I want to say thanks to Jenna for having me as a guest and helping me reveal my new cover to the world! TO SAVE A LADY is available for pre-order on Amazon and will be released on November 2nd.
It is completely my pleasure, Patricia. :) Congratulations on such a beautiful cover and now on with the interview!
Tell us about yourself
I don’t have a cozy story. I’ve had both hard times and good times. Fortunately, I’m in one of the good times for now. I consider myself a survivor. I survived being a single mom and spending most of my life trying to make ends meet. I’ve survived a rare form of cancer and depression. Writing is how I cope, or maybe it is the way I escape. Either way, I’ve been writing since I was a kid, and I’ll probably be writing in the hereafter. I’ve won a few writing awards and I’ve seen my work in print. But I feel like this is a whole new era for me now because, for the first time ever, writing is the day job.
Tell us about your journey with this book
Actually, it started many years ago. This was a story I had always wanted to write. I had gone to New Orleans and I loved the French Quarter. Over time, I had some false starts with this project. I tried making a novella out of it and that was a mistake. Finally, I gave up on it. I think a big factor in putting it aside was the historical market at the time. Then, things changed in publishing and I decided to write this series. To make it everything I’d ever wanted it to be. I’ve had a great journey writing TO SAVE A LADY and I’m loving the next book even more.
What did you do to research the time period for this series?
Okay, I’m gonna admit I love research. I actually spent about two years doing research. I have numerous books on New Orleans during the early 1800’s and several on the military history of the War of 1812. I had books on Creole houses and buildings in New Orleans, but my on-site research in the French Quarter was so helpful. The best thing was finding a townhouse that was part of a museum, and they let you tour it yourself. I was so excited. I had the whole place to myself for a while, and I’m like taking tons of pictures and imaging scenes in the book. Plus, I had beignets and pralines, which Elise (the heroine) loves to eat! LOL!
Was the book easy to write or did you want to scream?
I can’t say it was easy to write. I did a lot of revisions as the story developed and I developed as a writer. One of my main goals was to write Elise’s story true to her character and the other characters as well. I tried to let them tell their own story through me. I had done that previously with a couple of short stories and for a writer who had always been writing to guidelines and formulas, it is like being released from prison!
I think one of the most exciting things that can happen when you’re writing is when the story itself takes over. Toward the end of the book, there is a scene with Elise and Simone. Okay so I’m writing it and all the sudden a rider appears. I’m like WTF!!! Anyway, the rider became pivotal to setting up the next book, which was supposed to be Bonnard’s story but I knew the minute I’d finished the scene, the next book had to be Rafe and Simone’s story.
What would you like readers to know about this book?
I’d like them to know what it is not. It is set in 1814 but it is not a Regency. No Regency tone, dialect, ton, or dukes. It’s not “two polite people in a drawing room.”
It is a romantic novel of love, courage, loyalty, and honor during dark times. It does have violent moments, and sometimes a little humor. It has occasional strong language and love scenes that are warm/spicy. Depending on how you define that. ;)
You can pre-order TO SAVE A LADY on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OJF5MFK
Here’s the blurb
A DARING MASQUERADE
A move from Paris to New Orleans brings disaster to Elise Plaisance’s predictable life as a lady’s maid. The son of her grief-stricken mistress disappears, and Elise is drawn into a dangerous web of espionage and deceit as the threat of war divides the city.
A CAPTAIN BEWITCHED
Captain Jesse Cross doesn’t fancy himself as a lovelorn soldier desperate for a woman until a mysterious French spy captivates his imagination. Their romance is a frail illusion, born in the darkness of a moonlit courtyard and never meant to last forever.
A FUTURE IMPERILED
The enemy strikes. Both on the battlefield and in the Quarter. Torn between loyalty and love, Elise must risk everything to rescue her mistress’s son before all is lost. Jesse knows he has to stop her even if it means sacrificing his honor and losing his life to save a lady.
Here is short excerpt which features the hero, Captain Jesse Cross, and his cousin, Lt. Bonnard Reid. Their scenes together were always so much fun to write. In this snippet, Bonnard is in Jesse’s office at General Jackson’s headquarters, playing with a bandalore, which would be called a yo-yo today.
Bonnard tried walking the bandalore on the floor. His wrist motion faltered, and the red disk hung lifelessly from the string.
“I think you need more practice,” said Jesse.
Bonnard rewound the string around the center of the disk. “Since you’re off duty this evening, I have a suggestion.”
Jesse gave his cousin a dry glance. “I can’t wait to hear it.”
“Come with me to the American Sector.” Bonnard referred to the part of the city where the Americans, who had moved to New Orleans after the Louisiana Purchase, had formed a small settlement. West of the French Quarter and the city canal, it was aptly referred to as the American Sector. “Miss Joy Fletcher and her girls are from Charleston. They’re American whores, and they adore officers.”
Jesse eyed his cousin. “Have you shown them your toy?”
“Of course.” Bonnard grinned, revealing a dimple in his jaw. “The girls at Miss Joy’s are very entertained by my toy. They love playing with it.”
“Well, Lieutenant, you need to put your toy away,” Jesse said as he returned to his desk. “I want you to send some scouts north to look for the Kentucky militia. They should be here by now.”
“What about tonight? A couple of Miss Joy’s girls have no teeth and bottomless throats.”
Jesse shook his head. “I have plans.”
“And those plans, no doubt, involve a masked woman.” Bonnard reached for the doorknob. “Your desperation amazes me, Captain.”
Hours later, when Jesse braved the wet, winter evening, he knew Bonnard was right. Only a desperate man would be out tonight, rushing to meet with a woman whose face he’d never seen.
I’m working on TO LOSE A LADY, which is Rafe and Simone’s story. I also have a contemporary series coming up and people are always asking me about more short stories. Not enough hours in the day!!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope everyone has a great week!
Patricia also wants me to let you know that she is having a drawing on December 10th for a fleur-de-lis necklace. She will include anyone who leaves a comment on this post in the drawing!
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