The Earl's Runaway Governess by Catherine Tinley #Meet the Author #Giveaway

I am  delighted to be able to introduce author Catherine Tinley to the blog today to talk to us about her writing life and her latest novel, The Earl's Runaway Governess. There is also a great Giveaway for you- details on how to enter are at the foot of this post.

Welcome Catherine! Would you like to start by telling us a little about yourself and how you started as a writer?

Hi Marianne, and thanks for having me! I’m Irish, from Newry, Co Down, which is N Ireland. I’m married, with three young adult children, a dog and two cats.

When did you first realise you were going to be a writer?

I never really thought of myself as a writer, though I’ve written for pleasure on and off for many years. I love Jane Austen (like you), and Georgette Heyer, and a couple of years ago I got an idea for a Regency Cinderella with a twist, and just started writing it to see if I could. 75,000 words later I was surprised to find that I’d written a reasonably coherent story with a beginning, middle, and end! That draft became ‘Waltzing with the Earl’, my debut novel, which was nominated for two prestigious RITA® Awards – Best Historical Romance (short) and Best First Book. I travelled to Denver, Colorado last July for the awards ceremony, and was thrilled when Waltzing won Best Historical Romance. At that point I was pretty sure I could actually start calling myself a writer.

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

I have a full-time job that I’m really passionate about. I manage a government-funded project in an under-resourced community in Belfast. We have a wonderful team – family support workers, childcare team, midwife, doula, lactation consultant, speech & language therapist – providing free, responsive services to all local families who have a child aged under 4 (including pregnant women). The work of the team is genuinely changing people’s lives.

What are your interests apart from writing?

I’m really passionate about campaigning for improvements in maternity services, based on a focus on the needs and rights of individual women, and founded on best evidence. That means moving away from the ‘Too Much Too Soon’ level of medical intervention, while of course being wary of doing ‘Too Little too Late’. These are terms highlighted in the recent Lancet journal series on maternity, and beautifully encapsulate the dilemma for maternity care providers. I chair two local maternity committees at hospitals in N Ireland, and sit on numerous committees and working groups within the health and care system. I also provide voluntary 1:1 advocacy for individual women and their partners. 

Locally, I lead a group of volunteers and together we run a range of community activities, including breastfeeding support groups, post-natal walking groups and, recently, ‘Wee Ones meeting Wise Ones’ events, where parents with babies and toddlers visit elderly residents of care homes.

My ‘fun’ interest is following Gaelic football. In Ireland, this is organised on a county basis, so my local team is Down. I love going to games (usually with my Dad and brother) and dream that one day we’ll win the All-Ireland Championship again – last time was 1994.

What are your writing routines and where do you do most of your writing?

I write in the bedroom, and have a desk in front of the window. I love working in natural light, but in winter that only happens at weekends, as I get home from work in the dark.

How many hours a day do you write?

I do 1-2 hours most evenings, while at weekends it tends to be a feast or a famine. If I’m busy with family and other commitments I might get next to nothing written, while other weekends I can do 5-6 hours a day.

Tell us about your latest book without giving the plot away.

My heroine is called Marianne (a beautiful name, if I may say so), and the story opens soon after the death of her beloved mother and stepfather. This leaves Marianne in the guardianship of her stepbrother, Henry, who is not the sort of man who should have access to any young woman. Marianne quickly realises that she is no longer safe in her own home, and decides to run away.

She creates a false name and secures a position as a governess in an Earl’s household. The story focuses mostly on the love story, but of course, all does not run smoothly, especially when her stepbrother Henry manages to track her down…

Here’s the blurb:

Who knew living with an Earl…

…would lead to such temptation?

Marianne Grant’s new identity as a governess is meant to keep her safe. But then she meets her new employer, Ash, Earl of Kingswood, and she immediately knows his handsome good looks are a danger of their own! Brusque on first meeting, Ash quickly shows his compassionate side. Yet Marianne doesn’t dare reveal the truth! Unless Ash really could be the safe haven she’s been looking for…

Can you give any hints about any upcoming books you have planned? 

I actually have three in the pipeline! I’m currently working on a novella which will be included in an anthology, due for publication in April 2019. The theme is older heroines & heroes, and second chance loves. My story features Elizabeth, the widowed mother of my heroine in The Captain’s Disgraced Lady, who absolutely deserves her own story! 

I’m also working on a book linked to The Earl’s Runaway Governess, which focuses on Marianne’s maid, Jane. It seems that Jane, although a serving maid, is actually the daughter of a gentleman. The Regency aristocracy were so strict about their rules that I love to play with them a little. That one is for Harlequin Mills & Boon, and I don’t yet have a publication date.

Finally I’m writing a romance set in Ireland in 1987, with the Irish conflict as the backdrop. It isn’t a book about the Troubles, it’s a romance – that’s important. I grew up during the Troubles, and for us it was the backdrop, the context, for our lives – school, study, work, love, loss, marriage, children. We all lived and loved as best we could, and for those of us who were younger than the Troubles, we had no idea that life could even be any different. So I wanted to show that in this book. My characters go about their lives, agonise over their love lives, and eventually find their happy-ever-after (or happy-for-now) while listening to news stories about bombs and shootings, and seeing helicopters in the sky and soldiers in the streets. It’s different to my usual Regency fare, so I’m really enjoying writing it.

Thanks again for having me!

It's a pleasure Catherine and I wonder which of your three books will be finished first! 

About the Author

Catherine Tinley writes witty, heartwarming Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings.

After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now works in Sure Start. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, and dog and can be reached at , as well as  and @CatherineTinley on twitter.

Book link: Amazon UK 

Thanks to Catherine and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources  for the interview and a place on the event. 

Check out the rest of the event!



Three winners will each receive a signed copy of The Earl’s Runaway Governess, plus a mystery book by another romance writer. (Open INT) To enter, follow the link below and good luck!

2 x UK winners and 1 x International Winner 

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
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