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June 21, 2016



Thank you for hosting me on the blog, Dean! And I appreciate your kind words about the book, too!


I still reread Mary Stewart often, after discovering her in my teens. Nine Coaches Waiting is my absolute favorite, followed by Airs Above the Ground (Autocorrect just turned that into Airstream!), and The Moonspinner, with its adult heroine, not the teenager from the film.

I feel the first chapter of Nine Coaches Waiting is a perfect example of how to start a story, introducing the main character, placing her in time and location, giving us back story and the physical and emotional transformation of her moving from her past and present into the future.

I will definitely be picking up A Dark and Stormy Murder!

Margaret Hamilton Turkevich

great premise for a book! Like many others, I came of age reading Stewart, Holt, Whitney and MacInnes.


Oh wow, this book sounds excellent. I am off to pre-order.

I grew up reading Stewart, Holt, and Whitney and they have certainly influenced my love of modern domestic suspense. These romantic suspense tales took me on a reading path. From them, I took the dual trails of reading both Mary Higgins Clark and Jackie Collins.

I wish I had more time to revisit those Stewart books, I remember them being so very good. I might need to take a respite from my blog reading one afternoon this summer and enjoy at least one of them.

Julia Buckley

Avis, you are so right, and I miss the days in which you could take your time getting into a story, and authors could spend a luxurious amount of time establishing setting (as Stewart did so well), entering a wonderland and slowly stumbling upon plot.

Nine Coaches Waiting is also one of my favorites, along with Madam, Will You talk?

Margaret Hamilton, I was a big Helen MacInnes fan! In fact I wrote a blog essay once in which I theorized that her books were the predecessors to books like THE BOURNE IDENTITY.


Thanks for sharing ! I'm adding your book now to my book store list of books to get this month.

Jacki YORK

And I'm on vacation that week! I know where I will be on Tuesday- the bookstore!

I loved all of them and Barbara Michaels as well. And when I found out that she wrote under Elizabeth Peters also- heaven!

Charlaine Harris

Mary Stewart was so fantastic. And Phyllis A. Whitney . . . I had the astonishing experience of meeting her. She was a tiny cricket of a woman. Barbara Michaels, Victoria Holt, Daphne du Maurier; they all led me into Mary Roberts Rinehart, Agatha Christie, and beyond. What a wonderful education in writing they were.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Oh, how fabulous. It sounds wonderful! Congratulations on a brilliant idea.

And confession: somehow I missed that phase..I went straight to Christie, Tey, Allingham, Sayers etc.

Do you think I should try them now? WHich ones, everyone? (I've read Rebecca of course…wait. Have I? It feels as if I know it so well, but maybe that's movie-fantasy.)

Or maybe I'll start with you! xoxoo

Susan Neace

One of the most memorable lines of dialogue in This Rough Magic after the astonishing event at the end of the book. From Adonis to his girlfriend. "I have cooked it for you". Despite that line, Mary Stewart is directly responsible for my decision to eat in local restaurants when I travel.


I've got to say, I love the title of this book as well. My love of Snoopy's failed writing career might have something to do with it.

Elaine Viets

Welcome to the Femmes, and what an intriguing idea for a new series. Congratulations.

Julia Buckley

Thank you for posting all these great comments! I just got out of work, so I will get back to our dialogue:

Kristopher, I recommend it! It's just the problem of which to choose, like being faced with a box of delicious chocolates.

Amy--thanks! Every sale is appreciated, but I also hope you enjoy the story.

Jacki and Charlaine, there is such nostalgia in looking back at these writers and the way they influenced our reading and our writing. That's where this book was born.

Hank, I'll bet anyone on this list could give you recommendations for the best book with which to begin, but I am totally cool with you starting with mine. :)

Susan--you are so right! A powerful line. She clearly got absorbed into her own fictional worlds, because she felt these emotions with her characters.

Mark--too funny! I also love Snoopy and all of his literary aspirations.

Elaine, thanks for your kind welcome.

Kristin Lundgren

You brought back memories of my local library. Not quite as close, and built into a round bldg, stuck into the side of a small hill, with wraparound windows on half. But it's on those shelves, and my older sister's, that I discovered that same triumvirate of RS writers, and several more. I have all the books of those three, at least up to a certain period, and a box full of lesser well known gothic writers, but they are dear to me. Thanks for brining back some delightful years, when they did carry an author's backlist, all if it. It's a complaint that I still talk about. For those of us who have only a small budget, books or anything else, the library is a necessary resource. Money should go into book space, not design.


I so agree, Kristin. And libraries are also the way to help raise children who read. Our culture should encourage books in every way, and that means libraries for those who can't afford bookstores.

There was a time that I would go to our yearly used book sale at the public high school where they sold hardbacks for a dollar and paperbacks for fifty cents, and I would buy every Mary Stewart hardback they had, with the cool old covers, even if I already owned them. They're harder and harder to find, so when I see one, I snatch it up. It's like treasure to me.


I want to read this book and live in that house!


You can! Thanks to the IMAGINATION, as Spongebob would say. :)

Mary S.

Really looking forward to this one. And doesn't it have a beautiful book cover? Congratulations, Julia and thanks for sharing this today!

Julia Buckley

Thank you, Mary!!

Mimi Musick

It is like hearing magic words, "written like Mary Stewart"
and I am so ready to read the book. I still own them all, and will be ready to collect this new author.

Julia Buckley

Mimi, I can't claim to write like Mary Stewart, but hopefully if you read the book you'll find it to be an appropriate homage to her.

Kathy Reel

I so enjoyed this post, Julia, and I love the title of your new book. I'm headed to Amazon now!


Julia, I'm in the midst of reading DARK AND STORMY right now. I knew it was an homage to Mary Stewart the minute I saw the first epigraph.

It's one of those books I want to read really quickly so I know what will happen, but also really slowly because I don't want it to end.

Pamela Oughton

I do wish that they would put Mary Stewart books on audio books. I did find one with cassettes but not a lot of use these days. Please please. I reread her greek books at least once a year.

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