Review of Summerhouse by H. Linn Murphy ~ Published by Walnut Springs Press

Go to my Facebook page for a chance to win a new copy of Summerhouse by H. Linn Murphy! Deadline is August 10th.

Jack Harris lives daily in the past. As the curator at the Pennington Estate for England’s National Trust, he knows every nook, cranny and fun fact regarding the estate and the Pennington family for many generations. The past pays for his present and his future, but will it also provide him with the love of his life?
In H. Linn Murphy’s Summerhouse, we are taken from modern day England back two hundred years to the time Charlotte Pennington lived. Time travel can be a tricky thing, yet Murphy accomplishes it in a beautiful, practical and often times humorous manner that leaves the reader wondering if it could really happen.
With many British phrases and idioms—never fear, a glossary is included—we are educated in British common speak, yet never lost. Murphy is considerate and provides ample contextual clues, giving the reader a rich view of both current day and early 19th century England without losing continuity. The characters are real . . . even those without bodies. The romance is sweet, the mystery intense and the question of whether love can transcend time will keep those pages turning—as well as your thoughts. Summerhouse is a lovely, meaningful read. Can’t wait for the next!

 

Author Interview – I’m so grateful to have Heidi take the time to answer a few questions for us:

1. Summerhouse is such an interesting and practical approach to time travel…what was your inspiration?

Firstly, Charlotte and Jack came to me and demanded that I write their story. Charlotte needed saving and Jack was the one to do it, even if he wore his undershirt on the outside.

For the other part of it, I thank Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymore in the movie SOMEWHERE IN TIME. It was a beautiful and masterful tale of love and loss and time travel.

I also greatly enjoyed watching Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman (I’m still always tempted to write his name Huge Ackman…snicker) in KATE AND LEOPOLD dealing with what a gentleman might do when faced with the odd characters and occurrences we take for granted nowadays—such as having to retrieve one’s canine feces from the ground.

Jemima Rooper and Elliot Cowan made me laugh and squirm in LOST IN AUSTEN. Amanda Price had to make up an ever increasing web of lies in order to keep her place with the Bennets and Elizabeth Bennet’s in current England from being discovered while still trying to yank the story back into place. And how in the world does one clean their teeth with chalk after using toothpaste all their life? Amanda finds out.

To me, these characters say one can prevail against the idiosyncrasies of the day and find one’s soul mate, even if they are caught in the drifting sands of time. Gentlemen in the past often had a much more defined set of morals. They treated women with courtesy and respect. They hailed from a time when it was still the decent thing for a man to come to the aid of a woman, not because she couldn’t do it herself, but because he respected and cared for her enough to do things for and with her. It was a more graceful, less brittle, less frantic time.

I’m not talking about Genghis Khan or the Vikings here. Clearly, there were examples of both ends of the spectrum as there is today. But intrigue surrounds the idea that if a person could go back in time he or she just might find their love waiting.

2. Such funny, quirky British slang, did you spend some time in England to accomplish this? And thanks for the Glossary!

I wish. No, I just watch lots and lots of BBC shows and read like crazy. I also had a friend from Hull who brought me up to date on lots of British slang—at least from our time. For some of it, though, I shudder to say that I Googled some terms to make certain I wasn’t swearing. I have been to Ireland and all over Europe, but never Britain so far. It’s definitely on my bucket list along with going back to Ireland and to Scotland.

3. Summerhouse isn’t your only novel [Sunrise over Scipio, Small Deceptions] What advice would you give to up-and-coming authors?

Definitely, do your homework. With my first book, SMALL DECEPTIONS, I found a company that seemed serviceable. I have since found that it is really difficult to get books from them (who knew? A publisher not really wanting to sell books?). I also chose not to have my book edited. Looking back on it, I did pretty well for being a lone horse off in the wilderness, but we need fresh eyes and minds. Someday I’ll go back and fix SMALL DECEPTIONS.

I joined ANWA, an organization of woman writers with smaller critique groups. I also have gone to seven book conferences, joined online critique groups and beta groups, I’ve done reviews for several companies and read and read. All of these things are in search of bettering my craft. My advice? Listen to some. Keep moving forward. Don’t let naysayers tell you that you aren’t really a writer (they can go soak their heads). If you write, you’re a writer. That’s not to say you can’t improve.

4. I have to ask—if you could go back to any time in history, when and why?

I used to always say it would be medieval times or the Georgian era. But the life of Christ also intrigues me. I think I’d like to be Dr. Who’s companion and go lots of places. I’d love to debunk fallacies and be there in the thick of things. How would it be to discover Uranium with Madame Curie or serve a Pharoh for a day? What would it be like to sit on the Catuvellauni throne or defend Lemaneagh Castle from marauders?

5. What’s next? Can you give us a hint?

I’m hoping they’ll read MARIN AT THE WELL next. It’s another time travel book in which a girl and boy go back to the time of Christ, Marin to the body of Mary, sister of Martha, and Marco to be a Roman soldier. I also have a book called YEAR OF THE HONEY BADGER, a romp through southern Africa in search of the elusive honey badger, and adventure. (I haven’t been there either, but hope someday soon to have the blunt to go anywhere my books take me to do research…:o) And I have a book done in the vein of Dickens called MUDLARKS that needs a home as well.

Under the pen name Indigo Chase, I have a YA dystopian book called THE DAY IT RAINED GLASS at a publisher for consideration. I have another sci-fi book that keeps eluding its name but is otherwise ready to fly. And I’m writing two new speculative fiction books as we speak.

6. Did your head really bake in the Arizona sun, as mentioned in your bio? [I live in Mesa and believe with all my heart this is possible ]
It’s difficult to answer that when the temps right now are 109-ish in the shade. I hibernate like a mole person in the daytime and stay up until the crack of dawn to work. (Someone should really tell the dog this important fact. He seems to think the temperatures at 5:30 am are the perfect time to play dogball, bark at passing dogs, and urinate on every bush in sight. Following him around to break up fights and see that he doesn’t run out in the road is greatly hampered by the wearing of pajamas.)

I’d love to field any further questions – or for a signed copy – go to www.murph4slaw.blogspot.com.

Thanks, Heidi, for stopping by my blog and answering these questions…I look forward to reading all these fun projects! You can find Summerhouse at Amazon and Deseretbook.com. And don’t forget to visit my Facebook page to enter a chance to win a new copy of Summerhouse. Deadline is August 10th.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *