Welcome to Tuesday Tea and our chat with author Myra Johnson about her newest release, A Rose So Fair. This third book in the Flowers of Eden series by Myra Johnson is an inspirational romance set during the Great Depression. The reader experiences the difficulties encountered as people struggled with economic challenges. If you’d like to enter the giveaway for a Kindle ebook, please make a comment and complete the Rafflecopter entry form at the end of this post.
For me, the story recalled my grandmother’s snippets of her life during that time….the failing of my grandparents’ hardware store, food given to hobos passing by, my grandfather scrambling for odd jobs, and the “making do” with simple things as was necessary. I admired Rose Linwood, a heroine so typical of the strong women who carried on during those trying situations. Caleb Wieland is a great hero, persistent and loving. The story is filled with strong faith and courageous characters…as was required for life during that period of history.
Chatting with author Myra Johnson:
Myra kindly answered my questions about the inspiration for her book, her writing experiences, and one of the ways God has touched her life. Thank you so much, Myra, for joining us to talk about your newest inspiration romance novel!
SHERIDA: How did you get the glimmer of the idea for A Rose So Fair?
MYRA: The idea first began to form a few years ago as I was finishing up my Till We Meet Again series. The editor I had been working with expressed interest in a Depression-era series, so I started brainstorming. Already familiar with the Arkansas setting, I began there. While perusing research materials, I soon found myself homing in on the hardships farmers endured during the Depression. I began imagining three sisters and what their individual personalities would be, and so the Linwood sisters, the “Flowers of Eden,” began to take shape in my mind. Rose, the youngest, developed her own kind of spunk and determination, and she was certainly both challenging and enjoyable to write about.
SHERIDA: What do you do to keep the sparkle while you are writing?
MYRA: I’ve developed a fairly consistent writing routine. Weekday mornings are set aside for the “busy work” of writing—social media, marketing, recordkeeping, blogging, etc. So after lunch, my mind is freed from obsessing over those kinds of tasks, and I can concentrate on the book. I’ll usually reread the last scene or two from the previous writing session and do minor editing. This gets me back into the flow of the story and helps to sparks ideas for what will happen next. I work in Scrivener, which allows me to pin character photos to a sidebar, and glancing at the images from time to time helps me stay grounded in the characters’ mind and voice.
SHERIDA: Beyond family, friends and your writing career, what jewel of a moment has God placed in your path during your life’s journey that you would share with us?
MYRA: When I think about “jewel” moments, it’s hard to come up with just one, and most of them would include animals and nature. I remember one in particular when my husband and I were enjoying lunch and quiet conversation in our screen porch a few summers ago. Our home is surrounded by trees, and suddenly a barred owl flew in and landed on a branch right outside the porch, not even ten feet away. He sat there staring at us and our two dogs for a long time, almost as if he were trying to decide if Gracie, our 90-pound Lab mix, would be too big to carry off as “lunch.” Since then, we’ve heard many owls hooting in the distance but have never enjoyed another up-close-and-personal encounter like that one. It was very special.
ABOUT A ROSE SO FAIR
Plucky Rose Linwood grew up on her grandfather’s Arkansas tenant farm, a life her two older sisters never cared much for. Working alongside her grandpa, though, Rose learned to love the land as much as he did. Now her sisters have married and moved on, Grandpa has gone to his eternal reward, and Rose is determined to make a go of the farm on her own. But crops have been slow to recover since the drought of 1930-31, and the whole country struggles in the grip of the Great Depression. Drifters looking for work or handouts roam the countryside, some of them up to no good, so Rose keeps her trusty Winchester rifle at the ready. Caleb Wieland, Rose’s best friend, isn’t the farmer his late father was, and he’s about to lose his cotton crop to boll weevils. He’d let the farm go and search for work he’s more suited to, except he can’t desert his widowed mother. Besides, he’s been quietly falling in love with Rose since they were in grammar school, and the thought of leaving her behind is too much to bear. He’d give anything to win her heart, but Rose’s stubborn independence is proving as thorny as the flower for which she’s named.
A Rose So Fair by Myra Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A Rose So Fair is a gripping and heart-touching story!
This book truly brings to life the difficult days of the Great Depression, where daunting problems arose to test people’s fortitude, but also helped reveal the strength of faith and the ability to overcome trials with the help of others.
I admired Rose Linwood with her fierce loyalty to her grandfather’s farm and the dream she shared with him. She singlehandedly struggles to raise a cotton crop in order to satisfy the requirements of the leased property. Caleb Weiland is a great protective and persistent hero. He is torn between his financial responsibilities and his desire to have his love accepted by Rose. Both of them go through extremely difficult situations. I wasn’t sure how their differences and problems could be resolved since they were both such strong people, but after many emotional hills and valleys, the end is beautiful…sweet and satisfying.
I also enjoyed the other members of the family, including the two older sisters whose earlier stories evolve in this third book. Both drifter Quimby and the stray dog, Delano, add to the impact of the book. All the folks of Eden, Arkansas, felt so real.
The romantic tension is sweet, the thread of faith is comforting, and the message is thoughtful. With friends and family, along with trust in God, we are stronger together. I deeply enjoyed this book with its portrayal of life in the 1930’s with love, faith, and strength overcoming difficulties. I highly recommend A Rose So Fair.
“No matter how far away they send me, you’ll always have my heart.”
“God doesn’t want or expect us to carry our burdens alone.”
She said it reminded her nobody’s perfect, and that loving someone takes a whole heap of forgiveness.
*I was given a copy of this book with no requirement to write a positive review. I’m honored to offer my honest opinion of this book.
In the story, Rose has tea and pound cake served by Mrs.O’Neill. As I mentioned earlier, I heard about the Depression from my grandmother who had a recipe for a sour cream version of pound cake. I’m sharing this with you today. Please help yourself to a couple of slices while I pour you a cup of tea.
Sour Cream Pound Cake
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
Blend sugar, sour cream, and eggs together. Add flour and baking soda and mix. Divide batter into two greased mini-loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12 (KJV)
We are grateful for the abilities You have given authors like Myra Johnson. They bless us with their talent, giving us inspiration and hope as we read their words. Please continue to bless Myra Johnson as she writes to reach readers with Your message that strength comes from trusting You and working to uplift others.
We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Visit Myra at Myra Johnson’s website and consider signing up for her newsletter. In addition, writers will find craft information and fellowship at the Seekerville website where Myra is one of the amazing Seekers, blessing writers with great encouragement. Visit SEEKERVILLE!
Thank you for joining us for Tuesday Tea. May your life be filled with the treasured blessing of strength through working together with others.
If you’d like to be entered in the giveaway for a Kindle ebook of A Rose So Fair, please make a comment and complete the Rafflecopter entry form. Don’t be concerned if you don’t see your comment immediately. I moderate comments and with my busy schedule, it may take awhile for your comment to appear. Check back next week to see if you are the winner. Thank you!
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