Saturday, April 14, 2018

SLB Blog Tour: A Place Called New Hope

Hello Reader Friends! I was excited to sign up to be a part of the blog tour for A Place Called New Hope! Sadly, life happened and I spaced posting on my assigned day (So, so sorry!!). This may be a little late, but I still wanted to spotlight this fun new book.

About the Book

Genre:  Historical, Regency, Romance, Suspense
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Publication date: March 13, 2018
The Blurb: “Prompted by her mysterious origins, young English heiress Letty Leighton seeks to establish a Utopian community called New Hope. To do this, however, Letty must marry African explorer Patrick Marlowe, an unconventional man who proves as hard to control as the residents of New Hope. Together they must confront an unknown enemy seeking to destroy both of their dreams. This inspirational romance novel belongs on the bookshelf next to books by Anita Stansfield, and Julianne Donaldson.”
About the Author

The daughter of a foreign-service officer, Catherine McGreevy attended international schools in France, Spain, and Morocco. During her time abroad she learned to appreciate other cultures as well as the ideals that make America special. A true book-worm, she dreamed seeing her own novels on a shelf next to those of her favorite writers, including Mary Stewart and Elizabeth Peters.
After majoring in Communications (Journalism) with a minor in English at Brigham Young University, she later earned her Secondary Education Teaching Credential at Cal State Fullerton, and taught high-school and middle-school English before moving to Northern California.
A history buff, Catherine lives in Northern California’s gold country, where she has been known to don a bonnet and petticoats to re-enact the past with the Sierra Nevada Mormon Pioneers, appearing in parades and at Sutter’s Fort and the Gold Discovery site in Coloma.
Her first historical novel, Chance’s Bluff, was released by Cedar Fort Publishing in January, 2018. A Place Called New Hope follows in March.

10 Behind the Scenes Facts about the Book

1. Letty is my younger, more idealistic self, when I too thought something should be “done” to cure the ills of the world, and naively believed that the darker side of human nature could be easily curtailed by good intentions.
2. The setting, Victorian England, was inspired by my love of gothic novels growing up. I devoured them like popcorn. Most of those stories were set in England, with a lovely young heroine living in a moldering old manor house, threatened by some male villain. I always wanted to write one of those books myself.
3. Researching Utopian communities for this story showed me that the roots of this movement were much more widespread than I’d expected. The Victorian era was much less stodgy and restrictive than it has been unfairly reported to be. Many currents of imaginative and idealistic thinking flourished during this time although utopians, such as Letty, certainly experienced push-back and persecution.
4. What I saw and learned during several visits to England over the years appears in this novel. For example, the gaol in which young Simon finds himself is modeled after an old prison in York, and I strolled through plenty of beautiful old manor houses like Blackgrave Manor.
5. When I began my writing career, everyone said that “series” were popular with readers, but I had always envisioned each of my stories as stand-alone tales. It occurred to me that using the same setting and families for each novel would make them a sort of series. If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that Blackgrave Manor and members of the Marlowe family show up in several of my historical novels.
6. Related to #5: If you’ve read “A Gardener’s Tale,” you may guess correctly that Patrick Marlowe is the grandson of Jonathan Marlowe, and Henry is the son of Lemley, the old gardener.
7. Unlike many writers in this genre, I prefer my main characters to be commoners. This is probably because my ancestors, many of whom came from Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall) were all ordinary, hard-working people. As a patriotic American, raised by a diplomat who endorsed the ideals that make the United States unique, I embrace the notion that all men are created equal. This idea, juxtaposed against the strict class system of Victorian England, lends itself to interesting conflicts.
8. The exploration of Africa during this period was just beginning. People in Europe had never seen animals such as gorillas before, and at first refused to believe they existed. Researching this part of the story was fascinating!
9. Patrick Marlowe is partly modeled on Sir. Richard Francis Burton, an amazingly accomplished man who was one of the first explorers of Africa.
10. Originally, this story had an important subplot involving the discovery of a diamond mine in Africa. I took it out to focus more on Letty’s struggles to make New Hope succeed.

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