Posts Tagged ‘Friday Interviews’

Today we have an author interview from my latest work, Beaux Ballrooms and Battles anthology.


It will be available digitally for $.99 and then after a short period of time sell for the regular price of $4.99

The Trade Paperback version will sell for $12.99

My story in the anthology is entitled: Not a Close Run Thing at All, which of course is a play on the famous misquote attributed to Arthur Wellesley, “a damn close-run thing” which really was “It has been a damned nice thing — the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life.”

Today we are fortunate to have with us Susana Ellis who writes in the Regency romance genre.

1)What moved you to become an author?

Being a reader, mostly. And being curious as to how people lived in the past. I learned a lot about history from reading Jean Plaidy books in high school, and became hooked on the Regency from reading Georgette Heyer. You might say I enjoy learning history from reading historical fiction rather than memorizing dates and facts. I guess it’s really the people that interest me.

2) How did you find out about the Waterloo project?

Well, I got the idea when our local RWA group speaker spoke about how doing anthologies and having 8-10 people all working together to promote the project is a great way to find new readers. Almost at the same time, I realized that the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo would be coming in 2015, and since the Napoleonic War is constantly referred to in Regency romances, it seemed like the perfect theme. After all, the bicentenary will only happen once!

3) Can you tell us some of the things that attracted you to writing a piece on the anniversary of this famous battle?

Well, as a former French teacher, I talked rather a lot about the historical sites of Paris, and Napoleon as always fascinated me. Now that I’m writing Regency romance, I get to look at it from the other side. The war is a backdrop in nearly every Regency romance, and I enjoyed learning more about it—especially the people fighting it—from reading Bernard Cornwell’s Waterloo PastedGraphic2-2015-03-31-08-00.png and Georgette Heyer’s An Infamous Army PastedGraphic3-2015-03-31-08-00.png and The Spanish Bride PastedGraphic5-2015-03-31-08-00.png.

4) Tell us about your current story in the anthology.

Lost and Found Lady spans a period of 22 years, from when my heroine was born during Napoleon’s rise to power to the Battle of Salamanca in 1812, when she meets the hero and falls in love, only to be separated, and finally at the Battle of Waterloo, where they meet again under very different circumstances.

5) How did the story begin to develop in your mind?

The idea was for my protagonists to meet in Spain prior to Waterloo, become separated, and then reconcile in Belgium. Of course, I had to come up with reasons for them to be in Spain, and the rest developed from there. FYI: I was also a Spanish teacher and had studied in Santiago de Compostela and traveled widely throughout the country, which is why it seemed a natural setting for the story.

6) What did you find most challenging about this story?

Well, I didn’t know that much about it at first, which is why I started early on reading Cornwell and Heyer. My stories are fictional, but I do want them to seem realistic from a historical standpoint. I discovered reading about soldiers and how they lived was extremely enjoyable, and I’m especially fascinated with the true story of Brigade-Major Harry Smith and how he came to marry his own Spanish bride, Juana Smith, who traipsed around Spain with him through the end of the war and also in his further career.

7) Tell us a little about yourself.

I live in Toledo, Ohio during the year and central Florida in the summer, where I assist my elderly parents. I lived in Ecuador for three years and traveled a great deal in Spain, France, Mexico, and parts of Central and South America. Now I’m focused on Britain, and hope to travel there every year to visit as many historical sites as I can find time for.

8) What is your next work, and beyond that, what do you want to work on?

I am currently revising a time travel novel about a young woman who discovers she was abducted to the 21st century from the Regency period and travels back to find out the truth about her origins. I also plan to release a prequel to the story featuring my time-traveling blog character, Lady Pendleton, who also has a role in the novel. These two: probably toward the end of the year. I have a couple other projects that may come out sooner than that.

9) In the Waterloo story, is there an excerpt to share? Your favorite scene, a part of your life that you put into the work and think it came out exceptionally well that you would like to share.

“I don’t like the look of those clouds, monsieur,” Tobias McIntosh said in fluent French to the gray-bearded old man in a sailor hat waiting impatiently near the rowboat that was beginning to bob more sharply with each swell of the waves. “Are you sure your vessel can make it safely all the way to Newhaven in these choppy seas?”
The old man waved a hand over the horizon. “La tempête, it is not a threat, if we leave immédiatement. Plus tard…” He shrugged. “Je ne sais pas.”
“Please, mon amour,” pleaded the small woman wrapped in a hooded gray cloak standing at his side. “Allow me to stay with you. I don’t want to go to England. I promise I will be prudent.”
A strong gust of wind caught her hood and forced it down, revealing her mop of shiny dark locks. Tobias felt like seizing her hand and pulling her away from the ominous waves to a place of safety where she and their unborn child could stay until the senseless Terreur was over.
“Justine, ma chère, we have discussed this endlessly. There is no place in France safe enough for you if your identity as the daughter of the Comte d’Audet is discovered.” He shivered. “I could not bear it if you were to suffer the same fate at the hands of the revolutionaries as your parents did when I failed to save them.”
She threw her arms around him, the top of her head barely reaching his chin. “Non, mon amour, it was not your fault. You could not have saved them. It was miraculeux that you saved me. I should have died with them.”
She looked up to catch his gaze, her face ashen. “Instead, we met and have had three merveilleux months together. If it is my time to die, I wish to die at your side.”
Tobias felt like his heart was going to break. His very soul demanded that the two of them remain together and yet… there was a price on both their heads, and the family of the Vicomte Lefebre was waiting for him in Amiens, the revolutionaries expected to reach them before midday. It was a dangerous work he was involved in—rescuing imperiled French nobility from bloodthirsty, vengeful mobs—but he had pledged himself to the cause and honor demanded that he carry on. And besides, there was now someone else to consider.
“The child,” he said with more firmness than he felt. “We have our child to consider, now, Justine ma chère. The next Earl of Dumfries. He must live to grow up and make his way in the world.”
Not to mention the fact that Tobias was human enough to wish to leave a child to mark his legacy in the world—his and Justine’s. He felt a heaviness in his heart that he might not live long enough to know this child he and Justine had created together. He could not allow his personal wishes to undermine his conviction. Justine and the child must survive.
Justine’s blue eyes filled with tears. “But I cannot! I will die without you, mon cher mari. You cannot ask it of me!”
“Justine,” he said, pushing away from her to clasp her shoulders and look her directly in the eye. “You are a brave woman, the strongest I have ever known. You have survived many hardships and you can survive this. Take this letter to my brother in London, and he will see to your safety until the time comes that I can join you. My comrades in Newhaven will see that you are properly escorted.”
He handed over a letter and a bag of coins. “This should be enough to get you to London.”
After she had reluctantly accepted and pocketed the items beneath her cloak, he squeezed her hands.
“Be sure to eat well, ma chère. You are so thin and my son must be born healthy.”
She gave him a feigned smile. “Our daughter is the one responsible for my sickness in the mornings… I do not believe she wishes me to even look at food.”
She looked apprehensively at the increasingly angry waves as they tossed the small boat moored rather loosely to a rock on the shore and her hands impulsively went to her stomach.
“Make haste, monsieur,” the old sailor called as he peered anxiously at the darkening clouds. “We must depart now if we are to escape the storm. Bid your chère-amie adieu maintenant or wait for another day. I must return to the bateau.”
“Tobias,” she said, her voice shaking.
He wondered if he would ever again hear her say his name with that adorable French inflection that had drawn him from their first meeting.
“Go, Justine. Go to my family and keep our child safe. I promise I will join you soon.”
He scooped her up in his arms and carried her toward the dinghy, trying to ignore her tears. The old sailor held the boat as still as he could while Tobias placed her on the seat and kissed her hard before striding back to the shore, each footstep heavier than the last.
He studied the darkening sky as the sailor climbed in the boat. “You are sure it is safe?”
“La Chasseresse, she is très robuste. A few waves will not topple her, monsieur.”
“Je t’aime, mon amour,” she said to him plaintively, her chin trembling.
“Au revoir, ma chère,” he said, trying to smile, although his vision was blurring from tears.
Will I ever see her again?
He stood watching as the dinghy made its way slowly through the choppy sea to the larger ship anchored in the distance, grief-stricken and unable to concentrate on anything but his pain. When the ship finally sailed off into the horizon, he fell to his knees and prayed as he had never done before for the safety of his beloved. He remained in that position until drops of rain on his face reminded him of the Lefebre family waiting for him in Amiens.
With a deep breath, he rose and made his way to the nearby forest, where his horse waited, tied to a tree.
“Come, my friend. We have a long, wet journey ahead of us.”
Setting foot in the stirrup, he swung his leg over the saddle and urged the horse to a gallop, feeling his heart rip into pieces with every step away from his beloved.

10) Who do you think influenced your writing?

Georgette Heyer, of course. Katherine E. Woodiwiss, Mary Balogh, Joan Smith, Jane Ashford, Allison Lane, Vanessa Kelly…pretty much all the Signet and Zebra Regency authors. And the newer ones too. I just wish I had more time for reading these days!

11) When writing, what is your routine?

I’m a morning writer. The earlier the better. I write slowly, but my first draft is pretty well polished.

12) Do you think of yourself as an artist, or as a craftsman, a blend of both?

A lover of stories. The best reward for me is to hear that others enjoy them as much as I do.

13) Where should we look for your work.

treasuringtheresa_msr-2015-03-31-08-00.jpg twelfthnighttale_msr-2015-03-31-08-00.jpg

There is Susana’s website: http://www.susanaellis.com

Facebook has a whole page dedicated to Susana https://www.facebook.com/susana.ellis.5

Twitter, look for Susana’s Tweets at https://twitter.com/susanaauthor

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Today we have an author interview from my latest work, Beaux Ballrooms and Battles anthology.


It will be available digitally for $.99 and then after a short period of time sell for the regular price of $4.99

The Trade Paperback version will sell for $12.99

My story in the anthology is entitled: Not a Close Run Thing at All, which of course is a play on the famous misquote attributed to Arthur Wellesley, “a damn close-run thing” which really was “It has been a damned nice thing — the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life.”

Today we are fortunate to have with us Christa Paige who writes in contemporary, paranormal romance and Regency genres. Though we want to hear of her historical work in the Regency.

  1. 1)What moved you to become an author?

I wrote my first story while I was in middle school. It was awful. It was my first romance and it was based during the civil war with a Scarlett O’Hara caricature, a Tale of Two Cities twist and so many clichés. My next attempt came during the height of the Lord of the Rings movies where I dabbled in fan fiction land and met some amazing writers. From there I stepped back from creating stories and embarked upon beta-reading. Soon, many of those in the fanfic community realized that they could write their own stories and I was asked to critique drafts as they were being readied for submissions. One day a good author friend suggested I write my own story and submit it. With my family supporting me and my friends encouraging me, I did just that. I was quite lucky to be offered a contract on my very first submission. Of course, that just whet my appetite and I was soon writing another story and another.

  1. 2)How did you find out about the Waterloo project?

I believe I was on set with my daughter when I saw the post online. I thought it sounded really cool. Many of the authors who were going to be involved had been in an anthology with me for a Regency-themed Christmas series. I couldn’t commit to the writing though. I didn’t think I would be able to participate but around December I had some free time, so I took advantage of those minutes and wrote One Last Kiss.

  1. 3)Can you tell us some of the things that attracted you to writing a piece on the anniversary of this famous battle

About the only thing I knew regarding Waterloo was that it was France against the allies and Wellington was in charge. So, I thought it would be interesting to learn more. My co-author in the Regency series I write is Vivien Jackson and she dubbed me the ‘Queen of Research,’ because I get lost in the delightful journey of fact-finding and obscure information. Waterloo had amazing amounts of detail, people, places, equipment and I found myself excited to learn as much as I could about the war and those involved with it.

  1. 4)Tell us about your current story in the anthology.

Colin Scoville is a lieutenant colonel under the command of Colonel De Lancey. They are in charge of setting up the militia in their various positions on the battlefield. When the reports came in that the French had won a key position in Ligny, Colin must hie to the battle and attend to his duties.

Beatrice Ainsley is a young lady who has had the misfortune of becoming a ward to her uncle who is an aristocrat. They are in Brussels mainly due to Beatrice’s cousin’s commission in Wellington’s militia. He serves under Colin. Beatrice has always found Colin to be striking and a bit unsettling to her nerves. They have a moment before the war that changes everything between them. During Waterloo they are both hoping for the exact same thing: To be reunited and to never be parted again.

  1. 5)How did the story begin to develop in your mind?

I had a completely different story “written” in my mind. It involved a field marshal who is attached to Wellington and is a go-between rushing hither and yon on the battlefield.

Then, I had another story that took over and that included the heroine overhearing some details of the French attack and her need to share that information.

I scrapped both ideas because I couldn’t find a romantic thread in there that I felt wouldn’t be contrived.

About the same time, many of the authors in the anthology began talking about their stories and how they would be going to the ball. Of course I had to research this ball. And, like usual, I decided I wanted to write something different. “We are not going to the ball,” I told my muse. “We aren’t going to the battle, either,” I added, firmly. No balls, no battles. (Alas, do you see that title? Beaux, Ballrooms and Battles….) I started researching again and came across something I felt would be awesome fun to write: An impromptu cricket match. Apparently, some of the soldiers decided to play cricket at a lovely park in Brussels the day of the Duchess of Richmond’s ball. Well, I like being unique. So, cricket it was. From there, the story unfolded and my characters came to life. I did include the battle in the story because it felt—right.

  1. 6)What did you find most challenging about this story?

Uniforms. Battle maps. War terminology. I write romance novels. I like love stories and cravats and propriety. I researched the battle for days and days. I shared maps with my army veteran husband and had him explain things to me. I watched documentaries and Sharpe’s Waterloo (more for entertainment than actual history). I looked up re-enactments and digital video portrayals. When I finally had a grasp of what went down in that gory battle I still got tripped up on the uniforms. However, I did feel a bit chuffed when I went to the Evening with Jane event this past January and saw a man wearing a green uniform. I said to him, “You’re one of the Prince Regent’s Own, a sharp-shooter from the rifle-brigade.” He was very impressed with me and I was impressed with myself. I had learned a bit about uniforms, at least enough to write the battle scenes I needed in the story.

  1. 7)Tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a SoCal native and I grew up in Orange County. When I am not writing, I teach a college course for a local university. I’m the mom of two teenage girls who attend the school for the arts. Sometimes, I end up on set with my youngest while she films movies and commercials. I usually get to sit there and be quiet while enjoying tasty craft services. Other times, my oldest and I go thrift store hunting so she can upcycle vintage finds. Though I have a physical disability I am a runner. My husband is a runner, too, and he coaches me. I don’t run fast. I can’t do it all the time. But, it has given me such joy at reaching milestones. I like getting medals for my accomplishments even if there is a great deal of pushing myself to the finish line. I get to run with my mom, too, and those moments are ones I will cherish forever. I love beagles and have two little furry companions with me all day long. Yep, they are also a reason for the running. Cute they may be but they are also into everything and need their energy depleted so I can write in peace. I love Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and all things Jane Austen. Oh, and I’m a proud Vampire Diaries Delena shipper, but we can keep that on the down-low!

  1. 8)What is your next work, and beyond that, what do you want to work on.

For Regency era stories, I believe that Vivien and I are planning to write a third story based on the Avery family from our Christmas series. I have been considering a follow-up story to One Last Kiss featuring Beatrice’s cousin, Geoffrey. For my paranormal series, I have two novels in the works and I hope to have those in to my publisher soon. For those who have read this series, the stories are about Gunnar and Sevastian while continuing with the Komar family and the current threats they’ve been facing. I put the Kissin’ Cops series on the backburner for the time being but plan to do a complete reboot on two WIPs come summer. For those who follow that series, one story is about Maxwell the scarred SEB deputy from Star Spangled Kiss.

  1. 9)In the Waterloo Shorty Story, is there an excerpt to share? Your favorite scene, a part of your life that you put into the work and think it came out exceptionally well that you would like to share.

The part I really am proud of I don’t want to share here because I want to keep it as a surprise for the reader. But, I really did enjoy writing the scene before Colin and Geoffrey leave for Waterloo:

Colin didn’t know what to expect when he’d arrived at Lord Geoffrey’s residence. Certainly, he hadn’t imagined Beatrice meeting them in the foyer, dressed in nothing but her nightrail and a woolen robe. For a moment, he forgot himself, forgot the devastating state of affairs dragging him from the ball and into the fray. For that moment, he only could think of the beautiful young woman standing there with emotion sparking in her eyes and a firm resolve to remain brave in the face of such trying conditions.

And when he had touched her, taken her hand in his, a thrill surged low within his belly. She’d held on to his fingers, tightly, as if he alone was her anchor in this violent storm. For the first time in his life, he allowed himself to think of the possibilities of having a woman to return home to. A woman who challenged him, surprised him, and roused the fire of need in his veins. Beatrice Ainsley would be that woman.

In any other time and place where war wasn’t upon them, he’d ask to court her and let the matrons titter and gossip all they like. Yes, Beatrice didn’t have a grand title or a vast inheritance to add to his fortune, but she had something more. Compassion. Her emotions were vivid and obvious, playing on her features with little dissembling. The halo of fiery red hair held an allure like no other and in his darkest fantasies, he imagined sliding his fingers into the riotous mess and sifting through the silken tresses. Now, fantasy would have to suffice. But, he assured himself, if he made it through the skirmishes, the canon fire, the artillery and the Imperial soldiers who’d like nothing more than to stick their blade through his heart, he’d find Beatrice and convince her to let him woo her into his arms forevermore.

“It’s polished, sharpened to regimental specification.” Geoffrey’s tone, devoid of his usual charm, had flattened to a guttural intonation.

Colin turned to his soldier … his friend, and saw the stark fear in his wild stare. Geoffrey held the blade of his bayonet to the muzzle of his rifle, fitting it into position. After a quick inspection, he dismantled the gun, setting it aside.

“It will serve you well in battle,” Colin tried to reassure. He clasped his hands behind his back and added, “If you are prevailed upon to use it.”

Flashes of former battles raced in his thoughts. How he’d managed to survive the death toll in the peninsula always surprised him. The casualties, many from his own regiment, weighed heavily on his mind. He recalled their faces, youthful and exuberant, when they had arrived in Spain eager for a triumphant victory. Within days, the gruesome tableau struck great fright into their bravado. Soon, as the death toll increased, friend and foe dying in the blood-soaked mire, canon fire thundering all around them, Colin relied upon the training each of them had received. Calling his soldiers to muster on his orders prodded them from their terror. They had won their skirmish, taking hold of a prominent fort needed to secure the allies’ position. Colin had received commendations and medals for his conquest. No matter the awards or the promotions he garnered, those extinguished lives scarred his soul. At the present, he faced more losses. He was utterly unprepared. But who could be prepared for such times?

Obviously, good ole Boney. More than prepared, at the very least.

“We must take our leave, Geoffrey.” Colin tucked his thumb into the white sash bisecting his torso lest he be caught fidgeting or other such nervous behavior.

“There, I’m set.” Geoffrey turned the clasp on his portmanteau and slipped on his oiled duster coat. “Bollocks, I do believe it will rain soon.”

Colin blew out a breath; he observed the same of the weather. The air was thick, damp and the clouds rolled in heavy and black. This would only make fighting even harder with the mud sapping energy. Visibility for aiming the artillery would greatly diminish. “Yes, bollocks indeed.” He tried for levity but it fell flat.

Metal against metal hummed when Geoffrey slid his sword into the scabbard and secured it at his belt. He looked the soldier true, with his supplies bound on his back and his weapons at the ready. Once they departed, Colin must stop at his apartments and dress for battle, as well. And then, he’d ride to war.

“My lord, shall we see to your horse?” The butler asked and even his stolid composure had been shaken. The usual timbre of his well-modulated voice quavered with a hint of emotion.

“Aye.” Spurred to action, Geoffrey rattled off instructions for his gelding. His attentions now focused on his duties rather than his fears. Colin hoped his friend remained purposeful and managed to keep his head about him when the bedlam arose.

A tingle at the back of his neck put him on his guard as he felt Beatrice’s return before seeing her arrive. It was a curious distinction, a warmth and a scent of rose petals, or simply he’d developed an awareness of her that drew him to notice her even when unseen. It had been the same this afternoon at the park when he’d sworn there were eyes on him, watching him closely. Intuitively, he had the decided opinion those eyes belonged to none other than Beatrice Ainsley. What pretty, fine, eyes they were. Before he took his leave, he vowed to look into those brown, wide eyes and memorize the beauty within.

  1. 10)Who do you think influenced your writing, this work, and who do you think you write like:

Jane Austen definitely influenced my writing of the Regency era. I fell head over heels for Elizabeth and Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. Then, I fell even harder for Edmund and Fanny in Mansfield Park. Mary Balogh’s Slightly Series was also a great influence that my writing partner in crime Vivien Jackson introduced me to. We devoured each new release and discussed every little facet until I was doubly excited to write my very own Regency stories.

I would love to say I write like Miss Austen herself but that would be wishful thinking, indeed. Perhaps I write in a mash-up of all the Regency authors that I read way back when I started scribbling Regency romances. There would be Stephanie Laurens and Mary Balogh, Celeste Bradley and Julia Quinn and so many others that I would love to emulate. I think my mom really influenced me to write One Last Kiss, she gave me so much support and happily cheered me on as I got closer to writing those two powerful words: The End.

  1. 11)Who do you read? What are the things that a reader can identify with that you have grounded yourself in.

I have a huge TBR list. My kindle is bursting at the seams. I enjoy Regencies by Carolyn Jewel and Tessa Dare. I like paranormal stories by Mina Carter and Lara Adrian. But, the three books I am currently reading are The Complete Guide on Knitting for Beginners by Kathy Wilston, Lara Adrian’s Merciless and Carolyn Jewel’s Lord Ruin.

I ground myself in my family and my religion. I am a runner in order to keep my body healthy and to keep my mind sane. I like sarcasm and humor. I cherish friendships and love to cook.

  1. 12)When writing, what is your routine?

My life is fairly routine but my writing is not. It comes in fits and starts. It stalls. I fight my condition and unexpected changes in my schedule. I usually write what’s in my head and when there isn’t anything else in there, my writing slows down. I should probably be a whole lot more disciplined.

  1. 13)Do you think of yourself as an artist, or as a craftsman, a blend of both?

I don’t think of myself as either. I feel like I am lucky to tell stories and share them with readers.

14) Where should we look for your work.

My work is available at all online booksellers and at my publishers’ sites.


Here is my Amazon Author Page

Here is a link to my website: www.christapaige.com

Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/ChristaPaige

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Today we have an author interview from my latest work, Beaux Ballrooms and Battles anthology.


It will be available digitally for $.99 and then after a short period of time sell for the regular price of $4.99

The Trade Paperback version will sell for $12.99

My story in the anthology is entitled: Not a Close Run Thing at All, which of course is a play on the famous misquote attributed to Arthur Wellesley, “a damn close-run thing” which really was “It has been a damned nice thing — the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life.”

Today we are fortunate to have with us Jillian Chantal who writes in both romance and mystery genres. Though we want to hear of his historical work in the Regency.

1) What moved you to become an author?

Like many, I’ve always been a natural story-teller. I can make pretty much any event sound entertaining even if it wasn’t at the time I lived through it. From this, came a natural progression to fiction- after all, I could make the tales way more interesting if I wasn’t held back by the truth.

2) How did you find out about the Waterloo project?

I was asked by Susana Ellis if I wanted to participate.

3) Can you tell us some of the things that attracted you to writing a piece on the anniversary of this famous battle.

I’ve always been intrigued by the era and that particular battle, so it was easy to say yes. The Napoleonic Wars is an interesting time period as a lot of what we see even today in the landscape of Europe was formed then.

4) Tell us about your current story in the anthology.

The hero is assigned to Wellington’s staff. The heroine is the daughter of an Earl and her family has joined the many who lived in Belgium during the war. She’s attracted to the hero and she causes a bit of a mini scandal at Lady Richmond’s ball when she bestows her handkerchief on the hero before the battle.

He’s sent on an errand during the Battle of Quatre Bas and things change for him from that point forward. The heroine is determined to come to his aid even though her mother disapproves.

5) How did the story begin to develop in your mind?

I started thinking over ideas when Susana invited me to participate. Noting there weren’t many ways for a heroine to be anywhere near the battle, I had to decide what the heroine was doing on the continent. Once I settled on Lady Richmond’s ball, the rest was pretty easy.

6) What did you find most challenging about this story?

I read a few books on Napoleon and his tactics as well as the battle itself. It’s always hard not to put a lot of the research in- that would bore the reader- but to make sure there’s enough to ground the reader in the story.

7) Tell us a little about yourself?

I work as a lawyer so the research aspect of historicals is a fun thing for me since it’s not law books and cases. I live in Florida and love the laid back lifestyle that affords.

8) What is your next work, and beyond that, what do you want to work on.

I am working on another novella for a Regency anthology. I have a murder mystery with a romantic element in edits now with one of my publishers. I love to write all kinds of stories, including contemporary, historical and a bit of paranormal.

9) In the Waterloo Shorty Story, is there an excerpt to share? Your favorite scene, a part of your life that you put into the work and think it came out exceptionally well that you would like to share.

“Napoleon is on the march. He’s outside the city. The Prince of Orange has already left—before supper even—and the rest of the men will be reporting to their units soon.”
Emmaline gasped. “Outside the city?” Her gut clenched. This was way too close. Being this near to a battle site was horrifying. Her eyes darted around the room until they found Captain Denby. She turned her gaze to the others standing beside her. “I’ll be right back.”
She strode off with Lydia behind her asking, “Where are you going?”
Not responding to her friend, Emmaline made a beeline toward where Jeremiah stood with two other officers in the same regimental uniform as he. Once she reached him, she touched the sleeve of his coat. “May I speak to you for a moment?”
“I’m sorry, Miss Rothesay, I’m on my way out.”
“It’ll just take a second.”
He turned to his companions. “Excuse me.”
Leaving Lydia behind, Emmaline pulled Jeremiah to one side and once they stood close to the wall she pulled her lace-edged hanky from her where she’d tucked it in the end of her sleeve and tried to hand it to him.
“What’s this?” He stared at it as it hung in the air between them held up by her index finger and thumb.
“Back in the middle ages and in the time of Henry VIII, a knight asked a lady for her colors to wear into the joust. For good luck, you know. I’d like you to wear mine in the battle ahead.”
“Do you think it proper? We hardly know one another.”
“Proper or not, I’m offering this to you as a token of good will and my hope that you will survive the next days. Surely you won’t turn me down?” Tears welled in her eyes, blurring her vision. Had she misunderstood the way he’d looked at her? Did he hold her in no regard at all?
Jeremiah’s face turned red. Emmaline couldn’t tell if it was from embarrassment or anger. A little intimidated, she took a half step back and almost collided with one of Lady Richmond’s friends.

10) Who do you think influenced your writing, this work, and who do you think you write like?

I have a hard time answering this one since I have spent a lifetime devouring books and I think my style is a conglomeration of all I’ve taken in.

11) Who do you read? What are the things that a reader can identify with that you have grounded yourself in.

Particular favorites I return to are the Sherlock Holmes books, Martha Grimes and Lauren Willig.

12) When writing, what is your routine?

I work all day so I do most of my work at night and on weekends. I like to write with background noise as I have mostly written with people in the room like my kids and spouse.

13) Do you think of yourself as an artist, or as a craftsman, a blend of both?

Most definitely a blend.

14) Where should we look for your work.


Jillian is published at:
Sweet Cravings: http://sweetcravingspublishing.com/
Secret Cravings: http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/
Elloras Cave: http://www.ellorascave.com/
Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/
Desert Breeze: http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/

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Today we have an author interview from my latest work, Beaux Ballrooms and Battles anthology.


It will be available digitally for $.99 and then after a short period of time sell for the regular price of $4.99

The Trade Paperback version will sell for $12.99

Today we are fortunate to have with us Victoria Hinshaw who writes Regencies and longs to do family sagas as well. Though we want to hear of her historical work in the Regency.

1)What moved you to become an author?

I wrote my first story as a horse-crazy child, sort of a Walter Farley Black Stallion variety in which I was the heroine and won the horse! I always considered myself a writer, though my first work of fiction was not published until I was – well, let’s just say, mature.

2) How did you find out about the Waterloo project?

I gave a talk on my 2010 visit to the battle’s 195th Anniversary and heard about the project. I immediately started thinking of potential heroes and heroines.

3) Can you tell us some of the things that attracted you to writing a piece on the anniversary of this famous battle

As a Duke of Wellington groupie…and a fan of all things English, Regency and Historical, and as a dedicated fan of Jane Austen and Fanny Burney, I love anything which indulges my fantasy life, living in the early 19th century, modern plumbing and computer keyboards notwithstanding.

4) Tell us about your current story in the anthology.

Last summer I stood in Apsley House (the Duke’s London residence) and thought about all the years of Waterloo Banquets at which he presided. And then I thought about the women who waited both during the battle and every year while their loved one spend the evening with his fellow officers reliving the past. That’s the kernel of my story.

5) Tell us a little about yourself?

I am a first class procrastinator, able to postpone almost any task to bury myself in books associated with English history. I love to travel and try to get to England at least once a year. I could stay in London forever, but I also love to roam the countryside visiting quaint villages and elegant country mansions. In fact, I took a course at Oxford University in English Country Houses a few years ago. I am a member of the Royal Oak Society, the U.S. support organization for the National Trust. In addition to giving complimentary admission to all NT properties in England and Wales, they have lecture tours and programs in several American cities. So I often attend sessions given by experts from Historic Royal Palaces or the NT.

6) What is your next work, and beyond that, what do you want to work on.

I am working on an article for the Burney Society on Frances (Madame d’Arblay) at Waterloo; a presentation for the next Jane Austen Society of North America AGM in Louisville, KY, in October 2015, and two more novellas I hope will be out soon. Plus I should get the rights back for two more of my previously published regencies, Ask Jane and Least Likely Lovers which I will then convert to e-books.

9) In the Waterloo Short Story, is there an excerpt to share? Your favorite scene, a part of your life that you put into the work and think it came out exceptionally well that you would like to share.

From “Folie Bleue:”

… when we came into the drawing room and the door closed behind the majordomo, I could ignore Tante’s frowns no longer.
“You would not be thinking any thoughts about a future with one of those English fellows, would you?” Her voice was low and grim.
When I did not immediately speak, she went on. “They looked like boys playing at war to me. Remember, they will fight Napoleon’s men. The Empereur does not spare a soldier because he is young and handsome and flirts with young ladies.”
I did not want my sunny mood spoiled by Tante’s characteristic grumpiness. “Do not worry.”
“Napoleon will have those boys served up on a platter with his champagne,” she muttered.
“Do not tell me you believe all those stories about Napoleon? Remember. He was already defeated and sent away once.”
“Which makes him all the more dangerous…

10) Who do you think influenced your writing, this work, and who do you think you write like?

I wish I could say I am most influenced by Jane Austen, but I have to admit my writing is more in the Georgette Heyer style. Jane wrote contemporary romance, with lots of the details we crave ignored – people in her time knew what the difference was between tallow and beeswax candles, for example. Heyer wrote historical fiction, as we are. Her research was brilliant, based on long hours in libraries studying diaries, letters, memoirs, newspapers, and other primary sources. Heyer founded the Regency Romance genre, even though we all look to Austen as the ultimate inspiration.

11) Who do you read? What are the things that a reader can identify with that you have grounded yourself in.

Jane Austen, Fanny Burney and Georgette Heyer…and I love many contemporary Regency writers: Balogh, Hern, James, and all the best-sellers. And I recall fondly the works of Laura London, some of the most delightful regencies every published. I treasure my “Keeper Shelf” versions. I think they have all been reissued recently. Check here: https://www.facebook.com/lauralondonauthor

12) When writing, what is your routine?

To the keyboard as soon as the coffee is on. Stay as long as possible. Let it flow. And if I get “stuck,” I go back and work on the outline – which I always start but never finish.

13) Do you think of yourself as an artist, or as a craftsman, a blend of both?

A blend, but really a story teller and entertainer. I hope my work exhibits craft and art, but I certainly don’t pretend it is great Literature. I hope to give people a bit of escape and enjoyment.

For a sample, try my free short story The Boxford Legacy on my website: http://www.victoriahinshaw.com

14) Where should we look for your work.

Victoria’s Website: http://www.victoriahinshaw.com

Blog http://www.victoriahinshaw.com/victorias-vibes—-a-blog

2nd Blog http://onelondonone.blogspot.com

at Amazon

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Today we have an author interview from my latest work, Beaux Ballrooms and Battles anthology.


It will be available digitally for $.99 and then after a short period of time sell for the regular price of $4.99

The Trade Paperback version will sell for $12.99

Today we are fortunate to have with us Heather King, who writes in two genres, Regency Romance and Paranormal Romance. Though we want to hear of her historical work in the Regency.

1) What moved you to become an author?

I have written and made up stories since I was a small child. I was – and still am – a dreamer and would spend hours lost in a world inside my head! When I was about seven, I won a third prize for a story I had written at school and I continued from there. My first real novel came about when the Foot and Mouth crisis prevented me from working, but actually believing I could be a writer was another matter. There are times when I’m not sure I truly believe it yet.

2) How did you find out about the Waterloo project?

Susana Ellis put out a call for interested authors in one of the groups I am in on Facebook. We were already friends and I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to work with other, more experienced writers and extend my author profile.

3) Can you tell us some of the things that attracted you to writing a piece on the anniversary of this famous battle?

Since I am English, it is one of my country’s greatest successes and I thought it would be wonderful to do something to celebrate the bicentenary. I have always loved horses – when ‘knee high to a grasshopper’, I used to ‘groom’ the family dog and ‘tack her up’ with a cushion and a belt! The Duke of Wellington’s horse, Copenhagen, is one of a host of famous horses that has fascinated me from those early days. The story of the battle is shrouded in romance, so it was the perfect setting for my style of writing.

4) Tell us about your current story in the anthology.

My story is set around a true event involving Copenhagen. Entitled ‘Copenhagen’s Last Charge’, it brings together Meg Lacy – newly arrived from England to join her Major-General father, Sir Vincent – and a young lieutenant, James Cooper, who isn’t all he seems. Thrown together in unexpected fashion, their bickering hides a growing attraction, but when James fails to uphold Meg’s role in their undertaking, their relationship appears doomed.

5) How did the story begin to develop in your mind?

I had the basic premise in the historical fact I had discovered, so it was a question of fleshing out the story around that core. I had almost finished the novella by the time James condescended to tell me his name. Until then, he had been ‘the Lieutenant’! While walking the dog and feeding the animals I mulled over the likely problems to arise from my central thread and then when I began to write, having decided to begin with the Duchess of Richmond’s ball, the story started to take shape.

6) What did you find most challenging about this story?

Getting it written in time! It was part written when I had to put it to one side to work on other commitments. Then Christmas was approaching fast and suddenly I found time was running out. A good deal of midnight oil was burned in the process of getting it finished!

7) Tell us a little about yourself?

I am English, as I’ve already said. I was born in Leicestershire, have lived in Lancashire and now reside in the Wilds of Herefordshire/Worcestershire. I love the smells of cooking bacon, baking bread and new-mown hay. I don’t often drink alcohol, but I love a good cup of tea! My favourite equine discipline is dressage and my special horse (they have all been special in their own ways, but there was one on whom I achieved most success) once won me a mark of nine out of ten for my final centre line in a test. That was a wonderful feeling.
I’ve always preferred the past to the present and can go off into another world quite easily, to the point of not hearing someone speak to me. I hate confrontation, unpleasantness and being used by others. I have a somewhat quirky sense of humour.

8) What is your next work, and beyond that, what do you want to work on.

I have just released my second Regency novel, An Improper Marriage. The publisher of my debut novel, A Sense of the Ridiculous, has recently closed down, so I shall be re-editing and reissuing it under a new cover, the intention being to have that ready at the same time as the anthology. Through my involvement in Beaux, Ballrooms and Battles, I was asked to join another collection and am thus due to submit a second Regency novella in June; I have a non-fiction book, on writing about horses in historical novels, to be polished and also a Shape Shifter novel I am very excited about to get ready for publication. The latter will probably be released under my alter ego, Vandalia Black’s banner. No peace for the wicked! I also have a Regency novel that is very close to my heart and which will hopefully be my next full-length release in that genre. It is the one my late mother both inspired and enjoyed.

9) In the Waterloo Shorty Story, is there an excerpt to share? Your favorite scene, a part of your life that you put into the work and think it came out exceptionally well that you would like to share.

I enjoyed writing this story very much, particularly the interplay between Meg and James. Many authors of historical novels make mistakes when it comes to horses. I like to think that in this excerpt all the characters come to life, not just the human ones.

The black gelding was standing with his near-side hind leg raised fetlock height from the ground. He flinched visibly when Cooper ran his hand down the limb. The lieutenant straightened, the heavy frown once more in place.
“He has strained his hock, by the looks of it. Of all the cursed luck. However will I come up with that crazy stallion now?”
“You must take my horse, Lieutenant. I am sure there must be some form of transport to be had, a hackney cab of some description—”
“This is not London, Miss Lacy. I cannot abandon you. It is not far to the fountain. I shall accompany you on foot. If we do not find him there, then we will have to reconsider. Allow me to assist you to mount.”
He tossed her efficiently into the saddle, his demeanour revealing nothing of what had passed between them earlier. Meg could only be thankful, although a small, wilful part of her was piqued that he could so quickly recover.
He jogged beside her as she trotted along and, strangely, it seemed the most natural thing in the world. In a very few minutes, they approached another intersecting street, although it was smaller than the last. On the corner stood an ornately carved stone fountain and there, to Meg’s intense relief, was the powerful chestnut horse, splashing his nose in the basin beneath and playfully shaking his head so that droplets of water sprayed everywhere, much to the amusement of a crowd of onlookers.
Meg reached down and touched Cooper on his navy shoulder below the striking yellow epaulettes.
“Lift me down, please, Lieutenant. Do not make any sudden moves, I implore you.”
He complied with her request and if his hands lingered at her waist a fraction longer than necessary, then she could not find it in her to chastise him. For every second he was close to her, she had the oddest compulsion to lean against him again – and the strangest notion that, for all his brusqueness, there was something about this man which fascinated her. It was a fascination she must guard against.
From the pocket of her peacock-blue pelisse, she produced a truncated carrot and knew a flare of satisfaction when his face registered his surprise.
“Where did you acquire that? I confess I am constantly discovering new things to admire about you, Miss Lacy!”
She permitted herself a small smile of triumph. “When you were settling with the costermonger, I offered the urchin a penny for one of those he had purloined.”
“Consorting with criminals, eh? I am deeply shocked,” he responded, sounding anything but. “You will take care, will you not? He can be a devil at times, begging your pardon.”
“I do not believe he will do me any harm. It has always seemed to me, that with the exception of his Grace, it is men that Copenhagen dislikes. May I have your pocket knife?”
He handed over the implement, which to a soldier was many things: cutlery, scissors, awl, nail file and, on occasion, even a hoof pick. She quickly cut the carrot into slices lengthways, wiped the knife on her pelisse and handed it back.
“You have done that before,” he observed.
“Oh, many times. As a child I was wont to walk down to the fields and feed my father’s hunters.”
“Where is your father’s estate?”
“You are very bold, Lieutenant, when we are yet to be properly introduced.” She tried to sound stern, but could not keep the smile from her tone.
“’Tis true,” he answered, shaking his head. “I am a sad reprobate, I fear.”
She dipped her eyelids, so that he might not see her enjoyment of this unforeseen side to his character.
“I believe you are correct, sir, but I shall indulge your curiosity on this occasion. My father’s estate, which is a modest parcel of land, lies in the county of Oxford. Now, if you will be so kind as to hold my horse…”
Without waiting for an answer, she walked slowly towards Copenhagen. He turned his head at her approach, water dripping from his muzzle. The warm sunshine turned the beads of moisture clinging to his whiskers into jewels of brilliant colour. His neck was soaked with sweat to a deeper shade of red-brown and his nostrils were flared, revealing deep pink membranes within.
“Good boy,” she murmured, keeping her hands behind her back. “You have led us a merry dance, have you not? It is time to come home to your stable, sir.” Continuing to croon softly, she edged nearer, stopping the instant the horse showed signs of flight. He stepped backwards, shifting his quarters as though intent on escape, and lifted his head higher. “If you continue in this foolish manner, you will slip and lame yourself, you know, like the lieutenant’s poor horse. Be sensible, silly boy.”
She slowly brought her hand from behind her back and proffered a slice of carrot, her hand flat. Copenhagen whiffled through his nose, his nostrils quivering as he scented the root. Meg braved another step and then another. The stallion stretched his neck forward towards the tidbit.
“Oh, no, sir,” she chided. “You may have it when you permit me to catch you. If I allow you a slice now, you will take it and be off, will you not?” She spoke the words in a sing-song manner, as her father’s groom had taught her many long years ago. Copenhagen dropped his head and snorted.

10) Who do you think influenced your writing, this work, and who do you think you write like?

In my early teens, I discovered the Regency novels of Georgette Heyer and the delightful, witty dialogue, the sense of fun and adventure, and sentence structure have all influenced me. The glorious stories by Elizabeth Chadwick have inspired me to find expressive ways of describing scenes and emotions. The wonderful writing workshops run by Sue Johnson have helped me to grow and expand my horizons as a writer.
Copenhagen’s Last Charge was triggered by the snippet of historical information I discovered while doing my research and the horsewoman in me at once took over. I think the ‘who’ in this question is a ‘they’, since all the horses and ponies I have owned, loved and worked with have played their part in my knowledge and understanding of the equine species.
I have my own voice when I write and do not aim, as such, to be like any other writer. That said, I should very much like to be thought to uphold the traditions of the Regency genre as laid down by Georgette Heyer (if for a modern audience) and thus follow, with tiny steps, in her magnificent wake.

11) Who do you read? What are the things that a reader can identify with that you have grounded yourself in.

Between working the ‘day job’, walking my dog and caring for the family, which also includes two ponies and three cats, my days are pretty full! I don’t read as much as I would like to, but when I do have time, apart from revisiting old favourites from my Heyer collection, I love Elizabeth Chadwick, Barbara Erskine, the Poldark Series by Winston Graham, Jane Austen, JR Ward (the original Black Dagger Brotherhood series), Christine Feehan, Kerri Arthur and any well-written Regency Romance. There are many more I have yet to discover!

12) When writing, what is your routine?

Family and the animals come first! On a non-working day, if I am in the middle of a novel, I will re-read the last few paragraphs to get back to where I was when I stopped and hopefully that will trigger the creative juices. When I am between novels, as now, I usually have a list of tasks to complete and it is a question of working through them. If I am starting a new project that is longer than a short story, I often do a plot sheet. On a large piece of paper, I jot down ideas for scenes, conflicts, problems, plot twists etc., going off at tangents (with arrows) when ideas occur. I find pictures of my hero, heroine and other important characters, as well as settings. I also do a profile for each main character, so that I have an idea of their personalities before I begin to write, although this often changes when they tell me I’ve got it completely wrong!
I tend to write from beginning to end, as you would read a book, so my characters lead me through their story, rather than being driven by any heavy-handed, initial analysis on my part.

13) Do you think of yourself as an artist, or as a craftsman, a blend of both?

Neither, actually! I am just someone who enjoys creating a world where the nasties of modern life cannot enter. I write stories I would enjoy reading and I hope they immerse readers in that world and allow them to escape from reality for just a short while. I like to describe the settings, clothes and food, to give my readers a full picture of the world my characters inhabit, as well as a few tidbits of historical information along the way. I believe a story should flow, carrying the reader from one chapter to the next until they come to the sometimes humorous, but always satisfying finale.

14) Where should we look for your work.

An Improper Marriage PastedGraphic-2015-03-20-08-00.png


An Improper Marriage is currently only available in E-book, but will shortly also be out in paperback.

A Sense of the Ridiculous PastedGraphic1-2015-03-20-08-00.png
(At the moment. On sale at Musa Publishing)
Kindle from http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00I04PYPE

Vampires Don’t Drink Coffee And Other Stories PastedGraphic2-2015-03-20-08-00.png
Paperback and E-book, Amazon

Blog: http://regency-writer-hking.blogspot.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heather.king.author
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/ARegencyRepository
Email: heather.king.author@gmail.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomheatherkinguk
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00I04PYPE

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Today we are fortunate to have with us Giselle Marks who writes Regency & Georgian Romance, Sci-fi/ Fantasy and poetry. However now we want to hear of her historical work in the Regency Romance field.

1) What moved you to become an author? I always knew that I could write, but my first published writing efforts were all non-fiction. I worked part time for a tiny now defunct local newspaper and I sold mostly agricultural articles to both the local and national press. I was member of a small writing club and wrote some short stories for the group. However I did not write a full length novel until I discussed some feminist scifi with a friend and although I had enjoyed the writing I disagreed that a future under female rule would turn out so pleasantly. I suggested that if women were dominantly in charge and were not physically weaker than men that our rulers would have all the faults and strengths of male rulers. I started writing the Zeninan Saga which I am now finally talking to publishers about getting out for the world to read.

I have always read across genre and although a fan of sci fi and fantasy I was very much a Georgette Heyer fan and love to read Regency romances in my spare time. At some point I decided to try my hand at writing a Regency Romance. I looked at the titles on my shelf and noticed all the wives, brides and daughters of noblemen, generals, pirates and other Regency occupations. I thought through what occupations had not been used. I chose Fencing Master and so I wrote my delicately beautiful but “kickass” heroine Madeline in the Fencing Master’s DaughterPastedGraphic-2015-03-15-12-00.png


2) How did you find out about the Chocolate House project The_Chocolate_House_-_All_for_Love_-_Anthology___Masqueraders__-_Kindle_edition_by_Francine_Howarth__Giselle_Marks__Elizabeth_Bailey__Susan_Ruth__Jessica_Schira__David_W__Wilkin__Romance_Kindle_eBooks___Amazon_com_-2015-03-15-12-00.jpg? I was honored to be asked by Francine Howarth (DWW-our fearless leader for this project who is a very well respected Regency and historical writer if I would be prepared to write a novella for a Charity anthology. I was pleased to be invited.

3) Can you tell us some of the things that attracted you to writing this? I wanted to write the story because Francine asked and it was for Charity. However actually writing it did not so much attract me as present me with a challenge. I knew from writing short stories that writing to a specific short length is very much harder than just writing a novel and then trimming it to approximate length. I had never written a novella in any genre before, I have one short fantasy story that is just under 8K but I had intended that to be much shorter. I worried that to get a beginning, middle and end of a Regency Romance into 14K might prove very demanding.

4) Tell us about your current story in the anthology. “A Rose by Any Other Nameis a fairly traditional Regency romance for me to write. I decided to keep to simplicity in order to produce a compact complete story in the space allowed. So I have an older hero who has chosen to remain a bachelor, concerned that his heir is about to make an unfortunate marriage to an actress. Giles Perdue, Earl of Chisolm resolves to visit Bath to buy her off. He misunderstands the situation and falls for the beautiful Rosalie King. She is however, an heiress in disguise, escaping from a forced marriage to her cousin but time is running out. Her cousin must make sure she marries him or that she dies because their family will lose control of her fortune.

5) How did the story begin to develop in your mind? First I needed a reason for Giles to visit Bath where the stories in the anthology are set. I decided a worrying letter from his nephew and heir David would get him there fast. I thought it amusing that while believing himself to be saving his heir from a misalliance that he would fall himself for the lady. Once I had that scene the rest fell in place quite quickly. I decided on Rosalie for a first name alias for my heroine because there are so many variations that can be shortened to Rose. After that the quote from “Romeo and Juliet” seemed an obvious title.

6) What did you find most challenging about this story? Keeping to the length required, I did have to go back and trim the length a little. However I found it hard not making Giles too arrogant and unromantic in his dealing with Rose and David Wilkins was right in rebuking me for making Rose a little too sassy and unladylike in the first draft.

7) Tell us a little about yourself? I live in the Isle of Man and I love writing. When my children grew up I decided to see if I could get some of my stories published, partly because I was not finding the stories I wanted to red among those that had been published. I write whatever my characters tell me to write and the genres I work in may increase in the future. I think it is important to try and get the history correct when writing historical romance.

8) What is your next work, and beyond that, what do you want to work on. My next work published will probably be “Fae Tales” which is an anthology of contemporary fairy and mythic tales written by myself and Sarah Waldock (DWW-I have been working with the very talented Sarah as an illustrator on my Ruritanian Romance project!). Sarah has produced the cover and we have both prepared illustrations in black and white. 10414175_1807972079428154_2007857162_o-2015-03-15-12-00.jpg Having completed the writing for Fae Tales we are organizing the volume, writing the introduction and acknowledgements. I am currently half way through writing my first Georgian romance which is set a little earlier than my Regency stories. It is called The Purchased Peer and features a very traditionally gorgeous hero and a strong women named Celestina, who considers herself slighted by him.

9) In your Masqueraders Chocolate House short Story, is there an excerpt to share? Your favorite scene, a part of your life that you put into the work and think it came out exceptionally well that you would like to share.

I think this bit came out quite well, but I am not prepared to conjecture whether I put any of my life into the scene. Certainly I do not normally have Lords trying to kiss me.

Excerpt from “A Rose by Any Other Name”

“I apologize for my nephew. I am thoroughly sorry for my rag-manners when we met, which must have created an appalling impression of me.”

“Are you going to apologize all the way home, my Lord?”

“No, I ‘m going to kiss you, Rosalie.”

“Are you not going to ask my permission first, my Lord?”

“No, I thought I’d ease you around this corner into some dark shadows and then tilt your face up to mine,” he said putting his words into actions.

Rosalie watched as he lowered his lips to hers. Her heart was beating fast and she found herself clinging to his lapels to steady her balance. As his mouth gently brushed her, she tingled all over and her pulse raced. He paused only an inch from her and she sighed in response. Then his mouth lowered once more and claimed hers. Her mind was swallowed up in the sensations of his body pressed firmly against her and the exquisiteness of his kiss. She finally registered that she should terminate this kiss, berating herself that a lady would slap Giles for his presumption, while her body just wanted more. Finally breathless, Rosalie pulled away from Giles’s kiss and leant against the wall behind her, until her pulse returned to nearly normal.

“I think Martha would say I ought to slap you, my Lord,” she finally said breaking the fascinating contact with his eyes, which seemed to bore into hers.

“She probably would,” he said bending forward to kiss her again, but this time she turned her face away.

“No, my Lord, you promised I would be safe with you, yet you are trying to compromise me.”

“I was trying to discover if you liked my kisses and the answer was definitely yes.”

“Then now that you have answered your question, can we please speed our paces, so that Martha does not worry unduly?”

“Martha expects us to be a little slow in returning. You have had many offers of marriage and other offers from the young pups. I wondered whether you were opposed to men in general or simply to losing your independence. I fully understand you not wishing to marry, but I am sure we could enjoy a friendship together.”

“I am sorry, my lord. I had no intention to lead you on or give you undue encouragement. I will admit to finding you attractive and you are clearly an experienced lover. However you are wrong in assuming I despise marriage. So far I have had no offers I would consider accepting, but I cannot marry for another six months without my guardian’s permission.”

10) Who do you think influenced your writing, this work, and who do you think you write like

I read across genre and I suppose I have been influenced by many writers but aside from Georgette Heyer I don’t think any other Regency writer or writer of the period has particularly influenced me. I have always tried very hard not to emulate any other writer and I hope I have achieved that. I write like me, others may make comparisons, I cannot.

11) Who do you read? What are the things that a reader can identify with that you have grounded yourself in.

The truth of what I read is a bit complex. Of course I read historical romance, I only read modern romance if I am proofing it for another author. I also read historical fiction (non- romance) and historical fact, although some of it very biased. In addition I read literary works, detective, medical and forensic mysteries, adventure, thrillers fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, horror, mythology, poetry and even some scientific work. I may have missed some genres I read, but I do read widely. I have tried to get a reasonable historical background to the Regency and Georgian period, their language and I try to check my facts as accurately as possible. I like to people watch and I have tried to use my understanding of people to assist making my characters more believable.

12) When writing, what is your routine? I am not sure I have one. I write most days but it is not always fiction. There are articles required to promote my books and those of friends, reviews for books I have read and sometimes a few poems. If I stop writing for more than a week for some reason it is harder to get back into. It is better to write something even if it is only fifty words a day. If I am writing a novel, I pick up where I left it the day before. I usually reread and edit the beginning of the chapter or the end of the previous chapter; then when I reach the end I continue to write. I write until I want to stop. If I have other work that is required to be done, proofing, blog posting then I may choose to stop after a certain number of words or at a set time. Most evenings I stop, cook and read to relax.

13) Do you think of yourself as an artist, or as a craftsman, a blend of both? I probably think of myself more of a craftsman than an artist. I consider as a working tradeswoman of journeyman status. Not a novice but producing work that is of worth, yet still with plenty to learn in my chosen craft.

14) Where can we find out more about you and your writing.

51khQvq-7LL._UY250_-2015-03-15-12-00.jpgTales by the Tree

The Chocolate House The_Chocolate_House_-_All_for_Love_-_Anthology___Masqueraders__-_Kindle_edition_by_Francine_Howarth__Giselle_Marks__Elizabeth_Bailey__Susan_Ruth__Jessica_Schira__David_W__Wilkin__Romance_Kindle_eBooks___Amazon_com_-2015-03-15-12-00.jpg

11056723_1807974306094598_956073498_n-2015-03-15-12-00.jpg Touched by Shadow Caressed by Light

There are a host of places to find Giselle

Her webpage:






Giselle’s Blog



The Chocolate House-All for Love

A Sensual blend of Chocolate, Romance, Murder & Mystery at “Masqueraders”.

The beautiful City of Bath, famous for its Roman Spa, its Abbey, its Pump Room & Assembly Rooms, and Sally Lunn’s bun shop, is a place made famous within the literary world by the likes of Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and other authors of Georgian and Regency historical novels. Thus Bath is renowned as a place for intrigue and romance, but few readers will have stepped across the threshold of Masqueraders’, a notorious and fashionable Chocolate House, that existed within the city from 1700 to the latter part of the reign of William IV. What happened to it thereafter, no one knows, for sure. Nor does anyone know why Sally Lunn’s bun shop disappeared for decades until it was rediscovered.

So it could be said, essence of chocolate drifting on the ether denotes where the seemingly mystical Masqueraders’ once existed, and it is that spiritual essence that has brought authors together from around the globe, to pen a delightful collection of Georgian & Regency romances, that are, all, in some way, linked to The Chocolate House. We sincerely hope you will enjoy the individual stories, and be assured all the royalties earned will be donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London.

The stories:

A Rose by Any Other – Giselle Marks.

A Fatal Connection – Elizabeth Bailey

The Runaway Duchess – Francine Howarth

Death at the Chocolate House – Susan Ruth

A-Pig-in-a-Poke – Jessica Schira

A Little Chocolate in the Morning – David W. Wilkin.

My story (As the author and owner of this Blog, I feel I can tell you more) is the story of Charles Watkins the Marquis of Rockford (for those who want the nitty gritty, ask and we can discuss the very specific creation of name details that went into this) who has recently come into his title and estates, his father dying just about a year before. Now he is to return to London after his mourning is over to use his seat in the House of Lords in aid of the war against Napoleon. He is not in Town to seek a bride though the dowager Marchioness should like that he attain one.

No, certainly not the schoolmate of his younger sister Emma, Lady Caroline Williamson, the daughter of the Earl of Feversham. A girl as young and silly as his sister, he would never wed, and certainly not fall in love with. But rescuing her from the clutches of a man who was old enough to be his own grandfather, that he could do with ease, and perhaps Panache.

Available at Amazon Digitally for your Kindle or Physically in Trade Paperback

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Today we are fortunate to have with us Elizabeth Bailey who writes in the genres of historical romance, historical mystery and modern novels of the supernatural. Though we want to hear of her historical work in the Georgian and Regency periods.

1)What moved you to become an author?

I started as an actress, and was always scribbling on the side. When I tried my hand at a historical romance, I discovered that writing was my true métier. Once I started, I couldn’t stop, and that left acting far behind, though I did continue to teach and direct drama.

2) Tell us about your current novel.

Having completed my short story for the Chocolate House anthology The_Chocolate_House_-_All_for_Love_-_Anthology___Masqueraders__-_Kindle_edition_by_Francine_Howarth__Giselle_Marks__Elizabeth_Bailey__Susan_Ruth__Jessica_Schira__David_W__Wilkin__Romance_Kindle_eBooks___Amazon_com_-2015-03-13-12-00.jpg, I’m now working on the third in the Lady Fan Mystery series. Ottilia, my 18C detective, has stumbled on a mysterious death from opium poisoning in the house next door. Convinced there is foul play afoot, she plunges into an investigation and discovers an undercurrent of deceit and a hotbed of strife and passion amongst the inmates, all of whom are involved in caring for a beautiful heiress who is clearly deranged.

3) How did the story begin to develop in your mind?

It began with the “madwoman”. At first I thought she was being kept against her will and was not mad at all, but as soon as the story started to gel, I realized she was indeed out of her wits and a potential murderer. From there, it was a small step to developing suspicious characters around her.

4) What did you find most challenging about this book?

The fact that I wrote a large part of it nearly two years ago, and for various reasons could not continue with it, despite making several attempts to return to it. When I did, it was hard to get back my early concepts and I had lost track of all the various strands that were in my mind to begin with. I’m now working over the first draft, trying to bring coherence to the story.

5) How did you choose your publishing method?

At the moment, I’m not at all sure what method will be used. I lost my original publishers for the first two books, and am hoping my agent will succeed in finding another. If not, then I am in two minds whether to choose a small independent publisher or to put it out myself, as I am now self-publishing my historical romances and other books.

6) Tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a single woman, but fortunate to have a plethora of nieces and nephews – not to mention great-nieces and great-nephews! – and my extended close-knit family is consequently huge. My first love is reading, but having spent years as an actress and subsequently drama teacher and director, I am also fond of the theatre and enjoy films with “story”. I can’t abide what I call bish, bash, bosh movies! I love research and history, visiting old houses when I can, and poking about in antique shops and fairs. Having lived in Africa throughout my childhood, and travelled a great deal beyond that, I take a “world” view of life, though consider myself staunchly British, despite having a mother from Israel who was actually born in Iraq. My father was half English and half Welsh, so – like many Britons – I am in fact something of a mongrel.

7) What is your next work, and beyond that, what do you want to work on.

I haven’t yet decided which book I’m going to write next, though no doubt it will spring up and thump me in the head at some point, demanding to be written! I’m thinking with a fourth Lady Fan, and a historical romance series around convenient and Cinderella brides. Or indeed, another Choc House short story, since I so much enjoyed writing that. But as I’m also considering a dystopian novel and a follow-up to a modern mystery, there’s no saying where my itchy fingers will take me.

8) In the current work, is there an excerpt to share? Your favorite scene, a part of your life that you put into the work and think it came out exceptionally well that you would like to share.

This is a scene from the opening chapter, and I quite like the way it is shaping. It’s where Ottilia first meets the mad girl and begins to realise there is something very wrong with her. She has put her hand through broken glass and it has bleeding splinters. Francis (mentioned below) is Ottilia’s husband:

Returning her attention to the unexpected visitor, Ottilia summoned a smile and kept her tone even.

“Won’t you sit down? I will have one of the servants bring a basin of water and a towel, and then we may see what can be done.”

The girl made no move to sit, nor to look for a chair, but remained just where she was, her eyes playing over Ottilia’s features.

“You are not beautiful.”

Ottilia laughed out. “But you are.”


There was no pride or conceit in the one word. It was merely agreement, Ottilia decided. She set a hand to the girl’s back and moved her gently towards a long sofa upholstered in blue-striped brocade, which was set to one side of the fireplace. She obliged the girl to sit.

“What is your name?”


“How pretty. Do you live near here, Tamasine?”

The visitor made no reply to this, but continued to watch Ottilia as she removed the warm, hooded cloak she had donned for the purpose of taking her walk and set it aside on a convenient chair. She then placed herself next to the visitor.

“Who are you?” the girl asked suddenly.

Simplicity seemed the better part of discretion. “I am Lady Fan.”

Tamasine’s countenance lit with another of those lightning smiles.

“Lady Fan, Lady Fan, Lady Fan. You are not like a fan at all.”

“Well, I should hope not. It is a nickname.”

There was no direct response to this as Tamasine continued to regard her for a moment. Then she opened an entirely new subject.

“They will be looking all over for me.”

“Who will?”

“My guardian. And Lavinia.”

“Who is Lavinia?”

Tamasine made no answer. Instead her glance shifted off Ottilia for the first time as she looked about the room. It was a cosy apartment, done out in a faded blue with white-painted Adam curlicues surrounding each of the faux panels, in several of which were hung portraits of past dowagers who had inhabited the house in their years of widowhood.

“I like it here. Can I stay?”

Taken aback, Ottilia eyed the girl, trying to read her expression.

“But surely you have a home of your own?”

“Oh yes. It is not far.” Her gaze returned to Ottilia’s. “I found the garden.”

“So I saw. You appeared to be enjoying the snow.”

“I wasn’t cold,” said Tamasine, as if this was disputed.

Ottilia remembered the glimpse of a spangled gown and glanced down. Sure enough, the cloak had fallen away as Tamasine sat, revealing a diaphanous garment, ill-suited both to the weather and the time of day.

“Were you attending an evening party last night?” Had the girl even been to bed?

“I don’t attend parties. They won’t let me.”

Ottilia was beginning to have an inkling why this might be so, but she refrained from speaking her thought aloud.

“Who is your guardian?”


Ottilia tried again. “Does he have a second name?”

The bell-like tinkle sounded. “Of course he does.”

She strove for patience. “What is his full name?”

“Sir Joslin Cadel.” Tamasine sighed, suddenly dejected. “He wants my fortune, you know. I think they will make me marry him.”

“Who will?” asked Ottilia, startled.

The girl ignored the question. “But I shall find another. I shall marry Giles.”

It was perhaps fortunate that a servant chose this moment to enter the room in answer to the summons of the bell, for Ottilia scarcely knew what to reply to this revelation that Tamasine was on such terms with Francis’s nephew.

9) Who do you think influenced your writing, this work, and who do you think you write like

No question about that. Georgette Heyer. I read her first as an adolescent and loved her books, re-reading them all several times over. When I came to write a novel with the hope of publication, my impulse was to write in her vein and in her genre. I must say that the most pleasing review on my first Lady Fan book compared me favourably with Heyer, and it has several times been suggested that I write like her. I do not aspire to her genius, of course, but the compliment is welcome!

10) Who do you read? What are the things that a reader can identify with that you have grounded yourself in.

My reading is eclectic, but I probably read more mysteries than anything else. I love the puzzle of them and tend to prefer cosies. But I also love Terry Pratchett (DWW-He passed away yesterday 3/11/2015), stories with a supernatural edge, or a sizzle of a thrill, and certain classics. I can equally enjoy a literary novel, or a biography, and I tend to chop and change a great deal. Once I find an author I like, I will read them avidly until I’ve gone through the lot!

I’m not sure, beyond Heyer, what a reader might recognize in my work, but I’ve been writing long enough for my voice to be distinctive, and no matter which genre I work in, whatever style I use, there is a similarity of voice – as there is with every writer, I feel. I think what might come across is a basic sense of integrity, which my heroes and heroines all share, admiration for loyalty and kindness, and a championship of the underdog. I don’t think any writer can help inculcating their characters with some of their own beliefs and foibles. It comes naturally.

11) When writing, what is your routine?

I’m afraid I don’t really have one now. I used to be very disciplined, but time and life has eroded that determination to get finished at all costs. I get to it when I can, and tend to write in the afternoons. But it gets harder and harder to push myself to the sticking point, and less easy to hold to routines. If I’m honest, I’d much rather read a book than go through the blood, sweat and tears of writing one! But needs must when the devil drives, and your true writer has that devil on her shoulder forever throwing new and more fantastic ideas into her head and insisting that she gets them down on paper!

12) Do you think of yourself as an artist, or as a craftsman, a blend of both?

Definitely a blend of both. If I was not an artist, I would not waste my time perfecting the work before flinging it to an unsuspecting public. If I was not a craftsman, I wouldn’t sell any books because they would not hold interest. The craft lies in sculpting the story in such a way that you grab your reader by the scruff of the neck, glue him to the page and hold him there. The art is in being able to use those skills in such a way that the reader loves what you do and wants to come back for more.

13) Where should we look for your work.

Amazon is the best marketplace as most of my work is available through their links. My author page will lead you to most of my books, or you can still find my work at Harlequin Mills & Boon and Berkley (Penguin) in the US.

Thank you, by the way, David, for inviting me for interview. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to share my author thoughts, and along with a fellow writer of the Choc House anthology too!

Chocolate House anthology The_Chocolate_House_-_All_for_Love_-_Anthology___Masqueraders__-_Kindle_edition_by_Francine_Howarth__Giselle_Marks__Elizabeth_Bailey__Susan_Ruth__Jessica_Schira__David_W__Wilkin__Romance_Kindle_eBooks___Amazon_com_-2015-03-13-12-00.jpg (with her newest short story!)

A Fragile Mask FragileMask-1700x500-2015-03-13-12-00.jpg

Friday Dreaming fridaydreaming1reduced-2015-03-13-12-00.jpg

Seventh Heaven SeventhHeavenrevised500x700-2015-03-13-12-00.jpg

(DWW-Elizabeth has many, many books available. Click the Author Page links below to see them. Above is just a sampling)

Amazon Author Page UK

Amazon Author page US




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