Thursday, 6 December 2012

Snowy Reading Blog Hop: Meet Althea from Gothic Cavalcade

Welcome to my post for the Snowy Reading Blog Hop!

So pick up that hot chocolate, snuggle down in that comforter and cozy up to an interview with my main character from Gothic Cavalcade, Althea...

Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in a picturesque small town in the English countryside, in the later part of the 19th century. My father was an attorney, and we were quite well-off financially. We were a close family, with just my parents, myself and my sister, Jenny.  I married at eighteen, to Thomas, a land-owner of substantial means. He seemed quite charming and I thought myself to be a fortunate woman, but I found out his true nature after we were wed. Only then did I realize what an unhappy and horrid mistake I had made. To make matters worse, my parents died a few years after I married leaving me no place to run. My only solace was Jenny found a home with the family of a distant cousin.

Do you enjoy or dislike winter? Tell us why. 
I love winter, it's as if everything is quiet, waiting for something. I have fond memories of my family sitting by the fireplace, with Father reading to us in the evenings, or Sunday outings after Church. There is nothing nicer than a winter carriage ride. And of course there is the Christmas season, which is always so festive, especially if it snows. There is something quite special about snow on Christmas.
What would you do on a date (or with close friends) on a snowy evening?

"Dating" in my day was very strict and any encounters at dances or suitors coming to call were chaperoned. There were one or two evening dances where young gentlemen made my heart flutter, and I remember one handsome fellow who stole a kiss under the mistletoe.
When it's cold and dreary outside, what makes you laugh out loud?

My sister Jenny could always make me laugh, no matter my mood. She was always so happy, so full of mischief. Memories of her can still make me smile. 
If you were sitting around a fire, playing truth or dare, what would you choose and why?

That game sounds a bit scandalous, but I suppose I would chose truth. After all I've been through, the truth doesn't frighten me anymore. 
Tell us about a winter memory from your childhood?

My best memory from my childhood is the Christmas Ball when I was sixteen. Mother took me to the dressmaker for a special gown, made from blue satin brocade with dark velvet trim and lace ruffles on the sleeves. I felt quite the lady in that dress, with my hair in an up-swept fashion, wearing my white gloves and fluttering my lace fan. I smiled my best coquette smile as I entered that ballroom and felt my heart beat faster as the male eyes turned towards me. My dance card filled rapidly, and I dare say I flirted shamelessly, and I had a magnificent evening.

What is the most creative gift you would put under the tree?
I suppose that would be the watercolour I painted for my mother, the Christmas before I married. It was an especially fine landscape and I was quite proud of it.  It was also the last painting I created. My husband did not encourage artistic pursuits.

Would you start a snowball fight? 

Oh dear, I fear someone has been tattling. Jenny and I used to throw snowballs whenever it snowed, much to our Mother's dismay. She said it was not ladylike behaviour.
Tell us about your favourite winter movie or book?

I'm terribly fond of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. My childhood copy is quite dogeared I'm afraid.  I loved to read it every year in the Christmas season.
How do you celebrate the holidays? Be it Christmas or Hanukkah or the Winter Solstice.

A traditional Christmas was quite important with my family, and even when I married Thomas insisted on keeping up appearances at Christmas, inviting family or friends to stay with us. I was grateful for that. He behaved well when we had guests.
I loved to festoon the house with greenery, and decorate the tree and on Christmas Eve we would hang the stockings and sing carols.  The next day, after Church, we would sit down to veritable feast for Christmas dinner.  My favourite parts were always the Christmas pudding with brandy sauce and opening the Christmas crackers.   After dinner we would exchange our gifts, and perhaps partake in some sherry and a bit of Christmas cake, and wish everyone a Happy Christmas. 

Gothic Cavalcade

Gothic romance meets Gothic horror inside a paranormal carnival and beyond...

Meet Althea, a desperate woman running from a secretive and miserable past. She encounters Byron, a mysterious and handsome man with secrets of his own. He brings her to his home, the Masquerade Carnivale, and into the midst of his family. There Althea begins to feel safe, to trust, and to love. She finds friends, laughter and with Byron, romance. She thinks she has found a home, trusts she is protected, until the night Byron and his Family betray her.
But do they? There is more beneath the surface at the Masquerade Carnivale, more to Althea’s past and to her future than she believes. One event put Althea on a path for her reckoning, a path full of pain, fear and ultimately, revenge. A choice is coming for her, one that will change everything.

The Masquerade Carnivale is beckoning... will she answer?

Available at Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and Kobo 

And one lucky commentor will win a free e-copy of Gothic Cavalcade, via a Smashwords coupon.  And to check out more blogs participating in the Snowy Reading Blog Hop scroll way, way down to the bottom of this blog for the Linky List.



Carmen Shirkey Collins said...

I love how your character seemed to really answer in character - and in her time. Man, I hope I win the book!

A. F. Stewart said...

Thanks, it was fun to discuss her background.

Tina-Sue said...

A wonderful post! I enjoyed reading about Althea and thought this was incredibly well written and a great introduction to Gothic Cavalcade , through the strong voice of Althea—hearing about her 'winter memory' made feel as if I was right there with her –this certainly invites me to discover more about Althea and her story. Well done!
(Tina-Sue, Authors Promoting Authors)

A. F. Stewart said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it, though the rest of Althea's story isn't always quite so happy.

cleemckenzie said...

What a super interview. You know Althea, that's for sure. Good job.

cleemckenzie said...

Oops! Meant to say that I'll be posting my interview on the 10th. I love this idea of character interviews.

Unknown said...

Excellent in depth interview:) And super book cover!

A. F. Stewart said...

Thanks, I'm glad you both enjoyed it.

S E Gilchrist said...

I enjoyed learning more about Althea and her life, especially poignant was her memory of winter which I suspect she holds onto as a time when she was safe and loved.

A. F. Stewart said...

I'm glad you enjoyed, and I suspect your musings about Althea's memories are correct.

Melissa Wray said...

I am definately intrigued by your character and want to know more - well done!

A. F. Stewart said...

Thanks Melissa, glad you liked the interview.

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