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Local author gets two books released on the same day

Tuesday marks an unusual day for Christine Johnson of Alpena, author of numerous romance novels. She has not just one, but two books being released on the same day by different publishers.

“It’s a pleasant surprise,” said Johnson. “It’s the first time I’ve had two books release in the same month. When I learned they would release on the same day, I was amazed.”

After her initial amazement, she then laughed at another coincidence.

“Both books feature heroines with red hair – also not planned,” she said. “It’s crazy.”

“Freedom’s Price” is being released by Revell (Baker Publishing Group), whereas “Mail Order Sweetheart” is published by Love Inspired Historical as part of a Boomtown Brides Series.

Johnson will make an appearance Saturday at Olivet Book and Gift from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. She plans to do readings from her books and be available to chat with guests. The books are available for sale at Olivet as well as all major online sources.

“Freedom’s Price” revolves around Englishwoman Catherine Hayes who finds herself desperate for a new beginning after losing both of her parents and her home. She decides to cross the Atlantic to find her American mother’s family in Louisiana.

But she can’t do it alone. She enlists the help of Tom Worthington, a dashing Key West man with a mission of his own. He makes his living salvaging wrecked ships, but his real drive in life is revenge. Tom’s goal is to bring justice to the man who stole his father’s ship and caused his untimely death.

When Catherine finally arrives at her family’s plantation, she finds it has been abandoned and left in disarray. She is torn between returning to Key West with Tom or restoring her family’s plantation.

In “Mail Order Sweetheart,” theater singer Fiona O’Keefe is on a quest to form the perfect family for her orphaned niece. It’s a shame handsome and musically talented Sawyer Evans can’t support a household on his sawmill-manager wages. Fiona needs a respectable gentleman of means, and if she can’t find one in Singapore, Mich., then she’ll just have to look for a husband in the mail-order want ads.

Sawyer doesn’t want Fiona to marry a stranger – or anyone other than him. It would be easy to reveal that he’s secretly heir to a railroad fortune. But Sawyer’s determined to be a self-made man, so he isn’t willing to take his father’s money. Instead, can he prove to Fiona that the man she needs is already by her side?

The publication of both new books brings Johnson’s total to 14. She is hard-pressed, however, to pick a favorite.

“I think of books like children,” she said. “Each one is unique. Therefore, no favorite. Now, I do enjoy writing the long books. It’s my nature to want to add as many twists and subplots as possible.”

Though her latest offerings were written at about the same time, she didn’t work on them simultaneously. She said the first draft of any of her books usually takes about two months to complete. That’s followed by revision and editing drafts before the manuscript ever goes to her editor’s desk. After that comes more revisions and editing drafts.

“Though both books were written during roughly the same time span, I worked on them alternately, not at the same time,” Johnson said, adding that while one manuscript was awaiting edits she worked on the other.

Currently, there is a fourth book planned in the Boom Town Brides series titled “Would-Be Mistletoe Wife.” It is scheduled for a Christmas 2017 release.

“After that, I’m looking forward to a little break while I try my hand at writing something new and perhaps even a little different,” Johnson said.

Johnson has been twice named a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart award. These days, she and her husband, a Great Lakes ship pilot, split their time between Alpena and the Florida Keys.

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