Lauraine Snelling is the award-winning author of nearly 100 books, fiction and nonfiction, for adults and young adults. Her books have sold more than five million copies. She and her husband make their home in Tehachapi, California.

In this interview, Lauraine shares some of her insights behind her latest novel, A Season of Harvest.

FF: Please provide a brief summary of your new novel, A Season of Harvest.
With her three sisters all finding their own paths of life and love, Larkspur Nielsen determines to shoulder their family farm and business dream herself and stay single—even if drifter Isaac McTavish, claiming he’s back in town for good, now seeks her heart. When danger from the past comes knocking, Lark must choose whether to insist on going it alone or accept the love and support God—and Isaac—hold out.

FF: Each of the previous books in your current series, Leah’s Garden, follows a different Neilsen sister as the main character. What led you to save Larkspur’s story for the series conclusion?
I’d actually planned Larkspur’s story to be first since she’s the oldest. However, once The Seeds of Change started coming together, Forsythia took over the story! So the first book became hers.

FF: Loyalty plays a key role in A Season of Harvest. Without giving spoilers, can you hint at why loyalty is at the core of the story?
Loyalty threads through the whole series. These sisters are loyal to each other, to their friends, and to everyone they know. Through all the books, they take care of each other so faithfully. Even their initial departure from Ohio stems from drastic action they take to protect each other and their family. Loyalty then streams over into other characters in the series, especially Isaac McTavish, who really grows into loyalty in this book. Even our villain stays loyal to his purpose all the way through.

FF: Which of the four Neilsen sisters do you personally resonate with the most?
Truth be told, I resonate with each of them. But really, I tend to identify with whichever one I’m writing at the moment!

FF: A Season of Harvest returns to a major conflict from the first book in the series, The Seeds of Change. Was it always in your plan to circle back and address that conflict again in the series conclusion?
It wasn’t always in our plan, but as the book came together, it became inevitable. One benefit of a great editor is that they sometimes contribute ideas, and my editor, Jessica Sharpe, pointed out how key it would be for Ringwald to confront Larkspur at the end of the series. As the book went on, it became so important to resolve that conflict, and we kept the villain in the stories just enough to keep readers from forgetting about him.

FF: What do you hope readers learn or take away from this series?
A reminder of how important our families are. The Nielsens stood by each other in so many crises, and that’s what I would hope readers take away—just a reminder of how important your family is and how absolutely critical faith in Christ is. Salton becomes a place of healing, a place for people to recover joy. That we have so many joys and things to learn in this life is a theme that weaves through all my books.

FF: What led you to set these stories in the homesteading period? How was the setting important to the story you wanted to tell?
It’s one of my favorite periods! The homesteading era was such a time of change and adventure. As for why Nebraska, I hadn’t set stories there very much yet. For Kiersti, it was special to join in on The Seeds of Change and get to write about Nebraska homesteaders living in a soddy because her great-grandfather, a son of Danish immigrants, was born in a soddy in Nebraska in the late 1800s.

FF: Is this truly the last your readers will see of the Neilsen sisters and the rest of their community?
As far as we know!

FF: Now that you’ve wrapped up the Leah’s Garden Series, what are you working on next?
A series set in 1889 near Decorah, Iowa. Six-year-old Ruth and twenty-one-year-old Amalia are thrown together on a ship crossing over from Norway when their families die of cholera. Ruth’s dying mother gives her daughter into Amalia’s custody, and the two orphans travel to Iowa to take over the family boardinghouse Ruth will inherit. They must battle a greedy relative trying to claim the property and somehow make ends meet for the motley band of orphans who gather under their roof, while finding a way to make this new land home.

A Season of Harvest
Leah’s Garden Series #4
Lauraine Snelling
Bethany House
Genres: Historical Romance
Release Date: January 30, 2024

ISBN-10: ‎0764235788
ISBN-13: ‎978-0764235788

Book Summary:
Can her dreams for the future—and a budding romance—survive the trouble that comes calling?

Lark Neilsen has carried the weight of her family’s fate on her shoulders since her reckless choices forced them to flee their home in Linksburg, Ohio. Now she finds this weight heftier than ever. With Del and Sythia busy tending to their own homes, and Lilac back in Linksburg repairing the family mercantile, Lark must attain the family dream of Leah’s Garden all on her own.

To further complicate matters, Isaac McTavish is back in town, putting Lark’s head and heart at odds. Her heart may be pulled toward Isaac’s persistence and affection, but her mind is set on achieving her goal of starting a seed catalog. While love blossoms between Lilac and an old schoolmate from Ohio, will Larkspur allow the same for herself?

When it becomes clear that Lilac’s new beau is not the only one who followed her to Nebraska, Lark comes face-to-face with the danger that forced the Nielsen sisters to flee Ohio in the first place.


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About The Author

Lauraine Snelling is the award-winning author of more than 70 books, fiction and nonfiction, for adults and young adults. Her books have sold more than 5 million copies. Besides writing books and articles, she teaches at writers' conferences across the country. She and her husband make their home in Tehachapi, California.