Posted by Anna Campbell Sep 3 2013, 12:02 am in A Rogue by Any Other Name, Anna Campbell, Avon Authors, Bandita Booty, historical romance, interviews, No Good Duke Goes Unpunished, NYT Bestsellers, One Good Earl Deserves a Lover, Regency romance, RITA winners, Rule of Scoundrels, Sarah Maclean
It’s always delightful to host witty and clever historical author and NYT bestseller Sarah MacLean – although it’s been a while between drinks here! Paolo, margaritas pronto!
Sarah’s here to tell us about her next release (Nov 13) NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED (don’t you love that title, and no, I don’t mean the duke. Well, I like dukes too. Well… Oh, sheesh!).
For print readers–the first 500 readers to preorder signed copies of NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED from Sarah’s local bookstore (WORD Bookstore in Brooklyn, NY) will receive custom NO GOOD DUKE playing cards with their shipment! Watch out for the card sharks in the gambling hells!
Here’s the blurb:
A Rogue Ruined…
He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of…absolution.
A Lady Returned…
Mara planned never to return to the world from which she’d run, but when her brother falls deep into debt at Temple’s exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade that ends in her returning to society and proving to the world what only she knows…that he is no killer.
A Scandal Revealed…
It’s a fine trade, until Temple realizes that the lady–and her past–are more than they appear. It will take every bit of his strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything for honor…and to keep from putting himself on the line for love.
You can find out more about Sarah and her wonderful books on her website: http://macleanspace.com/
Sarah, I can’t wait to read your forthcoming release from Avon, NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED, which is out November 26th. Can you tell us about this story?
NO GOOD DUKE is the third book in my Rules of Scoundrels series, which tells the story of four fallen aristocrats who have each fallen from society – either by chance or by choice – and have become kings of the London Underworld as owners of a gaming hell, The Fallen Angel.
DUKE is Temple’s story. An undefeated bareknuckle boxer widely known as The Killer Duke, Temple lost everything when he woke up one morning during his eighteenth year to find himself in the bloody bed of his father’s young fiancée—with no memory of the prior evening. The girl was missing, presumed dead, and Temple was the only suspect.
He’s spent twelve years coming to terms with his violent side, until one evening, the missing dead girl turns up. Very alive. And very beautiful.
Sounds delicious! What were the inspirations behind this book?
Aside from hours spent looking at pictures of handsome forearms on the Internet, you mean?
As with all my books, there’s a good mix of pop culture and ancient history in DUKE. All the Scoundrels stories are at least loosely based on the Ocean’s 11 series (who doesn’t like to think about George and Brad in their tuxedos? Though, Temple’s a bit more Joe Manganiello than those two.), and Temple’s story is no different – in this book, we finally get to see “The Ring,” Temple’s domain at the center of the casino. The boxing culture that goes hand in hand with high-end modern casinos is certainly part of it.
But the heroine of NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED is where the ancient bits come in. Miss Mara Lowe faked her own death and left the heir to the dukedom holding the responsibility for it when she was only sixteen. In the twelve years that have passed since then, Mara has made a new, good life for herself. But now, thanks to an unpleasant turn of events, she needs Temple’s help – and she must pay her debts to get it. Mara’s story is inspired by Prometheus, the mortal who stole fire from the gods, and paid a terrible price for it.
What’s coming up next in the Rule of Scoundrels series? Love the titles, by the way. Did you come up with those?
After NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED comes Chase’s story, sometime in the second half of 2014. Chase is the mysterious founder of the Fallen Angel, who brought all the other heroes together. I’m so excited about so much of this story but sadly can’t say anything about it, as everything there is to say (including telling you the title!) is embargoed until Temple’s book is released!
That all said, if you’ve been following my Scoundrels, Temple’s book will reveal some important pieces of Chase’s past . . . and I think you’ll be pleased with how things are unravelling.
Huge congratulations on winning the Romance Writers of America RITA Award for best historical at the recent conference in Atlanta for your wonderful A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME. How did that feel?
Thank you so much!
I’ll be honest, I was totally shocked to receive the RITA – ROGUE was by far the most difficult book I’ve ever written, the hero was so unmovable (read: kind of a jerk) and I fully rewrote that book four times before I was happy with it.
That all said, it was an incredible moment—one I am so very proud and honoured to have had.
Congratulations again! What else has been happening in the wonderful world of Sarah MacLean?
In the spring, I wrote a short story with my Zombie-loving YA-writing critique partner, Carrie Ryan—a gothic novella called She, Doomed Girl, for a horror and fantasy anthology called DARK DUETS. The project was so fun, in part because we’re so connected to each others’ work, and it was a great opportunity to see if we could actually work together. I’m really happy with the end result (which will be published in January 2014 from Harper Voyager).
Other than that, I’m a bit of a bore–I’ve been writing writing writing, trying to get Chase’s book finished before December, when a much more pressing deadline comes due! My happily ever after is getting its own epilogue – a girl, who I fully expect will join me in San Antonio for the Romance Writers of America conference in Summer 2014. I hope you will all get to meet her then!
So excited about the new arrival! On your website, you call yourself an obsessive romance recommender (I’m one too so I recognize all the signs!). Any recent reads you’d like to share with the Banditas and Bandita buddies. We’re always looking to increase our TBR piles.
I’m behind, I’m afraid, so my two recommendations are probably on all the Banditas’ lists! But I just finished Lorraine Heath’s LORD OF WICKED INTENTIONS (another gaming hell book!) and Kristan Higgins’s THE BEST MAN in one glorious weekend . . . both are so gorgeous . . . I can’t recommend them enough!
Great interview, Sarah. Thanks for being our guest today and we wish you all the best with the Rule of Scoundrels! Do you have a question for our Banditas and Bandita Buddies?
I’ve shared the celebrities who have inspired heroes for me . . . Clooney, Pitt, Manganiello . . . when you’re reading, is it easy for you to conjure the hero as he’s written? Or do you placehold a hunky celebrity or handsome real-life guy for the hero you’re reading about? If you do, who is your go-to hero?
Ooh, we love talking handsome fellows here in the lair.
Get commenting, people. One winner today will receive signed copies of A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME and ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER (U.S. only – sorry, internationals! Next time!). Good luck!
Posted by Anna Campbell Apr 2 2012, 12:02 am in Anna Campbell, Avon Authors, Bandita Booty, Confessions from an Arranged Marriage, historical romance, interviews, Miranda Neville, new releases, Paris, The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton, The Burgundy Club, The Dangerous Viscount, The Importance of Being Wicked, The Wild Marquis
by Anna Campbell
We love all our guests in the lair, doncha know? But a few people who visit us on a regular basis hold a very special place in our heart. One of those teacher’s pets is MIRANDA NEVILLE!
Miranda’s here today to tell her about her wonderful new historical romance CONFESSIONS FROM AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE which hit the shelves on 27th March. I’ve been waiting on tenterhooks for Minerva’s story! My pre-ordered copy is already winging its way to me (yay!), but if you haven’t yet bought this book, all you need to do is click on the cover and it takes you right to Amazon. We make it easy for you here in the lair.
Here’s the Book Depository link: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Confessions-from-Arranged-Marriage-Miranda-Neville/9780062023056
This book is already grabbing huge critical praise. Publishers Weekly, no less, says: “The developing romance is a pleasure to witness, with witty banter and racy love scenes. The gradual discovery of Blakeney’s secret shame is genuine and endearing, making him far more than the standard scurrilous scoundrel.”
Here’s the blurb for CONFESSIONS OF AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE:
They couldn’t be more different, but there’s one thing they agree on.
In London after a two-year exile, Lord Blakeney plans to cut a swathe through the bedchambers of the demimonde. Marriage is not on his agenda, especially to an annoying chit like Minerva Montrose, with her superior attitude and a tendency to get into trouble. And certainly the last man Minerva wants is Blake, a careless wastrel without a thought in his handsome head.
The heat and noise of her debutante ball give Minerva a migraine. Surely a moment’s rest could do no harm … until Blake mistakes her for another lady, leaving Minerva’s guests to catch them in a very compromising position. To her horror, the scandal will force them to do the unthinkable: marry. Their mutual loathing blazes into unexpected passion but Blake remains distant, desperate to hide a shameful secret. Minerva’s never been a woman to take things lying down, and she’ll let nothing stop her from winning his trust … and his heart.
You can find out more about Miranda and her fabulous books on her website: www.mirandaneville.com
Miranda, I’m delighted to have you back in the lair as my guest. It’s always a party when you visit. Congratulations on the release of your latest historical romance CONFESSIONS FROM AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE. Can you tell us about this story?
This is the fourth book in my Regency Burgundy Club series, but let me summarize in non-period, totally non-historical language. The Marquis of Blakeney, the heir to a dukedom, is a good-looking jock. Minerva despises sports and thinks Blake’s a complete idiot. Since she thinks she’s the right person to rule the world, she has her eye on an up-and-coming politician whom she’ll marry and push up the greasy pole to be Prime Minister. (In nineteenth century England the British Prime Minster is like the President of the United States.) So we have the captain of the football team and the smartest girl in the class who hate each other. They end up forced to marry.
What inspired this story?
Blake and Minerva first appeared in THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT. As soon as I started to write Minerva, who was the heroine’s younger sister, I knew I had a winner. She was such a smart, entertaining character. Blake was the villain – or at least the antagonist – in that book, the guy who lost the girl. When Beverley Kendall read the book she immediately asked me “are you getting Blake and Minerva together?” “How did you guess?” I asked. It’s because we are romance writers and therefore sick. We take a man and a woman who appear totally incompatible and think “perfect couple.”
Mind you, it wasn’t easy. Blake was such a jerk in THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT and had a childhood feud with Sebastian, the hero of that book. I had to discover his dark secret that made him behave so badly. Once I found that, the story came together. I’m partial, I know, but I have to say I ended up adoring Blake and so does Minerva. Eventually.
What about Sebastian? Not thrilled to have Blake as a brother-in-law, I imagine.
That’s putting it mildly. For readers of the previous books in the series, I do resolve the Blake-Sebastian feud. But it’s a very minor part of the story. I wanted the book to stand alone
By the way, if anyone hasn’t yet read THE DANGEROUS VISCOUNT, grab it, grab it, grab it. It was one of my top reads from 2010 What’s next for you? More wonderful Burgundy Club books?
I have a few leftover characters, but for now I’m moving on, or rather back. I’m working on a series set in 1800, featuring some extremely wild and badly behaved art collectors. I can now reveal the title of the first, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED. It’s out in December 2012.
Ooh, can’t wait! Sounds fascinating! I always ask you about interesting tidbits of research you’ve discovered when you write each book. Did anything unusual take your fancy when you were researching CONFESSIONS OF AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE?
Blake and Minerva go to Paris on their honeymoon. By 1822 the English had resumed their trips to the Continent after the long Napoleonic Wars and I found plenty of contemporary guidebooks. I discovered it was perfectly proper in Paris for ladies to dine out in restaurants and cafés. So I sent my warring couple out on a date, to the slightly disreputable Café de la Paix, located in a converted theater in the Palais Royal. I had to augment the descriptions I found from my imagination but the setting gave me an idea for a very fun and sexy scene.
You’re always jetting around the globe – and I have the postcards to prove it, thank you! I’d love to hear about your recent travels. Are you going to use any of your journeys as inspirations for future books?
Not sure I could fit it into a Regency, but I just spent a wonderful long weekend in Miami soaking up gorgeous March sun. It was a lot less humid than that day we spent together in Saint Augustine, Florida, after RWA in Orlando! Among the places I visited was Vizcaya, an incredible mock-Venetian Palazzo built by an industrialist in 1916.
Miranda, that looks spectacular. I often think back on our day at St. Augustine and what fun we had bowling along in our convertible. Do you have a question for the Banditas and Bandita Buddies to get conversation rolling like said convertible?
Paris is one of the most gloriously romantic cities in the world, but for some reason it’s not popular as a setting for romance novels. But there are some great books and movies set there. What’s your favorite Paris story, in any medium?
Miranda has very generously offered two signed copies of CONFESSIONS FROM AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE today to people who leave comments. So good luck and get commenting!