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,, 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?!)


Kristi Cook said...

Thanks for joining us, Janet--the book sounds delightful!!

Hmmm, Regency/historical tropes...I'd have to say that I love the old "pining after the hero/heroine since childhood" trope, particularly when the two were friends as children. I particularly like it when it's the hero pining after the heroine.

Amanda McIntyre said...

Welcome to eh Manor, Janet! Your book sounds like a lot of fun!

In historical, I admit to like the natural obstacles between social class-those that the characters fightwithin themselves, but finally love supercedes and all chaos breaks loose!

Amanda McIntyre

Lavinia Kent said...

I love food erotica scenes. I've never thought about a teapot though -- hmmm. I am definitely going out to buy the book (okay, I am ordering it for my kindle because I am lazy).

Can't wait to read it.

J said...

My favorite trope is a variant on the marriage of convenience, the compromise of the heroine and forced marriage to save her reputation, especially when the hero and heroine weren't really doing anything deliberately compromising. The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig is a fun example.

I can't wait to read this one, it looks like great fun.

Janet Mullany said...

Hi Kristina and Amanda, thanks for inviting me.

Lavinia, thanks for the kind thoughts but the book isn't available as a Kindle. I suggest which has free shipping worldwide, very cool site!

Hi J, nice to meet another marriage of convenience fan!

ranearia said...

Welcome to the Janet to the manor!

One of my fave trope is the lone/hate between the hero and heroine, they start out not liking or hating one another and slowly fall in love with each other!

Kirsten said...

Hi Janet,
I love mistaken identities & the marriage of convieniance which leads to love.
I also like the heroine to be "forced" to marry because it was arranged by her father and her struggle to avoid what's in her heart.
And thinking to be in love with a certain gentleman and asking another man to help her get the one she believes to love, only to discover that the guy helping her out is the one she truly cares for is also great fun.

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Welcome Janet. Sorry I'm late to the soiree, but I've had shoddy internet connections, thanks to a blizzard...grrrr.

You know, it's been a few years since I've read anything set in the Regency era. Your book sounds like just the sort to get back into that era that I loved so much!

Well, I have to agree with Kristina, about friends pining after each other--I love to read them, and write them. The marriage of convience is a fun tool, as well. No Regency is complete without some dangerously passionate behavior in a carriage, and a duel for a lady's honor!!!

Genella deGrey said...

I'm late, too, gals, but I've been super-sick. Still am. Ugh.

Janet, my post will just prove that everyone has a different opinion and we can't please 'em all. ;)

I love instantaneous sparks between the H & H - serious chemistry - so that they have to try *really* hard to resist one another. And when that time finally comes, LOOK OUT, BROTHER!

Janet Mullany said...

Hi, I'm back after a day at work where I had hardly any time to frolic on the internet! Gasp!

I'm really interested in the transition between "he's good looking" or "he's okay" to head over heels falling in love--in other words, the emergence of strong emotions from something fairly close to indifference. I really believe that love is unpredictable and I love creating characters for whom falling in love can be the worst possible thing for them--being kicked out of their normal life and having to deal with all sorts of crazy stuff. But that's probably because my characters get the short end of the angst stick, so to speak and are coping fairly well. Until they fall in love. Ha!

Kristi Cook said...

Okay, J--you're the winner!! Email me at kristiastor @ aol. com to claim your prize!

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