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Charlotte Vale-Allen On Writing

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Daddy's Girl

Island Nation Press

Katharine Marlowe

    Heart's Desires

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"Whimsy Marlowe's Specialty"
by Patricia Anne Jones, Tulsa World, Tulsa Oklahoma, 4/19/1992

Katharine Marlowe, a pseudonym for a best-selling novelist, is a native of Canada, who lives in New England. I discovered that bit of whimsy on the book jacket, and it set my imagination racing. Who is Marlowe? Well ... after reading Secrets, I've narrowed the possibilities somewhat, but still can't quite pin her down. Even book critics get a hoot out of reading just for fun. Secrets is fun. A psychological drama of the first magnitude, this little novels entertains from beginning to satisfying end. Emma Bellamy, newly widowed and struggling to redefine her personal and professional life, is a worthy protagonist. Bernice, Emma's housekeeper, says of her young mistress, "Mr. Will had kept Emma from growing up properly, kept her young so he could go on showing her off, year after year, to all those friends of his who probably thought the marriage would last no time at all. Emma was his prize, his little-girl bride, who wrote them clever books and talked real well with her nice English accent; she was his pride and joy-so long as she kept on needing him and didn't decide one day it was she took to acting and dressing her age." After 17 years Will died, and the "little-girl bride" was left without her Svengali. For the first time since she was 18, Emma must make her own decisions-must write her books alone-must, at 35, come to terms with who and what she had evolved into. Seven months after Will's horrible death the letters begin arriving. They bore her signature-were written on her letterhead. Who wrote them? Not Emma ... no, surely not her. ... She would have remembered. Are we having fun yet? Hang on, the thrills are just beginning. Marlowe's style is clear-easy to read. Her storyline intoxicates the senses. Characterizations, if somewhat overdrawn, are credible and always interesting. I highly recommend this book. Secrets is like finding a perfect pearl in a box of Cracker Jacks. ***

"Secrets offers a good twist"
by Vivian Cannon, The Mobile Press, Mobile, Alabama, 4/19/1992

It isn't hard to lose yourself in this second novel by an unidentified bestselling novelist who is writing under the name of "Katharine Marlowe." It is full of suspense and activity-all of which centers around the newly widowed Emma Bellamy, who is also an author of note. Her problems really start when she is accused by her husband's attorney of writing a rather open, erotic letter to him-about which she knows nothing. After the first accusation, others follow-from her closest friend, her late husband's two daughters, her press agent, etc. All of the letters are openly truthful and not particularly complimentary, and there is no wonder the recipients get angry. But they terrify and frighten Emma, who denies writing them and starts looking for the real author of the letters. Ms. Marlowe's novel provides all the excitement and final twist needed in her story for some relaxing reading. ***

"Marlowe's Book: Satisfying, Compelling"
by Louise Rothe, Chattanooga News-Free Press, Chattanooga, Tenn. 6/28/1992

Satisfying and compelling, Secrets explores the bizarre behavior of Emma Bellamy, newly widowed and struggling to decide what to do with her life. A nightmare begins when her husband's lawyer and every important person in her life reveal they've received truthful, accusatory, or even a suggestive letter-signed by Emma herself. Yet she has no recollection of writing them and so denies the authorship. Katharine Marlowe does a masterful job with Emma's coming to grips with herself as she delves into her past and faces her present crisis. Her characters are predictable, yet credible. The ending is not too surprising, yet I stayed up past bedtime to see if my calculations were correct. I enjoyed the book-light, easy, yet entertaining. Katharine Marlowe, a pseudonym for a bestselling author, has also written Heart's Desires. She lives in New England. ***