Today we are visiting with Susanna Ives and her charcters, Lord and Lady Kesseley. So back and enjoy and please ask if you have questions.

I’m revisiting my characters at Wrenthorpe, Lord and Lady Kesseley’s ancestral estate. The year is 1820, one year from the close of my book RAKES AND RADISHES.  I have come in winter because Kesseley is typically busy farming in the spring through the fall. I am escorted to the library where I can see Henrietta has taken up a corner for her own work. Two celestial maps are hung on the wall and books and pages are stacked on a great mahogany table.

Henrietta and Kesseley sit beside each other on the sofa, their arms touching. Henrietta’s face is lovely and flush, so different from the pale and strained look she wore during the stressful months in London.  I can see Kesseley’s hair has grown a little longer, and his clothes are a little less fashionable. He seems to be slowly slipping into his old comfortable ways.

I open my notebook and begin.

Me: Henrietta, do you still assist your father in his astronomical work?

Henrietta: Lately, I haven’t done much mathematics with astronomy.  I’m encouraging my father to help me design farm equipment (She looks at her husband and smiles.) My dear husband has so many ideas.

Kesseley: (laughs)  She is my own Da Vinci.

Henrietta:  We have submitted an article on a planter design to an agricultural journal and are waiting for a response.

Me: As your author, I know both of you did a great deal of maturing during the Season.  Do you hate me for everything I put you through?

Henrietta :  Oh, don’t remind of how foolish I was.  I sometimes get scared to think that I almost lost Kesseley because I was so foolish.  Yet now I know that I love Kesseley in the deepest part of me.   I don’t know if I would have understood that depth if we hadn’t gone through all our difficulty. Now I’m so grateful every day that I am beside him.

(Kesseley takes her hand.)

I feel more contentment now.  I used to, well, despise this old village. But now I see my life and my surroundings differently. Wrenthorpe, the fields, my father’s home, all comfort and sustain me.

Me:  Kesseley, it’s probably best that we not discuss the details of your adventures in London, but how do you think the whole experience changed you?

Kesseley: Must I?

Henrietta:  For heaven’s sake, love, she’s the author.  You can talk to her.

Kesseley: (He runs his hand through his hair.) I suppose I have more confidence in myself.  Before, I was intimidated by my own house. I saw everything as tainted by my father.  He was not a good man, and I feared that his vileness was in me.  Sometimes, I can still feel that darkness just like when I was a small boy. But I can distance myself from that fear and let it pass.  I am not my father.

Henrietta: No, you are my husband and a wonderful man.

Kesseley: We haven’t been back to London. And I suppose we must one day. I don’t know how I will feel.

Henrietta: I think the London house will always have a special charm for me. I told you that I loved you there.  Of course, the Princess and Lady Winslow have homes in London, and they are great fun.

Kesseley: Just don’t let them take you to a card party!

Me: Speaking of the Princess and Lady Winslow,  I want to ask about some of my other characters.  Kesseley, how is your mother?

Kesseley:  She’s on the continent, traveling about.

Henrietta: We get a letter from her at least once a week with her latest adventures.  She has taken a boat down the Rhine, fallen in a canal in Venice, and is currently rummaging through the Coliseum.

Me:  And what of Edward?

Henrietta:  He is still writing. He has a collection of poems coming out in the next few months.

Me:  Is he still with you-know-who?

Henrietta: Oh yes. They are quite happy.

Me: And are you two happy?

Henrietta: (her eyes shining) Very. And in a few months time, there might be more than just two of us.

Susanna Ives’s book RAKES AND RADISHES is published by Carina Press and is available at the Carina Press website: and other online booksellers such as Amazon and Borders.

When Henrietta Watson learns that the man she loves plans to marry London’s most beautiful and fashionable debutante, she plots to win him back. She’ll give him some competition by transforming her boring bumpkin neighbor, the Earl of Kesseley, into a rakish gothic hero worthy of this Season’s Diamond.

After years of unrequited love for Henrietta, Kesseley is resigned to go along with her plan and woo himself a willing bride. But once in London, everything changes. Kesseley, long more concerned with his land than his title, discovers that he’s interested in sowing wild oats as well as radishes. And Henrietta realizes that gothic heroes don’t make ideal husbands. Despite an explosive kiss that opens her eyes to the love that’s been in front of her all along, Henrietta must face the possibility that Kesseley is no longer looking to marry at all…

You can read an excerpt of RAKES AND RADISHES at Susanna’s website



Susanna has kindly decided to offer a copy of RAKES AND RADISHES to one commenter. Giveaway is for today only and is an ebook. Winner will need to check back tomorrow to see if they’ve won. Good Luck to all!