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A Treasure Mystery

Dawn Brotherton
Dawn Brotherton Author Interview

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.

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When Aury and her fellow quilters uncover clues to a potential fortune, will they be able to untangle the mystery in time to save Eastover Retreat Center from financial ruin?
During their annual quilt retreat, gale force winds trap the ladies in a boarded-up manor house. Inside, the sewing sisters discover the diaries of the mistress of Eastover Plantation written during the Civil War and clues she left behind which started as a treasure hunt for her children. Following the clues, the quilters take a journey they never expected.
As Aury works closely with the owner of the retreat center, they dig up more than treasure when they follow the trail through history. Will it be enough to save Eastover and preserve the history of the plantation?

Eastover Treasures

Eastover Treasures by [Dawn Brotherton]

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

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