Meara Platt
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Character Interview Blog Hop – Heroines


Thank you for visiting my post in the Character Interview Blog Hop. Wasn’t Stephanie Kepke’s interview with Max Green, the heroine from her Women’s Fiction novel GODDESS OF SUBURBIA so much fun? Here is the link to her blog if you’d like to read it again: http://bit.ly/1zL5tc2

I’m Meara Platt and I’m looking forward to introducing you to Daffodil Farthingale, known as Dillie to her friends. She is the heroine in THE DUKE I’M GOING TO MARRY (Book #2 of the Farthingale Series) who manages to tame Ian Markham, the rakish Duke of     
    Edgeware.

This story came out in late January 2015 and has been on Amazon’s historical/Regency best seller list since it came out. Dillie is also an identical twin. Her sister Lily’s story is MY FAIR LILY (Book #1 of the Farthingale Series). Book #3, RULES FOR REFORMING A RAKE released this week. As you may have guessed from these book titles, I write Regency era historical romance. I am a member of Romance Writers of America and of my local chapter (LIRW), and a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award winner in historical romance. Regency romances are a favorite of mine, but I also enjoy medieval romances, mysteries, paranormals, and contemporary romances. However, there is nothing as much fun as fashioning a heroine strong enough to tame an English duke in Regency London, especially if that duke has no desire to marry or fall in love - that’s why I’m so happy to introduce Dillie Farthingale to you.

Before Dillie takes over, let me tell you a little about my debut novel, MY FAIR LILY, which is Book #1 of the Farthingale Series and the story of Dillie’s identical twin sister. It’s out now and has had a six-month run on Amazon’s historical/Regency bestseller list since shortly after its release in October 2014. The story is a light-hearted Regency historical romance that I hope you will find funny and romantic. Lily is an English blue-stocking who knows everything about books and nothing about men, except that her legs turn to pudding whenever she encounters Ewan, the rugged Scottish hero who tries very hard not to fall in love with her. The Farthingales are a large and boisterous family and Lily Farthingale is but one of their daughters about to make her entrance into Society. Each of the five Farthingale girls will have their own story – they each have distinct personalities, and manage to wreak havoc on London Society in very different ways.

Enough about what I’m doing - Dillie, how about you take over now since you and Lily managed to hijack my brain and make me write your stories first, even though you are the youngest of the five Farthingale sisters?

Thank you, Meara. I’d love to talk about The Duke I’m Going To Marry. While Lily knows books, I am fairly good at understanding people. That’s why I was so drawn to my duke, Ian, despite his wicked reputation. I come from a large and loving family - quite meddlesome, actually - so I noticed his loneliness at once. But I knew better than to risk my heart on someone so determined to live his life alone. Also, what did I have to offer him, a duke who has it all: wealth, title, and good looks? All the marriage-minded mamas and their daughters were chasing after him. I didn’t know how to compete or if I even wanted to compete with them. And then Ian landed in my bed... innocently, of course.

I gasp in shock. Wait a minute! He landed in your bed?

Well, yes. And don’t pretend to be surprised because you wrote that scene and know darn well where you planned to put him. But I can explain to the readers.

She gently pats my hand.

Let me go back to when I first met Ian. It was about two years before my first Season. I suppose everything changed with our first kiss - and yes, he kissed me before we were ever properly introduced.

Dillie sighs and rolls her big blue eyes, daring me to feign surprise when yes, I did write that scene too. She takes a deep breath and continues.

There was a soft breeze blowing through the garden and a full silver moon and glittering stars above. Ian, the handsome duke, took me in his arms beside the lilac trees and kissed me quite thoroughly. Here’s the problem - I wasn’t the right girl. He mistook me for one of his tawdry amours because I wasn’t supposed to be there. I wasn’t out in Society yet and not permitted to attend my neighbor’s fancy party. I didn’t think there would be any harm in sneaking a peek from her garden, but I miscalculated... hence, the kiss. I confess, I’m a snoop. But can you blame me? Our neighbor’s wall was so easy to scale, and there I was, staring out my window at the elegant dinner party taking place next door. I simply had to find out what all the fuss was about.

Dillie’s face is now red as a strawberry as she continues.

Ian’s kiss was memorable, I will admit. Quite memorable.

She pauses to sigh.

I couldn’t get him out of my thoughts for the next two years. Apparently, he couldn’t forget me either, but he was too stubborn to admit it even to himself. Then he landed in my bed. Yes! For an entire week! You see, I had just saved him from death at the hands of ruffians outside of my townhouse. He was injured, so I quietly nursed him back to health. That’s how I realized he was all alone in the world and how I learned about his terrifying childhood.

As I came to know Ian, I was able to see past his string of meaningless affairs and understood his reluctance to marry. Had I been raised by his parents, I never would have wanted to marry either. One day, he told me about the childhood accident that haunts him to this day. From that moment on, I knew I could never abandon him. I knew that I loved him.

It took Ian quite a bit longer to admit that he loved me. By that time, I’d saved his life twice and we had already been married about three months. Yes, the wedding was a hastily arranged affair at the point of a gun. Rumor had gotten around London that he’d spent a week in my bed - I wasn’t in bed with him, but no one seemed to care. My reputation was destroyed. Ian, having his own code of honor even as a rake, was determined to protect me. He didn’t love me, but he owed me for saving his life - twice, as I just mentioned. He didn’t offer to marry me so much as insist that I do. He proposed a marriage of convenience. Hah! As if I would ever agree to a companionable arrangement. No sirreee, not for me! I demanded love. Guess who won that battle? Hint: I did.

Meara, I’ll turn the interview back to you because I’m sure the readers would love to know about the one person who made a positive difference in your life... other than me, of course.

Thank you, Dillie. I’m fortunate to know many people who have had a positive influence in my life. I spoke about my father in my hero blog, for he is my hero and always will be. Since this is the heroine’s turn, I’ll mention my grandmother Isabel, one of the kindest, most accepting women I’ve ever known. She always had a positive outlook, and if she did not have something kind to say, she kept silent. She firmly believed in bestowing love and had no patience for pettiness or mean spirit. When writing the Farthingale sisters, it was important for me to give each sister strength, but also kindness and warmth, and a little vulnerability. Without Dillie’s insight and the strength of her love, Ian would never have found happiness.

Writing THE DUKE I’M GOING TO MARRY came easy to me because the twins, Dillie and Lily, were so vivid in my mind. I felt their love for their heroes, it wasn’t just words on a page. That’s what I love about romances, but mostly historical romances. I read them whenever I’m in the mood to escape. They take me into another world, a romantic world where dreams can come true. That fascination began in childhood when my parents bought me two beautifully illustrated children’s books, one about King Arthur and Merlin, and the other about Robin Hood. I mentioned them before in my hero’s blog, but there is magic in those stories beyond the actual magic that occurs in the King Arthur/Merlin books. I was dazzled by Merlin casting a spell, Arthur pulling Excalibur out of the stone, Robin Hood encountering Little John and Friar Tuck, and Robin Hood falling in love with Maid Marian. Robin and Marian was my first glimpse of a historical romantic couple. One of my all-time favorite authors is Judith McNaught and my favorite novel of hers is Kingdom of Dreams. Was there ever a more romantic couple? They had every reason to remain enemies, but managed to fall in love despite all obstacles.

I aspire to create that magic in my books, as all authors do. My family is very much like the Farthingale family in my series, everyone meddling and clamoring to express an opinion, whether asked for or not. We don’t keep secrets very well - that family grapevine moves faster than the speed of light. In THE DUKE I’M GOING TO MARRY, Dillie is an open book, not a single deep, dark secret. Ian is quite the opposite - he doesn’t have a loving, joyful family, and has learned to cope by being a very private person, something learned the hard way when he was but a child. I like matching opposites and throwing them together with all their life experiences or inexperiences. Sometimes the result is wonderful (see Judith McNaught).

Meara, let me jump in and say a word about our sister, Daisy. She’s the middle child and the peacekeeper. She has such a good heart and is always the dutiful daughter. However, in the Farthingale family, that means she is often overlooked. All that changed when she got caught up in a scandal - the family prefers to refer to it as The Incident - and suffered a blow to her reputation. Undeservedly so, but the ton never cares about the truth. The Farthingale elders don’t believe her either. The only one who manages to see through all the lies is Gabriel Dayne, the rake Daisy is hoping to reform in RULES FOR REFORMIG A RAKE. Lily and I have always liked him despite his wretched reputation. But we have our hands full with our own wayward heroes. Gabriel is Daisy’s to reform. Our eldest sisters, Rose and Laurel, also have their adventures and I can’t wait to tell you about theirs soon.

The one action from my past that I’m most proud of? Saving Ian from those ruffians outside my townhouse and getting to know him as he lay in my bed recovering from his injuries. Oh, and accidentally kissing Ian behind the lilac trees - that mistaken kiss was quite the best!

And now, gentle readers, Meara and I would like to thank you for joining us. We hope you enjoyed your time with us and know you’ll have a lovely time with Linda Ford who is up next. Linda will interview Clara Weston, the self-sufficient single mother from her Inspirational Historical Romance, A DADDY FOR CHRISTMAS, Book 1 in the Christmas in Eden Valley Trilogy. Look for Linda’s interview here: http://lindaford.org/blog/


Linda Ford has written 46 published books for the Christian romance genre. Most of them are historical. She does not admit to the number of books she’s written that will never be published. She lives in Alberta, Canada where she can enjoy the Rocky Mountains on a daily basis. You can find out more about Linda at www.lindaford.org

7 Comments:

At May 26, 2015 at 9:11 AM , Blogger Lil said...

I just love the Farthingale girls. They're such fun!

 
At May 26, 2015 at 9:21 AM , Blogger Debora Dale said...

I love how Dillie went from scaling a wall so she could snoop, to kissing a rake - mistaken identity or otherwise. Such fun. Looking forward to reading this one, Meara!

 
At May 26, 2015 at 10:31 AM , Blogger Maggie Van Well said...

I love Dillie! She's so much fun to read. And, of course, she took over the interview. That is so her! I just order Rules For Reforming a Rake. Can't wait to read it!

 
At May 26, 2015 at 11:00 AM , Blogger Voule Walker said...

What a fun interview! I'm going to move The Farthingdale Series up on my TBR list!

 
At May 28, 2015 at 8:14 AM , OpenID stephaniekepke said...

Very fun interview! Dillie seems like she'd be a lot of fun to spend time with - love how she scaled a wall to "snoop" on the party next door. So nice about your grandmother too. Well done!

 
At June 2, 2015 at 4:56 AM , Blogger Patty Blount said...

These characters are just so much fun! Great job :)

 
At June 2, 2015 at 2:19 PM , Blogger lynnerose said...

Dillie sounds irresistibly adventurous -- I'm looking forward to reading more about her and Ian. What a delightful interview! Thanks for introducing us, Meara.

 

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