Thursday, March 25, 2010

meet Stephanie Grace Whitson

Last week's author in the spotlight was Louise M. Gouge and her new release, The Captain's Lady. Tracy is the winner of her book. Thank you for being with us, Louise! We enjoyed having you! =)

Patterings


Stephanie Grace Whitson...
She writes historical fiction. . . and rides a motorcycle. She writes contemporary fiction. . . and loves tromping around old cemeteries. Wife, homemaker, mother, and grandmother, Stephanie Grace Whitson has made a career out of playing with imaginary friends, and it all started in an abandoned pioneer cemetery. This one's graves are scattered on a tiny corner of land near where the Whitson family lived in the 1990's--mostly providing comic relief for the real country folk in the area. That cemetery provided not only a hands-on history lesson for Stephanie's home schooled children but also a topic of personal study as she began to read about and be encouraged by the pioneer women who settled the American West. Since writing had always been a favorite hobby, it was only natural for Stephanie to begin jotting down scenes in the life of a nameless woman crossing Nebraska on the Oregon Trail. Eventually that story took on a life of its own and Stephanie sent off a query letter--expecting instant rejection.

God had a different plan. He blessed Stephanie's beginnings, putting two of her three first books on the ECPA best-seller list and making two of her first nine books finalists for the Christy Award. Other awards have followed, but Stephanie considers her most precious "award" the reader letters that share how God has used Whitson-authored novels to bless lives. "It's astonishing, humbling, and encouraging. I can't really put it into words--and I can usually find words for just about everything!"

With the spring 2010 release of Sixteen Brides (Bethany House Publishers), she will have eighteen novels and a non-fiction book on "how to help a grieving friend" to her credit. She's also working on a quilt documentation project to be released as a book about pioneer women and sod house homemaking in 2011. Along with antique quilts and pioneer women's history, French, Italian, and Hawaiian language and culture remain passionate interests.

"The flip side of writing," Stephanie says, "is being asked to teach writing or to speak at various events." She has developed a menu of lectures and workshops that "provide opportunities for me to travel and get to know not only other writers and history lovers, but also students and quilters. I love sequestering myself in a library to do research, but the speaking part of my career has provided some unique and wonderful memories."

And then there's Kitty. . . her motorcycle. "In some ways I'm 57," she says, "in others I'm probably about 17. It all depends on the day." On days when her virtual age leans towards the younger side of that equation, she's been known to wake up in the morning and decide to ride Kitty to Canada that day.

In addition to keeping up with her five grown children and two grandchildren, Stephanie enjoys motorcycle trips with her blended family (she was widowed in 2001 and remarried in 2003) and church friends as well as volunteering at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum. She is currently in graduate school pursuing a Master of Historical Studies degree.

You can find Stephanie online at www.stephaniewhitson.com.

Sixteen Brides
In 1872, sixteen Civil War widows living in St. Louis respond to a series of meetings conducted by a land speculator who lures them west by promising "prime homesteads" in a "booming community." Unbeknownst to them, the speculator's true motive is to find an excuse to bring women to the fledging community of Plum Grove, Nebraska, in hopes they will accept marriage proposals shortly after their arrival! Sparks fly when these unsuspecting widows meet the men who are waiting for them. These women are going to need all the courage and faith they can muster to survive these unwanted circumstances--especially when they begin to discover that none of them is exactly who she appears to be.



You can purchase Sixteen Brides from CBD and Amazon:


Stephanie is be giving away a copy of Sixteen Brides. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment and check back on Tuesday, April 6th to see if you've won. You can enter twice--once on each post in this spotlight. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar.
**Annoying little disclaimer: This giveaway is open only to U.S. addresses. By clicking on the Amazon link above or in the sidebar, and purchasing, I will receive a very small percentage of the sale.

8 comments:

  1. I've got her book on my Books To Read List. gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love historical books around the Civil War times. Also love motorcycles!!!
    Please enter me. Thanks.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sixteen Brides was already on my wish list and I enjoyed getting to know some things about Stephanie. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of her book, Patty.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a tease? That really makes me want to read this book.
    csdsksds[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Stephanie sounds like a fun and interesting lady. I'd love a chance to win Sixteen Brides. Thanks!

    worthy2bpraised[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I just love her books and look forward to reading this new one! And my birthday is April 6th, so it would definitely be awesome to win this book on that day! jumpforjoy at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous4:23 PM

    would enjoy reading Stephanie's book...thanks for the opportunity :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Would love to read this one...please enter me. Thanks!!!
    jackie.smith(at)dishmail(dot)net

    ReplyDelete

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