Friday, July 9, 2010

Welcome Steeple Hill Historical Author Carla Capshaw!

My Romance with Inspirational Historical Romance
By Carla Capshaw
It’s my guilty secret, but unlike many authors, I didn’t like to read all that much when I was child. I wasn’t much of a girly-girl either. I didn’t care for pink and I preferred Star Wars and lightsabers to Barbie and Easy-bake ovens. My friends and I built forts and pretended we were pioneers or the only people left on a deserted island. Although she hid it well, I know my mother was concerned her little girl was going to be a barefooted tomboy forever.

That all changed when I was thirteen. I snagged my mom’s copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss’s, Shanna, off her nightstand and my love of reading began in earnest. Thinking I was too young for such steamy stuff, mom was a tad horrified when she learned I’d read it, but it remains one of my favorite books even now. Always a fan of history, I was enveloped in the richness of the Colonial-Caribbean setting, the sumptuousness of the prose, the adventure and most of all, the sheer beauty of what I consider a perfect romance. Raurk Beauchamp is still my fantasy man. ;-)

My love affair with the genre continued through high school and thanks to all the wars, kings, countries, landscapes, customs and rituals I’d learned about in the many novels I read, I never got less than an A in history (and I never had to study if I didn’t want to). A Johanna Lindsey book even saved my life once, but that’s a different story.

By the end of high school and later in college, I learned to enjoy other genres and more “serious” authors, but it was Historical Romance that I kept coming back to despite the many debates on why “bodice rippers” weren’t “real books.” These arguments usually boiled down to earnest “academic” young women parroting their professors who claimed happy endings raised women’s expectations for life and love too high or that Romances were somehow degrading to women. Convinced they’d never read the same books I had since the heroes and heroines always had to overcome huge obstacles to earn their happily ever after, I could only scratch my head and wonder how expectations for one’s life could ever be too high.

Over the years, of course, my tastes in books changed. For the first time, I found Historicals that included the Biblical message in their plots. It was then I realized faith was the one element my favorite books had always lacked. I loved Janet Oke and other Inspirational pioneers who made my beloved Historicals even more realistic because, like real people in the past, the characters didn’t shy away from the important role faith played in their lives.

So, it was only natural that when I sat down to write a novel, I chose to write an Inspirational Historical Romance. Not only was it what I’d always loved, but what other genre would allow me to travel to exotic locales, learn about history, dream up exciting adventures and craft characters who celebrate love, marriage, family and Biblical truths?
None that I could think of.

Now that I’ve been writing for several years, I consider myself blessed everyday because of the friends, both readers and writers, I’ve made due to a shared love of Romance. If you enjoy the genre, do you have fond memories of your favorite stories? What’s the first Romance you ever read? What’s your favorite era and why?

Thanks for sharing part of your day with me!

Be inspired,
Carla Capshaw

Bio: Florida native Carla Capshaw always dreamed of being a writer and world traveler, she followed her wanderlust around the globe before beginning work on her first novel. A two-time Rita nominee, she's found inspirational historical romance is the perfect vehicle to combine lush settings, vivid characters and a Christian worldview. Currently at work on her next novel, she still lives in Florida, but is always planning her next trip…and plotting her next story. Carla loves to hear from readers.

You can learn more at

To contact her, visit her Web site or write: Carla(at)

Quintus Ambustus is a slave—Adiona Leonia is a wealthy socialite. He fights for his life in the gladiator's ring—she plays cutthroat politics in Rome's high society. He's sacrificed everything for his Christian faith—she believes in nothing and no one. But when Adiona's life is threatened, Quintus is chosen as her bodyguard, and their fascination with one another shocks them both. Neither thought to find joy in a match society would condemn…but their feelings cannot be denied. Have they lost too much to believe in happiness? Or will their growing love let them leave the past behind—and build a new future together?

Check out Carla's other books.
The Gladiator
The Duke's Redemption


  1. It's so nice to have you here Carla! I had to laugh when I saw Shanna. After I read Gone With The Wind, I went on to Barbara Cartlands. Yup, what can I say? But eventually got around to Kathleen Woodiwiss and I would say that Ashes in the Wind is still one of my favorite books. Purple Prose? Probably. But the love story and sweeping history of the Civil War created something I'll never forget.

    I hope you know how happy we historical writers are that you broke out of the corral with a 'ancient' historical! It seems that publishers are hesitant to take a chance on anything before the 18th century or out of the America's, England or France.

    Hurray for Carla!
    Thanks for visiting us today!

  2. Hey, Carla! Great post. I'm trying to remember my first "grown up" romances were.

    Somehow I went from reading Black Stallion, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and anything Judy Marion Chesney, Barbara Cartland, Joan Aiken, Robin Carr, Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, and a few Patricia Veryan. From there, oh dear. Too many authors to name. While I occasionally dabbled in suspense and mystery, I tended to focus mostly on romances both ABA and CBA.

    Favorite genre? Romance.

    Beyond that, what matters to me is story and characters, not CBA or ABA. Although I admit I have a sweet spot for inspys because I want stories that have faith journeys.

    I read The Duke's Redemption earlier this year. Loved it. Great cover. In fact, last week during VBS I passed my copy on to a friend from church. She pretty much only reads SH:LIS but I'm trying to hook her on historicals.

    Thanks for visiting!

  3. Your latest book looks great! Sounds very interesting. Happy weekend! :O)

  4. Hmm...I thought I had read a Carla Capshaw novel before, but unless there are more than on the list here, I guess not. I'll have to get to that.

    Carla, I was a lot like you as a kid. Too busy being active and outdoors to read until almost highschool.


  5. My favorite era is the 19th century and I love romance but I like the addition of some suspense, mystery, historical drama.

    Carla, what's up next for you?

    Gina - hey, remember those non fiction craft books you were going to send out? How about putting
    "the Duke's Redemption" in there.

    I owe ya one.

  6. What a coincidence, my first and one of my all-time favorite books is also Shanna. Way back when I was young, a secretary in the law firm next door to the accounting office where I worked asked me what book I was reading? Reading? Gee, I hadn't even thought about reading. Thank goodness, things have changed and I do now try to squeeze in the reading, but I so love to do my own writing. Shanna drug me over the Roark and his kind of hero moon and I've enjoyed romance novels ever since.

    You have introduced me to the inspirational genre with your handsome protectors and beautiful words. I am your devoted reader forever. :) And I encourage everyone else to slip into one of your novels.

  7. I was introduced to romance through my aunts and grandmother. When a book was appropriate for me to read, the inside corner would state: "ok for Angi." I loved discovering American historicals at the library !!


  8. My all-time favorite romance was A Rose in Winter by Kathleen Wodiwiss, and the second one was Shauna. Carla, I can't wait to buy your new books. Gorgeous covers by the way.

  9. Hey Carla - oh I see you brought some friends from the Playground. (waving) I miss that blog!

    Shanna influenced my reading for a few years, too. LOL Before that, I'd been reading Zane Grey, Harlequin Romance, and a variety of books set in Colonial America and the Old West.

    I didn't discover Janette Oke until I started attending the church I go to now and found some of her books in the church library. I was so surprised to discover about a Canadian author 'close by'. In fact, my daughter emailed from Calgary last week saying a man she saw frequently wandering the college grounds was Janette Oke's husband who is a board member. She was especially pleased to tell me that Janette herself attended the same Bible College. I emailed back and said the next time she sees Mr. Oke to tell him how much I still enjoy Janette's books. :)

    I'm currently reading The Protector and love it! Actually, haven't found one of your books yet that I don't like. :)

    Congrats on being a double nominee at the 2010 Rita awards. I'm going to be there cheering you on!


  10. I just wanted to say thank you for having me here at Inkwell Inspirations!! Hope you all have a wonderful week. :-)


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