Tuesday, 14 February 2012

My First Time by Lorraine Heath + Giveaway

Button made by the very talented Susi! Thank you!!

I am very happy and honoured to welcome today to Ex Libris one of my favourite historical romance authors, the wonderful Lorraine Heath! She needs no introduction, all historical romance fans know her name and her beloved series, but to those who haven't yet given HR a chance and love brooding tortured heroes and heart-warming love stories I urge you to pick up her books. (one of my favourites are her London's Greatest Lovers trilogy, but the1st book in her new series The Lost Lords of Pembrook was just released and I cannot wait to finally savour it!) So please give the warmest welcome to Lorraine!

My First Time
by Lorraine Heath

Stella: First, congratulations on another year. What a wonderful month in which to celebrate. Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of the celebration.

I don’t remember my first valentine as much as I remember my first valentine box. We were supposed to decorate it so it would be worthy enough to receive valentines from our admirers. Or in the case of first graders, valentines from everyone in the classroom. I remember how hard I worked to change an ordinary shoebox into a thing of beauty. How—when I was finished—it didn’t look quite as dazzling as I’d envisioned it would.

Many writers, in the beginning, feel the same way about our rough draft. We have this wonderful story idea, but as we begin writing it... well, it quite simply isn’t exactly as we envisioned it. At that point, disappointed with the result, many give up. But the truth is that the first time we do anything, it usually falls short of expectation. And the first time that we write each new story, we’re going to find that it isn’t exactly as we envisioned it would be. That’s the reason what we’re writing is referred to as the rough draft.

The beautiful thing about the rough draft, unlike my shoebox, is that it can be easily changed. The key is to get it written. To gather all our thoughts, characters, events, conflicts into one place so they have substance. Then we have a foundation for beginning the revision process: take off some of the gaudy bows, sprinkle a little glitter. Change words, delete scenes that don’t move the story forward, add scenes that do. Tighten our narration; make our dialogue accomplish more.

For me, the rough draft is always a struggle. Probably because I write by the seat of my pants. I have an idea of where the story is going but I don’t outline so very often I’m surprised as I go along.

With my latest release, SHE TEMPTS THE DUKE, I began with a story idea for the entire series, the Lost Lords of Pembrook.

I’ve always been intrigued by the story of the princes in the tower. For those not familiar with the story, Richard III had his brother’s sons, heirs to the throne, declared illegitimate by an act of Parliament so he could be crowned king. The boys were last seen in the Tower of London. Because they disappeared, it was always assumed they were murdered. Almost 200 years later when the tower was having some renovations, one of the workers discovered a wooden box beneath a set of stairs. Inside were the bones of children, believed to be the remains of the princes. Were they murdered? Did they fall ill? What happened to them?

That became the premise for the Lost Lords of Pembrook. When their father—the Duke of Keswick—dies, they disappear. What happened to them? Rumors abound that they ran off, were eaten by wolves, died of disease. Twelve years later three men—roughened by war, the sea, and the streets—return to London to reclaim their heritage.

Without much more thought than that, I began writing the oldest brother’s story. I knew Sebastian’s love was destined to be a girl from his youth. I knew that he would return from war scarred. I knew he would be obsessed with regaining what he’d lost to the exclusion of everything else. I knew his obsession would be both his strength and his weakness. But then the foundation for his obsession was laid in his youth:

Tonight was the night they would die.

At fourteen, Sebastian Easton, the eighth Duke of Keswick, wished he could be brave about it, could face death with the stoicism and courage his father would have expected and demanded of him, but he was so scared, his mouth so dry, he couldn’t even work up enough spittle to fling as an insult at whoever came for him.

When I finish a draft, then I get to go back to rework the story, to layer in the depth and add texture. Right now, I’m just finishing off the revisions for LORD OF TEMPTATION, the second brother’s story, which will be released in October. If I were to compare it with a Valentine box, I would have to confess that I’m quite pleased with it.

What’s your favorite Valentine memory?

Lorraine Heath has always had a soft spot for emotional love stories. No doubt because growing up, watching movies with her mom, she was taught that the best movies "won't half make you cry."

She is the daughter of a British beauty (her mom won second place in a beauty contest sponsored by Max Factor® during which she received a kiss from Caesar Romero--Joker on the original Batman TV series) and a Texan who was stationed at Bovingdon while serving in the air force. Lorraine was born in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, but soon after moved to Texas. Her "dual" nationality has given her a love for all things British and Texan, and she enjoys weaving both heritages through her stories.

When she received her BA degree in psychology from the University of Texas, she had no idea she had gained a foundation that would help her to create believable characters—characters that are often described as “real people.” Her novels have appeared on bestseller lists, including USA Today, Waldenbooks, and most recently, the New York Times.

She also writes for teens under the name Rachel Hawthorne and Jade Parker.

You can reach Lorraine at her website: http://www.lorraineheath.com/

Book #1 in the Lost Lords of Pembrook series

Three young heirs, imprisoned by an unscrupulous uncle, escaped—to the sea, to the streets, to faraway battle—awaiting the day when they would return to reclaim their birthright.

Sebastian Easton always vowed he would avenge his stolen youth and title. Now back in London, the rightful Duke of Keswick—returning from battle a wounded, hardened, changed man—cannot forget the brave girl who once rescued him and his brothers from certain death.

Lady Mary Wynne-Jones paid dearly for helping the imprisoned young Lords of Pembrook, and she remembers well the promise she made to Sebastian all those years ago: to meet him once more in the abbey ruins where they shared a bold, forbidden kiss. While Mary is betrothed now to another, a friendship forged with dark secrets cannot be ignored. Unexpected passion soon burns dangerously between them, tempting Sebastian to abandon his quest for retribution to fight for a love that could once again set him free.

Buy at Amazon - Book Depository - Kindle

Passions of a Wicked Earl (Avon)


Lorraine has generously offered a signed paperback copy of She Tempts the Duke to two lucky commentators!

To be entered all you have to do is:

1. fill out the main form so I have your contact info (just once, if you have already filled it out for a previous giveaway that's enough)

2. leave a comment and answer Lorraine's question: What’s your favorite Valentine memory? (it doesn't necessarily have to be a romantic one: two of my favourite V-days weren't spent with a date: one year we had a movie night with my sisters: we baked some delicious chocolate-pear pie and drank some frothy cocktails yum! :-)

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 15 March 2012.

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