Monday, December 16, 2013

Romance and Research by Jacqueline Seewald @KMNbooks @steamereads #Ebook #Regency

Karen: Below, you'll find my review for The Chevalier by the very talented Jacqueline Seewald! Also enjoy Jacqueline's post about romance and research. Feel free to comment or ask her a question. She'd love to hear from you!


Madeline de Mornay, a French born lady finds she’s attracted to Gareth Eriksen, the illegitimate son of an English nobleman. Gareth has a reputation with the ladies, but this does not matter to Madeline. Try as Gareth might, he cannot stay away from the dark haired beauty.

However, love is not so easily won for these two. It’s 1745, a time of unrest from the Jacobite Rebellion. Madeline and Gareth find themselves on opposite sides when it comes to politics. If that was not enough, Madeline finds herself betrothed to her cousin Andrew, who is wanted by the English for his part played in the rebellion, and though Gareth wants to claim Madeline for his own, he feels he cannot offer her marriage since he is beneath her station.

From London to Scotland, fate plays a hand in throwing Gareth and Madeline together time and time again with hope that true love will finally win out.

Ms. Seewald has penned a passionate and intriguing historical saga that will keep you turning the pages to the very end. Historical fans, you don’t want to miss this one.

Romance and Research by Jacqueline Seewald

You’ll notice that a lot of romance writers set their novels in places they either live in or have lived in. This may seem provincial, but in fact, it makes for good writing. If writers know a place well, they can create a realistic setting, an intriguing background for their novels. Setting is one of the important components of any piece of fiction.

But what about writing historical romance, writing about times and people long ago? 

The answer here is that writers need to do research. The fact is every novel requires a certain amount of research, some more than others. My prize-winning sensual historical romance THE CHEVALIER required extensive research. And I enjoyed every minute of it. I’ve been a fan of British historical romance for many years and wanted to do my own version of such a novel. But to do it right, I had to research the details so I made no mistakes—or as few as possible. I am fortunate in having Australian editors who could give me an additional perspective.

I believe the best novels combine elements of what we actually know with research into what we need to find out. I’m no fan of info dumping in fiction, but writers need to read and discover a lot more information than they will actually use in their novels before they begin writing. I’ve tried to seamlessly incorporate the culture and history of the turbulent, passionate Jacobite period of English history into my novel. The characters represent the viewpoints and prejudices of those times.

I'm  going to offer a short excerpt of the novel. I must warn you, the edited version is in pdf. format, and so I am giving you a taste of the pre-edited version which is a bit rougher. Hope you enjoy it and decide to purchase the e-book of THE CHEVALIER which is offered in all e-book formats at:

From Chapter One:

London, 1745

She found her warm shawl and moved with agility across the room and out the wide doors. There was torchlight to illuminate the walkways through the shrubbery, but the garden was deserted. Madeline bravely continued forward, shivering in the evening chill. As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she could see the tall figure of a man off to one side looming near a carved bench, his leg raised as he leaned forward on it. She decided to simply walk past him.
     "I wouldn't go walking through the hedge." His voice was deep, resonant and pleasing to her ear.
     He had actually noticed her. She quickly turned around. "Why not?"
     "It is not the sort of thing a young lady should do if she is unescorted."
     "Then perhaps you might escort me?" She was glad that it was dark so that he would be unlikely to see how red her face was, for she was certain that it had colored deeply. In her whole life, she had never been so outspoken.
     He let out a rumbling, surprised laugh that came from deep within his chest. "You would compromise your reputation if you took a walk in the maze with me."
     "Would we get lost?" she asked in a soft voice.
     "Most assuredly, I do not know the way. And you would certainly be lost."
     She stared into his eyes with interest. "I was told that you are a notorious rake. Is that so?" She was mortified by her own audacity.  What was wrong with her? Mama would slap her if she knew how badly Madeline was behaving.
     He laughed again with a surprised sound that had the clarity of a bell. "You are either the most innocent chit imaginable or the most accomplished flirt I have ever had occasion to meet."
     He sounded amused but she regretted her foolish remark. Surely, she had been taught better. "I am sorry. I truly did not mean to behave in an insulting manner."
     He smiled at her in a forgiving manner. "Who protects you?"
     Her brows rose questioningly. "Why do I need protection?"
     "From men like me, of course," he said with a disarming smile that took her breath away. "We are prone to snatch away the innocence of young maidens. Who are you?"
     "I am Madeline de Marnay. My father, Etienne de Marnay, was the Comte de Sarnou, French Deputy Ambassador to England. He died six months ago."
     "My condolences. And you have not returned to France, Mademoiselle?"
     "No, my maman is ill and does not wish to leave England quite yet. But when we go, I believe it will not be to France but to Scotland."
     He narrowed his jewel-like eyes. "Why Scotland of all places?"
     "Maman was born there. She still has family in the northwest. My grandfather was the chief of a clan in the Highlands but he supported King James against the Elector of Hanover and was forced to flee with his family or be arrested for treason." She was telling him more than she ought. Why did she have the unfortunate tendency to babble when she was nervous?
     "So your mother wants to return to the Highlands, but why?"  His tone was cool, disinterested.
     "The Highlands will always be her home. And now that Papa is gone, she wishes to be buried with her own people."
     Gareth Eriksen shook his head. "She is picking the worst possible time to go to Scotland. Tell her that the Young Pretender is on the march with a Highland army. Soon, they'll be facing a large British force and the danger to anyone caught in between could be devastating. She would be risking your life as well as her own."  His fierce frown was magnificently masculine and she let out a small sigh of admiration.
     "Prince Charles Edward might make a fine showing, don't you think?" Madeline was unable to restrain the enthusiasm from her voice. The passion she expressed for the cause masked the strange, disturbing feelings for the handsome stranger that so heated her blood.
     She hoped that he could not read her mind; she would truly die of shame if he had an inkling of how desperately she wished to caress his cheek with the tips of her fingers. And Mother of God, if only this virile man would crush her into his arms and kiss her—perhaps even make love to her! Where were such wild, outrageous thoughts coming from? She must be mad!”

 About the Author: 

Multiple award-winning author, Jacqueline Seewald, has taught creative, expository and technical writing at Rutgers University as well as high school English. She also worked as both an academic librarian and an educational media specialist. Fifteen of her books of fiction
have been published to critical praise including THE INFERNO COLLECTION, THE DROWNING POOL, THE TRUTH SLEUTH and DEATH LEGACY. Recent releases are her prize-winning sensual historical romance THE CHEVALIER, her book of romantic short stories BEYOND THE BO TREE Amazon and her romantic suspense mysteries reprinted in new editions by Harlequin.

You can also find the author on Facebook  and  Amazon Author Page


Jacqueline Seewald said... Best Blogger Tips

Karen, thank you for spotlighting me as your guest author today. I especially you reading and reviewing my new novel THE CHEVALIER.

Jacqueline Seewald said... Best Blogger Tips

I'll try that again: I especially appreciate you reading and reviewing my new novel--and now to get my morning cup of coffee!

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips


Thanks so much for being a guest here today and allowing me to review your book. What an adventure into the past. Loved it!

Now I'm off to search for my caffeine fix. lol

D'Ann said... Best Blogger Tips

I hate research! That's why I write Colorado or Arizona cowboys!

Nancy Means Wright said... Best Blogger Tips

The novel sounds fascinating, Jacquie! The 18th century is my favorite after the 21st. I, too, write historical fiction, mostly set in the 18th, and love the research--it's hard to know when to stop! But yes,it's the old iceberg metaphor: one must know more than s/he tells, for the story is paramount.

Jacqueline Seewald said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, D'Ann,

You write about subjects you know well which gives your romances real authenticity.

Jacqueline Seewald said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, Nancy,

I'm thrilled to learn that you write fiction too. I do love reading historicals.

Cathy said... Best Blogger Tips

I love historical stories. Yours sounds really good. Definitely adding it to my 'to buy list".

Jacqueline Seewald said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, Cathy. I hope you do buy the novel and enjoy it!

Gail Farrelly said... Best Blogger Tips


As always, a good post from you. Lots of luck with THE CHEVALIER.

Your photo in the post is a nice touch of spring on this cold day.

Patricia Stoltey said... Best Blogger Tips

Well researched novels are so much fun to read because we gain a little knowledge while enjoying a good story. I've only tried one historical so far, and found it was easy to get dragged into the research and postpone the writing.

Jacqueline Seewald said... Best Blogger Tips


Thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed the post.

Jacqueline Seewald said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, Patricia,

I love reading and writing historical romance because I enjoy being transported to another time and place that once did exist.

Karen McCullough said... Best Blogger Tips

I love doing research, too. Way too much in fact. I have to call a halt sometimes and say enough is least until I trip over another detail I need. Your story sounds like fun!

Cindy Sample said... Best Blogger Tips

I can tell from your excerpt that you did beaucoup de research. It looks like this book was as much to write as it was to research. My books are contemporary but with a mystery there is still an incredible amount of research to do to maintain a credible story.

Congrats on the new book and LOVE THAT HAT!

Jacqueline Seewald said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, Karen,

Thanks for visiting! I know what you mean about research. Working as a librarian, I had access to just about every book on the Georgian era and I think I read everything available. But you don't want to overwhelm readers. I try to always put the romance first because the relationship is what matters most.

Jacqueline Seewald said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, Cindy,

I found it necessary to do quite a bit of research for my romantic mystery series as well. Police procedures for example have to be correct. My romantic suspense spy thriller Death Legacy although contemporary required a lot of research as well. As you say, writing a credible story requires research.

Janis Patterson said... Best Blogger Tips

Great post! Historical or any other kind of accuracy is so important, and that begins with research. I believe as authors we owe our readers truth, even in fiction.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

An excellent post, Jacqueline. My first novel took place in Maryland where I spent most of my life, so I didn't have to research anything. My last book is set in the Middle East, and I had to research everything. I don't enjoy research because it's easier and more fun to make up stuff, but I have to admit, after it's over, I like having learned something new. Good luck with THE CHEVALIER.

Jacqueline Seewald said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, Janis,

We agree about the importance of historical accuracy.

Jacqueline Seewald said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, Earl,

Thanks for your good wishes. The Middle East research you did had to be a challenge. Things are changing so rapidly in that part of the world that even those who are familiar with the area would find it difficult.

H.C. Brown said... Best Blogger Tips

Great post :-)

Jacqueline Seewald said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, H.C.!

Kathy McIntosh said... Best Blogger Tips

What fun! I love historical romances and this one sounds delightful. Already I like the heroine's attitude. I cannot imagine doing that much research, but enjoy the results of those who do!
Another book for my list!

Jacqueline Seewald said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, Kathy,

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you do read the novel.