Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Take a Leap with Shannon Winslow

Available on Amazon
It is my pleasure to have with me this morning, Shannon Winslow, and her heroine, Hope O'Neil, from her latest release Leap of Hope. It is such a privilege to have you both visit today. It has been too long Shannon, and I'm happy to see you again. Miss O'Neil, it is a wonderful to meet you and I look forward to knowing you better. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. I understand you have quite an unusual and rather breath-taking adventure ahead. Shall I turn the floor over to Ms. Winslow so you may tell us all about it? Thanks, Ladies. Over to you, Shannon.


Would I like a chance to visit Regency England, the time and place where my imagination has been hanging out for the last dozen years or more? Of course! But I have a couple of conditions.

First, I would have to insist on the Jane Austen version, where even the bad guys have good manners and being poor means you can only afford to keep two servants. Secondly, I must go like a tourist, with a round-trip return ticket and a carry-on bag containing the basic necessities of life. Only offering one-way passes? Then, no thank you. I’m much too fond of my electric toothbrush, modern medicine, and indoor plumbing.

Hope O’Neil – perky southern co-ed, Jane Austen devotee, and heroine of my new novel – is made of braver stuff. She’s at the Crossroads Center now and about to use her one-way pass to Regency England. Before she goes off to start her new life, though, she’s agreed to sit down with me for a little chat. Do stay and join us.


Shannon: Thank you for speaking with me today, Miss O’Neil, and especially for selecting me to document the incredible adventure you’re about to embark on. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am! But that’s nothing compared to what you must be feeling. Did you ever imagine you would find yourself in this position – soon to travel into the past?
Hope: Gosh, no! I had no clue that anything like this was even possible, but now I’m about to head off to 1809 to become a proper English gentleman’s daughter. Is that awesome or what?
Shannon: That’s going to be quite a trip! The staff here at Crossroads really seem to know what they’re doing, though. Routine stuff for them, I suppose, which must give you confidence.
Hope: It does. Crossroads is in the business of handing out second chances; they do it all the time. I’m very lucky to have been selected, though, and everybody here has been so nice. I think Mr. Poindexter is absolutely super. And isn’t Cora just as cute as the knees on a honey bee? And twice as sweet.
Shannon: Well, you know them both better than I do, I’m sure. So, you’ll soon be off to Regency England.
Hope: That’s right; it’s what I decided on – what I’ve always wanted, really. Ever since I discovered Jane Austen, I’ve felt like I belonged in the world that she wrote about, so this is really a dream come true for me.
Shannon: I’m not sure I could do it. I’d miss the modern conveniences too much. You don’t have any misgivings about that?
Hope: It’s going to call for some adjustments, I know, especially the no-indoor-plumbing part. But I’ve been camping before, plenty of times. How much different could it be?
Shannon: At least you were allowed to choose your situation. Have I got that right? You won’t wind up as a scullery maid or a beggar?
Hope: No, nothing like that. I picked a spot as much like Elizabeth Bennet’s as I could find. I’ll be gentry and live in a fine manor house called Laurelwood – nothing too grand but it reminds me of Longbourn. There’s even an entail.
Shannon: Is there also a neighbor like Mr. Bingley, who happens to have a rich and handsome friend visiting?
Hope: I sure wouldn’t mind! But I can’t count on that. What I do know is I’ll be the second oldest, just like Lizzy, in a family of four daughters with a mother and a father and everything. Having a big family this time is important to me.
Shannon: That’s right; you’re recently orphaned, aren’t you? I’m so sorry. And no brothers or sisters either?
Hope: No, ma’am. I was an only child. I’m not leaving anybody behind – not a boyfriend or even a flea-bitten hound dog to miss me.
Shannon: Tell me more about your new family, then. How exactly do you join a family anyway? Somebody’s bound to notice, aren’t they?
Hope: (laughing) Right. Like Cora told me, “You can’t just show up at the dinner table one day, out of the blue and fully grown, and expect people not to wonder where you came from.” So the way they do it is they slip you into someone else’s spot – somebody who just that second died – and you get to live life out in their place. There’s a whole menu of openings to pick from. It’s practically like ordering lunch at Denny’s! Well, anyway, this girl Kate Barrett – the one I’ve chosen – she died in a riding accident in 1809. Now she’ll seem to survive, only it will be me instead. Do you see?
Shannon: That’s pretty amazing. I never would have believed it.
Hope: It’s done all the time, like I said. You might even have run into a ‘transplant’ before without knowing it – a person who surprisingly recovered from something that should by all rights have done him in, maybe. Like I knew this gal once – her name was Sandi Baker – and everybody said had no business surviving this terrible kind of food poisoning she got from eating bad sushi. But then she did survive after all, and she bounced back, right as rain. Now I wonder if she could have been somebody from Crossroads on a second chance. But Cora wouldn’t tell me. Top secret stuff, apparently.
Shannon: I guess the possibilities opened by time travel are endless.
Hope: It’s mind boggling! Sometimes it actually makes my head hurt to consider… (gasping) Oh, my goodness!
Shannon: What is it?
Hope: A wild idea just popped into my head! I was just thinking that it’s possible you could be a ‘transplant’ on a second chance!
Shannon: Me? No!
Hope: It’s possible – you or anyone. You see, the person eventually loses their memories of their original life. That’s what I’ve been told. So after a while, you wouldn’t know yourself that you had ever been anybody else. That’s why I said it’s possible. You must admit… Uh, Ms. Winslow, are you okay?
Shannon: (hand pressed against forehead) What…? Oh… yes, of course. Just a sudden headache.
Hope: (nodding) Uh-huh. Like I told you; thinking too hard about time travel can do that.


Shannon Winslow’s Crossroads Collection is made up of two very different books so far, stories about turning points, possibilities, and second chances. Leap of Hope and Leap of Faith are each complete in themselves but connected by theme and the Crossroads characters. They can be read in either order.

Who hasn’t wondered at least once how life would have changed by making an alternate choice at some crucial moment in the past? Where would you be today if you’d turned right instead of left at an important crossroads or been able to sidestep a particular misfortune? Or perhaps you’ve daydreamed about a different life altogether, in a different place and time. Each book in the Crossroads Collection features a new hero/heroine who’s given the extraordinary gift of a second chance at life, the chance to answer for themselves the intriguing question “what if?” 

Both Available on Amazon along with other books by Shannon Winslow

Leap of Hope: Chance at an Austen Kind of Life
At the Crossroads Center, they’re in the business of granting second chances. And their newest client is Hope O’Neil – college student and Jane Austen devotee, who always believed she’d be more at home in Regency England, wearing corsets and courted by men in cravats. But can a modern girl really fit into a world with no electricity, cell phones, or indoor plumbing? Hope is about to find out when her wish for an Austen kind of life is unexpectedly granted. Although she envisions her second chance will be like something straight out of Pride and Prejudice – complete with her own Mr. Darcy and a romantic happy ending – she gets more than she bargained for in this delightful romp through Regency England… a lot more.

Available on Amazon

Leap of Faith: Second Chance at the Dream
At the Crossroads Center, they’re in the business of granting second chances. And their newest client is Ben Lewis, a former star athlete who never recovered from the death of his dream to make it big in the big leagues. Now he’s being offered the opportunity to return to 1991 and try again, this time without the illness that originally ended his baseball hopes. What’s the catch? He will pay for his second chance by forfeiting his memories of the first… and possibly along with them, the love of his life. Can he find his way home to the woman he’s long forgotten but never stopped missing? Or will reaching for the brass ring with both hands cause the treasure he once possessed to slip forever from his grasp?


My, I'm not so sure that I would be as brave as you, Miss O'Neil, although I have a longing for a return to England, that is almost unbearable at times. That longing calls to my heart as if I belong there so I do understand those feelings you have. I would love to 'visit' Regency times but fear I would not enjoy doing without some of my necessities of this life, like toilets and computers, for a couple. I know, they are at two ends of the spectrum of necessary, but I find I would miss both terribly. All of my misgivings aside, I must tell you, you have my deepest admiration and my best wishes for your journey. How eager I am to hear how it all turns out! I guess the only recourse is to read your story as told by Shannon Winslow and find out for myself! What do you think? 

Now Dear Readers, what do you think? Would you want a one-way ticket to Regency England, or anywhere, for that matter? Tell us in your comments. Let us know where you would go if you could and if you would be willing to stay or only go if you could return. It should be fun reading your answers to that thought provoking question! Thanks to all of you for stopping by and a special 'thank you' to Shannon Winslow and Hope O'Neil. It has been wonderful having you today and I loved the interview, ladies. Hope, I think you left Ms. Winslow with a few things to ponder! Delicious, isn't it!?

There is a giveaway! Some of you will have the chance to find out about Hope's adventure and also about Ben's. Isn't that great? I'm thrilled for you. Once you do, you must write and tell me what you think. Ms. Winslow is giving away two paperbacks, one of each title, US only and two eBooks, one of each title, worldwide. That's one paperback and one eBook for Leap of Hope and one paperback and one eBook for Leap of Faith. There will be four  different winners and the giveaway is international for eBooks and US only for paperbacks! Isn't that a fantastic giveaway? Thank you, Shannon Winslow. Readers, when you tell us about your thoughts on time travel, if and where, don't forget to include your contact info too. Thanks for popping in and good luck to all of you. Giveaway will end at 11:59 PM on the 3rd of April. Can you believe it is already nearly April? I can't either!


  1. I think time travel would be interesting. I would love to visit Mount Vernon, home of George Washington just for one day. That would be fascinating. My name is Cheryl C. and I've read all of Shannon's books and absolutely love them!!

    1. Cheryl, thanks for stopping by and telling us your time travel wish. That would be neat, I agree. Good to hear you love all of Shannon's books. She is an excellent writer! Do you have contact info you can leave in case you are the winner? I'd hate for you to miss out. Include your email with (at) and dot.

    2. I know how to reach Cheryl if she wins, Janet!

  2. I love stories about time travel, especially if it involves traveling to the past. It's always fun to read / watch, how insufficient our 'knowledge' would be to survive in the past.
    Thanks for the giveaway, the series looks interesting.

    1. I'm glad you stopped by, Kate. As might have noticed from the interview, Hope takes on the identity of someone named Kate, so I typed your name about a million time while writing this book!

  3. My trip to the JA festival last summer in Louisville is the closest I'll ever get to time travelling. I love reading about the possibilities. suzsak55@gmail.com

    1. I attended the JASNA Convention in Minneapolis a few years ago, Suzanne, and had the time of my life! Dressing up, dancing, making bonnets, signing books, meeting readers - lovely. And yes, parts of it were a bit like stepping back in time!

  4. Oh oh oh, Hope is definitely more intrepid than me, but thankfully I can read about her adventures safely from my couch. Although, I do wistfully wonder at times what it was truly like back then.

    Loved Shannon's earlier books and really look forward to these. Especially the second one. I've got baseball on the mind lately. LOL

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!
    sophiarose1816 at gmail dot com

    1. Hi, Sophia! Leap of Faith is technically the first in the series, just not the one I'm featuring on Jane Austen sites, for obvious reasons. But I'm delighted you're liking the baseball angle. It is almost opening day of the season, after all!

  5. Hmmmm a one way ticket to anywhere in time. Well, it is simple for me as I have been a Janeite for many years.
    I would love to go to Regency England as a friend of the Austen family. Perhaps even a marriage proposal from an Austen brother of Jane ?
    Yes, that's how I would love to do it. However, just going back to Regency England would delight as I truly long for a more polite society...
    The conveniences now are many but quality is lacking now.
    I must say that these two novels have both of my favorite things: AUSTEN AND BASEBALL OH MY!

    It has been my pleasure to read this blogpost and I sincerely thank you for a great read!

    Warmest regards,

    1. Yes, Austen and Baseball. They are not mutually exclusive. We are allowed to love both! Glad you do too, Sofia.

  6. Hope is certainly brave to have a one way ticket. I think that I would want a return. I have always thought that I was born in the wrong century; however, I was always fearful where my position in Regency England might be. I would insist on being a well off gentleman's daughter. I would want a return ticket because I would miss our modern conveniences including medicine, clean drinking water, indoor plumbing, and I could go on and on. Thank you for the giveaways! I hope Hope survives! I am cautious as the estate is entailed. evamedmonds(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. I see we think alike, Eva - want that JA version of Regency as well as a return ticket. Ah, you noticed that bit about the entail, did you? Hope counts it as a plus because it's "just like the Bennets," but you may be right to be concerned. ;)

  7. Firstly, no need to enter me in the giveaway, Janet and Shannon, as I already have copies of both books. I read Leap of Hope first and thoroughly enjoyed it. Hope's a lot, lot braver than I could ever be. I'm far too attached to my modern conveniences (indoor plumbing, healthcare, women's rights etc), but a return ticket to Regency times would be OK. Like Hope, I've been camping, but although it's great for a holiday, I wouldn't want to live like that permanently!

    I've just finished Leap of Hope and thought that was fantastic too. As a Brit, baseball is a bit of a mystery to me and I only know what I do from watching Kevin Costner's Field of Dreams. Some of the terms in the book are still a bit of a puzzle, but I'd no idea what the significance of the minor and major leagues was until now. So, it's been an education and all thanks to Shannon!

    For those who haven't read either book yet, you meet Ben and Hope in both books. They both crop up as minor characters in each other's book as their respective stays at the Crossroads Centre overlap. It's a fascinating concept that Shannon's thought up and I really hope she's going to write the stories of some of the other people we met there. I'd also like to know more about Cora and Poindexter and how they got to be there, please?

    1. Thanks for the endorsement, Anji! I'd love to write more in this collection, especially if these first two are well received. Maybe I'll have to do a prequel too - Cora and Poindexter's story - just for you!

  8. I don't think I'd want a one-way ticket to Regency England, but it sure would be nice to have the ability to visit. Both books sound fantastic. Thanks for the giveaway!

    diaryofaneccentric at hotmail dot com

    1. Thanks for following me on my blog tour, Anna. Best of luck winning a book this time!

  9. Leap of hope synopsis sounds very good!

  10. Shannon, I would like to enquire if Hope goes and replace Kate Barrett, will she take on the appearance as Kate or physically be herself? Just curious.

    If I were given the chance to time travel, I would prefer if there is a return ticket to my current life. Just like Hope, I would like to travel to the Regency era and be a wealthy heiress but her family does not pressure her to marry like Emma Woodhouse. And I would be free to do what I want within the confines of society.


    1. She must take on the appearance of Kate. That seemed to be the only thing that made sense. Otherwise everybody who knows Kate would have to be under the effects of some kind of mass hypnosis not to notice the change. Also, none of the clothes would have fit! Haha!

    2. Thank you for answering my query, Shannon. I thought maybe Hope will be herself when she looks into the mirror when no one is around but to others she will appear to be Kate.