on your book, Myra!

Myra Johnson said...

AUDRA, Colorado is so beautiful--a great place to research the wild, wild west! So sorry about the floods, though. Hope recovery goes quickly and smoothly.

LYNDEE, great to see you at ACFW! I'm sure your dad is a wonderful source of info and inspiration. You're blessed to have him!

DONNA, my husband and I have enjoyed visiting Hot Springs over the years and learning a little more about the history every year. It's a lovely place to vacation and we never grow tired of it.

Myra Johnson said...

MARY P, glad you like my cast of characters!

CINDY, glad you stopped by. I have really learned a lot researching WWI.

CHERIE, thank you! I'm crazy about the book cover, too!

Andrea Strong said...

I'm a Southern Missouri girl, so I'm always interested in Mo/Ark books. This series looks wonderful. Definitely put my name in the hat!

Research...I stink at it. Even in school it was my least favorite part of writing. Give me the sources, and I could pound out a paper in no time.

It's different for researching my novel. The stuff is so interesting, but once I start, I realize how much I don't know. That's discouraging.

Myra Johnson said...

ANDREA, I definitely know what you mean. I never liked doing research papers in high school, but getting into interesting subject matter for my books is completely different. And so true--we find out how much we DON'T know and need to learn. It can be daunting!

Natasha Kern - Literary Agent said...

I of course got an early sneak peek and have read the second book in the series too. It doesn't get better than this in terms of characters you will care about, true love you long to see work out, authentticity and sheer drama. As I mentioned on FB, my husband snatched it the minute it arrived and raved about it (and guess how often he reads romances)

Barbara Thompson said...

Myra, you're a new author to me, but I think your book sounds great. I love the cover. I'm not a writer, but I am a passionate reader. Would love to read your book. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this giveaway. Please enter my name in the giveaway.
Barbara Thompson
barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

Myra Johnson said...

My dear, dear agent, NATASHA!!! Thank you for stopping by! No one's praise of my writing means more to me than yours, because I know how honest you are when you DON'T care for a story! And I'm truly, truly honored your husband enjoyed my book so much! Thank him for me!

Myra Johnson said...

BARBARA, thank you for visiting Seekerville! There's a bunch of great authors here whose books you'll want to explore!

Christina Rich said...

Myra, your books sound fabulous! I can't wait to read them. I've wanted to visit Hot Springs for years and explore its history. Hubs isn't too keen on exploring though.

Since I don't get to do too many research trips (which would be my top pick), I like reading diaries of the time and place if they are available, and then I like to use Internet resources (youtube is great for places I can't go), encyclopedias etc.

Michelle Fidler said...

Sounds like an interesting place to visit. Please enter me in the drawing. I also like the book cover.