Therese Jennings cannot abide the thought of owning slaves. But when trouble befalls her family, can she reconcile her obligations with her beliefs? Nicole Talbot’s life is back on track after years of substance abuse. But when facts she uncovers cast doubt on her family’s legacy, she must risk all that she’s gained—her fresh start, her family’s trust, and her growing relationship with a new man—to unlock the secrets of the past. Meet two women in different eras but both with unfailing conviction in Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould’s new book, My Daughter’s Legacy.
The Story Behind My Daughter’s Legacy
Tell us a bit about the story behind your latest novel. Where did you find inspiration?
A dear reader shared about her Huguenot ancestors, who were French Protestants forced to flee France by Louis XIV in the late 1600s. We began researching the group and came up with the Cousins of the Dove series, three dual-timeline stories that explore family, history, and the impact our ancestors have on our own lives. My Daughter’s Legacy is the third and last book in the series and the historical timeline is set during the Civil War, long after the Huguenots in our stories fled to the New World.
What was the hardest part about writing your novel: Getting started? Keeping it going? Finding the perfect ending?
Actually, this was the hardest book we’ve ever done because of a certain monkey wrench that got thrown into the mix in the 11th hour. Things were going along great, but just a few months before our deadline we were told that our publisher was discontinuing its fiction line and needed us to wrap up the series in three books rather than four as originally planned. Unfortunately, the modern storyline introduces a mystery in book one that wasn’t going to be fully solved until book four. So we had to find a way to combine our intended plots for three and four into a single book. Talk about a brain stretch! We can’t believe we pulled it off—and that the final version doesn’t give a hint to all the frenzy that went on behind the scenes to make it happen.
What trait do you love most about your main character?
For Nicole, the main modern character, we love her sardonic view of the world. It makes her funny and sassy and a little bit snarky—but in a good way.
For Therese, the main historical character, we love her integrity and how she lives up to her own standards of right and wrong despite all that’s happening around her and all that she goes through.
When readers get to the last page, what do you hope they take away from the story?
We want readers to know that they’re not alone in whatever struggles they’re facing, and to be inspired to love those around them—family and friends—even more than they did before they started the book.
What are you working on next?
Character Interview with Nicole Talbot
What is the most interesting thing about you?
Most people would probably say the most interesting thing about me is my history of drug abuse and the accident that nearly killed me but ended up saving my life. Personally, however, I’d say the most interesting thing about me is my ability to jump so high that I can brutally smash a volleyball onto the court of my opponent despite being just 5’ 4”.
Though I’m 23, I’m currently back in college working toward a degree in psychology. My summer job in the meantime is as an intern for an equine therapy center at a local horse farm.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Tough. Determined. Grateful.
What do you do for fun?
Play volleyball, ride horses, torment my older sister by messing with her very carefully organized white board.
Share a favorite childhood memory:
Before my sister and cousins and I ever found the dead body in the old cabin in the woods, we used to love going there and pretending we were early settlers of Virginia and that that was our house on the frontier.
What is your life motto or goal?
One day at a time.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d let people see the soft side of me more often. (It’s hard to let my guard down and be vulnerable when a good joke or sarcastic comment is so much easier.)
Favorite food: Probably my grandmother’s almond-crusted caramel French toast—though she doesn’t make it herself. She’s filthy rich, so she has people to do that sort of thing for her. Must be nice.
What is the most important thing to you?
God’s grace to us and our grace to each other.
Biggest pet peeve:
When people jump to conclusions about me without having all the facts.