Reviews for Treasuring Theresa
Romantic Historical Lovers: 4.5 stars
Regency Romance Writers: 9
The Lusty Penguin: 5 stars
The Romance Reviews: 4 stars
Ramblings From This Chick: 4 stars
Bunny's Book Reviews: 4 stars
Author Rose Wynters: 5 stars
Deal Sharing Aunt: 4 stars
Red Wine and Books: 4 stars
An excerpt from Treasuring Theresa
About Susana Ellis
A former teacher, Susana is finally living her dream of being a full-time writer. She loves all genres of romance, but historical -- Regency in particular -- is her favorite. There’s just something about dashing heroes and spunky heroines waltzing in ballrooms and driving through Hyde Park that appeals to her imagination.
In real life, Susana is a lifelong resident of northwest Ohio, although she has lived in Ecuador and studied in Spain, France and Mexico. More recently, she was able to travel around England and visit many of the places she’s read about for years, and it was awesome! She is a member of the Maumee Valley and Beau Monde chapters of Romance Writers of America.
Web site: http://www.susanaellis.com
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=212206075&trk=hb_tab_pro_top
Susana’s Parlour (Regency Blog): http://susanaellisauthor.wordpress.com
Susana’s Morning Room (Romance Blog): http://susanaauthor.wordpress.com
An Interview with Susana Ellis
By Holly Hewson for The Romance Studio
HH: Susana, thank you so much for talking with us at TRS. Your featured book is Treasuring Theresa and is a wonderful Regency romance. What makes you a fan of this genre?
SE: Thank you so much for having me!
The Regency period (1811-1820) is a fascinating era because it was a time of extremes, sort of a combination of the “best of times” and the “worst of times” (with apologies to Charles Dickens).
As a result of the widespread profligacy of the Georgian era (i.e., the Duchess of Devonshire and the Prince of Wales), a sort of unforgiving prudery had become the fashion, at least on the surface. The exalted Patronesses of Almack’s refused to admit three-quarters of the haut ton to their Wednesday night balls for some moral flaw or another, but many of them were -- not quite openly -- mistresses of important men not their husbands. At the same time, these haughty matrons could blackball a young girl for any number of small infractions of the long list of rules for behavior that constituted propriety.
The Prince of Wales, or the Regent, while one of the worst examples of profligacy himself, had a great appreciation of the arts and was resolved to making London a world-class center of art, architecture, and music. While his efforts were admirable, they were also very costly, and combined with his ostentatious lifestyle and spendthrift ways, he became a financial burden to the English government.
While the haut ton glided in glittering ballrooms, Wellington and the troops battled Napoleon on the Continent, and the lower classes became poorer and poorer due to crop failure, a failing economy, the advent of mass production, and more.
The position of women during this period was difficult, even for the upper classes, giving rise to all sorts of plots in my wild imagination. Upper-class young women were married off for money or connections, without regard for their future happiness. I was particularly impressed with the irony of this when visiting Spencer House on St. James Place in London. The Earl and Countess Spencer, who were childhood sweethearts, had it decorated with all sorts of symbols of true love, flaunting their love match at every turn. And yet they are the same parents who married off their young daughter Georgiana -- to whom they were devoted -- to an older, indifferent duke who sired illegitimate children with a household servant and even Georgiana’s best friend!
Of course, Georgiana never had to worry about where her next meal came from, but many women did. What if your father or brother gambled away the family fortune and left you penniless? Where would you go? What would you do? A gently-reared young lady could become a governess or companion perhaps, but if that were impossible, there weren’t many other options. Lots of opportunities for plots here. An author’s treasure chest!
HH: Where did you get the idea for this story?
SE: One of my favorite romance tropes is where the hero and heroine detest each other at first, sort of a “Pride and Prejudice” thing. Especially where the hero mistakes the heroine for a twit and then begins to appreciate her as they become better acquainted. Because this is a short story, I felt like it needed an epilogue to better show how the heroine made the effort to support the hero after their marriage. The epilogue is available on my website: http://www.susanaellis.com/pub.html. But do read the story first!
HH: What do you like best about Theresa and why will readers relate to her?
SE: She is a capable young lady who loves the land and the people who live there. Although an earl’s daughter, she is not stuffy and her best friends are the commoners she grows up with. Her first Season gave her a disgust of the superficial values of London Society, and she wants nothing to do with it, thinking that she will marry her best friend, a local squire’s son, and live happily ever after. But then her friend brings home a fiancée, her father becomes seriously ill, and she is faced with financial disaster. What will she do? What would you do?
HH: What do you like best about Damian and why will readers love him?
SE: Damian is London-born and bred, and other than enjoying the income from his own estate, he avoids the country as much as possible. One of the top men-about-town, he resents having to spend time in the country with a country bumpkin like his Cousin Theresa. But as their acquaintance grows, so do his feelings about her. And the countryside. And the people she loves. But she’s not for him. They’re too different. Aren’t they?
HH: What sort of research did you do for this story?
SE: In choosing a setting -- Hertfordshire -- I inadvertently chose a place where my maternal grandfather’s antecedents lived -- during the Regency era too! Next time I go to England, I want to check out the cemeteries and see if I can find some Porters there.
HH: What else do you have in store for lucky readers?
SE: I have two novels in various stages of completion, and a Christmas story which will hopefully be available this fall. And lots of other stories circling around in my head!
HH: Where do you draw inspiration from?
SE: Some ideas come from thoughts while reading books, whether fiction or historical treatises. Sometimes while reading a book the thought will occur to me that the plot should have taken a different turn, that the hero or heroine would not have made that decision. And then I’ll start ruminating over an idea, characters, setting, names, etc. And then I’m off!
HH: What's your writing schedule like?
SE: I’m a morning person, so I do most of my writing in the early morning hours. I take breaks every hour or so for exercise or meals or to take the clothes out of the dryer, but I have to make myself sit down at the keyboard every morning, whether the lawn needs mowed or not. Otherwise, I’ll procrastinate the entire day and get no writing done at all!
HH: Where can readers find you online?
SE: I’m on Facebook a lot. Please friend me... https://www.facebook.com/susana.ellis.5. I also belong to a Facebook group of other historical romance authors, so please “like” our History Lovers page (https://www.facebook.com/historicalfictionbooks) and chat with us about historical romance. I have a historical blog called Susana’s Parlour (http://susanaellisauthor.wordpress.com) and a general romance blog called Susana’s Morning Room (http://susanaauthor.wordpress.com) that post twice a week.
HH: What's your favorite place to hang out online?
SE: Facebook, hands down. I spend WAY too much time there. And Twitter too (@susanaauthor). But I love chatting with romance readers and authors!
HH: Thank you!
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