Thursday, February 25, 2010
Welcome author Janet Mullany to the Manor!
Okay, everyone--let's give a warm LIT welcome to Janet Mullany, author of delightfully fun, super HOT historical romance. Janet's here to talk about her latest release, Improper Relations (which I can't *wait* to read--but first I must wrest it from the hands of that naughty Lord Craven-Moore). Everyone who comments between now and Friday night will be entered in a drawing to win a signed copy of the book! Now, without further adieu......
Must a lady always put her husband first?
After losing best friend and cousin Ann Welling in marriage to the Earl of Beresford, sharp-witted Charlotte Hayden is even ruder than usual to potential suitors. Introduced to Beresford’s wayward cousin, Shad, Charlotte may have met her match in witty repartee–but he’s hardly husband material. Caught in a compromising situation, Charlotte and Shad are forced to wed, resigning themselves to a marriage of convenience. And they aren’t the only ones with marital problems… Have both Ann and Charlotte married in haste to repent at leisure? And where do their loyalties really lie? With their husbands, with each other, or somewhere else entirely?
Thanks, Lust in Time ladies and Lord FlexPecks—sorry, Lord Craven Moore, for inviting me here to talk about my latest release Improper Relations.
But first I need to tell you I’m in a scary, scary place for a writer. It’s an exciting place, too. It’s the place where everything begins… or doesn’t. I have a first line. I have a title.
But where the heck is the rest of the book?
Will it burst forth or will I have to sit down in a spot that isn’t my office and that doesn’t have internet and start doodling with pencil and paper? Or shall I give up the title and first line, as fabulous as they are, and look for something else?
It’s funny how some books come together fast and others need to be coaxed out, with soft crooning sounds and nice little snacks. My 2009 release, A Most Lamentable Comedy, came about very easily when I realized what a thoroughly disreputable person the heroine was and how the hero was equally wicked. And the title was a given, since it took place at a country house party where amateur theatricals took place.
My most recent release, Improper Relations, had the title right from the beginning. I’m very lucky in that my publisher, Little Black Dress (UK) likes my titles. It was my first marriage of convenience book, and I had a lot of fun with it.
I’ve always thought marriages of convenience could be very sexy—it’s sex with a stranger, with all the clumsiness and awkwardness and eroticism that implies. So the hero and heroine simultaneously get to know each other, in and out of bed, and love and liking develop in tandem.
I also had a lot of fun dealing with uptight Georgians and sex. For the hero (named Shad, it’s one of those shortened nicknames and it’s just unfortunate he sounds like a fish), things are perfectly clear. At first. Marriage is to beget heirs. Mistresses are for fun. But then…he falls in love. With his wife! And has hot sexy fun with her! Horrors. It’s not natural.
Charlotte, my heroine, is pretty much oblivious to his agonizing dilemma, but she catches on. She’s not much of a shrinking violet and she tends to be very direct.
“Shall I pour you some tea, sir? Oh, what a pretty teapot. Is it—”
The newspaper in his hand creases. “Charlotte, pray do not touch the spout that way. A footman might come in at any moment.”
"Which way? Oh. Oh, you mean…”
“Precisely.” He grins at me.
I help myself to some bread and butter, taking care not to fondle the handle of the knife overmuch, although I am strongly tempted to do so. It is quite refreshing to know that I can disturb him with the simplest of gestures.
I explore some other beloved tropes of the genre in this book, too, as I’ve done with all of my Regency chicklits: there’s a duel, a sports-mad brother, a makeover for the heroine that doesn’t quite take, masked encounters and mistaken identities.
What are your favorite Regency or historical tropes (or clichés)? And in which books do you think they are particularly successful? Inspire me for my next Regency chicklit!
Find out more about Janet at her site, www.janetmullany.com, where you can read excerpts, hear her reading from her books, and enter her contest.
Note from the LIT Ladies: You can buy Improper Relations here, with free shipping worldwide! (who can resist that?!)