Friday, March 15, 2013

Christine Young Presents A Baron in Her Bed

Please welcome  author of A Baron In Her Bed.  Please remember to leave a comment and you will be eligible to win a prize.

Maggi will be awarding the winner's choice of a backlist eBook to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and a $30 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter.




A Baron in Her Bed
by Maggi Anderson

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INTERVIEW:

1.What or who inspired you to start writing?
Inspired by Enid Blyton perhaps, I was penning stories before I turned ten. Life got in the way, though. I married and had three children before I seriously considered writing as a career. When I began, my inspiration came from the wonderful Georgette Heyer’s historical novels and Victoria Holt’s Gothic romances. I learned romantic suspense from Mary Stewart who was one of the first to write it. Agatha Christie and other crime novelists fueled my love of crime and mystery stories. I always liked a touch of romance in the books I read though. I was disappointed if I didn’t get that happy ending. Most of my romances are adventure stories or mysteries. In A Baron in Her Bed, someone is trying to kill Guy, from the moment he steps on English soil. Horatia is determined to save him, even against his wishes.
2.How did you come up with ideas for your books?
The first seed of an idea might come from something I’ve read or seen on television. Old movies are great for ideas too, but most of my books evolve as I write them. Sometimes the story begins with the title and I brainstorm it from there, asking, “What if?”
3.What components are necessary for the genre of this novel?
The plot encompasses a historical event, with the customs and mores of the day, and the fashions etc. into which I weave the developing romance – the lovers must remain the main theme of the book. In a series, one needs continuity of characters and events from one book to the next. I like to create a world inhabited by my characters that we glimpse again, albeit briefly, in the next book. Interesting to see what has happened to them since their story was told. But I’m also keen to ensure that each book can stand alone, as the books may not necessarily be read in sequence. 
4.    What expertise did you bring to your writing?
I have a good imagination. My mother was an artist and I actually see the scenes in my mind’s eye. Everyone brings different strengths to writing. Some writers might have an ear for dialogue, for instance, others the senses, and there are those who plan the entire book in advance, scene by scene.  A love of reading is essential and I continue to read the genre in which I write. And there are some great authors of Historical romance to choose from. My BA in English and Fine Arts, and MA in Creative Writing have been helpful but I don’t believe they were essential. Probably more helpful that I’m stubborn and a bit obsessive. I don’t give up easily. You can’t if you want to be successful. I’ve had to develop a thick skin too. You’re putting your work out there to be judged. No matter how good the book is, not everyone is going to like it.
5.What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?
I support the RSPCA in Australia, (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). I love and respect animals. There’s a lot more to them than we know. Wild or domestic, cats, dogs, birds, even insects, which I find fascinating. I love to watch David Attenborough on television; he’s a hero of mine. Sometimes animals appear in my stories. There’s a horse called The General in this novel.  
6.As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?
I plan to write more contemporary romantic suspense stories. I have a new release in March titled, WITH MURDEROUS INTENT, and another about twins in the pipeline.
7.If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
That answer can change from book to book, but right now, it’s Miss Horatia Cavendish. She’s loyal, feisty and adventurous. And she gets to marry the blue-eyed Baron, Guy Fortescue. I fell a bit in love with Guy while writing this book. One or two of my critique members did too.
8.Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder your writing?
My historical critique group is a mix of published and unpublished writers. I appreciate their support and their expertise very much.  I have never found them a hindrance, but I’m sure the wrong group could be. We writers are often fragile souls; if you get destructive criticism rather than the constructive kind, it can seriously affect your enthusiasm for writing, which is a great shame.
9.When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?
I had encouragement from friends and family, but to be honest I didn’t need much, I was motivated and pretty determined. After writing and rewriting a book for a few years, I put it aside, and dashed off a Regency novella, STIRRING PASSIONS, in a matter of weeks. I sent it off and had it picked up by a publisher. It was quite thrilling and unleashed the floodgates. All the ideas I’d stored up came bursting forth and found their way into stories.
10.         What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)
The worst advice was that I had to have an agent. I wasted too much time searching for the right one instead of honing my craft. I’m sure a good one is a great asset, and I won’t rule it out in the future, but as yet I haven’t felt the need for one. Many of the big publishers with new romance lines are accepting unagented manuscripts now. The good advice came from a top English crime writer, who I met when she was in Australia. Minette Walters told me to stop vacillating and send copies of my manuscript out to a number of publishers. It takes courage to let that baby go, sometimes. But make sure it’s well edited and ready for publication first. 
11.         Do you outline your books or just start writing?
With a spy series, I already know what historical event will influence the story, but intense outlining doesn’t work for me. It kills the story stone dead. I write as I read, I want to see what happens. I know how it ends though, just not everything that happens along the way, and how my characters arrive at the end. That’s the intriguing part for me. I’m not a total panster though; I do plot a scene ahead. I need to have a good idea of what I want to happen in the next chapter. It can and often does change though. My characters have a way of doing unexpected things. Sometimes I shake my head and say, now where did that come from? In this book, Guy Fortescue and Horatia Cavendish reveal aspects of their character I certainly didn’t plan. Guy revealed that he could be conventional and overprotective, which doesn’t gel well with Horatia who doesn’t give a fig for what society expects of her and is a bit reckless and impulsive at times.
12.         Do you have any hobbies and does the knowledge you've gained from these carry over into your characters or the plot of your books?
Reading is my favorite hobby, apart from the gym and swimming which I need to keep fit. I love movies and the theatre and they can spike ideas. My love of travel, particularly in England, has aided me in developing the sense of place for some of my books.  
13.         Do you have an all time favorite book?
A BARON IN HER BED is certainly a favorite, but I’m pleased with the way the next book in the series, TAMING A GENTLEMAN SPY is turning out. It’s to be released in September with Knox Robinson Publishing. The cover is being created and I can’t wait to see it! The hero, spy, John Haldane, Earl of Strathairn makes his first appearance in A BARON IN HER BED. The heroine, Lady Sibella Winborne, comes from a very large and colorful family, the Brandreths. They will feature in Book Three. 
14.         Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book?
I’ve just begun some work on the third book in the series: WHAT A RAKE WANTS. Flynn, Lord Montsimon is an Irish diplomat turned spy, and the heroine, Lady Althea Brookwood, is a reluctant widow who has little respect for men having suffered from an unhappy marriage.

15.         Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?
One such moment occurs when Guy fails to arrive to escort Horatia and her aunt to a soiree. Horatia waits up half the night for him before her Aunt Emily orders her to bed. Here’s a sneak peek:

Horatia punched her pillow and rolled onto her side, as worry turned to anger. She’d asked Guy several times about his past, but he’d told her little. Perhaps she’d been fooling herself and didn’t know him at all. She turned over and tucked her hand under the pillow, staring blindly into the dark. That wasn’t true. She knew him almost as well as she knew herself, and the realization made her tremble with fear.



BLURB:

London, 1816. A handsome baron. A faux betrothal. And Horatia's plan to join the London literary set takes a dangerous turn.

Now that the war with France has ended, Baron Guy Fortescue arrives in England to claim his inheritance, abandoned over thirty years ago when his father fled to France after killing a man in a duel. When Guy is set upon by footpads in London, a stranger, Lord Strathairn, rescues and befriends him. But while travelling to his country estate, Guy is again attacked. He escapes only to knock himself out on a tree branch.

Aspiring poet Horatia Cavendish has taken to riding her father's stallion, "The General", around the countryside of Digswell dressed as a groom. She has become bored of her country life and longs to escape to London to pursue her desire to become part of the London literary set. When she discovers Guy lying unconscious on the road, the two are forced to take shelter for the night in a hunting lodge. After Guy discovers her ruse, a friendship develops between them.

Guy suspects his relative, Eustace Fennimore is behind the attacks on his life. He has been ensconced in Rosecroft Hall during the family's exile and will become the heir should Guy die. Horatia refuses to believe her godfather, Eustace, is responsible. But when Guy proposes a faux betrothal to give him more time to discover the truth, she agrees. Secure in the knowledge that his daughter will finally wed, Horatia's father allows her to visit her blue-stocking aunt in London. But Horatia's time spent in London proves to be anything but a literary feast, for a dangerous foe plots Guy's demise. She is determined to keep alive her handsome fiance, who has proven more than willing to play the part of her lover even as he resists her attempts to save him.
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EXCERPT:

She patted The General’s nose and fed him an apple. By the time the last of it had disappeared, she heard the clip of a horse’s hooves on the gravel drive. She peeped out of the barn door and saw the baron, tall in the saddle, riding towards the house.

Horatia stepped out and beckoned him. He caught sight of her and rode towards the stables then dismounted and led the horse inside.

“Sorry, my lord,” Horatia said, adopting Simon’s gruff voice. “We have no footman here. No under-groom neither. I’ll stable your horse.”

“Simon, good fellow,” he said warmly. “I came to thank you again. I am indebted to you.”

“No need for that, my lord,” she said. “Everything’s right and tight here as it happens.” She turned her back to lead his horse into one of the stalls. Seizing a brush, she bent and swept it over the horse’s flanks.

He came to rest an arm on the stall door. “I am relieved. If you had lost your job, I was going to ask you to work for me.”

She straightened to brush the horse’s back, confident of the poor light. “Mighty good of you, my lord. But not at all necessary.”

Eh bien, merci encore.” He turned towards the door.

Relieved it had gone so well, Horatia stepped out from behind the horse. She looked up to see if he had gone and found him watching her with his arms folded.
The elation left her, and she took a deep, shaky breath.

“Did you really think you could go on fooling me?” A note of outrage lay beneath the humorous tone in his voice. “How many people around here have red hair like yours?”

“My hair’s not red,” she said, incensed. “It’s chestnut.”

“I wondered how far you would carry this ruse, Miss Cavendish.”

She backed into an empty stall as he strode towards her.

He followed her inside. Reaching over, he whipped off her hat, and her hair came loose and tumbled around her face.  “So, what do you have to say in your defense?”

“Nothing, my lord.” Horatia lifted her chin, her heart pounding loud in her ears. She chewed her lip. She would have to brazen this out.

Annoyed blue eyes stared into hers. “I do not like to be toyed with. I thought there was something wrong with me.”

“Pardon?”

“Watching you bend over in those breeches. Zut! From the first, I felt a strong attraction to you. And then, when I saw you dressed as a woman, I understood.”

“You knew it was me at the dance?” She scowled. “And you deliberately teased me?”

“Don’t you think you deserved it?” He seized her shoulders and gave them a shake. “You tricked me. Why?”

She swallowed. “No trickery, my lord. I was dressed this way when I found you, if you recall. I needed to keep up the pretense.”

He shrugged. “But why do you dress like that?”

She couldn’t explain her restlessness to him and tossed her head. “I prefer to ride astride.”

He raised a brow. “You like a strong beast moving beneath you?”

She bristled at the insult. “I like to ride alone.” He made it sound as if she gained some sort of indecent enjoyment from the exercise. Her face heated. To ride astride was unfeminine, she knew, but that fact had never bothered her before.

“But to do so places you in peril.”

Horatia drew herself up. “I can handle myself as well as a man.”

“You believe that, do you?” His gaze flicked over her. What was he thinking? She quivered under his scrutiny.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Maggi Andersen and her lawyer husband are empty nesters, living in the countryside outside Sydney with their cat and the demanding wildlife. Parrots demand seed, possums fruit, ducks swim in the stream at the bottom of the garden, and the neighbours chickens roam their yard providing wonderful eggs. She began writing adventure stories at age eight. Three children, a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts in Creative Writing degree later, her novels are still filled with adventure and suspense, but are also passionate romances. Georgette Heyer among others, brought inspiration to her seductive Regencies and she also writes darker, Victorian novels, contemporary romantic suspense and young adult.

She supports the RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals) and animals often feature in her books.

Twitter: @maggiandersen
BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Baron-Her-Spies-Mayfair-Series/dp/1908483342/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1339661805&sr=8-2

19 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

Mary Preston said...

I pretty certain that I read all of Enid Blyton's books a hundred times over as a child. The memories linger.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Catherine Lee said...

I, too, love David Attenborough. His voice! He has such a curiousity and appreciation for all creatures, great and small.
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

Andra Lyn said...

Thanks for the lovely interview! I've really enjoyed following this tour and I absolutely love the sounds of this book and future series!

andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

Christine Young said...

Welcome to my blog. I hope you have a great tour.

Ingeborg said...

I have enjoyed the tour and all the great excerpts, thank you.

Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Maggi Andersen said...

Thank you for hosting me, Christine.

Maggi Andersen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maggi Andersen said...

Hi Mary, yes those memories are ingrained and inform my writing I'm sure.

Maggi Andersen said...

fascinating man, isn't he, Catherine. He was quite cute too when he was young apparently.

Maggi Andersen said...

Hi Andra, thanks so much for following it. I've enjoyed your comments!

Maggi Andersen said...

Thanks for following my tour, Ingeborg, I'm delighted that you enjoyed it!

Lana A said...

Hm, I think an agent isn't as necessary in the age of digital publishing. Would you say that digital publishing, made it easier to get published?

anzuazura at yahoo dot de

Lyra L7 said...

It has been great to read along, thank you for all the wonderful excerpts!

lyra.lucky7 AT gmail DOT com

Lena said...

I liked reading about Horatia and Guys adventures, they are quite the pair.

lennascloud At gmail Dot com

Ami said...

Great tour, I'm looking forward to your next release!

shadowrunner1987(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Maggi Andersen said...

It is easier to get published now with e-books, Lana. But there's a minefield out there for an unwary newbie writer, and it's wise to check out thoroughly who you send your work to.

Maggi Andersen said...

Many thanks Lyra, Lena and Ami for stopping by and commenting.

Christine Young said...

Welcome to my blog. I hope you have a great tour.