Swept Away by a Kiss: Author’s Note

A perfect storm happened.

That’s how I came to write my debut novel Swept Away by a Kiss more than a decade ago.

The epic, sweeping love story of a titled English nobleman in disguise as a ship’s captain who’s in disguise as a French priest, and the smart and tenaciously passionate woman who falls in love with him despite all, came about through a wild blending of inspirations.

At the time I wrote the first draft of this novel I was living in Rome, Italy, spending my days in the Vatican Library researching and reading about history, and my nights writing about what I’d learned. I adored the work, but it was challenging — lots of translating texts in foreign languages (some dead!) and deciphering manuscripts that monks had copied by candlelight hundreds of years ago. Occasionally when I needed to loosen my tensed shoulders and stretch my cramped legs, I took short breaks by walking around the beautiful park nearby. Sometimes I paused for a tramezzino (a little snack sandwich) or a quick game of pool with friends.

Mostly, though, I studied, and I wrote history.  I was determined to become a professor and I had a very limited time in Rome. I had to make every hour there count.

Sometimes, though, not only my legs and shoulders but my brain needed relief from its constant occupation.  So, as we book lovers do when we need to relax, I read other books.

Here’s what I happened to be reading when the idea for Swept Away by a Kiss occurred to me: “traditional” Regency romances by Mary Balogh and Mary Jo Putney, a huge multi-biography about the Jesuits written by a Frenchman, and my husband’s book manuscript on the history of the Haitian Revolution. Toss in the influence of two movies I’d seen recently — The Scarlett Pimpernel and Pirates of the Caribbean — and all the pieces of my first full length novel came together.

For those of you who’ve already read Steven and Valerie’s romance, I suspect this backstory comes as no surprise to you. For those of you who are about to read it for the first time, you’re in for a truly unique and passionate adventure. Enjoy!



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