DEAD SEA RISING spans contemporary Manhattan, New York City to 200 BC, Ur of the Chaldees with seamless procession. Included are some scenes from the Vietnam War—another well laid facet to this story. This first novel for a new series by Jerry B. Jenkins delighted me. Jenkins master story-telling kept me questioning and flipping pages, while pure regret followed when I put the novel down to take care of life-in-general. A friend of mine looked at my copy of Dead Sea Rising and stated, “Oh, a bathroom book!” Of course, I asked the intelligent question, “Hugh?” She replied that the short chapters are easily finished when one is in the bathroom! Well, I learned something there! These short chapters keep the tension and curiosity thrumming the whole way through the story.
I enjoy the mix of ancient and then modern-day events. The various personalities and how they ‘play’ together on the page had me flipping emotions from concern, laughter, curiosity, and more. I love the professionalism that Jenkins used to create this memorable tale, for instance: historical and archaeology research was aided by Craig A. Evans, BA, MA, MDiv, PhD, Dhabil and John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins, Houston Theological Seminary. These men brought an authenticity to Ur and the characters of that time period. I would have to say that Terah was the most entertaining character in this novel as well as the most alarming. His wife, Belessunu showed such strength of character! Of course, Nimrod the self-proclaimed god, was an absolute jerk. I know, I’ve never said that in a book review before but the man earned it!
I enjoyed the contemporary characters too. Nicole Berman and the quirky NYPD Detective Sergeant George Wojciechowski were excellent! Even though I’ve finished the novel, I’m now playing the audio version with matched enthusiasm! I’m looking forward to the next in this series and in my opinion, book 2 will not come soon enough!
It is not just that Sandra writes with skill and imagination. And it isn’t just that she leads her readers into the Victorian time period with realistic yet exquisite flair. This writer has a unique voice that captivated me immediately. I am a fan from the very first page and she held me securely till the last exquisite word planted her very satisfying ending.
The story-telling drops off the page as vibrant characters—those quite likeable and those not so much—intermingle to lead this reader on a journey raptured with intrigue, mystery, and heart-felt desire to know more. Who can one trust? Will Miss Eleanor Sheffield discern the false from the genuine concerning the most important relationships and individuals surrounding her? Much responsibility is laid upon this fine lady’s shoulders and the hero who’d been silent for so long is questionable to say the least. Especially when someone with influence—not dampened by the grave—reveals information that must be considered.
Re-read- most definitely- most desirably. Lady of A Thousand Treasures is a novel this reader will crave to read. I understand without question that the mood to experience Sandra’s books will drop upon me and I will have to seek the treasured tales hidden within her pages.
If you enjoy historical fiction, which includes actual people and plants your feet in the time period so naturally that you don’t know that you’ve been transported, then your will appreciate this first of THE VICTORIAN LADIES SERIES.
QUESTIONS FOR SANDRA:
Your novel is lush with historic atmosphere, yet what you paint with words only accents the story and adorns your characters. What was your favorite scene to embellish with historic props?
Anything having to do with the house. I love those old stately homes in England, with their secret rooms and corridors, the back stairs and the front stairs, the creaking hallways and the walls hung chock-a-block with pictures. It’s such a pleasure to bring my readers to those houses!
I appreciate your main character, Miss Eleanor Sheffield. How did you decide on her personality? What is the very best quality about Miss Eleanor and the hero, Henry?
I love that Ellie had many difficulties thrust upon her, and yet did not allow herself to become a victim. Victorian women had major constraints, and the heroines in my books cannot just solve their problems as you or I might—but I love them the more for that; they are forced to cleverly use the tools at hand. Truthfully, all of us, then and now, are constrained in some way from the full self-determination we would prefer, and perhaps that is one way we identify with them. And yet ... the human spirit, a strong woman's spirit, faces those challenges head-on, tries to think through what she wants, and then plots a way toward it. When roadblocks occur, she finds a way over, around, or through. That was true a thousand years ago, and it is still true, now.
Also—we must all be risk-takers to gain what we want: love, respect, a meaningful life, and personal fulfillment. Today's readers certainly have that in common with yesterday's women, my historical heroines. Ellie had to learn to do all of that and to trust herself. When she did, life unfolded for her!
Harry is a man after my own heart. I often find that, in novels, readers want the heroine to have to grow, but they expect the hero to be nearly perfect from the start. But that’s not a real man! Harry had to learn to leave behind trying to please everyone and prove himself and allow himself to be the strong, loving man that he is. No approval required!
How did you choose the Sheffield Brother’s evaluator of antiquities business?
My husband and I are devoted fans of British television and film, and we are especially partial to the early seasons of Jeeves and Wooster. In one episode, the older men are after one another’s silver collections, stooping to all manner of shenanigans to acquire them. Wodehouse uses humor, as always (the lowly silver cow creamer!) to wryly remark on an upper-class habit, the collecting of things and envy of others’ possessions.
I do admire the many collections the British have amassed over the years, though. Some are in country houses, as in my book and the Wodehouse episode, but some are in tiny cabinets of the middle class, and others consist of large numbers of pieces that have been donated to museums. I have always loved the V & A just for its sheer size, and I loved learning a wee bit about its predecessor, the South Kensington, and how some collections came to partially populate museums.
I think that we are all collectors of sorts. I moved recently, and one of my friends noted how many baking pans I had collected—Bundt pans in 10-inch, 9-inch, 8-inch, and 6-inch sizes, for example. Why? Baking is a way I provide affection to my family, and therefore it wasn’t so much about hoarding as what those pans meant to me. Jewelry, tea sets, artwork, even pennies and empty perfume bottles all carry an emotional value for those of us who treasure them. I wanted to explore that in the book.
What was your favorite collection that Miss Eleanor Sheffield worked with?
I loved exploring the difference between what her mother treasured -the valuable and showy jewelry, and what Harry’s mom treasured, the pelican pendant, and what it said about each of them. Ultimately, our treasures tell others a lot about us.
Who is your favorite troublemaker in this story? Or if you wish not to answer that, who is your favorite support character?
Marguerite is my favorite support character. Every woman needs a BFF, no matter what time you live in, someone who is unfailingly faithful to you but also loves you enough to speak the truth.
What experience or person triggered the “writing bug” in you?
I was always a reader; I learned to read and love reading at an early age. It followed, for me, that I wanted to create stories, too. The many historical books I enjoyed reading as a child and then as a young woman influenced me, too. I loved American set books such as the Little House on the Prairie series, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, and others like that. I also fell in love with Jean Plaidy/Victoria Holt and her books definitely influenced the topics I choose to research and write about.
How do you like to begin writing a novel?
I think of a main character, and the situation, and the romantic difficulties. Then I plot in layers. I research extensively, and those learned bits get put on my outline. Dates, and the mystery’s clues and outcome, are layered on next, and then the various threads: romance, character arcs, spiritual aspects. When I have the house framed, as it were, then I feel free to let my creativity loose because—hopefully—I haven’t forgotten anything.
I don’t think I could write historicals without setting a plot and a timeline ahead of time. It’s too much for me, personally, to keep in my head. Then once the math is done, so to speak, I relax and let my character command the pages.
How do you wish for your readers to connect with you? I would love for them to visit me at my website: www.sandrabyrd.com There is a contact button there if they wish to email me, and links to all of my social media pages!
This eighteenth century story slips the reader into an era when severe expectations cruelty thrived. Thankfully, those bondages are foreign to our time and experience. Revolutionary France had turned upside down as the guillotine destroyed way too many lives. Innocent people were disgraced or worse, all because of their wealth or wealthy connections. I will never be able to flippantly speed past any mention of this piece of history without thinking of the awful cost of lives and dignity. When hate flourishes so much is thrown into terror, wounded, and lost.
Jocelyn paints with vivid brushstrokes of elegant language the challenges, angst and depth of her character’s crisis and joys. Vivienne Rivard, lacemaker for the royal and wealthy, is in danger of losing her life, and she has lost so much already. Liam Delancy’s character is strong and compelling and ever so necessary for this story to develop. The varied characters and exciting plot decorate the pages, making this a must-read-again story for years to come!
A unique quality about this story is that Vivienne’s French ancestry is connected to the heroine, Liberty, in The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz! So, if you should follow my best advice and purchase or borrow A Refuge Assured from the library, make sure that you also do the same with The Lacemaker. I love a story with character connections to other series and this one leaps further to link authors and two publishing houses! This is a highly recommended read!
Questions for Jocelyn:
How did you get interested in studying the French Revolutionary War times? Somehow I came across a mention of refugees from the French Revolution making their way to Pennsylvania for political asylum. I dug deeper and deeper, reading narratives of people who fled, and I was hooked on this aspect that I had never heard of before. When I read that the entire lacemaking community of Chantilly was executed, I was shocked and intrigued. That’s when I began thinking of writing the story of a lacemaker who escapes to America.
I loved the real people you wove into this story. Which one was your personal favorite?
Eliza Hamilton. She only makes a brief appearance in my novel, but she was an incredible woman.
Was Asylum a real place? If so, are there any original buildings left to peruse?
Yes, it was! From 1793-1803, French Azilum, or Asylum in English, was a real settlement built in a horseshoe bend of the Susquehanna River in northern Pennsylvania. It was meant to be a refuge for Marie-Antoinette and her son, but even though they didn’t make it, dozens of aristocrats, priests, military and tradesmen did. You can still visit the location today, as I did for my research. None of the original buildings are left standing, but there is a reconstructed cabin and other structures built after 1803.
If you were to write a sequel to this story, what kind of heroine would you write about?
I would want to write about Tara Delaney, the hero Liam’s sister. In A Refuge Assured, she’s a feisty tavern owner in Philadelphia, widowed since the American Revolution. She’s full of personality, and I just have a feeling her story isn’t over.
Is there anything you would like to tell your readers about this story?
The primary theme is that of finding refuge in the Lord, when no physical place of safety seems to exist. But a secondary theme popped up through a character I didn’t plan on creating: Armand, the father from whom Vivienne had been estranged her entire life. The two flee France together, and through their relationship, a picture of reconciliation emerged. At one point Armand says to Vivienne, “One is never too old for a father’s love.” None of us are ever too old –or “too far gone”—for our heavenly Father’s love, either. And that is the greatest reconciliation story of all time.
Do you have other novels that are or will be published soon?
My next novel, Between Two Shores, will release Feb. 5, 2019. It’s set during the Seven Years’ War in Montreal, and the heroine is half-French, half-Mohawk. You can find more about the book here: http://www.jocelyngreen.com/books/fiction/between-two-shores
What an excellent interview Jocelyn! Thank you for taking the time and for caring for your readers! I did an earlier review for MARK OF THE KING, which was the first novel I read by Jocelyn Green! It was captivating! Again, thank you, Jocelyn!
Suspense and entertainment at it’s best! I super enjoyed this romantic-suspense novel. When I thought I’d figured out what was going to happen next, the characters—good and bad—surprised me. The elements of mystery and challenge provided opportunity for the characters to grow. DiAnn shines in her delivery of this contemporary and succeeded with keeping-me-in-my-seat till I finish this fiction experience! She generously sprinkled in mystery and surprise, while triggering my curiosity.
Yes, it is true that I suffered when I had to stop reading to go to work. The absolute worst was when I forgot “Burden of Proof” in the classroom—over a weekend! Not to mention the night that I was reading the middle of a crisis and had to go to sleep so that I could function the next day! You will feel sorry for me once you peruse this novel!
I’ve never read a book where a quite capable FBI agent was abducted—and for good reason—couldn’t break free! This wonderful plot fit perfectly with interesting characters who made me admire and fall in love with them! Special Agent April Ramos and Jason Snyder chase around small town Sweet Briar, Texas. The two questions haunting the agent are ‘who can be trusted’ and ‘who did it’. I love this city girl maneuvering though small-town adventure!
This is a re-read and one of my favorite DiAnn Mills books. I did receive a free copy to read for review, and since I trust this author's ability to entertain and inspire me, I agreed to review this story before I received the novel. I was not disappointed and have never been with DiAnn’s stories. She asks her readers to ‘expect an adventure’ and she delivers from the first page to the last! Thank you DiAnn!
QUESTIONS FOR DIANN:
1) What unique experience inspired this story, DiAnn? I’m thrilled that you wrote this!
While taking a drive through East Texas, my mind went to story mode: What kind of woman would be really out of her element and in danger? What problems plagued her mind? What skills did she have and still needed? Strengths and weaknesses?
2) How is it that you can delve into the deep personalities of your characters and keep us wanting more?
I have no clue, but I appreciate the kind words! But I have a method of mentally walking into my character’s “closet” and dressing myself in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual clothes of the character.
3) Is Sweet Briar, Texas a real place or a figment of your imagination? Possibly modeled after a real town?
It’s a fictitious town but it’s modeled after a real town. Because of the crimes, I couldn’t use the real name.
4) What is your favorite message from this novel?
5) I believe this is a stand-alone story, will Special Agent April Ramos and Jason Snyder ever show up in another of your novels? Nope! This is a stand-alone story. but we can imagine what happened next!
6) What would you like to tell your readers right now?
Readers are why I write. When you enjoy a story, I’m thrilled. Thanks! I appreciate you.
How do you wish your readers to contact you? Through my website and email:
Beth Ann Ziarnik’s New Book is Almost Here!
“Her Deadly Reunion” will arrive mid-November. This sequel to “Her Deadly Inheritance” has captured my special attention. Yes, I’ve pre-ordered this novel. The first of the series is Beth’s debut novel. Her pages held me spellbound and curious all the way through! “Her Deadly Inheritance” won “Writer of the Year” at Write to Publish Conference in 2016 as well as the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Selah Award for “First Novel.” And just recently one can acquire this novel on Audible Audiobook! I love listening to novels when I’m washing dishes or dusting the house.
The second book continues with the same main characters, Jill and Clay. I’m eager to meet up with them again. I invite you to explore Beth Ann Ziarnik’s novels. I’m always up for a good read.
You may find her on www.bethziarnik.com or https://www.facebook.com/beth.ziarnik
You are a delightful writer and a favorite for me! I applaud your excellence and imagination! I always look forward to one of your reads! :)
Yes, Roseanna, how does someone steal a family’s history and their name? What a fun adventure to read! This unique 1914 London, England historical delighted me through and through!
Rosemary Gresham is the protagonist who stole my heart, and not just like any common thief, but one who captured my full admiration and sympathy! Anyone who knows me would gasp to read this declaration for I don’t condone stealing. So, if you want to know why I highly recommend this novel—I suggest that you purchase a copy or request it at your local library. 😊
Peter Holstein—the romantic interest and family member with the name at risk—has secrets of his own and Rosemary is out to find them. This novel has a personality and freshness that appeals to me. I find the diverse characters amusing and or entertaining and can say they are perfectly fitted for the intrigue that began brewing near the onset of the World War I. I delight to share this wonderful novel and would be thrilled if you came back and told me how you felt about it also!
Questions for Roseanna:
Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.
Yvette De Maupassant needs a place to hide! Well, shouldn’t any worthy and exposed English spy melt into obscurity—away from French spies bent on taking revenge? This story takes place in Surrey, England in April of 1812, when exciting interactions between England and Napoleon’s France take place. Meredith Thorn and her cat, Fortune, have their own difficulties to overcome and decisions to make, but that doesn’t stop Meredith from placing Yvette with a snug and secure family of means.
Gregory, Earl of Carrolton, cannot hide his thoughts, yet now he has to hide a spy that the French deem an excellent catch. This is an entertaining novel, which is an excellent read. The heroin, Yvette, was an absolute favorite character of mine from the previous novel and I was thrilled to see Regina give her a story to tell in Never Envy an Earl. There were other fun re-visited characters that the reader could view with a different perspective. I enjoyed this switch-up and expanded view of those who were not as well known in a previous novel.
If you are looking for a clean read and a make me feel good to my toes novel- Never Envy an Earl is a great choice! But don’t stop there for it is more fun to read the series! I was given this novel and this is my honest opinion of these pages. Regina’s stories have always given me a smile and “I think this author is so clever” enjoyment! This is a highly recommend novel!
Questions for Regina:
What fantastic fun-fact about Napoleon can you tell us? (One you wanted to share in the novel but couldn’t.)
Napoleon was such a character! He once imprisoned the Pope and held him for ransom. When people tried to rescue the poor fellow, Napoleon kept moving him around Europe. Can you imagine?
The way you wrote Yvette’s story was as though you’d crawled inside her head and looked through her eyeballs. How did you do that?
A very good imagination? Ha! I guess it’s like method acting. When I’m writing a tense scene, my shoulders get tight. I sigh when the heroine sighs. I always have to smile when I realize what I’m doing. Maybe that’s why I don’t usually write in the point of view of the villains. I don’t like getting too close to all that darkness.
I love the Grecian style home you described. Here is a quote: “The warm stone of the rest of the building made the entrance look like a pearl in a gold setting.” Have you seen a home like this one or just photos?
I have an ever-growing list of places I want to see when I go to England. One of those is Osterley Park, a beautiful estate not far from London. I haven’t been there, but I used it as the basis for Carrolton Park in the book. You can read more about it here: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/osterley-park-and-house.
If you could spend a day with one of these characters, who would it be and what is the first question you would ask?
Strangely enough, I think I’d like to spend a day with Marbury, the butler. He started as a footman in the household then worked his way up to butler. I’d like to ask him how things have changed since Gregory ascended to the title. The answer might surprise Yvette, and Gregory.
What theme, laced in your book, would you wish to have your readers benefit from?
That the past doesn’t have to define you. You may have had a terrible childhood. You may have made mistakes. You may have let “the one” get away. But there’s always hope, always a chance for something better, if you’re brave enough to grasp it and believe.
What was your favorite costume you described in this novel?
I don’t have an entire costume, but I am very pleased with the hats Yvette, the countess, and her daughter purchase to attend a wedding. I wanted something befitting each of them. The countess gets a showy turban with enough bling to resemble a crown, just right for a lady of her station and disposition. Her daughter Lilith gets something tall and elegant, with a touch of military swagger. Lilith is all about control, so that fits hers nicely. Yvette gets a lovely velvet bonnet with a spray of pink silk roses, classic with a touch of fun, very much in tune with her character.
Is there anything else you would like to share about this or upcoming novels?
Thank you to all those who have read and reviewed the books. Your kind words warm my heart. Those who have been following the series may enjoy “Always Kiss at Christmas,” a novella in the Timeless Regency Collection coming in October, which tells the story of how Fortune’s mistress, Meredith Thorn, fell in love as a girl. The next full-length book in the series, Never Vie for a Viscount, is due out the end of November.
How do you wish your readers to contact you?
Readers can reach me via:
If you want to know when the next book is out or on sale, please sign up for a free e-mail alert at http://eepurl.com/baqwVT.
Thank you Regina for an excellent interview and the Osterley link! You have such a wonderful WEB site! :)
The Dishonorable Miss Delancey, book three of the REGENCY BRIDES, A Legacy of Grace, was a different kind of read for me. I’m always a tad careful when reading about characters who were presented in a negative light in a previous story. Carolyn didn’t disappoint, what an excellent and hopeful novel, well written and entertaining! The humor fairly bounces on the pages of this story. Even so, this novel touched on topics of currant up-to-date concerns with that wonderful Regency spin to it. The main heroine, Miss Clara DeLancey has depth and holds my interest. She is believable and I grow to like her, which is vital for me to enjoy a novel.
Captain Benjamin Kemsley was a fine hero for this heroine with his own deep regrets. There is a thread of imperfection in these characters and another one for overcoming against expectations—and shall I say it—self expectations too. Can’t we all relate to those? Other support characters were entertaining and delightful as well! I’ve never read a Carolyn Miller book that I didn’t adore. She is Jane Austin and Julie Klassen all wrapped up in one! I’ve also see her compared to Georgette Heyer—who I can’t say as I’ve never read those books. But if Georgette is anything like Carolyn than I’d love to read her stores also! I highly recommend this novel and I found it useful, entertaining and delightful!
Questions for Carolyn:
Have you been to Brighton Cliffs, England where part of this story takes place?
I visited Brighton in 2015, and actually went on a tour of the magnificent Royal Pavilion (mentioned in The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey), which is definitely worth doing if you ever visit Brighton. My time there was short that I didn’t go to the top of the Brighton cliffs, but did visit the pebble-filled beach below. On my website I even have a link to the exact house Clara lives in, so you can ‘see’ her house – 200 years on. ☺
Would you say that hope and delight are in your DNA? (Your stories seem to share those qualities!)
Well, thank you! That’s a lovely compliment! I suppose I am hopeful (because I’m hope-filled), and I suspect I’m kinda curious, and I do delight in wordplay and puns. I’m finding some stories are written in lighter or darker seasons than others, which can affect the tone of the novel, but I hope that all of my books point to ultimate hope in God.
How do you write your stories? Longhand, type those pages, or recording? 😊
It’s a bit of a mix, actually! Often I’ll get story ideas (usually when I’m asleep in bed) that need to written down at once so the ‘magic’ doesn’t disappear, but lately I’ve discovered the fun of recording thoughts as I go walking. That can be a great way to record some of the conversations my characters have. But mostly it’s tap-tapping away on my laptop.
Did you ever name a character after your cat or dog or pet of any kind?
Not yet! Although my daughter has named her budgie after one of my favourite Jane Austen characters, Captain Wentworth!
Will you bring a book to read during your travel when you visit Nashville and Vancouver? Do you want to share a title or author? 😉
Probably – but it’s a while before I pack, so I’ll have to see!
Did you want to share anything you found particularly special about writing Miss Clara DeLancey or Captain Benjamin Kemsley?
I wanted to write a sibling book, and I think Ben’s relationship with his sisters and brother are fairly real in showing the ups and downs of family dynamics. I really like their interactions, which serve as a contrast with the far more strained relationship Clara shares with her brother. It’s interesting to contemplate how family dynamics can influence a person’s personality and character – for good or for evil – and to be reminded that not everyone is blessed with a healthy family situation.
Your covers are lovely, are you involved with picking out the final artwork?
Kregel have been very good to me, and have allowed me to have a great deal of say in what elements are included in the covers. For The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey I wanted something to reflect her ‘God revelation’ moments which occur at the top of the cliffs when the sun is setting. I think the cover designers do an excellent job!
I see by browsing your WEB page www.carolynmillerauthor.com that you have another series on the way! What would you like to tell us about this new series?
This new series concerns Catherine Winthrop and her sister, Serena, and their family, on their quest from tragedy to finding hope. Each novel in the trilogy focuses on a different character with their own different personality quirks and challenges. Sweet and shy Catherine Winthrop’s story Winning Miss Winthrop releases March 27, 2018 while her artistic sister has her own story, Miss Serena’s Secret, which releases July 24, 2018 and the third novel, The Making of Mrs. Hale, releases November 27, 2018.
Where do you wish for your readers to connect with you?
This REGENCY BRIDES, A Legacy of Grace, novel has moved to my permanent reread shelves! Carolyn expresses wonderful dialogue and character personalities that make her plots shine!
I had read this story months ago and wanted to merely glance through the pages to write this review. I love to share my thoughts about favorite novels and guess what—I fell headlong and nicely into a re-read. That is why this review has taken longer to report! And if you realized how high my tall stack of new novels—waiting in the wings—is then you would realize what a complement that is to this book and this author. Each page teased a desire to re-experience the delight of this story of disappointment, forgiveness, and courage. This is listed as a Christian/Romance and it is that and more. I love how Carolyn laces in the mystery and compassion and motivation of these characters.
The main heroine, Lady Charlotte Featherington, won my heart, respect, and sympathy from the beginning as did the hero the Duke of Hartington. Oh, I believe I could have lived in the Regency time period, for when I’m dipping my attention there, in the midst of Carolyn’s tale, I’m enthralled by the clothing and architecture though I may be a bit bemused by etiquette rules and judgments of the time period! Carolyn always entertains and I feel good and especially involved with her tales. Thank you, Carolyn, for another great read—and yes, more please! I’m always ready to read your offerings! Are you surprised when I say that I highly recommend this author and this novel!
QUESTIONS FOR CAROLYN:
Carolyn Miller: The Captivating Lady Charlotte
· When Lady Charlotte has her coming out to meet the Queen and you describe the dress—was this description from a photo or out of the depths of your research? (So lovely—I wanted to put it on!)
It was a mix of both! I researched illustrations of the court dresses of the time (so glad that many illustrations from Ackermann’s Repository can be found online) and borrowed various elements to make Charlotte’s gown wholly hers. :)
· You captured the indifference and attitudes of people well in your character’s interactions. What message would you tell those who have suffered the such rejection from those who should be protective and nurturing in one’s life?
I hope all my books point to God’s care and concern for our lives. I believe if we seek His healing, and understand His grace and forgiveness, we can extend that to others. It’s not easy, but unforgiveness binds us far more than we know, so I believe God is keen “as far as it depends on us” to seek peace with others, and extend mercy and forgiveness to them.
· Thank you for bring Lavinia, a cousin of Lady Charlotte, into this story. Tell me, did you have to take scenes out so that you wouldn’t distract from Lady Charlotte?
No. She was only a bit player, but necessary to further demonstrate Charlotte’s compassion. And we all want to know what happens next with Lavinia and Nicholas after The Elusive Miss Ellison!
· Lord Fanshawe is quite the character—did a movie or novel inspire his coming into this story?
I suppose I’ve watched so many Jane Austen film and TV adaptations over the years that I feel like these characters are part of me! So perhaps his introduction was inspired a little by the likes of Frank Churchill from Emma, or Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility – someone a little rakish, a little careless with a woman’s reputation for the sake of his own interests.
· I have several favorite characters in The Captivating Lady Charolotte can you tell us one of yours and what it is that draws your favor?
I really like the duke, William Hartwell, Duke of Hartington. To me he is a different kind of hero, not the alpha male we see in so many stories, but someone more like many of the men we might know in real life who possess hidden depths of character and heroism that can be easily overlooked in preference to someone more handsome. I like his faith, which informs his kindness, his thoughtfulness, his varied interests, and his vulnerability. To me, he is pretty perfect!
· The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey is the next novel in this series. Did you have the whole series in mind when you wrote them or did the next book idea spring up after you completed a novel?
I had written the first in the series, The Elusive Miss Ellison, a few years prior to being picked up for publication, so when Kregel were keen to do a series I had to write two books in one year (while working part-time at my local high school – who says God doesn’t do miracles these days?). I had thought creating new stories from various characters from Miss Ellison could work well, and knew Charlotte’s introduction to society and ‘the marriage mart’ would be interesting, but I wasn’t sure what readers’ reactions would be to the story of the ‘bad girl’ from Miss Ellison. Fortunately readers have loved reading about her perspective, as the emails and messages I’ve received testify. :)
· What fun social expectation or delicious dish from Regency time period do you think about often?
I think the manners are fascinating, that there was a social veneer that was considered important so everyone knew what was expected of them. For example, couples who were ‘an item’ were not supposed to dance with each other more than twice at a ball. The reason? To ensure all the ladies had a chance to dance with a gentleman, as there were usually more ladies than gentlemen at such things. Of course, it might also have something to do with protecting the lady’s reputation if she wasn’t yet engaged or married.
· What would you like to share about your experience of writing The Captivating Lady Charlotte?
I really enjoyed digging into various facts about 1814, London. One of the interesting things about writing historical fiction is how we look back on history knowing how things turn out, but people at the time did not (obviously, as they were still living through it!). In 1814, the people of England thought the years-long war with Napoleon was finally over, and celebrated with various parades, events and spectacles - only to have Napoleon later escape and reignite hostilities until he was finally defeated in 1815. It’s fun researching into such events, and to read the documents and accounts of people from this time. Such things really help ‘ground’ the story into history – and not just fiction. :)
· What news can you give us about recently published and soon to be published novels! (I anticipate each one with wild joy!)
My new Regency Brides series released this year, with the Persuasion-like Winning Miss Winthrop coming out in March, and my newest, Miss Serena’s Secret, having just released in July. The third in this series, The Making of Mrs. Hale, comes out in November. These three are linked by the main character Catherine Winthrop (Lavinia’s friend who is mentioned in The Elusive Miss Ellison), and explore the challenges of lost love, the trials faced by her artistic sister Serena in a time when young women were only expected to marry and bear children, and exploring whether a runaway marriage can be redeemed. Lots of fun!
I’m also juggling various rounds of edits on my third Regency series (!!!), which will release in 2019. So many books! (So little time!)
I can't thank you enough Carolyn for such a wonderful interview! I admire you greatly for your sacrifice of time! I'll pray for you and those 'fun' edits! :) Blessings to you!
This is a romantic suspense tale that binds the past with the currant day in a mesmerizingly gripping intensity! Jamie Jo Wright is a masterful writer who weaves both Ivy Thorpe’s and Kaine Prescott’s stories with skill that I predict most any reader would appreciate. (There will always be someone who doesn’t like the best in fiction. 😉) I personally didn’t want to put the book down!
Jamie Jo is unpredictable and imaginative as she unfolds these two women’s story-lines onto the page. Readers will definitely follow her bread crumbs into the forest—even if they have a sensing that they shouldn’t go there—because there may be danger lurking in the dark or around the corner! Oh my!!! Well done Jamie Jo Wright, for a story well told, characters nicely developed and pacing that kept my heart pounding!
I was unable to have an interview with this author, hopefully she is busy at her keyboard creating a new impressive tale for her beloved readers! I visited her WEB page, which is amazing and I invite you to stop in and check it out. The House on Foster Hill was her debut novel, which placed her dead center of my ‘favorites—will read again and again—list. I invite you to give her a try!
Her second book "The Reckoning of Gossamer Pond" was released on July 3, 2018 - I can't wait to tell my sister about this Wisconsin writer's next book! I believe I may have discovered it before she did this time!
You will find Jamie Jo Wright at: http://www.jaimewrightbooks.com/home.html