Charity Barlow wished to marry for love.
The rakish Lord Robert wishes only to tuck her away in the country once an heir is produced.
He would be gone for over a week. Charity missed him. Even though they’d reached a kind of frigid truce, she liked to see him at breakfast or over the dinner table. She tried to fill in the lonely days, taking lessons on the harp and riding with friends in the park.
She attended another literary soiree at the Duchess of Devonshire’s house where ladies of the ton read poetry. Mrs. Smedley read John Donne’s poem The Broken Heart in throbbing tones, her large bosom swelling with emotion. Donne’s concept of love failed to cheer Charity. She did not want to think of love as a ravenous pike, or liken her heart to the small fish it feeds on.
After the polite clapping died away, Lady Ellis leaned forward and tapped her on the arm. “I must say I wouldn’t mind if my husband fought for my honor, Lady St Malin.”
Started, Charity said, “I beg your pardon?”
Lady Ellis’ plucked brows rose. “Surely you heard that your husband fought Lord Southmore?”
“I hadn’t, where was this?”
The lady’s small brown eyes gleamed. “In the early hours of the morning on Hampstead Heath.”
Charity widened her eyes remembering Robert’s bruised and cut cheek.
“He would not tell you, of course. Lord Southmore was laid up for some time with a broken hand.”
Charity returned home deep in thought. Had Robert sought to defend her honor? Or was it his pride he defended? She shook her head. She remembered wishing Robert to plant him a facer. Well he had, but she wasn’t thrilled by it. Not knowing he’d seriously hurt someone because of her.
About the Author:
AUTHOR WEBSITE: http://www.maggiandersenauthor.com
AUTHOR BLOG: http://www.maggiandersen.blogspot.com
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Thanks for inviting me to your blog.
My critique group of historical writers is invaluable. We support each other, commiserate when someone gets a bad review or has their work rejected. And we celebrate when the reverse happens. Having others read your work is very important. But I believe you have to choose your readers carefully. Someone who doesn’t read in the genre you write may not appreciate it so much, or be able to offer good feedback. The wrong reader can even destroy a writer’s confidence which isn’t always that robust.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I work hard every day at writing. I’m curious to learn more, about my craft, about other writers and what’s happening in the industry. It is enormously time consuming, but I don’t mind. Writing is my passion.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Just don’t tempt me! I could always improve my stories, even after their published. It’s hard to know when a work is finished. My rule of the thumb is when I can’t bear to look at it again. But then when it’s in print I read it and think – I could have added something here…
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
At a very young age, when I was sick in bed and wanted to read something new. I set about writing it myself. I’ve been writing stories all my life, but bringing them to the public’s notice took a while. It takes courage to put your work out there and have it criticized. Even authors with a string of bestsellers might write a book that doesn’t appeal. Bad reviews follow, the publisher isn’t happy. It’s a hard industry to be in.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The Reluctant Marquess is a historical romance set during the English, Georgian period. It has a marriage of convenience theme. Charity Barlow is a country girl who is forced by circumstances to marry a sophisticated rake who is quite as reluctant as she. She wants a loving marriage like the one her parents had, not the cool arrangement most of London society seem to enjoy. But Lord Robert wants an heir, after which he plans to settle Charity in the country while he continues his rakish life-style in London.
They must come to understand and respect each other, and it’s a very bumpy ride to love.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Love scenes. To be fresh, they should spring from the deep point of view of the characters at that point in their relationship. It should be sensual and romantic, earthy and real. It’s a challenge to write one that makes a reader lose their breath and be compelled to read on. I just read Joanna Bourne’s The Spymaster’s Lady. Wonderful.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Joanna Bourne as I mentioned above, is my current favorite. The depth of her research lends authenticity to the world she creates. A cliché I know, but her two main characters do leap off the page. Heart stopping action and passion which makes your breath hitch.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I’m planning a trip to England next year, but it’s more to connect with my UK publisher and meet up with friends and family.
My romances demand a certain level of accuracy in their period detail and that requires quite a lot of research. But there is so much research material at one’s fingertips now, it’s not really necessary to travel. I still think it’s great to be physically in the place you’re writing about though. The Northern skies differ from the Australian; the colors generally are more muted. It’s difficult to grasp from a book, the smells, colors and textures of a country village, an ancient cobbled lane or the landscape. Being there brings all the senses into play and it becomes vividly alive. I know some writers consider it important. I enjoy spending time in British libraries too. When I was last in Richmond, I spent days in the library there and discovered articles I’d never find anywhere else.
Who designed the covers?
My latest cover was designed by Knox Robinson Publishing. I love it and can’t wait for the next one. I believe they’re adopting a more painterly classical style for A Baron in Her Bed, the first book in my The Spies of Mayfair series.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I’m a panster for the most part, so the first draft almost always writes itself in a few fits and starts when my muse deserts me. I have to call on the left side of my brain for the second draft, tidying the work into a cohesive whole, strengthening themes, building more into the characters. I never have to worry about the descriptive detail though. My mother was an artist and I’ve inherited her pleasure in painting a scene, only I do it with words, not a brush. I’d love to do both, but didn’t inherit that talent unfortunately. I have several efforts tucked away where no one can see them.