We all love discovering new authors to add to our ever-expanding TBR pile, yes? Then let us introduce you to historical author Kelly Bowen! Her debut, I’ve Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm, is out this week, and RT’s Kathe Robin was thoroughly charmed by the offering. So much so that Kelly’s already scored an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award nomination! We wanted to know more, of course.
Name: Kelly Bowen
Book: I’ve Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Lords of Worth
Current Home: Winnipeg, Canada
Favorite Word: possible
Was this the first full-length novel you ever wrote?
Ha. No, this was the fifth full-length novel I wrote, but the first one to sell. The very first one I wrote has been relegated to the bottom drawer of my desk, likely never to see the light of day again. It’s not pretty. The second was better and the third and fourth earned me an agent, though not a market. I’ve Got My Duke was my first full length novel that found a home!
How did you start writing?
I started writing when I had my first child. I was a stay-at-home mom at that point and was lucky enough to have a healthy little boy who slept. A lot. (My house has never been cleaner as it was then.) I found myself with more time on my hands than I’d never had before. I’ve always been a voracious reader and wondered if I could craft a story as good as the ones I loved reading so much. So I decided to give it a try.
What was it like when you got “The Call”?
Very humid. And buggy. And about 100 feet above tree level.
I was just returning home from a back-country family canoe trip, completely removed from civilization. The only way to get in and out of the lake system is in a canoe or kayak. No cabins, no people, no electricity. There are a couple of communication towers, but service is sketchy in some places, non-existent in others.
My agent called me just as we were unloading our gear near the logging road we set out from, but she was cutting in and out. But she sounded excited. Trying hard not to hyperventilate, I immediately started scrambling up the tallest granite rock face I could find, peering desperately at the little bars wobbling on the screen of my phone.
At the very top, I was completely out of breath, but able to get enough reception to hear and speak in complete sentences. My agent told me that not only had my first book sold, but the remaining two in the series had as well. At this point in time I was jumping up and down like a fool out of sheer excitement, while swatting spastically at the clouds of mosquitoes and black flies that had come to celebrate with me.
A float plane passed low overhead sometime during this display and it is a testament either to mankind’s indifference or tolerance that no one radioed the conservation officers to rescue me and put me out of my misery with high grade narcotics delivered via a tranq gun. In my favor, I suppose, was the fact I was still wearing clothes and there were no rings of fire involved.
What was it like when you found out you were nominated for RT’s 2014 First Historical Romance Award?
Amazing and thrilling. When you finish a story and you’ve put so much of yourself into the work that you love, you want to share it with others and hope they love it too. And to be nominated alongside such incredibly talented authors is so very humbling. I also didn’t get to where I am on my own — I’ve been blessed to have so many incredible people working with me along the way. This nomination is as much theirs as it is mine!
What’s your favorite paragraph in I’ve Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm?
“So it’s safe to say you are well and truly dead.” Jamie was watching her carefully, knowing exactly how hard this was, to relive that night.
“Two hundred people think they saw me die. Yes.”
“Good.” He took her hands in his.
“We’ll just have to make sure the marquess is the only one to see me now.”
“Correct,” he replied. His mind was racing. “But you have to promise me you’ll not be reckless. We must be smart and careful and precise.”
Gisele nodded up at him. “I promise.” She took a deep, slow breath before letting it out. “Thank you. For being my partner. Not my warden.”
“You’re welcome. Don’t make me regret it.”
She grinned up at him in determination. “Never.”
I think this is one of my favorite paragraphs because it embodies the partnership of my hero, Jamie, and my heroine, Gisele. My heroines are certainly not perfect, but they are strong. And it requires an even stronger man to understand that while they may need help, they don’t need rescuing.
There you have it! I’ve Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm is on sale now, in stores and online! And for more romantic tales, why not visit our Everything Romance page?