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