Today we’re chatting with Regency romance author Hazel Statham. Hazel’s latest novel, His Shadowed Heart, has just been released from Wings ePress. We’ll talk about this book, her future projects, and where you can find her books.
Q: Welcome to DivineCaroline, Hazel. Can you tell us a little about your book?
A: Can a shadowed heart be healed? Can love grow where least expected? The Earl of Waverly believes not. How wrong can he be!
After the death of his wife, the Earl of Waverly, believing his heart irreparably damaged, enters into a marriage of convenience. However, he is not prepared for the healing influence his new young bride has on his life.
Despite the couple’s newfound happiness, nefarious deeds abound and strange happenings are attributed to the ghost of his former wife. Will their love stand the test or will the perpetrator emerge the victor?
Q: Where did you find the inspiration for this story?
A: It was a story that slowly developed from a series of ‘what if…’ I had just finished writing Dominic, which in comparison is somewhat lighter, and this story came to me. It started in the middle and just grew outwards.
Q: Tell us about the two main characters in His Shadowed Heart.
A: After the death of his first wife, Richard Moreton, Earl of Waverley, vows never to remarry and once more lay his heart open to the ravages of love. So determined is he to elude the married state that he repudiates all his sister’s efforts to push him once more into the centre of society with the aim of finding a bride.
His wife had lost her life giving birth to a daughter, Julia, whom he now builds his life around and centers all his attention upon. The thought of marriage is alien to him and he refuses to even consider it until he meets gentle Caroline Northam and hope blooms. Now he finds that a heart he had thought irreparably damaged was merely wounded and love grows. Dare he share that love with his wife or will memories of the past rise to haunt him?
Caroline Northam is an orphan dependant on the generosity of her relatives. Shunned by society because of her father’s suicide, she contents herself with caring for her cousin’s children before being forced to return to her aged aunt. She has a gentle and caring nature but beneath her shyness lies a lively mind. At their first meeting, she finds the earl abrupt and aloof. However, he takes her completely by surprise when, at a ball held at her cousin’s house, he singles her out, insisting that she is placed under his sister’s aegis.
It is hardly surprising that Caroline falls under the spell of this charming lord, wishing nothing more than to ease his melancholy. Her own heart is engaged immediately, but she knows when he arrives to make her an offer, that it is to be a marriage in name only, and though he speaks no words of love, she accepts. However, she is not prepared for his coolness on their wedding night when memories of his former wife invade the bridal supper and he unfeelingly dismisses Caroline from his company. Will she ever have the ability to gain his love?
Q: The excerpt from this novel—which is found at your website—mentions nefarious deeds and ghostly happenings. Does this novel have a paranormal element to it?
A: It depends on how the events are perceived. Some say they are ghostly happenings, some are not so sure. I really can’t tell you more without giving the plot away.
Q: Can you describe your novel in three words?
A: His shadowed heart!
Q: If a potential reader asked you why she should purchase your book, what would you tell her?
A: For those who enjoy Regency Romance, this is written in the traditional style and brings a story of deliverance and love. There’s mystery and retribution with an unexpected conclusion that I hope will keep the reader engrossed until the end, when all is revealed.
It’s fascinating to watch Richard and Caroline’s love grow from an insignificant beginning and perceive the healing of a wounded heart as, against all odds, Richard learns to love again. They are two people who are destined to be together, but shades of Richard’s former marriage continually threaten their happiness. Until all is resolved, there can be no contentment in their lives.
Q: Where can readers purchase a copy of your book? What formats is it available in?
Q: What is up next for you?
A: I am currently in the process of finding new homes for three of my novels. One that was caught up in the Triskelion bankruptcy and two that I withdrew from another publisher. They are all Regency Romances and I am looking forward to placing them and seeing them published. I have a current WIP that, for the moment, has the working title of Sarah, which undoubtedly will change as and when a more suitable one presents itself.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
A: I love hearing from my readers and promise to answer all my mail. I can be contacted at email@example.com.