I am happy to feature The Wild Rose Press author Marilyn Baron and her new release, The Widows’ Gallery.
I’ve always wanted to be a writer from the time I read Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I wrote my first poem at age 11 that was published in Highlights, the magazine you see at the dentist office. My first “book,” East West Island, featured all the children in my third-grade class, and my teacher read it in installments every day. I directed my first play at age 13, starring my brother and sisters and some of the neighborhood kids to raise money for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. I wrote the scripts for the school assembly programs and served as editor and feature editor of my junior high school and high school newspapers. Although my father encouraged me to major in elementary education, because he thought you couldn’t make a living as a writer, I majored in Journalism (Public Relations) and English (Creative Writing) in college and pursued a satisfying corporate career with AT&T in Public Relations. I did a one-year stint in the Florida State prison system (Translation: I was an information specialist at the Florida Department of Offender Rehabilitation) and then quit to run my own public relations firm. But I’ve always wanted to write fiction.
I pursued that dream in earnest when I joined Georgia Romance Writers, where I got my start with craft workshops, conferences and the camaraderie and support of fellow writers. I volunteered for such jobs as on-line newsletter editor and handling publicity for the chapter’s annual Moonlight & Magnolias conference. My road to publication has been a long one—more than 10 years. Along the way I’ve won four writing awards, published seven books with The Wild Rose Press, with two other books coming soon; five humorous paranormal short stories; and self-published two books and a musical called Memory Lane about Alzheimer’s with my sister.
My first publishing experience was writing short stories with TWB Press, a small publisher of science fiction, supernatural, horror and urban fantasy and thrillers. My fifth short story, The Files Death Forgot, was released by TWB Press February 15. Then my first full-length novel, Under the Moon Gate, a historical romantic thriller set in modern day and WW II Bermuda, was contracted by The Wild Rose Press (TWRP). At the time no one seemed to want books set in World War II but that was my favorite period in history and Bermuda was one of my favorite places to visit so I never gave up on it. My editor loved it and I found a home.
I’ve been writing for TWRP ever since.
I don’t have an agent yet so I was thinking of dedicating my next book “To the Agent I Never Had.”
Unlike many writers, I don’t stick with one genre. I’ve written women’s fiction (coming-of-middle-age novels); historical romantic thrillers; a psychic suspense series; fantasy; and my latest novel released February 11 is a women’s fiction with four romances, called The Widows’ Gallery. I enjoy the diversity, but all my books and stories have one thing in common. They all use humor to tell the story. And they all have a happy ending.
I like to use art as a theme because I studied Art History in Florence, Italy, where I spent six months in college. In fact The Widows’ Gallery is partially set there. I frequently set my books in places I’ve traveled to and, like a sponge, I put to use a lot of what I see and hear. Every time my sister calls me she prefaces her remarks with, “Now, don’t use this in a book.”
The best piece of advice I’ve learned from interviewing such bestselling authors as Daniel Silva, Steve Berry and Janet Evanovich is, “Finish the book.” Their rationale is you can always correct a bad manuscript but you can’t correct a blank page.
Childless heiress Abigail Adams Longley and three other widows on a Mediterranean cruise bond over a Renaissance masterpiece in Florence, Italy, and find love, friendship and joy in their joint venture to open an art gallery at the Longley mansion in Lobster Cove, Maine.
Since the death of her husband, Abigail has been lonely and drifting in a house that’s too big and a town that’s too small. When she literally runs into sexy widower and whale-watching excursion captain Tack Garrity on the dock, she’s entranced by his adorable five-year-old daughter.
But will Tack, who has harbored a secret crush on Abigail for almost two decades, be able to capture her heart? A secret pact her husband made with Tack could either tear them apart or bring them closer together and change their lives forever.
Abigail Adams Longley looked around at the three women flanking her in Hall 10/14 of the Uffizi Gallery. They were all staring at The Birth of Venus like wide-eyed art students. Admittedly, the painting was as compelling as when the Medici family originally commissioned the tempera on canvas in the fifteenth century. But for Abigail, seeing the painting again wasn’t cathartic. It was beautiful, but that wasn’t the feeling she was going for. Peace. Why couldn’t she get some goddamned peace in this life?
Abigail glanced at the square-cut, four-carat diamond on her finger, gazed at the sparkle of the ring she hadn’t removed since the day Louis had proposed. And now, a whole year after his death, she still hadn’t taken it off. Conventional wisdom dictated that you weren’t supposed to make any major life decisions until a year after a spouse’s death. Well, it had been a year already, and she hadn’t wanted to make even one decision—major or minor—about where to live, where to go, or what to do. Whoever said money can’t buy happiness had devised another dead-on axiom. She had all the money in the world—in fact Louis had left her a big chunk of the globe. He’d left her set for life, monetarily. But she would have traded every cent for the chance to be with him again. Louis was gone, and the sooner she faced the fact that she was alone on this planet, the better off she’d be.
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Marilyn Baron is a corporate public relations consultant in Atlanta. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), recipient of the GRW 2009 Chapter Service Award and winner or finalist in writing awards in single title, suspense romance, novel with strong romantic elements and paranormal romance.
Marilyn writes in a variety of genres, including: Humorous women’s fiction (The Widows’ Gallery, Stones, and Significant Others; a psychic suspense series (Sixth Sense, Homecoming Homicides and the soon to be released Killer Cruise); and historical romantic thrillers (Under the Moon Gate and the prequel, Destiny: A Bermuda Love Story) for The Wild Rose Press; and humorous paranormal short stories for TWB Press (A Choir of Angels, Follow an Angel, The Stand-In Bridegroom, Dead Mix and The Files Death Forgot).
Marilyn is a member of the Roswell Reads Steering Committee and belongs to two book clubs. A native of Miami, Florida, Marilyn now lives in Roswell, Georgia, with her husband and they have two daughters. She graduated from The University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism [Public Relations sequence] and a minor in Creative Writing.
When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, going to movies, eating Italian food and traveling. She often sets her stories in places she’s visited, including Bermuda, Australia and Italy, where she spent six months studying in Florence during her senior year in college.
Where to find Marilyn…
Website | Savvy Authors (22nd of each month) | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads