A Moment of Nostalgia
After many years of Steeplechase being available through Ellora's Cave Cotillion line, I was stunned when I got my rights back and began to edit it for indie publication. I wrote that?? Truly, I'd forgotten how far away I'd strayed from the trad Regency style. So far, in fact, that I simply could not write the same book today. It was almost like reading someone's else's work. I laughed, I goggled, I swelled with pride. Frankly, I was absolutely thrilled with it. (I feel I can brag about it because that was totally another "Blair" who wrote it!)
A bit of background:
I began my writing career with serious historical romances like Tarleton's Wife and The Sometime Bride, as well as contemporary Romantic Suspense like Shadowed Paradise and Paradise Burning. And although all were published by one of the early e-publishers, I was having no luck convincing New York that an author could start out writing mainstream instead of making her bones by writing for Harlequin/Silhouette first. And then I went to an RWA convention where the editor for Signet's traditional Regency line (think Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer) indicated she was looking for new authors. And I asked myself, "Can I capture the style, the language, the comedy?" (Everything I'd written was so serious.) But of course I decided I had to try. I mean it was NEW YORK, right?
So I sat down and wrote The Courtesan's Letters, and lo and behold, I got THE CALL. Except Signet's marketing department thought "courtesan" wouldn't play well in the hinterlands and changed the title to the perfectly bland (and erroneous) The Indifferent Earl. It did, however, win "Best Regency of the Year" from Romantic Times magazine and was a Rita nominee. Eventually, when I got my rights back, it once again became The Courtesan's Letters (currently available on Amazon & Smashwords).
I turned out five more Regencies over the next few years and evidently polished the style to perfection by Number Seven, Steeplechase. Except . . . Signet closed its Regency line just as it was ready for submission. Which is how Steeplechase ended up being published by a Regency line within Ellora's Cave Blush. Perhaps not the best place for a squeaky clean traditional, but I'm sure most Cotillion authors were like me, grateful for the opportunity to keep publishing our pet genre. By this time, however, the handwriting on the wall was clear, and I wrote only one more trad Regency, Lady of the Lock, before returning to Regency Historicals and contemporary Mystery/Suspense. And then came my Regency Gothic line and my Futuristic/Paranormal series, Blue Moon Rising. Both of which - on opposite ends of the chronological line - I enjoy immensely. But oh my, as I re-edited Steeplechase, I was struck by nostalgia for that very special genre, trad Regencies. If you haven't yet read Steeplechase, please take a peek. Both Amazon and Smashwords offer free samples.
Below please find Delle Jacob's deliciously traditional cover, plus blurb and reviews for Steeplechase (from its previous incarnation).
Harlan Dawnay, Lord Davenham, handsome and dashing heir to an earldom, offers a marriage of convenience to a suitable young lady he scarcely knows, only to discover she has no intention of being ignored in favor of his friends or his mistress.
Lady Sarah Ainsworth, age seventeen, is not yet interested in marriage. She accepts Lord Davenham's offer solely because she secretly admires him and has high hopes for the future. But when Davenham steadfastly ignores his young bride, including not coming to her bed, Sarah embarks on a series of adventures guaranteed to drive any husband wild. From unsuitable friends to unsuitable flirtations, from gambling to calling on Davenham's mistress, Sarah forces him to pay attention. Until one final adventure almost ends their marriage before it's really begun.
I had a great time reading this very engrossing and funny Regency Romance. . . . The author is very well versed with the era and its environs from London to Brighton, and the people and customs as well. This is the kind of Regency that I love to read.
Maura, Coffee Time Romance
"This novel is filled with witty dialogue and plenty of amusing moments. I found myself laughing out loud several times. I especially loved the interactions between Sarah and Harlan and the interactions between them and their family and friends. This story left me feeling good."
Christina, Romance Junkies Reviews
"I really loved this book. . . . [It] reminded me of why I started to read romance to begin with. Boy has to get married. Boy then ignores girl. Girl gets back at boy by being as outrageous as possible and leads him for a 'Steeplechase' with all kinds of obstacles in his way to get his attention. Boy realizes that, yes, he does love the girl! And a happy ending. Enjoy!"
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Grace Note: Steeplechase is now live on Amazon and Smashwords and should be available in almost all e-book formats by the time this blog is posted.
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Thanks for stopping by,
For Grace's website, listing all books as Blair Bancroft, click here.
For a brochure for Grace's editing service, Best Foot Forward, click here.