Fraser Library: Prolific author releases third historic romance |

Fraser Library: Prolific author releases third historic romance

by Cyndi McCoy
Fraser, Colorado

For those familiar with local Grand County author Joanne Sundell’s books, they’ll not be disappointed with “The Parlor House Daughter.” An informal book talk and signing highlighting the romantic suspense novel is scheduled at 6 p.m. next Thursday at the Fraser Valley Library (some mature themes).

In her newest work, released Dec. 10, fans will recognize Sundell’s intriguing themes and credible historical ties. Her stories equally portray strong women and men in a rough world, with a rare glimpse of love to smooth things out.

Many of the strong women from the past she honors are like those found in her favorite romance, “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte.

Rebecca Rose in “The Parlor House Daughter” is an easy protagonist to love. Although born into prostitution at the Palace in the red-light district in Nevada City, Colorado Territory, she is still proud. Readers follow the main character as she seeks justice for her mother’s suffering.

On the other side of the tracks is Morgan Larkspur, born in Denver City “with a silver spoon in his mouth and iron spurs on his heels.”

He steps into the Palace “looking for nothing more than a pleasant distraction,” and finds trouble instead. He is also a strong hero figure in the book, because, Sundell said, “for every strong heroine there’s a strong hero.” The author pays tribute to the men in her life through the Larkspur character (also based on real historical characters).

As their story continues, fortunes are won and change hands, but misfortune befalls many residents of the gold and silver boomtown. The people are divided by cash flow and false truths, but Rose and Larkspur just might have something to hold them together.

“Joanne writes the best stories,” said author Alice Duncan. According to Romance Reviews Today, Sundell is “an author to watch.”

A Tabernash-area resident for more than 30 years, she was a nurse for 15 years (she still holds an active nursing license) and worked in the season pass office at Winter Park Resort for eight years. With three grown children “off on their own adventures,” Sundell is well within this newest chapter in her life.

She said it’s “always amazing to see something you create in your head … come to life.” Then to see those characters live on through the eyes of her readers is “just the best.”

“The Parlor House Daughter” is Sundell’s third book, following “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” (2006) and “A … My Name’s Amelia” (2007). She already has a hardcover release date for her fourth historical romance, “Meggie’s Remains: A Romance to Die For” ” due out July 19, 2009.

Sundell is also deep in research for a fifth book, her first series called “The Quaker and the Confederate.” Book one, titled “Hearts Divided,” has been submitted and she just finished writing book two, “Hearts Persuaded.” This newest work is also the first time Sundell has attempted to introduce three protagonists. It is set in rural Virginia, where Sundell grew up and takes place in the 1860s during the Civil War.

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