Welcome to Stitches Thru Time, Michelle. For those of us who don't have the privilege of knowing you, tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a New York Times best-selling author of five historical novellas and one outlier Navy SEAL novel. A native of Los Angeles, I spent 20 years following my naval officer husband around the world while raising our four children. I love history, books, music and travel. I’ve taught women’s Bible studies for 30 years and I currently live in Northern California.
Sounds like you've been lots of places. I'm sure that's fodder for lots of stories. Speaking of stories...
Congratulations on your newest release! What is The 12 Brides of Summer about?The 12 Brides of Summer is a collection of a dozen historical and inspirational novellas. The twelve stories, written by a splendid group of well-known inspirational authors, provide sequels to the best-selling The 12 Brides of Christmas stories which released in book form last Christmas.
I’ve written The Sunbonnet Bride, the story of a young seamstress living in 1874 Nebraska whose father’s farm is devastated by a tornado. Sally Martin has to decide which man's courtship to accept: a banker who wants to loan money to ruined farmers or a teamster who uses his physical skills to help rebuild homesteads without strings attached.
That's so cool that these are sequels to another novella collection. Where did you get the inspiration for your story in the collection?The Sunbonnet Bride is a sequel to The Yuletide Bride and included several key characters from that story. I liked how the two men from the earlier story represented two different types of well- meaning heroes who presented Sally with a choice as to which type of helper was a better match for her dreams.
Malcolm is a bumbling teamster with a heart of gold who overcame a personal difficulty in the previous story. His ability to master math gave him the confidence to be true to his character despite the polished charm of his “rival,” the banker Josiah.
Josiah, for his part, used his business skills to discover a market for the charming sunbonnets Sally sewed to raise money for those who lost their homes.
Both men had things to teach Sally, who desired to own her own shop someday. It was difficult for her not to judge one man’s heart as better than the other’s. They both wanted to solve the problem using their own God-given skills.
I like the concept God equips us all in different ways and we need each other to accomplish His plans.
What a wonderful and powerful point, Michelle. So true. And that leads me to my next question...
What do you hope folks will take away from your story?The recognition we all have talents that differ but are equally valid. I also hoped to provide insight into running a small business and the validity of making a profit even while donating your time and expertise. That’s a lot to pack into a simple story of what happens when a tornado touches down outside a small 1874 Nebraska town!
I'm sure it is. :) Do you have a favorite scene in the book? If so, can you tell us a bit about it?The last scene in the story takes place at a pie auction reminiscent of the musical Oklahoma, though far more light hearted. Malcolm’s sister is still being teased about the bagpipes which saved the day in The Yuletide Bride; Malcolm and Josiah misunderstand just who made what pie, and then the pie mysteriously ends up in far different hands and places than anyone ever expected.
Not to mention the absurdity of Josiah purchasing sunbonnets!
It’s also fun for me, personally, because I populated the townspeople with the names of friends from church—and of course, they all love the book as a result.
LOL! I'm sure they find that a thrilling treat. :)
What do you plan to work on next?I’ve just signed a contract with Baker Books to write a biography called Mrs. Oswald Chambers, which will come out in fall 2017, in conjunction with the 100 th anniversary of Oswald Chambers’ death and the 90 th anniversary of the publication of My Utmost for His Highest.
Biddy Chambers compiled, edited and produced all the books in the Oswald Chambers canon after his death. I’m very excited about this project and have had a lot of amazing things happen as I’ve researched Biddy’s life.
Oh Wow! That is so cool. I'm sure our folks will want to keep tabs on that coming book too. Where can readers connect with you? Where can readers buy your book(s)?You can find me at my website, www.michelleule.com, where I write blog posts twice a week on “Finding God’s fingerprints in everyday life,” or reflect on history, research, books, God and anything else which strikes my fancy.
The 12 Brides of Summer is available on Amazon and in all the usual bookstores.
Last but not least, since we're talking summer, what is your favorite way to stay cool during (or enjoy) the hot summer months?Ever since childhood, summer has meant spending hours reading! I love to sit by a pool or under a tree caught up in a terrific book that transports me somewhere far away. I also like to travel—anytime, really—but the summer provides terrific opportunities to see new places and visit old friends.
And of course I like to eat ice cream and popsicles with my family!