Janet Mullany returns to the lair!

acertainlatitude200x300Hi Banditas, thanks so much for inviting me to blog and I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas or whatever you celebrate!

My hot historical, A Certain Latitude, is a rewrite of a book that came out six years ago, and with my usual unerring marketing instincts I published it just in time for the holidays.

There is one mention of Christmas. Someone dies.

I’ve always considered Christmas regencies a bizarre invention of publishers since Regency folk (as far as I can tell, those wild party animals) spent the day at church, drank more than usual, and hung up a few greens. Possibly downstairs had more fun with mummers, crude pagan rituals, and taking advantage of the increased alcohol intake of the household.

But because I am a kind and thoughtful person, I thought I’d Christmas-up an excerpt up for you. In this scene, Clarissa has been summoned for a night of wild sex with her lover.


Clarissa ran her brush through her hair and touched perfume between her breasts. March had handed the tiny crystal bottle to her quite casually that evening before dinner, lavishly wrapped with a velvet ribbon, in the room full of fragrant pine and cheery holly. How on earth had March found pine and holly branches in the West Indies?

She glanced at herself in the mirror one last time, adjusted an earring to hang straight, and blew out the candle. The scent of honeysuckle drifted in through the window, the stars ablaze—would she ever become accustomed to their fierceness in these latitudes?—and she moved toward the circle of light Finch’s lantern cast.

Silently he led her through the darkened corridor of the house, tapped on March’s door, and opened it.

To her surprise March was already in bed, a book in his hand.

Once again she was struck by his beauty—the dark hair tumbling onto his shoulders, his grave stillness.

He raised his head. “You wear the perfume, then.”

“Yes. Thank you.” There had barely been time to thank him for the gift earlier—time only to slip it into the bosom of her gown before anyone noticed and she was fairly sure the wrapping paper and metallic ribbon, not to mention the perfume, had given her a huge rash on her chest.

“Oh, I have some very specific ways you’ll thank me, Clarissa.” He gave a faint smile.

She waited, wondering if he enjoyed her apprehension, sensed the nervous desire that coiled in her belly.

He raised his eyebrows. “Aren’t you going to come to bed, my dear?”

“If you could be so kind…” she moved to sit on the bed so he could unbutton her gown, shoving a branch of holly out of the way. Oh, how sweet. He’d hung mistletoe above the pillows.

As she slipped between the sheets, he closed the book and laid it down on the cabinet next to the bed.

“Your book proves tedious?”

“Not at all, it’s quite charming. I was able to acquire a prenatal copy. It’s by some fellow who is to be called Charles Dickens.” He turned on his side, facing her, head propped in his hand. “Would you like to help me decorate the tree?”

She gazed at the bedchamber festooned with wreaths and ribbons. Sure enough, a pine towered in the corner.

“I thought you might miss Christmas in England,” he continued. “And then after, we could sing some carols. Finch has been instructed to bring mince pies after a discreet interval.”

“That would be delightful. How very kind of you.”

“I have a very fine collection of balls.” He gestured toward the box of ornaments, delicate wax candles and gold and velvet ribbons.

“I look forward to handling them.”

“And this.” He sprang from the bed and drew back a curtain.

Snow! It might play havoc with the sugar crop and certainly mean the loss of his vast fortune, but they were to have a white Christmas!


I’m giving away a copy for Nook or Kindle of A Certain Latitude (without the Christmas stuff) which is, ahem, a quite filthy book a book containing, uh, adult stuff. Please share your favorite Christmas scenes from books or real life!

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  • Helen says:

    Is he staying in Oz

    Have fun

  • Helen says:

    That sounds like one very steamy story 🙂

    I love Christmas time and one of the things I love is seeing the looks on my grabdchildrens faces when opening their presents.
    Cingrats on the release
    Have fun

    Looks like the GR wants to stay in the warmer weather andhe doesn’t have far to go

    • Well – I prefer warmer weather 🙂 Maybe the GR and I can change places for a week.

      Grandchildren make Christmas special. So good that you get to share that time with yours, Helen.

  • Helen says:

    I should check the spelling first 🙂

    Have fun

  • Amy Conley says:

    One of my absolute favorite Christmas memories has absolutely nothing to do with anything, um, romantic, but it still means a lot to me.
    Oldest son-by-5 minutes had been married about 5 years when son #2 by-5-minutes had only been married about 10 months and lived in Alaska at the time. I had gotten both of the boys surround sound systems that year for Christmas (shipping to Alaska from the mainland is outrageous btw). Anyway, son #1 opened this big box almost first thing. Here was a surround sound system for his new tv he and his wife had gotten themselves for Christmas. Son number 1 SAT on top of that box for the rest of the day! He even ate his Christmas dinner sitting on the box. His wife and my husband and I laughed all day that Christmas because he wasn’t about to leave that box for ANYTHING! And he was 28 years old at the time!

    • Amy – Isn’t it amazing how there’s always one gift that completely absorbs someone. How did son #2 like the surround sound?

      This year, my son received a number of nice gifts but the thing he just couldn’t put down was – of all things – a fishing calendar. It had tips and techniques for each month and he sat there all day reading the tips, pointing out things he didn’t know, hadn’t considered. For all that it was loved, it was a last minute pick-me-up.

  • Maureen says:

    It was a wonderful sweet and steamy scene for Christmas. A favorite Christmas scene of mine is from Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand and the characters go out to collect greens to decorate the house.

  • Shannon says:

    My favorite scenes from a couple of Regency Christmas (well more New Years) novels is the guys going out to shoot the spirits out of the trees, woods, or cultivated gardens.

    One of my memorable Christmas was in Cairo. An ex-pat hosted us (three female students) in Giza to an Arabic feast of hummous, babaganough, kebabs, fetoush, chicken tikka, and helwa (sweets). Afterwards, the four of us hired camels and rode among the pyramids. I have a lovely picture of the four decorated camels (red and green tassels) and four lovely ladies in the desert. (Too many tourists on other camels to get a good pyramid picture.) I’m wearing a red hat with scarf in tribute to the holidays. The scrapbook reads, “Four Wisewomen.”

  • may says:

    In real life, it would be when my daughter first give me a hug for Christmas.

    In movies, I really love Love Actually.

    • May – Love Actually is one of my all time favorite movies – holiday and otherwise. I believe I heard that the writers/producers are putting out another of those “stories woven together” movies out but can’t remember the name.

      Such a wonderful Christmas memory. I was going “awwwww….” 🙂

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    I love scenes in front of a fire. The tree is decorated, snow falling softly outside. The couple are spending a quiet evening talking, drinking hot chocolate or a specially flavored coffee. The at some point the hero leans in for a kiss and the two of them end up making slow, sweet, love in the glow of the fire. Yummy!

    • Debbie –

      You sound like a romance writer (grin).

      You know – my now dh and I tried the romantic sit by the fire when we were dating. It was lovely. We made it to the kiss. But by then the heat blast from the fire was much too much and we had to retreat to a less romantic spot. We were – should I say – roasting our chestnuts.

  • Oops, everyone got up earlier than I did. Happy post-Christmas greetings to all. I have only two Christmas rituals I observe, both of which I did this year. I saw a performance of Handel’s Messiah at Washington National Cathedral, which was wonderful, and sang Christmas carols with my family on Christmas Day. They were very tolerant of my singing.

    I find that so many depictions in books of Christmas go over the top, almost as much as my Christmassed-up excerpt which was very firmly tongue in cheek (instead of, well, tongue elsewhere as it is in the original).

  • Caren Crane says:

    Janet, Merry Christmas indeed! I think it’s too funny that your one mention of Christmas involves someone dying. Sounds like my idea of great marketing! *snort*

    I think it’s great that you have reworked your book and are getting it out again for all of us to enjoy. I certainly don’t mind a bit of merrymaking for the holidays. 😀

  • Cathy P says:

    My favorite Christmas was the year my DH gave me a diamond necklace and my parents gave me diamond earrings.

  • CateS says:

    This year, the sports-oriented book that I bought and gave to my honey — was a huge hit! A series of essays that I thought would be interesting… he’s not put it down yet!

    • Cate – I think any book that is un-put-downable is a seriously fantastic gift. I gave my son a book I picked up called “Twenty Eight Fishing Stories.” He loves it – and he’s not a big reader 🙁 . However, he said the things he reads are always connected to fishing. I’m using it. 🙂

    • Cate, that sounds like the perfect gift!

  • I give a lot of books for the holidays–even to my husband although I know he will read bits aloud from them and drive me nuts. (Rule #1 do not ask if it’s ok to read out a bit knowing you will ignore the answer and Rule #2 do not read aloud to someone who is deep in their own book). I wonder if anyone else has similar rules?

  • Janet, welcome! I’m not having good luck remembering a Christmas scene from a book, but I’ll never forget the oy’s face when he saw his stocking on the Christmas morning he was not quite two. Delight and awe, for sure!

    • Nancy –

      Kids definitely make Christmas. One of my favorite memories involves my sister when she was maybe five or six. My dh and I had gone down to Cincinnati for a visit. While we were outside in the evening, we spotted my sister snooping around the tree. My husband shook one of those sets of harness bells and yelled out “Ho-ho-ho.” You never saw a five year move so fast. She ran straight upstairs to bed.

  • Marcy Shuler says:

    I can’t help it, but every time I see the word ‘balls’ now in the lair I think of the great dressing ball controversy. 😀 But this book does sound wonderfully wicked, Janet!

    I gave my hubby a book of Civil War photographs that had been colorized. He loved it. And the best part was I got it on sale. 😉 My MIL got a book about Downton Abbey. I think books are the best gift.