Friday, February 26, 2016

Author Interview: Julianna Deering

 HUZZAH! I had the opportunity to chat with the amazing Julianna Deering about the most recent mystery in her super popular, amazing Drew Farthering series: Dressed for Death 

1.) You previously wrote Medieval romances. What jump-started the idea of Drew and your pursuit of finding him a publishing home?

I have for years (and years and years and years) loved Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers and Margery Allingham. And the BBC series that are (mostly) faithful to their books just added fuel to the fire. After I wrote my medieval series (The Chastelayne Trilogy), I let life get in the way for a while and didn’t write at all. When I was ready to go at it again, I so much wanted to try my hand at my own mystery series. Of course, being the Anglophile I am, my amateur sleuth had to be a wealthy, stylish and witty young Englishman.

And who could I pair him with better than an equally wealthy, stylish and witty American girl? Even before my discovery of Agatha Christie, I enjoyed William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles, the fashionable sleuthing couple from The Thin Man. There’s more than a little of them in Drew and Madeline. And I love including the subtle differences between British and American English in their dialogue.

I wasn’t sure if the manuscript for the first book in the series would ever find a publisher, but my agent loved it and was determined to sell it. It’s mostly due to her determination that Drew and Madeline ever made it to the bookstore shelf.

2.) Drew’s covers are amazing! Everyone knows and loves them. They’re especially revolutionary in the CBA: where live cover models are often used. Did you have any input on the design or is this the genius of Bethany ?

Bethany House was great about asking for my input on the covers. I love the style of them. It’s so very 1930s! But, besides a mention of this style early in the process, I didn’t come up with the idea at all. Bethany House brilliantly selected Faceout Studio and illustrator John Mattos to do the covers. In fact, my favorite one so far, Murder at the Mikado, won the 2014 ECPA Top Shelf award, the only novel on their list that year. I was so proud for them!

3.) You are such a prolific historical writer! Is there an era of history you would like to fictionally explore in the future?

Oh, man, nearly all of them! Right now, I’m leaning a little bit toward Regency or Gothic romance. I haven’t really written romance since my Chastelayne days, and I miss it. Being a big fan of Georgette Heyer (especially the audiobooks read by Richard Armitage (swoon!)), I’d love to give Regency a try. And I tend to want to make angsty heroes with tragic pasts have a happy ending, so Gothic seems a perfect fit, too. I think I want to do everything.

4.) I assume you are quite comfortable with Drew’s period now, having four books published that well-establish his historic world. Did any particular fun facts jump out at you when you were preparing to write Dressed for Death?
I always learn new things with every book. This time I learned a lot about what was eaten and worn and played during the Regency period, because the host of the party Drew and Madeline attend is very strict about not allowing anything modern. I also had to research the effects of an overdose of cocaine and how it might occur. That wasn’t nearly as fun, but it was necessary.

5.) The Mikado was a favourite of many and here we are with a Regency flavour! Beau Brummel, move over! What inspired you to add some Regency to Drew’s world?

I like to have a literary inspiration for each of Drew’s adventures. For Mikado, it was obviously Gilbert and Sullivan. For Dressed for Death, it’s the works of Jane Austen. Since Drew and Madeline are great readers, it’s very natural to have them quote a line or two from a favorite book that applies to whatever case they’re investigating. Plus, come on, Drew in Regency kit? I mean!

6.) Can you give us a hint as to where we might find Drew and Madeline next?

I’m just doing edits on Book Five, Murder on the Moor. This one is inspired by the Brontes with a touch of The Hound of the Baskervilles thrown in for good measure. Drew and Madeline go up to Yorkshire to investigate the murder of the local vicar and other strange happenings on the moor. I have a special fondness for this one because the rakish gamekeeper who may or may not be involved in the goings on just happens to look amazingly like Aidan Turner.

7.) I have such a crush on Drew! Who would play him in the BBC series ?

That’s a tough one for me, because I have this idea of what he looks like that isn’t anyone else. I certainly wouldn’t say no to Orlando Bloom or Richard Armitage in their younger days.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Post-Deadline films! books! theatre!

Catch up time!  I drowned under my Lesson in Love and Murder deadline; but I am finally coming up for air and seeing friends and doing things and reading and such!

I love Agent' Carter's Agent sousa 
Kinky Boots:

This is the most joyous show of all the shows. It really is amazing. I first saw it with my friend Melanie just after Christmas and my friend Krista was visiting from Halifax this past week for work so we went on a two for one deal .

Agent Carter:

I haven’t had a ton of television watching time these past months because I was on deadline for Lesson in Love and Murder and writing Of Dubious and Questionable Memory. So, when I wasn’t at my real job, I was writing. So much writing.

I did however, manage to work my way through the first season of Agent Carter and then just caught up on the second. I love Jarvis. And Sousa. And Peggy. I love that it is a super feminist show and I love that a core friendship is a platonic one between a man and a woman .


Reviewed this for our Breakpoint friends

Hail, Caesar: hilarious spoof of the technicolour big budget films ( read: Ben Hur) of the 1950s. Amazing celebrity cameos and carried by Josh Brolin who plays a Hollywood “fixer.” Lots of sly, tongue-in-cheek nods to classic Hollywood scandals.

Deluge by Lisa T Bergren: This ends the River of Time sequence in a heart-breaking, gorgeously evocative way . Lots of romance, birth and death as sisters Lia and Gabriella finally find temporary happiness with their super-hot Italian nobles. I just love typing Marcello. Bergren is an expert of historical verisimilitude and my brain hurts thinking about the amount of research that went into the creation of her world. The plague is explored in a gritty, grotesque and realistic way: as an enemy force that sparks battle and divide.

The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance
is a potty-mouthed chicklit treat that I read in one sitting. With a truly marvelous heroine who ends up living with her grandmother: once a writer of those etiquette guides of the 60s. A classic makeover story with a surprise love twist. I truly didn’t know who she would end up with.

Dressed for Death: Julianna Deering

Deering does it again! I mean, the only thing better than a Drew Farthering book? : A DREW FARTHERING BOOK with a Regency flair!

I love the cozy, throw-back world with large, rambling estates and an Agatha Christie meets Dorothy L Sayers timbre.

I also really appreciate the development between Drew and the other characters populating his life: especially Madeline.

A smart, classy, high read with the manners of Downton with the clever turn of a Conan Doyle yarn.

Long live Drew!

(and these super awesome covers! )

The Darkness Knows
by Cheryl Honigford

First off, Honigford builds an effortlessly beautiful historical world: from the bridges criss-crossing the river to the broad, lit billboards, to the ins and outs of radio: the airwaves ruled the entertainment of the day and Viv's world is very much coloured within a studio!

This had a light, cozy feel to it: written with the tang of 1930's slang and the raucous optimism and fun of pre-War America. I loved that she never talked down to the reader: assuming that any little idioms, slang or personages of the time would be recognized by the reader. It helped create the sense that you were dropped right into Vivian and Charlie's world.

I also really liked the believable banter, chemistry and romantic hints between Charlie and Vivian (even though there's an Errol Flynn/Robert Taylor lookalike named Graham smooth-talking his way around the edges). Charlie is an ace private eye with a heart and an Archie Goodwin sense of humour that made me want to spirit him off for a night at the Flamingo Club.

An easy book to sink into with a great, winking sense of humour, a glistening old school Chicago of lights and liquor and fun and a hard-to-guess murder mystery.

I am EAGER to follow Viv and Charlie on their next adventure

Sawbones Melissa Lenhardt

I really love stories about women who step out expectations and make careers for themselves in a man's world.

The historical and medical research that went into this tale was impressive---as was the bold and inspiring heroine.

I completely different kind of historical, undercut with the visceral realities of a time and profession 

[ with the exception of Deluge, books provided by Netgalley on behalf of the publishers ]

Thursday, February 18, 2016

All Things Jem and Merinda

In less than 2 weeks, The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder  will release in all e-book forms.  After that, your local bookstores and print orders will trickle in! I super want to encourage you to think about the print book though because the interior design is amazing

a snapshot of the interior of Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder 

I wanted to use my blog space to kinda go all out Jem and Merinda and Jasper and Ray today.

I am kinda euphoric because I just turned in A Lesson in Love and Murder to my editor. I don't want to count my chickens, but it might turn out to be my favourite of the series. I really love it.  The girls go to Chicago and get wrapped up in all sorts of mystery and mayhem ---and anarchist bombs!  Theodore Roosevelt and Emma Goldman are our real life historical personages. And, Merinda finds herself in the midst of a bit of a love triangle when Benny Citrone of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police shows up ( much to Jasper Forth's chagrin).  Merinda, of course doesn't  do love triangles, so you'll have to check out how she reacts.
Also, I got to set some amazing scenes in some of my personal favourite buildings in Chicago.

a lot of ARC readers are talking about the Elgin and Winter Garden theatre which plays a HUGE part in the first book !

I am also beginning work on edits for Of Dubious and Questionable Memory: a novella sized adventure releasing on June 1.   In this exciting story, Jem and Merinda are lured State-side and to a mystery involving Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House.    

I visited Concord and Orchard House a few times last year for research <3

Finally, I have been so stoked that early readers have been reading and sharing the book.   The Goodreads giveaway is still running and you can go there to enter but also to read some early buzz! (see the widget on the side of my blog to enter directly)

Here are are just some early reviews:

Books for What 

The Well-Read Pirate Queen 

Relz Reviewz

Mikal Dawn  

The Green Mockingbird ( review AND interview)



So where do you want to order your Jem and Merinda?

Barnes and Noble 

Chapters Indigo 


Books A Million 



Also you can find it on iBOOKS but I cannot find the link---so search!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Cover Reveal: A Lady Unrivalled

Series Info

The Ladies of the Manor Series take readers back in time to Edwardian England, when automobiles and electric lights were all the rage, but the old way of life still ruling the land. Lords and ladies, maids and valets…and in this case, a dose of danger and mystery to take them all on their journey to love.

From Booklist on The Reluctant Duchess

"With the momentum and drama of a modern thriller and the charm and intrigue of an Edwardian upper-class romance, White balances hearty helpings of names, ranks, and family history with highly entertaining situations and plenty of humor."

White Is Quickly Becoming the Top Name in Edwardian Romance

Lady Ella Myerston can always find a reason to smile--even if it's just in hope that tomorrow will be better than today. All her life everyone has tried to protect her from the realities of the world, but Ella knows very well the danger that has haunted her brother and their friend, and she won't wait for it to strike again. She intends to take action . . . and if that happens to involve an adventurous trip to the Cotswolds, then so much the better.

Lord Cayton has already broken two hearts, including that of his first wife, who died before he could convince himself to love her. Now he's determined to live a better life. But that proves complicated when old friends arrive on the scene and try to threaten him into a life of crime. He does his best to remove the intriguing Lady Ella from danger, but the stubborn girl won't budge. How else can he redeem himself, though, but by saving her--and his daughter--from those dangerous people who seem ready to destroy them all?


Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna’s novels range from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. She lives with her family in West Virginia. Learn more at

Links for A Lady Unrivaled