Hi, reader friends! Join me in welcoming our author friend Joanne Bischof sharing about titling a novel in celebration of her new release, Daughters of Northern Shores, with a Prism Book Tours giveaway!
about the author
Joanne Bischof is an ACFW Carol Award and ECPA Christy Award-winning author.
She writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the heartstrings. She was honored to receive the San Diego Christian Writers Guild Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon conference.
Joanne’s 2016 novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from RT Book Reviews, among other critical acclaim. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children.
titling a novel
Whenever anyone mentions this book, I immediately reflect on how it was my most challenging novels to date. From the difficulties in penning the story, to trying to get a few of the characters to behave (I won’t mention any names [HAAKON!]) to coming up with just the right title – every phase was quite an adventure!
For a long time, this story had a working title that I was fond of, but when it came to dialoguing through it all with my publishing team, they tossed out some reasons why we should consider a new direction. For this gal whose not too keen on change, that ship was slow in turning around, but I am so thankful that the encouraged it.
As one of the early steps, my editor and her team held a meeting where they compiled a list of title ideas then sent that my way. There were so many great ones in the mix! I loved the keywords they came up with and the different combinations that all hearkened back to the family orchard, or to the rough and beautiful seas, and even the sailing of Haakon’s adventures, and the comradery of the brotherhood.
Because of this, I have often wished this book could have TEN titles—all being tucked along the story for the various points of the journey. There were so many favorites that my publishing team and I came up with together! Yet even so, as we held this long list in hand, both my editor and I felt like we needed to keep searching. Something was missing . . .
With the title of book one being Sons of Blackbird Mountain, I’d circled back to the theme of “Daughters & Sons” a number of times, but couldn’t find the right title yet. I wanted something that encompassed the beautiful and vast Norwegian landscape as well as the courage and heart of the story. Then one day the phrase Daughters of Northern Shores came to mind. Did it fit? Was it right? I dashed a quick note to my editor at Thomas Nelson and she wrote back immediately with a fresh energy that was contagious. The novel was still in the writing stage, so as we contemplated this title, and eventually chose it as the one, I was able to tune the story in a slightly different note than the original working title had sent it. This ended up being quite a gift as it allowed the story to take on just the right shape, and incorporate a few new themes that had been missing prior. Ones that now feel like sweet treasures tucked along the way. I am so thankful!
about the book
From Christy Award–winning author Joanne Bischof comes Daughters of Northern Shores: the highly anticipated sequel to her moving novel Sons of Blackbird Mountain.
“The Norgaard brothers and their families will steal your heart.” —Catherine West, author of Where Hope Begins
Daughters of Northern Shores (Blackbird Mountain #2) By Joanne Bischof
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
March 12th 2019 by Thomas Nelson
Heartache and regret, boldness and sacrifice. What will restoration cost the beloved Norgaard family?
Aven Norgaard understands courage. Orphaned within an Irish workhouse, then widowed at just nineteen, she voyaged to America where she was wooed and wed by Thor Norgaard, a Deaf man in rural Appalachia. That the Lord saw her along the winding journey and that Aven now carries Thor’s child are blessings beyond measure. Yet while Thor holds her heart, it is his younger brother and rival who haunts her memories. Haakon—whose selfish choices shattered her trust in him.
Having fled the farm after trying to take Aven as his own, Haakon sails on the North Atlantic ice trade where his soul is plagued with regrets that distance cannot heal. Not even the beautiful Norwegian woman he’s pursued can ease the torment. When the winds bear him home after four years away, Haakon finds the family on the brink of tragedy. A decades-old feud with the neighboring farm has wrenched them into the fiercest confrontation on Blackbird Mountain since the Civil War. Haakon’s cunning and strength hold the power to seal many fates, including Thor’s which is already at stake through a grave illness brought to him as the first prick of warfare.
Now Haakon faces the hardest choice of his life. One that shapes a battlefield where pride must be broken enough to be restored, and where a prodigal son may finally know the healing peace of surrender and the boundless gift of forgiveness. And when it comes to the woman he left behind in Norway, he just might discover that while his heart belongs to a daughter of the north, she’s been awaiting him on shores more distant than the land he’s fighting for.
Regardless of the order experienced, there is beauty in the cycle of loss, hope, renewal, forgiveness, restoration, love, and all the many unnamed emotions we experience in life. Story after story, Bischof masterfully captures the work of the Maker’s hand in the essence of life’s fullness, depth, and frailty.
No doubt about it, this Norgaard family has my heart! Family dynamics always fascinate me but brothers are extra intriguing (I grew up with only sisters)… especially these stalwart Norwegian brothers! While Jorgan amply fills the role of level-headed first-born, Thor and Haakon might as well be called thunder and lightning due to their deeply passionate and, at one time or another, achingly sorrowful dispositions.
I love the way the inspiring ladies of the family band together as a hard-working and nurturing task force of sisters, aunts, and mothers (I’m tempted to join them). The author authentically portrays this family that extends beyond blood, multiple families living and working together on the same land and even under the same roof, and all the ups and downs that exist in that culture.
My words of praise for this fabulous story are a blowing mist compared to the powerful ocean waves of story these pages wash over me. The Blackbird Mountain series is saturated with culture, knowledge, and awe-inspiring landscapes but it’s the heart of the stories that make these books unforgettable and precious. I cannot recommend these books highly enough.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
From the bestselling award-winning author of The Lady and the Lionheart
“Beloved author Joanne Bischof doesn’t disappoint with her latest beautifully written, heartrending tale . . . a quick favorite for historical romance readers.” —Elizabeth Byler Younts, author of The Solace of Water
“Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a quiet gem of a historical romance. Refreshingly real and honest in its depiction of flawed but lovable individuals, it introduces characters readers will want to meet again.” – CBA Market
“. . . the novel provides an interesting glimpse of the time period and some complex social issues among neighbors in an area still recovering from the Civil War.” – Historical Novels Review
“VERDICT Christy- and Carol Award-winning author Bischof (The Lady and the Lionheart) creates endearing characters and a heartwarming story line in this unforgettable novel about the power of family, love, and the true meaning of home. Fans of Kristy Cambron, Julie Klassen, and Susan Meissner will love this one.” – Library Journal
Sons of Blackbird Mountain (Blackbird Mountain #1) by Joanne Bischof
A Tale of Family, Brotherhood, and the Healing Power of Love
After the tragic death of her husband, Aven Norgaard is beckoned to give up her life in Norway to become a housekeeper in the rugged hills of Nineteenth-Century Appalachia. Upon arrival, she finds herself in the home of her late husband’s cousins—three brothers who make a living by brewing hard cider on their three-hundred acre farm. Yet even as a stranger in a foreign land, Aven has hope to build a new life in this tight-knit family.
But her unassuming beauty disrupts the bond between the brothers. The youngest two both desire her hand, and Aven is caught in the middle, unsure where—and whether—to offer her affection. While Haakon is bold and passionate, it is Thor who casts the greatest spell upon her. Though Deaf, mute, and dependent on hard drink to cope with his silent pain, Thor possesses a sobering strength.
As autumn ushers in the apple harvest, the rift between Thor and Haakon deepens and Aven faces a choice that risks hearts. Will two brothers’ longing for her quiet spirit tear apart a family? Can she find a tender belonging in this remote, rugged, and unfamiliar world?
A haunting tale of struggle and redemption, Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a portrait of grace in a world where the broken may find new life through the healing mercy of love.
One winner will receive a print copy of Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof and a Thomas Nelson/Zondervan custom tote bag
(book and bag shown are examples, not actual prize)
US only | Ends March 20, 2019
I could read about this family for years and generations!
Name a fictional family near and dear to your heart, reader friends!