HOT and COMPELLING; Manda Collins

Yeah, Manda Collins-How to Entice an EarlI’m talking the sex scenes, readers! Add to that sizzling sexual tension, razor-sharp chemistry and gripping suspense. Manda Collins pulls out all the stops in HOW TO ENTICE AN EARL, the third novel in her ‘Ugly Ducklings’ series.

See for yourself…

At the Harbaugh Ball

        With his extra height, Winterson craned his neck over the crowd pressing forward. His soft curse sent a frisson of dread down Christian’s spine. “What is it?” he asked.

        “You’re not going to like it,” Winterson said with a scowl. “I’m pretty sure I don’t like it either.”

        “Is it Cecily?” Deveril asked, his blond brows drawing together.

        “No,” Winterson said, as the crowd performed a maneuver much like Christian thought the Red Sea must have done, and parted right down the middle to reveal the figure standing boldly in the entrance to the Harbaugh ballroom. “It’s not Cecily.”

        No, it certainly wasn’t. The air in the room seemed to evaporate and Christian felt the need to run a finger under his suddenly too tight neck cloth. Standing at the head of the room, wearing a blue gown that was far more revealing than any debutante had the right to wear, her hair arranged in a fashion that seemed to invoke the bedchamber, was Lady Madeline Essex, flanked by her cousins.

        “What the hell is she thinking?” he muttered, stepping forward, unsure if he was going to read her a thunderous scold or kiss her senseless.

Excerpt from HOW TO ENTICE AND EARL by Manda Collins

What a treat for me to interview my friend (and Kiss & Thrill colleague) Manda about her latest historical romantic suspense!

Manda Collins

Manda Collins

So, Manda? We’ve read all 3 novels, now you tell us: Cecily, Juliet or Maddie…Which story was your favorite and why?

Oh wow! That’s a tough one. I tend to prefer whichever one I’m working on at the moment. And each of them hold a special place in my heart. How to Dance with a Duke because it was first. How to Romance a Rake because the subject-matter was so close to my heart. And How to Entice an Earl because I just loved Maddie and Christian together

If you had an epilogue for secondary characters how would villainous Amelia Snow end up?

Well…I’m working on a novella for her even as we speak (type?) so I can’t tell you exactly what happens. But let me suffice it to say that Miss Amelia Snowe finds redemption with a gentleman from her past…

Was there really a Citizen’s Liberation Society (CLS) group? And an attempted assassination on the prime minister?

Nope! I totally made it up. Though there were, as after any war is lost, a contingent of people who had been loyal to Bonapart and just could not accept that he lost the war (twice!)

So I just extrapolated from there and created my own faction. (I learned this trick from a friend who writes contemporary romantic suspense and who makes up her own military or paramilitary groups so as to avoid ticking off folks who are experts on the real ones.)

There was an actual assassination of a Prime Minister—Spencer Percival—in 1812, but his assassin was just one man with a grievance against the government acting alone.

What is your favorite English word from that period?

Great question! And there are so many to choose from. Some of my favorites are from sporting cant—like “breadbasket” for stomach, or “brainbox” for head.

Of course ladies aren’t supposed to use cant, so I try to reserve those for the gentlemen. But I suppose my very favorites are the ones used to describe young women, like “hoyden” and “chit” and my all time favorite: “gel.” Not sure why, but “gel” makes me giggle every time.

🙂 Aside from your blistering sex scenes (I’m not kidding, readers)…Bromances! You do this so well! How do you get that authentic, witty repartee and camaraderie to come out so smoothly?

Thank you so much! I do actually have a passel of male cousins who are continually nipping at each other in that affectionate one-upsmanship that just seems to come to men naturally.

I have to admit, I find the whole thing fascinating since if women were to speak to one another that way I can only imagine the drama that would ensue.

Plus, I watch a lot of television with bromance elements: Friends, Supernatural, How I Met Your Mother. I don’t do it word for word, or situation by situation, but I take some of that witty banter and sort of transplant it to the Regency. Like most writing it starts with what if

Digressing to the topic: None of Your Business

Favorite food?

Right now it’s crème brulee. But like everything else it’s subject to change…

Mmm, yummy! Favorite holiday?

Well, as a native of Mobile, the TRUE originator of Mardi Gras in the United States (that’s right, New Orleans, I said it) I have to put in a plug for my hometown tradition. One of my earliest memories is picnicking down at FortConde on Fat Tuesday between parades. And there’s just something magical about a whole city gathering to watch brightly colored floats parade through the streets.

Er…I think we may get a lot of comments from New Orleans today…What novel are you presently reading?

I just finished Miranda Neville’s wonderful new release The Importance of Being Wicked. That lady writes wonderful stories. And I love how she incorporates her knowledge of the period and the art world of the era into this new series. She makes me so jealous!

Well. Since I’m secretly jealous of you, ‘what comes around, goes around.’ 🙂 You recently signed another 3-book trilogy. Tell us a bit about this series.

Loosely (and I mean loose-ly) based on I Know What You Did Last Summer, this new trilogy centers on three widowed friends who were all present at the death of one of their husbands. 

Somehow, someone finds out that his death wasn’t all it seemed, and begins, one by one, to blackmail them. This thread will run through all three books in the trilogy. Why_Dukes_Say_I_Do_(1)

I’m working on the edits for the first, Why Dukes Say I Do right now. It’s the story of the beautiful Lady Isabella Wharton, who is sent by her godmother, the dowager Duchess of Ormonde, to the country to convince Trevor Carey, the new Duke of Ormonde, to stop playing the role of gentleman farmer and get to London to accept his role as head of the family.

Isabella cannot imagine why anyone would wish to live in the deadly dull country. And Trevor cannot imagine why anyone would wish to live in the filthy, over-crowded city. Hilarity (mixed with some suspense and some sexy times) ensues.

Sounds terrific! Now for the question that will undoubtedly get you on a famous Comedy Channel show:

HOW did you end up with a cat named Stephen Colbert? And does the real Stephen Colbert know? (‘Cuz you know how he likes to brag about stuff like this on his show…)

Manda Collins Cat Stephen Colbert

Manda Collins Cat Stephen Colbert

Well, I am a big fan of Mr. Colbert, and when a tuxedo cat who was fond of expressing his opinions started hanging around my house, Stephen Colbert was the first name that popped into my head.

I mean, they’re so much alike. Stephen “the cat” Colbert wears a tuxedo, Stephen “the person” Colbert wears a suit. Stephen “the cat” Colbert has strongly held opinions on the subject of bears. Stephen “the person” Colbert has strongly held opinions on the subject of bears.

I could go on and on…I did briefly think about alerting Stephen “the person” Colbert about the existence of Stephen “the cat” Colbert, but I figure he’s probably got a ton of other followers in the nation who contact him about this kind of thing all the time.  He has important work to do!

Mm hmm. So readers: which one of us is going to Tweet the real Stephen Colbert? 🙂   Just kidding.   No I’m not.

New Year’s Resolution? (And it’s the 29th, so how’s that going?)

Well, I had some vague hope that I’d completely re-invent my life and finally get everything into shipshape order. But so far, no luck.

New Years Resolutions are a double-edged sword for me too, since my birthday is only a week or so after the first of the year so I end up getting overwhelmed by age milestones and year milestones at the same time. Not good.

So instead, I just decided to do the best I can with getting my daily word count done and so far that seems to be working.

Thank you so much for your grace and humor Manda! Best of luck on sales.

READERS: Were you an ugly duckling?

One commenter receives a free copy of Manda’s HOW TO ENTICE AN EARL. Check back on Thursday!

RT Book Reviews: “A charming love story with a liberal dose of suspense.”


freefireworksThe winner of The Fifth Assassin, autographed by Brad Meltzer is Rosemary Barone! Click on Contact Us above and let us know where to send it!

Congratulations, Rosemary!



About Sarah Andre

Romantic Suspense That Keeps You Up All Night! I live in sunny FL, love daydreaming, reading and chocolate. I write in the wee hours of the morning before my helpless hubby and 2 male Pomeranian pups awaken with their demands. :) My debut LOCKED, LOADED and LYING is available now.

Posted on January 29, 2013, in Author Interview, Manda Collins, Sarah Andre and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 70 Comments.

  1. Manda, Happy Release Day!

  2. Hurray Manda!
    I was very definitely an Ugly Duckling with an older and younger brother to remind me as often as possible, thank you very much! Terrible acne, stringy hair, fluctuating weight and socially graceless. It’s one of the reasons I can’t write young adult novels, LOL! Memories left too many scars. I think it wasn’t until I got to college that I began to feel any self worth.

    One of thing reasons I like your novels, Manda, is the heroines have a sense of themselves, no matter what flaws they have.

    Am I making sense? I haven’t had my coffee yet. 🙂
    HOW TO ENTICE AN EARL is a terrific novel, Manda. So proud to know you!

    • Thanks for a lovely, interview, Sarah! And boy do I know what you mean about those teen years. It was HARD to be that age.

      Thank you so much about my heroines! I do know what you mean. They just kind of walked out of my brain and onto the page like that. Self-assured and ready to solve some mysteries:)

  3. Congratulations Manda! We’re so proud of you!

    I’m so glad Miss Snow will have her own book, I think even awful girls like her deserve some measure of happiness. And she was too well drawn to leave dangling.

    The books are wonderfully written, Manda. Like eating the best bon bons you just can’t help devouring them in one sitting. You can try to stop, but its impossible. That reminds me, this is the perfect gift for VALENTINE’s DAY — no calories and all the satisfaction.

    Send a photo of that cat to Colbert — holding a copy of your book, btw!


    • Thank you, Diana! I admit that I had a soft spot for Amelia from the beginning. I am one of those bleeding hearts who can find a bit of good in even the most villainous character. (Fictional, that is.) And I always want to know how people become who they are. The novella is letting me explore that with Amelia. I hope readers will agree with you!

      Good point about Valentines Day! I can’t believe it’s almost upon us. Again. Sheesh. This year is flying by already.

      I guess I’m going to have to alert the real Stephen Colbert to his cat alter-ego at some point. I just don’t want him to think I’m doing it for PR purposes. Cause I’m totally the real deal when it comes to being his fan!

  4. Happy release day, Manda!! Loved HOW TO ROMANCE A RAKE and can’t wait to read HOW TO ENTICE AND EARL!

    Was I an ugly duckling? Well, I’m a writer, and was one even in high school… can there be any cooler extra curricular activity than being editor of your high school literary magazine?

    No regrets though. I loved working on that magazine even though I nearly started a war with the yearbook staff when we were seeking story and poetry submissions and I suggested the ad campaign “You don’t have to be popular to be in OUR book.” 😛

    • HA! I can just imagine that, Rachel.

    • HAHAHA! Rachel, that slogan is AWESOME! Heh. I totally would have been your friend in HS. Or I’d have wanted to be. You were probably too cool for me:)

      Thanks about Rake! I can’t wait to hear what you think of Earl. But no pressure! Read at your own pace! (And peril!)

  5. My morning got off to a bad start when I didn’t hear my alarm clock and woke up a half hour late. On top of that Rachel’s appliance gremlins made a transcontinental leap and killed Mr. Coffee, so no caffeine. Then I remembered I had an enticing earl waiting for me (on my kindle) 🙂 Happy release day, Manda!

    As for ugly duckling status, I was voted best mathematician in the 8th grade class poll for the yearbook. Need I say more?

    • Ugh! Sorry the appliance gremlins found you. If it makes you feel better… my furnace stopped working again today. 😦

    • Oh no! Krista! I hope the appliance Gremlins don’t catch a flight southward. I cannot afford to lose my beloved coffee pot!

      Now, how did I know you were a math whiz? That’s totally something to be proud of! I, alas, have an English major’s knack for math. Which means none at all.

      Let’s hear it for Ugly Ducklings who blossom into swans!

    • After Hurricane Ike in’08 we had no power (i.e., no coffee, no Starbucks, etc.) for 5 days. I could do without a lot (air conditioning in Houston) but the morning coffee…sigh.

  6. Oh ha ha ha. What an awesome interview, ladies! And of course I was an ugly duckling. Not only was I SKINNY and knocked kneed. My sister lifted me to see over a counter once and I bumped my mouth on said counter and knocked out a tooth. I was called “snaggle tooth” for years! Also I’m left handed, and for some reason, this was quite the grist for the taunting mill. Wait, did I just have a therapy session? I feel better.

    Manda, congratulations on your latest release and your wonderful trilogy! Who needs therapy when you can read a Manda Collins happy ending? I love all your ugly ducklings! They are all my favorite.
    And I’ve been dying to see Amelia come into her own and be redeemed. So thanks for scratching that itch!

    • Aw, Carey! That’s terrible! If it makes you feel any better you’re gorgeous now! And not a knock-knee in sight! And isn’t it funny how kids will find our vulnerabilities. Like being left-handed is so not a big deal, but I completely understand how they would have made you feel bad about it.

      I have the world’s strongest glasses prescription, so whenever I had to wear them to school (in the event of total contact failure) these two guys in my class would call me ching chong because the lenses made my eyes look so small. Which was not only hurtful, but RACIST. To this day I hate wearing my glasses in public. I’ll do it, but I don’t like it.

      Thank you re: Amelia! I can’t wait to see what you think!

      • I know, the news outlets are shining a huge spotlight on bullying these days and I think “is it that much worse than what we went through or is it that people realize the scars don’t disappear?

    • Carey, I’m left-handed too! Are any other K&T ladies lefties?

      The only time being a lefty mattered was PE – no gloves or other lefty equipment, so I was terrible at sports. Yes, I was always the last person picked for every team.

  7. An Ugly Duckling…..hmm not sure. Lol! I do know I love this series! Great interview! Thanks for sharing with us!

  8. Manda,
    Yes, I was an ugly duckling. When I was born almost 40 years ago. I was 3 months premature and weighed only 1lb 14 oz. Then went down to 1lb. 8oz. Against all odds I survived and right before leaving the hospital my baby picture was taken. Needless to say everytime someone in my family has a baby our baby pictures come out and not my niece or nephews ever look like me. I ended up with a square head because the nurses had me wedged in between two sand bags and they didn’t route me enough to keep my head round. My mom said that I had fingers and toes that looked like toothpicks. All in all I was a very ugly baby.

  9. Manda, happy release day! I love your books, and I’m excited to hear that Amelia get her own happy ending. I love redemption stories.

    I was definitely an ugly duckling. I think it’s hard for introverts not to be, regardless of appearance, though I had my share of awful haircuts, bad makeup, and poor fashion sense. I’m not sure much has changed except that I care less than I used to. 😉

    Rachel, I love your slogan. I’d never have had the audacity.

    • Thank you, Gwen! I love redemption stories too. Can’t help it.

      And don’t get me started on the hair, makeup and fashion! Though I think you’re right about introverts. People tend to think you’re being snotty even if you’re just shy. And hiding with your nose in a book doesn’t get you much practice with social graces.

  10. Congrats on the launch of the newest duckling! I’ve loved this trilogy so much and can’t wait for more wonderful stories from you, Manda.

    I was a shy duckling. It wasn’t until my late twenties that I really started to overcome the shyness. People who meet me these days find that hard to believe but it’s true! 🙂

    • Thank you, PJ! And yes, I have a hard time believing you were shy! Though I love the fact that people are capable of change. If we all stayed the same all our lives we’d be pretty dull. I know I’m glad I’m not the same person now I was at 13!

    • Thanks for commenting! Nope, your profile pic does NOT look like a woman battling shyness. 🙂

  11. Congrats on the new release. Loved How To Dance With a Duke and looking forward to reading book 2 & 3. Gonna have to make a trip to the bookstore. Great post and gonna be a must read for me. thanks for the giveway and the chance to win.

    • Thank you, Chris! I’m glad you enjoyed book 1! and I hope you like 2 and 3. I’ve had a lot of fun writing these stories and I’m happy when people like them! Thanks for coming by!

  12. sorry forgot to add. I was not an ugly duckling I just choose not to date a lot until after I graduated. I was worrited about school and just not a lot of guys wanted to date me.

  13. I thought I was an Ugly Duck, but had my siblings to thank for all the teasing that convinced me I was Sunny, the Funny Bunny. This never failed to tear me up inside as I let the tears go unable to stop the flow. The ackward stage lasted for quite awile and then, I got height and grew up. There are times when the mirror is my friend and a little bit of lipstick helps put sparkle in the eyes.

    • Aww, sorry about the sibling teasing, Sunny! Brothers and sisters can be pains in the neck. But I’m glad that you are happier now. I am totally a lipstick girl! My sister makes fun of me for my dependence on it. She says that if I were swept up in a tornado the first thing I’d do before the rescuers came would be to put some lipstick on. What can I say? I feel naked without it!

    • Jealous of you both. That’s another thing I didn’t learn at the tween/teen stage…appropriate amount and application of make up.

  14. Congratulations, Manda! I can’t wait to read your third book–I know it will be as wonderful as the first two!
    I too was an ugly ducking–really, really tall and skinny with braces and scoliosis. And to make it worse, I was also an honor student and secretary of the Latin club. Most boys don’t ask out girls who carry around Latin dictionaries. Luckily, when I grew up I found a man who did!

    So, so proud of you!!!

    • AND you stayed in the library reading, reading, reading. Very much a pre-requisite. Welcome to our CLUB. 🙂

    • mandacollinsauthor

      Sharon it’s too bad we weren’t in school together. We could have been tall together! Thanks for the kind words:) You are awesome! So glad we all grew out of our Ugly Duckling phase!

  15. Congrats on your latest!! I’ve enjoyed your previous works! Youngest of sisters.. no older brothers .. but sisters can be trying also!

    • mandacollinsauthor

      Thanks, Cate! Sisters can definitely try one’s patience. I only have the one, but she’s enough!

    • Thanks for commenting, Cate. Yes, as the older sister I agree, we were very trying. I probably ought to apologize to my little sister one of these days… 🙂

  16. Manda, sorry I could stop in more today. I hope you have had an awesome release day and are treating yourself to a nice dinner out or at least doing something special to celebrate. I’ve enjoyed your books and look forward to this one and your next trilogy!

    • mandacollinsauthor

      Thanks, Lena! No worries! You are going above and beyond! Really haven’t done anything special today aside from visiting here and at The Romance Dish. I did enjoy some celebratory chocolate, though:)

  17. *couldn’t* stop, not *could* stop

  18. Nice interview. I’d like to say no.

  19. Hmmm…I’d say I was a Normal Duckling. Thanks for a fun interview. Congrats on the release of your newest novel.

  20. Sharlene Wegner

    I was never an ugly duckling, but I was probably a bit of a nerd. In middle school, I was taller than almost all of the boys. Adults loved to say I would be happy to be tall when I was older, but at the time it didn’t seem like it. Now my daughter is in middle school & tall, and it is a non-issue. Can’t wait to read the new book!

    • Hi Sharlene,
      That’s interesting! I would think being a tall girl in grade/middle school would still be a horror to live thru. Glad for your daughter! My posture still suffers because of those years.

      Thank you for stopping by to comment. Hope you enjoy Manda’s new book.

    • mandacollinsauthor

      I was the tall girl in middle school too, Sharlene. And I got so tired of being asked if I played basketball I could have screamed. Glad it’s no longer a problem. Thanks for coming by!

  21. Well, Manda! Busy day for you. Hope your sales soar and your fan mail triples! This is SUCH an excellent novel and a fabulous way to end the Ugly Ducklings series! Looking forward to WHY DUKES SAY I DO.

    Off to figure out a way to send the real Stephen Colbert this link.

    • mandacollinsauthor

      Lol! Thank you for being such a great hostess, Sarah! If you talk to Stephen tell him his alter ego says hi!

  22. I don’t think I was an ugly duckling but there were some physical features, like my freckles that I did not like but now they make me look younger so I like them.

    • Aww, I like freckles, Maureen! But I can totally see how they would not be happy-making to a teenager. I was always one of those kids who looked thirty when I was fifteen so I think I would have liked them then the way you like them now. Thanks for coming by!

  23. I absolutely was an ugly duckling. And a nerd on top of that!!! Sounds like an interesting read. 😉 Hope to read it soon.

  24. Oh, yes, was I ever! I had braces, glasses, was super skinny (not as great as one might think), no boobs, and shy. Plus I had a obbession with Princess Diana and the British Royals AND I was a preacher’s daughter. So I Was Weird! Good thing I was smart or I would have thought that was my life forever. Went off to college, got contacts, braces left straight teeth, and embraced my inner nerd. 🙂

    • What a combination, Alisa! I wasn’t into the royal family back then, but OMG I was such an Anglophile! I felt like I was the only kid at my school who watched PBS and all I wanted in the world was a trip to England! I thought if I could get there, I would be truly happy. Heh. I did get to go in college and it was awesome, but hardly as life changing as I thought it would be! And thank goodness for contact lenses! i swear they changed my life a lot more than that trip to London did! 🙂

  25. Hi, Manda! First of all, let me say how excited I am to read your new book. Just the little spit-fire look on the heroine on the cover cracks me up. I’m betting the novel will be equally as delicious as the cover.

    An ugly duckling? Oh yes! When I went into 7th grade, I was going through the horrible zit stage, unruly hair and awkwardly, horribly shy. I had been coddled in elementary school by having only female teachers only to be thrown into a class with a male teacher who should have been locked up in a looney bin. He was cruel and made the entire class miss lunch if it suited him. Anyway, I got passed that grade, the moron teacher, the zits calmed down, the hair looked better and I felt better about myself. Also, a cute boyfriend came along which was simply the icing on the cake. I guess we all go through these times which only makes it even more imperative for parents to be on the lookout for it with their children and do everything they can to help them through that stage.

    • I’m so glad you like the cover, Connie! I like that sassy expression on the model’s face too. Like she’s up to something:)

      I totally know what you mean about those middle school teachers. I had some doozies. But maybe not as bad as yours was. I’m glad it all worked out. I think while you’re going through though troubling times you feel like it will never end, but it eventually does. And I think we end up stronger for having gone through them. But yes, parents should keep an eye out so they can guide their kids through their own hard times. The key is to make sure they don’t feel alone.

      Thanks for coming by and sharing your story!

  26. Yes, I was also an ugly ducking. I weighed 4 pounds at birth, and upon seeing me, my dad said I was the ugliest baby he had ever seen. Luckily, I grew out of it.

    Manda, I love your series, and am looking forward to reading this one.

  27. Definitely! and I didn’t have a sister or girl friends that were good at making the best of what one has. A big part of the problem was that I am tall and when in school taller than most of the boys. Having a brother who always picked on me didn’t help either.

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