Blog Archives

Why Earl’s Fall in Love Winner!

Thank you so much, Manda Collins for such a great piece on the importance of setting in a book.  After reading both the book and Tuesday’s post, I felt as if I’d had a mini-vacation, away from the stresses of my life.  Bath sounds so lovely — I cannot wait to see it in person someday.

We had an amazing turn out for Manda’s release of Why Earl’s Fall in Love.  The winner of a copy of this latest installment in the Wicked Widow’s series is:  Diane Sallans!  Please contact us within ten days to claim your prize.

In the meantime, the rest of you — perhaps not lucky enough to win — are still lucky enough to be able to go out and read this great book.  For an excerpt, click HERE or on the photo below.

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Pretty, practical Georgie is nothing like the women Con usually woos–especially since she seems blind to his charms. But his elderly aunt is so fond of her that Con is determined at least to be sociable…with the occasional flirtation thrown in just for fun. But things take a serious turn when a dangerous figure from Georgie’s unhappy past appears and threatens to bring her harm. Con will do whatever it takes to keep Georgie safe. And if he can show her that all men are not menaces, he might be able to keep her in his arms and never let go…

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Author Erica Monroe joins us on Tuesday to tell us about her Rookery Rogues series. Read on for a sneak peak at what people are saying about her debut book:  A DANGEROUS INVITATION.

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“Dark and atmospheric. . . Erica Monroe delivers a different kind of Regency Romance. Weaving suspense and romance, A Dangerous Invitation takes you on a ride through London’s rookeries and into a unique new series.” – Deb Marlowe, Award Winning Author

“Fabulously researched with a fantastic love story and page-turning adventure. This promises to be a great series!” -Darcy Burke, Bestselling Author

Manda Talks Location, Location, Location!

Our very own Manda Collins has her newest Wicked Widows novel out today!  Yippee!  The characters in Why Earls Fall in Love are so delicious, I’ve been counting the days until its release.   Manda and I sat down to discuss what makes her novels so special.  (Oh, and how to win a Manda Collins novel today! See below.)

:::Uncorking a bottle of champagne and passing out glasses for Manda and all our readers:::

Diana:  Your settings in this series are really wonderful.  I feel as if I’m swept away on a vacation every time I read one of your books.  How important do you think the places you write about are to your plots?

Manda:  It would be difficult to imagine one of Colin Dexter’s wonderful Inspector Morse mysteries set in anyplace other than Oxford England. The same could be said if one were tempted to move the action of one of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple mysteries to say, Texas. As with real estate, location in books matters! Especially when it comes to suspense. It can affect where the action takes place, what resources the characters will have at their disposal to solve the mystery, and even what sorts of danger could lurk for our hero and heroine.

Diana: ::: passing a tray of delicate, Regency-style cucumber sandwiches to Manda and our guests::: So, what made you pick the location for Why Earls Fall in Love? 

Bath Abbey at twilight. (Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Bath Abbey at twilight. (Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0)

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Roman Baths, Bath, England. Photo by Elissa Rolle (own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

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Farleigh-Hungerford Castle, Somerset, England. “Photo by Ian Knox [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons”

Manda:  When I chose to set my latest Wicked Widows novel, Why Earls Fall in Love, in Bath, I did so for several reasons. First of all, as companion to an elderly lady, Georgina would’ve be very likely to find herself in the spa town. Bath was, after all, one of the most popular places in England for invalids and the elderly to gather so that they could partake of the medicinal waters, which had been used to such purpose for hundreds of years.

Diana:  ::: wrinkling nose::: I heard the waters contained odd minerals and were absolutely awful tasting and smelly.  Wasn’t Bath mostly a chic place for people to see and be seen? 

Manda:  Once a thriving social whirl, by the time Georgie and Lady Russell arrive in Bath it has lost some of the polish that once made it such a popular spot. With the Prince Regent’s removal, along with his entourage, to the seaside town of Brighton, the Bath that Georgie arrives in has become a place where the elderly and those unable to afford a London season can repair to mingle with polite society for less. (Recall that in Jane Austen’s Persuasion, it is to Bath that the spendthrift Sir Walter Elliot is convinced to go when he can no longer afford to remain in his country estate.)

Diana:  Oh yes!  I forgot about that.  So it’s a place for economical socialization? Hmmm so why did you put your Earl there? Such lovely photos by the way.  Makes me want to go this very minute.  

Manda:  Another reason I chose Bath was that unlike London, it would be easier for people of differing classes to mix without too much difficulty. Because Bath society at this time wasn’t nearly as strict as it was earlier in the century, it was possible for the shabby genteel and the middle classes to mix with the wealthy at the Pump Room or in the Assembly Rooms without much fuss. And because I wished for Georgie to be able to see her old friends from her Army days, I needed that to be the case.

Diana:  ::: Passing out chocolate covered cherries to get rid of the imaginary taste of Bath waters:::  A perfect way for them to meet!  Clever and sneaky of you.  But, I hope there is more for them to do than sit around and drink smelly water?

 Manda: ::: laughing::: Unlike other towns of its size during the era, Bath offered many of the same kinds of entertainments that might be found in larger cities, like London, such as the theatre, gentlemen’s clubs, lending libraries, and even tourist destinations like Bath Abbey and Farleigh Castle. When it came to choosing a destination for Georgie and Con’s romance, then, I simply had to choose Bath! I can’t tell you more about how these special locations within the city of Bath play into the story without revealing some very major spoilers, but know that now the book is finished and nearly published, I cannot imagine WHY EARLS FALL IN LOVE taking place in any other place.

Diana:  Well, you’ve convinced me!  I cannot wait to dive into this book!

Manda:  So, let’s talk locations. What are some of your favorite mysteries, romances, or romantic suspense stories, in which the setting really made a difference? Do you think the book would have been the same if the setting were suddenly swapped out with another locale? What is it about that city or town that makes it the perfect place for the book to take place? Inquiring minds want to know! Leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Why Earl’s Fall in Love.

Diana:  And don’t forget to get Manda Collins latest Wicked Widow Novel, Why Earl’s Fall in Love, out today! Why-Earls-Fall-In-Love-by-Manda-Collins300x490-e1384454350437

Book Lists and Lena Diaz’s Tennessee Takedown

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Thank you for helping us build our 2014 TBR lists! We came up with some wonderful suggestions that will keep us busy all year.

These are some of titles on our list so far  (in no particular order):

Do or Die, Suzanne Brockmann  February 4, 2014

Hell for Leather, Julie Ann Walker, May 6, 2014

Dash of Peril (Love Undercover), Lori Foster, March 25, 2014

When Day Breaks, Maya Banks, June 24, 2014

Elle Kennedy, Midnight Pursuits, April 1 2014

The King, JR Ward, April 1, 2014

Dark Wolf, Christine Feehan, January 7, 2014

Styxx, Sherrilyn Kenyon, September 2013

Divergent by Veronica Roth

The Fault in Our Stars  by John Green

Tenessee Takedown, Lena Diaz, February 1, 2014

The Bodyguard, Lena Diaz, April 15, 2014

Take the Key and Lock Her Up, Lena Diaz, July 22, 2014

Confession, Carey BaldwinMarch 11th, 2014

Labyrinth, Carey Baldwin, Sept 16th, 2014

Why Earls Fall in Love, Manda Collins , January 28, 2014

Why Lords Fall in Love, Manda Collins, July 28, 2014

Withholding Evidence, Rachel Grant, February 2014

Incriminating Evidence, Rachel Grant, Late 2014

Thankless in Death, J.D. Robb, September 17, 2013

The Spellman Files series by Lisa Lutz

It Happens in the Dark, Carol O’Connell, August 2013

Lost in a  Royal Kiss, Vanessa Kelly, November 26, 2013

The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt, October 22, 2013

The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer, April 9, 2013

Life After Life, Kate Atkinson, April 2, 2013

Far Gone, Laura Griffin, April 15, 2014

Romancing the Duke, Tessa Dare, January 28, 2014

Sweet Talk Me, Kieran Kramer, March 15, 2014

Lena Diaz

And please join us next week when our very own Carey Baldwin interviews our very own Lena Diaz!

We can’t wait to hear about her upcoming release Tennessee Takedown from Harlequin!

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The Midnight Confessions of Ella Grace

Manda hbio-picere. You may not know this about me,  but one of the romantic suspense hero types that really cranks my tractor is the small town sheriff. So when I picked up the first book in Ella Grace’s new trilogy set in Midnight, Alabama and saw that the hero was…a small town sheriff, I was SO there. And when I realized that Ella Grace is the alter ego of Christy Reece, who writes angsty, nail-biting international romantic suspense, I HAD to know more.

So, being the Nosy Nellie that I am, I invited Ella to K&T so I could get the real scoop for me and for all of you out there who read and loved her Last Chance Rescue books as Christy Reece and who are well on the way to adoring every word that Ella Grace puts on the page. Without further ado, let’s welcome to the K&T lounge, the delightful, Ella Grace!

MC: Welcome, Ella! I’m so glad you’re here. I first started reading your Last Chance Rescue series cover_rewardunder your Christy Reece name and became a fan. That you’re also an Alabama girl just cements it!

EG: Hey Manda! Thanks so much for having me over. I’m excited to be here. And I always love talking to another Alabama girl.

MC: Bama gals have to stick together! Only we know how grateful to be for the existence of Mississippi! Speaking of locales…Your Last Chance Rescue series feels global in scope, with many of the stories taking place overseas, and the headquarters of the Last Chance Rescue organization calling Paris home. Your new Ella Grace stories are set in small town Alabama, which is about as far from Paris as you can get. What are the challenges of writing about people and places that are so narrow in focus? Do you prefer one over the other?

EG: At first it was a struggle to go from an international setting to a place that could be my own back yard. I love the exotic excitement of international settings. Depending upon how far you want to go in making the setting a part of your story, it can add a lot or a little extra flavor. My LCR characters are sophisticated, street smart, and somewhat edgy. They wouldn’t fare well in a sleepy little southern town, no matter how many murders take place there. So I felt the need to tone down the ‘world-weary toughness’ of the characters but still make them comfortable if danger came calling. Which it does.

When I first started writing the series, I wanted to stretch myself creatively so I worked to keep Christy’s voice out of Ella’s writing. My Christy Reece books tend to be dark and angsty. I don’t think I was totally successful, because there’s quite a bit of angst in the first two books and the third one is shaping up to be even more so. However the blend of Christy and Ella’s voice began to work quite well and became a good fit for the series.

When the town of Midnight finally came alive for me, so did the book. The story wasn’t really working until I finally named the town. I was going for a Southern sounding name but could never find one that I liked or wasn’t already a real city or town in the South. Then I noticed that certain monumental, life-changing events kept occurring around the midnight hour. That’s when the name Midnight struck me, and suddenly the town and it’s citizens came alive.

hcover-midnight-secretsTo create it further, I drew on my knowledge of small southern towns. I grew up in a small Alabama community where whatever you did was scrutinized and talked about almost before you did it. And I’ve lived in small southern cities where shady dealings of law enforcement was known and accepted as a way of life. Having lived in the South most of my life, I felt comfortable creating the characters, from the quirky and loveable Aunt Gibby, the nosey Inez, the humorless but somewhat mysterious Faye, to the hideous red neck characters of the Daytons and Hensons. At some point in my life, I’ve met them all.

It was so much fun creating this pretty little south Alabama town. I’d love to live there–well, except for the murders. 🙂

I can’t say that I prefer one setting more than the other. However, I do have to get in a particular mindset to write each series. And in its own way, it’s freeing to be able to ‘switch gears’ voice-wise.

MC: Midnight Secrets the first of your new series set in Midnight, AL introduces the reader to the Wilde triplets whose parents died under mysterious circumstances when the three girls were children. Midnight Secrets is Savannah’s story which reunites her with her high school boyfriend Zach. Reunited lovers is one of the most popular tropes in romance. What do you think draws readers to these stories? Do you have a favorite?

EG: I adore reunited lovers stories. Four of my LCR books are reunion romances. There’s just something about having that history, the remembered heat of passion. Reigniting the spark and watching it flame out of control is so much fun to create and watch. You know I love angst and what’s more angsty than past hurts or betrayals and working to overcome them?

MC: Choosing triplets as your heroines for this series is a bold move, and I love it. What was your reason for casting this series with triplets instead of just sisters? Was there something about the bond between multiples–and especially identical ones that intrigued you?

EG: I really wish I had an intelligent, well thought out reason for making the sisters triplets. I don’t. From the moment I sat down to write Midnight Secrets, I knew the sisters were triplets. However, once I got into the story, I realized how much fun I was going to have with it. The sisters are identical in appearance but how they reacted to their parents’ deaths became such a wonderful personality and character study. Savannah turns inward, becoming shy and bookish. Samantha hides her pain behind her popularity, letting no one know what’s going on behind her bright smile. And Sabrina rebels, making each issue that comes her way a battle she must fight and win.

And I do love the bond that they have. It’s not psychic or supernatural. It’s pure, untainted lovehcover-midnight-lies between siblings. I didn’t want the typical strife one might see between sisters. I wanted the girls to be best friends. When the world comes crashing down around them, they have each other. No matter who’s against them, they always have each other’s backs. Their relationship is one of my favorite aspects of the series.

MC: The second book in this series Midnight Lies, is Samantha Wilde’s story. What kind of trouble is on the horizon for this sister, the cop? Who is her hero?

EG: Samantha is a homicide detective in Atlanta, dating Quinn Braddock, who she thinks is the ‘most perfect man on earth’. However when his ex-wife is murdered and he’s found standing over her body, she begins to wonder if the perfection she thought she saw in him was a facade. She’s never really dealt with her parents’ deaths and all of that comes crashing down on her, making her question her judgment.

Quinn is an ER doctor and has been betrayed repeatedly by the people in his life. However, if there’s one person he knows he can count on, it’s Samantha Wilde. Imagine his surprise when he realizes she’s not sure of his innocence.

After their break-up, Samantha returns to Midnight and Quinn follows her. But all isn’t rosy. They’ve hurt each other badly and their earlier relationship put more emphasis on their physical attraction than it did on getting to know each other. This is something they have to rectify if they’re going to move forward. Into the mix comes another murder and once again Quinn is considered a suspect. This time Samantha stands by her man, unaware that the killer has set his sights on her as his next victim.

MC: Who are some of your influences? Your favorite authors, romance, suspense or otherwise?

EG: I grew up reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. (MC: Hi fives! Always love meeting other Nancy Drew fans!) I loved the excitement and fun of puzzling out the mysteries. Some of my favorite romance and suspense authors are Linda Howard, Karen Rose, Judith McNaught, Julie Garwood and Allison Brennan.

MC: Do you have any more projects underway? Tell me about them!

EG: Yes, I’ve started a new series called Grey Justice. The first book, Nothing To Lose, features a young woman who has everything she’s ever dreamed of and then loses it all because of one family’s corruption and greed. She’s determined to see that they pay. Enter a mysterious man who offers to help her in her quest but has his own agenda and another man who’s number one goal is to save her from herself, even if it costs him his life.

I’m also continuing my Last Chance Rescue series, with at least three more books planned. And another book in the Wildefire series for Sabrina Wilde, the third triplet.

MC: Ella, thank you so much for visiting us today! I can’t wait to read your next book, no matter which of your personae is writing it!

To learn more about Ella Grace and her Wildefire Series or Christy Reece and Last Chance Rescue, check her out on the web, on her LCR Facebook Page, her Ella Grace Facebook Page, or @EllaGraceBooks on Twitter.

So, gentle readers, do you like your Romantic Suspense with an international flavor or a downhome flair? Tell us which one you like best, and give us an example! One lucky reader will receive a copy of Ella Grace’s latest Wilde Sisters book, Midnight Sins.

THURSDAY WINNER!

toastCONGRATULATIONS TO jdh2690!

Winner of WHY DUKES SAY I DO by Manda Collins

Please click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab and let us know if you prefer digital or paperback and where to send it.

LINE UP OF DISTINGUISHED GUESTS:

Tomorrow is Part 2 of Diana’s interview with Allison Leotta

Tuesday 8/13 we welcome Entangled author, MISTY EVANS

Downton Abbey Meets Sherlock Holmes

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“Your Grace,” Lady Isabella Wharton coaxed, from the other side of the Ormonde library, “really, you must put the knife down. Whatever will your grandmamma think?”

But the Duke of Ormonde, accustomed to ignoring his family’s dictates, didn’t lower the knife at his wife’s throat.

As Amazon would say: If you like PBS’s Downton Abbey and Sherlock Holmes you’ll love the Wicked Widow Series by Manda Collins.

In the first of the trilogy, Why Dukes Say I Do, Manda artfully mixes murder, blackmail, sabotage and a who-done-it mystery with genteel life on a country estate.

The hero, Trevor is a newly titled Duke who wants nothing to do with the responsibility the title holds, especially since it means leaving his land and tenants for the chaos of London. The heroine, Isabella is blackmailed by her godmother (the hero’s grandmother) into forcing Trevor to do exactly that.Neither can afford to lose, which makes for a lovely clash of wills. As Isabella experiences the drama of ‘laid back life’ on Trevor’s country estate it struck me that this was deliciously similar to my favorite show Downton Abbey.
So I asked Manda about it:

Would you describe your heroine’s personality traits more like a Mary, Edith or Sybil?

Hmm. I’d say she’s a Mary from probably the second or third season. Once she’s softened up a bit and acknowledged that human frailty exists and is okay. Not the First Season “hellish beyotch” Mary.

If you had to cast your Dowager Duchess of Ormonde for a Hollywood movie, who would you choose?

I think Judi Dench could pull it off quite well. Or maybe Gemma Jones (the mother in Sense & Sensibility). But definitely the Dowager Duchess of Ormonde shares some traits with the DD of Grantham!

Robert Crawley is a laid-back Earl, who rarely capitalizes on his title. I would even call him a reluctant Earl, more interested in country-life at Downton Abbey and keeping his tenants happy than dealing with the politics and social mayhem of London society. As an audience, we generally gravitate towards mayhem for entertainment, yet both you and Julian Fellowes make this trait seem heroic and keep us enthralled. How did you do this and why do you think we are fascinated by the slower pace of life on a country estate?

 I think there is something enthralling and noble about a high-ranking person choosing to devote themselves to actually tending to their responsibilities. We’ve seen time and time again the hellraising Rake or politically active peer spending all their time in London carousing or trying to get some legislation to pass the Lords. Not to say that politics don’t have their place. But that gentleman who really cares about his tenants satisfies–at least for me–a need to see someone doing the right thing.

As to how I did this? I have no idea! I’m totally an organic writer. I might tinker with the prose or make changes my editor suggests, but I don’t consciously think–oh, he needs to look more sympathetic here…I wish it were that easy!

In both the TV series and your novel there is a ‘confidant’ relationship between the main characters and their servants. In your research do you believe this was so in the Regency period/early 20th Century? (Like we have with our hairdressers/bartenders today?)

Manda Collins

Manda Collins

I do. As much as we’d like to think that all people in the upper echelons of society saw their servants as furniture, I just can’t believe all of them were so callous to the people around them that they didn’t share some part of themselves with their closest servants like maids and valets and the like. Do I think that it was all jolly and Mary Poppins and happiness all the time between them? Of course not! But I do think, in some cases there were confidant relationships between them. And the servant would then use that reputation for discretion if they needed to get another position. It was as great a commodity as a letter of reference!

The murder, sabotage and blackmail is right out of a Sherlock Holmes plot and not usually seen in historical romances.  What made you blend genres (tricky at best) and are you finding a captive audience?

Well, thank you for the compliment, but I certainly do not see myself as the second coming of Conan Doyle (though wouldn’t that be awesome?) Like most writers I write what I like to read. And what I like to read most are Regency Historicals and Mysteries. So what I’m trying to do is blend together some combination of the two.

Sometimes I think it works better than others. I do know that my mystery plots aren’t always as complex or difficult to figure out as a true mystery–I think that’s because I sacrifice a bit of the mystery to the romance. After all, it’s not much of a romance if your hero and heroine never talk about anything but the mystery they’re trying to solve. And also there MUST be some sexy times! I insist upon it! So you get what I like to think of as Nancy Drew meets Jane Austen–or maybe Georgette Heyer if you want to be more precise.

As far as captive audiences, I don’t know! The number of positive reviews outnumber the negatives. But of course it’s the negatives I remember. And let me tell you, there is at least one person who DOES NOT like to have mystery mixed in with her romance! But that just means my books aren’t for her. Which is absolutely okay! There are enough books out there for everyone to find something they enjoy!

Can you give us a hint about the next novel in the series?

The next novel in the Wicked Widows Series is called WHY EARLS FALL IN LOVE Why-Earls-Fall-In-Love-by-Manda-Collins300x490and it is the story of Isabella’s friend Georgie, who also suffered a not so great marriage. The hero is the Earl of Coniston. He’s mentioned briefly in WDSID but is never onstage. The action of this one takes place in Bath and let us just say that our blackmailer is back in full force! Lots of adventures all over the spa-town!  It will be released the last week of January 2014.

OOOO! Scanty cover…Looking forward to another great read, Manda!

K&T Audience: to read an excerpt of Why Dukes Say I Do please click herehttp://www.mandacollins.com/why-dukes-say-i-do/#read-an-excerpt
For more information on Manda please visit www.MandaCollins.com or www.facebook.com/mandacollinsauthor

One lucky commenter will win a digital or paperback copy of Why Dukes Say I Do. Question: Who is your favorite Downton Abbey character and why? Check back on Thursday to see if we picked your name. (Paperback only available to mail in the continental states.)

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Join us tomorrow for Diana Belchase’s video interview of Allison Leotta and a preview of Allison’s latest book!
Allison Leotta

Allison Leotta

THURSDAY WINNER!

Manda Collins-How to Entice an Earl Thank you to ALL the commenters who stopped by on Tuesday to share their own Ugly Duckling story! A copy of Manda Collins’ newest release HOW TO ENTICE AN EARL goes to…

LSUREADER

Congratulations, lsureader! Please click on the Contact Us tab and let us know where we can send it.

Join us next week for 3 author interviews! Yes, you read it right.

Cover-The Marshal's Witness - Lena Diaz Tuesday is Dueling U.S. Marshal stories.Morgan-DangerousMemories-Cover

Featuring Harlequin Intrigue authors Angi Morgan and K&T’s own Lena Diaz.

Find out how tense and romantic the WitSec program can be from an author’s eye!

Killing Time by Cindy GerardNext Friday, Feb 8th, Carey Baldwin hosts one of our favorite repeat (and bestselling) authors CINDY GERARD! Cindy will be dishing about the her new release, Killing Time, which happens to be the first in her brand new series, One Eyed Jacks! 

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. www.MandaCollins.com

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!