Please welcome author Lisa Berne to the blog today! Lisa read her first historical romance when she was fourteen (Georgette Heyer’s Lady of Quality) and she’s thrilled to now be writing her own historical romances set in the beginning of the Regency era in the United Kingdom.
I thoroughly enjoyed her debut, You May Kiss the Bride, which introduced readers to the Penhallow Dynasty. Sarah MacLean loved it as well and called it “…a lingering homage to the heydey of the Regency historical romance.” And Sophie Jordan said it was one of the best romances she ever read. Lisa’s visiting the blog today to celebrate the release of her second book, The Laird Takes a Bride, with an interview and giveaway!
LB: What was the favorite part of your research for the book?
Lisa: My hero, Alasdair Penhallow, lives in an ancient castle — renovated to state-of-the-art elegance and comfort circa 1811, but still, it’s a castle. Très romantique! I spent quite a few happy hours on the web studying Scottish castles and estates.
LB: Authors often have all kinds of influences and allusions in their stories. What about in The Laird Takes a Bride?
Lisa: Yes, they’re definitely in there! Here are a few examples.
- My heroine Fiona’s first (and lost) love was based on the charming, fascinatingly slippery Morris Townsend in Washington Square.
- A strong-willed secondary character, one of the “contestants” for Alasdair’s favor, was modeled after Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a movie I saw ages ago and which — obviously — made a deep impression on me!
- The work of Stephen King inspired a scene in which Fiona is frightened by memories of being told bloodcurdling tales about a ghastly creature called the Sack Man.
- In Chapter 12 you’ll find a tiny tip of the hat to Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind, and in Chapter 16, a bit informed by Little Women — specifically, the scene in which Amy and Laurie confess their love, a passage I found thrilling as a kid. (And still do.) Look for Fiona saying, “It fits,” and Alasdair’s reply.
LB: What’s the funniest/strangest thing a reader or a relative has said to you about your books or your writing career?
Lisa: Romance writers everywhere know the look — a little sheepish, a little roguish — and the question that inevitably follows: “So, uh, did you do your own research for the, uh, racy parts?” I love the response Beverly Jenkins shared during a speech she gave at last year’s Romance Writers of America conference. When people ask this question, she told us, she’ll reply, with exquisite and tantalizing brevity: “Yes.” And we all cracked up laughing.
LB: What’s up next for you? What are you working on right now?
Lisa: I’m finishing the third book in the Penhallow Dynasty series, The Bride Takes a Groom, which releases next spring. It features Captain Hugo Penhallow, who appears toward the end of my first book, You May Kiss the Bride. He marries a childhood friend, Katherine Brooke, a brilliant and complicated heiress — and their marriage is quite complicated also!
LB: Thanks so much for stopping by. I can’t wait to see the cover for The Bride Takes a Groom!
Wave hello to Lisa in the comments here or on my Facebook page for a chance to win a signed copy of The Laird Takes a Bride! (U.S. shipping only).