Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tracey Devlyn, Checkmate, My Lord - Interview & Giveaway

Huge thanks to Wendy for having me today at Minding Spot! I look forward to chatting with everyone. 

  1. Can you please tell us about your new book, Checkmate, My Lord, in 20 words or less? 

A desperate mother falls in love with the spymaster she’s forced to betray. 

  1. How much research is involved when writing a historical romance? 

Honestly, not much more than any other novel. The first two books are probably the hardest, because the author is verifying and re-verifying all the little historical nuances like doorknob vs. latch, veranda vs. terrace, Lord Somerton vs. Lord Sebastian, sidewalk vs. pavement, etc. Then the world becomes part of the author’s vocabulary and the only research she needs to do for subsequent books is for items that drive the plot like location details, what instruments a physician used, etc. 

In talking to author friends, every genre or novel needs a fair amount of research. Historical novels might be a bit more difficult/intimidating because of the words. We have to make sure, as best we can, that they’re historically accurate. There are a great many primary sources in Google Books to help us, though. I’ve found GB to be a great way to check words, by refining my search to a specific time period.  

  1. Is there anything about Sebastian and Catherine that only you know that you can share with us? 

Sebastian likes to dance, but never allows himself  the luxury, for fear of losing focus of his surroundings. 

Catherine would like a completely frivolous weekend with a group of lady friends. For a long time, she’s had to set fun and frivolous aside to take care of her daughter and to mediate her neighbors’ complaints. 

  1. If there was one thing from Checkmate, My Lord that you wish you could bring to present day, what would it be and why? 

Sophie Ashcroft. Every time I read her pages, I feel happy. I’d love to have her scampering about my house, causing mischief and making me laugh. She’s 100% sunshine and love. 

  1. Are you currently working on a new book? Can you tell us anything about it? 

I’m putting the finishing touches on A Lady’s Secret Weapon—Book 3 in the Nexus series. This is Ethan deBeau’s story.  Readers find out a great deal more about the mysterious Specter in this book, and I had a great time developing a heroine—Sydney Hunt—whose secrets rival Ethan’s. I think readers will enjoy watching these two circle each other like wary predators. The fun part is when they finally pounce. 
Thanks so much for visiting today! 

Thanks, Wendy! Loved your questions, and I look forward to answering many more from Minding Spot readers.

Spymaster Sebastian Danvers, Lord Somerton, has spent the last decade protecting England’s shores against a French invasion. Known for his cold logic and ability to sacrifice anything for the greater good, few can outwit him, and even fewer dare challenge him. Until now.

After being exiled to his country estate, Sebastian is surprised when his beautiful, no-nonsense neighbor turns her seductive wiles on him. But years of intrigue have left him wondering why a respectable widow would risk scandal for a few nights in his bed. Sebastian takes his time unraveling the widow’s secrets, for he quickly realizes she might be the one sacrifice he is unwilling to make.

Living a quiet existence at Winter’s Hollow, Catherine Ashcroft spends her days doing little more than caring for her precocious six-year-old daughter and negotiating her neighbors’ various complaints against their absentee landowner, the enigmatic Earl of Somerton. But, all her boredom comes to a searing halt after learning her newly returned neighbor might have had something to do with her husband’s murder.

Catherine's orderly existence soon upends and she now finds herself in a desperate bid to save her daughter’s life. But she must betray the earl to do so, even though she no longer suspects him of foul play. Lauren succumbs to the the earl’s passionate kisses and recognizes the same loneliness she has felt for years lurking in his hard, crystalline eyes. As her lover’s enemies close in, will Catherine be able to save both her beloved daughter and the handsome spy who has stolen her heart?

Tracey Devlyn writes historical romantic thrillers (translation: a slightly more grievous journey Toward the heroine’s happy ending). She’s a co-founder of Romance University, a group blog dedicated to readers and writers of romance, and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, Chicagoland’s exciting new reading salon devoted to romantic fiction.  

An Illinois native, Tracey spends her evenings harassing her once-in-a-lifetime husband and her weekends torturing her characters. For more information on Tracey, including her Internet haunts, contest updates, and details on her upcoming novels, please visit her website at 

One lucky reader will win their own copy of Checkmate, My Lord

*USA or Canada Only
*Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter
*Contest ends March 8, 2013

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks so much for the interview and thanks for telling us about your book Tracey. This book sounds delightful and your WIP with Ethan deBeau also sounds amazing! Since you said that we'll find a great deal more about the mysterious Specter~ I can't wait.

    1. Thanks so much, Kipha! Can't wait to introduce Ethan's book this fall.

  2. Great interview with lots of information that makes me want to continue reading this series. Loved A Lady's Revenge very much! Congrats!

  3. This sounds so fun! Aww, it sounds like both characters wish they could let loose and relax a little more! Thank you for the contest.

  4. Interesting Title and certainly grabs your attention!! Enjoyed the interview :)

  5. Catherine sounds like she needs a carefree day andwhat better way than to spend dancing :) I like that Sebastian can dance.

    1. Yes, Catherine's had a tough few years. Both she and Sebastian deserve to kick it up a little. :)

  6. Hmm... historical romantic thrillers sound great! This question is for Tracey: What's your favorite historical romance?
    Mine is "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon.

    mestith at gmail dot com

    1. Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas stands out as one of my all-time favs. It's beautifully romantic, funny, and taps into Derek Craven's dark side. Love that this hardened hero calls the heroine "mouse." :)

  7. Great interview! This book sounds amazing, and I just love the cover. Thanks for this chance to win it.


    1. Thanks, Anita! My publisher, Sourcebooks, always does a beautiful job with the covers.

  8. Thank you, Tracey, for the interview. I have your book on my TBR list.


  9. I have this one on my wishlist!! This one sounds so good. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the chance.

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  10. It sounds like an exciting story and I can totally understand Catherine's willingness to do anything to save her daughter.

    1. Thanks, Maureen. I hope Catherine and Sophie's story touches many hearts.

  11. Cute title! Nice surprise that this is a historical romance!

  12. I'm really looking forward to reading this story - I love smart characters.

  13. I am a non-repentant historical romance. As a single mom who raised her son living on a university campus while completing a BS and MS, I am always interested in stories involving single parents. I love to see how authors have their characters handle single parenthood in during different historical eras. The romance and spy elements sound very intriguing.

  14. I've seen this around on several blogs recently and it sounds like a great read. Already added it to my TBR list!

  15. Please Enter Me In Your Giveaway.
    It Would Be Great To Win A Copy Of Checkmate,My Lord by Tracey Devlyn.
    I Enjoy Reading And Discovering New Authors.
    Thank You For Having This Giveaway!!!!!


The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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