Monday, August 8, 2011

Christine Johnson

A few years ago, I read the beginning of Christine Johnson's debut, Soaring Home, in a contest entry. I gave it perfect marks. A terrific story of a young woman in the 1920's who wants to be an airline pilot - who wouldn't want to read what happens next?

I wasn't entirely surprised to see that it sold to Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line soon afterward. It was released last fall and now her second book, The Matrimony Plan, has just arrived this month! How could I resist having Christine come to visit?

Felicity Kensington is preparing for the grandest wedding Pearlman, Michigan, has ever seen. True, her prospective husband is virtually a stranger. But the well-connected engineer her father hired fits all her marriage criteria. Except for one tiny flaw: it’s the town’s new pastor, not the wealthy engineer, who makes Felicity’s heart race….

Gabriel Meeks left New York to avoid high society’s foolish rules. Instead, he’s immediately smitten with the high-and-mighty Miss Kensington. Beneath Felicity’s misplaced pride is a woman of genuine worth, if he can only help her see it. And nothing could make him happier than ensuring that her matrimony plan takes an unexpected twist!

Simone: Your books are set in the 1920s. What is it that attracts you to write in that era?

Christine: That era, from WWI into the 1920s, sits on the cusp between the modern world and the traditional world. Horse-and-carriages mingled with automobiles. Huge changes in society were taking place. The servant class was disappearing as new inventions made housework more manageable for the middleclass woman. Aviation took off. In the United States, women finally got the vote. It’s a very exciting time.

Simone: Inspirational romances seem to be more open to these great early 20th century settings. Do you think that the rest of the romance world will follow suit?

Christine: I sure hope so! The era offers a lot for writers to explore, but ultimately, the readers will decide if more books in that era get published. A few are out there now. For instance, I have Kristina McMorris’s WWII historical, Letters from Home, in my to-be-read pile. But you’re right. Lots of late 19th and early 20th century inspirational romances are being published right now.

Simone: What is the most interesting or unusual thing you've learned while researching a book?

Christine: I love that the research for every book brings its surprises. For The Matrimony Plan, set at the start of Prohibition, I learned many states already had statewide prohibition. While researching my first novel, Soaring Home, I learned just how many brave women took up flying in the earliest, most dangerous days. Before that research, I’d heard of Amelia Earhart, but none of those who paved the way for her. Harriet Quimby, Blanche Scott, Ruth Law, Katherine and Marjorie Stinson…all were household names in the 1910s. All risked their lives (and sometimes lost) showing that women could fly an aeroplane as well as a man. What a shame that we’ve lost that heritage over time.

Simone: What inspires you daily?

Christine: Of course my faith. That’s a daily source of inspiration. I also love nature. A walk through the woods or beside a stream or lake never ceases to inspire and awe me.

Simone: What's the best book you've read lately?

Christine: This will change next week, LOL! But most recently, I loved Jennifer Erin Valent’s Depression-era inspirational, Catching Moondrops. The story grabbed hold and wouldn’t let go, and that’s something I treasure as a reader.

Simone: Where is your favorite place to read?

Christine: Under a beach umbrella with a tall glass of iced tea and the waves crashing on the shore. But since that’s pretty rare, I settle for the comfiest chair in the house.

Simone: What's next for you?

Christine: My third book, All Roads Lead Home, comes out in January 2012. Since it ties in fairly closely with The Matrimony Plan, I don’t want to give too much away. But I will say it takes the heroine far from home as she travels across the United States in her car. In 1922, that’s a fairly challenging endeavor!

About Christine:

Christine Johnson is a small-town Michigan girl who has lived in every corner of the state’s Lower Peninsula. After trying her hand at music and art, she returned to her first love -- story. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in library studies from the University of Michigan. She feels blessed to write and to be twice named a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® award. When not at the computer keyboard, she loves to hike and explore God’s majestic creation. She participates in her church’s healing prayer ministry and has experienced firsthand the power of prayer. These days, she and her husband, a Great Lakes ship pilot, split their time between northern Michigan and the Florida Keys. Visit her at

Christine will be giving away an autographed copy of The Matrimony Plan to one visitor!

These stories of incredible heroines flying airplanes and driving cross-country have inspired me. What's the most daring thing you'd like to do?


  1. Hi Christine

    Great Interview. The most daring thing that i'd like to do is sky dive from 14000 feet. I am planning to do so next month, that is if i don't chicken out first.

  2. Good morning all, and a special thank you to Simone for inviting me to visit today.

    Hi Sonali! Wow, skydiving from 14000 feet is pretty daring. Will this be your first time or your highest height?

  3. Hi Christine,

    Wonderful interview, and WONDERFUL book! I loved Gabriel and Felicity's story, and can't wait to read ALL ROADS LEAD HOME!

    Meanwhile, I agree with Sonali. Sky diving would be the most daring thing I'd like to do; however, unlike Sonali, I will NOT be sky diving from 14,000 feet. In fact, I won't be sky diving at all ... I simply do not have the courage. I wouldn't even use a zip line to soar over the trees a few years ago at a local camping facility. Just don't have it in me.

    Congratulations again, Christine!

  4. Welcome Christine. I love the 1920s. Such a romantic era, but also a turbulent one. Women achieving the right to vote was not peaceful. Gosh, the most daring.... Probably early morning walks and walking at dusk. I live in Colorado and we have mountain lions. I'm always on the lookout. Mostly, I'm pretty tame, I think I'll save daring for my characters. Thanks for joining us today!

  5. Kathy - Thank you! I'm with you on skydiving. My d/h wants to do it. Not me. He's talked me into parasailing and whitewater rafting, but there are limits. I might do a zipline, though, if the heights didn't get to me.

    Donnell - Yikes! Mountain lions? I've hiked in grizzly country and ended up too close to them for comfort, but thankfully none of them charged. I'm guessing a mountain lion would be on you before you knew it was there.

  6. Welcome to GLIAS Christine!

    The most daring thing? The hubby & I are working up to a week-long bike trek across a state (not Texas-lol). Daring because neither one of us can "unplug" for a full 24 hours.


  7. This books cover is too cute. And the story sounds great!
    The most daring thing I do is ride roller coasters. Some are still way to scary for me but for the most part I suck it up and ride. This year we are going to Universal in Orlando and I am not sure I can ride their newest ride that goes up at a 90degree angle. I am a little nervous!!!

  8. Hi Angie! A week-long bicycle trip sounds wonderful. Hope the weather is good and the sights spectacular.

    Sherie - Welcome! Yes, the artists did a great job with the cover. Enjoy your trip to Universal! I like normal rollercoasters, but going up at 90 degrees sounds like something scary is going to come afterward. A good scream might be in order.

  9. Hi Christine and Angi,

    Hmm...not very daring, but I'd love to take a trip around the world!

  10. Hi Christine!

    I'll answer my own question. I've been pondering a possible trip to Asia with my hubby next year. I've never been there in my life, though he has been before. I'm still not entirely sure I can do it!

    So glad you came by today!


  11. Hi Gina! What do you mean "not very daring"? IMO, traveling around the world is quite daring and can be downright risky depending on how you go.

    Simone! Where in Asia? That's a huge continent. I'm fascinated by the remnants of czarist Russia, though doubt I'd have the gumption to actually go there to see those old palaces and buildings in person.

  12. Hi Christine,

    14000 feet will be my highest height. I have only sky dived from 7000 feet. So doubling the distance is my greatest fear right now.

  13. Thank you all for joining me! I loved hearing about your upcoming adventures. They're sure to give you stories to tell for years to come.

  14. Hi Christine!
    Let's see the most daring thing I would like to do is fly a plane. That would take a lot of courage from me but it would thrilling to operate a small plane flying low over very soft grass!