Award Winning Fantasy with a Twist!
Today we visit with another friend, Caroline Warfield, and see how a lifetime of travel and study provide the necessary background for richly detailed and nuanced stories of the British Empire, including her latest, The Unexpected Wife.
What’s your background and how did that influence your work?
As a late bloomer, I have extensive “background” to choose from! I generally tell people my passions are faith, family, history, and travel, and that my work reflects all four. I grew up in an army family, moving frequently. We crossed the North Atlantic by ship and went through the English Channel when there was still danger from WWII mines. I learned to sit quietly and listen when the adults—both German and American—talked about ‘The War.’ I developed a love of people, diversity, and storytelling early as a result. My undergraduate degree is in East Asian history, and it came in particularly handy writing The Unexpected Wife. I later obtained a Library Science degree, and yes, that helps with research, but I mostly worked in technology. I had a long and diverse career. If readers are particularly interested, my biography is here: https://www.carolinewarfield.com/biography/
Who are your favorite writers and why?
My favorite books are always historical, but not just romance. I read historical mysteries, biographies, and historical fiction of all kinds. That said, I prefer writers who write about rich, authentic, and complex people and their relationships. My current favorite romance writers are Carla Kelly, Jude Knight, Grace Burrowes, and Mary Balogh. C.S. Harris and Ruth Downie are my favorite mystery writers. All time? Dame Dorothy Dunnett.
How much research do you do and where do you get your information?
The short answer is, yes, and I get it wherever I can find it. I use books, documentaries, my own travel notes, old college textbooks—you name it. I pick the brains of my wonderful friends. Of course, we are blessed to have the Internet at our keyboard. I often start with the much-maligned Wikipedia and use it as a springboard (or pathfinder as we used to call them) to deeper sources. I’m fond of Google Books. I can often find the tidbit of detail I need in a book even if I don’t have access to the whole thing. I love primary documents and archives—all at my fingertips.
What did you enjoy most about your story? What was your biggest challenge?
The hero of The Unexpected Wife appeared in Books 1 and 2 of my Children of Empire series. He almost took over Book 1, The Renegade Wife, and I absolutely fell in love with him. He is charming, impish, but deeply haunted by his past. Apparently many other people did too because I am getting email demanding to know where his story is. Unfortunately publication date, originally October 2017, was bumped into May and then July 2018. My problem was, I love the character so much, I was determined to get his story right. Author panic. I worked it through, and I love the result, but parts of it were tough.
About The Unexpected Wife –
Charles Wheatly doesn’t expect to find his great love when he accepts an unofficial fact finding mission to Canton on behalf of the queen. He certainly doesn’t expect to confront his wreck of a marriage in such an exotic locale. Zambak Hayden follows her brother to China to escape pressure to make a suitable marriage. She finds the brother drawn into the world of greed, smuggling, drugs, and corruption and resolves to both sort out the truth and protect her brother from becoming prey to all of it—if only she could stop yearning for the one man she can’t have.
To celebrate the launch, Caroline will give a copy of any of her books to one randomly selected person who comments. They can choose from the books found here – http://www.carolinewarfield.com/bookshelf/
Excerpt from The Unexpected Wife –
The door swung open to reveal a sunny little room filled with exquisite porcelain vases full of flowers. A gilded teacart held a decanter of golden liquid and brandy glasses.
Not a lady then.
The man leaning one elbow on the mantle studied a particularly fine porcelain t
ea jar decorated, Chinese style, with swimming fish. His deep auburn hair raced from memory directly to her heart. Lean and whip strong, she knew he stood a half head shorter than she; she knew it because she knew this man. When he turned with the gracefulness of a dancer to frown at her, joy expanded in her chest only to collapse as his frown deepened.
“What the hell drove you to this misbegotten start, Zambak Hayden? You’ve outdone yourself this time.” The Duke of Murnane, rigid with outrage, glared at her.
Zambak’s chin rose as quickly as her spine lengthened and her heart froze. One thought consumed her. “Does my father expect you to beat me or merely drag me back?”
The duke clamped his jaw shut.
“Well, Charles? Isn’t that why you have turned up here like some unexpected parcel?” No power on earth would make her look away.
He didn’t flinch. “Do you honestly think your father needs to send a peer of the realm half way around the world just to collect his disobedient children? He could have you trussed up in a cell on any ship in Her Majesty’s navy if he chose. The duke has more important things to do.”
Of course. The fate of England always comes before his children.
About Caroline Warfield –
Award winning author Caroline Warfield has been many things: traveler, librarian, poet, raiser of children, bird watcher, Internet and Web services manager, conference speaker, indexer, tech writer, genealogist—even a nun. She reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the British Empire. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart.
Find Caroline at –