Greetings, dear readers! Today I’d like to welcome the fabulous Ella Quinn to The Dashing Duchesses. But first, a little introduction. Ella’s a bit of a world-traveler; she’d lived in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe and she and her husband now live St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. She is a member of the Romance Writers of American, The Beau Monde and Hearts Through History and is represented by Elizabeth Pomada of Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency. Ella has been very busy working on her debut series The Marriage Game for Kensington Books. The first book, The Seduction of Lady Phoebe is available now, with six more books to follow.
Welcome, Ella! Could you tell us a little about The Seduction of Lady Phoebe? Lady Phoebe and Lord Marcus met just before Marcus was to leave for the West Indies, where his father was banishing him. They fell in love, but they were both very young, and Marcus behaved badly, destroying Phoebe’s confidence in herself when it came to men. Eight years later, he’s back and still wants to marry her, but first he must overcome her distrust of herself and him.
Ah, I do love a reunion story! And, how fascinating to include a hero who has experienced the West Indies. We duchesses love our historicals. What do you find intriguing about history? That what we know isn’t necessarily accurate. I love Jane Austen, but she lived in one strata of a much broader society. Even her views of the ton were not the be all and end all. For example, Mary Wollstonecraft’s views on the emancipation of women were so popular, that a couple of other writers felt the need to try to rein in women. To complicate matters, during the Victorian era men in particular, destroyed many letters and other records of their Regency parents and Georgian grandparents.
Can you imagine all the interesting information that’s been lost to time? In your research, have you come across any particular fact that stands out as interesting, bizarre or thrilling? I don’t know about bizarre, but over fifty percent of children were born before 9 months of their parents’ marriage. Some would like you to think that it must have been the lower classes, but since birth records were required to be kept until much later, the only people really keeping records were the upper and middle classes.
More Regency and Georgians behaving scandalously! Any links that you saved upon researching this novel? Yes, I have a wonderful link on seasonal foods that were eaten during the Regency I use it a lot. Also, I discovered the online etymology dictionary.
I love the online etymology dictionary, and Teresa Thomas Bohannon’s in-season food reference is an instant favorite. Let’s talk hands-on research (gloved hands, of course). Have you ever gone on a research trip for your books? I lived in England and Europe, so I was pretty knowledgeable about the generalities. Still some things have changed, so I had to go see the old road going through the Fernpass for Desiring Lady Caro, book # 4 of The Marriage Game. Also for book #5, Pursuing Miss Eugénie Villaret, I had to go Tortola and find a destroyed church.
A destroyed church in Tortola sounds like an atmospheric setting. In your travels, what did you love, hate or gasp over? I loved that the old road was still there. In Tortola, I hated that the church had been allowed to be destroyed.
Have you ever considered writing something other than a historical? No, I don’t think I could write contemporaries. I don’t even watch TV. I do have an idea for a time-travel, but again, the Regency would be involved.
Is there a message in your writing that you want readers to grasp? That family is important. Love doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Most of us have family or friends who influence us, or even actively interfere for good or bad.
Why don’t we close with some revelations about the writing and publishing process? What was one of the most surprising things you learned? I was a little surprised by the process of publication. It wasn’t until after I had an agent that I discovered most agents only take between 1-5 new clients a year.
Thank you so much for joining us on the Dashing Duchesses! It has been a pleasure. Before you go, would you share a teaser with our readers?
“Have you much experience in this sphere?” Her knight moved a bit closer.
“I believe I stay well informed as to the issues. When I visit my aunt and uncle I attend all the political dinners and other entertainments.” When she glided nearer to him, a hurry of spirits coursed through her.
He narrowed his eyes curiously. “What made you seek out the library?”
“I was avoiding someone.” Phoebe found herself even closer to him and wanting to be in his arms again. His deep, soft voice was like a warm wave, drawing her in. Did male sirens exist?
“I see.” He closed the distance a little more.
She searched his face. Barely a foot separated them. If only he would reach out to her. “You were in Littleton for the fight last week.”
“Yes, I attended with a friend,” he replied, his tone, intimate.
Phoebe tried to steady her thudding heart. “I remember your voice. You rescued me from the young man pounding on my chamber door and spent the night guarding me.”
She drew a ragged breath. Why was it so hard to breathe? “You didn’t want to be thanked. You have now saved me twice from importuning young men.”
His gaze seemed to focus even more intently on her. “Yes, I took him from your door. I thought, at the time, I didn’t need to be thanked.” His lips curled into a provocative smile. “I may have been mistaken. You may thank me, if you wish.”
Lovely! Thank you, Ella. Now, dear readers, if it pleases you, leave a comment for Ella and she will graciously bestow an e-copy of The Seduction of Lady Phoebe on one lucky winner.