Thursday, May 22, 2014

Author: Dayna Leigh Cheser

I'd like you to meet my good friend and fellow author, Dayna Leigh Cheser.  
In school, were you good at English?
Yes and no.  I was good at the writing and reading parts, but the mechanics/technical part – diagramming sentences, recognizing components of the language, etc. – escaped me completely.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Adelle, in ‘Adelle’s Time,’ was a horrible child (in Moria’s Time), living in the shadow of her twin sister, but she grows up and finds her way, even founding a charity – she brings London orphans out into the country for part of the summer.  She also discovers the love that’s been there all of her life, but she never saw it.
What are you working on at the minute?
I’m getting back to the next book in the series, ‘Logan’s Time,’ which is partly written, and which, I hope, will be released in early 2015.  Utilizing NaNoWriMo’s enforced writing time, I ended up with 4 of the 5 books in the series as WIPs at the same time.
What genre are your books?
Historical Romance – with elements of different things, depending on the book.  ‘Janelle’s Time’ is HOT, ‘Moria’s Time’ is less so, and ‘Adelle’s Time’ is positively tame.  But, all include a bit of paranormal – time travel, but not for it’s own sake.
What draws you to this genre?
In school, my best subjects were English and History (especially around the Revolution up to about the Civil War).  Add that to the fact that I’m about half English by ancestry, and, therefore, have an interest in England/Scotland, and it’s a perfect match.
How much research do you do?
I do what I need to for the book – although often I find the research materials interesting and spend more time just reading about the topic at hand.  The internet has made research (of historical topics) very easy, but I always search for other sources of the same information – I strive for historical accuracy whenever possible.
Why do you write?
Like so many writers, I’m driven to write … if I’m not home on the computer writing something, I’m thinking about being home on the computer writing something.  Visiting with family/friends, at least a small part of my brain is working out plot problems, conjuring up a new character or two, working out whatever other problems exist. 
Do you write full-time or part-time?
Full-time, although I’m not actually writing all the time.  There are edits, rewrites, interviews, blog posts, and so much more that take up my time, but my favorite activity is sitting here and letting the story unfold.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
I wish!  I am a wife first, and a writer second.  If I were single, I could set numbers of hours/words/pages per day, but with a husband (who has recently retired), I can’t be sure I’ll be able to do even a fraction of these goals daily … or, I could end up with a full day with mega-word counts. 
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
Where do the your ideas come from?
My head.  A lot of it is taking a situation from modern life, eliminating the technology and converting it to the appropriate time period with other knowledge and resources as needed.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I am a ‘pantser’ writer – starting with a blank screen, I let the story unfold on it’s own.  When working on a series, being a ‘pantser’ can be difficult, especially if you don’t have at least a timeline, but it’s not impossible.  I started an outline for one of my books, but found it restricting … I couldn’t follow where a character or situation led me. 
A non-writing question:
Have you ever gotten into a bar fight?
LOL.  Getting into a bar fight kinda means you have to be in a bar.  I can’t remember the last time I was in a bar.  I do remember getting drunk one time … I think it was 1975 or thereabouts.  Nope, no bar fight.  Sorry.

Darn.  I thought you were going to share something shocking.  Oh well,  I suppose we'll have to look for those in your books.  Speaking of which, what's new in your world?

Dayna Leigh Cheser
is proud to present the
Cover Reveal
for her newest

Historical Romance novel,
'Adelle's Time'
book three (of five) of her TIME Series.
The Grayson Family Saga continues.

The first time she appeared was during the Hargrove’s ball.
Like a dream, the specter floated from the shadows.
Conversation ceased. All eyes looked her way.
Her slim body emphasized the simple, yet elegant, cloth-of-gold gown. The white silk cloak emanated a soft, subtle glow in the flickering candlelight. Concealed under the cloak’s hood, and the veil that shrouded her face, she teased the imagination with her sensuous movements.
Ladies’ fans labored furiously; the gentlemen smiled their approval.
She floated slowly around the room, as if on air, with the cloak drifting behind her.
Then, as suddenly as she’d appeared, she slipped into the shadows and was gone.
Motionless, the Lords and Ladies stared at each other in silent amazement.
Questions bubbled to the surface. Who was she? Where had she come from? Where did she go?
Several men jumped into action, racing out into the night, but soon returned. They’d found no trace of the mystical entity, ‘Lady Mysterious’.

About the Cover
Before I gave any thought to the cover design, I had written into the book Adelle's favorite get-away location, a large willow tree near the confluence of two gentle streams, not far from her home.  There, she could find some peace and quiet ... away from the hustle and bustle of her world which included a home, children, and a charity - bringing London orphans out of the city during the dangerous, disease ridden summers.  While not exactly 'summer camp,' she hit on the idea when, as a new resident of London herself, she was advised to get out of town during the summers.  It didn't seem right to her, leaving those children behind.  Then, she named her first child Willow.  So the willow tree theme was there.  All I needed was a model with black hair, dark eyes and at least quasi-Victorian garb.  That was not an easy task. It took month's of searching.

In Chapter Nine, Adelle meets Lord Hastings
… I looked up at him, and again, he winked, his light blue eyes, dancing in the candlelight.
“So, have you heard the gossip about ‘Lady Mysterious’?” My breath caught in my throat. He knew. Somehow, he knew.
Deanna saw my distress and took over the conversation. “Only what we’ve heard through the grapevine, or read in the papers. A woman shows up at the balls, dressed scandalously, unannounced and uninvited, walks about the room, then leaves, without a trace.”
“It’s not quite that simple,” Lord Hastings said. “‘Lady Mysterious’ arrives, and waits until all eyes are on her.” He glanced at me, then continued. “Then, she wanders about, taking care to not get too close, and, as you said, she leaves. And, you’re right, even in light snow one evening, no trace of her was found outside the ballroom. But, I must tell you, she’s quite lovely. Her gown is quite scandalous, as you said, Lady Deanna, but many of the ladies have copied it, to one degree or another. I’ve gotten close to her a couple of times. I almost had her in my arms when she disappeared.”
I had to know. “Disappeared?”
“Hmm. She didn’t run or walk away, she … vanished. I haven’t figured it out yet, but I know she’s not a figment of my imagination. Too many other people have seen her, including Lord Grenfell who saw her disappear, too. There have been many fine inventions in recent years, but we know of no machine capable of doing such a thing.”
I relaxed a bit. He’d seen us disappear, but he didn’t understand how it could happen. And, from his conversation, he didn’t know who ‘Lady Mysterious’ was, but was interested in finding out because he thought she was lovely. And he had yet to see an inch of her skin.
I must have had a puzzled look on my face because Lord Hastings said, “What do you find so puzzling, my dear?”
Think fast. My mind raced to answer his question.
“Why would someone do this? She spent a considerable amount of time on this, between the gown you mentioned, and her overall plan, if there is one, but to what end?”
“Lord Grenfell and I have discussed this at length but can come up with no reason to put on such an elaborate show. Perhaps you ladies can assist us, give us a woman’s point of view. Why would a woman go to such lengths for no apparent reason?”
I took a deep breath and glanced at Deanna. She was leaving this question for me.
“I’m sure I don’t know, Lord Hastings. I’m afraid I don’t understand how the mind of a common trollop works.”
He raised an eyebrow, intrigued. “A common trollop? What makes you say that?”
“Well, she’s parading around in a scandalous gown, showing up unescorted, and uninvited. No real lady would do such things, am I right?”
“Well, yes, that’s true, but what if she were, in fact, a lady?”
“Then, we’ve come full circle to the ‘why’ again. Why would any lady risk her reputation like this? There’s also her family’s reputation, not to mention her husband’s, if she’s married.” Lessons learned.
Lord Hastings summed up the assumptions so far. “So, we’ve pretty much agreed, then, that the lady in question isn’t a lady. We can also rule out someone using this as a ploy to get inside the big houses of London to see what they might steal since she’s only inside the ballroom, which is a public room in most houses. Besides, if someone were looking to find things to steal, getting themselves hired as house staff would give them better access and opportunity.”
“You have given this a lot of thought.” I was impressed.
“I have, ma’am, and will continue to do so. We don’t know when or where she’ll turn up next, but I plan to be prepared.”
“For what?”
“I must know who she is. She reminds me of my late wife. It’s quite maddening.”
“Lord Hastings, correct me if I’m wrong, but is not the costume this ‘Lady Mysterious’ wears covering every inch of her body?”
“That’s true, but there’s something about the way she walks … the way she holds her head.”
Mixed emotions flowed through me. Of course, his wife walked the way ‘Lady Mysterious’ walks. It’s why I practiced the walk for days, so it looked like ‘Lady Mysterious’ was an aristocratic woman. But he wasn’t interested in me. He was enthralled by my alter-ego, and only because she walks like his dead wife. I wiped the beginnings of a smile off my face when I saw him looking at me.
“You, my lady, are an enigma. I look at you, and see the look on your face. I’m sure, at that moment, you know something about ‘Lady Mysterious’. But, the next time I look at you, it’s clear you know nothing.” He shook his head.

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