Thanks for joining me today on Night Owl Romance.
To get us started can you please start by telling us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?
Lessons in French is a funny, feel-good book. Lady Callista ought to be quite a catch--she's the daughter of an earl and wealthy to boot--but she's been left standing at the altar by three different men. She's long ago resigned herself to spinsterhood, and her greatest desire is to win the silver cup at the agricultural fair with her prize bull, Hubert.
That's until her old flame Trevelyan d'Augustin waltzes back into her quiet life. The son of French ?migr?s, he was run out of town by Callie's father years ago for stealing a bit more than a kiss from her. Callie and Trev share a past, full of secret adventures and harebrained antics that no one else knows about, not even Trev's very shrewd mother. On his return, Callie is instantly drawn willy-nilly into scandal and deception--the sort of deception that involves trying to hide a huge bull under the bedsheets. She goes from having no suitors to having more than she wanted. And in the midst of these escapades, she finds herself falling in love again with the worst possible man for her.
If you love those stories where the shy, plain girl gets the hot dashing guy in the end, this will be your kind of book!
Who or what influenced you when you wrote this book? Did you have a CD, Songs, environment, etc?
I wrote Lessons in French as a tribute to Georgette Heyer. I love her funny, romantic stories and characters
Can you please give us a sneak peek into the book? **********
"Married at Blackburn, Henry Osbaldeson, aged 95, to Rachel Pemberton, spinster, aged 71." Trev read by candlelight from an ancient copy of La Belle Assembl?e. "Do you suppose she's given him an heir yet?"
"And twins by this time," his mother said faintly. She sat propped up on pillows, cradling a tisane without drinking from the cup. "I'm sure that journal may have ten years."
Trev flipped to the front page. "Eight." He raised his wineglass. "To the health of Mrs. O! Let us hope she's still spending his money to this day."
She smiled and plucked at the coverlet with her long fingers. "Myself, mon tr?sor-I hope you will not delay so long as Mr. O to take a wife."
Trev realized he had wandered onto dangerous ground. "I vow I won't wait a day past eighty."
She gave a sigh. It turned to a cough, and he reached for her medicine glass, but she shook her head. "No, I don't wish to. sleep." The color was very high in her cheeks, so that she looked younger, almost a girl in the candlelight. "Trevelyan," she said. "Tell me, have you ever considered to. propose to Lady Callista Taillefaire?"
"Certainly. I've offered myself to her several times," he said casually. "But alas!"
"Alas?" His mother tilted her chin. "Do not tell me she refused you."
"Not everyone appreciates my virtues as you do."
She pursed her lips. "I dare say that Lady Callie.I believe she.has some appreciation."
"Do you? I'm flattered. Her father was of another opinion, however."
She frowned a little, a pretty sulk, like a thwarted child.
He turned a page. "Mr. Thomas Haynes, of Oundle, will soon publish a treatise on the improved culture of the strawberry, raspberry, and gooseberry," he announced.
She put on a smile, only half attending. Trev feigned a concentrated attention to the journal, watching her fold the edge of the coverlet over and over with her fingers.
"It was before, then?" She looked up searchingly at him. "You asked her before you went away?"
He turned the magazine in his hands and rolled it into a cylinder. "Don't let us speak of this, Maman. Lady Callista has no desire to wed me, I assure you."
"But with Monceaux, the circumstances have so much. changed."
"Exactly. She would not wish to move to France, and leave her sister, and go away from all she knows."
"I think she might be willing."
"Maman-" he said.
"She can't wish to be a. spinster all her days."
"Please," he said, tapping the rolled journal against his fist. "Please."
She drew a deep, unhappy breath. "You love her."
"Damn," he said, staring into the dark corner of the room.
Lessons in French ?2010
What kind of research did you do for this book? Did you enjoy the research process?
I love to research. For Lessons in French, I did an internet search looking for old books about cattle and cattle breeds. I ended up with actual pamphlets with the list of classes and entries from agricultural fairs and exhibitions in the 1820's. One of the prizes was for the farm laborer who supported the largest number of children without recourse to the parish. That struck me as amusing and became part of a line in the book.
What would you like to tell your readers?
I'm best known for writing dark books with a lot of angst. This book is light and funny, but readers should expect a story and characters that are just as romantic and "angsty" in their own way. I hope Lessons in French leaves readers with a smile and warm feeling, but I also hope it twists their hearts a bit (in a good way!)
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
I've never belonged to a formal critique group, but it's important for a writer to get feedback from people they trust and respect. My husband and some particular writer friends always read my work. I find their input invaluable.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
The best way to contact me is through my newly re-designed website at www.laurakinsale.com. I wanted a place not only for readers to find information about my books, but to for me to connect with my own world of writing. The clouds and the porthole through the wall are a symbol to me of creating a world with my words.
What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
Best Advice-- "Stay out of court." From my grandmother.
Worst advice--"Don't ever wear patent leather shoes, because men can see the reflection of your panties in them." From my very Victorian great-aunt.
Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
I've always loved to read good fantasy and SF. I'd like to write it with a strong romantic spin. No specific plans at this time, however.
Thank you for this opportunity!