Friday, October 21, 2011

THE LADY'S MAID - Susan Page Davis - Free Book

Bio: Susan Page Davis is the author of more than thirty published novels. Prairie Dreams is her new series from Barbour Publishing. A Maine native, Susan now lives in Kentucky with her husband, Jim.

Welcome back, Susan. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
It varies. For the most part, my heroines are much younger, prettier, and braver than I am. Elise Finster, in The Lady’s Maid, shares some qualities with me. She second guesses herself, as to whether or not she’s done the right thing and whether she can protect her mistress. Her highest desire is to see those she loves safe and happy.

I just finished reading The Lady's Maid earlier today. I absolutely loved it. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I once tied a murderer’s necktie. I was reporting on the trial for a newspaper and after the lunch break I went back into the courtroom early. No one else was back yet except the defendant and his guard. The guard was trying to help the man tie his tie, but was having trouble doing it “backward.” He asked if I could tie one on another person, so I did it. Later that day, the defendant was convicted of murder.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I was very young I began creating stories. As an adult, I spent many years as a nonfiction writer. Finally I decided to seriously try fiction. I sold my first short story in 2001 and my first book in 2003.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I’m an eclectic reader. I most enjoy true history, natural science, mysteries, historical novels, fantasy, and romantic suspense. Right now I’m reading Dinner at the St. James, by Sandra Robbins, for fiction, and The Cowboy: His Characteristics, His Equipment, and His Part in the Development of the West, by Philip Ashton Rollins, for nonfiction.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I ignore the world and let it run.

Very good answer, Susan. How do you choose your characters’ names?
That’s a bad question for me because I’m awful with names. I forget real people’s names and have trouble creating fictional ones. Once I realized one of my characters was a real person—a rather public person. Had to change his name. And my son pointed out to me that one of my books had the hero and heroine named George and Laura, during the Bush administration. Changed her to Rachel.

I’ve used a lot of methods, most born of desperation: the usual baby books and phone books, census lists (for most common names in historical periods), asking people who live in a particular state for regional surnames, and begging my kids to help me. (“If you can’t help me come up with a decent name for this character, I’ll name her after YOU.” That usually works.)

In a few instances, friends and relatives asked me to use their names in books.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My family.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
By nature, I think I’d be some reclusive, rarely seen critter, like a pine marten. But real life has made me more sociable.

What is your favorite food?
Fruit, just about any kind.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Expectations. It took some major adjustments.

Tell us about the featured book.
The Lady’s Maid features Elise Finster, who accompanies her young mistress, Lady Anne Stone, on a voyage to America in 1855. Lady Anne’s father has died, and her Uncle David is the new Earl of Stoneford—if he steps forward and claims the title. But David disappeared into the American West when Anne was a baby. Now it’s up to her and Elise to find him. But obstacles abound. Mules, a lazy hired man, mountains, unexpected romance, and a sinister stranger stand in their way.

The Lady’s Maid is the first book in the Prairie Dreams series, and releases October 1, 2011.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Chapter one
January, 1855
Stoneford, near London

“Come with me, Elise. I can’t face him alone.”

            Lady Anne gripped her hand so hard that Elise Finster winced. She would do anything to make this day easier for her young mistress.

            “Of course, my lady, if they’ll let me.”

            They walked down the sweeping staircase together, their silk skirts swishing and the hems of their crinolines nudging each other. Lady Anne kept her hold on Elise’s hand until they reached the high-ceilinged hall below.

            At the doorway to the morning room, Lady Anne straightened her shoulders. A pang of sympathy lanced Elise’s heart, but she couldn’t bear this burden in the young woman’s place. Anne Stone had to face the future herself.

            “Good day, ladies.” Andrew Conrad, the Stone family’s aging solicitor, rose from the velvet-upholstered sofa and bowed. “Lady Anne, you look charming. Miss Finster.”

            Elise murmured, “Hello, sir,” while Lady Anne allowed Conrad to take her hand and bow over it.

            From near the window, a tall, angular man walked forward—Anne’s second cousin, Randolph Stone. Ten years older than Anne, the studious man lived in a modest country home with his wife and two young children and eked out a living on the interest of his father’s meager fortune. Elise gritted her teeth, a reaction he always induced in her. With effort on her part, Lady Anne never guessed how much she loathed Randolph.

            “Anne.” Stone took his cousin’s hand and kissed it perfunctorily. He nodded in Elise’s direction but didn’t greet her.

            “Randolph. I didn’t expect to see you here.” Lady Anne arched her delicate eyebrows at the solicitor.

            “Mr. Stone had some questions, and I invited him to come with me today, so I could explain the situation to both of you.”

            Lady Anne said nothing for a long moment, then nodded.

            “Er, if it pleases you, my lady, this is confidential business.” Conrad shot a meaningful glance Elise’s way.

            Elise felt her face flush, but held her ground. She wouldn’t leave until Lady Anne told her plainly to do so. Besides, he’d brought along an extra person. Why shouldn’t Lady Anne have that right as well?

            “I would like Elise to stay.” The lady smiled, but with a firmness to her jaw befitting the daughter of an earl.

            Conrad nodded. “As you wish. Shall we begin, then?”

            Lady Anne sat on the upholstered Hepplewhite settee and signaled for Elise to sit beside her. Elise arranged her voluminous skirt and lowered herself, avoiding the direct gaze of Randolph Stone. He didn’t care for her, either, and Elise knew exactly why, but she didn’t believe in letting past discord interfere with the future.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Come see me at

Thank you, Susan, for another interesting peek into your life and writing.

Readers, you're going to love this book. Here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
The Lady's Maid (Prairie Dreams)

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 Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Patsy said...

I've read several books by Susan and they never disappoint. She is a talented writer. When I see her name I know it's a good book. Looking forward to reading The Lady's Maid.

from South MS


Maggie Carr said...

I just love Susan Paige Davis's writing!
Northern Indiana

Anonymous said...

Please sign me up! I just finished Susan's Captive Trail late last night! She is so talented. I would love to add this one to my book collection!


Coolestmommy said...

I can't wait to read it. Sounds like a little mystery and suspense are added to the book--which I love.

Thanks for sharing,
coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

Susan's novels are always a hit, and i would love to win this one.
Thanks, Lena for a great selection of authors and great posts.


from Peace River Country, Alberta

Susan Page Davis said...

Thank you, ladies! Salena, glad you enjoyed Captive Trail! This book (The Lady's Maid) is much lighter in tone, and was great fun to write. I especially had fun with the ladies' fashions and their learning curve in harnessing and driving equines.

apple blossom said...

love the cover thanks. would love to win the book

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Wendy Newcomb said...

Ohhh, I want to read this, Randolph does not sound like a good person, possibly resentful of his cousin?

Thank you for hosting the giveaway and doing the interview.


Anonymous said...

Loved the interview with Susan... great story about the necktie! Can't wait to read The Lady's Maid!

from Michigan

scottsgal said...

wow tied a murderer's tie - that's a fun bit of trivia. big fan of Susan's books
cheryl in IL
msboatgal at

Susan Page Davis said...

Thanks, Samantha and Cheryl--I have to admit it was one of those "Whatever am I doing?" moments. I only fell into it because I was so afraid I would miss something that I hurried back to the courtroom way too early. One more reason to be punctual!

Patty said...

Sounds like quite an adventure! I would love to read this book.

Patty in SC

Cathy said...

I've never read anything by this author. Would love to win a copy! Thanks

from B.C. Canada

Pam K. said...

I've watched the trailer of this book and read an excerpt. It sounds like a book I'd really like to read.
I'd be happy to win a copy of "The Lady's Maid." Thanks for giving away a book.


Mama Cat said...

Susan is a wonderful Christian writer, can't wait to see more of her historical fiction! This book is on my "wish list" so I would love to win it. Phoenix AZ

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Looks interesting! Please enter me in the drawing.
Thanks and God Bless.
Sarah Richmond

Abigail Mitchell said...

Looks interesting. I love historicals. Thanks for the chance to win.
God Bless!
Abigail Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Cindy W. said...

The Lady's Maid sounds like a wonderful book. I would love to win a copy. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

I live in Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


CarlybirdK said...

I have entered to win this book so many times already. Hopefully I'll get lucky this time :-) I am such a fan of Susan's books and I love reading her interviews. Thank you.
Burlington, NC

Jaedyn said...

This sounds great! I love Susan Paige Davis' books. :)

Pacific NorthWest

Kylady 717 said...

Hi Susan, this sounds like a wonderful book...I also am from Ky, but now live in Ohio...what part of Ky do you live in ? Love the story about you tying the tie.....LOL.... Would love to be a winner for this book...Kylady 717

Faith said...

This book has been highly recommended to me by many people.


Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

I would love to read the entire book! Please enter me!

Brenda from Michigan

dancealert at aol dot com

Deborah M said...

I enjoyed the interview. I like Susan's cozy mysteries. I live in the north Georgia mountains.
debbiejeanm at gmail dot com

Joanna Richmond said...

sounds very interesting I cant wait to read this book enter me God Bless Joanna Richmond
Blanch NC

rubynreba said...

I really enjoy her books. Please enter me. from iowa.

Lady DragonKeeper said...

I read and enjoyed Mrs. Davis's "Ladies Shooting Club" series and "The Lady's Maid" sounds great as well.

Thanks for the chance to win!


(P.S. I'm from Hawaii)

Unknown said...

Anything written by Susan is a sure thing of enjoyment. The Lady's Maid stirs up my ideas of what this story is about. This is a great giveaway and I'd consider myself blessed if I would win. I hope I do.

Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me I would love to win a copy of this book! Thanks and God bless!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Ann Lee Miller said...

I love Susan's writing. :)

Ann Lee Miller
Gilbert AZ

Nathanael Richmond said...

Looks interesting!Please enter me in the drawing.
Nathanael Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Nancye said...

Susan Page Davis is such a talented author! I can't believe that she has only been writing books that have been published since 2003! 30 novels! Unbelievable! I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for the chance.

Nancye in Kentucky (I saw that Susan also lives in KY too! Maybe we are neighbors! Small world! :)

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Kristie said...

I love looking at names for other eras. I like that at the Social Security website they have the most popular name feature. It goes back to 1879. Cool, huh? I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

Bakersdozen said...

I have some of Susan's books and I would love to read this. I live in S. California.

Merry said...

The Lady's Maid is an interesting twist on going west, I'd love to be entered.
Merry in TX

Connie R. said...

I would love to read another of Susan's books. Thus far, I've only read one of her novellas. She comes highly recommended by some of my favorite fellow Mainers!!!

Connie R.