07 March 2010

Guest Author: Lisa Marie Wilkinson

This week we're welcoming Medallion Press author and Unusual Historicals contributor Lisa Marie Wilkinson as she celebrates the release of her second historical romance, STOLEN PROMISE. With colorful Gypsy characters and settings spanning from England to a sprawling South Carolina plantation, STOLEN PROMISE explores the deep passions that result when cultures collide.

At the Lowara Gypsy Camp outside Windsor, England, in 1806, a young woman will lose her independence in a common marriage market transaction. Jade knows she is promised to Dimitri, a possessive abuser. Jade knows he will hurt her. Jade knows her freedom is gone.

When her father sends her to the arms of another man, she finds only slight consolation...until she encounters her intended. Evan Dark is a half-Gypsy gentleman--nothing like Dimitri. Caught in a battle between tribes, Jade is a piece of property, the ideal runaway bride. In order to escape Dimitri's clutches, she sails for Charleston with Evan as his indentured servant. But, engaged to another woman as part of a plantation merger in South Carolina, Evan's affiliation with Jade can never be more than professional.

Evan must choose between fulfilling his obligation to marry his betrothed or accept his overpowering passion for Jade, a woman his matchmaking Gypsy grandfather deemed the perfect Romany wife. In nineteenth-century America, where insincere tradition meets old money and arranged matrimony in upper-crust society, Evan faces the most difficult decision of his life: Remain loyal to the fiancée he holds in commitment...or be true to the lover he holds in his heart.

"I fell in love with the intense passion, exciting adventures, the love that would not be beaten down, and the vivid and colorful depiction that make this a fantastic journey for those readers who want to take a trip within these wonderful pages." ~ 5/5 Cups from Coffee Time Romance

"Absolutely scrumptious! Our author has given us an action packed, emotional powerhouse that will keep you turning pages as quickly as possible from beginning to end...I totally adored this book." ~ Terra, Yankee Romance Reviewers

"With STOLEN PROMISE, Lisa Marie Wilkinson delivered a romantic but fast-paced story set against the backdrop of the gypsy world and the Southern hospitality of South Carolina. It is fluently written and researched with profound characters. This warm, dynamic and spirited story will keep you reading until the very last page!" ~ Marissa, Realms on our Bookshelves


What inspired you to write about Gypsies?

I met a group of Gypsies who were traveling through the Los Angeles area when I lived in California, and I found them fascinating. I've always been interested in different cultures, and the Romany people have beliefs and customs that make them wholly unique. Great fodder for a romance novel!

What is the significance of the necklace on the cover of STOLEN PROMISE?

In the era in which STOLEN PROMISE is set, the Romany women literally carried their fortunes on their person, in the form of a necklace called a galbé. The necklace was usually made of a gold chain with coins attached. The galbé in STOLEN PROMISE features prominently in the story, and the heroine, Jade, ends up with a much nicer necklace by the end of the story than she possessed at the beginning. The galbé depicted on the cover hints at a sort of blending of the two necklaces, and also represents the merge of two different cultures as Jade, the Gypsy heroine and Evan, the South Carolina plantation owner, fall in love.

And you're planning to give away a signed copy of the book this week?

Yes, it will be my pleasure to give away a signed copy of STOLEN PROMISE to the person who leaves the winning comment this week! I'm also holding a contest on my website for a free copy of the book, so stop by my website and enter there as well, to increase your chances of winning!


Thanks for stopping by, Lisa Marie! She will be here all week to answer questions about her latest historical romance novel. Please comment! I'll draw the random winner next Sunday. Void where prohibited. Best of luck!


Verona St. James said...

Gypsies! So cool.

What made you choose the time period you did?

Lisa Marie Wilkinson said...

The setting was going to include American plantation life, and I wanted to pick a time period during the heyday of the plantation, long before the Civil War era.

Razlover's Book Blog said...

Great interview and glad to see a book written about gypsies! Love the cover and enjoyed reading the history of the "galbé"

Definately a book I would love to read and thanks for the chance!

Lisa Marie Wilkinson said...

Razlover's Book Blog-
Thank you for stopping by and for your kind comments! I just read a lovely review of STOLEN PROMISE over at SingleTitles.com. It's very in-depth and will tell you more about the story:


Alison said...

What an amazing subject and setting! It sounds an amazing read and I'd love to win a copy.

Armenia said...

I love emotional reads in historical books. And the setting and premise to this whole story is too intriguing.

Deborah Schneider said...

I'm excited to read this book, because there are so few books set in this time period. What made you choose the American setting and time period?

Virginia said...

I am real excited about your new book, can't wait to read it. It sounds really good!


anon1001 said...

Congralations on your new book.

Lisa Marie Wilkinson said...

Reply to Deborah's question-

I selected the 1806 setting after completing the bulk of my research for the book. Many of the little details such as the Snap Apple Night party and the tradition of moving from south to north during the summer months to escape the “sick season” fit that time period. I also wanted to explore the beauty and uniqueness of some of the Gypsy customs from that era, such as the elements of the Romany wedding ceremony. I chose South Carolina as the setting for Rosefield, the Dark family plantation, because Charleston had a bustling seaport at the time and the location played into a number of the scenes I was planning to write for the book.

Mitzi H. said...

When I see the word Gypsy...I think of magic and freedom to roam where your spirit takes you. I know that sounds silly....and maybe I've watched to many movies...but the idea of living this unconventional life style is very romantic.

I'm excited about your new novel and Thank You for the chance to win a copy!!! I can't wait to read it!!!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me; I've already got a copy of this book (that I RAVED about). I'm just dropping in to let you all know I've posted about this at Win a Book.

Margie said...

This looks like an intriguing book. Please include me in the giveaway.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Lisa Marie Wilkinson said...

Reply to Mitzi,
No, it doesn’t seem silly to me at all to find the idea of such an unconventional lifestyle appealing. I think that’s what drew me to this subject in the first place; my fascination for a people who have always been a romantic ideal because of the aura of romance and mystery surrounding them.

BUSY BEE said...

What an interesting book. I would love to win it. It is interesting to read the interview. Especially how you chose the time period. What kind of research into the time period did you complete? What was your favorite part of the research?

thanks bsyb100 at gmail dot com

Lisa Marie Wilkinson said...

Answer for Busy Bee:

I researched England and South Carolina, plantation architecture, Gypsy history and customs, Gypsy language, clothing from the time period, historical events from the era, Indians and mountain men for a very short tavern scene in South Carolina....when I do research, I often do a great deal of reading that doesn't even show up in the book. My goal is to end up with an overall "feel" for the era that lends authenticity to the story without the book reading like a history lesson. My favorite part of the research was definitely the research on Romany history and traditions. I love reading about history in general. If I didn't, I don't think I'd be writing historical romance!

Anonymous said...

The book sounds geart. I enjoyed your other book and have added this one to my TBR list.
Interesting about the Gypsies. Are they still nomadic in this day and age? What is their main source of income? Do they marry only other gypies?

windycindy said...

My 91 year old dad talks about how gypsies would stay outside of town when he was young! Dad had a pony and one of the gypsy boys bet dad that his horse could beat his pony!
Dad's pony; MaryAnn, won and then
the boy wanted to buy her.
Of course, my dad said "No way!"
Please count me in because this story line sounds fabulous.....
Many thanks, Cindi

WK said...

Ohh sounds like a great book!

Lisa Marie Wilkinson said...

Reply to Joye,
I'm so glad you enjoyed Fire at Midnight! I hope you will enjoy Stolen Promise just as much. Gypsies have integrated into the modern world, they hold jobs and marry outside their race. They still manage to keep their aura of mystery, however, and you won't find many Gypsies listed on the census rolls because they don't like to be tracked by governments (they were one of the groups Hitler had targeted for extinction).

Reply to Cindi,
What a great story from your Dad! My Mom tells a story my grandmother told about gypsies coming through town when she was a child and all the children being told to stay indoors because there was a popular belief at the time that traveling Gypsies stole children!

avalonne83 said...

Great giveaway!

Please count me in. Thanks.

avalonne83 [at] yahoo [dot] it

Kelley said...

I love historicals!Thanks for sharing.
Be sure to check out my new book as well!