Veils of Silk: the Long Road Home

Cat 243 Doverby Mary Jo

If you’ve been following the modest saga of the book I’ve been working on and my series of “how I wrote what I wrote” posts about my Silk Trilogy, you will not be surprised to learn that A) Sometimes a Rogue, (Lost Lords #5, September 2013) went into my editor yesterday, so B) This is a good time to write about Veils of Silk, last of the Silk Trilogy. 

For me, a series will usually start with a plot premise, and then I create MaryJoPutney_VeilofSilk_400pxcharacters to work with that.  But as a series progress, I find that the characters get the upper hand as I develop stories to maximize their individuality.  And so it was here.

Silk and Secrets, second book in the trilogy, was based on a real rescue mission to Bokhara.  Being a romance writer to the core, in my fictional version of the rescue, the prisoner escaped alive from the Black Well of Bokhara, a horrific oubliette where the Amir of Bohkara dumped enemies he particularly wanted to suffer.

The prisoner, Major Ian Cameron, is a brother of Juliet Cameron, heroine of Silk and Secrets.  An officer in the East India Company’s Army, he was successful, popular, capable, and betrothed to his colonel’s beautiful daughter before he left on his mission to Bokhara. 

He emerges from more than a year’s captivity filthy, barely alive, and broken in many ways.  In the fiercely competitive stakes for my most tortured hero, I think Ian is the winner.  When he returns to his post in India, he finds that the life he’d planned is gone beyond hope of retrieval. 

A few suicidal thoughts float through hMaryJoPutney_SilkandSecrets_200pxis mind, but he can’t throw away the gift of life when Juliet and Ross risked so much to rescue him.  So he’ll take the long journey back to his ancestral home in Scotland.  But first, he must deliver the journal of the dead Russian officer who had shared his imprisonment to the officer’s niece, who is living in India with her stepfather.

And so he meets Laura.  Born Larissa Alexandrovna Karelian, she has become very British since her widowed mother married a British district officer.  Newly orphaned, alone in the world, she needs Ian as much as he needs her.  It’s a marriage of convenience and friendship. 

But Laura’s Russian uncle left her an inheritance in the far northwest of India, and together they journey north to retrieve his legacy, and to make their farewells to the sub-continent.  Naturally, all kinds of things happen along the way, including a planned invasion, a secondary romance between a Hindu widow and a Muslim soldier, and a lot of changes in the relationship between Ian and Laura.

VEILS is the longest novel I’ve ever written, and possibly the most research intensive.  It also comes closest to being a mainstream historical, though the core is pure romance.   

Having Ian share a cell with a Russian officer puts the Great Game, the struggle between Britain and Russia for possession of Central Asia, squarely in the middle of the plot.  Lots of adventure, oh, yes!  I’m proud of the book and the way the characters grew and healed—and at the end, I was so tired that I went back to Regency England for the Fallen Angels series.  <G> 

NoLongerAGentlemanObviously I have a thing about imprisonment since my most recent Lost Lords book, No Longer a Gentleman, had a hero emerging from ten years of French solitary confinement. 

I found this interesting to write because the characters react so differently.  Ian’s captivity is much shorter but much uglier, and he emerges profoundly depressed.  Grey in NLAG is also changed greatly, but he emerges semi-feral and hungry for life.  Different men, different reactions.  Very different heroines, too. 

Here’s an excerpt of Veils of Silk:

Ian Cameron has delivered her uncle’s journal to Laura Stephenson, born Larissa Alexandrovna Karelian, and finds himself charmed by the young woman’s kindness, beauty, and good sense.  Though he had thought marriage impossible, Laura is uniquely suited to be his wife.  This scene is when he has proposed to her in the ruins of an Indian temple to Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of fortune.

    “If I had common sense,” Laura said tartly, “I would not be considering your proposal.”
    “Then I must hope that sometimes you’ll have sense, and other times you’ll have none at all.”  Ian sighed.  “As I said earlier, I want to be honest with you, Laura.  I can provide for you in a material sense, but I’ve changed for the worse in more ways than one.  Though I used to have an amiable disposition, I’ve been living in a black fog for months.  On a bad day it takes every shred of will I have to just get out of bed, and the good days aren’t much better.  Sometimes I feel like a dried husk that will blow away in the next strong wind.”  
    She considered his words calmly, her slanted golden eyes thoughtful, then said simply, “Melancholia.”
     Startled, he said, “I’ve never been melancholic.”
     “You were never imprisoned and tortured before, either,” she pointed out.  “Melancholia is not uncommon, you know.  My father’s father suffered from terrible spells of it.  He would stay in bed for days on end.  When he did get up, he drifted about like a body searching for its lost soul.  But always the darkness passed, and then no one could match his high spirits.  In your case, the melancholy was surely brought on by your experiences.  When it lifts, you may never suffer from it again.”
    Ian thought about that.  Both Juliet and David had counseled patience, saying that things would improve.  Laura went one step further; by matter-of-factly naming his condition, she had made it easier to understand.  Perhaps he wasn’t uniquely cursed.  “I hope you’re right.  But if you are and I improve much in the future, I might become very different from the man you would be marrying.”
     “Everyone changes with time, Ian.  I like you very well the way you are—if you learn to laugh again, I think I would like you even better.  So much for melancholia.”  She made a dismissive gesture with her hand.  “Are you an agreeable man?”
    Startled by her abrupt change of direction, he said cautiously, “Probably not.  How do you define agreeable?”
     “In the literal sense of being willing to accommodate the wishes of others,” she explained.  “My mother once said that the most comfortable marriages are between two people who are both easygoing, who do not always insist on having their own way.  When two such people do disagree about what to do, the one who cares most about the result will get his or her way, and the other accepts it good-naturedly.”
 Intrigued, he said “Your mother sounds like a wise woman.  But what if there is a difference of opinion and both parties care greatly about how the issue is decided?” 
     “Then they fight,” she said, eyes twinkling.  “But I am an agreeable person—most of the time—and you seem to be also.  I don’t think we would fight often.”  
     “I think I’m agreeable in the sense you mean, if not always in other ways.”
    “Very good.”  She cocked her head to one side.  “Do you have any other dark secrets to reveal?”
    “One more, and this may be the worst,” he said with wry humor.  “The lords of Falkirk were border bandits for centuries, so the family seat is built for defense, not comfort.  It’s one of those frightful medieval castles with twelve-foot thick walls, smoking chimneys, and ancient weapons lurking in dark corners.”  
     “Ghosts?” she said hopefully.
     “Three or four, but they’re a harmless lot.  Far worse are the drafts.  When the wind blows from the North Sea, it could freeze the ears off a stone elephant.”
     “You should not say such a thing in front of our friend Ganesha,” she said with mock reproval.  “And don’t think you can frighten a Russian with tales of cold.  Compared to St. Petersburg, your Falkirk will seem like Calcutta.  We Russkis are very good at creating warmth in a frozen land.”  
     Though her words were teasing, they were also absolutely true, for Laura had already created warmth in Ian’s frozen heart.  “I think I’ve covered the worst of my dark secrets,” he said.  “Do you have any to confess?”
    Her levity faded and she glanced away, her absent gaze falling on the bas relief next to her.  “I haven’t your ability to be honest about things that are deeply painful, Ian.  That isn’t a dark secret, but it certainly is a flaw in my character.”
     “If that’s your worst failing, I’ll be a lucky man.”  He smiled a little.  “Are you ready to make a decision, or will you need more time?”
     Laura reached out and rubbed Ganesha’s round, jolly belly with her palm.  Ganesha, the happy god, who removed obstacles from the paths of mortals.  “Laura Stephenson is a calm, rational Englishwoman who thinks that what you are proposing is mad,” she said slowly.  “But Larissa Alexandrovna is a demented Russian, and she says I should grab this opportunity with both hands, for I’ll never have another like it.”
    Hope welling in his heart, he rose to his feet and walked toward her.  “Then by all means remember that you are Russian.”

Veils of SilkWhen going through the manuscript to prepare Veils of Silk for the e-edition, I remembered just how much I like the characters and the story.  I don't know if I ever want to work so hard on a book again–but I've very glad I did for Veils!

I've asked about exotic settings before.  Is India too exotic?  Or are Russians, for that matter? 

Mary Jo

120 thoughts on “Veils of Silk: the Long Road Home”

  1. Great blog Mary Jo. I have read your ‘silk’ books and loved them. For me, exotic settings are OK, probably because I live in Australia, and at a pinch it could probably be termed exotic, although plotting the Regency in Australia might be difficult. When it took 6-7 months to travel from England to New South Wales in the Regency era, maintaining an aristocratic way of life would not have been easy. India, on the other hand, already had a well developed way of life and thus much easier. Unfortunately using Russia as a background is again difficult because my knowledge of subsequent history always gets in the way. I wonder what will happen to them in the future.
    Anyway, I am looking forward to your next book. Love them.

    Reply
  2. Great blog Mary Jo. I have read your ‘silk’ books and loved them. For me, exotic settings are OK, probably because I live in Australia, and at a pinch it could probably be termed exotic, although plotting the Regency in Australia might be difficult. When it took 6-7 months to travel from England to New South Wales in the Regency era, maintaining an aristocratic way of life would not have been easy. India, on the other hand, already had a well developed way of life and thus much easier. Unfortunately using Russia as a background is again difficult because my knowledge of subsequent history always gets in the way. I wonder what will happen to them in the future.
    Anyway, I am looking forward to your next book. Love them.

    Reply
  3. Great blog Mary Jo. I have read your ‘silk’ books and loved them. For me, exotic settings are OK, probably because I live in Australia, and at a pinch it could probably be termed exotic, although plotting the Regency in Australia might be difficult. When it took 6-7 months to travel from England to New South Wales in the Regency era, maintaining an aristocratic way of life would not have been easy. India, on the other hand, already had a well developed way of life and thus much easier. Unfortunately using Russia as a background is again difficult because my knowledge of subsequent history always gets in the way. I wonder what will happen to them in the future.
    Anyway, I am looking forward to your next book. Love them.

    Reply
  4. Great blog Mary Jo. I have read your ‘silk’ books and loved them. For me, exotic settings are OK, probably because I live in Australia, and at a pinch it could probably be termed exotic, although plotting the Regency in Australia might be difficult. When it took 6-7 months to travel from England to New South Wales in the Regency era, maintaining an aristocratic way of life would not have been easy. India, on the other hand, already had a well developed way of life and thus much easier. Unfortunately using Russia as a background is again difficult because my knowledge of subsequent history always gets in the way. I wonder what will happen to them in the future.
    Anyway, I am looking forward to your next book. Love them.

    Reply
  5. Great blog Mary Jo. I have read your ‘silk’ books and loved them. For me, exotic settings are OK, probably because I live in Australia, and at a pinch it could probably be termed exotic, although plotting the Regency in Australia might be difficult. When it took 6-7 months to travel from England to New South Wales in the Regency era, maintaining an aristocratic way of life would not have been easy. India, on the other hand, already had a well developed way of life and thus much easier. Unfortunately using Russia as a background is again difficult because my knowledge of subsequent history always gets in the way. I wonder what will happen to them in the future.
    Anyway, I am looking forward to your next book. Love them.

    Reply
  6. Jenny- Candice Proctor (aka C.S. Harris) has some fabulous romances set in Australia. Night in Eden is set during the Regency, although the characters are definitely not aristocratic.
    I wouldn’t say anything can be too exotic, but there is definitely line somewhere between “comfortably” exotic and “kind of scary” exotic. Obviously it’s different for every reader, depending on their background. For example, I’d probably feel a bit hesitant to pick up a romance set in Russia, but I’m perfectly comfortable with India. I know a lot more about India and Indian culture than I do Russian (not that that’s saying much), so that’s probably part of it. What I actually know is what I’m most comfortable with reading. Yes, I like to learn new things about new places, but romance novels are generally not where I want to be discovering a new place for the first time. (Except now I do want to go and find a romance set in Russia. )

    Reply
  7. Jenny- Candice Proctor (aka C.S. Harris) has some fabulous romances set in Australia. Night in Eden is set during the Regency, although the characters are definitely not aristocratic.
    I wouldn’t say anything can be too exotic, but there is definitely line somewhere between “comfortably” exotic and “kind of scary” exotic. Obviously it’s different for every reader, depending on their background. For example, I’d probably feel a bit hesitant to pick up a romance set in Russia, but I’m perfectly comfortable with India. I know a lot more about India and Indian culture than I do Russian (not that that’s saying much), so that’s probably part of it. What I actually know is what I’m most comfortable with reading. Yes, I like to learn new things about new places, but romance novels are generally not where I want to be discovering a new place for the first time. (Except now I do want to go and find a romance set in Russia. )

    Reply
  8. Jenny- Candice Proctor (aka C.S. Harris) has some fabulous romances set in Australia. Night in Eden is set during the Regency, although the characters are definitely not aristocratic.
    I wouldn’t say anything can be too exotic, but there is definitely line somewhere between “comfortably” exotic and “kind of scary” exotic. Obviously it’s different for every reader, depending on their background. For example, I’d probably feel a bit hesitant to pick up a romance set in Russia, but I’m perfectly comfortable with India. I know a lot more about India and Indian culture than I do Russian (not that that’s saying much), so that’s probably part of it. What I actually know is what I’m most comfortable with reading. Yes, I like to learn new things about new places, but romance novels are generally not where I want to be discovering a new place for the first time. (Except now I do want to go and find a romance set in Russia. )

    Reply
  9. Jenny- Candice Proctor (aka C.S. Harris) has some fabulous romances set in Australia. Night in Eden is set during the Regency, although the characters are definitely not aristocratic.
    I wouldn’t say anything can be too exotic, but there is definitely line somewhere between “comfortably” exotic and “kind of scary” exotic. Obviously it’s different for every reader, depending on their background. For example, I’d probably feel a bit hesitant to pick up a romance set in Russia, but I’m perfectly comfortable with India. I know a lot more about India and Indian culture than I do Russian (not that that’s saying much), so that’s probably part of it. What I actually know is what I’m most comfortable with reading. Yes, I like to learn new things about new places, but romance novels are generally not where I want to be discovering a new place for the first time. (Except now I do want to go and find a romance set in Russia. )

    Reply
  10. Jenny- Candice Proctor (aka C.S. Harris) has some fabulous romances set in Australia. Night in Eden is set during the Regency, although the characters are definitely not aristocratic.
    I wouldn’t say anything can be too exotic, but there is definitely line somewhere between “comfortably” exotic and “kind of scary” exotic. Obviously it’s different for every reader, depending on their background. For example, I’d probably feel a bit hesitant to pick up a romance set in Russia, but I’m perfectly comfortable with India. I know a lot more about India and Indian culture than I do Russian (not that that’s saying much), so that’s probably part of it. What I actually know is what I’m most comfortable with reading. Yes, I like to learn new things about new places, but romance novels are generally not where I want to be discovering a new place for the first time. (Except now I do want to go and find a romance set in Russia. )

    Reply
  11. I love discovering romances set in exotic places. Something surprising and different, and always plenty new to learn. I think I’ve learned most of my knowledge of history through romance novels. It’s the people that inhabit the times and places I fall in love with, making the history more rich and worthwhile to learn. I think I must go out and get this book ASAP now, as if I didn’t have enough on my ‘To Be Read’ pile!

    Reply
  12. I love discovering romances set in exotic places. Something surprising and different, and always plenty new to learn. I think I’ve learned most of my knowledge of history through romance novels. It’s the people that inhabit the times and places I fall in love with, making the history more rich and worthwhile to learn. I think I must go out and get this book ASAP now, as if I didn’t have enough on my ‘To Be Read’ pile!

    Reply
  13. I love discovering romances set in exotic places. Something surprising and different, and always plenty new to learn. I think I’ve learned most of my knowledge of history through romance novels. It’s the people that inhabit the times and places I fall in love with, making the history more rich and worthwhile to learn. I think I must go out and get this book ASAP now, as if I didn’t have enough on my ‘To Be Read’ pile!

    Reply
  14. I love discovering romances set in exotic places. Something surprising and different, and always plenty new to learn. I think I’ve learned most of my knowledge of history through romance novels. It’s the people that inhabit the times and places I fall in love with, making the history more rich and worthwhile to learn. I think I must go out and get this book ASAP now, as if I didn’t have enough on my ‘To Be Read’ pile!

    Reply
  15. I love discovering romances set in exotic places. Something surprising and different, and always plenty new to learn. I think I’ve learned most of my knowledge of history through romance novels. It’s the people that inhabit the times and places I fall in love with, making the history more rich and worthwhile to learn. I think I must go out and get this book ASAP now, as if I didn’t have enough on my ‘To Be Read’ pile!

    Reply
  16. How appropriate a post. At dinner last night, I asked my husband what would the situation be like if Russia had one the Great Game. We think the entire map of the Indian Subcontinent would be different with no India, Pakistan, etc. as independent powerful countries and possibly less modern warfare. Not saying better, just very different. So what some might dismiss as exotic locations as irrelevant, they aren’t. Yet I wish real history was more romance than dismal. Thank you for the research you put into your novels. I do agree with Kestrel that romance novels are a great way to get a history lesson.

    Reply
  17. How appropriate a post. At dinner last night, I asked my husband what would the situation be like if Russia had one the Great Game. We think the entire map of the Indian Subcontinent would be different with no India, Pakistan, etc. as independent powerful countries and possibly less modern warfare. Not saying better, just very different. So what some might dismiss as exotic locations as irrelevant, they aren’t. Yet I wish real history was more romance than dismal. Thank you for the research you put into your novels. I do agree with Kestrel that romance novels are a great way to get a history lesson.

    Reply
  18. How appropriate a post. At dinner last night, I asked my husband what would the situation be like if Russia had one the Great Game. We think the entire map of the Indian Subcontinent would be different with no India, Pakistan, etc. as independent powerful countries and possibly less modern warfare. Not saying better, just very different. So what some might dismiss as exotic locations as irrelevant, they aren’t. Yet I wish real history was more romance than dismal. Thank you for the research you put into your novels. I do agree with Kestrel that romance novels are a great way to get a history lesson.

    Reply
  19. How appropriate a post. At dinner last night, I asked my husband what would the situation be like if Russia had one the Great Game. We think the entire map of the Indian Subcontinent would be different with no India, Pakistan, etc. as independent powerful countries and possibly less modern warfare. Not saying better, just very different. So what some might dismiss as exotic locations as irrelevant, they aren’t. Yet I wish real history was more romance than dismal. Thank you for the research you put into your novels. I do agree with Kestrel that romance novels are a great way to get a history lesson.

    Reply
  20. How appropriate a post. At dinner last night, I asked my husband what would the situation be like if Russia had one the Great Game. We think the entire map of the Indian Subcontinent would be different with no India, Pakistan, etc. as independent powerful countries and possibly less modern warfare. Not saying better, just very different. So what some might dismiss as exotic locations as irrelevant, they aren’t. Yet I wish real history was more romance than dismal. Thank you for the research you put into your novels. I do agree with Kestrel that romance novels are a great way to get a history lesson.

    Reply
  21. I love the different locales. Sometimes, I feel the romance genre gets stale for me reading about the same locations all the time.
    Veils is actually one of my favorite books. I wonder if I was remembering it subconsciously when we named our daughter Laura (her middle name is Karelyn which I thought of when I reread her name in the book). This is one of my favorite series of all time. I found all three in a used bookstore with ancient covers. I’m thinking of investing in the ebooks though.
    Can’t wait for the new Lost Lords book!

    Reply
  22. I love the different locales. Sometimes, I feel the romance genre gets stale for me reading about the same locations all the time.
    Veils is actually one of my favorite books. I wonder if I was remembering it subconsciously when we named our daughter Laura (her middle name is Karelyn which I thought of when I reread her name in the book). This is one of my favorite series of all time. I found all three in a used bookstore with ancient covers. I’m thinking of investing in the ebooks though.
    Can’t wait for the new Lost Lords book!

    Reply
  23. I love the different locales. Sometimes, I feel the romance genre gets stale for me reading about the same locations all the time.
    Veils is actually one of my favorite books. I wonder if I was remembering it subconsciously when we named our daughter Laura (her middle name is Karelyn which I thought of when I reread her name in the book). This is one of my favorite series of all time. I found all three in a used bookstore with ancient covers. I’m thinking of investing in the ebooks though.
    Can’t wait for the new Lost Lords book!

    Reply
  24. I love the different locales. Sometimes, I feel the romance genre gets stale for me reading about the same locations all the time.
    Veils is actually one of my favorite books. I wonder if I was remembering it subconsciously when we named our daughter Laura (her middle name is Karelyn which I thought of when I reread her name in the book). This is one of my favorite series of all time. I found all three in a used bookstore with ancient covers. I’m thinking of investing in the ebooks though.
    Can’t wait for the new Lost Lords book!

    Reply
  25. I love the different locales. Sometimes, I feel the romance genre gets stale for me reading about the same locations all the time.
    Veils is actually one of my favorite books. I wonder if I was remembering it subconsciously when we named our daughter Laura (her middle name is Karelyn which I thought of when I reread her name in the book). This is one of my favorite series of all time. I found all three in a used bookstore with ancient covers. I’m thinking of investing in the ebooks though.
    Can’t wait for the new Lost Lords book!

    Reply
  26. Jenny–
    I’ve been to Australia twice and consider it different and terrific rather than exotic *G*, but I suspect Aussies in general have a more global world view than Americans. After all, you can take a weekend getaway in Bali if you want!
    I agree that Russia as a historical background for a romance would be difficult because it was a harsh place–but one of my favorite books is Eva Ibbotson’s A COUNTESS BELOW STAIRS, whose heroine is a refugee from the Russian revolution after WWI. A wonderful sense of Russianness, while take place in the peaceful English countryside.

    Reply
  27. Jenny–
    I’ve been to Australia twice and consider it different and terrific rather than exotic *G*, but I suspect Aussies in general have a more global world view than Americans. After all, you can take a weekend getaway in Bali if you want!
    I agree that Russia as a historical background for a romance would be difficult because it was a harsh place–but one of my favorite books is Eva Ibbotson’s A COUNTESS BELOW STAIRS, whose heroine is a refugee from the Russian revolution after WWI. A wonderful sense of Russianness, while take place in the peaceful English countryside.

    Reply
  28. Jenny–
    I’ve been to Australia twice and consider it different and terrific rather than exotic *G*, but I suspect Aussies in general have a more global world view than Americans. After all, you can take a weekend getaway in Bali if you want!
    I agree that Russia as a historical background for a romance would be difficult because it was a harsh place–but one of my favorite books is Eva Ibbotson’s A COUNTESS BELOW STAIRS, whose heroine is a refugee from the Russian revolution after WWI. A wonderful sense of Russianness, while take place in the peaceful English countryside.

    Reply
  29. Jenny–
    I’ve been to Australia twice and consider it different and terrific rather than exotic *G*, but I suspect Aussies in general have a more global world view than Americans. After all, you can take a weekend getaway in Bali if you want!
    I agree that Russia as a historical background for a romance would be difficult because it was a harsh place–but one of my favorite books is Eva Ibbotson’s A COUNTESS BELOW STAIRS, whose heroine is a refugee from the Russian revolution after WWI. A wonderful sense of Russianness, while take place in the peaceful English countryside.

    Reply
  30. Jenny–
    I’ve been to Australia twice and consider it different and terrific rather than exotic *G*, but I suspect Aussies in general have a more global world view than Americans. After all, you can take a weekend getaway in Bali if you want!
    I agree that Russia as a historical background for a romance would be difficult because it was a harsh place–but one of my favorite books is Eva Ibbotson’s A COUNTESS BELOW STAIRS, whose heroine is a refugee from the Russian revolution after WWI. A wonderful sense of Russianness, while take place in the peaceful English countryside.

    Reply
  31. Margot–
    I agree that some exotic settings are just uncomfortable because what we know of a place is scary. Closer to home, I think Irish set romances are less popular than Scottish settings is because the conflicts in Ireland are ongoing and painful. Settings in Africa can be -really– upsetting–I’m sure that’s a big part of why the NUMBER 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY mysteries are so popular–they show a peaceful and much loved Botswana.

    Reply
  32. Margot–
    I agree that some exotic settings are just uncomfortable because what we know of a place is scary. Closer to home, I think Irish set romances are less popular than Scottish settings is because the conflicts in Ireland are ongoing and painful. Settings in Africa can be -really– upsetting–I’m sure that’s a big part of why the NUMBER 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY mysteries are so popular–they show a peaceful and much loved Botswana.

    Reply
  33. Margot–
    I agree that some exotic settings are just uncomfortable because what we know of a place is scary. Closer to home, I think Irish set romances are less popular than Scottish settings is because the conflicts in Ireland are ongoing and painful. Settings in Africa can be -really– upsetting–I’m sure that’s a big part of why the NUMBER 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY mysteries are so popular–they show a peaceful and much loved Botswana.

    Reply
  34. Margot–
    I agree that some exotic settings are just uncomfortable because what we know of a place is scary. Closer to home, I think Irish set romances are less popular than Scottish settings is because the conflicts in Ireland are ongoing and painful. Settings in Africa can be -really– upsetting–I’m sure that’s a big part of why the NUMBER 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY mysteries are so popular–they show a peaceful and much loved Botswana.

    Reply
  35. Margot–
    I agree that some exotic settings are just uncomfortable because what we know of a place is scary. Closer to home, I think Irish set romances are less popular than Scottish settings is because the conflicts in Ireland are ongoing and painful. Settings in Africa can be -really– upsetting–I’m sure that’s a big part of why the NUMBER 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY mysteries are so popular–they show a peaceful and much loved Botswana.

    Reply
  36. Kestrel–
    If you buy a copy of VEILS OF SILK, at least it will be in a TBR e-file rather than sitting on a shelf requiring dusting. *G*
    Like you, I’ve learned a lot of history from reading historical novels. I’m not sure which came first–loving history and hence loving historical novels, or loving historical novelss and them leading me to read more history. Chicken? Egg???

    Reply
  37. Kestrel–
    If you buy a copy of VEILS OF SILK, at least it will be in a TBR e-file rather than sitting on a shelf requiring dusting. *G*
    Like you, I’ve learned a lot of history from reading historical novels. I’m not sure which came first–loving history and hence loving historical novels, or loving historical novelss and them leading me to read more history. Chicken? Egg???

    Reply
  38. Kestrel–
    If you buy a copy of VEILS OF SILK, at least it will be in a TBR e-file rather than sitting on a shelf requiring dusting. *G*
    Like you, I’ve learned a lot of history from reading historical novels. I’m not sure which came first–loving history and hence loving historical novels, or loving historical novelss and them leading me to read more history. Chicken? Egg???

    Reply
  39. Kestrel–
    If you buy a copy of VEILS OF SILK, at least it will be in a TBR e-file rather than sitting on a shelf requiring dusting. *G*
    Like you, I’ve learned a lot of history from reading historical novels. I’m not sure which came first–loving history and hence loving historical novels, or loving historical novelss and them leading me to read more history. Chicken? Egg???

    Reply
  40. Kestrel–
    If you buy a copy of VEILS OF SILK, at least it will be in a TBR e-file rather than sitting on a shelf requiring dusting. *G*
    Like you, I’ve learned a lot of history from reading historical novels. I’m not sure which came first–loving history and hence loving historical novels, or loving historical novelss and them leading me to read more history. Chicken? Egg???

    Reply
  41. What a great blog, Mary Jo! I enjoy exotic settings. It lets me feel I get a small idea of a place I’ve never been and quite likely will not ever see. Also a great escape.
    Wonderful description of this Veils book – which I will seek out (and read after i finish Brothers Karamazov. There you go – a book set in Russia!)

    Reply
  42. What a great blog, Mary Jo! I enjoy exotic settings. It lets me feel I get a small idea of a place I’ve never been and quite likely will not ever see. Also a great escape.
    Wonderful description of this Veils book – which I will seek out (and read after i finish Brothers Karamazov. There you go – a book set in Russia!)

    Reply
  43. What a great blog, Mary Jo! I enjoy exotic settings. It lets me feel I get a small idea of a place I’ve never been and quite likely will not ever see. Also a great escape.
    Wonderful description of this Veils book – which I will seek out (and read after i finish Brothers Karamazov. There you go – a book set in Russia!)

    Reply
  44. What a great blog, Mary Jo! I enjoy exotic settings. It lets me feel I get a small idea of a place I’ve never been and quite likely will not ever see. Also a great escape.
    Wonderful description of this Veils book – which I will seek out (and read after i finish Brothers Karamazov. There you go – a book set in Russia!)

    Reply
  45. What a great blog, Mary Jo! I enjoy exotic settings. It lets me feel I get a small idea of a place I’ve never been and quite likely will not ever see. Also a great escape.
    Wonderful description of this Veils book – which I will seek out (and read after i finish Brothers Karamazov. There you go – a book set in Russia!)

    Reply
  46. Lyn S–
    I’ve never thought much about it, but you’re right–it’s a fascinating question what the world would be like if the Russians had won the Great Game and controlled all of Central Asia and the sub-continent as well. It might not have lasted, covering such vast distances and difficult terrain, but the shatter patterns would have been very different from what we have now.
    Whether it was France, Britain, or Russia that rules India, I’m sure the Indians would have absorbed some of the conqueror’s culture and moved on, as they have for thousands of years.
    But you’ve got me to imagine Russian Orthodox domes in Bombay!

    Reply
  47. Lyn S–
    I’ve never thought much about it, but you’re right–it’s a fascinating question what the world would be like if the Russians had won the Great Game and controlled all of Central Asia and the sub-continent as well. It might not have lasted, covering such vast distances and difficult terrain, but the shatter patterns would have been very different from what we have now.
    Whether it was France, Britain, or Russia that rules India, I’m sure the Indians would have absorbed some of the conqueror’s culture and moved on, as they have for thousands of years.
    But you’ve got me to imagine Russian Orthodox domes in Bombay!

    Reply
  48. Lyn S–
    I’ve never thought much about it, but you’re right–it’s a fascinating question what the world would be like if the Russians had won the Great Game and controlled all of Central Asia and the sub-continent as well. It might not have lasted, covering such vast distances and difficult terrain, but the shatter patterns would have been very different from what we have now.
    Whether it was France, Britain, or Russia that rules India, I’m sure the Indians would have absorbed some of the conqueror’s culture and moved on, as they have for thousands of years.
    But you’ve got me to imagine Russian Orthodox domes in Bombay!

    Reply
  49. Lyn S–
    I’ve never thought much about it, but you’re right–it’s a fascinating question what the world would be like if the Russians had won the Great Game and controlled all of Central Asia and the sub-continent as well. It might not have lasted, covering such vast distances and difficult terrain, but the shatter patterns would have been very different from what we have now.
    Whether it was France, Britain, or Russia that rules India, I’m sure the Indians would have absorbed some of the conqueror’s culture and moved on, as they have for thousands of years.
    But you’ve got me to imagine Russian Orthodox domes in Bombay!

    Reply
  50. Lyn S–
    I’ve never thought much about it, but you’re right–it’s a fascinating question what the world would be like if the Russians had won the Great Game and controlled all of Central Asia and the sub-continent as well. It might not have lasted, covering such vast distances and difficult terrain, but the shatter patterns would have been very different from what we have now.
    Whether it was France, Britain, or Russia that rules India, I’m sure the Indians would have absorbed some of the conqueror’s culture and moved on, as they have for thousands of years.
    But you’ve got me to imagine Russian Orthodox domes in Bombay!

    Reply
  51. April–
    I agree, Laura is a lovely name. It just rolls beautifully across the tongue and sounds softly in the ear.
    Interestingly, when I was working out the storyline, I thought I’d call the heroine Lara, like in Dr. Zhivago, but when the time came start the story–no. She was Laura, not Lara. A sign of how she’d embraced English rationality over Russian passion. Of course, she was both.

    Reply
  52. April–
    I agree, Laura is a lovely name. It just rolls beautifully across the tongue and sounds softly in the ear.
    Interestingly, when I was working out the storyline, I thought I’d call the heroine Lara, like in Dr. Zhivago, but when the time came start the story–no. She was Laura, not Lara. A sign of how she’d embraced English rationality over Russian passion. Of course, she was both.

    Reply
  53. April–
    I agree, Laura is a lovely name. It just rolls beautifully across the tongue and sounds softly in the ear.
    Interestingly, when I was working out the storyline, I thought I’d call the heroine Lara, like in Dr. Zhivago, but when the time came start the story–no. She was Laura, not Lara. A sign of how she’d embraced English rationality over Russian passion. Of course, she was both.

    Reply
  54. April–
    I agree, Laura is a lovely name. It just rolls beautifully across the tongue and sounds softly in the ear.
    Interestingly, when I was working out the storyline, I thought I’d call the heroine Lara, like in Dr. Zhivago, but when the time came start the story–no. She was Laura, not Lara. A sign of how she’d embraced English rationality over Russian passion. Of course, she was both.

    Reply
  55. April–
    I agree, Laura is a lovely name. It just rolls beautifully across the tongue and sounds softly in the ear.
    Interestingly, when I was working out the storyline, I thought I’d call the heroine Lara, like in Dr. Zhivago, but when the time came start the story–no. She was Laura, not Lara. A sign of how she’d embraced English rationality over Russian passion. Of course, she was both.

    Reply
  56. Laura–
    If you can make your way through THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, you’re a better woman than I am. *G* But I do try to capture some sense of a place when I write about it. In VEILS, both Ian and Laura love India and it’s become part of them. I wanted to convey some of the magic and wonder of the country.

    Reply
  57. Laura–
    If you can make your way through THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, you’re a better woman than I am. *G* But I do try to capture some sense of a place when I write about it. In VEILS, both Ian and Laura love India and it’s become part of them. I wanted to convey some of the magic and wonder of the country.

    Reply
  58. Laura–
    If you can make your way through THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, you’re a better woman than I am. *G* But I do try to capture some sense of a place when I write about it. In VEILS, both Ian and Laura love India and it’s become part of them. I wanted to convey some of the magic and wonder of the country.

    Reply
  59. Laura–
    If you can make your way through THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, you’re a better woman than I am. *G* But I do try to capture some sense of a place when I write about it. In VEILS, both Ian and Laura love India and it’s become part of them. I wanted to convey some of the magic and wonder of the country.

    Reply
  60. Laura–
    If you can make your way through THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, you’re a better woman than I am. *G* But I do try to capture some sense of a place when I write about it. In VEILS, both Ian and Laura love India and it’s become part of them. I wanted to convey some of the magic and wonder of the country.

    Reply
  61. Lovely post, Mary Jo! I love all of the little bits and pieces I learn reading historical romance. From the time I first started reading books have taken me to so many wonderful exotic places and introduced me to so many fascinating characters I don’t think there is any setting I wouldn’t read so long as the story is well-written and draws me in.
    India is an intriguing country and its history is ripe with romantic possibilities!

    Reply
  62. Lovely post, Mary Jo! I love all of the little bits and pieces I learn reading historical romance. From the time I first started reading books have taken me to so many wonderful exotic places and introduced me to so many fascinating characters I don’t think there is any setting I wouldn’t read so long as the story is well-written and draws me in.
    India is an intriguing country and its history is ripe with romantic possibilities!

    Reply
  63. Lovely post, Mary Jo! I love all of the little bits and pieces I learn reading historical romance. From the time I first started reading books have taken me to so many wonderful exotic places and introduced me to so many fascinating characters I don’t think there is any setting I wouldn’t read so long as the story is well-written and draws me in.
    India is an intriguing country and its history is ripe with romantic possibilities!

    Reply
  64. Lovely post, Mary Jo! I love all of the little bits and pieces I learn reading historical romance. From the time I first started reading books have taken me to so many wonderful exotic places and introduced me to so many fascinating characters I don’t think there is any setting I wouldn’t read so long as the story is well-written and draws me in.
    India is an intriguing country and its history is ripe with romantic possibilities!

    Reply
  65. Lovely post, Mary Jo! I love all of the little bits and pieces I learn reading historical romance. From the time I first started reading books have taken me to so many wonderful exotic places and introduced me to so many fascinating characters I don’t think there is any setting I wouldn’t read so long as the story is well-written and draws me in.
    India is an intriguing country and its history is ripe with romantic possibilities!

    Reply
  66. I remember reading Veils of Silk a long time ago, it all came back to me with the synopsis! Now I want to read it again.
    I do like books set in exotic locales, and I fondly remember M.M. Kaye’s books set in India.

    Reply
  67. I remember reading Veils of Silk a long time ago, it all came back to me with the synopsis! Now I want to read it again.
    I do like books set in exotic locales, and I fondly remember M.M. Kaye’s books set in India.

    Reply
  68. I remember reading Veils of Silk a long time ago, it all came back to me with the synopsis! Now I want to read it again.
    I do like books set in exotic locales, and I fondly remember M.M. Kaye’s books set in India.

    Reply
  69. I remember reading Veils of Silk a long time ago, it all came back to me with the synopsis! Now I want to read it again.
    I do like books set in exotic locales, and I fondly remember M.M. Kaye’s books set in India.

    Reply
  70. I remember reading Veils of Silk a long time ago, it all came back to me with the synopsis! Now I want to read it again.
    I do like books set in exotic locales, and I fondly remember M.M. Kaye’s books set in India.

    Reply
  71. Louisa–
    Before I wrote Veils of Silk, I’d always heard that “Indian-set books don’t sell.” I blithely brushed that aside since I wanted to write this story. But, indeed, it did not sell as well as my British set books.
    What I found, though, is that the people whole like the exotic settings tend to REALLY like them. So we’re all happy. *G* I’m just glad that the books have new life in e-editions.

    Reply
  72. Louisa–
    Before I wrote Veils of Silk, I’d always heard that “Indian-set books don’t sell.” I blithely brushed that aside since I wanted to write this story. But, indeed, it did not sell as well as my British set books.
    What I found, though, is that the people whole like the exotic settings tend to REALLY like them. So we’re all happy. *G* I’m just glad that the books have new life in e-editions.

    Reply
  73. Louisa–
    Before I wrote Veils of Silk, I’d always heard that “Indian-set books don’t sell.” I blithely brushed that aside since I wanted to write this story. But, indeed, it did not sell as well as my British set books.
    What I found, though, is that the people whole like the exotic settings tend to REALLY like them. So we’re all happy. *G* I’m just glad that the books have new life in e-editions.

    Reply
  74. Louisa–
    Before I wrote Veils of Silk, I’d always heard that “Indian-set books don’t sell.” I blithely brushed that aside since I wanted to write this story. But, indeed, it did not sell as well as my British set books.
    What I found, though, is that the people whole like the exotic settings tend to REALLY like them. So we’re all happy. *G* I’m just glad that the books have new life in e-editions.

    Reply
  75. Louisa–
    Before I wrote Veils of Silk, I’d always heard that “Indian-set books don’t sell.” I blithely brushed that aside since I wanted to write this story. But, indeed, it did not sell as well as my British set books.
    What I found, though, is that the people whole like the exotic settings tend to REALLY like them. So we’re all happy. *G* I’m just glad that the books have new life in e-editions.

    Reply
  76. Karin–
    Weren’t the M. M. Kaye books wonderful? She also wrote a memoir about her growing up in India in the last days of the Raj. o here, it was home, so she was able to bring rich texture to her stories. (I just faked it. *G*)

    Reply
  77. Karin–
    Weren’t the M. M. Kaye books wonderful? She also wrote a memoir about her growing up in India in the last days of the Raj. o here, it was home, so she was able to bring rich texture to her stories. (I just faked it. *G*)

    Reply
  78. Karin–
    Weren’t the M. M. Kaye books wonderful? She also wrote a memoir about her growing up in India in the last days of the Raj. o here, it was home, so she was able to bring rich texture to her stories. (I just faked it. *G*)

    Reply
  79. Karin–
    Weren’t the M. M. Kaye books wonderful? She also wrote a memoir about her growing up in India in the last days of the Raj. o here, it was home, so she was able to bring rich texture to her stories. (I just faked it. *G*)

    Reply
  80. Karin–
    Weren’t the M. M. Kaye books wonderful? She also wrote a memoir about her growing up in India in the last days of the Raj. o here, it was home, so she was able to bring rich texture to her stories. (I just faked it. *G*)

    Reply
  81. **India affects people on so many levels – no one who has lived there is unchanged.**
    It sounds like such a fascinating place. Even reading about it conveys some of that magic. Perhaps I’ll get there some day.

    Reply
  82. **India affects people on so many levels – no one who has lived there is unchanged.**
    It sounds like such a fascinating place. Even reading about it conveys some of that magic. Perhaps I’ll get there some day.

    Reply
  83. **India affects people on so many levels – no one who has lived there is unchanged.**
    It sounds like such a fascinating place. Even reading about it conveys some of that magic. Perhaps I’ll get there some day.

    Reply
  84. **India affects people on so many levels – no one who has lived there is unchanged.**
    It sounds like such a fascinating place. Even reading about it conveys some of that magic. Perhaps I’ll get there some day.

    Reply
  85. **India affects people on so many levels – no one who has lived there is unchanged.**
    It sounds like such a fascinating place. Even reading about it conveys some of that magic. Perhaps I’ll get there some day.

    Reply
  86. LilMissMolly–
    This is why we have many flavors of books for many flavors of readers. *G* I freely admit that there are settings I enjoy reading about, but I REALLY don’t want to visit!

    Reply
  87. LilMissMolly–
    This is why we have many flavors of books for many flavors of readers. *G* I freely admit that there are settings I enjoy reading about, but I REALLY don’t want to visit!

    Reply
  88. LilMissMolly–
    This is why we have many flavors of books for many flavors of readers. *G* I freely admit that there are settings I enjoy reading about, but I REALLY don’t want to visit!

    Reply
  89. LilMissMolly–
    This is why we have many flavors of books for many flavors of readers. *G* I freely admit that there are settings I enjoy reading about, but I REALLY don’t want to visit!

    Reply
  90. LilMissMolly–
    This is why we have many flavors of books for many flavors of readers. *G* I freely admit that there are settings I enjoy reading about, but I REALLY don’t want to visit!

    Reply
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