I’m excited to welcome back friend and fellow author, Kathleen Bailey, to Romancing History! We have a special treat for you today, my very first Character Interview on Romancing History. I’m chatting with Jenny Thatcher, the heroine of Kathy’s latest novel, Redemption’s Hope, which releases tomorrow, Friday, July 22. Redemption’s Hope is the third and final installment in the “Westward Dreams” series. Jenny is what some might call a “colorful character,” so I’m gonna have my hands full.
I was honored to give Kathy an endorsement for Redemption’s Hope, and you can read my review on Bookbub. You can find the link toward the end of my interview with Jenny.
And, don’t forget to visit the Giveaway section below. Kathy is has three separate prizes for lucky Romancing History readers.
About the Book
Two distinct sets of villains. Two orphaned children. A man without a country and a woman with too much past…All in a rambunctious young country where anything goes, especially in the West. Seriously. What can go wrong?
In this latest installment of the best-selling series, “Western Dreams,” join Jenny and White Bear as they cross the historic West in an epic story peppered with grit, guns, and glory.
You can purchase Redemption’s Hope on Amazon.
Other books in the Western Dreams series are Westward Hope (Book #1) and Settler’s Hope (Book #2)
Meet Jenny Thatcher
Howdy, I’m Jenny Thatcher and I reckon I’m the subject of Kathy Bailey’s new book. I’ve been in everybody else’s books, so it’s about time. I first showed up in Westward Hope, as a saloon girl who ran away from St. Joseph on a stolen horse to tell my friend, Michael, two Irish thugs were after him. I stayed on as a wagon train scout, and made it to Oregon Country with Michael, and some friends I made along the way—Caroline O’Leary and Pace Williams. I also turned up in the sequel, Settler’s Hope, as a hotel cook. Kathy had me moonin’ over Pace for a brief spell, but as it turned out, Pace’s true love was Oona Moriarty. Don’t worry though, I didn’t hold no grudges against him (or Kathy for that matter). Turns out, Kathy made a good decision as I’d really never stopped thinkin’ about White Bear, the Cheyenne brave I met on my first trip across the country. On the pretext of paying his family back for taking care of me when I was mighty sick, I rode off on my stallion, Rebel, to find him again. But Kathy, like most authors I’m told, got me into a heap of trouble I hadn’t anticipated including two orphaned children and one menacing varmit who had a mind to harm me and the kids. If ya wanna know more, you’re gonna have to read my story. Just know that through all the trials, I gained a deeper walk with God.
Ok, Jenny, give us 5 fast and fun facts about yourself.
- Favorite Food: ANYTHING I ate in New Orleans.
- Favorite place: My home in Hall’s Mill, Oregon.
- Favorite hobby: Ain’t got time for anything like that.
- Favorite time of day: After the kids are in bed, and White Bear, my man, and I can talk.
- Favorite Bible verse: Romans 8:28. All things work together for good. They sure did for me
Character Q & A
RH: Let’s start off with an easy question, Jenny. Tell us about your childhood. Where did you grow up? Who is your closest family member? Who would you like to disown?
JT: I loved living on the farm in Arkansas. I helped my pa with lambing, calving and foaling, and I learned to ride and shoot as good as my brothers. We had fields, woods and a creek. My ma taught me to cook and sew, and I used to read the Bible to her by the fire. Wish I could have stayed on. My childhood ended when my weasel of a brother, Zack, sold the farm out from under us, and I had to make my own way in the world.
RH: That sounds like a wonderful place to grow up. Looking back at your life so far, what is your greatest regret?
JT: Going into the saloon business at fourteen.
RH: You poor thing. I can’t even imagine. You must have been so frightened. What is your biggest secret?
JT: How unworthy I feel on account of my past.
RH: I think we all have things we regret in our past, things we’d like to keep hidden. I know I’m thankful for the blood of the cross so I can stand redeemed and I don’t have to hide in the darkness where the enemy can use my shame against me. I bet that’s why Kathy wrote your story. So other’s won’t stay hidden in the darkness, too. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story. I hope you don’t find me a bit too nosy, but my readers and I would like to learn more about your romantic interest in Redemption’s Hope?
JT: My romantic interest? That’s mighty fancy talk. Are you askin’ about my fella? That’d have to be White Bear. I didn’t have no use for romance when I was in the saloons. Men were just a way to make money. When I was riding after Michael and I got lost and sick, White Bear’s family took me in. I never met no one like him, before or since. He knows what I was and he don’t care. But he was a Christian, and I didn’t want none of that at the time. We lost track of each other for three years, and then we found each other again in New Orleans. By then I was a believer, so there was nothing to keep us apart. Except for two thugs that were after him and two thugs who were after me. It ain’t never easy.
RH: That is so true, Jenny—even in the 21st century. Now that Kathy has bared your soul on the written page, what message would you like readers to gain from your story?
JT: Hmm, that’s a mighty good question. I suppose, that nobody is beyond the reach of His love. Not the thief on the Cross, not the woman taken in adultery, not even Jenny Thatcher.
RH: Amen to that, Jenny! Amen to that!
JT: Is it all right for me to ask you a question? Or is that against the rules? I don’t want to get Kathy in any trouble.
RH: Nope, fire away!
JT: Did you happen to read my story?
RH: I sure did, Jenny. Here’s a link to my review on BookBub.
Kathleen Bailey is a journalist and novelist with 40 years’ experience in the nonfiction, newspaper and inspirational fields. Born in 1951, she was a child in the 50s, a teen in the 60s, a young adult in the 70s and a young mom in the 80s. It’s been a turbulent, colorful time to grow up, and she’s enjoyed every minute of it and written about most of it.
Bailey’s work includes both historical and contemporary fiction, with an underlying thread of men and women finding their way home, to Christ and each other. Her first Pelican book, ‘‘Westward Hope,” was published in September 2019. Her second full-length novel, “Settler’s Hope,” was released July 17, 2020. She published two Western Dreams novellas, “The Logger’s Christmas Bride” in December 2019 and “The Widow’s Christmas Miracle” in December 2020, both as part of Pelican’s Christmas Extravaganza. “Redemption’s Hope,” the third Western Dreams novel, was published July 22, 2022.
She lives in New Hampshire with her husband David. They have two grown daughters.
For more information, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, her website, or @piechick1 on Twitter, or Kathleen D. Bailey on Facebook and LinkedIn.
*This giveaway is now closed.
Congratulations to our winners!
Redemption’s Hope (eBook): Rhonda M.
Westward Hope (Print): Pam L.
New England Gift Basket: Beverly D.
Kathy is generously offering three prizes to 3 different Romancing History readers.
Prize #1 — an eBook copy of Redemption’s Hope (print copies not available yet)
Prize #2 — a print copy of Westward Hope (Western Dreams, Book #1)**
Prize #3 — a New England gift pack**
Character interviews are a fun way to find out about a novel. To enter the giveaway, what question would you have asked if you were interviewing Jenny (or any character from a Redemption’s Hope)?
*Giveaway ends midnight, Wednesday, July 27.*
**Sorry, these prizes are available to U.S. residents only.**
Jenny got disgusted with ME because of my scenery descriptions. She didn’t think I needed all that “flowery folderol.” But I didn’t know when I’d be writing about Taos, San Antonio or New Orleans again, so I took author privilege and overruled her. She also wasn’t crazy about having her picture taken.
I love the word “folderol.”
I’m still around if anyone wants to chat.
Jenny aka Kathy Bailey
This interview was so much fun. I enjoyed reading from the character’s point of view. Thank you for posting about Kathleen’s newest release!
Hi Suzy, Welcome to Romancing History! I had a lot of fun with this type of interview and hope to do more in the future.Thanks for stopping by!
SUZE! Always nice to see you in a different context. Thanks for all you do for PBSGauthors.
Pamela S Thibodeaux
What an interesting interview!
I’d ask Jenny if White Bear is a “tough warrior” as most Native Americans are portrayed or if he has a softer side.
Good luck and God’s blessings, Kathy with your new book!
Hi Pam, Thanks for visiting! That is a really good question.
Pam, he has a REALLY soft side regarding her, their adopted children, their birth family (to come), his nephew and sister-in-law, and his best friend Laban Jones. He’s only tough when he has to be.
Do you know what happened to your brother Zach?
Hi Pam, Welcome to Romancing History! Oh, good one!
I did a big typo!! I’m Pam Lunsford
Okay, Pam! I got it! Thanks for stopping by an best of luck in the drawing!
I won!! How do I contact you with my information?
(oops, I forgot to answer in character) Yes. After Zach sold the farm out from under us, he became a drifter and a gambler. Rebel was HIS horse first, but I never knew it. He lost Rebel in a poker game and went across the Trail to find him. Found me, too, but by then I didn’t want nothing to do with him. You can read all about our shodwown in Kathy’s first book, “Westward Hope.”
Where do you and White Bear live now? Do you have any children?
Hi Rhonda, Welcome to Romancing History! Excellent question.
Rhonda, I’m glad you asked and I don’t know if Kathy has another book about us in her, so I’ll give you a sneak peek. We get back to Hall’s Mill, Oregon, and the town accepts me and White Bear bettern’ mot places, he becomes a partner in the horse farm, and he, Mike and I run it. I birth five more kids, we still got Antoine and Mary, and we adopt one more boy. They all grow up wild and free — in the West.
What you like best about living in the west?
Good morning, Beverly. I don’t actually LIVE in the West, I live in New Hampshire, but I’ve always been fascinated by the West and its promise of new beginnings. That’s what all my characters find in the West — a chance to be someone new, a chance to become who God wants them to be. That’s what happens with Jenny in my book. Thanks for stopping by!
Hi Kathy, Thanks for popping in!
Hi Beverly, Great question!
I’ll be in and out for the next week. I’ll try to stay in character! Thanks for hosting me (and reviewing RH, beta-reading, and launch-teaming).