Book Promo & Interview: "Silk & Scandal" by Cassandra Dean

Author Interview:
1. What inspired you to write this particular book? – SILK & SCANDAL came from a few different sources. I was lucky enough to be asked to write a story to headline Decadent TEASE: Captivate, a brand new line from Decadent Publishing. So I put my thinking cap on. At the time, I was obsessed with a couple of law-based shows – the UK series Silk and an Australian series called Rake. So, when I was developing the idea for this new book, I decided Thomas, the hero, should be a barrister, circumspect and concerned with propriety. So, of course, what else could the heroine be but a lady mired in scandal? Thus, SILK & SCANDAL and the start of a brand new series!
2. Does the book contain any underlying themes that are important to the story?  – What a wonderful question. A few years ago, I had the great fortune to see Joss Whedon speak at the Sydney Opera House. I admire Joss to no end, and his talk made a huge impression on me. The point he made that I really took away was that every writer writes from their ‘dark place’, that deep seated fear they’ve buried inside them. It was a real eye-opener, and made me examine my own reasons for writing what I do. So, to answer the question: Acceptance that who you are, who you want to be, is okay. You don’t have to apologise for who you are, what you want or what you do. I think these themes run through all my work and probably hint at my own ‘dark place’.
3. What kind of characters do you enjoying creating for a hero or heroine? Do you believe they both need to be strong to have a good story?I believe the characterisation needs to be strong. Your hero and heroine could be soft and seemingly weak, but as long as their characterisation strongly emphasises this, all is a-ok. A good story is made by compelling characters, and as long as you have them sorted and your reader engage, you’ll have a fantastic story.
4. Did you do any special historical research while writing the book? If so, what interesting things did you learn?– Oh my, lots of research, though I think about 80-90% of what you discover you don’t use. For SILK & SCANDAL, I learnt about corn laws, and the change of power in English parliament in 1846, and red ribbons meaning defence briefs while white meant prosecution. I learnt about the Inns of Court, and being called to the bar, and the year women were first admitted to law schools in England. Lots and lots of stuff!
5. What historical era do you like the most – Regency, Victorian, Edwardian, other and why? –  I think Victorian. It was such an expansive era, and saw so much change. It also had many different facets, making it irresistible for writers – you could have a straight historical story, or you could tap into the spiritualism and mysticism of the time and write a paranormal. Or you could go with the murderous Jack the Ripper era and write a murder mystery, or perhaps a story about the great social upheaval that occurred thanks to the Industrial Revolution.
6. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer and how did you get started? –  I’ve always wanted to be a writer, from the time I first learnt how to hold a pen. However, I was convinced only super cool people could be authors and so I put my dream to one side. However, when I met my critique partner and friend for ever Lucy Clark, I realised that perhaps I was cool enough to be a writer! So I wrote TEACH ME and ENSLAVED and shopped them around. Finally, Decadent Publishing offered me a contract for ENSLAVED, and subsequently TEACH ME. The rest is history!
7. What challenges do you face as an author either personally or professionally?– Finding the time to write is pretty challenging. Between the Day Job, the family, friends, promotional work, and a pretty intense television watching schedule, it’s rather hard! Well, perhaps I could cut the TV, but the other things are pretty non-negotiable 🙂 Still, I write because I love it, and when you love something, you find the time.
8. Tell us about any previous works or any new works you’ll be releasing in the future. –  SILK & SCORN, the second in The Silk Series, will be coming soon from Decadent TEASE: Captivate, and will feature Thomas’s friend, Arthur, and an annoying girl from his childhood. I’m currently writing the third in the series, SILK & SCARS. I’m also writing the third and final book in The Diamond Series, an Old American West tale. Featuring characters from ROUGH DIAMOND and FOOL’S GOLD, EMERALD SEA features gunslingers and vengeance seeking ladies.
9. Add anything else you’d like to tell your readers. Thank you so much for stopping by, I hope you enjoy SILK & SCANDAL and The Silk Series!

 

 

Review: "Silk & Scandal" by Cassandra Dean

Decadent Publishing Company, LLC
Regency Romance
Synopsis:

Eight years ago…

Thomas Cartwright and Lady Nicola Fitzgibbons were friends. Over the wall separating their homes, Thomas and Nicola talked of all things – his studies to become a barrister, her frustrations with a lady’s limitations.

All things end.

When her diplomat father gains a post in Hong Kong, Nicola must follow. Bored and alone, she falls into scandal. Mired in his studies of the law and aware of the need for circumspection, Thomas feels forced to sever their ties.

But now Lady Nicola is back…and she won’t let him ignore her.

Review:

Silk and Scandal is a neatly wrapped little package of a novella. It is written concisely and to the point; the point being a romance between an orphan turned barrister and the daughter of an aristocrat.

Thomas Cartright, adopted from the poorhouse at age 9 by a wealthy couple who gave him financial and familial advantages in life, is now reacquainted with Lady Nicola Fitzgibbons, his childhood neighbor, now a lady of “scandal” via flirtations across the continents.
“Nic” has taken it upon herself to write about her travels (and travails) to Thomas and he, although vexed by her letters, reluctantly returns them. Their correspondence lasts for almost ten years as Nic hops one country to another, escaping scandal after scandal, whilst Thomas completes his law training.
Upon her return to England, Nicola’s and Thomas’ lives are rekindled, with Nicola looking for romance and Thomas more concerned about his law career. Through a series of mishaps and misunderstandings, buried feelings are unearthed; however quarrels and calamities abound, making the road for romance as jagged and sharp as an unpaved graveled path.
The characters appear to be typical in nature, with Nicola being flighty and dreamy and Thomas being on the stodgy side; however, when they are with each other, their guards are let down, revealing how very likable their characters are underneath all the crinoline and cravats, but not without an extraordinarily mortifying moment that puts Thomas’ hard-earned career in dangerous peril.
Cassandra Dean has written a very amenable and enjoyable short story that allows the reader to escape into a brief, albeit, delectable 19th century liaison.

(Reviewed by Countess Barbara)

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