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3 October 2012

Rachel Brimble - Love's Debt - Interview and Giveaway

HL: I'm so happy to welcome fellow Brit Author, Rachel Brimble to my blog today as part of her CBLS Blog Tour.  Rachel is offering ten - yes ten lucky readers the chance to win a copy of her book on this blog tour, so don't forget to enter via Rafflecopter at the end of this post.

Have a glass of wine, Rachel and make yourself comfortable  - don't worry about being weightless, we can always turn on a little artificial gravity if you wish.  You kindly agreed to answer some of the questions buzzing in my head, so let's make a start, shall we.

If someone were to play one of  your characters in a movie, which character and actor would it be and why?
RB: I always use a visual for my hero and heroine when I start a book to keep me grounded in their physical characteristics. For Milly, (the heroine in Love's Debt), I used a photo of a young Alex Kingston…clearly influenced by her portrayal of Moll Flanders in the 1996 TV series. 
Even though I say she has curls in the book, the girl on the cover has straight hair - it will be interesting to hear how readers imagine her, lol! :)

HL:  Yes, we don't always get the cover models we would have chosen ourselves, do we, although I have to say that is a really lovely cover, despite the straight hair. So tell me, what have you learned about writing since you were published that surprised you the most?

RB: The way people think writing is easy! Since I've been published, my writing has become a big source of conversation when I am out socially. It never ceases to amaze me that when someone tells a stranger I write, they will either ask what I really do all day/they might write a book when they have time/do I steal other people's ideas or once you've written one romance, it must be easy writing more! These people are serious and have no idea of the blood, sweat and tears that goes into writing. Nobody would put themselves through the pain by choice…it's a compulsion!

 HL:  LOL, that's certainly very true, it's funny how the people who think writing is 'easy' are the ones who never actually get down to giving it a try! :)
Next question - do you listen to music when you write and if so, what kind of music – or do you find it distracts you?

RB: I've only ever listened to music while writing one book - Transatlantic Loving. It's part of the Wild Rose Press Class of '85 series and I played lots of '80s power ballads to transport me back to the era and make me feel as I did back then. It really helped to get the words and emotions flowing. As a general rule though, I need absolute silence to write but can edit to my heart's content with family and dog chaos around me as well as the TV on and the phone ringing somewhere in the background.

HL: . Do you have a support system? Do you have a writing community? What valuable lessons have you learned from them?

I have a great support system and wouldn't be able to produce the work I do without it. For emotional support, my husband has been amazing since I decided I wanted to write toward publication in 2004. He's supported me in my endeavours ever since my very first submitted short story.
Professionally, I have two fantastic critique partners who read my work, chapter per chapter as I write it as well as belonging to many online groups, the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America. Support is an absolute must have in this industry.

HL:  Oh I couldn't agree more on that point! What is your personal definition of success?

Ah, now once upon a time I would've said getting a book published. Then I said, getting ANOTHER book published. Then I said, getting an agent. THEN I said securing a contract with Harlequin…now I've done all these things plus signed a two book contract with Kensington. You'd think I'd be happy but I still want more, lol! I am very ambitious and my husband has now given up asking me what else I want because I keep moving the goal posts :)

Success is feeling the joy of what you do - which I do, all the time. I'm a very happy girlie!

HL: That's fantastic, Rachel, and I think you're so right, striving to achieve even more, yet feeling joyful about what one is already achieving is so fulfilling and it wonderful when one realises just how far one has come and how much one is capable of. What is your favourite source of inspiration?

RB: Settings - especially for my historical work. I tend to visit a place and know that somehow it will become part of my next book, whether it be a character's home, the place they meet, the place they make love or the location of the black moment. I am lucky enough to live close to Bath and the Cotswolds which are steeped in British history. I am never short of inspiration.
For my contemporary work, I tend to be inspired by a moral dilemma or an emotional fear. That's usually the starting point.

HL: Oh, I'm a settings person too - although I write futuristic and fantasy the landscapes and legends of my native Wales have always been a huge inspiration - and the Cotswolds are beautiful and can certainly see why they would inspire you.  Thank you so much for being with us today, Rachel, it's been a real pleasure to learn a little more about you and your writing.

Before you catch the shuttle back to Earth, let's have a taster of your book:

To keep herself from the depths of poverty, Milly Shepherd needs to be appointed manager of the Red Lion Tavern. The elderly owner is in failing health and has promised her the job permanently if no one more suitable applies. Milly will fight with her entire being to make the job her own.

Joseph Jacobs needs to supplement his income to pay off his father’s creditors and save him from debtor’s prison. Though the job as manager of the local tavern looks promising, Milly is favored by both the owner and customers.  Instead, Joseph swallows his pride and agrees to tend bar.

As they work together, their attraction grows, their goals cross, and both Millie and Joseph find they must face their fears …the question is whether they face them alone or together?


“No, I take it from here.” His jaw tightened. “I mean it, Milly. I don’t want you in there.”

“Why are we arguing about this? I thought we’d built a trust between us.”

His gaze darted over her face, lingered at her lips. “This has nothing to do with trust.”

“Then what?”

“Pride. If I haven’t got that…if I’ve stooped so low as to put a woman at risk, then there’s no point in going on at all. I won’t do it, Milly. I won’t expose you to whatever is behind that door. If you can’t stay here, then go back to the tavern. I’ll see you there shortly.”

His face was set, his shoulders stiff and Milly’s irritation grew. She poked a finger into his chest. It was like iron. She swallowed. “Have you heard the saying, pride before a fall?” He nodded. “Good, because if people don’t reach out to other people, Joseph Jacobs, they fall further than ever with nobody there to catch them.”


She raised her hand. “Go. Do what you want. I’ve got more important things to worry about that a man full of so much pride, he looks fit to burst.”

Turning, Milly gripped her bag tightly in her hand and strode away. She did not look back, and she didn’t stop walking. Her stupid heart had let her down. Made her get involved in a man’s life and begin to care about him. Well, the buck stopped there. No more. If Joseph Jacobs ever needed her help again, he could take a long walk off the dock.

Blinking against the rare sting of tears, she tilted her chin and retraced her steps across town. Her shift at the tavern started in an hour’s time, but that didn’t matter; there was always plenty to be done and at least there, she was appreciated. Joseph certainly didn’t see what was right in front of his damn face.

Yet each step that took her across town weighed heavier and heavier. She’d seen where he and his father lived. It was little better than a hovel. She’d seen the newspapers stuffed around the window frames in an attempt to keep out the cold, the bare floorboards, and thick layers of soot from the fireplace spilling into the room. The landlady should be seeing to that, all of it. Bitter resentment furled in Milly’s stomach as her past flashed through her mind. She’d pulled her family from the gutter, and the future looked brighter than ever before.

Which didn’t help the nagging feeling that she could do more—wanted to do more to help Joseph. But she couldn’t. It would mean putting a hold on her own plans. All for a man she had hardly known more than two weeks.

She curled her hands into fists. This feeling inside her was new. This sense of wanting to fight for someone outside of her family. How had it gotten like this? To kiss him was bad enough, but to have this…this fear for him? That scared her more than anything.

Title: Love's Debt
Author: Rachel Brimble
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Length: 91 pages
Genres: Historical Romance


Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK.  She started writing short stories about eight years ago but once her children were at school, she embarked on her first novel. It was published in 2007. Since then, she’s had several books published with small presses as well as securing her first contract with Harlequin Superromance in May 2012.

Represented by US agent Dawn Dowdle, of Blue Ridge Literary Agency, Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family.  Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England. And in the evening? Well, a well-deserved glass of wine is never, ever refused…

Contact Rachel at:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can follow Rachel on her tour HERE

 'STARQUEST'    'CHILDREN OF THE MIST'  (The sequel to Starquest)  Dancing With Fate     


                  Also available on Kindle