Marsha Ward’s newest release, Spinster’s Folly

Marie Owen yearns for a loving husband, but Colorado Territory is long on rough characters and short on fitting suitors, so a future of spinsterhood seems more likely than wedded bliss. Her best friend says cowboy Bill Henry is a likely candidate, but Marie knows her class-conscious father would not allow such a pairing. When she challenges her father to find her a suitable husband before she becomes a spinster, he arranges a match with a neighbor’s son. Then Marie discovers Tom Morgan would be an unloving, abusive mate and his mother holds a grudge against the Owen family. Marie’s mounting despair at the prospect of being trapped in such a dismal marriage drives her into the arms of a sweet-talking predator, landing her in unimaginable dangers.

This fourth book in the Owen Family Saga is infused with potent heart and intense grit.

Appetite whetted? Ready for more? Here’s author Marsha Ward with our six signature questions:

1. What was the first romance novel you ever read?
That’s a hard question, because I’m not a spring chicken! Although it’s possible it could have been something by Barbara Cartland, I’m going to go with Mistress of Mellyn, by Victoria Holt, whose real name was Eleanor Hibbert. She wrote under EIGHT pen names. I do so love Gothic romance novels. I read them for a long time before branching out to other kinds of romances. While I understand the need for sexual tension in novels, I appreciate “clean” or “sweet” novels over those with explicit sexual depictions. Perhaps that’s why I tend to read novels with complex mixtures of romance, suspense, and mystery mixed together.

2. Your house is on fire–which five romance novels do you grab on your way out?
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, which fueled my love of the Civil War time period; Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, because it demonstrates the unnamed protagonist’s growth;  One for the Money by Janet Evanovich, just because it’s fun; All’s Fair in Love, War, and High School by Janette Rallison, for the young person still inside me; and Dangerous Favor by Joyce DiPastena, because Joyce just plain writes a thrilling romance.

3. What is your secret passion?
I’m not so sure how passionate people would think this is, but not having to get dressed in the morning is high on my list of things to do . . . or NOT do. I adore being able to write books dressed in my pajamas.

4. Why do you write romance?
I think I do it because there are twin streaks of optimism and romanticism in my soul, and what is more optimistic than a happy ending to a romantic story?

5. Is there anything in your book that comes from personal experience?
Three things come to mind: Someone in my family had a brush with a con artist. I’ve used characteristics of that personality type in one of the players in Spinster’s Folly. Besides that, because I married later than my peers, I know what it is like to yearn for a family of your own. Perhaps Marie Owen’s feelings of desperation stem from my own hard knocks against reality. Finally, I came from a family with seven children. I think that having experienced living among so many people gives richness to my portrayals of the Owen family.

6. What is your favorite kind of tea and how do you drink it?
I like peppermint tea. It seems to calm me when I need solace or just a period of quiet time, so I’ll whip out a teabag, heat the water, and try to relax for a while to get my balance back.

Marsha Ward is an award-winning poet, writer and editor whose published work includes four novels (so far) in The Owen Family Saga: The Man from Shenandoah, Ride to Raton, Trail of Storms, and Spinster’s Folly; and over 900 articles, columns, poems and short stories. She also is a workshop presenter and writing teacher. Marsha’s website is at She blogs at “Writer in the Pines” and “The Characters in Marsha’s Head” Find her on Facebook at

Want to read Spinster’s Folly? Check it out at Amazon and Smashwords:


22 thoughts on “Marsha Ward’s newest release, Spinster’s Folly

  1. Marsha, thank you so much for stopping by Teatime. I remember Mellyn as well and Victoria Holt was high on my list of guilty pleasures at the library as a girl. Spinster’s Folly sounds wonderful but I think to do it right I’ll need to start at the beginning of the Owen’s Family Saga. *grin*

    Scones are on the side board. Do stay for tea as long as you like.

      • I do indeed frequently make the scones here. They may have been mine but I know the other ladies also bring some around fairly often. I’ll put in a request to the library for THE MAN FROM SHENANDOAH shortly. Thanks for the title!

  2. Marsha, thank you for spending time with us in the tearoom today. I assure you the scones are sure to satisfy. 😉

    Spinster’s Folly sounds like a great read! Love the conflict of a yearning woman juxtaposed with urgency to wed someone other than the dastardly choice she’s offered. She’s not that desperate, or is she? 😉 Great idea! I’m impressed that you recognize the importance of tension as opposed to full-disclosure. I love books with great sexual tension. That’s a hard balance though, isn’t it?

    How do you feel about the market these days when Fifty Shades has reached global popularity?

    • Katherine, I’m enjoying the company here at Teatime Romance. I thank Cora for inviting me over. These scones are yummy!

      Oh, Marie has been driven to a fever pitch of desperation. I think she must be ADHD like me, or she never would have let her emotions overcome her practical streak.

      Keeping sexual tension present but repressing the need to act on it IS a difficult balance, but I think my background and core beliefs help me do that. I’m not daunted by the Fifty Shades phenomenon. I’m out there with my novels to show you don’t have to have your characters hopping into bed every fifteen minutes to create a satisfying story. I think THAT takes far more skill to do. 🙂 I appreciate the chance you all have given me to gain the “exposure” SPINSTER’S FOLLY needs.

      • We’re happy to have you any time, Marsha! And I agree that it’s far more difficult to write a novel with sexual tension but not a lot of sex, yet still keep it interesting. As a reader, though, I’ve found those types of books to be among my favorites–the payoff is that much bigger and more satisfying in the end 🙂

      • I love your response to this, Marsha! Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.

        Where do you find inspiration for your books? I know you said that there were many simularities between you and your heroine, but are you inspired by news headlines or research? Any other places or things that inspire you?

        Meanwhile, enjoy an orange cranberry scone. They’re delicious! ❤

      • Somehow I’ve lost the place to reply, but this is for Cora. Thank you so much for inviting me. I’ve had fun, and eaten way too many scones!

        I find that I push myself more as a writer when I can’t take the “easy” way out. I can’t let my heroines be rescued to easily. I want them to put in effort to get out of their messes. That makes things a bit more complicated, but I love what I do, and readers seem to agree that I do okay. 🙂

      • Ah! That’s how it works. This is for Katherine and Jennelle. Those orange cranberry scones melt in the mouth, Katherine! Thank you.

        I read a lot. I write down ideas that catch my fancy. I mix things up. Some ideas do come from headlines, but usually headlines or articles in older magazines or newspapers, not current ones. I research constantly once I had the seed of the plot, but I try to first get an overall view of the topic, then begin writing, leaving notes to myself that I need to research this or that bit. Afterward, I come back to fill the facts in.

        I travel a couple of times a year, and soak up the atmosphere of the places I visit. That really helps.

  3. Hi Marsha! Welcome to Teatime, thanks so much for joining us today! I confess I haven’t read any of your books yet, but the premise of Spinster’s Folly sounds great. I like the unusual setting you’ve picked for your historical. 🙂

    • I’ve had a great time, Lisa. Thank you! I’m kind of glad my setting hasn’t been overused. That helps make it stand out. I hope you’ll be able to read Spinster’s Folly and the novels in the series that came before it, too. The great big, blustery Owen Family is a lot of fun, beneath all their trials. That applies especially for the author. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Teatime Romance Blog’s 2012 Year in Review | Teatime Romance

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