Today we have a special guest in The Ballroom, Miss Ella Quinn, a debutante.
Lady B: Oh good. You know how much I like a young gal I can fix up with some of those unreformed rakes and tortured dukes cluttering up the place.
Sorry, I should have made it clear. Miss Quinn (no, not that Miss Quinn) is a brand new Authoress. Her debut, The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, comes out next week and it sounds fabulous.
Phoebe Stanhope is not a typical Lady. As feisty as she is quick witted, no one can catch her, especially when she is driving her dashing phaeton with its perfectly matched horses. And unlike her peers, experience has guarded her against a growing list of would-be suitors. But when she encounters Marcus Finley, what she fears most burns deep within his blue-eyed gaze…
For Lord Marcus, the spark of recognition is but a moment in the love he has held these many years. Now that he’s returned to England, all the happiness he desires rests on Lady Phoebe never finding out that he was the one who turned her heart so cold and distant. He must work fast to gain the advantage—to convince her what she wants is exactly what she denies—but in order to seduce her into his arms, he must be willing to give up more than he can control…
Lady B: How do you do, Miss Quinn.
Ella curtsies: Very well, my lady. I am so excited to be invited to your ballroom and finally have the opportunity to meet you.
Miranda: Since Ella is a newcomer to The Ballroom, I thought I’d ask some questions about her and her book. Marcus, the hero of The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, has just returned from the West Indies. You live there yourself. That must have been useful in writing his back story.
Ella: Fortunately Marcus lived in the area when there was a great deal of pirate activity, and a growing realization that slavery was wrong. He took Phoebe’s last words to him to heart and applied himself to bettering himself and the lives of those around him. He also became an excellent sailor which enabled him to do some work for the Foreign Office.
Miranda: Clearly he started out a very bad boy. (Not to worry: we love our rogues in The Ballroom!) How hard was it to reform this one? And what is his best quality?
Ella: After Phoebe hit him, he left the house party and continued to drink. Disgusted by his constant drunkenness, his valet left him. Only his groom remained. When he finally sobered up, he was on the ship at sea. Fortunately, the captain refused to allow him any alcohol, and encouraged Marcus to learn to sail. That gave him direction he hadn’t had before. Phoebe’s last words stung, and when he reached Jamaica he was determined to show not only her, but his family that he could make something of his life. His best quality is loyalty.
Miranda: Lady Phoebe sounds amazing. I adore a heroine with a good right hook. Can you tell us a little more about her?
Ella: Outwardly, she is extremely self-confident, but, because of what Marcus did, she doesn’t trust herself to fall in love. So she controls all her interactions with gentleman and keeps them at a distance, to the point of punching them. The problem is that she does want to fall in love and have a family. All her siblings are happily married as were her parents. < grins> According to her family she is sometimes too headstrong and independent. She set up her own stable and travels with her small coterie of servants to visit family members. She has rejected all her sister-in-law’s attempts to marry her off. Her brother and sisters live in dread that she’ll set up her own household when she is much too young.
Lady B: I am shocked. Shocked.
Miranda: Don’t worry. She’s loving every moment of this.
Ella: Indeed it is shocking. Which is the reason the male members of her family decided to help Marcus bring her up to scratch. The ladies just want to keep her out of trouble, while trying to make her see that she really should marry.
Miranda: Ah! Interfering busybodies. Not that we have anyone like that around here.
Lady B: I heard that, Miss Neville.
Miranda: I didn’t mean you, Lady B. It sounds as if there is a great deal of intrigue going on.
Ella: Oh there is. You see, the men haven’t told their wives what they are doing, and no one is telling Phoebe anything.
Lady B: No one tells me anything, either, do they Albert?.
Miranda: I understand that The Seduction of Lady Phoebe is the first of a series. How are the books linked, and what’s up next?
Ella: The series is called The Marriage Game and there will be six or seven books. All the men and some of the women are friends. The previous characters pop up in the other books either through letters or in person depending on where they are. Book #2 is The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh, which releases on November 4.
I can’t wait to read The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, which will be available for download from online retailers next week. Meanwhile you can read an excerpt on Ella’s website and pre-order the book. Lady Phoebe has interfering relatives. Has your family ever interfered in your love life? Do you have any questions for Ella about her books? One lucky commenter will receive a copy on publication day, September 19th.