Known only as Lazarus to the band of cutthroats and thieves he leads, William Prescott will do anything to find his missing sister, even blackmail a fragile young woman into helping him. But he never plans to fall in love with this mysterious woman with a troubled past.
Haunted by the memories of war, Olivia St. Germaine wants nothing more than to live a normal life. But when her brother, a doctor, suddenly leaves town without a word, she is forced to use her medical knowledge to help an injured man who puts her life in danger. Can she keep herself safe as she tends Lazarus, or is her heart more vulnerable than she realizes?
Tricia: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Katherine: I live in upstate NY with my family and two cats. I love the changing of the seasons, but hate the snow so I threaten to move south at the beginning of every winter season, but never manage to actually do it. I love history and learning unusual things about the past. (Did you know Anne Boleyn had 6 fingers on one hand? At the time, it was believed to be a sign of being a witch and was one of the reasons Henry VIII used to justify having her beheaded.)
Tricia: When did you begin writing?
Katherine: I started writing in my twenties and finished my first manuscript in 9 months but due to life and family issues took a 10 year break from actively writing. I’d jot down ideas now and then or a snippet of a scene that would pop into my head but didn’t focus on writing with the intent of publication until 2010.
Tricia: Can you tell us about your most recent release?
Katherine: An Unexpected Gift takes place in London during the Regency period. The heroine, Olivia, is the sister of a man knighted for his service to the king. The hero, Lazarus, leads a band of thieves. It’s the story of two haunted souls who find peace in the most unlikely of places – each other.
Tricia: How did you get the idea for the book?
Katherine: While writing my novella, The Muse, Lazarus showed up on the page and became larger than life. He was such an intriguing character, I had a hard time keeping him from taking over the story. He would pop into my head at the oddest times, telling me about himself. I knew then that I needed to write his story.
Tricia: If you could recommend just one of your books to my readers, which book would you choose?
Katherine: This is a hard question to answer. Of course, the first book I had published will always be dear to my heart, but I have to say I would choose An Unexpected Gift. While it takes place in the Regency period, it focuses on the darker side of life in London and less on the world of the Beau Monde.
Tricia: What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?
Katherine: Lazarus isn’t your typical hero type. He’s a criminal. His reputation for violence against his enemies and those who threaten people under his protection is well known. It was a delicate balance keeping him true to his character and letting the reader know that despite some of the things he does or did in the past, he is a man worthy of Olivia.
Tricia: What is your primary goal as an author?
Katherine: My primary goal is to always give readers a great story. One that they won’t want to put down and will resonate with them in some way after they’ve finished the book.
Tricia: What projects are you currently working on?
Katherine: I’m currently working on my first contemporary romance. Surprisingly enough, it’s proving more difficult to write than a historical romance. I’m also making notes to write Finch’s story after I finish my current work in progress. Finch is a secondary character in An Unexpected Gift.
Tricia: What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?
Katherine: I’d like to pass on two of the best pieces of advice I received when I decided to actively pursue publication. The first is to write every day, even if you can only manage a couple of paragraphs each day. If you only write when you feel inspired, it could take years for you to complete a manuscript or you may end up never completing it because you’ll lose the threads of the story, not to mention interest in it, and decide to start something new. Before you know it, you’ll have a bunch of started manuscripts and nothing completed.
The second piece of advice is when you receive a critique, let the comments sit for a couple days, then go back and read through them and make those changes you agree with and ignore the rest. I have to add a caveat to that though. If you’re receiving similar comments about the same thing, then change that scene or whatever the comments pertain to regardless of whether or not you agree with the remarks. If a number of people are pointing out the same thing, then there’s a problem with it.
Olivia backed up until she hit the edge of the desk. Afraid to take her gaze from him, she reached for some type of weapon. From what the Bow Street Runner had told her, Lazarus could be dangerous. She just never expected him to hurt her.
Her fingers closed over a paperweight shaped like an apple. It was small but heavy, being fashioned from sterling silver. Could she use it to cosh him over the head if necessary?
As though he had read her thoughts, he grabbed her hand and forced the trinket from her grasp with ease. He turned it over in his hand, tossed it up in the air, and caught it. “You weren’t thinking to hit me in the brain box with this, were you, Olivia?”
“Don’t be ridiculous.” She hoped the tremor in her voice didn’t give away her fear. Leaning back to put as much space between them as possible, she cleared her throat, gathered her courage, and continued on as any good soldier would. “I do believe I haven’t given you leave to use my Christian name.”
“Surely after seeing me without a shirt, not to mention having your hands all over my body, we are beyond formality at this point.” He tossed the paperweight onto the desk, his eyes alight with laughter.
“My hands…” she sputtered. He made it sound as though they had been intimate when nothing could be further from the truth. She’d cared for his injury, nothing more. “You are no gentleman to say such things.”
His smile disappeared, and his gaze turned serious. “I’ve never claimed to be one. It is best you remember that.”