A Perfect Secret by Donna Hatch – Guest Post & Giveaway

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A Perfect Secret

by Donna Hatch

Desperate to protect her father from trial and death, Genevieve breaks off her engagement with Christian Amesbury and marries a blackmailer. After a year of marriage, she flees her husband’s violent domination only to have fate bring her back to Christian. Just when she thinks she’s started a new life of safety and solitude, her husband tracks her down, stalks her, and threatens everyone she loves.Still brokenhearted over Genevieve’s betrayal a year ago, Christian can’t believe she’s come back into his life–and worse, that she’s done it on the anniversary of his brother’s death, a death that haunts him. Though tempted to throw her back into the river where he found her, he can’t leave her at the mercy of the terrifying man she married.

When her husband torments Genevieve and puts his family in danger, Christian will do anything to protect those he loves…anything except give Genevieve another chance to break his heart.

More About?A Perfect Secret and Its Author, Donna Hatch
What is your motivation behind this book? Why did you want to write it?I wrote this book pretty much for the same reason I write anything–because I get a story idea that haunts me and I finally start writing it. So, yeah, I basically succumb to the voices in my head. It’s an inevitable ending. You do know that writers are basically schizophrenic, right? Most of us are non-violent though. We prefer to torture fictional characters, not real people. Of course, sometimes fictional characters seem more real, and certainly more interesting that real people. But I digress.

A Perfect Secret, in particular, began partly because my editor encouraged me to write a story about each brother in the family so it could be a familial series which typically sell better than single title or books with only a second book. Originally, there were two brothers in the Amesbury family, but she suggested I should have at least three books in the series. It was her idea that the Bow Street Runner in the first book,?The Stranger She Married, could be a brother, hence Grant was born. I am writing his story now. He’s not a true Runner, just someone who helps them from time to time. Christian, the hero of?A Perfect Secret, appeared of his own accord during a revision of?The Stranger She Married. I knew right off that he needed his own book, too. I had the idea for?A Perfect Secret?years ago about someone trying to leave her abusive husband (no, this is not based on my marriage ?? and her husband chasing her down and stalking her. The plot solidified a bit more when I saw the movie?Sleeping with the Enemy, but with a number of obvious differences. The first draft of the story had the heroine in love with someone else, whom her husband kills, and the hero was “just a friend” with whom she ended up falling in love. But this version worked better.

What do you hope readers take with them when they read your book?

I hope they will believe that love is real and it can help us find the courage to do what we believe is right. I also hope they will question what they think they know about people and let go of prejudice, and even help them forgive those who have hurt them.

Do you have a favorite scene?

I have several favorite scenes. The opening scene ranks up near the top because it’s so emotional. And I really love the scene where the heroine first starts to believe that maybe she can trust the hero. I also love the scenes with Christian’s sister Rachel because she’s so outspoken and they have such fun sibling banter. Sooo, a favorite? Actually, taken out of context, the other scenes probably wouldn’t have much of an impact for a reader. So I’ll share the first paragraph of the opening scene. This chapter takes place when the hero is a child. But I promise, the rest of the book is when he is an adult.

? ? ?Six-year-old Christian Amesbury stood in the churchyard, trying not to crush the?flowers he’d brought to put in front of the family crypt where they’d laid his brother?to rest, the brother he loved, the brother he killed.

Alone in every way, he stood, shaking, as his last taunting words to Jason echoed in his head. Christian had wanted to prove he was brave and strong. Instead, his brother, best friend and advocate, was dead.

His throat tightened and tears blurred his vision. “I’m sorry, Jason,” he whispered. “I’m so sorry. I miss you.” He knelt and placed his offering of wildflowers in front of the crypt.

A drop of rain landed on his cheek and mingled with his tears. He stood unmoving, embracing the desolation. He had no one to blame but himself.

Share something about you that is unique – maybe about how/where you write… or favorite snack foods?I have trained myself to write on the fly. That may be when it’s slow at work, while dinner is simmering, or in the waiting room of a doctor’s or dentist’s office, or during soccer practice, or whenever I think I may have at least 15 minutes to write. If I’m really struggling with a scene or with edits and I find myself trying to put it off, I line up bite-sized chocolates, like Dove or something equally indulgent, on my desk in front of the computer screen. I eat one and start to work. When I get stuck on something, or just when I feel like it, I eat another one. It helps. I’ve discovered chocolate is the solution to many of the world’s woes. If politicians would begin negotiations with chocolate, everyone would be on better behavior.

Donna 2013 (1)About Donna Hatch

My passion for writing began at the tender age of 8 and I’ve been hooked ever since. Of course, I also wanted to be an actress and a ballerina, but one out of three isn’t bad, right?In between caring for six children, (7 counting my husband), my day job, my free lance editing and copy writing, and my many volunteer positions, I manage to carve out time to indulge in my writing obsession. After all, it IS an obsession. My family is more patient and supportive than I deserve.

Guest Post

Jane Austen

Who is the greatest fiction author of all time? That question would no doubt be greeted by a host of answers and responses, and would largely depend on the type of fiction each person enjoys reading. For many of us who enjoy historical romance novels, our resounding answer is: Jane Austen.
Jane Austen had a way of writing literature stood the test of time. Did she know this when she wrote her novels? Did she have any idea of how influential her works would be on the historical romance genre? Not likely. In fact, some of her works were not even published until after she died. Let’s examine how Jane Austen has influenced the historical romance novel. Then, I’ll attempt to guess what she would think of most romance novels today.
Jane Austen’s plots are often repeated in romance novels through the decades. For example, in Pride & Prejudice, the plot revolves around a case of mistaken first impressions. The principal characters start out with an aversion to one another only to discover that they are actually attracted to one another. In Sense and Sensibility, we see a hero who falls in love with one woman while being bound to another and also a heroine whose romantic sensibilities nearly bring about her ruin. In Mansfield Park, the main characters are related, and therefore, an unsuspected but not unheard of love plot unfolds. Northanger Abby is Jane Austen’s parody of the Gothic novel so popular in her day. Emma employs a pedagogic relationship between a much older man who corrects and scolds the younger Emma. Persuasion highlights a love deserving a second chance.
Many of these romantic situations have been retold in other historical romance novels. In Sanditon by Jane Austen and “A Lady” (the mysterious author who finished the unfinished manuscript), there is a clear relationship between Jane Austen’s works and modern-day historical romance novels. The unknown author “A Lady” who finished this incomplete work of Jane Austen’s,wrote the ending much like a modern-day Regency romance novel. It is unlike Jane Austen’s style in that it is fast paced, flirty, and has a twist at the end. But, it is difficult to discern at what point Jane Austen stops and A Lady picks up. This is not the only version of the book. I started to read another author’s finishing of the novel only to stop when I got to a sex scene, something Jane Austen never put in her novels.
These examples showcase how much Jane Austen has influenced the romance novels of today. However, the question remains: What would Austen think of most of the romance novels published today? Northanger Abby says it well; “Perhaps after all it is possible to read too many novels.” We can be sure Austen would only approve of clean romance novels that prized wit and a bit of sarcasm, like her own timeless tales.
Tour-Wide Giveaway

– Grand Prize: $20 Amazon gift card and an ebook (INT) or print copy (US Only) of A Perfect Secret OR The Stranger She Married (winner’s choice)

– 5 ebooks?of A Perfect Secret

– Open Internationally

– Ends July 20th

Prism Book Tours


  1. I would like to have a vacation home in Regency England!! I think it would be very pretty there, a perfect romantic setting.. Plus the history, oh yes, definitely!!

  2. Joseph Hawkshaw says

    It would be kind of neat to live their.

  3. i would like to live in that time because of the dresses and dances, but i like to live in the actual world

  4. England would be the perfect setting for romance would love to visit or live there and dress like they do

  5. A visit would be interesting but I’d hate to give up modern conveniences. Thanks!

  6. Victoria says

    it looks lovely and might be a pretty cool place to live!

  7. I would like to visit there to go a ball wearing a lovely regency dress. But not live in that time period

  8. I love that time period and I would have loved to live during those times.

  9. DJ Sakata says

    no, I am too outspoken – I would have been beheaded

  10. I don’t know if I can definitevely say I would want to live in Regency England after actually arriving and living there, (you know, the whole hindsight is 20/20 scenario), but right now thinking about it I would! It’s an era of time that fascinates me, and as one of my students this past year said, “People were so much smarter then!” … or at least they sounded and acted like it. ??

  11. Marcy Meyer says

    I don’t think I would fit in there. I would be an outcast.

  12. Abigail W. says

    No, I prefer our times with computers, plastic, etc!

  13. I like modern conveniences too much!

  14. clarkclique says

    As long as I was upper class and had a lady’s maid, maybe for a little bit. ??

  15. I love the Regency clothes and the rules of etiquette! ??

  16. Kristy Petree says

    Definitely, it seems like such a romantic period. Thanks!

  17. I would. I love my home country and it seems so glamorous back then

  18. BookLady says

    Regency England was fascinating. As long as I was a member of the upper class, I would enjoy living there.

  19. I would not mind living in Regency England, as long as it was not “downstairs”. I love the furniture and glass of the period.The homes too.

  20. Uhh.. I would enjoy living there, with the condition I was part of upper class. Regency England is very nice as long as you are part of those who enjoy the finer things

  21. jenn huey says

    If it weren’t for the modern conveniences I would just to wear the clothes

  22. Daniel M says

    nope i’d probably be a peasant or something

  23. The health care now is better, so no I would not . If I were younger may be I would like to try it for a day..

  24. Maegan Morin says

    I dont think that I would like to live in that time. I love learning about it, not experiencing it lol.

  25. I’d live in Regency England just to have a London season, but then I want to be back in my own time.

  26. katie skeoch says

    For a short while but I might miss my shower!

  27. I wouldn’t want to live in Regency England for an extended period. Like Mary, I’d stay for a London season – just to check it out. I like modern conveniences too much.

  28. Elizabeth says

    I love escaping to historical settings while reading fiction, but I admit I really love modern sanitation and conveniences. ??

  29. Probably not! Not a very good time to be a woman!

  30. no, no modern conveniences.

  31. No, I wouldn’t want to live in Regency England because of the rules women must follow.

  32. I would love to live in Regency England if it were like it is depicted in many of the stories I have read.The only reason I can give is I’ve always felt out of place in the world of today.