Friday, October 10, 2014

Interview with Lory Lilian - and Giveaway

Today I am pleased to welcome the lovely Lory Lilian to my blog! I recently read Rainy Days and it was brilliant (read my review here) and I am very much looking forward to reading Lory's other stories. I always like to find out more behind the authors of my favourite books, and so I jumped at the chance to interview Lory! Also, there is a very generous giveaway - details below! 



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1.Okay, a boring but very important question! Clearly, you are an avid Janeite, so how did you first come across Jane Austen and fall in love with the Regency world of dancing, carriages, and courtship?

 
This is never a boring question —quite the contrary. I first came across Jane Austen when I was 13, and the first book I read was Pride and Prejudice. Then a couple of years later I saw Pride and Prejudice-1980 and I really loved it.

 
2. Of Ms. Austen’s six major novels, need I ask which your favourite is? I assume from your novels that it is Pride and Prejudice. What appeals to you so much about Pride and Prejudice? The characters, the story, humour?


Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book in the world (and I really read a lot). I love this story so much for a million reasons, including the characters and the humor (besides Jane Austen’s genius and her awesome writing) but mostly because I feel that Darcy and Elizabeth are a unique couple, perfect in their imperfections, meant to be together, and only belonging to each other. I am in love with their story, with their interactions, with them together — as a couple. (That is why I cannot bear reading — or writing (LOL)— a story where Darcy and Elizabeth are paired with others. For me, Darcy and Elizabeth can only belong together with no other men or women interfering with them.)

 

3. How did you come across Jane Austen fan fiction?

I will never forget that moment; it was the winter of 2004, and I was searching the internet for Pride and Prejudice information. I discovered Derbyshire Writers Guild, then Firthness, and then Hyacinth Gardens. I have been obsessed with Darcy and Elizabeth for many years, imagining them in various scenes that did not belong to the original story. To be honest, I thought I was a little bit crazy (LOL). Then I suddenly discovered that there were thousands of people out there sharing the same passion and the same madness. I spent the next six months reading hundreds of stories (and, of course, sleeping very, very little) and interacting with many JAFF fans. Unfortunately, neither Firthness nor Hyacinth Gardens is alive now. I really, really miss those times. I have some wonderful cyber friends from those days whom I miss, too.

 
4.So, in your novels you take the classic story and explore a “what if”: (all very brilliant “what ifs”!) Why did you want to write these variations? Did you want to explore the world of Lizzy and Darcy a little more? I read such variations, as I cannot get enough of Lizzy and Darcy!


Sophie, I read and write JAFF for the same reason — I just cannot have enough of Darcy and Elizabeth. Jane Austen implied so much and told us so little, and I simply cannot have enough of them. I keep thinking of scenes, dialog, situations involving them, and every time I read Pride and Prejudice again or watch P&P-95 once more, these scenes came to my mind with overwhelming insistence (LOL). I could easily fill 10 books if I had enough time.

 
5.Do you think there is another one of Ms. Austen’s stories thatwould have the potential for “what if” variations, or do you think that Pride and Prejudice holds the most possibilitieswith the brilliant plot and strong characters?


I think all Ms. Austen’s books have potential for “what if” variations, and I know there are some brilliant “what if” stories that prove that. But, although I love all Jane Austen’s writing, it is my passion for Darcy and Elizabeth that inspires me and makes me want more. So for me, it is very unlikely to write other Austen-inspired stories except P&P.

 

6.What is your opinion on modern variations of Ms. Austen’s work such as Clueless, or the Bollywood Pride and Prejudice, or the recent YouTube series The Lizzy Bennet Diaries, or even paranormal variations such as Pride and Prejudice and Vampires? Would you ever think about writing a modern variation, or like me, do you prefer her stories to be kept to the era in which, I personally think, they belong?

 
Let’s clear up something: I read and watch and listen to everything related to Jane Austen and especially to Pride and Prejudice! Nothing escapes me (LOL). Now, to be absolutely honest, I enjoy The Lizzy Bennet Diaries, I enjoy the Bollywood version, but not so much the vampire versions. (Sorry to say, I am not much into vampire things — shame on me!)J I did not even like the movies and books about Dracula — who was supposed to be Romanian!(LOL) About the modern variations — such as Clueless or Bridget Jones or spin-offs like You’ve Got Mail— I love them a lot, but they really do not feel like Jane Austen at all. As for the modern JAFF — there are a few absolutely brilliant stories — some of them are already published, others pulled by the authors. (I hope some of your readers will remember the fabulous Windmills of Their Minds by Ayden — fantastic story.) As for me writing a modern variation —the chances of that happening are pretty low. I write with the P&P 95 pictures on my desktop and the original P&P book near me, so there is little room for a modern in my head. J

 
7. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your story Rainy Days, and I am very excited to read your other stories! Rainy Dayswas so well written and a very interesting route to take as this one accidental meeting had such an effect on the rest of the story! Where does your inspiration for the stories come from? Also, as there are so many fan fiction authors now, is it becoming harder to find a gap in the market and a route which hasn't been explored yet?


Thank you so much for enjoying Rainy Days and for writing such a wonderful review, Sophie.J It might sound boring, but I do not have an elaborate process of selecting the ideas; they are just jumping around in my head.(LOL) Unfortunately, I do not have time to write them down as quickly as I would like to. You nailed a very good point: it might be difficult to be original and find a gap these days. I doubt there are many plots that have not been done before in the years since JA fanfiction exploded. However, I see little reason for concern; many plot lines are repeated in lots of stories, yet those stories are not at all similar — quite the opposite. (I wrote Rainy Days in 2005, and since then I have read lots of stories that started with E and D trapped somewhere at the beginning of the story (LOL); however, the stories quickly went down another path and kept their originality the rest of the way. As for me, I try very hard to put something original and different in each of my stories — either a character, a plot twist, a small but very strong scene — something that was not done before. I have two fabulous betas: Ellen Pickels — who is also my editor and cover designer —and Margaret Fransen who is an expert in many things, including JA stories.J I always validate with them whether “that had been done before.” J. For instance: in Rainy Days, I had little Becky and E’s meeting with Lady C happening in Darcy’s house; in Remembrance of the Past, it was Lady Cassandra and her back story; in His Uncle’s Favorite, it was Lord Matlock and also a scene where a certain lady attempted to seduce Darcy in his room and ended up in amorous activities with his valet,and so on. I try to avoid boring my readers. Oh yes — and I NEVER name Colonel Fitzwilliam “Richard.” It is a name invented in fanfic, so I prefer to choose another one for him. J

 
8.Mr Darcy has to be one of the most famous heroes in all of literature, and for many the saying “searching for Mr Right” turned into “searching for Mr Darcy” after coming across Pride and Prejudice. (Well, it did for me!) In some variations I have read and in a few adaptations I have not liked how Darcy has been portrayed, but in Rainy Days I absolutely loved your portrayal of Darcy! What appeals to you about Mr Darcy? In Rainy Days we see the tender and romantic side to Darcy (but in a very masculine way!) and I loved this. Do you enjoy delving into the mind of Fitzwilliam Darcy?

 
Oh yes — I love to attempt to delve into FD’s mind, but of course, I do not dare hope I have much success. Not even the brilliant Ms. Austen did much in this respect (LOL), as P&P is written from E’s point of view. I have read P&P so many times, and I attempt to understand Darcy’s thoughts from the information we get from Elizabeth. I feel Darcy did change quite a lot throughout the original book —not in essentials but in behaviour. So, depending on the point where my stories begin, I write Darcy differently. In Rainy Days, he had come to understand and accept his true feelings and to improve Elizabeth’s opinion of him much sooner. He knows what he wants; he wants Elizabeth. He knows her opinion of him and her willingness to improve it. So, he is carefully revealing his feeling and wishes, he flirts a little, he is sort of trying to seduce her — in a very proper way, of course. (LOL) He wants her to like him, and he does everything to achieve his purpose. Although, as he did not have his “Hunsford,” he is still the “old” Darcy in some scenes, but he compensates all in all. Rainy Days’ Darcy is “hot and sexy”— as some old-time readers have said. In Remembrance— as the story starts after the first rejection — I imagined Darcy behaving with Elizabeth the way he behaved in the original story when they met at Pemberley. In His Uncle’s Favorite, in the first part of the story, Darcy is the “old” character, very much as he was in the original before the first proposal. Then he gradually changes — and yes, in the end he was hot and sexy too.(LOL) And I have to confess that I keep Colin Firth’s performance in my mind while writing all my Darcys. His gazes at Elizabeth, his silence, his body language, his small gestures, the expression on his face, the pain on his face when he was rejected, the embarrassment when he met Elizabeth at Pemberley, the happiness when he stared at Elizabeth at the pianoforte, his briefly holding her hands at the Lambton Inn and their final kiss in the end, all these are my source of inspiration. Each time I watch P&P-95 again, I discover new small gestures with new meanings, which help me create my characters.


9.There are many scenes in both your stories thatare highly romantic and had me sighing(and swooning!) in delight as I read them. There are also some more intimate scenes, ending with the wedding night. For me, this was an unusual read as I usually avoid stories containing such scenes. However I really wanted to read it because of the interesting plot line. As a matter of fact, I was pleasantly surprised as I found the intimate scenes very well handled:nothing embarrassingly graphic and they weren't included just for the sake of it. For the emotional journey Darcy and Lizzy experience, I can completely understand, and agree with in fact, why such scenes were included. Tell me, how do you go about writing such scenes? And why do you include them?


In none of my stories do Darcy and Elizabeth have premarital sexual interludes; this is one of my rules. Also, it depends a lot on the specifics of each story. There are many more sex scenes in Remembrance of the Past, and especially in His Uncle’s Favorite, than in Rainy Days because both stories continue after their marriage, and I used the sex scenes to show the development in their relationship as a married couple, to illustrate the process of knowing each other better and sharing everything, including marital happiness. To be honest, I agree I could have done the same thing without those detailed sex scenes, but I wonder whether the impact on the readers would have been equally as strong. (I really wonder, not sure at all...) All I know is that Remembrance of the Past and His Uncle’s Favorite were planned from the very beginning to include detailed, hot scenes and more angst than my first book because I felt the stories asked for it. Perhaps His Uncle has one too many hot scenes in the end, I admit. J

Rainy Days—my first book — was first posted on DWG, so it was PG general; I finished it, and I even wrote the wedding night, keeping it PG 13! Then, I started posting it on HG — which was an adult site — and some cyber friends started to “demand” Ie nhance some scenes, to explore more of Darcy’s thoughts, to write more details about their touches and kisses and passion. Taking their suggestions into consideration, I started entering deeper into Darcy and Elizabeth’s thoughts, wishes, fears, desires, and I put a stronger touch of passion into their love. And, since the readers’ reaction was very positive, it was an incentive to continue this exploration. However, in my opinion — and in some of my readers’ opinion —the hottest scene in Rainy Days is the one in the library during the Netherfield ball when Darcy took off Elizabeth’s gloves and kissed her hands. It is hot, and it is PG general, right? So — as I also told Alexa Adams a few years ago — perhaps I could write hot scenes and keep them PG-13, but I confess my guilty pleasure is writing hot mush, and I most likely will continue doing it as long as my readers join me in this guilty pleasure. I also hope that the readers who do not approve of these kinds of scenes will find it easy to simply skip them and still enjoy my stories.

 

10.I will wrap up the questions now but there is one burning question that we all want an answer to:any further ideas for another story? Any clues? I hope we have something further coming from you!

 
Thanks for asking. In fact, I do have lots of ideas.J I am working on a new story, My Husband: Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, which should have been published by now but has been delayed due to RL problems. It is a forced marriage scenario that, although it is a subject explored many times, I hope will surprise you with a few things, including the beginning, which, again, I am pretty sure has never been done before in JAFF.J  I also have two other stories in early stages, and both of them came as a surprise to me — the plot lines, I mean. As soon as I finish and publish the current WIP, I will quickly move to the next one. I will happily keep you updated with the progress, and I have great hopes that I will have more time for writing in the next months. If my available time could keep pace with my ideas, I would be a very prolific writer! JJJ

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Lory's books...
 
 
Rainy Days
 
"In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet's first impression and hasty judgment of Mr. Darcy, and that gentleman's pride and aloofness toward her loved ones took them on a long, difficult road to happiness. In "Rainy Days", Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are caught in a rainstorm two days before the Netherfield ball, and they are forced to spend a few hours alone together where they talk, listen, and better understand each other's feelings. However, even when original pride and prejudice are overcome, new obstacles arise. The road to true love is never smooth, and surprises along the way enhance the passion of the journey. Rainy Days - an alternative journey from Pride and Prejudice to passion and love."
 
 
 
 
 
Remembrance of the Past
 
"In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet unexpectedly met Mr. Darcy while visiting Pemberley. In this 'what if' story, Elizabeth Bennet and her relatives - Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner - are in London, ready to start their tour to the Lakes in June. During this time, Elizabeth's path crosses with Mr. Darcy's again. However, Mr. Darcy is not alone in London: besides his close family - Georgiana and Colonel Fitzwilliam - an old and dear friend has returned and claimed a well-deserved place in their lives. This is a story about hopes and desires, about losses and fears, about second chances and happiness."
 
 
His Uncle's Favourite
 
 
"“His Uncle’s Favorite”: A Pride and Prejudice tale that takes a divergent path after the Netherfield ball and its residents’ hasty departure.
Shortly after Christmas, their Aunt Gardiner persuades Jane and Elizabeth Bennet to spend time with her in London. There, the girls encounter familiar faces and intriguing new acquaintances. As fate would have it, their aunt’s Gracechurch Street home is frequented by intimate members of Mr. Darcy’s family, and Elizabeth discovers that she and Darcy’s uncle have more than one favorite in common.
This is a tale of wrong first impressions, mistaken pride and prejudice, rights and wrongs — a divergent but familiar story of the struggle for happiness of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy."
 
 
The Perfect Match
 
"“The Perfect Match” is a short story, a sequel to “Pride and Prejudice” that takes place a year after the events of Jane Austen’s novel. Her beloved characters are approaching their first wedding anniversary as the Darcys and Bingleys experience somewhat different marriages. In addition, Elizabeth Darcy has the burden of organizing her first ball while she encounters the challenges of the high circles of Regency London, not to mention a mysterious “affliction” that has Mr. Darcy in a panic . . . This novella is light and very sensual, with low angst and several scenes suggested for a mature audience. There is no explicit sexual content."
 
 
 
 
 

** GIVEAWAY - ends Sunday 19th October**

Lory has provided me with a giveaway!  Four lucky winners will receive a copy of your choice of any of her books, and in any format (paperback or ebook) and all internationally 

To enter, leave a comment below and the winners will be picked randomly.

Please leave your email address and which book and which format you would like. If you are one of the lucky winners, I will pass on your email to Lory who will be in touch.

Good luck!
 
Thank you again to Lory for this giveaway and for this fascinating interview! I wish you all the best with any future stories!

 


Your affectionate friend,
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64 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the interview and would be thrilled to receive a paperback copy of
    any of the books! Thank you for this
    giveaway. ladysusan(at)yahoo(dot)(com)

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  2. I really enjoyed this interview. I love Lory Lilian books. I would love to own Rememberance of the Past as a kindle ebook. Thank you for this opportunity. My email is carterkristina2(at)gmail(dot)com

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  3. Thank you for this interesting interview! I love "Rainy days" plot and would like to have it in paperback since here in Italy this kind of book are unfortunately lost! :(
    My email is LorenDushku at gmail dot com

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  4. I have so far enjoyed reading two of Lory Lilian's books and am hoping to read more soon

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

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  5. Great interview, I partially agree with your opinion on modern variations.
    I like the plot of Rainy Days so I would like to win it.
    I am italian so I do not know if I can partecipate for the paperback or ebook format.
    My email : chiarapiccirilla(at)hotmail(dot)it

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed it! and yes you can have a paperback :) good luck!

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  6. Thanks for the interesting interview, Sophie and Lory. I would love either Rainy Days or Remembrance of the Past in paperback format. Thanks a lot for the generous offer, Lory.

    evangelineace2020(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  7. Thank you for the in depth interview Sophie. It's wonderful to vet to know the authors better. I have read and enjoyed all of Lory's books as ebooks. I would love to be entered for a paperback. Thank you for the generous giveaway. My email address is skamper25 @ gmail (dot) com

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    1. I am glad you liked it! good luck!

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  8. First of all, thanks for such a generous giveaway, Lory and Sophie. The interview was pretty amazing too. It's so interesting to read about writer's experiences, muses, inspirations etc.

    If I'm lucky enough to win, I'd love a paperback copy of His Uncle's Favourite, please.

    angmardee(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed it! Good luck!

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  9. This is so awesome! all the books sound amazing!!! if i win I would love to have a paperback copy of Remembrance of the past

    dramaqueen4ever96@gmail.com

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  10. Great interview, Sophie and Lory, thanks!

    It's lovely to know that you write with the P&P 95 cast in mind, Lory, and that they inspire you! You're so right, we just can't have enough of Lizzy and Mr. Darcy :)

    Thanks for the very generous giveaway!!! (If I'm lucky enough to win I'd love a paperback copy of Rainy Days, please).

    Best of luck and lots of plot bunnies :)

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  11. I thought Rainy Days was greata and would l love to win a paperback copy. I just finished A Perfect Match and thought it was a beautiful story. Great interview too.
    saganchilds(a)gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you and good luck! Rainy Days was great wasn't it!

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  12. They all sound great! If I won I would love to receive a paperback of Rainy Days. My email address is robmwmj at gmail dot com

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  13. Thank you for the interesting interview and the generous giveaway! Rainy Days sounds like a very interesting variation and if I won, I would love to receive a paperback version of it. My email address is akdotter@yahoo.com I will definitely have to look for your books online.

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  14. Another wonderful giveaway, thank you so much :) I would love to win a paperback of Rainy Days, and my email is i_lovenuk(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  15. I really enjoyed the interview. I am with you 100% on the idea that Elizabeth and Darcy are meant to be together, I hate to even think of them with anybody else! Thank you for the generous giveaway, I'd love to win any of them, but I hear Rainy Days especially is very romantic so that'd be my choice. I'm at frawli1978 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Rainy days is a good choice! good luck!

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  16. Loved the interview! Gave me a new author to look for. Would adore a paperback.

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  17. Loved the interview, ladies. I would love to win a paperback copy of Rainy Days. Thanks for the giveaway!!:)
    kellik115(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  18. Thank you everyone for your lovely words and good luck in winning the book you want ! If you have any other question, I would be happy to answer it ! :-)

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  19. Thank you for the interesting interview! I, too, am not very much into vampyre- stories, all the paranormal books are not for me....but I looooved Rainy Days and His Uncles Favourite, and would love to add Remebrance Of The Past or The Perfect Match to my paperback-collection!
    kewinkler at gmail dot com

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    1. Thank you very much and good luck!

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  20. This is a great interview! I'm happy you have many plot punnies bouncing around in your mind. :) Since I haven't yet read His Uncle's Favorite, I'd love to add that paperback to my collection.
    monicaperry00 at gmail dot com

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  22. Great interview. Glad to know Lory has many more what if ideas eager to be written. I love Lory's books & can't wait to read more. Rainy Days is my favorite. I'd love to have a print copy if I win. Thanks for doing the giveaway.
    pemberley96(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thank you! and Rainy days is great isn't it! Good luck!

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  23. Great way to get to know an author; thank you for such a good interview. Would love to add Remembrance of the Past or His Uncle's Favourite to my Kindle!

    rcmsilvia@gmail.com

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  24. Congratulations on your books :) I would love to add Remembrance of the Past to my ebook collection. Nice giveaway !
    clutterkitty@gmail.com

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  25. Interesting interview! I am glad of know a little more of Lory. She is one of my favourite Authors. Really, I love "Remembrance of the Past", I have it in ebook and paperback. I am looking forward to read one that Meryton Press already had noticed it from months before. Even I haven't read "The Perfect Match", so I wait to read it, soon. Thank you for the opportunity giveaway.

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed it and good luck!

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    2. Awesome interview. I would love to read any of her books.

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  26. I enjoyed the interview as well, and the books sound wonderful! I would like to begin with "His Uncle's Favorite" in paperback.

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  27. Thank for this great interview and this wonderful giveaway :) I would love to win a paper back copy of Rainy Days :)

    miette68@hotmail.fr


    Miette

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  28. Great interview! Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to win remembrance of the past I do not have that book. Tresha_7@msn.com

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  29. It's always interesting to hear how an author develops their storyline. I love Darcy & Elizabeth and can't get enough of them. Everytime, I read a P&P variation I always imagine the 1995 cast as the characters in the story.

    Thank you for a great interview and for the giveaways. I wuould love to be enter for any of the novels. My email address is tdungnvu (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed it and I agree! I see 1995 as well! Good luck!

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  30. Thanks for the great and interesting interview. I love your books and cannot wait for more to come. I would love to win a paperback copy of His Uncle's Favorite.
    Thanks
    My email is shellhose@aol.com

    Shelley

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  31. I absolutely love His Uncle's Favorite, and greatly enjoyed Rainy Days, as well! If I were to win, I'd love a paperback copy of either The Perfect Match or Remembrance of the Past, as those are the two I do not yet own. My email is klnba@live.com (KLNBA at LIVE dot com). Thanks!

    Kathy :)

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  32. I love reading Lory's stories. Enjoyed the interview. My email is integr67 at aol dot com

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