Hi friends! I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Cynthia several times, so this time I shook things up from my normal format for interviews. First let me give you the traditional introduction:
Cynthia Roemer is an inspirational, bestselling author with a heart for scattering seeds of hope into the hearts of readers. Raised in the cornfields of rural Illinois, Cynthia enjoys spinning tales set in the backdrop of the mid-1800’s prairie and Civil War era. Her Prairie Sky Series consists of Amazon bestseller, Under This Same Sky, Under Prairie Skies, and Under Moonlit Skies, a 2020 Selah Award winning novel.
Cynthia writes from her family farm in central Illinois where she resides with her husband of twenty-seven years. They have two grown sons and a daughter-in-love. When she isn’t writing or researching, Cynthia can be found hiking, biking, gardening, reading, or riding sidesaddle with her husband in the combine or on their motorcycle. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Visit Cynthia online at: www.cynthiaroemer.com
Now for a little more personal introduction. I meet Cynthia four or five years ago at a book signing I attended with a friend, and have since had the enjoyment of reading all her releases. (I’ve got her newest one sitting on the corner of my desk waiting for me to finish a couple of other required reads first. So watch for that review in the next month or so.) Cynthia is a beautiful woman who has walked through some very difficult trials over the last two years– her husband’s cancer, the death of her beloved father, and her own continued battle with cancer. Through it all, she has been an amazing example of loving and trusting God even in the hard times. She has graciously agreed to share some of her experiences and how they have affected her and her writing.
CC:Thank you, Cynthia, for sharing your story. While you were writing Beyond These War-Torn Lands, you faced multiple family and personal challenges, including fighting an aggressive cancer diagnosis. How have you seen God work during that process?
CR: The past year and a half have truly been challenging with both myself and my husband being diagnosed with cancer and the loss of my dad. But through it all, the Lord has given me the strength and determination to press on. Writing provided a welcome distraction from the dismal reality of cancer and chemo and helped me focus on something worthwhile that I enjoyed.
CC: Writing certainly has been a gift from God for me in troubled times. I am so glad He provided you the strength and determination to keep at it.
Did any of your experiences, emotions, or struggles with this time play into BeyondThese War-Torn Lands? How so?
CR: I do feel the depth of emotions and spiritual content were enhanced by my experience. I’ve always had a deep sense of emotion, but during this health challenge, the Lord drew me in even closer to his unfailing love, and I pray that resonates with readers in this story.
CC: You have been such a light of faith, grace, and courage to your readers on social media as you go through this valley of struggles. What gives you the greatest encouragement on those hard days?
CR: Thank you, Crystal. Just knowing others are praying for me is such a comfort. I received more than a hundred cards and so many gracious comments on social media. We had people stop by to bring food and offer to help in any way. All of those expressions of Christ-like love truly inspired me to keep going. I feel so blessed!
CC: How can we be praying for you as you move forward in your treatment and in your writing?
CR: You are so thoughtful, Thank you! Specifically, I would appreciate prayers for renewed strength and healing, for my kidney function to return to normal (it has suffered from treatment), and for the Lord to be glorified through this experience and in my writing. Please pray what I write will honor Him and that I will be obedient in whatever He calls me to do. Thanks so much!
CC: Thank you so much for giving us a glimpse into this season of life for you. I’m excited to introduce readers to your newest release, Beyond These War-Torn Lands.
The War brought them together ~ Would it also tear them apart?
While en route to aid Confederate soldiers injured in battle near her home, Southerner Caroline Dunbar stumbles across a wounded Union sergeant. Unable to ignore his plea for help, she tends his injuries and hides him away, only to find her attachment to him deepen with each passing day. But when her secret is discovered, Caroline incurs her father’s wrath and, in turn, unlocks a dark secret from the past which she is determined to unravel.
After being forced to flee his place of refuge, Sergeant Andrew Gallagher fears he’s seen the last of Caroline. Resolved not to let that happen, when the war ends, he seeks her out, only to discover she’s been sent away. When word reaches him that President Lincoln has been shot, Drew is assigned the task of tracking down the assassin. A chance encounter with Caroline revives his hopes, until he learns she may be involved in a plot to aid the assassin. (Purchase here.)
CC: What are you most proud of with this story?
CR: All the historical details I was able to weave into the storyline. It was such great fun inserting my characters into encounters with real historical events and people. Countless hours of research went into this novel, and it’s so rewarding to see that appreciated in reader reviews and comments.
CC: I can only imagine all the work that went into creating this novel. What do you hope readers will take away from your story?
CR: The main themes are forgiveness and loving our enemies—two issues that are challenging to us all! The theme verse for Beyond These War-Torn Lands is Matthew 5:43-44:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”
Throughout the novel, both Drew and Caroline face challenging people “enemies” that they must make the difficult choice to seek revenge against or show Christ-like love to. With all the hatred and bitterness going on today, I feel this is a message we can all benefit from hearing. Loving the unlovable is one of the hardest things we’re asked to do but, as Christians, we are called to love even when others are unkind toward us.
CC: Was there anything you found fascinating while researching for this story?
CR: Oh, wow! I could write another book on that. LOL! This was the first novel I’ve written that involved so much actual history and I became lost in the research numerous times. But, for the sake of time and space, I’ll share just a couple of fascinating tidbits that I ran across.
In the opening scene of Beyond These War-Torn Lands, my hero, Sergeant Andrew (Drew) Gallagher, is injured at the Battle of Monocacy Junction, a lesser-known battle that was a loss to the Union. The Union commander in the battle was General Lew Wallace. After doing a little digging, I discovered something intriguing.If you’ve read or seen the movie, Ben Hur, you might find it interesting that it was written by none other than the retired Union General Lew Wallace!!
I also found that renovations to the U.S. Capitol dome began in 1861, but were stopped briefly at the start of the Civil War. Work quickly resumed, however, and was on-going throughout the Civil War and completed in 1866! I find that amazing!
CC: I love the research that goes into a story. There are so many fascinating details. Who was your favorite character to create? Why?
CR: Oh, I loved Drew. He was such a good-natured guy, so fun to create. I dearly loved how he related to Caroline, his horse, his men, his superiors, and God!
CC: Who was your most challenging character? Why?
Definitely Caroline’s father, Eugene Dunbar. He was gruff, overbearing, and spiteful—all the traits in a person that make me want to curl up in a ball and hide!
CC: I am with you on that type of book. Will there be others in this series?
CR: Yes. I’m currently working on Book 2 in my Wounded Heart Series which will be Drew’s younger brother Luke’s story. It begins in Richmond, VA in the final week of the Civil War and during the aftermath. The story is still in the developmental stages, but is slated to release in November, 2022.
CC: Ooooh. Already sticking it on my TBR list. 🙂 I’ve always enjoyed reading your stories. As always, I love to wrap up with a fun question. If you could choose to have lunch with any book character, who would you choose?
CR: Hmm. That’s an interesting question. The first that comes to mind is Anne of Green Gables. I love her down-to-earth nature and her tenacity! I’m certain we would be kindred spirits. =)
CC: Thank you so much for the interview, Cythnia. I truly appreciate it and will be praying for you. Readers, which book character YOU would choose to have lunch with? Tell me in the comments so we can create a virtual luncheon. 🙂
If you’d like to connect with Cynthia Roemer, you can find her at any of these places:
Hello, lovely reader. Help yourself to a cup of hot cup cider and a heaping portion of apple crumble. Fall is finally back and so is Cynthia Roemer, my guest today.
Cynthia Roemer is the author of three wonderful books: Under This Same Sky, Under Prairie Skies, and Under Moonlit Skies. These midwestern prairie romances follow the hearts and struggles of three women as they deal with loss, love, and hard choices. Readers will forever be touched by the way Cynthia weaves real characters with real problems into stories which captivate. Let me introduce you to the woman herself.
Cynthia Roemer is an award-winning inspirational author with a heart for scattering seeds of hope into the lives of readers. Raised in the cornfields of rural Illinois, Cynthia enjoys spinning tales set in the backdrop of the 1800s prairie. Her Prairie Sky Series consists of Amazon Best-Seller Under This Same Sky, Under Prairie Skies, and Under Moonlit Skies, releasing September 10, 2019. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and writes from her family farm in central Illinois where she resides with her husband of twenty-five years and two college-aged sons. Visit Cynthia online at: www.cynthiaroemer.com
Crystal: Thank you so much for joining me today, Cynthia. First up are my Fast Five–shaken up and changed!
Coffee or Tea?
Cynthia:Neither really, I’m more a water or lemonade type of gal! I get my caffeine from chocolate! =)
Crystal: Lemonade makes me think of summer. 🙂
Christmas or Easter?
Cynthia: Both! LOL! But if I had to choose, I choose Easter, because it celebrates Jesus’ resurrection
Crystal: It’s a hard one to choose between for sure.
Spring or Fall?
Crystal: There is just nothing compared to the magic of changing leave and sweater weather.
Print or E-book?
Cynthia: Definitely print
Crystal: With you 100%.
Favorite Bible Verse
Cynthia: Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, saith the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.”
Crystal: Definitely a comforting one.
Writing & Life
What keeps you busy most days?
Cynthia:I work at an elementary library two days a week. Most other days, when I’m not writing, I’m doing normal wife/mom things: cooking, laundry, cleaning, spending time with family.
Crystal: Life in an elementary school is lots of fun. I’m so glad you get that experience! And I guess not even authors get to escape the day to day drudgery.
When you DO get to write, what does your workspace look like?
Cynthia: Most days, I’m at my desktop in our living room. But when the weather is nice, I love going out on our porch with my laptop.
Crystal: That sounds lovely. I hope you get to enjoy the outside weather a lot this Fall. It’s one of my favorite times of the year.
Do you have any pets?
Cynthia: At present, we have one cat named Chad. I named him and his sister Charlotte after the characters in my second novel when I was in the midst of writing it. Sadly, Charlotte got killed. Now Chad is one super-spoiled kitty!!
Crystal: That is so sad!!! I am so glad Chad has you to spoil him. Speaking of your books…
How did it feel to wrap up the Prairie Skies series?
Cynthia: Both sad and satisfying. I’ll so miss the characters and will always hold them in my heart, but trust the Lord will stir equally endearing characters in my imagination in the future!
What was the best part about writing this series?
Cynthia: Creating the characters and also the research! These are probably my favorite parts of writing. Such fun!
Do you have any plans for a future project?
Cynthia: Currently, I’m researching and brainstorming for a fourth novel set during the latter part of the Civil War and immediately following it. It’s still formulating in my mind, but involves an injured Union soldier and a sympathetic Southern belle. At this point, it seems to be a standalone project…unless the Lord gives ideas for a series. =)
Crystal: I love Civil War stories, especially with characters on opposite sides of the lines. We’ll be praying for you as that idea develops!
Which character was the most fun to create?
Cynthia: Oh, it’s difficult to choose just one. In Under This Same Sky, I loved Becky’s friend, Jimmy. He’s the wise and loving friend everyone wants and dreams of. In Under Prairie Skies, little Johnny was a lot of fun. I loved his innocence and the way he related to Charlotte. In Under Moonlit Skies, it’s a toss-up between Stew and old Annie. Stew was such a great guy, always willing to put others ahead of himself. But I also loved old Annie’s godly candidness and sweet spirit.
Crystal: I am fond of those particular characters, especially Stew.
Fun, Zaney Question of the Day
If you could have super power, which would it be?
Cynthia: To be able to split myself into two Cynthia’s – one to do what I need to do and the other to do what I want to do – write! =)
Crystal: Boy do I wish I could do that, except maybe even more versions of myself!
Thank so much for visiting with us.
Readers, if you are interested in learning more about Cynthia’s books you can check them out by clicking on the book covers below. Thank so much for stopping by and have a great week!
The Prairie Skies series has been a pleasure to read and one I will read again, which for me is rare. There are few straight romances which I will read, let alone reread. Yet, Cynthia Roemer always seems to bring more to a story than just romance. Her characters and storylines have depth and and life truths. Under Moonlit Skies had the touch of danger for the last third of the book that I crave. Soooo good. Of course it doesn’t hurt that part of the story takes place in my region. 😉 You can read the reviews of the first two books in the series Under This Same Sky and Under Prairie Skies.
Genre: Historical Romance, 1850s
Her life was planned out ~ until he rode in ~
Illinois prairie ~ 1859
After four long years away, Esther Stanton returns to the prairie to care for her sister Charlotte’s family following the birth of her second child. The month-long stay seems much too short as Esther becomes acquainted with her brother-in-law’s new ranch hand, Stewart Brant. When obligations compel her to return to Cincinnati and to the man her overbearing mother intends her to wed, she loses hope of ever knowing true happiness.
Still reeling from a hurtful relationship, Stew is reluctant to open his heart to Esther. But when he faces a life-threatening injury with Esther tending him, their bond deepens. Heartbroken when she leaves, he sets out after her and inadvertently stumbles across an illegal slave-trade operation, the knowledge of which puts him, as well as Esther and her family, in jeopardy.
What I loved: My favorite part is the danger and how Stew’s character really stands out in the midst of it. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say it has to do with the fact Cincinnati was a hotbed of activity during the years leading up to the Civil War.
Favorite Character: I really loved Stew. He was an imperfect man with a strength of character which one cannot help but love. He is sweet and committed. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but he does it anyway.
Who would like this: Anyone who loves stories with characters who struggle with becoming their own person, gentle romance, and a touch of danger. Also, those who enjoy a glimpse into pre-Civil War life in an area where blacks were free but always in danger.
Rating and Why: I gave this a four and half star rating. It was a great conclusion to the series which was different from each of the preceding plots and there was a continued demonstration of great character development. I love getting to see characters struggle and change in ways I can relate to.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher. The review above was influenced in no way by this and the above opinions are my own.
Join the discussion: If you had a decision to make that would greatly disappoint and hurt a parent’s feelings, would you choose what they wanted for you or what you wanted most for yourself?
Contemporary Romance: Reunited in the Rockies by Mindy Obenhaus — For widow Kayla Bradshaw, restoring a historic Colorado hotel means a better life for her and her soon-to-arrive baby. But she needs construction help from Jude Stephens, the love she lost through a misunderstanding. Working with Kayla, the police officer finds himself forgiving her—and longing to rebuild her shattered confidence. But can they trust each other enough to forge a future together? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
A Man to Trust by Carrie Turansky — After years spent helping manage her family’s Christian bookstore, it’s time for Adrie Chandler to give her own dream of playing her flute with a symphony orchestra a chance. But can she really trust the beloved shop to new manager Ross Peterson? The man is too handsome, too charming….and too much a reminder of another dream Adrie had to let go of – marriage. Yet Ross surprises her by knowing a thing or two about making sacrifices. Suddenly, Adrie is questioning what she really wants. And whether the dreams she once thought unlikely are within reach after all. (Contemporary Romance from Flowing Stream Books)
Fall Flip by Denise Weimer — The tragic death of Shelby Dodson’s husband–her partner in a successful Home Network house flipping business–stole love, status, and career. Now a bungalow redesign thrusts Shelby into the company of a new contractor. Scott Matthews remembers high-and-mighty Shelby from high school, and her prissy, contemporary style goes against his down-to-earth grain. When the house reveals a mystery, will its dark secrets–and their own mistakes–cost them a second chance at love? (Contemporary Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Listening to Love by Beth Wiseman — Lucas is Amish. Natalie’s Englisch. They are best friends—and friends only. Despite what the gossips say. Besides, they couldn’t be together even if they wanted to be. Lucas would never leave the Amish faith, and Natalie is pursuing a degree in veterinary medicine. But when a terrifying accident happens, Natalie and Lucas are forced to confront their true feelings and decide if they can stay true to themselves and each other. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)
General Contemporary:The Christmas Portrait by Phyllis Clark Nichols — A family facing their first holiday season without Mama finds a way to celebrate Christmas. (General Contemporary from Gilead Publishing)
Historical:Memories of Glass by Melanie Dobson — 1942. As war rips through the heart of Holland, childhood friends Josie van Rees and Eliese Linden partner with a few daring citizens to rescue Eliese’s son and hundreds of other Jewish children who await deportation in a converted theater in Amsterdam. But amid their resistance work, Josie and Eliese’s dangerous secrets could derail their friendship and their entire mission. When the enemy finds these women, only one will escape. Seventy-five years later, Ava Drake begins to suspect that her great-grandfather William Kingston was not the World War II hero he claimed to be. Her work as director of the prestigious Kingston Family Foundation leads her to Landon West’s Ugandan coffee plantation, and Ava and Landon soon discover a connection between their families. As Landon’s great-grandmother shares the broken pieces of her story, Ava must confront the greatest loss in her own life?and powerful members of the Kingston family who will do anything to keep the truth buried. (Historical from Tyndale Publishing)
Historical Romance: Treasured Christmas Brides by Amanda Cabot, Rebecca Germany, Cathy Marie Hake, Colleen L. Reece, MaryLu Tyndall, and Michelle Ule — Six historical Christmas romances prove life’s most priceless gifts come not in the form of polished gold or silver—but from the vast riches of a loving heart. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Thankful for the Cowboy by Mary Connealy — Hero Tom MacKinnon rides up driving a wagon with a second wagon trailing him. He and his sister want to be hired to build windmills. They’ll ask for very little money and, in exchange heroine, Lauren Drummond, newly widowed mother of four nearly grown sons, will help them learn to survive in the Sandhills of Nebraska. What to grow, what to hunt, how to build a sod house.
Tom’s windmills will save her ranch. Lauren needs three windmills on this drought year or her growing herd of cattle is going to die of thirst. She agrees to teach him the ways of the Sandhills, and to give him fifteen head of cattle. She’s not ready to think of another man. But Tom changes her mind. His little sister and one of her sons find love together before Tom and Lauren do. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
The Return of the King’s Ranger by Angela K. Couch — The war is over…for everyone but him. The war for American freedom is over, and the British have gone back to England. Not knowing what has become of his family since he was forced into the Continental Army nine years earlier, Myles Cunningham wants to go home as well. He returns to the Mohawk Valley with the understanding that he is believed to have been shot for deserting—fiction that might be made real if anyone recognizes him as the son of a Tory and a King’s Ranger. Everything is wonderful in the growing community along the Mohawk River, except Nora Reid is still alone. With her brother happily settled and both her younger sisters starting families of their own, Nora feels the weight of her twenty-four years. A long walk leads her to the overgrown rubble of the Cunningham homestead where a bearded stranger begins to awaken feelings she’d lost hope of ever experiencing. With secrets abounding—including whether Myles even cares for her—Nora must determine what she is ready to give up and how far she will go to secure his affections. She begins to break through his defenses, but Myles can’t risk staying. Not if he loves her. (Historical Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])
Christmas Next Door by Susan Page Davis and Vickie McDonough — Visit an Old West Texas town where a mysterious benefactor leaves gifts each Christmas, but also where four pairs of neighbors battle over hearsay, secrets, and mysteries. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Under Moonlit Skies by Cynthia Roemer — Esther meets Stewart, her brother-in-law’s ranch hand, when helping her sister recover from childbirth. Any interest she may have in the cowboy is hopeless, since she must return home to Cincinnati and the man her overbearing mother intends her to wed. till reeling from a hurtful relationship, Stew is reluctant to open his heart to Esther. But when he faces a life-threatening injury with Esther tending him, their bond deepens. Heartbroken when she leaves, he sets out after her and inadvertently stumbles across an illegal slave-trade operation, the knowledge of which puts him, as well as Esther and her family, in jeopardy. (Historical Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)
Mail-Order Misfire by Davalynn Spencer — Preacher Bern Stidham is a peacemaker—when he’s not carrying one on his hip. His little girl wants a helper for her widowed father and a mama for herself, so she writes for a mail-order bride. Without telling him. Recently widowed dressmaker Etta Collier is a half-step ahead of the banker who carries a lustful eye for her as well as the note on her home. When her pastor encourages her to answer an unusual letter from a little girl, hope opens an unexpected door. Running from one man’s lecherous pursuit into the home of another she knows nothing about, Etta may have to risk everything to ease a little girl’s loneliness and find a second chance at love. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
The Witness Tree by Denise Weimer — Past betrayal has turned John Kliest’s passion to his work as a builder and surveyor in the Moravian town of Salem, North Carolina. Now, to satisfy the elders’ edict and fulfill his mission in Cherokee Territory, he needs a bride. But the one woman qualified to record the Cherokee language longs for a future with his younger brother. Clarissa Vogler’s dream of a life with Daniel Kliest is shattered when she is chosen by lot to marry his older brother and venture into the uncharted frontier. Can she learn to love this stoic man who is now her husband? Her survival hinges on being able to trust him—but they both harbor secrets. (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)
Romantic Suspense: Don’t Give Up On Me by Jodi Artzberger — When Cragge Automotive Group’s heiress, Amanda Cragge is left for dead, the only man she’s ever loved finds her. As the threats continue, will she accept help from the man who left her eight years ago without explanation? When Ryker Scott returns to Otter Bay, he is brought face to face with his past. He thought he could handle coming back but he might have been wrong. As a trained Army Ranger, he’s going to have to use his skills if he wants to keep the only woman he’s ever loved alive.
Will their past become their future or will their futures be destroyed forever?(Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)
Breaking Point by Marji Laine — Ever since her father’s death, Alynne Stone has had a series of strange “accidents.” Police Lieutenant Jason Danvers believes her father was murdered. He tries to connect the attempts on Alynne’s life, but things just don’t add up. Even in a small town, the mere rumor of treasure can change lives, end friendships…maybe even kill? Still dealing with the pain of his own wife’s death, he can’t allow an innocent woman’s life to be snuffed out on his watch. Especially one who shines as bright as Alynne. (Romantic Suspense, Write Integrity Press)
Fatal Strike by DiAnn Mills — FBI Agents Leah Riesel and Jon Colbert team up to track down a killer on the loose in Galveston, targeting law enforcement officials and using a fatal injection of snake venom to take them down. (Romantic Suspense, Tyndale House)
Thriller: The Gryphon Heist by James R. Hannibal — Talia Inger is a rookie CIA case officer assigned not to the Moscow desk as she had hoped but to the forgotten backwaters of Eastern Europe–a department only known as “Other.” When she is tasked with helping a young, charming Moldovan executive secure his designs for a revolutionary defense technology, she figures she’ll be back in DC within a few days. But that’s before she knows where the designs are stored–and who’s after them. With her shady civilian partner, Adam Tyler, Talia takes a deep dive into a world where only criminal minds and unlikely strategies will keep the Gryphon, a high-altitude data vault, hovering in the mesosphere. Even Tyler is more than he seems, and Talia begins to wonder: Is he helping her? Or using her access to CIA resources to pull off an epic heist for his own dark purposes? (Techno-thriller from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)
The Winner of Under Prairie Skies is Rose! Congratulations, Rose!
Under Prarie Skies by Cynthia Roemer
I love how great a job Cynthia does with character development. She has never failed to fully flesh out her characters and make them relatable and Under Prairie Skies is no different. You can read the review of the first book in the series Under This Same Sky,here.
Genre: Historical Romance, 1850s
Plot Overview: Charlotte is a jealous, bitter young lady with no idea on how to improve herself until Chad Avery steps into her life as a new neighbor. Challenged to face her faults and change, Charlotte finds helping others is the first steps to becoming the woman God has called her to be.
Chad Avery is trying to fulfill the dream he and his late wife had together, to establish a cattle ranch. He has no desire to love again and struggles with the tug of attraction toward Charlotte as circumstances bring them together over and over again.
Can both Charlotte and Chad let go of the past to discover a better future?
What I loved: These characters are so real and deep. Even though Charlotte was a woman we didn’t like in the last book, Cynthia really brings us full circle with this character. We get a full understanding of why she is the way she is and absolutely relate to it. Chad is a sweet hero with his own struggles but a man who brings out the best in Charlotte.
Favorite Character: This is a toughy. I love both the hero and the heroine so much, but I have to admit, I really like Johnny. Without giving too much away, he is a determined little boy that helps both characters to move beyond themselves.
Who would like this: Anyone who loves stories with deep characters, characters who struggle with grief and learn to move forward, or sweet romances.
Rating and Why: I gave this a five-star rating because of the mastery of character development and solid plot line. Everything weaved together perfectly and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher. The review above was influenced in no way by this and the above opinions are my own.
Join the discussion: Do you think it is possible to fall in love with someone else without loving the other person any less?
I am so excited to have Cythinia returning for another interview this month. Her second novel is set to come out in a couple weeks and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to interview her again. Just in case you missed her first interview, you can find it here. Once again I am offering a Rafflecopter Giveaway at the end of this interview, so you don’t want to miss it.
Cynthia Roemer is an award-winning inspirational writer with a heart for scattering seeds of hope into the lives of readers. Raised in the cornfields of rural Illinois, Cynthia enjoys spinning tales set in the backdrop of the 1800s prairie. She writes from her family farm in central Illinois where she resides with her husband and their two college-aged sons. Under Prairie Skies is Book Two in her Prairie Sky Series.
WC: Thank you for joining us again, Cynthia. I am so excited to get to know you a little better and share it with my readers.
The Fast Five
Sweet Tea or Unsweet? Sweet tea
Beach Vacation or Mountain Getaway? Mountain Getaway
Homebody or Love to Travel? Homebody with an occasional short trip
Morning Person or Night Owl? Morning Person
Bookmark or Dog-ear Pages? Bookmark!
WC: Thanks for answering! Those are such a fun, quick way to get to know a person. I think you and I match 3 of the 5! I just despise mornings and love to travel.
The Writing Journey
WC: What actually set you on the writing journey? Was there a specific event that pushed you toward publishing?
Cynthia: In a sense, yes. My thirst for writing began when I was sixteen when, through the prompting of my high school English teacher, I entered a short-story contest at a local college. It won first place, and I was hooked. I knew then, the Lord was calling me to write.
The next milestone on my writing journey came after I joined the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Association (ACFW) and my first novel, Under This Same Sky became a finalist in the Genesis Contest (2014). Being a finalist boosted my confidence and gave me the courage to continue to hone my craft and seek a publisher.
WC: What has God taught you along your publication journey?
Cynthia: Oh, many things: patience, endurance, dedication, and to be a team player. Right now, He’s teaching me contentment and dependence on Him. My road to publication was a long one and I give Him all the glory for bringing me to this point. Now He’s teaching me to be content with the outcome. It’s my prayer that each novel He gives me to write will reach the hands (or Kindle/Nook) of those who’ll be blessed by my stories.
WC: What has been the biggest challenge for you as an author?
Cynthia: Hmm. Prior to publication, my biggest challenge was waiting on God’s timing. It’s so hard as a writer to stare into the unknown not knowing whether your many hours of time and effort will see fulfillment. Now that I’m on the other side of publishing, my greatest challenge is balancing my time. I’m not a fast writer and now have marketing to contend with as well. It’s a challenge to balance my writing/marketing/family-time. Often I wish there were two of me! LOL!
~ Beyond shattered dreams lies a realm of possibilities ~
Illinois prairie ~1855
Unsettled by the news that her estranged cousin and uncle are returning home after a year away, Charlotte Stanton goes to ready their cabin and finds a handsome stranger has taken up residence. Convinced he’s a squatter, she throws him off the property before learning his full identity. Little does she know, their paths are destined to cross again.
Quiet and ruggedly handsome, Chad Avery’s uncanny ability to see through Charlotte’s feisty exterior and expose her inner weaknesses both infuriates and intrigues her. When a tragic accident incites her family to move east, Charlotte stays behind in hopes of becoming better acquainted with the elusive cattleman. Yet Chad’s unwillingness to divulge his hidden past, along with his vow not to love again, threatens to keep them apart forever.
Under Prairie Skies
WC: You are a master of sweet romance that is fraught with the genuine struggles of life. Charlotte was a character we didn’t like in your last book, but yet you have made her a character we not only relate to but also like in this one. Have you ever had any Charlotte moments or relationships in your life, where jealousy became a serious issue?
Cythina: Thank you so much, Crystal. It was a real challenge turning spoiled green-eyed Charlotte into a worthy heroine, but I grew to like her very much. I’m so glad you did too! You pose an interesting question. Yes. I once had a former friend that turned on me much like Charlotte turned on Becky Hollister in Under This Same Sky. It was very heart-wrenching to go through years of trying to make amends only to take one step forward and two steps back. I’m so glad Charlotte wised up and mended her ways.
WC:Chad Avery is an amazing hero who my heart grieves for through most of the story. He is a strong Christian man yet struggles with his own grief and faults. Did you have a person who inspired this character? Or how did you determine what qualities to give Chad?
Cynthia: LOL! Like my sister said when she read Under Prairie Skies, “Chad is every woman’s dream man.” Chad Avery is a culmination of the qualities women admire. He includes bits and pieces of my husband, mainly his being a man of few words, but one who sees things for what they are — his wisdom. I wanted Chad to be the strong, silent type who could stand up against Charlotte’s feistiness, but also someone who had his own vulnerabilities that needed to be addressed.
WC: I think you very successful in that. He is indeed a man of every woman’s dreams.
WC: How did God challenge you in writing this particular story? Were there any lessons that you took away that you hope your reader will also take away?
Cynthia: The main theme woven within the pages of Under Prairie Skies is that of “iron sharpening iron”, how the Lord uses people to speak His truths into our lives. What I’ve taken away, and what I pray readers will take away, is a heightened sense of listening for God’s voice in our everyday encounters with people and being willing to speak truth and life into the hearts of others when given opportunity.
WC: If you could be a cartoon character, which one would it be?
Cynthia: Oh wow! I would say the road-runner. He’s got great wit about him and always seems to end up on the best end of things, especially where Wile E. Coyote is concerned. LOL!
Alright, beloved readers, it is the time you all have been waiting for! This time I am giving the winner an option of either an e-copy of Under This Same Sky or Under Prairie Skies. Just comment below AND use the Rafflecopter link below to enter. Entries are open Tuesday 12 AM (EST) 3/27/2018 and close on Monday, 4/9/2108, at 11:59 PM (EST). Winner will be announced on the Under Prairie Skies Review the next day.
*Legal Jargon: No Purchase is necessary. This contest is open to all readers in the world, 18 years and older who are legally allowed to participate in such a giveaway as allowed by their local laws. The Write Call does not exchange prizes for reviews. Reviews are appreciated, but not required.*
Join the Conversation: What cartoon character would you be?