Interview and Giveaway with Wendy Vella

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Hi Wendy and welcome to UTC. Congratulations on the release of THE RELUCTANT COUNTESS! We always love getting to know authors a bit better.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I love living in New Zealand but it is a very young country so if I had a choice I’d probably go for a castle in Scotland. It would be surrounded by heather in the summer and snow in the winter. The halls would echo with the stomp of clansmen…ok I should stop now.

How do you get yourself in the mood to write?

I go to work every day so my writing time it limited to 2-3hrs in the evening. To get in the mood I put on my headphones and sit in my reclining chair and that’s about it. I can usually pretty much start up where I left off the night before without to much effort.


What does your writing workspace look like? Clean and orderly? Scattered with notes?

I don’t really have a workspace, I’ve tried to use the office for writing but I usually just end up back in an armchair with my laptop. It’s what I’ve always done and keeps me close to my family even though I’m tuned out. Having said that I am fairly messy, I have cords and headphones, my well used thesaurus and a water bottle handy, and most often they’re still there in the morning for me to clean up.


What is the appeal of historical romance to you?

I like writing about an era that neither I nor anyone I know have ever experienced. The food, the fashion and the numerous silly rules they lived by, it’s really different from the way we live when you take into account the freedom we have today. I love writing about the intrigues and scandals and the absolute decadence of the nobility, all wrapped up in the name of polite society.


THE RELUCTANT COUNTESS is a bit of a Cinderella story. What can you tell us about it?

The Reluctant Countess is set in the Regency Era. It’s a story about two people Patrick and Sophie who were born into different classes, but are destined to meet amongst the intriguing and often wicked world of London society. It’s about trusting another person when you have never had reason to before and about overcoming your past in order to secure your future. It’s a story with plenty of great secondary characters to move the story along. There are misunderstandings and passion, laughter and adventure, and of course there is a happy ending.


If you had to describe Sophie and Patrick in just a few words, what would they be?

Sophie is tougher than she looks, sweet natured yet determined and loyal to a fault.

Patrick appears aloof and unyielding but he’s vulnerable and lonely.


Please fill in the blanks
Scene in your book that you love the most and would never cut: Opening scene between Patrick and his best friend Stephen, Lord Sumner.

Celebrity most similar to your hero: James Purefoy
Celebrity most similar to your heroine: Kate Beckinsale

If you only had twenty dollars in your purse, what would you buy?

The latest Eloisa James book.

What’s coming next for Wendy Vella?

I’m working on a few things and first off is another historical and a contemporary, so that’s exciting and hopefully you’ll get to read them soon.


From Wendy Vella comes a Cinderella story of whirlwind passion between a dashing earl and a beautiful countess—and the secret that threatens to tear them apart.

Regal, poised, and elegant, Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, is everything that a highborn lady should be. But Sophie is hiding a past that is far from royal. When Patrick, Earl of Coulter, realizes that her story doesn’t add up, he resolves to find out the truth of what Sophie and her sister-in-law are concealing. Although Sophie has every reason to avoid him, the handsome and charismatic Patrick awakens something wicked deep within her soul . . . a powerful need that Sophie must stifle in order to protect her place in society.

Despite Sophie’s humble background, the raven-haired beauty has won Patrick’s heart. But what Sophie needs now is an ally. Viscount Myles Dumbly, the disgruntled former heir of Monmouth, is determined to expose Sophie as a fraud to recapture his lost inheritance. Soon Patrick is drawn into a fight for both their lives. Somehow he must find a way not only to rescue Sophie from poverty once and for all, but to keep her in his arms forever.


“If only she had a small imperfection.”

“What?” Patrick, Earl of Coulter, tore his eyes from the top of the stairs to glare at his friend.

“The countess.” Lord Sumner swept his hand in an arc that encompassed most of the assembled guests. “I was saying that some sort of imperfection would detract from her goddesslike beauty. Perhaps a lisp? Alas, no,” he added seconds later. “A lisp would merely make her sweet and beautiful.”

“Idiot,” the earl muttered, propping one shoulder against the silk-covered wall. His gaze returned to where the countess now stood. Poised on the top step of the Duke of Rookvale’s ballroom, she appeared motionless; only her eyes moved as they passed over the guests milling below.

“Perhaps a mole with several long dark hairs,” Lord Sumner mused, “on the end of her little nose?”

Patrick watched the countess descend. Tonight her raven locks were piled high and clasped with a single diamond pin; several long curls had been artfully teased to lie on one slender shoulder. Created to torment, her dress was cut low in the bodice, allowing a glimpse of the lush curves that lay beneath, and with every step she took the skirts caressed her legs in a swirl of emerald satin. Patrick dreamt about those legs—naked and wrapped around his body. Even from a distance, his muscles clenched at the thought of her lying beneath him, skin gleaming, lips red from his kisses. Bloody woman. From the first glance, she had taken up residence in his head, and he wanted her out. Patrick didn’t obsess over women—he took what he wanted when he wanted it. Usually his affairs were brief yet satisfactory for both parties and he was always the one in control. The countess, however, was another matter. Something about her reached out to him and he wanted her with a desperation no other had made him feel. Yet he would never act on that desperation because the countess was a fraud, and there was nothing Patrick hated more than people who set out to deliberately deceive others.

“Did you just growl, Coulter?”

“Don’t be ridiculous!” Patrick snapped, following the countess’s progress until she reached the bottom step. Once again she became motionless. It was as if she held her breath, yet those eyes moved in every direction, seeking, searching, but for what?

“To be her lady’s maid for just one day,” Lord Sumner sighed.

Reluctantly, Patrick pulled his eyes from the countess once more to look at the man who lounged beside him. Stephen SumnerSSSS had been Patrick’s friend since childhood, and knew him better than anyone.

“The woman’s a fraud.” Patrick was subjected to a fierce glare as he finished speaking.

“For pity’s sake, Colt,” Stephen said, reverting to the nickname Patrick had been given in his school days. “Just because she has not fallen prostrate at your oversized feet whilst declaring her undying love, does not mean she is a fraud. Surely you have tasted rejection before.”

“She has not rejected me!” Patrick snapped. Even knowing Stephen was baiting him did not ease his ire. That bloody woman always set him on edge.

“Excellent,” Stephen said. “We know how fragile your ego is.”

“I have no idea why I keep you as a friend.” Patrick shook his head. As Stephen began to speak, he lifted a hand to stall him.

“Three days before the Earl of Monmouth passed away, I paid him a visit at Monmouth Hall. He was in his bed, clearly near death, but still lucid.” He paused to make sure Stephen understood exactly what he was saying. “There was no Countess of Monmouth at that time, Stephen, no wife and most definitely no son.”

“What are you saying, Patrick? That she is some sort of imposter?” Running a hand through his golden locks, Stephen shot his friend an irritated look. “Why must you always suspect people of wrongdoing? Maybe she was away from the estate? Good lord, Colt! The old man was absent from society for years, lived like a recluse. He could have married a whole bevy of beauties and we would have been none the wiser.”

Shaking his head, Stephen continued before Patrick could interrupt. “Your investigating days are over, and for what it’s worth, I for one like the lady and cannot see her capable of treachery or deceit.”

Patrick snorted, his disbelief obvious. “You are too trusting, Sumner. There was no wife, I tell you. The old earl’s man of affairs was there, and that obsequious weasel of a nephew who was due to inherit his fortune, but there was no mention of a countess.”

“Well, good for her. If she got that old goat to marry her before he passed away, I’d say she deserved his money.” Stephen followed Patrick’s gaze back to where the countess now stood. “The woman is obviously a lady, so let it be, Patrick; no good can come of your meddling.”

“Me, meddle? I’m insulted.” The wounded expression on Patrick’s face belied the wicked twinkle in his eyes.

Laughing at the foul comment Stephen hissed in his ear, Patrick lifted both hands in surrender, his demeanor once again serious.

“All I’m saying is that I quite liked that ‘old goat’ as you so delicately put it, and because I was one of the last to see him alive I feel in some way connected to him. Something about the countess does not seem right, and if she is a charlatan I will expose her as one.”

“Well, if you want to investigate further I suggest you make haste to put your name on her dance card, as her circle is forming,” Stephen urged.
With a look of distaste, Patrick eyed the men moving to intercept the countess and then pushed off the wall to join their ranks.

“THE RELUCTANT COUNTESS” can be purchased from Random House INC

* * *

About the Author

Wendy Vella is a lover of all things romantic. She started reading her first Georgette Heyer book at a young age and instantly fell in love with the Regency era. Writing is something she has always found time for; she penned her first novel at eighteen though she says it will never make an appearance further than the closet in which it currently resides.

After having her two children Wendy then joined RWNZ and started honing her chosen craft by entering competitions with some success and attending conferences. Her Clendon and Readers Choice award-winning historical romance The Reluctant Countess will debut in Jan 2013 with Random House in their Loveswept line.

She has an addiction to reading and loves a wide range of genres while her first love will always be historical. She relishes novels steeped in Romance and excitement with feisty heroines and delicious heroes, especially when they are set amongst the treacherous waters of London society.

Wendy is a sucker for a happy ending having secured her own. She has been married to her own dark brooding hero for 28 years and shares her home with two wonderful children, two dogs and anyone else who happens to be visiting at the time. Born and raised in a rural area in the North Island of New Zealand, Wendy loves the beaches and lush green rolling hills of her homeland and is proud to call herself a very patriotic Kiwi!

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Shayna Snyder

Great Interview. Book sounds amazing.


thanks so much,



I love Cinderella stories – this sounds great!


It never dates does it, Cinderella stories always get me going


Betty Hamilton

Loved the interview!! Thank you for a great ‘give-away”!!


Thanks, let me know what you think of the book


Joanne B

Congrats on the release. The Reluctant Countess sounds fantastic. Can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the great interview, excerpt, and giveaway. I love James Purefoy and that this is a Cinderella story.


I loved James Purefoy in A Knights Tale, I thought he was an outstanding Black Prince,


Joy F

I also like to read historical romance because we have never lived it and the rules are very very different then how we live now. Thanks for the chance.


Yes, I spend ages day dreaming about the Regency era, I’d love to visit just once,



I’m diffenitly putting this one on my TBR list.


Thanks so much, hope you enjoy it



Thanks for the interview! The book sounds great!

Lisa Richards

I love historical fiction and with the overwhelming love for shows like Downton Abbey maybe more non readers will seek out wonderful books like this one.!

Christy Perry

Thank you for the interview & book excerpt they were both wonderful! I can’t wait to read this book and thank you for giving me the chance to win 🙂

Monica V.

I loved the excerpt and I have put the book on my “must read” list!

Josie Hink

I can’t wait to read this book and the cover is absolutely gorgeous!!! I choose so many of my books by the cover and this one I would definitely being going with it if I saw it in the store. On my tbr list!!!



I love the cover and I enjoyed the interview. Thank you so much.


abinormyl AT gmail DOT com

Elizabeth P

oooooo love historical romance!…Ty


I loved learning how Wendy writes her books! Great interview!!


Great Interview. Book sounds amazing.

Diane Sallans

I love to be introduced to a new author – it’s great to get a new voice.

martha lawson

She is a new to me author, which I love finding! This book sounds awesome. Thanks for the chance to win.

Lori Meehan

The book sounds really great, I can’t wait read .

Jen B.

Kate Beckinsale kicks butt! It gives me a real picture of Sophie. Thanks for the review and the giveaway.


Thank you for the excerpt and the giveaway. I liked the scene between Patrick and Stephen. I enjoy stories that are peppered with good secondary characters. lisagk(at)yahoo(dot)com


Enjoyed the interview, can’t wait to read your book!

Linda Scarchuk

Would love to win, have not read any of your books yet but look forward to it…thanks

Emily Bowes

This sounds awesome. Thanks for doing the interview and giveaway. Cant wait to read it.

Carol L

Loved the interview and excerpt. Look forward to ready The Reluctant Countess. Thanks for this opportunity.
Carol L.


Thanks for sharing the great excerpt and wonderful interview..

Seems like it’ll be a great read…