Delighting In Your Company

Blair McDowell
Delighting In Your Company
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Publisher
Rebel Ink Press
Release Date
April 2012
ISBN
9781937265441
Genre
Paranormal with Romantic Elements

SUMMARY
What more could a girl ask for?
When Amalie visits her cousin on a small Caribbean island, the last thing she's looking for is romance. Just out of a disastrous marriage, she's ready to swear off men forever. That is until she meets local plantation owner, Jonathan Evans. He's tall, good looking, intelligent and incredibly sexy. What more could a girl ask for?

An unsolved murder..
Then Amalie discovers the man she loves is a ghost. Only she can see and hear him. Perhaps he's real to her because Amalie is the image of her distant ancestor, Jonathan's bride from an earlier time. Jonathan was murdered 200 years ago and has no knowledge of who killed him or why.

A perilous trip to the past..
When Jonathan asks her to help him by returning with him to his past, Amalie is torn. If she helps him solve the mystery surrounding his death, she could lose him forever. If she doesn't, she'll be stuck with a ghost for a lover.

And a love that crosses the boundaries of time..
To save Jonathan, Amalie agrees to travel with him back in time to the Caribbean of the 1800's when sugar reigned supreme and the slave trade was making fortunes for wealthy planters and ship owners. Her adventures include a slave uprising, murder, deceit and an enduring love that crosses the boundaries of time.

Excerpt:
He was walking in the surf with seeming unconcern for the waves splashing over his boots. The melody he whistled came to her clearly. She recognized it but could not .... name it or put words to it. It seemed so familiar. Something from her childhood perhaps?
As she stood staring at the man, .... Josephina joined her.
"Good. I see you found the coffee. Elvirna will have breakfast ready in about a half hour. I usually have it out here." She indicated a small table and chairs at the far end of the veranda.
"That will be lovely." Amalie paused. "Who is that man on the beach?"
"What man?"
Amalie turned to where the beachcomber had been. No one was there.

Book Review by Rho (reviewer)
May 04, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
191 people found the following review helpful
DELIGHTING IN YOUR COMPANY is a unique paranormal romance that brings together island folklore, history, and mystery with an unlikely romance between the past and present that had me going through a torrent of emotions and made it impossible to put down.

This is the story of Amalie, a woman from L.A. who travels to her long lost cousin's house on a small Caribbean island. She's licking her wounds after just ending a disastrous marriage. She needs a place to do this and St. Clements Island seems like an ideal place. She's sworn off men, so imagine her surprise when she meets up with handsome plantation owner Jonathan. He'd be perfect for her, except for one tiny problem: he's a ghost!

Jonathan has been walking around St. Clements for over two hundred years since his murder in the 1800's. He's surprised that Amalie sees him, but he feels like she may be the key to solving his murder.

When Amalie agrees to go to the past with him, they don't just find answers, they find love. But now she's torn because solving the mystery means possibly losing out on a love that has gone beyond the boundaries of time.

DELIGHTING IN YOUR COMPANY was so interesting. I was intrigued by the blurb because I had no idea how the author was going to pull off the story. I was pleasantly surprised. I think the notion of the island legends and magic help lend to the overall tone of the story. Yes, it's paranormal romance, so you're supposed to suspend reality, but the historical accuracy of the island made the plot even better.

The mystery and time travel aspect of the book were definitely my favorites. Going back to the 1800's with a 21st century woman was quite amusing. Amalie had a hard time fitting into the mold of a well-bred young lady of that time. I can imagine that many modern women would have the same struggles.

The only problem that I had with the book was that I was struggling with the romance between Amalie and Jonathan. With his feelings wrapped up with the present day Amalie and the Amalie of the past, it was truly hard for me to get into it. Also, I didn't love the ending, but it was just my take on it.

Overall though, DELIGHTING IN YOUR COMPANY was a well-written story that blended many genres: namely mystery, paranormal, romance, and fantasy. I loved the author's unique approach to the story line. This is my first time reading a novel by Blair McDowell, but she got me so wrapped up in the world she created in this book, I don't believe that it will be my last.
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BOOK INTERVIEW on May 2012
Interview by Rho

Thanks so much for taking the time to talk about your newest novel DELIGHTING IN YOUR COMPANY. I can't wait to hear your insight into this delightful story.


Q: I was blown away by the plot in DELIGHTING IN YOUR COMPANY. How did you come up with such a great idea for a book?

For many years I've had a home on the small Caribbean island of St. Eustatius. When I was building my small house, "out in de bush", with no electricity, no running water, on the lower slopes of a volcano with views of three islands in the distance, a friend, a local black woman, asked me if I wasn't afraid, staying there alone at night. Since one reason I had chosen this island for my home was its non-existent crime rate, I asked her what I should be afraid of. The answer came, "the jumbies, the walking dead". I told her any jumbies who came to my place would be friendly ones. But I must admit some chills ran up my spine when I heard unfamiliar noises that night.

That was just the beginning. Over the years I heard tales of the ghost who walked White Wall, the woman who was buried standing up, the Obeah woman who lives round the mountain, and even of one black magic death. I respect the beliefs and lore I have heard here, and I wanted them to be a part of Delighting In Your Company. Ghosts are real here. As is reincarnation.

Q: The world building in both St. Clements present day and the one in the year 1810 was just amazing. What kind of research went into creating such a magical place?

The St. Clement's of today is the St. Eustatius of when I first came here. No imagination was necessary. Just memories of what it was like before the oil companies put their tanks on the other side of the mountain, bringing with them prosperity, but also all that is undesirable in the outside world.

The St.Clement's of 1810 — that required substantial research. But I've been fascinated by the history of the Caribbean for many years and I have an large library of books on that history. I drew on those books, many of them out of print, extensively. For example, my description of an Obeah ceremony is written from an eye witness account.

Q: Do tell us more about Amalie. What is it about her that drew Jonathan?

Amalie of 2012 is a descendant of and a look-alike of Amalie of 1810. And Amalie of 1810 was Jonathan's bride. He considers today's Amalie one and the same with his bride in that earlier time. Today's Amalie is a modern professional woman. She is initially unconvinced, but eventually comes to believe what Jonathan tells her about her past life.

Q: How about Jonathan? What makes him a swoon-worthy hero? A ghost, no less!

A ghost, yes. But with Amalie he becomes more and more real until she can actually feel his touch, and more. Not only is he drop dead gorgeous, he's intelligent, and sensitive, and he loves her across the barriers of time.

Q: The scene in the book that most resonated with me was when Amalie went back to present after the past was made right. I was so touched by her inner turmoil of doing what she thought was the right versus what she thought would make her the most happy. What was your most memorable scene? Please share that scene with us?

That's my favorite scene also. To give up a love for honor, to do the right thing, is deeply human.

Q: DELIGHTING IN YOUR COMPANY featured some wonderfully rich characters, including our main characters, Jonathan and Amalie, but others too. Which character do you think was the hardest to write? Why is that?

None of them were hard to write. They wrote themselves. But the one I was most careful with was the freed slave, Samuel. I wanted to give him the dignity and intelligence of some of the descendants of slaves I have come to know here. I hope I succeeded.

Q: Now, I have to admit, I absolutely adored Amalie's elderly distant cousin, Josephina. I thought she was so spunky and funny, but also showed a lot of sensitivity and understanding. Which character was your favorite in DELIGHTING IN YOUR COMPANY? Why is that?

I'm a sucker for a good looking man. I love Jonathan . But I, too, love Josephina. And I must admit she's patterned after a delightful old lady I once knew. I love fey old ladies who have nothing to lose when speaking their minds,who aren't fettered by convention.

Q: DELIGHTING IN YOUR COMPANY had a unique twist on time travel romance, and it got me thinking about going back in time. What time would you most like to travel to and why?

Here's where I lose everybody. I'm an opera nut. I'd choose to go back to the 1700's to the first performance of Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro"in Prague.

Q: Please share with us any experience or fact that you discovered while writing DELIGHTING IN YOUR COMPANY that didn't make it into the book but that you still thought was interesting.

There are so many facts that didn't make it into Delighting In Your Company that I can't begin to recount them here. Particularly of today's Caribbean. I'm thinking of doing a sequel to Delighting, picking up Amalie and John at the inn. Complete with a ghost, of course.

Q: DELIGHTING IN YOUR COMPANY was both contemporary and historical. Please explain to us why either time period is more enjoyable for you to write.

I just love writing fiction. Period doesn't matter to me, other than making sure it is factually accurate for its time and place.

Q: What's up next for you?

My new novel, SONATA, will be out in the fall. It takes place in my other home on Canada's west coast, in the spectacularly beautiful city of Vancouver and on the rustic, picturesque Sunshine Coast. It features the unlikely love affair between a world class concert artist and a Vancouver cop. Mystery, murder and mayhem.


Blair, thanks so much for this enlightening interview. I enjoyed learning more about went into creating this novel as much as I did reading your book!


Bio:


I started to write soon after I found my first pencil. But I began to write for publication about 30 years ago -- professional books. I wrote six of them, all still in print and still in use. Only lately have I turned to fiction. I'd have done it a lot sooner if I'd had any idea how much fun it was!

I've lived in many different places. The US -- Certain cities call to me. I love San Francisco and Seattle and the wonderful Oregon Coast. Australia -- among the most open welcoming people in the world, and a wide open young country with incredible land and sea scapes, with amazing animal and bird life right out of science fiction. Canada -- HOME. The place where I belong.

I travel a lot. I usually spend the month of October in Europe, Greece or Italy, and the winter in a little house I built many years ago on a small non-touristy Caribbean Island. I have worked and studied in many places -- Hungary, Australia the US and Canada, and have spoken in most of the States and Provinces as well as Taiwan and various cities in Europe. I enjoy being surrounded by cultures other than my own. I enjoy my own as well -- but variety is indeed the spice of my life.

I keep busy -- and I love my life. I love meeting the people who come here to the west coast of Canada and stay in my B&B. I love traveling after the tourist season is over. And I love writing. My interests?? Music, especially opera, reading everything in print, and Writing. And walking on the beach and swimming. At one point I had hoped to swim in every major sea and ocean. I've realized that may not be possible in one lifetime -- but trying has been fun!


Website: http://www.blairmcdowell.com
Blog: http://blog.blairmcdowell.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002512606436


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GIVEAWAYS!!!

Blair McDowell is giving away 1 ebook download of DELIGHTING IN YOUR COMPANY!

Mechanics:

Simply write a comment or ask a question in the comment box below to be entered into the giveaway!


ADDITIONAL GIVEAWAY!!!

For all Featured Book Interviews, TRR is sponsoring a prize!

Each comment you make in the following interviews:

Invitation to Scandal by Bronwen Evans
Delighting in Your Company by Blair McDowell
Becoming sage by Kasi Alexander
A Wild Night's Bride by Victoria Vane

give you one additional point EACH to win this prize:



LETHAL RIDER by Larissa Ione (paperback) – International winner!


Contest ends May 31.

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