Category Archives: Fiction by J Mary Masters

1950s fashion: How Julia and Catherine might have dressed

 

I wanted to share this little bit of Friday frivolity – these images are from this website selling custom-made frocks – and I thought just how much this range was inspired by the 1950s.

I can certainly see my character Catherine Cavendish in the little black number – and Julia in the two full skirted cocktail dresses. (Referencing my Belleville family series.)

That’s the fun of writing fiction ….. creating the characters and imagining how they would dress, where they would live, what they would drive …. it’s all part of creating the fictional world.

Check out my Belleville books

  • Book 1: Julia’s Story
  • Book 2: To Love, Honour & Betray
  • Book 3: Return to Prior Park

on my website http://www.jmarymasters.com or on Amazon.com

Book 1 is now only US$14.95 in paperback on Amazon.com

 

 

ElizaBeth Adams: her take on Julia’s Story

When I read the first few words of this review back at the end of May, I must admit I was a bit taken aback ….

“All I have to say is, “Nooooooo!” Not, “No, don’t read this book,” or, “No, it isn’t any good.” “Nooooooo,” …… AND THEN I COULD BREATHE A SIGH OF RELIEF BECAUSE SHE SAID “……because the book ended.”

You can see the full review –

https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?t=108875

Now, a few months on, I checked back to see what comments there were about her review – fun to read but I’m pleased those who commented stayed with it to realise it wasn’t the ‘worst book’ she had ever reviewed, which her first few words might have implied!

As authors, we never quite know what people are going to say about our books. But a good review is heartwarming.

I hope it’s a chance to introduce American readers to Australian fiction.

Oh, and yes, there is another book of the Belleville family in the works. Miraculously a trilogy turned into a …. I don’t know what the word is for a series of four books. Anyone?

 

In my fiction, some bits are real

As I begin to write my 4th Belleville novel, I was reflecting on my pleasure in having my fictional characters inhabit a world that is not entirely fictional. I enjoy grounding my characters in real environments, (where practical, I hasten to add).

I originally set out to write a trilogy. With that completed, I still felt there was more to write about the Belleville family as the next generation comes to adulthood. So watch this space.

Scattered throughout my books you’ll find references to real places (some pictured above) – in Book 1, Julia’s Story, St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral (Rockhampton) and the Criterion Hotel (Rockhampton) are important backdrops to the story.

Among my treasured possessions is a powder compact, ironically from 1942, which belonged to my mother’s younger sister. She died at 16 from pernicious anaemia – an entirely preventable disease these days – long before I was born but my mother kept some keepsakes of her sister. This small item (pictured above) is described in Book 1 as a gift to Julia.

There are many other examples of events and places that are real throughout my Belleville trilogy. Can you spot them?

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THE BELLEVILLE TRILOGY - http://jmarymasters.com

Book 1: Julia's Story
Book 2: To Love, Honour & Betray
Book 3: Return to Prior Park

I’m often asked: Is your book based on a real person? My American neuro surgeon was ….

I wonder how many authors get asked this question? Is your book based on a real person?

And in fact some great fictional heroes have become so real to the reading public, they are treated as if they are real.

Think Hercule Poirot, proudly claimed by the Belgians. Or Sherlock Holmes. Or in more recent times, Ian Rankin’s creation Inspector Rebus, who, aged in real time, became too old for the police force.

In writing my family saga with its mixture of family drama, deep buried secrets, a terrible crime, infidelity and romance, beginning at a time when the world was at war, I was tapping into stories my father told of our local district, complemented by my own research.

American men stayed behind in my local city after the war to marry their sweethearts and become Australian citizens. Some Australian girls headed to America after marrying their American boyfriends.

In amongst all this, I found the inspiration for my American Army surgeon Philippe Duval – there was an American neuro surgeon posted to American Army forces in Queensland.

He had an interest in photography and joined a local camera club. I know nothing of his life after the war or whether he had a local sweetheart, but those small details were enough to help me flesh out the character of Dr Philippe Duval. I made him a native of Long Island, (Sag Harbor).

Why Sag Harbor? It suited the story line of his life and my husband and I visited Long Island in 2003. We loved it!

Philippe Duval’s story is a key thread through my three Belleville novels – we meet him in Julia’s Story, again in To Love, Honour and Betray and finally in Return to Prior Park where his story is centre stage. I hope you’ll love this character as I do.

Check for full details of the books at http://www.pmabooks.com or Amazon.com or your favourite retailer.

Book Review 4**** stars: Return to Prior Park by J Mary Masters

And Mrs B, a dedicated reviewer, finished book 3 in my Belleville series, Return to Prior Park. She awarded all books 4 stars. Thanks so much, Mrs B.

Mrs B's Book Reviews

Title: Return to Prior Parkreturn to prior park smallAuthor: J Mary Masters

Published: February 28th 2019

Publisher: PMA Books

Pages: 400

Genres: Fiction, Historical

Rating: 4 stars

A final act of vengeance. An illicit liaison. A passionate affair. In this third instalment of the Belleville family story, loyalties will be tested and new secrets concealed as the family begin to rebuild their shattered lives. But in the end, it is Prior Park that draws them back as the next generation of the family begins to emerge.

In this third book in the series, the Belleville family begin to rebuild their shattered lives. Wrongly believing they are safe from the madman Alistair McGovern, he escapes from custody to attempt one final act of vengeance. In the aftermath of this final desperate act, each of them must come to terms with the events of the past.

Her marriage in tatters, Julia Belleville begins to question whether she can rebuild…

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Book Review 4**** stars: To Love, Honour and Betray

Thank you, Mrs B, for reading on and posting this great review for book 2 of the Belleville family saga, To Love, Honour & Betray

Mrs B's Book Reviews

Title: To Love, Honour and Betrayto love honour and betray smallAuthor: J Mary Masters

Published: July 7th 2017

Publisher: PMA Books

Pages: 284

Genres: Fiction, Historical

Rating: 4 stars

It’s 10 years since the end of book 1, Julia’s Story and the stresses are beginning to show in two marriages.

Julia Belleville, now Fitzroy, continues to mourn the daughter she was forced to give up, while her husband James begins to look elsewhere.

And CatherineRichard Belleville’s wife, restless and unimpressed by her life in Australia, embraces the unexpected events in her family that draw her back to her English life.

Hundreds of miles from the Belleville family’s grand home Prior Park, a terrible accident robs a young girl of her parents. It is only later that the consequences of this tragedy become known.

And what of Alistair McGovern, the late Francis Belleville’s bastard son? Now a young adult, he demands his share of the Belleville…

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Book Review 4*** Stars: Julia’s Story

I’m seriously delighted to share this great review from Mrs B’s Book Reviews for book 1 of the Belleville family saga, Julia’s Story

Mrs B's Book Reviews

Title: Julia’s Storyjulais story smallAuthor: J Mary Masters

Published: March 29th 2015

Publisher: PMA Books

Pages: 334

Genres: Fiction, Historical

Rating: 4 stars

It’s 1942. The world is at war. Julia Belleville, the headstrong only daughter of the wealthy Belleville family, falls hopelessly in love with American Army surgeon Dr Philippe Duval. When he is suddenly posted away, Julia is devastated, fearing she will never see him again.

Half a world away, Julia’s elder brother Richard is fighting for Britain, flying dangerous missions across the Channel knowing the next mission could be his last. He meets the beautiful Catherine Cavendish whose aristocratic parents disapprove strongly of the brash young Australian officer. Is he destined to find happiness with Catherine or will he be haunted forever by, Jane, the woman he left behind?

Brought up in Richard’s shadow, William Belleville resents the popularity of his older brother and when there is an…

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