Sunday, October 2, 2011

VBT# The Lady's Maid - Susan Paige Davis

Today's book is on behalf of Barbour Books and is Susan Paige Davis's latest novel
"The Lady's Maid".

Synopsis: The Lady's Maid - Book #1 Prarie Dreams Series- Susan Paige Davis- 2011
The Lady's Maid, Book 1 of Prairie Dreams
Lady Ann Stone has come to the States to track down her elusive uncle so that he can claim his new title as the Earl of Stoneford. She's accompanied by her faithful chaperone, Elise, on hand to keep her mistress out of harm's way — and perhaps — to reconnect with the man she loved from afar. But the dusty prairie is no place for finery and the women have to prove themselves sturdy enough for the journey. They relinquish their gowns and set about securing supplies, but will their efforts be met with anything but skepticism by their fellow travelers?
Especially, Elise wonders, the rough yet fascinating scout, Eb Bentley.
Confronted with the difficulties of outdoor living and plagued by a mysterious and sinister man, Anne and Elise nonetheless make their way, turning the opinions of others in their favor. But will Elise be so intent on finding her former love that she misses the signs of blossoming admiration happening right in front of her?
In Romantic Times Book Reviews, October 2011 issue, reviewer Patsy Glans says:
"Davis hits a grand slam with her new historical romance series, Prairie Dreams, which has romance and mystery, with some thrills thrown in. The characters are well-rounded and the hero has grit and determination."
Available Now from Barbour Publishing

Q & A with the Author
1. You have been an author for a while now. How have you grown as a writer?
I’ve learned to pace myself, and also I’ve learned a lot about the craft of writing. Things like story arc and deep characterization take time to learn.
2. What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
I hope to leave a body of work that people find entertaining, but also inspiring and encouraging.
3. You use a female as the hero in your book. What made you decide to go that route?
Elise is the focus of the story. She decides to stay with and support her mistress—Lady Anne—no matter what, and that entails a long and arduous journey. This story was best told from the feminine perspective, as she and Anne have the biggest struggles and the most at stake. But there are also male characters in it who have sections told from their points of view.
4. The Lady’s Maid is a historical romance. What type of historical research did you need to do to prepare yourself to write this book?
One of the most crucial topics in this story was primogeniture, the inheritance laws of England. To research this I corresponded with several people in England about what would become of the earl’s title and estate if he did not claim it immediately. This book also required a lot of reading and study on such topics as transportation of the era, the frontier towns and cities of 1855, the Oregon Trail, fashions of the day, and much more.
5. What got you interested in writing historical romances?
I’ve always loved history and grew up immersed in it. Since I love to read historical romance, it seemed natural to write it. I was also encouraged by one of my early editors to write historical.
6. If you had to choose a genre other than historical romance to write for what would it be?
I have actually written several books in other genres—mystery, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and even young adult and fantasy. My favorites are historical and romantic suspense. A lot of my historical romances have mystery or suspense elements. Readers can see all my titles at my website: http://www.susanpagedavis.com/ .
7. Historical fiction, especially romances, have been very popular. What makes The Lady’s Maid stand out from other historical romance novels?
This book begins in England and follows an earl’s daughter and her maid to the American West. The combination of aristocracy and the frontier leads to some unusual adventures.
8. There is some suspense in your new book. What type of thrills will readers experience in The Lady’s Maid?
Elise and Lady Anne are searching for Lady Anne’s uncle, who is next in line for an earldom. However, someone else would like to prevent him from claiming the title and the estate that goes with it. Elise and Anne have to cope not only with the frontier (and people who think they are decorative but helpless) but also with blackguards who wish them ill.
9. What are some similarities found between you and the characters in The Lady’s Maid?
I’ve often found myself in a situation where I didn’t really “fit in.” I sympathize with these two ladies as they struggle to survive, but beyond that, to meet the expectations of the people around them.
10. Are you biased toward any of the characters in your book?
Oh, of course. I love to see a feminine woman of character stretch and grow stronger. Elise makes me proud.
11. Will any characters in The Lady’s Maid be present in any future books in the Prairie Dreams series?
Yes, Lady Anne will be the main character in book 2, Lady Anne’s Quest. You’ll also see a little more of Elise and of Rob Whistler and Eb Bentley as well as another member of their wagon train who will take a major role. One of their adversaries also makes a return appearance. In book 3, A Lady in the Making, you’ll again see some familiar faces.

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