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Elizabeth Essex | A Reclusive English Painter and a Roguish Scottish Journalist Get Together

Mad Rogues and Englishwomen
Elizabeth Essex



Barnes & Noble

September 2023
On Sale: September 5, 2023
Featuring: Lord Archie Carrington; Maisie Conway
ISBN: 1648394078
EAN: 9781648394072
Kindle: B0CB9JDCMW
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Also by Elizabeth Essex:
Mad Rogues and Englishwomen, September 2023
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Dukes by the Dozen, April 2019
Dashing All the Way, November 2017
Scandal's Daughters, October 2017


1--What is the title of your latest release?

MAD ROGUES AND ENGLISHWOMEN, book 5 of the Highland Brides series.

2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?

A reclusive English painter and a roguish Scottish journalist banter and buss their way into intrigue in turn of the 19th century Edinburgh in the last book of the critically acclaimed Highland Brides.

3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?

I already had my Highland Brides series, which was mostly set in the Scottish countryside, but a wonderful trip to Edinburgh (in the years before Covid) with some fellow writers convinced me to set the book in Auld Reeky, as the city is affectionately called.

4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?

Absolutely! Archie Carrington, the youngest-ever editor of the Edinburgh Review, is actually based upon a friend from my own youth, who was at that time an idealistic young journalist, full of the righteousness power of the pen. He was handsome and dashing and full of brio, just as a hero ought to be, and I’m happy to say he’s still handsome and still a friend, who has gone on to a brilliant, long career in broadcast journalism. He also married an absolutely superior woman, which is what really makes him a hero in my book!

5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?

I’m going to switch from my hero to my heroine, Maisie Conway, for this answer: Maisie is trying to establish herself as a portraitist in Edinburgh when she meets Archie, who finds her ARTISTIC, ARTICULATE and oh-so CURIOUS.

6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?

Answer: Although I have a degree in Art History (along with Classics and Archaeology), I learned a great deal about the history of mixing paints and colors that I never knew before. I also learned a great deal about the architectural and geological history of Edinburgh, and the physical building of the city, especially the closes—the long, narrow alleyways and stairs that often continue under buildings, and under ground!

7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?

Both! I edit as I go for about the first half of the book, writing a scene or a chapter or two, then editing it, until I hit upon the right characterization and find the flow of the story. Then I usually draft straight until the end before I go back for a much heavier edit.

8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?

I love to bake so it would have to be something I’ve made—my favorite bake is blueberry pie with a wonderfully flaky, lattice crust. I love it cold for breakfast to start my writing day. Delicious!

9--Describe your writing space/office!

I have an office with all my favorite books and mood boards and research articles and rolls of fabric I’m going to turn into costumes and teacups and teapots I’ve found at thrift stores to put into reader baskets…and the room is such a mess that I can’t write in there! So now I typically write from the lovely chaise in my bedroom, which has lovely tall ceilings full of air and light and a serene view over my back garden. It’s my happy place.

10--Who is an author you admire?

This is always hard because I admire so many wonderful romance authors (especially my daily writing companions, Sherry Thomas and Tracy Brogan—we encourage each other via daily text), but the writer whose books never fail to absolutely send me and make me forget I’m reading is Julie Anne Long. I have always adored her fabulous Pennyroyal Green series and now I’m thoroughly enjoying her delightful Palace of Rogues series.

11--Is there a book that changed your life?

I usually say The Wind in the Willows, or some other book from my childhood or early adolescence that made me love stories, but a book that really made a change in the way I looked at the power of individual words was a complete volume of the poems of Emily Dickinson I received as a gift from my Indispensable Mr. Essex early in our marriage. Her poems were typically very short, but if you change one word they would be irretrievably altered—I go back and reread them all the time to fill my head with cadence and remind myself of the singular power of finding just the right word for the moment in the story.

12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)/Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.

This has become a more interesting question the longer I’ve been published, because I originally got my first offer in 2009, which was lovely. But in the years since, there have been other, less lovely calls—publishers have died, editors have moved houses leaving books orphaned, agents have switched houses or given up on the genre of romance entirely! I made the switch to being an Indie author for a while and now am back with a wonderful publisher for my romances, Oliver-Heber Books. But I’m also writing mysteries and I’m super happy to say I very recently got a call that I hope will work its way about to being THE call about that series, but it’s early days on that situation—so fingers continue to be crossed, even fourteen years after getting my first call!

13--What’s your favorite genre to read?

How can I pick!?! I LOVE historical romance, but I also adore mystery, especially historical mysteries. But what I read the most are histories or what I call social histories that focus on one aspect of a culture in a specific era—like the history of paint and paint colors that I read about extensively as research for MAD ROGUES & ENGLISHWOMEN, or the history of the bicycle and its place as a conduit for social change that I’ve read for my mystery series.

14--What’s your favorite movie?

HOW TO STEAL A MILLION, with Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole. In fact, the first book of the Highland Brides series, the long novella MAD FOR LOVE, was written as an homage to that delightful caper movie, which is full of banter and a wonderfully wistful chemistry between the hero and heroine.

15--What is your favorite season?

FALL, FALL, FALL, FALL, FALL! Perhaps it’s because I have a fall birthday, or perhaps it’s because I now live in Texas, where fall brings the promise of a break from the blast furnace heat of summer, but I adore the crisp air and sharp colors of the autumn, when it’s finally cool enough to bake again. And I also adore decorating my house for Christmas.

16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

With gratitude! But a quiet dinner at home with my Indispensable Mr. Essex is always my favorite thing, no matter the day.

17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?

I listen to the 99% Invisible podcast whenever I’ve got a drive long enough to finish an episode—I hate having to stop listening and learning in the middle of a story. They are constantly covering such an interesting variety of topics (including romance book covers) that even though I have listened to hundreds of their episodes, I am never bored with their topics.

18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?

I recently took a long-awaited trip to Japan, which really broadened my palate for the depth and variety of Japanese cuisine. So much more than just sushi! YUM!

19--What do you do when you have free time?

I love to garden and I love to travel and I love to ride my bike, so I’ve finally learned to combine all three! My recent trip to Japan was a bike tour through the countryside, seeing gardens and historical sites and eating absolutely delicious food. It was my idea of heaven.

20--What can readers expect from you next?

I have been working for a few years on a historical mystery series. Set in New England in the 1890’s, the first book of the Marigold Manners Mysteries is MISERY HATES COMPANY, followed by MOURNING BECOMES YOU. I hope to have Marigold and her madcap, mysterious adventures out into the publishing world within the year. Fingers grossed!

Thank you for having me at Fresh Fiction! Wishing everyone Happy Reading!


Mad Rogues and Englishwomen

From award-winning author Elizabeth Essex comes the adventurous final novel of the highly acclaimed Highland Brides, a quintet of bold, brilliant lasses determined to make their own happily ever afters.A thing of beauty can be a joy forever.But beauty lies…Lord Archie Carrington knows a beauty when he sees one. Barmaids and countess alike fall beneath the charm of the youngest-ever editor of Edinburgh’s sharpest political and literary quarterly. So when he sets out to write an exposé on the new Lord Advocate, the clever Scotsman devises a plan to charm his opponent’s shy portraitist daughter out of her smock—and her family the eyes of the beholder.But Maisie Conway knows a rogue when she sees one and although she agrees to paint Lord Carrington’s portrait, she rebuffs all of Archie’s attempts at flirtation and familiarity. That is, until Archie offers to pose nude as a life drawing lesson and Maisie cannot resist the opportunity to uncover all of his manifest charms. Posing leads to passion, but soon they find themselves working at cross purposes. As Archie and Maisie follow the dictates of their desire, will they learn to trust one another, or will the dark secrets surrounding them cost them their only chance to achieve true love?


Romance Historical [Oliver-Heber Books, On Sale: September 5, 2023, e-Book, ISBN: 9781648394072 / ]

Buy MAD ROGUES AND ENGLISHWOMENKindle | | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Elizabeth Essex

Elizabeth Essex

When not rereading Jane Austen, mucking about in her garden and simply messing about with boats, award–winning author Elizabeth Essex can be always be found with her laptop, making up stories about heroes and heroines who live far more exciting lives than she. It wasn't always so. Long before she ever set pen to paper, Elizabeth graduated from Hollins College with a BA in Classics, and then earned her MA in Nautical Archaeology from Texas A&M University. While she loved the life of an underwater archaeologist, she has found her true calling writing lush, lyrical historical romance full of passion, daring and adventure.

Elizabeth lives in Texas with her husband, the indispensable Mr. Essex, and her active and exuberant family in an old house filled to the brim with books.

The Highland Brides | The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor





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