Guest Author: Celeste Bradley
Today’s Guest Author was a professional artist before becoming a NY Times and USA Today Best-selling author, so her creativity is definitely strong! She continues to indulge this talent not only through her storytelling but through her hobbies of jewellery making and making collages.
From America’s Southwest, I have yet to meet this two time RITA Nominee, winner of the prestigious Historical Storyteller of the Year from RT Book Reviews, and inductee of the RWAmerica Honour Roll, but am looking forward to doing so this year at the Australian Romance Readers Association author signings in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in March, and at the Booklovers Convention in New Orleans in May.
A huge welcome to Celeste Bradley!
Thank you so much for being my guest today, Celeste.
Hey there, Alyssa! I'm happy to be here. :)
I’ve got a lot of your backlist to catch up on but I’m loving reading the Runaway Brides series at the moment and have loved the premise of the series and all the characters.
Can you tell us a little about your latest release from the Wicked Worthingtons series (“Siblings with big hearts and bad reputations”!) “Wedded Bliss” and whether it posed any particular challenges for you?
Well, I really hate to be bored. So I make it hard on myself by changing locations and "worlds" for every book. Wedded Bliss only had a few scenes actually on board a ship, but I still wanted to create a believable ship captain's life for Morgan Pryce.
Fortunately, I once had the opportunity to sail for a day on the tall ship, the Lady Washington (of Pirates of the Caribbean movie fame) and being a writer, I spent most of the time writing down the five senses. What I heard, saw, felt, smelled and tasted -- they fed us samples of hardtack!-- and I have used that experience in Wedded Bliss for Morgan Pryce, Jamie Cunnington's kidnapping in The Pretender (Liar's Club series) and the Swan's captivity on board a ship in Breathless (The Courtesans series). But it is often much more difficult to gain experiences from a world of 200 years ago!
Lesson: write down everything! I was even able to use impressions of my day at a Texas sheep shearing almost thirty years ago in a scene for my latest book, On Bended Knee, the 6th book of the Wicked Worthingtons that takes place primarily in Yorkshire.
Ooh! Lucky you! I would love to sail on a tall ship! My closest friend from University days had her reception on a beautiful ship, the Solway Lass, as we sailed around Sydney Harbour and that was great.
Something that really resonated with me when I read it on your website was how you’re often “juggling like mad on the inside desperately trying not to drop [the balls]”. I smiled because I have often described my life as a juggling act where a lot of the time I feel I’m dropping more of the balls than I’m catching! How do you manage to keep a balance?
Oh, I don't. I really don't. After the last 19 years of being a published author, I have given up. I am who I am. I have two speeds, full out and full stop. What has made it easier is having a supportive man, grown children and the knowledge that I always manage to get it done in spite of being a hot mess! Here's my attempt at a balanced life. #1 try not to live in pajama pants just because I can. #2 eat a real breakfast so the rest of my meals don't matter. #3 write 1000 words a day, every day, even if they suck.
Lol. We are alike! My husband always says I have those two speeds as well!!
I think this visit in March will be your first to Australian shores, is there any landmark/place in particular that you’re looking forward to seeing while you’re in Australia?
Somewhere in my files I have a drawing I did as a grade schooler. It says "The thing I would most like to see is ... _______. The other kids wrote "the Eiffle tower" or "New York". I wrote "a wombat." I think my teacher had to look it up. So I am in this for the critters! And since I live in the middle of the desert, I'm going to need some time at the ocean. Also, I get a goofy smile on my face every time an Australian man talks to me. The accent!
I've messaged you about some options for seeing a wombat so I hope you get to see one. As for the ocean...I believe our Aussie coastlines are second to none!! I'm sure you'll love them.
This is probably a difficult question because you’ve written so many heroines, but is there a particular heroine you resonate with more than others and if so, why?
I'm fairly certain that all my heroines have one thing in common. In some way, they are misfits. Too smart, too independent, too direct, too difficult. They don't fit into their worlds. I never fit in either. I am too tall, too curvy, too outspoken, too inclined to laugh, too independent to kiss up. I was 5 ft 10 when I was twelve! So I know how it feels to be the odd one out.
My favorite heroines are (can't pick just one!) Izzy from Fallen, Willa from To Wed a Scandalous Spy, and Sophie from Duke Most Wanted.
On Bended Knee (available February 14th, 2019) is the story of Lysander Worthington, who came back from the Peninsular War with severe PTSD. When he has the chance to escape the pressures of a loving family that just wants him to go back to the man he used to be, he takes off on a journey to find his missing brother in Scotland.
On the way, his condition causes problems in a Yorkshire village. He has to stay to make amends, in the care of former battlefield nurse and doctor's widow, Gemma Oakes. Gemma attempts to bring medical care to her dale, but she has been left in poverty with her manor house crumbling about her and the work is unrelenting. As she helps to Lysander to understand the source of his pain, he helps lift the burden she bears and makes her remember what it means to laugh and live and love.
While I hope On Bended Knee is as entertaining as the other Worthington novels, this is primarily a story of healing. I wrote this for all the women I know who are nearly breaking under the weight of caring for everyone else but themselves.
Not long to wait now for "On Bended Knee"!
Thank you so much for joining me today. I look forward to meeting you in Brisbane in March!
Absolutely! I look forward to meeting you as well. We should have a drink. Do you think I can find a good margarita in Australia? It is my goal to try them all over the world. England :( -- Spain :D
I'm sure you can find a good margarita in Australia! I'd love to join you for a drink, and may even be able to ensure you see a wombat if your schedule allows!
For tickets to the ARRA book signings, please visit the ARRA website: http://australianromancereaders.com.au/events/arr2019/
For more information on Celeste, please visit her website: http://celestebradley.com
And, don't forget if you're going to the Booklovers Convention in NOLA, come and say hi to Celeste and to me at one of the events we're participating in!
Thank you for visiting the blog today. I hope you'll join me next Saturday for my next guest author. Until then, Happy Reading!
About the Blogger:
Alyssa J. Montgomery is an Australian contemporary romance author who is published by Escape Publishing (Harlequin Enterprises, Australia). She also
writes medieval romance as Alyssa James.