Isn’t that a shame? Seriously it is my pleasure today to continue my blog tour HERE and well as over on the author Elizabeth Ellen Carter’s blog. Let me tell you the ladies had great fun sending questions back and forth across the globe since Elizabeth lives in Australia and I live in Scotland.
We are not blogging today exactly no. The girls are. I think they might be the best of pen friends….. And we are swapping book extracts and book blurbs and covers. http://eecarter.com/index.php/a-trans-temporal-tea-party-for-two/
So mine are over with Elizabeth. Let me hand you over to my new heroine Lady Malice, lover of shoes and wrecking marriages and hopefully a certain man….
is here and there with the lovely Abigail, heroine of Elizabeth Ellen Carter’s book,
They are having tea. So I think we should just let them talk away about shoes, men and lunatic asylums….
My dear, how do you like your tea? Even if I personally prefer coffee, Shehanne saw to it that I like tea, out of fine bone china cups with a dash of lemon. And also, before we go further, may I ask where you got your shoes?
Without sugar, thank you my dear. Sweet is not really my cup of tea, if you don’t mind me saying so. And these shoes? They’re lovely aren’t they. Since I’ve befriended Sir Percy Blakeney, his wife has introduced me to the most marvellous cobbler – she’s French you know. Not the cobbler, Sir Percy’s wife. And your boots they’re very… one of a kind?
Oh indeed. I buy all my shoes at Madame Faro’s. I mean I did and works of art they were too but now living several hundred years ago what can one expect but revolting Viking shoes?
Now, I really do think the past is something we should all draw various veils over but before we go further, may I ask, given some of your misfortunes with the Prince Regent, and indeed, Sir James Mitchell, if you are needing a marriage wrecked at all?
First that Irish Radical poet Eamon Dauncey, then it was my friend Lady Jane and now you? I see my reputation proceeds me. I like men, they like me. I don’t wreck marriages, well, not deliberately, any way. What I need is a man who challenges me and who keep up with me, and I have to confess, there is something about that agent of Sir Percy’s, Daniel Ridgeway who has a habit of getting under my skin. And what about you, and that big Nordic god there? Sin… now that’s an interesting name…
Well, yes. Of course it is really short for Sinarr. My dear, I hope I said nothing wrong. May I assure you neither of are like our names….. Sort of not like our names. Ahem.
I’m thinking of moving to Italy – Naples specifically. Lady Hamilton is a wonderful hostess, I’m given to believe. I understand that you’ve been abroad too. Would that have been Italy as well or further afield?
Not exactly. No. As I explained to my not so dear husband, that was Scandinavia. Norway in fact since they treat giraffes better there. I must say though, Italy is a divine place I would not have minded visiting. But alas one’s marriage wrecking skills are no long required so I doubt if I will ever visit there now. I am led to believe that you are very skilled in certain departments.
I have to confess to a certain skill in picking locks. Very handy for opening a rival’s diary or rescuing lovers from French mental asylums.
Asylums? Do you know the swine I married had the temerity to put me in one?
While we’re in a confessing mood, do you boast an unusual talent – apart from the obvious, of course!
Well, I suppose that time travelling might come into that category. Of course it is a family trait. Did you know my grandmother was apparently a NYT best selling author? I didn’t until I kissed my husband. Tell me, this Daniel…what is he like? How did he end up in a French mental asylum?
Ah yes, the straitjacket – I’ve had experience of those – only from the outside…
Daniel… Daniel is an unusual man and most times I don’t know what he’s thinking. That annoys me greatly. In my experience, men are so easy to read, their needs are so simple – food and sex… but Daniel, he’s different. I wish I knew what he was thinking, but I don’t. I digress. The straitjacket. Daniel was in one of those because of me – well indirectly. We were searching for a confederate of Daniel’s when we were ambushed by Colonel Alexis Roux from the France’s new secret division of the Committee for Public Safety. He has a nasty habit of locking up suspects in a mental asylum for ‘private’ questioning. With some help, I had to rescue him.
Goodness, re food and sex and men’s needs, here was me of the opinion that most men think with one thing and that thing isn’t their….well,… let me not digress either, except to say that noticeably you rescued him. Let me not tell you about the scrapes I get Sin out of because of his big…mouth.
I’m not sure I know what a New York Times is. I only read the London Times. But I’m rather intrigued by time travelling. How did you discover that you had this most remarkable gift?
Hmmmm. Well, do you know I kissed my husband finally? Yes, after five years. It was as simple as that. And then there I was in Saxon England in the middle of a Viking raid on a convent. As to how I got back to Regency London, well, that involved a little more but I am a great one for keeping things clean. Now I know you will be thinking…excuse me? Indeed Shehanne’s editor thought the very same. But once it was explained re this being a family trait and secret, no more was to be said, except we are looking at a series, like you with the Moonstone. Now I see all this rescuing stuff. I trust you and Daniel ARE an item? I would worry if you were not. Also, pray tell us that your author is going to write more Moonstone books.
Ah, that remains to be seen… my author Elizabeth is somewhat of a time traveller herself. At the moment she is in 3rd century AD Rome, has some plans to spend time with her handsome husband in Medieval England (perhaps she will see you and Sin there if you’re planning another jaunt).
I understand that Sir Percy has asked if Daniel and I would like to continue in his employ and we’ve not yet made up our minds, so you never know.
Well, these authors are so selfish, aren’t they that us humble characters can but live in hope. More tea? Or would you, like me, prefer something stronger?
Excerpt FROM The Moonstone Conspiracy by Elizabeth Ellen Carter.
“I’m glad you remembered our appointment.”
Abigail recognised the droll voice and so did not even bother opening her eyes.
“It’s not yet midnight,” she replied and felt the couch shift as Daniel’s weight settled down into it.
“In our business, we take opportunities whenever they occur.”
Abigail opened her eyes and opened her fan to hide a yawn. He did not look fatigued. If one was to assign his expression right now, she would have described him as being studiously nonchalant.
“And what business are we in, Mr Ridgeway?”
“A very dangerous one.”
“I don’t recall signing up for a dangerous business,” she retorted, keeping her voice low to prevent anyone overhearing. “If my experience of your business over the past two years is any guide, stultifying boredom would be a better description.
“You can tell Aunt Druscilla that my obligation to her is complete. I’m going abroad at the end of this season.”
A slow feline grin spread across his face.
“Are you now?”
Fatigue fled and Abigail straightened in her seat, ready to rise to the challenge.
“Are you going to stop me?”
“I don’t particularly care what you do after this season,” he told her. “If you can’t give me what I want by the end of June, then you’re not half the woman Blakeney thinks you are.”
Daniel picked his moment carefully. He watched Sir Percy’s wife leave with another group soon after the announcement was made. And although he made no especial effort to hide, he nonetheless remained in the shadows. He pulled out a cigar and lit it on a nearby taper. As soon as he heard the footman call for Sir Percy’s carriage, he stepped forward into the carriage and waited for Blakeney to join him. “Send me to France, Percy,” he said as soon as the carriage jolted into motion. “I’m not going to do that,” Blakeney replied. “You can’t just leave Jonathan there!” “He signed on knowing the same risks as you.” “He has a wife and children!” “And you seem inordinately fond of them,” Sir Percy snapped back. “You saw the list you gave me tonight. A dozen good men and women dead because of the Jacobins. I’m not prepared to risk more. Not until we know what we’re up against.” “It could be too late!” “You took an oath when you joined the League, Ridgeway. One to command, all to obey. Bear that in mind.” Daniel leaned forward and rested his arms on his knees and exhaled long and sharp. He felt Percy slap him on the back. “Just wait a week until we know the lay of the land. I haven’t studied the documents you gave me and Parliament hasn’t even prepared a response to the National Committee’s declaration of war.” “A week is a long time, Percy,” Daniel warned. “So is eternity, dear chap. Don’t lose your head. As you well know, those Frenchies have a devilish way of parting you from it.”
Ellen Carter’s debut novel, Moonstone Obsession, was published in 2013 by Etopia Press. Earlier that year, the Regency adventure romance had been shortlisted in the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Awards for Best Unpublished Manuscript. Set in England and France during the French Revolution, it was heralded as ‘edge-of-seat adventure and intrigue’ and ‘a rollercoaster of love, blackmail, ill-gotten gains, treason and trickery’ with Carter described as ‘a writer worth keeping an eye on’ with ‘a hint of classic suspense novelist Daphne du Maurier’.
Her second novel, Warrior’s Surrender, was published by Etopia the following year. Set in Northumbria in 1077, it sets the relationship between a displaced Saxon noblewoman and a Norman baron against the turbulent backdrop of England in the years following the Norman invasion of 1066. Reviewers found the novel ‘a fast moving and passionate read’ with ‘strong characters, an intriguing plot, and plenty of action… a sexy romance to be savoured’. Readers agreed, voting Warrior’s Surrender Favourite Historical Fiction in the 2015 Readers & Writers Down Under Readers Choice Awards.
Also in 2014, the short story Moonstone Promise, spinning off from Moonstone Obsession as part of Etopia’s Valentines Heat anthology, followed the fortunes of one of the supporting characters back home to 18th century Pittsburgh in a tale of ‘second chance romance’.
Warrior’s Surrender (now in print as well as eBook) was named Favourite Historical Fiction at the 2015 Readers & Writers Down Under Readers Choice Awards in March this year.
Carter moved up to 1802 for the light-hearted romantic short story Three Ships, part of the Christmas 2014 anthology A Season To Remember, and ventures briefly into contemporary romance for the first time with her Romance Writers of Australia annual Little Gems competition placegetter, The Tin Bear, publishing in August 2015.
And another Moonstone Obsession character, the sinful Lady Abigail Houghall, features in the full length novel Moonstone Conspiracy, coming from Etopia Press in 2015.
Carter is currently working on her fourth novel, set in ancient Rome and tentatively titled Dark Heart, which will bring together the elements for which she has become known in just a few years – in-depth historical detail woven through gripping adventure and captivating romance.
The author lives in Australia with her husband and two cats. A former newspaper journalist, she ran an award-winning PR agency for 12 years.
Buy Moonstone Conspiracy here: Etopia Press Bookstore Amazon Barnes and Noble iBookstore Kobo Google Play All Romance Ebooks Scribd