Kelley reinforces her deserved reputation for page-turning, exciting, humorous plots filled with sexual tension and populated by unforgettable characters readers can’t help but fall in love with.
— Romantic Times Reviews
Today we’re thrilled to have a return visit from Kensington author Christie Kelley who’s here to talk about her April release Something Scandalous and give away a signed copy! So please jump in and ask questions to be eligible for the drawing.
Raised as the youngest daughter of the Duke of Kendal, Elizabeth learns a devastating truth on his deathbed: he wasn’t her father at all. And because the Duke had no sons, his title and fortune must go to his only male heir: a distant cousin who left England for America long ago. Anticipating the man’s imminent occupation of her home, Elizabeth anxiously searches for her mother’s diary, and the secret of her paternity…
Arriving in London with his seven siblings, William Atherton intends to sell everything and return to his beloved Virginia farm, and his fiancée, as quickly as possible. But as Elizabeth shows William an England he never knew, and graciously introduces his siblings to London society, it becomes clear the two are meant for each other. Soon, Elizabeth finds herself determined to seduce the man who can save not only her family name, but her heart…
Christie, welcome back to the Riskies! Tell us about your new book.
Something Scandalous is the third book in the Spinster Club series. The Spinster Club series revolves around the lives of five Regency women who have all made up their minds not to marry. But one of the women is playing matchmaker without the others noticing.
When did we first meet the heroine in the series and did you find your ideas about her had changed when it actually came to writing the book?
Elizabeth is introduced to the readers in my debut novel, Every Night I’m Yours. I knew even when I introduced her that she was hiding a secret about her parentage. So my ideas for her didn’t change that much when it came time to write her book.
How do you keep track of characters throughout the series?
I wrote a character sheet that I keep in a MS Word document so I remember the basics of their coloring and characteristics. I’ve added to that as the heroes are introduced.
I love the idea of the culture clash between h/h. What research did you do for an American visiting 1817 London?
Actually, the biggest research I had to do was on immigration and laws of succession during this period. I had originally wanted William to spend most of his years in the US, but I discovered this wasn’t possible. In order for him (and his father before him) to continue to be the heir presumptive for the dukedom, I had to send his father to the US as an emissary for the British government. Unfortunately, a pesky little war popped up in 1812. So I had to move Will’s family to Canada.
Did you find it challenging that your hero might own slaves? How did you handle that?
Actually, my hero wouldn’t have had enough money to own slaves so it wasn’t an issue that came up in the story. Had he decided to sell all his properties in England and move back to the US, it might have become an issue.
Your heroine’s journey hangs on a family secret. Was there a particular event or character that inspired this, fictional or real life?
There was nothing but my crazy imagination that inspired this part of the story. I wanted to write a story such that my heroine, Elizabeth discovers something scandalous about her mother. Up until Elizabeth discovers she is not her father’s daughter, she had always believed her mother to be the perfect lady. Discovering this secret turns Elizabeth’s life upside down and makes her examine her own transgressions.
What’s your favorite scene in the book?
I don’t want to give too much away but the scene where Elizabeth finally finds her mother diary always makes me giggle.
What in the book gave you the most trouble?
Writing for Zebra, I wasn’t sure how my editor was going to react to the diary entries the hero and heroine read. I didn’t give him a heads up on the scenes because I really wanted him to read them first and then tell me if I’d gone too far. Thankfully, he only said “Wow.”
You have that rarity in romance publishing, a male editor. Does he give you any particular insights into the male mind (or whatever)?
I love my editor! He totally gets my voice and is enthusiastic about my writing. I can’t say he gives me any particular insight into the male mind but having five brothers and now a husband and two boys, I think I sort of understand their minds. I’m not sure any woman can ever completely understand them.
What’s next for you?
I have two more novels in the Spinster Club series coming out. Scandal of the Season will be an October release and the last book, tentatively titled Her Perfect Match, will come out in June 2011.
Christie will drop by to chat, so let’s get the conversation going!