Monday 28 September 2020

Blog Tour: The Earl and the Mud-Covered Maiden: A House of Hale Story: Book One by GL Robinson Author Interview and Excerpt From @gl_robinson @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

Today is my top on the tour for The Earl and the Mud-Covered Maiden: A House of Hale Story: Book One by GL Robinson. I have an interview with the author today and if you like the sound of that you can click here to order a copy of the book for yourself. Don't forget to check out the other wonderful stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews.

Here's what it's all about...

Sophy is covered in mud by a distracted curricle driver. Then he hides his real name from her. And that's only the beginning of their problems.

When rain-soaked Sophy Hawthorne is splashed with mud in a country lane by a handsome stranger driving much too fast, she's affronted but attracted at the same time. The same goes for him. But to win her hand he has to employ not altogether straight-forward stratagems. And if the beginning is inauspicious, a secret revealed on their wedding day is worse.

This is a classic, clean Regency story of lovers caught in a twenty-year old mystery that for the sake of the family name, they must untangle.

The Earl and the Mud-Covered Maiden is the first book in the House of Hale Trilogy, introducing characters you will love to follow as they set out on their rocky path together.

And here's that interview for you...

First question-bit of a cliché-how did you get into writing?

It's a half sad, half weird story! My sister and I were in boarding school when we were young. We used to read Regency Romances under the covers at night with a torch(flashlight in US!). We were always very close, though she lived in the UK and I've been in the USA for the past 45 years. She died unexpectedly in 2018 and the day after her funeral, I sat up in bed with a whole story in my head. I started writing and haven't stopped.

Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?

I do now, except I also have a small antiques (i.e. pretty junk) business. But I used to be a French professor.

Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer to write?

Yes, I write Regencies in very proper English!

How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?

They develop as I write. I never know what they're going to do or say! I don't think they're based on real people!

What was the inspiration behind your book?

The novels of Georgette Heyer – they were the ones my sister and I used to read.

What is your writing process-do you plan it out first? Write a bit at a time?

I think about it (!) then start writing. I'm not a planner, really. I know where I'm going but not how I'm going to get there.

How much of you is reflected in your writing?

More and more, I think. I realize this as I am just now publishing the very first stories I wrote (the ones after my sister's funeral. The story turned into the House of Hale trilogy). The first three published stories all contain more incidental history and philosophy. For example, in Rosemary or Too Clever to Love, I talk – that is to say she talks!- about Pascal and the education of women. In Cecilia or Too Tall to Love, I talk about the development of public education and in Imogen or Love and Money, I talk about the Stock Exchange. These are subjects that interest me a lot.

What kind of research did you have to do before/during writing behind your book?

I don't do any beforehand. I do it as I go when I need to. As I said, I never know what's going to come up, so I can't pre-research.

How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?

Quite a lot. If I get a negative critique I look to see how justified it is, and how I could have avoided whatever the pitfall is. I really listen to my Beta readers.

Are friends and family supportive of your writing?

Yes. Well, that's to say, my husband and two sons don't read the books. I do have some male readers, but they aren't amongst them! But they are very encouraging. My daughter is very supportive. She reads the books and has arranged readings with her friends (She lives in Boston, I live in upstate New York). My mother (who's 96 and going strong) likes my books. She says, "How do you know all this stuff?" I say it's Francine (my sister) on my shoulder.

How do you feel leading up to your publication day?

Well, I'm not very good at all the marketing stuff so I'm usually thinking, "What should I have done?" But I'm not usually a worrier. The way I know something is in my mind is I wake up super early and can't go back to sleep. For example, I began answering these questions at 4:30AM!

Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?

I mentioned Georgette Heyer. I also love Barbara Pym. She wrote in the 50's/60's and is very under-appreciated. I LOVE her wry humor. Her books make me laugh out loud, though they are a bit dated. There's a Canadian writer called Roberson Davies (died in 1995) who wrote great long trilogies that I love too. He had the same sort of wit. I think I'm naturally drawn to the ridiculous and I hope my books make you smile in places.

I should also give a shout-out to my email friend Regency author Audrey Harrison who I didn't meet at an RNA Conference in 2019 – though we were both there! She has been a good friend and inspiration.

Finally...what are you working on right now?

For the first time, I'm writing a historical novel with a split time-line. It begins in the French Revolution in Paris in 1793 and ends in London in 1815. It's called The Lord and the Landlady's Daughter. I'm loving it! Along the way, I've done some research into medicine and the use of herbs at the time. That's been great. I think if I'd lived 250 years ago I'd have been a medicine woman or a witch. My great-grandmother was like that. She could get rid of warts by taking people down to the end of the garden. She probably put some sort of herb on them. I wish I'd been old enough to ask her!


“Ah, Miss Hawthorne,” he said with warmth in his tone, “the tea. Thank you. Your father has been trying to persuade me to the port, but I knew you must be coming soon.”

He placed the tray on an adjacent table and stood looking at her. In the warmth of the kitchen her hair had almost dried and her curls sprang riotously from her head. The woolen shawl trailed behind her and her glorious bosom rose and fell with the exertion of carrying the tray up the stairs. Her cheeks, already pink from the kitchen fire, flushed as he looked at her with obvious appreciation.

His lordship was accustomed to the company of beautiful women. Indeed, he was well known for the large number of Beauties who had passed under his protection these past ten years. The widow who had failed to come up to scratch at the shooting party was his most recent aventure. He had had women try to win him by innocence and by guile. He had had women peep at him winsomely from under their lashes. He had had women lift their noses and pretend to be indifferent. He had had women try to win him by breaking their shoelaces outside his front door and requesting his assistance.

But he had never known a woman like this. She was obviously unaware of the vision she created. She was wearing a dress at least ten years out of date in a color that set off the whiteness of her throat. Her tumble of chestnut curls fell to the swelling hills of her breathtakingly revealed breasts. Entirely without coquetry, she gracefully poured out two cups of tea, handing him one before taking the second, then sitting down with a sigh of satisfaction.

“Oh, that’s better,” she said. “I have been thinking of nothing but a cup of tea these last two hours at least.”

Of course, this was only partly true, but since she had spent a good part of the last two hours with him, his lordship was left to the conclusion that his attractions rated below that of a cup of tea. “That’ll teach you to value yourself too high,” he said to himself.

Author Bio

You can sign up for a free short story or listen to the author read the first chapter of her novels on her website:

GL Robinson was born in Portsmouth, England and was educated in a convent boarding school as her father worked in Africa. She graduated from University College London in the late 60's and when Britain joined the Common Market (as it was then), moved to Brussels (Belgium) to work. She married an American in 1974 and they lived in Brussels and Bonn (Germany) before moving to upstate New York with their three children, where she has been ever since. She always says she never had a baby in English!
She retired from being a French professor and put her energies into running a small antiques (read: pretty junk) business. Then her dear sister died unexpectedly in 2018 and, inspired by the memory of the times they had spent together giggling under the covers after lights out in the convent reading historical romances, she began to write. She has written a number of Regency Romances, a contemporary romance (still in the editing phase!) and two children's travel books. Her first Regency was published in November 2019. Since then, she has published two more and a fourth, the first in a new series, is due out at the end of August.
Apart from writing, she still dabbles in her junk and likes her garden, cooking, reading and having tea parties with her seven grandchildren

Thanks to GL Robinson for stopping by the blog today!

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