July What We’re Reading

Christina here with a round-up of what the Wenches have been reading this month. This is a truly varied selection and I hope there will be something for everyone and that you find something that appeals to you. I’ve already clicked on a few things myself …

My own favourite reads this month were the two new Wench books – The Crystal Key by Patricia Rice and The Rake’s Daughter by Anne Gracie.

Crystal KeyThe Crystal Key is the third book in the Psychic Solutions Mystery series, and these stories just keep getting better and better. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, which broadened the cast and built on the previous books in a most satisfying way. Ghostbuster Evie Malcolm Carstairs has finally got together with gorgeous lawyer Jax Ives and they are raising their ward, Loretta, together while trying to make ends meet – her by speaking to ghosts and him by setting up a new law practice in the tiny town where they live. When Evie and her hacker team at the Sensible Solutions Agency take on a new case that involves a dead former FBI agent – an old lady who had been poking around in things she shouldn’t have – and a potential murder, things start to heat up. Jax tries to keep Evie out of trouble, but she has her own way of dealing with things and doesn’t think she needs his help. He wants to do things the proper way while Evie and the others don’t always take the legal approach. Add to that the fact that his reclusive sister Ariel starts to help his best friend to uncover a major scamming network run by some seriously unscrupulous people – while slightly coming out of her shell – and he has his work cut out for him making sure everyone is safe and the bad guys get their come-uppance. With a huge cast of crazy but wonderful characters, this is a fabulous story that kept me turning the pages. I can’t wait for the next book in the series to see what will happen next!

Read more

Lady Arianna is back in a Swirl of Shadows

A Swirl of ShadowsAndrea here, welcoming a guest interviewer to the Word Wenches today! C. P. Lesley, a historian, is the author of The Not Exactly Scarlet Pimpernel and two series set during the childhood of Ivan the Terrible. She also hosts New Books in Historical Fiction, a podcast channel on the New Books Network and interviews historical fiction authors on her website. (You can hear her podcast with me on my latest Wrexford & Sloane mystery, Murder at the Royal Botanic gardens, here. And she has also interviewed Nicola.)

C.P. was kind enough to interview me recently on my new Lady Arianna Regency mystery, A Swirl of Shadows, which released last week, and graciously offered to let me share it here. (As luck would have it, the setting aligns very well with her historical expertise, as you shall soon discover!) So without further ado, here’s some tidbits on Lady Arianna and Saybrook—and their latest adventure!

Read more

Maggie Moves to Murder! Nobody’s Sweetheart Now

NobodysSweetheartNow-Cover-RGB-72res-1400pixels (1)by Mary Jo

Maggie Robinson has visited the Word Wenches before to talk about her delightfully original historical romances.  Now she's turned to murder!  Her first Lady Adelaide mystery, Nobody's Sweetheart Now, has just been released, so I've inveigled Maggie to visit us and talk about this new direction.

MJP: Welcome back to the Word Wenches, Maggie! Could you give a bit of information on your background and how you got into writing?

MR: I was an English major in college a thousand years ago (even in the English honor society, LOL), but didn’t get around to writing seriously until about 15 years ago. I was a teacher, library clerk, newspaper reporter, administrative assistant to two non-profits, and mom of four, and several other things I’ve forgotten!

Truth: One night my husband and I had an argument. I was so mad I went upstairs to the guest room…and also where the computer was. I couldn’t sleep and started pounding out a historical where the hero was going to be perfect. Ha. Even in fiction they’re a pain. One thing led to another, and a bunch of books later, it really is all my husband’s fault!

Read more

Fact and Fiction . . .

Regency ball
Murder at Half Moon Gate-smallAndrea
here, musing today about the balance of reality and an author’s creative storytelling in historical fiction. I got to thinking about this (actually, I think about it a lot, but for different reasons) because I happened to be alerted to a reader comment on Goodreads about my new mystery, Murder at Half Moon Gate. Now, like most experienced authors, I’ve learned not to take negative comments too personally, but this one got my attention because it raised an interesting question in the broader context of writing fiction.

Read more

Musing on Mysteries—Interview Part Two

Murder at Half Moon Gate-smallAndrea here, continuing the joint interview with Pat about our new books, Sapphire Nights  and Murder at Half Moon Gate  which both released yesterday! At first blush, they may seem very different—Pat’s is a contemporary with paranormal elements, while mine is Regency-set historical. But in reading each other’s manuscripts (Wenchly Beta reading is such fun!) we realized there were some really interesting core themes that tied the stories together. In the previous blog, we talked about our heroines. And today, we’re asking ourselves this question: We're both romance writers who have chosen to use mystery plots as a core element of our new books—why?

Read more