Secrets and Mystery Shroud the Romance of Amanda Shalaby’s Bleddyn Hall

Talk about the book you’ve written. What was the first seed of an idea you had for your book? How did it develop?

Bleddyn Hall was just itching to be put down in writing. The entire main storyline came to me in an hour and a half epiphany. I still remember sitting at my writing desk and just being hit with it … I think at one point, my husband came over to ask if I was OK and I shooed him away. It was quite an experience! Here is the back cover blurb:

After a whirlwind romance during the London Season, Lady Isabel Sutton finds herself quickly engaged to the handsome Lord Tresham Bleddyn, Earl of Dancy.  When his father passes away suddenly, however, his period of mourning delays their marriage and ruins the season for Tresham’s younger, twin sisters, Annalise and Rosamund. 

After the girls invite Isabel to their Yorkshire home, Bleddyn Hall, Tresham seems an entirely different man than the one she fell in love with in London.  Not only that, but all is not well within the walls of Bleddyn Hall. The house’s dark secrets lead to murder, mystery, and a gruesome discovery.

Was Isabel’s happy future with Tresham nothing more than an illusion?  What is more, will she survive her stay at Bleddyn Hall?


Who could resist a blurb like that? How did you celebrate the publication of your first book?

Amanda Shalaby
Oh, well, I like this question because it’s really about food. I remember my parents and my husband took me out to a fancy restaurant where we dressed up and I had the most delicious steak and lobster! Of course, that was a few books ago… to celebrate the release of Bleddyn Hall things were toned down a bit. I took my favorite co-worker with me and went to Smashburger for an extra-large burger, fries & a Häagen-Dazs ice cream shake – extra whip cream. And, would you believe, it was equally amazing! Food is the only way to celebrate!


I agree! Well, food and perhaps a glass of wine. How has writing this book changed you?

When my first book was released, I was thrilled that there was someone out there (besides my mom) who liked my story – and liked it enough to publish it. When my second book was released, it was exciting, but it was picked up by the same editor, the same publishing house. With Bleddyn Hall, it was an entirely different editor and publishing house, so it felt more than ever as if my writing talent was validated. I felt for the first time that my writing and my stories really were good. It was a very special feeling that I’ll always cherish.


What food or beverages do you turn to while you are writing? Are you a stress eater on deadline or a “lack of inspiration” eater when ideas are not flowing?

Oh my goodness, another food question. Yes! I am absolutely a “lack of inspiration” eater – but I also LOVE to eat a bowl of cereal before I start writing. I’ll sit in front of my computer screen and munch on my cereal before I type a word. It’s the weirdest habit and I don’t know how it started, but it’s been that way for years. Once I’m done with my cereal, then I feel like I can begin writing. If I didn’t eat cereal before I wrote, I don’t think I would get very far!


I’m a cereal lover, too—especially my husbands homemade granola! Perhaps I need to try your routine and see if I’m inspired. What do you keep in mind as you write? An overarching question? A theme? The last line of the book?

You know, it seems lately what I’ve had in mind is a question: ‘What will my next cover look like?’ Betty, as you know, there is absolutely nothing like seeing a new book cover! For me, a new cover is what makes the story really real – not for me, but for the outside world – and that’s what keeps me writing.


I’ve had readers tell me it was the cover of The Cavanaugh House that convinced them to read it. Is there an aspect of writing that you favor over others, e.g. dialogue, exposition, description of a scene, setting, or character, etc.? Is there one that is more difficult for you?

Dialogue, hands down. I can write an entire book on dialogue alone and fill in the details later on. Conversations are what come to me when I’m out at the grocery store, or while driving, or just drinking my morning coffee. It’s the conversations for me that drive the story and bring out the characters’ personalities – everything else comes second.


How did writing this book change you or change how you look at the world?

Publishing a book was my number one item on the bucket list. Now that several of my stories have made it out into the world, I feel like I’ve accomplished what I set out to do. Anything from here on out is gravy. It’s a peaceful feeling, and I’m very grateful.


That is wonderful, Amanda. What are you currently working on?

I’m working on a story about vigilante Victorians who, naturally, like to take the law into their own hands. It takes place in the 1880s London, and for me it’s an interesting story to throw my newest hero and heroine into. It has everything I could possibly want in a 1880s London mystery/romance – spies, asylums, murder – and, of course, ballrooms!



Is there anything else you would like readers to know about you?

I would love to hear from readers and writers alike, especially what you would like to see written in books but simply cannot find. I can be reached via any of the following social media outlets:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest


Thank you for visiting with me, Amanda. It’s always such a pleasure to hear about your books. Bleddyn Hall is on my Kindle I can’t wait to read it.

Amanda’s books are available at:

Bleddyn Hall






6 thoughts on “Secrets and Mystery Shroud the Romance of Amanda Shalaby’s Bleddyn Hall

  1. Lovely interview, Amanda, and Betty. Two of my favorite authors in one place! I love your food references, since that’s one of my favorite parts to any story–what did the upper classes feast on in the mid-19th century in America? Always fun to research.

    • Hi Becky, Thanks for visiting! Oh, it would be great if Betty could fill us in on mid-19th Century American cuisine. In Bleddyn Hall, Tresham munches on some delicious lobster rolls – I think I could go for one of those right now!

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