Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Guest Post by Author Judith Redline Coopey

Please join me in welcoming Judith Redline Coopey to A Literary Vacation! She has graciously stopped by today to share her thoughts on loving your work and going after your dreams. Make sure to continue after the guest post for more information on Judith's books and her blog tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

Falling in Love


I have a card on my desk that I look at every day.  It says:  “The first thing to do is to fall in love with your work.”  Wouldn’t it make life so easy if we could all do that?  It’s a great idea and a worthy goal, but unfortunately few of us ever get a chance to do what we love.  I’m the exception.  I’ve spent my working life doing exactly what I love – on two fronts.
First I was a history teacher.  I can’t tell you which I loved more, history or teaching fifteen-year-olds about the world.  I did that for twenty-two years while raising my own family and doing all the things a working mother does.  But always in the back of my mind was the yearning to write.  I wrote a little while I was a teacher, but being a task oriented, single-minded person, I devoted myself entirely to teaching while I taught.  I find it suits me to stick to one goal at a time, and my first goal as a teacher was to teach.  So I waited.  Bided my time.  Enjoyed what I was doing but told myself someday I would write.
Someday came in 2004 when I retired from teaching and decided it was now or never.  If I wanted to write, here was the chance.  It was up to me to make something of it.  I thought at first I wanted to write for the YA market, but I soon felt constrained by that, even though I’d finished two YA novels.  My life-long interest in history – any history – anybody’s history – came to the fore.  What did I really want to write about?  History.
I also hoped to follow the traditional path to getting published.  I got an agent.  I expected to find a publisher and live happily ever after.  But the whole process was frustrating to me because it was so s-l-o-w.  By the time I’d been retired for six years, writing all the time, hoping, wishing, attending writers’ conferences, garnering honors there, but little else, I started to wonder if it would ever happen.  The idea of self publishing occurred to me as it does, inevitably, to many writers.  But by then things were changing rapidly in the publishing world, and we had come to a time where writers could place themselves in control of the process.
I’ve always liked being in control.  Just ask my husband!  So I decided that, past retirement age, I didn’t have time to wait around to be discovered.  I had to act.  So I took the chance of publishing my own work, and Glory Be!  It worked.  My first book, Redfield Farm sold moderately well at first, but when I put it out as an e-book, it took flight.  I was living the dream.
It would be hard not to love what I’ve been doing for the past eleven years.  I love writing.  I love historical fiction.  I love hearing from my readers.  And I love success.  So it follows that I smile every time I look at that card on my desk.  The first thing to do is to fall in love with your work.  How lucky I am to know that. 

The Furnace (Juniata Iron Trilogy, #1) 




Publication Date: October 1, 2014
Fox Hollow Press
Formats: eBook & Paperback
Pages: 336

Series: Volume One, Juniata Iron Trilogy
Genre: Historical Fiction

Elinor Bratton, young, beautiful, and privileged is pregnant and cast aside by her lover, the wealthy and spoiled scion of a eastern Pennsylvania family. As a result she is forced by her father into an arranged marriage to a man she barely knows. Adam MacPhail, a common iron worker whose only wish is to become an iron master agrees to the match as a means of realizing his dream. Ellie’s father, Stephen Bratton, well to do, well connected and determined to save his daughter’s reputation, orchestrates the union — not as Ellie would have it, but as he sees fit. So begins a marriage in a time when a woman had no voice, no rights, no say in matters directly pertaining to her. Ellie, exiled to the wilderness of western Pennsylvania with a man she would not have considered three months before, declares her intention to make Adam’s life miserable and make her father pay for his high-handed disregard for her rights. Adam, unschooled in dealing with women, chooses to focus his energy and attention on turning a down and out iron furnace into a profitable, well-ordered producer. Through the first half of the nineteenth century, the couple struggle to establish a life, disentangle an ill-conceived marriage, and make a success of a derelict furnace through the ups and downs of an unpredictable industry. Volume One of The Juniata Iron Trilogy, The Furnace chronicles Ellie and Adam’s efforts to find a balance and build an enterprise worthy of Pennsylvania’s iron industry, producing Juniata Iron, the finest in the world.

Buy The Furnace


Looking for Jane




Publication Date: December 21, 2012
Fox Hollow Press
Formats: ebook & Paperback
Pages: 238

Genre: Historical Fiction

"The nuns use this as their measuring stick: who your people are. Well, what if you don’t have no people? Or any you know of? What then? Are you doomed?” This is the nagging question of fifteen-year-old Nell’s life. Born with a cleft palate and left a foundling on the doorstep of a convent, she yearns to know her mother, whose name, she knows, was Jane.

When the Mother Superior tries to pawn her off to a mean looking farmer and his beaten down wife, Nell opts for the only alternative she can see: she runs away. A chance encounter with a dime novel exhorting the exploits of Calamity Jane, heroine of the west, gives Nell the purpose of her life: to find Calamity Jane, who Nell is convinced is her mother.

Her quest takes her down rivers, up rivers and across the Badlands to Deadwood, South Dakota and introduces her to Soot, a big, lovable black dog, and Jeremy Chatterfield, a handsome young Englishman who isn’t particular about how he makes his way, as long as he doesn’t have to work for it. Together they trek across the country meeting characters as wonderful and bizarre as the adventure they seek, learning about themselves and the world along the way.

Buy Looking for Jane



Waterproof: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood



Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Fox Hollow Press
Formats: ebook & Paperback
Pages: 266

Genre: Historical Fiction

Fifty years after an earthen dam broke and sent a thirty foot wall of raging destruction down on the city of Johnstown, PA, Pamela McRae looks back on the tragedy with new perspective.

When the flood hit, it wiped out Pam’s fondest hopes, taking her fiancĂ© and her brother’s lives and her mother’s sanity, and within a year her father walked away, leaving his daughter
—now the sole support of her mother—to cope with poverty and loneliness.

The arrival of Katya, a poor Hungarian girl running away from an arranged marriage, finally gives Pam the chance she needs to get back into the world; Katya can care for her mother, and Pam can go to work for the Johnstown Clarion as a society reporter.

Then Davy Hughes, Pam’s fiancĂ© before the flood, reappears and, instead of being the answer to her prayers, further complicates her life. Someone is seeking revenge on the owners of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, the Pittsburgh millionaires who owned the failed dam, and Pam is afraid Davy has something to do with it.

Buy Waterproof

Barnes & Noble

Redfield Farm: A Novel of the  Underground Railroad

Publication Date: April 2, 2010
Formats: ebook & Paperback
Pages: 280

Genre: Historical Fiction

Ann Redfield is destined to follow her brother Jesse through life – two years behind him – all the way. Jesse is a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and Ann follows him there as well.

Quakers filled with a conviction as hard as Pennsylvania limestone that slavery is an abomination to be resisted with any means available, the Redfield brother and sister lie, sneak, masquerade and defy their way past would-be enforcers of the hated Fugitive Slave Law.

Their activities inevitably lead to complicated relationships when Jesse returns from a run with a deadly fever, accompanied by a fugitive, Josiah, who is also sick and close to death. Ann nurses both back to health. But precious time is lost, and Josiah, too weak for winter travel, stays on at Redfield Farm. Ann becomes his teacher, friend and confidant. When grave disappointment disrupts her life, Ann turns to Josiah for comfort, and comfort leads to intimacy. The result, both poignant and inspiring, leads to a life long devotion to one another and their cause.




Buy Redfield Farm





About the Author



Judith Redline Coopey, born in Altoona, PA holds degrees from the Pennsylvania State University and Arizona State University. A passion for history inherited from her father drives her writing and a love for Pennsylvania sustains it. Her first book, Redfield Farm was the story of the Underground Railroad in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. The second, Waterproof, tells how the 1889 Johnstown Flood nearly destroyed a whole city and one young woman’s life. Looking For Jane is a quest for love and family in the 1890s brought to life through the eyes of Nell, a young girl convinced that Calamity Jane is her mother. Her most recent work, The Furnace: Volume One of the Juniata Iron Trilogy, is set on an iron plantation near where she grew up and tells the story of an ill conceived marriage of convenience as it plays out over a lifetime. As a teacher, writer and student of history, Ms Coopey finds her inspiration in the rich history of her native state and in stories of the lives of those who have gone before.

For more information please visit Judith Redline Coopey’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Judith Redline Coopey Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 16

Spotlight at Literary Chanteuse
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, March 17

Review, Interview, & Giveaway at A Virtual Hobby Store and Coffee Haus (The Furnace)

Wednesday, March 18

Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Thursday, March 19

Review at 100 Pages a Day (Looking for Jane)

Friday, March 20

Review at Rainy Day Reviews (Waterproof)

Monday, March 23

Review, Interview, & Giveaway at A Virtual Hobby Store and Coffee Haus (Looking for Jane)

Wednesday, March 25

Interview at Layered Pages

Friday, March 27

Spotlight & Giveaway at Susan Heim on Writing

Saturday, March 28

Spotlight at Mythical Books

Monday, March 30

Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection
Spotlight at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Tuesday, March 31

Review at Beth’s Book Nook (Looking for Jane)
Review, Interview, & Giveaway at A Virtual Hobby Store and Coffee Haus (Waterproof)

Wednesday, April 1

Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story (Redfield Farm)
Guest Post at A Literary Vacation

Friday, April 3

Review at Book Babe

Saturday, April 4

Review at Book Nerd (The Furnace)

Monday, April 6

Review, Interview, & Giveaway at A Virtual Hobby Store and Coffee Haus (Redfield Farm)



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