At Home in Persimmon Hollow by Gerri Bauer (Blog Tour Interview)

Welcome to my tour stop for a debut Catholic historical romance, At Home in Persimmon Hollow by Gerri Bauer. It's the first book I've seen that is specific in its religious denomination and I was curious about the author's reasons for writing this story. Check out the full interview below...

At Home in Persimmon Hollow (Persimmon Hollow Legacy, #1)At Home in Persimmon Hollow
(Persimmon Hollow Legacy #1)
by Gerri Bauer
Christian Historical Romance, Catholic
Paperback, audiobook, & ebook, 320 Pages
July 17th 2015 by Franciscan Media

Summary

At Home in Persimmon Hollow is the first book in a series chronicling the world of Agnes Foster and the people of frontier-era Florida.

In 1886, Agnes Foster is forced to leave the Catholic orphanage in New York where she grew up to start a new life as a teacher in Persimmon Hollow, Florida, a town she has only ever seen in a newspaper ad. With nothing but her strong Catholic faith to sustain her, she leaves behind the only home she’s ever known and the little girl she hopes to adopt, and encounters a wild and beautiful new landscape, and a town full of hardworking, faith-filled people. She also meets the difficult, yet handsome and hard-to-ignore Seth Taylor, a man whose heart has been hardened to God after a terrible loss.

Just as Agnes starts to feel Persimmon Hollow could be a good home for her and her daughter, and that Seth could be her love, tragedy strikes in the form of a trio of evil men from both their pasts, intent on doing them more harm. Will their fragile new love survive? Will Seth return to his faith? Can Agnes finally escape her dark past and find a bright new future?

  

Author Interview

I'd like to welcome Author Gerri Bauer to my blog today to discuss her debut historical Catholic romance, At Home in Persimmon Hollow!

1. What inspired you to write this series?

Several things converged: my love of local history, Christian romance, happy endings, love stories, interest in family/generational sagas, and my Catholic faith. Plus, the town I live in was once known as Persimmon Hollow. The name is tailor-made for a fictional town!

2. Why choose to write a book about characters that are specifically Catholic versus the more general Christian?

I’m a big fan of general Christian romance, and started my manuscript with that genre in mind. Then I discovered I really wanted my characters to do things like say a rosary, attend Mass, and receive the sacraments. Catholicism is a part of a practitioner’s entire being, and I wanted to show that. My approach didn’t dovetail with guidelines of the major genre publishers. I made a deliberate decision to forge ahead anyway, with hopes of interesting a Catholic publisher. I’m grateful to Franciscan Media for believing in the approach and the book.

3. What were your favorite things about writing Agnes’ and Seth’s characters?

Agnes and Seth really came alive for me. Agnes has a caretaker heart that makes her the kind of woman people turn to for honesty and truth. They know she’ll be straightforward. Seth’s struggle for redemption is something I think we all can relate to. He was finally able to turn away from bitterness and embrace forgiveness and love.

4. What do you hope readers will take with them after they’ve finished reading At Home in Persimmon Hollow?

A good, warm feeling: a sense of having found new friends in a place the reader would like to visit. I hope the fictional Persimmon Hollow becomes a haven for readers when the world outside is a bit too real or harsh.

5. Do you have a favorite scene or line from the book that you would like to share?

It’s not a favorite line as much as a line that signals Agnes’s awareness about her growing feelings for Seth. Several people are at a picnic, and Agnes falls and twists her ankle so badly Seth carries her inside the house for treatment. Afterwards, the others ask him to carry her back outside so she can rejoin the larger group:

“Agnes met his gaze and was glad he appeared to feel as awkward as she did. Good. The last time he carried her, she was faint from heat and surprise. This time, she hoped she didn’t get light-headed from the stir she felt in her heart.”

6. Who are your favorite Catholic or Christian romance authors?

There are so many excellent Christian romance authors that I can’t pick just one or a few. The writer of every book I read tends to become my favorite author when I’m immersed in the wonderful worlds they create. As for specifically Catholic writers, I try to explore Flannery O’Connor’s fiction from a Catholic perspective (a long-term project, for sure), even though her work isn’t romance.

Thank you, Gerri, for stopping by to answer my questions!

About the Author

Gerri BauerGerri’s idea of a perfect day always includes a book, preferably one with a happy ending. She writes what she loves to read: historical romances set in small towns filled with people of faith and values. A native of New York City, she found her own small-town haven in Florida many years ago. She lives with her husband, spoils her cats, keeps tabs on a far-flung extended family, and gets out into the garden as much as possible, although the plants question her dedication.

Gerri has a B.A. in English from Stetson University, where she has a day job in social media and online marketing. A former journalist who always wanted to write about local history instead of local government, she edited The Parce Letters: Voices from the Past, a collection of primary sources on Florida pioneers. She blogs about pioneer life at http://frontier-florida.blogspot.com/. And she shares her space-geek husband’s enthusiasm for our final frontier, which helps her remember she doesn’t live in the 19th century.

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