A few months after I started writing my first romance novel, way back in 2009, I stumbled across a blog that had just launched. It was written by the nominees of that year’s Golden Heart Award, and they called themselves the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood. Ever since then, their blog has been a tremendous guide as I stumbled my way to publication, and one person in particular has been an endlessly encouraging friend to me. I’m thrilled to say that her debut historical romance, When She Was Wicked, comes out tomorrow – January 29th!
Please help me welcome Anne Barton!
Thanks, Kat! It’s wonderful to be here with you!
1. The heroine of When She Was Wicked, Miss Anabelle Honeycote (gorgeous name!), is a dressmaker. On your website you have a very cool ball gown generator, where readers can enter some info about themselves and discover what kind of gown Anabelle would create for them. Tell me, what would she make a busty brunette who would swear to her dying day that she’s really a blonde? Oh, and this client happens to be six months pregnant?
Ha! And congratulations on being enceinte! Here’s a secret: the beauty of the ball gown generator is that it doesn’t know if you’re fudging the truth. For example, it thinks I’m “willowy.” I recommend tweaking your selections till Anabelle gives you the gown of your dreams.
I’m glad you like the generator, because I had so much fun creating it. I mean, I can barely handle sewing a button onto a shirt, but virtual ball gowns? No problem!
2. Ooh, good tip. I’m going to tell Anabelle that I’m quite fit. Tell us one thing about your hero and heroine that we won’t know from reading the blurb (which is below).
Owen has several great-aunts whom he dotes on; family is everything to him.
Anabelle wears spectacles and has always felt hidden in the shadow of her younger, strikingly beautiful sister.
3. What’s your favorite moment of your journey to publication so far?
Hmm, that’s a tough question because I’ve enjoyed almost all the phases of my journey so far: typing the end on my first manuscript, finding out about my first contest final, attending my first conference. I even remember calling my mom and telling her how excited I was to get my first rejection letter—it made me feel like a real writer.
But my favorite moment has to be winning the Golden Heart. I’d sold my book while at the RWA Conference just days before, and hearing my name called at the Awards Ceremony made the whole week seem even more magical. Best of all, my cousin and critique partner, Lisa Connelly, also won a Golden Heart that night. Even now, a year and a half later, I can hardly believe it.
4. What is it about the Regency period that you’re particularly drawn to?
I’ve been hooked on historical romance—especially Regencies—ever since I read Pride and Prejudice in high school. I love the balls, house parties, and country picnics of course, but it’s more than that. Maybe it’s the fun of escaping 200 years into the past and imagining ourselves there?
I once attended a workshop where Stephanie Laurens said the Regency period is popular because it resonates with the modern audience. It was a time in history (as now) when men and women could marry for love, marry for obligation, or choose not to marry. I wish I’d thought of this answer!
5. Do you have a publication date for book #2? What can you tell us about it?
Once She Was Tempted will be out in the fall, and I’m very excited about this story. It features a wounded hero and Anabelle’s beautiful younger sister, Daphne. Everyone thought she was the sweet, innocent sister, but it turns out she has a couple scandalous secrets of her own!
If you could live anywhere in the world for one year, where would it be?
What drives you absolutely crazy?
My local library is closed for renovations…and has been for almost two years now. *sob*
What’s one thing on your must-do-before-I-die list that you haven’t done yet?
Write a sitcom or TV series!
Anne’s giving away one copy of When She Was Wicked to someone who leaves a comment here. I’ll randomly choose the winner on Tuesday February 5th. Good luck!
SOME RULES SIMPLY BEG TO BE BROKEN
A dressmaker in London’s busiest shop, Miss Anabelle Honeycote overhears the ton’s steamiest secrets—and (occasionally) uses them to her advantage. It isn’t something she’s proud of, but the reluctant blackmailer needs the money to care for her gravely ill mother. To make up for her misdeeds, Anabelle keeps to a firm set of rules:
- Never request payment from someone who cannot afford it.
- Never reveal the secrets of a paying client.
- Never enter into any form of social interaction with a client.
Her list keeps her (somewhat) honest—until she encounters Owen Sherbourne, the Duke of Huntford. Not only does Owen nip Anabelle’s extortion plans in the bud, the devilishly handsome Duke soon has the sexy seamstress dreaming of more than silks and satins. With Owen, Anabelle enjoys pleasures she never imagined…until a scandal from the past resurfaces. Now her rules could mean his family’s ruin. Owen’s searing kisses carry the promise of passion, but how will he react when Anabelle’s most devastating secret is finally revealed?
This book sounds fabulous. Would love to read it.
Hi Anne and Kat,
Awesome interview. Really enjoy it :))
I’m a historical romance fan. I read the blurb of When She Was Wicked and it sounds great. Actually, I bought the book a couple days ago as a birthday present for my friend but I haven’t got one myself. Hopefully I could win my own copy here LOL By the way, the cover is beautiful. I’m not really a fan of the color red but it looks awesome on this cover 😀
So glad you liked the interview, Aline. And woo-hoo for buying WSWW for your friend!
Thank you so much, Aline!
Congrats to Anne on her debut release. Can’t wait to meet the blackmailing heroine.
Congrats on this first release! a blackmailing heroine that’s intrigue me even more since she has put some rules to this^^
thank you a lot for the giveaway
I love finding out about new authors. When she was Wicked sounds like a great read. The blackmail plot is ripe with possibilities. Thanks for the interview and introduction.
Love historical romance, can’t wait to read this. Thanks.
sounds like fun!
Red gown is always fascinating 🙂
read the blurb and i’m so excited, hope can read this book soon 😀
Thank you Anne for taking time to do this interview! I LOVE historicals and mostly buy them over any other type of romance. There’s just something about going back to another time and place, even in your mind. I very much look forward to reading your book and congrats on your debut release!
Thanks for stopping by, Wanda! I know what you mean about historicals…even though I read contemporary romance too, historicals are my first love. 🙂
Loved the interview. And the book sounds great – and I LOVE the cover, too. Thanks, as always, for a chance to win – and for sharing all your thoughts and finds.
I love heroines like Miss Annabelle. This sounds awesome. Hoping to get a free copy.
Congrats on your new release! I can’t wait to read it. Love the cover its beautiful. Sounds like a fantastic read. Thanks for sharing with us today.
Thanks for the cover love, QL! The mischievous smile on Anabelle’s face is a perfect match. 🙂
I enjoyed hearing about this one and what a lovely cover!
I enjoyed hearing about this one and what a lovely cover! Thanks.
The book sounds amazing~! The dress generator is awesome~ but it too thought myself to be “willowy”. Can’t wait for the book.
Hi, Kat and Anne! I loved the interview and am looking forward to reading Annabelle’s and Owen’s story in WHEN SHE WAS WICKED. Congrats on the release, Anne! Please keep them coming!
Adding this to my to read list! Anabelle sounds like a fascinating heroine and I love the ballgown generator!
Thanks for giving the ball gown generator a whirl! Wouldn’t it be nice if the gowns were real and could fill our closets? Hmm, now that I think on it, maybe I need to start working on a shoe/slipper generator…
Congratulations on your debut book. It has a lovely, eye-catching cover that I will look for at the bookstore!
I loved your interview with Anne and finding out more about her!
I already have When She Was Wicked on my TBR list and it’s because I come from a family of seamtresses! Both my grandmother and mother were wonderful dressmakers and In fact my mother started by making “everyday” dresses but was soon approached to design and make a wedding gown for a friend’s daughter. After that she got so many requests that she ended up buying a building and going to NYC to all the designers and her one rule was that no two brides could buy the same gown so that they all could wear the “perfect gown”. Even though she occasionally still made that “precious” wedding gown from a pattern planned by the bride to be treasured and passed down, she ended up retiring before I could have a special dress of my own but she did make my ball gowns for my Junior and Senior proms when I was in High School!
Thanks for giving us the link to the ball gown generator on Anne’s site! I can’t wait to “check it out”!
Jeanne, what an awesome story! And, speaking as someone who’s tried to make a few skirts with varying success (I sewed the first one completely closed at the top), I can say I’m very jealous of your mom’s skills.
So glad you enjoyed the interview and shared this with us!
My Mom had taught both of my older sister’s to sew but by the time I was a teenager she already had her bridal shop so I didn’t learn how to sew until I was in the 9th grade and we had to take a c;ass where one of the teachers taught all the “girl” how to sew! That was in the very early 1960’s when girls took sewing classes and the boys took “shop”!
When my boys were young every year they would have me make their holloween costumes and and now that they are Dads with children of our own my husband and I get a big kick of watching them roll their eyes as we show their children pictures of their Dad when he was their age!
Ohm blackmail with a good reason behind it, I love it!!! Please enter me to win what looks like a delightful book. My gramma took in other’s laundry, I remember seeing piles of white dress shirts everywhere and always being told to watch my step.
The book sounds intriguing.
Loved the book excerpt, anything wicked always seems to grab my attention! Thank you for the interview and sharing, as well as giving us a chance to win 🙂
Congratulations on the new release.
Nice interview. I recently won some books in a giveaway and an ARC of this book was included. I hope to start it soon.
I love your ball gown generator and I loved my dress on the first try!! Any chance you can draw and will be adding the actual picture of the dress? (just kidding :))
Can’t wait to read this book.
I always enjoy reading an unusual story and to have Anabelle be both a dressmaker and a blackmailer is certainly out of the norm – I’ll be curious to read how it all comes out in the end.