Monday, December 6, 2010

Allison Chase


Signet Eclipse, December 7, 2010

The Sutherland sisters lead ordinary lives-- until their childhood friend, now Queen of England, seeks their assistance in matters requiring the utmost discretion. Then they must become…

Her Majesty’s Secret Servants

A rare stone gifted to Queen Victoria by her secret suitor, Albert of Saxe-Coburg, has been stolen, and possibly delivered into the hands of the Marquess of Harrow – a man whispered to be slightly mad. Her Majesty asks scholarly Ivy Sutherland to assume the role of science student “Ned Ivers,” win the marquess’s trust, and recover the stone before news of the theft ruins the royal courtship…

Since the death of his young wife, Simon de Burgh, Marquess of Harrow has dedicated himself to science. Finding an assistant whose intellect and passion match his own proves an unexpected boon, until he discovers that “Ned” is actually a woman. Simon is incensed…then intrigued. Unable to resist his growing desire for Ivy, which she undeniably returns, Simon knows he must end her charade before it leads to scandal… Instead, Ivy convinces Simon to work together to recover the stone...and unwittingly plunges them both into a more dangerous game. Now they’re risking their lives...and their hearts... in a race to stop a sinister murderer before he kills again.

Today we welcome historical romance author, Allison Chase! Allison has been penning romantic tales since her first grade teacher put a pencil in her hand and taught her how to write a sentence. Since then, she has gone on to write the Novels of Blackheath Moor, paranormal historical tales set in the wilds of nineteenth century Cornwall, and her newest series, Her Majesty's Secret Servants, featuring the Sutherland sisters who risk their lives, hearts, and occasionally their virtue in the service of their young queen and secret childhood friend. Book 1, MOST EAGERLY YOURS, was a March 2010 release, and has been nominated for a KISS (Knight in Shining Silver) Hero Award by RT Book Reviews.

Book 2, OUTRAGEOUSLY YOURS, hits the bookstore shelves today!

Welcome to the blog today, Allison! I cannot wait to get my hands on OUTRAGEOUSLY YOURS. I know I am going to love it, not only because you are a terrific writer, but because it features a hero and heroine who are both Victorian scientists, a topic dear to my heart...

Another topic dear to my heart? Finding out more about the author behind some of my favorite books. So let's get right to it! Meet Allison:

Heather: Where do you read and how often?
Allison: Mostly in bed, and everyday. I start and end each day by reading. At night it helps calm me down from the hectic pace of my day and takes me out of the real world. the last thing I want to hear before I go to sleep are all the terrible things going on in the world, so I don't watch the news. I'd rather time-travel back a few hundred years to when life was quieter, if not exactly safer. J In the morning, a good read will get my mind moving and often inspire me or jog some thought for my work in progress.

Heather: Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?
Allison: Not usually, but sometimes outside noises send me running for the haven of my headphones. Then it's often classical, usually Mozart or Vivaldi, or Renaissance or Celtic music.

Heather: Be honest, when reading 1st you miss the hero’s POV?
Allison: Actually, I don't think I'd read a romance in 1st person. We definitely want and need the hero's POV in a romantic story, or we're only getting half the satisfaction. But in other genres, like mystery, I happen to love 1st person. It's fast-paced and often lets a character's quirky personality shine through in ways 3rd person doesn't. Both styles have their merits, and both are suitable to particular genres.

Heather: If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?
Allison: Easy! I'd be an archeologist and uncover the secrets of the past. I'd actually toyed with that idea when I was in college, although more practical concerns won out (like majoring in English was practical, lol!) One of my favorite books/movies is Timeline, where archeologists are excavating a medieval castle in France and end up time-traveling back to the site in the 14th century. I could happily spend my life digging through ancient sites and filling in the many blanks that still plague our history books. Some of my love of "history's mysteries" spilled over into MOST EAGERLY YOURS, which is set in Bath, a city whose ancient Roman and Medieval history lays buried beneath the more "modern" 18th and 19th century city streets.

Heather: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
Allison: Celebrate! I usually take myself out for a high-caloric latte, or do a little shopping (ooh, shoes!) or just take some time off to catch up on my reading. I'll meet with friends (ooh, let's do lunch!), and just enjoy feeling like a "regular" person for a little while. Then the writing bug takes hold again.

Heather: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
Allison: Ugh! I do! And yes, I think they have influenced my writing, at least to a point. There's a difference between a snarky review and constructive criticism, and when criticism is presented thoughtfully and intelligently, I do try to learn from it. On the other hand, it's good to hear about what I'm doing right, so I'll keep doing it. The trick is not to take either good or bad reviews too much to heart. They're all subjective and you can't please everybody. In the end you have to trust your heart and believe in your work.

Heather:What do you do to unwind and relax?
Allison: Yoga! Wine! A good book! Or a bike ride, and then all of the above.

Heather:If you could interview one person (and it doesn’t have to be a writer) who would it be?
Allison: Queen Elizabeth. Do you think she'd agree to it? My reason is that in researching Queen Victoria, I saw so many parallels between them, from juggling family and official responsibilities, to dealing with their husbands' "subordinate" roles while still respecting their position as head of the family, to establishing themselves in what was for both of them still very much a man's world. They both came to the throne at very young ages, felt a strong sense of duty, and essentially grew up wearing the crown. So in being able to interview the present queen, I think I'd gain invaluable insight into her great, great grandmother as more than just a monarch, but as a woman, wife, mother, and individual. That would be amazing.

Heather: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?
Allison: I'd love to schedule several stops, starting in the Middle Ages, stopping again during the Renaissance, hopping across the pond to witness the birth of the United States, and then skipping back to Victorian England. But there's one burning mystery I'd love to solve: what happened to the princes in the Tower? Did their Uncle Richard really have them killed (in essence, was he the monster Shakespeare describes?), or was someone else responsible, say someone from Henry VII's camp?

Heather:Which era would you least like to have lived in, fashion-wise and why? Most?
Allison: Least favorite: As much as I love the Tudor era, I wouldn't have wanted to live during Elizabeth's reign. It's the ruff! I don't like them, and they look so darned uncomfortable! I mean, starched linen! My neck itches just thinking about it. After that I think the later Victorian era also would have been uncomfortable because of how tight corsets became, along with the high necklines and bustles. How did women move? Or sit?? As for the fashions I'd like to have worn…oh, my! This is harder to answer because I love so many periods. Medieval, Renaissance, Regency… I love flowing gowns with long trains, wide sleeves, multiple layers of silk, velvet, linen… I think early the Medieval and Regency eras were probably the most comfortable periods, since dresses were less constructed and more loosely fitted. I'm all about comfort!

Heather: What does it mean to love someone?
Allison: One of my very favorite quotes about the nature of love comes from the character of Ronnie (played by Nicholas Cage) in the movie, Moonstruck: “…Love don’t make things nice – it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die.” I just love that. Basically it means that when love it new, it's mindless and passionate and illogical. It doesn't have to make sense, it just is. For me, though, as love grows into a lasting relationship, true friendship grows along with it to balance out the passion – so that you can make plans and have goals and work together to build a future. Otherwise things just stay a mess, lol.

Heather: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
Allison: I'd like to thank them! Every time a reader picks up one of my books and adds it to their purchases, I'm amazed and humbled and grateful! Romance readers are among the most diverse, intelligent, and savvy audiences out there, and I feel honored whenever any of them makes time in their life my words. So thank you, readers!


Heather: What is the most fascinating thing you learned while researching or writing this particular book?
Allison: Victorian science plays a big role in this book – huge - and in doing the research I realized that hey, science is pretty cool! I mean, guys like Galileo and Newton and Michael Faraday were actually heroes in their own right, going up against pre-established notions and church law, and pursuing the truth about the physical world with the kind of single-minded determination we expect of our most romantic heroes. Even sometimes at the risk of blowing themselves to kingdom come! And when I learned about the inventions brought about by early physics, like electricity and the peddled bicycle (which operates according to the principles of mechanical physics), I thought wow, science has made my life what it is, and without it we'd still be crouching in the dark ages. No thanks! So scientists of yore, you are my heroes – and my heroines!


Simon de Burgh, the hero of OUTRAGEOUSLY YOURS, is a physicist – which effectively makes him kind of a nerd – but he's sexy as hell both in and out of the laboratory. Just ask Ivy Sutherland. Which do you find sexier: pure brawn, or intelligence (accompanied by some well-placed brawn, lol)?


I'll be giving away a signed copy of Outrageously Yours to a random commenter, so share your thoughts!

THANKS AGAIN FOR JOINING US TODAY, ALLISON. Readers, don’t forget to leave a comment today to be eligible for the drawing for Outrageously Yours! We’ll draw and post the winner here and on our Facebook page:

Make certain to "friend" us along with checking out Allison Chase on the web!

AND DON’T FORGET to join us tomorrow for New York Times Bestseller Rebecca York!


  1. Allison, welcome to Get Lost In A Story. I gotta say, I love a brainy hero. And if he can sweep the heroine off her feet, so much the better. I've always been a fan of scientists in historical romances. So many things were being discovered back then. Your book sounds wonderful. I'll have to add it to my list of must reads.

  2. Good morning, Allison. I can so see why Heather wanted to interview you! What a fabulous background you have, and topic for your books. I think we sometimes forget that the scientists of yore paved the way for the advances we have today.

    Your books sound wonderful and I can't wait to add them to my TBR pile ;)

  3. Welcome Allison! This series sounds fabulous.

    All of my heroes have been brainy. A brainy man gets me every time :)


  4. Good morning, ladies, and thank you for having me! And congratulations to all of you on your upcoming releases. I'll be popping in during the day, and later we'll choose someone to win a book!

  5. Very Inter-esting!
    I do so love a different historical.
    You also seem to have pleased the cover gods.
    Congrats on Outragiously Yours birthday.

  6. Welcome, Allison! Smart is sexy. But in romances, I do admit I like a little brawn. :)

    And I'm with you about POV. I think right now the romance genre is so wedded to the two POV format. And it works. But in other genres, other POVs and tenses work better. I love the immediacy of first person present in many of the YAs out right now.

  7. Hi Allison -- I have to agree with Ron White on this question... You can't fix stupid.

    It really doesn't matter how great looking a man is. If he's only got big muscles then it's very tiring after a while. :-)

    Welcome to Get Lost...I bet my daughter has your books downloaded on her Nook this afternoon.


  8. Hi Heather & Allison :)
    Thank you for the great interview. I am unable to friend anyone on Facebook since I no longer have an account there. I am Following your site here now though. Thanks to Allison for linking here so I found it. I prefer smart, sexy, sassy.
    All the best,

  9. Oh, intelligence wins over brawn anytime. However, I must admit I like to look at a well-built man so a combination of the two would be nice.

  10. Alison -

    Having been married for 41 years and having two sons I may have considered your "brawn or intelligence" question differently from some of the other readers.

    When I married my husband he had some intelligence and was really well-built. As he aged he has lost some of the brawn but become a lot more intelligent (realizing I'm ALWAYS right). My son who is 6' tall and played football in highschool appears to have brawn and no brain but actually could be in Mensa. My younger son who is short and looks like a featherweight actually ALWAYS wins when arm wrestling with my older son or his and has muscles you can't notice unless he's not wearing a shirt (he also is an electrical engineer and has his MBA).

    Remember, you can't tell by looking at someone what inside their heart or know their character. There is always so much more to learn - it not the brawn or the brain that matters but what's at the "HEART" of the matter.

  11. I'm going to have to pick up your first book Most Eagerly Yours after reading the except from Outrageously Yours. Hopefully, both books are stand alone. I'll go a little crazy if I read them out of order.

  12. Hello again, Allison. I have got to read "Outrageously Yours". I must and soon! It is my kind of story. I do want the first book as well but I don't mind reading out of order. I. just. want. to. read. them!!!!!!!!
    Btw, I love Mozart and MOONSTRUCK! "Snap out of it!" lol!

    I 'friended' you in Facebook. Love your page! Look forward to visiting often.

    Mel K.
    Meljprincess AT aol DOT com

  13. Wait...I just friended GET LOST...
    Allison, I 'friended' you a long time ago. :-)

    Mel K.
    Meljprincess AT aol DOT com

  14. Oh, I need to take a nap....
    I promise this is my last comment. I think a combo of brains and brawn are sexy.

    Mel K.
    Meljprincess AT aol DOT com

  15. Scientists! Victorians! Cross-dressing ladies that make the hero all confused! These are a few of my favorite things.

    I'm not going to lie -- I'm a fan of nerds. I married one, after all.

  16. Great interview - what wonderful questions. Can't wait to pick up one of your books. The Nook is great for that!!

    I want brainy and brawny! But Angi's right - you can't fix stupid!

  17. One of my favorite quotes from Ronnie Cammareri!

  18. Yes, Ronnie Commareri does spout wisdom, and what makes the scene all the more poignant is when Loretta takes his prosthetic hand - the same hand that drove his former fiance away. The point is that looks and brawn are subjective. I think brains are more important, but to my eyes my guy is absolutely hunky, and that's all that matters.

  19. What a fabulous release day blog/interview!!! congratulations!!

  20. Hi Allison!!! Outragiously Yours sounds amazing. I love Historicals and to think of having you BF be a queen and she sends you on secret missions would be sooo cool. I love the covers of both your books. Before I forget Congrats on the release!!!


  21. Definitely intelligence, with some well placed brawn as you put it. lol
    There is something so sexy to me about a man who has brains and knows how to use them.

    deidre_durance at hotmail dot com

  22. I loved the first book in this series. Intelligence is a must on my list. Having both the heroine and hero so independent and accomplished makes for a wonderful story. Thanks, Allison for giving us this series.
    (Email in profile.)

  23. Just an FYI -- Heather is traveling today and will be checking in later...if curious minds wanted to know.

    Don't forget to share Allison's blog with others via FB and Twitter or your loops. We'd appreciate you telling your friends about our new blog.


  24. A lot of brain and a little bit of brawn make an ideal man.

  25. Great interview. So honest, Allison. I can't wait to read this book which combines romance and science. I have to admit, I like the brainy guys. Maybe I'm old enough to have gotten over the rippling muscles type of guy, though my eyes are still working! But I can talk all night to an interesting male who intrigues me and makes me laugh.

  26. We all seem to agree that brains take precedence, yet our romance heroes MUST have both brawn and brains. But that's OK. Fantasy is the place for perfection, as long as we neither expect or particularly want it to carry over into real life. I love my hubby flaws and all! Then again, my heroes are never perfect either - they all have flaws as well.

  27. I don't care about either brains or brawn; it's a kind heart that gets me interested. I mean, the guy should be intelligent enough to manage his own life, but looks are always last; they're like a dustjacket on a book. They look pretty but don't keep the book together or guarantee what's inside!
    My husband isn't always the smartest person in the room and his looks wouldn't guarantee a movie career, but he's the kindest and most sincere man I've ever met, even after 27 years of marriage.

  28. Hi Allison! I'm sorry I'm so late to welcome you today, but it seems like you've been having great fun. (more fun than traveling across state with a 2 y/o, I'm sure!!!)

    First, CONGRATULATIONS and Happy Happy release day! I am so very excited to read Simon and Ivy's story. Second, thanks for being here with us today!

    You know it's brains for me...a little brawn doesn't hurt, but not necessary :) But I loved herblady's answer about a kind heart...THAT is definitely required.

  29. Happy Realease Day, Allison! I can't wait to read this book!!!

  30. Hi Heather, glad you made it home safe. Thank you so much for arranging this today. I agree with you, Herblady summed it up beautifully! We want a man who's willing to give his heart forever.

  31. I adored Most Eagerly Yours and can't wait to read more about the sisters. I think The Secret Servants concept is brilliant.

    Any favorite historical science web sites?

  32. I've always been attracted to brains over brawn where men go. Nice interview. I love to read historical romances but realize they are fantasy. I'd not like very much to have to use a chamber pot or to live in a cold, drafty castle where you risk pneumonia by bathing. With all the smells, no wonder they needed perfume.

  33. I read "Most Eagerly Yours" and devoured every word. Can't wait to read, "Outrageously Yours". Thank you Allison for these most delectible books about her majesty's secret servants!!

  34. To me it's very hard to write Regency, Victorian, those kinds of eras. How did people act or talk, the one thing I like about your books Allison is that they are real. You make your characters act like humans, just of a different time. That's what I like about your books.
    I totally get writing in bed, it's my favorite time to write too!

  35. I bopped around to lots of websites, but my most valuable source for this book was: Great Physicists: The Life & Times of Leading Physicists from Galileo to Hawking, by William H. Cropper. I'm a book person when it comes to research!

    Nancy, good point about realism vs. fantasy. I like my modern conveniences, too! Oh, Mary, I don't usually write in bed, lol. I read in bed. Although it's been so cold here the last couple of days I'm tempted just to stay in bed with my laptop.

  36. Again, thank you everyone for these wonderful comments and for your interest in my books!

    I have a question for our hosts - how do we go about choosing a winner from among our commenters today?

  37. Hope I'm not to late to be considered for the drawing.

    I love the that you are showing us a side of the young Queen Victoria...It makes the story more interesting and real. I can't wait to read it!

  38. Give me brains and brawn.

    Love the book.

  39. Allison, Heather will take the comments and draw a name unless you tell her that you would like to do it. We'll post the winner here and on our Facebook page. The winner contacts you or Heather directly.

    Thank you so much for visiting us today. I hope everyone comes back tomorrow to welcome Intrigue and Berkley suspense author Rebecca York.


  40. Angi, that sounds just fine to me. Thank you all so much, and thank you to everyone who visited and shared my release day with me! It's been fun, and I look forward to finding out who our winner is.

    Good night, all! Happy reading!

  41. I enjoyed your interview so much. It is nice getting to learn things about the authors whose books we read. Certain things you said just stuck with me. One, your comment that you read in bed at night rather than listen to the news. Today's news can be terribly depressing. I, too, do not listen to TV news, but I am afraid I get enough sad news from reading the newspaper and on my computer. Two, your mention of Victorian scientists. I had never given a thought to the outstanding scientists who lived during that period.

    I believe we were asked if we preferred brawn or brains in men. I prefer brains. Physique just doesn't make a guy an interesting conversationalist. Actually intelligence often gives a person a better sense of humor and that I like, too.

  42. And the winner is: Jena Lang! I'll be e-mailing you for your address and such. Congratulations!