Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the blog series where I share snippets from new and past releases, and works-in-progress, and occasionally tempt author friends into doing the same.
Oh, it’s so good to have historical romance author Anna Campbell on the blog again. She is SUCH a delight and we all love her here.
I’ve been very jealous of Anna lately. She’s had the most wonderful time gallivanting around Scotland and other far-flung places (they’re far-flung if you live in Australia), gaining inspiration from all the beautiful sites and history, not to mention all that lovely Scottish burr-ing. Check out Anna’s Facebook page for all the piccies but beware, they’ll make you want to book a holiday.
Speaking of Scottish things, I watched Sunshine on Leith a few weeks ago, a musical made entirely of songs by Scottish band The Proclaimers, and it was BRILLIANT. I was so excited I emailed Anna halfway through and told her she had to watch it too. It was great fun and I got to do movie karaoke. Rah!
Enough of me and my movie watching and burr-ing jealousy, Anna is here to tell you about her gorgeous new romance Catching Captain Nash. Anna’s books are terrific reads but take a look at that sumptuous cover. Honestly, you’d buy this book for that alone.
Anyway, please give a warm welcome to Anna, and make sure you read to the end because there could be a GIVEAWAY!
I’m so excited to visit you today to give you a sneak peek of my latest release, Catching Captain Nash. CCN is the last in my Dashing Widows series – well, for the moment, anyway. I’m seriously thinking of coming back and giving the younger generation, including Brandon, Carey, and Meg, their happy endings, but I won’t be writing those books for a while yet.
Catching Captain Nash has a strong Australian connection. My hero disappears, presumed dead for five years, and I needed somewhere for him to be. So I took inspiration from the life of Matthew Flinders (1774-1814), a famous explorer from very early days of Australian history.
Matthew Flinders was a dashing and heroic character – he proved Australia was a continent by circumnavigating it; he and George Bass explored large areas of the NSW coast near Sydney in a rowboat; Matthew and George also proved Tasmania was an island by circumnavigating it; he was a brilliant cartographer like my hero Robert; and he was the first to suggest calling my native land Australia. He joined the navy as a 15-year-old boy, much against his family and friends’ wishes, because he was mad about Robinson Crusoe. Definitely hero material!
In 1803, on a voyage back to England, he called in at Mauritius for supplies. This was in the middle of the Napoleonic wars, so the powers that be imprisoned him for six years as a spy, an experience that broke his health. Voilà, a backstory for my hero.
One of the reasons Aussies remember Mr. Flinders so fondly is that a black and white cat named Trim accompanied him on many of his adventures: “The best and most illustrious of his race, the most affectionate of friends, faithful of servants, and best of creatures. He made the tour of the globe, and a voyage to Australia, which he circumnavigated, and was ever the delight and pleasure of his fellow voyagers.” Trim is honored with several statues, including one at the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney, where he receives considerably more visitors than his master does several feet away. The vagaries of fame!
As a romance writer, my heart warmed to the fact that Matthew Flinders jeopardised his career by trying to smuggle his new bride on board his ship when he left London to go back to Australia. Sadly, it didn’t work out. Even more sadly, this was the voyage where he ended up imprisoned. Poor Ann didn’t see her husband for another nine years.
Even more interesting, I discovered that Matthew Flinders’ grandson is the famous Egyptologist Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie who was the model for Emmerson in the fantastic Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters. Goodness, you couldn’t make this stuff up, could you? Cathryn, I thought you, with your interest in archeology, would find this connection fascinating.
Trim gets his own Wikipedia entry.
If you’re interested in knowing about the real life inspiration behind dashing and damaged Captain Robert Nash, here’s the link to Matthew Flinders’ Wikipedia entry.
Now for an intro to the Teaser this Tuesday. This scene takes place the first night Robert returns from the dead to find himself gate-crashing his wife’s engagement party to another man. Oops! Awkward! The newly reunited couple have retired to her bedroom…
Nash House, Berkeley Square, London October 1829
Robert sank into another of those ridiculously feminine chairs and bent to take off his boots. The intimacy of the mundane act knocked the breath from Morwenna, although of course the moment he’d said he was coming upstairs, she’d understood that they’d share a bed. After all, there was only one bed in the room.
With unsteady fingers, she started to braid her hair.
He looked up from unlacing his boots and shot her a sharp glance. “No.”
Her fingers stilled, as her eyes met his in her dressing table mirror. Was the monosyllabic man who’d come into the ballroom back again? “No?”
One of his scarred hands gestured in her direction. “Your hair. Don’t…”
Ridiculous to feel nervous, but trepidation settled like a boulder in her stomach. She’d desperately missed the Robert she’d married, wanted him back in her bed. But this man, despite occasional glimmers of familiarity, remained very much an unknown quantity.
His touch had always set her alight. She’d starved for it since he’d gone away. But so much remained unresolved. While she owed him her duty as his wife, was it too much to ask him to wait?
She gulped in a mouthful of air and made herself nod. “Very well.”
“Thank you.” He rose on bare feet and prowled up behind her.
Without turning, she watched his approach in the mirror. Her stomach seethed with nerves. The skin prickled across her shoulders as she braced for contact.
He stared down at her as he loomed up, so she couldn’t see his eyes. He paused, and her skin tightened in anticipation that she couldn’t describe as wholly fearful or wholly eager.
Did he mean to kiss her? Sweep her up into his arms and into the bed? Then prove himself her husband in the most basic way?
But he merely lifted a tress of black hair and let it drift down through his fingers.
Now she could read the expression on his face.
He mightn’t like her anymore. But after this, she couldn’t doubt that he wanted her.
She gave a visible shiver and placed a hand over her churning stomach.
So I’ve talked today about someone from history I admire very much. I’m curious to hear if you have any historical characters you find attractive or admirable or just plain interesting.
I’ve got a Kindle download of Catching Captain Nash for someone who comments today. No geographical restrictions.
Good luck in the draw!
Thanks so much, Anna, especially for the insight into Matthew Flinders. It’s so cool that you’ve taken inspiration from him. I’ll make sure to give Trim an extra pat for you next time I’m at the State Library too.
How to choose a historical character I admire out of the hundreds on my list (and yes, Anna, Flinders Petrie is one of them)?
As much as I love a man in a kilt I’m also partial to a man in a toga, so I’ll pick either Julius Caesar or Augustus. They must have been incredible generals, politicians and statesmen. And if Colleen McCullough is to be believed in her Masters of Rome series, Julius was a hell of a pantsman!
So my lovelies, which historical character do you find attractive, interesting or admire? Share away and we’ll pop you in the draw to win a Kindle copy of Anna’s gorgeous new release Catching Captain Nash.
Please note: Giveaway closes midnight AEDT, 7th July 2017. Open internationally.