All the Pleasures of the Season Review + Interview with Lecia Cornwall + Giveaway

Reading Romances: What are your favorite romance novels and romance couples?

Lecia Cornwall: I love classic romantic couples…like Darcy and Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice. I find Robin Hood and Maid Marion incredibly romantic, and Tristan and Iseult is one of my favorite stories. On my keeper shelf I have a copy of Jude Deveraux’s “A Knight In Shining Armor” which makes me cry every time I read it.

How do you like your heroes and heroines to be? What do you think will make readers fall in love with Miranda’s fiancé?

I like heroes and heroines with flaws or problems to overcome. They might be internal, like a self-doubt or fear, or they might be external, such a scandal, or a mistake. We can all identify with having issues, and I think flaws add more dimension to character, makes them more realistic. Who wouldn’t want to help a handsome hero overcome his problems, or see a heroine triumph over adversity and find true love?

Gilbert Fielding is different than other heroes I’ve written. For a start, he was originally created as a secondary character in Secrets of A Proper Countess. He’s young, penniless, quiet, and as a second son, he’s intended for the army. When he stepped on stage in Secrets, he was only there to throw a wrench into Miranda Archer’s neat plans to make her debut, choose a husband from a pre-set list of noble bachelors arranged by title and income, and live happily ever after. But when Miranda’s brother tells her, “You don’t marry a title, Miranda. You marry a man. What if you fall in love with a mere second son?” it simply had to happen. And what better time for a love story than Christmas?

Gilbert knows if he offers for Miranda, his suit will be rejected. The granddaughters of dukes simply do not marry penniless soldiers. It’s only when he realizes just how badly Miranda stands to be hurt by her fiancé’s secrets that he decides to declare his love. Gilbert isn’t brave or heroic until fate—and love—insists that he has to be. Then, he is everything a romantic hero should be.

What’s your favorite scene from All The Pleasures of the Season and why?

There’s a scene where Gilbert goes to propose to Miranda, only to find she’s already left for Carrington Castle. He has to face her sister, Marianne, and then Miranda’s fiancé, Kelton.

I love it because it is the scene where Gilbert must take the actions that make him a hero. Even Marianne gets fluttery when he neatly deals with Kelton and rides off into the snow.

What are five fun facts about you or this book that readers would love to know?

1. I still watch the Grinch every Christmas, and Love Actually, and White Christmas.

2. Carrington Castle was based on magnificent Holker Hall in the Lake District. Who wouldn’t want to spend a romantic Christmas here?

3. Miranda has plans for her husband’s estates, and intends to bring displaced weavers to live and work there. I added this after learning that French silk weavers escaped the French Revolution and came to London to ply their trade, and combined that with the fact that some wealthy landowners evicted tenants to make room for factories during the Industrial Revolution.

4. One of my favorite Christmas traditions is baking with my children (17 and 20). We get tipsy making rum balls, and take turns kneading the dough for Kulach, Ukrainian Christmas bread.

5. Frank Sinatra’s ‘J-i-n-g-l-e Bells’ is my favorite Christmas song. ‘Oh Holy Night’ is my favorite carol.

What do you think is your best line of dialogue for this title?

I love writing dialogue! I love romantic lines, and witty lines that make readers laugh out loud.
Here’s a romantic one:

“What were you thinking to come out in the cold without a cloak?”
He kissed her. “You. I was thinking of you, and I was more than warm enough.”

What fictional characters from another book would your characters choose as a best friend and why?

Gilbert might choose a soldier like Richard Sharpe from Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe novels, or even Flashman, from the books by George M. Fraser. Both Phineas Archer and Adam Westlake from Secrets consider him a friend, though he’s not of their class, admiring his integrity, kindness, and intelligence.

Miranda would choose someone intelligent and brave as a friend, someone who values honesty. Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice comes to mind.

What do you find the toughest part about writing romance novels? The easiest part?

I love what I do! I think the hardest part is taking an idea and turning it into a satisfying, unique, exciting story that will keep readers turning the pages. There are days when I have no idea what the next chapter will reveal, or how the book will end. That gives me nightmares.

The easy part for me is coming up with ideas. So many ideas, so little time to turn them all into books. Not that some of them necessarily should ever become books…

What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must haves for writers?

A good story, told well. I think a satisfying story has to have excellent writing, great dialogue, an intriguing plot, and characters that a reader can identify with, root for, and fall in love with.

I was once told, while I was a copywriter, “Don’t fall in love with your own words, because someone’s going to change them.” I think that suggests writers need to be open to advice, learning new things, and constantly improving.

If you could travel in a time machine, where would you go back to? Anyone you’d like to visit?

Oh, how often have I made that wish! There are so many places I would go…the famous Christmas courts of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine come to mind at this time of year. I would love to meet Anne Boleyn, or The Duke of Wellington, or Marie Antoinette, and so many other fascinating people. My children (history lovers like me) and I used to play a game at dinner, where we listed the famous people, living or dead, that we would like to invite to dinner, and what they might eat or talk about. Napoleon would probably hog the salt, and we couldn’t serve barbecue to Joan of Arc. Einstein would probably use his peas to solve an equation, but Lawrence Olivier and Byron would amuse us all with witty dialogue…

What makes a romance novel a great love story and how would you define romance.

True love, as the song says, and I forget exactly which song it is, is “not a love I can live with, but a love I can’t live without.”

I think the perfect love completes the unfinished parts of our souls. True love sees us for what we are, the flaws, the sins, the beauty, and loves us not in spite of them, but because of them. That’s what I hope my stories express. The more you uncover, the deeper you fall in love.

Romance is the expression of love, the little (and big) things we do to show how we feel, even when it’s difficult. It can be a kind word, a look, or the most passionate sex.

Thank you for joining me today. I’m especially excited because today is the official release day for ALL THE PLEASURES OF THE SEASON! I’d love to read your comments and I’m here to answer any questions you might have. And—since Christmas is the perfect time of year for gifts and surprises—I’m giving away a copy of ALL THE PLEASURES OF THE SEASON. So tell me, if you were playing the game above, who would you invite to dinner, and what would you serve?

You can get to know more about Lecia’s work on her website and blog!

*ø**ø**ø*

On the first day of Christmas:

Lady Miranda Archer accepts a marriage proposal

On the first day of Christmas and 15 minutes:

Miranda realizes she’s made a huge mistake.

For the next 12 days:

Miranda must find a way out of her engagement, which is harder than it looks, especially when her fiancé is pompous, mean, and desperate for her family’s jewels… and convince her true love that all she wants for Christmas is him…

*ø**ø**ø*

I loved reading All the pleasures of the season. It’s a fantastic read and perfect for the holiday season, when we need a quick – and strong- romance book ’cause we simply don’t have enough time to read a full novel!

The romance was very emotional, beautiful and delicious to follow its development. Miranda at first appears as the stubborn lady who wants to please her father and ignore her feelings, a typical heroine, but she reveals her real feelings when Gilbert shows up and she’s conflicted about how her future will turn out. Gilbert is nothing less than a gentleman, although he is presented as a coward and needs a wake up call to decide what it is he truly wants. They both think about the others before themselves, altruistics till the end!

The secondary characters only made me desperatly want to read the other books of this series. I’m giving it The Page Turner Award because, obviously, I couldn’t put it down! I recommend it especially to historical romance fans looking for a christmas title this year.

The Page Turner Award – I couldn’t put this book down until I finished it!

*ø**ø**ø*

Lecia and Harper Collins will be giving away a $25 Amazon.com gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour and a copy of the book for this stop! Follow the tour here!

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56 thoughts on “All the Pleasures of the Season Review + Interview with Lecia Cornwall + Giveaway

  1. I would invite a Duke to dinner. I would fix for dinner “Pheasant under glass”, stuffing,some kind of cranberries, some good sweet potatoes topped with butter, brown sugar and of course lots of marshmallow, green bean casserole, dessert I would have to think about. This day in time I would invite all my family. Served them ham, turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes with the fixins, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn or peas, still have to think of some kind of dessert.
    I love romance novels, they take me into a fantasy world that I would love to live.

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  2. I would invite Ryan Reynolds, ((swoon), we would feed each other finger food : grapes, chocolate covered strawberries, drink champagne. I may even have to spill my drink on him so he would have to take off his shirt.. hehehe 🙂

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  3. Oh wow this book sounds wonderful! Now if I were playing the game the people I would invite Madame Marie Curie, Cleopatra, Dolly Parton, and Reba Mcentire, and Garth brooks. The women are my idols and Garth is just my all time favorite male singer! I’m not sure what I would serve them for dinner but I would want to make everything by hand and as elegant as I can because every single one of them has made a huge impact in my life. As for your books they sound EXACTLY what I have been look for to read at the moment! They sound amazing and weather I win or not I am still going to go out and buy them both. Though if I win I am going to give it to my mother (she’s 61 and still loves romances) because she does so much for me and my brothers even when it may not be too good for her.

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    1. Your dinner party sounds like a lot of fun, lots of great music and you wouldn’t need candles because Marie would probably glow in the dark (ouch, sorry!). And imagine what Cleopatra could tell you about romance!

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    2. Lol Yeah! I would love to hear Cleo tell me about romance! And all the music would be wonderful! Oh and in this series what is the first book, and are there any others in the series? Because I would really like to get them all and start reading! They sound Amazing and like I could get lost in them.

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  4. I would invite Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickinson to dinner because they are my idols and I would love to meet them in person. As for what I would serve them…let’s just say I am NOT a good cook, but my husband is, so I would let him pick the menu and cook it!

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    1. I love Emily Dickinson’s poetry, and Edgar Allan Poe would be amazing (don’t serve squab, or raven). My husband is the cook here, as well. I have been married almost 30 years, and I’ve never cooked the Christmas turkey. At this point I have to keep him since I don’t know how!

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  5. What a delightful interview! I adore holiday reads, and this one sounds like one I should not miss!
    Thank you for the wonderful and generous giveaway chance!

    Happy Holidays!

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    1. Very Happy Holidays to you too, Gena! We have only 56% chance of a white Christmas in Calgary this year, but I’m hoping for snow…with or without snow, may your Christmas be perfect.

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  6. I’ve read Secrets of a proper countess & really enjoyed it & after reading this wonderful interview I can’t wait to read your next book! I so totally agree with what you’ve said about a good story; and especially having characters that a reader can identify with, root for, and fall in love with.

    love the romantic line! *melts*

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  7. What a fun game. There are so many that I would love to invite. It would be a table full of authors. I would love to invite the Bronte sisters, John Grisham, Laurell K Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Jeaniene Frost, Lynsay Sands, Jodi Redford, Lauren Dane, Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, and Mary Balough. That would make for a fun evening.
    What a great giveaway. would love to win and read this book. It looks great.

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  8. For some reason, the meal scene in the 1963 film ‘Tom Jones’ starring Albert Finney popped into my head. If anyone has seen this old film, it was a wild scene with Tom and his love of the day, eating assorted, relatively greasy, meats and carelessly tossing the bones over their shoulders and licking their greasy fingers. The looks of longing and desire in their eyes was a hoot!

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  9. Lecia, I loved Secrets and am looking forward to reading All the Pleasures tonight! What a fun idea for family table conversation. I’m going to have to give it a go. My kids are young so I’ll be interested to hear who they’d invite – Santa and the tooth fairy probably. As for me…hmmm…let’s see. Definitely Jane Austen, Harper Lee, Diana Gabaldon and the Dalai Lama (just for fun). I think I’d have to make some kind of vegetarian dish (chocolate, espresso chili maybe.) Great interview!

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    1. I think the Dalai Lama would definitely enjoy a conversation with Santa! And you’d probably never get Jane Austen and Diana Gabaldon apart!

      Espresso Chili sounds delicious! Do you have a recipe?

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  10. I would invite authors like Mary Balogh (just finished her ‘A Christmas Promise’, Johanna Lindsay, Anna Campbell, Karen Ranney, Sue-Ellen Welfonder, and Lecia of course. I’d serve an all appetizer buffet, some wine and a sparkly juice punch, plus a dessert buffet (with at least one decadent chocolate item).

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    1. Oh, I’m definitely coming to your house for the dessert buffet! Chocolate should be a food group, don’t you think?

      I met Mary Balogh a few years ago—she’d make a wonderful dinner guest.

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  11. CKY15: I really can’t pick just one have some many. I love reading alot of books. Authors like Christina Dodds, Laurell K Hamilton, Gena Showalter, Lora Leigh, Kate Pearce, Elizabeth Amber, Julia Templeton, and the list goes on LOL
    Some of the books tell how just a simple dinner can be so touching.

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  12. Congratulations on the release of your book, Lecia! 🙂
    I would invite Gerard Butler and hope he could cook, because I can not 😉

    justforswag(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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  13. Book characters would make wonderful guests…my gentlemen always drink Scottish whisky (Glenmorangie is my favorite tipple) but I don’t think I’ve ever given one of them a favorite meal…I’ll have to do that!

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  14. I like Love Actually too. It’s a good, romantic movie with a holiday theme. I also love The Bishop’s Wife and A Holiday Affair (the old one, with Robert Mitchum…in a nice guy role).

    I would invite Mark Twain to dinner. He’d be a witty conversationalist. Since he was a riverboat captain, I’d serve catfish or trout. And maybe I’d invite Judy Chicago to dinner so she could capture our Dinner Party for posterity.

    Cheers,
    Catherine
    @capefearlibn
    catherinelee100[at]gmail[.]com

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  15. I think I’d like to invite Charles Darwin to debate Creation v Evolution. I’m sure I could find some highly evolved food matter to serve.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  16. Lecia,
    For my dinner party I would need to actually invite 4 people! First I would invite Miguel de Cervantes the creator of what I consider the first great romance book Don Quixote de la Mancha. Of course the hero Don Quoixote and his comic side kick Sancho Panza would need to attend and the “heroine” Dulcinea would need to be there as well.

    What better hero could there be but a man like Don Quixote who sees only the good in his one true love, Dulchinea, and not be discouraged from the person she really is? Who wouldn’t want a lover that can forgive all your faults and see only the good in you?

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  17. I would invite all my favorite authors, but the problem I would have is being so excited to have them come I wouldn’t be able to think straight enough to cook. Happy Holidays!

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  18. Ohh, this actually sounds super interesting! I’m so curious now o: And I’m in the mood for some historical romance these days too… *adds to to-read pile* Thanks for getting me to notice it! 😀

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  19. This couldn’t be better timed. I’ve been on a massive Regency romance reading kick, and Miranda sounds like the right mix of smart, funny, and likely to have all sorts of misadventures…

    As for my dream dinner guests, living or dead?
    Once, I read an essay by M.F.K. Fisher that said, that since she made a name for herself as a serious food writer, nobody ever invites her to dinner because they’re all intimidated… so, I would invite her over for something REALLY simple, like lentil soup and homemade bread, or my mom’s super-easy baked chicken recipe. And Scrabble. Or a silly movie.
    And I’d invite Julia and Paul Child to join in, for the same reason. I bet all three would tell fascinating foodie stories.

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  20. I would invite Jane Austen and Byron, I’d love to hear a conversation between those two. I’d also like to meet George IV, there seems to be so many conflicting opinions about him, then I could decide for myself.

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  21. Oh, the book sounds really interesting, I love the cover. 😉 To dinner I’d invite the delicious Jason Momoa and the yummy Cjris Hemsworth and serve mysel-, I mean, lasagna. LOL. A very good family recipe. 😛 thanks!!

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  22. Gosh, there are so many people I would love to sit down at dinner with. I think I would say Stephen King of Edgar Allen Poe. I love both of them and would love to know what goes (or went) on in their minds for them to create their stories. I’m a terrible cook, so I would probably order something in…I don’t really know what though.

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  23. All the Pleasure of the Season sounds wonderful, thanks for making me discover it! 🙂

    I would like to have Henry Cavill over for a romantic candle-lit dinner where we could talk about travelling, cultures, world cuisine and spend the night gazing into each others’ eyes ;-p

    Happy holidays to you all! 🙂

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

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  24. This was a great interview, I really enjoyed it. I love Holiday themed books I have read several books with a Christmas theme and have a couple more to go.

    I love everything about Christmas, the lights, the tv shows and the music.

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