It's a pleasure to welcome Shelley Shephard Gray to Ink Dots, this week. Shelley writes Amish romances for Harper Collins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire and historical romances for Zondervan. Her novellas have been Holt Medallion winers and Inspirational Readers Choice and Carol finalists. Shelley’s novels have appeared on both the New York Times and USA bestseller lists. Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s degree in English literature and elementary education and later obtained her master’s degrees in educational administration. She now live in southern Ohio and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two college students, and is an active member of her church. Shelley is active on Facebook and also has a website, www.shelleyshephardgray.com
Secrets Of Sloane House ~ One woman’s search for the truth of her sister’s disappearance leads her to deceit and danger in 1893 Chicago. Rosalind Perry has left her family’s rural farm in Wisconsin to work as a housemaid at Sloane House, one of the most elegant mansions in Gilded Age Chicago. However, Rosalind is not there just to earn a living and support her family---she’s at Sloane House determined to discover the truth about her sister’s mysterious disappearance. Reid Armstrong is the handsome heir to a silver fortune. However, his family is on the periphery of Chicago’s elite because their wealth comes from “new money” obtained from successful mining. Marriage to Veronica Sloane would secure his family’s position in society---the lifelong dream of his ailing father. When Reid begins to realize that Rosalind’s life may be in danger, he stops thinking of marriage prospects and concentrates on helping Rosalind. Dark things are afoot in Chicago and, he fears, in Sloane House. If he’s not vigilant, Rosalind could pay the price. Set against the backdrop of Chicago’s Gilded Age and the 1893 World’s Fair, Secrets of Sloane House takes us on a whirlwind journey of romance and mystery.
If I could explore anywhere in the world tomorrow, it would be... I love to travel, so this is a hard question for me! Since I get to choose anywhere in the world, I’ll choose Cape Horn. Years ago, when I taught 5th grade, I would read aloud a book by Sid Fleischman called By the Great Horn Spoon. Making that journey would be exciting, for sure! Wow, that's some travel wish, Shelley. I hope you get to the Cape Horn someday. :)
The best thing I did today is... My son recently started his first ‘real’ job and money is kind of tight. So I made him a little care package and mailed it off first thing this morning. My kids are in their twenties now, but I still love doing ‘mom’ things.
A secret pleasure of mine is... I love watching cooking shows and cooking competitions. We're the same in this house. Australian Masterchef is a real favourite.
I wish I could relive the day when I... I would have to pick a lazy Sunday. I love going to church on Saturday night, then waking up late on Sundays and doing nothing but reading and napping. A few years ago I decided to make Sundays a true day of rest. That doesn’t always happen, but when it does, it feels great. Really great.
When I was a child I dreamed I would... I didn’t grow up in a very stable environment, so I used to always wish for a home, a husband, kids, stability. I feel very blessed that those things happened. I'm so glad to know your childhood dream came true, Shelley.
I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but... I’m a pretty poor housekeeper. I don’t like to clean and will usually try to do anything to not do it. (even write!) Even my daughter makes less mess in the kitchen than I do. It drives my husband crazy. Isn't the messy chef the most creative? (wink)
Shelley's offering one of her western books to one lucky Ink Dots friend. If you'd like to win a copy, tell us what kind of home help would best suit your household. I bet Shelley would order a housekeeper, but not a cook. I'd love a cleaner, but not a gardener. I enjoy my garden too much. How about you? If you could have home help for a year, what would you chose?
Leave a comment in the thread below and I'll announce the winner on Friday.
Good luck and happy reading,