Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review of Scandal at Almack's and Interview with Author Gloria Gay!!

Scandal At Almacks - Tour Banner

AUTHOR – Gloria Gay
GENRE – Regency Historical Romance Novella, ebook only
PUBLICATION DATE –April 25, 2014
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 36,000 words
Scandal At Almacks - Book Cover  
Beautiful Jenny Longtree was expected to do her duty and accept the marriage proposal of a man she abhorred, Calvin Hazeldeck, an old and rich mortician whose offer of a marriage settlement would save her family from destitution brought about by her father’s bad shipping investments.
Then unexpectedly, Jenny’s dear uncle, Sir Roger Addington, who had been informed of the family’s dilemma, offered his favorite niece a London social season as a last chance to find a husband on her own.
But in the whirl of the London season, Jenny realizes that without a dowry her chances of obtaining a marriage proposal are practically non-existent.
Then on the last ball of Almack’s, and when Jenny feels that time is slipping away, Lady Jersey, the head patroness of Almack’s, introduces her to Sebastian Billington, Lord Corville. As they dance the waltz, Jenny realizes she has fallen in love at first sight with a man she is likely never to see again.
And during the seductive dance with Lord Corville, something happens that has Jenny lying on the floor at Lord Corville’s feet, having momentarily passed out. When she comes to, she finds a sea of faces staring down at her and scandal exploding all around her.

My only complaint about this book was... I wanted more... I loved it, and read it in about a day!! 

Jenny Longtree is set for a very unhappy marriage to get her father out of debt.  She is saved when her uncle, Lord Roger Addington from London sends for her to sponser her season.  It's her last chance to gain a husband before her marriage to Calvin Hazeldeck takes place. 

Once arriving at her uncle's, she's not prepared for the abrubt cruelty of his wife, but is determined to get herself betrothed to a man other then Calvin.

At the ball at Almack's, she meets Sebastian Billington, Lord Corville, and while dancing with him, she is taken with him from the very beginning.  During their dance however, something happens that shocks Jenny and has her on the floor at the ball.

Suddenly, she finds herself betrothed to Sebastian, even though it's quite obvious, he doesn't seem to be happy about it.  Also, there are people who are determined to break them apart, and to her horror the man her father wants her to marry is there making things difficult for her. 

As I said, I wish this had been a little bit longer, but I thought it was a really cute story.  I loved Sebastian completely, even though he was his own worst enemy at times... Jenny was perfect for him, not matter how hard he fought his feelings, she was the perfect match for him. 

How long have you been writing?I started writing seriously, with the intention of writing a complete book, about two years into my marriage and I have not stopped since then. So you could say I’ve been writing most of my life.
What or who inspires you to write?
Scenes that pop into my head as ideas for books are what usually inspire me to write a book. When I’m not actually typing the book, I’m thinking of scenes for the book, of the characters, the place where it takes place, the weather, etc. It’s very inspiring for me that I sort of live with these characters in my head as the book begins to take shape.

What genre do you like to read?
I like to read what I write, both a Regency historical and romantic suspense, flipping back and forth between them.

What is your favorite genre to write?
My two favorite genres to read and write are Regency historical novels and romantic suspense.

Who is your favorite author and why?
My favorite authors in historical romance are Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. Contemporary Regency historical writers that I like and read a lot are Lisa Kleypas, Mary Jo Putney and Mary Balogh.

What do you love about writing and why?
What I love most about writing is that you can create a world where your story takes place and form the characters for your story. In the same way that you gather the ingredients for a cake, for instance, you gather your character’s traits and start to form an imaginary person that begins to live and breathe. Very inspiring. And rather than just invite people to a dinner at your house, with a book you also plan what your dinner guests are going to say, along with what they are going to eat!

What is the book about?
Jenny Longtree is being pressured to accept a marriage proposal from a widowed mortician older than her father in order to save her family from financial ruin. She is hanging on to a hope that something will save her from what she considers a catastrophe and the end of her life as she has known it until now.

What or who was the inspiration for the book?
I wanted to write about a heroine who is up against the wall without any place to run to and then salvation comes to her by an invitation to the London season to be financed by her uncle. Yet she has hardly had time to digest the fact that she has fallen in love at first sight at a ball at Almack’s, when she is suddenly plunged into scandal.

Who are the characters in the book?

The heroine: Jenny Longtree. Jenny is a beautiful girl whose father has plunged the family into financial ruin through his reckless investments and looks to Jenny to save the family by marrying a mortician friend who has promised to pull him out of the hole he dug himself into in exchange for Jenny’s hand in marriage. Jenny abhors the mortician, whose children hate the idea of acquiring a step-mother and habitually kick her shins.
The hero: Sebastian Billington, Earl of Corville. Sebastian’s fiancé sent him a "dear john" letter when he had just been wounded in the middle of a battle against Napoleon’s troops so he doesn’t trust women. He fights the extreme attraction he has to Jenny and suspects the scandal of his own making that has forced him into a marriage proposal.

The three villains who plot to disrupt the engagement.
If you could have five authors, over for dinner, alive or dead, who would they be and why?

The five (six) authors that I would love to have for dinner would be:
Charlotte and Emily Bronte: Their brooding romantic novels are unforgettable. I have read Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre again and again.
D. H. Lawrence. His novels were controversial in his time because he broke new ground in his depiction of love scenes.

Daphne DuMaurier. Rebecca, is a haunting novel. It haunted me so much that I wrote to Daphne DuMaurier. I asked her if Manderly was real, because it had always seemed very real to me.

To my surprise and elation she wrote back to me. Her letter, together with two photos that she sent me is one of my treasures. In it she told me that as a child she used to trespass in Menabilly, an estate adjoining her parents’ home. Later, as a grown-up, she was able to lease that same house for twenty years. She said that Rebecca’s Manderly was largely inspired by Menabilly, but that the more grandiose conception in the book was inspired by a mansion with a vast park, picture gallery, etc., in the Midlands, called Milton, that she had visited as a child of eleven.

George Eliot (Marian Cross, Nee Evans). Victorian author of The Mill and the Floss.

Jane Austen – Her six novels are inspiring to Regency romance writers. But it was curious that she never once mentioned Almack’s, one of the exclusive haunts of the English aristocracy.

Lord Corville was surprised that Lady Jersey had led him directly into a vision of lovely youth. Usually wallflower duty was how it sounded, giving an opportunity to dance a few sets to girls who were in their first season and not likely to obtain dancing partners on their own because they lacked pedigree or were pretty enough but lacked an attractive dowry. The Almack’s patronesses took their duty to young girls in their first or second season very seriously, and in every ball the two in charge could be seen walking about, matching young ladies to reluctant young men. Sebastian seldom if ever glanced toward the wallflower area, but now he regretted it. The moment he gave his gloved hand to this girl and led her to the dance floor, it was all he could do to keep his balance until they began their waltz. Her touch was so sensual, he felt her hand not on his but directly on his groin. A hot frisson coursed along his nerve endings, and his whole body shuddered in anticipation. If he felt so much with only the soft touch of her hand on his, what would he feel with her in his arms? Suddenly realizing where his mind was going, he shook off such outlandish thoughts. He was a bit foxed and couldn’t even remember what Lady Jersey said the girl’s name was during the introduction. He should have skipped that stop at Rothyn’s townhouse, as they’d dipped into bottles of claret before coming here. Of course, it was turning out amazingly easy to keep his promise to his sister Camie. One dance with a wallflower debutante? Why this beautiful girl lacked dance partners was beyond his understanding. She was as lovely and as rare as an orchid, and her scent intoxicated him even more than the claret. He had never felt such jumping sensations as he was now feeling while waltzing with her. Her eyes as she looked at him were sparkling blue aquamarines, and the tingling ripple the mere touch of her hand had started now throbbed along his groin so that his hand tightened on hers even as his breeches tightened. He quickly forced his eyes away from her lithe form, for just a quick glance at her curves unhinged him. They swayed around the vast ballroom, and the lights from a thousand candles and the twirling couples confused him. The lovely girl in his arms became three identical girls who twirled round and round like the racing dials of a mad clock. He heard the waning notes of the waltz as it was coming to its end and felt so dizzy that, had he not held her, he would have lost his balance. He looked into the girl’s beautiful eyes and his gaze drifted downward. Her breasts, the tops of them peeking alluringly from her filmy gown, were so fetching that he wondered when he had ever seen a better pair. There was a small dark mole on her left breast, and a tiny rosebud by it, and so compelling was the tiny beauty mark that he was hypnotized. The music had stopped. He looked into the girl’s lovely blue eyes and wondered why they were wide with alarm, and her voice was loud and clear in the silence that followed the conclusion of the waltz. “Oh!” she exclaimed. Her hand on his shoulder slipped away as she fell to the floor, her crumpling body settling softly on his feet. Sebastian leaned down toward her prone body. After a few seconds, the girl opened her eyes. A crowd had rushed forward, and there was a large circle of people around her and Sebastian, three or four deep, looking down with concern. And silence, as everyone just stared. The girl was helped up by two gentlemen while Lord Corville continued to stare, speechless. Lady Jersey broke the silence. “What happened to you, my dear?” A twittering of exclamations rose like a deafening wave, and then sudden silence fell again as the crowd waited in suspense for the girl’s reply. The girl spoke slowly but clearly, so that everyone heard her words. She looked directly into Lord Corville’s eyes and said, “Lord Corville touched me inappropriately.”

Scandal At Almacks - Author Photo
Gloria Gay has lived in San Diego, California the greater part of her life, where she worked as a legal secretary for twenty-five years and as a stringer for a local newspaper. Her heart, though, has always been with art and literature and it was one of the happiest days of her life when she wrote her first book.
Boroughs Publishing Group recently published her fifth Regency romance, Lovely Little Liar. Scandal at Almack’s, with the same publisher is Gloria’s sixth Regency romance. Her debut novel, First Season, earned a four-star review from Romantic Times Book Reviews. She is also the author of Forced Offer, Canceled Courtship and Known to All.
She lives with her husband, Enrique, an architect, in San Diego, California, and couldn’t be happier that their children and grand-children live nearby.
Two eCopies (mobi, epub, pdf) of Scandal at Almack's
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