To start, please tell us a little about The Rogue's Dynasty Trilogy and A Marquis to Marry.
Good morning, and thank you for having me today on your fabulous site! I would love to tell you a little about The Rogues’ Dynasty Series. I started the Rogues series with this premise: Everyone in the ton knew that Lady Elder had tried many times by fair and foul means to force her grandsons to marry. After all, she had been happily married . . . four times. Decades earlier she had successfully married off each of her three daughters to titled gentlemen. And in turn, each daughter had given her a grandson all in the same year.
The Grandsons turned out to be Rogues of the highest order, notorious for many reasons including their titles, handsome faces and rumored debauchery. But nothing made them more popular than the fact that all three still remained bachelors in their thirtieth year. Not even vast fortunes had tempted any of them to propose to any of the young ladies who fancied them.
In A Marquis to Marry, the second book of the series, Alexander Raceworth, the fourth Marquis of Raceworth was not looking for love when Susannah Brookfield, the Dowager Duchess of Blooming arrived unannounced at his door. He had a card party going on at his house and serving tea to a temperamental old dowager was not in his plans. Let the servants take care of her. But when Race finally puts his cards on the table and goes to meet the duchess, he finds that she’s not old and she’s not unattractive. She’s a young, stunning beauty. And what’s more, she claims his grandmother’s pearls belong to her family. She intends to get them back, but Race doesn’t plan to be bluffed out of them.Before the true ownerships of the pearls can be determined they are stolen from Race’s home. Race puts Susannah at the top of the thief list, but she wasn’t the only one after the pearls. There’s a sweet-talking buccaneer, a master-jeweler popinjay who secures jewels for the Crown, and a seedy, one-armed antiquities dealer, all wanting possession of the famous pearls.
The first book of The Rogues’ Dynasty series is A Duke to Die For. It came out in April 2009, but it is still available at your favorite local or online bookstore. In A Duke to Die For, the hero’s life is chaotic and undisciplined, so I gave him a young and innocent heroine who was timely and organized to get under his skin and stay there. For fun I had her believe she was cursed, and for intrigue I had him be in danger because of it.
An Earl to Enchant is the third book of the series and will be published in April 2010. In An Earl to Enchant, the hero is a planner who plays by the rules and has no idea what to do with an enchanting heroine who ignores convention and steals his heart with her impulsive ways. For merriment, I have the heroine pursuing the hero, and for intrigue I have a killer pursuing her.
I've heard A Marquis to Marry is based on true events - how did you uncover the true story and what was it like to research it?
Several years ago I read a snippet of information about the Talbot pearls. Five strands of perfectly matched pearls with each strand measuring thirty-two inches. I knew I wanted to use them in a book and A Marquis To Marry seemed the perfect story. It was easy to work out little details about the pearls. I decided they would belong to the hero, Race, left to him by his grandmother. And then to add a little spice to the story, I decided to have the heroine, Susannah, show up at his door claiming the pearls belonged to her family.
During the entire writing of this story, I kept searching for what really became of the Talbot pearls. I made e-mail contact with a couple of libraries in England, including the one in Sheffield where the Countess of Shrewsbury lived, hoping they could help me. I was sent a lot of information about jewels but nothing on the Talbot pearls. As I neared the end of the book frustration set in. I wanted to be able to tell in the author’s notes what really became of the famous pearls, so I hired a professional researcher.
She went to work right away checking books, museums’ lists, and old account records of the Countess of Shrewsbury, but to no avail. She and I finally had to give up and assume the strands of pearls were probably sold or pawned and were eventually broken up to make smaller necklaces. But it was most disheartening not to be able to say for sure what became of the pearls. The one thing I could do was make sure A Marquis to Marry had a happier ending. At the end of the book, the real thief is caught and the pearls are found.
I love the reformed rake playing the hero - something about have all that experience is appealing (in make-believe at least!) What three words would you use to describe your hero Race?
Passionate, fun-loving and sexy!
Describe your heroine Susannah in three words.
Believable, forgiving, and tempting.
I love that you begin each chapter with a note to Race from his Grandmother. What made you think of including these and can you tell us a little of how you use these notes and the ones Race sends to Susannah in the story?
Lady Elder, Race’s grandmother is the tie that binds The Rogues’ Dynasty books together and her quotes from Lord Chesterfield to her three grandsons was a constant irritant to them. In A Marquis to Marry, Susannah is a Duchess which means her rank is higher than Race’s. She’s usually treated with the highest, and most formal respect. He gets her attention by sending his informal notes that say just enough to tease her.
What scene was the most fun to write, and which was the hardest?
The most fun scene to write was the scene where Race and Susannah meet. I think the sexual tension between them sizzles from the moment they set eyes on each other. And the hardest to write was when Race thought Susannah had betrayed him and he accused her of having the pearls stolen. I wanted him to be passionately angry in that scene but yet he still had to be the hero of the book, too!
What do you love most about writing historical romances?
I love that feeling of being back in time and making it as beautiful, sensual and as fun as I hope it was.
Can you tell our readers a little about your writing and researching process?
I’m a fairly steady writer in that I usually write from about 10:00am until 4:00pm Monday through Friday. I seldom write in the evenings or weekends. I still do most of my research with books rather than the internet as I simply love to get away from the computer with a book and curl up in my favorite chair and read. But in a time crunch, I’ll stay at the computer and try to find what I need to know—for instance—if they used the term “bath salts” during the Regency, which I concluded they didn’t.
What are you currently reading and are there any books you would recommend? Authors always have the best recommendations!
I’m reading The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer and I have Sandra Brown’s Smash Cut sitting under it as next on my to be read list. I know Laura Kinsale has a book titled Lessons in French coming out in February of 2010 as my editor sent me a copy. I read it and loved it. It should be on anyone’s list who likes historicals.
The third book in the Rogue's Dynasty Trilogy, An Earl to Enchant, is set to release in April 2010. Can you give tell us a little about the main characters?
I’m happy to tell you a little about An Earl to Enchant. It is the third book of the Rogues’ Dynasty series and will be published in April 2010. In An Earl to Enchant, the hero is a planner who plays by the rules and has no idea what to do with an enchanting heroine who ignores convention and steals his heart with her impulsive ways. For merriment, I have the heroine pursuing the hero, and for intrigue I have a killer pursuing her.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
I’d like for everyone to know that I’ll be writing three more books in the Rogues’ Dynasty for Sourcebooks. I can’t tell you about where the next three rogues come from as it would spoil one of the plots in An Earl to Enchant. But rest assured I have three more powerful, sexy heroes coming your way.
Thank you for having me today and I hope I’ll be invited back next April when An Earl To Enchant is published. Amelia
Thank you Amelia and we'd love to have you back! How exciting to hear there will be three more books - for six in all!
Sourcebooks has awesomely offered a set of the first two Rogue's Dynasty books to one lucky reader of Cheeky Reads! Leave a comment or question for Amelia and you'll be entered to win both A Duke to Die For and A Marquis to Marry!
Sorry, but this contest is limited to U.S. and Canada residents only.