Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spring For Susannah | Catherine Richmond | Book Review, Author Interview & Giveaway

A novel about love, loss, and redemption, Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond is one of the best historical romances that I have read in a long time. Catherine Richmond weaves a compelling tale that you won't want be able to put down.

Hundreds of miles from home, Susannah faces an uncertain future as a mail-order bride on the untamed Dakota prairie.

When her parents die suddenly, and no suitors call, Susannah resigns herself to the only option available: becoming a mail-order bride. Agreeing to marry her pastor's brother, Jesse, Susannah leaves the only home she's ever known for the untamed frontier of the Dakota Territory.

Her new husband is more loving and patient with her than she believes she deserves. Still, there is also a wildness to him that mirrors the wilderness surrounding them. And Susannah finds herself constantly on edge. But Jesse's confidence in her - and his faith in God's perfect plan - slowly begin to ship away at the wall she hides behind.

When she miscarries in the brutal Dakota winter, Susannah's fledgling faith in herself and in God begins to crumble. Still, Jesse's love is unwavering. Just when it seems like winter will never end, Susannah finally sees the first tentative evidence of spring. And with it, the realization that more than the landscape has changed.

She looks to the future with a renewed hear. Yet in her wildest dreams, she couldn't predict all that awaits her.
~ from the book jacket


I was so impressed with this incredible book that I contacted the author, and to my delight, Catherine agreed to an interview with me, to share with you, my lovely readers...

The themes in Spring for Susannah are both touching and heartbreaking. What inspired you to write this particular story?
Spring for Susannah was sparked by a folk song about a homesteader meeting his mail-order bride at the train. The song led to questions:  When did the railroad arrive in Dakota Territory? Why did women become mail-order brides? How did anyone survive in a sod house? The story rolled out from there.

What is your personal favorite part of this story? I loved Jesse, but Susannah, with all her faults, stole my heart.
My favorite is the ending. Hmm, let me see how to say this without any spoilers. I loved seeing Susannah's growth, that she had learned something through all her trials. Do you suppose God  feels like that when we finally catch on to whatever He's trying to teach us?

Will we see Susannah and Jesse again, or meet their children?
I didn't write a sequel, because I had tortured Susannah and Jesse enough. I'm only imagining good things for their future - lots of children, good health, a productive farm.
Do you have plans for another novel? If so, what is it about, and when can we hope to see it available?

Through Rushing Water comes out in June. It takes place in southern Dakota Territory in 1876. The heroine is very different from Susannah. Sophia has been proposed to so many times, she doesn't recognize true love when it hits her.
Do you ever get writers block? If so, how do you break through it?
On the rare occasion when I don't know what to write next, research often provides the next piece of the puzzle. Then I end up with the opposite problem - I want to squeeze all sorts of interesting, but irrelevant facts into the story. Would you like to know how to square-up the walls of a sod house? What people did for birth control in the 1870s? What women used for maternity clothes back then? I'll tell you!

What advice can you give to aspiring writers?
Find a good critique group! Mine requires five polished manuscript pages every week - writing regularly is a great habit. Giving and receiving critiques helps hone skills and prepares a writer for being edited.

Catherine Richmond was focused on her career as an occupational therapist until a special song planted a story idea in her mind. That idea would ultimately become Spring for Susannah, her first novel. She is also a founder and moderator of Nebraska Novelists critique group and lives in Nebraska with her husband.

You can connect with Catherine on Facebook and on Twitter. You can also read more about her and her work on her blog.


You can purchase your own copy of this great book here for only $10.98, or you can enter to win a copy here on Little Bit Of Wonderful, courtesy of the sweet author herself! Only entries received via the Rafflecopter widget below will count in the sweepstakes, so be sure to log in and follow all directions carefully. Only the first entry is mandatory, and bonus entries will become visible once you complete the first one. Feel free to complete as many or as few of the optional entries as you like, but be aware that all entries are verified and they must be completed properly in order for you to win. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States only, and you must be at least 18 years old to win. By entering the giveaway, you acknowledge these requirements, and release me, Alena Belleque, and my blog, Little Bit Of Wonderful, from all liability. So have fun, and get your entries in pronto! And don't forget to tell your friends! *smiles*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{ Disclosure }

I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of providing an honest review. All opinions are my own. This post is in compliance with FTC regulations. To learn more, please visit my Disclosure page. If you are interested in having your book, product, or service reviewed on this blog, please see my PR Friendly page, and send me a message via my Contact page. Thank you!


  1. I have always enjoyed the mailorder bride stories. Something about them makes me kind of wish I grew up in a time period where I could have been one. I can't wait to read this story. Thank you for the giveaway. Congrats Catherine on the release.

  2. I really like Catherine's books and this is the genre I love to read.


  3. I think it would be very scary to be a mail-order bride. I'd be doing a lot of praying and hoping that the man I'm about merry is God fearing and treats me respectfully, with lots of patience.


Thanks for reading my blog post! I can't wait to hear your comments. If you have a general question, or want to contact me about something not related to this post, please use the form found on my Contact page. Thanks! *smiles*