Guest & Contest: Alison Stuart

Hi Romancing the Book readers!

Thank you for inviting me to visit Romancing the Book. It’s been a busy six months with my AOE Award nominated ghost story, GATHER THE BONES, coming out in September last year and SECRETS IN TIME in April.  As to what is next… all I can say is I have some irons in the fire and there are plans to have something new out by the end of the year.  To keep up to date with my news, I do have a newsletter which readers are welcome to subscribe to (Click HERE).

I’ve always loved time travel books and SECRETS IN TIME, my venture into this sub genre, was tremendous fun to write. I just didn’t imagine that setting it in 1995 would involve nearly as much research as the “historical” part of the story – know mobile phones, no ipods… As to WHY it is set in 1995 and not 2013…well you might have to read the book itself!

I wanted to work with a hero coming forward in time…which presented interesting challenges…so here’s the official back cover summary.

When a seventeenth-century cavalier hurls himself over her garden wall, Doctor Jessica Shepherd is more angry than surprised. Although she ís no stranger to military re-enactors, there ís something different about Nathaniel Preston. If he ís to be believed, something…or someone…has sent him forward in time from the midst of a civil war to the quiet English countryside of the twentieth century.

With time working against them, Nathaniel has to convince Jessica why fate brought them together before he ís forced to return to his own era and certain death in battle.

Can the strength of love overcome all obstacles, even time itself?

Rather than include an excerpt (click HERE if you would like to read a lengthy excerpt), I thought we might have a chat with my heroine, Dr. Jessica Shepherd.  She’s been very elusive about her new boyfriend and I know her former fiancée, a doctor at the same hospital, has been walking around with a face like thunder, so let’s see if we can find out a little bit more….

Ms. Stuart:  Good morning, Doctor Shepherd, do you mind if we have a quick word with you?

JS:  Jess is fine. I’m a doctor of pediatrics so I prefer being called by my first name.

Ms. S:  I gather you have now finished renovating that charming cottage in the village of Chesham?

JS:  Yes, I have. It was a challenge I can tell you. I don’t think anything had been done to it since electricity and running water were put in during the 1930s.

Ms. S:  You must have unearthed some interesting artifacts during your building work.

JS:  The usual broken glass and crockery. Personally I found the keys the most interesting. There was one particularly interesting key with a filigree pattern on the head that seemed quite out of character with the cottage. One of the builders found it tucked behind a brick in the old fireplace as if it had been deliberately hidden there.

Ms. S:  Do you know what it’s for?

JS: Not yet.

Ms.S:  The gossip around the hospital is that you have a new boyfriend?

JS: Err…yes. Honestly this place leaks like a sieve! But as you know, ever since I caught that rat Mark, in bed with one of the interns, I have been right off men but Nat Preston sort of dropped into my life and swept me off my feet.

Ms.S:  What do you mean?

JS:   I mean literally, he jumped over my garden wall and landed in the flower bed. The dahlias are ruined.

Ms.S:  Is he local?

JS:  In a manner of speaking. He comes from Heatherhill Hall, a couple of miles away.

Ms. S:  But isn’t that owned by the National Trust?

JS: It is now, but of course it was owned by the Preston family for centuries.

Ms. S:  I have heard that he looks particularly fetching dressed as a seventeenth century cavalier. According to Mrs. Brown who takes the tickets at the Hall he is the splitting image of Colonel Nathaniel Preston who was killed at the Battle of Chesham in June 1645.

JS: The resemblance is quite uncanny. Oh dear, that’s my pager…I better run. Nice to talk.

* * * * *

Alison-web smallAlison Stuart is an award winning Australian writer of historicals with heart.  Whether duelling with dashing cavaliers or waywards ghosts, her books provide a reader with a meaty plot and characters who have to strive against adversity, always with the promise of happiness together. Alison is a lapsed lawyer who has worked in the military and fire service, which may explain a predisposition to soldier heroes.  She lives with her own personal hero and two needy cats and likes nothing more than a stiff gin and tonic and a walk along the sea front of her home town.  She loves to hear from her readers and can be found at her website, Facebook, Twitter (@AlisonStuart14) and Goodreads.

To win an ecopy of SECRETS IN TIME, please drop by and leave a meaningful comment. Alison is particularly interested in knowing what period of time you would travel to (if you could) and why.






27 thoughts on “Guest & Contest: Alison Stuart

    • Hi May. I think you’d definitely want to come back! Have you seen Lost in Austen…where a modern day girl finds herself in the middle of the plot of Pride and Prejudice? You can appreciate the dilemmas of being a modern girl in the regency and of course when Darcy turns up in 21st century London… Great fun.

    • Hi MK…not so sure I agree with you. There was terrible poverty in Scotland in the 18th and 19th century – and it is very cold and dark…and as for bagpipes…! Actually I love Scotland – but only to visit 🙂

    • Hi Cassandra. As I undoubtedly would have been a peasant in medieval Scotland, I don’t think life would have been very pleasant! At least it is warmer in Greece or Egypt. I studied ancient and classical civilisations at university and have always had a hankering to be an archeologist. In my last novel, GATHER THE BONES, the hero is an archaeologist so I got to do it vicariously!

  1. Nicole Laverdure says:

    I would go back in the Regency era and have a peek! I love this period because stories related to hat time are so romantic, I just love them. I really like them when they are also time-travel, not so many are written but both genres! Alison, thank you for this giveaway! nlaverdure88@videotron.ca

    • Hi Nicole. It was a very elegant era. I am writing a suspense set in the regency period at the moment which is great fun to write. Have you seen Lost in Austen? (referred to in my comments above)…it’s a sort of time travel back to the plot of Pride and Prejudice.

  2. Maria D. says:

    I think I would like to go back to the roaring 20’s or maybe the 40’s after WW2 – I like the idea of going back in time but I would want as many of the “modern” conveniences (telephone, showers, washing machines) as possible …if not that period then probably the Regency for the fashion and gentlemanly behavior of men. Thanks for the giveaway!

    • …and toothpaste, Maria! My last book, GATHER THE BONES, is set in 1923 and it was quite a relief to be able to switch on electric lights and run baths and jump in motor vehicles. It’s a lovely period to write about. The wonderful “new look” fashions after the austerity of WW2 were so feminine and gorgeous but the reality was that rationing in England went on well into the 50s and life was pretty hard.

  3. BookLady says:

    Congratulations on the publication of Secrets in Time! I love time travel books. If I could go back in time, I would like to visit 17th century France. The castles, the beautiful gowns, and the pageantry!

    • Oh BookLady…a fellow 17th century passionista! It is undoubtedly my favourite period. The chateaus of the Loire valley, Versailles…the French did the 17th century in so much more style than the English. My friend Sandra Gulland writes wonderful books about the court of Louis XIV.

  4. Margaret Taylor says:

    *laughs* I love time travels, I do, but usually in the opposite direction. I’d love to go into the future! However, if I have to choose, I’d go back to 1800’s Scotland. Love the Highlanders, something about a man in a kilt…*sighs*

  5. Hi Margaret…I have no desire to see the world of the future (visions of a post apocalyptic world such as that depicted in Blade Runner!) but bagpipes aside (which I am not fond of), there is something about a man in a kilt…

  6. Kristina says:

    What a gorgeous cover! Jimmy Thomas is a hunk! 😉 The book sounds fantastic. I love the time travel/historical/romance mashups.

    There are so many places and times I would want to visit. England in Shakespeare’s time. Scotland before that. The Victorian era, medieval. All of it!

  7. Marcy Shuler says:

    I love Medieval romances and like the thought of being there, but I’m too fond of bathing and smelling good to actually want to live then. LOL

  8. Audra Holtwick says:

    I would like to visit Tudor England. And go to court just to visit Queen Elizabeth.

  9. Linda Thum says:

    Regency England. I’ve read so many wonderful romance books set in this era. I’d love to be able to dress up & attend a ball.

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