Today, we’re celebrating Wendy LaCapra‘s debut release, LADY VICE, the first in her Furies trilogy from Entangled Publishing. I met Wendy through The Beau Monde chapter of RWA® and have been following her publishing trajectory for a while now. She’s one of the sweetest people I know and so willing to reach out and help others. I hope you come to love her and her work as much as I do!
Not every lady plays by the rules.
Lady Lavinia Vaile knows what happens to a woman who puts her faith in society. For her, it was a disastrous marriage to a depraved man-one she threatened to shoot when she left him. Now Lavinia lives outside of society’s strict conventions, hosting private gambling parties. It’s only when her husband is shot dead that Lavinia finds herself in terrible danger…
A former judge in India’s high court, Maximilian Harrison will do anything he can to help Lavinia. In the darkest of times, he held on to thoughts of her and the love they once shared. Now he risks his own position in society―along with his ambitions―in order to clear her name. Yet as desire reignites between them, Lavinia remains caught up in secrets and shame. Her only salvation is to do the unthinkable…and trust in both Maximilian and love.
Max sounded urgent. He crouched and reached out. His touch was gentle and his hands were warm. Skin against skin. He must have removed his gloves. His palm’s heat warmed her chilled cheek.
He was real. This warm, vital man caressing her face was the reason she had survived the dark days of her marriage. Whenever the night had seemed frightening or endlessly lonely, she had lulled herself to sleep by silently repeating his name. She’d used him like a blanket, curling his image close and tucking herself into remnants of remembered love.
The memory caused another searing pain, and she pulled her legs into her chest.
“Hush, love, hush,” he whispered.
His breath tickled her face, contrasting the cool breeze blowing across the water.
Strange. Breathing was so much easier with him close. But everything was wrong. She was angry at him. Why?
Because he left me to find his fortune. Because he left me alone and vulnerable to men like Vaile. She waited for her anger to pulse to life. Instead her heart said, he is here now.
She made no move to push him back and may have even leaned toward him.
His lips touched—softly—against her forehead. He spoke, but she could not understand his words. He was saying something about protection and safety…
What an inviting thought.
How long had it been since love surrounded her? Since she had been warmed by place and family and home? After she had left Vaile, every letter she’d sent home had been returned to her as if home had never existed, as if she had never existed. But she’d been loved once, hadn’t she? Max was living proof.
She raised her eyes to his. Past and present, fantasy and reality, they all swirled together.
She parted her lips as he spoke the affectionate name she had not heard for an eternity. He brushed his mouth against hers. His kiss’s warmth was soothing and tender.
Need uncoiled in her belly, and her knotted shoulders miraculously loosened. She floated—soft and sentient.
Yes. Please. More.
If I haven’t lost your attention because you just had to go grab yourself a copy of this awesome book LADY VICE, we’re ready to learn a bit about Wendy LaCapra as she answers some tough questions below. Thanks so much, for taking the time to answer them, Wendy!
1. What drew you to writing Historical Romances in general and specifically to setting stories during the Regency Era?
Thanks for having me Kristen! I’m so happy to be on your blog!
I’ve always loved Historical romances. In my bio I mention sneaking into the adult section of the library and discovering Victoria Holt. But, truthfully, I cannot remember which came first, my library caper, or finding my Aunt Hazel’s stash of Barbara Cartland & Georgette Heyer books. Both led to delicious reads.
2. What’s the strangest bit of historical trivia you’ve picked up in your research?
Actually, it was a footnote that made it into the second chapter of Lady Vice. Laurence Shirley, 4th Earl Ferrers was convicted of the murder of his steward in the mid-18th century. He was so nasty and violent fellow, his wife was granted a separation on the basis of cruelty (almost impossible then). When he was hanged, however, they used a silk rope out of respect for his station. This struck me odd but incredibly British.
3. These next few questions assume that time travel is possible. What modern conveniences would you miss most? What would you miss least?
The most? Probably the telephone. It’s more common to text or email now, but hearing a loved one’s voice across the miles is very special. The least? The strip mall.
4. What would be the hardest for you to adapt to in the Regency Era?
The legal restrictions placed on women. We authors like to use those constraints as plot devices, but I would hate to be considered my husband’s ‘property’ under the law!
5. Where would you fit into the society? Where would you like to visit most?
Well, I’m the daughter of a printer who was the son of a farmer–so I would have definitely been in ‘trade.’ No Almacks for me, I’m afraid! I would love to have seen Carlton House, where the Prince Regent lived. The drawings are spectacular.
6. Are you reader? What are some of your favorites (books and/or authors)?
Yes, I’m a reader. Can you be a writer without being a reader? I read less than I did before I started writing but I try and get in 30-50 books a year in addition to research, blogs, magazines, and beta (feedback) reads. I’m off to a good start this year. I already have 16 published reads, and I’ve done four ‘beta’ reads for books not yet published. I have too many favorite authors to list so I’ll just give my one of my top must-buy authors: Joanna Bourne. God, I love her prose.
7. How long have you been writing and what was the first huge leap of faith you took? What advice would you go back and give yourself as a beginning novelist if you could? Would this advice differ from what you’d say to an aspiring author now?
I’ve written stories since I was little, but I wrote my first romance in the 00’s. Advice I would give myself and anyone starting out is: hard is vastly different than impossible. My early efforts felt like bleeding onto the page. Part of me thought that if I was a ‘real’ writer, I wouldn’t have had such a difficult time learning to craft a novel. I’m glad I did not listen to that part of me!
8. I’ve been told that Historical and Romantic Suspense don’t mix, but it can’t be just you and me who are drawn to it! Tell us a little bit about Past Thrills and the Historical Romance Network…
I’ve certainly heard that light historicals sell better, but I don’t have any figures that back up that claim. I think historical romantic suspense has been around a long time but called ‘Gothic Romance.’ Of course, not every Gothic Romance is historical romantic suspense (or even historical, for that matter), but all Gothics have a strong element of suspense. Victoria Holt, Mart Stewart and Jane Aiken Hodge were masters at the Historical Gothic. New Gothics appear to have strong numbers. Non-‘Gothic’ Historical Romantic Suspense often features spies and/or secret societies. Joanna Bourne & Eileen Dreyer are just two current, popular masters of this type.
The Past Thrills group came together out of the Historical Romance Network because we all had books releasing in early 2015 that had elements of Romantic suspense—murder, revolutionaries, thieves, conspiracy, spies. We all love and believe in the subgenre and hoped to shine the spotlight on historical plotlines that thrill. Mortal danger by candlelight offers readers a special kind of shivery-pleasure. I invite readers to visit <\PastThrills.com to learn more.
9. You have quite an impressive list of awards for both Lady Vice (5), Scandal in Spades which finaled in both the Golden Heart® and the Emily in 2012 as well as a third manuscript in 2010 that did very well. How do you feel contests helped your writing and path to publication? What was the best experience or wisdom you gained from these contests?
Contests definitely strengthen your skills and your skin. I’ve gotten priceless constructive feedback and feedback that brought me to tears. I think contests provide a safe & effective training ground. I’ve discarded that 2010 manuscript, but I wouldn’t trade a single comment I received–every one helped me advance as a writer, especially the ones that made me squirm. There is a side benefit, too. Prepping to enter the Golden Heart was what brought me together with most of my critique partners and some of my closest writing friends.
10. What is the most challenging part of being a writer?
Starting a new novel. That first chapter–and the yawning nothing that stretches beyond–can feel so daunting.
About the Author
Wendy LaCapra has been reading romance since she sneaked into the adult section at the library and discovered Victoria Holt & Jane Aiken Hodge. From that point on, she dreamed of creating fictional worlds with as much richness, intrigue and passion as she found within those books. Her stories have placed in several contests, including the 2012 Golden Heart®. She lives in NYC with her husband and loves to hear from readers.
Thank you for celebrating with us and I hope you love Lavinia and Max as much as I do!
If you are interested, please take a moment to enter Wendy’s blog-tour raffle-copter give-away (March 9 – ! She’s offering 12 books as prizes and there are plenty of ways to enter.