Notes From a Romantic’s Heart is pleased to welcome author Holland Rae and her latest release, A Duel of Hearts, from Liquid Silver Publishing. A Duel of Hearts is the first book in the Royal Rakes Collection.
Getting to Know the Author
Q1: If you could become any one of your book’s characters, who would it be and why?
I really love Georgina, my main character in Book Three of The Royal Rakes Collection, but I have to acknowledge my likeness to Amalie. Georgina’s great, because she defies the expectations and accepted behaviour of women in her time period and does what it takes to survive. I also love Catalina, the heroine of my current work in progress, because who doesn’t want to be a good-hearted pirate queen?
Q2: What was your biggest challenge in writing your current release?
Right now I’m working on a manuscript, and the best way to phrase it is that I’m writing the book in the wrong direction. The plot didn’t make itself clear until I was well into the writing process, and now it’s a matter of going back and ensuring continuity in plot and character arc, which I find much more difficult than simply writing straight through. I’m sure it will be far more satisfying at the end – if I ever get there!
Q3: If you were stranded on a desert island with ANY book boyfriend (not just one of your own creation), who would you choose and why?
I can’t answer this – I have so many! I guess the obvious one would be Jamie Fraser. I just finished the sixth book in The Outlander series, and I tell you, that highlander gets better with age. (And Roger ain’t so bad either.) The thing with Jamie is, he’s more than just sexy, he’s brilliant and capable and very human. I think he’d do an excellent job ensuring our survival and escape off the island – though hopefully not too quickly. I wouldn’t mind a few days to ourselves…
Q4: When did you know you were destined to be a writer?
Always! I’m incredibly fortunate, in that I was born into a family of working artists and writers. My mom was a poet, and taught creative writing classes for children, so I’ve been writing and telling stories in some organized capacity since I was eight years old. There were many things that interested me through the years – art history, racecars, travel, environmental studies, but I have always, always come back to writing. I realize now that being curious about the world is part of the writer’s lifestyle.
Q5: If this book is part of a series, how did the series come about? Did you intend a series from the very beginning?
A Duel of Hearts was originally written as a gift for a friend. It was supposed to be a short little fun story, and got totally out of control. I had thrown in a few other supporting characters because I love female friendships – guess which one is supposed to be me! – and then I realized that I really liked Amalie and Georgina, and it felt very natural to figure out more about them. Once I made the decision to carry the book into two more stories, it all fell into place quite naturally.
Speed Round (just to get to know you better:
- Coffee, tea, or other? Both/All – Give me caffeine!
- Music preference? Country Rock
- Favorite movie? Pirates of the Caribbean
- Dog, cat, or other? Both in bed with me right now!
- Favorite author? J.K. Rowling/Diana Gabaldon
- Favorite actor/actress? Big time crush on Luke Pasqualino
- Favorite television show (past or present)? Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
About the Book
Amazon | Nook | Liquid Silver
When Lady Mary Elizabeth Anne Paramour runs away from an unhappy engagement, her options are limited. Soon, she finds herself at the doorstep of a favored cousin’s temporary home, the estate of the most debauched lord known to the aristocracy, Nathaniel Arlington. The charming and handsome Lord Arlington’s perpetual house party is infamous across England, and fodder for instant disownment if Mary’s prudish mother, Countess Helena, ever finds out where she is.
But Mary, with a rebellious streak of her own that led to a lifelong interest in fencing, comes to realize that maybe not everything is as it seems. Over late-night sword fighting and whiskey, she begins to develop an unlikely friendship with the lord, who might just have more behind the rakish façade than he lets most people believe. But just as Mary thinks their unusual friendship might turn to more, she finds herself facing the unexpected, something that might just ruin her chance at happiness forever.
Cumbria, England, 18 March 1797
WHEN Lady Mary Elizabeth Anne Paramour had been very young, her nanny had read her fairytales. From the very first, Lady Mary had soaked in tales of knights and dragons and quests, and the whole wonderful world of fantastical romance. She’d grown into her young womanhood, and while the words beautiful, kind, and lovely had all been whispered in the great ballrooms of the English aristocracy, Lady Mary had never let go of her childhood fascination with true love, knights in shining armor, and princesses to be rescued by their heart’s mate.
Surely, growing up with her mother, she’d never voiced these particular fantasies aloud. Countess Helena Eleanor Blanche Paramour would not have taken lightly to the notion of fairies and mermaids and true love, and most especially not in regards to her only daughter. The countess herself had met Mary’s father only three times before the day of their wedding, which had been the talk of the tonne, naturally, and she made a point of reminding Mary, as often as possible, that one can be a dutiful and loving wife to a man without having to ever get to know him. As it stood, Count Jonathan Paramour and his wife were rarely seen together in public or in private, and to the best of Mary’s knowledge that had suited them both just fine.
But that simply wasn’t the kind of marriage she wanted for herself, regardless of her mother’s insistence on the matter. Countess Helena had preached many things to Mary throughout her life, nearly of them relating back to themes of piety, conservative values, and the ability to retain an impeccable reputation. And for nearly twenty-three years Mary had abided by those rules of her mother’s home to the very best of her ability. She never spoke out of turn, never got involved in illicit relations with the local farmers’ sons, and never once voiced the opinion that she might like to perhaps marry for love. Countess Helena would have sent her away had those impetuous words ever manifested outside of Mary’s own mind.
About the Author
Holland Rae was born in Manhattan, and considers herself a New Yorker, even though she spent most of her life in New Jersey. She recently moved home from Boston, Mass., where she finished her education in journalism and magazine writing, with a focus on the automotive industry.
She is an avid writer, and has been for years, studying at Emerson College, with writer’s retreats at Kenyon College, Duke University and Simon’s Rock. She loves to travel, and spent her semester abroad living in a 14th century castle in the Netherlands. In her free time she enjoys dreaming up stories, eating spicy food, driving fast cars and talking to strangers.
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It’s been a pleasure having Holland visit for the day. We look forward to her coming back at a later date.
Until your next visit, stay happy, stay healthy, stay well read.
P.S.: Don’t forget to request your copy of my January freebie. There are two copies left and only three days to get them. The link to order is on the sidebar.