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!
Posted by Anna Sugden Dec 22 2009, 6:27 am in 12 Bandita Days of Christmas, Anna Sugden, Eloisa James, Paris
by Anna Sugden
I’m delighted to give everyone in the Lair a Christmas surprise – we have a special guest today. All the way from Paris (yes, the one in France, not the one in Texas!) is Lair favourite, my good friend, the awesome NYT best-selling author, Eloisa James.
As many of you know, Eloisa and her family are spending a year in Paris. Even I, an avid Paris-hater (and we won’t mention the Parisians *g*), have been captivated by her daily tales of life in the French capital, which she has been posting on Facebook.
So, with great pleasure I hand you over to Eloisa who will share with you a special piece about her time in Paris.
Thank you Anna and Banditas. It’s great to be back here.
My study looks out over a small, quiet street called Rue du Conservatoire. This morning the snow is coming down fast, slanting sideways and turning the gray slate roofs opposite the color of milk. Since I grew up on a farm in Minnesota, this makes me feel at home. I found myself thinking about peeling potatoes for a hearty soup.
That’s when I got a jolting sense of vertigo. After all, I grew up on a farm outside a town of 2,242 people, though my father was a poet and not a farmer. One year we had no money (poetry is not lucrative), so my mother took down the dining room curtains, which had sailing ships on them, and made my sister and me new dresses for the first day of school. My prom party was held in a gravel pit, and I earned the money to buy my prom dress by waitressing in DeToy’s Supper Club.
Paris is a long, long way from the polyester dirndl skirts worn by DeToy’s waitresses.
And yet it’s still me, sitting here, looking out at snow, which is falling in that directed, intense sort of way that happens in Minnesota and apparently in Paris as well.
Sometimes life turns a corner and you catch a glimpse of time passing, as if you were in double time, both a teenager in a farm town, and a woman in Paris. And the current you is one that the Midwestern teenager would never have envisioned — at least, I wouldn’t have. Skipping anything that has to do with an unflattering mirror, what about you? What’s happened to make you sit up and think: Is this really me? Can this be happening?
What’s one thing that’s happened to you that you never would have envisioned when you were ten years old?
Three commenters will be sent frivolous Parisian souvenirs – pocket mirrors adorned with glittery Eiffel Towers, bringing with them a whiff of la vie Parisienne, not to mention snow. And please join Eloisa’s Facebook Fan Page (http://www.facebook.com/EloisaJamesFans) to follow her daily adventures in Paris.
Anna: And don’t forget, we’re still doing the 12 Bandita Days of Christmas! One of the three lucky commenters Eloisa chooses will also receive their special Bandita goody!