“Ideas flow like water. Catching them is one thing. Turning them into something like 80,000 words is something else!”
Welcome romance author Elizabeth Bailey to Historical Heartbeats. Elizabeth is introducing her latest Georgian romance novel, An Undesirable Liaison. She will give an ebook copy of An Undesirable Liaison to a commenter.
Please tell us about your latest or upcoming release. Do you have a review you could share with us?
The story has only been out a short time so no reviews yet. It’s a story of past scandals catching up with the hero and heroine in the present. What do you do when you are violently attracted to a man, but you know there is no possibility of a respectable alliance? For an eighteenth century woman, debarred from society through no fault of her own, such a fall can only mean disgrace. But if the gentleman in question has had his own share of scandal, is there a faint ray of hope?
What inspired this story?
I conceived the idea of the discovery of a valuable jewel by a woman in difficult financial circumstances. Would my heroine be tempted to make use of it, or would integrity prevail? In the Georgian world, a female’s choices were so limited, it represents a considerable sacrifice to do the right thing. But of course, this is a romance, so her honesty must be rewarded!
What is the story behind the story?
In this case, the story never made it into my publisher’s lists. It did not work for the particular genre and the parameters required by Harlequin Mills & Boon. So it was left to me to rework it suitably – years later – when the possibility of indie publishing it with Amazon became a reality. As I had taken a decision, once I began making my own choices, to write only traditional (or sweet) historicals, it was quite a business to adapt this particular story to my needs! Although the bedroom door remains open, I hope I’ve succeeded in suggesting outcomes rather than describing what goes on.
Why do you write romance?
That’s an easy one. I grew up on Georgette Heyer, so that when I came to write my own stories, I gravitated as a matter of course to historical romance. I also write historical mysteries now, and contemporary women’s fiction with a supernatural edge (a bit in the mode of Daphne du Maurier though I don’t aspire to her genius!) in stories dealing with what I call “the unexplained”.
What inspires you? What motivates you?
Difficult to say. Ideas flow like water. Catching them is one thing. Turning them into something like 80,000 words is something else! I find it hard to stay motivated to keep writing, and find that it’s best to write fast to get the story down. Then I can shift it around and play with it to get it right. If I have an unavoidable gap due to life getting in the way (it tends to do that!) then I find it very hard to get back into the swing of writing.
Please tell us about your other books.
I’ve now got about 14 Georgian romances on Amazon. Eight are books originally published by Harlequin, and the rest are new or revamped books that didn’t quite make it when I wrote them. I’m about to publish a contemporary romantic suspense novella, also revamped from an earlier publication. I’ve always enjoyed ringing the changes, and I’ve also written plays I’ve directed with a school theatre company, a few short stories, and writing hints and tips in blogs.
Unfolding the handkerchief with fingers that, despite all her efforts at control, betrayed her with unstoppable tremors, Flo extracted the pale rose ruby and held it out.
‘Here, Lord Langriville. Take it, if you please.’
He made no move to do so, and Florence met his eyes, unaware of the growing hardness in her own. Disdain was in his face, but he spoke with apparent cool detachment.
‘Just like that? No recompense? Had you no expectation of reward, however inadequate?’
‘None,’ stated Flo, matching his earlier curtness. She continued to offer the gem, willing away the fury igniting in her breast.
Jerome eyed her with an edge of puzzlement under the deep distrust he could not overcome. What game was she playing? Impossible she would go, denuded and profitless. What woman ever had no eye to the main chance? He tried again, with a vague notion of taunting her into revealing herself.
‘You would have done better to keep it than to bring it to me. Or have you no idea of its worth?’
‘I have every idea of its worth.’
Ah, but there was steel in her voice. She did have a motive. ‘Then you took time to check. Admirable, Miss Petrie. Do you tell me even then you had no thought of selling it?’ Deliberately, he allowed his gaze to travel down her gown and up again. ‘I am sure you could make excellent use of several hundreds of pounds.’
To his secret satisfaction, she flushed. But her response took him unawares. He watched her turn to the mantel and set the gem down—with, he thought, elaborate care. Next instant, she had stepped up close. He saw the flash of her hand too late to perceive her intent, and the stinging blow caught him full on the cheek.
‘That, my Lord Langriville, is my reward!’
He heard the furious words through a haze, but instinct sent him plunging after her as she made for the door. He seized her shoulder and dragged her about to face him, grabbing at her wrists to prevent her from striking him again.
‘Let me go,’ raged Florence, dragging away from his iron hold. Beside herself, she wished to be gone from his presence, from his house, and from the menace of his cruel suspicions.
‘Be still, for the Lord’s sake, you foolish female!’
‘You have no right to hold me here. Let me go!’
‘No right? After such treatment as you have just dealt me?’
‘It is only what you deserved,’ she threw at him, past caring what she said. ‘How dare you impute such dreadful things to me? How dare you judge me and taunt me, when you know nothing of me, nothing of my life? You may call yourself a gentleman, but let me tell you, sir, no gentlemen I ever knew would behave as you have done.’
Elizabeth’s Bio. Elizabeth Bailey grew up in Africa with unconventional parents, where she loved reading and drama. On returning to England, she developed her career in acting, theatre directing and finally writing. Elizabeth has 18 novels published by Harlequin Mills & Boon and recently began a Georgian historical crime series of which the first two books, THE GILDED SHROUD and THE DEATHLY PORTENT, were published by Berkley Books (Penguin US). But since she still loves romance, Elizabeth is delighted with the opportunity to publish her work independently.
Buy links and social media links.