Susan Sey & Christina Brooke Release Day
Posted by Christina Brooke Jun 26 2012, 12:35 am
Christina Brooke: Hi All! Yes, Susan and I are twins! Or at least our books are. Today is the release date of both my A DUCHESS TO REMEMBER and Susan’s KISS THE GIRL. So it’s double the fun in the lair.
Susan Sey: I’m so excited to have a debut day twin! I loved The Sullivan Twins and Sweet Valley High when I was a pre-teen reader, & desperately wanted a twin. I also desperately wanted to attend boarding school, though my parents laughed out loud when I mentioned it. My sisters were very supportive of the boarding school idea, but had no interest in dealing with two of me. So neither dream came true. Not until today, anyway, when Christina graciously agreed to be my twin for the day. Yay!
CB: LOL the closest I’ve come to being a twin was having two boys at my school who were born on the same day as I was. I used to call them my blood brothers, which makes absolutely no sense, but there you go!
SS: I find it’s best not to spend too much time worrying about making sense. That’s what revisions are for.
CB: Today we thought we’d chat a little about our sources of inspiration. That old ‘Where do you get your ideas?’ question is so difficult to answer most of the time.
SS: Usually it is. But this time I actually have an answer. I wrote KISS THE GIRL several years ago, back when Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie had their first biological child. Remember that? They named her Shiloh Nouvel, which I was astonished to learn translates roughly to New Messiah. And I thought to myself–if you can believe this–”That poor kid.”
Really. That was my first thought. Because think about it. The poor girl is the product of the universe’s most perfect gene pool in terms of talent, beauty and philanthropy, and heir to an eye-popping fortune to boot. The world already expects her to grow into an insanely beautiful young woman, talented beyond description and rich beyond imagination. So what did her parents do? They named her New Messiah. That’s right. As if the pressure on her wasn’t crushing enough already. Let’s throw in saving the world, too. Because, hey, we’re amazing. She’d better be us times infinity.
So I got to wondering just who this child would grow up to be. Who could she grow up to be under those circumstances. And suddenly, I had Nixie kicking around my imagination. Phoenix Kasmira Leighton-Brace to be specific. (Translation: To Rise Up From the Ashes and Command Peace. Of course.) And here’s where Nixie’s story begins:
Nixie Leighton-Brace is ready to quit the family business. It’s not the work–she loves building hospitals, schools and orphanages for her family’s humanitarian organization. But when her movie-star mother steals Nixie’s boyfriend to generate publicity for their latest cause, Nixie snaps. She quits her job, walks away from her family, and boards a plane to the one place on earth she’s never been. Home.
Dr. Erik Larsen likes to keep his private life private, a word he doubts crazy-famous Nixie Leighton-Brace even knows. Fundraising, though? She’s got that one nailed, and Erik’s free health clinic is barely keeping the lights on. So when Nixie walks in and asks for a job, he gives her one. But he’ll be damned if he hands over his heart along with it.
Loving America’s princess is no easy task. Neither is being America’s princess, and both Nixie and Erik struggle to balance the scars of the past against the demands of their hearts. But with some courage, a little luck and a lot of love, they might just find their way home. Together.
I had the best time imagining a life for my crazy-famous second generation do-gooder, & coming up with her perfect match. I hope you’ll check her out, & let me know what you think! You can read an excerpt on my website, or pick it up at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. I hope to have a print version available soon but for now it’s in e-format only.
CB: I am so looking forward to KISS THE GIRL!!! I’m such a huge fan of Susan’s work. Isn’t that cover amazing?
SS: Speaking of awesome covers. Wow! Yours is gorgeous!
CB: For A DUCHESS TO REMEMBER, I already knew my heroine, Lady Cecily Westruther, who had appeared in the previous Ministry of Marriage books, HEIRESS IN LOVE and MAD ABOUT THE EARL.
Here’s the blurb for DUCHESS:
Lady Cecily Westruther is nothing if not practical. By agreeing to marry an older duke who already has an heir and a mistress, she can assume a wifely role—without the wifely duties. Only one thing stands in her way—a letter that could destroy her betrothal. Desperate to retrieve that letter, Cecily must match wits with the most dangerously seductive man she’s ever known…
Disguised as a footman, Cecily gains entry to her adversary’s house—only to be unmasked byLondon’s most powerful man. Rand, Duke of Ashburn, is accustomed to getting any woman he wants—and he wants Cecily. He will stop at nothing, including seduction, to make her his. But Rand holds a secret more shocking and destructive than that letter could ever be…
Cecily can only be described as precocious–she marauds about London in men’s clothing, matches wits with the Duke of Montford, her haughty guardian, and has no intention of doing anything as silly as falling in love with her own husband. Cecily has an independent mind and a lot of restless energy with relatively few opportunities to use either. In short, she’s a powder keg, ready to explode.
Her character reminded me very much of the Mitford Sisters. I’ve mentioned them before on this blog, but just in case you don’t know them, the Mitfords were daughters of Lord Redesdale. They led extraordinary lives, and all were transformed by living through World War II. One sister became wife to the head of the British fascist party, one became a communist and ran away from home to Spain where the communists were fighting the fascists.
Nancy, who wrote LOVE IN A COLD CLIMATE among other works, became the lover of Charles de Gaulle’s second in command. Deborah married the man who became Duke of Devonshire and is largely responsible for Chatsworth’s burgeoning success as a commercial enterprise today. Yet another sister was an accolite of Hitler (possibly his mistress) and shot herself in the head when she heard the allies had won the war.
All of these women were refused any kind of formal education. When reading about their upbringing, you sense the utter frustration they felt at the role society assigned them as females. It is easy to see how such an upbringing could produce rebels, brilliant successes and terrible tragedies. But one thing is certain, the Mitford sisters did not do things by halves. Nor does Lady Cecily Westruther.
Of course, unlike the case for many of the Mitford sisters, Cecily gets her happily ever after at the end. So my task was to find the perfect hero for her.
For Cecily, I needed a man confident and secure enough in his own abilities that he felt challenged and enlivened by her, not threatened. The Duke of Ashburn is the only man who can throw Cecily off balance enough for her to topple into love. I’ve included a little visual inspiration here–Ashburn’s physical characteristics came from a few sources–Matthew Goode, Michael Fassbender, the model in the Armani code ad.. *G* Maybe if you look closely you can identify some other characters from the series.
So tell us, dear BBs, do you have anyone you consider a twin (who actually isn’t a blood relation at all?) How do you think you’d cope with having famous, perfect parents? And who are your favourite smart (or smart-mouthed) heroines in romance?
Christina will give away a full set of her Ministry of Marriage series (HEIRESS IN LOVE, MAD ABOUT THE EARL & A DUCHESS TO REMEMBER) to one lucky commenter. And Susan will toss in an e-copy (Kindle or Nook format) of KISS THE GIRL to an equally lucky–but different–commenter. So don’t be shy! Let’s hear from you!
Posted in A Duchess to Remember, Christina Brooke, Kiss the Girl, Ministry of Marriage, smart heroines, Susan Sey