A Heart’s Rebellion Wrap Up

A Heart's RebellionThanks to everyone for stopping by our release celebration for A Heart’s Rebellion by Ruth Axtell. We have winners! And answers! And more information about the next book we’re promoting during our Spring Release Extravaganza!

The two winners of A Heart’s Rebellion are Collette C. and Kay M! Congratulations to both of you ladies.

If you’re wondering about the answers to our questions the answer to our first week’s question is:

1. In regency times, being the firstborn male was everything in terms of inheritance. What career avenues were open for younger sons?

Answer: Church and Military

2. What is a famous botanical garden in London, which existed in regency times (which is where Lancelot takes Jessamine)?

Answer: Kew GardensNaomi Rawlings The Soldier's Secret

Thanks to everyone who stopped by so far during our Spring Release Extravaganza, and remember to stop by tomorrow, when you’ll learn about The Soldier’s Secrets by Naomi Rawlings plus have a chance to win more prizes.

Marriage A Glimpse Of Heaven Or Hell

Vanessa here,

Glad you can join me here, today. Well, the porch at the Regency Reflections Blog now possesses new paint, a bit of a makeover. We’ve been posting here since 2012. We love being able to showcase different glimpses of Inspirational Regencies, talking about the stories and the motivations behind them. We’ve even given tastes of the Regency romances that hooked us long before the first traditionally printed Christian Regency was released.

But our fire had grown cold.

It was time find our love again.

The reason I write Regencies is because I found my voice in the 1800’s.  It sounds of a woman, with dreams of a happy-ever-after, challenged by the circumstances, the very skin she’s born within. These stories, gifted by my first love, a passionate, merciful God must be told. It is my first love. And this blog will now share stories of authors and characters who possess the same fire.

Now some of my friend’s stories may be secular authors.  Before you throw holy water at me, I just have to say it. Not everyone is meant to entertain the pews. All types of stories are needed to edify, entertain, and to educate. All of my friends, regardless of what they write use their God-given talents to bring joy and hope into this world. This is something all should see.

 


The Fabulous Jude Knight


My first guest is the wonderful Jude Knight.  Jude traveled all the way from New Zealand to have tea with me on my Atlanta porch. Jude writes strong determined heroines, heroes who can appreciate a clever capable woman, villains you’ll love to loathe, and all with a leavening of humor.

“Jude, I know you must be tired, so have a seat. Let me fix you some tea. How would you like it?”judeknight

“Thank you, so much for your hospitality. I’d like a green tea with a slice of lemon, or black tea with a small dash of milk.

“Green it is. Here you go. It’s quite hot. While it cools, tell the good readers what a happy ever after means to you.”

“My view of ‘happy ever after’ is shaped by my life and my beliefs. Falling in love is not enough. A wedding is not enough. Good intentions are not enough. To believe that a romance has a happy ending, I need to believe that the couple’s love will last for a lifetime; that they have what they need to work out the inevitable problems that will try to tear them apart.”

“I don’t mean to get you kicked out of any ‘ABA’ bad girl societies, but tell me what love and faith means to you.”

“My beloved and I have known one another for 47 years, and been married for nearly 44. In that time, our love has been tested over and over, but each challenge we’ve surmounted has made our relationship stronger.
I joke that our marriage has survived because his parents and mine were both against it, and we were too stubborn to admit they were right. He always adds that it also survived because we lived at the end of a long country road and were very poor. Walking out on the marriage would have meant a literal walk — and it was a long way.”

“I love that. Please continue.”

“More to the point, though, we both believed that we had to work things out. Our Christian faith told us that marriage was a permanent commitment. We promised ‘as long as we both shall live’, and we meant it. And we both came from fractured marriages; we knew what disharmony did to children. We were determined to find our ‘happy ever after’, and we did.”

“Tell me how your beliefs have shaped your writing.”

“My husband is a Catholic, and I converted to Catholicism some eight or nine years after we first met. Catholic marriage theology holds that marriage is a sacrament — a visible sign of the presence of God in the world. Just as water is the sign of Baptism, and the bread and wine are the signs of the Eucharist (Holy Communion), so the man and the woman are the sign of Marriage. Water signifies (and becomes) the cleansing grace of God. Bread and wine signify (and become) the presence of Christ in the church community and each individual. The couple signify something very wonderful: Christ’s union with the Church, God’s union with His creation. A person could spend a lifetime thinking about the implications of this, and some people have.”

“Wow. That’s deep. I’m Baptist, and I get it. More so, I feel the same.”

“For today, suffice it to say that building the kind of marriage that is a true signifier of this mystery is not a magic trick taking place in front of the altar on a couple’s wedding day. It is the work of a lifetime together.”

“Ok, tell the good folks about A Baron for Becky.”

“A Baron for Becky is my Regency about marriage, which is why it is a book of two halves. In the first part of the book, my heroine — rescued from dreadful danger — becomes the mistress of a kindly libertine whose view of marriage is extremely jaundiced. Their relationship is founded on lust and convenience on his part, and gratitude on hers.”

“Did I mention to you to tell the PG version for Regency Reflection readers? Just kidding. So in a A Baron for Becky, the heroine makes wrong choices, but that didn’t disqualify her from finding true love. Now that is a message for today.”

“Yes. The second half of the book is about just that between, Becky and Hugh. The libertine arranges their marriage, which takes place at the midpoint of the book. But Becky and Hugh build that marriage. I poured my heart into showing them falling in love; showing how their past experiences almost destroyed them; showing the slow painful process of rebuilding.”

“He was sorry for hurting her, for not trusting her, for manipulating her into marriage, for being a representative of the men that had hurt her. He was sorry for it all, and he could never make it up to her. But he would live his life trying.”

“Dear hubby and I just made 19 years. An accomplishment in this age, but tell us your 44-year secret.”

“The trick of a happy marriage (and a happy life) is to go on loving one another between trials, and to consistently fall in love with the same person, over and over and over. Because love is not about being in love, pleasant though that state is. Love is an action, not a state, not a feeling. Love is making breakfast for the person you want to brain with the frypan. Love is listening to the same joke for the twentieth time and laughing yet again. Love is walking hand in hand for no better reason than that you are fond of one another. Love involves feelings: lust and affection, familiarity and friendship, mutual respect and regard. It grows on shared experiences, memories—both good and bad—of the things you’ve lived through together. But above all, love is what you do when your feelings prompt you against being loving.

How could it be otherwise when love is an echo of Love Himself, the One who loved His people even though they betrayed him, rejected him, and even killed Him? Love is far too important to depend on chemical soup. Love is an action.”

Now that is a message to kick off the new Regency Reflections. Thank you Jude. While my friend takes a swig of her green tea, I just want to thank her for traveling to Atlanta and being my guest. Below is more about Jude and links for A Baron for Becky.baronforbeck

About Jude Knight

Jude Knight is the pen name of Judy Knighton. After a career in commercial writing, editing, and publishing, Jude is returning to her first love, fiction. Her novella, Candle’s Christmas Chair, was released in December 2014, and is in the top ten on several Amazon bestseller lists in the US and UK. Her first novel Farewell to Kindness, was released on 1 April, and is first in a series: The Golden Redepennings.

Follow Jude on social media:

Visit Jude’s Website http://judeknightauthor.com/

Like Jude on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JudeKnightAuthor

Buy links

Amazon http://amzn.to/1C3hFNl

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/1H3YmTk

Amazon Aus http://bit.ly/1HzUZ9R

Smashwords http://bit.ly/1HzUXPf

Barnes & Noble  http://bit.ly/1GRTvkR

iBooks http://apple.co/1FVFNfU

Kobo http://bit.ly/1NzI2LK

 

Tales from St. Louis ~ A Report on the ACFW Conference

View of over half the arch from Kristi's hotel room. Kristi here. I had the great pleasure of attending the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference in St. Louis this weekend.

This was the view from my hotel window. Pretty cool.

Unfortunately, despite being spitting distance from the arch, I never actually made it over there. Oh well. It’s still pretty.

Meeting Some Familiar People

Kristi Hunter and Kristy Cameron at ACFW galaOne of the best thing about conference is meeting up with people you normally only “see” in cyberspace.

If you’ve been reading this blog long, you know “friend of the blog” Kristy Cameron. Something you might not have known is… the girl is tall. But I love that hair. That’s how I found her from across the room of 600 people.

I also ran into some of our favorite Regency authors.

Kristi Ann Hunter and Sarah LaddSarah Ladd was a finalist for the Carol in the debut novel category with her Regency The Heiress of Winterwood. 

The category was won by a contemporary book with Regency ties, Katherine Reay’s Dear Mr. Knightley, in which a young lady channels Jane Austen’s characters to help her get through life. (Amazing book, I highly recommend it.)

Kristi Ann Hunter and Julie Klassen in Regency garbI also met up with Julie Klassen, looking amazing in her pink Regency ball gown. Julie was honored with the Mentor of the Year award at the gala.

As you can see, she’s another blonde that towers over me. If you ever have the honor of meeting her, think of something more witty to say than, “Wow, you’re tall.” I already took that one.

Kristi's Regency DressYes, I am also dressed in Regency era garb. My amazing and wonderful mother made me a dress for the genre dinner (where we got to dress up in time periods and characters). Now I’ll also have it for things like book signings or other events.

She even made me a matching shawl and reticule.

Mothers are awesome.

Upcoming Book News

Other than Sarah and Julie I didn’t see any of our other Regency authors this weekend. Julie has a new release in December, so keep watching for that.

I know many of our readers are expanding into the Edwardian era, in part because of Downton Abbey. This is a growing area in Christian fiction, so if that interests you be sure to check that out. I know I saw some titles set in Edwardian England from Carrie Turansky and heard of a series by Roseanna White coming out next year.

My Own Happy News

Kristi's Genesis award and ArchI also brought home my own special souvenir. Here is the Genesis award I was blessed to win with the beautiful arch as a background.

In case you’ve missed me making the announcement elsewhere, I’m happy to say you can pick up this award winning story for yourself next Fall when it comes out from Bethany House.

 

 

 

All in all it was a pretty amazing weekend. Were you an author able to go to the conference? Got a question about the weekend that I might could answer? Leave it in the comments.

New Regency Book: Prelude For A Lord

It’s our very own Camy Tang, writing as the fabulous Camille Elliot! We’re very excited to announce her new Regency novel, Prelude for a Lord. 

About the book:

PreludeCoverAn awkward young woman. A haunted young man. A forbidden instrument. Can the love of music bring them together . . . or will it tear them apart?

Bath, England—1810

At twenty-eight, Alethea Sutherton is past her prime for courtship; but social mores have never been her forté. She might be a lady, but she is first and foremost a musician.

In Regency England, however, the violin is considered an inappropriate instrument for a lady. Ostracized by society for her passion, Alethea practices in secret and waits for her chance to flee to the Continent, where she can play without scandal.

But when a thief’s interest in her violin endangers her and her family, Alethea is determined to discover the enigmatic origins of her instrument . . . with the help of the dark, brooding Lord Dommick.

Scarred by war, Dommick finds solace only in playing his violin. He is persuaded to help Alethea, and discovers an entirely new yearning in his soul.

Alethea finds her reluctant heart drawn to Dommick in the sweetest of duets . . . just as the thief’s desperation builds to a tragic crescendo . . .

Find out more about Camy’s alter ego and links to purchase the book at camilleelliot.com. She’s also giving away three copies of her new book to people who join her email list!

 

What do you “hear” when a book mentions music? Do you ever look up the songs mentioned?

Catching Up with Reflections Bloggers

Inspirational Regencies Represent!

The Romance Writers of America had their annual awards ceremony this past weekend. Inspirational Regencies were well-represented when our very own Kristi Ann Hunter won the Golden Heart award for unpublished Inspirational manuscripts. You can check out the other winners, including the Rita for best published Inspirational romance at the RWA website.

Here a Book, There a Book, Everywhere a new Book!

In addition to her anticipated Regency (coming out in August!), Camy Tang just released a contemporary romantic suspense in an anthology titled Sealed With a KissShe’s also busy working on two series for next year: a romantic suspense and a regency set.

Speaking of August releases, keep an eye out for Vanessa Riley’s new Regency tale: Swept Away.

Ruth Axtell has stepped a few years past our beloved Regency to delve into the equally stunning Victorian world. Her novelette, Victorian Spring, is available now and the start to a fabulous new series.

Friend of the blog, Kristy Cambron released the first book in her WWII series. The second one comes out in April.

And a Crazy, Wonderful Life It Is

In addition to sending books out through her agent the hopefully-soon-to-be-published Susan Karsten is super busy. A son getting married, two girls headed off to college, and a 25th anniversary to celebrate make for a full and wonderful life!

Laurie Alice Eakes recently returned from the RWA conference.

 

What about you? We’d love to know what’s going on in your life!

A Reluctant Courtship Grand Prize Winner

We are happy to announce that “Lis” is the winner of the Reluctant Courtship Grand Prize. Lis left a comment on Thursday, October 17, about how much she likes when authors share about their spiritual journeys and how authors then incorporate those journeys into their novels.

Congratulations, Lis!

Tea cup and saucer

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Reluctant Courtship Contest. Several of you also won gift cards:

Monday, Oct 14: Marianne

A Reluctant Courtship
A Reluctant Courtship

Thursday, Oct 17: Martha J Strum

Monday, Oct 21: Melody D.

Thursday, Oct 24: Camille

For all the participants who stopped by and showed interest in A Reluctant Courtship, we enjoyed chatting with you. Thank you so very much for your interest both in Regency Reflections and A Reluctant Courtship. If you’d like to learn more about the novel or Laurie Alice Eakes and her other books, please visit her website at www.LaurieAliceEakes.com.

A Reluctant Courtship Contest and Giveaway

A Reluctant CourtshipI’m excited to introduce a new Regency novel today. It’s entitled A Reluctant Courtship and is written by Regency Reflection’s own Laurie Alice Eakes.

To celebrate the release of A Reluctant Courtship, we’re running a special two week long contest. Starting today through Monday, October 28, we’ll feature thought-provoking questions at the end of each post and giving away a $10 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) to one person who answers that day’s question. Your name will also be entered into our Regency Grand Prize giveaway.

The Grand Prize will include:Tea cup and saucer

  • A tea cup
  • A box of tea
  • A box of chocolates
  • A $10.00 Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Before we get to today’s question, let me tell you more about A Reluctant Courtship, and why I enjoyed reading it so much.

Honore Bainbridge has been courted by two men, one of whom turned out to be a traitor, the other a murderer. Banished to her family’s country estate, where she will hopefully stay out of trouble, she finally meets the man she is sure is exactly right for her: Lord Ashmoor. Tall, dark, and handsome–what more could a girl ask for? But he too is under suspicion because of his American upbringing and accusations that he has helped French and American prisoners escape from Dartmoor Prison. For his part, Lord Ashmoor needs a wife beyond reproach, which Honore certainly is not. Amid a political climate that is far from friendly, Honore determines to help Ashmoor prove his innocence–if she can do so and stay alive.

From the rocky cliffs of Devonshire, England, comes the exciting conclusion to the lush Daughters of Bainbridge House series. Award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes thrusts her readers into high drama from the very first sentence and keeps them on their toes until the final page.

Laurie Alice EakesA Flight of Fancy has generated recommendations from places such as Booklist, which said: “Eakes seamlessly blends romance and intrigue, faith and history.”

I’d have to agree with Booklist about how wonderfully Eakes blended romance, suspense, history, and faith in A Reluctant Courtship. I also loved how Honore struggled as a woman who had made past mistakes and ruined her reputation, but with God’s help, she was able to overcome those mistakes and restore her good name by the end of the novel.

Today’s question: When you hear the words “Regency romance” what comes into your head?

Remember to leave your answer in the comment section below to be eligible for both today’s gift card as well as a chance to win the grand prize. Then come back Thursday for Laurie Alice Eakes’s post on what it’s like to write a Regency novel plus another chance to win.

Contest Winner for Madeline’s Protector

As many of you know, we’ve spent the past week celebrating the debut release of
Madeline’s Protector by Regency Reflections’s own Vanessa Riley. To help celebrate this new novel, we’ve included giveaways with every post over the past week and held one giant, week-long contest for a Nook ereader. Well, we have winners! And I’m very excited to share them with everyone.

The winner of a brand new Nook is . . .

Michelle Griep!

BooksTablet

Michelle visited our Regency Reflections on the very first day of the contest and answered the question of what suitor you would pick for your daughter if you were a Regency mother. Congratulations, Michelle! We wish you lots of enjoyable hours of reading time on your new Nook!

Our other daily winners are as follows:

$10 Starbuck’s gift card – Nancy
iTune card – Teela
$10 Amazon gift certificate – Piper
Paperback  copy of Madeline’s Protector – Jackie Layton 

Congratulations to all our winners, and a special thanks to everyone who stopped by to help us celebrate the release of Madeline’s Protector!

 And now, in case you’re wondering about the thought-provoking questions we asked at the end of each post. Here’s a list of the questions and the most popular answers.
MadelinesProtector11125

Friday, April 26: If you were a Regency Mama, which suitor would you pick for your marriageable daughter and why:The son of a family friend, a titled reformed rake, a wealthy gentleman looking for a 2nd wife?

The most popular answer was: The son of a family friend. Most of the commentors liked being familiar with the suitors family and background before giving their daughters over in marriage to our imaginary man.

*****

Monday, April 29: If you lived during the Regency and found yourself in a dire circumstance would you:

A. Do everything possible to save yourself, not caring of any possible ramifications.

B. Do everything possible, but you would worry about potential scandals or compromise.

C. Risk everything to a point. Your family name and position could not be threatened.

The most popular answer was B. Most commentors would do everything possible, but still be conscientious about scandals.

*****

Wednesday, May 1: What got you interested in the Regency time period?

The most popular answer was: Pride and Prejudice, either one of the movies or the book or a combination of the two.

*****

Friday, May 3: Have you ever had your purse snatched? And if so, did you give chase?

The most popular answer was: No, most people have not had their purses taken (though a few have). And no, most people did not think they would give chase, even if their purses were stolen.

*****

Thanks again for stopping by and enjoying our week-long celebration of Madeline’s Protector. We hope to see each and every one of you back again sometime over the coming weeks!

 

Coffee Talk with Author Sarah E. Ladd – Part Two

HWWelcome back to Part Two of our coffee talk with debut author Sarah E. Ladd.

I am delighted to host Regency Reflections’ newest author, friend Sarah E. Ladd, in a virtual coffee chat. She’s monitoring the comments to our post today, so please stop by and join the conversation.

Without further delay – grab a fresh cup of tea and your breakfast scone. We’re jumping back in to our chat about our main characters, Amelia and Graham, and their amazing love journey…

 

K: Welcome back! So Sarah, we’ve talked the growth your main characters had to take to in order to be ready to love. How important was it to set Amelia and Graham’s love story against the foundation of faith in Christ?

Oh very important. Both Amelia and Graham had deep-seeded issues that they needed to deal with before their hearts were really free to love one another. The first step to finding that peace and freedom was accepting God’s love and forgiveness.   They both needed to accept God’s plans for their lives before they could really grasp the gifts that God was giving them.

K: Let’s talk about Graham. He’s quite a noble character. What is your favorite “Graham moment” in the book?

Without giving too much away, there is one scene in the book where Graham finally says goodbye to his wife, who passed away in the opening scene of the book.  When I was writing the first draft of the book, this was the scene where I really understood Graham’s struggle. The act of saying goodbye and mourning his loss was a major step in his journey to being able to love someone else.

K: Your publication journey began with a big contest win. Care to tell us more about the experience?

I think that writing contests are a great way for writers to not only grow in the craft, but to learn more about the industry as well.  In 2011, The Heiress of Winterwood won the Historical Romance category of the Genesis contest, which is a contest for unpublished authors held by American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). It gave me the opportunity to share my story with others!

K: So with the win for Historical Romance, our readers are probably wondering, “How difficult is it really, to write a historical novel?” What are the challenges? The joys?

For a writer, I think the answer to this question probably ties back to the idea of “you write what you enjoy reading”.  This is definitely the case for me!  I have read inspirational historical romances for as long as I can remember, and I can’t imagine writing a novel in anything but a historical setting.

I would have to say that one of the challenges of writing a historical romance is making sure that the details of your novel are historically accurate.  When transporting yourself to another time and culture, you really have to do your homework to understand the environment you are entering.  But therein also lies the joy. The more you learn about another period of time, the more you want to know. And that what makes it exciting … there is always something new to learn and a fresh ideas from which to draw inspiration.

K: I simply must ask the following two questions of each author I interview. Ready? What is your go-to verse – that Bible verse that has been the foundation of your journey as a wife, mother, and now, an author of Christian fiction?

Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

And second… Authors are more often than not prolific readers themselves. What books are currently stacked on your nightstand?

Right now I am rereading The Tennant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë. (As Sarah’s interviewer hurriedly looks for a pencil and paper so she can write the title on her “To Read” list…)

Indy
From left: Authors Sarah E. Ladd, Kristy L. Cambron, Dawn Crandall. Authors’ lunch, summer 2012.

Absolutely!

Favorite Regency food:  Wassail.  In my family, we drink this every holiday season, and  it is one of my favorites! (You can find the recipe here. Trust me … you’ll enjoy it!)

Favorite color: Probably pink : )

Favorite Regency movie:  ‘Sense and Sensibility’ (1995 version).  I love the soundtrack of this movie!

Your signature quote:  This is my favorite Jane Austen quote:

There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart. (Emma)

Where you write: My office

Coffee or tea?  Coffee

Scone or biscuit?  Scone

Graham or Mr. Darcy? (I’m sorry, Sarah! I couldn’t help myself with this question…)Totally Graham! : )

Favorite travel destination – London or the English countryside? English countryside

Favorite moment of the book (Please leave us wanting more…): The “Happy Ever After” scene, which is what I call the l

K: Where can we find you out on social media?
Please join me! Facebook  | Twitter  |  Goodreads   |  Website

 

Sarah~ GIVEAWAY ~

Okay, Regency readers. Now it’s your turn.

Sarah’s giving away a signed copy of her book for one lucky reader. Click the GIVEAWAY link below and follow the instructions to enter.

GIVEAWAY entry link:   http://bit.ly/V90WSh

Stay tuned to find out who wins a book signed by our debut author!  We’ll announce the winner next week.

Our coffee cups may be empty, but our hearts have been happy for this opportunity to chat with you. It’s been a delight to spend time with you today, Sarah. And after all of this wonderful Regency conversation we now, more than ever, eagerly await the release of The Heiress of Winterwood!

In His Love,

Kristy

 

 

Author Sarah E. Ladd: Coffee Talk and Giveaway!

HW 2
Watercolor painting, Alphonse Mucha. (Photo: Wiki Commons, public domain)

Due to schedules of busy authors that also happen to be moms, author friend Sarah E. Ladd and I scheduled a virtual coffee date to chat about the exciting release of her debut novel, The Heiress of Winterwood. You’ll find out quickly, just as I did, that this author has a great love for all things Regency, as well as a true heart for the Lord. (Not to mention a sincere and mutual affection we both have for coffee!)

Sarah has her vanilla latte and I have my coconut mocha coffee in hand… We’re ready to start this virtual chat! So grab your favorite mug of coffee too (or English Breakfast tea), and join us as we celebrate the debut release for author Sarah E. Ladd:

Kristy: Hi Sarah – We’re delighted that you’ve stopped by Regency Reflections today to talk about your Genesis Award-winning and debut novel, The Heiress of Winterwood. I’ve prepared for the occasion with a cup of coffee and an edge-of-my-seat anxiousness to talk about this amazing book!

Thank you for having me!

K: Let’s jump right in. We’ve just met you in the elevator at a writing conference, and we’re in love with the fact that your first book is a Regency. Can you give us a quick summary of the story before the elevator reaches our floor?

Sure!  When Amelia Barrett vows to raise her dying friend’s infant daughter, she will risk everything to keep her word, even if it means proposing to the child’s father … a sea captain she’s never met.

K: The thought of proposing marriage is a bit terrifying. (Now I understand what the guys go through when they’re about to bend a knee.) But to have a woman propose marriage to a man, in the year 1814 – what kind of cultural significance does that hold?

I think that in order to answer this question properly I need to step back a bit. When I first started planning to  write this book, I knew I wanted to set the novel in the Regency period.  My goal was to write a strong heroine that really challenged the societal expectations of the time. So before I put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) I asked myself the following question:  What is the one thing that a woman in the Regency period would never, ever do?  And the first answer that came to mind:  Propose marriage to a man.  And that is how the idea for ‘The Heiress of Winterwood’ was born!

So jumping back to the question … proposing marriage to a man would have damaged a lady’s reputationbeyond repair – and during the Regency, a woman’s reputation was her most prized possession.Keep in mind that Amelia had to be married by the time she turned 24 otherwise she would lose her inheritance, so not only was she risking social ridicule, but she was also risking her fortune and security.HW

K: In The Heiress of Winterwood, your heroine finds herself in quite a life-changing moment right from the first scene of the book. (I actually had a breathless moment when I read the first line!) How attached did you feel to Amelia as she walked through this heart-wrenching journey?

Oh my goodness!  I felt like I was in the room with Amelia, watching the tragedy unfold.  And as I wrote the rest of the book, I kept coming back to this opening scene, tweaking it and making sure it was true to her character.   Amelia’s reaction in this room really spoke a lot about the type of person she was, and that moment was truly a defining point in her life … it was the moment she decided that she would put someone else’s needs before her own and dedicate her life to making someone else’s life better.

K: You’ve written characters that give the readers a very intimate look at the inner struggles they face – Amelia with her heart for a young child and the fierce protection she feels as a new mother, and Graham, with his unwavering strength as he begins to understand what it means to be a father. Can you tell us more about the inner struggles your characters go through on their journey and how  they bridged those challenges to find love?

Amelia’s parents died when she was young, and as a result, she faced loneliness and was always searching for the true acceptance that a family could offer.  Because of this, Amelia feels an immediate connection with Lucy, the baby, for she wants to prevent this innocent child from growing up as she did …without love.  This leads us to Amelia’s struggle. You see, Amelia believes that she knows what is best for herself and for Lucy.  She believes that by careful planning, courage, and hard work she can create the perfect life for them both. But in the end, Amelia realizes that her own strength and determination will only take her so far, and it is only when she relies on God’s strength and seeks His will does she find peace and contentment.

Graham, on the other hand, struggles with the guilt of his past.  There are many things that the wishes he would have done differently.  Throughout the course of the story, he learns that in order to find true freedom from the stronghold of his guilt he must forgive himself and, more importantly, accept God’s forgiveness.  His journey is about breaking down the walls that he built around himself.

In essence, both Amelia and Graham dealt with the issue of pride, only in different forms.  When I wrote their stories, this Bible verse kept coming to me.  I think it fits both of their journeys:

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.  ~ Proverbs 11:2

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Keep your coffee cups on the warmer, friends… We’ll continue Sarah’s interview in our Friday post. But until then, drop her a line here with a comment and find her on social media to keep the conversation going. She’s so looking forward to talking with each of you!

SarahYou can find Sarah on:

Facebook  | Twitter  |  Goodreads   |  Website

GIVEAWAY: You’re in luck, Regency readers. Sarah is giving away a *signed* copy of her debut book,The Heiress of Winterwood, to one lucky reader of Friday’s post. In the meantime, Sarah will be monitoring the comments and would love to connect with you. So…

Now that you’ve met Amelia and Graham, what has you completely breathless to read their story?

Come back on Friday for the second installment of our Coffee Talk interview with debut author Sarah E. Ladd. (Hint: Make sure to join us. We’ve got a couple of surprises in store!) And don’t forget our GIVEAWAY – details to follow in the next post!

In His Love,

Kristy