Shannon here: Monarch Books author shares her fictional characters’ romantic interview. From the sweet romance of her daughter to monastery murder and mayhem. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of A Very Private Grave on any post dated Oct 25 – 29 by Oct 30, 8:00 PM Central. Here’s Donna:
Inkslinger interviews Felicity Howard,
Heroine of A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE
1. Felicity, I understand that A Very Private Grave is an ecclesiastical thriller, so it has a lot of suspense in it, but I liked the review that said it had “lashings of romance”, too. So what’s the most romantic thing you and Antony do together?
(Felicity thinks for a moment, then breaks into a huge grin.) Oh, I can’t believe this. You have to understand, I went off to theological college on a whim with very little Christian background or understanding. At first I was so irritated by Antony always taking time to pray— I mean, even when we were being chased by murderers! But after a while I was captivated by his quiet, sincere Christian life. So I’ll have to admit it— Praying together eventually became the thing that draws us together most powerfully. That really is the word, you know. There’s a power there. I still don’t understand it, but—
2. Yes, thank you, Felicity. Donna warned me that you do go on a bit. Tell us about the most romantic place you and Antony have ever been.
Well, you see, since we seem to spend most of our time chasing and being chased by murderers we haven’t really had much time for romantic idylls. Although I must say, the ancient holy sites we visited such as the Holy Isle of Lindisfarne and Durham Cathedral certainly offered great scenic beauty. But believe it or not, one of our most romantic moments was when Antony saved me from drowning and we had to spend most of the night in a rescue tower. That was when Antony began to think perhaps he isn’t called to take vows of celibacy. You see, he was thinking of becoming a monk. . .
3. Um, yes. Can you tell us what simple gesture Antony does that melts you every time?
You need to understand that for all of his intelligence, wisdom and strong moral fiber, Antony’s limited experience with women has been fraught with pain. So, he has this cute little way of sort of pushing away his insecurity by running his hand through his hair. Up and down, like this. (She demonstrates.) The more I’ve learned to value his strengths, the more this sign of his vulnerability touches my heart. It’s endearing, almost like a little boy—
4. Okay, what simple gesture do you do that melts Antony?
Well, you know, he hasn’t learned to be very expressive yet. But I think I really amuse him. He’s so cautious and I loosen him up by running headlong at every challenge. I don’t suppose you can call it a “simple gesture,” but I think Antony admires my courage and tenacity even when it extends to stubbornness. And one of the things that always makes him smile is my habit of breathlessly blurting out about ten questions in a row before he can get a word in. Of course, you’d really have to ask him. Oh, and then, there’s—
5. Yes, I see what you mean. What is the most caring thing Antony has ever done for you?
Saving my life. Several times, actually. And even after I thought maybe he was the murderer. Well, to tell you the truth, I was pretty sure of it there for awhile. But he did just go off with our chief suspect. And I was so mad at him. But then he was always there when I really, really, really needed him.
6. Who said, “I love you” first, you or Antony?
Oh, he hasn’t said it yet. I’m sure I’ll have to be the one. But that’s all right, because I never have any trouble speaking what’s on my mind. But you have to understand, this is the first book in the series and that Donna Fletcher Crow woman keeps telling me I have to grow up and learn to think things through. And I suppose she’s right, all my rushing did get me into a lot of trouble, but don’t you think being careful all the time can be really boring? And besides, Antony is careful enough for both of us.
Um, thank you Felicity.
Oh, you’re very welcome. Thank you. I’ve really loved visiting with you and I’ll be really happy to answer any questions your readers want to leave in the comment boxes. Oh, and if they want to know more about me they can go to www.DonnaFletcherCrow.com and see a video about me— well, really, it’s about the book, and see pictures of our monastery and order the book about me and. . . Oh, did I tell you how devastatingly handsome Antony is? Especially in his cassock. He has this thick black hair and a beautiful voice and this sort of lopsided smile. . .
A Very Private Grave blurb: Felicity Howard, a young American studying for the Anglican priesthood at the College of the Transfiguration in Yorkshire, is devastated when she finds her beloved Fr. Dominic brutally murdered and Fr. Antony, her church history lecturer, soaked in his blood.
A Very Private Grave is a contemporary novel with a thoroughly modern heroine who must learn some ageless truths in order to solve the mystery and save her own life as she and Fr. Antony flee a murderer and follow clues that take them to out-of-the way sites in northern England and southern Scotland. The narrative mixes detection, intellectual puzzles, spiritual aspiration, romance, and the solving of clues ancient and modern.
“With a bludgeoned body in Chapter 1, and a pair of intrepid amateur sleuths, A Very Private Grave qualifies as a traditional mystery. But this is no mere formulaic whodunit: it is a Knickerbocker Glory of a thriller. At its centre is a sweeping, page-turning quest – in the steps of St. Cuthbert – through the atmospherically-depicted North of England, served up with dollops of Church history and lashings of romance. In this novel, Donna Fletcher Crow has created her own niche within the genre of clerical mysteries.” – Kate Charles, author of Deep Waters
About Donna: Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 35 books, mostly novels of British history. The award-winning epic GLASTONBURY, is her best-known work, an Arthurian grail search covering 15 centuries of English history. A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE, book 1 in the Monastery Murders series is her reentry into publishing after a 10 year hiatus. THE SHADOW OF REALITY,Book 1 The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries, is a romantic intrigue available on Ebook.
Donna and her husband have 4 adult children and 10 grandchildren. She is an enthusiastic gardener and tea-drinker. To see the book video, to order A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE, or to see pictures from Donna’s research trips, go to www.DonnaFletcherCrow.com.
Come back Oct 29 for an excerpt from A Very Private Grave.