The Riskies Welcome Celeste Bradley!

The Riskies are happy to welcome to the blog for the first time Celeste Bradley! Leave a comment for the chance to win a copy of Rogue in My Arms

“There’s passion, adventure, non-stop action, and secrets that make the pages fly by” –RT Book Reviews

Celeste: Hi Risky Regencies! So nice to be here!

Riskies: Welcome! Tell us about Rogue in My Arms and the whole “Runaway Brides” series…

Celeste: This has been so much fun to write! All daddies, all the time. The Runaway Brides trilogy had the working title of “Three Lords and a Baby.” One day a tiny girl, Melody, is dropped off on the steps of Brown’s Club for Distinguished Gentlemen with nothing but a note claiming that her father is a member of the club. Since most of the club’s members are long past the sowing of their oats, the finger seems to point to the youngest three members, Lord Aidan de Quincy, Sir Colin Lambert, and Lord Jack Redgrave.

In the first novel, Devil in My Bed, Aidan forces himself to face his past and find the woman who broke his heart more than three years past. Madeleine Chandler is running from her own past so fast that she runs right back into Aidan’s arms, at least long enough to get his help in leaving the country. One small lie about having Aidan’s baby doesn’t seem too high a price to pay for temporary sanctuary, until the love she thought was lost returns tenfold. Now with so much more to lose, how can Madeleine confess the truth?

In the second book, Rogue in My Arms, Sir Colin Lambert is searching for the stunning actress Chantal, who rejected him so soundly that he has never looked at another woman since. If he can offer her his new title and wealth, and make their child legitimate, surely she will wed him now? But Chantal has disappeared and Colin must hire saucy theater seamstress Prudence Filby to help him in his search. However, plain and common Pru is really a lady in hiding, protecting her young brother from greedy relations who would steal the inheritance he will receive when he comes of age. Now out of work and broke because Chantal fled town without paying her, Pru and her brother join the search for the flighty actress.

The journey takes them from London to Brighton to Bath, a mad race to catch up with Chantal before she weds another. On the way they encounter scoundrels, players and bandits, along with a string of other lovelorn men hell-bent to find Chantal! When Pru realizes that Colin is a man she could truly love, she can’t bear that he still adores the selfish Chantal. When Colin realizes that Pru is so much more than he first believed, he realizes that he must make a choice. Wed the woman he loves and doom his child to permanent illegitimacy, or try to make a family with the mother of his child?

Rogue in My Arms will be released March 30th! And the third novel, Scoundrel in My Dreams is in progress at the moment. It will tell the poignant story of Lord John “Jack” Redgrave and his journey back from the trauma of war and the discovery of a love he never knew waited for him at home. It will be released in Fall 2010…

Riskies: And what was the inspiration behind this series?

Celeste: I was pondering fatherhood, actually! What makes a man a father? Is it blood? Is it simply a protective instinct? Motherhood is simple and biological–we must love our children. What if any man could learn to be a father, whether the child was his or not? These three men each suspect that Melody is theirs. Yet when they eventually learn the truth, should that change the love that has grown in them? Can letting one little girl into a man’s heart expand it enough to heal old wounds and allow him to love again?

Riskies: Did you come across any interesting or surprising research for these stories?

Celeste: Always! I loved learning about Bath, England. So much fascinating history, dating from Roman times. The story didn’t lend itself to including all the great facts I discovered. I had to be careful it didn’t become “Colin and Pru Go To Bath” because it really could have! I’m going to have to set an entire novel there someday.

In Devil in My Bed I think I enjoyed learning about dumbwaiters the most. I found a lot of 1800 news articles about tragic accidents involving people climbing into dumbwaiters. They would try to use them to get into locked rooms, or to spy on their neighbors, or to escape a bill-collector at the apartment door. Doesn’t that inspire a string of stories in your head??

Riskies: What’s “risky” about this book?

Celeste: Well, I always take risks. I’m notorious for being far-fetched and “history-lite.” I love the Regency era but I can’t resist playing with the facts. I once wrote a book about the Prince Regent clambering through the storm drains with my hero and heroines, but since he would have been close to 80 at the time, I blithely snipped 20 years off his age and went for it. In Rogue, I think the riskiest thing I did was to dispense with a lot of overwrought conflict about class distinctions. As accurate as that might have been to the time, it would have made my characters seems shallow to a modern reader. Besides, money and rank cancels a lot of social errors, even now!

And my love scenes are pretty risky! Of course I have included, as always, my most beloved moment–a bathing scene!–and my favorite device–kidnapping! A Regency novel without a kidnapping is like Star Trek without the Enterprise.

Riskies: LOL! And what’s coming up next for you?

Celeste: I’m very excited about the release of Rogue in a couple of weeks, of course! I’m currently finishing up the third novel, Scoundrel in My Dreams, for publication this fall. I’ll be at the Romantic Times Convention in Columbus in April, and at RomCon in Denver in July. Details are here at my website.

And as I write this I’m on a plane to New York to meet with my agent and publisher about something really new and exciting! Something I can’t tell anyone about yet! It’s killing me to keep quiet, but updates will be on my website very soon.

I’d also like to add a note about my favorite cause, which is Literacy. I believe that most of the evils of the world could be cured with education and the empowerment and tolerance that comes with being well-read. This is a women’s issue as well, since two-thirds of the world’s under-educated are women. A clearinghouse of literacy projects exists at ProLiteracy.org. If you’d like more information, visit this website and join the effort to prevent ignorance and intolerance worldwide!

About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
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Kim in Hawaii
12 years ago

Thank you, Amanda and Celeste, for the fun interview! I do like the “Three Lords and a Baby” working title! And I am curious to know your great news!

I applaud your efforts with literacy. RWA’s Aloha Chapter actively supports Hawaii Literacy, who faces the challenge of serving low-income families across 7 islands. Literacy is also tested with Furlough Fridays – the state has closed public schools for 17 Fridays due to budget constraints. But we are fortunate in the military that literacy is a priority – the Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam (JBPHH) has many programs for children and adults.

I know Celeste comes from family of women who have served their country. Thank you, Celeste, for continuing the tradition by promoting literacy!

Kirsten
12 years ago

Hi Celeste,

I recentley read: The Rogue and just wanted to say that I absolutely LOVE your books. That scene where Ethan mistakes Jane’s identity and that tear, its my favorite. I think thats when he captured (part of my) heart.

To me it doesn’t matter if you get creative with history. If it makes a fun and entertaining story I say you go ahead! The runaway Brides series sounds great and I can’t wait to read them. So please count me in, thanks.

Best,
Kirsten

Caroline Storer
12 years ago

What a fab blog post! Thanks Celeste and Amanda for a great interview! I particularly like the idea of the king down the drain/sewer. Caroline xxx

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Hi, Celeste! Welcome to the Riskies.
Congratulations on this fun series. What a great idea!

You have raised an issue we revisit here every once in a while-how important is historical accuracy to the historical romance reader? I think it matters to the readers who care about it and not to the ones who don’t! (If that makes any sense at all)

Way to go on whatever that new venture will be!

Louisa Cornell
12 years ago

Hello, Celeste !!

I LOVED Devil in My Bed !! And what a brilliant idea for a series. Then again, I loved your Royal Four series as well.

You definitely have me curious about your new project!

What is the most outrageous idea you ever had for a Regency historical and has it come to fruition or been deemed too far out to sell?

lustyreader
12 years ago

“Three Lords and a baby” so cute! I’ve read and own every Napoleonic spy book by Ms. Bradley and have yet to try the others, but this interview sparked my interest so much I’ll have to give this series a try! Especially if they have a kidnapping, I also love that device 😉

“Riskiest scenes” that I recall from her series? The Rogue – Ethan and Lady Jane’s scandalous carriage ride where he doesn’t touch her but directs her to do everything he would want to, and she complies!

Kim Swiderski
12 years ago

Loved the blog and the books all sound wonderful.

I’m not bothered by historical inaccuracies but I do like it if the author adds a note at the beginning that stating that libeties were taken and that certain facts aren’t true. It warns me not to be distracted because the author did it on purpose. Otherwise, I end up looking for a research book to confirm what really happened (to make sure my mind isn’t playing tricks on me) or I loose faith in the author and their knowledge of the time they are writing in.

Alison
12 years ago

What a fab premise for a series. I’m going to have to look out for them! I loved Bath when I visited – do your characters actually drink that horrible water?

Louisa Cornell
12 years ago

I visited Bath in the EARLY 70’s as a child. We were stationed in England and one of my summer camp field trips was to Bath. I still have the postcards and guidebook. Yes, I drank the water and as a girl of 11 or 12 I remember I was NOT impressed! But I did love the architecture and beauty of the city! I want to go back some day.

Virginia
12 years ago

Your books sounds fantastic and I will be looking for it!

Deb
Deb
12 years ago

Hi, Celeste. I enjoyed the interview today. I look forward to your new book(s). Your books are on my keeper shelf and I like the Duke books with my fave being Duke Most Wanted.

Jane Austen
12 years ago

Celeste, the books sound very interesting and timely since I am considering what makes a man a father and if I could be with a man who has a child with another woman. More of a me problem than a him or the child problem. It’s interesting. Maybe I will find some inspiration in your books.

Karyn Gerrard AKA~Drew
12 years ago

Your books sound wonderful, truly! All the best for the release!
And loved the interview!

Janet Mullany
12 years ago

Hi Celeste, welcome to the Riskies. It’s great to have you visit.

Celeste Bradley
12 years ago

Woops! How did I get so behind? You can really lose a day at Best Buy, can’t you?

Kim-Hey there! Thanks for talking about the cause! I can’t believe the tale about Furlough Fridays. Isn’t the teacher’s job hard enough? But thanks for the hat-tip to my mother’s service. I was talking about her just yesterday to someone. Miss her every day.

Kirsten-I just love Ethan! Truly one of my favorite heroes. That Bedlam research was fascinating in that book–and for the record, all of that was accurate!

Caroline–Thanks! I loved using Prinny in THE CHARMER. He’s a great character. It’s a really fun book. I hope you enjoy it!

Diane–I know that everyone makes their own decision on the “fact front.” I love to read a richly detailed story myself, but the ones that come out of me just seem to take on a history of their very own!

Louisa–okay, once I wearied of my editor’s urging to make my heroes “larger than life” and so I made one so “large” that he was still a virgin! I was just trying to make a point and thought she’d throw it back to me, but she loved it! SURRENDER TO A WICKED SPY is one of my most loved/hated novels!

lustyreader–Ethan and Jane again! Whew! You guys are reminding me how THE ROGUE was such fun to write!

Kim S–That’s a really good point, Kim! A quick author’s note. I’ve never thought to do that, but it would definitely cut down on misunderstandings with people who aren’t as familiar with my style. I’ll talk to my editor. Thanks!

Allison–I steered clear of that subject! I grew up in Lousiana and the artesian wells there are really farty-smelling. I just couldn’t make that sexy!!

Virginia–Thanks! I hope you enjoy it!

Deb–I’m glad you liked Sophie and Graham. Sophie is my dearest favorite of my Regency heroines. I love, love, love that story!

Jane–well, if a man is a good father, I think it says a lot about his character in general. I wanted to explore how triggering that instinct in a man affects his entire life and the choices that he makes. Inspiration is usually accidental, but I hope you enjoy the book!

Karyn and Janet–Thanks for the nice welcome! This is such a friendly blog!

Celeste Bradley
12 years ago

P.S. Amanda,

WHERE did you get that horrible picture??? I look like a refugee from the PTA! I guess it’s true that once something goes out over the internet it lasts forever.

mariska
12 years ago

Hi Celeste,
i haven’t read any of your books, and would really like to start with this book 🙂

uniquas at ymail dotcom

Celeste Bradley
12 years ago

Hi Mariska!

Thanks, I’m glad you’re intrigued. I recommend that you actually start with the first book in the trilogy, DEVIL IN MY BED, which is already out. I tend to think in series format (kind of like in the soaps!) and I worry that the books don’t really stand alone. DEVIL is loads of fun, too, I promise!

Elizabeth Lhuede
12 years ago

Great concept, Celeste.

Regarding the issue historical research – I don’t read many historicals, so I’m not knowledgeable enough to spot inaccuracies or be worried about them, but I always appreciate research that brings the time and characters alive. It seems I can *feel* when a book has a ring of truth about it, but I do get overloaded with too much.

cheers
Elizabeth

Celeste Bradley
12 years ago

Hi Elizabeth!

I hope I manage a mixture of history and fantasy that aids the story in fulfilling its primary purpose–to entertain. I like to provide food for thought and I like to share interesting things that I’ve learned through my research, but those are secondary to my true vocation. I hope to make people feel the same way that I feel when I lose myself in a book. That’s really all I’m after. Reader oblivion. It’s my favorite state of being and always has been. There is NOTHING like falling down that rabbit hole!

If a few facts have to die on the way, so be it!

Amanda McCabe
12 years ago

LOL! Sorry about the pic, Celeste–it was the only one I could find online I could save (the photo strip on your site looks great but wouldn’t save for me…). Everyone–go to Celeste’s site and look at the fab pics 🙂

hawaiiliteracy
12 years ago

Great interview, and I want to add my thanks to Kim in Hawaii for your note on literacy. So many of the problems our communities and families face- poverty, unemployment, lack of education, health problems, welfare costs, and even crime- are reduced when literacy increases. Making sure every adult and child can read brings us closer to the type of place we all want to live, and of course, brings to joys of reading to all! Congratulations on the new book. Thank you for your work to promote literacy, and mahalo nui loa to the Aloha Chapter of RWA, who as Kim mentioned, has been a terrific supporter of Hawaii Literacy!

Celeste Bradley
12 years ago

Hi Hawaiiliteracy!

Well said. And thanks for the congrats!

librarypat
librarypat
12 years ago

Interesting interview. This sounds like a fun series. I agree, kidnapping is a good plot line. I like the 3 men and a baby story framework. As long as the readers know you are taking liberties with some of the facts, they won’t be upset.
Yes literacy is an important cause and I’m glad to see you supporting it.
I look forward to reading this series. All three sound like books I’ll enjoy. Good luck with the release of ROGUE IN MY ARMS.