Stop by Historical Heartbeats and extend a warm welcome to Harlequin Historical author, Eleanor Webster. Eleanor’s stories weave a tale of enchantment, hope, and most importantly, love. She will give away two (2) print and two (2) e-books of her new released, Married for His Convenience, to a commenter.
Please tell us about your latest or upcoming release. Do you have a review you could share with us?
Married for His Convenience is a story about two individuals driven by loss. Sarah is searching for her half-sister while Sebastian is looking for his son. It is set against the backdrop of the French Revolution. I love that I was able to incorporate two animals; a rabbit and a dog. I also have a character, Sebastian’s daughter, Elizabeth, who is under the autism spectrum (although they didn’t really know about such things then). Elizabeth is also traumatized and Sarah is able to help her. I was able to use my knowledge from my day job (school psychology) which adds to the authenticity of this character.
What inspired this story?
I have always loved the French Revolution. I remember seeing, A Tale of Two Cities, the old black and white release with Ronald Coleman, and falling in love. That film captured my imagination in a way that few movies have done, before or since. And Dickens’ timeless words ‘It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known’ continue to thrill.
I later became fascinated with the history of that time, those wonderful ideals which so soon dissolved into blood thirsty chaos. Married for His Convenience touches on that time period and explores its impact on a family touched by violence.
What is the story behind the story?
In many ways, Sarah reminds me of myself, an imaginative writer hidden behind a conventional exterior. Orion, the rabbit, is based on our own bunny, Oreo, who sadly died much too young. The dog, Liver, is modeled on a colleague’s animal, who is still alive in a bouncy, messy and wonderful way.
Why do you write romance ?
I enjoy the escapism of romance. I work as a school psychologist and sometimes encounter difficult situations. Writing is a way to immerse myself in a different, if somewhat unrealistic, world.
What inspires you? What motivates you?
I love telling stories. It started with Barbies and moved on to a grade 5 epic about a young stow-away, Carol Marr. I like the idea of knowing that the characters I create touch people in places far away from my tiny, northern town. I hope that my stories and words can brighten someone’s day or help them escape their troubles, if only for a moment, into an era of romance and glamour.
Please tell us about your other books.
No Conventional Miss was released in September, 2015. It features a protagonist with paranormal abilities which is somewhat of a departure for Harlequin historical. The protagonist, Rilla, is complex and somewhat conflicted. She fears her second sight and finds this aspect of herself hard to accept. I think this vulnerability helps the reader feel a connection.
About Eleanor Webster:
Eleanor Webster has a passion for many things, the most ardent likely being shoes.
But she’s also passionate about a story well told. With the help of some debutantes and viscounts and a twist of the unknown, Eleanor’s stories weave a tale of enchantment, hope, and most importantly, love.
When not writing, you’ll find Eleanor dreaming of being a world traveler, reading, running, reading, hiking in the wilds of British Columbia, where she makes her home with her husband and two daughters, and – did we mention reading?
Connect with Eleanor:
Married for His Convenience:
Tainted by illegitimacy, plain Sarah Martin has no illusions of a grand marriage. So when the Earl of Langford makes her a proposal that will take her one step closer to finding her half sister, she can’t refuse!
Sebastian’s dreams of romance died with his late wife’s affair, so now he needs a convenient wife to act as governess for his silent daughter. Yet Sarah continues to surprise and challenge him, and soon Sebastian can’t deny the joy his new bride could bring to his life—and into his bed!
Available November 22, 2016
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2cNcokR
Dramatic events never happened to her. Ever.
‘If I remove my hand, do you promise not to scream?’ The voice was male. Warm breath touched her ear.
Sarah nodded. The man loosened his hold. She turned.
Her eyes widened as she took in his size, the breadth of his shoulders and the midnight-black of his clothes.
‘Good God, you’re a woman,’ he said.
‘You’re…you’re a gentleman.’ For the cloth he wore was fine and not the roughened garb of a common thief.
She grabbed on to these details as though, through their analysis, she would make sense of the situation.
‘What was your purpose for spying on me?’ His gaze narrowed, his voice calm and without emotion.
‘Spying? I don’t even know you.’ The rabbit squirmed and she clutched it more tightly.
‘Then why are you hiding?’
‘I’m not. Even if I were, you have no reason to accost me.’ Her cheeks flushed with indignation as her fear lessened.
He dropped his hand, stepping back. ‘I apologise. I thought you were a burglar.’
‘We tend not to get many burglars in these parts. Who are you anyway?’
‘Sebastian Hastings, Earl of Langford, at your service.’
He made his bow. ‘And a guest at Eavensham.’
‘A guest? Then why are you in the kitchen garden?’
‘Taking the air,’ he said.
‘That usually doesn’t involve accosting one’s fellow man.
You are lucky I am not of a hysterical disposition.’
Briefly, she wondered if wry humour laced his voice, but his lips were straight and no twinkle softened his expression. In the fading light, the strong chin and cheekbones looked more akin to a statue than anything having the softness of flesh.
At this moment, the rabbit thrust its head free of the shawl.
‘Dinner is running late, I presume.’ Lord Langford’s eyes widened, but he spoke with an unnerving lack of any natural surprise.
‘The creature is hurt and I need to bandage him, except Mr. Hudson, the butler, is not fond of animals and I wanted to ensure his absence.’
‘The butler has my sympathies.’
Sarah opened her mouth to respond but the rabbit, suddenly spooked, kicked at her stomach as it clawed against the shawl. Sarah gasped, doubling over, instinctively whispering the reassurances offered by her mother after childhood nightmares.
‘You speak French?’
‘French? You are fluent?’
‘What? Yes, my mother spoke it—could we discuss my linguistic skills later?’ she gasped, so intent on holding the rabbit that she lost her footing and stumbled against the man. His hand shot out. She felt his touch and the strangely tingling pressure of his strong fingers splayed against her back.
‘Are you all right?’
‘Yes—um—I was momentarily thrown off balance.’
She straightened. They stood so close she heard the intake of his breath and felt its whisper.
‘Perhaps,’ she added, ‘you could see if the butler is in the kitchen? I do not know how long I can keep hold of this fellow.’
‘Of course.’ Lord Langford stepped towards the window as though spying on the servants were an everyday occurrence. ‘I can see the cook and several girls, scullery maids, I assume. I believe the butler is absent.’
‘Thank you. I am obliged.’
Tightening her hold on the rabbit, Sarah paused, briefly reluctant to curtail the surreal interlude. Then, with a nod of thanks, she stooped to pick up the valise.
‘Allow me,’ Lord Langford said, opening the door. ‘You seem to have your hands full.’
‘Er—thank you.’ She glanced up. The hallway’s flickering oil lamp cast interesting shadows across his face, emphasising the harsh line of his cheek and chin and the blackness of his hair.
She stepped inside and exhaled as the door swung shut, conscious of relief, regret and an unpleasant wobbliness in both her stomach and knees.