Category Archives: Leona Pence

Book review Hemphill Towers by Leona Pence

 Kevin Hobson created this video promoting ‘Hemphill Towers’. You can find him on his Youtube channel. or you can send him an email  kevnessky@gmail.com

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Hemphill Towers shows us how a glass of wine flows through its pages with romantic love, family, and scammers with self-indulgent intentions.

Leona Pence is an author the author of ‘Hemphill Towers’, an intriguing romance novel. Hemphill Towers is filled with beautiful career oriented women and handsome, entrepreneur men, who will fight to keep those women safe. A sly villain, one who drags along a past of blackmail and lies, with a morally reprehensible control over anyone who comes to too close, and another who uses a business that is not his, which pulls in the Russian mafia and endangers everyone.

This novel starts running, right from the prologue. We follow along, reading how power and money in the hands of a deceitful man can destroy lives. At the same time, we watch reputable men use their power with an opposite strength. That strength turns them into kittens when they meet the heroines of this novel.

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Thirty-five chapters with multiple characters that are rich and intelligent. I noticed they don’t jump in the sack when called. They choose what they want to do and what they don’t.   This novel takes us around the world. We see the Russian mafia, vineyards, museums, painters, pretty clothes, food … Mmmm! Food.

Here’s a slice from chapter 8: Rosetta placed a steaming cup of espresso in front of Birdie along with a plate filled with pastries that she called brioche.” ~Pence, Leona

Leona had me on the edge of my seat. Each chapter moves at a fast pace. I find myself hungry, sad, happy then thrilled. I love the Italian family. I wish I could sit and talk to the artist, and walk around JB’s home and peek into closets. Then relax and read by his pool.

Leona Pence answered a few of my  questions.

  1. Why did you choose the locale: Italy- Chicago- California-Spain?

I needed my Italian character near wineries, both in Italy and the US. A little research helped choose Italy, California, and Spain.

  1. How did you come up with the names in your book?

The three main women were based on me, and two online friends. We chose and described our own love interest. The rest of my characters were twisted names of family and friends.

For example, my brother, Lawrence Harmston, became Judge Lawrence Harmstrong. My bro-in-law, James Otts, became Dr. James Ottsman. I had people vying for me to use their names. It was fun, and they all had a laugh at finding their twisted names.

Thank you for this  Leona.  I bet a number of our readers will use your ideas when naming their characters.

  1. How did you keep your characters straight?

I did not set out to write a novel, just a short spoof for my friends. So, I wrote installments and sent them to a few people. They became hooked on the story, and for me, the words just kept coming. I ended up with fifteen installments going out to about fifty people.

I wrote character descriptions in an email format. I had fifteen emails at my fingertip, so when I needed to check out anything about my characters I would pull up those emails. Keeping them straight wasn’t a problem, but getting everybody’s names in the story wasn’t easy.

  1. What keeps you writing?

I’ve always been a voracious reader but being able to write actually came as a shock. But once I finished Hemphill Towers, I had the itch to write more. Discovering F2K and WVU made such a change in my life. All my friends there along with my large extended family inspire me to keep writing.

  1. Who edited your novel?

I joined the Novel group in WVU where we critiqued each others work one chapter at a time. After that, Mar and I exchanged chapters. Linda helped us also. Then, my publisher at MuseItUp, Lea Schizas, did the final edit.

  1. I noticed that some chapters have more than one scene. Each scene is separated by and asterisk *.   How did you decide to separate the chapters? There are more scenes in the later chapters. What was your idea to making that length, and detail instead of separating them?

Hummm! Good question.

In the novel group, we were limited to 3000 words per chapter for critique. So I combined some short chapters by using * and created scenes. After the group finished, I couldn’t remember how I had divided the chapters, so it took a while to figure it out. I know I started out with a lot more chapters than I ended up with.

  1. Where did you get your ideas for the JBs home? It is beautiful, wooded area fishing pond, an alcove off the kitchen three sides of glass “panoramic view of the grounds”.

I shut my eyes and used my imagination as to what I thought the home of a rich bachelor with a teen daughter might look like.

  1. How do you write; do you use an outline?

I’ve never ben able to use an outline.  Whatever flows through my mind is what I type.

Leona’s  favorite genre to write is Romance or Romantic Suspense; she had written some flash stories and plans to expand them into a novella.

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The author, Leona Pence is a mother of four, a grandmother to twelve and great-grandmother to seven. She started writing later in life, after the death of her husband of forty-four years. Hemphill Towers was written when she was sixty-five.

Leona is a woman that I look up to; she is the spirit that never stops looking forward. Never gives up her dreams and never ever stops living, creating and learning. She is a romantic at heart. After dating her husband for three months, she married him on her nineteen birthday.

Leona has a crippling disease: Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, a neurological disorder. There is no cure for CMT. It has weakened Leona’s lower arms, hands, lower legs and feet. The disease took her hearing, when she was in her mid-20s. Leona types out her stories on her computer using at first the eraser end of a pencil and now a stylus pen.

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Leona is the author of Hemphill Towers.  you can buy this novel at itunes: http://tinyurl.com/mclslgs

Leona’s stories are also featured  in,  Bump off Your Enemies Anthologyhttp://goo.gl/T97WNW

And in The Darwin Murders Anthology:  http://amzn.to/2cL5fmu

And in Tasteful Murdershttp://amzn.to/2dIJyEk

Leona is a  Blogger and an active member in Writers Village University.

You can connect with Leona Pence on Twitter and Facebook and at her Blog. I listed all her links below:

Leona Pence is also found here: