Lavinia Kent’s Real Duchesses of London

Today the Riskies welcome back my good friend Lavinia Kent. I’m so excited about this latest venture of Lavinia’s. It is so much fun!

Lavinia is one of the first authors for Avon’s new digital imprint, Avon Impulse, which aims to offer fresh, exciting content in digital format, available wherever ebooks are sold.

Lavinia has written a series called The Real Duchesses of London, four short, connected novellas based on the “Real Housewives” TV series. Kathryn the Kitten, the first novella in the series is available now.
Here’s some of the review rattle for Kathryn the Kitten:
“Interesting and intriguing…fabulous reading…” —Novel Reaction
“…a terrific blend of love, friendship and a tad bit of suspense.” — Tracy’s Place
“I can’t wait to read about the romantic tribulations of the four other women and to find out who is behind the caricatures.” — Romance Novel News
Take a look at this fabulous Book Trailer for Kathryn the Kitten:


There’s also a longer video, for the entire Real Duchesses of London Series.

Lavinia will give away one download of Kathryn the Kitten to one lucky commenter chosen at random AND to a second randomly selected commenter, a Real Duchesses of London T-shirt featuring the Real Duchesses logo!!

Tell us how you came up with the idea for the series The Real Duchesses of London.
I was watching a episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and thinking how ridiculous it all was. Then I started to think about how their real lives must be different from what was seen on TV. I’d also just watched Downton Abby and was excited by the idea of having the maids take the place of the TV viewer.

Who are the “Real Duchesses”?
The real Duchesses are a group of aristocratic women who are brought together when a print of them all is pasted to shop windows all across London. Each of the women either has a problem with her husband or develops one as the result of a scandalous print.

Kathryn the Kitten is available now. What is her story?
Kathryn, the Duchess of Harrington, has always done everything perfectly. When a tragedy changes her world Kathryn doesn’t know how to react and finds herself withdrawing farther and farther from her husband. When a cartoon implies that her husband has a huge secret, Kathryn must find away to start a new relationship with the duke.

What is Risky about this series and its first story?
The relationships between the women can be very risky. In the first story Kathryn discovers things about her dearest friend, Linnette, the Dowager Duchess of Doveshire, that change and almost ruin their long-lasting friendship.

From a personal standpoint the most risky thing was trying to write a scene with several duchesses in the room and still make it clear who was talking. There were “Your Graces” all over the place. I had to move everybody to a first name basis much sooner than I would have otherwise or it was just too confusing.

Where was most of your research time spent? Watching the “Real Housewives” on TV or researching in the regency? Did you discover anything interesting in your research?
I spent time looking at old prints and cartoons. It’s hard to call it research because it was just so much fun. It is amazing the things that could be printed for anyone to see.

I also re-examined the fashions of the time because I moving into the early 1820’s with these stories and things were starting to change. I actually make use of the great bell shaped skirts in my second story, Linnette, the Lioness.

Tell us how the YouTube video and its depiction of the Duchesses came about.
It all started when I saw my friend Janet Mullany’s daughter making a drawing for another author. I loved it and asked if she could do one for me. Even if I never used it I thought it would be fun to have a drawing to represent the first cartoon in my book.

My daughter, who is taking computer graphics in high school, asked why I didn’t have a book trailer – and before I knew it she was creating one for me. The original concept of using the cartoon and combining it with the opening credits from The Real Housewives was mine, but she took it and ran with it. The ultimate product is very much her creation.

What’s next for you? What’s the next book in the series and what is your next book?
The next novella in my series is Linnette, the Lioness. It comes out this Tuesday. It’s a reunion story and also a story of learning to love again after a past betrayal. Annabelle the American will be released in August and Elizabeth the Enchantress, in September.

My next book, What a Duke Wants, comes out this October and is the story of a runaway lady and a duke who doesn’t want to be a duke. I had great fun writing about mistaken identity and learning to survive when life doesn’t work out the way you want.

A question from me:

Is there anyone who will admit to liking the women’s clothing of the 1820’s? I am genuinely curious. I love true regency dress and then suddenly the skirts poof out and the sleeves as well – and the bonnets . . .

I just can’t imagine ever wanting to wear it. How about you?

Thanks for visiting the Riskies, Lavinia. Remember, everyone, to comment for a chance to win either a download of Kathryn the Kitten or a Real Duchesses of London T-Shirt! Winners will be selected after midnight Monday night and announced on Tuesday.

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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