ABOUT THE BOOK
She was nothing like the woman he’d envisioned for his bride, but he was everything she’d ever dreamed of—until a promise from his past threatened their future.
With pert opinions and a less-than-perfect figure, Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to society’s vision of a perfect lady. When she accepts a position teaching in a Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer Ruth Ann is likely to receive. She’s forced to choose between life as a lonely spinster or reinventing herself to secure a respectable proposal.
Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earn him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect of other men. After a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, Benjamin is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality.
When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first?
A Love Restored–Fact or Fiction?
with Kelly Goshorn
Hi Britt! Thank you for welcoming me on your blog today.
For those who do not know, A Love Restored is based on my real-life romance with my husband Mike. Today I’ll be sharing some of the facts as well as some of the fiction behind my debut novel. But don’t worry, no spoilers are involved!
Did Mike and I meet at a creek or other outside venue like Ben and Ruth Ann? Fiction
Mike and I met on my birthday in 1988. A group of friends were having a party in my honor and Mike decided to stop by to flirt with the girl who was hosting the get together. He’d brought chips and dip with him. When he offered me some I jokingly responded, “chips and dip, my kind of man.” Mike says he decided to find out if that was true and asked my friend Laurie where I lived. A few days later he showed up at my apartment with Chinese food and the rest is history.
In A Love Restored, Ruth Ann first draws Benjamin’s attention with her horrible singing. Does Kelly sing as poorly as Ruth Ann? Fact
I’m not sure if my voice “sounds like something is dying and needs to be put out of its misery,” but I certainly won’t be receiving any invitations to sing in the church choir! And yes, like Benjamin, my hubby likes to sweetly tease me about my not-so-stellar singing voice. Even though I can’t “carry a tune with a handle on it,” I still enjoy singing but limit my engagements to the shower. Hubby, however, has a lovely voice. Mike participates in community theater and has had many prominent roles including Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady.
In A Love Restored, Ruth Ann’s domestic skills are lacking, and Benjamin teaches her how to make sugar cookies. Is Kelly a disaster in the kitchen? Fiction
Although the Food Network will not be offering me a spot in their line-up, I certainly know my way around the kitchen. Unlike my heroine, I didn’t grow up with servants and learned how to cook as a teenager. But my husband is an excellent baker. Mike is known for his sugar cookies that are just melt-in-your-mouth delicious and inspired the baking scene in A Love Restored. He learned to make them from his Grandmother Dorwaldt. Hubby keeps a copy of the recipe in our lockbox with all the important papers like our marriage license and the kids’ birth certificates. True story! The recipe is available to you when you subscribe to my newsletter (yes, that was a shameless plug) at http://kellygoshorn.com/my-writing/newsletter.
Is James Thornton based on a real person? Fact and Fiction
Is that even possible? Well I guess a more appropriate response might be, yes and no. James is not a real person but a mixture of several fellas I’d dated or been interested in. He is a representation of the attitudes that many men had toward me as a full-figured woman. Men who told me in one way or another that I needed to change—”paint my fingernails and wear eyeshadow,” one said while another wanted me to “wear less makeup and not eat so much.” Although their attitudes hurt my feelings, I always had the strength of character to know that changing myself for anyone but God was a fool’s errand. Plus, I’m just too dang stubborn!
Do you try to steal the point of your husband’s pie like Ruth Ann does with Benjamin? Fact
This has become a very competitive tradition in our home that we are passing on to our children! It all began our first Thanksgiving together in 1990. Something impish came over me and I decided to steal the point of both slices of pie before I served them. He was quite surprised to see that a bite was missing, and we had a good laugh about it. Later that evening when I was in the kitchen, I noticed that the center had been scooped out of the remainder of the enter pie. I just laughed and laughed because I knew exactly why he’d done it— to ensure he’d stolen all the remaining points, thus one-upping me. What a stinker!
Towards the end of the novel, Benjamin serenades Ruth Ann at her window. Did Mike woo you with his guitar? Fact and Fiction?
Here I go muddying the waters again. There I go again, confusing you. Back in the day, Mike enjoyed playing his guitar. Many times on our “dates” (hubby called them “making plans,” but I digress), he would get out his guitar and sing to me. I often say he “wooed me with his guitar,” but he never serenaded me at my bedroom window.
SNEAK PEAK/EXCERPT from A Love Restored:
Loudoun County, Virginia
Benjamin Coulter cringed as the shrill tune hung in the air. That woman sure knew how to ruin a Sunday afternoon. Sounded like something was dying and needed to be put out of its misery.
He shook his head. All he wanted to do was rest a while longer. His decision to go around his headstrong superior and talk to Mr. Farrell directly about his boss’s inaccurate measurements had made for a nerve wracking week. That decision could have cost him his job. Thankfully, his discovery had been received well, saving the struggling railroad both time and money.
Benjamin leaned against the sycamore tree and tossed his line into the creek. A slight hint of remorse nicked his conscience. He now sat poised to guide the construction of the Washington & Ohio Railroad through the town of Catoctin Creek and over the Blue Ridge Mountains to Winchester, but he hadn’t intended to get his boss fired. If only the man hadn’t refused to admit he’d made a mistake.
Yep, it was all coming together. Just the way he’d hoped it would when he agreed to leave Texas and take this apprenticeship in Virginia. All he had to do was pass that examination next spring and…
He shuddered. The woman’s screeching escalated to a bone-grating pitch. She’d frighten the fish away for sure. Like most folks, Sunday was his day off, and he didn’t intend to spend it listening to her sing off-key.
Wedging his pole in the mud of the creek bank, he set off to investigate. Her ear-piercing slaughter of The Merry, Merry Month of May led the way. He spied his first glimpse of the lyrical assassin through the thin limbs of a dogwood tree. Perched on a large, flat rock at the edge of the creek, she swirled her bare feet in the water. Behind the rock sat a pair of woman’s boots—fancy ones. Too bad she hadn’t spent some of her shoe allowance on singing lessons. Her voice cracked. “The skies were bright, our hearts were light, in the merry, merry month of May…”
Benjamin winced. That was the fourth time in a row she’d sung that part. For the love of Pete, didn’t Miss Fancy Boots even know the words? He needed to put a stop to this so he could continue fishing—and napping. He stepped forward then stopped. The woman reached up and removed a pin from her hair, then another. Mounds of long chestnut brown ringlets spilled over her shoulders into the middle of her back.
Curls. He groaned. Why’d she have to have curls?
“The skies were bright. Our eyes were light…”
Never mind. Curls or not, the woman’s voice could haunt the dead.
For those of you who want to snatch up A Love Restored while it is on sale (which happens to last through today, 10/24/18), you can grab the Kindle edition here for $0.99!