Emily Greenwood worked for a number of years as a writer, crafting newsletters and fundraising brochures, but she far prefers writing playful love stories set in Regency England, and she thinks romance novels are the chocolate of literature. A Golden Heart finalist, she lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters.
Thanks so much for having me back to celebrate the release of HOW TO HANDLE A SCANDAL, the second book in my Scandalous Sisters series. Readers first met the heroine of SCANDAL, Lizzie Tarryton, in THE BEAUTIFUL ONE, and I was really excited to write her story. She’s an unhappy and rebellious teenager in the first book, but things improve for her by the end of the story when her guardian, Will, Viscount Grandville, finally decides they are a family. (He’s a good guy, really! He was just in a bad place for a while.)
So when HOW TO HANDLE A SCANDAL starts, Lizzie’s a bit older and a lot happier. It’s the London Season, and gorgeous, lively Lizzie is having the time of her life, but unlike most of the other young ladies, she’s not looking for a husband just yet. She’s in a girls-just-wanna-have-fun mode, and if being a little scandalous brings her even more attention from the fellows, all the better. Everything’s going so well until her friend Tommy, who’s the viscount’s brother, proposes to her in front of a packed ballroom, and she makes a terrible mistake: she laughs at him.
Mistakes were one of the inspirations for this story. We all hate making them, but don’t they often make life interesting? If nothing else, we (hopefully) learn from them, as I did freshman year in high school, when I decided that I didn’t like the way the lab science teacher wanted us to keep our notebooks, so I would do it my own way. I got a “D” for that quarter… and learned to keep my notebook the way he wanted it.
Of course, mistakes in love can be painful, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who cringes when thinking of things that didn’t go so well in past relationships (at least, I hope I’m not the only one!). But mistakes can also usher in needed growth and change. My hero and heroine definitely needed to grow up a little before they could truly be good together, and after the proposal disaster, Tommy leaves England and is gone for six years.
Lizzie, who feels terrible about the careless person she’s becoming, is determined to make herself into a better person. She gets married to a serious older man and dedicates herself to doing good works, and she even stops going by Lizzie and switches to Eliza. Fortunately for our story, she’s widowed after only a few years. J
When Tommy finally returns to England, he comes back a hero, and though Eliza is determined not to be distracted from her do-gooding by the swashbuckling, handsome man he’s turned into, she can’t help wishing he’d forgive her, and wondering how things might be if they could be together now that they’re older and wiser. Or at least, mostly wiser, because Eliza hasn’t entirely gotten the taste for scandal out of her system.
And that was my other inspiration for HOW TO HANDLE A SCANDAL: I wanted to write about an experienced woman instead of an innocent. As Regency readers know, young ladies back then didn’t date the way modern women do. Aside from a few dances and a stolen kiss here or there, a young, single lady had little intimacy with men. Which means that many of the things that might go through a modern woman’s mind when she’s thinking about a man she likes didn’t occur to Regency misses. Writing about a widow opened up possibilities. And it made Eliza that much more likely to think it was a good idea, on one scandalous night, to masquerade as a prostitute so she could accomplish an important task at a high-class brothel. Oh good, another mistake…
Care to share any mistakes that were funny, or that ended up working out in some way?
They thought the debutante was scandalousMiss Elizabeth Tarryton was the toast of the London season the year she was seventeen and spurned young Tommy Halifax. A careless flirt who didn’t know what she wanted, she was startled into laughter by his public proposal of marriage. Furious and heartbroken, Tommy promptly left home for a life of adventure in India.If they only knew about the widowSix years later, Elizabeth has much to make up for, but the methods she chooses for doing good are as shocking as her earlier wanton behavior–should the ton ever find out. Tommy returns to England a hero, and he has no intention of allowing himself to be hurt by a woman ever again, but he’s fascinated nonetheless by Elizabeth, now a widow and more alluring than ever.
Check out The Scandalous Sisters series:
- 3 Print copies of The Beautiful One
- Care to share any mistakes that were funny, or that ended up working out in some way?
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Special thanks to Sourcebooks for sponsoring this tour-wide giveaway.a Rafflecopter giveaway