Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Meriden Park by Julie Daines, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! Please join me in welcoming Julie to the blog today to chat about her new Regency romance!
MERIDEN PARK by Julie Daines
GENRE: Historical/Regency Romance/Suspense (Clean & Wholesome)
PUBLISHER: Covenant Communications
RELEASE DATE: December 5, 2022
Following her childhood rescue from the gutters of Calcutta, Mary Grace’s life has been an astonishing rags-to-riches tale. The Wellings raised the half-Indian orphan with all the love and care the childless couple possessed, allowing her to grow into a beautiful and refined woman. But upon Mr. Welling’s death, it is time for Mrs. Welling to take Mary home to England―home to Meriden Park.
Despite her genial nature, Mary is received with suspicion by the villagers. For his part, however, Mr. Robert Markham is intrigued by the curious new beauty in town. Determined to make her acquaintance, he offers Mary a bargain she can’t refuse: a hot cross bun for a kiss. That seemingly innocent exchange is the first of many encounters between Robert and Mary, whose friendship blossoms into love during long walks in the privacy of Sherwood Forest. But the shadows of the forest hide a sinister secret, one Mary fears Robert might be a part of. As the mystery of the recent string of murders creeps closer and closer, Robert and Mary are drawn into a dangerous game, and unless she can unearth the truth, the couple risks losing one another forever.
Hi Julie! Welcome to the blog!
Julie: I used to be winter all the way, but as I’ve gotten older I find I’m cold all the time so I’m migrating toward summer. Lol.
Julie: Dogs. Definitely dogs.
Carrie: great answer 🙂
Julie: Netflix—I watch a lot of Korean shows on Netflix. I’ve sort of given up on American television.
Carrie: I haven’t quite jumped on the Korean TV bandwagon but I’m with you on American TV.
Julie: Coke!! Diet Coke, to be specific. And to be even more specific my cardiologist told me I shouldn’t drink caffeine and now my life is over. Caffeine Free Diet Coke is not the same.
Carrie: haha I’m chuckling a little but i would feel the same way 🙂 Diet Coke (with caffeine) or bust.
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Julie: I would say my superpower is mediocrity. I have a way of starting something new—like a new hobby or talent—and then getting mediocre at and then abandoning it and starting something new. My list of mediocre accomplishment includes: Playing the cello, guitar, Irish whistle, piano, candle making, sewing, scrapbooking, cooking, painting, and so on. Lol!
Carrie: LOL!! I’m quite curious about this Irish whistle thing haha
Q: Tell me some good books you’ve read recently.
Julie: Our book club recently read Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. I hadn’t read The Martian so I didn’t know what to expect. But as I listened on audiobook I was entranced with the writing and the knowledge of science and the way he combined those two elements into a story that had me both laughing and crying and never wanting it to end. It was really quite a remarkable book, and the audiobook was especially well executed.
Carrie: I’ve heard marvelous things about his books but have not read them myself yet.
Q: If I sneaked a peek in your purse right now (which I would never do, I promise!), what would it tell me about you?
Julie: In my purse you would discover: A packet of sanitizing wipes. Yes, I am a bit of a germophobe and usually wipe my spot at the table when I go to restaurants. And I always wipe my hands after random human contact, direct or indirect. And every time I get in my car. Once an hour at the airport…
Also: foldable chopsticks. I do not like eating Asian food with western utensils. And not all restaurants around here have chopsticks, so I always carry my own pair.
And: Chapstick but no lipstick or lip gloss. I have dry lips so I’m always reapplying Chapstick. But I have kind of thin lips and so I feel like lipstick makes them look weird. Also I can never find a color that works. Never. My daughter will put on a lip color and look perfect, I’ll try the same one and I look ridiculous. It’s a weird, unfortunate phenomenon.
Carrie: there is only one shade of lipstick that looks good on me … and I live in fear that Maybeline will discontinue it lol
Q: Which of your main characters in Meriden Park is most like you?
Julie:From Meriden Park, I think I am most like Robert Markham. I am the kind of person who just wants people to be happy and for things to be okay. I like bad guys to get their comeuppance. But, I also want to make things right by myself, my way. So I can really understand his desire to right the wrongs that are happening in Sherwood Forest all alone and without telling anyone else about what was happening, even though there were people who would have agreed with him and helped him.
Carrie: I think I could relate to him too!
Q: Do you have the whole plot outlined before you start writing, or do you let the characters dictate what comes next?
Julie: When I write I don’t really have a significant outline. I have in my head a few critical scenes and the ending, and then I have to piece it all together as I go. You would think that that process would leave me with massive amounts of revision, but I’m actually a pretty slow writer, and so by the time I finish a story, I don’t usually have big, major revisions to do. Just minor stuff to make it all cohesive and fix all the many many typos. I’m a terrible typist.
Carrie: that’s awesome that you’re able to piece everything together as you go
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Meriden Park?
Julie: There a quite a few themes in this book that are meaningful to me, but I think the one I hope readers will take away is that we—family, neighbors, friends, communities—are stronger together. Not everyone is as they seem and even difficult people have good in them. The Lord looketh on the heart, we are taught, and our world would be so different if we could all put that into practice. As my sister used to say before she died of a brain tumor several years ago, “There’s always room for one more.”
Carrie: so true!
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Julie: I have a fun idea for set of books set in the 18th century. But I’m the kind of person who keeps what I’m working on kind of close to my chest, so everyone will have to stay tuned to find out the cool project I’m working on!
Julie Daines is an award-winning and best-selling author. She was born in Concord, Massachusetts, and was raised in Utah. She spent eighteen months living in London, where she studied and fell in love with English literature, sticky toffee pudding, and the mysterious guy who ran the kebab store around the corner.
She loves reading, writing, and watching movies—anything that transports her to another world. She picks Captain Wentworth over Mr. Darcy, firmly believes in second breakfast, and never leaves home without her vervain.
Connect with Julie by visiting juliedaines.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.
(1) winner will receive a signed copy of book, $25 Amazon gift card, bookmark, stickers, and button.
Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight December 5, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 12, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
This giveaway is hosted by JustRead Tours, not RimSP
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
What about you? What makes you want to read Meriden Park by Julie Daines?