Welcome to the Spring Scavenger Hunt. You have arrived at the starting point. The hunt begins at noon (Mountain Time Zone) on April 4, 2014. You may have arrived here before the start which could mean all of the sites aren’t ready quite yet. Once the official start has begun, you can work your way through the sites, gathering clues, entering bonus giveaways, until you arrive at the final stop which will be right back here on my site at Stop #33.
The hunt ends on Sunday, April 6, 2014, at midnight (Mountain). That means you have all of the weekend to finish it, so take your time. Enjoy reading the exclusive content the authors have prepared for you. You will collect a CLUE IN RED at each stop. Write them down as you go. At the end of the hunt, you will enter the clues into a Rafflecopter form. (The answer will make sense, even if you aren’t familiar with it.)
The hunt is open to international entries. The grand prize is a Kindle Fire HDX + $100 gift certificate. Two runners-up will receive all 32 of our latest releases.
In case you find a broken link…
I have prepared a page with direct links to each author’s post in case a site goes down or a link gets broken. All the links were working prior to the start of the hunt, but sometimes there are still issues after the hunt starts (sites go down because of heavy traffic, etc.), so make a note of the URL for the Participating Authors & Stops page so you can check back and be able to complete the hunt.
Now it is my pleasure to introduce you to Stephanie Grace Whitson. Stephanie and I first met about 13 or 14 years ago, and it is such a treat for me to host my special friend for the hunt.
Meet Stephanie Grace Whitson
With the spring 2014 release of A Captain for Laura Rose, best-selling, award-winning author Stephanie Grace Whitson will have twenty-six novels and two works of non-fiction to her credit. She received her MA in Historical Studies from Nebraska Wesleyan University in May of 2012 and is a frequent guest speaker/lecturer on a variety of historical and inspirational topics for civic organizations, libraries, quilt guilds, and church groups. Her husband and blended family, her church, historical research, antique quilts, and Kitty—her motorcycle—all rank high on her list of “favorite things.” Learn more at www.stephaniewhitson.com or www.Facebook.com/stephaniegracewhitson.
Laura Rose White’s late father taught her everything he knew about piloting a Missouri River steamboat. He even named their boat after her. Despite that, it seems that Laura will forever be a “cub pilot” to her brother Joe, because in 1867, a female riverboat captain is unheard of. That is, until tragedy strikes and Laura must make the two month journey from St. Louis to Fort Benton and back in order to save her family’s legacy, her home, and the only life she’s ever known.
The only way for her to overcome the nearly insurmountable odds is with the help of her brother’s disreputable friend Finn MacKnight, a skilled pilot with a terrible reputation. Laura loathes having to accept MacKnight as her co-pilot, especially when she learns she must also provide passage for his two sisters. Straight-laced Fiona has a fear of water, and unpredictable Adele seems much too comfortable with the idea of life in the rough and tumble environment of the untamed river and the men who ply it. Though they are thrown together by necessity, this historic journey may lead Laura and the MacKnights to far more than they ever expected.
Did we whet your appetite? If so, you can buy a copy of Stephanie’s new book here:
Now Stephanie has some fascinating information on steamboats from the 1860’s to share with you.
Creating the Story World for A Captain for Laura Rose
I had no idea that a field trip with other students working on their master’s degree in history would yield two novels set aboard 1860s steamboats, but I had great fun “building” the Laura Rose and putting imaginary friends on board.
What’s On Board?
The Missouri River steamboat Bertrand was on its way to gold rush Montana when it sank in 1865. Its cargo (on display at DeSoto Bend Wildlife Refuge) included gorgeous crystal, fancy hardware, oil lamps, pickled peaches, calico fabric, and more.
Who’s On Board?
The mention of three women on board the Bertrand drew me in. What would that have been like … hearing warning bells and fearing the threat of fire and … I was hooked. I learned about Minnie Hill, a woman steamboat pilot, but what I saw in her photograph didn’t synch with my expectations. I expected someone plain—perhaps even a bit masculine. I saw a lovely Victorian lady in a black beaded gown.
Captain Jacob and Mrs. Margaret White and their two children had lived aboard steamboats for as long as Laura could remember. They’d journeyed through the deep waters of the Mighty Mississippi on floating palaces … and faced the challenges of the Big Muddy, when Papa took charge of humble, stern-wheeled mountain boats half the size of their more impressive side-wheel sisters. [from Chapter 1 of A Captain for Laura Rose]
Life on a Steamboat
Finally … two weeks after heading downriver from Sioux City, Laura peered through Papa’s spyglass and caught sight of the steeple of the old cathedral near the St. Louis riverfront and the forest of steamboat smokestacks ringing the curve of the levee.” (from Chapter 7 of A Captain for Laura Rose]
In Brownville, Nebraska, my family and I enjoyed a dinner cruise aboard the Belle of Brownville, and as I watched the paddlewheel churn the water and take us upriver, I tried to imagine what it felt like back in the 1800s when sandbars made the trip dangerous and sometimes deadly.
The familiar screech of a steamboat whistle sounded, and Laura closed her eyes. How she longed to return to the only place that would ever feel like home. She imagined herself standing next to Papa as he piloted their steamboat upriver, past forested banks and small towns, through the ever-changing river channel and, finally, to the far reaches of civilization in Montana. [from Chapter 1 of A Captain for Laura Rose]
And so began the journey with Laura Rose White, who fights to keep the only life she’s ever known and who has to learn to trust Finn MacKnight, a “dark and dangerous-looking” man with a terrible reputation.
The Scavenger Hunt Skinny
Thanks so much for stopping by my site and participating in the new Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt. Before you move on to Stop #2, which is Stephanie Grace Whitson’s site, to pick up your next clue, be sure to write down this Stop #1 clue: “IF WE
PROBLEMS WITH INTERNET EXPLORER REPORTED: Some hunters have reported problems with a couple of sites failing to load. When they switched from Internet Explorer to another browser like Firefox, the sites loaded without a problem. If you run into trouble, try changing browsers.
But Before You Go
[color-box]As a bonus here on my site, participants can earn a chance to win a signed copy of The Heart’s Pursuit (releases in mid-May and signed copies will be sent to three winners as soon as I receive copies from the publisher). All you have to do is subscribe to my blog posts via email. After subscribing (or confirming your current subscription), provide complete this Rafflecopter form, and your name will go into the drawing. You can earn bonus chances by liking my Facebook Page and/or leaving a comment on this blog post. (Only the blog post subscription is required.) This bonus giveaway is for US mailing addresses only.[/color-box]