Sunday, October 5, 2014

Book Blog Tour of The Governess Club Sara and Louisa by Ellie Macdonald

Sweet Sara Collins is one of the founding members of the governess club. But she has a secret… She doesn’t love teaching. She’d much prefer to be a vicar’s wife and help the local community. But this quiet mouse doesn’t want to upset her friends, and she resolves to help in whatever ways she can. Nathan Grant is the embodiment of everything that frightens Sara. Which is why she can’t understand why the handsome but reclusive and gruff man is so fascinating to her. When Sara decides it’s time to take a chance and experience all that life has to offer, Nathan is the first person she thinks of. Will Sara’s walk on the wild side ruin her chances at a simple, happy life? Or has she just opened the door to a once-in-a-lifetime chance of passion? 


Baffled by his sudden departure, Sara clutched the covers to her chin. Was it something she had done? Or perhaps didn’t do? He had seemed to enjoy their encounter; she certainly had, each moment teaching her something new and changing her opinion of what pleasure was. The thought that he was displeased with what happened cast a pall over her. She heard the door to his dressing room open and a flare of light came as he lit a candle inside the small space. The sounds of his rummaging did not last long and the light moved toward the door, growing brighter. He reappeared, carrying the candle. Sara stared up at the canopy, averting her eyes, unwilling to let him see the questions she knew would be visible in them. He blew the candle out and settled back in the bed, once again closing the curtains and settling the covers back over his body.

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Louisa Brockhurst is on the run - from her friends, from her family, even from her dream of independence through The Governess Club. But sometimes it’s easier for her to hide from those she loves in order tI o escape the secrets of her past. Handsome but menacing John Taylor is a former prize-fighter turned inn-keeper who is trying to make his way in society. When Louisa shows up at his doorstep he’s quick to accept her offer to help - at a price. He knows that she’s hiding something and he can’t help his protective instincts around the beautiful woman. Their attraction grows, but will headstrong, fiery Louisa ever trust the surprisingly kind John enough to tell him the dangerous secrets from her past that keep her running? Or will the power of her feelings scare her into running yet again?

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Interview with Ellie
I would like to thank Ellie for stopping by my blog to answer questions for my readers.  

What is your writing process?

EM: It all starts with a high concept idea – the idea that links books together, like all the characters being
governesses – whether it was brainstormed with a friend or one on my own. Then I create the character the story is going to focus on; the case The Governess Club series, it was each of the individual ladies. Then I create their counterpart, asking the questions: Who do they need to fall in love with? Who will be good for them? After developing that character, I think of how they will fall in love, create scenarios they would likely find themselves in, and grow from there.
As for the actual daily writing, 2000 words a day is my goal. Usually I make it, sometimes I don’t, even more rare is when I exceed it; I think my personal goal is around 6000 in a day, but that only happens when I am really “in the zone” and the words are flowing so fast I can’t stop.

How did you come up with the idea for this series?
EM: To start with, I answered a callout for new authors via the Avon Romance Facebook page. There were several different story options listed, and I chose the one called The Governess Club because it fit best with my subgenre and personal preference. But I knew it wasn’t enough to write about a governess falling in love with a lord – there had to be a twist. So I made the lord go into hiding and take a position as a tutor. That was new and a good idea, so I ran with it.
But three days before the submission deadline, I was thinking about the word “club” and the role it had in Regency England. Gentlemen had their private clubs where they could go and eat bad food, drink excellent alcohol, talk politics and generally escape their wives and families. But women didn’t have that. Yes, they had their charities, their benevolent societies, their daily teas, but they didn’t have clubs, per se. So I thought: What if they did? What would that look like? What if there were clubs – or female guilds – that focussed on professions, much like the gentlemen clubs focussed on politics? The next thing I knew, Claire had three friends who were governesses in the same area who decided to pool their resources to open their own independent school.
It was a great idea – the problem was, if I put that idea at the point of Claire’s story I was then writing, it would completely change the entire direction. So I made it into a prologue, added a few easy references early in the manuscript and there you had it.

Which one is your favorite?

EM: Louisa’s story was the most fun to write; she is such a strong character that she literally took over some the scenes – there is one that I never had even planned, but she insisted on it happening, if that is even possible! And John is absolutely perfect for her. Claire’s story was also easy to write because Jacob is so playful with her. Bonnie and Sara were more difficult for me. Bonnie because it included a murder mystery element which is truly not my forte (but her charges were so adorable!) and Sara because she is so opposite of what I am like that it was difficult to get inside her head.

What is coming up next?
EM: I am currently developing another four book series, set in Regency England again, that involves matchmaking, but with a twist. Don’t want to give too much away because it’s still in the very early development stages!

Who is your favorite Hero and Heroine?
EM: Ever? Or of mine? There are so many to choose from! I definitely love Michael and Kate from Lorraine Heath’s JUST WICKED ENOUGH, Josie and the Earl of Mayne from Eloisa James’ PLEASURE FOR PLEASURE are another favourite, and Christine and the Duke of Bedwyn from Mary Balogh’s SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS always come to mind. As for mine, Jacob and John are my top heroes and Louisa is the heroine of choice for me because she is so ballsy. Can I use that word on a blog?

How do celebrate finishing a book?
EM: This one changes each time and it all depends on what’s going on with my life! I definitely take a couple days off from writing to recharge and clear my mind for the next story, but that break doesn’t last too long. For Claire, Bonnie and Sara, I still had a new book to think about, so just indulged in some ice cream. For Louisa, I finished with her copyedits in early August, so had a nice bonfire with my family at the lake, drinks and cigars at the ready (yes, cigars are my occasional vice). When Louisa is released on Oct 7, I am going to celebrate the end of the series with a nice dinner in a fancier restaurant than normal.

Ellie Macdonald has held several jobs beginning with the letter t: taxi-driver, telemarketer and most recently, teacher. She is thankful her interests have shifted to writing instead of taxidermy or tornado chasing. Having travelled to five different continents, she has swum with elephants, scuba dived coral mazes, visited a leper colony and climbed waterfalls and windmills, but her favorite place remains Regency England. She currently lives in Ontario, Canada. The Governess Club series is her first published work.

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  1. Like you, Ellie, I like heroines that are ballsy. :-) I'm a strong woman myself, which came rather late in life after getting fed up with being "beat up" (verbally) by the men in my life. I can imagine, however, that during the Regency period it was a rare thing to be a "strong" woman since women were raised to be docile creatures and to do men's bidding. I, too, am really looking forward to reading Louisa's story!

  2. Thank you for hosting today! Great Interview!

  3. Loved your choices for favorites. I don't know how you narrowed it down!