Thanks to these lovely gals – and my awesome daughter-in-law, Jami – for choosing The Secret Obituary Writer for their book club. So glad you enjoyed it!
Susan Pope you won!
A copy of Robin M. King’s novel Memory of Monet is on its way to you….enjoy! 🙂
Be sure and visit my Facebook page for a chance to win a gently used copy of Memory of Monet…deadline is December 10th!
In Robin M. King’s Remembrandt and Van Gogh Gone, we are taken into the white-knuckle world of international espionage—and with her third and final installment in this series, Memory of Monet, King delivers in a big way!
Alexandra Stewart is put back into play as she is sent on a mission that seems hand-crafted just for her and her special abilities. Yet, while on location in Mexico City, her arsenal of unique tradecraft, including her eidetic memory, seem not enough to accomplish the mission. Alex doubts her ability as a spy—especially after her latest mission in Paris and her confrontation with a terrorist—as she finds herself in some extremely tight spots. And if this isn’t enough, Alex is also struggling to figure out relationships in her family, as well as understanding her own heart.
Will Alex complete the mission and stay in the spy business? Will she finally see her mother for who she was? What about her father and comatose brother? And what will become of her hunky handler, who always seems to be there to keep her safe? King answers all these questions with insightful prose and page-turning suspense. Get a sturdy pillow to grip—you’re in for an exciting treat with Memory of Monet. My only complaint: it’s the last!
And don’t forget to visit my Facebook page to enter the book giveaway and a chance to win Memory of Monet – I’ll pick a winner on December 10th!
A big thanks to Nancy Shill for choosing The Secret Obituary Writer for her book club choice.
So glad everyone enjoyed it!
Lacy Allphin you won!!!
A new copy of Clairvoyance by Joan Sowards is on its way to you…hope you enjoy it as much as I did 🙂
Visit my Facebook page for a chance to win a new copy of Clairvoyance by Joan Sowards – deadline is November 10th!
If you want to read an inspiring and elevating novel, and then hand it to your daughter for her to enjoy the same experience, Clairvoyance by Joan Sowards is the book for you. Joan has given us another beautiful story that will both entertain and inspire all who read it.
Jennifer Weston has left her home in Phoenix, Arizona for the cool green of Windridge, Oregon and the dream-like summer job as an intern for the town newspaper. With a degree accomplished and a bright summer of opportunities ahead, it would appear that Jennifer’s life is perfect—but what appears as a charmed life is often times anything but. Jennifer carries the heartbreak of the recent death of her mother and even more recent re-marriage of her father. Add in a break-up with a controlling boyfriend and her life is anything but charmed.
Jennifer, though, drawing on her LDS faith, doesn’t let these trials weigh her down as she enthusiastically faces the challenges of her new job and cheerfully strives to serve others in her new ward. She goes the extra mile as she befriends a lonely man who suffers the devastating loss of his love, Claire, and who spends his evenings waiting on the beach for her appearance. Jennifer’s service and attitude makes a difference and, as is always the case, when we forget ourselves in the service of others is when we truly find ourselves. The same happens to Jennifer as her heart is healed and opened to new love.
You won’t want to put Clairvoyance down, the points of conflict are honest and relevant, making it a book you’ll connect with easily and want to read from start to finish. This would be an excellent choice for a book club, particularly with young women—there is much to be discussed.
Joan has given us a beautiful and interesting story, but what makes me want to jump up and say “thank you” is that we now have a story about a strong young woman who, when faced with difficult challenges, seeks guidance from the Spirit, does her best to follow it and continually strives to be a disciple of Christ, even when she doesn’t feel like it. Isn’t this what we’re all trying to do? Thank you, Joan!
My nephew married a darling girl named Amy, so there’s two Amy Martinsens in our family….and I’m so excited that the other Amy has won the book giveaway. A new copy of The Soul of a Lady by Wanda Luce is on its way to you 🙂 Enjoy!
Be sure and visit my Facebook page and enter for a chance to win a new copy of The Soul of a Lady by Wanda Luce . . . I’ll pick a winner on Friday, October 21st!
Wanda Luce has done it again! The Soul of a Lady is another beautiful Regency Romance that will transport you to the lush gardens of Surrey, England and the forbidden arms of Connor Parkhurst, the much talked about Viscount Denton.
Lydia Hathaway, born in the upper echelons of English society, is now forced, by her deceased father’s failings, to take the position of companion to the young Susan Ashcroft of Danbury Park. Her loss of rank, though, cannot squelch her “she-tiger” spirit and fondness of forest ramblings, which puts her, literally, in the path of Lord Denton. Despite an awkward first encounter, their mutual attraction blossoms, yet as a six and twenty female companion, the best Lydia can hope to elicit from the opposite sex are “matronly-like comments.” Are Lord Denton’s attentions genuine or just more fodder for his established reputation as a lady’s man? Can Lydia win the ever-present inner battle against her love for the handsome Viscount?
To find the answers to these questions is a journey of lush prose and well-plotted storytelling you won’t want to end. The characters are believable, the dialogue real and the emotional struggle will have your heart aching to the last page. Thank you, Wanda, for another wonderful experience!
I’m so happy to have Wanda visit my blog and answer a few questions for us:
What is your inspiration for writing Regency Romance? You do such a lovely job of it.
Thanks, Amy, for your invitation to be interviewed! And thank you for reading my books! I love to talk about my writing. Responding to your first question is very easy. I write Regency Romance because it is by far my favorite genre. As a girl, I fell in love with all of Jane Austen’s works and the works of Dickens and Robert Lewis Stevenson. The historical elements and syntax contained some inherent magic that took hold of me and never let go. A few years ago while going through some difficult challenges, I picked up Jane Austen’s books again. Once I had re-read all of them, I read every clean Regency-set book I could find. That quest took me through all of Georgette Heyer’s novels and many of Joan Smith’s books. It was all pure magic to me. After devouring all of the clean ones I could find, the pickings got narrower and narrower. One day I complained to my husband that most of the Regencies seemed to contain porn. He responded, “Well, then why not write a clean one?” So I did!
I know that The Soul of a Lady is a rewrite of Lydia…how did this come about? I never read Lydia, but LOVE The Soul of a Lady?
I am so happy you loved The Soul of a Lady! Thank you for your kind comments. That is one thing an author lives for. I spent a year writing Lydia in response to my husband’s suggestion. Writing it was one of the most enjoyable things I had ever done. A year or so ago, my publisher, Walnut Springs Press, told me they wanted to re-release it with a new cover. I asked if I could revise it as well. They gave their nod of approval, and I went through and made many improvements and fixed a few historical issues.
What advice would you give to up and coming authors? Any specific advice for Regency Romance writers?
I think I will use a list format for my advice.
a. Read and study lots of books in your favorite genre.
b. Read and study everything you can on how to craft a great novel
c. Have friends or family or other authors read your writing and give you ideas on where and how you can improve. Decide ahead of time that honest input, however hard to hear, is one of your best friends. Learn to accept instructive criticism and grow from it.
d. Re-evaluate and revise your project until you have produced a great, polished manuscript. Don’t rush or cut corners like you might with other things. As you labor over each book, you will get better and better at seeing what is needed in a shorter amount of time.
e. Your storyline is the first and most important element of your book, focus on it, then make sure the quality of your writing makes it sing.
f. Don’t give up. Every author who succeeds has done so after a lot of hard work. Writing novels isn’t for everyone. I believe an author has to write because he or she finds the process irresistible and enjoyable.
g. Don’t let rejection of your work or fear of rejection control you. EVERY author experiences rejection. You cannot please everyone. It just doesn’t happen. Haters have written the cruelest things about all of the books I have loved. One of my favorite books of all time is the trilogy by Pamela Aidan. She rewrote Pride and Prejudice from Darcy’s point of view, and I think it is brilliantly done. I suppose she is one of the Regency authors I most want to emulate. Many who read the trilogy wrote scathing reviews! Unthinkable in my book. Well, that trilogy has been a hot item for a decade. Now, that is staying power. Unfortunately, the negative voices are always the loudest ones. Learn from the ones you agree with and discredit the others.
h. Above all, remember that every word, page, and chapter is like a jewel in a crown. Make sure they are properly cut and polished. Then, pat yourself on the back and cheer!
What’s next….can you give us a hint?
Well…since you asked! (Oh, I love being asked.) My present work-in-progress is a Regency-set romance (of course!) involving the daughter of a murdered English diplomat to the Austrian court and a bitter gentleman who holds her father guilty of treason and of inadvertently causing the deaths of his brothers. Each has reason to think the other a dangerous foe, but their conflict intertwines with romance as the heroine faces danger to prove her father’s innocence and as the hero seeks to prove her father’s guilt.
Thanks again, Amy, for taking the time to spotlight my book. I am so excited to read your second book, The Secret Obituary Writer. I loved your first book, Changing Worlds, and give it a definite five stars.
Thank you, Wanda, for this great advice and interesting insight into your writing. We will be waiting not-so-patiently for this next book…it sounds wonderful! You can find The Soul of a Lady at Amazon.com and Deseretbook.com. And don’t forget to visit my Facebook page for a chance to win a new copy of The Soul of a Lady – I’ll pick a winner on October 21st!
Lyn Wright you won! A new copy of Summerhouse is on its way to you…hope you enjoy it as much as I did 🙂
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.
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.