Thursday, March 10, 2011

Guest: Jean Hart Stewart

Today Jean Hart Stewart is here talking about her book For Love is New. I read the blurb and excerpt and have added it to my ever-growing TBR list. I asked her a whole bunch of questions, what she wanted to talk about today, and she chose a favorite topic of mine: research!

I'm such a geek, but it's nice to know there are others of us out there!

Researching a book…

I’m a research junkie. Pride myself on researching each book I write, CAREFULLY, and so far I’ve had no objections from fans or reviewers. Cross my fingers on that one. What’s more, I thoroughly enjoy researching. I did more research before writing For Love is New than any of my other books. Although I don’t start any book until I’ve researched the time period, whether a true historical or not. Sometimes I jot down a few lines to suggest the opening scene but no serious writing until I get anchored in the mood of the period. Clothing, current events, etc.

Since The For Love is New (hereafter referred to as FLIN) is an historical romance, the era it’s written in influences every scene and action. The year is 1815, and the book is all about the gorgeous heroine and handsome hero trying to foil the wicked villain. And boy, is he wicked. He’s not only trying to help Napoleon escape from Elba, he’s sadistic. You’ll purely hate him.

Every nuance of the book had to be accurate. I found myself completely fascinated by the complex character of Napoleon, in fact I’m just reading a book stating that Napoleon’s hemorrhoids were responsible for the disastrous delay of the final battle of Waterloo. According to this account pain kept him from mounting his horse and so he spent hours reviewing his troops on foot in hopes he’d feel better. This gave Wellington badly needed time to join forces with his allies and possibly allowed him to win the battle. Certainly Napoleon fled the scene in a carriage, not his horse. Interesting to speculate, isn’t it, and an example of what fascinating stuff you can find when you start digging.

(Ouch! I'd never heard that and have devoured much on Napoleon. Interesting what's out there!)

Another interesting thing about Napoleon is how differently he’s viewed. I have a French friend who thinks he’s the greatest hero France ever produced, so I tred carefully around her.

My Druid and Mage books all required extensive research into mythology and history and the powers these fantastic people were alleged to possess. My characters in the Mage books are direct descendants of Merlin and Lady of the Lake and inherit their powers. In the first series the Druids are descendants of a Druid priestess, in the Mage series from Merlin. I’m just finishing book seven in the Mage series and each of those series books have been fun.

But I LOVE reading and writing historicals. I’ve definitely got one or two churning in my mind right now.

One has a little leeway in paranormal books, but in FLIN I stuck strictly to history. Easy to put my rather active imagination into the sex scenes. Trying to project myself into the mind of the villain was hard, but I think I made him convincingly bad.

Would love to know what you think….


Lord Christian Cherne, recently invalided out of the Penninsular Army, is looking forward to the pleasures of London. He has one duty to discharge before he searches for a mistress. He must offer his protection to Lady Juliet Sloan. Paul Sloan was killed in battle, leaving Christian a horrifying letter of his sadistic treatment at the hands of Roger Gullis. To his dismay, Christian finds Gullis sitting in Lady Juliet’s parlor when he comes to call. All his plans must now concentrate on keeping Juliet safe. Christian further suspects Gullis of being a traitor and his fears for Juliet increase.

Juliet is attracted, but suspicious of which man is the traitor. As attraction between Juliet and Christian grows, Gullis turns cruelly vengeful.

Will Juliet and Christian be able to thwart Gullis’ plans to help bring Napoleon back to power, even as he finds wicked retribution for his rejection by the two lovers he has come to hate?

They reached the oak almost simultaneously.

“I won,” crowed Julie. “You were close, but I won.”

“You little minx, it was a tie. Next time I won’t offer you any start if you can ride like that.”

Her face alight with laughter, Julie swiped at her arm. “These blasted black flies. Oh drat, a huge one’s settled on Torie.”

She leaned over to brush the big insect off Torie’s shoulder at the precise moment a shot rang out. Juliet felt the whoosh of air as the bullet passed over her. Right where she would have been had she not stooped over Torie.

“Julie!” Christian was off his horse in a flash and pulled her down into his arms. “Are you hit?”

He ran his hands up and down her body and then over her face. He groaned as he held her face in his hands and fastened his lips on hers in a desperate attempt to assure himself she was alive and well. Her response was immediate, even more ardent than the times he’d kissed her before. He buried his tongue in her mouth for a brief moment before shuddering and setting her aside.

“My God, Julie, you could have died before my eyes. A fine protector I am.”

Leave Jean a comment, ask Jean a question! I'll be giving away a $10 B&N gift card to one lucky commenter on Saturday, March 12, 2011.


Isabel Roman said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jean!

jean hart stewart said...

And my thanks to you Isabel, for having me. Love comments and giving books away. Guess I really love book tours. I'll be checking all day....Jean

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