Monday, May 27, 2013

An update from Linda.
Mary's Sacrifice was recently in amazon's top one hundred historical; it got ti 19 but was mostly around mid-list 30's/40's.  I have now put up Captain Havers story, another short  fun novella.

On the Anne herries front His Unusual Governess was out in April and a new Crusader book is coming out in September - wonderful cover.

George’s thoughts were suspended as he saw a white satin shoe lying by the roadside. Slowing his horses, he instructed his tiger to get down and pick it up. The lad did so and George frowned as he saw the heel had snapped.

‘I wonder what happened to the lady it belonged to…?’ he murmured.

‘Lor, guv, there’s another,’ the tiger said and sprinted a few yards ahead. He picked up the matching shoe and brought it back. ‘This one ain’t damaged, captain.’

‘No. Keep your eye out, Jed,’ George said. ‘’Tis mighty strange…what’s that?’

The tiger looked round and then darted to the side of the road and snatched up a posy of pink rosebuds.

‘I reckon as it’s a weddin’ bouquet,’ Jed said, hopping back into the phaeton. ‘What do you think happened?’

‘I have no idea, but a posy and white satin shoes sounds very like a bride. I wonder…Good grief, I think that must be her…’

A short distance ahead, a young woman in a state of dishevelment was sitting on a grassy hummock by the roadside. Her white bonnet had been discarded and lay on the ground at her side, and her long dark hair had tumbled free and looked wind-tossed. Her gown of white silk sewn with tiny pink rosebuds and pearls was clearly special and intended for a wedding, and, as she looked up, George saw that her lovely face was streaked with tears. She was quite obviously in some distress.

Pulling his horses to a gentle halt, he got down and approached her.

‘Are you in trouble, miss…?’

‘I’ve run away,’ she said and sniffed. ‘Archie left me waiting at the altar for an hour before…before he sent a note to say he wasn’t coming.’ A tear trickled down her cheek but she dashed it away. ‘I didn’t wait to read it. Everyone was being so kind to me but I could see they were laughing behind their fans and I couldn’t stand it – so I ran away.’

‘Yes, I do understand,’ George said sympathetically. ‘That was most unpleasant for you – did your fiancé say why he’d changed his mind?’

He sat down on the hummock beside her, ignoring the thought of possible grass stains to his pale dove breeches. She gave an audible sniff. George presented her with his handkerchief and she took it, blowing her nose and wiping her cheeks.

‘I do not know for I did not read the letter…but he must have changed his mind. His mama and my father made the match between them when we were children…’ She gave a wail of despair. ‘Why couldn’t he tell me if he did not wish to wed me? Why did he have to let my father arrange all this and then just run off?’

‘Because he is a coward?’ George suggested, shaking his head when she tried to return his soggy kerchief. ‘It was a despicable thing to do. You have the right to be angry.’

‘I wouldn’t have minded quite so much…though I’ve always loved him,’ she declared. ‘If he’d explained…told me that he didn’t love me…’

‘Yes, I see how you feel. It was very bad of him.’

‘I feel such an idiot because I was taken in – and Miranda will gloat because she didn’t like me being the first to marry and she is a year older, of course, besides being fair and tall.’
'Miranda is?'

I noticed that the Silverton Scandal is up for free.  I bought and read this book and thoroughly enjoyed it.   Love to all the readers and to my fellow contributors to the blog   Linda Sole/Anne Herries

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Silverton Scandal - free offer

One of my Regency romances, The Silverton Scandal, is currently in a free promotion (it ends today, so hurry!) It has all the elements that made me fall in love with Regency romances when I first discovered them. It has a tall, dark, handsome hero and an intelligent and courageous heroine. It also has lots of action, adventure and mystery as well as romance.

I admire Eleanor, my heroine. She has taken care of her younger sister since their parents died, and when a blackmailer threatens to destroy her sister's marriage plans, Eleanor takes matters into her own hands. She follows the blackmailer to London, where events take a mysterious turn. The blackmailer is found dead, and in the same house is the Earl of Silverton, a man Eleanor has already met in intriguing circumstances. What is he really doing there? Can Eleanor trust him? Her head whispers caution, but her heart has other ideas.
The Historical Novel Society loved the book :"Both hero and heroine are attractive characters and we follow their adventures with interest as the tale moves along at a cracking pace. Amanda Grange is not afraid of dialogue and she uses it to good effect as she takes us into the privileged world of the rich in 1810," said  Margaret Crosland in the Historical Novels Review.
If you like mystery with your romance then hurry over to Amazon! The UK link is and the US link is I hope you enjoy it!
Amanda Grange

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Covers and Cover Models

You’ll have to excuse me, but I’m going to “lower the tone” a bit now and talk about male cover models.  The topic is fresh in my mind, as I’ve just attended my first ever RT Booklovers Convention in Kansas City, Missouri – a very interesting experience!

In the 1980s when I first started buying historical romantic fiction, most of the ones I liked came from the US – Johanna Lindsey, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Shirlee Busbee, Catherine Coulter to name but a few.  They all had covers with a couple in a clinch, the woman usually looking adoringly up at a bare-chested man (more often than not various versions of the model Fabio or his clones) and I became used to that.  It didn’t bother me as I would have bought the books no matter what was on the outside, but I thought it was a trend which would quickly die out and be replaced with something else.

Not so – the half-naked men covers are still alive and well, particularly in the US where they seem to be the norm for a lot of romance genres.  They just seem to be a bit edgier these days.

This was made clear to me at the RT Convention.  The first things I saw upon arrival were lift doors with such book covers on them and key cards with a picture of a man’s naked torso.  And a lot of the covers of books for sale during the convention (and in the goody bags) still featured men in various states of undress.  Whether they were Regency rakes, cowboys or shapeshifters, none of them seemed to own a jacket, let alone a shirt!

Key Cards
In the UK, I hear a lot of disparaging remarks about these types of cover, but are they really so bad?  Ok, they’re a bit clichéd, but then so are the “headless” Tudor women of the historical novels over here.  They fulfil a function, which is to tell the reader what kind of book is inside the covers and I, for one, don’t mind having a bit of “eye candy” as a bonus.  Granted, most of them are not my type and I prefer to use my own imagination to picture what the hero looks like.  But very occasionally you come across one who really makes you sit up and take notice – that can be nice :-)

The RT Convention is known for its cover model pageants and for always having such men present.  This year was no exception (apart from the fact that they didn’t have a pageant and most of them were a lot older than I had thought!) and they seemed like a nice bunch.  Friendly, smiling, always willing to chat or have their photo taken, and happy to take part in anything the organisers asked of them.  They took their duties seriously and were trying their best to make everyone enjoy the convention.  They even dressed up for the Freaky Friday party and danced the night away with everyone else.  And these days they seem to be very savvy – a couple of them had tables at a romance fair, offering their photos for sale to authors who are self-publishing.  So not just the male equivalent of bimbos but businessmen as well!

Add caption
So – love them or loathe them?  I’d love your take on these covers, because it seems to me they are here to stay. 

Christina x 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Walking Through a Regency Landscape - Sheringham Park and Humphrey Repton

I’m lucky enough to live close to one of Humphry Repton’s finest landscapes at Sheringham Park on the North Norfolk coast and last week I went for a long walk in the grounds, admiring what is still very much a Regency landscape.

Repton (1752-1818) was born and bred in Norfolk but had a career as a landscape architect that took him all over the country. He was involved at Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire and “appears” off-stage, as it were, in my novel Regency Rumours: Scandal Comes to Wimpole Hall which is out in August in the UK (September US).

Repton was involved in the government’s search for an estate to bestow on Lord Nelson’s brother, to accompany a peerage to be given him in commemoration of Nelson’s achievements. He heard that Sheringham Park was for sale and suggested it, but the absence of a house ruled it out. However, when he heard that the estate had been sold to Mr Abbott Upcher by Mr Cook Flower (unusual names seem to feature largely in this story!) he approached Upcher with the suggestion that he design a house and landscape the park.

In July 1812, after spending an intensive five days on the spot, Repton produced one of his famous Red Books for the estate, covering not only the landscape of the park, but designs for a house and ideas for the village and estate cottages.

The Upchers favoured the locality because of its healthful sea air, but it was also on England’s vulnerable frontline in the French wars. The towering modern gazebo on top of the hill behind the house is on the site of a look-out tower from where the ocean could be scanned for French warships. In 1814 Upcher commemorated the victory against the French with a reservoir and water pump in the centre of the village.

Repton’s plans for the estate took advantage of the existing fine woodland and the hills, valleys and sloping fields, the result of its location on a glacial terminal moraine. Under his direction the Upchers planted more trees and carefully planned vistas were opened up to create the naturalistic, romantic, yet civilised, landscape so fashionable at the time.

I love the location so much that I used it as the setting for the third in my Shelley Sisters trilogy, Innocent Courtesan to Adventurer’s Bride. (Available on Kindle).

Now, as then, we approach the house down a very long carriage drive from the heights of the Cromer road. It winds down through the woodland with one spectacular glimpse of the sea to wet our appetite, before a turn in the road reveals the house, nestling against the wooded hill that shields it from the ocean. Everywhere through the park there are set-piece views so that the Upchers and their guests could walk or drive, picnic or sketch with a pleasing prospect before them. Not all of Repton’s suggestions were adopted immediately – it took until the 1970s before the Upcher family erected the Temple, for example – but the essential design is very clear.
If you are in the area now, and for the next few weeks, the spectacular rhododendron and azalea collection begun by Victorian Upchers is coming into flower and makes the park even more spectacular.
Louise Allen

Friday, May 17, 2013

Richard Trevithick was a brilliant Cornish mining engineer who invented the first tube system boiler to use high pressure steam, and the world's first self-propelled locomotive. So why for 200 years have people believed James Watt to be the pioneer responsible for those two inventions?  Because Watt and his partner, Matthew Boulton, had the advantage of being shrewd businessmen. 
When James Watt first heard about the new tubular boiler he publicly claimed that Trevithick should be hanged for creating something so lethal. And it was lethal – mainly because the quality of metal available at the time, and the rivets used to bolt the plates together, were simply not strong enough to withstand the enormous pressures.  Trevithick also invented a safety valve for the boiler – after he left one of his engines on a cart outside an inn where he remained drinking for several hours, and it blew up.
High pressure steam cut coal consumption by four fifths, which was a huge financial saving. So after the new Cornish high-pressure steam boiler proved to be successful, Boulton & Watt registered patents which, for over 40 years, made further development by any other engineers impossible. Any attempts to work round these provoked immediate threats of litigation.
Richard Trevithick’s fertile mind meant he invariably worked on several inventions at the same time. This made him hard to pin down to a particular project. He had a quick temper, fell out with his patrons, was invariably short of money, and hopeless at business. 
He married Jane Harvey whose father had established an iron foundry and engineering works in Hayle. All too aware of Richard Trevithick’s poor money management, and anxious that his sister did not suffer, Jane’s brother installed her as manager of his hotel, The White Hart, which she ran while raising six children. This income sustained the family during the sixteen years that Trevithick was in South America. He walked a thousand miles from one side of the continent to the other, maintaining engines and boilers built in Cornwall and sent out to the mines in Chile, Peru and Mexico.
Despite his many remarkable inventions Richard died a pauper.  But at the ‘Trevithick Day’ celebrations in Camborne, a replica of his ‘Puffing Devil,’ the world’s first successful self-propelled vehicle, reminded the crowds of the achievements of this remarkable Cornishman. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Georgians' German Relatives

In April, I blogged about Sophie Charlotte, the sister of George I, and her palace in Berlin. Sophie Charlotte was the wife of the first King in Prussia. They had one son, who became King Frederick William I in 1713 and married his first cousin, Sophia Dorothea, daughter of George I and sister of George II. Keeping it in the family, as I said last month.

Charlottenburg Palace garden in the snow
 George I and his successors were wise to keep in with the German royal families. The Georges weren't only Kings of Britain but also still Electors of Hanover; and Hanoverian rulers were required to marry German princesses or forfeit the right to rule. Skipping forward to the 19th century, that's why all George IV's unmarried brothers went off to find themselves German wives once it became clear that George IV would never produce another heir after the death of Princess Charlotte. (Rulers of Hanover also had to be male which is why Queen Victoria did not become Queen of Hanover. The title went to her uncle Ernest Augustus instead, and the British and Hanoverian royal houses became separate.)

Frederick William I did little to Charlottenburg during his reign.  He was succeeded by his son Frederick the Great (Frederick II) in 1740, at the age of only 28. He stayed in the Charlottenburg Palace when he came to Berlin from his beloved Potsdam, but the small (smallish!) palace that Sophie Charlotte had created was not nearly grand enough for her grandson. Frederick the Great had a huge new wing built along with stabling for his own regiment of Guards.

Charlottenburg Palace interior

Charlottenburg Palace, Oval Chamber

Charlottenburg Palace, King's study

All the Prussian royal family were mad about Chinese porcelain. Their collection was already over 2,700 pieces in 1700 and it continued to grow. The restored porcelain rooms at the Charlottenburg Palace can seem overwhelming. And they're meant to be. These were royals who wanted to make an impact on any visitor who came. My pictures can show only parts of the rooms. You have to imagine for yourself what it's like to see a room where every corner is totally over the top, just like this.  And the mirrors make it even more so.

A corner of the Porcelain Gallery, Charlottenburg Palace
A second corner of the Porcelain Gallery, Charlottenburg Palace

Detail of the porcelain gallery.  Possibly an acquired taste?

Frederick the Great wanted everything to his own incredibly high specification. He wanted porcelain to match the wall hangings and interior design of his palaces and required the royal porcelain factory to make pieces in a particular shade of blue called "bleu mourant". Apparently it was incredibly difficult and expensive to create, but he was the boss, so they managed it.  I assume he was paying the bill for all the failures.

I found only one piece of "bleu mourant" on show in Charlottenburg, dating from the 1780s, around the end of the reign of Frederick the Great (who died 1786).

Prussian porcelain in "bleu mourant", 1780s, commissioned by Frederick the Great

By comparison with the gallery full of Chinese porcelain, Frederick the Great's love of "bleu mourant" seems quite restrained.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Noblesse Oblige

Noblesse ObligeA few years ago a publisher who shall remain nameless told me that the Regency traditional with sex didn’t fit in the market, that it wouldn’t work. That was when I’d written a book subsequently called “Noblesse Oblige.” Either, they said, tone down the sex or forget the history.
I sold the book to a small publisher and it did remarkably well, won awards and sold very nicely. Recently I got the rights back from the publisher, and after a light edit and a new cover, I put it up on Kindle and some other platforms. I just didn’t want it to die, because it was a book of my heart, which was probably why it didn’t fit anywhere. I’m astonished at how well it’s done since.
It also features my one and only duke. Dukes abound in historical romance, but not in my work. I decided that I’d do a duke when I needed to, and this book really needed the oomph a duke brings to a story. The hero needed it. At first the fact that plain old Mr. Rivers was a duke in disguise was a secret, but it’s impossible to give an idea of what most of the book is about without revealing it, so the mild spoiler came into being. Mild because the heroine, Marianne, and the characters around her are the only ones who don’t know what’s in front of them, and some do, but choose to keep Jerome’s secret.
The idea came when I read about the King trying to stay at a spa as a private man and failing miserably, but why not, I thought, why shouldn’t someone a bit less instantly recognisable get away with it?
Jerome just wants to get away from the pomp and circumstance for a week or two, so he goes to Scarborough every year, where he meets Marianne, paid companion to vulgar Mrs. Middleton, who is looking for a good time. Spas were sometimes places where ordinary behaviour was relaxed a bit, so the perfect place for unattached men to meet unattached women, and even indulge in a little discreet naughtiness. Not that there’s anything like that between Marianne and Jerome, not at that stage, anyway.
Although there are some erotic scenes, they are marital ones, and they do involve two characters who love each other very much exploring their own sensuality and each other’s. I loved writing them, because it’s not very often the romance writer gets the chance to write scenes like this. The conflict comes from other sources. I tried very hard to avoid the clichés of the awful mother-in-law, the rake who will ‘do’ anything in a skirt, and other tropes that have become ubiquitous in the genre. I wanted to write about the real Regency, the period that existed, but I wanted to make it sexy. For me, the Regency has always been sexy, but it doesn’t have to be overt.
Jerome and Marianne have more to face. As soon as they become engaged the attacks start, and soon it’s obvious that Someone has Got It In for them. Since I wanted to explore how their crises affected their characters and how they developed under fire, I didn’t make the mystery too mysterious. It wasn’t important. But I did create some characters and revisit some places I still love.
Scarborough, for instance, has a perfect little spa building, an elegant small rotunda, that for a time in this period was a fashionable place to go for people in the north. York was a centre of northern culture, a place the highest in the land might gather for social events. It had a theatre, elegant shops, wonderful Georgian houses. And the house itself, based on Castle Howard, which is situated half way between Scarborough and York. I set it a few miles away, and it became Riverscourt Abbey, an elegant private dwelling and one of the glories of the north.

Book Description:
In Regency England, a woman without inherited wealth had few options. Marianne Noble decided to be a lady's companion. Working for the wealthy but vulgar widow Mrs. Middleton is sometimes a trial, but never more than when, on a visit to the fashionable spa town of Scarborough, Mrs. Middleton sets her sights on the handsome Jerome Rivers. Because Marianne wants him for herself.
Jerome is hoping to escape from the pressures of his life, but instead meets the one woman he knows he will love for the rest of his life. Can Marianne cope with marriage to a man she sees as a simple country gentleman but who turns out to be so much more? If that wasn't difficult enough, someone seems determined to kill Jerome, or Marianne, or both of them.
Will Marianne cope with her new position in life? Will they discover who wants them dead? With only love to sustain them, Marianne and Jerome must trust each other and discover the truth.

You can buy the book from Amazon here
from Kobo here

Thursday, May 09, 2013

'How to indicate interest in a gentleman wihtout seeming forward.'

Miss Bingley: 'I am afraid you do not like your pen. Let me mend it for you. I mend pens remarkably well.'
Mr Darcy: 'Thank you - but I always mend my own.'

Interaction between unmaried persons of the opposite sex was seriously proscribed and a young lady had to use all her wiles to make her feelings known.
'Flattering the gentleman in question is essential - listen to his every word and agree with him on all subjects. If he disagrees with you - change your opinion at once and make him believe that you hold a similar opinion to him.'
Nothing new here! Maybe girls today could follow this advice and find it helpful.
'Talk about him to his relatives. They might understand your feelings and pass the infromation on to him.'
I'm sure this works today.
'Offer to perform small services for the object of your affections.' Mending his pen is one small step to mending his stockings.
Can't see today's young women offering to iron his shirts or wash his boxers.
'If the gentlemen you desire is reading a book, take up the second volume, if playing piquet - immediately offer to make up the table. If he wishes to take a stroll declare that it is also time for your daily perambulation around the shrubbery.'
I suppose modern young women might go as far to pretend an interest in football/darts/snooker - but don't think they would take it this far.

I'm delighted to tell you that I have two boxsets -The Duke Series Boxset one & two -  available on Kindle at £1.99. This is my latest single title - another great cover from Jane Dixon-Smith.
New book - £0.99 Amazon.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

The Peninsular War: Almeida

If you have invaded Spain and Portugal, as Napoleon did in 1810, you must control the port of Lisbon. Unfortunately for him, Wellington and his army had landed there in 1808 and built the formidable lines of Torres Vedras to defend his supply base. His aim: to expel the French from Spain.

In July 1810, Napoleon sent General Massena and 70,000 troops into Spain with instructions to capture Lisbon. Massena chose the northern, most accessible, route, defended by two forts; Ciudad Rodrigo on the Spanish side and Almeida on the Portuguese. Almeida defended the crucial narrow bridge over the River Coa.

The British and Portuguese contingent, under General Robert Craufurd, comprised 33,000 troops. With so few men, Craufurd knew he couldn’t stop the French from taking the forts; however, he could delay their surrender and tie up the French army which would give Wellington a breathing space.

On July 24th, the French, under Marshal Ney, attacked Craufurd’s Light Division at the River Coa and drove them back. They then began to dig siege works around Almeida itself. Inside Almeida, the British and Portuguese were busy removing anything of use to the enemy. Unfortunately, a stray spark accidentally blew up the powder magazine in the castle and ‘instantly ignited 150,000 pounds of gunpowder and over a million cartridges.’

As one French eyewitness wrote: ‘It was like the bursting of a volcano – something I can never forget after over twenty years. Enormous blocks of stone were hurled into our trenches where they killed and wounded some of our men. Heavy guns were lifted from the ramparts and hurled down far outside them…’

When the smoke cleared, the centre of Almeida had disappeared and the fort surrendered two days later. The British and Portuguese troops had no option but to retreat back towards Lisbon. They were followed by the French, but the lines of Torres Vedras held firm, and disease and starvation cost Massena the lives of 20,000 men before he finally retreated back to Spain.

By the spring of 1811, Massena had managed to re-equip his men and now had 42,000 infantry, 4,600 cavalry and 38 guns at his command. On May 2nd 1811, he marched out of Ciudad Rodrigo, determined to relieve Almeida which, though nominally in the hands of the French, was now being besieged by the Spanish.

Wellington was ready for them – and determined. He needed to secure both Almeida and Ciudad Rodrigo before he could turn his attention to Badajoz and Elvas, forts which controlled the southern route to Lisbon. The battle of Fuentes de Onoro, just outside Almeida, raged from May 2nd-5th. Captain John Kincaid was there and describes: ‘the successive rattle of artillery, the wild hurrah of charging squadrons, and the repulsing volley of musketry.’  The battle was fierce and bloody, but Almeida was relieved and Massena’s attempts to drive the British into the sea were effectively over.

So, why am I looking at Almeida, a comparatively unimportant place, in such detail? Islington, where I live, is mainly Regency and a number of street names commemorate the Napoleonic Wars. There is Copenhagen Street, for example, named after the naval battle of Copenhagen (1801), Waterloo Terrace – and Almeida Street. Today is May 5th, when, 202 years ago, British and Portuguese forces retook the fort of Almeida and thus paved the way for Wellington’s more famous victories, eventually leading to Napoleon’s downfall. It’s worth commemorating.

Photos from top: Bridge over River Coa
Almeida barracks with Portuguese soldier
Almeida barracks with Portuguese soldiers and cannon
Wellington’s headquarters: Fuentes de Onoro

Elizabeth Hawksley

Friday, May 03, 2013

Searching for a hero (and heroine)

I love the period between finishing one book and starting another – the holiday period, where I decide which one of the stories in my head to concentrate upon, and I'd like your help to "find" my characters.
When I begin a new book I like to have some idea of what my hero and heroine look like – their personality I can describe in words, but I prefer to have a "visual", a picture of the character that I can keep  in my mind (and on my noticeboard) while I am writing.  I therefore like to have pictures of my characters.  This can be actors, models or even in some cases a building.  In my forthcoming book, "Bought for Revenge", it was the house that started it all off –  the picture on the left shows the remains of the house, which is quite l close to my home. It inspired my story and is the backdrop for many scenes in the book.

  I am currently looking for characters for my latest books – yes, I do mean books. There is a future book that I just need to "outline" in readiness, an on-going project and the book I am going to crack on with next. So…..

 I need a stern, military man for the Regency period,  a young Spanish nobleman to sail with the Armada and aboyish charmer who doesn't want to settle down.

I love dark and brooding heroes, but my military man needs to be a little older, reserved, not really a ladies man (which means the ladies will find him enormously attractive!)  My mind immediately turns to Gregory Peck in his role as Captain Hornblower.  Or perhaps Peter  O'Toole as Lawrence of Arabia.  The result, of course will be a mixture of the two, plus maybe a few others thrown in.   He is to meet his match with an independent woman, an educationalist whose views are totally opposed to his own… so, a strong woman (actually, I hope all my heroines are strong women, in their own way) – maybe Emma Thompson?

Then there is my young Spanish nobleman – at  the beginning of this story he is very young and headstrong but by the end he has matured into a strong and handsome hero.  Mention Spain and Antonio Banderas immediately comes to mind, but as my hero also has to be (at one point) bearded and a little wild, then maybe the lovely Hugh Jackman in his role as Wolverine – without the claws, of course! This hero has a plethora of women in his life, but his ultimate partner is small, dark and determined -Anne Hathaway, perhaps, or Kate Beckinsale as she appeared in van Helsing?

Hopefully by now you have got the idea – remember, this is just a visual image, not their inner character,

And last is the book I am going to work on next – the Regency Rake, young , boyish, not ready for responsibility or settling down.  His lady already has too much responsibility on her shoulders – two young children that she has taken under her wing.  I am currently searching for the "visuals" for these characters –can you help?  Whose looks would you suggest epitomise that boyish charm and the steely, steadfast determined young woman?  

Or maybe you have suggestions for the other characters I have mentioned. Do let me know!

Melinda Hammond/Sarah Mallory
OUT NOW – Melinda Hammond Lady Vengeance – e-book, Regency Reads
COMING SOON – Sarah Mallory, Bought for Revenge –Harlequin Historical