Monday, November 28, 2011

Get Lost in These Regency Christmas Tales...

Today, on the blog, we’re joined by four fabulous authors (and their characters!) who are here to tell us about their Regency Christmas anthology.  So I’m just going to hand the blog right over to them and enjoy the fun…
Earlier this year, 12 of us embarked on an adventure of sorts – an anthology collection that revolves around 12 different cousins during the same Christmas holiday. You see, the powerful Duke of Danby has summoned all of his wayward grandchildren home for the Holidays.  Some are more eager to come than others.

Today, four of us – Ava Stone, Jerrica Knight-Catania, Lilia Birney and Julie Johnstone – are happy to introduce you to the characters we wrote for the collection. (It was an adventure being responsible for a character who shares a history with other authors’ characters. But we had a wonderful time collaborating.)
Often times, siblings are very similar to each other. They are raised by the same people in the same house and have the same experiences in their formative years. But other times, siblings are as different as night and day, despite the sameness of the blood that flows through them.

The Whitton siblings, from the Regency Christmas Summons Collection, fall into the latter category. First there is the eventual heir to the dukedom – Andrew, Earl of Hardwicke. His younger brother, Lord Philip. And their twin sisters Lady Emma and Lady Isabel. Oh, I know what you’re thinking… The twins will be the same, right? Nope – still different as night and day. But don’t take our word for it – they’ll tell you that themselves. (All four Whitton siblings will be around today to answer any follow up questions.)

What is something readers might not know about you, if all they had to look at was the blurb from your book?

Andrew: I’m a closet romantic and adore Sense and Sensibility, a charming novel I read this last year.

Isabel: (can’t comment because she’s laughing too hard at Andrew’s comment)
Philip (glances around and spies a pianoforte in the corner): Do you mind if I play a little whilst we converse? I find it damned hard to talk to anyone unless I am able to play a bit. (Walks over to the pianoforte and sits; begins playing Lully. He relaxes and faces the interviewer squarely.) My brother is such a romantic that he reads novels. Whereas I am such a romantic, I tried to off myself over a lady. 'Course, that's all water under the bridge, and all that. And my family kept the matter very quiet.
Emma: My dear brother Philip, so misunderstood. (She sighs as she looks away from him and back to her other siblings. Then she locks eyes with Isabel and the two of them double over laughing.) Sense and Sensibility?  I cannot wait to tell Heath!
 And now, tell me a little something about each of your siblings. 
Andrew: I tortured Philip from the moment he was born because I was sure he was trying to ‘do me in’ to take my place as the next duke. Emma reminds me of myself - my better, more capable, straightforward self.  On second thought, what it is about Emma that reminds me of myself is her ability at subterfuge.  Must be why I adore her.  As for Izzy, her knowledge of books far outweighs mine, which is why I run scared every time she tries to pull me into an intellectual debate.  Now if she wants to converse about the finer points of whiskey or the hundred ways to please the woman you love, she need only look as far as my doorstep or Char's ear.  Char would be more than happy to explain all the excellent ways I please her.
Isabel: Well, clearly, Andrew has a healthy respect for me. Philip, well, he’s just troubled, so I try not to make waves there. And Emma, she is and always will be my better half – the half that knows how to dance and needlepoint and do all those other feminine things that I seem to always fail miserably at.
Philip: Did Andrew really torture me? Can't remember, really. (Shifts on the bench and begins playing Chopin). It was of no consequence to me, for I couldn't care less about being a lord. In fact, it kept me from marrying the one I loved many years ago. As for Em and Izzy, they needed to learn how to give a fellow more privacy. Many's the time they walked in on me just as I was being, ahem, affectionate with my beloved Emily.

Emma: Andrew is our troublemaker. If there is a rule, he will find a way to break it. Philip spends more time in his own mind than he does out of it. But he plays so beautifully, doesn’t he? And, of course, there’s Isabel. She’s so sweet, though she denies it. She thinks of herself as very analytical; and though she is that – there is so much more to her. She is the most brilliant person I know.  

Your father, the Marquess of Norland, has the reputation of being a very difficult man to read. What is he like as a father? 
Andrew: Norland was an overbearing father who made my life hell, though mother has tried to tell me he was once a very kind man.
Isabel: Thankfully, I wasn’t the heir – or the spare -- so he wasn’t quite as overbearing with me as he was with Andrew and Philip. Though he is a force to be reckoned with, I know he’s got a rather soft heart beneath it all. It’s Mother who’s always given me the hardest time.
Philip (shrugs and continues with a different Chopin selection): Father's not difficult. In fact, I must say my family acted remarkably well when I tried to kill myself. Can't say a word against any of them, and I dare any man to try it.
Emma: I have never had a problem with either of my parents. I do wish Papa hadn’t discovered me with… (A blush stains her cheeks) Just forget I said that last part, Heath would die of embarrassment if he knew what I almost revealed.
Which sibling are you the closest to? 

Andrew: I’m a consummate diplomat, if nothing else.  I adore all my siblings equally.  I would have to say my closest relative is Edgy.  He’s gotten me out of more trouble than I care to admit, and he dragged my arse across the channel to reunite me with Char.
Isabel: Well, that’s easy, since Emma and I shared a womb. You can’t get much closer than that.

Philip: I love all my family, but Emily—my wife—is the only person in the world who really understands me.
Emma: My heart has always hurt a little for Philip. I never could understand him, no matter how badly I tried. (A beleaguered sigh escapes her.) And Drew – despite the fact that he ALWAYS cheated in hide-and-seek – without him I would have never met my Heath, and so I’ll owe him all of my days. BUT, Izzy is right – we shared a womb and no matter what madcap schemes I’ve come up with over the years, and despite her warnings about each and every scheme – she is my closest and dearest friend and sister. I love her with all my heart.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

Andrew: In bed in Char’s arms.  Is that too much information?  Fine, fine.  I see myself surrounded by my five children, one for every year.  We will, of course, be at the theatre watching my astonishingly beautiful wife perfume in the latest and greatest production.

Isabel: Well, I’m making desperate pleas for Damien to take me on safari in the Serengeti. Perhaps spend some time abroad in a remote part of India or China and study the ancient civilizations of the Shang Dynasty…

Philip: Emily and I have discussed opening a music school in London, so I suppose we will settle there. And though she has one child already—Rose, my sweet little darling—I cannot wait to have more children. I shan't return to Italy for some time. Too many memories there.

Emma: (smiles brightly) In five years, in ten, in twenty – I’m sure I’ll be doing the same things. Loving my dear Heath, raising our children, entertaining as often as possible, and living my life to the absolute fullest.

And if Norland is difficult to read, your grandfather the Duke of Danby is reputed to be downright terrifying. Do you have anything to say about him? Of course, we won’t divulge a word of what you say to His Grace, so feel free to be as honest as possible. 
Andrew: The thing you have to understand about Grandfather is he only wants what is best for his family.  He can be your greatest ally or your greatest enemy, if he thinks you are making a mistake.  Grandfather is a romantic at heart.  He kidnapped Grandmother and forced her to the altar. She detested him, until he got her in the bedchamber.  Shh…no one knows that!

Isabel: Grandpapa has always been my champion, and for that I will be eternally grateful. He never rolled his eyes at me for devouring books or shouted that I needed to be more ladylike. He simply accepted me as I was, which is a rare thing for me.

Philip: I suppose Grandfather is rather baffled by us all—none of us really turned out the way we were supposed to. I married a commoner after becoming a wastrel abroad, for example. But then, the old fellow still wants to be surrounded by us all, despite our flaws. (Stops playing abruptly, stands up, sending the bench scraping backwards.) I'm off. Ready to see my Emily—it's been too long without her. Drew, Izzy, Em—see you at dinner.

Emma: (stares at Philip’s retreating back. Once he’s gone, she turns back to the interviewer.) I don’t know what he’s talking about. I think I turned out exactly as I was supposed to.  (She shakes her head as though to refocus on the question at hand.) You asked about Grandpapa? Well, he can be more than intimidating. He can stop one’s heart with just a glare or the clearing of his throat. I love Grandpapa. I love all my family, and though he can terrify me on occasion, I think I have finally learned how to manage him. Or as close as anyone can possibly claim to do so.  A word of warning, however, should you visit Danby Castle – DO NOT run in the corridors. Doing so makes him extremely cranky.

We hope you have enjoyed this glimpse of the Whitton siblings. Andrew and Emma can be found in A Summons From Yorkshire; Philip and Isabel can be found in A Summons From The Duke. If you have any questions for these siblings, please post it below. Be sure to add your email address so you can be entered into the Regency Christmas Summons Prize Extravaganza. Winners will be drawn during a live chat Thursday December 15th from 8p-10p Eastern time at (You do not need to be present to win, but it will be fun if you’re there!)

Today we are also giving away an ebook copy of both A Summons From Yorkshire and A Summons From The Duke. Do you have siblings? If so, are you similar or as different as the Whittons? And if not, do you miss the camaraderie of brothers and/or sisters – or are you glad for your solitude?


  1. Haha! Love this interview, sounds JUST like them all....Oops, hold on a sec. Someone else has something to say.
    HARRY: Does anyone see now why I was ready to grab my share of my rightful inheritance and run? As much as I love my new-found family, they are all mad. And they never stop talking! Or let a man have his peace and quiet. I do not think relaxing in the conservatory for a few days could accurately be called "sulking". Insulting, is what it is. I've never sulked a day in my life.

  2. Olivia & Harry ~ Thanks so much to both of you for stopping by this morning.

    Harry is quite fortunate that Emma is still asleep this morning, or she might be quite put out with him. But really - what should one expect from male relations in general and sulking American cousins in particular? :)

    Harry Connolly's story (written by Olivia Kelly) can be found in the 4th book in our anthology collection - A SUMMONS FROM HIS GRACE, where the poor man must deal with his twin cousins Emma and Isabel.

  3. Good morning and welcome to GLIAS ! What a great interview.

    Having 1 brother and 1 sister...we're all very different. VERY different. Enough said on that subject. LOL


  4. Thanks for the fun interview. I have on brother and we are not alike, but we did get along for the most part growing up.

    Tammy Y

  5. Angi ~ Thanks so much! We're glad to be here today. :) I have 1 sister and 2 brothers. And the 4 of us could not be more different if we tried. I honestly have no idea how I'm related to these people. (Though I love them dearly.) At least the 3 of them look similar.

    Tammy ~ At least the 2 of you got along growing up. I think the 4 of us still have scars. We get along much better as adults than we ever did as children. (My poor parents.) BTW - if you want to be entered in the extravaganza give-away on December 15th, be sure to leave your email address in your comment line.

  6. Ella ~ Sorry. I completely missed your comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the blog. We had fun ... er... I should say the Whitton siblings had fun putting it together. :)

  7. Excellent blog! Loved it! Randall and Danby are still butting heads just so you know, because the blasted captain refuses to call him "his grace" in public. I think Rand does it on purpose to tell the truth and I think he gets a little kick out of irritating the duke. I'm afraid of what the duke will end up doing to him but alas, so far he still has his head attached. I've heard rumors the duke is an excellent shot.

    With that said, I'm headed off to tackle my newest headache (hero) who is just as stubborn as Rand. Perhaps I should learn to beat them into submission but they are simply too adorable to do such a thing. Have a wonderful day and I loved reading more about the Whittons, they are such a diverse and interesting bunch.

  8. Ava

    Yes, you can enter me on the 12/15 blog

    yenastone at aol dot com

    Tammy Y

  9. Oh, look at all these lovely people who have stopped by! Oh, and Harry's here too. [sticks tongue out at Harry]

  10. Isabel, thank heavens you've arrived! I do hate being anywhere alone, you know. Aren't all the people lovely? (Except Harry. Did you see what he said about us?)

  11. And did you see what Suzie Grant said about Randall and Grandpapa? (shakes her head.) More American cousins with no manners. What shall we do with them?

  12. HARRIET: I regret to inform you that Grandpapa has always told me I was his favorite. I know it's rude of me to bring this up, but I wouldn't want my dear cousins to continue laboring under any misconceptions. Now, I must be off! Archie and I are off to visit Lee for Twelfth Night! It promises to be quite an adventure.

  13. LOL, fun post! I love character interviews :) They have all made me more anxious to read their stories...especially Andrew :)

    I have one brother and unfortunately, we are not close. He is 5 yrs younger than I am and it might as well be 20. Totally different people we are. Ah well, got a pretty good SIL though :) I love stories of big families because they are so different than what I grew up with.
    tigger_time2 at yahoo dot com

  14. Harriet, my dear cousin ~ It is Isabel who believes she is Grandpapa's favorite. So I will let the two of you fight that battle, especially as I am happy I'm not Grandpapa's favorite.

  15. Lisa ~ I'm so glad you enjoyed the blog. :)

    And I completely hear you on the age gap with siblings. I'm the oldest. My sister is 5 years younger. My first brother is 8 years younger. And my second brother is 10 years younger than me. I don't have a thing in common with any of them. I, too, have a great SIL out of the deal though.

  16. Sounds like 2 great books, and 4 great stories! I cannot wait to add them to by TBR list!
    I am the oldest of three girls. I can relate better to my baby sister than my middle sister. We each have very distinct personalities but if you put us all togther, we are all a like.

  17. Emma, darling, I would never intentionally abandon you, but Damien had me...well, indisposed, shall we say?

    Harriet, dearest cousin, you may believe whatever it is you wish to believe ;)

    Oh, and yes, I did see what Ms. Grant said about Randall...tsk, tsk...

  18. Sherie ~ I do go on vacation every year with my brother who is 8 years younger than me. (Apparently my teenage son thinks his uncle is more fun than me. Whatever.) So we have a lot of those shared experiences and tends to make us closer. :)

    Oh, and if you want to be added into the master drawing, be sure to leave your email address. :)

  19. Izzy ~ But did you see what Harry said? He said we were all mad. And after all the help we gave him with Lily! *humph*

  20. Great character interview! Wow, these people have issues. Welcome to Get Lost in a Story and wishing you huge success in the Regency Christmas Anthology!

  21. Donnell ~ LOL. Thanks. People with issues make for the most fun reading, don't you think? Thanks for having us here!

  22. ELIZABETH WHITTON TRENT: Emma, you have to admit there may be some truth to what Harry said. Grandfather did lock John in the tower for a full day over a mild indescretion. I can see where those who don't know us very well, yet, may think some of the family a bit mad.

  23. Elizabeth ~ Considering John's MILD indiscretion (coughs into her fist) things could have gone much worse for him and for you.

    However, if you would like to refer to yourself as mad - and since you've been spying in France, I might call you that myself - go right on ahead. But you may keep me out of it. I'm not mad. I'm determined. I know what I want and I go after it. It's ambition, not madness.

  24. I have a sibbling and since she is only a year older we are a lot alike. In stories I like to see sibblings relationships that are different from mine just to experience it. A huge family, lots of laughter, fun and dynamics. It's great to see how they get along, whether it's a healthy rivalry or not.


  25. Emma, of course I saw what he said...thus my protruding tongue in his direction!

    Elizabeth, hush! All you cousins are making it seem as if we belong in Bedlam!

  26. I'm an only child, and I do wish I had siblings because as we get older and our parent are not around, you don't have anyone left of your immediate family,unless you are fortunate enough t o have brother and sister in laws that you are close to...


  27. I loved these books! It was great getting to know the characters a little better!


  28. I have 4 sisters and love them all. I lived in LA for 12 years and missed them dearly. Now that I'm closer to home (within 3 hours of everyone), we visit at least twice a year.
    Lvsgund at

  29. I do have siblings, three of whom are sisters, and although we do have some similarities, we are all very different. Unique in our own ways.