Romancing History

Author Interview with Heidi Chiavaroli & a Giveaway

I’m so thrilled to welcome women’s fiction/split time author, Heidi Chiavaroli, to Romancing History today. I had the pleasure of getting to know Heidi when I snagged a coveted position on the launch team for her third novel, The Edge of Mercy.

Heidi’s most recent novel, The Tea Chest, released earlier this month and is a stand alone split time story. I’m sure my Romancing History readers won’t be surprised to learn that the historical thread is my favorite. I really enjoyed this book (see my review) and was tickled when Heidi said she’d do an interview with us.

Heidi has graciously offered a signed copy of The Tea Chest to one lucky Romancing History reader. To enter, see the details in the Giveaway section at the bottom of this post.

Before we chat with Heidi, here’s a little bit about her and her new book.

About Heidi

DSC_0282Heidi Chiavaroli (pronounced shev-uh-roli…like Chevrolet and ravioli mushed together!) wrote her first story in third grade, titled I’d Cross the Desert for Milk. It wasn’t until years later that she revisited writing, using her two small boys’ nap times to pursue what she thought at the time was a foolish dream. Despite a long road to publication, she hasn’t stopped writing since!

Heidi writes women’s fiction, combining her love of history and literature to write split time stories. Her debut novel, Freedom’s Ring, was a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist, a Romantic Times Top Pick and a Booklist Top Ten Romance Debut.

Heidi loves exploring places that whisper of historical secrets, especially with her family. She loves running, hiking, baking, and dates with her high-school sweetheart and husband of sixteen years. Heidi makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.

Connect with Heidi

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About the Book

Boston, 1773
Emma Malcolm’s father is staunchly loyal to the crown, but Emma’s heart belongs to Noah Winslow, a lowly printer’s assistant and Patriot. But her father has promised her hand to Samuel Clarke, a rapacious and sadistic man. As his fiancée, she would have to give up Noah and the friends who have become like family to her―as well as the beliefs she has come to embrace.

After Emma is drawn into the treasonous Boston Tea Party, Samuel blackmails her with evidence that condemns each participant, including Noah. Emma realizes she must do whatever it takes to protect those she loves, even if it means giving up the life she desires and becoming Samuel’s wife.

Present Day
Lieutenant Hayley Ashworth is determined to be the first woman inducted into the elite Navy SEALs. But before her dream can be realized, she must return to Boston in order to put the abuse and neglect of her childhood behind her. When an unexpected encounter with the man she once loved leads to the discovery of a tea chest and the document hidden within, she wonders if perhaps true strength and freedom are buried deeper than she first realized.

Two women, separated by centuries, must find the strength to fight for love and freedom. . . and discover a heritage of courage and faith.

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Interview with Heidi

Fast Five

  • Dogs or Cats? Dogs most definitely.
  • Coffee or Tea? Tea all the way.
  • Bookmark or Dog Ear Pages? And hurt the book?! Bookmark!
  • Kindle or Paperback? Paperback. I tried to get into digital reading but for me, there’s just something about the experience of holding a book with pages.
  • Night Owl or Early Bird? Early bird. I’m usually ready for bed by 9!

Q & A

RH: Heidi it’s been fun getting to know you through your launch team. Can you share something unusual about yourself with my Romancing History readers? Something not in the typical back of the book author bio—something quirky.

HC: I’m a bit obsessive compulsive about a clean house. I have one day a week that I set aside for cleaning and groceries, and I have trouble ignoring this day even when I’m on deadline. I simply can’t concentrate if it’s not done!

RH: I like a tidy house, too, but if I’m cleaning toilets either company is coming over, or I’m avoiding edits or writing a tough scene. Fans of romantic fiction love a cute meet. How did you and your significant other meet?

HC: The first time I saw my husband we were freshmen in high school. I will always remember that day because he looked just like a boy I dreamed about the year before. (Not kidding!) But we didn’t hang out much. He was a vocational kid and I was busy with my honors classes. It wasn’t until senior year that he came up to me at lunch and asked me out. The rest is history!

RH: Aww, that’s so cute. I love hearing how people meet their spouse. What do you like to do when you’re not reading or writing?

HC: I love to hike. I also love to quilt, cross-stitch, watch movies with my family, bake, dance in my kitchen, and sing.

RH: Wow! You have such a wide variety of hobbies and talents! I love to sing around the house as well but I “can’t carry a tune with a handle on it” as my mama always said (and my hubby would whole-heartedly agree). When did you know you wanted to write?

HC: Ever since early elementary school, when I discovered the library and the power of a story, I wanted to write. In third grade, I attempted my first novel, I’d Cross the Desert for Milk. A masterpiece! 😉

RH: I love that you still remember the title of a story you wrote in third grade! That’s adorable! What unpublished story do you have in your stash that you really hope sees the light of day someday? 

HC: The second story I wrote, which actually won ACFW’s Genesis contest in 2014, is a historical novel based on a leper colony off the coast of Massachusetts in the early 20th century. For so many reasons, that’s the story of my heart. It needs a bit of work, and I’m not really sure how many readers want to spend time in a leper colony (I would, but that’s another one of my quirks!), so who knows if it will ever actually see the light of day.

RH: Wow, what a unique idea. As a lover of history, I think that would be a fascinating read!What was the inspiration behind your recent novel?

HC: This inspiration definitely came slowly for me! Since I knew I wanted to write about the events of the Boston Tea Party, I dove into researching everything I could about the circumstances surrounding it. My historical heroine, Emma Malcolm, was birthed when I read an account of the brutal tarring and feathering of customs official John Malcolm. This servant of the crown was quite a character in his own right—very outspoken and stubborn with no patience for the antics of the Patriots. And yet I found myself feeling compassion for him. He was treated cruelly and inhumanely by those we find ourselves lauding as heroes today.

I imagined what it’d be like if he had a daughter—one who sympathized with the Sons of Liberty…one who sympathized with the very political side her father was intent on squelching. What if his daughter befriended those plotting to dump the tea? What if she aided them? What if she were even in love with one of them?

Once I had the historical story line down, I thought it might be fun to explore a contemporary woman who also longs to fight for her country and prove herself the best way she knows how. In my research about women in the military, I learned that in July 2017, it was announced that for the first time, a woman would enter the training pipeline to become a Navy SEAL. I imagined what this unidentified woman had gone through and what propelled her to enter such rigorous training. I decided to explore her story in fiction.

Emma and Hayley, my contemporary heroine, both long to serve their country despite broken families. They both long to prove themselves and seek a greater worth and identity.

RH: I really like the aspect that your heroines, though separated by nearly 250  years, were both seeking to belong and found that new identity in Christ. If you were to pick a particular Scripture verse as the theme of your novel, what would it be? Why?

HC: 2 Corinthians 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.”

The Tea Chest explores what it means to find our worth not in our past, not in what we do or how well we do it, but in whose we are, and in who we trust in.

RH: Amen. When and where is your story set?

HC: Colonial Boston/1770s

RH: My husband and I celebrated our 25th anniversary in Boston a few years ago. They’ve done such a fantastic job preserving our heritage. Fans of historical fiction & romance love the details that your research provides. Was there anything particularly interesting that you learned while researching your book that you were able to use or not use in your story that you’d like to share?

HC: Before I did the research for this book, I really didn’t understand the concept of tarring and feathering. All the colonial cartoon pictures depicted it as an almost funny event—a full grown man with a coat of feathers being paraded through the streets. Sounded silly to me! Not until I dove into my research did I really begin to understand how humiliating and dangerously painful this experience was. Those Patriots could certainly be brutal!

RH: I had no idea either until I read The Tea Chest. That was the first time I actually thought about how painful tarring & feathering must have been. I thought you portrayed that very well. Which secondary character do you think will resonate with readers? Why?

HC: Sarah Bradlee Fulton was a real historical person, but in The Tea Chest she is a friend and mentor to my historical heroine, Emma. Sarah is given credit for coming up with the idea of Mohawk disguises the night of the Boston Tea Party. She also did some other pretty courageous things to help the cause of the Patriots. Her bold courage inspired me, and I hope she will inspire readers!

RH: I did love Sarah’s strength of character and commitment to help the cause of Independence. Her determination was definitely inspiring. What do you hope readers will take away from your story?

HC: I hope readers are touched by the ultimate hope the characters find. I hope they feel it is possible to break away from a troubled past, to make peace with it, and to find renewed hope in a God who loves them.

RH: Yes, I loved the theme that you are not defined by your past or your family, but by the choices you make. The most important being where you place your hope and trust. What are you working on now?

HC: I just finished edits for my next book with Tyndale, scheduled for release next year and tentatively titled The Orchard House. So I’m in the wonderfully beautiful place of dreaming up a new book!

RH: I’ve really enjoyed your stories, Heidi, and look forward to your next release. I’m just not sure I’ll be able to wait an entire year! I had so much fun chatting with you today. Thanks for visiting with my readers.



This Giveaway is now CLOSED! Congratulations to Connie Porter Saunders, the winner of the signed copy of The Tea Chest!!!

In The Tea Chest, Heidi’s historical heroine, makes a choice to leave her loyalist family and join the Patriot cause defying not only her strict father, but societal expectations. But not all men and women of that day agreed with cause of liberty. Many identified as English subjects and chose to remain loyal to the crown. If you lived in Boston on the eve of the American Revolution, would you fancy yourself a Patriot and risk being labeled a traitor? Or would you feel the moral road led to working with the crown to resolve your problems and remain a Loyalist? Tell us why in the comments below to be entered to win the signed copy of The Tea Chest.

**Giveaway ends midnight, March 4th, 2020.


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Author Interview with Jodie Wolfe & a Giveaway!


  1. Nancy M

    I’d like to think I’d be brave enough to be considered a Patriot. It had to be difficult for everyone.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Nancy, Having never been tested on my convictions to the point of severe suffering or death, I, too, I’d be brave enough to stand up for my convictions. I just don’t know what those would have been 250 years ago. If I’d been raised as a British subject, I may have been disgruntle with the goings on but to the point of revolution? I may not have seen that as the “right” cause. It’s really hard to say. Thanks for commenting and best of luck in the drawing.

  2. LucyReynolds

    I would be a Patriot, as I believe in standing up for what is right. Thank you for sharing and for the chance. Blessings

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Lucy, Welcome to Romancing History! Hindsight is truly a gift and we can see how well that decision to stand up worked out. I wonder if I’d thought remaining loyal to the British crown was the right thing, working with the government for change, if I’d have been brave enough to stay true to those convictions. Loyalty is an admirable quality as well. I wonder what it was like after the Patriot victory for those who chose that route. I wonder if there are any books that show that perspective. Now I’m rambling. Good luck in the drawing.

  3. I loved your interview and that you wrote your first story in 3rd grade and still continued writing. Thanks so much for the opportunity to win a copy of your book about the patriots and the Boston tea party. What an intetesting part of history.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Rory, Thanks for commenting. Isn’t it great that Heidi has been writing that long or had that desire in heart that long? That just blesses me. Good luck in the drawing!

  4. Julie B

    I take a stand, so I’d say I’d be a Patriot.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Julie, Welcome to Romancing History! I think I’d have been a Patriot, especially knowing how well it all turned out 250 years later! Thanks for visiting the blog!

  5. Kim Rosso

    Considering I tend to not “go with the flow”, but rather stand up for what I believe, I would probably be a Patriot. I could really get on my soapbox, but I’ll spare you all. 😂😂 I would definitely love to read this book!

    • romancinghistory

      Hello Kim, Welcome to Romancing History! I have a tendency to get on my “soapbox” too. So much so, hubby often threatens to buy me one at flea markets! Stay true to your convictions! Good luck in the drawing!

  6. Beth

    I would like to think that I would be a patriot. It would definitely be easier to pretend to be a loyalist, but I would like to think I would take the risk to stand up for my freedom.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Beth, I’m sure many Patriots did feign loyalty to the crown or in the very least disinterest in all of it to carry on their subversive activities– especially in the large occupied cities like New York and Boston. Thanks for commenting and good luck in the drawing.

  7. Kate

    I’d be a patriot. FREEDOM!!!!!!! England was too far away!

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Kate, I think the realization that while they were British subjects, they’d worked hard to carve out a life for themselves here and didn’t appreciate the interference from a government so far away. Thanks for stopping by and best of luck in the drawing!

  8. I’m looking forward to reading The Tea Chest! I think I’d be a Patriot…hope I’d be brave enough!

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Marianne, yes being brave enough would definitely be the key. I’ve never known circumstances where standing up for my beliefs could have dire consequences for myself or those I care about. I often wonder what I’d do in the moment. Good luck in the drawing!

  9. Candy Holbrook

    I would like to think that I would have been brave enough to support the cause of freedom.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Candy, I know I often wonder the same thing– about being brave enough. I suppose depending on the circumstances, you had to be brave to remain a loyalist. Staying true to one’s convictions in the face of opposition, especially violent opposition, is hard to do. Thanks for commenting and best of luck in the drawing.

  10. Janis Rich

    I’d love to read this book. My mother was from England so tea and this period of history come to me naturally.

    • Rebekah Miller

      Hmm..that’s a tough question. I think it would depend on my circumstances and motives during that timeframe. I think I would’ve been a Patriot, especially if the man I loved was one. I’m looking forward to this book!

      • romancinghistory

        Hi Rebekah! Welcome to Romancing History! I think you’re right about our circumstances back then influencing our decision. I know you’ll enjoy The Tea Chest! Good luck in the drawing!

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Janis, oh I love my dear British friends and their affinity for tea is one I share! Best of luck in the drawing!

  11. Ashley Hedin

    So hard to know! I love America so much. But I think England is so amazing too. But back then everything was so different. I think I would be a Patriot because of the insane taxation.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Ashley, I think that is a very honest answer and what makes the question so intriguing to me is that none of us truly know how we’d respond. Hindsight has given us a great advantage. No doubt some of us, myself included, would have remained loyal to the Crown. Thanks for visiting today!

  12. Perrianne Askew

    I love my tea but I’m not sure that I would be gutsy enough to be a Patriot during that time frame.

  13. Rachel

    I’m such a big tea drinker. I mourn the loss of all that tea, but I understand the need! I think I’d have been a Patriot, but one who was more behind the scenes!

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Rachel, I’m with you on lamenting the loss of all that tea! LOL! Thanks for commenting! Good luck in the drawing.

  14. I feel the same way as Joan. I like to stand up for what I believe is right, and though through hindsight I’d say I’d be a Patriot, would I? It would all depend on what I believed at that time. I am grateful, however, to those who gave all for what we have now.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Abigail, I agree –am also so grateful for those brave men and women who risked everything to secure their freedom and ours. Good luck in the drawing!

    • Dy

      I love tea and I’d like to think I’d be strong enough to be a Patriot…truth rules!

      • romancinghistory

        Hi Dy, Thanks for commenting! Good luck in the drawing!

  15. Jean

    I would hope Patriot.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Jean, agreed! Who knows though, right? I often think that sadly, it may have depended on my station–how much I had to risk. how much I was being affected by all the British taxes, etc. Good luck in the drawing.

  16. Tami

    I don’t know what I’d do… probably side with justice & try to be neutral. 🤨

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Tami, It’s definitely hard to know what we would have done if we live 250 years ago but I think its fun to think about. Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the drawing!

  17. Chanel Monroe

    Ask me, why did I do quick research to answer this simple question? I think my Enneagram 5 side is showing. Anyways, I want to say I’d be a Patriot, but it’s hard to tell without living in that time. I support the Patriot stance of fighting for the everyday man, the fact that there was no representation in British government, and costly taxes – plus, more facts to be sure. But as a black woman, learning that African American slaves were fighting with Loyalists, hoping to gain their freedom on the British Side makes it difficult to pinpoint what I’d do. I’m grateful for the fight of the Patriots now, but if I lived then, who knows what I’d do.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Chanel, Welcome to Romancing History!I love that you did some research. That makes this little history nerd girl’s heart skip a beat! LOL! Good luck in the drawing!

  18. Amy C

    I’m thinking that I would most likely be a Patriot. I have a tendency to stand up for what I believe in and oppression by Great Britain would have been something I would have stood up against. It would have been really hard if my family/friends went the other way, though.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Amy, Welcome to Romancing History! I’d like to think I’d have stood up with the Patriots as well. I wonder though if their radical ideas would have sounded foreign to my ears, if I would have thought they were crazy! Good luck in the drawing!

  19. Keren H Lyles

    My single young status would say Patriot. Fighting for Liberty. My now married, mommy and health issues would say Patriot but staying quiet. It’s funny truly how some of us in different status in their lives see things the same still but will do something different in each stage in our lives. I would of been like her standing and fighting though for what feels right.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Keren, Welcome to Romancing History! I think that is a very good point but the bottom line is no matter what stage of life you’re in you can find a way to support the people and causes you believe in. Good luck in the drawing!

  20. I’m not sure I would have been brave enough, but I hope I would have joined with the Patriots so we could have our own independent nation.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Cheryl, Welcome to Romancing History! I agree with you. I guess we don’t know what we truly would have done but I find it interesting to ponder. Thanks for commenting and good luck in the drawing!

  21. Abigail Harder

    I loved this interview, Ms. Goshorn!

    I definitely would be a patriot even if it meant being labeled a traitor to the crown because I am a huge patriot now. I would see the injustice that King George held over the colonies and help in every way I could to stop the injustice and fight for freedom.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Abigail, Welcome to Romancing History! Thank you for your kind words. I love that you are so strong in your convictions. That is a wonderful quality to possess! Good luck in the drawing.

  22. Joan Arning

    Knowing what I do now, I’d be a Patriot but I’m not sure what I would have done back then! It is hard to leave what we’ve known. I hope I would have been brave enough to be a Patriot.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Joan, that is exactly what made me think of posing this question. I know for certain that with hindsight I’d have been on the side of the Patriots. BUT, in the moment, you would have been risking so much and had to wrestle with the idea of being a traitor. I wonder how much it would have taken for me to throw off my identity as a British subject. Thanks for commenting and good luck in the drawing.

  23. Laurie Brown

    I hate confrontation, so I would probably would have remained a loyalist until I realized there was no other choice.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Laurie, Welcome to Romancing History! It may very well have depended then on what your family’s beliefs were as the the first line of confrontation would have been in the home like it was for Heidi’s heroine, Emma Malcolm. It can be very hard to face opposition even in today’s political climate and none of us will be tarred and feathered! LOL! Good luck in the drawing!

  24. Patty

    I think I would be a patriot. If I or my family had felt the need to leave England, I think I would be looking for the freedom and opportunity to start things fresh, new government etc.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Patty, Welcome to Romancing History! That is a very good point. Good luck in the drawing.

  25. Deana

    I would be a Patriot and do what I felt in my heart was right. I have never been one to join the crowd but rather fight for what I believed in,

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Deana,

      Welcome to Romancing History! That is a great characteristic! That can be hard to do in the face of violence but it sounds like you would remain true to your convictions. Good luck in the drawing!

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