Today before we share our first line with you, we have author Cecily Wolfe visiting with us:
Which books/authors do YOU hoard?
I love Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin, Ruth Reid – so many great Christian authors out there today. Some authors I have hoarded for many many years: Catherine Cookson (old-fashioned British fiction, usually about a girl in terrible circumstances who rises above to take care of her family and better herself, often with a handsome rich man in the picture who joins her – but she is tough on her own first, because she has had to be), Shirley Jackson (terrifying and eye-opening), and I love Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters series. It is pretty rough at times but there is a strong message throughout about family and honesty, about hope, and standing by those you love. I really appreciate that.
What is something interesting readers would like to learn about you?
Something interesting about me? I am a librarian, which is many a reader’s dream. I spend a lot of time in the community serving those who can’t come to the library, or visiting schools and helping students and teachers learn what resources the library has for them. A lot of people don’t know about databases and homework help that is available, or services for the homebound. I work with teens a lot, and value my time with them. I hope I can be a good influence, as some of them come from difficult backgrounds and don’t have strong role models. I try to model patience, good listening and response behavior, and encouragement – they tend to be (and this is developmentally appropriate) very self-centered, and I try to teach them that helping others is rewarding and enriching. I have seen many of them grow up to be young adults I can be proud of, and I love when them return to visit me.
What character was the haredst/easiest to write in the Throne of Grace? Crown of Beauty?
In Throne of Grace, I had difficulty with Mrs. Davenport. She is a lot more than she seems (aren’t we all?) and in Crown of Beauty, we get a little more of her background and why she is so hard on her children. I am working on a short story about how Mr. and Mrs. Davenport met for a Valentine’s Day anthology (I haven’t told anyone that, you are the first!) and of course, that will tell a lot more.
In Treasure of Hope, more of her personality will come through, and more explanation as to how her past has influenced her actions and expectations as a parent. In Crown of Beauty, Sarah. Sarah is a bit flighty and immature, and I’ve had some readers say that she acts more like a fifteen year old than an eighteen year old. I didn’t want the story to become too much about her, since her story is forthcoming in Treasure of Hope, and she kind of wanted to take over at times as I was working on Crown of Beauty. She is pretty pushy, but all that will change in the next book. Readers will see why at the end of Crown of Beauty, where I include the first chapter of Treasure of Hope.
What can you tell us about Treasure of Hope releasing later this year?
Treasure of Hope is the darkest of the three stories, and will focus on Sarah, the last of the Davenport siblings, and how she deals with the devastating guilt that overcomes her after a tragedy. The first chapter, featured at the end of Crown of Beauty, reveals what that tragedy is, so readers will know what awaits Sarah in Treasure of Hope. Sarah is spoiled and self-centered, but not cruel, though some may see her as such after what happens, and she is forced to manage the judgment of others as well as her failing self-worth. The right medicine for trouble in the Davenport household seems to be helping at the homeless shelter, so her brother and the rest of her family encourage her to spend time there serving those in need, in prayer and reflection as well. Meanwhile, someone else who is deeply affected by this terrible incident is a young man trying to get his business to thrive, someone who is already working with Arthur, Sarah’s brother. This young man, Sam, throws himself into his work to deal with his loss, and when he meets Sarah, the two tentatively find a friendship growing between them. The truth always has a way of coming to light, and the two discover facts about each other that complicates their friendship as well as their work at the shelter, where they both find consolation. It is a sad and difficult road they travel, but like Throne of Grace and Crown of Beauty, I promise a happy, hopeful, and faith-filled ending, and for those readers who continually ask for clues about the Davenport baby, yes, the baby will make an appearance, so you will have a name and gender before the series is over.
What type of research did you do to write the Cliff Walk Courtship series?
Research. Wow. So many books, maps, details . . . I love Newport and I adore the Gilded Age, so I started off with some knowledge, especially first hand of the Cliff Walk. It is gorgeous, with beautiful views of the water as well as the Gilded Age mansions that still stand. I have books about the time period, about what people ate, how they dressed, all of those details. Still, I have had a few readers catch some errors. I mention Josie’s ponytail, and a reader who specializes in this time period told me that term wasn’t used. Sure, she wore her hair tied back in a fashion we would call a ponytail, but it wasn’t called that. I always appreciate it when a reader tells me when I’m incorrect – I do my best to make everything as accurate as possible (right down to what Catherine is eating in her room for breakfast the morning that Josie comes in to tell her some happy news, or the gowns they wear to special events) but I like to know when I get it wrong. The focus is on the story, and the characters, but those details make it interesting and more realistic. I also have a large street map of Newport from that time and have it taped up on my wall behind my computer. I have those tiny sticky notes in different colors posted in important areas, such as where First Steps is located, and where the Davenport mansion stands. I love architecture and have several books about the homes built during that time, many of which still stand. The websites dedicated to those homes have been helpful as well. I enjoyed and learned much from The Glitter and the Gold: the American Duchess in Her Own Words by Consuelo Vanderbilt, who grew up during this time. She is mentioned in Crown of Beauty as an acquaintance of the Davenport girls, with details true to her autobiography. This speaks to how high-up on the social ladder the Davenports are, and why Mrs. Davenport is so fussy about how her young adult children comport themselves and with whom they spend their time, and even more importantly, who they wish to marry.
And now…today’s first lines are from
Cliff Walk Courtship Books 1 and 2
by Ceicily Wolfe.
My First Line:
Throne of Grace:
Newport, Rhode Island
Josie stopped once again to watch the seagulls circle above her, smiling as they cried together in a symphony of praise.
Crown of Beauty:
Catherine Davenport very carefully let the book drop to the floor as she bent down, then used her slippered foot to slide the volume under her bed.
Join us! + Giveaway
What are you reading? What is your first line?
Open the book nearest you and post the first line in the comments below AND then enter your name in the Rafflecopter for your chance to win an e-copy of Throne of Grace, Crown of Beuaty, and some bookmarks (US addresses only for the giveaway). Please note that you MUST comment and enter your name in the Rafflecopter to be entered in the giveaway (I will be checking).
Giveaway is open until 11:59PM on February 1, 2018
Enter the giveaway HERE.
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