You’ve written more than twenty novels, several novellas, your stories have become New York Times best sellers, and you’ve set all of them in or around England in the Regency era, including your new book THE SEDUCTION OF SCANDAL. What fascinates you about this time and place?
I just like men in tall boots. Is that a crime? I think not! Actually, the Regency era, the early 1800’s in England, fascinates me because it is the beginning of many ideas we accept as common sense now.
How did you learn so much about the Regency period?
Books, books, and more books. I have a super research library. However, the point of a romance is not the history. It’s the dynamic between two people who are falling in love—and that doesn’t change whether we are talking about ancient Rome or light years into the future.
What attributes do you share with your protagonists—especially Corinne and Thorn—in the Scandal and Seductions novels? Humor? Resilience? Intellect?
Impetuousness? All my female characters share a common trait—they are not happy with their lives and they realize if there is to be a change, it is up to them. I believe each of us has the power to make our lives better if we are willing to toss expectations to the wind and seize living with everything we have.
How do you manage to keep the wonderful traditions of the genre fresh and exciting?
Highwaymen, forced marriages, virgins…Listen, this isn’t just me keeping these traditions alive. Readers play a hand in this as well. The veil of history softens some things. For example, I don’t know that I would write a contemporary romantic comedy about a convenience story robber.
It seems as if Thorn is a true alpha male. How about Corinne—alpha woman? Did you plan them that way or did they surprise you?
I don’t buy into the alpha/beta debate. I think most people have elements of each in order to be well-rounded and I think fake people i.e. characters in books should be the same. Thorn does have his alpha moments, but he has plenty of beta ones as well. That’s what makes him interesting. As for Corinne, she’s getting her alpha on. Women take on life when they takeover their lives. Did that make sense?
I’m interested in women who decide to buck the status quo, who want to shake up their family tree.
You write really wonderful intimate scenes in your novels. How do you manage to keep the sexual tension high throughout a book?
Sex is just another form of communication. When writing an intimate scene, I try and keep in mind what these people really are saying to each other. I find it fascinating how we can be alone and independent and then meet someone special and in the matter of hours, days, weeks, our whole lives are turned inside out. Love has that power. It breaks down barriers, overcomes disabilities, inspires and renews. And that is what we are writing about.
What compels you to write?
I’ve always been a storyteller. When I was a kid, I used to spend the day on the backyard swing set telling stories to myself. I’d start swinging and develop my own world based on books I was reading, television shows, and movies. Anything that captured my attention. I was really taken with the Roman Empire and the Civil War. Trust me, it was very odd behavior! But I turned out okay. I also wore out three swings.
Motherhood—did you write and publish the entire time you were raising your children?
I started writing when my youngest was two. The poor child, she hasn’t known a time when I wasn’t talking to myself . . . and answering!
And how do you manage everything you’re doing now? You write full time. You raise horses, correct? Are there other animals? And you spend time working with new writers at conferences and workshops.
I own two horses, two dogs, and a cat. I have three children. My oldest is a nurse in West Virginia. My son is taking the scenic route through college. My youngest just graduated from college and accepted a commission in the Coast Guard.
I do give workshops and I like speaking to writers of all levels. Writing is also an on-the-job-training profession. We learn more from each other over a cup of coffee or a martini than we do in writing seminars. I’m blessed to have a host of wonderful writing friends.
Will we see Corinne and Thorn again? Are you working on your next book?
Corinne and Thorn wrap up the Scandal and Seductions series. I’m working on a trilogy involving an ancient curse and the family it is determined to destroy
What do you most want readers to take away from The Seduction of Scandal?
That loving well is the greatest adventure of all.
Where can readers reach you?
My website and on Facebook.
Who says the devil isn’t a woman?
The rich and powerful tremble at the highwayman’s name, while England’s villagers rejoice in his bold exploits. His identity is a secret; his life a mystery— until Lady Corinne tumbles into his arms. If the Thorn wants her silence, he must hide her until her wedding day passes. It’s a devil’s bargain and one that can only lead to a hangman’s noose.
Corinne believes it the perfect plan—until her highwayman reveals a passionate lover’s heart, and she realizes that in the seduction of scandal, she may have found the hero she’s been waiting for her whole life.
One copy of THE SEDUCTION OF SCANDAL
~ one copy of a backlist title from the "Scandals & Seductions" series
U.S. and Canada only.
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