March 30, 2012
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by JoAnn Spears
“Six of One” is the ultimate ‘girls’ night in’…with the six wives of Henry VIII. It’s the most fun you can have with your nightdress on! Join Dolly, the funny, Tudor-obsessed heroine of “Six of One”, on a Yellow Brick Road journey to the alternate reality of an all-girl Tudor court.
It all begins when Dolly loses consciousness on the eve of her marriage to the six-times- divorced Harry. She awakens in the company of the Tudor women she’s studied all her life. They have a mission to accomplish, and Dolly may be just the girl who can help them do it.
As a warm-up to her life-changing interview with the six wives of Henry VIII, Dolly gets to dish with lots of the other fascinating females of the Tudor era. She learns things she never guessed about the Princes in the Tower from their sister, Elizabeth of York…Henry VIII’s mom. She talks sex with Henry’s sisters and scholarship with his daughters. She even gossips with the help, since Kat Ashley and Bess of Hardwicke are among the ladies on hand.
Of course the heart of the story is in Dolly’s interview with the six wives of Henry VIII. It turns out there’s something to each of the wives’ stories that’s been held back all this time. You won’t believe what really happened…or will you?
“Six of One” offers no tragedy, no excuses, and no apologies. It does have lots of broad humor, not to mention tons of puns. And—for a change—a happy ending.
JoAnn Spears spent a lot of time trying to figure out whether she wanted to major in English or History in college. Life stepped in, and she wound up with a Master’s Degree in Nursing instead. A twenty-five year nursing career didn’t extinguish that early interest in books and history. It did however stoke a decidedly gallows sense of humor.
The story of the six wives of Henry VIII was JoAnn’s favorite piece of history. She read the classic variations and the feminist variations, the tragic spins and the vindicating spins. She witnessed the success of the pop culture, soft-core Tudor offerings of recent vintage. It occurred to her that the one thing that hadn’t been brought to a full length novel about the Tudors was a gallows sense of humor. The Tudors certainly qualified for it, and JoAnn had plenty to spare.
The first ‘real’ book JoAnn ever read was “The Wizard of Oz”. She returned to the Yellow Brick Road for inspiration for a new kind of Tudor novel, and “Six of One” was born.
“Six of One” was begun in JoAnn’s native New Jersey. It was wrapped up in her new Smoky Mountain home in northeast Tennessee, where she is pursuing a second career as a writer. She has, however, obtained a Tennessee nursing license because a) you never stop being a nurse and b) her son Bill thinks she should be sensible and not quit her day job.
While “Six of One” is a different kind of historical novel, JoAnn is a downright stereotypical lady author. She admits to all of the cats, flower beds, needlework, and obsessive devotion to Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott that you’d expect.
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by Barbra Annino
by Cher Carson
A fierce competitor, Brooklyn has never been one to back down from a challenge, but who will come out on top in this power struggle?
by Cheryl Kaye Tardif
by Elizabeth McKenna
by Braden McElroy
Luna couldn’t stand it anymore, so she escaped Grandfather’s house and sought refuge in the backyard. And that’s where she discovered the mysterious hedge-fence gate…
Step with Luna into Spirithaven, a place between places where vibrant emotions become colorful traveling companions, memories are carefully sculpted–and fears grow into daring realities. There, a dreadful gnome strives to fashion Luna’s unhappiest moods into a prison, but several extraordinary (or at least extraordinarily peculiar) new friends reveal that such places can often be reshaped with perspective. Sometimes the gloomy, lonely place is truly…
…the shadow in the garden.
by Victoria Landis
It’s an idyllic day on Oahu until Bess Blinke interrupts a bizarre robbery that ends in homicide. In the following days, she discovers terrible secrets tied to the crime, and her world unravels. When the killer realizes the depth of what she knows and comes after her, she runs, hides, and plots to reveal the truth and expose the brutal force behind several murders.
Lauded for its authentic grasp of the ‘local’ Hawaiian culture, Blinke It Away takes the reader into the everyday bustle of ordinary life in Hawaii and shows the reality far from the staging presented to tourists.
by Kathleen Shoop
Katherine wouldn’t have believed it if she hadn’t found the letter…
Katherine Arthur’s mother arrives on her doorstep, dying, forcing her to relive a past she wanted to forget. When Katherine was young, the Arthur family had been affluent city dwellers until shame sent them running for the prairie, into the unknown. Taking her family, including young Katherine, to live off the land was the last thing Jeanie Arthur had wanted, but she would do her best to make a go of it. For Jeanie’s husband Frank it had been a world of opportunity. Dreaming, lazy Frank. But, it was a society of uncertainty—a domain of natural disasters, temptation, hatred, even death.
Ten-year-old Katherine had loved her mother fiercely, put her trust in her completely, but when there was no other choice, and Jeanie resorted to extreme measures on the prairie to save her family, she tore Katherine’s world apart. Now, seventeen years later, and far from the homestead, Katherine has found the truth – she has discovered the last letter. After years of anger, can Katherine find it in her heart to understand why her mother made the decisions that changed them all? Can she forgive and finally begin to heal before it’s too late?
Independent Publisher Awards:
USA “Best Books 2011″ Awards:
National Indie Excellence Book Awards:
International Book Awards:
Thank you for reading about me here and for purchasing my novel! I’m married with two children. I’ve been seriously writing for almost a decade although I dabbled much earlier than that! I’ve had short stories published in four Chicken Soup for the Soul books, am a regular contributor to a local magazine, Pittsburgh Parent, and have had essays in local newspapers as well.
I have a PhD in Reading Education and currently work as a Language Arts Coach at a school in Pittsburgh. I work with teachers and their students in grades k-8 and am lucky to learn something new from them every time I walk through their doors.
My first novel, The Last Letter (2011 IPPY Gold Medal–Regional Fiction, Midwest, 2011 Indie Excellence Finalist Award for Historical Fiction and Regional Fiction, 2011 International Book Awards Finalist for Historical Fiction and Best New Fiction), was a fascinating trip through history, punctuated with fictional characters and events. The idea for the story grew from my great-great grandmother’s letters (see My Dear Frank for the complete set of letters!) written during the year of her engagement to Frank Arthur. The beautiful letters are the inspiration for the novel, the seed from which The Last Letter’s characters and their voices grew.
I’ve also written women’s fiction (COMING SOON!) and have written another historical fiction novel (COMING A LITTLE LATER!) set in 1948 in a town not far from Oakmont, PA.
I’m considering revisiting my characters and setting of The Last Letter for a future book, but I hope readers will enjoy the fact I write about varied eras and places and that they will love each book for it’s unique setting and time.
(This is a sponsored post.)
Where Secrets Lie is an exploration of one family’s reliance on secrets, how those secrets affect their relationships and alter the directions their lives take, and where those secrets all began.
Sara is the older of two sisters. Her marriage is in trouble, and she only has herself to blame. Everyday Sara takes a birth control pill even though she and her husband, David, are trying to have a baby. When David finds the pills and confronts her with them, Sara must face her own unresolved guilt about a pregnancy David knows nothing about.
Katie is Sara’s younger sister. Her girlfriend, Emily, is tired of pretending they are just roommates whenever they are around Katie’s parents. After all, they are candid about living together as a couple with everyone else. Enough is enough. Problem is, Katie cannot muster up enough courage to defy her mother’s behavioral boundaries. That is, at least, not openly.
Sara and Katie’s mother, Lee, spends her life deploying secrets in order to protect her loved ones not only from difficult truths, but also from the prejudices they elicit. In spite of the torment her own secret laden past causes her, Lee raises her daughters to repress inconvenient truths.
Set in Colorado, Where Secrets Lie shifts between the unique foothills community of Boulder, the mile high city of Denver, and the majestic Rocky Mountains as it moves from the sisters’ stories to their mother’s story weaving them all together and merging each woman’s past with her present circumstances.
From the Author:
My next novel, Whoever You Are, is a stand alone story, but it features the main characters from Where Secrets Lie and provides insights into how their lives progress.
From the reviewers:
Where Secrets Lie is a quick read. I began it yesterday and finished it today. The quality of the writing and story-telling is solid. Most of the secrets I was able to quickly guess before they were explicitly stated (though one completely surprised me). That is acceptable, as this book is not a mystery. Although the story is compelling, the most valuable aspect of the book is the development of the characters. For a novella, it was well done and in a few short pages, I felt I knew and understood the characters well enough for the scope of the story. – William C. Sain
This was a well written story about the secrets that are within a family. Nicely written! — A. Harris
This books is very well written and moves you easily from past to present once you realize that is the intent of the author. The characters are well-thought-out and true-to-life and the story keeps you interested from the beginning. While the ending may seem a bit abrupt, this book is definitely a worthwhile read. I enjoyed reading this novel and look forward to more books by Donna Marie Lanheady. – Dee’s Reading Room
Visit Amazon’s Donna Marie Lanheady Page
My next novel, WHOEVER YOU ARE, is a stand alone story, but it features the main characters from WHERE SECRETS LIE and provides insights into how their lives progress.
To learn more about me, find me on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.
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