Tuesday, February 6, 2018

A Refuge Assured

A Refuge Assured
Jocelyn Green
(Bethany House Publishers)
ISBN: 978-0764219078
February 2018/416 pages/$14.99

Fleeing One Revolution to the Aftermath of Another, She Seeks and Dreams of Peace

Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia, but danger lurks in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers begin to suspect a young boy left in her care might be the Dauphin. Can the French settlement Asylum offer permanent refuge?

Militiaman Liam Delaney proudly served in the American Revolution, but now that the new government has imposed an oppressive tax that impacts his family, he barely recognizes the democracy he fought for. He wants only to cultivate his hard-won farm near Asylum, but he soon finds himself drawn into the escalating tension of the Whiskey Rebellion. When he meets a beautiful young Frenchwoman recently arrived from Paris, they are drawn together in surprising ways to fight for the peace and safety for which they long.

Read an excerpt.


Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning author of ten books to date, including The Mark of the King, a Christy Award winner in 2017; Wedded to War, a Christy Award double 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. Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com.

Words fail me as I attempt to do justice to this incredible novel. Jocelyn Green possesses a gift for crafting a phenomenal story among a lesser-known historic backdrop, and her talents shine in A Refuge Assured. Masterfully created characters populate this novel, with as much care given to minor personalities as to the primary individuals such as Vivienne and Liam. Fact and fiction intermingle with arresting detail, and Green seamlessly blends it all with prose as expertly and elegantly wrought as Vivenne's lace. The harsh realities and consequences of oppression and carnal choices are heart-breakingly evident, yet a redemptive thread of faith is a steady reminder that anyone who seeks can find A Refuge Assured. You do not want to miss this phenomenal book. Grab your copy today!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Bethany House Publishers for a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


1. What drew you to tell this particular story?

When I first read a mention somewhere about French Asylum, the refuge built for Marie Antoinette in the wilderness of Pennsylvania during the French Revolution, I couldn’t tell if it was fact or fiction. So I immediately turned to Google and verified through several sources that it was real. Though Marie-Antoinette did not escape the guillotine, the refuge was still used by those who longed for their queen and her son, Louis-Charles. Once I started reading about the men and women who found refuge in Asylum, I was hooked. The settlement only lasted about a decade, but its history is fascinating and worth telling through the eyes of my heroine, Vivienne Rivard, a former lacemaker for the French court.

2. What is the theme of A Refuge Assured?

The primary theme is that of finding refuge in the Lord, when no physical place of safety seems to exist. But a secondary theme popped up through a character I didn’t plan on creating: Armand, the father from whom Vivienne has been estranged her entire life. The two flee France together, and through their relationship, a picture of reconciliation emerged. At one point Armand says to Vivienne, “One is never too old for a father’s love.” None of us are ever too old—or “too far gone”—for our heavenly Father’s love, either. And that is the greatest reconciliation story of all time.

3. What kind of research did you do for this book?

I devoured every book and digital resource I could find first, plus documentaries on the French Revolution, Marie-Antoinette specifically, and the Whiskey Rebellion. I did not go see Hamilton on Broadway, but I did read Ron Chernow’s amazing book about Alexander Hamilton, since the Treasury Secretary plays a significant role in my novel. I also took my family on a spring break/research trip out to Pennsylvania. My favorite research spot in Philadelphia was City Tavern, an eighteenth-century-style restaurant that was a frequent haunt of our founding fathers. I created a fictional tavern in Philadelphia for my characters, so eating at City Tavern and getting a tour into every corner was a special treat. From Philadelphia, we drove to the site of French Asylum, or Asylum. As always, on-site research is the most fun!

4. What was your favorite part of the process of writing this book?

Aside from lunching at City Tavern, one of my favorite aspects has been learning how to bake baguettes and scones from the City Tavern cookbook as part of my research. The other favorite part was developing secondary characters that are just as vibrant as the hero and heroine. This cast of characters was a joy to bring together.

5. You have shared that your heroine, Vivienne Rivard, is related to the heroine in Laura Frantz’s new novel, The Lacemaker (Revell, Jan. 2018). What is their connection?

Yes! Laura’s story is set in colonial Williamsburg on the eve of the American Revolution. A Refuge Assured starts in Paris during the French Revolution and quickly moves to Philadelphia in 1794. The connection between the lacemakers was easy to imagine, because lacemaking is typically a tradition passed down from one generation of women to the next. Laura and I had a great time creating a family tree with roots in France, and determining where the branches reached to England before spanning the ocean to America. Our heroines don’t interact with each other in either book, but eagle-eyed readers will catch the mention of a great-grandmother they
shared in each one.

Many thanks to Jocelyn Green and Bethany House Publishers for providing this Q & A!


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