Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Welcome to Family Saga Author - Mary Wood

I’m delighted to welcome Mary Wood to my blog.


Hello Mary,
It was wonderful to connect with you through the Romantic Novelists’ Association. I’ve met some great authors via the RNA – you being one of them. But before we get to hear about your latest release, The Abandoned Daughter, here are a few questions which will hopefully give your readers an insight into some of the things that matter to you.

Arabella: Are there any organisations, writing, or reader groups, you belong to? And, how do they support or help you in creating such wonderful, inspirational novels?
Mary: I belong to the Romantic Novelists Association, and within that with have our own chapters. Mine is The Sandpipers. We meet every other month for lunch and the help we receive and give to each other is invaluable and very supportive. Our meetings tend to be of the format of having a guest speaker in our field and Q&A session with him/her. An exchange of ‘what is happening in our book world’ and general chit chat, when we can sound ideas, or talk about the weather. Always feel amazingly uplifted afterwards and ready to tackle anything.

Arabella: In your latest release, The Abandoned Daughter, who is your favourite character and why?
Mary: The main character, Ella Wronski. In the first book of this four-book series (all stand alone reads, as well as being part of the series) Ella, short for Marjella, is the timid one of the three First World War nurses, who meet as they set out to take up their posts in Belgium in 1914. But we see her grow, and cope with some horrendous, heart-breaking moments in her life, and be tested to the limit, never to break, and to win through in the end with dignity and love. I would want to be like Ella. 


Arabella: Which do you prefer to wear: Slippers, stilettos, pumps, or boots?
Mary: Slippers – love slopping around in comfies – jim jams, dressing gown, any day. Would break my ankle in stilettos, but do like to admire them, and boots, well, I’m losing weight now, but as a big lady, finding some that would zip up has been a nightmare.

Arabella: When writing a novel, how do you work? Are you a plotter or pantser?
Mary: A mixture of the two. Always a pantser in the beginning, letting the story take me where it will. But now, I have to pitch to the publisher for a contract and that entails plotting out the book so that they can see that I have a viable, commercial idea and that it works – doesn’t stop me going off in all directions once I have the contract and sit down to write the book though.

Arabella: Which do you prefer to wear: beach shorts and top, a long evening skirt and blouse, pyjamas and slippers?
Mary: I think readers know this now, as my answer to different footwear indicates, but having said this, I do love to dress up for an occasion and will really go for it, for a wedding, or dinner and dance, so evening wear would come in as a very close second.

Arabella: Where do you read? Sofa or bed or ____?
Mary: I have so little time to read, and much that I do is for research or for a review, so with this limitation, once I start to read, the book goes everywhere with me – even into the toilet!!! My favourite place of all though has to be sitting on a beach bar lounger with an attentive waiter bringing me cocktails at my whim…sigh


Arabella: We all have a long list of books we keep meaning to read but never have the time for --- which book is a must read for you this summer?
Mary: Jeffrey Archers PRISON DIARIES there are three in the series. This stems from going to meet him at one of his book signings. I have always loved his books, and to meet the man was a culmination of my dreams. He is lovely, down to earth and very funny and approachable. One man asked the question of why Jeffrey doesn’t mention his time in prison. The audience hushed with embarrassment for Jeffrey, but he handled it so well. He went up very close to the gentleman and looked at him intently before saying: ‘I thought I recognised you. You were in the next cell.’ When the laughter died down we all relaxed again, and then, Jeffrey said: Seriously, if any of you want to know about that time, read my Prison Diaries. They will tell you what it was like, but I no longer want to talk about it. I always admired him, but at that moment I loved him and wanted to hug him. I really need to read those books to find out just what such a terrible experience was like for him. And my admiration for him increased, thinking how, yes he did wrong, but he paid his time, and has now picked himself up and gone on to write some even more wonderful books.

Arabella: What about your future plans? Any books or series in the making?
Mary: All four books in the series THE GIRLS WHO WENT TO WAR are now written – THE FORGOTTEN DAUGHTER – AVAILABLE IN WH SMITHS, SUPERMARKETS AND AS AN EBOOK. THE ABANDONED DAUGHTER – AVAILABLE IN SUPERMAKETS, WH SMITHS AND AS AN EBOOK and the third: THE WRONGED DAUGHTER comes out in Nov/Dec 2019 with the final one THE COURAGEOUS DAUGHTERS – about the children of the three nurses and their war, coming out in May 2020.

And, I have just pitched for another contract with Pan Macmillan to write another series called THE MILL GIRLS which will follow the lives of three girls who meet while working in the mill in the early 1900’s
I have radio interviews and talks lined up, as well as a book tour this coming May. So, a very busy time ahead.
Well, readers, if you’re still with me, thank you, and I hope you have enjoyed this little insight into my work and me. I loved taking part, it’s been fun, and lovely to be here.
If you would like to know more about my work – my releases, join in competitions and receive three-monthly newsletters, then I would love to welcome you to my website: www.authormarywood.com and/or my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/HistoricalNovels

Thank you very much, Arabella, for inviting me to your lovely blog. I loved answering these questions. Much love and hugs, Mary xxx

Mary, Thank you for joining me on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat. The talks and interviews you have planned with radio stations sound wonderful. I’ll certainly have to stay tuned to your website to find out the dates and times you’ll be on air.
Good luck with The Abandoned Daughter.
Best wishes,
Arabella Sheen
arabellasheen.co.uk


MY REVIEW

The Abandoned Daughter by Mary Wood
(The second in The Girls Who Went to War series).

A heartbreaking tale of love and suffering.
     
Mary Wood offers us yet another compelling read. A page-turner in every sense. Richly depicting the emotional hardships, cruelties and devastation that war and love can inflict.
     As a voluntary nurse, working in war-torn Belgium, Ella puts her own emotional trauma to one side as she tends to the urgent needs of wounded and dying soldiers fresh from the battlefield.
     Hiding her own feelings of anguish and betrayal, Ella strives to rebuild her life. Fragile friendships develop – and although some relationships last all too briefly and some for far too long – Ella still searches for the companionship, love, and fulfilment she longs for.
     As the story unfolds and Ella’s inner strength and resourcefulness are revealed, we journey with her and hope her emotional wounds can heal and that she finds the comfort and answers she seeks.


As a taster . . . here is a fragment of conversation between Ella and her good friend, Flors - taken from The Abandoned Daughter.

    ‘And it is easy, now that emotions of the time have faded, to have recriminations. To think we should have done this or that. But the actions we took were driven by the situation we were in. We were such young women, tasked with trying to save lives in a bloodbath of hell. We all did our best. And but for you, Flors, we – Mags, you and I – would never have got out of Brussels alive. Nor would many of those French soldiers have survived. The way you took charge of that hospital, even though you weren’t a qualified nurse, and the way you led us to safety was amazing.’
    ‘We were so young, as you say, I remember when we arrived in Brussels in 1914, on that first posting, how we were all eager and ready to give our all. Then Germany invaded and reality soon hit us.’

If you love EPIC HISTORICAL SAGAS and RAW HEARTBREAKING HONESTY IN A READ this book’s for you. A well-deserved five-star review on its way.

A buy link to all of Mary’s books:

And a big thank you to Ellis Keene at Pan Macmillan for having a review copy of The Abandoned Daughter sent to my door. 

About Mary Wood

Born the thirteenth child of fifteen to a middle-class mother and an East End barrow boy, Mary Wood’s family were poor, but rich in love. Over time, she developed a natural empathy with the less fortunate and is fascinated by social history. Mary raised four children and has numerous grandchildren, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren. An avid reader, she first put pen to paper in 1989, and is now a full-time novelist.

Website:  www.authormarywood.com 
Facebook: HistoricalNovels
Twitter:  @authormary



The Abandoned Daughter
Mary Wood
16th May | Paperback | £6.99

The Abandoned Daughter by Mary Wood is the gripping second book in The Girls Who Went to War trilogy.

Blurb - Abandoned Daughter
Will Ella ever find what she's looking for?
Voluntary nurse Ella is haunted by the soldiers' cries she hears on the battlefields of Dieppe. But that’s not the only thing that haunts her. When her dear friend Jim breaks her trust, Ella is left bruised and heartbroken. Over the years, her friendships have been pulled apart at the seams by the effects of war. Now, more than ever, she feels so alone.

At a military hospital in France, Ella befriends Connie and Paddy. Slowly she begins to heal, and finds comfort in the arms of a French officer called Paulo – could he be her salvation?

With the end of the war on the horizon, surely things have to get better? Ella grew up not knowing her real family but a clue leads her in their direction. What did happen to Ella’s parents, and why is she so desperate to find out?

Buy Links


40 comments:

  1. A really interesting read and a great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Karen. It was lovely to have been asked by Mary to review her latest release - The Abandoned Daughter.
      Best wishes, Arabella

      PS. I hope you are enjoying the sweet pea pack you were sent. Happy reading. And once again, thank you for the amazing review of you left on Amazon for my sweet Regency - WESTBURY - Ballroom, Cotillions and Almacks.
      Arabella Xx

      Delete
  2. Lovely to read these questions and answers and to learn a bit more about Mary. I like to take my books everywhere to read too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ann - I too would be happy to join Mary in the sun on a lounger with a cocktail at the ready...

      Delete
  3. Beautiful Review for Mary's Book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear "Unknown" - Thank you for your comment about the review. I've discovered it can be so difficult to review a book and do it justice without giving the plot away. I didn't want to spoil the story for the reader, yet I wanted to give a taste of the emotional trauma the heroine (Ella) went through during the war years as she fought her own battles.
      Best wishes, Arabella

      Delete
  4. Thank you arabella this is wonderful and so enjoyed reading it all

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Beverley Ann Hopper. It was great fun having Mary as a guest on the blog - but such hard work. :)
      A darling she might be, but so demanding...I had to search and search and search the internet for a picture of a beach lounger with a cocktail drink beside it. The only disappointment was...I couldn't find a photo with a waiter to serve us.
      Perhaps Mary's husband (R) would be willing to join us and play bartender for the afternoon. What do you think? :) Shall we ask him?
      Best wishes and happy reading...
      Arabella

      Delete
  5. What made you want to start writing mary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great question, Margaret. Let's see what Mary has to tell us... :)
      Best wishes and happy reading.
      Arabella

      Delete
  6. Great blog Arabella, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jen. I'm getting such positive feedback from the blog interview with Mary. But then again, I shouldn't really be surprised that this is happening as Mary is such a born storyteller. She could make anything sound interesting, even reading a book in the toilet!!!
      Best wishes and happy reading.
      Arabella

      Delete
  7. Loved the q and a. Looking forward to reading this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Starjac. Thank you for the comment and you won't be disappointed. The Abandoned Daughter is a page turner if you enjoy WII stories with a difference.
      Best wishes,
      Arabella

      Delete
  8. This was such a good review and interview with Mary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the comment, Janice. Mary said she enjoyed answering the questions and I hope she did. One of the perks in having a blog is that sometimes you get to know some of the news ahead of time... Like the fact that Mary is about to write another series called - THE MILL GIRLS.
      Can't wait...
      Best wishes and happy reading,
      Arabella

      Delete
  9. I loved reading Q&A great reading about this lovely lady and your review was fantastic thankyou xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Mois. I hope the review wetted your appetite for The Abandoned Daughter. And Mary was a delight to interview. I was so please she was willing to share some of her writing secrets with us.
      Best wishes and happy reading.
      Arabella

      Delete
  10. Yet another fab blog, I am on chapter 2 and O My Word

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Anna. It's nice to know you enjoyed reading the blog. And I won't tell you what happens in Chapter 3.
      I wouldn't want to spoil your pleasure in discovering for yourself how the story unfolds.
      Happy reading.
      Arabella

      Delete
  11. Replies
    1. Thank you, Julie. Mary gave some great answers which I hope you found interesting. And I'm going to have to check out Jeffrey Archer's PRISON DIARIES.
      Best wishes and happy reading.
      Arabella

      Delete
  12. Another great blog review Mary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Pauline. The review was difficult to write because there were so many great things to say about the book. But I did enjoy reading it.
      Best wishes,
      Arabella

      Delete
  13. Replies
    1. Hello, "Unknown".
      Thank you for your feedback. :)
      Best wishes,
      Arabella

      Delete
  14. Replies
    1. Hello Tanya - I hope you enjoy Ella's story.
      Best wishes and happy readng...
      Arabella

      Delete
  15. Replies
    1. Hello Elaine, Thank you. Mary was up for a challenge and I hope the questions weren't too difficult for her to answer.
      Stiletto's? Come to think of it, I can't really imagine Mary in stiletto's. Can yyou? :)
      Best wishes and happy reading.
      Arabella

      Delete
  16. Brilliant review Mary and so many interesting questions and lovely answers
    Love the bit about Geffrey Archers could not stop laughing xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Margaret, Thank you for your comments about the blog. And I agree with you. Mary can certainly add a humorous twist to a tale, especially about Mr Archer and his confrontation with someone wanting to know about his time spent in one of HRH's establishments.
      Happy reading...
      Arabella

      Delete
  17. lovely review, really enjoyed the interview a lot, very excited to hear about the Mill Girls x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Katie, I'm so please to read you enjoyed the review of The Abandoned Daughter. And judging by the fact you seem excited about The Mill Girls, you appear also to be a big fan of family sagas.
      Best wishes and happy reading.
      Arabella

      Delete
  18. Lovely to read the questions and answers great blog x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Christine. Mary gave some great answers to some tough questions. I hope you enjoyed the blog.
      Best wishes and happy reading.
      Arabella

      Delete
  19. Thank you, a great review and interview with Mary xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sarah.
      It was amazing to discover how well organised Mary was throughout her blog tour. She was so on the ball and orientated towards her readers at all times. Such a lovely lady.

      Delete
  20. Thank you so much for the lovely experience of guesting on your blog, Arabella. Love your replies to the girls, I hope they checked back and saw them. Thanks again for the support you give me, much love, Mary x

    ReplyDelete
  21. Mary, It was an absolute pleasure to have you on the blog. Hard work...but worth it. I'm in awe of your amazing flock of followers.
    Hoping you have more books in the pipe-line for your readers to read and enjoy.
    Best wishes and lots of kisses XxXxXx (because I know you like them) Arabella

    ReplyDelete

Welcome to Regency Author - Catherine Kullmann

I am delighted to welcome Catherine Kullmann to the blog. Catherine Kullmann - Author Hello Catherine – It was lovely to connec...