Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman
by Wareeze Woodson
Recently widowed Lady Laurel Laningham flees Landings to escape her untenable position. Alone now and at the mercy of her sister-in-law, she decides to nestle under her aunt’s wings for a spell. To add to her burdens, her young son’s new guardian, Lord Adron Gladrey, has announced his intentions to take complete charge of his ward. The killer is stalking her and a devious jewel thief is stealing the family jewels. Can she convince her son’s guardian she is not a dangerous lunatic and is perfectly capable of raising her son or will he always consider her untrustworthy as a mother to his ward? Will his stubborn blindness send her straight into the path of the murderer, or will he relent in time to save her from following her husband into the grave?
His voice floated down to her. “Are you or the child injured?”
“I think several scrapes and bruises at most.” Laurel trembled and brushed her bonnet out of her face. She heard his quick intake of breath.
“You’re positive? You must have taken quite a tumble when the coach overturned. Possibly you’re more injured than you know.”
“Only a little shaken.” She took a deep, calming breath then continued with more force. “I’m certain we’re both fine.”
He hesitated and exhaled deeply. “A damsel in distress then. Do you perhaps have a name?”
Authority rang in his voice. She clutched Jamie a little tighter and offered him a tremulous smile. “Laurel Jane Laningham. Thank you for coming to our rescue.” She shaded her eyes with one hand, waiting for him to return the introduction.
“Let’s get you out of there. Hand me the boy first.”
He reached down into the overturned coach and Laurel lifted Jamie above her head into the waiting arms of the stranger. Her rescuer leapt to the ground with her son. A chill of foreboding curled around her. He’d said the boy. An unknown man shouldn’t know the child was a male. With every one of her senses alert, she listened intently for the stranger to return. Saddle leather squeaked and the thunder of hooves struck the ground in retreat.
Laurel screamed, “Bring my son back. I’ll see you hanged for this, you blackguard. Come back here. Help. Driver, help me.”
I had the pleasure of speaking with Wareeze Woodson, author of Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman. During our conversation I noted some interesting answers to a few of my questions.
1. Tell me a little about Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman and what inspired you to write it?
Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman is a Regency romance of about 82,000 words or roughly 257 pages. It is an eBook at present, but will be in paperback at the end of Feb 2014.
I wanted a strong heroine, willing to do whatever was necessary to remain in her child’s life. I’ve seen too many young women today throw up their hands and walk away. When one’s mother lets one down, the self-worth of the child plummets to the lowest level. All children deserve better.
2. When you start writing a new novel, do you outline the story or do your characters dictate what will happen?
I loosely outline then I let the characters tell me where they want to go—if it’s in a direction I approve. I’m a mix of pantser and plotter. I started my first novel at the end and wrote to the front of the book.
3. Do you ever have arguments with your characters and, if you do, who usually wins?
If a character wants to do something, I let it flow onto the computer screen. If it works with the story, I use that scene. If not, I scrap it.
4. What is something about you your readers would be surprised to know?
Readers would be surprise at how much work goes into writing, unless they write as well as read. I’ve heard person after person say, I’ve always wanted to write, or I thought about writing a book. Some even attempt it, give it to a friend or relative and expect it to be the latest success story. Surely the publishing houses will fight to be allowed to publish my work. LOL
5. If you could write with any other author who would it be any why?
There are so many I admire I cannot choose only one. I would like to learn from Elizabeth Thornton, but, alas, she has gone on to meet her maker. She had the perfect amount of romance mixed with intrigue, mystery and action.
6. When you were little what did you dream of becoming when you grew up and why?
First I want to become a nurse because my mother was a nurse. In high-school, I drifted toward becoming a teacher. I had an aptitude for it as well. Instead, I married my high-school sweetheart and raised 4 children. I don’t regret that in any way.
7. When did you decide to write and what prompted you to start?
I didn’t decide to write. I loved to read, anything and everything. One day, long ago, I started typing a story. It was a horror, single spaced, 10 font with slim margins and a typewriter eraser to correct mistakes. I didn’t even have white out. I had the nerve and ignorance to actually send it to a publisher. Today, that fact makes me cringe. As I say, everyone thinks publishers will fight to publish their books.
8. What music inspires your writing?
Beethoven, Bach or most any classical music are inspirational to me. I like piano music the best, but usually, I listen to the the theme music coming from the next room where my husband and the remote control are curled up by the fireplace. Remember, I married my high-school sweetheart!
What is your favorite breakfast?
Scrambled egg, turkey sausage and toast are among my favorites for breakfast. A small glass of milk to wash it down adds enjoyment to the meal. Sometimes I like to eat breakfast as the last meal of the day instead of the first, similar to starting at the end scene of a story and writing forward.
What is your favorite color?
Burgundy, wine red, deep maroon and shades thereof are my favorite colors. I suppose it could be considered the pink side of purple.
What is your favorite movie?
I haven’t been to a movie in so long I don’t even know what’s out there. I took my grandson to see a kid movie. I don’t remember the name.
Now, ask me about my favorite tv program and I’ll say NCIS with all of that eye candy. I also like Criminal Minds. I suppose that is why I like suspense, mystery and intrigue.
What is your dream car (details please)?
How very disappointing for the reader. I love my car because it has 4 tires that I haven’t had to change myself, a radio that works and the heater heats after the few miles it takes to warm up. The AC works as well. Those are the most important aspects of a vehicle for me. I rarely know what kind of car I drive. I can tell you the color (Dark Blue) with a gray interior, but I like the maroon ones better.
Where may our readers look on the World Wide Web to find you?
Purchase Link for Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman:
I am a native Texan and still live in the Houston area. I married my high school sweetheart, and after raising 4 children, they blessed up with 8 grandchildren. AND after all these years, we still love each other. True romance is happy ever after.
Wareeze will be awarding one eBook to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and one $50 GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
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