Her Good NameHer Good Name
Ruth Axtell
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In the 1890 thriving coastal town of Holliston, Maine, the leading lumber baron's son, Warren Brentwood, III, returns from his years away at college and traveling to take up his position as heir apparent to his father's business empire.

Esperanza Estrada, daughter of a Portuguese immigrant fisherman and a local woman, Espy lives on the wrong side of the tracks, surrounded by a brood of brothers and sisters and a careworn mother. She is unable to pretend she is anything but "one of those Estradas." When she overhears of a position to clean house at a local high school teacher's home on Elm Street, she jumps at the opportunity-to be able to run into Warren Brentwood now and again, but also to imbibe of the culture and intellectual atmosphere of the Stocktons.


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Ruth Axtell

Ruth Axtell has loved stories set in the 19th century ever since she read Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre and other 19th century classics in junior and senior high school. Like many romance writers, Ruth decided to write her own in order to read the kind of story she liked best.Ruth studied comparative literature at Smith College. Ruth has published 13 historical romances under the name Ruth Axtell Morren. Her second book, Wild Rose, was a Booklist “Top Ten Christian Fiction” selection in 2005. Her books have been translated into Dutch, Italian, Polish, Czech and Afrikaans. She is a member of ACFW and RWA (Romance Writers of America) and its local Maine chapter. Ruth lives on the downeast coast of Maine with her three children and two cats.

Favorite Verse: Psalm 63:8  My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.


 Our Interview with Ruth Axtell


Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I've been writing full-time for over twenty years now. In that time, the Lord guided me on what has seemed often a long, circuitous journey. It's only looking back that I can see the benefit of the setbacks and detours. I've always written historicals since this is the fiction I love to read. Give me a good love story wrapped in the setting of sometime in the past, à la Jane Austen or Charlotte Brontë and I'm happy.

What is your favorite Bible Verse: translation too please? Why?

This changes . Right now one of my favorites is from Psalm 63:8 My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.  I want that to describe my soul in terms of God.

What was your inspiration to write Her Good Name?
I got the initial idea many, many years ago when I was writing another series set in Maine. The initial idea came from the question; how would a woman who is looked down upon by the respectable ladies in town feel?  I wanted to show that she has a heart and yearnings, too.

How much of Her Good Name comes from your personal experience?

One thing I love about writing is being able to get into somebody else's head—and become all kinds of people that\ I’m not. I don't think I'm very much like Espy, my heroine in Her Good Name. Espy is outgoing and outwardly self-confident.

How much research did Her Good Name take?

Historical research is cumulative. When you research a particular time period, you become more and more familiar with it with each subsequent book you place in that period. Her Good Name is the fifth story I've set on the late 19th century Maine coast. When I began it, I needed to go and reread my notes to refresh my knowledge of the period and then just research particular things for that story.


What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing Her Good Name?

Lots of things pertaining to the lumbering and logging industry of Maine in that era, late 19th century; how many young women were finding higher paid employment as typists and stenographers; how the Fourth of July was celebrated (The Star Spangled Banner was not traditionally played. Hail, Columbia and America the Beautiful were more apt to be played at the raising of the flag).

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
Disciplining myself to write almost every day, when there are so many more distractions online nowadays. Once a book is published, the challenge is finding one's readers, with so many thousands of books being published, especially online.

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

Creating the story. When I'm writing the first draft of the story, and don't know all the details yet, this is when the story is closest to me. I'm thinking about these characters throughout the day and night. They are still very special and may surprise me.

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

I'm working on the hero's sister's story. She is more like I was at that age: shy and introverted. But there's a strength in her that she isn’t even aware of it yet.

I also love writing in the Regency period of England. I have a new regency coming out in March 2013 about a man posing as a butler in an aristocratic household to find out if the heroine is one of Napoleon's spies.

What message would you like your readers to take from reading Her Good Name?

That true love is the great leveler. I love taking characters from very different walks of life who wouldn't normally meet, much less fall in love. But then circumstances throw them together, and voilà, they fall in love!

What do you do to get away from it all?

Garden! I am finding that I love being outside in the summer planting and watching things grow. It's so relaxing and fulfilling.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Stories are a wonderful way to show spiritual truths.



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Her Good Name / New edition - eBook

Her Good Name / New edition - eBook
Ruth Axtell
CBD Price: $7.99