Thursday, February 11, 2010

What are you reading -- Ann Lethbridge

This Thursday PHS welomes one of the newer Harlequin Historical Authors --Ann Lethbridge. So Ann, what are you reading?

As someone who devours books, this is a loaded question for me and one that I am happy to wax lyrical about hour after hour.

While thinking about what I would say so that I didn’t take up a week’s worth of Thursday’s, I mentally divided my reading into three major compartments. I like compartments, they make things easier to deal with.
You see I am never reading one book, I am always reading several. At once.

Behind door Number One are Research Books.

Some research books are simply read for the pleasure of being immersed in the Regency. At present, I am reading Vienna 1814 by David King. For historical entertainment, idea spawning, gossip dealing, this is fast becoming a favourite. I can’t tell you how many ideas this book is sparking. The characters involved in the Congress of Vienna are jumping off the page with the selected quotes and descriptions. I love the politics of the Regency era, as the fashions, of course. Nor it is a coincidence that in my book Wicked Rake, Defiant Mistress, my hero wants to take part in the major event of his time. War with Napoleon. Mostly I read my research books at lunch time, as a break from writing, and as a way not to get another author’s voice in my head while I am still in the throes of my own daily word count. I also refer to all sorts of research books during the writing process, but usually just for the information I need.

Behind Door Number Two we find Craft Books.

I consider it my duty as a writer to read all that is written on the subject of craft. Not once but repeatedly. I seem to learn something new each time. I don’t know if I’m particularly dense, or if it is an accumulation thing, but those aha moments keep popping like flashbulbs. My most recent acquisition is The Fire in Fiction, by Donald Maas. Mr. Maas is going to be giving a workshop to the Toronto Chapter of RWA, and I need to be prepared. This will be on my bedside table along with notepad and pen. I find bedtime a nice quiet time when some of the new ideas will percolate into my subconscious. At least that is my hope.

Behind Door Number Three, we find Guilty Pleasures

Did I say I love to read? I love to read fiction. All genres and all different authors, but I do love historical romances. And I read very fast. Right now, I am reading the books I am judging for the Romance Writers of America RITA contest, which of course I can’t tell you about. But I can tell you, I am having a ball with so many good books. I am also reading Green Darkness by Anya Seton, first published in 1972 it is premised on the idea of reincarnation and is set in 1968 and in 1552-1559. I found this book at Ightham Mote, in Kent England, a Tudor moat house, pictured to the left, where part of the story is set. It is beautifully written book and well researched. The house, both in the 1500’s and in the 1968 scenes, remains very much as described. A treat indeed.

Ann Lethbridge writes Regencies for Harlequin Mills and Boon. Wicked Rake, Defiant Mistress is in stores in Britain this month, and will be available in North America in May. If you would like to know more about Ann and her books visit her website at You can also ramble through the regency with Ann at


  1. Oh I really enjoyed The Fire into Fiction. Lucky you for seeing Donald Maass. I understnad he is v good in person.

    I have just discovered Elizabeth Lyon and her book Manuscript Makeover which has sent lightbulbs flickering in my brain.

    And I read Green Darkness a long time ago. It is great.

  2. I love "How To" books so much - I probably read to many and don't concentrate enough on my own wip! Take care Caroline x

  3. ...of course that should have been "too" many. Umm. Perhaps a grammar book should be on my next TBR pile - lol! Caroline x

  4. Hi Ladies, thank you so much for having me today. Talking about reading, my local chapter is holding an even for our local Librarians today.

    Should be fun, but means I will be out of the house most of the day. I will drop in the moment I get home.

  5. Oh, and I forgot, one lucky commenter will receive a copy of Wicked Rake Defiant Mistress. Our hosts will pick and I will mail it off to you.

  6. Hi Ann,
    Welcome to PHS and thanks for the blog. I saw the pic of Ightham Mote and it brought back lovely memories. Isn't it the most fantastic place?