Hello Readers and Writers: My story ONCE UPON A DUKE, has been ruminating since 2007. It is soon to be published by The Wild Rose Press in summer 2015. I am in love with the Regency period. To me, it is a Classic Romantic Elegant era with dashing Alpha heroes and strong, fiery, smart women, and clothing to die for.
England 1817, Geoffrey Austen, Duke of Sutton--a handsome rake with
raven black hair and piercing grotto blue eyes is betrayed by a false
fiancé and is suspect of all women. He is an Alpha male, age
thirty-four, tall, has a scar on his face and a tortured soul. He
resolves never to marry for any reason. He does not expect his heart
will become captive and his world turned upside down by the lovely
He meets the beautiful widow Lady Serena, an artist, who
holds a sad secret, and has learned what a man can do in malice. She
hides what she considers her inadequacies by flirting with Lord
Geoffrey, daring him to fall in love with her. She doesn't expect the
rake to accept her challenge nor for his kisses to make her eager to
face his fears.
Sandra Masters, Author
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS from the author to Lord Geoffrey:
Interviewer: What is your main fear, my lord Duke?
Getting leg shackled by a woman. I fear commitment and what love can do
to a man. My interaction with Lady Serena started out as just another
notch on my bedpost, but somehow it grew into something profound when
she kissed my scar with tenderness and genuine concern. Even as I now
speak, I can feel her nurturing lips. Later, quite by accident, I
discovered Serena's story. My heart melted and I found a need to show
her the gentleness of a man with a woman who share a real relationship.
In a caring gesture, I gifted her a puppy, who she named Adonis, after
me and the mythical God of Love.
Interviewer: What is the main conflict?
Serena wants a commitment of marriage. As a child, I did not see any
love from my mother to my father. He adored her and she dismissed him. I
have offered the position of mistress. She refused. I left without
saying Goodbye. It was not a manly thing to do.
Interviewer: What has messed up your life?
When I arrived in sooty air defiled London, I found everything a bore.
My thoughts were consumed with Serena whom I left behind. I did return
and visited her surreptitiously one night at the lakeside manor and it
was...comfortable. Her maid prepared a warm meal for me. Adonis, the pup
I gave her, wagged his tail merrily and tried to bite my shoe as usual.
Serena said, "WE missed you." I wondered how along the way I had
acquired a family: woman, a maid and a puppy. Our lovemaking was
unbelievable and this time I woke Sleepy Head up before I left.
Interviewer: If everything was so good, why didn't you propose?
I thought I had time to consider everything. Ours was a tempestuous
relationship. Truthfully, I was frightened of what love could do. When I
returned to London, all I could do was to think of her. The concept of a
future serious relationship started to intrigue me. I returned to visit
her the next week, but she was gone. I met with her brother and he
informed me she was engaged to another man and she only toyed with me to
make him jealous enough to propose marriage. He did. She accepted. Her
brother approved. They were to be married in three weeks. Her brother also
informed me she ordered the puppy drowned and my portrait burned because
it only reminded her of her foolishness with me.
Interviewer: How did you react?
You can imagine hos outraged I was. I did not care about the portrait
she burned, but to order Adonis killed--how could I have misjudged her? I
drank myself into a stupor with a good friend and while I tried to find
any woman who might east the pain of her loss, they all were found
Interviewer: Then what happened?
Answer: And just
when I thought there was no other choice than to forget her, all she
said, all she did and all she represented to me, visitors came to my
London townhouse. It was Serena's maid and the groomsmen who returned
the puppy to me unharmed. Her maid handed me a personal letter written
hastily by her mistress. Serena advised she was held prisoner in an
armed fortress and that the marriage was forced upon her, without her
knowledge or consent. She reaffirmed her love for me and indicated she
would throw herself from a parapet into the ocean rather than marry the
monster of a man to whom she was betrothed.
Interviewer: Were you now convinced of her love for you?
Yes. When I was shown a sketch she had drawn of the three of us, as a
family--Serena, myself and the pup, that her brother lied to me--about
everything. To add o this, the maid brought the portrait she had painted
of me, the one that was purportedly burned, that I knew her brother was
guilty of lies for his own selfish purposes.
ended with the words that she would love me forever, in this world or
the next. What else could I do but reply that the maid should return to
her mistress and tell her that I loved her with all my heart, and that
she would either attend our wedding--or my funeral.
I leave you to draw your conclusion how my author charted the ending of the novel.
Interviewer: Is there a working title to this novel."
Yes, it is ONCE UPON A DUKE, (That's me,) by Sandra Masters. She's the
author and my friend. You can visit her website where there is an
excerpt at sandramastersauthor.com and you are invited to leave a
comment on the Guest page.
The Author: Your Grace, I have created you out of the figment of my imagination. Did I do you justice?
It is a difficult question and I can only say that you and I have been
in each other's heart and soul for a long time. I've enjoyed the fantasy
trips we have taken as I created the love scenes with Serena. I do
believe readers should enjoy our fairy tale romance. After all, you
showed me what love can do to redeem a man.
COMMENT FROM THE AUTHOR:
Interviewer: When do you think the book will be published, Madame Masters?"
The Wild Rose Press has contracted with me to publish this magnificent
story. While release dates are not etched in stone, it does appear it
will be published in summer of 2015.l Lord Geoffrey has waited a long
time to connect with readers.
Update: Once Upon a Duke is available for Pre-Order now on Amazon.com, KoboBooks.com, Itunes, Nook.com, AllRomanceEbooks.com and Bookstrand.com. Available everywhere on July 24th!