Monday, September 29, 2014

Author Interview & Giveaway with Em Taylor


Happy Monday! We're kicking the week off with the romance author Em Taylor. She has stopped by BIR for a chat and is sharing an excerpt from her latest release, A Desperate Wager. Grab a cuppa something good and a comfy chair and join us. While you're here, don't forget to enter her giveaway at the bottom of the post!

Let's get started!



Talina: Welcome, Ms. Taylor! It’s great to have you on Bookin’ It Reviews today! Thank you so much for taking the time to be here. Before we get started talking about your fabulous new historical romance release, A Desperate Wager, let’s talk a bit about you. For those of us just meeting you, can you share a little bit about how you became a romance writer?

Em: Hi Talina. I loved reading and writing at school but school put me off writing completely. So it was not until I got into watching Star Trek Voyager and started reading fan fiction that the thought occurred to me. I started writing fan fiction for friends and published it online. But I was fed up of just using other people’s characters after a year. So during Nanowrimo 2011 I wrote an erotic sci fi romance. I then wrote a short story for publication in an anthology. It was accepted and published under a different name. I wrote a few novellas under that name and a couple more short stories. Reading Regency romances by authors like Mary Balogh made me want to try my hand at it, so I did.

Talina: Every reader likes to know this one when they pick up a new book, what inspired you in writing A Desperate Wager— Nathaniel and Lady Sarah Steele?

Em: I had a plan to write a contemporary book about an injured soldier returning from Iraq and I decided to try to place the general idea in the Regency period. It just wasn’t working with an injured hero. So I cheated and swapped them. That’s where I’m lucky in my books that I can swap the hard stuff. I guess people don’t have that luxury in real life. That said, I’m always fascinated by the human spirit and its ability to work through problems such as disabilities.  

Talina: Now that we’ve had a little behind the scenes peek, what’s a typical writing day like for you? Anything that helps create the mojo behind the books? ;)

Em: I don’t really have a typical day, to be honest.  I’m one of these disorganized creative types who no one really understands how I get anything done, ever – including me.

Talina: All-time favorite romantic movie? How about one that might have sparked a story idea? 

Em: Probably Victor/Victoria, which some people may argue is not a romance movie but I love the growing relationship between King and Victoria. She’s strong and doing anything she needs to do to get by and he has to give up some of his ideas about being macho. It’s all about give and take.

I can’t think of any movies that have inspired a story but the TV programme the Palace inspired one that has not been written yet.

Talina: Which leads me to my next question, what’s your definition of a hero and heroine in fiction?

Em: I think anyone can be a hero or heroine if you give them enough likeable qualities. When I started writing romance I was told my hero had to be flawless but I could give any flaws to my heroines. That’s not true. We ladies don’t like weak, pathetic women. So a heroine has to at least have inner strength and the hero must be honourable, even if it doesn’t show at first.

Talina: Is there a certain flaw you like to give your characters that make them more appealing to readers?

Em: I like to give them some kind of flaw as it makes them seem more believable but I don’t have a favourite one.

Talina: Do you have a favorite hero “type” you like to write about? If so, why?

Em: I prefer beta heroes personally and regularly have to edit my books to beef up the hero a bit and make him more alpha.

Talina: In A Desperate Wager we meet Nathaniel Spencer and Lady Sarah Steele. Can you give us a little insight into each character?

Em: Nathaniel is a Duke and so was raised with certain expectations. He is confident, self-assured and extremely lonely, I think. Sarah on the other hand is lonely because of circumstances but her character is bright and bubbly and when she is given the opportunity, I expect her to be the life and soul of a party.

Talina: Is Nathaniel and Lady Sarah’s story a stand alone?

Em: Yes, though you will see Lord James Eversley from Restoring Lady Anna and Saved by a Rake in A Desperate Wager. The eagle-eyed reader may recognize Sarah as the Duchess who speaks to Anna at the ball at the end of Restoring Lady Anna.

Talina: What’s next for Em Taylor? Any special news or upcoming events you’d like to fill readers in on?

Em: I’m writing a Christmas Regency Novella which I hope to release around US Thanksgiving. Then I want to write Lachlan which is a story I’ve been desperate to write for a long time. It’s a bit different to my regency fare as it is about a space-faring vampire.
Fast Fun Fact Time!

Talina: Favorite treat?

Em: Rocky road

Talina: Favorite Song?

Em: The Cutter by Runrig

Talina: Favorite book?
Em: Oh I have to plead the 5th on that question, lol

Talina: Thank you so much for taking a moment to have a sit down with us today, Em. Congratulations on your latest release, A Desperate Wager!


A Desperate Wager
By Em Taylor

GENRE – Historical Regency Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – 25 August 2014
LENGTH – 71,000 words
COVER ARTIST – Samantha Holt


BOOK BLURB 

Nathaniel Spencer, the Fourteenth Duke of Kirkbourne wakes up with an almighty hangover and a wager note in his pocket stating he has agreed to marry the Earl of Brackingham’s daughter. And he can’t even remember ever meeting the chit. Clearly his drinking has got out of hand.

Lady Sarah Steele is horrified when her father announces that the Duke of Kirkbourne has agreed to marry her and even more horrified that her father wagered her hand in a game of cards. Not only that, but the earl has not told the duke of the riding accident that left Sarah paralysed when she was sixteen.  But he’s dying and she knows he wants to see her settled before the inevitable happens.

Despite Nate’s drinking and Sarah’s possible complicity in the earl’s plan, they agree to marry. But when accidents start to happen, the newly-weds must deal not only with the fact they are practically strangers, but they must find out who is trying to kill one or both of them. Nate’s drink problem and Sarah’s disability are only a couple of the hurdles they must face to find lasting love.
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Nathaniel Spencer, fourteenth Duke of Kirkbourne groaned and rolled over in bed. A tattoo beat a steady rhythm inside his skull, his stomach was bilious and the world spun at an alarming rate.

Last night he had been in his cups—again. He knew he should take a more moderate attitude to alcohol but recently, staying sober had seemed somewhat pointless. Why stay sober if you were just going to end up dead at the side of the road—another silly young buck who had killed himself in a curricle race?

Damn Crosby! Why had he made the damned challenge? Nathaniel, or Nate as he preferred to be called, would never forget Crosby’s lifeless eyes staring up at him, or the crack of the pistol as a bystander put his horses out of their misery. And he would never forgive himself for being the man whom Crosby was racing.

Nate closed his eyes and willed his stomach to stop churning as he tried to recall the events of the night before. He had been at White’s for dinner and had moved to the card room. The brandy had been flowing, and Ormsby had suggested moving on to a less reputable gaming hell. He remembered the Earl of Brackingham tagging along for some reason that defied Nate.

He had no issue with Brackingham, but the earl was at least twenty years the senior of everyone else in their party. He had been coughing somewhat alarmingly, Nate recalled. He hoped the old man was not spreading disease around. The last thing Nate needed was to be laid up in bed—his mother fussing around him and pouring vile-tasting concoctions down his throat. There was another thing that took many young, seemingly healthy lives—fever. Curricles and fever—good reasons to get absolutely foxed if ever he needed any.

Brackingham! The name seemed to be prodding his tired and very painful brain—waiting for him to remember something significant from last night. He had a vague memory of playing vingt et un with him. There had been a ludicrous bet. Brackingham wagered his daughter’s hand and if Nate lost, he would have to marry the girl.

Nate had been on a winning streak. Bravado and alcohol made him foolish. He had a three and a queen. He sat up as the king of diamonds flashed before his eyes.
God, damn it.

The king of diamonds took him to twenty-three. His head swum and he tamped down the urge to cast up his accounts. Twenty-three. But surely a wager like that was a joke. It had to be. Brackingham did not expect him to marry his chit of a daughter, did he? Had he even set eyes on the girl before?

Again, some piece of information about the girl needled his brain. He had no recollection of dancing with her at balls. But then he hardly ever danced at balls. He had no plans to seek a leg-shackle on the marriage mart, so he steered clear and spent most of the evening in the card room.

God, he hoped she was at least old enough to have had her come out and this was not some medieval plan to marry a thirteen-year-old off to him. Eighteen was quite young enough—too young in his rather jaded opinion.

But no. He had no recollection of ever having set eyes on Lady… Lady what? He had no idea.

He fished in the pocket of his waistcoat, which he still wore, having obviously been so foxed when he had returned that he had either shooed his valet away or he had arrived so late the valet had been asleep. There was a note. A wager. He hoped he owed the man a vast fortune instead.

Marry Lady Sarah Steele. Dowry - £10,000. Meet Brackingham on 5th day of March to make arrangements.

Today must be the fifth of March. Yesterday had definitely been the fourth. Christ, he had to see if this was a big joke or, if not, was there any way he could inveigle his way out of it. He had no plans to marry. None at all. And that was that.

***



About the Author:
Em was born and brought up in the Central Belt of Scotland and still lives there. She
was told as a child she had an over active imagination--as if that is a bad thing. She's traded her dreams of owning her own island, just like George in the Famous Five to hoping to meet her own Mr Darcy one day. But her imagination remains the same.



 
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