I’ve begun a Wednesday weekly post to present interviews with authors across all romance genres. Although I’m primarily an historical romance writer, I do read outside my genre and suspect a lot of you do as well. And what’s more fascinating than finding out more about either your favorite authors or new ones? I plan to change up my questions (most of them at least) every three months or so, just to keep the interviews lively.
So now gather round the tea table, grab a scone or cookies, and a cup of tea or coffee and discover a new friend in the writing world.
This week on Be My Guest, I am interviewing…me! I had promised you Lauren Smith, but we crossed signals (totally my fault), but we do have our boxed set, Her Perfect Gentleman, that released yesterday, so I’ll step in and pinch hit for the team. 🙂
Gina Danna, Collette Cameron, Ella Quinn, Elf Ahearn, Marie Higgins, Louisa Cornell, Lauren Smith, and Jenna Jaxon.
So, my standard first question: Who has been the greatest influence on your writing?
Probably the first romance author I fell in love with–Jo Beverley. I love her works and still mourn her loss. She gave me my love of the Georgian period, a grasp of how to write compelling characters, and a reverence for those who understand the English system of titles of the nobility.
Who or what inspires your writing?
It depends on the project. I get inspiration from everything from a song (my upcoming release, To Woo A Wicked Widow, was inspired by The Weather Girls song “It’s Raining Men), to a chance word or sentence in another romance novel, (my upcoming release Only A Mistress Will Do, was inspired by a single sentence in a Mary Balogh novel), and my novella in the set, Heart of Delight, was inspired by the Cinderella fairy tale.
Which of your own books is your favorite and why?
I do hate to play favorites, but at the current moment it’s Only Scandal Will Do, although Only A Mistress Will Do is running neck and neck with it! But I love Scandal because I love the heroine (my alter ego), I love the dynamics between the hero and heroine, plus I think the story and setting are cohesive to produce a rather stark, gritty feel to the book that was what I was aiming for. I also see that in Mistress, so that makes sense it’s tied for favorite.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Halloween, hands down. I’ve always loved that holiday (felt it was mine for some reason) and still decorate the house and yard to look like a graveyard for the Trick or Treaters. I love making all the cool themed treats and the wonderful costumes everyone wears. It’s a very theatrical holiday, so that may explain it some.
If you could have one wish granted just for you (not world peace, LOL), what would you wish for?
Enough money so I could live and write abroad, take care of my daughters’ education and my family’s needs, and travel to all the placed I have, at least until now, only read or dreamed of.
What is the most exciting/daredevil thing you’ve ever done?
Probably riding Space Mountain at Disney World. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Couldn’t do it now.
Do you have any hobbies/passions outside of writing?
That would be theatre. I’ve worked as a theatre professional for years, but I never tire of watching or working on plays or being around theatre people.
Who is your favorite non-romance genre author? What is your favorite book of theirs?
Another easy one. Stephen King. Love, love, love his books. When he was writing his Dark Tower series I used to fear either he would die before finishing it, or I would die before I finished reading it. And although The Drawing of the Three is my second favorite King book, my absolute favorite is It. Scared the bejesus out of me, but I’ve read it about 8 times.
Now, tell us a little bit about your newest book.
My newest book is the boxed set, Her Perfect Gentleman, which contains my Regency romance novella Heart of Delight. The other incredibly talented writers also in the set are mentioned above.
What was your inspiration for this story?
As I said earlier, the story was inspired by the Cinderella fairy tale. I originally thought the couple would meet at a masquerade (the Prince’s ball in the fairy tale), but that didn’t work for the series, so I have the hero and heroine both in “disguise” from one another, along with a few other Cinderella-ish details. A wicked employer rather than wicked step-mother, and a “fairy godmother” who takes the heroine under her wing.
Are the character names special in any way?
The character names are as particular as I usually have my names. The heroine’s name wouldn’t come to me, so I had a competition on a Facebook party to name her. As soon as I did that, the contrary girl whispered that she was Gabriella. So when the winner came along, it became Gabriella’s middle name.
Do you have plans for a sequel to this book?
Heart of Desire is the third book in the Handful of Hearts series, so there will be another four books, with recurring characters, although this book won’t have a sequel per se. As far as the boxed set is concerned, I guess we’ll wait and see how this one does before deciding on a Her Perfect Gentleman 2.
Now, the Infamous Lightning Round:
What is your favorite amusement park ride?
Splash Mountain at Disney World!
Tea or coffee?
Tea in the mornings or very late at night; coffee at work and in the theatre.
Beach or mountains?
I love both, but if I had to choose…mountains.
Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate is my drug of choice.
Would you rather skydive or scuba dive?
Scuba Diving, hands down. I would jump out of a plane only if it was in flames and heading for a crash landing. And then I’d have to be drunk to actually do it!
Would you rather vacation in Hawaii, Vegas or London?
I’ve been to Hawaii and it’s beautiful, never been to Vegas but want to go, but I would go to London at the drop of a hat.
USA Today Best-selling author, Gina Danna, joins best-selling, award-winning authors, Collette Cameron, Ella Quinn, Marie Higgins, Jenna Jaxon, Louisa Cornell, Elf Ahearn, and Lauren Smith in this delightful limited edition, containing eight tantalizing love stories.
THIS LOVE OF MINE by GINA DANNA-He must woo his wife to awaken her past or lose her to a pirate forever.
Kidnapped on a trip to London, Lady Eleanor Whitemore awakes in the hold of a ship with no memory of her past or of her perfect marriage to Lord James Haddington III, Earl of Windhaven. All she knows is that a fierce and stunningly handsome pirate is yelling about women being bad luck on a voyage. Adrift at sea in both body and mind, she finds herself falling in love with the pirate captain, whose flashing eyes and muscular frame leave her breathless.
Lord James resisted the shackles of marriage until he met Eleanor. Her beauty and charms captured his heart, and now that she’s disappeared, he vows he will find her or die trying. His search becomes a chase to the Americas, a trip that could destroy him as Eleanor’s bonds with a pirate captain tighten. Can James provoke her memory and win her love, or will the pirate steal her heart forever…
BRIDE OF FALCON by Collette Cameron – Faced with spinsterhood, Ivonne Wimpleton takes fate into her own hands determined to win the heart of her wholly unacceptable childhood love . . . scandal be damned.
After five Seasons, Ivonne Wimpleton has accepted she’s a haute ton undesirable. Always a bit ungraceful, her suitors are men desperate to get their hands on her marriage settlement. Guarded and aloof, she’s resigned herself to spinsterhood. She doesn’t mind her fate, since Chancy Faulkenhurst, the man who once held her heart, left for India years ago without an explanation. When Ivonne’s father, Viscount Wimpleton, refuses Chance’s request for her hand in marriage, he transfers to the East India Troops. Chance’s dreams of making Ivonne his wife are soundly dashed. Ignoring her letters, he closes the door on his heart and Ivonne and remains in India.
Six years later, severely injured during a battle, Chance returns to England physically and emotionally scarred. His love for Ivonne remains just as strong. When he learns due to a whim of Prinny’s she must choose one of the despots whose offered for her hand, Chance is determined that none should have her but him. Except, not only is she infuriated he made no effort to contact her in all those years, in Chance’s absence, his father arranged a marriage for him and fully expects Chance to honor the agreement.
IT TAKES A HERO by ELLA QUINN
Even though their families demand that the youngest son of a duke, Lord Quartus Trevor, and the Duchess of Wharton remain apart, but their hearts don’t seem able to listen.
For the former Anna Calder of Tortola, discovering she is the Duchess of Wharton is a shock, but being forced to find a husband is a greater one. To make matters worse, the only gentleman who interests her is the devastatingly handsome rogue she has been warned against. As inappropriate as he is, she can’t stop thinking about the way his blue eyes warm her or cut of his coat over his broad shoulders…
Upon accepting his brother’s invitation to spend the Season in London, Lord Quartus Trevor quickly discovers that being the penniless younger son of a duke is not much of a recommendation to the beguiling Duchess of Wharton. It’s ridiculous to hope her attentions are serious, but where she’s concerned, his hope refuses to be swayed.
THE SWEETEST CHALLENGE by MARIE HIGGINS
Is giving her heart to a stranger worth the price?
Melinda Stewart is far from being a debutante, but she must disguise what she does during the day to keep food on the table. When a wealthy businessman enters her life and wants to buy her land, she’s torn between giving up her deceased father’s dream—and wanting to give her heart to this stranger.
HEART OF DELIGHT by JENNA JAXON
He’ll do anything to be her heart’s delight—except tell the truth.
Gabriella d’Adventure has come to England as a lady’s maid in pursuit of the Duke of Rother. So when she meets the handsome Horace Carpenter, valet to a marquess, she is delighted to enlist his aid in gaining her heart’s desire: a meeting with the duke
When a breathtaking young woman intrudes on the eccentric Marquess of Halford’s solitude, he is captivated and introduces himself as his valet in hopes of learning more about her. Despite his fear about the true motive behind Gabriella’s quest to meet the duke, Hal agrees to help her gain an audience, all the while hoping his deception will won’t ruin his chances of winning her love and hand in marriage.
STEALING MINERVA by LOUISA CORNELL
He has a thousand reasons to steal the bride, but only one reason to steal her heart.
Colonel Sebastian Brightworth has a reputation for seduction. He seduces money into his hands and never lets it go. He seduces women into his bed and never lets them stay. Seducing his best friend’s latest betrothed into jilting him days before the wedding seems an easy task. Especially with a thousand-pound purse in the offing. That is, until Sebastian discovers his friend is engaged to the one woman in England he cannot possibly seduce. Again.
After seven years in a less than perfect marriage and two years as the Perfect Widow, Minerva Faircloth is engaged to the most eligible earl in England. Their amiable marriage will keep her son safe from his uncle’s cruel plans and her heart safe from disappointment. Everything goes according to plan, until her betrothed’s closest friend arrives. Sebastian Brightworth stole her heart nine years ago. What thievery is he up to now? And how will she ever survive it?
HIS LORDSHIP’S DARKEST SECRET by ELF AHEARN
The thought of Claire Albright in the arms of another man is unbearable, but in his heart, Lord Flavian Monroe knows he mustn’t ask her to share the consequences of one terrible mistake.
If Lady Claire Albright had one wish, it would be to forget brooding, powerful Lord Flavian Monroe. But even after two years of bewildering silence, she yearns to touch his sinuous arms and feel his calloused hands upon her cheeks. Then, on the brink of her come out, they accidently meet. His ward is ill, and he begs her to use her knowledge of healing to help the child. But this patient is sick in a way that’s far different than what Claire expected—dangerously different. And, as she struggles to find a cure, Flavian resists rekindling their love. Is it the ward’s illness that keeps him cold and distant, or a dark and terrible secret?
TEMPTED BY A ROGUE by LAUREN SMITH
Gemma never planned on falling in love with her childhood sweetheart’s best friend, Jasper, when he returns home, but she can’t resist the naval officer’s brooding charm.
Gemma plans to marry James, her childhood sweetheart. With every letter written between them while he’s been off at sea, their love has grown. Now they will be reunited with his return to England. But the man whose words she’d fallen in love with isn’t James..
Jasper, a gentleman rogue of the first order, is trapped. Talked into a scheme by his friend, he pretended to be James for eleven years while writing to Gemma. He’s promised James he’d break it off. But when he returns home, his secret will come out – and he’ll lose the one woman he can’t live without.
Next Wednesday my special guest is Melissa Keir, a wonderful writer friend and colleague of spicy, contemporary romances. Hope you return to you favorite Wednesday spot to meet Melissa! She’s a sweetheart!