Today I’m so happy to host Naomi Rawlings, one of my good friends, as she celebrates the release of her latest book, The Wyoming Heir. Naomi is a lot of fun, super sweet, and—amazingly—shorter than I am! LOL.
So glad to have you over, Naomi! Grab a cup of your favorite winter beverage and tell us a little about yourself.
Well, my favorite winter beverage would be coffee, and where I live, we need lots of it to stay warm. My family owns ten acres near the southern shore of Lake Superior, which means we get lots of lake effect snow every year—think an average of 200 inches! I’ve got two little boys who keep me very busy, constantly surprised, and usually a little grossed out. Somehow through all of that, I also etch out some time to write, but it gets kind of crazy around our house some days. You can check out more about me at www.naomirawlings.com.
I have sitting here by my side your latest novel, The Wyoming Heir, and it is so beautiful! Could you tell us about it?
Didn’t the art team do a great job with the cover design? I’ve actually got a giveaway going on right now, and all because of the cover. If you stop by Inspirational Romance Ratings (my novel review blog), you can enter a contest for a cowboy picnic package, complete with a picnic basket, blanket, snacks, and copy of The Wyoming Heir.
Oh, and here’s a little about the actual book:
Given a choice, Luke Hayes wouldn't ever leave his Wyoming ranch. Yet when his estranged grandfather dies, leaving him everything, he'll travel to Valley Falls, New York—but only to collect his sister and his inheritance. He won't be roped into saving a floundering girls' school, no matter what mathematics teacher Elizabeth Wells says.
Elizabeth has defied social convention and her own family for the sake of her beloved Hayes Academy. Luke is pure rancher, from the tip of his Stetson to the scuff on his boots, yet he's also becoming her unlikely ally. Only he can help save her job and school…but how much will she lose when the time comes for him to leave?
I’ve heard a bit about this story over the years, and I can’t wait to dive in. =) What inspired you to write it?
It’s actually a bit of a funny story. The Wyoming Heir is the first American set book that I’ve written. Most of my work has been European, relating to the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. While I was writing the first of my French novels. I had so many people tell me that nothing set in France would ever get turned into a book. The Wyoming Heir was my answer to that. I decided to take one of the most popular subgenres out there—the Western romance—and flip it. Hence I have a story about a cowboy who goes east rather than a socialite who goes west. When I was writing this novel, I actually called it Cowboy Goes East.
That’s what I knew it as! LOL. Well I for one can’t wait for some free time so I can read it. =) Not that I have much of that, and I know you don’t either with those boys of yours. But when you do have a spare hour that you don’t spend writing or working, what do you like to do?
Yeah, you pretty much just answered that. READ!
We’ve got a lot of beautiful wilderness where I live, so I also enjoy exploring that with my family, everything from snowshoeing and snowmobiling in the winter to hiking, canoeing, and fishing in the summer.
Let’s dive into some fun, silly questions now. Like…if you had to wear the fashions of any historical era, which one would you choose and why?
Oh goodness! Probably the 1920s. That seems kind of fun. Skirts weren’t nearly so long and you didn’t have to wear a bunch of petticoats beneath them. I could have never dressed the way Elizabeth does in The Wyoming Heir. (Though her clothing does make for a rather pretty cover, doesn’t it?)
The next period that comes to mind is Biblical. Loose dresses and sandals. Who can complain about that?
A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers . . . and that’s only because I’ve read An Echo in the Darkness as well, so I know it all ends well. Actually, on second thought, I’d need one of those two book volumes that has both novels inside it. Is that allowed? ;-)
*Sigh* I suppose… ;-) And now one more serious question to part with. What message do you most want to send to your readers?
Ultimately, that nothing in life is too great for God and His love to overcome. Each of my books look at different elements of God and His love, but they all boil down to the same principles. God is good. His ways are best. And He loves you with an everlasting love. Armed with those Truths, both real life people and fictional characters can defeat any obstacles.
So true. And so good to have you here, Naomi!
Naomi has a fun giveaway going on over on her site for a picnic basket much like the one on the cover of The Wyoming Heir. She’s also offering a copy of the book here for one lucky winner! Giveaway will run a week!a Rafflecopter giveaway