This eighteenth century story slips the reader into an era when severe expectations cruelty thrived. Thankfully, those bondages are foreign to our time and experience. Revolutionary France had turned upside down as the guillotine destroyed way too many lives. Innocent people were disgraced or worse, all because of their wealth or wealthy connections. I will never be able to flippantly speed past any mention of this piece of history without thinking of the awful cost of lives and dignity. When hate flourishes so much is thrown into terror, wounded, and lost.
Jocelyn paints with vivid brushstrokes of elegant language the challenges, angst and depth of her character’s crisis and joys. Vivienne Rivard, lacemaker for the royal and wealthy, is in danger of losing her life, and she has lost so much already. Liam Delancy’s character is strong and compelling and ever so necessary for this story to develop. The varied characters and exciting plot decorate the pages, making this a must-read-again story for years to come!
A unique quality about this story is that Vivienne’s French ancestry is connected to the heroine, Liberty, in The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz! So, if you should follow my best advice and purchase or borrow A Refuge Assured from the library, make sure that you also do the same with The Lacemaker. I love a story with character connections to other series and this one leaps further to link authors and two publishing houses! This is a highly recommended read!
Questions for Jocelyn:
How did you get interested in studying the French Revolutionary War times? Somehow I came across a mention of refugees from the French Revolution making their way to Pennsylvania for political asylum. I dug deeper and deeper, reading narratives of people who fled, and I was hooked on this aspect that I had never heard of before. When I read that the entire lacemaking community of Chantilly was executed, I was shocked and intrigued. That’s when I began thinking of writing the story of a lacemaker who escapes to America.
I loved the real people you wove into this story. Which one was your personal favorite?
Eliza Hamilton. She only makes a brief appearance in my novel, but she was an incredible woman.
Was Asylum a real place? If so, are there any original buildings left to peruse?
Yes, it was! From 1793-1803, French Azilum, or Asylum in English, was a real settlement built in a horseshoe bend of the Susquehanna River in northern Pennsylvania. It was meant to be a refuge for Marie-Antoinette and her son, but even though they didn’t make it, dozens of aristocrats, priests, military and tradesmen did. You can still visit the location today, as I did for my research. None of the original buildings are left standing, but there is a reconstructed cabin and other structures built after 1803.
If you were to write a sequel to this story, what kind of heroine would you write about?
I would want to write about Tara Delaney, the hero Liam’s sister. In A Refuge Assured, she’s a feisty tavern owner in Philadelphia, widowed since the American Revolution. She’s full of personality, and I just have a feeling her story isn’t over.
Is there anything you would like to tell your readers about this story?
The primary theme is that of finding refuge in the Lord, when no physical place of safety seems to exist. But a secondary theme popped up through a character I didn’t plan on creating: Armand, the father from whom Vivienne had been estranged her entire life. The two flee France together, and through their relationship, a picture of reconciliation emerged. At one point Armand says to Vivienne, “One is never too old for a father’s love.” None of us are ever too old –or “too far gone”—for our heavenly Father’s love, either. And that is the greatest reconciliation story of all time.
Do you have other novels that are or will be published soon?
My next novel, Between Two Shores, will release Feb. 5, 2019. It’s set during the Seven Years’ War in Montreal, and the heroine is half-French, half-Mohawk. You can find more about the book here: http://www.jocelyngreen.com/books/fiction/between-two-shores
What an excellent interview Jocelyn! Thank you for taking the time and for caring for your readers! I did an earlier review for MARK OF THE KING, which was the first novel I read by Jocelyn Green! It was captivating! Again, thank you, Jocelyn!
Suspense and entertainment at it’s best! I super enjoyed this romantic-suspense novel. When I thought I’d figured out what was going to happen next, the characters—good and bad—surprised me. The elements of mystery and challenge provided opportunity for the characters to grow. DiAnn shines in her delivery of this contemporary and succeeded with keeping-me-in-my-seat till I finish this fiction experience! She generously sprinkled in mystery and surprise, while triggering my curiosity.
Yes, it is true that I suffered when I had to stop reading to go to work. The absolute worst was when I forgot “Burden of Proof” in the classroom—over a weekend! Not to mention the night that I was reading the middle of a crisis and had to go to sleep so that I could function the next day! You will feel sorry for me once you peruse this novel!
I’ve never read a book where a quite capable FBI agent was abducted—and for good reason—couldn’t break free! This wonderful plot fit perfectly with interesting characters who made me admire and fall in love with them! Special Agent April Ramos and Jason Snyder chase around small town Sweet Briar, Texas. The two questions haunting the agent are ‘who can be trusted’ and ‘who did it’. I love this city girl maneuvering though small-town adventure!
This is a re-read and one of my favorite DiAnn Mills books. I did receive a free copy to read for review, and since I trust this author's ability to entertain and inspire me, I agreed to review this story before I received the novel. I was not disappointed and have never been with DiAnn’s stories. She asks her readers to ‘expect an adventure’ and she delivers from the first page to the last! Thank you DiAnn!
QUESTIONS FOR DIANN:
1) What unique experience inspired this story, DiAnn? I’m thrilled that you wrote this!
While taking a drive through East Texas, my mind went to story mode: What kind of woman would be really out of her element and in danger? What problems plagued her mind? What skills did she have and still needed? Strengths and weaknesses?
2) How is it that you can delve into the deep personalities of your characters and keep us wanting more?
I have no clue, but I appreciate the kind words! But I have a method of mentally walking into my character’s “closet” and dressing myself in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual clothes of the character.
3) Is Sweet Briar, Texas a real place or a figment of your imagination? Possibly modeled after a real town?
It’s a fictitious town but it’s modeled after a real town. Because of the crimes, I couldn’t use the real name.
4) What is your favorite message from this novel?
5) I believe this is a stand-alone story, will Special Agent April Ramos and Jason Snyder ever show up in another of your novels? Nope! This is a stand-alone story. but we can imagine what happened next!
6) What would you like to tell your readers right now?
Readers are why I write. When you enjoy a story, I’m thrilled. Thanks! I appreciate you.
How do you wish your readers to contact you? Through my website and email:
Beth Ann Ziarnik’s New Book is Almost Here!
“Her Deadly Reunion” will arrive mid-November. This sequel to “Her Deadly Inheritance” has captured my special attention. Yes, I’ve pre-ordered this novel. The first of the series is Beth’s debut novel. Her pages held me spellbound and curious all the way through! “Her Deadly Inheritance” won “Writer of the Year” at Write to Publish Conference in 2016 as well as the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Selah Award for “First Novel.” And just recently one can acquire this novel on Audible Audiobook! I love listening to novels when I’m washing dishes or dusting the house.
The second book continues with the same main characters, Jill and Clay. I’m eager to meet up with them again. I invite you to explore Beth Ann Ziarnik’s novels. I’m always up for a good read.
You may find her on www.bethziarnik.com or https://www.facebook.com/beth.ziarnik