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Donna Fletcher Crow

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Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more.

Fay Sampson

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Fay Sampson (UK) is a writer of adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, including A MALIGNANT HOUSE, #2 in the Susie Fewings series, a British Crime Club Pick.

What's Next? Book 2 in the Monastery Murders

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ February 21, 2011

An enormous "Thank you!" To all you who have asked, "When is the next one coming?" after reading A Very Private Grave, Book 1 in the Monastery Murders. Believe me, there is no sweeter music to a writer’s ears.

The good news is that Book 2, A Darkly Hidden Truth, is nearing the final phase of the editing process with manuscripts flying back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean by electronic magic between my brilliant and long-suffering editor Jan Greenough and myself. With each version the telling gets better and better. And with each one I think, "Oh, yes, but I’ll need to work through it one more time yet." All of which will continue to be just fine until the decreed mid-March date when final will mean final. Until the next revision, you understand.

And now the bad news, release date for A Darkly Hidden Truth isn’t until September of this year for my beloved fans in the UK (and believe me, you are beloved) and for all of those of us on the North American continent who tend to be just as impatient as Felicity, we’ll have to wait until January 2012. Except for those lovely people who are willing to pay the extra postage to acquire a copy through AmazonUK, of course.

In the meantime, I have a few other offerings: The Shadow of Reality, Book 1 the Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries which came out in eBook format last June will be joined very soon by book 2 A Midsummer Eve’s Deception which finds Elizabeth and Richard on their honeymoon at the Shakespearean Festival in Ashland Oregon— a romantic idyll sure to be interrupted by murder and mayhem, of course.

And, drum roll, My Daughters of Courage series, the Idaho pioneer saga based loosely on my own family’s history is soon to be re-released by Greenbriar Press. I’ve just had a preview peek at the first cover and I’m delighted. Of course, I’ll be sharing more right here as soon as I have more concrete information for you.

But now, back to A Darkly Hidden Truth, for those wondering what Antony’s "brilliant, impulsive, stunning, infuriating young woman who has turned his world upside down" AKA, my heroine Felicity, is up to, I’ll share just a few opening paragraphs from book 2. And while you’re waiting for the rest, I’ll be planning my research trip for Book #3. 


Father Oswin smiled in his slow, thoughtful way and steepled his fingers into a Gothic arch. "And how long have you been feeling this drawing to become a nun?"

Felicity’s swallow was more of a gulp. It all sounded so audacious. It was so unlike her. Fighting a sudden impulse to run from the room she managed to squeak out in a small voice, "Well, for several weeks now." Was almost two ‘several’?

Father Oswin nodded slowly and thoughtfully, as he did everything. At least he didn’t burst out laughing. "I see."

"But the thing is," Felicity was quite certain he didn’t see, "The thing is, it’s so intense. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. It’s been growing and growing." She placed her hand over her heart in the region of the growing feeling — compulsion— she might even say.


Was there ever a more infuriating spiritual director than Father Oswin? Felicity felt so full of exuberance, of desire for action, of nervous tension it was all she could do to make herself stay seated in her chair while the man sitting across from her in the small confessional room sat so deep in meditation he could be in danger of drifting off to sleep. What should I do? she wanted to yell at him. 

"Yes. I see." At long last the monk opened his hands and raised his head. "Yes." He nodded slowly, giving the word at least three syllables. "Then you must test the Spirit." 

"Great! Er— how do I do that?" Ever since she had come to study in the theological college run by the Community of the Transfiguration on its remote hillside in Yorkshire many months ago Felicity had experienced almost constant friction between their slow, understated pace of life and her out-to-conquer-the-world American energies, but she had never felt the conflict so sharply before. Nor had her urgency for action been so great. "What do I do?" She pulled out a notebook to jot down his instructions.

 "How much time have you spent in a convent?" 

"Um, well, I was at Whitby— Order of the Holy Paraclete— when Father Antony and I were looking for Dominic’s murderer . . . When Sister Elspeth. . ." Felicity stopped with a shudder. 

"Yes, terrible business that. Tragic loss." Father Oswin shook his head. "Hardly a good time for undertaking a discernment process, I would say." 

Discernment process? Couldn’t she just go off to a convent and take the veil— that’s what women did in books. 

"Of course, you understand, it can take years to test a vocation," Father Oswin’s steady voice brought her back. "It’s very important not to rush." 

Felicity sighed. She should have known. 

"No snap decisions," he added. 

Felicity nodded, even as she argued internally. But that’s how I make all my decisions, she almost blurted it out. And it was the truth— for better or for worse— that was how she always made her decisions. Fast.

Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more.

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Reader Comments:

I'm so glad that TRUTH is nearing completion, Donna--and even that state whereby you say, Ahh! *This* is the version it was always meant to be.

I'm sure you're editor is less long-suffering than attentive and brilliant. Ah, editors...Where would books be without them?
-jennymilch, February 21, 2011

When will it be available in Australia?
-Julie, February 21, 2011

We have to wait HOW LONG?..I have no more patience in real life than apparently Felicity has in the book. Can't wait.
-Elizabeth, February 21, 2011

Thank you, Elizabeth!
Yes, Jenny, I can't say enough about the importance of editors. I've been privileged to work wIth some great ones and they have tuaght me so much. I keep telling Jan I just wish she were getting paid what she's worth, but then, none of us are.
-Donna, February 21, 2011

It's great news that the second book is so nearly ready, Donna.
Here's a practical tip. When it's released in the UK, your non-British readers can buy it from The Book Depository, a UK internet bookshop, that sells books worldwide without charging postage. So Australians, Canadians and everyone else - including Americans - can buy it without any extra charges.

-Dolores, February 22, 2011

Congratulations Donna! I don't know where to start with your books!
-Debra E Marvin, February 25, 2011

Thank you, Debra. If you like mysteries, start with A VERY PRIVATE GRAVE. Unless you want a bit more romance, then THE SHADOW OF REALITY. If you want more straight history, go for GLASTONBURY.
-Donna, February 25, 2011

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