Monday, November 16, 2009

Wild Heart by Lori Brighton

Please welcome Lori Brighton!
Lori has a degree in Anthropology and worked as a museum curator. Deciding the people in her imagination were slightly more exciting than the dead things in a museum basement, she set out to become an author. Her first book, a historical romance, will be published by Kensington in November of 2009. As always when I have a guest, my words will be in bold type. Lori's will be

So, Lori, please tell us about your current release.

Wild Heart is my debut book, just released November 3rd by Kensington publishing. It’s really two books. On one hand, you have your typical romance set in Victorian, England with a hero, Leo, out for vengeance. Leo’s parents were murdered and he will do whatever it takes to find the people responsible. On the other hand, you have a paranormal plot. Ella, the heroine, is hired to tutor a lad. It’s only after she arrives that she finds out Leo is anything but a boy.

On the outside Ella is your typical sweet heroine, but she has a secret…Ella has a special ability she’s kept hidden from the world. As Ella and Leo grow closer, they realize their lives are entwined, and only together can they unlock the mystery of their pasts. In the end, both must learn to trust each other or risk losing everything they hold so dear.

Here’s a brief blurb:

"Leo is next in line for an earldom, but he is uncultured, unrefined-- and completely untamed...until governess Ella arrives, determined to set him on the right path. But Ella has a secret, and if Leo finds out what she is truly capable of, she may lose everything she holds dear."

So other than being an untamed 'earl apparent', what will be adore about your hero?

If your readers like an alpha male, they’ll love Leo. I tried to keep him true to life; what a real person would be like if they’d experienced what he has. On a trip to India, his parents are murdered. Leo is only a lad, but he’s forced to stay in hiding in a country he knows nothing about. Much like The Count of Monte Cristo (one of my favorite books), vengeance has kept him going. He’s very determined and blunt, but he’s also very honest and loyal. He doesn’t let people push him around. He’s a man who takes what he wants, and he definitely wants Ella.

Oh good! I love alpha males!

Here’s an excerpt:

“Where is that lovely governess of yours?”

Henry’s words stopped him cold. Icy fear raced down Leo’s spine. “Do not speak of her, do not even think of her.”

“Or what?” He brushed a piece of imaginary lint from his black jacket. “Leaving her alone at the estate wasn’t one of your most brilliant ideas.” He stepped closer to Leo. “Anything could happen there…without protection.”

Leo’s free hand curled as he resisted the urge to hit his cousin. “She’s protected.”

Henry quirked a brow. “Is she? Was she protected when that arrow came through the garden? When she was attacked in the woods?”

The cup dropped from Leo’s hand, shattering on the floor. He hadn’t told Henry about the attack in the woods. Hadn’t even told his grandfather until right before he’d left. He’d known his cousin was responsible, but he’d never imagined Henry would practically admit he’d been involved. “If she is harmed in any way-”

“And that heathen friend of yours. What ever happened to him?”

Leo stepped closer, anger propelling him forward. “Where is he?”

Henry clasped his hands behind his back and nodded toward a servant who was rushing their way to clean up the mess. “Why, how should I know?”

Leo’s nostrils flared, his anger mounting with each passing moment. “Damn you, where is Akshay?”

“I’d be more worried about that woman you’ve seduced.”

Panic flared through his body, clenching his gut like a fist. “What have you done with her?”

“Ella?” Henry straightened his coat. “Nothing.” He turned and started to walk away. “Yet.”

Oooh! Sounds like you've got a good bad guy for us to hate as well! What was hardest about writing this story?

The hardest thing was researching India. I’ve never been there and books I’d found were limited. Sure, I could find information about where to visit and about the political time line of the country, but sadly books about life are always missing in the history section. Just figuring out what color the dirt is becomes difficult when researching. Fortunately my husband has been there a few times for work, so he could give me a feel for the place. I so badly wanted to be accurate, but I’m sure I got something wrong. Religion does come into play in this book and that was another area that was difficult to research. Books and the internet are great sources of information, but nothing beats experience.

I've been in love with India since I first read MM Kaye's THE FAR PAVILLIONS. Kudos for the unique setting.

What would you like readers to know about YOU?

It took me over six years to get published. It was hard, very hard to repeatedly get rejections, to be basically told you’re not good enough. But I kept going because I loved to write. But it doesn’t get any easier once you’re published. I was only able to get an agent after I had sold. Finally, after six years of trying, I had an editor and an agent. Recently I parted ways with my agent. Now, in a way I’m back to where I started, trying to get an agent, trying to sell another book. It’s not easy but I keep going because I love to write and I so badly want to entertain people, to make them believe in happily ever after. With all these interviews I’ve been doing, I hope that if anyone takes anything away from my responses, its not to give up and certainly not to let people tell you you’re not good enough.

Amen! A writer writes, regardless. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, Lori.

Thanks Emily! And thanks to all of you for stopping by!You can find more about me and my book on my website and blog:

Lori is too sweet to ask, so I'll put up a BUY LINK anyway! I noticed she got a great cover quote from my fellow New England Chapter RWA Chaptermate--NY Times Bestseller Hannah Howell! And Kensington is offering Lori's Wild Hearts for just $4.99. Such a deal!

Leave a comment or a question for Lori! Two people will win a copy of Wild Heart!


Christie Craig said...

Sounds like a very intriguing book.

Congrats on your release, Lori.


Edie Ramer said...

Lori, you will get a new agent and a new contract because you're such a good writer. Every excerpt you put up is great!

Sandy said...

Lori and Emily,

What a wonderful interview.

I'm dying to know the secret being hidden by the heroine. Smile.

It sounds very supenseful.

EmilyBryan said...

I'm intrigued by the dash of paranormal Lori has weaved into her story.

Jane said...

Hi Lori,
Congrats on your debut release. Alpha heroes are my favorite. I'm sure I'll love Leo.

Margay Leah Justice said...

Wow, great excerpt! This book has me intrigued.

Lynz Pickles said...

I've yet to read a bad excerpt from this book. Each one just makes me want it more! I'm so curious about what Ella's special ability is!

Lori Brighton said...

Thanks so much everyone, for stopping by and for your kind words! The romance community, readers and writers, is such an amazing, supportive community.

You'll see more of the paranormal element in the second book. I'm hoping to have a release date soon for that second book, but it will be at least another year!

librarypat said...

I also liked Far Pavilions. There is something special about the time of the East India Company and the Raj. England's colonial period provides many exotic locales for romance writers. I wish more would use them.
Like the premise of this story and have read a little about the next book Lori is publishing. I really look forward to it.
Good luck with your writing career, Lori. It certainly sounds promising.

Carol L. said...

Hi Lori,
I'm so glad you kept right on going and waiting. I love Alpha Males (who doesn't) and I can tell I'm going to love Leo. :) and reading about him and Ella.I enjoyed your post and wish much success.
Carol L.

Glynis Peters said...

Another for my wishlist! Thanks for sharing Lori with us Emily.

EmilyBryan said...

My pleasure, Glynis. Writers are readers and I'm always on the hunt for another favorite.

Dorthy said...

Hi Lori!~

Another great excerpt!
Being one who studies other cultures (an anthropologist) does it get under your skin when you can't find what your looking for when you research? Or when you think you got something wrong?
For example you said in your research of India

but sadly books about life are always missing in the history section. Just figuring out what color the dirt is becomes difficult when researching.

I have a friend that is studying to become an anthropologist and she says that authors getting the cultures wrong is the hardest thing for her to get past when she is reading historical fiction.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Lori. Congratulations on your new release. Sounds wonderful. Love the cover.

Lori Brighton said...

Hi Dorthy!
Yes! It bothers me, but at the same time I know now how hard it is to research and get things right.

I'm sure I've done something wrong and I cringe thinking about the day someone catches it. I tried as best as I could to research, but its very hard. Like I said, to research the normal/every day life things, you just can't find them.

I want to know what the ground is like, what walls are made out of in huts, what they cook on, things like that and its hard to find.

If you really want to study a culture and the everyday life, def. go for an athropology book over a historical book. Anthropology is all about looking at the deatils of cultures.

Heather said...

awesome interview, Lori is the sweetest and such an inspiration for those who secretly want to be published and not-so secretly love a happy ending :)
I am already reading the novel, and it is so suspenseful!

EmilyBryan said...

I'd like to respond a bit to Dorothy's comment. I thought she made a valid point.

It is really hard to get the period details right. When we write a historical, we're not just world building. We're trying to resurrect a world gone by. Not just the outward trappings of how people lived (though those are fascinating and difficult to research), but how they thought about themselves and life, what influenced their values and beliefs. Which motivates their actions.

Unless we get into the mindset of that past world, we run the risk of creating "costume dramas"--modern characters in corsets.

I always like to say I make things up for a living, but I try very hard to get those details right. Don't always succeed, but that's when I count on my readers to write me with corrections. ;-)

Anonymous said...

HI Lori...great post...I would love to read your book.


rhea said...

Hi Lori. Great interview as always. And yes, who wouldn't love Leo?

Jennifer said...

Lori, I admire your tenacity. Keep up the great work!

Maureen said...

Congratulations Lori on your new release. It looks like a great story.

Amy said...

Lori, you are a fantastic writer! I can't wait to read more about your next book coming out. When is that?

Debbie said...


I loved Wild Heart and I loved Leo. I can not wait until your second release. I am glad you didn't give up because it was a truly enjoyable read. Thank you.

Deb W

Amber E. said...

Hi Lori! Congratulations on the release of your new book "Wild Heart". I have heard so many good things about it and can't wait to read it.

buddyt said...

India is a country with some many different places and cultures that a writer can use to anchor a story. I think it lends itself to writing from a different and interesting aspect.

Of course as mentioned, it is important to do the research and get the details correct but that is surely part of the fun of writing to a real author ?

EmilyBryan said...

I love history, so research is part of the fun for me. And you're right about India's vibrant tapestry of many cultures. There are 100s of separate language groups, and many different religions.

Emma said...

Lori congrats on your release.Wild Heart sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.