Thursday, February 4, 2021

A Detestable Name by Arabella Brown Genre: Chaste Regency Romance


When I was little, my relatives used to cluster around me asking, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I remember staring up at them, thinking, “I’m seven years old! How should I know?”, but what I actually said was “I don’t know.” “Be a teacher!” they all chorused. So I knew for sure I didn’t want to be a teacher. 

However, I think I’ve always been imaginative. As my mother vacuumed, I remember sitting on the sofa directing a vast army in parade-ground exercises – Napoleonic era, to guess from the uniforms. I told stories about baby mosquitoes to the other kids in day camp, and – this was in the days when Westerns were the ONLY thing on TV – when I was about ten, I wrote a whole episode of a Western, which my sisters and I performed for our parents (I even remember the theme song). It was not great literature. When I learned about iambic pentameter, probably in junior high school, I wrote a page of it, describing the radiators banging. It began “Whence come these clanks and moans of darkest night? / Stalks a ghost our battlements? / Does a specter haunt our walls?” (except I hit the wrong typewriter key so it read “dardest night”). The odd thing was that I never got much encouragement at home. Nobody suggested I enter competitions, and the idea of becoming a novelist or – more sensibly – a journalist was never mentioned. 

Fortunately, the last of my high schools offered an excellent creative writing course for those whose English was proficient enough, and I qualified. The content of what I wrote was, for the most part, pretty awful, but one or two essays show real promise. I look at them (my mother saved a few) and wish I could write like that! 

Nevertheless, I didn’t start writing till after I was married – and that was just occasional short opinion pieces for a local newspaper. I didn’t write my first novel till I was 39, with eight children. For a year I wrote from 10pm to 2am, the only quiet time I had. Yes, I was a zombie for a year. The house was a mess. But everybody survived. This should give hope to a lot of people.

A Detestable Name
by Arabella Brown
Genre: Chaste Regency Romance

Pitchforked into the title by his brother’s death, the new Lord Newsam arrives at the grim family home in Yorkshire to face daunting challenges. His peevish, self-absorbed mother despises him. The servants are insubordinate. He hardly knows his sisters, for whom he’s expected to find husbands. The estate is ill-run and unprofitable, and the bailiff obstructive. And in the midst of all this, he must find a wife for himself – but the only woman he wants won’t have him. 
To widowed, impoverished Mary Thorpe, the very name of Newsam is detestable: his brother drove her husband to suicide and made her a social outcast. But Lord Newsam insists on rescuing her from penury. The shocking realisation that she is falling in love with him in spite of herself makes her situation even more complicated. How can she let him ruin his own family’s reputation by marrying her? There seems to be no solution – until every objection is swept away by a ball nobody wants to attend and a startling discovery on their return.

Although she now lives in the U.K., Arabella Brown grew up in a small U.S. town. She spent most of her youth in the local Carnegie Public Library (thank you, Mr. Carnegie!), where she learned that intensive reading does more to broaden your horizons than school does. She still reads voraciously and her house is lined with thousands of books. Despite her emphasis on meticulous research, it’s the plot and the characters she particularly loves to create. She enjoys Jane Austen’s and Georgette Heyer’s novels and wishes there were more of them.
Under another name, Ms Brown has published a number of novels set in periods ranging from the 12th century to the 1960’s. This is her first Regency.

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1 comment:

  1. Arabella Brown is a new author to me, but I look forward to reading this. I always love meeting new authors. Thanks to this blog for the introduction.