photo Unknown-4_zps05a9a0d5.jpegFrom the USA Today bestselling author of To Whisper Her Name and A Lasting Impression comes a moving historical novel about a bold young woman drawn to a group of people forgotten by Nashville society––and to the one man with whom she has no business falling in love.

Today we're revisiting with novelist Tamera Alexander, author of A Beauty So Rare (Bethany House, March 2014).

 photo 1TameraAlexander_Purple-2_zps4fb8ed40.jpegTamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded and nominated for numerous industry-leading honors, including the Christy Award, the RITA Award, the Carol Award, and Library Journal's top distinction, among others.

After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband have returned to their native South and live in Nashville, Tennessee, where they enjoy spending time with their two grown children, and a twelve pound Silky Terrier named Jack.

Please tell us three random things we might not know about you.

— I may look relatively "sweet" (or so people tell me) but I’m really quite sarcastic. I have to watch that at times. It’s gotten me in deep trouble more than once.

— I love cemeteries.

— Since a very young age, I’ve held a fascination with death and the world to come.

I have to say I get a kick out of fellow sarcastic types. But I know what you mean. If people don't "get" it, one suddenly sounds mean or bitter. Embarrassing! 

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of A Beauty So Rare.

 photo Unknown-4_zps05a9a0d5.jpegEleanor Braddock—plain, practical, no stunning Southern beauty—knows she will never marry. But with a dying soldier’s last whisper, she believes her life can still have meaning and determines to find his widow.

Impoverished and struggling to care for her ailing father, Eleanor arrives at Belmont Mansion, home of her aunt, Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America—and possibly the most demanding, as well. Adelicia insists on finding her niece a husband, but a simple act of kindness leads Eleanor down a far different path—building a home for destitute widows and fatherless children from the Civil War. While Eleanor knows her own heart, she also knows her aunt will never approve of this endeavor.

Archduke Marcus Gottfried has come to Nashville from Austria in search of a life he determines, instead of one determined for him. Hiding his royal heritage, Marcus longs to combine his passion for nature with his expertise in architecture, but his plans to incorporate natural beauty into the design of the widows’ and children’s home run contrary to Eleanor’s wishes. As work on the home draws them closer together, Marcus and Eleanor find common ground—and a love neither of them expects.

But Marcus is not the man Adelicia has chosen for Eleanor, and even if he were, someone who knows his secrets is about to reveal them all.

What a great synopsis. 

Why will readers care about Eleanor?

Eleanor Braddock is an "every woman." The most relatable heroine I’ve ever written, I think. As the back cover says, she’s plain, practical, no stunning Southern beauty, and yet she does have a beauty about her. It’s simply not one that’s readily visible. You have to see her with your heart. I love that about her. I also love her compassionate heart––that’s tenacious in pursuing her dream but which can be downright vicious when confronted with injustice.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

 photo elizabeth1998cateblanchettdiscoverssheistobecomequeen_zps13489816.jpgThe pictures I submitted to my publisher to provide inspiration for the cover was Cate Blanchett for the heroine, sans makeup, a picture from one of her more "raw" films.




 photo Unknown-1_zps75c2501b.jpegAnd for the hero, Richard Armitage. Enough said!




What fictional character would you like to meet or know in real life?

Hadassah from Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion series. She’s the most unforgettable fictional character I’ve ever met. I mean…read.

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. I read it while on a trip to Germany last fall, visiting concentration camps, Hitler’s headquarters, walking that horrid, gut-wrenching road, and the book came alive within me. A little too much at times. I’ve read several of Picoult’s novels and this by far is my personal favorite.

What are you working on now?

The second of three novels in the Belle Meade Plantation series which is set against the real history of the Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, TN. The first book in the series, To Whisper Her Name, explores the struggles of real people of the post-war South and the journeys of a man and a woman scarred by betrayal. I adore Southern history.

Where else can readers find you online?

On my website: www.TameraAlexander.com
Facebook
Twitter
Blog: www.TameraAlexander.blogspot.com

And here's a link to an exciting giveaway on the book:

The book can be purchased in fine book stores and online via the following buttons:




CBD.com
206230: A Beauty So Rare, Belmont Mansion Series #2

Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

What’s the oldest historical home you’ve visited (in the U.S. or abroad), and how did its history and walking its halls affect you?

Thanks, Tamera, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Tamera has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Monday, April 7. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Tamera's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interviews with Christine Lindsay and Gail Gaymer Martin , below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book.

Also, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.
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Published on March 30, 2014 10:13 • 464 views

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