Cover Crush Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle

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I am not a cover designer but I can agree that cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories and I must admit, often times I first judge a book by its cover.

Spellbook of the Lost and FoundSpellbook of the Lost and Found Hardcover by Moïra Fowley-Doyle 

One stormy Irish summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hairclips and jewelry, but soon it’s clear that Rose has lost something much bigger, something she won’t talk about, and Olive thinks her best friend is slipping away.

Then seductive diary pages written by a girl named Laurel begin to appear all over town. And Olive meets three mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel, and her twin brother, Rowan, secretly squatting in an abandoned housing estate. The trio are wild and alluring, but they seem lost too—and like Rose, they’re holding tight to painful secrets.

When they discover the spellbook, it changes everything. Damp, tattered and ancient, it’s full of hand-inked charms to conjure back things that have been lost. And it just might be their chance to find what they each need to set everything back to rights.

Unless it’s leading them toward things that were never meant to be found…

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. Her latest Cover Crush HERE

Other great book bloggers who cover crush:

Heather @ The Maiden’s Court

Magdalena @ A Bookaholic Swede

Holly @ 2 Kids and Tired Books

Colleen @ A Literary Vacation

Meghan @ Of Quills & Vellum

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Author Ridley Pearson at the Fox Den

Ridley & Me 2017

On October 11, I went to a book event at the FoxTale Book Shoppe featuring Author Ridley Pearson. He is the New York bestselling author of the Peter and the Starcatchers and the Kingdom Keepers series. It was such a wonderful experience to meet him and talk about his stories and the projects he is working on. His enthusiasms and energy in writing and talking about his books is amazing and awe inspiring. I was so pleased with how he interacted with his young audience and how he answered their questions. I could have listen to him speak all day. What a nice gentleman and I really admire the stories he brings to children. We need more authors like him.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

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Here are the two books I had signed by Ridley:

Ridley Books Signed

The Initiation (Lock and Key #1) by Ridley Pearson

Bestselling author of Peter and the Starcatchers and the Kingdom Keepers series, Ridley Pearson reimagines the origins of the epic rivalry between Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty. Set in modern times and focusing on Moriarty’s bone-chilling beginnings, this middle grade mystery-adventure series will upend everything you thought you ever knew about Sherlock Holmes—and the true nature of evil.

In the pantheon of literature’s more impressive villains, Sherlock Holmes’s greatest nemesis, James Moriarty, stands alone. As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle describes him in the classic tale “The Final Solution,” Moriarty is a genius, a philosopher, and a spider in the center of his web. He is the Napolean of crime—and now, for the first-time ever, New York Times bestselling novelist Ridley Pearson explores the origins of his evil ways.

Our story begins when James and his younger sister, Moria, are unceremoniously sent off to boarding school at Baskerville Academy. It is not a fate either want or welcome—but generations of Moriarty men have graduated from Baskerville’s hallowed halls. And now so too must James. It’s at Baskerville where James is first paired with a rather unexpected roommate—Sherlock Holmes. The two don’t get along almost instantly, but when the school’s heirloom Bible goes missing and cryptic notes with disconcerting clues start finding their way into James’s hands, the two boys decide that they must work together to solve a mystery so fraught with peril, it will change both their lives forever!

It’s another seat-of-your-pants mystery from the bestselling author of Peter and the Starcatchers and The Kingdom Keepers series, Ridley Pearson.

The Downward Spiral (Lock and Key #2) by Ridley Pearson

James Moriarty hasn’t been the same since he enrolled at Baskerville Academy. During his first year, he was forced to room with the insufferable Sherlock Holmes, he grew distant from his younger sister, Moria, and then, horribly, his father died under mysterious circumstances.

Now with school back in session, James has become more isolated than ever. And for the first time in her life, Moria isn’t sure if her brother is on her side. The only person she can trust is Sherlock. Sherlock listens to Moria’s problems and tries to break through James’s wall. He is obsessed, maybe to an extreme, with finding the truth about their father’s death. But at least Sherlock cares, and that’s why Moria joins him on a quest that leads to a secret sect, a rare jewel, and a murder that may change everything. The search for the truth is darker than even they could have anticipated. Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series, said, “Only a mastermind like Ridley Pearson could put such a fresh spin on Sherlock Holmes.” It’s another edge-of-your-seat mystery-adventure from New York Times bestselling author Ridley Pearson.

More about author:

Ridley Perason

Ridley Pearson is the author of more than twenty novels, including the New York Times bestseller KILLER WEEKEND; the Lou Boldt crime series; and many books for young readers, including the award-winning children’s novels PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS, PETER AND THE SHADOW THIEVES, and PETER AND THE SECRET OF RUNDOON, which he cowrote with Dave Barry. Pearson lives with his wife and two daughters, dividing their time between Missouri and Idaho.

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Fall Reads: Paperbacks On My Shelf

Fall banner 2017

As a book reviewer it is not often I have time to read books from my personal library. I have made it a goal to read at least five books from my shelf by the end of November. I really hope I met that goal seeing as I have others to get through for review.

I had a lot of fun putting this collection of books together and creating a fall theme presentation for them. I am rather pleased with how it turned out and I feel it gives me a better sense of anticipation to read the books. I look forward to journaling about them soon. Once I get the journal going I will be sure to share with you of how it is coming together.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

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The Guineveres IIThe Guineveres by Sarah Domet

Hardcover, 352 pages

Published October 4th 2016 by Flatiron Books

To four girls who have nothing, their friendship is everything: they are each other’s confidants, teachers, and family. The girls are all named Guinevere – Vere, Gwen, Ginny, and Win – and it is the surprise of finding another Guinevere in their midst that first brings them together.

They come to The Sisters of the Supreme Adoration convent by different paths, delivered by their families, each with her own complicated, heartbreaking story that she safeguards. Gwen is all Hollywood glamour and swagger; Ginny is a budding artiste with a sentiment to match; Win’s tough bravado isn’t even skin deep; and Vere is the only one who seems to be a believer, trying to hold onto her faith that her mother will one day return for her. However, the girls are more than the sum of their parts and together they form the all-powerful and confident The Guineveres, bound by the extraordinary coincidence of their names and girded against the indignities of their plain, sequestered lives.

The nuns who raise them teach the Guineveres that faith is about waiting: waiting for the mail, for weekly wash day, for a miracle, or for the day they turn eighteen and are allowed to leave the convent. But the Guineveres grow tired of waiting. And so, when four comatose soldiers from the War looming outside arrive at the convent, the girls realize that these men may hold their ticket out.

In prose shot through with beauty, Sarah Domet weaves together the Guineveres’ past, present, and future, as well as the stories of the female saints they were raised on, to capture the wonder and tumult of girlhood and the magical thinking of young women as they cross over to adulthood.

The Cherry HarvestThe Cherry Harvest by Lucy Sanna

Hardcover, 326 pages

Published June 2nd 2015 by William Morrow

A memorable coming-of-age story and love story, laced with suspense, which explores a hidden side of the home front during World War II, when German POWs were put to work in a Wisconsin farm community . . . with dark and unexpected consequences

The war has taken a toll on the Christiansen family. With food rationed and money scarce, Charlotte struggles to keep her family well fed. Her teenage daughter, Kate, raises rabbits to earn money for college and dreams of becoming a writer. Her husband, Thomas, struggles to keep the farm going while their son, and most of the other local men, are fighting in Europe.

When their upcoming cherry harvest is threatened, strong-willed Charlotte helps persuade local authorities to allow German war prisoners from a nearby camp to pick the fruit.

But when Thomas befriends one of the prisoners, a teacher named Karl, and invites him to tutor Kate, the implications of Charlotte’s decision become apparent—especially when she finds herself unexpectedly drawn to Karl. So busy are they with the prisoners that Charlotte and Thomas fail to see that Kate is becoming a young woman, with dreams and temptations of her own—including a secret romance with the son of a wealthy, war-profiteering senator. And when their beloved Ben returns home, bitter and injured, bearing an intense hatred of Germans, Charlotte’s secrets threaten to explode their world.

The Secret ChordThe Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks

Hardcover, 302 pages

Published October 6th 2015 by Viking

Peeling away the myth to bring the Old Testament’s King David to life in Second Iron Age Israel, Brooks traces the arc of his journey from obscurity to fame, from shepherd to soldier, from hero to traitor, from beloved king to murderous despot and into his remorseful and diminished dotage.

The Secret Chord provides new context for some of the best-known episodes of David’s life while also focusing on others, even more remarkable and emotionally intense, that have been neglected.  We see David through the eyes of those who love him or fear him—from the prophet Natan, voice of his conscience, to his wives Mikhal, Avigail, and Batsheva, and finally to Solomon, the late-born son who redeems his Lear-like old age. Brooks has an uncanny ability to hear and transform characters from history, and this beautifully written, unvarnished saga of faith, desire, family, ambition, betrayal, and power will enthrall her many fans.

The Beekeeper's ApprenticeThe Beekeeper’s Apprentice (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #1) by Laurie R. King

Paperback, 341 pages

Published March 26th 2002 by Bantam

Long retired, Sherlock Holmes quietly pursues his study of honeybee behavior on the Sussex Downs. He never imagines he would encounter anyone whose intellect matched his own, much less an audacious teenage girl with a penchant for detection. Miss Mary Russell becomes Holmes’ pupil and quickly hones her talent for deduction, disguises and danger. But when an elusive villain enters the picture, their partnership is put to a real test.

A Monstrous Regiment of WomenA Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #2) by Laurie R. King

Paperback, 336 pages

Published 2000 by HarperCollins

Looking for respite in London after a stupefying visit from relatives, Mary encounters a friend from Oxford. The young woman introduces Mary to her current enthusiasm, a strange and enigmatic woman named Margery Childe, who leads something called “The New Temple of God.” It seems to be a charismatic sect involved in the post-World War I suffrage movement, with a feminist slant on Christianity. Mary is curious about the woman, and intrigued. Is the New Temple a front for something more sinister? When a series of murders claims members of the movement’s wealthy young female volunteers and principal contributors, Mary, with Holmes in the background, begins to investigate. Things become more desperate than either of them expected as Mary’s search plunges her into the worst danger she has faced yet.

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Cover Crush: Love Thine Enemy by Nora Fountain

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I am not a cover designer but I can agree that cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories and I must admit, often times I first judge a book by its cover.

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Love Thine EnemyLove Thine Enemy by Nora Fountain

Kindle Edition, 544 pages

Published January 26th 2017 by Endeavour Press

The clouds of war are gathering in Europe, but some remain hopeful a diplomatic solution can be found, especially eighteen-year-old Helen Latimer, visiting from England.

Paris has always been one of her favourite places, but as she walks down the street on her first day and sees a tall stranger with cornflower blue eyes and hair the colour of wheat, she is hit by what the French call un coup de foudre, and her life is changed forever.

Maximilian von Engelberg is a German, but despite being proud of Germany, he is against the Nazis, unlike his brother Herman, who is with the SS. He, too, hopes war can be averted, but knows it is a matter of time. He also knows he should stay away from Helen Latimer, but he can’t help himself.

Christian Meursault is the Count of Clemenceau, and owns a chateau in Normandy. He has his friends for a weekend, including Helen and Max, and as they play in the pool and eat fabulous food, no one can imagine war.

But soon, Hitler invades Poland, and war is inevitable. As Helen’s brother Charles calls her home, Max’s brother Herman insists he return to the Fatherland as well. But when Helen discovers she is pregnant, Max decides they will marry, and escape to Portugal, a country that is neutral.

But fate has other plans for them, and Max ends up in Germany. Soon they are both married to other people, as war rages around them.

But despite impossible odds, this is not the end of the story for Max, who ends up based in Normandy, and Helen, who starts to work for the French Resistance when her beloved brother Charles is shot down over the English Channel.

With so much death, who knows who will survive, and at what cost?

My thoughts:

I adore everything about this cover! What’s not to love? Plus, the story has a great title and premise. One I hope to explore sometime soon.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. Her latest Cover Crush HERE

Other great book bloggers who cover crush:

Heather @ The Maiden’s Court

Magdalena @ A Bookaholic Swede

Holly @ 2 Kids and Tired Books

Colleen @ A Literary Vacation

Meghan @ Of Quills & Vellum

My Time At FoxTale Book Shoppe

FoxTale Banner for Heather and Hazels book Event

Last night I went to a lovely book event at the FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, Georgia to see authors Heather Webb and Hazel Gaynor and all my friends at Foxtale. This was the first time I met Hazel in person and I have met Heather before at a book conference two years ago. It was a pleasure to see them and to hear more about their story they co-wrote and what their process was. It was fascinating and I want to share it with you all but I do not want to give spoilers since they are in the middle of a book tour. I will say that they talked about the art of letter writing and what it meant to people back in the day and that really shed light on how important letter writing is and how it has become a lost art. Another topic they shared with us is how fast the postal service was during the time the story takes place which is much different today. Heather and Hazel gave me many things to reflect on and a deeper appreciation for the art of storytelling. If you have yet to read their stories, I highly recommend you do!

Stephanie M Hopkins

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Last Christmas in Paris A Novel of World War INew York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor has joined with Heather Webb to create this unforgettably romantic novel of the Great War.

August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.

But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…

Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how? —and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?

Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…

About Hazel Gaynor

 

Hazel Singing her book at FoxtaleHazel Gaynor is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of A MEMORY OF VIOLETS and THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME, for which she received the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award. Her third novel THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY was an Irish Times and Globe & Mail Canada bestseller, and was shortlisted for the 2016 BGE Irish Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year.

Hazel is a contributing author to WWI anthology FALL OF POPPIES: Stories of Love and the Great War. She was selected by US Library Journal as one of ‘Ten Big Breakout Authors’ for 2015 and was a WHSmith Fresh Talent selection in spring 2015. Her work has been translated into several languages.

Hazel’s 2017 releases are THE COTTINGLEY SECRET (August, William Morrow/HarperCollins) and LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS (October, William Morrow/HarperCollins).

She is represented by Michelle Brower of Aevitas Creative Management, New York. For more information, visit Hazel’s website where you can also sign up for her regular newsletter.

About Heather Webb:

Heather Webb singing her book at Foxtale IIWhen Josephine Bonaparte appeared to Heather in a dream, she switched gears from fun-loving high school teacher to author & history nerd, all for the love of books.

To date, her historical novels have sold in ten countries, received national starred reviews, and been featured in print media including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Cosmo, Elle, and more. RODIN’S LOVER was chosen as a Goodread’s Pick in 2015.

Her nove;, LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS, is an epistolary love story set during WWI which she co-wrote with NYT bestseller Hazel Gaynor. It releases Oct 3, 2017.

When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills, geeks out on pop culture and history, or looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world, (especially her beloved France). She loves to chitchat on Twitter with new reader friends or writers (@msheatherwebb) or via her Facebook page. Stop on by!

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FoxTale is located at:

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Woodstock, Georgia 30188

Book Spotlight: A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Susan Meissner

A birdge across the ocean

About the book:

Wartime intrigue spans the lives of three women—past and present—in the latest novel from the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life.
 
February, 1946. World War Two is over, but the recovery from the most intimate of its horrors has only just begun for Annaliese Lange, a German ballerina desperate to escape her past, and Simone Deveraux, the wronged daughter of a French Résistance spy.

Now the two women are joining hundreds of other European war brides aboard the renowned RMSQueen Mary to cross the Atlantic and be reunited with their American husbands. Their new lives in the United States brightly beckon until their tightly-held secrets are laid bare in their shared stateroom. When the voyage ends at New York Harbor, only one of them will disembark…

Present day. Facing a crossroads in her own life, Brette Caslake visits the famously haunted Queen Mary at the request of an old friend. What she finds will set her on a course to solve a seventy-year-old tragedy that will draw her into the heartaches and triumphs of the courageous war brides—and will ultimately lead her to reconsider what she has to sacrifice to achieve her own deepest longings.

Available on Amazon

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Characters Influenced By Their Surroundings With Clare Flynn

I usually get the initial inspiration for my novels from their settings. Location is a critical factor – there is something about a place that gets me curious – who lived here before? how different would it have been eighty years ago?  Then I thrust my characters into the location and see what happens. While I usually have a rough outline of the plot, the characters mostly have different ideas – so they lead and I follow.

I write a lot about displacement – taking characters out of comfortable and familiar surroundings and transferring them into the strange and unfamiliar – completely outside their ‘comfort zone’.

A Greater World Cover MEDIUM WEBMy first novel, A Greater World is set in Australia, but opens in England. Two characters, Elizabeth Morton, a middle-class woman approaching her thirties, unmarried after the death of her fiancé in the First World War, and Michael Winterbourne, a lead miner and war survivor, jilted by his fiancée, are each forced by personal tragedies to take a passage to Australia and a new life.

Elizabeth, used to a world of tennis matches, orchestral concerts and tea parties is dropped into an isolated and squalid homestead in the midst of the Australian outback and left to fend for herself. She’s probably never had to make so much as a cup of tea back in England, having had servants to do everything for her, but is soon scrubbing floors, sewing curtains and baking potatoes over an open fire.

‘Elizabeth Morton, you’ve led a cosseted life: servants to wait on you; agreeable friends to amuse you; nothing too onerous to do, except teach a few charming but talentless children to play the violin. Now let’s see what you’re made of!’ She jumped to her feet.

‘I won’t let him reduce me to living like a wild creature. I’ve never done housework before but by God I’ll do it now. I’ll make this hole a fit place to live if I die in the process!’

An hour later, the contents of the primitive dwelling were stacked on the ground in front of the veranda and Elizabeth, hair piled under a scarf, was at work with a broom. The dust was thick and the broom missing half its bristles. Her throat burned as she laboured, pausing every few minutes to cough.

Michael, uses his skills as a lead miner and his natural leadership qualities, to work his way up to managing a coal mine. Life in Australia was unfamiliar and offered many challenges but both characters learn and grow from their experiences and lead lives which, while tougher than the ones they left behind, are infinitely richer.

Kurinji Flowers MEDIUM WEBGinny Dunbar in Kurinji Flowers, a London debutante, is destined for a ‘good marriage’ when an abusive relationship makes her the object of a society scandal. Rushed into a marriage of convenience, she is soon on a ship bound for India and a new life as a tea planter’s wife. India has a big effect on Ginny. She has nothing in common with most of the other expatriate Brits and their shallow lives which revolve around the club – tennis, bridge games, gossip and gymkhanas. She is fascinated but fearful of the indigenous Indian population and so is caught between two cultures – until a love affair and a growing passion for painting change her life.

I wasn’t keen to get to know any individual Indians, but I was interested to find out more about their customs and culture. I didn’t want to admit it, but I was slightly afraid of the local people. Not that they would do me harm—despite the constant rumblings among people at the club about the independence movement—all I ever saw were smiling, happy faces. No. I was afraid of their difference from me. The dark brown of their skins, their glossy, raven hair, the little wooden hovels they lived in that were pitch dark inside, and their strange alien smell: slightly sweet, pungent and spicy with a base note of sweat. It was fear of the unknown. Fear at an atavistic level. I hesitate to say this now but, despite my protestations against the bigotry of the rest of the British, I think then I also felt superior to the Indians, viewing them, as many of my countrymen did, as people of lower intelligence. People to feel sorry for. I had absolutely no basis for this judgment as I rarely spoke to any of them, apart from Thankappan and Nirmala, and I knew nothing of their lives. It was blind prejudice and ignorance. My admiration for Gandhi was theoretical—based on his moral certainty and strength of purpose—and the fact he had yet again been slung into prison; it had not been put to the test by a close encounter with a real Indian.

The Chalky Sea LARGE EBOOKMy latest novel, The Chalky Sea, is set in England in a small seaside town on the Sussex coast. For Gwen Collingwood, her home town becomes an alien place with the advent of World War 2, when the peaceful backwater becomes the front line in the Luftwaffe’s bombing campaigns. Gwen’s life transforms from that of bored housewife into a woman with a purpose. By the end of the novel she has discovered love, friendship, self-reliance and self-respect.

For several minutes she was rooted to the spot. How many times had she stood here before, looking down at the town spread out before her? It had always been a beautiful sight, the sea peppermint green under a blue sky, the pier stretching out into the water like a slender finger, the elegant Edwardian hotels lined up along the front, the town houses in their neatly regimented boulevard-like roads and the flat stretch of grassy fields dotted with cows and sheep stretching out to meet the marshes around Pevensey. Today she looked out over an unfamiliar, dystopian world. Meads, the area where she lived, was on fire. The spire of St John’s church, a familiar landmark, was a flaming beacon, the roof below it already collapsed. Through the thick cloud of smoke over the town, fires blazed everywhere. In a matter of moments her peaceful seaside home had been transformed into a battleground.

Letters from a patchwork quiltMy last extract is from Letters from a Patchwork Quilt. Jack Brennan is dragged off a ship as he is about to sail to America and instead finds himself in what feels like a hell on earth in industrial Middlesbrough.

The sky in front of him was washed in the deepest purple with moving vermillion clouds of smoke overlaying it, twisting and writhing in saturnine patterns. Plumed lines of fire cut horizontally through the red clouds in bright yellows and oranges. He stopped and stared. The black bulk of buildings, chimneys and cranes were silhouetted against the multicoloured sky. It was the gateway to hell. The mouth of an angry volcano. Boom. Boom. Bang. Bang. Relentless movement of machinery. The stench of sulphur and smoke clogged in his throat. He saw it as a metaphor for the life that was ahead of him. He was a soul condemned to eternal damnation among the blast furnaces of this god-forsaken town.

Unlike Elizabeth in A Greater World, this trial by displacement proves too much for Jack. Life in a Victorian slum, separation from the woman he loves and easy access to alcohol as a pub landlord sets him on a path self-destruction.

In writing all of my novels I have tried to get under the skin of my characters by immersing myself in the physical places where they interact with each other.  From the hill towns of India to the smoke stacks of Victorian Middlesbrough and the breweries of St Louis, location plays a central role in my novels and significantly shapes the fortunes of my characters.

Thank you, Stephanie, for inviting me to participate in this series.

About Clare:

Clare Flynn

Clare Flynn is a former global marketing director, who has marketed global brands from diapers to chocolate biscuits and has lived and worked in Paris, Milan, Brussels and Sydney. After spending most of the last fifteen years running her own strategic management consultancy in London, now most of her time is dedicated to writing her novels. She has wanted to write since she was four years old.

Clare has won BRAG medallions for her first two novels, A Greater World, set in the Blue Mountains of Australia in the 1920s and Kurinji Flowers set in colonial India in the 1930s and 40s. Her latest novel Letters From a Patchwork Quilt was published in September. The book is set in the late nineteenth century and moves from industrial towns in England to New York City and St Louis.

Clare loves to travel – usually with her watercolor paints. She even went to live on a tea plantation while finishing Kurinji Flowers, staying in a tea planter’s bungalow from the 1930s and blagging her way into the incredibly snooty High Range Club to research the Planters’ Club of the book. The original idea for the novel came to her during an earlier trip to Kerala, during a sleepless night in a hotel in Munnar, on which the fictional town of Mudoorayam is based.

The idea for Letters From a Patchwork Quilt came from Clare’s genealogical research. She stole Jack’s jobs and the English towns he lived in from her own great grandfather. All she had were names and places so she changed the names, kept the places and made everything else up.

Clare is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and the Historical Novel Society and is on the organizing commit for HNS Oxford 2016.

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