HFBT Interview + Review: The Turning Of Anne Merrick by Christine Blevins

Posted 19 March, 2012 by Molly in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

The Turning Of Anne Merrick
Christine Blevins
Berkley Trade Publishing
February 7,2012
448 pages
Amazon|B&N
provided by the publisher
RBM’s Disclaimer
4/5 Books

A tale of love and espionage from the author of Midwife of the Blue Ridge…

She spies for General Washington, betrays the Redcoats and battles for America’s independence…

It’s 1777, and a fledgling country wages an almost hopeless struggle against the might of the British Empire. Brought together by a fateful kiss, Anne Merrick and Jack Hampton are devoted to each other and to their Patriot cause. As part of Washington’s daring network of spies, they are ready and willing to pay even the ultimate price for freedom.

From battlefields raging along the Hudson, to the desperate winter encampment at Valley Forge and through the dangerous intrigue of British-occupied Philadelphia, Anne and Jack brave the trials of separation, the ravages of war and an unyielding enemy growing ever more ruthless.

For love and for country, all is put at risk-and together the pair must call upon their every ounce of courage and cunning in order to survive.

Author Christine Blevins

About The Author:
Author Christine Blevins writes what she loves to read – historical adventure stories. The Turning of Anne Merrick is Christine’s third novel, and the second in a three-book series set during the American Revolution and War of Independence. A native Chicagoan, Christine lives in Elmhurst, Illinois along with her best friend and husband Brian, and The Dude, their very silly golden-doodle. She is at work finishing her next book inspired by a lifelong fascination with the foundations of American history and the revolutionary spirit.

For more information on Christine Blevins and her novels, please visit her website.

Connect With The Author:
Website | Facebook | Twitter

The Interview:
Tell us about Christine Blevins. Who are you when you’re not writing?
I have a best friend of a husband and together we do all those pesky things people need to do in order to pay the bills and keep a nice home maintained (like have jobs and do housework). Since both my day job and my fiction writing entails a lot of time indoors, sitting in front of a computer, I really try to do some hands-on kind of things, preferably outdoors whenever possible. We have a small lakefront house up in northern Michigan, where I can get out and do gardening, or stack firewood, or paint (and I mean the kind of painting with a roller and a gallon of paint). I find things like hikes in the woods, biking a trail, or paddling around in a kayak to be very nourishing to my creativity. Brain and I have four grown kids, and two granddaughters (so far), plus a closeknit extended family, so we have a very active family life. I also love to cook good food… and travel! Over the years we’ve enjoyed some great trips around the US and abroad.  Getting out into the world is a major form of creative inspiration for me. Then squeeze in researching, writing and promoting historical novels and… yep, I’m pretty busy!

Do you have a day job as well?
I do.
Nothing too glamorous – I’m the Marketing Director for a construction company here in Chicago.

How did you choose the genre you write in and where do your ideas come from?
I chose to write historical fiction because it’s always been my favorite genre to read, and it just seemed all the stories that are banging around in my head seem to take place in the far off past. To tell you the truth, I don’t think I could write a good story that takes place in modern day time. For one thing, I need to write in time periods where is perfectly acceptable for a man to walk about carrying a sword.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
In hindsight, and compared to a lot of authors, my road to publication was pretty easy. I’ve have written four novels, and three have been published. The hardest thing was getting a literary agent – which took about 8 months of sending out query letters and fielding rejections before landing an agent, and then waiting around another 8 months before getting an offer for publication.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
I love that first novel I wrote – the one that isn’t published. It’s a about a young woman who is shipwrecked off the coast of Scotland in 1721. She is found and saved by a young clansman, and their resultant journey together is filled with action, romance and adventure. I always think that one day I might spruce it up and see if I can sell it.

How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
This virtual book tour with all you fabulous book bloggers and your followers seems to be great avenue.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
The last few chapters of The Turning of Anne Merrick where the pace is quick and the action shifts from character to character, and the emotion is high.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
I write the kind of book I love to read, and intellectually I know it just can’t be everybody’s cup of tea. But there is a part of me that wishes everyone would love my stories and characters as much as I do, so I do get dismayed sometimes if I read a review or comment from a reader who didn’t connect for whatever reason.

What has been the best compliment?
The best compliments are those that come from readers who do connect with my work. It is always a thrill to hear from happy readers who want more. That’s the best compliment.

Here’s a couple of quirky questions for you, Christine….

What’s your favorite movie?
Robin Hood (with Errol Flynn)
Last of the Mohicans (with Daniel Day Lewis)
Pride and Prejudice (with Keira Knightly)

Cake with or without ice cream?
Yes.

Date night out, or date night in?
In. A simple dinner made with quality ingredients, accompanied with good bottle of red, and a good movie on Netflix.

Thanksgiving or Christmas?
Thanksgiving – I think because it is simpler. Thanksgiving is all about the food. Christmas is great, but it’s a much more complicated proposition.

Physical copy of a book or eReader??
I am an Apple products user from waaayyy back, and I think the reading experience on my iPad is almost as good as a printed book. My biggest problem with eReaders is that I don’t think that publishers pay enough attention to the details of formatting manuscripts properly.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
It’s funny to think I have readers and fans – wow – thanks!.
Check out my website, and don’t hesitate to get in touch.

My Review:

So, I love historical novels, but I’ve never really read many set in the American Revolution. I’m glad I jumped on board this blog tour, for this book was not only eye catching with a beautiful cover, it was a GREATABULOUS read! Christine Blevins digs deep into the American History and fills this book with amazing twists and turns and complex characters. Sadly, this is book 2. Happily, this wasn’t confusing in away, but I will DEFINITELY go back and read book 1 for the pure enjoyment of a talented author’s work.

Anne Merrick. An American spy drifting among the British soldiers. A spy who writes letters for the soldiers to their loved ones. Little did those soldiers know, she’s really writing to Jack Hampton, a rebel, who will use the information to help his fellow soldiers outwit the British and conquer the war. Jack Hampton also happens to be the lovely spy’s beau. A man she knows she loves, and hopes that all this information she sends to the Commander-In-Chief will help to reunite them sooner, and wholly, rather than later and dead. It’s taking a toll on Anne emotionally but she will not give up!

Along with Jack and Anne, there’s Sally, Anne’s dear friend and maid. She’s tagging along with Anne as a spy to help with the information. She’s just as lovable a character as the beautiful Anne, and the charming, witty Jack. All three characters have stolen a place in my heart to stay!

This is definitely a 4 Book worthy novel and one that I am pleased and happy to recommend to everyone who loves history, who loves action, and who loves romance. It’s a little of all those and so much more with the roller coaster ride it takes the reader on! I am definitely adding the first book, The Tory Widow, where we’re first introduced to the amazing Anne Merrick, to my list of MUST read novels, and can’t wait to see another addition to this fabtastic author’s work. Her talent is beyond speakable words and her characters become family. Well done, Ms. Blevins!!!

***For a chance to win a stationary bundle or your own copy of Anne Merrick, please click here to enter my giveaway!***

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