Friday, December 17, 2010

Sweet Tea and a Comfortable Coze: With Author Rachel Brimble

If you read my post yesterday you already know how much I love The Arrival of Lily Curtis and why I think Lily is an awesome heroine. Well, now you get to hear how Lily was "born"; straight from her creator, Rachel Brimble!
I think of an author's appearance here like a visit to my home so, like all good Southern hostesses I've set out a pitcher of Sweet Tea (yes, that is a proper noun here in the South!) and a plate of Savannah's renowned Key Lime cookies. Y'all make yourselves at home!

Why I love writing historical romance…

For years, I only wrote contemporary romance because the idea of writing historicals terrified me! I have always read historical romance by the bucket load, but knew how much more involved they could be, the potential for mistakes and inaccuracies could abound…everything about it worried me. But then a friend treated me to two free places to take afternoon tea at the stately home of Lucknam Park in a small village called Colerne, near Bath and the indecision was soon completely taken out of my hands.

I called up my mum and off we went. I am lucky enough to live in the beautiful English countryside, just half an hours drive from the famous Georgian City of Bath. We drove up the tree-lined avenue until the magnificent house came into view. It was like a scene from Pride & Prejudice, absolutely wonderful.

As beautiful as the house itself was from the outside and how picturesque and breathtaking the views on that sunny May afternoon, it wasn't until we were shown into the drawing room, did I know I had walked into the home of my next hero, Viscount Westrop. After my mum and I enjoyed a gorgeous array of cucumber and salmon sandwiches, followed by too many cream and chocolate cakes to mention, followed by scones with thick coverings of jam and cream, followed by … oh, it was a lovely, lovely afternoon, sigh!

Anyway, once I arrived back home, I rushed straight to the laptop, opened a Word document and started feverishly writing notes on what six months later would become my first historical romance, The Arrival of Lily Curtis. Here's the blurb & buy link (if you feel so inclined!)…

At the mention of an arranged marriage, Elizabeth Caughley feels her life is over at the age of three and twenty….so she hatches an escape plan. She will reinvent herself as a housemaid. Overnight, Elizabeth becomes Lily…

Viscount Westrop wants nothing more than his legacy to be passed to his own son one day. Even though he feels insurmountable pity for the unborn child already, he knows how much pain a broken promise can cause and will do what is right. But with the arrival of his new housemaid, his plans are thrown into disarray. Lily is funny, feisty and the most beautiful creature on earth – Andrew is thunderstruck. But if anyone suspects how much he wants to ravish her and endlessly love her, Andrew's lineage will be in peril. And he cannot let that happen…

The book was the hardest I have written, more due to self-doubt and worry than the lack of inspiration. I LOVE the characters in this book, right down to the cook and the butler, they all make up what I hope is a fun, sexy and thoroughly enjoyable read. Sure, the doubt about my accuracy and authenticity is still there but the reviews have been great so I truly hope I've done okay!

I still enjoy writing contemporary novels though and would love a career doing both. My next book is due out in January with Lyrical Press which is a contemporary called Getting It Right This Time about a woman returning home with her child after her husband's untimely death.

And next? Well, it's another historical set in Bath, yay!

More news to follow. Keep up to date with what I am doing at my website and blog

Thanks so much for having me here today, Rachel – I can't wait to answer every one's questions or comments!


  1. Thank you so much for dropping by, Rachel! I hope you had enough tea and cookies :). You know of course, that I'm green with envy over your living near Bath; I'm so coming over and we have to have tea at Lucknam Park!

  2. Hello Rachel! Another Rachel here, we should form a club!

    The Arrival of Lily Curtis sounds brilliant! I'll be visiting the rellies in Bath on Boxing day - might have to treat myself to a copy before I go!

    And Key Lime cookies sound as good as Ms Brimble's high tea!



  3. Hi Rachel and Rachel, boy that gets confusing doesn't it. You are so lucky living in the English countryside with access to all those old stately homes for inspiration.


  4. Hi Rachel L. Yes we should form a club! :)Another fortunate soul who gets to go to Bath ... wonder how much make-up it'll take to cover this green?! Oh well, I'll just tell everyone I ate too many Key Lime cookies-and yes they are wonderful! I just might have to offer a box as a contest prize when Ring of Lies debuts ...

    Margaret the 'Rachels' gets confusing only if we are in the same room-even chat room- I've another friend who writes and she's a Rachel too! I think anyone who resides in the UK is fortunate beyond measure. I love all things British and visiting there is my life long dream. The houses, the history, the lakes, moors, ... oh goodness, I have to stop or I'll ramble on all day!

    Thanks for stopping by ladies: Rachel's book is awesome!

  5. Here I am! Here I am!

    Sorry for my lateness, ladies - I completely forgot my eldest daughter only had a half-day at school today until she turned up with a friend for their lunch! I have managed to barricade them, giggling, into her bedroom now, phew!

    Hi Rachel Lyndhurst (waving!), you are such a lovely lady following me around - have a fabulous time in Bath. I love it there. Although, I must admit I haven't ventured anywhere near the place for the last few weeks for fear of being stampeded by shoppers.

    Hi Margaret - have you ever visited the UK? We'd love to have you!

    Did you finish the book, Rachel Lynne (LOL!,these Rachels are a tad overwhelming!)? Hope it ended well for you.

    Right, off to pick up the youngest from school - I'll pop back later xxx

  6. Hi Rachel!
    I did finish: it was wonderful :). Of course with my husband sick with 'flu I couldn't concentrate nearly as well as I'd of liked so I'll be reading it again ... savorying the details :)

  7. Great post and I loved the goodies. Have a wonderful holiday ladies!

  8. The tea and goodies sound lovely as does the house and the book it inspired. Congrats on your release, Rachel.

  9. Your afternoon tea looks and sounds delicious. Thanks for the background - no wonder you were inspired!

  10. Hi, Gale, Becca & Leigh!

    Great to see you guys here - I've got to say sometimes I feel so unbelievably lucky to live in the area of England that I do. it is one of the best and with the some of the most inspiring history.

    We woke up today to the countryside being covered in six inches of snow and everything looks absolutely stunning.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Rachel xx