The famed mountain artist haven of Idyllwild has another success story to add to its many accolades. Author Joanne Bischof is celebrating the release of the Blue Ridge Mountains historical romance “Be Still My Soul,” the first installment of her Cadence of Grace series.
“Idyllwild is unique in that it has one coffee shop and that is where most of my books are written,” Bischof said of her mountain home’s support of her promising career. “Everyone knows everyone and local authors can often be found at Higher Grounds Coffee Shop, one of the only places with Wi-fi in town.”
She has already engaged on a radio podcast and blog tour, organized by her publisher.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” Bischof said.
Bischof hosted an open house celebration for her Idyllwild neighbors this weekend.
“My husband Noah (made) his famous Dutch oven cobblers,” Bischof said.
Additional area book signings are planned for Hemet, Temecula, and San Diego this fall.
When asked about comparisons between the Appalachia of her stories, and the mountains of Southwest Riverside where she lives, Bischof said: “Idyllwild is inspiration for writing about Appalachia and the music that fills this series.”
Bischof said her inspiration is not just due to the mountain air, the scenic views, or the wind in the pines, but for the blue grass music that permeated her childhood and now her prose.
“There was always music in my house growing up in Hemet,” Bischof said. “When my husband first met my family, he was quite surprised how my parents would sing harmony at the drop of the hat, and even more when I joined in on the third. Noah is also a musician who plays the cello and the drums. We still sing around the camp fires and at home.”
Bischof herself plays the mandolin and sings.
Bischof, who attended Hemet High, has set aside the mandolin for her computer keyboard to work on historical fiction that is not every day Christian romance.
When not writing, Bischof can be found wrangling her three young children, working in her garden, making home-made apple butter, raising chickens and baking pies — all of which she blogs about weekly.
“Be Still My Soul” will be released this month, is published by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group, a division of Random House, and is currently being hailed by Publisher’s Weekly as “…a tale of love blossoming in the most daunting circumstances. A gem of an author, sure to draw fans.”
Ashley Ludwig is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.