The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire for THE IRISH TIMES

On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in Washington Place in Lower Manhattan, killing 146 workers, most immigrant women and girls, and sparking a nationwide fight for safer workplaces. I’m thrilled to share this milestone event in US labor history with readers of THE IRISH TIMES for the fire’s 110th anniversary. Read the full story here.

In case you missed…

My three-part podcast: “The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911, An Emigrant’s Experience” with Fin Dwyer’s Irish History Podcast

My interview with IRISH CENTRAL: “New podcast series explores disastrous Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in New York.”

My interview with AM NEW YORK, “New podcast explores events of Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Greenwich Village from eyes of young women survivors.”

The Windsor Hotel Fire of St. Patrick’s Day 1899

NYC’s Deadliest Hotel Fire Took 86 Lives

On March 17, 1899, the Windsor Hotel at 575 Fifth Avenue caught fire, the first smoke and flames billowing from the building just as the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade reached 47th Street. Not even the proximity of the city’s firefighters marching by in their dress blues could save the grand hotel from burning to the ground. Nearly 90 people died, making the Windsor the deadliest hotel fire in New York and the worst commercial disaster until the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911.

Read the rest of the story on Medium.

Reading Tomorrow’s Destiny at Lady Jane’s Salon

Victorian Christmas Goodness!

This month, I read my Victorian Christmas novella, Tomorrow’s Destiny at Lady Jane’s Salon, the Manhattan, NYC reading series I co-founded back in ((gulp)) 2009. Like the Dickens’ classic from which it draws inspo, Tomorrow’s Destiny is a paranormal Christmas story. Only instead of ghosts, I have guardian angels. Guardian angels masquerading as the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future. One in particular, Fern, needs to score a h-u-g-e HEA for her human ASAP — or wait another hundred years for a shot at winning her wings. And in lieu of a mean-spirited, bent-back miser hoarding gold, I have my Scrooge-like heroine hoarding the best thing ever — books!

Yes, you read that right. My heroine, bookshop proprietress Fiona MacPherson, IS the Scrooge character. ‘Tis almost 2021, after all.

Watch my reading here on Youtube along with those of Salon guests Rose Lerner, Stacey Agdern, Harper Miller, Cara Bastone and Piper Huguley.

My intro and reading start at 38:10 minutes into the video.

You can get the Tomorrow’s Destiny novella as an ebook and audiobook, the latter voiced by my uber talented Salon co-founder, author Leanna Renee Hieber.

Scribd ebook
Scribd audiobook

This December’s Lady Jane’s Holiday Salon program is both deeply special and bittersweet. After twelve magical years as NYC’s first and only regular reading series devoted to romance fiction, we’re drawing the curtain on our beloved naughty red room at Madame X.

All our virtual Salon programs will continue to live online on Youtube and on the Lady Jane’s website. Please remember our wonderful house charity, Win (Women in Need, Inc.) in your end-of-year charitable giving.

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and safe holiday season.

XO Hope

Free Christmas Novella

Now through 11/16, download my Christmas novella, A Cinderella Christmas Carol FREE across platforms. Get the ebook, part of my Suddenly Cinderella series of contemporary romances, and discover why bestselling author Jacquie D’Alessandro dubbed it “a delightful and heartwarming holiday treat.”

Here’s a bit about the story…

There’s nothing On Top managing editor Cynthia “Starr” Starling hates more than Christmas. With an important deadline looming, plus her dreaded Christmas Day birthday, Starr just wants the holiday to end. But when she wakes up Christmas Eve night to the ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Future-all in the form of the super-hot Matt Landry, the new art director-she knows she’s in for a long night. Matt is the one person on Starr’s team she can’t boss around and the only one she doesn’t need to. He’s also her employee and totally off limits, even if he does seem interested. Though he’s seven years younger and all kinds of forbidden fruit, he’s the form the Powers That Be decided she’d be receptive to. Because they have a message for her: learn the true meaning of Christmas spirit or risk being alone for the rest of her life.

Get the FREE A Cinderella Christmas Carol ebook here:

Kindle

Nook

iBooks

Kobo

Google Play

Entangled

And be sure to check out my other holiday offerings, A Wonderfully Sexy Life, contemporary time-slip romance set in my birthplace of Bawlmer – Baltimore – Maryland and Tomorrow’s Destiny, a Neo Victorian – and feminist – take on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

It’s beginning to feel A LOT like Christmas…

xo Hope

If the Shoe Fits…

My Suddenly Cinderella series focused on four BFFs (Macie, Francesca, Stefanie and Starr) who find their romantic soulmates through sharing a pair of (possibly magical) vintage high heeled shoes first owned by a 1930’s Hollywood starlet has a fresh new look! If you haven’t yet, check out these fun, feel-good stories on Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, Google and elsewhere e-books are sold.

Reader Praise:

Cindy F on Operation Cinderella:

I loved every character in this book. They were hysterical and so outrageous at times. Even little Samantha had me bursting out in laughter at times. Oh how trying some teenagers can be. 😉 There were also a lot of heart-warming moments throughout this story, that just melted my heart. After reading that intriguing epilogue, I can’t wait to read the next story.

Miranda Owen on The Cinderella Makeover:

The backdrop of this book is a reality TV show called Project Cinderella in which geeky contestants are made over by a “fairy godmother”. Before meeting up again through the TV show boy genius CEO Greg Knickerbocker & fashion guru Francesca St. James first meet when Francesca goes to get a photograph for a magazine feature on Greg. Things do not go well. Greg views Francesca as attractive but pushy and intrusive. Francesca feels Greg is arrogant and a jerk. Fast forward a bit and Francesca has a job as a “fairy godmother” on a reality show, coaching contestants to turn from geek to chic. Greg entered the contest because even though he has tons of money, he is lonely and looking for that special someone. After reading Greg’s first interaction with Francesca, I was very surprised that he would go on a show like that, especially for the reasons he has. It suggests a vulnerability and romantic side that was not apparent at first. Francesca reveals hidden depths as well after learning of her relationship with her daughter. I truly enjoyed reading about how Greg and Francesca’s opinion of each other changes the more they get to know each other and watching their relationship grow. I thought this romance was sweet, sexy & I liked the characters. This is the first book I’ve read by this author but I will try others.

Rosemary on The Cinderella Seduction:

Stefanie Stefanopoulos wants to help her father with his financial problems. She feels guilty. Her former fiancée swindled him out of $3 million dollars. Now how will he repay the money loaned to his company by Costas International. Nikolaos Costas has come to town to collect this debt. Stefanie’s stepsisters are always in the spotlight, but her father wants her to distract the CEO until he gets his fiancés in order. Now it is her turn to be Cinderella and enjoy this handsome man’s attention. After all she has magic shoes to help her capture the heart of this notorious playboy. Will she get the man of her dreams? Hope Tarr has written a very romantic love story filled with humor and happiness. Stefanie is a beautiful and honorable woman who just now realizes the power of love. Nikolaos is an Alpha male who just found his love child and has learned to love someone more than himself. This book makes me smile. It’s fast paced, funny and has a touch of magic. A perfect afternoon escape.

Melody May on A Cinderella Christmas Carol:

Cinderella Meets Scrooge.

A Cinderella Christmas Carol is without a doubt a fun twist on a Christmas Classic. Cynthia Starling (Starr) would definitely fit the part of Scrooge, yet she probably doesn’t see herself that way. With the help of a spirit guide who is in the image of Matt Landry, who is drool-worthy. Starr and “Matt” go on a merry adventure to see if Starr can have a change of heart…

Happy Birthday, 19th Amendment!

This August 18th marked the centennial of ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution “granting” women the right to vote. The quotes are intentional. Women weren’t granted the ballot – we TOOK it, after 70+ years of strife, sacrifice and single-minded dedication, all while maintaining marriages, raising children–and sometimes falling in love.

To put a human face on this epic struggle, I’ve written about the little known love story of two powerhouse suffragist leaders: “Carrie Chapman Catt and Mary Garrett Hay, The Boston Marriage that Won the Vote for U.S. Women.” Read the article for FREE on Medium by clicking on this link. Below is a taste:

When president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, Carrie Chapman Catt (1859–1947) first clapped eyes on Mary “Mollie” Garrett Hay (1857–1928), president of the New York Equal Suffrage League, in 1895, Carrie was five years’ married to her second husband, George Catt. Soon after George’s death in 1905, Carrie would make her home with Mollie. The women would share a common cause and a roof for the next thirty years. As fellow activist Maud Wood Park remarked, “Mrs. Catt was essentially a statesman; Miss Hay, a politician, and together they were, in most cases, invincible.”[i]

A Dream Team

Carrie and Mollie first met in 1895 while attending the NAWSA convention on January 31 to February 5 in Atlanta.[ii] It seems to have been lust at first sight, their courtship the very opposite of a slow burn. That summer, while Carrie’s civil engineer husband, George was away on business, Mollie moved in with Carrie at the Catt apartment[iii] at Osborne Apartment House, №26 West 57th Street. As noted by Mary Peck, Carrie’s official biographer, that summer was the beginning of the “intimate collaboration which united them for many years.”[iv]

George’s return spelled the end of Carrie’s and Mollie’s idyll.[v] What he thought of his wife’s suffrage partner and new bestie remains unclear. Perhaps tellingly, in January 1896, he took time off work to accompany Carrie to the annual NAWSA convention in Washington, DC, where he addressed the assembly on “Utah’s Victory the Result of Organization; Its Lesson.” In calling George to the podium, President Susan B. Anthony said, “It gives me pleasure to introduce Mr. Carrie Chapman Catt… I mean, Mr. George W. Catt.”[vi]

If George’s attendance was an attempt to win back his wife, it was not to be. Throughout the late 1890s, Mollie and Carrie continued to work and travel together, with Mollie acknowledged within the movement as Carrie’s special friend and companion. In 1899, the women visited twenty states, attended fifteen conventions and made fifty-one speeches, a grueling tour de force that covered thirteen thousand miles.[vii]

Undoubtedly, Carrie was the shiny penny of the pair, fawned over by both male and female reporters, one of whom described her as “…a tall, handsome woman with brown hair and blue gray eyes and a gentle yet strong face.”[viii] A gifted orator, she projected her magnetism into a crowded lecture hall with the same easy grace she brought to an intimate at-home in her own parlor.

But Mollie was no shrinking violet. A crack fundraiser and dealmaker, Mollie possessed enormous powers of persuasion, a steady determination we today might call “soft power.” Decatur Herald reporter Lillian Gray extolled Mollie’s calm, easy nature and winning ways.

“Others may lose their heads or tempers or fly off on a wild goose chase; she never does. She is a woman with prematurely white hair like a glory round her head, with sparkling dark eyes, flashing white teeth and a merry smile. You will not find a brighter, handsomer, more wholesome woman in a journey across this continent, that journey Mary Garrett Hay herself has taken so many times in the interest of her sex. She has a strong, sincere, energetic voice, the voice of a woman who can make things hum.”[xi]

Not everyone was a fan…

Read the rest on Medium – you do NOT have to be a subscriber to do so. And please be sure to leave a “Clap” before you go.

Onward/upward,

Hope

Hurry! Get ALL FOUR Suddenly Cinderella Ebooks for 99 Cents/ea thru 4/6

ALL FOUR Suddenly Cinderella Ebooks 99 Cents/ea

To help ease everyone’s cabin fever, my fab publisher, Entangled has put ALL FOUR of my Suddenly Cinderella series ebooks on sale for 99 cents/each. Now the proverbial clock is ticking – the sale ends Monday, 4/6 at 12 midnight EDT.

The Cinderella Makeover: A Suddenly Cinderella Series Book Kindle Edition by Hope TarrA Cinderella Christmas Carol hope tarr

#TBT Interview with Julia Quinn

This interview with historical romance bestseller Julia Quinn was originally published in RT BOOK Reviews magazine (print edition) as “Sitting Down with Julia Quinn.” An abridged version appears below. Enjoy and happy #TBT!

Interview with Historical Romance Author Julia Quinn

I recently chatted up bestselling historical romance novelist and triple RITA® Award winner, Julia Quinn. Here’s what she had to say about globetrotting on the cheap, the unexpected inspiration of really bad music, and why Happily Ever After really is the best way to go in real life as well as fiction.

Infrequently Known JQ Facts

HCT: You sat down to write your first romance novel when you were a college senior at Harvard and went on to publish your first few novels when you were going back-and-forth in your head about pursuing medical school. Less well known is that in the early ‘90s you worked as a writer and researcher for Let’s Go: Europe. That must have been a fun job. Can you tell us a bit about that?

JQ: It was a terrific job, but I don’t think I’d describe it as fun.  Let’s Go: Europe is designed for the budget traveler, so to make sure it contains the most relevant information, researcher/writers are dispatched on strict budgets.  I was given airfare and $32 a day to survive on Crete and Cyprus.  Trust me when I tell you that $32 a day did not go far even in 1990.  I stayed in many youth hostels, survived an infestation of fleas and was propositioned by a monk.

But on the other hand, I learned a tremendous amount about resourcefulness and resilience.  It was the first time I’d ever spent more than a week in a non-English-speaking country (most important words in Greek: “Oil,” “Vinegar,” and “Boyfriend in America”), and this was pre-Internet, pre-cell phone.  I was truly separated from my friends and family.  If I wanted to call home, I had to find a hotel that didn’t charge exorbitant rates and get them to place an international call for me, which might or might not go through.

1990 was also pre-laptop, so I had to do all of my writing and editing by hand.  I traveled with a copy of the previous year’s books (both Let’s Go: Europe and Let’s Go: Greece & Turkey), several 8.5 x 11 notebooks, carbon paper, scissors, and a glue stick.  Anything I wanted to keep from the previous edition I had to cut carefully from its pages and glue-stick it into the notebook.  New stuff I wrote by hand.  Oh, and I had to use carbon paper so that I had copies in case my writing got lost in the mail. I’m not sure what we would have done if that had actually happened. The carbon copies were missing all of my glued-in bits. I have a feeling current researcher writers have it a lot easier.

HCT: You were the first romance writer to ever do a book signing at the Borders in Singapore. What does it feel like to meet fans of your books in a culture so different from the U.S. but also from the U.K. where your historical romances are set? Is the language of love and love stories truly universal? Are there any differences, cultural or other, that stand out in memory?

JQ: I visited Singapore in 1999 before my career had really taken off, so I don’t know if I actually had any fans there before my signing!  Mostly I remember how grateful everyone was that an American author had taken the time to visit their country and do a book signing.  I would love to do more international signings.  I have a very active Facebook Fan Page, and I’m constantly amazed at how international my readership is.  Sadly, I have not yet managed to convince my publishers that I need to be sent on a world tour. 😉

What’s Next in Historical Romance for JQ?

HCT: You recently contributed to a three-part novel, The Lady Most Likely, with fellow bestselling romance authors, Eloisa James and Connie Brockway. How did the project come about? What process did you three follow for brainstorming, plotting out, and finally writing and editing the work? Were there any ahem…clashes?

JQ: No clashes!  I think there might have been one time where we argued over comma usage, but that’s it.

The project came about during a conversation Eloisa and I were having about anthologies.  We both love writing in the novella format, but several readers had told us that they found novellas to be too brief.  Eloisa came up with the idea of integrating three love stories into one longer, cohesive novel.  We asked Connie to join in because we’re both such big fans of her writing.

We had a terrific time putting the project together.  We had a very brief three-paragraph description of the plot when we sold the book, but that was it, so we met for a long weekend in New Orleans to work out the plot and characters.  Then there was quite a bit of emailing that went back and forth.  We had such a good time with it that we’re already planning another!

HCT: Your latest release, Just Like Heaven, went on sale May 31st. This is the start of yet another new series for you, the Smythe-Smith Quartet. Can you tell us a bit about who we’ll meet as the hero and heroine in the book and about the series overall?

JQ: Years ago I wrote a scene in which my hero and heroine found themselves at the worst musical concert known to man.  It was the annual Smythe-Smith Musicale, during which Mozart was butchered so badly it was a wonder he didn’t rise up from his grave in agony.  I had so much fun with the scene that I found myself bringing back the Smythe-Smiths in later books.  I figured it was an annual event—there was no reason my other heroes and heroines couldn’t be forced to sit through bad music.

But there was always one girl up on the stage who seemed to understand just how bad the quartet really was. Readers begged me to tell her story.  So of course I decided to write one for one of the other girls—Honoria Smythe-Smith, who smiled widely during the concert as she attacked her violin. It turns out she is very much not in love with Marcus Holyroyd, her brother’s best friend since childhood.  And Marcus is definitely not in love with her.

That’s when the fun begins.

But for those of you wanting the story of the girl who actually can play music, have no fear—it’s coming.  Since there are four musical spots in a quartet, I decided to write a quartet of books.

HCT: More so than a rapport, you really seem to have a relationship with your readers. Offering up the epilogues to your Bridgerton books—second epilogues, even—as e-downloads seems to underscore the reciprocity of that loyalty. Most authors write sequels or novellas in anthologies, not 30 page epilogues. How did you first come up with this innovative idea? Any update on when the publisher, Avon/ HarperCollins, will be issuing the compilation of the eight epilogues into a print volume?

JQ: The 2nd Epilogues came about because so many readers were contacting me and asking, “What happened next?”  And all I could answer was, “I don’t know.”  The great thing about writing romance is that it ends rather neatly.  The main characters fall in love and we all know that they will live happily ever after.  So when I finish a book, I don’t really think about what happens to my characters unless I have some compelling reason to do so—usually if they are going to make an appearance as secondary characters in another book.

After I’d said, “I don’t know,” about a hundred times, I started thinking—if I were to offer updates on the characters, how would I do it?  I came up with the idea of “2nd Epilogues,” which are essentially short stories that take place sometime after the novel ends.  The novel is absolutely 100 percent complete without these 2nd Epilogues; rather, they are extras or treats if you will, for my most devoted readers.

Right now the 2nd Epilogues are only available as electronic downloads, but we do plan to release them in a print collection, hopefully at the end of 2011.

Final Thoughts

HCT:  Have you ever had a Fan Girl Moment with another Big Name Author? You know, one of those tongue tying, almost pants’ peeing moments of sheer, awestruck delight?

JQ: I do remember being terrified to meet Lisa Kleypas very early on in my career.  I was such a fan of her work. I think I’d read Then Came You and Dreaming of You a hundred times each.  Now it seems ludicrous to have been so scared.  Lisa is quite possibly the nicest, most approachable, and generous person I’ve ever met.  But hey, I didn’t know that then!

HCT: Your undergraduate degree is in Art History and you were accepted into Yale School of Medicine and Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons. Quelle choice! You’ve been a researcher/reporter for a well–known travel magazine and have traveled widely both personally and professionally. Oh, and you’ve written a bunch o’ bestselling books, including your famous Bridgerton series, beloved the world over. On the personal front, you’ve been married to your personal Prince Charming since 1996. To stave off the rest of us from spiraling into existential insecurity, tell us, JQ, is there anything you can’t do really well that you wish you could? Even better, is there anything you positively suck at?

JQ: I can’t turn a cartwheel.  I cannot tell you how much emotional anguish this has caused me.  (And lest you think I’m being sarcastic, ask any fourth-grade girl!  Cartwheels are a necessity!) I actually decided that I was going to learn how to cartwheel for my 40th birthday.  It seemed like one of those awesome, I-Am-Woman-I-Can-Do-Anything things that are perfect for milestones.

Didn’t happen.

HCT: I adore the tagline used throughout your web site: Because happily ever after is a whole lot of fun. It feels like a philosophy of life as much as a branding device. And it certainly fits with your books which even for romances stand out as so sunshiny and upbeat, as well as meticulously well-researched and, for want of a better word, smart, that reading one is like biting into a crisp autumn apple—good all the way through. The first JQ book I read was The Viscount Who Loved Me and I still remember that after I finished my face hurt from so much smiling. Have you always subscribed to happily ever after is a whole lot of fun? Or is this something you’ve come to over time? Feel free to borrow Lady Whistledown’s infamous quill and give us some pithy commentary or better yet, advice.

JQ: I’ve never been attracted to bad boys.  I just don’t think love should be hard.  Life throws you enough curve balls—illness, money woes, freak accidents—love should be the easy part in all of this.  It should be thing that gets you through all the other stuff.  I married my best friend, and it sure has made my happily ever after a lot of fun.

HCT: Your website at JuliaQuinn.com is so cool and comprehensive. It covers everything to do with your books, which are listed by series and title, your news & events, the charities you favor (love that!), and your roster of not only the foreign language editions of your books but also your personal overseas travels. Can you tell us one thing, PG-13, of course, that isn’t there?

JQ: It all comes back to that lecherous monk… 😉

The Duke and I, historical romance by Julia Quinn

NEWS! Men of Roxbury House Victorian Romance Trilogy in Audiobook – in Spanish!

NEWS! Men of Roxbury House Victorian Romances in Audiobook in Spanish!

My fabulous Barcelona-based publisher, Libros de Seda will release my Men of Roxbury House Victorian romances in audiobook in Spanish. Soon Spanish-speaking historical romance readers in the U.S. as well as Spain and Central America will have the chance to listen to these very special stories. Stay tuned for release dates.

Vencida by Hope Tarr

 About the Series

Orphans Harry – Hadrian – St. Claire, Patrick O’Rourke, Gavin Carmichael and Daisy Lake meet, and become fast friends, at Roxbury House, a Quaker-run orphanage in Kent. One by one, Fate intervenes to separate the self-avowed inseparables. But friendship and love are their own forces of nature, reuniting the quartet as adults, much-changed by the intervening years, each still haunted by the secrets of the past.

Get the complete series, in Spanish, as kindle ebooks here.

Read the prologue of Vencida – in Spanish – for FREE here.

Reviews

“An intelligent, sexy romance.” – Booklist

“VANQUISHED is a must-read!” – Romance Junkies

“A touching story of salvation and renewal in authentically depicted Victorian London.” – Bestselling author, Madeline Hunter

“Tarr pegs Victorian-era London perfectly! Poignant and romantic…” – Faith V. Smith, RT Book Reviews

BURIED TREASURE. “VANQUISHED is worth searching out. This is a very rich book… I love the late Victorian and Edwardian periods and VANQUISHED really captured the atmosphere of that time.” – All About Romance

FIVE BLUE RIBBONS! “Hope Tarr is simply amazing. With ENSLAVED she has written yet another story that sucks you in and won’t let you go.” – Romance Junkies

“Don’t miss it!” – Romance Reviews Today


Get TEMPTING for FREE thru 3/19/20

Get the TEMPTING Ebook FREE

The pleasure of a good book has seen me through the toughest of times – and these certainly qualify. Which is why I’m offering TEMPTING as a FREE ebook on Kindle through Thursday, March 19 (offer ends midnight). Download the book and discover why RT BOOKReviews selected it as “Best Unusual Historical.” If you enjoy Christine and Simon’s unique love story, please take two ticks to pay it forward – leave a short review.

Tempting by Hope Tarr

Be well,

Hope