Hi Anne! Welcome back to
The Romance Dish! It’s always fun to celebrate the release of a new Gracie
Thanks so much, PJ — I'm always very
happy to visit. Thanks for inviting me.
The Scoundrel’s Daughter launches your Brides of
Bellaire Gardens series. What should readers expect from this series?
The Brides of Bellaire Gardens is a series about women who live on
Bellaire Gardens which is a large, (fictional) private garden square in London,
only accessed by the residents' back gates. Each of the women is trying to live
down her father's/mother's/family reputation and make a life on her own terms.
And of course, each of them will eventually become a bride. (Photo of Bellaire Gardens inspiration below)
In The Scoundrel's Daughter,
Alice, our main heroine—there are two—is a 38 year old widow, thankful to be
released from an unhappy marriage and planning never to marry again. Our hero,
James, Lord Tarrant has his work cut out to change her mind about that, but
he's up to the challenge. Alice has also been blackmailed into bringing an 18
year old out into society — a girl she doesn't know and, in the beginning at
least, doesn't like. There's also the scoundrelly blackmailer to be dealt with.
Will we see more of
James and Alice, or other characters from The Scoundrel’s Daughter, in
In the second book in the series, The
Rake's Daughter (out next year), we do see some of the characters from The
Scoundrel's Daughter — they meet up in their beautiful shared garden, of
course, but Alice also takes the two sisters in the second book under her wing
and chaperones them on occasion.
I enjoyed the additional
romance in The Scoundrel’s Daughter. Will a secondary romance be
included in each of the books in this series or is that limited to book one?
Thanks, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. A
secondary romance (Lucy and Gerald) was necessary in this one, because though
Lucy and her scoundrel father were the catalyst for the story, it is Alice's
romance that is the main focus of the book. But I didn't want to leave Lucy and
I also enjoyed the contrast in the two
romances. Lucy and Gerald's romance is a kind of enemies-to-lovers story with a
lot of sparks and banter and a good dose of mischief, whereas Alice and James's
romance is more of a second chance of love — more emotional and intense.
Here's a snippet — It's the scene where Gerald, the younger of our two heroes, suddenly recalls where and when he had originally met Lucy, the scoundrel's daughter. She, of course, isn't admitting a thing . . .
“I knew I’d seen you before," Gerald said. "You’re that goose girl!”
She raised a slender, incredulous brow. “I’m the what?”
“That goose girl!”
She gave him a puzzled look, fingered the fluffy trimming on her cloak and said, “It’s swansdown, not goose feather.”
“I’m not talking about the blasted cloak. You’re that goose girl. I know you are, so don’t try to wriggle out of it. We met on the Brighton road, not two weeks ago. You were carrying a goose. I knew I’d seen you before, and it only just came to me.”
“I? Carrying a goose?” She sounded utterly incredulous. She glanced at his aunt and Tarrant, as if inviting them to join in her incredulity. “What were you doing on the Brighton road, Lord Thornthwaite, when this goose and I supposedly met you?” Her voice and expression were serious, but her eyes glinted with knowing mischief.
“I was—” he broke off and felt himself redden slightly. He hadn’t told anyone how a goose and an impertinent chit of a farm girl caused him to lose his race. If it got out, his friends would never let him hear the end of it. “It doesn’t matter. What I want to know is why a common goose girl is attending the theater with my aunt.”
“Is she?” The wretched girl looked around eagerly. “Where? Point her out to me.”
Aunt Alice had a sudden coughing fit and buried her face in her handkerchief.
I did think of having two romances in
the second book as well, which is about two half-sisters, but then I realized
that each girl deserved her own full romance. There might be a secondary
romance in book #3, but no promises yet.
What books are you
cuddling up with on these cool Australian nights? Any new titles or authors you
If you want a book with a lot of
laughs as well as a yummy romance, snap up BIG SEXY
LOVE by Kirsty Greenwood.
It's a contemporary romance about friendship, learning to take chances and, of
course, love. It's also one of the funniest books I've read in years — seriously,
it's laugh out loud in so many places.
I'm also a big fan of Kylie Scott — who
also writes contemporaries. Try her YA book TRUST, or her series about members
of a band — the STAGE DIVE series. Very
sexy, great dialogue and wonderful characterization.
One of the things I most
enjoy about your writing is the vividly depicted characters who leap from the
pages of your books. The Scoundrel’s Daughter shines with a memorable
cast but it’s little Debo, the youngest of James’ three daughters who steals
every scene she’s in. You captured her personality so beautifully. Was she
inspired by a real-life person? And do these wonderful characters of your
creation steal your heart as completely as they do the readers’?
Thank you — I love it when a character
just steps onto the page fully formed, and little Debo was one of those. She's not inspired by any real person,
although I've known a few imperious toddlers in my time. <g> She took me by surprise in that scene where
she first appears to readers and to her father, being very much herself, and as
the book progressed she continued to demand her own little spotlight. And yes,
she did steal my heart, as no doubt you could tell.
There's a snippet here, where James
meets his daughter for the first time — she's four.
Characters like Gideon in The Perfect
Rake, and Lady Beatrice, Daisy and Freddy in The Autumn Bride, and others in
other books also appeared in the same way, fully formed and refusing to leave
until they have a bigger part in the story — or a story of their own in some
cases. When it happens, it's like an unexpected gift.
However sometimes one of these
unexpected characters doesn't fit into the story, or maybe would derail it
completely, and in that case I have to prune them firmly back. Gives another
meaning to "killing your darlings". <g>
What fills the hours
when you’re not writing? Have you discovered any new hobbies or interests?
Not really. I make jewelry — really
it's just stringing beads together — and I almost keep the garden weeds under
control. We've been in Lockdown for much of the last year — one time it was for
nearly four months, where we couldn't go anywhere except to shop for food,
medicine etc. So I read a heap. And wrote. And cooked and ate and walked my dog
and . . . occasionally thought about doing housework. <g>
I also got into a new writing habit
where 5 days a week I meet up with a couple of writer buddies and we write for
a couple of hours while we're on FaceTime. It's a bit like working in an office
together — we can see and hear each other working, but once the timer is on, we
don't talk, and we don't watch each other. It kept us being positive and
productive — and of course, broke down a lot of the isolation caused by
LockDown and Covid.
Where can readers
connect with you online?
I'm on FB and twitter and Instagram.
Plus I blog regularly with the Word Wenches as well as having my own more
personal blog, which also has occasional craft-of-writing posts. And I have a
newsletter of course. You can sign up for it and the blog on my website.
Anne Gracie links:
The next book in the series is called The
Rake's Daughter and it's about a pair of half-sisters, one legitimate, the
other illegitimate. The illegitimate one is the heroine of this story, and the
hero is the man who insists that London society will not accept a bastard girl
of beauty and no fortune. Izzy, my heroine, vows to prove him wrong.
And with any luck I'll find the time
to write another Christmas novella to self-publish. I did that for the first
time last year with The Christmas Bride, which was a spin-off of the
Chance sisters series, and I had a lot of fun doing it.
Thanks so much for
graciously answering my questions today.
Thank you, PJ for hosting me — I'm delighted to be here.
Would you like to add
anything or ask our readers a question?
Yes, and of course I'll be giving away
a book. I'd love to ask readers, what's your favorite romance trope? (For instance Convenient Marriage, Enemies to
Lovers, Beauty and the Beast, Second Chance at Love, Mail Order Bride, Friends
to Lovers, Lovers Reunited, Chick in Pants, a Bad Boy (Rake) romance, Secret Baby, Fake Betrothal. . . and many
One randomly chosen reader who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, August 27 will receive a print copy of The Scoundrel's Daughter.
*No geographical restrictions
*Must be 18
*Void where prohibited