by Laura Frantz
Amid the Jacobite rising of 1715, an English heiress flees to the Scottish Lowlands to stay with allies of her powerful family. But while castle walls may protect her from the enemy outside, a whirlwind of intrigue, shifting allegiances and temptations of the heart lie within. That’s the concept of my latest release—The Rose and the Thistle.
My novels all reflect my core beliefs and convictions and are infused with my travels and heritage, especially The Rose and the Thistle. I was able to take my family’s genealogy and further research my Scottish Humes who are the backbone of this novel. I also attended school in England years ago, living in a manor house (Harlaxton), so that became the template for the castles and manor houses in this story.
The novel opens in France. I was recently privileged to be at the chateau where my heroine roams the lovely gardens and grottoes. Then I moved on to the U.K. and visited the castles and manor houses that form the Scottish setting. So this particular book mirrors my background and experiences perhaps more than any other.
I’ve always been fascinated with ancestry. This story is inspired by my Scottish sixth great-grandfather, George Hume. He and some of his family were Jacobites who took up arms against the new king of Great Britain, George I in 1715. As a result, they lost the battle and were imprisoned, their titles and lands forfeited, and some of them were even placed in irons and shipped to colonial America.
This is the branch of my family I know the most about. Their turbulent, colorful history over the centuries is fascinating, and I’ve included a great deal of it in this novel. I hope readers find it fascinating, too, especially since so many of us have Scottish heritage. Our forefathers often endured incredible hardships, leaving their home countries and coming to America. We all have rich roots, no matter where we’re from or what country we’ve made our home in.
Writing this novel helped me see how God’s sovereignty even has to do with the places we find ourselves physically, wherever that might be in the world.
Acts 17:25-27 says it is God who determines where and when each of us should live. And He has done so in order that we should reach out for Him and find Him.
The Rose and the Thistle’s heroine, Lady Blythe Hedley, finds herself without a home in the novel and through her homelessness, so to speak, she sees God at work in countless ways. She learns that no matter where we are, God is already there. Writing this particular novel reminded me that heaven is my true home, and we are truly just passing through. It’s enabled me to hold more loosely the earthly places and homes I find myself in, being grateful for them and the beauty they bring yet thankful the dust and decay are just temporary.
One of my favorite biblical stories is that of Joseph. He overcame so much, lost his home and family early on after his brothers betrayed him, yet God was with him in Egypt, enabling him to rise to unprecedented power despite many hardships and temptations, eventually saving the very brothers who betrayed him. There’s an amazing true story behind that colorful coat of his! In The Rose and the Thistle, there’s also a journey away from home that leads to finding a new home—a journey of betrayal, forgiveness and restoration that is as relevant now as it was then and reflects some of those biblical themes.
I hope readers will recognize anewthat God’s plans for us are always good and far better than we can ask for or imagine as evidenced in our lives and even the fictional lives of the characters in The Rose and the Thistle. God is always at work for our best and His glory. Though we may not understand it, we can trust Him fully and joyfully.
About the Author
Laura Frantz is a Christy Award winner and the ECPA bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including The Frontiersman’s Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, The Lacemaker and A Heart Adrift. She is a proud mom of an American soldier and a career firefighter. A direct descendent of George Hume of Wedderburn Castle, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion, Laura lives with her husband in Washington State. Learn more at www.laurafrantz.net.
About the Book
In 1715, Lady Blythe Hedley's father is declared an enemy of the British crown because of his Jacobite sympathies, forcing her to secretly flee her home in northern England to the tower of Wedderburn Castle in Scotland. But in a house with seven sons and numerous servants, her presence soon becomes known. Drawn into a whirlwind of intrigue, shifting alliances and ambitions, Lady Blythe must be careful whom she trusts.
Did You Know?
More than two million dogs and cats each are adopted through shelters across the United States each year. That’s more than 167,000 per month, or 5,600 per day. Imagine all those pups and kitties waiting for a forever home. That leads right into these interesting facts:
Over three percent of cats and dogs adopted as Christmas gifts get returned after Christmas, most often because the recipients simply didn’t want a pet. That could be up to 5,800 animals experiencing rejection once again.
The top five most often returned dog breeds are Pit Bull Terrier, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Dachshund and Jack Russell Terrier.
The best way to find a pet: Say goodbye to preconceived ideas. Think about your lifestyle. Don't impulse buy. Do your sums (count the cost, including additional rent/fees, health insurance, breed health). Think about a rescue pet (this is where animal shelters come in). Use a reputable breeder (not a puppy mill). Find your perfect match (think activity level of both you and the pet).
Pet ownership can be a beautiful relationship, or it can be traumatic for both you and the animal. Choose wisely. This isn’t speed dating. It isn’t even dating. It’s a lifelong commitment (or it should be). And best advice: Don’t give a pet to somebody without talking with her first.
-Donna Schlachter, A Mommy by Christmas
Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore
“It’s a girls-out event. Browse real books lined up on shelves. Find gifts for birthdays and holidays. Enjoy lattes afterward next door with friends.”
-Janet Chester Bly, The Power of a Godly Grandparent