Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey {Interview + Giveaway}

Welcome to the LOVE, LIES and SPIES Blog Tour!

Have a little chat with the author, Cindy Anstey, and learn how this Jane Austen homage came about.
Check the book out, you're going to love it. I did. 
Enter the giveaway.
Describe your book in five words or less.

Regency. Romp. Bluestocking. Spy.
How did this homage to Jane Austen come about?
Jane Austen, despite being a contemporary writer in her time, began the rich tradition of Regency period, historical romances. Her books are perfect examples of people acting in ways counter to their nature just to fit in with the expectations of an overly demanding society. And despite the matchmaking mamas, the balls and card parties, the essence of that life is not greatly dissimilar to our lives now. Peer pressure, no matter how prettily it’s described, is still peer pressure.

I believe all Regency romance writers owe Jane Austen a very deep curtsey. While Love, Lies and Spies is not a re-envisioning of any of her novels, it leans heavily on Jane Austen’s penchant for pointing out the absurd… in lovely language. 
Are any of the characters influenced by some of your favorite characters?
Certainly not consciously, though Jane Austen’s Emma has a sense of independence that is integral to Juliana.
What is your writing process like?
Strangely enough, I often begin with an idea of the villain—the who, and why of the mystery. (Every book/manuscript I’ve ever worked on involves history, humor, romance and mystery in varying degrees.) Once I know what the villain wants, I understand who he/she wants to victimize… then, I can develop the rest of the story.

For instance in Love, Lies and Spies research lead me to the idea of a traitor passing messages through French smugglers. But it wasn’t until I envisioned a lone figure watching the Channel from a cliff top that the characters and plot came together. Then and only then, did I start to outline. Because I believe in fair-play mysteries, I like to hide clues and sprinkle red herrings, and that requires planning. I’m not locked into my outline though, the characters like to take side-paths that make the story stronger and I am more than happy to go with them; I rewrite the outline as many times as necessary.
What was the most fun part of writing “Love, Lies and Spies”?
I enjoyed getting to know my characters. I suppose that sounds strange, as they are essentially a part of my imagination, but as I said, they often surprise me. My characters are likely a mosaic of the people around me, but knowing someone doesn’t necessarily mean you understand how they will react in any given situation. People are enigmatic, and my characters are too. The fun lies in pealing back the layers.
If you could go back in time to the Georgian era, what would you do first?
I would be totally frivolous; dress in a beautiful gown and attend a ball. I would magically know the complicated dance steps, of course.
What is next for you?
I have just finished my second YA Regency romance, Duels & Deception, which is being released April 2017 and I am hard at work on my third.
Love, Lies and Spies
Cindy Anstey
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Genre: YA Historical
Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions . . . and Juliana herself.
About the Author

She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.

Cindy loves history, mystery and… a chocolate Labrador called Chester. Love, Lies and Spies is her debut novel.

A print copy of Love, Lies and Spies
US/CAN only
Ends May 5

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