But that's not all. Shelley's graciously agreed to do a giveaway! If you'd like to win one of Shelley's Ellora's Cave or Cerridwen Press backlist books, just answer the question at the bottom of the post and you're in the drawing! Here's Shelley!
1) Tell us a little about your latest release.
The Spurned Viscountess is a historical romance with gothic tones. It’s set in 1720 England, during my favorite era, Georgian England. I read a lot of Victoria Holt during my early teens and these gave me a liking for the gothic element. This definitely played a part during the plotting stage of writing The Spurned Viscountess.
The Spurned Viscountess is about a couple who have an arranged marriage. Rosalind, my heroine, is desperate for a home and family of her own. She also needs a fresh start because of the rumors of witchcraft that follow her around. Lucien, my hero, recently lost his wife—a woman he adored. He’s not interested in marriage since all he wants to do is discover the identity of his wife’s killer. At the start of the story he’s scarred in both mind and body and he doesn’t want to deal with a petite blonde and virginal wife. Circumstances force them together and they help each other along the way, familiarity gradually giving way to love.
I had fun throwing in a creepy castle, witchcraft, the second sight, smugglers and lots of danger. This book came out previously as The Second Seduction, but this version was edited again. I’ve grown as a writer since I originally wrote this, my first historical, and I think this shows in the final story, now known as The Spurned Viscountess.
Here’s the blurb:
Cursed with the sight and rumors of witchcraft, Rosalind's only chance at an ordinary life is marriage to Lucien, Viscount Hastings. She doesn't expect love, only security and children of her own. Determined to go through with the wedding, she allows nothing she encounters at the gloomy Castle St. Clare to dissuade her.
Recently returned from the Continent, Lucien has no time for the English mouse his family has arranged for him to marry—not when he's plotting to avenge the murder of his beloved Francesca. He has no intention of bedding Rosalind, not even to sire an heir.
Though spurned by her bridegroom, Rosalind turns to him for protection when she is plagued by a series of mysterious accidents and haunted by terrifying visions. Forced to keep Rosalind close—and tempted into passionate kisses—Lucien soon finds himself in grave danger of falling in love with his own wife...
2) You’re extremely prolific. What’s your secret? Do you work on more than one story at once or do you write only one at a time?
I’m writing full time at present, although that might change soon if I can find a job to suit. Most days I write 2000 words, which is a good pace for me. If I try to push out more than this I tend to burn out. I think writing consistently every day pays dividends. Oh, and the fact that I’m driven to write. I have three stories going at present, but I mainly concentrate on one at a time. If I’m experiencing problems—normally because I don’t plot and I haven’t nailed my conflicts properly—I’ll swap to one of my other stories while I think about the plot and characters of my problem story again. My current work in progress is giving me fits, hence the reason for the two other stories underway.
3) There are lots of “should” and “have tos” in this business. What one piece of advice would you advise an unpublished author NOT to follow?
Everyone always told me to write one genre and concentrate on that. I never liked this rule and decided I’d write whatever I felt like. While this isn’t good advice for someone who wants to sell to a New York publisher, it works in the e-publishing world. There aren’t many genres I haven’t tried to write. I think it keeps me fresher as a writer since I’m constantly challenging myself. For an aspiring writer, I think it makes sense to dabble in the different genres at first to find one that feels right. Sometimes the genre that works for you as a writer isn’t the one you first picked!
4) What keeps you at the keyboard when you’re not sure if you should keep going?
To be honest, this year I’ve come close to giving up writing. I won’t give you the reasons, but I will say it’s my love of story telling and writing that kept me going. I can’t stop the stories springing into my head and, once they’re there, I need to tell them.
5) Do you have a “dream” genre or book of the heart you’d love to write?
I have a steampunk idea yammering inside my head at present, but I have several other projects lined up that I need to finish before I can even think about starting this one. I enjoy mixing my genres so steampunk is perfect for me.
6) What are you working on right now?
I have the three projects I mentioned above. I have the final story in my Middlemarch Mates series, which will be book eleven—the twins’ story. I’m writing a m/m werewolf story set in Yellowstone National Park and I’ve also started Julia’s story. She’s a secondary character in my contemporary story The Bottom Line and several readers have asked for me to hurry up. In the nicest possible way, of course!
And I’m one of those people who’d love to read Julia’s story! The Bottom Line is one of my favorite reads of the year. Thanks so much for being here today, Shelley!
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Time for the giveaway! Answer this question in the comments and your name will go into the drawing. Winner will be chosen Sunday evening, 9/26.
When it comes to historical romances, what time period do you prefer to read? What time period would you most like to visit and why?