It's a new year and there is a lot to look forward to in 2012! Topping our list of exciting book projects are several great new inspirational series that launch this month. All week long we will be bringing readers the highest rated series starters in the inspirational genre. Today we kick off the list with Ann Shorey, as we interview the author about her new historical novel, Where Wildflowers Bloom, the first in Shorey's Sisters at Heart series. 

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Ann, what gave you the inspiration for your Sisters at Heart series?

Two inspirations converged with this series. I decided to set the stories in southern Missouri because my great-grandparents settled there following their marriage in 1867. They were married in Illinois after he returned from the War Between the States, then traveled to Missouri shortly afterwards to take up farming.

I put that event together with my memories of a visit to Gettysburg National Military Park a couple of years ago. While touring the area, I found myself wondering what life was like for the families who lived through the events of the War Between the States, and then tried to put their lives back together. So, Sisters at Heart explores what the effects of the conflict were on the fictional community of Noble Springs, particularly its young women.

Will the books in this new series be similar to the writing style of your previous works, or can audiences expect something different? 

The writing style is lighter in tone and more romantic in this series, although you’d never guess that from my previous answer! Readers have commented on how different (in a positive way) this book is from the At Home in Beldon Grove series. 

Where Wildflowers Bloom, the series starter, has been very well received and has garnered a 4 star review in RT magazine. (Congrats!) What it is about this first book that you believe will draw readers in?

In the opening, Faith Lindberg’s grandfather expects her to take over operation of the family mercantile, but forgets to tell her most of what she needs to know to make a success of the business. She’s an example of on-the-job-training at its most challenging.

Secondly, there’s a strong romantic conflict between the person Faith Lindberg thought she wanted to marry, and the new man in town, who intrudes on her careful plans. 

What can readers expect as your series continues?

The series title, Sisters at Heart, was chosen because each book in the series features a different heroine, but they are close friends — sisters at heart. I wanted a series to honor the friendships of women. 

Although I write historical novels, I like to include issues that are relevant to women today. My friends are a blessing in my life, and I believe that’s true for most women.

The second book in the series, When the Heart Heals, will feature Rosemary Saxon, Faith Lindberg’s best friend.

Want to learn more about several other just-started inspirational series? Check out the list of links below. Or, for more genre coverage visit our Everything Inspirational Page and for a look at more titles soon to be on the shelves, stop by our Upcoming Releases Page!

Learn about Amanda Cabot's Westward Winds series >>

Learn about Sue Duffy's Red Returning series >>

Learn about Becky Melby's Lost Sanctuary series >>

Learn about Suzanne Woods Fisher's Stoney Ridge series >>

Tags: Inspirational
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