Thursday, February 24, 2011

Guest Blogger: Liz Arnold, Message To Love

Hi, Patricia, and thanks for hosting me today. Your blog is wonderful. I love visiting. I’m honored to be your guest.

How my novel happened:
MESSAGE TO LOVE is my first historical romance novel. I dream a lot and Message grew from a dream I had one night about a man on horseback racing through the darkness to deliver a message he had in a leather pouch tied around his chest. A woman had helped him be “free” to deliver his message but I didn’t know much more than that. The dream would not go away even during my waking hours and I told someone about it. She said it reminded her of “The Message To Garcia” a story she had read about in history class. I knew the story and did some research and ended up writing my novel around the events leading up to the Spanish-American War in 1898. Then President William McKinley sent a secret message via Lt. Andrew Rowan of the U.S. Army to General Calixto Garcia of the Cuban army pledging U.S. support to the Cuban insurgency fighting for freedom from Spain.

A little about my writing journey:
I started writing as a young child. I loved the newspaper and I was the editor-in-chief of the first newsletter for the subdivision I lived in when I was ten years old. I interviewed the neighbors about what was in their closets or on the menu for dinner. I wrote for school newspapers and eventually got a liberal arts degree with an emphasis in journalism. I published lots of freelance articles and poems. My mom read a lot and introduced me to English writer Catherine Cookson whose family sagas captured my attention. From there I started reading romances in college and found Connie Mason in the 1980’s. I still love her stories, settings, and heroes.

What’s next for me:
I’m working on another historical romance set in Marietta, Ohio in 1790 during the Indian wars and smallpox outbreak there after the colony was established. It’s about a young woman searching for her family and who wants to be a doctor but isn’t allowed to practice in Baltimore. She hires a guide in Pittsburgh to take her to Marietta to find her relatives and ends up saving many lives during the epidemic. But the Indians have taken ill as well. Her guide spent ten years as a Shawnee captive and doesn’t want to rescue her when she is taken captive because there is a price on his head, but his affections for her are too strong to leave her with the natives.

I would really love to hear from readers and other writers at my blog. If you want a free bookmark, send a SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope) to P.O. Box 1322, Parkersburg, WV 26102.

Liz Arnold is an author, freelance editor, and teacher living with her family in the mid-east.


Audra Wakely’s father has been seized by Spanish authorities and imprisoned for sympathizing with Cuban rebels. Raising the money to bribe officials if necessary, she sets off for Cuba to rescue her father. She doesn’t bargain on the interference of any U.S. officials—that is until she meets Rollins McBride.

Lt. Rollins McBride of the newly designated U.S. Naval Intelligence service is assigned to track Audra on her journey. He’s to arrest Greg Wakely, a U.S. citizen, for treason and gun smuggling. His mission and his heart are taken by surprise by the feisty beauty who sets a stubborn path toward finding her father and proving he isn’t a traitor—no matter what or who gets in her way.

Sizzle, spice, and intrigue heats up the Spanish American War in MESSAGE TO LOVE.

“It was a dream, just a very bad dream.”
She stepped back out of his hold. Clammy spots of moist heat lingered on her arms where his hands had been.
“I’m all right now.” Audra reached for the door and noticed the sickly sweet odor of liquor on his breath. “You can leave now. I want to go back to bed.” She pulled open the door and gestured into the hall.
“Sorry, but this time you’re going, too.” Rollins strode over to the dresser and pulled out a drawer. “Better pack. We have just under two hours.”
“I’m not in the mood for comedy, Rollins,” she sighed. “I’m really very, very tired. I’ve got to get some rest. Now—”
“Let me make myself clear.” He sounded gruff. “I said we’re leaving, and unless you want to get on a ship bound for Santiago with your shirttails hanging out, better change and get ready.” He made to leave the room. “I hope you have a shawl or something. It’s gotten cooler out, and we have half an hour in a wagon to get to port.” Then he vanished into his own room next door, leaving Audra gape-mouthed in the hallway.
“Who does he think he is?” She growled as she stamped her foot against the cold hard floor. “Infuriating! He is absolutely infuriating!” Audra heaved the door shut with gusto. “These are not my shirttails, either!”

The Wild Rose Press buy link (print and digital)


Patricia Preston said...

Liz, glad to have you as a guest and I'm looking forward to reading your book!

Amie Louellen said...

I too have wanted to be a writer since I was little, but I never thought anyone could make any money at it. So I got a "real" job--which is still debatable because I manage a high fashion shoe store and get to play dress up all day! I started reading romance when I was in the 8th grade. White cover Harlequins. Ah, the memories! Great blog and good luck with your book!

Marigold Lott said...

I always learn so much history at this blog. Great post.

Sarah Grimm said...

Liz- I started writing at age five. No joke, I still have the writings. I don't recall when I read my first romance, but the minute I did, I knew what I wanted to do!


lizarnoldbooks said...

Hi, Amie!
White cover Harlequins! LOL I saw some recently in a used book sale for a nickle. Still making money! Because romance reading and writing never goes out of style, just the cover art. Soooo happy you popped in with you story. Good luck with your writing.

lizarnoldbooks said...

Hi, Marigold,
Love your name and I'm glad you increased you history knowledge today. I agree this blog is GRAND!

lizarnoldbooks said...

Hi, Friend, Sarah:)
What did you write about at the tender age of five? Might make a great blog post at your site someday. Before and after LOL.

Mary Ricksen said...

Great post, I wish you the best of luck with your continued journey. You certainly started young enough. Funny how ideas just pop into your head and suddenly there is a story building and characters waiting to speak!

lizarnoldbooks said...

Hi, Mary,
Sounds like you're a writer too! Thanks for stopping by.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Liz, Mary is indeed an excellent writer too. I love when those ideas pop into our heads and ideas start weaving themselves into a story. No wonder we love our jobs,

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Liz,
I started writing when I was about 8 years old, not stories or interviews, but pathetic, sad little ditties.
Great excerpt.


Chrystalla Thoma said...

Good tension! Nice!

Patricia Preston said...

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for taking the time to leave a comment and I hope you have a great week!

lizarnoldbooks said...

Hi, Margaret and Chrystalla, Thanks so much for dropping by. Appreciate your thoughts!