Tea And Scones With Katherine Longshore

unnamed (3)March 28th, MB14 was thrilled to welcome Katherine Longshore, author of the historical fiction novels GiltTarnish, and most recently, Manor of Secrets. Set in the early 1900s, Manor of Secrets tells the story of Charlotte Edmonds and Janie Seward, two girls who, despite living under the same roof, dwell in entirely different worlds. Charlotte is wealthy but powerless, longing for a life of freedom while Janie is lowborn and practical, dreaming of a better life. The story follows Charlotte and Janie as their two lives are pulled closer together, carrying all complications and rules in tow, threatening an inevitable collision between their upstairs and downstairs lives (for more information, check out MB14’s review of Manor of Secrets). In honor of Manor‘s release we enjoyed an evening of tea and scones, completed by a discussion with Katherine Longshore.

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First, we asked Katherine to talk a little bit about her experience writing historical fiction. She described writing historical fiction as a combination of unnamed (5)world-building and time traveling — that historical time periods are the ultimate secondary worlds. Manor of Secrets was brought about thanks to a demand for a Downtown Abbey-esque young adult novel, requiring extensive research to build Janie and Charlotte’s intricate world. The inspiration for the manor came from an old house near where Katherine used to live in England. Currently in ruins and completely overgrown, at one point it would have been nothing short of pristine, with perfectly manicured and cultivated grounds and an absolute order and hierarchy that governed every aspect of manor life.

We then asked Katherine to discuss her path to publishing — how she went from writer to publishedunnamed (2) author. Her story began when she was working at a preschool and had an idea for a picture book about Henry VIII. That picture book idea turned into a children’s novel, then middle grade, and eventually became Gilt, a book she was expecting to be a stand-alone but turned into a series of three (don’t miss Brazen, coming soon). She also mentioned that Manor of Secrets, while currently a stand-alone, allows for the possibility of a sequel, and she may later return to Janie and Charlotte’s stories. And here’s a fun fact — if you check out the front and back of Manor of Secrets, you’ll see that it’s the same model for both Charlotte and Janie!

unnamed (1)The evening wound to a close with some casual conversation and signed copies and final bites of scones. All in all, we are so grateful to Katherine Longshore for taking the time to stop by and sit down with us, to answer all of our questions (if she could choose one book to become a movie, it would be Brazen) and sharing her insights and for the wonderful conversation. Hopefully we’ll see Katherine again soon, and in the meantime, don’t miss out on reading Manor of Secrets.

Click here to order Gilt, Tarnish, Manor of Secrets, and Brazen.


Sitting Down With Sarah Mlynowski

March 17, MB14 and Book Passage was thrilled to welcome Sarah Mlynowski, author of the Magic in Manhattan and Whatever After series, as well as Gimme a Call, Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have), and Milkrun, to name a few. Check out MB14 member Kayla’s conversation with Sarah as they discuss her writing process, path to publishing, and her latest book Don’t Even Think About It — a new YA novel that follows a high school class after they receive flu shots that come with a side effect of ESP.

We were so excited to have Sarah stop by and take the time to answer all our questions, as well as the interesting and insightful conversation. Hopefully we’ll see her again soon, and in the meantime, don’t miss Don’t Even Think About It (which you can conveniently order here from Book Passage).

A Postcard from Marissa Meyer

Today, MB14 received a postcard from Marissa Meyer featuring a location from The Lunar Chronicles. It’s a nice little memento from the Cress book tour — check it out below.






A Visit From Tamara Ireland Stone

February 28th, MB14 was treated to a visit with the author of Time Between Us and Time After Time, Tamara Ireland Stone. The meeting started out like any other, some milling around, some snacking — then settling in for the usual chat, including updates on current reads and brief reviews on said books.

With Tamara at the table, the conversation soon shifted from the customary discussion into talking about Time Between Us and Time After Time, as well as learning more about Tamara’s writing habits, path to publishing, and upcoming projects.

For those unfamiliar, Time Between Us and Time After Time tell the story of Anna and Bennett, two teenagers whose story is separated by seventeen years, only made possible by Bennett’s ability to travel through time (you can also click over here to check out MB14’s review of Time Between Us).

Time Between Us is told from Anna’s perspective, and Time After Time, it’s sequel/companion book, provides additional information and the rest of the story told through Bennett’s point of view.

While chatting with us, Tamara talked about how in writing both books, her primary goal was to examine the choices people make, the consequences of those actions, and how those experiences affect someone’s life, explored through the decisions Anna and Bennett make as they attempt to stay together across a seemingly unconquerable distance.

Tamara also shared with us her experience writing both books, telling us about how Time Between Us was written, really whenever she could grab a spare moment as handwritten snippets and brief scenes written out on the iPhone’s Notepad app.

She also showed us some of the foreign editions of Time Between Us, redesigned with different covers, different blurbs, even a few with slightly varying titles. Some of the various interpretations featured Anna with different hair color, in a variety of dramatic poses — the Italian edition took things one step farther with Anna kissing shirtless-Bennett, hovering several feet off the ground. So that’s an interesting twist.

Afterwards, Tamara spent a little bit of time telling us about her upcoming novel, one that sounds pretty amazing but isn’t due for quite some time  – so we’ll keep an eye out for that.

The evening concluded like it began, with some last minute small talk and milling around while Tamara signed copies of her books. All in all, we were thrilled to have Tamara stop by and take the time to answer all our questions, as well as the interesting and insightful conversation. Hopefully we’ll see Tamara again soon, and in the meantime, can’t wait to find out more about her newest project.

Click here to order Time Between Us and Time After Time