1.) What was your first job? Did you like or dislike it? Why?
I was the ‘post girl’ in a busy office block. It meant I opened the morning post and then delivered it to the different offices. Basically, I spent most of my day in the lift or wandering the corridors looking for the right office.
I enjoyed it because I got to meet lots of different people and I quickly found out about the different aspects of the business, but it wasn’t very intellectually demanding!
I could write a book about all the shenanigans, though… who had a crush on who, which manager kept a bottle of gin in his briefcase, who used to meet his married girlfriend in the basement every lunchtime…
2.) Do you have a pet peeve? If so what is it?
I don’t like rudeness. I think you can get your point across without putting the other person down. Maybe that’s why I like writing historical romance? I’m hankering for the days when manners were everything!
3.) Would you describe your style as shabby chic, timeless elegance, eclectic, country or ____?
I would love to say I’m timelessly elegant, like a character from Downton Abbey, but I think the word I’m searching for is casual. I like to look good, but I also like being comfortable. I have to look smart for work, but my favourite part of the day is when I can get home and wind down by changing into something cozy.
4.) Tell me about your book, Taming His Rebel Lady, and where you got your inspiration for it?
Taming His Rebel Lady is the second book in The Georgian Rebel Series.
The first book, A Kiss for a Highlander, starts before the battle of Culloden. It begins when Fraser Lachlan, a Jacobite highlander, is stranded in England after Bonnie Prince Charlie invades and then retreats. Fraser and his injured cousin are rescued by an English family and this first book tells the story of what happens when Fraser is cursed with a ‘kiss of hate’ by Martha Wantage, a lonely spinster who has every reason to fear the Scots.
Taming His Rebel Lady is set six months after Culloden. The Jacobites have been defeated and the English are systematically destroying the highland way of life. This is the story of Lady Iona Cameron, a young Scots widow, whose husband was killed in the battle. Iona’s home has been given to an Englishman, Edwin Roxburgh, as a reward for his loyalty to the king, but Iona is not about to go quietly…
My inspiration for these stories comes firstly from my love of the Georgian era, that period of British history from 1714 to 1830 beginning with the reign of King George I and ending with the death of King George IV. This period includes the Regency. Much as I love Regency romances, I find myself drawn to the earlier Georgian period. I think it’s because the characters have more opportunities to misbehave. It was a scandalous time (think of the film Dangerous Liaisons) and I love the fashions! Give me a hero in a cloak and a powdered wig …
Then, of course, I was inspired to write about the conflict between the English and the Scots, the heroic Jacobites and the plight of the highlanders after Culloden. I’m English, but I was born in Scotland, so I feel like I have one foot either side of the border. The more I researched the story, the more I discovered about the deep seated hatred between the two nations. It was fascinating to write A Kiss for a Highlander with a Scots hero and an English heroine and then turn that theme on its head in Taming His Rebel Lady.
5.) Who is your role model? Why?
My writing role model would have to be Georgette Heyer. At the age of twelve, I discovered a tattered copy of ‘These Old Shades’ on my mum’s bookshelf. I devoured it in a day and I was spellbound. I am captivated by the way Georgette Heyer uses dialogue to skilfully set the scene. I also love it when the historical setting is so real it becomes another character, transporting you effortlessly back in time. Her research is second to none and, during her lifetime, she was the leading authority on all things Regency.
My life role model would be someone like Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese political activist. She led the National League for Democracy for many years and gained huge global respect, despite being a political prisoner under house arrest for over 20 years before her release. Suu Kyi is planning to run for President in 2015, and if she does, it will be a massive victory for one of the world’s greatest female role models.
6.) How much of your book is realistic?
When I read a romance, I want to dive into that world. I want escapism. That’s how I write, as well. Of course I do my research so that there are no mistakes with the historical accuracy, but I want my readers to be entertained, not lectured.
So I like to keep the costumes, the setting, the food, dialogue etc. as authentic as I can. But, as an example, I imagine being a Jacobite rebel was pretty unpleasant. Bathing would have been impossible, changing clothes out of the question and they’d been on the march for weeks. In A Kiss for a Highlander, I’m not sure readers really want to know how dirty, smelly and lice ridden Fraser was when Martha first met him. It’s a romance, so I think it’s more important that she noticed his height, his muscles, his red hair and his beautiful hazel eyes.
7.) What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Just to keep writing books that other people enjoy reading. I love writing in a variety of genre (historical romance and gothic romance for Samhain Publishing and paranormal Romance for Harlequin Nocturne). I’d love to write more gothic romances. It’s such a wonderful genre and I know from my own writing that there’s a real audience for gothics, but for some reason there aren’t many genuine gothic romances out there. A reviewer described me recently as ‘one of the new Queens of Gothic Romance’. I’m very proud of that title.
8.) Share one fact about yourself that would surprise people.
Okay… I was diagnosed with a brain tumour this year. I’m lucky because my brain tumour is low grade and slow growing. I make a conscious effort to tell people about it in the hope that my story might give other people who are diagnosed with a serious condition the strength to fight on. If they see me living a relatively normal life and writing, then maybe they too will have something to aspire to. You can still write the book, paint the picture, and climb the mountain (even if your personal mountain is getting out of bed and getting dressed every day).
Taming His Rebel Lady (The Georgian Rebel Series~Book Two)
by Jane Godman
About Kiss for a Highlander: A passion that burns away centuries of hate…
Stranded in the heart of England after Bonnie Prince Charlie’s hasty retreat, highlander Fraser Lachlan has sworn to stay by his injured friend’s side. But when a kindly English family takes Jack in to be cared for by the governess and healer at their Derbyshire estate, Fraser can only watch helplessly.
It’s just a matter of time before Jack is turned over to the Crown as a traitor, but Fraser’s attempt to rescue his friend is met with the blunt end of a candlestick.
Martha Wantage wears every reason she hates the Scots on her body—in the scars from a violent, fiery attack that killed her family. Now she has not only one unconscious Jacobite rebel at her mercy, but two. And she can’t resist cursing her enemy with the “kiss of hate”.
That kiss unleashes a storm of passion that rages quickly out of control. But with the legacy of Martha’s scars weighing heavy on her mind, and Fraser’s duty calling him to battle at Culloden, it may be too late to explore whether theirs is a desire born of hate…or love.
Warning: Contains a very sexy, masterful highlander and a demure, but defiant, governess who discovers the hard—very hard—way exactly what a Scotsman keeps under his kilt.
Excerpt: A Kiss for a Highlander
Half an hour later, Martha hardly recognized the tall, powerfully built man who strode into her kitchen through the open back door. It was only the bandage on his head and his badly cut hair that alerted her to his identity. Somehow, the severely cut breeches, shirt and jerkin Tom had lent him only accentuated the breadth of Fraser’s shoulders and the strong muscles of his thighs. It was plain from his expression, however, that he did not approve of his new attire.
He plucked at the cloth of his breeches with distaste. “I look like a cursed lowlander. ’Tis unmanly and a reproach to my heritage for me to appear in public without my sporran, kilt and dirk.”
Privately deciding that Fraser had far too much manliness for any garment, Martha disregarded this comment. “Sit here while I cut your hair and shave you,” she said, indicating a seat at the kitchen table.
He regarded her with suspicion. “Must I present my throat to you while you’ve a blade in your hand, wee crabbit one?”
“Yes, and I do wish you’d stop calling me that. I lived in Northumberland until ten years ago. I know exactly what it means.”
“Aye, ill-tempered, unpleasant and all-round disagreeable.” He grinned, a gleam of genuine humour in his eyes. “It suits you just fine.”
Ignoring the look she threw at him, he took a seat and, leaning his elbows on the table, made no further comment while she removed his bandages and trimmed his hair into a semblance of order. The red-gold curls clustered close into the nape of his neck and over his ears, and Martha concentrated on her task rather than his proximity. He smelled of masculinity. It was a warm, earthy, musky scent that was out of place in her kitchen. Whenever she moved into the line of his vision, she was conscious of his unwavering stare on her face.
“Northumberland was once a part of the kingdom of Scotland,” Fraser said. Martha gritted her teeth and did not respond. “Aye, and is it not true that the Northumbrians are known for their wild and revolutionary ways? Before the stabilising influence of a Scottish king on the English throne, was it not known as the most lawless county in the land?”
“At least we know who our enemies are, unlike the highland clansmen who seem determined to annihilate each other,” she said.
His jaw tensed at that, and he lapsed into silence so that the only sound for several minutes was the click of Martha’s scissor blades.
“How old are you?” he asked. The question was so unexpected that the scissors made a jumpy arc that came perilously close to his ear before Martha got them back under control.
“That has nothing to do with you,” she said in her best teacher’s voice. He waited, and eventually she capitulated. After all, what did it matter? “I am six and twenty.”
“Past the marriageable age, ’tis true, but not quite at your last prayers. Why is it that you try so hard to appear older?”
That was going too far. No-one had ever spoken to her that way before. Ignoring the peculiar lump his words brought to her throat, she attempted to change the subject. “Where are your other clothes?”
“Why?” He leaned back slightly, watching her now that she had finished her task.
“They will give your identity away. I don’t want them to be discovered.”
A savage fire blazed gold in the hazel depths of his eyes. “That’s right. They are my identity. I’ll not let you dispose of the only things I have left of my name, my pride and my honour.”
“I was going to offer to wash them and store them safely until you are able to wear them again,” Martha said placidly. “Believe it or not, I do know the significance of the kilt and the tartan to your countrymen.”
The fierce look faded slightly. “You grew up on Lord Jack’s estate, at St. Anton?”
“Yes, on the northern part of the estate, close to Bamburgh. My father had land there and farmed cattle.” She didn’t need to explain what that meant. Although Fraser was a highlander and, therefore, hailed from an area far to the north of the border between England and Scotland, he would know and understand the practice of reiving. Conflict between the kingdoms of England and Scotland was as ancient as the lands themselves, and cross-border conflict was bloody, brutal and relentless. Families living on either side of Hadrian’s Wall existed in the certain knowledge that bloodshed, treachery and grief would come their way. The border traditions, passed down through generations, did not die out when King James I, great-great-grandfather of Bonnie Prince Charlie, to whom Fraser had sworn allegiance, united the two crowns. Reiving—raiding for cattle, sheep and anything else that could be transported—was a way of life that continued unabated. But theft was the lesser evil of reiving. Murder, rape and kidnap were all part of daily life on the border.
“Tell me about the reivers who hurt you.” His voice held more compassion than she would have imagined possible. What had wrought this odd change in his approach? Never trust a Scotsman. Her father’s words rang in her ears. It was sound advice, and yet Fraser seemed genuinely interested. He had a knack of triggering a chain of warring emotions in her breast. It was most unnerving.
Martha bent her head, unable to speak. Instead of trying, she busied herself by picking up the knife in preparation for shaving him, but her hand shook so hard that the blade was a silver blur. Fraser watched her thoughtfully, then reached out and clasped her wrist. Carefully, he removed the knife from her grasp.
“On second thoughts, perhaps it might be best if I do that myself?”
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About Taming His Rebel Lady: Can the heat of passion burn too bright?
In the six months since the Jacobites met defeat at Culloden, the English have ruthlessly routed the remaining rebels. Now Sir Edwin Roxburgh rides to claim Cameron House, his reward for his loyalty to the king.
His welcome comes at the point of a sword. It’s only after a fierce fight that Edwin discovers that underneath the banned tartan, the “boy” he’s just wounded is none other than the lady of the house.
If the crown thinks Lady Iona Cameron will allow an English soldier to turn her out of her own home, the crown is sadly mistaken. She never thought her desperate attempt to defy authority would send her to a traitor’s death—unless she agrees to marry Roxburgh.
Edwin quickly realizes he has his hands full trying to control the fiery, rebellious widow—and trying to control his own desire to fill his arms with her beautiful body. But he has a dark past that makes love not only impossible, but dangerous—especially if Iona manages to slip past his guard.
Warning: Contains a rebellious heroine with a secret identity, and a hero with a secret past who’s determined to tame her wild ways. Be warned: his methods are erotically unusual.
Excerpt: Taming His Rebel Lady
He had been fighting for his life for the last ten minutes, yet in spite of this Edwin Roxburgh was still grudgingly able to admire the skill of his opponent. It was rare for him to find someone whose dexterity and determination matched his own. Now, after possibly the fiercest sword fight of his life, Edwin could finally sense his opponent weakening. Unable to see clearly in the darkness, he had assumed that his opponent was only a boy since he was a slender youth, whose head barely reached Edwin’s shoulder. It made this unprovoked attack all the more surprising.
Presumably the lad’s motive was robbery. Although they were far from the main highways and a lone rider with no luggage could hardly be expected to yield any great gain. Heaven help me, Edwin thought as he swung his sword in response to a forward thrust. I have been accosted by a robber who is stupid enough not to know that and also seems hell-bent on murdering me.
“Have done with this foolishness, lad.” The words came out between panting breaths. “Throw down your weapon. I’ve no wish to kill you.”
The response was a desperate lunge. His assailant’s sword point came within a whisper of Edwin’s chest, and he swore furiously. It was time to end this. The situation was not helped by the treacherous terrain on which they fought.
Earlier that day, Edwin had led his men through the dramatic valley of Glencoe in daylight. As darkness descended, he had left the soldiers to make camp, while he rode on ahead. The increasingly steeper ground had forced him to dismount, and he had been leading his horse up a craggy ridge of rocks known as the Devil’s Staircase when, from nowhere, a figure had hurled itself upon him from above. Cold steel had been pressed to his throat before he had been able to use the advantage of his superior size to throw his attacker to one side and draw his sword. Instead of running off, as he had expected, the boy had flung his dagger aside, and moonlight had glinted on his narrow sword as he took up a fencer’s stance. Edwin had gained a brief impression of burning hatred and anger before the lad had come at him in a whirl of movement.
Now, in a final, determined attempt to bring the encounter to an end before it resulted in either of them losing their lives, Edwin used his greater strength to drive his opponent back against the rocks. As the boy, sensing defeat, thrust wildly, Edwin feinted, and brought his sword arm up and across the boy’s right side.
The blade went neatly through the lad’s shirt and sliced across the flesh of his shoulder, piercing deep into his upper arm. It was a classic wound, intended to incapacitate, but not kill, an opponent. The lad’s blade went spinning out of his now-useless right hand, and with a hoarse cry of pain, he pitched face forward into Edwin’s arms.
Edwin dropped his sword and reached out instinctively to catch the unconscious form that fell toward him and to prevent his assailant from tumbling off the rocky ridge into oblivion. As he did, his outstretched hand caught the knitted bonnet on the lad’s head. To his horror, as the hat was swept away by his grasping fingers, a mass of soft, fragrant and unmistakably feminine curls tumbled free. Realisation hit him like a punch in the gut. His would-be murderer was not a lad at all. The person he had been fighting, and upon whom he had just inflicted a devastating stab wound, was a woman.
Blood, hot and sticky, covered his hands as he swung the unconscious girl up into his arms, carrying her to the edge of the ridge where the moonlight shone brighter. Ripping open the front of her linen shirt, he exposed the ugly wound his blade had made. A quick scan of her body also confirmed that which had, until now, seemed impossible. The flesh of her upper body gleamed pale in the silvery moonlight. Her unbound breasts and narrow waist left him with no further doubt about her gender. The outlawed tartan trews of the clansman encased her long, slim legs, and her discarded blue bonnet bore the Jacobite white cockade. Whoever she was, this girl had been dicing with death even before she had drawn her sword and challenged him.
Cursing under his breath, Edwin turned to look for his horse. The well-trained animal was waiting patiently exactly where he had been walking it when the girl had launched her assault. There was water and cloth in his saddlebags. He would tend to her injuries and then deal with the mystery of who she was. Rising to his feet, he went over to the horse to collect the items he needed.
When he returned the girl had gone.
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About the Author: Jane Godman writes in a variety of genre. Many of her stories are heavily tinged with the supernatural and elements of horror, with haunted characters tormented by dark secrets.
The Jago Legacy Series, her Gothic romances, are love stories with a dash of horror and a creepily ever after. Her dark erotic romantic suspense books, The Cunning Prophet Series feature supernatural elements and a charismatic, obsessive villain. Jane also writes steamy historical romance for Samhain Publishing and is working on a three book series for Harlequin in their Nocturne (paranormal) line.
Oh, and let’s not forget the Young Adult horror novella she has coming out later in the year with MuseItUp Publishing!