The Lady and Her Quill by Ruth A. Casie
Renowned author Lady Alicia Hartley has lost her muse after a bad review. She blames it all on the author JC Melrose. A chance encounter with a handsome, witty Justin Caulfield has her heart racing, and her muse seemingly back. Is he her savior or her worst nightmare?
He didn’t see the turbulent ocean. He was too busy dealing with a different tempest.
The recently retired Captain Justin Caulfield is facing his own demons. As gifted author JC Melrose, his stories honor men who died at the hand of one man. His only focus is to avenge their deaths, that is, until he meets and falls in love with Lady Alicia.
The two authors take on a writing challenge based on a story of stolen gold taken from the newspaper headlines all to determine the better writer. While researching the story, Lady Alicia is captured by the thieves’ ringleader. Can Lady Alicia turn this mystery into an award-winning story? Can Justin save his real-life heroine? Can they both overcome their own challenges for a happily ever after?
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Frequently Asked Questions
What do people get wrong about romance?
At a recent gathering (socially distanced) I heard those words from men who I believed were progressive, educated, understanding. They thought they were being cheeky. They thought they were being brash. They thought they were being funny. When in fact, they weren’t thinking at all. And rather than correct them, teach them, embarrass them, I said nothing. I smiled and ate a tasteless sandwich.
And the position isn’t unique to men. While I didn’t attend a meeting of a woman’s organization I belong to a member who was there mentioned with regret that she suggested my book for the book club but was told no one reads those types of books.
In a repressed environment, prior to the 18th century where women had no rights, women wrote stories from their heart dreams of independence, control, and freedom. To quote Maya Rodale, “We are writing stories about women who triumph in a world that doesn’t want women to triumph.” It breaks away from the accepted norm of the era which is threatening to those in control and can be linked to the rise in the call for women’s rights.
Romance stories take you on a journey as a woman in any era, in any genre finds her fulfilment and a deserving happily ever after.
What attracted you to your current partner?
I was a single mom with two young daughters. I had no idea how to socialize other than with other moms, usually in play groups. I joined a singles group that played softball. I’m not an athlete, so I volunteered to handle the BBQ. As the season changed, a small group in my age range broke off. They asked if I would host parties at their houses. At the time, our local paper had a singles page. I advertised the parties and if you wanted to come, you had to call for reservations. A gentleman called to make a reservation for the Super Bowl Party. He came to the party and called me the following day. He thanked me for the dinner and asked that I put him on the list for the next party. Then he invited me to the Philharmonic. During a light supper, I took out index cards of women his age and went through them to see who he was interested in. He humored me. We spoke during the week and went out the following Saturday. I took out another bunch of index cards. He showed no interest in any of them. I was quickly running out of people to introduce him to. At our third meeting, I took out the cards, looked at him, then put them away. He took my hand across the table. “I’ve been waiting three weeks for you to realize it is you I want to be with.” It is 37 years later. He is called Daddy by my girls and our son, and Pop Pop by our grandchildren. He is my hero in so many ways.
What is the best or worst thing that has ever happened to you as a writer?
This is a hard question. There are so many wonderful things. Fangirl moments with Diana Gabaldon, Eloisa James, Nora Roberts. Included in anthologies with some of the best romance authors. The first time a person recognized me and showed me my book on her Kindle. A call that my story made the USA Today bestselling list.
As for the worst, please read my response to ‘what inspired you to write this book.’
What would you like people to know about you?
Nothing is more important to me. Give me opportunity and I will tell you all about them My oldest daughter, a pre-school teacher has rallied during the pandemic to teach 15 three-year-olds remotely. Her younger sister has just started a cottage cookie business. Her creations are AWESOME. Her brother is a cyber security engineer (I would proudly tell you what he does but even his mother doesn’t know – his work is top security). We have hour grandchildren and cannot wait to see them all for the holiday.
I am passionate about my family, and I bring that passion into my writing.
If you had to do it all over again, would you still choose to write books?
Yes, but I wouldn’t have waited so long. I loved my job at the bank and spent over 25 years there. However, the creativity and camaraderie I have found in the writing community has been wonderful, and I find out more about myself with each book I write.
What inspired your featured book?
A combination of things inspired The Lady and Her Quill. I was so excited when my first book was published. Ok. I will admit that I get excited when each book is published. It really never gets old. But with my first book I was so eager and hungry to be part of this new world. My author friends were enthusiastic, encouraging, excited for me. I signed books for them and was asked to speak at meetings, in front of readers. It was exciting and wonderful.
I remember my first 5-star review and the ones that followed. I diligently read all the reviews to see what worked and what didn’t. Then there was this 1-star review. I remember staring at the rating before reading what the reviewer had written. When I got the courage (yes, it took courage) to read it I was shocked. There was little about the story in the review but a whole lot about me. It was a personal attack.
I remember the hurt, the fear, the I’ll-never-write-again feeling. My editor and friends set me on the right course. But that review lingered in the back of my mind. So… my heroine, Lady Alicia Hartley is one of those scribbling women of the Regency who gets a review that attacks her self-confidence and set her in a tailspin… Sound familiar?
Postscript: Today, I would thank that reviewer. She made me stronger, more resilient, and much more determined.
Tell me more about the Ladies of Sommer-by-the-Sea.
The Lady and Her Quill is Book 1 of the Regency series The Ladies of Sommer-by-the-Sea
Welcome to Sommer-by-the-Sea, a vibrant village nestled on the rugged northeast coast of England, 15 miles north of Newcastle upon Tyne. Here, the world is centered on the country village and the lives of the landowning and professional families. Sommer-by-the-Sea is populated with aristocrats, gentry, self-made men, shop owners, local workers, and servants, a cross-section of the people of the time. Steeped in history dating back as far as the Vikings, the villagers are proud and celebrate their heritage.
Everyone from the elite summer residents to the year-round residence keep businesses flourishing and gossip thriving. As with any small town, there are challenges and successes, secrets, disagreements, and feuds. There is no shortage of romance, mystery, drama, and even a murder or two.
Graduates of the Sommer-by-the-Sea Female Seminary have a unique education. Along with the usual studies available, the head mistress has nurtured each woman’s innate ability and helped them develop into the women they are today. This shared unique experience has kept the graduates close.
Each lady has her own story to tell as she is called to action and must demonstrate she is smart, strong and sensible and must challenge the accepted definition of a “woman’s place.” For these women, arranged or political marriages will not do. If she chooses a husband, it will be for love, on her own terms, and with a man who will accept her as a partner.
It is with pleasure I introduce you to The Ladies of Sommer-by-the-Sea, and their stories.
Book 1 – The Lady and Her Quill
Book 2 – The Lady and the Spy
Book 3 – The Lady and Her Duke
About Ruth ~
Ruth A Casie is a USA Today bestselling author. She writes historical adventures from the shores of medieval Scotland to the cobblestone streets of Regency London. Within the pages you’ll discover ‘edge-of-your-seat’ suspense, mind boggling drama, and heart melting emotions embracing strong women and the men who deserve them. Grab your favorite cup of tea, or an ale if you prefer, and join her heroes and heroines as they race across the pages to find their happily ever after. Ruth hopes her stories are your next favorite adventures!
Where You Can Find Ruth:
Facebook private reader’s page, Casie Café: https://www.facebook.com/groups/963711677128537/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie/
Amazon Author Page: https://amazon.com/author/ruthacasie
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