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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

CFBA Blog Tour - Tracie Peterson and Hearts Aglow

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Hearts Aglow
Bethany House (February 1, 2011)
by Tracie Peterson


is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 85 novels.
She received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishing's Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.

In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers to co-write a series with author Judith Pella. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers.

She teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research.

Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests.

Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family--especially her three grandchildren--Rainy, Fox and Max. She's active in her church as the Director of Women's Ministries, coordinates a yearly writer's retreat for published authors, and travels, as time permits, to research her books.

by Tracie Peterson
Published by Bethany House


The future should be bright for Deborah Vandermark, who is now pursuing her interest in medicine alongside Dr. Christopher Clayton, who is courting her. But the lumber town is resistant to the idea of a woman physician, and she feels thwarted at every turn.

A more devastating blow occurs, however, when Christopher breaks off their relationship to return home to his troubled family. Despite her own love life going awry, Deborah is still intent to be a matchmaker for both her widowed mother and her brother, who has caught the eye of the spit-fire daughter of the local pastor.

But what will Deborah do when faced with the truth about Christopher's family? Is there hope for the two of them...or will Jake Wyeth's attentions finally catch Deborah's eye instead?

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


Greetings from snowy Montana.

For most of the month of February I was in Texas speaking and signing books. I left Belgrade at -21 degrees on February 9th and arrived in Houston where it was 21 above. It felt like a heat wave. It was a great reminder that all things are subjective.

The book tour was great and people were so kind. I love meeting with folks and enjoy hearing how God used the books to draw them closer to Him.

My Striking a Match series is set in East Texas during the 1880's and deals with the logging industry there. When I first started researching a storyline for Texas, I was amazed by the fact that they had, and still have, a large logging industry. Yellow pine was often overlooked in the early years because it has a high resin content, but as logging industries cleared the country of white pine, it became increasingly important to use yellow pine and Texas was more than happy to deliver.

Saw mill towns sprang up overnight and disappeared just as quickly, but the concepts were often different than those of saw mill towns in other parts of the country. Texas mill towns and logging industries tended to be family focused. In much of the country, loggers were encouraged to be bachelors and live in camps. In Texas the concept of family men being more reliable caused mill owners to encourage family lifestyles.

With few laws in place pertaining to education, saw mill owners would often set up their own schools for worker's children, as well as churches and stores. Workers were encouraged to be well-grounded with the idea being that these "family" men would drink and fight less, be more faithful to show up and earn their living, and be more responsible to the community.

Other issues that drew me to this time period and setting were post-Civil War racial issues, educational problems and the overall picture of life in Texas. The people then, as now, had to be hearty and strong, generous and helpful to one another, as well as firm in their faith. I hope you'll enjoy the series and see for yourself this fascinating slice of Texas frontier life.

Tracie Peterson

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I've read so many of Tracie's novels, I can begin to predict certain aspects and formulas she employs during her writing. In this book, she inserted a bit more historical and medical knowledge, which I found quite enjoyable. Seeing a heroine struggling against society mores to practice medicine when the woman's place was in the home appealed to me in the same way the TV show, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, did.

And although some might be taken back by the violence or the level of prejudice, or even the "white pride" portrayed, it is very true to the times. It's not easy removing your 21st century ideals and understandings when you read historical novels, but you can't apply them. Otherwise, you risk viewing those people in a far more negative light than is appropriate for the time in which they lived.

That being said, I did find the cast of characters to be in line with most of Tracie's recent novels. The only problem with that is if you haven't read book 1 in this series, you'll likely get lost and confused. References are made, but there isn't enough to clarify some of them. And of course, this book ends with a cliffhanger of sorts that leads into book 3. Depending upon how anxious you are to find out what happens, you might want to wait until book 3 is released, then read all 3 in a row.

All in all, this book is what I've come to expect from Tracie. It's an enjoyable read, and her writing is what you can count on for a comfort read. You know you'll get a thorough, well-researched story.

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