Tracie Peterson’s 100th Book Party: Quiz!

Have you seen those personality quizzes that are shared all over Facebook? Well, here is the Christian fiction version, part of the celebration of Tracie Peterson’s 100th book, A Sensible Arrangement!

Tracie Party!

Of course, we couldn’t include all of Tracie Peterson’s characters. With 100 books, it would just be ridiculous. You’d be taking the quiz for hours! (If you’ve missed the other fun things we’ve been doing this week to celebrate Tracie’s 100th book, check out the virtual card and fun recipes.)

This quiz covers the heroine of A Sensible Arrangement, as well as the leading ladies in the two other series this book has connections with: STRIKING A MATCH and LAND OF THE LONE STAR.

Find out if you are….

ChasingtheSun_4color.indd

Hannah from Chasing the Sun?

TouchingtheSky_mockup.indd

Laura from Touching the Sky?

TamingtheWind_TP-cover.indd

Carissa from Taming the Wind?

EmbersOfLove_4color.indd

Deborah from the STRIKING A MATCH series?

A Sensible Arrangement

Marty from A Sensible Arrangement?

Moment in Time

Alice from A Moment in Time? (And A Sensible Arrangement)

Take the quiz to find out!

TakeQuiz

Just for fun, tell us which result you got in the comments section of the blog. I’d love to see how many fictional heroines we have out there!

Tracie Peterson’s 100th Book Party: Lone Star Fun

Welcome to Day Two of the week-long virtual party for Tracie Peterson’s 100th book, A Sensible Arrangement! I loved reading all of your comments and congratulations for Tracie on yesterday’s blog post!

Tracie Party!

Today it’s time for a little fun from Texas (a state I just visited for the first time last week on Beverly Lewis’s book tour…still going on! Check it out if you live in Texas or Louisiana). Since the series is called LONE STAR BRIDES, it’s pretty obvious that the great state of Texas is pretty special to our heroes Marty and Jake.

Take a Virtual Tour of the Lone Star State!

Bluebonnets

Scroll through 35 breathtaking Texas photos submitted by state residents like the one above. I could hardly pick a favorite!

Or, if you’re actually planning a trip to Texas (or would like to in the future), take a look at this list of places to visit and things to do.

What’s a Party Without Cake?

And, finally, if you have a bit of a sweet tooth, here’s my favorite Texas sheet cake recipe! (This one is perfect for book clubs to use…or anyone who happens to like chocolate. Which, really, is almost everyone.)

Texas sheet cakeTexas Sheet Cake

2 cup sugar
2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 sticks margarine/butter
4 Tbsp. cocoa
1 c water
½ cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Place sugar, flour, baking soda, and cinnamon in a bowl and stir them together. In a medium-size saucepan over medium heat, melt together the margarine/butter, cocoa, and water. Bring to a rapid boil, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Pour cocoa mixture over dry ingredients and mix well. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400° F. Then add buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla to other ingredients and mix well. Pour the batter into a greased jelly roll pan (15.5” x 10.5” x 1”). Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool before icing.

Icing

1 stick margarine/butter
4 Tbsp. cocoa
6 Tbsp. buttermilk
3 ½ cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, cocoa, and buttermilk. Bring to rapid boil, stirring constantly. Then stir in powdered sugar and vanilla Pour on cake while the icing is still hot.

Serves 24

 

Visit the blog tomorrow for a fun surprise: something we’ve never done on the Bethany House fiction blog (or anywhere else for that matter)!

Tracie Peterson’s 100th Book Party!

Some people want to write a novel in their lifetime.

Tracie Peterson has written 100. Already.

This absolutely astounds me, which is one reason why I’m so excited to celebrate Tracie’s milestone on the blog this week. Her 100th book, A Sensible Arrangement, released on the first of April. It’s the start of a new series, Lone Star Brides. And if you’re a regular Tracie reader, you’ll recognize a few familiar faces from past series . . . .

Tracie Party!

About the Book: Marty Dandridge Olson is ready to leave behind the pain of the past. So she answers an advertisement for a “Lone Star Bride,” leaving her Texas ranch and moving to Denver to marry a man she doesn’t know.

Jake Wythe is the man waiting for her. Burned by love, he marries now simply to satisfy the requirements of the bank where he works. Together, Jake and Marty agree they are done with romance and will make this nothing more than a marriage of convenience.

But when their relationship shifts, and dreams and secrets collide, will they come to a different arrangement?

(Learn more about the book here or on Tracie’s website.)

A Sensible Arrangement

Join in the Fun!

Each day, Monday through Friday, we’ll be celebrating the release of A Sensible Arrangement in all sorts of fun ways—come back every day for giveaways, a quiz, recipes, and more, or follow the blog by clicking the “Follow” button to the left. That way, you’ll get email updates about new posts. (On normal, non-party weeks, I post once a week, on Thursdays.)

Today, I’d like to hear back from all of you: pretend this blog post is a giant card for Tracie. What would you write in it? Is there a book of hers that you especially connected with or enjoyed? Tell us about it! (And don’t forget to share this post with all of your friends who love Tracie too . . . we want to celebrate this special accomplishment!)

What’s In a Name?

Sometimes our authors will post questions on Facebook asking fans to help them name a particular character. These are really fun discussions to follow, and they always make me wonder: what’s in a name? Not in the way Shakespeare meant it, but how does the sound and meaning of a name fit a character?

Parents might have many reasons to pass on a name to a newborn—acknowledging a tradition or national heritage, honoring someone special, or simply liking the sound of a name.

Authors, though, know their characters’ personalities before ever naming them, something hard to determine in a hospital with a screaming infant. I decided to take a look at the names of the leading ladies in our April releases and see how they fit the characters.

Name Book

All of the meanings and spiritual connotations were taken from The Name Book. Continue reading

Love Never Fails: Romance in the 1800s, Part One

(Congratulations to our winner from last week’s post, Hannah Brown! Hannah, please email your mailing address to me, Amy, at agreen@bethanyhouse.com so I can send you a copy of Rebellious Heart. I loved reading all of your thoughts about the best aspects of life and love during the Revolutionary War.)

Now we move from the era of tea taxes and revolution to the frontier of America in the 1800s. The rules for love and romance have changed a bit, adding interesting features like mail-order brides and women who have to put in long, hard hours of labor on farms and ranches. It’s Valentine’s Day, the perfect time to see what our sisters from a century or so in the past thought about love and romance.

The first to represent the West, Mary Connealy shares some perspective on finding love in Texas in the late 1800s.

Match Made in Texas

Book Title and Setting: Meeting Her Match, from the A Match Made in Texas novella collection, 1893 Texas

My Question:
What was an interesting courtship tradition of this time?

Mary’s Answer:
One of the things I found most interesting was that as the school marm at that time, to have any scandal attached to her name meant being fired immediately. Even if everyone in town was quite sure you were innocent, it was just unthinkable that even a hint of wrongdoing could swirl around the teacher—that’s how high her moral standards had to be. And once that bit of scandal was attached to my heroine, Hannah, she was forced to marry.

The flip side of that was that no married woman was allowed to teach school. There might have been exceptions, but they were rare. It was considered an insult to the husband for his wife to work, as if saying he wasn’t able to take care of her.

Hannah and Mark

My Question:
What about the relationship in your story was typical of the time period, and what was atypical?

Mary’s Answer:
The thing that was not typical between Hannah and Marcus was their ages. Hannah was over twenty. In her mind she was firmly a spinster at that terribly old age. The chance for marriage had passed her by. Today if a twenty-year-old gets married, we are all very nervous because they are so young. It was also far less typical that Hannah was a working woman; most women lived at home until they married.

Connealy_MaryConnect with Mary on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.

Next, Regina Jennings, one of the other novella contributors, describes an entirely different scenario between her two characters.

Book Title and Setting: An Unforeseen Match, from the A Match Made in Texas novella collection, 1893 Texas

My Question:
Describe your main characters’ relationship.

Regina’s Answer:
Because she’s going blind, Grace is forced away from her responsibilities as a school teacher and from society in general. Clayton realizes how much she values her independence, and he wants to help her maintain it, although he’d prefer that she’d learn to trust him instead. He’s torn between showing her that he can take care of her and teaching her how to take care of herself.

Palo Duro Canyon, the book's setting, via the A Match Made in Texas Pinterest Board.

Palo Duro Canyon, the book’s setting, via the A Match Made in Texas Pinterest Board.

My Question:
What about the relationship in your book was typical of the time period and what was not typical?

Regina’s Answer:
In the West it wasn’t unheard of for a single woman who owned a homestead to have a hired hand. There was plenty of work to go around, and the role was clearly defined. In An Unforeseen Match, however, Grace’s blindness blurs the lines. Clayton shouldn’t come inside the house, but who is going to cook? How can he guide her around the ranch without touching her? They constantly find themselves in unconventional situations.

Jennings, ReginaConnect with Regina on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.

In Tracie Peterson’s new book, the heroine doesn’t meet her intended husband until their wedding day, something quite different from dating and marriage today.

A Sensible Arrangement

Book Title and Setting: A Sensible Arrangement, 1893 Texas and Colorado

My Question:
Describe your main characters’ relationship:

Tracie’s Answer:
Marty Dandridge Olson—originally from the LAND OF THE LONE STAR series is a widow who wants to get out of Texas and answers a newspaper advertisement for a Lone Star Bride. Jake Wythe is originally from the STRIKING A MATCH series. When his Colorado banking job insists he have a wife, he looks for a platonic mate with whom he doesn’t have to risk his heart.

My Question:
What about the relationship in your book was typical of the time period and what was not typical?

Tracie’s Answer:
Advertising in the newspaper for a wife wasn’t all that unusual in the 1800s, but in truth it was probably done less in the later years of the century. However, for my rural ranch characters who lost mates and have no desire to fall in love again, a platonic, arranged sort of mail-order marriage works well. Today we have the Internet, but in the 1800s it was newspapers if you wanted to advertise for a wife or husband.

Peterson, TracieConnect with Tracie on Facebook and her website.

More giveaway fun for you, readers! This time, you have a chance to win A Match Made in Texas. To enter, just comment on the blog with an answer to this question: if you were writing an advertisement for a spouse who you would marry sight unseen, what three characteristics would be most important to you? (If you’re already married, pretend you’re writing the advertisement for your son or daughter.) The winner will be announced in next Friday’s post!

Prayer for Authors: January 2014

Happy January, everyone! Today we’re starting a new Bethany House Fiction tradition: taking time on the first week of every month to pray for authors who have new releases coming out. I’m Amy Green, the fiction publicist here, and these authors mean a lot to me. I appreciate you joining me to pray for them. To read more about the reasons behind this time of prayer, go to this post.

11413_BHPfiction_Jan14-FBcover

Authors with Books Releasing in January:

Mary Connealy
Carol Cox
Regina Jennings
Julie Klassen
Tracie Peterson
Karen Witemeyer
Kimberley Woodhouse

Verse of the Month: Feel free to use the text of this verse to guide your prayers for these authors, as well as other people in your life who you want to remember in prayer today.

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.” Philippians 1:9-10, NIV

General Suggestions for Prayer

  • For readers to find the authors’ books at just the right time for God to use the books’ messages in their lives.
  • For peace and focus during release month (often a busy and stressful time for authors).
  • For God to give clarity and endurance to the authors as many begin new projects.
  • For freedom from comparison, worry, and pride—that the authors will be able to put their identity in God and not in their writing.

If you have a prayer request on your mind, for yourself or for someone you care about, share it below. I’ll read through every comment and pray for your requests as well. Thanks for joining us!

Every Knee Will Bow: Tracie Peterson

Christmas is a favorite time of year for me.  I’m a winter girl, and I love the cold weather.  The snow, the crispness of the air, the anticipation of the season—I love it all. Living in Montana I can almost always count on a white Christmas, and nothing shines so bright as Christmas lights against a snowy backdrop. One of the things I love to do is set up my holiday village and the Christmas tree.  I like to get them up early and enjoy them for as long as I can.  Another neat decoration is the Nativity I was given by my good friend and sometimes co-writer, Judith Miller.

The Nativity is quite special to me.  I remember having a tiny plastic one as a child.  I can even remember when we had a Nativity in my public school classroom and no one protested—guess I’m telling my age.  But these days, the Nativity is a family affair.

Around Thanksgiving, I set it up, starting with Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus.  Next I add the sheep and shepherds and an angel on top of the stable.  We don’t usually put in the wise men, since they weren’t actually at the manger scene.  However, a great many other “visitors” show up before Christmas arrives. Continue reading