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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday Spotlight: Sourcebooks Casablanca

A Duke to Die For by Amelia Grey
I have had a long love affair with Regency set romances. There’s just something extremely appealing and sexy to me about a powerful, titled man. I feel the same way when I see a military man in dress uniform. Think of a young Richard Gere in An Officer and A Gentleman and you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about. He was so good looking in that movie! And yes, I thought of him when I was describing the hero of my new book A Duke To Die For.

But of course it’s not only the hero who makes the Regency time period my favorite to read and write. I love the clothing of that era, too. To me there’s just something especially sensual about the way the high-waisted, empire dress fits snugly under a lady’s breasts. I won’t tell you how many years ago it was, but I will admit that my wedding dress was empire style.

But there’s more to think about in a romance than the sexy heroes and beautiful clothing. In A Duke To Die For I wanted to explore the emotions of the guardian and ward relationship. It was a type story I hadn’t written before, and I was eager to see what I could do with it. I knew I wanted my hero, Blake, to be reluctant to take on this duty. He was having too much fun as a devilish duke to be tied down with responsibility. And I wanted my heroine, Henrietta, to long for independence which, of course, was an almost impossible thing to accomplish back in those days. I also enjoyed exploring the fact that as her guardian, Blake was sworn to protect her from rakes just like himself and he found it difficult to keep his hands off her.

But even with all that going on, I felt the story needed more for them to have to deal with so I added the very real possibility that Henrietta was cursed and that curse could very well cost Blake his life. It confounded him and enlivened Henrietta. I had tons of fun with that aspect of the story.

So let me hear from you—Do you enjoy the guardian/ward type of story? Do you believe in curses?


Donna Lea Simpson said...

Brave woman! The guardian/ward story is the most difficult type of romance to write, rife as it is with control issues, the touchy territory of potential abuse of power, etc. But done well - and I look forward to seeing just how well you've done it! - it can be very powerful emotionally.

Congrats on undertaking this theme!

Danielle Jackson Dresser said...


I like the guardian/ward type of stories, but, especially when I was younger and was stealing them from my mom, I was majorly grossed out by the traditional stories where the ward was much younger than her guardian! So I love how you creatively made Henrietta and Blake closer in age... and the curses are a fun addition.


Amelia said...

Hello Everyone and thank you having hosting me today! I'm very happy to be at The Long and Short of It! They have done a terrfic job spotlighting Sourcebooks this week.

Donna, I agree with you that the guardian/ward is a difficult story to write which is probably the reason I didn't tackle it until my 19th book! But I must say, I'm pleased with the way it turned out. And I agree, Danielle, I don't like for the hero to be too much older than the heroine.


Sharon Lathan said...

How exciting Amelia! I can't wait to read this one. I am touching on a guardian/ward issue in the novel I am now working on, so I am very curious to see how you approached yours. The age thing does make it tricky, even thought that wasn't so odd back in the day. Well, you know I love the Regency so you book definitely appeals to me. Can't wait! The TBR pile is getting high again with all these new Sourcebooks novels being released. Oh, happy day!

Best of luck, my friend! :)

Mary Margret said...

I do enjoy guardian/ward plots but I have to admit I have a problem with curses.

I'm not saying they don't happen, only that they are more likely to be self-fulfilling prophecies than anything supernatural.

If there is a supernatural basis to curses, here's the other thing I think about: why do only curses seem to have strength and staying power?

Why do we never hear of a centuries-old blessing? I'm not questioning your use of a curse as a plot device--just saying where the question sends my mind hopping off to.

Amelia said...

Hi Sharon, this is the first time I've written the guardian/ward plot and I had fun with it.

Hi Mary Margaret, take my word for it, the curse in this book is not sinsiter or dark and shouldn't give anyone reason to delve too deeply into what they believe or don't believe about curses. I write light-hearted, fun books.