We Riskies love to showcase debut Regency authors. Today we welcome Kit Donner! Kit is one of Kensington’s Debs, a program that offers readers the chance to read new authors at the special price of $4.99 per book. For one lucky commenter, though, Kit will give away a signed copy of The Notorious Bridegroom. So, Everyone, give a big hello to Kit Donner!

1. Kit, tell us about your debut book, The Notorious Bridegroom.

The Notorious Bridegroom takes place in 1803 when Napoleon was planning an invasion of southeast England. I’ve always been intrigued by spies, so I came up with a plot where my sweet but naive heroine, Miss Patience Mandeley, believes my good but disillusioned hero, Lord Bryce Londringham, is a French spy and has accused her brother of treason. In order to prove her brother innocent, she’ll spy on the earl, and collect evidence to show the local magistrate. It’s a good plan in theory. She disguises herself as a maid in Londringham’s estate and sets her plan in motion. Only, she hasn’t a clue what she’s doing, so before long, Bryce has uncovered her disguise but not her real name. To trust or not to trust? Bryce finds himself falling in love with a woman named Patience who acts suspicious and ke eps secrets he longs to discover about her. Patience is falling in love with the enemy. How can she love a French spy? But is he? Together, they’ll have to learn to trust each other if they plan to capture the French spies and save England from an invasion, and have their own happy ending.

This is a well written historical romance with wonderful and eccentric characters set in a turbulent time in British history. The author makes good use of this throughout the story and has an excellent grasp of the time period and the customs of Regency society–Coffee Time Romance, 4 Cups

2. We love to hear about a new author’s journey to publication. Tell us about yours and include your “The Call” story!
I wrote The Notorious Bridegroom in the early nineties (which began life as When a Heart Surrenders and To Catch a Spy) After three years of writing and research, I put it to bed, determined to get on with my life. You know, find a career, a husband, a home, live a little. Flash forward to 2007 where I’ve achieved many of my goals, and I pull the old disks out of a box, and download to a newer model computer and put the manuscript back together again with LOTS of changes and revisions. It was still a good story, but I had grown as a writer, and improved the new manuscript considerably. I gave the manuscript to my sister-in-law, who enjoyed reading it, and a few other people as well. It eventually ended up in the hands of my Kensington editor. She called me on a very hot day last August to offer me a 2-book contract. (I was sitting in my car with the windows rolled down.) On the way home, I called friends and family and gave them the good news.

3. What do you think is the greatest creative risk you’ve taken in this book? How do you feel about it?
Probably writing many secondary characters who are memorable and not just “dressing.” I make sure they don’t take anything away from my primary characters and their story and romance, but I try to give them a life of their own.

4. Tell us something about your other research for the book.
The main research was about Napoleon’s plans for an invasion and how England prepared the country for the possible attack. Sea fencibles were created (the first line of defense) along the southeast coast. These were mostly volunteers and militia who had little weaponry but they could man the lighthouses and alert anyone in the vicinity if they saw the flotillas being launched from across the Channel.

5. What is it about the Regency era that draws you to it?
More than anything is the language. Whether it’s a Jane Austen character or a Wordsworth poem, Frankenstein, or Keats’ Ode to an Urn, the words are like music to my ears.

6. What’s next for you?
My second book, The Vengeful Bridegroom is scheduled for release next fall, and I just finished my third manuscript, The Wrong Bridegroom.

7. Anything else you want to tell our readers about you or your book? Where else can readers find you?
I really hope everyone will take a look at the book trailer my sister created for me. It’s not what you normally would expect. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNn0LBj966g

My website is www.kitdonner.com and I’m on Twitter and Facebook under my name.

Kit, thanks so much for being our Riskies guest. Readers, don’t forget to comment. Tell Kit what you think of her book, of her sister’s booktrailer, or ask her a question. Remember, one of you will be selected at random to win a signed copy of The Notorious Bridegroom.