Signet Eclipse, December 7, 2010
The Sutherland sisters lead ordinary lives-- until their childhood friend, now Queen of
, seeks their assistance in matters requiring the utmost discretion. Then they must become… England
Her Majesty’s Secret Servants
A rare stone gifted to Queen
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… Victoria
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.
Link to excerpt: http://www.allisonchase.com/Bookshelf/OutrageouslyYours.html
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
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 person...do 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'S GOTTA ASK -- ALLISON'S GOTTA ANSWER J
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!
GOT A QUESTION YOU’D LIKE TO ASK YOUR FANS?
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)?
WILL YOU HAVE A DRAWING FROM THOSE LEAVING COMMENTS?
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: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Get-Lost-In-A-Story/
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!