I hope you’re all enjoying the party. Here in Australia the weather has suddenly gone from extremely hot with bush fire warnings all over the place to cold and rainy. I’m enjoying my lazy Sunday morning drinking tea and watching the rain lashing the swimming pool.
I’m sure you all recognise that some of your favourite authors have their own favourite themes and certainly one of my favourite themes is deception followed by redemption. I love adding lashings of intrigue to my romances and having a character embark upon a deception for one pure motive only to find things gets complicated and she must, against her will, embark upon a quest that will result in her redemption. There’s always a roller-coaster ending with lots of danger and I like it when reviewers tell me they couldn’t put the second half of the book down.
So that’s how it seems to be. I like to set the scene with the suspense gradually building until it all becomes a mad race in the second half.
Lady Sarah’s Redemption, which is on sale at Amazon for only 99c, is about a spoiled heiress who takes on the identity of a drowned governess in order to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her to her best friend and neighboring landowner, James.
It pits a feisty, determined and decidedly spoiled society beauty (who’s in the guise of a dowdy governess) against a moral, upright Member of Parliament whose aim is to redress the ills of society. My heroine, Sarah, has no concept that there is anything wrong with society in 1818, when all she’s interested in is clothes and having fun.
Her beloved father is on the opposing side of parliament and as she finds herself drawn to her severe but enigmatic ‘employer’, Roland Hawthorne, she’s shocked to learn that her father and Roland once fought a duel over their political beliefs.
Surprisingly, Sarah finds herself forming a bond with Roland’s teenage daughter, Caro, her new charge. She sets about changing the plain and prickly young girl and in the process both young women discover there are half measures in their firmly held attitudes on life.
When Caro is kidnapped – and the mystery of the ‘dead’ governess comes back to haunt them all – Sarah finds that her actions have plunged them all in danger. Now she must embark upon a race against time to redeem herself and prove to Roland that she is worth loving after all.
Here’s a tiny excerpt, just to get an idea of some of the characters:
The following occurs during a tense dinner when Sarah, the spoiled heiress, is still parading as the lowly governess.
Mrs Hawthorne snapped her head around and looked at Sarah as if she had suggested they open their doors to the starving masses, and serve them, personally. “I do not believe, Miss Morecroft,” she said in clipped tones, “that your opinion was solicited.”
This had the opposite effect of dampening Sarah’s defence. “I deplore injustice as strongly as you,” she bit back. “Caro said nothing to warrant her father’s criticism. It was unjust to accuse her of selfishness when she is naturally excited about her ball tomorrow night.”
“Injustice!” Mrs. Hawthorne cried. “You accuse my brother-in-law of injustice when I can think of no other man who has expended more time and energy fighting for the rights of the working man. With an agitated hand she repositioned her vermilion toque which was favouring one ear, and nearly dislodged the squirrel’s tail hair piece. For once, Sarah was in no danger of succumbing to unwise giggles. Caro had started to cry. Though no tears came Sarah could see the trembling of her thin, white muslin-clad shoulders. She turned to Mr Hawthorne. Surely he knew he was in the wrong?
He was staring at the silver epergne centre piece, clearly resolved to have no part of the argument. Anger seared through her.
“How dare you answer back to your betters!” cried Mrs Hawthorne. “Leave the table at once, Miss Morecroft.”
With a cold, hard stare at her employers, Sarah rose. “I am sorry if the truth offends you,” she said with quiet dignity. Passing close to the back of Mr Hawthorne’s chair as she made her regal exit she hoped he could feel her anger.
He had been vastly unjust. Surely he must realize it.
Then she heard his voice, music to her ears, despite its arctic tone. “Wait for me in my study, Miss Morecroft. I will see you there when I’ve finished my dinner.”
I hope you’re all having fun. I hope I see some of you at the RT convention in Kansas City, too. I’m jetting from Australia to attend my first and will be there as an Ellora’s Cave author, a Total-e-Bound author and a Choc-Lit author. I can’t wait!
Lady Sarah’s Redemption is on sale for only 99c at Amazon.
And you can read more about my other Historical Romance Intrigues and my Sinful Historicals on my website.