ABOUT BOOK: It is 1704 when Genevieve Gaillain and her sister board a French ship headed for the Louisiana colony as mail-order brides. Both have promised to marry one of the rough-and-tumble Canadian men in this New World in order to escape religious persecution in the Old World. Genevieve knows life won't be easy, but at least here she can establish a home and family without fear of beheading. But when she falls in love with Tristan Lanier, an expatriate cartographer whose courageous stand for fair treatment of native peoples has made him decidedly unpopular in the young colony, Genevieve realizes that even in this land of liberty one is not guaranteed peace. And a secret she harbors could mean the undoing of the colony itself.

Gulf Coast native Beth White brings vividly to life the hot, sultry south in this luscious, layered story of the lengths we must go to in order to be true to ourselves, our faith, and our deepest loves.

ABOUT AUTHOR: Beth White's day job is teaching music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama. A native Mississippian, she is a pastor's wife, mother of two, and grandmother of one--so far. Her hobbies include playing flute and pennywhistle and painting, but her real passion is writing historical romance with a Southern drawl. Her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award. Visit for more information.

What was your favorite scene in The Pelican Bride? Which was the most fun to write?

My favorite scene is Geneviève and Tristan’s wedding day/night. I hope that isn't a spoiler—after all, this is a “mail-order bride” story! The funny thing is, when I plotted the book, I really didn’t know when they would get married. In a typical romance, the wedding is the emotional high point, and I was afraid that if my characters married too early in the story, some of the tension would drain. So I was surprised and delighted when those two characters sort of “told” me: “this is how we’re doing this, so write it down!” And I think it worked beautifully. Beyond that, I don’t want to spoil any surprises for those who haven’t read the book.
Daughter - Daughter-In-Law w/me @a wedding Thanksgiving 2013

My daughter Hannah’s bridal portrait. Wedding Sash —She’s wearing one of my creations, an heirloom sash I made from fabric flowers,beads and embroidery.

Nora: Lovely family Beth.

How much research do you put into your historicals? Did you discover some fascinating tales that made it in your book? Some that didn't?
Historic French fort near Montgomery AL
I am a fanatical researcher. I visit museums, pore over historical websites, study antique fashion plates and cookbooks, read historical journals. I bought and read a big fat history of old Mobile—Fort Louis de la Louisiane, 1701-1711, by Professor Jay Higginbotham—cover to cover. There are sticky notes all in it, where details of the lives of real people played out.

Fort Toulouse
One of the more fascinating side notes was about a young woman named Gabrielle Bonnet, who apparently went insane and took to walking around in her underwear. No other info at all. It wasn’t much trouble to imagine what would have caused that, considering the privations those women endured—so this poor girl became my Ysabeau.

Part of the plot of Pelican Bride involves the fear of the British attacking the fort. There were actually some shots fired at one point, but that didn’t make it into the book. Believe it or not, there was plenty of conflict already!

Nora: Oh, Beth I think I'd like to go with you on one of your trips and see things the way you do; finding the pieces you need to create your next book and weave them into your surprise plot twists for your next book. Thanks for the fun pictures!

In growing up, what were three important values you learned that stuck with you and shaped your life?
My & my three sisters w/me at lunch

I can think of more than three, but I’ll start with the love of reading. My dad had me sitting in his lap reading the “funny papers” when I was about three, and he always had a paperback novel by his recliner when he had a chance to relax. My mom introduced me to Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney gothics when I was a teenager. And my three younger sisters and I would ride our bikes to the public library every Saturday, load up the baskets, and read our brains out!

Nora: I wasn't close enough to a library to ride my bike there.  Fun memories.Wish I could have heard you all sing in college. Looks like a blast!
Drawntogether third from right singing in Christian band courthouse in Carthage, Mississippi
My sisters and I were taught to love music and church in about equal measures as well. Our parents were definitely lower-middle-class, but they managed to pay for piano lessons, guitars and band instruments, and sheet music. We’re all singers as well, and my dad played harmonica and a little guitar. I became a soloist in church as a child, and all of us were in church youth choirs from the ground up. I made an early profession of faith in Jesus as a nine-year-old, after an Easter Sunday message. Vacation Bible School and Sunday School and missions activities were a major part of my life.
LeFlore Choir-Parents Appreciation night Mobile
Another value that shaped me was the pursuit of knowledge as a way to elevate my life. My parents never threatened to punish us if we didn’t study, but completing homework and studying for tests and doing our best was an accepted part of life. I loved making my parents proud of me (probably the “eldest child syndrome”), so I rarely made less than an A on my report card. I think that’s why I pursued writing as a hobby to begin with; it was a way to learn about fascinating topics and people. Assimilating and synthesizing information, then telling it in an entertaining fashion—to me, that a perfect product of education!

Nora: Oh, Yeah! I'm thrilled so many get to enjoy the entertainment you create and learn a thing or two along the way! Grin!

What three things are you most thankful for in life?

Family Quilt Fest
I’m thankful for my Mississippi family heritage, which is based on the Christian faith and hard work and close-knit relationships. I’m thankful for my handsome, godly, funny, hard-working, ubersmart husband, Scott—and the fact that we’ve been married for thirty-three years. And I’m thankful for two great kids—both of them Christ-followers who have married Christ-followers—and my grandchildren, 3-year-old Judah and soon-to-be-born Rosalyn. I’m a happy BeBe!

Family Not-Necessarily-Talented-Talent-Show in conjunction with the quilt fest
My son Ryan, his wife Nicole, Hannah, Larry, Judah and me

Nora: Love the quilt. Beautiful. It looks like a great at the Talent Show! Fun family times! Great memories!

Can you give us a sneak peek into what you are working on now? When will it be out?

My husband Scott showing 3 Yr old grandson Judah silly string
I’m working on the first draft of The Creole Princess. It’s a sequel to The Pelican Bride, but it’s set 75 years later. The heroine is a descendent of Geneviève and Tristan, and the hero is a Spanish spy, helping to fund the American Revolution. There are pirates. There are British redcoats. There is Spanish gold. There are people imprisoned for disseminating the Declaration of Independence. There is, above all, ROMANCE!!!

The Creole Princess should release about this time next year. Is this where I whine about my full-time teaching job, which makes me a slow writer?

Nora: Sounds like a fun sequel!

You are shipwrecked on an uninhabited tropical island with a group of Christians – all friends and relatives of yours. You all have to work as a team to survive. Many roles have to be filled. Which role do you think you’d play?

I would be the one figuring out how to weave blouses and skirts out of palm fronds. I would certainly not be the hunter or the cook!

Nora: I'm with you Beth. No hunting for me. I might try to catch a fish but I can only cook with cook books. Alas there wouldn't be any! Grin!

Young Man fashion inspiration for Pelican Bride
A friend of yours has a time machine and they will let you use it for a while. Where would you go and what would you do?

I would go to Regency England and look over Jane Austen’s shoulder as she wrote Emma. I want to know if she giggled as she wrote, as I did when I read it the third time.

Nora: Yes, It would be fun to see!

What two jobs have you had that would surprise people? Do tell!

I worked three summers in a row, during my college years, at a Taco Bell in Memphis. Can you picture me frying taco shells? Um, yeah. Well, I did. I also did a stint one summer as an inventory clerk, counting bolts and snow shoes and cigarette lighters (among other things) at the Defense Depot in Memphis.

Out of all the sounds in the world which are your favorite?
LeFlore Choir

Hearing my choir at John L. LeFlore Magnet High School sing “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” with a seven-fold “amen” at the end. That’s right up there with my grandson, Judah, singing “You Are My Sunshine.”

There are so many types of weather which is your favorite? Which do you try to avoid?

I live on the Gulf Coast, and I like early morning summertime heat. I’ve never been a big fan of snow and ice. I don’t like to be cold!

Nora: Cold weather is a great time to be by the fire place reading books! Grin!

We all live busy lives and all of us are in different seasons of life; what as a given what part of your day requires the most patience from you to get through? Causes you to pray the most?

Well, I’m a high school music teacher. The hardest thing for me is when I have a lazy beginner choir class. I love to teach kids who are motivated to absorb all the fun things there are about making music, but when I get students with a “whatever” or combative attitude, it’s hard to be patient enough to find strategies that will wake them up and change their minds. Most of the time, it’s a matter of teasing them, laughing, and creating fun experiences for them—I have to initiate the good attitude. And that takes a lot of prayer!

Beth: Well, Nora you've encouraged me to ask questions for TBCN readers to enter the contest. So I want to know:

When a book doesn’t grab you right off the bat, how long do you keep reading before you give up and put the book down? Do you always finish books you start?

Personally, I’m an impatient reader. If the first chapter doesn't appeal, I usually won’t keep reading (life’s too short).

Nora: (This is just one of the fun questions BETH asked readers to answer at The Book Club Network to be ENTERED into the DRAWING Revell Publishers is giving away 5 copies of Beth's new book The Pelican Bride at TBCN www.bookfun. ENTER TODAY! You must be a member to join it's fun and easy!

Yes, I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to have a chance to interact with people who have read my stories, especially in person. Getting emails from readers is one thing that keeps me at it! So if you read The Pelican Bride, I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books. THANKS for all your great pictures. LOVED that!

I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN that started 20th and runs until the last day of April.  Looking forward to it to reading the answers to your questions and the interaction between you and readers! It’s always so much fun!

SEE EVERYONE AT TBCN! Thanks again for a great interview Beth!


Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!


  1. Your book sounds great!
    God bless you

  2. I too, am an impatient reader...either I like it and it grabs me from the start, or I'm done with it as I have so many books I want to read. I will generally read the first couple of chapters or 40-50 pages, and then if it hasn't grabbed me, I will give it up for another book.

  3. your book sounds so good and I would just love to read. The cover is just amazing!