Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Guest Post with C.S. Harris


Photo Content from C.S. Harris.

Candice Proctor, aka C.S. Harris and C.S. Graham, is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than twenty novels including the Sebastian St. Cyr Regency mystery series written under the name C.S. Harris, the C.S. Graham thriller series co-written with Steven Harris, and seven historical romances. She is also the author of a nonfiction historical study of women in the French Revolution. Her books are available worldwide and have been translated into over twenty languages.

A former academic with a PhD in European history, Candice also worked as an archaeologist on a variety of sites including a Hudson's Bay Company Fort in San Juan Island, a Cherokee village in Tennessee, a prehistoric kill site in Victoria, Australia, and a Roman cemetery and medieval manor house in Winchester, England. She loves to travel and has spent much of her life abroad, living in Spain, Greece, England, France, Jordan, and Australia. She now makes her home in New Orleans, Louisiana, with her husband, retired Army officer Steve Harris, and an ever-expanding number of cats.
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WHICH CHARACTER HAVE YOU ENJOYED GETTING TO KNOW WHILE WRITING WHY KILL THE INNOCENT?

In WHY KILL THE INNOCENT, Sebastian investigates the brutal murder of a talented young musician who taught piano to young Princess Charlotte. So the royal family—in particular Princess Charlotte herself—plays a prominent role in this book.

I knew little about Charlotte as a living, breathing young woman before I began researching the story. The only child of the Prince of Wales and heiress presumptive to the throne, she died tragically young (it was her death that set off the scramble amongst the Royal Dukes to marry and produce an heir—a scramble that ultimately resulted in Queen Victoria). I honestly didn’t expect to like Charlotte. Her father was a selfish, self-indulgent, vindictive, pathological liar who could serve as a textbook illustration for narcissistic personality disorder. And her mother, Caroline of Brunswick, had a few loose screws of her own. I don’t know how Charlotte managed to grow up to be a decent human being, but she did.

She was funny, with a quick sense of humor and a gift for mimicry. She was compassionate and empathetic, passionately crusading for the rights of the oppressed, including the Irish and Catholics. She loved animals and rescued a little greyhound someone sent to her father (the Regent hated dogs). An intrepid horsewoman, she was constantly criticized for “acting like a man.” And while she was very much a princess, she was also touchingly vulnerable and heartbreakingly surprised and pleased whenever she realized someone genuinely liked her as a person.

Her life might have been filled with wealth and privilege, but it was not easy. Her father the Prince treated her mother abominably from the beginning. He actually sent his mistress, Lady Jersey, to meet the ship that first carried his bride to England. He also brought his mistress to the wedding feast and took her on his honeymoon. On his wedding night, he went to the conjugal bed so drunk he had difficulty consummating the marriage. And when his insulted bride was less than sympathetic with his poor performance, he never forgave her.

Within a year of Charlotte’s birth, the Prince banished the baby’s mother from the palace, and he vindictively did his best to keep them apart thereafter. When Charlotte was eight, he moved the child into a dilapidated brick house nearby. The reason? He was redecorating his palace and wanted her rooms. After that, the little girl lived alone without anyone in the house who wasn’t paid to be there. She was raised by a constantly changing succession of governesses and tutors, none of whom were allowed to stay long. Yet somehow she managed to grow into a young woman who was not only sympathetic and intriguing, but in many ways admirable. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and bring her to life in WHY KILL THE INNOCENT.

TEN QUOTES FROM WHY KILL THE INNOCENT

1. Sebastian glanced back at the ancient stone walls of the Houses of Parliament, which rose just beyond the bridge. They seemed so strong and invincibly enduring. Yet he knew they were not.

2. Crouching down beside Jane Ambrose’s body, Sebastian yanked off his glove and used his bare hand to brush gently at the snow that had already re-covered the dead woman’s cold, lifeless skin . . .

3. Sebastian fell into step beside his father in law. “I was hoping I’d find you here.”

“I wish I could say I’m delighted not to have disappointed you, but I fear that would be beyond even my considerable powers of dissemblance.”

“I think you underestimate yourself.”

4. “Why are you afraid of what an investigation might discover?”

“These are delicate and dangerous times. You would cause more harm than you know.”

“Oh?” said Sebastian. “So explain it to me.”

Jarvis made a rude noise deep in his throat. “You’ve been warned.”

5. “The truth is frequently more dangerous than a lie.”

“Then tell me who you are afraid of,” said Hero.

“Ah.” The man’s lips twitched into a self-deprecating, unexpected smile. “But that would be the most dangerous of all.”

6. “For a simple musician, Jane Ambrose lived an unexpectedly dangerous life.”

“When you deal with people like the Rothschilds and the royal family,” said Sebastian, “life is never simple.”

7. “Be careful, will you?” said Sebastian, his gaze locking with Hero’s.

“I’m not the one somebody just tried to kill. You be careful.

8. Sebastian arrived back at Brook Street to find Hero seated at his desk and calmly cleaning the brass-mounted flintlock pistol given to her years before by her father. “Is this routine maintained?” he asked, watching her. “Or did you shoot someone?”

9. How do you console a seventeen-year-old mother who is about to die at the hands of her own government? The truth is, you can’t.

10. The fair was a magical place after dark, which torches flaring up golden bright against a clear, glittering black sky and strings of colored lanterns dangling between parallel rows of makeshift booths and stalls. They’d dubbed the main thoroughfare “the City Road,” a grand promenade that snaked down the frozen river from Blackfriars to London Bridge . . .


In the newest mystery from the national bestselling author of Where the Dead Lie, a brutal murder draws Sebastian St. Cyr into the web of the royal court, where intrigue abounds and betrayal awaits.

London, 1814. As a cruel winter holds the city in its icy grip, the bloody body of a beautiful young musician is found half-buried in a snowdrift. Jane Ambrose's ties to Princess Charlotte, the only child of the Prince Regent and heir presumptive to the throne, panic the palace, which moves quickly to shut down any investigation into the death of the talented pianist. But Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, and his wife Hero refuse to allow Jane's murderer to escape justice.

Untangling the secrets of Jane's world leads Sebastian into a maze of dangerous treachery where each player has his or her own unsavory agenda and no one can be trusted. As the Thames freezes over and the people of London pour onto the ice for a Frost Fair, Sebastian and Hero find their investigation circling back to the palace and building to a chilling crescendo of deceit and death . . .

Praise for WHY KILL THE INNOCENT

"The best St. Cyr yet.” —Booklist

“The mystery highlights the circumscribed course of women’s lives of the Regency era while exposing the rot that underlies the period’s glitter…. Highly recommended for lovers of historical thrillers.”—Library Journal, starred review

Praise for WHEN FALCONS FALL

“Harris’ talent for character development, polished prose, and accurate, Regency-era details makes this eleventh or any of the previous 10 an easy starting point for newcomers to the Sebastian St. Cyr series…Psychologically atmospheric like Imogen Robertson’s Westerman and Crowther mysteries, with the skewering social wit of Anne Perry’s Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, this is historical mystery at its best.” —Booklist (starred review)

“An engrossing tangled mystery and astonishing tale about a tragic search for identity. An excellent choice for St. Cyr fans and readers of historical mysteries.” —Library Journal

“Strong…[an] intricate murder puzzle.” —Publishers Weekly

Praise for the SEBASTIAN ST. CYR MYSTERY Series

“This riveting historical tale of tragedy and triumph, with its sly nods to Jane Austen and her characters, will enthrall you.” —Sabrina Jeffries, New York Times bestselling author

“Sebastian St. Cyr is everything you could want in a Regency-era nobleman-turned–death investigator: uncannily clever, unwaveringly reserved, and irresistibly sexy. The entire series is simply elegant.” —Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Thoroughly enjoyable . . . Moody and atmospheric, exposing the dark underside of Regency London.” —Deanna Raybourn, New York Times bestselling

You can purchase Why Kill the Innocent  at the following Retailers:
        
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