Interview with Marilyn Read and Cheryl Spears Waugh

I recently had an online interview with Marilyn Read and Cheryl Spears Waugh, the authors of the inspirational Women of Monterey series. 

This historical series has elements of romance, western, and mystery woven into stories of forgiveness and redemption.

Q: How did the idea for Anna’s story come about?

An inspirational biography about Friar Junipero Serra set Marilyn thinking about the setting: Spanish California. Missions, friars, powerful ranchers, hunters, and native people.  Soon we began wondering what the lives of women must have been like in the male-dominated setting and began to research. We couldn’t find many fictional accounts of the time. It seemed to beg for a romantic story about a Spanish aristocratic woman and a Native American, both influenced by the dedicated friar. They faced very different challenges, but with a similar outlook: to do what they must to survive in a man’s world, guided by the precepts of God.

Q: Why did you select 1780s Monterey as your setting?

The beauty of the countryside was an appealing factor, and the pivotal events in that period of California history shaped the story of Westward Expansion in the United States. Only the strong thrived in early Monterey—men and women. God is the giver of strength to accomplish whatever He asks of us.

Q: What truths from Seek a Safe Harbor do you want readers to walk away with? 

God has a plan for each human life. In living out that plan, we find fulfillment. Fray Serra sold out to this idea early in his life and God enabled him as an ordinary man to accomplish extraordinary achievements. He was sixty-five years old when he walked from Mexico to California.

 Q: What truths from Dawn’s Light in Monterey do you want readers to walk away with?

The obedience to the call of God in life settles us into His plan. He can bless our lives as we obey the voice of His Holy Spirit. Aurora and Pia demonstrate how unexpected consequences can occur.

Q: What did you learn about yourselves from writing this story?

We saw more clearly the hand of God in events of our life as we searched for truth in each character’s life. Both women obeyed God’s plan and found deeper meaning for their lives. Our journeys with God are adventures, given significance in the lives of others He entwines into our time on earth. Through Him, we are given power to bless others.

Q: What life lessons do you hope to impart to those who read your books? 

Trust in God and obey His precepts as He gives us to understand them. Prayer and study are essential to growing in Him.

Q: What are some of your favorite quotes from Seek a Safe Harbor?

  • Prayer is where our fears go to die, Anna. We drag them out one by one and stand them before God. Courage does not panic—it prays.
  • God equips the called, but not until they are in the midst of the fray.
  • Suns set in our lives and darkness may prevail, but in God there is always a new day.

Q: Give readers a glimpse of what they can expect from your next book.

In Beneath the Texas Sky, Print English is a Texas cattleman bent on building a Texas Longhorn empire. First the Civil War interrupts his dream and then a feisty, auburn-haired lawyer’s daughter, Julie Denton, decides that God intends her to be the woman who shares his life. She convinces Print to marry her, but his headstrong ambitions precipitate a crisis with organized cattle rustlers and a crazed thief who has murdered one girl and sets his sights on Julie. Can Print allow God’s solutions to prevail?

About Marilyn and Cheryl:

Marilyn Read and Cheryl Waugh are Texans with a deep interest in history. God led them to work together in 2006, after the deaths of Cheryl’s mother and Marilyn’s daughter.

They write about strong women in the old southwest to inspire women of today in their journey with God.  Seek a Safe Harbor and Dawn’s Light in Monterey are the two books of their Women of Monterey series.

Please visit them at Inspired Women of the Southwest.

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