Friday, 25 May 2012

Guest post: UK vs US? by Sophie Barnes + Giveaway

Today I am happy to welcome to Ex Libris Sophie Barnes, whose historical romance novels published by Avon Books have the most unique and fun titles (and their covers are just as memorable)! Sophie is celebrating the release of her latest novel, Lady Alexandra’s Excellent Adventure the 1st book in her new Summersby Tale series. Please give Sophie a warm welcome and share your thoughts, you could win a copy of her book.

Toward or towards – American versus British English
by Sophie Barnes

Having attended mostly British schools, I find that I’m quite fond of adding S’ at the end of my words. For example, I have always written towards instead of toward, forwards instead of forward, maths instead of math and so on. To be honest, it didn’t even occur to me to write it any other way, so I couldn’t help but smile when I received my editors first set of corrections to How Miss Rutherford Got Her Groove Back, only to find that all of my S’ had been guillotined =)

Now that I’ve been living in the US for a few years, the British and American words tend to get all muddled together inside my head. I generally have to concentrate in order to separate them from each other. For instance, when one of my friends proof read Lady Alexandra’s Excellent Adventure before I submitted it, she pointed out that since the plot was taking place in the UK and my characters were British, I should probably write autumn instead of fall. Of course I knew this, but I’d somehow missed it anyway, and though that particular scene was eventually cut for other reasons, it did make me more aware of the words I was using. Later, as I was working on There’s Something About Lady Mary (the second book in the Summersby series), I remember pausing on the word sidewalk, deleting it again and writing pavement instead.

Since my books are set in the Regency period, my characters are generally British and I’m writing for an American publishing house, the British and the American languages do have a tendency to merge. The spelling should be American, but the words that are used – especially in dialogue – should be British. As a writer, I consider this another part of the learning experience, but to be perfectly honest, I still have a very hard time writing color instead of colour – it just looks wrong =)

For more examples, I’ve added the following link:

I’d like to thank Ex Libris for hosting me today. I’ll be popping in throughout the day to chat with you and to answer any questions that you might have. So feel free to leave a comment or two – tell us about any unusual words that you’ve come across over the years.

To find out more about me, Lady Alexandra’s Excellent Adventure, or my upcoming releases, please visit my website at:

You can also follow me on Twitter or on Facebook.

A Summersby Tale – Book 1 – Coming May 22nd 2012

It’s going to be a wild ride...

Lady Alexandra Summersby is not your average society miss. Not only is she more likely to climb a tree than she is to wear a dress, but she has also sworn off marriage. Alex loves taking chances, which is how she finds herself embroiled in a secret mission as she races across the country with the Earl of Trenton. But Alexandra is about to discover that the real danger lies not in duels, but in her completely unexpected reaction to Lord Trenton’s company.

Michael Ashford, Earl of Trenton, is a man of duty. Honorable, charming, and a hit with the ladies, he’s never had trouble staying focused—until now. Lady Alexandra is like no other woman he’s ever met, and suddenly the prospect of marriage seems far more appealing. Now, to convince Alexandra that a life together could be an adventure like no other...

Buy at Amazon - Kindle store - B&N


Avon Books has generously offered an eARC of Lady Alexandra’s Excellent Adventure by Sophie Barnes to a lucky commenter!

All you have to do is leave a comment for Sophie or tell us about any strange or memorable word you have come across, or a word you are surprised the way it is spelled.

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 31 May 2012!

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