10 August 2008

Guest Blogger: Jeannine van Eperen

This week, we welcome the return of Jeannine van Eperen as she celebrates the release of two new books: WYDECOMBE MANOR and YOU CAN BANK ON IT.


You Can Bank on It by Jeannine van Eperen
Free-spirited eighteen-year-old Mae Carter, has a thing for race cars drivers. Sardonic divorcee Julie McDougal was burned once in love and now shies away from commitments. Work-weary Holly Unbanski has a husband who isn't able to provide for her and their son. Prim, religious Rose Schultz prays daily for a man to come into her dull life. These are a few of those underpaid women who toil daily at the Duke City National Bank in 1955. Each hopes for a better life, and each has her own story.

Wydecombe Manor by Jeannine van Eperen
Can star-crossed lovers from another time, undo the heartbreak and tragedy of their past? Does a love so true never die? Or is it just a fantasy played out between two people whose genes were passed down with infinitesimal remembrances of their ancestors' lives? It is as if lightning strikes when Elizabeth sees Jonathan and a blazing flame arises, though the fire keeps the blood simmering, do time lines and loves blur into another realm and can a love denied be allowed to come to fruition? Grays believed in love for eternity, but was denied the woman he chose.

Thank you, Jeannine, for joining us at Unusual Historicals once more. When you were last here, we talked about your historical adventure/romance DAUGHTER OF SPAIN.

Yes, we did speak of DAUGHTER OF SPAIN. That story was set in the early 1600s in Spain, the Canary Islands, Mexico, as well as the prime location of the New Mexico Territory, the settling of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Not only is Santa Fe a scenic location, it is also the oldest capital in the United States. In my book, the hero and heroine were outcasts of Spain settled near the capital. I'm very proud of DAUGHTER OF SPAIN as it is the book of my heart. I lived in New Mexico for a long time and truly love the state.

I understand you now have another book set in New Mexico. Tell me a little about that story.

YOU CAN BANK ON IT, published by Wings in June, 2008, is set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, during the 1950s. At that time Albuquerque was one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. This story is general fiction about women who are employees of the Duke City National Bank. Most women during that time stayed home to raise their children and cater to their husbands. Magazines stressed "Togetherness of husband and wife," but there were other women who found they had to help support the family. There were, also, the as yet unmarried, who marked time at work waiting for Mr. Right. Women didn't and couldn't aspire to be bank managers or presidents; that was the domain of men.

The main characters of YOU CAN BANK ON IT are fun-loving Mae Carter, who works passing time until the day she marries and she is almost always in love and rather promiscuous for the time; Julie McDougal, at twenty-three is a divorcee with the small son. Julie was burned in romance and is sardonic regarding men. Holly Urbanski is a placid woman who has turned out to the be main breadwinner, supporting her husband, Ed, and their son.

Rose Schultz is in her late-thirties and at that time thought to be an old-maid. She prays every night to find a man who will love her. Vivacious Carlotta Garcia is happily married but is distressed because after ten years of marriage she has only three children, all sons. She yearns for a daughter. The bank's best kept secret lays with Ida Costello, who manages the bookkeeping department. The lives of these women (and more) as well as their men are woven together to present a very real look at the working world and life in the 1950s in an average American town.

You also have another very different book from YOU CAN BANK ON IT recently published, too, don't you, Jeannine?

WYDECOMBE MANOR was published July 15 by Whiskey Creek Press. This book is both a contemporary and an historical romance. When Elizabeth and Jonathan first see each other, quite by accident, something happens. Another lifetime in 1494 begins to insert itself into the present. Grays and Lizbeth were very much in love, but their love was denied them. Elizabeth and Jonathan aren't sure what is happening, but somehow everything seems to be connected to the old mansion high above the sea that Jonathan through an odd twist of fate inherits. WYDECOMBE MANOR takes place in Cornwall, England.

With this book, the setting chose me. I was travelling in Cornwall with my husband and our friends from England. I looked up and saw this magnificent large dwelling and I knew the house had a story to tell. I had no idea what kind of story until I sat down at my computer and started to type.

Do you mean you didn't know that WYDECOMBE MANOR would incorporate two love stories?

That is exactly what I mean. In the book the present couple felt like a fusion of some sort occurred, and the same must have happened to me. I was writing this contemporary and all-of-a-sudden I was deep into a historical. At least I landed in an era with which I was familiar. I've always been fascinated with the Richard III times and his life. Though Richard III has little to do with the story, I knew the background of the times well.

Do you have any other unusual historical in the works?

Yes, ROSE OF THE RIO GRANDE set during the Great Depression in a small New Mexico community will be published by Wings ePress in November. This is a G-rated romance, set in a tiny mountain village. Rose leaves Chicago to take the only employment she can find, that of teaching in a small church-run school. Rose’s father had died of a heart attack after losing all the family's money when the stock market crashed ushering in the Great Depression. Rose had finished her teacher training, but there were no jobs to be found, until fate takes a hand and sends her to New Mexico where the people weren't expecting Rose but a Ross. Rose wasn't about to be sent packing back to Chicago. She dug in her heels and hung onto her job, and wound up with much more than she ever expected.

Are there any places where a reader can find a synopsis and/or first chapter of your books?

Glad you asked that. My web page tells a little of each book that I've written and WYDECOMBE MANOR is my twentieth published book. YOU CAN BANK OF IT is number nineteen published. However, my books aren't published in the order written, except for WYDECOMBE MANOR, it was the last written and so far the last published.

My web page is here. It consists of several pages and one can double click on my photo and it takes one to the next page.

A reader can also go to my author's page of Wings ePress or at Whiskey Creek. You can reach my pages at the publishers by clicking onto the book covers on my web page, too.

Thank you for inviting me back to Unusual Historicals. It is always an honor to do an interview with you.


Would you like a copy of either YOU CAN BANK ON IT or WYDECOMBE MANOR? Leave a comment or question for Jeannine and you'll be entered in a drawing for a free copy, your choice. You can until next Sunday when I'll draw a winner. Good luck!