Monday, June 23, 2014

Featured Author Interview: Ruth Axtell

Ruth Axtell (also known as Ruth Axtell Morren) is the author of several Regency and Maine historical Christian romances. She wrote her first story when she was 12--a spy thriller--and knew she wanted to be a writer.

There were many detours along the way as she pursued more realistic goals - studying, teaching, working, marriage and family. While living in Holland Ruth began crafting her first serious story in between having children, and gained her first recognition as a writer when she made the finals in the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Contest in 1994. But it wasn't until their return to the US coast of Maine before she seriously began her writing career. 

Ruth's inner journey of faith parallels her outward journey--seemingly circuitous, sometimes wandering in the desert--yet ever-guided by the Good Shepherd.

The following is a June 2014 interview with Ruth.


Be in to win a copy of 
A Heart's Rebellion (Print* or Digital), In Your Eyes, 

The Lady and the Logger, or The Rogue's Redemption (Digital)
by Ruth Axtell

One copy (winner's choice) to be won
Contest open to entrants worldwide.
Contest runs from 13-27 June NZDT

*Print copy to a US winner only

Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm a "50-something" writer living on the beautiful coast of Maine. I have recently lived my own romance, meeting my second husband, my soul mate, at a time of life when I didn't think that would be likely. I feel I am embarking on a new phase of life and it's exciting.

How did you become a novelist, and did you always want to write?

I've always loved to read, since I was quite young, so it was a natural extension to dream of writing stories one day. It was a long, circuitous journey, however, with a lot of detours—but every experience gives one raw material to draw upon for the stories. I've been a wife and mother with lots of part-time jobs throughout. Now, for the first time, I am able to devote myself to full-time writing.

What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?

I think the popularity of Christian fiction has proved that America is still a Christian nation. I don't think mainstream America ever expected Christian fiction to take off the way it has. Christian fiction shows that readers are looking for more than just a romance between a man and a woman. To find real fulfillment, one must have a connection to God.

How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write?

I hope they become engrossed in my characters' journeys, forgetting their own lives for a while as they travel with my hero and heroine on their spiritual and romantic quests.

What responses to your novels have affected you the most and why? 

The ones where  readers tell me how much they were encouraged in their own lives by the struggles my characters went through and how they grew in their faith.

How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

I have had to give my writing over to Him. Before I was ever published, I put my writing on the altar figuratively-speaking. My talent and my call to write are God-given, and I know Christ is ultimately in control of my career and ministry. If I succeed or fail, or whatever degree of success I enjoy, is up to Him. When He wants me to move on to some other ministry, He will show me that and grant me the grace to do so.

Other than writing great novels, what other goals do you have for your life?

To be open to however the Lord would have me serve. Mostly this means being ready to witness and disciple when the opportunity presents itself.

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

I enjoy walking, gardening and swimming. I like to cook healthy meals, and I love to read.

What can you tell us about your latest novels? 

This past year I have begun to self-publish some of my books that hadn't found a traditional publisher. Sometimes this is because the story has too "exotic" a setting (settings outside of the traditional American West, Scotland, or Regency or Victorian England).

One of my books, In Your Eyes, takes place during the Golden Era of Holland, in the 1600s, a time of the great Dutch masters like Rembrandt, a time when the Netherlands dominated the seas in exploration and trade, and fortunes were made as the Dutch speculated on the new products brought from overseas, like the tulip from Turkey and spices from the East Indies.

My heroine dreams of becoming a portrait painter; the hero returns from the East Indies, his fortune made, but with the single-minded purpose of seeking revenge on the man who destroyed his life. Hero and heroine meet against the backdrop of Amsterdam, a city filled with the diversity of a great port.

What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead?

I am currently editing another exotic setting. This historical romance takes place in 1830 Warsaw, a time of revolution similar to that in the Paris of  Les Miserables.

For those who prefer more traditional romances, my latest release, A Heart’s Rebellion, is a regency romance, taking place in London. It features the younger sister of my hero in Moonlight Masquerade, published last year.

I have another book I'm about three-quarters finished writing. It takes place during the regency era, but in post-Napoleonic Paris between an American heroine and a Frenchman.

What would you like to say to your fans in New Zealand, and others worldwide?

Keep reading! I also hope my fans, wherever they live, continue enjoying my stories because I have a lot more to tell.

Do you have any parting words?

Storytelling is a gift that I feel very honored to be able to partake of. I love being lost in story, and I dream of allowing my readers to do the same. Not everyone will like one's storytelling ability. But for those who do, it's a wonderful experience to share.

Moonlight Masquerade 
(London Encounters #1) 
by Ruth Axtell
  • Revell Books
  • Historical/Romance
  • March 2013
  • ISBN: 9780800720896

[Amazon | Kindle The Book Depository]

Sometimes it is hard to tell if you are the cat or the mouse.

Lady Céline Wexham seems the model British subject. French by birth but enjoying life in 1813 as a widowed English countess, she is in the unique position of being able to help those in need--or to spy for the notorious Napoleon Bonaparte.
When Rees Phillips of the British Foreign Office is sent to pose as the countess's butler and discover where her true loyalties lie, he is confident he will uncover the truth. But the longer he is in her fashionable townhouse in London's West End, the more his staunch loyalty to the Crown begins to waver as he falls under Lady Wexham's spell.

Will he find the proof he needs? And if she is a spy after all, what then will he do?

With sharp wit, fast-paced dialogue, and infectious intrigue, Ruth Axtell deftly creates a world where black and white burst into a confusion of colors--and no one is who they seem.

"Intrigue, romance, a clandestine kiss . . . all cast in a Regency setting so magnificently detailed I could see the fabrics and feel the glow of another era. A wonderfully romantic and memorable read!"--Maureen Lang, author of Bees in the Butterfly Garden
"The first paragraph drew me into the story, and the next twist held me there to the end."--Laurie Alice Eakes, author of A Flight of Fancy
"A wonderful romance, graced with expert detail of the Regency period, as well as with Ruth Axtell's usual flair for intensely romantic situations between characters so real I couldn't stop thinking about them."--Melanie Dickerson, two-time Christy Award finalist and author of The Healer's Apprentice and
The Merchant's Daughter

A Heart's Rebellion 
(London Encounters #2) 
by Ruth Axtell
  • Revell Books
  • Historical/Romance
  • March 2014
  • ISBN: 9780800720902

[Amazon | Kindle | The Book Depository]

In a world governed by unspoken rules, one young woman is about to break them all . . .
Dutiful Jessamine Barry is tired of waiting patiently for a man to decide her future. So even though Lancelot Marfleet, second son of an aristocrat, is taking an interest in her during the London season, she refuses to consider him as a suitor. Instead, she's ready to take fashionable society by storm—and finds a rakish young man all too willing to help her do it.

Can Jessamine trust her heart to lead her to a love that proves true through thick and thin? Or will her rash actions close the door on the life she really desires?

Lose yourself in Ruth Axtell's sumptuous story of discovering one's true self and finding true love.

In Your Eyes
by Ruth Axtell
  • ForHisGlory
  • Historical/Romance
  • December 2013
  • ASIN: B00F2L9FNK


1641 Amsterdam. 

When Francesca di Paolo is abducted by a band of brigands on her way home to Amsterdam, little does she realize she will become a pawn in a game of revenge. A budding artist, Francesca is enthralled by her rescuer, Dirk Vredeman, and would love to paint his portrait. 

Dirk, raised on the streets and surviving by his wits, has spent the last 20 years in the East Indies, where he has amassed a fortune. Now he has returned to Holland to destroy the man who destroyed his mother--the man who is Francesca's guardian, and to whom she owes her loyalty and gratitude. 

Will Francesca betray Dirk when she discovers the truth? 

Set in the Golden Age of Holland, the era of Rembrandt and the Dutch masters, the great traders who brought back the riches of the East Indies, and the Amsterdam merchants who speculated with them on the stock exchange, In Your Eyes is a story of love and loyalties, tenuous trust against age-old betrayal.

Buy Ruth's Books from The Book Depository

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository


Be in to win a copy of 
A Heart's Rebellion 

(Print* or Digital), 
In Your Eyes, 
The Lady and the Logger, or 
The Rogue's Redemption (Digital)
by Ruth Axtell

One copy (winner's choice) to be won
Contest open to entrants worldwide.
Contest runs from 13-27 June NZDT

*Print copy to a US winner only

Please comment about the interview, or leave a message for Ruth Axtell. 
Simply commenting about entering the draw or wanting to win the books does not qualify for valid entry into the draw. 

All entries must be made using the Rafflecopter contest to be eligible for drawing. 
Winning entries drawn will have their entry options validated before being accepted - if incomplete another entry will be drawn.

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