Thursday, October 12, 2017

Best of the Regency with Author Ann Lethbridge

Regan here with another “Best of the Regency” author… Ann Lethbridge. Ann is an Army brat born in England. She lived all over the UK growing up and fell in love with the history of Britain and, more particularly, the Regency. Eventually, she married and moved to Canada with her husband and had two beautiful daughters. 

Now an empty nester, she spends her days creating Regency romances and has won several awards over the years including the Daphne DuMaurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She loves writing about the Georgian era and more particularly the Regency and she adores happy endings.

Be sure and comment and leave your email as Ann is giving away a copy of her book... a paperback! And now to the interview:

How often do you get lost in a story?

I would have to own up to more than once a day. While this may seem a bit extreme, I have always been an avid reader. It is an important part of my life. Not only do I get lost in my own stories when I am writing them, but I always have a story “on the go”, something I am reading in the evenings or on lunch breaks. I love losing myself in another world of interesting characters no matter who wrote the book.

What made you decide to write Regencies?

I have always loved the Regency era.  I grew up in Britain, though I now live in Canada, and was introduced to the books of Georgette Heyer at a young age by my father.  A military man, my father loved to read, and he loved Miss Heyer’s books. He and I used to fight over who would get to read them first when he brought them home from the library.  Later, I was thrilled to discover a whole genre of Regency romances and read everything I could get my hands on. It seemed only natural, when I had this odd urge to write a book, to start with the genre I knew in depth and that I loved.

If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?

Since I write historical romance, I always wonder how close I come to achieving the correct flavor of the time period of the Regency. It would be wonderful to visit and see for myself. There were so many interesting people and events during that period, it is difficult to choose, but I would love to meet Jane Austen. I would be “fan girl” to the nth degree, but I would also want to tell her about how things would change in the future, how beloved her books would become and how many novels would be written in her genre about her era. I think women writers had a difficult time back then, and while it is not necessarily easy these days, it is better. Some of that improvement is due to her stories and her journey as a writer. Hopefully while I am there I could sneak a peek at all kinds of other stuff that fascinates me and in particular, the gentlemen’s clubs given that is the location for my most recent book, An Innocent Maid for the Duke.

What do you do to unwind and relax?

Relaxing with a book is a given, but I also love embroidery and other handwork such as knitting or crochet. I have been doing needlework of one sort or another since the age of five and always have something to work on when watching television or chatting with friends. I do love the feeling of accomplishment when the item is finished, whether it is something to hang on the wall, or an item of clothing to be given as a gift. Regency ladies adorned their homes with their handwork, from the Queen down to the lowliest housewife and I enjoy the idea that I am following in their footsteps.


What is your favorite tradition from your childhood that you would love to pass on or did pass on to your children?

My favorite tradition goes back long before my childhood and before my mother’s childhood. It relates to Christmas, one of the highlights of the year in our family.  Each November on what is known as stir up Sunday we make our traditional Christmas pudding. Everyone at home on that day helps with the preparation and weighing and measuring of the ingredients. Once the pudding is ready to be steamed, each person will stir the pudding and make a wish that they keep to themselves. The pudding is then cooked and put away until Christmas Day to be eaten as dessert. Somehow Christmas pudding always tastes better when you have had a hand in the mixing. Since I am the matriarch of our family, I still make the pudding, but each daughter has been given the recipe and I hope they will continue the tradition into the future.

Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

I do read the reviews, sometimes with trepidation, I must admit. However, if a reader took the trouble to write a review, then they deserve the respect of having their opinions read. Everyone has seen the movies about the cast of a play reading their reviews in the paper the next day, and how they are cast down or excited by what is said. I go through the same emotions, though in the case of negative comments, I do remind myself that not everyone likes the same kind of book, or we would only have one book or one genre, or one kind of story. If a reader makes a point that resonates with me, about the plot, or the characters, then it might well influence my writing. After all, I am writing to give others the chance to get lost in my story and if something pulls them out of my world, it is well worth thinking about.

What’s your favorite kid joke?

Why do elephants paint their toenails different colors? So they can hide in a box of Smarties or a package of M&M’s

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?

My biggest dream, apart from being published—which was a huge dream in itself— has been the ability to travel.  Not only have I travelled to undertake research in various parts of the world, such as Spain, Portugal, France, and Britain, I have also travelled to other far off places to meet with readers, take part in conferences and meet other writers, including Poland, the US, Australia. None of this would have been possible had I not become a writer. Naturally there are a great many other places in the world I would like to visit but I feel blessed to have been afforded the wonderful opportunity to see so much of the world and meet so many lovely people, both readers and other writers.

For the readers: When reading a Regency, do you love the descriptions of the clothes and the settings, or do you feel they interfere with the story?  Would you like more description, less or about the same


His lady in red…

Jacob, Duke of Westmoor, is feeling the weight of his recently inherited title when a stolen kiss with a beautiful woman in his gentlemen’s club breathes life back into him. Until he discovers she’s a maid!


Unable to let the beautiful innocent go, he arranges for Rose Nightingale to become his grandmother’s companion. But living under the same roof, their attraction becomes impossible to resist!

The hour is late and the stakes are high


And read an excerpt:

Staring at the Duke, Rose felt horror roll through her in a sickening tide. Another half-hour and she would have been hidden away in the kitchens for the rest of the day.

He was staring at her as if he expected her to say something. She dropped the rag, wiped her hands on her apron and pushed to her feet.

She bobbed a curtsy, keeping her head respectfully lowered, her gaze on the floor, wishing he’d walk away. Or that the floor would crack open and swallow her up. ‘Your Grace.’

All she could see were his feet planted squarely on the patch of marble she’d scrubbed clean. She waited for him to move on. She didn’t dare look at his face, at the disgust she’d see in his expression.
Or the anger.

‘Well?’ he said softly, menacingly. ‘Are you going to explain?’

‘Explain what?’ She winced. She hadn’t intended to speak out loud. A glance upwards at his implacable expression sent a shiver down her spine. It was far worse than a show of anger. He looked merely curious. Almost cold.

‘Explain why you never told me that you work here.’ He looked down his ducal nose. ‘You do work here? Have been working here for some time?’

And was unlikely to be working here much longer. She nodded miserably. ‘As a scullery maid.’
He folded his arms across his chest. ‘So what were you doing in the Green Room the other evening?’
She shrugged. ‘I had been mending the gown. I tried it on to see…’ Dash it, if she was going to be let go, it might as well be for the true reason. ‘I wanted to see what I would look like in such a lovely gown.’

His frown deepened.

She held her breath, waiting for the full force of his wrath.

‘You made me think you were gently bred. A lady.’ Not angry, disappointed.

What right did he have to be disappointed? ‘If you’d thought me a lady, you would not have met me in private or kissed me without permission.’ She winced at her scolding tone. What was the point of feeling embarrassed? She was what she was and she cared nothing for his opinion, good or bad.

Only she did. Heat rushed to her face and she let her gaze fall away. ‘I apologise, Your Grace. I—I did not set out to trick you. It simply happened. I should never have met you in the garden, however. For that I am sorry.’ Heartsick, she waited for him to tell her she was dismissed from her position.

Keep up with Ann via her WebsiteFacebook & Twitter (@annlethbridge).

21 comments:

  1. Hi Regan, Thank you so much for inviting me to e part of your blog.

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  2. I loved the interview, I love regency romances they are fast becoming my favourite genre.

    I love the cover of your book Ann, he is gorgeous.

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    1. I forgot my email which is 5h3llcunliff3@gmail.com

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    2. So glad o you enjoyed the interview, Michelle.

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    3. Thanks Michelle. I must say I got goosebumps when I saw the cover. I'm glad you like it

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  3. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for sharing it. I like the concept of a maid and a duke.

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  4. Oh goodness sounds so good and thank you for giving away a print book so nice of you to share and also to come to GLIAS! ptclayton2@aol.com

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  5. I enjoy reading the Q&A! Thanks for sharing! :) greenshamrock atcox dotnet

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  6. It is so nice to meet you Ann! I am obsessed with historical romances. Yes that is the only word I can use and enjoy hearing about new authors. I love the premise of this book in mistaken identity. I enjoyed hearing your background and thoughts on going back to the regency era. I think Jane would just not believe it!!! lfdykes@comcastmnet.

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    1. Hi Lori. Yes She would be amazed I think. I am always impressed by her courage.

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    2. Hi, Lori! So glad you came. And... you are the winner of Ann's book! Congratulations!

      Regan

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  7. Another wonderful interview with an author who is new to me. I'm off to look up your back catalogue now, Ann Lethbridge. This books cover and the blurb provided have piqued interests. Thanks for the opportunity!
    Karen @ mkgallegos@sbcglobal.net

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  8. about the same

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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    1. Thank you. It's nice to know we are doing it right

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  9. Thanks to everyone who commented on the interview. For the giveaway, we have a winner! Congratulations to Lori Dykes who has won Ann's book. Ann will be in touch, Lori.

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