Jane Charles has lived in the Midwest her entire life. As a child she would more likely be found outside with a baseball than a book in her hand. In fact, Jane hated reading until she was sixteen. Out of boredom on a long road trip she borrowed her older sister’s historical romance and fell in love. She long ago lost count of how many fiction novels she has read over the years and her love for them never died. Along with romance she has a passion for history and the two soon combined when she penned her first historical romance. What turned into a hobby became a passion, which has been fully supported by her husband, three children and three cats.
How do you balance writing with the rest of your life?
I am still working on the balance. I recently cut my hours in half at the day job, which has really freed up some time for writing. Lately my mornings are at the day job. The afternoons, Fridays and weekends I am writing and most nights I am at one of the local theatres. I am still working on the discipline of not allowing myself to be easily distracted. The two biggest culprets are Facebook and HGTV. Thank goodness my husband is so wonderful. When this whole process of adventure began, he slowly took over the housework, cooking and such or our house would be condemned and all of us starved.
Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
I try to check on all the social media sites before I go to the day job. When I return home, I first work on critiquing and beta reading for my critique partners, but limit the amount of time I allow. Then I dive into the writing, or editing. It depends on where I am in the process of the story. I give myself a word limit for the day and if I reach it, I allow myself to return to social media.
You sound organized to me. What does your writing space look like?
I’ve turned a bedroom into an office, which I love. When all of the kids were still home I used to write at the dining room table or in a kitchen nook. Now I have this great space with bookshelves, two desks (put together for an L shape), a table and really comfy chair.
That sounds great. What you are most passionate about outside of writing.
My family, first. I have three wonderful and talented kids and an awesome husband. Next would be our local community theatres. I sit on the board of one, and volunteer at two. Currently I am doing hair and makeup for one show (though it is mostly hair). When that closes, I will be rehearsing for the show I will be directing in January. I’ve already agreed to do hair and makeup on four shows next year, but I need to be better about limiting the number of shows I work on or no writing will ever get done.
Directing? You are talented. What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write historical romances set in the Regency Era. I read my first historical romance at that age of sixteen and was sucked in. I love the escape to the past and try to imagine what it would have been like to live in the early to mid-1800’s and sometimes the 1700’s. I would love to write a series around the French Revolution as well as one in the 1840’s. Both storylines have been rumbling around in my brain. I just haven’t had time to write them yet.
Do your characters come to you first, or the plot, or the world of the story?
Usually it is the world of the story and then the plot. When the setting is in my head, the characters emerge.
Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
I would have to say Jordan Trent from The Tenacious Trent series. While writing the books leading to his story, he was always hanging around, growing, and he gave me a little more of himself each time I put him in a scene until I was able to tell his story in A Reluctant Rake.
Can you share a little of your current work?
Right now I am putting the final touches and edits on His Christmas Wife. This is the story of Noah, Marquess Felding, from A Gentleman’s Guide to Once Upon A Time. He was the only remaining bachelor when I finished the trilogy and it didn’t seem fair that he didn’t get a wife when he had been so helpful to his friends. This book is due out in December, though I am cutting it close since the editing process hasn’t gone as smoothly as I had hoped.
Does it ever? Where can readers find more information on you?
on Facebook and Twitter: JaneACharles
Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?
To Walk in the Sun (Wiggon’s School for Elegant Young Ladies)
His Impetuous Debutant (A Gentleman’s Guide to Once Upon a Time)
His Contrary Bride (A Gentleman’s Guide to Once Upon a Time)
His Not So Sensible Miss (A Gentleman’s Guide to Once Upon a Time)
Compromised for Christmas (Tenacious Trents novella)
A Misguided Lord (Tenacious Trents)
A Perfect Gentleman (Tenacious Trents)
A Lass for Christmas (Tenacious Trents novella)
A Reluctant Rake (Tenacious Trents)
Lady Revealed (Tenacious Trents)
Landing a Laird (Novella, which is a spin off of the Tenacious Trents)
I’ve also been part of four anthologies
A Summons from His Grace
The Betting Season
A Season to Remember
A Pact Between Gentlemen – which was released on November 1st. My story, Lady Disguised is another Tenacious Trent novella
Will you please share a little of your work?
Juliette Mirabelle knew one life and it was one as a ballerina.
The moment Drake Finton, Viscount Acker, saw the ballerina take the stage in Milan he knew he must have her. Yet, Juliette would not be his and when she disappeared he returned to his life in London. Now she was here and Drake intended to make her his.
All Juliette wishes to do is dance, but will the secrets of her past destroy her dreams?
Julia’s Story excerpt:
Acker took a step closer to Juliette. “I will if you dance for me.”
She stared up into his eyes. “I have a performance tonight. I cannot tire myself.”
“A waltz instead.” He wanted to hold her and remain close to her, if not closer, and the waltz was the only thing he could think of to bring her into his arms, without simply pulling her there.
Juliette bit her bottom lip and her eyebrows furrowed. “I’ve never waltzed before.”
How could she come to be the age she was, be a dancer and not yet waltzed? Of course, even though it was popular in Vienna, it was still frowned upon by many in London who considered immoral. “I’ll teach you.”
Acker lifted her left hand and placed it on his shoulder before grasping her right and slide his hand about her waist. Neither wore gloves and his warmth enveloped her cool touch.
“Have you at least seen a couple waltz?” he asked before they began.
He blew out a sigh. Though he knew well enough how the steps moved, he wasn’t at all certain he could teach. “It is a three step dance,” he began and stepped out. “Follow my movements.” She stepped out as he had, and brought her next foot over when he put his feet together. He then stepped forward yet Juliette did not move immediately and was pressed against his body. She quickly matched his movement, her face turning a lovely shade of pink.
They repeated the steps a few more times and Juliette adjusted quickly, much to Acker’s disappointment. He rather enjoyed having her pressed against him. So much sensation from touch was usually lost through the layers of clothing a gentleman was required to wear, but her dress was not thick and as he wore only his shirtsleeves.
Soon he began executing turns and Juliette adapted to each movement. She was a dancer so he shouldn’t be surprised. He twirled her from one end of the room to the other in complete silence. They did not need music nor did they need to speak. Their eyes were locked and the sway of her body was a perfect match for his. He drew her closer and closer until they were practically one, in perfect harmony with each other.
As the moved down the room, Acker guided her toward the settee. He slowed as they came to the sitting area, dropped her hand and pulled her against his body. She brought her other hand up to rest on his shoulder and didn’t try to pull away.
Acker gently tightened his hold and lowered his mouth to hers.
A Pact Between Gentlemen – Lady Disguised
Mr. Sebastian Stanwick never intended to marry. It was bad enough that his father gambled away everything they owned and then drank himself to death, leaving his mother broken until she could not go on. But the death of his good friend at the hand of the man’s wife only solidifies Stanwick’s decision to remain a bachelor. Women were simply unpredictable and unstable if not taken care of properly.
Hélène Mirabelle wants few things in life. One, is to perform on the stage, and the other, is to be out from under the roof of her overbearing new family: Lord Bentley and the Trent brothers. Since her mother’s recent passing, Hélène's desire to return to Milan and the stage has only grown. A husband could never fit into the plans because no decent man would take an actress as a wife.
One fateful night leaves Hélène questioning if being an actress is the only thing she wants, while Stanwick begins to wonder whether all women are truly prone to madness.
Stanwick’s blade sliced through the left shoulder of Mirabelle’s waistcoat and it fell open, revealing the white linen shirt beneath. The other side slipped down Mirabelle’s right arm. He shrugged it back up to keep his fencing arm from being confined.
“Arrêt,” Thorn called.
Stanwick took a step back and lowered his blade, while Mirabelle pulled off his waistcoat and tossed it aside. Mirabelle shook out his arms and took up the stance once again. As with Stanwick, sweat had dampened Mirabelle’s shirt. It clung to his shoulders like a second skin.
“En garde,” Thorn shouted and took a step back.
Carrington called, “Pret,” and then, “Allez.”
In that moment, everything that had bothered Stanwick came together. There was no stubble on Mirabelle’s chin, his shoulders were delicate, as were his wrists. Mirabelle’s hips were not narrow, as one would find on a young man but rounded. The thin linen shirt revealed material wrapped around his upper body. “Bloody hell.”
Mirabelle lunged before he could call a halt to the match. Instinctively, Stanwick slashed his blade down to block hers from striking him. His aim was not what he had hoped due to his distraction, and the tip of his blade cut a long line down her thigh.
She gasped and looked down. Blood damped the dark material, and Stanwick hoped that it was only a flesh wound. Good God, he had just injured, no cut, a woman with a rapier. What the hell was she thinking?
Stanwick let his blade drop and took a step back. He wanted to go to her and inspect the injury but didn’t trust that she wouldn’t come back at him. Thorn rushed to Mirabelle, and Carrington strolled up to Stanwick.
“Congratulations” Carrington patted Stanwick on the back.
Stanwick barley acknowledged Carrington but studied Mirabelle, wavering between being damned angry for being put in this situation and fierce admiration for the woman. Had she been any better, she could have bested him. What if the rules hadn’t been for first blood but death? He could have ended up in a casket, just like Arrington, killed by a woman. His friends and acquaintances would have had a good laugh over how his demise came to be.
Thorn was helping Mirabelle, or whoever she was, into her jacket as Stanwick approached. “Why?”
She glanced up at him, her crystal blue eyes etched with pain. He’d caused her this distress. He’d wounded her, and it tore at him. It didn’t matter that it was her fault for coming here in the first place, dressed like a man, and issuing the challenge. He had been the one who struck and cut her.
“I needed the money.” Though her voice still carried the lilt of a French accent, it was no longer spoken in the lower register she had used all evening. He should add acting to her list of talents.
Jane, Thank you so much for visiting with us today. Your snippets sound terrific. I'm so glad you picked up a romance novel to occupy your time on that long, car ride. We are benefiting from it.