Jude Knight is here to talk about her contribution to UNDER THE HARVEST MOON, a Regency romance anthology written by nine members of the Bluestocking Belles and Friends. Jude has 5 Things she wants to tell you about the anthology and her own contribution to it, LOVE IN ITS SEASON. UNDER THE HARVEST MOON releases October 10, 2023 and is .99 cents till then. Take it away, Jude!
1. Under the Harvest Moon is another Bluestocking Belles With Friends Collection featuring interlocking stories, where characters who are main characters in one story appear in other stories in the collection, and where every author shares the overall location and one or more key events. In this case, we set the stories in a fictional Cheshire market town around the time of the local harvest festival. We also had clues to a mystery scattered through the book.
2. Writing interlocked stories means a lot more collaboration than happens in other anthologies, which makes the job both harder and more fun. Readers seem to love it too, so we’ll keep doing it.
3. The heroine of Love In Its Season came out of the collaboration. Cerise DeLand said her heroine had been in the village six years earlier, at which time her sister had run off with the son of the local farrier. The young man had enlisted, and the pair had gone to war. I decided my heroine would be the sister of the young man.
Back in the Regency era, craftspeople often trained their daughters in their crafts. I gave my heroine and the missing brother a deceased mother, which meant Gwen spent more time in the farriery with her brother and father than she otherwise might have.
In the backstory my mind was spinning, her father’s mind had begun failing about the time the brother left, so Gwen had taken over more and more of the business and now was the farrier. And good at it.
4. The hero also came from the collaboration. Caroline Warfield asked if anyone had a soldier who might help to make sure that her hero made his way home, even though he was attempting to drown the horrors of war in copious quantities of alcohol.
I offered my hero, and as I thought about him, he began to take shape. He needed an injury that saw him invalided out. He needed to have no particular home, so I made him an orphan who had joined up while still a boy. I wanted him to be an officer so he would be on equal terms with most of the other heroes in the collection, so I gave him some battlefield promotions. The rest of his backstory came as I wrote the story.
5. I have medical practitioners in the family, and my personal romantic hero was twenty years a paramedic, so I’m used to hearing grumbles and jeers whenever anyone in a movie or tv show is shot in the shoulder then gets up, uses the arm on that side, and recovers within a day or two. I wanted my hero to be too disabled to stay on the army but still able to help around the heroine’s house, particularly with her disabled father.
My dearly beloved suggested an injury to the brachial plexus. Not a complete severing of this major nerve group, but sufficient damage that the arm is near useless and he has little movement in the hand.
As the village of Reabridge in Cheshire prepares for the first Harvest Festival following Waterloo, families are overjoyed to welcome back their loved ones from the war.
But excitement quickly turns to mystery when mere weeks before the festival, an orphaned child turns up in the town—a toddler born near Toulouse to an English mother who left clues that tie her to Reabridge.
With two prominent families feuding for generations and the central event of the Harvest Moon festival looming, tensions rise, and secrets begin to surface.
Nine award winning and bestselling authors have combined their talents to create this engaging and enchanting collection of interrelated tales. Under the Harvest Moon promises an unforgettable read for fans of Regency romance.
Blurb, Love In Its Season:
The Battle of Waterloo lost Jack Wrath the use of one arm and ended his career in the cavalry. He has no place to go and nothing to offer. Gwen Hughes has a business to run and no time for romance. Under the harvest moon, two people who believe romance has passed them finally reach their season for love.