Hi, reader friends! I’m delighted to introduce y’all to debut author Evelyn M. Hill of historical romance His Forgotten Fiancée today and she even brought along a giveaway!
about the author
According to family tradition, Evelyn M. Hill is descended from a long line of Texas horse thieves. (But when your family is not only Texan, but Irish, tall tales come with the territory.) This might explain why she devoted much of her childhood to writing stories about horses. Once she grew up, the stories naturally featured a tall, handsome cowboy as well.
She lives at the end of the Oregon Trail, where she gets to do all her historical research in person.
Evelyn: That changes. There are so many wonderful books out there! At their moment, my favorite book would be The Express Rider’s Lady by Stacy Henrie. Writing historical romances has given me a new-found respect for an author who can slip their research into the story in such a way that makes the reader feel that they’re there and not just being given a lecture.
Plus, Henrie has a lovely writing style, deceptively plain and clear. That’s hard to do–at least I find it difficult. She makes it look easy!
Beth: I’ve been wanting to pick up one of Stacy’s books! Might just start with that one!
Favorite childhood book
Evelyn: Wait, just one? The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge. I just re-read it and found it held up pretty well. As a child, I loved the idea of having a bedroom in a tower room, with a door so small only the heroine could enter. (I might have been influenced by the fact that I have five older brothers.) And of course, the heroine is given her own horse, which was my childhood dream.
Beth: I haven’t read that one but it sounds like something my kids would love!
Favorite secondary character
Evelyn: In His Forgotten Fiancée, I have to confess that my favorite secondary character was the kitten, Elijah. I love his cheerful self-confidence, his absolute trust that his humans would always take care of him. And I loved the idea of the hero, Matthew, trying to train the kitten to hunt mice simply because the heroine, Liza, has a horror of mice. The poor man isn’t good at talking about emotions. It’s easier for him to give her what she needs than it is to tell her how he feels.
Beth: Awww, kitty!
Favorite winter activity
Evelyn: When it’s cold and raining, I tend to hibernate. I like sitting by the fire with a good book and a mug of tea. Or better still, going to the coast. There’s a place where I can watch the waves crashing on the beach… while sipping tea sitting next to a good fire and surrounded by books. It’s a hotel that was designed for readers and writers. It doesn’t have TV or radio or Internet. But it does have a library on the top floor, overlooking the beach, and each bedroom is named after a writer and decorated in the style of their books. For example, the Agatha Christie room is decorated in the English Country House style and has shelves of her books.
Beth: That place sounds like a dream!
Favorite place to write
Evelyn: When I first started writing seriously, I had a horrible commute that took an hour and a half each way through an area that didn’t have good cell phone coverage. I found it a great way to get writing done the old-fashioned way, using just a fountain pen and a legal pad. By now, I’ve been conditioned to write when on a train or a plane. When I’m at home, I often go down to my local Starbucks to write. Getting out of the house helps!
Beth: Good plan! There’s ALWAYS something that needs done at home!
Tell us about your latest release
Evelyn: My debut book, His Forgotten Fiancée was released on January 1st. Is that a great way to start out the New Year or what?
When I had the idea for His Forgotten Fiancée, I started with a man waking up in a room. He doesn’t know where he is, or even what his name is. A woman comes into the room and tells him that they’re engaged. What would he do? How would you react, if that happened to you? Your memories are a fundamental part of who you are. It was great fun watching Matthew and Liza fall in love all over again.
Beth: Congratulations! 2018 is an exciting year for you already!
Liza Fitzpatrick is stunned when her fiancé finally arrives in Oregon City — with amnesia. Matthew Dean refuses to honor a marriage proposal he doesn’t recall making, but Liza needs his help now to bring in the harvest, and maybe she can help him remember…
Matthew is attracted to the spirited Liza, and as she tries to help him regain his old memories, the new ones they’re creating together start to make him feel whole. Even as he falls for her again, though, someone’s determined to keep them apart. Will his memory return in time to save their future?
Beth: I love the amnesia angle!
Tell us about your next release
Evelyn: Sadly, Harlequin has decided to stop publishing the Love Inspired Historical line. So I decided to take the story I was going to send them and… gulp… publish it myself. I love the story too much to not try to share it. It’s called The English Lieutenant’s Lady and deals with a time when the British sent spies into the Oregon Territory. (Based on actual events!)
Beth: You go, author friend! I think we are all sad to see the Love Inspired Historical discontinued.
Why did you choose this setting?
Evelyn: I set the story in the Oregon Territory in 1851. I’ve read a lot of stories that describe the experiences of the pioneers on the Oregon Trail, but there aren’t very many that deal with what happened once these people arrived in Oregon.
Beth: I love that!
What kind of research did you do?
Evelyn: Oh, I had a lot of fun researching this! I try using a scythe to cut my lawn, instead of that boring old lawn mower. Fortunately, I survived. I also got to drive around my neighborhood, trying to pick just the right location for Liza’s cabin. The Newell Pioneer Village, in Champoeg, Oregon, was a great resource with wonderfully patient docents who were always ready to answer my questions.
Beth: We have a pioneer village within a few hours drive and it’s a family favorite getaway!
Evelyn M. Hill has generously offered to send one Faithfully Bookish reader friend a paperback copy of His Forgotten Fiancée!
paperback US & Canada only
complete giveaway rules
Do YOU share any of Evelyn’s favorites, reader friends?