I am so excited today to sit down with fellow Lyrical author, Daisy Banks, to talk about her latest Georgian historical romance, A Gentleman’s Folly, and her life as a writer. You know I love the 18th century so I can’t wait to read this book!
Tell us a little bit about your new release.
I am part of the Lyrical Press group of authors who have contributed to the First Frost Anthology. This is a free read and is doing really well, understandably so, as there are some super authors involved. My little story Keep the Fire Burning is a fantasy romance.
My latest full-length release A Gentleman’s Folly published by Liquid Silver Books is a historical novel and I’d like to talk about that. The story is set in the mid 18th century, an era I adore. I love the robust way people lived then. This is pre-regency and a time when people experimented with all kinds of ideas. My heroine is certainly experimental in her lifestyle. I found her so interesting to work with.
What was your inspiration for this story? I visited the West Wycombe Caves in Buckinghamshire and kind of got hooked. A folly on such a grand scale is impressive and the character of the man who indulged his friends by creating this folly enthralled me. The founder of the Knights of Saint Francis of Wycombe, a group who later became known as the Hell Fire Club, Sir Francis is a very entertaining character. Once I began the story and the research that went with it I was captured by the records of such an interesting man and the group he formed.
I am a fanatic about my character names. Are the character names special in any way? I chose them as fairly representative for their era. Katherine is known as Kitty in most of the story.
What was your process for writing this book? Is this different or the same as other books you’ve written? I worked on this in sections, the initial idea came with a flash of images of the two of them in caves, at the church when they married, the boat on the lake, all of the images came fast. Writing them is another matter. I worked at the story, let people critique what I’d done, and became convinced the tale wasn’t right for what I wanted. So, unusually for me, I left the story for about two years. When I finally went back to it I’d learned more of the craft and re-evaluated the story so far and I decided to finish it.
Do you have plans for a sequel to this book? No, not for this one.
Who is your favorite romance hero or heroine and why? What qualities do they possess that make them memorable? I think the figure I enjoy most in all his manifestations is Merlin. I’ve yet to read a story with him in that I don’t like. I think it’s the magical link that fascinates me most. One of my favorite heroines is Ayla from the Earth’s Children series. I like her for her strength and her persistence, she is also very courageous and I find her bravery a very attractive quality. I think if I analyze what attracts me to any heroine it is courage.
Who was the first romance author and book you read? I think it may have been Anya Seaton’s Katherine. That book stands out in my mind. I think I was about 13 at the time of reading it. I still have a copy. I love the beginning, In the tender green time… I’d read lots of stories before then some of which would fall into the category of romances but that story is special.
Who has been the greatest influence on your writing? I would have to say my dear friend and mentor Mary, without her encouragement I wouldn’t be writing in the way I do.
If you could have one wish granted just for you (not world peace, LOL), what would you wish for? I would wish to have the health to allow me to continue writing. There are so many obstacles to prevent a person fulfilling their dreams but I think the most important one is health, if you don’t have that there is not a great deal you can do about it.
What is the most exciting/daredevil thing you’ve ever done? A long time ago I gave up my job, my home and my life as I knew it, got on a plane and travelled across the world to be with the person I loved.
Now, Lightning Round:
What is your favorite amusement park ride? The Swans at Alton Towers, very gentle and soothing as they float around the lake. I enjoy the log flume too.
Tea or coffee? Coffee. I do like espresso. I also like iced coffee. If I take tea it’s usually afternoon tea with lots of lovely cake.
French manicure or color (and if color, what color)? The colors I like are red, gold or pale pink. Those are my favorites. In the past I have also worn ice white and jet black too, sky blue while on holiday in a sunny climate and neon purple.
Beach or mountains? Both please, my ideal place would be on a wooded mountain slope with a nearby lake and a view down to the sea with a rocky beach that had a safe little sheltered cove for my boat.
Chocolate or vanilla? Rum and raisin.
Boxers, briefs or commando? Boxers.
Blond, brunette or redhead? (preferred men’s hair color) Dark Irish, straight or curls, dark Irish hair is beautiful. I also love copper tops as those with bright copper hair are called, one of the most fascinating men I have ever seen had hip length copper red hair that hung down his back like a silk curtain. Every time I saw him I’d imagine … Ah, best stop there.
Would you rather skydive or scuba dive? Scuba.
Would you rather vacation in Hawaii, Vegas or London? Hawaii. I love tropical warmth and the ocean so that would be an ideal destination for me. I’ve visited several places with active volcanoes and they are so exciting to be around, but not too close.
What’s the one thing you would never do? Drive without my seatbelt. I had a fairly bad road accident when I was younger and it’s made me very wary. Without the restraint of the belt, I think I would have gone through the windscreen of the car. The whole thing remains a kind of slow motion image in my head. I try not to think about it.
Katherine Bescell, courtesan and member of a secret order, thinks the offer of a marriage in name only to Charles Leverret, heir to a large fortune, will solve all her woes.
Charles Leverret believes his hired wife will ensure his inheritance. He might even enjoy her company if she’ll let him anywhere near her. Charmed by his bride, Charles breaks their original bargain and falls in love. Betrayed by a trusted lawyer who withholds Katherine’s promised fee, Charles struggles against evil chance to persuade Katherine his love is real.
Lust and love, truth and trust, each makes demands on them both, but though Charles has captured her heart, Katherine can’t bring herself to admit they belong together.
Masked and robed in the rites in the West Wycombe Caves where only truth is told, Charles makes his stand to claim the woman he adores.
Their disastrous conversation hovered like a storm cloud as she hurried into the house, swept along the corridor, up the stairs, and into her room, where she tugged off her bonnet and splashed cool water onto her neck. Appalled at her reflection, she dabbed at her spoiled face with a cloth and then patted on a new layer of fine powder to cover the worst of the blotches.
Sadly, the water did nothing to still the heat in her blood, and fearful she’d harm the child if she continued in her bitter fury, she lay on the bed.
The heavy door thundered open. Charles, breathing swift, strode in. He shoved the door back, and it crashed, juddering in the frame.
She bolted up. “How dare you come in uninvited!”
He dragged her from the bed, hands heavy on her waist as he set her on her feet. “Try such a trick again, and I swear, with child or not, my wench, I’ll thrash you every day for a week.”
“Savage! Leave me be.”
“Be quiet. There is more at stake here than your curdled temper.”
She couldn’t avoid his face so close to hers and couldn’t pull back. “You’re a vile cur. Let me go.”
“For the sake of silence.” He caught the back of her head in his palm and brought her face much closer to his. Warm and smothering, his mouth covered hers, and all the time, her body sang in answer to his kiss.
A cascade of shivers shot through her, stalling her doubts. Desire flooded her blood at the first contact of his lips. An instant, heady, insistent craving for his most intimate touch blazed to heat her body. She opened her mouth to accept the seeking warmth of his tongue, and her knees softened like wax under a flame.
He gathered her closer, tightening his grasp, and hauled her tight against him. Their kiss deepened until each movement of his brought an echo of hers. A whimper of satisfaction stole from her as she twined her tongue around his. She sucked the warmth of him deeper into her mouth so his taste and hers swirled and mingled, and she closed her eyes.
Time ceased to be anything other than velvet, pulsing darkness as his mouth worked on hers. He demanded more and more of her, and never had she been so willing to give herself up. She pushed forward against him, curled her fingers through his hair at the base of his skull, and kissed him while trembles made her shiver in readiness for his hands to seek her skin. Joyful, she climbed the steps of desire, until he pulled away.
He held her at arm’s length. “Christ alive, woman,” he murmured and breathed fast. His eyes shone, an intensity of golden brown glowing in his gaze.
She gave a tiny nod of encouragement. Surely he’d want to bed her now. His desire, obvious from his deep breaths and the rigid swelling she’d felt pressed against her, had woven a lustful magic. The heightened state of her need might drive her to any passion he could wish to ask of her. Desire beyond any hope of salvation ruled. But he made no movement to hold, touch, or kiss her again.
Shame boiled in her breast at the understanding he didn’t want her. She could hardly demean herself further.
“Now, have you regained your senses and will you listen? We may not be what they think us in this house, but though savage you believe me to be, I’d not see your mangled corpse twined in the traces. You will never take off so again. Say it.”
Staring at the shimmer of his reflection in the polished brass coal scuttle, she nodded.
“I’ll not behave foolishly again.” Why could he not be gone? A lump of sheer frustration had lodged in her throat. She was well used to driving such a small gig and pony. What the hell did he care? The one thing she wanted from him he’d not give.
A small gasp broke from her as he caught her around the waist. Thank the gods. He’d changed his mind.
He laid her back on the bed. “Move over. I’ll have to stay for an hour at the least. The household will expect no less.”
“By my faith, woman, don’t you think they’d expect us to kiss and make up after such a tempest? Half the servants saw you risk you neck to drive here alone from the lake, more saw you storm upstairs I’ve no doubt, and the rest will have heard, been listening spellbound to your yells. What are they to think now? We’re supposed to be happily wed. They’ll like as not put your tantrum down to your condition. So they’ll expect me to be a good husband and do the same and gentle you with some well-tempered wooing.” He sat on the bed and took off a boot.
Shivers still danced on her skin from his kiss, and the ache in her loins remained a powerful throb of need. Was there anything she could offer him to complete her, to give her the fulfillment her body demanded? Humiliation spilled through her like a chill wave. Her means to change his mind were nothing. He’d never make their marriage a reality. But she so longed for the man. Was that the worst of it? Each moment with him her body flamed. No other man affected her so nor, unless her memories were faulty, had any man ever. If she were alone, she might well have wailed like a babe in her frustration. As it was, she clung on to a shred of pride. She would not weep for the lack of his loving.
Full of despair at the wretched prospect, she lay back and rolled over onto her side to leave the widest gap between them she could. An hour of him beside her, without even so much as the touch of his hand, would be interminable. She closed her eyes and swallowed down the desire for his flesh. His other boot fell to the floor with a thud.
He lay back, and she shuffled farther away, so close to the edge of the bed that, if she breathed too deep, she might tumble from its height to the floor. She’d made such a fool of herself at the lake, damn near demanding his body. She’d let herself be beguiled by his good looks, by the most simple of attentions given for the pretense they shared. She’d behaved like an untried girl, nearly falling over herself in her desire for him. “Never again,” she whispered into the late afternoon light.
“Let’s hope not.”
His words raised a new flash of wretchedness. She’d not be wanted by any man in her present state, let alone by a scoundrel such as this heir to a fortune. “You could at least be silent,” she snapped.
The lovers she’d taken in devotion to Venus had never made her feel degraded. But now, as the sunlight slid down the wall and her body still thrummed like a harp string from his kiss, she knew herself humbled by her own flesh. She’d become a woman of less sober character than the most lascivious tuppenny whore.
Buy Link http://bit.ly/1eXJOcx
Looking forward to reading it!
copper tops, eh? tell us more!
A very traditional Irish and Scottish colouring of bright copper hair, very pale skin with either blue or green eyes. I find it very attractive.
Fun interview!! I tweeted and shared on FB.
Hi, Ella, thanks so much for sharing and tweeting. I’m happy you enjoyed the interview.
Great excerpt & interview. I tweeted 🙂
Thanks so much, Andrea, I’m grateful for the tweets and glad you enjoyed the interview.
Nice to meet you, Daisy. It was a great interview. It looks like a fun book set in a period I’d like to learn more about. Well done!
Thanks, Patricia. I love the 18th century because it’s such a robust era.
I also had a car accident that went in slow motion. I was 16 at the time, so I lacked experience. Thus when an ancient man drove to the crossing, (He had a stop sign) I thought he was slowing down. When I realized he was just driving incredibly slow, I slammed on the brakes. If I had a bit more experience, I would have sped up and passed before he got very far into the intersection. Sadly, I couldn’t stop in time, I just plowed into his side and sent the car whirling about. Totaled my car. But the whole thing happened in slow motion. I still remember thinking ‘darn, my rear view mirror fell down, it will take me forever to get it right again’ just seconds before I crashed into the side. Fortunately, I was not speeding, so no one was hurt. But the sixty seconds before impact were all in slow motion. It was very cool.
Hi Liza, I’m glad you and no one else got hurt in your accident. Yes, the slow-mo thing is very cool, its happened to me a couple of times, the best one has to be when I fell about six foot off. All I remember is thinking ‘falling’ before I hit the bottom. That one hurt. 🙂 But it was still funny.
Hi, Ladies! Daisy, you’ve got a romance novel past of your own with that huge change you made when you followed the person you loved.
Loved the excerpt!
Ah, thats so kind of you to remember. Some people say truth is stranger than fiction, in that case it was. One day I might write it all. Thank you, Mae Clair.
Wonderful excerpt! It sounds like a great read. I’m sorry about your scare but wow… I’m sure you will never forget.
Thanks, Melissa, and yes the scare remains a big memory blast.As to the story well, I hope is you read it you’ll love the characters as much as I do.
Sounds like a great read!
Thanks, Jennifer. The story was fun to write and I hope it’s fun to read too. I love the 18th century it all seems so much more vibrant than life now.
Fabulous interview, Jenna!
Daisy, thanks for sharing your excerpt – sounds like a great read…headed to Amazon to check it out.
Thanks, Kristina, if you do read it I hope you enjoy it.
Pingback: No Folly Here: Interview with Historical Romance Author Daisy Banks | Collette Cameron Author
This book sounds really interesting and is going on my TBR pile.
Thanks Angieia. I hope you enjoy it if you read it.
Thanks so much for hosting me Jenna, I’m grateful.
You are totally welcome, Daisy. I’d love to have you here any time!