One of my all-time favorite authors is back on the blog, and I have been anxious to feature this book. I absolutely love the Gilded Age in American New York society.
Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of thirty novels with Tyndale, Barbour, Steeple Hill and Summerside Press. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she's also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award. A seasoned women's events speaker, she's a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer's workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.
About the book:
They can buy anything they want-fame, power, beauty, even loyalty.
The beautiful and wealthy heiress daughters of August Price can buy everything their hearts desire. But what if their desire is to be loved, without an enormous price tag attached? When one sister betrays another for the sake of love, will she find happiness? And what happens when the other sets out across the still untamed frontier to find it-will she discover she's left it behind in the glamorous world of the New York gilded society? What price will each woman pay for being an heiress?
Set in the opulent world of the Gilded Age, two women discover that being an heiress just might cost them everything they love.
How did this book come about?
I love history and especially the gilded age and longed to write a story set in this era. However, I love stories set with a biblical theme, so I applied the story of Jacob and Esau to two sisters living in the gilded age, with everything available to them but love. What lengths would they go to in order to find their happily ever after?
Tell us about the book’s cover and what makes it unique.
I love how they used the fashions of the times – and the necklace the heroine is playing with. A necklace is a key element to all the stories in the series so I’m thankful they used this in the book cover.
Please explain and differentiate between what’s fact and fiction in the book.
I try and weave as much fact into a story as possible – so all the research, from the houses, the clothing, the food, the lifestyle of the high society set is factual, as is the layout of the New York Chronicle (aka the Herald) as well as the life of the copper miners in Butte, Montana. The dinner with
is factual, as well as the information about the buffalo herd. I took actual accounts of mine disasters as I
plotted the catastrophes, and even took headlines from the New York Herald to
craft the final plot.
How much research did you have to do for this book?
Reams. Everything required research, from the way they spoke, the food they ate, the customs of the times to the layout of the homes in 1890 NYC. I invested in a number of gilded age books and read about the lives of the Vanderbilts, the Astors and even Emily Post.
What are some of the most interesting things you found about this subject that you weren’t able to use in the story?
It was interesting to find out how connected the financial barons in
were to the copper mines of the west. Also, I wanted to write in the NY Herald Newsies strike of the 1890s,
but wasn’t able to fully develop that due to space. New York
What inspired and surprised you while you were writing the book?
I was surprised by the empty, meaningless lived by the wealthy. With their enormous wealth, they often lived sad, broken lives marred by alcohol, divorce and scandal.
What do you hope the reader takes away from the story?
That God’s blessing doesn’t necessarily translate into wealth, and that it’s something deeper, something received because of His great love for us and nothing that we can do.
What is the next project you’re working on?
I just finished Baroness, the story of Rosie and Lilly, the daughters of Esme and Jinx. It’s due out in February 2012.
What do you do when you have to get away from the story for a while?
Watch Football. Or take a walk.
Please give us the first page of the book.
With the wrong smile, her sister could destroy Jinx’s world.
“Loosen your breath, Esme, and the lacing will go easier.” Jinx sat on the ottoman, watching Bette pull the stays of Esme’s new corset as her sister hung onto the lacing bar.
The corset, a silk damask with embroidered tea roses, pale pink ribbons along the heart-shaped bustline, and a polished brass busk, had arrived only yesterday in a shipment from Worth’s of
Esme didn’t deserve the beautiful undergarment, not with her gigantic twenty-one-inch waist, the way she fought the corsetiere during the fitting, and now held her breath instead of exhaling to lose yet another half-inch.
Jinx, still in her training corset, had long ago shaved her torso down to eighteen inches. She deserved a damask corset, in the new S-shaped style, the way it erected the posture, protruded her hips, and forced her body into the elegant shape of a society woman. But her own corset wouldn’t arrive until her mother ordered her debut trousseau, hopefully after the end of this year’s society season. After all, she’d already turned seventeen, would be eighteen when the season started next November.
She should have been born first.
Esme closed her eyes, as if in pain. “Mother, I can’t breathe. I will faint during the quadrille.”
“Perhaps you will be recovered by someone of significance.” Their mother Phoebe sat on a gold-foiled Marie Antoinette chair, the red plush velvet like a throne as she perched upon it, surveying her eldest daughter’s preparations. “It wouldn’t hurt you to be found swooning during a waltz, into the arms of the Astor heir.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?www.susanmaywarren.com
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Heiress (Daughters of Fortune)
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