Hi Ginger, and everyone. I am an Australian author of historical romance and romantic suspense. I came to writing fairly late after I’d had three children and studied at university. My influences have been mostly English, because when I was a child our small local library was filled with the novels of Georgette Heyer, Mary Stewart and Agatha Christie. Those wonderful writers certainly influenced me, but I think I would always have chosen to write adventure stories. When I was in 3rd class at school, I remember the teacher shaking her head and observing it was a pity my handwriting was so appalling because I wrote great stories. My handwriting is still bad I’m afraid, but fortunately we now have computers. But I remember those stories, adventures all. They’ve changed a bit; my stories now contain love and romance.
My first published novel was a Regency historical intrigue titled STIRRING PASSIONS and although I’ve written contemporary mysteries, Victorian Gothic’s and young adult novels since, I keep returning to Regencies because I love that world and the scope the genre offers. You are spoiled for choice with romance writers such as Anna Campbell and Stephanie Laurens, or great mystery writers like Tracy Grant and C.S.Harris. I love them all.
You can purchase my book today at Eternal Press.
Lady Harriett Edgerton opened the parlor door and dust motes swirled in the draft. The jarring call of a street peddler from outside in Mount Street competed with her sister, Leonora, her tantrum now in full force. “I will not!” She shook her golden curls violently, violet-blue eyes flashing in defiance.
My darling girl...” Mama implored, resting her embroidery in her lap. “It can’t be such a horrid thing, surely.”
Leonora stamped her foot. “But this is my coming-out. It’s important for me to make an appearance at Lady Frodsham’s ball on Saturday. Why must we visit Cousin Harrison now? He’s a recluse. We haven’t seen him for an age.”
“He’s not been well, dear.”
Harriett knew that delicacy forbade her mother from mentioning Cousin Harrison had no heirs to his fortune. With his wife Elizabeth long dead and his son John buried somewhere on the battlefields of Spain, interest had risen among his relatives. The Edgertons might have been above such dealings had her father’s investments not suffered a devastating blow when a trade ship carrying cotton, silk, indigo dye, saltpetre and tea from India was sent to the bottom of the sea by pirates. Now her mama felt it would serve them well to appear before Cousin Harrison while he was still above ground.
Harriett sat down by the tea tray. The late afternoon sun streamed through the bay windows, exposing the shabbiness of the faded Turkish rug. Dusting was no longer a daily occurrence at Edgerton House, now run by a skeleton staff whose duties were carefully managed by her mother. Lady Edgerton had succeeded thus far in impressing on society that the family had not sunk into dun territory. Behind the scenes, however, strict economies now ruled their lives.
“Leonora has never been fond of the country,” Harriett pointed out. She selected a jam tartlet from among the cakes on the tea plate. “Whenever we visit Aunt Georgina, she chafes until we return.”
“And you’ve never felt as I do about London,” Leonora retorted. “Perhaps you would like it a great deal better if you had received a good offer in your first season.”
“I don’t believe so.” Harriett took a bite of the tartlet and chewed unconcernedly.
“Harriett did receive an offer,” their mother said bitterly. “A very handsome one. She chose not to accept it.” She cut a thread with a snap of her small scissors. “If she didn’t have her father wrapped around her little finger, she would be married to Mr. Ducksworth by now.”
At the tail end of this sentence, Lord Edgerton entered the room. “Are we about to travel over old ground, my love?”
Harriett put down her half-eaten tartlet and went to slip her arm through her father’s. She smiled at him.
“I felt Harriett showed very good sense to refuse him,” he continued. “The man spoke nothing but fustian nonsense.”
“Charles! He’s worth three thousand pounds a year,” his wife entreated.
“And well may he enjoy it.” Lord Edgerton’s thoughtful frown was not missed by his eldest daughter.
“Shall I fetch your snuff box, Father?” Harriett asked.
“No thank you, my dear.” He settled in his favorite leather chair by the fire. Running a hand through his faded red hair, he gazed into the flames.
Harriett perched on a cushion at his feet and toasted her toes by the fire. She felt a twinge of guilt. She could have improved her family’s situation if she’d married Mr. Ducksworth. She admitted to being horribly selfish, but could not countenance spending the rest of her life with a stuffy prig. She yearned for so much more from marriage. To be thrilled and excited by it. To be passionately in love.
She picked up the farming periodical she’d left on the table and flicked through it, thinking of Cousin Harrison’s nephew Gerard. His dark, handsome face appeared in her mind’s eye. It was years since she had seen him and she wondered if he was much changed. “Are we to visit Foxworth, Mama?”
“No, indeed. Why would we?”
“Do I have to go to the country, Father?” Leonora trailed a hand over the back of his chair and dimpled at him.
“You do, Leonora, and we shall hear no more about it.”
After Leonora left the room to stomp up the stairs, Harriett said thoughtfully, “If only I might find employment.”
He patted her head. “Ladies don’t take paid work, Harriett.”
“Well, they should,” she said. “It would take the pressure away from those who have to keep them.”
“Enough, Harriett!” Her mother tucked her embroidery away in its box. “Come upstairs. We must see to your wardrobe. You need to be dressed well.”
“Yes,” Harriett agreed with a grin in her father’s direction. “I’m not blessed with Leonora’s looks.”
“But you have something very special indeed.” Her father winked back at her. “A quick wit and a lively intelligence.”
“A lively intelligence does not attract a rich husband,” Lady Edgerton said crossly. “Come now, please, Harriett.”
You can find more details of my books from my website and any news from my blog.
Thanks Ginger. I’m happy to offer a copy of AN IMPROPER LOVER as a prize.
Note from Ginger: We'll draw a name tomorrow from those who comment today and announce the winner here in the comments section. Thank you so much Maggi. Your book sounds wonderful and I wish you mega sales.