Let us start with a basic question, when did you first start reading romance?
Mia:I’m sort of a late bloomer. I’d been married for a while when my mom put THE WOLF AND THE DOVE into my hands. Needless to say, Kathleen Woodiwiss hooked me. Before that, I was a Victoria Holt/ Mary Stewart devotee.
Mia: I think it’s the “take me away” quality. When we slip into the heroine’s slippers, not only do we get a chance to fall in love with a dangerous alpha male, we get to live in a totally different world.
When it comes to research and the setting of your books, do you weave your story from history, (facts that intrigue you), or think of a story and then insert it into history?
[pullquote align=”right” textalign=”right” width=”25%”] I want a hero and heroine who love each other sacrificially.[/pullquote]
Mia: Usually, a historical tidbit or a vivid period painting will give me an idea for a character and that’s how my stories start. In the case of WAKING UP WITH A RAKE, I ran across a tabloid article about the “Hymen Race Terrific.” I thought I’d misread it at first, but that’s what the gossip rags of the regency called the frantic efforts of the younger sons of King George to sire a legitimate heir to the throne. If the Dukes of Clarence, Cambridge and Kent were so intent on wedding and bedding, I reasoned that someone might not want them to succeed. It was a short step to envision my three royal rakes who’d come between the princes and their intendeds.
What do you think that Connie Mason brings to the table that makes your book collaborations richer?
Mia: Where do I start? Connie’s been crafting love stories since the 1980’s so she knows a thing or two about romance. She’s also been a champion of unusual settings which is why our previous collaborative works have been set in Scandinavia (LORD OF FIRE AND ICE), Scotland (SINS OF THE HIGHLANDER) and pre-revolutionary war Bermuda (LORD OF DEVIL ISLE), of all places. Fortunately, Connie’s fans will follow her anywhere!
How to you like your heroes and heroines to be?
Mia :I like my heroes large and in charge and my heroines feisty enough to take them down a peg.
Who’s your favorite character in Waking Up with a Rake?
Mia: I really love Lord Rhys Warrington. He’s the quintessential wounded hero, having come back from his stint in the military with nightmarish flashbacks—what we’d call PTSD today. He’s been estranged from the cold, distant father he could never please and tries to live down to his wicked reputation. But when he meets Olivia, he begins to long for something more than a never ending bacchanalia.
Please tell us five fun facts about the Regency Rakes Trilogy that readers would love to know!
1. The heroes have mad bed skills!
2. The heroines may be virgins, but none of them are pudding-headed debutantes!
3. There’s bit of a mystery tucked into each story. In WAKING UP WITH A RAKE, someone is trying to kill Olivia. In ONE NIGHT WITH A RAKE (June 2013), the hero and heroine discover who’s strangling whores in Covent Garden. And in BETWEEN A RAKE AND A HARD PLACE (January 2014) the three heroes finally uncover the real traitor who caused them to lead their men into a disastrous ambush during the war with the French.
4. Each story is filled with all the Regency details readers love—house parties, balls, glittering dinners and trysts in unexpected places.
5. Witty banter is the order of the day!
What are you currently working on?
[pullquote align=”left” textalign=”left” width=”30%”] Romance is the delicate dance between two souls.[/pullquote]
Mia: Just finished BETWEEN A RAKE AND A HARD PLACE, so that excessive panting you hear is just me catching my breath. Next September, my new Spirit of the Highlands series from Kensington will kick off with PLAID TO THE BONE, followed by PLAID TIDINGS (a delicious Scottish Christmas story!) in October, so I’m finishing up the tweaks for those now. And then it’s time to start brainstorming a new cast of characters and a new series premise. That’s always a fun time because anything can happen.
What are you reading right now and what’s the last book you read that you loved and would recommend to my readers?
Mia: I’m actually reading outside the romance genre right now—Ken Follet’s WORLD WITHOUT END. It’s a doorstop of a book set in a medieval cathedral town. For my recommended read, I’d have to say Isobel Cooper’s NO PROPER LADY. I was intrigued with her blend of Victorian magic and mysticism and paranormal time travel elements.
What makes a romance novel a great love story and how would you define “romance”?
Mia: Definitely the characters. Unless I care about the hero and heroine, it doesn’t matter if the book is tightly plotted and prose sings. I want a hero and heroine who love each other sacrificially.
Romance is the delicate dance between two souls. It’s the miracle of someone being able to say, “I know you, through and through, and I still won’t turn away.”
January 1st 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
The Fate of England’s Monarchy Is In The Hands of Three Notorious Rakes.
To prevent three royal dukes from marrying their way onto the throne, heroic, selfless agents for the crown will be dispatched…to seduce the dukes’ intended brides. These wickedly debauched rakes will rumple sheets and cause a scandal. But they just might fall into their own trap…
After he’s blamed for a botched assignment during war, former cavalry officer Rhys Warrick turns his back on “honor.” He spends his nights in brothels doing his best to live down to the expectations of his disapproving family. But one last mission could restore the reputation he’s so thoroughly sullied. All he has to do is seduce and ruin Miss Olivia Symon and his military record will be cleared. For a man with Rhys’s reputation, ravishing the delectably innocent miss should be easy. But Olivia’s honesty and bold curiosity stir more than Rhys’s desire. Suddenly the heart he thought he left on the battlefield is about to surrender…
Connie Mason is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 novels. She was named Storyteller of the Year in 1990 and received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews in 1994. She currently lives in Florida. Mia Marlowe is a highly acclaimed new voice in romance whose debut novel released in Spring 2011 from Kensington. She lives in Boston, MA. Together, they are working on the next book in the Royal Rakes series, Romanced By a Rake, which will be in stores in June 2013. For more information, please visit http://www.conniemason.com/ and http://miamarlowe.com.
US and Canada only – Ends Jan 22nd
One lucky commenter will win a papercopy of Waking Up with a Rake! No need to leave your email =)