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Monday, June 02, 2008

CFBA Blog Tour - Nancy Moser and Washington's Lady

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Washington's Lady
(Bethany House Publishers - June 1, 2008)
by Nancy Moser



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nancy Moser is the author of three inspirational humor books and eighteen novels, including Solemnly Swear, Just Jane, and Time Lottery, a Christy Award winner. She is an inspirational speaker, giving seminars around the country. She has earned a degree in architecture; run a business with her husband; traveled extensively in Europe; and has performed in various theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She and her husband have three grown children and make their home in the Midwest.

WASHINGTON'S LADY
by Nancy Moser
Published by Bethany House

ABOUT THE BOOK

It has been said that without George Washington there would be no United States. But without Martha, there would be no George Washington. He called her "my other self."

Who was this woman who captured the heart of our country's founder? She dreams of a quiet life with her beloved George, but war looms...

Though still a young woman, Martha Dandridge Custis was a wealthy, attractive widow and the mother of two small children with no desire to remarry. But when a striking war hero steps into her life, she realizes that she is ready to love again. She is courted by, then marries the French and Indian War hero.

Yet she wonders whether this man, accustomed to courageous military exploits, can settle down to a simple life of farming and being a father to her children. Even as she longs for domestic bliss, Martha soon realizes she will have to risk everything dear to her and find the courage to get behind a dream much larger than her own.

Her new life as Martha Washington took her through blissful times at Mount Vernon, family tragedies, six years of her husband's absence during the Revolutionary War, and her position as a reluctant First Lady.

Known for moving first-person novels of Nannerl Mozart and Jane Austen, in Washington's Lady, Nancy Moser now brings to life the loves and trials of the First First Lady of the United States.

Buy your copy of Washington's Lady today!

If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE.

BOOK REVIEW

When I first saw Just Jane on the bookshelves, I was skeptical. There had been many books on Jane Austen over the years. What made this one any different or better? Why bother to read it? But Nancy did an amazing job getting into the head of one of the greatest writers of the 19th century. Then came Mozart's Sister and the beautiful insight into the life of an equally talented sibling (Nannerl Mozart) with no voice and no outlet for her gift during a time when only men were given that opportunity.

And Nancy Moser has done it again with WASHINGTON'S LADY.

There's a saying that behind every successful man is an equally successful woman. Well, so many of us knew that about Martha. Now, Nancy *proves* it to us through the confession that General then President George Washington called Martha "my other self", and the depiction of a woman who was forced to bury two children and a husband before falling in love again and eventually becoming the "mother of our country". Nancy is a genius with her biographical fiction style and the engaging glimpse into the life of WASHINGTON'S LADY, Martha Dandridge Custis (Washington).

Although like Nancy, I had to leave out great parts of the Revolutionary War in my own novel (book 3 releasing in December) I wish I had been able to read this book during my research. Nancy captured the voice of Martha Washington, the first FIRST lady of the United States, exactly as I have always pictured her to be. Kudos and hats off to Nancy for another fantastic novel!

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

1. This is the 3rd book in your fictionalized biography set. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

I knew that I had an ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War and have always been interested in this time of history. Then I started realizing how little I knew about one of the main female players: Martha Washington. There had to be more to her than being the short, plump woman in George's shadow. As I began my research I was inspired to know more and more and more...

It's said that without George Washington there would be no United States, but without Martha, there would be no George. She was an astonishing woman and her story moved me. The sacrifices that were made in order to create this country—a country which wasn't even guaranteed to last—stirred a renewed patriotism in me. That the United States has survived 232 years is a further testament to our ancestors’ vision and courage. If only they could know we are still here—that it worked! And though we are not a perfect country (never have been) we are a great country. Yet I truly believe it's vital, at this time in history, to remember our roots, appreciate what we have, and work hard to make the USA the best it can be. We have to try to be worthy of the sacrifices that have been made along the way.

And within Martha's story, as a bonus beyond the history, I discovered a love story. George called her "my other self." Isn't that lovely? (another goal to aspire to...)As an aside, when I was researching the book with a trip to Virginia and New England, I looked for the grave of my great (x5) grandfather, Jonathan Tyler, who fought in the war, was captured by the British, and escaped. I found his grave in Piermont, NH and then discovered that his father had been one of the town's founders! I have never felt so connected, so rooted. To know my family came here in 1638, before there even was a country... The feeling is hard to describe. I wish everyone could feel it.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that are theirs and theirs alone?

In the case of Martha Washington, I haven't shared many of the feelings and experiences she endured. I have never lost my children and two husbands; never had my home put at risk or had a husband go off to war; have never feared for my own life, faced financial ruin, or had to make the choice to risk everything for a Great Cause that might (or might not) succeed. During the writing of the book I certainly felt with her, with a sister-woman's empathy and sympathy, but I think her story moved me so deeply because she had to experience so much beyond the norm of my life.

And yet there were many traits Martha and I shared, timeless traits like the desire for love, companionship, significance, faith, hope, purpose, and contentment. Martha wanted what we all want—for our lives to matter. She simply had to go through some extraordinary situations to get there.

3. What themes exist in Washington's Lady that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

The themes of self-sacrifice are always present. Everything we have now, all the freedoms we enjoy, started with this time of our history. And courage...when have I ever been asked to be brave? To risk? To balance life and death? The choices I have to deal with are so mundane and miniscule compared to theirs.

A theme that came out in the research that surprised me was Martha's take on motherhood—her flaws while being a mother. She spoiled her children to a fault and did not let their stepfather, George, be a full father to them. Even when she knew she was wrong, she couldn't seem to pull herself out of the pattern. And there were repercussions to her weakness... I found that very touching. Perhaps because of the exhibition of her flaws more than the example of her more laudable attributes, I felt one with her. Not that I've made the mistakes that plagued her mother-ship, but I've certainly made others. We all know nothing is as hard as being a parent and getting it right.

4. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

The War was difficult to write about, mainly because there was so much information. If I had included every battle the book would have been twice as long! And so I had to repeatedly remind myself that this was Martha's story, one-woman's personal story, and I had to choose the points of history that affected her or affected the nation as a whole. Plus, the decision not to include her years as First Lady (though that title did not even exist at that time) was difficult. And yet, in reading about what happened during the eight years George was president...it just wasn't that vital toward the flow of the story. The point was, she hated it, hated being in the public eye, and hated being away from Mt. Vernon. And so, I chose to skip those years except for past references made after they got back home where they belonged.

My favorite parts to write were when Martha, the woman, could be showcased, such as when she threw her mean father-in-law's wine glasses down the well in revenge, or she watched her children playing and worried after them, or when she had quiet time with George and talked about their plans. I can't personally relate to the external forces going on at this time of history, but I can certainly relate to the private issues, emotions, and hopes of Martha, the woman.

5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

The next 'Ladies of History' book that comes out is How Do I Love Thee? which tells the love story of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. She was a total recluse, had a father who forbid any of his children from every marrying, and yet found love at the age of thirty-eight—love that risked everything. I think the later-in-life love story will resonate with many readers. That book comes out in the summer of 2009.

Regarding my contemporary novels, John 3:16 will be released in October 2008. It showcases what happens when one man puts his faith on the line and holds up a John 3:16 sign at a sporting event. That one choice changes his life—and the lives of many others. It's one of my usual big-cast novels, with the lives of many characters intertwined.

**NOTE FROM AMBER - We'll be spotlighting John 3:16 here later in the year.**

Also, out this June is The Sister Circle Handbook. It's a companion, interactive book for those readers who liked the Sister Circle novels (which are coming out with new covers!) The Handbook showcases twelve life-issues (like Moods, Forgiveness, Gossip, Dealing with Difficult People, Disappointment...) and offers biblical and sister-to-sister solutions. There are also fun outreach ideas, party starters, and recipes. And I'm still giving 'Said So Sister Seminars' around the country, great for women's retreats.

Take a look at http://www.nancymoser.com/ and http://www.sistercircles.com/.

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Thank you, Nancy, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE copy of Washington's Lady.

If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post. Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname dot.com/net) or that it's available for viewing in your blogger profile. Wouldn't want you to miss out on winning a book. :)

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

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6 comments:

windycindy said...

What a thought-provoking interview! I agree that patriotism is going by the wayside in our country. It has do to with a lot of factors and I for one, am hoping to see an upsurge in loving and respecting this country! Her book would be so wonderful to read. Please enter me in your drawing. Many thanks,Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Carolynn W. said...

This book sounds really interesting, please enter me, thanks!

ChristyJan said...

I haven't read any of Nancy's books yet.
I enjoyed reading the review and interview and I've add WASHINGTON'S LADY to my wish list.

Pamela J said...

What an exciting book!! Many of us perhaps do not know a true meaning of self sacrifice OR courage. Please enter me in your contest.
Pam
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

rebecca191 said...

The book looks so interesting and I look forward to reading it. I love stories set during our country's history.

Tiff (Amber Miller) Stockton said...

We have a winner for this drawing, and that is:

REBECCA

I've emailed you for your information so your book can be sent out.

NINE other drawing winners announced. Check out the posts on Rene Gutteridge, Vickie McDonough, Tina Ann Forkner, Donita K. Paul, Marlo Schalesky, Gayle Roper, Tamera Alexander, Allison Pittman and Sandra Robbins

Thanks, as always, for your support.