Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Today's Special - - Lenora Bell and Eva Leigh

I'm delighted to host two of my favorite historical romance authors: Lenora Bell and Eva Leigh, Avon authors who both have a new book publishing today! It's always fun to ask authors about their characters but wouldn't it be even more fun to ask questions of those characters? Lenora and Eva have brought along the heroes and heroines of their new books, What a Difference a Duke Makes and Counting on a Countess to do just that. Having recently read - and loved - both of these books, I can't wait to hear what they have to say! Please welcome Lenora, Eva, Kit, Edgar, Mari, and Tamsyn!

Counting on a Countess 
Book Two in The London Underground series
By Eva Leigh
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: March 27, 2018

Eva Leigh is the pen name of a RITA® Award-nominated romance author who writes novels chock-full of smart women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, Tweeting about boots, and listening to music from the ’80s. Eva and her husband live in Central California.

What a Difference a Duke Makes
Book One in the School for Dukes series
By Lenora Bell
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: March 27, 2018

Lenora Bell is a USA Today bestselling, RITA® Award-nominated author of historical romances. A teacher with an MFA in Creative Writing who has lived on five continents, Lenora currently shares an old farmhouse in the Pacific Northwest with her carpenter husband and two tiger-striped rescue kitties. She loves to hear from readers!


Eva Leigh -- Christopher “Kit” Ellingsworth, Earl of Blakemere

Lenora Bell -- Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford


Eva Leigh – Miss Tamsyn Pearce

Lenora Bell – Miss Mari Perkins

Edgar to Kit

When did you first meet Tamsyn? What was the first thing you noticed about her?

Society balls are never more irritating than when looking for a prospective bride. There’s an abundance of women, but none of them set my campfire to blazing. Which was why I noticed Tamsyn right away—after we collided by the dance floor. That bright red hair of hers was like a fire in the depths of night, and it’s not every day I meet a lady with the Cornish accent of a pirate, though, thank heavens, she’d never engage in anything illegal like piracy.

Since I've been living like a monk, I'm curious about what's it like to be known as a shameless libertine.

Oh, it’s terrible. Just awful. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Except everything I just said to you is a lie.

What were the first thoughts that went through your head when you heard your sizable inheritance came with the stipulation that you must marry within a month?

Somebody get me a drink.

Whiskey, brandy, or wine?


Chopin or Beethoven?

Whatever they play at the theater where the dancers come out and show their legs.

What do you plan to do with all that money?

This is strictly entre nous, but when I was fighting on the Peninsula, surrounded by chaos, death, and boredom, I kept myself sane by fantasizing about building my very own pleasure garden that would rival Vauxhall. I told myself that if I made it back to England alive, I’d make that dream a reality. Gambled deep to make it happen, but to no avail. Now that dream doesn’t have to be a fantasy anymore...so long as Tamsyn doesn’t empty out my coffers.

Mari to Tamsyn

What did you think about Kit when you met him for the first time?

He’s a shameless libertine who will make a truly terrible husband. I have to marry him.

I've never left England. Are you really a smuggler? Have you had any thrilling high seas adventures?

Shh! Don’t tell anyone! But yes, I do smuggle contraband French brandy and lace. For a good reason! We had a few close calls with the customs officers, and there have been a few nights where I found myself hiding behind rocks as the customs men ride past in pursuit. But I’ve always been shore-bound, and until I went looking for a husband in London, I’d never left Cornwall before.

When you found out that you had control over Kit's fortune what did all that power feel like? 

It’s not a little unlike being handed a giant cake and being told you have to eat it all, and you can’t give any to the starving man in front of you.

What is the best thing about London for you? The worst thing?

I’m only here to find a husband and use his wealth to buy my ancestral home from my uncle. Oh, and I need to locate a new buyer for my smuggled goods so that my village back in Cornwall doesn’t starve. But I suppose going to the theatre is nice...

What's a childhood memory that has stayed with you throughout your life?

My father used to buy me boiled sweets and we’d sit at the end of the pier, watching the sea. I miss him so much.

What do you do for entertainment/relaxation?

When do I have time to relax? Yet after a smuggling run, nothing is better than going to the pub with my fellow smugglers and having a little drop of brandy. I suppose that’s not a very ladylike thing to say. Playing pianoforte and doing embroidery are just heavenly! (Is that better?)

Questions for Edgar from Kit

So, wait, you used to work? What on Earth possessed you to
voluntarily do that?

There was an...incident. I couldn’t stay in London. I ran away, renounced my heritage, went deep underground as a foundry worker in Birmingham. It was backbreaking work but it was honest.

Fisticuffs or fencing?

I’m not one for special outfits and rules and regulations. I’ll take fists over foils any day.

What kind of person were you expecting when you hired a governess for the twins?

I asked for an experienced governess with nerves of steel. A stomach of iron. Eyes like a hawk. Shoulders as brawny as a boxer’s.   

What was the first thing you noticed about Mari when she arrived from the agency?

Her shoulders were insufficiently brawny.

If you could teach your children one lesson, what would it be?

Don’t make the same mistake I made. Don’t get too set in your ways...always leave room for discovery and change.

Would you rather waltz or wrestle?

I’d rather wrestle a dozen alligators than waltz at a society ball.

You’ve been celibate? For God’s sake, why?

You sound like my friend the Duke of Westbury. The other day he tried to drag me to the opera and I told him I was far too busy designing steam engines to dally with songbirds. Of course then he said something rude about a certain part of me withering away and falling off, but I can assure you that all my parts are in exemplary working order...far too exemplary when it comes to thoughts of redheaded governesses.

Questions for Mari from Tamsyn

What would your ideal home look like?

I was raised in a charity school orphanage so an ideal home would be one filled with family, laughter, and love--all of the things I never had.

What’s your favorite thing to eat?

My new favorite thing to eat is grapes. I had some the other day with the duke and let me tell you that I could become accustomed to being fed grapes from silver platters like the ancient Romans. Of course if we were ancient Romans we would have been lounging about on the carpet half naked. Oh dear. There I go again having forbidden thoughts...

Have you ever done anything that wasn’t precisely legal?

Well, I did bluster my way into the position as the duke’s governess. I was promised a position by Mrs. Trilby’s Agency for Superior Governesses. Just not this one.

When you first met Edgar, what did you notice about him right away?

That he didn’t look pliable in the least.

If you could trade places with anybody, who would it be?

Edgar’s sister, Lady India Rochester, certainly leads an interesting life. She’s an adventurer who travels the globe on archaeological expeditions. I think it would be thrilling to see what she sees, if only for a day.

Is there such a thing as “happily ever after?”

Oh, Tamsyn, have you been reading the same romantic novels I have? The ones where the star-crossed lovers surmount nearly impossible obstacles and everything works out beautifully in the end? I do want to believe it’s possible. With all my heart.


Thank you ladies, and gentlemen, for that fascinating glimpse into your lives. I enjoyed it so much I want to go back and reread your journeys to love all over again! *grin*

Readers, if you could trade places with anyone (real or fictional) for a day, who would you choose?

What was the first thing you noticed about your husband/partner?

What's a childhood memory that's stayed with you?

Do you have any questions for Eva or Lenora? Questions for Kit, Edgar, Mari, or Tamsyn?


One randomly chosen person leaving a comment before 11:00 PM, March 28 will receive a signed copy of What a Difference a Duke Makes and a $15 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble. (U.S. shipping only)

One randomly chosen person leaving a comment before 11:00 PM, March 28 will receive a signed copy of Counting on a Countess and a $15 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble (U.S. shipping only)


  1. If I could trade places for a day with anyone,then I would choose to be the Duchess of Cambridge and get to wear some of her fantastic clothes..

    The first thing that I noticed about my husband was how kind he was to everybody who needed help, and was especially happy when he had a drink inside him.

    A childhood memory that's stayed with me is of my sisters and I walking along the country lanes in England and picking wild blackberries or raspberries off of the roadside hedges You couldn't do this now what with all the traffic whizzing by.

    I don't have any questions for Eva or Lenora or questions for Kit, Edgar, Mari, or Tamsyn. What I would like to tell them though is how very much I love character interviews.

    Thank you for show casing these two Authors today.

    1. She does wear fabulous clothes, doesn't she?

      Kindness is such an attractive quality. I wish more people exhibited it these days.

      Love your childhood memory, Diane. One of my fondest memories is eating fresh fruit from the vines at my grandparents' farm. I have a clear memory of sitting in the dirt with a bucket while picking strawberries. I was probably around three. Many more berries went into my mouth than into the bucket. :)

    2. We're lucky to have these memories of our childhood. The kids today don't know what they're missing out on.

    3. Wonderful stories, Diane! Thanks so much for sharing 😍

  2. That was fun! A childhood memory: In the summer months being taken to the library. It was a huge, old building with cathedral ceilings and it housed my favorite thing - books. My mom would drop my sister and me off while she did shopping or got her hair done and so I had time to just explore and pick out as many books as was allowed.

    1. What a lovely memory, catslady! We had a very small library in my town but I always loved visiting.

    2. Library memories are THE BEST!! Thanks so much for commenting 😍

  3. I would love to trade places with Anne of Green Gables and have that experience, live in that bucolic setting and enjoy her new life.
    My husband was quiet but thoughtful.
    A childhood memory was having the freedom to go bike riding all over our lovely neighborhood and farther afield since this was the 1950's and we had the security and ease to be ourselves and explore.

    1. Oooh such a good choice! I totally wanted to be Anne of Green Gables and swoon over Gilbert. Also a beautiful memory. Thanks for sharing!! πŸ’•

    2. Ooh! Anne of Green Gables was one of my absolute favorites when I was young!

  4. I have a few childhood memories which I hold close to my heart since life has changed so much since then. Each summer when I was young we would spend a week or two at a very rustic and quiet are, a fishing camp, where my father would fish and we would go out in the small motorboat on a lovely lake and fish. Each day was simple but fulfilling, swim, read and enjoy the beauty and surroundings.

    1. Sounds so peaceful and lovely! Thanks so much for commenting πŸ’•

  5. Thanks for the giveaway. One childhood memory would be walking beside the Atlantic Ocean on a stormy day while on a family vacation.

    1. The ocean always makes me feel so happy. Thanks Kim! 😍

  6. Favorite childhood memory - waiting for the Good Humor Truck to come and decide what flavor ice cream pop I would take, chocolate, black raspberry, choc chip or banana. Yum.

    First thing I remember about my husband was his smile.

    Question for any of the authors - what book will always remember and why?

    1. Aww I love that the first thing you remember about your husband is his smile. So sweet 😍😍

    2. The Phantom Tollbooth has always stuck with me.

    3. I don't know how I managed to miss The Phantom Tollbooth. It sounds wonderful. I think I'll be sharing it with the young ones in my family. Thanks, Eva!

  7. 1. I don’t want to trade places with anyone I’m just happy to be myself.

    2. His hair - he had a big curly mop on his head lol

    3. Favorite childhood memory is playing cricket and just enjoying nature. Technology wasn’t so advanced then and we didn’t had phone, iPads etc. so we use to just play cricket with other kids

    1. Oh I love this ❤️❤️ Thanks for commenting, Natasha!

  8. My favorite childhood memory is the safety of my small world. Despite duck-and-cover drills, nuclear war seemed more a thing in the sci-fi movies we saw on Saturday afternoons than a real threat. Our reality was the freedom to walk or ride our bikes all over the neighborhood--to the baseball field, to the swimming pool, to church, to friends' homes--with no adult supervision, secure in the knowledge that in almost every house we passed, there was someone who knew us, cared about us, and watched over us. All these decades later, lightning bugs, honeysuckle, or home-churned peach ice-cream awaken memories of summer evenings when a host of kids played softball or dodge ball until we could no longer see the ball and then went home to warm baths, line-dried sheets, and star-counting with our noses pressed against window screens.

    1. Wow this is so beautiful - reminds me of Dandelion Wine by Bradbury. Thanks so much for sharing, my dear!! 😍

  9. What a fun post! Thanks so much, ladies. I look forward to reading more about your interesting characters.
    Since March is National Reading Month, I’ll answer the “childhood memory” question in terms of my some of my favorite reading memories: Sitting on Dad’s lap, while he patiently reads—and waits for me to repeat—Dr. Seuss’s “Hop on Pop;” Going to the library with Mom, running ahead of her to check for my favorite book, “The Big Snow” by Berta and Elmer Hader; graduating from Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries to Agatha Christie novels; having my sixth-grade history teacher pick up the book I was reading in my spare time (“Gone With the Wind”)and ask me “Does your mother know you’re reading this?” (Of course she did.) Great memories, all!

    1. Another library memory - LOVE IT!! These are wonderful. Thanks so much for commenting ❤️

  10. I would love to have been a secretary for Agatha Christie and be able to follow her thought process.

    Mr Wonderful - when I met him he was funny. He made me laugh all the time and to me that was quite a gift.

    Childhood memories - getting to go to the bookmobile and getting more books than I could carry. Riding bikes with 4 friends - our parents had no idea how far we went - we went from the country all the way to the beach at Lake Michigan. One of our favorite spots was a really pretty cemetery with green grass, a pond and swans. And finally, we lived near a river, where I was never supposed to go. So, of course, a family member and I went. The mud was so bad, it sucked one of my corrective shoes right off my foot. We never found it. That was not a good day - but looking back it was a very funny event.

    1. I wore corrective shoes as a child that I would have loved donating to a mud hole!

      Annette, where did you grow up? I grew up near the southeastern shores of Lake Michigan.

  11. Janette GryniewiczMarch 27, 2018 at 7:47 PM

    I would trade places with royalty or someone who lived in a palace, but just for a dat.
    I don't remember the first thing I noticed about my husband because I was a clueless teenager.
    Lots of fun childhood memories of our grrgr vacations.
    And no questions for the characters, but I loved meeting them!

  12. I would trade places with Kate Middleton to see what the Royal residences are like inside and to discover the "real" personalities of all the royals.

    The first thing I noticed about my husband was how very easy it was to talk to him. We still talk to each other a lot.

    A strong childhood memory that relates to reading would be the excitement I always felt when the books arrived at school that I had ordered through the Scholastic Books flyer. Does anyone else remember those?

    1. That flyer was the highlight of my life when I was young!

    2. Oh my gosh! I loved those flyers! Even better, the books my parents let me buy from them!!

    3. Lots of good Scholastic Books memories!

  13. I don't think I'd actually want to trade places with anyone, but I'd love to be a fly on the wall in a few places in DC to see what is actually going on.

    My earliest memories are having tea with my grandmother, walking to the grocery store with my grandfather or him working in his garden (we lived with them til I was 6).

  14. I wouldn't mind changing places with Dr Who (or another timelord) so I could travel all over history - but I'd need a lot more than a day to hit all the times and places I'd like to visit. ;-)

    I met my husband when I came to Texas to work for a few months, I shared an office for the afternoon since his office mate had left for the day. I first noticed his smile and extroverted nature.

    So many memories.... I remember sitting in my grandparents backyard in Boulder watching and listening to heat lightning while my grandfather smoked his pipe (the scent of that pipe tobacco still throws me back).

  15. The first thing I noticed about my husband was his beautiful blue eyes. Second was what a nice person he was.
    As for who I would like to trade places with, I like Mari's choice - Edgar’s sister, Lady India Rochester. The early women adventurers must have had some wonderful and interesting experiences.
    Childhood memory - dreaming my uncle was killed on the battlefield in Korea. I told my parents the next morning and was punished for saying such an upsetting thing. My grandparents got the telegraph that afternoon saying he had been killed. As we found out later, it happened just as I saw it and at about the same time.
    Mari, what was your time at the orphanage like? Was it a terrible place or did they do the best they could?
    Tamsyn - Are you going to have an iron hand with the finances or allow your husband a relatively free hand to do what he has planned?
    Thanks for the "conversations." They were fun. Both books sound like enjoyable reads and the Heroes and Heroines well worth meeting.

  16. I don't feel the need to change places with anyone.

    My husband was a bit shy and reserved at first, he's definitely an introvert.

    I always loved picking blackberries when visiting my grandparents. We'd come back from the briar patch at the back of their property, rinse and drain, then eat them with sugar and cream.