Happy Thursday, Reader Friends!
No Throwback Thursday posting today, but I’m sharing an interview with Vanessa Riley. I’m sure you’ll love chatting with this lovely author. Please show some love in the comments!
About the Book
The Blurb: “A friend’s newspaper advertisement for a groom nets the most famous actor in London, Arthur Bex. Shy heiress Ester Croome proposes to elope with the handsome man, who she’s secretly loved for two years, in order to escape an impending engagement arranged by her overbearing family.
Trying to outlive the shadow of his villainous uncle, Bex needs to marry quickly—to a woman of good character. And smart, beautiful Ester fits the bill. But a harrowing trip to Gretna Green and dangerous abolition rallies prove to be a more treacherous stage than either imagined. Infatuation and a mutual love for Shakespeare might not be enough to bind a couple looking to outrun the chains and secrets of family and the past.”
Toni: Welcome, Vanessa! It’s always great to have you on the blog. Today, I want to talk about your new release, The Bashful Bride. Can you tell me how the story came about in your mind?
Vanessa: The Bashful Bride is the second book in the Advertisements for Love series where a group of friends desperate for marriages of convenience place ads in the London Morning Post for husbands. Ester is the shy friend but a big dreamer. She is more comfortable helping a friend plot than to act on her own plans. To claim her happiness and be a bride to a man of her choosing, this bashful woman must be bold.
Toni: There is so much history in this tale, I don’t know where to start. Okay, maybe I do. Tell us about Bex’s cause and how it mirrored the time the story takes place in.
Vanessa: Bex is an abolitionist. Because of an incident in his past, he committed to ending the plight of slavery. In 1820s England, slavery had been outlawed in contiguous England but not in any of its colonies. The slave trade particularly in Jamaica was very lucrative. Bex is committed to ending it.
Toni: Tell us a little about Ester. What would be her life verse?
Vanessa: There are two verses that come to mind for Ester. First Ester, had to come to her senses. She was acting in rebellion against her parents. The outside world gave her a better perspective of how and why they were trying to protect her. I hope you can feel that moment, when she came to herself.
Luke 15:17 – And when he came to himself, he said, “How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!”
The other is about fear. The outside world, the cruelties and prejudice, made Ester fearful. She wanted Bex give up everything because of her fears. She needs to walk in God’s protection.
Timothy II 1:7 – For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Toni: Both great scriptures! Shakespeare is referenced in The Bashful Bride. Do you have a favorite works of his and why is it your favorite?
Vanessa: I adore Shakespeare. I love Romeo and Juliet and Taming of the Shrew the best.
Toni: Taming of the Shrew is awesome! Would you choose Rome and Juliet or Hamlet?
Vanessa: Romeo and Juliet
Toni: coffee or tea?
Vanessa: Tough one can I have both? Ok, coffee.
Toni: Regency England or Colonial US?
Vanessa: Regency England (I’d have a chance at freedom there. Much better prospect don’t you think?)
Toni: Oh I completely agree! Probably why I enjoy reading Regency England novels so much. Austen or Bronte?
Vanessa: Both are goddesses, but Austen has my heart.
Toni: Same here. What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Vanessa: Be true to your calling. Don’t write what you think is popular. Write what is in your heart. That is what will build an audience for your work. And it won’t be fleeting when trends fade.
Toni: So true! Last but not least, what can we expect from you next?
Vanessa: We have two more books out this year. I am in a Barbour Anthology: The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection: 9 Women Dream of Perfect Christmases during the Victorian Era. It releases September 1 with my story, A Paper Snowflake Christmas. A widow wants give her son a perfect Christmas when his guardian, arrives early to take permeant custody of the boy. Christmas angst—nothing is better.
And we have releasing Oct 22, Frederica’s story, The Butterfly Bride. Frederica wants to be Yuletide Bride but will her friend the viscount and a stalker let her.
Toni: Readers, do you have any questions for Vanessa?
About the Author
Vanessa Riley writes Regency and Historical Romances of dazzling multi-culture communities with powerful persons of color. Vanessa writes for historical romance readers who admire and acquire books that showcase women who find joy in sweeping kisses and strong sisterhoods. Even in the darkness, she promises to give you laughs and to show you how light always prevails and how love always, always wins.
Vanessa juggles mothering a teen, cooking for her military-man husband, and speaking at women’s and STEM events. She’s known for her sweeping romances and humorous delivery of poignant truths. You can catch her writing from the comfort of her southern porch with a cup of Earl Grey tea.