Keira: In your new book, Enticing the Earl, the Earl of Hartsfield is near bankruptcy. How did he get there? What are his plans to climb out of the red and into the black?
Christie Kelley: Simon landed in the situation because of a crooked steward who embezzled from him. Simon blames himself for not paying enough attention to his book, but the reader will find out why later in the book.
His mother would like him to marry an heiress to get out of the mess but Simon believes that by paying stricter attention to the books he will be able to pull himself out of his monetary issues. He is certain that small changes at the estate will enable him to bring in more money.
Keira: Would you ever date/marry somebody with a bad credit score/perilously low bank accounts?
Christie: Not knowingly. I have worked for two banks and was a Realtor for five years. I know the importance of keeping a good credit score. I’m a single mom who works a day job and write under contract and I keep my finances under control. I would expect the same thing from a man.
Keira: Why do you think romance readers and writers like the idea of a penniless hero or heroine? What’s the attraction?
Christie: I don’t always love the penniless hero or heroine. Most of the stories I’ve written before this have involved people with little concern for money. Perhaps some people like the idea that the heroine can help the hero out of an issue that he may have inherited. It makes the hero or heroine a little more believable if they are having money issues like so many readers. The same may be true of heroines who are in financial straits. A lot of people like the idea of a hero rescuing the heroine from a bad situation.
Keira: Simon Blakesworth rescues a badly beaten Mia Featherstone and shelters in his home. . .and offers marriage to protect her from her attacker. What does Simon find enticing about Mia? Is it her disposition, the strength of her character, perhaps he’s known her for a while, or something else?
Christie: Simon has been in love from afar with Mia for years. He knows she is not what society would consider a perfect match for him, but he doesn’t care. He loves everything about her — from her compassion in helping his tenants and servants with her healing way, to her strength of character. She doesn’t apologize for her past and he’s fine with that.
Keira: Mia Featherstone is a practicing healer. How did she get into that line of work?
Christie: Her mother, and grandmother before her, was a healer on the estate. She has been learning from her mother since she was able to talk and walk. There was an expectation that she would become a healer. Although she is a healer, her father also taught her some valuable skills that will help Simon.
Keira: What was the most interesting thing you discovered while researching for your book?
Christie: If I tell you that it gives away Simon’s secret. It’s the reason the steward was able to embezzle from him without his noticing. Sorry, you’ll have to read the book to discover what his issue is and how Mia helps him.
Keira: How do you define romantic love? What makes it worth sticking with someone even when things seem bad on the surface?
Christie: Romantic love…or just love is the desire to be with someone regardless of the situation. It’s the need to be there for that other person in good times and bad. You want to help them and know they will do the same for you should you need it.
Keira: What is your favorite scene or bit of dialogue from Enticing the Earl?
Christie: I personally loved the scene where Simon proposes to Mia because he does it so poorly. Instead of pouring out his heart, he goes at it from a logical position of his being able to protect her. When I finished writing that scene, I just wanted to hit the man.
Keira: Tell us about your next novel!
Christie: Vexing the Viscount will come out in the summer of 2014. It’s Mia’s sister’s story. Tia isn’t certain she wants to be a wise woman. But when the viscount’s brother returns to London, she knows she has to follow him in order to help him recover from his opium addiction. But Viscount Middleton has been sent by Tia’s mother to find her and return her to the estate so she can continue her profession as a healer.
Only His Passion…
With his estate near bankruptcy, Simon Blakesworth, Earl of Hartsfield already has a perilous secret to keep. Still, when he finds Mia Featherstone badly beaten, he doesn’t hesitate to shelter her in his home…and offer marriage to protect the lovely healer from her attacker. But Mia is concealing a danger this honorable earl never imagined–and can’t resist…
Can Save Her Love…
Mia’s valuable discovery on Simon’s land saved her patients’ lives. Now the only way she can help the man she’s always loved save his home is to secretly find the rest of a cache of hidden artifacts. But their passion is making it impossible for Mia to ever walk away–even from a love that may not survive the truth…
Author Bio: Award winning author, Christie Kelley was born and raised in upstate New York. After seventeen years working for financial institutions in software development, she started writing her first book. She currently writes regency historicals for Kensington. Christie now lives in Maryland with her two sons. Come visit her on the web at www.christiekelley.com or www.facebook.com/ChristieKelleyAuthor or www.twitter.com/christiekelley