Parr, Delia 1947–

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Parr, Delia 1947–

(Mary L. Lechleidner)

PERSONAL:

Born February 28, 1947, in Camden, NJ; children: Matthew J., Brett G., Elizabeth B. Education: Rutgers University, B.A., 1986, M.A., 1989. Politics: Independent. Religion: Christian.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Collingswood, NJ. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Educator and writer. High school social studies teacher, 1987—.

MEMBER:

American Christian Fiction Writers, Novelists, Inc.

WRITINGS:

ROMANCE NOVELS

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.

A Place Called Trinity ("Trinity" series), Thorndike Press (Waterville, ME), 2002.

Home to Trinity ("Trinity" series), Thorndike Press (Waterville, ME), 2003.

Abide with Me ("Home Ties" series), Steeple Hill Books (New York, NY), 2006.

A Hearth in Candlewood: A Novel ("Candlewood" series), Bethany House (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

Day by Day, ("Home Ties" series), Steeple Hill Books (New York, NY), 2007.

Refining Emma, Bethany House (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

As Delia Parr, Mary L. Lechleidner has written numerous romance novels, many of which are nineteenth-century historical romance novels 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 contributor. 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 Weeklycontributor, "escapes from her cruel manager with her valuable, trademark broach."

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. Library Journal contributor Kristin Ramsdell noted the "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, writing in 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 contributor. Several interlocking subplots touch the narrative of A Place Called Trinity, leading a Kirkus Reviews contributor to describe the book as "well-meaning but meandering." However, to Hughes, this book represents "a new artistic stretch" for the author.

Parr's inspirational romances include the "Home Ties" and "Candlewood" series. Abide with Me, the first "Home Ties" book, is set in contemporary times. The first novel features three sisters in middle age dealing with life, from the eldest sister, who has cancer, to the middle sister, who is a caretaker to all, to the youngest, a nurse who works while her husband stays home and watches the kids. "Parr is to be commended for her character development; each sister is well differentiated," wrote a Publishers Weekly contributor.

The "Candlewood" series begins with A Hearth in Candlewood: A Novel. Set in 1841 Candlewood, New York, the book introduces widow Emma Garret, who operates a boarding house. Harriet Klausner, writing on the Harriet Klausner's Book Reviews Web site, called the novel "a solid small town Americana tale that provides insight into living near the Erie Canal." The sequel, Refining Emma, features Emma's battle to secure ownership of her boarding house and her efforts to find a new lawyer when her one-time lawyer, Zachary Breckenwith, quits because he is in love with Emma. In her review of Refining Emma, Klausner noted: "Readers will enjoy this strong inspirational saga that stands alone."

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:

PERIODICALS

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; June 5, 2006, review of Abide with Me, p. 37.

ONLINE

A Romance Review.com,http://www.aromancereview.com/ (August 4, 2007), review of A Hearth in Candlewood: A Novel; interview with author.

Christian Books.com,http://www.christianbook.com/ (August 4, 2007), interview with author.

Harriet Klausner's Book Review,http://harrietklausner.wwwi.com/ (August 4, 2007), Harriet Klausner, reviews of A Hearth in Candlewood and Refining Emma.