My challenger today is Janet Hardacre. In Janet’s Haiku she offers a bit of advice. Check it out.
My challenger today is Janet Hardacre. In Janet’s Haiku she offers a bit of advice. Check it out.
It gives me great pleasure today to introduce author, Kellie Butler, as my Tuesday guest. Kellie has come along to discuss her family saga series ‘The Laurelhurst Chronicles’. Without further ado, let’s go over to Kellie.
Thanks, Tricia, for hosting me on your blog to discuss my books. It’s a pleasure to chat with your readers.
The Laurelhurst Chronicles
I’m the author of The Laurelhurst Chronicles, an Anglo-American family saga series set in the UK and the US between the 1940s through the 1970s. It centers around two siblings, Lydia (Lydie) and her brother Edward Cavert, who are orphaned during the first blitz of the Second World War.
I enjoy writing family sagas especially though because it allows me to explore some of those common threads that we all have: hope, loss, pain, joy, jealousy, fidelity, romance, revenge, passion. You know, all the good stuff. 😊 I get to follow these wonderful and sometimes devious characters around and chronicle their lives. I’m just the vessel for them, and I get to have fun doing it. It’s given me a creative outlet to express certain emotions through characters, and it’s very cathartic.
I think people are curious at times why my novels are partially set in Lancashire. First, it’s because I wanted to take Lydie far away from anything she’s known, and therefore make it more difficult for her (naughty, I know.) But secondly, I also have roots in northern England and Scotland. It’s through my research, especially into the Lancashire dialect, that certain phrases I’ve always heard finally made sense. Now I know where that comes from.
In many ways, exploring it through writing has felt like coming home. It’s part of why I host my Northern Reads Series on my blog, to showcase the immense beauty and talent that the north has to offer.
The Laurelhurst Chronicles Books:
Beneath a Moonless Sky
Nothing good ever happens past twelve. When thirteen-year-old Lydia Cavert returns to Laurelhurst Manor, the wild, lush boyhood home of her beloved Papa, she rediscovers that its secret rooms and locked doors are more sinister than any London street.
Orphaned by the blitz of 1940, her guardian uncle Alistair and his circle of friends hold Lydie captive at the estate. Lydie must unravel a dark web of deceit, jealousy, and revenge to expose who really murdered her mysterious aunt on that fateful night in 1932. Will she restore her family’s name or suffer her aunt’s fate?
Set amidst the backdrop of the Second World War, Beneath a Moonless Sky is a suspenseful coming of age tale of the power of memory, innocence lost, redemption restored, and the triumph of light over darkness.
Before the Flood
A beautiful, haunting celebration of the lasting bonds of family and friendship, Before the Flood returns readers to the world of the Cavert family and the Laurelhurst saga.
Fiery art student Lydie Cavert nearly has it all after putting the shadows of her uncle’s sinister legacy behind her: great friends, a blossoming art career, and romance with the handsome but reserved Dr. Henry Bainbridge, her brother’s best friend and colleague.
Her hope for peace is shattered when she returns to England to help Henry’s recovering sister Kate find her own happiness during the London Season. The sinister empire that claimed her uncle has plans for Lydia. Plans that could threaten her and Henry’s happiness by exposing secrets both would like to keep from resurfacing.
From New York City’s vibrant streets and the idyllic farmlands of Upstate New York to the cosmopolitan avenues of London and Paris, Before the Flood tells a story of the richness of family bonds, the searing heartbreak of betrayal, and the redeeming power of love and friendship.
The Broken Tree
Lancashire, Summer 1959. Fifteen years ago, Lydie Cavert Bainbridge left the dark memories of her youth at Laurelhurst Manor behind her.
Now thirty-two, an expectant Lydie returns with her family of five with two goals: to protect her children from her horrific experience at Laurelhurst and to spend a peaceful summer before the arrival of her fourth child.
When Lydie comes across an ancient oak tree split in the middle on the edge of the estate, it reveals an old secret from three hundred years ago involving an enemy along with the specters she had hoped to leave behind.
As the tree casts a shadow upon the house and loyalties are tested, Lydie must choose between the love she holds for her family and the love for her brother. Can the Cavert family stay together, or will splinter like the tree in the garden?
Out of Night (releasing June 2020)
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.
The quintessential society girl, Kate has been a mainstay on Swinging London’s party circuit for years. As her old vices of alcohol and drugs 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.
When Lydie and her husband Henry discover that their youngest son, Cole has intellectual disabilities, it leads them down a path of uncertainty. Faced with the 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.
Wow… what a great series. Wouldn’t you agree? Please see links below to purchase Kellie Butler’s books, but first let’s find out a little more about Kellie.
About Kellie Butler
Kellie Butler is the author of Beneath a Moonless Sky, Before the Flood, The Broken Tree, and the upcoming Out of Night, all part of the bestselling ‘The Laurelhurst Chronicles’ series. Born in the deep south and educated at Mississippi State University and Louisiana State University, she has traveled and lived around the globe. Besides writing books, she enjoys knitting, yoga, cooking, hiking, classical film, her MSU Bulldogs, and her dog, Chippy. She lives in Arizona with her family.
Links to Kellie’s books
For a limited time Kellie has reduced her first three books to 99p/99c and you can download for FREE with Kindle Unlimited. Why not grab a copy while they’re only this price?
‘We’re living in some uncertain times, so I feel my books should be more easily accessible to readers.’
Pre-order Out of Night
Links to follow Kellie on Social Media
Today’s challenger is Sarah Howes with her story ‘Childhood Guilt’. Enjoy.
I ran into the kitchen, hungrily scanned the cupboard and my eye fell on the newly-baked loaf; crusty, still-warm. I grabbed the knife and carved a doorstep, mouthwatering at the thought of that soft, yeasty dough in my mouth. But the butter had its own plan. Cold, hard in the fridge, with no give, it ripped the guts from the crust, leaving a mass of buttery crumbs on the surface. My anger spilled over as I grabbed the offending pieces in my bare hands and scrunched them up, stuffing them into my mouth in childish satisfaction.
Now if the narrator was like me they wouldn’t have worried about the butter but just eaten the bread. I don’t eat butter anyway but can’t bear spreading anything on fresh bread because I think it spoils it.
How do you like to eat your bread?
Today is National Poetry Day. For those of you that don’t know, Emily Dickinson is one of my favourite poets and Hilda Doolittle, H D Imagiste, has been my influence.
You can check out some of Emily Dickinson’s poems, and find out more about her at Poetry Archive.com and for Hilda Doolittle go to the Poetry Foundation where you can find ‘Sea Rose’ which inspired me to be an imagist.
Now as it’s National Poetry Day, it only seems fair that I share one of my own poems, however, this poem is not an imagist poem or similar to Emily Dickinson’s, but an epistle I wrote for my mum on one of her birthdays after she died. Today would have been Mum and Dad’s Platinum Wedding Anniversary and with Mothering Sunday tomorrow it seems fitting to share this poem. I’ve substituted birthday to Mother’s Day in the poem.
If you still have your mum, do look after her and make her feel loved, even if you can’t see her tomorrow.
The Epistle of Dishy Trishy
Dear Mum, I had to write to say,
how much I miss you so,
no-one could have warned me,
how bad the pain would feel.
Knowing that there’ll never be
another kiss, another hug,
another face to face conversation.
Tomorrow is Mothering Sunday,
I wanted to send this just to say,
how I wish we could be together
one more time, to love another day.
I know that can’t be possible,
no matter how much I want
it to be, so instead I’ll treasure
memories and keep them close to me.
As far as I’m concerned,
you’ll always be with me,
here in my home
and in my heart,
my one special lady.
Always an inspiration,
a fantastic loving mum to all,
my Yummy Mummy – the best ever.
Yours, Dishy Trishy, for eternity.
Patricia M Osborne
So last week I had a run of visits to other websites to include interviews and articles discussing various aspects of writing. These blogs were kindly hosted by supporting authors.
Below you’ll find a list of links where you can check out each individual article or interview. Enjoy.
Chindi Authors Website – Questions and Answers
Interview hosted on ‘Lynette’s Website and Blog’ – Author Lynette Creswell
Research for a Family Saga – hosted by Lexi Rees, Author
‘Connecting with Characters‘ – hosted by Carol Thomas, Author
Writing and Inspiration – hosted by Rosemary Noble – Author
Discussing The Coal Miner’s Son – hosted by Soulla Christodoulou on ‘A cup of Conversation’
Writing a trilogy – hosted by Isabella Muir
Choosing a title/Writing a Blurb – hosted by Helen Christmas on ‘Same Face Different Place’
Romance in a Family Saga – hosted by Julia Firlotte on Julia’s Blog.
Reviews are starting to come in for The Coal Miner’s Son
5 star review
“This is a heart-warming return to the characters of House of Grace but this time events are seen through the eyes of Elizabeth and George which makes it extra special and helps you understand them and love them even more. I look forward all the more to the next book. A lovely read and I can highly recommend it.”
5 star review
“The Coal Miner’s Son is a great follow on to House of Grace. Another great page turner, a must read. Very well written.”
5 star review
“Having thoroughly enjoyed the author’s debut novel (House of Grace), I’ve been eagerly looking forward to this book, and I can say quite categorically, Ms Osborne hasn’t disappointed. It’s an absolutely engrossing story with strong, beautifully defined characters that leap out of the pages into your head – the charming dialogue makes you feel that you know each of them personally. It’s a tale that will keep the reader’s attention long into the night – one of those books that you are eager to finish to find out the ending, but at the same time you want to savour the wonderful storytelling. I cannot recommend it highly enough to all lovers of an enthralling read with engaging characters that will have you thinking about them long after you’ve finished reading the book. And I believe there’s a 3rd book to follow – I can’t wait!”
5 star review
After reading Patricia M Osborne’s debut novel House of Grace, I’ve been eagerly anticipating the arrival of her second book The Coal Miner’s Son. Ms Osborne’s new novel doesn’t disappoint. Unlike House of Grace, this story is told from Elizabeth and George’s point of view.
The author captures the essence of a time gone by, of hardships, friendships and the bureaucracy of the upper class. You can easily lose yourself within the pages of this book and I was hooked from the start. Filled with interesting characters and with lots of twists and turns, I couldn’t put the book down, reading long into the night.
If you haven’t already read The Coal Miner’s Son then go for it. You won’t be disappointed.
5 star review
What I loved about this book was the way it told the story from the other viewpoints. In House of Grace, we got Grace’s story and her side of events. This inevitably led us to form opinions about the other characters, many of whom we probably didn’t like very much. In The Coal Miner’s Son, we are given the views of the other main characters – George and Elizabeth – and there are many surprises to take away, including Elizabeth’s fragile mental state and George’s vulnerability. Trisha is a compelling writer and I once again find myself looking forward to the third part of the trilogy. What will we do when there is no further sequel? I only hope Trisha has something else up her sleeve!
Well I am pleased to inform all readers that The Granville Legacy may be the final book in the trilogy but it WILL NOT be the end of the House of Grace Series – there will be lots more to come…
If you’d like to purchase a book in Kindle format click here
Paperbacks also available via Amazon or order from all good book stores or your local library.
Signed paperbacks at discounted prices plus p&p (UK only) may be purchased direct from me. Please contact me for details.
Considering I was named Patricia because I was due to be born on St Patrick’s Day, it seemed appropriate that I mark St Patrick’s Day in some form or other on Patricia’s Pen. With that in mind, it was the perfect opportunity to feature fellow Chindi Author, Helen Christmas, who has come along to chat about St Patrick’s Day and her Irish characters. Over to you Helen.
I love St Patrick’s Day, a chance to dig out audio cassettes by ‘The Pogues’ and enjoy a glass of Guinness. This year, I’ve chosen to celebrate it with a special offer on my book, Rosebrook Chronicles, and introduce some of my own Irish characters.
I’ll start with Peter Summerville from Dublin, who plays a big part in a series I began in 2011. Same Face Different Place is a mystery thriller set across four decades with a wide cast of characters. This prompts me to wonder what makes a strong character. One who keeps you interested or you find yourself gunning for.
Step in, Peter Summerville, a lovable Irishman who appears in the second book Visions. Peter is a charismatic Community leader. Silver haired, blue-eyed with an unmissable Irish accent and a huge heart, he is the most selfless character, a man who goes out of his way to help those less fortunate.
Strong characters are important when writing fiction so what other tips can I give writers to make their characters shine?
Consider their motivation. What do they want to achieve in life?
For Peter it is doing something worthwhile and his ambition in Visions is to revamp the town’s Community Centre. His next goal is to inaugurate a housing trust for those priced out of the property market but he is also a skilled counsellor.
Do they have flaws?
While Peter is successful in his career as manager of Rosebrook Community Centre, other pleasures such as marriage and children seem to bypass him. Sadly, he has deep seated emotional issues concerning relationships.
Create a backstory
Not until Book 4 Retribution do we learn Peter has a hidden past when police officers turn up to arrest him. As an abuse survivor from a Catholic Orphanage, no-one knows of the crime Peter committed to escape, his tragic story revealed.
Throw obstacles in their path, allow readers discover how they deal with them
Fortunately Peter has a strong network of friends and colleagues to support him as portrayed by one of the main characters:
Capturing his eye in the mirror, she experienced a flood of emotion so intense, she knew they had reached another stumbling block. They had to get him cleared of these crimes. Their community simply could not survive without him.
I finished the series in 2017 but Peter inspired an idea for a new book.
As Peter seeks justice, only then do you discover other secrets; a sister named Bess (adopted aged 6) who he’s spent a lifetime searching for.
But what happened to her? Why did it take them so long to find each other? By the time I touched on this sensitive part, I realised there was a whole new story.
From this thread, the concept of Rosebrook Chronicles evolved.
Quite different from my series, this book of interlocking character-driven stories provides some of the backdrop but focuses on the personal journeys of three abused teenagers. Peter and his sister, Bessie, feature, as do a whole host of new characters. Sister Maria, a kindly novice who travels with Bessie to London when she is adopted. Father O’Brien, the terrifying Catholic priest who is Peter’s abuser. The lovable O’Flaherty family who are friends and last but not least, Declan, a student in Belfast, his world torn apart by sectarian violence until he is drawn to the IRA. This novel can be read as a standalone, a mix of domestic noir and suspense filled with snippets of social history from the 1960s to the 1990s.
Thank you, Helen, for providing a background around the characters in your latest book, Rosebrook Chronicles, I’m sure my readers will be eager to get hold of a copy.
In honour of St Patrick’s Day, Rosebrook Chronicles is on special with a Kindle countdown deal at 99p/99c. Offer valid from March 17th – 21st.
If you’re a fan of audio books, hear the musical Irish accents of the characters come to life in a new Audible version, narrated by Paul Metcalfe.
The best news is…
Helen has twenty codes up for grabs. Just download the Audible app from Amazon, enter your promotional code and enjoy the experience for FREE.
For a free code please email email@example.com. No personal data will be harvested from this promotion and once Helen has sent the code to you, she will then discard it.
Hurry though because these FREE codes aren’t going to hang around for long.
Links to where you can find Helen on social media and purchase her books, along with audio, will be listed below but first, let’s find out a little more about Helen.
About Helen Christmas
Helen Christmas loves writing and has a passion for moving sagas with powerful characters. She is currently working on a psychological thriller based in Bognor Regis, where she lives with her husband and they work from home.
To find out more about Helen you can visit her website/blog, ‘Same Face Different Place’ by clicking here.
Social Media links
Links to purchase books
Rosebrook Chronicles, The Hidden Stories
Rosebrook Chronicles, The Hidden Stories
Well what fun we all had on Facebook last week – Monday evening, 9th March 2020, when we celebrated the arrival of The Coal Miner’s Son.
Five special guests took part in hosting the party.
Elizabeth Ducie – Website
Elizabeth M Hurst – Website
Val Penny – Website
Allison Symes – Website
Colin Ward – Website
Virtual food and drink was in plentiful supply.
Competitions ran throughout the evening session with prizes
Author Elizabeth Ducie offered a ‘Where are you now?’ competition and donated a copy of Counterfeit (Ebook version)
Winner – Jacqui Barwell
If you’d like a copy of Counterfeit – click here
Questions for a Prize draw ran throughout the evening
Question 1: Which dance from the ’60s created the largest craze?
Answer The Twist
Winner – John Clark
Prize donated by author: Paperback version of Two Kinds of Truth by Lynette Creswell.
If you’d like a copy of Two Kinds of Truth – click here
Question 2: Who was the first Doctor Who in the BBC television series?
Answer: William Hartnell
Winner – Pauline Kontemeniotis
Prize donated by author: Copy of Lost Souls Book 1 (Ebook version) by Elizabeth M Hurst
If you’d like a copy of the Lost Souls Book 1 – click here.
Question 3: Who wrote “To Kill a Mockingbird”?
Answer: Harper Lee
Winner – Liz Byfield
Prize: A paperback copy of Colin Ward’s Silhouette in the Sunset.
If you’d like a copy of Silhouette in the Sunset – click here.
Question 4: This man wrote “Carrie” and “Cujo” along with many other scary novels. What is his name?
Answer: Stephen King
Winner – Penny Howard
Prize: A paperback copy of Joy Wood’s April Fool.
If you’d like a copy of April Fool – click here.
Question 5: This band ‘invaded’ the USA in 1964, and altered the music scene over there. Teenage girls were blown to smithereens. Who was it?
Answer The Beatles
Winner – Nicole Gilbert
Prize: A paperback copy of From Light to Dark and Back Again by Allison Symes.
If you’d like a copy of From Light to Dark and Back Again – click here.
Question 6: In the TV series “The Avengers”, who plays the ravishing Mrs. Emma Peel?
Answer Diana Rigg
Winner – Jayne Curtis
Prize: A paperback copy of Lynette Creswell’s Two Kinds of Truth.
If you’d like a copy of Two Kinds of Truth – click here.
If you haven’t purchased your copy of The Coal Miner’s Son and would like to – click here.
Tomorrow ‘Patricia’s Pen’ is back to its Tuesday Guest Feature – this week with fellow Chindi author, Helen Christmas. Don’t miss it.
Later on in the week I shall publish all the links to the blogs from Publication Week for The Coal Miner’s Son – watch this space.
Patricia's Pen: 'Writing with Grace'
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