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Archive for April, 2010

Whore…gift…and unexpected ally.

Eden Trilogy, Book 1

In Dagran society, Alex is the lowest of the low—a “mare”, an object to be used by the nobility. When her owner, Stephen Garnath, gifts her to his greatest rival, she begins plotting her path to freedom. Nothing and no one will ever control her again. Not her degrading past, and certainly not her growing attraction to a man reputed to be an even crueler master than Garnath.

Robert Demeresna is instantly suspicious of such a generous gift. Yet she comes to him armed with only her sharp mind—a potent weapon he can use to defend his people from the enemy. And underneath, an unbreakable spirit that besieges the walls of his heart.

Slowly, Robert chips away at Alex’s defenses, striking sparks that make her begin to believe even a lowly whore like her could be worthy of him. Until Garnath springs a trap so cleverly hidden, war is unleashed before either of them sees it coming. A new kind of war fought with steam engines, explosives—and magic with a killing edge…

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What was the inspiration behind Before the Storm?

A few years ago, I read Anne Bishop’s Daughter of the Blood, which features a dark and corrupted land where male pleasure slaves are common. One of them has been forced into such a position for years and is cold, bitter and lonely – but of course he’s also very, very appealing.

I put down the book and wondered, “Can I do the same thing, except with a woman?”

Right away I had the heroine and hero of Before the Storm. Alexis Khayne is a mare, a woman kept for the pleasure of the nobility and considered lower than a prostitute, because at least whores get paid. But her training made her manipulative and charming. It sharpened her already quick mind into an icy intelligence and turned her beauty into something she uses to get the most out of the men to whom she’s lent.

Until she’s actually given away to one of them.

Robert Demeresna is quite different. Although he’s extremely conservative – you can tell he went to boarding school and called his father “Sir” – he’s honest and straightforward and always treats women courteously. Not that there have been a lot of women in his life, since he’s as plain in looks as in speech. He’s also a little preoccupied by an impending invasion of his land.

And the man who handed Alex over to him is behind that, which makes Robert suspect that his gift wasn’t given out of generosity. No, she’s probably an assassin. So now he’s even more reluctant to touch her, much to her confusion.

Two other novels which influenced me very much were Phillipa Gregory’s Wideacre and Gone with the Wind. The English countryside forms an beautiful background to Wideacre, as much a living and breathing part of the novel as any character. So Before the Storm is set in a land that’s part Victorian England and part medieval fantasy, with the formal elegance of the one balancing the strange and sometimes brutal nature of the other.

As for Gone with the Wind, that’s simply my favorite novel, so I wanted to give Alex what Margaret Mitchell gave Scarlett. Overwhelming challenges, but enough strength to face them. A man who fell in love with her, but who wouldn’t let her take advantage of him. And a proposal which ends in a passionate kiss when words alone don’t work.

Reading those books was wonderful. Writing this one was even better. I hope you enjoy it!

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Many thanks to Marian for being our guest today. You can find out more about Marian at her website and her blog where she discusses writing and publication. When she’s not writing, she studies medical laboratory technology (one more year of college to go!). Comments always welcome! Don’t forget to leave a comment to win a download of Before The Storm. Good Luck!

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This was rereleased today through Samhain Publishing. Even though I’ve already read this when it first came out, I had to get it today because I want to see what differences there are in the books. Shiloh is also running a contest at her blog for those interested in entering it.

One woman, one man, and a love that won’t let either of them go.

Born on the wrong side of the tracks and dealt a fair share of hardship, Nikki Kline never gives up a fight. Even when her reason to keep going is ripped from her, Nikki tries desperately to hang on. But when the man who broke Nikki’s heart comes back into her life she doesn’t know how much she can take. Especially since that man seems determined to win back her damaged heart.

Wade Lightfoot is a man who knows he’s made more mistakes than most. As much as he would like to repair the damage he’s done to those he loves, Wade also knows there is no going back. But when he sets out to put things right the last thing he’s prepared to find out is that he had a son. A son he’ll never get the chance to meet.

When the truth is out and all the old wounds are bared, it seems impossible that Nikki and Wade will find their way back to each other. But true love is an undeniable force that even past hurts can’t destroy.

This book has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.

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Check out Berkley/NAL’s new Project Paranorma! Where J. R. Ward talks about her new Fallen Angels series, and also gives an inside look at the latest novel in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, LOVER MINE. Also view a profile of debut novelist Skyler White, who introduces readers to the world of AND FALLING, FLY.

us.penguingroup.com
Watch The Fallen Angels Phenomenon: Authors J. R. Ward, Skyler White, and Danielle Trussoni explore the fallen angels phenomenon in their paranormal fiction series. Brought to you by Project Paranormal, a video series in The Publisher’s Office Video & Radio Network Screening Room, Penguin Group USA.

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Scandal is only the beginning…

Charlotte Fallon let her guarded virtue fall once—and she’s paid dearly for it ever since. She swore she’d never succumb to men’s desires again. But even a village spinster’s life miles from temptation can’t save her from a sister with no shame whatsoever. Or a heart that longs for more, whatever the cost…

Sir Michael Bayard found more than he expected in his bed when he finally joined his new mistress. He’d fantasized about her dewy skin and luscious curves, assured her understanding that what passed between them was mere dalliance. But he didn’t expect the innocence and heat of her response in his arms. Nor her surprisingly sharp tongue once she was out of them…

A few days of abandon cannot undo the hard-learned lessons of a lifetime. Nor can an honest passion burn away the restraints of society’s judgments. Unless, of course, one believes in nonsense like true love…

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My call story? I have two. You’ll hear about the first one on June 1, when I magically turn into an entirely different writer, Margaret Rowe, author of Tempting Eden, a Regency Noir erotic romance coming from Berkley Heat. But today I’m Maggie Robinson. Maggie writes lighter yet still emotional, sexy historical romances for Kensington Brava, and today is the release day for Mistress by Mistake. MBM is the first of the Courtesan Court trilogy, featuring three unlikely mistresses and the men they master.

Yes, the two of me have two debuts, a little more than a month apart. I could not be more happy or more terrified. I’ve been writing for almost seven years. One night I was so angry with my husband  I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to create a fictional man who would do just what I wanted him to. Hah. My characters do seem to have a mind of their own—I still have no luck bossing anybody around, but I got hooked at the keyboard and here I am.

I got my wonderful agent Laura Bradford in 2008 (after finishing three very bad books and then writing Tempting Eden), and got a two-book deal with Berkley in April of 2009. Then, two months later, I sold 4 books and 2 novellas to Kensington. Sounds crazy, right? It was! Especially when we’re talking a total of 8 books, only four of which had been written at the time.

We gave my Berkley editor a first look at the trilogy, and she liked it but wanted me to make significant changes—in effect, make it darker and more similar in tone to Tempting Eden. Well, my husband (he of the writing inspiration) will tell you I’m stubborn, and I didn’t want to rewrite anything. I have no problem with revisions—I had to change the last third of Tempting Eden, but I loved Sir Michael Xavier Bayard and Charlotte Fallon just the way they were. So I asked Laura if she would proceed to submit the books elsewhere.

That was scary. But that same day she sent MBM out, she got positive e-mail feedback from Megan Records at Kensington. The next day we got the lovely offer, less than 24 hours after I got stubborn!

But other publishing houses had the book too. Laura called them and told them to read fast.

A week went by. A long week. Some passed right away. Some waffled. One was very interested. So we waited until Friday.

It turned out the first offer was the best offer. I walked around with my cell phone in a death grip all day, even when I got a pedicure. No news as I got back into my flip flops with wet toes. But on the drive home, Laura called and I pulled over in front of the courthouse. I was thrilled to know my books had a home, and Megan called me the same night to welcome me.

You can read an excerpt of Mistress by Mistake on my website, www.maggierobinson.net I’ll give away a copy today to one commenter—let’s talk toes. Do you do your own, or spring for the luxury of a pedicure? Wild colors or neutrals?

If you don’t win today, follow me on my Magical Mistressy Tour for another chance. Thanks so much for having me on the blog today to celebrate my debut!

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Thank you for your visit, Ms Robinson, and best of luck with Mistress by Mistake!

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Lindsey Baker knows Clay Talbot’s dirty little secret—he likes to watch, he likes to share, and he likes his sex a little on the rough side. So does she. Six years ago he was quick to brush her off for being too young and inexperienced. Now she’s back in small-town Grayson, Texas, determined to show Clay she’s all grown up and knows exactly what she wants—him.

Clay doesn’t play in his own backyard. His dark cravings are better fed at Silver House, a private fetish club where his identity is protected and his privacy respected. And where the women know the score. But Lindsey Baker pushes all the right buttons and he soon finds himself torn between keeping her at the edge of his world and dragging her into it.

Saddle up for a smokin’-hot turn between two cowboys who like a little twist with their ride.

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So, you’d expect characters in an erotic romance to misbehave, especially those partaking of a little (or a lot) BDSM action. After all they love the punishment administered for their naughty actions. But I’m talking about those characters who won’t cooperate with you as their creator. They do things you don’t expect, sometimes the exact opposite that you want them to, which can take the story in directions you never dreamed or intended. Suddenly you’re confused and faced with a difficult decision. Do you press that magic button—I’m talking about the backspace key, couldn’t survive without it—and make the unplanned behavior go away, pretend it never happened, and start all over? Or do you turn a blind eye to the errant whims of your character and let him or her have their way?

The heroine in my new release from Ellora’s Cave, Saddle Broke, surprised me more than once over the course of the book. Lindsey had a mind of her own—as Clay quickly discovered—and for the most part her instincts were spot on. She knew better than I what she wanted and how to get it. I simply had to trust her enough to show me where we were headed and why. I suppose I should thank Lindsey for her willful determination. Though, knowing her as I now do, she probably would prefer a good spanking.

What I’d like to know is, as a reader, do you like a headstrong heroine? Or a submissive one? A mixture of the two? Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Saddle Broke. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow at noon.

Have a great week!

Darah

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Many thanks to Darah for being our guest today. For more information on Darah and what she has coming up next, visit her website here. Don’t forget to leave a comment to be in the running to win a download of Saddle Broke. Good Luck!

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Latest Winners!!

 

Congrats Amanda & Raelena! 🙂

Amanda

Wins a download of a book off Dee’s backlist. For a list of books, check out Dee’s site here.

Raelena

Wins a copy of Rule’s Bride by Kat Martin.

Raelena, please email me your address at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces) within 48 hours or a new name will be chosen.

Amanda, you can just let me know what title and format you need, no addy needed. 🙂

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Congrats to all!

A Touch Of Scandal Winners —

Blanche

CherylS.

Pearl

Highland Surrender Winners —

Kirsten

Claudia

 

 

Julie

You all know the drill. Email me your address at mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces) within 48 hours or a new name will be chosen.

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