by Anna Campbell
Hey, Tiffany's back again and she's going to tell us about another one of her brilliant historical romances. This time, it's her third book, THE SECRET DESIRES OF A GOVERNESS which has not only got a fabulous title but one of the prettiest covers I've ever seen.
Here's the blurb for THE SECRET DESIRES OF A GOVERNESS:
YEARNING FOR HIS TOUCH...
From the moment Abby meets her new employer—the mysterious, brooding Earl of Brendall—she is appalled by his brutish manner…and even moreso by her own attraction to him. Has she lost her senses? As a governess, Abby has no choice but to play by the rules. But as a woman, she cannot deny the fiery sensations he ignites—or the fantasies he inspires…
BURNING FOR HER KISS...
From the moment Elliott lays eyes on his new young governess, he knows he’s in trouble. Abby is intelligent, defiant, and utterly captivating, though Elliott must do his very best to resist her. But as the two grow closer, the passion burns hotter. Soon, the only thing that can destroy their love is the darkest secret of his past—and the secret desires of a governess…
You can find out more about Tiffany and her books on her website: www.tiffanyclare.com
Tiff, congratulations on the release of THE SECRET DESIRES OF A GOVERNESS.
Thanks for having me! I love coming to the lair, you Bandits sure throw an awesome party!
Can you tell us about this new story?
My heroine, Abby Hallaway, wants to build an independent life from her sisters, so she leaves the comfort of their home in pursuit of a job. She believes that she will have no problem in teaching young ladies the same education her father gave her—she was an apt student. Only when she arrives at her posting it’s to find a number of things wrong: her charge is not a little girl, the staff on hand (which are few in the huge castle) seem to dislike her on sight, the master of the house is domineering, uncouth, and constantly in her way making her feel all sorts of feelings she doesn’t want to feel for any man. And as the weeks wear on, she’s sure someone is trying very hard to acquaint Abby with the afterlife.
Elliott Wright, the Earl of Brendall, wants only the best for his son, but he fears his son will end up just like him. Elliott has his chatelaine hire another governess after the last one ran off. The first thing Elliott notices when the new hire arrives is that she’s younger than all the previous—much prettier, too. He thinks it only a matter of time before she runs off like all the past governesses. He doesn’t expect to seek her company out on a regular basis. But growing close can only mean her demise. After all, his wife and mother had ended their lives to escape Wright men, and once Abby knows all the secrets of his past and present she may want nothing more than to escape him too, even if that means through death. And the last thing he wants to do is destroy the woman he’s slowly falling in love with.
The Delphin painting is how I pictured Abby (I used it as a screensaver while I worked on this book). Clive Owen is exactly how I picture Elliott. Elliott is a bit more brawny, but he’s got that look about him.
Also, readers can read the first chapter on my website (there is a link there if you want to read the first THREE chapters: http://www.tiffanyclare.com/bookshelf/the-secret-desires-of-a-governess/).
I grew up reading governess/master of the house romances and they always gave my adolescent heart a thrill. Why do you think this theme is so popular in the romance genre? Do you have any favorite governess romances that inspired you to write THE SECRET DESIRES OF A GOVERNESS?
JANE EYRE was my inspiration all the way! I adore that book to pieces, as well as every movie/mini series adaptation ever made. One thing I love doing when writing my stories is secluding my hero and heroine. Doing so totally rackets up the tension (especially of the sexual kind). And best of all, it means they can’t really escape each other!
The other inspiration is Beauty and The Beast. You’ve got the old castle that the locals are afraid of, the dark, brooding beast of a hero, the pretty young woman that comes into his life and changes his way of thinking by thrashing through the barriers of his heart . . .
This book is totally what you get when Jane Eyre has babies with Beauty and The Beast.
I always ask you about interesting tidbits of research that turned up when you’re working on your books. Did anything unusual take your fancy when you were researching THE SECRET DESIRES OF A GOVERNESS?
I don’t think any unusual historical facts came up while writing this book. I did do a lot of research on the thing that gives my hero a true disadvantage in life. You’re all wondering what that is now, aren’t you? I can’t share what that is, it’s a bit of a spoiler! But readers will know what I’m talking about when they get a copy of the book.
You’ve spoken before about how art inspires your writing. Did you have any particular pictures in mind when you wrote THE SECRET DESIRES OF A GOVERNESS?
A bell. Only it was a photograph this time. And I’ve looked and looked for this bell since, and I cannot find it anywhere (my computer hard drive crashed during this project and I lost all my research). There was something about that bell that put this scene in my head, which leads to uber hotness with the hero.
Here’s a tiny excerpt:
She hiked up her skirts to aid her in walking through the tall grasses. She hadn’t thought to explore the old church grounds before now. It had seemed like a sacred untouched place and she hadn’t wanted to disturb it, afraid to ruin the wildness it had sprouted into over the years.
“Father will have my head if we go in there. You can’t go, Miss Hallaway. Please . . .”
He tried to grasp onto her hand, but she was already steadily moving forward. Jacob remained in the clearing, just on the other side of the tall grasses.
“Nothing bad is going to happen.” The only way to prove that for fact was to show him, she figured. “I promise.”
She stepped toward the lime-crusted bell, her fingers outstretched. The old bronze was cold and rough beneath her hand, and she stroked over the long-faded inscription, barely making out the words coram Deo and nothing more. How many battles had this very bell gonged through, warning the inhabitants of an imminent battle, warning townsfolk of an incoming enemy from the seaside?
“Have you ever touched this church bell?” Abby walked around the bell, skimming her bare fingers over the alloy as she went. “It’s almost as if I can hear it ringing as it once used to.”
She closed her eyes and trailed her fingers over the cool rough surface as she inhaled the sea air deep into her lungs. She loved the sound of church bells.
I used a lot of photographs to aid me with this book because I chose a real location (again). Bamburgh Castle was my setting, with a few minor changes, of course.
What’s next for Tiffany Clare?
I’m working on another trilogy for St. Martin’s Press, something in the vein of DANGEROUS LIAISONS.
Here’s my blurb:
Four friends in the pursuit of pleasure enter a dangerous game of wagers, seduction and temptation, but when one of their own is bent on a self-destructive path of ruin, they must put aside their schemes or lose everything they’ve come to hold dear.
Sounds fabulous! Can't wait to read them. Can you take us through a typical day in the glamorous life of romance novelist extraordinaire Tiffany Clare?
Not so glamorous, especially now at the height of the allergy season—I look like a train wreck! I wake up uber early to write (4:00 a.m.). Then I write some more on the streetcar ride into work for my 9-5. I pick up the kids from their afterschool program on my way home, have a beautifully made dinner waiting for me–my hubby is a marvellous cook. I’m usually zonked at this point of the day and gear down to go to bed early so I can start the process all over again.
Here’s my question to the blog readers: If you could choose two of your favourite stories to be amalgamated (like I did with JANE EYRE and Beauty and The Beast) which two would you choose?
Great question, Tiff. Everyone, get commenting. Tiffany has very generously offered our commenters THREE copies of THE SECRET DESIRES OF A GOVERNESS today! Good luck!