“Buttonholed” by Anita Klumpers (aka The Prude): Meet Manderley

Buttonholed_prc5474_750 2Hoo boy. My next book, “Buttonholed,” comes out March 13 and I have a sinking feeling I was already supposed to be going great guns with promotions and publicity.

On the plus side, I am finally putting up a Tuesday Prude post on a Tuesday.

“Buttonholed” is a light-hearted romance set in eastern Tennessee. I was there once and felt sufficiently imprinted and inculcated with all things southern to set a book in this beautiful, hill-covered region. Or maybe they are mountains. Not sure I remember.

It is also the first of my published books with no murder. That’s right. No one gets killed— but not for lack of trying. Manderley’s several-times great grandfather tried to kill his nemesis in an 1816 duel and…well, you’ll have to get the book if you want to learn why.

MEET MANDERLEY
Back to Manderley Jessup, our heroine. Here is how I picture her, when she is in top form.

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Unfortunately her top form has been a bit over-the-top lately. She’s barely touched her makeup bag in the past year, and cut her own hair to save money. And none of her clothes fit.

She took a teaching job in Chicago to escape a hopeless crush. More on that
later.
A side benefit would be escaping southern fried chicken, biscuits with sausage and gravy, shrimp with grits, corn on the cob and peach pie.
All she needed was to live where the best tasting food wasn’t yellow, and she would be fine.
She hadn’t reckoned with the multi-colored delights of deep dish pizza, Chicago style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, and rainbow ice cream cones.
Calories infiltrated the entire color wheel.

I really like this girl. She is a people-pleaser, with just enough gumption to keep from being walked over. Manderley loves her family passionately and in spite of their faults. She loves the Lord. Hates plucking her eyebrows. And after an entire school year in Chicago without a single proposition from a single male, she’s beginning to think God gave her the gift of singleness, and she would like to return that gift, thank you very much.

Manderley’s parents are Pemberley and Tara Jessup, her brothers are Thornfield and Barton, her sister is Marguerite.
Extra credit if you figure out what the names have in common!

SO WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT?

A distress call from her mother, Tara, sends Manderley scurrying from Chicago to her hometown of Lowellton, Tennessee. A New York film crew is researching the duel between Tara’s ancestor, Talbot Latimer, and his arch-enemy Henderson Coventry. The results of that ill-fated battle have split Lowellton for over 200 years. For some reason, Tara is certain Manderley will be able to run interference and protect the family honor.

Manderley thinks she is up to the challenge. A sermon on Philippians 4:8 and “whatever is of good repute” convinces her the best way to protect the family honor is to heal the two centuries-and-counting breach between the Coventrys and Latimers.

Problem is, the only one who can help end the hostilities is Abram Coventry— descendant of the despicable Henderson Coventry and the object of Manderley’s hopeless crush. But he barely knows she exists.

Just when it appears Manderley might have the family feud beat, her best-laid plans backfire spectacularly. And it’s all Abram Coventry’s fault.

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Although “Buttonholed” doesn’t release in e-book until March 13, it is available for pre-order for $3.99 on Amazon, even as we speak.

Christmas Passed (Almost)

Here I told friends I’d love to promote their books on my blog. But not on Tuesdays, because—you know—TUESDAY Prude. I want to save it for my own book.

And then I wake up this morning. TUESDAY. And I forgot to post about my book. So now I’m a blur of trying to get it published before everyone goes to work.

The book is Christmas Passed. Published by Pelican Books. Only available on ereaders like Kindle, Nook, or those clever apps you can download. (No. No print for this book. Sorry. Don’t hate me.)

It’s a suspense romance, set in Milwaukee in early December. Dinah, my heroine, is photographing an old house she loves. While it is being transformed for a series of Christmas open houses, an unfortunate event puts Dinah in charge of the preparations. It’s a dream come true, until she realized she has to work with Mick Wagner, her childhood nemesis. An old secret in the attic results in a very present danger for Dinah. Here is the cover.

Dinah, my heroine, would be slightly surprised at how glamorous she looks, but it is a pretty cover, don’t you think?ChristmasPassed_w5499_680

Some women dream of tropical islands. Dinah dreams of rummaging through old attics. Mickey, her nemesis,  was gorgeous as a rotten kid and just as gorgeous as an irate adult.

Here are a couple of tweets if you don’t follow me on Twitter. (Mental note to self. Put these on Twitter too.)

Ebbie’s unfortunate accident puts Dinah in command. Her troops? Four elderly women.

Mick calls Dinah a brainiac. She calls him a dumb jock. Opposites attract. Or do they?

My publisher wanted me to explain a bit more about Christmas Passed and why I wrote it:

I’m hooked on holidays. Even the ones you don’t send cards for, like Flag Day.
So when I saw (on April 1) that my publisher was accepting submissions for Christmas novellas (due May 1), I set my face away from my spring decorations, turned on Christmas music, and started writing.

A month later and panting heavily from the exertion, I submitted “Christmas Passed” and immediately turned my thoughts to May Day.

Since then, the manuscript was accepted, the cover art designed and a release date of December 1 set. Since then I’ve decorated for Flag Day, Fourth of July, First Day of School, and all things autumn. Now it’s time to get in a Christmas frame of mind.

If you are like me, you enjoy summer beach reads—while it is summer—and Christmas stories beginning the day after Thanksgiving. Moreover (if you are like me) you don’t want your Christmas stories too dark or depressing. Why ruin the most wonderful time of the year with gloom?

“Christmas Passed” is a quick read, but filled with all things Christmas. Want decorations? It has boxfuls. Watery hot cocoa? Check. A possible romance? Possibly. Adorable old folks? Got ‘em. Danger? Of course! I am, after all, a romance-SUSPENSE writer.

Sprinkle the story with a bit of humor, some life-changing history and a solid base of faith, and you have “Christmas Passed.” No matter where you live, your age, or your circumstances, I hope that, if you read it, you’ll get a whiff of Christmas at its best.

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Me. In the snow. Drinking coffee. With the gutter in the background, which is why my husband wouldn’t let me use it as a main publicity photo.

Links to Christmas Passed

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Passed-Holiday-Extravaganza-ebook/dp/B07JHXYGCC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1541782568&sr=1-1&keywords=%22Christmas+Passed%22

Barnes and Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-passed-anita-klumpers/1129760586?ean=9781522398110