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Thursday, 25 August 2011

Featured Author, Linda Swift.


Linda Swift is currently contracted with seven digital publishers and has eight ebooks available, seven also in print. Two additional books, two short stories and a collection of Haiku are scheduled for release later this year. Linda writes both contemporary and historical fiction. Another historical, set in 1573 England involving Mary Queen of Scots is among her releases this year followed by its sequel in 2012.

Hello, Stuart. Thank you so much for inviting me back to tell you and your readers about my recently released historical. I have often heard the expression "the book of my heart." And THIS TIME FOREVER fits that description for me. I have been fascinated with the Civil War since I first read Margaret Mitchell's book and saw the movie of Gone With The Wind. Later, I avidly watched the TV mini-series North and South. And I think I knew even then that someday I would have to write my own story about the Civil War. You can well imagine my joy when the first review by Manic Readers (rated five stars) said:

"This Time Forever is a sweeping tale of two extended families as they endure the horrors of the American Civil War…I was reminded both of Gone With the Wind, and the TV saga of North and South. Both sides, thinking the war would be short and convinced of the rightness of their respective causes, continue for some time to have balls, parties, and generally live life as if there was no war, but a mere diversion in their neat little lives…It doesn’t take long before sense and sensibility are violated on both sides as the war encroaches on their lands, plantations, houses, money and food supplies…It is easy to ‘see’ the scenes described, from ballroom to battlefield, and to truly understand how this war, pitting families against each other, is a psychological challenge many cannot put behind them."

I think this is the most tragic period in the existence of the United States of America. Families were divided, with brothers fighting and killing brothers. The outcome changed the way of life in the South forever and its repercussions are still being felt even today.I do not pretend to be a scholar of history. However, I did research the facts in this book and I believe the times and events to be accurate but some Civil War buff will no doubt prove me wrong!

This historical has a history of its own. I began the story fifteen years ago and my agent sent a synopsis and first five chapters to a Harlequin editor. I met the editor at a national writers' conference and she asked me to send the complete manuscript. I was elated, but there was one small problem. I didn't have a complete manuscript, only the chapters already sent, however I promised to send it right away. I went home and began a marathon writing project. I work better under pressure but this was beyond my comfort level. I had not yet developed the habit of doing research online and I had thirteen books of Civil War history spread out on the bed in my office which also serves as the guest room. I would write furiously, come to a place where I needed information, search the books until I found it, and resume the story. In two weeks I completed seventeen chapters and sent them in. The editor wanted the story but lost the battle with superiors because the story was more mainstream than romance. She asked me to send it to another imprint and they kept it almost two years, finally rejecting it because I wasn't a "name" author which would guarantee sales.

My agent continued to send it out with various responses, most of which reflected the fact that Civil War books were not selling well. At one editor's suggestion, I cut the first seven chapters to have the H&H meet in Chapter One. It was finally accepted by an ebook publisher in 2006, who vanished overnight before I could sign a contract. I changed the name of the book three times, the last time when I submitted it to the publisher who accepted it with all the chapters intact.

As fate would have it, THIS TIME FOREVER, is being published in the first of four years commemorating the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War. So I feel its time has come. There is currently a plethora of C.W. books, both new and reprints, on the market. It seems ironical that this story about the American Civil War is being published by a Canadian publisher. And I doubt that anyone outside the United States truly appreciates the deep emotions this war still elicits, especially for Southerners. (As an aside, an English publisher released Cold Mountain, another C.W. story).


  The 4th of July was a very special holiday for me, this year, as my Civil War saga, THIS TIME FOREVER, was due for release by Champagne Books. Its publication coincides with the four year commemoration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial and although I didn't plan it this way the timing is perfect. And isn't it ironical that a story of such significance to Americans is being published by a Canadian publisher? The ebook is available now from the publisher for $5.99 at http://www.champagnebooks.com/shop/index.php and at Amazon. The print book is released in August.
  Instead of telling you about the story, I want to share part of the book's first review. If you only read one new book about the Civil War this year, I hope you will read this one. It will take you behind the battles into the hearts of both Yankees and Rebels as they live and die for the cause they believe in.

 MR Review
Rating: 
Reviewer: Alberta
Review:
This Time Forever is a sweeping tale of two extended families as they endure the horrors of the American Civil War. The primary characters are Philip, a newly minted surgeon who is enmeshed in the war as an idealistic young man, and Clarissa, an expectant mother in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They meet under extenuating circumstances as Philip is captured by the Rebel forces and made to act as a medic to southern forces for much of the war. He ends up with Clarissa as a medical assistant. He has left a fiancĂ©e in Oswego, New York and her husband is away acting as a courier for the Rebel side.
I was reminded both of Gone With the Wind, and the TV saga of North and South. Both sides, thinking the war would be short and convinced of the rightness of their respective causes, continue for some time to have balls, parties, and generally live life as if there was no war, but a mere diversion in their neat little lives.
The secondary characters are just as well-developed and fascinating as Philip and Clarissa. They move from feelings of patriotism to despair as the war causes more and more upheaval in all their lives. The order of things has turned upside down, and that which might have been unthinkable for ladies and gentlemen in the recent past, now becomes the norm as fighting rages on, leaders are questioned, and death becomes very personal for all the families.
It is easy to ‘see’ the scenes described, from ballroom to battlefield, and to truly understand how this war, pitting families against each other, is a psychological challenge many cannot put behind them.


THIS TIME FOREVER is available from: http://www.champagnebooks.com  and
Or you may find out more about it from my website at www.lindaswift.net
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