Bianca Goddard Mysteries, book 1
Kensington Books

Plague always threatens Tudor London, but when a merchant ship arrives in port and is quickly quarantined, rumors and outbreaks of pestilence rapidly spread. Bianca, the daughter of an infamous alchemist, earns her living making medicines. When her friend seeks help for painful abdominal cramps and suddenly dies, Bianca is accused of murder.

As she struggles to prove her innocence, she uncovers a connection between her friend’s wealthy suitor and the quarantined ship. Bianca must stay one step ahead of the constable as she pieces together the evidence that will ultimately acquit her of murder and prevent London from succumbing to the plague.

Read a Little, Buy the Book

MARY LAWRENCE grew up in southern Indiana, the youngest of four, from a medical family. I attended Butler University in Indianapolis and majored in chemistry and zoology, then transferred to a specialized program at Indiana University.  My first job was at a hospital in Portland, Maine, and except for a brief detour to western Massachusetts, I’ve called Maine home.
I began writing while working in hospitals and being a single parent. Writing was a great escape and an endless challenge. My recent book deal has come after years of learning the craft. I’m awed by those who have sailed through and published with a minimum of effort—it certainly wasn’t true for me.

For a while, I wrote indexes for books to supplement my income and that was as close as I came to the publishing world. In 2007, a lifelong love of gardening led to farming. My husband and I bought 7 acres west of Portland and built our own reproduction saltbox. We grow a variety of fruit for sale locally.

In 2010, on a whim, I entered a manuscript in the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Contest and made the finals. That year, I also finaled in the Young Adult Novel Discovery Contest and won the Celtic Heart’s Golden Claddagh in historical romance.

I still work in cytology in a hospital north of Boston; I farm, and in particular, I adore time with my grandchildren.

ANGI: How often to you get lost in a story?
MARY: Every time I write I get lost in my story, but I try to get lost in someone else’s story for a couple of hours before I go to bed.

ANGI: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
MARYDaffy Duck. I relate to his over the top anxiety, insecurity and feigned bluster. 

ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading? 
MARY: I remember reading a Dr. Seuss book, but his drawings scared me as a child. I think the first chapter book that I adored was The Boxcar Children. They were so clever. They survived by their wits and pulled together—great lessons for young children.

ANGI: Who’s your favorite villain?
MARYIt’s a toss-up between Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) in House of Cards and Cat Woman from the 60s Batman series. 

ANGI: Benedict Cumberbatch or Chris Pine?
MARY: B.C. I had to google Chris Pine. I am a huge Sherlock fan. Cumberbatch has a great sense of humor and has that charming balance between being confident and self-effacing.

ANGI: Would you rather be in a Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
MARY: Definitely Fairy Tale! I prefer magic and imagination over being chased by aliens or folks wielding pitchforks.

ANGI: What is your best wish come true?
MARY: Watching my son parent two healthy, fun children and being proud of them all.  
ANGI: What’s your favorite rerun on television?
MARY: The Avengers. I wanted to be Emma Peel growing up. 

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: Okay, I admit, I had to look up what cytology was.  Can you let our readers know what it is and what’s the most fascinating thing you’ve studied?

MARY’S GOTTA ANSWER:  Cytology is the study of cell morphology. It is microscope work where we look for cellular abnormalities that might indicate precancerous changes or the presence of cancer. Before I went into this field I thought cancer was one entity. The reality is far different. Cancer presents in an endless number of ways. Research and treatment is ever evolving trying to address the complexity of the disease. I think for me this realization is similar to looking into outer space and knowing I can’t begin to fathom how deep it is.  

Contact    Website    Facebook      Twitter @Mel59Lawrence   
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Bianca Goddard Mystery, book # 2
February 2016

Stymied in her efforts to create a medicine for the Sweating Sickness, Bianca seeks the advice of a noted alchemist. Ferris Stannum has just discovered the Elixir of Life, the mythical potion of immortality. Stannum, caught up in his discovery, dismisses lenders who come calling. The next day, the alchemist is found dead.

The coroner rules his death from natural cause, but Bianca has her doubts. His missing alchemy journal and a blood-stained pillow rouse her suspicions.

As Bianca pursues answers to Stannum’s untimely death, John falls ill from the Sweating Sickness. Her focus turns to saving John and when the missing journal unexpectedly turns up, a cure is within her grasp. However, possession of the journal comes at great peril. The body of a second alchemist is found and a threat is made on her life.

Bianca enters into a twisted world of treachery and deceit where the quest for immortality becomes a matter of life and death, not only for John, but for herself.

MARY is giving away 1 signed copy of The Alchemist’s Daughter (must be 18 to enter—because of content, North America Readers)

Note: COMMENTERS are encouraged to leave a contact email address to speed the prize notification process. Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.

ANGI'S back on the 27th with
UP NEXT ON GLIAS:  Edith Maxwell
Get Lost on GoodreadsFacebook
or @GetLostInAStory  #GetLostStories

Mary & I are attending the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Dallas. We hope you can find us. Be assured that we’ll be answering comments as soon as we have internet.

MARY WANTS TO KNOW: Are you more likely to buy a book because of its cover, the author, the jacket blurb, the first sentence, the last sentence, awards won, or because of a recommendation from a friend or blog?


  1. Welcome my Unsinkable Sister !!
    Congratulations on your debut !!

    1. Thanks for inviting me Angie! Internet is spotty here at the convention.

  2. look at the cover first then blurb, but only if I like the cover

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  3. DQing myself from the drawing. I will gladly, quickly by Mary Lawrence's book. I've been waiting to read! Loved the interview, and, I don't know of anyone our age who did not want to be Emma Peel!

  4. Mrs. Peel was the whole package! Lol!
    Thanks Donnell for the vote of confidence!

  5. Cpngrats on your debut book. I am author driven. When I find an author I like I will get every one of their books yenastone at aol dot com

    1. It's a special connection when you find an author that 'gets you'. Because that's what I think it is. The author has to mention something a reader has thought about or seen, and write about it in a memorable way that feels like an 'aha' moment to the reader.

  6. I'm more likely to buy a book because of the jacket blurb, and/or because of a recommendation/review from a blog. I like reading about upcoming books and the cover will catch my eye, then I read the description and decide it has to go on my wish list. :D
    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

    1. Do you prefer the reviews of a few trusted blogs over Goodreads/ amazons reviews?

  7. Fantastic cover and blurb. I'm sold! I do look at covers, I'll admit. Then I read the blurb. The biggest selling point is Word of Mouth. Or, in Mary's case, getting a few chapters of a previous WIP. I was blown away. I'll read anything she writes. She's amazing! Can't wait to read this one.

  8. Hugs to you EE! Guess what's up next on my nightstand? A Dangerous Passion--can't wait to read it!!