Eye-catching front covers with handsome Counts, Lords and Dukes, as well as breathtaking heroines wearing regency ballgowns are a feature of Sasha Cottman’s historical romance novels.
The Melbourne-based author has published eight books, with An Italian Count For Christmas released this month. A chartered accountant, Sasha works full-time for a national Social Enterprise Organisation and also takes time to volunteer for RWA and moderate two writing-related social media groups. Her love of travel has taken her to over 55 countries and she finds travel guides featuring heavily on her reading list. English-born Sasha weaves the themes of love, honour and family into her novels, and said it was her passion for history that drove her interest in writing.
An Italian Count For Christmas is the first in Sasha’s new London Lords series, and follows on from the award-winning Duke of Strathmore series. Although it’s been two decades since I picked up a regency romance, I was delighted to slip back into a familiar and inviting world of gentry when Sasha’s August release landed in my inbox. The story follows a young widow Isabelle, who has been left destitute by her cad of a husband. Forced to work as a servant in the grand home she once lived in, she is at the beck and call of their new guest – Nico de Luca. The Italian count is dealing with his own trauma, and pours his energy into righting a series of unscrupulous business deals. I enjoyed the beautifully old-fashioned courting and opportunity to immerse myself in yesteryear, with several love scenes that required my iPad to be discreetly angled away from fellow train travellers enroute to Sydney’s RWA conference! This reintroduction to regency romance was long overdue, and I won’t hesitate to add more historical romances to my future TBR pile.
Short and sweet questions
Current book on your bedside table: There’s always a travel guide on my pile of new books to read.
Where do you do most of your writing? In my writing space which is a large bedroom in our Victorian era house.
Favourite Australian holiday destination: Tasmania, especially the Three Capes Walk.
What’s your preferred drop? Pinot Grigio
Guilty pleasure? Blue cheese.
Favourite fictional couple and why? Jamie and Claire from Outlander, it goes without saying that they have great chemistry. The TV series is brilliant.
If you could pack two non-essential items for a deserted tropical island, what would they be? Blue cheese and wine. I wouldn’t care if I was stranded for a few days as long as the wine held out.
Name an emerging author to keep an eye out for: Well not emerging. but about to hit the big time is Alison Stuart writing as A.M Stuart. I’m hoping to see her Harriet Gordon mysteries on Netflix someday.
Established authors who inspire you? Bella Andre, Cherry Adair
Worst thing about being a writer? The sore back and neck
Do you prefer music, podcasts or silence? Silence for writing, but I have a major podcast addiction.
Favourite perfume: Boucheron by the House of Boucheron
TV/film crush: Benedict Cumberbatch
Top three tips for aspiring authors? Write everyday even if it’s only a few words, listen to writing podcasts, attend writer conferences.
Proudest author moment? Hitting No.1 in the whole of Amazon all free books charts and topping the iTunes charts all in the one day.
If anyone gives me flack for writing in the romance genre, I tell them… It’s a billion-dollar industry that funds much of the publishing world. I used to work in the publishing industry so always have figures on hand.
Find Sasha online:
Rural fiction writer Maya Linnell honed her journalism skills at a country newspaper before moving to PR and now fiction. She recently completed her debut rural romance manuscript and is hard at work on the sequel. A voracious reader, Maya also loves baking, gardening, preserving home-grown fruit and veggies, and raising three little bookworms. She lives on a small country coastal property in regional Victoria with her family and a growing menagerie of animals, gathering inspiration from her rural surrounds and the close-knit communities within.
Follow Maya online