Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Review, Interview, and Giveaway: Love Finds You in Prince Edward Island, Canada

In 1860, 18-year-old Prince Albert Edward, son of Queen Victoria and heir to the throne, toured British North America. This royal visit included 48 hours on Prince Edward Island and required a lot of planning to run smoothly. All of that is historical fact.

From there, author Susan Page Davis brings fictional characters onstage in Peter Stark, a young steward sent ahead to Charlottetown to prepare the way for the Prince of Wales, and Molly Orland, a local farmer's daughter who gains temporary employment at Government House.

Molly is a beautiful young woman who wouldn't normally be in a servant's position, save for the family's dire need after her father broke his leg in a farm accident. Her main duty is housekeeping and this is where Peter first sees her. They're immediately interested in one another, but Peter is only on the island temporarily, and Molly is certain he's above her station in life.

But there's more to the tale. Molly's grandfather is determined to speak with Peter's employer, the Earl of Washburn, about a historical family matter. The Earl is equally determined to avoid the old man. Peter and Molly get caught in the middle when the 'family matter' comes to light, threatening the fragile trust they've begun to establish.

Love Finds You in Prince Edward Island, Canada is the first book in the series to be set outside the United States. As a Canadian, I enjoyed this glimpse into my country's history. Though the novel started out slow and with many characters to keep straight, I was soon drawn into Molly and Peter's story. When I was through reading, I contacted Susan for an interview.

VC: Congratulations on being the author of the first Love Finds that takes place outside of the United States. How did you come to be chosen for this honor?

SPD: Actually, the editor asked me if I would be interested in writing a Prince Edward Island story. She and I had talked previously about me doing a Maine story, but we hadn’t settled on a town or a story line yet. Summerside Press decided to cross the border into Canada. I feel blessed that I was invited to be part of the adventure.

VC: What drew you to this particular story?

SPD: When I began researching PEI’s history, I found a couple of incidents that grabbed my attention. I presented both to Rachel, the editor, and she loved the 1860 one. The Prince of Wales’s visit to the island of course gives a connection to the name, though he wasn’t the prince for which it was named. Prince Albert Edward’s royal tour of British North America gave me a chance to showcase the pageantry and excitement of the event.

VC: Have you ever been to Prince Edward Island? How did you conduct your research?

SPD: Yes, I had the privilege of spending some time up there before writing this book. At the time, I still lived in Maine, and I drove up. I was able to visit several of the government buildings the prince visited 150 years ago and see the room where the ball was held in his honor. It was wonderful! I also got to spend some time at the archives in Charlottetown, museums, and much more. I took my two teenagers, and we stayed a week in a cottage over on the eastern side of the island near Green Gables. I’d love to visit again sometime. Crossing the 8-mile Confederation Bridge from the mainland was quite an experience. I could imagine how much more isolated the population was in the “old days,” when you had to take a ferry. This bridge only opened about 14 years ago, so it wasn’t that long ago! When I came home I brought lots of brochures and books, and I purchased more books online to help with my research about the island, Victorian times, and all the details that go into writing a historical novel.

VC: What was your favorite scene in this novel? Why?

SPD: I like the one where they are holding a levee for the prince. Molly’s grandfather goes in wearing Peter’s top hat and the jacket Peter “borrowed” from his master. Then Molly’s father puts them on and goes in wearing the same hat and jacket.

VC: Oh, I loved that one, too! According to your website, you have a book or novella coming out pretty much every month this year! How do you manage such a busy schedule?

SPD: That does look impressive, doesn’t it? It doesn’t mean I write a book every month, though (wouldn’t it be nice to be able to do that?) In January, I had a new mystery release and an anthology. The anthology is not a “new” book, though. It’s a compilation of three short books that were earlier published separately.

For April I have Love Finds You in Prince Edward Island (new book) and in May another anthology. That one contains one of my earlier books and two by other authors. In September I’ll see a novella release. This is a very short book in an anthology with those by three other authors. That collection is called Christmas at Barncastle Inn. I’ll also have a new book, Captive Trail, released that month. In October I have a long book coming. It’s a historical called The Lady’s Maid (fourth “new book” of the year) and in November another anthology (The Bride’s Prerogative will contain all three books formerly published as The Ladies’ Shooting Club series) and one new mystery, Nothing to Hide.

Total count: three anthologies, one novella, and five new releases. So, yeah, that is a lot of books. I’m very grateful to have such a strong backlist that the publishers are re-issuing them. As to my schedule, I work long days, nearly every day.

Valerie, thanks so much for having me here.

Susan Page Davis writes romantic suspense, historical romance, and mystery. She is a Maine native now living in Kentucky, and a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers. Susan homeschooled her six children, and now enjoys her grandchildren. She's always loved reading, history, genealogy, and horses, and has even taken a farrier course.

Are you interested in reading Love Finds You in Prince Edward Island, Canada? Susan Page Davis is offering one reader a copy, anywhere on Planet Earth, once the book comes out on April first. If you'd like to put your name in the hat, please add your email address with your comment before Saturday, March 19, replacing @ with (at) and .com with (dot) com.

"Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws."

I received a digital copy of this novel for the purposes of review, though opinions are mine alone.

Valerie Comer's life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughter.

She is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency and has recently sold her first work, a novella, to Barbour Books. Visit her website and blog to glimpse inside her little green world.



    This cover is BEYOND GORGEOUS! Please enter me, I haven't had a Love Finds You book to read in a while. :)



  2. I'd love to read a story set on Prince Edward Island. I always thought is sounded so romantic.

  3. Beautiful cover. :) I am sure it a great story as you are a really good author. But you know I love you, Susan. hehehe. I am biased that way.

  4. I would love to win a copy of this book. It sounds wonderful. Thank you.

  5. Oh I would love to read this book I fell in love with PEI thanks to Anne of Green Gables. I also love Susan's books. nice interview and the history of the book is cool.
    please enter me ausjenny at gmail dot com
    and congrats to Susan for all the books being released this year.

  6. Wow. Love Finds You in Prince Edward Island sounds really great to read. I love historical places and of course Green Gables makes it very historical, not to mention having had royalty visit long ago. Please enter me in the contest. Thanks for the chance to win.
    Debbie Clark

  7. Just so everyone knows this historical novel takes place long before Anne of Green Gable! To whomever wins--you're going to enjoy this one :)

  8. This cover is beautiful! I've read one other book from her and she is great!!! :O)

    estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

  9. I adore Victorian history. And I'd love to read a new slant on this wonderful setting. The characters sound interesting. At first I thought you were going to write this as an unrequited love between the prince and Molly, but that'd be too sad. Yes, though I love it when you cause conflict for the characters, I'm a happy-ending sort of gal. This sounds s-o-o romantic.
    ritagal at optusnet dot com dot au

  10. Yay, Hartline! Victorian history is my favorite.

  11. How nice to see a publisher branching out in terms of settings. PEI is a beautiful place and the people seem just a little more restful than in more populous parts of the country.
    Please enter me in the draw. I'd love to see the Island through your eyes.


  12. I love the Love Finds You books....and I love the cover of this book!! Can't wait to read it!
    Thanks for the awesome interview, and telling us about this book.

  13. please enter me! I love LFY books and share all mine with a local pw who passes them on to the kids at the school she teaches at.


  14. This book sounds amazing and I would love a chance to win it and read it!! Thank you very much!


  15. I visited PEI in 09' and it was beautiful. Would love to go back so I can spend more time there.
    I would love to read this interesting book. Please add my name for the drawing.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  16. Thanks, everyone, for your encouragement and positive comments. Rita, I am also a happy ending person. Rest assured you'll get one. Love you too, Michelle! As to the cover, I absolutely love it. When they asked for direction for the artists, I sent a picture of a painting that hangs in Province House in Charlottetown, of a ball held there in 1864 (four years after the Prince's ball, the later one was at the time of the Confederation meeting). A woman in the painting wore a dress very much like the one Molly is wearing on my cover. And they got the red cliffs in there, too! Personally, I think it's one of the most beautiful covers I've seen, but of course I'm prejudiced too. Love Anne of Green Gables, but alas, as Valerie says, she was fictional (Don't say that too loudly in PEI) and of a later vintage than this story. Visiting the "real" house of this fictional character was a lot of fun, though.

  17. Very good interview! This book has the makings of a fascinating love story filled with all the wonderful elements that Susan does best. I love it that she takes her research seriously and you can tell that in all of her books. That research trip sounds like so much fun!

    carlagade [at] gmail [dot] com

  18. I enjoy the Love Finds You books and would loved to be entered in the givewaway. It sounds like such a good book and if it is anything like the cover, it is going to be great.


  19. what a beautiful cover...thanks for the chance to read this fabulous novel.

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  20. Thank you, Carla, Jo, and Karen. We're having a nice turnout today. It's only a couple of weeks until the book will be on the shelves! I'm looking forward to it. Oh, and Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!

  21. I would love to read this book. I really enjoy the Love Finds You series.

  22. I love Susan's books and to read one set on Prince Edward Island... ooh, too hard to resist! Please include me.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

  23. Historical fiction is my favorite genre. Well it is today anyway! I have to admit I read so many genres that sometimes I change my mind on that... but I digress. I'd love a chance to win this book!

    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

  24. Congratulations! What a 8gorgeous* cov er! As a Lucy maud Montgomery fan I can't wait to read this book set on PEI

  25. As someone who lives on the opposite side of the world, I love to read stories based in interesting and beautiful places such as Prince Edward Island. I hope this will be the start of more books based on Canadian (and other countries!) settings. Can't wait to read it; please include me in your competition.

  26. Wow, you all are keeping me busy keeping tabs on how many names have been entered. Tell your friends (or not, lol) as I'll close the thread Saturday evening, Pacific time.

  27. You totally caught me with Prince Edward Island! I've always wanted to go there (after reading the Anne books and seeing the movies)! Definitely will be reading this one.

    kindredspiritreviews at gmail dot com

  28. Thank you for the interesting interview, Valerie and Susan.

    Like Lindsey, (see comment above), I'd love to go to Prince Edward Island as I love L.M. Montgomery's books.

  29. Great to hear from so many people. Prince Edward Island is gorgeous any time of year, but if you go, you'll want to see all the sights, and a lot of attractions are closed seasonally. Green Gables is open all year, and the natural beauty of course is in permanent residence, but even in early May, when I went, most of the amusement parks and many of the restaurants, etc., were closed, especially those away from Charlottetown and out near the beaches. Fortunately, the things I wanted to see were open to me. But do research it online before you book your trip.

  30. Hopefully it is not too late to enter as I would absolutely love a copy of this book!! The cover looks like my favorite character from a movie, who happened to be in this area:) Anne of Green Gables is my favorite movie and this looks just like her! Thanks so much:)


  31. I love the cover also! I just finished reading one of the Love Finds You books and I just love them! This one sounds amazing! And I just loved the "Anne of Green Gables" series-books and movies, so captivating!
    I would love the chance to be entered into the drawing. Thank you so much.