The Duplicitous Debutante
Becky is offering a free eBook of The Duplicitous Debutante to one lucky commenter today through Monday October 6th 12:00 p.m. She is also sharing a little bit about the background of her new book.
Take it away Becky.
On my first-ever radio show a few weeks ago, the emcee was intrigued by the various locations for my books, and wanted to know if I selected the location first and then wrapped a story around it, or if it was the other way around. I’d never really thought about it before in that manner, and it took me a minute before I could answer him and not stumble over myself.
But the truth is, most of my locations find me, not the other way around. For the Cotillion Ball historical series, I did some digging into when the Cotillion made its way into American society. (It was 1854, BTW). It turns out the decade prior to the Civil War was chock full of events–big and small–that led up to the Civil War in 1861. So, I’ve had plenty to write about as each season another of the large Fitzpatrick family finds loves and moves off to form his or her own life. It was fortuitous that the Cotillion came along during the right decade for me.
As for my contemporaries, they take place in Maine, Nebraska and Washington, DC. I lived in the DC area for years, so I knew it pretty well. My sister lived in Maine for a long time, and I visited her from time to time. But Nebraska? I found the title for The Road To Comfort first, on a billboard as I drove back to Ohio from Virginia. The idea for a story unfolded as the miles spun by. What if Comfort was the name of a town? There was a town in Texas called Comfort, but I didn’t want to use a real town and get hung up in all the specifics of town layout and businesses. But I thought a town in the plain states would be a good setting. Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma–somewhere along there would suit. Somewhere with tornadoes. And Cyclones. I’m currently working on a contemporary trilogy set in the Finger Lakes of New York. I’ve been hearing about the Finger Lakes for years, but have never ventured there. But I thought with three books using the Finger Lakes as a setting, I’d better get the right flavor for the place, so I’m off next month for a couple of days to soak in the environment.
As the radio show began to wind down, the host asked me a question about the town I live in. Oberlin, Ohio has a colorful history, and this gentleman took the time to dig into its background as well. Thankfully, I knew the story behind the claim that it’s the small town that started the big Civil War, so I was able to answer his question. But it got me to thinking–maybe my town chose me just as the settings for my stories do.
In 1859, ladies of New York society were expected to do three things well: find a husband, organize a smooth-running household, and have children.
Rosemary Fitzpatrick’s agenda is very different. As the author of the popular Harry Hawk dime novels, she must hide her true identity from her new publisher, who assumes the person behind the F. P. Elliott pen name is male. She must pose as his secretary in order to ensure the continuation of her series. And in the midst of all this subterfuge, her mother is insisting that she become a debutante this year.
Henry Cooper is not the typical Boston Brahmin. Nor is he a typical publisher. He’s entranced by Mr. Elliott’s secretary the moment they meet, and wonders how his traditional-thinking father will react when he brings a working class woman into the family. Because his intentions are to marry her, regardless.
Rosemary’s deception begins to unravel at the Cotillion ball, when Henry recognizes her. The secretarial mask must come off, now that he knows she is a member of New York society. But she can’t yet confess who she truly is until she knows if Henry will accept her as F. P. Elliott.
The more time they spend together, the closer they become. But when Rosemary reveals her true identity to him, will Henry be able to forgive her or has her deceit cost her the man she loves?
Where can we get a copy of your book?