Jen: Today we welcome our next HRR guest as Alanna Lucas joins us today. Alanna, will you share a short bio with us?
Alanna: Alanna Lucas grew up in Southern California, but always dreamed of distant lands and bygone eras. From an early age she took interest in art, history, and travel, and enjoys incorporating those diversions into her writing. However, she believes that true love is the greatest source of inspiration and is always an adventure.
Alanna makes her home in California where she spends her time writing historical romances, dreaming of her next travel destination, spending time with family, and staying up too late indulging in her favorite past time, reading.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Alanna: The idea for Dancing Around the Truth came to me while writing When We Dance– the second book in the series. I envisioned Philippa showing up on the hero’s doorstep begging for assistance. After I wrote that scene, the rest of the story seemed to fall into place.
And now the blurb:
SECRETS & LIES
Mrs. Philippa Keates thought she’d found her happily-ever-after when she eloped, but two years and no children later she is named a widow. Then a woman claiming to be her late husband’s wife appears, and Philippa demands answers.
Benjamin Weston, the illegitimate son of the late Baron Albryght, has made a name for himself conducting investigations for those willing to pay a high price for discretion. When a childhood friend shows up on his doorstep, begging for his assistance, Weston fears most of all that she will discover the truth…and thus bring further scandal to herself, the only woman he has ever loved. But as he unravels her mystery, as secrets of his own begin to come to light, soon it becomes clear that there is more at stake than just Philippa’s reputation—and nothing less than her heart.
Weston reached for the cool handle and eased the door open. A whiff of lavender, vanilla, and wet dog invaded his senses.
Before he could register what was happening, a petite figure draped in black pushed past the door and stormed into the house followed close behind by the largest dog Weston had ever set eyes on.
Without explanation as to why she was on his doorstep, Philippa began to chatter out, “I thought…you meant for us to fr-freeze out there.” She rubbed her arms with quick movements. The dog shook its body from head to tail, spraying the foyer with the none-too-pleasant smell of wet dog.
Weston stood dumbfounded. Wasn’t Philippa just here this afternoon? He was still holding the door open, trying to comprehend why she was here at this hour. Glancing outside, he noticed no horse, no carriage, and no chaperone. Damn. One day her impulsive nature would land her in irreparable trouble.
“What are you doing here?” Weston shut the door. Closing his eyes, he sucked in his breath. Give me patience. “Do you know what time it is?”
“I haven’t a clue.” She turned her crystal blue eyes on him. “It took forever to reach Knights Hall.”
“How did you get here?”
“I walked.” She said those two words like they were commonplace. Perhaps in the middle of the day with a chaperone they were, but at this time of evening, and in the rain, they were the two most inconceivable words spoken by a lady of her station.
“You walked here?”
“You walked here in the dark…in the rain…unchaperoned?”
“It wasn’t dark or raining when I left. And as for unchaperoned, Silvanus was with me. He would have protected me.” She turned her attention to the large wet dog. “Isn’t that right?” she said in a jovial voice. “You’re the best dog ever.” Silvanus’s tail wagged wildly at the sound of her high-pitched praise.
Weston did not doubt the dog’s ability to scare off any would-be attacker, but he was still no substitute for a proper chaperone.
“Why didn’t you ride? Or better, why didn’t you stay home and send word?” As the words were spewing from his mouth, Weston could see Philippa’s face redden with agitation. He didn’t care. Her carefree spirit had been endearing when she was a child, but now she was headed for bedlam with this sort of activity.
Weston’s blood boiled with the thought of what trouble she could have found herself in. “I cannot believe you thought it was a good idea to venture out…”
Interrupting his tirade with a stomp of her foot, she yelled, “If you would just be quiet for all of two seconds, perhaps I might explain what I’m doing here.” Silvanus’s eyes narrowed on Weston as if he was the source of his mistress’s aggravation.
Weston opened his mouth to speak, but thought better of it after the glare Philippa—and her dog—cast his way. He knew better than to argue with her when she was in one of these moods.
“I needed to speak with you again, and sending a note would not suffice. I walked here because I do not ride anymore.” Her sentence started strong but trailed off in a whisper.
The lingering pain in her eyes struck his heart.
Philippa cleared her throat. “I didn’t want to raise suspicion, so I informed my maid that I was not to be disturbed. As for the hour, I hadn’t realized just how far it was, and besides, the walk was quite refreshing…”
Weston thought Philippa could go on all night if he did not interrupt her. “Why exactly did you come here?”
Philippa pulled a letter from her pocket. “I found this.”
Weston’s world was about to come crashing down.
Jen: Describe an ideal date.
Alanna: A leisurely stroll (in Italy would be nice) followed by dinner and red wine under the stars.
Jen: Favorite dance style or move?
Alanna: The waltz
Jen: Favorite alcoholic drink? non alcoholic?
Alanna: Coffee in the morning, red wine in the evening.
Jen: Favorite animal?
Alanna: Horses and elephants are two of my favorites.
Jen: Who is your hero?
Alanna: My husband
Jen: What invention you can’t live without?
Alanna: Running water
Jen: Are you handy? Crafty?
Alanna: Yes, both.
Jen: Which reality show would you want to be on?
Alanna: I don’t know any! If I could choose any show, it would be Top Gear UK– I would love to get a driving lesson from The Stig.
Jen: Describe your writing style in one word.
Jen: Fries or onion rings?
Alanna: Onion rings
Jen: Dress/skirt or pants?
Jen: What’s next for you?
Alanna: I am ecstatic to be one of nine historical romance authors in the Once Upon a True Love’s Kiss anthology coming January 2016!