Y’all. I am absolutely delighted to welcome Carolyn Miller to the blog today!
Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.
Her novel, The Elusive Miss Ellison, released February 27 from Kregel.
Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.
That’s the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister’s daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won’t take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia’s pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother–who stole the most important person in Livvie’s world.
Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he’s just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there’s already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.
That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn’t the only heart that needs to change.
These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society’s opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.
Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister’s daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God’s grace and the true strength of love.
Yaaaaay!!! Hi Carolyn! I’m so honored to be chatting with you today! I start all of my guests out with a fast four:
Carolyn: Apples: less messy, crunchy sweetness, no peel. The Pink Lady variety is the best!
Carrie: I love Pink Lady apples …. second only to Honey Crisp!
Carolyn: Winter. I can always get warmer, but Summer (especially this past super-hot Summer in Australia!) can make me feel like I’m melting. Might be my Celtic heritage coming out 🙂
Carrie: Yes! There are, after all, only so many layers you can remove when suffering through summer’s heat.
Carolyn: Dogs. But my husband isn’t keen (he thinks they’ll chase our chickens, and dig up the gardens, and need a walk every day… as if! 🙂 ) so we have guinea pigs. And chickens. And fish. And a cockatiel.
Carrie: I was about to say that you and I must be kindred spirits. But then you mentioned that you own chickens. Ummm… I’m going to need to re-evaluate my initial assessment. #chickenphobia 😉
Carolyn: Both! (But not together). Coffee when I really need my caffeine kick; tea when I want to pretend I’m being good – or need to wind down.
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Carolyn: My daughter says mine should be flying, because then I “could fly to America and meet all those people.” But as I can’t fly (unless strapped in on a plane) I guess something I do that might be considered a superpower is my roast dinners 🙂
Carrie: I may need to come up with a flying superpower to test out these roast dinners of which you speak!
Who’s your favorite book character from childhood?
Carolyn: Anne of Green Gables. We both have red hair (though nobody ever called me carrots), both possess a lively imagination, both enjoyed school – and both ended up marrying the boy who teased us when we were young 🙂
Carrie: Awwwww!!! I love that!
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled while researching a book?
Carolyn: I’ve researched some pretty weird things over the years, everything from Australian Navy diver uniforms and weaponry to World Cup Speed Skating statistics to Gloucestershire dialect and phrases from the 1800s. For my second book ‘The Captivating Lady Charlotte’ (releasing June 27) I refer to a number of real events to do with the Peace after the war with Napoleon was (believed) over. I also reference a small Australian marsupial, but had to ensure it was titled correctly according to the time period. So a banded hare wallaby was called a merrnine. Who knew?
Carrie: I’m still unsure what a banded hare wallaby IS … much less it’s fancier name haha!
Describe your main characters, and tell me who you would cast in their roles if Hollywood wanted to produce The Elusive Miss Ellison as a movie!
Carolyn: Lavinia Ellison is smart, forthright, a Bluestocking with hoydenish tendencies and the voice of an angel.
Nicholas Stamford, the seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, is tall, lean and handsome, possessing a soldierly assurance and the (apparent) arrogance of a nobleman, yet wracked with guilt for his failures, and those of his brother’s.
Eleanor Tomlinson, who played Georgiana Darcy in Death Comes to Pemberley, would make a great Lavinia – fiery, passionate, and more attractive than she knows.
Antonio Cupo is very handsome, over 6 feet, and can do a great brood. I think he could play a damaged hero ex-soldier very well AND look great in a coat of Superfine, Hessians and a cravat!
Carrie: Oh, nicely chosen! I love these picks!
What surprised you about your main characters as you wrote their story?
Carolyn: I always knew Lavinia and the Earl would have to overcome their prejudices, so their transformations weren’t surprising. It was interesting to see some of the minor characters change, to see some reveal their true colors, and others have their secret pasts brought to light. It’s fun seeing how different threads can pull together and tie backstory with the main plot.
Carrie: That’s one of my favorite discoveries to make while reading – threads I thought were unrelated that actually bring a lot of events and characters together in the end.
What do you most want readers to take away from The Elusive Miss Ellison?
Carolyn: I’d love readers to take away a sense of God’s grace. Lavinia is a minister’s daughter, and she thinks she’s doing God’s work, but her prejudice is revealed and challenged by someone she has long struggled to forgive. My husband and I pastored a church for ten years, and I learned so much about what I thought I already knew. I believe God is so much bigger, so much more loving and gracious than we imagine. I’d love readers (Christians and non-Christians) to get a greater understanding of God’s love for them, and to allow that insight to extend that love to others.
Carrie: “I learned so much about what I thought I already knew” – i love this.
Carolyn, thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Carolyn: My second novel, ‘The Captivating Lady Charlotte’, releases in June this year, followed by my third, ‘The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey’ in December. It’s a big year for sure!
Thanks for having me, Carrie!
Regency romance fans have another must-read novel to add to their lists: Carolyn Miller’s The Elusive Miss Ellison. Enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister’s daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God’s grace and the true strength of love. These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society’s opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.
Settle in for a cozy night of reading with a cuppa and a Kindle from Carolyn!
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A copy of The Elusive Miss Ellison
- A Kindle Fire
- Two William Morris mugs (winner’s choice)
- A box of tea
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on March 22. The winner will be announced March 23 on the Litfuse blog.
What about you? Carolyn’s superpower is roast dinners (yum!). What recipes or meals are you known for?