Regina Jeffers is the author of several Jane Austen adaptations including Darcy’s Passions, Darcy’s Temptation, Vampire Darcy’s Desire, The Phantom of Pemberley and Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion. She considers herself a Janeite and spends her free time with the Jane Austen Society of North America and AustenAuthors.com. A teacher for nearly 40 years in the public school systems of three different states, Regina Jeffers is a Time Warner Star Teacher Award winner, a Martha Holden Jennings Scholar, a Columbus Educator Award winner, and a guest panelist for the Smithsonian. She’s served on various national educational committees and is often sought as a media literacy consultant. 

Interview and Giveaway
Regina Jeffers is here today to present her just  released, The Scandal of Lady Eleanor,  set in the Regency but not Austen-related. Read the interview below and leave a comment or a question for Regina. Don't forget to add your e-mail address to have the chance to win a copy of this exciting Regency romance, the first of a new series. There are two brand new copies available for two lucky winners.Open internationally! The names of the winners will be announced on March 16th.

After publishing Austen-based novels, this is your  first book in the “Realm” series. Tell us something about the Realm, Regina.
The Realm is a covert group working for the British government. They rescue British citizens, bring about diplomatic portals, etc. Its members are titled aristocrats and minor sons – therefore, the name “the Realm.” The members in this series number seven: James Kerrington, Viscount Worthing (and future Earl of Linworth); Brantley Fowler, the Duke of Thornhill; Gabriel Crowden, Marquis of Godown; Aidan Kimbolt, Viscount Lexford; Marcus Wellston, the Earl of Berwick; Baron John Swenton, and Carter Lowery, the youngest son of Baron Blakehell. These men have served together for several years in India and Persia, and they possess a stout camaraderie. Each holds reason for fleeing his home and title, and each must reclaim his place in Society, while still occasionally executing a mission in the name of the government. Unfortunately, not only must these men fight their own demons, they must foil the plans of Shaheed Mir, a Baloch warlord, who believes one of them has stolen a fist-sized emerald; and Mir means to have it back.

Specifically, tell us about The Scandal of Lady Eleanor.
James Kerrington, the future Earl of Linworth and a key member of the British government’s covert unit, the Realm, never expected to find love again after the loss of his beloved wife, Elizabeth. But upon his return home from a mission, Kerrington’s world shifts on its axis when Eleanor Fowler, literally, stumbles into his arms.
However, not all is as it seems with Eleanor, as she hides a deep secret. She had hoped the death of her father, the William Fowler, the Duke of Thornhill, would offer her family a chance at redemption from their dark past, but when Sir Louis Levering produces proof of Eleanor’s father’s debauchery, she is thrown into a web of immorality and blackmail. It is up to Kerrington and his friends in the Realm to free Eleanor from Levering’s hold.
Amidst these woes, an assassin is taking aim at all Kerrington holds dear, with the murderous plot linked to a lost gem. Can the Realm solve the mystery of the emerald before the assassin finds his prey? Can Eleanor win over the prying eyes of Society? Can she keep Kerrington from learning her deepest secrets? Can she thwart the manipulations of the infamous Sir Louis Levering? Regency England has never been hotter.

Are there other books planned in the series? 
The first book, The Scandal of Lady Eleanor, involves the love affair between James Kerrington and Lady Eleanor Fowler. Book 2, which is finished and waiting for publication, concerns Brantley Fowler and Velvet Aldridge. Velvet’s younger twin sisters, Cashémere and Satiné, become the focus of Book 3, with Cashé’s relationship with Marcus Wellston taking center stage. That book is finished, but it needs editing and some revision. Book 4, which is Gabriel Crowden’s and Grace Nelson’s stories, sets as a draft, but I have not written any of it, as yet. I originally gave the series titles involving the word “Touch.” The Scandal of Lady Eleanor was A Touch of Gold. Book 2 was A Touch of Velvet, which was followed by A Touch of Cashémere. Book 4 is entitled A Touch of Grace. I would love to write of each of the characters. There is some “overlap’ in books one and two simply because readers often enter a storyline out of order. Yet, even with the overlap, book 2 tells of Velvet and Brantley’s love and trials. The overlap comes because Lady Eleanor Fowler of book one is Bran’s sister. After that initial repetition, Book 3 begins where Book 2 leaves off, etc.

Why have you chosen to write about the Regency period?Besides reading and rereading Jane Austen, I have read Regency romances for leisure reading for many years. The Regency period fascinates me. It was a time of dissipated youths, of rakes, and of revolutionaries. Of blackguards and gentlemen. Of a mad king. Of reversionary interests. Of Come Outs and marriages of convenience. It is a time when a nation stood on the brink of greatness, while it fought the Americans on one shore and the French on another. I jokingly tell my friends that I am a Regency junkie. Therefore, writing about what I know and love seems only natural.

Why have you chosen to include very “modern” issues in a Regency-based romance?
 Just because life appears “simpler” does not mean Regency England did not reek of scandal. Women lacked options. Even women of a wealthier class were the property of first their fathers and then their husbands. As such, Lady Eleanor Fowler is no exception. When her mother dies, her father’s debauched lifestyle invades her privacy, and she is sucked into a situation because she “loves” a parent who does not really understand the meaning of the word. Eleanor’s brother Brantley escaped the Duke of Thornhill’s hold on his household, but Eleanor is left behind to cope in the only way she knows how: Survive.

After five successful Jane Austen related novels, how do you feel about leaving Miss Austen behind? 
Well, first, I am certainly not deserting my Austen sequels and adaptations. I have an Austen short story coming out in the soon-to-be-released The Road to Pemberley, and I am currently writing a Christmas-themed Pride and Prejudice sequel. Yet, I must admit that it was liberating to write a story from beginning to end, without a framework in place. When an author tackles an Austen storyline, he must stay somewhat true to the original characters or “suffer the ire” of Janeites. In my Austen books, I work in her original wording and use what I know of the lady. With this series, I could create the characters and the conflict without my readers having a preconceived idea of how the story should go. Plus, when I returned to my current Austen book, I was happy to see “my old friends” again. Absence makes the heart grow fonder rather than out of sight, out of mind.

How long does it typically take you to write a book? 
When I still taught school, it would be six months on an average. In 2009, I released three titles, but I had no life because I still had a full time job. Now that I am retired from the classroom, I can manage (with editing and rewrites) – assuming my muse pays a call – a new title every 3 to 4 months.

You, obviously, prefer the Regency romance genre. Do you see yourself writing other genres in the future? 
I have dabbled in cozy mysteries with The Phantom of Pemberley and paranormal with Vampire Darcy’s Desire. I do have two finished contemporary romances, but they need revision, and I need to find time to rework them, as well as to promote their publication.

What is the best (and worst) part of writing?The best part is when that ah-hah moment occurs – when something unexpected falls into place and changes the storyline – when one can pat himself on the back and feel brilliant for a moment. The worst part is hitting a wall and waiting impatiently, sometimes for several long days and nights, for the next moment of inspiration.

What is the worst advice you have ever received regarding your writing?
 Literally, two weeks ago an anonymous commenter told me, “You will never be published because you know nothing about grammar.”As I have spent forty years teaching English, have received numerous teaching accolades, and have released six novels, I would venture to say, even tongue-in-cheek, that he/she was in error.

If this series were made brought to film, whom would you choose to play the roles?I have been a Matthew Macfadyen fan long before he played Mr. Darcy in the 2005 film – back to his days in Wuthering Heights, Warriors, and The Way We Live Now. He is always the Darcy in my head when I write my Austen pieces, and he is the man I see and hear in my other works. In this series, Macfadyen is James Kerrington. James Mcavoy is Carter Lowery; James Scott is Aidan Kimbolt; Matthew Goode is Brantley Fowler; Toby Stephens (as he was in Jane Eyre) or maybe a younger Daniel Craig is Marcus Wellston, and a cross between Josh Lucas and Ryan Kwanten is Gabriel Crowden. As weird as it may sound, I do not have famous women in my head when I choose the females. I see their faces and recognize their movements, but they are ordinary women. In this series, Velvet Aldridge came to mind because I fondly remember a former student named “Velvet.” Inherently, there is something wrong with me. LOL!

I don't think so, Regina! Great suggestions for your male characters. Can we ask our readers to suggest their favourite actor/actress in their comments? Thanks for your answers and for the free copies of your latest exciting novel!  

Now it's time to enter the giveaway... GOOD LUCK!

The Scandal of Lady Eleanor is available for reviews, giveaways, and excerpts. For these or interview queries, contact Karma Bennett at 510-601-8301 x108 or karmabennett@ulyssespress.com.
 $14.95, Trade Paper
336pp, 5 x 7 7/8
ISBN: 978-1-56975-904-2
March 2011 from Ulysses Press

Visit Regina Jeffer at her website www.rjeffers.com for information on releases, excerpts, book signings, etc.


Margay Leah Justice said...

This sounds like a fascinating book!


Laura Ferrari said...

Wow! Not only sounds like a great book, there are already six more on the run!!
I love Regina Jeffers and the Regency, a book combining both is like hitting the jackpot!
Velvet, Cashémere and Satiné?! Awesome! :-D
And now that you've mentioned Matthew Goode, I can't wait to meet Brantley Fowler :-D meanwhile I'll console myself with Captain Wentworth :-)

Laura Ferrari

Regina Jeffers said...

Margay, your kind words are greatly appreciated.

Laura, I am pleased that you enjoyed the names. The "Velvet" I knew was one of the prettiest girls I have ever met. Brantley Fowler is an actual name. I met a young man at Enterprise Rental Cars with that name. I told him that some day I would make him famous. (Ha!) BTW, the self-published version of A Touch of Velvet is available either through me (regina@rjeffers.com) or through Xlibris.

Maria, if readers wish to recommend other real-life possibilities for characters, I would certainly consider them. Just today, I thought of Alex O'Loughlin.

Maria Grazia said...

@Regina Jeffers
I would be glad to hear their suggestions, too, Regina!

Alexa Adams said...

Hi ladies! Great interview. I would love to get my hands on a copy of The Scandal of Lady Eleanor, having loved all of Regina's Austen-based books. As excited as I am about this new series, I am even more excited to learn about her upcoming short story and the Christmas themed sequel. Any ideas when these might be available? I've also been long hoping that there would be a sequel to Captain Wentworth's Persuasion - any hope?

Regina Jeffers said...

The Road to Pemberley is set for an August release. Marsha Altman is editing that anthology. My unnamed Christmas themed P&P story is in the works. I am nearly finished with Chapter 5.
As far as a sequel to Capt. Wentworth, I have not approached Ulysses on it of late. I left the book with an open ending to revisit the story line. We also left Vampire Darcy's Desire with a possible sequel. It is most likely that a follow up of The Phantom of Pemberley will come first. I would be happy doing any of these.

cyn209 said...

nice to find you here, Regina!!!
Congrats & Good Luck to you on your newest release!!!!
so excited to hear about your upcoming books (& possible sequels!!!!)..........still hoping for you to come to NYC!!!


Mystica said...

Congratulations on the latest publication. Thank you for the opportunity to win and specially for making it open to all.


Regina Jeffers said...

Cynthia, I am pleased to find you here also. I have missed you over at Austen Authors. I am discussing Period Dramas on the 24th. I hope you will weigh in on some of your favorites at that time. So far, the closest I have arranged to NYC is Philadelphia.

Mystica, I am glad you visited with us. Maria is very kind to host these events. It gives us a chance to meet new people.

Anonymous said...

My favourite actor is Richard Armitage, so I'd suggest him for a role if Regina's books are adapted into films :)

patti-wolit at tiscali.it

buddyt said...

The book in question and the whole series certainly sounds as if has something for everybody.

Regency, romance, adventure, spies, plots etc.

Who wouldn't love it !

Please enter me in the giveaway.

Thank you.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Regina Jeffers said...

Richard Armitage could easily be James Kerrington or Aidan Kimbolt in this series. My mental picture for both is "tall, dark, and handsome." Armitage is one of my best friend's favorites so I tend to leave him to her fantasies, while I watch for all things Macfadyen. The two men anchor my piece on Period Dramas for my March 24 post on Austen Authors.

The way you describe the book makes me wonder why it is not a movie by now. LOL!!!

Teresa Thomas Bohannon said...

Regina Jeffers' Realm series sounds like an interesting series, and her first The Scandal of Lady Eleanor sounds particularly so.
Thank you for sharing,

Claudia said...

Hi Regina! Thanks for the interview, your new book seems so exciting.
I'm impressed by your view on writing. (Unfortunately) I'm not a writer, but I think it's beautiful when inspiration arrives with a brainwave. It must be a great feeling! I really wish I could do it too :)



Lúthien84 said...

Congrats on your newest publication. I would love to read your book because I love stories set in Regency and Georgian times.

As for the actors, I would love Richard Armitage, Dan Stevens and Rupert Penry-Jones to be in it.


Anonymous said...

It looks that it's an interesting book. I agree with the other comments about Richard Armitage :).
Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy opened internationally!.


Regina Jeffers said...

To those of you who are Armitage fans, I would certainly never turn him down. Are there others that people would like to see?

Luthien, Dan Stevens and Rupert Penry-Jones are true possibilities. I could see Stevens as Carter's older brother, Lawrence Lowery. Law is featured in a novella I have written about his life. It is called "His American Heartsong." There is a sample of it on "The Writer's Block" on Austen Authors.

Kim said...

I loved this book. I completey agree with Regina that Matthew is the one and only James. (Nice of me since they are her characters.) I would love to see Chris Helmsworth as Aidan Kimbolt. Perhaps Robert Pattinson as her Adam (from Phantom of Pemberley). He has the swagger. I will surely bug her about the other characters. As far as a movie goes. I would love to see Phantom of Pemberley or Scandal on the big screen. It would be a wonderful change of pace from the crap that is being issued now.

cyn209 said...

Regina ~~
i was just at AustenAuthors a few days ago.....going to make sure to get there everyday!!!!

good luck w/everything & yes, sooner or later, you'll be in NYC!!!!!


Linda said...

I just located this blog today, from a link on another blog in order to read about Colin Firth. Noticed this giveaway, read the review, and I'd like to enter the drawing. I love Regency romances, have read several Georgette Heyers. Thanks for the giveaway.

Regina Jeffers said...

Kim, your words are always so encouraging. Pattison as Adam Lawrence in Phantom of Pemberley would be perfect. That one I could agree on. He could also play Brantley Fowler in Scandal.

Cynthia, I am slowly working my way up the East Coast.

Linda, We are happy to have you onboard, and I wish you the best of luck in the drawing.

Mystica said...

I'd like to be counted in for this giveaway please. Thank you for making this international.

Regina Jeffers said...

Congratulations to Patty and to Luthien 84.

Anonymous said...

I loved the interview and the description of the book. The choice of actors was fascinating as well.