It's a great day for a fire. We recently returned from Hershey Pa and enjoyed one nearly every night. Now that the weather is cooler, especially at night we can really savor hanging out and reading or just talking. My guest today let slip that she turned a certain age and now prefers fireplaces to campfires but that's okay. The coziness of a bit of flame knows no boundaries. Tell us about your favorite place to sit. Is it a fireplace, chiminea, campfire, firepit? Now we move on to today's guest who is new to the fire. Don't you just love meeting new people?
Hey J! What do you say? Sorry, I couldn't help myself. While I pour a cuppa, why don't you tell us little about yourself.
After a career as an attorney working within the Juvenile Justice system, I retired, began writing (assisted by my Siamese cat, Latte), and rediscovered family and friends. I have eight terrific grandchildren and one great-grandson. Just keeping up with their lives is a full-time occupation, including my youngest grandson’s swim meets!
I love the name Latte, for your cat. So here's a drinkable latte. What interests besides writing do you enjoy?
When I’m not visiting with family or writing, I love to travel with friends, read the latest mystery, or watch mysteries on TV (including via services like Britbox). I’m also an avid PBS fan thanks to Downton Abbey.
I love PBS. My favorite is All Creatures Great and Small. Season three can't be here soon enough. You have quite an extended family. Are they your support system?
My family and friends are all supportive of my writing. I have brain-stormed a story with most of them from time to time, and they often purchase a copy of my latest book before I can get them a free one. But I was lucky enough to meet my critique partner, Kath Marsh (a writer of YA fantasy) during NaNoWritMo more than ten years ago. I submit nothing that hasn’t met the test of her read-through first.
How wonderful. For anyone who doesn't know what NaNoWriMo is, National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is 30 days-50,000 words-go. My book Rock House Grill started as one of the challenges. Who or what books or authors are your inspiration?
Too numerous to list them all. I have loved books since I was a small child, and through the years a variety of authors have inspired me—not only to read, but also to write. Tolkien, of course, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky. Current favorites in my own field of Regency-era mysteries are C. S. Harris and Ashley Gardner.
Do you have any fun or outrageous talent?
Throughout my life I have been a Jack or rather Jill of all trades. I have dabbled in whatever caught my eye from hiking the Grand Canyon to exploring the tombs of Egypt or flying to the Bahamas for the day (it was a spur-of-the-moment tour set up by a local radio station). If I have an outrageous talent, it is getting others to go on these adventures with me! 😊
Wow! How exciting. Egypt is on my bucket list. I just can't figure out how to get my camper there. What is your neighborhood like?
I live in a very quiet, proper suburb of Des Moines, Iowa, with access to groceries, entertainment, nice restaurants, and medical care only minutes away. Five minutes to the west is Saylorville Lake. I enjoyed exploring the trails around the lake with my min pin Ranger before I lost him to old age, and I still love to sit on the dam and watch the sailboats. I have a favorite restaurant nearby where five of us meet every Thursday night.
It sounds wonderful. Sorry about Ranger. Do you have a particular object like a piece of jewelry or a keepsake of some sort? Can you tell us what makes it special to you?
My grandmother Opal died before I was born, but she passed her opal ring down to my mother, and my mother gave it to me. It is a treasured piece.
What is your favorite mug or teacup?
I have my morning coffee in a cup with an unusual wavy shape and the attractions of London etched on its white surface in black and red ink. It’s a reminder of one of my very favorite cities.
I posted a picture of it below. If you could time travel, where would you go and when? Why?
This is an obvious one for me. I’d return to Regency era England (1811-1820) to see how everything was done. It would save me hours or months of research to get the details “right” for my Regency mysteries.
Would you rather have unlimited international first-class tickets or never have to pay for food at restaurants?
Hands down—unlimited international first-class tickets! I’ve been fortunate to do a lot of traveling, but there are always new places to explore and old favorites to visit again. I would love to return to Egypt.
Maybe if I went first class I wouldn't have to worry about taking a camper. What’s the most amazing natural occurrence you’ve witnessed?
The birth of a baby, whether human or animal, is a breath-taking moment.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I don’t respond to reviews, but I do read them. If a reader has taken the time to read and comment on my book, I want to know what they have to say. Of course, we all love good reviews, and I’m extremely grateful for them, but bad reviews – if truly based on the book – may point out issues that need to be addressed. I once changed something in a book due to a reader’s review.
That is a great point. We have to be willing to listen to good counsel. J.L. before you head out on your next adventure, please leave us with some information about your book and where we can find out more.
The Dead Betray None (A Viscount Ware Mystery)
Sweet romance/some strong language appropriate to 1811 men
An aristocratic spy and a highborn lady cross paths over a dead body.
1811 England seethes with discontent. A self-indulgent prince regent sits on the throne of a country at war with France, on the brink of war with America, and facing growing rebellion at home.
Lucien, Viscount Ware, recently home after four years on the Continent as a spy for England, finds life in the haute ton tedious. He secretly agrees to handle a few delicate matters for the Crown's private spy unit at Whitehall. A housebreaking at a country houseparty seems a strange assignment until he discovers that a French cipher, the key to Napoleon's war codes, was among the stolen items. As he follows its trail to London's notorious rookeries and into its glittering ballrooms, he faces a growing threat of treachery from more than one direction.
Lady Anne Ashburn missed her London season while caring for her invalid mother in the north country. A new nurse allows her to visit relatives, where she becomes embroiled in a blackmail plot. To avoid a terrible scandal, she goes to London to face down the scoundrel threatening her family.
The night of the elegant Christmastide Ball, Lucien finds Lady Anne standing over a corpse. What happens after that—the risks they take, the intrusion of a notorious crime lord, society gossip, and good intentions gone awry—sends them spiraling into danger and potential disaster for England’s war effort.
An ever-twisting plot sure to keep you turning the pages.
Grab your copy today at one of these retailers.
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The thieves didn’t just steal a few precious baubles from the guests at Baron Sherbourne’s house party; they may have stolen England’s future. For among the jewels, money, and dueling pistols was a packet of papers that contain the key to cracking Napoleon’s new encryption system. So instead of letting the local constabulary investigate, Lucien Grey, Viscount Ware, is sent in by the British government to take charge of the case. Among the people Lucien questions is Lady Anne Ashburn, whose great aunt was one of Sherbourne’s guests. While Anne might not be involved with the theft, Lucien is convinced she is up to something. This becomes all the more apparent the next time the two meet, which just happens to be over a dead body. Expertly entwining an impeccably evoked historical setting and a compelling cast of characters, Buck launches her new Regency-set mystery series on a high note, making this an easy sell to fans of Anna Lee Huber’s Lady Darby series, not to mention C. S. Harris’ Sebastian St. Cyr books. Booklist, a review magazine of the American Library Association, May 2022
About the Author
After retiring from the legal system, Ms Buck wrote sixteen fantasy books under the pen name of Ally Shields, before turning to Regency-era mystery fiction.
Ms. Buck lives in the Midwest with Latte, a mischievous Siamese cat, who attempts to co-author her writing by taking over the keyboard. When not writing or running two blogs, J L Buck enjoys her eight grandchildren (and a great-grandson), reading (preferably on a sunny deck), travel (USA and abroad), and binge-watching any sub-genre of mystery shows.
She can be contacted through her website, her Ally Shields fantasy website, or social media (twitter: @janetlbuck or her pen name account: @ShieldsAlly)
9/21/2022 10:13:12 am
Always nice to get to know authors a little better by the fireside!
9/21/2022 10:17:31 am
Thanks for stopping by the chat, Pamela. I was lucky enough to Hike the Grand Canyon when the weather was mild!
9/23/2022 03:19:37 pm
It was my pleasure, JL.
9/21/2022 01:54:47 pm
I cannot wait to read this--it sounds right down my alley. Regency England era mysteries!! Wishing all the best for you, JL.
9/22/2022 03:00:03 pm
Thanks so much, Barbara. I hope you enjoy it! I loved writing it.
9/23/2022 08:59:49 am
Looks like I'm going to have to add Viscount Ware to my must read list. Enjoyed the interview.
9/25/2022 09:00:06 am
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Kim. If Viscount Ware gets to the top of your list, I hope you enjoy it!
Comments are closed.
Your Host D.V. Stone
Award winning multi-genre author and blogger. Fantasy, romance, mid-grade. Nothing better than a campfire, book, and glass of wine. Okay maybe there is.📚
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