In the real world Georgiana Louis is happily married to her own hero, the mother of two beautiful little girls and a chiropractor. However, she has always loved to read which to her is escapism in its safest form. She wanted nothing more than to pick up one of Eloisa James' books, or relax with Julia Quinn.
One day though, she realized she had an idea, a series of friends that each
had their own story to tell. She jotted down a few ideas, sat at her computer
and The Spares was born! (As in the heir and a spare.)
She hasn’t looked back since.
She has three books published with Red Rose Publishing. “Nanny Wanted” and “Second Chances” but it’s her, recently released, third book “The Reluctant Duke” that is the first of her Spares series.
About The Reluctant Duke.
Colin Lyre, recently inherited 10th Duke of Lincoln, has been told his whole life that he is superfluous to his family.
When he must deal with the responsibility and stress that comes with his new title, he flounders rather badly. He is determined do his ‘duty’’ and marry an ‘appropriate Duchess.’
Life throws Colin’s plans wayward when he rescues the beautiful Annabelle from a ball. She makes him realize how much better his life could be, but he doesn’t know if he truly deserves such happiness.
Annabelle wants nothing to do with the responsibility of marrying a title. She simply wants to make a suitable match with a gentleman who can support her family.
Colin is Annabelle’s perfect prince until she realizes what life as his life would be like. However, making the rational decision to stay away from one another is much harder than either of them expects.
An Excerpt from “The Reluctant Duke”
Colin Lyre, the new tenth Duke of Lincoln could not believe he was attending a ton ball after he had sworn to himself that he would not attend another until he intended on marrying. If it was not for the ball in question being the birthday of Victoria Dunford—the little sister he had never had, he most definitely would not be here. Victoria was the younger sister of his best friend John. They’d grown up together and he had always loved Victoria for treating him like she treated her own brother—with unwaning, unconditional hatred one day and love the next. Colin had only an older brother for company and had often wished for the sisters that his friends had complained about. Victoria was his substitute little sister.
She had used every trick she possessed, including fake tears, pleading and even threats to get Colin to her 21st birthday, and he of course had succumbed. It would take a force of nature to stop Victoria when she had her mind set on something.
“Excuse me,” Colin politely bowed to the gentlemen he had been standing with and made his way across the room to Victoria. The crowd parted in front of him like Moses and the Red Sea, and Colin could not stop the sigh that escaped him. He missed being the second son, relatively unimportant and unnoticed by the haut ton. He’d give absolutely anything to have Gerald back. He knew how to behave, he knew how to be the esteemed holder of the title of Duke. He was raised for it, bred for it even. How he would have laughed to see Colin with the title. A wry smile crept onto Colin’s face as he thought about his older brother, and he drew up next to the now unoccupied Victoria.
“My lady,” Colin leaned closer than was proper and spoke directly into her ear.
“Colin,” Victoria spun around to face him and greeted him with a smile that was both warm and genuine. She would never be one to call him by his brother’s title.
“May I request a dance with the hostess?” Colin grinned at his surrogate sister, an action he knew caused the dimple in his right cheek to become pronounced.
“Of course,” Victoria smiled and took his arm for a waltz. Swinging Victoria into the perfect waltz position that included at least six inches between their bodies and no hands below the waist, he looked down at her laughing blue eyes and scowled at her.
“Having fun, are you?” He didn’t even attempt a polite start to the conversation.
“Of course I am, it’s my birthday party. How are you enjoying my night Colin? There are so many unmarried young ladies in this room that I expected you to have left screaming by now.” Victoria said, with her characteristic bluntness and a cheeky grin.
“You mean to torture me then?” Colin knew the question was rhetorical.
Victoria smiled slowly, appearing to be thinking about her answer.
“I have been hoping you may find a wife, yes. You need to spend more time consorting with ladies rather than the women I hear you and my brother are more accustomed to being with.”
“That is not any of your business scamp,” Colin hissed at Victoria through his teeth.
“Which part? The part where I said you should get married to a lady?” She emphasized the word lady with a cheeky smile. “Or the part where I mentioned the women of ill repute that you visit weekly?”
Colin gasped. Ladies of Victoria’s birth were not meant to even know about loose women, let alone talk to a gentleman about them. Was this really the same girl who had put worms under his pillow, and cried on his lap when she scrapped her knees running down a path?
Here I go, finally a blog about my hero. I’m being very severe with myself and am strictly limiting the word count so as your eyes don’t glaze over while I indulge myself dissecting each of her books. Having said that, as far as contemporary authors go, Jane Austen keeps me re-reading her books again and again. Wait a minute, isn't she a historical author? Not in my view. She lived during the regency period but didn't write historical novels. She wrote about her contemporaries.
The allure of the period costume drama aside. I read Pride and Prejudice thinking it was going to be some kind of intellectual read. I dare say Mills and Boon would have thought up a more romantic title which could have tempted me to open the cover a good five years earlier. Any who, as a self confessed fan, I guess at age 21 and just discovering J A is a bit lame. Most people I know read her as a teenager. I can only put it down to a distaste for the “Classics”, Dickens etc. I thought it meant the same as reading books for school.
After my coming of age birthday I felt it was time I bit the bullet and got on with improving my reading resume. OMG I LOVED P & P. I whipped through the rest of the novels and settled on Persuasion as my all time fave. For the last 30 years (eek, how many?) I've thought a great deal about J A. I’ve been to England to visit Chawton and various other J A historic spots so, you know, I mean slightly obsessed when I say thought a bit about her. What gets me fired up, nowadays, is how her writing style isn't in fashion and she’d probably not get a contract if she cold submitted around the traps. I know, a lot of you think she would. But we can agree, her books hold their own with current romance novelists and give us an emotional ride every time we read them, again and again. I still get anxious that Anne Elliot won’t meet up with Captain Wentworth after reading his marriage proposal. No I’m not pathetic, J A is that great. She can still intimately pull us in.
I believe one of the, too many to mention here, reasons is that at times she adopts a conversational style, not dissimilar to her letters to sister Cassandra. She wrote about what went on in her current time. She was a contemporary author taking the reader into her confidence, whether poking fun at her supporting cast or getting her heroine to notice if the hero wore a blue coat or not (very in at the time). In some respects it’s like modern Women’s Lit. In taking the almost insufferable circumstances of a woman’s lot and sharing a private joke with the reader and making fun of it. For example, when the poor (in more ways than one) Dashwood sisters are expected to enjoy playing with spoiled noisy children. J A has Eleanor make a comment that goes something like, when she is around her cousin’s children, she can never think of quiet children with any abhorrence. It carries so strongly with how we feel today, when the last vestiges of stereotypical gender types are sometimes still ill applied.
I admire J A as I would any brave woman, from any period of time, who chose to live as an author rather than marry someone she didn't love. Even the comfort of her sister and mother were not enough to induce her into a marriage of convenience. She wrote what love should be like. Not what her real experience of love had served up in her own life. The gradual awakening of her characters to their own faults, which have kept them from love, and the change in their attitude leading them finally into marriages of bliss, is totally relevant today. Mr Darcy admitting his faulty pride, to his dearest loveliest Elizabeth, has to be the most romantic scene ever written. If J A wrote that this year and it came out in paperback with that scene, my bet is that it would be a NYT bestseller.
The picture of the lady at the top of the page is officially not of Dora Bramden. It is however an unauthenticated portrait believed by some (including me) to be of Jane Austen. Photo sourced from http://worldbooktrade.blogspot.com.au
January 20th, is our First Meeting for 2013 and it commences at 11 a.m. Coffee and chat from 10 a.m.
We have a Mini workshop on Writing Suspense by Cheryl and Lia and after lunch Charlie will present a workshop on Writing Dialogue For Stage and Screen.
We will also be setting goals for 2013 and reflecting on 2012.
Hope to see you all there. Newbies need to contact our Coordinator Louise Reynolds
As a Melbourne Romance Writers Guild member and Coordinator we are very excited about the release of your first book 'Her Italian Aristocrat'
How long have you been writing romance?
I'd been a longtime romance reader but I started writing in 2006 after seeing an advertisement for a CAE course. The wonderful Anne Gracie was the teacher and I went on to do an 'advanced' course with her as well.
Who is your favorite author?
That's a hard one because I can't pick just one. In Single Title, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Amanda Quick, In category, Jessica Hart and Shirley Jump. I'm seeing a pattern here. I like humour and all these authors deliver witty dialogue from warm and likable characters.
When and where do you like to write?
I have to be truthful and say I don't write every day. I know having a routine like that would make it so much easier but I'm just not a routine type of gal. So I tend to go in spurts, every couple of days. And despite having a very nice study, I write on the dining table in the family room.
What writing habits do you have which help you to keep motivated?
Loving my characters is integral to keeping myself motivated. Because I'm easily distracted I really have to like them a lot to want to go through the pain of telling their story. If I didn't care enough about them, why would I bother? So I do a lot of work on their background and think about them constantly. Finding those little things that will set them apart and make them real to the reader is part of the challenge.
You've been published in short story, can you tell us about that?
I think short stories are a great way to 'test the water', maybe to try a style of writing or type of story you think you might like to write without investing a lot in teasing out a great plot or in big word counts. They're tight, so you need only explore one idea. And they're great for when you are maybe a bit lost, not sure of your next project, and just want something on the go. An example is the three stories I've been lucky to have accepted in Romance Writers of Australia's Little Gems anthologies. The first was a sweet, the second a Regency time-travel and the third had a 1930's Oriental spy setting. I wasn't interested in writing any of these as books but the ideas were there and the short story format was the best way to capture them.
"Her Italian Aristocrat" is set in Italy, have you ever been there?
I've been lucky to spend a bit of time in Italy on several overseas trips and I adore it.
You lived in Sydney till age 10, when your family relocated to Melbourne. Do you think this experience informed you on some level of what Gemma's character faces?
My heroine, Gemma, is an outsider by virtue of her background, unsure of where she fits in the aristocratic setting she finds herself in. When I moved to Melbourne as a child I was an outsider as well. These days, the world is smaller and people move much more frequently but back then it was as if I'd landed on another planet. The Sydney/Melbourne rivalry was also very strong in those days so I struggled to make sense of this new place and to fit in and make new friends.
Gemma is passionate about shoes. Is that something you share with her?
I used to love gorgeous shoes but unfortunately my poor feet will no longer let me wear them. But I can still fantasise about them.
What are you currently working on?
I'm finishing a book set in the Australian outback. It's a 'coming home' book, about forgiveness, reconciliation, and the ties of family.
Louise's book 'Her Italian Aristocrat' is published by Penguin imprint, Destiny Romance, and went on sale the 15th of November.
Emmie Dark won Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald Award and did a wonderful job as MC at the Awards Dinner on August 13 at the Hilton.
Cara Gabriel snagged second place in the Little Gems.
Ebony McKenna’s The Autumn Palace was voted the best cover in the twenty years of the RWAus Cover competition.
To round the competition year off Louise Reynolds was awarded the Lynne Wilding Award.
Fantastic ladies and well done!!!
This Sunday is our AGM, so please read the Constitution and advise Cheryl of any points to be discussed and voted upon.
As usual, the committee will step down and nominations taken.
$55.00 annual fees are due as well as $50 deposit and/or $80 balance for those members attending the May retreat.
Melissa will be conducting a short workshop on blogging & RSS. After lunch, Sara (and possibly a guest) will be discussing the global book sale situation. Then we'll have critiquing and/or brainstorming.
Meeting commences at 11 a.m.
Coffee and chat at 9.30 a.m.