Lechleidner, Mary L. 1947-
LECHLEIDNER, Mary L. 1947-
PERSONAL: Born February 28, 1947, in Camden, NJ; children: Matthew J. Scheimer, Brett G. Scheimer, Elizabeth B. Scheimer. Education: Rutgers University, B.A., 1986, M.A., 1989. Politics: Independent. Religion: Christian.
ADDRESSES: Agent—Linda Kruger, The Fogelman Literary Agency, 7515 Greenville Ave., Suite 712, Dallas, TX 75231.
CAREER: High school social studies teacher, 1987—.
MEMBER: American Christian Romance Writers, Novelists, Inc.
ROMANCE NOVELS; UNDER PSEUDONYM DELIA PARR
Evergreen, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1995.
The Fire in Autumn, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1996.
By Fate's Design, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1996.
The Ivory Duchess, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1997.
The Minister's Wife, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1998.
Sunrise, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1999.
"TRINITY" SERIES; UNDER PSEUDONUM DELIA PARR
A Place Called Trinity, Thorndike Press (Waterville, ME), 2002.
Home to Trinity, Thorndike Press (Waterville, ME), 2003.
SIDELIGHTS: As Delia Parr, Mary L. Lechleidner creates nineteenth-century historical romance novels that are often set in the eastern United States. By Fate's Design, for example, takes place in a Shaker village in New Hampshire. That is where Sister Johanna Sims finds her planned life of celibate contemplation threatened by her "evil guardian—a mustache twirler if there ever was one," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Sister Johanna must thwart the efforts of the guardian to sell her in an arranged marriage; along the way she encounters romantic temptation while nursing back to health the injured good-guy Michael Lawne. Another Parr romance, The Ivory Duchess, concerns Kate Baxter, a concert pianist touring Pennsylvania who, according to another Publishers Weekly critic, "escapes from her cruel manager with her valuable, trademark broach." Neither The Ivory Duchess nor By Fate's Design earned kudos from the Publishers Weekly reviewers, but romance readers quickly took these and other Parr books to heart.
The setting of The Minister's Wife, a 1998 release, is rural New York, where Emilee Clark decides to overcome the social stigma of being an illegitimate child by becoming "the most righteous of women—the minister's wife," in the words of a Publishers Weekly contributor. What Emilee did not count on was falling in love with Jared Burke, son of the previous minister. While the Publishers Weekly writer noted this novel's "sluggish" pacing and "morose" tone, Library Journal contributor Kristin Ramsdell found more to like in The Minister's Wife. Ramsdell cited "nicely handled sexual tension [and] several well-depicted secondary characters" in the story.
A Place Called Trinity, published in 2002, "will surely please [Parr's] fans," predicted Kathleen Hughes of Booklist. The first in the "Trinity" series, this book introduces Martha Cade, a midwife in 1830s Pennsylvania who leaves home for three months to search for her runaway daughter, Victoria. Returning to Trinity, Martha finds some disturbing changes, including a new doctor who may spell an end to her midwifery trade. Then there is the reappearance of Thomas Dillon, Martha's former beau who "is nearly untouched by the passing years," noted a Kirkus Reviews writer. Several interlocking subplots touch the narrative of Trinity, leading a Kirkus Reviews writer to describe the book as "well-meaning but meandering." But to Hughes, this book represents "a new artistic stretch" for the author. Home to Trinity, published in 2003, is the second book in the series.
Lechleidner once told CA: "With the release of my historical romance Evergreen, my dream of becoming a romance author came true. The publication of The Fire in Autumn is nothing short of wondrous. I have been a reader and fan of romances for many years. Now I have the ultimate joy: to write innovative stories about women and men who overcome tremendous obstacles to celebrate love, the greatest gift of all. Now, with a new inspirational series, I can explore the relationships between women, their neighbors, their families and friends, and God."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 2002, Kathleen Hughes, review of A Place Called Trinity, p. 923.
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2001, review of A Place Called Trinity, p. 1712.
Library Journal, August, 1998, Kristin Ramsdell, review of The Minister's Wife, p. 73.
Publishers Weekly, August 19, 1996, review of By Fate's Design, p. 64; April 21, 1997, review of The Ivory Duchess, p. 69; July 6, 1998, review of The Minister's Wife, p. 57; July 19, 1999, review of Sunrise, p. 191; December 24, 2001, review of A Place Called Trinity, p. 42.