Monday, July 22, 2013

Book Tour: In the Arms of the Heiress + Lady Anne's Lover by Maggie Robinson (Guest Blog + Exclusive Excerpts)


I am beyond thrilled to welcome Maggie Robinson to my blog today. She is currently promoting two books: In the Arms of the Heiress, the first book in her new Ladies Unlaced series and Lady Anne's Lover, the final installment in her The London List series.

For her stop at Love Saves the World, I asked Maggie to talk about What Inspires her to Write Romance and here's what she shared:

I’m afraid I don’t have a very typical answer. It was ten years ago that I was on vacation -- I had the whole summer off. I had been working in a school as an Educational Technician III, a fancy way of saying teacher’s aide. (My teaching certificate had lapsed but I still wanted to work with kids.)

The year had been long, and I was irritable. My husband John was even more irritable -- as a high school principal, he didn’t have the summer off, and his year had been way longer than mine. We got into some silly argument, and I was so mad I went upstairs to the guest bedroom, grumbling about the stubborn, impossible man I had married so many decades ago.

And I couldn’t sleep. Why couldn’t he understand what I meant? There was such a ridiculous Mars-Venus thing going on, I just wanted to strangle him. But you kind of get in trouble for that, so I stewed and rolled around in the bed until I finally got up and sat down at our brand-new computer.

Ten years ago, I was not especially computer-savvy, and as the mother of four kids, I hardly ever got a chance to be near one while they were still home typing term papers and playing games. It was a wonder I knew where the on button was. But I found it, and the writing program. By golly, I was going to make a man behave, even if I had to make one up to do so. And so began my first “book,” which turned out to be only 20,000 words and featured an amnesiac bluestocking who is rescued from a brothel by my impossibly perfect hero. Needless to say, this story will never, ever see the light of day.

So I guess I was inspired by my annoying husband. Once I started writing, I couldn’t stop. I totally had no idea what I was doing, but John encouraged me (we were talking again, LOL) and I fiddled around for a few years during school vacations with various things that made me laugh and cry and tear out my hair. Eventually, I started to get serious, found great critique partners and writing friends and won a few contests. Then in August 2008 I got my fabulous agent Laura Bradford, who helped me sell my first book in April 2009.

Now I live to match two imperfect fictional people together and see how love transforms and heals. Love really does save the world, I think. When you pick up a romance novel, you know no matter how much the author has tortured the characters, there will be a happy ending. Happy endings are sometimes elusive in real life, and how comforting to know you can find one within the pages of a book.

Perfect people don’t exist, either, and I’m so glad John drove me crazy enough to write. :-)

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Thank you, Maggie! (I'm curious about the amnesiac bluestocking story!)

* * *

About the books:

In the Arms of the Heiress
Series: A Ladies Unlaced Romance, Book 1
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Release Date: July 2, 2013

Blurb:
It’s all fun and games until someone falls in love ...

Independent heiress Louisa Stratton is going home to Rosemont for the holidays, and at the family’s request, she’s bringing her new husband—Maximillian Norwich, art connoisseur and artful lover, the man she’s written of so glowingly. There’s one hitch—he doesn’t exist. Louisa needs a fake husband, and fast, to make the proper impression.

Charles Cooper, captain of the Boer War and far from silver spoons or gilded cages, is so hard up that even this crazy scheme appeals to him. It’s only thirty days, not till death do them part. What’s so difficult about impersonating a husband, even if he doesn’t know a Rembrandt from a Rousseau?

The true difficulty is keeping his hands off Louisa once there’s nobody around to see their ruse. And then there’s the small problem of someone at Rosemont trying to kill him. Keeping his wits about him and protecting Louisa brings out the honor he thought he’d left on the battlefield. But when Louisa tries to protect him, Charles knows he’s found a way to face his future—in the arms of his heiress.

Excerpt:

Louisa’s Indecent Proposal

Louisa settled into the crook of his arm, her body close and hot against his. He imagined she was imprinting him with the pattern from her figured silk robe, branding him with vines and leaves. Charles refused to let himself look down at the creamy skin of her d├ęcolletage or the innocent hand that was placed across his chest. She had capable hands, he recalled, hands that moved expressively as she chattered on, hands that could light stoves and shoot guns and drive cars.

And drive a man wild with their light touch upon his skin.

He had only himself to blame for this torture. It might be better to go back to his room and wait to be clubbed to death.

“Charles?”

“Um.”

“This is very comfortable, don’t you agree?”

Not at all.

He gave a grunt that could be interpreted any which way. He should feign sleep, begin to snore so she would stop trying to talk to him. No such luck.

“I’ve never slept with a man before. In a bed,” she amended, in case he had doubts about her virginity. “Isn’t that ridiculous? I’m twenty-six years old and ruined anyway, at least according to Aunt Grace. It’s not as though I can get my purity back, is it?”

Charles had no answer for her. His throat was a desert and his tongue glued to the roof of his mouth.

“It’s rather silly, isn’t it -- my avoidance of intimacy, I mean. I’m a modern, free woman. Why should I obey society’s stringent rules? What’s good for the goose and all that. Although it really should be ‘what’s good for the gander is good for the goose’ in this case, shouldn’t it? Why should men have all the fun? Of course, in my experience men have been disappointing. Starting with vile Sir Richard. But I haven’t yet been able to convince myself of the efficacy of sapphism.”

Charles choked. She was babbling. Well, she’d had a shock, although it should be he who was incoherent after getting whacked on the onion.

“I don’t suppose you’re in the mood to kiss me again, are you? I really don’t think I’m sleepy at all.”

“K-kiss you?”

“As you did at dinner. I’m not asking you to act as a petticoat-pensioner—you needn’t go beyond a kiss. If you don’t want to. Although, if someone is trying to kill us, I suppose carpe diem should figure into our thinking.”

Was she saying what he thought she was saying? The blow to his head must have scrambled his brain. Charles had had enough. He released her and tumbled backward. “I might not be able to stop myself, brute that I am. I’m as vile as Sir Richard. More so.”

“I thought you said I was safe from you.” The damn girl gave him a look that said she didn’t want to be safe.

“I lied.” By God, he had lied. He was as hard as a rock.

“Well, that’s all right then. But I don’t think I’d mind at all if you -- if we -- if -- you know.”

“No, I bloody well don’t!”

“Acted as man and wife. Just for tonight. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? We may be murdered in our sleep.” Louisa gave him a dazzling smile, as if the prospect of future death was quite delightful.

“You should be locked up.”


Lady Anne's Lover
Series: The London List, Book 3
Publisher: Kensington Brava
Release Date: July 30, 2013

Blurb:
Lady Imaculata Anne Egremont has appeared in the scandalous pages of the London List often enough. The reading public is so bored with her nonsense, she couldn’t make news now unless she took a vow of chastity. But behind her naughty hijinks is a terrible fear. It’s time the List helped her. With a quick scan through its job postings and a few whacks at her ridiculous name, she’s off to keep house for a bachelor veteran as plain Anne Mont.

Major Gareth Ripton-Jones is dangerously young and handsome on the face of it, but after losing his love and his arm in short order, he is also too deep in his cups to notice that his suspiciously young housekeeper is suspiciously terrible at keeping house. Until, that is, her sharp tongue and her burnt coffee penetrate even his misery—and the charm underneath surprises them both. Trust the worst cook in Wales to propose a most unexpected solution to his troubles ...

Excerpt:

Lady Anne’s Decent Proposal

“Major Ripton-Jones, for a man with limited income, you need to allocate your resources more appropriately. For seed, machinery, etcetera.”

“Why should I bother planting when I’ll never see the results?”

She looked him straight in the eye. “Because, if you give up drink, I will marry you and you can stay.”

“What?”

“I am, as it happens, an heiress. Once we marry, I will come into enough funds to allow you to keep this place. But I will expect something in return.”

Gareth’s head spun, and not from his unfinished breakfast ale. Of course she wasn’t a housekeeper—her skin was fine as porcelain, her skill in the kitchen execrable. True, she could clean, but anyone could grab a rag and make a difference to his hovel.

“I am as notorious in London as you are in Wales. More so, I should think, although no one has accused me of murder. Yet.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Of course you don’t.” She folded her arms, obscuring her breasts. Did she notice his hungry look? He could smell lilac and clean skin. How he longed to pull the cork from the bottle in his hand and drain the whole damn thing. “I will help you with your reputation, and in return once we set this place to rights, you will let me leave to make a new life with at least half my money.”

She was speaking gibberish. Was this some sort of delayed alcoholic delusion? He shook his head to clear it.

“You are absolutely mad.”

“I suppose I am,” she agreed. “It would have been so much easier for you to advertise for a wife. That was my original plan, but I see things are more complicated than I thought.”

“Who are you?”

“That’s immaterial at the moment. Suffice to say that we can be useful to each other. I can help you with your investigation as well. But --” she gave him a stern look, “you must promise to cease spending your days wallowing in self-pity.”

“I --” He was about to deny the undeniable. What she said was true. He’d just passed the worst year of his life. With no honor and very little wit.

“Are you on speaking terms with the local minister?”

“Not really.” The Reverend Ian Morgan thought Gareth was Satan incarnate. A heathen. An inebriate. An adulterer. A murderer.

“Well, you shall have to go see him anyway. It will take three weeks to advertise our intention to marry. You can’t afford a special license. Do you want me to go with you?”

This was becoming more and more absurd. He hadn’t even known Mrs. Mont a full week.

He didn’t even know her first name.

“You said I’d have to do something for you.”

“Of course. But we can discuss my leaving later.”

“We’ll discuss it now, I think.” He patted the bed.


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For more information about Maggie Robinson and her wonderful books, click below:

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2 comments:

  1. Hi, Maggie!

    Isn’t it amazing the things that our husbands drive us to do? In your case, I’m so happy that it ended up being something that didn’t have anything to do with a pillow. ;-)

    I absolutely love your novels and am so excited to get and read these latest ones.

    Congratulations on your stubbornness. You realized what you wanted and you went for it. Good for you! All the best!

    Connie Fischer
    conniecape@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much, Connie! And thanks to Tin for having me as a blog guest! It was fun to pick the excerpts--different books, but a lot in common! ;)

    ReplyDelete

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