Back cover copy on the book
Daughter of a bordello madame and an Italian captain of the seas,
Angelina Mercy longs for a new life, free from the condemnation associated with her mother’s home in Boston. A former navy man, Jonathan Thomson has accepted God’s call and become a minister of a small congregation. Adrift from his Yankee heritage in the Missouri plains, Jonathan longs for a family of his own. Pursuing Alice, the daughter of the town’s wealthy patron, Jonathan believes he can tame her wild ways and accomplish more as a preacher once so established.
When Angelina’s guardian and Jonathan’s seminary professor learns of Jonathan’s misguided intentions, he seeks out a solution to aid both individuals, providing a new home for Angelina in St. Joseph, Angelina and Jonathan are brought together with a strong initial attraction.
Can Jonathan ignore Angelina’s Gold Earrings, a constant reminder of the implications of her less than pristine parentage? And will Alice succeed in keeping Jonathan from Angelina? The resilient heroine of Diane E. Tatum’s novel will inspire you in this touching tale of love against the odds.
While in high school in St. Louis County, Missouri, Diane E. Tatum wrote the short story that grew into this novel. After teaching middle school language arts for eleven years in Tullahoma, Tennessee, Diane “retired” in 2009 in order to write full time. She writes for AssociatedContent.com and Suite101.com. Diane works in youth Sunday school and has written Bible study materials for middle school for LifeWay and David C. Cook. Diane and her husband, Ken, live in Tullahoma, Tennessee. They have two sons and daughters-in-love, one couple in Marietta, GA, and one in Bethesda, MD. Two grandsons have been born: Ethan 9/7/13 & Kellan 3/7/14.
Article for placement 300-750 words
Gold Earringsreleases on September 27, 2011. Published by Tate Publishing, Diane E. Tatum presents an historical Christian fiction novel with lessons that continue to apply, even in the 21st century.
Her heroine is Angelina Mercy who is trying to escape from her mother’s reputation and business, a Boston bordello. She continues to have nightmares of a night when a strange dark man assaulted her in her bedroom at the bordello. Fear and embarrassment guide her to her legal guardian, Dr. Ben
Graves, to help in choosing a place to start anew.
Dr. Graves is also a Harvard divinity school professor whose student, Rev. Jonathan Thomson, has recently begun serving as a pastor in St. Joseph, MO. Jonathan has also had a difficult and diverse life so far and wants to start his family by marrying Alice, the shrewish daughter of the wealthy Bardsley family. Dr. Graves encourages him to marry only the woman God provides for him, the only woman that he loves.
Seeing the opportunity to heal two hearts, Dr. Graves plays matchmaker and sends Angelina to St. Joseph under the care of Jonathan. However, Angelina’s large gold hoop earrings draw attention to her and her mother’s past and heritage. Alice senses that Angelina is her rival for the affections of the
pastor; her brother Edward has a disturbing attraction to Angelina.
At the heart of the story is the problem of judging others on their outward appearance. Angelina’s Gold Earrings are a lightning rod for judgment. Jonathan’s tall, strong physique is more ranch hand than pastor quelling stereotypes about a weakling pastor. Is Angelina the right person to be a pastor’s wife with her “reputation”? Will Jonathan’s be bent to heed the demands of the wealthiest man in town, Charles Bardsley? Both Angelina and Jonathan find their faith tested before the story ends.
Diane wrote a short story with the two main characters in high school. The novel did not come about until summer of 1993. After no success in marketing the novel, Diane went back to school to get her Masters of Teaching in Language Arts in order to be trained and certified to teach middle school
language arts. After a move from Virginia to Tennessee and 11 years teaching to help put her sons through college debt-free, Diane quit her day job to become a full time writer, a life-long dream. Gold Earrings is her first novel, but not her last since she has nearly completed her second, a Civil War novel entitled A Time to Choose.
Diane was born in Louisville, KY, raised, married, and had 2 sons in north St. Louis County, MO. Her young family relocated to Newport News, VA, so her aerospace engineer husband could work at NASA-Langley. In 1997, she received her Masters and teaching certificate just a month before moving to
Tullahoma, TN, when her husband began a new job at AEDC facilities.
Endorsements of book
I really enjoyed this book! The characters are all real and struggle in their walk with God and his will for
their lives! Plus, I really liked that the main character in this book overcame her family background. This book teaches tolerance and every person is responsible for their own walk with God!!
Juanita Petty Holmes
Diane ,your book is so good I truly believe that Hallmark should use it for one of their movies... Thanks so much for sharing your story with us and can not wait for you next book to come out....
Why is the book set in St. Joseph, MO?
I grew up in St. Louis and studied Missouri state history in 4th grade. St. Joseph was at the edge of the frontier in the days following the Civil War. As a result, the French founded town became the “stocking up” station for the settlers leaving for the West. That makes Crabtrees’ general store a thriving business and the church perhaps the last one settlers would see until they helped build one in their new community.
Why do you mention Jesse James in the story?
St. Joseph, Independence, and Kansas City were stomping grounds for the infamous brothers and their gang. In the post-Civil War era, the James brothers were heroes due to their service to the Confederacy. They also give an air of authenticity to the town and the story.
What is the take away message from Gold Earrings?
Since Gold Earrings is a Christian historical fiction, of course, The underlying theme must be how does one live a Christian life in the face of worldly concerns.
The primary theme is not the judge anyone by outward appearance or family background. Other themes include being able to look yourself in the mirror every morning by making things right with people every day; the importance of being a faithful friend; and acting out the servant character of Christ in difficult situations.
The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord
looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)
Angelina's Gold Earrings represent purity to some and a filthy past to others.
Jonathan has a mirror which Dr. Graves gave him on graduation with the caveat that “a man should be able to look in the mirror once a day to assess his behavior and relationships.” Basically when he’s doing God’s will he has no problem using the shaving mirror. When he is out-of-sorts with someone, he has a hard time looking into the mirror.
Links to my websites, blog, or Facebook pages for more information .