The Long and the Short of It is pleased to welcome Eliza Knight, author of Her Captain Returns, the first in her Men of the Sea Series, which she calls "sizzling Regency romances with a little bit of mystery." The second novella in the series, Her Captain Surrenders should be out later this season and she's currently working on the third story. Love Will Bloom, also a Regency-era romance, will be released in July.
Eliza agreed to share a blurb from Her Captain Returns with us.
How could anything considered sinful feel so good?
That is what Miss Corinne Claymore asked herself as she gave into the titillating suggestions of Captain Ryder Montgomery. Corinne never knew what she was getting into with her innocent flirtations with Ryder. Scandal ensues as they are discovered in an amorous embrace in the gardens at Lady Covington's ball. Corinne finds herself not only married to Ryder, but abandoned. A short letter tells her he will be gone for several years.
Eight years pass while Ryder is on a secret mission for the Prince Regent. He only returns at hearing the news of his brother's death, making him the new Earl of Stafford. His love and passion for Corinne have not waned. In fact, remembering their nights of pleasure has been the only thing that's kept him sane on his dangerous journey. But she has changed much, filled now with bitterness and the fear of being deserted again. Ryder must woo her back to him and soothe her fears, all while discovering how his brother died and who may be at fault.
It will be a treacherous adventure, but one consumed with building trust and love while enjoying carnal pleasures.
Eliza told me she's been writing since she could hold a pencil. "My favorite thing to do in school during free period was write stories and draw pictures of princesses," she said. "So I guess you could say since then I've had an obsession with romantic notions."
With her books, her characters come first and she sees characterization as one of the most important elements of good writing. "If the characters are boring no one will want to read about them," she explained. "Once you've gotten to know them, your plot will follow." She qualified that, however, by telling me, "Sometimes though characters and plot come in one, like a 'what if' question."
Eliza has a wide range in her list of favorite authors. "Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is my absolute favorite book" she told me. "Then comes Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. The first romance novel I ever read was Julie Garwood's The Bride, which made me a historical romance fan immediately!"
Ken Follett is another favorite of hers. "He has such a wonderful grasp of history," Eliza said, "and his story telling is phenomenal." Pillars of the Earth and world Without End are two of his novels Eliza particularly enjoys.
Eliza reads a lot of books when she's not writing. She also watches movies, chats with friends, plays with her kids, relaxes with her husband, does research, and, she said with a smile, "Generally have a good time. I love wine, so I do wine tastings, and I also like to cook."
She normally writes at a desk in her kitchen. She told me, "I'm surrounded by books, noteboosk, magazines, note cards, pens, my children, my dog and occasionally my hubby. Although, I do occasionally take my laptop into the living room to lounge on the loveseat with my feet up on the ottoman."
If you count her novellas, she's written about fifteen books, but said she honestly doesn't have a favorite. "I love all of them," she said. "Each of the characters and their stories are dear to my heart."
She grew up wanting to be a writer, but not just a writer. She also wanted to model and be an actress; she's done all three. "When I went to college," she told me, "I went into journalism and then changed my mind. For a brief period of time I wanted to be a sex therapist. I got my BS, but never went on for my master's degree. Writing romance seems to cover my enthusiasm for writing and couple's relationships."
On a personal note, I asked Eliza to share her strangest habit with us.
She laughed and asked, "Should I really disclose this? Well, a lot of people seem to think it's strange that I absolutely will not leave my room in the morning without brushing my teeth. I can't function without doing it, and I might hyperventilate if someone made me leave without doing it."
The strangest thing she's ever eaten is escargot. "The first time it was delicious," she said, "but the second time horrible, so I won't eat it again. Now granted the first time was in Paris, so they probably just knew how to make it better."
And, she can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi—she prefers Diet Coke ("out of the can and not out of the fountain," she specified.)
You can keep up with Eliza on her website, http://elizaknight.com