Fairytales and Fun with Sophie Barnes

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Teatime Romance is proud to be one of the spots on the blog tour for new Avon Romance author Sophie Barnes, who previously wrote for the Avon Impulse line with the Somersby series and a stand alone novel (How Miss Rutherford Got Her Groove Back, Lady Alexandra’s Excellent Adventure, There’s Something About Lady Mary, and The Secret Life of Lady Lucinda).

My favorite cover of Sophie's from the Somersby series

My favorite cover of Sophie’s from the Somersby series

I had the pleasure of getting to meet Sophie at the RWA National Conference in July. She was absolutely delightful and listening to me ramble on, so even if I didn’t already want to check out her new series At The Kingsborough Ball I would have based on her sweet personality alone! Her new series all has one night at a particular ball–the Kingsborough legendary soiree–as the jumping off point. The only other series I know of recently in historical romance that spans the same points through multiple books is Juliana Gray’s A Lady Never Lies and subsequent books, so I’m excited to see how Sophie carries off this concept. Continue reading

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I Handwrote My First Novel & I Would Totally Recommend It

It’s been nearly a year and a half since I finished the first draft of my first novel My Dear Sophy. The whole process was amazing (the revising and editing afterward, not so much) from first jotting down notes to the detailed planning to throwing all of that planning out the window in the heat of writing the draft. It was probably the most fun creative thing I’ve ever done. Must have been because I have kept on writing since then!

Much of that fun I had so much of was due to something very important: I handwrote the whole thing. That’s right. I used my hand, a pen, and some notebooks to scratch out my first little book. Here’s what my tools looked like (hand included):

Now, when I mention that I handwrote the first draft, the general reactions go this way: Continue reading

About My Highlander Obsession

4598413256_2ca71d3044_zThe very first highland romance I ever read was Johanna Lindsey’s A Gentle Feuding. As romances went in the 1980s, I  thought of this one as rather risqué. By today’s standards, of course, its rather tame, but it was always my little guilty pleasure and I kept the book for many years after finding a copy in the local used bookstore. It was really this book more than most that led me to seeking out romance novels.

Once I found my copy, I clutched that book with me and walked into the local library trying very hard to pretend I wasn’t the least bit embarrassed to be presenting one of those novels to a group of 85-year-old women (the library was run by volunteers).

I mean, seriously. It talked about  manhood and thrusting! And the cover. My god the cover had practically a whole exposed breast on it! (I’m ignoring for a moment, of course, that all Ms. Lindsey’s covers at one point featured buff, stunning, gloriously naked men artfully covered by the heroine’s hair and dress.) Continue reading

How Do You Find New-To-You Authors?

My roommates and I on RITA night! From left to right-Andrea and PJ from The Romance Dish, and Marni Bates.

The inspiration for the topic of this post came from a conversation I had with blog sister Jennelle. In response to her blog post a few weeks back about feeling compelled to finish a book, no matter how challenging it was to keep going, I talked the times when I pushed myself to finish reading a book, even though I was not feeing it. At all. The conversation also veered toward how I am a bit reluctant to try new to me authors, unless I can borrow the book from a friend or library. I can be tight fisted, and loath to part with my hard earned cash on an “unknown entity.” So that led me to think about how I discover new-to-me authors. And since  Amy did it-I get to show off my RWA pictures too! 😉 Continue reading

These Are a Few of My Favorite…Heroines

As you read this, I’m at the Romance Writers of America national convention in Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve been awash with nerves planning for this conference, especially since I’m giving a workshop at the Beau Monde (the regency-centered chapter of RWA) about the London underworld.

A few recent conversations with fellow blog sisters Amy Pfaff and Jennelle Holland got me thinking. I asked them how I could deal with my anxiety over meeting so many of my favorite authors. Jennelle, in her typical zen fashion, recommended meditating. Amy told me to remember that once the hard stuff was over, there was a party to be had. I’m all for parties, so that got my interest.

But then I started to remember an old game from my childhood. When I was young, I’d pretend to be someone from one of the many books I read, or from television shows I’d watch. I always picked strong heroines–for even as a child I was a feminist without knowing what it meant–and somehow, by pretending to be them, I felt stronger too. I had role models, fictional though they might be.

Now, as I deal with the stress of trying to finish all the edits on my book before my December 14th deadline, I’m keeping this technique in mind. I’m remembering the heroines I’ve fallen in love with over the years, and their struggles and accomplishments are guiding me through my own.

Perhaps these lovely women will help you too, dear reader, with whatever you need. As readers, we look for a story that will not only entertain us but touch our hearts. Continue reading

Nancy Kelley on Writing Hot Austen Heroes – Plus a Giveaway

I am so excited to interview one of my favorite authors (and people) Nancy Kelley for Teatime Romance.  Not only does Nancy write some hot Austen heroes, she also co-owns the site Indie Jane which is all about independently published Austenesque fiction.

Jess: So, Nancy, I hear you started writing Austen adaptation because you heard Darcy’s voice.  Tell us more about this Darcy in Your Head.

Nancy:  Tall, dark, and handsome… Oh, you mean his personality. Darcy is absolutely honest. “Disguise of any kind is my abhorrence,” he says in explaining his horribly mangled proposal, and that’s really the core of who he is. So then how would a wealthy man who was probably pursued by several ladies (Caroline Bingley gives us an example of this) regard people who were only interested in him for his money? That explains why he’s so reticent to include new people in his inner circle.

His Good OpinionHe’s also astonishingly bad at reading people for someone who’s so clever. Elizabeth gave him several hints that she was not interested, and they all went over his head. In fact, the moment when I first met the DIMH was when Elizabeth was lamenting that he kept showing up on her favorite path, even though she said she liked to walk there. “I thought that was an invitation, not a warning,” this mortified voice said in my head… and the rest is history. Continue reading

In Which Lisa Discusses the Virtues of Armchair Travel and Actual Travel

I don’t know about you all, but I love to travel. I’ve been extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to travel not just around the country, but the world. I got my first passport when I was six years old and have been flying and traveling ever since.   During the summer between my freshman and sophomore year, I did a 10 day study abroad trip with my high school  and got to travel all around Spain. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and I carry memories of that trip with me to this day.  We started in Barcelona, then took an overnight train to Seville, then Grenada, Córdoba, and Segovia before ending our trip in Madrid. Some favorite moments that come to mind is doing the Macarena in a tapas bar in Madrid, soaking up all the beautiful artwork in the Prado (I am a huge fan of the Spanish Masters-Velasquez, de Goya, and El Greco),  being awestruck by the beauty and grandeur of the Seville Cathedral, and getting lost in Córdoba by myself despite being told by the chaperones to go nowhere alone, and barely making it back to the bus to meet up with the rest of the group. Continue reading