Cheryl Bolen: Ex-Spinster By Christmas (House of Haverstock, Book 4)

Interview with Cheryl Bolen

Susana: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Cheryl Bolen copyCheryl: When the nun who was my third grade teacher explained about paragraphs and asked us to make up one, I thought, “Wow! This is something I love to do!” I was one of those kids who spelled well and absorbed grammar and punctuation rules like some women collect shoes. Therefore, when I went to college, I decided to major in journalism so I could be paid for writing. (Until the Great Digital Disruption, it wasn’t easy to make it as a novelist in New York publishing.) I did major in journalism, with a double major in English. Then I got a master’s in education in case I ever wanted to teach. I worked for two decades as a journalist, and I also taught English for six years.

Susana: Tell us about getting The Call.

Cheryl: Sadly, I wrote seven complete novels before I got The Call 19 years ago from an editor at Harlequin Historical. I started in romantic suspense and won a lot of contests but never got a contract. Then I wrote a sweeping World War II love story which won even more contests but did not sell. It did, though, sort of get me in the back door at Harlequin because the editor judging the top three manuscripts in a contest in which it placed liked my writing and said if I wrote something that took place before 1900, she’d like to see it. The only historical genre I knew was Georgette Heyer. I’d read every one of her books; so, I sat down and began A Duke Deceived, entered the beginning in a few contests to see if it was good, and it placed in every contest I entered.  So I sent the first three chapters to that Harlequin editor, and she asked to see the complete manuscript. I sent it in and waited five months before I got The Call.

I was working as news editor of our community newspaper and came home for lunch, flipped on my answering machine, and there was a message to call the editor at Harlequin. I was shaking all over. I called my husband’s office to tell him, and he said, “Why in the heck are you calling me? Call her back.” I did, and she said they wanted to buy my book. “How does an advance of $5,000 sound to you?” she asked.  I was thrilled—and still shaking—but tried to calmly say, “That sounds fine.”

Susana: So how many books have you written now?

Cheryl: In August I received a pin from Romance Writers of America for writing 35 books. Since then, I’ve published two novellas. I’ve written for Harlequin, Kensington, Love Inspired Historical, and I’ve written one book for Montlake. It was a lighthearted, romantic contemporary mystery which I envisioned as the first book in the Stately Homes Murders, set in England. I began self-publishing in 2011 and have never been happier—and never made so much money! Of my 37 titles, all but five are Regency-set historicals.

Susana: What’s the heat level of your books?

Cheryl: My first ten years of publishing, I wrote to suit the New York publishers, and they wanted hot. Now that I’m my own boss, most of my books are sensuous with the bedroom door closed.

Susana: What’s next for you?

Cheryl: My next full-length novel will be the story of the third Birmingham brother—at readers’ request. The Birminghams, the richest bankers in England, were introduced in my Brazen Brides series. I haven’t started it and have zero plot ideas. This is a hybrid series, in that the first two (Counterfeit Countess and His Golden Ring) were written for Kensington in 2005, and I’m now continuing the series with my own imprint.


About Ex-Spinster By Christmas

“Delightful author, delightful characters, delightful stories.”—Austintatious

Ever pragmatic, Lady Caroline Ponsby has given up hope she’ll ever receive a proposal of marriage from Christopher Perry, the wealthy man she’s adored for almost two years. She is determined to be an ex-spinster by Christmas. To that end, she has invited a prospective suitor to spend Christmas with her family. She knows very well that Lord Brockton would love to get his hands on her dowry, and she’d love to be a married woman with a home and family of her own.

The very idea of his Lady Caroline throwing herself away on the likes of the vile Lord Brockton rankles Christopher Perry. A pity he cannot offer for her himself, but a duke’s daughter is too far above his touch, given his family’s humble origins. Nevertheless, Christopher attends the Duke of Aldridge’s Christmas house party with the intention of thwarting Lady Caroline’s grave misalliance with Brockton. If only he’s not too late…

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKobo


About Cheryl Bolen

Since being named Notable New Author for 1997, Cheryl Bolen has published more than 35 books with Kensington/Zebra, Harlequin, Love Inspired Historical, Montlake, and independently. She has broken into the top 5 on the New York Times and hit the USA Today bestseller list. Her 2005 One Golden Ring won Best Historical, Holt Medallion, and her 2011 My Lord Wicked was awarded Best Historical in the International Digital Awards, the same year her Christmas novella was chosen as Best Novella. Her books have been finalists for other awards, including the Daphne du Maurier, and have been translated into a dozen languages. She’s also been the number 1 bestselling historical romance author in Germany.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English from the University of Texas and a master’s degree from the University of Houston. Her favorite pursuits are reading diaries of dead English women, traveling to England, and watching the Texas Longhorns play football and basketball. She and her recently retired professor husband are the parents of two sons. One is an attorney, the other a journalist.


Cheryl Bolen: An Egyptian Affair

Tomorrow is release day for my fourth lighthearted Regent Mystery, An Egyptian Affair, so I’m especially grateful that Susana invited me here today. Just as an aside, I actually have two releases tomorrow. The second, One Golden Ring, Brazen Brides #2, is a re-release of a Christmas novel which was selected Best Historical of 2005 (Holt Medallion) and has been in and out of print (mostly out) ever since.

Many of you have been following my Regent Mysteries featuring Captain Jack Dryden and his wife, Lady Daphne. As their romance has already been told, each of the new Regent Mysteries, whilst featuring them as sleuths for the Prince Regent, features a fresh new romance.

In this book, Jack and Daphne must travel to Egypt to investigate the disappearance of an Indian Prince who was obtaining nearly priceless antiquities for the British Prince Regent. Since Daphne’s youngest sister, Lady Rosemary, is enamored of all things Egypt, they must take her along. Also accompanying them is Britain’s most imminent Egyptology scholar, Stanton Maxwell. Of course, Rosemary couldn’t possibly be romantically interested in such a nerd when one dashing captain of his majesty’s dragoons has captured her heart. Or could she?

Cheryl: Thanks, Lady Daphne, for visiting Susana’s Parlour today. So glad you’ve brought along your sister. I understand you’re just back from an exciting trip to Egypt.

Lady Daphne: Indeed. Rosemary and I have decided that since few British women have ever traveled to the Orient, we shall be have a little salon for the purpose of sharing our experiences in Egypt.

Cheryl: Are you going to tell the other ladies about the perils you faced?

Lady Rosemary: My brother-in-law Captain Jack Dryden does much clandestine work for the Crown and has sworn me to secrecy. However, I don’t mind sharing our experiences with things like crocodiles on the Nile or cobras.

Lady Daphne: (Scrunching up her nose and narrowing her eyes as she peers through her spectacles at her sister) Oh, but we won’t discuss the cobra that was intentionally placed in our bedchamber whilst we slept. I shouldn’t want to discourage faint-hearted ladies from traveling to Egypt. We loved it very much.

Cheryl: I suppose to you, Lady Rosemary, Egypt will always hold terribly romantic memories. Did you not marry your husband there before you had to return to England?

Lady Rosemary: Indeed I did. But I can say no more. We must save all the breath-taking details for the readers of your book.

An Egyptian Affair copy


You can read an excerpt of the book here

AmazoniBooks Barnes & Noble • Kobo

About the Author 

Cheryl Bolen copyAn Egyptian Affair is the 30th book by Cheryl Bolen, a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. Many of her books have placed in contests, including the Daphne du Maurier (romantic suspense) and have been translated into ten languages. She was Notable New Author in 1999. In 2006 she won the Holt Medallion, Best Historical, and in 2012 she won Best Historical in the International Digital Awards and she’s had four other titles place in that competition. Her 2011 Christmas novella was named Best Novella in the Romance Through the Ages.