This week is release week for a lovely Historical Romance Author, Amanda L.V. Shalaby. Amanda’s latest book, AUDRA, is available at all ebook retailers through Crimson Romance. I had the pleasure of reading AUDRA and you can see my review of it below my interview with the beautiful and charming, Amanda!
Tell us about your newest book, AUDRA.
Audra Kingsley is a supporting character from my previous novel, Rhianna. She is a wealthy heiress who has fallen in love with Crispin Brighton, the boy next door, and she has one thing standing in the way of their marriage – her Presentation Day. Here is the blurb:
Audra Kingsley, a wealthy heiress, may not have seen much of the world, but she knows exactly how she wants her future to play out – and a coming out ball held at her country estate, Kingsley Manor, would suit her just fine. Her father’s wish that she be presented at St. James in London seems silly since she is to marry her neighbor and childhood sweetheart, Lord Crispin Brighton, but she obliges him. Audra travels to London with her patroness, the eccentric Lady Sutherland, with the intention of returning home as soon as she has curtseyed to the Queen. Unbeknownst to her, Lady Sutherland is in no rush to leave London before the Season is up, and intends to show Audra she has more options in the suitor department than Lord Crispin, a second son.
While her letters home go mysteriously unanswered, Audra finds herself surrounded by few friends and is forced to attend parties, balls and operas – all while becoming the object of a secret admirer’s obsession. Not only, but as Audra struggles to make her way home to her beloved, plans to compromise her into an unwanted marriage are underway.
What other books have you published?
Audra takes place four years after the ending of my previous novel, Rhianna. I am thrilled to announce that Rhianna was just nominated for a RONE Award (Reward of Novel Excellence) through InD’Tale Magazine! Rhianna was my first book, inspired by my grandmother, and it has a special place in my heart. Audra can be read without reading Rhianna first, but Audra’s relationship with Crispin is certainly in its beginning stages in Rhianna, and I always enjoyed their interaction at their respective younger ages.
How did you become a writer? What do you love the most about the job?
I suppose I was always a writer, but I didn’t know it until I was fourteen. I loved English class in school, and I loved keeping diaries. I loved paper and pens with a passion! I wrote my first 80,000 word novel when I was fourteen, and I never stopped. And I kept my stories mostly secret from everyone I knew. It was hard to put them out to the public!
How do you conduct your research when you’re writing historical works?
I have a ridiculous library of history books that cover pretty much every aspect of life during 19th Century England. I keep buying more, too, even though it’s difficult to find a history book that has a fact or two not already included in another book in my library. I scour the internet for photos and facts, and keep Post-It notes in business. I’ve traveled to England, as well, and am planning another trip to England in the near future.
What’s your favorite part about writing historical?
I write what I love! I suppose everyone does. It wouldn’t make sense to write in a genre you hated. 19th Century England is just a passion of mine, and I love to do research. I LOVE research! I get lost in it, and probably waste a lot of precious actual writing time doing it.
Tell us about what books are coming up next from you.
I am working on another historical novel at the moment, tentatively titled Bleddyn Hall. It’s a throwback to the original “gothic” novels of the time and it’s been more fun writing than is probably even fair. I am looking forward to having more time to work on it, now that Audra has released! There’s a short blurb for Bleddyn Hall on my blog site.
Where can we find you on the web?
I love to hear from readers! I can be found in any of the following locations:
My Review of Audra:
Four and a half stars to AUDRA by Amanda L.V. Shalaby. What a lovely, sweet historical Shalaby has given us with AUDRA. There are lots of historicals out there, but very rarely do you find one with the obvious attention to maintaining an appropriate tone and ambiance in keeping with the era. Shalaby obviously has a great love of this period in English history, and that love shines through every description and line of dialogue. There are no anachronisms in this book, and no efforts to modernize the sexual relations between a 16 yr old girl and the “boy next door” who loves her. It is sweet, they are sweet, and you will find yourself cheering for Audra and Crispin every step of the way.
Additionally, Shalaby has crafted a very nice suspenseful storyline. We have our suspicions, but the final reveal is enough of a surprise to make it worth our wait.
Highly recommend this book to romance readers who love history and a more genteel romance. Beautiful job by Shalaby