The Books of Love: Forgotten Fragrance by Téa Cooper

forgotten fragranceReviewed by Paula McGrath

The blurb…

Only one woman can confirm his innocence, and release him from the torments of his past.

Determined to throw off the shackles of her convict past, Charlotte Oliver accepts her employer’s marriage proposal, even though she does not love him, and together they board a refitted whaling schooner bound for Sydney to begin their new life.

But life has a way of disrupting plans, and during the voyage the Zephyrus undergoes a mutiny. Captain Christian Charity loses his ship, but he also risks losing so much more. Charlotte has in her possession a tiny blue bottle and an Angel coin. On their own, they mean nothing more than a keepsake, but to Christian, they could mean everything – a past remade and a future with love.

The review…

I wasn’t sure what to expect when starting this book. I haven’t read any historical romances set in Australia, and now I’m beginning to think I’ve missed out. Our heroine, Charlotte, is finishing the last of her convict sentence by serving her soon-to-be-husband Marcus as a housekeeper. It seems all is innocent and although she doesn’t love her fiancé, she admires him and is resigned to marrying him, as her one true love, Jamie, has been lost at sea.

When they board the Zephyrus, bound for Sydney, she soon learns another side to Marcus, and we meet Captain Christian Charity. Yes, his name is Christian Charity. At first I thought it was a joke, but all is explained. The author has obviously put a lot of work into the research for this book, and it shows with seamless world-building. I learned more about what a keelhauling involves than I wanted but it is something that I’ve read about for many years without really knowing what it was. Now I do. I also learned that a female convict could marry and thus rid herself of her sentence. I didn’t know they could do that.

Aside from educating me, this book did have a lovely romance. Although there is no sex in this book I wouldn’t call it a sweet romance, as there are several darker moments: the aforementioned keelhauling, as well as a near-rape and some almost slavery. I would have liked Charlotte to be a little more proactive, but I suppose she did what she could do as a lady of her time. I can’t fault the author for trying to stay authentic.

Aside from the silly title, I enjoyed this book, and will be checking out more of this author’s work. I recommend this for lovers of historical romances, just plain historicals and for lovers of Australian history as well.

Buy Forgotten Fragrance by Téa Cooper


About Paula McGrath

Paula is currently studying her last semester of her Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing.  It is her dream to publish a steamy romance novel, or perhaps the next great fantasy novel, or perhaps become the next Stephanie Meyers (although she would never write about sparkly vampires – that’s just silly).  Her first dream however is to just finish a first draft.

In the meantime she likes to read steamy romances and great fantasy novels, and you can find some of her reviews at The Apathetic Reviewer and on Goodreads.


The Books of Love are romance book reviews of both new releases and old favourites.

Quintette of Questions: Keziah Hill

Quintette asks writers five quick questions. This week’s interview is with:

Keziah Hill

SLAH_Christa_Final1.     What’s the name of your latest story – and how hard was it to pick a title?

Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives – Christa. This is part of a continuity series for Escape Publishing so all I had to do was pick the character’s name. So easy!

2.     If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest story?

This is hard! I generally don’t have images of real people in my head when I think them up, but if really pushed I think Christa would be a Cleopatra type, dark and exotic; Marc would be a Clive Owens type, a bit twisted but sexy with it and Elizabeth would be an Ice Queen who rapidly melts.

3.     What five words best describe your story?

Unexpected, opulent, sexy, touching, fantasy

4.     Who is your favourite fictional couple?

These questions are really hard. Mmm…. Probably Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey. It’s hard to go past a brainy couple who spend a lot of time together resisting each other.

5.     What song always makes you cry?

Patty Griffin’s Burgundy Shoes. Always reminds me of my dearly departed mother.

About Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives

In business, as in pleasure, Christa has two rules: ask for what you want, and be prepared to get a bit creative. She and her husband, Marc, are infamous for their charitable soirees and the obscene amount of money that they raise for good causes around the world.

The secret to their success has always been well-kept, but one chance encounter with Christa is going to lead one lucky CEO to find out just how this unorthodox pair make friends and influence people.

About Keziah Hill

debshotKeziah Hill lives in the Blue Mountains of NSW, writes erotica and erotica romance and under the name DB Tait, romantic suspense.

Buy Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives – Christa

Would you like to answer a Quintette interview? Email me at nmharrisheart@gmail.com!

Quintette of Questions: Susanne Bellamy (2)

Quintette asks writers five quick questions. This week’s interview is once more with:

Susanne Bellamy

0115 -Emerald Quest1.     What’s the name of your latest story – and how hard was it to pick a title?

Winning the Heiress’ Heart (Book 3 in The Emerald Quest). This one was really hard! The other authors in the series all had certain types of male characters that worked in their titles (pirate, soldier, bodyguard) but mine didn’t. Hero, Luc, is a planter/plantation owner. Eventually, I realized mine was actually about the ‘heiress’ who crashed into Luc’s world and voila! – my title was born!

2.     If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest story?

LOL! My Pinterest board for this book is revealing! Taylor Kitsch and Drew Barrymore, although I found a gorgeous pic of Audrey Hepburn that tempted me! And Eva’s nephew, Seb, would be a young James Dean!

3.     What five words best describe your story?

Sensuous, dangerous, with-nods-to-great Hollywood moments!

4.     Who is your favourite fictional couple?

Sandra Bullock and: Ryan Reynolds (The Proposal), or Keanu Reeves (The Lake House)

5.     What song always makes you cry?

Etta James’ At Last – for me, this is where I want all my Happily Ever Afters to reach.

About Winning the Heiress’ Heart

Eva Abbott sells her inheritance in England, Bellerose Manor, to provide for the care of her nephew. She buys a pineapple plantation in Hawaii but discovers her neighbour, Luc Martineau, will do anything to take it from her.

When Eva discovers a diary, which may solve their financial problems, villains follow her to Hawaii and attempt to force her to reveal the whereabouts of the heirloom emerald necklace.

Is Luc an ally or an enemy? Is he after Eva or her land?

About Susanne Bellamy

2011 - headshots2Susanne is an Australian author of contemporary and suspense romances set in exciting and often exotic locations, and several novellas. She is published with Escape Publishing, Emerald Romance, and will have her first release with Entangled Publishing in 2015.

Buy Winning the Heiress’ Heart

More!

Read Susanne’s previous Quintette.

Would you like to answer a Quintette interview? Email me at nmharrisheart@gmail.com!

New Year, New Things!

Image from http://www.123rf.comHello everyone,

After a long break due to my non-online life getting waaaay too full, I’ve straightened my collar, polished my glasses and am getting ready to blog my way through 2015!

To that end, I want to expand what I’m doing here on Adventurous Hearts. Still, I need to acknowledge that I am a lone woman, working for a living, running three blogs and writing novels and short stories to boot. That means I need to cast a net and look for people who would like to join me in the crazy.

I would love to find one or two people two review romance/erotica books and shorts for this blog. Reviews would include queermance as well as het. You might have to begin with reviewing books you already have, though I’m trying to organise to get review copies from a few publishers at the moment.

If you’d like to be a regular contributor (at least once a month, though more often if you’re keen) please email me at nmharrisheart@gmail.com with a few words about yourself and why you’d like to take it on!

Quintette of Questions: Chris Quinton

Quintette asks writers five quick questions. This week’s interview is with:

Chris Quinton

UndercoverBlues183x3001.     What’s the name of your latest story – and how hard was it to pick a title?

It’s Undercover Blues, and it very kindly presented itself. Given the two leads were going undercover as pianist and singer with a nightclub dance band, it said everything I needed for the story.

2.     If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest story?

Oooh, that’s a tricky one. Hmm, I think a young Errol Flynn for Robert Darnley, and a young Jim Morrison [of Doors fame] for Tom Langley – with a hair restyle, of course…

3.     What five words best describe your story?

Undercover pretence becomes dangerous reality.

4.     Who is your favourite fictional couple?

Another difficult choice! Probably Francis Crawford and Phillipa, from Dorothy Dunnett’s amazing historical series, The Lymond Chronicles, but I could list at least half a dozen more!

5.     What song always makes you cry?

 Memory, sung by Elaine Paige from the musical Cats. Don’t know why, but it always chokes me up.

About Undercover Blues

London 1935: industrial espionage, blackmail, and two Home Office agents masquerading as lovers in a dance band. What could possibly go wrong?

About Chris Quinton

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREChris reads and writes across most genres, usually in the male/male field. She refuses to be pigeon-holed and intends to uphold the honourable tradition of the Eccentric Brit to the best of her ability. In the past she’s been a part-time and unpaid amateur archaeologist and a fifteenth century re-enactor.

Buy Undercover Blues

Would you like to answer a Quintette interview? Email me at nmharrisheart@gmail.com!

Interview with AusRomToday

Today’s interview is with J’aimee Brooker, publisher of the AusRomToday website. The site celebrates the Australian romance literature industry and community, representing all romance sub-genres and stories of all lengths and showcasing Australian romance writing to the world.

AusRomToday

AusRomToday badgeWhat, if anything, do you think makes Australian romance writing distinctively Australian?

I think Aussies are instinctive storytellers, whether that’s a yarn around a campfire, the story that gets progressively bigger and better with each recounting at the local pub, or in the form of the written word.

Aussies have a profound way of massaging a story to suit a particular audience, of embellishing just enough to make it interesting, and to carry it all off in a not-taking-myself-too-seriously manner. That attitude and demeanour absolutely transcends to the reader.

Romance of all kinds, including queermance and erotica, seems to be going through a bit of a boom lately. Is that your perception? And if so – why do you think it’s happening?

I do think that romance is experiencing a spike in popularity of late, however I do believe that romance has always held its own in that regard. There are many factors that contribute to this latest resurgence though and many pertain to the changing ways in which we now read.

E-publishing has been a catalyst for many changes, both for the industry at large and for readers. Price, convenience, instant gratification, and buyer anonymity form significant advantages for readers and these factors are not exclusive to reading; these are aspects of buying trends that apply to almost all industries. That the publishing industry is now able to present these benefits to their consumers (readers) is a progressive step forward.

E-publishing aside, there is also a shift happening that can be attributed to authors like EL James who have in their own way released works that have shed some of the stigma or taboo attached to reading erotica. I recall at the height of Fifty Shades of Grey madness, hearing about the book every single time I turned on the radio, TV, social media etc… It was everywhere! One radio host on a local Gold Coast station even went as far as to have his elderly grandmother read it on-air! That kind of stripped away the taboo of reading the book and even though there was a lot of parody/satire (and criticism) surrounding the book, the attention made the book very mainstream and in doing so made it somewhat ‘acceptable’ to read the book. There are many readers whom I’ve talked to who’ve said that after reading FSOG they became avid devourers of erotica and romance. There’s something in that, I think.

There are so many other factors, however, I’d need thousands of words clearance to get them all out! Instead, I like to think this is the new normal for romance and it will only continue to grow.

What are the most interesting developments you’ve seen in romance writing in the last few years? (In terms of themes, or styles or whatever.)

I think we’re seeing more diversity in characterisation and plot development. No longer is the heroine a shrinking violet in need of rescuing, she is instead the CEO of a multi-national company, a housewife with spunk, or a spanking hot dominatrix. And, readers love that!

Interestingly, Sandra Antonelli is a genius when it comes to smashing through heroine stereotypes, specifically with her focus on an older-woman central character with all the gusto of the average woman of that age bracket. No longer is the older woman simply a secondary character, she’s the lead and she plays it with passion! Kudos to Kate Cuthbert at Escape Publishing for giving this new trend its start.

We’re also seeing more ‘plus-size’ central characters and fundamentally I believe this is a positive thing in terms of diversity. If we could get to a point where a woman’s (fiction and in real life) body wasn’t part of her characterisation I think we’d truly show progress as a society. I don’t believe that will happen any time soon though, so I do think the inroads that authors specialising in plus-size characters are making are important and vital to societal conversation.

What are the big AusRom Today events coming up in the next 12 months?

We have a massive twelve months planned which actually kicked off just last month (October) with a revamp of the website. The site is now more interactive and far more visually pleasing.

Content-wise, we now theme the site monthly and have introduced monthly features such as My Ten Must-Haves, Small Talk, Cover Lover and a special spotlight feature (last month was Monica McInerney, this month is Leah Ashton).

2015 will see bigger competitions and giveaways, greater opportunities to interact with AusRomToday, and more promotion of Aussie authors to readers worldwide.

If you were trying to convert someone to a love of romance novels, what three works/writers would you recommend?

Though not Australian, I must mention the great Sidney Sheldon who solidified my love of reading. They didn’t call him the master storyteller for no reason; the man could seamlessly weave adventure, travel, suspense, drama, politics, and romance like no other before or since.

Another hot pick for me is independent Australian author, Rachel Amphlett. Her writing is superb. Detail-rich, captivating, and with viable and flawless plot development. Her characterisation is always spot-on. I always recommend Amphlett.

Lexxie Couper and Sami Lee also are notable mentions; these ladies create solid storylines and smoking hot romance and erotic-romance each and every time. It’s always fab to read a book that comes with a warning, and Couper’s and Lee’s always do!

About J’aimee Brooker

headshot_jaimeeJ’aimee Brooker publishes the hot new website, AusRomToday.com which celebrates the Australian Romance literature community which aims to draw attention to the achievements and acclaim of Australian writers. The key goal is to showcase the published Australian romance industry to readers worldwide. Readers, writers, and spectators are all welcome!

Would you like to be interviewed or to write a guest post for Adventurous Hearts about writing and romance? Email me at nmharrisheart@gmail.com!

Quintettte of Questions: Julie Bozza (2)

Quintette asks writers five quick questions. This week’s return interview is with Julie Bozza!

Julie Bozza

The 1000 Smiles - 400px1.   What’s the name of your latest story – and how hard was it to pick a title?

The title is The Thousand Smiles of Nicholas Goring, and it’s the third book in the Butterfly Hunter trilogy. This title was quite easy, as it draws on the musings of the main character Dave Taylor in the first book of the trilogy. All his life, Dave has assumed he’s straight, but noticing Nicholas’s attractive mouth and infinite range of smiles is Dave’s first clue that maybe there’s more to life after all.

2.     If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest story?

I asked Nicholas himself about this one. He answered that to play him, we’d need to find an actor with the beauty of Rupert Brooke, the wit of Oscar Wilde, and the chutzpah of Robert Downey Jr. I told him he was a bit on himself. He sniffed, and then remarked that he thought Simon Baker might do an adequate job with the role of David.

3.     What five words best describe your story?

Love. Life. Diversity. Dreaming. Australia.

4.     Who is your favourite fictional couple?

This time I’m going to nominate Maurice and Alec in EM Forster’s novel Maurice. Poor Maurice works his way through all kinds of muddle, and suffers Clive’s betrayal, but at the last he and Alec finally manage to connect in what feels like a very solid way. The heart and the head, the body and the soul are at last reconciled, and I have no fears for their future together… despite the fact that they must become social outcasts. The idea of them running away to the greenwood to be together is both horrible and utterly marvellous.

5.     What song always makes you cry?

I asked Nicholas for his input again, and he said that before he met David, How Soon is Now? by The Smiths always made him hopelessly maudlin. These days his life’s soundtrack is more like Just Can’t Get Enough by Depeche Mode – and he doesn’t cry at all.


About The Thousand Smiles of Nicholas Goring

Dave and Nicholas, married for seven years now, are happily settled together – but as an Australian prime minister once observed, “Life wasn’t meant to be easy.” An unexpected threat to their beloved waterhole forces Dave to try asserting unofficial custodianship of the Dreamtime site, and a visit from Nicholas’s nephew Robin doesn’t help as he brings his own surprises. And there’s always the question of Nicholas’s health hanging over their heads …

About Julie Bozza

Julie BozzaJulie Bozza is an English-Australian hybrid who is fuelled by espresso, calmed by knitting, unreasonably excited by photography, and madly in love with Colin Morgan and John Keats.

Buy The Thousand Smiles of Nicholas Goring

Read Julie’s last quintette, about A Threefold Cord

Would you like to answer a Quintette interview? Email me at nmharrisheart@gmail.com!

Quintette of Questions: Pelaam (2)

Quintette asks writers five quick questions. This week’s return guest interview is with:

Pelaam

HauntedbythePast_267x4001.     What’s the name of your latest book – and how hard was it to pick a title?

Haunted by the Past with Breathless Press. This was a fairly difficult title to decide on. But I think it was worth the effort in choosing it.

2.     If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?

Alexander Skarsgård would make an excellent Jared. A long haired John Mayer would be a good match for Evander

3.     What five words best describe your story?

Romantic, haunting, mystery, love, secrets.

4.     Who is your favourite fictional couple?

I really like Aragorn and Legolas.

5.     What song always makes you cry?

Way too many of these, and I always avoid  listening to them. Better Midler’s Wind Beneath my Wings always brings to mind the chick flick that made me cry, but also spending the evening with my best friend.

About Haunted by the Past

Jared didn’t believe in ghosts or love, until he moved into his new house and found both.

About Pelaam

PelaamLiving in clean, green New Zealand, Pelaam is a multi-published author of gay romance and erotica across time and space. When not writing, she can be found indulging in her other passions of cookery and wine appreciation.

Buy Haunted by the Past

Read Pelaam’s last Quintette

Would you like to answer a Quintette interview? Email me at nmharrisheart@gmail.com!

Guest Post: Lea Darragh – the Music Muse

Today, Lea Darragh writes about writing and music:

The Music Muse

lea darraghRelax your shoulders and stretch your neck. Settle in and feel the smoothness of an angel’s voice, romancing you into believing that the ballad is about you. It’s easily done. Just close your eyes for a moment and transport yourself into your perfect world. It is about you, every single beautiful word. Only you. Now open your eyes. Poise your fingers over the keyboard. You’re ready to blow your mind.

I begin writing this piece as Ed Sheeren’s latest album beats like a heart in the background. Pressing play on my iPod is the very first step in my writing process. Next comes the opening of the laptop. Nothing seems to flow, nothing seems to spill from my thoughts and onto the page as well or as heartfelt as when I have a beat, a strum, a melodic ballad coaxing what I feel into words.

Does this make me feel less of a writer, not being able to summon my own inspiration? Immediately I think, yes, of course it does, it must, right?

But then I rethink. I have to, because my next thought after that, after the self-doubt falls away and my first words of the session easily flow, I know that they are mine and no one else’s. An interpretation of how I feel about love, betrayal, friendship, hope, whatever it is that the scene I’m working on entails. They may have been coaxed out of me by another, but they are still mine, and they are beautiful…

‘I’m used, Romeo. I’m not a gift, or a queen or something to treasure. I’m a used up old pair of gumboots. I once had a purpose, but the purpose has ruined me. I’m not remarkable. I’m not worthy of goodness. I’ve nothing remotely beautiful to give you.’

He kissed above my heart. ‘Except this. I want every beat to be for me.’

‘I’m afraid.’

He lifted his face to mine and smiled then, unperturbed by my self-loathing. An uplifting, adorable smile. ‘All of that warning, and yet I’m still deeply love with you, Willow.’

…and no one is as surprised by this as I am.

Do you want to know my honest opinion about what it takes for me to write a book?

I’ve read that a real writer does not need inspiration, and that they just have the intense want to write, no matter what. But I don’t entirely agree.

What a phenomenon it would be to be able to create an entire world without having the need to look outside of ourselves to find it. Instead of hitting my head against a brick wall when the words refuse to flow, I don’t drop my head in my hands because I have failed miserably. I seek help like a sensible person.

In a perfect world, writer’s block would never exist, but it does, and I refuse to sit and force words that I will delete anyway. I’m a use-my-time-wisely kind of a writer. Inspiration factors highly, for me. Pinterest is a bottomless abyss of motivation. I probably spend as much time researching as I do writing! Advice from other authors is priceless. They keep a wayward writer honest and centred. Reader reviews, even the shockingly harsh ones that sting like a mother, push awriter. They should never deter. They should never encourage complaisance. Perhaps we shouldn’t even read them.

For me, to be a writer – and it’s taken years to even have the guts label myself one – means that I can create an entire world for people who did not exist up until the very moment I outlined their story, named them, gave them family, friends, found them a lover and encouraged them to fall helplessly in love. I have the power to make and break people. Experience a violent slap or a heart-stopping kiss. I can make them say words or admit things that I never would. The right song helps me to tweak a scene, a quote, or even a tiny movement like a wink or a shrug that is monumental to the entire feel and flow of the story.

So for me to write a story to the very end, I guess, just like reading a book, it requires me to escape into it. Like a movie with a brilliant soundtrack, I can immerse myself into fiction.

Like listening to music, writing gives me the freedom to simply create without boundaries. My mind open and my heart light, ready to connect with my characters. Music has an effortless way of making me forget where I am for a while.

I wish I could say that I’m one of those phenomenons that write because it comes one hundred percent from my own imagery, my own impression of the world, and my own motivation, and some does, but mostly I’m just not. I’d rather tell people if they want to write: don’t think little of your ability because you listened to a conversation on the bus then decided to adapt it into your book, or if you smelt something delicious that sparked an intimate dinner scene.Or for me, hearing that perfect line or deep drum beat.

Just feel it, let the world in, and then you can let your world out.

Excerpt from More of You

‘It’s all a sham, you know?’ I told him as I dug my bare feet into the soft sand.

‘What?’

‘Well look at this.’ I nodded toward the stunning, grand ocean at our feet. ‘It tricks into believing that the world is notcapable of creating ugliness. But there needs to be an equal reaction to life, to happiness, to the future. Something needs to be lost in order to give.’

‘Do you honestly believe that?’ he said. His tone was level. Neither challenging nor dismissive. Just genuinely intrigued.

I shrugged. ‘It’s the truth.’

‘By that reasoning, surely when something is taken, something needs to be given back,’ he said.

‘You don’t agree with me,’ I said when I’d detected a hint of dubious inflection in his tone.

He smiled apologetically. ‘I don’t. Ethan died because someone ran a red light. Not for any other reason. My parents died because no one has found a cure for cancer or heart disease. The problem is that we try to rationalise death, when really there are no answers. It’s a reality that people make mistakes. Our bodies a not built to last.’

I let that sit with me as I watched the ocean. I knew this.

‘The thing is, I really do want to move on, but I don’t ever want to forget Ethan.’

‘I know. It does get easier.’

My hangover was taking its toll. My broken heart was heavy in my chest. Tears slipped down my face. ‘I’m just so exhausted.’

‘It’s difficult to stop that ache, that burn of anger in your diaphragm. The sleepless nights as we agonise over everything that we could have done differently.’

I wiped my cheeks, watching him for a moment. ‘Was it sudden, when your parents died?’

‘Cancer took mum in a matter of months. Less than a year later, my dad turned the kettle on to make a cuppa and just collapsed, dead. No warning. Here one minute, gone the next.’

‘As a doctor that must have been very difficult.’

He laughed once without humour. ‘Guilt is one of the most debilitating emotions that a person can suffer from.’

‘Agreed.’

We watched the surf roll along the sand, like watery fingertips reaching for the earth, grasping to be at one with it but hopelessly letting go. Didn’t stop it from throwing itself forward again.

More about Lea Darragh

Almost MineI am a married mother of three who has lived in the Gippsland area my entire life, blessed with family and friends who, during a cold and stormy night, introduced me to the breathtaking world of fiction. I began to write…and I haven’t looked back.

Would you like to write a guest post for Adventurous Hearts about writing and romance? Email me at nmharrisheart@gmail.com!

 

Quintette of Questions: Charlie Cochraine

Quintette asks writers five quick questions. This week’s interview is with:

Charlie Cochrane

BestCorpseForTheJob_1800x2700HiRes1.     What’s the name of your latest book – and how hard was it to pick a title?

The Best Corpse for the Job.  For a long time, when this work was in progress, it was simply called “Contemporary mystery”. When it needed a proper title, the first one I came up with stayed with it. This is pretty unusual, because I’m pretty rubbish at devising titles and often have to brainstorm with my editors to come up with anything like a decent effort!

2.     If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?

A young Michael Kitchen as Robin and Jonny Wilkinson (yes, I know he’s not an actor, I’m cheating) as Adam. They both have to suggest a certain vulnerability and hidden depths, so those guys would be spot on. I’d rather like to see Tom Hiddlestone as Adam ,too – but then I’d pay to see Tom Hiddlestone read the phone directory.

3.     What five words best describe your story?

Midsomer murders meets Oscar Wilde.

4.     Who is your favourite fictional couple?

Oh, that’s so hard to choose. I do love Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. And Inspector Alleyn and Agatha Troy. But I suppose I have to choose Laurie Odell and Andrew Raynes from The Charioteer. They don’t have a happy ever after – not on the page, anyway, they do in my mind “after the credits”. But they’re so sweet together, picking their way through a tentative relationship that’s always been love on Laurie’s side.  Beautifully bittersweet.

5.     What song always makes you cry?

There is a certain song which makes me cry and has done so from childhood. I shan’t mention it because just thinking of it gets me sniffly. Instead, I’ll go for Vaughn Williams’s Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis which always brings a tear to my eye, partly because of its use in Master and Commander for the scene where they’re sewing up the dead in their hammocks. Excuse me while I fetch a hankie.

About The Best Corpse for the Job:

Tea and sympathy have never been so deadly.

Schoolteacher Adam Matthews just wants to select a new headteacher and go home. The governors at Lindenshaw St Crispin’s have already tried once to find the right candidate and failed miserably, so it’s make or break this second time round. But when one of the candidates is found strangled in the school, what should have been a straightforward decision becomes as tempestuous as a flash flood in their small English village.

Inspector Robin Bright isn’t thrilled to be back at St. Crispin’s. Memories of his days there are foul enough without tossing in a complicated murder case. And with that handsome young teacher always catching his eye, he has to jot don’t fraternise with a witness in his notebook. It’s not long before Robin is relying on Adam for more than just his testimony.

About Charlie:

Charlie Cochrane author picAs Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes. Her favourite genre is gay fiction, predominantly historical romances/mysteries, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR, Riptide and Lethe.

Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.

Buy The Best Corpse for the Job (Due out as an e-book 24 November)

Would you like to answer a Quintette interview? Email me at nmharrisheart@gmail.com!