Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Interview with Lady Victoria from His Shadowed Heart

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Lady Victoria Stanton, sister to the Earl of Waverley.

Hazel - Good evening your ladyship.

Lady Victoria – Good evening. Perhaps for the duration of the interview you would prefer to call me Victoria – so much easier than formalities.

Hazel – Thank you, your la… Victoria! It’s so good of you to grant me this interview. I know your dislike of prevarication so, without hesitation, I will ask you what you can tell me of the report that your brother, the Earl of Waverley, is to be married? I hear tell that the young lady in question is a mere nobody?

Victoria – Ah, the dear boy! Never have I seen a man so determined to avoid matrimony. No matter what argument I raised, he blatantly refused. You can imagine my amazement therefore, when he presented me with his intention of taking Miss Northam as his wife. Miss Northam is a charming young girl, but not at all the kind of female that I could have envisaged would attract his attention. Her situation is unfortunate and not one that I would wish on any girl, but I see it as no reason to maker her an offer. Obviously there is something in her manner that appeals to him, but I fail to see it. She is charming, intelligent and very sweet natured, but I would have expected him to offer for someone more mature, in both years and outlook.

Hazel – You don’t approve of the match?

Victoria – On the contrary! I would welcome anyone who could take him out of his despondency. However, I feel that at nineteen she lacks the experience necessary to take her place at his side. Lordings is a huge responsibility and could easily overawe such a young, inexperienced girl – for inexperienced girl she is! She has no knowledge of running a household or presiding over events. Her education is sadly lacking in these areas.

Hazel – And when is the wedding to take place?

Victoria – My brother informs me that the nuptials will take place in just four weeks. Four weeks! I asked why the unseemly haste and he told me that not only was it to take place in such a short time, but also in the private chapel at Lordings! I had expected more, so much more. After all, his first wedding had been magnificent with no expense spared. In comparison, this will seem quite paltry! Almost as if he wishes to hide the girl away.

Hazel – Will you attend the wedding?

Victoria – Of course! Why should I not? He is my brother and I love him dearly. No matter what my reservations, I will support him in this. I will not have it thought that I object in any way. Society is cruel and very quick to judge. Caroline will have my full support and if anyone should make a comment in my hearing, I promise you, I will champion her to the end.

Hazel – Do they return to London after the wedding?

Victoria - I believe they are to remain at Lordings - for a while at least. Richard has taken leave from the Ministry, although I do believe he will not stay away long. Such is the situation in the Peninsular that he is constantly called upon for advice.

Hazel – Please convey my good wishes to the bride and groom, but be assured that I will follow your brother’s story with great interest. I am sure there is more to it than meets the eye.

Victoria – My very thoughts. There is something quite intriguing about the whole situation, but it is thoroughly worthwhile if only to see the look on Cousin Gerald’s face when he hears the news. It will be priceless! The marriage lays waste to all his expectations now there is a possibility of Richard producing an heir.

Goodness me! Is that the time? I must go. I have promised to take Julia to tea with Diana’s brood.

Hazel - It has been a great pleasure and honour to speak with you, your ladyship. I do so hope we meet again.

This interview originally appeared at The Plot.

Scoffing Romance

Romance as a genre has been scoffed at for many years with very few readers actually admitting to reading it, but it accounts for 38% of all books sold, therefore, as the poor sister in the publishing world, it does very well.

Until recently, Traditional Regency Romance has always been a favourite with readers, but about two years ago, the New York Publishing houses decided that its popularity had begun to wane and reduced their output. Unfortunately, they forgot to impart its drop in popularity to the readers and the genre continued to sell. Sales did dip briefly, but now there appears to be a resurgence of interest. New readers are enthralled with the romance and elegance of the era and already devoted readers continue their support.

I write historical fiction and historical romantic fiction mainly set in the Regency and Georgian eras. My romances are what is termed as ‘sweet’, which means that there is no graphic sex and I close the bedroom door when my characters ‘retire’.

However, this doesn’t mean that my books are not ‘romantic’ – on the contrary. Romance is integral to the plot and is what drives the story forward. Luckily, I know from letters I’ve received from fans that there are still readers who prefer this kind of novel to the more revealing kind – enough for there still to remain a viable market.

My work has been likened to Georgette Heyer’s, and as I’m a huge fan of hers, I take it as a great complement. Of course, there will always be those who prefer the more modern approach where the mores of modern-day living are just transposed in period, but I prefer to remain true to the attitudes of the day. If I state fact, it is as accurate as I can make it and I always make the story fit the fact, not the fact fit the story.

No matter what, I shall continue to create my own Regency world, knowing that as long as there are readers there must always be authors and no matter what the trend, my books will always be there for romance readers to enjoy.


This article originally appeared at Pop Syndicate during my July 2008 virtual book tour.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Guest of The Long and the Short of It Romance--Part 5


My grandson, Daniel is six and like every other six-year-old, he can in turn seem two or twenty. Quite early on in life he decided that Grandpa (or Grumpy Gramps as he is frequently called) was going to be his idol. Wherever Grandpa is, so is Daniel and quite frequently, when out shopping, we hear this child’s voice shouting GRANDPA! and see him dragging his mummy toward us. Not that Grandpa is averse to all this attention – in fact, he revels in it, the outcome of which is that, at sixty-three, he finds himself in all sorts of situations.

Daniel thinks of Grandpa as a constant activity centre. Last week, whilst on holiday, he was expected to swing from tree to tree on the ropes of an assault course, ride his bike over an obstacle course, race down huge aqua slides, balance on revolving barrels and swing on tyres tied to trees. Whatever energy he had left was reserved for table tennis, ten-pin bowling, the Wii and general racing and wrestling games with his grandson. Grandpa sixty-three? Nah! He’s six, like Daniel!
This article originally appeared at The Long and Short of It Romance site in July 2008.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Guest of The Long and the Short of It Romance--Part 4

Have You Ever Had One Of Those Days?

Have you ever had one of those days? We just did! We arrived home from a great holiday with our daughter and her family – the first thing we noticed was the puddle of water on the kitchen floor. Before going on holiday, we had had a new kitchen fitted with new appliances and, in our absence, the freezer had decided to stop working – hence the puddle and no usable food! Opening a can of soup, my husband turned on the microwave which spat a few times and died.

Undaunted, we went to collect the dogs from the kennels – Mollie, the pup, was limping. She had decided to remove the stitches from her paw a little earlier than planned, so, back to the vet. She came home with the stitches replaced and the usual plastic bucket on her head. She was not happy!

By this time, it was getting quite late and we thought nothing else could happen. Wrong! My tooth fell out!

Definitely one of those days! LOL

This article originally appeared at The Long and the Short of It Romance site in July 2008.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Guest of The Long and the Short of It Romance--Part 3

The Haunting

Do you believe in haunted houses? No? I must admit that I didn’t either, that is, until we went to live in our previous house. It was a large semi-detached house built sometime in the 1930’s. A very elegant house positioned overlooking a beautiful park full of flowers.

As you might guess, as an author, I have a very vivid imagination and it was to this I attributed the noises and strange happenings in the house. They happened when I was alone. Small things at first, what sounded like birds scuttling across the attic in the middle of the night (quite feasible). A freezing spare bedroom, even when the heating was full on. A weird odour on the landing, that only I could smell. Then the crashes and loud bangs began and they were not so easily ignored. Lights went on and off (again quite feasible) and taps turned on of their own accord. Sounds of a child running around in the bedrooms when our own child was fast asleep, and frequently footsteps on the stairs during the night. You would wonder how three people could live in such a house, all hear the noises, yet say nothing to each other for fear of seeming a fool.

It was the knocking on the bedside cabinet when I went to bed alone that finally drove me downstairs to tell my husband and he admitted to hearing and seeing similar events but saying nothing for fear of unnerving me. Even the dog would no longer go into the bedrooms.

The climax came when I way lying awake one night and I heard the footsteps on the stairs. My husband still slept but a dark figure came into the bedroom and walked around to his side of the bed. I was terrified and just peeped over my husband’s half-turned shoulder. The form stood silhouetted between the bed and the window, then disappeared.

We moved house!

This article originally appeared at The Long and the Short of It Romance site in July 2008.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Guest of the Long and the Short of It Romance--Part 2

You Cant Teach An Old Dog New Tricks – Or Can You?

I was being made redundant from work and my husband said that I needed to learn to use a computer.

“Not me! I hate computers,” I said. “They terrify me!”

“Won’t you just look at them?” asked a very patient husband.


I was taken to the computer store and given a tour around all that was on offer. He chose one – I ignored it. He bought it home – I ignored it. He set it up, and I refused to have anything at all to do with it. He set me in front of this ominous looking thing and told me to just switch it on and play around with it.

It didn’t inspire me that he hadn’t a clue how it worked either, but I persevered and got some interesting results. I’m a trained typist so the keyboard didn’t intimidate me and I realised just how easy it was to create a document in Word.

I found an old manuscript of mine that needed re-writing and realised what a laborious task it would be to do it by hand – voila! the computer would allow me to make light work of such a task. I had found a use for it after all.

The rest is history. I live on the computer and my young son-in-law rings me when he has problems with his processor. I have suddenly become a font of knowledge for all things connected with the computer.

Perhaps you can teach an old dog new tricks after all!
This article originally appeared at The Long and the Short of It site in July 2008.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Guest of The Long and the Short of It Romance -- Part 1

This is the first in a series of five guest articles I provided to The Long and the Short of It Romance site during my July virtual book tour to promote His Shadowed Heart. These five short blurbs are inteded to help readers get to know more about me.



No More Dogs!

No more dogs! Definitely no more dogs! These were my husband’s words and I have to admit, to a certain extent, I agreed with him. Ten-year-old Lucy was to be our last dog. I am sixty-two and my husband is a very active sixty-three and we thought our dog walking days were behind us. We knew Lucy had a terminal illness and we treasured her all the more for it and remained firm in our resolve.

It took one phone call, just one phone call to put that resolve clean out of our heads. Pam, who had bred our first Lab, Tara, twenty-two years ago, phoned to say that her dog had had a litter. There was a shocked silence – we both knew what was going through the others head.

“OK, when do we go to look at the pups?” our daughter asked.

“We’re not!” I replied firmly.

Mollie arrived two weeks later. She is a little devil and a pure delight and Lucy adores her. Who said we were too old to have a new puppy? My husband? Me? Never!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

The Meaning of Romance

Romance means many different things to so many different people. A glance, a word, just a little unexpected gesture, all have the power to charm. In Regency and Georgian times when young girls were chaperoned in almost every situation, the language of the fan was used to convey messages to would-be suitors and lovers. Hearts could be broken across the space of a ballroom if a lady’s gestures were not favourable.

There were fans for every occasion and the owners lost no chance to wield them to their advantage. A fan placed close to the heart means I love you. A half-opened fan pressed to the lips – you may kiss me. The fan resting on the left cheek, means no, the right cheek, yes. However, there are many gestures and all are not favourable, for example a fan held over the left ear means I wish to be rid of you.

Gentlemen, not to be outdone, often resorted to the language of flowers to express their feelings and whether it be a single flower or a huge bouquet, the message would be clear. There appears to be a flower for every emotion, Acacia - Secret love, Ambrosia - Love returned, Anemone - Unfading love, Arbutus - Only love. Not only did they show love, but withered flowers show rejected love.

These are just a few examples of the messages that could be conveyed by these methods but give you some idea of how love could be lost or won without a word being spoken.

This article first appeared at the blog of Charlene Leatherman.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Spotlight on His Shadowed Heart

About the book:

Can a shadowed heart be healed? Can love grow where least expected? The Earl of Waverly believes not. How wrong can he be!

After the death of his wife, the Earl of Waverly, believing his heart irreparably damaged, enters into a marriage of convenience. However, he is not prepared for the healing influence his new young bride has on his life.

Despite the couple’s new-found happiness, nefarious deeds abound and strange happenings are attributed to the ghost of his former wife. Will their love stand the test or will the perpetrator emerge the victor?

Read an excerpt:

Traversing the long corridor to his bedchamber, he paused momentarily outside his wife’s door, but as no light shone from beneath, he continued on to his own apartment. Closing the door quietly behind him he paused in the centre of the room. All was in darkness except for the pool of light cast by the candles he held and for a moment, their flickering caught the handle to the connecting door. Yielding to an irresistible temptation, he pressed the handle, and finding no resistance there, entered the chamber.

As in his own room, all was in darkness, but turning to where he knew the bed to be he raised the candles higher so that their glow spread across the room, illuminating the sleeping figure there. Crossing to the bed, he knelt at her side and extinguishing all but one of the flames, placed the candelabra on a small table at the side of the bed.

The shadows of the remaining light played across Caroline’s sleeping countenance and he smoothed a lock of hair that had strayed across her forehead. He knew the desire that his lips should follow his finger’s course, but even in his state of inebriation, he knew this would be foolish. For several minutes, he watched his wife sleep, eventually placing his head upon the pillow beside her. His lips curved into a loving smile as his eyes drank in her sleep-softened countenance and he felt her breath caress his cheek. The longing to hold her became an almost physical thing and his arms ached with the suppressed desire. Eventually she stirred, muttering incoherently in her sleep, and he raised himself up. What foolishness is this, he thought. I am acting like a callow youth, and immediately he was on his feet. Snatching up the light, he went quickly out of the room, closing the door quietly behind him.
~ * ~

I will be on a virtual book tour in July to promote "His Shadowed Heart". You will find my schedule here.

Please feel free to leave comments at each of the tour stops.

I look forward to seeing you there.



His Shadowed Heart Virtual Book Tour

I would like to invite everyone to join me on the internet for the ‘His Shadowed Heart’ virtual book tour which is taking place over the month of July.

Jul 7 Romance Junkies

Jul 8 Divine Caroline

Jul 9 Charlene Leatherman

Jul 10

Jul 11 The Book Connection

Jul 14 The Plot and Historical Romance UK

Jul 15 The Plot

Jul 16 Night Owl Romance

Jul 17 Charlene Leatherman and Virtual Book Tour de Net

Jul 18 Book Excerpts and Share Your Heroine

Jul 21 The Long and the Short of It and Acme Authors Link and Review Your Book

Jul 22 The Long and the Short of It and Charlene Leatherman

Jul 23 The Long and the Short of It and Viral Storytelling

Jul 24 The Long and the Short of It and Ramblings on Romance

Jul 25 The Long and the Short of It and Share Your Hero

Jul 28 Pop Syndicate

Jul 29 Pop Syndicate

Jul 30 Pop Syndicate

Please feel free to leave comments at each of the tour stops.

I look forward to seeing you there.



Press Release for 'His Shadowed Heart' Virtual Book Tour


Can a Shadowed Heart be Healed?

Join author Hazel Statham on her third virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion Public Relations as she travels the blogosphere in July to talk about her latest Regency romance novel, “His Shadowed Heart”.

After the death of his wife, the Earl of Waverly, believing his heart irreparably damaged, enters into a marriage of convenience. However, he is not prepared for the healing influence his new young bride has on his life.

Despite the couple’s new-found happiness, nefarious deeds abound and strange happenings are attributed to the ghost of his former wife. Will their love stand the test or will the perpetrator emerge the victor?

Katrina Farabaugh, author of “Prelude to Morning” says, “Hazel Statham’s new novel, ‘His Shadowed Heart’, has all the fine makings of the perfect Regency romance…” and a Romance Junkies reviewer gave the book a 4-Blue Ribbon rating, calling it a, “a richly detailed and well-written historical romance.”

Hazel lives in Staffordshire, England. She started writing at fifteen and has written on and off ever since. She has always been fascinated by history, especially the Regency and Georgian eras and it is the romance and elegance of these times that she tries to recreate in her work. She has been married to her husband Terry since 1969 and they have a grown daughter and beautiful grandson. Hazel shares her home with two lovely yellow Labradors named Lucy and Mollie, who are her constant companions.

“I begged to work with Hazel when I found out she was touring with us again,” says Cheryl Malandrinos, Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book Promotion Public Relations. “Hazel possesses a rare talent that shines through in every story she creates.”

If you would like to follow Hazel on her virtual book tour, visit the official Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tour page at You can also visit her website at

Hazel’s virtual book tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours, a virtual book tour agency for authors who want quality service for an affordable price. More information can be found on their website at

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

'My Dearest Friend' Virtual Book Tour

I would like to invite everyone to join me on the internet for the ‘My Dearest Friend’ virtual book tour which is taking place over the month of January.

To get you in the mood and give you some idea of the book, please read my interview and review at

8th StoryCrafters

9th Tristi

10th Devon

14th MJ's

15th Snow's

16th Book Connection

17th Paperback Writer

21st Beyond the Books

22nd Sadie's Storylines

23rd Christine's

24th Snow's

25th Story Behind

30th Buzz the Book

Please feel free to leave comments at each of the tour stops.

I look forward to seeing you there.