A month down the line

A Wager for the Widow has been out for a month.  Yesterday I had a wonderful review on Cataromance which described the book as ‘a fantastic historical romance that sweeps readers back to the past and enchants them with its intoxicating blend of intrigue, adventure, passion and pathos.’

I’ve had an amazing response for the book and I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read and review or share news about the book or comment on my Facebook page or Twitter feed.  If you haven’t already, come over and say hello. As always its talking to readers and finding out what you think about my writing that keeps me going.  Every comment means a lot to me.

I know there have been issues with availability in America thanks to Amazon gremlins but these are sorted now so if you haven’t been able to get hold of your copy now you can Buy it here on Amazon.com

I’m going to be taking a break from the internet as I’m embarking on a road trip around France and Spain, taking in the Picos de Europa which I’ve always wanted to visit.  I’ll still be hard at work editing my work in progress and starting to plan my fourth book.  Maybe I’ll even find a handsome Spaniard to inspire me!

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A Wager for the Widow – Elisabeth Hobbes

Bookish Jottings

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A compelling, poignant and highly engrossing Medieval romance from an outstanding new author of historical romance, A Wager for the Widow is the second mesmerizing novel by fast-rising star Elisabeth Hobbes.

The widowed Lady Peyton cherishes her life of independence where she is the mistress of her own destiny and nobody’s subordinate – unlike many other women of her time. Eleanor’s life on her secluded island might get lonely at times, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. She loves pleasing herself and not having anyone to answer to and she is not exactly overjoyed when she is summoned by her father, Lord Edgar, to the family home over midwinter. Well aware that her parents are keen to see her married off again, preferably to a man of great rank and fortune, Eleanor is not looking forward to being paraded around like a prized heifer by her mother and…

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Cover Comparison

Falling for Her CaptorA Wager for the Widow

I’ve got two covers now and I don’t know whether or not it was intentional on the part of the art department but they’re very similar.  Both feature lovely heroines in green with moody skies in the background.  As much as I would have loved to see who they chose to play the heroes (one dark, one blonde – who would you choose?) I really like my ladies.

Which cover do you prefer?  Do you go for the covers with couples or heroes rather than heroines?  Let me know in the comments or over on Twitter @elisabethhobbes or Facebook ElisabethHobbesAuthor

I’ve used one of the American Harlequin branded ones and a UK Mills & Boon as the logos are different but both books are available on Amazon.com and co.uk and other online sites. Clicking on the cover pictures should take you right there if the cover has whetted your appetite.

Blog features roundup

I’ve been visiting various blogs to talk about A Wager for the Widow (and other things).

Here are a couple of the interviews I’ve done.

The Pink Heart Society Writer’s Workspace feature

Harlequin Junkie Author Spotlight (with some exclusive extracts)

An interview with Ms Moem, created of bespoke poems

There will be more to come over the next week or so.

On research and world building

One of the things I always love to see in reviews is a reference to how accurate my setting and the time period are.  I’m a bit of a pedant so I hate finding anachronisms when I’m reading.  It’s even worse when I’m reading my own work.   I’m at the redrafting stage of my work in progress and know I’m bound to find a few things that slipped through the net.

A few weeks ago I was asked to take part in a discussion on the Harlequin blog about creating believable worlds.  I wrote this piece that I’m sharing here.

‘Round about chapter five of my first book, Falling for her Captor, I had the characters sitting round the campfire. The seasoned older soldier, about to dispense some words of wisdom to the hero, lit his pipe and somewhere in Anachronism Central a red light flashed and a siren started wailing. Why? Because my story was set (albeit in a fictional country) in the medieval period, which as we all know means no tobacco. Fortunately I spotted that one and didn’t have to suffer the embarrassment of my editor pointing it out but it still makes me cringe.

It does, however, illustrate how important research is to the historical writer. Big inaccuracies can ruin a book from the outset so make sure you’re familiar with the hierarchy of society, forms of address and social conventions for the time you’re writing about. Fortunately there is a wealth of information available online to ensure you get these right.

I love reading historical fiction as well as writing it and for me a convincing world is one where the author has got the small, incidental details right (thought choose your details carefully- your hot medieval duke would almost certainly have had lice and bad teeth but your reader won’t want to know this). The story and characters are naturally the most important element but nothing kills the moment like an anachronism leaping off the page. In the same way that an errant TV aerial can ruin a period drama, the reader’s should be concentrating on the hero slowly teasing the heroine’s shift down over her shoulders, not shouting in annoyance about the fact that cotton wasn’t available in the Middle Ages and she would have worn linen.  And don’t get me started on the Tudor novel where the heroine felt a jolt of electricity run through her!

When trying to find ideas for clothing, food, houses and transport my first port of call is often contemporary art such as illuminated manuscripts and tapestries which can be a wonderful source of detail. Knowing exactly what sort of river ferry existed made it much easier to describe Will in  A Wager for the Widow almost knocking Eleanor over the side when he jumps his horse on board. I also love researching the food characters might have eaten and have some interesting recipes I’m planning to try out as soon as the holidays come around.

I’m naturally obsessive and sometimes researching what should be a small plot point ends up taking a lot more time than it should. My latest heroine inherits a business from her deceased husband so or A Wager for the Widow I ended up so engrossed in oyster farming in Medieval Cornwall I lost hours! Ditto tide times in December that cover the causeway to St Michael’s Mount. I’ve also spent time on Google Maps working out distances and cross referencing them with tables of how far and fast a horse could be expected to travel to ensure my characters could make journeys in the timescale I’ve given them.

So what have I learned? Know your period well before you start to write so you don’t write yourself into a corner. Don’t put the wrong monarch on the throne, don’t have a six-day journey taking a couple of hours. Don’t dress your characters in clothes that weren’t available, and don’t have your knights eating baked potatoes.’

How much do anachronisms bug you?  What is the biggest you’ve spotted in a book or film?

Celebrating readers and reviewers

‘I finished the book at 2am!! I literally devoured it.’

‘I couldn’t put this book down and didn’t want it to end. It brought a tear to my eye, made me laugh and smile all at the same time.’

‘I forgot my worries and just lost myself in this highly convincing world and romance. William is one of my favourite ever m&b heroes – a rogue whose devil may care attitude hides a broken heart.’

‘It’s gripping and exciting and romantic and sexy and simply a wonderful read!’

A Wager for the Widow has been out since Wednesday.  I’m overwhelmed with the fabulous reviews I’ve received so far (if that hasn’t convinced you to buy it for everyone you know – your mum, your child’s teacher, your next door neighbour, your sister then read the rest here).

http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B00VS0FV5U/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_top?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=byRankDescending

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has followed my blog for the past year and a half. As a new author who still can’t quite believe I’m being paid to do what I love, getting the ‘likes’ and comments on the blog, Facebook or Twitter means a lot to me, as does everyone who has taken time to read and review.

This week as well as celebrating the release of AWFTW I’ve finished my first draft of my work in progress and am getting ready to start reworking that.  I’m also recovering from Ofsted and am about celebrate (!?!) my 40th with some good friends.  I’ll be raising a glass to everyone who has been with me along for the ride.

Thank you and here’s to the next two years!