I am delighted to welcome Author Arabella Sheen to my page. Arabella writes Regency Romances and today I review her book - WESTBURY and we have an interview with her to learn more about her and her work.
WESTBURY - BOOK BLURB
Can Miss Georgina Morton surrender her independence and accept the Duke’s love?
Miss Georgina Morton, at the age of four-and-twenty, with a modest annual income of four hundred pounds, believes she has no need of a husband and can manage quite nicely without one. Yet within a matter of weeks, she’s betrothed to Giles Glentworth, the Sixth Duke of Westbury, and bound for Regency London. Set in rural Wiltshire and elegant, fast-paced London...a runaway ward, a shooting at midnight, and a visit to fashionable Almack’s, are only a few of the adventures Georgina enjoys while falling for the Corinthian charms of the Duke.
Just as the picture that heads this blog takes you to the Regency Period so does Arabella transport you into the lives of her Regency Characters - a wonderful portrait of good manners and olde-worlde English Language. Then add a spine tingling romance, but only after plenty of delicious - 'will they, won't they' - conflict that will keep you entertained for hours.
It has all the ingredients a reader of this genre expects - eloquence, wealthy folk, balls, beautiful clothes, intrigue, and all woven around Georgina Morton a country girl of good family, and the Sixth Duke of Westbury, Giles Glentworth. Two people that I fell in love with as they are richly drawn in a way that makes you feel you know them.
Here is a snippet that gives you the flavour of the language and the dress of the day:
'Peering closely, she noticed his clothes were not those of an impoverished vagabond. He was well dressed and beneath his open great-coat with its many capes and high lapels, he wore buckskin breeches and a tight-fitting jacket to show off his excellent figure.'
'Georgina was no expert in gentleman's fashion, but she did know an excellently tied cravat when she saw one'
'I loved this book ' No hesitation in awarding it five stars. There are links at the bottom of the page to buy this and all of Arabella's books.
Mary: PLEASE CAN YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF BY TELLING US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR LIFE:
Arabella: Hello Mary, and thank you for inviting me to come and meet your band of staunch followers and fabulous readers.
So…you would like to know a little about what makes me tick on a day-to-day basis; then let me first introduce myself…
My name is Arabella Sheen. By day I’m a team member, working as a chef in a busy international hotel, and by night, I’m an author of contemporary and Regency romance novels. I live with my family in the South West of England in an astonishingly beautiful city that’s called Bristol.
Bristol is a vibrant place offering lots of social activities throughout the year for both the young and the old. I love joining in with The Bristol Harbour Festival and The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta – although to date, I’ve not actually plucked up the nerve to book a balloon ride across the city.
To relax, I pull on my boots and escape from the house, and unwind on the allotment. It’s amazing what a few hours digging and weeding can achieve. Better than the psychiatrist’s couch and a lot cheaper too. For those of you who have never heard of allotments; they are plots of land which can be rented from your local authority. You’re permitted to grow your own vegetables and fruits, and it an activity that keeps me busy all year round. This year we had a bumper crop of strawberries but sadly the plum tree lost its blossom before the fruits could form – so no plum jam.
I love Fleetwood Mac, George Michael, Rachmaninov, Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington and Judge Judy…ohh, and a Marmite and Houmous (hummus) sandwich.
Mary: WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE UNDER?
Arabella: I’m not as skilled as you are with your family saga writing aptitude, Mary – I’m still a learner, but I would like to think I pen a good beach read. Something that’s light and easy to read, and yet at the same time, gives a few hours of pure romantic pleasure to the reader.
My billionaire books fall into the Sensual Contemporary bracket of romance and I’ve recently published a Sweet Historical Regency and a Sensual Historical Regency romance.
It was a difficult decision to make, but I decided not to create a different pen name for each of the two genres. I couldn’t face having two websites, two Twitter accounts, and two Facebook pages etc.
Mary, I don’t know how you manage to divide your time between publishers and pseudonyms. I’m full of admiration. It would be too confusing for me.
Mary: WHICH OF YOUR BOOKS IS YOUR FAVOURITE AND WHY?
Arabella: Although I have a soft spot for my debut novel – Blinded by Desire, as I’ve developed my writing abilities, I can now distance myself from the novel and see lots of things that I would like to rewrite, change, or embellish upon if given a second chance.
But the book that pulls on the heartstrings (and often caused a tear or two to fall during the writing of it), is Temporary Bride.
Amy Denver, (the heroine), has to make heart-breaking choices She doesn’t know if she can let go of the past and face an unknown future with Max Jordan (the hero).
Max is one of America’s most powerful, leading corporate lawyers. He is also the major stockholder and head of the billion-dollar corporation - Jordan Diamond Empire.
He must marry soon to keep the business safe and the company secure from a takeover. Returning to England in search of the only woman he knows and trusts to help him in his moment of need, he tracks Amy down and asks her to marry him.
Amy wants nothing to do with Max…and she certainly wants nothing to do with his marriage proposal. Five painful years have passed since Max disappeared from her life and a lot has happened to her in between. Amy also has a secret she’d rather he didn’t discover…her secret is Jake…their son. Once again Amy finds herself surrendering to Max and his demands as he whisks her and Jake off to Waterfront, his private, secluded home in the Hamptons.
In this romance, it’s Amy’s personal struggle with giving and letting go of the things that are most precious to her that has me reaching for the tissues.
Mary: WHICH CHARACTERS FROM ANY OF YOUR BOOKS WOULD YOU INVITE TO A DINNER PARTY AND WHY? AND WHAT MODERN-DAY FOOD WOULD YOU SERVE THEM?
Arabella: On the guest list would be: Frank (from Temporary Bride – he supported Amy in her hour of need), Stephan (from Castell’s Passion – he aided and abetted Kate when she was in trouble), and Lord Charles Hartley (from Westbury – he was a good all-rounder. A guy any woman could rely on).
They are the right-hand men to my heroes, and to be honest, the reason I’d invite them is that I quite fancy them.
As a dairy-free Vegan menu is becoming all the rage in top restaurants, my guests would be offered…
(I’d use some fresh ginger instead of the coriander and serve with croutons)
(I’d use courgettes (zucchini) instead of the butternut squash)
And a selection of seasonal vegetables.
This to be served with dairy free ice-cream, a dusting of icing sugar, and raspberries and a mint sprig to garnish,
A cheeseboard with a selection of deliciously ripe west-country cheeses.
Drinks served would be a wine of their choice (red or white), followed by coffee and a good Brandy!
Mary: HAVE YOU A FAVOURITE AUTHOR WHO HAS INFLUENCED YOUR OWN STYLE OF WRITING?
Arabella: If you were to take a look at my bookshelves the answer would be there to see.
I’m an avid reader and fan of the late Georgette Heyer. She wrote with a superb sense of wit and style.
Mary: HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU PUBLISHED TO DATE, AND WILL YOU LIST THEM FOR US AND WHERE WE CAN BUY THEM, PLEASE?
Arabella: To date, I have five books have been published and hopefully many more are to follow.
Westbury – Ballrooms, Cotillions and Almack’s (Regency sweet romance)
A Bride for Lord Redfield (Regency romp)
Castell’s Passion (sensual romance)
Temporary Bride (sensual romance)
Blinded by Desire (sensual romance)
Arabella Sheen’s Website: http://www.arabellasheen.co.uk/
and most reputable retailers
Mary: AND FINALLY, WHAT IS IN THE PIPE-LINE? NEW BOOKS? EVENTS?
Arabella: I never like to say I’m going to do this or that. It’s a sure way to put a jinx on a project. In the pipeline is another sensual and another sweet historical Regency romance, but that could all change. I could be starting work on another billionaire contemporary…
It’s been lovely chatting with you, Mary. Thank you so much for having me as a guest on your blog and for giving me a chance to talk about my books. And I hope you and your readers will give the Vegan recipes a try and let me know if they were a success.
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