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Hi, reader friends! I had the pleasure of meeting today’s featured author over a year and a half ago. I’ve enjoyed her novellas but have completely failed to get my hands on her novels thus far. #readergoals Please join me in welcoming her to the blog today!
about the author
Gabrielle Meyer lives on the banks of the Mississippi River in central Minnesota with her husband, four children, two dogs, a cat, and various other animals her children find along the way.
While working at the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people, places, and events.
You can learn more by visiting her website, connecting with her on Facebook, or signing up for her newsletter on her website.
Favorite way to celebrate
Gabrielle: I love entertaining—a lot. We host guests in our home at least once, if not twice a week. We host small gatherings for close friends around the campfire, big gatherings for extended family, dinner parties, televised sporting events, holidays, and more.
But my favorite gathering of the year is our annual Father’s Day Weekend Campout. We live on the banks of the Mississippi River with woods to our north, so we invite friends and family to campout in our backyard where we can swim, sit around a campfire, and play games with the kids.
That weekend is also the date of our annual festival in town and there is a magnificent fireworks display over the river on Saturday evening that we can see from our backyard. On Sunday morning, I make a big pancake breakfast and then we take several boats out to a sandbar on the river and have a cookout while we celebrate all the dads. I look forward to it every year.
Beth: That sounds like a grand time! I seriously want to crash your campout ????
Favorite childhood books
Gabrielle: My favorite childhood books of all time are the Betsy-Tacy Books by Maud Hart Lovelace. The stories are inspired by the author’s life growing up in a beautiful town on the Minnesota River in Mankato, Minnesota at the beginning of the twentieth century.
We follow Betsy Ray from her fifth birthday through elementary school, high school, and beyond to the Great World, college, and her marriage. Maud’s books impacted me as an author, for sure, but even more, they impacted me as a young woman as I navigated my own life.
When I reread the series to my daughters, I was shocked at how much I related to them as an adult, as well. I highly recommend this series to everyone, regardless of age.
Beth: I have NOT read these books! I’m adding them to the tbr right now!
Favorite time period
Gabrielle: My favorite time period is the beginning of the twentieth century (maybe that’s why I loved the Betsy-Tacy books so much), from about 1900-1915. It’s my favorite because it was a time of rapid industrial growth, inventions, medical breakthroughs, and intriguing people. I also love the beautiful architecture, clothing, and hairstyles of this time period.
An emerging middle class could enjoy leisure activities, while electricity, automobiles, and health reforms made life easier. Airplanes captured the attention of the world and mass production allowed almost everyone the opportunity to afford chocolate. ???? It seemed nothing was impossible for this generation.
It came right before the horrors of WWI, the Spanish Flu Pandemic, and the national troubles brought on by Prohibition, and it was far enough removed from the difficulties of the Civil War. If I had to choose a time period to live in, it would be this one.
Beth: I am LOVING your thorough answers! Equal opportunity chocolate is definitely a plus! Thank you, Mr. Hershey!!! ❤
Gabrielle: The Refiner’s Fire series by Lynn Austin is my favorite (I just started rereading this series again!). The books, Candle in the Darkness, Fire by Night, and A Light to My Path, are set during the tumultuous years of the Civil War.
Each book is written about the same time period but from four different female perspectives. The first is from the perspective of a young woman who grew up in the south with a slave-owning father. The second is from a young woman who grew up in the north and volunteers to be a nurse. The third is from the perspective of a young woman from the north who disguises herself as a man to fight in the war. And the fourth is from the perspective of a slave from the south.
I highly recommend this series. I learned more about the Civil War from these books than from any other textbook or book of fiction that I’ve ever read.
Beth: I’ve only read the first of this series but the others are on my must-read list!
Favorite bookish memory
Gabrielle: I struggled with spelling as a child. In third grade, my teacher told me I should read everything I could get my hands on, so I went into the school library and found my first Baby-Sitter’s Club Book by Ann M. Martin. From that day, until this, I have been an avid reader (and my spelling improved!).
Beth: Spelling was not my favorite subject. Probably the only K-12 report card “C” I ever received! ????
Tell us about your latest release
Gabrielle: The Backcountry Brides Collection is my sixth novella collection and my current favorite. I loved setting my story in 1792 in what would eventually become the state of Minnesota. What most people don’t realize is that Minnesota (especially around Lake Superior and along the Mississippi River) was inhabited by Europeans as early as the mid-1600’s. The fur trade dominated the region for over two hundred years, which also brought in missionaries from many different denominations.
The heroine in my story has an Indian mother and a Scottish father, which was very common in that era. The Northwest Company encouraged their traders to “intermarry” with the Native Americans, because they believed it would increase alliances with the tribes. Unfortunately, the marriages were not legal and many of the men abandoned their wives and children when they retired from the fur trade. Some were even legally married to women back home.
Thankfully, not all men followed this path, but decided to stay in the interior with their Indian wives and children. Some even took their wives and children to live in Montreal, sent their children to colleges back east, and on even rarer occasions, brought them back to Europe. My story, Love’s Undoing, reflects this aspect of the fur trade.
Beth: I love little-known facts like this! Historical fiction is the genre of my heart! ????
Love on Colonial America’s Frontier
Travel into Colonial America where nine women seek love, but they each know a future husband requires the necessary skills to survive in the backcountry. Living in areas exposed to nature’s ferocity, prone to Indian attack, and cut off from regular supplies, can hearts overcome the dangers to find lasting love?
“Love’s Undoing” by Gabrielle Meyer
1792 – Fur Post on the Upper Mississippi River (Minnesota)
When Englishman Henry Kingsley meets Abi McCrea, the daughter of a Scottish fur trader and Indian mother, will their worlds keep them apart, or have they finally found somewhere they truly belong?
Beth: My copy just arrived yesterday! I’m looking forward to diving in!
Tell us about your next release
Gabrielle: My next release, The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection, and my story The Christmas Promise, is set in England in 1899. This was a fun story to create because it was my first story set outside the United States. I enjoyed researching this time period, especially around the holiday seasons. The Victorians made Christmas what it is today and it was delightful to add in details to make the season come alive.
My story is set in an English manor where the heroine is playing host to her first Christmas house party since her mother’s death. The hero is an American who has arrived to fulfill a promise made by their mothers eleven years before. The only trouble is—neither the hero or heroine want to honor the promise, and the heroine is in over her head with the house party. I love the characters in this story! Their disdain for each other quickly turns to friendship, which ultimately turns to love—my favorite kind of love story.
Beth: Oh, that cover! It’s so vibrant and festive! Your story sounds delightful, Gabrielle! Thanks so much for visiting with us today!
Gabrielle has generously provided a paperback copy of The Backcountry Brides collection for one Faithfully Bookish reader friend!
paperback US only | ends May 10
complete giveaway rules
Gabrielle shared a treasure trove worth of historical tidbits with us!
Did you learn something new, reader friends? Have a favorite fact?