Two on my historical romances available dirt cheap in e-books

Happy Monday, readers,

Quaker and the Rebel, TheAnybody who prefers reading books on their electronic devices can find two of my historical romances on sale. The Quaker and the Rebel will be $.99 for the entire month of September for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, and Google Play formats. And book two of the Civil War Heroines series, The Lady and the Officer, will be $1.99 from September 1-30 as well. Now’s the time to give historical romance a try if you haven’t already done so.Lady and the Officer, The

 

 

 

You prefer Amish fiction to American history? Remember, Love Comes to Paradise is still $1.99 at Amazon. Here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Comes-Paradise-Beginnings-Book-ebook/dp/B00B03M54U/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1441035324&sr=8-1&keywords=love+comes+to+paradiseOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Enjoy these waning summer days. Fall will be here in 3 short weeks, and I am so not ready!!

Best regards, Mary

Ever wonder what happens in the mind of a heroine?

The Last HeiressLast week I completed a reader’s interview from a hero’s perspective, using my dashing hero from The Last Heiress. I had so much fun with this, I decided to answer questions from my heroine’s (Amanda Dunn’s) perspective. I hope you enjoy!

Has anything significant happened in your life in the past two weeks?

I recently landed in North Carolina during the American Civil War. I’m supposed to restore shipments of cotton to my family’s textile mills and repair the riff with my sister. Abigail happens to be married to a slave-owner, a practice I refuse to tolerate. I find myself at odds with my host and hostess at every turn. Everything seems to have become significant lately. 

Your most embarrassing moment?

Thus far my protected and insulated life in England has produced few embarrassments. Since arriving in Wilmington, I’ve had plenty. Look no further than the next question…. 

What is your first reaction when you meet a handsome gentleman?

Usually I blush, and this time was no exception. After all this is the nineteenth century. Then I engage the gentleman in witty or intelligent conversation. However, since I’m a fish out-of-water here, especially with a war going on, I can’t find any common ground. So I don’t think I’ve impressed this young man in the least. 

What happened the last time you spoke to a large group of people?

I had to address the Wilmington business leaders to request a lift of trade restrictions to Great Britain. The session did not go well, needless to say. Southern gentlemen do not take kindly to women conducting business. 

What are your hobbies?

Well-born ladies during the Victorian Era had few acceptable hobbies. I read, do needlepoint, and take long walks in the garden in fair weather. I’m enjoying my stay in North Carolina where conventions have been relaxed due to the Civil War. 

Siblings? How many? Do you get along?

I had a brother who unfortunately was killed at our textile mill, making me next in line to inherit my father’s company. I also have a twin sister. We used to get along just fine until she eloped with an American.

Any current romantic interests?

I have fallen in love with Nathaniel Cooper who charmed me the moment I entered his store. He’s not what my family would consider acceptable for a mate, yet I can’t imagine my life without him. 

Where were you born? What other significant happenings surrounded this event?

I was born in Manchester, England. My identical twin, Abigail, was born minutes after me. Physically, we look exactly the same. However, philosophically we become complete opposites.

What is your worst fear?

My worst fear is that I will fail at the enormous task I’ve been given due to my father’s illness. Women of my class didn’t dabble in business during the 1860’s. I do wish to make my father—and myself—proud.

When’s the last time you had a really good meal? Courtesy of whom?

The last good meal I had since landing on the shores of America was cooked by my new beau! Nathaniel might be a shopkeeper of humble means, but he has won my heart based on his skills in the kitchen alone!

Are there any hardheaded people in your life right now? What’s the issue?

I am living in my sister’s home. Abigail is married to an American cotton broker and slave-owner. I am vehemently opposed to slavery, an institution that England abolished during the last century. Jackson Henthorne and I barely speak to each other which places my twin sister smack-dab in the middle.

Here we are, readers, Friday already! I wish you a lovely weekend with plenty of good reading.

And for my readers in Texas…I’m praying that the rains stop soon.

best regards, Mary

Ever wonder about what goes on in the mind of a hero??

Happy Wednesday, readers!

First, without further ado…BN 100 you are the winner of Island Refuge by Kimberly Rose Johnson. Thanks to everyone who entered my drawing last week for a copy of Kimberly’s latest book! I will contact you via email regarding how to claim your prize.

The Last HeiressA few weeks ago, another blogger had me complete a questionnaire from a hero’s perspective. I used my dashing hero from The Last Heiress. I had so much fun with this, I decided to share the “interview” here. I hope you enjoy!

My name is Nathaniel Cooper, and I walked across the entire state of North Carolina to the coastal town of Wilmington to begin a new life during the Civil War.

What do you do for fun? I take the beach road out of town to the seacoast. I love to watch the vast, blue sea and dream of sailing one day.

What do you put off doing because you dread it? I dread meeting the family of the woman I love. I fear they will find me unworthy of her.

What are you afraid of most in life? That I won’t be there when those I love need me most.

What do you want out of life? I want to leave the bustling city, find a plot of land to build a cottage, and buy a fishing trawler. Maybe God will send me a woman who could be happy as a fisherman’s wife.

What is the most important thing to you? That we live each day by God’s law, not by the laws set down by man.

Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book? I read all kinds of books, but I love to read the new poets and transcendentalists of Concord, MA, such as Alcott, Thoreau, and Hawthorne. I don’t always agree with them, but it does give you something to think about.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? That I would not jump to conclusions based solely on a man’s clothing, background, or bank account.

Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet? As a shopkeeper living in the city and sleeping in a rented loft, I have no pet. But I would love to provide pets of every sort for my children someday.

If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why? I would return to the mountains of my childhood in western Carolina. I would love to change how life turned out for my parents.

Nice to meet you, Nathaniel! Next week, I’ll share my “interview” with the love of his life, Amanda.

In the meantime, readers, I hope you’re having an absolutely lovely spring!2014-04-29 13.38.30

best regards ~ Mary

 

We have a winner and a quick trip to merry olde England

 

The Last Heiress

Today I wanted to share photos of the best part of being an author….research. I was fortunate enough to travel to England several years ago for background for my latest book, The Last Heiress.  The story which starts in Manchester and continues in Wilmington, NC features a pair of identical twins. During the American Civil the English textile industry nearly ground to a halt due to the blockade of southern ports. No export of cotton….no raw materials to for the mills. My British twin, Amanda Dunn, is heir to the largest textile mill in Manchester, England. After the blockade of southern ports threatens to destroy the family business, Amanda’s father sends her to Wilmington to restore trade. Her estranged twin sister, Abigail, eloped at 17 with an American cotton broker, lives in Wilmington. Blockade runners, such as those owned by Abigail’s husband, would leave the southern coast of the United States bound for the ports of Liverpool or Swansea, and then the mills of Manchester.GE

Amanda plans a long overdue reunion with her twin, conduct business for her dad, and hurry back to England. Fate has other plans for our heiress. Amanda butts heads at every turn with her brother-in-law, a slave-owner, in a town not used to dealing with businesswomen. When she falls in love with a local shopkeeper, a man who refuses to fight for the Confederacy, class distinctions, political loyalties, and family obligations guarantee a turbulent romance.

In Portsmouth harbour

In Portsmouth harbour

My trip to England allowed me to reconnect with an old friend, Caroylne Way,

Rowing on Lake Windemere in the Lake District

Rowing on Lake Windemere in the Lake District

who lives in Gosport (near Portsmouth in southern Hampshire.) Carolyne’s great grandfather owned a mine which supplied coal for the garment mills during the nineteenth century. I was able to use real events which took place at his mine in my story. Of course as you can see from my pictures,  I had plenty of time to see merry ole England too.

Research also took me not less than a half-dozen times to the beautiful city of Wilmington, NC on the Cape Fear River. Lucky for me, the riverfront area, some of downtown, along with Fort Fisher on the peninsula looks like it did 150 years ago.

Wilmington waterfront

Wilmington waterfront

Fort Fisher was the final definitive battle of the Civil War, fought on both land and sea.

Ahhh, research. For some authors, the topic draws beads of sweat to the brow. But if a writer is able to pack a bag, book a flight and travel, then history…and the story can truly come alive.

Hope you enjoy these pics from England

and Scotland.  And I hope you’ll look for The Last Heiress, a book from Harvest House Publishers which was a pleasure to write!! Have a great week, readers….Mary

London Eye, on the Thames River

London Eye, on the Thames River

restored English village

restored English village

2008-05-18 12.35.18

On the Solent near their house

 

 

Old Towne York

Old Towne York

 

Stonehenge, about an hour away

Stonehenge, about an hour away

Big Ben, London

Big Ben, London

Blockade running during the American Civil War

 

In my latest historical novel, one of my characters stakes his entire financial future on two blockade runners to travel between North Carolina and England. Blockade runners during the Civil War were the fastest ships available and came armed and armored, enabling them to outrun Union ships on blockade patrol. blockade runner 1Their operations were risky since the Union Navy wouldn’t hesitate to fire on them. However, the potential profits (economically or militarily) from a successful crossing were tremendous. The Union government sought to cut off all trade with the Confederacy and patrolled 12 major ports and 3,500 miles of southern coastline. Great Britain played a major role on the blockade running business, since they had huge investments in the South, and were the recipients of their cash crops, especially tobacco and cotton. Great BritainthQEOI8L5N also controlled the neutral ports of the Caribbean, such as the Bahamas and Bermuda. Among the more notable of these premier vessels was the CSS Advance which completed more than 20 successful runs through the Union Naval blockade before being captured. By the end of the Civil War the Union Navy had captured more than 1,100 blockade runners and had destroyed or run aground another 355 vessels. blocade running 2

The Last Heiress is a stand-alone historical romance, also set during the American Civil War. My heroine, Amanda Dunn is heir to the largest textile mill in Manchester, England. When the blockade of southern ports curtails the supply of cotton, her father sends her to Wilmington to restore trade. Her estranged twin sister, Abigail, eloped at 17 with an American cotton factor, and also lives in Wilmington. When Amanda falls for a local shopkeeper, class distinction, political loyalties, and family obligations guarantee a turbulent romance. The risky business of outmaneuvering the Union Navy became one of my favorite research assignments in The Last Heiress, available now in bookstores and online. The Last Heiress

A Look at Wilmington, NC, of the 1860’s

Traveling to the location where my book takes place is an important part of research. And it’s also the most enjoyable. After all who doesn’t love to be on vacation while learning wonderful tidbits of history? To write my latest historical romance, The Last Heiress, I visited Wilmington on four different occasions. Sometimes for a few days, sometimes for a week, but each time I took plenty of photographs. However time does not stand still, not even in nationally registered, historically protected sections of a city. The Wilmington of today still contains the flavor of the mid-nineteenth century, including many buildings intact. But my visit to the Cape Fear Historical Society at 814 Market Street showed me the neighborhood has changed during the last 150 years.cape fear 2

Janet Davidson, Museum Historian, was kind enough to furnish me with images taken during the 1850’s and 1860’s. I hope you’ll enjoy this walk down memory lane in a town whose beauty has withstood the ravages of time. This museum is a must-see during your visit to New Hanover County. I don’t think you’ll have much trouble telling my photographs from those sent to me by Janet. Enjoy, readers….Mary

 cape fear 1 cape fear 3 cape fear 4 cape fear 5

 

Visit the Latimer House ~ my setting for The Last Heiress

The Last HeiressI’m often asked where I get the settings for my stories. From real life is my usual answer. Today I’ll take you to visit the Latimer House on 126 S. 3rd St. in Wilmington, NC, home of GEmy fictional Jackson and Abigail Henthorne of The Last Heiress. Having a real life mansion as a model makes setting the stage easier and far more accurate. The gardens, both side and back, the entrance to the subterranean level, the slave quarters, the interior rooms, and the porches all feature into my story. Of course, I embellished or changed a few details, because that’s what fiction writers do. But if you visit to the real life Latimer House, now home to the Wilmington Historical Society, I think you’ll agree I got the grand opulence of the mansion right-on-the-money!GE

GEThe Latimer House, built in 1852 by local merchant Zebulon Latimer, is open to the public as an historic house exemplary of upper-class life in Wilmington during the Victorian period. With 14 furnished rooms the Latimer House lets you step back in time to a more elegant era. The house, built in the popular Italianate style, was designed with a central hallway on each floor with identical layouts on either side. The first floor contains the formal sitting and dining areas on the north side, used for entertaining and special occasions, and the less formal sitting rooms to the south.

GEIf you are looking for a charming place for your meeting, luncheon, or party, then GEsearch no further than the Latimer House! The Victorian inspired garden is perfect for your special photography session, while the tearoom can accommodate guests in a historic atmosphere. Available seven days a week, but reservations are required. Call 910-762-0492 for more information or e-mail us at info@latimerhouse.org.

Unfortunately, the house is not handicapped accessible. Next week, readers, we’ll be visiting downtown Wilmington, NC, where my handsome hero, Nathaniel Cooper had his delightful store. Stay tuned, and stay warm….. Mary