Get into Bed with Anne Gracie (Author Interview)

AnneGracie4_2Keira: How does a governess become a companion?

Anne Gracie: In my book The Autumn Bride Abby is sacked from her governess job when she smuggles in her sister and two friends for the night. They have nowhere else to stay — they’ve just escaped after being kidnapped and taken to a brothel. Things go from bad to worse, and in desperation Abby goes to break into an old mansion in search of something to steal. Instead she finds aristocratic Lady Beatrice Davenham in dire straits — bedridden and in the hands of lazy and neglectful servants.

So with the old lady’s cooperation she and her “sisters” pretend to be Lady Beatrice’s nieces, thus improving everyone’s situation.

Keira: Why was Lord Davenham in the orient?

Anne: When he was just eighteen Lady Beatrice’s nephew, Max, Lord Davenham had inherited a title and a mound of debts. For the last nine years, he’s been away in the Orient, making his fortune, and now he’s come home. He’s not impressed to find his home invaded by impostors. Especially when his aunt informs him that he’s got nothing to say about it — if she wants to have nieces, she’ll have nieces!

Keira: What is the most interesting Regency rule you’ve come across in your research?

Anne: I honestly can’t think of one — the thing is, people bent “rules” in those days just as much as they do now. The important thing was not to get caught.

Keira: A governess’s most loveable qualities are. . .

Anne: My heroine, Abby is the kind of person who takes care of other people. She’s a loyal friend and sister, and she’s also impetuous — she can’t ignore another person in trouble — and that’s what gets her into trouble. She’s a fighter, too — she stands up to Max from the very beginning.

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There was the sound of a scuffle, and she ran down the last few steps to the landing in time to see Featherby fall to the floor and a tall, dark-haired stranger push past him and enter the house. Before she could gather her wits, he’d crossed the hallway and was racing up the stairs toward her, taking them two at a time on long, powerful legs.

“Stop!” Abby braced herself, flinging her hands out to bar his way. “You can’t come up here.”

She fully expected him to shove her roughly aside, as he’d shoved Featherby, but amazingly, he stopped.

She had an impression of a hard, chiseled jaw, a bold nose, a firm, compressed mouth. And he was tall; even standing three steps below her, he was taller than she. Her heart was pounding. What sort of a man would shove his way into a lady’s house with so little ceremony? At this hour of the morning?

He was casually dressed in a loose dark blue coat, a white shirt, buff breeches and high black boots. His cravat was carelessly knotted around a strong, tanned throat.     Despite the almost civilized clothing, he looked like . . . like some kind of marauder. His jaw was unshaven, rough with dark bristles; his thick, dark hair was unfashionably long and caught back carelessly with a strip of leather. Gray eyes glittered in a tanned face.

A dark Viking—surely no Englishman would have skin that dark, burnished by years under a foreign sun.

“Who’s going to stop me?” He moved up one step.

She didn’t move. “I am.”

Keira: How do you define love?

Anne: I couldn’t — I just know it’s everywhere, all around us, and has many different forms and faces. In The Autumn Bride, for instance, there isn’t just love developing between the hero and heroine, there’s love between the sisters, and between the four girls and the old lady.  The old lady adores her autocratic nephew and even though she drives him to distraction, he adores her too. It’s everywhere — you just have to know how to look for it.

Buy: The Autumn Bride (A CHANCE SISTERS ROMANCE)

GIVEAWAY: 1 copy of The Autumn Bride is up for grabs! Enter by leaving a comment or asking Anne a question!

Private Jets in Regency England?

meganmulryroyalpainGuest Blog by Megan Mulry, author of A Royal Pain

Thanks so much for having me! Whenever I look at the name of your blog, there’s always a voice in my mind saying, “Check. Check. Check!” When I started reading romance novels I was like a really bad addict. I wanted it all—Dukes. Earls. Ball gowns. Private jets.

Wait. What? Private jets in Regency England?

And I didn’t want time travel. I wanted a duke. And I wanted him now. As in the present. I wanted him all reserved and proper (which is really just a veneer over all that roiling passion and encouraging prowess to bring the heroine to…well, you get the picture). I came to this genre pretty late in life, via Julia Quinn and Judith McNaught and Amanda Quick. I love snappy dialogue and I love angst. I can tolerate even the most protracted, diabolical misunderstandings if the characters have me hooked. Flowers from the Storm, for example? Just yes.

So how did I get from there to A Royal Pain? The short answer is I have no clue. But let’s just pretend for the sake of this blog that I have the slightest idea as to how or why any of this came to be. So there I am reading every Amanda Quick at the public library, plowing through McNaught and Quinn and Eloisa James. I’m still chugging along. I’m reading and reading, not even giving a thought to writing and then BAM! it hits me. I want something…a mash-up. I want all the meticulous social observation of the drawing room Regency and the powerful Duke (the one in A Royal Pain is very responsible, but don’t worry, in Earl Meets Girl his younger brother is a horrible reprobate in need of the redemption that only one kind-hearted American girl can give him)…but I digress.

Right. No time travel! I just wasn’t feeling this as a time travel idea. But I couldn’t let go of wanting all that buttoned-up duke-ish manpower right here in the midst of our (supposedly) sexually liberated present. Guess what? Turns out you can write whatever the hell you want when you don’t have an agent or a book deal! (In fact, you can do that after you have an agent and a book deal, too…but it becomes slightly more complicated…apparently readers develop something called “expectations”…but that would be another blog!) Anyway, I pretty much just sat down and tried to weave all of those ideas and emotions into one big story. And if I was able to draw upon some of the crap that life had thrown me, all the better. Writers are allowed—nay, encouraged!—to use every last bit of that…imaginary…stuff. Mostly imaginary. Reified, maybe?

Well, anyway. I suppose I followed the write-what-you-want-to-read rule before I had ever heard of that rule. And I wanted it hot. So I did that, too. I made it steamy. As my editor said, “I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but I think we might need to take out a few of the sex scenes.” And if it turns out that other people end up liking the duke and the jets and the, ahem, intimacy, well, that’s like the world’s best cherry on top. Because, like any good addict, I merely grew up to become a supplier.

Buy: A Royal Pain

GIVEAWAY: 1 copy of A Royal Pain up for grabs. Open to US or CAN readers. Enter by leaving a comment. Share some of the ideas you love to read and want written! Last day to enter: November 24, 2012.

Walking through a Book’s Setting

Lynne SilverGuest blog by Lynne Silver, author of Heated Match

My husband travels a lot for work. Like so much he’s on a first name basis with quite a few flight attendants. As one of my friends (whose husband also travels a ton) says, when her husband boards the plane, he’s greeted with, “Do you want your BJ now or later?” Ha!

My point is this. He has miles accrued. Enough miles that we were able to pull out the passports and take the family to London over the summer. Now I’m a writer, and three of my published novellas have been set in Regency London, so you can imagine I was a bit gaga about going to London.

I had a vision in my mind. We’d explore palaces, shop on Bond Street, stroll by the Serpentine. My boys (ages 7 & 10) had other ideas. It was an amazing trip to London, though not the writer retreat I’d dreamed of.

Royal Teddy GuardWe (window) shopped on Jermyn St. We did stroll by the Serpentine! And I did get to explore Kensington Palace, but the accompanying chorus of “Moooommm, this is soooo boring,” quickened the visit.

It was too bad I don’t write medieval romance because much time was spent in the white tower at the Tower of London examining weaponry and suits of armor.

London is an amazing city with an acute juxtaposition of modern and really, really old. One of the things I noticed was the influx of London inhabitants from all over the world. Almost no one we met was a British citizen. Everyone had come to the city seeking financial opportunities not available in their country of origin.

Lynne SilverThis is one of the reasons, I set part of my book, Heated Match, in London. In Heated Match, the villain needs a place to hide in plain sight. He runs a legitimate fertility clinic, but with a very shady underbelly. My poor hero and heroine discover this underbelly and get caught up in a very dangerous situation.

It was fun to once again use London as a backdrop for a book, but in a totally different context than my regencies.

So tell me which settings do you love? Is there a book or movie in which the setting becomes another character. A movie for me that comes to mind is Stealing Beauty with Liv Tyler. The artist retreat in Tuscany might be the main character for me.

www.lynnesilver.com
@lynnesilver

Buy: Heated Match (Coded for Love, Book One)

Get into Bed with Samantha Grace (Author Interview 2)

little white lieKeira: What little white lie inspired Miss Lavigne’s Little White Lie?

Samantha Grace: The words “little white lie” in the title are meant a bit tongue-in-cheek. What seems like a small lie in the beginning—allowing Captain Daniel Hillary to believe she is a widow—places her future and that of her brother and cousin in jeopardy. But probably what is most damaging isn’t necessarily a lie. When the captain notices she seems desperate to leave New Orleans, he asks if she is in trouble. Is she a fugitive? She tells him no, but she is running from someone and this places everyone on ship in danger. Of course, Lisette couldn’t have predicted the danger, because it’s unreasonable that her fiancé would pursue her for her small dowry.

Keira: When is lying acceptable?

Samantha: Tough question. Sometimes what I might consider the “truth” is actually just my opinion. Giving my unvarnished opinion may cause more harm than good in some situations, such as when there is nothing the person can do about it. For example, you’re walking into a party and your friend asks if the dress she’s wearing makes her look fat. Maybe I think she should have chosen a black dress, because she’s still carrying some baby weight from her last pregnancy and it shows in the white dress. What would it accomplish by telling her what I think? Is she really going to run out and buy a new dress at the moment? No. She would go into the party feeling uncomfortable and self-conscious. Why would I steal her joy?

Another time it makes no sense to give a dissenting opinion is when it doesn’t really matter what I think. If my friend loves her new haircut and I think it looks hideous, it seems arrogant to think my opinion is more valuable than hers. I’ll keep my mouth closed.

On the other hand, I work closely with other writers and I’m asked to give feedback on something they’ve written. I always tell them “this is just my opinion”, but if I see a potential problem or have a negative reaction to a character, I feel a duty to respectfully tell them what I think. If I’m not honest, it may hurt their chances of making a sale, or they might receive criticism from readers. It’s their decision if they want to listen to my feedback.

I feel I have to weigh the potential harm against the good when deciding whether or not to tell the truth. The only time I would lie without hesitation is if the truth would place another person in danger.

Keira: Is it ever acceptable if the intentions were selfish?

Samantha: Wow. Another great question. Essentially, most intentions could be considered selfish, I suppose. If we lie to protect a friend’s feelings, it’s because we don’t want to lose the friendship, right? But if we are lying for self-gain, then no. I don’t think it’s ever acceptable.

Keira: Why does Captain Daniel Hillary not allow women on board his ship? Is it superstition?

Samantha: Daniel had a woman die on his ship, so he thinks sea travel is too dangerous for women. I can’t go into more detail without giving away an important part of the story. :)

Keira: Fill in the Blank: Quick weddings lead to _____________.

Samantha: interesting wedding nights.

I had fun writing Daniel and Lisette’s wedding night scene. It has a dose of humor along with a little sweetness and a bit of steaminess. I couldn’t write a sweeping love scene without it feeling generic. It really had to fit the characters.

Keira: What is your next project?

Samantha: I recently returned revisions for the last Beau Monde Bachelors story, Lady Vivian Defies a Duke, to my new editor, Leah Hultenschmidt. The book will be released May 1, 2013, and here is a basic overview of the story.

Luke Forest, the Duke of Foxhaven, inherited more than a title with his father’s untimely death; he has a fiancée he never knew existed. Luke isn’t any more suited to be a husband than he is to fill his father’s Hessians, so he pays a call to his betrothed, hoping he can convince her to break their agreement. When Lady Vivian refuses, he proposes to find her a replacement husband at his mother’s house party and she agrees. Little does he realize Lady Vivian intends to win his heart long before they reach their destination.

Samantha Grace Spring

Author Bio: Samantha Grace made her debut earlier this year with Miss Hillary Schools a Scoundrel. Her newest regency romance, Miss Lavigne’s Little White Lie, received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, and she did a happy dance in her kitchen. Samantha lives with her husband, their two tenacious kids, and an endless parade of characters that inhabit her imagination. You can connect with Samantha at:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Lady Scribes

Buy: Miss Lavigne’s Little White Lie

Review: Sweet Deception (Veiled Seduction, Book 2) by Heather Snow

Sweet Deception heather snowReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Location: Derbyshire, June 1817

Derick Aveline is the Viscount Scarsdale. He’s come back to his family’s estate, White Peak. He’s steps into Aveline Castle and is greeted to some strange goings-on. Emma Wallingford has a past history with Derick. He has an endearing nickname for her that you will just have to read the story to find out what it is – it’s not a nickname that you would expect.

Heather creates a scene where there’s a lot of water. You can see the whole thing unfold and you can almost hear it too. And now the mystery begins. What does Heather have in-store for her readers in book two of the Veiled Seduction series?

Emma’s brother is the magistrate, George Wallingford. We find out he’s not all that well which just adds to the mystery. If you like a little intrigue with your regency romance, you can’t go wrong in adding this to your library. If this is a title that you want to read over and over, I would suggest buying the paperback edition. Electronics can fail where actual paper doesn’t (as long as you take good care of it).

I admire Heather for making Emma a strong woman at a time where I’m sure most women did as they were told. She lives in an era where women don’t do a man’s job. But Emma, at times, seems to be just a little smarter than them. But they also listen to what she has to say.

One scene reminded me of “Dirty Dancing” – experienced older man and a young woman coming into her own. I certainly could picture Patrick Swayze playing the part of Derick. The minute you get to the scene in the book, you will understand.

Please make sure to read the “Author’s Note” at the end of this story. I found the information very interesting. In the past, I used to skip this part of the book. But now I find that I was missing out on a lot of information when I did that.

Heather also teases us by giving us a peek at her next book Sweet Madness that is coming out next year. If you haven’t read her first book Sweet Enemy, after you read this book I would go back and read the book that started it all. Or since you have the time, read the series in order. Heather has me looking forward to next year but also disappointed that it is so far away.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Sweet Deception: A Veiled Seduction Novel

384 pages (paperback)/613KB (e-book)

Review: Too Wicked to Wed (Lords of Midnight, Book 1) by Cara Elliott

too wicked to wedHero: The Earl of Killingworth, Connor Linsley, is not your usual Earl of the Realm. He works for a living earning money from his gambling den and brothel that carters to men of the peerage. He hides this fact from others by pretending to be just any other high roller in the establishment. Like any alpha he keeps his heart guarded, but the fiery Alexa gets to him like no other could – when she lays claim to half of his business and refuses to give it back!

Heroine: Lady Alexa Hendrie is fierce. She tracks her brother to The Wolf’s Lair and demands of Connor his location. The price for that information is a kiss (and it will knock your socks off and Connor’s too). Later unbeknownst to her, Connor is robbed at the gaming tables and from his safe. When his pledge of half the business (which is exchanged for money from a friend) comes across her path–while she’s dressed as a man playing cards–she wins it and uses it to blackmail Connor into helping her locate her wayward brother.

Review: The story really picks up the pace when Connor gets shot and the two of them flee to Linsley Close, Connor’s abandoned estate by the coast. There they pose as newlyweds while Connor convalesces. It’s pretty funny when the housekeeper walks in on them to bring Connor sustenance. These two lovebirds have got some pretty blistering chemistry. There’s lots of kissing – the really hot kind!

I also like the other lords who are Connor’s friends: Gryff and Cam. Gryff is going to have to lay off the booze, it’s not that attractive, but his other qualities make up for it (for now). Cam is seriously hot and a thief. I want to read his book. Yum!

Favorite Quote:

“Why the devil does she feel she must take such awful risks?”

“Is that a rhetorical question,” asked Cameron. “Or do you wish for an honest answer?”

[…]

“Because she loves you. She’s willing to risk anything to win your heart.” Cameron crossed one booted leg over the other. “And you, you ungrateful cur, ought to have your teeth kicked out through your arse if you don’t appreciate what a rare and wondrous gift that is.”

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Too Wicked to Wed (Lords of Midnight)

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Get into Bed with Lydia Dare (Author Interview 2)

Susan: If a genie could bring your writing muse to life, what would he/she look like?

Tammy: It would be a man that resembles my husband who says, “Get your ass in the chair and write something.” That’s all it takes for me. To get my rear end in the chair in a quiet place. No muse required.

Ava: I am the least observant person you’ll ever meet. So if I saw my muse, I wouldn’t recognize her/him.

Susan: And do you share the same one? One evening with Tammy. The next with Ava?

Tammy: We are VERY different, so I don’t think our muses would even like one another, much less choose to hang out together. Unless there was alcohol involved.

Ava: That is absolutely true. We are night and day. I can’t imagine our muses hanging out.

Susan: Please tell LRP readers who “you” think is the sexiest Hadley brother. I for one, am voting for (Wes) Weston. He’s the sexy scarred twin. Yummalicious!

Tammy: He’s a little too beta for me. I like the alpha heroes a little bit more, like the one we’re writing now – Archer Hadley (who’s the oldest Hadley gentleman).

Ava: Oh, there’s something delicious about each of them. Yes, Wes is a beta (there can only be one alpha after all). But he loves Maddie so much. He would swim across the ocean for her or climb Mt. Everest. I would love a guy to love me as much as Wes does Maddie.

Susan: If I were to gaze into a crystal ball and say, “The Wolf Who Loved Me!” Who or what would I see?

Tammy: I hope you would see a somewhat spoiled girl who grows into a character with a spine of steel at the end. And a hero who loved her from day one, and finds even more to love her for as she grows.

Ava: As Maddie is very much like me in personality, I think I’m taking a little offense to the “spoiled girl” comment. ;)

Susan: (Confessions from a reader): If I don’t take time to read, I resemble something the wolf dragged in…while he was foxed. Yep. Stress does NOT look good on me. See, reading isn’t just a hobby. It’s a necessity. And some authors think their jobs insignificant.

Tammy (Confessions from an author): If I don’t read, my creativity well dries up. I try to avoid things I’m writing, like wolves or fantasy, if I’m writing wolves or fantasy, but I read EVERYTHING ELSE. I have to keep reading and if I ever get bogged down in a really bad book, I have to force myself to read something new or I feel like my writing is dragging me through sludge every time I sit down at the computer.

Ava (Confessions from an author): If I don’t have a project waiting for me, I get fidgety. I can’t remember a time I’ve ever been “caught up” on all deadlines. I am overbooked with too much to do, but the idea of having nothing on the horizon scares me to death.

Susan: Could you help a girl in need? I’m searching for a speedy way to snag me a Hadley. And since Lady Madeline’s been eyeing Wes, how can I win over Archer or Grayson?

LD: Well, I think you’re out of luck. You have to:

  • Catch one of them in the process of shifting into wolf form so he’ll haul you off to Gretna.
  • Have a Lycan birthmark of your very own on your inner thigh (that he just can’t stop thinking about).
  • You’ll have to be the prize in a game of cards. (This one might actually be do-able…)

Susan: Do you have any idea how many hours I’ve logged in just staring at your covers? Too many! That’s how many. And I’m going to add loads more. What say you of The Wolf Who Loved Me cover?

LD: It’s our best cover ever! It has the historical mixed evenly with the handsome man and the woman in appropriate dress. The setting is perfect and the background is so believable. We couldn’t be happier with it!

Susan: (Siblings and their commonalities): My sister and I love reading Lydia Dare novels. Actually, Isabel reviewed Never Been Bit last year while I was on vacation. Yep. Started a feud that’ll be discussed for many Thanksgivings to come. Lol.

Tammy: My sister and I have a Thanksgiving tradition as well. I don’t eat meat so I usually make a big eggplant parmesan to take to dinner. My sister loves it so much that it has become a family tradition for me to hide it and pretend I didn’t make it. The kids get into the action and she spends a bit of time looking for it. It’s a crazy thing to do, but it makes me happy to see her doubt whether or not I made her favorite dish!

Ava: Other than shared genetics, I don’t have a thing in common with any of my siblings. I don’t even look like them. They’re all tall with pretty blue eyes. I’m not tall and my eyes are hazel. But personality-wise, you will not find four more diametrically different people as my sister, my brothers and me.

Susan: Do the Hadley brothers have any shared commonalities? A love of brandy perhaps?

LD: They share a love of women, spirits and all of them have a penchant for getting in trouble! They also share the need for an alpha, since their dad died fairly young. It’s not until Dashiel Thorpe finds his way into their pack that they realize what it’s like to have a leader. Or someone to whom they should be accountable.

Susan: This area is for shameless self-promotion. What would you like to share with LRP readers?

LD: We just finished Wolfishly Yours, which is the next book in this series. It features Grayson Hadley and Liviana Mayeux, who just happens to be from New Orleans. We’re currently writing the last book in the series, which is Archer’s story.

By the way, Tammy has a release writing as Tammy Falkner in September, called A Lady and Her Magic. Faeries in Regency England!

And Ava has several straight Regency Historicals (meaning no wolves, vamps or witches) as Ava Stone on shelves as well.

The Wolf Who Loved Me

THE WOLF WHO LOVED ME BY LYDIA DARE – IN STORES APRIL 2012

Regency England Has Gone to the Wolves!

Lady Madeline Hayburn Has Money Problems…

Specifically, she has so much of it that she’s dogged by fortune hunters, including her bewilderingly attractive, penniless neighbor, with his wild nature and uncouth manners…

Weston Hadley Has An Identity Crisis…

Specifically, he’s just turned into a wolf while Madeline was watching. Now it’s up to the regal lady to tame the wild beast… if she can…

Buy: The Wolf Who Loved Me

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Lydia Dare is the writing team of Tammy Falkner and Ava Stone, who have written two paranormal historical romance series. Both Tammy and Ava are active members of the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers and live near Raleigh, North Carolina. Together they are working on the next book in their new paranormal historical series as Lydia Dare, Wolfishly Yours, set to release in November 2012. For more information, please visit http://www.lydiadare.com/.

GIVEAWAY: I have 2 copies of The Wolf Who Loved Me. Open to US and Canada only. Enter by leaving a comment. Last day to enter: April 13, 2012.

Get into Bed with Deb Marlowe (Author Interview 2)

Keira: So ouch – your heroine in Tall, Dark and Disreputable has loved the hero from girlhood. How were you inspired to create this unrequited love match? What do you like best about them?

Deb Marlowe: Something about unrequited love really touches me.  I’m not sure why–my only experience with it is a celebrity crush on Nathan Fillion.  :-)  But there’s just something about a steadfast regard and feelings that last even when they are not returned.  Maybe it’s because when they finally do get together, there’s such a lovely feeling of happy surprise on one end and completion and rightness on the other.

Keira: When a man rejects marriage to you (and flees to another continent – let’s not leave that out!) how should you take it? What advice do you have? Is it different from how Portia handles it?

Deb: LOL.  I guess I’m just a hopeless romantic.  Poor Portia had a rough time of it.  She was young.  She didn’t realize her feelings for Mateo were so obvious.  I always thought that Portia would have waited to make her move, until she was a little older and Mateo had had a chance to have the adventures he dreamed of.  But those impatient fathers forced the issue and she was left with a rejection to a proposal she hadn’t had a hand in.  If she made a mistake, I think it was letting that rejection color her image of herself and not fighting a betrothal to a man she didn’t love.

In real life, I believe you should always take your shot at love.  Be careful of your timing, always tell the truth, but go for it.  Far better to be rejected than to wonder ‘what if’ for the rest of your life.  However, if you go for it and he switches continents, you should grieve and then move on!  :-)

Keira: The laws for women and property are very different in Regency England than how we’re used to them. What legal discourse does a woman have if her husband gambled away her home? Does it change if that home was in her name?

Deb: In that time, when a woman married her property became her husband’s.  This was why the marriage settlement was so important.  Almost like a prenuptial agreement of today, it would set out the wife’s financial future.  Marriage settlements detailed what her pin money would be, what happened to the property she brought to the marriage, what her dowager income would be if she was made a widow, what would happen if she were left with no children or with young children.  It also set out what would be provided for daughters of the marriage or for younger sons.  A woman would count on her father to make the best possible arrangements for her and her property.  That’s why it was such a blow to Portia to find out her father had failed to secure Stenbroke for her.

Keira: Meddling fathers from the beyond and their wills have screwed things up again for their progeny. Readers either love or hate how parental wills force the hero and heroine together. How do you feel about them as a plot device?

Deb: I think they are extremely useful.  When every editor and reader wants a book about a Duke or an Earl, and you have the mostly unassailable laws of primogeniture to deal with, a wonky will is sometimes the only way to get our characters into a really interesting situation!

Keira: There’s a yummy scene in the woods at one point and I have to ask, what makes sex scenes so hot in your opinion?

Deb: Just as in real life, it’s the brain and the heart that make sex scenes hot.  IMO a sexy scene has to be intricately connected with the inner demons and conflict of each character.  It should be a game changer and not something that can be easily skipped.

Keira: I love wild goose chases in romance. They’re so much fun – how did you go about building all the layers? Did it come to you all at once or did it reveal itself to you in a similar manner to the hero and heroine in Tall, Dark and Disreputable?

Deb: It all evolved very naturally.  I knew how many steps I needed and I had a vague idea about each one.  I knew each adventurous stepping stone had to reveal a clue about the mystery, but also peel back a layer of character, and as I reached each one, the details really just fell right into place.

Keira: Part of the setup for Regency romances is the research into clothing and manners. How would you dress yourself if you were to appear in one of your novels?

Deb: I actually have dressed up in Regency costume once.  I was with a group on a tour and we wore Regency garb while we danced with the Jane Austen Dancers in the Assembly Rooms in Bath.  It was so much fun, but I didn’t get to choose my gown.  Given the choice, I’d design something with lots of fabulous embroidery and a sparkling overskirt.  And sleeves.  :-)

Keira:  What is the most interesting or crazy manner rule you’ve come across?

Deb: I think it’s a little post Regency, but the complicated etiquette for taking tea–milk must come first, always eat savories first, raised pinky shows class, proper placement of the spoon–all of that seems very silly to me.

Keira:  What do you have up your sleeve next?

Deb: I have another release in June!  I’m so excited about Unbuttoning Miss Hardwick. It’s the story of a reclusive nobleman and the woman he hires to help him organize and display his incredible weapons collection. It’s a rollicking story with such disparate elements as a mysterious Hindu spear, party planning, an obsession with men in boots and the very difficult feat of dropping the masks we hide behind in order to embrace love.

Buy: Tall, Dark and Disreputable