Spotlight & Giveaway: The Winter Bride by Anne Gracie

Posted April 3rd, 2014 by in Blog, Spotlight / 51 comments

Today it is my pleasure to welcome historical romance author Anne Gracie to HJ!


Hi Anne, Welcome to HJ!

Thanks Junkies (Junkettes? Junkabellas? Junkalovelies?) it’s great to be here.

If you were written about in the newspaper, on the front page what would the headline say? Why?

Anne GracieMy friends Trish Morey and Kelly Hunter said it would be “AMAZING GRACIE!” Why? No idea, but who am I to argue with my friends? 🙂

Would you rather… visit the world 100 years into the past or 100 years into the future? Why?

!00 years into the future. Because I’m curious, because 100 years into the past is the beginning of WW1, which is depressing, and because if I came back from 100 years into the future, I could make some really excellent investments.

Let’s talk about your newest release: The Winter Bride

If you had to summarize the book for the readers here…

TWB2To get his parents off his back and to stop marriage-minded females stalking him, charming bad-boy Freddy Monkton-Coombes pays marriage-shy Damaris Chance to enter into a false engagement. It’s all for show; falling in love was never in the plan . . .

Please tell us about the characters in your book.

My hero Freddy is (if I say so myself) gorgeous. He’s not the grim and tortured kind of hero — he’s funny and charming, a lighthearted bad-boy rake with a powerful aversion to marriage. He’s relentlessly pursued by what he calls “muffins” — ie. eligible, seriously marriage-minded women and every woman he meets in the story gives him a hard time. But there are hidden depths to Freddy and as the story progresses, he slowly reveals himself to be “an utterly to-die-for hero” (to quote Mary Jo Putney.)

My heroine, Damaris is serious and quiet and fiercely independent. The secrets of her past make her vulnerable and just as marriage-averse as Freddy, but underneath her cool exterior she’s really something special — brave and smart and resourceful. Watch her stand up to Freddy’s b*tch of a mother, and bamboozle his arrogant father and I think you’ll love her as much as I do.

As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?

I’m always surprised by how characters can seem to take on a life of their own. They won’t do what I’ve planned they will, and they take the story in directions I hadn’t thought of. This, of course, is a big part of the joy in writing — discovering the characters’ backstories and secrets — but it can also make the writing process tricky, as it can involve lots of rewriting.

What scene did you most enjoy writing? Why?

There are lots in this book. The opening scene was fun, where Max (the hero of the previous book) asks his best friend Freddy to keep an eye on his aunt and her nieces. Freddy, who generally avoids respectable girls, is forced to agree, though with one condition— he won’t attend their literary society.

“Not the literary society. The horror stories those girls read are enough to make a fellow’s hair stand on end.”
Max frowned. “Horror stories? They don’t read horror stories, only entertaining tales of the kind ladies seem to enjoy, about girls and gossip and families—”
“Horror stories, every last one of them,” Freddy said firmly. “You asked me to sit in on their literary society last month, when you went up to Manchester, remember? The story they were reading then . . .” He gave an eloquent shudder. “Horror from the very first line: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. Must he, indeed? What about the poor fellow’s wants, eh? Do they matter? No. Every female in the blasted story was plotting to hook some man for herself or her daughter or niece. If you don’t call that horror, I don’t know what is!”
Max chuckled.
“You can laugh, bound as you are for parson’s noose in the morning,” Freddy said bitterly, “but every single man in that story ended up married by the end of the book! Every last one.” He numbered them off on his fingers. “The main fellow, his best friend, the parson, even the soldier fellow ended up married to the silly light-skirt sister—not one single man in that story escaped unwed.” He shuddered again. “Enough to give a man nightmares. So no literary society for me, thank you.”

What scene was the hardest to write? Why?

For me, it’s not so much writing a scene that’s hard as choosing how much to reveal, when — it’s choices that I find hardest, not the writing. In this book it was hard to decide how much of Damaris’s backstory to show, and when. This is the first snippet:

She breasted the hill and stopped, catching her breath at the sight of the line of brilliant blue that shimmered along the horizon. The sea. She took a deep breath, breathing in the clean, fresh salt tang of it, the taste of freedom. . .
Then her heart started to thump as she saw in a dip between the hills three slender vertical lines silhouetted against the blue. Tall masts. Which meant a European ship.
Pray it was English. It shouldn’t matter, as long as it took her away from this place where she would always be foreign, unwelcome, no matter that she’d lived all her life here and knew no other place. But she was English, and an English captain would understand and, pray God, an English ship would take her home. To what, she did not know — she had no living relatives that she knew of — but first things first.
She started to run, then stumbled to a ragged halt. She was hot, filthy, dusty and sweaty from the endless walk. She’d lost track of how many days she’d been walking, hiding from danger, sleeping under bushes and foraging for whatever food she could find along the way. She could not approach the captain of a European ship looking like a filthy beggar.

Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book were optioned for a movie? And what scene would they use for their audition?

Maybe someone like Paul Walker (only sadly he’s not around any more) or Bradley Cooper or Rupert Penry-Jones or even Laurence Fox as Freddy.
Damaris would be a young Winona Ryder.

For the audition scene? The kiss by the graveyard. There’s dialogue and action and it’s very potent and sexy and a little bit heartbreaking.

If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be and why?

I wouldn’t give them any advice, because if I told them what to do and think and how to behave there would be no story. Or a very boring one. Characters need to find their own way, make their own mistakes and earn their own happy ending. And I love seeing a rake sideswiped by love. 🙂

What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2014?

I’m working on the third in a series of four books about The Chance sisters, four girls living in Regency-era London. Chance is a false name — they’re not real sisters, but “sisters of the heart.” The first book is called The Autumn Bride (it’s a RITA finalist) the second is called The Winter Bride, (it’s just out now) and I’ll give you one wild guess what the next book is going to be called. 🙂

Where can readers get in touch with you?

Through Face Book ( Twitter (@AnneGracie) and you can get my email from my website ( I also have a blog ( ) and I blog regularly with the Word Wenches (

GIVEAWAY: 2 print copies of THE WINTER BRIDE

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and post a comment to this Q: There have been so many films made and remade of long dead authors; what historical romance written by a living author would you like to see made into a movie? Why would it make a good movie?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Here’s a piece where Damaris’s employer warms her off Freddy:

“Tomcat in gen’leman’s clothing, that’s what ’e is—a rake through and through.”
“Rake? You thought—”
Mrs. Jenkins snorted. “I knew what he was the instant I clapped eyes on him! Dressed like that in his fancy duds at this hour of the mornin’. The cheek of ’im, thinking he could seduce away one o’ my girls in broad daylight.”
“But he wasn’t—”
“Bless you, my dove, you’re too young to recognize a Wicked Seducer when you see one, and I grant you that one is an ’andsome devil, and charmin’ as an oiled snake, I have no doubt!” She fixed Damaris with a gimlet eye. “But it don’t do for a girl like you to catch the eye of a gentleman, take it from me. He’ll soften you up with sweet words and little gifts and . . . and poetry, and you’ll think ’e’s ever such a nice fellow, then in the twinklin’ of an eye, he’ll ’ave your skirts over your ’ead, and there you’ll be, rooned forever!”
“But Mrs. Jenkins—”
“Rooned forever!” Mrs. Jenkins repeated firmly. “And we don’t want that, do we? Now, I’ve given him a piece of me mind—blistered ’is ear’oles good and proper, I did—and if ’e knows what’s good for ’im, he won’t be back to bother you again, so let’s get to work.”
Damaris nodded and resumed her seat at the bench. Her hands had stopped shaking but she had to press her lips together to hide the smile that kept threatening to break out. She could just imagine Mr. Monkton-Coombes’s face when he was confronted with Mrs. Jenkins, four foot eight of Righteous Indignation.

51 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: The Winter Bride by Anne Gracie”

  1. Sandy X

    I would love to watch Julie Garwood’s Larids’ Fiancees series. Even though it is two books only, those were two awesome books!

  2. Diane Sallans

    I’d love a Regency series – maybe Stephanie Laurens Cynsters or Mary Balogh’s new Survivor series.

  3. a neely (@aneely6)

    For historical novels I’d have to go with one one Julie Garwood’s or Lisa Kleypas’ books. Either one of them because their books have depth and relate able characters.

  4. Cari White

    Julie Garwood’s For the Roses series…. American history, diversity and inclusiveness… Love and acceptance!

  5. Annwitch

    I would like to see A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James. I love a great Cinderella story.

  6. Barbara E.

    I think Julie Anne Long’s Pennyroyal Green novels would make a great series of movies, especially the first book, The Perils of Pleasure. There are such wonderful characters and plenty of action that I think would translate well to the screen. In The Perils of Pleasure the opening of the book is Colin Eversea being rescued from the gallows, what could be a better start to a movie than that?

  7. Julie Duffy

    I would like to see one of Julie Garwood’s Highland historical novel’s made into a movie. They are full of humour, romance and action.

  8. Yvonne Rodriguez

    Lisa Kleypas’ Devil in Winter has the reformed bad boy who finally redeems himself but never quite loses that bad side.

  9. Lucy Waterhouse

    Anna Campbell’s “Untouched”” would be fantastic. She writes slightly darker in her her earlier novels but they are all extraordinarily well written and different.

  10. Nicole Potter (@NiiArt)

    Ooooh, I would love to see either Tessa Dare’s ‘Spindle Cove’ series, or Sophie Jordan’s ‘Forgotten Princesses’ series turned in to movies! I love them both!!

    They both feature women who are fiercely independent and men that make them swoon 😉

  11. tori

    historical idk… but i would love to see V.C. Andrews’s Dawn series as movies. I loved that series and i would love to see them in film.

  12. Linda

    Courtney Milan’s books would make great movies. There’s so much depth & character in her heroines/heroes plus a wealth of emotion

  13. Lori H

    Kresley Cole writes a historical series that contains 3 books that I think would make a good movie however I can think of others that would make a great movies too 🙂

  14. Laurie G

    Elizabeth Hoyt’s The Legend of 4 Soldiers quartet – Tough heroes who have been emotionally and physically damaged and the four women who come into their lives and rescue them from their inner demons.

  15. Diane D - Florida

    I would love to see Shana Galen’s “Lord and Lady Spy” made into a movie.

  16. cheryl c.

    Julie Garwood’s Ransom would make a good movie because there is love, humor, adventure, villains, sword fighting, mystery, and sexy highlanders!

  17. Janie McGaugh

    I recently read Jennifer McQuiston’s It Happened in Scotland, and I thought it would make a great movie, because it is very farcical.

  18. DebraG

    I would love to see any of Julie Garwood’s or Amanda Quick’s. the books are amazing and the movies would be as well.

  19. Raquel M.

    Amanda Quick’s novels seem like they would translate well to film, especially her earlier books.

  20. Janice Unger

    I don’t like watching books made into movies. In fact, I don’t watch much TV at all. I don’t think books translate well on film. I just end up noticing all the differences and not enjoying the film.

  21. carol L

    Since Outlander is going to be on Starz I’ll go with Pamela Clare’s MacKinnon’s Rangers series. I love books about Highlanders and reading about siblings. The fact that they are in the US makes for more interesting reading.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  22. Kate I.

    I’d like to see Amanda Quick’s Ladies of Lantern Street series developed for film, or any of Vanessa Kelly’s work.

  23. Ana

    Maybe How to Treat a Lady by Karen Hawkins – I loved that book, but I also think it would look good on screen. There’s the hero who may or may not have an amnesia, sheep shearing, villains and a great family.

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