Today we welcome Mary Hart Perry, author of the Victorian thriller series about Queen Victoria’s daughters, the Crown Princesses. Her second novel in the series releases this week. Congratulations, Mary! Leave a comment and your name will go into the drawing for a free Kindle copy!
About the Book
Mary Hart Perry’s acclaimed series of romantic Victorian thrillers continues with Seducing the Princess, inspired by the life of Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter Beatrice. Painfully shy and lonely, convinced she is unattractive and unloved, the dutiful Princess Beatrice finally accepts that she will never marry and vows to devote herself to the queen in Victoria’s waning years. In fact, her mother has secretly discouraged suitors for Beatrice’s hand. Just when Beatrice has all but given up on love and happiness, she meets Henry Battenberg, a dashing nobleman from the Continent who matches wits with the aging Victoria and risks his life and liberty to woo Bea.
But Henry isn’t the only man interested in being welcomed into Beatrice’s bed. The timid princess has become the target of a cruel plot hatched by her nephew, the madman destined to become the last Emperor of Germany. Wilhelm II sends a ruthless agent, a charming Scot, to seduce the naive princess and spy on the queen. How can the sheltered princess hope to fend off a man capable of murder, and perhaps worse, to get what he wants? But Beatrice is not without her own allies–her older sister Louise and Louise’s American soldier-of-fortune and lover, Stephen Byrne. Will Beatrice discover which of the two men pursuing her she can trust, before it’s too late? Drama, romance and peril chase the royal family from Buckingham Palace to a storm besieged castle on the Isle of Wight.
Your Victorian thriller series chronicles the adventures of Queen Victoria’s daughters. What is it about the family that seduced you to write about them?
I love writing about real people from the past and imagining ways to make them come to life for my readers. Even royalty have their problems and challenges to deal with. Making historical figures human fascinates me.
Have you visited England for research?
Yes, I was in England many years ago and more recently I attended the Historical Novel Society conference in London. I did some research as well while I was in the city. In fact, I spenT half a day in the infamous Tower of London. A few months later, I wrote a short story for an anthology that will be published later this year. The story is set in The Tower itself, during the 19th century, after the one-time castle, turned prison, has been opened as a sort of Dickensian tourist site.
SEDUCING THE PRINCESS is book two in the series. Is there a third in the works?
Book #3 is in the works. I’m hoping to finish it by the Fall of this year. It features Crown Princess Vicky who becomes involved in the search for Jack the Ripper, the 19th century serial killer who terrorized all of London.
What is your view of the ever-shifting publishing world?
There’s no doubt about it. These are exciting times for publishing, but also scary for authors, publishers and agents alike. Everyone is trying to figure out how they can best fit into whatever new game plan evolves. I believe in never putting all of your eggs in one basket, as my grandmother used to say. So I will work with traditional publishers as long as I’m welcome there, but I’ll also do some exciting projects with small presses and self-publish some exciting new novellas and novels. All I care about is reaching and entertaining my readers, no matter the vehicle–big or small press, paper or e-book. I think the authors who survive the shifting marketplace will be those who are flexible and try a variety of platforms for their stories.
Fun fact about Victorian England: The Victorians believed that as long as ravens lived at The Tower of London, there would always be an England. Even today, a small flock of ravens are kept on the Tower grounds, their flight feathers clipped so they will stay at the Tower.
Favorite Place on Earth: Bermuda. My husband and I were married on a ship sailing for Bermuda, where we spent our honeymoon. It’s also the setting of one of my novels, The Gentleman Poet.
Biggest Vice: Eating chocolate…in bed. (I know I shouldn’t, but with a book in hand and fluffy pillows…it’s pure heaven.)
Hidden Talent: I can take the helm of a sailboat and sail her through a channel and into dock. (I once had to do this when our 34′ sailboat’s engine died. Using just wind power and the current is a bit tricky!)
Mary Hart Perry lives in the Washington, DC area, with her husband and two cats, in a perfectly ordinary house that is nowhere close to being a castle. She has neither a coach, nor footman or driver. You won’t find even one lady-in-waiting in her bedroom, and there’s no cook in her kitchen to whip up a luscious 6-course meal to fortify her when she’s too busy obsessing over her current novel to cook. However, she feels positively regal when she travels to speak at conferences. There they feed her very well, thank you! Her favorite things in life are writing, history, animals and the people who own them—including most of her family and all of her fans. When she isn’t writing she hangs out with her pals on her Facebook page (Mary Hart Perry) or on Twitter (@Mary_Hart_Perry). If you like, come join us! Or email Mary at Mary@MaryHartPerry.com to tell her what you enjoy most about historical fiction.