Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Featured Guest Author: To Love a Traitor by JL Merrow Includes Guest Post and Giveaway

JL Merrow

WOOHOO!! It’s release day of JL Merrow’s To Love a Traitor and if you haven’t got your copy yet then make sure you do. I LOVED this book, a beautiful historical novel about broken trust and learning to love again.

JL is with us today on the blog talking about why she loves writing historical M/M novels so much and don’t forget the giveaway for your chance to win a signed paperback copy.

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Holidaying* in the Past

*because I am a Brit, and refuse to go on “vacation” ;)

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Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and it’s great to be here at Sinfully... again as part of the To Love a Traitor blog tour!

Most of my books are contemporaries. They might be mysteries; they might be rom-coms. They might be a bit of both. But while I’ve dabbled in other genres, it’s probably fair to say I’m not exactly known for my historical fiction.

So why, in these days of “author branding”, bring out a historical novel now?

Because, gentle reader, I love the stuff. Always have. Some of the first m/m fiction I ever even heard about, let alone read, was historical fiction, and I’ve continued to read it with pleasure to this day. Not surprising, probably, when you learn that I was pretty much hooked on classic literature in my late teens and early twenties (curiously, this coincided with the period in which I was supposed to be wrestling with particularly pesky physics problems. Why, yes, I did happen to find the college English Literature library a rather convenient place to procrastinate, I mean work).

I binged on Burney, raved over Radcliffe, trifled with Trollope and went wild for Wodehouse. I was the sort of girly swot who not only read the introduction to Northanger Abbey, but also set about finding and reading as many as possible of the books Austen parodied in the novel. Having read Richardson’s Pamela (an 18th-century example of the Abduction is Love romance trope) I couldn’t rest until I’d located a copy of Fielding’s Shamela.

So for me, writing (or, as in this case, substantially re-writing and expanding) a historical novel is pretty much like taking a holiday. The past, as they say, is another country: the hygiene is dubious and the facilities aren’t much cop but hey, I’m a Brit, I’m used to doing without air con and customer service. ;)

I spent several months last year holidaying in the early part of the twentieth century: reading century-old fiction and historical documents (some of them only just released to the public). And I loved it.

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To Love a Traitor by JL Merrow

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Title: To Love a Traitor

Author: JL Merrow

Publisher: Samhain

Release: 15th September 2015

Genre: M/M (historical / mystery)

Rating:

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Synopsis

Wounds of the heart take the longest to heal.

When solicitor’s clerk George Johnson moves into a rented London room in the winter of 1920, it’s with a secret goal: to find out if his fellow lodger, Matthew Connaught, is the wartime traitor who cost George’s adored older brother his life.

Yet as he gets to know Matthew—an irrepressibly cheerful ad man whose missing arm hasn’t dimmed his smile—George begins to lose sight of his mission.

As Matthew’s advances become ever harder to resist, George tries to convince himself his brother’s death was just the luck of the draw, and to forget he’s hiding a secret of his own. His true identity—and an act of conscience that shamed his family.

But as their mutual attraction grows, so does George’s desperation to know the truth about what happened that day in Ypres. If only to prove Matthew innocent—even if it means losing the man he’s come to love.

::: MARK’S REVIEW :::

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Meet JL Merrow

Waterhouse_a_mermaid hiresJL Merrow is a very English writer of (mainly) m/m fiction who finds writing the only way to stay sane, except of course when a plot is driving her crazy. Having grown up on an island, she can’t remember a time before she could swim and prefers to remain close to water at all times. Luckily, the weather in her native land being as it generally is, this is not difficult.

I’m that rare beast; an English person who refuses to drink tea. I’m a writer of (mainly) m/m or f/f romance, mostly contemporary or paranormal, but with a fickle muse that occasionally ambushes me in dark alleyways and drags me off, cackling, to write historical or science fiction.

Some might call all this pillar-to-posting tragic evidence of a short attention span; I couldn’t possibly….er, what were we talking about, again?

I enjoy reading, martial arts, and surprising people who judge a book by its cover.

She is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Connect with JL Merrow

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS

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Giveaway

I’m offering a free ebook from my backlist to a randomly chosen commenter on each blog post.

And there’s a grand prize of a signed paperback copy of To Love a Traitor for one lucky commenter on the tour. I’m happy to ship internationally, and the more blog posts you comment on, the more chances you get!

I’ll be making the draws around teatime on Monday 28th September, GMT.

Please leave your email address in your comment so I can contact you should you be one of the lucky winners.

Good Luck XX

36 comments:

  1. What's wrong with a vacation? That's where the word staycation comes from. I'm pretty sure there isn't a stayday. ;) Congrats on the release.

    waxapplelover (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Heh, absolutely nothing wrong with vacation, if it's part of your national vocabulary! I'll admit "staycation" has crept into the Brit consciousness, but we always used to call that "holidaying at home" :)
      And thank you!

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  2. I love historical novels. But I didn't read much books set in the 1920s, not so many books are set in this era !
    Congrats on the release and thanks for the chances to win one of your creations.

    foebz (at) hotmail (dot) com

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    1. The 1920s were desperately unfashionable for a while - until Downton Abbey came along, bless 'em!
      Personally I love the era - such a wonderful sense of fun and optimism after the War to End All Wars...
      And you're welcome!

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  3. I think you and me were two peas of the same pod. I did read the introduction of Northanger Abbey, and Pamela and even Shamela... Why? Historical is one of my favourite genres. It's always been. And I love your books. So I can't wait to read To Love a Traitor (already in my ebook).
    susanaperez7140(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Yay for historical nerds! :D Did you also read Joseph Andrews? That was a more thoughtful response to Pamela than the knee-jerk Shamela, and very interesting, with the gender roles swapped. :)
      And thank you! Hope you enjoy To Love a Traitor. :D

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  4. i love historical novels as well especially when there are MM
    jmarinich33@aol.com

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  5. Congratulations on your new release. You never cease to amaze and delight me, JL.
    --Judy
    j dot stonewright at gmail dot com

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  6. I have always found it funny that I only like historicals when reading m/m...

    Trix, vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

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    1. Heh, I'm not so sure there's anything strange about that. Gay couples might have a lot more to overcome in historicals, but at least there's equality within the couple, which was sadly not the case for married women throughout history. And no dying in childbirth for the guys, either! ;)

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  7. To Love a Traitor sounds great! I love m/m historicals - have not come across many set in the 1920s, so am glad you decided to try your hand at one.

    jen(dot)f(at)mac(dot)com

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    1. It's funny how some periods are so much more popular, isn't it? Everyone seems to have always love da Regency, but the 1920s used to be a really tough sell. Thank goodness for Downton Abbey! ;)

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  8. love reading books from older days gone buy,,,,,,,, but when you write about MM well got to love all MM books,,,,,,beside if we have MM nowadays we certain to have had this kind of romance back then.

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    1. Oh, absolutely - think of EM Forster, or Edward Carpenter and George Merrill. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_(novel)

      To totally digress: EM Forster wrote a story in 1909 called "The Machine Stops" which blew me away when I read it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Machine_Stops
      Amazing powers of prediction.

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  9. historicals aren't my go-to read...but every so often I find ones I love (I think I prefer them with a paranormal twist because my faves are The Magpie Lord and Whybourne & Griffin) :)

    leetee2007(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Lol! Who doesn't love The Magpie Lord and Whybourne & Griffin? :)

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  10. I just read a bunch of books set in the 1920s. They were fun. I am going on vacation to Greece. Looking forward to it.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

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    1. The 1920s is my all-time fave historical era. Enjoy your holiday - Greece is lovely! :)

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  11. I love historicals and this book sounds great. Thanks for your post! amaquilante(at)gmail(dot )com

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  12. I don't usually read m/m historical romances but I am intrigued by the premise. Thank you for the interesting post =)

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

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    1. Go on, dip your toe in those historical waters. You might enjoy it! ;)
      And thank you!

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  13. I love historical novels especially with romance thrown in! I have it on my WANT TO READ List! Thank you!

    ree.dee.2014 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  14. Now you're making me see my love of historicals from a new perspective. I've never been much into studying history, so I've wondered why I can't get enough reading (fictional) accounts of the stuff. I loved Poacher's Fall and Keeper's Pledge, so I know your historicals are ones to read! Thanks for sharing with us!

    caroaz [at] ymail [dot] com

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    1. Aw, thank you! :D
      Reading history can be dry, it's true. I always prefer to start my historical research by reading fiction that was written in the era, if possible - as you say, fiction is often way more readable! But I found even in the non-fiction, particularly when researching conscientious objectors, that there were a lot of very human stories that were absolutely gripping. And some of the true spy stories from WW1 are mind-blowing - see a later post on the blog tour! ;)

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  15. Love a good historical novel, especially because I minored in history in college!
    oceanakers @ aol.com

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    1. Here's hoping you don't spot any errors! ;D

      (Trufax: the lovely Charlie Cochrane saved me from the heinous crime of having a character talk about the Times crossword ten years too early! I thought that had been around *forever*!)

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  16. Wounds of the heart take the longest to heal. I couldn't agree more. Would really, really love to read this book. Thanks for the awesome giveaway and congratulations on your new book! :)

    josephinelitonjua at gmail dot com

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  17. I read Fall Hard last month - and loved it. Looks like I'll have to add To Love a Traitor to be soon-to-be-read list. I am also up for historical novels! Thanks for reading!
    thalia_moirai [at] livejournal [dot] com

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    1. Thank you - so glad you enjoyed Fall Hard. :D

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  18. Beautiful Cover! Congratulations and much success! The story sounds quite good and I'd love to read it. Thanks for the chance!
    taina1959 @ yahoo.com

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