Arabella Sheraton grew up on a diet of Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and many other writers of that period. From Jane Austen to Georgette Heyer, Arabella has found both enjoyment and inspiration in sparkling, witty Regency novels. She also loves history and generally finds the past more fascinating than the future. Arabella wrote her first Regency romance to entertain her aged mom who loved the genre. Arabella is honoured to share the adventures of her heroes and heroines with readers.
In this charming traditional Regency romance novella, Patience Cherwell is resigned to a life of spinsterhood. Therefore, when her young friend, the lovely Lorna Hartley, comes to stay for a London season, she decides the eligible, handsome Lord Blackwood is the perfect match for Lorna. Granted, Lord Blackwood, at forty, is much older than the vivacious 20-year-old Lorna, but Patience is determined to help her young friend make a good match. So why isn’t she happy when his lordship and Lorna seem to like each other’s company? The problem is that Patience is already madly in love with his lordship!
An unexpected invitation arrives for Lorna and Patience to attend Lord Blackwood’s Valentine Ball. This is the perfect moment for him to propose to Lorna. Mysteriously, a corsage arrives from an anonymous admirer. Who is it for? And what will be the outcome for the wearer at Lord Blackwood’s Valentine Ball?
This novella is the prequel to The Lady’s Revenge.
Q&A With the Author:
1. Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?
Reading of course is top of the list! I enjoy living in the countryside rather than the city and I am fortunate so I can take long walks with my dogs. I love movies, especially BBC historical movies or book to movie adaptations. Art, music, theater, anything cultural appeals to me, and of course travel is important.
2. When did you first realize you were an author?
I have always scribbled a bit, writing comical poetry, and I wrote editorial articles for magazines for years, but when my mother asked me to write her a Regency romance, that was when I started to take the idea seriously.
3. Have you done anything writing-related, but besides actually writing your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
I worked for many years in magazine publishing, so I had my fair share of nonfiction writing. Now I also teach novel writing which is very rewarding. I am very proud when a student completes the course and has a finished manuscript in their hand.
4. What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?
The only thing I struggle with is finding the time to do my own writing. I am also an editor for a book review company and that as my day job and tutoring aspiring writers takes up time. I find making lists of time slots when I can squeeze in my own work really helps.
5. What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)
My books are historical romances, set in the Regency era, when a man courted a woman with serious intentions, and because of the social restrictions, and the impossibility of jumping into bed on the first date, the couple had to take the time to get to know each other as people. They also had to become friends first. So I do think the message is cultivating what people might think of as ‘old fashioned’ values, but actually these values are timeless and good. If a couple starts off becoming friends, finding the glue that will keep them together, they will still be together when the initial glow wears off and they settle down to the reality of making a life together. Proper courtship and romance are important.
6. Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life?
Again, I think that romance and real-life situations abound no matter what era one writes in. I might read about something in the news and that sparks an idea for a story.
7. What are your future projects?
I am busy with a (wait for it) completely different kind of Regency romance. This is a murder mystery/time travel romance called To Murder a Marquis. It is absolutely fascinating; still Regency but such fun! Here’s a teaser: When Jane Carstairs goes to Chelston Hall to complete the archival project her father had been commissioned to do, things turn very weird from the moment she gets there. Jane wakes up in the woods at Chelston Hall, only it's no longer 2015 ... it's 1815, and she's faced with the discovery of a possibly dead man, who is the spitting image of her current employer - the Marquis of Chelston - and the growing feeling that something is very wrong. Jane has somehow slipped back in time, but why? Is she the one destined to save the marquis so that the line can continue? And how can she stop falling in love with a man who is from another era? Can she go back to her own century? Does she want to, ultimately?