Message From The Author

Author's Message

Dear Reader,

I began writing Nearly A Lady back in the spring of 2007. I wish I could say I spent the next four years working tirelessly on the book, but it would be a lie.

The story of Miss Winnefred Blythe and Lord Gideon Haverston originated as a way to keep myself occupied while I waited to hear back from publishers on my very first historical romance, As Luck Would Have It. I initially thought of it as a brainstorming session for possible future themes and plotlines, along with one or two fun character studies. A few hours later, I was head over heels in love with Winnefred and Gideon. I knew this was a book I had to finish.

But then came the exciting news that As Luck Would Have It sold in a two book deal, and Nearly A Lady was placed on the back burner while I worked on that second book. I thought I’d get back to Winnefred after, but when the next two books in the series sold, she was once again left to languish. I wrote book three, and a Christmas novella, and then the fourth and final book in my Providence series. My agent asked after the story from time to time and once commented that Winnefred had become the red-headed stepchild of my Works in Progress.

The neglect of Nearly A Lady nicely parallels the life of its heroine. While neither a redhead, nor someone’s stepchild, Winnefred certainly knows what it means to be brushed aside. The book begins with her residing on a ruin of a farm in Scotland where, for over a decade, she and her former governess have been eking out an existence on five measly pounds a year. It’s not until Gideon arrives with the funds to fix up the farm and pay for a London Season that Winnefred is able to hop (or, more accurately, be dragged) off the shelf and back into society.

When I was given the opportunity to pluck the incomplete Nearly A Lady off the shelf last year, I jumped at the chance. I immediately discovered that I was just as infatuated with the story as I had been when I first began, and I was no less in love with Winnefred and Gideon by the time I finished. Nearly A Lady was a joy to write, from beginning to long-overdue end.

I hope you fall in love with the book as quickly and thoroughly as I did.

- Alissa Johnson

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