Interview with Author C.L. Bush

My guest today is author C.L. Bush. Hello! Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age! It’s such a pleasure to have you here.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?

Sure! The latest book is the final in the 2nd trilogy in my Historical Mystery Romance series. It covers the finale of what happens after the trial of Simon Tucker, who is accused of murdering his friend who has been missing for 2 years since the battle for the capital on the war of 1812. Simon has been accused and had his pretrial hearing and is now sitting in a jail cell, his health failing in his quest to prove his innocence.

His love interest is Lucy Livingston, cousin to one of the leads in the first trilogy. She believes his innocence and wants to save him and have a life with him. Along with her family, they are trying to find clues to who actually committed the murder. In this book she ends up in a precarious situation but everything regarding the mystery is resolved.

It will be released on August 30th on and Amazon Kindle.

Lovely! Sounds like a great romantic mystery story with a dash of history! Congratulations on your upcoming release! 

So, is there anything that prompted A Vindicated Heart? Something that inspired you? 

My husband is in the military and has had experience with PTSD. I wanted to take a historical drama and include the elements of PTSD and how it was viewed in a different time period, before the world wars.

I did a lot of research, much of which is included in my author’s notes at the end of the books, and found out some interesting facts on how soldiers were viewed as inherently violent to their core back then. PTSD didn’t really have a name back then and was viewed as a weakness. This plays a part in how the trial progresses and the viewpoints regarding Simon’s innocence or guilt.

That's interesting.

So, let's try a different question.

When did you know you wanted to write? Or has it always been a pastime of yours?

I’ve always been interested in stories but never had the courage to write. I started out as marketing for books, then moved onto editing. Once there and having a steady client list, I had one client who pushed me to write my own stories, loving the edits and suggestions he would see me make in the ones he published.

From there I took a gamble and wrote the first in the Fire In My Heart Series last October (2015). It was a start, but since then I have learned and my skill has grown and I have published 25 books, under C.L. Bush and two other pen names.

Wow! That's impressive! It's fun to hear about an author's journey. :)

Do you have any favorite authors yourself, C.L.?

The list could be endless! Diana Gabaldon, Cameron Jace, Sarah Woodbury, Lynn Kurland, Ashley Gardener, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Jason Vail, Priscilla Royal… the list could go on and on. I read avidly, at least 3 books a week.
I know it's hard to narrow down. But I'm impressed by how many you read per week. I am definitely falling behind. LOL. 

Do you write in a specific place? Time of day?

I have a great 3-in-one laptop that I use and I tend to sit on the couch or out back, while my kids play in the pool, and write. I enjoy free-flow writing, where I don’t worry about punctuation or spelling and write as I see the story unfolding in my head. Later, I go back and change things and then my editor goes over it.
For the most part, I try to do that as well.

So...are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers? Any advice?

Writing isn’t easy, but with work and imagination it is possible for anyone. Finding your fan base takes more than just writing well. Building a good team for marketing and building yourself up. Don’t do it all on your own, find a good team and go from there. It gives you much more time to write. I’m still building my team, but I am also learning as I go.
Excellent advice! Thank you for offering those words of wisdom. 

And thank you so much for stopping by to visit us here today at Writing in the Modern Age.  It was so nice having you!  :)

Readers, here are the blurbs from the Fire in My Heart Series, as well as some excerpts.

The Heart of Now

After a deadly fire six years ago in which he lost his father, Lawrence Sheridan is finally going back to London. With a hateful half-brother and a venom spitting stepmother, he is determined to figure out if the fire was just an accident or something more.

Francis Hudley has been brought to London by her Aunt Livingston and she, at eighteen, is finally having her coming out. She is shy and anything but overjoyed at the prospect of finding a husband. While enjoying the season, she meets an old family friend of her aunt's and is captivated by his love of the same things that interest her most.

Neither are seeking nor interested in marriage, but when a connection happens their passion is kindled. Can Laurie find the person who is responsible for murdering his father and trying to kill him while following his heart with this young woman who has so captivated him? And if he chooses her, can he keep her safe until the mystery is solved?


All was quiet as Lawrence Sheridan walked up from the library late one spring evening. At twenty-five, he was young and fit and had just spent the night with a bottle of Madeira and a good book.

His father lamented him not enjoying his youth, but Laurie could tell he appreciated that he handled responsibility well as he was heir to Waltham, an estate of some five thousand acres.
Laurie’s younger brother, Theodelphius, at fifteen lacked all that Laurie had in terms of temperament and good sense, or so Edmund Sheridan had said. It was only two weeks ago that Laurie reconciled with his father over his marriage to his stepmother. Edmund, at fifty-seven, had married the eighteen-year-old Cecilia, and six months later, she gave birth to Theo. If it wasn't for the Sheridan gray eyes, many would suspect that child wasn't his. 
Laurie thought about this as he walked up the steps to his room, pleased with another pleasant evening with his father.
As he reached the second floor of the west wing, he paused. Something smelled off. Smoke? Yes, because it was spring the fires would be lit. But it was stronger than normal.
Following his nose, he rounded the corner and saw it.
The smoke was seeping out under the door of an unused guest room. He was surprised, as the room wasn’t in use, and thinking it could possibly be a clogged flue, Laurie opened the door. Flames licked at the entire room as the thick smoke enveloped him and stole his breath.
He quickly tried to close the door, but not quick enough as the renewed oxygen fueled the fire. The room had already been fully alight, and now the fully engulfed flames followed him into the hall, setting the carpet ablaze. Before Laurie even had time to wonder why this room was on fire, he realized that the situation was out of control. The whole wing was at risk of going up.
Laurie quickly ran down the hall, yelling at the top of his lungs that there was a fire. His stepmother ran into the hall as he yelled for a servant to notify the fire brigade, directing the others to exit.  He grabbed the butler and his valet, Billingsworth, to help with buckets of water to prevent the spreading of the fire to the rest of the house.
As Laurie started pouring the water, he realized it was useless. He quickly told Billingsworth and the butler, Thompson, that they needed to exit and make sure that everyone was safe while they waited for the fire brigade.
 Leaving the smoke and exiting to the group outside, he saw that his stepmother was in hysterics. After inquiring what the situation was, he found out that her lady's maid was still inside. His stepmother was ranting that the maid had been using the unused room for a tryst with one of the other servants.
He quickly asked Thompson if everyone was accounted for and got a response that they were still counting. Knowing it was the only way to calm his stepmother, and that he couldn't allow an innocent woman to burn when he could rescue her, Laurie removed his coat, covered his mouth, and ran back into the burning west wing.
He got as far as the stairs before the smoke reached him. As he tried to navigate through the thick haze, he started climbing to the first floor. The smoke was lighter here but still made him cough.
He knew the maid was usually in his stepmother's room at night. She slept on a cot in the dressing room, but if she were having a tryst, as his stepmother said, he had best check the main area where the fire had started to see if he could spot her.
As he climbed to the second floor and headed in that direction, he was met with fire. It was all around him ‒ climbing up the curtains, on the carpet, and burning through the tables along the wall. The flames were spreading so fast there wouldn’t be much of a west wing left by the time the fire brigade got there.
Laurie realized the situation was hopeless. He turned to go back, but at once he saw that the fire had already spread behind him. The curtains had fallen, swinging to light the ones further down the wall and setting more of the carpet alight as well.
He could feel the flames starting to singe his hair. The side of his face was getting hot as well. Knowing there was no other choice, he ducked his head and ran through the wall of raining debris, still lit with flames that licked out at him. He could feel their white-hot fingers melting his flesh.
As he reached the other side he tried to scream, but there was no air left in his lungs. They felt burnt. He knew he needed to move, but fear and pain were freezing him in place. Just as he thought to give up, he found one final breath and groped to get up, only to find Billingsworth there grabbing his arm.
He felt his valet pulling him down the stairs, making it down to the first floor. All the while the blinding pain made him want to scream. Coughs racked his body.
Once outside, he collapsed into Billingsworth’s arms. The man laid him down on the ground while calling to the housekeeper to bring water and bandages. The aged woman rushed over as fast as a girl of twenty to pour water on Laurie’s wounds.
He felt himself fading into darkness, but he had just enough strength to grab Billingsworth’s hand and ask, “My father?”
Billingsworth gave him a long look and said, “Sir, we will take it as it comes.”
The last thing that Laurie remembered was the agonizing pain of his skin as they peeled his clothes away and the burning in his heart knowing that his father was gone.
He let the blackness consume him.

Fire of My Past

Now that Laurie and Franny are engaged, the need to find out the reason for the fire at Waltham six years ago is more important than ever. So is the need to catch the culprit. When a new witness comes forward, Laurie returns home to see if he can finally figure out the mystery that has plagued him for so long. One that has also put himself - and his wife to be, Franny – in danger.

With his stepmother and half–brother descending on his townhome prior to his returning home, Franny is left to deal with the rumors they are circulating about Laurie’s past and their reasons for marrying so quickly. Can the real culprit for the deadly fire be found before Laurie puts himself more at risk? Can Franny sort through the rumors about her new love and hold fast long enough for Laurie to return with answers? 


When he arrived, Hargrave was at the door. He looked flustered, which was not at all like him.

“Sir,” he said, as he took Laurie's accessories. “Sir…” He paused as if it was so dire he couldn't even get it out.
“Well, out with it, Hargrave. It can’t be that bad.”
“You have...guests, sir,” Hargrave said, regaining some of his color and primness.
“Guests?” Laurie asked, surprised. Whoever could be visiting him? “Well, whom?”
“I'm sorry, sir. It’s your half-brother and your,” he gave a visible gulp, “stepmother.”
Laurie was shocked. What would they be doing here? They never came to his house in Town. Only to Waltham for two weeks once a year.
Striding down the hall, he opened the door to the drawing room and was hit by the smell of his stepmother’s strong lavender water. His eyes watered at the overwhelming stench. His face flushed in anger as he saw his stepmother on the couch with a glass of brandy and his brother picking up a silver candlestick off the mantle as if to test it to determine its weight and value.
Before he could ask what was going on, Cecilia sketched a wave and said, “Finally! The lord and master graces us with his presence. Come back from visiting your tart?”

Wife of Tomorrow

Laurie returns to London to find his life in a state of upheaval based on rumors spread by his stepmother and actions made by his half-brother. Franny has spent three weeks in a constant struggle to maintain her faith in Laurie, while trying to ignore the rumors and consequences to the Livingston household’s social life.

By now the wedding is fast approaching and both are nervous but excited to finally be wed and start their life together. But an unexpected event delays the vows and puts Laurie’s life at risk, revealing the true arsonist and murderer. Will Laurie be able to solve his way out of this situation to get back to Franny? Or will he give his life to make sure that she is safe and his father’s memory is finally vindicated?


Laurie had just gotten the metal on the leather tie into the crevice and was trying to leaver it open when the carriage stopped abruptly. Realizing it was fruitless, Laurie leaned back on the balls of his feet and prepared to clobber whoever opened the door. Within a moment, the door opened and Laurie lunged.

            The man was easily six foot and two hundred and fifty pounds of muscle. Laurie caught him around the middle and with his momentum, the two men went flying back, slamming into the filth of the street. Though Laurie was strong, he was no match for this man. One quick flip and a punch to the head had Laurie seeing stars. He tried to get in a look at the man’s face but was hit once more and from there saw only darkness as he fell into oblivion.

A Hand in Love and Murder

War, blood, love, and murder. 

Lucy Livingston has dreamed of finding someone to complete her life after seeing her cousin Franny find and fall in love with the man of her dreams. She is now at their estate, helping Franny learn the ropes and taking a break from the marriage mart in London. She thinks she is free from the distractions of men. That is until Simon Tucker, an old acquaintance she has had less than pleasant dealings with in the past, comes on the scene. 

Simon Tucker arrives at Waltham subdued. Having been injured in the war, he is forced to accept the position of land agent to a friend of his cousin’s, Franny's husband Lawrence Sheridan, and live a normal life after the trials of battle. 

Riddled with guilt over leaving his best friend, Marshall Gray, behind after he was injured, Simon is haunted by the memories of blood and violence and what could have happened to Marshall, missing two years now. 

An unlucky encounter forces Simon into the most compromising position he has ever been in… found next to a murdered man. 


August 1814

Simon Tucker stood frozen as he watched the tornado spawn from the violent storm and make its opinion known by storming down Constitution Avenue. It seemed that Mother Nature had made her choice when it came to this battle, and Simon was on the wrong side.
All he could remember was the fierce wind swirling around as the tornado blew down the road, flinging muck and objects—even some people. He gasped in horror as he saw cannons that weighed more than twenty men lifted in the air and thrown onto unsuspecting people—soldiers and civilians alike—who didn’t have the wherewithal to get out of the way. Their crushed bodies lying there, bleeding on the road after the capricious whirlwind had moved away. He felt something hard slam into his right knee and fell to the ground in pain. A pain that was overshadowed and soon pushed aside by the carnage he saw happening before him.
What have we done that God has decided to end our victory so quickly? I knew we were wrong and should have left well enough alone. England has enough land and what right has our king to determine how a nation that he no longer governs should be run?
He knew this would all end in disaster the moment his unit was given their orders to march on the capital. The American forces were weakened and had left the city to the British army’s destruction, but he suspected, deep in his heart, that they must have known how this would all end.
It had started with the march into the city. People—women, children and men all running for their lives, leaving their belongings trailing behind them in the streets. Clothing, shoes, dishes and jewelry. He saw a fur coat that must have belonged to some rich woman at one point, the shoe of a small child left on its side in the muck and a chest of silver cutlery that someone had abandoned haphazardly in their attempt to flee the brutal British army.
Some said this war was about the United States wanting to gain more land; others said it was due to the British navy’s reliance on pressing American sailors into service, but Lieutenant Simon Tucker knew this was more about pride. The British army had been defeated thirty years ago in the Revolutionary War and lost the American colonies. The king now wanted to stop those same former subjects from taking more of Britain’s land and not allow them to slap them in the face with victory again.
They had forced the American army out and then set to burning their beloved capital. They had burned the presidential mansion and many other buildings that held importance to the Americans.
If only they hadn’t successfully won that attack on Port Dover last month, we wouldn’t be here, Simon thought.
The jubilance of the soldiers as they burned the buildings and looted what was inside was soon overshadowed less than twenty-four hours later as a storm like no one had ever seen in England came through, drenching the city in rain and damping the fires—and cheers—that the British army had brought upon the Capital.
Simon cried out in anger and turned to look at the destruction behind him, where the tornado had unleashed its wrath first, and saw a sea of red. British uniforms mixed with blood were everywhere, creating a painting that looked like the artist only knew how to use one color.

A Trial of Secrets
Murder can take more than one life. 

Simon Tucker is imprisoned for the murder of a man he saved on the road to Waltham. Sitting in the freezing cell has been a challenge, but he has hope in his employer and friend, Lawrence Sheridan, to find him a good lawyer and get him out of this situation. His strength is tested when the local magistrate comes to town and the jury sits to determine his fate. 

Lucy Livingston has fallen in love with Simon, but is distraught on how to share her feelings and if they could ever have a life together with murder hanging over his head. In spite of the new attention she has been given by Simon's lawyer, Gabriel Lewis, she still holds fast to her love. She, along with her cousin and family, work to do everything they can to see Simon set free and found innocent. 

When a shattering secret is revealed, will those believing Simon's innocence be able to keep the faith? 


September 1816

Having been resolute in his desire for company, Simon walked down the road in determination to get to the warmth of Waltham. He missed Lucy and her wit, the shine in her eyes when she said something she knew was clever, and the flush in her cheeks that even when he just thought about it made his groin rise to attention.
He was a mile into his walk when he heard the yelling.
Running as quickly as he could with his cane and given his injury, he was subconsciously thankful for all the work he had put in with Lucy over the last two weeks because he now could run without his knee giving out every few steps.
As he came around the bend to the secluded part of the road without a view from the village or Waltham, he first saw a rider-less horse dancing in the road while below him two men struggled in the mud. The man on top seemed to be built largely and was pummeling the one beneath with all his might, despite the man looking obviously done in and unwilling to fight back anymore.
Simon didn’t think. His training, so ingrained from years of honing and still present even years later, took over. He stopped a few steps from the attacker and raised his cane, whacking him cleaning on the back of the head. The man lost his stride and fell to the side.
Simon allowed the anger to take him over and the adrenaline to rush through, the same way that it had that day in the capital two years before. He dragged the man off his victim and punched him cleanly in the face.
But he overestimated his body’s ability to handle the fight like it had for so many years.
His knee gave out, and he fell to the ground with a cry, missing his last punch and allowing the attacker to get the upper hand…literally.
With his head down, breathing hard and trying to keep down his lunch, Simon didn’t see the man rise and grab his cane. In a flurry of seconds, his knee exploded in pain, and it blinded him as he fell onto his back on the road, trying not pass out from the pain.
He was so distracted; he didn’t even see the rock coming down towards his skull. It was a strong, straight blow to his temple and almost instantly knocked him out. Almost.
Before the darkness overcame him, he recognized the sound of his attacker mounting the dancing horse and riding full-out down the road. Opening his eyes through the pain, he was able to look into the eyes of the man whose rescue he had come to.
The lifeless eyes stared at him, and before he finally gave into the darkness, he felt a flicker of recognition.
Marshall? he thought.

Readers, here is the blurb for A Vindicated Heart, the final book in the series.

Coming Soon on August 30th...


Rotting away in a jail cell is dangerous to a man’s health. So is being on trial for murder. Simon Tucker’s health is diminishing as it seems the world is colluding against him. The evidence is stacking up-not in his favor-and his future is looking bleaker and bleaker.

Lucy Livingston and her family are not standing idly by and letting the man she loves be convicted of a murder he didn’t commit.

But when sleuthing turns deadly and an old, unexpected foe turns up, Lucy is put into a situation that could change everything – and possibly cost her life in exchange.

Here is an excerpt.

A day later, Laurie knew he couldn’t put off work any longer. The mining operation, now missing Simon and having been left in the hands of the foreman, was sadly lacking in attention. It had been a month since he had been out there and he had only kept up with the goings on via messages.

He leaned down and kissed Franny on the forehead as he breathed in her scent. It had changed with her pregnancy, becoming earthier. Smiling, he made his way downstairs for a quick breakfast.
Thompson met him at the breakfast room with the morning mail.
“Thank you, Thompson. I will be riding out today. Please inform Gerring to saddle Markum.”
“Right away, sir.”
Once the dour butler had exited the room Laurie took the time to go through his post. Issues with the land he was trying to buy that abutted the mining operation and his own property were not going well. The thousand acres would greatly increase the farming yield, but he wanted it more so because he felt there was more to mine on that acreage than what he had now.
Knowing it was something he would have to deal with soon, he put it at the back of his mind to ponder as he rode.
Markum was saddled and ready to go. At eighteen hands he was a huge animal; his black coat shining in the meager sunlight of the day, his muscles only hinting of his ability for speed and maneuvering. He was an amazing beast and Laurie thanked the stars for the day he had found him at market.
He mounted and made his way across the back lawn. Normally, he rode this way with Simon, but today he felt lonely. Opting not to take a groom, he knew it wouldn’t take long to get to the mines, and he longed for some peace and quiet to ponder all that was going on.
Ten minutes in, he came upon the meadow and allowed Markum his head. The river ran to his right with the waterwheel that ran the pump for the mines about a mile downstream. He would be there in a few minutes’ time, but he wanted Markum to get some of his restlessness out before they got to the mine. The feeling of the wind in his face and the animal moving beneath him was freeing.
He slowed him as he came within half a mile of the mill, not wanting to scare anyone by riding up like a bat out of hell. The feeling of peace buoyed him as he made the last bit at a walk on Markum.
That feeling of peace lasted only as long as it took for the arrow to fly by his face and lodge in the tree next to him.
Markum reared but Laurie, ever the trained horsemen, managed to keep his seat. He whipped around looking for the assailant and saw some fluttering of leaves over in the direction of the river.
Pressing himself low over his horse, Laurie galloped towards the spot he saw movement and broke through the bushes to find the river just twenty feet in front of him. Looking up and down the bank he saw no one.
Making his way back through the brush and hurrying along to the safety of others, he saw footprints. The river had risen with the rains of a few days ago and when it had receded it had left the earth damp.
The clear imprint of footprints led directly into the river.
With nothing further to go on and his safety now a concern, Laurie kicked Markum into a canter and headed for the mine. 

This book sounds interesting! We'll be sure to check it out, along with the rest of the series! :) 

Author Bio 

C. L. Bush started reading at a young age. Since then, she has voraciously read all she could get her hands on. With a degree in Business and another in Marketing, as well as being the mother of two boys and three grown stepdaughters and the wife of a soldier in the U.S. Army, her life is busy, but she has always kept her love of reading and writing. History is also a passion of hers and she regularly goes on trips with her family to experience it firsthand.

Embarking on a new historical mystery series, Fire In My Heart, she also has a successful coloring book series, I F*cking Love Coloring.

Check out all her books now and follow her here for emails about any new releases, discounts and giveaways coming up!


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