When I was about to start reading "Passion & Propriety," the author warned me that there were graphic physical scenes of the love category and that they did not fade to black. Because I generally enjoy clean romance, she did not want me to be surprised. I decided to go ahead and give the book a try because I'd heard a lot about the author and wanted to see what she had going for her.
The book is a historical romance, complete with vicars and viscounts. In fact, if the book were to be renamed, I would suggest "Vicars & Viscounts" for the name! Ha. I don't usually like books of the historical nature, but this one didn't dive too deep into the historical aspects other than the setting and the way people acted. It was also somewhat of a beauty and the beast type of story as the vicar's daughter undertook care of a scarred man and nursed him back to health when no one else thought it was possible. I wont' say much more about the plot so I don't ruin anything for anyone.
Yes, there were physical love scenes and they were rather graphic. If you do not like scenes like that you'll either need to skip over a few things in the book or skip the book completely. But one thing that I liked about the scenes in this instance was that the couple doing the deed was married before anything of the nature happened. While I personally don't feel like reading the details of such things, I am glad that they were at least married. So many romance books have strangers going at it and it just ends up making light of the whole situation. These scenes weren't as dirty just because the couple was married.
But back to the overall book plot and so on...the book was very well written and it flowed nicely the whole way through. Even though it was a genre I don't usually read, I found myself looking for time to get back into it so I could see how things were going to turn out for the characters. I enjoyed it and only blushed a few times. :)
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I'm a mother of three and grandmother of one, and I will have been married for 31 years the day before Passion and Propriety's release day. I worked for many years as a counsellor and family therapist, but I'm currently taking a break and am writing full time.
Was writing something you always wanted to do or did it come later?
Definitely later! I've always loved reading, especially romance stories of all genres, finding it a terrific escape from the stresses of my work. About four years ago, I discovered the wonderful world of fan fiction. I made friends with some terrific authors who encouraged me when I plucked up the courage to write my own stories. To my surprise, my second story, A Forbidden Love, gained quite a following, and I was contacted by The Writer's Coffee Shop about becoming a published author.
How do you come up with your ideas?
I started out wanting to answer the 'what if' questions that inspires many of us to have a go at writing fan fiction. Then after reading an odd little book giving the most appalling advise to young brides during the Victorian era, I was inspired to write my Forbidden Love series. A historical romance set in 1831, it is a rollicking fairytale story, with a ridiculously satisfying and happily ever after ending, that also tackles some tough issues to do with the exploitation of girls, the lower classes, and the almost non-existent rights of women during this time. My latest book, Passion and Propriety, was inspired, in part, by watching Disney's Beauty and the Beast with my gorgeous granddaughter. After multiple viewings, I found myself asking, how do we define beauty, what makes someone beastly, and how on earth would you tackle a 'realistic' story involving a curse?
Is there a better time of the day for you to write?
Mornings are my best time when my mind is fresh, though my 'muse' sometimes prefers the middle of the night when I'm supposed to be sleeping.
How long does it take you to get through the first draft?
Too long! I wish I was one of those authors that could churn out thousands of words a day, but I'm a pretty slow writer. On average it takes me around four to six months to write a full length story.
What was the hardest part of the publishing process?
The initial editing process was very challenging! I was (and still am) keen to learn, but there were just so many things I had to learn, and going over the manuscript again and again was exhausting.
Any advice for new authors?
Make friends with other indie authors! Their support and advise will be invaluable.
Tell us about the other novels you have out.
I have had two books published by The Writer's Coffee Shop, Innocence and Protection. They are books one and two of my Forbidden Love series. Here's the summary for Innocence -
“Forced to flee her father's brutal heir, Anneliese Barlow masquerades as Lisa Brown, a servant, in the grand country mansion of the Duke of Worthington. Discovering the life of gentility she had known was a virtual fairytale, reality a dark and forbidding place, she faces danger at every turn.
Captivated by the beautiful maid, the duke's heir, Nathaniel, the Marquis of Marsden, decides the only way to keep Lisa safe is by offering her his protection. With all hopes of returning to her previous station lost, she surrenders her virtue to the man she has come to love. Finding unexpected passion in Nathaniel's arms, her senses are awakened to a world of sensuality she'd not known existed . . . a world not without grave risks. If her identity is uncovered, Lisa's innocence won't be the only thing that's lost.”
Now tell us about this one!
Passion and Propriety is the first book in my new Hearts of Honour series. The heroine of the story, Hannah Foster, is the eldest of the widowed Vicar of Hartley's three daughters. Having spent years nursing her ailing mother and caring for her younger sisters, she is resigned to spinsterhood. Our hero, William Blackthorn, a military officer and wealthy Viscount, returns to Hartley after a ten year absence, seriously wounded and not expected to live. Passion and Propriety is something of a fairytale with a hidden 'beauty', an honourable 'beast', and a curse that threatens their happiness.
Any works in progress?
Yes! I'm a little over halfway through writing the second book in the Hearts of Honour series. It is called Duty and Desire and tells the story of Grace Daniels, the illegitimate daughter of a lord who has carved a career as a midwife and herbalist, and Jonathan Loring, a retired officer and younger son of a baron who is forced to work for a living as an estate manager. We meet both these characters in Passion and Propriety, and I'm very excited about their story.
What are your writing goals that you have not yet reached?
More books! I've got another three or four books I'd like to write for the Hearts of Honour series, but I also have a 'shifter' story involving a not-so-alpha wolf keeping me awake at nights, and a series of Nephilim stories involving descendants of angels I'm dying to tell.
We'd love to hear a few quirky facts about you that don't usually come up in interviews.
I was determined to learn to ride when I was a girl despite having serious balance issues caused by multiple ear infections. I fell off over 25 times on my first week long riding camp which made me very unpopular with my team mates, as we lost 5 points for every fall!
Last year, my wonderful husband and I took a four month caravanning holiday around Australia. It was the most amazing experience, with the Kimberley and Far North Queensland my favourite places. We travelled 20 000 kms, and I drove for exactly one hour! (Yeah...towing a caravan turned out harder than I expected.) It turned out for the best, as I rewrote and edited Protection along the way while hubby drove. :)
Anything else you want to add...
LOL! I think that's enough for now! I hope you enjoy my stories. :)