The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green

Thursday, February 2, 2017

About the book:

The Mark of the King (Bethany House, January 2017)

Sweeping historical fiction set at the edge of the continent

After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.

When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne's brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?

With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king's mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

Purchase a copy:
Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning author of ten books to date, including Wedded to War, a Christy Award finalist in 2013; Widow of Gettysburg; Yankee in Atlanta; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. A former military wife herself, her passion for military families informs all of her writing as well as her numerous speaking opportunities. Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University with a BA in English and now lives with her husband and two children in Iowa.

Here is some background about the book from Jocelyn.

The Story Behind The Mark of the King

Tell us a bit about the story behind your latest novel. Where did you find inspiration?
My brother and sister-in-law, who were living in France at the time, told me about a group of women sent from France by the king to be wives of fur traders in New France (Canada). The idea intrigued me, so I hopped online to learn more. One click led to another, and eventually I learned that in the 1700s, the monarchy agreed to clean its streets and prisons by sending those people to populate the floundering French colony of Louisiana. At that point, I knew I’d stumbled onto something with serious historical fiction potential.
What was the hardest part about writing your novel: Getting started? Keeping it going? Finding the perfect ending?
As usual, it was getting started. The first chapter carries so much responsibility as it launches the rest of the story. I tried the novel with and without a prologue, and rewrote the prologue seven times before I was happy with it.
What trait do you love most about your main character?
I love that Julianne strives to be an overcomer. She could allow the past to dictate her future, but instead, she seeks to write her own story by making her own choices—as much as she is allowed to.
When readers get to the last page, what do you hope they take away from the story?
This answer is summed up pretty well in the dedication to the book, so I’ll just share that:
To all who feel marked by judgment.
May your life be marked by the grace of Jesus instead.
In other words, I want the reader to take grace away with them.
What are you working on next?
I have a novella collection coming out in March with my co-authors Joanne Bischof, Amanda Dykes, Heather Day Gilbert and Maureen Lang, titled The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection. Right now, I’m feverishly working on the first draft of my next novel for Bethany House. I hesitate to offer any type of blurb since I’m sure so much will change, but it will be set in the late 1700s in Pennsylvania, and explore the cost of liberty while America was still in the wake of its revolution and struggling to govern itself.

My Thoughts:

Jocelyn takes you into the beauty of France and the roughness of the new colony of Louisiana.  The beauty of both France and Louisiana are visible as you read the story. She does not shy away from showing the difficulty the new settlers experience being in a new land and living around Choctaw Indians.
This story is about being an over comer, and forgiveness both of others and yourself. I was completely immersed in the story at page one and each page became a new experience into Louisiana.
The characters were real and vibrant. I cheered for them and hurt with them as they made their way through the uncharted territory of Louisiana.
Highly recommended!


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