*Cue announcer voice* I’m interrupting our normal posting schedule with this special announcement:

Counterfeit Love has been selected as a semi-finalist for the Carol Awards!!!!!

The Carol Award is a major publishing award given by American Christian Fiction Writers for outstanding work in Christian fiction. To be listed among the same amazing authors I admire is a truly humbling and exciting moment.  Check out the other authors who also are semi-finalists in my category:

Debut Author

Sara Brunsvold – The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip

Crystal Caudill – Counterfeit Love

Dawn Ford – The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes

Elizabeth Jacobson – Not by Sight: a novel of the patriarchs

Anna Rose Johnson – The Star That Always Stays

Kathy Maresca – Porch Music

Linda W. Rooks – Pieces of Dark, Pieces of Light

Have you read any of them? 

It is an honor to have made it this far, and I hope you’ll join me at the ACFW Conference in St. Louis from August 24 to August 26 for a lot of bookish fun, including a massive book signing in conjunction with StoryFest. Just check out this lineup!

Here is the complete and final booksigning schedule:
Friday 9-10am Robin Caroll
Friday 9-10am Colleen Coble
Friday 9-10am Pam Hillman
Friday 9-10am Dineen Miller
Friday 9-10am Kimberley Woodhouse
Friday 9-10am Cara Putman
Friday 10:30-11:30 am Diane Tatum
Friday 10:30-11:30 am Ruth Wu-Wong
Friday 10:30-11:30 am Mary Connealy
Friday 10:30-11:30 am Pepper Basham
Friday 2:30-3:30 pm Sara Davison
Friday 2:30-3:30 pm Allie Pleiter
Friday 2:30-3:30 pm Tracy Higley
Friday 2:30-3:30 pm Cynthia Ruchti
Friday 2:30-3:30 pm Kathleen Y’Barbo
Friday 4-5 pm Denise Hunter
Friday 4-5 pm DiAnn Mills
Friday 4-5 pm Sara Brunsvold
Friday 4-5 pm Judy Kelly
Friday 4-5 pm Melanie Stevenson
Friday 4-5 pm Dana Lynn
Saturday 9:30-10:30 am Janyre Tromp
Saturday 9:30-10:30 am Sarah Hamaker
Saturday 9:30-10:30 am Sandra Merville Hart
Saturday 11:00-noon Carrie Turansky
Saturday 11:00-noon Lynette Eason
Saturday 11:00-noon Kelly Irvin
Saturday 11:00-noon Brandy Heineman
Saturday 11:00-noon Sarah Kohnle
Saturday 2-3 pm Crystal Caudill
Saturday 2-3 pm Jerusha Agen
Saturday 2-3 pm Deb Raney
Saturday 2-3 pm Ashley Clark
Saturday 2-3 pm Amanda Cox
Saturday 3:30-4:30 pm Carmen Peone
Saturday 3:30-4:30 pm Lenora Worth
Saturday 3:30-4:30 pm Candice Sue Patterson
Saturday 3:30-4:30 pm Dawn Ford


The finalists will be announced on that first night, and then the winner will be announced at the fancy gala on the last night. . . and you could be there with me. You can check out more information about StoryFest here, and if you do register, be sure to put Crystal Caudill as your “referred by” person. I won’t lie. It gives me a shot at getting a free hotel night off my conference stay. 🙂 


Here’s a bit about Counterfeit Love if you haven’t read it yet:

Can this undercover agent save the woman he loves–or is her heart as counterfeit as the money he’s been sent to track down?

After all that Grandfather has sacrificed to raise her, Theresa Plane owes it to him to save the family name–and that means clearing their debt with creditors before she marries Edward Greystone. But when one of the creditors’ threats leads her to stumble across a midnight meeting, she discovers that the money he owes isn’t all Grandfather was hiding. And the secrets he kept have now trapped Theresa in a life-threatening fight for her home–and the truth.

After months of undercover work, Secret Service operative Broderick Cosgrove is finally about to uncover the identity of the leader of a notorious counterfeiting ring. That moment of triumph turns to horror, however, when he finds undeniable proof that his former fiancée is connected. Can he really believe the woman he loved is a willing participant? Protecting Theresa and proving her innocence may destroy his career–but that’s better than failing her twice in one lifetime.

They must form a partnership, tentative though it is. But there’s no question they’re both still keeping secrets–and that lack of trust, along with the dangerous criminals out for their blood, threatens their hearts, their faith, and their very survival.


And here’s a snippet from one of my favorite moments:

The window above him slid open, and a pair of boy’s boots thudded to the ground inches from where he crouched. If shoes fell, a body was bound to follow. Broderick crept behind an unkempt bush and waited.

Black-stockinged feet and legs protruded from the sill’s edge, followed by blue skirts. Delicate hands adjusted the material before the familiar slender body swung from the ledge’s safety to straining twigs.

Of all the dangerous stunts! It was one thing for him to climb up, another for her to attempt climbing down. The little imp would get herself killed.

Broderick moved from the bush’s safety and resisted the urge to call out. Startling her could end in disaster, but words of rebuke played through his mind as displaced snow plopped around him. She couldn’t possibly see her next step beneath those skirts. Making it to the ground without mishap would be—

A branch snapped.

Theresa screamed. Blue and white material waved in surrender to the inevitable as she fell. Broderick lunged for her. The tree limbs cracked like a grand finale of fireworks, stopping moments before she crashed into his arms. His legs buckled, and they dropped to the ground with Theresa landing on his chest.

He lay still, his lungs begging for air but refusing to accept it. Given the force of their impact, a human-shaped crater would exist once he moved—if he ever moved again.

Theresa rolled to her knees beside him and stared in dazed silence.

Pain seared his arms as he pushed to a sitting position. “Are you hurt?”

Confusion creased her face as she blinked at him. She might be sorting through a touch of shock, but no discomfort contorted her features, which was more than he could say for himself. He rotated his shoulders and then flexed his arms. In a few years he might laugh about catching an angel, but right now he felt like he’d caught an anvil.


You can buy it now on sale from Amazon, Baker Book House, and Christianbook.

Have you read Counterfeit Love? What was your favorite part? If not, does it sound like something you’d like to check out? 

Author Interview: Grace Hitchcock

Author Interview: Grace Hitchcock

I am so blessed to know Grace Hitchcock. Bless her heart, she has been one of my biggest supporters and I cannot express how grateful I am to her and all her support. I adore her and her books, and it is my pleasure to get to introduce you to her. Grace and I met at my first ACFW in 2016 (I think), and I was so inspired by her kindness and patience with this unpublished author. Now we’re both out in the world, and I am so happy for this opportunity to support her back. Allow me to formally introduce you to her.

Grace Hitchcock is the award-winning author of multiple historical novels and novellas. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in the New Orleans area with her husband, Dakota, sons, and daughter. Connect with her online at

You can connect with her through:  Website Newsletter  |  BookBub  |  GoodReads

Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Grace with rapid-fire.


CC: Sweet or Salty?

GH: Sweet

CC: Print, E-book, or Audiobook?

GH: Audiobook! I used to always be print, or eBook recently, but with a baby, audiobook has been my only option of late 🙂

CC: Coffee, Tea, or Other?

GH: Cafe Latte!

Morning Person or Night Owl?

GH: Morning person, especially when there is coffee to be had!

CC: Favorite Holiday?

GH: Christmas! Now that my kiddos are old enough to appreciate the sparkling lights, Christmas decor, and songs, we love to drive through neighborhoods and point out our favorites. And then, there is the Christmas baking fun!

I’m so not a coffee person, I don’t even know what a cafe latte is exactly, except that latte means it has milk in it. LOL

So tell me, Grace, what does your writing process look like?

GH: After the first whisper of the story in my head, I select names and meet the characters. Next, I write out their story in a detailed synopsis that I use for the first draft. After I get down about 50,000 words, I edit it three times to get the novel up to about 85,000 words and send it off to my publisher! From there, we have a content, copy, line, and proof edits before it goes to press!

CC: I don’t think I could write a manuscript that short if I tried! LOL I love how you know your process though. I’m still working through figuring mine out.  

How have you seen God work through your writing journey?

GH: I’d say for certain it is the timing of each book. When I first began trying to get published, I was pitching full-length novels, but Barbour thought I’d do better with starting with novellas. Changing directions and writing novellas taught me how to write tight (given the smaller word count) while giving a full feeling story. Even though it wasn’t my first choice to begin with novellas, it was a great introduction to the writing and publishing world. God knew what He was doing and after my first two novellas were published, Barbour offered me the anchor book in their True Colors series and then, my writing career really got rolling! Time and time again with each offer and contract, His timing was and is perfect.

CC: God is so good. . . and now it makes sense how you can write so tightly. I bet those years of writing novellas really taught you a lot. Which brings me to . . . 

Do you have any advice for those who want to write their own stories?

GH: Attending ACFW, the American Christian Fiction Writers conference, was the best move for me as a new writer. Not only do you get to meet those authors you have been reading for years, but you get to sit in their classes and learn from the masters while making lifelong friends and meeting agents and publishers! Going to this writing conference is worth every penny!

CC: I so agree. Honestly, I’ve met almost every single one of my best friends through ACFW. The relationships formed are the kind that you don’t know how you did without before hand.

Let’s dig in to your newest release, The Pursuit of Miss Parish (Aprons & Veils, Book 2).

Love’s gentle promise becomes nothing more than a withered dream.

With dreams of love and a hope for belonging, shy Belle Parish leaves her position as a maid in Charleston to travel to New Mexico with her best friend to become mail-order brides. Colt Lawson’s letters hold great promise and while his devilishly handsome face matches his picture, something does not add up. Discovering his lie only moments before they wed, Belle flees the church and straight into the Castañeda Hotel Harvey House. Giving up the prospect on ever marrying, she dons her nun-like uniform and focuses on her role as a Harvey Girl waitress until a strong, former Texas Ranger rides into her life.

Colt Lawson didn’t want to send that letter to Belle Parish in the first place, but her first response had all but captured his heart. When he is left standing at the altar alone, he is left with two choices—either release his dream of a love marriage, or attempt to win her heart. Wooing her would be a lot easier if that Texas Ranger wasn’t back in town. Who wants a dusty rancher with a past when she could have a shining knight in a Stetson?

Purchase your copy at  Amazon 

CC: Where did you get the idea for Maeve’s Pledge?

GH: Mostly from research about the Harvey Girls and also inspired by my girlhood favorite books, The Finding of Jasper Holt by Grace Livingston Hill and Janette Oke’s A Gown of Spanish Lace. Originally, I did not have Belle connected to Miss Fairfield, the heroine from book one, in anything but the location of the Harvey House, but in re-writing book one, I discovered that Miss Fairfield’s maid would be perfect for the leading lady of my next book.
CC: I love how God takes our plans and connects them in ways we never imagined.
Who was the most challenging character to create? What made them so difficult?

GH: Colt! When I first wrote The Pursuit of Miss Parish, I only wrote it from Belle’s POV, but during re-writes, I soon found that I needed Colt’s side of the story. He has been a lot of fun to get to know, but he holds things deep within him, and it took a lot of digging to figure out what made him the way he was, but I think that digging not only gave me a much better insight to him, but it brought the story to a deeper level.

CC: That must have been some rewrite. I love how those types of edits reveal things about our stories, though, and build them into better stories.
How did this story affect you as you wrote it? Did God teach you anything in the writing?
GH: Belle is very shy in nature and it takes great courage for her to act. I feel like for years God has been working courage into my heart as an author, much like the courage Belle needs 🙂 Every time I send off a manuscript to my editor, or launch a new book, I have to always turn my back to my fear and trust God to bless my work.
CC: Amen, and I think that’s something I need to think on myself.
I’d love to know a little more about your research. Who were the Harvey Girls?
GH: Whenever I tell people I am writing about a Victorian Harvey Girl romance, they usually assume the Harvey Girls are associated with an old-time saloon, but nothing could be further from the truth. In the 1890s, there were not many respectable jobs for women, so when Englishman Fred Harvey created his chain of fine dining restaurants along the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroads, single women without an education, or in need of earning their own way, were given a chance to earn an honest wage without the speculation that they offered anything else but food as a service. With Mr. Harvey’s strict rules about the waitress’s code of conduct, the women were given their independence while still maintaining their good name and place in society under the protective, fatherly arm of Fred Harvey. These extraordinary, brave women became known as the Harvey Girls, the ladies who tamed the Wild West with fine china, good pie, and exceptional service with complete propriety.
While Harvey Houses were built to serve the needs of the passengers on the rail to encourage tourism in the west, the railroad workers and local townsmen also dined at the restaurant, but usually at the lunch counter. At a time when men filled towns and women were scarce, inevitably, a railroad worker or townsman would express interest in marrying a Harvey Girl. In order to marry, she would need to fulfill her work contract or risk paying a fine of a month of salary. The fine was set in place to ensure that Fred Harvey would have enough workers and that he wouldn’t simply train a girl to have her shipped to a town of bachelors and leave him without a waitress.
As you can probably tell, such a set up sends an author’s head to spinning with all the romance that could come from a woman venturing out on her own in a land filled with cowboys, bandits, ranchers, and farmers. The possibilities for romance are endless! There is so much more I could write about these fascinating ladies and their contributions to society, but I hope you enjoyed this taste of history on the Harvey Girls!
CC: I absolutely do. The stories you weave are so fascinating, and I’m so blessed to get to read them. Last question before we hop off!
What animal is most like you?
GH: A Holland Lop bunny. I used to have Holland Lops, and I find that like the bunny, I too enjoy my cozy little home, but given the chance, I’ll dart out for grand adventures 🙂
CC: I love that! I’m definitely settling into the rather be at home feeling the older I get. LOL
Readers, I hope you’ll check out The Pursuit of Miss Parish and then leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or BookBub. You wouldn’t believe how important that is to an author.  

Reader, what was most fascinating to you about the Harvey Girls?

RCR: May 2023

RCR: May 2023

May’s Unlocking the Past Reading Challenge: Unlock an Adventure is over! With the chaos of this month, I read a novella, from a collection but didn’t read the whole collection. If you have a review you’d like to submit for upcoming months, feel free to sign up for a month here and use the Google form to submit your review. As my time has become too limited to do a suggestions post each month, I encourage you to jump over to the Unlocking the Past Reading Challenge page and ask for suggestions from there or from any of a number of amazing reader groups like Avid Readers of Christian Fiction or even visit for options.

*The list of prizes available from my prize shelf can be found here.*

May’s Theme: Exploration or Pioneering

June’s Theme: Treasure Hunt

Christmas Traps and Trimmings

by Kelly Eileen Hake

Review by: Crystal Caudill

Kelly Eileen Hake has long been a treasured author for me. I don’t think I’ve read anything by her that I haven’t liked. This novella was no exception, although for a few minutes, I was concerned she got her history timeline wrong. I should have known better. It was I who had the wrong century for the earthquake along the New Madrid fault line. Set in the early days of America’s birth and the days when Kentucky was the wild wild west (1811), this is the story of and English lady determined to escape the grasp of her plotting cousin–even across an ocean and into the untamed Kentucky frontier–by running to her appointed guardian who had no doubt not heard of her father’s passing. Her unwilling guardian is an Englishman making his living through trapping and selling animal pelts. He doesn’t have space in his life for an English lady and her elderly maid. However, he can’t turn them away, and forced proximity requires that they get to know each other. Throw in the world-shaking earthquakes along the New Madrid fault line and a half-legible letter from her deceased father into the mix, and these two have no choice but to learn to rely on each other. 

I enjoyed the story, and especially the historical perspective of an event I’d heard of all my life but hadn’t realized was so early in our country’s birth. The romance was a bit quick for me, but novellas tend to be rushed, and honestly, what else are two people going to do in the wilds of Kentucky but get married pretty quickly? While Christmas was touched on, I wouldn’t necessarily call it a traditionally Christmasy-feeling novella.

For Fans of: I recommend this story to those who love learning new bits of history, quick-read romances, and frontier settings. 

Genre: Historical Romance, Kentucky 1811 – Novella Collection

Plot Overview:

Experience Christmas through the eyes of adventuresome settlers who relied on log cabins built from trees on their own land to see them through the cruel forces of winter. Discover how rough-hewed shelters become a home in which faith, hope, and love can flourish. Marvel in the blessings of Christmas celebrations without the trappings of modern commercialism where the true meaning of the day shines through. And treasure this exclusive collection of nine Christmas romances penned by some of Christian fiction’s best-selling authors.

Purchase Links: 

Amazon  |  Christianbook


For your chance to win a print copy, comment with what book YOU read for this month and you will also be entered into the year-end Grand Prize Reader Basket. Use the Rafflecopter below for extra entries and to mark that you left a comment. Entries end on the 7th of each month at midnight EST, and the winner will be drawn sometime that week and notified by email. The winner will be announced don’t the Rafflecopter widget.

*Open to all residents of the contiguous USA, legally able to enter, and an e-book format or Amazon Gift Card will be awarded to those outside that range who are legally able to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What did you read for the challenge? What were your thoughts on it? Would you recommend it?

A Tour of 1880s Philadelphia

A Tour of 1880s Philadelphia

Counterfeit Truth and Counterfeit Faith take place in Philadelphia, and while so much of the city has stayed the same, much of it has changed. In this tour, I’m sharing pictures of settings from Counterfeit Faith during my whirlwind two-day tour of Philadelphia. First off, did you know that Philadelphia is only two miles from river to river? I couldn’t believe how much they had cram-packed into that little space, but WOW. So, in reality, the majority of my story took place within two square miles. That really just blows my mind. So let’s take off.

Of course, Carpenters Hall was under construction when I went.

The Philadelphia Library, where Josiah first laid eyes on Gwendolyn as he came down those stairs.

Carpenters Hall is where we must start our tour because, of course, that is where Gwendolyn first starts out waiting for Mr. Farwell. You might have caught on to my intentional pun with his name if you’ve read the book. Poor Mr. Farwell must say farewell during the story, and I just couldn’t help myself. Nothing about Independence Park is the same as when Counterfeit Faith took place. In 1885, Carpenter Hall sat in the center of a city block surrounded by other businesses and buildings. There were a couple of alleys to access it, but there was no direct view. If you notice the cobblestone part of the walkway, that was approximately the size of the entrance between buildings to access Carpenters Hall.


It was while leaving this building that Josiah first laid eyes on Gwendolyn. It’s a good thing he did too, and more importantly, he noticed Quincy’s knife blade. It was at this location that everything was set into motion for two people to come together to rescue at-risk children, find love, and face more than their share of danger.  For a woman who is used to being ignored or having to rescue herself, Josiah’s heroic intervention sets her heart aflutter and stirs dreams of romance that she’d long thought dead. Personally, I was a little giddy getting to stand on these steps and imagine the heroic rescue as it occurred. Of course, some of the buildings have been moved, and things don’t look 100% the way they did, but it was close enough to really enjoy the experience.


Houses that look like Josiah’s would have.

While the gorgeous houses on Arch Street described in the book no longer exist, I did see some houses that are similar in style. They’re larger than some of the other homes I found, and they had those stoops, shutters, and arched doorways that I was looking for. It was the best match I could find, and my mind relished imagining Josiah and Gwendolyn conversing on those steps.


Josiah worked for the Secret Service, which had offices in the unfinished City Hall building. When Josiah was there, the tower would not have been finished yet, nor would the giant William Penn statue have been on display. He worked in the judicial wing, and his office was hidden behind numbers without signage. He would have taken one of the sets of floating stairs to get to his floor of the building. These were such an architectural phenomenon that Wanamakers, the department store across the street, sold pamphlets and tours to show off those stairs. As you can see below, no supports are beneath it, just solid pieces of granite worked into the wall. Originally I had Josiah nervous to walk on them, but after having walked them myself, I knew Josiah wouldn’t have had a problem. They are so beautiful and fascinating I had to include pictures of all three views of the stairs.

Going back to Wanamaker. I don’t know if you caught it in the story, but Wanamaker’s was the department store where Gwendolyn’s mother and aunt worked. It was one of the first of its kind, offering set prices, return policies, various departments, artwork as fine as you would find in a gallery, and service for all levels of customers. Wanamaker was a brilliant man who helped to change the way people shopped. No more dickering and haggling over prices. Everyone paid the same price for the same item. Wanamaker’s no longer exists, but the store is now a Macy’s. Believe it or not, Wanamaker made the bold move of buying a former train station to turn it into his department store. I’m not sure if this location was the original train station location, but it’s definitely taller than it would have been in 1885. Those other floors were added later.


I’ll end my tour with a nod to Felicity from Counterfeit Truth. One of my big goals of this trip was to eat a Philadelphia pretzel . . . but apparently, they aren’t as big now as they were during Felicity’s time. The ONE pretzel I found was a sore disappointment that had to be rectified by going to my favorite pretzel place when I got home. However, the Reading Market (I think?) DID have some chocolate ice cream for me to sample from Bassetts that I must heartily agree is amazing. The whole time I ate that giant cone, I thought of Felicity eating ice cream with Mr. Cochran. If you haven’t read that book yet, you can download a free copy by joining my newsletter or purchasing it on Amazon.


Counterfeit Faith Release Day

Counterfeit Faith Release Day

UPDATED: The giveaway winner is JCP!

I’m so excited to share with you the third and last book in the Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age series, Counterfeit Faith. Today, I’m going to cheat a little and well, interview myself about Counterfeit Faith. Check out the bottom of the post for a giveaway just for blog visitors.

Q: We can always read the back cover description of a book, but it’s always interesting to hear the author describe their book in their own words. Will you introduce us to your sophomore release, Counterfeit Faith?

 Counterfeit Faith is probably my most romantic story thus far. It was hard to avoid with flirtatious Josiah Isaacs as the hero. Once he met the matron of Final Chance House of Refuge, Gwendolyn Ellison, it was a war with himself not to fall hard and fast.

Gwendolyn Ellison has spent her life serving children the public has deemed delinquents. Sent to Final Chance House of refuge, the children are supposed to be given a safe place to be reformed from their criminal ways and given a second chance at life. However, someone is trying to hide the abuse occurring inside, and when Gwendolyn tries to expose them, they target her with threats to her life.

Widower Josiah Isaacs gets pulled into Gwendolyn’s troubles when he rescues her from a knife blade, but he soon discovers more than abuse is going on. Someone is using the children for their counterfeiting operations. As a Secret Service operative, he has the jurisdiction to step in and rescue the children. As he and Gwendolyn work together, they both fight against their growing affection for each other. After all, Josiah doubts God, and Gwendolyn relies on her faith to endure each ordeal. Even if they can survive this case, can they really have a future together when their beliefs are so at odds?

Q: In writing a historical novel, you could have chosen any place and any time. Why Philadelphia?

In Counterfeit Love, I’d mentioned that Broderick Cosgrove and Josiah Isaacs had pursued their case from Philadelphia to Cincinnati. So it only made sense that once Broderick Cosgrove’s and Andrew Darlington’s stories had been told, Josiah would continue to work where he initially started. It also allowed me to bring Hayden Orton back into the story and give the series one final connection to my novella, Counterfeit Truth.

Besides, I’ve always desperately wanted to visit Philadelphia. I’m a huge history nerd, and who wouldn’t want to walk the streets where our founding fathers did? Of course, my travel to Philadelphia didn’t happen until after the book was almost ready to go to print. However, I loved diving into the history of Philadelphia and seeing a different period than most people think of when the city is mentioned. Philadelphia was the perfect example of a Gilded Age city. I got to bring in touches of the upper class while still thoroughly wandering through the underbelly of what society wanted to ignore.

Q: Josiah has been a widower for ten years. Why is he so intent on fighting against his growing affection for Gwendolyn?

Josiah is extremely loyal to his deceased wife, Shauna, despite being a flirt. Every year on their anniversary, he visits her grave at the time of their wedding. Her pictures remain all over the house, especially at his bedside, where he sleeps with a lamp on so he can wake up to see her face. He believes Shauna is the only woman he can ever love, and to love anyone else would be disloyal to her. When he notices a deepening attraction to Gwendolyn, it scares Josiah. He doesn’t want to be unfaithful to Shauna. How can he love another woman but still love Shauna?

Q: What keeps Gwendolyn fighting against her growing attraction to Josiah? 

Aside from the fact that Josiah is a widower and obviously still in love with his first wife, Gwendolyn is very cognizant of the fact she and Josiah come from vastly different social classes. The Isaacs family is one of the wealthiest families in Philadelphia, the type to rub elbows with the Astors. Josiah’s mother is one of the board members for Final Chance, and Mrs. Isaacs has made it clear that while she values Gwendolyn as a matron of Final Chance, Gwendolyn should not be looking for love above her station. There is also a matter of a difference in their faith. While her faith is firmly rooted in Christ, Josiah doubts God’s goodness and if He can even be trusted. Although marriage to Josiah might sound like a Cinderella fairytale, Gwendolyn knows that no fairytale is worth the pain of being yoked to a man who doesn’t share her faith.

Q: During this story, the Secret Service faced some difficult constraints that affected their ability to conduct investigations. What were those, and how did Josiah work around them?

The Secret Service largely depended on earning the trust of counterfeiters by purchasing counterfeit money. This allowed them to explore deeper into the network of counterfeiters and arrest those involved at the production level. However, when President Cleveland came into office, so did a new solicitor. This solicitor believed that Secret Servicemen were inciting people to commit a crime and therefore put a ban on purchasing counterfeit money. This crippled investigations for nearly a year when, finally, the ban was lifted. However, the ban was not lifted until after this story. Because Josiah could not purchase counterfeit money associated with those inside Final Chance House of Refuge, he used his mother’s connections to join the board and his partnership with Gwendolyn to gain the needed information.

Q: What is it you hope for readers of this novel? 

It is always my hope that the readers will find enjoyment and satisfaction in my stories. Even more so, I hope they will walk away with a feeling of being encouraged and challenged in their own faith walks. Josiah and Gwendolyn wrestled with doubt. Their faith wavered and struggled, just like everyone’s does at some point. However, instead of ignoring their doubt and pretending it didn’t exist, they eventually faced it head-on, carrying it to God and asking Him to help their unbelief. God doesn’t get upset with our doubts and questions. He welcomes them. They are an opportunity for us to come to Him and allow Him to show us things about Him and our relationship with Him that would never have occurred otherwise. So my biggest hope is that readers will walk away unafraid to bring their doubts to God.

Q: This book is the last in a series. Are there any threads that run through the whole series that will be wrapped up in Counterfeit Faith

Josiah’s story emerges through each of the stories. In Counterfeit Love, you meet this flirtatious man who is supposedly afraid of the dark and sleeps with a lamp on. He’s the unobtainable bachelor who is often ribbed for his inability to say no to a woman. In a way, he has counterfeited love through all these surface-level flirtations he’s had, trying to find solace in the grief he quietly carries. In Counterfeit Hope, you discover there is a reason why he hasn’t committed to any of the women he’s flirted with and felt trapped into proposing to. He was once married, and he’s not ready to let that love go. Again, his hope has been counterfeited, placed in a love that, because of death, is now one-sided. Counterfeit Faith is the full maturing of Josiah. His story of love, hope, faith, and redemption. His story is what really brings all the themes together into a fullness that would be lost without its telling.

Q: You offer a free novella to newsletter subscribers that is a prequel to the start of this series. What can you tell us about it? How do readers get their copy?

I wrote the story of Secret Service operative Hayden Orton, who you’ll meet in Counterfeit Hope, and Felicity Richmond as a way to introduce readers to the series and a few of the characters. Felicity is a reporter determined to prove that the Secret Service is corrupt by catching a former operative selling counterfeit money. Hayden is annoyed by Felicity’s constant interference and concerned about her reckless pursuit of the very man the Secret Service is trying to capture. When Felicity’s life becomes threatened by the corrupt former operative, Hayden is assigned the task of protecting her and distracting her from pursuing the former operative by having her join him on a case involving the burglary of the Philadelphia Mint. Lots of danger, spunk, and romance are mixed into this novella, and it’s the perfect way to dip your toes into the series.

Readers can find out more and get their free copy by signing up for my newsletter letter here:

Q: What do you love most about writing historical romance novels packed with suspense and faith?

My favorite part of writing romance, especially with suspense, is that romance stories reflect God’s love for us. He pursues us, fights for us, and desires a close relationship that can only be gained by living life together. Just like the heroes of my books, He is willing to—and did—die for us. He vanquishes the evil in our lives—sin and death, cherishes us, and pushes us to become a better version of ourselves. The version He created us to be. I can’t write a romance story without suspense and faith because that is the love story God has written for us.

As far as the historical aspect goes, what can I say? I’m a huge history nerd. I love delving into the intricacies of history. History is always far more complex than our high school history books painted it to be. The Gilded Age, for instance, fascinates me with its dual nature–the extravagantly rich culture of the upper class and the destitution of the lower class. Social movements, immigration, labor riots, and rapid technological advances are a feast for this history lover’s voracious appetite.

Purchase Links:  Amazon  |  Baker Book House  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Books-A-Million  |  Christianbook


From now until Tuesday, May 23, leave a question or comment for me on this blog post to be entered to win a signed print copy (or e-copy if you’re international) of your choice of Counterfeit Love, Counterfeit Hope, or Counterfeit Faith.

UPDATED: The giveaway winner is JCP!

Do YOU have any questions for me?

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