Welcome back, Melanie. How did you come up with the idea for this story?
Researching and writing a novel reminds me of putting together the pieces of a big puzzle—I find inspiration from all sorts of places and then try to fit those pieces together to create a story. For Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, I was inspired by the manor homes and gardens on my trip to England, the process of restoring damaged artwork, the beauty and migration of butterflies, parents who fight for their autistic children along with unique, talented kids who don’t always fit into society’s box of normal, and most of all, by the power of God to redeem and restore broken relationships.
If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
I love spending time with other Christian authors! I’d enjoy picking the brains of brilliant contemporary writers like Lisa Wingate, Jan Karon, Leslie Gould, Lisa Wingate, Kristen Heitzmann, and Mindy Starns Clark.
Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Can I organize a trip with these authors instead? If so, I’d love to spend a week researching in
with author friends Cathy Gohlke, Carrie Turansky, Sarah Sundin, Julie Klassen,
Susan Meissner, and Kristy Cambron. Last year, while I was researching for Shadows
of Ladenbrooke Manor, I toured the haunting Tyntesfield Manor with
Cathy and Carrie. The manor was the inspiration for Carrie’s latest series, and
it was so fun to explore it with her.
Sounds like a fun trip. Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your greatest challenge with writing at this time in your career?
The publishing industry continues to change and most of us who write fiction have to change how we write and market our books as well. Thankfully these changes also mean there are wonderful opportunities to grow as a writer and communicator, and I’m grateful to be able to continue pursuing my passion to write fiction.
This novel is about the secrets that haunt the ancient gardens below Ladenbrooke Manor. More than forty years ago, Oliver Croft’s body was found in the shadows of this garden, and while the English villagers have whispered for decades about what happened, no one knows for certain who killed the son of the respected Lord and Lady Croft. When Heather Toulson returns to her parent’s cottage beside Ladenbrooke, she begins to uncover the story of a young woman who loved Oliver. And the truth about the families who tried but failed to keep Oliver and Libby apart.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Moored fishing boats sagged in the harbor’s waves as the lights on Clevedon’s wooden pier flickered in the wind. A storm was brewing over the swollen waters that separated
the dark clouds bulging with rain, but Maggie Emerson didn’t move from her bench
along the wide promenade.
She pulled her knees up to her chest and wrapped her warm, woolen skirt over her stockings. In the summer, day-trippers paraded up and down this promenade, gawking at the sailing boats and the Welsh mountains across the estuary. They clambered over the rocks along the shoreline and paid two pennies each to stroll onto the famous pier that stretched over the water. But few people visited Clevedon this time of year, and on stormy nights like this, most of the town’s residents hunkered down in the safety of their homes.
Maggie knew she should return home too, but even when the clock tower chimed five o’clock, she didn’t stand. Her gaze remained fixed in the distance where salty water from the
collided with the River Severn.
Every evening, after she finished her work at the library, she sat on this bench and watched for a certain yacht to appear. But for the past two months all she’d done was sit alone, watching the fishing boats sway. Aunt Priscilla had warned that the yachtsmen who stopped here wanted only one thing, and then they’d be gone. Maggie hadn’t understood what her aunt meant at the time, but now she knew exactly what Elliot wanted when he’d sailed into their town.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I really enjoy communicating with my readers. My website is www.melaniedobson.com, and there is a link to sign up for my newsletter, as well as links to Facebook (Melanie-Dobson) and Twitter (@MelBDobson).
Thanks so much for having me!
My pleasure, Melanie. I love hosting you and introducing my blog readers to your books.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor - Christianbook.com
Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor: A Novel - Amazon
Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor: A Novel - Kindle
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link: