Silk & Scars
by Cassandra Dean
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For over a year, Miss Gwendolyn Parkes and the Duke of Sowrith have corresponded. At first an error, the letters quickly became something much more, a friendship forged on like minds and perhaps the hope of something more…
When Gwen is compelled by her employer to attend the duke at his Dartmoor estate, she is devastated to find her beloved friend cold and imperious, even if he is the most handsome man she’s ever seen – despite his scars.
Edward, Duke of Sowrith, has longed to meet Gwen. Arranging her passage to his estate, he is tongue-tied when confronted with her quiet beauty. All too aware of the twisted ruin of his face, he allows fear to hold him silent…until Gwen’s safety is threatened.
Finally together, they grow closer until it seems they can never again be apart – but can a commoner and a duke find a happily ever after?
“Why did you write me?”
The quiet words gave him a degree of control. “I beg your pardon?”
Her tongue darted out to wet the plump flesh of her lower lip. “Why did you write me? Why did you write those letters?”
Stifling a groan, he cursed himself. Control yourself, man. “You were the one who made the error.”
“Yes,” she said. “But you didn’t need to write back.”
No, he hadn’t. Her letter had clearly been an error, addressed to her friend and full of the easy conversation of long acquaintance. He never should have read it, but he couldn’t help himself. It had been so full of life, so happy and joyous, and he’d wanted to experience that. “Because I liked them. Your letters.”
“What did you like of them?” A smile lit her face, a soft thing that seemed directed more at herself than him. “It was Etta, correct? She and her antics?”
A smile tugged at his own mouth, and he allowed it some expression but not enough to pull his scar. “No, I liked you. That is, I like you.” Heat rose along his neck.
“Oh.” A similar blush stained her skin. “Well. I like you, too.”
He couldn’t stop his smile then.
She drew in her breath.
Immediately, he wiped the expression from his face. He knew how he appeared when he forgot himself.
“Why did you stop smiling?” Confusion filled her voice.
Staring at the floor, he said, “I apologize. I know it’s grotesque.”
“What is grotesque?”
He dug his hands into the chair. “When I smile.”
“No. Edward, no—”
“Of course it is,” he said, and not even her calling him by his Christian name again lightened him. “I am scarred, Gwen. You cannot claim not to have noticed.”
“No, I have, I only—You smiled and I thought….You are so handsome, and when you smile, you are even more—” She cut herself off. A furious blush lit her cheeks.
She thought him handsome? A low boil started within him, and he could not tear his gaze from her lips.
Today I’m very fortunate to be interviewing Cassandra Dean, author of SILK & SCARS.
Hi Cassandra, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Please, would you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Hi, I’m very happy to be here! I’m Cassandra Dean and I write historical romance ranging from sweet to steamy. I also play about in the eras, roaming from Ancient Rome to Victorian to the Old West and beyond. My books take readers on an emotional rollercoaster, from the lowest of lows to the joyous of highs. And, of course, my characters fall into the forever kind of love.
I’m here today to talk about SILK & SCARS, the third in my Silk Series. Through an error, Gwen and the Duke of Sowrith start a correspondence, forming a friendship they both treasure. When the duke orchestrates Gwen’s presence at his Dartmoor manor, will they find love?
Give us an insight into your main characters. What do they do that is so special?
It took me a long time to discover who Gwen and the duke, Edward, were, but I’m so glad I did! I really like them as people. Gwen is strong, capable and really sweet. Through her determination and refusal to accept the limitations of her era, she’s found employment in the industry she loves, becoming a scribe in a chamber of law.
To the outsider, Edward appears cold and aloof but his demeanour hides a shy, sensitive man, who enjoys Gothic novels and wandering the moors. His scars make it so he doesn’t venture far from his home, and so he welcomes the correspondence from Gwen.
Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere and anywhere! I’ll hear a song on the radio, or read a book, or watch a movie, and suddenly I’ll have an idea. The idea for SILK & SCARS came from Jane Eyre, Beauty and the Beast and the UK TV show Silk. All three percolated in my head to produce Gwen and Edward’s story.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
A little of both! I’ll start out with an outline, but if I meander away from it, I’m more than happy to see where it takes me!
What is the hardest thing about writing?
The actual writing. Gosh, it’s difficult. I see the story so clearly in my head, but getting it down on the page is a real struggle!
How do you relax?
I’ll pour myself a cup of tea, turn on the TV and settle in for some quality watching.
Which writers inspire you?
My biggest writing inspiration is Joss Whedon. When I’m stuck, I often ask myself, what would Joss do? More often than not, that’ll fix the problem.
My other big inspiration is my critique partner, Lucy Clark. She’s been instrumental in my writing career and I couldn’t have done it without her generosity and friendship.
What is your favorite quote?
“Never get involved in a land war in Asia.”
What is your favorite movie?
Aliens. I can quote so many lines from that movie.
What are you working on currently?
The fourth in the Silk series, SILK & SCHOLAR, featuring Gwen’s friend Etta and the irritating Christopher Hiddleson.
Any final words?
I hope you all enjoy SILK & SCARS and the Silk series. I welcome comments from my readers, so feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on my blog. Thank you for hosting me!
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
Cassandra Dean is a best-selling, multi-published author of historical and fantasy romance. Her latest novel, SLUMBER, is part of Decadent Publishing’s Beyond Fairytales and features Cassandra’s take on Sleeping Beauty. Her next novel, SILK & SCARS, is part of her popular Silk Series, featuring Victorian Era lawyers and their happily ever after.
Cassandra is proud to call South Australia her home, where she regularly cheers on her AFL football team and creates her next tale.
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Cassandra Dean will be awarding an ebook copy of either Silk & Scandal or Silk & Scorn, a signed Silk & Scars postcard and Silk & Scars magnet (International giveaway) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.
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