An American Duchess Author: Sharon Page

An American Duchess
Title: An American Duchess
Author: Sharon Page
Release Day!
  About An American Duchess: Set on a crumbling English manor estate during the height of the Roaring Twenties, an American duchess must decide how much she's willing to risk for the life she truly desires…

It's 1922, and New York heiress Zoe Gifford longs for the freedoms promised by the Jazz Age. Headstrong and brazen, but bound by her father's will to marry before she can access his fortune, Zoe arranges for a brief marriage to Sebastian Hazelton, whose aristocratic British family sorely needs a benefactor.

Once in England, her foolproof plan to wed, inherit and divorce proves more complicated than Zoe had anticipated. Nigel Hazelton, Duke of Langford and Sebastian's older brother, is as austere and imposing as the family's ancestral estate. Still reeling from the Great War, Nigel is now staging a one-man battle against a rapidly changing world—and the outspoken Zoe represents everything he's fighting against.

When circumstances compel Zoe to marry Nigel rather than Sebastian, their heated quarrelling begets passion of another sort. But with Nigel unwilling to change with the times, will Zoe be forced to choose between her husband and her dreams?  
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Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired you to become a writer?
I was one of those people who wanted to write since I was a kid. I was always a reader, the type who would read under the covers at night. Many books greatly affected me and how I looked at life. Some just made me laugh. Or cry. And others had been turning the pages. I loved escaping to another world through a book, and I wanted to give that experience to a reader myself. 

Do you have any never-to-be-seen, dusty manuscripts hidden under your bed? 
My first novel, which I wrote when I was 16, got lost somewhere, which is too bad, since I think it would be fun to look at it again. Before I made my first sale, I wrote two full length historicals. Though they will never see the light of day, I took the good bits out for other books. 

By writing two full length books, I proved to myself I could write two books a year. And I got to work out a lot of my mistakes—and discover my strengths—during the process. 


By Winter's Light Q&A:

There are a multitude of holiday customs of the past described in the book, some very familiar, others less so. How did you choose which ones to include?
One of the benefits of setting the novel in an isolated part of the Scottish countryside in that period, featuring a large family that is primarily Church of England by birth, but with the local branch having deep local roots, was that I could draw on all prevailing traditions - so while some of the customs described are clearly Christian-based, others are Norse in origin, reflecting the influx of Nordic invaders over earlier centuries, and some hail from even earlier pagan, Druidic, and folk traditions.
With respect to the Christian side of the celebrations, I was surprised to discover that in that particular period, the Scottish Kirk, which is Presbyterian and at that time was severely Calvinist in tone, actively discouraged all celebration of Christmas. It was still a holy day on the calendar, but celebrations were considered frivolous, and in many towns in Scotland, Christmas Day was a normal work-day. Luckily, the southwestern uplands in which the Vale of Casphairn is located are extremely isolated, and it takes no stretch of the imagination to see the local people following their own traditions regardless of any edict from afar.

How did you come to write a story so packed with holiday customs?
That wasn’t intentional but is more an outcome of how I write stories. I start with my characters, in the particular setting and time - Scotland, the manor, 1837 winter holidays - and then more or less follow what those characters would have done. How would they have filled their days? And if they did this, what might have happened next? And so on. So the number of holiday customs engaged in are simply a reflection of how people in that time would have behaved over the holidays. I think we forget what it must have been like when there was no chance of traveling far because of snow and weather, and there were no cars, phone, or internet! People had to entertain themselves, and that, in truth, is where most of our holiday customs spring from.
 

About Sharon Page:

Sharon PageNew York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Sharon Page sold her first book, an erotic romance novel A GENTLEMAN SEDUCED, in 2004. Since then, she has published more than 20 novels and novellas, both traditionally through NY publishers (Kensington, Random House, Harlequin), and on her own through self-publishing. Sharon writes: Historical romantic women’s fiction (AN AMERICAN DUCHESS) Erotic historical romance (SIN, DEEPLY IN YOU) Erotic paranormal romance (BLOOD RED, BLOOD CURSE) Sensual historical romance (THE CLUB, ENGAGED IN SIN) New adult contemporary erotic romance (The Yardley College Chronicles series). Sharon’s books have won many awards including two RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Awards, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Colorado Award of Romance, and the Golden Quill. Sharon was nominated by RT Book Reviews in 2013 for Career Achievement in Erotic Romance. She graduated with a degree in Industrial Design (School of Engineering) and worked for years in the structural engineering field. Married, with two children, Sharon now writes almost full time.  

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