THE ENGLISH HEIRESS
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING
Patricia a few months back I was flipping through one of several RT magazines. While chowing down on my favorite veggie lover’s pizza I was flipping I came across the a truly exciting article by Liz French, Stephanie Klose, Faygie Levy and Elissa Petruzzi titled “Legacy of Love.” In short, the article explained about how the market might be changing but romance, which I agree whole heartedly, is forever. My curious readers and I would love to know your thoughts on what you believe is the “Legacy of Love.”
Love has been the basis for stories in literature since Urk first grunted beside a fire to a Neanderthal audience. It may be recognizing emotion that makes us human. I don’t see any possibility of that changing as long as we’re human and not robots.
You’re in the thick of your delicious Regency Nobles; can you tell us more about it?
The Regency Nobles are irony in action. They started out as three small related category Regencies for Signet (they’re still available as e-books online, published by RegencyReads.com (http://www.regencyreads.com/bookstore/online/patricia-rice-c-1004.html?zenid=2jrs6hhv5p98376d62cr79ogo0). Two characters appeared in the last of those stories who absolutely begged for their own books—the American marquess who inherits a dilapidated manor, and his mysterious “brother” Michael, who doesn’t seem to have a name of his own.
I’d been writing western historical romances, but my editor was quite happy to have a large Regency. The Marquess was first published in 1997 and has been reissued several times, most recently as an e-book. This was about the time my agent extraordinaire sadly disappeared in a puff of smoke, and I’d just been to NYC to take on a new one. The owner of my new agent’s agency died a week after I signed with her. Those were interesting times. Anyway, my wonderful new agent took the sequel to The Marquess into a bidding war between my old publisher and another one, and the offer from the new one had me walking on air. I happily wrote Michael’s book, The English Heiress, and the sequel, The Irish Duchess. I wasn’t used to working with the new publisher, so I just met my deadlines and patiently waited for them to tell me when the books would come out. They were a lot slower than my old publisher, so I started writing contemporary romances to keep busy.
I sold the contemporary romances for even more money than the Regencies (I told you, irony is the name of the game here). And then my brand new publisher chose to quit selling romance. Long story here, but my new agent emerged victorious with my manuscripts and my advance still intact. But no one wanted sequels that had been sitting on a desk for two or three years after the first book’s release. I reluctantly tucked Michael and the duke into a drawer, continued writing contemporaries, and began writing the Magic series.
Had I stayed with the Regency historicals that became so popular a few years later, instead of branching into paranormal a few years ahead of my time, I might not be releasing these books at all now. But I’ve taken my print books in a whole different direction, and digital publishing has allowed me to publish the books myself. So I am. And amazingly, they’re taking off like rockets, even old as they are. And therein is another story for another day.
Patricia, I cannot help but devour every single delicious word you write with your deliciously wicked characters that I become addicted to. You continue to give readers, once again, a powerful emotional love story with two of the most engaging protagonists that will rip readers hearts out all the while having them rooting for their happily ever after. Can you tell us more about THE ENGLISH HEIRESS?
Michael and Blanche first meet in the The Marquess when he rescues her from a fire. He’s a man who doesn’t know his parentage, and she’s granddaughter of a duke, but the friendship between them is very real. It took an entire book and the passing of two years to get this couple together! After giving Blanche plenty of time to grow up and find a suitable suitor, Michael drops back into her life with another female who needs rescuing. Blanche has spent years wondering if he fell off the face of the earth and learning to deal with the enormous responsibilities her grandfather’s death has left to her. Really, readers will agree she has a right to wonder if she should kiss him or kill him.
Michael is such an irrepressible character that no matter what he does, Blanche discovers herself cheering him on—until she finally learns from him and takes matters into her own hands. It’s great fun watching these two dance around each other until they’re ultimately sucked into the attraction between them.
Is there any part of your personality that bleeds into your characters while you write?
Oh, I’m sure there are bits here and there. Blanche attempting to deal with finances, for instance, and Michael protesting against the foolishness of bigotry. But I think, mostly, I write about the people I’d like to be.
Did you know Michael O’Toole’s full character arc when you started Regency Nobles series? Did you know what would happen to him in the end?
On heavens, no! Plot more than ten pages ahead? Not happening. He was just a fascinating character, and I wanted to see where he would take me. And then I wanted him to get together with Blanche, so I had to pull out a few miracles, and go back and plant a few seeds, and eventually, I got them where I wanted them.
What inspired you to begin the Regency Nobles series?
As I said earlier, the characters materialized in a short Regency where they were much too large for the story.
What was one of your favorite moments in writing THE ENGLISH HEIRESS?
In writing it? Probably when I finally reached The End. Taming Michael took me forever!
Okay, I want to give a warm welcome to, Michael O’Toole and Lady Blanche Perceval (Waving frantically, trying to get the besotted couple’s attention). I know you two have gone through a lot to get to your happily ever after so I will try to be brief. (Blushes scarlet as she catches the intimate glance between the newlyweds, clears her throat).
I’m curious. Lady Blanche what was your first impression of Michael? Michael, I would love to hear your thoughts about the first time you laid eyes on Lady Blanche. =)
Lady B: Oh, that was years ago, when I was quite young. He was a rogue wearing a footman’s livery, and he handed me a rose! Can you imagine? Handsome devil thought much too highly of himself. But gentlemen never give me single roses, especially from my own garden. Impudent, but oh so wickedly charming!
Michael: She was like a lost, golden fairy waif, drifting all alone. What else could I do but try to make her smile? And keep her safe. She wasn’t for the likes of a nobody like me, but oh, she was so lovely and unspoiled. Everyone adored her. There are too few people like my lady in the world, and I knew she was special—despite all that ridiculous wealth and title.
Was it love or lust at first sight?
Michael: She was a very young lady of the finest sort! I’d smack myself for thinking those thoughts of her.
Lady B: I was too stupid to think lustful thoughts that first day. I just loved the way he looked at me as if I were a real person and not some statue on a pedestal. But the cad never stayed in one place. He wasn’t trustworthy in the least. It took a while before I grew up and saw him as he is.
Lady Blanche, when was the moment you knew that Michael was for you?
It’s a dozen moments, an entire book’s worth of moments. It’s impossible to know Michael on first meeting or second or… Even when you know the bounder, he performs another miracle that softens the heart, then pulls one of his infuriating disappearing acts. How can one pin down a moment on a man like that? He creeps into the heart and takes residence there without one’s permission.
Michael, name one thing about Lady Blanche that you believe changed your outlook on love.
She believed in me. The beautiful and steadfast Lady Blanche, a woman all
fancified bachelors courted, believed in an itinerant pest like me. She understood, even when I couldn’t explain
myself. A woman like that is worth twice her weight in gold, but everyone saw
the gold and not the woman. Unbelievable idiots, the English. It was then I
thought maybe I had something to offer a lady who already had everything. London
Michael: I’d have caught the arsonist who harmed my lady so she might not have been so mistrustful of all men. She was meant to be as open and honest as a summer day, not cynical and hardhearted. Although I suppose she would have found someone other than me, then, so let’s fling your time piece into the sea, shall we?
Lady B: No, I wouldn’t change anything. All happens in its own time. We had to find our ways first before we could find each other. I agree, toss the time piece. It’s not needed.
Lady Blanche did you have any apprehension about getting involved with Michael?
An entire book’s worth of apprehensions, I assure you!
Michael, what about you? Did you have a sliver of doubt about becoming involved with Lady Blanche?
About loving her, no. About having her? Utterly. I would never have given us a chance if I’d listened to me own stupid heart.
Do you, Lady Blanche and Michael, believe that love conquers all?
Not villains, but all else, YES, resoundingly so.
One more thing before I let you go. Do you believe that everything you two went through to find one another, fall in love and finding your happily ever after was worth the price you had to pay?
Michael: Love is not for the faint of heart. I’d do it again in a trice.
Lady B: He’s not the one standing on the ground watching him crawl onto a burning roof. Still not certain I’ll forgive him that terror, but since he saved my adopted daughter, I’ll have to agree. Love isn’t for the faint of heart!
How did you mark the occasion of finally finishing THE ENGLISH HEIRESS?
Is it finished? Finally? Wow, I think I’ll put my feet up and think about a pedicure. Oh wait, I have to write another blog and… I’m never finished. I edit in my sleep.
What do you hope readers walk away with after reading THE ENGLISH HEIRESS?
A satisfied smile and that warm cozy feeling in their hearts that the world is beautiful and love happens, no matter how many doors slam in our faces.
You’re clearly very busy. What do you do in your limited spare time? Are you reading anything right now? Any reading recommendations while we wait until your next release in the Regency Nobles series?
Oh dear. I’m working on the Duchess, and a new book in the Rebellious Sons series and an urban fantasy under a pseudonym and watering my dying garden in this drought and packing to visit my daughter in
probably have three or four books scattered around in paper and electronic
form. I have SEP’s latest in the e-reader, ready for the plane. I just finished
the latest Patricia Briggs Alpha and Omega book—I love everything both of them
write. I’ve been reading short stories from the Ninc anthology Cast of Characters. I don’t generally
like short stories but every single one of these is a winner. And I have the
arc for the Word Wenches anthology, Mischief
and Mistletoe, just begging me to dive into when I have that rare spare
Patricia, please share with desperate readers where they can connect with you in cyber world. =)
For desperation, call Google, I’m everywhere! Officially, you can read excerpts and sign up for my newsletter on my website http://patriciarice.com
You can find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OfficialPatriciaRice, although I keep crashing the page and setting up new ones, so if you’ve signed up before, you’ll have to go back and Like me again. Sorry!
And I twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/Patricia_Rice (underline between the names). Please, come by and say hi so I don’t feel like such an idjit talking to myself!
Patricia, you rocked RCJR eZine blog and its readers. Thank you so much for stopping by to dish about Lady Blanche from your Regency Nobles series historical romance release from Book View Cafe, THE ENGLISH HEIRESS.
Thank you so much for having me. Lady B curtsies and offers her gloved hand, but Michael is off twirling his hat and banging his walking stick against a suspicious crack in the wall. He sends his regards!
An Irish rogue and a duke’s daughter should have nothing in common except trouble...
“Finally, Michael O’Toole! I’ve been waiting for his story ever since I read Patricia Rice’s The Marquess years ago. Michael and his delicious duke’s granddaughter demonstrate why bad boys are best!”
Mary Jo Putney
Though enchanted by the selfless beauty of a duke’s granddaughter, Michael—a man of many names but none his own—has wisely kept his distance. But two years after the disastrous fire that brought Lady Blanche Perceval into his life, he is saddled with a lost, lying Irish waif and needs a woman’s understanding aid. To his dismay, the generous lady he remembers now despises him for deserting her when she needed him most.
Meet the Author
With several million books in print and New York Times and USA Today's bestseller lists under her belt, former CPA Patricia Rice is one of romance's hottest authors. Her forty-ninth book, The Lure of Song and Magic, is a magical contemporary romance. Dylan Ives “Oz”Oswin is desperate enough to follow any clue in his search for his kidnapped son. A mysterious e-mail sets him on a search for the former rock star Syrene, but she is now the reclusive children’s book author Philippa “Pippa” Malcolm James, who believes she can destroy lives with her dangerous voice. She refuses his request—until she learns it’s about a lost child. For readers who loved Patricia Rice's paranormal romantic historical “Magic” series, The Lure of Song and Magic introduces characters descended from that series, in a contemporary romance setting.
In her forty-eighth book, The Devilish Montague, Blake Montague wants to save Europe. Ladybyrd Carrington only wants to save her family and a foul-mouthed parrot. Marriage wasn’t on their incompatible minds—until they realized they each had what the other needed... Nominated for the 2011 RT Book Reviews Historical Love and Laughter award.
Her forty-seventh book, The Wicked Wyckerly, was nominated for the 2010 Romance Writers of America’s RITA® and 2010 RT Book Reviews Historical Love and Laughter award.
Patricia Rice's emotionally-charged contemporary and historical romances have won numerous awards, including the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice and Career Achievement Awards.
In addition to receiving the Bookrak Bestselling Paperback award, her books have also been honored as Romance Writers of America RITA® finalists in the historical, regency and contemporary categories.
A firm believer in happily-ever-after, Patricia Rice is married to her high school sweetheart and has two children. A native of Kentucky and New York, a past resident of North Carolina, she currently resides in St. Louis, Missouri, and now does accounting only for herself. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Authors Guild, and Novelists, Inc.
For further information, visit Patricia’s network: