Exclusives

In The Spotlight – Bastards of London Series by Anabelle Bryant

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I have a very special post, I have been a huge fan of Anabelle Bryant’s “Bastards of London” Series since beginning and today I wanted to share this wonderful Series with you all. This is such a fantastic series, the stories are different and fresh and the characters are like nothing else you will read, heroes that you will fall head over heels in love with, while at the same time you want wrap your arms around them and hug them. Heroines that are strong, independent and know exactly who they are and what they want and more importantly they are the only women who can tame these rogues.

So what is the “Bastards of London”? Simple it is three sinfully handsome, roguish men; Max, Cole and Luke who have all been born on the wrong side of the blanket and through sheer determination, intelligence and a uncanny skill to manipulate a gaming hell to their advantage these three best friends created the most exclusive of all of London’s gaming hells “The Underworld”. Here they are king’s, they answer to no one but their own volatile thoughts, here they are the well respected men that they should be in “Proper Society” but due to their birth they never get treated in any other way but with scorn and greed.

Welcome to The Underworld

“This new series takes the reader to the darker, more dangerous side of London. Into the streets of St. Giles, Seven Dials and Charing Cross, where three bastards form an alliance and create the most exclusive gaming hell, “The Underworld”. Though these gentlemen are surrounded by earls, viscounts and the like who squander their plentiful coin, Max, Cole and Luke are bastards, born on the wrong side of the blanket and each with a heavy secret…so the last thing they need in their lives is emotion or the threat of falling in love”

Book 1; THE DEN OF INIQUITY
Meet Max and Vivienne

Welcome to the most notorious address in London…
Beneath the airs and graces of the Ton lies The Underworld – London’s most scandalous gambling hall.

The only thing darker and more debauched that the hall itself? The proprietor, Max Sinclair. As mysterious as the corners of the city he stalks, Max has vowed to take revenge against the men who murdered his mother. And The Underworld attracts London’s darkest characters – the perfect partners in crime.

But when Lady Vivienne Beaumont enters The Underworld, Max’s life becomes more dangerous than he ever thought possible.Enter a world of lust, lawlessness and obsession with The Den of Iniquity, the first in Anabelle Bryant’s Bastards of London series.

Den of Iniquity is a smart, sexy and engaging Historical Romance, that is entwined with a compelling sub plot of vengeance and loss, the story just rolls along flawlessly there is no let up. The characters are fabulously developed, they jump off the page and demand attention, that keep you hooked right up to the very last page.

Its fun and witty and it just sizzles! Max and Vivienne are two of the most compelling characters you will find. Both have their own hidden past, both in need of love and both so sexually charged that when they are together the atmosphere changes to a sensual, smoulder and you know that you are going to have a lot of fun as they to and fro. She invokes a gentleness in him whereas he brings out the smoking hot vixen that is buried deep down.

Bryant has got The Underworld’s owners spot on, they are the perfect amount of viciousness, deadly charm and sensitivity. They really are lovable rogues they may want to come across as hard men but all three are so cute and lovable.

This is a marvellous start to a new series, and one that I am really looking forward to reading. It is flawless and I can’t wait to start book two; Into The Hall of Vise, featuring lovely Cole.

A thrilling and intriguing romance and one I highly recommend. ~ Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s.

Book 2; Into the Hall of Vice
Meet Cole and Gemma

As joint owner of London’s most notorious gambling hall, The Underworld, Cole Hewitt spends his days surrounded by wealth – and looks every inch the debonair. But, unknown to most, he was born a bastard – and knows better than anyone the fine line between the elite and the slums.

When he falls for the beautiful Lady Gemma Amberson, sister to the Duke of Kent, Cole knows that his past means he will never be considered worthy of her. But Cole has no intention of being cast aside again.

However Cole’s attraction to Gemma hasn’t gone unnoticed – and there are those who wish to thwart his plans, for the darkest of reasons. Cole may be used to getting his own way. But the question is: how far will he go to get it?

I think Bryant has done a marvellous job with these two, matching the suave, poetry reading charmer who was born on the wrong side of the sheets with the aristocratic daughter of a mighty Duke is a stroke of genius. It’s very Romeo and Juliet!

Now, I adored Max Sinclair from the first book, but I have to say Cole has inched his way past. He is a sensitive, tender and highly protective man, who treats everyone equally from the lowest street urchin right up to Rosalinde, if they are good people then they are blessed with Cole Hewitt’s love but just don’t get on the wrong side of him.

Just as with the first book, Into The Hall of Vise is an edge of your seat thrilling romp. It is so sexy, the chemistry between Cole and Gemma just sizzles right off the page, they are a fascinating couple and I love them to bits, the way their lives and personal stories entwine together to create a fabulously charming, intricate and fast paced story is a triumph.

I am really getting into The Bastards of London and yet again I am looking forward to reading the next instalment.

A hugely enjoyable, sophisticated Historical Romance and I cannot recommend it enough. ~ Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s

Book 3; The Last Gamble
Meet Luke and Georgina

As one of the owners of London’s most infamous and scandalous gambling hall, The Underworld, Luke Reese looks like a man who has it all. But underneath his swagger lies a pain which no amount of liquor, women or card games can ease. Because, nine months ago, Luke’s son was stolen by his half-brother, Lord Dursley.

Luke knows the agony of growing up without a family, and he will not allow his son to suffer the same fate. So when evidence leads him to Coventry and a mysterious governess named Georgina, Luke doesn’t hesitate in tracking her down.

But nothing is ever as simple as it seems in the London ton. And soon, Luke is facing his most dangerous gamble yet. Dare he risk losing his heart to find his son?

This series caught my attention from day one and it’s gone from strength to strength, Bryant has yet again created an entertaining, thrilling and sensuously attractive story. The thing that does set this one apart from the others has to be Luke, we have had snippets of this shadowy man’s turmoil in the previous two books “The Den of Iniquity” and “Into The Hall of Vice” and to finally get to see his story unfold and see his Happy Ever After is very satisfying.

I cannot say how much I enjoyed this one and I am so pleased that Bryant is taking this series further with book four, I can’t wait to see in which direction she is going to take this wonderful series in.

Simply perfect! ~ Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s

About Anabelle Bryant

Anabelle began reading at age three and never stopped. Her passion for reading soon turned into a passion for writing and an author was born.

Happy to grab a suitcase if it ensures a new adventure, Anabelle finds endless inspiration in travel, especially imaginary jaunts into Regency England, a far cry from her home in New Jersey. Instead, her clever characters live out her daydreams because really, who wouldn’t want to dance with a handsome duke or kiss a wicked earl?

Though teaching keeps her grounded, photography, running and writing, counterbalance her wanderlust. Often found with her nose in a book, Anabelle earned her Master’s Degree and is completing her Doctorate Degree in education. Thrilled to be an author for Harlequin’s Carina line, Anabelle’s historical romances are character driven. She strives to provide a heartfelt connection between her hero, heroine, and the reader, believing the emotional journey on the path to true love is the most important bond. Clever secondary characters and lively conversation keep the pages turning.

Anabelle knows sometimes life doesn’t provide a happily ever after, but her novels always do.

Anabelle loves hearing from her readers so why not drop her a line, follow her on social Media and check out her website for all information on her work. (Links Below)

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Amazon / Goodreads 

 

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A Chat With…Author Interview With Regina Jeffers

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I have the great privilege of chatting with Award Winning author Regina Jeffers, so take a seat and lets lets get to know a little about Regina…

Regina Jeffers is an award-winning author of Austenesque, Regency, historical mysteries, and contemporary novels. She is a retired English teacher and an often sought after consultant for media literacy and language arts

Frankie Reviews : Hi Regina, Welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today.  First, what five words would you use to describe yourself?

Regina : Independent, loyal, hardworking, practical, overly critical of self, intelligent (Oops! That is more than five words.)

Frankie Reviews : If you could live in any era and place, when and where would it be? And Why?

Regina : As I have published 30 books which feature the Regency era (1811-1820 England), most people would think that I would choose that period. In reality, as much as I love all things Regency, I doubt that I would want to time travel to the era of the Napoleonic Wars. I admit it: I have grown soft in my old age, for I enjoy air conditioning and indoor plumbing and modern medicine. I would wish for a bit more manners among the general populace and for the joy of a long walk or afternoon tea, but I am not willing to give up my modern conveniences unless Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy is part of the equation. (sighs heavily in amusement)

Frankie Reviews : Very Interesting, Who was your childhood hero?

Regina : I grew up in the 1950s. We were not so keen on naming movie stars and singers and sports stars and the like as “heroes” in those days. I liked a few of the politicians and world leaders, but that was more from hearing my family speak of them. My personal hero was my mother. She was a single mother living in a time when women did not separate from their husbands. She had the courage to carve out a life where I was the first one of my family to attend college. I hold a B.A., M.A., and a Ph.D. We were never rich, but we survived chastisements and misunderstandings and society’s censor together. Above, one can note that the first word I chose to describe me was “independent.” I learned that quality and many more at my mother’s hand.

Frankie Reviews : What a wonderful hero to have! What is your favourite time of the year?

Regina : Autumn has always been my favourite time of the year. While others look upon the fall/autumn as a time that the earth is preparing for winter, I think of the season as a time to shed summer’s blazing sun while avoiding winter’s chill. It is the time for long walks, football games, leaves changing color, harvest celebrations, prayers of thanksgiving, and most importantly, my birthday. As George Eliot said, “Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird, I would fly about the earth seeking successive autumns.”

Frankie Reviews : Out of all your work, who is your favourite character and why?

Regina : As my career started with a retelling of Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy’s point of view, Fitzwilliam Darcy is my favourite character, but he is not MY creation. Back in 2011, I wrote The Phantom of Pemberley, a cozy mystery set at Darcy’s home. In that book, I gave life to one Adam Lawrence. Lawrence (Viscount Stafford) was the son and heir to the Earl of Greenwall, a rake, and a thoroughly charming man about town. Readers enjoyed him so much that they began to ask for more of the gentleman.

In his own words from a previous interview, Adam Lawrence explains, “I first appeared in Jeffers’s cozy mystery, The Phantom of Pemberley. In it, I begged shelter at Pemberley House during a raging snow storm. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, Austen’s most famous hero, would have preferred to turn me away for I was traveling with my mistress, and Darcy wished not to expose his wife and sister to such a woman. However, as I am an intimate acquaintance of his cousin, Darcy relented. Later, he was glad of my attendance in what turned out to be an impromptu house party because I aided in his attempts in locating a killer at the grand manor.
“In other of Ms. Jeffers’s books, my role varies. I had a “walk through” role in A Touch of Velvet, greeting the Duke of Thornhill and Miss Velvet Aldridge at the infamous Vauxhall Gardens. In A Touch of Grace, I was the foil to Gabriel Crowden, the Marquis of Godown, for he and I often vied for the same women. I again came to the aid of the heroes of A Touch of Mercy, A Touch of Love, and A Touch of Honor by providing transportation, advice, and a bit of “pretense.” I attended the house party in His American Heartsong and persuaded Lawrence Lowery to seek out an American hoyden, Miss Arabella Tilney, as his lady love, as well as protecting the reputation of both Lowery and the lady. In Ms. Jeffers’s Austen-inspired novel, Mr. Darcy’s Bargain, I assist Darcy in capturing Mr. Wickham and foiling the authorities.

“My dear Ms. Jeffers has been kind enough to bring me from the shadows and into a starring role. I am greatly in her debt and that of her loyal readers who kept asking for me to have my own tale. His Irish Eve takes place some six years after I released my mistress to a return to her family after that debacle at Pemberley House. Little did I know at the time that Cathleen Donnel was with child. It was only after Cathleen’s cousin contacted my father for financial assistance that I learned of my ‘bastard.’ When I arrived to claim the child, I found not only a son, but also two daughters. As I am certain you readily suspect, they are triplets.

“This encounter brought me into the life of not only the children, but also their cousin, Miss Aoife Kennice, who assumed the children’s care when Cathleen passed. Miss Kennice is the type of woman to demand that a man be a better person. She rejected my flirtations, while enticing me to learn more of my responsibilities as the future Earl of Greenwall, a task I have avoided for years. Plainly, we were meant to be together for she is ‘Aoife,’ the Anglicized name for ‘Eve.’ I am very impressed when Ms. Jeffers adds these little details to a story, for Aoife and I are quite happy to be ‘Adam and Eve.’”

Frankie Reviews : Wow! Great answer and thank you for joining us Adam. Where does your inspiration for your books come from?

Regina : Inspiration to write comes from my need to express myself creatively. Despite that analytical mind I mentioned earlier, I possess a creative streak that is my passion. I have taught dance and danced on Broadway. I have performed in professional and community theatre. Writing is just the next phase in my life. I am one of those people who is rarely seen without a book in my hands. I read daily, as did my mother. I write the type of stories I wish to read—stories of people overcoming obstacles to know a bit of happiness in life.

As to writing historicals, I admit that I am a research geek. When I find some unique bit of history, I cannot wait to add it to my next story. Sometimes, the story develops around the history and sometimes the history simply embellishes the story, but the two are closely tied together.

Frankie Reviews : What three tips would you pass on to an aspiring author?

Regina : Trust your instincts, but do not fall in love with what you write. There is always a need for editing and revision. Listen to your Beta readers and your editors. Sometimes they see what you cannot. There is a time to stand your ground and a time to bow to others’ opinions.

Write daily, even it is only a few paragraphs. It is difficult to keep the flow of the story fresh in your mind if there are long gaps between your thought processes and putting pen to paper.

Keep some sort of “history of” the story as you write it. List character names, brief descriptions of the characters, places used within the story line, some sort of timeline that indicates the number of days that passed between event A and event B, etc., and perhaps a bulleted chapter summary. Readers despise when the character’s name in the early part of the book is “Edgar” and later he is “James.” This often happens with secondary characters. Remember they are important to the plot. Bulleted chapters help in locating a particular scene when you are in the midst of deep edits, and a timeline keeps the events plausible. I write historicals. It was not possible for a couple in the early 1800s to elope to Gretna Green in Scotland and be back in London within a week. A timeline would indicate that to an author.

Frankie Reviews : Thank you very much, those are seriously great tips. If you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite? (They can be real/fictional, from any era)

Regina : I have been asked this often, and my answer has not varied. I would invite Ernest Hemingway and the now-not-so-politically-correct General George Custer. Then I would ask Miss Jane Austen to join me in fending off the gentlemen’s opinions. I have always thought that both men were flawed and very complex personalities, for each could find poetry and romance and hope even in disaster. I believe Miss Austen would appreciate their tales and would not be “shocked” by them, for Austen’s letters reveal a sharp-witted and acid-tongued woman, who was discerning and sometimes critical and very worldly in many ways.

Moreover, Austen’s books were used in the fever chart that the War Office drew up to treat shell-shocked soldiers in World War I. Her works were considered therapeutic to those most seriously wounded and in need to be read to, mainly because even though one knows what will occur at the end of an Austen novel, she manages to keep the reader in suspense—a characteristic all three dinner mates share.

Frankie Reviews : I never knew that about Jane Austen’s work being used to help WW1 soldiers, thank you for those very interesting facts. Thank you, Regina for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today

I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun . . . What is your all-time favourite naughty but nice food?

Regina : Whether one pronounces the word as /pəˈkän/ orˈ/pēˌkan/, I am a Southern girl at heart. I would choose anything with pecans: Pecan Sandies, Toasted Pecan Turtle Clusters, Butter Pecan Cookies, Southern Pecan Butterballs, or Pecan pie. You name it, and I am all in.

Sounds good to me, Thank you Regina!

If you want to learn more about Regina and her work or connect with her, why not check out the links below.

Every Woman Dreams Blog / Website / Austen Authors / Facebook / Amazon / Twitter

Spotlight Post of Daughters of Ireland by Santa Montefiore

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I am very pleased to have been asked to host an Exclusive Spotlight on Best Selling  Author; Santa Montifiore and her newest release Daughters of Ireland, so sit back and enjoy.

About the Author

Santa Montefiore has written fourteen bestselling novels, which are translated into thirty languages. She is a fascinating person herself, as sister of Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, the former British Socialite, and personal friend of the Royal Family.

Santa grew up on a farm in Hampshire and was educated at Sherborne School for Girls. She read Spanish and Italian at Exeter University and spent much of the 90s in Buenos Aires, where her mother grew up. She converted to Judaism in 1998 and married historian Simon Sebag Montefiore in the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London. They live with their two children, Lily and Sasha in London.

With my novels, I hope to carry you away to sunnier shores, while at the same time remind you of all that is wonderful about England. Above all, they are love stories, because love is more important to me than anything else. I hope you laugh and cry in equal measure, but most vitally, escape for a while. Santa x

You can find it more about Santa by following the links

Website | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads

About the Book

In Ireland 1925, the Anglo-Irish war is long over, but life will never be the same. Castle Deverill has been home to the Deverill family in West Cork for hundreds of years, until it fell prey to a devastating attack during the war. Young Celia (Deverill) Mayberry and her husband bought the estate, determined to restore it to its former glory. But not everyone is elated. Although Kitty is grateful to her cousin for ensuring the castle will remain in the family, she cannot help but be wistful for the days when she was the mistress of Castle Deverill. While she is content in her new life, her heart still yearns for Jack O’Leary. As Kitty struggles with her choices, she must make a heartbreaking decision that could hurt those closest to her.

Wealthy and the toast of the town in New York City, Bridie Doyle has come a long way since she was the daughter of one of the cooks at Castle Deverill. But all her money cannot ease the pain over having given away her baby or from seeking revenge upon the woman who wronged her all those years ago.

As Celia wastes no time, or expense, in hiring workers to renovate Castle Deverill, dark shadows are gathering once more, as the financial markets begin to shake. Now everything that felt so certain is cast into doubt as this daughter of Ireland must find the inner strength to build a new future.

Exclusive Excerpt

At last the castle came into view. The western tower where her grandmother had set up residence until her death was intact but the rest of it resembled the bones of a great beast gradually decaying into the forest. Ivy and bindweed pulled on the remaining walls, crept in through the empty windows and endeavored to claim every last stone. And yet, for Kitty, the castle still held a mesmeric allure.

She trotted across the ground that had once been the croquet lawn but was now covered in long grasses and weeds. She dismounted and led her horse around to the front, where her cousin was waiting for her beside a shiny black car. Celia Mayberry stood alone, dressed in an elegant cloche hat beneath which her blond hair was tied into a neat chignon, and a long black coat that almost reached the ground. When she saw Kitty her face broke into a wide, excited smile.

“Oh my darling Kitty!” she gushed, striding up and throwing her arms around her. She smelled strongly of tuberose and money and Kitty embraced her fiercely.

“This is a lovely surprise,” Kitty exclaimed truthfully, for Celia loved Castle Deverill almost as much as she did, having spent every summer of her childhood there with the rest of the “London Deverills,” as their English cousins had been known. Kitty felt the need to cling to her with the same ferocity with which she clung to her memories, for Celia was one of the few people in her life who hadn’t changed, and as she grew older and further away from the past, Kitty felt ever more grateful for that. “Why didn’t you tell me you were coming? You could have stayed with us.”

“I wanted to surprise you,” said Celia, who looked like a child about to burst with a secret.

“Well, you certainly did that.” Kitty looked up at the facade. “It’s like a ghost, isn’t it? A ghost of our childhood.”

“But it will be rebuilt,” said Celia firmly.

Kitty looked anxiously at her cousin. “Do you know who bought it? I’m not sure I can bear to know.”

Celia laughed. “Me!” she exclaimed. “I have bought it. Isn’t that wonderful? I’m going to bring back the ghosts of the past and you and I can relive the glorious moments all over again through our children.

“You, Celia?” Kitty gasped in astonishment. “You bought Castle Deverill?”
“Well, technically Archie bought it. What a generous husband he is!” She beamed with happiness. “Isn’t it a riot, Kitty? Well, I’m a Deverill too! I have just as much right as anyone else in the family. Say you’re happy, do!”

“Of course I’m happy. I’m relieved it’s you and not a stranger, but I admit I’m a little jealous too,” Kitty said sheepishly.

Celia flung her arms around her cousin again. “Please don’t hate me. I did it for us. For the family. The castle couldn’t possibly go to a stranger. It would be like giving away one’s own child. I couldn’t bear to think of someone else building over our memories. This way we can all enjoy it

You can continue to live in the White House, Uncle Bertie in the Hunting Lodge if he so wishes and we can all be terribly happy again. After everything we’ve suffered we deserve to find happiness, don’t you think?”

Kitty laughed affectionately at her cousin’s fondness of the dramatic. “You’re so right, Celia. It will be wonderful to see the castle brought back to life and by a Deverill no less. It’s the way it should be. I only wish it were me.”

Celia put a gloved hand on her stomach. “I’m going to have a baby, Kitty,” she announced, smiling.

“Goodness, Celia, how many more surprises have you in store for me?”
“Just that and the castle. How about you? Do hurry up. I pray we are both blessed with girls so that they can grow up here at Castle Deverill just like we did.” And Kitty realized then that Celia had placed herself here within these castle walls for more than merely the annual month of August.

She was one of those shallow people who rewrote their own history and believed in the absolute truth of their version. “Come on,” Celia continued, taking Kitty’s hand and pulling her through the doorframe into the space where once the great hall had been. “Let’s explore. I have grand plans, you know. I want it to be just the same as it was when we were girls, but better. Do you remember the last Summer Ball? Wasn’t it marvelous?”

Kitty and Celia waded through the weeds that grew up to their knees, marveling at the small trees that had seeded themselves among the thistles and thorns and stretched their spindly branches toward the light

The ground was soft against their boots as they moved from room to room, disturbing the odd rook and magpie that flew indignantly into the air. Celia chattered on, reliving the past in colorful anecdotes and fond reminiscences, while Kitty was unable to stop the desolation of her ruined home falling upon her like a heavy black veil. With a leaden heart she remembered her grandfather Hubert, killed in the fire, and her grandmother Adeline who had died alone in the western tower only a month ago

She thought of Bridie’s brother, Michael Doyle, who had set the castle ablaze, and her own foolish thirst for recrimination, which had only led to her shame in his farmhouse where no one had heard her cries. Her thoughts drifted to her lover, Jack O’Leary, and their meeting at the wall where he had held her tightly and begged her to flee with him to America, then later, on the station platform, when he had been arrested and dragged away. Her head began to spin

Her heart contracted with fear as the monsters of the past were roused from sleep.

Full book list can be found on Santa’s website, link above.

*The Excerpt, Author Photo and Cover were provided by Publisher Harper Collins for exclusive use by Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s Blog for this post.

Cover Reveal – Fatal Masquerade (Lady Alkmene, Cosy Mystery #4) by Vivian Conroy

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I have the great pleasure of being apart of Vivian Conroy’s latest Cosy Mystery Cover Reveal of Fatal Masquerade, which is book four in the Lady Alkmene Cosy Mystery series. So drum roll please….

Blurb

Lady Alkmene and Jake Dubois are back in a gripping new adventure facing dangerous opponents at a masked ball in the countryside.

Masked Danger….

Lady Alkmene Callender has always loved grand parties, but when she receives an invitation to a masked ball thrown by Franklin Hargrove – oil magnate, aviation enthusiast and father of her best friend, Denise – she’s never seen such luxury. The estate is lit up with Chinese lanterns in the gardens, boats operated by footmen float across the pond and the guest list features the distinguished, rich and powerful!

But below the glamour, evil is lurking. When a dead body is discovered, it forces Lady Alkmene to throw off her mask and attempt to find the true killer before Denise’s family are accused. If only her partner, Jake Dubois, weren’t hiding something from her…

This case might just be more dangerous than either of them could have imagined.

Fatal Masquerade is to be released on 4th October and can be pre-ordered now at Amazon.

A Chat With….Author Elizabeth Quincey

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Today I have the huge pleasure of having new and up and coming author Elizabeth Quincey, to Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s. So take a seat and lets get to know a bit about Elizabeth.

All the women in Elizabeth’s family were avid readers of Historical Romances which meant that she was surrounded by the genre from a young age and began enjoying them at just 10 years old. This has given her a lifelong love of these stories.

She started writing many years ago but only decided to publish after she retired from a long and successful career as a business woman. She is a graduate of the University of Exeter and lives with her family in Surrey, England. When Elizabeth is not writing she is tending her rose garden with her husband.

Frankie Reviews : Hi Elizabeth Welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today, Firstly what five word’s would you use to describe yourself?

Elizabeth : Creative, ambitious, fun-loving, focused and extroverted.

Frankie Reviews : If you could live in any era and place, When and where would it be?

Elizabeth : I would love to have lived in Brussels in 1815 during the build up and aftermath of the Battle of Waterloo. I would have adored to have been at the Duchess of Richmond’s ball the night before the battle and would have been fascinated to have followed the Duke of Wellington around the battlefield. It’s just such a fascinating time in history.

Frankie Reviews : That is so fascinating, Who was your childhood hero?

Elizabeth : I know this is painfully obvious but it would have to be Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. The hero in my own novel, William Fitzalan, is modelled on him because he is a man who takes responsibility effortlessly. He is high-handed and pompous but is also highly intelligent and with a strong sense of duty. I find these to be irresistible characteristics and therefore I feel that Mr. Darcy was my childhood hero because he inspired me to write and create characters.

Frankie Reviews : What is your favourite time of the year?

Elizabeth : That is a hard one but I’d have to say Spring, It’s my favourite time of year because I love to sit in my conservatory and write whilst watching the flowers emerge from winter, it’s beautiful and I find it helps me creatively. My love of Spring is actually why I focus so heavily on Imbolc in my novel, it is the pagan midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox and marks the turning of the season.

Frankie Reviews : Out of your work, who is your favourite character?

Elizabeth : My favourite character has to be Count Nikolaus Andrassy, the opium-addicted Hungarian Hussar, from my novel ‘The Lyndhurst Affair’ because he is such a wild and romantic character. He is brave and flamboyant and exotic which made him immensely enjoyable to write, in fact I love him so much he is the main character in the sequel to my novel which will be titled ‘The Hungarian Affair’

Frankie Reviews : Where doe’s your inspiration for your books come from?

Elizabeth : It really comes from my childhood. I’ve been reading historical romances from the age of ten and I’ve read hundreds of them. The inspiration has been in my head for many years.

Frankie Reviews : What three tip’s would you pass on to an aspiring author?

Elizabeth : This can be quite a tricky question because I’ve found that everyone has completely different ways of writing and different ways of approaching their craft however there are a few tips I have found to be universally true and helpful.

Firstly, be very organised and carve out at least a couple of hours a day to write.

Secondly, be prepared to go down a few rabbit holes whilst writing, which means you will have to retrace your steps every now and then.

Thirdly, be prepared to rewrite the story about 5 times.

Napoleon, Wellington and Prinny

Frankie Reviews : If you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite? (They can be real/fictional, from any era)

Elizabeth : I’d love to have the Duke of Wellington at a dinner party as well as Napoleon, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have both of them around the same table. I’d also have to say George IV, the Prince Regent. I truly believe the dinner conversation at that table would be brilliant.

 

Frankie Reviews : That sounds like an interesting dinner party! Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today, Elizabeth.

Thank you for having me.

Elizabeth’s debut novel, The Lyndhurst Affair is out now and can be found at Amazon and all other retailers, if you want to learn about Elizabeth then check out the links below.

WebsiteFacebook – Twitter: @QuinceyAuthor – AmazonGoodreads

A Chat With…Author Jess Russell

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Today I have the great pleasure of having Award Winning and Best Selling Author, Jess Russell visiting Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s so take a seat and lets get to know a bit about Jess…

Jess Russell now Multi-Award Winning and Best-sellingauthor!
As a girl Jess escaped the world of rigorous ballet class and hideous math homework into the haven of toe wriggling romance novels. Now she writes them!

Jess lives in New York City with her husband and son and disappears to the Catskill Mountains whenever she can. She is a sometime actress, award winning batik artist, and accomplished seamstress. Along with her sewing machine, she loves power tools and, what’s more, she knows how to use them.

Jess is currently working on renovating a condo in uptown Manhattan (The Lipstick on a Pig Project) and writing two other stories for the Reluctant Hearts series. Captivated by the Countess, and Daft for a Duke.
Jess Russell is a member of RWA, as well as the Beau Monde and the NY chapters of RWA.

Frankie Reviews : Hi Jess, welcome to Chick’s Rogue’s and Scandal’s. Firstly, what five words would you use to describe yourself?

Jess : Thrifty, multi-talented, sentimental, impatient, and (at the moment) overwhelmed!

Frankie Reviews : If you could live in any era and place, When and where would it be?

Jess : Oh, this is tough. I am drawn to the periods in which I write. I love the fashion of bygone years, and the chivalry. BUT, the reality of living in the Regency or Victorian era is pretty daunting. Women were certainly second-class citizens with very few options in life and almost no rights. I would hate that. So, without wearing any rose-colored glasses, I would have to stay right where I am. (though perhaps I would beam myself back 4 years or so. My son is leaving for college this Fall!)

Frankie Reviews : I totally agree with you about that, Jess. Who was your childhood hero?

Jess : A good question. I think I would have to say my ballet teachers. I was totally devoted to being a dancer until my senior year in high school when I became more interested in drama. These ladies inspired me and fired my imagination.

Frankie Reviews : How interesting, What is your favourite time of the year?

Jess : Spring! I am an aspiring gardener and every Spring I love to look to see what actually survived the Winter. I feel rather maternal about my plants. Of course the May flies are hideous, but I have a sort bee-keepers net hat that I wear which helps a bit.

Frankie Reviews : Out of all your work, who is your favourite character?

Rhys Merrick, Duke of Roydan, my hero in The Dressmaker’s Duke. He is heart-breaking in his isolation.

A few lines of Rhys thinking of Olivia~

God, if only she would want him just a little. Hope seeped into that tender void that lay quietly waiting between the steady rails of his oh-so-rational behavior.

Frankie Reviews : Oh, fabulous! Thank you for sharing that quote with us, Where does your inspiration for your books come from?

Jess : My inspiration starts with an image and then a scene. Being an actress, I am drawn to character first. I love putting myself in their shoes and often improvise playing first the Hero then my Heroine. I have designed and sewed a gown for each of my Heroines. If you want to see the gowns stop by https://jessrussellromance.com/ I also have a blog called Trash to Treasure where I take a thrift store find and transform it into something new and wonderful! I just love creating something out of nothing.

Frankie Reviews : Oh, wow! What a super talented lady, you are. Those gowns are amazing! What three tips would you pass on to an aspiring author?

Jess :

1. Write! Write everyday (something I need to take to heart.)
2. Have the next book nearly ready to publish when you get your first book out! I did not and could not take advantage of the success of The Dressmaker’s Duke.
3. Enter contests! That is how I got my publishing offers.

Frankie Reviews : If you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite? (They can be real/fictional, from any era)

Jess :

1. Jesus
2. Muhammad
3. Buddha

I am not a fan of organized religion, but I am spiritual. I love the notion of these men finding a commonality. Our world is so divisive, I long for more empathy and communal understanding among all cultures. John Lennon’s song, Imagine, is a favourite of mine.

Frankie Reviews : Thank you, Jess for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today, I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun . . . What is your all-time favourite naughty but nice food?

Jess : Oh boy. Twinkies! I used to love them as a kid. Sadly, I rediscovered them. So bad, but so good!

Yum, thank you!

Thank you for having me, Frankie!

If you want to find out more about Jess and her work then check out the links below.

 

Website

Facebook @jessrussellromance

Goodreads

Amazon

From Page To Screen! Can Turning Books To Film Really Ever Work?

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I think, I can safely say that if you read Romance then you most likely watch it too, or is that just me? I love a chick flick there is nothing better than whiling away a Sunday afternoon, watching some light good-hearted Romanic fun. My personal favorites have to be; One Fine Day, You’ve Got Mail and Leap Year. But what about when the film producers decide to take one of our much-loved romantic books and turn them into a film or drama?

When I hear that a book, that I have read and enjoyed is being turned into a film, then I do at first get excited. I find it very interesting to see how the characters that I have come to love will look from the eyes of these directors/producers and all the other people who make up a film production team – Will the characters have that same charisma and charm that I love about them from the book? But then on the other hand I start thinking, that something that is so wonderfully vivid in my head is going to be ruined by these film makers, because obviously a two-hour long film cannot connect with me like the book did, or can it?

Personally speaking they don’t all work for me, once I have read the book I have already got an image of how the hero, moves, sounds and in some cases even smells like – yes, I know that’s weird! I have a vision of the scenery, the atmosphere and so on, that obviously cannot be translated to the screen. So when it comes to watching it on screen I think because I am already biased as to what I already know these books to be like, I’m like – That’s not my hero, he doesn’t look, talk or even move like my hero and I think that does mar what may be a very good film.

True, I have seen some really good book to film/dramas I adored Atonement and The Notebook was so emotional and then there is Sharpe, which is in another league of its own. Then there are those where I have watched the film first and then read the book, and in those cases its been the film that has won over.

For example I watched The Book Thief and since I have tried to read the book by Markus Zusak on many occasions and just can’t get into it as I already know what each character looked like, where the story goes and so on.

But there is a few, a very small few that have bridged the gap of what the “What is best, film or book” debate, these few and quite beautiful pieces of work have resonated with book lovers and movie goers alike. In these rare cases it doesn’t matter if you watch or read them, the story and characters are just so beautiful and thought-provoking. Its that what wins over again and again, not how you absorb the story, but the story its self.

The two that I think falls into this category has to be Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights, for me like a lot of women, there will only ever be one Mr Darcy, true it’s not the book version, but the drama version of Colin firth. I think this one has tested and won that argument over book or film and it does prove that if made right, with the perfect actors then you can take a book and put it on the screen.

Buts that’s just my opinion and I would love to hear other’s views on this. Do you watch the films or dramas of well loved books? And if so, do you think of them?

I have made my own list of my favorite books to screen, your more than welcome to add your views to my little debate.

1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte


As much as I absolutely adore the black and white original with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon, but this one starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche is my favorite.

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


No other reason but the fabulously, talented Colin Firth is Mr Darcy.

3. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks


Absolutely beautiful, the acting is spot Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams do a fabulous job with the lead roles.

4. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky


An absolutely beautiful film, I had read the book before I watched this but this is fabulous.

5. Atonement by Ian McEwan


Keira Knightly and James Mcavoy will always be the ill fated lovers to me.