Welcome, Susan. It's great to have you here today. You have just had the second book in your Prairie Dreams Series release. Tell us what it is and give us a blurb about it.
Lady Anne believes her prayers are answered and she’s at last found her long lost uncle. Unwilling to let her meet him on her own, Dan Adams accompanies her to her uncle’s ranch. But unconvinced the man claiming to be her uncle is an impostor. They decide to continue the search for the new Earl of Stoneford.
But now the swindler is on their trail, hoping to steal Uncle David’s inheritance. Dan has his hands full trying to protect Anne, but he finds he must guard his heart just as carefully. Even though he’s good at keeping her safe, he knows he’ll never convince Anne to become a farmer’s wife in Oregon when she has her sights set on returning to her home in England. But as Anne’s quest becomes even more difficult—and dangerous—she begins to see Dan differently. Will she soon be envisioning a new life in America?
For those who didn’t read the first book, The Lady’s Maid, give us some background on this story.
Lady Anne’s father, Earl of Stoneford, died in 1855, leaving his title and estate to his younger brother. But David Stone has no idea. He had two older brothers and figured both of them would have sons. He went to America as a young man, and the family hasn’t heard from him in the last 10 years. Anne and her lady’s maid, Elise Finster, set out in book 1 and journey to Independence, where they join a wagon train bound for Oregon. Rumors say that’s where David has relocated. But along the way, they encounter unexpected obstacles—and Elise falls in love.
Your heroine Anne is a very determined character. What has happened in her life to make her such a strong woman?
Her mother died several years ago, and she is the only child of an earl. She has been trained to be tough when it counts. Even though she doesn’t have a lot of survival skills at the start of her journey, she is always willing to learn. And she believes her family and heritage are very important. She doesn’t want to see the Stoneford title go dormant.
Having had the opportunity to read some of this book before it was published, I fell in love with Dan. He is such a thoughtful man. Tell us more about this handsome hero and how he came to be with Anne on her quest.
Dan Adams and his brother, Hector, were among the wagon train company in book 1. They went to Oregon as farmers and are homesteading there. But Dan fell in love with Anne during their trip. He proposed, but she turned him down. He just couldn’t forget her after they separated in Oregon City. He and his brother work on their land for a few weeks, and finally Hector tells him he’s no good—he’s always daydreaming about Anne. He tells Dan to go find her and once more lay his heart at her feet. At the opening of Lady Anne’s Quest, Dan has seen that Anne and her maid have parted ways. He feels he might be of service as she continues her search for her uncle. That’s all Dan needs to bring him on board for the trek to Eugene and beyond.
Is there a third book in the series? If so, what is that story about?
Yes. In A Lady in the Making, you’ll see how it all turns out for David Stone, after he learns that he is expected to “man up” and accept the title of earl and go home to run the estate in England. But David has just started a new stagecoach line in Oregon with Dan, and frankly, he likes his new life. After some shilly-shallying, he sets out on his journey to England. To his surprise, he is a fellow passenger on a stagecoach with the last person on earth he wanted to see again.
What do you want readers to take away after reading Lady Anne’s Quest?
I hope they will have more than a lively adventure. This book shows how people—and attitudes—can change. It also shows God’s loving care of His children, even when they do ridiculous things.
What are you working on now?
I’m finishing up a book in the Miracles of Marble Cove series for Guideposts, but it looks like more westerns and more mystery are ahead for me.
You’ve been writing for a long time and have had wonderful successes with your books. What words of encouragement would you give to authors who are still trying to sell that first manuscript?
Work hard at the craft of writing. A good story is crucial, but your story won’t go far if it is not well written. Take time to learn the boring stuff—grammar, punctuation, and style.
Great advice, Susan. Thanks for stopping by and come back again when A Lady in the Making releases.