Long before I fell in love with the paranormal, I was a huge fan of regency romances. It so happens that Julia Quinn and Suzanne Enoch are still two of my favorite authors. There’s just something swoon-worthy about a dashing Earl, a scowling Duke, and the ladies who bring them to their knees.
As such, I’m delighted to welcome Jessie Clever to my humble abode. She’s here to chat about A Countess Most Daring, which was released just last month. Book Three in her Spy Series, it matches Katharine Cavanaugh, the Countess of Stirling, with American mercenary Mathew Thatcher. I can’t wait to find out more!
1. Let’s start with the basics. How would you define a regency romance to someone who hasn’t read one before? Who would you consider to be an iconic author in the genre?
What I love about Regency romance is that the definition continues to change. The Regency era in England occured between 1811 and 1820, and Regency romances usually include the trials and tribulations of titled gentlemen and ladies in the strictures of society. But what I love about Regencies is that as a writer, I'm giving this incredibly structured time period where I am challenged to defy that order. Julia Quinn is a great example of an iconic author in this genre, but as I mentioned before, the definition of this genre is always changing, and I hope my work in the Spy Series will continue to be a part of that change.
2. Change is definitely a good thing. Okay, next question. The British War Office plays a significant role in your entire Spy Series. What types of secrets were they uncovering back in the day? How would their methods compare to the modern day CIA or NSA?
Funny thing about the British War Office, spies in the Regency period didn't actually report to the War Office. (Spies actually reported to the Home Office, but that just does not sound as cool!) Regency romances started the tradition of having spies report to the War Office, so the tradition stuck, and there's no turning back! Spies played a different role during this time period than modern day spies in that they were more influencers rather than information gatherers. William J. Oliver is a good example of this. He was in debtors prison untilt the Home Office recruited him to put pressure on the Luddites, aan artisan movement that developed in the Industrial Revolution. And this was domestic unrest, so it would be like the NSA sending in someone to stop people who rally against GMOs in food in the US. Spies in the Regency period would need to do this without smartphones, the internet, or drones!
3. Judging from the white-gloved hand and high neckline, I would guess there are lots of constraints and expectations associated to being a Countess. Could you tell us a bit more about them?
In A Countess Most Daring, the heroine's title of Countess is actually a cover given to her by the British War Office., and even more, her cover is that she is a widowed countess. So being titled and widowed, she actually gets a lot of freedom that she otherwise wouldn't have. A title comes with a lot of expectations that one behave and act in a certain way, but a title also gives one access to situations that otherwise would be out of one's reach. In Kate's circumstances, the title works to her advantage.
4. How intriguing. I love spy stories. Okay, this might seem shallow, but the first thing about your cover that caught my eye is the array of very nice abs. Can you tell us how Mathew Thatcher got to be so … for lack of a better word, “cut”?
Matthew Thatcher is a farm boy by heritage. He earned those muscles through hard labor!
5. I must now resist the urge to swoon. One last question before I let you go—as a newbie author, I love to hear how everyone else got into the business. When did you decide to be an author? What was your path to publication?
I decided to be a writer when my dad told me I couldn't be Indiana Jones. If I couldn't live the adventure, I was going to write it. I started writing for publication my freshman year of college, and after getting several promising responses from editors, I decided to publish my first work myself. I love the control that self-publishing offers and the close connection with my readers. I wouldn't have it any other way!
Since Jessie has a new release to promote, I’ll allow her to run off. For more information about the book and author, continue to scroll down. As always, comments are very much appreciated.
A Countess Most Daring
In Book Two of the Spy Series, For Love of the Earl, two agents for the War Office in search of Alec and Sarah’s kidnappers boarded a ship for unknown destinations. In Book Three, we find out what happened to them.
Katharine Cavanaugh, the Countess of Stirling, has always lived according to the expectations of her heritage. American mercenary Matthew Thatcher has spent his life running away from every expectation he has for himself. But when their latest mission from the British War Office goes wrong, trapping them behind enemy lines, they must decide if they dare to realize the greatest expectation of all: the expectation of love.
About Jessie Clever
In the second grade, Jessie began a story about a duck and a lost ring. Two harrowing pages of wide ruled notebook paper later, the ring was found. And Jessie has been writing ever since.
Earning her degree in English with a Creative Writing Honors at the University at Albany, Jessie completed her first novella, Shake Down Your Ashes, a historical fictive memoir. She then went on to experiment in journalism, copy writing and public relations communications. Focusing her writing on fiction, Jessie now spends her time between children’s literature and women’s fiction.
Jessie makes her home in the great state of New Hampshire where she lives with her husband and a very opinionated Basset Hound.