Sadie Cuffe: I’m Sophie’s sister (obviously). You know those authors who say, “I wrote my first book when I was six years old!”? That wasn’t me. I never intended to be a writer, and God gave me a good length of time to do many other things before I sat down in front of a keyboard. I’m a blue collar farmer with rural roots and have the blessings of a close family and a wonderful church family. It’s a great life.
Sophie Cuffe: I'm Sadie's big sister. We share a lot of interests, but along with the farming and writing, I'm also a musician. We love singing with the residents of our local nursing home - we like to think we put the joyful in "joyful" noise.
Is there a particular genre you enjoy reading/writing and why is it your favorite?
Sadie: I enjoy reading suspense and mystery because I like the clever plot twists in a well written novel. I like writing the same genres as I read (and wish I could turn as clever plot twists as other authors... maybe some day) but my sister and I also like to throw in a dash of romance, intergenerational characters (who doesn’t like kids and older folks?), and mix it up with some contemporary themes and some historical.
Sophie: I like mystery and suspense, too, but have a soft spot for westerns. One of my favorite memories is of our father reading Louis L'Amour to my daughter one day when she was a sick little toddler. and Sadie and I both got to read another Louis book to our father when he was no longer able to hold a book in his hands. So I guess I'd have to say my favorite book we've written to date is HARD COUNTRY, a modern western suspense (still looking for a publisher!).
Can you tell us two or three things that most readers don’t know about you?
Sadie: I can start singing a totally different song when Sophie is singing, and drive her crazy. I hiked to the top of Katahdin [ME’s highest peak and the challenging end (or beginning depending on where you start) of the Appalachian trail.] when I was six, and I still love to backpack, hike, and camp whenever I get the chance. I’m really good at walking backward and tipping greens in the woods – two things I can do at a fast clip.
Sophie: I play the accordion - LOVE polkas! I can milk a goat in under a minute. I can cross one eye independently of the other, although my ophthalmologist doesn't recommend this!
What five things do you love/like the most?
Sadie: 1. living in the sticks 2. having a sister 3. being part of the family of God (love the blessing of having sisters and brothers in Christ everywhere) 4. crackers 5. being able to see, reason, and read
Sophie: 1. my three grandchildren, 2. my two children, 3. my sister, 4. that our mom lets us live with her since our dad passed away, 5. our precious extended family of God through church, nursing homes, wherever two or three are gathered together... oh yeah, any kind of kettle chips!
If you could meet one person (besides Jesus, because who doesn’t want to meet Him!), who would you choose?
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Sadie: Hard question but at this moment I think I’d like to meet my great grandmother (my grandmother’s mom). Her family came from Ireland to settle in ME. She had a farm where they raised race horses and 13 children. Her husband died of a heart attack in the hay field when he was in his early forties and she never gave up. In my grandmother, I got to see some of our roots but I’d like to go back in time and hang out with my great grandmother on the farm and see her call to her favorite race horse and feed him sugar out of her hand.
Sophie: I'd like to meet C. S. Lewis. Before seeing Shadowlands, I thought he was just a misunderstood children's story writer - misunderstood because I didn't get the Narnia books LOL. After viewing the movie I came to admire him, his faith, and his writing..
What is your favorite Bible story?
Sadie: Who doesn’t like Ruth? She’s got faith, family issues, courage, heart, suspense, romance and real life drama.
Sophie: The story of Uriah the Hittite - what a man of integrity who carries his own death warrant to the battlefield without ever looking inside.
How do you choose your characters names?
Sadie: Glad you asked. Sophie and I don’t always agree on our choices but that’s part of the fun. (she always accuses me of choosing names that end in “S” and for some crazy reason I do! It’s some sort of sick affliction, no matter how hard I try, I can’t completely shake it but, fortunately I have a partner who notices and points it out, but it still doesn’t stop me.) We put in one character that bears a first or last name from our family tree and the rest hinges on whether someone is evil or kind, whether we “like” them or not and whether their made up circumstances fit their moniker. We mostly try to stay away from names of people we know and favorite names so we don’t end up having a Robbie or Sean in every book.
Sophie: Sadie's right about that "s" thing - it makes me laugh. It's good we have each other to bounce names off of. In one of our books we realized all the male characters had the same initials of JB - different first and last names, but all were JB. We do better now (at least we think we do).
If you weren’t an author, what would your dream job be?
Sadie: farmer and sculptor
Sophie: farmer and country music singer
Please tell us about the featured book.
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The Heart Knows is the third book in the Wainwright Trilogy (coming out in March of this year). Lydia Wainwright’s two grown children have married, and she doesn’t want to be hovering over their new lives, so she answers an ad for a school marm in the boom town of Abilene, Kansas. In August 1867, she heads west, gets in a train wreck on the Kansas border, and suffers temporary amnesia. (We know amnesia is Standard Plot #8, but it's fun, and it opens a thousand doors of possibility.) In Lydia’s case, she’s claimed by careful Civil War veteran Drew Spurlock, who mistakes her for his cousin (a woman he hasn’t seen in 25 years), who was coming to Kansas to care for his two children.
Lydia’s an independent Yankee who adapts to life on the frontier, and turns Drew’s life upside down. Drew’s no dope, but neither is Lydia. Both begin to suspect she’s not who she thinks she is. Drew finds the truth and keeps it from her, but when his ex-wife shows up to claim the children, things get complicated and interesting in a heartbeat. When Lydia finds out she doesn’t belong in a family she’s grown to love, and that Drew has lied, can she find a new life in Kansas, or have they both been deceived by a person and a dream that doesn’t exist?
Can you please give us the first page?
THE HEART KNOWS
Lydia Wainwright closed her eyes against the suffocating heat. She flexed her shoulders and shifted in the seat, every muscle in her back and legs screaming at the inactivity. The clack of the train wheels hammered in her brain. The raucous laughter of a gentleman seated at the front of the car rubbed her nerves raw. Have I made a mistake, Lord?
A waft of moving air fluttered past her flushed cheeks. "Are you alright, Mrs. Wainwright?"
Lydia forced a smile and turned her eyes on her newest traveling companion, a nice young lady from Kansas. With her dark hair and hesitant smile, she reminded Lydia of her daughter.
Essie Claussen flapped her hand back and forth in an effort to fan them both. "I'll be right as rain, Essie. As soon as I get where I'm going."
Essie nodded. "Perhaps if you removed your gloves and jacket you'd be more comfortable."
Lydia took off her spectacles, peeled off her gloves, and ran a moist hand over her gritty eyes. "It certainly couldn't hurt." She perched her glasses back on her nose. After she stripped off the lavender Eton jacket and laid it and her gloves on the seat beside her, she undid the top buttons of her bodice and grinned. "This is more like it. I don't know what I was thinking. I'm usually not such a slave to fashion."
"You just wanted to look smart, and you truly do, Mrs. Wainwright." Essie dropped her hand into her lap and leaned back, her face pale and glistening.
"I can't very well make a good impression if I swoon like a ninny from the heat. A frontier school marm ought to be sensible, if nothing else."
"I think it's awfully courageous of you to be traveling alone to an unknown land."
Lydia shook her head. "Foolhardy is more like it. I'm stuffed in a new dress, cooked like a roasted goose. But I am excited; at least I was when I started out, before all those dreadful meals of filthy bread and bitter tea." She patted her bosom. "Probably won't do me any harm to miss a few meals, but I do miss my own kitchen."
"I can't imagine going off to a place, miles and miles from home, where you won't have your own abode and aren't acquainted with anyone at all, especially at your age." Essie's big blue eyes widened, but Lydia took no offense. The girl was sweet as fresh cream and totally without guile, a refreshing respite from the sour so-and-so who'd chewed her ear off from New York to Chicago. The car had filled and emptied dozens of times, the occupants changing, their accents shifting with each depot stop. Now she and her companion sat in the back of the car, nearly empty save for a group of men to the front of them.
"I thought I'd best get out on my own for a turn while I still had all my faculties in working order, more or less. Let my children have their turn to rule the roost." But I miss the company of family in the kitchen, and the fuss of the sheep when I hung the laundry out in the back dooryard.
Lydia took a deep breath, set her teeth against the wave of homesickness, and ignored the trickle of sweat running down her neck. "'Course, both my children are dead set against this, and that adds a bit of spice to my adventure. By the time I finish my year teaching contract, my daughter and her husband will have their first child; and, if I know my son and his wife, they won't be far behind." But I won't be there for the birth of my grandchild.
Where can readers learn more information about each of you?
We're in this together and can be found at the following links:
Facebook author page: http://tinyurl.com/9cflp7w
And our latest undertaking - a year-long daily blog fusing 1 chapter of serial fiction (entitled A WOMAN LIKE ME) with six daily devotions (per week). http://awomanlikemeblog.com/
Sophie and Sadie have generously offered to giveaway an eBook copy of both Faith In the Shadows and The Seekers– the first two books in The Wainwright Trilogy!! Just leave a comment with your email address to be entered in the giveaway. Be sure to check the sidebar (under Winner Announcement) after the giveaway is over to see if you've won. The winner(s) must contact me by going to my "Contact Me" page and sending me an email.
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(please leave a separate comment for each extra entry)
Giveaway ends on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at midnight (Eastern time). Winner will be chosen through Random.org,