5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, January 9, 2015.
Heiress Augusta Meredith can’t help herself-she stirs up gossip wherever she goes. A stranger to Bath society, she pretends to be a charming young widow, until sardonic, darkly handsome Joss Everett arrives from London and uncovers her charade.
Augusta persuades Joss to keep her secret in exchange for a secret of his own. Weaving their way through the treacherous pitfalls of a polite world only too eager to expose and condemn them, they begin to see that being true to themselves is not so bad…as long as they’re true to each other…
Exclusive interview with the author:
1) Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel came first, because SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS HEIRESS wasn’t my working title. The titles I come up with are usually…not great, let’s say. My working title for this book was THE HEIRESS TAKES A LOVER, which would be sort of like titling Gone With the Wind “Scarlett O’Hara Does Things.” Yes, ok—but what is the book really *about*? (Other titles I suggested: That Night in Bath, An Heiress Never Tells.) Fortunately my editor is much better than I am at coming up with titles that suggest the plot while also evoking history and romance. This book got its final title after my editor read it and provided her revision notes, and I think it’s a great fit for the story.
2) Let’s talk about one of your main characters, the hero Joss Everett. How did you think him up and is there any of you in him?
Joss appeared in the previous book in my Matchmaker trilogy, TO CHARM A NAUGHTY COUNTESS. Though he started out as a minor character, I knew by the story’s end that I wanted him to be my next hero. When I started writing his story, his background filled in: Anglo-Indian, grandson of a baron, now working as a man of business for his cousin. I actually had to go back and revise some of COUNTESS once I finished writing Joss’s story! (Fortunately there was plenty of lead time.)
So the character of Joss developed bit by bit. Sarcastic, funny, wary, eager for independence. He’s not much like me–though he’s the kind of guy that says what’s on everyone’s mind and does so with flair, and I’d really like that ability.
3) If there was one thing about the heroine’s life that you’d like to have in your own life, what would it be? What about the one thing about his/her life that you’d NEVER want to have?
The heroine of SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS HEIRESS, Augusta Meredith, is (as you’d guess from the book’s title) an heiress who doesn’t fit into Regency high society. Raised by loving but poor parents who made a fortune in lotions and cosmetics, she feels caught between the world of her birth and the world her parents hoped she’d one day join.
She has the luxury of never worrying about money, which I admit I’d really love for my own life. But Augusta is also an orphan and an only child, so she feels very alone sometimes. I’d never want that for myself. I come from a very large extended family and a close-knit immediate family, and I feel grateful for that.
4) What scene or bit of dialogue in the book are you most proud of and why?
That would have to be the scene in which Joss and Augusta eat dinner together in the common room of an inn. Before that scene, they’re wary friends; after it, there’s no denying the spark between them. I won’t give too many spoilers, but I’ll tell you that it’s Chapter 14, and it includes important character confessions that I think make it the emotional turning point of the book. Those scenes are among the most difficult to write, but they usually wind up being my favorites in the end.
5) If your book were to be turned into a movie, who would your dream cast be?
I’m not very visual, so I don’t usually think of casting for a story. But in the case of SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS HEIRESS, the characters change their appearance or the way they hope to come across to others. For a non-visual person, this is a descriptive nightmare! So I went hunting for a few images to help guide me. The heroine, Augusta, is a curvaceous redhead with a shrewd mind, and I think the actress Christina Hendricks has been a great model for that in her role on Mad Men. Since Joss is biracial, with a South Asian grandparent, I looked for inspiration in actors of Indian descent. Besides being hero-handsome, Sendhil Ramamurthy has a mischievous look that seemed very “Joss” to me. Readers, once you read the story, I’d like to know who you would cast!
About the author:
Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. Please visit her on the web at TheresaRomain.com.
5 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, Jan 9, 2015.
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