Friday, June 18, 2010

Welcome Guest Blogger Liz Flaherty

Thank you so much for inviting me to contribute to Prairie Chicks—what a great blog! I am thrilled to be here.

Despite an alarming tendency toward prudishness and an inability to drop the f-bomb unless I’m truly, truly ticked off, I am a fairly modern woman. Back in the 60s, I’d have been first in line to burn my bra if anyone had asked me. When Helen Reddy sang, “I am woman, hear me roar,” it was me she was singing to.

Although I liked reading about the 1800s, I never wanted to live then. Those long dress and multi-petticoats wrapping around a woman’s legs no matter what she was doing, not to mention that she did virtually everything only to be told every time she turned around where “her place” was—well, I just wasn’t having any of that, thank you very much.

When, after reading hundreds of romances (sound familiar?) I made the blithe decision that, hey, I could probably do that (sound even more familiar?) it was to contemporary I turned. Three published—and more unpublished ones than I care to talk about—books later, I still love contemporary. Even more than that I love Women’s Fiction. So much I capitalize it when I write the words.

But one day I was at the family farm where my brother and sister-in-law live and I looked at the concrete steps that led down to a flattened area in the hilly lawn. The flat space was where the interurban train that ran between the small towns in the community used to go right through the yard.

And I thought...hmmm….

It would be fun, maybe, to write a story about the building of the interurban. So I went to the library. Many sunlight-deprived hours later, I had a story. I found the germ of it in The 1875 History of Miami County and went on from there. It had nothing to do with the interurban, but I didn’t care. It captured my imagination and my heart and the tips of my typing fingers and before I knew it, Home to Singing Trees was born.

Liam and Sarah’s story is about second chances for two people who richly deserve them. It’s about families and working together and overcoming things you think just can’t be overcome. It will be released by Wild Rose Press on October 15 (it will be in both electronic and print formats, but the date on print is tentative) and I am so excited. Here is a teaser of an excerpt—there should be a graceful way to segue to that, but I haven’t found it yet!

He felt the warmth of her skin through the thin fabric of her shirtwaist, and the scent of roses was even stronger when she was in his arms. Her curly hair tickled his nose, and he brushed it away, allowing his hand to linger on the silky tresses.

She is so soft, and it’s been so long since I’ve felt this kind of softness, or even wanted to.
When she finally drew away, he was reluctant to let her go, sorry for the space she placed between them on the wooden step.

“Is it all right,” he asked, “that I call you Sarah?”

With that question, he felt her withdrawal become not only physical but mental and emotional as well.

“Of course,” she said, her voice colorless. “You are my employer, after all.”

Liam was struck with the abrupt and unsettling realization that being Sarah Mary Williamson’s employer wasn’t enough. He didn’t know what else he could be; even in the wilds of Indiana, employers and servants didn’t marry, and the liaisons they did enjoy were hardly the kind he would ask of Sarah.

Maybe, he speculated, they could be friends. He had other female friends, like Amy Waite, the daughter of Gilead’s most prosperous merchant and the teacher of the lower grades at the school. And there was Sue Anne Klein, who had come to visit her aunt and uncle, the Shoemakers. Only Sue Anne wanted to be more than friends.

He looked at Sarah’s hazy profile in the darkness, at the set of her firm chin and broad shoulders and remembered that she hadn’t felt firm or broad at all in his arms.


It would do.

For starters.

Come visit me at I’ll draw a name from the commenters on this blog and send you a copy of my last book, The Debutante’s Second Chance. Thanks so much for coming by and I wish you happy reading days.


morgan wyatt said...

Good Morning Liz,
I appreciate the hard work that goes into researching an historical and I know yours will be exceptional. Can't wait to read it.:)

M. Carole Wyatt

Liz Flaherty said...

Thanks so much for stopping by, Morgan.

Kristi said...

Hi Liz! Love the excerpt of Home to Singing Trees...Historicals are one of my fave genres (but then, what isn't?!?) but I know I couldn't write one to save my life. I'd get too stuck in the research and never finish!

Christi Barth said...

I would do anything to be able to wear petticoats every day. Love long, full skirts & everything about them. Congrats to you for stretching yourself - you'll be writing a Regency before we know it!

Molly Daniels said...

Congrats Liz:) We never know what the muse has in mind for us, do we?

I too love contemporary and Women's Fiction, but sometimes other genres pop into my head. Unfortunately, I never seem to get anywhere. Wishful thinking...

This sounds wonderful! Wishing you many sales, and I'm with Christi: Any plans to write a Regency anytime soon? LOL:)

D'Ann said...

Hi, Liz!
Good post, and I really enjoyed the excerpt. I can't wait to read the book! I have been toying with the idea of a historical, but the research always stops me.

Margie said...

I can't wait for this to come out. I love the title and the excerpt. Really nice blog.

Janet said...

Welcome to The Prairies, Liz! Great blog - when a story calls what's one to do but write it? And it sounds like a wonderful story (I love the title).

You write in more than one genre - as someone who's very interested in branding and platform, have you found any drawbacks to your multi-genre writing career? Would you advise that a writer focus on one genre (say, historical) until they get established and then branch out? It looks like you began with contemporary and have dipped your toe into historical - do you plan on continuing with both genres in the future?

Thanks again for joining us here - and best of luck with your October release :)

shawn said...

Hey Liz,
The cover is beautiful and I loved your excerpt. Got a question for you. Did you find it hard to write a heroine that, because of the time period, was so unlike you or is there a little of you in the heroine?

carrie said...

Wonderful post Liz....and I agree, the book cover is simply beautiful..I know I'll be buying my own copy in october!


Anita Mae Draper said...

Welcome to the Prairies, Liz. I've been reading and writing historicals since I was a young girl, so I understand your fascination with them even though you seemed to have been dragged into it. :D

Your book sounds very interesting. I'm glad you're visiting us here today.


Karyn Good said...

Thanks for stopping by the Prairies today, Liz.

I enjoyed your excerpt. I admire authors who write historical fiction. I'm quite intimidated by the thought of the research.

Helena said...

Hello Liz,
The excerpt from Home to Singing Trees drew me in, even though not much is revealed. Great impact in such a short passage!

I'll be watching for the announcements in the fall. In the meantime, I read a mix of genres, so would love to read one of your contemporary stories.

So glad you came to tell us about your writing today.

Liz Flaherty said...

Thanks to everyone for stopping today! I walked in Relay for Life after work, then drove home through an extremely dark and scary storm. Made me wonder if storms seemed different to people in those historical days we write about. What? No weather channel?

I've so much enjoyed writing in more than one sub-genre, though the truth is it's probably not a great career move. Since I'm near retirement from my job (January!) I'm able to be in the writing more for the fun than anything else. And I do so enjoy it.

Off to eat my dinner, but will check back in. Thanks again for stopping, and I'll do the drawing later in the weekend!

Liz Flaherty said...

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by! The winner of the copy of THE DEBUTANTE'S SECOND CHANCE is Christi Barth. I hope you enjoy the book.

prashant said...

I'd get too stuck in the research and never finish!
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