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Friday, February 16, 2018

#BOOK CLUB FRIDAY--OOPS! HEROINE ACCIDENTALLY ELOPES WITH WRONG MAN!

Today we sit down with Katherine, niece of Earl Quamby, from author Beverley Oakley’s The Accidental Elopement.

What was your life like before your author started pulling your strings?

Believe me, I had my life all mapped out. The pinnacle of my ambition was to make the most illustrious marriage possible during my London season. I was beautiful, from a well-connected family (if you disregard my mother’s pre-marriage scandals) and I had three suitors. Then my author threw me together with my childhood friend, Jack – a boy from the foundling home – and we fell madly in love.

I was furious that she should do that to me – for about five seconds – because truly, I was prepared to cross shark-infested waters to be with Jack. In fact, I nearly did (well, not shark-infested but raging seas). Unfortunately, I got into the wrong carriage. The one that wasn’t taking me to those raging seas I was prepared to cross. And that’s when my life took a very dark turn.

Excuse me if I don’t go into the details right now. The trauma is still quite fresh in my mind.

What’s the one trait you like most about yourself?
I shouldn’t need to tell you that a well brought-up young lady doesn’t advertise her good qualities which should be evident to all her eligible suitors. However, if there’s one thing I secretly like about myself, it’s my love of adventure. I was so lucky to have been able to climb trees with Jack and join him on adventures when we were seven. This was when Jack would be brought over from the foundling home to be a playmate for my cousin, George. But it was Jack and I who found some mischief to get into – and Jack always defended me and took the blame – even if it was my fault. Sorry…I didn’t mean to get tearful but I do miss Jack. Or rather, the fact that he is lost to me and…the fact we’re doomed to be apart.

What do you like least about yourself?
My impulsiveness. Oh, yes, definitely that! If I hadn’t been so foolish and impulsive, I never would have made the biggest, most terrible mistake of my life. I never would have…I’m so embarrassed to admit it because who would do such a thing? Who would accidentally elope with the wrong person?

What is the strangest thing your author has had you do or had happen to you?
Strangest? Or do you mean most terrible? Because, there’s no getting around the fact that my author utterly ruined my life! That carriage I got into? How was I supposed to know it had been sent by someone other than whom I assumed had sent it?

But I can’t blame anyone other than myself. All this happened seven years ago and I’m not the feather-brained, impulsive debutante I was then. I’m older and wiser – lonelier, too, though I deserve it. But I have a beautiful seven-year-old daughter and she’s my treasure.

Do you argue with your author? If so, what do you argue about?
I argued about the fact that I thought it wasn’t that Jack and I couldn’t be together again after we’d been apart for seven years. After all, I was widowed and Jack was not yet married. But my author said honour had to prevail. She said it was one thing that I’d only just been widowed but quite another that Jack was honour-bound to marry the daughter of his dying mentor whom he’d promised, in the West Indies, he would protect. He’d just brought Odette back from across the seas so how could I expect he’d leave her to marry me? Even though I knew Jack loved me?

I suppose I can’t blame him. I was the impulsive one. I brought all my troubles upon myself. It’s hardly any wonder Jack thought I had forsaken him.

But I did ask my author if I couldn’t just tell him everything about what had happened and how I felt about him. She said I could but only if I wanted to put him in the impossible position of choosing between his heart and his honourable soul. I’m still trying to find a way to get around that one.

What is your greatest fear?
That Jack will never know how much I love him. And that he will never learn my secret. I want him to know it – yet I know it would destroy him.

What makes you happy?
Being with my child makes me happy. I lead a quiet life after my late husband ruined my reputation and gambled away our worldly goods so I take pleasure in simple things.

If you could rewrite a part of your story, what would it be? Why?
I would rewrite the end because I think Jack deserves to be happy but I think I do, too. And we can only be happy together. But Jack is about to marry and then he will be lost to me forever.

My author found me in tears this morning. She told me my story isn’t finished yet but I don’t believe her. Jack is marrying so soon. It’s set in stone. His bride-to-be is sweet and worthy and her father is dying. My aunt thinks she has a plan to make her fall in love with someone else, but it won’t work.

I must accept that Jack and I are doomed to be forever apart.

Of the other characters in your book, which one bugs you the most? Why?
My cousin George, for sure! He was spoiled and whiney when we were children and he hadn’t changed much when we were eighteen which is when he suddenly decided he wanted to marry me – even though he knew Jack and I were soul mates.

Of the other characters in your book, which one would you love to trade places with? Why?
Odette, Jack’s betrothed. Because she is the one who will have Jack for the rest of her dying days. But she won’t have his heart. I thought I would take comfort from that but I can’t. I don’t want her to suffer as much as I have for the truth is that she’s a good person. Better woman than I am. It’s just that Jack loves me. And I love him.

Tell us a little something about your author. Where can readers find her website/blog?
Beverley Oakley is an Australian author who grew up in the African mountain kingdom of Lesotho, married a Norwegian bush pilot she met in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, and started writing historical romances to amuse herself in the 12 countries she’s lived as a ‘trailing spouse’. She writes historical romances laced with scandal and intrigue and Africa-set romantic suspense as Beverley Eikli. You can read more at www.beverleyoakley.com.

What's next for you, the author?
She’ll be writing book three in her Fair Cyprians of London series. Each story features a courtesan at Madame Chambon’s elite Soho establishment. Keeping Faith, like the other stories in the series, is based on fictionalized versions of the interviews of the ‘fallen women’ nineteenth century journalist Henry Mayhew included in his study of Victorian vice, London’s Underworld. Sacrificing Charity is about a courtesan who’s been groomed by her protector to be her ‘beautiful weapon’. It highlights hypocrisy and has at its heart a revenge and redemption theme.

The Accidental Elopement
Today we sit down with Katherine, niece of Earl Quamby, from author Beverley Oakley’s The Accidental Elopement.

What was your life like before your author started pulling your strings?

Believe me, I had my life all mapped out. The pinnacle of my ambition was to make the most illustrious marriage possible during my London season. I was beautiful, from a well-connected family (if you disregard my mother’s pre-marriage scandals) and I had three suitors. Then my author threw me together with my childhood friend, Jack – a boy from the foundling home – and we fell madly in love.

I was furious that she should do that to me – for about five seconds – because truly, I was prepared to cross shark-infested waters to be with Jack. In fact, I nearly did (well, not shark-infested but raging seas). Unfortunately, I got into the wrong carriage. The one that wasn’t taking me to those raging seas I was prepared to cross. And that’s when my life took a very dark turn.

Excuse me if I don’t go into the details right now. The trauma is still quite fresh in my mind.

What’s the one trait you like most about yourself?
I shouldn’t need to tell you that a well brought-up young lady doesn’t advertise her good qualities which should be evident to all her eligible suitors. However, if there’s one thing I secretly like about myself, it’s my love of adventure. I was so lucky to have been able to climb trees with Jack and join him on adventures when we were seven. This was when Jack would be brought over from the foundling home to be a playmate for my cousin, George. But it was Jack and I who found some mischief to get into – and Jack always defended me and took the blame – even if it was my fault. Sorry…I didn’t mean to get tearful but I do miss Jack. Or rather, the fact that he is lost to me and…the fact we’re doomed to be apart.

What do you like least about yourself?
My impulsiveness. Oh, yes, definitely that! If I hadn’t been so foolish and impulsive, I never would have made the biggest, most terrible mistake of my life. I never would have…I’m so embarrassed to admit it because who would do such a thing? Who would accidentally elope with the wrong person?

What is the strangest thing your author has had you do or had happen to you?
Strangest? Or do you mean most terrible? Because, there’s no getting around the fact that my author utterly ruined my life! That carriage I got into? How was I supposed to know it had been sent by someone other than whom I assumed had sent it?

But I can’t blame anyone other than myself. All this happened seven years ago and I’m not the feather-brained, impulsive debutante I was then. I’m older and wiser – lonelier, too, though I deserve it. But I have a beautiful seven-year-old daughter and she’s my treasure.

Do you argue with your author? If so, what do you argue about?
I argued about the fact that I thought it wasn’t that Jack and I couldn’t be together again after we’d been apart for seven years. After all, I was widowed and Jack was not yet married. But my author said honour had to prevail. She said it was one thing that I’d only just been widowed but quite another that Jack was honour-bound to marry the daughter of his dying mentor whom he’d promised, in the West Indies, he would protect. He’d just brought Odette back from across the seas so how could I expect he’d leave her to marry me? Even though I knew Jack loved me?

I suppose I can’t blame him. I was the impulsive one. I brought all my troubles upon myself. It’s hardly any wonder Jack thought I had forsaken him.

But I did ask my author if I couldn’t just tell him everything about what had happened and how I felt about him. She said I could but only if I wanted to put him in the impossible position of choosing between his heart and his honourable soul. I’m still trying to find a way to get around that one.

What is your greatest fear?
That Jack will never know how much I love him. And that he will never learn my secret. I want him to know it – yet I know it would destroy him.

What makes you happy?
Being with my child makes me happy. I lead a quiet life after my late husband ruined my reputation and gambled away our worldly goods so I take pleasure in simple things.

If you could rewrite a part of your story, what would it be? Why?
I would rewrite the end because I think Jack deserves to be happy but I think I do, too. And we can only be happy together. But Jack is about to marry and then he will be lost to me forever.

My author found me in tears this morning. She told me my story isn’t finished yet but I don’t believe her. Jack is marrying so soon. It’s set in stone. His bride-to-be is sweet and worthy and her father is dying. My aunt thinks she has a plan to make her fall in love with someone else, but it won’t work.

I must accept that Jack and I are doomed to be forever apart.

Of the other characters in your book, which one bugs you the most? Why?
My cousin George, for sure! He was spoiled and whiney when we were children and he hadn’t changed much when we were eighteen which is when he suddenly decided he wanted to marry me – even though he knew Jack and I were soul mates.

Of the other characters in your book, which one would you love to trade places with? Why?
Odette, Jack’s betrothed. Because she is the one who will have Jack for the rest of her dying days. But she won’t have his heart. I thought I would take comfort from that but I can’t. I don’t want her to suffer as much as I have for the truth is that she’s a good person. Better woman than I am. It’s just that Jack loves me. And I love him.

Tell us a little something about your author. Where can readers find her website/blog?
Beverley Oakley is an Australian author who grew up in the African mountain kingdom of Lesotho, married a Norwegian bush pilot she met in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, and started writing historical romances to amuse herself in the 12 countries she’s lived as a ‘trailing spouse’. She writes historical romances laced with scandal and intrigue and Africa-set romantic suspense as Beverley Eikli. You can read more at her website.

What's next for you, the author?
She’ll be writing book three in her Fair Cyprians of London series. Each story features a courtesan at Madame Chambon’s elite Soho establishment. Keeping Faith, like the other stories in the series, is based on fictionalized versions of the interviews of the ‘fallen women’ nineteenth century journalist Henry Mayhew included in his study of Victorian vice, London’s Underworld. Sacrificing Charity is about a courtesan who’s been groomed by her protector to be her ‘beautiful weapon’. It highlights hypocrisy and has at its heart a revenge and redemption theme.

The Accidental Elopement
Book 4 in the Scandalous Miss Brightwell series

A seven-year secret. A tragic misunderstanding. Can love outwit fate in this tale of misadventure and thwarted dreams?

Earl Quamby’s niece, Katherine, and Jack, a foundling home lad adopted by a local family, have been loyal friends for as long as they can remember. 

As Jack is about to leave England to make his fortune and Katherine is being courted by two eligible suitors, they unexpectedly realise their friendship has blossomed into passionate love. A love, they are warned, that has no future.

Despite a brave attempt to defy the forces keeping them apart, tragedy results and the pair is separated.

When chance throws them together seven years later, Katherine, newly widowed, is being pressured into a marriage not of her choosing to avoid scandal and Jack feels he must honour his pledge to the worthy Odette whom he met in India and whose father is dying.

Katherine knows that revealing a long-held secret may win Jack to her but she also knows conflicting obligations from past and present may tear him apart.

Can master matchmakers, Fanny, Antoinette and Bertram Brightwell, outwit fate in its latest attempt to keep these star-crossed lovers apart and deliver them the happiness they deserve?

2 comments:

Angela Adams said...

Katherine, it sounds like your author keeps you very busy (smile!).

Beverley Eikli aka Beverley Oakley said...

She keeps me busy indeed - and also on a string. I still don't know if I'll get my happy ending. But my story releases in 5 days so I continue to hold out hope!