– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m not on a blogtour, but doing an interview with Gail Meath, author of ‘Countess Jacqueline’, to promote this book.
About the Author :
Award-winning author Gail Meath writes historical romance novels that will whisk you away to another time and place in history where you will meet fascinating characters, both fictional and real, who will capture your heart and soul. The subgenres of her books vary from action-packed westerns, plot twisting murder mysteries and biographies of powerful women who defied the strict rules of society fighting for the freedom of their countries. Her romances may exclude steamy sexual scenes, yet the intensity between heroine and hero will satisfy your deepest fantasies.
Jacqueline, the young heir of Holland, stands in the deadly crosshairs of the most powerful male rulers in Europe. Based upon true events in 1413.
At the young age of sixteen, Jacqueline inherits the countship of Holland and is determined to reign on her own. She disregards her assembly’s demand to choose a husband, then leads her army to victory in their first defensive battle. In response, the all-powerful Duke Philip of Burgundy sends his good friend to Den Haag to thwart her efforts.
Lord Renard Borselen resents being used as a pawn yet agrees to meet with the Dutch assembly. When he sees Jacqueline again, he recalls their first meeting years ago and a spark of excitement catches him, the first since that day. He openly shifts his stance and now there is hell to pay for them both.
As Jacqueline continues her great struggle to retain her title and fight for the freedom of her people against Duke Philip, she is torn between her country and her love for Renard. Will Duke Philip ever relent in his fight against her?
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
As a child, I loved to write, but it wasn’t until high school that I realized I had some writing talent. Whenever we were given an essay question, rather than multiple choice, I always passed with flying colors whether I knew the answer or not!
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I enjoyed reading a variety of books when I was younger, yet I never fell in love with any book in particular. Then, my mother introduced me to some classics, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Rebecca, etc., I became hooked on historical romances and mysteries.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Right now, I would love to chat with Daphne du Maurier and Agatha Christie and pick their creative brainsa, since I’m writing a cozy mystery series.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I wrote two books based on the lives of true heroines in history, and they would be my first choice. As for fictional, I would love to invite Ace, the courageous German Shepherd in my cozy mystery series, Jax Diamond Mysteries. (Although he is based upon my own precious companion, Gretchen 🙂 . )
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I need to have some sort of music playing in the background, never dead silence. Anything from rock and roll to country music. I mentally tune it out most of the time, but here and there certain songs help put me in the mood to write different scenes.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I love this question! My daughter gave me a sign that’s hanging on the wall beside my computer – Be careful or you’ll end up in my novel. It is SO true. I have never based a character on one specific person, but with everyone I meet, their looks, mannerisms, character traits, and even conversations can come in very handy.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’ve always been a pantser, writing as I go and letting my characters determine where they end up. I do use a spreadsheet for character descriptions, chapter content, etc., but I usually fill it in as I go or after the chapter has been written.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
DON’T stop writing if it’s what you love and enjoy. I stopped for nearly ten years when life got in the way, and I reget not at least keeping a journal or writing down ideas during those years. DO get very familiar and comfortable with social media. These days, it is so important…and one of my downfalls.
What are your future plans as an author?
I’m currently writing a cozy Roaring Twenties mystery series, and it’s doing well, so I’ll continue with that, but I have started three other historical romance novels, too, so we’ll see which comes first.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Countess Jacqueline, The Hague, Netherlands, 1418
“Your uncle has arrived, Jacqueline,” Halden announced. “He insists upon seeing you immediately, and my attempts to thwart him went in vain.”
Jacqueline contained her anger. Every emotion had exhausted itself and although she knew her mind, her response was void of temper. “Bring him to me. I must straighten the matter out now, to his face, so there will be no misconceptions later.”
Halden agreed with her, yet it wasn’t that simple. “You have proven yourself a bold and daring young woman, but you are no match for the Bishop’s hardened character. Your father took every legal precaution to make sure the countship was passed on to you, but we may need our army to uphold his wishes.” Halden placed a loving hand on her shoulder. “There have been several offers of marriage from surrounding nobility and beyond. I think you should tell the Bishop that you have accepted one of those proposals. Such a statement will give you time to do so at your leisure and crush his hopes of gaining control.”
“I’ll not lie, Halden. Since I have no intention of taking a husband, it would only be a matter of time before my uncle posed the same threat to me. Please, let me speak with him and end this matter quickly.” She stood up and wandered over to the mantle. The Flemish coronet glistened with jewels. She snatched it up and held tight to it while receiving Bishop John of Liege.
“You have my sympathies, dear niece,” the older man said in greeting. “My brother’s death is a terrible blow.”
“Let us dispense with the formalities and cut to the chase, Uncle,” she spouted. “Tell me the true reason you made this rare appearance at Binnenhof.”
His look of surprise swiftly turned into bitterness. “You were always a curt child, speaking your mind without flowery courtesy or respect for your elders.” He turned away from her, gathered his heavy scarlet robe and fell comfortably into her father’s chair.
Jacqueline didn’t take her eyes off her nemesis. The physical similarities between the two brothers discomforted her, the full face, heavy jowls and cleft chin. Yet, she knew it was crucial for her to focus on the character differences instead. “It was written in my father’s Will that I should inherit his title and his domain. Our laws guarantee we uphold those wishes.”
The man’s laughter unnerved her, but it also ended her uncle’s visit more swiftly.
Jacqueline lifted the coronet. “This crown was given to my father, bestowing upon him the authority to rule Holland. It belongs to me now and only the Flemish people have the power to take my birthright away from me.”
The Bishop lost his smile. “You know full well the title rightfully belongs to the next male heir. Since William failed to produce a son, that crown is mine. Fight me on this and there will be bloody hell to pay. I have easy access to a thousand soldiers who will crush your efforts without breaking a fingernail.”
Jacqueline held her stance and placed the crown on top of her head. “Raise the number of soldiers by tenfold, Uncle, and you shall see me wearing this royal symbol still. Whereas the men you gather may fight well, they have no personal interest in the matter. I carry the support of the people and they will protect their homeland far more fiercely. This discussion is over. If you refuse to leave, I shall have Halden summon my knights to drag you away.”
Had her uncle been a dog, she considered with a bit of humor, he would be foaming at the mouth right now. He was so outraged he could barely speak. “You have condemned Holland to a fate of death and destruction. Tell your Jim Crow in the lookout to ready his hunting horn, as my troops shall arrive soon. And watch your own back, dear niece, for you will be my first target.”
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up these books and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Gail Meath.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!