Today I welcome the wonderful Maggi Andersen as a my latest guest on the fabulous purple couch. Today Maggi is going to share more about her latest release, The Earl and the Highwayman’s Daughter.
Hi, thank you for inviting me to your lovely blog to tell you more about my latest release The Earl and the Highwayman’s Daughter.
It’s my absolute pleasure, Maggi! What were you like at school?
A dreamy child, always reading. Good at English, hopeless at maths.
What inspired you to write?
Some people are born writers; I think I’m one of those. I’ve always had a strong urge to create stories.
Which writers inspire you?
Eloisa James, Courtney Milan, Amanda Quick and Lauren Willig.
What inspired you to write this story?
It was originally a short story written for my publisher. I liked the hero and heroine so much I decided they deserved a longer story.
How much research do you do?
I’m always deep in research. For this books it was highwaymen, etiquette and manners. I’m constantly searching for new information about Regency food and I love the houses, the décor and the fashions.
Can you give us a blurb to let us know what the story is about?
Eugenia Hawthorne, daughter of a deceitful highwayman, saves the life of the Earl of Trentham after he’s deposited at her door suffering from a bullet wound. Outsmarting her father, the earl takes Eugenia to live in his beautiful country estate, Lilac Court. But what does he really want from her? It seems there’s a mystery attached to an emerald necklace, which he wishes her to wear at a London ball. Could Eugenia be the daughter of a powerful duke, but born on the wrong side of the blanket? Her mother refused to tell her.
As Brendan, Earl of Trentham, works to bring down a hated foe, he and his sister instruct Eugenia in the ways of the ton. She is beautiful and, despite the cloud over her birth, will be desired by many men. Why doesn’t that prospect make him happy?
Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special?
My heroine, Eugenia Hawthorn, is a no-nonsense kind of woman. She’s learned to be self-efficient growing up on a farm. I like that she’s caring and brave, and she stands up for herself.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
For the hero, who doesn’t like Aiden Turner? (Poldark) 🙂
For the heroine, Australian actress, Mia Wasikowska, who played Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass with Johnny Depp.
What book are you reading at present?
The Anatomist’s Wife by Anna Lee Huber. A new author to me, I’m enjoying the first in her Victorian mystery series.
What writing project are you working on next?
I’m writing the fifth and final book in the Baxendale Sisters Series, The Scandalous Lady Mercy. *Would you like a peek at the cover?
Tell us something unique about you that they wouldn’t guess from just looking at your photograph?
My hobby is bird watching. We have many varieties of birds in the Southern Highlands of Australia. Tourist come in droves in the spring for the gardens and the bird life.
What is your favourite positive saying?
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” Dalai Lama
What is your favourite book and why?
Charlotte Brontë’s Gothic novel, Jane Eyre gripped me emotionally from the beginning with its haunting narrative. Rochester was the very first romantic book hero. He inspired my romance writing. Who can forget the first time they meet, when he almost runs her down on horseback?
What is your favourite quote?
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
What is your favourite movie and why?
Pride and Prejudice. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched different versions of it. A charming Cinderella story, where against all odds the guy gets the girl. The Regency era has endless charm, and Jane Austen’s novels are a delight.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
· Website: http://www.maggiandersenauthor.com
· Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maggiandersenauthor
· Twitter: https://twitter.com/maggiandersen
· Pinterest: https://au.pinterest.com/maggiandersen/
· Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Maggicoleman
Would you like to share an excerpt from your book?
I’d be delighted, thank you.
Eugenia wandered outside again. It was a glorious day. Lord Trentham would be still out riding somewhere over the estate. Walking along, deep in thought, she found herself at the stables, where Mr. Pollitt and the stable boy unloaded sacks of oats and beans from a dray.
He smiled and removed his cap. “Anything I can do for you, Miss Hawthorne?”
“Thank you, Mr. Pollitt. I have a rather odd request.”
Half an hour later, Eugenia emerged from the groom’s room above the stables, just as his lordship rode in.
Lord Trentham dismounted and strode over to stare up at her as she descended the stairs. “What on earth…?”
“I should like to ride, my lord.” She stepped off the bottom rung, aware that her appearance had shocked him. She was dressed in Mr. Pollitt’s breeches, rolled up at the bottom, and a large shirt, which smelled strongly of horse.
“Neal?” His lordship swiveled around to look at Mr. Pollitt
“Please don’t be angry with Mr. Pollitt. I insisted,” Eugenia said.
His lordship studied her outfit, his gaze lingering on her legs. “You cannot go about dressed like that, Eugenia. Have you actually ridden a horse?”
She huffed. “Of course. I’m a country girl. But we only had the carthorse. He didn’t take kindly to being ridden.”
A flicker of amusement entered his blue eyes. “I imagine not. Bring out a sidesaddle, Neal.”
She frowned. “Must I have one?”
He arched a brow. “Ladies don’t ride astride, Eugenia.”
“Who is going to see me here?”
“And you must ride with the groom.”
“Can’t I ride with you, my lord?”
A small smile lifted the corners of his mouth. “You are determined. My sister would be outraged.”
She grinned. “Must she learn of it? I should not like to upset her.”
He stroked his chin. “I intend for you to receive instruction before I take you riding in Rotten Row.”
“Rotten what, my lord?” she asked as she followed him along the horse boxes.
“It’s where the ton ride in Hyde Park.”
“I thought this one, milord.” Mr. Pollitt waited at a horse stall.
“I see Neal has selected a good mount for you.”
The groom led out a short, solid grey horse. “This is Grey Dreamer, Miss Hawthorne.” He went to fetch the saddle.
Dismayed, Eugenia stared at the horse. “I’m to ride a pony?” She’d been patting a tall chestnut gelding who had thrust his handsome head over the door of the box. “She looks half asleep.”
His lordship threw back his head and laughed. “Then you shall wake her. Grey Dreamer is my stallion’s companion. Neal, please assist Miss Hawthorne to mount.”
Eugenia eyed the sidesaddle. It looked impossibly foolish. “Can I not use an ordinary saddle?”
His lordship shook his head. “That is unacceptable. And I’m losing patience.”
With the groom’s help, she clambered onto the saddle and arranged her leg around the pommel. She took up the reins and reached for the crop, and then as his lordship mounted his stallion, she walked the animal out onto the cobblestones in the stable yard.
Once out in the sunshine, Grey Dreamer appeared to droop. Eugenia nudged the animal in its round belly with the heel of her half boot. The grey came alive and took off down the carriage drive with his lordship yelling instructions behind her. The horse then lurched sideways onto the lawn, heading straight for the rose garden.
“Whoa,” Eugenia cried, tugging on the reins. Her face burned with distress. What would his lordship think if she trampled his garden? With one final violent tug, she managed to steer the stubborn horse away from the roses and pull her up. Grey Dreamer bent her head, and with delicate precision, picked up a fallen rose, and munched it, a serene expression in her big brown eyes. “You are a fraud, Grey Dreamer,” Eugenia said with disgust.
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