Thursday, August 14, 2014

Guest Post: Enticing Miss Eugenie Villaret by Ella Quinn!

It is my great pleasure to welcome Ella Quinn back to Leatherbound Reviews. Ms. Quinn has been publishing a captivating series, The Marriage Game. I have had the pleasure of reading several books from this series, and let me say, it is not one to be missed if you enjoy  marriages, strong, protective heroes, and heart-pounding romance accompanied by a bit of mystery. Without further ado, please join me in giving Ella a hearty welcome back! 

My current release, Enticing Miss EugĂ©nie Villaret, book #6 in The Marriage Game, is set in the Caribbean. As in most things in my writing, I didn’t actually pick the place, my hero William, Viscount Wivenly did. That happened at the end of The Temptation of Lady Serena when he and Gervais, Earl of Huntley decided there were entirely too many marriage minded ladies and their mamas in England to suit them. Huntley, as you may remember went off to Europe, while Will sailed to St. Thomas, part of the Danish West Indies in 1816.

Now, I live in St. Thomas and truly was not expecting the research to be a difficult as it was, but the institutional knowledge appeared to only go back to the 1840’s when St. Thomas was a very different island than it was in 1816I went on the historic house tour which begins at Blackbeard’s castle. 
Naturally, I informed the guide I was working on a book set in the early 19th century, whereupon I was told the castle (actually a tower) was a make-out point. Hmm, I had my doubts. As it turns out, the tower was a make-out place, but in the 1950s.

Lots of people offered to share their families photos, unfortunately they all dated from much later in the century as cameras didn’t exist in the Regency. Fortunately, I have a good friend whose family has been on the island for well over 100 years and is the possessor of many excellent books covering the time period I needed. Most of the older houses on St. Thomas were rebuilt in the mid-19th century, so my friend helped me gain access to Crown House which was built in the late 18th century. Fortunately for my story, the newer houses were built on the same footprint and I didn’t have to change the descriptions I’d already written.

In addition to her help, I contacted not only the local historical society, but the historian on Tortola, BVI, and an author friend, Alison Stuart. She was visiting Martinique at the time and sent me the information I needed from there.

As I had escaping slaves to re-home, I ended up studying all the manumission laws in the Caribbean and discovered the British West Indies were actually the least restrictive of all the islands. All one had to do was show up, and they were free. Other islands required documents. I also had to study the sailing winds and get advice from people who had more experience than I. I discovered the existence of a clergyman known as the “Pirate Priest” who lived on Tortola. After verifying the man had been the rector of St. Michael’s church, I had to make a research trip.

All in all, I did more research in my home than I’ve had to do since my first couple of books. However, it was a wonderful experience and taught me much more about my island than I’d known before.


Do you every look up the history of your town?

Wow, Ella! So much research packed into this great story! Thank you for sharing. =) I have to say, I am guilty of never researching my home town or current town. However, after reading about all the interesting truths you uncovered in your research, I am tempted to do some of my own! Thanks! 
Be on the look out for my review of Enticing Miss Eugenie Villaret next week!

Repeating Ella's question, have any of you, dear readers, researched your home town? If so, I'd love to hear about it! =)

******

Author Bio:
     Ella’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.
     She is married to her wonderful husband of twenty-nine years. They have a son and granddaughter, Great Dane and a Chartreux. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make St. Thomas, VI home.
     Ella is a member of the Romance Writers of American, The Beau Monde and Hearts Across History. She is represented by Elizabeth Pomada of Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency, and published by Kensington. Her first book, The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, will release in September 2013. The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh, Quinn's second novel, will be released in November 2013.

Connect with Ella Quinn
Read It Now!

34 comments:

  1. That is a lot of research! Congrats on the release, Ella!

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer. It was much more than I expected I'd have to do.

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  2. I never research history in my town.

    I'm so exciting with this book, hope to win it :)

    eli_y83@yahoo.com

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    1. You should take a look, Eli. Although, I have to admit, I hadn't before either.

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  3. I haven't researched my hometown however I have researched some areas for my genealogy which I thoroughly enjoy :) I just wish I had more time to do the research.
    I'm looking forward to reading this book. Thanks for sharing.
    Lori
    lorih824 at yahoo dot com

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    1. I did our family genealogy, Lori! It was a lot of fun. Thank you for stopping by!

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  4. I went back to do some research on the small Michigan town where I grew up. I thought I knew almost everything about the area, but I was wrong. Great post, Ella!

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    1. How fun to hear from someone who has researched their home! Thank you, Ally

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  5. I haven't researched my hometown or where I live now, though both have unusual histories. I really should do that.

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  6. I researched San Angelo, Texas and the surrounding area , where I live, for my first book CASEY'S COURAGE.

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    1. That sounds like fun, Neva. Did you learn a lot?

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  7. What a great idea - wished I thought of this earlier in the year - maybe I'll fine time to do this. Love the idea! Thank you

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    1. I'm glad you like it, Michell!! Thank you for stopping by!

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  8. Enjoyed reading the comments. I like reading books set during this time period and your book sounds really good. I like the cover.
    I know a lot about my home town-it is not far from the original Bent's Fort on the Arkansas River in Colorado.
    jwisley8@me.com

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    1. Good for you, Joye! I'm also glad you like Regencies!!

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  10. No, I never researched my hometown! Regency is one of my favorite era for romantic love story like yours, they are so much fun to read. Congratulations Ella for your new book!

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    1. Thank you, Nicole! I'm so glad you like my books!

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  11. I wish I researched more! Like another commenter on here, all my research has centered around genealogy. I tried to find out some about a New England town that my distant relatives came from, but during the process I came across a ton of information that had already been published. I felt robbed of the discovery!

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    1. Oh, no, Jessica! That's so sad. I have to agree with you though. Two lines of my family have books written about them, and I fine it much less interesting than the information I discover myself.

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  12. We have an actual museum that contains a great deal about my little town.

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    1. That's always fun, Liza. In Europe they do that a lot. Thank you for visiting.

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  13. I have read several books about my hometown. We have a South Carolina room at the library that has a world of information.

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    1. That's so cool, Beth. I love it when a town embraces it's history!

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  14. My home town covers 3 towns - well, really four. one is in wheat country, South Dakota, the town of Philip. I confess I know little about it. I was born there, and lived there until I was four.
    We moved to Wyoming, to a ranch near Pavillion. This very small (~300) town was created to house workers when the US Bureau of Reclamation built the Midvale Irrigation District as part of the Riverton Reclamation Project. It is still mostly Midvale, and the school, which serves an area about 70 miles by 40 miles. Graduating classes are usually around 35 to 40 students. I now live in Belgrade Montana, which was founded by Thomas B Quaw. He laid out the original town and sold lots, suckering people into thinking this was great.country to farm in....it is, but a lot of fields are growing houses or gravel pits. Belgrade is now a bedroom community for Bozeman Montana.

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  15. I've had many readers tell me to discover that bits and pieces are based on real places or events make the tale come alive.

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    1. I agree, Lisa. I have readers tell me that as well. Which is exactly where I want them to be, in the story.

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  16. I know the basic history of the towns around where I was born, but I don't know too much about the town where I live now. I visited St. Thomas once. I'm jealous that you live in such a great place! Congrats on the new release!

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  17. Research is important. And sometime once you start, you just dig deeper and deeper.

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  18. History is my fundamental approach to information. When I go to a new place its history is the first think I want to know. We moved to a small township near Philadelphia two years ago. This area is like the American history motherload. It's hard to go anywhere without tripping over William Penn or George Washington.

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  19. I didn't realize that you did so much research. To actually visit would be a blast!

    An older man spoke at a library event about the history of my small how town. I couldn't believe how big of a boom town it was 100 years ago. It was a happening place until the big cities/shopping malls/ invention of travel changed things. I would've liked to have seen it back then.

    Congratulations on your new release!!

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  20. Having seen all the places you describe in your book just makes it more vivid for me. :) The most interesting thing, I think, is that there were no stairs inside the house. To go from one level to another, you had to go outside. Very inconvenient in the rain I would think. But I've seen the houses. Great post, Ella!

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