The Highwayman’s Bride
by Jane Beckenham
Forced into a marriage . . .
Compelled by her uncle to marry a man who has a predilection for violence, Tess Stanhope resorts to a ploy from her favorite novels to fund an escape—highway robbery. But her attempt is botched by a maddening, handsome rogue named Aiden.
Driven by revenge . . .
Aiden Masters, the Earl of Charnley, is hell-bent on avenging his sister’s brutal treatment at the hands of the criminal Florian Nash. He single-mindedly seeks vengeance at the expense of all else—even by furtively roaming the highways at night.
Blackmailed for love . . .
At a London party Tess meets up with Aiden once again and blackmails him…marry her or she’ll divulge to society his clandestine life as a highwayman. She desires a marriage in name only—but the more time they spend fighting their desire, the closer they come giving in.
“Stand and deliver.” Those three words made it all real, and the fantasy dissolved. Loosening her hold on the reins, she wrapped her free hand over the one holding the pistol and tried to steady it.
“Do as he says,” called a decisive voice, the icy tone echoing from the veil of darkness.
“What!” Her gaze switched momentarily to the other side of the copse as a rider and horse drew up alongside her. He brandished a pistol towards the carriage. Shock and fear ran in rivulets down her spine. She wanted to flee. Hide. But it was too late, and there was no going back.
Tess swallowed back her fear. “Who are you? What are you doing here?”
“Steady your pistol lad, or you’ll be dead in seconds.”
Lad? Lad? He talked to her.
“Don’t you want to share your takings?”
“Exactly.” She flicked her pistol toward the carriage driver, making sure he understood she meant business. “Hurry up.”
“Don’t shoot, don’t shoot. We’re simple folk with no money,” came a cultured voice. The carriage door slammed back and splintered.
“Don’t make them like they used to,” remarked the man on the horse beside her.
Her mouth pursed. “Go away.”
“No.” The ragged cloth tied across his mouth and nose muffled his voice. “Unless you want to get yourself killed, that is. These roads can be dangerous.”
Tess eyed him, and even in the dim moonlight witnessed a surprising twinkle in his eyes. “So why are you here? Should you not be tucked up safe and sound in your bed?”
“You need me.”
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It is my pleasure to interview Jane Beckenham, author of The Highwayman’s Bride. Welcome to Room With Books, Jane!
Hello, Patricia. Thank you so much for having me as a guest today. Hopefully I can give you a little insight into my world.
First let me give you a little background on Jane.
Multi-published author Jane Beckenham lives in a tiny slice of paradise just north of Auckland, New Zealand. From her office she can watch the tuis and fantails flit about, along with families of pukeko and quails and a pair of lorikeets have taken up residence.
Along with the menagerie of bird life, are Jane’s husband of thirty years and two daughters, and her beloved dog, Bingo.
For the last ten years Jane has sat in her office every day, writing stories of hope and dreams that bring a smile to her face and hopefully her readers too. Romance, love and honor are the words in Jane’s tag line, and words she believes are the centre of all her romances.
Jane’s love of reading began as a child when she spent years in hospital. Those days inspired her dreams, which over the years have become a crucial part of her life. Dreaming of being able to walk again, then dreaming of her own happy after, and dreaming of becoming a mother, and subsequently adopting her daughters from Russia.
Come and dream a little while with Jane.
Tell me a little about your book and what inspired you to write it? The Highwayman’s Bride is a Regency period story (1813-14) when women really were required to marry who they’re told. But Tess is stubborn and independent and when forced to marry a man who is a known abuser, she runs away- taking to the road as a highway robber. But life on the road is not like the adventures she’s read in books. Tess is strong, adventurous and determined. I wanted a heroine who would do something she would never normally consider, but desperate enough.
When you start writing do you have the story outlined or do your characters dictate what will happen? Generally I have a pretty good idea, though not thoroughly fleshed out and I often get a few surprises. In THB suddenly there’s a little boy- which really added some huge dimensions to the story, and an intriguing twist for the hero’s sister. So writing is my adventure because I don’t always know what is going to happen.
Have you ever had arguments with your characters and who usually wins? Um…hmmm. They do, which is rather annoying, I’m who is the writer here, huh?
What is one thing about you your readers would be surprised to know? I live in New Zealand, I’ve had three artificial hips on one leg and a knee on the other – oops that two things, oh well, I’m a writer, words are my business and I don’t know when to shut up!
If you could write with any other author who would it be any why? Easy choice – I’ve got several I’d love to work with. Sandra Hill for her humor, Sophia James for her wonderful use with words in her Regencies and medieval, and I’ve just discovered Mary Jo Putney and love her books, and would love to work with her for her characterization.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? Oh I was going to be a queen, not a princess but the queen, because I probably wanted to be the boss!
When did you decide to write and what prompted you to start? About 13 years ago we got our first PC and I met a writer online and she encouraged me and I haven’t stopped since.
What music inspires your writing? Grim determination, stubbornness and refusing to give up no matter what life throws at me, actually I think sometimes I’m too scared to give up because I don’t want to get to 90 and say ‘if only…’
What is your favorite breakfast? A fruit smoothie or porridge and fruit with nuts
What is your favorite color? Blue
What is your favorite movie? Pretty Woman
What is your dream car? Well, that’s my hubby’s specialty he’s the car nut, but I think a ‘64 Mustang would be my fave.
Where can our readers find you?
Visit Jane’s web site www.janebeckenham.com
Thank you, Jane, for taking the time out of your busy tour schedule today to share a bit of your world and your writing with all of us at Room With Books.
Check out Jane’s other books
Jane will be awarding $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
I encourage all of our readers to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found by clicking on the banner below: