Our spotlight on author Bernadette Rowley.
Who is Bernadette Rowley?
I’m a fantasy romance author whose spicy stories feature a healthy dash of magic and are set in my fantasy world, the kingdom of Thorius. My first book with Destiny Romance, Princess Avenger explored a romance between a feisty princess and a dark and dangerous shape shifter. My second book, The Lady’s Choice takes one of the secondary characters from Princess Avenger and matches him up with a sexy and desperate lady from a neighbouring kingdom.
I’m a vet in my day job so my stories feature animals and, in fact, you might say a gorgeous, dappled grey stallion is a secondary character in The Lady’s Choice.
What inspired you to be a writer?
I was always a reader so was naturally driven to write stories as a girl. I didn’t write much after leaving school but then when I had my third son, I realised that I’d love to write a book. Starting with picture books, I moved through junior fiction to writing for adults and ending up with fantasy romance. I’ve also dabbled in space opera and have a series started in that genre.
How did you choose your genre?
I discovered fantasy in my teenage years and read Tolkien, Feist, Brooks and Jordan. I’ve basically read nothing else but this genre until I joined Romance Writers of Australia so it was natural that I would fall back into my fantasy world when I wrote romance. I’m writing what I know, what I immersed myself in for three decades.
What made you tell this story and why did you write this book?
While writing Princess Avenger, Squire Ramón Zorba kept trying to steal more of the story than I could justify so I knew he would have to have his own book. He’s a gorgeous blond swordsman but quite inexperienced in love and so it was fun to match him up with Lady Benae Branasar who had ‘enjoyed’ men before she met Ramón.
How did you come up with the title?
I brainstormed about a dozen titles and sent them to the Destiny editors, Carol and Sarah, as they didn’t like the working title. They selected The Lady’s Choice as it reflects the premise of the story. Benae has to choose between a marriage of convenience and a love match- each path having consequences.
What is your favourite scene?
It’s so hard to choose but I really adore the bathing chamber scene when Benae - along with the queen and all her ladies-in-waiting- catches her first glimpse of Ramón naked. He makes quite an impact, ensuring the castle gossip runs hot for weeks.
The premise for The Lady’s Choice
When she finds herself irresistibly attracted to her reluctant escort, the handsome Ramon Zorba, her plans begin to unravel. Ramon is dealing with problems of his own, but as he begins to thaw, Benae begins to glimpse the devastating man underneath. The more time they spend together, the harder Benae finds it to focus on her objective. Will she stay true to her people and pursue the prince? Or will love and fate intervene?
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