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Tag Archives: Harlequin Historical

2Y4A3840I love to feature new authors! I love it so much I gave up my blogging day to tell you about No Conventional Miss by Eleanor Webster. No Conventional Miss is Eleanor’s first published book and I’m delighted Harlequin Historical took her on! You see, Harlequin Historical has tended to back away from paranormal elements in their line, but they’ve taken the plunge with No Conventional Miss!

Here’s the backcover blurb for the book:

She’s always been different… 

Amaryllis Gibson is an unlikely debutante. She favors fact over fashion, cares not for “proper” conversation and is haunted by ghostly visions which could land her in the madhouse! Marriage is definitely the last thing on Rilla’s mind…

But when she’s caught in a compromising position with Viscount Wyburn, suddenly she finds herself betrothed! And worse, his powerful presence only increases her visions. By shedding light on the viscount’s past, can Rilla gain his trust and win him round to her more…unconventional traits?

9780373307241_DIRAnd some Goodreads reviews!

“…the perfect book to read at Hallowe’en if you like just a touch of spookiness mixed in with your historical romance.”

“…well-researched and emotionally gripping.”

“The author has spun a tale which kept my attention from beginning to end.”

Eleanor has generously agreed to give away a signed copy of No Conventional Miss to one lucky, chosen-at-random commenter from North America or the UK.

So here she is! Welcome, Eleanor!

Tell us about No Conventional Miss?

Thank you for inviting me to Risky Regencies, Diane.

The protagonist, Rilla, is a fascinating and unusual character. She is an inventor. She has a keen interest in force, momentum and any number of ‘unladylike’ activities. However, she has always been plagued with moments of second sight and rejects this aspect of herself. Indeed, a maternal aunt had been institutionalized for similar traits. A part of Rilla’s interest in the scientific is that this will serve to subdue that mystic element within her nature.

Paul is also conflicted. He believes love to be destructive based on his mother’s suicide which he thinks was caused by his parents’ unhappy marriage. Therefore, he has little interest in marriage and even less in love.

But a scandal forces the match and Rilla faces her greatest fear as she is increasingly haunted by Paul’s mother’s ghost,

The question is; can Paul and Rilla work through these challenges and achieve acceptance of self and each other or will these challenges destroy them?

This is your first book! Tell us about your writing journey and “The Call”.

My writing journey has been long, like two decades! I’m a multi-tasker which has both positive and negative aspects. I believe that one seldom has sufficient time to properly commit to one’s long term goals and, if one waits for that perfect moment, one can procrastinate into ‘never’. Therefore, each day I put aside time, however small, to write,

The downside – it took 18 years. On the flipside, I eventually made it.

‘The call’ felt surreal. I live in Canada and my editor is in England, so we had to communicate via e-mail to ensure that it wouldn’t happen at 2 a.m. Therefore, I had a good idea what was coming!

However, I believe I had quite the mega-grin at my day job that morning.

What is risky about No Conventional Miss? 

No Conventional Miss is a departure from the traditional Harlequin historical because it involves a paranormal element. In fact, I was advised somewhere along my journey to remove that element from the plot as it did not fit with the traditional regency.

I have gladly accepted a lot of feedback during this journey. It is how I have learned and grown as a writer. However, this did not feel right and, although I knew it kindly meant and from a knowledgeable source, I chose not to take it. I felt that to remove it would take away that spark. In any element of life, it is a risk and takes courage to know when to take feedback and when to follow one’s own path.

Did you come across any interesting research when writing your book?

Yes, absolutely! As I described Rilla’s inventions, I wondered whether any ‘real-life’ Regency woman might be similar to Rilla. Then I found Sarah Guppy (1770-1852). Sarah was born in Birmingham and patented numerous designs. Indeed, she achieved considerable financial success, earning a contract from the British Navy worth £40,000 for a device to prevent the growth of barnacles on ships. And then there is my personal favorite; Sarah’s invention of a tea or coffee urn which also cooked eggs and warmed toast.

What is next for you?

I have a two book contract with Harlequin so a second book will be released at some point… This is set slightly earlier with the backdrop of the French Revolution.

And now a question for the readers–If you could chat with any Regency hero or heroine from any book, who would you choose and why?

Answer the question or just make a comment and you’ll be in the running for a signed copy of No Conventional Miss! (selection will be made after midnight Weds, Oct. 7)

Bound by a Scandalous SecretBound By A Scandalous Secret, my latest book and the third book in the Scandalous Summerfields, is released today!

Here’s the back cover blurb:

A most shocking betrothal!
The pleasure-seeking Marquess of Rossdale has little interest in his birthright and even less in finding a bride. So he comes up with the perfect plan to survive the Season unscathed—a fake engagement to a most unsuitable girl!
Outspoken Genna, the youngest of the scandalous Summerfields, has no wish to marry, either. So agreeing to be Ross’s temporary fiancée will grant her freedom for a little longer. But with every kiss, both Ross and Genna must face up to what they really desire… a true match!
The Scandalous Summerfields–Disgrace is their middle name.

Genna’s story begins in the Christmas season of 1815 and ends at Christmas 1816. The gifts Genna and Ross share on that first Christmas are meaningful, but not valuable.

When I strive to give gifts, I always hope to make them meaningful, but I’m rarely successful, so I was pleased I could make Genna and Ross’s gifts so.

You know, books make great Christmas gifts. Feel free to give a friend or relative Bound By A Scandalous Secret.  Or treat yourself!

In many ways, this book is about giving and expecting nothing in return. That’s pretty much the essence of love, isn’t it?

You can purchase the paperback of Bound By A Scandalous Secret at bookstores and online vendors. Book Depository has the book on discount!

(Prefer the ebook? The ebook will be released December 1)

I have a new book out in paperback and ebook. Shipwrecked with the Captain is Book 2 in my Governess Swap series.

Here is the back cover blurb:

“All she remembers…

…is feeling safe in his arms!
Shipwrecked governess Claire Tilson wakes in Captain Lucien Roper’s arms—with amnesia! Her handsome rescuer believes she’s a member of the aristocracy he detests, yet he risks all to see her “home,” where she learns she’s betrothed to a wealthy stranger. Claire is convinced she doesn’t belong here…and Lucien is the only man she trusts to uncover her past and claim her future!”

Part of Shipwrecked with the Captain takes place in Bath, that beautiful Georgian city where Jane Austen lived and set two of her novels, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. I visited Bath in 2017 with my friend Kristine Hughes Patrone of Number One London tours, and it was wonderful to walk the same streets and see the same sights as Jane Austen. It was also a treat to make my hero and heroine walk those streets and visit all the important Bath sights.

Like the Royal Crescent

Or Bath Abbey

Shipwrecked with the Captain is available in paperback or ebook from online vendors in North America and in UK bookstores.

Get your copy today!

hh_CALENDAR_2013_smallThe Harlequin Historical Holiday Giveaway is coming soon. This will be our third giveaway and again the grand prize will be a Kindle Fire HD (or equivalent tablet depending on your location). Starting November 27, play every day for more chances to win. Each participating author will have an activity planned on their website for their special day. At the end of the month on December 23, one grand prize winner of the Kindle Fire will be randomly selected from all the days’ entrants. The more days you visit, the better your chances! Happy Holidays and we look forward to seeing you.

Check my website or Amanda’s on the 27th for the Advent Calendar and the rules for entry. My prize day will be December 17, but I’ll give you all the details on the 27th.

Here are the participating authors and their dates:
Cheryl St. John – November 27
Elizabeth Rolls – November 28
Michelle Willingham – November 29
Annie Burrows – December 2
Ann Lethbridge – December 3
Marguerite Kaye – December 4
Barbara Monajem – December 5
Amanda McCabe – December 6
Louise Allen – December 9
Blythe Gifford – December 10
Kate Bridges – December 11
Michelle Styles – December 12
Georgie Lee – December 13
Jeannie Lin – December 16
Diane Gaston – December 17
Terri Brisbin – December 18
Julia Justiss – December 19
Lynna Banning – December 20
Grand Prize Drawing – December 23

Be ready to enter and celebrate the holidays with us.

Today we welcome Ann Lethbridge to the Riskies to talk about her latest, The Gamekeeper’s Lady. Frustrated Lady Constance becomes attracted to the virile gamekeeper Mellors and they run around naked in the rain threading flowers through each other’s–NO! Wrong book.

A lovely twist on the Cinderella theme. Her likeable characters entertain….. Romantic Times Ms. Lethbridge has created two wonderfully flawed characters, and whilst they are among the crème de le crème of ton society, each stand out, not for their fair appearance, but rather their honesty, honor, and individuality. Heroes and Heartbreakers

Ann, congrats on the release, and I should mention here that your yummy hero received the Romantic Times K.I.S.S. (Knight in Shining Silver) hero award for May 2011. What was the origin of this book?

Interestingly enough, the book started off being about Robert, the hero. He was such a bad boy in that opening scene. But as the book progressed it clearly became Frederica’s journey. I tend to see a scene and then just follow along with the characters. For this book it was the scene where Robert is in bed with his mistress thinking everything in the garden is perfect, only to have everything go down hill fast. Funnily enough, I wrote that scene by hand in the car on a long journey to visit my daughter at University. On the way home, I read it to my husband. We had driven quite some distance with me reading, when he jerked in his seat, stared out of the window and said, “I have no idea where we are. We missed our turning.” The words were less polite, but that was their meaning.

I thought that was a very good omen.

(Yes, but did he stop and ask for directions?) What’s the appeal of the black sheep character for you?

Redemption, I suppose. I think we all hope to do better, to be better, and the redemption of the black sheep character plays into that basic human desire. They are also fun to write, because they are a bit wicked and never quite lose that charm.

Your heroine is an artist. Were you thinking of any particular artist of the period? eg Elizabeth Vigee Lebrun?

How did you guess? Probably because there were so few well-known female artists at this time. The idea of her being an artist came from the character herself, it was what she wanted to be. Then I had to go and look and see if it was possible. I was thrilled to find Elizabeth and a few others who made the idea a workable proposition. There was an English woman in an earlier century, Anna Maria Sibylla Merian who painted studies from nature, and then Elizabeth who painted mostly portraits.

Do you feel your upbringing in England gives you an insight into the complexities of the class system?

I always said that if I had been born in the Regency, I would have been the upstairs maid, or the tenant farmer’s wife. My grandmother always said we came from British yeoman stock, although l in more recent history my family had a military tradition. That might have been the result of two world wars, however. Coming from there, one certainly tends to understand how British Society works, who fits where and how, but the system itself has never been completely static. I think my upbringing in England gave me a deep-rooted feel for the history of the country and a feel for the countryside and it is that which I tap into for my books.

Did your research for the book turn up anything interesting?

I did quite a bit of research on the role of the gamekeeper which in turn led me to a book in an old bookshop in England on the art of poaching. In the end, it wasn’t relevant, but I was quite fascinated to learn how to tickle a trout. Perhaps it will find its way into a book one of these days. A poacher would have to be a bit of a black sheep — perhaps a gypsy. I do love a good gypsy story. Uh oh.

If you were in charge of casting for the movie version, who would you pick?

For Robert, it would have to be Richard Armitage, he has an edge I really like, but can be sensitive too. For Frederica, I would pick Emily Blunt I think. She carries off the female of the era who goes beyond the normal expectations for a woman very well.

What sort of music do you listen to when you write?

Oh dear, I really don’t. I can manage with a bit background noise if I have to, but my preference is silence. I prefer to listen to the characters in my head. I have been known to use music to drown out other noises in the house when people are home. In that case, I like anything classical without words. Words tend to insinuate their way into my mind and I find myself singing along, instead of writing.

What’s up next for you?

Thank you for asking. I have a follow up book to The Gamekeeper’s Lady out in June. It is about Robert’s brother, Charlie, the responsible twin, and called More than a Mistress. In the Fall some time there is a follow up book to my very first book with Harlequin, another bad-boy brother which is titled Lady Rosabella’s Ruse. Currently, I am working on a story set in the Highlands of Scotland where my characters seem to be engaged in a tale of catch as catch can and I am madly trying to keep up with them.

Thank you so much for inviting me to visit with the Risky Regencies, Janet. Now it is my turn to ask a question of your readers. I would like to know~

Who is your favourite black sheep character? Or what kind of hero do you prefer?

I have a copy of The Gamekeeper’s Lady waiting to wing its way off to a lucky commenter, picked randomly by Janet. Thank you for dropping in and Happy Mother’s Day.

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