Monday, 23 December 2013

Contract Offer!

Just received  a contract offer for my medieval  romance.

More details soon :-)


Thursday, 19 December 2013

Guest Author: Multiple award-winning author, Jacqueline Seewald

 Multiple award-winning author, Jacqueline Seewald, has taught creative, expository and technical writing at University as well as high school English. She also worked as both an academic librarian and an educational media specialist. Fifteen of her books of fiction have been published to critical praise including the romantic mysteries THE INFERNO COLLECTION, THE DROWNING POOL, THE TRUTH SLEUTH and DEATH LEGACY. Her most recent release is her prize-winning sensual historical romance THE CHEVALIER available as an e-book in all formats at: http://steamereads.com.au/product/the-chevalier/
Her short stories, poems, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in hundreds of diverse publications and numerous anthologies.

Q:  Thank you so much for joining me today. Can you tell our readers a little about your writing? What genres do you enjoy writing?

I write in many genres. I’ve written children’s books as well as young adult fiction. However, most of my novels are written for adult readers. I enjoy reading romance in particular and so I write a good deal of romantic fiction. I love romantic suspense as well as romantic mysteries. I do enjoy contemporary romance. But I particularly love historical romance.

Q:  Do you write on a schedule or when the Muse decides?

I write every morning, starting about 6 a.m. I think it’s important to be disciplined as a writer. You can’t be a writer unless you write.
Q: Can you tell us about your writing process, for example, do you write an outline first?

I don’t outline with short stories but I do with novels. Of course, you never know when characters will decide to rebel and take on a life of their own.

Q:  What qualities do you instill in your heroes?

They must have sex appeal. This may sound shallow, but if we are honest, men need to have some sort of magnetism that draws a woman. Looks matter, though the hero doesn’t have to be a “pretty boy.” Usually my heroes are rougher, tougher, physically and psychologically. They must show respect for the heroine and care about her feelings and well-being. This does not mean they are always tender. I also think a good hero will be flawed, far from perfect. But by the end of the novel, he should make amends with the help of the heroine for his errors in judgement.

Q. Coffee or tea?

Both. Coffee first thing in the morning so my mind is as sharp as possible. A variety of teas during the day and evening.
Q. Beach or countryside?

Again, I love both. But I look out on the Hudson River and have a view of Manhattan where I live on the cliffs of the New Jersey side. I guess you’d say I’m more of a beach person. I love the Jersey shore in particular.

Q. Do you write about the places you know or prefer to take your readers to exotic places?

Again, both. My romantic mystery series is set in New Jersey, a state I have lived in my entire life. However, I was an English major and a Social Studies minor as an undergraduate. I have graduate degrees in English and Library Science. So you might say I have travelled to exotic places through reading and book adventures. I do considerable research for all my novels but the historicals in particular. THE CHEVALIER, for instance, is an historical romance set in 1745 in the era of the second Jacobite rebellion in Scotland and England. These were turbulent, unsettled times, romantic by their very nature. My hero, Gar, is a British officer, my heroine, Madeline, is both Scottish and French. Their relationship is passionate from the first but they are separated by the politics of the times.

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

I’m surrounded by interesting people, their lives, their stories. I also read nonfiction as well as fiction and gain inspiration from that. And there is the inner workings of my own imagination of course.

Q: Would you change anything in your life to make writing easier.

I’m not certain that I would. My husband urged me to take an early retirement so that I could write, and I followed his advice. I have no regrets.

Q: We have all suffered submission rejections. How do you cope? Do you have any advice to other writers on coping with rejection?

I hate rejections, but it’s part of being a writer. As a writer I tend to be sensitive, but I know that not every editor will like my work. Fortunately, there have been enough acceptances so that I have kept on with my writing.
My advice to novice writers. First, take some writing courses. Learn how to write properly before you break rules. Make time to write each day. Expect to edit your own work. You never get it just right the first time. Write, put the work aside, and then come back to it at a future time, so that you can do a proper edit before you submit you work. There are always mistakes.

Q: What do you like to read and who are your favourite authors?

I enjoy reading so many different authors that I can’t pick out just a few. At this time, there are a great many truly talented people writing wonderful books and short stories.

Q: Do you write one novel at a time or do you move between works in progress?

I tend to fixate on one novel at a time, although, I have worked on short stories intermittently with my most current romance novel. For example, I have a collection of romance stories of varied heat levels out right now as an e-book on Amazon from a small publisher entitled BEYOND THE BO TREE: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DTV0750

Q: Do you have times when the Muse is away on holiday?

Like all writers, I’m not always “on.” When that happens, I spend more time on social networking and also actively read the books of other writers.

Q. What motivates you to write?

It’s something I’ve wanted and needed to do since I was a young girl. I’m a creative person and this is a major way of expressing creativity.

Q. What advice would you give to unpublished authors approaching an e publisher?

Know what that publisher does and does not publish. Read their books. If the publisher only does noir mysteries then don’t submit your romance there. Do your homework so that you don’t waste your time.

Q: Is there anything you would like to share with us about upcoming releases?

Right now I have six new short stories that will be published in six anthologies in different genres by a variety of publishers.

I also hope to see a new edition of my historical sensual Regency TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS published soon. The novel was endorsed by Jayne Ann Krentz, one of my favourite romance writers. Mary Balogh read the manuscript early on providing invaluable editorial suggestions and insights.
Also, the fourth Kim Reynolds romantic mystery novel is now in the edit phase and hopefully will be published sometime in 2014.

Elizabeth: Well, you have two of my favorite authors as acquaintances,  how wonderful. I think I've read Mary Balogh's entire back list this year.  It would be  a dream come true to have Mary Balogh read a manuscript. I am so jealous :-)

Q: Can you tell us a little about your current novel? What inspired you to write this story?

I read TOM JONES by Fielding many years ago, loved the novel and the movie version. THE CHEVALIER is in that tradition-- lots of fast-paced adventure with a lusty romance full of energy.
I’ve always been fascinated by British literature and history and taught Brit Lit for a  number of years. You could call this novel my tribute to that tradition.

Blurb: The Chevalier is a sensual historical romance set in England and the Scottish Highlands in 1745 at the time of the second Jacobite Rebellion. The romantic involvement is between a French aristocrat who is part Scottish and a British army officer who finds her as desirable as she finds him. Try as hard as they might, their overwhelming passion for each other cannot be denied. Unfortunately, people and events come between them and nearly destroy their relationship. Madeline--young, romantic, passionate, impulsive--and Gareth--world weary, cynical—meet in a time of political upheaval. They are on opposite sides. Yet there is a strong and immediate attraction between them. Madeline's mother wants her to marry her Highland laird cousin, Andrew, but Madeline's heart is with Gar.

From Chapter One:

London, 1745

She found her warm shawl and moved with agility across the room and out the wide doors. There was torchlight to illuminate the walkways through the shrubbery, but the garden was deserted. Madeline bravely continued forward, shivering in the evening chill. As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she could see the tall figure of a man off to one side looming near a carved bench, his leg raised as he leaned forward on it. She decided to simply walk past him.
     "I wouldn't go walking through the hedge." His voice was deep, resonant and pleasing to her ear.
     He had actually noticed her. She quickly turned around. "Why not?"
     "It is not the sort of thing a young lady should do if she is unescorted."
     "Then perhaps you might escort me?" She was glad that it was dark so that he would be unlikely to see how red her face was, for she was certain that it had colored deeply. In her whole life, she had never been so outspoken.
     He let out a rumbling, surprised laugh that came from deep within his chest. "You would compromise your reputation if you took a walk in the maze with me."
     "Would we get lost?" she asked in a soft voice.
     "Most assuredly, I do not know the way. And you would certainly be lost."
     She stared into his eyes with interest. "I was told that you are a notorious rake. Is that so?" She was mortified by her own audacity.  What was wrong with her? Mama would slap her if she knew how badly Madeline was behaving.
     He laughed again with a surprised sound that had the clarity of a bell. "You are either the most innocent chit imaginable or the most accomplished flirt I have ever had occasion to meet."
     He sounded amused but she regretted her foolish remark. Surely, she had been taught better. "I am sorry. I truly did not mean to behave in an insulting manner."
     He smiled at her in a forgiving manner. "Who protects you?"
     Her brows rose questioningly. "Why do I need protection?"
     "From men like me, of course," he said with a disarming smile that took her breath away. "We are prone to snatch away the innocence of young maidens. Who are you?"
     "I am Madeline de Marnay. My father, Etienne de Marnay, was the Comte de Sarnou, French Deputy Ambassador to England. He died six months ago."
     "My condolences. And you have not returned to France, Mademoiselle?"
     "No, my maman is ill and does not wish to leave England quite yet. But when we go, I believe it will not be to France but to Scotland."
     He narrowed his jewel-like eyes. "Why Scotland of all places?"
     "Maman was born there. She still has family in the northwest. My grandfather was the chief of a clan in the Highlands but he supported King James against the Elector of Hanover and was forced to flee with his family or be arrested for treason." She was telling him more than she ought. Why did she have the unfortunate tendency to babble when she was nervous?
     "So your mother wants to return to the Highlands, but why?"  His tone was cool, disinterested.
     "The Highlands will always be her home. And now that Papa is gone, she wishes to be buried with her own people."
     Gareth Eriksen shook his head. "She is picking the worst possible time to go to Scotland. Tell her that the Young Pretender is on the march with a Highland army. Soon, they'll be facing a large British force and the danger to anyone caught in between could be devastating. She would be risking your life as well as her own."  His fierce frown was magnificently masculine and she let out a small sigh of admiration.
     "Prince Charles Edward might make a fine showing, don't you think?" Madeline was unable to restrain the enthusiasm from her voice. The passion she expressed for the cause masked the strange, disturbing feelings for the handsome stranger that so heated her blood.
     She hoped that he could not read her mind; she would truly die of shame if he had an inkling of how desperately she wished to caress his cheek with the tips of her fingers. And Mother of God, if only this virile man would crush her into his arms and kiss her—perhaps even make love to her! Where were such wild, outrageous thoughts coming from? She must be mad!”

Buy Link: The Chevalier

Book cover URL:
Author’s links:
Beyond the Bo Tree
Death Legacy
The Chevalier
The Third Eye

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Guest Author today: Isabella Hargreaves

Joining me today is author, Isabella Hargreaves     

 Hi Elizabeth, thanks for inviting me! I'm an Australian author of historical romances. My stories are usually set in my favourite eras, both in Australia and England. I've been interested in history all my life, so much so that I’ve been working as an historian for the last seven years.  Recently Steam eReads published my first historical novel, The Persuasion of Miss Jane Brody, after it was a prize winner in their 2013 ‘Some Like it Hot’ Romantic Fiction Competition.

Q:  Can you tell our readers a little about your writing? What genres do you enjoy writing?
A: I write historical romance, usually set in the Regency period, but my latest two are set in the 1920s and in Anglo-Saxon England.
Q:  Do you write on a schedule or when the Muse decides?
A: I try to write every weekday, usually while commuting by train to work. Other than that I write on school holidays when I’m home spending time with my daughter.
Q: Can you tell us about your writing process, for example, do you write an outline first?
A: I write an outline so I know where I’m heading, but it’s not scene by scene – more like: chapter by chapter – deciding what each will do for the plot and/or characterisation.
Q:  What qualities do you instill in your heroes?
A: They have to be strong, decisive and secure enough in their masculinity to be empathetic, caring and tender-hearted.
Q. Coffee or tea?
A: Tea, please.
Q. Beach or countryside?
A: I love both. Walks along the beach or in the country are so relaxing and refreshing.
Q. Do you write about the places you know or prefer to take your readers to exotic places?
A: Generally I write about place I have visited – in England and Australia.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
A: My inspiration often comes from reading biography.
For my current work in progress, inspiration came from an entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography.
These are only starting points, but they get me thinking about how someone in a certain set of circumstances would react or whether a different outcome for their life might have been possible. I give my character that different life – with a happy ending – of course!
Q: Would you change anything in your life to make writing easier.
A: Not working full-time would make finding the time for writing easier… but isn’t likely to happen any time soon!
Q: We have all suffered submission rejections. How do you cope? Do you have any advice to other writers on coping with rejection?
A: Yep, one can’t be a writer without receiving rejections It’s a disappointment to receive one, but it’s also a sign that maybe that publisher wasn’t the right one for the story, or that something needs strengthening in what I’ve written. If comments have been given, I read them, put them down for a while to get over the disappointment, then come back to them with fresh eyes later to consider the suggestions and either make the changes or even dismiss some of them. It’s important to move on to the next submission. With each rejection, you’re learning something either about your story or that particular publisher and what they’re after.
Q: What do you like to read and who are your favourite authors?
A: I like to read historical romances (of course) and contemporaries (although I just can’t write them). My favourite authors are: Mary Balogh, Mary Ann Shaffer, Liz Carlyle, Jennifer Crusie, Jane Austen and Noelle Clark.
Q: Do you write one novel at a time or do you move between works in progress?
A: Usually I write one novel at a time so I can submerge myself in it, but I have been known to start another story when I get a great idea and I’ll write the premise, synopsis, first chapter and book outline. Then I have to decide whether to keep going with the new story or go back to the first.
Q: Do you have times when the Muse is away on holiday?
A: Oh yes! Then it’s a matter of just keeping going. She will come back unless I’ve got so far up a dry gully I need to go back and seriously rethink the plot or conflict.
Q. What motivates you to write?
A: Wanting to tell the story and to write something I would want to read.
Q. What advice would you give to unpublished authors approaching an e publisher?
A: Same as for a print publisher – polish your manuscript, have it critiqued or evaluated – make sure it’s the best you can make it and then send it and get on with the next project.
Q: Is there anything you would like to share with us about upcoming releases?
Q: Can you tell us a little about your current novel? What inspired you to write this story?
 A: Sure.  Inspiration for my recent novel, The Persuasion of Miss Jane Brody, came from reading about the life and writings of Mary Wollstonecraft and asking ‘how would a supporter of her views cope with falling in love?’
That someone was my heroine, Jane Brody, a member of an educated and intellectual family, who not only absorbed Wollstonecraft’s views but advocated them as well.  Jane is an intelligent woman who wants to lead a purposeful life and be treated as an equal by men. She thinks that marriage and motherhood robbed her mother of many things and ultimately, her life. She doesn’t want to marry – ever – for fear that she will lose the things she values. What she doesn’t realize is that LOVE was the reason for her mother’s choice to marry and to have all those children, and that it is a powerful motivation. Like Wollstonecraft, she falls in love and in doing so tries to find a way to retain her principles while committing to her love. Jonathan Everslie, Marquis of Dalton, knows he has to marry soon but can’t quite commit to marrying one of the facile young women he meets. Then he meets Jane…
Blurb: Jonathan Everslie, Marquis of Dalton, knows he must marry soon to provide an heir who can take care of his large family. His Aunt has already written a list of suitable ladies for Jonathan’s attention. Miss Jane Brody, daughter of a clergyman, is not on that list. As a member of an educated and intellectual family, who advocates the rights of women, Jane struggles to retain her principles as she finds herself falling for Jonathan.
Grosvenor Square, London, August 1817
The door to his library opened abruptly and swung back on its hinges crashing into the bookshelves behind. An erect, grey haired lady dressed in the latest Parisian fashion marched into the room and stood before him as he sat behind his oak desk, bathed in early afternoon sunshine Jonathan Everslie, Marquis of Dalton, gave her his full attention as she wanted and smiled in amused anticipation.
Without hesitation she launched the frontal attack he knew was coming.
“You must marry, Dalton, you must!” Lady Lucinda Mulgrave was emphatic. “You have a large family of dependent aunts and cousins and there is no heir to follow you. Do you want them thrown out on the streets when you die?”
“I must have an heir somewhere Aunt Lucinda. It only stands to reason. If I were to expire, I’m sure he would be found.” The new Marquis of Dalton attempted to calm her with logic. “And would look after his dependents,” he added as an afterthought.
The elderly lady raised her chin and stared down her aquiline nose at her nephew, her mouth set in a disapproving line. “There may be a cousin in New South Wales from my youngest brother who was sent there in exile - but his mother could be a convict for all we know. It is your duty to marry and beget an heir, and soon.”
“Let me be clear. I know it is my duty to marry, and soon, Aunt Lucinda, but I won’t marry anyone I consider unsuitable.”
Doggedly, Lady Mulgrave ploughed on with her lecture. “This is not the time to be fastidious. There are myriad young ladies every Season, more than suitable for the task – with impeccable backgrounds and some with money to match.”
The Marquis was placating. “And I will consider them. However, the Season doesn’t begin for another seven months, so this conversation is premature.”
“Nonsense, there are many families with eligible daughters whom you could visit, or invite to stay at Everslie in the meantime.”
“And how do you suggest I do that?”
“You have your secretary write invitations and send them, Jonathan.” She glared at him.
“How do I know who these candidates are?”
“I have a list already written.” She produced it with a flourish and laid it in front of him on his desk. “I expect to be presiding over a house party for these ladies and their families at Everslie by Christmas.”
Having delivered her message and assuming agreement, Lady Mulgrave nodded to her nephew in conclusion and sailed from his presence.
In frustration, the Marquis ran his long fingers through his hair, pushing the short brown curls from his forehead. He picked up the list and cast a knowing eye down its length. He had met them all and been bored to the point of irritation by their simpering ways. He groaned then crumpled the paper into a ball and threw it into the empty fire grate.
“Stevens!” His man of business arrived quickly. “Send to the stables for Nate to saddle my horse. I’m going out for a ride. I believe we have concluded today’s business.”
“Yes, we have my lord, but have you forgotten that you promised to take your sister to a lecture this afternoon, as Lady Mulgrave is unavailable?”
Vexed at the impediment to his escape, he sank back into his chair behind the desk. “Ah, yes, I do remember. We shall be gone for the afternoon. Thank you Stevens, continue with your work.” He changed his mind. “No – send word to my solicitor that I shall see him tomorrow morning.”
“May I tell him what it concerns, my lord?”
“Yes, I wish to trace the whereabouts of my uncle in Australia, or his family, should he have met his maker.”
Stevens nodded compliance and left to follow the Marquis’ orders.
Alone again, Dalton sank into a reverie about the onerous obligations that befall those who inherit titles – that of producing heirs for the benefit of their families. Of course, he mused, it shouldn’t be an onerous task to find a wife and create a family - it should be a pleasurable duty. Why wasn’t it turning out that way?

He wanted her. Only her.
The Marquis of Dalton shook his head. Was he mad? Where did that idea come from?
The room came back into focus and her words swirled around him. The drawing room in the modest townhouse, leased by The Reverend William Brody, was awash with late summer light streaming through its tall arched windows. An assortment of well-loved chaise longue and chairs were grouped around the simply dressed young woman who was expounding in her low-pitched voice on a better way to educate young women to take their place as men’s equals in society.
She had drawn quite a crowd for this unfashionable time of year. But then again there wasn’t a fashionable person in the room. Instead, when he looked around, those he recognised were doctors and the committed few society people who devoted themselves to philanthropic causes. To his left was Mrs Courtice, an eccentric elderly widow who supported every charitable cause in the city. Her bird-like form was clothed in an outmoded dress. That was deceptive. She was neither timid nor wanting for money. In fact, he knew that her husband had left her extremely wealthy as there was no entailment on his property and no children to support.
What was he doing here? In answer he glanced at his sister beside him. Her pale face contrasted with the dark circles beneath her eyes. She had urged him to accompany her to this important talk for women.
Oh, he had resisted of course. What man in his right mind wouldn’t, especially a peer of the realm? To entertain such notions was to upset the established balance of the world as it was known. His role was to keep things stable. Bad enough that the working classes were threatening to rise up against their masters.
Nevertheless, he couldn’t resist a plea from his sister Elizabeth for long. Her sweet disposition had always meant that he gave in to her requests - the precious few she made. Involving herself in charity work from the time she had left the schoolroom, she had pulled him into supporting her causes with generous donations. Occasionally he accompanied her when she needed a chaperone other than their aunt, but he had not escorted her to this residence before.
He focused again on the speaker. Miss Jane Brody was petite, confident, and articulate. She had the most beautiful open and earnest face with clear blue eyes. Her wavy golden brown hair was formed into a severe knot at the back of her head, emphasising her high cheekbones but not improving her attractiveness at all. He began imagining how her loosened hair would curl around her slender shoulders. How far would it drape down her naked back? The audience listened in silence, intent on her message, unaware of his lascivious thoughts.
Soon the talk ended. For a moment there was stillness then polite applause began. As hostess, the speaker invited all to join her for tea, which two servants brought in on cue. A hubbub of conversation followed as a number of guests surged towards her. Elizabeth took Jonathan’s arm and urged him forward into the throng around the woman now presiding behind the large teapot.
Apparently Elizabeth knew the speaker. She skirted the chairs, guiding him to the young woman in her daffodil yellow summer dress Jane Brody looked like sunshine and he was being drawn to her. The thick carpet hushed his highly polished Hessian boots but the tassels swished against them as he strode forward, catching her attention he noticed as she looked up at their approach. Her gaze openly admired his form and air.
Elizabeth introduced them in her breathy voice and Jonathan courteously responded. “Charmed to meet you Miss Brody. My sister insisted that I accompany her to hear your views.” And I will certainly do so again after seeing how very much more attractive you are close up.
“I’m delighted to meet you Lord Dalton. I trust I have convinced you that women have voices which ought to be heard. This fraternity needs people in high places such as you to spread the word and convince men that women are entitled to equal rights.”
Surprised by her calm expectation that he was a supporter of her women’s cause, Jonathan felt compelled to disabuse her. “I’m afraid that I do not yet believe there is reason or need for women to demand an equal place in our society.”
“If they do not need equality of rights, then why do women die every day from too many confinements weakening their health?” she demanded quietly.
“Unfortunately they do die,” he replied. His face was impassive. “But that is an issue for man and wife to debate and settle – not society as a whole. And surely not a subject for an unmarried woman to concern herself with?”
“And how do you expect women to control their reproduction if they are not permitted to discuss the question and the means before they are wed? Afterwards it becomes a fait accompli, does it not?” she queried.
Her smile was still in place and her voice was calm but, Jonathan noted, there was a look of fierce determination on her face. He expected she may be a formidable opponent if pitted against him.
“So I can count on your maiden speech in parliament being on the topic of women’s rights my lord?” she added.
Good God; had she left hold of her sanity like old King George? “I’m afraid not Miss Brody, I will not be lecturing my peers on such a personal topic.” He hoped the conversation was at an end, but he saw a battle light in her eyes and suspected she would not let him off the hook.
She spoke quietly. “I took you for a man of greater moral fibre my lord. I see I was mistaken.” She turned to his sister and then Mrs Courtice on her right offering them tea and cake.
He was dismissed – as if of no further interest or use to her. It was an unfamiliar feeling – of being ignored by an unmarried woman, or by anyone else for that matter. Stunned, he stepped back from the group and strode away to talk with Dr Logan, the middle-aged doctor who aided a mission in Wapping for unmarried mothers. It was a charity to which Jonathan had given funds for some time but in which he had never taken a close interest, preferring instead to let his money do the work. He listened distractedly to the doctor but his mind was churning.
This woman, this Miss Jane Brody, the daughter of a clergyman, had challenged his very usefulness in the world and found him wanting. Anger flared in him. By what right did she feel she could do that? Did she truly believe that women were the equal of men? Obviously she did. He cast his eye around the room. Did all these people hold the same belief and expectation? It was a sobering thought.
The anger died as quickly as it rose. Why be angry at being called to account? Better to be curious and find out more about her ideas like the man of letters which he was. He vowed to investigate her and her writings, find the flaws in her beliefs and make sure that she could never put him on the back foot again.
His eyes were drawn to her slight but womanly figure seated at ease amongst the China tea set. She looked so right there; as did most ladies of his acquaintance. It was a charming and attractive sight. But she wasn’t chatting about the weather and fashions and events for the upcoming Season like others. Instead she and her fellow bluestockings and philanthropists were discussing ways of changing the order of things in society.
She was a disturbing phenomenon.
Jane seethed. While smiling and serving her guests she sensed Lord Dalton’s eyes on her. He was the most annoying man. First his narrow-minded attitudes and now his steady brown-eyed gaze upon her. He was every inch the Corinthian, from his short brown hair swept upon his brow and his tall athletic body clad in the best of men’s fashion, to his shining Hessian boots. Obviously good looks, a wonderful physique and enormous wealth did not ensure intelligence and manners!
What a contrast to his delightful and thoughtful sister. Jane had met Lady Elizabeth a number of times at meetings of charity groups over the last few months. The last encounter had been at a ball when Lady Elizabeth had been accompanied by her aunt, Lady Lucinda Mulgrave. The aunt had seemed a typical society matron intent on pushing her niece forward into a suitable match. It appeared the brother might do the same.
Having met two examples of the family Jane hoped these traditionalists were not pressuring Lady Elizabeth to accept the usual role for women before she was old enough to think for herself.
Jane had one sister already married and the next one, Anna, was keen to find a husband. Jane couldn’t understand the haste or the reasoning - she was glad to be unshackled by husband and children who would claim every moment of her day. Instead, she enjoyed devoting her spare time to charitable work when not supervising her father’s household and organising her three youngest siblings who were still living at home. Now nineteen, Anna required only escorting to public events from time to time, while the younger pair still needed tutoring, which she shared with her father.
Her other sister Charlotte had married about a year ago, at what Jane felt was the very young age of twenty. Despite all her counselling to wait a little longer, until she was at least of age and better knew her fiancĂ© - a cavalry officer - Charlotte had persuaded their father to give his consent to the marriage. She was now residing near Portsmouth close to the cavalry regiment’s encampment. Too far away for frequent visiting, leaving only weekly letter writing between the sisters as their means of communication.
Eight years after his wife’s death her father, the Reverend Brody, had not recovered his zest for life, nor much interest in the people and events around him. He seemed to have shrunk inside his clothes; his hair had gone white and his laughter rare. In the interim Jane had taken over much of his charity work.
Marshalling her thoughts, Jane involved herself in the conversation between Mrs Courtice and Lady Elizabeth going on beside her. “Have you been well, Lady Elizabeth?” asked Jane.
“Yes, much improved since the cloudy, foggy days have gone,” she responded. “As long as London’s sky remains clear my cough is non-existent. If the weather changes I may have to retreat to the country again, like last Spring. My brother keeps a close eye on me and whisks me away if my symptoms start.”
“Indeed, he is a very caring, solicitous brother from what you say,” Jane conceded.
Lady Elizabeth nodded. “I do wish I could convince him to take up your cause now that he is to take his place in the House of Lords. The rights of women need to be recognised so that we may have some chance of independence in these tumultuous times.”
“Yes, we need a champion in high places if we are to spread your message Jane,” agreed Mrs Courtice. “It is not enough for us to just perform charity work to help women who have fallen on hard times. We need to change the way society thinks of women. We are not inferior to men. We ought to be educated to assume our rightful place beside them.”
Her look pierced Jane. “You must continue to write your pamphlets about our cause Jane. It is valuable work.”
“I hope never to stop until our aim is achieved Mrs Courtice,” Jane agreed. “But we still need a patron – preferably a man of influence.”
“Then you must try to convince my brother to take up our cause Miss Brody,” said Lady Elizabeth. “If anyone can do it, it is you. He has always been complacent about social issues but now that he has inherited his title, he has the ability to effect change. He needs a good shake up.”
“How should I go about that Lady Elizabeth? He seemed quite adamant that he was against women’s rights when I spoke with him a little while ago.”
“Don’t let one failed attempt put you off! Come to see me tomorrow morning. He is always in his study working with his man of business before luncheon I will ensure that you get the opportunity to talk with him there.”
Jane wondered why she felt as though she would be bearding the lion in his den when she visited the handsome, yet reactionary, Lord Dalton to convert him to their cause.
Author’s links: www.isabellahargreaves.com

Monday, 16 December 2013

Guest Author : Lisa Knight

  Please welcome author, Lisa Knight  to my blog today.

Q. Tell my readers a little about yourself.           

I love writing all kinds of stories but romance is definitely my favourite. Curling up with my laptop on a cold winter’s day is my idea of writing heaven and if there’s coffee and chocolate close by that’s even better.
I am always on the lookout for story and character ideas and am inspired by everyday things like people doing their grocery shopping, having morning tea at the local café or saying goodbye in the departure lounge at the airport. Makes me cry just thinking about it!
I live in Canberra with my husband and whenever I can, snatch time to write between being a mum to our three young boys and my job as a social worker.

Q:  Can you tell our readers a little about your writing? What genres do you enjoy writing? 
I have dabbled in a few different genres, but my favourite is contemporary romance. I'm a sucker for people falling love.

Q:  Do you write on a schedule or when the Muse decides?
I'm much more productive with writing in the morning than at night, so most of my work gets done early. Although when I feel like I'm on a good thing with a story I sneak writing in wherever I can.

Q: Can you tell us about your writing process, for example, do you write an outline first?
No outlines at all. I simply start typing and see where it takes me. I know lots of writers begin a new piece of work knowing what the title of the book will be, but I don't come up with that until the very end. It's probably not a good system and I actually find it really hard to choose a title. I need to work on this! 

Q:  What qualities do you instill in your heroes?
I love a certain element of vulnerability especially in the male characters. I'm not against men blubbering about their feelings and shedding a tear or two. For me, a romance is more fun when there is immediate sexual energy between two people. Of course, there also needs to be a dose of good old fashioned jealousy/cheating/misunderstanding/scandal in the way before true love can conquer all!   
Q. Coffee or tea?
Definitely coffee. Yummo.

Q. Beach or countryside?
If only I lived by the beach! We take a few trips a year to the coast and there's nothing better than writing in front of a gorgeous ocean view.  

Q. Do you write about the places you know or prefer to take your readers to exotic places?
I use general areas that are real, but make up the actual town or city in which the story is set. If I had to be accurate with facts about a place, I'd probably get bogged down in the research. Although, in saying that, I once went to a presentation by Monica McInerney and she talked about going to England to explore the area and get a feel for what she was writing about. I made a promise to myself that one day I will do that! 

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
People watching is a great way to pick up ideas for different characters and if I feel a bit stuck, there's nothing like sitting in a crowded cafe to gain a few impressions. My writing is very colloquial so everyday things catch my attention and often end up in my stories. 

Q: Would you change anything in your life to make writing easier.
I'd love to take six months off work and see what writing full time would feel like. It's so hard to even imagine, but I'm certain it would be heaven. 

Q: We have all suffered submission rejections. How do you cope? Do you have any advice to other writers on coping with rejection?
Being rejected really stings, but chocolate does help with the pain. My advice is to just keep submitting and submitting because even with rejection, there is often useful feedback to take on board. I always have to remind myself that it's the actual writing part that I love the most, and no-one can ever take that from me. 

Q: What do you like to read and who are your favourite authors?
I fell in love the with the JR Ward, Black Dagger Brotherhood series. It is so good! I also love Kristan Higgins and Liane Moriarty. Anything with a bit of romance and drama has me hooked.

Q: Do you write one novel at a time or do you move between works in progress?
I have about three things going on at the one time, and when I get sick of working on one I switch to another to stop me from getting bored.

Q: Do you have times when the Muse is away on holiday?
Of course. This is the time when all the house work gets done!  

Q. What motivates you to write?
Writing gives me an escape into another world, where I can make up whatever I like and have control over who does what. It's my time, where I can zone out from kids and work and all that other every day stuff. I love it.

Q. What advice would you give to unpublished authors approaching an e publisher?
Be brave and take the risk. Just do it and see what happens. Oh and check for spelling and grammar mistakes before you submit. 

Q: Is there anything you would like to share with us about upcoming releases? 
I'm currently working on a new piece so hopefully 2014 will see another release date for me. 

Q: Can you tell us a little about your current novel? What inspired you to write this story?
'The View From Here' was an absolute joy to write. The characters are lots of fun and the pace of the book is quick and easy. I had no agenda or outline when I began and each time I sat down to write I was surprised by the direction the characters took me in.

 Blurb: Millie has decided that this will be her year for a relationship and when she meets sexy plumber Adam things start to look up, until he dumps her after what she thought was a fabulous date.
Unknown to Millie, Adam is only trying to keep her out of harm's way from the rather villainous Stan, who's out to collect on a gambling debt.
It takes a bit of stalking and an accidental back kick to bring down the bad guy, leaving the path wide open for Millie and Adam to really get to know each other.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Medieval Romance Featured today

H.C. Brown's Bestselling  Medieval Romance

Book Blurb

 Prince Dallin, second son of King Blaise of Knight Watch is happy with his lover, Striker and is concerned when his uncle summons him back to Knight Watch Castle.  He discovers the Lady Boda has a mission for him and his lover. She sends and Stryker to rescue a Spellweaver. The two shifters discover Lailii is a little more woman than they bargained for.

Guest Authors next week on my blog;

I'll be hosting more  guest authors over the coming months.

 Starting on 16 December with  an interview with author Lisa Knight talking about her writing experience and  a sneak preview of her new novel.

18 December  award winning author Jacqueline  Seewald drops by to discuss her Georgian Romance The Chevalier.

Drop by and say hello :-)