Hi! I’m Betty Bolté.
Thanks to my good friend, Linda Joyce, for inviting me here today to share my exciting news. My debut romantic women’s fiction story, Traces, will be released on Monday, April 28!
To celebrate, I’m throwing a virtual book launch party on Facebook (12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. CDT) and you’re all invited! Just click this linkhttp://on.fb.me/1lEl9wj to access the Traces Event page and Join the fun.
Linda will be among 9 other guest authors participating by chatting with the party goers and giving away free books or other goodies each half hour! I’ll also be giving away books and chatting with everyone throughout the day. This is a fun way to meet the authors and add to your to-be-read pile! Below is a bit more about my first romantic fiction to whet your appetite. I hope to see you on Monday!
Now, about Traces…Before I started writing Traceslast year, I needed to walk the interior of at least one of these historic buildings, to experience the ambiance in order to recreate it on the page as much as to satisfy my curiosity. I happened across an old plantation actually for sale not too far from my home. Greer House sits on a winding road outside of Petersburg, Tennessee. After contacting the real estate agent, I called a historian friend and we went to take a quick tour. Greer House obviously used to be important to the families who lived there (e.g., ballerina wall paper clings to the walls in the staircase leading to the children’s rooms) but now it needs a lot of TLC. The interior layout, modifications, and types of repairs necessary directly influenced the layout and rundown appearance of my fictional plantation, Twin Oaks.
After Greer House, I journeyed to the Rattle and Snap Plantation located outside of Columbia, Tennessee,
dragging inviting good friends along, two who are interested in history and touring sites such as this, as well as one special friend who is also an architect. I wanted to see for myself the construction techniques, to find out what the interior rooms were called, and how they were used. But I had not expected to be swept away by the grand architecture and beautiful furnishings within the walls of the plantation home itself.
The original owners, Sally and George Polk, were very wealthy, as evidenced by the inclusion of 10 two-story columns, which equaled the cost of the rest of the L-shaped house ($42,000 in the 1840s, or approximately $2.2 million today). Those columns are also wide enough for someone to be dropped lowered into from above, a fact incorporated into Traces.
You can see my photos as well as some other images I referred to while writing Traces by visiting http://www.pinterest.com/bettybolte9/my-tour-of-rattle-and-snap-plantation/and http://www.pinterest.com/bettybolte9/plantations-and-antebellum-houses/.
What’s Traces about? Here’s the blurb.
Meredith Reed, a forty-year-old architect turned demolition expert, desperately searches for the means to bury her grief. When she inherits her family’s historic plantation home in Tennessee, she decides to start anew by razing the antebellum house and replacing it with a memorial garden. A plan met with outrage from her family and her grandmother’s estate lawyer.
James Maximillian “Max” Chandler needs two things to complete his life plan: become a senior partner and find his soul mate. He’s been promised a promotion once his proposed legislation to protect all of the county’s historic properties is approved. The wife part he finds more challenging, having never met the right woman in all of his forty-six years. If only the talented and attractive Meredith weren’t so aloof toward him and didn’t want to destroy the very property he’s grown to cherish.
Meanwhile, Meredith’s estranged sister moves in and refuses to leave. The memories of their childhood spent there causes turmoil between them. And while Meredith struggles to reconcile her past and her future, she learns a lesson from the spectral Lady in Blue that may save both her family and the family home from destruction.
Excerpt From Traces
“What is it you do again?” Max aimed mirrored sunglasses in her direction.
“Demolition.” Meredith slid her purse strap more securely onto her shoulder. She snatched the manila folder off the hood of the vehicle, a file Max had handed to her at his office. Inside were copies of the legal papers he’d reviewed with her across his massive mahogany desk. “Why?”
“Your grandmother said you were an architect. Demolition is a rather unique profession for a woman, isn’t it?” He let his gaze drift away from her to scan the hundreds of acres of fields and trees and the various outbuildings surrounding the plantation house. A circle of trees nearly hid the old gazebo from view, but they couldn’t stop the surge of memories of afternoons spent with her sister, Paulette, playing under its roof. Glimpses of white painted boards and black wrought-iron trim appeared through the dense branches and limbs sprouting with new growth.
“I like to be different.” Meredith dropped her attention to the folder, severing the thread of the past, and turned a page without reading it. Once she’d built homes and offices, spaces conducive to living and loving, but that was five years ago. Why did Max care what she did? She slanted a questioning glance his way. “Keeps things interesting, ya know?”
“I’d imagine. Listen, I hate to rush this,” Max said, his words clipped, “but I have a client to meet in an hour. Let me show you around.” He indicated for her to lead up the steps.
Bristling at his tone, Meredith pinned him with a stare. “Look, you don’t need to. It’s been a while, true, but I have been here before. I know the layout. We can go.” Then she wouldn’t have to go inside and relive the happy, carefree days of her childhood through the weary eyes of an adult while Max watched.
He shook his head, his dark chocolate hair touched with gray sweeping his collar, watching her. “Things have changed. You may be surprised by what you find inside.” He tapped a hand against one thigh and cocked his head to gaze at her for a long moment. “Either way, you should take stock of what you’ve inherited.”
He didn’t appear much like a lawyer, truth be told. Didn’t lawyers wear prescription glasses and look nerdy? Not that she believed in stereotypes, but all that studying must make their eyes weak. Max was the other end of the spectrum. Perhaps her grandmother had a need for eye candy when she chose him as her estate planner.
He was delicious to contemplate, that’s for sure. Probably a couple inches taller than a cornstalk with a soccer player’s physique, Max could double for a cover model. She appreciated his classic good looks, straight nose, and strong jaw. Dressed in khakis and a deep red polo shirt, he seemed more ready for a round of golf than a client meeting. He represented the unattainable type of man for her. The kind embodying something too smart, too handsome, too much for her taste. Even if she were in the market for a man, which she was not. None of that mattered since she would be staying in the area for a short while. Despite her hard shell of indifference to the opposite sex, she couldn’t help a moment of succumbing to the temptation of drinking her fill of his appearance. But only for an instant. If she let her guard down, her personal destruction would soon follow.
Shortened Pre-order link: http://bit.ly/1kgZ9n3
Betty Bolté writes both historical and contemporary stories that feature strong, loving women and brave, compassionate men. No matter whether the stories are set in the past or the present, she loves to include a touch of the paranormal. Traces is a contemporary romantic women’s fiction novel set in a haunted plantation home in Tennessee, scheduled for release on April 28, 2014. Hometown Heroines: True Stories of Bravery, Daring, and Adventure (2012) is a collection of short historical fiction based on the real-life achievements of 19 American girls in the 19th century, each with a landmark in the United States of America. The first edition won Honorable Mention in the 2003 Writer’s Digest International Self-Published Book Awards and 2000 Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. She’s the author of several nonfiction books and currently marketing a romantic historical fiction trilogy.
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Linda here: I hope you’ll join Betty’s party on Monday, April 28th. There will be free books and other goody giveaways!.
Happy Reading to all!