Sunday, June 17, 2018

Let Love Bloom: The Bashful Bride

Interview with Vanessa Riley about her book The Bashful Bride:

Alexis: What inspired you to write this story?

Vanessa: My daughter actually inspired this one. She and a group of her friends have crushes on late night talk show hosts. It amused me to discover this and also made me aware that my late night writing schedule has allowed her to stay up too late. Bad parenting skills. 

Alexis: Why did you title your book, “The Bashful Bride”? 

Vanessa: Ester is shy. She is a big dreamer but is more comfortable helping you with your plans than she is living them for herself. Ester’s bashful but inside is a heart of a lion.

Alexis: Why did you choose to set your story in London, England?

Vanessa: I love London and its perfect backdrop for the Regency novels.

Alexis: Describe how you did research for this story. What was the most challenging aspect of the research? 

Vanessa: I do a great deal of research for my stories. I search through court filings, old diaries, newspapers, and history books. The most challenging aspect of research is how to present facts that differ from what one sees on TV or from preconceived notions. I show a different viewpoint of history, and I want people to enjoy it and not feel overwhelmed when they realize that what they thought was true, might not be.

Alexis: Arthur Bex is the hero of your story. What’s he like? Describe his heart, looks, and motivation. Talk briefly about his background too. 

Vanessa: Arthur Bex is hiding a secret. He survived an incident and made a choice that meant he lost everything. He lives in fear that once the truth outs, he’ll lose everything again. He is motivated to right wrongs and to protect his heart, but to love is to be vulnerable. That’s his struggle.

Alexis: Ester Croome is the heroine of your story. What’s she like? Describe her heart, looks, and motivation. Talk briefly about her background too.

Vanessa: Ester is shy and sheltered. Eloping with Bex is her first step out into a world she is no longer under her father’s protection. It’s scary, but she wants her own dreams. She just hasn’t decided if she’s ready to fight for them.

Alexis: What role does a friend's newspaper advertisement for a groom play in bringing Arthur and Ester together?

Vanessa: A dear friend of Ester, Frederica Burghley, has been placing advertisements in a newspaper for a husband. When she nets Arthur Bex, Frederica steps aside for Ester. Strong friendships want each member to be happy. Frederica, though desperate for a husband, wants Ester to be happy. 

Alexis: What or who threatens to tear Arthur and Ester apart? Why?

Vanessa: Secrets and fear are the things that tear them apart. Arthur’s secret is dreadful, but his unwillingness to share his burden with Ester is a deal breaker. Ester wants everything in a neat safe box. She is unprepared for how messy the real world can be.

Alexis: Arthur is a famous actor. Ester is a shy heiress. Is this a story of opposites attract? Why or why not? 

Vanessa: Not really opposites. They have a lot of things in common including a love of Shakespeare.

Alexis: What it about Arthur that made Ester fall in love at first sight?

Vanessa: Ester fell in love with Bex when she saw him perform on stage. His acting and his voice won her heart over.

Alexis: What is it about Ester that intrigues Arthur and makes him want to protect her at any cost?

Vanessa: He wants a forthright woman who will believe in him. He sees that in Ester. She’s very strong in her opinions.

Alexis: Why it is important to Arthur to marry a woman of “good character” and in what ways does Ester fit that bill?

Vanessa: Ester believes in truth and is passionate about it. Arthur is passionate about his fight for abolition. They both are fighting the good fights. Arthur believes that if she can truly love him, then she’ll fight for him.

Alexis: If you could spend a day with your main characters, what would you do and why?

Vanessa: We’d probably all go see Shakespeare in the park. I think we would have a blast.

Alexis: What do you want readers to remember most about The Bashful Bride?

Vanessa: That forgiveness starts with forgiving yourself. If you can’t forgive yourself, you will be held in bondage, and you will hold others in bondage. Ester and Arthur each have to come to a place of forgiveness before they can move forward and love freely.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Vanessa! God bless you and your writing.

Author Bio:
Vanessa Riley writes Regency and Historical Romances of dazzling multi-culture communities with powerful persons of color. 

Vanessa writes for historical romance readers who admire and acquire books that showcase women who find joy in sweeping kisses and strong sisterhoods. 

Even in the darkness, she promises to give you laughs and to show you how light always prevails and how love always, always wins. 

Vanessa juggles mothering a teen, cooking for her military-man husband, and speaking at women's and STEM events. She’s known for her sweeping romances and humorous delivery of poignant truths. 

You can catch her writing from the comfort of her southern porch with a cup of Earl Grey tea.

Book Blurb for The Bashful Bride:

A friend's newspaper advertisement for a groom nets the most famous actor in London, Arthur Bex. Shy heiress Ester Croome proposes to elope with the handsome man, who she's secretly loved for two years, in order to escape an impending engagement arranged by her overbearing family. 

Trying to outlive the shadow of his villainous uncle, Bex needs to marry quickly—to a woman of good character. And smart, beautiful Ester fits the bill. But a harrowing trip to Gretna Green and dangerous abolition rallies prove to be a more treacherous stage than either imagined. Infatuation and a mutual love for Shakespeare might not be enough to bind a couple looking to outrun the chains and secrets of family and the past.

Buy The Bashful Bride on Amazon

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  1. When a teenager, I had a crush on Richard Basehart, who played Admiral Harriman Nelson in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. We used to send off for free autographed photos of actors. I didn't keep any, but they would have been fun to see today. Great interview!

  2. Ummm no I don’t think I’ve ever had a “secret” crush on a famous person. Certainly nothing that could be taken seriously anyway lol.

  3. Had a crush on one of the Beatles as a teenager. I quickly outgrew it! Vivian Furbay jtandviv(at)q(dot)com


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