Thursday, July 02, 2020

THE SUGAR BARON'S RING - Lorri Dudley - One Free Book

Bio: Lorri Dudley has been a finalist in numerous writing contests and has a master’s degree in Psychology. She lives in Ashland, Massachusetts, with her husband and three teenage sons, where writing romance allows her an escape from her testosterone filled household. Find her online at

Welcome back, Lorri. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
God is awesome, and I’m so blessed to be able to write. Wild Heart Books has signed me for another three books in the Leeward Island series. I’m already plotting and writing the next sequence. For a change, I plan in the future to create stories with the settings in the colder climate of Boston. Specifically, I’d like to write during the Boston Brahmin era when Harvard was a theology school, Boston represented “A city on a hill,” and increasing wealth through trade and a growing textile industry caused conflict between the philanthropic, Bostonian aristocrats and the industrious, self-starting immigrants.

Tell us a little about your family.
I have been married to an amazing God-fearing man whose strengths are the exact opposite of mine, which helps us complement each other well. He’s a visionary entrepreneur who runs several companies and reads business books and financial statements for fun. We have three amazing and active boys who each have very different personalities, even though we’ve tried to raise them the same. The one thing they have in common is that they all got their dad’s height.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Typically, I have a craft book (on writing) and a spiritual development book going at all times. I leave one in my car that I read while I’m waiting to pick up kids, and I have one that sits at the breakfast table. Due to focusing on writing deadlines, I’ve become a binge reader of fiction books, especially when traveling. I’ve been known to take down five or more books while on vacation. While reading, I’m noting character arcs, structure, and story layering. I’m not certain I’ll ever see a book the way I used to before I began writing. However, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

What are you working on right now?
Right now, The Captain’s Quest is my work-in-progress, which expands upon Lottie’s friend Priscilla from book two, The Merchant’s Yield. In this book, we get to explore a deserted isle in the British Virgin Islands. Priscilla Middleton attends a party to keep her friend out of trouble but winds up needing to avoid becoming a gossip column headline. She boards her brother’s ship to feign being in his company for the evening instead of taking part in the debacle. Before she can speak to her brother, he’s put on leave, the ship sets sail, and the man in charge is not at all who she expects. After that, book five (still to be titled) will be a follow up on the Duke’s son Max, from The Duke’s Refuge. Stay tuned…

It all sounds wonderful. What outside interests do you have?
Due to having three boys, I’ve learned to love all things sports and can now tell you what a half-nelson is in wrestling, a scrum in football, a pick in basketball, and what it means to go to X in lacrosse. When I’m not driving them to games and practices (which as of late I’ve had a break from), then I enjoy painting and pastels. I used to be an art teacher before I ventured out to start my dream of writing. Also, my husband and I are involved in our church and mentor young married couples, which we’ve discovered strengthens our marriage, too.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
I’ve always adored the island of Nevis and its sister island St. Kitts. I’ve been fortunate to travel to the Leeward Islands on a couple of occasions, and the natural beauty takes your breath away. In The Sugar Baron’s Ring, there is a stint in Bristol, England, which is a port where a lot of England’s sugar barons resided. I had fun showing the contrasts between the freedom of island life and the proper refinement of the British Quality, including the sights, smells, and customs. My favorite was Hannah’s childhood memory of servants as “the people who lived inside the walls.”

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Jesus would be my first choice, but if it had to be a historical figure in the era in which I write, I would choose Hannah More. A writer, abolitionist, fighter for the poor, and a woman of strong Christian convictions, she sought reform in a spiritually divided age. I would ask how she pushed to make traditional Christian values popular while remaining engaging and relevant. I’d like to thank her for investing in the lives of poor women and children, starting schools and teaching them in the parishes. And I’d love to hear stories of the dissention she faced in trying to convince secularists that religion would improve the quality of their laborers because they’d learn to be honest and industrious.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
That the road to getting published is long, but a gratifying one. There are a lot of pieces that have to fall into place in the writing puzzle before a picture is formed, including industry trends. I have four full novels that served as my learning curve that may never leave my computer, and that’s okay. It’s part of the growing process.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
My boys have reached an age where I can no longer protect them from the world. I have to let them venture out to become their own persons, knowing that I did my best to train them up and trust God that they won’t depart from it. I’ve had to relinquish control and spend a lot more time on my knees during this new phase of life. It’s interesting how trust and releasing control will slip in as themes within my books as if I’m trying to teach myself a lesson.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Learn everything you can about the craft—read, go to conferences, and follow blogs on writing.
Don’t let criticism get you down. Read it, walk away, grieve a little if you need to, and then go back and learn from it. God can use it as a way to stretch you and keep your pride in check.
Pray for your publisher. God has a way of sending that blessing down the line.

Tell us about the featured book.
Hannah Rose Barrington is the island misfit. Orphaned at a young age, Hannah struggles to provide for her future, while her guardian, a weak-hearted island drunk, bleeds Hannah of her father’s inheritance. Caught between the classes of elite planters and white beggars, Hannah yearns to find a place to belong.

University life has never been Bradlee Granville’s forte. His only hope to graduate is to impress his professors by documenting his travels. After claiming unforeseeable circumstances, he delays his final exams and sets out early on his Grand Tour. However, when his ship wrecks off the coast of the Leeward Islands, Bradlee is left without means to return to England, a mounting deadline, and ruined journals.

When Hannah rescues passengers from a ship breaking apart in the bay, she’s unexpectedly drawn to the witty charm of one of the men. Helping him settle into island life will be a pleasure. However, as creditors, like sharks, begin to circle and her guardian’s desperation becomes life-threatening, Hannah finds herself in need of rescue. Will Bradlee look past her pitiful situation to see who she truly is—the sugar baron’s daughter?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Off the Coast of Nevis, Leeward Islands, March 1829
If he lost his journal, he lost his future. Bradlee Miles Granville’s hand grasped thin air as the leather-bound book slipped from his fingers. His writings were his only chance to prove he wasn’t an irresponsible disgrace to his family name. The journal landed with a thud and skidded across the weathered floorboards, dangerously close to the spilt tankard of ale. Bradlee’s shoulder slammed against the ship’s rail. He winced. The hull emitted a groan followed by the crack of splintering wood. The eerie sounds raised the hair on the back of his neck and tingled his scalp, distracting him from the pain.

“Zounds!” Colin Fitzroy pushed himself up from off the deck and frowned at the black stripe from the contents of Bradlee’s inkwell, now staining his white muslin shirt. Whether his impeccably groomed Gand Tour companion and valet swore due to the ship hitting bottom or over his ruined shirt was still to be determined.
The scraping of the ship’s bottom as it ground against what must have been a coral reef held the same pitch as fingernails down slate and continued for almost a full minute. The stench of ale and rum wafted under his nose, blending with the briny air. Inebriated sailors cursed as the contents of their tankards puddled about their feet. The billowing white sails deflated, and the familiar whistling of the wind ceased along with any forward progression.

The ship could merely be stranded on a reef, or it could be capsizing.

Blood surged through Bradlee’s veins, quickening his pulse. He hooked Colin under his arm, dragging him to a stand.

Colin’s eyes widened. “The ship didn’t just… Please tell me…” He raked a hand through his windblown hair and groaned.

Nice way to leave us wondering. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Lorri, for sharing this new book with my blog readers and me. I’m eager to see where the story takes us.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (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.

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Melanie Backus said...

I am intrigued and would love to read this book. Melanie Backus, TX

MJSH said...

I’ve heard a lot about this book recently. Thanks for the opportunity.
Mindy from NJ

Diana Flowers said...

I have read & very much enjoyed the 1st book in this series, plan on reading the 2nd book when I finish a book I'm scurrying thru for review purposes (releases on the 7th-eek!), and would love The Sugar Baron's Ring to complete my set! Love Lorri's books!!

Diana in SC

Lucy Reynolds said...

Beautiful cover and sounds wonderful. Would love to read. Happy Independence Day! Blessings from WV.

Alison Boss said...

Thank you for the fun interview, Lorri and Lena! I always enjoy learning more about an author and their writing journey. The Sugar Baron's Ring sounds so intriguing! I have the first book in this series and am excited to read the next two books! Thank you for the chance to win a copy of The Sugar Baron's Ring!!! :)

Alison from MI

Lorri Dudley said...

Yay Melanie. I'm so glad you're intrigued.

Lorri Dudley said...

Mindy, I'm so glad to hear the word is spreading, and I'm happy to have a following in NJ. I graduated from U of DE and my roommate and half of my graduating class was from NJ so I have a special heart for everyone in the Garden State.

Lorri Dudley said...

Diana, Thank you for being my Facebook buddy and for all the promotion you've done for my books. Happy reading!

Lorri Dudley said...

Lucy, Happy Independence day to you too! I'm so glad you like the cover. Thank you for reading my interview.

Lorri Dudley said...

Alison, I hope you enjoyed "The Duke's Refuge." I'm so glad you're back for more of the series. I didn't know you were from MI. I assumed from your email address you were from NJ. My hubby lived in MI for a while. I think he moved to New England for warmer weather. Blessings!

Nancy Payette said...

Lovely cover FL

Lorri Dudley said...

Thank you, Nancy.

Elly said...

Been looking forward to this one!
Elly -Indiana-

Caryl Kane said...

This series sounds like a must read!

Caryl K in TEXAS

Connie Porter Saunders said...

This sounds wonderful!
Connie from Kentucky

Lorri Dudley said...

Elly - I'm so glad you've been looking forward to the book's release. Happy reading!

Lorri Dudley said...

Caryl, if you like romance, tropical islands, and happily-ever-afters then I think you will enjoy the series. Thank you for reading the interview.

Lorri Dudley said...

Connie - I'm glad you think "The Sugar Baron's Ring" sounds wonderful. It makes for a great summer get-a-way read. Enjoy!


Sounds like a wonderful book Sarah from Ohio

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Patty said...

Not sure if I’m too late to enter this giveaway, but I would love to win a copy. I enjoyed the first book in the series very much.

Patty in SC