Monday, December 2, 2013

An Exclusive Interview with Cassandra Dean + Giveaway (Thank you, Authors! Thank you, Fellow Readers!)

What Cassandra Dean doesn't know is she has single-handedly convinced me to read stories with a first-person POV because her debut novel, Enslaved, is that awesome. (It also convinced me to read beyond Regency/Georgian/Victorian romances and look at other time periods and settings.) In short, Cassandra Dean has helped broaden my own perspective and love of the historical romance genre.

I was also the recipient of the most amazing "mystery" prize ever! Cassandra sent a hand-written excerpt from Silk & Scandal, and (true story) I carry it in my bag every day. It is a source of joy for me to have something so personal, and so unique

LStW: What was the inspiration behind your The Silk series?
Cassandra Dean: The Silk series originally comprised of only one book -- Silk & Scandal. However, my editor asked me to write a whole series in the same vein and so I came up with the notion of a series of loosely linked stories, all featuring people who love the law (Silk) and the person they fall for (Scandal/Scorn/Scars/Scholar/Scarlet). These five Silks all studied at or lived in Cambridge at the same time and each story leads into the next.

The initial idea for Silk & Scandal came from the UK TV series, Silk. Featuring barristers vying for a coveted place as a 'Silk', or Queens Counsel, this show fascinated me with its legal awesomeness and the dynamic between the lead characters. So, when it came time to develop Silk & Scandal, I thought, why not make Thomas, the hero, a barrister? Maybe even a barrister newly elected to parliament, trying to establish his reputation. Then, I thought, what would be the worst thing possible for a barrister who has just become a Member of Parliament and needs to be circumspect in all things? Why, a lady wreathed in scandal, of course! The rest is history :)

LStW: (Halloween) If you could dress up as any character, real or fictional, who would it be?
Cassandra: Ohhhh, what a good question! Hmm. I would LOVE to dress up like a Steampunk Victorian lady, with a bustle, a corset, a parasol and a leather harness holding my weaponry. Heh.

LStW: (Thanksgiving) As a writer, what are three things that you are most thankful for?
Cassandra: Ideas, even if they drive me mental sometimes with having way too many of them. However, better to have too many than not enough!

The support of my critique partner, writing colleagues, day job colleagues, editors, friends and family. I would not be anywhere in this caper without them.

The English language, because it's so damn awesome in all its permutations.

LStW: (Christmas) Do you have a favorite thing to gift friends for Christmas?
Cassandra: I love making lots of food goodies and giving them to my friends. For the last few years, I'll bake and bake and bake and then assemble all that baking in a nifty gift basket. I've found some awesome recipes and my friends look forward to their baskets every year, which is just fantastic :D

LStW: (New Year) What's next for Cassandra Dean in 2014?
Cassandra: Next up is Silk & Scorn, the second in The Silk series and currently in edits. I'm also working on Silk & Scars, the third in the series, and developing ideas for Emerald Sea, the third and final book in The Diamond series.

The new year will also hopefully bring ... a pony?!

Thanks for having me, Khristine!

* * *

Books by Cassandra Dean

I was to teach a slave.

Marcus, a gladiator in my father’s ludus, was compelled to my presence to learn of Rome’s gods, her legends. When first he came, fear consumed me - fear of this silent, resentful slave who burned with his anger.

Time, though, changes much. Marcus softened and I grew unafraid. As we became closer, I grew more than merely unafraid – I grew to love him. Never did I think we would be separated.

I was wrong.

To read my review of Enslaved by Cassandra Dean, click here.

Ever curious, Elizabeth, Viscountess Rocksley, has turned her curiosity to erotic pleasure. Three years a widow, she boldly employs the madame of a brothel for guidance but never had she expected her education to be conducted by a coldly handsome peer of the realm.

To the Earl of Malvern, the erotic tutelage of a skittish widow is little more than sport, however, the woman he teaches is far from the mouse he expects. With her sly humor and insistent joy, Elizabeth obliterates all his expectations and he, unwillingly fascinated, can't prevent his fall.

Each more intrigued than they are willing to admit, Elizabeth and Malvern embark upon a tutelage that will challenge them, change them, come to mean everything to them...until a heartbreaking betrayal threatens to tear them apart forever.

To read my review of Teach Me by Cassandra Dean, click here.

The Diamond Series, Book 1

Owner of the Diamond Saloon and Theater, Alice Reynolds is astounded when a fancy Englishman offers to buy her saloon. She won't be selling the Diamond to anyone, let alone a man with a pretty, empty-headed grin...but then, she reckons that grin just might be a lie, and a man of intelligence and cunning resides beneath.

Rupert Llewellyn has another purpose for offering to buy the pretty widow's saloon. However, he never banked on her knowing eyes making him weak at the knees, or how his deception would burn upon his soul.

Each determined to outwit the other, they tantalize and tease until passion explodes. But can their desire bridge the lies told and trust broken?

To read my review of Rough Diamond by Cassandra Dean, click here.

The Diamond Series, Book 2

Christmas in Freewill

Christmas Eve, the Diamond Saloon is empty of its people, and Pearl la Monte has a hankering to retire early. A pounding at the door rids her of such a fool notion. Her irritation rises when she sees the prissy, polite-like Garrett standing outside.

Ethan Garrett has a powerful need to gain succor. When the saloon's voluptuous redheaded singer scowls at him from the threshold of the Diamond, he doesn't stop to think on how his ire at her has disappeared. Or how he just wants to spend some time in her company.

When a blizzard storms in, trapping them, will they spend their time arguing or discover their irritation disguises something more?

Eight years ago ...

Thomas Cartwright and Lady Nicola Fitzgibbons were simply friends. Over the wall separating their homes, Thomas and Nicola talked of all things -- his studies to become a barrister, her frustrations with a lady’s limitations.

All things end.

When her diplomat father gains a post in Hong Kong, Nicola must follow. Bored and alone, she falls into scandal, time and again. Mired in his studies of the law and aware of the need for circumspection, Thomas feels forced to sever their ties. Besides, a member of parliament cannot be associated with a woman of scandal -- it isn’t proper.

But now Lady Nicola is back in London ... and she won’t let Thomas ignore her.

* * *

Meet Cassandra Dean --

Cassandra grew up daydreaming, inventing fantastical worlds and marvelous adventures. Once she learned to read (First phrase -- To the Beach. True story), she was never without a book, reading of other people’s fantastical worlds and marvelous adventures.

Fairy tales, Famous Fives, fantasies and fancies; horror stories, gumshoe detectives, science fiction; Cassandra read it all. Then she discovered Romance and a true passion was born.

So, once upon a time, after making a slight detour into the world of finance, Cassandra tried her hand at writing. After a brief foray into horror, she couldn’t discount her true passion. She started to write Romance and fell deep.

The love affair exists to this very day.

Cassandra lives in Adelaide, South Australia.

To find out more about Cassandra Dean and her books, click below:

* * *

Thanksgiving's done and it's almost Christmas and this is my way of saying "Thank you" to all the wonderful authors and to all the wonderful romance readers in the world.

Image from

For this week, as support for the authors, I'm hosting a giveaway for winner's choice of Enslaved, Cassandra Dean's debut novel, or Silk & Scandal, the first book in Dean's Silk Series.

*This giveaway is via Rafflecopter and is open to International Readers.
*This giveaway will run until December 9.
*One entry per household per IP.
*Rafflecopter will select 1 winners who will receive winner's choice of of Enslaved OR Silk & Scandal (ebook via Kindle or ARe)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* * *

Drop by on Wednesday for the next interview and giveaway. ;-)


  1. Hi Tin,
    Thank you for inviting me to your blog and for your lovely words!

  2. Hi, Cassandra! Thank you for dropping by and for doing this interview with me!

  3. Hi, Cassandra! Your books sound like they would be really good!

  4. Hi Cassandra! This is the first I"ve heard of your books. They look interesting! Thanks!

  5. Connie, I'm so thirlled you like the sound of my books. I hope you enjoy :)

    Glenda, I'm super glad you've now discovered my work. Always awesome!

  6. Hi Cassandra! Haven't heard from you for awhile. Hope everything is going well in the writing den. :)

    Happy Holidays!!!

  7. Hi, Connie and Glenda! I'm so glad to know that you've discovered a new author through this feature! I hope you get the chance to try out Cassandra's books because they are amazing. ^_^

    Hi, Ki! Thank you for dropping by and helping me welcome Cassandra! ^_^

    Have a great day, all!

  8. Hi Cassandra- What made you want to write historical romance as opposed to contemporary?

  9. This sounds like it's going to be such a fantastic series to read.

    A Steampunk Victorian Lady would be a fun costume.

  10. Meghan, I've always read historical and just enjoy it so much. I don't gravitate toward contemporary in my reading or my writing, so it's definitely a case of writing what you know! Thanks for stopping by :)

    Mary, thanks so much! I hope you enjoy The Silk Series :)

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