All in Good Time, Gilded Legacy Series #2All in Good Time, Gilded Legacy Series #2
Maureen Lang
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Dessa Caldwell has a dream to open a Pierson house, a refuge for former prostitutes in Denver's roughest neighborhood. But after exhausting all charitable donations, Dessa still needs a loan, and nearly every bank in town has turned her down. Her last hope hinges on the owner of Hawkins National Bank

Henry Hawkins has a secret: though he owns the most successful bank in town, his initial capital came from three successful raids on Wells Fargo coaches. Now he's the most eligible bachelor in Denver, but to protect his criminal past, he's built a fortress around his heart. Not even the boldest matchmaking mother can tempt him...until the day Dessa Caldwell strolls into his bank requesting a loan.


     

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Maureen LangMaureen Lang became the recipient of a Golden Heart Award from Romance Writers of America, followed by the publication of three secular romance novels. Life took some turns after that, and she gave up writing for fifteen years, until the Lord claimed her to write for Him. Soon she won a Noble Theme Award from American Christian Fiction Writers, and a contract followed a year or so later for Pieces of Silver (a 2007 Christy Award finalist), followed by its sequel, Remember Me.  Maureen lives in the Midwest with her husband, her two sons, and their dog, Susie.

Favorite Verse: 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV) But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

I love this verse because I feel weak on so many days and in so many ways. If I ever accomplish anything it's purely due to Christ's help.

Visit Maureen in our Writers' Corner


 

 Christianbook.com Interview with Maureen Lang


 

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a reader who’s figured out how to write the stories I want to be reading. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve enjoyed the power of storytelling. My mother used to make up bedtime stories for my sister and me, so I learned at a very young age how to use my imagination. These days I juggle a busy home life with my writing life. Having a profoundly disabled seventeen-year-old son adds some challenges, so I’ve learned to protect my writing time while he’s in school or at a special ed program. I continue to be amazed at how God wires us up to meet the demands life brings our way. Writing is just about the best job for me because it offers an escape into inspiring worlds that are (mostly) controllable while allowing me the flexibility I need as a primary caregiver. I’m grateful God opened so many doors for a satisfying life.

What sparked your interest to write the Gilded Legacy series?
 
I’ve always loved the Victorian setting, either in Europe or here at home in America, so my interest in the era was already there. I’m also intrigued by how money—or at least the love of it—can make people do foolish things. So when I read about a man who successfully robbed stagecoaches by pretending he had a whole gang of gunslingers behind him, I was both amused and impressed. The guns he’d placed high above in a canyon were nothing but sticks. He was just intimidating enough to get away with the ploy without harming anyone. I thought to myself, Now there is hero material just waiting to be redeemed.

How did you choose Denver as your setting?

Since the original life-altering robberies had to take place out West, and because I’ve been to Denver a few times to visit relatives, it was an easy choice. I knew the distances, the climate, the landscape. Once I started researching the historical Denver, I fell in love with the city all over again.

How much of the Gilded Legacy series comes from your background and experience?

It’s always interesting to me how God works to unearth so many of my own flaws when I set out to design the flaws in my characters! I’ve always been afraid to pray for patience because of how God might choose to teach me such a thing. Let’s just say that creating both of my characters with this flaw came pretty easily—at least regarding the flaw.

How much research did the Gilded Legacy series take?

Research is one of my favorite elements in writing, and this was no exception. But for some reason, for the first time ever my local library didn’t offer much in the way of Denver history. I guess Chicago has enough of its own history to worry much about other major cities! So I went online and was blessed to come across some material offered by a retired professor who had done extensive research on Victorian prostitution—one of the angles I wanted to include in my story. He provided a treasure trove of material that he used for his own work, books that offered various snapshots of everyday life in the exact time period my book is set.

 

How much of the story is factual information?

I try weaving historical events into each of my books to give the background a flavor of authenticity. Having read several accounts from prostitutes who lived during this era, I was able to draw on some of their stories. There was also quite a bit of racial tension in Denver during this time between people of European descent and the Chinese, who were willing to work for lower pay. That plays a part in the culmination of this story. Modern writers and readers bring their own filter when it comes to historical facts, so it’s always a bit of a balancing act between our attitudes today versus what they would have been 150 years ago.

What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing the Gilded Legacy series?

Other than the details of the stagecoach robbery that inspired the right background needed for my flawed hero, I was fascinated by the details chronicled in the tragic lives of prostitutes. Suicide was so common, and the various methods they chose were never pleasant—everything from swallowing poison (sometimes a slower and more painful way to go than you’d think) to jumping off the fifth-floor balcony at a local hotel.  I was also surprised to learn a little about the opium trade and how young people from respectable families sometimes wandered into an opium den just to “try it out.” How dangerous that must have been! Even though that all sounds grim for a lighthearted romance, it added the right amount of depth to the spiritual element of the story.

Some of the research was a lot more fun! Don’t even get me started on the architecture. I was surprised at Denver’s love affair with Victorian trim—and how they added it to plain little buildings no matter how odd it ended up looking.

What other new writing projects do you have on the horizon?

I’ve just started experimenting with a novella! No one has ever accused me of writing short, which would be a compliment if I could actually do it. Remember, both Mark Twain and Blaise Pascal are attributed with saying something like: “The present letter is a long one simply because I had no leisure to make it shorter.” That says it all. A short story or novella writer must be succinct, clear, and have a powerful message, so it’s quite a challenge! But I’ve wanted to have some free content available on my website to offer a taste of my writing, so I’m finally allowing myself some time to develop an idea.

I’m also working on another historical, this time set in Chicago—closer to home, so I have plenty of research at my fingertips. So far I’ve visited a couple of mansions on the famous Prairie Street, and it’s been fun to imagine living during the Victorian or Edwardian period.

What message would you like your readers to take from reading All in Good Time?

Both of my main characters have something in their past they’d rather forget, as do most of the secondary characters. It’s my prayer that anyone reading All in Good Time will come away reminded that God puts our sins away as far as the East is from the West, so we don’t need to keep dwelling on them. God’s got it covered.

 

What organizations are you involved with?

I belong to RWA (Romance Writers of America) and its inspirational chapter, FHL (Faith, Hope, and Love) as well as ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), a number of historical writing loops, and a local face-to-face critique group where we all encourage one another’s writing endeavors.

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

If I could just sit in front of my computer and write all the time, I’d be one happy camper. But God has assigned me more than that, and I have to remind myself that all of the work I’ve been given is important. Reading the passage about the various parts of the Christian body in 1 Corinthians 12 is always helpful when I feel like running errands or cleaning the toilet isn’t as important as writing the next scene.

Who is the person who most influences your writing?

It isn’t really one author but so many whose books I love! I recently came across an old manuscript of mine, and I literally cringed when I read some of it. Granted, I was fifteen years younger than I am now, and hopefully all of the great editorial input I’ve been blessed to receive has helped grow me as a writer. But back then, when my kids were little and I had even less time than I do now, my reading time was limited. These days, between my book club, judging for various contests, and reading more Christian fiction than ever, I’m feeding my brain with great storytelling. It’s the best teacher in the world!

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

I love the work of writing—and it is work, even though it’s meant as entertainment. When I’m revising the same scene for the tenth time, there is still some amount of enjoyment, though it’s a different kind of enjoyment than when I was first creating it. I like improving on scenes, getting the right wording and rhythm, deepening the emotional impact to the best of my ability. When I’m working on a project and a new angle appears—something that seems to fit just perfectly with the plot and characters already established—it feels like uncovering a treasure that was already there, just waiting for me to notice.

What do you do to get away from it all?

In a perfect world I’d retreat to someplace quiet with a pretty setting—hills and trees and lakes in the distance. All I’d need then would be my computer! But since I’m the primary caregiver to my disabled son, it’s impossible to get away without a lot of planning. The result? Let’s just say I’m glad God wired me to be a homebody. I can stay home with a good book or escape into a movie for a couple of hours and feel refreshed, ready to tackle the next phase in whatever project I happen to be working on.

 

What were your favorite stories as a child?

Nancy Drew was one of my first favorites, and I read the entire series. But once I discovered the then-so-sweet Harlequin Romance, I was hooked. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been writing romantic fiction ever since.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

The older I get, the more I realize that living with a grateful heart makes life a whole lot easier. I’m grateful for my husband and family, for the work God has blessed me with—taking care of my son reminds me that I’m needed, and writing is just about the only career I can imagine that would provide the flexibility and the emotional satisfaction to balance the challenges. That makes me grateful for my publisher and each one of the talented people who help me get my books out to readers . . . because I’m probably most grateful for each and every reader out there who loves books just as much as I do, who supports writers not only financially, but more important, emotionally, just by enjoying our books.


 

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