Friday, October 7, 2011

GUEST LAUNCH PARTY + GIVEAWAY: The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

Please give a warm Casablanca Welcome to New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Susanna Kearsley, whose new book, THE ROSE GARDEN hits stores this month! \Here's the description of the book:

When Eva's film star sister Katrina dies, she leaves California and returns to Cornwall, where they spent their childhood summers, to scatter Katrina's ashes and in doing so return her to the place where she belongs. But Eva must also confront the ghosts from her own past, as well as those from a time long before her own. For the house where she so often stayed as a child is home not only to her old friends the Halletts, but also to the people who had lived there in the eighteenth century. When Eva finally accepts that she is able to slip between centuries and see and talk to the inhabitants from hundreds of years ago, she soon finds herself falling for Daniel Butler, a man who lived - and died - long before she herself was born. Eva begins to question her place in the present, and in laying her sister to rest, comes to realise that she too must decide where she really belongs, choosing between the life she knows and the past she feels so drawn towards.

Are you hooked yet? And now for Susanna's post:

Can I just start by saying how great it is to be invited here to party with my Casablanca author friends? I’ve been missing you all since our limousine ride and dinner at the Vietnamese restaurant in New York! Thank you so much for having me here for the launch of my time-travel novel, The Rose Garden.

Time travel’s always been something I love, and in my world it’s usually paired with romance. It all comes, I think, of having seen Rod Taylor in The Time Machine at an impressionable age—watching him falling in love with Yvette Mimieux, leaving the world that he knew to be with her, I was enraptured.

It’s no coincidence that my favourite Star Trek episode was “The City on the Edge of Forever”, in which Kirk, Spock and McCoy travel back in time through a portal on an unknown planet, and find themselves on Earth in the 1930s, where Kirk falls in love with predictably tragic results.

My favourite TV movie of the 1970s was a tear-jerker called “The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan”, with Lindsay Wagner travelling back and forth in time with the help of an antique dress, torn between her unfaithful husband in the present and the artist she’s falling in love with in the past.

And that same year (1979), still at an impressionable age, I saw the film “Time After Time”, a thriller with Malcolm McDowell as H.G. Wells travelling into his future—our present—to chase Jack the Ripper and find love (of course) with a young Mary Steenburgen.

Jude Deveraux’s A Knight in Shining Armor, a gift from my sister one Christmas, was my first introduction to actual time travel romance in print, and I loved it.

I think what I’ve always liked best about this kind of story is simply the concept of love being strong enough to bridge that kind of a barrier. The idea that the right person for you might be living in another time seemed wildly romantic to me when I was a teenager, though I confess that now I’m older I’ve grown just as fascinated by the many challenges and choices a heroine would have to make when trying to decide between the present and the past.

I tried to explore this in scenes like this one from The Rose Garden, placing my modern-day heroine, Eva, on uncertain ground in the past:

The Sally didn’t lie at anchor long. Next morning Jack was off again in his turn, and I stood with Daniel on the hill below the house and watched the sloop’s white sails pass by the harbor of Polgelly far below us, heading east.
                ‘Where is he taking her?’ I asked, but Daniel only glanced at me and answered noncommittally, ‘I cannot say.’
                ‘Because you still don’t trust me.’
                ‘Because,’ he said, ‘’tis best that you do not concern yourself with certain things.’ I felt him glance at me again although I kept my own face turned towards the sea and the departing ship. ‘Are all the women of your time so curious?’
                ‘The women of my time are many things,’ I told him. ‘Doctors, lawyers, heads of state. We can do anything a man can do.’
I couldn’t tell if he believed me. ‘Heads of state? Well, we have had a queen ourselves, till lately.’
‘Not only queens. I mean elected heads of state, leaders of parliaments.’
‘You jest.’
‘You don’t believe a woman’s capable?’
He seemed to give the matter thought. ‘’Tis not that I dismiss a woman’s capability,’ he said, ‘nor her intelligence. ’Tis only that I would be fair amazed to see society permit it. I would think that she would find herself opposed by members of my sex, and ridiculed by members of her own.’
                I had to smile. ‘Yes, well, that does still happen sometimes. But at least the opportunity is there. We can be anything we choose to be.’
                I looked away again. The Sally’s sails had grown much smaller now, a little blot of white against the rolling blue of the Atlantic.
Daniel was still thinking. ‘If in truth there is such freedom for the women of your time, then you must find it difficult to be here.’
I actually hadn’t thought that much about it. I’d only been here for short periods, and I’d had more on my mind than my freedoms and rights. But if I were to stay here forever, I thought, he was right. It would not be an easy adjustment.
To know that my opinions would no longer count for anything in public, and that all the legal rights I’d come to take for granted were no longer mine; to be dependent for support on someone else because I could not earn my living.
Daniel watched my face a moment, then he turned his own gaze out to sea and said, ‘My brother sails to Brittany.’
                It was an open declaration of, not just his trust, but his respect.

What do you think would be the most difficult thing about time travel?


Thank you to Susanna for sharing this excerpt from THE ROSE GARDEN! We'll be giving away 2 prize packs of Susanna's books with Sourcebooks, bestseller The Winter Sea and The Rose Garden--just tell us in the comments if you could travel back in time, what time period would you visit and why OR answer Susanna's questions at the end of her post? US and Canada mailing addresses only, and please leave an email address for us to reach you at... we'll choose a winner on Monday!

To find out more information about Susanna and her enchanting novels, please visit or follow her on Twitter: @SusannaKearsley  


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. What fabulous giveaway! I a great fan of Susanna Kearsley. "Mariana" is one of my all-time favorite books.

    My favorite era in history is the mid to late 1800′s. I feel as though I could set my birth date back 100 years and not lose my stride. So much occurred during a relatively short period of time. Changes to technology, transportation, communications, social mores, religion, fashions, science and medicine, literature, art and entertainment. The American Civil War and its long-lasting aftereffects. The glory and grit of the American Old West. A very rich and revolutionary period in history. In my heart, I think of myself as a Prairie Woman. I sometimes feel as though I lived in the Old West, happily married with a family of my own. I feel as though my man of the West and I created our own dynasty, and I would love to envision how our family grew and expanded in scope. In private moments, I would let my quiet, confident “Man of the West” lead me off into the setting sun with its beautiful shades of fire edged with purples and golds. Not much conversation needed–the simple, sensational awareness of the companionship with each other and with the surroundings speaks in a poetry all its own. Later, we would enjoy campfire coffee beneath the indigo blanket of a night sky filled with a million twinkling stars. The trusting of two true hearts with the gorgeous glory of the western lands as a silent, timeless witness.

    US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  3. Fabulous excerpt! I've been reading great things about this book. If I could travel back in time, I would go back to Regency England. No surprise there as that's the time period I write about. My second choice would be Revolutionary France. I imagine that choice would be a little more dangerous.

  4. In terms of time travel, I think of Bodily Functions without all the products CVS offers, to tell you the truth, and I'm not talking about aspirin (white willow bark tea would serve just as well).

    In terms of rights, I WISH we could dose our children with a bit of the past. I tell my adult daughter that in her grandfather's lifetime--and he's still kickin'--women could not vote. She's perplexed, merely perplexed, not horrified. I start on my "women were CHATTEL, do you hear me?!" rant and she changes the subject.

    Makes you worry about the past being prologue.

  5. Hi Susanna~

    Great to 'see' you again! Of course, I wish we could do it in person and at The St. Andrews, surrounded by men in kilts and all that lovely scotch. Sigh...

    Loved the excerpt and everything you've written. I'm a huge fan. As for time travel, I'd love to go hang out with some of the people who went over the Oregon Trail (after they got there, of course). I think the most difficult thing about time travel to the past would be just that... travel. I can't imagine how hard it would be to make a trip across the country by covered wagon. I walked part of the Oregon Trail that went through Boise, ID--the ruts from the wagons are still there! Just seeing it was daunting, I can't imagine living it. And that would have been after they had crossed the Great Divide which, even in a car with modern roads is a bit harrowing. Talk about a tough trip! Now we complain about turbulence and traffic

  6. Fascinating excerpt and post. I've always been intrigued by the idea of time travel. I love do many different eras in the past that I'd have trouble picking just one. Maybe I could just spend a week or two in each one before I make up my mind? I'd most likely settle on one where a tall, dark handsome cowboy lived on the ranch next door!

  7. Virginia, I know what you mean about feeling you should have been born in another time. I feel that too, sometimes. But I'm asthmatic so probably wouldn't have lasted a day around all of that hay, and the horsehair-stuffed furniture!

    Shana, I think it's very brave of you to want to go back to Revolutionary France! You'd want to make sure you weren't an aristocrat..that would be no fun at all. I'm more of a coward, I'd probably go back to late Georgian England and just watch the revolution from the other side of the Channel...

    Grace, I have a hard enough time convincing my children that when I went to school students weren't allowed to talk back to their teachers, so I haven't even approached the rights of women rant, yet...:-)

    Robin, Ah yes, the St. Andrews, and the lovely Scot...I mean, Scotch. Sigh, indeed. (Though I seem to remember that he was an Irishman, wasn't he?) I agree with you about the travel. I still remember Laura Ingalls Wilder's description of their covered wagon journeys, fording creeks and getting jostled around, and I stand in awe of all those women and children who made that trip west from the relative comfort of cities and towns to the wilderness.

    Carolyn, I'd have trouble choosing, too (though it sounds as if you and Virginia C. might end up being neighbors, with your tall, dark, handsome cowboys!)

  8. If I could, I would love to visit London in the early 19th century, but only as a member of the gentry class! :)

  9. The Rose Garden sounds wonderful. If I would travel back in time, I would want to go to Regency England. I would want to wear a beautiful gown, ride in a carriage and attend a ball.

  10. New book sounds wonderful!!!
    I am perfectly happy in the time I am in. As a creature of technology & vanity, I am sure that I could not endure a world without my iPhone, mac, kindle or mani/pedi.

  11. I remember the first time-travl book I read was by an author named Joann Simon. Sadly, I've been through too many titled since then to remember the name of it, but I loved it! It's such a wonderful thing to dream about. I have always loved time stories-and I would happily time travel---IF--I knew I could come back and sleep in my own bed.

  12. Oh I heard about this book on another blog - sounds wonderful.
    I think it would be difficult acclimating to two entirely different worlds. Not just the lack of modern technology but the whole different mindset from another time. Time travel seems like fantasy, but who knows what we will learn to do in the future. Fascinating idea and I love reading about it.

  13. If I could travel back in time, there are a dozen places I would be happy to end up -- Ancient Egypt or Mesopotamia, Greece and then a nice hop, skip and jump through the British Middle Ages. I'd always want the comforts of wealth, though. Life in the past was really hard for most people. I think truly I prefer the comfort of traveling through time in my cushy armchair! I would love to read Susanna books - I've already fallen in love with THE ROSE GARDEN from the little excerpts I've read. Keeping my fingers crossed for this giveaway!

    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

  14. Heather, if you ever do make it back to London in the early 19th century, do me a favor and drop over to Kensington to visit my ancestors--my amateur geneaolgist father and I have a few questions about various births and marriages that we'd love to have answered...

    CrystalGB, I've wanted to go to a Regency ball since I saw the film Sense and Sensibility (the Emma Thompson version), and watched the Dashwood sisters step out of their carriage and go through those gorgeous packed rooms with those wonderful gowns. Great choice.

    Jane, yes, the mani-pedi...excellent point, I might miss that. But I confess there are days when I long for the time when I wasn't so over-connected to everything, and where people couldn't find me (and demand things) at a moment's notice.

    Amelia, I went and looked on and found five JoAnn Simon titles: Beloved Captain, Soujourn, Hold Fast to Love, Love Once in Passing, and Love Once Again. Most have plot summaries, so that may help you remember which one you read and loved. I'll have to check these out myself. Isn't this the greatest cover? I loved those old Avon covers, back in the day--all the sumptuous clinches and flowing foil lettering. Miss those.

    catslady, I think it would be like traveling to any foreign place--the mindset is definitely something you need to sort out and get used to. As you say, it's fascinating to think about.

  15. Gwendolyn B., wealth is always an asset :-)If only because you'd have servants to help with the housework (I hate housework).

  16. Terrific excerpt, Susanna, and I have several of your books on my keeper shelf. Welcome to the Casa Babes!

  17. Welcome Susanna! It happens that both your books are on my wishlist and I'm really happy to learn more about you and your books.

    If I could visit any time period it would be 1700s Ireland or England. I want to visit the times of the pirates and when there was a lot of political upheaveal. Plus being places with so much history and mythical beliefs I am curious to see if the world's perspective o nwitches have scarred them or how they reacted. It's not Salem but I'm sure the towns felt some of the tension.

    I think what would be difficult about time-travel is placing one's mindset there. The body is there but it's hard to realize people thought differently, tolerance and acceptance for things is now like how it is now.

    Cambonified [at] yahoo [dot] com

  18. Sounds great! I do love romantic time travels! I would love to spend some time in Regency England (but not as a servant), though I'd probably miss indoor plumbing and modern medicine after a while.

  19. I think that the hardest thing about time travel would be leaving my kids behind. When they are grown maybe.
    I would love to go back into the 1700 Scottish Highlands myself.
    I loved Winter Sea from Sarah Wendell's Book Chat.

    terilhack at yahoo dot com

  20. I think I would go back to the Civil war time period because I have always been interested in this time period because of part of it being faught in the area where i live.

    Great giveaway your books sound fabulous


  21. Hey, Terry! Thanks for the welcome. So happy to be here.

    Na, the 1700s certainly had pirates and political mayhem aplenty. And, as you point out, a whole different set of societal attitudes. It's one of my favorite periods, actually.

    Amanda, I'm with you on both the indoor plumbing and the medicine. It's hard to imagine a time before antibiotics, though I know my own parents remember what that was like. And we don't have to worry about diptheria epidemics today -- I remember reading the book "Mrs. Mike" and feeling sick at heart about the diptheria epidemics that carried off so many children.

    Teril, I know. I couldn't leave the kids behind, either (not even when they're older, I don't think). I guess my window of opportunity for guilt-free time traveling has come and gone :-)

    Virginia, there's always something especially interesting about history that's close to home, isn't there?

    Thanks everyone, for your comments!

  22. If I could travel back in time it would be to the Regency era. I really enjoy reading stories from that time period with all of the beautiful dresses and customs that come with being part of the ton.

    CONGRATS Susanna on your latest release! The cover and story look/sound beautful!

  23. Wonderful giveaway, Susanna! I'd love to experience the Old West, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be tough enough to make it long term - I'm no hardy pioneer woman. :) Hopefully I'd eventually make my way back to the 21st c. for technology, indoor plumbing and reality tv! sarah(at)brazenbookworm(dot)com

  24. I think that the most difficult thing about time travel would be blending into the local population and time.

  25. Congratulations on your new release, Susanna! And a warm welcome to the SB family!

  26. Good Morning!

    CrystalGB and Sarah (the Brazen Bookworm) are our winners. I'll be emailing you both shortly.

    Thanks to everyone, and to Susanna, for stopping by!