books, reviews

Book Review & Author Q&A: Aunt Edwina’s Fabulous Wishes – Lynne Christensen

Aunt Edwina’s Fabulous Wishes (Friesen Press, June, 2022), the first book in the uplifting Aunt Edwina series, begins when free-spirited painter Julie Fincher discovers that her fiancé is a gold-digger, and she reluctantly decides to go ahead with the wedding to please her ailing father. The day before the wedding, however, the family’s beloved ninety-two-year-old Lady Edwina Greymore passes away and everything changes.

After Aunt Edwina’s passing, Julie is appointed executrix of her large country estate and discovers an intricate family history treasure hunt with clues scattered all around southern England that she now must solve. Leaving her deceptive new husband behind, Julie sets out on the madcap adventure of a lifetime, together with her eccentric, karaoke-loving cousin. Along the way, they meet well-meaning aristocrats, experienced genealogists, a handsome antiques shop owner, and a verbose lawyer with a curious potbellied pig.

A clean, uplifting, humorous novel, readers will enjoy solving riddles while picking up a few basic tips about doing their own family history research along the way.

Q&A with Lynne Christensen

Question: What inspired the Aunt Edwina series?

Lynne Christensen: One day, I was standing in our vast home library packed with topography, genealogy, travel, archives and museum books and thought that it was a real shame more use wasn’t made of it. It dawned on me–I am the daughter of a world­renowned genealogist and have spent my life visiting archives, historic places and museums all over the world. As a writer, it became instantly obvious that I was in a unique position to write a new uplifting series about family history. I’ve been a writer all my life, mainly in the corporate world, and saw a unique chance to write a novel series like no other.

Question: Your cover is so colorful! Why did you put a 92-year-old woman on the front?

Lynne: It made sense because she is the foundation of all that follows. Her family looks to Lady Edwina Greymore for guidance, composure and how to best serve the community. Of course they are a privileged family, but they know how to give back and include the people in their village and greater county. On a higher plane, ageism in entertainment needs to be halted, and it’s so scarily unusual to see a senior on the cover of a novel.

Question: Do you have to be an expert genealogist to understand this book?

Lynne: Absolutely not. It’s actually written for beginners, someone who’s starting to discover family history records, interviews, build a rudimentary family tree etc.

Question: What kind of fact-checking had to happen for this book?

Lynne: My mother, Penelope Christensen, PhD, has written 38 nonfiction research methodology books and is a world-renowned genealogy expert. I was fortunate to have her to rely upon for checking that the research sections were correct. I am by no means a genealogy expert myself but am extremely interested in historical lives, family heirlooms, social history etc.

Question: Who is your ideal reader?

Lynne: Readers today, I believe, are looking for an uplifting escape from all the challenges our world is experiencing. Aunt Edwina’s Fabulous Wishes is humorous family history fiction. It’s a niche category for those who love family history and all its twists, turns and eccentric characters. This book is a fun read filled with characters who will become friends.

Question: Is this a clean read, safe for all ages?

Lynne: Yes, there is no erotica, violence or profanity in this novel, making it easy to share with your children or grandmother without worrying about any dodgy bits! I understand that clean reads with substantive stories are in demand.

Question: When can we expect more from the Aunt Edwina series?

Lynne: Book 2 is already at the publishers and should hopefully be out late 2022. The Greymore team is in full action helping two new characters pursuing more family history adventures and knowledge.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lynne Christensen is a world traveler who enjoys visiting museums and archives. She grew up roaming around graveyards in Europe with her genealogy-loving parents in search of elusive ancestors. A lifelong learner, she earned both Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Commerce degrees plus has over twenty-five years of experience in marketing and corporate communications. Her writing is published in numerous magazine articles, case studies, advertisements and technical manuals. She lives on the West Coast of Canada in a house full of fascinating books.

Connect with Lynne at http://www.auntedwina.com and on Twitter (@LVChristensen), Instagram (@lynnevchristensen), and LinkedIn.

Aunt Edwina’s Fabulous Wishes will be available wherever books are sold.


My thoughts: I was sent this book for review, so thank you to the PR team. It sounded like lots of fun so I was happy to share it with you all.

After Julie discovers her brand new husband is cheating on her, and her grandmother/aunt Edwina has just passed away, she takes off a treasure hunt with her eccentric cousin Gertie to discover Edwina’s secrets and a forgotten love story.

The book is very funny and clever as Aunt Edwina’s clues have the duo meeting all sorts of interesting people from antique dealers, aristocrats turned hoteliers, and a lawyer who never uses one word when six will do! There’s also escaped rabbits, runway pigs, a lost puppy and a diversion to Scotland for the no good husband and his mistress.

Taking in parts of southern England, from Kent across to Devon, visiting the places the mysterious artist ‘E.E.’ painted and finding all sorts of keys and locks along the way. This was a fun and clever book, very enjoyable and accessible.

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