Hello! Thank you so much for visiting Written Butterfly with me today!
Q) How did you dream up the dynamics of your characters?
This is something that I agonise over, actually! I write historical romances, set in the Victorian era, which covers the majority of the nineteenth century. I strive for historical accuracy, but I am aware that women of that period were not encouraged to be independent and use their intelligence. I don’t know about my readers, but I’m not keen to read about women being limited in that way. Too many real women in 2015 suffer from those same strictures for me to be comfortable creating fictional heroines who placidly accept it. I need a heroine to be someone I can respect, and I respect women who try to use whatever abilities they have in order to achieve something in life.
Of course, this is tricky when you’re writing spanking romances! They’re all about power exchange, which I insist on being consensual. So, my heroine has to be independent and take-charge, but completely willing to be dominated by a hero who is alpha-male enough to be in control, but self-aware enough to know that submission is sweeter when it is given, not taken.
You may understand why I spend a lot of time banging my head against my desk…
In Spanking The Heiress, my third novel, my heroine Jennifer is in a bad position as her father has died, leaving her homeless. The Earl of Beaumont, the man who has inherited her home, needs to sell it in order to provide enough money to shore up a failing estate. He is uncomfortable with the idea of throwing her out of her home, but he can’t help but notice how attractive she is. They have an instant attraction, but his position of power over her is strange for both of them.
Q) Is this book part of a series? If so, can you tell us about it?
It’s the third in a loose series – the heroes of the three books know each other socially and pop up here and there, but each book can be read as a standalone novel. Of course, I encourage everyone to read all three – Spanking The Governess, Spanking Miss Sophia and Spanking The Heiress!
Q) Can you give a fun or interesting fact about your book?
It is set in Cornwall, a county of England that my ancestors lived in before moving to Wales during the Industrial Revolution. They had worked in the tin mines until they closed, and then they switched to coal mining and working on the railways. The Cornish language is very close to Welsh, and in researching certain phrases I discovered just how much Cornish I could understand!
Q) What gave you the inspiration for your book?
Oh, every book I’ve ever read that included secret passages and buried treasure? When I was younger and watched the Indiana Jones films, I never wanted to be his girlfriend, no matter how pretty she was. I wanted to be Indy! I very much doubt I’ll ever find a secret passage in real life, but I can live vicariously through my characters…
Q) Do you have any habits that get you in the writing frame of mind?
Not so much, although I have discovered that I have to have warm feet. Nothing takes me out of the writing mood faster than cold feet!
Q) Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
I plan extensively – A3 paper sheets taped together with sprawling notes over them, post-it notes attached, pictures printed from the internet – and then they develop from that organically. They are mostly fleshed out before I start though. I can’t imagine writing without a detailed plan.
Q) How much real life do you put into or influences your books?
Very little, as my books are all historicals. I’m no Society lady, sadly! I do a lot of research though, to try and make them as realistic as I can.
Q) What are your upcoming projects?
I have two novels in a new series, The Ruttingdon Club. The first, The Duke’s Proposition, is due out in December and the second, Annabelle’s Awakening, will be available in January, both by Blushing Book Publications.
The Ruttingdon Club is a secret, exclusive gentleman’s club known only to the select few who enjoy giving pain as they receive their pleasure. The novels will revolve around certain key members and their ladies who are introduced to the dark delights inside the doors of the Ruttingdon Club…
These are a lot spicier than my first three novels and have made my internet browsing history something very special to behold!
Anthony Carstairs, Earl of Beaumont, has seven sisters and very little money to provide for their dowries, dresses, and dreams of good society marriages. An unexpected inheritance from a distant relative is an absolute godsend for the cash-strapped earl. The estate he will inherit, however, is located in far-off Cornwall. There is a rather rundown manor house, as well as an uninhabitable castle overlooking the sea, along with some good farmland, so the earl’s first thought is to sell the place for much needed funds.
For Jennifer Polperran, current occupant of the house and lands in question, the earl’s inheritance means that she has lost her home. Her adopted father had little else to leave her, so she must either marry a much-loathed neighbor, Sir Alec Salcombe, or live in extremely reduced circumstances.
But for all her life, Jennifer’s father had told her of an ancient legend, of a fortune in gold and jewels stolen by two star-crossed lovers and hidden away somewhere on the estate just before their tragic and untimely deaths. Many had sought the treasure over the centuries, but Jennifer might just have found the key to its location, if only she could get the new owner’s consent, and perhaps even cooperation in finding it.
Convincing the Earl of Beaumont to give her leave to stay and search proves less difficult than she imagined. But their way is fraught with disappointment and peril, not the least of which is caused by the ruthless and rapacious Sir Alec. But romance quickly blossoms between the earl and the penniless Jennifer, and together they persevere in the hunt that is their best hope for a bright, golden future together.
Head on over to visit Louise for a free chapter of her books! louisetaylorromance.wordpress.com
“I don’t want you to go,” she said, emotion cracking her words.
“Oh, dear girl, I don’t want to go either,” he said, looking tearful himself. “But the good Lord has a plan, and it seems that he wants me to go to Him sooner rather than later.”
“It’s not fair,” Jennifer said, wiping at her eyes with the sleeve of her day dress.
“One thing that life teaches you, my dear, is that nobody can expect it to be fair,” her father said dryly. “Our worth as men and women comes from how we deal with that unfairness, both for ourselves and others. Remember that, Jennifer. Kindness and charity are our greatest gifts, both to others and to ourselves.”
“How could I possibly forget that?” Jennifer said. “Your kindness to me, by taking me in when I was a baby, spared me from a life that I dread to think about.”
“Oh, but you gave your mother and me a much greater gift, my dear,” the old man said, smiling. “We loved each other very much, but had resigned ourselves to a life without children. You let us understand the joys of being a parent, and that is a priceless treasure.”
They were silent for a minute, remembering Jennifer’s mother, a happy, loving woman who had died six years previously when Jennifer was just eighteen.
“There are things we must talk about, my dear, while I am still in possession of my senses,” her father said gently. “There is a box on the table there, by the window. Bring it to me.”
Jennifer put the heavy chest on the bed, within easy reach of her father. He could not
open it alone, so she pushed back the lid. Fumbling around inside it, he brought out a sheaf of papers and an old book, the binding peeling off and the papers crumbling.
“This is a copy of my will,” he told her, putting the document in her hand. “I had Sanderson come up from Penzance to make it. He has a copy, too. It outlines what you can expect from me after I die, which is, I am ashamed to say, not very much.”
Jennifer began to protest, but her father held up his hand for silence.
“I cannot leave you this house, the land, or the castle, as they are entailed in the male line. When I die, they all go to my closest male relative, much good may they do him.”
Jennifer couldn’t help a small smile. The manor house they lived in was dear to her heart, but it was old and hard to maintain. There were leaks in the roof and dry rot in the timbers, the rooms had high ceilings and were difficult to heat. It sat on acres of scrubby moorland, suitable for neither grazing nor growing. The castle that her father’s family had once lived in was a few miles away, perched precariously on a cliff. When she was growing up, every few months her father had taken her to visit the ruin to see how much of it had fallen into the sea. Two of the towers still stood firm, and some rooms had a roof, but much of the castle was too dangerous to spend much time in. Anything of value had been stripped from the place and sold years ago.
“Who will inherit the land, Papa?” she asked. “I’ve never heard you talk about any relatives.”
“It’s a very distant connection,” he father replied. “We Polperrans aren’t a very hardy lot. Somewhere back along the family tree, a young lady married up, as they say, into the nobility. The Earl of Beaumont is a cousin, several times removed, and it is he who will inherit. Do not ask me about him; all I know is his name.
“All is not lost, though. I can leave you the contents of the house,” her father went on.“ And the castle, though there’s precious little there. I checked with Sanderson about that, and there’s nothing in the entail that forbids it. You’re also to be granted anything below the land, from here to the castle.”
He looked at her expectantly.
“The treasure,” Jennifer sighed. “Father, you’ve never been able to find any proof that it exists, outside of myth and legend.”
“Lack of proof is not the same thing as lack of existence,” her father said sharply. “You can’t prove something doesn’t exist just because you can’t see it.”
© 2015 Blushing Books® and Louise Taylor
I'm Louise Taylor, and I love writing historical romance novels! At present only my first two novels have been published, but there are more waiting in the wings! All my novels will be published by the lovely people at Blushing Books.
All my books have elements of power exchange, spanking and BDSM but none of my heroines are weak-willed or easily dominated - they make their men work for their love!
I live on the beautiful Welsh coast, and I love walking the cliff tops and visiting some of our wonderful historical ruins. I get my best ideas when I'm in the great outdoors and you can usually find me chasing after the piece of paper I've just scribbled my notes on!
I live in a late Victorian house with wonderfully high ceilings and no central heating - thank goodness for my fabulous fireplace! I'm owned by Alfred The Great, an enormous tom cat with very decided ideas about who gets to sit on the right side of the sofa and how long I am allowed to stay in bed in the morning!
I’m Louise Taylor on Facebook, @LTaylorRomance on Twitter and I blog at louisetaylorromance.wordpress.com Come and say hello – I love to have a chat!
Also by the author
The Victorian Vices Series
Spanking The Governess
Spanking Miss Sophia
Spanking The Heiress
The Ruttingdon Club Series
The Duke’s Proposition (coming December 20th 2015)
Annabelle’s Awakening (coming January 17th 2016)