From nineteenth-century London’s elegant ballrooms to its darkest slums, a spirited young woman and a nobleman investigating for the Crown unmask a plot by Napoleon to bleed England of its gold.
Chance led to Charlotte Raven’s transformation from chimney sweep to wealthy, educated noblewoman, but she still walks a delicate tightrope between two worlds, unable to turn her back on the ruthless crime lord who was once her childhood protector.
When Lord Edward Durnham is tapped to solve the mystery of England’s rapidly disappearing gold, his search leads him to the stews of London, and Charlotte becomes his intriguing guide to the city’s dark, forbidding underworld. But as her involvement brings Charlotte to the attention of men who have no qualms about who they hurt, and as Edward forges a grudging alliance with the dangerous ghosts of Charlotte’s former life, she faces a choice: to continue living in limbo, or to close the door on the past and risk her heart and her happiness on an unpredictable future.
PARTICULARS OF THE BOOK :
Published by: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster
Genre: Historical Fiction
Author: Michelle Diener
Purchase: Barnes & Noble and Amazon
Read more about the book and author here: http://www.michellediener.com
About the Author:
Michelle Diener has always had a passion for reading and writing. She began writing stories when her parents gave her a typewriter for her twelfth birthday, and she hasn’t stopped since. Born in London and raised in South Africa, she now lives on the west coast of Australia with her husband and two small children.
THE BOOKISH DAME INTERVIEWS MS DIENER :
Hello, Michelle. Welcome to A Bookish Libraria!
I’m so delighted you’ve agreed to allow us to get to know you and your book better. I have several questions!
1) First of all, please tell us a special something about what makes you “tick.” When you aren’t writing, what are you doing?
Thank you, it's lovely to be here. When I'm not writing, I love being in the kitchen, cooking and baking. I also have a small herb garden which I'm very proud to say is flourishing.
2) We’re always curious about where a writer chooses to write. Could you tell us about your favorite place to write? Describe it in detail…what’s on your desk, what do you see from the window if any…do you have a favorite lucky charm?
I either write at my desk, which has quite high windows, so I concentrate on my screen, or I write on my bed, looking out into the garden, or on the patio in my hammock. Although the hammock does get uncomfortable fast. :) No lucky charms, but a good writing friend gave me a beautiful frame with inspirational quotes on it, and a drawing of a pile of books with my name on the spine long before I was published, and I still have that on my desk.
3) Bronte or Austen? Hemingway or Hawthorne? Why?
Austen. While I think Bronte is wonderful, I like Austen's characters a lot more, and I connect with them better. I read for enjoyment, and I find a lot more enjoyment in Austen than in Bronte. As for Hemingway or Hawthorne, I've only read Hemingway. I'm sure if I'd grown up in the US I'd have read him, but I'm afraid I haven't. And I've only read For Whom the Bell Tolls from Hemingway. But being a writer who loves simplicity and a certain spareness of prose, I love Hemingway's style.
4) In your opinion, what makes a book a great one?
This is a very subjective one. For me personally, I need a plot that has no holes, characters that are real, and a plot or situation which takes my breath away either because of it's complexity, difficult choices or scope. Stir those in with really wonderful writing, and I'm hooked.
5) Which author(s) most influenced your love of books?
I'm going to say Enid Blyton. She was my first auto-buy author, at the age of 5. :) I couldn't get enough of her work. Fortunately for me, and all the other fans of The Faraway Tree, The Wishing Chair, The Secret Seven and The Famous Five, she was prolific.
6) Read any good books in the past 6 months?
I have, probably too many to mention here. I thoroughly enjoyed Delusion in Death by JD Robb last week. The week before that I read From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz, which I've been meaning to read for ages, and which I loved.
7) Choose 4 guests from any era for dinner. Who would they be and what would you choose for a topic of conversation?
I'd love to have Leonardo da Vinci, Aristotle, Joan of Arc and Sheherazade and talk about how they see the world. Who wouldn't want to be at that party?
8) There’s a song that goes along with your book, what is it?
This is quite a hard one. I have definite songs for my other books, but this one, hmmm . . . Kiss From a Rose by Seal? It has the haunting quality, and the dark edge of this book, I think.
9) If you could cast your book for a movie, who would you choose for your 2 main characters?
Michael Fassbender would do very nicely for Edward, and I think Keira Knightly would be a good Charlotte.
10) Worst habit you have while writing books?
Procrastination. I hate it when I do that!
11) How much research did you do before and during writing?
I always do a lot before, and then either come across something I hadn't thought about while writing, and then I go off and find it, or I just use what I already have to double-check my facts as I go.
12) Psychologists tell us the thing we think we’d most like to grow up to be when we’re ten years old is our avocation. What did you want to be?
A writer. :) I guess I got that right. :)
Thanks so much for being a guest and being interviewed, Michelle. Wonderful answers! I love your dinner guests! :]
This is a wonderful historical fiction. Please see Ms Diener's website linked above to find her other books.
A copy of "The Emperor's Conspiracy" is being
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This giveaway ends on December 31st (if the world doesn't end on 12/21/12) :]
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