Cindy, CONGRATULATIONS on your debut novel, Secrets and Charades!
Tell us a bit about the plot, without giving away any spoilers.
Dr. Evangeline Olson’s niece has been writing to a rancher out west, posing in her letters as her Aunt Evangeline. When the good doctor finds out, she is livid. But a series of events both past and present cause her to revisit her niece’s charade. Shame and fear had a lot to do with the decision. Prayer brought peace to go forward.
Rancher Jake began writing for a mail-order bride so that the niece he is caring for does not need to go away to boarding school. She needs a better education and genteel ways. Jake’s past as a veteran in the Civil War, along with his history of a broken romantic relationship, play into how he reacts to his new bride. There’s a lot more secrets within the community neither are aware of at first. These play a crucial role in building the relationship of Jake and Evangeline.
How were you inspired to write this story?
“Evangeline” came to me and shared her story. Some people close to me have battled these same emotional traumas. Placing Evangeline’s and Jake’s pain in an historical setting gives readers a little distance from their modern lives. Yet, the pain is still relatable.
Have you always been a fan of westerns? Do you have any favorite western authors?
I love a good western or any historical if it is done well. Louis L’amour writes great westerns. I was inspired by Jeanette Oke and Gilbert Morris when their Christian fiction spoke to the heart rather than preached at the reader.
Your female protagonist is a doctor. Was it difficult getting research about women physicians in that era?
Yes and no. If you stick to the internet you find interesting things. But the library and amazon used books provided so much more insight. I have a friend with a huge historical library. He was willing to share some great books. Choosing which things to put in my story was the challenge.
Any plans for a sequel?
Yes. I am currently writing a sequel. One of the secondary characters begged me to tell her story. I have a third idea ready to start after I’m done with Bride in Disguise.
Any future novel ideas brewing in your writer’s muse?
I finished a contemporary romance entitled New Duet. An abused widow meets a wounded warrior. Their past hurts and insecurities are relatable and I hope help those who read it. My agent is currently looking for a home for it.
I have other plot lines both historical and contemporary waiting to draw my attention for future novels.
How can readers contact you on social media?
My blog:Writer’s Patchwork Blog www.jubileewriter.wordpress.com
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/cindyehuff
Facebook Author page:https://www.facebook.com/author.huff11/
Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946016144/
Amazon URL https://www.amazon.com/author/cindyervinhuff
Thank you, Cindy, and, by the way, your book cover is gorgeous! Congrats again!
You are so kind.
It wasn’t for love that physician Evangeline Olson left her home in Missouri in 1873. There were few options left to keep her fading medical practice alive and she had nothing left to lose by accepting a mail order bride request from a cattle rancher in Texas. But the emotional baggage from her past weighed more heavily on her than the numerous trunks containing her worldly goods.
Rancher Jake Marcum wasn’t seeking love but a mother for his orphaned niece. The bride who arrived on the train from Missouri however, soon captured his affections. But it would take time, patience, and divine intervention to unravel the mysteries that shielded Evangeline’s heart from his ardor.
“Secrets & Charades” by Cindy Ervin Huff is an engaging post Civil War Western that captures a reader’s interest from page 1. Author Huff does an excellent job of weaving complexity into the simple life of the rugged Texas terrain.
A captivating novel of the Old West, “Secrets & Charades” should find itself on the bookshelves beside many long-loved western classics.
Cindy has offered to give a copy of Secrets and Charades to one commenter on this blog post. Please leave your email in the comment so we can contact you.