I am delighted to offer this Q&A with Miranda Neville as her new book arrives in stores. Read through to the end to read an excerpt and find out how you can win your own copy!
Q&A with Miranda Neville
- When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have always written, but non-fiction of various kinds. I’d toyed with the idea of writing a novel for years, but only got serious about a dozen years ago.
- What was the first romance novel you read that made an impression on you?
Powder and Patch by Georgette Heyer, when I was about twelve. I loved it so much I went on to read all her books, most of which I liked even better. I just read Powder and Patch again and thought it was brilliant!
- How did you start writing romance novels?
I stopped reading romance for some years, until I picked up a Catherine Coulter and discovered that Regency romance now had sex. Hot damn! After reading many books by writers like Mary Jo Putney, Jo Beverley, Julia Quinn, Victoria Alexander, and Liz Carlyle (to name only a few!) I decided to have a go at writing my own. It took me about five years to get published (not with my first book – that one’s staying under the bed!)
- How do you balance your writing schedule with the rest of your life?
I have no idea. I always say it’s a miracle I ever finish a book.
- What do you hope readers will get from your book?
I always aim to take my readers back into the world of the past to meet intriguing and sympathetic characters who meet challenges and find love. I hope to inspire some laughs, some sighs and even the occasional tear.
- What inspired you to write Lady Windermere’s Lover?
The book stands alone, but it’s part of my Wild Quartet series in which a group of friends have to face the consequences of their youthful errors. In the case of Damian, Lord Windermere, it is gambling away his estate during a drunken birthday bash. One of the things that fascinates me is the way writers use the same romantic tropes and produce such different results. I love marriages of convenience but I had never tackled an estranged spouses story. So I decided that’s what Damian would have.
- How real are your characters? And their houses?
Like any writer, I borrow from any source that suits me, including my friends and family. But, if anyone says one of my characters is modeled after them, I will deny it to the death! As for houses, I love architecture porn, especially English stately homes. I have volumes of books on the subject. I never use one exactly, only the basic look, then I adapt the layout and features to suit my plot. We writers have power and we like to wield it.
- Why do you think so many historical romances are set in Regency England?
It was the time when Britain came fully into its position as the world’s dominant nation. That makes the ruling classes very powerful and power is sexy. It is also a transitional period between the bawdy Georgians and the uptight Victorians with a tension between surface expectations and actual behavior that makes for great romantic conflict. Or the short answer, great male clothing: think Mr. Darcy!
- Why are heroes and often heroines usually wealthy aristocrats?
Romance is all about the fantasy and historical romance even more so. No one wants to fantasize about being poor, downtrodden, and dirty. I am surprised there aren’t more characters who are self-made but the fashion at the moment is for dukes all the way. I expect the pendulum will swing back to heroes like Lisa Kleypas’s Derek Craven.
- Do you believe in love at first sight?
Absolutely. It has happened to me many times. Since none of them turned out to be lasting, I call them infatuation. But if one of them had worked out we’d have been telling our grandchildren we fell in love at first sight. Let’s face it, it’s not the first meeting the counts, romantic as it may be, but what happens afterward.
- Tell three things about yourself that may surprise your readers.
I own boxes of beautiful fabric remnants, none of which I ever make into anything.
I really want to fly in a balloon.
I’d rather eat fruit than chocolate.
- How can readers connect with you?
About LADY WINDERMERE’S LOVER–
Hell hath no fury…
Damian, Earl of Windermere, rues the day he drunkenly gambled away his family’s estate and was forced into marriage to reclaim it. Now, after hiding out from his new bride for a year, Damian is finally called home, only to discover that his modest bride has become an alluring beauty—and rumor has it that she’s taken a lover. Damian vows to keep his wife from straying again, but to do so, he must seduce her—and protect his heart from falling for the wife he never knew he wanted.
like a woman abandoned…
Lady Cynthia never aspired to be the subject of scandal. But with her husband off gallivanting across Persia, what was a lady to do? Flirting shamelessly with his former best friend seemed like the perfect revenge…except no matter how little Damian deserves her loyalty, Cynthia can’t bring herself to be unfaithful. But now that the scoundrel has returned home, Cynthia isn’t about to forgive his absence so easily—even if his presence stirs something in her she’d long thought dead and buried. He might win her heart…if he can earn her forgiveness!
If you’d like to win a copy of LADY WINDERMERE’S LOVER –
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “LADY WINDERMERE’S LOVER” as the subject. You must include your snail mail address in your email.
All entries must be received by July 10, 2014. One (1) name will be drawn from all qualified entries and notified via email. This contest is open to all adults over 18 years of age in the United States only. One entry per email address. Subscribers to the monthly newsletter earn an extra entry into every contest. Follow this blog to earn another entry into every contest. Winners may win only one time per year (365 days) for contests with prizes of more than one book. Your email address will not be shared or sold to anyone.
He couldn’t have said who kissed whom first but declared it a tie because when it came down to it, who cared? All that mattered was she was intoxicating and finally he was going to put an end to far too long a celibacy. Somehow his exhilarated brain kept a grasp on his good intentions. His physical condition was approaching desperation and he doubted he’d last long enough to please anyone in his current state. He needed to slow down.
She lolled against the cushions, a golden angel in a den of iniquity, her eyes big and dreamy, her hair a honeyed cloud, her lips plump and dark from his kisses and asking for more. She represented an invitation to sin as sultry as any Persian houri, despite her nightgown, covering her from chin to toe like a nun. True, it was an improvement over the thick flannel shroud. It fell smoothly about her curves, giving him a better impression of her figure than he’d yet been afforded: high breasts, a small waist, and a lovely curve of the hips. Through the superfine cambric he caught a shadowy impression of nipples; dark pink, he fancied. His favorite kind. With thickened fingers he unlooped the button at her neck, and couldn’t resist the indentation of her collarbone, allowing himself a quick taste of the tender skin. She arched into his mouth and the nightgown fell open, revealing round, pert breasts that his palms itched to touch. “You are lovely,” he whispered. “I want to see all of you.”
He could have bit his tongue, thinking he was going too fast, but he needn’t have worried. The fragrant smoke or some other cause had shredded her inhibitions. With two shrugs and a wriggle she got out of her nightdress, tossing it aside, and arranged herself on the claret-colored velvet like a goddess in an Italian painting. She took his breath away. How could he have ever made the mistake of thinking her short and dumpy? She was a pocket Venus, perfectly proportioned, with ravishing curves to her arms and thighs, and narrow waist above a gently swelling belly.
“You are absolutely made to be naked,” he said with a voice full of awe. “It’s a crime that such beauty should be hidden.”
“A hanging offense or transportation?”
Her smile would entice a monastery of abbots to mass fornication. She stretched like a sensual cat, undulating her hips to draw attention to the blond thatch of her pubis. The anticipation of possession tortured him. It was impossible to believe that he’d had her before, unaware what a treasure he had captured. But now he had to make sure that she was so incredibly satisfied that she would never again give Julian Fortescue as much as a passing thought.