Blog Tour and Review: Lakeshire Park

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by Megan Walker

Series: Proper Romance Regency
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Shadow Mountain (April 7, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1629727342
ISBN-13: 978-1629727349

Brighton, England 1820

Amelia Moore wants only one thing–to secure the future happiness of her younger sister, Clara. With their stepfather’s looming death, the two sisters will soon be on their own–without family, a home, or a penny to their names. When an invitation arrives to join a house party at Lakeshire Park, Amelia grasps at the chance. If she can encourage a match between Clara and their host, Sir Ronald, then at least her sister will be taken care of.

Little does she know that another guest, the arrogant and overconfident Mr. Peter Wood, is after the same goal for his own sister. Amelia and Peter begin a rivalry that Amelia has no choice but to win. But competing against Peter–and eventually playing by his rules–makes Amelia vulnerable to losing the only thing she has left to claim: her heart.


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Lakeshire Park is such a beautiful story of two people falling in love, and there are a number of really beautiful moments throughout the book.

Amelia Moore is a self sacrificing person whose heart is drawn to naturally put others first, especially her sister Clara. I think it is more about being naive but Clara comes off as selfish. There is no way she doesn’t know about Amelia and Peter spending time together yet she never asks Amelia about it and only cares about her own comfort.

As the story is told in first person we don’t know Peter Wood’s inner dialogue but I still feel like the reader is given a true connection to him. He thinks of himself as selfish but he puts his sister first as long as things are done in a fair way.

The first meeting between Peter and Amelia was a little strange to me. Peter clearly had the gloves first and Amelia was so put out for so long because he wouldn’t give them to her. Why did she deserve what he had first? And why was he crawling out from under the table?

I found the story very interesting and it moved along at the perfect pace. I also liked the characters and found them very realistic.

I would love a sequel with Georgiana and Pendleton and we could see a little of what Peter and Amelia are up to. I’m not ready to leave these characters.

Favorite quotes:

“You never know who you are hurting by denying kindness.”

“Before he died, he told me to remember that some things aren’t worth being angry over, but plenty of things are worth fighting for. It is a motto I try to live by.”

“I don’t mind the trouble. As long as I’m with you.”

walkerbioAUTHOR BIO:
Megan Walker was raised on a berry farm in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, where her imagination took her to times past and worlds away. While earning her degree in Early Childhood Education, she married her one true love and started a family. But her imaginings of Regency England wouldn’t leave her alone, so she picked up a pen and wrote her first novella, A Beautiful Love: A Regency Fairy Tale Retelling which was published in 2019. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband and three children. Lakeshire Park is her debut novel.

Blog Tour and Review: His Lady in Hiding

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by Jen Geigle Johnson

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (April 1, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1524410454
ISBN-13: 978-1524410452

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Lady Elizabeth Davenport is desperate. Her hand in marriage has been offered to the highest bidder, a distressing proposition in and of itself but made all the more repulsive when she meets her father’s first choice for her hand—Lord Pinweather. When her parents refuse to hear her pleas, Liz is forced to take drastic measures—she will impersonate her maid and begin anew in America on her own terms.

Once on board the ship to America, another passenger, Lord Barton, discovers her true status as a noble almost immediately. After listening to Liz’s highly modified version of her life and her plans to begin again, Barton has compassion on her, teaching her to abandon her noble mannerisms. Upon disembarking, however, Barton’s generous spirit quickly dampens when he discovers Liz has indeed found work—as his own head housekeeper. Suddenly the tender feelings they hid from one another on the ship are inescapable—but their difference in station makes romance impossible. As misunderstandings abound and a shocking character from Liz’s past looms, she knows she can’t hide her true identity forever. But as her deception begins to unravel, will her charade cost her the man she loves?


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Lady Elizabeth Davenport is happy living her spoiled existence until her father auctions her off to the highest bidder – a cringe worthy Lord Pinweather. Then she runs, which quickly becomes a habit for her.

Elizabeth meets Lord Anthony Barton on the ship to America while she is pretending to be a maid. They have instant chemistry that starts as more of a friendship between them that builds. They also have a relationship with witty banter that gets very entertaining.

“Her life was full of mystery and adventure, full of promise, and full of the unknown.”

I haven’t read a lot about the English nobility that wanted to make a life for themselves in America. I really appreciated Anthony’s dream of making a name for himself through his own hard work instead of just getting by on his title.

“Discovering your housekeeper outranks you in every way is a bit disconcerting for a chap, I’ll admit.”

There is also an interesting look behind the scenes at servant’s life that I always enjoy in Johnson’s books. This book has more of a lighter side than some of her other books but still touches on some very important topics. I also appreciated the amount of research that went in to the writing of this book.

I enjoyed that so much of the story was unpredictable. Although I did want to smack Anthony a number of times.

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Blog Tour and Review: Where the Stars Meet the Sea

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by Heidi Kimball

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (March 2, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1524410411
ISBN-13: 978-1524410414

A broken man. A fiery young woman. Neither one’s heart will come away unscathed.

Juliet Graham fervently counts the days until her twenty-first birthday, when she can claim the inheritance that will grant her the freedom she has always craved and the guardianship of her younger brother. Until then, she is trapped under her aunt Agnes’s domineering will. When forced to accompany the family to a house party at Shaldorn Castle, Juliet’s only objective is to keep to herself. That is, until a chance encounter with a boorish stranger stirs up an unexpected whirlwind of emotions in her. Thrown off-balance, Juliet does the unthinkable: loses her temper and insults the man—who turns out to be her unwilling host, the Duke of Halstead. Fully expecting to be sent away, Juliet is surprised when the brusque and callous duke instead takes an interest in her.

Drawn to the duke in unguarded moments, Juliet finds herself more and more intrigued by the man who shuns Society’s rules as completely as she does, and over the next few weeks, their unlikely friendship deepens into a connection neither expected.

But even as Juliet comes to recognize her true feelings, her scheming aunt issues an ultimatum that threatens the future she was just beginning to hope for. Juliet must choose: either break the promise she made to herself years ago, or lose the man who has captured her heart and soul.


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I love when a story pulls you right in, and even in just the first chapter I already feel extremely interested in the main characters.

“Sometimes it is nice to be reminded how insignificant we are.”

The Duke of Halstead vows to never marry and Juliet Graham never wants to marry outside her station like her parents did. She is, however, fascinated with finding out what the Duke is really like and why she is so affected by him.

“I was the daughter of a sailor, and no matter how fancy my borrowed ball gown, I would never belong in a setting like this—in Halstead’s world.”

They are both grieving and need each other to work through it. Juliet is still grieving for her father and Halstead is grieving for what he lost in the accident and trying to figure out his new normal.

Halstead scrubbed a hand along his clenched jaw. “Did you ever stop to think, even for a moment, that I push you away for a reason? There’s a chasm inside of me so deep and dark I sometimes think it will swallow me whole.” He paused, breathing heavily. “And I fear if I give you even the smallest glimpse, I will frighten you away.”

Halstead’s struggles resonate with me. His body is constantly in pain and he tries to mask his emotions so no one can see how bad it is. Though along with masking that pain, he is masking so many other things and building up walls around himself. I think that someone who has not walked through this situation might have a harder time understanding it on the same level.

I loved Halstead and Juliet’s moments alone together, and I selfishly wanted more.

This book was well written with characters you will pull for as they struggle to find their happy ending. The minor characters were just as strong as the major ones. I loved Hugh and the Duke’s sister but I found Robert needy and annoying. Halstead’s grandmother had an overbearing personality but she was a sassy old lady.

“If you had known Halstead before his accident . . . well, he was a man with every door open to him. He possessed political power, wealth, good looks, the latter of which he of course got from me.”

The Guarded Heart is one of my all time favorite books, and I really enjoyed this book as well. I can’t wait to read more from Heidi Kimball.

“I try not to hope. Better to face the reality of what is.”

“I can’t decide if that is admirable or troubling. Perhaps both.”

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Blog Tour and Review: The Masked Baron

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by Anneka R. Walker

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (March 2, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1524412236
ISBN-13: 978-1524412234

Andalin is accustomed to her father’s frequent travels—and to being left behind. So when he returns home and instructs her to pack her belongings, she is bewildered—but there is no time for questions as she is whisked away on a mysterious journey under the cover of night.

When their tense flight leads them into the forbidding Black Forest, the pair quickly finds themselves in great peril. With little hope of escape, father and daughter are spared when rescue appears in the form of the mysterious Dark Rider, a notorious deadly highwayman feared by all he meets. But his assistance does not come without a price: he is taking Andalin with him. Now her fate rests in the hands of the enigmatic masked man whose secrets are inescapably tied to the beautiful young woman now in his charge.


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The Masked Baron was a unique take on a retelling of Beauty and the Beast during the Regency era with a mystery weaved throughout that I really enjoyed.

At the beginning of the story, Andalin seemed a little spoiled to me. She understood why certain security measures were necessary, yet she spent a whole lot of time complaining about them to people who were only ever nice to her. While it took me a bit to warm up to Andalin due to her childish behaviour, I did end up liking her and her curious, forthright, spunky personality.

“Fear is natural. But ye shouldn’t dwell on it. It can be consuming. It’s better to look for solutions, for peace, for answers. Ye seem like someone who would want answers.”

Ellison is the dark brooding mystery man that everyone wants to know more about. The stories about him as the masked rider continue to grow more elaborate, but how much of it is really true?

“Do not let the bitterness of the past leave no room for reconciliation.”

This book shows us the consequences when people spread stories about other people that aren’t true and how important it is to get to know people for who they really are.

“The only person you will hurt by not forgiving is yourself”

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Engaging Sir Isaac (Inglewood #4) – Review

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by Sally Britton

File Size: 3373 KB
Publication Date: February 28, 2020
Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07Z4MYK7R

She swore she would win the baronet’s heart in order to break it, never dreaming she would lose her own in the process.

Millicent Wedgwood will never obtain her rightful place in Society, which means she will never have an advantageous reputation, marriage, or fortune. All because Millie’s sister eloped years before. But there is a chance to rise above that disgrace if Millie will take part in a dare. If she can win the baronet who insulted Lady Olivia, and then shatter his heart, she will earn back her position in Society with Lady Olivia’s sponsorship.

Sir Isaac Fox returned from war with one less arm and a weight upon his soul. Where once he easily charmed Society, he now prefers to remain quietly alone at home. With a failing estate to manage, Isaac is determined to be more responsible and less foolhardy, which leaves no time for romance. Certainly no time for the infuriatingly enchanting Miss Wedgwood.

When Millie realizes her game has put her own heart in jeopardy, she risks losing everything she has so desperately sought to replace in her life. And though Isaac refuses Millie’s advances, he cannot deny her charm. But falling for Miss Wedgwood would mean reentering society and losing the peace he has found since the war. Can they find a way to heal their hearts together? Or will Millie’s deception ruin them both?


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Inglewood has been such a great series, and I have been really looking forward to Isaac’s story. Isaac is a fan favorite with so many people. I felt that Isaac’s story had a lot to live up to and it has definitely succeeded!

The first appearance of Isaac in this book reminds us of why we love him so much. I loved seeing Isaac open up and he has the best sense of humor. I wasn’t sure who I really pictured him with but Millie turns out to be perfect for him.

“And the way Isaac stared at her, a depth in his eyes that nearly invited her in, offering to make her a part of something different—”

Millie and Isaac’s meet-cute is so funny. I love a good meet-cute.

“From the first moment I saw you, pretending you were a groundskeeper, I have thought you handsome, witty, and most infuriating.”

Sally Britton has such a great flow to her writing and the books are always hard to put down. She also writes characters that really stay with you long after you finish reading.

Lord Neil is one of those characters you don’t like at the beginning but than want to know more about. I was glad to hear that he will get his own story.

This book can be read as a standalone but I would recommend reading the entire series to really get to know the back story.

Promised – Review

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by Leah Garriott

Series: Proper Romance
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Shadow Mountain (February 18, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1629726141
ISBN-13: 978-1629726144

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Margaret Brinton keeps her promises, and the one she is most determined to keep is the promise to protect her heart…
Warwickshire, England, 1812
Fooled by love once before, Margaret vows never to be played the fool again. To keep her vow, she attends a notorious match-making party intent on securing the perfect marital match:  a union of convenience to someone who could never affect her heart. She discovers a man who exceeds all her hopes in the handsome and obliging rake, Mr. Northam.
There’s only one problem. His meddling cousin, Lord Williams, won’t leave Margaret alone. Condescending and high-handed, Lord Williams lectures and insults her. When she refuses to give heed to his counsel, he single-handedly ruins Margaret’s chances for making a good match–to his cousin or anyone else. With no reason to remain at the party, Margaret returns home to discover her father has promised her hand in marriage–to Lord Williams.
Under no conditions will Margaret consent to marrying such an odious man. Yet as Lord Williams inserts himself into her everyday life, interrupting her family games and following her on morning walks, winning the good opinion of her siblings and proving himself intelligent and even kind, Margaret is forced to realize that Lord Williams is exactly the man she’d hoped to marry before she’d learned how much love hurt. When paths diverge and her time with Lord Williams ends, Margaret is faced with her ultimate choice: keep the promises that protect her or break free of them for one more chance at love. Either way, she fears her heart will lose.

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Leah Garriott’s debut novel really drew me in, and I read it all in one day. Every time I even thought about putting it down something else pulled me back into the story, and I needed to finish it.

At first I didn’t really care for Margaret because she seemed like a whiny brat who made foolish decisions. However, through the first person point of view we are given the thoughts and reasons behind these decisions and I understood where she was coming from and felt for her.

When Lord Williams lets down his guard I really liked him. What I didn’t like was his aloof facade. I will never understand how it was so common during that time to pretend not to care.

My favorite scenes were with Margaret and Lord Williams as well as scenes about a certain donkey that I won’t leave spoilers for.

While some situations in the story-line have been done before, they were done really well.  This book was well written and extremely interesting.

5 stars to Promised and a spot on my favorites shelf!

A Note of Change – Review

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by Esther Hatch, Nichole Van, and Annette Lyon

File Size: 3098 KB
Print Length: 261 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Mirror Press (February 25, 2020)
Publication Date: February 25, 2020
Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B083SS2P5Y

Can a single note change a life, start a romance, or drive two people apart?

Waiting for the Post by Esther Hatch
Now that Harrison Chase has finally made his fortune as a working man, he will risk it all to save his factory workers from starvation. In the middle of his charge to reverse the Corn Laws, his housekeeper helpfully mails a letter she finds languishing amongst his things. A six-year-old love letter. With no other choice, he rushes back to his childhood home on Christine Stone’s estate. If he can’t get his hands on that letter before she does, Christine will discover what a pitiful and pretentious fool he had been. The one thing he hadn’t counted on was the mail being delayed. Now Harrison must decide which is worse—waiting with Christine as he not-so-slowly falls back in love with her, or leaving, knowing once she reads his letter he can never return.

A Ring of Gold by Nichole Van
Viola Brodure longs for something more from her life. So when that something more arrives in the form of a letter from the renowned Highland Poet, Ethan Penn-Leith, she seizes her chance. After all, Mr. Penn-Leith merits every swoon-worthy adjective Viola can muster. What woman wouldn’t want to be in her shoes? But after journeying to Scotland and meeting the poet himself, Viola faces a difficult question: What happens if you don’t want the thing you thought you did?

A Rose by Any Other Name by Annette Lyon
As an orphan whose only home has been the Foundling Hospital, Rose is tasked to work in the fine houses of Bloomsbury. She knows her duty—take care of the family upstairs and never forget her place. But her traitorous heart won’t follow the rules, and she falls in love with Oliver Withey, a man far above her station. Though she feels like she’s found a home in Oliver’s arms, his mother has other plans for her oldest son—and marrying a servant isn’t one of them. She’ll do anything to keep Rose and Oliver apart, including making a devil’s bargain that ensures they’ll never see each other again. When a mysterious old woman appears, she seems to have answers to Rose’s past. Could those long-held secrets hold the key to the future with Oliver that Rose longs for?


Waiting for the Post by Esther Hatch

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Harrison Chase was the steward’s son who left to try to make something of himself. Christine Stone was the daughter of a wealthy landowner who lived a life of luxury. Six years later a stray letter brings them back together.

“Three days—that should be enough.”

He took three steps before asking. “Enough for what?”

“To make you smile at me again, before you have to go back to living your life for nails.”

Esther Hatch is a master at writing moments between characters. I always enjoy the funny moments but it is the sweet and tender moments that stand out even more. I feel like I hold my breath when I read through some of these beautifully written scenes.

“Behind his eyes was a dark storm of emotions that belied the carefree young man she had once known.”

A Ring of Gold by Nichole Van

I like that the hero is not the one you would expect from the beginning of the story, and I liked that the main characters were in their 30s.

I was afraid that Viola and Malcolm’s relationship would be superficial because of their intense first attraction to each other, but it was nice to see them really get to know each other and have a deeper connection.

Naming the dog Beowoof is hilarious! The scenes with Viola, Malcolm, and Beowoof were my favorites, and someone not liking dogs should be a huge red flag.

When I was reading the scene where Viola talks baby talk to Beowoof I wondered what person in their 30s actually did this. Later that day I noticed I was talking the same way to my poodle-mix. I’m in my 30s. Point taken.

 

A Rose by Any Other Name by Annette Lyon

I liked hearing about the foundling’s home and the contrast with Oliver’s “new money” family, but I wish I had felt more connection with the characters. Maybe if there had been some more scenes when Oliver and Rose were falling in love?

There were also parts of this story that seemed a little far fetched which made it hard to relate to.

 
Waiting for the Post was my favorite story in the book, and I also really enjoyed A Ring of Gold.

Author Interview, Blog Tour and Review: Adoring Abigail

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by Chalon Linton

Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (February 3, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1524411515
ISBN-13: 978-1524411510

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Captain Robert Wilkins has never aspired to grandeur. So when the returned war hero unexpectedly inherits the vast estate of Cattersley from his great-aunt, he feels woefully inadequate in his new role. Out of place in his lavish surroundings, his first glimmer of hope comes when he happens upon a lovely trespasser in his gardens.

Words have never come easily for Abigail Rutherford, and she prefers the solitude of exploring the gardens at the neighboring country estate to engaging in uncomfortable conversation. But when she unexpectedly encounters Captain Robert Wilkins in her place of solace, she is surprised at the immediate ease she feels in his presence. Soon her brightest moments are those spent with the captain. But even as their friendship grows into something more, outside forces have other plans for the two. Mr. Mead, the handsome vicar, has also taken a liking to the quiet and timid Abigail and he will stop at nothing to ensure she becomes his wife.


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Abigail Rutherford has a speech impediment and her entire life has been defined by it by first her mother and then her grandmother.

“Silence was demanded by my mother, so when I was told or expected to speak, my mouth could not immediately form the words. But once they came, they came in a deluge, a tidal wave of nonsense pouring out.”

Her grandmother calls her dumb because of it and separates her from society. Trying not to be an embarrassment, those few times she was allowed to be amoung them she struggled. Having difficulties and going through challenges in life makes the characters more real and I immediately feel more protective of them.

“Grandmother thought only of the benefit to herself, not the joy I felt to be wanted as a friend. Such feelings of inclusion were entirely new to me.”

Robert Wilkins still acts as if he is Captain in the army. He views every situation as needing to have a strategy and getting ready for battle. With his new inheritance he is thrown in to situations he has problems dealing with.

“I turned around to admire Cattersley from afar. There was an enormity to the place that I could not measure and, with it, a new front. I’d chosen to be a soldier so I could defend my family, my freedom. I had no direction in this new battle, no orders from a superior commander.”

From the beginning, the vicar Mr. Mead stands out as being a good Christian example while some others in the congregation outwardly shun Abigail or say rude comments about her. People shame Abigail for her speech imperfections but then say that at least she is beautiful as if they are complimenting her. The vicar appears to be a fine upstanding Christian but he is just better at hiding his hypocrisy. His only reason for helping Abigail when she was being taunted was because he was interested in her. Then he mocks her himself. Mr. Mead is super creepy. He is hypocritical, possessive, and he gets even worse throughout the story.

“Mr. Mead, with his authoritarian posture and presumptuous expectations, had inserted himself and chased the sun away, demeaning me at every turn”

While I liked the characters and themes, I would have liked a little more of a connection between Abigail and Robert.

Adoring Abigail is told from the first person point of view and the chapters switch between Abigail and Robert’s perspectives.

This book tells of the difficulties of being a woman during this time. Abigail has someone try to force them-self on her and Hazel is expected to do whatever her brother John requests of her.

This was also a thought provoking look at people who prey on others who are considered less than normal due to physical or developmental conditions and they are often deemed weaker, less intelligent, and undeserving. This is especially bad when the person is supposed to be an example and above reproach.

“The hypocrisy of the treatment I received from those who sat within the walls of the chapel was especially brutal. How could one spew offenses while claiming to worship a deity who forbids mockery? Hypocrisy had surrounded me for as long as I could remember. It was a companion to judgment, another of the very things the Lord warned against.”

One of my favorite scenes was the beginning of the picnic. I would have loved to have seen it, and it sounded very unique.

Robert was originally in the book An Inconvenient Romance but that book does not need to be read to enjoy this one.

Some other favorite quotes:

“I had learned that some battles needed to be fought with weapons while other campaigns could be won with a little ingenuity.”

“Hope is a blessing. It provides strength in the darkest of times.”

“Truth proved to be a funny thing; it could be altered and manipulated to fit a scheme.”

“With him I had the freedom to say the things I held back. Permission to smile and laugh and live. It was all there in the oasis of his eyes. The oasis that was him.”

And who wouldn’t want two libraries?

“The west library? Does it stand to reason there is an east library as well?” I asked. “Yes, sir. However, the west library is brighter”


Interview with Chalon Linton

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What do you like most about the Regency period? Is there anything interesting you discovered about it while doing research for your books?

I love the Regency period because the romance is both subtle and boisterous. Societies restrictions limited the number of dances and physical touch between men and women so interest had to be shown another way. Of course, there were rakes and rogues, but for polite society witty conversation and flirtatious glances were used to communicate deeper feelings. I think this builds sexual tension and ensures relationships are built on more than just lust.

Are any of your characters based off of someone you know?
I rarely create a character that is an exact image of someone I know. That could harm my personal relationships and several years ago I attended a keynote address by Orson Scott Card where he warned us not to do that. I’ve taken that advice to heart. I do tend to look at my family history and often use family names for characters.

What do you want the reader to take away from Adoring Abigail?
I would hope there reader would acknowledge that making Judgements is dangerous. Everyone has a story, a history, a background that defines them. We should get to know each other as unique individuals and work to uplift one another rather than try to pull them down.


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