Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Featuring Author S. Dionne Moore and Her New Release!

Today it is my pleasure to feature my good friend Sandra Moore who writes under the name S. Dionne Moore. Sandra is also one of my critique partners, and I can attest to her ability to spin a good story.  

Her latest release, Promise Brides, is a compilation of three novels, and is published by Barbour Publishing.

Anyone who has written historical fiction knows the countless hours of research that is required for any story. Sandra is going to discuss some of the things she learned as she researched for her novels.


One of the most interesting elements of my research for Promise of Time, one of three historical romances in newly released Promise Brides, was discovering that Abraham Lincoln was not the featured speaker at the Gettysburg National Cemetery dedication ceremony. Edward Everett was so honored, and he was scheduled to speak before the president on that cloudy day in November of 1863. Everett was a man noted for quality speeches and deliveries, his reputation for excellence in speech-making already established, as well as his tendency toward being long-winded. President Lincoln must have known this, for he planned his speech to be short, coming in at about two minutes compared to Everett’s two hours!

Even with two hours of talk time, Abraham Lincoln’s speech became the most well-remembered of the two, probably in great part because of its brevity.

The only known photo of Lincoln at Gettsyburg, the president is shown in the circle. His bodyguard is on his right. 

In my past blogs for my books, I’ve talked at great lengths about the historical facts used to make stories come to life. But what about my characters? Who are they and how do I develop them? Evolve might be a better word. My characters generally develop traits based on what will be happening in the plot and what hurdles they will have to jump in order to reach a satisfying ending.

In Promise Brides, specifically for Promise of Time, the idea of two people falling in love across the lines that divided our nation in 1863 fascinated me. Ellie is a Northerner, Theo a Southerner, but Theo is first and foremost a man. A young man thrust into the atrocities of war because of the things he saw his family and friends suffer at the hands of the Yankees. He had watched the North wreak havoc on everything in the South and he wanted to fight to protect what was left.

From this I delved deeper into who I wanted this man to be. How did the realities of war affect him? Theo would, like many, be unprepared for the stark realization that it had become his job to shoot at a men just like himself, but labeled his “enemy”.
But what if he months of war, of death and destruction became too much and he couldn’t take it anymore? What if, on the eve of watching yet another friend die, he also saw a man who was his “enemy,” but also a relative, murdered. . . ?

You can see the mire of questions I used to develop Theo into the character he became for Promise of Time. I wanted Ellie to be understanding of his mental anguish, thus she had experience working with the wounded in the aftermath at Gettysburg. But in spite of her compassion, wouldn’t the idea of falling for a Rebel be repugnant to her. . .or could she see what others could not. That Theo was a man first, then a soldier.

Promise of Time is available now on line at Christianbook.com, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble as well as at your favorite retailer.

Sandra Moore writes as S. Dionne Moore, and was named Favorite New Author in the 2011 18th Annual Heartsong Awards. A compilation of three historical romances released in November 2011, titled, Promise Brides. Stories include:  Promise of Tomorrow, a 2011 Carol Award Finalist, is set in Johnstown, PA, Promise of Yesterday, is set in Mercersburg/Greencastle, PA, and Promise of Time, in Gettysburg, PA.

Winter of 2012 watch for A Shepherd's Song, the first in her Wyoming Historical Romance series, followed by The Cattle Baron's Daughter (summer 2012) and Valley of the Heart (winter 2012).

Sandra resides in the rolling hills of Cumberland Valley, PA--a transplanted city girl and glad of it! She enjoys ferreting out little-known historical details and crafting a story around them. To learn more about Sandra and her work, visit her athttp://www.sdionnemoore.com/.

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