April was an exciting month with two new e-books coming available in the same week. I was delighted to finally "give birth" to DANNY'S GIRL, Book 8 in the Rainbow Rock Romances. Then, almost before the ink could dry on that birth announcement, a trilogy went online.
Called THE MCALLISTER MEN, this box set features the first three books in the romance series and the three McAllister brothers: Jim, Kurt, and Chris. It was a thrill to see both of these new books go live at almost the same time, and it made April a marvelous month.
May could top April. Yes, it just may. ;-) Even as I write, Covenant is issuing my first new book from them in about a year. EASTWARD TO ZION is a beautiful book. Covenant has prepared it carefully with an absolutely gorgeous cover that still thrills me. See how pretty it is?
I'm thrilled too with the way they've put the whole book together. It's just beautiful and Covenant is treating it with care.
That's so important to me because this book is more than just a book. Although it's fiction, it is based on the lives of my great-great-grandparents. Henry Gale (English) and Sarah Wills (Irish) met and married in Sydney, in the colony of New South Wales. There they met Mormon missionaries, joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and chose to "gather to Zion."
Unlike the majority of those who made the trip by crossing the Atlantic and the plains, Henry and Sarah crossed the Pacific and the southwestern desert. So do James and Eliza Martin, the characters in my story, and many of the incidents in their story are also taken from the lives of my ancestors.
Although the book is written for an L.D.S. audience and contains a strong conversion story, it also has romance (three, count 'em THREE) weddings; adventure (crossing the Pacific in a three-masted square-rigger; crossing the desert in a covered wagon?), and a number of challenging themes: friendship, bigotry, the push-pull of immigration, love, loss, betrayal. I found it exhilarating and soul-purging to work on this story, and it certainly drew me closer to these unknown ancestors, whom I know a bit better now.
One more thing makes May exciting: While some readers are discovering the stories of my ancestors, I will be returning to "the auld country" to find more about them. More about Great Britain when I return. Until then, happy spring and happy reading!