About the Book
Book: Maeve’s Pledge
Author: Linda Shenton Matchett
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: March 21, 2023
Pledges can’t be broken, can they?
Finally, out from under her father’s tyrannical thumb, Maeve Wycliffe can live life on her terms. So what if everyone sees her as a spinster to be pitied. She’ll funnel her energies into what matters most: helping the less fortunate and getting women the right to vote. When she’s forced to team up with the local newspaper editor to further the cause, will her pledge to remain single get cropped?
Widower Gus Deighton sees no reason to tempt fate that he can find happiness a second time around. Well past his prime, who would want him anyway? He’ll continue to run his newspaper and cover Philadelphia’s upcoming centennial celebration. But when the local women’s suffrage group agrees that the wealthy, attractive, and very single Maeve Wycliffe acts as their liaison, he finds it difficult to remain objective.
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About the Author
Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry (of Star-Spangled Banner fame) and has lived in historical places all her life. She is a volunteer docent and archivist at the Wright Museum of WWII and a former trustee for her local public library. She now lives in central New Hampshire where she explores the history of this great state and immerses herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.
More from Linda
When asked to contribute a story to the Suffrage Spinsters series, I immediately sat down and researched the suffrage movement. I was surprised to discover that the crusade to get women the right to vote began the 1830s. Nearly twenty years later, a women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York, an event considered the actual “birthplace” of women’s suffrage.
The history of suffragism in America is fascinating because of the large percentage of women who were against getting the right to vote. As I continued to delve into the history of the movement, I unearthed many references to an incident that occurred at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton decided to write a document similar to the US “Declaration of Independence,” call it the “Declaration of the Rights of Women,” and present it at the Exposition’s July 4th celebration.
Their request to speak was summarily dismissed, and in fact, few women were able to obtain tickets to the event.
Undeterred, Anthony came up with an alternate plan. On July 4th, in the midst of Richard Henry Lee’s speech (grandson and namesake of one of the Declaration of Independence signers), she marched down the aisle inside Independence Hall and handed a scroll tied in a festive navy-blue ribbon to the host, then turned and made her way out of the building, distributing copies to the clamoring crowd as she went. Outside, she read the document aloud as the remaining copies were distributed. Newspapers covered her presentation and printed portions of the document. Word spread, and countless newspapers outside of Philadelphia picked up the article.
I knew I had my story, and I hope in some small way Maeve’s Pledge honors those tenacious men and women who fought to gain women the right to vote.
Linda Shenton Matchett
Interview with Linda
- What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
Thus far, I’ve had a chance to go on two literary pilgrimages which have been vastly different. The first was nearly twenty years ago when I visited Nathaniel Hawthorne’s home in Salem, Massachusetts. Built in 1668, there is a tremendous amount of history associated with the house. He wrote other stories set in the area, and it was fun to explore them. The second pilgrimage I took was to London after I’d written my Ruth Brown mystery series. I had studied street maps, and Tube maps and schedules to ensure the accuracy of my stories. I normally have a poor sense of direction, but I had spent nearly four years with those maps and was able to navigate around the city with ease. I loved standing and walking where my characters had been and seeing what they actually saw. It was a very moving experience.
- How do you select the names of your characters?
I own several high school and college years books published during WWII, so I often use those to pick out names, by taking the first name of one student and pairing it with the surname of another student. I’ve also pulled names off tombstones (I visit lots of cemeteries), and out of phone books. For names of characters that have a specific heritage (Norwegian, Irish, etc.), I used a variety of websites I’ve found.
- What is your favorite childhood book?
When I was very young, my favorite book was “Are You My Mother” by P.D. Eastman. After reading “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” when I was twelve or thirteen, I decided I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.
- What comes first, the plot or characters?
In my WWII stories, the characters come first because I want to highlight a specific job held by women during the war (war correspondent, pilot, doctor, spy, etc.). For my Mail-Order Bride stories, the plot typically comes first because I have to decide what situation she is in that would make her choose to be a mail-order bride.
- What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I live in New Hampshire, which is heavily forested with lots of lakes, so I spend as much time as I can outside. We hike and kayak during the summer and snow shoe in the winter. Of course, there’s always sitting on the back deck with a good book, too!
Thank you for letting us get to know you better!
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Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 16
Simple Harvest Reads, August 17 (Author Interview)
For Him and My Family, August 17
Bizwings Book Blog, August 18
Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 19 (Author Interview)
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 20
Artistic Nobody, August 21 (Author Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, August 22
Stories By Gina, August 23 (Author Interview)
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 23
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 24
Sylvan Musings, August 25 (Author Interview)
Connie’s History Classroom, August 26
The Book Club Network, August 27
Bliss, Books & Jewels, August 28 (Author Interview)
To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving awaythe grand prize package of a $50 Visa Gift Card and signed copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.