Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Erin Knightley: Romancing the Past

Thanks so much for inviting me to join you today!

As I write this, I am giddy with excitement about my trip to the Biltmore House tomorrow. Yes, it was built in the late 19th century instead of the Regency era that I prefer, and yes, it is set in the rolling foothills of North Carolina as opposed to the English countryside, but there is something absolutely magical about that place.

Walking through it, I can’t help but envision a different era, where people dressed for dinner, sent hand-written notes, and spent the evenings engaged in real conversation. I love picturing women in beautiful dresses, men in their tails and cravats, and carriages rumbling up to the grand entrance.

And with such a grand and romantic setting, I’m sure the stage was set for a little matchmaking. I can just imagine the shared glances of men and women across the magnificent dining hall, or perhaps the quiet snick of doors opening and closing in the guest wing, followed by the soft footfall of bare feet on the crimson carpet runners by the light of the moon . . .

So yeah, basically I picked the right profession ;). I mean, day-dreaming aside, in what other field could I claim this trip for a tax deduction? I’m here to happily admit the following: My name is Erin Knightley, and I’m a sucker for romancing the past.

Hopefully someday soon, I’ll be able to visit the real manor houses of Great Britain, but in the meantime, I’ll happily settle for the Biltmore . . . and books! Speaking of which, below is an excerpt from my newest release, Flirting with Fortune. I hope you enjoy, and thanks so much for taking time from your day to join me here today!

So this is the lady who belongs to the scent of lilacs. How lovely of you to come out and join me.”
He was amused.
She was not.
Never mind that the almost musical lilt of his Scottish-tinged accent sent a shiver down the back of Bea’s already chilled neck. If he knew she was there, he should have had the decency to say as much. Embarrassment stiffened her spine—Lord she must look a fool. With as much dignity as one in her position could muster, she extracted herself from the heavy drapes and shook out her skirts. “Yes, well, since you wouldn’t leave like a proper gentleman, it seems as though I had little choice.”
He lifted a dark eyebrow, tilting his head just enough so that a lock of midnight-black hair fell across his temple. “I do beg your pardon. I should have left the moment I realized there was a debutant-shaped lump behind the curtains.”
Well, when he said it like that. She lifted her chin regally. “Pardon granted, Mr. . . . ?”
She waited, but he didn’t take the bait. Instead, he pushed away from the wall, closing the distance between them with measured, unhurried steps. He wasn’t overly tall, but he had a certain presence about him, as if he could command an army, if so inclined. She couldn’t have taken her eyes from him if she wanted to.
With every step he took, her heartbeat seemed to increase, until it fluttered like a caged bird beneath her breast. He wasn’t traditionally handsome, not like her brother or even her brother-in-law. His appeal was much more intense than that. His jaw looked as sharp as if it were carved from granite and already possessed the slightest hint of dark stubble. His cheeks angled high, almost like a woman’s, but his bold, masculine brow provided exactly enough counterbalance to give his features exquisite symmetry and depth. Such unique beauty made her fingers itch to take up her brushes and commit his visage to canvas.
Her gaze was too bold by half, but he didn’t seem to mind her inspection. In fact, he watched her right back, his flint-colored eyes seeming to take in everything about her, leaving her feeling quite exposed. “Now, now, we haven’a been introduced. I wouldn’a want to break protocol at my very first ball. Unless, of course, it is your wish, Miss . . . ?”
Beatrice almost smiled. She’d as soon walk naked through the ballroom than tell him who she was. A lady did not get caught hiding behind curtains. “Yes, well . . . I suppose rules are rules.”

I hope you enjoyed this peak at Beatrice and Colin’s story :) So tell me—what is one of your favorite historical places to visit? Monuments? Natural wonders? Old churches? One lucky commenter with win an audiobook of Ruined by a Rake, my #1 Regency bestselling novella read by the delicious Alistair Stephens!

Sir Colin Tate has never imagined marrying for money. But debts left by his artist father have put his siblings’ futures in danger. To wed an eligible heiress, this independent-minded Scot must play by restrictive rules—until an irresistible lady dares to pursue her passion for art…and him.

Lady Beatrice Moore can spy a fortune hunter as expertly as she captures subjects on canvas. But when she meets the striking son of Britain’s most celebrated painter, the attraction is instantaneous—blinding her to the possibility that he could ever be one of those schemers.…

Then the truth comes out, shattering Lady Beatrice’s faith in the mischievous yet kind man who has captured her heart. With reputations and fortunes hanging in the balance, Colin and she must find a way to trust in a love that cannot be proven—or face an unfathomable loss.

About Erin: Despite being an avid reader and closet writer her whole life, Erin Knightley decided to pursue a sensible career in science.  It was only after earning her B.S. and working in the field for years that she realized doing the sensible thing wasn't any fun at all.  Following her dreams, Erin left her practical side behind and now spends her days writing. Together with her tall, dark, and handsome husband and their three spoiled mutts, she is living her own Happily Ever After in North Carolina. Find her at, on Twitter @ErinKnightley, or at

***Erin's winner is Cathy P.  Please email with your mailing address!***


girlygirlhoosier52 said...

I hope you're spending more than just a day at Biltmore!! We loved our visit there and took the regular audio tour and the 'behind the stairs' tour that is escorted by a staff member and takes you though the areas being renovated and others not seen on the audio tour. The gardens are just beautiful all year long! Then there's the winery tasting!!!

Lil said...

I had the good fortune to stay in London for a couple of years just after college. It was such a blast to be able to visit castles, manor homes, and beautiful churches. Hamptom Court Palace was one of my favorite places with the beautiful rooms, gardens, and kitchen set up to look like the cooking staff had just stepped away for a moment.

little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

Pat Cochran said...

One of my favorite places to visit is actually
a series of churches. The Mission Trail in San
Antonio, Texas includes the Alamo which, as a
native Texan, I dearly love. The Alamo includes
a museum which I enjoy wandering through.

Pat C.

Connie said...

Hi, Erin! I’m with you on visiting Biltmore Castle. I have a son who lives in Hendersonville, NC so we get up that way often. Going to Biltmore is an absolute must. We Americans have such a “young” history and it’s nice to be able to brag about our very own gorgeous castle. Hope your visit was an awesome as ours have been.

When we lived in Paris for a number of years, we spent lots of weekends visiting castles and old churches on the outskirts of Paris. A trip to the Chateaux of the Loire is an absolute must for tourists if they can possibly make it. Le Mont Saint Michel is one of the most awe inspiring places I have ever visited. I hope people will put it on their Bucket Lists. You won’t regret it.

Now, I cannot tell you how excited I am to read FLIRTING WITH FORTUNE. I would love to review the book and post it on our blog, bookworm2bookworm.

Cathy P said...

Hi, Erin! Flirting With Fortune sounds wonderful.

I think my favorite places to visit are the Grand Canyon and Custer National Park. I have never had the opportunity to visit castles or places outside of the US, but would love to go.


Erin Knightley said...

Nope - just one day this time, unfortunately! BUT since I have the season pass, such a short trip can be forgiven :-) I did fit in the architecture tour this time, though! Amazing - well worth the extra moola.

Erin Knightley said...

Wow - what a dream! Every time I start to plan another trip to England, I get overwhelmed trying to pick and choose what to fit in. Soon, I'll actually commit to a schedule and make the hop over the pond :)

Erin Knightley said...

With RWA's national convention being in San Antonio next year, I hope to make a trip to see it! I went when I was in 6th grade, but was entirely too young to appreciate such a historically rich setting.

Erin Knightley said...

Hi Connie!

Man, I really need to go back to Paris. My sister and I were there for less than 24 hours, and though we made the absolute most of every minute, it certainly wasn't enough! Le Mont Saint Michel sounds amazing - thanks for sharing!

And I'd be happy to have you review the book. Shoot me an email to erin@erinknightley with your info :)

Erin Knightley said...

Ooo - I've never been to either of those places! Really hoping to see the Grand Canyon sooner rather than later. Perhaps I can convince Mr. Knightley to take a trip to Vegas with me, and take a day trip out there...

Laurie G said...

National Parks - Loved Zion in Utah, Glacier in Montana, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona and Olympic in Washington

My favorite= Madison, Wisconsin- State Capital Building is beautiful!

Gainesville, Florida- Florida Museum of Natural History very informative also has a butterfly museum.

Erin Knightley said...

Dang it - there are so many cool places out there that I'd love to see, and so little time to see them all! Thanks for all the great places, Laurie!