Becky Lower (one of my partners at History Imagined) and I have new releases, both of which are parts of series, coming out this month. We thought it might be fun to compare notes by answering the same four questions. My contribution went live yesterday on Becky’s Blog. Here are Becky’s answers:
Tell me about your new release:
Pepper Brown has been the quiet Fitzpatrick sibling. She married early on in my Cotillion Ball Series. In fact, other than a brief mention in The Reluctant Debutante, the first book in the series, she is never heard from. At that point, she was married and expecting the first of the Fitzpatrick grandchildren. I put off writing her story for quite sometime. Then, the Civil War happened, and I saw an opportunity. The war affected every family in America in some form or fashion. I couldn’t have such a large, active family go through the war untouched by tragedy, so someone needed to be killed off, as barbaric as it sounds. My readers didn’t have much invested in Pepper’s husband, since they’d never even heard him speak, so he was the logical choice.
How does the release fit into your series?
This is the 8th book out of the planned nine in the series. I’m working on the last one now, about Saffron, the youngest child in the family. I also wrote a prequel to the series, about how Charlotte and George Fitzpatrick met and fell in love. There are a lot of secondary characters who cropped up in the books, so I may continue to write books about the family after I’m done with the initial nine. Or maybe I’ll write about
their children and how they fit into America in the 1880s. Might be fun.
What one thing do you hope readers enjoy in the particular offering?
This was a hard book for me to write, since we’ve all been taught to write what we know, and I’ve never been a wife or a mother. I’m accustomed to writing about headstrong young ladies who jump up on soapboxes to rally for women’s rights, or who assist slaves escaping to freedom. But Pepper had children, and was a respected member of society, so I couldn’t write her character in the same way I had the others. I had numerous talks with mothers in my circles and realized the one thing they all had in common was inner strength. I hope that comes across on the pages, since Pepper is every bit as strong and relevant as her sisters. It just took me a while to figure that out.
What do you have planned next?
I’m currently working on two projects outside the Cotillion Ball series. The first is another historical, about a half-breed Indian who befriends a family while the father is fighting the Civil War. The other is something I just started and it’s a total departure for me, into category contemporary. I’ll see where it goes and if the story doesn’t peter out after the meet-cute part, I may submit it under a pen name.
About A Widow’s Salvation
In 1862 America, the Civil War has raged for twelve months. Pepper Fitzpatrick Brown’s heart was broken when her husband died with the first volley at Manassas. Now she’s a widow raising three young boys and plans to honor his sacrifice by volunteering at the army hospital.
When Colonel Elijah Williams can grab a few minutes to nap between his duties as head surgeon at MacDougall Army Hospital in the Bronx, his sleep is invaded with nightmares of the atrocities he’s seen. His life has narrowed to nothing but the bloody war … until he meets Pepper Brown. But her father is concerned Elijah doesn’t have the best intentions, and Pepper is fearful of loving and losing again.
It’s hard to find happiness in a war-torn United States, but these two stand a fighting chance—if they can save what’s left of their hearts.
Buy Link: http://amzn.to/1DZipEE
New York City, July 1862
Pepper Brown yanked open her bedroom armoire and stared at the sea of black. Her widow’s weeds, as people called them. They were showing up in increasing numbers on the streets of New York, on women of all ages. The Civil War, which both sides had thought would be over in a matter of weeks, marked its one-year anniversary today. Which meant today was also Pepper’s one-year anniversary as a widow. She drummed her foot on the floor while she perused the black dresses. Was she ready to move on? Michael had thought she would be. In fact, he extracted a promise from her before he left for the war. One year and not one day more, he had said. Her mother thought so, too, or she wouldn’t have planned their outing for today. All Pepper now needed was the courage to convince herself they were right. The churning in her stomach told her she had a ways to go yet.
She straightened and turned her back on the black.
“Molly, please come help me dress,” Pepper called down the hall to her lady’s maid. “I’m going out today.”
“Aye, ma’am.” Molly, a young Irish girl with light brown hair and matching freckles across her pert nose, came quickly into the room. “Which gown would you be liking?” She began fondling the various dresses in the armoire.
“None of these. I’m done with these dresses. Besides, most of them are maternity gowns. I want to wear something fresh, something different.”
Molly nodded vigorously, and the little white cap on her head bounced askew. She righted it before she spoke. “Perfectly understood, ma’am, and you should be stepping down to half mourning. Perhaps I can find a nice gray or deep purple gown among your other things.”
Pepper shook her head. “No, no half mourning for me. What kind of silly term is that, anyway? I’m going out with Mother, and I want our day to be special. I want to wear something bright. I think the periwinkle dress Jasmine created for me right before Michael’s death will do. Yes, the periwinkle.”
Pepper smiled at Molly’s horrified intake of breath. She obviously disapproved, which meant it was the right decision.
“Periwinkle? Forgive me saying so, ma’am, but isn’t it a wee bit too much of a difference?”
“Why yes, it is, Molly.”
About Becky Lower
Amazon best-selling author Becky Lower has traveled the country looking for great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love, amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it on a covered wagon headed west or in present day small town America. Historical and contemporary romances are her specialty. Becky is a PAN member of RWA and is a member of the Historic and Contemporary RWA chapters. She has a degree in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary. She loves to hear from her readers at email@example.com. Visit her website at www.beckylowerauthor.com