Janet has enjoyed tremendous success since the debut of her novel, Courting Miss Adelaide, for Steeple Hill Books Love Inspired Historical line. Courting Miss Adelaide has received numerous awards including a nomination for 2008 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Awards and named a finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Courting the Doctor's Daughter is the second book of her Courting series and is just as exceptional as Courting Miss Adelaide!
Welcome Janet Dean!
I'm excited for the chance to guest at Five Scribes today and to tell your readers about my second book, Courting the Doctor's Daughter, Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical that released May 12. Courting the Doctor’s Daughter continues the stories of children who rode the orphan train into Noblesville, Indiana, begun in my debut, Courting Miss Adelaide.
Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of either Courting Miss Adelaide or Courting the Doctor’s Daughter.
Courting the Doctor’s Daughter.
Mary Graves’s deceased husband drank and was lost to her long before his death. Left to rear her three sons, two of her own and one foster child from the orphan train, Mary resolves to become a doctor like her father and never rely on a man. When handsome stranger, Luke Jacobs, blows into town, peddling his remedy and carrying a secret, Mary’s world is turned upside down.
Courting Miss Adelaide.
The “orphan train” seemed like small-town spinster Adelaide Crum’s last chance to for motherhood. And yet the narrow-minded town elders refused to entrust even the most desperate child to a woman alone. Newspaperman Charles Graves believed his heart was closed forever, but Adelaide’s gentle soul and unwavering faith made him wonder if even he could overcome the bitter lessons of the past, and somehow find the courage to love….
I love history. The research that’s necessary to write a novel, especially a historical, is both fascinating and frustrating. Especially when I discover a plot element in my book won’t work…though I can sometimes find a way around it.
To write the first book, Courting Miss Adelaide and Courting the Doctor's Daughter, I researched Noblesville, a real town in Indiana, and the “orphan train.” The history behind the orphan trains fascinates me. Between the years of 1853 and 1929, 250,000-some say, 350,000, orphans or half orphans rode trains from New York City to new homes.
The idea to place out orphans originated with a Methodist minister, Charles Loring Brace, founder of The Children’s Aid Society. Brace saw children working in sweatshops, peddling newspapers and living on the streets in abject poverty, as many as 30,000 at any one time. He decided relocating these children to homes in agricultural areas would give them a chance for a better life. For some, it did. Others lived more like indentured servants than members of a family.
Courting the Doctor’s Daughter also required researching medical practices in 1898, focusing on the use of herbs or medicinal plants in treating illness. I learned many medicinal plants are dangerous if improperly used. Several plants are used in modern medicines.
St. John’s Wort helps mild cases of depression.
I was surprised to learn that herbs I use in cooking, such as oregano, sage, thyme, also contain healing properties. It’s been fun to see that God created the first medicines.
I needed an ingredient with medicinal properties that fit the image I had of my hero’s medicine. In Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, I found what I sought—catnip. Not only cats appreciate this herb. Uses for humans include: digestion and sleeping aids. Catnip also eases colds, colic, nervous headaches and fevers. Catnip was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1842-1882. In more recent times, Varro Tyler, Ph.D. at Purdue, author of The Honest Herbal found a bit of evidence that catnip may be a sedative. Health food stores carry catnip in capsule form, mostly used to calm fussy infants.
If you’ve found an herb to be effective or have some tidbit about orphan trains, please share your information in your comment.
Thanks, Audra, for having me to Five Scribes today!
To find out more about the herbs of yesterday, go to Janet's post in Seekerville May '09. Lots of fun facts!
Thank you, Janet for joining us today. Remember, leave a comment to win your choice of Courting Miss Adelaide or Courting the Doctor's Daughter.
(also, Thank you Wikipedia for the herb photos!)
You can also find Janet at her website Janet Dean or her blog A Cup of Faith.
Have a great day everyone! -audra