Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy my author interviews, novel excerpts, and creative writing tips.
Meredith Schorr - SOMEONE JUST LIKE YOU
Meredith Schorr's SOMEONE JUST LIKE YOU is an extended love letter to rom-com readers. With heart, soul, and humor, Schorr plunges us into the lives of her at-odds main characters—Molly Blum and Jude Stark—at a critical point in their lives, both personally and professionally. Then, in the most hilarious ways, she ratchets up Jude and Molly’s almost-life-long animosity, which feeds the heat of their mutual attraction. By hitting all our hot buttons—family secrets, loyalty in friendships, and the lifelong regrets created by our worst impulsive acts—Schorr creates the perfect storm for a passion that can’t be ignored. The payoff: a redemption that must be earned before her readers can savor Molly and Jude’s happily-ever-after.
Jane Healey - GOODNIGHT FROM PARIS
The Year is 1939. In the historical novel, GOODNIGHT FROM PARIS, best selling author Jane Healey’s has a real-life heroine: Hollywood actress Drue Leyton, who, married to Frenchman Jacques Tartière, lives as an expatriate in love. But when her husband is dispatched to Brittany to work as a liaison for the British military, Drue finds herself alone with her housekeeper, adrift and heartsick in her adopted city. With her career and fame forty-five hundred miles away, Drue accepts an opportunity that will change her life forever. She becomes then voice of an American in Paris before, and during the Nazi occupation.
In our interview, Jane explains why: • Drue, an American, decided to stay in Paris although the United States wasn’t yet drawn into the war; • And why doing so put a target on her back at Hitler’s executive order. • Jane also explains what she did for on-the-ground research in France. • And she divulges a bit of her current work in progress.
You’ll want to read this story of a woman who has everything, and yet is prepared to risk everything, no matter how dangerous it gets—for her, for everyone she loves, and for everything she’s fighting for.
Jane Smiley - A DANGEROUS BUSINESS
Adventurers whose gold rush fantasies have been crushed. A prim whorehouse madam whose strict rules are readily adhered to by her girls and patrons. Two hookers with hearts of steel.
In Pulitzer Prize-Winning author Jane Smiley’s historical mystery, A DANGEROUS BUSINESS, two ladies of the night—sweet but stoic Eliza Ripple and her feisty pants-wearing sidekick, Jean—must chase down a serial killer on the loose in the hills of 1850s Monterey, California.
Jane and I discuss how the story came to her: How she researched this town that is near and dear to her heart; and how she’s sustained a writing career by making each of her novels different, but with the same result: compelling plots, realistic dialogue, and great characters — and in the case of A DANGEROUS BUSINESS, With the addition of a stomach-churning mystery that you’ll want as your next great read.
Jane Smiley’s latest novel, the mystery A DANGEROUS BUSINESS, is in bookstores now.
Michelle Cox - A SPYING EYE
In the sixth book of Henrietta and Inspector Howard series by Michelle Cox, newlyweds Henrietta and Clive return to Europe in an attempt to resurrect their failed honeymoon. While in London, they are approached by their old friend, Inspector John Hartle, who convinces them to search for the missing panel of the Ghent Altarpiece, a famous Renaissance painting, of which Hitler’s top men are also in pursuit.
Clive and Henrietta’s search takes them to Chateau du Freudeneck in Strasbourg, France—the ancient seat of the Von Harmons and home to three eccentric distant relatives. What begins as a wild goose chase turns decidedly more deadly when several Nazi officers also arrive at the chateau in search of the valuable item. When Henrietta and Clive attempt to flee after Henrietta uncovers a shocking truth, they are forced to trust themselves to a suspicious French servant who seems all-too willing to help.
Michelle and I discuss her research for the art coveted by Hitler, how and why three of the female characters in her series give such a great picture of women’s lives in the 1930s — and the story she’s itching to write next.
Joy Jordan-Lake - A BEND OF LIGHT
Best-selling author Joy Jordan-Lake's historical mystery, A BEND OF LIGHT, drops readers into a quiet coastal village five years after post–World War II America, where the past and present secrets collide.
Amie Stilwell, a photo interpreter for an Allied unit in England, returns to her hometown in Maine. Jobless and discouraged but stubbornly resourceful, she moves in with Shibby Travis, the surrogate mother with whom Amie never lost touch.
There, the unexpected also awaits for her. It begins with a silent, abandoned boy is found with a note from a stranger pleading that he be watched over. Amie and Shibby take him in, but the mysteries multiply when a Boston socialite is found dead in a nearby barn and an old friend, believed to be a casualty of war, suddenly reappears. Trained to see what others cannot, to scan for clues, and to expose enemies, Amie uses her skills to protect the child, solve a crime, and find the motive behind a veteran’s masquerade. Through the hazy filter of a town’s secrets, Amie must also confront her own painful past.
Josie and Joy discuss Joy’s historical research, her approach to creating a small town with all its insular nuances juxtaposed with how its residents will open their hearts toward strangers; and why redemption is such a big part of her novel.
Rhys Bowen - WHERE THE SKY BEGINS
In Rhys Bowen’s latest historical novel, WHERE THE SKY BEGINS, London during WWII is seen through the eyes of Josie Banks, and East Ender, a plain-spoken East Ender in a bad marriage, with no job, and one talent: making a decent cuppa.
Evacuated to the English countryside, Josie ends up on the estate of the aristocratic: Miss Harcourt, a reluctant host to the survivors of the Blitz.
Awed as she is by the magnificent landscape, Josie convinces Miss Harcourt to let her open a humble tea shop on the estate, seeing it as a chance for evacuees and villagers to begin again and possibly thrive.
When Josie meets Mike Johnson, a handsome Canadian pilot stationed at a neighboring bomber base, a growing intimacy brings her an inner peace she’s never felt before.
Then Stan returns from the war.
Now a threat looms larger than anyone imagined. And a dangerous secret is about to upend Josie’s life again. Her newfound courage will be tested if she is to emerge, like a survivor, triumphant.
Rhys and I discuss how and when this story came to her, the research that took her into one of England’s most devastating wars, and why she loves to pivot in and out of writing mysteries—all great stuff from this prolific writer.
You'll find WHERE THE SKY BEGINS on Amazon, or you can get it from your local bookstore now.
Josie Brown is a brilliant writer with a wealth of knowledge in the literary world. Her questions are insightful and always take the listener on an interesting journey. It’s an inside look at writing a novel behind the scenes.