This story is found in The Homestead
Brides Collection, which is an awesome compilation of stories from a sampling of Christian romance’s best authors. “A Palace on the Plains” takes place on the Nebraska plains in 1873. It is a gentle love story between Julia Farrington, a traveling seamstress, and Cyrus Haskell, a homesteader, who is a teensy bit cantankerous but only in the best way possible.
            It is a girl who is “more than pretty enough for a second look” and “all prickles and bravado” meets a man who is a “stubborn, gentle, appealing, infuriating homesteader.”
            He cannot imagine why a city girl like her would want to stay in a sod house out on the plains, and she can’t imagine how anything else could make her happy.


            favorite thing about the story:
            The ROMANCE!! When I read a romance, I want to feel the attraction between the characters. You know what I mean? Like I want to know that they like each other because I can feel it happening. Well, “Palace on the Plains” delivers in spades! The reader can feel the romance blooming from the very first meeting between the hero and heroine. It definitely gave me my reading romance fix.

            favorite literary component:
            This question could have so many answers! So, I’ll pick the thing that drew me into the story from the very beginning: From the first scene the characters are engaging.            
            In my experience, CHARACTERIZATION is sometimes under-developed in short stories. By the end of the tale, we might know what happened and have a larger sense of how the characters feel about the outcome of events, but the really-getting-to-know-the-characters feel that I so love about good writing is too often not found in short stories.
            HOWEVER, that is definitely not the case in Palace on the Plains. Vetsch uses narrative, dialog, and description to give the reader a clear picture of the characters from the get-go. And, the characters are not one-dimensional. Julia Farrington is spunky yet lacks self-confidence and Cyrus Haskell is cranky yet protective. The secondary characters are a large part of the story and, again, are well-developed and charming.
            You will fall in love with the Haskell boys from the very start - and it only gets better from there.

            favorite tidbits:
            My favorite character is Cyrus Haskell. He is a little bit ornery, a lot bit serious, and all kinds of lovable. Here is a little taste of Cyrus via his thoughts:
            “Of all the useless bits of fluff ever found prancing across a train platform, Miss Farrington took the biscuit.”
            “[Cotton’s] sturdy body relaxed and his mouth opened as he drifted off to sleep in her arms. Lucky Cotton.”

            favorite things about the author:
            I love Erica’s online presence and her interaction with readers and potential authors. She is humble, quite funny, and giving of her time and expertise. And her love of family and friends speaks loudly through the computer screen in a testament of how we should all love – with a showering of affections and praise.
            She is that person that you might know only online but with whom you really want to hang out. I want to invite her to a writer’s retreat and laugh more than I write. ;)


Erica is a transplanted Kansan now residing in Minnesota. She loves history and romance, and is blessed to be able to combine the two by writing historical romances. Whenever she's not immersed in fictional worlds, she's the company bookkeeper for the family lumber business, mother of two, wife to a man who is her total opposite and soul-mate, and avid museum patron.

           favorite thing about writing A Palace on the Plains: 
           The research! I learned all about the Easter Blizzard of 1873 and knew I wanted to put it into the story. I also got to learn all about how sod houses were constructed.  

           favorite character from A Palace on the Plains:
           Cotton and Titus.Those little boys just stole my heart.

           favorite tidbits: 
           It's so difficult to choose! I loved Julia's first impressions of the soddy, and Cyrus's first impressions of Julia.
           Erica's five favorite frivolous things in life:
           1. Binge watching NCIS
           2. Red nail polish
           3. Frozen Free Fall game on my Kindle.
           4. Sugar free popsicles.
           5. Singing in the car to the radio


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