Interview with the Duchess
Duchess, please tell us about where you live and what brought you there?
Yes, thank you Rebecca. I am honored to be here. As the rightful Duchess of Abbington, I live in Abbington Manor, a large fieldstone manor house surrounded by lovely colorful gardens with fountains and walking paths. I inherited the property and the title of duchess that came along with it from my aunt who bore no children. She had hoped to keep alive the legacy of my great-great-great uncle Duke Hestor of Abbington who asked the king to give him special authority to pass ownership of the duchy to his daughter rather than his son.
Abbington Manor is located in the middle of England and serves as a proper royal residence. A lovely river wraps around the property to the east. My home boasts twenty five rooms including a large ballroom where I host my many parties and holiday celebrations. The library has a marble fireplace and has hand carved shelves filled with the classics, many first editions. As you stroll through the manor’s large corridors, you will see many artifacts from ancient Greece and Rome bequeathed to me by my ancestors. I also have a large collection of art from the famous masters on the continent. I have many loyal servants who help me keep the grounds and royal residence in immaculate condition. Some, such as my personal maid and bodyguard, I regard as family.
You’ve reached the advanced age of 32 and people consider you an old maid. You’re fourth in line to the throne. Why do you not get yourself a husband?
The traditions of my time are much more stifling than yours. Oh how I wish it were not so. First the man I marry would have to be of equal social standing. More than likely, the marriage would be arranged, loveless, and boring. My new husband would then become the Duke of Abbington and would be in control of my property, my finances and my life. I could not do that to myself. I would be breaking a proud tradition my great great Aunt Susanne passed down to me. Instead of being chained to a miserable marriage, I enjoy secret trysts and illicit romances with traveling knights and strangers. I now know after Travelling to your time that such a thing would not happen to a woman of standing. A woman could chose not only her spouse but her job or station in life and control her own wealth. I long for that.
What would change your mind and make you want to marry?
If I met a man who was caring enough to respect me for the woman I am. Someone who would have no designs on my duchy but who only wants my love. I’d like him to be soft-spoken, intelligent and love my dog Duke. I often ponder what I might surrender for such a gentle man.
Why do people consider you so headstrong?
I haven’t been able to get a grasp on why myself. Perhaps it’s because I take charge of my duchy, my property, and my life. I’m ahead of my time in that regard and will not stop until I finish the task at hand no matter how long it takes or how difficult. If that makes me headstrong, then so be it. I know how to ride a horse like a man and shoot a pistol.
How do you see yourself?
I see myself as a warm wonderful woman who loves life, cares about those around her, and even though I have illicit trysts long to meet the love of my life. I am charitable to the less fortunate and treat my servants’ family the way I would want mine to be treated. When my guard Arthur was murdered while protecting my estate, I vowed to take care of his family for as long as I remained duchess. What would you say your strongest qualities are? I think those that make me seem headstrong. I am independent, intelligent, and caring. I am not afraid of being alone or a spinster. I want love on my terms and not dictated by royal decree.
Ah, I am always taken in by a handsome strong man with great romantic skills. That is what got me into such deep trouble this time. I should have been more careful about my last tryst, but that handsome young Traveler made me feel so young, so vibrant, so beautiful, I let my guard down. I had to pay a hefty price to seek revenge.
What do you wish for most?
Happiness and true love. They should come hand in hand. I often ponder what I might surrender for such a wonderful life if I met the right man. We understand you have the Abbington Jewels.
Can you tell us about them?
They are famous throughout England and once owned by the king himself. They were given to Uncle Hestor to designate his rightful heir and were passed down to me when I became duchess. Whoever possesses the jewels possesses the title and all that goes with it. The jewels, large yellow diamonds and emeralds, are set in a large and heavy gold chain. They can be worn by either a man or a woman. What makes them so valuable? Of course the gold and gemstones, but also the fact that they belonged to a king. As I said, whoever inherits the jewels, inherits the duchy and all that goes with it, the manor and the money.
What would happen if you were to lose the necklace?
If I were to lose the jewels and my evil male cousins found out about it, I would lose everything. My cousins are the direct descendants of the son Uncle Henry passed over. They want to get control of the duchy and would be only too happy to throw me out. That’s why when my necklace was taken from me, I had to risk everything to get it back. That meant even betraying the kind man with whom I fell in love,
The Duchess sounds like a fascinating character. But all characters must come from some author's fertile imagination. That particular author is Mariah Lynne: Ever dream of traveling through time? Mariah Lynne does. She writes stories that take her readers along on exciting journeys. Travel to distant times and beautiful places with strong-willed independent heroines whose memorable tales will entertain with twisted plots that dabble in the paranormal. Both of her novellas, THE LOVE GYPSY and THE DUCHESS’ NECKLACE, fit that description to a T. A Graduate of Syracuse University, Mariah lives on a beautiful Gulf Coast Island in Florida. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Southwest Romance Writers. When she is not writing, she enjoys swimming, traveling and spending time with her husband and dolphin hunting dog, Max. Want to know more? Here's a blurb:
Amelia Augusta Ethrington, 18th century Duchess of Abbington, fourth in line to the English throne, is considered by society an old maid at thirty two. She refuses to marry and relinquish royal authority to a husband. Instead, she finds romance in trysts with total strangers. Amelia’s sole entitlement to her duchy is an intricate and valuable necklace, The Abbington Jewels. An unscrupulous Traveler wishing to steal the jewels and sell them at future prices seduces her catching her off guard and snatching the necklace. Amelia must now risk everything to Travel with the aid of a kind gypsy seer to find the thieving scoundrel, kill him and retrieve her title before her jealous male cousins lay claim to her duchy. Complications arise after she meets a handsome shy man, a museum appraiser sent to acquire the jewels. Amelia falls in love with him but realizes she must focus on her quest to regain both her necklace and title. The Duchess is now faced with the most difficult decision of her life.
THE LOVE GYPSY with Mariah Lynne
THE LOVE GYPSY features Brianna Breeze, a young beautiful homicide detective, who can’t catch a man unless she handcuffs him. Her best friend Tessa, in love and engaged to a doctor no less, decides that Brianna needs the aid of a matchmaker. Under the guise of taking Brianna shoe shopping in the mall, Tessa delivers her friend to the most proficient matchmaker and psychic in the Ft. Myers Florida area, Raya Light, THE LOVE GYPSY. Of course, the sexy detective is skeptical of the gypsy’s true powers having broken up many gypsy scams, but she decides to play along. Who knows, she may be lucky and catch another scam artist? In the midst of their first meeting, a handsome dark haired
man in a black leather jacket bursts in out
of nowhere upset that Raya is ignoring his
problem. When Brianna’s eyes meet his,
sparks fly. But where did he come from?
What is Raya ignoring? Brianna is
unaware that Raya befriends Time
Travelers. This handsome man in jeans
with the piercing stare and slicked back
hair is a Traveler from the ‘50’s. Raya
notices their immediate attraction and warns the independent spirited police officer not to get involved, but Brianna has other ideas where this dreamy guy is concerned. A present day murder, a vintage car registered to a mobster in the past and a smoking gun complicate the mystery surrounding the man she can’t get out of her mind. Brianna must Travel to the past to find out if her lover is a murderer or a savior. THE LOVE GYPSY’s characters dart between Ft. Myers Florida in 2012 and Newark New Jersey in the 1950’s. I grew up in North Jersey so this was a fun trip for me as well. THE LOVE GYPSY is filled with intrigue, humor and unique characters. Have a read to find out who this fine-looking man really is, why he came to the present, and how Brianna is involved. .
~~Jewels. If you are lover of jewelry, like I am, think of how magnificent and intricate the pieces from that era were and are. Her stunning necklace loaded with large emeralds and diamonds served as her crown, her claim to her duchy. If it were stolen especially by a handsome Traveler, she would have to find a conduit to the present. And there you have it. Her personal story, a quest filled with Revenge, Romance and Royal Jewels, begins. I hope you’ll read “The Duchess’ Necklace” to learn what happens to Amelia, her jewels, and discover if she is capable of finding true love. *Just a footnote on Chatsworth. For movie buffs, myself being one, the regal manor has appeared in “Pride and Prejudice”, “The Duchess” and “The Wolfman”. PBS recently aired a BBC documentary on Chatsworth.
BEHIND THE SCENES with MARIAH LYNNE THE DUCHESS’ NECKLACE
I’m always asked how I came up
with the idea of a certain
character or story.
“The Duchess’ Necklace” evolved
from a wonderful trip I took ten
years ago. While visiting good
friends in England, our hosts took
us to Chatsworth House in
Derbyshire located in the East
Midlands Region. Chatsworth*
stands on the east bank of the River Derwent and looks across
two scenic valleys. A large stately manor house surrounded by 105 acres of colorful lovely gardens and waterworks, it serves as the seat and residence of the 12th Duke of Devonshire. As we walked the gardens and visited as many of the thirty rooms as allowed, my mind wondered what it would have been like to live there as a duchess during the heyday of royalty. Imagine walking by artwork from all over the world including the Old Masters and artifacts from ancient Egypt on a daily basis, or sitting on hand crafted furnishings in front of the library’s elaborate marble fireplace reading leather bound first editions. As we toured, I fancied walking by beautiful ladies in waiting who graced the halls in their long flowing dresses and by uniformed servants always ready to take care of the smallest royal need. My mind wouldn’t let go of this fantasy. It stayed with me for years. When I began to write “The Duchess’ Necklace”, I knew her fictional manor would be influenced by my visit to Chatsworth. I then imagined what kind of woman my fictional 18th century duchess was. I like my heroines independent and feisty similar to Brianna Breeze in “The Love Gypsy” so I knew the duchess had to be ahead of her time especially in romance. I researched English names popular during that time and chose Amelia Augusta Ethrington, the Duchess of Abbington, fourth in line to the throne. She was too free spirited to share her title thus relinquishing any of her power to a man, at least not to any of the men she met in her own time. So something had to make it necessary for her to Travel.
Mariah's Book Signing at Hearts in the Sand ConferenceType