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Archive for September 1st, 2011

Same as the Heath cover below, no blurb yet but will update when I do have one. Release date is January 31, 2012. Author’s website can be found here.

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Debut book coming out December 27, 2011. Isn’t the cover just lovely?

In Cecilia Grant’s emotionally rich and deeply passionate Regency romance debut, a deal with a rumored rogue turns a proper young woman into . . . A Lady Awakened.

Newly widowed and desperate to protect her estate and beloved servants from her malevolent brother-in-law, Martha Russell conceives a daring plan. Or rather, a daring plan to conceive. After all, if she has an heir on the way, her future will be secured. Forsaking all she knows of propriety, Martha approaches her neighbor, a London exile with a wicked reputation, and offers a strictly business proposition: a month of illicit interludes . . . for a fee.

Theophilus Mirkwood ought to be insulted. Should be appalled. But how can he resist this siren in widow’s weeds, whose offer is simply too outrageously tempting to decline? Determined she’ll get her money’s worth, Theo endeavors to awaken this shamefully neglected beauty to the pleasures of the flesh—only to find her dead set against taking any enjoyment in the scandalous bargain. Surely she can’t resist him forever. But could a lady’s sweet surrender open their hearts to the most unexpected arrival of all . . . love?

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Lovers or Enemies?

Captain Miles Trevelyan, on leave from active service in India, is heading out for a night on the town when he rescues a beautiful pickpocket from arrest. She’s the perfect choice for a few days of dalliance–beautiful, cunning, and completely disposable.

But Temperance has no intention of becoming the plaything of a man who wears the uniform of the solders who murdered her lover. Disarming Trev with a kiss, she escapes. But her sultry kiss opens the two Scorpio adversaries to an obsessive attraction that neither can elude–or possibly survive.

 

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NT: Hi Jenny! Thank you for being our guest today.

 

NT: When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How long did it take for you to make your first sale?

 

JB: I’ve wanted to write since I was a kid. I grew up in an apartment in the kind of neighborhood where kids can’t go out on their own to play with other kids. So the people I met in my library books became very important to me. By the time I was a teen I wanted to put a book of my own up on the shelf with those of the authors who had meant so much to me. But I also wanted to be a first a musician, then a software developer, and finally a mom, so it took a while to finally get around to writing.

I sold my first book when I was in my early 40s, but that book and the seven that followed it were all nonfiction. They did extremely well and grew into a full time business. So I only got serious about writing fiction a decade later when I’d started to burn out on explaining things to people and welcomed the challenge of doing more imaginative writing.

I sold my first novel seven years after I finished my first novel, but most of the time between writing that first book and selling it was still taken up with business-related projects and with dealing with my mother’s care after my father passed away. So I’d guess I must have put in about three years of concentrated effort working on novels before I sold one.

 

NT: You have a new release this month, STAR CROSSED SEDUCTION. Can you tell us about it?

 

JB: This is the Scorpio book in my astrologically-themed Lords of the Seventh House series, so as you might expect, it is an emotionally wrenching tale that explores themes of trust and betrayal, loneliness and connection, sexual manipulation, and coming to terms with our own self-destructive tendencies.

The hero is a soldier who has come home on leave from fighting in India’s Third Maratha War and finds that the “home” he left as a teen feels painfully alien to him. The heroine is a pickpocket he encounters one night as he accompanies a friend into the slums looking for a little adventure. She turns out to be a runaway who left a wealthy home to pursue her ideal of helping the poor, whose dream has come to grief, leaving her trapped in poverty and at the mercy of criminals who force her to choose between prostitution or theft.

Each finds in the other the epitome of all that is forbidden–the dutiful soldier shocks himself by breaking the law to save the pickpocket from arrest. The lover of liberty finds herself in the arms of a man who wears the same uniform as the men who killed the revolutionary with whom she left home. And yet they can’t free themselves of the need for each other.

 

 

NT: What inspired the idea for this story?

 

JB: The germ of it was a single scene that appeared in my mind, of a foggy night where a crowd has gathered around a ballad singer who is standing on a crate in slummy backstreet holding forth while a woman, dressed in black, flits through the crowd.

I thought a soldier—someone dedicated to law and order would be a good foil for her, so that meant he had to have spent time in India, since that was only war the English waged in my time period—1820. So I started researching the lives of the British Army in India and that made me notice the way children born to Englishmen in India were shipped back to England at very young ages—four or five sometimes and often never saw their parents until they were grown. That gave me a lot of insight into my hero’s psychology and the kinds of painful issues he would have to deal with.

 

Then, when I researched the politics of the time I was shocked to learn hat an oppressive regime the rule of the Regent had been, with soldiers firing into unarmed crowds of workers who were only asking for the right to vote, and trampling women and children to death. So I got excited about writing a heroine who didn’t spend her time in ballrooms worrying about her reputation, and put her life on the line trying to change things, while not romanticizing how hard she would find it to do it.

 

NT: What was the most interesting thing you had to research and what was the hardest thing to research?

 

JB: Researching underworld slang was a great deal of fun, because I didn’t want use the same language you find in Heyer and authors who copied her, but went to the primary sources. I think I might just be the only recent author to use the word “Twiddlepoop” in a sentence.

The hardest thing to research was my hero’s uniform, because midway through the book he has to remove his garments one by one and I wanted to get that right. Though it’s not too hard to find descriptions of soldier’s uniform colors and war-related gear, as you can imagine, it gets tougher when you look for sources for things like military underwear. The stuff that drove me crazy when I researched this book was questions like, “Where does this officer keep his money? Does his uniform have pockets?” and the like. The big stuff is easy to find but those little details can be elusive, and because this book was written to a deadline I didn’t have the luxury of spending weeks looking for helpful books and prints.

 

NT: What can your fans look forward to from you in the near future?

 

JB: My next book is PERILOUS PLEASURES, the Pisces book in the series. The hero is a Scottish lord with a tragic past who has taken a vow of chastity after falling under the sway of a mysterious mystical healer. I’ve paired him with a cynical Virgo who is the ugly daughter of a beautiful courtesan–the same courtesan the hero believes sent his sister to her death during the French Revolution.

 

NT: If someone has not read any of your books, which would be the one you’d recommend they try first?

 

JB: It really depends on what they’re looking for. Since each book brings alive a different astrological sign, each has a different mood. LORD LIGHTNING is lighter and wittier, while STAR CROSSED SEDUCTION is a more serious and emotionally complex book. So readers who love the classic Regencies might do best to start with LORD LIGHTNING, but those who love darker, more complex and emotionally moving stories may prefer STAR CROSSED SEDUCTION. Characters from LORD LIGHTNING play a brief role in STAR CROSSED SEDUCTION but reading the books in any order won’t ruin your enjoyment of either. PERILOUS PLEASURES is completely stand alone, and set almost a generation earlier.

 

I’d suggest that readers check out the free samples they will find on the various e-bookstore sites, as the first chapters give a good sense of what each book is like.

 

NT: How can readers contact you?

 

JB: I have a FaceBook page, Jenny Brown’s Romance Novels, and a Twitter account, @ThatJennyBrown. You can also email me using the address you’ll find at my web site http://jennybrown.net

 

NT: Thank you so much for blogging with us here at Novel Thoughts!

 

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For a chance to win LORD LIGHTNING,  just leave a comment below. Good luck! 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

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