Alicia Quigley: An Honest Deception/An Indecent Charade

All About Alicia Quigley

The first thing that readers may want to know about me, is that “I” am a pseudonym for two sisters living in central Michigan who find writing to be the thing they most enjoy doing together. We actually started writing together quite a long time ago, but since the road to publication for authors mired in a “flyover” state was long and difficult at the time, our work was never published. With the advent of e-books and indie publishing, we decided recently that the time had come to try again, and we published our first pair of books, A Duchess Enraged and A Most Unusual Situation, almost exactly a year ago. We’ve been thrilled with the good reception our books have gotten, so this guest blog post is a chance to celebrate our first year as authors, as well as discuss our newest pair of books, An Honest Deception and An Indecent Charade.

Why do I say, “pair of books”? Well, in most cases we publish two versions of each book! One version we refer to as a Traditional (close those bedroom doors!) version, and the other as an After Dark (take the bedroom doors off the hinges!) version. We decided to do this because we enjoy writers like Georgette Heyer, who barely even hinted that characters had a sex life, as well as the work of authors such as Lisa Kleypas, Jo Beverley and Madeleine Hunter, who make it very clear that they do. This made us feel that we’d like to offer something to readers of both types!

We have released three pairs of books as well as a Christmas novella, The Yuletide Countess, that was written as a Traditional only, and a full length novel, Sense and Sensuality, which is only After Dark. These books are both sequels: The Yuletide Countess to The Secret Bluestocking/A Lady of Passion and Sense and Sensuality to A Duchess Enraged/A Most Unusual Situation. In these books, the decision to do only one version was driven by the personality of the characters, their motivations and the decision to include descriptions of sexual encounters or not (Harriet, the heroine of The Yuletide Countess, would have fainted from embarrassment if we wrote her into a sex scene, poor dear!).

An Honest Deception/An Indecent Charade are also sequels to The Secret Bluestocking/A Lady of Passion. Like these two books and The Yuletide Countess, the plot is driven by the way societal constraints on women’s actions and their personalities and life situations affect their ability to control their own lives. In it, a secondary character Letitia, Lady Morgan, has been newly widowed when her wastrel husband dies in a riding accident. To reach her own HEA, she struggles to overcome the very difficult financial straits that this leaves her in, along with the efforts of her relations to push her into a distasteful second marriage. I find Letitia a very sympathetic heroine; she has a sweet personality, but is smart and fun. She’s the kind of girlfriend you’d enjoy having a coffee with and you want her to win out!

I think that acknowledging and respecting the heavy limitations on women that are a fact of history while creating a plot and characters that the modern reader will enjoy is one of the major challenges in writing a historical romance. We try to look at the legal, historical and cultural framework to find actual events, social trends, writers and other period-relevant situations that allow characters and plots that are appealing today to be realistic as well. For example, the works of Mary Wollstonecraft play a large role in the decision of the unmarried heroine of A Lady of Passion to have an affair. But widows like Caroline, the heroine of Sense and Sensuality, or Letitia in An Indecent Charade were considered at the time to be relatively free to do the same without risk of scandal. Given such a breath of freedom, I enjoy watching both women find themselves and their power (as well as some very entertaining sex).

About An Honest Deception

Will love rescue her long-suffering heart or will she be doomed to a loveless arranged marriage?

After the death of her wastrel husband, Alfred, Lady Letitia Morgan wants nothing more than to settle into the peaceful life of a widow. Her limited finances are enough to provide Letty and her two children that simple life.

However, her well-meaning cousin demands that she remarry as soon as is proper; indeed, he feels it to be her duty as a woman and to her family. To that end, he moves to arrange her marriage to the Bishop of Mainwaring, someone for whom Letty has no feelings whatsoever.

In the meantime, Phillip Masham, Marquess of Eynsford and long-time friend of Francis, Lord Exencour, has found himself very much interested in Letty. Unfortunately for him, Letty’s opinion of titled gentry was quite soured by the late Baron Morgan. Not one to give up, the creative Marquess becomes Mr. Phillip Markham, a solicitor in the Inner Temple, in hopes that Letty will get to know him for who his is, beyond his title.

The two form a friendship that may deepen into love, but will it survive the truth?

Letty Trad v2 copy

Amazon

About An Indecent Charade: Letitia’s After Dark Regency Romance

Will passion revive her long-suffering heart or will she be doomed to a loveless arranged marriage?

After the death of her wastrel husband, Alfred, Lady Letitia Morgan wants nothing more than to settle into the peaceful life of a widow. Her limited finances are enough to provide Letty and her two children that simple life.

Phillip Masham, Marquess of Eynsford and long-time friend of Francis, Lord Exencour, finds himself very much interested in Letty. Unfortunately for him, Letty’s opinion of titled gentry was quite soured by the late Baron Morgan. Not one to give up, the creative Marquess becomes Mr. Phillip Markham, a solicitor in the Inner Temple, in hopes that Letty will get to know him for who his is, beyond his title.

However, her well-meaning cousin demands that she remarry as soon as is proper; indeed, he feels it to be her duty as a woman and to her family. To that end, he moves to arrange her marriage to the Bishop of Mainwaring, someone for whom Letty has no feelings whatsoever.

Letty and Phillip embark upon an affair that may deepen into love, but will it survive the truth?

Letty AD v2 copy

Amazon

Excerpt

About the Author

I am a lifelong lover of romance novels, who fell in love with Jane Austen in grade school, and Georgette Heyer in junior high.  I made up games with playing cards using the face cards for Heyer characters, and sewed regency gowns (walking dresses, riding habits and bonnets that even Lydia Bennett wouldn’t have touched) for my Barbie.  In spite of a terrible science and engineering addiction, I remain a devotee of the romance, and enjoy turning hand to their production as well as their consumption.

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