The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson by Lauren H. Brandenburg

My enormous thanks to Fern at Lion Hudson for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson by Lauren H. Brandenburg and for getting Lauren to stay in with me to chat all about the book. I’m delighted to host Lauren and to share my review of The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson too today. Not only that, but I have a smashing chance for one blog reader to win a paperback copy of The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson, along with Lauren’s first book, The Death of Mungo Blackwell. Details below!

Staying in with Lauren H. Brandenburg

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Lauren and thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.

Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for inviting me! It’s definitely worth the travel.

You’re very welcome. So, tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?

I’ve brought The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson. It’s such a cosy read for an evening in and is full of such lovely characters. I can’t wait for you to meet them! And it’s my newest release, so I hope you’ll get a few sneak peeks into my little village of Coraloo and all its goings-on.

I have actually met them Lauren and I’m sharing my review below. I very much enjoyed my trip to Coraloo! For those who’ve yet to go there, what can they expect from an evening in with The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson?

It’s definitely a story of love, traditions, superstitions, and finding yourself amidst distraction. I’m always a bumbling mess when I need to go on about my writing, so I’ll let one of my endorsers tell you what she thought: “In a sea of cookie-cutter novels, The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson is a refreshing and imaginative tale of freshly sharpened scissors, feuding families, and finding peace in the bonds that truly bind us together. Brandenburg has again proven that she possesses that most rare and wonderful gift . . . the gift of storytelling.”

Wasn’t that so kind? Sigh… I melted at ‘storytelling’.

That’s a lovely summing up of The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson Lauren and one I completely agree with.

You can also expect to be wrapped up into an on-going festival and all the funny shenanigans that go into planning the most talked about wedding in the history of Coraloo.

That’s true! What else have you brought along and why have you brought it?

I have brought hot cocoas for us – my husband makes it for me every morning. I don’t really like coffee because it just doesn’t taste as good as it smells – my characters don’t favor it either. And I prefer to have tea in the early afternoon. So cocoa it is! Do you take marshmallows with your cocoa?

I most certainly do! You can come again if you’re going to bring drinks like this. I don’t drink coffee either for exactly the same reason so cocoa is perfect.

Because I prefer to shop local shops whenever possible, blueberry cake and lemon poppy seed cake from a friend’s bakery. She used to own a cupcake empire but has decided to try something new. And a super fun bookish fact: for the first-time readers see a bakery (not to be confused with the macaron shop in the flea market) in Coraloo – Torte di Jami. It’s actually named after my sister-in law Jami who makes fabulous cakes for any occasion… even weddings!

That looks wonderful. I’ll have a slice after our chat.

And… since The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson is about a wedding, I thought I would share a wedding photograph with you from my own wedding. This is my most favorite of all our pictures because the photographer caught us spontaneously goofing off during our post-wedding photo session. Twenty years later and laughter still fills our marriage.

I’m very glad to hear that Lauren. It’s been lovely staying in with you to chat about The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson. Thanks so much for being here. You cut a slice of poppy seed cake whilst I tell Linda’s Book Bag readers all they need to know about The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson and The Death of Mungo Blackwell as I know they are going to want to read both books and maybe enter the giveaway to win copies.

The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson

Roy Blackwell has proposed to Margarette Toft. A controversial decision given their families are sworn enemies!

Soon Coraloo’s feuding clans are competing to organize events for the most talked about wedding of the year… and glorious chaos ensues! But as the depth of the two families’ animosity becomes clear, Roy and Margarette’s relationship begins to falter.

Then Roy unearths a town secret involving the mysterious marriage of Innis Wilkinson and a murder. Parallels between the past and present rock the couple even further.

But, as the whole truth comes to light, Roy and Margarette learn more than they could have imagined about love, family, and finding a place in the world.

Heart-warming and charming, The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson will inspire joy and laughter.

Published by Lion Hudson on 23rd October 2020, The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson is available for purchase here.

The Death of Mungo Blackwell

Charlie Price, whose world has come crumbling down after a lapse in judgement leaves him unemployed, finds himself flung into the chaotic world of the Blackwells when he relocates to Coraloo with his socialite wife, Velveteen, and shy son, Gideon. Here Charlie attempts to make a living as a “picker”, reselling under-priced items he picks up at the market.

The Blackwells are a family with an extraordinary history and astounding traditions, which include attending their own funerals before they die! Their ways are questionable and their stories about deceased relatives are as bold as their red hair, but it is their eclectic wares that keep tourists coming back to their market in the town of Coraloo.

Some of the Blackwells welcome him with open arms, but others resent pickers and want him thrown out of the market .Charlie soon finds this new way of life under threat and his quest for simplicity seems to be crumbling. Perhaps it’s time for Charlie to have a funeral of his own…

Published by Lion Hudson, The Death of Mungo Blackwell is available for purchase here.

My Review of The Death of Innis Wilkinson

Roy Blackwell’s engagement to Margarette Toft might not be straightforward!

What an utterly beguiling story The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson is. I found it charming, humorous, thoroughly entertaining, and quite unlike other books. I loved the dead pan manner with which Lauren H. Brandenburg dropped the most unlikely of comments into her narrative so that I had to keep doing a double take. This added a smashing depth of pleasure. Reading The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson reminded me of the television series Pushing Daisies because of the unusual narrative style mixed with wonderful humour.

Although the narrative has both historical dates and present day modernity with the internet for example, the Coraloo setting and the kaleidoscope of characters gives the story a timeless feel that is thoroughly engaging. As a result, I think the appeal of The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson will endure long after other stories feel passé. Add in the attention to detail, the wonderful descriptions provided by Lauren H. Brandenbug and this is a story that has the effect of a pebble in a pond. Meanings, links and connections ripple across the narrative in a mesmerising manner.

So many themes and connections hold this narrative together, much like the lace on the ancient wedding dress. Echoes of Romeo and Juliet, need, identity, missed opportunity, love and appreciating what might be right under our noses if only we took the time to look give depth and poignancy amongst the humour and entertainment.
There’s a gentle story that escalates the closer Roy and Margarette get to their wedding and that is woven between stands of historical feuds and events that I found totally absorbing, but the real joy in reading The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson is the characterisation. I loved Roy and Margarette unreservedly. They are a constant amongst the eccentric people living in Coraloo whose singular and individual behaviours are hugely entertaining.
Offbeat, quirky and utterly charming with a hint of romance, magic, murder and menace, The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson is a smashing story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I really recommend it.

Giveaway

For your chance to win a paperback copy of BOTH The Death of Mungo Blackwell and The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson, click here. Open internationally. The giveaway closes at UK Midnight on Sunday 1st November 2020. The publisher is responsible for sending the prize.

About Lauren H. Brandenburg

Lauren H. Brandenburg is a mentor, speaker, and author who happily blurs the lines between traditional genres. She is the author of The Death of Mungo Blackwell and The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson. As a former English teacher, and now homeschooling mom, Lauren combines her love of “the what if” with her spirit of adventure and faith to delight and encourage readers young and old. She lives with her husband, Jamie, and two children in a lovely little town just south of Nashville, Tennessee where they laugh a lot.

For more information, visit Lauren’s wonderful website here, and follow her on Twitter @LHBrandenburg and on Instagram lhbrandenburg.

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