Tag Archive | Shellie Neumeier

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop – following Lisa Lickel

I’m following in the blogsteps of the fabulous Lisa Lickel, http://livingourfaithoutloud.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-next-big-thing-blog-hop-following.html   who posted about Meow Mayhem last week.

Today, I’d like to share a bit about my latest work in progress:

What is the working title of your book?

Lord Harrow’s Heart

 Where did the idea come from for the book?
This book is the fourth in my Rose Hill Series. The first is “The Virtuous Viscount” followed by “Lord Phillip’s Folly” and “Lord Michael’s Mischief.” I was trying to keep with the double sounding consonants in the title while trying to convey a bit of what the book is about. Theo (Lord Harrow) is really looking for love, hence the heart.

What genre does your book fall under?

Historical/Regency Romance

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Can you picture him in a cravat?

Can you picture him in a cravat?

I try to look for pictures on-line of people (actors/models etc) that are kind of the image I have of my character. This one was hard because Theodore was kind of the anti-hero. He’s more of a cuddly teddy-bear type. Not the haughty London aristocrat, but a gentle man, strong but soft. He’s not as athletic as the other protagonists from my previous novels. Marcus (Virtuous Viscount) was very controlled and fit. Phillip was a bit anal-retentive but trim. Michael was scrappy, kind of like a street fighter, lean and muscular but on the shorter end of things. Theo is gentle which seems so much more passive in his personality. I finally hit on Emilio Estevez. Not sure if he could handle the British accent though.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Lord Theodore Harrow wants to find love, without the drama, but in Valeria he gets more than he bargained for: adventure.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

My series is as of yet unpublished. My first novel is at a publishing house to be considered and my prayer is that a publishing house who believes in the Regency genre would contract for the whole series.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I wrote the initial draft (85,000 words) in thirty days during November’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  I’ll be doing some light edits and handing it off to my beta readers while ignoring if for a month or more before tearing it apart and polishing it. I can write a full-length novel without NaNo – but it’s fun to do it this way. I have written the previous three in this series that way. I have also written two contemporary romances without NaNo. (check out www.nanowrimo.org for more information on that kind of writing adventure).

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I wish I could say that I write as well as Georgette Heyer, Julia Klassen or Lawanna Blackwell – but to be honest, my Regencies are filled with a bit more mystery and adventure than most would be. They tend to have a faster pace. This is no Jane Austen. My men struggle more with temptation too. Theo really likes kissing. I keep things clean but there is a bit of “heat” there.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I started writing four years ago and the series kind of spun out of that first book. I started writing because of a dream and a story I had in my head for 15 years. I kept writing because I found I loved it! So I guess you could say it’s all God’s fault.

I had decided all five of my male characters from Marcus Remington’s story (The Virtuous Viscount) needed their own tales. After all, these men need wives! They just have a bit more of a challenge finding their “happily ever after.” This year it was Theodore’s turn for love. Next year Captain Jared Allendale will have his opportunity but it will likely occur mostly in France, Spain and Portugal before they end up at Rose Hill.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
There’s some evil afoot. My band of men seem to keep running into a dark, sinister character known as The Black Diamond. He surfaces in the Virtuous Viscount, is in the background of Lord Phillip’s Folly, becomes far more involved in Sir Michael’s Mischief and is quite personally involved in Lord Harrow’s Heart. He’s a threat to the crown as well as to these men – and the women they love. So there’s a thread of mystery and suspense that weaves through the books. It’s not all about stolen kisses!

Look for the animals too. Some play more significant roles than others. My favorite though had to be the ferret that was in Michael’s story. There’s a sweet kitten in Theo’s tale that gives an assist at an important time.

Check out my fellow writer and friend Shellie Neumeier today at:  http://shellieneumeier.com/2012/12/the-next-big-thing-blog-hop/

On December 19th – go visit my friend and fellow Regency Romance author Susan at: www.graciouswoman.wordpress.com.

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A Summer in Oakville (book review)

I’m ashamed to admit that I was reluctant to read this book. The title didn’t really grab me. Maybe because I live in Wisconsin near Oakfield and didn’t think that a book about Oakville would be all that interesting.  So why did I read it? Well, to be honest – because two authors I admire wrote it: Shellie Neumeier and Lisa Lickel.

This book is an inspirational contemporary story about small town life and a family that hails from there. There is action, romance, a struggle against local politics and the desire to preserve heritage. What is unique about this story is that it is one series of events that is told in novellas based on the perspective of four members of one family.

The first to tell her story is Tessa. A mom of two grown daughters and a grandmother who is rooted to her hometown and willing to dig those roots in deeper even at the expense of her marriage. She is  plagued by a secret from her past that threatens to explode in the midst of her present challenges. Is her marriage doomed? And how will she deal with the man from her past that stirs up pain and longing at the same time?

Tess has a daughter, Lindsay. Her story is second in the book. Lindsay seems to be a little more mature than her mother, and wiser. She is struggling to find value and worth, while hanging out in the country at her Grandparent’s home and waiting for the career opportunity that will make the best use of her gifts and education. Can she ‘fix’ her grandparent’s problem? And what about her conflicting feelings for the young man who stirs her heart but might be her enemy?

The next story told is from the perspective of a hurting and rebellious young man, Andy (Tessa’s nephew/Lindsay’s cousin).  He struggles to understand why God would allow his mother to die and he acts out in ways that risk his own life. Sent to stay with his Grandparent’s in sticks of Oakville is not an ideal summer vacation when a kid has experienced life in Madison, Wisconsin.  Andy learns the hard way the  value of work, family and of forgiveness.  And he might be a bit in love too.

Andy’s father, Art (younger brother to Tessa), has run away from the farm in the country to escape his ghosts. Earning a PhD and having a successful career, he ironically studies gerontology (aging) while at the same time basically ignoring his aging parents. He feels like he is failing as a single father after losing his wife in a tragic accident. He struggles to believe in a God who would allow so much grief in his life. How can he reach his son when he is so wrapped up in his own pain? A lost romance lures him back to Oakville and his story actually has the sweetest ending of them all.

One series of events in a small town forces a family to reconnect. This story leaves some unanswered questions and I find myself wishing that the Grandmother’s story had also been told here. I would have been good to explore her  perspective as she juggles all the emotions  of her two children and grandchildren, the crisis that threatens her home, and her struggle to care for her disabled husband. What is impressive is that her character, as the glue to this family, is consistent through the four novellas. She’s one awesome lady in my opinion.

I recommend this book because it is written so differently from anything else I have picked up. Faith is important to this story. Two authors have written but there is one voice. I know both of these authors personally and could not figure out which one had written which chapter. The characters speak with authenticity. This family is not perfect, but their struggle is genuine. The book is a good reminder too that as we go through life – and face our difficult circumstances, there are people around us, experiencing those same situations through an entirely different lens of experience and emotion, and yet God is weaving all together beautifully.

Congratulations to Shellie Neumeier and Lisa Lickel for crafting a unique book. I will probably be reading it again which I don’t often do with novels. Maybe, as a writer,  I’ll challenge myself to write Grandma’s story just for fun.