Eight years ago…
Thomas Cartwright and Lady Nicola Fitzgibbons were friends. Over the wall separating their homes, Thomas and Nicola talked of all things – his studies to become a barrister, her frustrations with a lady’s limitations.
All things end.
When her diplomat father gains a post in Hong Kong, Nicola must follow. Bored and alone, she falls into scandal. Mired in his studies of the law and aware of the need for circumspection, Thomas feels forced to sever their ties.
But now Lady Nicola is back…and she won’t let him ignore her.
Thomas took a breath, knowing he had to phrase this just right. “Lady Nicola, while I am cognizant of the honor you do me, I don’t believe it appropriate you visit me in my chambers. Shall we arrange a time that suits us both, perhaps for a walk about the park?”
China-blue eyes laughed at him. “Oh, pish. Don’t be such a fuddy-duddy, Thomas. We never stood on such ceremony before.”
Didn’t she know he couldn’t be her friend? Not since their ways had parted and she’d become who she was, while he had become who he was. “Our situations were different before, Lady Nicola. It is not appropriate for a lady of your standing to visit a bachelor in his chambers.”
“Who is going to comment? No one knows I’m here.”
Was she serious? “My clerk knows you’re here. By now, the senior clerk undoubtedly knows you’re here. Before ten minutes have passed, everyone in the building will know you’re here.”
“Well, then, they are a bunch of shocking gossips, and I should not like to know them any better.” She folded her hands in her lap.
“Not the point, Nicola.” Bloody hell, but she drove him mental. She tore at him and picked at him until he didn’t know where he stood. Always she’d done this, taken what little sense he had and driven it right out of his brain.
“I should say it is the point. Our visit would not distress you, if it weren’t for them.”
“It should distress me in any case. You should not be here.”
“Do you know what I’m hearing, Thomas? I’m hearing a vast amount of negativity, when you’ve not even greeted me properly. Why, you’ve yet to kiss my hand, or perhaps give me a h-hug.” Chin up, she looked at him with eyes brimming, and he saw right through her facade. She was truly hurt he’d not yet greeted her as he should.
Helpless, he stared at her. How did she do it? How did she turn his brain to mush? She’d been here less than five minutes, and already she had drawn him back in.
But she was right. He hadn’t greeted her as he should.
Standing, he went to her and drew her to her feet. “Welcome home, Nic.” And he hugged her.
- Where did you get the idea for the novel?
I was very lucky to be asked to write a story for the brand new Decadent TEASE: Captivate, a short and sweet historical line from Decadent Publishing. At the time, I was rather obsessed with a British TV show called Silk. Silk features an ambitious barrister played by Maxine Peake, who is jostling with another barrister in her law chambers to obtain ‘Silk’ or become a Queens Counsel. With this show bubbling away in my brain, I came up with Thomas, a barrister and a newly minted member of Parliament, who is quite concerned with circumspection. So, what else could I do but give him a heroine mired in scandal? :)
- Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
I came up with the title. It illustrates Thomas and Nicola – Silk is Thomas, as he aspires to eventually become a Queens Counsel who are nicknamed ‘Silks’; and the Scandal is Nicola, who cannot help but fall into scandal with alarming regularity.
I’ve been very lucky in that all my titles have been accepted by my publishers and I haven’t had to change them. I know a lot of authors aren’t as fortunate.
- Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?
I love historical romances set in England, and the current Steampunk trend has highlighted the Victorian period. It was such a dynamic time, with massive social, industrial and economic change. It seems to lend itself to so many different types of story, and is fairly teeming with ideas for tale after tale. Yay for the Victorian Era!
- Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
TIM MINEAR COMMENTED ON MY BLOG! TIM MINEAR!!!!
I’m still a tad excited :D
For those who don’t know, Tim Minear is a TV writer who has written episodes of Buffy, Angel, Firefly, American Horror Story, Wonderfalls, amongst many, many others. I love his writing, that’s he’s mates with Joss Whedon* and he commented on MY blog!
*Joss Whedon is my Writing God. It’s a thing :)
- What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
I’m currently reading A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin. I’m a HUGE fan of the TV show Game of Thrones and I started reading the first book in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series as soon as I learnt the series was greenlit.
It took me five years to read.
There are so many characters in that book. SO MANY. It took three seasons of the TV show to help me understand who was who before I could finish the first book. I’m proud to say, though, that I’m powering through the second. Huzzah!
- What is your writing process?
I usually sit down and force myself to focus. There are so many pretty, internety things to distract me :)
I’ll start off by free-flow writing what I want to happen in the scene, just getting the ideas out of my head and onto the page. Then, I’ll actually write the scene, using whatever language gets the ideas down on the page.
Once the first draft is finished, I’ll go back and replace all the ‘cool’, ‘awesomes’ and ‘WTFs’ I’ve used with more appropriate language...The awesomes and the like generally don’t sit well in historical novels!
I’ve heard it said that anyone can write, but a real author edits. This is totally true. There’s generally about four drafts before I feel comfortable submitting to my publisher, and after that there’s about four more.
And that’s my process!
- At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say?
I haven’t had the privilege of a book signing! As I’m predominantly ebook published – and in Australia – there hasn’t been an occasion. However, I do sign postcards as giveaways, and I try to write something different on each.
- What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I have seventeen eyes and exhale fire in my sleep ;)
Seriously, thought, I think most people are surprised to discover I’m Australian.
- How do you react to a bad review?
I try not to. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and if our opinions differ, that’s a-ok by me. Of course, it’s never fun to get a bad review, but you just have to remember everyone is different and that’s more than ok, it makes the world an extremely interesting place.
- How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I was actually convinced it was a horrible joke that would all go wrong! It took me a month to accept that yes, I had received a contract and ENSLAVED was going to be published. By that time, it was all a bit anti-climatic.
However, when I received the first print copies of TEACH ME, I squealed. Loudly. Repeatedly. I also hugged those books to my chest. It was glorious :)
Thank you so much for having me!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Cassandra grew up daydreaming, inventing fantastical worlds and marvelous adventures. Once she learned to read (First phrase – To the Beach. True story), she was never without a book, reading of other people’s fantastical worlds and marvelous adventures.
Fairy tales, Famous Fives, fantasies and fancies; horror stories, gumshoe detectives, science fiction; Cassandra read it all. Then she discovered Romance and a true passion was born.
So, once upon a time, after making a slight detour into the world of finance, Cassandra tried her hand at writing. After a brief foray into horror, she couldn’t discount her true passion. She started to write Romance and fell head over heels.
The love affair exists to this very day.
Cassandra lives in Adelaide, South Australia.
Cassandra will be awarding a signed Silk & Scandal postcard and Silk & Scandal magnet to one randomly drawn commenter at each stop. A grand prize of a $25.00 Amazon.com gift card, as well as a signed Silk & Scandal postcard and Silk & Scandal magnet will be awarded to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. (international giveaway)
The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: