Monday, July 30, 2012

History was written on the back of the horse.

By Danielle Lisle

As Wednesday, August the 1st, is the horses celebrated birthday here in Australia, I thought I’d honour them by discussing their input into history.

"History was written on the back of the horse," an inscription at The Horse Park in Kentucky, USA.   How very true.
The Nobleman, groom and steed.
Our four-legged friend, the horse, has played a substantial role in the world of historical romance. From the simple but strong carriage horse in the Regency novel, to the adaptable mountain pony in the Scottish Highlands, or the stunning steed which the duke rode upon as he whisked his future duchess off her feet, the horse has always been by our hero’s side.
These days horses do not appear in modern day novels as much as they once did, simply because ownership of horses has turned from an essential form of transport, to an ownership of pleasure.
Like today, horses were not a ‘cheap’ commodity to own or maintain. Horses ranged in price, depending on their use. Where they part of a matching team for a stately carriage, a well breed hack for a gentlemen or lady, or perhaps a horse with superior speed offering the gentlemen a potential taste of victory on the track. I read somewhere (of which I can’t recall, much to my frustration) that William Cavendish, the 6th Duke of Devonshire, paid a thousand pounds (about $100,000 today) for a race horse which had to be shot two weeks later as it broke it leg in its first race. Bummer...

In the Regency, one could not own a carriage or keep the horses to draw it if you didn’t earn at least 1,100 pounds a year. This equates to about $110,000 in today’s markets. Don’t forget it is not simply just the initial cost of buying the steed that will set you back, which could range from one to several hundred pounds for a midrange animal, but you had to maintain the horses and keep grooms and drivers. A horse kept in stable in London cost a lot more to feed than a horse at a country estate. It wasn’t like the London horses had access to pasture to graze and therefore cost more to feed in grain.
A post-chaise carriage
Instead, most people hired horses and drivers when they travelled or used the services of a hackney coach (taxi) while in London. While still rather expensive, they did not tie one down to the ongoing costs of the animals keep or their handler’s wages. An example of costs for a longer journey, hiring two horses and a post-chaise carriage and a postilion (rider/driver) at the cost of 1/- per mile (1.6kms). The distance from Longbourn to Rosings we know was about 50 miles (about 80kms), so the cost of travelling there would be 50/-, 2 pounds ten, or in today’s equivalent about $250. This was the most cost effective way for people to travel.
**Please forgive me if I’ve offered a seemingly large section on how much it all cost, it just blows my mind! Allrighty, different track – jockeys ready?
Tattersall's 1865
What do you think of when you hear, “Tattersall’s”? I think of my mother and her weekly trip to the newsagency to buy her lotto ticket.
Well, back in the Regency, Tattersall’s was a horse sale yards in London, established in 1766 by Richard Tattersall, horse master to the Duke of Kingston. These sale yards become a popular place to buy and sell horseflesh, carriages and even hounds, with sale days being twice a week in winter and one a week in summer. It housed stabling for over a hundred horses with plenty of room to inspect carriages or the yapping hounds in their kennels (think of the noise!).
While there was always the opportunity to visit the sale yards, most of the gentry took an avid interest in breeding their own horseflesh, some actually became well known for it.
Horses were also fashion statements. Who had the best horse or the most stunning steed?
"I say, did you see the stallion Lord Percy rode upon in Lester Square yestereve? The beast was simply the most stunning horse I have ever laid eyes upon!"
In 1711, Queen Anne established regular race meetings at her park at Ascot (heard of it anyone?) while several gentlemen also arranged private ‘match races’ between themselves, the stakes often quite high.

But we woman cannot be forgotten. Flat and steeple racing was also held for women. Mrs. Bateman wrote in 1723, "Last week, Mrs. Aslibie arranged a flat race for women, and nine of that sex, mounted astride and dressed in short pants, jackets and jockey caps participated. They were striking to see, and there was a great crowd to watch them. The race was a very lively one; but I hold it indecent entertainment." Some women--such as the infamous Letty Lade, who reportedly swore like a coachman, rode and drove to please themselves, and made their own fashion statement by bucking the trends for demure ladies. (I think I would have liked these woman...)
But horse racing was a increasingly expensive sport (yes, at the costs again). Prince Regent’s stud farm for his horses was rumoured to have an annual cost of 30,000 pounds a year for its upkeep. That’s 3 million a year today! Sheesh!
How many of you out there dreamed of owning your own horse, riding it off into the sunset and feeling the wind fly through your hair?
My boy, Rain Ridge
I was one of the few lucky kids out there, owning my own horse since the age of seven. To this day I still own the Thoroughbred I brought (after working and saving for a year as a checkout chick at Woolworths) when I was fifteen. Rain, or Rain Ridge as was his racing/show name, carried me through the years of Pony Club and Eventing. We even tried PoloX once, but after my teammate hit me in the head with a bat, I determined the sport was not for me. Today he lives the cosy life in retirement, with the occasion weekend trail ride through the bush or on an excursion to the beach. It’s not a bad life for a horse in his late twenties, though once a horse ‘retired’ in the days gone past, their fate was not always guaranteed to be a relaxing one.
Once a horse became old, no longer able to keep up with the other horses in the team or simply because it became injured, the quickest answer was a bullet. This was not always the case and sometimes if the horse was deemed favourably by its owner or horse master, it would be sent out to a farm to work for its remaining days. But sadly, a true retirement, of lazy days roaming a lush paddock, wasn’t a rarity. Good to see some things have changed.
Happy Birthday Horses! Have a carrot on me.
In my debut novel, THE ROSE’S BLOOM (that coincidently hits the shelves today) my hero and heroine relied a great deal on their trusty steeds, whether it be to take them on a hunt, journey or simply a pleasure ride. My hero was actually out on a hunt when he noticed a young woman by the riverbank, her unexperienced fingers seeming to get her nowhere. He was a gentleman after all, and who is he to allow this poor damsel to go unaided? *giggle*
THE ROSE'S BLOOM is the first instalment in my ROGUES OF DECEPTION series with Total-E-Bound Publishing.

Comment below to go in the running for a change to win your very own copy! Just remember to leave your email address so I can contact you if you’re the lucky winner!

Danielle can be contacted on her Facebook and Twitter accounts or alternatively comment below.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Historical Hearts Good News

Christina Phillips has sold her next two
Roman / Druid books
to Ellora's Cave.

Christina has also sold a Regency Vampire novella
and her Highland Warrior series
to Ellora's Cave.

Release Date to be advised.

When Druid priestess Nimue is injured and enslaved by the hated Roman Legion, she’s determined to escape and complete her mission for the Briton king.

But the tough Roman warrior who saved her life is far from the brutal barbarian she fears. His touch inflames and passion burns and against everything she believes in her heart surrenders to her enemy.

Roman warrior Tacitus is enchanted by the fiery beauty who shows no fear and challenges him at every turn. He’s determined to make her his, whatever it takes.But when he discovers the depth of her betrayal his loyalties are torn between his heritage and a woman who could destroy everything he’s ever believed in.

Release Date to be advised.

Driven by the knowledge he failed to protect his king and embittered at losing the woman he loves, Druid warrior Gawain despises the lust he feels for the beautiful Roman patrician, Antonia. But despite the danger of discovery he embarks on an illicit liaison with her, determined to uncover the reason for the infinite sorrow that haunts her eyes.

Newly arrived in Britannia from Rome, Antonia is inexplicably drawn to the cold, tough Celt who ignites a passion she long thought died at the hands of her brutal former husband. She knows her growing feelings for him can lead nowhere. But when a shadow from her past threatens her future Antonia is torn between the Empire of her birth and betraying Gawain, the man she’s grown to love.

Release Date to be advised.

Lured by blood, driven by lust, Alexius is fascinated by the dark haired seductress who shows no fear and refuses to obey his every command. Entranced by such novelty he denies his rabid bloodlust. Instead he’ll keep her to warm his bed until he tires of her ready tongue and tempting body.

Immortal vampire hunter Morana has never mistaken her prey before. But the dark stranger mesmerizes her, enticing her to forget everything but the dangerous pleasure she finds in his arms, until reality intrudes and she flees his addictive embrace.

When Alexius unexpectedly find her again he’s determined to exact retribution for the way she vanished three years ago. Abduction, bondage and decadent seduction feature in his plans, but before the sun rises dynamics have shifted and he’s the one fighting the silken bonds of captivity.

But as they fall under each other’s erotic spell the past and present collide and unless they discover the truth behind the lies, Death will triumph once more.

The Highland Warrior Chronicles
Release Date to be advised.

When tough Scot warrior Connor Mackenzie rides into the barbaric lands of the Picts on a mission for his king, he never expects to be captivated by a beautiful Pictish widow. Drawn under her spell, yet unaware of her true identity, he risks everything for one passionate night in her arms.

Aila, princess of Pictland, swore long ago she would do anything within her power to help defeat the Vikings who invaded her beloved land, and murdered her husband while she was still a bride. But within days of meeting Connor her frozen heart thaws and once again she imagines a future filled with love and passion.

But when Aila’s father returns to his kingdom, and Connor delivers the message from his king, Aila becomes a pawn in a deadly game of politics and betrayal. Her heart belongs to Connor, but she must pledge her loyalty to another. To save her people from the Viking onslaught she must marry the prince of Dal Riada – Connor’s half-brother.

Christina Phillips was also mentioned in a article
promoting romance writing in The West Australian newspaper
on Saturday with some other romance authors.
Christina was quoted as Christina Ashcroft
if you're interested in a little light reading.

Bronwyn Stuart has been offered a second contract
with Carina Press
for her Regency romance

Bronwyn also received a fantastic 3.5 star review for her
first Regency romance release
with Carina Press

Review: Night Owl Reviews:

Scandal's Mistress is the first book that I had read from author Bronwyn Stuart. I was very impressed with this short story. What it lacked in length it more than made up for with the powerful emotions exhibited by the two main characters. I found myself hating to say goodbye to Justin & Carmalina.

Justin Trentham has been trying for years to force his uncaring family into dis-owning him. Then he comes up with his grandest scheme yet. He will take Italian opera singer Carmalina Belluccini as his mistress. But people sometimes aren't what they seem. What starts out as a simple business arrangement soon has these two vulnerable souls contemplating a more permanent arrangement. A surprise twist at the end will shed some light on the family dynamics that will explain Justin's drastic actions.

I really enjoyed this book. It left me craving more of the lead characters story. The author displayed a true talent for making the reader "feel" for her characters. I highly recommend this story for all fans of the historical romance genre. I’m looking forward to more books from this promising author.

Maggi Andersen received a fantastic review
for her novel
"This is an adventure not to be missed!"

Maggi has also signed a contract
with Black Opal Books
for her romantic suspense novel
set in the Australian outback and Ireland

Maggi's novel
A Georgian romance
is FREE at the moment on Amazon UK and US
Purchase link US here
Purchase link UK here

Alison Stuart has sold her time travel novella
(title may change)
to Lyrical Press

Alison also placed first at RWA12
Romance Through the Ages Contest
run by the Hearts Through History Chapter of RWAm
for her novel LORD SOMERTON'S HEIR
Here is a little piccy of Alison receiving her award!

Danielle Lisle has sold the last book in her
Rogues of Deception series
to Total EBound

Danielle also has a new cover for her
Scandals of Nobility series - book 1

The one man she desires is the one man she can never marry, for if he knew the truth about her scandalous past, he would despise her.

During a time when women are required to be appealing, well mannered, but never opinionated, Lady Nellie struggles to find her place. She believes in speaking her mind, not caring if her words offend others, or how unladylike she seems. Yet one man, whom she primarily despises, finds her sharp tongue intriguing rather than uncivil.

Lord Sterling is heir to a dukedom and it is time he is married, yet all the girls of the season are dull and lifeless, to his mind. Well, all apart from Lady Nellie. Her flowered words are laced with insults—insults that, rather than offending him, set his mind into a flutter, wondering if the passion in her voice will be as strong in the bedroom.

Joanna Lloyd has sold her FIRST novel
to Crimson Romance

In 1819, a woman’s word is worthless against a man’s. Unjustly accused of fraud by her uncle, Viscount Gascombe, Electra Shipley finds herself on a transport ship bound for the penal colony of New South Wales. When free settler, William Radcliffe, exercises his right to a convict wife, she accepts a marriage of convenience to escape incarceration and clear her name.

As a powerful attraction draws them together, the travails of the wild penal colony and its native inhabitants test their courage, their integrity and their ability to trust each other. And how can she stay when his ex-fiancee arrives in the colony with his bastard child?

But Electra has her own dark secret. Her uncle’s furtive fumblings when she was a child have led her to fear intimacy with a man, causing her to violently repel William’s advances. When Electra is kidnapped, the past is obliterated as they both fight for their love and their future.

What a FANTASTIC round up this month.
Congratulations everyone!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Arianrhod, Celtic Goddess of the Moon

I’ve always loved myths and legends and ancient gods and goddesses. One of the aspects that I love about my Roman/Druid books set during the 1st century in Britain is the mysticism that surrounds the Druid peoples. This was a time when gods and goddesses were integral to every day life—but the thing that really captures my imagination is the goddess culture.

In the third book in my Forbidden series, Betrayed, I already knew that the heroine, Nimue, worshipped Arianrhod, Goddess of the Moon and Weaver of Fates. I only knew a little about this goddess but wanted to thread her legend into Nimue’s story. She is mentioned in the Mabinogion, a cycle of Welsh legends collected in the nineteenth century and—surprise surprise—she is publicly disgraced in the royal court for failing to pass a virginity test.

By her own brother, Gwydion.

Here, in a nutshell, is the legend. Arianrhod’s uncle, the magician King Math, was required to keep his feet in the lap of a maiden whenever he wasn’t at war, in order to retain his sovereignty and power. When Arianrhod and Gwydion’s younger brother fell in love with her Gwydion, God of Illusion, manufactured a war which entailed Math leaving his domain.

The younger brother immediately took advantage and raped the maiden.

Upon Math’s return, and learning that his maiden could no longer perform her duty, he took her hand in marriage and proceeded to punish his two nephews. His punishments were completely bizarre and involved turning them into a mated pair of deer for a year, then a mated pair of wild hogs and finally a pair of mated wolves. At the end of each year the brothers produced one offspring (I’m not going there :-) )

So, finally, the punishment ended, but Math still required a maiden as his footholder. Gwydion suggested his sister, Arianrhod, who was brought to court and had to step over a magical wand to prove her virginity. As she did so she gave birth to twin boys, one who slipped into the sea and swam away and the other was taken by Gwydion who raised him as his own.

And so Arianrhod was humiliated and shamed before the whole court, forsaken by her brother Gwydion and later thwarted by her son. She retreated to her castle and later drowned.

Right. I wasn’t too impressed by that ending that appears to punish a woman for not conforming to a certain patriarchal worldview, so I dug deeper.

And when you read between the lines, it gets interesting.

Arianrhod’s name means “starry wheel” and her palace, or castle, was the Aurora Borealis. She is one of the Triple Goddesses, a Moon Goddess associated with reincarnation and is connected to the womb, death, rebirth and creation. She is a weaver of the fates and could shapeshift into an owl—symbolic of wisdom.

In short, Arianrhod was a powerful goddess in her own right and would have been a strong, independent woman and a primal figure of feminine power.

Too powerful, perhaps?

I was intrigued and knew I’d found the hook I’d been looking for. Nimue, my heroine in Betrayed, is an acolyte of Arianrhod. She’s strong, independent and doesn’t need a man to protect her. But when she’s captured by Tacitus, a Roman Tribune, her world is turned upside down and she and Arianrhod’s fates become inextricably entwined.

The blurbs to my four books set during the first century AD can be read here

Forbidden - Out Now
Captive     - Out Now
Betrayed   - Coming Soon from Ellora’s Cave
Tainted     - Coming Soon from Ellora’s Cave

The Mabinogion, translated by Lady Charlotte Guest. Welsh legends collected in the Red Book of Hergest, a manuscript which is in the library of Oxford University.
Arianrhod’s legend is in the Fourth Branch, Math, the Son of Mathonwy

Image of the moon from Shutterstock

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Potted History of the Laws of Marriage

In my last Historical Hearts post I wrote about the Lawsof Succession. Continuing on the "property" theme,  this post is a short guide to the laws of marriage in England.

The laws of marriage went beyond being merely a civil contract,they significantly altered the status of an individual (the woman) in respect of her actions, obligations and property.  Because it was also considered a "holy estate", canon law as well as civil law had to be taken into account. Until the nineteenth century, questions of "Marriage" were the almost exclusive jurisdiction of the Church.

commixtio sexuum
Marriage required not only the solemnisation provided by the church but also the "physical union of man and woman in carnal copulation" (and because I love latin legal maxims, here's the maxim for the day "commixtio sexuum"). Because there could be copulation without marriage, it was decided that an intention to marry (a mental element) had to be present and according to Canon Law (and at least until 1753) a promise to marry someone could be held as an indissoluble union, a contract of marriage between two people by consent alone without any form of ecclesiastical ceremony, provided the consent was given in words of the present tense...”I am marrying you...” as opposed to “...I will marry you...”. These irregular marriages were generally legitimised by the parties being compelled to solemnise their marriage publicly at the door of the church. In the event of a dispute with a later marriage, this irregular marriage would be upheld. This archaic concept of marriage lingered through to the 1970s in the form of an action for “breach of promise of marriage”.

For a marriage to be “regular”, publicity of the intention to marry came into formal existence by 1200 when Archbishop Walter required banns to be published on three separate occasions. The calling of banns allowed the congregation to declare any impediment to the marriage such as consanguinity or pre contract.

In these early days, the marriage took place at the door of the church. The priest would call on the couple to declare any impediment. The parties would then speak the words of betrothal and present matrimony and the husband would then place a ring of the wife’s finger (the wearing of wedding ring by a man is a modern concept) and deliver to her the tokens representing dower (see my last blog). The ceremony would conclude with a nuptial mass inside the church.

In 1753 Lord Hardwicke’s Act abolished secret marriages. The publication of banns, the purchase of a licence, the presence of two witnesses and the recording of the marriage in a public register were made compulsory. Interestingly Jews and Quakers were exempt from this Act and there was no special provision for Roman Catholics and non conformists. This was not remedied until 1836 when the civil marriage ceremony was introduced and Non conformist places of worship could be registered under that statute. 

Husband and wife were seen in the eyes of both canon and common law as one person (here comes another legal maxim:  erunt animae duae in carne una).  This one person was, of course, the husband. Modern women may cringe at this quote from Blackelocke "...the very being or legal existence of a woman is suspended during marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband...". Of course the origin of this is scriptual, reflecting the Canon Law influence on marriage.

A wife could not own property or enter into contracts.  Only acting as an agent for her husband could she make valid contracts. Married women were only given the same contractual rights as men as late as 1935.

Neither could she sue or be sued and nor could she take any legal action against her husband because they were seen to be “one person”.  In the case of injury to the wife, a husband could sue for loss he suffered through the loss of the wife’s services or society (consortium). He could sue in trespass against a man who committed adultery with his wife. If the wife absconded with her lover, an action for “enticement” could be brought against the lover, alleging the defendant had maliciously schemed to deprive him of his wife’s consortium by enticing her away. This action was not abolished until 1970! No corresponding rights existed for the wife.
Hogarth:  The Marriage Settlement

On marriage any property which the woman owned as a single woman became the husbands and could be disposed of by him without recourse.  You may recall from my last post, if the husband predeceased the wife she could claim one third of his estate if he died intestate (without a will). If he died testate (with a will) she was only entitled to whatever legacies he saw fit to leave her. Interestingly although a wife’s real property brought by her into the marriage, vested in her husband during the marriage, if she predeceased him he was only entitled to a tenancy by the curtesy. A husband could dispose of her property but on his death the wife would be entitled to claim it back. However if she wanted to alienate the land during her husband’s life time, she would have to have his assent. Any grants of property to the wife during the marriage, vested the property in the husband.

By the eighteenth century an equitable doctrine of "separate use" had begun to be used. In equity, a husband and wife could be seen as separate people and property settled on the wife during marriage could be held on trust for the wife's separate use. Judges noted with concern that this could lead to the wife being coerced into disposing of her equitable estate to her husband and a far thinking judge solved the problem by inserting "the restraint on anticipation" condition into a settlement which prevented the wife from alienating or charging the property during her marriage. This protected the property for the wife until widowhood. It also prevented her from disposing of it legitimately in any other form!

While this equitable doctrine applied nicely to the landed classes, it did nothing for the poorer classes. By the middle nineteenth century, after intensive lobbying, the equitable doctrine of separate use was extended to wages and earnings of working women. This provided some modest protection for those women who worked to keep their families together only to have their husbands take their humble earnings. A further reform in 1882 extended this to property of a married woman, whether acquired before or after a marriage.

My next Historical Hearts Blog on August 13 will be a Potted History of Divorce.

Reference:  An Introduction to English Legal History: J.H. Baker

Monday, July 9, 2012


In 2008 I was lucky enough to win the Romance Writers of New Zealand Second Chance Contest and one of the prizes to choose from was the Saturday and Sunday conference. My clever husband said I couldn't pass up such an amazing opportunity. I'm so glad I didn't.

On the awards night, after I'd collected my prize and returned to my seat, a gorgeous lady came to my table, congratulated me on my win, before stating she'd read my entry and loved it. She then introduced herself as SOPHIA JAMES. I managed to keep from tumbling out of my chair...but only just:)

Please join me in welcoming the lovely and talented SOPHIA JAMES to Historical Hearts ~

Hi Sophia, it's wonderful to have you here.

Thanks for asking me, Alli.

You have a new book coming out on the 24th of July, titled, 'The Lady With The Devil's Scar'. Can you please tell us a little about the era, the setting and what the story is about?

The story is set in Scotland in the 1360’s when the old patriarchal laws of land ownership were changing. My heroine, Isobel Dalceann, is caught in the middle of these changes and trying to save her castle from being taken over by the King’s men. She is a damaged warrior woman, a woman who can look after herself and her people.

The hero, Marcus de Courtenay, is one of David’s mercenary soldiers who has come to reclaim the Dalceann Keep. He is a leader of the armies of Philip of France and is as ruthless as he is solitary.

Oh My Goodness! It sounds like a fabulous story with strong characters and loads of conflict. I can't wait to read it. Here's the gorgeous cover and back blurb ~

Many writers have a trigger, an opening line, dialogue, an image, a circumstance, a discovery made while doing research, something that sets their mind on the next story they write. Was there a particular trigger that inspired you to write The Lady With The Devil's Scar?

The story begins in a storm off the wild coast of Fife Ness. I imagined my heroine swimming out to a shipwreck and finding my hero drowning. Marc wore a red gilded surcoat and the image of him in this through the water was one I could not let go of.

What a powerful image and a wonderful trigger.

What is the tone of this book?

I always write in two periods; Regency and Medieval Scotland. My Medieval books are always darker and harsher. I loved the raw challenge of this book, two people caught in the changing tide of history and trying to survive in the best way that they could. Medieval knights never apologise. The nearest they get to that is a small hint of shame. It’s such a relief to write characters who are allowed to do almost anything. Isobel defies every rule of her time, and dressed in boy’s clothes with a vivid scar across her cheek she marches across her world with barely a backward glance.

Isobel sounds like a fascinating heroine.

Have some of your books been easier to write than others?

This book was one of the easier books I have written. It just seemed to flow from the characters and I loved the fact that it did. One Unashamed Night, my R*BY winner from 2011 had the same sort of ease.

How do you feel when you've finished writing a book?

Relieved. Worried that I have not quite done the story justice. Desperate to start a new book. A myriad of emotions really. I always write ‘The End Copyright Sophia James’ and that is such a good feeling of accomplishment. I then say I will open a bottle of good champagne or buy a new dress but actually I never do.

Well, I definitely think you should:)

Can you start on the next story straight away or do you need to take a break in between stories?

I usually take a break for a while and think about the next book. A big part of my writing lies in this thinking time and it can be sometimes quite a number of weeks before I feel like I can start. I am not a very fast writer, but once I know the characters I can generally begin and move quite quickly. When I write I only ever do one good draft so I never go ahead with pages until I am completely satisfied about what comes before.

Is there something in particular you strive to achieve when writing a book?

A knowledge of the characters motivations. A shared feeling of hope that even in adversity good things can shine through. I like honesty in a book. I also like intelligent heroes and heroines. 

If you could give a single piece of advice from all you've learned on your writing journey so far, what would it be?

Can I give two pieces?

You can give as many as you'd like:)

Never underestimate your reader’s intelligence and always thread in layers of questions across the first five chapters. This will help the story blossom out into a book and keep your reader with you as you move on to explain the secrets.

Thanks for this priceless advice.

Is there anyone in particular you draw inspiration from?

Joanna Bourne, Diana Gabaldon, Judith Mc Naught, Julie Garwood. These are the authors whom I have read and reread. How do they make their books so marvellous? I wish I knew.

I think your books are marvellous, too:)

Now for a few fun questions ~

Your favourite season? Spring.

Favourite flower? Violets.

Favourite time of day/night? Evening.

Favourite food? Cherries.

Favourite way to relax? Walking.

Sophia, thank you so much for sharing part of you and your writing life with us here at Historical Hearts.

If anyone would like to know more about Sophia's fabulous books please visit her website here ~

Sophia has kindly offered to giveaway 2 copies of her up-coming release, 'The Lady With The Devil's Scar' to 2 lucky people who leave a comment.
All you need to do is tell me the names of the hero and the heroine of her new book 'Lady With The Devil’s Scar.’

Good Luck!