Tag Archive | multicultural romance

Sandra Masters: The Duke’s Magnificent Bastard

Interview with Sandra Masters

Susana: Why did you decide to write Regency romance?

Sandra_2014 50 percent pictureA (3) copySandra: I was an only child whose parents both worked. Before and after school, I was alone, and the only reading materials my parents had was the book Heidi and The Encyclopedia Britannica. You can imagine that the Encyclopedia was dry reading. History intrigued me, particularly the historical period of the Regency era. At the age of thirteen, after a brief stint in a convent in New Jersey, I accepted that the life of a novice nun was not my calling. Interestingly, when I arrived there in Morristown, the convent was an old historical mansion with parquet floors and grand staircases, not mention a soaring ceiling, usually found in Regency mansions.

Visions of dukes, duchesses, viscounts, earls, danced in my head. So I kept on writing. I sometimes think that in another life, I was born during the Regency period. I’ve never created a duke I couldn’t love.

Online classes, seminars, conferencing, monthly meetings, networking, etc. over the past five years made me realize I had to study the craft. Decades later, when I decided that to see my name in print was a goal before I left the planet, I broke through the ceiling. My debut novel was Once Upon a Duke, released July 14, 2015. I’ve been on a marvelous journey ever since, with my fourth book in The Duke Series whose release date is November 4, 2016, The Duke’s Magnificent Bastard.

Susana: When do you write?

Sandra: Writing to me is not a pastime or a way to make money, it is an obsession. I write twelve to thirteen hours a day, every day, and then I read in the wee time of a morning, which doesn’t leave too much time to clean the house. The dust puppies will always be there.

Susana: What is the genre of your new story The Duke’s Magnificent Bastard?

Sandra: This novel is a multi-cultural Regency romance story of a seventeen-year-old Anglo-West Indian bastard, Thorn Wick, now acknowledged by his father, The Duke of Althorn, who was never made aware of his birth. Our hero admires the ward of his father from afar, an aristocratic flirtatious English lady, Alicia, who has designs on him until the reality of loving Thorn too much almost destroys her. Throw in our noble Duke, an evil witch doctor, a Barbados tribal chieftain intent on redemption, horse racing for the Regent, amazing “heavenly” Argamak Turkmen horses, a conspiracy to bring down the monarchy, and our plot thickens. Lust, desire, passion all conflict to epic proportions. Honor, truth, and justice test his values. Just when he starts to believe in fairy tales, another obstacle looms to thwart his plans. And then there’s love!

Susana: Where did you get the idea for this story?

Sandra: Ever since I can remember, the subject of bastardy fascinated. I read John Jakes eight-book series that spanned generations and centuries and decided I wanted to create a ‘magnificent’ bastard of my own.

Susana: How does Thorn react to the stigma?

Sandra: In 1820 Regency England, there is the stigma attached to our hero, Thorn Wick. Yanked from the West Indies, the half-breed, is transported to London, England where he is considered illegitimate. Can anyone imagine the emotions that consumed him? Except for the noble duke’s recognition and that of the family who supports him, acceptance is difficult. Thorn fights against all the odds.

Prepare to be transported from island life in Barbados to aristocratic England and then back to Barbados where stunning revelations wrack our hero’s world.

Susana: What stunning revelations?

Sandra: Without spoiling the story for readers, all I can say is that there is a native uprising against foreign plantation owners, the discovery of the truth about Thorn’s mother’s death, and a flight to save his life as he swims out to a waiting ship bound for England and a bad storm.

Susana: Thank you for allowing me to be a part of Susana’s Parlour.

Now, for the readers, I’d love to ask them what they like to see in a Regency romance!

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About The Duke’s Magnificent Bastard

After three years in England, Thorn Wick, the duke’s bastard son, perfectly flawed, still fights for acceptance in his father’s world as a renowned golden horse trainer. Just when he starts to believe in fairy tales, another obstacle looms to thwart his plans.

Alicia Montgomery, ward of the duke, is in love with Thorn. Strong willed and adventurous, she determines she can convince him to admit his feelings until the reality of loving Thorn too much almost destroyed her.

On a dangerous mission to Barbados at the request of his father, Thorn is stunned when secrets are revealed about his mother. Will Thorn extract revenge for the foul deed?

Can Alicia quell Thorn’s demons and prove to him love can pave the way to their happiness?

Can Thorn relinquish his past because he now has a present and a future? Will he accept the man he has become? Will he return to his father and Alicia and fulfill their destiny?

Coming November 4th, 2016, available for pre-order now at Amazon.

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About the Author

From a humble beginning in Newark, NJ, retired business executive Sandra Masters had a short stay at a convent in Morristown, NJ, to the board rooms of NYC to the ballrooms of the Regency period. Spicy Sensual Seduction with Swagger.

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Piper G. Huguley: A Treasure of Gold (Book 3, Migrations of the Heart)

A word from Susana

Piper Huguley and I first met in November 2012 when we were placed in a historical NANO group together by Savvy Authors. Although the four of us all wrote from different historical contexts—I was the only Regency author—we decided to continue our association and formed a Facebook group to help keep in touch. An offshoot of that is our History Lovers page.

We agreed to beta-read for one another, and Piper sent me her draft of A Champion’s Heart in December just prior to the entry deadline for the 2013 Golden Heart competition (which this story finaled in, by the way).

I was blown away.

Frankly, it’s not likely I would have picked up this book on my own. I prefer the Regency era, while I might read earlier Georgian or later Victorian, but I wouldn’t have expected to enjoy an African-American, depression-era, inspirational romance set in the South. I mean, if reading is a sort of escape from the negativity of the world, why would I choose to read a story that’s bound to be depressing?

But that’s not how Piper’s characters see things. Yes, there are some serious topics raised. But these characters learn to rise above them, depending on their faith, resilience, and determination to survive in a world that is biased against them.

And yes, there is a happy-ever-after. Piper does write romances, after all.

And you might just discover that multicultural romance can be just as satisfying and enjoyable as the ones you normally read… and that you really can identify with a heroine of another race or culture after all.

Susana’s Challenge

Multicultural romance comes in a wide variety of colors. Have you ever read one of Jeannie Lin’s Asian romances? Other highly-rated multicultural authors are: Zena Wynn, Sienna Mynx, Latrivia Nelson, Delilah Hunt, Ruthie Robinson, Mallory Monroe, Lena Matthews, and Theodora Taylor.

If you’re like me, you probably have dozens or hundreds of unread books on your Kindle and may not be in the market for another book at this point. But I’d like to challenge every reader here to set a goal to read at least one multicultural romance per month, and then come back here next December to report back.

Which books/authors did you enjoy the most?

What did you learn (about yourself, about other races/cultures, anything)?

Do you think you will continue to seek out multicultural romances in the future? Why or why not?

I’ve created a Susana’s Challenge Facebook page so that we can all interact in the next year.

Are you game? Like my Susana’s Challenge page and let’s get started!

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When you follow your heart, never count the cost.

Migrations of the Heart, Book 3

Trusting in the One who orders her steps, Nettie Bledsoe is determined not to deviate from her route to the charity kitchen. Don’t stop for anything, her sisters say. Pittsburgh isn’t like Georgia, they warn.

Yet when low moans of unholy suffering drift from an alley, she can’t help but investigate. It’s a man. The most beautiful man she’s ever seen. Despite his scandalous reputation, something within her responds to his sinfully rich voice.

Jay Evans is trying hard to stay on the straight and narrow, and doesn’t want help from any church do-gooder. But until his wound heals, he needs help caring for his young daughter, Goldie. Especially since Nettie saw fit to fire Goldie’s barely competent nanny.

Despite their mismatched backgrounds, Nettie and Jay fight a losing battle against their growing attraction. But it’s only when Nettie is kidnapped that Jay realizes that if he doesn’t get her back safe and sound, his heart will shatter into uncountable pieces.

Warning: Contains a single father with a photographic memory for numbers, and a country girl out of her element in the city. It all adds up to a heart-winning tale.

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About the Author

piper-huguley-rigginsPiper G Huguley is the author of the “Home to Milford College” series. The series traces the love stories at a small “Teachers and Preachers” college in Georgia over time, beginning with the love story of the founders. Book one in the series, The Preacher’s Promise, was a semi-finalist in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest,and a quarter-finalist in the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. The Representative’s Revolt will be published in the Spring of 2016.

Huguley is also the author of “Migrations of the Heart,” a five-book series of inspirational historical romances set in the early 20th century featuring African American characters. Book one in the series, A Virtuous Ruby won the Golden Rose contest in Historical Romance in 2013 and is a Golden Heart finalist in 2014. Book four in the series, A Champion’s Heart, was a Golden Heart finalist in 2013. A Virtuous Ruby was published by Samhain in July 2015.

Piper Huguley blogs about the history behind her novels at http://piperhuguley.com. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and son.

Other books by Piper Huguley

A Virtuous Ruby (Book 1 of Migrations of the Heart)

A Most Precious Pearl (Book 2 of Migrations of the Heart)

The Lawyer’s Luck (prequel to A Home to Milford College)

The Preacher’s Promise (Book 1 of A Home to Milford College)

The Mayor’s Mission (Book 2 of A Home to Milford College)

The Brightest Day (A Juneteenth Historical Romance Anthology)

Mariana Gabrielle: La Déesse Noire (Giveaway)

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A Hearty Welcome to Fellow Bluestocking Belle

 Mariana Gabrielle

Susana: How long have you been writing?

Mariana: I’ve been a professional writer almost twenty-five years, writing fiction since 2009.

Susana: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

MarianaGabrielle copyMariana: Write. Write some more. Keep writing.

Susana: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Mariana: I tend not to get writer’s block, because I am well-used to switching among projects and formats and genres. On the rare occasions when I do, I typically switch to marketing work for a while.

Susana: What comes first: the plot or the characters?

Mariana: Characters, with plot not far behind. The first draft is almost always the characters filling me in on the story, before I fictionalize [what they think are] their nonfiction accounts.

Susana: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Mariana: Panster. Full stop. Even in nonfiction, I almost never start with a plan, and if I do, it gets tossed out the window very early. The work evolves.

Susana: Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

Mariana: There are two heroes, three villains, and two sidekicks in this short novel. I am told I managed to pull it off.

Susana: Are you working on something at present that you would like to tell us about?

Mariana: I am working on a series of three prequel novellas connected to my first novel, Royal Regard, the first of which will appear in the Bluestocking Belles’ holiday box set. In ‘Tis Her Season, Charlotte and Alexander start their life together; in Shipmate, readers will learn how Bella ended up with her first husband; and in the unnamed third book, Bella’s brother, John, meets his wife, Rose.

Susana: What did you want to be when you grew up?

Mariana: I wanted to be a musical theatre star.

Susana: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

Mariana: I am not—in the least—a romantic (not even a little bit).

Susana: What would we find under your bed?

Mariana: Dust. (Cats, if there are other people in the house.)

Susana: Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, would you consider straying outside your genre?

Mariana: Thus far, I have only published Regency romance, but next year, I will release Blind Tribute, a mainstream historical about a Civil War newspaper reporter with divided loyalties. I am currently working in non-fiction on a marketing book, and I have already released a book-length epic poem about the Mayan underworld. As far as fiction, though, I don’t foresee straying from some form of historical.

Susana: What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?

Mariana: I’d like to release all three Royal Regard prequel novellas, and I would like Blind Tribute to be on the verge of publication by this time next year. I wouldn’t mind having a good start on Book One of my Regency family series.

Susana: When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer

Mariana: During the same week, in my third year of college (the first time around), I was offered an internship at the Denver Post, and was also approached by the Music Department chair to try for an audition at the National Musical Theater Conservatory. I decided writing was a more stable career path. Largely, I was correct.

Susana: Describe the “perfect hero.” What about the “perfect hero” for you?

Mariana: I am the perfect hero (and heroine) for me.

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About La Déesse Noire

Sired by a British peer, born of a paramour to Indian royalty, Kali Matai has been destined from birth to enthrall England’s most powerful noblemen—though she hadn’t counted on becoming their pawn. Finding herself under the control of ruthless men, who will not be moved by her legendary allure, she has no choice but to use her beauty toward their malicious and clandestine ends.

When those she holds most dear are placed in peril by backroom political dealings, she enlists some of the most formidable lords in England to thwart her enemies. But even with the help of the prominent gentlemen she has captivated, securing Kali’s freedom, her family, and the man she loves, will require her protectors stop at nothing to fulfill her desires.

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Excerpt

Mayuri had done her no favors, preparing her for the worst. Fitz had no reason to be gentle, she had been warned, no cause to concern himself with her wishes, desires, or fears. No matter how handsome, how charming, how solicitous in the drawing room, Mayuri had said, there was every possibility he would be driven entirely by his own lust, disregarding even the most basic courtesies. And no matter what he did, Kali was to pretend she had never been more excited by anything in her life.

She turned away to stare into the corner of the garish red-and-gold room, wishing it felt less like a cheap brothel, fingers tripping over the buttons of her dress, trying to speed things up to be finished that much faster.

She couldn’t help glancing at the bed, with a frame as large as a farm wagon. Piles of pillows in shades of rose, bed curtains of garish silk velvet, and a red satin eiderdown quilt nearly as thick as the feather-filled mattress. As comfortable as it all must be, she glared like it concealed a hungry crocodile.

He tugged the shirttail from his waistband and unbuttoned it over his broad chest, then came to her and held her hands motionless, kissing her fingertips.

“I will not hurt you, my sweet, I promise. No more than a pinprick, as with any woman’s first time. Mayuri explained?”

She nodded again, trying to bring her voice back under her own control. “Yes, my lord.” She’d known exactly what to expect for at least ten years.

“My name is Fitz,” he said, recalling her attention to his face, “not ‘my lord.’ I cannot bear such formality from you, Kali. Can you indulge me?”

“Yes, Si—Fitz.”

“Much better,” he said, kissing her cheek, then her earlobe, murmuring, “Now then, I prefer a woman who would invite me to her bed for the enjoyment, so I plan to ensure it. May I bring you pleasure, sweeting? Will you allow it?”

She had no right to deny him anything he wanted in bed, nor anywhere else, truth be told, and she probably knew more than he—theoretically—about the pleasures of the flesh. That he was asking her agreement and treating her as an innocent predisposed her to look past her fear.

“It is my fondest desire to please you in all things, my lor…” She trailed off when she saw his frustration at the pat response. She struggled to salvage the moment, but had no untutored words. She tried to explain this inadequacy with her eyes as she offered, grasping his hands more tightly, “Perhaps I might dance? Or indulge your… more exotic pleasures.”

She had been trained to expect anything and to use every part of her body, her mind, her wardrobe, and myriad implements to enhance any sexual act he chose. She had been told of every possibility before she was fourteen, then experienced all but the final act of coition at the hands of another, older tawaif, or the castrati who staffed Mayuri’s house of male delights.

She had not been trained in how to explain she was frightened, that she couldn’t remember how to put either of them at ease, that she was afraid of what he might ask if he kept her, but petrified he would find her wanting and send her away. It would be much simpler if he threw her across the bed and took his pleasure like a rutting dog. If, in the morning, she could remain indifferent.

About the Author

Mariana Gabrielle is a pseudonym of Mari Christie, a professional writer, editor, and designer with almost twenty-five years’ experience. Published in dozens of nonfiction and poetry periodicals since 1989, she began writing mainstream historical fiction in 2009 and Regency romance in 2013. In all genres, she creates deeply scarred characters in uncommon circumstances who overcome self-imposed barriers to reach their full potential. She is a member of the Bluestocking Belles, the Writing Wenches, and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Her first Regency romance, Royal Regard, was released in November 2014.

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