Tell us about your book(s)!
Thanks for having me on the blog today! I’m so excited to talk about my most recent Regency book MARRIAGE MINDED LORD. It’s the first book in the Darrington family series and follows the path to matrimony of the four Darrington siblings. With this series, I wanted to knock back the heat level so it’s not erotic like my Scandal in Surrey series. The Darrington family series is sensual but there’s humor woven in, and what better place to start the funny than with the family? Poor Felix (my hero) is bedeviled at every turn by his “I want grandchildren” mother and his matchmaking sister. It’s a wonder the man didn’t run away screaming into the country. And when he falls for a woman mama doesn’t like? Let the games begin!
Here’s the blurb:
When an outrageous meeting leads to inappropriate desire, will family honor and duty destroy a chance for true love?
Felix Alan Darrington, Earl of Swandon has been summoned to London by his mother. Though he has obligations to Parliament, his meddling parent has reminded him it’s time to do his duty, marry and provide her with grandchildren. But Felix refuses to wed under dictate. He’ll choose the woman and the time, and if he’s lucky he’ll marry for love.
Clarice Delacroix is a lady’s companion. Though she’s an illegitimate daughter of a duke, her mother was a French opera singer which puts Clarice firmly between worlds. Possessed of a quick temper and a penchant for making pastries, she longs for adventure, romance and acceptance, but she refuses to be anyone’s mistress. Her mother’s life is not for her.
As Felix schemes to spend more time with Clarice and find out why the Frenchwoman intrigues him, the titled lady who wishes to be his countess conspires to keep them apart. Felix quickly finds that balancing relationships between family and love is not as easy as first thought, or as black and white. Someone in his circle isn’t telling the truth, and the repercussions could prove deadly to Clarice’s future.
The background conversation faded as did everything else Olivia said while Felix stared at the newcomer. Her rust-colored gown set off slightly olive-hued skin. A few curly tendrils of black hair had escaped the knot at the back of her head and clung to her neck, but her big brown eyes framed with sooty lashes captivated him.
“Which one of you requested to see Cook?” Her French-accented English was as flawless as if she’d spoken the language all her life. Plush lips formed the words. With great effort, he wrenched his gaze from her mouth to focus on her. She held a crystal trifle dish in both hands. Every layer of the dessert was clearly visible, all purple jam, pale pastry cream and pound cake.
His mouth watered. His pulse pounded. Sweat trickled down his back and dampened his shirt. What an enchanting creature. “I did.” Felix rose. He resisted the urge to straighten his clothing in her presence. “I’m Felix Darrington, well, I used to be until I assumed Earl of Swandon title.”
She curtsied. “Very good, Lord Swandon.”
Olivia rapped her knuckles on the tabletop. “Clarice, I must tell you—once again—that talking about your betters to the kitchen staff will not be tolerated.”
The Frenchwoman nodded. She cast her gaze downward. “I understand, my lady. I do apologize for making my comments so loud that you overheard.”
Felix stifled a snicker at the last second. The chit was clever. He liked her even more.
Color blazed in Olivia’s cheeks. Her eyes glittered. “Be that as it may, I intend to hold back two days of pay from your salary this month for your insolent attitude. Perhaps that will teach you more than my words do.”
“Yes, my lady.” Though Miss Delacroix kept her gaze to the floor, Felix swore he felt the heat of anger come off her even though the length of the table separated them.
Olivia nodded. “Very good. Now, let’s have a look at the trifle. And pray, tell me why Cook refused to join us.”
Miss Delacroix moved around the table until she stood at its head, pausing between him and Olivia, her gaze fixed on Felix. Mischief and slight annoyance warred for dominance in that bright gaze. “Cook is too shy so she requested I come in her stead.” A faint smile curved her lush rosy lips. “However, she’s pleased you enjoyed her meal, and I think you’ll enjoy the dessert as well.”
“I’m looking forward to it.” How would those lips feel against his? Would her voice sound as sultry whispering endearments in the dark? He banished his wayward thoughts.
“For the love of God, put down the trifle, Clarice.” Irritation clung to Olivia’s voice. “We’re all anxious to finish, and I’m certain you have other tasks to perform that don’t include bothering my guests.”
“I do, thank you, Lady Drummond.” With a barely discernible wink, Miss Delacroix turned a slow, deliberate half-circle as fluid and seamless as her voice, then she upended the trifle dish directly into Olivia’s lap.
You can purchase MARRIAGE MINDED LORD at the following places:
All Romance ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-marriagemindedlord-1296443-162.html
Hmm, now that’s a tough question. I don’t usually write stories with actors/actresses in mind, so let’s see… Patrick Dempsey for Felix, maybe Ryan Reynolds. For Clarice? Rachel Weiz? Or the actress in the Hagen Daaz commercial who fights with her boyfriend. I don’t know. I’m drawing a blank LOL
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Yes. Schedule your time and outline your stories. Also, don’t give into procrastination. It’s a time stealer.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Everyone is entitled to their opinion—that means good and bad reviews. Bad reviews don’t mean the book sucks. It means your readers don’t “follow the herd”. And trust me, you want a mix of reviews. I always say my books invoke some sort of a reaction in readers: good and bad. There’s never a middle of the road, but that’s all to the good. Reactions mean the book resonated at some level. Once this happens, you’ve done your job.
How do you relax?
Reading for pleasure, bubble baths, and playing Solitaire.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Okay, I actually have two. The first I’ve kept in mind since an early age: "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." – Walt Disney And this second one I adopted this summer. It’s from Star Trek into Darkness: “I have no idea what I'm supposed to do, I only know what I can do!” – James T. Kirk
What is your favorite book?
Oh wow, another hard question! How can I pick just one? Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery or Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters. Truly, the list could go on and on.
Who is your favorite author?
I have many favorite authors in many different genres. I can’t pick just one.
What is your favorite movie?
The Princess Bride
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Mel Brooks. Why? Because he’s a master of comedy and sexual humor. OR Mark Twain. Why? Because he wrote his stories no matter that they weren’t popular or that they hit on social topics people didn’t want to talk about. Plus, he’s also a humorist.
What is the most interesting trip you have ever taken?
To Trinidad a few months after 9/11 to meet the man who would be my husband after we’d corresponded by email for three years. Leap of faith.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
Other than literally running into Peyton Manning in the middle of a news conference? Yes, that actually happened during my first wedding anniversary. Don’t ask. Long story. Or how about falling down a set of concrete stairs in front of my workplace and getting my skirt caught in the wrought iron railing, which tore the backside out of the skirt? Yup, true story. Or… yeah, I could go on, but I won’t, since some of my most embarrassing moments I actually do write about. You can find them in my books if you’re savvy enough. And people wonder where I get my material…
White wine or red? White
Coffee or tea? Tea (iced preferably)
Cook dinner or order take-out/delivery? Cook dinner
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Vanilla. You can jazz it up a hundred ways.
Pancakes or eggs? Eggs
Sleep in or get up early? Up early. You can sleep when you’re dead.
Laptop or desktop for writing? Laptop. (Though I use a Microsoft Surface when I’m out)
Giveaway for this post: I’m giving away a digital copy of a book from my backlist. This means any book (except books with a 2013 publication date) is eligible, plus a subscription to my monthly newsletter and a packet of book swag is up for grabs. Just answer this question and be sure to leave your contact info: if you were a character in a Regency romance, how would you want to meet your hero? Giveaway is open to international residents and will close October 4, 2013. Winner will be posted in the comments section as well as notified by email.