Thank you for inviting me onto your site to talk about my new release, The Portrait. I am particularly fond of this book. It tells the story of a young lord, Edward, Earl of Sinclair, who, having just entered into an arranged betrothal, hastens to join the fight against Napoleon. Lady Jennifer, his intended, is at first elated with the engagement, but as time goes by and she receives no more than impersonal letters from Edward, she decides she has no wish to wed a man who makes no effort to engage her affections or get to know her.
At the battle of Salamanca, Edward receives grievous wounds which scar his body and necessitate the removal of his arm. Such are his injuries that, wishing not to present his prospective bride with the wreck he believes himself to have become, he is determined to end the betrothal. However, it is seen throughout the campaigns and in the convent where he lies after the battle, that he relies greatly on the miniature of a young woman and it is to this he clings upon his return to England.
The couple mutually agrees to end their betrothal but are constantly thrown together by society and the escapades of their younger brothers and still they state they have no desire to marry.
Edward continues to depend on the miniature and is determined not to relinquish it. Will he eventually find happiness with the girl in the portrait or will he remain firm in his resolve not to wed? His head dictates one course, his heart another.
The inspiration for this story came to me from a song from the film ‘Hawks’ in which the singer states ‘I wants to be the man that she thinks I am’. In the context of the film, this meant he wanted to be healthy and whole for the sake of his girlfriend. I took this thought and it grew into The Portrait. It is not a somber tale and I hope readers will enjoy the love story as it evolves. As in all traditional Regency romances, it has a happy and satisfying conclusion
Hazel Statham lives in England and has been writing on and off since she was fifteen. Initially she was influenced by Austen, the Brontës, and Sabatini but when she turned seventeen, Georgette Heyer opened up the romance and elegance of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She immediately knew she had found her eras and wanted nothing more than to re-create them in her work.
Her latest book is the Regency romance novel, The Portrait, released by Avalon Books in August 2010.
Hazel lives with her husband, Terry, and a beautiful Labrador named Mollie. Apart from writing, her other ruling passion is animals, and until recently she acted as treasurer for an organization that raised money for animal charities.
You can visit her online at www.hazel-statham.co.uk and her blog at http://hazelstatham.blogspot.com/
Win a copy of The Portrait! This giveaway is open to residents of Canada & the US and ends December 1, 2010 at 11:59 PM. Winning entry will be chosen by random.org and verified before being announced!
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