Hello Writers and Readers:
I’ve been blogging about inspiration pieces, and a number of years back, I came across the framed prints below in a catalog and was intrigued. I cut them out and pasted them on index stock and it occurred to me that I wanted to target my plot based on these images.
The Lady and the Telescope called to me. She was obviously searching for someone or something on the horizon. I loved her clothing and adapted it somewhat for a description in my Regency novel MY DIVINELY DECADENT DUKE writing as Sandra Masters.
Long blonde hair, blue eyes, an attractive woman, and the ocean, what a picture it represented. Was she looking at a ship in the distance? Was she searching for something? Or was she waiting for Neptune, the ocean god to come to claim her and fulfill her dreams? She had been to a gypsy fortune teller who advised her that a handsome prince would soon come to her, but nothing happened….until she turned from the telescope and walking toward her was the Duke of Althorn, whom she had met briefly when they’d attended a ball. On that awful night, her fiancé had broken his engagement to her. They were to be married in ten days. Her reputation would be ruined.
Who came to her rescue? Of course, the Duke of Althorn, an acknowledged rake, who overheard the dastardly conversation while reclining in a high wing back chair in a drawing room, seemingly out of sight. Her fiancé, the blighter, left the room. The Duke made his presence known, and we have the introduction of two people who will have a whirlwind relationship fraught with romance, passion, intrigue, deception and redemption. We also have the start of my second novel for The White Rose Press.
The picture of the children spoke to me—a pretty blonde haired child in a pinafore and a tow- headed young boy in a suit and I imagined them a little bit older. The girl was eight and the legal ward of her brother, the Earl, but it was Cassandra to whom she belonged. The daughter of a best friend who died in childbirth who begged the young eighteen year old schoolmate to raise her child. How could Cassandra refuse? The little boy was the son of her brother’s late wife, four years old, and a threat to the Earl’s new wife who despised Cassandra and the children.
And therein lies the conflict for Cassandra, who now finds herself without a future husband, an evil sister-in-law who has made it plain she wants them out of her sight, and our heroine who seeks security and safety for herself and her ward.
The last thing our duke wants is a future wife. He has a past but he is now the respectable, if not renowned Duke of Althorn, a dukedom he inherited when his father and the elder brother died. As a second son he had no responsibilities, but now he has them all and he is content with his life.
His mother, the dowager duchess, had an injury to her brain, and lost her speech. Her caregivers were found lacking.
So we have the juxtaposition of two people with a dire need: Security and safety for Cassandra and her ward, Alicia…the duke with a need for a compassionate, able caretaker for his mother. Desperation leads Cassandra to offer a marriage of convenience to the duke. At first he is outraged at her arrogance and refuses, but the latest caretaker has been dismissed for her callous care of his adored mother.
In a fertile mind, these are the situations which ferment and cause a novel to be written. The last picture is the cover of the duke, with his lion clan tattoo, and the blonde woman in the background.
Where and why did he get a tattoo, most unusual for an aristocratic second son and most importantly, who inked him? What is the secret he harbors? What other startling revelations will he learn?
And what does Cassandra mean to him? Does he marry her? What else has fate planned for the two of them? Find out when the book is released on January 29, 2016. Available in digital and print versions.
From a humble beginning in Newark, NJ, a short stay at a convent in Morristown, NJ, to the board rooms of NYC to the ballrooms of the Regency period, to the rural foothills of the Sierras of Yosemite National Park, Sandra Masters has always traveled with pen and notebook. She left her corporate world behind and never looked back. Writer of sizzling Regency romance. Spicy Sensual Seduction with Swagger.