The wait is over! I’m so excited to bring the fourth book of the Laurelhurst series to you at long last! I recently received feedback from my beta readers and they believe it’s my best book yet, and I wholeheartedly agree.
1968. Two mothers living polar opposite lives, yet united by a common thread. Forcibly separated from their children and the ones they love, these two women will forge new paths to reclaim themselves, finding it in the most unexpected of places.
Kate. The quintessential society girl, Kate has been a mainstay on Swinging London’s party circuit for years. As her old vices of alcohol and drug consume her pain from yet another failed marriage, Kate finds herself left to her own devices as Lord Elliott Cutterworth, a master architect of chaos, kicks her out of her home and takes custody of their daughter, Violet. Kate is plunged into the seedy underbelly of London, and must figure out a way to reclaim her life and get her daughter back. Determined to start anew, she finds assistance in her reluctant brother-in-law (and the one that got away), all while trying to stay away from Elliott’s evil clutches, lest she becomes yet another person to mysteriously disappear..
Lydie. When Lydie and her husband Henry discover that their youngest son, Cole, can’t speak beyond the mind of an infant, it leads them down a path of a revolving door of doctors visits. Faced with institutionalization of her baby boy, Lydie enters into a deep sea of depression, and her once loving marriage to Henry is in jeopardy. After a lengthy series of ECT treatments at another hospital leaves her memory in tatters, Lydie is sent to the famed Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. When Lydie’s brother Edward and long lost childhood friend, Kit Alderley, come to visit her in Kansas, it opens a new set of problems. Will she make peace with her estranged brother, and will Kit’s presence spell more trouble for Henry and Lydie’s marriage, or will he reconcile them all?
Poignantly beautiful yet at times gritty, Out of Night mirrors the decade of the 1960s as innocence is lost, confusion abounds, yet hope is always on the horizon.
Available also for pre-order at Barnes and Nobles, Apple, and Kobo books.
I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve been included in a fabulous pamphlet called Discovering World War II Novels. Myself and the other authors included in this free e-booklet are members of the Second World War Club on Facebook. We primarily write fiction, however some of our members also write non-fiction.
Just in time for the holiday season, we’re offering this first edition for you to discover books to fill your e-reader or stuff your stockings.
Getting your copy is as simple as downloading it from Bookfunnel! To get it, click here:
Today on the blog, I’m pleased to share my review of USA Today Bestselling Author Kathryn Guaci’s latest spy thriller, The Poseidon Network (Ebony Publishing, 2019).
I first fell in love with Kathryn’s work when I read Code Name Camille, her novella that was part of The Darkest Hour Anthology. Her background in textiles and love of art and all things culinary are woven into her works, and I was hoping that I would get another cracking book. I wasn’t disappointed.
A cocktail of a book as worthy as those of the legendary Shepheard’s Hotel, The Poseidon Network is an intoxicating mixture of intrigue, danger, and passion with a side of bitters. It’s a decadent, gripping page-turner that lingers on your tongue long after you finish it.
Set amidst the cosmopolitan circles of Cairo and Athens and the harsh landscape of the mountains of Greece during the Second World War, The Poseidon Network follows journalist and agent Larry Hadley as he is sent on a mission to find the “White Rose”, the leader of the titled The Poseidon Network, a resistance group committed to sabotaging their German and Italian occupiers.
Larry soon finds himself in a series of mysteries as he unravels what happened to the White Rose and exactly what side his alluring wife/widow Alexis Petrakis is on.
What I loved about Guaci’s writing is that she weaved in such detail that made me felt I was right there amidst the action, and kept me reading all night. A perfect read for a cold winter’s night. Highly recommended.
I’m thrilled to be part of this esteemed group of authors in WWII and Art in Fiction. My heroine Lydie is a young artist who uses her craft to cope with the horrors of war, grief, and abuse. It becomes a pivotal method in expressing what she cannot say, and helps guide her towards freedom.
In the mood for a fascinating thriller or historical fiction novel about art and World War II?
Several of these thrilling reads involve amateur sleuths, investigative reporters, and art historians hot on the trail of missing Nazi-looted artwork – often with deadly results. Others provide a fascinating insight into the lives of artists affected by the war.
If you love art and are fascinated by WWII, you won’t want to miss these captivating reads by Jennifer S. Alderson, Pamela Allegretto, Anne Allen, SL Beaumont, Daniella Bernett, Kellie Butler, and Lynne Kennedy.
Most of these titles are also available as audiobook, paperback and in Kindle Unlimited. Don’t forget – books make great gifts!
You can read previews of all seven books and purchase on Amazon. Head to Jennifer’s post here:
I’m so thrilled to reveal the cover for The Broken Tree, the third book in The Laurelhurst Chronicles saga, due out August 1, 2019!
An anxious homecoming, a three-hundred-year-old legend, and an obsessed, scorned heir bent on revenge. Welcome back to Laurelhurst.
Fifteen years ago, Lydie Cavert Bainbridge left the dark days of her youth at Laurelhurst Manor behind her. Now thirty-two and mistress of her family’s Lancastrian estate, Lydie is nervous as she and her family of five returns to the storied manor in the summer of 1959.
Not long after they arrive, Lydie and her husband Henry come across an ancient broken oak tree on the edge of the moors that holds a heartbreaking connection to a long-standing enemy who wants nothing better than to destroy Lydie and Henry’s happiness.
As Lydie and Henry’s siblings Edward Cavert and Kate Douglas arrive, they bring a host of new challenges and secret loves that threaten to unravel the bonds between them.
As Laurelhurst’s annual summer bank holiday party approaches, tempers flare, rivalries emerge, and accusations explode that could shatter Henry and Lydie’s world forever. Will the bonds between siblings stay strong, or will they splinter apart like the ancient tree they found near the moors?
If you’ve been waiting for both books of The Laurelhurst Chronicles saga to go on sale, wait no more! My e-books are 99 cents from now until the end of April 2019! It won’t be long before The Broken Tree will be available for pre-order, so grab this while you can at this low price if you haven’t already!
I’ll be chatting about my series and signing books at the McComb Public Library on April 4th, 2019 at noon as part of the McComb Public Library’s Munch-a-Lunch program! Come see me and have books signed!
I’m pleased to mark the beginning of a new blog post series on the historical background of Before the Flood, and we’re starting off with Lydia’s artistic background at Barnard College, one of the Seven Sisters colleges of the Northeast.
Someone asked me if Lydia is based upon a real historical figure, and the answer is no. Lydia is a completely a fictional character that is my brainchild, yet I draw influences from historical figures and real people of the time. I researched the lives of Barnard College women through archives of the Barnard College Bulletin, then a weekly student newspaper, and the Barnard Mortarboard, the college yearbook. I then poured over the work and biographies of mid-century female artists to help sculpt the portrait of a young artist at the beginning of her career.
Lydia entered university in a time when a college education a privilege and not as accessible as we know of it today. The women of her class knew they were daughters of fortune. From Convocation in 1946 with Dean Helen Gildersleeve (a powerhouse and great advocate for the international exchange of ideas) to their Commencement in 1950 with Dean Millicent Carey McIntosh, these women were “expected to be adults, and expected to change the world.” They knew from their first days at Barnard that they had a great responsibility to use their knowledge and background to impact not just themselves, but their communities and the world around them. It emboldened them to lead lives that distinguished between artifice and reality. (6). It’s these qualities that will mold Lydie for the rest of her life.
Getting to know these ladies through research and their biographies led me to want to discover what achievements they made, especially Lydia’s fine arts sisters at Barnard. This led me to Mary Carroll Nelson, one of the surviving class members of the Class of 1950. Call it intuition or fate or what have you, but it drew me to her. Recently after viewing some of her artwork at Weyrich Gallery in her adopted home of Albuquerque, New Mexico of many years, I contacted Mary and that led to a lovely correspondence that I’m privileged to share. More about my visit to Weyrich later in this post.
Just who is Mary Carroll Nelson, how do you put such a life into words? Her accomplishments are many. She’s a celebrated Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achiever. She’s been listed in Who’s Who of America, Who’s Who of the West, and Who’s Who of American Women. She’s also the founder of the Society of Layerists in Multi-Media (http://www.slmm.org) and a respected artist, panelist, teacher, and author.
But who was Mary in college, and how did Barnard impact her world as an artist and a person? Well, she was someone I definitely wanted to know. She stayed up late to study and took the bottom bunk in her dorm room so her roommate could to go to bed early. She noted that campus was rather ugly at the time and her recollections of her dorm Brooks Hall, “when I arrived to move into Brooks Hall the rooms were truly ugly. A double-decker bed bought as war surplus from the Navy was the first thing I saw. A little basin, a pair of low dressers, and a middle room with desks for four, and a third room where two juniors were living. I and my roommate were their wards for the first year. In a while, we had made the room our own, more personal and with some color here and there. (1)”
She also wrote in her correspondence that she looks back on Barnard with gratitude. Her “fine arts education there has nourished my lifelong commitment to art, as student, collector, admirer, and artist. It is how I view history. The rest of the required curriculum was widely dispersed and provided a background for understanding the origins of things, ideas, places, and events.”
Her career piqued my interest because like Lydie, their paths post graduation are similar: both became elementary school teachers and art teachers and both married within the same year they graduated from Barnard.
Born in Bryan, Texas, to James Vincent and Mary Elizabeth Carroll, Mary Carroll Nelson married Edwin Blakely Nelson, a West Point graduate and physicist in 1950, the same year she earned a BA in Fine Arts from Barnard College. Her mother was also an alumna of Barnard, class of 1923. She raised two children before returning to earn her M.A. in art education at the University of New Mexico in 1963, and further education in 1969- 1970. Her accomplishments as a panelist, juror, co-ordinator, author and artists are lengthy. For a more detailed catalogue of her achievements, please visit Marquis Top Artists Who’s Who and Mary’s website.
What drew me to her was her views on originality and style. On originality, Mary Carroll Nelson states that: “The actual breakthrough in the privacy of the studio, when one dares to apply paint in a new manner, is a solitary thrill, dependent upon no one else.” One of Lydie’s opening statements in Before The Flood as she stands in her studio, her most sacred space, Lydie transforms from a place of doubt and fear into wholeness. It’s a place where she comes back from beyond the brink back to herself.
Lydie’s background of abuse from her uncle, and the trauma she witnessed and experienced, art releases the anguish she feels to form her own style. Although Lydie’s art evolves throughout the series, she uses the power of visuals to transform those negative images in her mind into empowering, beautiful things that touch and impact lives long after we’ve finished the last stroke. To quote Mary, “every artist who evolves a style does so from illusive elements that inhabit his or her visual storehouse.”
I wish I could have discovered Mary’s life and work a lot earlier, but I was ecstatic to get to opportunity recently to see her work in person, and while she’s still with us. As Mary noted in her one of her emails her class was a fine group and is shrinking by the year. With her permission, I’m sharing a few of my photographs of her work I took from my visit a short time ago.
If you get the chance to visit with Gary Tibbetts, you’re in for a real treat. He’s a wonderful fountain of knowledge, and a great guy. You will stay there a while, and you will love it. I wanted several of Mary’s pieces, and I left with her book on Crop Circles, something she has researched for over fifteen years. Many of her books on art are available for purchase online on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Carroll-Nelson/e/B001K8F84Y
Some of Mary’s work. I apologize that I’m not the best photographer:
For more on Mary’s pieces at Weyrich Gallery, visit http://weyrichgallery.com or if you’re in the Albuquerque area, stop by at 2935-D Louisiana NE.
Next up on Behind the Book, it’s Henry’s turn I go Behind the Book to share the physicians that mentored Henry at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.