What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Inspirational novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Monday, April 19, 2021

Susan Meissner and Free Books!

A mail order bride’s world begins to crumble on the eve of the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake when she discovers the man she married isn’t who he said he was.

Before we revisit with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the free Kindle copy of the historical romance, The Rancher’s Legacy, by Susan Page Davis, is:


Congratulations! We'll get your book right out to you. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to learn about new releases! U.S. subscribers are entered in the drawings a second time when they comment.

And now let's chat with novelist Susan Meissner, author of the historical suspense novel, The Nature of Fragile Things (Berkley, February 2021).

Susan Meissner is a USA Today bestselling novelist with more than half a million books in print in fifteen languages. Her critically acclaimed and award-winning works of historical fiction have been named to numerous lists including Publishers Weekly’s annual roster of 100 best books, Library Reads Top Picks, Real Simple annual tally of best books, Booklist’s Top Ten, and Book of the Month

Susan lives in southern California with her husband and yellow Lab, Winston.

Please tell us one random thing we might not know about you.

I do not like escalators.

They made me nervous as a child--I always worried they would consume me at the bottom! (at the bottom of the escalators--not at my bottom)

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The Nature of Fragile Things.

Sophie Whalen is living in a terrible tenement in Manhattan in 1905. She’s so desperate to get out of New York -- for many reasons, and not all of which she shares with the reader -- that she agrees to marry a San Francisco widower who has a young daughter; a man she has never met. 

By 1906 she has managed to cobble together a version of happiness for herself despite marrying this stranger. But when the quake hits in April 1906, everything in her world begins to crumble beneath her feet -- and I mean everything! 

Sophie’s fate is soon intertwined with the destinies of two other women, as well as that of the little girl to whom she had become an instant mother and now loves very much. Sophie is thrust onto a perilous journey that will test her resiliency and resolve, and ultimately, her belief that love can overcome fear. It’s a novel about the bonds of friendship and mother-love, and the power of female solidarity.

Your novels are always chock full of character development!

What is it about Sophie Whalen that will make your readers care about her?

The story is told in first person point-of-view, so the reader is privy to Sophie's biggest and most private hopes and dreams and fears. But because of the intimacy of this POV, the reader also understands that there are certain things about Sophie's past that she does not revisit, even within herself. Because she has suffered, the reader can understand then why she makes some of the choices that she makes.

Imagine you’ve been contracted to write a novel about a real person. About whom would you want to write?

What a great question! Off the top of my head I would pick Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, who wrote the Gothic novel Frankenstein, which I suppose sounds really macabre. But think about it. She wrote this book in the early19th century, so well before women were writing novels in the science fiction vein, and to write a book about a doctor who reanimates life!? That’s just fascinating to me. 

Me too! I felt like I had read a novel about her for a wonderful book club I belonged to before I moved to the west coast. But in looking through my records, it looks like the night we discussed Frankenstein--our read for that month--the discussion leader shared the story of the brainstorming trip at which Mary Shelley came up with the idea for the book. It remained a vivid memory for me. You should write the novel!

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

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a novel by V.E. Schwab that I will not soon forget. It is definitely not for everyone; there is some language and some bedroom scenes, and the premise itself is chilling: A 17th century French woman – desperate to get out of an arranged marriage – makes a bargain with the devil. Addie Larue regrets the deal immediately when she realizes she is now not only immortal but afflicted with the condition of being unrememberable. By anyone. This means minutes after meeting her people forget her. She cannot hold down a job, she cannot own property, she can't even have a relationship with someone, because no one remembers her. 

She asked for complete autonomy in exchange for her soul to get out of the arranged marriage and what she gets is an endless life where she’s not bound to anyone but no one is bound to her either. It's a mesmerizing look at what life would be like if there wasn’t a mighty and good God watching over us and holding back evil. This book also has the most satisfying ending that I’ve read in a long time.

I have that novel on my reading list--I must have read a positive review at some point. I didn't remember its premise being so dark! But it sounds interesting.

What are you working on now?

The book I'm writing now has the working title Only the Beautiful and is a novel about three generations of women impacted by the eugenics movement in the early part of the 20th century here in my home state of California.

Wow, I will definitely read that one. So many ethical questions there. 

Where else can readers find you online?

At my website at www.susanlmeissner.com, on Facebook or on Instagram or on Twitter

The book can be purchased online via the following button:

Readers, you can access a sample from the novel by going HERE and clicking on Look Inside.

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

What era or event in history do you wish a historical fiction author like me would write about and has not done so yet?

Thank you, Susan, for visiting and telling us about yourself and your book. Readers, Susan has offered to give away a free copy of her book. To enter, click on the word "comments" below to reach the comments page, and leave your answer and your email in answer to Susan's question above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Remember that U.S. subscribers are entered an additional time in each drawing. The drawing is done by email, so leave your email address, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com. 

Only United States residents are eligible for the drawing, but anyone can subscribe to the blog posts via the GDPA-compliant Feedblitz box above my list of books, at right.

Also readers, if you connect with me on Bookbub, you'll get alerts when my books release and when they're available at special sale prices. And if you'd like to connect with me on Facebook, just click HERE or on my name at the right of today's post title.

Annoying legal disclaimer: as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases; drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer, GDPA notice, and my Disclosure of Material Connection HERE


Maryannwrites said...

Hi Susan and Trish. In answer to your question Susan, I'd be interested in a story about a woman during the Civil War who was on the Union side. A lot has been written about women in the south, but not much about how the war impacted women in the north.

Happy writing!


Caryl Kane said...

Hey Trish and Susan! I'd like to see more stories from the children's perspective of the Holocaust and war in general.


Jane said...

The women who survived the Peshtigo fire of Wisconsin the same day as the Chicago Fire. But any era. You’d bring amazing insights to it.

Trish Perry said...

What great suggestions! I hope we hear more. I'm currently reading a novel about emigration to Australia in the late 1800s to early 1900s, mostly by the Irish and the Chinese. I love reading books about moments in history I never even knew existed. (I had never heard of the Peshtigo fire, as a matter of fact.)

Oh, and remember to leave your email if you want to be entered in the book give-away.

Susan Meissner said...

Hi, MaryAnn! You might like book A SOUND AMONG THE TREES. It features a Fredericksburg woman (a Southerner) who is a Union spy... :)

Colleen Turner said...

Hi Susan! I love your books!!

It is so hard to pick a time/place for a historical fiction novel that hasn’t been done yet. So much had been done!! I think, based on what I’ve seen, I would love to read more about Australia, either the indigenous people before it was colonized or those first groups of prisoners (I think?) who were sent over there to live.

I tried to sign up for the email subscription but I kept getting an error message. If there’s a way to manually do it I would love to receive emails!


Gayle said...

I like reading about the WW2 time. Especially about Jews who escaped and those who helped them risking all!

Trish Perry said...

Colleen, I'm sorry you had problems signing up for email notices. I'll try signing you up--you should receive an email asking you to verify that you do, indeed, want to be subscribed.

Letitia Suk said...

I love all the books you've written! How about the Eastland Disaster in Chicago in 1915? The SS Eastland was a tourist passenger ship based in Chicago. On 24 July 1915, the ship was filed with passengers for an outing for the Western Electric company. It rolled over onto its side while tied to a dock in the Chicago River. A total of 844 passengers and crew were killed in what was the largest loss of life from a single shipwreck on the Great Lakes.

Cheryl Barker said...

Hi Susan, can't wait to read your new book! Fingers crossed I'll win this giveaway! :) I'm not sure if any historical fiction novelist has written about the Tulsa race riots (also called Tulsa race massacre) in 1921, but if not, I think they should. I live 75 miles from Tulsa, just over the border in KS so would find it especially interesting. Tulsa is our go-to town :)

ckbarker at gmail dot com



Content Copyright Trish Perry | Graphic Design and Layout Eagle Designs