About the book:
England 1812 Severely injured at the battle of Salamanca, Edward Thurston, the new Earl of Sinclair, returns home to his beloved Fly Hall. Determined not to present his prospective bride with the wreck he believes himself to have become, he decides to end his betrothal, unaware that Lady Jennifer, for vastly differing reasons, has reached the selfsame decision. Throughout the campaigns, Edward was often seen relying greatly on a miniature he carried, and it is to this token he clings upon his return. Will he eventually find happiness with the girl in the portrait, or will he remain firm in his resolve not to wed? Reason dictates one course, his heart another.
Confused, he sat heavily in the leather chair set before the desk and attempted to force his eyes to focus on the boy before him. He cursed the fact that he’d drunk so much wine and shook his head as if to rid himself of its effects, but the figure remained the same. There was definitely something odd about the boy.
Due to the lateness of the hour and his intoxicated state, as he relaxed in the chair his head drooped forward and he too drifted into sleep. However, after only a few moments, an insistent hand shaking his shoulder woke him, and with a great effort, he fought his way back to consciousness.
“Edward, do wake up,” commanded an urgent voice. “I have need of you! Wake up!”
“Jen?” he expostulated in a bewildered tone, attempting to focus on the face above him.
“You’re drunk,” she accused with disgust.
“No, I’m not foxed,” he corrected, straightening in his seat. “Just slightly bosky.”
“You are decidedly drunk. I can’t believe you would choose this of all nights.”
“My profound apologies,” he said, gripping her shoulder and rising unsteadily to his feet. “Bad form to be bamboozled in front of a lady.” His eyes narrowed as he took stock of the figure before him. “What’s happened to your hair, Jen, and why are you wearing boys’ clothes? Though I must say, they suit you admirably.” Then almost as an afterthought, “Are they Freddie’s?”
“Yes, but never mind that,” she said impatiently, pushing him back into his seat. “Do try to understand that I need you.”
“At your service,” he said, once more standing erect and bowing. “I’m not so bosky as to render me useless, but I feel I must point out to you my dear that I am not at my best and this situation is highly irregular.” A frown puckered his brow as he looked questioningly about the room. “Does your maid accompany you? I don’t see her and surely you must realize that to be visiting a bachelor’s establishment at this time of night and without even your maid, is not at all the thing.”
She looked impatiently at him. “No, no one accompanies me. Oh, do sit down, Edward; I can’t talk to you when you tower over me as you’re doing now.”
“Why are you here,” he asked, resuming his seat. As an afterthought he added, “Not run away have you?”
“Certainly not! Though upon reflection, I can see that it may seem that I have. I never thought of it in that light. Now it will not do that you sidetrack me. It’s Perry and that ungracious brother of mine.”
He groaned, putting his hand to his bowed head. “Not another scrape! What now?”
“Perry came to see me late this afternoon. Freddie’s absconded.
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About the author:
Hazel Statham lives in England and has been writing on and off since she was fifteen. Initially she was influenced by Austen, the Brontes, and Sabatini but when Hazel turned seventeen, Georgette Heyer opened up the romance and elegance of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She immediately knew she had found her eras and wanted nothing more than to re-create them in her work. Hazel lives with her husband, Terry, and a beautiful Labrador named Mollie.
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Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)
I live in the UK, Staffordshire to be precise and have lived here all my life. I have been married to my husband Terry for almost 44 years and we have a married daughter named Clair and a beautiful grandson named Daniel (who, at 11 plays the guitar, keyboard and violin and is convinced he is going to be a rock star). Unfortunately, due to ill health, I am no longer able to travel outside the UK but previously we have visited the USA eleven times and have also travelled to Spain, Portugal, Greece, Malta, Canada and a cruise to The Bahamas. It seems rather tame now, being confined to travelling within our own country and we would love to visit America one last time but, according to the doctor, it’s not to be. We have a lovely yellow Labrador named Mollie and, even though my riding days are long gone, I am part owner with my daughter of a large gypsy cob, two foals and a Welsh Mountain pony. As you can probably guess from that, animals play a huge part in our lives.
Most writers are readers. What are some of the books you have on your nightstand and/or on your "must read" list?
I have just discovered Carla Kelly and am on a mission to read all her books – or at least, as many as I can find in Kindle format. She is a relatively new author to me but I have also recently read Anne Gracie and Mary Balogh.
What is your favorite genre to read?
Without a doubt it is Historical Romance. I love anything historical, be it fact or fiction.
What got you started on your writing journey?
To be honest, I don’t really know. All that I can remember is that at fifteen I had this desire to recreate my own historical world and just took up a pen and started to write. Then, everything was done in longhand and I filled countless ledgers (the only books available to accommodate my voluminous amount of writing). Now of course, there is the computer which helps to make writing a lot easier.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
The fact that people all over the world can read and enjoy my work. In the beginning, I wrote only for my own amusement and was horrified when it was suggested I submit something to a publisher. It took quite a while for me to pluck up the courage but, when I did, my books were accepted in quite quick succession. I just hope my readers enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them.
Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?
I love it when a reader says she has had to stay up late into the night to find out what’s happening next. There is also this lovely comment on Amazon for The Portrait ‘This is one of the most enjoyable books I've ever read. The characters jump off the pages into your imagination and the story line is wonderful.’
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
I would like to think I share some of the characteristics of my heroines but I have only shared their experiences in my imagination. However, some of our animals do appear in my work. For example, Mollie masqueraded as a Pointer in For Love of Sarah. About The Portrait! If you could sum your main character into five words, what would they be? Edward is erudite, considerate, generous, protective and loving
What are your hero and heroine of the story like?
Edward, Earl of Sinclair is a young aristocrat who returns from war with horrendous injuries and is determined not to inflict himself on his betrothed. Lady Jennifer is a young lady with romantic ideals who feels she has been slighted by her would-be husband and together they decide to end their betrothal. So begins their friendship that unfurls and blossoms into love. Use no more than two sentences.
Why should we read your book?
I believe that all lovers of Traditional Regency Romance will enjoy Edward and Jennifer’s story. There is mystery, pathos, humour and ultimately love which will culminate in a satisfying end.
To be in with a chance of winning a H/B copy of Consequence or a small item of jewellery. (e.g. pearl earrings) please leave a comment below with your email addie ANY comment you make during the tour on ANY post counts as an entry into the giveaway! The giveaway ends 30 June and a random commenter will be picked, emailed and announced on the Dilly Dally PR site. GOOD-LUCK!