Today my guest is Shereen Vedam, author of A Beastly Scandal, a sweet Regency romance. Shereen is giving away a free ebook of A Beastly Scandal to one lucky commenter.
Welcome to Susana’s Parlour, Shereen!
What inspired you to write this story, Shereen?
In coming up with a concept for my first Regency novel, I decided to do one based on a fairy tale. One of my favorite fairytales is Beauty and the Beast so it was easy to dream up an isolated mansion, a brooding alienated hero and a good-hearted heroine, from which evolved A Beastly Scandal.
How long did it take you to write?
I was terrified I would fail to do this wonderful genre justice. It took me a year to write the book, and several months after that to edit. Then, although it was picked as a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart® contest, the book wasn’t published. By the time fairytales became popular enough for this story to catch a publisher’s interest, I had finished six other Regencies and able to apply all that I had learned into this book’s final edits. It also helped to have a great editor to work with. Thanks to her guidance, I learned so much about adding tension at the end of scenes, being clearer about a character’s thoughts and feelings and adding specificity to my descriptions.
What is your favorite thing about writing?
I used to love writing the first draft. Now I love the editing process even more. Editing gives me the opportunity to add in layers and polish. A bit like dressing up for a ball. It’s not enough to simply put on a pretty gown. We need to choose the right jewelry, apply makeup skillfully and dress our hair in a pleasing style, never mind choosing the perfect pair of shoes to match the gown. All these extra touches are what allow us to wear that pretty gown with confidence. It’s the same when it comes to getting a novel ready for the public eye. The world building has to be right, then we need to strip away excess words and ensure the historical detail is correct. I believe editing is what helps to ensure a book become an enjoyable experience for a reader.
What is your least favorite thing about writing?
The need to hold down a full-time job in order to pay for the privilege of being able to write in my spare time.
Tell us something about A Beastly Scandal that is NOT in the blurb?
A game this couple plays is one of my favorite parts of the book. Showed me that sometimes when you win, you’re actually losing, and when you think you’re losing, you might actually be winning.
Are you working on something at present that you would like to tell us about?
My next three fairytale-inspired Regency romances to be released by ImaJinn Books starts of a new series called The Rue Alliance:
- A Devilish Slumber (inspired by Sleeping Beauty)
- A Scorching Dilemma (inspired by Cinderella)
- A Perfect Curse (inspired by Snow White).
I find that Regencies often incorporate elements of fairytales. For instance, I’ve always thought that Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has a certain flavor of Beauty and the Beast. Can you think of any others?
About A Beastly Scandal
A BELLE OF THE BALL…
Lady Annabelle Marchant was a belle of the ball in London until she used her psychical senses to save a man’s life. She failed miserably, leaving him dead and her disgraced. All she wants now is a chance to comfort his widow by cleansing the woman’s home of her husband’s restless spirit. But the widow’s son, the beastly Lord of the Manor, accuses her of coming to the wilds of Cheshire to snag him as a husband. Thoroughly disgusted, she is bent on proving him wrong.
…BECOMES PERSONA NON-GRATA…
Lord Rufus Marlesbury, the Earl of Terrance, is suspected of murdering his father. He has come home to clear his name by finding the real killer before the new year or the king has promised that Rufus will be called in front of the House of Lords to answer for the crime. He does not have time to waste fending off a marriage-minded miss who has inveigled an invitation to his home by playing on his grief-stricken mother’s worst fears.
…WHEN A MURDERER IS ON THE RAMPAGE
With an unruly manor ghost terrorizing the occupants and corpses piling up in the village, Belle must find a way to see the man beneath the beast and Rufus must learn to believe in the love of a woman who has no reason to trust him. Only by working together can they stop a vengeful ghost before it torments the guests or before the killer strikes again.
Lord Terrance may have forbidden her from coming to his manor house, but she was determined to clear his country home of its resident ghost.
“That is a desolate looking house, is it not?” Winfield said. “I would have it torn down and rebuilt in a more flattering style, but Terrance seems fond of this monstrosity. So what brings you so far north, my lady?”
She faced the gentleman. “I have come for a visit with Lady Terrance. She is my grandfather’s friend.”
“I had heard the countess still wore dark colors.”
Before she could respond, a loud crack sounded. She sensed danger stab from above. With a shouted warning, she pulled Mr. Winfield out of harm’s way just as an icicle crashed and shattered where they had stood. She protected her face as splinters flew in all directions.
Mendal screamed. The owl fluttered its one good wing and screeched. The dog barked ferociously.
Mr. MacBride spoke first, his voice quivering and eyes wide with terror. “It is an omen, ah tell ye.”
“He is right,” Mendal said, sounding unusually timorous as she crossed herself. “We should leave. Bad luck comes from going where we are not wanted.”
The front doors opened then, and a footman descended. Immediately, the dog raced up the stairs and inside.
“Dog!” Belle called out in alarm. The animal might wreck the place. This was not how she had hoped to introduce herself to the countess.
An older woman, dressed in black, moved to the open doorway. Belle recognized her from a drawing her grandfather had shown her. This was Lady Terrance. She gave off waves of fear as she looked toward the roofline.
Belle’s worries drowned beneath the lady’s emotional assault, leaving her head pounding with a headache. Through that onslaught, Belle’s purpose became crystal clear. This is why she had come here. Lady Terrance needed her.
About the Author
Shereen Vedam was born on a tiny paradise island called Ceylon, later renamed Sri Lanka. Since then she arrived in Canada and moved across the provinces until she landed in British Columbia where she found a new paradise all her own, filled with people and pets and plants (including an awesome giant Weeping Sequoia) that nurture her love of reading, writing and dreaming.