Author Limelight and Giveaway: Historical Romance Author, Elizabeth Ellen Carter…

Today my guest is the gorgeous Elizabeth Ellen Carter, who is celebrating the recent release of her debut historical romance, Moonstone Obsession.  Welcome and congrats, Elizabeth. What an awesome name for a novel!

What was the first story you ever wrote?

I was about 11 and I decided I wanted to be an author over the school holidays. I had run out of Nancy Drew mysteries to read, so I decided to create my own character and write my own adventures. I had a ball, although I do recall writing a full length novel seemed a lot harder than reading one…

Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favourite? What appeals to you the most about this character?

I don’t have a favourite – I love them all for various reasons. I imagine that every author feels the same, so I’m going to beg the question.

My husband, on the other hand who was my first proofreader and editor, has one of the antagonists has his favourites from Moonstone Obsession. Lady Abigail Houghall, it seems, is destined for her own adventure and happily ever after.

Moonstone obsession

Has being published changed you at all? If so, how?

Technically I have been published before. I spent 13 years as a newspaper journalist and I remember as an eager 18 year-old cadet journalist eagerly scouring the Saturday edition of the paper for my first byline.

Being published as an author is a little like that. There is something amazing to be able to say that one is a published author as opposed to being an aspiring author. The breakthrough into being published has given me more confidence in my storytelling

What would we find on your bookshelf / e-reader?

I love the classics as well as eclectic titles – Wilkie Collins, Agatha Christie, Shakespeare, the Bronte Sisters, Thomas Hardy, along with Camille Paglia, Anna Campbell, Philippa Gregory, CS Lewis’ philosophical and science fiction titles and I’m loving GK Chesterton.

What’s the most unappealing thing you’ve ever eaten?

Hmmm, I’m pretty broad in my tastes, so I can’t think of anything off the top of my head. I’ve eaten eel, shark, crocodile, kangaroo, goat, venison, pigeon, rabbit snails, chicken feet. I’d pretty much give anything a try.

You are a brave, brave woman! Chicken feet!

If you could be any of the following characters for one day, who would you be and why? How would you re-write the ending?


a) Scarlett O’Hara
from Gone with the Wind.

b) Thelma or Louise from Thelma and Louise.

c) Princess Leia from Starwars.

d) Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys.

Funnily enough, I don’t really like Scarlett, she’s not a very nice person. Her reasons for stealing her sister’s beau and the dismissal of her own children, for instance are rather thin, but the way Margaret Mitchell has written such a complex character who is still engaging is a full credit to her.

Rather than rewrite the ending, I would like to see Scarlett grow up and learn the error of her ways and realise that her single-minded selfishness is not the way to achieve lasting happiness.

Of all the books in history, which do you wish you wrote and why?

The very first one… can you imagine the royalties?!

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

The ability to suspend time – there never seem to be enough hours in the day.

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If you could go back in time, where would you go and when? What is one thing you would want to take with you?

I would love to go back to the early Regency period – which is the period in which Moonstone Obsession is set such a fascinating social and political era. The one thing I would want to take with me… modern sanitation!

Can you tell us about your works in progress?

I’ve just finished a large novel – another historical romance this one set in the late 11th century called Warrior’s Surrender about a Saxon noblewoman who is forced to wed the enemy – a Norman Baron who now has control of her family’s lands.

I’m about to start work on a contemporary novella, Miss Midnight, which is set in a country radio station.

Finally, can you give us a sneaky excerpt from (insert book name here), please?

Selina raised her head and looked at James fully in the face.

“Truly, I am unharmed.” she nodded. “All except I think, for my dignity because you have been more than kind and you are far too important to have your time monopolised by me.”

James gave a half smile.

The tension and fear that had radiated from her when he first found her had dissipated.  All she had needed was time, not a big scene which would have only embarrassed her further.

He decided to test the mood.

“And what if I told you that you are the only woman here whom I wouldn’t mind being monopolised by?”

Selina genuinely laughed. “Then I’d say you are a most notorious scoundrel and breaker of women’s hearts and I shouldn’t believe a word you tell me.”

James laughed at the spirited rejoinder.

She stood, placing one of her hands in his and giving it a squeeze.

“Thank you,” she smiled down at him.

He stood also, his eyes capturing hers. His hand returned the pressure before lifting her hand to his lips for a kiss that lasted a few moments longer than it needed to.

“I want to see you again, Selina.”

Elizabeth is kindly giving away an e-copy of her debut novel, Moonstone Obsession,  to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment below to be in the draw. This competition will be drawn on Monday the 25th of November and is open world wide. 

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Author’s Magic Moments with historical romance author, Nicole Hurley-Moore…

Hello Nicole!  Welcome to Author’s Magical Moments and congratulations on the pending release of Dancing on Air.

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Hi Sarah, thanks for inviting me.

What was the first story you ever wrote?

I vaguely remember writing a pretty terrible mystery when I was about twelve.

Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favourite? What appeals to you the most about this character?

I do… which might be wrong, but I do. His name is Armand and he is from a half written story I toyed with years ago. He is loyal, handsome and a does what’s right even if it is at his expense. Now, don’t get me wrong – I love all my heroes but it’s Armand I can’t get out of my head. I suppose I had better dust him off and give him his own story.

Has being published changed you at all? If so, how?

Yes, I suppose it has given me a little more confidence in myself and my writing.

What would we find on your bookshelf / e-reader?

Lots and lots of romance (what a surprise!) – Nora Roberts, Julie Garwood, Anne Gracie, Anna Campbell, Jenny Swartz, Samantha Holt just to name a few. Also lots of history books(generally medieval, Georgian and Victorian),  cookbooks and classics. 

What’s the most unappealing thing you’ve ever eaten?

I would like to say haggis (sorry to my Scottish friends), black pudding (sorry Aunty Paddy) or frog legs but the truth is I chickened out at the last moment.

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If you could be any of the following characters for one day, who would you be and why? How would you re-write the ending?


a) Scarlett O’Hara
from Gone with the Wind.

b) Thelma or Louise from Thelma and Louise.

c) Princess Leia from Starwars.

d) Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys.

I don’t know about rewriting the ending, but who doesn’t want to kiss Harrison Ford? 

Of all the books in history, which do you wish you wrote and why?

Pride & Prejudice.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

If I had a superpower it would be the ability to fly… maybe it would help me get over my vertigo.  

If you could go back in time, where would you go and when? What is one thing you would want to take with you?

Too many choices. I love history and there would be far too many interesting time periods and people to see. However I don’t think I would leave the house without a box full of Paracetamol, bottled water and an inhaler 😉

Can you tell us about your works in progress?

I’ve just started the second book in the Dancing on Air series. So once again it will be a Victorian era romance. This time the tale will centre around Evander’s elder brother, Alistair, the Marquess of Coltswood. It’s about a man who can’t see love even when it is literally standing in front of him.

nicole hurley-moore

Finally, can you give us a sneaky excerpt from Dancing on Air, please?

Blurb for Dancing on Air

Cinderella meets Swan Lake in this Victorian-era set story about a ballet dancer, an aristocrat, and their class-crossing romance…
Lisette yearns for freedom, security and love, but none are offered on the run-down stage of The Imperial Theatre. Instead she has hard work, a tyrannical aunt, and the hope of one day becoming a prima ballerina. Dancing on the stage she catches the attention of two powerful men: Lord Gainsworth and Lord De Vale.
Lord Evander Gainswith never expected to fall in love, let alone with a woman so wholly unacceptable to his family and his peers. The sinister Lord De Vale covets Lisette’s youth and strength, and is willing to pay well for it. Lisette may dance roles in fairy tales and fantasies, but the real world is about to intrude, bringing with it the harsh realities of life for a young girl with dreams of rising above the demimonde.

Excerpt:

‘You should not have come,’ Lisette said as she leaned against the darkened doorway of the prop room, She turned her head and looked down the corridor nervously.

‘I could not stay away,’ Evander said.

Lisette looked back at him and raised an eyebrow. ‘Pretty words again, my lord. However you did stay away, didn’t you?’

Evander reached over and took her hand in his. ‘It is not just pretty words, Lisette. I had family business to attend to with my brother. It was unavoidable. The truth is, I thought about you all the time I was gone. I know that we have barely met, but I want to learn all there is about you.’

‘Do you say that to all the girls you woo to your bed?’

Evander’s eyes widened and with a slight laugh he asked, ‘Really Lisette, what would you know of such things?’

‘I have grown up in a theatre… this theatre. I have seen the way of things; handsome lords and rich men weaving their pretty words to make the girls fall in love with them. Then when they are done — when their eyes catch onto the next prize — they leave the girls crying and wretched in their ruin and misery.’ 

‘Lisette, I swear to you this is different… I am different,’ Evander said.

‘Perhaps, but it would be better if you turned your attention elsewhere. I cannot be with you. I have a duty to my aunt and I cannot be swayed from my course.’

 

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Author Limelight and Giveaway: Historical Romance author – Joanna Lloyd

Hello Joanna and welcome to Author’s Limelight! Congratulations on your October 30th release of your historical romance, Shadow Beneath the Sea. What was the first story you ever wrote?

Apart from writing poetry which I began writing 30 years ago to channel a deep grief I was experiencing from the loss of someone I loved, I wrote my first full length novel about 5 years ago. This one was set during the French Revolution with mystery, intrigue and head rolling danger in the court of Louis XVI – a romance between a lady in waiting to the Queen and a revolutionary. It was an exercise to see if I could actually create a fictional story. That one is still in the bottom drawer but I proved to myself I could do it. I haven’t stopped writing since.

Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favourite? What appeals to you the most about this character?

Surprisingly the character who most came alive for me was Callum McDonald in my first published novel, Beyond Innocence. He was a secondary character – a gruff, bearded Scotsman – who burst from the pages with such personality and charisma, it was love at first sight – albeit a fatherly love. Many people who have read the novel have asked for his story.

Beyond Innocence 300

Has being published changed you at all? If so, how?

Suddenly I had a reader market and a responsibility to meet a certain standard. No more just playing with writing. And it wasn’t just the “being published” that changed how I view writing, it was all the paraphernalia that goes with being published. My personal demon – social media/marketing – scariest of all. I thought all I had to do was write a decent book but apparently that’s just the beginning. There’s blogging, tweeting, facebook promotion and most important of all, the three r’s – reviews, reviews and reviews.

What would we find on your bookshelf / e-reader?

I am a very eclectic reader so you would find all of Diana Gabaldon’s books, many of Sara Donati, Sharon Penman, Ken Follett, Tim Winton, Herman Hesse, Tao of Lao Tsu, many books on Buddhism and Psychology.

What’s the most unappealing thing you’ve ever eaten?

Cracker of a question, Sarah! An oyster which slipped and slithered down my throat making me want to throw it up again. I then did just that and discovered I was allergic to shellfish. Phew…that meant I never had to try one again!

If you could be any of the following characters for one day, who would you be and why? How would you re-write the ending?


a) Scarlett O’Hara
from Gone with the Wind.

b) Thelma or Louise from Thelma and Louise.

c) Princess Leia from Starwars.

d) Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys.

Louise who, for once in her life, threw caution to the wind and let her “wild woman” loose. I wouldn’t rewrite the ending. It had such powerful symbolism for me. I grew up as a child of the 60’s/early 70’s who pushed every boundary and experimented madly (and that’s all I’m going to say about that). What a feeling of exhilaration and freedom she must have felt as she drove over the cliff and who knows what happened after that…!

 

Of all the books in history, which do you wish you wrote and why?

I wish I had written Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. I could only have written those words if I understood how life works – and how good would that be? I wouldn’t worry over finishing a book in time (time is an illusion J), I wouldn’t be nervous about whether a book would sell (it doesn’t matter what someone else thinks) and I wouldn’t be striving to get things right (everything is perfect as it is J). But…I didn’t write it so here I am trying to answer all your questions as well as I can so you’ll like me!!

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

I would like to have telekinetic powers which would enable me to move all objects including myself with just a thought. I’d have to be careful what I thought about though, never know what might shoot into the room! However…a quick thought of Jamie Fraser (from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series) or maybe… a long thought of Jamie…sorry, did you say something, Sarah?

Lol, Joanna! I have read that book as well and did enjoy visualising the delicious Jamie Fraser!

If you could go back in time, where would you go and when? What is one thing you would want to take with you?

I would go back to Egypt during the time of the pharaohs, when they were building the Great Pyramid of Giza. A camera would have to be what I took with me to actually document how those pyramids were built! I might have to be there for a while though. Maybe I could go when they were at the pointy end. 

Can you tell us about your works in progress?

Yes, love to. I have about four on the boil. Two contemporary romances, one with a dash of paranormal for which I have created characters and plots and written a couple of chapters to go back to. Then there is one (working title “Children of the Islands”) which is more than half finished which is the story of a mother and daughter beginning in 1946 and spanning a thirty year period. The one I am putting energy into right now is a contemporary with some intrigue, a journey of self-reinvention and romantic elements, called Can You See Me.

Finally, can you give us a sneaky excerpt from Shadow Beneath the Sea, please?

Shadow Beneath the Sea

Blurb:

A great act of war; a greater act of love.

1915: Britain and Germany are at war and the waters off Great Britain have been declared a war zone. In six days the luxury ocean liner, Lusitania, sails from New York to England with 1,959 passengers on board.

Lillian Marshall’s father is determined she will accompany him to England on board the great luxury liner, Lusitania. Walter Marshall needs an accomplice in crime to execute a shrewd con to make their fortune. Lillian is faced with an impossible decision— stay in America and marry a man she doesn’t love for stability and security, or face her fear of sea travel, her father’s crooked schemes and an unknown future to reunite with a family she’s never known.

When Edward James books passage to England on the Lusitania, he believes his future is at last out of his father’s hands and his career as a musician is within reach. Before the ship sails Edward becomes an unwitting ally in Walter’s plan to force his reluctant daughter onto the ship. Edward finds himself drawn to the intriguing Lillian and seeks her company at every opportunity – finally facing the possibility that it may be Lillian who holds his heart.

Unfortunately, his uncle has more insidious plans to wed Edward to the cold-hearted Lavinia Armitage, daughter of a family business partner.

So begins a love story hindered by class, time and promises—Edward’s to marry Lavinia and Lillian’s to steal from the man she loves.

Against a backdrop of vivid characters, obscene wealth, secrets, lies and deceit, the countdown begins toward one of the greatest war-time shipping tragedies in history.

Excerpt:

Although her whole body buzzed with enough adrenaline for her to flee to the furthest reaches of the ship, she sat as if glued to the chair.

            Finally he spoke. “What’s going on over there, Lillian?” Her head jerked up, unprepared for such a question. She had expected him to make weak excuses about forgetting to inform her he was engaged to Lavinia Armitage.

            “Wha … what do you mean?”

            He leaned over and reached for her chin, lifting her head until their eyes met. “I’m sorry to say this, but I don’t trust your father. I’m certain I saw him deal from the bottom of the deck.”

            A cold chill crept up her spine, and she licked her lips, her mouth suddenly as dry as an empty coal bin. Before she could answer, there was a collective gasp in the room. The colonel had folded his cards and relaxed back into his chair. Walter and Zeke stared, unblinking at each other.

            “Did you hear me, Walt? I am calling you and raising ten thousand dollars.”

            Her father pulled out a large handkerchief, patted his throat and put his money on the table. Lillian saw the nervous gesture, but it didn’t match the gleam of excitement in his eyes. “Show your cards, Zeke.”

            Edward grabbed her arm. “Tell me, now, Lillian. Quickly, before they end this.”

            Tears welled in her eyes at the lies she was about to utter, but her future depended on this money. “There is nothing to tell, Edward. You have allowed your imagination to get the better of you.” His gray eyes searched her face, begging for the truth, and in that moment she knew she had wronged him as much as he had wronged her.

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Joanna is giving away an e-book copy of her upcoming release,  Shadow Beneath the Sea, ( e-pub, mobi or pdf format only). All you have to do to be in the draw to win is leave a comment below!

Author Limelight: Erotic Romance writer, Viveka Portman…

Hello Viveka Portman, and welcome to Author’s Limelight!

What was the first story you ever wrote? The first story I truly wrote was an epic medieval fantasy, I was about fifteen at the time.  It was about a girl who wanted to be a mercenary. I still like the premise!

Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favourite? What appeals to you the most about this character? I love all my characters in their own way. I really do have a soft spot however for Lord William Stanton, a character who you see in “The Secret Diary of Lady Catherine Bexley”, and who is a major player in the second book “The Wicked Confessions of Lady Cecelia Stanton” (release date TBA). Lord Stanton is a loveable rogue. He’s a philanderer, gambler but utter charmer. Quick to laugh, and tends to see the best in everyone.

CoverSecretDiary

Has being published changed you at all? If so, how? It hasn’t changed me, but it has changed my writing habits. I was a very lackadaisical writer prior to being published, I’d write when I wanted, and only what I what I wanted. Being published motivates me to be a bit more pro-active, and makes me try different things in my writing.

What would we find on your bookshelf / e-reader? A lot of unread books! I have a To Be Read pile that threatens to dwarf me, I love Julie Garwood, Fiona Walker, I also love George RR Martin, and good paranormal romance, the more unusual the better.

What’s the most unappealing thing you’ve ever eaten? Oh I don’t know, I’ve eaten frogs legs but they were actually quite nice! Generally speaking if I find something unappealing I don’t put it in my mouth…

If you could be any of the following characters for one day, who would you be and why? How would you re-write the ending?

a) Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind.

b) Thelma or Louise from Thelma and Louise.

c) Princess Leia from Starwars.

d) Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys.

I’d probably be Scarlett O’Hara, because I love Gone with the Wind, mostly because of Rhett Butler – awesome hero! If I could re-write the ending, I’d make sure Bonnie Blue didn’t die, and that Scarlett came to her damn senses and realised what a sexy man she had before it was too late!

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Of all the books in history, which do you wish you wrote and why? The Song of Ice and Fire, by George RR Martin – it’s so incredibly epic and engaging. I love it. I admire that man for creating such an amazing world – I’d also like my books to become that popular!

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why? Is speaking to animals a super-power? If it is I’d want that, then I could ask my cat why he vomits on my carpet so much.

If you could go back in time, where would you go and when? What is one thing you would want to take with you? If you want the expected answer, I’d say regency England to see all the clothes and manners… If you want the true answer, it’s a bit random – and possibly shows that I’ve never grown up, but here goes… I’d really like to go back in time to see the dinosaurs, I find extinct animals fascinating and would love to see them alive.  I’d also take an invisibility cloak from Harry Potter – just to be on the safe side.

Can you tell us about your works in progress? I am currently writing the third in my Erotic Regency Diary series. It’s tentatively titled “The Private Affairs of Lord and Lady Fielding”. All the characters in the series stem from characters mentioned in “The Secret Diary of Lady Catherine Bexley”. It follows Lady and Lord Fielding in their pursuit to have a son, (they have two daughters). A situation made unfairly complicated by Lord Fielding’s nasty horse kick injury and the arrival of Lord Fieldings fortune grabbing younger brother. This one has got even me flustered!

Finally, can you give us a sneaky excerpt from “The Secret Diary of Lady Catherine Bexley” please?

 Dear diary, it is a relief to know that my husband will not stray to the arms of another woman — I merely wish he’d stray into my own arms a little more frequently — and perhaps stay there a little longer than he is known to. ‘I am grateful,’ I whispered, and nestled closer towards him. I could feel the heat from his thigh burn through the layers of cloth between us. Did he feel it too? My hands had been at rest in my lap, but I let one rise and fall to land on the leg that stretched beside mine. I felt my husband’s body tense beneath it. I turned to face him; I would be bold. ‘Would you kiss me?’ I whispered, knowing my cheeks burned at the words. He stared at me as if I’d spoken Gaelic, and hesitated. ‘Please?’ I asked. It took him another moment to decide, but he swiftly dipped his head and kissed me lightly on the cheek. It was not the kiss I’d wanted or envisioned. I’d seen other people kiss — and kiss passionately at that. Lovers would hide, secreted away behind hedges and dark doorways at parties and balls, kissing each other with longing and desire. In my opinion, kisses on the cheek should be reserved for grandmothers and babies — not wives. ‘I meant …’ I felt the blush. ‘Perhaps you may wish to kiss me on the lips.’ I stared at his mouth then and focussed on his lips; they were full and well-shaped. He pulled away from me and stood. ‘Kissing on the lips, Catherine, is for the French — you are a well bred Englishwoman. A kiss on the cheek is proper.’ He looked angry. ‘Of course, I apologise,’ I said . As I stood, he offered me a stiff arm — which I took lamely, and we returned to the hall.  

Portman, Viveka  The Secret Diary Of Lady Catherine Bexley, Escape Publishing – Harlequin Enterprises Pty Ltd,  Australia.

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