I haven't read LS Young's debut historical novel, A Woman So Bold. When Lauri agreed to be on my blog, the first thing I did was check it out on Amazon.
And I was very surprised. From the reviews, it sounds like this is not just historical fiction, but women's fiction.
All nine reviews (eight are five-star, one is four-star) mention that the setting, rural Florida in 1890, is as important and engaging as the characters. And two of the reviews were by men. Intriguing? Absolutely.
Lauri is giving away a copy to one lucky reader, so please read on.
Lauri, please tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in rural north Florida and attended college in Lakeland (near Disney, for non-Floridians). I visited Europe in my teens but didn’t get to see the UK and I’m still longing to go there! I love going for walks and being outside in beautiful places—the ocean, the mountains, state parks, you name it. But I also like to shop and read. I love fantasy, Jane Austen, and 19th-century literature in equal measures. My favorite novel of all time is Jane Eyre. When I was growing up I knew all I wanted from life was to be a writer and a stay-at-home mom, and for now I am both! I adore dreams that come true
If it isn’t too nosy. How about the first time you kissed your true love?
Bear in mind that this happened in my early twenties. We’d been dating about a week and were watching a weird fantasy movie called The Dark Crystal. As the credits were rolling he took my hand and I had written these lyrics on my wrist at work that day: “I wish we were there now.” He asked me about it and I told him the rest of the line which is: We were just kids when I first kissed you, in the attic of my parent’s house, and I wish were there now. Convenient, right? We segued pretty easily into our first kiss after that. It’s a treasured memory but also quite nerdy!
In my book nerdy is romantic. My older son met his wife on a Star Wars Message board. I love your story.
What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?
Aside from signing my contract with Soul Mate, I think it was seeing my first five-star review posted on Amazon.
What genre or genres do you write?
I blogged for several years, but I’ve been writing historical romance the longest and that’s where I’ve put down roots. I love historical, but having read and enjoyed a lot of fantasy I would be interested to try my hand at it one day.
Tell us about A Woman So Bold.
I spent four years writing this novel in my spare time. I wanted to write a story about where I grew up and was inspired in part by my mom’s family who farmed in north Florida and South Georgia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The heroine, Landra Andrews, is a farmer’s daughter in 1890 who falls for a man who inherits a neighboring estate that has been abandoned since the Civil War. She’s a brash, outspoken woman who was ward to a wealthy family when she was in her teens, so she is educated and has high expectations for herself, but feels she is trapped by past mistakes. Her hero, William, is a kind and loving gentleman who would do anything to defend her honor. Her former childhood sweetheart Henry, who shows up to create conflict, is a mischievous good ol’ boy who married into money.
Landra Andrews once dreamt of a life far from sweltering, sandy Florida, where she works on her father’s farm and cares for her stepmother’s many children. She thinks she has found love and freedom at last in the gentle and forgiving William Cavendish, a man who seems her peer in every way, but when a dark secret and a past lover intertwine to threaten their relationship, will their love, and her life, be ruined forever?
A moment later, Mr. Cavendish was at my elbow. “I believe I’ve engaged you for the next waltz,” he said.
I gasped, inspecting my dance card. “Oh, dear! It seems you have. I always seem to forget these things.”
He smiled, holding out his hand. “No matter. Shall we?”
I felt Ida pushing me. “Go! It’s beginning!” she hissed.
A moment later, I was dancing with him again. The waltz was far more intimate than the quadrille. A woman was face to face with her partner, looking into his eyes, clasped in his arms. For the first time in some years, I felt the exhilaration of mutual attraction blended with physical contact. It was a heady sensation, and I basked in it.
Then I fainted.
One moment, I was whirling around in blissful oblivion, and the next I was hot all over, watching the room fade into darkness. I came to on the balcony. Someone was slapping my wrists and cheeks, and Mr. Cavendish was fanning me. I tried to sit up.
“Stay put!” admonished Letty Hamilton in her nasal tones. She was the one slapping me. “I fainted an hour ago, and believe me, you’ll feel better if you lie still in the cool air.”
I closed my eyes and obeyed her. It was rather nice to lie there in the dark with the breeze blowing my hair away from my sweaty neck, if I didn’t dwell on the fact that I’d fainted in front of a man I found appealing. Eventually, Mr. Cavendish brought me a glass of water, and Letty found the decency to give me some air and move to the other side of the balcony with the gentleman she’d been speaking to when I was brought out.
“I’m afraid I’ve humiliated myself,” I said.
“Nonsense. You’re not the first woman to faint tonight. Nor the first to faint in my arms.”
“How debonair,” I said ruefully.
He smiled. “I’m afraid my charm has nothing to do with it. Women compress their lungs with whalebone and prance around a crowded room all night in heavy silks, then wonder why they drop like flies.”
“However did I get out here?”
“I carried you, of course.”
Fascinating. It's not often you see a historical novel in first person.
What’s your current WIP?
I am working on a western romance called Montana Burning (working title). It’s about a young woman who moves to Montana territory to work in her widowed sister’s boardinghouse in 1878. Soon after arriving she clashes with the handsome, prickly U.S. Marshal who boards there. It has horseback riding, a gorgeous setting, banter and tension between the two leads, and a nasty villain. And while my first novel is gritty and somewhat tragic, this one has levity and a sparkling love story. I’m excited and can’t wait to share it. I love levity. I look forward to reading it.
And finally, where can we find you?
Thank you for being here, Lauri is giving away a copy of A Woman So Bold to one lucky reader. Lauri asks that you answer this question in comments. What’s your favorite type of romance to read or watch: A tearjerker, a light-hearted romantic comedy, a sweeping epic, or other? I use Rafflecopter for this because then I have an email address for the winner. I have never used an email address in any other way. (Although it is possible that someday in the distant future I may send out a brief newsletter. Hasn't happened yet.) Happy reading.