I’m so pleased to have acclaimed historical and romantic suspense writer Cheryl Bolen on the blog today. Cheryl is the author of more than a dozen Regency-set historical romance novels. Her books have placed in several writing contests, including the Daphne du Maurier, and have been translated into 11 languages. She was named Notable New Author in 1999, and in 2006 she won the Holt Medallion (Honoring Outstanding Literary Talent) for Best Short Historical Novel. Her books have become Barnes & Noble and Amazon bestsellers.
Cheryl also writes romantic suspense as well as Regency romance, so let’s find out about that, too.
You had a distinguished career as a journalist before you began writing romance. Why the switch and why the Regency Period?
I didn’t consciously decide to switch. I wrote the two simultaneously for many years. My first efforts at fiction were romantic suspense, but I wasn’t able to sell those. After I sold my first book, a historical romance titled A Duke Deceived, in 1997, I just decided I’d rather write fiction exclusively. I still like doing articles and blogging about Regency England, which is all non-fiction.
You’ve recently taken another branch in your career – writing for Amazon’s Montlake imprint. Was it hard to switch gears from historical romance to romantic suspense?
When Montlake originally approached me to write for them, it was on the strength of my historical romance sales, but then when they said they were looking for serial authors, I instantly thought romantic suspense was a better fit for serials. Before I sold my first book, I’d had a lot of success with romantic suspense in contests for unpublished authors, but after I sold a historical, I put all my eggs in one basket, which isn’t the best thing to do for job security. After I started indie publishing some of my out-of-print historicals, I decided to publish some—but not all—of the romantic suspense novels that had never found a publisher. Not every one was well written enough, but surprisingly, the first book I ever wrote (Capitol Offense) when I was in my early twenties didn’t suck too badly. After re-editing it and updating it a lot, it’s now out, and the reviews have been favorable.
What can you tell us about the new book. It’s in serial form, right?
So glad you asked about my serial, Vanessa! In my Kindle Serial I’ve combined two of my favorite things: traveling to see England’s stately homes with researching English history. My lighthearted romantic suspense, Falling for Frederick, is about a lovely doctoral student who comes across the dead body of the curator of archives in the basement of Siddley Manor, owned by Frederick Percy, Lord of Rockford. Together, my heroine and Frederick have to crisscross England, searching stately homes for a priceless medieval artifact which may lead them to the murderer.
I’d like to say a word here about the Kindle Serials. At present, they offer a new episode of approximately 10,000 words (3 chapters for me) every two weeks. They may be changing the frequency to every week. Whenever someone purchases one of these serials, they pay a one-time fee of $1.99 and automatically get all episodes that have thus far been published. Then each new installment is free. When mine is finished at the end of April, Falling for Frederick will be available as a full-length novel as well as an audio book. It won’t be available internationally until that time. Currently, it’s only available at Amazon.
What’s up next in Cheryl’s writing world?
I’ve been catching my breath. I just finished writing the serial. I had two books come out in October, including a Regency-set inspirational romance (Marriage of Inconvenience) for Love Inspired Historical, a division of Harlequin. Like with Montlake, the senior editor there asked me to write for Love Inspired. She was a joy to work with, and I’ve found a huge market of readers who don’t necessarily want their romances sexy. I need to do proposals for a second stately home murder featuring Frederick and Antonia as well as Book 3 in my well-received Regent Mystery series.
Sounds great! Folks, Cheryl is graciously giving away a copy of her new Harlequin book, Marriage of Inconvenience. To be eligible to win, just tell us which genre you prefer, historical romance or romantic suspense, and a bit about why. Or do you like both?
And by sure to stop by Cheryl’s website for info on all her books!
21 thoughts on “Guest Author: Cheryl Bolen & Giveaway!!”
I do love Historical Romance, and why? It’s everything really. The rules of etiquette & courtship, the fashion, the way they live in general.
As a Jane Austen student, I love historical romances set in England from the late 1700s through the Edwardian era, but I have also read some romantic suspense that I have enjoyed very much, including Tracey Devlyn’s A Lady’s Revenge and Shana Galen’s Lord & Lady Spy.
Thanks for the great post and congrats to Cheryl on the newest release! I’m about even split. Sometimes I want to travel back in time and lose myself in a historical romance… sometimes I want to be on the edge of my seat being scared 🙂 All depends on the mood!
Thanks, Vanessa, for having me here today. In reading over the blog, I see I omitted to say that each Kindle Seria is nine episodes. Mine stretches over four-months.
Thanks, Mary, Maria, and Erin, for visiting. And I’m with you, Erin. Mood guides my reading choices.
Congrats on your new release. I am a big fan of historical romance. That is what I read most but do switch around some. Do you see yourself ever writing something in the historical western line?
Sadly, Quilt Lady, New York publishers of historical romance are not buying hardly any Western settings. Established authors like Jodi Thomas and Linda Lael Miller can still write them, but publishers aren’t taking new ones.
However, the inspirational romance market is wide open to Western settings, and they do very well there.
The historical time perioed (in the United States) that I’ve always been interested in is Zorro-era California (my birth state), but I suspect publishers would not be very enthusiastic. They are risk adverse and opposed to taking on something that’s not tried and true.
Both because they both offer good stories
I love historical romance for it’s elegance. Everything is; the language, the setting etc. And also that the simplest things are so romantic & poignant,the touch of fingers, a caress of the cheek. I tried reading a contemporary romantic suspense once & couldn’t finish it. It was everything opposite!
i like both historical romance AND romantic suspense. And I especially like all 3 of the Love Inspired sets. Don’t mind sexy romantic books, but it is refreshing when there’s a good romance without the sex.
I may just have to try the serials on Amazon — didn’t know how they worked, and sure couldn’t afford to pay for each installment.
Oh, Donnna, you get the complete book for only $1.99 in nine installments of approximately 10,000 words each. That makes for the equivalent of a book that’s between 300 and 400 pages! The serials are a great buy.
I love both historical romance and romantic suspense! I love the setting for historical romance – the traditions, the proprieties, the clothes and technology of the times. For romantic suspense, I simply love the suspense and the building of a mystery! I think one of my favorite things as a reader of romance is the variety of romantic literature available. So many wonderful stories told in different ways. I love it!
Hi, Cheryl! I guess you would say that I literally cut my teeth on historical romance novels starting with Victoria Holt and on from there. I enjoy your novels and am looking forward to reading “Marriage of Inconvenience.” I have to smile at the title because I’m betting there will be some good humor in that novel. “Falling for Frederick” sounds really good as I enjoy a good mystery in romance novels….again as in those by Victoria Holt and others. Congratulations on having two successful careers that have managed to blend from one to the other.
I used to love those Victoria Holt novels, too. My favorite of the genre were written by another Brit, Mary Stewart. I would love to see publishers return to that. Holt’s were historical woman-in-jeopardy, and Stewart’s were contemporary woman-in-jeopardy in exciting locales, like the Greek Islands. I wanted to rekindle that a bit in Falling for Frederick. Dark romantic suspense just isn’t my thing.
I love historical romance. However, I also like suspense. As long as it is a good book, I would love it!
I read mostly historical romances. I like those set in the 19th century best but I have discovered early 20th century is a winning time period too. I have read some romantic suspense and enjoyed them but I don’t read all that many. I also enjoy reading historical mysteries such as the Sebastian St. Cyr series by C. S. Harris and The Gaslight Mystery series by Victoria Thompson.
I wish publishers would be more open to publishing historicals set in the early 20th century. I think there’s a lot of intrigue there. Mira author Deanne Raeborn (I’m probably spelling it wrong) just wrote one set in the early 20th century colonial Africa. Love that setting!!
I prefer reading both historical romance and romantic suspense.
I love them both, Olga. My own personal taste is not the tried-and-true for today’s reader, though. I don’t like my romantic suspense dark or gritty, and I don’t like my historicals centered on the bedroom.
I’m all about historical romance. Congrats to you on your latest release Cheryl!!
I prefer Historical Romances. I love visiting a time period where I experience something so very different than our present time period. (Medieval, Vikings, Norman Conquest, French & Indian War, Scottish Rebellion, Victorian, Georgian, Civil War, Regency, 1920’s) These books cover it all!
I can visualize the customs, the clothes, the values, the castles, the poverty, the horses, the carriages, royalty, rules and social mores, the lack of showers and plumbing, marriages of convenience..
You can get lost in another time.
I do read an occasional Romantic Suspense. I don’t like violence or unnecessary killings and gore.