As part of her Sizzling PR Blog Tour, I have the great pleasure of welcoming fellow historical author Arlene Lam to Jenna’s Journal today. So glad to have you here, Arlene! I hope you enjoy your time here chatting about your new release, Rescued.
Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Rescued is a Historical Romance with a twist. Set in the sultry bayous of New Orleans it tells the story of Jordan and Amelia, two characters who should never be together but who can’t be torn apart.
Rescued sounds fascinating just from that one line! Do you only write in this genre? If not, what other genres/sub-genres do you write in?
For the time being Historical Romance is all I’ve written in. I do however have an idea in my head for a contemporary novel. I think it will be exciting to delve into new territories.
It absolutely is! I think if you do, you’ll like the contrast. What was your inspiration for this story?
It’s funny because the inspiration and idea behind Rescued formed long ago when I had
just graduated high school. I had been talking to a friend of mine and she had mentioned how it would be nice to see a romance novel that had a couple that reflected her own relationship. I went home thinking I would find one easily and give it to her but there were none. That night I started writing what would become Rescued then I stopped after a few months. I didn’t look at it again until my brother-in-law passed away. When I had first
started writing it he would come over and tease me about how I would never finish, and that it was a shame I was taking so long. He would also say he hoped he was alive to see it. After my brother-in-law died I decided it was time to finish. It took me several years and many rewrites and revisions but I did finish.
Oh, that’s sad and inspiring at the same time, Arlene. I hope your brother-in-law knows somehow that he helped you finish your book. He’d be very proud of you, I’m sure.
Now, titles are one of the most important things to an author. How did you come up with your title? Was this the only title, or did you have a working title as well?
I can agree with you there. I agonized over the title. I ended up going through seven titles before I settled on Rescued but this was only after I finished. I never had a working title. The meaning behind Rescued is sweet and simple. It defines the two characters’ relationship and how they managed to rescue each other and learn to love.
That does sound sweet! And I bet there is another area you’ll agree with me on. I am a fanatic about my character names. Are the character names in Rescued special in any
They are special to me because I have loved the names since a child. If I ever have a girl
I will name her Amelia. My son is named after my husband, but it’s understood that if we have another boy we will name him Jordan.
That is a wonderful idea, Arlene. They are lovely names.
What was your process for writing this book? Is this different or the same as other books
I think it was unorthodox because I just started writing and didn’t really have a
clear plan of where I was going or wanted to be. I think I am lucky that in the end I was left with something I was proud of and happy with. When I wrote the prequel to Rescued, Flowers of the Bayou, I knew without a doubt where I wanted to go and the process had been quick and it was different in that it was clear-cut. I think I enjoyed writing Flowers of the Bayou more but while writing Rescued there was a sense of unknown, what will each character do, how will it end? It felt like more of an adventure.
Do you have plans to turn Rescued into a series?
I do. In Rescued there are several characters who I feel deserve their own stories. Jasper and Margaret are two and will be the first to follow Rescued in The Wedding. I plan to release their story by December.
Well I see you are not letting the grass grow beneath your keyboard!
So, who is your favorite hero or heroine and why? What qualities do they possess that make them memorable?
I know it may sound cliché, but my mother is my favorite heroine. She has always been a hard worker and she shows strength and determination that is admirable. For hero
I would have to say Langston Hughes, he was a great poet and broke so many boundaries.
Excellent choices! And who was the first author and book you read in this genre?
Jude Deveraux The Conquest. It was an amazing book and I still read it at least twice a year.
I really need to read Jude Deveraux. I’ll take your endorsement of The Conquest as a sign to put it on my TBR list.
And the last of my “writerly” questions, who has been the greatest influence on your writing?
My sisters actually. We all grew up reading so when I write something they are more than excited to read it. When they do they tell me what they think has gone wrong or where improvements can be made. They are also great at letting me know when I just need to let things stay the way they are.
It must be wonderful to have sisters who can critique your work properly! The only child here is envious!
Now to what I deem the “fun” questions:
If you could have one wish granted just for you (not world peace, LOL), what would you
Haha hmm let’s see. I would wish for complete world domination. Just kidding! I
would really wish for my life to continue being filled with joy and laughter and that I could
always have my family close. They mean the world to me.
And what is the most exciting/daredevil thing you’ve ever done?
When I was in Hawaii, I was dared to jump of a cliff into the water below. I did, but I can’t swim. Lucky for me my sister was good enough to save me.
Now that is a truly daredevil thing to do! Looks like your life has been blessed with Rescue! Thank you so much for sharing part of yourself with me and my followers, Arlene.
Arlene is also sharing her blurb and a wonderful excerpt from Rescued!
The fire that burned when they were together was consuming.
Her whole life Amelia was told what to do obediently following the rules her domineering aunt set forth. Right down to letting the woman choose the man she was to marry. However this was about to change because from the moment she laid eyes on Jordan
Bradford the shy young maid was lost. But loving a man like him was beyond dangerous for more than the obvious reasons. However Amelia found herself throwing caution to the wind and willing to risk everything for just one kiss.
Intriguing and honest Jordan was drawn to Amelia instantly. Shy and witty Jordan knows that deep down there is a woman just waiting to be set free if only those around her would let her. Still he knew pursuing her was not an option. And even if it was she was already promised to another man. Yet every time she was near that knowledge was lost to him. Wasn’t forbidden fruit always sweeter? It was an added luxury that whenever he was in her presence his past seemed just that, the past. Just one look and a flame long though extinguished was awakened in him. So much so that Amelia was a woman Jordan decided needed to be rescued.
About the Author:
Arlene Lam is a twenty-nine year old wife and mother. Growing up she wrote short stories and poems that she would give to friends. As an adult she decided writing was what she yearned to do. She resides in Northern California with her husband and son and is currently working on The Wedding. A story that revolves around Jasper and Margaret two characters she feels deserve their own story.
Excerpt for Rescued:
Jordan didn’t like walking around in his own home feeling out of place, yet that was what he’d been doing day after day since his incident with Amelia. They were at an impasse, and it was awkward as hell. She was no longer just a servant and he could never again be just her employer. Amelia was doing her best to make that fact known.
Whenever he was near her he was now treated to a completely new facet of her nature he’d grown to loathe. Where was the Amelia with the warm smile and golden eyes, because he was getting a little tired of this new creature’s icy stares and crafty ways to responding to any of his requests—in truth it was becoming utterly frustrating. He’d ask. “How are you Amelia?”
“We ought to mind our own business Mr. Bradford.” She’d respond moving by.
“You look lovely today Amelia.”
“Sorry I can’t say the same, coffee Mr. Bradford?”
He’d spent the day frowning after that remark, but still he persisted. Trying the honest approach the next time he saw her he’d simply said. “I’m sorry Amelia.”
“You’re an ass Mr. Bradford.”
That one had been a little surprising and after she had gotten that out of her system the
strategy changed. It would go on like this for a week. “Good evening Amelia.”
“It’s noon.” She’d blandly state dusting the shelves of the library, the copy of Longfellow
standing out like a sore thumb on the side of the table.
“Amelia it’s gorgeous out today.” He would say.
“It’s dreary.” Was her drab response but Jordan had expected it and it was almost becoming a game to see what Amelia would say to him for the day. So he would test the waters again and again.
“Garden’s starting to bloom.” He had mentioned.
“I don’t believe it is.” She’d say.
“What do you think of my new painting?” he asked.
“It’s vile.” Amelia had said.
It really was a decent painting the woman in it reminded him of her, but yet again he wasn’t surprised at her reaction. She would do something different every week prior to this week’s deafening silence. She’d seen fit to char every dress shirt, pair of trousers and overcoat he owned. Of course she apologized profusely not knowing how she could be so careless so many times. She’d put such prominence in the pronunciation of the word so it made him laugh right in her face yet he’d accepted the joke of an apology while informing her he would deduct from her pay weekly until they’d been replaced. Needless to say his shirts were white and crisp.
The silence though was different; it was the sheer indifference it evoked. It was offensive, more than that it was unnerving, and yesterday he’d decided she was going to talk to him. “Amelia I need to speak with you please.” He popped his head out of his office only long enough to be acknowledged but not dismissed.
Taking his seat, he waited and dutifully if not haughtily she sidled in the door frame neither in nor out. She looked at him with a blank expression and he waved her in to take the chair across him at his desk. “Amelia.” Jordan began and watched as she shifted in her chair and stared at the grandfather clock with interest. “This cannot go on.”
She watched him, wishing him harm the whole time. She was angry and she didn’t want to hear what rubbish he wanted to spew. “Mmhm.” She muttered.
“I’m very sorry, you know this and I’ve tried for almost a month to try to get you to see it so now I’m just going to flat-out ask. Ms. Marriott I must know so that we can go on coexisting, when do you plan on letting this go and forgiving me?”
Never, she thought but she didn’t say that, instead Amelia regarded him carefully. And reclining in her chair she looked off as if in deep thought. “I reckon I’ll do both when pigs fly and if that ever happens Mr. Bradford I’ll be happy to eat mud pie.” Amelia rose then and stalked out.
Needless to say, yesterday had not been a success which was why Jordan now stood in the
middle of the foyer arms folded over broad chest face set in determination. “Amelia!” he bellowed and he was sure that wherever she might be in the house she should have heard him.
Pushing the sleeves of his shirt up to his elbow he waved an incredulous Vivian off as she came rushing to the spacious hall.
“Have you gone mad Mr. Bradford?” She gasped in slow retreat.
“I very well might have.” He began to yell Amelia’s name once more but halted when she appeared, coming down the hall near the library.
Amelia let her jaw drop but quickly brought her hand to her lips to cover both her shock and the laughter that threatened to escape.
“I thought you’d prefer peach cobbler over mud.” Jordan grinned triumphant because hanging from the sturdy chandelier, he’d managed to suspend—two feet from the floor with secure rope—two piglets squealing and all.
“That’s not really safe for the pigs now is it?”
“They are flying Amelia.” He winked.
“It better be good cobbler.” She gave in heading toward the kitchen.
“You could be having mud.” He smirked.
Oh, I love the ending to your excerpt! Such a resourceful man. I need to read more about this couple. Thank you so much for sharing Rescued with us today, Arlene. And I wish you great success with your new release.