Monday, March 06, 2017

THE ELUSIVE MISS ELLISON - Carolyn Miller - One Free Book, Plus More

Welcome, Carolyn. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I think – okay, I know! – there is quite a lot of me in my main character, Lavinia Ellison. We both enjoy music and singing, we both loathe needlework, we both enjoy Shakespeare and possess a wry sense of humor. We both share a propensity for action rather than inactivity (can anyone say impatience?) and a desire to see injustice overcome. But that’s where the comparisons stop. I don’t have an Earl living nearby, nor a yappy beagle (my husband says no L), and I live in Australia, not Gloucestershire, England. It’s a tricky balance revealing parts of yourself through your characters without revealing too much J

That’s so true. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
In 2009 my husband and I took our 4 small children to Vietnam and Cambodia for a month to visit his sister. We had a great time: saw Angkor Wat, rode elephants, swam in Halong Bay, but one of the quirkiest things we did was visit a market in Siem Reap where you could have a fish massage. Yep, a fish massage. You sit beside an inflatable pool, place your feet in the water, and tiny (piranha-related?) fish come and nibble at your feet. Apparently they are eating away the dead skin, whilst giving you a tickling kind of massage at the same time. It was certainly something I’d never experienced in my hometown in Australia!

When did you first discover you were a writer?
In 2010 I was watching the Vancouver Winter Olympics when I saw a female Australian athlete enter the closing ceremony holding hands with an American competitor. I instantly wondered about their story; I guess I’ve always been fascinated by international romances.  I wrote my version of their story, and in the process discovered how much I loved crafting words and writing out my dreams.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love all sorts: classics such as Jane Austen (Love Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion) and Shakespeare, early to mid 20th Century English writers like Georgette Heyer and Agatha Christie, contemporary Australian writers like Liane Moriaty and Kate Morton, and Christian authors like Becky Wade, Carrie Turansky and Susan May Warren.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
There has been a lot of run, run, running lately as I’ve prepared for Miss Ellison’s debut into the world! I’ve had to remember to focus on God, to remember He gives strength and is my peace, to make sure I filter the clamor of the world with His truth found in the Bible. I’m also trying to take time for regular walks, for fresh air and fresh perspective, and I like to read a good book (while drinking tea) to wind down.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I choose them in different ways. I’ve always liked the name Nicholas – it’s a good strong manly name – and Hawkesbury is the name of a major river near Sydney, so his name was straightforward. There was a lady named Lavinia in our church, which I thought the most beautiful name. And my eldest daughter once had a schoolteacher whose last name was Allyson, so I altered it to Ellison. I guess I’m inspired by those around me!

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?
Apart from my four marvelous children? I guess getting this book finally published. For an Aussie to get a US agent then get a US publisher to notice them then sign a 3-book contract is a pretty big deal. At least it is to me! J

It is a big deal for an author in the US to do that, too. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d probably be an Australian ringtail possum: I like eating fruit, I like trees, I enjoy the night, and it would be nice to be thought cute!

What is your favorite food?
You mean real food? (Not just Australian Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate?) I love Roast Turkey with all the trimmings – especially roasted sweet potato. LOVE sweet potato J Every birthday in our family gets one of my roast dinners – yum!

The Cadbury cream egg is my favorite Easter treat. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
For a beginning writer it’s really hard to know if your work is any good. Friends and family might say it is but are they just being kind? So I started entering online writing contests. The feedback was sometimes definitely NOT kind, but there was some truth there too. It did help me learn heaps (like not using colloquial Australian expressions when targeting an American audience J), and also helped me develop a tougher hide, which has proved very useful as I undergo various rounds of edits on my books.

Oh yes, those first few edits for a debut author are hard to take. Thank goodness, we grow beyond that. Tell us about the featured book.
The Elusive Miss Ellison is my debut Regency novel, a bit like Pride and Prejudice with a dose of grace and forgiveness, and a twist of Aussie humor. It’s about a minister’s daughter, Lavinia Ellison, and the tribulations in their quiet neighborhood caused by the arrival of the new Earl of Hawkesbury, a man whose heroic efforts in the Peninsular Wars are at odds with his disinterest in the responsibilities associated with his new role. There is plenty of wit and banter, and the revealing of some home truths and secret family mysteries. Carrie Turansky said, “With just the right touch of inspiration and interesting historical detail, Carolyn transports you back to Regency England.” God bless her!

I love Carrie so much. Please give us the first page of the book.
St Hampton Heath,
Gloucestershire, England
June, 1813
“Why, Livvie! Whatever are you doing?”

Lavinia Ellison placed down her gardening trowel, swiped perspiration from her brow and smiled up at her friend. “Good morning, Sophy.”

“Oh, er, yes, good morning.” Sophia Milton’s nose wrinkled as she peered at Lavinia’s handiwork: a tall pile of weeds. “But where is Albert?  Surely tending the garden is his responsibility. I know Mama would never permit me to do so, let alone without a hat—”

“Albert is tending our old Jersey. She has been rather ill lately.” She avoided the question of permission. After all, neither the preparations for Papa’s sermon nor Aunt Patience’s Sunday school lesson deserved interruption for such a minor matter.

“Oh. That’s unfortunate for you all.”

Lavinia nodded as she dusted off her skirts. Sally’s sad decline was unfortunate not just for their household, but for the poor families in the village blessed by her superior milk production. Still, God would provide. And if He didn’t, Lavinia would find a way. She pushed the twinge of worry to one side and led the way inside, cleaning up quickly before directing her guest to a seat in the morning room. She picked up her embroidery. “So, what brings you here on this glorious sunny day?”

“Oh, Livvie! You’ll never guess who is coming tomorrow night!”

She swallowed a smile at her friend’s wide cobalt eyes. Sophia Milton was notorious for her passions. “Alas, you are correct. Do tell.”

“Father said the new Earl has accepted our invitation to dinner!”

The new Earl. Lavinia’s chest tightened.

Sophia sighed. “I saw him from the window when he called on Papa yesterday. He’s ever so handsome. So tall and dark…”

Yes, but a handsome appearance counted for naught unless matched by good character and actions.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My brand new(ly updated) website:                       

Regency romance fans have another must-read novel to add to their lists: Carolyn Miller's The Elusive Miss Ellison. Enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister's daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God's grace and the true strength of love. These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society's opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.

Settle in for a cozy night of reading with a cuppa and a Kindle from Carolyn!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on March 22. The winner will be announced March 23 on the Litfuse blog.

Thank you, Carolyn, for sharing your debut book with us. I’m eager to read it. I know my readers will be, too.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Ellusive Miss Ellison The Elusive Miss Ellison (Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace) The Elusive Miss Ellison (Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace)

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Elly said...

I already own this book, so don't enter me. I'm just commenting to say that it looks like an amazing book, and I'm looking forward to starting in on my copy!
Elly -Indiana-

Carolyn Miller said...

Hope you enjoy Elly! :)

Abigail Mitchell said...

Looks great!
Abigail in VA

Raechel said...

This book is on my TBR list for sure!
Thanks for the interview and giveaway :)
Raechel in MN

Kim hansen said...

Sounds good. north platte nebraska.

R Merr said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this one. I have it on my wish list. Rachael Merritt from DownEast Maine

Melanie Backus said...

Sounds like a good one! Melanie Backus, Tx

Connie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Connie said...

I am looking forward to this book. Thanks for sharing!
Connie from KY

Patty said...

What a lovely cover! Looking forward to cracking the cover of this one for sure.

Patty in SC

Carolyn Miller said...

It is! ;) Hope you enjoy 😊

Carolyn Miller said...

It is a pretty cover, isn't it?

Carolyn Miller said...

Hope you enjoy!

Carolyn Miller said...

It is! ;)

Carolyn Miller said...

Hope you enjoy reading it Rachael :)

Carolyn Miller said...

Hope you get the chance to read it :)

Carolyn Miller said...

Yay! Hope you enjoy Miss Ellison, Raechel :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like my kind of book. How exciting! Thank you for allowing this opportunity of this giveaway.

Barbara Thompson in West Monroe, Louisiana


rubynreba said...

I enjoyed the review and first page of the book. Love to read this!
Beth from IA

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Deanna Stevens said...

This is definitely on my wanted list!!
Deanna from NE is wanting to read this one :)