Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Today's Special - - Eileen Richards

You never know who you'll meet when you get to your assigned seat on an airplane. Last July, on my flight home from the Romance Writers of America national conference, one of three authors seated across the aisle from me (yes, there were four of us in Row 19 - freaky) was Eileen Richards. Turns out Eileen lives just down the road from me and was gearing up for the October release of her first novel, An Unexpected Wish. A local author, a debut novel (a regency romp - my favorite kind!), a brand new historical romance series: it's the romance reader's trifecta! 

Though Eileen Richards has spent thirty years in an IT career, that hasn't stopped her from writing along the way. As she notes on her website, she's spent most of her life writing, including poetry and totally inappropriate answers to essay questions in school. These days, she's busy writing "sassy regency romps set in the small villages of England where the rules are bent a bit and gossip rules the day."

Connect with Eileen online at Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

Please join me in welcoming Eileen to The Romance Dish! 

Congratulations on the release of your debut novel, An Unexpected Wish. Please share with our readers what they can expect from this book.

I wanted this series to have a fairy tale quality to it. I also love playing with those old sayings like “be careful what you wish for.” The combination of a mischievous fairy, a Cinderella-like spinster, and a sarcastic fairy godmother made this book a lot of fun to write.

A lot of fun to read too! 

I was fascinated by the Fairy Steps. Will you tell us more about them? Are they real or a product of your imagination?

The Fairy Steps is a real place in Beetham, Cumbria, part of the Lake District of England. I was procrastinating one day and stumbled upon a site about mystical sites in Britain. I read the fable, did some more research and knew I had to put a series there.  (

An Unexpected Wish is your first published novel. What’s been the most exciting part of your
debut journey? The most challenging? The most surprising?

The most exciting is finally realizing my dream of getting published. The most challenging was I had no idea how much was involved in getting a book published. The most surprising is that people seem to like it.

Anne and Nathaniel have a rocky road to happiness. What would you like readers to understand about these two characters?

They are actually a great deal alike: loyal, stubborn, with a strong desire to take care of those they love. I wanted Anne to be one of those people who make themselves dispensable to others as a definition of self worth. She’s Johnny-on-the-spot for everyone else but herself. I think we all know someone like this. We can see their worth and beauty but they cannot see it in themselves. She is always thinking of others, but never taking care of herself.

I wanted a strong hero who was a bit too arrogant and needed to be taken down a peg. He has worked so very hard to bring the family back up to where they were as well as taking care of everyone. I love that he sees the real beauty in Anne.

Anne’s two younger sisters (Juliet and Sophia) and Nathaniel’s younger brother, Tony all have significant roles in this book. Will each of them eventually get their own happy ending?

Book Two, An Honorable Wish, is Juliet and Tony’s story.  Juliet has had a crush on him for two years and Tony finally wakes up to realize that she is the one he wants to spend his life with. Of course he has to earn it by cleaning up a big mess he’s made.  An Honorable Wish will be released this month on November 27th.

Book Three, A Most Inconvenient Wish is Sophia’s comeuppance.  She has been so fun to write. I introduce Ian McDonald in book two. It is he who finally wins her picky heart. This book comes out in July 2016.

Without giving away spoilers, a certain less-than-desirable secondary character appears to be given an opportunity for redemption later in the story. Is there a chance for a happy ending down the road?  

Sir John Townsend is a spoiled brat in the beginning of this book. In the end, it’s Nathaniel who helps him get his life together. Of course, Nathaniel didn’t want to save him, but he does anyway. I’ve been toying with a novella idea for John.  I sent him away in An Unexpected Wish, but I want to bring him back and give him his own happy ending.  There was this one woman in his past who turned down his proposal of marriage because of his gambling. Hmmm.

This makes me a happy reader. I think he's an excellent candidate for redemption! 

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not busy writing books?

Reading. I am a romance novel junkie and have been since my teens. I’m a sucker for a good love story.

They say we always remember our first with fondness in our hearts. What book (or author) was your gateway into the world of romance fiction?

I was always sneaking my grandmother’s Harlequins. She kept them in a bag by her bed, but my very favorite first was Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Flame and The Flower. This book changed it all and I’ve not looked back.

What’s next?

I’m working on my next series now. Let’s just say that it involves a bumbling matchmaker, some Regency misfits, speed dating, and a few handsome heroes who realize the joy of loving a unique young lady.

I love the sound of that! 

Thanks so much for visiting with us, Eileen. Would you like to ask our readers a question today?

I love reading romances and am always looking for new authors. What a new-to-you author you've read and would recommend?

I have an ebook copy of An Unexpected Wish to give away to a lucky commenter.

An Unexpected Wish
October 27, 2015

Anne Townsend doesn’t ask for much. Plain and poor, she’d settle for the funds to put food on the table. Making a wish on the fabled Fairy Steps is hardly a solid solution, but to see her two sisters taken care of, Anne’s willing to try anything. Yet when she finds herself suddenly surrounded with suitors, romance is now a possibility for the spinster everyone always ignored—except with the one man who will never want her…     
Nathaniel Matthews has no time for courting. As the eldest, he has his family’s lost fortune to rebuild, and his reckless brother to manage before he gambles his future away. Odd that Nathaniel can think of little but kissing bright-eyed Anne, who seems to be fighting off admirers from all sides. Is it the country air, or is Nathaniel ready to discover that love has a magic all its own?

An Honorable Wish
November 24, 2015

Tony Matthews spends his time in London’s most notorious gambling dens, frittering away his fortune. But when his latest victory leaves a man ruined, Tony knows he’s reached his lowest point. Determined to make amends, he returns home to his family’s country estate with plans to settle down and marry at last. And he hopes the lovely Juliet Townsend will help him—if only he can keep his disgrace a secret.
Juliet’s secret wish has always been for Tony to love her. The only bright spot in her dreadful London season was dancing with him—before he disappeared to the card rooms. Now, he’s returned, but has he truly changed? Or will gambling always be his mistress, even if she becomes his wife? And does Juliet dare risk her heart by finding out?...


  1. Such a fun way to meet anyone, much less an up and coming author! I've read a few excerpts of An Unexpected Wish and immediately put it on my wish list!

    1. It was so funny, Glenda. The three of them had booked their seats together but what were the odds that I'd end up in the same row on a huge plane!

      I really enjoyed An Unexpected Wish. The characters were well developed and the story seemed true to the time and place. The village setting was a nice surprise too. I like to get out of the city (London) every now and then!

  2. Such a fun way to meet anyone, much less an up and coming author! I've read a few excerpts of An Unexpected Wish and immediately put it on my wish list!

  3. I come to you for new authors, so I can't help you there.

    The books look marvellous.

    1. Thanks, Mary! I hope we've added another new author to your list today!

  4. I love to discover new-to-me authors and share the word about the new talent on the block. I recently read "Greythorne" by L.M. Merrington which is an "old fashioned" gothic novel that will give you those wonderful chills. I am anxiously awaiting more books from her.

    "An Honorable Wish" and "An Unexpected Wish" both sound like fabulous stories and I am going to put them both on To-Read List!

    1. I love Gothics! Thanks, Connie! I'll have to check that one out.

  5. Bobby Hutchinson, and she often has free novellas to try (first)!

    1. Another new one to check out! Thanks, Laney!

  6. Two new discoveries for me are Caro Carson and Anna Bradley. Carson mostly writes contemporary category but I recently discovered her through her time-travel novella, "Her Pirate From the Past" (so good!). I fell in love with Anna Bradley's debut historical, A Wicked Way to Win an Earl.

  7. Eileen, congratulations! I'm so happy for you. I love the story of the fairy steps as information. Another debut author I recently read is Nicole Christoff. She writes thrillers with strong romantic elements.

    I already have my copy, so don't include me in the giveaway. Congrats again!

    1. I hadn't heard of Nicole Christoff, Nancy but I do love a good thriller. Off to check her out!

  8. First of all, the covers for the two books are lovely and remind me of the old school Regency covers. When someone asks me for a new author recommendation I say Wendy LaCapra, whose Furies series combines a friendship between three scandalous ladies and a mystery and some suspense runs through the three books.

    1. The story reminds me of traditional regency romances too, Laura.

      I'm a fan of LaCapra too!

  9. During the past few months, I've read books by two authors who, though not newly published, were new to me. Kim Law's Montana Cherries is a sweet contemporary romance full of family, love, and second chances. Deanna Raybourn's A Curious Beginning is a Victorian-England mystery that introduces Veronica Speedwell. Not heavy on romance, but absolutely joyful in its irreverence and dialogue, the book features interesting characters who set up nicely for book two, due next year.

    Congrats on An Unexpected Wish. Thanks for the post and giveaway.

    1. I loved Montana Cherries and I'm thrilled that Kim Law is planning more books in that series. It was originally intended to be a stand-alone.

  10. I've discovered that I love Joanna Shupe's books. I highly recommend her. Please don't enter me into the contest as I don't read e-books. Print all the way for me!!

  11. I am continually surprised at how small the world it....

  12. How cool is that! The most recent new-to-me author that I really enjoyed is Megan Crane. It was the novella Come Home for Christmas. She also writes Harlequin Presents as Caitlyn Crews.

  13. Thank you guys for all the kind comments. Thank you PJ for having me. I was stuck in the car for 13 hours driving home from Florida so I couldn't comment on all the lovely posts. I've picked up a few new author recommendations and I LOVE THAT! My latest new-to-me author is Christy Carlyle.


  14. I have been spending much of my time lately catching up on books by favorite authors. I love the covers on these two books. They remind me of early Regency romances and the sparkle of magic lends its own special touch. Eileen, congratulations on the publishing of your books. I hope you have a long and successful writing career. These sound like books I will enjoy.