Monday, May 16, 2016

Marilyn Levinson's Guest Blog: The First Ladies Mysteries

I'm back, after spending months and months getting treatment for lymphoma. I'm happy to say I'm all right and regaining my strength and vitality. Please welcome Barb Schlichting. Her first mystery has just been published.

I've always loved American history and the First Ladies interested me. Dolley Madison piqued my interest because of the part she played in saving George Washington's picture. I also read she was the first First Lady to serve ice cream in the White House. Learning this fact, made me want to learn more about her. She was worth researching. Dolley Madison made sure that all was welcome, whether in the President's House or home in Montpelier. Foreigners traveled around the world just to meet her. She loved everyone and everyone loved her. Thomas Jefferson was a widower, and James Madison was his Secretary of State. Mr. Jefferson dubbed Dolley his 'First Lady'. President Taylor eulogized her as the nation's favorite First Lady.
I wondered if it was possible to get an autographed copy of a picture from each of the living first ladies. With a purpose in mind, I set out to get one. In my possession, I have an autographed copy from Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Laura Bush, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama. Barbara Bush calligraphied her picture and sent me a note. Michelle Obama sent me a letter on White House stationary.
I am thrilled, which brings me to the reason for my series.  What better way to bring history to those who think they aren't interested?  I decided to combine history with modern day characters and setting.   In my opinion, Dolley Madison still has magic and charm.

DOLLEY MADISON: The Blood Spangled Banner is a mystery. My character, Liv Anderson, owns the First Lady White House Dollhouse store in Minneapolis, and has a doctorate in American history, specializing in the First Ladies.  A department store owner from New York City stops at Liv’s store to purchase dollhouses for further retail.  Liv finds her dead the following morning in her store.  Before her death, she asks Liv about the ‘family secret’.  What is the ‘family secret’?  Liv searches family records, letters, and photos, and finds that clues surround her, and realizes that she’s searching for the Star Spangled Banner manuscript.  Liv stands between the manuscript and the killer, who will find it first?

Barbara Schlichting was born and raised in Minneapolis and graduated from Theodore Roosevelt high school in 1970. She and her husband moved their family to Bemidji, Minnesota, in 1979. She attended Bemidji State University where she earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in elementary education and special education. Ms Schlichting has been married for forty-four years and has two grown sons who have blessed her with five grandchildren and one great-grandson.

First Ladies, zooming Zephyr trains--murder
DOLLEY MADISON: The Blood Spangled Banner
Nook version:
Kobo version:


cj petterson said...

Nice to see you back, Marilyn, and happy to learn that you're doing better.

And congratulations to Barb for those first-lady signature achievements. What a great idea and so fitting with your theme. Hope you sell a ton of books.

Susan said...

Welcome back, Marilyn, and you couldn't have chosen anyone better to interview than Barb! Barb Schlicting is a lovely, talented lady and her First Lady mystery series is simply marvelous. The only thing bad about it is that I didn't think of it first! (stick out tongue here...) Seriously, though, it's a wonderful read and I'm waiting only semi-patiently until the next book is out! Susan, aka Janis Patterson

Marilyn Levinson said...

CJ and Susan,
Thanks for your welcome back. I'm feeling much stronger now, and my hair is growing in.

Barb Schlichting said...

Thank you CJ and Susan for your kind words. My next book will be out the end of summer. Mary Lincoln: Words Can Kill.
You're very kind.

Susan said...

What a great idea, Barb. First ladies are intriguing topics. We have a retired professor in our town who was the first to design and teach a college class on First Ladies. I imagine you'll have LOTS of material.

Barb Schlichting said...

Susan, thank you. I wish the First Lady was offered in this area because I'd be the first to enroll!