Monday, September 3, 2012
An Interview with Sophie Handley--and a Giveaway!
I am so pleased to announce that my second book in the Brides of Waterloo series will be released this month. The Temporary Betrothal picks up where Captain of Her Heart left off, and concerns the life and loves of Harriet's somewhat spoiled, somewhat flighty little sister Sophie. And since Sophie loves the limelight, I decided it would be fitting to interview her for my blog today.
Sophie was dressed in a lovely, lemon yellow frock embroidered with small white flowers. Her lovely hair was dressed in the Grecian manner, with several loose tendrils flowing free. As we spoke, she worked on making over a gown for one of the war widows of Bath--her favorite charitable project.
LG: Sophie, I must say that you were rather unpopular with my readers for some time. How do you answer your critics?
SH: Gracious, what a start to an interview! Honestly, Miss George, I find your frankness rather abrupt. And yet--I have a habit of speaking frankly, so I will answer you in kind. When John Brookes returned from the war, it wasn't his injury that made me decide against marrying him. His personality had changed--fundamentally. He was a stranger to me. And so, I decided not to wed him. We were both different people, you know.
LG: Yes, and it did work out rather well for your sister Harriet, who married John Brookes. What is your favorite thing about your sister?
SH: (smiles slowly, showing her dimples) Hattie is wonderful--I cannot imagine life without her. She's a rock. And much prettier and lovelier than she thinks. I know she thinks I am the beauty of the family, but Hattie has this glow about her from within. It cannot be replicated, not even with beauty aids and lotions.
LG: Tell me something about Lieutenant Charles Cantrill.
SH: (blushes furiously and lowers her eyelids) I cannot put my feelings about Charlie into words. I'm not gifted with words, like Hattie. Your readers will have to read about our romance for themselves.
LG: Very well then. I shall respect your privacy. What can you tell me about Aunt Katherine?
SH: Auntie helped me through some of the darkest hours I face in this book. She's an extraordinary woman, you know. And so wise. I adore her. And luckily for me, she adores me too. It took time for her to get over being hurt on John's behalf, but now she's forgiven me. And I can't be happier. (She holds up her handiwork and squints at it with a critical eye before continuing her stitching.)
LG: I believe you were seamstress to Lord Bradbury's household in Bath. Any comments on Lord Bradbury himself?
SH: (gives a firm shake of her head, sending her blonde ringlets dancing). No. I don't wish to say anything, other than that I adore his daughters, Amelia and Louisa.
LG: But I believe his lordship gave you a rather expensive bracelet, did he not? How did that expensive gift change your life?
SH: Well, it made me decide what was really important in life. It made me decide what I wanted. In fact, I would say that the bracelet was the one thing--aside from Mama's death, of course--that transformed my character. In fact, I should like to gift your readers with a bracelet today, if I may.
LG: Why yes, of course. What a nice gesture.
SH: This bracelet was made by Holly at Sable Greyhound Gifts. It looks very much like the kind of thing I would have owned, back when Papa was a wealthy man. And I shall give it to one of your readers today as an inaugural gift for my story's release.
LG: And I shall add to the gift by including a signed copy of The Temporary Betrothal. Miss Handley, thank you so much for joining me today. I do like chatting with the Handley girls. Do you have any topics you'd like to discuss with our readers?
SH: I think it would be lovely to hear what others enjoying doing in their spare time--are there any other seamstresses out there? And if anyone needs advice with flirting, I shall be happy to share my expertise.
The Temporary Betrothal to pique your interest:
Sophie patted his arm. "Honestly, Charlie, I am not offended that anyone would think out courtship was real."
His heart beat faster. Really? Was that so?
"I am a career soldier, but I must confess I have no idea how to handle this particular battle. I don't know how to extricate you without damaging your reputation."
"Remember who I am? What I am? Fickle and flighty Sophie." She gave a bitter laugh that wrenched his stomach. "If it comes to that, no one will think anything of it if I break our engagement."
"I don't think of you that way," he muttered. I was the truth. He hated for her to think poorly of herself, when he had seen so much good in her.
She turned toward him, her bright blue eyes glowing. "Don't you?"
"Not at all. I admire you greatly." It was difficult to say the words, but something told him she needed to hear it.
She reached up and pecked his cheek. "Oh, Charlie," she whispered. "That means more to me than all the diamond bracelets in the world."
The Lady Scribes and our guests always look forward to hearing your thoughts. If you would like to be entered into the drawing for a copy of Lily George's The Temporary Betrothal and the bracelet from Sable Greyhound Gifts, please include your email address. Only relevant comments adding to today’s discussion will be eligible for the drawing.