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Archive for January 14th, 2008

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 You won’t find this in any weather textbooks, but there’s a name for this part of the year – you know, the gray, still bleak days of midwinter – it’s called the reading season.

Ok, I made that up, but nevertheless, I think it should become official. We should get a long, three day weekend where everything closes and the entire country curls up by a roaring fire with a pot of tea and a book. In fact, this scenario is one of my most enduring fantasies. It’s right up there with my other enduring fantasy…that my local news station will devote the final five minutes of its nightly broadcast to books instead of basketball, football, hockey, and baseball.

Yeah, I know, I know…but that’s why they call it fantasy, right?

One day, I might just get my national holiday of reading, but in the meantime, in case you find yourself by a roaring fire on a snowy day with nothing to do — I’ve got just the book for you…it’s my latest novel, and it’s called The Winter Rose.

The Winter Rose, second book in The Tea Rose trilogy, reunites readers with the Finnegan family. Beginning where The Tea Rose ended, on the river Thames, the novel follows the story of Charlie Finnegan – now Sid Malone – and a new female character – India Selwyn Jones.

Here’s a bit of scene setting…

The year is 1900 and the dangerous streets of East London are no place for a well-bred woman. But India Selwyn Jones is headstrong: she has trained as one of a new breed, a woman doctor, and is determined to practice where the need is greatest.

It is on these grim streets where India meets – and saves the life of – London’s most notorious gangster, Sid Malone. Hard, violent, devastatingly attractive, Malone is the opposite of India’s cool, aristocratic fiancé, a rising star in the House of Commons. Though Malone represents all she despises, India finds herself unwillingly drawn ever closer to him – enticed by his charm, intrigued by his hidden, mysterious past.

The Winter Rose brings the beginning of the turbulent twentieth century vividly to life, drawing the reader into its wretched underworld, its privileged society, and the shadowland between the two, where the strict rules of the time blur into secret passions.

One of my favorite writers, Barbara Taylor Bradford, is a big fan of the book. This is what she had to say about it: “I loved this book. It is truly seductive, hard to put down, filled with mystery, secret passions, unique locations, and a most engaging heroine. India Selwyn Jones is a new breed of woman in London in 1900, a doctor practicing in the grim East End, and she captivates from the first page to the last.”

I loved writing The Winter Rose. Loved catching up with old characters, and loved getting to know new ones. I hope that you enjoy it, too. Many UK readers – the book is already out over there – have emailed to say that they like it as much as The Tea Rose. If you have a minute or two, email me at jen@jenniferdonnelly.com to let me know what you think.

Happy reading, and best wishes for a Happy New Year!

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