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Archive for 'historical'



Michal Scott: African-American Opera: My Latest Rabbit Hole (Contest)
Thursday, February 25th, 2021

UPDATE: The winner is…bn100!
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Going down the rabbit hole is what we authors call picking up a thread of research that takes us away from our intended purpose. My latest is African-American opera. What got me started was my quest to track down a modern adaptation of Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold. I learned of an African-American version where James Brown’s first gold record is the gold stolen in the opera. Looking for information on that performance has taken me down many paths in my latest rabbit hole. Before my quest, I’d have had to admit my knowledge of opera depicting aspects of African-American life was limited to the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and Scott Joplin’s Tremonisha. I soon became lost in the wonderful facts I discovered about old and new works. And truth be told, I loved being lost.

My rabbit hole was really a gold mine. I struck a rich vein every time I began a new internet search. I’ve learned about modern works like Tulani and Anthony Davis’ X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X that premiered at the American Music Theater Festival in 1985. Last year, the Seattle Opera performed Daniel Schnyder and Bridgette A. Wimberly’s Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, a daring piece that incorporated jazz and opera.

This month I learned about 1949’s Troubled Island by composer William Grant Still. You can learn more about the piece here…

In 1936, Still began the opera set in Haiti’s slave rebellion. He asked poet Langston Hughes to write the libretto. Hughes had collaborated with African American composer James P. Johnson to write a blues opera called De Organizer. The International Ladies Garment Workers Union sponsored performances of the work in 1940. In 1937, Hughes moved to Spain to correspond on the Spanish Civil War. Still’s wife, Verna Arvey, a librettist in her own right, finished Troubled Island‘s libretto. Completed in 1939, it took ten more years before the work was performed by the New York City Opera. This made Troubled Island the first African-American grand opera to be produced by a major opera company.

I was drawn to learn more about William Grant Still, the music of Langston Hughes, Verna Arvey, James P. Johnson, famous sponsors of work by African-American artists. Can you see why research is an underground rabbit warren from which I might have never returned to the story that initiated the search in the first place? I plugged up my ears against the siren call of all these facts and made my way back to the surface. I’ve tucked the information away for another time and other stories.

I’ve yet to find the James-Brown-gold-record version of Das Rheingold but I haven’t given up. If you come across it or any information about it, please let me know. But beware lest you fall into a rabbit hole research trap of your own.

For a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, share in the comments if you have a favorite opera or if opera is something you avoid at all costs.

One Breath Away

Sentenced to hang for a crime she didn’t commit, former slave Mary Hamilton was exonerated at literally the last gasp. She returns to Safe Haven, broken and resigned to live alone. She’s never been courted, cuddled or spooned, and now no man could want her, not when sexual satisfaction comes only with the thought of asphyxiation. But then the handsome stranger who saved her shows up, stealing her breath from across the room and promising so much more.

Wealthy, freeborn-Black, Eban Thurman followed Mary to Safe Haven, believing the mysteriously exotic woman is his mate foretold by the stars. He must marry her to reclaim his family farm. But first he must help her heal, and to do that means revealing his own predilection for edgier sex.

Hope ignites along with lust until the past threatens to keep them one breath away from love…

Excerpt from One Breath Away

“Caesar King?”

He removed his hat and extended his hand in greeting. “At your service, Queen.”

She donned her hat and examined him with that regal air.

“Miss Payne, if you please. You may call me Queen after the nuptials.” She finished tying her hat’s long ribbons beneath her chin. “Although, even then, I’d prefer Mrs. King.”

“You don’t say?” He chuckled, taking her measure from head to foot. “Well, Miss Payne it is…for now.”

She filled her face with a frown. “I don’t appreciate being examined like some newly purchased cow, Mr. King.”

He pulled back. Amusement wrestled with annoyance. “I’m making sure you measure up, Miss Payne.”

“Pray to what criteria? I doubt there’s a standard for marriages of convenience.” She shoved her valise against his chest then crossed her arms, causing her lovely bosom to swell.

He inhaled against the pull of desire throbbing in his privates. “The same criteria as you I suspect: my own self-worth and what I deserve.” He dropped the bag at her feet. “So, by that token, I don’t appreciate being treated like some fetch-and-carry boy.”

She lowered her gaze. But for the set of her jaw he’d have taken the gesture for apology.

He leaned forward and whispered, “If you ask me nicely, I’d gladly carry your bag.”

“A gentleman wouldn’t need to be asked.” Her tone dripped with disdain. “A gentleman would simply take it.”

“I do many things, Miss Payne.” He pushed up the brim of his hat and grinned, fired up by the hazel flame sparking in her eyes. “Pretending to be a gentleman doesn’t number among them.”

Buy links: Amazon – https://amzn.to/2VT5u0F

Diana Cosby: Inspiration From Nature – Wildlife (Contest)
Sunday, January 3rd, 2021

UDPATE: The winner is…Linda Richter!
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©Diana Cosby 2021

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  I love writing, and continually find inspiration from nature.

I’m amazed at the huge variety of wildlife where I live, and I look forward to seeing what nature photos I can take on my walks.

Every so often, I’m able to get close-up photos of hawks, birds, and other animals.  Being only a few feet away from wildlife is an amazing feeling.

Seeing and photographing wildlife is a relaxing pastime, one that refills my muse.

With the celebration of the new year, I look forward to what wildlife I’ll come across next.  What wildlife do you like to see?

Contest

***ONE winner will be drawn from everyone who posts on my guest blog post about, ‘Inspiration From Nature – Wildlife,’ on Delilah’s blog between 3 January 2021– 10 January 2021.  The winner will receive a signed copy of His Destiny, book #4 in the bestselling The MacGruder Brothers Series.

About the Author

A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense. Books in her award-winning MacGruder Brothers series have been translated into five languages. Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happy Ever After,” MSN.com, Atlantic County Women Magazine, and Texoma Living Magazine.

After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world. After the release of the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series and The Oath Trilogy, she released the bestselling The Forbidden Series.

Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.

Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
www.dianacosby.com
The Oath Trilogy
MacGruder Brother Series
The Forbidden Series

Diana Cosby: Nature’s Beauty – At The Marsh (Contest)
Monday, June 15th, 2020

UPDATE: The winner is…Lindsay Ramos!
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©Diana Cosby 2020


Along with writing, I enjoy photography, and I’m amazed at the variety of incredible nature that I see. I wanted to share a few recent photos that I took while walking at the marsh. I was thrilled to come upon this gorgeous young buck with his antlers just beginning to show. I remember seeing him and his sibling last spring when they were fawns.

 


The Osprey have built their nests throughout the marsh. The bond between the couples is amazing. A few days ago, I watched an Osprey eating a fish. When the bird had finished half of the catch, it flew back to the nest and the mate came and finished the meal.


One of the neatest things is to discover a new bird. This year I saw my first Ruddy Turnstone at the marsh. They’re about the size of a small dove, have feather coloring like a calico cat, and tend to travel around in small flocks.


Another bird I enjoy seeing is the Willet. These sleek, quick, and very vocal shore birds run up and down the beach in search of food.


Laughing Gulls are appropriately named. Their call sounds like someone laughing. Until I took this photo, I didn’t realize how ruby red the inside of their mouth is. I hope you’ve enjoyed some of the photos I’ve taken during my walks to the marsh. Take care, and I wish you the best.

About the Author

A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense. Books in her award-winning MacGruder Brothers series have been translated into five languages. Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happy Ever After,” MSN.com, Atlantic County Women Magazine, and Texoma Living Magazine.

After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world. After the release of the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series, The Oath Trilogy, and the first four books of The Forbidden Series, she’s thrilled with the release of book #5, Forbidden Realm.

Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.

Contest


ONE winner will be drawn from everyone who posts on my guest blog post about, ‘Nature’s Beauty – At The Marsh,’ on Delilah’s blog between 15 June 2020 – 21 June 2020. The winner will receive a signed copy of His Destiny.

Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
www.dianacosby.com
The Oath Trilogy
MacGruder Brother Series
The Forbidden Series

Jan Selbourne: The Proposition
Friday, November 1st, 2019

Thank you for inviting me to write a guest blog.

In 1915, my grandfather and his brother enlisted with the Australian Imperial Forces and set sail for what so many believed would be the adventure of a lifetime. Teach the Germans a lesson and be home by Christmas. For the next three years they were involved in horrific battles on the Western Front – Amiens, Fromelles and Villiers Bretonneux to name a few. Both came home but were never the same men again.

In 2015, I joined an Anzacs on the Western Front tour, visiting those battlefields. Looking at the lovely towns and villages it was hard to imagine the horrors of that war until our guide held up enlarged photos of blackened, treeless wastelands torn apart by shelling and littered with bodies of men and horses. Visiting the immaculately kept Commonwealth War Graves and memorials was humbling. Thousands of graves of young men who never came home. Particularly sad was the inscription on so many headstones – “Known Only to God”. I could only assume their bodies were unrecognizable and their identity discs destroyed or buried in the mud or blown elsewhere. When our guide told us the huge numbers of deaths in each battle, it brought home the utter waste of that war and how awful the task would have been identifying and recording deaths and injuries on their service records.

After the tour ended, I got to wondering if it was possible for a soldier to swap identity discs with another who had been killed in battle. In those days, war service records were hand-written with basic personal descriptions – name, date of birth, place of birth, marital status, nationality, religion, height, weight and colouring. Curiosity grew to a real need to know because I was sure it would have happened — a soldier suffering shock and wanting to escape or desperate to make a new life somewhere else. As a historical fiction author, I believe we must research the era of our story to provide an authentic as possible background. We can’t throw our characters headfirst into history and hope for the best. So, I contacted London’s Imperial War Museum and the Australian War Memorial in Canberra asking that question — were discs stolen or swapped. Both replied that it was possible, but the chance of discovery was very real and the penalties very harsh. Neither would confirm it did happen but that was good enough for me to begin my third book, The Proposition.

The Proposition

They met on the eve of battle. One enlisted to avoid prison, the other enlisted to avoid the money lenders. On the bloodied fields of France, Harry Connelly collapses beside the corpse of Andrew Conroy. It’s a risk, a hanging offence, but it’s his only hope for a future. Harry swaps identity discs. Now Andrew, he’s just another face in post war London until a letter arrives with a proposition, plunging him into a nightmare of murder, family jealousy and greed. To survive he must live this lie without a mistake, until Lacey, the truth and the consequences.

Excerpt

“Excuse me, call of nature.”

The niggling coil of unease had been growing and now, as Andrew watched the dining room door close behind Elliot, his instincts were jabbing at him. His host had been charming and hospitable. Last night, after a delicious dinner at Browns Hotel, they’d touched on their family connection, unsure of what to say without offending the other. Elliot had twirled his glass between his fingers. “My grandparents made a lot of money from the textile industry, my father sold seventy percent of those businesses and invested in other profitable enterprises. To put it simply, he was a very astute, successful businessman, but I’m afraid he was not a good husband and father. He cared little for us and it distresses me that he cared even less for you and your mother.”

Today, Elliot had proudly introduced him to his pride and joy, a dark grey Austin-20hp and they’d motored smoothly out of London and onto the soft Essex countryside. When they’d stopped at Thaxted’s Swan Inn for lunch, Elliot had commented, “Every spare acre in Essex has been growing vegetables, doing their bit for the war effort and rationing.” When they continued on to Saffron Walden, he’d pointed to his left, “Railway station, a branch line from Audley End. Made a big difference to this town.” They’d stopped briefly in High Street, then through the marketplace, bumping over cobblestones to a wider road and finally stopping at the entrance of a large Victorian house. He’d been shown to his room overlooking the rear of the house with its garden rows of vegetables.

Elliot had apologised again, business to attend to and please make himself at home. Not used to the substantial meals, he’d slept until five pm. At seven pm, he’d joined Elliot in the dining room where silver serving dishes containing roast beef, baked potatoes and green vegetables sat on spirit warmers. “Very informal this evening,” Elliot had said breezily. “I asked my daily help to prepare something easy for us, so please, help yourself.” The only time his host’s friendliness disappeared was when the daily help tapped on the door to tell him she’d answered the phone and left the message on the phone pad. Something was very wrong, or perhaps he was too jumpy from living on this tight rope of lies.

The door opened again. “Much more comfortable,” Elliot grinned. “More wine?”

“No thank you, I might not be able to climb the stairs, but I must thank you for another very pleasant evening.”

Elliot’s grin disappeared. “It’s time to discuss the business proposition which will give us both what we want.”

“I confess I was intrigued when I received your letter,” Andrew replied guardedly.

“You will perform a service and if that service is completed satisfactorily, I will pay you three hundred pounds and pay your outstanding debts.”

Andrew went perfectly still. “Perform a service?”

“You will impregnate the woman I married.”

About the Author

Jan Selbourne grew up in Melbourne, Australia. Her love of literature and history began as soon as she could hold a pen. Her career started in the dusty world of ledgers and accounting then a working holiday in the UK brought the history to life. Now retired, Jan can indulge her love of writing and travel. She has two children and lives near Maitland, New South Wales.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=the+proposition+jan+selbourne&crid=YVJ1Y7R6RH40&sprefix=the+proposition+jan%2Caps%2C521&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_19
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-proposition-jan-selbourne/1128928662?ean=9780228603283
https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=the+proposition+jan+selbourne
https://www.facebook.com/jan.selbourne
https://twitter.com/JanSelbourne
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jan-selbourne-2817b6140/
janselbourne@gmail.com

Cynthia Capley: The Grand Tour
Thursday, August 29th, 2019

Our summer vacation destination this year was Europe. We started our trip in London then relied on trains to travel to the cities of Paris, Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples. To be able to fit all these cities within two weeks, our stay in each city was brief. We would not have been able to visit all these locations with the time available if not for the convenience of high-speed trains.

As a Regency romance writer, this trip brought to mind the Grand Tour of the eighteenth century. The Grand Tour was typically taken by young men to round out their education. The young man, considered to be an inexperienced cub, traveled with a bear-leader or tutor. The tour would start by boarding a boat at Dover and crossing the channel to Calais, then travelling over land to Paris. Other cities visited included Dijon, Geneva, Avignon, Rome, Florence, Venice and Naples. Although France and Italy were the highlight of many tours, itineraries and the length of travel were flexible depending on the wealth of the individual and personal preferences. The condition of the roads played a role in a location’s popularity.

Paris was considered an important city and it was included in many itineraries. Part of its popularity was that the city could be reached in three days, food was of high quality and accommodations were plentiful. Men in Paris would participate in French society and visit sites such as the Louvre. While in Italy, they would study art in Florence. They also visited architectural sites such as the Colosseum in Rome and Pompeii.

Despite traveling with a bear-leader, supervision could be lacking. There were some who engaged in sexual liaisons and return home with venereal diseases that would eventually lead to their death. There was pressure to gamble and some men lost a considerable amount while abroad.

Although, the Grand Tour was generally undertaken by men, some women did participate. Mary Wollstonecraft, known for her work A Vindication of the Rights of Women, embarked on a tour after her book’s success. During this time, women were expected to be companions and raise children. Women with a desire for independence and intellectual pursuits, such as Mary, were often ridiculed and became outcasts. Divorced women also faced censure from English society. As a result, they would travel or move to places such as Paris where they would be more accepted.

The French Revolution and Napoleonic wars put a halt to the Grand Tour in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Once the wars ended, families began traveling to Europe. The era of the young man embarking on a Grand Tour with a tutor was largely over.

I love researching and traveling to historical locations. While books and photographs are great resources, experiencing a place in person provides details that are hard to glean otherwise.

What is on your list of places to visit?

Resources
Black, Jeremy, The British Abroad: The Grand Tour in the Eighteenth Century (Gloucestershire, The History Press, 2009)
Dolan, Brian, Ladies of the Grand Tour (New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2001)
Laudermilk, Sharon and Hamlin, Teresa L., The Regency Companion (New York & London: Garland Publishing, 1989)

About the Author

Cynthia Capley is working on her first novel set during the Regency era. She enjoys writing stories with strong characters that triumph over challenges to achieve their happily ever after. Cynthia lives in the Pacific Northwest where the rain and numerous coffee houses make the perfect writing companions. She lives with her husband and a menagerie of pets and likes to spend time playing fetch with Natasha, a tortoiseshell colored cat with an attitude.

Website: https://cynthiacapley.com

Caroline Clemmons: An Agent for Magdala (Contest, FREE Read, & Excerpt)
Monday, August 12th, 2019

Thank you, Delilah, for hosting me as your guest.

Hello Readers, I’m Caroline Clemmons and I write western romance. That sounds a bit like I’m at an anti-addiction meeting, doesn’t it? Well, writing is an addiction—but I’m not trying to recover. I love being a writer. Of course, I’m a reader, too.

My husband and I live in North Central Texas where we are staff to three cats and a dog. Other than being with my husband and children, my happy place is in my little office that I call my pink cave. Surrounded by books and memorabilia, I create stories I love on my desktop computer. I hope readers love them, too. My intention is that readers are uplifted and entertained by my stories.

Usually, I write historical romances, but I also author contemporaries, time travels, and mysteries set in the west. So far, I’ve written fifty-two titles and I’ve plans for many more. No matter how many times I write the same time period, each book requires specific research. For my latest release, AN AGENT FOR MAGDALA, Pinkerton Matchmaker Series book 37, I searched for the land route from Denver to San Antonio, Texas in 1871. I was astonished to learn that not only were there no rail lines where I needed them to be, there were very few roads a passenger stagecoach would travel—rough terrain, little water, lots of Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache made travel difficult.

My two Pinkerton agents are assigned a case in San Antonio, Texas and must travel there from Denver. At that time San Antonio had a little over eight thousand people. This community had been a trade center beginning in the eighteenth century with the Spanish. They established five missions there: the Alamo, Concepción, San Jose, San Juan, and Estrada. Even people who are not from Texas have probably heard of the Alamo. I was surprised to learn that at the time of the famous battle in 1836, the Alamo had a flat roof and not the arched one added during restoration.

A large portion of AN AGENT FOR MAGDALA takes place in The Menger Hotel. The Menger has been an important San Antonio destination since 1859. When the hotel opened, Mary and William Menger were so successful that they immediately added more rooms. Through its life the hotel has been remodeled as new conveniences became available and has remained popular with travelers. There is a rumor that ghosts reside in the Menger but when our youngest daughter stayed there she did not encounter one. Frankly, she was a little disappointed even though she enjoyed the hotel’s accommodations.

AN AGENT FOR MAGDALA

She craves adventure, but this may be too much…
His job means the world to him…
Capturing jewel thieves will test them…

Magdala leaps at the opportunity to become a Pinkerton agent. Learning the position requires a paper marriage shocks but doesn’t deter her. She plans to get an annulment before her unusual family learns of the situation. She’s determined to prove she has the grit to be an excellent investigator. But, why does she have to be partnered with the one man who has been rude to her?
Douglas “Cloud” Ryan loves being a Pinkerton agent. Otherwise, he’d never go along with his boss’ crazy plan to marry him to a female agent. He’s certain women have no business dealing with criminals. After enduring the stagecoach trip from Denver to San Antonio, Maggie needs to stay in the background and let him solve the case. He has reasons to distrust women, especially women like Maggie.
Can Maggie and Cloud catch the jewel thieves plaguing an historic San Antonio hotel without becoming victims? Will they take a chance on the love growing between them?

Here’s an excerpt from their first full day in the Menger Hotel where they’re pretending to be Princess Magdala of Bayergrovenia and her husband, the Duke of Montpelier:

He’d learned that Maggie was cheerful when she first woke. He envied her because he needed an hour or two before he could appreciate people. There he went again. Concentrate on the case instead of thinking about her habits and moods.

Instead of the voluminous coat she’d had with her on the trip, today she wore a fur jacket. He had to admit that in a green dress that looked very expensive and wearing a fur, no one would doubt she was a princess. Her jewelry was less spectacular than she’d worn last night, but still eye-catching.

After breakfast, Cloud pulled out his pocket watch. “Perfect timing. Shall we meet the McMillans?”

He held her chair while she stood then she put her hand on his arm. Man, she was good at looking regal. If he didn’t know differently, he’d believe she really was a princess.

But, apparently people thought he was a duke. Even though the admission cost his pride, he had to confess he and Maggie made a good pair. They looked and acted—at least in public—their parts of a happily married royal couple who had plenty of money and time to spend it.

Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Agent-Magdala-Pinkerton-Matchmaker-Book-ebook/dp/B07V3G4QHY/

Contest

To thank you for reading this far, I’m giving a $10 Amazon gift card to one person who leaves a comment on this post telling me their favorite fictional hero or heroine.

I love to stay in touch with readers:
Subscribe to my newsletter and receive a FREE novella
Follow me on my Amazon Author Page where all my books are shown: https://www.amazon.com/Caroline-Clemmons/e/B001K8CXZ6/
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Join my Facebook Readers Group – Caroline’s Cuties https://www.facebook.com/groups/277082053015947/
My website is http://www.carolineclemmons.com

Once more, Delilah, thank you for sharing your blog with me.

Jessica James: Lacewood — Every house has a story to tell…
Thursday, June 20th, 2019

A haunted house with a story to tell…

Do you believe in ghosts?

Since I live in a 200-year-old house, I’d have to say I do. In fact, I think these “sprits of the past” are the ones who helped me bring my new novel Lacewood to life.

They didn’t haunt me by moving things or slamming doors, yet somehow I know they’re here. They have to be. People lived in this place. Had babies here. And died here.

Wondering about the lives they lived was the initial spark that got me started on this novel—along with one other strange occurrence. I began noticing sycamore trees while driving to work. Suddenly, they were everywhere…stretching their ivory white limbs up to the sky in the distant fields. Most people would ignore this sudden fascination, but being an author, I knew it was the prodding of my writing angel (that’s what I call her)—and I don’t ignore the writing angel.

After doing some research, I discovered that sycamores have quite a history—all the way from the Bible to the American Civil War. I also stumbled across a reference that referred to sycamore trees as lacewood.

Lacewood sounded beautiful…like the title of a novel. This was wonderful news, because I usually struggle with a book’s title long after it is completed. The bad news was…that’s all I had.

Staring at a blank computer screen brought to mind the image of a house beyond a gate that was deserted for some reason. I decided the house must have secrets—but I had no idea what they were. From the beginning, I envisioned a portrait on the wall with a second portrait missing. Unfortunately my writing angel didn’t tell me who the portraits were of or why one was missing…

Back to the house I live in. I searched for years for “just the right house,” and finally bought the one I still live in (even though it only had an outhouse at the time). After doing some research, I discovered it was owned by a Revolutionary War captain, whose family was among the original founders of the town of Gettysburg and surrounding county.

Many years later, while visiting a local cemetery, I noticed the last name of the former owner listed as a middle name of one of my ancestors. I soon found out that my grandmother’s kin married this man’s kin, so that this wonderful house that took me so long to find, belonged to someone in my own past.

Random chance? Or grand design?

If you read Lacewood, you’ll get a glimpse of how the spirits of the past seem be the ones directing us all along…

To learn more about Lacewood, watch the 1-minute video trailer here. The Launch Week price of $3.99 ends on June 23.

Lacewood

A love story that spans centuries…

Two people trying to escape their pasts find a connection through an old house—and fulfill a destiny through the secrets it shares. Part love story, part ghost story, Lacewood is a timeless novel about trusting in fate, letting of the past, and believing in things that can’t be seen.

MOVING TO A SMALL TOWN in Virginia is a big change for New York socialite Katie McCain. But when she stumbles across an abandoned 200-year-old mansion, she’s enthralled by the enduring beauty of the neglected estate—and captivated by the haunting portrait of a woman in mourning.

Purchasing the property on a whim, Katie attempts to fit in with the colorful characters in the town of New Hope, while trying to unravel the mystery of the “widow of Lacewood.” As she pieces together the previous owner’s heartrending story, Katie uncovers secrets the house has held for centuries, and discovers the key to coming to terms with her own sense of loss.

The past and present converge when hometown hero Will Durham returns and begins his own healing process by helping the “city girl” restore the place that holds so many memories. As the mystic web of destiny is woven, a love story that might have been lost forever is exposed, and a destiny that has been waiting in the shadows for centuries is fulfilled.

A powerful and poignant tale that vividly conveys the heartache of war, the tragedy of loss, and the fulfillment of destiny…even when souls are separated by centuries. Lacewood takes readers on a journey that connects the past with the present—and the present with eternity.

Excerpt:

Turning in a circle, Katie studied the room again. Faded wallpaper curled and peeled above the dusty wainscoting, but the walls themselves appeared sturdy. On the far side of the entryway, and dominating the wall, stood a mammoth fireplace with an ornately carved hearth. Her attention was immediately drawn to a painting of a woman in nineteenth century dress that hung prominently over the mantel.

“Who is she?”

The sheriff turned to the dusty, sun-bleached portrait in the heavy carved guilt frame. “One of the previous owners, they say.” He shrugged. “The family history kind of got lost with the house. Everyone around here calls her the Widow of Lacewood.”

Katie stood spellbound. The woman was clothed completely in black, but the magnificence of the gown gave the impression of sophistication and class. Her chin was slightly elevated as if to project strength, yet there was more than a hint of sorrow and pain in her eyes.

“She looks so sad.” Katie spoke without removing her gaze. “And so young. How could she be a widow?”

The sheriff had already started to walk away, but he turned back and glanced at the painting. “Not sure, but they say she never remarried.”

Katie’s heart suddenly struggled to beat. The anguish in the woman’s eyes kept her riveted. She could see the pain. Feel a heart ripped apart. Something was missing that could never be replaced. Katie had felt such loss before. In a way that’s why she was here.

BUY LINKS:

Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PW8BQJ4
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/lacewood/id1443163718?ls=1&mt=11
Universal Linkhttps://books2read.com/u/mYoj2P
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/lacewood-2

Jessica James Bio

Jessica James believes in honor, duty, and true love—and that’s what she writes about in her award-winning novels that span the ages from the Revolutionary War to modern day.

She is a three-time winner of the John Esten Cooke Award for Fiction, and has won more than a dozen other literary awards. Her novels have been used in schools and are available in hundreds of libraries including Harvard and the U.S. Naval Academy.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

AUTHOR WEBSITE: https://www.jessicajamesbooks.com

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jessica-james

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/southernromance/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/586216.Jessica_James

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/R