Monday, January 2, 2012

Elizabeth Camden's "The Rose of Winslow Street"



Title: The Rose of Winslow Street
Publisher: Bethany House

Cover blurb: Libby Sawyer’s quiet, respectable life in Colden, Massachusetts is shattered when a bold stranger from Romania invades her world. Fascinated by this enigmatic man, Libby uncovers layers of mystery surrounding Michael Dobrescu’s amazing past….and his plans for the future in which she plays a startling role.

1) How did this story come to you?
Like a lot of writers, I glean tidbits from real life stories. A few years ago there was a case in my hometown in which a man doing home renovations found $200,000 hidden in the ductwork of his house. He thought he hit the jackpot until the previous owner showed up and wanted it back. A nasty court case ensued, and it is still wending its way through the system. This incident provided the seed of an idea in which a descendant of the previous home-owner shows up at a house claiming ownership, but that is where the resemblance the real-life story ends.

The Rose of Winslow Street is set in 1879 and features a mysterious band of strangers from Europe who come to a peaceful village where they must unravel a century-old mystery that is wrapped up in the house where the heroine lives. In short order, they seize the house and proclaim ownership over it, dispossessing the heroine and her family. In order for the plot to work, I needed both sides to be highly sympathetic, yet set against each other in stark opposition, with no easy solution in sight. Michael and Libby are natural enemies, but they are also both exceptionally smart people who develop a grudging respect for each other. And sometimes the attraction of forbidden fruit is a powerful romantic draw, as Libby soon discovers.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I think all authors probably have manuscripts they struggle with, and others which simply pour out of them in a stream of inspiration. The Rose of Winslow Street was in that second category. I loved every second of writing this book, and amazingly, my publishers agreed and asked for almost no revisions. That doesn’t happen very often!

3) Tell me a couple things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I am a “stealth nerd.” I suffered from almost crippling introversion until high school, when I signed up for Drama class in an attempt to get over my shyness. It worked. Now I’m pretty good at faking poise, even though the introverted geekiness is still with me. Always will be, I suppose. I can fake it for a couple of hours before I have to withdraw into the shell of my office to recharge my batteries in private.

I am generally out of bed by 4:00 in the morning. Because my husband needs to leave for work by 6:00, and we both like to go to the gym for an hour on most days, that 4AM wake-up call is the only way it is going to happen!

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
My next book features a character from my first novel, The Lady of Bolton Hill. It is entirely a stand-alone book, so readers will be able to hop right in, even if they didn’t read the first. Alex Banebridge was a wonderfully fun, whiplash smart character in the first book, even though he was only seventeen years old. In the next book, Alex Banebridge is all grown up and is ready to set the world on fire. Look for it in late 2012.

5) Parting comments?
Just that I am thankful for the chance to be in this business. Reading novels was a huge part of my life, and if I can give back just a fraction of the joy I have had from reading, I will be very grateful indeed. Thank you for the opportunity to help me get the word out!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
I blog about the romance genre and what’s going on in the industry at http://elizabethcamden.com/blog

Ann Shorey's "Where Wildflowers Bloom"

Title: Where Wildflowers Bloom
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group/Revell

Cover blurb: The War Between the States stole a father and brother from Faith Lindberg—as well as Royal Baxter, the man she wanted to marry. With only her grandfather left, she dreams of leaving Noble Springs, Missouri, and traveling west to Oregon to start a new life, away from the memories that haunt her. But first she must convince her grandfather to sell the family's mercantile and leave a town their family has called home for generations.

When Royal Baxter suddenly returns, Faith allows herself to hope that she and Royal will finally wed. But does he truly love her? Or will another man claim her heart?

1) How did this story come to you?
I was interested in how women resumed their “normal” lives after the Civil War ended. My great-grandparents settled in Missouri (from Illinois) in 1867, so my interest is personal as well as fictional!

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Where Wildflowers Bloom is the first in the Sisters at Heart series for Revell. I wanted to honor the importance of friendship in the lives of women, so each story is about a different protagonist, but their friendship ties them, and the series, together. My editor at Revell liked the idea, fortunately!

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1) I love to spend time camping in the Oregon desert with my husband. We have a canvas wall tent, and drive to places 40 and 50 miles off the highway, with nothing around but sagebrush and an occasional range cow. We stayed out there for 10 days last summer.
2) I always wanted to play the piano, but had no discipline to stick with lessons. Now here I am committed to contracts that require discipline to meet deadlines. Hmm.
3) I like peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches. 

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m working on Book 2 of the Sisters at Heart series. The working title is When the Heart Heals, and the story is about a woman who’s an herbalist and was a nurse in the Civil War—a time when few women were nurses. After that, I’ll be writing Book 3, tentatively titled Love’s Sweet Beginning.

5) Parting comments?
My tagline is “Yesterday’s Women – Today’s Issues.” Readers will be able to relate to my historical fiction as the characters face the same situations women deal with today. But now we have the resources they lacked. Yet those women persevered. I love their determination.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Please visit my website, http://www.annshorey.com/, find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AnnShoreyAuthor#!/AnnShorey  or follow me on Twitter at Ann_Shorey.

Thank you for inviting me to visit your blog! I enjoyed the interview.