In this literary world, a handful of stories will stand the test of time. A classic novel holds the attention of every generation with a thoughtful plot, complex characters and a scene or two that lingers long after the final page.
These books will never be traded in at the paperback store or sold for a quarter at a garage sale. An ageless romance is passed on to your sister, then to her daughter who loans it to a friend. By the time it makes it back to your shelf, it is worn, earmarked and loved. And every so often, when you need to be reminded of the remarkable power of love, you dust off that old friend and peruse its pages again. These are the stories I want to share with you in Aubrey’s cafe.
By LaVyrle Spencer
POV: Third person
Setting: Georgia, 1941
Ellie had few social skills and little knowledge of human nature except malice and distrust. Born out of wedlock, she was raised in isolation, by an aggrieved mother and cynical grandmother (widow of a cheating minister.) She married the first man who showed her kindness. A beekeeper and hoarder of junk, he died after falling from a tree onto his beloved beehives. Crazy Widow Dinsmore is left with two young boys, a baby on the way, and a ramshackle property.
She needs a handyman but the townspeople would rather gossip about her past than come to her aid. So she gives them something to talk about with an ad in the newspaper. Wanted-A Husband. Need healthy man of any age to work a spread and share the place. See E. Dinsmore, top of Rock Creek Road.
Will Parker is a drifter and an ex-con. He can’t seem to escape his past. After three days, his boss discovers his conviction of first-degree murder and fires him. With no money and a growl in his belly, he is reduced to stealing a clean shirt and jeans from a backyard clothesline. The ad he previously saw in the newspaper no longer seems a joke but a possibility for his future.
The love story that evolves between Ellie and Will is slow, natural and sweet. Both complement one another in temperament and life skills. She longs for recognition as a woman and needs a partner and a friend. He dares to hope for love and craves validation as human being after a life of ridicule and abuse.
LaVyrle places two complicated characters into a simple, believable setting. She avoids the usual hero/heroine conflicts or misunderstandings and instead offers real life bumps in the romance. World War II, the Draft and narrow-minded people threaten the couple’s happiness. Their journey will make you laugh, cry and smile through your tears.
All of Ms. Spencer’s books have that one scene to make the reader pause with sadness, joy, desperation or wonder. In Morning Glory, Will enters Ellie’s home for a meal after working on her property and he points to the sink. The description of intense pleasure he feels as warm water flows over his hands makes the reader want to wrap her arms around this deprived and lonely man. Ellie begins to fall in love as she watches his reaction to this simple act, and knows she has found a kindred soul. We glimpse the beaten down boy and root for the man he becomes through her love. We watch as Ellie draws her strength from him and fights to keep the life they have built.
The sensual level is sweet. The sex scenes are the weakest part of the story. But the emotion pulls your heartstrings and does not disappoint. Plump up the pillow, grab the Kleenex box, sit back and enjoy.
Although LaVyrle Spencer retired in 1997, she remains one of my favorite authors and her books will never leave my shelf. She has won five RITA awards, been on the New York Times best seller list over a dozen times and consistently sold over 1.5 million copies with each new cover. I believe new readers who ‘discover’ Ms. Spencer will only be disappointed by the fact that no new titles will come our way.
He sits at the right hand of … Cyril
Magnificent Valor is an upcoming series about the four musketeers. The first novel is set in 1643 France and revolves around Athos, his love interest and a plot against a young Louis XIV. The novel retains the flavor of the original by Dumas, while following the historical records of the actual musketeers. All grey areas are filled in with my vivid imagination.
The talented Malinda Prud’homme has finished my book cover. I now have four choices and I can’t decide. Which one is your favorite? Voting will run from September 8-15. Thanks for your help.
You can also vote and see more of Malinda’s work at www.Facebook.com/MalindaPrudhomme or visit her website www.MalindaPrudhomme.com
I adore a good Highland romance. Shehanne Moore reminds me why. I’d like to share Renea Mason’s interview with her from the Coffee Talk website.
As August rolls to an end, I marvel at how quickly the summer flew by. So many adventures, so little time. Let me give you the short version of the my busy vacation.
In June, I loaded up my horse, Handsome Jack, and headed to Shawnee National Forest. A group of old friends and I camped out in the beautiful southern Illinois state park. This is some of the best trail riding in the country and I recommend this trip to anyone who loves horses and nature. Garden of the Gods, Indian Kitchen, the Little Grand Canyon, One Horse Gap are all breathtaking places to see. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the beauty. It was hot but worth every drop of sweat.
July turned into a whirlwind of family fun. Living close to Lake Michigan, my sisters and the kids joined my husband Dan and I for a week at the beach. Harbor County is just over the Michigan state line and is less than two hours from Chicago. Take a drive along Red Arrow Highway and enjoy the numerous shops, restaurants, fruit stands and, of course, the famous Wine Trail. (I did not take my horses on this trail.)
This scenic journey begins in New Buffalo which boasts a gorgeous harbor dotted with yachts and sailboats. The public beach gets a little crowded but most rental properties in the area offer an alternative smaller but less crowded stretch of sand. Don’t miss Oink’s, a New Buffalo tradition, just off the main strip. It has the best ice cream in the area. Don’t worry about the long lines, the staff is friendly and efficient.
Farther down Red Arrow is the historic town of St Joseph. Besides a fab beach that includes a park and a splash pad, the old-fashioned carousel and museum still brings a smile to kids and adults alike. The music always takes me back to my childhood and the traveling carnivals. My fellow authors at Coffee Talk came along with me through the Vacation Crashers Contest. Valerie Twombly, Renea Mason and Cait Jarrod all posed in front of the Carousel and a refreshing fountain in the local park.
Wine connoisseurs will appreciate the local tastings. St. Julian’s is my personal favorite but don’t take my word for it, try them all.
This trip stripped me of all tension and gave me the rest I so needed after a long school year. And then we headed for the East Coast in our new camper. But that’s another story…
Aubrey Wynne, Historical Romance http://wp.me/p3aWxC-1u
My husband, Dan and niece, Ana having fun at Oink’s.
Click the picture to download your free copy from Amazon.com.
Find out more about Sophia Jones at http://coffeetalkwriters.com/
#sophiajones, #coffeetalkwriters, #reneamason, #freebooks, #amazon.com, #eroticromance, #paranormalromance,
My book cover is also a Work in Progress. Malinda is so talented. I can’t wait to see the finished product. Check this out.
BOOK COVER – STEP 1: Here is the drawing for my book cover commissioned by author Aubrey Wynne.
Yes, it’s almost here and my stomach is in knots. For all you Midwesterners, this is the best writing conference for the money. July 25-27, agents from Laura Bradford Agency, Greenhouse Literary, MacGregor Literary,Fine Print Literary Management and Gelfman Shneider Literary Agency will be available for consultations. Editors from Virginia Quarterly Review and Pank will be speaking along with some prominent authors.
As a virgin participant last time, I will now be able to attend without my mouth hanging open. I could not bring myself to approach a single agent. It can be overwhelming deciding what you want to see or do versus what you need to see or do.
Part 1 of the conference includes intensive sessions with only twenty people in a class. That is some awesome small group attention. I really improved my novelette with the Manuscript Evaluation last year. This year I’m moving on to the agents. Yes, agents.
I had originally planned to sell my four musketeers historical romance, Magnificent Valor, at the three-minute pitch. But it turns out there is not one agent attending looking for that specific genre. It seems YA, MG, literary and women’s fiction, paranormal/fantasy or crime are the picks for the weekend. Aaagh! What to do now? The teacher in me always has a Plan B.
So I pulled out a dusty WIP that reinvents an old fairy tale, The Sandman. I now have a pitch with Sherman Brooke and a ten minute query critique with John Cusick. I think both sessions will be a great experience. Pitch my story in three minutes? My fear is I will either freeze or talk so fast Mr. Brooke won’t hear a word! And I pray I have time to look Mr. Cusick in the eye in between my furious note-taking.
Next week, my post will include the highlights of the MWW. Cross your fingers for me! This may be my chance to join my published Coffee Talk friends.