I'd like to welcome Donna Crow to my blog.

Norma, thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today. And since this is a blog exchange, as soon as your readers finish here I hope they'll come on over to my blog and read your article there: http://www.donnafletchercrow.com/arti...

And we want readers to know that we're both part of the 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back tour. If you enjoy magazine columns and Chicken Soup for the Soul books, then you're sure to enjoy our collection of essays, designed to warm your heart, raise your spirits and compel you to examine your own life. Read about school days, quirky jobs, romance, raising a family, hard times, the writing journey, and find out what makes your favorite characters tick.
Get a full listing of authors, essay titles and retailers here: http://ning.it/OknwVR 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror 52 Authors Look Back by Stacy Juba
Follow the 25 Years in The Rearview Mirror Blog and Radio Tour schedule here: http://ning.it/NZpHrP

The 25 Years in 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back Mirror essays are really a good introduction to something I've been thinking about lately— What do you look for first in selecting a book, especially if the author is unknown to you? An exciting plot? Captivating characters? An enticing background? Of course, we want all of that in our stories. Along with a meaningful theme, beautiful prose and. . . Well, the list goes on. But it seems that more than anything else, it's the people that matter most.

This really came home to me when I received that all-important, long-awaited acceptance letter for A Very Private Grave , the first book in my Monastery Murders series. The editor said, "We think that Felicity is a heroine readers will really care about.” That was it. Well, of course, I was thrilled. I didn't really care why they accepted it just so long as they did! But what about my breathtaking, intricate plot that I had lost so many nights of sleep over? What about the amazing background development of sites that I had slogged through mud and wind to visit? What about all the history I had pored over in cold libraries to get just right? What about. . .

That was an excellent lesson to me. I had loved Felicity and had worked hard to make her a living, breathing character, but my editor's comment really highlighted how vital the characters are. And he's right, isn't he? We love Pride and Prejudice because we suffer with Elizabeth (well, and also because Mr. Darcy is so gorgeous!). We reread Jane Eyre countless times because living Jane's life vicariously is such an amazing experience.

Felicity started out a very different woman. Because I was using my daughter Elizabeth's experiences as background Felicity also studied classics at Oxford, found she disliked teaching school in London, went off to study theology in a college run by monks in rural Yorkshire. . .
It followed that for the first few chapters of my rough draft, Felicity was Elizabeth— sweet, devout, compliant. Fabulous qualities in a daughter, but in a heroine B-O-R-I-N-G.

So the real Felicity was born— brilliant, impulsive, loyal, headstrong. Felicity went off to become a priest so she could set the world right with no doubts that she would be able to do so. At the end of A Very Private Grave she tells Antony, "I thought I knew everything. Now I realize I don't know anything."

Antony replies, "I can’t think of a better place to start."

In A Darkly Hidden Truth Felicity, who never does anything by halves, has decided she's going to be a nun— in spite of Antony's pleas that she help him find the valuable stolen icon, in spite of the fact that her mother is about to arrive from the States unexpectedly, in spite of the fact that a dear friend has disappeared. . .

Again, Felicity has a lot to learn, and, even though it seems she must learn everything the hard way, she is making progress. Especially when it comes to choosing the course for the rest of her life. Will it be the veil or Antony?

A Darkly Hidden Truth by Donna Fletcher Crow A Darkly Hidden Truth, The Monastery Murders 2:
Felicity Howard, a thoroughly modern American woman, is studying theology in a seminary in a monastery in Yorkshire. Father Antony, her church history lecturer with whom she has solved a crime before, needs Felicity’s help to find a valuable stolen icon. But Felicity can't possibly help. She's off to become a nun. Then her impossible mother turns up unannounced. And a dear friend turns up murdered.

Felicity and Antony are launched on an adventure that takes them from remote Yorkshire to London to the soggy marshes of the Norfolk Broads. Felicity learns the wisdom of holy women from today and ages past and Antony explores the arcane rites of the Knights Hospitaller but what good will any of that do them if Felicity can't save Antony's life?

Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 40 books, mostly novels dealing with British history. The award-winning Glastonbury, A Novel of the Holy Grail , an Arthurian grail search epic covering 15 centuries of English history, is her best-known work. She is also the author of The Monastery Murders: A Very Private Grave and A Darkly Hidden Truth , as well as the Lord Danvers series of Victorian true-crime novels and the romantic suspense series The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries. Donna and her husband live in Boise, Idaho. They have 4 adult children and 11 grandchildren. She is an enthusiastic gardener.

To read more about all of Donna’s books and see pictures from her garden and research trips go to: http://www.donnafletchercrow.com/
You can follow her on Facebook at: http://ning.it/OHi0MY
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Published on October 07, 2012 16:54 • 741 views • Tags: british-mystery, donna-fletcher-crow, mystery, theology-mysteries
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message 1: by Donna (new)

Donna Crow Thank you for hosting me, Norma. All the best with your writing.

message 2: by Norma (new)

Norma Huss I love your article. And I'd wager that your daughter is happy that you didn't use her completely. (She sounds like a great daughter, but then, your character sounds great too!)

message 3: by Donna (new)

Donna Crow thank you, Norma. We've just spent a week with Elizabeth and her family. We were with them for Canadian Thanksgiving. Tht's one of the perks of having an international family--more holidays!

message 4: by Stacy (new)

Stacy Juba I enjoyed reading this blog exchange of two very talented authors!

message 5: by Norma (new)

Norma Huss Stacy, you make me blush!

message 6: by Monica (new)

Monica Brinkman Great blog. Enjoyed reading it very much.

message 7: by Norma (new)

Norma Huss Thank you, Monica. I, too, enjoyed Donna Crow's article. She has an impressive body of work!

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The Grandma Moses of Mystery
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