This week I am turning over the Monday morning duties to my good friend, Sophia Nash. Sophia has graciously offered to helm the blog today and tell you all about her new book, The Kiss, which hits the shelves tomorrow. I love Sophia’s books, which are lush, wonderful stories, and I like Sophia because she makes me laugh.
EB: The Kiss received a Top Pick from Romantic Times and is an All About Romance Desert Isle Keeper, congratulations. What drew you to writing this story of unrequited love?
Sophia: I had always wanted to write a book about unrequited love because it’s almost universally experienced by everyone at one point or another. Is there a more difficult sort of love? And what if the person afflicted was a lady of courage and strong character but who was unwilling to declare her love for fifteen years because he is her best friend? Can you imagine the intensity of the moment when she finally tells him? Can you imagine her happiness when the hero pulls her into his arms and kisses her? That was the premise of The Kiss.
EB: You use Cornwall as the backdrop for your books. What makes that your favorite setting?
Sophia: Cornwall is one of the most startlingly beautiful places in earth. The windswept cliffs echo stories of love lost and love found. And there is such history there. The Kiss is set in Helston, Cornwall on a fictitious estate. But the prominent landmark, Loe Pool, does indeed exist. It was once an ocean inlet until a shingle bar formed naturally transforming it into the largest lake in Cornwall. It’s a sanctuary for many birds, and yes, even otters! But I shall hint that the next book in the series, will move to London and further north.
EB: Oh, thanks for the great pictures. I’m adding Cornwall to my long list of “must visits”. So we share a love of England, but the Regency as well. On the Enter the Era page at your website, you have a Regency lexicon, which is a “must visit”, but do you have any other favorite Regency interests you want to share with us?
Sophia: Fanology! Who knew opening and closing a fan could be so dangerous? Here is a fictitious situation to illustrate a few gestures and their meanings taken from 1791 “Fanology” by Charles Francis Badini.
Say a lady spots a handsome gentleman across the ballroom staring at her. She touches the tip of her fan with a finger indicating “I wish to speak to you.” Or she may twirl her fan in her left hand to indicate, “We are being watched.” He glances toward the garden and disappears. When she spies him in the shadows there she is too nervous to speak so instead she presses a half closed fan to her hips, suggesting “you may kiss me.” And if she is very bold, she might even place her fan near her heart, meaning “I love you.” Is this not better than text messaging “want 2 hook up”?
EB: If someone wants to reach you or read an excerpt from The Kiss or A Dangerous Beauty (which I understand is also up for an RT award, so again congratulations!) where can they find you on the web?
Sophia: I always like to hear from readers who can reach me via www.sophianash.com. But I regularly hang with the hilarious gang at Romance Novel Television and avonauthors.com. If you want to see me make a fool of myself riding a mechanical bull or make inane comments a la Joan Rivers during the RITA awards, you can check it out at www.romancenovel.tv. And don’t miss the best interview ever with Elizabeth herself who has promised to teach me how to cable stitch this summer!
EB: Sophia, thanks for dropping by! Questions for Sophia anyone?
Sophia, many hugs. Welcome to Elizbo’s blog. I can hardly wait to read “The Kiss”. “Dangerous Beauty” was so much fun!! Isn’t the cover for “Kiss” simply marvelous?
Elizbo is teaching you to knit? Oh-ho-ho. I’m looking forward to seeing you knitting away during the luncheon speeches and the awards ceremony. Are you hosting the RITAs for RNTV this year, too?
The Cornish coast is said to be rather wild with a haunting beauty. Did you travel to Cornwall yourself? If so, did you run across any folks speaking in the ancient Cornish Celtic language? I’ve heard that they have some diligent speakers.
Thanks for dropping by. I’m so glad you like the cover of The Kiss. I have to admit I am very partial to the hero. He looks exactly the way I pictured the hero!
Elizabeth is such a fabulous knitter. I watched her knitting away at NJRW conference and she doesn’t even look at the needles. I can do basic knitting but I’ve always wanted to learn how to do cable stitch ever since my mother made a beautiful cable knit sweater one winter.
Re your question about the RITAs, I am as in the dark as you!
Yes, I have driven from London to Cornwall – and it is everything you suggested and more. And I loved the Cornish accents. Hard to describe – a little Welsh sounding, perhaps? One of my favorite things about England is the “cream teas.” America is a coffee nation. England is not-and knows how to serve tea with the best pastries and sandwiches!
I hope you get the chance to go, too. I’m actually going again this spring with my mother. Purely for research, of course ;-} And we’re going to drive from Cornwall to the Scottish border this time. I’m dying to see Derbyshire. Please, anyone who has suggestions about great sites in northern England, let me know!
Those cream teas sound like they’d require hours on the treadmill before and after.
I can do basic knitting…
Feel free to use me as a guinea pig to practice your knitting on.
Northern England…I can help you there. I’ve been to Newport and north of it to Bamburg Castle on the coast and west to Alnwick Castle, the seat of the Duke of Northumberland. If you need any information of that area, I have paper materials and stories. E-mail me, OK? Regretfully, I didn’t have time to go to York.
I’m a horrible fan! I read this the other day and forgot to comment. I forget what came up, but sorry to not comment before now.
That first photo is amazing! What a view!
And I look forward to seeing you at conference :D.
You are so right about the cream teas. But they are worth it!
And Keira, it took me three weeks to do a sweater for my small dog. Can you imagine how long it would take for me to knit a sweater for a person? Now Elizabeth is a different story altogether. I bet she could knit a sweater in a week!
So, can you suggest a picturesque bed & breakfast on the way toward York from London?
Thanks for stopping by! Glad you liked the pictures. The thing about Loe Pool that I found facinating was that there are otters there. I had no idea there were otters in England! I plan to spend a few hours there to take photos this spring.
Can’t wait to see you too!
I so could not knit a sweater in a week. I think my record is 2 1/2 weeks–but it was a top down raglan that I just knit my brains out to get done.
Sophia, can I come along to England with you? I am so dying to get back. I was even checking my mileage account to see if I have a ticket yet.
Sophia, let me look through my stuff, and I’ll e-mail your off-blog.
Elizabeth, sounds like a 2-month knitting project should be happily doable. Like I said to Sophia, if you can’t find a subject appropriate for your projects, I give you full license to use me.
Elizabeth, do you attend any of the Eastside chapter meetings?
Keira, I’m not planning to right now. This year is really stuffed with writing deadlines and a bunch of speaking stuff and so I decided to drop all my RWA chapters and anything else that made me feel compelled to volunteer or attend. I hate the guilt of not going/or helping when I am a member of something–so I had to make the decision to circle wagons in 2008 and concentrate on writing up a storm.
I am so excited about this trip. I think I will be driving the complete circle of English coasts the way it is looking. I’m planning on two days in London, then a drive down to Cornwall, then all the way to the Scottish border – and then 2 days in Bath before we fly home. When my mother suggested we include Brighton, I started laughing a little hysterically.
So do you have any good ideas about places to see in London and the other places I’ve mentioned? I’ve done the usual in London – the parks, Apsley House, royal palaces, etc. Any other really great Regency places? And Derbyshire? I really want to tour the Peak District.
I think we should organize another English tour as soon as you have enough points!
In London, if you have never been to Sir John Soanes House in Lincoln Fields, then you MUST go there. It is incredible. And a MUST for Regency lovers. Don’t miss it. And make sure to pick up a copy of the book, The Soanes at Home, which is part of the museum shop and is the best book I’ve ever read on daily life in London.
And yes, a tour!
Yay, I just picked up The Kiss last night :D. I hope the both of you never leave Avon! I was adding the three books I bought last night to my tbr pile and it’s amazing how many Avon books I buy! It’s like a good 80% are Avon!
Umm, just thought I’d share…
Sophia, for more information on Bath, Cara King of the Risky Regencies is a fabulous resource! Diane Gaston has also been there.
Way in the south, are you interested in Salisbury? It’s jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and for me very emotional.
If you travel into Edinburgh, don’t forget the castle, please. OMG!! And a malt whiskey distillery. Then as you drive south, just across the border with England, a couple stops along Hadrian’s wall are fun. Then turn towards the coast to visit Bamburg the huge fortress there. Bamburg House is a manorial house in the village at the foot of the fortress and is now a bed-n-breakfast.
Do visit Alnwick castle and perhaps a walk out to Lindisfarne if the tide’s out.