What better way to spend spring break–discovering a hot new book to read!!! I’m thrilled to feature the talented Ms. Christy English today… Let’s discover her deepest, darkest secrets…
Christy English is happiest when she is dreaming. Her dreams have taken her to the royal court of Henry II in THE QUEEN’S PAWN, to medieval Paris in TO BE QUEEN, and now to Regency England in MUCH ADO ABOUT JACK, LOVE ON A MIDSUMMER NIGHT, and HOW TO TAME A WILFULL WIFE, where she loves to watch her characters find true love, often in spite of themselves.
Love the often in spite of themselves, Christy.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I started writing when I was 8 years old. Badly and sporadically. I picked up my pen again when I was 12, with similar results. I kept writing all my life, and slowly began to get better. I guess that’s how it happens…hard work eventually leads to a story worth telling.
Are you a plotter or panster?
I am a plotter, and I love it. I love to hear from my characters what’s going to happen before we get started.
At what age did you write your first novel?
I wrote my first novella at the age of 15. It was so bad, my hair almost fell out reading back over it.
What is the most romantic place you’ve ever been?
Paris, standing beside the Seine, looking at the Ile Saint Louis across from Notre Dame. Just gorgeous.
Name your favorite books from childhood and adulthood.
My favorite book from childhood was The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. My favorite as an adult is Mary Renault’s The Persian Boy
What’s your astrological sign? Do you fit the characteristics associated with it? How?
I am a Gemini…and I definitely fit the profile. I have two sides, the introvert who wants to write and the extrovert who wants to act. Luckily, the impulses come from the same place, so as long as I am doing one of the two, I am happy.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned from your journey as a writer?
To have patience with myself. Like in yoga, my writing process is in different places from day to day. Some days I am going to write pages on end, and other days I am lucky to get down one. The trick is to accept where I am today, and to start over tomorrow.
Favorite Color: Royal Blue
Favorite Actor/Actress: Emma Thompson…what a genius
Favorite Movie: Star Wars
Favorite century and why?: The 12th…I find the Middle Ages fascinating. And I’d love to have met Richard the Lionhearted
Favorite Food: Pizza…Bread, sauce, cheese= the perfect food
Least favorite vegetable: Brussel Sprouts … too slimy
Describe yourself in 5 words:
Funny, Loony, Happy, Hardworking, Joyful
Now that we know what makes you tick inside, let’s have a look at your latest release, Much Ado About Jack (I LOVE THE TITLE)…
The fab cover…
What do a rogue countess and a sea captain have in common? Absolutely nothing.
Sparks fly when Angelique Beauchamp discovers Captain James Montgomery (Jack) aboard her prized ship. She tells him to step off, and to step out of her life, but the good captain does not take orders well. With lively banter and steamy interludes, these two can’t seem to stay away from each other. Everyone from the Prince Regent to her old lover Anthony Carrington is wondering, why is there so Much Ado About Jack?
A taste of the story … I want more Christy…
Angelique Beauchamp, Countess of Devonshire, found a hulking Scot standing on the deck of her ship.
Her kid leather slippers whispered against the damp oak planks as they would have on a ballroom floor. She glided across the deck strewn with vats of tar, coiled rope, and unattended brushes.
The crew was supposed to be preparing her ship to go back out to sea, but she could only see Willy, the ten-year-old-boy she had taken on last year, perched in the rigging high above. He waved to her, and she waved back, but after that, she kept her eyes on the man in front of her.
The Scot was as tall as a Viking. His broad shoulders were barely contained in a coat of black worsted, hard worn but well mended. He wore his auburn hair long, tied in a queue at the back of his neck.
Angelique was tall for a woman, but beside him, she felt delicate, like one of the china doll beauties so popular that season on the Marriage Mart.
“Good day, sir,” she said. “May I ask what you’re doing skulking about my ship?”
He smiled, and she caught the light of genuine humor in his eyes. He was a man who did not take himself too seriously, then. In spite of his military bearing, she might be able to deal with him.
“Good day, madam. I have come to speak with Captain Farvel.”
“You won’t find him. He deserted yesterday.”
She spoke with confidence, as if she had not come down to the docks to speak with the erstwhile captain herself. She simply assumed that Farvel had deserted, from the state of the ship, and from the absence of her crew. If she got her hands around her captain’s neck, she would throttle him. Farvel had better stay hidden away, wherever he was.
The Scot’s blue eyes did not take on a gleam of avarice to hear of her misfortune, as some men’s might have done. He did not give the appearance of looking upon her staffing problems as an opportunity. He frowned, seeming almost concerned for her. “And the rest of the crew?”
“I assume they are in the stews of Southwark.”
He laughed then, and she was tempted to laugh with him. For the first time since her man of business, George Smythe, had told her of the cargo of rotting cotton that Farvel had brought back from Charleston, her temper ebbed a bit, and she felt almost human.
Like all things, her good humor did not last.
“I understand this ship is for sale,” the Scot said.
Angelique felt the dark of her temper rising like a summer storm, and she clamped it down. “You heard wrong.”
She could count on the fingers of both hands the number of men angling to get the Diane away from her. It was a good ship, her only ship, and would make a charming addition to any fleet. And if she sold it, the West India Company would no longer have to deal with her. In spite of their drawing room manners and open courtesy, they did not like doing business with a woman.
“Well,” he said. “Perhaps I might speak with the owner about that.”
“I am the owner. And I can assure you, the Diane will never be for sale.”
The deck lurched beneath them in the wake of a passing barge, and he reached for her, catching her arm.
Angelique had spent her childhood on this vessel. She had kept to her feet in storms off the coast of Africa, in the gales that blew north of Scotland. She could keep her footing without help in the midst of the Thames. She felt her mask of glacial calm come down as she drew her arm out of his grasp.
“I would thank you not to touch me,” she said. “I would also thank you to let it be known among your acquaintance that the Diane belongs to me.”
“Does it indeed?” He seemed not at all offended by her ire, but amused. The blue of his eyes reminded her of the sky on a clear summer day, guileless, open, hiding nothing. But she knew better than anyone how quickly such a sky could change. Beauty and serenity like that was an illusion, the kind of deception she would never be taken in by again.
“She is a beautiful ship,” he said. For the first time, she heard a hint of his brogue, a shade of Aberdeen thickening his voice as his eyes ran not over the deck beneath their feet, or the furled sails above their heads, but over her.
Angelique felt the old tell-tale heat of desire rising from the center of her belly. She had not felt the lick of a flame like that, nor even smelled the smoke of lust since Anthony Carrington had left her over a year before. She had taken one or two lovers since, of course, but with neither had she felt this warm beginning, this caress of craving.
She clenched her stomach against the onslaught, against the traitorous heat that rose to consume her. She tamped it down, just as she had tamped down her temper. When she raised her eyes to meet his, the man facing her smiled as if he knew her struggle, and welcomed it. As if he knew that he had already won.
She meant to leave the insolent man standing where he was. Since Farvel was nowhere to be found, she would have Smythe start looking for a new captain at once. But before she could take another step, the ship lurched again, and this time her choice of shoes betrayed her and she lost her footing.
Her slippers slid out from beneath her, and she flailed, trying to catch hold of the rigging behind her where it was tied to the mast. Her hands touched not well oiled rope, but a burly, masculine arm. The man laid his hand over hers and drew her close.
His hands were strong and callused. He no doubt spent a great deal of time on a ship at sea, for in spite of the rocking of the deck beneath their feet, he did not sway, but held himself and her as steady as if he stood on dry land.
As Angelique stood close to him, her cheek pressed against his chest, she caught the scent of leather and spiced rum. The scent of that man brought the peace of her childhood back to her, layered over with the heat of lust.
Angelique closed her eyes, and took in his scent, relishing the strength of his arms around her, and the illusion of safety they gave her. The ship rocked again, and she came to her senses. Dear God, had she lost her mind?
Thank you for taking the time to visit with us today…
Where to connect with Ms. English…
Where to find her books…