Pleasure Me With Evangeline Collins

>Today I’d like to welcome fellow Berkley author, Evangeline Collins. I’ve not yet had the pleasure of reading one her books, but after reading the excerpts on her website, let me tell you…I’m putting them on order. Her books have unusual story lines and that’s right up my alley! I’m sure you’ll enjoy her blog post as well. Please welcome Evangeline Collins for today’s Pleasure Me With Romance guest post.

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Revealing Hobbies

Thank you, Monica, for having me as a guest as part of your Please Me With Romance blog

Research is a given when writing a historical romance book, but sometimes the need for a research dive yields unexpected results. The idea for HER LADYSHIP’S COMPANION started with a high concept – married lady falls in love with a male prostitute. From there I went about fleshing out the plot and characters. 

As I developed the characters, I realized I needed to give the heroine something ‘to do’ all day. She’d been banished by her husband to a remote Scottish estate. She has one family member who visits every few months. Otherwise it’s just her and her servants and the occasional visit from a neighbor. Pretty boring. And while she has her reasons for staying in Scotland, she couldn’t just sit in a drawing room and stare out the window all day. She needed something to occupy her time. A hobby appropriate for an aristocratic married woman in 1816. 

Her Ladyships Companion

In the Scottish countryside of Selkirk, Lady Isabella Stirling resides at Bowhill Park, serving penance for a sin that nearly ruined her family. For five years she has been condemned to a loveless marriage and confined to the estate where she does little more than tend her rose garden. With her husband absent for months at a time and few visitors, Bella lives a lonely existence, denying the passions that burn within her very soul.

Then her cousin comes for a visit and makes an outrageous suggestion: what Bella needs is a lover. A hired lover. Despite her need, Bella says no.  But soon Mr. Gideon Rosedale arrives – and he is at her service for two weeks. Indulging in what she intends to be a harmless flirtation, Bella is overcome by Gideon’s intoxicating presence. And when she at last permits him to satisfy her desires, she discovers she’s done the unthinkable – she’s fallen in love.

 An artist? No, wouldn’t fit her, but…it would work well with the hero. I made a note for him to show his artistic abilities somewhere in the book and went back to the heroine. Music? No. Gardening? Yes, and she’ll grow roses. She’ll have a beautiful rose garden behind the house and…the book starts in April. Rather early for roses to bloom. A hothouse, perhaps? *insert research dive* Yes, she would have a hothouse and an outdoor garden.

The thing about being an author is that sometimes characters know about things that I, as the author, know nothing about. I do not garden, nor possess anything close to a green thumb. Since my heroine was an expert on roses that meant I would need to do some research on the subject. I figured it couldn’t be too complex. My mother’s into roses and I could also mine her for info.

I quickly found that roses are not a simple subject. The roses that most people recognize today were not around during the Regency either. Most major advances in rose cross-breeding and hybridization didn’t occur until the Victorian era. So over the course of an undefined number of hours, I learned all about Old World roses.

What was originally intended as a pastime to give my heroine, more of an off-the-page sort of hobby, ended up becoming a backdrop for a few scenes in the book. The woman had a hothouse – of course, she and the hero would need to get up to something ‘hot’ in there. But more than that, I learned a lot about her through her hobby and so did the hero. The impeccably manicured and extensive gardens not only told the hero that she was a kind, caring soul who had a love of things vibrant and beautiful, but also revealed the full extent of her loneliness and isolation.

What’s your favorite hobby and what do you think it says about you?

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Visit Evangeline

About the Author
Evangeline Collins resides in Michigan with her husband and daughter. An avid reader, it wasn’t until she exhausted her local library’s supply of historical romance novels that she decided to try her hand at writing her own. And she has been hard at work crafting her romances ever since.
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About Monica Burns

A bestselling author of erotic romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.

38 thoughts on “Pleasure Me With Evangeline Collins

  1. >I love going to concerts, musicals, theater shows…anything that has to do with performance art! I think it's a holdover from when I was involved in such things. I love seeing something beautiful come out of hard work and creativity.

    julieguan AT gmail DOT com

  2. >Hi Monica and Evangeline,
    I just want to say that I so enjoyed reading Her Ladyship's Companion . I read it in one sitting and look forward to reading Seven Nights To Forever.
    My hobbies are Reading, books, antiquing and visiting Estate sales. I'm so curious seeing things from the past and wondering about past owners.
    Carol L
    New Jersey, USA

  3. >Love the sound of this book! And I have a definite love of roses as I putter about with them myself when I have the time. The rest of the time they grow wild and do quite well without my interference!

    I have heard good things about your books, Evangeline!

    I don't have a lot of time to indulge in hobbies these days as I spend most of my "spare" time researching and writing my own historical romances in search of that ever elusive contract. Living for the day when I can quit the day job and write full time.

    When I am having a problem with a plot or just want to relax a bit I quilt. It is very soothing and is a bit like writing in that I put the pieces together to make a whole.


  4. >My hobby is making jewelry. I love seeing people wearing my pieces, whether they post a pic on FB wearing it, or attending an event I'm at with it on. It still amazes me that people love what I've created!


    New York

  5. >Wow, another Michigander! I live in Oakland County, MI. Are you close, Evangeline?

    HER LADYSHIP'S COMPANION sounds like a GREAT read! I love the cover, too. Very colorful!

    As for hobbies, I don't have many (besides reading), but I suppose Tarot cards are one of them. I'm not an expert, and I don't read cards for profit, but I have a deck of cards and a guide book and I practice on my family (mostly on one of my three sisters). 🙂 Also, I'm into genealogy. I've found a couple of family members online since I started doing family research. I find it very rewarding.

    Guess that's pretty much it for me.

    Thanks so much for hosting this shin-dig, Monica. It looks like everyone's been having a blast.

    And best of luck with HER LADYSHIPS COMPANION, Evangeline!

    ceb 0140 AT hot mail DOT com

  6. >Evangeline:

    Interesting article. It reminded me of my parents, both of which are avid gardeners. They can grow anything. Neither passed the green thumb gene on to me — sadly, only artificial plants survive in my home.

    As my current favorite hobby is reading (and I'm sure it's going to be a favorite of many other posters), I'm going to go with what my favorite hobby used to be. When I was younger (and spry enough), my favorite hobby was "Playing Softball." Playing Softball spoke about my {1} tendency towards athleticism, {2} being a team player; {3} competitiveness; and {4} love of the game.

    2much2reid {at} comcast {dot} net / Texas

  7. >Love the cover! Love the orange! Very eyecatching!

    With the advent of audiobooks, I'm able to accomplish both of my favorite hobbies at the same time — reading and cross stitch. Nothing is more relaxing than cozying up in a chair with my current cross stitch project and headphones on my head and listening to a good book. What that says about me? I'm perfectly happy being at home surrounded by my family! Oh, and that I can multitask! 🙂


  8. >Hi, Evangeline!

    Congrats on the success of your books and their gorgeous covers!

    Besides the obvious (collecting books-lol), my hobby is coin collecting, though I haven't been overly avid about it since my daughter was born. I have old coins (and bills) from the U.S. and many coins from other countries. I enjoy pulling them out every once in awhile and looking at them. One of these days, I hope to do more!

    dadaw1321 AT numail DOT org

  9. >My favorite hobby is reading. This is a good thing because I am an education major, but it also means I am a loner.

    smccar1 at hotmail dot com


  10. >Wow, your books have such beautiful covers!

    My father started me on stamp collecting when I was a kid. Does that count? He changes hobbies quite a bit and I think I picked that up also.

    I started learning how to read when I was about 4 so I've been a loooong time reader.


  11. >My hobby is reading.I don't watch tv at all and very few movies.
    It says about me…huge fan!!! AND from the other comments I am in very good company.


  12. >I like crossword and jigsaw puzzles. Not sure what it says about me. I hope it's keeping my brain sharp.

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

  13. >I can't wait to read this book. I have had it on my wishlist forever. Can't wait to read it.

    My hobby is reading. It is what I do with all of my spare time. I love being able to escape to another world. Not sure what that says about me.

  14. >I garden in the summer and read in the winter.
    Don't know what that says about me.

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

  15. >Hi there!
    I don't know if reading counts as hobby but that's what I do everytime I have 5 seconds to spare…and even when I am supposed to do something else I always end up reading.
    I guess it says a lot about me: I am a pretty shy person, afraid of the big bad world outside and I feel that reading is at the same time a way to escape my fears and somehow experience the world a bit. I get to know so many people, so many different characters and I travel all around just by sitting in my bed and opening the book. I find it conforting and every time I feel lost I always pick up one of my fav books and I feel better.
    Also, reading gave me the chance to meet lots of other people all around the globe who share the same passion and to find authors I love.
    Isn't ir great?

    aliasgirl at libero dot it

  16. >Strange that you would be blogging about gardening and roses today because my biggest hobby is gardening; which not only includes vegetables but flowers and roses, as well. And that hobby then extends into the kitchen due to all of the overflow. Baking, cooking, canning and preserving. You can also add reading to the hobby list.

    What is says about me — I have no idea! LOL!

    cindersmaria @ yahoo DOT com
    South Carolina

  17. >My favorite hobby is reading, and I'm pretty sure it says that I like to escape the real world 🙂


  18. >What a striking cover! Hobbies: I constantly change them all except reading and collecting books – I've been doing that forever. I have done ceramics, crochet, knitting, crafting, bookscrapping, painting, etching, bocce, bowling, darts, needlepoint and many more. I guess it says I love variety lol.

    PA (I'm afraid I didn't put this on any of my past postings)

  19. >Gardening is a hobby of mine but I have not had a lot of luck with roses but a few have survived. After all these snow storms I am really looking forward to starting some seeds inside.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  20. >Thanks everyone for stopping by, and thanks to Monica for having me as a guest 🙂

    There are some really cool hobbies here – dog therapy work, thrift stores, geneology, rose gardening, jewelry making. Like a lot of you, reading is my biggest hobby, though I'm also a devotee of Top Chef on Bravo. Probably doesn't count as a hobby, though, considering my 'cooking' usually involves a microwave. 😉

  21. >My hobbies are reading and collecting postcards! Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!


  22. >I love media of all types. Reading, watching, playing and online shopping. I would be absolutely lost without my electronics and books. I am not sure what it says about me, I suppose the gaming saying Dork 😉

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com
    MN, USA

  23. >Not sure if these are hobbies but I really enjoy collecting romance novels and reading food & book blogs.

    I think these hobbies say that I am a dreamer, romantic and nurturer. =)

    jenma76 at hotmail dot com

  24. >Good morning, Evangeline!
    I have numerous hobbies. Reading is my first and foremost. I also love rose gardening. In the last two years I've found a passion for lily gardning as well. What these say about me? I am a hopeful romantic and love the finer things in life (visual and olfactory beauty).
    Nancy E
    Wisconsin USA
    everitnm at hotmail dot com

  25. >I love the cover ofr Her Ladyship's Companion; its beautiful.

    I don't have on favroite hobby, I enjoy several… I like to read, cook/bake (including decorating cakes), crochet, needlepoint, cross stitch. Hmmmm, those are the main ones.

    I think these hobbies say about me is that I like to do things alone. Plus, I'm pretty much an introvert!

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  26. >I recently started participating in blog giveaway hops. It's a great way to discover new-to-me authors and genres.

    I very much enjoy visiting thrift stores. It is like a treasure hunt and I never know what I'll find. I am fascinated by what people give away. Besides that, I have eclectic tastes in reading/TV/movies/music. Oh, and I'm a magazine junkie and book hoarder 🙂

  27. >Does reading count as a hobbie? That's were most of my free time gets spent these days. I use dabble in a littie painting, stamping & other arts & craft projects but not so much any more.

    The book sounds interesting, I'll have to keep an eye out for it. Congrats on it's release.

    gamistress66 (at)
    aol (dot) com

  28. >good morning!
    well I am going to be looking at B&N today! my daughter asked me to go to the big city and thats where the book store is! yay me! 🙂 i don't get there often and I love it! I do love my nook but I Like to look at books now and then!
    as to hobbies books! and eating and work thats what I do, I use to shop but my debit card put an end to that! LOL and for some reason I just dont like it like I use to! I never get tired of books and food though! 🙂 and well I do like facebook 🙂 you can learn alot of little tidbits on there! 🙂 I will look for your books while I am out today! I have a list of new to me authors tolook for! I am ready!

    Kris b indiana

    krysti33@ frontier dot com

  29. >Hi Evangeline,

    You are a new-to-me author (I'm originially from MI too) so I wasn't familiar with your work until today! All I can say is: I'm now a fan! I love the sound of Her Ladyship's Companion and will be adding it to my BTB list.

    My hobbies? Can't say I have any hobbies beyond reading. I have about 975 books on my TBR shelves. Oh, and about 5 years ago, I received a Swarovski Crystal Miniature as a gift. Since then, I have a wishlist of about 25 Crystal Miniatures from Swarovski to add to my current collection of 7 pieces.

    kkhaas at bellsouth dot net
    NC, USA

  30. >First off, Monica, this is fabulous! I love all the authors you are exposing us to! I wish I could say I had read more of them, but I soon will!

    As for hobbies, I read, a lot. 🙂 I also love history, so my latest hobby has been researching my family history. I'm not sure what it says about me other than I love the way it all connects. Genealogy combines my three favorite things: history, reading, and research. Maybe it says I'm tenacious because it takes a lot of time and digging. Plus, tenacious sounds so much better than obsessive. 🙂

    julieboo817 at gmail dot com

  31. >Good Morning Evangeline and Monica,
    I really enjoyed learning more about this book. I love roses, their smell, color and softness but I cannot grow anything especially flowers without killing them. Believe me, I've tried.

    I have an Aloe vera plant outside my door and the only reason it's still alive is my mom told me how to care for it after she gave me part of hers.

    I have several hobbies. My favorite is raising my pet rats. I have 4 male rats right now. When there were a bunch of kids in the neighborhood I used to take in all their unwanted small pets. Hamsters, rats, gerbils, rabbits, mice, and even the occasional goldfish, frog and fresh water snail.

    Now I write articles on how to care for small exotic animals for a website.

    I think this hobby says a few things about me, the biggest one being I wish people would learn how to care for the animals they adopt…before they get them.
    Nevada, USA

  32. >Good morning to all! What a great post. I love this story and have "Her Ladyship's Companion" on my TBR list. One of my hobbies is reading,I also love to cross stitch and sew.You can make such beautiful things with cross stitch,I have been doing it for thirty years.This has been such a great blog event,thank you to Monica for hosting and Evangeline for being here today.What a great event this has been for the readers.
    Henderson, NC

  33. >Well, like Bella, my husband is away for weeks at a time. He travels for business at least 2 weeks per month. To pass the time and to distract myself from being lonely, I read. Reading fills the days when he is gone. I think being an avid reader means I am a curious person. I love to learn new things.

    GeishasMom73 on twitter

    user1123 AT comcast DOT net

  34. >Good morning Evangeline & Monica! Ooh la la, the premise of your book sounds very enticing… I've got to read it now… I'm glad you are appearing here today as I've never read any of your books. Thank you!
    I have a few hobbies… I do a bunch of activities with my dogs: we do therapy work visiting at our local hospital, nursing homes & schools; we are taking freestyle (dancing) lessons and hope to have a few choreographed routines soon; we love agility.. and earthdog.. and Rally.. and just cuddling and playing… they are my therapy. I love to garden; that's one reason I moved to Florida! And… I love to read…I'm so grateful to my Mom that she encouraged my sisters and I to read from childhood… she loved to read and she passed on that love to us.
    Again, thank you for being here today. And, thank you, Monica, for being the most gracious host!
    Linda T.
    Florida, USA

  35. >Hello, Evangeline! I am very fortunate to own both "Her Ladyship's Companion" and "Seven Nights to Forever". I highly recommend both books to anyone who loves lushly written historical romance. Your heroes are most sigh-worthy!

    The area in which I live is full of antique shops, thrift stores, and second-hand shops–and there is always a treasure to be found! I collect books, cookbooks, and cookware, both old and new. I don't really need more of either, but cooking is an essential part of my nature. I am always on the lookout for a find, and sometimes the cooking pot will come from one place, and the lid will come from another. Old cookbooks often contain little notes or cut out recipes and other things that some previous owner tucked inside. I buy things that I will use, including cooking utensils and kitchen gadgets. There are many useful and non-electronic kitchen items which some clever person thought of decades ago, and I thank them for it! I often wonder about the previous users of my collected items, and I hope that they were happy when they were cooking and working in the kitchen : )

    US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  36. >I like to go to the movies and see all types of films. Will see action, comedy, independent etc. Then my friend and I discuss and decide what to see next.

    linze_e at hotmail dot com

  37. >Good morning everyone! I've notified Evangeline that her post is live! Isn't her post great! I have a lot of hobbies. Camping is one. We've not been in a while as gas is SO expensive. But when we do go, Douthat State Park is my fav camping spot. We have a special spot in the campground we like to snag, and during the day I sit outside and write with the soft sounds of wood being chopped, the scent of wood fires, kids playing and the whisper of the wind through the trees. It's heavenly.

  38. >HER LADYSHIP'S COMPANION has been on my wishlist for-ever! I was intrigued with the premise…

    My hobby: making jewelry. I love the attention to detail that it takes — it ends up being like meditation for me. I also love giving it away because I make things I would never wear…strange perhaps but a definite perk to be one of my friends!

    I guess I like creating things that are lasting and tangible…good ole practical me!

    BabsVick AT gmail DOT com