I’m delighted to welcome fellow New Jersey Romance Writers member Anabelle Bryant for an interview and a look at her new historical romance, To Love A Wicked Scoundrel.
Hi, Anabelle , so glad to have you here today. Tell us little about To Love A Wicked Scoundrel:
Thanks so much for inviting me! I enjoy reading about rakehells, so writing about one was my first inclination. Despite being a reputed scoundrel, my hero has a tender heart and a tortured past. Combined with his unmistakable handsomeness, it’s a lethal combination; that is, until he meets Isabelle, a woman who knows her own mind and is not the least impressed by the scoundrel’s reputation.
Blurb: Is there a Lady in the land who can resist this scoundrel’s charms? At her step-mother’s command, Isabelle, and her irrepressible step-sister Lily, are leaving the pleasantries of the English countryside behind them, and heading straight to the bustling heart of a London season. Isabelle couldn’t care less about fashionable society, and is even less interested in the name on the lips of every ballroom gossip – Lord Constantine Highborough, reputedly a scoundrel of the highest order! But once he sets eyes on the stunningly beautiful Isabelle, London’s most notorious rake knows exactly where to direct his devilishly bewitching smile. And everybody knows that Constantine always gets what he wants, usually leaving a trail of broken hearts behind him…
What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?
Right now, I’m happily in the middle of the novel I began while participating in JeRoWriMo month. It combines romance and a hint of supernatural. I’ve never written anything like this before so I’m excited to see where it will lead.
Later this year, Duke of Darkness will be released from Carina. It tells the story of Devlin, Constantine’s friend from To Love A Wicked Scoundrel. Devlin lives as a recluse, shunned by society and happiest away from polite society, until Alexandra enters his life and changes everything he believes to be true.
What are your writing goals for this year?
At the moment, everything has been put on hold. The weeks preceding the release of To Love A Wicked Scoundrel were busy getting ready for the launch and I’ve had several responsibilities since, but once things calm down, I’d like to get my writing goals aligned. I wrote a manuscript late last year that I want to reread, edit where necessary, and submit to publishers. I also have the story I mentioned earlier that I began during JeRoWriMo that I intend to complete and polish.
How do you come up with ideas?
Ideas find me wherever I am…I truly can’t hide, even in sleep. I have notebooks everywhere including the front seat of my car, my nightstand, the bathroom vanity. I’ve learned the hard way that thinking “I’ll remember later” doesn’t work and it’s necessary to write everything down, even if I have to wait for a red light to do so. Ever since I was a child I’ve had a very active imagination, so ideas have never been a struggle. A snippet of conversation overheard, a commercial on television, a particular song, anything will spark an idea and have me thinking of story lines. I’ve very grateful for that.
Do you have a favorite time of the day for writing?
I’m an early riser and the tranquility and freshness of the early morning is my favorite time to write. I also feel most optimistic too. I believe on some level during the night I’m thinking about my story, especially if I’ve reached a problematic portion of my manuscript. There are days when I wake up with the solution or a plot twist that makes my story stronger. As an educator, I’m fortunate to have the summer for writing as well.
What is your favorite scene from this story and why?
Although there are several scenes that delight me, the one that comes to mind quickest is when Constantine and Isabelle meet for the first time. Constantine is a reputed scoundrel and is accustomed to ladies falling at his feet and hanging on his words. Isabelle is a smart, determined woman who cares little for the frivolities of the ton. Much to Con’s chagrin, Isabelle is entirely unimpressed by his introduction and after a clever conversation where each participant baits and teases the other, she executes a witty ploy to escape his attention, leaving Constantine confused and more than a little intrigued.
What is your favorite memory from childhood?
My mother proudly boasts “my nose was always, always, in a book” and she’s right. I read in the backyard while sitting on a swing, in the bathtub, and lying in my bedroom while other children were watching television. And if I wasn’t reading, I was writing. I still have many of my childhood journals. I was forever reading, writing, and imagining. It’s a habit that hasn’t changed very much.
What do you like to read?
My love of historical romance threads back decades. Historicals were the first type of romance novel I read and they made a lasting impression. Although I occasionally try something different, my favorite books are all historical romances. I enjoy transporting to another time, another place, somewhere that remains unreachable until I open a book.
A Few of My Favorite Things:
- Flavored coffee
- An unexpected package in the mail
- A good laugh shared with friends
And now Anabelle has a question for you all: What kind of romance do you favor and what is it that draws you to that type of novel?
“What are you doing here? Have I interrupted a theft in Lord Rochester’s study?” He had no doubt the beguiling beauty standing before him stole hearts as a preoccupation. “Or are you here awaiting a prearranged lover’s tryst?” That too, posed a definite possibility.
She startled for less than a heartbeat before she smoothly replied, “Nothing as interesting or exciting as you suggest, I assure you.” Then after a short pause she continued. “Of course, I could ask you the very same questions.”
Caught off guard by her belated challenge, Con smiled and strode further into the room. Her voice, melodic with a warm pitch, affected him in an almost sensual way and he had no way to explain the uncommon reaction. He stepped closer still, determined to ascertain the color of her eyes. “I am after a late night brandy.” At least that was his original plan. He met her gaze, as silky as a lover’s caress.
She let out a little sound that indicated she thought his answer complete rubbish. “You might have requested one from a passing footman in the ballroom.”
He scoffed at the irony of her suggestion. If the servants proved as unreliable as earlier, he’d be left unsatisfied once again. Clearly, the fates intended otherwise. “I meant to waltz with you this evening.”
The lady pursed her lips as if she contemplated how to respond. Then vivid eyes matched his, twinkling with a touch of restrained amusement and viewing him as if he might be dimwitted.
“Then you needed to write your name on a line.” She raised her delicate wrist and the dance card stilled against her ivory skin.
“I know.” He grinned, acknowledging the foolishness of his response. Her inquisitive gaze met his and held. Then one narrow brow arched as if she awaited the rest of his explanation. “Things did not work out how I wanted them to.”
Her lips dared a brief smile. “I take it you are accustomed to getting everything you want.”
“Yes.” He chuckled. Females usually vied for his attention and simpered in his company. The feisty verbal quips of the lovely stranger before him awakened an immediate temptation to discover more. “Would you have accepted had I asked?”
“Absolutely not.” She replied without hesitation.
“Then I suppose there is no cause for me to request a servant reset the clock to midnight.” He mused under his breath.
He surmised she wished to soften her answer because she smiled slightly and made a quick rejoinder. “A charming idea, one that likely brings about your desired result, although I could not accept because we have not had a proper introduction.”
Con needed no other invitation. Taking a long stride forward, he watched with chagrin as the lady took a quick step back. She appeared no debutante or young miss at her first come out, and her immediate retreat sparked his growing interest.
“Come a little closer.” He extended his hand toward her. “I do not bite.” His voice dropped to a low tone as he continued. “At least not here in Lord Rochester’s study.”
Her eyes flared and he held back a smile. She was lovely and intriguing. Very intriguing. Her chin notched higher and she boldly did step forward although her hands fluttered at her sides and belied her show of false bravado.
“I have not seen you at any assembly of the ton.” Her eyes were gray, a beautiful shade, stormy and secretive, and right now reflecting hints of gold from the nearby candle flames.
“We are newly arrived to the city, a few days past.”
Her answer, a throaty whisper, revealed she wasn’t quite sure if she wanted to answer him at all. He captured one glossy curl between his thumb and forefinger and released it slowly, allowing the silky strands to slide across his fingertips.
“Your hair is magnificent.”
Her ivory skin warmed with a charming tinge of embarrassment and she looked very fetching in the throes of her unease. As ludicrous as it seemed, she appeared unaccustomed to compliments. Still, such a serene loveliness embodied her it would be unheard of that she did not draw great attention.
“Perhaps we should share our dance right now?” He voiced the words before he considered them.
As before, her succinct reply urged him to smile. “Do you always deal in absolutes?” He watched her rosebud mouth open and close as if about to answer with the same retort and then realize the error of her ways. If an absolute existed, it was more so that this temptress was absolutely enchanting.
You can buy To Love A Wicked Scoundrel at:
Amazon.com | Barnes and Noble | Kobo
Bio: Anabelle began reading at age three and never stopped. Her passion for reading soon turned into a passion for writing and an author was born. Happy to grab her suitcase if it ensures a new adventure, Anabelle finds endless inspiration in travel; especially imaginary jaunts into romantic Regency England, a far cry from her home in New Jersey. Instead, her clever characters live out her daydreams because really, who wouldn’t want to dance with a handsome duke or kiss a wicked earl?
Though teaching keeps her grounded, photography, running, and writing counterbalance her wanderlust. Often found with her nose in a book, Anabelle has earned her Master’s Degree and is pursuing her Doctorate Degree in education. A firm believer in romance, Anabelle knows sometimes life doesn’t provide a happily ever after, but her novels always do.
You can find Anabelle at:
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/AnabelleBryantAuthor