Eastover Treasures follows Aury as she digs up a treasure with a mystery leading through history that may be able to preserve the history of the plantation. What were some sources that informed this novels development?
Library of Congress has some great online resources. I was able to view old diaries, journals, and letters from soldiers, all online during COVID. I also reached out to the Science and Media Museum in the UK and to the College of William and Mary to verify I had worded things correctly when it came to the scientific information.
Aury is a character I enjoyed following. Was there anything that you pulled from real life to create her character?
The only thing I pulled from is my quilting experience. I love to quilt and started attending quilting retreats with the ladies from the Colonial Piecemakers in Williamsburg, Virginia. It was while I was on a walking break during one of those retreats that I came up with the idea for Eastover Treasures.
What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?
To take my time. Every writer is excited to get the book on the market as soon as it’s finished. I took the time and ran it through my writers’ group numerous times, then had over forty beta readers give me feedback before I finally had it published. It was time consuming but well worth it.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I have so many irons in the fire! I have a children’s picture book coming out early 2022, If I Looked Like You. My dragon story (title still forthcoming) is YA Fantasy and will be ready end of 2022. I’m currently writing the third book in the Jackie Austin Mystery series, Truth Has No Agenda. And, of course, I’ve started playing with the next treasure Aury will go in search of in Ithaca, New York, at the Finger Lakes.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, cozy mystery, Dawn Brotherton, Eastover Treasures, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fiction, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, writer, writing
Eastover Treasures is written by award winning author Dawn Brotherton. The story follows Aury and her fellow quilters, as she tries to solve a series of clues for a treasure hunt that was devised in the 1860s. Eastover Treasures combines a mystery novel with a slight hint of romance, and is an interesting read.
This intriguing cozy mystery novel is set in the same geographical area, over two time periods. Geographically, Eastover Treasures is set on a piece of land and buildings in Virginia. The first time period is the 1860’s. The land and buildings make up a large plantation. The time period is stated at the top of the chapter, but this is also supported by rich detail such as clothing descriptions, technology (or lack of) and the dialogue and speech of the characters. Subsequent chapters transition into the past as the characters read diary entries written in the 1860s. The present-day time setting is indicated by the land usage – a motel and discarded house, descriptions of nearby towns and available technology (electricity, internet, speech). The two time periods are linked in numerous ways: quilts found in both the house and quilts the women are making, remnants of buildings that existed in the 1860s and present day relatives of the family that lived on the plantation in the 1860s.
There are many fascinating characters that color this spellbinding story – both present day characters and characters in the 1860s. Characters in the 1860s include Mary and her children, Frederick, Thomas, Noah, Sarah. The reader gains some insight into Mary’s feelings and motivations through her inner monologue. However, large parts of her life remain a mystery until the end of the novel. All of the children and their actions feature in subsequent diary entries. In the present day, Aury and Scott are the main characters of the novel. Both are well developed an authentic. Aury, an avid quilter, is an accountant by trade, whom has had her interest piqued in the estate by a mysterious treasure hunt she and her friends found reference to in a diary. Scott, owner of the estate develops an interest in both the treasure hunt and Aury herself. As the novel progresses their friendship develops and grows naturally.
Eastover Treasures is an interesting and worthwhile read. The geographical setting is well described and draws the reader into the enthralling story immediately. The characters are authentic, relatable and even heartwarming, and the relationship between Aury and Scott becomes a sub plot within the novel that was engrossing in itself. This is an mesmerizing historical mystery story that was a delight to read.
Pages: 210 | ASIN: B094D54C8R
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, cozy mystery, Dawn Brotherton, Eastover Treasures, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fiction, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, writer, writing
Untimely Love follows Jamie as she balances her career and marriage while slowly falling for her sexy and considerate coworker. What served as your inspiration while you wrote this emotional love story?
Writing romance was actually an experiment for me. I wanted to try something different than the Jackie Austin mysteries. For inspiration? While I was balancing my military career and marriage through many physical separations, I can guarantee you that my husband is nothing like Jamie’s snake of a husband! But some of the struggles to get attention felt very close to home, and the events Jamie has to investigate in Virginia Beach for her job were based on real-life actions I encountered. Jealousy is a nasty emotion.
I enjoyed the slow evolution of Jamie’s character. What were some ideas you wanted to explore with her character?
I wanted a strong female character who, although tempted, WANTS to do the right thing. She is dedicated to fulfill her commitments, even if things aren’t going her way. She doesn’t take the easy way out—and that can be costly.
Jamie and Ben’s relationship is something I found to be endearing and thrilling. What were some emotions you often felt yourself gravitating toward while writing their scenes?
I was in love with Ben. He was kind and patient, but also fun loving and spontaneous. I’ve never truly met anyone like him. I guess that’s why we read romance.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Eastover Treasures is a cozy mystery coming out in 2021. The idea came to me when I was at a quilting retreat. It’s been slowly building for years, and I am finally spending time with it. I’m getting great feedback from my writer’s group so I am excited to get it to my editor.
Jamie is settling into her new job in Washington DC. The last thing she needs is a distraction. Then she meets Ben. Charming, considerate, and, yes, sexy. She finds herself thinking about him more often than she should. She struggles to keep her feelings in check while he works his magic to draw her closer. He’s patient, but he can’t be expected to wait forever. Jamie needs time to discover she deserves better than what she has, and Ben must decide if she’s worth the wait.
Untimely Love by Dawn Brotherton is a contemporary love story following Jamie, a woman in her mid-thirties who is focused on her career as head of the human resources department. Jamie has been drifting apart from her husband and she finds herself developing an unexpected interest in one of her co-workers, Ben. What starts out as a friendship quickly turns into deeper feelings. When Jamie catches her husband cheating her marriage ends in divorce. But is she ready to jump into a new relationship with the man who has occupied so many of her thoughts recently?
Untimely Love is not your typical love story where you can immediately guess the plot of the story. The nuanced sentiment and internal emotional turmoil is what kept me glued to the pages. I slowly, almost unwittingly, became invested in Jamie’s character after reading about the relateable struggles she goes through in her marriage and work life. I was rooting for her throughout the story hoping at every turn that she would find happiness, in whatever way made sense to her. I enjoyed seeing Jamie and Ben’s sensitive relationship slowly develop, and then passionately flourish.
Although I came to appreciate, and really like, Jamie’s character, I didn’t care for her character at the start of the book. I felt that at times she acted a bit rash and over emotional, but in other instances she seemed as though she was much older than her age. But this was only the beginning. Jamie’s character changes throughout the book into someone that I could understand and admire. I ended up liking how Jamie was portrayed much more in the second half of the story, where she is a confident, professional businesswoman. This transformation was something I really enjoyed.
Although I enjoyed the characters and the story, I felt that there were a bit too many flashbacks between the present and the past, when Jamie and Ben first met. I felt that it interrupted the flow of the story and it was hard to keep track of what was happening between the two of them in the moment.
Untimely Love is a book that catches you off guard. It starts simply enough but slowly develops into a touching story about love, life, and the pursuit of happiness. I would definitely recommend this to readers who enjoy a suspenseful and emotional love story.
Pages: 232 | ASIN: B086558NW1
The Obsession is a thrilling crime novel that follows Jackie as she finds that she’s being stalked by a serial killer. What were some ideas that drove the development of this story?
Many of the stalker scenes really happened to me. It seems surreal at this point in my life, but it was terrifying and frustrating at the time. Thankfully, the murders were not true.
Jackie is a missilier in the Air Force. Why did you choose this profession as Jackie’s career?
I was one of the first female missiliers. At the time, it was the only combat role a woman could hold. The Air Force has come a long way since then. Many writers start by writing what they know. This experience was very close to home.
There is a lot of good red herrings in the book and it makes you see everyone as a suspect. Was this planned or did this happen organically while writing?
A little of both. In real life, figuring out the stalker did take a while. There were many options, and technology simply wasn’t as it is today. A phone trace was extremely complicated. There was no caller id. Some of the red herrings were added in after I got the initial draft on paper.
This is book one in the Jackie Austin Mysteries series. Where will book two find Jackie and when will it be available?
Wind the Clock is out now. In it, Jackie goes to Germany where she is working for the inspector general’s office. There is a plane crash, and the situation looks very similar to a scenario she wrote for an exercise so she gets blamed for it. She has to figure out the real culprit to get OSI off her back. (The books do not have to be read in order.)
At first, Jackie Austin tried ignoring the phone calls in the dead of the night. Fresh out of Air Force missile training and no stranger to harassment, she shrugged them off as a prank. But when the calls didn’t stop, unsigned love letters started arriving, and things in her house seemed out of place, Jackie started to worry. Were the men on base playing a trick on her or did they not realize that she wasn’t interested? And just how far would this harasser go?
In the neighboring town of Sedalia, a more ominous situation was brewing. Yet another young, single woman had been mysteriously killed in an ongoing series of grim murders. With the police on alert but without any leads, it was only a matter of time before the killer found his next victim.
Could Jackie be his next target?
Posted in Interviews
Tags: alibris, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, crime, crime fantasy, crime fiction, Dawn Brotherton, detective, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, ilovebooks, indiebooks, killer, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, publishing, read, reader, reading, serial killer, shelfari, sleuth, smashwords, story, suspense, The Obsession, thriller, writer, writer community, writing
Dawn Brotherton’s new mystery novel, The Obsession, tells two intertwining stories. Jackie Austin, a young woman in the Air Force, has recently bought a new home, although her career means she can’t spend too much time there. Jackie is the first female missilier, and her job takes her away from home a lot. Weird things start happening in her house, and she doesn’t know if she’s just being absent-minded, if someone’s pranking her, or if it’s more sinister.
Meanwhile, someone is murdering young women nearby. The police are doing their best, but the killer is crafty. It seems like a serial killer is targeting young single women, who are a lot like Jackie herself.
The novel is told in alternating, third-person sections, bringing both story lines together for an exciting finish. The author blends factual details of Air Force work to create a realistic setting for this mystery novel. Some of the subplots really rely on everyday details about Air Force life, like the “slam book” where bored workers can leave useful notes for the next shift, chat by pen with off-duty coworkers, or start nasty rumors. Jackie’s friendships and relationships were clearly shaped by military life and scheduling, and the experience of being a woman in such a male-dominated area. This makes Jackie an interesting and easily relatable protagonist, which in turn makes readers worry about her safety as the drama unfolds.
I particularly enjoyed the hints, because there was a great mix of foreshadowing and red herrings, and it was fun to try to figure it out along with Jackie. As the reader grows to care about Jackie, it’s hard not to view everyone around her with suspicion. When strange things start to happen, there are just so many possibilities! Is one of the guys at work joking around, trying to play a silly prank on a teammate? Is a male coworker jealous of her success and deliberately trying to frighten and unsettle her? Or is she the target of a killer?
Without revealing too many spoilers, I will say that I enjoyed Jackie’s good sense under pressure. Even when in danger, Jackie’s no damsel in distress. The novel blends some of the unique challenges of being a women in the Air Force with a murder mystery.
This is the first in a planned trilogy of Jackie Austin mysteries.
Pages: 213 | ASIN: B004J8HTH6