Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Booty Tuesday -- Susanna Kearsley's The Rose Garden

Carrying home Booty
As you know, I returned from the RWA National Conference last August with Booty!
I haz signed books.  
I haz New Books, from writers I admire.  
Did I mention they are signed?

One of these books can be yours.
This week is your chance to win The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley.

 This is a lyric and thoughtful para-Romance -- and by that I am saying it hangs around the Romances in the playground but every once in a while it wanders off to Think Deep Thoughts while all the Romance books are going 'Whee!' on the swingset.  Rose Garden was a Finalist for the RITA last year which is an indication of the quality we are talking about here, even if we ignore all the 'best seller' stickers on the front.

The physical copy of this book is untouched because I have my own and read it before the conference.

Stealing quotes from various folks ...
"Kearsley has a poetic sensibility and a sense of mystery: she could write the modern Rebecca."  The Bookseller.
"Lifts readers straight into another time and place to smell the sea, feel the caste walls, and sense every emotion.  These are marks of a fantastic storyteller." RT Book Review:

RT calls The Rose Garden 'reminiscent of Barbara Erskine's Lady of Hay and Mary Stewart's works.'  Others compare Kearsley to Gabaldon, (I will agree with this, and you know how I love Gabaldon,) du Maurier and Niffenegger.
If that sounds like your taste and you haven't tried her yet, the treat still awaits you.

Let's go with a little excerpt:

"Do you mean to roast the squabs tonight?" 

I heard the footsteps pause.  "Now what the devil does that have to do with anything?"

"I think more clearly when I'm fed."

"Is that a fact?"

"You might do well to roast an extra bird."

"I'll roast the flock for you," the Irishman said dryly, "if it helps you find your sense."

He didn't slam the door exactly, but he closed it with a force that gave his final statement emphasis.  I heard his footsteps tramping down the stairs.

This book is just so excellent on so many levels.

To be eligible to win The Rose Garden, write and post a poem in the comment thread of this post. 
Use one of the following words from the cover:

Safety, among, thorns, rose, garden, new, time, today, author, Susanna, Kearsley, poetic, sense, sensibility, mystery, write, modern, Rebecca, bookseller, thrill, haunting, deep, romantic, story, Cornwall, house, coast, memories, childhood, summers, happiness, voices, pathway.

Your poem can be a 
(traditional or non-traditional)
Rhymed couplet
blank verse
or any other rhyme or poetry form you fancy.  I am not particular.

I'll pick one lucky commenter (US only, sorry) from the comment trail on Friday.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I'll start off with a little ... whatever verse form this is:

    Why does she come to Cornwall
    to find what she discovers?
    Why do the gates of space and time
    part for destined lovers?

    Can we believe, somehow, somewhere,
    Fate takes a hand and seems to care?

    Can we believe in love so great
    that even time can't separate?

  3. As the Rain Falls...

    As the rain falls on my window pane,
    I ask my self why what for,
    Why does the tears fall like rain,
    Why does the pain just pour,

    Down my cheeks feeling insane,
    As Emptiness feels my soul,
    Releasing the pressure and the pain,
    Reaching for the ultimate goal,

    Every little girls dreams,
    The perfect white dress,
    A shiny new ring,at least thats what it seems,
    No for me its being at my best,

    Winning the heart completely of one,
    Nothing like all the rest.

  4. Disclaimer: I am not a poet. So it's a bad, bad poem, but certainly fun to write. I loved the book excerpt, so if I don't win, I'll be buying it!

    A squab by any other name would roast as toasty.
    And the extra bird would be eaten, mostly.
    But the question remains as to who is the cook,
    As he is not identified on the front cover of the book.
    A task has been set us by the great Ms. Bourne,
    So I must sharpen my mind like the point of a thorn.
    Perhaps "The Rose Garden" I will win,
    And then I shall meet this mysterious Irishman.

    1. Sigh. I used thorn instead of thorns, and mysterious instead of mystery. But it was still fun to write!

    2. I am not that picky. Honest.

    3. Oh, good. Because my masterpiece is quite absurd. But I was able to use squab, toasty and Ms. Bourne in a poem. This cannot be discounted.

    4. I do not think surdity is necessary in poetry. And I have to admit that squab and toasty are nice things to have, whether poetically or IRL.

  5. Oh my. I'm obviously going to have a hard time picking a winner this week.

    (not for the first time wishing she'd picked up three or four signed books from everybody, though that would not have been popular with the folks in line behind her.)

  6. Your childhood memories
    seem a fantasy --
    a garden of improbable roses
    and imaginary lilies.

    You recall summer voices
    bursting with happiness
    like raspberries on the August tongue,
    like birdsong along the pathway
    to the Cornwall coast.

    You recall hiding
    for the thrill of secrecy
    and discovery,
    of the race to home base.

    I hid
    from winter voices,
    from yesterday,
    today and tomorrow.
    I haunted thickets,
    nesting in brambles,
    hoping for safety among thorns.

    Small birds mocked me,
    delighting in raspberries
    beyond my hungry reach.

    I hid in story,
    building walls of
    once upon a time.

    The mystery:
    How did you reach through years,
    through thorns,
    to the heart of story
    and create our new time?

  7. Janet --you may indeed submit more than one poem. *g*

  8. I"m not even going to try. I know my poetry would run along the lines of
    Roses are Red
    Violets are Blue
    Writing Poetry's hard
    (stole that off Facebook)

    I'm not entering to win, but I wanted to pop in anyway because I read that book and LOVED LOVED LOVED it! Kearsley's WINTER SEA is gorgeous, too.

  9. I'm not in the US, but thought I'd have a go anyway. You did say use _all_ the words, right?

    There's a house on the coast of Cornwall,
    of which Susanna Kearsley did write,
    by no means new or modern,
    but no renovator's delight.
    It contains no haunting memories,
    of a childhood long lost,
    nor deep romantic feelings,
    buried beneath the frost.
    Its walls are free of mystery,
    its pathway clear of thorns,
    unlike Sense and Sensibility,
    no heart has yet been torn.
    It boasts of no rose garden,
    no summers of poetic bloom,
    happiness does not linger,
    among the fixtures in each room.
    It's raised no little children,
    named Rebecca, Joyce, or Griet,
    not heard those little voices,
    nor the thrill of little feet.
    Today it sits in safety,
    as if time did pass it by,
    no one's tried to claim it,
    and on one's wondered why.
    For the house born of this author,
    future bookseller's gold,
    is nothing but a story,
    that has yet to be told.

  10. Holy cow, Wayne! I thought I'd jammed in as many words as one pome would hold!

    1. As someone once said, there's always room for one more!

      And dang, I've just noticed a typo in it.

  11. Ye gods, Wayne. I didn't know your wrote peotry. heck.

  12. And the winner of the signed copy of The Rose Garden is Janet McConnaughey.

    Janet, could you use the link at the top of the right hand column to send me your snail address and I will zip this book on its way to you.

    Next Tuesday, we're going for an entirely mainstream genre Romance by one of our Best Sellers. It's a 2011 book -- not 2010 as I said elsewhere

    Julia Quinn says, "One of my favorite authors."

  13. Cool! Thanks for giving away all this nifty booty!

  14. That always happens. The minute I hit the 'publish' button I start noticing things wrong.

  15. Do all of Susanna Kearsley's books have such lovely rhythms? This, for instance -- without poeticisms, the sounds vary beautifully with the sense and the overall rhythm just caught me.

    The beach would not have met the Californian definition of a beach -- there was no sand in sight, just hard round rocks and pebbles worn to smoothness by the water, shifting crunchingly whenever I set foot on them, all grey and black and lighter grey with clinging strands of dark green seaweed trailed across the stones.

    Looking analytically, there are the three hard thumps of "hard round rocks" followed by the long "worn to smoothness," then the abrupt "shifting crunchingly" ("shifted and crunched" wouldn't have had that bit of surprise) and then the smooth iambs from "all grey and black" on.

  16. Kearsley writes that well. Fine, intelligent, lyrical prose. Just lovely. She deserves the rave reviews she's been getting.