Tuesday, 9 February 2021


Regency romances have been gaining new attention, new readers and new recognition after the huge success of alluring TV series like Bridgerton or Sanditon.  They share the historical and social background of Jane Austen's novels, so they are often compared to her works. This is why I invited author Shelly Powell to join us today. 

The book we discuss is Shelly's Dear Clara, a gripping Regency Romance you can't miss if you love the genre. Read our chat and discover more about Clara  and Mr Thayne and their unforgettable love story. 

Dear Clara is out today, by the way! Check the purchase links below ;-)


When was your first encounter with Jane Austen and her work?          

             When I was in college, my roommate and I were talking about books one day. She had never read Jane Eyre, which I love, and I had never read Pride and Prejudice, which she loved. So we made an agreement. She would read Jane Eyre and I would read Pride and Prejudice. It took me a while to warm up to Jane Austen, but I’ve now read all her novels.

Do you have a favourite novel/hero/heroine? 

            If I’m choosing from Jane Austen’s works, it’s hard for anyone to compete with Mr. Darcy, but I think Mr. Knightly nearly ties with him. He’s kind, patient, intelligent, and he has the coolest name, in my opinion. Elizabeth Bennet is my favorite of the heroines, but I really like how Fanny Price wouldn’t be swayed from her convictions.

 What influenced you to write novels set in the Regency Era?

I’ve always loved writing, but my inspiration for Dear Clara started when I heard another author speak at a live event about her experience writing her first book, which happened to be a Regency romance. It was motivating to hear about her success, and I went home determined to finally start writing. After my husband and kids went to bed that night, I couldn’t sleep. I was filled with ideas for my book, and I ended up typing in my closet (don’t ask me why I chose the closet - I don’t know) until around 4 am. The next time I tried working on that story, however, I knew it wasn’t working. I scrapped the whole idea and ended up with something completely different. I ultimately decided that not only would I set my story in Regency times, but I would also have my couple meet through letters like my husband and I did.

Yep. The first interaction I ever had with my husband was through a regular paper-and-pencil letter. I was doing missionary service in England for my church when my sister convinced her friend (now my husband) to write me a letter. That letter was the most entertaining letter I have ever received and made such an impression on me that I wrote him back. We wrote quite a few friendly, light-hearted letters to each other and became friends. A few months after I returned home, we started dating. Our story is quite different from Clara and Mr. Thayne’s, but our letters were a huge inspiration for me.

What do you find particularly fascinating in that world?

 I’ll admit, I kind of love the rules of etiquette and courtesy that existed between gentlemen and ladies back then. I wouldn’t give up the social freedom I have in our modern world, but those Regency ways add a rich layer of romance to a story while also providing leverage to make the plot more interesting.

I also just love England. As I mentioned above, I lived there as a missionary (for 20 months) and fell in love with the people I met and the places I visited.  

  If you could time travel back there, what would you especially like to do?

             This is a hard one because I’m really grateful to be alive right now in a time of so much knowledge and cool technology (and indoor plumbing), but I would absolutely love to travel back to the early 1800s in England, specifically so I could visit my ancestors. I’d just want to live with them, get to know them, and learn more about their way of life.

 What about you as a reader? What is your favourite kind of books? What's on your nightstand? 

 My kindle, which is sitting on my nightstand right now in its pink case, is filled with books that light my imagination, warm my heart, inspire me, or make me laugh. Some of my favorites are fairytale retellings and fantasy books like The Goose Girl and Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale and Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynn Jones. I grew up loving Anne of Green Gables and the whole series by LM Montgomery, so those books are in my collection too. I read a lot of young adult and middle grade because I love reading books with my kids. Some of our favorites are Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin and Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Every now and then, I read some nonfiction (just finished the Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor) or an autobiography (like Frederick Douglass’s). As far as Regency books, I really like Georgette Heyer’s The Grand Sophy and Arabella.


Thanks a lot, Shelly,  and best  wishes for your writing and everything else in your life!


Follow Shelly at her website https://www.shellyepowell.com/   on

 Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ShellyPowellAuthor or on Instagram --



Purchase Links




Book Blurb

He thinks she is a rare beauty. She knows he is charming on paper. Both hope for romance, but when letters are no longer enough, Clara must face the truth and decide whether to let go of pride or protect her heart.           

For the first time in her life, Clara Everton has done something truly improper. She has written to a gentleman she hardly knows, simply to avoid an unwanted marriage proposal and perhaps to prove to herself that her first London season was not such a disappointment after all. As one letter grows into many and her feelings for James Thayne deepen, Clara begins to wonder whether a letter is as innocent a thing as she once thought. Meeting Mr. Thayne in person shakes her hopes, and she must reconcile herself to the unexpected truth. Yet, as circumstances continue to bring them together, Clara can't help but question whether opening her heart to Mr. Thayne is riskier than protecting it.

About the Author  

 As soon as Shelly Powell was old enough to write, she was crafting stories to share with family and friends. Her earliest works featured princesses and mermaids, which she willingly portrayed on the makeshift stages of home and school. Although her interests have expanded since then, she still finds writing to be a thrilling process and a unique way to connect with others. Shelly loves a happy ending but also believes in happy beginnings. She hopes to write many stories in the years to come. Shelly enjoys running, yoga, drawing, and spending time with her sweet husband and amazing kids.

1 comment:

dstoutholcomb said...

Happy Book Release!

Enjoyed the Q&A!