Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Kiersti Plog's Blog Hop!!

 A while back on the fabulous Books and Such blog, I met a nice, well behaved lady named Kiersti Plog. You can find her blog at Well, the thing is, Kiersti's writing also features the Navajo. Go check 'Pioneer Diaries' and read up on Kiersti's adventures.
Kiersti invited me to join a blog hop and share about my writing. I was tickled pink to be invited and excited to share about my work. So, here are Kiersti's questions, and my long winded answers about my first novel, 'The Secret Keepers'.

 What is the working title of your book?

The working title is ‘The Secret Keepers’, but the alternate title is ‘An Night in the Darkness’ because there’s already a CBA novel out called ‘The Secret Keeper’.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The Pecos River in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, the sight of Bosque Redondo.

I was doing some research on New Mexico and came across an article about The Long Walk of the Navajo. I was astounded that this event actually happened, especially to a tribe of sheep herders and farmers. The US Army, led by Kit Carson, waged war on people who basically lived on land that the white settlers wanted. Roughly 9500 Navajo were forced to surrender in 1864 and were marched across the desert to a place called ‘Bosque Redondo’ in New Mexico. Some people walked 450 miles, thousands died between 1864 and June 1868 when the people were taken home. Also, the constraints faced by women who had to hide abuse and carry on because there were little or no resources for them if they left abusive marriages.

What genre does your book fall under?

Historical romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I’d have Julianne Moore play Sarah Monroe, and Jay Tavare play Natanii/Ta-gaid Hutchinson.
Ms Moore has a long career playing tough, intelligent woman and could definitely carry Sarah Monroe's secrets onto the screen.

Mr Tavare played Prairie Fire in 'Into the West' and would do a great job as a man who has suffered massive heartache, but is obediently waiting on God's will.   

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

In 19th century Arizona Territory, an exiled Navajo widower and the battered wife of a Boston millionaire must forge a path away from their broken lives and toward each other, or lose their last chance and love and healing.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Oh, I hope I can find an agent willing to take on the story!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Ummmm, I’d say six months, but the revisions have been another 6 months. Now I’m looking at a re-write, so…150 years?

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Along with the titles that you suggested in your blog, Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz and Under a Desert Sky by DiAnn Mills, I’d add Walks Alone by Sandi Rog. But as for comparison, there don’t seem to be many ‘battered wealthy white woman falls for Native American widower who was raised by British pioneers in remote Northern Arizona’ books out there.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

One of those ‘what ‘if’ moments- I guess the story just kind of popped into my brain. What if some of the clans who refused to surrender, and there were quite a few who escaped the Army, and found safety far from home, only to be met by a worse fate? What if a young Navajo man had nothing and no one, but was given sanctuary by a Christian family who refused to be constrained by his color or the fact that he was the enemy.
Also, spending time at the location of the prison camp near Fort Sumner, New Mexico literally made my heart break. Seeing the place, standing where General Sherman and the Navajo leaders signed the treaty in 1868 was an astounding honor. Looking out over the land surrounding Bosque Redondo, or Hweeldi, as the Navajo call it, was overwhelming.
This past summer I met a man who led a survivor of Bosque Redondo to the Lord. It was like touching history when we held hands and prayed.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Our heroine, Sarah, has been badly treated by her husband and then while in an asylum, therefore has NO trust in men. Tag promised his late wife that he will stay alive and wait for “the broken one”, someone who would need him. When he meets Sarah, who is the sister-in-law of his adopted brother, Tag knows right away that Sarah is ‘the broken one’. They both have to deal with long dormant feelings that neither of them has a clue how to process. Which is always fun to read!

Thanks Kiersti for the spot on the blog hop!!


Next on TFTR???

Some SUPER cool new stuff and maybe even a VLOG! 


  1. Intrigued by how the romance will end up coming together. I think Mr. tall dark and handsome, will sweep that Sarah right off her feet. ;)

  2. Hi Joanne!
    He just might do that...but not until they sit calmly and politely discuss their differences. Right? Muahahahaha!!

  3. I love this, Jennifer! So excited and blessed to have connected with you. :)

  4. Thanks Kiertsi! I'd say the feeling is mutual!

  5. Great interview! Kiersti, wonderful questions. Jennifer, I loved your answers (you are so ready for agent interviews). The one-sentence synopsis was excellent. Hopefully the edits will only take 75 years :). Seriously, though, you know that your polishing and perseverance will pay off in the end. Please be sure to check out the agent who's name I sent you on Twitter. She looks like a possibility for your book, except that she is not CBA. You know you're in my prayers as you continue on this journey.

    1. Thanks, Christine! Actually, the questions weren't mine--whoever began the blog hop and invited me to join in came up with them. I agree, they're good ones! :)

  6. Hey ! You made it through the gauntlet!!
    Yes, I will check her out, thank you so much!!

  7. Jennifer, this story sounds so intriguing! I've picked up on bits and pieces of it as you've shared in the past, but I've been waiting to hear more about it. I LOVE the actor choices for your characters - especially Jay Tavare. Swoon! Can't wait to see where your journey takes you. :)

    1. Hi Gabe! I'm hoping the story gets where it needs to go soon!
      I made those actor choices with deep thought as to the technical capabilities of each person. And if you believe that....

  8. Love this snapshot of TSK! Great questions and answers, and I love the actors you picked for your characters! Oh, and I still love, love your logline. Definately an attention-getter. ;-)

    1. Thanks Gwen! I had a really smart friend help me with the logline, I give her most of the credit!

  9. Great interview!

    What's a VLOG? Sounds a bit like a Viking hors d'ourvres.

  10. Yes, it is. It's a mixture of vinegar, licorice, olives and gum.

    And thanks.

  11. Andrew, I vlog, and I'm a Viking, so there you go. Grin. Video blogging, actually. Fun to do, and Jennifer's good at it!

    And Jay Tavarre. Great picture there. That's all I have to say on that subject.

  12. Heather, well played!! That could be your reality show name "The Vlogging Viking". Or...not.
    Hey, I only picked that guy because he resembled the character. That's all *I* have to say on that subject.

  13. Hi! I loved reading your answers to the tour questions! Sounds like the kind of book I will enjoy reading! I found your blog through Carole Lehr Johnson, Morgan Tarpley, and Kiersti Plog. Carole invited me to take part, and I began tracing back to "meet" several writers I had never met. I'm looking forward to reading your book when it comes out!

    1. Hello!! Welcome to TFTR!! I'm glad to 'meet' you too!!

  14. Wonderful insight into your book, Jennifer! Wow - sounds like you've poured passion and heart into it which is always the sign of a blessed book. Love your pics, etc. I wish you the very best in your writing and all else you do. You are one busy woman! Love that you have a heart for missions, too. My brother has been on the field for 25 years.
    In Him,

    1. Hi Laura! Thank you so much for the visit!
      Yes, I guess I do pour alot into the book. I can't do it any other way.