Update: Time to announce some more winners! Congratulations to Kerry, who is Barbara Monajem’s winner and to Jen Hilt who’ll be receiving my Touch of a Lady in her choice of Kindle or Nook format.
Barbara Monajem and I first met back when we both wrote for Dorchester. Her Bayou Gavotte series was wonderfully inventive! Now we’ve moved on, Barbara to Harlequin’s Undone line and me to Kensington and Sourcebooks. But Barbara and I have kept in touch because we share a love of both historical and paranormal elements in our stories. Her latest release, To Rescue or Ravish, just came out, so we poured up a couple cups of coffee and had a little cyber-chat about it. Here’s your chance to listen in:
Mia: To Rescue or Ravish? Now that’s a heck of a question. How did you come up with this title?
Barbara: I didn’t! I’m hopeless at titles. Fortunately, the editors at Harlequin are good at coming up with snappy ones.
Mia: You know, before I was published I had no idea that authors didn’t have control over their titles. I’ve been lucky with mine, but once we sign the contract, we have no guarantees we’ll get to keep our own. I really love the title I have mind for my current WIP, but I don’t know yet whether my publisher will use it. Guess that’s why they refer to them as “working titles.”
What will we love about your hero?
Barbara: Well, I know what I love – that he’s a combo of high and low class. Although born a gentleman, he has been through a school of hard knocks and has learned to fit in everywhere. His friends are lively and vulgar and a lot of fun. He’s good looking in a rough sort of way. And a to-die-for romantic. And totally hot for the heroine! The cover art conveys his passion very, very well.
Mia: Lively and vulgar does sound like fun! What’s next for you?
Barbara: Next is a Christmas novella coming out in October (which seems a little early to me, but scheduling is not in my hands). It’s tentatively titled A Lady’s Lesson in Seduction. I had a lot of fun writing this one (well, I almost always have fun writing stories). But this one was particularly interesting because I got to do a little research on folklore (and hobgoblins) and even tried making a beverage called lamb’s wool. It’s made with beer or ale, sugar, spices, and apples, and tastes wonderful. I will try it again with the right kind of apples (they should be relatively sour, while the ones I used were sweet) and blog about it in the fall.
Mia: A change in seasons does call for different drinks. That lamb’s wool sounds like it goes with falling leaves and brisk temperatures. October is the usual time for Christmas stories to be released. My Lady Below Stairs, my Christmas enovella, first came out in October and my current WIP is a Scottish-set Christmas story due out in October 2013. So your A Lady’s Lesson in Seduction is scheduled for the right release date for a Christmas tale.
When you’re not writing, what do you love to do? What charges your creative batteries?
Barbara: Just not writing usually does it. They say that movement is good for the brain, so whenever my muse balks, I give her some exercise – whether it’s doing the laundry or dishes or walking the dog. Works wonders! And reading helps a lot, too, especially if it’s authors whose writing is so fabulous that I get inspired to try harder.
Here’s the blurb of To Rescue or Ravish?
When heiress Arabella Wilbanks flees a forced betrothal in the middle of the night, the last person she expects to find at the reins of her getaway hackney is Matthew Worcester. It’s been seven long years since they gave in to their mutual desires and shared the most incredible night of their lives, but Matthew still burns with regret for leaving her without a word. He should escort her to safety, but the chance to reclaim and ravish her once more proves impossible to resist!
And an excerpt:
London, January 1802
Arabella rapped hard on the roof of the coach. It lurched around a corner into darkness broken only by the glimmer of the hack’s carriage lamps and stopped.
She put down the window. “How far are we from Bunbury Place?”
The jarvey got down from the box and slouched against the coach, a nonchalant shape with an impertinent voice. “Not far, love. Changed your mind, have you?”
“I have not changed my mind. I am merely asking for information.” She put her hand through the window, proffering the guinea. “I trust this suffices. Kindly open the door and point me in the right direction. I shall walk the rest of the way.”
He didn’t take the coin. After a brief, horrid silence during which she concentrated on thinking of him as the jarvey and not her once-and-never-again lover, he said, “Can’t do that.”
“I beg your pardon?” She pushed on the door, but he had moved forward to block it.
“It’s not safe for a lady alone at night. This, er, Number Seventeen, Bunbury Place—it’s where you live, is it?”
How dare he? “Where I live is none of your business.” She shrank away from the door and kept her hood well over her face.
“So it’s not where you live. Who does live there, then?”
Why couldn’t she have just told him that yes, she lived there? Must every man in the entire country try to order her about? “Let me out at once.”
“Sorry, love. When I rescue a lady from deathly peril, I see her home safe and sound.”
Some shred of common sense deep inside her told her this was extraordinarily kind of him, but it made her want to slap his craggy, insolent face. Home wasn’t safe for her anymore. Nowhere was safe, and meanwhile Matthew Worcester was playing stupid games.
“Cat got your tongue?”
She exploded. “Damn you, Matthew! Stop playing at being a jarvey. It makes me positively ill.”
There was another ghastly silence. It stretched and stretched. Good God, what if he actually was a jarvey? Surely he hadn’t come down that far in the world. A different shame—a valid one—swelled inside her.
“You recognized me,” he said at last. “What a surprise.”
Like it? Buy it!
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Mia: Wow! That sounds terrific, Barbara.
Barbara: I will be giving a free download of one of my Harlequin novellas — from Amazon, B&N, or Harlequin, winner’s choice.
Mia: Thanks, Barb! And I’ll sweeten the pot with a download of Touch of a Lady to another commenter as well.