We’re headed back in time this week at A Writer’s House, and visiting with historical romance author Sheridan Jeane.
Sheridan Jeane writes exciting and emotion-packed historical romances set in the Victorian Era that confront issues of trust and conformity. With the advent of the industrial age, life was changing. Many people tried to cling to the old ways of life while others embraced the new opportunities opening up to them. Join Sheridan as she explores the clash between the old and the new.
You can see why I’m drawn to Sheridan’s stories. Women who are ahead of their time have always tempted me in fiction. And the new book, Lady Catherine’s Secret, captures that interest. Just read:
Lady Catherine and Alexander Gray share a passion… for fencing. That’s because Catherine IS Alexander Gray!
Sheridan, thank you for being here today. Tell us about your current release.
Lady Catherine’s Secret offers a unique blend of suspense, mystery and historical romance.
Despite Lady Catherine’s love of fencing, she needs to stop pretending to be a boy and fraternizing with men…but not until after she competes in the upcoming fencing tournament! Her mother plans to marry her off by the end of the season, so this will be her last chance to enjoy her freedom. When she impulsively puts her reputation at risk to save the life of a dashing competitor, all seems lost when he sees through her disguise.
Daniel, Marquess of Huntley, wants to overcome the rumors of his father’s madness so that he can be embraced by London society. His plan is to marry the most proper woman who will have him, and then raise stable, respectable children. He certainly isn’t interested in some hoyden with a penchant for masquerading as a boy and flaunting society’s rules. In fact, he’d prefer to keep his distance.
When an obsessed suitor discovers Catherine’s secret and threatens blackmail, the only path out of social ruin is marriage. But what kind of protection does matrimony provide when a vengeful suitor is plotting the ultimate revenge?
Catherine sounds like she has a lot of moxy, although I’m sure that’s not the correct term for a Victorian woman. What was the inspiration for your latest/current release?
When my sons were taking fencing lessons, the star student not only in the class but at the entire studio was a ten-year-old girl who seemed destined for Olympic glory. Her energy and talent were astonishing. I used her as a model for what Catherine would have been like as a child as I developed my idea for Catherine as a Victorian fencer. Once I invented Catherine, she took on a life and personality of her own.
I think the best characters write themselves. They take on a life of their own despite what we poor authors want sometimes. What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on my third book in the series, “Once Upon a Spy.” In this book, Lord Wentworth gets pulled into his brother’s espionage activities. Things go terribly wrong from the outset when a beautiful young woman tricks Robert and unknowingly undermines England’s scheme to avoid a war with Russia. Robert must track her down and convince her to help him.
Sounds exciting! I can’t wait to read it. Now, if you want know more about the Lady Catherine’s Secret, a book LibriAmoriMiei called “an engaging novel” and Romantic Reads and Such deemed “well-written, well-paced,” then read on…
Lady Wilmot turned back to Lord Huntley. “You already met my daughter, the Lady Elizabeth Greville,” she said, indicating her daughter with a slight tip of her head, “but I don’t believe that you have been properly introduced to her dear friend.” Her gaze shifted to Catherine. “Lord Huntley, I’d like to introduce you to the Lady Catherine Williams. Lady Catherine, this is Daniel Kennedy, the Marquess of Huntley. Lord Huntley, I believe that you may have been acquainted with Lady Catherine’s late grandfather, the Earl of Kensington.”
“Lady Catherine, it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I can see a family resemblance. I think it’s the eyes.” He gently took her hand as she offered it to him, and then widened his eyes in surprise. “You have a firm grip for such a delicate-looking young lady.” He slightly lifted his eyebrow again as he stared down into her eyes.
In a moment of déjà vu, she felt like a mouse under the gaze of a predator. This was all too reminiscent of their introduction last night. She could only hope he wasn’t experiencing the same feeling.
But what could she do?
Struck by inspiration, Catherine fluttered her eyes and let her posture melt, wanting him to see someone quite different from the brash, bold boy he’d met last night. She couldn’t overdo it, of course. Not with Lady Wilmot and Elizabeth standing right next to her. But a stuttering, tongue-tied girl would be unlikely to arouse their suspicions.
“I, uh, I… needlepoint,” she finally said in a flustered voice. It wasn’t hard to add that little waver with those piercing blue eyes assessing her. “Perhaps that accounts for the strength of my grip. Do you enjoy needlepoint, Lord Huntley?” She gave a slight gasp of embarrassment, her fingertips flying to her lips. “I mean… that is, I meant to say, do you enjoy looking at needlepoint?”
His intense expression morphed first into one of confusion, only to be replaced by one of amusement as he recognized her state of “panic.”