Research, obsession and Engaging the Enemy
Hello. Thanks for having me at Romancing the Book today.
I read that a lot of authors think of their books as children. Forgive me if I go against convention here but that would be utterly wrong for a romance author who likes to write hot love scenes. Given the number of men in my books (I write gay romance too) I like to think I date a lot. I have a whole stable of willing men ready to perform if given the right incentive and the right partner in life.
So far, they seem satisfied with the arrangement. *wink* But don’t get the wrong idea about me. I can assure you I’m not at all fickle or flirty or discontent with my life. I married my childhood sweetheart, have two kids and cat. Our family works because we talk to each other and share common interests (not all kid related). For example, I’ve taken up watching car racing – V8 Supercars in Australia and I even have my own car to follow. I try to bring that sense of connection and family loyalty to every story I tell.
Every writer brings their own experience and values to their work. My problem and lifeline is an overactive imagination coupled with an obsession with discovering all I can about the regency world. My new release, Engaging the Enemy, started from research. I was looking to learn more about England’s great houses and when I found Romsey and Longleat House in Wiltshire I put the two together and had my setting for the Wild Randalls series.
Here’s a peek at Engaging the Enemy.
No matter how much time had passed since his last visit to Hampshire, Leopold Randall, heir to the young Duke of Romsey’s title, would rather return to exile in India than beg help from Romsey Abbey. If not for his quest to locate his family, Leopold would never have set foot on Romsey soil again.
He stared across the mist shrouded valley to where Romsey Abbey, a sprawling mish mash of architectural foolishness, glowed boldly in the early morning light with a growing sense of foreboding. All his life he had gazed at the place that had been the home of his ancestors and wished he might have been born into another family.
The stench of betrayal lay thick upon Romsey Abbey. Even when the duke in question was too young to understand the power he would wield one day, his existence was far from innocent, steeped in lies. Born and bound in deceit. The Romsey duke’s crushed those that stood in their way without a passing thought for the pain they would inflict. Leopold’s side of the family had suffered such a fate, scattered to the four corners.
Leopold had been denied any return to England in the past five years. His existence considered both a threat and a commodity for the old duke’s schemes. The last time he had been summoned into His Grace’s presence, Leopold had made a bargain with the old devil to keep his sister safe. Even if he’d not had any choice in the matter, the memory of that night still haunted his dreams and robbed him of any peace.
Behind him, in humble whitewashed cottages, the sleepy village came to life. They were happy, secure in their lives, confident in the benevolence of the Duke of Romsey, and the continuation of years of endless tradition, pomp and ceremony. Going about their days with no idea of the ugly, calculating power of the family he was sadly a part of.
Leopold slipped a pistol into his hand, finding reassurance in the familiar weight, and then let it go in disgust. Three months ago he’d been sweltering in Surat on the banks of the Tapti River, unaware of the changes at Romsey, going about the old duke’s business with no idea he was free. The news he had died a year and a half ago had pleased him. But it was only by chance that he’d heard the duke’s only son, his cousin Edwin Randall, had died six months after acceding to the title. To say he was shocked was an understatement. Now, only a child stood between him and gaining the title of the Duke of Romsey.
Somewhere in the depths of hell, the old Duke of Romsey must be writhing in agony.
Heather Boyd is the author of erotic romance with an historical bent. A fan of regency England settings, she writes m/f and m/m stories that push the boundaries of propriety and even break the laws of that time. Brimming with new ideas, she frequently wishes she could type as fast as she can conjure up new storylines. Heather lives with her testosterone-fuelled family north of Sydney.
Her published work include: The Distinguished Rogues (Chills, Broken & Charity), gay regency romance – The Hunt Club Chronicles (Almost an Equal, Barely a Master & Hardly a Stranger) and short erotic romance One Wicked Night, In the Widow’s Bed, Love Me Tender, Wicked Mourning and The Almack’s Alternative.