Shannon here: Historical Romance author, Jillian Kent shares her real life romance plus an excerpt from her latest release, Mystery of the Heart – Book 3 in the Ravensmoore Chronicles. Comment on any post dated Jan 7 – 11 to get your name in the drawing for a copy. Deadline: Jan 19th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Jillian:
Thanks so much for having me back. I wanted to share the story of a very romantic thing my husband did for me. Although we married in 1981 we didn’t have our first child, Katie, until September 29, 1989. I was 34. I should tell those of you reading this that I am very hard to surprise. Either someone lets something slip or I figure it out with my Sherlock Holmes deduction methods.
I was back at work full-time and just really exhausted from having my first baby who weighed almost ten pounds. We didn’t have any family in town to help so that made it harder than I’d anticipated. My birthday is January 11th. My hubby, Randy, took me out to eat at my favorite restaurant, The Grand Finale. We had friends who were married come in to take care of Katie for the evening. After a wonderful meal and decadent desert, the puff pastry (a pastry shell filled with vanilla ice cream, topped with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, hot fudge and whipped cream) I got another surprise. Randy said, “We aren’t going home,” grinning from ear to ear. I said, “What’s wrong?” Probably thinking the house had burned down and all kind of motherly fear things.
It turned out that our friends were staying overnight to allow us a nigh out at a hotel after dinner. I don’t think we came home till about 2:00 the next day. That’s romantic.
Secondly, I want to share thoughts of why I believe England is a romantic location. I set my first series in England and will probably continue to utilize the setting. Even though I write my novels set during the regency period all you have to do today is say Downton Abbey and you’ll get the idea. Castles and manor homes, lush English countryside, thatched cottages, magnificent cathedrals, cobblestone streets, and a history that could entertain you for the rest of your life. Museums, including Madame Tussauds, the Thames, pubs, coffee houses, Jane Austen’s Bath, historic villages, and on and on and on. And then there is the mist. I’m in love with mist. It’s both romantic and eerie.
I visited England for several months, my senior year of college, in the fall of 1976. There really is nothing like being there and that’s one of the reasons I decided to use England as a setting for my novels; specifically the coastline, Yorkshire, London. If you go to my website and read the first chapters of all my novels I think you’ll see how I’ve carried my experiences, research, and love of the country into my stories.
Excerpt: Mystery of the Heart by Jillian Kent
Appearances are often deceiving.
Northumberland, England, Spring 1819
. . . The crab seemed to consider her comment and then continued at a slower pace as if disappointed. Mercy drew in a ragged breath and focused on the now calm ocean that mere hours ago had nearly taken her life.
“Interesting little devils, aren’t they?”
Mercy twisted around at the sound of a deep masculine voice tinged with humor. A large shadow fell across her, causing her to squint as she tilted her face upward. His nearness caused her to push away from him.
“Wh–who are you?” Her voice trembled, much to her annoyance. Her arms supported her from behind, and her hands and fingers splayed across the sand. The breeze on her damp clothes caused a shiver to race up her spine.
“I’m not going to hurt you, if that’s what you’re thinking. You’re safe enough, for now, but you must be half frozen if you were in the water for any length of time.” He took off his coat and dropped it around her shoulders.
“Thank you. Where am I?” She took her eyes off him only long enough to glance around, her gaze shifting beyond him to the desolate sea. “Where did you come from? I see no ship. Are you a pirate?”
He grinned. “Do I look like a pirate?” At that moment a breeze lifted off the ocean, whipping a strand of dark blond hair across his tanned face. She cocked her head to the side. He had at least two days’ worth of stubble and indeed sported that scraggy look of a pirate no matter what he said. “All you need is an eye patch.”
The man’s grin widened. He took a step forward, and she drew farther back, fearful of his intentions. He loomed over her. His shirt blew open nearly to his waist.
About Jillian: Jillian spent the first semester of her senior year of college at Oxford studying British Literature, where she fell in love with England. During this season, she came to appreciate the written word, the rich imagery of romantic poetry like The Highwayman, and historical novels of many types, including Jane Austen and all things Regency.
Today Jillian, still loves to watch Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility, but she also enjoys digging deeper into the darker aspects of the Regency period. This balance of light and dark is reflected in her books. She also brings her fascination with different cultures and societies and her Christian faith into her writing.
Jill has always been a romantic at heart, so readers will find a good dose of romance woven through each of her novels. Jill, her husband Randy, and children Katie and Meghan are animal lovers. They currently own one dog, Bandit and a menagerie of cats, Lucky, Yuma, Snow, and Holden. Critters of all assortments make their appearance in her stories. She’s very proud to coordinate and write The Well Writer Column for Christian Fiction Online Magazine. http://www.christianfictiononlinemagazine.com/Learn more: www.jilliankent.com, http://jilliankent.blogspot.com/, http://justthewritecharisma.blogspot.com/, Twitter @JillKentAuthor, https://www.facebook.com/JillianKent.
About the book – Mystery of the Heart – Book 3 in the Ravensmoore Chronicles: Lady Mercy Grayson has secretly been studying medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland. She has dressed as a man to pursue the same passion her big brother Devlin, Lord Ravensmoore, pursued outside the acceptance of society. Her secret has been discovered. Now she’s running away from Scotland and her dreams. Will she be able to accomplish what she feels is God’s calling, or will the parameters of society and those who want to use her secret to accomplish their own selfish ends determine the course of her future?
Vincent Lyons, Lord Eden, is an adventurer coming home to London to deliver the mysterious Holy Lance to the prince regent who wants to see if the legends are true surrounding this relic that is said to possess both the power of healing and destruction. His life is catapulted in another direction when he meets Mercy who is pursuing a different kind of adventure that will cause him to question everything he believes.
Both will be forced to examine their personal motives when members of a voudon tribe, the Regent, and the London Legend Seekers Club search to possess the ancient relic for their own purposes.
Come back Jan 14th for Elizabeth Maddrey!