Thursday, January 8, 2015

An interview with Harriet Farley of STAGES OF DESIRE

Please welcome Julie Tagan, author of STAGES OF DESIRE. Today readers are treated to an interview with Julie's heroine, Harriet Farley.

Harriet Farley, the heroine of the Regency-era romance Stages of Desire, is out of her element in high-society London. Six years ago, her actor father handed her over as ward of a duchess, in order to entertain the duchess’s spoiled daughter. While Harriet enjoys having a roof over her head and a warm bed at night, she misses life on the road with her father’s troupe. So when she gets word her father is headed to debtor’s prison, she heads off to find him, trailed by the Earl of Abingdon, who the duchess has asked to bring her home.

What was the most jarring experience for you so far?
When I was twelve years old, our acting troupe performed at a duke’s manor house. The daughter was my age and sickly, and I made her laugh with my silly tricks and funny voices. The next day my father dropped me off at the door and said I’d be living with them from then on. I’m fairly certain money exchanged hands, knowing my father. My quality of life improved dramatically, but I was terribly lonely.

What do you most dread in life?
Over the past couple of years I’ve most dreaded attending London balls when there’s no chance of ever being asked to dance. At this particular moment, however, I dread two things: the look on the duchess’s face when she realizes what I’ve been up to, and getting too close to the Earl of Abingdon, who’s quite a sourpuss but awfully handsome.

What do you do for fun?
I go to the theater, of course. The duchess and her daughter, Marianne, like to talk and gossip through the plays, but I listen to every word. My favorite ones are Shakespeare’s comedies, and I love the beautiful London theaters, like Covent Garden and the Drury Lane. My dream would be to be able to act on one of those stages.

Is there anyone who peeves you?
I have to say that the Earl gets under my skin. For the past several months, he’s been wooing Marianne, who’s a flighty girl. Yet he’s such a serious man. I can’t imagine them together. Nor can I imagine why he won’t let me go off and search for my father in peace. Propriety, I know, is foremost in his mind, as his own family was scandalized a few years ago. I’ll see what I can do to outwit the man. If only I could stop thinking about what it would be like to kiss him!

Stages of Desire 
To be or not to be — in love . . .

As a ward of the Duchess of Dorset, Harriet can hardly expect more from a match than the ringing endorsement of “from what I’ve heard, the man is financially secure and his teeth are quite regular.” After all, she’s only the lowly daughter of traveling actors, not the actual daughter of the duchess.

William Talbot, Earl of Abingdon is set to marry the duchess’s daughter. After his elder brother’s scandalous death, his family’s reputation is paramount, and he’ll allow nothing to damage it again. But when Harriet disappears to save her father from debtor’s prison, the scandal threatens William and his intended’s family.

The simple task of fetching the duchess’s runaway ward turns complicated when Harriet insists on traveling with her father’s acting company. William’s forced to tag along, and finds himself entranced. The stage transforms Harriet into a free-spirited, captivating beauty. But someone’s been sabotaging the theater company, and instead of facing scandal, William and Harriet discover a threat not only to their growing passion, but to their lives…

Kensington Books, Lyrical Press imprint

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Julia Tagan lives with her husband and goldendoodle in New York City. A journalist by training, she enjoys weaving actual events and notorious individuals into her historical romances. Her favorite activities include walking her dog in Central Park, scouring farmers’ markets for the perfect tomato, and traveling to foreign cities in search of inspiration.
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  1. Thanks so much for featuring "Stages of Desire"!!

  2. I love that you've got the Hero and Heroine each 'interviewing' on both your sites. The book sounds like fun!

    1. Hi Glenda - thanks a bunch - I have to say, writing the interviews was a blast and came really easy. It's fun to pretend to be someone else!!