Hi, Linda! Thank you so much for having me on your blog! I am so excited to share my brand new novella with your readers. It is part of the Lessons on Love schoolteacher historical romance collection by Barbour which just released this week Oct 1.
I had a lot of fun researching for my novella “Something Old, Something New” to recreate an early 19th century New York village along the Hudson River within a day’s travel to New York City. Westchester County is a large and wealthy county which earned that distinction early in its history. By 1840 the Erie Canal had been operational for several years, only increasing commerce up the Hudson to the waterway that would link east to west. The land was rich in timber and natural resources. Its natural sylvan beauty inspired an art movement—the Hudson River School of Art, and the American literary classics of novelist Washington Irving.
Into this setting, I dropped a culture of Old Dutch Reform catechism, and a thriving community of Jewish scholars, artisans, and professionals. These diverse backgrounds provide chemistry aplenty between the hero and heroine. Joshua Blake is the nephew of the town mayor, and though he comes from the traditions of the hardworking and practical Dutch, he brings the influence of New York revivalist Charles Finney, his mentor. Joshua represents the new, bringing fresh thought, fresh ambitions and fresh energy to a village set in its ways. Golda Jacobs represents something old, the traditions of her family, her scholarly upbringing, and the Torah.
The story opens up as Golda mourns the loss of her father, the beloved community schoolmaster, on a prescribed day of mourning which happens to coincide with a high Jewish Holy Day, Yom Kippur. Prior to this, the Jewish calendar begins the New Year on Rosh Hashana and the time between the two is known as the Ten Days of Awe, a time of introspection and self-evaluation in preparation for The Day of Atonement. It is ten days wherein a believer can repent and change their destiny for the new year, but on Yom Kippur, the books are closed and one’s fate is sealed.
It is on this fateful day that Golda meets Joshua, and their course is set—their academic course, as well as their destiny. The mayor wants his nephew to teach, but Golda isn’t ready to relinquish her father’s desk and curriculum. Sparks will fly, igniting a fire that will reach the whole community. Can love, cooperation, and common ground allow new and old to coincide and even thrive?
Four schoolteachers find more than they bargained for in their contracts. Class is in session on the four R’s: reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmatic, and romance!
Something Old, Something New by Kathleen L. Maher
New York, 1840
Her father’s sudden death makes Gilda Jacobs the new schoolmaster, but to teach Christian curriculum she partners with fire-and-brimstone revivalist Joshua Blake, who learns a lesson in love.
Love in Any Language by Susanne Dietze
Mary Clarence teaches English to the children of Swedish immigrants, but when her favorite students’ widowed father, Kristofer Nilsson, is accused of robbery, she’s determined to clear his name.
In Desperate Straits by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Mackinac Island, Michigan, 1894
Desperate for work, Margaret Hadley dresses as a young man to secure a dray driver’s position. When soldiers at the fort threaten her, Mackinac Island’s newest teacher, Jesse Huntington, intervenes.
A Song in the Night by Rita Gerlach
Karin Wiles longs to share the uplifting power of music with children. But when she seeks to improve a poorly run school and include orphans, Nathaniel Archer delivers harsh words of opposition from the school board.
Contest: I am offering a signed print copy of Lessons on Love to one lucky commenter. To enter, answer this question. Do you believe in divine appointments in life, days or seasons that shape your destiny? Have you experienced one?
For extra entries, share this post on your social media: FB, Twitter, Pinterest, or (the cover of the book) on Instagram, etc. Be creative! The more shares, the more entries. ***US only***
( Please come back and leave comments as to where you shared on your socials )
Thank you for having me as your guest on this lovely blog, Linda. I look forward to interacting with your readers!
Drumroll please… Random.org has helped me select the winner for a signed copy of lessons on love. And the winner is… Number five, Vivian Furbay! Congratulations Vivian. I will be contacting you for your snail mail address.
Thank you so much to everyone, especially to Linda for being such a lovely host. I have enjoyed reading all of your responses
There will be several more stops on the blog hop, including
Blog stop #2
Connie Carpenter’s blog
Blog stop #3 Lori Parrish’s blog
And a Rafflecopter
This has been fun. Thanks, and hope to see y’all at the other entries