Archive for the ‘Guest Authors’ Category
I am excited to present to you fellow Avon Author Elizabeth Boyle today, who is visiting the Dashing Duchesses today! Elizabeth is RITA-winning author who has penned twenty adventurous and romantic novels, with seventeen of them hitting bestseller lists. That might make her a Grand Duchess… and means we might want to offer her more than tea! Without further ado, I give you the fabulous Lady Boyle.
Everyone always asks, where do you get your ideas. Well . . . I get ideas in all sorts of ways—sometimes it is an item in the newspaper, other times it might be a pair of teens gossipy about their “BFF”, and for my new book, AND THE MISS RAN AWAY WITH THE RAKE, the idea for my correspondence match up came from two places: an article in the Jane Austen magazine about matchmaking advertisements at the time, and one of my favorite movies, Shop Around the Corner (and my less favorite remake, You’ve Got Mail).
I had just read the matchmaking article as I was beginning to write the first book in the series, ALONG CAME A DUKE. When I saw this actual advertisement from Regency times, I died—the very notion of a gentleman advertising for someone to find him a Lady of Fortune was hilarious, and wanted to work something akin to this into the story—using it eventually as a joke of sorts.
But that joke, the hero placing a matchmaking advertisement in the paper for his staid and proper uncle, Lord Henry Seldon, just kept prodding the idea hopper. What if someone actually answered such an ad? What if LOTS of women responded to his ad? What would poor Henry do with baskets and baskets of perfumed letters? The idea was just too much fun, too delicious to pass up and thus starts my latest book, AND THE MISS RAN AWAY WITH THE RAKE.
In actuality, placing ads was one way for lonely hearts to find a mate during the Regency time period, just as people go online now. And just like now, there were cautions about meeting a potential suitor that way. Several women responded to such ads and were never seen or heard from again, or arrived to find their future husband already had a wife.. . or two already.
So I have to ask—has anyone used online dating or answered a personal ad? What happened? And did you find your rake, as Miss Daphne Dale did?
Elizabeth Boyle is the author of 20 historical romances and an avid fan of all things Regency, especially quirky little bits of history like matchmaking via the newspaper. You can find a list of Elizabeth’s books at her website (http://www.elizabethboyle.com) or LIKE her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AuthorElizabethBoyle) or follow her on Twitter(https://twitter.com/ElizBoyle) , where she waxes poetic and snarky, depending on her mood.
Today on the Dashing Duchesses, we are thrilled to have the fabulous NY Times Bestselling Author Lorraine Heath. Her newest book, Lord of Wicked Intentions, is available now (and utterly intriguing)! We warned her that we duchesses are quite skilled at ferreting out the very juiciest gossip, yet she was brave enough to show up anyway. (We’ll see if she regrets it later…)
Duchess Anna: Welcome! Come in sit down and have a cup of tea! So if you had to pick one flag to hang over your bed which would it be: Britain or Texas? (And may I remind you, you are talking to a duchess… *gives a pointed look*)
Lorraine: Oh, so not fair. I suppose I would go with a British flag over my bed … a Texas flag over my door. (Find out why here.)
What is your favorite part of the writing process (besides eating chocolate while being fanned by handsome footmen…)?
Sipping wine while being fanned by handsome footmen. My favorite part of the writing process is revising after the rough draft is done—I know where the story is going and have a firmer grasp on the characters. I love layering in details.
Wine…Why didn’t I think of that? Now, I love a hero with a dark tortured past, and you have created three amazing examples in your Lost Lords of Pembrook series. For those readers buried under their TBR pile, could you give a brief explanation about who these brothers are and what happened to each of them?
Absolutely. Sebastian and Tristan are twins. Sebastian is the oldest and the heir. Rafe is 4 years younger. When they were lads of 14 and 10, their father was killed, probably by their uncle who proceeded to lock them in the Pembrook Castle tower. They were certain he had plans to kill them. With the help of a neighbor’s daughter, they escaped and parted ways. Sebastian went to the army, Tristan to the sea, and Rafe to a workhouse, then the streets. Twelve years later they return to London to reclaim their birthright and their place in Society.
Lord of Wicked Intentions deals with the final brother, Rafe. He thinks he had the worst experience because he was the one left behind in London when his brothers fled to far off places. Do you agree with him? How would you have tried to survive if you were in his place?
I think he did have it the worst. He was young and confused when he was left behind. The workhouse was a very unpleasant place and as the son of a lord, he was ill-prepared for the hardship. When he escaped and made his way to the London streets, he fell in with a fellow who knew all of London’s darkest secrets. They soon became Rafe’s. He eventually came to own a gaming hell, but he cares for nothing and is always alone.
I suspect that I would have tried to survive as he did—as best I could, always hoping for something better. It’s strange, but when I wrote the first book, Tristan comments on the fact that Rafe has many globes in his office. At the time I didn’t know why, but when I was describing the room, I saw the globes and decided to go with it. They turned out to reveal quite a bit about him. He collected them because they gave him hope that there was someplace better than where he was. And while he never admitted it, I suspect he also collected them as a way to feel closer to his brothers. He had no idea where they were, but looking at the globes helped to reassure him that they were somewhere.
What characteristics do you think that the heroine, Eve, possesses that makes her Rafe’s match?
He’s a cynic while she remains an optimist who believes there is good in people. It’s part of the reason she found it so difficult to believe her brother’s plans for her. But she refused to paint the rest of the world with the brush of his cruelty. She also, like Rafe, was willing to do whatever was necessary to survive. She accepted the reality of her situation, but refused to be cowed by it. I never saw her as weak. Rafe would never have fallen for someone who was weak. But her strength resides in her innocence and her firm belief in love. She rather fascinated me.
What do you think Eve was most surprised to find out about Rafe? And Rafe to find out about Eve?
I think she was most surprised to discover that his actions were often the opposite of his words. He claimed to care for no one, and yet little hints to his goodness were sprinkled throughout the story.
I think Rafe was most surprised to discover Eve’s kindness could lash so painfully at his stone heart. He’d had no kindness since he was 10. She had every reason to despise him, and yet she didn’t. No matter how often he told himself that he didn’t care for her, he was only lying to himself.
Now on to one final and perhaps most important question—what is your favorite dessert?
Wedding cake, whether it’s an actual cake, ice cream, frozen yogurt, or vodka (Yes, there is wedding cake flavored vodka, which I highly recommend).
Ooh, that does sound delicious! And you came through the interview without breaking into a sweat! Are you sure you aren’t a duchess?
So, Readers, if you could pick one dessert to share with the fabulous Lorraine Heath, what would you choose? One lucky commenter will be selected to win a copy of Lord of Wicked Intentions! Must be 18 or older to enter. Void where prohibited.
Lord Rafe Easton may be of noble blood, but survival taught him to rely only on himself and to love no one. Yet when he sets eyes on Miss Evelyn Chambers, an earl’s illegitimate daughter, he is determined to have her, if only as his mistress . . .
After her father’s death, Evelyn Chambers never imagined she would be sold to the highest bidder, yet circumstances give her little choice but to accept the lord’s indecent proposal. Rafe is wealthy, as well as ruthless. Yet his coldness belies deep passion and deeper secrets. If she must be his, Evelyn intends to lay bare everything the Lord of Pembrook is hiding. But dark discoveries threaten to destroy them both until unexpected love leads the last lost lord home . . .
I discovered Donna Thorland and her incredible new historical fiction novel THE TURNCOAT the old-fashioned way. I saw her book trailer.
What’s that, you say? Book trailers are old news, and don’t work to drum up interest in a book?
Oh, you poor, dear creature. Clearly you’ve been watching the wrong book trailers.
In the making of the trailer for The Turncoat, Donna brought her prior film-industry experience (and friends) to the table. The result is a lush cinematic feast that watches like a movie trailer. But the book doesn’t just deliver on the promise of the trailer… it up-ends it, shakes it out, and crafts it into something far better.
A book you can’t put down. Read the rest of this entry »
Today I am honored to (re)introduce Kieran Kramer (who happens to be my sister-in-law!), the award-winning, best-selling author of my favorite Regency romances including the Impossible Bachelor series and her new House of Brady series. But as I set out the tea and cakes, looking forward to a cozy chat, she arrives with two tall, muscular men.
Me (whispering): Kieran? Why are there two hot men standing behind you?
Kieran (shrugging): The heroes in my two recent books love attention! And I have to admit, I love to give it to them. So when they asked to come along, I said yes.
Me: I’m not one to complain, but won’t your brother (my DH) have something to say about this?
Kieran (tosses away my concern with a regal wave): We just won’t tell him! So let me do the formal introductions. She nods to the more rakish of the two, with blue eyes and dark, wavy hair. Read the rest of this entry »
Today, I have the great pleasure to welcome Amylynn Bright to the Duchesses. Her new self-published release, Lady Belling’s Secret, is a delightful story of a woman who is just two weeks from her wedding when an old love comes back into her life and begins turning her world upside-down.
“She let him get away once. Now he regrets it, and he wants her to himself. GASP! She’s already taken. Quick! Take her to bed and buy her puppy.”
I know I should start by asking about the romance (which is lovely) and the main characters (which are rich and interesting), but I found myself fixated on a quartet of secondary characters. You see, having put a border collie front and center in my own first book, a West Highland terrier in my second, and an Irish wolfhound in my next, the two pairs of Newfoundland dogs in Lady Belling’s Secret absolutely enchanted me.
Amylynn Bright: Yeah, us dog people are like that, huh? Read the rest of this entry »
I still remember the day I first started stalking… er…. learned about Sarah MacLean. I was perusing Dear Author, trying to figure out which books I wanted to read next when I came across an outstanding review for Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart. Now, an A ranking on Dear Author doesn’t come along every day of the week. In fact, the thought of actually having one of my books reviewed on Dear Author makes this Duchess want to dive into a bottle of Jim Beam.
A really big bottle of Jim Beam.
With one of those ginormous straws that McDonalds serves that you can fit 10 Wendy’s straws through. Read the rest of this entry »
Please welcome Regency Author Bronwen Evans! She’s here to share some background on the Regency Wager:
I love a good Regency romance, mainly because I love the dashing rakes of the early 1800’s. Obviously having read a lot of Regency romances over the years, I became intrigued by the gentlemen clubs such as Whites and Brookes and what went on in these male bastions.
I’m sure all manner of revelry and drinking and more salacious activities occurred. But one I find mentioned more frequently in Regency romances is ‘the wager’.
I’ve read many stories where wagers were laid at Whites in the infamous betting book. I did some research and found some ridiculous and downright cruel wagers, placed by men who were obviously bored, were sadists and had far too much money. Read the rest of this entry »
Today, author Susana Ellis has dropped in to tell us about her latest release. Susana is a former teacher who is now living her dream of writing full time.
The summer solstice, or Midsummer’s Day, is the longest day (the most daylight) of the year. The Midsummer Festival began as a pagan event, with bonfires on Midsummer’s Eve (June 23) to protect against evil spirits and magical beings who allegedly come alive during the night. Gold plants (as gold was the color associated with the day, due to the strength of the sun’s rays) were believed to have special healing powers if picked at that time. As Christianity gained in popularity, the powers-that-be deftly turned it into a Christian holiday, celebrating the birth of St. John the Baptist, who was born six months before Christ.
During the Reformation, the Midsummer’s Day Festival was discredited by many religious authorities due to its pagan beginnings and the lechery and gluttony associated with it. Nevertheless, it still persisted in Regency England on a limited basis as a quasi-religious holiday during the summer months. Vicars intent on following strict Anglican doctrines refused to endorse such celebrations; others took advantage of the day to reinforce the importance of John the Baptist and the Gospel of Christ.
Award-winning author Robyn DeHart is known for her unique plotlines and authentic characters.
Publishers’ Weekly calls her writing “comical and sexy” while the Chicago Tribune dubs her “wonderfully entertaining.”
A four-time RT Bookclub Reviewers’ Choice award nominee and three-time RomCon Reader’s Crown nominee, Robyn’s new trilogy on forbidden love comes from Entangled Scandalous, beginning with “A Little Bit Wicked.”
Today, she takes tea with Duchess Diana Quincy and reveals why she decided to get Scandalous!