Sunday, October 18, 2009

New novel coming out:The View from Rampart Street

Hi, Friends and Readers,
I'm happy to say that I will be having a new hard-cover novel on the bookshelves at Barnes and noble and other retail outlets, as well as and several other online venues by the end of December or the beginning of January. At this point, I am waiting for the Proof Book, which will be identical to the real book except no cover. I am to read through it for the final time and tell my publisher, Eloquent Books, if there are any errors. When I return it to them, it will only be 60 days before the book is on the bookshelves.It is called THE VIEW FROM RAMPART STREET, and it is a historical romance set in New Orleans in the 1840s. My heroine is one of many beautiful young Quadroon girls who are trained all their lives to be placees, permanent concubines to wealthy white Creole gentlemen. In return for their favors, they are given a house, generally on Rampart Street, furniture, and a life of luxury. But she detests placage and wishesto be an actress and live a moral life. She falls in love with a young Creole who also thinks she should marry. Her father has other plans for her, and the hero must save her from placage, first by fighting a life-threatening battle, then by pursuing her across the continent. If you liked NIGHT JASMINE, you'll love THE VIEW FROM RAMPART STREET. Love, Mary Lou

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Announcing a new coming novel

Hi Friends and Readers,
I am delighted to announce a contract for a new historical romance, entitled The View from Rampart Street, set in New Orleans in the 1840s. I have just signed with Strategic Book Publishers for a hard cover novel which will be released about Jan, 2010. It is a story of a beautiful young Quadroon who has been raised all her life to be a mistress to a wealthy white Creole, usually a planter from nearby Jefferson City (today the Lower Garden District). It was a system respected by rich and poor, black and white, and although the Church did not condone it, it turned its head, so long as the placee, the mistress, was loyal to her patron (her protector). It began with a contract signed by the mother of the placee and the patron. In return for her favors, the young woman was given a house, usually on Rampart Street, as well as furnishings, servants, a rig, and beautiful clothes. But Mariette rebels against the system as demeaning, preferring to try her luck as an actress on the stage. Against her will, she attends the Quadroon Ball, where she meets handsome young Philippe, who agrees that she should not be a placee but the wife of a Creole. His determination to make this happen is an uphill battle and Mariette's unwavering love for him brings the story, after many pitfalls, to a happy ending.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Looking forward to writing in 2009

Hi, Friend and Readers,
When a year ends, rather than look back on opportunites missed and writings not published, I try to look forward, although I am no longer young, to new possibilities for publication. I have a short story due to be published in the first edition of a new magazine, New Love Stories Magazine, probably in January of 2009. Also, I have a manuscript of a historical romance with Kensington Publishers, waiting to be judged. Then, there are always new ideas and new possibilities, as long as one has a clear mind, the desire to write, and a computer. December is the be-all month for me. My birthday, Christmas, of course, with its parties and family visits, and my anniversary. After that, all the excitement has gone out of the year, and I can hibernate, which is good. It's the perfect time for writing...and reading, which is my passion. I have an old novel I want to revise. It is 300 pages--a romantic historical--but it needs to be 400 pages. There are many details that need telling and scenes that need plumping up, with more action and dialogue, scenes that are both haunting and exciting, and I really want to get started, but somehow the task seems daunting, and I keep putting it off "till the new year." I think I may be afraid to mess up what I think is already a good thing. I know that once I'm into it, I will get up in the morning eager to work, but that first cold splash is scary. Do any of you other writers feel that way? I'm anxious to hear. Please reply.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hi Friends and Readers,
It's been a long while since I've entered a blog. For a while I was working on a novel and that took all my writing time. Then my hussband was ill and I had to focus on him. But I have a quiet moment now and I wanted to share some good news with you. I have sold a short story for the first time in my 25 years of writing. That seems like an insignificant thing, but I have discovered over the years that there is almost no market for short stories. I have had twelve books published and at least that many articles but when it comes to short stories, publishers find they don't do well selling books of short stories unless the author is world-wide known, like Rosamunde Pilcher. Even Pelican Publishing Company, who published seven of my books, didn't want to see my box full of short stories that I have written over the years. Then one day, in our monthly newsletter of South Louisiana (SOLA) Romance Writers, in the Market News section, I saw that a new magazine, New Love Stories Magazine, was looking for short romances (2000-4000 words). So I dug in my box and polished one up and sent it in by email. That was six months ago. I had forgotten all about it. Then two days ago, I received a contract in the mail asking to buy my story for a pretty nice piece of change. I could not have been more thrilled. This might possibly be opening up a whole new field to me. And even if not, I'll have the satisfaction of seeing it in print. Just wanted to share this with you. The issue with my story will probably be released around December, 2008 and the name of the story is Friends and Lovers. So long for now. Mary Lou

Monday, February 18, 2008

Changing Styles

Every morning in the 1930s, my mother put on her stockings as she got out of bed, securing them with roll garters. Next came her leather shoes with Cuban heels and string ties. And so she was shod till bedtime. Mother was, like most ladies at the time, a stay-at-home mom. She wore calf-length dresses with a collar and long or elbow-length sleeves, and when she got to the kitchen to fix breakfast, she put on a full length apron, which also became part of her daytime ensemble. She had long hair, knotted at the back of the neck until I was about five years old when she defied my father and had it cut very daringly in a short straight style--longer on the sides than in the back--very much like young women wear today. I sometimes think of her discomfort when I slip into my slides (sans stockings), pull on a pair of shorts or Capri pants and a sleeveless top and begin my day. Forget the apron; I don't even own one.
Yet everything old is new again. Capri pants have come and gone in style at least twice in my lifetime. Short, straight hairdoes were popular in the 1920s, again in the 1950s, and today, as they say, anything goes. Ladies would not have thought of wearing long pants for daytime casual garb in the 1930s unless they were Jean Harlow or Kathryn Hepburn. But at least they were out of stays by then, and their feet didn't hurt at night. And if they were warm with no AC or window fans, they sat on the porch with a big palmetto fan and passed the time of day with neighbors.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Reading Old Favorites

Hi, Friends and Readers,
Do you ever go back and re-read novels that were your favorites years ago. I do. There is a reason why those plots are so treasured in your memory, and it is amazing how many details you have forgotten in those stories. Not the main story line, of course, but the ambience of the period, the dialogue that reflected the protagonist's character, and the minor characters that added so much to the mix. Before the hurricane, I had dozens of hard cover books by my favorite authors --John Grisham, Rosamunde Pilcher, and Richard Paul Evans, who wrote stories that touched your heart. I lost the books that were downstairs in my townhouse in the flood, and I had to give away--it breaks my heart to say it--many books I had no room for in the tiny apartment we rented in Kenner for a year after Katrina. Later, I bought many of those old books at Paperback Palace in Kenner and read them again, because I can no more go without good reading than I can go without food and water. If you have some golden oldies like this, go back and read them again. Give yourself a treat. I'm presently re-reading King's Row, one of my all-time favorite stories. Good luck and good reading!