from Mia Marlowe…

Mia MarloweI should have had this blog post set to publish shortly after midnight, but I have to confess I forgot I was even scheduled for today till I woke up with morning. This is so not like me! I can only plead Downton Abbey intoxication.

I rarely get wound up about TV shows. It has to be something truly extraordinary. But shortly after Christmas I accidentally happened on about the last 15 minutes of the final episode of Downton Abbey‘s 2nd season. That was more than enough to convince me that I had to discover who these people were. I guess I waffled on about it quite a bit, because my DH surprised me with Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD. So I’ve been wallowing in the world of Downton Abbey since last Thursday and am now “caught up” with the adventures of the upstairs and downstairs denizens of that great house. Thank heaven I’m between book projects right now or I’d be feeling frightfully guilty–not guilty enough to quit, of course, but guilty in any case.

Downton AbbeyWhat? You don’t know what Downton Abbey is?

Allow me to lure you into its web. My DH calls it a post-Edwardian soap opera, and I suppose that’s fair from a masculine point of view. It’s actually a slice of a world gone by, all the glittering wonderful things that are some the reasons I write historical romance. It has a large and sharply drawn cast–16 principals! They are caught up in the stratifications of their society, the exaggerated manners, the social conventions that fascinate me as well. There’s the larger canvas of the quickly changing world of Europe as WWI breaks out. And of course, the gorgeous gowns of the ladies and the house itself, which actually serves as a character in its own right.

I promise to get back to writing now. But before I do, I’d love to chat with you about this latest obsession of  mine. If you follow Downton, who’s your favorite character and why? Are there any you’re upset with? Who do you think has had the strongest character growth since the beginning? If you had to sack one of the servants, who would you let go? What’s your favorite Lady Violet (the dowager Countess of Grantham) zinger?

“Nothing succeeds like excess.” ~ Lady Violet


Waking Up with a Rake

Click for an excerpt!

Mia’s newest release is a regency romp called WAKING UP WITH A RAKE! RT BookReviews calls it “deliciously scandalous!” Welcome to Barrowdell, a grand house in the Lake District. It’s the setting for Book 1 in the Royal Rakes series, so you’ll want to discover this sparkling world from the very beginning.

To prevent three royal dukes from marrying their way onto the throne, heroic, selfless agents for the crown will be dispatched…to seduce the dukes’ intended brides. These wickedly debauched rakes will rumple sheets and cause a scandal. But they just might fall into their own trap…

Find Mia at, on Twitter and Facebook!

Leave a comment or question to be entered into the drawing from Sourcebooks for a copy of WAKING UP WITH A RAKE. One lucky winner will be randomly chosen. US/Canada only, please.

43 thoughts on “Blame it on Downton Abbey!

  1. Ooooh! I was just complaining about how meh DA is this season! That doesn’t stop the obsession, mind you. I find Mary and Sybil very dull indeed and just don’t believe their romantic relationships…zilch in the chemistry department. I adore the Dowager! And if I could sack a character, it might be Daisy. Her shrill little voice and perpetual complaining are wearing…

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      I suspect the sparks between both Matthew and Mary are about to fly once he starts challenging her father in the running of the estate. And Sybil’s mercurial husband is bound to cause trouble.

      Daisy is one of my love/hate characters. She’s so conflicted all the time.

      1. Cindy Kirk Cindy Kirk says:

        I couldn’t have said it better. Daisy drives me crazy. And I have to wonder if Bates is really innocent.

  2. Lorelei says:

    Hi Mia!
    I just started watching the first episode of DA, so I’m not able to share much yet, but I too was wondering what it was all about and started catching up on Netflix. I can already tell it’ll be worth watching, will pay close attention now from your comments 😉
    Thanks for the chance to win Waking Up with a Rake! Sounds like great story!: 😀

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      We’ll try not to post too many spoilers, Lorelei! Enjoy!

  3. Kathryn in Montreal says:

    I love, love, love Downton Abbey… I have watched the whole third season (downloaded it last fall) and I have to agree that this is the slowest season (although it does pick up and I won’t say anymore for fear of divulging plot secrets).

    The Dowager Countess is my favourite character and for all the hauling the family has to do to get her into the 20th century (her pithy dismissals of electric lighting, telephones and cars are wonderful), she does show incredible common sense and family values even if they are buried deep in well-steeped traditions.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      She’s Dame Maggie Smith! What a treasure. Need we say more?

  4. Jamie says:

    I don’t know who I’d fire, but I’d hire Ethel back. I’d like to see Thomas get what’s coming to him too, but I don’t want to fire him. He’s too interesting a character. I’d like Edith to go to NYC with her fabulous American gramama and become a flapper.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Having just seen Les Miserables recently, I have sympathy for Ethel. I doubt Mr. Carson would allow her back at Downton, but I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of her. The “sadder-but-wiser” girl is always an interesting character.

      Thomas is despicable, but the series needs him, or someone like him, to keep the pot stirring.

  5. PJ Sharon says:

    Hi Mia! I enjoyed sharing a table with you at last year’s RT convention. I love DA! I think I’ve seen the most growth in Mary’s character. I didn’t like her much at all the first season, but she’s growing on me, as is Edith, who I would love to see become something grand like a writer/author…although the NYC flapper idea above would be fun! maggie Smith is superb! One of my favorite scenes is when Matthew has a fight with Mary’s intended in season 2 and when the man announces to the Dowager Countess, “I won’t be seeing you again,” she says “Do you promise?” So pithy! Fun topic 😀

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Hey PJ! Will I be seeing you in KC this year for RT?

      I so agree with you on Mary. She was spiteful, malicious and small at first. I really despised the way she picked on Edith (of course, sadly, everyone discounts Edith.) Mary had all the advantages of birth and looks. Why she had to be so sneakily vicious was beyond me. However, time wounds all heels and she’s been through some things that have sanded off a few of her barbed edges now.

  6. Karen H in NC says:

    I absolutely love this program. I especially love Lady Violet. There a sites filled with nothing but her zingers. So funny. Here’s a couple of links if you want reminders of her quips!,0,772224.photogallery?index=6

    The S3 quotes may contain spoilers because the program aired first in the UK and USA is a bit behind. Even Cousin Isobel got in a dig!

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      She always has at least one per episode. I saw an interview of Maggie Smith and when the reporter praised her delivery, she modestly said it doesn’t matter how you say things if the words aren’t good. Kudos to the writer!

  7. Jakki L. says:

    Hi Mia! I wish I could jump on the Downtown Abbey bandwagon; truly I do. I have yet to see an episode, so I figure I can’t jump in now, during season 3. The thought of catching up and watching seasons 1 & 2 is intimidating. I am afraid I won’t have enough time to watch them all, take care of my family & house, and review & edit books. However, the thought of watching bits at time during the baby’s middle of the night feedings might just be the thing I need! 😉
    Waking Up With A Rake sounds like such a great book! Thank you, Mia and Sourcebooks for the giveaway! :mrgreen:

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Don’t be intimidated. I confess I dived into the series like a madwoman, but my daughter plans to watch just one episode a day till she catches up to Season 3. Gives her plenty of time to read her vampire YA novels too. She’s currently spellbound by CC Hunter’s ShadowFalls series, but loves a good historical too.

    2. Jakki –

      The good thing about these seasons is that they are not as long as US tv series’ seasons are — they’re usually 7 or 8 episodes instead of our 13-20.

      Get caught up – it’s highly addictive once you start!


  8. Maureen says:

    I haven’t seen the third season yet but the first two were amazing. I enjoy so many of the characters, my favorite part is that they have so many sides to them.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Even the “good” characters have weaknesses and the “bad” characters have occasional lapses into decency. Brilliant and so true to life.

  9. Shana Shana says:

    I’m interested to see how O’Brien gets back at Thomas, and Thomas is going to be in a world of trouble with that new footman! I think it’s getting good!

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      I agree with Daisy when someone got on O’Brien’s bad side–“I wouldn’t be you for a gold clock!”

  10. catslady says:

    I’m afraid I’ve never watched 🙁 My resolution this year was less computer and TV and more reading 🙂

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      More reading is always a good resolution! 😉

  11. Polly says:

    Julian Fellowes has gifted us with some marvelously witty characters in his films and books; Snobs, Gosford Park and The Making of Victoria to name a few that are my favorites. The scripts he writes and wife edits for DA are beautiful works of art. Great lines and super talented actors to speak them. I’m not a big TV watcher, but this series has had me hooked from year one!

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      I think one of the strengths of this series is that it’s not an adaptation of anything. It’s all original material.

  12. bn100 says:

    Nice cover.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks, BN. I’m the first to admit I’ve been kissed by the cover faeries!

  13. Quilt Lady says:

    I have never watched the show so I can’t say anything about it. I guess I will have to check it out.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Just a word of warning–Downton Abbey seems to be highly addictive!

  14. Kimh says:

    Liking Edith will join the womens movement
    ms o’brien guts to go I thunk
    like th e granmas sowise
    good show
    have av good week all
    go niners

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      It’s always fun to guess where the story will go.

      Since my team (Denver Broncos) are out, I can cheer for your niners!

  15. Barbara Elness says:

    I feel so uninformed and out of it – I don’t watch Downton Abbey! I missed out at the beginning and have never had a chance to watch it. I think one of these days I’ll have to download it or buy the DVD and watch several seasons at once. 😀

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      I’m so glad my DH surprised me with Seasons 1&2. He claims Season 3 is available to buy now too since it has already been shown in the UK, but I’m content to wait each week for my fix now.

  16. donna ann says:

    i haven’t watched it though occasionally tempted to look it up at it sounds great (and some of the snippets i’ve seen online support that) but I’m terrible at remembering to watch something on a regular basis so a serial such as this where every week is important to keep up with would be a disaster for me to follow 😉

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      That’s why I get the DH to program our cable to record it. (Notice I haven’t figured out how to do it myself.)

  17. Ann s. says:

    I haven’t watched it yet, but I sent my son to find it on Netflix. He says its available, so now I have plans for the weekend.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Enjoy, Ann! Let me know what you think.

  18. Sarah Andre says:

    Hooked like a marlin! (A friend gave me Seasons 1 and 2 when I was laid up after surgery in Nov.)

    I agree with some of the comments above: Season 3 is off to a dull start. Sybil’s been pregnant and barely showing for a few years, the Bates subplot is going nowhere and I have a REAL hard time believing Matthew’s self-righteous behavior vs. saving his own inheritance. (Was that crypic enough not to be a spoiler alert?)

    The weaker the plots get the more I’m viewing this thru ‘craft’ eyes instead of an absorbed fan. Someone needs to give the DA writers a refresher lesson on motivation!

    I’d say fire O’Brien or Thomas or both, but since they’re turning on each other I imagine the result will be even more catastrophic than just getting sacked.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      After the big canvas events of the Titanic sinking and WWI breaking out, Downton has settled back into a lull before a storm. We haven’t seen the last of the newspaper man Mary jilted.

      I do about the Bates subplot. Enough already. Get the man out of prison!

  19. Trudy Miner says:

    I came late to DA with the last 15 min of Season 2 also! Then, over the holidays, I watched a marathon on PBS and I’m hooked! Maggie Smith reminds me so much of my late stepmother in looks and manner; her first husband was military brass. However, I haven’t got a favorite character yet although I thought I was going to really dislike Mary’s husband if he didn’t accept the inheritance and save DA! As for your new book, I’ve read it and loved it and can hardly wait for the next one!

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks so much, Trudy. So glad you enjoyed WAKING UP WITH A RAKE! My next in the Royal Rake series won’t be out till June, but I do have an ebook coming out in February–STROKE OF GENIUS! More about that later…

  20. LilMissMolly says:

    Ohhh, this one sounds so good! I love historical fiction – especially reformed rake stories. Can’t wait to read it!

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks, Molly. Good luck in the drawing.

  21. Karen H in NC says:

    Just wondering: Has a winner been drawn yet?

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