Another Fun Friday has arrived! Bringing with it the feisty Matilda “Maud” Somerset from Jillian Chantal’s historical romance, Lady Soldier. I’ll let Jillian introduce her to you…
I’m super excited that Betty invited me to come by and introduce the heroine of Lady Soldier and yak about what she likes to do for fun.
Matilda “Maud” Somerset is not your standard Regency era girl. She’s what we modern women would call a tomboy. It’s not her fault. In fact, her mother places the blame squarely on the shoulders of Maud’s father, Richard Somerset, one of the younger brothers of the Duke of Beaufort. Lord James was a soldier in his younger years. In fact, he was a crack shot and served king and country as a sharpshooter.
Maud had a brother who was a year older than her. Their father was sure his son would follow in his footsteps and enlist in the army. He was resolved to train the boy in all the arts of war and he began this early in the boy’s life. The mistake he made that causes his wife no end of shame and worry? He allowed Maud to tag along. And now his daughter would rather shoot at targets, ride astride and fire arrows into bales of hay than sit in a parlor entertaining suitable beaus or doing needlepoint.
Her mother despairs of Maud ever making a suitable match. Maud isn’t interested at all in being the wife of a nobleman. She wants to continue in all the unladylike pursuits as they make her happy and feel useful. Not that she really has anything against playing the pianoforte. She’s just better at hitting a bullseye than hitting a high note while singing.
She knows she will eventually have to marry and settle down to a life of dull domesticity, but in the meantime, she’ll continue to thwart her mother. She and her horse are inseparable and she spends a lot of time riding and out in the sun which also makes her mother crazy as Maud’s skin isn’t as white and soft as is fashionable for young ladies. Maud promises to wear hats to shade her face, but somehow, they keep getting lost. Alas. And let’s not even mention the state her hair ribbons can manage to find themselves in.
Maud swears she truly isn’t trying to send her mother to an early grave, but a girl has to be true to herself, doesn’t she?
To enter to win an ebook copy of Lady Soldier, share a tidbit with me. What did you do to drive your mother crazy as a kid/teen? I’ll start. My mom despaired of me when I was a kid as I stayed dirty riding my bike and could go through 2-3 sets of clothes a day when she wanted me to change and stay tidy long enough to go out for dinner or shopping. Oh, and I could never find my shoes. I could lose those suckers in the back seat of the car between home and the restaurant.
Matilda “Maud” Somerset is a disaster. Her parents and uncle, the Duke of Beaufort, want her to make a spectacular match to a suitable beau. Maud is more interested in galloping across the fields on her stallion, Khan, and shooting arrows at targets. Her mother despairs of her and her father bears the brunt of his wife’s and the Duke’s anger for allowing the girl to learn all the arts of war when he was teaching them to his now-deceased older son.
When Maud’s father is recalled to the Army to fight Napoleon in the Peninsular Wars, Maud sneaks off to join his regiment in his place. His vision isn’t what it used to be, and fearing for his life if he fights, she disguises herself as a man and leaves before dawn. She’s determined to uphold the family honor, even at the cost of her own reputation.
Jillian Chantal is multi-published in the romance genre. She’s a lawyer by day and writer, amateur photographer, and history buff by night. Jillian lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Florida and loves her little slice of paradise. But not too much to enjoy world-wide travel every chance she gets. After all, a writer and photographer needs new and exciting places to go and capture in order to stay fresh, right? And there’s nothing quite like seeing historical places in person, is there?
Jillian, it’s funny you’d ask what I did that drove my mom crazy! I distinctly remember her asking me repeatedly why I had to analyze everything. I asked the “why” question so often, about everything that people did and said until she’d shake her head at me. I think that’s what makes me a good writer, though, noticing the details and finding out the motivation behind actions and words. Striving to understand…
Remember to leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of this intriguing book. Thanks, Jillian, for introducing us to Maud!
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