Regan here. Welcome to the Best of the Regency! My guest today is Sandra Masters. From a humble beginning in Newark, New Jersey, a short stay at a convent in Morristown, N.J. at the age of fourteen, Sandra retired from a fantastic career for a play broadcasting company in Carlsbad, California, and settled in the rural foothills of the Sierras of Yosemite National Park with her husband, Ron, and two dogs, Silky and Sophie. She traded in the Board Rooms for the Ballrooms of the Regency Era and never looked back.
She wrote her first book at the age of thirteen and since then she’s always traveled with pen and notebook for her writing experiences. It’s been the journey of ten thousand miles with a few steps left to go. She deemed it a pleasure to leave the corporate world behind decades later.
Nothing she expected, but everything she desired. Her business card lists her occupation as Living The Dream.
Be sure and comment and leave your email as Sandra is giving away her books to 4 lucky winners! Three winners will get Once Upon a Duke (paperback if in the US, or ebook if international). A 4th winner will get the ebook for Once Upon a Duke plus a $25 Amazon gift card.
The Interview with Sandra:
Why did you decide to write Regency romance?
I was a voracious reader with a love of history, particularly the historical period of the Regency era. I started out writing contemporary romance, but when I was introduced to writers such as Mary Balogh and Judith McNaught, to mention but a few, I knew this era was for me.
It was the book Slightly Dangerous, the Simply Series by Balogh, that caused me to research everything Regency related. The story between Wulfric Bedwyn and Christine Derrick was so emotional, I can still remember it. The aloof duke and the witty Christine were so ill suited to each other but so real, that I needed for them to finally fall in love. I keep the entire series in a special place in my library.
Judith McNaught’s book Whitney, My Love, had me spellbound from the very first page. Since then I have read most of her books. This hero was so conflicted that at times I hated him, and yet I wanted him to mend his relationship with Whitney because underneath the stern exterior dwelt the heart of a good man. Such powerful and sizzling storytelling pulled me in from the beginning for a book that broke many of the rules.
This is a rather long explanation. I do have over seven hundred books in my library, but at least three hundred are in the Regency era. My debut novel was Once Upon a Duke, released July 14, 2015. I have been on a marvelous journey ever since, with my fourth book in The Duke Series soon to be released in November 2016, The Duke’s Magnificent Bastard.
I sometimes think that in another life, I was born during the Regency period. I’ve never created a duke I didn’t fall in love with.
When do you write?
Writing to me is not a pastime or a way to make money, it is an obsession. I write twelve to thirteen hours a day, every day, and then I read in the wee time of a morning, which doesn’t leave too much time to clean the house. The dust puppies will always be there.
What is the genre of your new story The Duke’s Magnificent Bastard?
This is a multi cultural romance story of a seventeen-year-old Anglo West Indian bastard, Thorn Wick, now acknowledged by his father, The Duke of Althorn, who was never made aware of his birth. Our hero admires the ward of his father from afar, an aristocratic flirtatious English lady, Alicia, who has designs on him. Throw in our noble duke, an evil witch doctor, a Barbados tribal chieftain intent on redemption, horse racing for the Regent, amazing “heavenly” Argamak Turkmen horses, and a conspiracy to bring down the monarchy, and our plot thickens. Lust, desire, passion all conflict to epic proportions. Honor, truth and justice are tested. And then there’s love!
Where did I get the idea for this story?
Ever since I can remember, the subject of bastardy fascinated. I read John Jakes eight book series that spanned generations and centuries, and decided I wanted to create a ‘magnificent’ bastard of my own.
Is he too young to be a trainer?
At age twenty-one, mature for his age, our hero is an acknowledged trainer of a special eastern breed of horses. His experience is gained working for a Scotsman who was famous for his Argamak Turkmen horses. Thorn Wick and his father have great plans for training and breeding of the unusual horse. Thorn has acquired a step-brother, who is the duke’s heir; a step-grandmother who spoils him; a step-mother who is wary; and a fierce reputation.
How does Thorn react to the stigma?
Emotions run high. In 1820 Regency England, there is the stigma attached to our hero, Thorn Wick. Can anyone imagine how it must feel to be yanked from the West Indies where he was considered a half-breed, to London, England where he is considered illegitimate? Except for the noble duke’s recognition and that of the family who supports him, he would be denied relevance of any kind. Thorn fights for acceptance against all odds.
Prepare to be transported from island life in Barbados to aristocratic England and then back to Barbados where stunning revelations wrack our hero’s world.
Any stunning revelations?
Without spoiling the story for readers, all I can say is that there is a native uprising against foreign plantation owners, discovery of the truth about his mother’s death, and a flight to save his life as he swims out to a waiting ship bound for England.
Thank you, Regan, for allowing me to be a part of the Best of the Regency!
Now, for the readers, I’d love to ask them what they like to see in a Regency romance!
The Duke’s Magnificent Bastard - Coming November 4th 2016