Guest Author: Diana Lloyd and About an Earl

DL headshot2I feel so fortunate to belong to several local writers groups. Each one offers something different, and each has its own mix of authors. Diana Lloyd is a fellow member of the Grand Rapids Region Writers Group and is currently celebrating the release of her second historical novel, About an Earl. This part of her regency series called It Happened in the Ballroom. If you want to read about the first in the series, as well as her experience with RWA’s Golden Heart contest, check out her guest post from last year. This time, I asked her to share with us her road to writing historical romance, and she kindly agreed. Here she is!


I’m a history geek. You kind of have to be to write historical romance.

And it’s Alice Turner Curtis’s fault.

To be fair, I may have been a geek before I met her books. All I know is that I was drawn to them like an eager young moth to a flickering flame.

Picture1For those to whom her name means nothing, Alice Turner Curtis wrote a 24-book series named “The Little Maid’s Historical Series” between 1910 and 1937. I suspect this was slightly before your time. It was years and years before mine, but not my mother’s and grandmother’s.

My wise, thoughtful, grandmother purchased the books for two reasons (so I’ve been told) the first being that she thought my mother would enjoy them (she didn’t) the second because after living through the depression there were two things my grandmother insisted on always having in her house so as not to look “poor” – a piano and a full bookcase.

Perhaps I owe my love for history to granny’s vanity. I was, as they used to say, a “sickly” child in my elementary years. Hospitalized or put on bed rest on more than one occasion, I’d sometimes miss a month of school at a time. I had a LOT of time to read and I loved it. To be fair here I should point out that my mother still argues that I wasn’t “that” sick and faked it so I could stay home and read.

Maybe she’s right, but the point is I got away with it. I might have become a piano prodigy if I’d been allowed to touch the darn thing.

Sadly, I no longer have the books (due to the great Spring Cleaning of 1978) so I cannot attest to their historical accuracy. They were, after all, fiction written for children.

No matter. My sister could have Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins, I was already all about the historical fiction of early America. Up until I met the books of Eleanor Alice Hibbert.


Picture2You might know her better as gothic romance author Victoria Holt. As I aged my fickle allegiance jumped the pond from the forts and cabins of the American Revolution to the castles and keeps of old Europe. I laid bare my teenaged heart reading of haunted hallows, mysterious guardians and their innocent, virginal wards.

Yeah, it was a phase. But there was no cure for it once I started. Gothic novels led to…pirates. Let me tell you, those 1980’s pirate romance novels were trippy—they were on a ship, authors had to get creative! Pirates gentrified into Georgian and Regency era lords and ladies and that seems to be where I’m stuck. The 1700’s and early 1800’s is my era. Maybe I’ve always had an old soul.


What gets your geek on?

About an Earl is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and Kobo.

Diana Lloyd can be found at her website and on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

My thoughts: This second book in the Ballroom series is just as delightful as the first! Ms. Lloyd presents an engaging story with fascinating characters, a fast-moving plot, and plenty of humor. Jewel is an enterprising and quick-thinking young lady, and Oliver is a wounded hero with a lot of self-doubt, but enough sense to know when to be firm and when to follow Jewel’s lead. I especially loved the secondary characters, particularly Penry, the earl’s twin brother, and Elvie, the mysterious but enterprising maid who appears from nowhere. Can’t wait to read Book Three!

About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
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10 Responses to Guest Author: Diana Lloyd and About an Earl

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    Welcome back, Diana, to 4F1H.
    I love your account of those periods of childhood convalescence to which you now place an asterisk.
    Thank goodness for your grandmother’s foresight… and/or her “vanity.” I’ve heard before a quote about a house needing books for the sake of appearance… but never quite the way you phrased it here.
    Having been in the library profession for 30 years, I’m well acquainted with Victoria Holt, but had no idea she was also Alice Turner Curtis. Oh well.
    Your youthful addiction to those Little Maid Historical Series reminds me of my attachment to the Bobbs-Merrill “Childhood of Famous Americans” series, which I gobbled up during my 4th & 5th grades (and beyond). It was only decades later I learned the authors of those juvenile biographies played quite loosely with history… and in most cases supplied their own dialog for the events which WERE factual. Oh well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I remember reading the Bobb-Merrill series, too! I often wondered how anyone knew exactly what was said, or if some of those conversations actually took place.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Salter says:

        at the time I read them, I assumed those “quotes” were taken from the recollections of the famous person in question. When I later learned some of those childhood “experiences” were hardly more than myths, I was crestfallen.


  2. pamelasthibodeaux says:

    I am not a History buff LOL but your books sound intriguing.
    Good luck and God’s blessings


  3. I too am a history geek, and drawn to the same period as you. Thank you for telling me about a series of children’s books that I’ve never heard of! Heading over to Googlebooks to see if I can find them there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I’d never heard of them either, Alaina. I found a few that are free for Kindle: Little Maid of Massachusetts Colony, Little Maid of Old Maine, and Little Maid of Ticonderoga.


  4. Welcome, Diana! I, too, was a sickly child who loved to read.I know of many and I think we grow up often to be those who love to write.
    Best of luck to you.


  5. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I too am a history buff. In fact, I taught history at the high school level for 35 years. Thanks so much for visiting the blog.


  6. Kara O'Neal says:

    Hi! I loved this post! I’m a history nut, too. I write historical romance. Of course, I love Lucy Maud Montgomery and Louisa May Alcott. But as far as romance goes, I adore Mary Balogh. After that, I love, love, love Pamela Morsi. Your journey to writing was fun to read! Thanks for sharing!


  7. Nice post. I’m a history nut of Early America and the West. I was a big fan of Louis L’Amour and read all his books. Best of luck with promotion of your novels.


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