Welcome Regency romance author, Beth Elliott...

Hi, Beth! Welcome to my blog - it's so great to host you here today. Let's start off with my questions - I'm excited to learn more about you and your work...

1.)                What is the strangest talent you have?

Probably it’s my burning desire to speak any and every language I can. I blame this on the fact my maternal grandmother spoke Welsh as her first language. Even though she taught me some when I was very small, I was frustrated at not understanding everything she said. Then my father used to take me to the local newsagent, where I would be lifted up to sit on the counter and eat an ice cream cornet, while dad chatted in Italian to the owner, Signor Gandolfo. All this made me determined to speak other languages. So, at school I studied French, German and Latin, then French and Italian at university. When I met my Turkish husband, we both spoke French and Italian but he didn’t know any English and for me Turkish was the next challenge....and the list goes on, according to where my travels take me.

2.)                What is the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?

Until the film ET became popular, Halloween was not celebrated in my part of the country. Being Welsh, there’s a deep awareness of all those reminders of the spirit world that abound in the hills of Wild Wales; and with that comes the instinct to leave well alone. So while we dressed up for carnivals or the themed games we played, it was never for Halloween.

3.)                Are the titles of your books important?

Yes, I don’t get far with writing the story until the title feels right. No publisher has contested my choice yet, although some readers have asked, for example: Why April and May? They thought that referred to the two sisters but for me it signified that my heroine had two attempts at getting her life together. And while The Rake and His Honour may seem like a contradiction in terms, he’s a very special kind of rake.

4.)                If you’re struggling with a scene or difficult character, what methods help you through it?

Oh, this is the hard question. I get really down in the dumps when a character won’t cooperate, or a scene doesn’t work properly. I rewrite from a different POV but may have to do this several times. If this won’t improve the situation, I leave the story for some weeks to simmer in the back of my mind. Then suddenly it surges into focus and there is a way to move on. At this point the feeling of relief is wonderful. Basically, my method is to wait until the characters sort themselves out. In the meanwhile, I read, do some more research, maybe write a new blog post.

5.)                Do you prefer dogs, cats or none of the above?
I like most animals, but if it had to be just one, I’d take a cat. That mixture of regal indifference and loving companionship suits me. If I lived in the right place [and had the money ] I’d have a donkey and a goat to keep him company. And a couple more cats.

6.)                Who’s your favourite author? Why?

It’s impossible to mention just one author. I love Jane Austen, because I can reread her novels frequently and find some new detail to enjoy each time. Loretta Chase’s witty novels are a delight. Her research is impeccable and she brings her characters vividly to life. And I try never to miss a story by Nicola Cornick, Louise Allen, or Julia Ibbotson. I could go on.

7.)                Do you have a pet peeve?

I’m a grammar nazi. I hate reading online news items that are full of poor English, or hearing sloppy grammar – it’s just laziness, after all.

8.)                Do you remember your dreams when you wake up in the morning?

Sometimes my dreams are incredibly real and I remember them for years. Sometimes they are so wildly improbable that I realise it, say: ‘This is ridiculous!’ and wake up, just as a huge truck /monster/ herd of wild animals is about to get me. And other times I wake up exhausted because in my dream I was living or arguing about a part of the story I’m writing at that time.

The Rake and His Honour
In France in 1813 many people have grown weary of Napoleon’s ambition to dominate Europe. They plot to restore the monarchy. Arnaut de Montailhac is a charming rake, who longs to prove his true worth. Louise Fauriel, hardworking member of a family of Huguenot silversmiths, is the complete opposite of Arnaut. Linked by the need to smuggle letters between the French king in exile at Hartwell House and Arnaut’s father in the Pyrenees, the unlikely pair travel between France and England, with Napoleon’s vengeful agents never more than one step behind. In the desperate race to succeed in this mission, how can a rake find time for love?​

A childhood spent in a small village with only two other children meant that books featured hugely in Beth’s young life. They provided friends and adventures in other places and times. When she had to join the real world, perhaps it’s not surprising she became a Languages teacher and worked in several different countries. After a number of years abroad, Beth now lives in the Thames Valley and writes her own stories. These are mainly Regency Tales, set in the age of Napoleon. She likes to add a touch of exotic to her stories, as in April and May. But adventure and romance can just as easily occur in London, Bath or Brighton, like in The Rake’s Challenge. Beth is currently writing The Outcasts, the third story in the Montailhac Family series. The Rake and his Honour, the second Montailhac Family tale, is a stand-alone story but features some of the same characters.
When not writing, Beth takes every opportunity to travel. While she loves spending time in the Pyrenees, she also likes exploring small, traditional European countries. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Historical Novel Society.

Book links 


  1. Thank you for hosting me, as well as for the enjoyable chat, Rachel. Answering your questions made me think back -sometimes we're so busy dealing with today that we forget what shaped us in the past.

  2. Wonderful interview ladies, and Beth, thank you for sharing how you deal with your struggle to sort out a scene or difficult character. Inspirational.

  3. Sherry, I'm very glad if any part of my method helps with restarting the story. Perhaps the important thing is to know we all go through the struggle of keeping a plot on track, especially when the characters take matters into their own hands. One way or another, we get there in the end.