Hello Virginia. Thanks for being our guest on Historical Heartbeats. Virginia is one of the seven authors in the newly released boxed set of sweet romance novels, Timeless: Historical Romance Through the Ages. She will give away one of her print or ebooks to a commenter.
Thank you so much for having me on Historical Heartbeats and A Book Worth Reading!
Please tell us about your latest or upcoming release. Do you have a review you could share with us?
This was one of the first reviews All the Blue of Heaven received and it’s still one of my favorites: “This book was just a great read. It kept me hopeful, engaged, and I couldn’t wait for my next break at work to keep reading along. Your heart breaks for Allie as she faces one struggle after another. Not frustratingly so, but just life. Her faith takes a beating, and she wonders where God is in it all. Thomas loved Allie before she moved away and had to return because of her ailing health. He is frustrated that he still loves her, and worries that as soon as she’s well, she’ll just pack up and leave again. The heartache they’ve caused each other in the past, and the beautiful path they make to restore their relationship is so sweet, so beautiful. You also can’t help falling in love with Allie’s charge, her young niece. Nor the housekeeper who just dotes on Allie. I could actually picture every character, every scene. The author wrote things out so that they came alive, without using so much description that you wanted to skip the paragraphs. Trust me, if you like Christian Romance, I’d say this book is for you.”
What inspired this story?
When I was in 6th grade, I read a middle grade book about The Great Quake. I’ve always been fascinated with the city of San Francisco, and how it recovered from such massive devastation. It was only a short time before I had to set a romance with a character who was feeling the tragedy of the Great Quake.
What is the story behind the story?
My grandmother (for whom I named my heroine) was a chemist and she was one of the very bravest people I’ve ever known. I really wanted this heroine to be forging her own way in the world, despite what other people decided she needed to do, just like my grandmother did when she was one of the first female graduates in the sciences at her university. The hero in the story is a veterinarian. My grandfather was also a veterinarian, so even though my real-life grandparents had a very different setting for their love story, I wanted to honor them with this tale of forgiveness, recovery, and faithfulness.
Why do you write romance?
I love reading everything, but I always enjoy a book so much more when it has a thread of romance. I don’t think I could write a story that didn’t have a little bit of romance in it, and I’m happiest when it’s ALL about the romance!
What inspires you? What motivates you?
People inspire me. Their tragedies, victories, long marriages, and when they rise above challenging circumstances and be more than they thought they could ever be.
Please tell us about your other books.
I have another historical in this series, called Purple Like The West (also set in San Francisco). I have several books published with Love Inspired, including one that’s coming out in October. I also have a series called Austen Takes the South that’s published by Simon & Schuster and the third of that series will be released in November of this year.
Here is a sneak peek at All the Blue of Heaven:
Children of wealth or want, to each is given
one spot of green, and all the blue of heaven!
Oliver Wendell Holmes
San Francisco, California
April 18, 1906, 5:12 AM
Her lungs were bursting.
Black smoke buffeted Alberta Hathaway in hot waves. Her eyes burned so viciously that tears streamed down her cheeks.
I am going to die. Only seconds remained before she would have to inhale- a certain death sentence. The rolled canvases slipped from her arms as she stumbled against a row of shelves. She swept her hands in wide swaths in front of her, blindly seeking the door. Please, God, please take care of Janey. Her heart pounded wildly. There was no more time to think, to pray. She sucked in the acrid smoke and wished she could scream as it tore down her throat, scorching a path of destruction. Her knee connected sharply against the corner of a chair― the chair that stood next to the hallway leading out. With one last whisper of hope, Alberta threw herself toward the space where the hallway should be. The smoke billowed so violently that her long skirts whipped around her legs. The wooden planks radiated searing heat up through her black, ankle high boots.
I’m sorry, Janey. Everyone has left you and now I’m leaving, too. She wanted to shriek out her anger at God. Why had He taken everything from such a little girl? What kind of plan could this be? As she fell, her elbow collided with the hard floor. The crack of her head against the wood sent shock waves through her body. The heat was unbearable. But the pain of failing Janey was worse.
Strong hands gripped her under the arms and dragged her limp body toward the fresh air. Blackness blanketed her mind. The cool grass under her hands soothed the blistered skin and she realized her gloves had burned away.
“Wrap her in your coat. You’ve got to smother the flames,” a rough voice called out. No, don’t cover me! I’m so hot, the grass feels so good. A memory flitted through her ravaged mind: sitting under the shade of an oak, the fingers of one hand threading through cool grass. But the next moment she was enfolded in a tweed jacket, the fibers scratching her fragile, ruined skin. Stop, you’re hurting me! Alberta opened her mouth to scream, but could only cough in short, jerking spasms.
“She’s still alive!” The wonder in their voices spoke more than any mirror could. She had been to the depths of hell… and survived.
Virginia was born near the Rocky Mountains and although she has traveled around the world, the wilds of Colorado run in her veins. A big fan of the wide open sky and all four seasons, she believes in embracing the small moments of everyday life. A home schooling mom of six young children who rarely wear shoes, those moments usually involve a lot of noise, a lot of mess, or a whole bunch of warm cookies. Virginia holds degrees in Linguistics and Religious Studies from the University of Oregon. She lives with her habanero-eating husband, Crusberto, who is her polar opposite in all things except faith. They’ve learned to speak in short-hand code and look forward to the day they can actually finish a sentence. In the meantime, Virginia thanks God for the laughter and abundance of hugs that fill her day as she plots her next book.
Buy links and social media links.
Where I cook on the weekends: http://yankeebellecafe.blogspot.com/