Sunday, April 15, 2007


Finally, Hometown Hero Week is here! This is going to be a really short "week" for me, because frankly, there aren't all that many books written about my "hometown" (unless you count the endless number of Revolutionary and Civil War books!). That's sad, because my hometown (or at the least the one I'm claiming at this stage in my life) is an incredible place. The three books that I'll be spotlighting this week are all centered right here, in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

For me, the historic district of Fredericksburg (affectionately known as "Old Towne", "Downtown" or just "the 'burg" to many) is one of the most wonderful places I've ever been. The streets are dotted with buildings that have stood through two wars, including major battles that left the town in tatters during both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. In fact, Fredericksburg is one of the few towns that can claim the rather sad honor of being "destroyed" in both wars fought on American soil.

But it's not just the history of the place that you feel when you walk the streets. The town seems to literally pulse with the energy of the people that live here, within the small section of town where most everyone knows each other and there is practically no such thing as an outsider. I've got some wonderful friends that live on Caroline Street, one of the main streets in Old Towne, and they have introduced me to a town that I never dreamed existed. I've been welcomed into a group of people that don't care where I come from, or what I do for a living, but are willing to share their time with me when we meet. It's amazing!

In Hope Tarr's latest book, THE HAUNTING, she writes about a contemporary woman living in Old Towne and the man from her past that haunts her... literally. Check out the BCC:

Red-Hot and Union Blue
Investigating a noise in the attic of her historic home, Maggie Holliday encounters a handsome man in a Civil War uniform. Her calls her "Isabel," seduces her in ways the shy academic had never dreamed of... then literally vanishes.
With every fleeting visit, Maggie's mysterious lover - Ethan - takes her closer to the edge of ecstasy and madness. Is he really a ghost? Far from chilling her, his touch is incendiary - it all feels so real and so very, very good. And so very familiar...
Ethan insists Maggie's the reincarnation of his long-lost love. And after a few incredible nights in his arms, Maggie is inclined to believe him. But does she dare surrender to a passion that transcends time, tragedy... and even death?

I should mention that this is an Extreme Blaze by Harlequin, and it more than earns that distinction. As the Blaze moniker denotes, it is a very, very hot book. But that's not all it is. It's a love story that begins in tragedy, but ends (as most good romances do) with happiness. Maggie is a heroine worth waiting for, and Ethan has been doing that for years (one hundred and forty five years, to be exact!). She's a little troubled, a tad independent, and very adventurous. She's also full of fire, though she doesn't always recognize that about herself, nor is she willing to admit it. When Ethan enters her life, she slowly realizes that nothing is impossible, even falling in love all over again.

I enjoyed this book as much for the storyline as I did for the descriptions of some of my own favorite haunts (no pun intended!). For me, nothing beats reading a book and being able to picture it in your head, actually being able to see the street that the heroine walks down, see where she's shopping, where she goes to dinner. With this story, not only could I picture it, I could actually drive by if I wanted. That's the beauty of having a Hero from your own Hometown. And that's why I'm hosting this "week".

You know me. If there is a way to do it, I'll have a contest where I can give away signed books. This week is no different. You'll have the chance to win signed copies of each of the three books that I'm featuring this week. All three of them take place right here in my hometown. To enter to win a copy of today's book, all you have to do is spread the word, or share your story. Yep, copy the cover and BCC onto your blog, or post the info about Hope's book to your favorite loop, group, or forum, and be sure to let us know where you posted in the comments. OR In the comments you can tell me why your hometown (make sure you tell me where you live) should (or should NOT) be the setting for a book. Tell me what makes it special and unique, or why nobody would ever want to write about it. I'll leave the contest open until Friday, to give you all time to blog/post or comment. Next Saturday, I'll have a short post announcing the winners. Don't be shy - this is your chance to shine!

Also, as a bonus, Hope told me yesterday that she might be stopping by here. So if you have any questions for her, please feel free to ask them in the comments section. And be sure to drop by your local bookseller and pick up a copy of THE HAUNTING. It's a love story you don't want to miss!

Keep turning those pages!


Lis said...

I'm so looking forward to reading this one. My question for Hope would be what inspired the story?

Chantal said...

I'm a blaze fan. I get an order every month from Harlequin.

Hope Tarr said...

Great question, Lis. Years back when I first moved to Fxburg, I ran across a Civil War era tintype portrait of a young woman. In addition to being beautiful, she struck me as wistful and intelligent. That anonymous woman was the inspiration for my main character of Maggie/Isabel in THE HAUNTING.

Hope Tarr said...

That's great to hear, Chantal. Right now I'm doing three Blazes a year. My next one, Strokes of Midnight, will be out in December 2007. It's part of the "Wrong Bed" series and was just tons of fun to write.

dee said...

Eek! As I re-read my post, I was reminded of something that Hope said to a person at her booksigning yesterday. She mentioned how she'd really come to depend on SPELLCHECK. Well, that works only if the word that is spelled incorrectly is NOT an actual word. For instance, when I typed this up, Ethan was in a Civil WAT uniform, and literally vanished. Please remember that all spelling and grammar errors in any Dish are MY fault, not the fault of the author, ok?


McB said...

Hi Hope. I have a copy of THE HAUNTING and I'm really looking forward to reading it. BTW, I loved LORD JACK.

Also, BTW, do you have any family in PA? I ask because I'm related to some Tarr's up that way.

Hope Tarr said...

Hi Dee and MCB,

Dee, no worries on the mis-spell. I spelled "sites" as "sights" in someone's copy of THE HAUNTING yesterday. Hopefully they won't conclude the book was ghost written, so to speak.

Re the family history question, I know I have/had some Tarr relatives in the Pittsburgh area (I think) as well as Ohio valley.

Lis said...

That's so cool Hope, sounds like great inspiration :)

Hope Tarr said...

Thanks, Lis. The heroine's house is the historic home I sold last summer right down to the camelia bush blooming in the front yard. I had a ghost, too, only not a hunky one. ;)


Lis said...

Oh wow. :) Too bad on the hunky ghost! hehe