Thursday, May 9, 2013

Blog Tour: The Folly At Falconbridge Hall (Maggi Anderson)

The Folly At Falconbridge Hall

Vanessa Ashley felt herself qualified for a position as governess, until offered the position at Falconbridge Hall. Left penniless after the deaths of her artist father and suffragette mother, Vanessa Ashley draws on her knowledge of art, politics, and history to gain employment as a governess. She discovers that Julian, Lord Falconbridge, requires a governess for his ten-year-old daughter Blyth at Falconbridge Hall, in the countryside outside London. Lord Falconbridge is a scientist and dedicated lepidopterist who is about to embark on an extended expedition to the Amazon. An enigmatic man, he takes a keen interest in his daughter’s education. As she prepares her young charge, Vanessa finds the girl detached and aloof. As Vanessa learns more about Falconbridge Hall, more questions arise. Why doesn't Blythe feel safe in her own home? Why is the death of her mother, once famed society beauty Clara, never spoken of? And why did the former governess leave so suddenly without giving notice?
Paperback, 350 pages

Published December 2012 by Knox Robinson Publishing Ltd.

Buy Links: Amazon US | B&N | Book Depository

Maggi Andersen
Maggi Andersen and her lawyer husband are empty nesters, living in the country-side outside Sydney, Australia with the cat that rules them. She began writing adventure stories at age eight. Three children, a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts in Creative Writing degree later, her novels are still adventure stories, but are also passionate romances. Georgette Heyer among others, brought inspiration to her seductive Regencies and she also writes contemporary romantic suspense, darker, Victorian mysteries and young adult novels.
She supports the RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals) and animals often feature in her books.

 What inspired you to write a book?

Thank you for inviting me to your lovely blog, Beth. What inspired me to write a book? I've been writing since I was a child. I'm not sure what drove me back then, but now when the muse strikes; it's fueled by a need to tell an entertaining story with a happy ending. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool romantic and not happy unless the lovers end up together. Wonderful novels like Anna Karenina, beautifully told, leave me feeling sad. If not a definite happy ending, I want the promise of one.
A romance novel sells every few minutes. Readers might have a preference for alpha males, or a fondness for betas like the boy next door. While I love to read about a rake in a historical setting, others might prefer werewolves or handsome cowboys. It's pure escapism. When audiences flocked to light frothy romantic comedies during the depression years, it was for the same reason. While romance novels deal with life, they can be the perfect diversion from day to day living, which can be tough and sad sometimes. A well-written romance with realistic characters deals with many different life issues and gives us a glimpse into human nature. And sometimes readers relate to what the protagonist goes through, or conversely, feel their lives aren't so bad after all.
Perhaps I should say what inspired me to write The Folly at Falconbridge Hall. Reading authors like Victoria Holt and Georgette Heyer and watching shows like Downton Abbey generated ideas as the story percolated in my mind. I enjoyed building the world in which to set my characters. An ancient ivy-covered house set in beautiful gardens and woodland. A folly, a governess, a huge estate, a large staff, and a mystery.
I give my characters plenty of angst to contend with, before reaching that state of bliss. In The Folly at Falconbridge Hall, when Vanessa Ashley is orphaned and left destitute by her artist father and political mother, she uses the skills they taught her to take a position as a governess for Viscount Falconbridge's daughter Blythe. It is far from plain sailing, as Vanessa tries to understand his lordship, an enigmatic man, and uncover the family's worrying secrets. Why did the former governess leave after only a few months service? What happened to Lord Falconbridge's first wife? Why did a young woman hang herself in the wood? Why is Blythe so unhappy?


  1. Thanks for featuring me, today, Beth.

  2. Oh my god, Victoria Holt is her inspiration? I must read this, I devoured her books as a tween. I bookmarked the book. ^^ Thanks so much for featuring it. By the way, your blog is super lovely, I followed. <3