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 clich├ęs)? 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,, 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?!)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Olympics Edition.....

Okay, am I the only one glued to the Winter Olympics these days?! I'm watching way more of the winter games than I usually do--usually, it's pretty much just figure skating for me, but this year I've been watching some speed skating, some skiing, some snowboarding...just about anything, really (I draw the line at curling....sorry, curlers of the world; I just can't get into it).

Anyway, I'm *so* excited about the men's long program tonight in figure skating. If you missed the short program, ladies, there's some serious hotness on the ice. First off, there's Russia's Plushenko, the defending Olympic gold medalist. He's unbelievably cocky and arrogant--and I just *love* that about him! His jumps are incredible--he's one of the few competitors who does quads. Anyway, I find him very sexy...maybe it's his attitude?!

Then there's American favorite Evan Lysacek--a tall, dark and athletic guy with classic movie-star good looks. Vera Wang designs his costumes, and WOW! Amazing. I love to watch him on the ice. Looks like Grace Kelly should be at his side...

But my favorite?! Oh, how I love American Johnny Weir. Flamboyant, exciting, controversial both on the ice and off....but man, oh, man can that boy skate! His artistry is amazing--he's a beautiful skater, with the skills to match. And when he's not wearing the make-up and bizarre costumes, he is seriously smokin' hot (yes, yes, I know he's gay...whatever!). Anyway, I'd love to see Johnny on top of that podium tonight, even though it's a long-shot (Plushenko and Lysacek would have to seriously screw up their routines).

Anyone else watching the figure skating? If so, who are you rooting for?

Just for fun, here's a vid of Weir's 'exhibition routine' to Lady Gaga's Poker Face--it's *classic* Weir (bizarre make-up and all). Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Everything Old is New Again

So, Pink does a cover (a kick ass one, btw) of Led Zeppelin's Woman I'm Gonna Leave You, and all the tweens are suddenly ravenous for all that 70 and 80's rock! My kidlet happened to score brownie points on the school yard because she knew the name of the song, as well as the original artist, because quote 'my parents listen to that old fashioned music'!!! She's right, though. And now my hubby and I making lists of songs that those savvy 'tweens' might like.

Music is big in our house. All three of us adore it, and usually, iPods are plugged into our ears and the TV is off. We all have our own tastes, however. I'm the most ecletic of the threesome. Hubby is a bit of a well...metal head, but I have to give him some credit, because there's been a few songs that he's pointed out that have been awesome for writing some really agnst ridden scenes. The kidlet, well, she's past the High School Musical stuff (thank the Lord) and is developing other tastes--Pink being one of them. Of course, that leaves me listening to Pink so I can screen for appropriateness. When she wanted me to download Pink's version of I'm Gonna Leave You, I nearly fell off my chair because, the night before, she was making fun of my musical choices--and this song was one of them. Of course, perhaps it was Robert Plant's I Can't Breathe In My Too Tight, Give Everything Away, wow... I'm surprised he could move in them, and really was he aware of just his package was from behind that tight denim? Eeek.

Anyhoo, yes. Led Zeppelin is in heavy rotation for my writing. Strangely enough, I'm writing Lust (first of the Sins and Virtues series) to a couple of their songs. Once you get past the hair, the tight jeans really appreciate their lyrics, which sometimes are very mystical, and poetic which does fit into my sexy and opulent Fey court.

Mostly I'm listening to Stairway To Heaven, Woman I'm Gonna Leave You, Kashmir and Whole Lotta Love. I mean, how can one resist lines like this...'shake for me, girl, I wanna be your backdoor man. I'm gonna give you my love....' See, I can totally see Lust saying this to Chastity!

Anyway, it amazes me that these 'youngsters' are enjoying the music that was once the domain of my parents era! But they are. I'm still trying to get the kidlet turned onto New Order, The Cure, The Cult, Depeche Mode (my high school days) but in her words 'yeah, I'm not feeling it'.....but then again, that's what I used to say when mum and dad put on the vinyl LP's of Led Zeppelin!!!

So, what music or bands would like to dig up for a stroll down memory lane?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Gone With the Wind....with Vampires?!

Amanda just sent me this link and I *had* to share--this is brilliant! A mash-up of my all time-favorite movie--Gone With the Wind--with Vampires, oh, my!

And oooh, it's got one of my favorite, alpha-Rhett lines, "This is what you were meant for...." but with a whole other meaning, LOL!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wicked Wednesday....

Some wickedly hot LOST eye-candy for you to enjoy....

Any other LOST devotees besides me?! If so, what did you think about last night's episode, LAX parts 1 and 2?

The scene that makes me cry every time I watch it:

Monday, February 1, 2010

Whaddya think??

Confession time: right now I'm knee deep in revisions for my debut YA release (HAVEN, Jan. 2011, Simon Pulse). Which means I'm not working on anything historical at the moment. As soon as the revised manuscript is turned in, I have to get back to working on my next hot historical for Kensington, but for now, my brain is firmly in "teens and paranormal" mode, so bear with me as I temporarily hijack the proceedings here....

Some background--HAVEN is set in a fictional boarding school in New York's Hudson Valley, right in Washington Irving "territory" (in fact, Irving is supposedly the school's founder).

Everyone at Winterhaven--every kid, every teacher, even the headmaster--has psychic abilities, or "gifts and talents," as they call them: precognition, clairsentience, telekenesis, telepathy, astral projection. The school provides a haven for them, a place to explore their abilities and learn how to best use them in the "real" world. When the heroine, 16 yr. old Violet McKenna, first comes to Winterhaven, she has no idea that the school holds such secrets--or that some of the kids are hiding even *deeper* secrets than she ever thought possible.

I wanted to create a school crest for Winterhaven, an image to represent the school that I could use on my website and in promotional materials (like t-shirts), so I gave a graphic designer all the pertinent details--year of founding, school motto, emblem, colors, etc.

And this is what he came up with:

I must say, I LOVE it!! There are other, less "flourish-y" versions, but I can totally see this one on a solid black web page.

So...what do you think??