Risky Regencies

Anne Gracie and Bride By Mistake

Exciting day today. Today our guest is the incomparable Anne Gracie (be sure to read her bio! Find out why her parents were called “Chalkers.”). Her books have been lauded in North America and Australia, and today she is talking about her latest release, Bride By Mistake.

Praise for Bride By Mistake:

“Gracie pens an unconventional Regency romance with an original heroine and setting for the next Devil Riders story. This character-driven romance appeals to readers yearning for a love story with an unforgettable twist.” –RT BookReview 

“I loved Bride By Mistake. Gracie created two great characters, a high tension relationship, and a wonderfully satisfying ending. Not to be missed!” –Mary Jo Putney, NYT Bestselling Author.

Anne will be giving away a signed copy of Bride By Mistake to one lucky commenter!


1. Tell us about Bride By Mistake and how it is connected to your Devil Riders series.

 The Devil Riders series is about four friends, Gabe, Rafe, Harry and Luke, former soldiers who have returned from years at war and are trying to settle in to a peacetime existence. Each one finds it hard, and for each the key is finding the right woman. The problem is, they don’t always realize she’s the right woman.

Bride By Mistake is Luke’s story, the 5th in the series, but each book is stand alone. (The last book, The Accidental Wedding was an off-shoot of the series and starred Nash, an estranged brother of Gabe and Harry.)

2. What sparked the idea for Bride By Mistake?

 I suppose it was a kind of dream. I just woke up one morning with a scene rolling in my head like a movie. A young girl was being attacked in the mountains, a hero rides to the rescue, and then, having saved her and promised to protect her, he doesn’t know what to do with her.

 I wrote it down, still half asleep, and even though I was working on another book, that scene kept haunting me, so I knew there was more to it, possibly a book. So I asked myself what-if questions until I knew more about the story and the characters, and where it might go from there, and then I wanted to tell that story.

 3. We’re all for risky! What is risky about Bride By Mistake?

I never think about whether a book is risky or not — I just get an idea and follow the characters. It’s only later when the book is in that I start to worry that it might be risky. What’s risky about Bride By Mistake?

Let’s see…
(i) It’s set mostly in Spain — I’ve been told readers don’t like foreign settings, but I’ve set quite a few books outside of England, and they’ve all sold well, so fingers crossed this does, too. The way I see it is, why not incorporate some delicious exotic elements when you can?

(ii) The scene where the hero and heroine first meet is dark and quite violent. But they’re in the middle of a war, so it’s not surprising. There is also some violence later on, and there’s also comedy, so mixing the two might be risky. I think/hope it works, though.

(iii) The heroine is only 13 when she marries the hero. But it’s not how it looks, as my hero makes clear to when breaking it to his matchmaking mother that he’s already married:

“But Luke… Thirteen, a mere child! How could you?” She looked at him with faint horror.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Mama,” he said with asperity. “Of course I never touched her. What do you take me for?” And because he could still see the confusion and anxiety in his mother’s eyes, he continued, “I married her to protect her, of course. And then I gave her into the care of her aunt, who is a nun.”

So it’s eight years later when the story — and the marriage— really starts. And the heroine has spent all that time in a convent — not too happily, I might add. 😉

4. Did you come across any interesting research when writing Bride by Mistake?

 Yes, I read quite a bit about the period — journals and books — trying to learn about the situation in Spain during and after the Napoleonic wars, because I had to know how my heroine had lived. Of course it was for backstory, so hardly any of it was used in the book, but that’s what happens with most research anyway.

 It was a very difficult time for Spain — the country was split. To cut a long story short, the Spanish King abdicated in favor of Napoleon’s brother, and half the country followed suit and half the country rebelled. The Spanish rebels called themselves guerrilleros. They were on the side of the English — anyone who would help them throw the French out, really.

 Another interesting thing was that after the war, many of the great aristocratic families were ruined financially, which meant their daughters had no dowries. Pride dictated that this not be known, and pride also dictated that their daughters not sully their aristocratic blood by marrying beneath their class, so many young women were simply sent to convents. Their sons, however married into the nouveau riche quite happily. The family name must not be allowed to die out, after all. So my heroine was in the convent with some girls in this situation.

Bella had explained this to Paloma a dozen times, but all Paloma did was smile and say, “We must all have faith.”

She’d make a good nun, Isabella thought. Or a saint. St. Paloma of the missing dowry. Paloma’s brother had gambled Paloma’s dowry away, and now he was refusing to let her return home. Things were different since Papa died, he’d written. There was no appropriate husband for her and she was better off in the convent, in the tranquil environment she was used to.

Bella picked up a well worn sheet and ripped it savagely in half. Tranquil environment indeed! She’d love to lock Paloma’s brother up here, give him a taste of tranquil environment. Endless prayers, endlessly repeated dreary, pointless conversations and endless, endless sewing. 

I also researched Spanish food and some regional cuisine. Tough work, but somebody has to do it. 🙂

 5. Tell us what it is about the Regency that inspires your writing.

 I first fell in love with the period through Georgette Heyer, who I’ve been reading and rereading since I was eleven. In a way, I feel as though I’ve grown up there, so it doesn’t feel foreign or artificial or even old-fashioned to me — it’s just another place I visit.

I also love the sheer scope the Regency era gives a writer — from elegant ballrooms, fabulous clothes and witty conversations, to wars, industrial changes, social upheaval, major political changes, a huge expansion in travel and trade and more. Almost any kind of story I want to write, I can set it in the Regency.

6. What is next for you?

 I’ve started on a new series, about four girls — two sisters and two friends they make along the way and pass off as sisters. It’s probably a bit risky too, come to think of it, but I’m a bit superstitious about talking about books until they’re written. All the stories will be set in London, at least I think they will be at this point. It’s still fairly fluid. But the first story has sprung to life, which is a good sign, and I keep waking in the morning with scenes in my head, which is even better. I think/hope they’re going to be fun. Diane and the Riskies, thank you so much for inviting me to chat with you. I’ve really enjoyed it.

Let me ask, what appeals to you about the Regency Era that you enjoy seeing in historicals?

Diane, here. You can also ask Anne questions! It will soon be tomorrow in Australia, though, so part of the time, Anne will be sleeping.

Remember, one lucky commenter will be chosen at random to win a signed copy of Bride By Mistake.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

44 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Beebs
10 years ago

Hi ladies

Please don’t enter me for the comp, I’ve already ordered my copy and I’m just waiting (impatiently) for it to arrive.

Just had to say, I loved this series, em…. all of Anne’s books actually, can’t write them fast enough for me.

Disappointed we won’t be getting Marcus’ story but thrilled to hear there’s a new series on the way.

Virginia
10 years ago

Sounds like a great read would love to read this series.

lead[at]hotsheet[dot]com

Alyssia
10 years ago

What a fabulous interview! I am ashamed to say I’ve never read Anne–looks like I’ve missed out on quite an author! War hero stories are among my most favorite (*wave* Diane), so I’m certain this series will fit my keeper shelf nicely. Headed over to bookdepository.com!

Nice to meet you, Anne! Best wishes to you and the new series!!

Anne
10 years ago

hi Beebs, thanks so much for buying my book and for the lovely compliments. And I’ll do my best to write Marcus’s story as soon as I can. I hope Bride By Mistake hits the spot.
cheers
anne

Anne
10 years ago

Hi Virginia, thanks for dropping by. You’re in the draw.

Anne
10 years ago

Hi Alyssia, no need to be embarrassed. There are so many wonderful books out there it;s impossible to read them all. I hope you do read mine, however.

Nice to meet you too.
Happy new year!

Helena
10 years ago

I feel much the same way about the Regency, again from reading and re-reading Georgette Heyer. Your new book sounds fascinating and, after reading all your others, I look forward to it!

Anne
10 years ago

Helena, I love Georgette Heyer. She’s still my #1 favorite comfort read. Have you read the new biography of her? Wonderful stuff.

I’m so pleased you’ve read my other books. I hope you enjoy Bride By Mistake. Happy New year.

Diane Gaston
10 years ago

Welcome, Anne!
It is wonderful to have you here with the Riskies.

Allyssia, you’ve made my morning!!!!

Di
Di
10 years ago

There’s something very romantic about the Regency period; the clothing, the balls, horses & carriages, candlelight.
When I first glanced at the description of this book & saw ‘married at 13 & convent’ I thought ‘medieval’, so it was a surprise to find out it is Regency. So that is very different.
I’ll look forward to that next book too – I do love a series.
sallans d at yahoo dot com

catslady
10 years ago

I want to be taken away to another time in place when it comes to my reading and the regency fits that completely. It couldn’t be more different than today’s world. It’s a great era to fantasize about. Your book sounds intriguing and love the cover.

Maria D.
10 years ago

I like reading regency romances because of the clothing, the mannerisms of society and the way in which women’s roles began to change. I also enjoy the dialogue of the time. Thanks for the giveaway!

Diane D - Florida
10 years ago

Thank you for giving us a few tasty snippets to read of “Bride by Mistake”. I love to be swept away to another time and place where people lived, laughed and loved and were finding their way to each other.

I do enjoy a series over stand alone books as it’s nice to meet and follow characters from one book to another. I also think this heightens the excitement in waiting for the next book to be released.

Thank you for this opportunity.

dpd333 (at) aol dot com

Anne
10 years ago

Hi Diane, thanks for having me visit here on the Riskies.

Anne
10 years ago

Hi Di, yes, those things are romantic. I love the effect of candlelight and tend to use it to add intimacy to scenes.

I never thought about the marriage at 13 y.o and convent giving a medieval impression, but of course, you’re right. I’m now wondering if I’ve made it clear in some places that it’s a Regency. Hmm.

Thanks for that.

Anne
10 years ago

Hi Catslady, I love being swept away to another world, too. I think Regency is different enough for it to be a complete change, and yet similar enough in some ares for it to feel comfortable. Or maybe that’s because I was raised on Heyer.

Thanks for chatting.

Anne
10 years ago

Hi Maria, thanks for the comment. I think you’ve nailed some of the most popular things about regency novels. I especially love some f the clothes, and I have to say, when the dialogue flies, I’m smiling.

Anne
10 years ago

Thanks, Dianne D — I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the snippets. There’s a longer excerpt (and different) on my website of Isabella and her convent friends just before Luke arrives.

This is part of a series, but all my books are stand- alones. I love series, but hate those books where you get big info-dumps to catch you up on previous books. So I try to make each book so that a new reader won’t feel as though they’re missing out on anything, but also so that people who’ve read all the books will enjoy returning to that familiar world and catching up with the others in the series.

Jane George
10 years ago

How have I missed the Devil Riders series? I love Diane Gaston’s soldiers, and Jo Beverley’s, so I’m certain to love these too. And Spain sounds great!

Margay
10 years ago

I love stories like this that are connected in some way, yet are stand alones and can be read in any order. How do you do that?

Donna E
10 years ago

Another one to put on my “must read” list. And the other ones in the Devil Riders series. I also will be on the lookout for the ‘new’ series.
I do appreciate when the stories are stand-alones; I’ve read some series where the last book ties up all the loose endings — only I never was able to find or read that last book!

Thanks also for the give away.

Happy New Year

Shelley B
10 years ago

I just like how they are all proper on the outside, but full of passion on the inside!
srbagby 50 at gmail dot com

Diane Gaston
10 years ago

Why, thank you, Jane George!!!

SusannahC
10 years ago

Like Anne and Diane (and all the Riskies), I love the Regency period. The rigid rules of Society are such a contrast to the history of the period and the lives of most people in England.

Barbara E.
10 years ago

I enjoyed the interview and Anne’s bio was very interesting (now I know what a chalkie is). I’ve always enjoyed Regency period historicals – there was the war and the Prince Regent with his shenanigans, it’s a rich period to set stories in. I like the Spanish setting of Bride by Mistake, it gives me a different perspective of that period in history besides the customary English setting.

Sheree
10 years ago

I’ve often wondered if Regency England food was any better than present-day English food (without the foreign influences). Sure, some of the ingredients are exotic by modern standards, but they didn’t have many of the popular spices.

Of course, I would think Spanish food of that time would still be better than the English version.

Anne
10 years ago

Hi Jane, Diane’s soldiers are fabulous, as are Jo Beverley’s. I hope you like my guys, too.

Anne
10 years ago

Thanks, Margay. It’s what I prefer as a reader myself, but it’s nice when other readers agree. I like to be able to plunge myself into a story without feeling as though I’ve missed out on Stuff That Happened Before.

Anne
10 years ago

Hi Donna, oh that’s awful, not getting everything tied up. If/when I finally write marcus’s story (he wasn’t planned to have one originally, but he’s one of those characters who just arrived, looking like a hero-in-waiting) I’ll certainly try to tie up the series, but it will probably just having everyone on the page toward the end — more of a final “snapshot” than a tying up of threads.

Thanks for contributing to the conversation. Happy new year to you, too.

Anne
10 years ago

Hi Shelley, that’s true, isn’t it? I like it too, because then dialogue can have the most delicious subtext.

Anne
10 years ago

Hi Susannah, yes, the strict behavioral rules and conventions mean that it takes some skill and subtlety to work around them, and that adds to the fun.

Anne
10 years ago

Hi BarbaraE, I’;m glad you enjoyed the interview and bio. I haven’t written much about the Prince Regent, but I might one day. I think the whole Regency Royal family is really much like Royalty today.

And there are a few interesting parallels between the Prince Regenct and Prince Charles — they were both very popular when young, but their brides were much beloved by the people, and later, when their wives were estranged, they were still much more popular. One of the reasons I love history — the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Anne
10 years ago

Sheree, I suppose it depends what you mean by “better.” Certainly the rich ate well, and they often had French cooks who prepared amazing and elaborate dishes with lots of spices and sauces. And all food was organic and much less processed than we have. Even in the heart of London they could get milk daily, so fresh from the cow it was still warm.

The poor, of course, would have had less variety, and much simpler food, and less fresh food (unless they grew it themselves) and not enough of it. And it being a cold climate, the food would be heavy on the filling carbs and only the rich would have much protein or fruit.

It’s an interesting topic. I have a number of cookbooks from the period and they make fascinating reading.

librarypat
librarypat
10 years ago

Anne, Thank you for an interesting interview. I am certain I have a couple of your books in my giant TBR mountain. I keep finding all these great books to read but not enough time to read them.
I like books that put a different twist to the standard story lines. It adds much to the story. Throw in a bit of humor and in this case what sounds like a heroine with an attitude and it gets very interesting.

Best of luck with the release of BRIDE BY MISTAKE. I will be looking for it.

Lorraine
10 years ago

This looks fantastic! I love books set in other parts of Europe during the Regency–also, nuns!

Diane Gaston
10 years ago

Anne, thank you for the kind words about my soldiers!

Rosie Hong
10 years ago

I think I like the rules of propriety that made the interactions between a man and woman very different from what it is now. The language is restrained and traditional, and of course all the old houses and manner of dress that makes it seem like another world entirely.

marybelle
10 years ago

I always enjoy the etiquette in Regency reads. Love those who break the rules & those who adhere to them strictly.

jcp
jcp
10 years ago

Thanks for the giveaway!

Anne
10 years ago

Library Pat, thanks for the comment. I’m sure having so many great books and not enough time is an occupational hazard. I hope when you do find the time, and dig out some of my books you enjoy them.

All the best for 2012.

Anne
10 years ago

Hi Lorraine, thanks for dropping by. I like a change from the usual settings, and yes, there are nuns, bit only briefly. 😉

Anne
10 years ago

Rosie, I agree with you — the rules of propriety made for a much tighter view of things, and greater restrictions. But I do enjoy the way people bend the rules, or reinterpret them, as they always have.
Thanks for adding to the conversation.

Anne
10 years ago

Marybelle, me too. The thing is, when there are no rules, or nothing very strict, it doesn’t give you limits, and strong limits with clear and severe consequences can really add tension to a story. Whcih adds to the read, IMO.

Anne
10 years ago

My pleasure, jcp

Follow
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com
44
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x