Saturday, October 8, 2011

Her Dear and Loving Husband by Meredith Allard-Mini Excerpt, Review, Interview: Bewitching Tour Stop

Meredith Allard is the author of Her Dear & Loving Husband and the executive editor of The Copperfield Review, a journal for readers and writers of historical fiction. Her short fiction and articles have appeared in journals such as The Paumanok Review, Muse Apprentice Guild, Wild Mind, Moondance, and Writer's Weekly. She has taught writing to students aged 10 to 60, and she has taught creative writing and writing historical fiction at Learning Tree University and UNLV. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Website  |  Facebook  | Twitter 

Her Dear and Loving Husband By Meredith Allard
Published by Copperfield Press
Release Date: April 11, 2011
Genre: Vampire Romance

Book Description: How long would you wait for the one you loved? James Wentworth has a secret. He lives quietly in Salem, Massachusetts, making few ties anywhere. One night his private world is turned upside down when he meets Sarah Alexander, a dead ringer for his wife Elizabeth. Though it has been years since Elizabeth's death, James cannot move on.

Sarah also has a secret. She is haunted by nightmares about the Salem Witch Trials, and every night she is awakened by visions of hangings, being arrested, and dying in jail. Despite the obstacles of their secrets, James and Sarah fall in love. As James comes to terms with his feelings for Sarah, he must dodge accusations from a reporter desperate to prove that James is not who, or what, he seems to be. Soon James and Sarah piece their stories together and discover a mystery that may bind them in ways they never imagined. Will James make the ultimate sacrifice to protect Sarah and prevent a new hunt from bringing hysteria to Salem again?
Her Dear & Loving Husband
Amazon  |   Smashwords  |   Goodreads 

Check out what readers have to say about Her Dear and Loving Husband: "Magic, romance, mystery and suspense make Her Dear and Loving Husband a great read for me!"

 "I, like many potential readers, saw the title of the book and thought it was going to be...another romance. Well, that is true. But, OMG, it is sooooo much more! Escape into the paranormal world created by Allard, where you will meet vampires, werewolves, witches--and even the reincarnated... Then throw in a good taste of destiny for added flavor!" ~ GABixlerReviews

"An excellent read that will keep you involved until the final page, most enjoyable."
~Shirley A. Roe, Allbooks Review

"With strong gothic flavor, this beautifully structured story captures the intensity and frenetic activity of the late 1600's and the Salem Witch Inquisitions and Trials. Graphic scenes and sequences are brilliantly depicted in small segments throughout the modern-day story. I enjoyed the tale and especially the secondary characters who sometimes provided levity during an otherwise often harrowing chronicle. This is a wonderfully spooky love story that is painstakingly researched and eloquently penned. If you love literary horror, look no further. "
~ L. Jenkins "Laurie-J"

Read my Full Review HERE


I am looking lovingly into the eyes of a man, though I cannot see his face because it is featureless, like a blank slate. We are standing in front of a wooden house with narrow clapboards, and there are diamond-paned casement windows and a steep pitched roof with two gables pointing at the laughing, hidden moon. I am certain I hear someone singing sweet nothings to us from the sky. From the light of the few jewel stars I can see the halo of his hair, like the halo of an angel, and even if I cannot see his eyes I know they look at me, into me. I stand on my toes, he is much taller than me, and I point up my face and he kisses me. As the warmth of his lips melts into mine, making me weak from the inside out, I feel my knees give from the thrilling lightness his touch brings. I know the face I cannot see is beautiful, like the lips I feel. His hands press me into him, clutching me closer, closer, unwilling to let me go. I grip him with equal strength, wishing he would carry me inside, yet I cannot bring myself to break our embrace.

"I shall never leave you ever," he whispers in my ear. I promise him the same.

I do not know how I have been so fortunate to have this man in my life, but here he is, before me, wanting me. I am overcome with the joy of him.


Tell us about a favorite character from a book.

I’ve always been an avid reader, so it was no surprise that, after a few wrong turns, I ended up studying English in college. While I was in grad school, we read David Copperfield by Charles Dickens and it was life-changing. I related strongly to the character of David because he had a less than perfect childhood (as I had—and Dickens himself). David found solace in books as a child—like me, and like Dickens. David found his way in the world through writing…you get the picture. But not only could I relate to David personally, I loved the entire story and I loved the way Dickens wrote poetry in prose. And he’s funny too. It was the first Dickens novel I had ever read, and suddenly I knew what I wanted to do: I wanted to write novels. That’s a pretty strong reaction to reading one book assigned as part of a college seminar.

What is the hardest part of writing your books.

I’m a terrible writer but a terrific rewriter—some famous author said that, and I’d sound highly intelligent right now if I could remember who that was. But the quote applies to me as well. I have yet to write anything right the first time. To be honest, this is my third run at answering this question. Beginning a new project is always daunting because I know it isn’t going to come out right the first time. The first draft is always the hardest part, especially the first draft of a novel since it’s a few hundred pages. That’s a lot of writing to go through knowing that about 75% of it will be changed or deleted, but that’s the process I need to go through for my brain to understand the story.

As much as I dislike writing the first draft, I always make myself do it (usually after much self-cajoling and guilt-ridden inducements) because I know that if I don’t write the first draft there will be no final draft. And it always happens that, at the end of the long process, I have the story I intended to write all along. I’ve been writing long enough to know that, though the first draft stage is painful, the story will work itself out in the end.

Where do you research for your books?

I write a lot of historical fiction, so I do use a lot of research in my writing. I still tend to research the old-fashioned way—in a library. I still enjoy digging through the stacks to find what I need. I will admit, though, that I’m doing more research at home on the Internet. Many libraries have digital collections accessible through various databases, so I’m able to access entire books online instead of only short articles that don’t have the detailed information I need for historical research.

If I’m able to go to the place I’m writing about, that’s all the better. Nothing replaces personal experience—being able to see, hear, touch, smell the place I’m writing about helps me bring it to life. However, traveling can be expensive, and if I’m unable to visit the place I’m able to feel as if I’ve traveled there by reading about it and studying it.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

I used a professional critique for Her Dear & Loving Husband. It was the first time I had ever done that, and I’m glad I did. I’ve had my short stories and articles published in various journals over the years and normally I’m able to get a handle on what I’m writing, but Her Dear & Loving Husband was the most complicated story I had ever tried to tell. First, there’s the story between James and Elizabeth in the 17th century. Then there’s the story between James and Sarah in the 21st century. There’s also the two-sided narrative from both James and Sarah’s point of view as well as weaving Sarah’s dreams into the narrative. I saw the story very clearly in my mind, but I was having trouble getting that onto paper. Someone told me about a nice lady with a keen eye for critique, and she helped me spot the flaws in the narrative. I was able to use her comments to remold the story into what you see today. It wasn’t an easy process, but finally I felt as if I had written the book I meant to write all along. 

I don’t think all writers need to have a professional critique, but it is helpful to have someone else, or even a group of someone elses, read and critique—especially if you write fiction. A lot of times writers suffer from the same disease I suffered from when writing the earlier drafts of Her Dear & Loving Husband—I knew what happened in the story but what I knew wasn’t translating onto the page. Other readers can help catch inconsistencies or holes in the plot we didn’t realize were there.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

I learned that I have the stamina to stick with a story until I feel it’s exactly right. I was so enthralled writing Her Dear & Loving Husband that I worked on it almost every day. Even on the odd Sunday when I took off, I was still thinking about it. It’s fair to say I was obsessed with that story while I was writing it. I felt I had a great idea, but I wasn’t happy with the way the story was playing on paper. That’s when I decided to go with the professional critique. When I received the comments from the professional reader I had to slow down because I was confused suddenly. I knew that a lot of what the reader said was dead-on, but I couldn’t see how to make the proper changes in the story. Once I got a handle on Sarah’s third person narration, the rest of the story fell into place, but getting there took a lot of trial and error. Overall, it was almost exactly two years to the day to get Her Dear & Loving Husband to the point where I felt it was just right. It took a lot of perseverance, patience, sweat, tears, frustration, and some occasional swearing, but looking back, I wouldn’t change a moment of those two years.

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

I wish I had a set formula because it might make the process easier than the throwing darts in the dark system I have now. Usually it happens like this: I come up with a vague idea for a story, usually inspired by something I’ve read/seen/wondered. Under normal circumstances, I tell the story idea to go away—I have actual, grown-up person things to do besides daydreaming, thank you very much—but then my daydreamy nature wins (as it usually does) and I start wondering about that odd idea that occurred to me in a slow moment. If the idea has meat, as it did with Her Dear & Loving Husband, then I’ll start seeing scenes from the idea in my head. There are no specific characters and certainly no plot at this point, just scenes like snippets from a fragmented movie playing on a continuous reel in my head. After awhile, the flickering scenes going round and round my imagination become annoying so I decide to see if there’s enough there to write an entire story around. I create an outline of a plot based on the few scenes I already know, and fill in the characters as necessary. Then I write a first draft that’s pretty bad, and from there I weed and trim and add and subtract until finally there’s something I wouldn’t be embarrassed to have other people—people I don’t know even—read. There must be an easier way to do it, but this haphazard method works for me because this is how I’ve written all my fiction, even my short stories.

What would we find under your bed?

I love this question. And the answer is—absolutely nothing. I am what you might call in polite society a Type A personality—you know, a place-for-everything-and-everything-in-its-place kind of person. I don’t like clutter, and I’m very good at donating gently no-longer-used-by-me items to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. So there are no skeletons in my closet. Literally.

Do you have a Website or Blog?

I do. You can find me at I keep the site updated with news about Her Dear & Loving Husband, along with purchasing information, and I blog about writing and whatever else occurs to me. I’m also the executive editor of The Copperfield Review, a journal for readers and writers of historical fiction. You can find Copperfield at

Last Stop on Tour

Oct 7 Review

Oct 8 Review and Excerpt
Stitch Read Cook

Oct 8 Interview and Review

Authors - Book Tours can give your book additional exposure and help you reach new readers.  There are several different plans from which to choose.  There are options available that are ideal for modest budgets.  To find out more, click the image.

Bloggers -  Find out how you can become a Tour Host. To find out more details, click the image.

Disclaimer: This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.   In some cases, I receive free books in return for a review. My reviews always express my own personal opinion. I am not obligated to write a glowing or even favorable review.  I have not received any monetary compensation in return for my honest review. Promotional banners and information was provided through Bewitching Book Tours. I am an authorized Tour Host. 



Buy Links:

No comments: