Tuesday, December 27, 2016

E.E. Burke's Best of the West: Dance With Destiny from Becky Lower

It's my great pleasure to welcome back bestselling author Becky Lower to Get Lost In A Story. Today she shares with us a book that was inspired by a family legend. Read on to find out more...

William Myers feels it’s his duty to answer the call to fight for the Union Army—but his wife, Susannah, doesn’t agree. How does he expect her to survive with four small children in the cold Ohio winter during the three-month enlistment period? Angry and abandoned, Susannah learns soon after William leaves that she is also pregnant again. 

Raoul Lafontaine is a half-Ojibwa, half-French-Canadian drifter who is more Indian than white. Also known as Lone Wolf, he has recently left the Ojibwa village in search of a fair-haired woman both he and his grandfather have seen in visions. She is important to him—but how? He will never allow himself to care for another—not after losing the wife he loved so much.

But Raoul could not have planned for the sizzling emotions that surface when he comes near Susannah, nor the love he feels for her children. When he realizes that Susannah returns his feelings, he knows he must leave—for how can he stay close by knowing she can never be his? William will return to his homestead, and they’ll once again be a family. One in which Raoul has no place. Or does he? Will Fate relent and grant the love between Susannah and Raoul in this DANCE WITH DESTINY?

Ohio Hill Country, April, 1861
     "You can't leave me! Leave us! How will we ever survive? We are only good if we can face our hardships together.” Susannah Myers pummeled her husband's shoulders as her lips pressed together in a tight line. “Running off to war and leaving me alone to care for our four little ones is not right. I can’t do this on my own."
    William took hold of her hands and stilled them. He kissed her callused fingers and then grazed her lips. She stopped fighting him and laid her head on her husband’s broad shoulder, letting her hot tears fall. 
    "It'll only be for a few months, Susannah. Summer’s coming on, so it won’t be so hard for you to get by. There are plenty of chickens for food and eggs, I’ve stocked the smoke house with deer, and Jacob can start on the planting, so you’ll have potatoes and fresh vegetables. I have no choice in the matter as to whether I stay or go. I have to volunteer. Every able-bodied man in southern Ohio is being asked to do his part. Daniel was out here just the other day to make sure I'd sign up." 
    Susannah straightened up and took a deep breath. She moved away from him, trying to distance herself from her feelings of abandonment. "Four children, William, and the oldest of them only nine years old. Is volunteering for service worth it when, by leaving, you’re putting the lives of your children in jeopardy?”
    He spread his hands wide. "Of course, if I had any say in the matter, I’d want to be right here, with my woman and my babies. But, it's my duty to serve. And I swear it will only be for a couple months. I've only signed on for ninety days. After that, I'll be home. Don't worry. I'll just be gone for the summer. All we're doing is guarding the nation's capital until the southerners are subdued. We won't be anywhere near the battle zone. I'll be home before you know I'm gone."
    Susannah faced him again, trying once more to make him see reason. "I’ll miss you the minute you leave, William. The ache in my heart is already there. What I don’t understand is why you feel this need to serve. We don't even own any slaves. Why must you fight these battles? It doesn't affect us."
    "The government is trying to keep the country from splitting into two parts. We must prevent that at all costs. Our ancestors came from Germany to southern Ohio to find a new way of life in this great country, and so far, it’s worked well for us, even though it’s a hard struggle each year. But if the nation splits into two, it will never be the mighty force it should be." 
    Susannah sighed, fully aware her protests were falling on deaf ears. "Promise me, then. By the time the first snow comes, and you know it comes early here in the hills, you'll be home."

Amazon best-selling author Becky Lower has traveled the country looking for great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love, amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it on a covered wagon headed west or in present day small town America.  Historical and contemporary romances are her specialty. Becky is a PAN member of RWA and is a member of the Historic and Contemporary RWA chapters. She has a degree in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary. She loves to hear from her readers at beckylowerauthor@gmail.com.

Visit her website atwww.beckylowerauthor.com

E.E.: What are the next five books on your ‘to be read’ pile?
Becky: I’m eagerly awaiting my allocated RITA entries. Last year I had seven books to read, all genres and sizes, self-published and traditional. Can’t wait to see what I get this year.

E.E.: What drew you to write in the genre(s) you do?
Becky: I love history, even though I don’t like the way it’s taught, with the memorization of dates and battles. If you tell me about the people who lived through the significant events and how it affected their lives, I’m much more invested in it. That’s why I enjoy writing historical romances. I try to alternate between the past and the present, though, by writing contemporaries, too. I find the change from historical to contemporary to be a palate cleanser for my mind.

E.E.: What has surprised you the most about being published? 
How hard it is to stand out in this crowded marketplace. Some of the best writers never get discovered. There’s a large amount of luck involved.

E.E.: How did you come up with the idea for your book? 
Becky: Dance With Destiny is truly a book of my heart. Susannah Myers is my great-great grandmother, and her daughter, Missouria Belle, who is born in this story, is my great-grandmother. Our entire family grew up thinking there was an Indian in our past and that Missouria was ½ Indian. I began corresponding with people, cousins, really, who I’d never met. They all had heard the same story, but no one could ever find a link. When DNA testing became commonplace, I had mine tested, only to find not one drop of Indian blood. So how did the story evolve? If so many cousins heard the same story, there must be a kernel of truth to it, right? My writer’s mind went into overdrive. Dance With Destiny is one possible answer to the family tree puzzle.

E.E.: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
Becky: Take a day off and do something with my sister, like the movies or lunch at a restaurant.

E.E.: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go?
Becky: I’d love to travel back to America in the early 1800s. I want to talk to the mountain men who trapped beaver, who dealt with Indians on a daily basis and hear their stories.

E.E.: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
Becky: I do read my reviews. I take them with a grain of salt, but every now and then, I find a really good point about a character or a scene in my books. And yes, it influences my writing in the future, since I feel that you can never be perfect and always must strive to keep learning your craft.

E.E.: What sound or noise do you love?
Becky: I love the little sigh my puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary, makes when she settles in next to me in my chair. Her first five years were a nightmare and even though I’ve had her for seven years now, she’s still not a normal dog and is always on guard. She has a few places in the house that are “safe,” so I wait until she’s in one of her safe places to pick her up and bring her to the chair, since she doesn’t know how to jump up by herself. But the difficulty is worth it when I hear that little noise of contentment. I’m trying to give her good memories to make up for five years of abuse.

E.E.: Who’s your book boyfriend?
Becky: I always thought this concept was ridiculous. That is, before I wrote Dance With Destiny and my latest contemporary, Sweet Caroline. Raoul is one of the sexiest men I’d ever written. I love how he interacted with Susannah’s children, and how he loved Susannah enough to let her go. Grant is my hero in Sweet Caroline. He is multicultural, and has been tormented as a result until he grew bigger than everyone else. He’s now a high school history teacher and basketball coach but can’t ever forget the girl he made cry when they were fifteen. I finished the story weeks before it was due, but I couldn’t bear the thought of going a day without fiddling with the story and spending time with Grant. I hung onto the manuscript far longer than was necessary.

Today, Becky is giving away three copies of Dance With Destiny. Just leave a comment and enter the raffle.

Would you like to write a book featuring characters from your family tree? Who and why?


a Rafflecopter giveaway

29 comments:

  1. no, no interest in being an author

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    1. I began this journey to authordom by being a teller of tall tales, some family related, some not. I bet you could spin a good yarn even if you had no interest in writing it down.

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    1. It's always a pleasure to be here, Angi. Thanks for inviting me back.

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  3. Welcome back Becky! Your latest book sounds like a fascinating read. I've written a couple stories based on family history, but nothing's published--yet. I applaud your accomplishment! The research is so much fun, isn't it? I love how you became a sleuth to solve the mystery!

    Great to have you here. Best of luck with your new release

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    1. Thanks, EE, for setting this up for me. I just sent a copy of Dance With Destiny to my uncle. You should have heard his ideas on how we had an Indian in the family! I thought I had an active imagination. I hope he likes my version of the story.

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  4. I'm not a writer . I would have liked to hear my uncle's story about his time as a prisoner of war. He was a civilian but still captured.

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    1. I'd like to hear that story, too, Judy. POWs had a hard time of things.

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  5. This book sounds great. I cannot help but wonder already what will have in the end!

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    1. Sorry - I cannot help but wonder already what willl happen in the end!

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  6. I don't know if I deleted my comments or not trying to correct them. Lol! I said that this story sounds really great and already has me worried if they will get together in the end!

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  7. I tweeted, but my phone would not give me the URL number the way my iPad does, so I just copied the tweet.

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    1. I'm not giving up the ending, Connie, even though you've made me laugh this morning. Thanks for visiting.

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    2. It was crazy! Lol! I had slept all night. You can definitely tell! I am glad you see the humor. I am looking forward to reading this story inspired by your family.

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    3. Ha, ha, ha! How many mistakes can I make? I had NOT slept all night and only an hour during the day. I think I better go to bed.

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  8. Thank you so much, GLIAS, for inviting me here today. It's always nice to spend a day with old friends.

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  9. I would love to research my grandma a young widow with 3 children who came to the US after the influenza epidemic and entered an arranged marriage in Pennsylvania.

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    1. That certainly sounds like a story I'd be interested in reading, Charlotte!

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  10. Becky, I loved this story. I drew on some family history as well for one of my short stories, ONE MAGIC NIGHT. I had a 3x gr. grandfather who was stolen from his Indian village and "assimilated" --sent to live with a Presbyterian minister and his family. I really enjoyed writing that story--I was finally able to give him a happy-ever-after ending that I thought he truly did deserve. Sure wish I could have met him.

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    1. Sounds like a fascinating story. I've read about how the Indians were assimilated, and it sickens me. I think everyone who managed to make it to adulthood in early America deserves a pat on the back and a happy ever after.

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  11. Sounds great, I can't wait to read it.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Rita. I truly enjoyed writing this story, and hope you'll enjoy it.

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  12. Actually, I did. My relatives are Baillies and Bruces of Scotland. It became the foundation of "Her Ghost Wears Kilts"!!!!

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    1. And you did a super job with the book, too. I enjoyed it immensely! Thanks for stopping by today, Kathleen!

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  13. Becky,

    I would like to know about two years in my paternal grandmother's life that are unaccounted for: 1925-1927. We know what she was doing, where she was living, etc. on both sides of these two mysterious years. My author's imagination has contrived all sorts of ideas and scenarios. *grin*

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    1. Oooh, Kaye, you've got my mind working now, too! So many options to consider...

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  14. Our family tree has some interesting possibilities. My maternal grandfather grew up in a house that straddled the Canadian-American border. During prohibition, they would bring whiskey in the kitchen door in Canada and take it out the front door in northern New York, making the run to New York City. My ancestors on both sides were french settlers in Quebec. Many of the women came over as Filles du Roi - an interesting program involving about 800 young women, started by King Louis XIV. It ran from 1663 to 1673. We have about 25 of them in our family tree. Greats on my father's side came across to Canada as a result of the Irish Potato Famine. My grandfather's generation were the first ones born in the US.

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    1. I love the story about the whiskey! You should definitely write about it. Everyone's family tree has stories to tell, and they provide so much good fodder for us.

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  15. My grandmother was born in a covered wagon between Nebraska and Kansas in1874. The family never talked about it, so I missed out on the stories of what life was like back then. So Becky's stories, a little before my grandmother's birth, bring me an understanding of what she endured. I wish she would have shared those stories with me. But I was young when she passed.

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