Series: Loving Husband Trilogy 2
Read an Excerpt
Release Date: April 25, 2012
Publisher: Copperfield Press
Genre: Literature & Fiction | Paranormal
https://www.goodreads.com/series/63134-fifty-shades And then, as if he could read her mind, he said, “We’ll be all right, Sarah. Just the two of us. I’ll never leave you ever.”
Finally, after many long and lonely years, James Wentworth’s life is falling into place. Together with his wife, Sarah, the only woman he has ever loved, he has found the meaning behind her nightmares about the Salem Witch Trials and now they are rebuilding the life they began together so long ago.
But the past is never far behind for the Wentworths. While Sarah is haunted by new visions, now about the baby she carried over three hundred years before, James is confronted with painful memories from his time with the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears.
Through it all, the persistent reporter Kenneth Hempel reappears, still determined to prove that the undead walk the earth. If Hempel succeeds in his quest, James and Sarah will suffer. Will the curse of the vampire prevent James and Sarah from living their happily ever after?
When you have a story to tell, you must tell it. No matter how you are laughed at, belittled, berated and mocked — you must tell that story or else always wonder what could have been.
The events that took shape in HER LOVING HUSBAND’S CURSE have escalated exponentially after Kenneth Hempel went on a press tour insisting vampires do exist. Of course he was mocked at first until this lowly blogger was martyred and slowly vampires started coming out of the woodwork thinking that this is their chance to not live in the shadows anymore. Unfortunately, humans being humans, fearing things they don’t understand, decided that vampires are a menace and they should be detained and segregated until scientists have studied their make-up and can verify through research that said vampires are not a threat to the society. And it all started to unravel because of one relentless BLOGGER!
Once more, James and Sarah/Elizabeth Wentworth’s love is tested. Meredith Allard, why do you have to make it so?! Just when James and Sarah are finally realizing their destiny as a fated couple, you have to let the government take James away?! Why didn’t you come up with powerful magic to stop this?! LOL
Okay I’ll stop my gripes, it’s just that I was so carried away by this tragedy between James and Sarah. Just a recap, these two became a couple back in the Salem Witch Trials so yes, there’s a reincarnation theme going on here. Sarah, who was Elizabeth back then, was accused of being a witch and eventually was hanged. Since her death, James has grieved her absence until she was reincarnated as Sarah. As I am a hopeless romantic I naturally find this concept lovely and gush-worthy. But it seems these two aren’t done being tested because now Sarah has to sort of go through what her loving husband experienced when she was taken away from him all those centuries ago. The pain of unrequited love especially when it’s Fate that dealt it and not your lover feels like a punishment. Oh the anguish! *insert swoon*
So that is the emotional hook of HER LOVING HUSBAND’S CURSE and MAllard laid it out so beautifully and so sweeping I felt my heart break a little. The tone of Loving Husband Trilogy is more literary fiction than high velocity paranormal suspense, it’s poignant, quiet but told in such a powerful and loving voice it’s old school romance through and through. The fantasy aspect is non-threatening at all and non political where vamps are advocating their rights or anything like that. Her vampires are the calm, reclusive ones, preferring to stay hidden in the shadows, coexisting peacefully with humans and not these Alpha males we’re used to reading. James is an English and Literature professor for chrissakes and the feral threat he poses are along the lines of pop quizzes and 2k word essays! And as the trilogy is set in Salem, Massachusetts, expect a coven of witches but no bolts of lightning or balls of energy coming our of their fingertips. There’s a lone werewolf too and he’s as threatening as a cute and cuddly Labrador! And that rounds up the otherwordly.
What I love best about Loving Husband Trilogy is how MAllard wrote her story with not only the Salem Witch Trials as the backdrop, she also wove it alongside the Native American legends and the tragic Trail of Tears. I’m no history person but I did cross heck some of the events she mentioned and though MAllard made a few creative tweaks to accommodate her story, most of what she shared are real events. So it added another layer of melancholia and a sense of urgency in James and Sarah’s love story and I can’t help but root for them. Present day events also feel dystopian with the government rounding up vampires and taking them someplace to be observed and studied. There is an air of doom lent due to this plot development which makes for an exciting resolution in the third book.
My only comment is with regards to editing. Not that there are any errors in the book but like what I mentioned in the first volume, I wish the flashbacks and news reports and articles were “broken” from the story via chapter breaks or italicized and not incorporated into the conversation. The long flashbacks where James was telling Sarah how he met of the vampires were a bit lengthy and the double quotes made it confusing mid-reminisce.
Loving Husband Trilogy is more of a romance than anything and similar to Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy so I think even non-paranormal readers would be able to appreciate the books. The predominant themes are forbidden love and because MAllard didn’t really highlight James’ vampire habits as threatening, one can compare his and Sarah’s relationship to that of an interracial couple or even a partnership that has conflicting political/cultural/religious views. Very contemporary if you ask me. What resonated most to me was the concept of destiny and the romantic notion of soulmates and reincarnation. I know it sounds fantastical but how can anyone not like a love story built on that premise?
But we’ll survive. We’ll survive, we’ll heal and we’ll rebuild. We’re immortal and we’re strong, Sarah. Don’t ever forget that.
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BRAINE: Hi Meredith! Thanks for coming back to Talk Supe, just so you know, your last guest post was a HUGE hit with my Supies so THANK YOU for giving me one on such short notice.
Meredith Allard: I’m thrilled to be back on Talk Supe. Thanks for having me again!
BRAINE: For those who are new to the series, what is Loving Husband about?
Meredith Allard: The easiest way to describe the Loving Husband Trilogy is to say it’s about eternal love. James Wentworth has been in love with his wife for over three hundred years (he’s a vampire so he’s been around a while), and as we follow their story we see how they struggle to stay united despite the many obstacles thrown their way. The story goes back and forth between the past and the present. In Book One in the series, Her Dear & Loving Husband, the story takes place in Salem, Massachusetts both during the Salem Witch Trials in 1692 and in the present day. In Book Two in the series, Her Loving Husband’s Curse, the story takes place in present day Massachusetts and Maine, and the historical period is the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears.The historical period helps to illuminate the struggles James and Sarah face in the present day.
BRAINE: I love the Cherokee history and back story btw and the Salem Witch Trials with that space where the captive can’t sit, kneel or lay down… horrendous!
Let’s talk about James Wentworth, he is such a romantic character and I mean that in a literary sense. Now that I’ve been watching the TV Series, Sleepy Hollow, I now relate James to the dude playing Ichabod Crane. Who and/or what is behind his character?
Meredith Allard: I haven’t seen Sleepy Hollow, but now I have to check it out.
BRAINE: Oh you must! It’s so good!
Meredith Allard: There’s an episode early in the first season of True Blood (I think it’s episode four, but don’t quote me) where vampire Bill is giving a talk at Sookie’s grandmother’s church. Someone shows Bill a picture of his family from his human days before the American Civil War, and Bill becomes so emotional at the remembrance of them. That’s what clicked my brain into gear. Here’s this vampire who has everything humans only dream of—extraordinary strength, immortal life—and yet he becomes so emotional at the sight of the ones he loved as a human. That episode of True Blood aired somewhere around October 2008 (at least I think that’s when I saw it; again, don’t quote me). So thank you, Stephen Moyer.
After that episode, I started wondering… What would happen to a vampire who lives forever? Obviously, the humans he loved would have died at some point. Would he forget about them and go on? Would he have trouble moving on? What if he fell in love again? What would that look like, and who would that be with? If he was so in love with his wife, could he ever love anyone else? And so the romantic James Wentworth was born.
BRAINE: Thank you vampire, Bill! HER LOVING HUSBAND’S CURSE, the title and blurb, hints on Sarah’s character being tested. I mean James is an awesome guide and protector but Sarah is new to his world. What’s sort of character development are we going to see from both characters here?
Meredith Allard: You hit on exactly the right word—tested. In fact, it’s both James and Sarah who are tested. Everything they have come to believe in is slowly stripped away from them. Kenneth, Hempel, the reporter who caused such havoc for James in Her Dear & Loving Husband, is back, and he’s causing more problems than ever. James’s fears about what would happen if humans discovered that vampires are fact become more real as the story progresses. James and Sarah are as strong as ever in their love for each other, but they can’t control everything that happens around them, which is a lesson they learned during the Salem Witch Trials. Both James and Sarah have a choice. They can allow the madness to consume them, or they can survive. It’s like that old saying—if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger. We have to read the story to discover how the adversity affects the Wentworths.
BRAINE: I love how Loving Husband is more romantic than adventure. I love the genteel but passionate romance between Sarah and James. Can you share with us your top 5 favorite literary couples and why they made the cut?
Meredith Allard: The first two couples will be pretty obvious since if I hadn’t read Twilight I wouldn’t have started watching True Blood. If I hadn’t started watching True Blood, James and Sarah Wentworth wouldn’t exist. So of course a shout out for Edward and Bella and Bill and Sookie.
My all time favorite literary couple is Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. It’s one of my favorite books. Jane Austen hit every note right in that novel as far as I’m concerned. I love how Austen carefully weaved together the romance between Elizabeth and Darcy, I love her humor, and I love how Elizabeth and Darcy wind up together in the end.
Another favorite couple is Henry and Clare in The Time Traveler’s Wife. I read this book a few years ago and I loved how it represented the idea of eternal love. It may have been an inspiration for the Loving Husband Trilogy.
I absolutely love Rudy and Liesel from Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief. This isn’t a traditional romantic couple since they first know each other as children. It’s more about how sometimes out of nowhere the last person you expect is the one who touches your heart the most.
BRAINE: I can see the influences of these books and couples have on Loving Husband especially Mr. Darcy, I see a lot of him and Austen in James. What project are you currently working on right now?
Meredith Allard: My newest novel, That You Are Here, has just been released. It’s a very different style of story for me. No vampires in that one. It’s a love story, which shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to readers of The Loving Husband Trilogy, but it’s set completely in the present day, which is different for me.
Now that That You Are Here is out in the world, I’m focusing on my next novel, which is a combination of my love for Dickens, my interest in Victorian London, and my fascination with Downton Abbey. No vampires in that one either. At least I don’t think so.
BRAINE: Oooh, I love Downton Abbey! I will sure wait for that one.
Last book read & how did you rate it: I just finished Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, and I gave it a five star review. I love how she talks about accepting our vulnerability instead of hiding it away or rejecting it. As a writer, I know all about vulnerability!
Book you’re most looking forward to reading this year: Okay, this is going to sound writer-geeky, but I’ve been wanting for years to read this nonfiction book called What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist-the Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England. My next novel is set in 19th century England, and while it will serve as research, I’m just dorky enough to enjoy books like that as fun reading.
Book that surprised you the most: I’ve only recently read The Book Thief, and I can’t believe I hadn’t read it earlier. I don’t know how I missed it since it has everything I love in a novel—history, strong characters that you root for, humor, descriptive, poetic writing. Markus Zusak is a master of the written word, and I can’t believe I hadn’t read him before.
Currently reading: Right now I’m rereading Bleak House by Dickens. No great surprise, right? Like with What Jane Austen Ate, I’m going to beusing it as research for my next novel. When I’m in research mode, all of my reading time goes into reading for research.
Book you wouldn’t recommend to your kids, friends and family: The Fifty Shades Trilogy. I liked it well enough, but I wouldn’t recommend it to my mother!
Meredith Allard has taught creative writing and writing historical fiction workshops at Learning Tree University, UNLV, and the Las Vegas Writers Conference. Her short fiction and articles have appeared in journals such as The Paumanok Review, Wild Mind, Moondance, Muse Apprentice Guild, The Maxwell Digest, CarbLite, Writer’s Weekly, and ViewsHound. She is the author of the Loving Husband Trilogy, Victory Garden, Woman of Stones, and My Brother’s Battle (Copperfield Press). She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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It’s winner’s choice!
If you’re name is drawn, you may choose a copy of either
HER DEAR AND LOVING HUSBAND or HER LOVING HUSBAND’S CURSE.
If you live in the US or Canada, you may get a paperback copy or an ebook, all the rest get an ebook… sorry guys, postage is getting expensive but it’s the story the counts and it won’t change regardless of the format.
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