Howdy! And happy Friday!
Ms. Faith Blum and her newest book in her Western series are stopping by! I haven’t yet read any of her Hymns of the West series, but they sound wonderful! Faith is putting on a rather unique blog tour. Instead of touring for a chunk of days, she’s spread it over Mondays and Fridays since April! You can find previous and future stops by clicking the banner below!
Now, on to the rest of the post! Faith has agreed to sit down and answer a few questions and share a quick excerpt from Amazing Grace!
Howdy, Faith, and welcome to the blog!
To start off give us one fun fact about yourself!
Hello, Claire! Thank you for having me today! Since all authors like reading, I won’t bore you with that fact. My other passion, besides writing, is piano. I love playing piano, especially classical music. My favorite piece to play right now is Franz Schubert’s Impromptu Opus 90, number 2. I love it!
Awesome! I took piano for ten years and I still love going back and dabbling when I have the time. 🙂 Is there anything in particular that you researched in order to help bring Amazing Grace to life?
I had to research the story of how the hymn “Amazing Grace” was written. I already knew the basics of it, but I needed to make sure all my facts were right.
Ah, fact checking. I wish I enjoyed it more. How many books are you planning for The Hymns of the West series?
Good question. Right now, I have ideas for seven. However, I keep coming up with more, so it might end up with more.
There are never too many ideas for books! Now your bio says that you’re fascinated with the Old West. What is your favorite Western?
Only one? Are you trying to kill me slowly here? Oh dear! Let me think… Right now, I guess I’ll say Ride the River by Louis L’Amour. But it might change tomorrow. 😉
Haha! I know how that goes! What is one personal goal you would like to accomplish, as an author or just in general?
I would like to encourage and challenge Christians with my writing as well as possibly reach non-Christians with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Fantastic goal! As a writer I know that a little bit of myself ends up in almost every character I write. What personal attributes do you share with one or all of your characters?
That really depends on the character. Of all of my characters, Ruth Brookings (from A Mighty Fortress) is the most like me, but even she has differences. Caleb Stuart, the main character in Amazing Grace, and I are both shy, but I think that’s pretty much the only similarity we have.
I won’t ask you to play favorites, but who is one character you would like to develop more?
I have been working on writing book four, Lily of the Valley, lately and am really enjoying developing Ruth Brookings’s character as well as many of the other characters who show up again after a two book absence.
I love seeing recurring characters! Who is one author you would like to meet?
Karen Witemeyer. I’ve really enjoyed reading most of her books and she’s been kind enough to answer some of my questions and help me out. In fact, she’s even donating one of her books for me to giveaway as part of my Facebook party. She just seems like a really nice person.
I’ll have to check out her books! Last question – Do you have a favorite quote/passage from Amazing Grace?
There’s quite a bit more to this scene, but here’s a snippet of one of the most fun scenes I wrote:
“What is your name?” Rachel asked.
“Tobias Whetherford Ramsey III,” he answered with a haughty tone.
“Well, Toby, I dare you to put a frog or worm in my lunchpail,” Rachel said. “You won’t hear me scream when I see it and I might just find something else to put into yours.” Rachel gave a sharp nod and turned on her heel.
Toby grabbed her arm as she stalked away.
“Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, calls me Toby!” he hissed.
“Why not?” Rachel asked.
“Because if they do, I beat them up. My name’s Tobias and that’s what I’ll be called.”
“If you say so,” Rachel replied. “So what are you going to do now? Beat me up for calling you Toby twice in as many minutes?”
Toby ground his teeth together and gripped her arm tighter. Rachel made a concerted effort to show no pain and keep eye contact with this bully.
“Leave her alone, Tobias!” another voice cut in.
“Stay outta this, Jenkins!” Tobias warned.
“Rachel, get away from here,” the voice Rachel now recognized as John’s said.
“I can’t,” Rachel said through gritted teeth. “Toby is trying to see if his hand will go through my arm.”
“James, go get Mr. Matthews and tell him a fight’s about to start and I’m starting it. Kind of.” John took a step forward. “I’m giving you one more chance to let Rachel go, Toby. If you don’t do it in the next ten seconds, I’ll make you let go of her.”
Awesome! Thanks for sharing, Faith, and for stopping by!
Keep reading to find out more about Amazing Grace!
Tapping his foot, Caleb waited until the large man put the letters lazily in his hand. As he left he wondered why Anna had written someone in Montana and who she knew in Montana. It was really none of his business, but he was still curious. He folded the Ohio letter in half and stashed it in his back pocket. It would get wrinkled, but at least Anna wouldn’t know about it.
As Caleb struggles through some inner battles, he secretly starts a correspondence with a widow and her daughter. Their unabashed faith in God convicts him and increases his inner struggles.
Unable to find a steady job, Maggie places an advertisement to become a mail-order bride. Her daughter, Rachel, is her motivation and encouragement, but if Maggie doesn’t find a job or husband soon, Rachel might not survive through the next year.
Can Caleb learn to trust God despite his past? Can Maggie and Rachel hold onto their faith despite all their trials? What will happen when they meet in person?
About the Author
An avid reader, Faith Blum started writing at an early age. Whether it was a story about the camping trip that summer or a more creative story about fictional characters, she has always enjoyed writing. When not writing, Miss Blum enjoys reading, crafting, playing piano, Captaining on the Holy Worlds Historical Fiction Forum and playing games with her family (canasta, anyone?).
As a history enthusiast who has been fascinated for years with the Old West, Faith has endeavored to create a clean, fun, and challenging Western story. Faith lives with her family on a hobby farm in the Northern Midwest, where she enjoys the many cats they have.