Monday 10 August 2015

Why You Should Never Give Up On Your Dream

Sandra Masters shared news of her novel, Once Upon a Duke, and interviews her main character, the Duke of Sutton!


Why You Should Never Give Up On Your Dream

“Racy Eighty!”
I’m so grateful to my many writer friends who have helped get the word out about ONCE UPON A DUKE, including my RWA chapter mate Debra Salonen, who shared this blog at Storybroads.  

That’s how my friend and RWA chapter mate, Sandra McCart–writing as Sandra Masters–describes herself in press releases announcing the sale and release of her first published book, a Regency romance from Wild Rose Press titled: ONCE UPON A DUKE.
Eighty years sounds like a long time to pursue a dream, but Sandra’s been a bit busy living a rich, productive life throughout those years. But when retirement became a reality, she set out to make her dream become a reality, too, as she says in her bio:

From a humble beginning in Newark, NJ, a short stay at a convent in Morristown, NJ, to the board rooms of NYC, and a fantastic career for a broadcasting company in Carlsbad, California, to the rural foothills of the Sierras of Yosemite National Park, Sandra Masters has always traveled with pen and notebook. It’s been the journey of ten thousand miles with a few steps left to go. She left her corporate world behind and never looked back.

Once Upon a Duke – Regency, London, England 1817
Hello Readers and Writers:
My Regency story ONCE UPON A DUKE has been ruminating since 2007. 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.
Regency England 1817, Lord Geoffrey Austen, Duke of Sutton, a handsome rake with raven black hair and piercing grotto blue eyes was betrayed by a false fiancĂ© and he is suspect of all women. He is thirty-four, tall, has a scar on his face, and a tortured soul. Resolved, never to marry for any reason, he does not expect his heart will become captive and his world turned upside down by the lovely Serena.
The beautiful widow Lady Serena, an artist, holds a sad secret, and has learned what a man can do in malice. She hides what she considers her inadequacies by flirting with His Grace, 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 her fears.
I chose to interview My Duke in Question and Answer Style in his point of view.
What is your main fear, your Grace?
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 on my wound. 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 and 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.
What is the main conflict between you and Serena?

She wants a commitment of marriage.  As a child, I did not see a display of love from my mother to my father. He adored her and she dismissed him. I have offered the position of mistress. Serena refused. I left without saying GoodBye. It was not a manly thing to do.
What has messed up your life?

When I returned to sooty air defiled London, I found my life 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 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:  a woman, a maid and a puppy. Our lovemaking was unbelievable and this time I woke Sleepy Head up before I left. I departed for London the next morning after a rapturous night.
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 with think of her. The concept of a serious future 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 informed me she ordered the puppy drowned and my portrait burned because it only reminded her of how foolish she had been.
How did you react?
You can imagine how 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 ease the pain of her loss, they all were found lacking.
And then what happened?
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. The truth emerged. It was Serena’s maid and the groomsman 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.
Were you now convinced of her love for you?
Yes. When I was shown a picture she had sketched of the three of us, as a family–Serena, myself and the pup, I knew her brother lied for his own political reasons.  To add to this, the maid brought the portrait she had painted of me, the one that was purportedly burned, and I knew there could be no doubt her brother was guilty of lies for his own selfish purposes.
Serena’s letter 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, that she would either attend our wedding–or my funeral. 
I leave you to come to your own conclusion on how my author charted the ending of the novel.
From 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 to answer. 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 Serena’s and my fairy tale romance. After all, you showed me what love can do to redeem a man.

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This post copyright © Sandra Masters, 2015.

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